Headaches During Pregnancy

Headaches during pregnancy

If you’re pregnant, you’re no doubt experiencing new aches and pains. Headaches can be common in early pregnancy. They usually improve as your pregnancy goes on. Headaches in women can often be triggered by a change in hormones during pregnancy. Expectant mothers may experience an increase or decrease in the number of headaches. A headache can sometimes be a symptom of pre-eclampsia, which can lead to serious complications if it’s not monitored and treated. Pre-eclampsia usually starts after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Nearly all women have occasional headaches, but having a headache in pregnancy is not fun, especially tricky in the first trimester when you should avoid many medicines. Whether your headache is from tension or is a full-blown migraine, there are some things you should know.

What causes headaches during pregnancy?

The exact cause of a headache isn’t always clear. In the first trimester, changing hormone levels and blood volume may play a role. Hunger and low levels of blood sugar can trigger headaches, too. Researchers believe that overly excited brain cells stimulate a release of chemicals. These chemicals irritate blood vessels on the brain’s surface. That, in turn, causes blood vessels to swell and stimulate the pain response. Headaches during your second or third trimester of pregnancy may be a sign that you have high blood pressure. About 6 to 8 percent of pregnant women ages 20 to 44 in the United States have high blood pressure.

Other causes of headaches during pregnancy can include:

  • not getting enough sleep
  • hormonal changes
  • withdrawal from caffeine (e.g. in coffee, tea, or cola drinks)
  • low blood sugar
  • dehydration
  • feeling stressed
  • poor posture, particularly as your baby gets bigger
  • having depression or anxiety
  • weight changes
  • high blood pressure

Types of headaches

Most headaches during pregnancy are primary headaches. This means that the headache pain happens by itself. It’s not a sign or symptom of another disorder or a complication in the pregnancy. Primary headaches include:

  • Tension headaches: A tension-type headache (TTH) is generally a mild to moderate pain that’s often described as feeling like a tight band around the head. About 26 percent of headaches during pregnancy are tension headaches and are common in the first trimester of your pregnancy. 
  • Migraine attacks: Migraine headaches are a common type of headache in pregnancy. These painful, throbbing headaches are usually felt on one side of the head and result from the expansion of the blood vessels in the brain.
  • Cluster headaches: Cluster headaches are one of the most painful types of headaches. A cluster headache commonly awakens you in the middle of the night with intense pain in or around one eye on one side of your head.

What can I do about headaches?

Steps to manage headaches include the following:

  • Avoid any known headache triggers
  • Include physical activity in your daily routine. 
  • Reduce your stress level and relax
  • Practice relaxation techniques. 
  • Eat regularly
  • Follow a regular sleep schedule. 
  • drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration
  • get enough sleep

Treatment for headaches during pregnancy

If you experience frequent headaches that don’t go away with paracetamol, it could be a sign of a more serious medical condition called pre-eclampsia. Most pregnant women can safely take acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) to treat occasional headaches. Talk to your doctor before taking your regular headache pain medication during pregnancy.

See your doctor if you have any headache pain at all during pregnancy. Get urgent medical attention if you have a fever, severe pain, and blurred vision. Let your doctor know right away.

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 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/headache-during-pregnancy#treatment

https://www.webmd.com/migraines-headaches/migraines-headaches-finding-help

Using Epidural Anesthesia During Labor: Benefits and Risks

Using Epidural Anesthesia During Labor: Benefits and Risks

Epidural anesthesia is regional anesthesia that blocks pain in a particular region of the body and it’s the most popular method of pain relief during labor. Women request an epidural by name more than any other method of pain relief. The goal of an epidural is to provide analgesia, or pain relief, rather than anesthesia, which leads to a total lack of feeling. Epidurals block the nerve impulses from the lower spinal segments. More than 50% of women giving birth at hospitals use epidural anesthesia.

Types of epidurals?

Regular Epidural

After the catheter is in place, a combination of a narcotic and anesthesia is administered either by a pump or by periodic injections into the epidural space. A narcotic such as fentanyl or morphine is given to replace some of the higher doses of anesthetic.

Combined Spinal-Epidural (CSE) or “Walking Epidural”

An initial dose of narcotic, anesthetic, or a combination of the two is injected beneath the outermost membrane covering the spinal cord, and inward of the epidural space. This is the intrathecal area. The anesthesiologist will pull the needle back into the epidural space, thread a catheter through the needle, then withdraw the needle and leave the catheter in place. This allows more freedom to move while in the bed and a greater ability to change positions with assistance. With the catheter in place, you can request an epidural at any time if the initial intrathecal injection is inadequate. 

With the use of these drugs, muscle strength, balance, and reaction are reduced. CSE should provide pain relief for 4-8 hours.

