Archive for February, 2011

Cramping in Early Pregnancy

Cramping in Early Pregnancy
Many women are worried over the cramping, which they experience in early pregnancy. Some feel that cramping in early pregnancy is a sign that pregnancy is not viable and that it is a symptom of miscarriage. But, this is not the truth because cramping can occur even due to changes in the hormone. It is very much important to know that not all the pains are bad during pregnancy.
This cramping in early pregnancy occurs as soon as the fertilised egg gets implanted in the uterus. This results in certain changes and the hormonal changes begin to exhibit in such symptoms. There are many women who do not even know that they are pregnant unless they have severe symptoms. Some of the symptoms along with cramping that can be seen in the early pregnancy are nausea, tiredness, sore breasts and pain in the stomach.

You need not always worry for the symptoms like stomach pains and bleeding. Many of them are used to suffer from menstrual cramps and the type of cramps that you suffer during pregnancy is not very severe as the menstrual pains. This could be due to the stretching of the ligaments because of the growing uterus. If the pain is like mild tugging then you need not worry unless you suffer a stabbing pain.

When Cramps are a Cause of Concern?
Cramps in early pregnancy can be a matter of concern if you have experienced miscarriage in the past. Miscarriages can affect you up to 15% even if you have never experienced miscarriages in the past or if you have had successful delivery before. Cramping can be one of the signs of miscarriage and if the cramping is severe then it can also be the sign of ectopic pregnancy.

Even if you suffer from severe pain and bleeding, you cannot come to a conclusion that it is due to miscarriage. Cramps are a concern if it occurs with any of the following and you must consult a mid wife or GP. Some of the signs of concern are:

  • Cramps occur along with tenderness in the lower portion of the belly.
  • You suffer heavy bleeding like the heavy period days.
  • Spotting can be seen even before cramping starts and is either continuous or irregular.
  • The pain is very severe and lasts for more than twenty four hours and is severe when you strain on the toilet.
  • There is sharp pain on one side and to diagnose ectopic pregnancy, the doctor will surely ask the kind of pain.
  • Dizziness.
  • If you observe pink clots or gray colored tissue in your discharge.

If the cramping is due to ectopic pregnancy and if the problem is not diagnosed soon then the fallopian tube can split, which can result in internal bleeding. Some of the other symptoms along with cramping are feeling warm and feverish, shoulder pain that gets aggravated due to the muscles of the diaphragm.

If you do not understand to differentiate the pain then you must have the emergency numbers because in an emergency, you will need care to avoid complications like miscarriage. Pregnancy is a precious period and you must take care of yourself and you must know the differences between the normal and abnormal signs of pregnancy.

So, the next time do not panic if you suffer cramping, instead of getting tensed, go to a midwife and talk as he/she will diagnose the reason for cramping in early pregnancy and treat you accordingly. They will avoid all the unwanted complications that can occur if you neglect. This would in turn help you have a healthy and happy pregnancy!


Migraines During Pregnancy

Migraine headaches are quite different from tension headaches or stress. Migraines during pregnancy are typical pain of the vascular headache that results when the blood vessels get dilated. This pain starts as a dull pain that gradually becomes throbbing and pulsating pain in the temples. It is sometimes accompanied with nausea and vomiting. Some may even experience blind spots or tunnel vision.

Is there any danger for a pregnant woman to have migraines?
There is only one danger and this is a sign of something else. You must call your health care provider if:

  • You experience blurred vision
  • The headaches persists for more than few hours and is frequent
  • Headaches are accompanied with fever

It is important to let your health care provider if you experience headaches with the above symptoms.

