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Pregnant Tips

Melasma - All About It!

Dr. Jagatjit Singh 85% (256 ratings)
MBBS, DHMS-Harvard, Masters in Clinical Dermatology
Dermatologist, Chandigarh
Melasma - All About It!

A common skin condition, which causes the discoloration of your skin in patches across the face, melasma is more of a social embarrassment and cause for distress rather than being a serious condition. Although it affects men as well, studies have shown that over 90 percent of patients are women. It is also known as the mask of pregnancy as many pregnant women develop this skin condition.

Causes of Melasma

Primary causes of melasma have been attributed to various hormonal changes within the body. Let's look at some of the factors that may cause this disorder:

  1. Pregnancy: This is often attributed as the leading cause of melasma, the primary cause has often been attributed to hormonal changes that a woman may experience due to pregnancy.
  2. Treatments that may change hormonal balance: Women on contraceptive pills or who have implants such as intrauterine devices may also develop this disorder. This is due to the balance of estrogen and progesterone being changed within the body.
  3. Sun exposure: Continued sun exposure may also lead to melasma. This is due to the activation of melanocytes within the body which starts producing more melanin.
  4. Stress: Long periods of stress on the body can also trigger hormonal changes and cause melasma.
  5. Thyroid problems: If someone suffers from Hypothyroidism or low levels of the thyroid hormone, it can trigger other hormonal changes and also cause this skin disorder. 

It has also been noticed that people with generally a darker skin tone tend to get melasma and it is less common in people with fairer skin.

Certain characteristics of Melasma

Melasma develops in certain patterns which can be easily diagnosed either as spots on the skin similar to freckles or brown patches of skin that grow bigger. Some of these patterns are:

  1. Malar pattern: This grows on the nose and cheeks
  2. Mandibular pattern: Starts growing around the jawline
  3. Brachial melasma: This grows on the upper arms and shoulders
  4. Lateral cheek pattern: Grows on the cheek on both sides of the face
  5. Centrofacial pattern: Nose, upper lips, forehead, and cheeks

Treatment of Melasma

Most women who develop melasma during pregnancy report that it goes away after childbirth. However certain forms of melasma may appear in non-pregnant women due to hormonal changes. Treating the underlying hormonal changes usually, resolves the problem. However certain other methods may be required to resolve the issues such as skin creams, chemical peels, dermabrasion, and microdermabrasion.

1 person found this helpful

3 Ways To Treat Ectopic Pregnancy!

Dr. Noopur Sharma 88% (10 ratings)
MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MS
Gynaecologist, Ghaziabad
3 Ways To Treat Ectopic Pregnancy!

An ectopic pregnancy takes place in the case when the completely fertilized egg attaches itself to a place outside the inner side of the uterus. Ectopic pregnancy is also called tubal pregnancy because in most cases, it takes place in the Fallopian tube. Usually, the Fallopian tubes are not responsible for holding an embryo, which keeps on growing. Hence, the egg has no scope to develop in the Fallopian tube. This problem must be treated as soon as possible to avoid further complications. Here are several ways of treating ectopic pregnancy.

  1. Expectant management: In case you are not experiencing any symptoms of pregnancy or the pregnancy cannot be found, close observation is required. This is known as expectant management. You should conduct regular blood tests and follow them up in order to detect, whether the hCG level in your blood is ascending or descending. You are likely to have vaginal bleeding. Use pads and towels instead of tampons. Pain in your tummy is also indicated.
  2. Proper medication: In case ectopic pregnancy is detected at an early stage and constant monitoring is not suitable for you, a medicine by the name of methotrexate can be used for treatment. The medicine stops this pregnancy from developing. It is usually injected into your buttocks. Regular blood tests must be carried out to know how the treatment is taking shape on your condition. Trusted contraception measures should be taken for three months following the treatment as methotrexate is very harmful for an infant in case you become pregnant. Keep away from alcohol, as the combination of methotrexate with alcohol is harmful to the liver.
  3. Surgical means: The most common mode of surgery for removing ectopic pregnancy during an early stage is laparoscopy or keyhole surgery. While a laparoscopy is carried out, you will be in a state of anesthesia. A narrow tube or the laparoscope is inserted through surgical cuts in the tummy. The Fallopian tube, which had the ectopic pregnancy is totally removed in case the other Fallopian tube is functioning well. Else the pregnancy has to be somehow removed without cutting off the Fallopian tube. Removal of the Fallopian tube is the best remedy for treating ectopic pregnancy and getting pregnant again is also possible. It takes a normal woman almost six weeks to recover after the surgery. Laparotomy is another kind of surgery carried out to repair a ruptured Fallopian tube.
311 people found this helpful