Benefits  of Epidurals During Delivery

  • Potential for a painless delivery. 
  • Allows you to rest if your labor is prolonged.
  • By reducing the discomfort of childbirth, some women have a more positive birth experience.
  • Required in cesarean delivery. will allow you to stay awake and also provide effective pain relief during recovery. 

Risks of Epidurals During Delivery

  • Low blood pressure: About 14 percent of women who get an epidural block experience a drop in blood pressure. Although it’s usually not harmful. Your blood pressure will be closely monitored. If necessary, fluids and medication can be passed through a drip to keep your blood pressure normal.
  • Loss of bladder control: After having an epidural, you may not be able to feel when your bladder is full because the epidural affects the surrounding nerves. You may have a catheter inserted to empty your bladder for you. You should regain bladder control once the epidural wears off.
  • Nausea and vomiting: Opioid pain relievers can sometimes make you feel sick to your stomach, a ringing of the ears, backache, and soreness when the needle is inserted
  • Fever: Women who get an epidural sometimes run a fever. About 23 percent of women who get an epidural run a fever, compared to about 7 percent of women who don’t get an epidural. The exact reason for the spike in temperature is unknown.
  • Permanent nerve damage: In rare cases, an epidural can lead to permanent loss of feeling or movement in, for example, one or both legs.

Other complications

Other very rare complications of an epidural include:

  • fits (convulsions)
  • severe breathing difficulties
  • Death
  • Seizure

When can an epidural NOT be used?

  • You’re Taking Certain Medications
  • You’re Bleeding Heavily
  • Have low platelet counts
  • Are hemorrhaging or in shock
  • Have an infection on or in your back
  • Have a blood infection
  • If you are not at least 4 cm dilated
  • Epidural space cannot be located by the physician
  • If labor is moving too fast and there is not enough time to administer the drug
  • Your Blood Work Isn’t Just Right
  • Labor Restrictions

Before deciding to have an epidural, you should discuss the procedure with your anesthetist about the advantages and disadvantages of each technique. Medication provides the greatest pain relief, but it can cause side effects. Make the decision based on your personal preferences and ability to tolerate pain.

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 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/natural-birth-vs-epidural

https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/pain-risks-epidurals

Stages of Pregnancy

Stages of Pregnancy

Stages of Pregnancy

Within 24 hours after fertilization, the egg that will become your baby rapidly divides into many cells. By the eighth week of pregnancy, the embryo develops into a fetus. Pregnancy is counted as 40 weeks, starting from the first day of the mother’s last menstrual period. These weeks are divided into three trimesters. Your estimated date of birth is only to give you a guide. Babies come when they are ready and you need to be patient.  

Pregnancy is divided into three trimesters:

  • First trimester – conception to 12 weeks
  • Second trimester – 12 to 24 weeks
  • Third trimester – 24 to 40 weeks.

The moment of conception is when the woman’s ovum (egg) is fertilized by the man’s sperm to complete the genetic make-up of a human fetus. At this moment (conception), the sex and genetic make-up of the fetus begin. About three days later, the fertilized egg cell divides rapidly and then passes through the Fallopian tube into the uterus, where it attaches to the uterine wall. The attachment site provides nourishment to the rapidly developing fetus and becomes the placenta.

When does pregnancy start?

Medical professionals measure pregnancy week 1 from the first day of a woman’s last menstrual period. This is called the gestational age, or menstrual age. It’s about two weeks ahead of when conception actually occurs. Although a woman is not actually pregnant at this point, counting week 1 from the last menstrual period can help determine a woman’s estimated pregnancy due date. Your healthcare provider will ask you about this date and will use it to figure out how far along you are in your pregnancy.

How early can I know I’m pregnant?

From the moment of conception, the hormone human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) will be present in your blood. This hormone is created by the cells that form the placenta (food source for the growing fetus). It’s also the hormone detected in a pregnancy test. While you may get a positive POAS test at 3 weeks, it’s a good idea to wait a week or two and test again to confirm. A blood test also can detect hCG and is more sensitive than a urine test. Pregnancy can detect pregnancy as early as 6 days after ovulation, you could be able to confirm your pregnancy at/around 3 weeks.

Stages of Fetal Development

During the first trimester, your body undergoes many changes. Hormonal changes affect almost every organ system in your body. These changes can trigger symptoms even in the very first weeks of pregnancy. Your period stopping is a clear sign that you are pregnant. 

The developing baby is tinier than a grain of rice. The rapidly dividing cells are in the process of forming the various body systems, including the digestive system. The evolving neural tube will eventually become the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord).

