Here's What You Need To Know About These And Other Lesser-Known Pregnancy Complaints.

Ann Douglas, author of The Mother of All Pregnancy Books: The Ultimate Guide to Conception, Birth and Everything in Between and The Mother of All Baby Books: The Ultimate Guide to Your Baby's First Year, is here at Pregnancy & Baby! Read Ann's advice on everything from keeping romance alive amidst the structure and stress of baby-making to weathering the storms of morning sickness to preparing for the birth of your dreams.
Ann Douglas

More Mom's the Word by Ann Douglas

So much you didn't expect
While complaints like morning sickness and Braxton-Hicks contractions manage to attract the lion's share of attention at prenatal class, you're unlikely to hear as much as a peep about palmar erythema or pyogenic granulomas. Here's what you need to know about these and other lesser-known pregnancy complaints. Belly button tenderness: It may sound like the most frivolous pregnancy complaint in the world, but pressure from your expanding uterus can cause your belly button to become very tender around the midpoint of your pregnancy. This particular complaint tends to be at its most bothersome at around the 20th week of pregnancy, with the tenderness subsiding after that.

Increased vaginal secretions: The hormonal changes of pregnancy trigger an increase in the amount of leukorrhea (the odorless clear or white mucusy discharge) that is produced by your body. There's no reason to worry that you've contracted an infection unless your discharge is greenish-yellow or foul smelling, or if you're experiencing soreness or pain.

Palmar erythema: If the palms of your hands and the soles of your feet develop a reddish hue, you may have developed palmar erythema. Caused by the hormonal changes of pregnancy, palmar erythema will disappear on its own after you give birth.

Skin tags: Some pregnant women develop skin tags -- tiny polyps that occur anywhere where skin rubs up against skin or clothing: in the folds of the neck, along your bra line and so on. If they become particularly bothersome, you might want to talk to your doctor about having them removed.

Pyogenic granulomas: Don't be alarmed if you happen to notice tiny nodules on your gums when you're brushing your teeth one morning. These nodules -- known as pyogenic granulomas (pregnancy tumors) are harmless, non-cancerous growths that can occur during pregnancy. They tend to disappear on their own after you give birth, but if they're causing you a lot of grief, you might want to ask your doctor to remove them in the meantime.

Eye changes: Fluid retention during pregnancy changes the shape of your eyeballs, leading to increased nearsightedness. At the same time, rising levels of estrogen can lead to a condition called dry eye, which is characterized by dryness and burning, blurred vision and increased sensitivity to light. Like most pregnancy complaints, your eye woes will correct themselves after you give birth.

Carpal tunnel syndrome: Carpal tunnel syndrome is relatively common during pregnancy and results from a pinched nerve in the wrist. In most cases, the problem disappears after you give birth, but some women will require surgery to correct the problem. In the meantime, you can keep yourself comfortable by elevating the affected hand or wearing a plastic splint at night.

Hip soreness: Hormonal changes cause the ligaments in your hips to stretch and the cartilage to soften, something that can lead to soreness when you're sleeping on your side at night. They're also responsible for that classic pregnancy "waddle." There's no real remedy for this particular complaint other than changing position frequently while you sleep and using pillows to help you to maintain the most comfortable position possible.

While these pregnancy-related complaints may make your life miserable while you're waiting for your baby to be born, they don't tend to stick around much beyond delivery day. With any luck, you'll be feeling practically good as new within a few months of giving birth.

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