Postpartum Hair Loss

Postpartum hair loss is a normal and temporary, however, not all women experience postpartum hair loss, but it is quite common. Fortunately, this is a totally temporary situation. Typically, it’ll take three to four months for the hair growth phase to cycle through.

During pregnancy, your hormones change dramatically. Hormones are the biggest reason for your pregnancy hair changes and postpartum hair loss.

So after your baby arrives and your hormone levels drop, your hair makes up for the lost time by falling out in much bigger clumps than it normally does. The total volume of your hair loss probably isn’t more than you would have lost over the last nine months, it just seems like it because it’s happening all at once.

Postpartum hair loss can set in any day after your baby arrives, and it sometimes continues as long as a year. It usually peaks around the 4-month mark, so if your baby is a few months old and you’re still losing clumps of hair, that doesn’t mean it’s time to panic!

Causes

While breastfeeding is often blamed for hair loss, there is no evidence to show that breastfeeding causes or increases hair loss in the postpartum period. Unfortunately, this is a symptom that almost all moms will experience. While this condition can become extreme (called Postpartum Alopecia) some hair loss is normal and a natural part of postpartum. Most moms will experience this symptom somewhere around three months postpartum. It can last a few weeks or a few months, depending on how long your hair cycles last. Often moms forget that they are still considered postpartum by this point and don’t think to relate childbirth to this symptom.

Blame it on hormones. During pregnancy, estrogen increases, which typically encourages hair growth and improves texture. But in the postpartum period, estrogen levels drop. Plus, you may have vitamin deficiencies lingering from pregnancy.  All these factors along with the exhaustion that accompanies being a new parent can lead to hair loss.

The other reason is that when you are pregnant your hair goes into a dormant cycle and you lose less hair. This is called the telogen phase. Eventually, your hair will go into the next phase (telogen effluvium) and fall out. Therefore, when you have the baby you start losing all of the hair that you didn’t lose when you were pregnant. The hair loss and regrowth will probably be most apparent in the area above your forehead. If you gained a lot of extra hair when you were pregnant, this can look quite dramatic.

How to Handle Postpartum Shedding

It’s normal for your hair to thin out after pregnancy. If it’s not worrying you, you don’t need to do anything to treat it. And, unfortunately, there is nothing that has been shown to prevent or slow postpartum hair loss. But if your hair loss is bothering you, there are treatments you can try to make your hair appear fuller and healthier.

  • Skip the styling

Heating your hair with a dryer or curling iron may make it look thinner. Try to hold off on fancy styling and let your hair air-dry till the thinning tapers out. Brushing too hard can also cause your hair to fall out in bigger clumps, so be gentle when brushing and don’t brush more than once a day. You can use the extra time to cuddle your baby or catch up on sleep!

  • Consider a haircut

It may sound counterintuitive, says Sheppard, but a short ‘do can disguise thinning hair. If you’re ready for a change, try a bob, lob, or pixie cut, she recommends—with shorter hair, you’ll naturally have more volume because you’ll have removed the weight.

  • Eat right

What you eat can help control hair loss. Aim to get lots of protein, vitamin-rich foods, green leafy vegetables, and eggs and dairy. Taking vitamin D, B-complex vitamins, and omega-3 is recommended to help reduce postpartum hair loss.

  • Switch up your product routine

If your postpartum hair is very different from your pregnancy hair or your pre-pregnancy strands it only makes sense to try different products. Look for options that include the words volumizing or thickening in their name or description. A new shampoo is also a good idea.

  • Take your vitamins

Vitamins shouldn’t be a substitute for a varied diet, especially when you’re a new mom with a baby to take care of. But they may help as a supplement if your diet is not well-balanced. While no specific vitamins have been shown to affect hair loss, they are important for overall health. It is often recommended to continue your prenatal vitamins after your baby is born, especially if you are breastfeeding.

When to Talk to Your Practitioner

Usually, by the time your hair begins to thin, you have already had your postpartum checkup with your doctor or midwife. If your shedding becomes extreme or you are losing large patches of hair, call your practitioner and mention it. Occasionally hair loss is the sign of other postpartum issues, like hypothyroidism. You want to be sure to rule those out. If you are still losing hair around your baby’s first birthday, call your practitioner. Typical hair loss does not usually continue that long into the postpartum period.

 

 

Common Discomforts During Pregnancy

Your body has a great deal to do during pregnancy. Sometimes the changes taking place will cause irritation or discomfort, and on occasions, they may seem quite alarming. There is rarely any need for alarm but you should mention anything that is worrying you to your maternity team. Below you will find some common discomforts that women can have at various stages of their pregnancy including cramps, headaches, stretch marks, swollen ankles, and varicose veins. Common Discomforts During Pregnancy. About half of all pregnant women experience nausea and sometimes vomiting in the first trimester–also called morning sickness because symptoms are most severe in the morning. Some women may have nausea and vomiting throughout the pregnancy.

Morning Sickness 

Morning sickness is a common symptom of early pregnancy that usually goes away by the end of the first three months. Morning sickness or nausea (with or without vomiting) can happen at any time of the day and is caused by changes in hormones during pregnancy. Some food and eating suggestions that may help manage symptoms of morning sickness or nausea. Some food and eating suggestions that may help manage symptoms of morning sickness or nausea. Eat smaller meals more often. Missing meals can make nausea worse. If vomiting, it is important to drink enough fluids. It may be easier to have lots of small drinks than to try and drink a large amount in one go. Try a variety of fluids such as water, fruit juice, lemonade, and clear soups. Sometimes it can be helpful to try crushed ice, slushies, ice blocks, or even suck on frozen fruit such as grapes or orange segments. If you are unable to take in fluids or feel weak, dizzy or unwell, you may be suffering from dehydration and you should seek medical attention urgently.

