Depression During Pregnancy

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You may be aware of postpartum depression. But do you know many women suffer from depression during pregnancy? The most common disorder, depression is defined as a mood disorder that causes loss of interest and a persistent feeling of sadness. It’s normal to feel low occasionally, but if it lasts for a long period, you’re suffering from depression. It affects different aspects of your life — from how you think and act to eating and sleeping. This condition occurs more in women than men and during the reproductive years, the initial onset of depression is at its peak. Read More

Polyhydramnios – Things You Need To Know

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Amniotic fluid present in the amniotic sac provides a cushion to the baby in the womb protecting it from injuries. Polyhydramnios is a medical condition in which excessive accumulation of fluid takes place in the amniotic sac.

Polyhydramnios is not a common condition and occurs in around one percent of pregnancies. The cases are mostly mild and result due to a gradual build-up of amniotic fluid during the second half of a pregnancy. This condition is diagnosed when the amniotic volume reaches two litres or more. Acute polyhydramnios is common if you’re having a multiple pregnancy i.e., a pregnancy with more than one baby. Read More

Molar pregnancy / Trophoblastic disease

MolarPregnancyMolar pregnancy is part of the spectrum of diseases known as trophoblastic disease. A normal pregnancy consists of the fetus or developing baby and the placenta which is made of trophoblasts. A molar pregnancy (also called hydatidiform mole) is an abnormal overgrowth of the placenta caused by an imbalance in the number of chromosomes supplied from the mother and the father.

Molar pregnancies are uncommon, occurring in 1 out of every 600-1200 pregnancies. Risk factors for this condition include:

  • Asian and Mexican ethnicity
  • Teenage pregnancy
  • Maternal age > 40 years
  • History of two or more miscarriages
  • Previous molar pregnancy.

Read More

Obstetric Cholestasis – Everything You Need To Know

Obstetric Cholestasis (OC) also known as Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy (ICP) or Cholestasis of Pregnancy is a very rare medical condition that occurs during pregnancy.

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This complication occurs in the third trimester due to the decrease in the flow of bile through bile duct in the liver. Thus bile acid gets built up in the bloodstream causing severe itching, especially on the soles of the feet and palms of the hands. Itching may occur on other parts of the body like belly, breasts, face, back etc. Sometimes, the itching is continuous and becomes unbearable and is even worse during the night.

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Causes of Obstetric Cholestasis:

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Though the exact causes of obstetric cholestasis are not clear, it is believed that the following factors are responsible for this medical complication.

  • Hormones: When a woman gets pregnant, hormones like progesterone and oestrogen increase to a great level. The increase may hinder the passing out of the bile through the bile duct and thus affects the liver causing obstetric cholestasis.
  • Genetic factors: Sometimes, genetic factors may also be responsible for the occurrence of obstetric cholestasis. Though some generations may skip this problem, it may occur in the next generation. And if you have suffered from this condition during your first pregnancy, then there is more chance of being affected again.
  • Environmental factors: Environmental factors are also thought to play a role in the occurrence of this disease.

Symptoms:

  • Unbearable itching all over the body without rashes
  • Occasionally there may be jaundice

Diagnosis of OC

If the pregnant woman has the potential symptoms of OC, doctors will recommend some tests, including a blood test through which the functioning of the liver along with the levels of bile acids in the blood could be measured.

Effect of Obstetric Cholestasis on the Expectant Mother

Though OC is not very harmful to the expectant mother, in some cases, itching becomes very severe. You may keep awake during nights because of itching, resulting in tiredness and exhaustion. Sometimes, it may take longer to stop your bleeding as the ability of blood clotting may decrease due to the occurrence of OC.

Effect of Obstetric Cholestasis on the Baby

Due to OC in the mother, the baby might pass its first faeces even before birth. This might cause breathing problem in the baby.  Rarely, premature delivery might be required.

Treatment of Obstetric Cholestasis

OC usually resolves after birth. Doctors may advise aqueous cream with menthol or calamine lotion which will give you temporary relief and recommend medications. Medications help in minimizing the build up of bile salts in the blood. Delivery may be scheduled prior to your delivery date. After delivery of the baby, the itching will diminish with the passing of time.

