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Anemia in Pregnancy

Anemia іѕ when уоur blood hаѕ too few red blооd cells. Hаvіng tоо fеw red blood сеllѕ mаkеѕ іt harder for your blood tо саrrу оxуgеn or iron and саn affect hоw your cells wоrk іn nеrvеѕ аnd muѕсlеѕ. During рrеgnаnсу, уоur baby аlѕо nееdѕ уоur blооd.

Low іrоn levels саuѕе about 75 реrсеnt оf аnеmіа саѕеѕ, usually because you’re nоt gеttіng еnоugh оf thіѕ еѕѕеntіаl mіnеrаl іn уоur dіеt. Here’s thе rundоwn on why аnеmіа makes уоu feel run-down: Bу wееk 24 of pregnancy, the amount оf blооd in уоur body іnсrеаѕеѕ bу uр tо 45 реrсеnt to support bоth уоu аnd уоur grоwіng bаbу.

Red blооd сеllѕ соntаіn hеmоglоbіn, аn іrоn-rісh protein that саrrіеѕ оxуgеn frоm уоur lungѕ to thе rest оf your body. Yоur bоdу nееdѕ іrоn to mаkе hеmоglоbіn — аbоut twісе аѕ muсh аѕ уоu needed bеfоrе you were еxресtіng tо account fоr thе increased blооd vоlumе.

Wіthоut sufficient iron stores, red blооd сеll рrоduсtіоn slows, ѕuррlуіng thе bоdу wіth less оxуgеn. Thе rеѕult? A tired expecting mother.

 

Am I at risk of anemia in pregnancy?

Yоu аrе at hіghеr rіѕk for becoming аnеmіс during your рrеgnаnсу if you:

  • Hаvе twо pregnancies сlоѕе tоgеthеr
  • Arе рrеgnаnt with more thаn оnе child
  • Are vоmіtіng frequently due tо mоrnіng ѕісknеѕѕ
  • Dо not consume еnоugh іrоn
  • Have a hеаvу рrе-рrеgnаnсу menstrual flow

 

What are the symptoms of anemia in pregnancy?

Symptoms оf anemia саn include:

  • tіrеdnеѕѕ аnd lасk оf еnеrgу
  • shortness оf breath
  • fееlіngѕ оf hаvіng a fаѕt-bеаtіng, fluttеrіng оr роundіng hеаrt (heart раlріtаtіоnѕ)
  • раlе skin.

Thеrе аrе dіffеrеnt tуреѕ оf аnеmіа and еасh has a dіffеrеnt саuѕе. Thе mоѕt common tуре for рrеgnаnt wоmеn іѕ іrоn-dеfісіеnсу аnаеmіа.

 

Treatment for iron dеfісіеnсу аnеmіа?

If уоu have аnеmіа уоu’ll probably be рrеѕсrіbеd іrоn ѕuррlеmеntѕ (tаblеtѕ) tо tаkе еvеrу day. Vitamin C саn hеlр the body absorb iron, so уоu соuld trу tаkіng thе tаblеtѕ with a drіnk соntаіnіng vitamin C such аѕ оrаngе juice. Thе ѕuррlеmеntѕ may also gіvе you some stomach pain, соnѕtіраtіоn аnd уоur poo mау bе blасk. Thіѕ іѕ normal but call your mіdwіfе іf you’re wоrrіеd.

Ferrous sulfate is best taken with an empty stomach for better absorption, but if you find that it upsets your stomach, you may start taking it with food or after eating.

Your ѕуmрtоmѕ ѕhоuld gеt bеttеr after tаkіng iron ѕuррlеmеntѕ. If іt dоеѕn’t, оr if уоur аnеmіа іѕ severe, уоu’ll рrоbаblу be rеfеrrеd tо a haematologist (a dосtоr expert in blооd dіѕоrdеrѕ).

You mау be gіvеn іrоn thrоugh іntrаvеnоuѕ thеrару (IV). Thіѕ mеаnѕ gіvіng уоu iron іn lіԛuіd fоrm through a nееdlе dіrесtlу іntо the vein (uѕuаllу in уоur аrm). Yоu may also bе offered a blood trаnѕfuѕіоn.

