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

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

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.

SIMPLE GUIDE TO SLEEPING WELL DURING PREGNANCY

During pregnancy, you may find yourself wrestling in bed trying to get comfortable before falling asleep. Unfortunately, your regular sleeping positions may no longer work for you during pregnancy. There are a number of reasons for this new discomfort, but there are some sleeping positions that you can try that may help you get your much-needed rest.

What Are The Best Sleep Positions During Pregnancy?

The best sleep position during pregnancy is “SOS” (sleep on side). Even better is to sleep on your left side. Sleeping on your left side will increase the amount of blood and nutrients that reach the placenta and your baby.

Keep your legs and knees bent, and put a pillow between your legs.

  • If you find that you are having problems with back pain, use the “SOS” position, and try placing a pillow under your abdomen as well.
  • If you are experiencing heartburn during the night, you may want to try propping your upper body with pillows.
  • In late pregnancy, you may experience shortness of breath.  Try lying on your side or propped up with pillows.

These suggestions may not sound completely comfortable, especially if you are used to sleeping on your back or stomach, but try them out.  You may find that they work. Keep in mind that you may not stay in one position all night, and rotating positions is fine.

What Sleep Positions During Pregnancy Should I Avoid?

Sleeping on Your Back. Throughout your pregnancy, you should avoid sleeping on your back. While it may be safe during your first trimester, the biggest no-no with resting this way is that it causes your increasingly heavy abdomen and uterus to press down on the major vein that works to return blood from your lower body to your heart. So lying on your back can make you feel lightheaded and dizzy, and also interfere with the delivery of blood and nutrients to the placenta and your growing baby. Other issues that can arise are backaches, difficulty breathing, digestive system problems, hemorrhoids, low blood pressure, and decreased circulation in you and the baby.

 

Sleeping on Your Stomach. After the fifth month of your pregnancy, it’s apparent that sleeping on your tummy isn’t the most comfortable way to fall asleep, and that’s because of your expanding uterus. It might feel like you’re trying to sleep on a huge watermelon! If you’re afraid that this position may end up hurting the baby, don’t be. Even at nine months, the uterine walls provide enough protection for the little one. In other words, medically speaking, it’s safe to sleep in this position, but it may not be the most comfortable posture for you.

Does Lack Sleep Harm Your Baby?

It will not harm your baby as sleep problems are common during pregnancy. But, you should listen to your body when it asks you to rest or slow down. Less sleep in early pregnancy can increase the risk of pre-eclampsia and high blood pressure in mothers.

Sleeping Aids During Pregnancy: 

Sleep aids help in offering you comfortable and sound sleep, especially during your first and third trimesters, which are tough times of pregnancy.

1. Pillows:

Pillows can help you avoid sleepless nights.

For back and belly support –Tuck one pillow between your bent knees to support your lower back. It will also make your side sleeping position comfortable. You can use a full-body pillow for your back or front. It gives you the right support while lying on your side.

You can try various pillows, either regularly used ones or those available specifically for pregnancy use. You may use body-length, U or C-shaped pillows, or wedge-shaped pillows to support your tummy or chest.

If you are suffering from heartburn – You can keep one extra pillow beneath your head to elevate it while you are sleeping. It helps in keeping the stomach acids in place due to gravity rather than letting them travel back to the esophagus.

If you have hip pain – If you experience body pains or hip pain while lying on the side, a firm mattress will help. An egg-crate foam mattress can be placed on your regular mattress. It will support your torso and limbs, and give you comfortable sleep devoid of aching hips.

2. Food And Drink:

What you eat and drink, and when you take them will also affect your sleep quality. Avoid caffeine and sugar, which are the common sleep snatchers. A glass of warm milk before bedtime is an age-old remedy for good sleep.

For low blood sugar – If headaches, bad dreams, or intense sweating disturb your sleep, you may be suffering from low blood sugar levels. You can take protein-packed snacks such as peanut butter, egg, or turkey, before bedtime to keep blood sugar levels high during sleep.

For Nausea – Nausea can develop because of an empty stomach. Therefore you should have a light snack containing carbohydrates and proteins before bedtime. Good options include a half sandwich with milk, high-protein cereal with milk, or a high protein smoothie. You can eat some bland, dry snacks like pretzels, rice cakes, and crackers if you happen to wake up feeling nauseous.

