All posts in regards to fertility, pregnancy and child birth

FALSE PREGNANCY (Pseudocyesis)

What is a False Pregnancy?

In this, women experience more pronounced symptoms of pregnancy including missed periods, a growing abdomen, and even baby kicks. False pregnancy is not only common in women, but men also experience it at times. They develop similar pregnancy symptoms like their partner, including weight gain, nausea, and backache, which is referred to as couvade or sympathetic pregnancy. But this isn’t related to a miscarriage. In a false pregnancy, there was no conception and there is no baby. Despite this, symptoms can last long enough to make a woman, and even those around her, believe she’s expecting.

In simple terms, pseudocyesis or false pregnancy is believing that you are pregnant when in reality you are not carrying a child. Pseudocyesis is the medical term for a false pregnancy or what some people refer to as a phantom pregnancy. People with pseudocyesis have many, if not all, symptoms of pregnancy, with the exception of an actual fetus. 

A woman’s intuition is a funny thing. Most women know they are pregnant before they are even far enough along to take a test.

How Common Is Pseudocyesis?

In the general population, pseudocyesis occurs in about 1-6 out of every 22,000 births.  Most instances of pseudocyesis occur in women of childbearing ages, between the ages of 20-44 years. Rarely, pseudocyesis occurs in men and this is called “sympathetic pregnancy”. You can experience pseudocyesis more than once in your life.

What Causes False Pregnancy?

Pseudocyesis is extremely rare in both men and women and just recently doctors have begun to understand the psychological and physical root of pseudocyesis. Although the exact causes still aren’t known, doctors suspect the cause comes from trauma, either a physical or mental trauma, while others believe it is a chemical imbalance. In some cases, there are other medical conditions that may cause pregnancy symptoms to be experienced.

Here are some of the reasons a person might experience symptoms of pseudocyesis:

  • An intense desire to get pregnant after miscarriage or impending menopause and hormonal imbalance which causes pregnancy symptoms to appear.
  • Abdominal distention from other physical factors such as weight gain, gas, or tumors, in combination with psychological delusions of pregnancy, may cause a woman to believe she is pregnant
  • Other physical and hormonal factors such as pituitary tumors or ovarian/uterine cysts or growths along with a desire to become pregnant.
  • The woman’s brain then misinterprets those signals as pregnancy, and triggers the release of hormones (such as estrogen and prolactin) that lead to actual pregnancy symptoms.

Symptoms

  • Enlarged and tender breasts, changes in the nipples, and possibly milk production
  • Interruption of the menstrual period
  • Weight gain
  • Morning sickness and vomiting
  • Reduced appetite

Tests for False Pregnancy

Ultimately, the only way to know for sure if someone is experiencing pseudocyesis is to administer a pregnancy test or ultrasound. The most definitive test to check for pregnancy would be an ultrasound that checks for the presence or absence of a developing fetus. In a case of false pregnancy, no baby will be seen on the ultrasound, and there won’t be any heartbeat. 

If the absence of pregnancy is confirmed, but concerning physical symptoms linger, another testing might be administered to rule out other medical issues, such as hormonal imbalances or tumor growth. Certain medical conditions can mimic the symptoms of pregnancy, including ectopic pregnancy, morbid obesity, and cancer. These conditions may need to be ruled out with tests.

Treating False Pregnancy

Pregnancy, whether true or false, is an exciting time for an expectant mother. When women believe they are pregnant, especially for a period of several months, it can be very upsetting for them to learn that they are not. The grief that comes next may be intense.  In this case, they may need to be under the care of a psychiatrist or psychologist. In some cases, psychotropic drugs, in combination with psychotherapy, may be helpful.

Bottom line

It’s important to understand that pseudocyesis is a very complex issue. If you are caring for a loved one who has experienced pseudocyesis, it’s important to be gentle. Very often, pseudocyesis stems from the trauma of having lost a pregnancy or having experienced infertility. 