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Care of Preterm Babies

Preterm babies or premature babies are those born before the completion of 37 weeks. Such babies are also known as preemies and the risk of complications in such cases is often very high. So, it is very essential to take proper preterm care of such babies.

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Special Care of Preterm Babies

Babies born prematurely are not fully developed to deal with the outside world. They find it difficult to cope with the new environment in comparison to fully developed babies. When a baby is born before the expected date, the digestive system, immune system, lungs, skin etc remain undeveloped. These complications are addressed in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) where the advanced medical facilities have made their survival possible and helps in developing their body organs. When the baby surpasses the danger line, he/she is allowed to be taken home.

Caring of Preterm Babies at Home

When your premature baby is at home, you should always be alert and take proper care of the baby. In many ways, caring for a premature baby and caring for a developed baby is same. But there are some special precautions which should be taken. The following will be helpful for your preterm baby to have a healthy development.

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Spend quality time with your baby so that you get to know how the baby is adjusting with the new environment and responding to everyday things.

  • Keep your baby neat and clean by giving him a bath and using damp cotton balls to clean face, neck and bottom. Change the diapers from time to time and keep the surrounding areas hygienic, so that your baby does not suffer from any kind of infections.
  • Make sure to keep your baby dry; each time your baby becomes wet, dry him/her off with a dry cotton cloth.
  • Always take proper care to keep your baby warm with the help of blankets, sleep suit or zip-up sleeping bag and adjusting the temperature of your room. Make sure that the temperature is safe for your baby.
  • Feed your baby from time to time so that he/she doesn’t remain hungry.
  • Help your baby to get proper sleep as it helps in keeping him full of energy and active.

Conclusion

Taking proper care of your preterm baby and consulting your doctor from time to time will let the baby develop in a healthy way. For the first few months, take extra care of your premature baby as per your doctor’s advice so that the baby copes normally with the new environment.

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http://americanpregnancy.org/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4ngP3ITqzY

 

Skincare Tips in Pregnancy During Monsoon

Pregnancy is a phase in a woman’s life where you have to take extra care of yourself. Your body constantly undergoes a variety of changes. If you are pregnant during the summer season, it becomes very uncomfortable to pass the days due to excessive heat, sweating etc. But monsoon also doesn’t bring much relief as the level of humidity increases.

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At times, monsoon and pregnancy don’t go well together as the body’s immune system becomes more susceptible to infections. This may result in dysentery, indigestion, cold and cough, and many skin related problems. Dry skin, rashes, eczema, pimples, prickly heat boils are some of the common skin problems that arise in pregnant women during the monsoon. So, it becomes very necessary to keep yourself fit and healthy and take care of your skin to beat the odds of monsoon.

Skincare Tips for the Monsoon

A little change in the way of skincare can do wonders during the monsoon season. Here are some pointers :

  • Keeping yourself hydrated is one of the best ways to make your skin flawless and healthy. Drinking enough water helps in flushing out the unwanted toxins.
  • Pregnancy hormones make your skin more sensitive to sunlight darkening your skin. Stay indoors as much as possible and if you have to go out wear a hat, use an umbrella or cover exposed areas with a light scarf.
  • As it is not possible to avoid sunlight totally, dermatologists suggest applying sunscreen lotion at least 30 minutes prior to going out.
  • Taking a Neem water bath daily helps in fighting bacteria and other germs making your skin free of rashes. Neem water can be prepared easily at home by boiling Neem leaves for around 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Wear clothes made of breathable fabrics like cotton which absorb sweat and keep your skin dry.
  • During monsoon, soil and sewage make the rain water dirty, it may cause skin infections if your feet get exposed to such water. Wash your hands and feet immediately with mild disinfectant soap and warm water after coming from outside.

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Avoid using skincare products containing harmful chemicals:

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During pregnancy, read the skin care product labels carefully regarding the ingredients as using products containing chemicals may be harmful to you and your baby in the womb.

