Pregnancy Basics (cont.)

Nasal Problems

Nosebleeds and nasal stuffiness are common during pregnancy. They are caused by the increased amount of blood in your body and hormones acting on the tissues of your nose.

What might help:

  • Blow your nose gently.
  • Drink fluids and use a cool mist humidifier.
  • To stop a nosebleed, squeeze your nose between your thumb and forefinger for a few minutes.

Call your doctor if your nosebleeds are frequent and do not stop after a few minutes.

Numb or tingling hands

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Feelings of swelling, tingling, and numbness in fingers and hands, called carpal tunnel syndrome, can occur during pregnancy. These symptoms are due to swelling of tissues in the narrow passages in your wrists, and they should disappear after delivery.

What might help

  • Take frequent breaks to rest hands.
  • Ask your doctor about fitting you for a splint to keep wrists straight.

Stretch marks, skin changes

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Stretch marks are red, pink, or brown streaks on the skin. Most often they appear on the thighs, buttocks, abdomen, and breasts. These scars are caused by the stretching of the skin, and usually appear in the second half of pregnancy.

Some women notice other skin changes during pregnancy. For many women, the nipples become darker and browner during pregnancy. Many pregnant women also develop a dark line (called the linea nigra) on the skin that runs from the belly button down to the pubic hairline. Patches of darker skin usually over the cheeks, forehead, nose, or upper lip also are common. Patches often match on both sides of the face. These spots are called melasma or chloasma and are more common in darker-skinned women.

What might help:

  • Be patient - stretch marks and other changes usually fade after delivery.

Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Pregnancy Body Changes and Discomforts - Experience Question: Please describe your experience with pregnancy body changes.
Pregnancy Body Changes and Discomforts - Morning Sickness Question: Please describe your experience with morning sickness during pregnancy.
Pregnancy Body Changes and Discomforts - Constipation Question: Discuss the diet or exercise changes you made to relieve constipation during your pregnancy.
Pregnancy Body Changes and Discomforts - Sleep Issues Question: What changes did you make in your sleeping environment or routine while you were pregnant?
Pregnancy Body Changes and Discomforts - Skin Question: Did you get stretch marks or other changes in your skin while pregnant? Please share your experience, including treatments.
Pregnancy Body Changes and Discomforts - Numb Hands Question: If you developed carpal tunnel syndrome during pregnancy, how did you relieve the symptoms? Do you still have it?
Pregnancy Body Changes and Discomforts - Incontinence Question: Did you have urinary problems while pregnant? What did you do to relieve the symptoms? Do you still have issues?

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