From Amnio to Zygote, peep our glossary of all the pregnancy and birth-related terms you never knew existed, 'til now.

Hand Foot + Mouth Disease

/hand· foo t· and· mouth· dih-zeez/

This viral infection is caused by a strain of the Coxsackie virus that mainly infects children. It’s very contagious and easily spread around classrooms, day care centers and classes. The good news is that while ubiquitous, it doesn’t carry any long term effects and doesn’t require any treatment. It’s one of those viruses that can be painful but just needs time to run its course within two weeks. It doesn’t mean that your little ones won’t be uncomfortable. They'll have sores, blisters and a rash on their hands, feet and inside their mouth (a loss of appetite often follows since the ulcers in the mouth cause discomfort). OUCH! Poor babe.



Hemorrhoids are one of those yucky pregnancy side effects that, on the surface, is slightly embarrassing to talk about openly yet they’re soooo common!!! You get hemorrhoids when the veins around your rectum become varicose, aka swollen and then they get super painful. Sad times. They often make their debut during the third trimester.

The most common reason for getting hemorrhoids is constipation combined with mounting pressure on the area from your growing babe and bod. The plus side to all this heinousness is the fact that the problem should improve once your baby is born. Of course the best way to avoid hemorrhoids is to not get them in the first place. Preventative measures include eating a high fiber diet and drinking plenty of fluids so to ensure smooth moves.

Hepatitis B, C

/hep·uh·tahy·tis· bee· see/

Both viruses signify an inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis B ranges in severity from a mild illness, lasting a few weeks (acute), to a serious long-term (chronic) illness that can lead to liver disease or liver cancer. Hepatitis C can result in an acute illness, but often becomes a chronic condition that can lead to cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer. Both are contracted when you have contact with infectious blood, semen and other body fluids that result from having sex with an infected person, sharing contaminated needles, or passing from an infected mother to her newborn.

High Risk Pregnancy

/hahy· risk· preg·nuh n·see/

A pregnancy is considered high-risk when there are potential complications that could affect the mother, the baby or both. High-risk pregnancies necessitate being overseen by a specialist throughout the pregnancy. Maternal age (over 35), pre-pregnancy medical issues and medical issues that come up as a result of being pregnant (preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, placenta previa) are all factors in determining risk.

Hot Flashes

/hot· flashes/

Regular fluctuations in hormone levels, particularly drops in estrogen, as well as your increased metabolism during pregnancy can cause the surges of heat that might hit at any time (even in the dead of winter) for up to a few minutes. Usually these occur in the second and third trimesters but could also continue after delivery as your body regulates. Stay hydrated and well-fed, wear layers and get plenty of fresh air in order to combat these flashes.

Hyperemesis Gravidarum

/hahy·per·em·uh·sis· grav·i·duh·ruhm/

Otherwise known as extreme morning sickness, hyperemesis gravidarum can sneak up at around 9 weeks and tends to subside around the 20-week mark, but sometimes it lasts longer. Constant queasiness and vomiting can cause dehydration, weight loss and malnutrition, so try to keep your stomach from feeling empty, which can make you feel worse, and keep saltines and ginger ale on hand. 3% of women suffer from this ailment (Amy Schumer and Kate Middleton have spoken about it) but there are ways to manage it with safe-for-baby anti-nausea medications like Zofran or Reglan, which many women say are lifesavers. Ask your healthcare provider they think you’re a candidate for a prescription.



Hysteroscopy is used to diagnose or treat problems of the uterus via a hysteroscope: a thin, lighted telescope-like device inserted through your vagina into your uterus that transmits images onto a screen like an ultrasound. If you suffer from abnormal bleeding (before or after being pregnant, not during), a hysteroscopy can help diagnose the cause. Fibroids and cysts can often be the culprits and both can be measured and seen with this procedure.