Major complications that you may face during your pregnancy and after delivery
Ask anything about complications
Pregnant? Don't ignore these warning signs, it may be preeclampsia
Preeclampsia can be defined a condition that occurs only during pregnancy. Some symptoms of preeclampsia may include high blood pressure and protein in the urine, occurring after week 20 of pregnancy. Preeclampsia is often precluded by gestational hypertension. While high blood pressure during pregnancy does not necessarily indicate preeclampsia, it may be a sign of another problem. Preeclampsia affects at least 5-8 percent of pregnant women. What are the symptoms of preeclampsia? Mild preeclampsia: high blood pressure, water retention, and protein in the urine. Severe preeclampsia: Headaches, blurred vision, inability to tolerate bright light, fatigue, nausea/vomiting, urinating small amounts, pain in the upper right abdomen, shortness of breath, and tendency to bruise easily. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience blurred vision, severe headaches, abdominal pain, and/or urinating very infrequently. How is preeclampsia treated? Treatment depends on how close you are to your due date. If you are close to your due date, and the baby has developed enough, your doctor will probably want to deliver your baby as soon as possible. If you have mild preeclampsia and your baby has not reached full development, your doctor will probably recommend you to do the following: You should rest on your left side to take the weight of the baby off your major blood vessels. Increase prenatal check-ups. Consume less salt Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day Change your diet to include more protein If you have severe preeclampsia, your doctor may try to cure you with blood pressure medication along with bed rest, dietary changes, and supplements. How can preeclampsia affect the mother? If preeclampsia is not treated quickly and properly, it can lead to serious complications for the mother such as liver or renal failure and future cardiovascular issues. It may also lead to the following life-threatening conditions: Eclampsia: This is a severe form of preeclampsia that leads to seizures in the mother. HELLP Syndrome (hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, and low platelet count): This is a condition usually occurring late in pregnancy that affects the breakdown of red blood cells, how the blood clots, and liver function of the pregnant woman. How does preeclampsia affect my baby? Preeclampsia can prevent the placenta from getting enough blood. If the placenta doesn’t get enough blood, your baby gets less oxygen and food. This can result in low birth weight. Most women still can deliver a healthy baby if preeclampsia is detected early and treated with regular prenatal care. Content source Featured image source
How foul air may affect fetal heart development
Apart from ensuring healthy food choices, good prenatal care, and regular medicines, there are other factors also that affect the health of a developing fetus. One such environmental factor is exposure to microparticles in air pollution. According to a recent study, published in the journal Cardiovascular Toxicology, exposure to particulate matter in the air may damage the healthy development of the cardiovascular system of a fetus. Researchers have found that exposure to microscopic particulates in early pregnancy or in late pregnancy, significantly impacted the development of the fetal heart. This means that pregnant women, those undergoing fertility treatment, or of child-bearing age should avoid going out in high pollution areas and should also consider monitoring the quality of indoor air. Even a single incident of exposure likely to cause damage The growth and development of the fetus are affected by what the mother eats, drinks and even breathes. Therefore, when she inhales these nano-particulates in the air, it affects her circulatory system, constricting her blood vessels and restricting the blood flow to the uterus. This lack of blood flow leads to a lower supply of oxygen and nutrients to the child, hampering its growth. Further, restricted blood flow may also lead to other pregnancy complications like intrauterine growth restriction. For the purpose of the study, the researchers exposed a group of pregnant rats to nano aerosols of titanium dioxide a single time during all three trimesters and observed its effects. These effects were then compared with the development of milestones in pregnant rats exposed to highly filtered air. The study findings revealed that exposure to these particulates in early pregnancy significantly impacted the development of the main artery and the umbilical vein in the fetus. Further, exposure during the late third trimester affected the growth of the fetus, distressing fetal size. This happened because of decreased nutrients and vitamins reaching the uterus during the third trimester. The researchers also found that the restricted blood flow to the fetus during pregnancy continued