Pseudocyesis is treatable and can be resolved, but it may be painful for the person who is experiencing it as well as their loved ones. So be kind and also encourage your loved one to seek professional help when the situation warrants it. Most of all, remember that you are not alone, and with proper care, you will feel like yourself again before you know it.

Disclaimer

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://www.webmd.com/baby/false-pregnancy-pseudocyesis#1 https://americanpregnancy.org/getting-pregnant/false-pregnancy/ 

https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/phantom-pregnancy

Rare Pregnancy Complications

Most pregnancies progress normally without complications while other pregnancies occur with rare complications that interfere with normal fetal development. These may be related to a genetic disorder, problems with the fetus’s chromosomes, or abnormal placental development. Sometimes, diseases or conditions the mother had before she became pregnant can lead to complications during pregnancy. Identical twin pregnancies can also be susceptible to issues related to the sharing of a single placenta and common blood vessels.

A few women experienced very unusual complications in pregnancy, sometimes with a risk of stillbirth. Even with complications, early detection and prenatal care can reduce any further risk to you and your baby.

7 of the rarest complications of pregnancy include:

Lower Urinary Tract Obstruction  (LUTO) is A rare birth defect in which the fetus has a blockage in the urethra, the tube that carries urine out of the baby’s bladder and into the amniotic sac. LUTO is also known as bladder outlet obstruction.

Fetal Hydrothorax is when abnormal amounts of fluid from within the chest of a fetus. This fluid may be in the space between the lungs and the chest wall (pleural space) or within the core of the lung or chest masses. Fetal hydrothorax may also be referred to as a pleural effusion.

Twin Reversed Arterial Perfusion (TRAP) is a rare condition of monochorionic twin pregnancies. It arises when the cardiac system of one twin does the work of supplying blood for both twins. The twin supplying the blood is known as the “pump twin” and develops normally in the womb.

Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS)  is a rare pregnancy condition affecting identical twins or other multiples. TTTS occurs in pregnancies where twins share one placenta (afterbirth) and a network of blood vessels that supply oxygen and nutrients essential for development in the womb.

Twin Anemia Polycythemia Sequence (TAPS)  is a rare but severe complication in identical twin pregnancies that share a single placenta (monochorionic). TAPS is caused by an imbalance in red blood cells exchanged between the twins through tiny placental blood circulations (anastomoses).

Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia is a birth defect where there is a hole in the diaphragm (the large muscle that separates the chest from the abdomen). Organs in the abdomen (such as intestines, stomach, and liver) can move through the hole in the diaphragm and upwards into a baby’s chest.

Selective Intrauterine Growth Restriction is a condition that can occur in some identical twin pregnancies. These pregnancies are known as monochorionic, which means the twins share a placenta (afterbirth) and a network of blood vessels.

Treatments and procedures during labor and delivery

Sometimes the vaginal opening does not stretch enough for the baby’s head. In this case, an episiotomy aids your healthcare provider in delivering your baby. An episiotomy makes the opening of the vagina a bit wider, allowing the baby to come through it more easily. Sometimes a woman’s perineum may tear as their baby comes out. In some births, an episiotomy can help to prevent a severe tear or speed up delivery if the baby needs to be born quickly. Normally, once the baby’s head is seen, your healthcare provider will ease your baby’s head and chin out of your vagina. Once the baby’s head is out, the shoulders and the rest of the body follow.

Doctors will perform a cesarean when the low-lying placenta partially or completely covers the cervix (placenta previa). A cesarean is also necessary when the placenta separates from the uterine lining, causing the baby to lose oxygen (placenta abruption). Health care providers use it when they believe it is safer for the mother, the baby, or both.

Fetal ultrasound is a test used during pregnancy. It creates an image of the baby in the mother’s womb (uterus). It’s a safe way to check the health of an unborn baby. During a fetal ultrasound, the baby’s heart, head, and spine are evaluated, along with other parts of the baby. The test may be done either on the mother’s abdomen (transabdominal) or in the vagina (transvaginal).

