Symptoms & Remedies Archives - BabyQ

What Are Skin Tags?

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Your hormones, estrogen and progesterone, increase greatly during pregnancy.  These hormones help the baby grow and help your body change in ways that will nourish the baby and prepare for delivery. Progesterone and estrogen are in effect, growth hormones.  Other things will grow, your breasts, your abdomen, your hair, but unfortunately if you have a small skin tag it will also then grow as well and become a medium size skin tag.  This is because of your skyrocketing levels of progesterone.  You can have skin tags surgically removed at a dermatology office if you like, but most of them will shrink in size after the delivery, so that is probably not necessary.  If they are getting caught underneath a bra strap and making you uncomfortable, consider having it removed.  Short of that, wait until delivery and let it shrink on its own.

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Leg Cramps

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Leg cramps can occur during pregnancy, especially while you sleep.  They may be a signal that your body is lacking potassium or calcium.  Drink plenty of milk, eat dairy products like yogurt and cheese, and enjoy multiple fruits and vegetables.   Also, leg cramps at night are common because of sleep position.  If you sleep on your back, the covers may pull your toes down and in this position your calves will cramp.  Make sure you sleep on your left side.  If your legs cramp during the day, try some gentle stretching exercises.  Also, walking 30 to 40 minutes a day helps strengthen your legs.  As your muscles get stronger, they will cramp less readily.

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Headaches

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Up to about 10% of women will experience headaches during your first trimester of pregnancy.  This is because your hormones are changing rapidly and your body is adapting.  Hormones have a definite impact on our headache frequency and severity.  For most pregnant women, headaches go away after the first trimester when their body has adapted to the hormonal changes.  Many women with chronic migraines report that their headaches actually improve during pregnancy, and again it’s the hormones. Progesterone is a protective hormone and it’s like a tonic for your brain.  It’s soothing and calming.  If you experience headaches, try to avoid taking any drugs, either over the counter, or prescription medications.  Stay well hydrated, drink plenty of water.  Make sure you’re not hypoglycemic, eat regularly and keep your diet well balanced by including adequate fruits and vegetables and high quality protein.  Try to avoid sugary snacks that make your blood…

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Pain with Sex

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As your body prepares for the baby’s passage through the birth canal, your vagina and pelvis become swollen with blood and fluid.  This cushions the baby’s passage through the birth canal and helps protect you as well.  However, genital and cervical swelling can make these areas more sensitive and some women experience pain with sex.  Other women find intercourse more enjoyable, and your partner or husband may as well.   In that case enjoy the pleasure and intimacy of sex.  If however, intercourse becomes painful, explore additional ways to satisfy each other, not only for your own physical pleasure, but for the intimacy and emotional support sex provides.  This will be a source of comfort for you and your baby during the nine months of pregnancy.

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Intestinal Bloating

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We know hormones have a profound influence on the gastrointestinal tract.  Even women who are not pregnant notice changes in frequency of bowel disorders around the time of their periods.  Progesterone, the primary hormone in pregnancy relaxes the muscles lining the digestive tract.  This makes gas and bloating more common.  Also, as your uterus enlarges more pressure is placed on your intestines.  Drinking lots of water will help you have regular bowel movements and this can decrease gas and bloating.  Also, a higher fiber diet may be helpful.  This will also lead to increase bowel movement frequency.  Probiotics, the beneficial bacteria found in yogurt, have a very positive effect on your GI tract. They can help prevent diarrhea, constipation and heartburn.  We recommend eating yogurt regularly throughout your pregnancy.

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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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Anxiety

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Anxiety can be increased by the changes in hormones that effect your emotions.  It can also be influenced by your social circumstances.  Women with less social and partner support, tend to be more anxious about the future.  About 5% of women report anxiety during the pregnancy. The best ways to cope are exercise, talking with friends and loved ones, making sure you get restful sleep every night. Healthy diet also keeps you on an even keel.  Make sure you take adequate Vitamin D; we recommend 2,000 units a day during pregnancy.  DHA, a fatty acid in fish oil will help you stay calm and nourish your baby’s developing brain. Most prenatal vitamins now contain DHA.  If yours does not, look for one that does or take a high quality fish oil pill that states it has been molecularly distilled to remove impurities.

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Nausea

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Two thirds of women will experience morning sickness during their first trimester, and almost half may have morning sickness even as late as the third trimester.   Morning sickness is clearly related to your hormones.  There is limited safety information on prescription medications during pregnancy to treat this.  You can take pyridoxine or Vitamin B-6.  This is presumed safe and can be effective.  Ginger seems to settle the stomach and is also presumed safe in pregnancy.  You can get crystallized ginger at the grocery store in the spice aisle. If you feel nauseous and do not feel like eating, make sure you stay well hydrated and drink plenty of fluids.  It is not uncommon for women to lose weight during their first trimester.   It is much more important to eat adequate amounts of healthy foods during the second and third trimester.  Do not let yourself get worried if you…

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Acne

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Many young women experience acne during pregnancy.  This is influenced by the hormonal changes taking place in your body.  Nonetheless, each woman’s tendency for acne may change during the pregnancy.  Most topical products for acne are safe during pregnancy with the exception of Retin-A also known as isotretinoin.  If you become pregnant on isotretinoin, stop immediately and tell your OB.

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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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