Backache in Pregnancy  

During pregnancy, the ligaments in your body naturally become softer and stretch to prepare you for labour. This can put a strain on the joints of your lower back and pelvis, which can cause backache. The extra weight of your uterus and the increasing size of the hollow in your lower back can also add to the problem. A firm mattress can also help to prevent and relieve backache. If your mattress is too soft, put a piece of cardboard under it to make it firmer.

Bladder and bowel problems during pregnancy

During pregnancy, many women experience some rather unpleasant conditions like constipation, needing to urinate more frequently, incontinence and hemorrhoids (piles). Maintaining a healthy diet (nutrition) and doing regular exercise (movement) can help make your pregnancy a bit less uncomfortable. You may become constipated very early in pregnancy because of the hormonal changes in your body. Constipation can mean that you are not passing stools (feces) as often as you normally do, you have to strain more than usual or you are unable to completely empty your bowels. Constipation can also cause your stools to be unusually hard, lumpy, large or small.

Frequent urination

The need to frequently urinate (pass water or pee) often starts from early in your pregnancy. Sometimes it continues right through pregnancy. In later pregnancy the need to frequently urinate results from the baby’s head pressing or resting on your bladder.

If you find that you need to get up in the night to urinate, try cutting out drinks in the late evening. But make sure you drink plenty of non-alcoholic, caffeine-free drinks during the day. Later in pregnancy, some women find it helps to rock backward and forwards while they are on the toilet. This lessens the pressure of the womb on the bladder so that you can empty it properly. Then you may not need to pass water again quite so soon.

If you have any burning or stinging while passing urine or you pass any blood in your urine, you may have a urinary tract infection, which will need treatment. Drink plenty of water to dilute your urine and reduce pain.

Dealing with cramps, swelling and varicose veins 

Cramps, swelling, and varicose veins are some of the most common issues women experience during pregnancy. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, doing regular exercise and getting plenty of rest should help to alleviate the symptoms. Cramps are sudden, sharp pain, usually in your calf muscles or feet. It is most common at night. Regular, gentle exercise in pregnancy, particularly ankle and leg movements, may improve your circulation and may help to prevent cramp occurring. Ankles, feet, and hands often swell a little in pregnancy because your body is holding more fluid than usual. Towards the end of the day, especially if the weather is hot or if you have been standing a lot, the extra fluid tends to gather in the lowest parts of the body. The gradual swelling isn’t harmful to you or your baby, but it can be uncomfortable and your shoes can feel tight.

Dealing with fatigue during your pregnancy

Feeling tired and hotter than usual is quite common during pregnancy. Many pregnant women also feel faint and this is due to hormonal changes. Pregnant women often feel faint. This is because of hormonal changes occurring in your body during pregnancy. Fainting happens if your brain is not getting enough blood and therefore not enough oxygen. If your oxygen levels get too low, it may cause you to faint. You are most likely to feel faint if you stand too quickly from a chair, off the toilet or out of a bath, but it can also happen when you are lying on your back.

It’s common to feel tired, or even exhausted, during pregnancy, especially in the first 12 weeks or so. Hormonal changes taking place in your body at this time can make you feel tired, nauseous and emotional. The only answer is to try to rest as much as possible. Make time to sit with your feet up during the day, and accept any offers of help from colleagues and family. Being tired and run-down can make you feel low. Try to look after your physical health by eating a healthy diet and get plenty of rest and sleep. Later on, in pregnancy, you may feel tired because of the extra weight you are carrying. Make sure you get plenty of rest. As your baby gets bigger, it can be difficult to get a good night’s sleep. You might find it uncomfortable lying down or, just when you get comfortable, you have to get up to go to the toilet.

Feeling tired won’t harm you or your baby, but it can make life feel more difficult, especially in the early days before you’ve told people about your pregnancy. Make sure you get as much rest as you can.

Vaginal discharge during pregnancy

During pregnancy, almost all women have more vaginal discharge. This happens because the cervix (neck of the womb) and vaginal walls get softer during pregnancy and discharge increases to help prevent any infections traveling up from the vagina to the womb.

 

All women, whether they’re pregnant or not, have some vaginal discharge starting a year or two before puberty and ending after the menopause. How much discharge you have changed from time to time and it usually gets heavier just before your period. Almost all women have more vaginal discharge in pregnancy. This is quite normal and happens for a few reasons. During pregnancy, the cervix (neck of the womb) and vaginal walls get softer and discharge increases to help prevent any infections traveling up from the vagina to the womb.

Towards the end of pregnancy, the number of discharge increases and can be confused with urine. In the last week or so of pregnancy, your discharge may contain streaks of thick mucus and some blood. This is called a ‘show’ and happens when the mucus that has been present in your cervix during pregnancy comes away. It’s a sign that the body is starting to prepare for birth, and you may have a few small ‘shows’ in the days before you go into labour. If you have any vaginal bleeding in pregnancy, you should contact your midwife or doctor, as it can sometimes be a sign of a more serious problem such as a miscarriage or a problem with the placenta.

 

The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

 

Things Every Partner Should Do for a Mom-To-Be

It’s fair to say that women do most of the work when it comes to pregnancy. After all, your baby has set up camp in your partner’s uterus, so she is the one who will be peeing every twenty minutes, struggling to get comfy at night, and giving birth. Your lack of uterus puts you on the bench, but you can still be a team player when it comes to pregnancy. You are charged with the vital role of providing support, being a shoulder to cry on and, of course, getting the snacks.