First trimester (week 1–week 12)

  • 1 and 2: Getting ready
  • 3: Fertilization
  • 4: Implantation
  • 5: Hormone levels increase
  • 6: The neural tube closes
  • 7: Baby’s head develops
  • 8: Baby’s nose forms
  • 9: Baby’s toes appear
  • 10: Baby’s elbows bend
  • 11: Baby’s genitals develop
  • 12: Baby’s fingernails form

Second trimester (week 13–week 27)

Most women find the second trimester of pregnancy easier than the first. But it is just as important to stay informed about your pregnancy during these months.

You might notice that symptoms like nausea and fatigue are going away. But other new, more noticeable changes to your body are now happening. Your abdomen will expand as the baby continues to grow. And before this trimester is over, you will feel your baby beginning to move. Fetal development takes on new meaning in the second trimester. Highlights might include finding out your baby’s sex and feeling your baby move.

  • 13: Urine forms
  • 14: Baby’s sex becomes apparent
  • 15: Baby’s scalp pattern develops
  • 16: Baby’s eyes move
  • 17: Baby’s toenails develop
  • 18: Baby begins to hear
  • 19: Baby develops a protective coating
  • 20: The halfway point
  • 21: Baby can suck his or her thumb
  • 22: Baby’s hair becomes visible
  • 23: Fingerprints and footprints form
  • 24: Baby’s skin is wrinkled
  • 25: Baby responds to your voice
  • 26: Baby’s lungs develop
  • 27: At 27 weeks, or 25 weeks after conception, your baby’s nervous system is continuing to mature. Your baby is also gaining fat, which will help his or her skin look smoother.

Third trimester (week 28–week 40)

Some of the same discomforts you had in your second trimester will continue. Plus, many women find breathing difficult and notice they have to go to the bathroom even more often. This is because the baby is getting bigger and it is putting more pressure on your organs. Your baby will open his or her eyes, gain more weight, and prepare for delivery.

  • 28: Baby’s eyes partially open
  • 29: Baby kicks and stretches
  • 30: Baby’s hair grows
  • 31: Baby’s rapid weight gain begins
  • 32: Baby practices breathing
  • 33: Baby detects light
  • 34: Baby’s fingernails grow
  • 35: Baby’s skin is smooth
  • 36: Baby takes up most of the amniotic sac
  • 37: Baby might turn head down
  • 38: Baby’s toenails grow
  • 39: Baby’s chest is prominent
  • 40: Your due date arrives

As you near your due date, your cervix becomes thinner and softer (called effacing). This is a normal, natural process that helps the birth canal (vagina) to open during the birthing process. Your doctor will check your progress with a vaginal exam as you near your due date. Get excited as the final countdown has begun.

Don’t be alarmed if your due date comes and goes with no signs of labor starting. Your due date is simply a calculated estimate of when your pregnancy will be 40 weeks. It does not estimate when your baby will arrive. It’s normal to give birth before or after your due date.

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 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.

Preferences:

https://www.womenshealth.gov/pregnancy/youre-pregnant-now-what/stages-pregnancy

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/7247-fetal-development-stages-of-growth

pregnancy fatigue

Pregnancy Fatigue

Pregnancy Fatigue

Fatigue during pregnancy is very common. Some women may feel exhausted throughout their pregnancy, while some may hardly feel tired at all. One of the first signs of pregnancy is fatigue. Fatigue can begin in the very first weeks of pregnancy. It’s common to feel tired, or even exhausted, during pregnancy. Hormonal changes taking place in your body at this time can make you feel nauseous and emotional – affecting your body, mood, and sleep. Although experience with fatigue tends to vary, most women will feel more tired than usual during their pregnancy, and it is most common during the first trimester. It tends to go away during the second trimester, but will usually return in the third trimester.

What causes Pregnancy Fatigue?

It’s common to feel tired, or even exhausted, during pregnancy, especially in the first 12 weeks. Hormonal changes at this time can make you feel tired, nauseous, and emotional. The only answer is to rest as much as possible.

Causes of pregnancy fatigue for the first trimester:

  • Building the placenta
  • Your hormones
  • Increased blood supply.
  • Other physical changes

By the end of the first trimester, your body will have completed the enormous task that saps your body of energy on manufacturing the placenta and grown a bit more used to the hormonal and emotional changes that have occurred, which means the second trimester is usually a time of renewed energy levels.

During your second trimester, there is a good chance your energy level will increase and you will start to feel more like your old self. The second trimester is often called “The Happy Trimester.” Fatigue during pregnancy is still possible during the second trimester.

Causes of pregnancy fatigue for the third trimester:

  • Your growing baby bump
  • Pregnancy insomnia and other symptoms
  • The stress of having a baby
  • Multi-tasking

During the third trimester, you will most likely begin to feel tired again. At this point you will be carrying extra weight from the baby, maybe having trouble sleeping, and dealing with pregnancy demands. 