Travelling During Pregnancy - How Safe Is It?

Dr. Anil Chittake 85% (10 ratings)
MBBS, DNB - Obstetrics & Gynecology, DGO
Gynaecologist, Pune
Travelling During Pregnancy - How Safe Is It?

Travelling during pregnancy - Is it safe?
Pregnancy places some restrictions on the expectant mother, and one of them is limiting travel so much so that most women do only the required and essential commutes and skip any other travel, including vacations and business travel, completely until delivery. However, with the lifestyle changing for the woman so radically, this is being revisited. The doctor’s current advice is that unless there are potential complications expected or significant concerns, it is completely safe to travel.

The first trimester especially is a little tricky for travel, with the morning sickness. The second trimester is considered more ideal for travel, as the morning sickness and the feeling of being pregnant is sunk in, so the mother is comfortable. The third trimester is fine too, but the chances of fatigue are higher, and so travel is better avoided.

Read on to know some significant things to remember whether you are on a plane, train, or road during your pregnancy.
Car:

  1. Always buckle yourself up as soon as you enter the car. Use both the seat belt and the lap belt.
  2. Keep the air bags turned on.
  3. Try to avoid travel time of four hours at a stretch.
  4. When stopping for breaks, try to walk around a bit and stretch so that you do not feel the strain of sitting for long hours.

Plane:

  1. Most airlines allow women to travel during the first eight months of pregnancy.
  2. Some airlines do allow for travel during the ninth month, if the doctor approves it, or if there is an attendant with the expectant woman.
  3. It is okay to walk through airport screening during pregnancy. There are some women who are apprehensive about this aspect.
  4. Similarly the cabin pressure in the commercial planes reduces, but does not bear any significant impact for a pregnant woman.
  5. Select an aisle seat, as it allows for easy seating and getting up.
  6. Walking to the restroom and back should be carefully managed. The aisle is quite narrow and care must be taken to avoid hurting yourself.
  7. Use the seats for providing support when walking through the aisle.
  8. Especially, in turbulent stretches, try remaining seated, bearing in mind the safety aspects for yourself and the baby.

Other modes:

  1. Traveling by bus is safe, but trips to the restroom would be difficult.
  2. Trains are generally considered safer, as there is a lot of room for movement. Restrooms are available anytime, which is another major advantage.
  3. Sea travel is also considered safe, but sea sickness could add to the nausea.
  4. For long-term sailing, check with the cruise provider or the boat facility about availability of a healthcare provider on the ship.
     
1415 people found this helpful

Postures You Should Avoid During Pregnancy!

Dr. Rashmi Chaudhary 91% (10 ratings)
MBBS, DNB - Obstetrics and Gynecology, Fellow of Indian College of Maternal & Child Health (FICMCH), Certification in Infertility
Gynaecologist, Bangalore
Postures You Should Avoid During Pregnancy!

Motherhood is a life transforming phase that all women look forward to. With the conception of a baby, a number of physiological and psychological changes take place within the mother’s body. Soon there will be a number of restrictions in the kind of food a mother a can consume, the activities that a mother can perform, the way she sleeps or sits. These restrictions are put so as to allow the baby to grow and develop safely. The restrictions prevent injuries and accidents that can be quite fatal to both mother and child.

