3 Important Exercises during 3rd Trimester

Even though you may not feel like doing much at all as your belly grows week after week, it’s important to keep moving throughout pregnancy, including in the awkward and uncomfortable last weeks. Third-trimester exercises are some of the most important, helping to alleviate aches and pains while also preparing your body for labor. These exercises will open up the hips and pelvis, strengthening the muscles you’ll be using during childbirth.

“Don’t let fatigue rule the end of your pregnancy. Keep up your exercise schedule with this easy-to-follow plan for months 8-9 of your pregnancy.”

 

Pelvic Floor Exercises  

Pelvic floor exercises help to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor. These muscles come under great strain during pregnancy and childbirth.

The pelvic floor muscles are overstretched and weakened underneath that weight so it is important to do pelvic floor exercises to maintain muscle tone. If your pelvic floor muscles are weakened, you may find that you leak urine when you cough, sneeze or strain. This is quite common and you needn’t feel embarrassed. It’s known as stress incontinence and it can continue after pregnancy.

Squats

The full squat position is a passive position that allows gravity to open the pelvis, causing the pelvic floor muscles to engage. Use a prop if you need to, placing a rolled-up towel or yoga mat under your heels if they don’t reach the ground.

Squatting can open your pelvic outlet by 10 percent. When you squat to induce labor, it creates more room for the baby to move down into the birth canal. Squatting during the third trimester helps strengthen your leg muscles. Strong legs are a must when it comes to labor and the final push to give birth. It eases constipation and pressure on the pelvic floor – a blessing during the last few weeks of your pregnancy.

Caution:

Though squatting to induce labor is harmless in most cases, but you need to keep some points in mind. If your baby is in breach position, squatting can prove to be harmful. This is because squatting will force her to descend the birth canal without giving her the chance to move into proper position. So talk to your doctor to make sure your baby is head down before you try squatting.

Gentle Abs  

Given all the stretching that your ab muscles go through during pregnancy to accommodate your growing baby, you wouldn’t be the first woman to wonder if there must be something you can do to keep them in shape and speed recovery after birth. And while pregnancy isn’t the time to strive for the chiseled core you’ve always dreamed of, you can certainly take a few safe steps, with the guidance of your practitioner, to maintain your fitness and keep your core strong during pregnancy. In fact, exercising your abs during pregnancy has lots of benefits, including reduced risk for back pain and potentially even a speedier labor.

You can do abdominal exercise in the late stages of pregnancy, as long as they are gentle exercises that don’t over-strain the abdominal muscles. A basic pelvic tilt is a great place to start and is safe at all stages. For more of a challenge, you can add movement to the pelvic tilt by incorporating knee lifts and toe taps.

 

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://www.momjunction.com/articles/benefits-of-doing-squats-to-induce-labor_00113886/#gref

https://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/pelvic-floor-exercises

8 Natural Ways to Induce Labor

As you’re approaching your due date, you’re becoming more and more ready and anxious to meet your little one. Your back is aching, your feet are sore, you can’t sleep comfortably, and most of all you’re so excited to finally see the sweet little face you’ve been dreaming about in person.

 

Your due date is an educated guess for when your baby might make its arrival. While many women deliver perfectly healthy babies two weeks before or after this presumed due date, it’s recommended that women wait until 40 weeks for delivery. It’s best to let mother nature decide when your baby comes.  

Be aware: Any type of labor induction increases the risk of cesarean delivery and other emergency interventions. Always talk to your doctor before trying to induce labor on your own.

8 things that you can do yourself to naturally induce labor

  1. Nipple Stimulation

 

Nipple stimulation is one of the most reliable options. It helps release the hormone called oxytocin which is the hormone that causes your uterus to contract. (Oxytocin is also called the love hormone since it’s released when you feel in love.) Oxytocin is the hormone that causes the uterus to contract and milk to be ejected from the breast. In fact, if you choose to breastfeed your baby right after delivery, this same stimulation is what will help your uterus shrink back to its original size. You or your partner may manually stimulate your nipples, or you can try using a breast pump.

 

  1. Exercise/ Cardio/ Stair Climbing / Squats

Use gravity to your advantage. Get up and start moving! Physical activity helps move your baby’s head down lower in your pelvis and that allows your baby’s head to put pressure on your cervix which helps it dilate. Try walking for 30 minutes every day. If you can walk up a steep hill, even better! This causes you to lean forward at an angle helping the baby move in the right direction. Walking stairs and doing squats have also been said to be very helpful. So go ahead and get that heart pumping!

  1. Sex 

Theoretically, there are multiple reasons why having sex could induce labor. For example, sex can release oxytocin, which may help jumpstart uterine contractions. Having sex is safe at full term, but you shouldn’t have sex after your water has broken. Doing so can increase your risk of infection. Pretty much everyone knows or has been told that having sex is the way to start labor. The reason for that is the act of sex can cause contractions. Not only that, semen contains a substance called prostaglandins which helps the cervix to ripen and efface so it’s best that he also orgasms. This prepares your body for labor.

  1. Acupuncture & Acupressure

Acupuncture stimulates the release of oxytocin in the body. Acupuncture and acupressure is another natural method for inducing labor. With acupuncture, a practitioner places fine needles at various points along the body to balance your energy flow. Acupressure is the same concept, but instead, fingers are used to apply pressure to pressure points. These are also pressed during labor induction massages. A couple of pressure points are thought to cause contractions. One is located in the webbing between your thumb and forefinger. The other is located just above your ankle. Applying pressure to either of these two pressure points may help bring on contractions.

