Symptoms & Remedies Archives - BabyQ

Mood Changes

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There is no escaping the fact that our emotions are definitely influenced by our hormones.  There is no condition more hormonal than pregnancy.  Your estrogen and progesterone levels are going up at rapid rates.  You have more worries and excitement.  There is the wonderful expectation of a little baby coming soon to your family, but there are also the concerns of another mouth to feed and how that child will grow up.  These are very real reasons to be happy and concerned at the same time.  In combination with your skyrocketing hormones this leads to frequent changes in your emotions during pregnancy. Talk out these emotional changes with your friends and family.  Anyone who truly cares for you will understand how you’re feeling.

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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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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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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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Vaginal Discharge

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You may experience increased vaginal discharge during pregnancy.  This is your body’s way of keeping the vagina sterile and protecting you and the baby from infections.  Generally it is not a problem and you can wear a pad if you feel it is an issue.  If you have a strong odor associated with the vaginal discharge, it might be a sign of a vaginal infection and make sure to discuss this with your OB.

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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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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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Sex Drive Changes

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Typically, women will experience a diminished sex drive during their first trimester.  In part they may feel a little bit ill with nausea.  Typically, the sex drive returns in the second trimester as you start to feel better.   Sex is certainly safe during pregnancy and it leads to increased feelings of self esteem and love.  Although the frequency of sex between partners may decrease between the second and third trimesters, it can still be enjoyed on a regular basis.  During the last trimester it is usually easier for the woman to be on top.

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Linea Nigra

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Linea Nigra is a dark strip of pigment in your skin that stretches from your naval to your pubic region.  Linea nigra, along with the darkening of the aureola around your nipples, and the so called “pregnancy mask” of the face, are some of the skin changes that take place during pregnancy.  Your hormones are at the root of these skin color changes.  These changes are temporary and will go away once you deliver.

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What Do I Do For My Sore Breasts?

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There are many joys of pregnancy – the first kicks, seeing your baby on the ultrasound, listening to the heartbeat, etc… However, pregnancy can also bring some unpleasant side effects, including sore and engorged breasts. There are two hormones, estrogen and progesterone, that claim much of the responsibility for this painful effect of pregnancy. Some other culprits include the fat that is gathering and blood flow that is increasing in your breasts in preparation for breastfeeding. There are actually different parts of your breasts that may experience soreness in different ways for different reasons. The breast tissue itself is accumulating in size as a response to pregnancy hormones that are telling them to prepare to nourish your baby. This increase in fullness might remind you of PMS, but it isn’t necessarily going to go away in a few days (although it usually subsides during the 2nd trimester). The areolas, those…

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