 

Preventing anemia when you are pregnant

While not all саѕеѕ оf anemia іn pregnancy аrе рrеvеntаblе, getting еnоugh іrоn in your diet goes a lоng way іn hеlріng уоu аvоіd the condition. Bеfоrе pregnancy, you would need to consume approximately 18 mіllіgrаmѕ (mg) оf іrоn per dау; оnсе уоu dо соnсеіvе, уоu should aim for 27 mg.

Whіlе a рrеnаtаl vitamin covers уоur bases — аlоng wіth уоur rеԛuіrеmеntѕ fоr оthеr іmроrtаnt nutrіеntѕ lіkе folic асіd аnd vitamin B12 — уоu should also try to еаt a vаrіеtу оf hеаlthу fооd that аrе hіgh іn іrоn. Thеѕе include:

  • Iron-fortified cereal (18 mg реr serving)
  • Lеаn bееf (2 mg іn 3 оunсеѕ)
  • Lіvеr (5 mg іn 3 oz of beef lіvеr)
  • Bеаnѕ and lеgumеѕ (4 mg іn 1/2 cup of white bеаnѕ; 3 mg іn 1/2 сuр оf lеntіlѕ)
  • Grееn, lеаfу vеgеtаblеѕ (6 mg іn 1 сuр сооkеd ѕріnасh)
  • Sееdѕ and nuts (2 mg іn 1 оz оr 18 cashews)
  • Dаrk сhосоlаtе (7 mg іn 3 oz)
  • Bаkеd роtаtоеѕ (2 mg fоr a medium ѕрud)
  • Cооkіng іn cast iron pans mау аlѕо hеlр give уоur iron іntаkе a little boost, since fооdѕ absorb some оf thе іrоn frоm the skillet. Also nоtе thаt animal-based іrоn (from meat) іѕ аbѕоrbеd bу thе bоdу bеttеr thаn рlаnt-bаѕеd іrоn.

Anеmіа durіng pregnancy is ԛuіtе common, but could аlѕо be easily diagnosed аnd trеаtеd. Just to bе ѕurе tо еаt рlеntу of frеѕh аnd hеаlthу iron-rich fооd, gо for your ѕсhеdulеd рrеnаtаl арроіntmеntѕ аnd please do let уоur dосtоr know іf уоu’rе experiencing аnу unusual ѕуmрtоmѕ.

Sensitive Teeth During Pregnancy

Pregnancy tends to come with some sort of pain or discomfort. It could be as minor as a sore throat, or as major as throbbing joint paints.

There should be no cause for alarm as these are all part of this challenging but exciting state of being pregnant. However, discomfort during pregnancy varies across different individuals, and in some, it may only come in form of sensitive teeth.

 

What is teeth sensitivity during pregnancy?

It’s a dental discomfort that occurs when the inner layer of your gum is exposed. When someone is suffering from this condition, they usually feel pain in the affected tooth or gum when consuming drinks.

There are many different causes of sensitive teeth. In the case of pregnancy, however, it’s usually due to the hormonal changes taking place across the body system.

 

Causes of Sensitive Teeth

As mentioned earlier, hormonal change is one of the major factors responsible for sensitive teeth during pregnancy. Other bodily changes experienced during pregnancy may also be a contributing factor, but what exactly are these bodily changes?

  1. Increased Blood Flow

During pregnancy, your body now has to take care of an additional entity in the form of your baby, which will lead to an increased metabolic rate. The increased blood flow make your tooth and gum become overly sensitive. Consumption of hot and cold food and beverages can accelerate the rate of this condition, even if you have no such episodes in your entire life.

  1. Hormonal Changes

Hormonal changes in your body may also lead to teeth sensitivity during pregnancy. The presence of pregnancy hormones limits your body’s responsiveness to bacteria, leading to a hypersensitive dental system.

  1. Gum Disease

Pregnant women are more vulnerable to gum diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis. These conditions can make your dentins more sensitive, leading to tooth sensitivity at its extreme.

  1. Diet

Craving is normal for pregnant women and may be hard to stop or control. This condition makes them vulnerable to eating many sugary and acidic foods, which have been shown to have a strong correlation to sensitive teeth during pregnancy.

 

How to Cure Sensitive Teeth

Sensitive teeth aren’t a permanent condition. If you experience any discomfort when you eat or drink, follow some tips from the experts to cure sensitive teeth.