Coping tips for Pregnancy Fatigue

  • Make sure you allow yourself to get enough bed rest during the times you feel fatigued
  • Eat healthy meals and stay hydrated. Try to look after your physical health by eating a healthy diet, and doing some gentle exercise. Eating nutritious meals will go a long way toward supporting your energy levels. Make sure you get enough iron, protein, and calories. Fatigue can become worse if you are not getting the proper nutrients. Make sure you stay hydrated during your pregnancy.
  • Take time to exercise, if you incorporate moderate activity, such as a 30-minute walk, this will actually make you feel more energized. Exercise is beneficial in pregnancy unless your healthcare provider has advised otherwise.

Pregnancy can be a tiring experience, both emotionally and physically. It’s important to remember. You are not alone. Know that all of these pregnancy conditions are manageable and treatable, but you need to keep the communication lines open with your doctor. 

Have a Happy, Healthy 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 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.

Exercising During Pregnancy

Exercising During Pregnancy

Exercising During Pregnancy

All women who are pregnant without complications should be encouraged to keep up their normal daily physical activity or strength-conditioning exercises as part of a healthy lifestyle during their pregnancy. Pregnancy might seem like the perfect time to sit back and relax. You likely feel more tired than usual, and your back might ache from carrying extra weight. Exercise is not dangerous for your baby. There is some evidence that active women are less likely to experience problems in later pregnancy and labor. The more active and fit you are during pregnancy, the easier it will be for you to adapt to your changing shape and weight gain. Maintaining a regular exercise routine throughout your pregnancy can help you stay healthy and feel your best. It will also help you to cope with labor and get back into shape after the birth.

Who Should Not Exercise During Pregnancy?

For those that have medical problems, such as asthma, heart disease, diabetes, low placenta, bleeding or spotting, previous premature births, or a history of early labor, exercise may not be advisable.

Talk with your doctor before beginning an exercise program. They can also give you personal exercise guidelines, based on your medical history.

What Exercises Are Safe During Pregnancy?

Most exercises are safe to perform during pregnancy, as long as you exercise with caution and do not overdo it. Do not exhaust yourself. You may need to slow down as your pregnancy progresses.

  • Dancing
  • Swimming
  • Water aerobics
  • Yoga, stretching, and other floor exercises
  • Pilates
  • Biking
  • Brisk walking
  • Indoor stationary cycling
  • pregnancy exercise classes

As a general rule, you should be able to hold a conversation as you exercise when pregnant. If you become breathless as you talk, then you’re probably exercising too strenuously. 

Exercise tips during pregnancy

If you have been cleared to exercise, and you participated in physical activity before you were pregnant, it is recommended that you:

  • Always warm up before exercising, and cool down afterward
  • At least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity, try to keep active on a daily basis
  • Listen to your body. Let your body be your guide. 
  • If you are healthy and you are not experiencing complications in your pregnancy, continue this level, or until it becomes uncomfortable for you to do so.
  • Drink plenty of water and other fluids
  • Try swimming because the water will support your increased weight.
  • Consult and be guided by your doctor, physiotherapist, or healthcare professional.

Benefits of exercise during pregnancy

  • Reduce backaches, constipation, bloating, and swelling
  • Boost your mood and energy levels
  • Help you sleep better
  • Prevent excess weight gain
  • Promote muscle tone, strength, and endurance
  • Decreased risk of pregnancy complications such as pre-eclampsia and pregnancy-induced hypertension
  • Faster recuperation after labor
  • Prevention and management of urinary incontinence
  • Improved circulation
  • Lower risk of gestational diabetes
  • Shortened labor
  • Reduced risk of having a C-section

Exercises to avoid while pregnant

  • abdominal trauma or pressure; such as weightlifting
  • Activities where falling is likely (such as skiing and horseback riding).
  • extreme balance, coordination, and agility; such as gymnastics
  • significant changes in pressure – such as SCUBA diving
  • heavy lifting
  • wide squats or lunges.
  • Holding your breath during any activity.
  • Activities that require extensive jumping, hopping, skipping, bouncing, or running.
  • Deep Knee bends, full sit-ups, double leg raises, and straight-leg toe touches.
  • Waist-twisting movements while standing.
  • Heavy exercise spurts followed by long periods of no activity.
  • Exercise in hot, humid weather.