“Your partner may be doing the heavy lifting (or carrying) for the next nine months, but she’ll need a lot of support from her partner, too.”

While pregnancy and giving birth is Mom’s job, there are a number of ways that you, as her partner, can share the load, too. And guess what? It’s a lot more fun that way. After all, it took two to start this journey!

Here are some roles for dads these days during pregnancy: 

  • Take over some of the household chores.

As your partner’s bodies adapt to the rigors of pregnancy, some of the household chores get impossible for them. The fumes of cleaning solutions can be nauseating if not toxic, so cleaning toilets and tubs may need to fall to dad. Vacuuming and mopping can be really hard when mom’s body is already tired or the baby bump gets in the way. Offering to take this off our pregnant partner (especially before she has to ask) can help alleviate a lot of stress and anxiety.

  • Prioritize Her

The relationship a pregnant woman has with her partner is very important. A large study in Scandinavia recently identified that the single biggest factor in antenatal anxiety was a woman’s relationship with her partner, and there’s also a big link between mood disorders antenatally and postnatally. Life can get busy sometimes. There are only so many hours in each day, and yet so much to be packed in. There are work demands, social activities, family to see, and a relationship to nurture. It can be pretty exhausting, and you may at times wonder whether you are neglecting certain areas of your life. Make sure that you are prioritizing your relationship throughout the pregnancy. Make time for her, make the effort, and check in to find out how she’s doing.

  • Create Some Memories

You will soon be a family of three, and though you will find that life becomes more wonderful and rich than ever before, it’s true to say that it will never be the same again. The lazy mornings in bed, the carefree nights out, and the impromptu weekends away will be scarce, at least for a few years. Now is the perfect time to create some special memories together. Take a trip away, spend a weekend lounging in bed, and head off into the countryside for walks. Do whatever you want, just make sure you do it together.

  • Learn about the process with her

Many dads find themselves detaching from the pregnancy process, in part because they haven’t taken the time to learn about it. Go with your child’s mom to prenatal classes and doctor’s appointments. Read books or watch videos about the process of pregnancy. Learn about the labor and delivery process and talk with other fathers about their experiences. Getting more involved in becoming educated about the pregnancy process will help be a support to mom through her experience.

  • Support her emotionally.

Hormones you didn’t know existed will begin to manifest themselves in strange ways during pregnancy. Your partner may cry a lot ​or have moments of total exhilaration. Things that used to be simple and routine now are laden with emotions, both positive and negative. Recognize that these are all natural and to be expected, and that, for the most part, they will not last beyond labor and delivery. Patience, understanding, active listening and just holding her when she wants to be held are big things that will sustain her emotional needs during her pregnancy.

  • Listen and Talk

Pregnancy and childbirth can be a lot to handle especially for first-timers. So make sure your partner knows she can vent to you about all those little (and big!) changes going on now, nerves about an upcoming procedure, anxiety about what kind of mom she’ll be, annoyance at her puffy feet. Even if you think her concerns are outsized or illogical, keep the thought to yourself. Don’t tell her to “stop worrying” or “chill out.” Instead, listen to her, offer to help her find information, go to doctor appointments with her, or take an afternoon off to have some fun together. And since you’re a team, don’t hold back on sharing your fears, too. Remember, it’s totally normal if the ride doesn’t feel quite as carefree as usual: Speak up, and things will go a lot more smoothly for both of you.

  • Be There at all times possible

Tell Her She’s Beautiful, Run Her A Bath, Give Massages, Be Understanding. Many women find it difficult to cope with the changes to their body during pregnancy. She may be worried about stretch marks, concerned about weight gain, or just be feeling not much like her old self. Tell her when she looks great, compliment her on her bump, and make sure she knows just how much you love her. It’s important that you reaffirm her. Sometimes, pregnancy sucks. Give her a break. Pregnancy has its fair share of ups and downs, but you can make it much easier by cutting her a little slack.

Long gone are the days when fathers-to-be are left waiting in the wings to hear the announcement of their child’s birth by doctors and nurses. Instead, more men than ever are playing an active role in the birth of their child. They are keen to learn all they can, in order to help their partner during labour.

Here are some roles for dads these days during Labour: 

  • Before The Birth

Prior to your partner going into labour, it’s a good idea to discuss her birth preferences with her if you haven’t sat down and thought it through with her already. It’s important for you to know what she might like you to do for her in labour bearing in mind that her preferences may actually change when it actually happens! A massage, while she is in labour, might sound wonderful now, however during labour, she might not want to be touched at all. So it’s useful to keep this in mind. When your partner is in labour, you can reaffirm her requests with her then.

  • Share the Coaching

Labor can be a long, hard haul for both of you. You may want to have a friend or family member there to assist. This person can help with coaching and stay with your partner when you need to eat or take breaks. An extra person can provide emotional and physical support for both of you.

  • Cheer From the Sidelines

Many couples choose this option. You’re there to hold your partner’s hand and rub her back. You may snap pictures or take videos of your baby’s birth. You may even cut the umbilical cord. But you’re happy to let others do the hands-on work. Jeffrey Kuller, MD, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Duke University Medical Center, says that providing support is actually the most important thing dads can bring to the labor and delivery. “Dads don’t really need to be the coach,” Kuller says. “That’s what we’re supposed to do.”

  • Wait Outside

In some cases, a woman doesn’t want her baby’s father there. If you haven’t been involved in the pregnancy or are estranged from her, there’s a good chance she won’t. Whatever the reason, if your presence in the room makes it stressful for her, it can make labor and delivery more difficult. Then it’s better for you to be elsewhere.