Fetal heart rate monitoring measures the heart rate and rhythm of your baby (fetus). This lets your healthcare provider see how your baby is doing. Fetal heart rate monitoring is especially helpful if you have a high-risk pregnancy and may be used to check how preterm labor medicines are affecting your baby. The average fetal heart rate is between 110 and 160 beats per minute. It can vary by 5 to 25 beats per minute. The fetal heart rate may change as your baby responds to conditions in your uterus. An abnormal fetal heart rate may mean that your baby is not getting enough oxygen or that there are other problems.

Most pregnant women with rare complications want to do everything right for their baby, including eating right, exercising regularly, and getting good prenatal care. If the complications you encountered in your pregnancy are causing your mood disorder, you may benefit from speaking with a reproductive psychiatrist that may also be trying to manage your psychiatric symptoms as you prepare to welcome your new baby. 

Disclaimer

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://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/rare-pregnancy-complications

https://healthtalk.org/pregnancy/rarer-complications

https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/delivery-complications

Giving birth during COVID-19: What to expect

Many pregnant women are worried about planning the birth of their baby during the pandemic. If your stress level is rising and you’re becoming overwhelmed with questions, that’s totally understandable. Giving birth is stressful enough. Adding a pandemic to the mix has only increased anxiety among today’s moms-to-be. While it’s true that aspects of labor and delivery may look different than they did prior to COVID-19. To ensure the health and safety of mom and baby remains the goal.

Here are some concerns you may want to address

What health and safety protocols have been implemented to reduce COVID-19 exposure risk?

As COVID-19 spreads through the air and women who are in labor breathe heavily during contractions, everyone in the room with you needs to wear a mask for your safety. Getting the vaccine protects the baby that’s why pregnant women are recommended to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The good news is not only does doing the vaccine protect you, it protects your baby, who will receive antibodies from you. The obstetricians, midwives, physician anesthesiologists, nurses, and other health care providers who care for women in labor have been vaccinated and follow other precautions to ensure safety, such as wearing personal protective equipment (PPE). recommends 

How many support persons can I have by my side in the hospital?

Currently, most hospitals will allow only one or two support people in the room with the laboring mom. If you test positive for COVID-19, safety protocols mean you will not be able to bring anyone in the room with you. After delivery, most new moms leave the hospital sooner, they spend less time in the hospital than they might have before the pandemic. one day (vs. two days) after vaginal birth and two or three days (vs. three or four) after cesarean delivery. The elements of the protocol include providing patient education prior to delivery, promoting breastfeeding and mother-baby bonding, and getting women up and moving as quickly and safely as possible. Rest assured that some things haven’t changed during the pandemic. Health care providers such as physician anesthesiologists will be by your side during your time of need.

Are there any extra precautions I should be taking at home before my baby arrives?

The final weeks before your delivery are an important time to continue social distancing. This means limiting contact with people outside your immediate family. This will lower your risk of getting COVID-19 just before you have your baby.  Hospitals have implemented several additional health and safety measures to make it as safe as possible for you to have your baby during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Despite the challenges, we need smart ways to promote maternal and infant health during the pandemic.

Choosing where you’ll welcome your baby into the world is an important decision. Plan ahead if you can. Pack any special snacks, drinks, books, toiletries, and anything else you might want during your stay. It’s where you’ll make your first memories together. No matter the circumstances, having a baby is a joyful occasion. Changes in labor and delivery protocols during COVID-19 ensure it’s a safe experience.

Disclaimer

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://www.healthpartners.com/blog/giving-birth-during-covid-19/

https://uvahealth.com/services/covid19/birth-coronavirus-faqs

https://www.newswise.com/coronavirus/six-facts-women-need-to-know-about-giving-birth-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/?article_id=750200

Treatment for Pregnant COVID-19 Patients

Treatment for Pregnant COVID-19 Patients

Pregnancy can be a time of joyous anticipation and excitement for women and their families. But the coronavirus pandemic raises concerns. If you haven’t had a COVID-19 vaccine, take steps to reduce the risk of infection. Pregnant women who have known or suspected COVID-19 infection need to be evaluated quickly to determine the severity of their symptoms and if they have risk factors that put them at risk for severe disease. Treatment for Pregnant COVID-19 Patients varies the severity of their symptoms.