  1. Red Raspberry Leaf Tea

Drinking this tea regularly can strengthen and tone your uterus and help those muscles in your uterus start to contract. Midwives often recommend drinking red raspberry leaf tea as your due date nears. Tea may tone and strengthen the uterus in preparation for labor. Even if it doesn’t work, you’ll stay hydrated.

 

 

  1. Warm Baths  

Soaking in a warm bath may help to get labor going. The reason why? Soaking in the tub helps to relax you. There is evidence that stress and being uptight may keep you from going into labor. This is why massage is also beneficial. Almost anything that gets your mind off of the fact that you are still pregnant that can get you to relax can help.

 

  1. Membrane Stripping  

Some providers will offer to strip your membranes to encourage labor. Though the procedure is done in the office, there are no medications involved. Your doctor will use a gloved finger to separate the amniotic sac from the area around the cervix. This action releases hormones called prostaglandins, which help the body go into labor. This one can be quite uncomfortable. It hasn’t been proven to be one of the most effective forms of induction, but it is an option. If you have any vaginal infections, membrane stripping is not an option.

 

  1. Labor Induction Massages  

Getting a labor induction massage is a great way to get contractions going. This massage doesn’t always work immediately and may require two or three appointments to help stimulate labor. It allows you to relax your muscles around the baby and it sends signals to your body to start the labor process.

 

The Waiting Game

Before trying anything that might induce labor, you’ll want to speak with your doctor to go over any risks or possible complications. Though some of these methods are popular folklore among pregnant women, little scientific evidence supports their efficacy. In most cases, it’s best to let baby set their own birth date, even if it means waiting another week or two.

As the due date approaches, many couples are eager for labor to begin so they can finally meet their little one.

And though that’s the most exciting moment of your life, you might want to slow down and not rush through things. Saving your energy, rather than wearing yourself out with schemes for starting labor sooner. In other words, get some sleep while you can!

 

 

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.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/natural-ways-to-induce-labor#takeaway 

High-Risk Pregnancy

A pregnancy is considered high-risk when there are potential complications that could affect the mother, the baby, or both. High-risk pregnancies require management by a specialist to help ensure the best outcome for the mother and baby.

 

If you’re being treated for a lifelong (chronic) condition, you may have known for a long time that becoming pregnant carries additional risks. Or you may find out you have a high-risk pregnancy because of a problem that develops for the first time during pregnancy. having a high-risk pregnancy means it’s more likely that you or your baby will have health problems during pregnancy, birth, or after delivery. These could be minor problems, but in some cases, a high-risk condition can be life-threatening for a woman or her baby. 

Risk Factors for High-Risk Pregnancy

Reasons that a pregnancy may be considered high risk include:

  • Blood disorders. If you have a blood disorder, such as sickle cell disease or thalassemia, the additional strain pregnancy puts on your body can make your condition worse. There are also potential risks to your baby (both during pregnancy and after delivery) if she inherits your condition.
  • Chronic kidney disease. This condition increases your risk of miscarriage, developing high blood pressure and preeclampsia, and having your baby early. Pregnancy can also put an extra strain on your kidneys.
  • HIV or AIDS. If you have HIV or AIDS, your baby can become infected before birth, during delivery, or when you breastfeed. Fortunately, medication can dramatically reduce this risk.
  • Lupus. Lupus and other autoimmune diseases can increase your risk of preterm delivery, preeclampsia, and have a small baby. Being pregnant may also increase the likelihood of your disease flaring up or getting worse.
  • Maternal age. Your age can affect how likely you are to have a high-risk pregnancy. Being an older mom (age 35 or older in your first pregnancy) or a younger one (in your teens) puts you at greater risk of some complications and health problems.
  • Obesity. Having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher before pregnancy puts you at greater risk of gestational diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure during your pregnancy. When it comes to giving birth, you’re more likely to need your labor induced or a cesarean delivery. 
  • Thyroid disease. Both an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) and an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) during pregnancy can cause problems for you and your baby if the condition isn’t controlled. These problems can include miscarriage, preeclampsia, low birth weight, and having your baby early.
  • Type 1 or type 2 diabetes. If your diabetes isn’t managed well, you could be at risk of complications including birth defects, high blood pressure, having your baby early, and having a very big baby. Your baby may have problems with breathing, low glucose levels, and jaundice.

Pregnancy-related issues:

Often a pregnancy is classified as high risk because of issues that arise from the pregnancy itself and that have little to do with the mother’s health. These include:

  • Premature Labor is also called preterm labor. It’s when your body starts getting ready for birth too early in your pregnancy. Labor is premature if it starts more than three weeks before your due date. Many factors have been associated with an increased risk of preterm labor, however, including Previous preterm labor or premature birth, particularly in the most recent pregnancy or in more than one previous pregnancy. Pregnancy with twins, triplets or other multiples. Problems with the uterus, cervix or placenta
  • Multiple births mean you are carrying more than one baby (twins, triplets, quadruplets, etc.). Multiple pregnancies, which are more common as women are using more infertility treatments, increase the risk of premature labor, gestational diabetes, and pregnancy-induced high blood pressure.
  • Placenta Previa is a problem of pregnancy in which the placenta grows in the lowest part of the womb (uterus) and covers all or part of the opening to the cervix. The placenta grows during pregnancy and feeds the developing baby. If the placenta still covers the cervix close to delivery, the doctor may schedule a cesarean section to reduce bleeding risks to the mother and baby.
  • Fetal problems, which can sometimes be seen on ultrasound. Approximately 2% to 3% of all babies have a minor or major structural problem in development. Sometimes there may be a family history of fetal problems, but other times these problems are completely unexpected.