Warning signs when exercising during pregnancy

Stop exercising and consult your health care provider if you:

  • Feel chest pain
  • Have a headache 
  • dizziness or feeling faint
  • heart palpitations
  • chest pain
  • swelling of the face, hands, or feet
  • calf pain or swelling
  • vaginal bleeding
  • contractions
  • deep back, pubic or pelvic pain
  • cramping in the lower abdomen
  • an unusual change in your baby’s movements 
  • amniotic fluid leakage
  • unusual shortness of breath
  • excessive fatigue
  • muscle weakness

Regular exercise can help you cope with the physical changes of pregnancy and build stamina for the challenges ahead. If you haven’t been exercising regularly, use pregnancy as your motivation to begin. If you’re not sure whether a particular activity is safe during pregnancy, check with your healthcare professional. Always talk to your doctor before beginning any exercise program. Once you’re ready to get going.

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 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://kidshealth.org/en/parents/exercising-pregnancy.html

https://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/exercise-during-pregnancy

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/pregnancy-and-exercise/art-20046896

Chia Seeds During Pregnancy

What are Chia Seeds?

Chia is as super for pregnant women as it is for everyone else. Chia seeds are tiny edible seeds that contain several vital nutrients. They are full of fiber and packed with Omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants. These little seeds contain calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and protein and these are important for bone health. Since these nutrients promote overall health, consuming chia seeds during pregnancy can benefit you and your baby. This is a great seed for healthy living.

Is it safe to eat chia seeds during pregnancy?

Some people wonder whether chia seeds are safe to eat while pregnant or breastfeeding. Chia seeds are safe to consume during pregnancy and can actually boost the chances of a healthy delivery. Many expecting mothers wonder how much chia seeds should be consumed daily. Knowing this is essential as excessive intake of these seeds can have certain side effects that may affect you and the baby. Around 100g of chia seeds provide approximately 20g of protein. Consuming 1 tablespoon of chia seeds can provide you with 3g of protein. Chia seeds also contain iron and calcium,  both of these minerals are essential for a healthy pregnancy. These vitamins are great for both you and your baby while pregnant.

Benefits of chia seeds in pregnancy

  • Relief from constipation: Chia seeds are loaded with insoluble fiber that aids digestion. It can, therefore, treat constipation, a common complaint during pregnancy.
  • Can boost your red blood cells 
  • Can strengthen baby’s teeth and bones: Chia seed is a good source of Calcium which will ensure proper skeletal development of your baby and even help build his tooth buds. 
  • Can help prevent anemia.Blood sugar regulation: The fiber in chia seeds can slow down the absorption of sugar in your blood and keep it stable, thereby lowering the risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease
  • Can help you stay full longer: So whenever possible, add a few sprinkles of chia seeds to your recipes.The more protein-rich foods you eat, the less hungry you’ll feel. 
  • A good source of omega-3: Omega-3 helps reduce chronic inflammation, contributes to eye health, and even eases anxiety and depression. It also promotes healthy brain development in unborn babies and may even contribute to a healthy pregnancy
  • Can help promote fetal development: Chia seeds are a healthy source of protein, which is an extremely important nutrient during pregnancy as it promotes the development of organs (including the brain) and cells of the fetus. 
  • May give more energy: As a healthy fat, chia seeds may give you a much-needed pick-me-up. The seeds aren’t going to eliminate fatigue; they’re a superfood, not a miracle cure. 
  • Improves oxygen supply: Chia contains Iron that is essential for the production of extra red blood cells that carry oxygen to the body system. Chia seeds are one of the easiest ways to get this nutrient into your diet.

Risks of Chia Seeds in pregnancy

  • stomach discomfort can result from eating too much – Chia seeds are healthy and natural, but this doesn’t mean you can’t overdo it.
  • Chia seeds are blood thinners and may lower your blood pressure and cause bleeding.
  • Possible drug interactions do exist – although chia seeds regulate blood sugar levels, they may interact with certain drugs and medication.
  • May trigger allergic reactions – Chia seeds may also trigger allergic reactions like rashes, hives, and watery eyes.

How to Consume Chia Seeds

  • Chia seeds with water
  • Chia seeds smoothie
  • Chia Seeds Sandwich
  • Chia seed pudding
  • Chia protein pancakes

Chia seeds are a necessity for pregnant women due to their high protein content and excellent nutrition profile. Chia seeds might be small in size, but there’s nothing insignificant about their nutritional punch. They are nutritious, and they are safe to consume while pregnant or breastfeeding. So whether you’re looking for a bit more energy or you want to try getting rid of constipation, go ahead and sprinkle some chia seeds over your food. And don’t stop eating the seeds just because you’ve given birth; their health benefits are for everyone.  We recommend that you speak to your doctor and find out whether they interfere with your existing medications before you begin incorporating them into your diet. As always, add one to two tablespoons of chia seeds a day during pregnancy and you’ll be all set for 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 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.momjunction.com/articles/chia-seeds-during-pregnancy_00446553/

https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/chia-seeds-pregnancy https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/chia-seeds-pregnancy#benefits