Avoiding the Coronavirus During Pregnancy

Avoiding infection with the coronavirus is a top priority for pregnant women. You should do everything you can to protect yourself from getting COVID-19. Pregnant women can experience changes to their immune systems that can make them more vulnerable to respiratory viruses. 

Pregnant women should be vaccinated against influenza (the flu) because if they get the flu they can get very sick, and having a high fever raises the risk of harm to your baby.

If you think you have been exposed to an infected person, and you are having COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, cough, HA, sore throat, the new loss of taste or smell, fatigue, myalgias, GI symptoms (diarrhea, nausea, vomiting), rhinorrhea, chills, difficulty breathing and/or SOB, should be tested for infection with the SARS-CoV-2. You must call your doctor and follow his or her advice. Adhere to precautions carefully. Stay at least 6 feet from others, wear a mask, and avoid large gatherings and indoor socializing outside of your household. 

Outpatient Treatment of Pregnant COVID-19 Patients

For COVID-19 in pregnancy, we can provide treatment. Several medications currently in use are also being used for our pregnant women, and early studies have shown they can provide some benefit.

Patients who are stable and not in an increased risk situation can continue to be monitored at home. Video conferencing communication is preferred to phone calls. A minimum, daily temperature with values over 38.3°C warranting further evaluation. If the patient can acquire medical devices such as a thermometer, a doppler monitor for fetal heart rate recording, she can be instructed to monitor fetal activity to reassure herself about fetal well-being. Report the findings to the OB provider during telemedicine visits. Monitoring can be completed every 2-3 days depending on the severity of COVID-19 infection. Telemedicine visits can be done more frequently for at-risk patients. Many rural and urban health institutions have already established at-home self-testing

If the patient has comorbidities known to increase the risk of severe COVID-19 infection, she is considered to be a moderate risk and should be evaluated as soon as possible in an ambulatory setting where she can test the pulse rate. Social environments where there are limited resources for remote at-home care and monitoring, no internet access, who live alone or are undomiciled, and who have limited or no transportation, may increase a pregnant woman’s risk for severe COVID-19 symptoms. Patients at risk for obstetrical complications, poor outcomes, stillbirth, and premature labor may need to be evaluated in person. 

Above all, focus on taking care of yourself and your baby. Contact your health care provider to discuss any concerns. If you’re having trouble managing stress or anxiety, talk to your health care provider or a mental health counselor about coping strategies.

Disclaimer

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://blog.thesullivangroup.com/treatment-for-pregnant-covid-19-patients-not-requiring-hospitalization

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/coronavirus-and-covid-19-what-pregnant-women-need-to-know https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/pregnancy-and-covid-19/art-20482639

AMNIOTIC FLUID

AMNIOTIC FLUID: What you need to know

What is amniotic fluid?

The Amniotic fluid is the fluid that surrounds your baby during pregnancy. It’s very important for your baby’s development. It is a clear, yellow fluid that is found within the first 12 days following conception within the amniotic sac. It is the protective liquid contained by the amniotic sac of a gravid amniote. This fluid serves as a cushion for the growing fetus but also serves to facilitate the exchange of nutrients, water, and biochemical products between mother and fetus. It also helps keep the umbilical cord floating freely so that it doesn’t get squished between the baby and the side of your uterus.

Facts

  • At first, it consists of water from the mother’s body, but gradually, the larger proportion is made up of the baby’s urine.
  • It also contains vital components, such as nutrients, hormones, and infection-fighting antibodies and it helps protect the baby from bumps and injury.
  • If the levels of amniotic fluid levels are too low or too high, this can pose a problem.
  • When it is green or brown, this indicates that the baby has passed meconium before birth. Meconium is the name of the first bowel movement. Meconium in the fluid can be problematic. It can cause a breathing problem called meconium aspiration syndrome that occurs when the meconium enters the lungs. In some cases, babies will require treatment after they are born.

