Monday, October 12, 2009

Common Concerns During Pregnancy

Nausea and Vomiting: Some nausea and vomiting is normal especially during the first trimester. However, if you are unable to eat or drink for 24 hours and are not urinating, please call or go to the emergency room. There are some medications that are available to help with nausea and vomiting, but if it is severe, there are associated risks of dehyration and electrolyte imbalance that may require further treatment.

Spotting and Cramping: Some cramping may be normal. If you are spotting or bleeding heavily though, this is more worrisome of a miscarriage and requires follow up. Some spotting in the first trimester or after intercourse may be nothing to worry about. If you experience this, try resting or stopping the activity. Although miscarriage cannot be prevented in the first and sometimes second trimesters, please let your provider know so we can follow up appropriately for your individual needs.

Contractions: Irregular "Braxton Hicks" contractions are common in the second and third trimesters. If you are less than 36 weeks and contracting 4-6 times per hour please see your provider or go to labor and delivery to check for preterm labor. If the contractions are irregular/occasional, and not painful, these are usually not concerning. If you feel you may be in labor, try drinking a glass of water, taking some tylenol or a warm bath. If the contractions do not subside, please come in and be checked.

Constipation: This is a lso a common problem in pregnancy due to the growing uterus and hormones that relax the body to maintain pregnancy. Try drinking more water, eating fresh fruits and vegetables, increasing fiber and getting a little exercise (such as walking or light swimming). You can also try over the counter dulcolax, a stool softener to help with constipation.

Activity: Some activity and exercise is safe and recommended during pregnancy. These activities include: walking, light weight lifting < 15 lbs, low impact aerobics, and swimming. Other activities should be avoided such as: high impact aerobics, heavy weight training, snow and water skiing, horseback riding, four wheeling, tanning beds, and amusement park rides (basically anything fun!).

Traveling: Generally, traveling during pregnancy is not a problem. If you are close to your due date (within one month) it is less recommended. If you are going to be confined to a vehicle or airplane for more than 1-2 hours, you should stop and/or get up and walk around for a few minutes to decrease your risk of a blood clot. It is also important to stay hydrated during traveling and to wear your seat belt!

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