Dr. Mark Gostine, Author at BabyQ

Is it Normal to Have Cramping in the First 3 Weeks of Pregnancy?

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What are implantation cramps? The cramping you experience during the first three weeks of pregnancy is known as implantation cramping. This is an indication that the fertilized egg is attaching itself to the wall of the uterus. These cramps are usually accompanied by light bleeding, which may make a woman mistake them for menstrual cramps and assume she isn’t pregnant. Is implantation cramping common? Approximately twenty to thirty percent of women will experience implantation cramps during early pregnancy. If you notice very light spotting before your menstrual cycle would typically begin, this may be a sign that you are pregnant. Implantation usually happens from six to12 days after ovulation. The majority of women have only a very few drops of bright red or brown spots to indicate that implantation is taking place. How do you describe what implantation cramps feel like? This kind of cramp is described as a dull…

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Sleeplessness

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Pregnancy can occasionally be troubled by insomnia or sleeplessness.  The three most common causes are: Snoring, secondary to nasal congestion Restless Legs, usually associated with iron deficiency and anemia, and General discomfort Add anxiety and nervousness about having a child and it is not uncommon to have a sleepless night now and then. If you are having insomnia, first you need to try and identify the cause.  If you have nasal congestion and you are snoring try wearing some nasal strips before you go to bed.  Also, if you wear support hose during the day you will prevent fluid accumulation in your legs.  When you lay flat at night, the fluid in your legs, comes back into your blood vascular system and swells your nasal passage way.  If there is less fluid in your legs, because of the support hose, there will be less nasal congestion.  So consider support hose,…

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Pregnancy Mask

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Pregnancy hormones bring many changes to your body, including changes to skin appearance.  A combination of hormonal influences and changes in your body’s immune system can darken certain areas of your skin.  Your breast nipple and the aureola surrounding it become darker.  You can get a line of pigmented skin extending from your belly button to your pubic area that becomes dark.  This is called “linea nigra”.  You can also develop what is termed the “Pregnancy Mask”.   This is almost a butterfly darkening of the skin in your cheeks and across the nose.  We are not sure why this occurs, but some women also experience it on the birth control pill.  So it is clearly related to the hormones.  It is not unattractive, merely a sign of your fertility.  Enjoy your new appearance.

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How to Deal With Changing Hormones

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How do Hormones Change During Pregnancy? Levels of pregnancy hormones estrogen and progesterone dramatically increase. The production of estrogen is greater in pregnancy than during any other time in a woman’s life. This permits the uterus and placenta to develop blood vessels and transfer nutrients to the growing baby. Estrogen levels increase significantly during the first trimester and are believed to cause the nausea associated with pregnancy. During the second trimester, estrogen aids in the development of milk ducts. By the third trimester, estrogen level is at its highest. The increase in progesterone allows the ligaments and joints throughout the body to become more flexible preparing the birth canal for delivery. Progesterone is also responsible for enlarging the uterus from the size of a pear to an environment that can stretch to fit the needs of the growing baby. Keep in mind that these changes in hormone levels are typical…

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Anxiety

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Anxiety can be increased by the changes in hormones that effect your emotions.  It can also be influenced by your social circumstances.  Women with less social and partner support, tend to be more anxious about the future.  About 5% of women report anxiety during the pregnancy. The best ways to cope are exercise, talking with friends and loved ones, making sure you get restful sleep every night. Healthy diet also keeps you on an even keel.  Make sure you take adequate Vitamin D; we recommend 2,000 units a day during pregnancy.  DHA, a fatty acid in fish oil will help you stay calm and nourish your baby’s developing brain. Most prenatal vitamins now contain DHA.  If yours does not, look for one that does or take a high quality fish oil pill that states it has been molecularly distilled to remove impurities.

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Missed Period

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For many women, the first symptom that they are pregnant is that they miss their period.  Every month when you are not pregnant, your uterus sheds its lining so that there is a healthy surface for the embryo to become implanted when you become pregnant.  During pregnancy, this monthly cycle stops as the baby and placenta grow in your uterus.  This results in the missed period. Typically you will notice the missed period about two weeks after becoming pregnant.  It’s very important to keep track of your last menstrual period because this will help your OB predict when you are ready to deliver.   Of course, women can miss periods for a variety of reasons, only one of which is pregnancy.  Sometimes travel and stress, not eating enough, or exercising too much can make you miss a period.

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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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What if you drink during pregnancy?

I Drank Alcohol Before I Knew I Was Pregnant. Should I Be Worried?

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Should I Be Worried About My Baby’s Development Because I Drank Alcohol Before I Knew I Was Pregnant? This issue has caused a lot debate in the medical community. The position of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has been and continues to remain that “no amount of alcohol consumption can be considered safe during pregnancy” in spite of any research to the contrary. That’s because drinking while pregnant is a well known cause of mental retardation and birth defects. In addition, using alcohol during pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage, low birth weight, and stillbirth. “The bottom line according to ACOG: Women should avoid alcohol entirely while pregnant or trying to conceive because damage can occur in the earliest weeks of pregnancy, even before a woman knows that she is pregnant.” Is There Any Medical Association That Believes That Having Used Alcohol Before Knowing You Were Pregnant…

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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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