Pregnancy Medicine Archives - Page 2 of 9 - BabyQ

Can I Have Sex During Pregnancy?

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Intercourse is most likely the activity that led to your pregnancy, but some couples wonder if that is one of the last times they will experience intimacy for a long time. For healthy couples experiencing healthy pregnancies, sex during pregnancy is not a risky behavior. In fact, many couples experience a new level of intimacy and several benefits of sex during pregnancy. Sex During the First Trimester of Pregnancy Even though your outside appearance is probably the same, your newly pregnant body is undergoing several changes that might affect your sex drive. The rush of hormones, the increase in fatigue, and the possible morning sickness might just be enough to cause you to want to say No more than Yes. There might also be new emotions and stresses for you and your partner as you both adjust to the new roles you are embarking upon as parents. Some worry about…

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Dieting and Pregnant—Is it safe?

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Proper nutrition is essential to a healthy pregnancy.  The diet of a pregnant woman should include recommended daily amounts of foods from each food group, including four or more servings of vegetables, two to four servings of fruits, four servings of dairy products, six to eleven servings of breads and grains, and three servings of protein sources, to ensure uptake of essential vitamins and minerals.  In addition, pregnant women are often encouraged to incorporate a prenatal vitamin and mineral supplement into their diet. The caloric intake of pregnant women should be greater than that of non-pregnant women with pregnant women consuming 2,500 calories a day. In general, this is 100 to 300 more calories for pregnant women. Thus, although pregnant women are not actually “eating for two”, an increased caloric intake is necessary to “fuel” the growing nutritional and developmental needs of expectant mothers and babies. Such food consumption sets…

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How does stress affect my baby?

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How does stress affect my baby? Not all stress is created equal. Some stress is psychological and other stress is physical. Stress is a continuum as it can vary from everyday occurrences to life-threatening events. Many expectant mothers “stress out” about preparing for their new baby. Although, it is annoying, this stress is generally harmless.  Most physical stress, such as the enlarged abdomen of a pregnant woman is quite common and also generally harmless.  Still yet, if pain, depression or trouble sleeping accompanies stress, it should be monitored and reported to a doctor. Extreme stress is harmful as it can lead to high blood pressure and damage to major organs. Stress can be measured by elevations in the stress hormones, epinephrine and norepinephrine. As well, stress typically leads to increased cortisol production.  Prolonged exposure to these stress hormones affect the nervous system and immune system and have been implicated in…

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What are the best options for post-partum birth control?

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You’ve just welcomed your new baby and you’re already anticipating all of those memories you’re going to make as a family. Somewhere between deciding on stroller options and pediatricians, you also have another choice to make – post-partum birth control. Most new parents aren’t quite ready to jump into another pregnancy just weeks or months after giving birth, so choosing a birth control method after baby arrives is an important decision for new parents. Factors for Choosing a Post-Partum Birth Control There are many factors that will influence the type of birth control that you decide to use post-partum. The amount of time you plan to wait before having another child Whether or not you plan to breastfeed your newborn Convenience Cost Side effects Any reactions to previous birth control methods Health concerns or pre-existing conditions Birth Control Choices for New Mothers Intrauterine Devices (IUD) The IUD is a preferred…

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Are Antidepressants Safe for My Unborn Baby?

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If you are being treated for depression with the use of antidepressants and you are also pregnant, you have many factors to consider for the health of your unborn baby as well as yourself. The antidepressants you have been prescribed are aimed at alleviating your symptoms and keeping you as mentally healthy as possible, which also positively affects your physical health. However, there are many issues you need to address when it comes to your pregnancy and treating your depression with antidepressants. Should I Treat My Depression During Pregnancy? Pregnancy means that an entirely new surge of hormones is taking place in your body, and this can have significant effects on your mental health. While some women feel elated and enthusiastic during pregnancy, many, especially those who already deal with depression, find it more difficult to cope with everyday life. Left untreated during pregnancy, depression can cause you to stop…

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Hemorrhoids and Pregnancy: is it normal?

