Symptoms & Remedies Archives - BabyQ

Hair Growth Changes

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Hormone changes during pregnancy can affect your hair.  It can also affect your developing baby’s hair.  Folklore has it that women who have lots of heartburn during pregnancy have babies with increased hair at birth. Indeed, this seems to be true.  The hormones that cause your esophagus to relax also cause heartburn.  These same hormones increase hair growth in your baby.  Your hair typically grows quicker during your pregnancy.  That’s because hormones influence the growth phase of your hair follicles, leading to increased hair growth.  After pregnancy, your hair growth will revert to normal and you may lose a little bit of hair as the hair follicles go back to a resting phase.  Breast feeding also seems to make your hair grow quicker.

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Sciatica or Leg Pain

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Sciatica is irritation of the sciatic nerve.  This is the major nerve that comes out of the back and runs through your pelvis and down your leg.  It allows you to move and supplies sensation to your leg.  With all the changes taking place with your body, especially in the pelvis, it is easy for the sciatic nerve to get irritated during pregnancy.  This is called sciatica. There are many ways to treat sciatica when you are not pregnant.  These include medications, injections and sometimes surgery.  However, none of these options are appropriate during pregnancy.  Physical therapy can sometimes be helpful, sitting in an easy chair with your back flexed and your feet up can also make it feel better temporarily.  Walking on a regular basis can ease sciatica, but not always.  Tylenol is felt to be safe during pregnancy for an occasional episode of sciatica, but is not a…

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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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Constipation

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Constipation during pregnancy is common.  Your hormones cause the muscles in your small and large intestines to relax and this slows down passage of food and stool.  Many women who before pregnancy had a daily bowel movement report a reduced frequency with only 3 to 4 bowel movements per week.  There is some evidence that probiotics, beneficial bacteria in yogurt, can increase the frequency of bowel movements during pregnancy.  Look for yogurt with Bifidobacterium, this is seen in the Greek yogurts and some probiotic supplements.  You can also reduce constipation by increasing the fiber in your diet.  Start the morning with a high fiber cereal containing at least 6 grams of fiber per serving.  Be sure to check the cereal box and read the label.

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Darkened Areola

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One of the changes to your skin during pregnancy is that the tissue around your nipple, called the areola, will darken.  This is absolutely secondary to the hormonal and metabolic changes that occur during pregnancy.  While the areola lightens up after pregnancy, they never go back to the color they were before you became pregnant.

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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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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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Linea Nigra

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Linea Nigra is a dark strip of pigment in your skin that stretches from your naval to your pubic region.  Linea nigra, along with the darkening of the aureola around your nipples, and the so called “pregnancy mask” of the face, are some of the skin changes that take place during pregnancy.  Your hormones are at the root of these skin color changes.  These changes are temporary and will go away once you deliver.

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Breast Changes – Enlargement, Tenderness and Sensitivity

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Breast changes are virtually universal during pregnancy.  These include, breast enlargement, increased heaviness, tenderness and sensitivity.  These prepare you for breast feeding.  Studies suggest breast feeding your baby for six months after delivery will reduce your risk of breast cancer.  Following pregnancy and breastfeeding, your breasts will change once more as they return to a resting phase when breast milk is no longer being produced.

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Hot Flashes

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Hot flashes are not uncommon during pregnancy.  Just remember your hormones are in charge.  Estrogen especially opens up your blood vessels.  The blood flows through the skin and makes you feel like you are on fire.  You feel very warm and uncomfortable.  The best thing to do is find someplace cold, like a cool shower or bath.  If it’s winter, you can step outside.  Grab a cold wet towel and place it on your face or across your chest and abdomen.  Ironically, once pregnancy is over, you will probably be far more sensitive to the cold then you will be to the heat.

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