to affect the child in adulthood. Non-pregnant animals also affected Exposure to these nano-particles of titanium oxide damaged the function of uterine arteries even in non-pregnant animals. While nanotechnology has led to major advances in the sciences, its impact on humans at different stages of development is yet unknown. It is estimated that by 2025, the annual global production of nanosized particles of titanium dioxide will reach 2.5 million metric tonnes. In addition to being found in the air, these nanoparticles are also used in personal and beauty care products like face powders and sunscreens. Though the impact of air pollution on the general health of the population is well-known, there is relatively little research on how it affects fetal development. More research is being undertaken in this regard, but it would take some time for scientists to understand the complete implications of air pollution on fetal growth and development. Featured Image Source
Salt craving during pregnancy
Salt is the main source of dietary sodium for us. Here is why it is important to consume salt during pregnancy: In the absence of salt, your nerves, muscles, and organs would not be able to function properly during pregnancy. In pregnancy, your body’s fluids increase in order to support your growing baby and sodium plays an important role in that. The presence of iodine in table salts is essential for the development of your baby’s brain and nervous system. Iodine deficiency during pregnancy may lead to stillbirths, abnormal brain development, miscarriage, and other medical complications. In a study, it was established that inadequate salt intake during pregnancy resulted in low birth weight infants. Inadequate salt intake during pregnancy increases the chances of foetal death. The daily sodium intake for pregnancy should be around 3.8 grams of table salt per day; however, the upper limit may extend up to 5.8 grams. Here are some side-effects of high sodium intake during pregnancy: Consumption of more salt in pregnancy may make you feel bloated. High salt intake may lead to water retention. More salt in your diet may cause excessive swelling of ankles, legs, feet or face. Increased amounts of salt in your diet may lead to high blood pressure or preeclampsia. Taking more amounts of salt may lead to loss of calcium (through urination) from the body. Content Source Featured Image Source
Causes and prevention of varicose veins during pregnancy
Varicose veins, also known as varicoses or varicosities, occur when your veins become enlarged, dilated, and overfilled with blood. Varicose veins typically appear swollen and raised, and have a bluish-purple or red color. They are often painful. The condition is very common, especially in women. Around 25 percent of all adults have varicose veins. In most cases, varicose veins appear on the lower legs. Causes of varicose veins Varicose veins occur when veins aren’t functioning properly. Veins have one-way valves that prevent blood from flowing backward. When these valves fail, blood begins to collect in the veins rather than continuing toward your heart. The veins then enlarge. Varicose veins often affect the legs. The veins there are the farthest from your heart, and gravity makes it harder for the blood to flow upward. Some potential causes for varicose veins include: Pregnancy Menopause Age over 50 Standing for long periods of time Obesity Family history of varicose veins Symptoms of varicose veins The primary symptoms of varicose veins are highly visible, misshapen veins, usually on your legs. You may also have pain, swelling, heaviness, and achiness over or around the enlarged veins. In some cases, you can develop swelling and discoloration. In severe cases, the veins can bleed significantly, and ulcers can form. Diagnosing varicose veins Your doctor will likely examine your legs and visible veins while you’re sitting or standing to diagnose varicose veins. They may ask you about any pain or symptoms you’re having. Your doctor may also want to do an ultrasound to check your blood flow. This is a noninvasive test that uses high-frequency sound waves. It allows your doctor to see how blood is flowing in your veins. Home remedies Measures can be taken at home to improve pain and prevent varicose veins from worsening. These measures include the following given below: Exercising Losing weight Raising the legs Avoiding prolonged standing or sitting There are also many over-the-counter natural treatments, usually topical creams and emollients. These can help soothe pain, and improve comfort and they may improve the general appearance of varicose veins. Prevention: To reduce the risk of developing varicose veins you need to do the following: Exercise regularly Maintain a healthy weight Avoid standing still for too long Do not sit with the legs crossed Sit or sleep with your feet raised on a pillow Anyone who has to stand for their job should try to move around at least once every 30 minutes Content source Featured image source
Abdominal pain during pregnancy
