Dr. Mark Gostine, Author at BabyQ

Vaginal Discharge

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You may experience increased vaginal discharge during pregnancy.  This is your body’s way of keeping the vagina sterile and protecting you and the baby from infections.  Generally it is not a problem and you can wear a pad if you feel it is an issue.  If you have a strong odor associated with the vaginal discharge, it might be a sign of a vaginal infection and make sure to discuss this with your OB.

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Pain with Sex

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As your body prepares for the baby’s passage through the birth canal, your vagina and pelvis become swollen with blood and fluid.  This cushions the baby’s passage through the birth canal and helps protect you as well.  However, genital and cervical swelling can make these areas more sensitive and some women experience pain with sex.  Other women find intercourse more enjoyable, and your partner or husband may as well.   In that case enjoy the pleasure and intimacy of sex.  If however, intercourse becomes painful, explore additional ways to satisfy each other, not only for your own physical pleasure, but for the intimacy and emotional support sex provides.  This will be a source of comfort for you and your baby during the nine months of pregnancy.

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Hemorrhoids

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Hemorrhoids are common in pregnancy.  First, in preparation for delivery your whole pelvic area is being engorged with blood and tissue fluid.  This makes gentler passage for the baby, and also protects your birth canal during delivery.  Secondly, constipation is common in pregnancy, causing you to strain more while having a bowel movement.  The combination of increased blood supply to your pelvic area and straining leads to hemorrhoids. You can reduce your odds of contracting hemorrhoids by relieving the constipation.  Make sure you drink plenty of fluids, 5 glasses of water and 3 glasses of milk a day. Eat a diet relatively high in fiber.  Look for cereals that have 6 grams of fiber or more per serving.  Consider taking a fiber supplement; eat lots of fruits and vegetables.  All this will make elimination of your stool easier and reduce your risk of hemorrhoids.

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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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40 Weeks and Counting: Why the Length of Your Pregnancy Matters

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How long is a full-term pregnancy? Up until last month, a full-term pregnancy was considered anything from 37 to 42 weeks. This was based on the research that babies born in this timeframe tend to have a high survival rate with few complications. However, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has now changed the definition of a full-term pregnancy to only cover two weeks’ time: 39 weeks to 41 weeks. The main reason for the change is to eliminate the percentage of scheduled deliveries that occur before the 39-week mark. The new findings support the theory that weeks and days do matter in a pregnancy, and the time in the womb should not be cut short if unnecessary. However, if your baby is born naturally between 37 and 39 weeks, it still has a high survival rate and you should not worry too much. If your body goes into…

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What is Prenatal Care?

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Synopsis: This post/article explains what people mean when they refer to prenatal care. Prenatal care is preventive care recommended for women while they are pregnant. It is the best thing you can do to ensure a healthy pregnancy. Some women even choose to schedule a preconception visit to their health care professional when they are considering having a child. So what is prenatal care?  Prenatal care involves regularly scheduled check-ups and prenatal testing, which allow doctors or midwives to treat and prevent potential health problems during pregnancy. It also helps by providing guidance and promoting a healthy lifestyle to benefit both mother and baby. How often should I see my doctor? Prenatal care helps to keep you and your developing fetus healthy and sets the stage for a healthy life for your newborn–provided you go early and often. You should see your health care provider, family doctor, obstetrician, gynecologist or…

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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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Frequent Urination

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During delivery, your body will lose a lot of fluid.  This fluid is represented by your amniotic fluid and the placenta.  In preparation for this, you naturally hold on to more fluids.  Some of this is stored in your legs and when you lay down at night that fluid leaves the legs and comes back to your blood where it is processed by your kidneys.  This causes frequent urination at night.  You will also have increased thirst during the day.  Again, this is a way for your body to prepare for delivery.  Since you are thirsty and drink more water, you will typically urinate more.   Lastly, during the last trimester, the pregnant uterus is pressing on your bladder making it smaller so it holds less urine.  Fortunately, frequent urination resolves quickly, usually within a week after delivery.

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