For most dads, though, being with their partner is a good choice. In one study of how new fathers viewed the experience, 81% said it was rewarding and enjoyable. Regardless of how involved you choose to be, witnessing that final push that sends your child into the world can be an experience like no other.

  • Look After Her

After birth, your partner will need time to recover. She will be exhausted, sore and hormonal, and will be relying on you for support. Help with the baby, and do as many nappy changes as you can. If she’s breastfeeding, make sure that she feels supported, and seek help for her if she is struggling. Cook meals, help your partner get some sleep, and make sure she knows just how much you love her.

Pregnancy is challenging at best, but it brings with it a sense of awe and wonder if you work hard at making it a process where you can feel those things. Being supportive physically and emotionally, learning all you can about the process, covering the needed bases and focusing on preparation will help keep your relationship strong and help you have a sweeter experience together as you anticipate expanding your family circle.

 

The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Overweight Pregnancy Risks

Being overweight increases the risk of complications for pregnant women and their babies. The higher a woman’s BMI, the higher the risks. The increasing risks are in relation to miscarriage – the overall risk of miscarriage under 12 weeks is one in five (20%); if you have a BMI over 30, the risk is one in four (25%)

The more overweight you are, the more likely you are to have pregnancy complications. But there are things you can do before and during pregnancy to help you have a healthy baby. Being overweight is based on your pre-pregnancy body mass index (also called BMI). Pre-pregnancy means your BMI before you get pregnant.

If you started off your pregnancy carrying too much weight for your height, you’re far from alone. More than half of pregnant women are overweight or obese. You’re considered overweight if your pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI) is between 25 and 29.9. (Your BMI reflects the relationship between your height and weight and is an estimate of body fat.) You’re considered obese if your BMI is 30 or greater.

How much weight to gain if you’re pregnant and overweight or obese

How much to gain during pregnancy depends on your BMI:

  • If your BMI is 25 to 29.9: It’s recommended that you gain between 15 and 25 pounds by the end of your pregnancy or approximately 2 to 3 pounds per month in your second and third trimesters.
  • If your BMI is 30 or higher: You’re advised to gain only 11 to 20 pounds during pregnancy.

Obesity during pregnancy puts you at risk of several serious health problems:

  • Gestational diabetes is diabetes that is first diagnosed during pregnancy. This condition can increase the risk of having a cesarean delivery. Women who have had gestational diabetes also have a higher risk of having diabetes in the future, as do their children. Obese women are screened for gestational diabetes early in pregnancy and also may be screened later in pregnancy as well.
  • Preeclampsia is a high blood pressure disorder that can occur during pregnancy or after pregnancy. It is a serious illness that affects a woman’s entire body. The kidneys and liver may fail. Preeclampsia can lead to seizures, a condition called eclampsia. In rare cases, a stroke can occur. Severe cases need emergency treatment to avoid these complications. The baby may need to be delivered early.
  • Sleep apnea is a condition in which a person stops breathing for short periods during sleep. Sleep apnea is associated with obesity. During pregnancy, sleep apnea not only can cause fatigue but also increases the risk of high blood pressure, preeclampsia, eclampsia, and heart and lung disorders.

Obesity increases the risk of the following problems during pregnancy:

  • Pregnancy loss—Obese women have an increased risk of pregnancy loss (miscarriage) compared with women of normal weight.
  • Birth defects—Babies born to obese women have an increased risk of having birth defects, such as heart defects and neural tube defects.
  • Problems with diagnostic tests—Having too much body fat can make it difficult to see certain problems with the baby’s anatomy on an ultrasound exam. Checking the baby’s heart rate during labor also may be more difficult if you are obese.
  • Macrosomia—In this condition, the baby is larger than normal. This can increase the risk of the baby being injured during birth. For example, the baby’s shoulder can become stuck during delivery. Macrosomia also increases the risk of cesarean delivery. Infants born with too much body fat have a greater chance of being obese later in life.
  • Preterm birth—Problems associated with a woman’s obesity, such as preeclampsia, may lead to a medically indicated preterm birth. This means that the baby is delivered early for a medical reason. Preterm babies are not as fully developed as babies who are born after 39 weeks of pregnancy. As a result, they have an increased risk of short-term and long-term health problems.
  • Stillbirth—The higher the woman’s BMI, the greater the risk of stillbirth.

Can I diet to lose weight during pregnancy? 

Pregnancy is definitely not the time to go on a weight-loss diet: Restricting your food intake is potentially hazardous to you and your developing baby. But many plus-size women do lose weight during pregnancy without dieting.

In the first trimester, it’s common to lose weight as a result of morning sickness. Nausea can diminish your appetite, and the vomiting can cause you to miss out on calories. But even so, your baby will get all the necessary calories.

Overweight women have an extra reserve of calories in stored fat, so as your baby grows, it’s not harmful to maintain or even lose a little weight at first. What’s not okay is losing weight because you’re intentionally cutting calories (and, as a result, limiting nutrients).

Can I still have a healthy pregnancy if I am obese?

Despite the risks, you can have a healthy pregnancy if you are obese. It takes careful management of your weight, attention to diet and exercise, regular prenatal care to monitor for complications, and special considerations for your labor and delivery.

How to stay on track with weight gain if you’re overweight or obese?

Exercising and eating healthy food can help you with your weight gain goals, and both can have a positive impact on your pregnancy, reducing your risk of pregnancy problems like gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. They’ll also help you feel good during your pregnancy and beyond.