Abdominal pain during pregnancy can happen quite often and can become very uncomfortable at times. But how do you decide what pain is acceptable and when it indicates something more serious? Here’s everything you need to know about abdominal pain during pregnancy. Is abdominal pain during pregnancy normal? Abdominal pain is a common occurrence during pregnancy and is normal in a healthy pregnancy. Carrying a baby puts pressure on your muscles, joints, veins. As your baby grows, the uterus tilts to the right which causes pain in the right side. The ligaments on both sides of your body grow to accommodate your growing baby so you may feel pain on both sides of the stomach. Having sex may sometimes trigger abdominal pain and cramping, especially during the third trimester. It might be a good idea to keep the sex soft at this time. How to deal with normal abdominal pain during pregnancy? Getting some rest is the best way to deal with the cramps. Other methods include sitting down with your feet up, lying on the side opposite to the one which hurts, taking a warm bath, and using a hot water bottle or a heated wheat bag on the area which hurts. When can abdominal pain mean something more? Abdominal pain can be an indicator of something more under the following circumstances. Abdominal pain unrelated to pregnancy This could be gas, bloating, UTI, kidney stones or even appendicitis. You should contact your doctor if the pain is accompanied by pain or burning when you pee, spotting or bleeding, vomiting, unusual vaginal discharge, tenderness and pain, chills and fever. Abdominal pain during an early miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy If abdominal pain is accompanied by bleeding in your first trimester it could be an early miscarriage. You may also have painful cramping and dark, watery blood if you have an ectopic pregnancy in your first trimester. In either case, it’s best to go to the doctor immediately. Abdominal pain during a late miscarriage Abdominal pain in the second trimester is usually nothing to worry about. In rare cases, it may indicate a late miscarriage only if it’s accompanied by bleeding. It usually occurs between 12 and 24 weeks. Abdominal pain in the third trimester Severe abdominal pain in the third trimester could be an indicator of premature labour. In this case, you would feel pain in your pelvic or lower tummy area, backache, mild tummy cramps and diarrhoea. You may even have your water breaking, and regular contractions, or uterus tightening. This may happen between 24 weeks and 37 weeks of pregnancy and your doctor should be consulted immediately.
Baby Moon: What to expect from your second trimester
The second trimester offers a much-needed break from the tough first trimester, which is generally associated with periods of morning sickness, fatigue, and aversion to food. Therefore, it’s not surprising that the second trimester is also called the ‘babymoon’ phase. The second-trimester bids goodbye to the unpleasant symptoms you encountered in the first trimester. You’ll breathe a sigh of relief as the morning sickness fades away. This also means you’ll be back to consuming nutritious meals that will help nourish your baby in the weeks to come. While there’s an upside to the second trimester, there’s a downside too, although it’s much less pronounced than the effects you see in the first trimester. During this stage, you’re prone to anemia, bleeding gums, and swelling. While you may instantaneously want to ask your doctor for healing in a pill; trust us, at this stage food, should be your primary medicine. While supplements like folic acid, calcium, and iron are essential, you should rely on them only as complementary additions, to battle deficiencies. It’s not just your baby growing and making space for himself, your body is adjusting just as efficiently to accommodate the little one. Here’s what happens — As your uterus expands, the lungs get compressed, which often leaves you short of breath at times The uterine ligaments stretch to make space, thus leading to low-intensity abdominal aches, cramps, and back pain Pigmentation may occur at the mid-line of the tummy; stretch marks too are not uncommon around the thighs, buttocks, and stomach. In some cases, women may suffer from melasma (skin discolouration), which is not a serious cause for concern as it usually subsides after delivery. During this trimester, there are chances of developing increased blood pressure, gestational diabetes, or thyroid level fluctuations. Therefore, it’s important that you consult your doctor frequently to monitor your health and prevent further complications. Reaching the ideal weight during your pregnancy is important. Seeking a doctor’s guidance will make things easier. Generally, if you have a normal Body Mass Index (BMI), you would be recommended a consistent weight gain of 2 kilos every month. However, if you are overweight, you would be required to consistently increase only 1 kilo monthly. Content Source
Sex during the second trimester: is its safe?