How does being high-risk affect my labor?

It’s worth preparing yourself for the idea that the birth you have may not be the birth you’d choose. If your pregnancy is high-risk, you won’t have the option of a home birth or attending a birth center. You’ll need to give birth in a hospital where you and your baby can be monitored closely and specialist care is available during the birth and afterward.

If you’re having multiples, you’re more likely to go into labor early. Preterm labor is also more likely if you have a high-risk pregnancy for other reasons, such as having too much amniotic fluid around the baby or having certain medical conditions. You may also need to have your labor induced to prevent or reduce health problems for you and your baby. Or there may be reasons why a vaginal birth isn’t possible and you need to have a  cesarean section.

Talk to your provider about what you can expect during labor, so you can prepare yourself in the best way possible.

Will my baby be okay if I’m high-risk? 

If you have a high-risk pregnancy, one of your biggest worries will probably be whether any harm will come to your baby. It’s natural to be concerned. However, with good prenatal care, it’s possible to have a healthy baby. Healthy moms grow healthy babies: Some conditions, as well as the drugs that are usually prescribed to manage them, pose a risk to your baby’s health. But stopping medications that you take for a condition can also be very dangerous.

If your baby is born early, he could have difficulty breathing or feeding, or develop infections or other complications. If this happens, he needs extra care and support, which means staying in the hospital for several weeks, probably in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit  (NICU).

How can I reduce the risk of pregnancy complications?

Find out all you can about your condition and what you can do to stay healthy. Ask your provider for information. At your first prenatal visit, tell your provider about any current health problems you have, any medication you’re taking, and any difficulties you had in previous pregnancies. Have a healthy lifestyle: Follow your provider’s nutritional guidance, gain the right amount of weight, and stay active if you’re able. Don’t smoke or drink alcohol.

Ask your partner, family, and friends for support – this is likely to be a stressful time. Look after your emotional well-being. Take time out for yourself and reduce your stress levels where you can.

If your pregnancy is considered high risk, your doctor may refer you to a perinatologist. Also called a maternal-fetal medicine specialist, a perinatologist is an Obstetrician with special training in high-risk pregnancy care. This specialist will work with your other doctors, nurses, and other health-care professionals to ensure the best possible outcome for both you and your 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.

 

Resources:

https://www.webmd.com/baby/managing-a-high-risk-pregnancy#1

 

Does “Pregnancy Brain” Exist?

Pregnancy brain typically refers to lapses in attention and memory. About 80 percent of new mothers report difficulties remembering things that once came naturally, and although not all studies support this, the weight of the evidence shows that during pregnancy, women exhibit measurable declines in important cognitive skills.

 

Pregnant women are also better at recognizing fear, anger, and disgust. This enhanced ability to identify and discriminate among emotions may help mothers to ensure their infants’ survival. Research from my laboratory has shown that the hormone exposures in pregnancy—for example, high levels of estrogens and oxytocin—are associated with heightened maternal responsiveness and sensitivity to the environment and infants’ needs.

 

“Relax, pregnancy does not change your brain. But it may affect how mentally sharp you feel.”

 

Pregnancy Brain a Myth or a Reality?

Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it), there’s no scientific research that proves you get flakey during pregnancy. But even if “pregnancy brain” is just a myth, there are still tons of women who complain of feeling more forgetful or spaced out during their pregnancy.

Pregnancy does not change a woman’s brain even though some women don’t feel as sharp as usual when they’re pregnant.

What Causes “Momnesia?”

If you’re experiencing memory lapses or periods of forgetfulness, chances are your fellow moms-to-be can relate. So what’s to blame? Hormonal changes, lack of sleep,  and/or the distractions of spending a lot of time thinking (and stressing) about the baby are the likely causes. Surging hormone levels and new priorities may help explain why pregnancy brain happens.

 What Pregnancy Brain Feels Like

Pregnancy brain is “the feeling of walking into a room, going after something, and not remembering what you went for about five to 10 times a day. Many pregnant women and new moms spend a lot of time thinking about the changes that having a baby will bring or taking care of their newborn. As a result, their short-term memory may suffer.

How to Help Your Memory

After the baby arrives, sleep deprivation is clearly a contributing factor. Brizendine says, “Women accumulate up to 700 hours of sleep debt in the first year after having a baby and that causes the brain not to be at its best for things other than caring for the baby.”

Save your sanity by writing things down and making lists, along with snacking regularly and getting lots of rest. Also, be sure to take your prenatal vitamins  —they contain ingredients that help boost mental sharpness. Don’t worry, it’s annoying, but it isn’t permanent.

