Dr. Mark Gostine, Author at BabyQ - Page 2 of 10

Can I Still Be a Vegetarian During Pregnancy?

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Dietary concerns are a natural part of pregnancy. It’s not uncommon for women to have specific dietary preferences before pregnancy and have them interrupted by the pregnancy. But it’s not impossible to maintain a diet, close to your pre-pregnancy diet. Specifically, many women ask, “Can I still be a vegetarian during pregnancy?” The short answer is yes, but an expecting mother must pay attention to specific nutrients that may be lacking in her diet due to be a vegetarian. Can a Pregnant Woman Deliver a Healthy Baby If She Is a Vegetarian? There are many good reasons to be a vegetarian.  Vegetarians have lower levels of the bad cholesterol linked to heart disease and tend to have a lower body mass index (BMI). Therefore they less likely to be overweight and develop diabetes.  Vegetarians also have a lower incidence of cancer and their dietary habits result in less pollution and…

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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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What does your baby's birth weight mean?

What Does My Baby’s Birth Weight Mean?

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How much should my baby weigh at birth? On average, a full-term baby weighs between 6 pounds 2 ounces and 9 pounds 2 ounces. The majority of babies lose a little weight right after birth. This is actually a loss of excess fluid, and it isn’t an indication of a health problem. However, if your baby loses a lot of weight, that might be a sign of a health issue. It is important that your baby doesn’t weight too much or too little at birth because both conditions are linked to metabolic disorders like obesity and diabetes. When a baby is considered a low birth weight baby? A full term infant weighing less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces at birth is considered a low birth weight baby or small for gestational age of 39 weeks. Statistically speaking, approximately eight percent of all babies are this small at birth. What are…

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Lightheadedness

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You may experience lightheadedness, dizziness, or just feeling out of sorts while you’re pregnant.  When you stand up from a chair you feel as though you are going to pass out.  If this occurs, please sit back down and ease out of the chair.  Sit on the edge, and then cautiously stand.  The reasons for lightheadedness are multiple.  You may be dehydrated and your blood pressure could be low because your hormones are making your blood vessels relax.  If you have low blood pressure, try eating more salty foods or simply add salt to your foods when appropriate.  Make sure you drink plenty of liquids so you don’t get dehydrated. Not getting enough sleep will result in lightheadedness and dizziness.  Get 8 hours of solid sleep every night, and don’t be afraid to rest in the afternoon.  Do not become a couch potato either, walking helps maintain the tone to…

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Can I Do Anything To Avoid Postpartum Depression?

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What is Postpartum Depression? Postpartum depression is sometimes referred to as postnatal depression. It is a form of depression that affects approximately one in every seven mothers after their baby is born. It usually occurs about four to six weeks after the child’s birth. Typical symptoms of this condition include fatigue, a feeling of sadness, decreased sex drive, crying, irritability, anxiety, and inability to sleep. The cause of postpartum depression is unknown. If I am experiencing postpartum depression, does it mean I am a bad mother? Absolutely not. This is a clinical illness, and not an indication of how you feel about your child, or your ability to be a good parent. Because it is an illness, you need to talk to your doctor right away to seek treatment. Many women fail to get the help they need. A 2011 study conducted by 4Children, a British non-profit, found that half…

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What is the Best Sleep Position in Pregnancy?

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Pregnancy changes a young mother’s body dramatically for nine months.  These changes come as a result of elevated hormones, the placenta, and the baby growing rapidly within the womb. These changes in your body can make it difficult for an expecting mother to sleep. This leads many pregnant women to ask, “What is the best sleep position in pregnancy?” An example of your child’s growth affecting your sleep pattern is during your second trimester. At this time, your uterus is large enough to put pressure on other organs within your pelvis.  If the baby’s head rests on your sciatic nerve you can get pain down the leg called sciatica.  The baby’s body and uterus can also put pressure on the large blood vessel returning blood from your legs and pelvis.  This blood vessel is called the “venae cava”. Sleeping On Your Back Has Risks If your preferred sleep position during…

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Moods Changes

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There are a variety of reasons for your mood to become more fragile during pregnancy.  First, there are always the hormones.  They have a profound influence on your brain and can affect how you feel emotionally.  There is also the very real concern about having another mouth to feed and caring for a young child.  It’s obviously very joyful, but it can also be stressful.  The combination of hormones and real everyday worries can result in both depression and anxiety.  There are very good ways to treat this.  Your prenatal vitamins help stabilize moods, so does exercise.  Talking to friends and loved ones is key.   Counseling is very beneficial and effective. Prescription medications are rarely needed.  Getting outside during the day and letting the sun shine on your face can help with seasonal affective disorders and lift your spirits.  Support groups and exercise classes are also very helpful.

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Spotting During Implantation

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Spotting during early pregnancy is not uncommon.  It may occur when the fertilized egg implants in your uterus.  There is rarely heavy bleeding.  The vast majority of women do not spot or bleed however, a little spotting is not an indicator of any sort of problem.  Bleeding can be however, and if you find you are bleeding early in pregnancy, please consult your OB.

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What Changes Should I Expect During My Second Pregnancy?

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Do Second Pregnancies Have Medical Differences? There are a few medical statistics about second pregnancies, and your doctor or midwife will talk with you about those. If you had certain complications such as pre-eclampsia in your first pregnancy, your doctor will be closely watching for those the second time around. However, if your first pregnancy was relatively uncomplicated, the risk of complications overall tends to be lower during a second pregnancy. Additionally, the risk of an early miscarriage falls significantly during second and subsequent pregnancies. If you had a C-section the first time, then you will be discussing with your doctor which type of delivery is advisable for the second birth. Will I Feel Different During My Second Pregnancy? Probably. Each pregnancy is unique, but the majority of women find that second pregnancies have the following characteristics: You may feel more tired. This is most likely due to the fact…

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Why You Need Folic Acid in Your Pregnancy Diet

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What is Folic Acid? Folic acid is one of the B vitamins that occurs naturally in foods, like legumes, oranges, papayas, broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, asparagus, greens, dark lettuce and eggs. Foods high in folic acid are also high in other important vitamins and minerals. Folic acid is necessary for the growth of new cells. What Are the Benefits of Taking Folic Acid During Pregnancy? There are some important advantages that result from taking folic acid: It enhances fertility – In a study released in 2006,  American researchers reported their findings after having followed the progress of 18,500 nurses who planned to become pregnant over an eight-year period in the 1990s. The researchers evaluated the nurses’ diets including whether or not they took vitamin supplements. They found that the nurses taking multivitamins with folic acid six days a week or more had a 40 percent reduced risk of ovulation failure, a…

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