How can a pregnant woman treat a migraine headache?
You can keep a headache diary, which includes what triggers headache and how long it lasts. If you keep a record of your headaches then you can avoid the triggers and some of the common triggers for migraines are:

  • Hormones
  • Weather
  • Coffee
  • Cheese
  • Chocolate
  • Stress

Triggers are not the same for everybody and vary according to people. This is the reason to keep a headache diary.
Home remedies for migraine headaches
Here are some of the home remedies for migraine headaches:

  • Try relaxation techniques like yoga and meditation
  • Ask your doctor
  • Exercise
  • Take a short nap
  • Take a cold shower
  • Apply a cold towel on the head
  • You can take medications for migraine after consulting your doctor.
  • Do not take aspirin without consulting your doctor.

These are some of the simple and effective remedies for migraine during pregnancy.


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Symptoms of Postpartum Depression in Men

Most of the men experience depression after a baby is born. If left untreated then it could lead to severe consequences and can even affect the baby as well. There are many symptoms of postpartum depression in men. James F. Paulson the assistant professor of pediatrics at the Eastern Virginia of Medical School in Norfolk has stated that nearly 10% of fathers experience depression after the arrival of the baby.

Depressed fathers are more likely to show destructive behaviors like increased use of drugs or alcohol, anger, conflicts, reckless driving, extramarital relationships and they tend to work extra for longer hours. Some of the common symptoms of postpartum depression in men are sad mood, oversleeping, restlessness, feeling of worthlessness, impaired concentration and suicidal tendencies.

Symptoms of Depression In Men After a Baby
Some of the signs and symptoms are:

  • Anger and fights with others
  • Excessive use of drugs and alcohol
  • Irritability or frustration
  • Violent behaviour
  • Trying to lose weight without even trying
  • Isolating oneself from friends and family
  • Getting stressed easily
  • Taking risks and impulsive behaviour
  • Complete dejection and discouraged
  • Increase in physical problems
  • Some of the physical symptoms are digestion problems, headaches
  • Problems in concentrating and motivation
  • Lack of interest in hobbies, work and sex
  • Frustration
  • Works constantly
  • They misuse the prescribed medications
  • Increased problems about functioning and productivity at work or school
  • Extreme fatigue
  • A severe conflict goes on in the mind of how you think and what you are actually
  • Suicidal tendencies and destructive behaviour

It is not common to see all the above symptoms in a man suffering from depression because few may experience some of the symptoms and the others experience the other symptoms. So, when you find the above symptoms, consult a psychiatric doctor for further treatment to avoid complications.


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Tips During First Trimester of Pregnancy

During the initial months of pregnancy, a woman can have severe mood swings, where you may face many emotions. Sleep problems are the most common problem and hence, here are some of tips for survival in first trimester of Pregnancy. Some of the common problems are nausea, vomiting, fatigue and constipation. These are mainly caused due to an increase in the hormones like hCG and progesterone.

Progesterone is a hormone that causes you to feel sleepy and makes you urinate frequently by increasing the kidney function. Nausea that occurs often is called morning sickness, which occurs throughout the day and night as well. It triggers with the sense of smell.

Tips for Survival in First Trimester of Pregnancy
Here are some of the simple and effective tips in your first trimester:

  • You must rest and sleep whenever you can as extra sleep will help you stay active and removes the fatigue that can worsen the symptoms of pregnancy.
  • You must hydrate yourself well but drinking plenty of liquids during the day. Try to avoid fluid intake especially during the nights to cut down the bathroom visits.
  • Fight nausea by keeping crackers and eat them often to prevent sickness because of an empty stomach. You can also keep crackers at your bedside to munch in the morning, immediately after you get up.
  • Always sleep on the left side, as this is the best position for proper circulation. You can use pillows under your belly and between the knees to make you more comfortable.
  • Go to bed at the same time everyday in the night as this puts your body to a regular schedule.
  • Take short naps and whenever you are tired, sleep as this removes the fatigue and tiredness.

These are some of the tips during the first trimester of pregnancy that you need to follow to have a happy and healthy pregnancy.


Home Remedies for Getting Pregnant

When you face difficulty in conceiving, try some of the natural methods to boost your fertility factor. There are many home remedies for getting pregnant, which are very easy and can be done at home without any difficulty. You can follow these home fertility tips that helps you begin the great journey to motherhood. Read on to know some of the most effective and excellent tips on how to conceive that can alleviate the problems of infertility. So here is a list of home remedies for getting pregnant.