Pregnancy primes the brain for dramatic neuroplasticity, which is further stimulated by delivery, lactation and mother-child interactions. Some evolutionary biologists have argued that the development of maternal behaviors is the primary force shaping the evolution of the mammalian brain. Of interest, these alterations may become more pronounced with each successive pregnancy and persist throughout a mother’s lifespan. But helpful adaptations are rarely achieved without an associated cost—and pregnancy brain may reflect just such a cost.

 

 

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.webmd.com/baby/features/memory_lapse_it_may_be_pregnancy_brain#1

 

 

Importance of Genetic Testing Before & During Pregnancy

All soon-to-be parents want their children to be healthy and to have a pregnancy free of major complications. Unfortunately, complications can occur during pregnancy, either with the mother’s health or the child’s. Sometimes, the mother and child are at risk for certain complications throughout the pregnancy because of their family history and genetics.

 

All pregnant women are offered some form of testing for genetic problems. Now, deciding whether you want to have it done is completely personal. You will want to weigh different factors, including baby’s risk for genetic problems.

 

 

What is genetic testing (carrier screening)?

Carrier testing is a type of genetic testing that is used to determine if a person is a carrier for a specific autosomal recessive disease. This kind of testing is used most often by couples who are considering becoming pregnant to determine the risks of their child inheriting one of these genetic disorders. In other words, if you screen positive for a genetic abnormality but your partner does not, your child will not inherit the condition. And even if you both screen positive, there’s only a 25 percent chance your baby will have the disease.

 

When should you get genetic testing?

Getting screened before you try to get pregnant can give you reassurance (if you or your partner is not a carrier, it’s one less thing to worry about when do you get pregnant) or can help you make an informed game plan for pregnancy. If it turns out that you are both carriers, you can be prepared for and bone up on what it means to have a baby with the genetic condition, choose to learn about certain prenatal tests to check whether your baby’s healthy, or you can consider other options like egg or sperm donation or adoption.

Getting tested once you become pregnant (if you hadn’t done so ahead of time) can help you and your doctor decides the right prenatal tests for your baby, and what to look for if you choose to have them. If you know that your baby’s at an increased risk for having cystic fibrosis or sickle cell disease, for instance, your doctor can look for those conditions specifically through either a CVS (chorionic villi sampling) or amniocentesis.

Who are genetic carriers?

If both partners in a couple carry the same recessive disease, then the couple have a one in four chance of a child with that disease. Carrier couples may, therefore, have multiple affected children. Some recessive diseases are relatively mild but others are severe, including many that cause death at or shortly after birth.

 

What are some of the most common genetic diseases? 

  • Cystic fibrosis is a life-threatening condition that causes lung damage and digestive problems. It is a progressive, genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and limits the ability to breathe over time. In people with CF, a defective gene causes a thick, sticky buildup of mucus in the lungs, pancreas, and other organs.
  • Sickle cell disease is a disorder of the blood caused by an inherited abnormal hemoglobin (the oxygen-carrying protein within the red blood cells). The abnormal hemoglobin causes distorted (sickled) red blood cells. The sickled red blood cells are fragile and prone to rupture, most common in people of African and Mediterranean backgrounds, cause a blood disorder that leads to anemia, a weakened immune system, and other health complications.
  • Thalassemia is another blood disorder common to people of African and Mediterranean descent. It is an inherited blood disorder in which the body makes an abnormal form of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the protein molecule in red blood cells that carries oxygen. The disorder results in excessive destruction of red blood cells, which leads to anemia and bone growth and liver problems; in severe cases, some babies born with the condition may not survive.
  • Tay-Sachs Disease, which mainly affects people of French Canadian and Eastern European Jewish descent, is a disorder of the central nervous system that’s usually fatal in early childhood. Eastern European Jews also face an increased risk for another nervous system disorder called Canavan disease as well as a number of other conditions including familial dysautonomia, familial hyperinsulinism, and Gaucher disease. Your doctor can screen for all of these conditions at the same time.
  • Fragile X Syndrome is a genetic condition that causes a range of developmental problems including learning disabilities and cognitive impairment and mental retardation. Usually, males are more severely affected by this disorder than females. Affected individuals usually have delayed development of speech and language by age 2. It is not linked to a specific ethnic background. Reviewing your family’s health history with a doctor or genetic counselor may help you decide whether you should be screened for Fragile X.

 

Benefits  

When pre-pregnancy carrier screening programs are introduced, they reduce death and disease associated with screened diseases. They can save families from experiencing the tragedy of a child affected by a significant genetic disease. They also reduce the burden of recessive disease with the population as a whole. Each recessive disease is rare but there are hundreds of recessive diseases and so collectively they have wide-ranging social and economic impacts.

So pre-pregnancy carrier screening programs that include many genetic diseases, as now recommended by the American College, would maximize knowledge of genetic risk for couples.

Limitations

When testing genes, some identified variations are definitely harmful while most are definitely harmless. But for some variations, we can’t be sure if they are harmful, and whether or not they will cause disease in any children. There is no guarantee that pre-pregnancy screening will result in a healthy baby, but it will allow couples options to reduce the burden of disease associated with known disease-causing mutations.

Counseling is required before and after the test to explain the risks to couples.

 

 

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.parents.com/getting-pregnant/genetics/tests/health-101-genetic-testing-before-during-pregnancy/

 

What Causes Pregnancy Cravings

Pregnancy and food cravings go hand in hand: Food cravings are sudden urges to eat a particular type of food. They are a real phenomenon and affect many women during pregnancy.Many of these cravings seem to come out of nowhere, and they can feel overpowering. What causes them? Hormones, right?

