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Is It Normal To Feel Itchy During Pregnancy?

Many pregnant women may be familiar with nausea and vomiting, but not itchiness. Well, the truth is itching is quite common amongst pregnant woman. Although the real cause of itching during pregnancy is not yet known, there are indications that it could be caused by raised levels of pregnancy hormones. Besides, when the bump grows, the skin of the abdomen stretches and could result in itching. It is worth noting that itching is common during pregnancy and there is a need to get checked by a healthcare professional if it becomes severe.

 

That said, the general causes of itching during pregnancy include;

 

Dryness: Some pregnant women suffer from dryness which is characterized by itchy flaky dry skin;

Hormonal changes: Hormonal changes are a natural part of pregnancy. However, they often result in many unpleasant side effects such as mood swings, nausea and even itchiness;

Fabrics and perfumes: Some pregnant women can be irritated by certain materials and chemicals to the extent that their skin begins itching;

Cholestasis: Sometimes, itching during pregnancy is a symptom of cholestasis, a liver disorder that causes the buildup of acid bile in the blood;

Prurigo: Pregnant women may also suffer from prurigo. They are itchy crusty bumps that often appear on the legs, arms and abdomen during the third trimester of pregnancy;

Pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPPP):  This condition is characterized by an itchy rash that occurs around stretch marks during pregnancy.

 

Slight itchiness during pregnancy may be considered normal. However, intense itching on areas of the body such as the arms, legs and abdomen may indicate a serious problem that needs treatment. Of course, some pregnant women may also experience vaginal itching that could require treatment.

 

Inasmuch as itching during pregnancy may be considered normal, it’s generally not an early symptom of pregnancy. Therefore, any intense and prolonged itching during the course of pregnancy should be reported to your doctor.

 

Just as there are several potential causes of itchiness during pregnancy, there are equally several natural remedies to prevent it. For instance, wearing loose clothes made with natural fabrics and changing your perfumes or detergents are some of the ways to prevent itchiness during pregnancy. Drinking enough water and using a moisturizer to ease skin dryness will also minimize itching during pregnancy.

 

Promising Results for Children with Autism

This is a real story from the United States.

5-year old boy, Blake, is finally able to play normally with his sister after participating in the innovative stem cell clinical trial in the Duke University. Blake was a “unique” child since birth and he had delayed motor skills and speeches. Later, he was diagnosed with autism on his third birthday.

Thankfully, he was enrolled successfully in Duke University clinical trial on treating autism with cord blood stem cells. Now, Blake’s family is grateful that he has had remarkable behavioral and speech progress after receiving his own cord blood stem cells in the clinical trial. He is more sociable than before.

“The first phase of the clinical trial has completed and showed that 70% of our children have improvements after getting their own cord blood”, said Dr. Joanne Kurtzberg, one of the pioneers who uses cord blood for transplantation. She is also a renowned pioneer in using cord blood stem cells for regenerative medicine for cerebral palsy, autism and other brain injuries.

This story is originally published on NBCUniversal Media.

https://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/duke-univ-research-offers-hope-for-autism-spectrum-disorder/270825/
Last accessed 9 April 2021.

How to Prevent Stretch Marks During Pregnancy

Anyone can develop stretch marks in any phase of life regardless of their age, size, or skin type. These marks often appear on the stomach, hips, chest, thighs, and bottom. While these marks do not cause any health problems, these may cause body image issues. According to Debra Jaliman, a dermatologist in New York City, 9 out of 10 women develop stretch marks during pregnancy. The good news is that stretch marks can be avoided during pregnancy.

1) Moisturize
Moisturizing your skin is one of the most effective ways to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy. A good moisturizer with vitamins A and E improves your skin’s elasticity by locking in moisture and keeping it supple. Good skin elasticity reduces the chances of developing stretch marks.

2) Exercise
Regular physical activity improves blood circulation, which stimulates the formation of new collagen to ensure the skin is elastic and able to stretch as the pregnancy grows. Besides, exercise promotes anti-oxidants that work to prevent skin damage by free radicals. If you do not exercise during pregnancy, you will lose muscle tone, causing the skin to loosen. Simple exercises such as swimming, yoga, walking, and prenatal aerobics can help to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy. Furthermore, regular exercise helps you to maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of excessive skin stretching.

3) Stay hydrated
Drinking plenty of fluids (water, soups, juices, smoothies) during pregnancy will help to keep the skin supple and maximize its elasticity. Unlike dry skin, well-hydrated skin will be able to stretch better as it grows. Drinking plenty of fluids will also help to strengthen and renew your skin, making it less prone to tears as the pregnancy grows. However, you are advised to avoid caffeinated beverages as they may increase your risk of developing stretch marks.