Sex during the second trimester: Is it safe? It is largely safe to have sex in the second trimester, provided you have had an uncomplicated pregnancy till now. While a lot of people go off sex completely during their first trimester due to nausea, feeling like you have run a marathon and general lethargy, several mothers-to-be feel their libido returning in the second trimester. With more blood flowing to your pelvis area, your vagina would be naturally lubricated and the clitoris extra-sensitive, making sex interesting and pleasurable. In a lot of cases, the partners have accepted that they find their partners’ bodies even more beautiful during this time. However, do not fret if you are unable to match your husband’s sexual desire. It takes a while for your partner to understand your desire and the amount you can physically do to satisfy it and work accordingly. As the breasts and the genital area is sensitive during this period, talk to your partner to let them know the extent to which you would like to go, or the things that you would like them to do or not do. If they are not kept in the loop, they might hurt you unintentionally, putting you completely off the experience. Now that the baby is bigger, won’t sex harm it? No, you having sex with your partner would not harm the baby in any way. They are well-cushioned in the amniotic sac to feel any “probing” or pressure. Neither can they “see” what’s happening. So, if you have the desire to have sex, go on and indulge yourself. Best positions for sex Ideally, all positions should work during the second trimester. Experiment and find what works best for your partner and you. Here are a few suggestions: Being on top: This allows you to control the depth of the penetration and set the pace for the act itself. It also ensures that there is no pressure on your stomach. Sitting down: Settle yourself comfortably in your partners’ lap and allow them to penetrate from below. You can control the depth and there would be no pressure on your uterus. Side-to-side: Lie side by side facing your partner. Allow him to penetrate from the front. You can also try the same position with penetration from behind. Face away from your partner so that they can penetrate from behind. These positions are called spooning and reverse spooning respectively. All fours: Crouch on your fours with pillows propping you up. Allow your partner to penetrate you from behind. Avoid positions that would require you to lie on your back, like the missionary position, as it places pressure on your uterus. When to avoid sex It is best to avoid sex during the second trimester if you have the following complications: Cervical incompetence History of miscarriages Risk of placenta praevia Bleeding during pregnancy Leaked amniotic fluid If sex is painful In the case of such complications being present, discuss your options with your doctor before having sex. Featured Image Source Your baby stays safe in the amniotic sac of your uterus and does not feel any pain or pressure from your lovemaking. She is not a 'silent observer' to sex and will not understand what is happening. However, if your gynecologist has diagnosed a complication such as a history of cervical incompetence, it might be safe to stay away from sex for the time being So, having sex is not harmful for you or your baby. Happy pregnancy!
Second Trimester Anomaly Scan
The anomaly scan or ultrasound level II scan is the most common scan of the second trimester. This scan can show – · how your baby is growing and check the fetal movements · make sure your baby's internal organs are developing well · detect certain birth defects in your baby · estimate the amount of amniotic fluid · check the umbilical cord and position of the placenta · check for markers of chromosomal abnormalities. · check your cervix and measure the birth canal All pregnant women have a scan at this point because if a problem is detected, the necessary precautions need to be taken. The anomaly scan is done between 18 and 20 weeks. Your doctor may ask you to have more scans during your second trimester if: You are carrying twins or more. Your anomaly scan showed a low lying placenta. You've had spotting or bleeding from the vagina. The anomaly scan revealed problems in your pregnancy that need to be monitored. You have a medical condition such as diabetes or hypertension. You have a history of premature labour or late miscarriage. You do not need a full bladder for this scan. At this stage, your baby is big enough and high enough in your abdomen to be seen very clearly.You will need to expose your tummy, so it is a good idea to wear loose or two-piece clothing such as a salwar kameez or maternity pants and a top. This will allow the ultrasound doctor to access your tummy easily. You may be more comfortable too as you will not have to bother about removing your clothing. Nearly all second trimester scans are done abdominally. The ultrasound doctor applies (usually very cold) gel to your tummy and moves the probe or transducer over it to obtain images of your baby. As sound waves from the transducer bounce off your baby's features or organs, images