 

There’s no scientific explanation for food cravings. There’s no data saying that what a woman craves is related to something her body or her baby needs, and there’s no data to support that typical pregnancy food cravings are harmful, either.

 

There are three facts about the wonderful world of pregnancy that we all know to be true 

  1. A woman can have one or more tiny humans floating around in her belly.
  2. After nine-ish months said tiny human will emerge from the woman’s body — naked, bloody, and possibly crying.
  3. During the nine-ish months, the woman is allowed to eat EVERYTHING she wants. No matter how weird it might be.

Why do cravings develop?

No one really knows why food cravings develop. It seems logical that cravings might be due to something lacking in the diet, or an increased need for certain vitamins and minerals. However, there is no evidence of a link between cravings and nutrient deficiency.

 

Ways to Stop Cravings

  • Get enough sleep. Loss of sleep increases hunger during the day, which leads to cravings. Getting the right amount of shut-eye could stop cravings.
  • Eat a healthy breakfast. For some people, cravings are part of a cycle of blood sugar highs and lows that can be kicked off almost the moment their feet hit the floor in the morning. A breakfast featuring fiber and protein is more likely to control this cycle. Consider a scrambled egg on whole-wheat bread or a turkey sandwich instead of sugary cereal or a Danish.
  • Eat meals at scheduled times. The secret to stopping cravings is to manage hunger and “only eating at set times — no casual eating.
  • Make the foods you crave difficult or impossible to get to. No matter how much you love brownies, if you don’t keep any at home or at work, chances are your craving will pass unsatisfied. Instead, make healthy alternatives easy to access in your eating plan and prepare ahead for those times when you’ll need a healthy snack within easy reaches, like when you’re on the road.
  • Keep a food journal. This may not totally stop cravings, but it could keep you from acting on them if the thought of writing down the calorie and fat content of a steak is more painful than going without it. A food journal will also help you identify the times of day when your cravings are the strongest.
  • Identify your craving triggers. Emotional eating is a real phenomenon. If you pay attention, you may find that your cravings are worse when you are stressed or depressed. Managing those situations will help stop cravings.
  • Eat a varied diet. Sticking to the tried-and-true may help you count calories, but it could also leave you feeling unfulfilled. People need variety in their diets, so try new dishes or combinations of foods to stop cravings. Just because you’re on a diet doesn’t mean it can’t be satisfying.

Foods to avoid  

When you are pregnant, there are a number of foods that should avoid. Things like soft cheeses, sushi, raw eggs and undercooked meat can contain harmful bacteria, including salmonella and E. coli. and lead to harmful illnesses such as listeria or toxoplasmosis.

 

 

Pregnancy facts aren’t so scientific, but it summarizes what many of us know about pregnancy, especially when it comes to eating. Food cravings are a common occurrence during pregnancy.

 

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.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/food-cravings-during-pregnancy

 

What Happens To A Woman’s Body During Childbirth

The human body is an amazing thing. It’s ability to fend off disease, perform essential functions, and harbor life until birth are a few of the most important, and amazing, feats that the human body is capable of. From the moment of conception, a woman’s body immediately begins to change in order to accommodate the internal growth of a child. As the pregnancy progresses, a woman’s body adapts to the needs of both the mother and child.

 

Childbirth is challenging and complications occur, but women’s bodies are designed to give birth. The shape of the pelvis, hormones, powerful muscles and more all work together to help you bring your baby into the world – before, during and after childbirth.

 

As you approach the time of birth, your contractions draw the cervix up into the body of the uterus, and it becomes thinner (called effacement) and opens (called dilation). When the cervix is fully dilated (about ten centimeters), contractions help the baby begin to move from the uterus into the vagina.

 

The First Trimester  

The first trimester is the time in between fertilization of the egg by the sperm (conception) and week 12 of a pregnancy. A woman’s body goes through many changes during the first 12 weeks of a pregnancy. a mother’s body is building storing nutrients and trying to keep up with the demands of a growing fetus. Fatigue is a normal reaction and is often the most inhibiting during the first trimester. Physical attributes may include constipation, heartburn, breast changes, and vaginal changes.

 

The Second Trimester  

The second Trimester is the best part of pregnancy. The span from week 13 to week 27 of pregnancy is called the “honeymoon period” for good reason: Typically, nausea subsides, emotions even out and sex drive returns. It’s also the time when you’ll start to feel the baby’s first movements.

The Third Trimester

The third trimester of your pregnancy is from week 29 to week 40 – months seven, eight and nine.Your baby continues to grow, and as the third trimester progresses she’ll have a better chance if she’s born early. The end of your pregnancy is in sight. It won’t be long until your baby arrives. Feelings at this stage of pregnancy tend to vary from tiredness and worry to excitement about the baby.

 

How does your body prepare for labor?

Braxton Hicks contractions

Braxton Hicks contractions are intermittent uterine contractions that start in early pregnancy, although you probably won’t notice them until sometime after mid-pregnancy. (Some women never notice them.) As your pregnancy progresses, Braxton Hicks contractions tend to occur somewhat more often, but until you get to your last few weeks, they’ll probably remain infrequent, irregular, and painless.