Amniotic fluid is responsible for:

  • Protecting the fetus: The fluid cushions the baby from outside pressures, acting as a protective function against external trauma or shock.
  • Temperature control: It helps maintain fetal temperature stable.
  • Protection and defense against infection. The amniotic fluid contains antibodies. 
  • Lung and digestive system development: It contributes to lung maturation by breathing and swallowing it, the baby practices using the muscles of these systems as they grow.
  • Muscle and bone development: It allows fetal musculoskeletal, gastrointestinal, and lung development.
  • Lubrication it prevents parts of the body such as the fingers and toes from growing together; webbing can occur if amniotic fluid levels are low. 
  • Umbilical cord support: Fluid in the uterus prevents the umbilical cord from being compressed. This cord transports food and oxygen from the placenta to the growing fetus.

How much amniotic fluid should there be?

Normally, the level of fluid is at its highest around 36 of pregnancy, measuring around 1 quart. This level decreases as birth nears. After that, the amount usually begins to decrease. Sometimes you can have too little or too much amniotic fluid. Having too little fluid is called oligohydramnios. Having too much fluid is called polyhydramnios. Either one can cause problems for a pregnant woman and her baby. Even with these conditions, though, most babies are born healthy. 

Oligohydramnios. Amniotic fluid deficiency. This condition is associated with complications, such as:

  • Early labor induction.
  • Low birthweight.
  • Fetal bradycardia during delivery.
  • It can even cause fetal death.

Polyhydramnios. An excess of amniotic fluid. This condition is associated with complications, especially maternal, such as:

  • Gestational diabetes.
  • Hypertension during pregnancy.

Sometimes, fluid leaks before the waters break. When the waters break, the amniotic sac tears. It is contained within the sac then begins to leak out via the cervix and vagina. Anyone who is concerned about leaking or levels of amniotic fluid during pregnancy should discuss this with their healthcare provider.

Therefore, Amniotic fluid has a very important role in the fetus’s development and well-being during pregnancy.  Any alteration can cause major damage. In addition, its prenatal study and analysis can detect congenital defects, such as chromosome disorders. This is performed through amniocentesis. However, this technique is also associated with major risks that the medical professional must evaluate before performing it on a patient.

Disclaimer

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://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/how-to-increase-amniotic-fluid

https://www.marchofdimes.org/pregnancy/amniotic-fluid.aspx

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/307082

First Time Pregnancy: Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy

Having a child is the most precious, amazing, and scariest thing ever. The basic logic here is to be healthy and stay healthy for you and your baby. Here are some tips for you for a first-time pregnancy. These will help you get through your first time being pregnant with little worrying. Let’s face it, we’re women and we worry but don’t get so worked up, it will upset the baby. Good luck and congratulations.

Take Care of Yourself

The basic premise here is to be healthy and stay healthy for you and your baby.  Don’t smoke or be around secondhand smoking or be around heavy smokers. You should not drink either.  You should sleep and rest as much as possible because you will NEED it! If you’re not, start taking prenatal vitamins, with folic acid.  When you buy these, always make sure they contain folic acid. It is vital to your pregnancy. Taking care of yourself will ensure that you have a healthy baby growing inside of you.  Your baby’s neural cord turns into the brain and spinal cord, developing in the 1st month you’re pregnant. Therefore, essential vitamins and minerals are very important from day one.

Exercise 

Having a baby is rough both physically and mentally. Staying active is important for your general health and can help you reduce stress, control your weight, improve circulation, boost your mood, and sleep better. Low impact exercise can help ease back pain, increase circulation, and improve your mood. It will also strengthen your muscles and ligaments in preparation for labor. Take pregnancy exercise or walk at least 15-20 minutes every day at a moderate pace, in cool, shaded areas or indoors in order to prevent overheating. Aim for 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week. Listen to your body, though, and don’t overdo it.

Take a Prenatal Vitamin

Even when you’re still trying to conceive, it’s smart to start taking prenatal vitamins. Within the first month of pregnancy, your baby’s neural cord, which becomes the brain and spinal cord, develops, so it’s important you get essential nutrients, like folic acid, calcium, and iron from the very start.