are formed on a computer screen. The doctor will try his best to get as many angles of the baby in your tummy. When the doctor is able to get a clear picture of the baby, she/he will take measurements. Most hospitals or diagnostic centers allow you to watch the scan being done. It may be hard for you to make out your baby's organs, because the doctor will look at them in cross-section. Your baby's bones will appear white on the scan and soft tissues look grey and speckled. The amniotic fluid surrounding your baby will look black. The doctor will look at: The number of babies you are carrying. Twins are sometimes not found until 20 weeks. The shape and structure of your baby's head. It is possible to detect severe brain problems at this stage, but fortunately these are very rare. Your baby's face to check for a cleft lip. Cleft palates inside a baby's mouth are hard to see and are rarely picked up. Your baby's spine, both along its length and in cross-section. This is done to make sure all the bones align and that the skin covers the spine at the back. Your baby's abdominal wall, to make sure it covers all the internal organs at the front. Your baby's heart. The top two chambers (atria) and the bottom two chambers (ventricles) should be equal in size. The valves should open and close with each heartbeat. The doctor will also examine the major veins and arteries which carry blood to and from your baby's heart. Your baby's stomach. Your baby swallows some of the amniotic fluid that he lies in, which is seen in his stomach as a black bubble. Your baby's kidneys. The doctor will check that your baby has two kidneys, and that urine flows freely into his bladder. If your baby's bladder is empty, it should fill up during the scan and be easy to see. Your baby has been passing urine every half an hour or so for some months now! Your baby's arms, legs, hands and feet. The doctor will look at your baby's fingers and toes. In addition to this detailed look at how your baby is growing, the doctor will check: the placenta the umbilical cord the amniotic fluid The placenta will be described as low if it reaches down to or covers the neck of your uterus (cervix). If the placenta is lying low in your uterus, you'll have another scan in the third trimester to check its position. By then, it's likely the placenta will have moved away from your cervix. About 15 per cent of scans will need to be repeated for one reason or another. But this does not necessarily mean there is something wrong with your baby. Try not to panic in case something out of the normal routine shows up. Discuss it in detail with your doctor. Usually, your doctor will be able to reassure you. Feature Image Scan
What is Preeclampsia?
When one is pregnant and they find that the placenta isn’t working they can develop pre-eclampsia. It can make you and your baby quite ill if you don’t receive the treatment you need. With Preeclampsia your baby may not get enough oxygen and nutrients, thus hampering its growth. Pre-eclampsia usually happens in the second half of pregnancy, or shortly after birth. You’re most likely to develop it after 20 weeks of pregnancy To understand whether one has this, there are many symptoms – Severe headache. Problems with vision, such as blurring or flashing before your eyes. Severe pain just below your ribs. Nausea or vomiting. Severe heartburn and acidity Sudden, severe swelling of your face, hands or feet. A lot of women ask when and if they are likely to develop pre-eclampsia You’re much more likely to develop pre-eclampsia if you: Had high blood pressure in a previous pregnancy. Have chronic kidney disease. Have an autoimmune condition, such as lupus. Have either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. Had high blood pressure before you were pregnant. If any of these apply to you, your doctor will recommend that you take a daily low dose of aspirin from 12 weeks of pregnancy. Apart from this, you’re also at risk of having pre-eclampsia if: This is your first baby. If you're an adolescent or over 35 years old. You had a gap between pregnancies of 10 years or more. You were obese before you were pregnant, with a high body mass index (BMI) at the start of your pregnancy. Your sister or mum had pre-eclampsia. You are expecting twins or triplets How to prevent preeclampsia? There is no real way of actually treating preeclampsia. The one thing you could do is attend all your prenatal appointments and eat medications that have been prescribed. Familiarize yourself with the symptoms, so that you can be prepared! Research has shown that calcium supplements can cut the risk of pre-eclampsia in women with low calcium diets. Your doctor will speak to you about supplements you need to stay healthy in pregnancy. Mild pre-eclampsia Mild cases of pre-eclampsia are usually treated on an out-patient (OPD) basis. Depending on the test results, you're likely to go home after the check-up. Your doctor will prescribe medication to control your blood pressure and suggest you get enough rest. Moderate pre-eclampsia Some cases of moderate pre-eclampsia may be treated on an out-patient basis. However, in some