  • Hydroquinone: Commonly present in skin whitening cream, hydroquinone is not good at all for you and your developing baby. Using such products may have different types of ill effects.
  • Salicylic Acid: Present mostly in acne products, salicylic acid is dangerous for pregnant women as it may lead to preterm birth, low birth weight or malformation of the baby.
  • Spray or fragrances: Using spray on tanned areas or fragrances during pregnancy is not a good idea. Though it may not do much harm to the skin as it will not be absorbed much but inhalation of the chemicals in the spray may cause DNA mutations.
  • Hair Removers: As hair removers contain different type of chemicals, avoid using them as much as possible.
  • Bath Products: Most of the luxurious bath products contain chemicals which are not good at all for pregnant women. These chemicals may cause different types of allergic reactions. Rather opt for non-luxurious bath products free from chemicals.

A little skin care during the monsoon can make your pregnancy peaceful by avoiding any kind of skin problems. But if you face severe skin problems it would be better to consult an expert dermatologist.
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http://www.indiatimes.com/

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How to stay healthy during a monsoon pregnancy?

How to stay healthy during a monsoon pregnancy?

One of the most awaited seasons to get relief from the summer heat, monsoon is loved by all. But for women who are pregnant during the summer season, monsoon doesn’t bring much relief. However, you can make the best of monsoon by taking some special care and making some changes in your lifestyle.

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Here’s what you can adopt to make your monsoon pregnancy a lovely one:

  • Clothes: As the level of humidity increases during monsoon, you will sweat more than summer. Moreover, pregnancy leads to fluctuation in body temperature and you may often feel your temperature to be high. So, to stay comfortable, wear cotton clothes that are a size bigger. Cotton will absorb the sweat easily and keep you dry.
  • Personal Hygiene: Hygiene is one of the most important factors to remain free from infectious diseases. As monsoon brings rain and the water gets dirty due to sewage, mud etc., it may lead to variety of infections. So, don’t go outside barefoot during pregnancy. Stay indoors as much as possible and if you have to go out, make sure to wash your hands and feet with mild disinfectant soap immediately after returning home.

Take bath with Neem water at least once every day during your monsoon pregnancy. It will help in preventing various skin problems. And whenever you sweat, wipe your face, hands and the back of your neck with a wet cloth. It will freshen you instantly.

  • Keep your Home Clean: If you are not working, then you have to pass most of your time at home during pregnancy. So, it becomes very necessary to keep your home free from infection. Use good quality mild disinfectants to clean the floors and bathroom. You can even burn dried Neem leaves to keep away flies and mosquitoes.
  • Keep Hydrated: During pregnancy, it is very necessary to stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water and make sure to have filtered water only. Unfiltered water carries lots of germs causing varied health problems.
  • Eat Healthy Food: Stay away from street foods during monsoon. In fact, street food is not at all good for pregnant women as it may carry different types of germs. As your baby in the womb will receive nutrients from the food you eat, have a healthy and balanced diet.

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Tips for pregnant women during monsoon:

  • Carry an umbrella or a raincoat whenever you step out of your house.
  • Wear comfortable footwear which is not slippery.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables properly before eating or cooking.
  • Stay away from fish and prawns during the rainy season; as this is the time they breed, and you may suffer from stomach infections.
  • Don’t go near open wires or any electrical appliances which may harm you.
  • Inform your family members if you are going out.

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Gestational Hypertension

Gestational hypertension, also known as pregnancy induced hypertension occurs in women during pregnancy. If a pregnant woman has high blood pressure i.e., more than 140/90 and this occurs after the 20th week of pregnancy, then she is said to have gestational hypertension.  This can lead to preeclampsia or toxaemeia, which is a serious medical condition during pregnancy.

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Symptoms of gestational hypertension

Some of the symptoms you may notice if you are suffering from gestational hypertension:

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  • Rise in blood pressure level
  • Presence of protein in the urine
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Nose bleeding
  • Swelling of the body
  • Double or blurred vision
  • Pain around the stomach
  • Urinating in small quantity
  • Sudden gain in weight

Diagnosis of gestational hypertension

Based on the above symptoms, the following tests are done to diagnose if you are suffering from gestational hypertension:

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Measuring the level of blood pressure

  • Testing for body swelling or edema
  • Checking your body weight regularly
  • Urine, kidney and liver function test
  • Testing for blood clotting

How to prevent gestational hypertension?