Sitting Postures You Must Avoid

  1. Do not sit straight on the edge of the chair. Provide a support to your back.

  2. Do not sit in a way that pressurises only one side of your hips. Evenly distribute your weight when sitting down. Be comfortable.

  3. Do not sit at the same place and in the same position for extended time periods.

  4. Do not twist from your waist when you are sitting on a rotating chair. Instead, slowly move the chair along with your entire body to turn around.

Standing Postures You Must Avoid

  1. Avoid standing with your pelvis tilted forward or backward. You must stand straight with your stomach held in and up as much as possible.

  2. You must not slouch while standing.

  3. Do not stand in the same position for an extended period of time.

  4. Do not put your weight on one foot. Shift weight occasionally if your feet are hurting, but make sure to evenly distribute the weight.

  5. Do not bend too much backwards or forwards.

  6. Do not keep your head tilted down or sideways when you are standing. Look up, look straight.

Sleeping Postures You Must Avoid

  1. Lying on your stomach

  2. Sleeping with pillows under your shoulders. Pillows should only support your head.

  3. Do not sleep all curled up. Relax your feet and hands to allow the blood circulation to continue smoothly.

  4. Do not jerk up from your lying position. Turn to the side, swing your legs down to the side of the bed slowly and sit up using the support of your hands.

Activities You Must Avoid

  1. Hard core gyming

  2. Weightlifting

  3. Intense cardio

  4. Intense aerobics that include a lot of jumping

  5. Squatting

  6. Lifting heavy weighted objects

  7. Travelling by public transport on a jerky road.
2434 people found this helpful

Endometrial Scratching And IVF - How Does It Help To Get Pregnant?

Neha Lad 87% (20 ratings)
MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MD - Obstetrtics & Gynaecology
IVF Specialist, Nashik
Endometrial Scratching And IVF - How Does It Help To Get Pregnant?

In vitro fertilisation (IVF) is a medical procedure followed for those women or couples suffering from infertility or for certain specific genetic problem. In the normal course, women or couples experience positive results within a few IVF cycles. However, in spite of reasonable pregnancy rates, some women may require few more cycles to achieve pregnancy. In such cases, in order to ensure a healthy pregnancy, the gynecologist may suggest the women undergo Endometrial Scratching before IVF. 

Endometrium explained in brief: 

The uterus is located in the pelvic region and it is in the size and shape of a pear. The inner cavity of the womb or uterus is protected by the tissue lining called endometrium, also called endometrial. The endometrium plays a significant role in supporting the pregnancy. 

The enhanced success of achieving pregnancy: 

The endometrial scratching procedure is a very simple one, which is resorted, so as to improve the results of IVF procedure. In this procedure, the gynecologist uses a very fine catheter and makes a small scratch on the endometrial lining. In fact, the scratch causes a kind of inflammatory reaction in the uterus. This inflammatory reaction induces the endometrium to be highly receptive to embryos during the successive menstrual cycle. This added receptivity enhances the success of pregnancy during the next menstrual cycle. 

Considering the higher level of success in achieving pregnancy, the endometrial scratching procedure has gained popularity in the IVF procedure. However, some of the other issues related to endometrial scratching may be as follows: 

  1. Endometrial scratching optimises the uterine lining and thereby, makes it easier to continue the embryo implanting procedure. Normally, before the endometrial scratching procedure, the gynecologist may suggest endometrial biopsy. 
  2. The endometrial procedure is usually suggested for those women who had two or more unsuccessful IVF procedures, despite having good quality embryos. However, in some cases, depending on the health of the patient and various other factors, the gynecologist may suggest this endometrial scratching at the very first IVF procedure. This procedure can be availed either for fresh embryos of the couple or frozen embryos or for the donor egg. 
  3. Although this is a part of a surgical procedure; endometrial scratching is very simple and painless and it is done without administering anesthesia. The procedure does not require any hospitalisation. In fact, the patient can go home soon after the procedure. Except for a few pain killers, this procedure does not require any extensive medication. 