For heartburn and indigestion – Avoid taking large meals before bedtime or late in the day. Sleeping on a full stomach will worsen the condition.

3. Scheduled Sleep:

Planning your sleep time is also vital during pregnancy. You should try taking naps whenever possible. The best time is between two and four p.m. You can break them into two 30-minute naps rather than one long 2-hour sleep. Do not take excessive fluids after six p.m. as they reduce nocturnal bathroom visits.

Women who have a good night’s sleep early in their pregnancy have better health later on, according to new research. Sleep researchers have found pregnant women who have too little or too much sleep in the first three months of pregnancy have higher blood pressures in the third trimester.

 

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.

Resources:

http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/sleeping-positions-during-pregnancy/ 

https://sleep.org/articles/best-pregnancy-sleep-position/ 

 

Tips for a Stylish Pregnancy

Being pregnant doesn’t mean you can’t keep up with the trends and feel fashionable.  The key to dressing modern and sexy during pregnancy is to pick out the trends you like and adapt them to your new body. Learn what styles look great with your growing baby bump and what pieces to invest in for a cute and comfortable pregnancy. You have a stylish nine months ahead!

Check Out Style Rules Every Pregnant Woman Should Know:

  • Show Some Skin

If you’re normally small-chested, pregnancy offers the best chance you’ll ever have to forego the padded bras and flaunt cleavage, so take advantage of this fortuitous occasion and wear scoop-neck T-shirts or sweaters.  If you’ve been blessed with a small frame while pregnant, then a shift dress is your evening wear savior. It skims your bump nicely, and the mini length remains sexy without feeling too exposed.

  • Go Skinny

If you enjoyed wearing skinny jeans before you were an expecting mama, don’t be afraid to do tight-fitting pants now just because you’re pregnant. Many maternity lines are now making stretchy, super-comfy (and chic!) skinny jeans and leather leggings that will fit and flaunt your new curves. This will give your body definition from under your bust and allow the fabric to drape loosely over your bump. Wrap dresses work too, just tie them a little higher up and be sure to choose a length that accommodates your growing belly.

  • Choose Snug over Bulky

Reaching for bigger clothes to hide your size sounds like a good idea, but it only contributes to a bulky look. Instead, slim down your silhouette and emphasize the features that aren’t expanding with snug-sleeved tops, skinnier pants, and button-down shirts or blazers left unbuttoned. Try knits that stretch to fit your form, they’re sexy and feminine. If all else fails, ever heard the phrase “borrowed from the boys” when it comes to styling? That’s your new mantra. Oversized shirting, cashmere sweaters, and quality T-shirts are a great way to avoid buying maternity wear because you’ll always love their loose fits for lazy days – long after you’ve had the baby.

  • Go for Color

Getting dressed when pregnant doesn’t have to mean losing all sense of your personal style. Don’t limit yourself to black and neutral tones, color is an essential part of the modern maternity closet. You’ll feel happier when you’re wearing clothes that aren’t drab. If you’re the type who loves color and print, roll with it.  All-over prints are a really nice option if you want to add some punch to a super simple silhouette, especially when worn with sneakers.

  • Get Decorative

Perk up a staid wardrobe with just a few decorative elements, such as ruffled trims or embroidered or beaded accents. Just be sure to stick with things that you’ll be able to wear more than once without feeling too conspicuous. Try wearing skirts or loose-fitting trousers higher than usual, and balance out the silhouette with fun details on your top half, like ruffles or an interesting neckline.

  • Try Some Trimmings

One of the easiest ways to add dimension and flare to an otherwise simple ensemble is to put on your favorite accessories and jewelry. Try long, dangling earrings and lariat necklaces to de-emphasize fullness in your face. Wear a patterned scarf in your hair, put a jeweled cuff on your wrist, or carry a chic handbag. Better yet, if you’re not going to be on your feet all day, throw on some fun open-toe sandals or sling-backs. Sexy shoes can instantly perk up practically any outfit. 

  • Be Comfortable

The simple slip dress is a great go-to for when you need to dress up. It’s lightweight, loose, and long, plus a sumptuous fabric like satin or velvet will give a luxury feel to your look. For daytime, this dress works layered over a white T-shirt or under a super chunky cardigan. Leggings, hoodies, and your husband’s T-shirts are now wardrobe staples. Give yourself a break, you’re growing a human, after all.