Eating Healthy

If you’re pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant, you need to start taking care of yourself. Don’t smoke or be around secondhand smoke, don’t drink, and get your rest. You may drink 8-10 glasses of water each day, you should eat five or six well-balanced meals with plenty of folate-rich foods like fortified cereals, asparagus, lentils, wheat germ, oranges, and orange juice. Limit your caffeine during pregnancy since it can have harmful effects on you and the baby. Add fish to your diet since fish is high in omega 3s, a nutrient critical to brain development. There’s just one catch: Some kinds of fish contain mercury, which can be toxic to both babies and adults.

To be safe, the FDA recommends that pregnant women eat no more than 12 ounces of fish per week. Stick with canned light tuna, shrimp, salmon, pollack, or catfish. Avoid swordfish, shark, king mackerel, and tilefish, which are all high in mercury.

Track Your Weight Gain

During your pregnancy, it’s okay to gain weight, you’re eating for two, however, gaining too much weight can be unhealthy for you. If you don’t gain enough weight, your baby’s birth weight and health could be in jeopardy. You’re eating for two. But packing on too many extra pounds may make them hard to lose later.  

Here’s what the IOM recommends, based on a woman’s BMI (body mass index) before becoming pregnant with one baby:

– Underweight: Gain 28-40 pounds

– Normal weight: Gain 25-35 pounds

– Overweight: Gain 15-25 pounds

– Obese: Gain 11-20 pounds

Check-in with your doctor frequently to make sure you’re gaining at a healthy rate.

Eliminate Toxins

Avoid tobacco, alcohol, illicit drugs, and even solvents such as paint thinners and nail polish remover while pregnant because they are linked to birth defects, miscarriage, and other problems. Smoking cigarettes, for example, decreases oxygen flow to your baby; it’s linked to preterm birth and other complications. A doctor can offer advice and support, as well as refer you to a program that helps pregnant women stop smoking.

Make a Birth Plan

Being a mother begins during the birth of your baby. You want to make this moment special and safe. That is why making a birthing plan is essential. Do your own research online about your options before taking any advice from friends and family. This is your decision so you should have an unbiased view of the ways to give birth.

While a hospital birth is traditional, a rise in the use of midwives and even home births is occurring. The decisions to use an epidural, have a water birth, or a delayed cord clamping are just a few more.

Since it’s your first time being pregnant, it’s scary. As you progress in your pregnancy, more questions will pop up daily. To find more tips for first-time pregnancies visit online forums and mom’s groups to get anecdotal advice from moms who have been in your shoes.

If you don’t know what your pains are, call the doctor or talk to a  nurse in the office and ask them about the pains.  Enjoy your pregnancy!

Disclaimer

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://www.parents.com/pregnancy/my-body/pregnancy-health/healthy-pregnancy-tips/

https://ferny.com/life-style/tips-for-first-time-pregnancies/

Getting Pregnant During COVID-19 Pandemic

COVID-19 is still a new disease that we are learning more about each day. We know this has been a scary time for most people globally. Many people are living through their first pandemic, and even just getting household essentials has been a challenge some days.

During this time of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, people have questions about whether or not they should get pregnant. If you are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant, you’re likely concerned about how the pandemic will impact your pregnancy. We still have relatively little information about how this virus affects pregnant people and their pregnancies. It’s common to feel alarmed and stressed throughout this time, as starting or expanding a family brings up new questions. 

Are pregnant people at higher risk for COVID-19?

The overall risk of COVID-19 to pregnant women is low. However, the physiologic changes of pregnancy make pregnant people appear more likely to develop respiratory complications requiring intensive care than women who aren’t pregnant. Pregnant people who have other medical conditions might be at further increased risk for severe illness. More research is needed to know specifically how this virus impacts pregnant people since this virus COVID-19 is new.

Labor and delivery risks to the mother’s and the baby’s health?