How does obesity affect labor and delivery?

Overweight and obese women have longer labors than women of normal weight. It can be harder to monitor the baby during labor. For these reasons, obesity during pregnancy increases the likelihood of having a cesarean delivery. If a cesarean delivery is needed, the risks of infection, bleeding, and other complications are greater for an obese woman than for a woman of normal weight.

Eat a healthy pregnancy diet and Exercise regularly Some women do lose weight during pregnancy if they make healthy diet and lifestyle changes, so make sure to check in with your doctor if this happens to you.

 

Resources:

https://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Obesity-and-Pregnancy

Dental Care and Pregnancy

It’s important for you to take good care of your teeth and gums while pregnant. Pregnancy causes hormonal changes that increase the risk of developing gum disease which, in turn, can affect the health of your developing baby.  

Pregnancy and dental work questions are common for expecting moms. Preventive dental cleanings and annual exams during pregnancy are not only safe but are recommended. The rise in hormone levels during pregnancy causes the gums to swell, bleed, and trap food causing increased irritation to your gums.

Does regular dental work during pregnancy safe?

Dental work while pregnant, such as cavity fillings and crowns, should be treated to reduce the chance of infection. If dental work is done during pregnancy, the second trimester is ideal. Once you reach the third trimester, it may be very difficult to lie on your back for an extended period of time.

The safest course of action is to postpone all unnecessary dental work until after the birth.

However, sometimes emergency dental work, such as a root canal or tooth extraction, is necessary. Elective treatments, such as teeth whitening and other cosmetic procedures, should be postponed until after the birth. It is best to avoid this dental work while pregnant and avoid exposing the developing baby to any risks, even if they are minimal.

Dental problems that commonly arise during pregnancy include:

  • Gingivitis. Thanks to hormonal changes that exaggerate your body’s response to bacteria in your mouth, pregnant women are more likely to develop this mild form of gum disease, which can cause irritation, redness, swelling, bad breath and possible bleeding.
  • Cavities. Between the need to up your caloric intake and those intense food cravings, you’re probably doing more snacking these days—which can lead to cavities. If you’re suffering from nausea and vomiting, the increased acidity in your mouth can also lead to tooth decay.
  • Gum tumors. If you develop round, red lumps along your gum line, you can chalk them up to hormonal changes and possibly a buildup of plaque. These pregnancy tumors, as they’re known, are rare, but tend to develop during your second trimester and are completely benign, usually fading away after the baby is born.
  • Enamel erosion. If your morning sickness is causing you to vomit frequently, the acids can begin to erode your tooth enamel, increasing your risk of tooth decay.

Dental Care While Pregnant

  • Tell your dentist (and doctor) if you are pregnant. Routine dental care can be done at any time during pregnancy.  Any urgent procedure can be done, as well. All elective dental procedures, however, should be postponed until after the delivery. Before you have your dental appointment, check with your obstetrician to see if she has any special precautions/instructions for you.
  • Tell your dentist the names and dosages of all drugs you are taking – including medications and prenatal vitamins prescribed by your doctor – as well as any specific medical advice your doctor has given you. Your dentist may need to alter your dental treatment plan based on this information.
  • Dental X-rays can be done during pregnancy. Your dentist will use extreme caution to safeguard you and your babies, such as shielding your abdomen and thyroid.  Advances in technology have made X-rays much safer today than in past decades.
  • Don’t skip your dental checkup appointment simply because you are pregnant. Now more than any other time, regular periodontal (gum) exams are very important because pregnancy causes hormonal changes that put you at increased risk for periodontal disease and for tender gums that bleed easily – a condition called pregnancy gingivitis. Pay particular attention to any changes in your gums during pregnancy. If tenderness, bleeding or gum swelling occurs at any time during your pregnancy, talk with your dentist or periodontist as soon as possible.
  • Follow good oral hygiene practices to prevent and/or reduce oral health problems.

After You’ve Had Your Baby

If you experienced any gum problems during your pregnancy, see your dentist soon after delivery to have your entire mouth examined and periodontal health evaluated.

 

The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Resources:

http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/dental-work-and-pregnancy/

 

THE IMPORTANCE OF READING WHILE PREGNANT

Many studies show that reading (particularly from the mother’s relaxing voice) causes a baby’s fetal heart rate to drop. Also, the bond that is experienced between parent and child, later on, can start to occur while Mama or Papa read to the baby prenatally. Participation in reading is also a great way for other family members to connect with the baby.

Reading is one of the most vital talents a child needs in order to be successful in life. Books are one’s best friend and the early we inculcate this habit, it is excellent for the child.  Reading while pregnancy not only increases the knowledge but also helps in making the bond between the mother and the baby stronger. It also triggers better concentration, a good attention span, distressing the mother of her tensions, resulting in a smarter baby.

How Does Reading During Pregnancy Increase Baby’s Intelligence?

A baby’s nerve pathways in the ears and neural system in the brain start developing as early as the twenty-sixth week, which is when the baby will begin responding to sounds and voices regularly. Introducing music and words while your baby is still growing inside of you may increase your baby’s intelligence; many expectant parents can start talking to their babies in the womb, reading to them and playing soothing music to generate a response from their developing brains. Reading provides auditory stimulation for babies’ growing brains and can acclimate children to the sounds of their parents’ voices.

Why is it important to read to your baby?

