November 2018 - BabyQ

What is Group B Strep?

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GBS During Pregnancy – What You Need to Know Newborns are much more vulnerable than healthy adults to infections, which is why you might be hearing of concerns related to Group B Streptococcus (also known as Group B strep, baby strep, and GBS). This common bacterium is often carried in the intestines or lower genital tract of adults, and usually does not cause any symptoms. However, if you are pregnant there are things you need to know before labor and delivery that will help keep your newborn baby safe. How Does Group B Strep Affect Infants? It is estimated that 25% of pregnant mothers carry Group B strep during labor and delivery. Of these 25%, 1 in 200 untreated mothers will give birth to babies who are affected by Group B strep complications. However, when mothers are treated during labor with appropriate antibiotics, those rates of complications drop to just…

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What is a Kegel?

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What is a Kegel? A kegel is actually an exercise that involves the muscles of the pelvis around the vagina, bladder and birth canal.  Women and men want to keep these muscles in shape because it helps prevent urinary incontinence as we age and keeps our sexual organs in good shape while we are young.  During birth the “kegel muscles” are stretched out by the baby’s passage through the birth canal.  By keeping these muscles in good shape they will regain their normal tone much more quickly after delivery. How Do You Do Exercises? The simplest way to explain how to do kegel exercise is to practice stopping urination in midstream.  You will have to contract the muscles surrounding your bladder and vagina in order to cut off the urine flow.  These are the same muscles you exercise during kegels.  You do not have to be urinating to exercise these…

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Is a photo lab a safe work place for a pregnant mom?

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A babyQ mom wrote: I work in a photo lab with lots of chemicals. Is it safe for a pregnant mom to work with them? The Kodak Company, who supplies a great deal of the chemicals used in photo labs, has specific recommendations about their chemicals and pregnancy. They say: Minimize skin, eye, and inhalation exposure by using good industrial hygiene practices. These include the use of gloves or tongs (for use in tray processing), goggles or other eye protection, rubber aprons or other suitable protective clothing, and working in a well-ventilated area. Neoprene rubber or nitrile gloves should be used whenever there is a potential for skin contact. I suspect the chemical pollution in the air from photo processing during your pregnancy could slightly increase the risk of childhood asthma as your baby grows up. We see that in big cities with similar high levels of air pollution from…

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Smoking in pregnancy—I can’t quit, should I slow down?

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Cigarette smoke is harmful to the health of pregnant women as well as their unborn babies.  Cigarettes contain thousands of chemicals including nicotine, carbon monoxide, lead, cyanide and tar.  These chemicals enter the bloodstream, causing constriction of blood vessels and restriction of oxygen and nutrients.  Cigarette smoking involves the inhalation of toxins that damage the gums, throat, and lungs of pregnant women as well as the developing heart, lungs and brain of babies.  Smoking also causes asthma and other breathing conditions as well as eye problems and learning disorders. Cigarette smoking can lead to cancer, heart disease, stroke and gum disease in expectant mothers and birth defects in babies.   Pregnant women who smoke are at increased risk of complications such as vaginal bleeding, problems with the placenta, ectopic pregnancy, and stillbirth.  In conditions of oxygen shortage, babies do not grow and develop properly. Babies of smokers are more susceptible…

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What Exercises Are Safe During Pregnancy?

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Expecting mothers can typically stay healthy by following a nutritious diet, accompanied by safe exercise during pregnancy. A woman’s body experiences many changes during these nine months and while exercise is a valuable part of staying healthy, there are some precautions to take and restrictions to make during this time. The questions many expectant mothers have during this time include: Is exercise safe during pregnancy? What type of exercise is best during pregnancy? What types of exercise should I avoid during pregnancy? Safe Exercise During Pregnancy Because every woman’s body is different, especially during pregnancy, it is important that the first step you take is to consult with your healthcare provider about the safety of exercising during your pregnancy. Some women with certain health issues, medical histories, and complications during this time might be advised against aspects of physical activity. If you were already a jogger, a swimmer, or an…