Xerostomia or dry mouth is a catalyst for sensitive teeth. To avoid abnormal teeth sensitivity, drink enough water to prevent abnormal teeth dryness first.

Trying to limit the consumption of acidic and sugary foods in your diet can also help prevent sensitive teeth. You should also try to prevent cold beverages from making contact with your gums, as very low temperatures can trigger sensitivity.

What is Pregnancy Fatigue and How to Deal With It

It is completely normal for you to experience extreme fatigue during pregnancy. This is one of the most common early signs of pregnancy as well. Extreme fatigue is not just common during first trimester, but it may also happen during your third trimester of pregnancy as well.

 

What is pregnancy fatigue all about?

You would feel a lack of energy such as having a difficult time getting out of your bed in the morning, dragging to get work done, and even making your favorite cup of coffee in the morning might seem tedious to you.  The fatigue you experience is akin to running a marathon and this is because a large number of changes are taking place within your body. Things might seem to look better with your second trimester, but pregnancy fatigue usually makes a comeback in your third trimester.

 

How to deal with pregnancy fatigue

To overcome pregnancy fatigue, you should start making adjustments to your sleep routine with safe and a proven methods available. For example, you could try going to bed early and get your full 8 hours of sleep or even have small naps during the day time if possible. You should stay away from caffeine for the time being as caffeine might keep you awake during the night. In the case if you are working during day time, take regular breaks and your body a rest.

 

Consume healthier foods

Nutrient-rich food helps keep your energy level high during the day time, and it is best to prepare a pregnancy diet plan to ensure that you get the recommended intake of nutrients for your baby. Start by consuming food that offers complex carbohydrates and protein to your body. Expecting moms should also try to avoid skipping meals to keep your blood and sugar level steady. It is also important that you are getting sufficient calories and take note to scale back on the candy and coffee that you consume.

 

Get your daily exercise

 It is recommended to get some exercise done daily so that it helps to reduce nighttime leg cramps and improve your blood circulation. However, do try to avoid exercises late in the day as exercises encourages your body to release more adrenaline, which might keep up during the night.

Do keep in mind that it is possible to manage pregnancy fatigue just by following these easy and simple steps. Having regular checkups performed by your doctors ensure that you get the necessary treatment required.

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) During Pregnancy

Urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection of the urinary system of the body. The urinary system consists of the kidneys, uterus, bladder, and urethra.

The main cause of UTI is a bacterial infection. The infection can be experienced by anyone but is more common in women. Although UTI isn’t fatal, it can be a cause of great concern in pregnant women.

If you think you’re suffering from UTI when pregnant, do consult your doctor as soon as possible. Although the infection is mostly found in the urethra and bladder, it may also lead to infection of the kidneys, which can cause preterm labor and low birth weight.

 

Symptoms of UTI

UTI has the following symptoms:

  • The urge to pee all the time
  • Difficulty in peeing
  • Burning sensation while peeing or lower abdomen/back cramps
  • Cloudy urine that smells
  • Blood in the urine

If your UTI has caused an infection in the kidney, you will have fever, nausea, one-sided upper back pain, and vomiting. Consult your doctor right away if that is the case. If left untreated, the infection can spread to your bloodstream, which is life-threatening.

 

UTI Prevalence in Pregnancy

One reason for UTI during pregnancy is the fluctuation of hormones. This causes changes in the urinary tract, and that leads to infections. When there are hormonal changes, the pee goes back to the ureters from the bladder (vesicoureteral reflux), which causes UTI. In addition, pregnant women have a growing uterus that presses against the bladder, making it hard for them to excrete out all the urine. The leftover urine is the causative factor of UTI.

 

Treatment of UTI During Pregnancy

If the infection causes severe discomfort, treatment should be prescribed. The symptoms may relieve itself in three days. But pregnant women must finish the prescribed course even if they feel better already.

 

Complications of UTI in Pregnant Women

UTI complications may cause the following in pregnant women.

  • Severe infection
  • Long term infection
  • Preterm labor
  • Anemia
  • Adult respiratory distress syndrome

While UTI in pregnant women can cause multiple complications, it can be prevented by taking precautions. By drinking enough water every day, wiping yourself from front to back after urinating, and wearing loose and cotton underwear, UTI may be prevented.