If you have COVID-19 and are pregnant, your treatment will be aimed at relieving symptoms and may include getting plenty of fluids and rest, as well as using medication to reduce fever. If you’re very ill, you may need to be treated in the hospital. There is no definite evidence that the COVID-19 virus can be passed from the pregnant parent to the fetus through the placenta, called vertical transmission. If you give birth while you are positive for COVID-19, you do not need to have a cesarean section, or c-section, unless otherwise medically indicated. However, some research suggests that pregnant women with COVID-19 are also more likely to have a premature birth and cesarean delivery, and their babies are more likely to be admitted to a neonatal unit. 

If you are healthy as you approach the end of pregnancy, some aspects of your labor and delivery might proceed as usual. But be prepared to be flexible. You might be screened again before entering the labor and delivery unit to protect the health of you and your baby, definitely the facilities will limit the number of people you can have in the room during labor and delivery.

Preterm birth is the most common side effect on the fetus of a pregnant parent positive for COVID-19.

Postpartum Considerations

This is a stressful time, pay attention to your mental health. Reach out to family and friends for support while taking precautions to reduce your risk of infection with the COVID-19 virus. Access to early prenatal care is important and should be accessible during this time. However, public health experts are recommending avoiding unnecessary medical visits.  Talk to your health care provider about virtual visit options for checking in after delivery, as well as your need for an office visit. However, It’s recommended that postpartum care after childbirth be an ongoing process.

Disclaimer

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 other qualified healthcare providers 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://www.mayoclinic.org/

https://helloclue.com/articles/pregnancy-birth-and-postpartum/is-it-safe-to-get-pregnant-during-coronavirus

Fetal Movement During Pregnancy

One of the most exciting moments in your pregnancy is when you feel those first little flutters of your baby kicking. These tiny movements reassure you that your baby is developing and help you feel closer to the little life inside of you.

Feeling your baby kick, twist, wriggle, punch and hiccup is simply one of pregnancy biggest thrills (and it sure beats heartburn, puffy feet, an aching back and other hallmarks of these nine months), and will vary throughout your pregnancy. 

In the beginning, your baby’s movement will be erratic, so don’t sweat it if you go for long stretches without remembering there’s a little person-to-be doing flips inside you.

Fetal movement during pregnancy can also drive a mom-to-be batty with questions and doubts. Although every baby is different when it comes to fetal movement and there’s a wide range of what’s normal, it helps to take a peek into your baby’s world to understand what’s going on in there, and what to expect when.

What does baby movement feel like?

They’re almost as hard to describe as they are to recognize. Pregnant women usually describe the baby’s first movements as flutters, and they can be so subtle that you might mistake them for gas bubbles. “Initially they feel like a butterfly,” Dr. Artal says. “Later on it feels like kicking.” Between 24 and 28 weeks, the movements become strong enough that your partner may be able to feel them by placing a hand on your growing belly. By your second and third trimesters, the movements should be more distinct, and you’ll be able to feel your baby’s kicks, jabs, and elbows. Eventually, you may even see the shape of the elbow or foot that’s nudging you.

What’s my baby doing when I feel her move?

The first thing a baby does is big body movements, such as flexing and extending the arms and legs,” Dr. Keller says. Hiccups begin around 11 weeks, as the neurological system develops, but you won’t feel the rhythmic, recurring jerks that signal them until much later. Some women may be able to perceive big movements, such as when the baby switches positions. If you’ve been feeling pain in your rib cage and then suddenly it’s gone, it’s likely your baby was in a breech position with her head sticking into your ribs and she did turn 180 degrees to get ready for delivery.

How Often Should I Feel My Baby Moving?

There isn’t really a normal pattern of movements for all babies. Every baby is different. Some are more active than others and even at different times. The key is to get to know what’s normal for your baby, so you can tell if there are any changes to his daily habits. Early in your pregnancy, you may just feel a few movements every now and then. But as your baby grows usually by the end of the second trimester the kicks should grow stronger and more frequent. Studies show that by the third trimester, the baby moves about 30 times each hour.