cases, your doctor may suggest you stay in the hospital for longer to be monitored. You’ll have your blood pressure checked at least four times a day and need to take medication to lower your blood pressure. You’ll have blood tests and you may also have ultrasound scans if you were diagnosed before 34 weeks or if your doctor is concerned about your baby. Severe pre-eclampsia You’ll need to stay in the hospital if you have severe pre-eclampsia, so you can be monitored closely. You’ll have blood pressure, urine and blood tests at least four times a day, as well as medication to control your blood pressure. Your baby will also be checked carefully. Doctors will monitor his growth and wellbeing via scans, and his heart rate will be measured. Your doctor's priority is to stop you from developing complications. So your fluid levels will be controlled, and you may be put on a drip that contains magnesium sulphate. Magnesium sulphate will lower your risk of developing eclampsia. Sometimes, severe pre-eclampsia can cause fits, and magnesium sulphate can help prevent that happening. Apart from all this, Pre-eclampsia can all lead to other complications: If pre-eclampsia becomes very severe, then it may lead to other complications. This means you may get more serious symptoms, and you may need to go to intensive care or a maternity high-dependency unit. It can lead to other symptoms like – Eclampsia This is a rare but serious condition that can lead to seizures or convulsions and can put both you and your baby at great risk. Eclampsia can develop during pregnancy and birth. It can also happen in the first few days after your baby is born, and especially if your pre-eclampsia was severe. HELLP syndrome This is a rare liver and blood-clotting disorder that can develop before pre-eclampsia has been diagnosed. HELLP stands for: H: hemolysis, which means the breaking down of red blood cells. EL: elevated liver enzymes, which is a sign that your liver is not working properly. LP: low platelet count, which means you may not have enough platelets to allow your blood to clot. Other complications These can include: liver and kidney failure stroke (cerebral hemorrhage) fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema) blood clotting disorders We hope this article has provided you with enough information about this so-called problem and has helped you to understand what it is, how to prevent it, to treat it, and other complications it can lead to. As soon as you feel you’re having the symptoms, visit your doctor. Do not delay! Content Source Featured Image Source
Pros of getting pregnant in your early 20's
If you're trying to get pregnant in your 20s, time is on your side and biology is, too. Your body is ready for pregnancy, and probably will be for a while if you decide to wait to start your family. That said, pregnancy at any age has advantages and disadvantages. Pros Experts say the average woman's fertility peaks in her early 20s. So, from a strictly biological perspective, this is the best decade for conceiving and carrying a baby. Like every woman, you're born with all the eggs you will ever have about 1 to 2 million. By puberty, the number of your eggs about 300,000 to 500,000, but your ovaries release only about 300 during your reproductive years. As you get older, your ovaries age along with the rest of your body and the quality of your eggs gradually deteriorates. That's why a younger woman's eggs are less likely than an older woman's to have genetic abnormalities that cause Down syndrome and other birth defects. The risk of miscarriage is also far lower: It's about 10 percent for women in their 20s, 12 percent for women in their early 30s, and 18 percent for women in their mid to late 30s. Miscarriage risk jumps to about 34 percent for women in their early 40s, and 53 percent by age 45. Pregnancy is often physically easier for women in their 20s because there's a lower risk of health complications like high blood pressure and diabetes. You're also less likely to have gynecological problems, like uterine fibroids, which often become more problematic over time. Finally, younger women are less likely to have premature or low-birth-weight babies than women older than 35. In terms of fertility, it doesn't matter if you start trying to get pregnant in your early 20s or your late 20s, the difference in a woman's fertility in her early and late 20s is negligible. Once the baby comes, as a 20-something mom you're likely to have the resilience to wake up with the baby several times during the night and still be able to function the next day. You'll also have a lot of company as you chase your little one around the playground: when your own child has children of her own, odds are you'll still have the energy to be an actively involved grandparent. Besides the physical advantages, there are other pluses: You're more flexible in your 20s, which is good for your marriage and for the transition to parenthood. When people get married later in life, instead of "our way," there is often "my way" and "your way," which can make marriage and parenting difficult. Content Source Featured Image Source