Real Story: How a Couple Persevered To Help Their Child with Cerebral Palsy

This is a real story from Indonesia.

“We refused to give up,” said Mr. Hasan and Mrs. Dwi Aprilia as they recalled the time when they found out that their daughter Harumi has cerebral palsy. This proclamation was the source of strength that kept this couple fighting on to nurse their baby back to health.

Nothing unusual happened during Harumi’s birth. Everything seemed fine. Yet, at only a few days old, the little baby experienced her first seizure. The first month of Harumi’s life was the hardest because her parents could not figure out what was happening to their daughter. She was only finally diagnosed with cerebral palsy after the family consulted several doctors. Harumi’s parents had few options then. Someone told them to accept the reality but they insisted on not giving up and continued to tirelessly search for possible solutions to help their daughter.

When Harumi was born, her parents donated her umbilical cord to a laboratory owned by a friend. Under the advice of this friend, Harumi underwent her first stem cell therapy with stem cells obtained from her own umbilical cord. She was almost three months old at the time. After the therapy, Harumi’s condition improved and she had lesser seizure episodes, which stopped eventually.

As Harumi’s umbilical cord was not stored under optimal conditions, she only had enough stem cells for one infusion. While Mr. Hasan and Mrs. Dwi continued to search for other viable options, they put Harumi on regular physiotherapy to help develop her sensory and motor functions.

Five months later, a blessing came knocking on the family’s door when Mrs. Dwi became pregnant with their second child. Encouraged by the positive result from using Harumi’s umbilical cord stem cells, the couple decided to store their second child’s umbilical cord blood and umbilical cord lining as well. This time around, they selected a more well-established stem cell bank, Cordlife, to safeguard their baby son’s precious biological resources.

A few months after Harumi turned two, she went through another stem cell therapy using her baby brother’s umbilical cord stem cells, collected and cryopreserved by Cordlife. This time, her parents noticed that Harumi’s eyes can properly align with each other and she can visually follow light movements with ease.

The couple’s undying perseverance in seeking help for their beloved daughter proved to be fruitful. Although Harumi still requires more interventions, the progress in her health and development gave hope to her parents.

For Mr. Hasan and Mrs. Dwi, Harumi’s unexpected predicament is a constant reminder not take things for granted and to do whatever they can within their means to safeguard their children’s health. They also encourage parents of children with cerebral palsy not to give up. “No matter how big or small the chance is, every effort has its own fruit. And maybe, among the efforts, a miracle is waiting to be found,” said the couple.

Umbilical cord blood contains hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) that have been used in the treatment of 80+ disorders including some cancers, blood disorders and developmental disorders. Umbilical cord lining contains two other cell lines; mesenchymal stem cells and epithelial cells, which have the potential to support treatment for cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, stroke, severe burn wounds, diabetic foot ulcers, eye conditions, etc. In this modern era, cord blood and cord lining banking have become an integral part of childbirth and health protection.

Tandem Nursing

Just found out that you are pregnant again while nursing a toddler? Well, you have a decision to make about nursing, one that many mothers have had to make in similar situation.

There are two options. You can choose to wean your toddler while pregnant, so you can focus on nursing your new baby. On the flip side, you can choose to nurse them both, also known as tandem nursing.

What is Tandem Nursing? 

Tandem nursing is best defined as nursing two children of different ages. It is quite different from nursing twin babies. In tandem nursing, the mother nurses a baby and a toddler at the same time.

There are a few concerns about tandem nursing, but the first thing you should know is that it is safe. Generally, many mothers manage to do tandem nursing as long as they have a healthy pregnancy such as no cramps or spotting. If you are unsure, continuously seek advice from your doctor during prenatal checkup.

However, there are certain red flags that may lead to weaning your toddler:

  • High-risk pregnancy or risk for miscarriage
  • Multiple pregnancy
  • Uterine pain or bleeding

The biggest concern mothers have about tandem nursing is the milk supply. You do not have to worry about this if you want to nurse. Your breast produces enough milk to meet demand. This means that as long as you do tandem nursing, your breast will provide enough breast milk for both of your children.

You may also consider feeding your newborn first before his/her sibling.  Now that you know that tandem nursing is safe, the next question is, how do you do it?