Some babies kick like crazy after dinner, others go nuts at bedtime. With time, you’ll get to know the baby’s usual patterns of movement. And it usually goes like this. Baby will have active periods followed by periods with very little movement. Babies tend to move more at certain times of the day as they alternate between alertness and sleep. They are usually most active between 9 p.m. and 1 a.m., right as you’re trying to get to sleep. This surge in activity is due to your changing blood sugar levels. Babies also can respond to sounds or touch, and may even kick your partner in the back if you snuggle too close in bed.

Should I Monitor My Baby’s Kicking?

To ensure that everything is progressing as expected, your doctor will want you to “count kicks,” or fetal movements, starting in week 28 through the end of your pregnancy. 

How often: Set aside some quiet time twice a day to count kicks, once in the morning, when fetal kicks and punches tend to be less frequent, and once in the more active evening hours when there’s usually an increase in baby’s movement.

What to do: Check the clock and start counting. Count movements of any kind (fetal kicks, flutters, swishes, rolls). Stop counting when you reach 10, and note the time.

Look for: 10 movements of any kind in an hour or less is normal, though sometimes it will take longer. If you don’t feel your baby move 10 times by the end of two hours, try again later in the day. Then if you still can’t feel 10 movements in two hours, or your baby is much less active than normal, call your healthcare provider, who can check your baby’s heart rate and movements.

Timeline of Baby Movement

Here is a guide to your baby’s possible movements.
Week 12: Your baby should start to move, but you probably won’t be able to feel anything, because the baby is still so small.
Week 16: Some pregnant women will start to feel tiny butterfly-like flutters. The feeling might just be gas, or it might be the baby moving.
Week 20: By this point in your baby’s development, you may start to really feel your baby’s first movements, called “quickening.”
Week 24: The baby’s movements are starting to become more established. You might also begin to feel slight twitches as your baby hiccups.
Week 28: Your baby is moving often now. Some of the kicks and jabs may take your breath away.
Week 36: Your uterus is getting crowded as the baby grows, and movements should slow down a bit. However, alert your healthcare provider if you notice significant changes in your baby’s usual activity. You should feel consistent movement throughout the day.


5 Common Pregnancy Fears And How To Get Over Them

Having a Miscarriage

One in four women is likely to have a miscarriage, and very often this can happen with the first pregnancy. Many women live in fear for the first 13 weeks of their pregnancy. When a miscarriage occurs, it is the body flushing out a fetus that might have been growing improperly. Unfortunately there is nothing anyone can do to stop it, and it can be devastating to lose a pregnancy. But there’s no reason not to remain optimistic. After all, three out of four pregnancies do not result in miscarriage.

Down’s Syndrome

There are many tests pregnant women can take today to check for Down’s syndrome while the baby is still in its very early stages of development. Many women also have to undergo several follow-up tests. Keep in mind that this is usually just a precaution and that most babies will be fine.

Premature Labour

Many women worry about going into premature labour and the implications that might have for their child. But the fact is that after 24 weeks, a fetus is viable outside the womb, with plenty of help, of course. It’s not ideal, but should your baby be born earlier than expected, don’t fear the worst. Many babies are born at 32 weeks (especially multiples, which are usually born quite early) and go on to grow big and strong and lead full and healthy lives.

Birth Defects

It might comfort you to know that nearly every mother-to-be fears or even dreams about her baby being born with some horrible birth defect. You’re not the only one, and this isn’t a sign of things to come. It’s a common fear because mothers obviously want so much for their children to be well. Just remember that Mother Nature works hard to ensure proper development and that most babies are born perfectly healthy.

Alcohol consumption in very early pregnancy

It’s not uncommon for women to find out they are pregnant as far as six weeks into their pregnancies — after a weekend of partying, perhaps. If you’ve consumed alcohol during the first six weeks, rest assured your baby is fine. The fetus is unaffected by toxins at this stage. To be safe, bring the subject up with your doctor, but don’t fret too much.

It’s only natural to worry a bit throughout your pregnancy — after all, this whole baby thing is new, nail-bitingly unpredictable, and you just want so badly for it to go perfectly. Relax! they’re not as scary as you think.