Though there are no foolproof methods to prevent gestational hypertension, adopting the following will definitely be helpful for a healthy pregnancy.

  • Have at least seven to eight glasses of water daily
  • Lower the consumption of salt and use only required for taste
  • Do exercise regularly
  • Take rest as much as possible
  • Include foods with high protein
  • Avoid junk food
  • Avoid caffeinated beverages and alcohol

Treatment for gestational hypertension

If you are suffering from gestational hypertension, your doctor may recommend the following to lower the level of gestational hypertension so that it doesn’t worsen.

  • Medications for lowering the level of gestational hypertension
  • Frequent testing of your blood and urine
  • You may be recommended bed rest
  • If needed, you may be hospitalised as you may need special attention
  • Monitoring the health of the foetus

So, it is very essential to have check-ups regularly during pregnancy to know that everything is okay with you and your baby. If your doctor finds that you are suffering from gestational hypertension, you will be recommended to do the necessary things.

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Ways to Control Obesity During Pregnancy

Most women are overweight when pregnant. Some gain too much weight after being pregnant. When your body mass index (BMI) is 30 or greater, you are said to be obese. Gaining too much weight and reaching a stage of obesity creates a variety of complications during pregnancy.

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Problems related to pregnancy due to obesity

If you are obese, you must take care of your health and that of your would-be baby by losing weight before you plan on getting pregnant. Obesity during pregnancy may put you at risk of a variety of problems that include:

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  • Gestational Diabetes: This occurs during pregnancy and if you are obese there is a greater chance of suffering from this problem. Due to gestational diabetes, you may end up having a caesarean section. Moreover, it increases the risk of the mother and the baby suffering from diabetes in the later stages of their lives.
  • High Blood Pressure: Obesity can also lead to high blood pressure during pregnancy which is also known as preeclampsia. In some cases, it may lead to seizures, kidney or liver failure etc.
  • Miscarriage: Obese women are at a higher risk of miscarriage compared to women with normal weight.
  • Birth Defects: Obesity can lead to various type of birth defects like neural tube defects, heart defects etc.
  • Preterm Birth: Preterm birth may occur if you are suffering from obesity during pregnancy.


What to do if you are obese during pregnancy?

Losing weight during pregnancy is not good, but if you are obese, try not to gain much weight. You can keep yourself and your baby healthy by limiting weight gain. If you are obese you may adopt the following ways to keep on track with weight gain.

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  • Healthy diet: During pregnancy, it is very essential to have a healthy diet as recommended by your nutritionist. Avoid junk and unhealthy foods.
  • Drink plenty of water: During pregnancy, you should drink lots of water. Water not only helps in keeping you and your developing baby healthy but also in preventing hunger.
  • Have light meals: If you don’t want to gain much weight, eat light meals frequently instead of heavy meals. Light meals provide the required energy without increasing your weight.
  • Avoid eating for two: Pregnancy doesn’t mean that you have to eat for two. Eating for two makes you put on lots of excess weight which is not good at all for obese pregnant women.
  • Exercise: Daily exercise helps a lot in limiting excess weight gain. If you are a beginner, you can go for pregnancy exercises like swimming and low impact aerobics. But do consult your doctor before doing any one of these.
  • Walking: You can walk slowly for 20 to 30 minutes daily. Walking helps in keeping yourself fit and healthy.

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http://diseasesoflife.blogspot.in/2010/07/tips-to-prevent-obesity-during-and.html

http://www.slideshare.net/rebeccaforehayes/obesity-during-pregnancy-40119053

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/overweight-pregnant.aspx

 

Are Weight Checks Necessary During Pregnancy

When a woman becomes pregnant, she is offered an array of blood tests, urine test, ultrasound scans etc. to check if everything is fine for her to carry the baby in the womb. In addition, weight and height is checked to calculate the BMI (Body Mass Index).

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As pregnancy progresses, you will start gaining extra weight as the baby in the womb starts growing. During the first trimester, you will not gain much weight as your baby is small and you might suffer from morning sickness and nausea. In the second trimester, you will start picking up weight. During the third trimester, you will gain more weight as your baby develops at a faster rate.