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Pelvic Discomfort

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There are many sources of pelvic discomfort during pregnancy.  Your pelvis is expanding in preparation for delivery.  Your hormones make your ligaments more elastic, bones in the pelvis will separate more easily allowing the passage of the baby’s head and body.  However, this means you may experience sacroiliac joint dysfunction more readily and that can be a source of pelvic pain.  Also, pregnancy is frequently troubled by constipation.  The bloating can make you feel uncomfortable.  The baby’s head pressing on your bladder can also make you feel a sense of unease. You can help relieve constipation by drinking more fluids and eating a higher fiber diet.  If the bladder is the source of pain, make sure you urinate frequently, on schedule, perhaps every two hours, to keep your bladder relatively empty.   Unfortunately, there is very little you can do about the separation of pelvic bones during pregnancy until after…

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How Important is Support From Significant Others During Pregnancy?

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Pregnancy is a time of joy, excitement, and anticipation, but it can also be a time of concern, apprehension, and even fear for expectant mothers. The support a pregnant woman receives during pregnancy can have several impacts on her emotional and physical well-being, both of which in turn affect the health of the unborn baby. Studies on prenatal relationships and health have discovered that one of the main causes of emotional turbulence for expecting mothers is a stressed relationship between her and her partner. On the other hand, those pregnant mothers who feel supported have fewer instances of mental health issues, and are less likely to be negatively affected by things like work responsibilities and financial concerns. The journal BMC Public Health reports that a poor relationship with a significant other during pregnancy is the strongest predictor of stress during pregnancy. Positive relationships with significant others during pregnancy can help…

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Headaches

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Up to about 10% of women will experience headaches during your first trimester of pregnancy.  This is because your hormones are changing rapidly and your body is adapting.  Hormones have a definite impact on our headache frequency and severity.  For most pregnant women, headaches go away after the first trimester when their body has adapted to the hormonal changes.  Many women with chronic migraines report that their headaches actually improve during pregnancy, and again it’s the hormones. Progesterone is a protective hormone and it’s like a tonic for your brain.  It’s soothing and calming.  If you experience headaches, try to avoid taking any drugs, either over the counter, or prescription medications.  Stay well hydrated, drink plenty of water.  Make sure you’re not hypoglycemic, eat regularly and keep your diet well balanced by including adequate fruits and vegetables and high quality protein.  Try to avoid sugary snacks that make your blood…

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Heartburn

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Heartburn can be a problem during pregnancy.  Your hormones relax the ring of muscle at the bottom of your esophagus that keeps the food in your stomach.  The food rises into the esophagus and gives you heartburn.  Once this ring of muscle, or sphincter, is relaxed, heartburn is more common.  Also as the baby and uterus enlarge during the last trimester, they will displace your stomach, leading to the food coming back up into your esophagus. You can temporarily neutralize the heartburn with antacid calcium carbonate pills. Just drinking any form of liquid will help reduce the acid coming out of your stomach.  Probiotics, the beneficial bacteria in yogurt, can help protect your stomach and esophagus from heartburn.  Avoid eating high fat foods that are difficult to digest.  Another solution is to avoid foods high in acid such as vinegar, soda pop and lemons.  Sleep on your left side with…

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What is placenta previa?

What is Placenta Previa?

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What is Placenta Previa? The placenta carries oxygen and nutrients to the baby and eliminates waste materials from the baby’s blood. It normally attaches to the top or side of the uterus’ wall, however, in women with Placenta Previa, the placenta attaches to the bottom portion of the uterus’ wall, either partially or completely covering the cervix where the baby will exit during birth. Placenta Previa causes extreme bleeding before or during delivery. What are some of the causes for Placenta Previa? Some of the most common causes include: Scar tissue in the wall of the uterus A larger than normal placenta resulting from the presence of more than one fetus A uterus that has an odd shape   Are there symptoms that indicate the presence of Placenta Previa? Yes. The most common one is bright red blood that passes from the vagina without the accompaniment of any pain. The…

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