Baby On The Way!

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Everyone expects pregnancy to bring an expanded waistline but many women are surprised by the other changes that pop up.  There are also a lot of questions in an expectant mom’s mind.  Here are 10 most frequently asked questions for moms-to-be:

  1. What causes morning sickness?  Who coined the word “morning sickness “probably sleep through the day because pregnancy related nausea doesn’t discriminate between morning, afternoon or evening. There’s no clear answer as to why nausea occurs during pregnancy, although it’s believed that it’s due to hormonal changes.  Generally the nausea isn’t too overwhelming, and by mid-pregnancy, mostly should be relieved of it. But, if your nausea and vomiting are excessive, then talk to your doctor because it may be hyperemesis gravidarum, a rare complication that results in a poor intake of fluids and food. Although you can’t really prevent morning sickness, studies show that women who took multivitamins before conception are less likely to get nauseous
  2. Is caffeine ok during pregnancy?  No one can say if caffeine can actually hurt your fetus, but most health-care professionals do recommend limiting intake. Caffeine is a diuretic, meaning it pulls fluids and calcium from both you and baby and will keep you running to the bathroom more than ever.  Also, caffeine has no nutritional value and can affect your mood, sleep schedule and iron absorption. Remember, caffeine is not only in coffee but can also be found in most teas, soft drinks and chocolates. Play it safe by totally eliminating caffeine, but If you simply can’t kick the habit, at least cut back. Some studies show that excessive caffeine consumption (more than 300 mg or two or three 8-ounce cups a day) can increase chances of miscarriage or premature birth.
  3. What exercises are recommended?  You can still do your pre-pregnancy exercises as long as there is no impact on the tummy and with less intensity and fewer reps.  Preggy-safe exercises include walking, swimming, and specifically designed prenatal workouts such as pull-ups, pelvic tilts and leg stretches all done in moderation.  Doing yoga is also recommended although restricted to some poses.  It is best to take a class with an instructor experienced in pre-natal yoga.
  4. Until when is safe to travel by air?  Generally travelling by air during the last trimester is discouraged as a precaution to prevent early labor.  Most airlines allow pregnant women to travel up to their eighth month, and even during their ninth month provided that that they get a written permission from their OB-GYN.  Air travel should be postponed for the entire 3rd trimester if the mother experiences medical problems such as spotting, diabetes, or high blood pressure, or has had a previous premature delivery of miscarriage.
  5.  Help! I was exposed to the chickenpox while pregnant and contracted the virus. What should i do now?  First things first: call your doctor ASAP. You may be able to get an injection of an immune globulin product – basically a shot of antibodies that will help combat the virus – as long as you get it within the first 96 hours of being exposed to it. This shot can either help reduce its severity or prevent the virus from developing altogether. If it’s too late to get the injection, your doc may suggest taking an oral antiviral drug, which will prevent the virus from becoming severe, but also fight off its other complications – like pneumonia.
  6. Is it safe to take OTC medicines for fever, headache, colds etc..?  Check with you OB first.  Some OTC products like aspirin can cause birth defects especially if taken during the first trimester.
  7.  Is it safe to color my hair? Yes, studies show that it’s safe to color your hair once during pregnancy.  Beauty treatments that involve strong chemicals should be avoided especially during the first trimester.
  8. How to avoid gestational diabetes?  10–20 percent of pregnant women develop gestational diabetes.  Medical monitoring , proper diet and exercise are highly recommended.  It is common for pregnant women to develop decreased glucose tolerance and for their sugar level to rise.  Eat lots of fiber but avoid very sweet fruits like mangoes and grapes.  Low fat diet should be maintained and eat three small meals and three snacks to maintain sugar levels all throughout the day.
  9. What is heartburn and how to avoid it?  Heartburn has nothing to do with your heart the cause mainly is indigestion.  The acid in your stomach is backing up to your esophagus and your growing uterus is making it worse.  Hormones also relax all your smooth muscle tissue, even the ones in your digestive tract.  Food moves more slowly through your system.  Tips on preventing heartburn:
  • Skip the greasy fries and cut down on fatty foods
  • Eat small and frequent rather than three square meals a day
  • Drink lots of water
  • Don’t eat just before you go to bed or are about to lie down to rest
  • Wear loose-fitting maternity clothes , avoid putting pressure on your stomach area
  • Stay away from caffeine, these may relax the valve between the stomach and the esophagus.  This relaxation lets the content of your stomach back up.
  1.  I’m swollen, is that normal?  If your rings won’t fit anymore, you’re not alone – 3 out of 5 women suffer from swollen feet, ankles and fingers during the last months of their pregnancy.  Reason is edema or swelling due to increased volume of fluid (mostly blood and water) in your body.  Philippines, being a tropical country makes it worse for condition tend to get worse in warmer weather and exacerbate the tendency to retain fluid.  Fortunately, swelling tends to decrease overnight or after lying down for a few hours.  But if your hands and feet are badly swollen for more than 24 hours, contact your doctor.  These symptoms could be a sign of preeclampsia, a life-threatening condition that restricts blood flow to the placenta.  To help battle your swelling :
  • Drink up – the more liquid you consume, the less likely you are to retain fluids.  So try to drink at least 8 glasses of water or 8 ounce of juice a day
  • Put your feet up – This makes it easier for the blood to circulate throughout the body.  At home, lie down whenever possible, preferably on your side.  If at work, keep a stool under your feet; if your job requires a lot of standing, try to make frequent breaks so you can elevate your feet.
  • Get support – Invest in a few pairs of support hose, available at most maternity stores

References: Smart Pregnancy; the Everything Pregnancy Mini Book; TheBump.com
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