All posts in regards to fertility, pregnancy and child birth

Treatment for Pregnant COVID-19 Patients

Treatment for Pregnant COVID-19 Patients

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

Avoiding the Coronavirus During Pregnancy

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

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

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

Outpatient Treatment of Pregnant COVID-19 Patients

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

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

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

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

Disclaimer

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

References:

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

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

AMNIOTIC FLUID

AMNIOTIC FLUID: What you need to know

What is amniotic fluid?

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

Facts

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

Amniotic fluid is responsible for:

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

How much amniotic fluid should there be?

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

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

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

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

  • Gestational diabetes.
  • Hypertension during pregnancy.

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

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

Disclaimer

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

References:

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

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

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

First Time Pregnancy: Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy

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

Take Care of Yourself

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

Exercise 

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

Take a Prenatal Vitamin

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

Eating Healthy

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

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

Track Your Weight Gain

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

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

– Underweight: Gain 28-40 pounds

– Normal weight: Gain 25-35 pounds

– Overweight: Gain 15-25 pounds

– Obese: Gain 11-20 pounds

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

Eliminate Toxins

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

Make a Birth Plan

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

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

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

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

Disclaimer

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

References:

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

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

Getting Pregnant During COVID-19 Pandemic

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

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

Are pregnant people at higher risk for COVID-19?

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

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

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

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

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

Postpartum Considerations

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

Disclaimer

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

References

https://www.mayoclinic.org/

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

Fetal Movement During Pregnancy

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

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

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

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

What does baby movement feel like?

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

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

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

How Often Should I Feel My Baby Moving?

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

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

Should I Monitor My Baby’s Kicking?

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

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

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

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

Timeline of Baby Movement

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


5 Common Pregnancy Fears And How To Get Over Them

Having a Miscarriage

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

Down’s Syndrome

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

Premature Labour

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

Birth Defects

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

Alcohol consumption in very early pregnancy

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

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

Fetal Heart Rate Monitoring During Labor

What is Fetal Heart Rate Monitoring?

Fetal heart rate monitoring is a procedure used to evaluate the well-being of the fetus by assessing the rate and rhythm and the presence or absence of accelerations (increases) or decelerations (decreases) of the fetal heartbeat. It also checks how much the fetal heart rate changes around the baseline. The average fetal heart rate is between 110 and 160 beats per minute and can vary five to 25 beats per minute. The fetal heart rate may change as the fetus responds to conditions in the uterus. An abnormal fetal heart rate or pattern may mean that the fetus is not getting enough oxygen or there are other problems. An abnormal pattern also may mean that an emergency cesarean delivery is needed. 

How is fetal monitoring performed? 

Using a handheld Doppler (a type of ultrasound) to listen and measure the response of the fetus’s heart rate to contractions of the uterus. This is often used during prenatal visits to count the fetal heart rate or in a pregnancy less than 24 weeks. Electronic fetal monitoring is used in late pregnancy to evaluate the fetus or to check fetal well-being during labor. It provides an ongoing record that can be read. The procedure for monitoring the fetal heart rate is painless, but internal monitoring can be uncomfortable. There are very few risks associated with this procedure, so it’s routinely done on all women in labor and delivery. 

  • The gel is applied to the mother’s abdomen to act as a medium for the ultrasound transducer.
  • The ultrasound transducer is attached to the abdomen with straps and transmits the fetal heartbeat to a recorder. The fetal heart rate is displayed on a screen and printed onto special paper.
  • During contractions, an external tocodynamometer (a monitoring device that is placed over the top of the uterus with a belt) can record the patterns of contractions.
  • Sometimes, internal fetal monitoring is necessary for a more accurate reading of the fetal heart rate. Your bag of waters (amniotic fluid) must be broken and your cervix must be partially dilated to use internal monitoring. Internal fetal monitoring involves inserting an electrode through the dilated cervix and attaching the electrode to the scalp of the fetus, called a fetal scalp electrode.

There are two methods for fetal heart rate monitoring

  • External fetal heart rate monitoring uses a device to listen to or record the fetal heartbeat through the mother’s abdomen. One type of monitor is a hand-held electronic Doppler ultrasound device. This method is often used during prenatal visits to count the fetal heart rate. A Doppler device may also be used to check the fetal heart rate at regular intervals during labor. Continuous electronic fetal heart monitoring may be used during labor and birth. An ultrasound transducer placed on the mother’s abdomen conducts the sounds of the fetal heart to a computer. The rate and pattern of the fetal heart are displayed on the computer screen and printed onto the special graph paper.
  • Internal fetal heart rate monitoring uses an electronic transducer connected directly to the fetal scalp.  A wire called an electrode is used. It is placed on the part of the fetus closest to the cervix, usually the scalp. This type of electrode is sometimes called a spiral or scalp electrode. Internal monitoring provides a more accurate and consistent transmission of the fetal heart rate than external monitoring because factors such as movement do not affect it. Uterine contractions also may be monitored with a special tube called an intrauterine pressure catheter that is inserted through the vagina into your uterus. Internal monitoring can be used only after the membranes of the amniotic sac have ruptured (after “your water breaks” or is broken). Internal monitoring may be used when external monitoring of the fetal heart rate is inadequate, or closer surveillance is needed. After internal fetal heart rate monitoring, the electrode site on the newborn baby will be examined for infection, bruising, or a laceration. The site may be cleansed with an antiseptic.

