Symptoms & Remedies Archives - BabyQ

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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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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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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Shortness of Breath

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Shortness of breath is not uncommon during pregnancy.  While walking up a flight of stair you suddenly feel like you ascended 10 flights instead of just one.  There are multiple reasons for this.   First, you will put on a significant amount of weight during your pregnancy, perhaps as much as 30-40 lbs.  Secondly, you become anemic.  Third, your legs may retain a lot of fluid.  This combination of anemia, extra weight and swollen legs makes it difficult just to move around.  You will find yourself panting doing what before had been a very easy task. Some things you can do to prevent shortness of breath are to stay in reasonable shape, exercise on a regular basis by walking 30 to 40 minutes a day. In your third trimester slow down and shorten your pace. Take your prenatal vitamins, as the iron will help prevent you from getting extremely anemic. …

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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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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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Hemorrhoids

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Hemorrhoids are common in pregnancy.  First, in preparation for delivery your whole pelvic area is being engorged with blood and tissue fluid.  This makes gentler passage for the baby, and also protects your birth canal during delivery.  Secondly, constipation is common in pregnancy, causing you to strain more while having a bowel movement.  The combination of increased blood supply to your pelvic area and straining leads to hemorrhoids. You can reduce your odds of contracting hemorrhoids by relieving the constipation.  Make sure you drink plenty of fluids, 5 glasses of water and 3 glasses of milk a day. Eat a diet relatively high in fiber.  Look for cereals that have 6 grams of fiber or more per serving.  Consider taking a fiber supplement; eat lots of fruits and vegetables.  All this will make elimination of your stool easier and reduce your risk of hemorrhoids.

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