This is a safe and easy procedure. Neither does it lead to any side effects, nor is the procedure burdensome for your wallet. Many couples have been benefited by this endometrial scratching procedure.

Pregnancy And Childbirth - What All Should You Know?

Dr. Shweta Upadhyay 86% (10 ratings)
MD - Obstetrics & Gynaecology, MBBS, Diploma in Family Planning
Gynaecologist, Navi Mumbai
Pregnancy And Childbirth - What All Should You Know?

Pregnancy is a source of joy for so many people but at the same time, childbirth can be quite an intimidating process. The physical pain associated with childbirth can easily scare any expectant mother but that should not stop you from enjoying your pregnancy to the fullest. Being aware and being consistently in touch with the doctor are the best options to maintain a healthy pregnancy.

Signs and Symptoms of Labor
When you get very close to your due date, you need to start preparing to give birth and in order to do that you need to know what to expect. You should have a very good and clear idea about the symptoms which cause labor. The labor symptoms are as follows:

  1. Your lower back starts to hurt and is accompanied by stubborn cramps that just won’t go away. This pain is very similar to the pain you experience during your period.
  2. When your vagina starts discharging reddish-brownish coloured mucus which means that the mucus plug obstructing the cervix has become loose. This also signifies that your cervix is opening up and turning soft and narrow and your body is preparing for labor.
  3. You start having painful contractions at very short intervals.
  4. The most prominent symptom of labor is when your water breaks i.e., your amniotic sac that holds the fetus ruptures.
  5. A strong feeling of pressure inside the stomach because your baby’s head is pressing very hard on the pelvic region.

Complications during Pregnancy and Childbirth
When you are pregnant, it is very important to be aware about the possible complications that can take place during the whole period of your pregnancy and then labor. Have a look:

  1. Miscarriage- This is one of the most common complications of pregnancy. When you lose your baby in the first 20 weeks of your pregnancy it is known as a miscarriage. A miscarriage can happen due to infections, placenta problems or if the expectant mother has some serious health issues.
  2. High blood pressure- When you are pregnant, your body goes through a lot of hormonal changes which can sometimes mess with your blood pressure. High blood pressure can cause another condition called preeclampsia which also badly affects your kidneys. This can cause you to deliver your baby much before your due date. This can also lead to a very low body weight of your child.
  3. Gestational diabetes- This condition happens when your body is unable to process the sugar properly which then leads to really high blood sugar levels. In such cases, it is extremely important for pregnant women to take insulin to keep their blood sugar levels steady. It is also advisable to follow a proper a diet.
  4. Preterm labor- Preterm labor happens when a pregnant woman starts to labor in the 37th week of pregnancy, before the fetus’s brain and lungs have even developed. This is the reason why doctors prescribe a lot of bed rest for during pregnancy because proper rest can help prevent preterm labor.
  5. Unhealthy birth weight- Having a low birth weight can cause a lot of problems for the baby such as heart problems, lung infections, learning problems and sometimes even blindness.
  6. Breech- Breech position happens when it looks like the fetus’s feet needs to be delivered before the head. This is one of the reasons why it is recommended to go for regular check ups so that the doctor can attempt to change the fetus’s breech position before delivery. But if the fetus’s position does not change, caesarean delivery is normally recommended.
  7. Placenta previa- When the placenta ends up covering the cervix, it is termed as placenta previa. Doctor normally advise to go for a caesarean delivery in such a case.
1 person found this helpful

Is It Safe To Travel During Pregnancy?

Dr. Rekha Anand 85% (10 ratings)
MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, DGO
Gynaecologist, Navi Mumbai
Is It Safe To Travel During Pregnancy?

Pregnancy places some restrictions on the expectant mother, and one of them is limiting travel so much so that most women do only the required and essential commutes and skip any other travel, including vacations and business travel, completely until delivery. However, with the lifestyle changing for the woman so radically, this is being revisited. The doctor’s current advice is that unless there are potential complications expected or significant concerns, it is completely safe to travel.