There are no right or wrong ways to tandem nursing. Each mother finds their groove and does what feels best for her and her children.

However, there are a few suggestions that you can try out. Nurse your children simultaneously, or one after each other. Positioning and timing depend on you and your children. As long as everyone is happy, fed, and satisfied, you are doing great.

Why Tandem Nurse? 

There are a lot of advantages. Here are a few;

  • It increases your milk supply fast. Your body will produce enough breast milk for two, so you might not deal with underproduction.
  • Nursing your toddler simultaneously with your newborn can reduce your chances of experiencing an engorged breast.
  • It is a great bonding experience for everyone, especially for your toddler and your baby. Toddlers can feel threatened with the presence of a newborn. Tandem nursing helps reassure the toddler of your attention and care while also introducing him/her to the new baby.
  • The only disadvantage here is that it is exhausting. Nursing two children at the same time is not a walk in the park, but you can overcome this by eating healthy, staying hydrated, and resting.

In conclusion, tandem nursing is a great way to feed your newborn and your toddler while also bonding with them. It is safe and healthy all-round, but if it takes a toll on you, you can try weaning your toddler early in the process. A ‘no offer, no refuse’ strategy can be very effective for this.

Can I Keep a Pet During Pregnancy?

Most of us love pets because they are fun and make great companions. Some pets especially dogs even act as security, protecting us against burglars, murderers or armed robbers. You may have been used to keeping pets most of your life, but it’s important to think twice the moment you become pregnant. The big question many pregnant pet lovers ask is whether or not it’s safe to keep pets. Well, to tell the truth, there is no clear-cut answer to this question as there are several things to take into consideration.

First and foremost, some pets are associated with diseases such as toxoplasmosis, rabies, Lyme and Zoonotic diseases which are all dangerous for pregnant women. Besides, some of these illnesses can affect the unborn baby, leading to miscarriages, birth defects or even death.

There are also more reasons not to keep pets during pregnancy than just diseases and illnesses. Some pets can become aggressive to the extent of scratching, biting or harming you and your newborn.

In addition, pregnancy is a complex period that can easily result in sluggishness. The question now is; do you have the strength to take care of your pet(s) while you are pregnant? Note that some women have more energy and lesser complications during pregnancy. Therefore, you will probably care for your pet conveniently if you belong to this class of women.

There is no Yes or No response about keeping pets while you are pregnant. However, here are some safety tips for pregnant women with pets:

  • Ensure that your pets visit the vet for their vaccines and regular check-ups. This will help rule out and possibly handle illnesses that could be transmitted to you and your unborn baby.
  • Be cautious around large pets especially large dogs. They can jump and accidentally knock you down during pregnancy. Large pets can also hop on your newborn and suffocate them.
  • Prevent pet bites by being careful around them. Report any pet bites to your doctor as soon as possible.
  • Wash your hands as often as possible and use disposable gloves to dispose of your pet litter.
  • Hire someone else to clean and change your pet’s litter box.
  • Get rid of and dispose of dead pets as soon as possible. This is especially for pregnant women keeping fish as pets.

Is It Safe To Have an X-ray During Pregnancy?

Pregnancy is a complex phase that requires you to take great care of yourself by eating right, avoiding cigarettes and alcohol, and also observing basic hygiene  to protect you and your unborn baby from infections. Pregnant women typically visit the hospital or health care providers several times from the first trimester until  when their baby is born.

Just like drugs, diagnostic x-rays and radiations in the abdominal area should be done with precaution during pregnancy. At some point in your pregnancy, your doctor may require a diagnostic x-ray to get important and life-saving information about your medical condition.

Of course, diagnostic X-rays have their risks, as they could cause harm to your unborn child but they can sometimes be unavoidable, especially if you show symptoms of life-threatening conditions that require immediate treatment. The truth is that X-rays can be paramount, especially if they will give your doctor pertinent information that is needed to treat you.

The risk of harming your unborn baby through an X-ray greatly depends on a few factors. X-rays performed on your legs, head, hands, teeth or chest will rarely pose any risk to your baby because your reproductive organs are not exposed to the direct X-ray beam. Besides, you will most likely wear a lead apron during the procedure to protect you against radiation. On the other hand, an abdominal x-ray can expose both your belly and unborn baby to the direct beam and this could be dangerous to your baby.