As stated earlier reading comes with its own pack of benefits for a baby when stories, rhymes, and lullabies are read to her. However, a few points can be taken to notice which help in illustrating the importance of reading to a baby. Given below are few of them:

  • Reading to a baby helps in grasping the rare words thus increasing vocabulary.
  • Reading helps foster good attention span and also in memorizing.
  • Babies can easily understand the meanings of the word.
  • With reading, the closeness between the mother and the baby increases.
  • Babies already get used to reading and this love helps them with their learnings in the future.
  • Reading at an early age helps in brain development and speech improvement.
  • When rhymes and stories are read to a baby in a repetitive manner, it makes the process interactive and full of fun, making it easy for the baby to remember.

When should I start reading to my baby in the womb?

About six months along, a baby is already quite familiar with the sounds of the womb, from the mother’s heartbeat to digestive sounds. From outside the womb, sounds are extremely clear, although about 10 decibels lower. From week 25 forward, a baby’s primary connection and information to the outside world come in the form of sound. By this point, the soothing, rhythmic sounds of a simple story should be quite audible, although the tones and cadences of the voice are more important than enunciation of the actual words.  

Benefits of Reading to a Baby in the Womb?

As per researches, reading to your unborn is loaded with benefits for the mother-child duo. Some of the benefits are discussed as under:

  • Reduction of Maternal Stress and Anxiety- Reading to the baby helps in reducing prenatal stress and worries. A study shows that when a mother reads to a baby in the womb, the heart rate of the baby seems to drop and she calms down and shows less movement stating she is enjoying the read.
  • Improves Bonding Behaviour –The bond between mother and the baby becomes stronger by reading to the unborn baby as the baby starts getting familiar with the mother’s voice and can identify soft and loud tones of music. She feels more relaxed when soft music is played as it helps in resting due to its comforting quality just like a lullaby, whereas if the baby is sleepy and loud music is played, it in turns kicks as it dislikes it. Even the father by just participating in a reading activity, singing or talking to the baby will help in making the bond stronger.
  • Enhanced Concentration and Attention Span- Once the mother starts reading to the baby, they pick up the melody of the song, even though the words do not mean anything to them but they start identifying the voice of the mother. The child also tends to listen to it for a longer time resulting in increased attention span and concentration levels. Repetitive words also get stored in the memory of the unborn and this helps them further when they start their schooling.

Best Types of Books to Read During Pregnancy

Even though your baby can’t understand the real meaning behind the words he hears, he can pick up the rhythm and tone of the sentences and will respond to how the mother responds to whatever she reads. Reading thrillers or horror stories can raise stress levels in the pregnant mother, which can trigger an anxiety response in the baby. Selecting soothing, lighthearted and fun reading material is the best way to entertain your baby during pregnancy, and children’s books are a good resource for short stories that may benefit both the mother and the infant. Since babies typically have short attention spans, dividing reading sessions into small segments hold their attention long enough to derive the full benefit from this experience.

Thus, it can be seen that with an early start of reading to the baby far-reaching results are achieved. So it is best to kick start early for making the mother-baby bond stronger and helping the mother destress from maternal worries and stress. Finally to let the mother enjoy gradually along with the baby, relax, be calm and enjoy the enjoyable moments of parenting leading to strong and firm relationships and a happy, secure and comfortable future that beckons.

The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Resources:

https://www.beingtheparent.com/does-reading-books-during-pregnancy-make-the-child-smart/

https://www.modernmom.com/617de90a-48c3-11e3-87f1-bc764e04a41e.html

https://www.greenchildmagazine.com/reading-to-unborn-baby/

How to Prepare For a Cesarean Section

A Cesarean section, or C-section, is a procedure during which a baby is surgically delivered. This procedure is carried out when a vaginal birth isn’t possible when vaginal birth will put the mother’s or baby’s life at risk, A C-section is a form of surgery during which a doctor cuts through your belly and uterus to enable your baby to be born. In some circumstances, a c-section is scheduled in advance. In others, the surgery is needed due to an unforeseen complication. If you or your baby is in imminent danger, you’ll have an emergency c-section. Otherwise, it’s called an unplanned section.

The Preparation

If you are planning for a scheduled C-section or want to prepare yourself in the event an emergency C-section is necessary, you should be aware of the details of the procedure, get the necessary testing done, and create a hospital plan with your doctor. In most cases, a scheduled C-section will be done under a local anesthetic, so you will be awake during the operation. An epidural is administered in the spine to numb any feeling.

 

Why would I have an emergency c-section?

You may need to have an emergency c-section if problems arise that make continuing labor dangerous to you or your baby. These include the following:

  • Your baby’s heart rate gives your practitioner cause for concern, and she decides that your baby can’t withstand continued labor or induction.
  • The umbilical cord slips through your cervix (a prolapsed cord). If that happens, your baby needs to be delivered immediately because a prolapsed cord can cut off his oxygen supply.
  • Your placenta starts to separate from your uterine wall (placental abruption), which means your baby won’t get enough oxygen unless he’s delivered right away.
  • You’re attempting vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) and there’s concern about a uterine rupture at the site of your previous c-section incision.

 Why would I have a scheduled c-section?