Best Natural Remedies for Conceiving
The following are some of the tips that will help you deal problems of infertility and help you reach your goal of conceiving more quickly:

  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C is required to make your blood vessel stronger and fight any infection. It also speeds the healing process. It is required to increase the amount water levels in the cervix, which is called the cervical mucus needed for reproduction. When this mucus is present in the vaginal wall then these days are considered fertile days. This one of the best home remedies for getting pregnant.
  • Nitric Oxide: This is needed to help in dilating the blood vessels. It helps in the flow of blood to the reproductive organs, which includes the uterus, ovaries and the genital organs. It also helps in the production of cervical mucus, which helps in reproduction.
  • Lactobacilli: These are micro-organisms that are important for a healthy environment in the vagina. Lactobacilli bacteria helps to create a wonderful environment for the cervical mucus, which is found to be very effective in reproduction.
  • Grape seed Extract: The extracts of grape seed along with vitamin C is very effective. The presence of certain antioxidants gives extra protection and support for the sperm.
  • Evening Primrose Oil (EPO): Evening Primrose oil is used to increase the cervical mucus, which in turn increases the fertile days. This herb is an essential fatty acid that has anti-inflammatory properties. It helps by increasing the effectiveness and quality of the cervical mucus. It helps in producing egg white cervical mucus.
  • Sex: You must have sex at least three times a week and it is absolutely true about the timing of the ovulation factor. This improves the chances of you getting pregnant. So, improve the chances of conception by increasing the times you have sex.
  • Fertility Monitor or Ovulation predictor kit: A fertility monitor or the ovulation predictor kit records the luteinizing hormones, which is the key change that occurs just before ovulation. These record the changes in the luteinizing hormones and other hormones like the progesterone and estrogen.
  • Do not use the Charting Method: Charting should not be used when planning to have sex. Do not go by the basal body temperature to determine the ovulation days. You may not be able to record the ovulation dates by this way of charting. So, you can use the fertility kit or the ovulation predictor kit for more accuracy and once you find the ovulation days, pick up random dates to have sex.
  • Enjoy Sex: Infertility treatments can be extremely painful, which can be stressful as well. So, sharing intimate moments can help you relieve the tension from your partner. Having sex under stressful conditions can delay conception. So, relieve your tension and then have sex as this can help you get pregnant faster.
  • Have Sex Before Ovulation: Women usually have a small window of fertility ever month. An egg survives for over a time of 24 hours and a sperm can survive up to 3 to 5 days. Thus, having sex before ovulation can increase the chances of conception. Another important thing is to relax after the sex to allow the sperms to enter the uterus easily. So, discuss with your doctor and follow the positions to keep the sperms in the vagina for a longer period. This would surely help you get pregnant and is the most simple remedy that can be followed by any married couple.
  • Do not Depend on the Calender: Do not depend on the calender method as most of them are based on the 28 day cycle, with the ovulation phase occurs around the 14th day. Unless the cycle is the same that is the 28 day cycle, you cannot follow this method. This can be ineffective and can even reduce your chance of getting pregnant.
  • Consult Doctor: Consult your doctor before trying to get pregnant as overall health plays a major role, which includes your reproductive health as well. If infections are not treated on time then it can lead to sexually transmitted diseases. Poor overall health can reduce the chances of conception.
  • Quit Smoking, Drugs and Alcohol: You must stop smoking, drug use or even alcohol intake. These can have a direct affect on the fertility rate. These unhealthy habits can pose risk to the unborn baby as well, if you get pregnant in the near future.