Changes to the cervix

As labor gets closer, your cervix softens and becomes thinner, getting ready for the dilation (widening) that will allow the baby to enter the vagina. You may also see a ‘show’ which is a pinkish plug of mucus, stained with blood.

Engagement

Your baby may move further down your pelvis as the head engages, or sits in place over your cervix, ready for the birth. Some women feel they have more room to breathe after the baby has moved down. This is called ‘lightening’.

Rupture of the membranes, or ‘waters breaking’

Rupture of the membranes is known colloquially as “breaking the water” or as one’s “water breaking”. A premature rupture of membranes (PROM) is a rupture of the amnion that occurs prior to the onset of labor. Sometimes, a child is born with no rupture of the amniotic sac (no rupture of membranes).

Some women find the sac of amniotic fluid containing the baby breaks before labor, contractions start and the fluid runs (or gushes) out of the vagina. If your waters have broken but you have not started having regular contractions within 24 hours, you may need your labor to be induced because there is a risk of infection. Your midwife or doctor will talk to you about this.

How the pelvis is designed for childbirth 

The female pelvis is the bony cradle that holds and even rocks your baby while she is developing in the uterus. It is amazingly designed for its functions, especially for giving birth.

The pelvis is well-designed to carry the weight of both the mother and baby. It connects the vertebrae and the lower limbs and protects the reproductive organs, the bladder, intestines, and rectum. It also provides attachment for the abdominal muscles and the muscles of the pelvic floor.

The pelvis is made up of four bones: the two large hip bones that form the sides of the cradle and meet at the front and the sacrum and coccyx at the back.

During pregnancy hormones cause the ligaments soften and stretch causing a slight separation of the joints, which allows flexibility for the baby’s head to pass through during birth. Sometimes pregnant women may experience some pelvic pain and discomfort as a result of this loosening of the joints.

The Childbirth Process

Childbirth, also known as labor and delivery, is the ending of a pregnancy by one or more babies leaving a woman’s uterus by vaginal passage or C-section. It involves three stages of labor: the shortening and opening of the cervix, descent, and birth of the baby, and the delivery of the placenta.

Cervical dilation occurs during active labor, making room for the baby to travel through the birth canal. The cervix dilates naturally when the body is ready to give birth, but when it’s necessary to move things along more quickly, dilation may be stimulated using medications or mechanical techniques.

The placenta is delivered as part of the afterbirth with a small gush of blood, from a few minutes to a half hour after the baby arrives. The doctor or midwife will examine it to make sure it’s intact and that nothing has been left behind in the uterus.

When childbirth doesn’t go to plan

Unfortunately, not everything goes to plan during birth. Sometimes your maternity team may need to intervene to assist in the delivery of your baby. Find out more about how your doctor or midwife may assist during your labor and what happens when your baby is premature or unwell.

Sometimes labor can be induced (started artificially) if your baby is overdue or there is any sort of risk to you or your baby’s health, for example, if you have high blood pressure or if your baby is failing to grow and develop.

In rare cases, a mother may experience cephalopelvic disproportion (CPD), which is when the baby’s head is too big to fit through the pelvis. A diagnosis of CPD is usually made when labor hasn’t progressed and synthetic oxytocin has not helped. A cesarean is usually the next step.

 

In conclusion, The stages of pregnancy and childbirth may seem daunting at times. However, they are some of the most rewarding phases of life. Bringing a child into this world is a beautiful labor.

 

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.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/what-happens-to-your-body-in-childbirth

http://positivemed.com/2015/10/27/what-happens-to-a-womans-body-during-childbirth/

Different Positions of a Baby in the Womb

Unborn babies toss and turn and hold many different positions within the womb during the gestation period; pregnant women everywhere will attest to the fact that their children always start up the gymnastics at bedtime. When the due date nears, the importance of the baby’s position becomes less of a joke and a serious point of discussion. The different positions that your baby may take in the womb will play a role in how he is born.

 

Head-Down 

Most babies flip and turn with great frequency throughout pregnancy but generally end up in the “head-down” position around the 33 to 36-week range, according to the American Pregnancy Association. Head-down literally means that the baby’s head is pointing toward the birth canal, and his feet, when his legs are fully extended, are in the vicinity of his mother’s ribs. Babies at this advanced gestational age most commonly stay in the head-down position for the remainder of the pregnancy and may not move as much as in the earlier months, mainly due to space constraints.

Breech 

Breech is the position in which the baby’s buttocks or feet are nearest to the birth canal. A breech baby’s head is close to her mother’s ribs. This position is less desirable than the head-down position for birth, and breech babies have an increased risk of birth defects or trauma during the birth. Your doctor may try to turn the baby around in a procedure called a version, deliver the baby in a breech position or perform a cesarean section. Abnormalities in the baby’s anatomy or the shape of your uterus may prevent the baby from turning around.

There are three variations of a breech presentation:

  • Complete breech: When the buttocks are pointing toward the birth canal (downward), with the legs folded at the knees. The feet are near the buttocks.
  • Frank breech: The buttocks are toward the birth canal, but the baby’s legs are straight up in front of their body and the feet are near the head.
  • Footling breech: One or both of the baby’s feet are pointing downward toward the birth canal.