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/chia-seeds-pregnancy#benefits

High Cholesterol And Pregnancy

When you’re pregnant, making healthy choices benefits not only you but also your growing baby. Your cholesterol and triglycerides naturally rise during pregnancy, as they’re needed for the growth and development of the baby. Cholesterol is also needed to make the hormones estrogen and progesterone which play a key role during pregnancy. For women who already have high cholesterol, the levels can climb even higher which could lead to hypertension and risks. Conditions like high cholesterol, which can be treated with a variety of medications in nonpregnant women, can be more difficult to manage when you’re pregnant.

Checking your cholesterol and triglyceride levels during pregnancy is recommended as these also rise during pregnancy. In rare cases, women with very high triglycerides before pregnancy develop severely raised triglycerides. This puts you at risk of acute pancreatitis, an uncommon but serious complication that can cause severe abdominal pain and fatty spots on the skin (eruptive xanthoma).

What is high cholesterol during pregnancy?

Cholesterol increases significantly during pregnancy by about 25-50% and it can get extremely high during pregnancy. It is a type of fat that your body needs to function, but too much can clog your arteries and increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. It is carefully monitored in the non-pregnant adult population, where its association with atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease is well understood. The effects of maternal high cholesterol on pregnancy and on fetal development are not yet fully understood. However, a growing body of evidence from animal and human studies suggests adverse consequences of high cholesterol levels in pregnancy.

Cholesterol during pregnancy is needed for:

  • proper development of your baby
  • production and function of estrogen and progesterone
  • the development of healthy breast milk

How to treat high cholesterol during pregnancy?

During pregnancy, your doctor probably won’t prescribe medication to lower your cholesterol, but if your levels stay high post-baby, you may be given medication and be told to follow a heart-smart diet. Eating a low-fat, low cholesterol diet during pregnancy is extremely important and emphasizes the benefits of the diet.

This might include:

  • increasing physical activity
  • eat more fiber
  • getting healthy fats like those derived from nuts and avocados
  • adding omega-3-rich foods or supplements to your diet
  • get healthy fats from nuts and avocado
  • avoid fried foods
  • limit sugar to lower triglycerides

Blood cholesterol tends to stay high for at least a month after giving birth and the same goes for Triglycerides but might go back to normal sooner in mothers who breastfeed. Wait at least six to eight weeks after giving birth before having a cholesterol test. If you are breastfeeding, wait until you’ve stopped.

In general, people with high cholesterol do not have a harder time getting pregnant than people of the same age without high cholesterol. However, there is one study that suggested it might take longer to get pregnant if a person has high cholesterol.

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 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.thebump.com/a/high-cholesterol-during-pregnancy

Varicose Veins During Pregnancy

What are varicose veins?

Varicose veins are a common, usually harmless part of pregnancy for some women. Many women first develop varicose veins or find that they get worse during pregnancy. They happen when the uterus applies pressure to the large vein (the inferior vena cava) that carries blood back to the heart from your feet and legs.  Varicose veins tend to be hereditary and may have gotten them during pregnancy, too. 

Varicose veins are the large, swollen blood vessels found predominantly in the legs, but that can show up almost anywhere in the lower half of your body and even your rectum or vulva. Varicose veins are unusually swollen veins that may bulge near the surface of the skin. These blue, red, or purple veins sometimes look squiggly or ropelike and are most likely to show up on your legs, though in pregnancy it’s possible to get them on your lower pelvic area, buttocks, or elsewhere. (Hemorrhoids are just varicose veins in the rectal area.) When they swell above the surface of the skin, they create those distinctive purplish lumps that look alarming but are quite harmless and fairly common, affecting up to 40% of pregnant women, according to some research. 

Pregnancy causes many changes in your body and some of these changes can cause varicose veins.

  • Progesterone – This hormone is increased during pregnancy. It is essential for a healthy pregnancy, but it also causes the veins to relax. Blood does not move as easily through these relaxed veins. As blood builds up, the pressure within the vein increases, and the vein enlarges.
  • Increased blood – The volume of blood in a pregnant woman’s body increases during pregnancy. More blood overall means there is more blood within the veins, and this increases the strain on the vein valves and walls.
  • Pressure from the uterus – The growing fetus within the uterus pushes against the organs and blood vessels in the abdomen. Blood moves from the leg veins to veins in the pelvis, or lower abdomen, before moving back to the heart. The pressure placed on these pelvic veins by the uterus prevents blood from flowing out of the legs.