The first trimester especially is a little tricky for travel, with the morning sickness. The second trimester is considered more ideal for travel, as the morning sickness and the feeling of being pregnant is sunk in, so the mother is comfortable. The third trimester is fine too, but the chances of fatigue are higher, and so travel is better avoided.

Read on to know some significant things to remember whether you are on a plane, train, or road during your pregnancy.
Car:

  1. Always buckle yourself up as soon as you enter the car. Use both the seat belt and the lap belt.
  2. Keep the air bags turned on.
  3. Try to avoid travel time of four hours at a stretch.
  4. When stopping for breaks, try to walk around a bit and stretch so that you do not feel the strain of sitting for long hours.

Plane:

  1. Most airlines allow women to travel during the first eight months of pregnancy.
  2. Some airlines do allow for travel during the ninth month, if the doctor approves it, or if there is an attendant with the expectant woman.
  3. It is okay to walk through airport screening during pregnancy. There are some women who are apprehensive about this aspect.
  4. Similarly the cabin pressure in the commercial planes reduces, but does not bear any significant impact for a pregnant woman.
  5. Select an aisle seat, as it allows for easy seating and getting up.
  6. Walking to the restroom and back should be carefully managed. The aisle is quite narrow and care must be taken to avoid hurting yourself.
  7. Use the seats for providing support when walking through the aisle.
  8. Especially, in turbulent stretches, try remaining seated, bearing in mind the safety aspects for yourself and the baby.

Other modes:

  1. Traveling by bus is safe, but trips to the restroom would be difficult.
  2. Trains are generally considered safer, as there is a lot of room for movement. Restrooms are available anytime, which is another major advantage.
  3. Sea travel is also considered safe, but sea sickness could add to the nausea.
  4. For long-term sailing, check with the cruise provider or the boat facility about availability of a healthcare provider on the ship.
     
3960 people found this helpful

Pregnancy Termination - How Is It Done?

Dr. Shweta Upadhyay 86% (10 ratings)
MD - Obstetrics & Gynaecology, MBBS, Diploma in Family Planning
Gynaecologist, Navi Mumbai
Pregnancy Termination - How Is It Done?

Women may need to terminate pregnancies for a number of reasons. Issues like unplanned pregnancy, fetal abnormality, health condition of the mother etc. are common reasons for abortion.

Terminating a pregnancy is often an emotional issue. Women often get swept by a sea of emotions when doctors recommend a Pregnancy Termination. Yet, she often needs to decide quickly to go ahead with it. She needs to go through with it within 20 weeks of pregnancy, otherwise it can become a health hazard for her.

Terminating a pregnancy, though common, comes with its fair share of complications. A gynecologist has to carry it out very carefully to ensure that the mother does not have to face any repercussions.

How is Pregnancy Termination Done?

This is the most immediate question that any woman may ask after hearing that she might have to get her pregnancy terminated.

There are two options for women deciding to terminate their pregnancies: Surgical Abortion and Medical Abortion.

1. Medical Abortion

In a medical abortion, the woman needs to take the Abortion Pill. It is a prescription medicine that is prescribed by gynecologist supervising the abortion.  However, the pill is useful only for early pregnancies. What it does is that, it blocks progesterone, the hormone that is responsible for the formation of the womb at the very starting point of pregnancy. It forms a layer within the uterus and helps the uterus to hold the fetus. The abortion pill works by breaking down this lining. As it does so, the bleeding starts and the uterus becomes unable to hold the fetus any more. This is why such abortion is usually very effective. However, a woman needs to take this pill within 8 weeks of her pregnancy. Beyond that it becomes ineffective and surgical abortions are the only way out.

2. Surgical Abortion

Gynecologists typically resort to surgical abortion within 14-16 weeks of pregnancy. The surgery can be performed as an outpatient procedure in a clinic or hospital. Before the procedure, the medicine is administered into the vagina to numb the mouth of the uterus. As the area becomes numb, the doctor inserts a thin tube into the uterus through the vagina. The tube is connected to a vacuum device. As the gynecologist turns on the suction, the device sucks off the pregnancy tissue. The doctor may also need to use another instrument called a "curette" to scrape the uterus and remove the pregnancy tissues.