Transverse 

A baby that lies sideways in his mother’s womb is in a horizontal position. The baby’s head may point to the left side of your body and the feet to the right, or vice versa. Transverse positioning at the time of birth is extremely rare; only one out of 2,000 babies takes a transverse position. Like breech presentation, a baby who lies sideways may not be able to turn around due to structural abnormalities in the uterus. Pregnancy Today explains that babies who are transverse are delivered by cesarean section to ensure a safer delivery.

Risk Factors for Transverse Lie

Women with the following conditions are at a high risk for transverse presentation:

  • A high ratio of amniotic fluid to a fetus
  • Uterine abnormality
  • Placenta previa
  • Fibroids in the uterus
  • Factors preventing fetal head engagement in the mother’s pelvis
  • Narrow or contracted pelvis
  • More than 2 babies in the womb

Diagnosis of Transverse Presentation

Abdominal examination— In transverse position, the presenting part of the fetus is typically the shoulder. During an abdominal examination, the head or the buttocks cannot be felt at the bottom of the uterus and the head is usually felt on the side.

Vaginal examination— A shoulder may be felt during a vaginal examination. An arm of the fetus may even slip forward and the hand or elbow may be felt during the pelvic examination.

Confirmation – An ultrasound scan of the uterus confirms the transverse lie position.

 Complications of Transverse Lie

A transverse presentation can cause serious complications during delivery. Some of the consequences are listed below:

  • Obstructed labor
  • Umbilical cord or hand prolapse
  • Postpartum hemorrhage
  • Birth trauma
  • Rupture of the uterus

Posterior

Babies in the head-down position most often enter the world with their faces facing their mothers’ backs. Posterior is the term used to describe a baby in the head-down position with her face facing the mother’s stomach, in other words with her face turned up. The altered positioning of the baby’s body may lead to back labor in the mother, rather than cramping in the abdomen.

Can I turn my baby? 

Occasionally, a baby may not end up in the correct position for delivery. It’s important to know if your baby isn’t in the occipito-anterior position right before birth. Depending on the exact position, it could lead to complications during delivery. There are some methods you can use to coax your baby into the right position.

You can try the following ideas:

  1. When you sit down, tilt your pelvis forward instead of backward.
  2. Spend time sitting on a birth ball/exercise ball.
  3. Make sure your hips are always higher than your knees when you sit.
  4. If your job requires lots of sitting, take regular breaks to move around.
  5. In your car, sit on a cushion in order to lift up and tilt your bottom forward.
  6. Get on your hands and knees (like you are scrubbing the floor) for a few minutes at a time. Try this a few times a day to help move your baby into the anterior position.

 

Unfortunately, these tips don’t always work. If your baby stays in a posterior position when labor starts, it may be because of the shape of your pelvis rather than your posture. In some cases, a cesarean delivery will be necessary.

 

Resources:

https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/baby-positions-in-womb#turning-baby

https://www.livestrong.com/article/204490-different-positions-of-a-baby-in-the-womb/

THE EFFECTS OF ALCOHOL ON OXYGEN LEVELS IN THE BODY

Alcohol does many things to the human body. It can make you happy, angry, relaxed and it can make you the life of a party. However, too much alcohol can also interfere with your body’s ability to absorb oxygen and on the other hand moderate alcohol consumptions may provide health benefits.

 

Oxygen Desaturation

Alcohol can lead to oxygen desaturation in the body. The oxygen desaturation index (ODI) is the number of times per hour of sleep that the blood’s oxygen level drop by a certain degree from baseline. The ODI is typically measured as part of standard sleep studies, such as a diagnostic polysomnogram, home sleep apnea testing, or with overnight oximetry.

Blood Sludging

Blood sludging is the clinical term used to describe the phenomenon of alcohol and your red blood cells, which, in turn, impacts your body’s ability to absorb oxygen. Once the alcohol has entered your bloodstream, it causes your red blood cells to clump together.Sludged blood in which the corpuscles, as a result of some general abnormal state, for example, burns, traumatic shock, and similar stresses, become massed together in the capillaries, and thereby block the vessels or move slowly through them.

COPD and Alcohol consumptions:

Glutathione deficiency: This antioxidant is found in the lungs. Since drinking alcohol lowers your body’s glutathione levels, it can aggravate your COPD symptoms and cause a flare-up. Decreased lung function: Chronic alcohol consumption is associated with decreasing lung function in patients with lung disease.

Moderate alcohol consumption may provide some health benefits, such as:

  • Reduce your risk of developing and dying from heart disease.
  • Possibly reduce your risk of ischemic stroke (when the arteries to your brain become narrowed or blocked, causing severely reduced blood flow)
  • Possibly reduce your risk of diabetes.

What causes oxygen level to be low?

Lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, bronchitis, pneumonia, and pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs) Strong pain medicines and other drugs that hold back breathing. Heart problems. Anemia (a low number of red blood cells, which carry oxygen)

Ways to get more oxygen in your blood?

Exercise is one of the best ways to cope up with oxygen.Even a small amount of exercise will help to improve your respiration ability, as your breathing rate increases and deepens your lungs can absorb more oxygen. You may also increase your water intake. Water is made up of oxygen so by increasing your water consumption you can increase the amount of oxygen in your body.

To feel assured with your normal oxygen range, simply check your oxygen saturation 4 times a day for 5 days using your fingertip oximeter. Record each measurement in the activity log and be sure to also record what you were doing prior to checking.