In some cases, your doctor will recommend a c-section instead of a vaginal delivery. For example, you may require a planned c-section if:

  • You’ve had a previous cesarean with a “classical” vertical uterine incision (this is relatively rare) or more than one previous c-section. Both of these significantly increase the risk that your uterus will rupture during a vaginal delivery.
  • NOTE: If you’ve had only one previous c-section, with a horizontal uterine incision, you may be a good candidate for vaginal birth after cesarean or VBAC. (Note that the type of scar on your belly may not match the one on your uterus.) Or you may choose to have an elective c-section.
  • You’ve had some other kind of invasive uterine surgery, such as a myomectomy (the surgical removal of fibroids), which increases the risk that your uterus will rupture during a vaginal delivery.
  • You’re carrying more than one baby. (You might be able to deliver twins vaginally, or you may need a cesarean, depending on factors like how far along in the pregnancy you are when delivering and the positions of the twins.) The more babies you are carrying the more likely it is you’ll need a c-section.
  • Your baby is expected to be very large (a condition known as macrosomia). Your doctor is particularly likely to recommend a c-section in this case if you’re diabetic or you had a previous baby who suffered serious trauma during vaginal birth.
  • Your baby is in a breech or transverse position. (In some cases, such as a twin pregnancy in which the first baby is head down but the second baby is breech, the breech baby may be delivered vaginally.)
  • You’re near full-term and have placenta previa (when the placenta is so low in the uterus that it covers the cervix).
  • You have an obstruction, such as a large fibroid, that would make vaginal delivery difficult or impossible.
  • The baby has a known malformation or abnormality that would make a vaginal birth risky, such as some cases of open neural tube defects.
  • You’re HIV-positive, and blood tests done near the end of pregnancy show that you have a high viral load.

Should you be worried about a scheduled C-section?

Doctors will only advise a Caesarean section as a way to minimize the risks to you or your baby, which could arise from natural birth. A C-section is usually a more quick and controlled way of your baby being born.

If you are advised to have a scheduled C-section, it is likely because your doctor sees it as the safest way for your little one to be born. However, as with all major surgeries, it does carry some risks. You are more prone to bleeding and you can experience the side effects of an epidural, which your doctor will discuss with you.

If you have already made a birth plan before the decision to have a C-section was made, then it is still a good idea to take it with you to the hospital. Surgery can be a very scary thing but knowledge is power. If you know what is going to happen, you’ll feel much more confident about it.

What to pack for a scheduled C-section

Take note that you’ll be staying in the hospital a little longer after a scheduled C-section — most likely 2-3 days — and baby will be staying with you.

You’ll want to bring comfortable clothing and slippers. Go for items that are easy to maneuver if you are breastfeeding.

Also, remember that you won’t be able to get out of bed for the first 8-12 hours after surgery, while the epidural wears off. So make sure that the clothes you’ll bring are easy to put on and take off, for easier changing when needed.

Don’t worry too much about what to bring though, as you can always ask your partner or family members to bring anything you forget!

 What are the risks of having a c-section?

A c-section is major abdominal surgery, so it’s riskier than a vaginal delivery. Moms who have c-sections are more likely to have an infection, excessive bleeding, blood clots, more postpartum pain, a longer hospital stay, and a significantly longer recovery. Injuries to the bladder or bowel, although very rare, are also more common. It’s also possible that you’ll have a reaction to the medications or to the anesthesia.

Studies have found that babies born by elective c-section before 39 weeks are more likely to have breathing problems than babies who are delivered vaginally or by emergency c-section.

Not all c-sections can – or should – be prevented. In some situations, a c-section is necessary for the well-being of the mother, the baby, or both. Ask your practitioner exactly why he is recommending a c-section. Talk about the possible risks and advantages for you and your baby in your particular situation.

If you’re due to give birth to your little one by a scheduled C-section, don’t panic. Relax and think positive thoughts — you and your baby can do it!

 

The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Resources:

https://www.wikihow.com/Prepare-for-a-Cesarean-Section

https://sg.theasianparent.com/how-to-plan-for-a-scheduled-c-section/

Sleep Apnea linked to Alzheimer’s Disease

A new study has demonstrated at the upcoming American Academy of Neurology’s 71st Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, reveals a connection between sleep apnea and increased levels of a toxic brain protein commonly associated with Alzheimer’s disease. This is because they exhibit higher levels of amyloid beta, the chief component of the amyloid plaques that characterize the disease.

Sleep apnea is very common among the elderly, and many aren’t aware they have it,” said senior researcher Dr. Ricardo Osorio. An estimated 30 percent to 80 percent of the elderly suffer from sleep apnea, depending on how it’s defined.

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when you have shallow breaths during sleep due to a collapse of the airway. This may cause the sleeper to wake up repeatedly during the night whenever breathing becomes difficult, resulting in disturbed sleep patterns. Several studies have suggested that sleep disturbances might contribute to amyloid deposits and accelerate cognitive decline in those at risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease is a fatal condition in which memory deteriorates over time. Alzheimer’s affects some 5 million older Americans, and as the millions of baby boomers age, that number will only grow.

Mental deterioration accompanying sleep apnea has been noted frequently. Because sleep apnea increases with age, such deficits raise the possibility that dementia in the elderly could be related to sleep apnea. This chronic lack of deep sleep could, over many years, increase a person’s risk for developing Alzheimer’s due to the brain’s inability to effectively wash out all the toxic proteins. We hypothesized that higher levels of sleep apnea would be present in AD patients. Our results indicated no significant differences between AD patients and controls but those few AD patients who desaturated during sleep experienced morning confusion. The findings imply that AD and sleep apnea are two separate conditions which may still interact in the aged.

The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

 

References:

https://newatlas.com/sleep-apnea-alzheimers-dementia/58707/ https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320024.php

Water Birth: Benefits and Risks

Water birth is the process of giving birth in a tub of warm water. Some women choose to labor in the water and get out for delivery. Other women decide to stay in the water for the delivery as well. It is believed that water birth results in a more relaxed, less painful experience for mothers.