4) Eat healthy foods
Stretch marks may occur during pregnancy due to lacking of key nutrients. Therefore, it is advisable to eat foods that are rich in zinc, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, and protein. Foods such as lettuce, broccoli, spinach are rich in lutein that strengthens the dermis to protect the skin. Beans are high in zinc, which improves skin health. Other foods that can help you to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy include fatty fish, avocados, walnuts, sweet potatoes, and sunflower seeds.

5) Wear sunscreen
Exposure to the sun’s UV rays increases your risk of developing stretch marks. The best way to protect your skin from the harmful UV rays is to avoid direct sun and wear sunscreen. You should apply sunscreen every 2 hours if you are spending time in the sun.
Generally, the best way to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy is to ensure that your skin maintains its maximum elasticity throughout pregnancy. Of course, you will also need to avoid smoking and embrace healthy lifestyle habits.

6 Tips to Manage Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that occurs only in pregnant women. This condition happens when a woman cannot produce enough insulin resulting in high blood sugar levels. Gestational diabetes affects between 2 and 10 percent of all pregnancies, which means there are more than 130,000 cases each year. Having elevated blood sugar levels during pregnancy can lead to serious complications for both the mother and the fetus. Like other types of diabetes, the key to managing gestational diabetes is keeping your blood sugar levels under control.

1. Eat healthily
Eating healthy food will help you control your blood sugar levels. Make sure you eat the right amount of proteins, healthy starch, fruits, vegetables, and fats. Cut down on sugary drinks and processed food like ice cream, cakes, and biscuits. Instead of zero-calorie food, choose healthier alternatives such as whole food, fruits, and seeds. You are also encouraged to eat at least three meals a day and control your portion sizes to avoid gaining weight. Do not skip meals as it may prompt the body to crave for unhealthy diet choices.

2. Exercise regularly
Another effective way to manage gestational diabetes is to engage in regular physical activity. Exercise helps the body to use insulin more effectively, which results in lower blood sugar levels. It’s advisable to do mild to moderate exercises such as swimming, walking, jogging, or prenatal aerobics or yoga for at least 30 minutes every day.

3. Maintain a healthy weight
Overweight women are at a higher risk of having gestational diabetes. Moreover, overweight women with gestational diabetes tend to experience more complications as compared to those with a healthy weight. That’s why it’s important to eat low glycemic foodand exercise more to maintain a healthy weight. However, it’s not advisable to embark on a weight loss program during pregnancy. Just stick to moderate exercises and proper nutrition.

4. Test your blood sugar level
To control your blood sugar levels, you’ll need to test it regularly. Usually, doctors advise that you check your blood sugar levels four or five times a day, particularly in the morning and after meals. This will help you determine if your sugar levels are within the healthy range. Besides, testing your blood sugar level regularly will help you get a grasp on how certain food affect your blood sugar and adjust them appropriately.

5. Monitor your pregnancy
Gestational diabetes can increase the risk of both the mother and the baby developing complications. Therefore, you need to have more antenatal appointments so that the baby can be monitored.

6. Take medication if necessary
If your blood sugar level remains high despite making the necessary lifestyle changes, you may need insulin injections or diabetes pills to keep your blood sugar under control and protect your baby.

If you manage gestational diabetes with the tips mentioned above, you’ll deliver a healthy baby without complications.

Week 24

You have reached the 6th month of your pregnancy and you have gained around 15-16 pounds during this stage. If you have been following the tips, do’s and don’ts regarding your diet plan then you won’t gain excess weight during your pregnancy and enjoy being healthy and active during the entire pregnancy.

How To Treat Acne During Pregnancy?

Acne can develop when the oil glands in the skin are stimulated at puberty or due to hormonal changes. Pregnancy acne is not a special type of acne- But being pregnant makes most susceptible to the condition. Acne is common in pregnant woman and one out of two pregnant women should expect to develop acne. However, with special care and medication, you can get rid of acne.

Why Prenatal Massage?

Therapists claim that massage is an excellent way to boost your overall health. But, is the therapy appropriate for an expectant mother? We have highlighted its benefits and limitations to help you decide.

Why Test For Gestational Diabetes?

Gestational diabetes starts at any time during pregnancy, and it ends after delivery. It impairs the body’s ability to use glucose, thereby leading to an upsurge in blood sugar levels. In most cases, gestational diabetes starts amid the 24th to 28th weeks of gestation. The risk of developing gestational diabetes is higher in women aged above 25 years, those with excess body fat, and those with a background of diabetes.

10 Things About 2nd Trimester

After passing the first trimester of pregnancy you have finally survived the most difficult period of pregnancy with morning sickness, nausea, vomiting, mood swings and many other symptoms repeatedly. Let’s have a look at 10 things about the second trimester of pregnancy:

Physical Changes During Pregnancy

Your body goes through enormous physical changes during pregnancy. Some of these physical changes may cause aches and pains as well as discomforts. Luckily there are a few tips and tricks that can hopefully make going through such physical changes easier.