It’s your personal decision whether you want to drink alcohol or not, but the decision shouldn’t be taken lightly. The best approach is to discuss your personal risks with your doctor first so he or she can assess your medical history, current health, and medications. During the discussion, you and your doctor may come to a conclusion about how much alcohol you can consume without endangering yourself.

Live healthily, live longer. Making just a few changes in your lifestyle can help you live longer. A recent study found that four bad behaviors—smoking, drinking too much alcohol, not exercising, and not eating enough fruits and veggies—can hustle you into an early grave, and, in effect, the age you by as many as 12 years.

 

 

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://www.domorewithoxygen.com/bid/308175/Life-With-COPD-Effects-of-Alcohol-When-You-Have-COPD

https://healthfully.com/effects-alcohol-oxygen-absorption-8017604.html

Amazing Facts About Your Unborn Baby

When you think about it, pregnancy is an amazing thing. You are growing a life, a child inside your body. It’s incredible. However, there is also some kind of strange things about pregnancy, some of which are kind of gross and others that are just a bit unusual.

 

12 Amazing Pregnancy Facts

  1. Unborn babies can feel, see, and hear

When people bump into you, can your baby feel the knocks inside your womb? Babies have a sense of touch and respond to being stimulated within the uterus from about 17 weeks, but your body is clever and protects your baby from bumps.

  1. Second trimester onwards, babies pee in the uterus. Then they drink it.

By about 12 weeks, your baby is producing urine. It can be seen swallowing amniotic fluid, which is digested and filtered by the kidneys and urinated back into the uterus.A fully formed baby in the womb is known as a fetus. Between fourteen and fifteen weeks of pregnancy, the external genitalia of the baby is more developed, and on the scan, they can be seen to suck their thumbs. As the uterus grows it presses on the bladder and mums find they need to pee more often.

    3.  Your baby is growing more bones than you

By the time your baby is born, it will have 300 bones in that tiny body – but adults only have 206! The bones in your baby’s body will fuse together to create the adult number. This is because babies have more cartilage than bone. A baby’s skeleton is mostly made up of cartilage. As a person grows up, most of this cartilage turns into bone in a process called ossification.

  1. Babies cry in the womb

A baby’s first cry may happen in the womb long before its arrival in the delivery room. New research shows that fetuses may learn to express their displeasure by crying silently while still in the womb as early as in the 28th week of pregnancy.

  1. Babies can taste what the mother is eating

Very early. Research shows that what a woman eats during pregnancy not only nourishes her baby in the womb but may shape food preferences later in life. At 21 weeks after conception, a developing baby weighs about as much as a can of Coke — and he or she can taste it, too.

  1. A woman’s uterus expands to more than 500 times its normal size

Think of your uterus as a stretchy rubber balloon that expands on an as-needed basis. This muscular organ is located above the bladder and in front of the rectum. It is held in place by strong ligaments, and it is remarkably elastic, stretching to about 500 times its prepregnancy size. It grows in weight too, from a couple of ounces to more than 2 pounds. When your pregnancy is over, the uterus returns to its original size.

  1. A fetus acquires fingerprints at the age of three months

A fetus acquires fingerprints at the age of three months. When only a small fraction of the way through its development, a fetus will have already developed one of the uniquely human traits: fingerprints.By the time a fetus is six months old and approximately 12 inches in size, his fingerprints and footprints are fully developed. The ridges on a fetus’s fingertips have formed three main patterns by this time, categorized as arches, loops, and whorls, with numerous patterns in between. These patterns are found on the fingertips, palms, and soles and are used to grasp things.

    8. Your baby is learning a language

Sensory and brain mechanisms for hearing are developed at 30 weeks of gestational age. A new study shows that unborn babies are listening to their mothers’ talk during the last 10 weeks of pregnancy and at birth can demonstrate what they’ve heard. Babies only hours old are able to differentiate between sounds from their native language and a foreign language, scientists have discovered. The study indicates that babies begin absorbing language while still in the womb, earlier than previously thought.

  1. Your baby’s heart is incredible

That precious heart takes hold and changes the world. From the development in the womb to the times when something can go wrong, baby’s heart is an amazing muscle that means more than many can even imagine. It controls the blood flow, and might even give a clue to the baby’s gender.

  1. The lungs are the last organs to develop in the baby

The lungs are some of the last organs to develop in your baby’s body during the prenatal stage. Some important parts of their lungs don’t develop until the end of pregnancy.If your baby is born prematurely, their lungs may not have time to develop fully. This can lead to a variety of breathing disorders.

  1. Contractions don’t stop after birth. The muscle cramps are the body’s way of stopping excess blood loss.

After the delivery of the baby, the muscles of the uterus normally tighten, or contract, to deliver the placenta. The contractions also help compress the blood vessels that were attached to the placenta. The compression helps prevent bleeding. If the muscles of the uterus don’t contract strongly enough, the blood vessels can bleed freely. This leads to excessive bleeding or hemorrhage.

  1. He might be a dreamer

Babies start to sleep for 4 weeks after conception. But what’s more, the REM sleep waves associated with the eye movements of dreams have been identified by 30 weeks after conception. So your little one might even be having a dream or two.

 

“A baby fills a place in your heart that you never knew was empty”

 

 

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.netmums.com/pregnancy/12-amazing-facts-about-your-unborn-baby