Conclusion

Complications are rare in Medical Termination of Pregnancy. The patient can experience light to heavy bleeding with or without clots. She may also feel dizzy and suffer from loose stools. In Surgical Abortion too there is minimal risk if the procedure is carried out in a clean environment and by skilled doctors and nursing sisters. However, in very rare cases, there may be too much bleeding, infection to the uterus, fallopian tubes etc. and damage to the cervix.

Normal Delivery - 10 Things That Can Help With It!

Dr. Vidya Mahadev Honawad 85% (133 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Obstetrtics & Gynaecology, FCPS
Gynaecologist, Hubli-Dharwad
Normal Delivery - 10 Things That Can Help With It!

Are you pregnant and planning on having a natural childbirth? There are several things to keep in mind when considering a natural childbirth. Natural birth involves no interventions and drugs and you need to prepare well for it. Here are some important tips you should follow, if you want to have a natural childbirth: 

 

  1. Choose a birth environment of your choice: You should choose a safe place for giving birth. Many women feel more secure at home and prefer it as the place for giving birth, while some choose a hospital.
  2. Choose a care provider you trust: It is important for you to choose a trustworthy care provider, who will make you feel at ease and will pay respect to your wishes. In the case of giving birth in a hospital, you can opt for hiring a doula.
  3. Prepare your body: It is important to prepare your body physically before natural childbirth. Pregnancy is quite exhausting and makes you want to refrain from activities, but you should walk for some time every day to keep fit. Keeping your body in good shape will help you with stamina during delivery.
  4. Ice Game: You can play the ice game with your partner. It is a game designed to give you a glimpse of how to handle labor pain. This is more of an assessment, meant for giving you an idea about coping with pain of contractions. This method is also ideal for learning to deal with pain.
  5. Educate yourself: It is important for you to read a lot about pregnancy. You should read from the Internet and also from books and stories related to natural childbirth.
  6. Be positive: It is very important for you to maintain a positive state of mind, prior to your natural childbirth. You need to be determined and strong and reiterate to yourself that you are strong and will be able to cope with the process.
  7. Coping strategies: Learn about various coping strategies. Keeping your jaw relaxed, horse lips, and low moaning are some strategies you can try.
  8. Avoid cervical checks: Try avoiding cervical checks as much as possible, as they are not always a progressive measure. You do not have to be too much focused on dilation numbers.
  9. Prepare your partner: Your partner also has to play an important role during your childbirth. You should make him learn all the major facts regarding natural childbirth and let him know about your expectations and hopes for labor.
  10. Change positions during labor: You should try different positions during labor, and not think of being silly.

It is also important for you to get rid of preconceived ideas of natural childbirth from your mind. The process is different in different women, and you must embrace it.

3306 people found this helpful

Stress And Pregnancy!

Dr. Shakuntla Kumar 88% (146 ratings)
Diploma In Endoscopic Surgery, DGO, MBBS
Gynaecologist, Lucknow
Stress And Pregnancy!

Pregnancy is a time of many changes. Your body, your emotions and the life of your family are changing. You may welcome these changes, but they can add new stresses to your life.

Feeling stressed is common during pregnancy. But too much stress can make you uncomfortable. Stress can make you have trouble sleeping, have headaches, lose your appetite or overeat.

High levels of stress that continue for a long time may cause health problems, like high blood pressure and heart disease. When you’re pregnant, this type of stress can increase the chances of having a premature baby (born before 37 weeks of pregnancy) or a low-birthweight baby (weighing less than 5½ pounds). Babies born too soon or too small are at increased risk for health problems.

What causes stress during pregnancy? 