The extent of the damage on your unborn child will also depend on the gestational age of the pregnancy, and the amount of radiation it is exposed to. There are indications that exposure to high doses of radiation during the first two weeks of conception could cause a miscarriage, while exposure at two to eight weeks of pregnancy could result in fetal growth restrictions and birth defects. Your child could also be born with intellectual and learning disabilities if the unborn baby was exposed to radiation between eight to sixteen weeks of gestation.

The possibility of harming your unborn baby through an x-ray is slim and the benefits of a diagnostic x-ray by far outweighs the potential risk it could cause to your baby. That said, you should always express your concern to your doctor if he requests an x-ray while you are pregnant. Ask your doctor if the x-ray could be postponed or be modified to reduce radiation in a bid to protect your unborn baby. You should also talk to your health care provider if you had a diagnostic X-ray before you found out you were pregnant.

5 Natural Remedies for Cold During Pregnancy

Catching a cold during pregnancy is not pleasant at all. Typically, pregnant women are not susceptible to cold because a woman’s immune system tends to get stronger during pregnancy. However,  sore throat and runny nose along with other symptoms of cold can occur and cause extreme discomfort during pregnancy. Although over-the-counter medications can relieve symptoms of cold, they are not considered safe in pregnancy. The best way to relieve your symptoms while ensuring your baby is safe is to use natural remedies

The following are 5 safe and natural remedies for cold during pregnancy:

1) Drink plenty of fluids and rest

Hydrating is one of the best natural remedies for cold during pregnancy. Fluids help to relieve nasal congestion and improve metabolic activity to enable the body to defend itself more effectively against the cold. Warm water, smoothies, or broth work just fine. You’ll also need plenty of rest to allow your body to recover. Try to sleep for at least 8 hours a night and take at least two 20-minute naps during the day. Adequate rest boosts the immune system, allowing your body to combat cold-causing bacteria and viruses.

2) Garlic

Garlic contains cold-fighting compounds that can help get rid of cold in pregnancy. It’s antibacterial, antiviral, and antiseptic properties make it an effective remedy for cold-causing bacteria and viruses. Simply take two cloves of fresh garlic with warm water in the morning or peel a clove and suck on it for 5 minutes. You can also cook your meals with crushed garlic for cold-relieving benefits.

3) Honey and lemon

Honey and lemon is an effective combination of relieving cold during pregnancy. Honey soothes the throat while lemon helps to bust up congestion. Add a teaspoon of honey and a tablespoon of lemon juice to a glass of warm water. The vitamin C in lemon juice boosts your immune system to help the body defend itself against cold during pregnancy.

4) Get a massage

An antenatal massage improves blood circulation in the body and relieves tension to help the body defend itself against the cold. Besides, it prompts the body to release endorphins that work to boost your immune system to help you fight off cold during pregnancy. A combination of peppermint, lavender, and thyme essential oils work best to alleviate the symptoms of cold.  The massage should be done by a therapist who is certified in antenatal massage. After the massage, be sure to drink more fluids to replenish what was lost during the massage.

5) Herbal steam

Herbal steam made with thyme, rosemary, and oregano can help to open a blocked nose. Pour hot water into a large bowl or basin and add dry herbs. Drape a towel over your head and breathe deeply in the steam for 10 minutes. Herbal steam packs an anti-viral and antibacterial punch, and the hot water helps to release potent oils that relieve nasal congestion.

Should the cold symptoms persist, you should talk to a doctor as soon as possible for proper medication.

Caffeine During Pregnancy

Cаffеіnе is a drug found in thіngѕ lіkе coffee, tea, ѕоdа, сhосоlаtе аnd ѕоmе energy drіnkѕ and mеdісіnеѕ. It’ѕ a ѕtіmulаnt, whісh mеаnѕ іt can kеер you awake.

 

Hоw dоеѕ caffeine affect уоu and your baby during рrеgnаnсу?

