An OB Shares the Secrets of Pregnancy

If there's a blood clot, a doctor will immediately give you blood thinners and monitor you weekly.

7. Buttock Pain
Pregnancy can be a literal pain in the butt for some. If the baby's pressing on a nerve near the spine, you may develop sciatica, which causes a shooting, burning sensation in the buttocks, a pins-and-needles sensation or numbness. Pain in the lower back pain, back of the thigh or that runs down the back of the leg and foot are also symptoms.

You'll be uncomfortable, and a doctor can do little to change the baby's position in your womb. Apply a heating pad set on low to the aching spot for temporary relief.

8. Vaginal Itching
Annoying yet common, vaginal itching results from an increase in fungus in your body.

Here's why: Your immune system is less active during pregnancy, fighting fewer "foreign objects" and leaving fungus free to frolic and cause yeast infections. With a more vigilant immune system, your body could, in theory, reject your baby as an intruder.

Diet also raises the risk of yeast infections, especially dairy products, such as ice cream, yogurt, cheese and milk. Of course, getting enough calcium is crucial for your developing baby, so look for non-dairy, calcium-rich foods, such as spinach, beans including soybeans, fortified cereals and canned salmon with the bones.

9. Varicose Vaginal Veins
Also known as vaginal varicosities, these are worm-looking veins that show up in the last 12 weeks, mostly after week 35 of your pregnancy. That's when the baby's head is snug in your pelvis, pressing against the vaginal veins and enlarging them.

They're ugly but usually pose no threat. Some midwives recommend placing &fract14; cup of Epsom salts on a moist washcloth, mixing until it's the consistency of paste, then placing it on the veins (using light pressure) for 10-15 minutes. The salt will stimulate circulation and help relieve discomfort. Do not wear Spandex garments -- it may constrict the vagina and your growing abdomen.

10. Baby's Hiccups
In the last five weeks, you might notice your belly jumping up and down rhythmically. Relax -- nothing's wrong with the baby. He or she is just practicing how to breathe!

The muscle that helps humans breathe, the diaphragm, is getting stronger. Until your baby is born, he or she will receive oxygen through the umbilical cord. But once the cord is cut, the baby has to breathe on his or her own, so think of those hiccups as a dress rehearsal for breathing.

Pregnancy is both an adventure and a walk in faith. As your body transforms, relax. Know that rarely will any condition occur that you and your medical team can't handle.

Dr. Burke-Galloway's passion for babies inspired her to provide quality healthcare to medically underserved women, many of whom had high-risk problems. She is an expert in recognizing and managing obstetrical risks before they spin out of control and has prevented potential disasters for both mothers and their unborn babies. Dr. Burke-Galloway is also a medical malpractice consultant for the federal government. Linda Burke-Galloway, M.D., descended from two 19th-century midwives, is a board-certified ob-gyn and author of The Smart Mother's Guide to a Better Pregnancy: How to Minimize Risks, Avoid Complications, and Have a Healthy Baby. Read more from Dr. Burke-Galloway at her blog.

Copyright © Linda Burke-Galloway. Permission to republish granted to, LLC.