The causes of stress are different for every woman, but here are some common causes during pregnancy:

• you may be dealing with the discomforts of pregnancy, like nausea, constipation, being tired or having a backache.
• your hormones are changing, which can cause your mood to change. Mood swings can make it harder to handle stress.
• you may be worried about what to expect during labor and birth or how to take care of your baby.
• if you work, you may have to manage job responsibilities and prepare your employer for time away from your job.
• life is busy and it sometimes takes unexpected turns. That doesn’t stop just because you’re pregnant.

What types of stress can cause pregnancy problems? 

When you handle it right, a little stress can help you take on new challenges. Regular stress during pregnancy, such as work deadlines and sitting in traffic, probably don’t add to pregnancy problems.

However, serious types of stress during pregnancy may increase your chances of certain problems, like premature birth. Most women who have serious stress during pregnancy can have healthy babies. But be careful if you experience serious kinds of stress, like:

• negative life events. These are things like divorce, serious illness or death in the family, or losing a job or home.
• catastrophic events. These are things like earthquakes, hurricanes or terrorist attacks.
• long-lasting stress. This type of stress can be caused by having financial problems, being abused, having serious health problems or being depressed. Depression is medical condition where strong feelings of sadness last for long periods of time and prevent a person from leading a normal life.
• racism. Some women may face stress from racism during their lives. This may help explain why african-american women in the united states are more likely to have premature and low-birthweight babies than women from other racial or ethnic groups.
• pregnancy-related stress. Some women may feel serious stress about pregnancy. They may be worried about miscarriage, the health of their baby or about how they’ll cope with labor and birth or becoming a parent. If you feel this way, talk to your health care provider.
Does post-traumatic stress disorder affect pregnancy? 
Post-traumatic stress disorder (ptsd) is when you have problems after seeing or experiencing a terrible event, such as rape, abuse, a natural disaster, a terrorist attack or the death of a loved one. People with ptsd may have:
• serious anxiety
• flashbacks of the event
• nightmares
• physical responses (like a racing heartbeat or sweating) when reminded of the event

As many as 8 in 100 women (8 percent) may have ptsd during pregnancy. Women who have ptsd may be more likely than women without it to have a premature or low-birthweight baby. They also are more likely than other women to have risky health behaviors, such as smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol or taking street drugs. Doing these things can increase the chances of having pregnancy problems. If you think you may have ptsd, talk to your provider or a mental health professional.

How does stress cause pregnancy problems? 

We don’t completely understand the effects of stress on pregnancy. But certain stress-related hormones may play a role in causing certain pregnancy complications.Serious or long-lasting stress may affect your immune system, which protects you from infection. This can increase the chances of getting an infection of the uterus. This type of infection can cause premature birth.

Stress also may affect how you respond to certain situations. Some women deal with stress by smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol or taking street drugs, which can lead to pregnancy problems.

Can high levels of stress in pregnancy hurt your baby later in life? 

Some studies show that high levels of stress in pregnancy may cause certain problems during childhood, like having trouble paying attention or being afraid. It’s possible that stress may also affect your baby’s brain development or immune system.

How can you reduce stress during pregnancy? 

Here are some ways to reduce stress:

• figure out what’s making you stressed and talk to your partner, a friend or your health care provider about it.
• know that the discomforts of pregnancy are only temporary. Ask your provider how to handle these discomforts.
• stay healthy and fit. Eat healthy foods, get plenty of sleep and exercise (with your provider’s ok). Exercise can help reduce stress and also helps prevent common pregnancy discomforts.
• cut back on activities you don’t need to do.
• have a good support network, including your partner, family and friends. Ask your provider about resources in the community that may be able to help.
• ask for help from people you trust. Accept help when they offer. For example, you may need help cleaning the house, or you may want someone to go with you to your prenatal visits.
• try relaxation activities, like prenatal yoga or meditation.
• take a childbirth education class so you know what to expect during pregnancy and when your baby arrives. Practice the breathing and relaxation techniques you learn in your class.
• if you’re working, plan ahead to help you and your employer get ready for your time away from work.
• if you think you may be depressed, talk to your provider right away. There are many ways to deal with depression. Getting treatment and counseling early may help.

Be happy and enjoy your journey to motherhood.

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