Risk:

Fetal monitoring is widely used. There are no known risks to using the fetoscope, Doppler, or external monitoring. There may be a slight risk of infection with internal monitoring. The scalp electrode may also cause a mark or small cut on the baby’s head, but this usually heals quickly. An abnormal fetal heart rate pattern does not always mean the fetus is in danger. Electronic fetal monitoring is widely used in the United States. However, studies have found that the use of electronic fetal monitoring is associated with a greater chance for vacuum and forceps use with vaginal deliveries, and for cesarean delivery.

Benefits:

Fetal monitoring may help with a possible recognition of problems in the fetus. Other testing or delivery may be necessary.

Why is fetal heart rate monitoring done during labor and delivery?

Fetal heart rate monitoring may help detect changes in the normal heart rate pattern during labor. If certain changes are detected, steps can be taken to help treat the underlying problem. Fetal heart rate monitoring also can help prevent treatments that are not needed. A normal fetal heart rate can reassure both you and your obstetrician-gynecologist (ob-gyn) or other health care professional that it is safe to continue labor if no other problems are present.

What happens if the fetal heart rate pattern is abnormal?

Abnormal fetal heart rate patterns do not always mean there is a problem. Other tests may be done to get a better idea of what is going on with your fetus.

If there is an abnormal fetal heart rate pattern, your ob-gyn or other health care professional will first try to find the cause. Steps can be taken to help the fetus get more oxygen, such as having you change position. If these procedures do not work, or if further test results suggest your fetus has a problem, your ob-gyn or other health care professional may decide to deliver right away. In this case, the delivery is more likely to be by cesarean birth or with forceps or vacuum-assisted 

There is no special type of care required after external fetal heart rate monitoring. You may resume your normal diet and activity unless your health care provider advises you differently.

Your health care provider may give you additional or alternate instructions after the procedure, depending on your particular situation.

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.

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/ 

 

Having A Baby at 40: Risks and Benefits You Need to Know

There is no one perfect time to get pregnant.  Growing numbers of women are becoming moms later in life these days. Many people, though, have often been told that having a baby after you are 35 increases your chances for developing certain high-risk conditions during pregnancy. This might have led you to believe that there are not many mothers who have babies after this point. The truth of the matter is that many women are having babies in their 40s.

If you’re over 40 and you’re having a baby, there’s plenty to look forward to and think about, such as the benefits of being an older mother. Most women over 40 have healthy pregnancies and healthy babies. But there is something you need to think about, and you’ll want to be sure to get good antenatal care.

Benefits

Sometimes the benefits of having a baby later in life can outweigh those of having children when you’re in your 20s or 30s. For one, you might have already established your career and can dedicate more time to raising children. Or your financial situation could be more favorable. You may have also had a change in your relationship status and you want to have a baby with your partner.

These are among some of the most common benefits of having a child at age 40. 

  • Reduced cognitive decline 
  • more emotional capacity to raise children
  • A longer life span 
  • A better education outcome in children, such as higher test scores and graduation rates
  • Financial Stability – a home, a college fund, a certain amount in your retirement account.

Risks

  • Difficulty conceiving 
  • Miscarriage
  • Cesarean section
  • Low-birth-weight babies
  • Birth defects
  • Have placenta praevia  
  • Have high blood pressure or gestational diabetes 
  • go into premature labour 
  • Have twins or even triplets

Genetic conditions

Older women are also more likely than others to have a child with a genetic condition such as Down syndrome. Genetic tests are increasingly more common for pregnant women of all ages, but it’s not compulsory, they’re a personal choice. It is worth talking to your doctor or midwife about the chances of problems, and what you would like to do about it. 

Fertility 

One of the biggest barriers to pregnancy in your 40s is your fertility. Certainly, there are women who have no issues getting pregnant well into their 40s. Though statistically speaking, you are less likely to get pregnant and more likely to need the aid of fertility treatments the older you are when you are trying to conceive. About one-third of women over 35 will have fertility issues, and that number increases with age. It is also important to note that the age of your partner does impact the health of your pregnancy. Your chance of getting pregnant without fertility help in your 30s is about 75 percent in any one cycle. That number is about 50 percent in your early 40s and drops to only a percent or two by the time you are 43.

Advancements in fertility technological have been a driving force in the increase in women waiting to have children. Some options available to women include:

  • Infertility treatments, such as IVF
  • Freezing eggs when you’re younger so that you can have them available when you’re older
  • Sperm banks
  • Surrogacy

Increased risk for twins or multiples

Age in and of itself does not increase your risk for multiples. While it may be easy to chalk this up to fertility treatments, there is also a natural increase in the rates of multiple pregnancies, even without using fertility medications or treatments. Having twins also increases the risk that your babies will be more prematurely. This is something to keep in mind as you plan for pregnancy.

Labor and Delivery 

You are more likely to be induced because of pregnancy-related complications or because of concern over the continuing pregnancy. Vaginal delivery may be less likely after the age of 40. This is primarily due to fertility treatments that can increase the risk of premature birth. You may also be at an increased risk of preeclampsia, which may necessitate a cesarean delivery to save both mother and baby. The cesarean birth rate for a woman in her late 20s is about 26 percent, and that number doubles to 52 percent for women over 40.

The number of women who are having babies at this age is increasing. With proper prenatal care, the chances of you having a healthy baby are still great. It is much more common than it used to be, so if you’ve waited to have children until now, you’ll have a lot of company. You’ll want to talk to your doctor about all your individual risk factors before starting a family at this stage in your life.

 

 

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

Resources:

https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/having-a-baby-at-40#risks

https://www.parents.com/advice/pregnancy-birth/pregnancy-complications/does-being-older-make-my-pregnancy-high-risk/

https://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/being-pregnant-after-40