Dr. Mark Gostine, Author at BabyQ

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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Food Cravings

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Over 60% of women during pregnancy experience food cravings.  Some of this can be explained by what you need or the baby needs.  For instance, the baby really needs a lot of glucose so sweets taste especially good and in proper amounts can help nourish your child.  You need increased amounts of sodium and potassium, so salty foods and fruits and vegetables all taste good.  You may also be making up from deficits in food following significant morning sickness and nausea.  Food cravings are rarely harmful as long as you don’t skip eating a regular balanced diet or eat too much.  Satisfying food cravings should be enjoyed.

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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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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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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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Healthy Pregnancy Weight

What Should I Weigh During My Pregnancy?

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Weight is a sensitive topic for many Americans, and causes everyone embarrassment.  You have a portion of the population that is grossly overweight and another half that is obsessed with their body image. Somewhere in the middle is the healthy road to travel when it comes to your weight. When you’re pregnant, you’re going to gain weight. But it’s important to know what a healthy weight is during pregnancy, to ensure that your health isn’t harmed. Why is Obesity Harmful During Pregnancy? Americans have steadily gained weight over the years and unfortunately  so have women entering into pregnancy.  Twenty percent of all pregnant women are now considered obese with a body mass index (BMI) of greater than 25.  The body mass index is a ratio of your weight to height.  A woman who is 5 foot 5 inches would be classified as obese at 150 pounds.  Gaining too much weight either during or…

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Pelvic Cramps

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Cramps are common in early pregnancy.  They come from the implantation of the embryo into your uterus.  They also occur because your uterus starts to grow fairly quickly in early pregnancy.  Frequently, these feel like premenstrual cramps.  You may experience compression type pain deep in your pelvis; it’s typically nothing to be worried about.  A good index of pain severity is whether or not the pain keeps you up at night.  If it does, that is usually the mark of more serious pain and you absolutely need to call your OB.  However, anything that is on par with the typical menstrual cramps can usually be safely ignored.

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Fluid Retention

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Fluid retention typically comes late in pregnancy.  It is the way your body prepares for delivery.  A lot of fluid will leave your body at the time of delivery between the amniotic fluid, and the placenta separating from your uterus.  The body stores extra fluid in preparation for this.  After you deliver, your body gets rid of the fluid and you will experience frequent urination at that time.  It’s important to stay hydrated during pregnancy.  Drink extra water between meals, have a glass of milk with every meal.  Fluid retention may make you feel sluggish and you’ll notice that your ankles will swell.  This swelling will go down at night when your feet are up while you’re sleeping.  This leads to frequent night time urination.

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