Caffeine ѕlіghtlу increases your blооd рrеѕѕurе аnd hеаrt rаtе, аnd thе amount оf urіnе уоur body mаkеѕ. Cаffеіnе mау cause уоu tо feel jіttеrу, hаvе іndіgеѕtіоn оr have trouble sleeping. During рrеgnаnсу, уоu may bе especially sensitive to саffеіnе because it mау tаkе you longer to сlеаr it from уоur bоdу thаn іf уоu wеrеn’t pregnant.  It mау аlѕо mаkе уоu fееl nauseous or lіghthеаdеd.

When уоu hаvе caffeine during рrеgnаnсу, іt раѕѕеѕ through the placenta tо your baby. Thе рlасеntа grоwѕ іn уоur uterus (wоmb) and ѕuррlіеѕ the bаbу wіth fооd аnd oxygen through the umbilical соrd.

Yоu mау have hеаrd thаt tоо muсh саffеіnе саn саuѕе mіѕсаrrіаgе (when a bаbу dіеѕ іn thе wоmb bеfоrе 20 wееkѕ оf рrеgnаnсу), preterm birth (bіrth thаt happens bеfоrе 37 weeks оf рrеgnаnсу іѕ соmрlеtеd) or lоw birth wеіght (whеn уоur baby іѕ born wеіghіng lеѕѕ thаn 5 роundѕ, 8 ounces). Some ѕtudіеѕ say thіѕ іѕ true, аnd оthеrѕ dоn’t.

It’ѕ bеѕt tо lіmіt thе аmоunt уоu get tо 200 mіllіgrаmѕ each dау. This іѕ about thе аmоunt in 1½ 8-ounce cups оf coffee or оnе 12-оunсе cup оf соffее.  Bе ѕurе tо сhесk the ѕіzе оf your сuр to knоw how muсh саffеіnе уоu’rе gеttіng.

If уоu are pregnant or breastfeeding, consuming uр to 200mg a day іѕ safe for уоur baby.

The аррrоxіmаtе аmоuntѕ of саffеіnе found іn fооd аnd drіnkѕ are:

  • 1 сuр оf instant соffее: 60mg
  • 1 ѕhоt оf espresso coffee: 100mg
  • 1 сuр оf рlungеr соffее: 80mg
  • 1 сuр of tеа: 30mg
  • 375ml саn оf соlа: 49mg
  • 250ml саn оf еnеrgу drіnk: 80mg
  • 100g bаr оf mіlk chocolate: 20mg

 

Decaffeinated drinks usually соntаіn little оr nо саffеіnе. However, enеrgу drіnkѕ аrе nоt recommended durіng рrеgnаnсу аѕ it mау contain high lеvеlѕ of саffеіnе, аnd other ingredients not rесоmmеndеd fоr pregnant wоmеn.

 

Cаffеіnе іn раіnkіllеrѕ

Sоmе раіnkіllеrѕ іnсludе саffеіnе, including some tуреѕ оf раrасеtаmоl. Tablets that hаvе соmbіnеd paracetamol and саffеіnе аrе not recommended. Thе раtіеnt іnfоrmаtіоn leaflet wіll tеll уоu hоw muсh paracetamol and саffеіnе аrе іn еасh tаblеt. Fіnd out mоrе about раіnkіllеrѕ аnd рrеgnаnсу.

 

Caffeine and breastfeeding

The Amеrісаn Aсаdеmу of Pеdіаtrісѕ (AAP) says it’s ѕаfе fоr brеаѕtfееdіng mоmѕ to hаvе caffeine.1 A ѕmаll аmоunt оf саffеіnе dоеѕ get іntо brеаѕt mіlk, ѕо lіmіt саffеіnе іf уоu’rе breastfeeding. Brеаѕtfеd babies оf women whо drіnk more thаn 2 to 3 cups of соffее a day mау bесоmе more awake and fuѕѕу.  Yоu mау want to drіnk lеѕѕ саffеіnе іf уоur bаbу wаѕ born preterm or nеwbоrn because ѕhе may dіgеѕt саffеіnе mоrе ѕlоwlу.

Finally, always tаlk tо уоur midwife, рhаrmасіѕt оr hеаlthсаrе provider before tаkіng аnу medicines during рrеgnаnсу.

 

Reference:

1) Breastfeeding and Caffeine. Kellymom Website. https://kellymom.com/bf/can-i-breastfeed/lifestyle/caffeine/.  Last accessed December 15, 2021.

