Wacky Pregnancy Symptoms: What Your Doctor Won't Tell You
Your Pet Horse Charley
The cutely-named charley horses that strike during the second and third trimesters can interfere with much-needed sleep. Muscle fatigue, fluid build-up, an excess of phosphorous, or a deficiency of calcium are all thought to be contributing factors to painful nighttime leg cramps, which can feel like you are being stabbed in the calf.
Fortunately, if you’ve already been awoken from your precious slumber by a charley horse, it’s easy to get relief. Gently stretch the muscle by pointing and flexing your foot, then massage the muscle (or better yet, wake up your hubby and make him do it). Applying a hot water bottle is also helpful, and pacing around for a few minutes will loosen the muscle up enough to provide relief as well.
If you’d prefer to head leg cramps off so the only thing waking you up will be the five or six bathroom trips, try stretching and massaging the muscle before bedtime. Take time out of your day to elevate your feet for a few minutes whenever possible, and sneak in stretches by rotating your ankles and flexing your feet while sitting at work or on the bus. Make sure you’re getting enough calcium, which your baby also needs, and cut out soft drinks, which contain high amounts of phosphorous (and empty calories that aren’t good for you).
Hair, Hair Everywhere
First-time pregnant women are sometimes horrified to witness fine, dark hair spreading across their bellies and jawbones, and prickly hairs sprouting with alarming frequency from the chin, upper lip, and even around the nipples. The same pregnancy hormones that will give you a luxurious head of hair (during pregnancy, hair falls out at a much slower rate than normal) are responsible for the unsightly growth of tiny hairs where you want them the least. Have a good pair of tweezers ready or make a standing appointment with your favorite aesthetician. Don’t attempt to wax, bleach, pluck, or otherwise remove the hairs that sprout up around sensitive nipples. If you are very uncomfortable with their appearance, talk to your doctor about hair removal methods that may be safe in that delicate area.
The Skin You’re In
Pregnancy hormones can jump start your body’s production of melanin, the pigment that gives skin its color. The resulting “mask of pregnancy,” or chloasma, causes irregular dark blotches on the forehead, nose and cheeks. The mask of pregnancy is more common among darker-skinned women, although fair-skinned moms-to-be may notice that freckles, beauty marks and other skin spots darken during pregnancy. After delivery, most of the splotches will fade on their own, but staying out of the sun and using an SPF will help increase chances that your skin will return to normal.
The Nose Knows?
Another facial distortion is the swollen nose. Although your doctor may consider it an old wives’ tale, anecdotal evidence from many moms suggests that a swollen, bulbous nose is a surefire predictor of a baby girl.
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