During a water birth, you’ll be submerged in water, usually in a stationary or inflatable tub, and you’ll birth your baby in the water. This may be a good option if you want the benefits of hydrotherapy, along with the benefits of delivering in a hospital. The theory behind water birth is that since the baby has already been in the amniotic fluid sac for nine months, birthing in a similar environment is gentler for the baby and less stressful for the mother. Ask your hospital beforehand if they allow women to labor in water.

It can take place in a hospital, a birthing center, or at home. A doctor or midwife helps you through it. Beyond location, more and more women are choosing water births as the way their babies enter the world.

What are the benefits of water births?

Benefits for Mother:

  • Warm water is soothing, comforting, relaxing.
  • may help shorten the duration of labor.
  • Speed up your labor
  • Laboring in water may also decrease your need for epidurals or other spinal pain relief and more oxygen for the baby.
  • Labor in water may also have a lower cesarean section rate
  • The water seems to reduce stress-related hormones, allowing the mother’s body to produce endorphins which serve as pain-inhibitors.
  • As the laboring woman relaxes physically, she is able to relax mentally with a greater ability to focus on the birth process.
  • Water provides a greater sense of privacy, it can reduce inhibitions, anxiety, and fears.
  • Floating in water helps you move around more easily than in bed.

Benefits for Baby:

  • Provides an environment similar to the amniotic sac.
  • Eases the stress of birth, thus increasing reassurance and sense of security.

What are the risks to the mother and baby?

  • You or your baby could get an infection.
  • chance of umbilical cord damage
  • trouble regulating the baby’s body temperature
  • Your baby could breathe in bath water.
  • Your baby could have seizures or not be able to breathe.
  • respiratory distress for baby

Water birthing may not be recommended if you have any of the following complications or symptoms:

  • maternal blood or skin infection
  • fever of 100.4 F (38°C) or higher
  • excessive vaginal bleeding
  • Difficulty tracking fetal heartbeat, or need for continuous tracing
  • history of shoulder dystocia
  • Sedation
  • carrying multiples

What situations are not ideal for water birth?

  • If your baby is breech: Although water birth has been done with bottom or feet first presentations, you should discuss this risk thoroughly with your healthcare provider.
  • If you are having multiples: Although water births have been successful around the world with twin births, you should discuss this risk thoroughly with your doctor.
  • If preterm labor is expected: If a baby is preterm (two weeks or more prior to due date), water birth is not recommended.
  • If there is severe meconium: Mild to moderate meconium is fairly normal. Since meconium floats to the surface in a tub, your health care provider will watch for it and remove it immediately, or help you out of the tub. Meconium usually washes off the face of the baby and even comes out of the nose and mouth while the baby is still under water. If the water is stained and birth is imminent, the woman can lift her pelvis out of the water to birth the infant.
  • If you have toxemia or preeclampsia: You should thoroughly discuss this risk with your healthcare provider.

Some science suggests that the water may lower chances of severe vaginal tearing. And it may improve blood flow to the uterus. But study results about these points aren’t clear.

You may also reach out to friends or family who has had previous water births to learn more about their experiences. What’s most important is choosing a birthing plan that’s right for you and your baby.

If you’re planning a water birth, it’s also a good idea to come up with a backup plan in case you have complications as your pregnancy progresses, or during labor.

There isn’t enough formal evidence to support the benefits or risks of labor and delivery while submerged in water. Much of what you will read is anecdotal. More research is needed to assess the benefits for both mother and baby.

 

The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Prolonged Labor Management

What is Prolonged Labor?

Prolonged labor is also referred to as “failure to progress.” It occurs when labor goes on for about 18 to 24 hours after regular contractions begin. For twins, a labor that goes on for 16 hours is considered prolonged. New mothers, having their first baby, are expected to be in labor for a longer period of time, so prolonged labor may not be declared until 22 to 24 hours, whereas for the second- or third-time mothers may be considered prolonged after 16 to 18 hours. A prolonged latent phase happens during the first stage of labor. It can be exhausting and emotionally draining, but rarely leads to complications.

What Causes Prolonged Labor?

There are many potential causes of experiencing prolonged labor. During the latent phase, slow effacement of the cervix can cause labor time to increase. A baby that is very large may cause labor to take longer because it cannot move through the birth canal. The birthing canal is too small, or the woman’s pelvis is too small, delivery can take longer or fail to progress.

A breech position with the baby’s feet or bottom positioned to emerge first may also cause prolonged labor. Carrying multiples may also lead to prolonged labor, as might weak uterine contractions, or an incorrect position of the baby. Research has also linked prolonged labor or failure to progress to psychological factors, such as worry, stress, or fear. Additionally, certain pain medications can slow or weaken your contractions.

Treating Prolonged Labor

If labor is taking an unusually long time, a woman’s doctor or nurses will monitor her carefully for the timing of contractions and their strength. They will also monitor the fetal heart rate and the mother’s vital signs. If the prolonged labor continues, contractions seem too weak, or the health of the mother or baby is at risk, there are steps that can be taken to speed delivery.

If the baby is already in the birth canal, the doctor or midwife may use special tools called forceps or a vacuum device to help pull the baby out through the vagina.  If the baby has not progressed that far, the mother may need to take a medication, called Pitocin, to speed up and strengthen contractions. This medicine speeds up contractions and makes them stronger. If after your doctor feels like you are contracting enough and the labor is still stalled, you may need a C-section or if the baby is too big, or the medicine does not speed up delivery, you will also need a C-section. The Cesarean section may be the answer to several of the issues that cause prolonged labor. Nearly a third of C-sections are performed due to failure to progress. A Cesarean birth might be the best choice to avoid further complications.

The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.