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Although few women would admit it, as many as 20-50% of pregnant women experience hemorrhoids.  Hemorrhoids are unsightly, pea or grape size swollen blood vessels in the rectal area. They are sometimes called piles. Hemorrhoids are actually varicose veins that arise inside the rectum or protrude out the anus; thus, they are classified as internal and external hemorrhoids and the external hemorrhoids are “graded” 1-4, based on severity and extent of protusion.  Pregnant women suffering from hemorrhoids experience itching, burning, uncomfortability, pain and less frequently rectal bleeding. Causes—increased pressure in the pelvic area, enlarging uterus, increased blood flow leading to swelling, bulging & dilating; constipation aggravates, straining to have a bowel movement Prevention—drink fluids, mostly water, increase fiber (fruits and veggies- 20 to 30 grams), Kegel exercise and incorporate over-the-counter stool softeners; sleep on your right side; move around—don’t sit or stand for hours; don’t strain; wipe clean; avoiding heavy…

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What’s Happening When My Body Has Weird Cravings?

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Are you craving pickles and ice cream? This seems to be the most talked about craving that women might have during pregnancy, but there are certainly many more food options and combinations that might be appealing to your taste buds during these 9 months. Cravings during pregnancy appear to be part cultural expectations about pregnancy, part changes in hormones, and part nutritional needs. If you have cravings during pregnancy they are also likely to change as you move from one semester to the next. Food Cravings and Aversions During the First Trimester The first trimester of pregnancy is loaded with changes in hormones. These hormonal changes have many roles, and one of the side effects of these hormone surges are changes to the taste buds. Your taste buds are responsible for interpreting the food you taste and eat, and higher hormone levels can change how food tastes to you, as…

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“I’m feeling Sad” Is this normal?

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At what should be one of the happiest times in a woman’s life, many pregnant women experience fatigue, irritability, sadness and mood changes.  When these feelings also include trouble sleeping, inappropriate guilt or hopelessness, and a sense that nothing is enjoyable anymore, this is characteristic of depression.  If you are experiencing these mood disturbances and behavior changes, make an appointment with your doctor immediately. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) estimate that 14-23% of pregnant women experience depression at some point in their pregnancy. Given the hormone surges during pregnancy, women often feel “highs and lows”. Even so, if these hormonal fluctuations cause dramatic changes in mood and behavior, such that you are having thoughts of harming yourself or your baby, immediate action should be taken by seeking medical help. When symptoms of depression are mild, such as intermittent fatigue and sadness, women might misinterpret these as normal…

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I have not felt my baby kick – I am 23 weeks?

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You probably waited weeks to feel that precious moment when your baby first fluttered enough so that you could sense him or her in your womb. Now, however, you are 23 weeks along and you haven’t felt your baby move for several hours today. Should you be concerned? There are many factors that can influence your baby’s movement and when you feel those gentle flutters in the second trimester (or toward the end of your first trimester, especially if this is not your first pregnancy). Most often somewhere between 15 and 24 weeks you will notice small flutters that at first might be difficult to distinguish as actual movements. This is known as quickening, and it is usually present by the 20th week. You have probably heard many women describe them as the sensation of butterflies flitting in your abdomen. Sometimes these first movements can also be mistaken for hunger…

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I Am Having Very Unhealthy Pregnancy Cravings

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What Do I Do? You’ve probably heard that when you become pregnant you suddenly become hungry for pickles and ice cream – a combination of sweet and salty foods that would typically not be associated as being appetizing together. It is not necessarily that you now love the thought of these foods being paired together, but a combination of hormonal, physical, and emotional changes that might make you crave even unhealthy foods during pregnancy. Some women also experience food aversion, where foods you previously enjoyed eating now become nauseating at the thought of them. If you’re pregnant and concerned about your cravings, take stock of what might be missing from your diet and take steps to improve those eating habits. Why Do I Have Cravings During Pregnancy? There are several theories as to why women experience cravings during pregnancy, and there is probably some truth to most of them. The…

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