Monthly Archives: December 2012

Is It Normal To Cramp During Pregnancy

Cramping is one of the side effects of pregnancy, since it does not happen in all women and not in all pregnancy. Some women may cramp in the early pregnancies and not in the rest. It may or may not be normal to cramp when you are pregnant depending on some factors. You must check out every sign of cramping with your gynecologist so as to ensure that you are not in harm’s way. Anyhow, it is normal to cramp when it is caused by the expansion of the cervix to make space for the growing fetus. This can be managed by taking hot baths; just the same you used to take when you were having menstrual cramps. Some cramps are abnormal and very dangerous since they are a sign of miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. Usually the latter is the more dangerous of the two and could lead to loss of life when it is not dealt with as soon as possible. When you are always dizzy and have fainting spells that are accompanied by extreme cramps that do not seem to be responding to any form of treatment, you may want to check it out with your gynecologist-do not try any kind of self-medication when you are pregnant.

Breast Changes During Pregnancy

You are pregnant and one of the changes your body will undergo is your breast changes during pregnancy. You will notice there are darker nipples and areolas; the breast are tender and growing larger; you may notice a discharge; and the small glands on the areola will become larger and noticeable. These changes all come about because of the hormonal changes that have happened with conception.

You can make the breast changes during pregnancy more manageable and you can be more comfortable if you change your bra to accommodate these changes. You might also need to consider sleeping in a bra to help support your breasts during the night. A cotton sports bra would be the most comfortable for night sleeping but during the day you will need other features. You will need support wires or a band under the cup to provide added support. You might want to look for a bra that has wide straps that will distribute the weight over a larger surface area.

Another breast change during pregnancy is the hormonal affect that is causing the enlargement. The breast must have room for the milk ducts to grow and to fill with milk. This will change the level of sensitivity of your breast. Your nipple can be especially sensitive and uncomfortable. The first milk that is formed is a sweet fluid that is easy for the baby’s digestive system. Beginning the second trimester you may notice a discharge of the fluid called colostrums. When the colostrums is first produced it is a thick and yellow color. When the baby arrives the fluid changes to colorless liquid. If you are sexually stimulated or you massage your breasts the fluid can be discharged. With some women the discharge is immediate and very noticeable but with other women they may not have any discharge. Both situations are normal. You will have milk for your baby when the baby arrives.

Breast health monitoring should continue whether you are pregnant or not. It may not be very comfortable because of the sensitivity and it may not be as easy to recognize what changes are due to the pregnancy and what are abnormal. A lot of the times any lumps that you find are due to milk ducts that become clogged and are not due to the onset of a type of cancer. If you apply warm moist heat to the area where the lump is found and the lump goes away then the heat has unclogged the duct. If the warm moist heat has no noticeable affect on the lump you should bring it up in your next appointment with your health care provider. If you are younger than age 35 cancer is not as prevalent as it is in an older person. If you are over the age of 35 and are planning a pregnancy you may want to get a mammogram before the pregnancy as a baseline. There will be breast changes during pregnancy but you should monitor those changes and speak with the doctor if you become alarmed about any abnormalities.

Effects of Drinking Alcohol During Pregnancy

If you cannot refrain from drinking beverages with alcohol during pregnancy, then you must severely limit your intake to protect the health of the developing child that you carry. Your baby is drinking the same alcoholic beverage when you take a drink. The child’s body cannot process it as quickly as your body does and it will continue to flow through the placenta to your developing baby. Alcohol consumption is associated with birth defects in up to 40,000 babies born in the United States each year. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is the name given to birth abnormalities associated with its consumption.

Alcoholic beverages contain a chemical substance known as teratogen that is harmful for the developing child. Not all substances pass the placenta barrier, but alcohol is one that does. When you drink it goes into the blood stream of the child and the child has not developed the ability to break down and process this substance. The harm that it causes in the baby cannot be reversed. There are no studies that show there is a safe limit to consume that will not cause harm. Any alcoholic beverage that you drink will affect your child to some degree. If you plan on drinking alcohol during pregnancy speak with your health care provider about your consumption.

Drinking alcohol during pregnancy will affect the growth and development of the child. In the first month of gestation the baby will develop its heart, eyes, and central nervous system. The arms and legs are beginning their development. In the third week of gestation the brain starts to form. Throughout the rest of the weeks of your gestation, your baby’s brain, skeletal system, circulatory system, and respiratory system will continue to develop and grow. These weeks are all vital times when the baby needs nutrients to build a strong and healthy body. When you consume alcohol the chemicals will interfere with the growth and can retard the development of some areas that are crucial to the baby’s health.

Excess use of alcoholic beverages during the gestation period, or binge drinking, can cause FASD. The symptoms are low birth weight, failure to thrive, and other birth defects. There are mental issues and neurobehavioral defects. There are facial features that are prominent identifiers of FASD. You may have consumed some before you realized that you were expecting a child. It is important that as soon as you know you are pregnant that you immediately stop drinking. The less exposure to the chemicals that the baby has, the better chance the child has to grow and develop normally. There is a chance that your child can recover from some of the effects of those drinks if you are careful to stop drinking when you realize that you have conceived.

There is not a recommended safe level for consumption during gestation. The greater your consumption the greater chance you will have of producing a child with some, if not all, of the physical and mental problems associated with the disorder. Binge drinking is the consumption of five or more drinks at one time. If during a week’s time you drink more than seven drinks, you are considered to be binge drinking according to the Surgeon General. Drinking one drink in a week while in the gestation period has also been shown to contribute to FASD. There has been no amount of alcohol consumption that is deemed safe during the growth and development of your child in utero. If you are going to drink alcohol during pregnancy there is a reasonable chance that your child will suffer from FASD.