Tips On How To Prevent Varicose Veins Naturally During Pregnancy

While varicose veins can be hereditary, and you can’t prevent the circulatory changes that occur during pregnancy, there are some ways you can prevent or minimize varicose veins.

  • Avoid sitting or standing in the same position for long periods of time. Make sure to take breaks to change your position.
  • Get regular exercise. Talk with your doctor to confirm if it is safe for you to exercise during pregnancy.
  • Wearing maternity support hosiery or thigh-high compression stockings work by applying pressure to the outside of your legs. This helps counteract the pressure within the veins and prevents swelling and bulging. 
  • Avoid crossing your legs while sitting; it prevents blood from moving out of the veins, which increases the pressure within them.
  • Elevate your legs periodically to improve circulation.
  • Sleep on your left side. This will help relieve pressure on the inferior vena cava.
  • Reduce sodium intake to minimize swelling of the veins.
  • Drink plenty of water and eat enough fiber to prevent constipation.
  • Avoid High Heels; it prevents the leg muscles from working, and this keeps the blood in the veins. 
  • Sleep on your Left Side; can relieve the pressure on the veins in your abdomen and help your leg veins drain while you’re sleeping. 
  • Exercise daily. Even just a brisk walk around the block can improve your circulation.

Are varicose veins in pregnancy ever serious?

During pregnancy varicose veins are relatively common and usually painless and harmless. The good news for some women is that varicose veins may improve or disappear after you give birth, especially if you didn’t have any before you got pregnant. If your varicose veins persist and become too uncomfortable to live with, or even if you’re just unhappy with how they look, ask your provider to refer you to a specialist to find out about other treatment options.

Varicose vein surgery is not recommended during pregnancy as varicose veins generally improve after giving birth. . If your varicose veins persist and become too uncomfortable to live with, or even if you’re just unhappy with how they look, ask your provider to refer you to a specialist to find out about 

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 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.babycenter.com/pregnancy/your-body/varicose-veins-during-pregnancy_271

https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/veins.html

https://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/symptoms-and-solutions/varicose-veins.aspx

What is a Septate Uterus?

Septate uterus is the most common congenital uterine malformation, affecting 1 percent of all women, which happens during fetal development before birth. A membrane called the septum divides the inner portion of the uterus, at its middle. This dividing septum is a fibrous and muscular band of tissue that can be thick or thin. 

It’s possible for a septate uterus to be misdiagnosed as a bicornuate uterus. A bicornuate uterus is one that is heart-shaped. In this condition, the top portion of the uterus, or fundus, dips in towards the midline of the uterus. This dip can range from shallow to deep. A bicornuate uterus does not typically affect a woman’s chances of successful pregnancies unless the dip is extreme. There are also rare cases of a bicornuate uterus and a septate uterus occurring together. 

How does a Septate Uterus affect pregnancy?

Women with a septate uterus can have a normal reproductive life, but it may add complications to pregnancy. The rate of miscarriage in the general population is around 10 to 20 percent in women who know they are pregnant. The estimated rate of miscarriage in women with septate uteri is thought to be between 20 to 25 percent. Some research shows it may be as high as forty percent.

A septate uterus is believed to be the most common type of abnormal uterine development. It’s estimated that over half of developmental problems of the uterus involve a septum.

Women with a septate uterus have an increased risk of both miscarriage and recurrent miscarriage. Pregnancies that occur within a uterus with any type of abnormal development increase the risk for:

  • Premature labor
  • Breech Positions 
  • C-Section Delivery 
  • Bleeding complications after delivery

What are the symptoms of septate uterus?

  • unusual pain before or during a menstrual period.
  • a tampon may not prevent menstrual blood from leaking out.

What causes septate uterus?

  • A septate uterus forms during embryological development when the tubes that eventually become one uterus don’t fuse together properly.
  • Septate uterus is a genetic abnormality.

Will a septate uterus affect sexual and reproductive life?

  • Having a septate uterus doesn’t affect a woman’s sexual pleasure or fertility.
  • Women with a septate uterus can have a normal reproductive life, but it may add complications to pregnancy. 

How is it diagnosed?

A septate uterus often remains undiagnosed until a woman experiences repeated miscarriage. At other times, the doctor may stumble upon it during a routine physical exam. This is because a septate uterus is often accompanied by similar malformations of the cervix and vagina. Typically referred to as a “double cervix” and “double vagina,” these are often the first clues of a similar abnormality in the uterus.

 A septate uterus may be seen on a standard 2-D pelvic ultrasound. An MRI can be a more accurate way to identify problems of the uterus. A definitive diagnosis may be required on a hysterosalpingogram (an X-ray procedure highlighting the uterus) and/or hysteroscopy (a visual examination using a lighted scope). Even with these examinations, a septate uterus can sometimes be misdiagnosed as a bicornuate uterus, also known as a “heart-shaped uterus.” While the malformation is by no means considered normal, it does not typically increase the risk of miscarriage.