 

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.

Pregnancy Stretch Marks

Many things change after you have a baby: schedules, sleep time, and a sense of freedom, to name a few. Along with a changing schedule, there are many physical changes you’ll see. Chief among them is stretch marks. For many women, stretch marks are as much a part of having a baby as diapers and feedings.

Anatomy of a Stretch Mark

Stretch marks happen when your body grows faster than your skin can keep up with. This causes the elastic fibers just under the surface of the skin to break, resulting in stretch marks. You gain about 30 pounds during the 9 months you are pregnant, says Heidi Waldorf, MD. She is an associate clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. Like scars, they’ll fade, but they won’t disappear completely. Stretch marks happen in pregnancy when your skin layers stretch over your fast-growing body. You may have them on your tummy, bottom, thighs, and breasts. Though it won’t get rid of the stretch marks, it will help to tone the area.

What causes stretch marks?

Stretch marks are a result of skin stretching and an increase of cortisone in your system. Cortisone is a hormone naturally produced by your adrenal glands. However, having too much of this hormone can make your skin lose its elasticity.

Stretch marks are common in certain circumstances:

  • Many women experience stretch marks during pregnancy as the skin stretches in numerous ways to make room for the developing baby. This continual tugging and stretching can cause stretch marks.
  • Stretch marks sometimes appear when you rapidly gain or lose weight. Teenagers may also notice stretch marks after a sudden growth spurt.
  • Corticosteroid creams, lotions, and pills can cause stretch marks by decreasing the skin’s ability to stretch.
  • Cushing’s Syndrome, Marfan’s syndrome, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, and other adrenal gland disorders can cause stretch marks by increasing the amount of cortisone in your body.

Who Gets Stretch Marks?

About 90% of women will get them sometime after their sixth or seventh month of pregnancy, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. If your mother had stretch marks, then you’re more likely to have them too, since genetics plays a role.

What medical treatments are available for stretch marks?

Stretch marks often fade with time. If you don’t want to wait, there are treatments that can improve their appearance. However, no treatment can make stretch marks disappear completely.

There are several ways to improve the appearance of stretch marks:

  • Tretinoin cream (Retin-A, Renova) works by restoring collagen, a fibrous protein that helps give your skin elasticity. It’s best to use this cream on recent stretch marks that are red or pink. This cream may cause skin irritation. If you’re pregnant, you shouldn’t use tretinoin cream.
  • Pulsed dye laser therapy encourages the growth of collagen and elastin. It’s best to use this therapy on newer stretch marks. Darker-skinned individuals may experience skin discoloration.
  • Fractional photothermolysis is similar to pulsed dye laser therapy in that it uses a laser. However, it works by targeting smaller areas of your skin, causing less skin damage.
  • Microdermabrasion involves polishing the skin with tiny crystals to reveal new skin that’s under the more elastic stretch marks. Microdermabrasion can improve the appearance of older stretch marks.
  • The excimer laser stimulates skin color (melanin) production so that stretch marks match the surrounding skin more closely.

Medical procedures and prescription medicines aren’t guaranteed to cure stretch marks, and they can be expensive.

Is it Possible to Prevent Stretch Marks?

Unfortunately, there’s no way to prevent stretch marks but It’s always a good idea to keep your skin hydrated with a rich lotion or cream. The only thing possible is making stretch marks fade.

The good news is that stretch marks may simply disappear on their own after weight loss or childbirth. Over time, stretch marks fade to whitish colored scar and become less noticeable with time. While some stretch marks naturally fade to faint, silvery lines, others remain darker and more showy. The condition is only skin deep and hence easily reversible. According to the University of Maryland medical center, they may disappear completely when the cause of skin stretching goes away.

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/stretch-marks#1

https://www.healthline.com/health/stretch-marks#medical-treatments

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

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

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

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

Here are some roles for dads these days during pregnancy: 

  • Take over some of the household chores.

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

  • Prioritize Her

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

  • Create Some Memories

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

  • Learn about the process with her

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

  • Support her emotionally.

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

  • Listen and Talk

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

  • Be There at all times possible

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

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

Here are some roles for dads these days during Labour: 

  • Before The Birth

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

  • Share the Coaching

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

  • Cheer From the Sidelines

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

  • Wait Outside

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

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

  • Look After Her

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

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

 

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