Dr. Mark Gostine, Author at BabyQ

Does a mother's due date change?

Should I Be Worried That I’m Past My Due Date?

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How is My Due Date Calculated?  The most common way to calculate the date of delivery is Naegele’s Rule, a formula named after the German obstetrician Franz Karl Naegele who created it. Your ob-gyn doctor will ask you for the first day of your last period. He or she then adds nine months and seven days to that date. The end result is a due date about 280 days from the start of your last period. While this may be a simple way to calculate a due date, there are some problems with it. The accuracy of this method depends on: Your ability to correctly remember the first day of your last period You having regular menstrual cycles You not experiencing early bleeding that was not really the start of your cycle Your use of oral contraceptives, which could affect the timing of ovulation Another issue with this formula is…

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Missed Period

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For many women, the first symptom that they are pregnant is that they miss their period.  Every month when you are not pregnant, your uterus sheds its lining so that there is a healthy surface for the embryo to become implanted when you become pregnant.  During pregnancy, this monthly cycle stops as the baby and placenta grow in your uterus.  This results in the missed period. Typically you will notice the missed period about two weeks after becoming pregnant.  It’s very important to keep track of your last menstrual period because this will help your OB predict when you are ready to deliver.   Of course, women can miss periods for a variety of reasons, only one of which is pregnancy.  Sometimes travel and stress, not eating enough, or exercising too much can make you miss a period.

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Nasal Congestion

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Many women suffer from nasal congestion during pregnancy.  This is because your body is producing more blood and holding on to fluids in preparation for delivery.  During delivery you will lose a lot of fluid, including the baby that is 90% water, the amniotic fluid and the placenta.  Your body will want to balance this sudden loss of fluid by storing extra fluid.  This makes your tissue swell, including your nasal passageways, leading to snoring during sleep and occasional difficulty breathing through your nose. To help reduce snoring, you can wear support hose during the day.  During the day, while you are up and around, extra fluid is stored in your legs.  Then it enters your blood stream at night when you lay flat.  It causes your nasal passageways to become congested and you may snore. The support hose prevent the extra fluid from being retained in your legs.  Hence,…

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Pregnancy Mask

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Pregnancy hormones bring many changes to your body, including changes to skin appearance.  A combination of hormonal influences and changes in your body’s immune system can darken certain areas of your skin.  Your breast nipple and the aureola surrounding it become darker.  You can get a line of pigmented skin extending from your belly button to your pubic area that becomes dark.  This is called “linea nigra”.  You can also develop what is termed the “Pregnancy Mask”.   This is almost a butterfly darkening of the skin in your cheeks and across the nose.  We are not sure why this occurs, but some women also experience it on the birth control pill.  So it is clearly related to the hormones.  It is not unattractive, merely a sign of your fertility.  Enjoy your new appearance.

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What is an ectopic pregnancy?

What You Need to Know About an Ectopic Pregnancy

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What is an ectopic pregnancy? Simply put, an ectopic pregnancy is any pregnancy that occurs outside of your uterus. Once your egg is fertilized, it will find something to attach to. While it usually travels through your fallopian tubes into your uterus, it doesn’t always make it there. Most ectopic pregnancies are when the fertilized egg attached to the fallopian tube, but the egg may also attach to your ovaries, cervix, or another internal part of your abdomen. What are the symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy? An ectopic pregnancy will usually still give you traditional pregnancy symptoms, like a missed period, tender breasts, and nausea, early on, but you will find out shortly that something has gone awry. You will probably begin to feel severe pain on one side of your lower abdomen, vaginal bleeding, and even some shoulder pain. You may even have dizzy spells or fainting. Is an…

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Low Back Pain

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Low back pain is extremely common in pregnancy.  Over 50% of women experience it at some point.  It’s related to your changing body.  Your ligaments are loosening in preparation for delivery; this is secondary to hormonal influences.  Women who exercise three times or more a week seem to have less low back pain.  We recommend walking 30-45 minutes, three to five times per week to treat low back pain.  If the pain is severe you can seek treatment with a physical therapist or a chiropractor, but above all avoid any x-rays.  Tylenol may also be helpful for back pain.  We do not recommend you take it on a regular basis. It’s felt to be safe, but does not really change the underlying cause of the problem.  Almost all back pain resolves within six months after delivery.

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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 is Prenatal Care?

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Synopsis: This post/article explains what people mean when they refer to prenatal care. Prenatal care is preventive care recommended for women while they are pregnant. It is the best thing you can do to ensure a healthy pregnancy. Some women even choose to schedule a preconception visit to their health care professional when they are considering having a child. So what is prenatal care?  Prenatal care involves regularly scheduled check-ups and prenatal testing, which allow doctors or midwives to treat and prevent potential health problems during pregnancy. It also helps by providing guidance and promoting a healthy lifestyle to benefit both mother and baby. How often should I see my doctor? Prenatal care helps to keep you and your developing fetus healthy and sets the stage for a healthy life for your newborn–provided you go early and often. You should see your health care provider, family doctor, obstetrician, gynecologist or…

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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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What is a Kegel?

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What is a Kegel? A kegel is actually an exercise that involves the muscles of the pelvis around the vagina, bladder and birth canal.  Women and men want to keep these muscles in shape because it helps prevent urinary incontinence as we age and keeps our sexual organs in good shape while we are young.  During birth the “kegel muscles” are stretched out by the baby’s passage through the birth canal.  By keeping these muscles in good shape they will regain their normal tone much more quickly after delivery. How Do You Do Exercises? The simplest way to explain how to do kegel exercise is to practice stopping urination in midstream.  You will have to contract the muscles surrounding your bladder and vagina in order to cut off the urine flow.  These are the same muscles you exercise during kegels.  You do not have to be urinating to exercise these…

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