Treatment

A septate uterus is treated with surgery, most commonly by removing the septum during a hysteroscopy. This is a fairly minor procedure usually performed on an outpatient basis. The surgery, called metroplasty, is minimally invasive and involves the insertion of a medical device through the cervix and into the uterus to cut away excess tissue. This can usually be performed in between 30 and 60 minutes. Antibiotics and estrogen may be prescribed afterward to prevent infection and aid in healing. Hysteroscopic metroplasty can improve chances of a successful pregnancy in women with recurrent pregnancy by 53.5 percent, according to a comprehensive analysis of 29 studies conducted from 1986 to 2011.

It is unnecessary for women with septate uteri who have no intention of getting pregnant. On its own, a septate uterus poses no risk for cancer.

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 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/septate-uterus

https://www.childrenshospital.org/conditions/septate-uterus#:~:text=A%20woman%20with%20a%20septate,there%20is%20recurrent%20pregnancy%20loss.

https://www.healthline.com/health/septate-uterus#septate-uterus-and-pregnancy

Most Dangerous Birth Complications

What is dangerous birth complications?

Childbirth is the process of giving birth to a baby. It includes labor and delivery. The labor and birth process is usually straightforward, but sometimes complications arise that may need immediate attention. Complications can occur during any part of the labor process. It may cause a risk to the mother, baby, or both. It is very important for women to receive health care before and during pregnancy to decrease the risk of pregnancy complications.

A childbirth complication refers to any abnormal obstetrical condition or adverse event occurring during pregnancy, labor, or delivery that can greatly impact a mother or baby. Obstetric complications are ultimate what cause all birth injuries. Some of these complications are relatively benign while others can be dangerous and even life-threatening.

The list below identifies the most dangerous childbirth complications:

  • Fetal distress is a sign that your baby is not well. An irregular heartbeat in the baby happens when the baby isn’t receiving enough oxygen through the placenta. If it’s not treated, fetal distress can lead to the baby breathing in amniotic fluid containing meconium (poo).
  • Shoulder dystocia typically defined as a delivery in which additional maneuvers are required to deliver the fetus, includes changing the mother’s position and manually turning the baby’s shoulders. Shoulder dystocia occurs when the fetal anterior shoulder impacts against the maternal symphysis following delivery of the vertex. An episiotomy, or surgical widening of the vagina, may be needed to make room for the shoulders.
  • Umbilical Cord Prolapse in a normal childbirth, the baby goes through the birth canal first and is followed by the umbilical cord and placenta. Prolapse occurs when the vital umbilical cord drops down into the cervical opening first and ends up in front of the baby as it enters the birth canal. The umbilical cord prolapse must be dealt with immediately so the fetus doesn’t put pressure on the cord, cutting off oxygen.
  • Fetal Macrosomia is the scientific term for a baby that is too big for safe vaginal delivery. Any baby in excess of 9 lbs. at full term is considered macrosomic. Undiagnosed fetal macrosomia is a potentially dangerous complication. Vaginal delivery is not safe for macrosomic babies because they are too big and are very likely to get stuck in the birth canal. It is associated with increased risks of cesarean section and trauma to the birth canal and the fetus.
  • Uterine rupture is rare. It can occur during late pregnancy or active labor. It is spontaneous tearing of the uterus that may result in the fetus being expelled into the peritoneal cavity. Prior cesarean delivery, induction of labor, size of the baby, and maternal age of 35 years or more are some factors. The mother may be at risk of excessive bleeding.
  • Failure to progress or Prolonged labor happens when labor slows and delays delivery of the baby. The cervix may not thin and open as it should. This makes it hard for the baby to move down the birth canal. Fetal Descent Stations (Birth Presentation) The progress of the baby can be progressively measured. Some of the reasons include slow cervical dilations, a small birth canal or pelvis, delivery of multiple babies or emotional factors.
  • Placenta previa is a condition in which the placenta lies very low in the uterus and covers all or part of the cervix. The cervix is the opening to the uterus that sits at the top of the vagina. Placenta previa happens in about 1 in 200 pregnancies. A cesarean delivery is usually necessary.

Can complications be fatal?

Childbirth complications can be life-threatening if there is a lack of proper health care. Appropriate health care can prevent or resolve most of these problems. It is vital to follow the doctor’s advice and instructions regarding pregnancy and delivery and to attend all prenatal visits during 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.

Reference:

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/307462

https://www.webmd.com/baby/features/childbirth-complications#1

https://www.birthinjuryhelpcenter.org/pregnancy-dangerous-complications.html