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Monitoring Pregnancy Weight

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The weight of the baby is not the only factor responsible for weight gain. Placenta, amniotic fluid, increased volume of blood, bigger size of the uterus, fat that gets stored in the body etc. are all responsible for the extra weight. So, in order to check whether the pregnant woman is within the optimal weight range, it is standard procedure to record her weight at each antenatal check-up. Monitoring weight gain of the pregnant woman helps to check the following:

  • It helps in keeping a check that the pregnant woman does not gain weight outside weight gain recommendation.
  • It helps in monitoring the growth of the baby closely. Weight gain higher than normal may lead to a big baby, while weight gain lower than recommended may lead to a small baby. Both cases are not good for the baby.
  • Weight checks help in detecting preeclampsia. The sudden gain of excess weight leads to different types of health complications.

Though weight monitoring is not the only way to check the wellbeing of the mother and the baby, weight recording during the prenatal check-ups will keep you updated about the extra weight you are gaining during the whole pregnancy period.

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How To Safeguard From Summer Heat During Pregnancy

Summer which is both hated and loved has arrived. With temperatures soaring and hot winds blowing, it becomes very difficult to cope during summers now-a-days. The best way to enjoy the flavours of summer is by being prepared to beat the heat.

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This is the time of the year you can nourish your body and mind with delicious seasonal fruits like mangoes, watermelons, pineapples etc. which are loaded with variety of nutrients. These fruits not only make you healthy and feel refreshed but also help in making your skin glow and hair shine.

However, getting the best of out of summer depends on how you beat the heat and enjoy the offerings of the season. Here are some tips to stay cool and healthy during summer.

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  • One of the most important things during summer is staying hydrated. So, drink lots of fluids like water, fruit and vegetable juices etc. It will help you to retain the fluids lost while sweating. Carry a water bottle along with you whenever you step out of your house.
  • Using an umbrella, hat and sunglasses will help you avoid direct contact with sunrays and keep you comfortable.
  • Have a proper breakfast during summer as it prevents dizziness and low blood pressure. Have small but frequent meals during the hot days as it will keep you healthy.
  • Stay away from heavy foods and focus on light and refreshing food options. Light meals are easy to digest making you feel comfortable during the summer season.

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  • To stay cool and comfortable, wear loose fitting cotton clothes and flip flops.
  • Avoid alcoholic drinks, caffeine etc. during summer as they may speed up the loss of fluids.
  • Avoid staying in closed, parked cars during summer which may lead to suffocation etc.
  • Whenever you go out use sunscreen lotion adequately to prevent tan and rashes.
  • Have lot of seasonal fruits and fresh vegetables to keep you fit and healthy.

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Detecting Baby’s Heartbeat on Ultrasound

From the time you conceive till the birth of the child, your body undergoes different changes. One of the many processes going on is the development of the baby. This is quite a delicate process — the time sperm and egg meet, to the formation of the baby, till its development.

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Pregnancy and Ultrasound Scans

Ultrasound scans are performed at different stages of pregnancy to check the health of the baby along with other essential information like growth of the baby, any abnormality, placental position etc. They also help in letting the doctor know if the pregnant woman is carrying a single child or more. Ultrasound scans are tests done with the help of sound waves that provide visual images of the baby along with the placenta, uterus and other organs.

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Detection of Baby’s Heartbeat

As every woman is different from another, so is their pregnancy. So, the time of detecting the baby’s heartbeat also varies. But, in general, by the beginning of the sixth week, the heartbeat of the baby is visible by doing an ultrasound scan. At this stage, the heartbeat is just like a flicker on the chest of the baby. However, in some cases, you may not see the heartbeat by the sixth week. But there is nothing to worry about. The normal heart rate of a baby at the beginning is around 90 to 110 beats per 60 seconds.

When the embryonic heartbeat is detected on the sixth week, it indicates that your pregnancy is safe and there is a little chance of miscarriage. In pregnancies, where the embryonic heartbeat is not detected in this period, the mothers-to-be are required to do another scan after 3 to 5 days. As the pregnancy progresses i.e. on the 9th week, the average heartbeat of the foetus would be around 120 to 160 beats per 60 seconds.

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http://americanpregnancy.org/

http://www.livestrong.com/