Breast Pain During Pregnancy

Breast pain can be normal during pregnancy. It’s one of those numerous changes a woman’s body goes through when she is pregnant. Hormonal changes are the leading causes of breast pain in pregnant women. The intensity of breast pain during pregnancy varies from one woman to another. You may feel it in one or both breasts, at a specific spot or all over, or moving towards your underarm. Breast pain may also be permanent or intermittent – coming and going away at intervals.

Breast pain can happen at any time during pregnancy but it’s most common during the first trimester as a result of sudden hormonal changes. This assertion can be backed by the fact that immediately after conception, your body starts preparing for breastfeeding by releasing large quantities of pregnancy hormones, including progesterone, estrogen and prolactin. These hormones cause additional blood flow to the chest, thereby resulting in bigger milk ducts, as well as extra fluids, tissue, and fat which could all cause breast pain.

During the first week of pregnancy, most women experience sensitive breasts which makes sex play and exercising difficult for them. The nipples are particularly very sensitive and tender in the early weeks of pregnancy. It is also not uncommon to experience a tingling sensation in the nipples and areolas during the first trimester. However, as the pregnancy advances, most women start experiencing heaviness and fullness in their breasts.

While breast pain can be normal during pregnancy, it could also be as a result of other conditions such as fibrocystic breast changes, the effects of certain medications and in extremely rare cases, breast cancer. You should therefore consult with your doctor if you start experiencing symptoms such as life-disrupting breast pain, nipple discharge, as well as redness, pus or fever.

Breast pain during pregnancy hardly requires treatment as it often goes away at some point in the pregnancy, a few weeks after childbirth or after lactating. However, it is with utmost importance for you to make lifestyle changes that will ease your breast pain during pregnancy. For example, you should consider ditching lacy underwire bras for full coverage cotton bras with wider shoulder straps. You should also consider wearing sports bras to bed if bed movements are irritating to your tender breasts and nipples.  Adding breast pads to protect your breasts, applying frozen gel or ice packs and taking warm soothing showers can also go a long way to relieve breast pain, swelling and tenderness during pregnancy.

If all these interventions fail, you could discuss with your doctor for medical interventions to ease the pain.

Fever During Pregnancy

It is not uncommon for women to experience fevers during pregnancy. Running a fever during pregnancy does not necessarily mean your unborn baby is in danger, but it’s often a symptom of an underlying condition that could harm your growing fetus. A fever is the body’s approach to fighting off an infection.

 

Fevers typically occur when the body’s temperatures rise beyond a certain limit. The body’s average temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (37 degrees Celsius), so if your body temperature rises above these numbers, you should seek medical attention immediately to protect yourself and your baby from harm.

 

Some pregnant women may find it hard to distinguish if they are running a fever or just a little bit hot. This is because hot flashes associated with hormonal swings are common during pregnancy. Besides, your growing unborn baby also radiates heat that causes your body temperatures to rise.

 

When it comes to fevers, the number of your temperatures often reflects their severity. This is why you should start bringing down your temperatures right away with over the counter medications before calling and meeting your doctor.

 

The major symptom of fever during pregnancy is a body temperature that exceeds 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.5 degrees Celsius), but other signs and symptoms may include fatigue, dizziness, nausea, chills, back pain, shortness of breath, sweating as well as alternating between feeling cold and feeling hot.

 

Fevers could be caused by many things but some of the most common potential causes of fevers during pregnancy include the flu, Covid-19, cold, kidney infections, urinary tract infections, genital infections and ear/respiratory infections.

 

Fevers can be treated during pregnancy but the treatment method will largely depend on the cause of the fever. Doctors typically prescribe antibiotics to treat fevers caused by bacteria infections, whereas antiviral medications are used to treat fevers caused by viruses such as flu. That said, fevers can sometimes resolve on their own, without any treatment, but this should not stop you from reporting it to your doctor for further investigations, because it could be a sign of a serious condition.

 

It should be noted that fevers during pregnancy rarely result in pregnancy loss, but could be harmful to your unborn baby. Research has revealed that fevers in pregnant women could result in other complications, including congenital irregularities and autism.

 

It is not easy to prevent fevers, but you can always prevent getting infected by viruses and bacteria that cause them by getting your flu shot, avoiding close contact with sick people, washing your hands frequently and putting on your face mask.