Other Home Remedies Getting Pregnant
There are other simple home remedies for getting pregnant like healthy nutrition and eating while trying to conceive. This is an important factor when you are trying to conceive. Such a diet includes:

  • Eat two to three servings of foods that are rich in calcium like yogurt, cheese or even low fat milk.
  • Have seven servings of fruits and vegetables and foods that are rich in folic acid. Foods rich in folic acid are orange juice, broccoli, lentils, spinach and orange juice. Take foods that are rich in vitamin C as well.
  • Consume equal amounts of proteins from lean meats like poultry.
  • Take a minimum five to six servings of whole grains like brown rice, whole wheat bread and oatmeal.
  • Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration as this increases the cervical mucus, which is a key factor for conception.

So, always remember that there is no such thing as trying too hard to get pregnant. If you do not conceive even after a year then see a specialist in fertility and take the required treatment for conceiving. This would surely help you to enter the journey of motherhood.


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Weight Gain During 1st Trimester

Weight gain is an important factor during pregnancy as it helps in the growth of the baby. Weight gain at a constant rate within the recommended period can lower the chances of suffering from hemorrhoids, stretch marks, fatigue, shortness of breath, varicose veins, and indigestion. The weight gain during 1st trimester is very much important as it provides nourishment for the developing baby.

Weight Gain During 1st Trimester
Here is the recommended weight gain during the 1st trimester and it depends on the weight you had before conceiving:

  • 15 to 20 pounds if you were obese before pregnancy.
  • 28 to 40 pounds if you were under than the required weight you had before getting pregnant.
  • 25 to 37 pounds if you had a healthy weight before conceiving.

Rate at Which Weight Gain Occurs in Pregnancy
The rate at which you gain weight depends on the weight you had before getting pregnant.

Healthy weight before pregnancy
3 to 5 pounds of weight gain during the first trimester.
Underweight before pregnancy
You must gain weight around 5 to 6 pounds or more in the first trimester. It depends on how underweight you were before conceiving.
Overweight before pregnancy
You must gain weight around 1 to 2 pounds in the 1st trimester of pregnancy.

Where does all the extra weight go?
Here is the breakdown of weight that you gain during the first trimester:

  • Placenta – 1 to 2 pounds
  • Baby – 7 to 8 pounds
  • Uterus – 2 pounds
  • Breast tissue – 2 pounds
  • Maternal blood – 4 pounds
  • Fluids present in the maternal tissue – 7 pounds

The weight gain should not be only in the first trimester. Throughout the pregnancy, the main goal should be to gain weight according to the recommended rate. You must contact your health care provider and if you suddenly gain lot of weight or lose weight. All you can do is to eat healthy and prepare yourself for a healthy pregnancy.


Sleep Tips for Pregnant Women

Proper sleep is an important thing in pregnancy but many of the pregnant women face lots of problem like heartburn, leg cramps, nausea, back pain, and stress. There are many sleep tips for pregnant women that can be followed like sleeping on the left side or exercising regularly for a regular sleep. Read on to explore tips for a better sleep during pregnancy.

Sleep Tips for Pregnant Women
Here are some of the sleep tips for a better sleep during pregnancy:

  • Sleep on your left side as this allows the flow of blood to the foetus, kidneys and uterus. Do not lie down on your back for a longer period as it can increase pain in the back, which can cause a disturbed sleep.
  • Drink plenty of water during the daytime, but reduce the amount of water intake before the bedtime.
  • You must not eat huge amounts acidic, fried and spicy foods and if heartburn is causing sleeplessness then sleep by elevating your head.
  • Exercise can keep you healthy and improves your circulation by reducing the leg cramps.
  • Eat bland snack throughout the day to avoid nausea during the night.
  • You can also use special pregnancy mattresses and pillows that help you to have a better sleep.
  • During the daytime, have short catnaps as this surely helps you remove the fatigue. This helps you to have proper sleep during the night.
  • You need to learn breathing and relaxation techniques that reduce the pain and stress.
  • A warm shower or bath before the bedtime can be of great help.

These are some of the simple and effective tips for a better sleep. If insomnia persists then consult a health care provider for further treatment as sometimes it could be a sign of medical problems.