Common Health Problems And Risks During Pregnancy

There are quite a few things you can do during your pregnancy to help improve your and your baby's health. You can also avoid risks that can complicate or terminate a pregnancy. For example, you probably know that getting enough Folic Acid is important. But did you know it is just as important to avoid cats? You probably knew that X-Rays are harmful to the fetus, but did you know about electric blankets? An expecting mother should be especially careful about adequate nutrition and exercise. Good nutrition is crucial to a developing child.

Apart from a healthy regular diet you should get enough folic acid to avoid birth defects. At least 400-1000 micrograms of this essential vitamin B is suggested starting one Constipation can be a very real problem during pregnancy when the hormone progesterone is released into the body in high amounts. This can cause the muscles of the intestines to lose some of their strength and as a result the passage of food through the intestines slows down. The weight of the fetus toward the end of pregnancy pressing down on the intestines can also contribute to constipation. If this constipation is not relieved you could develop hemorrhoids. By eating foods rich in fiber such as: bran cereals, green peas, rolled oats, grits, dried beans, whole wheat bread, cooked cabbage and cracked wheat you can consume more fiber thus eliminating most or all of the constipation.

Other foods that will help are: white bread, apples, raw plums, banana, strawberries and pears Increased heart rate: Your heart rate increases during pregnancy to pump more blood, and as more of your blood supply goes to the uterus, your heart will be working harder to send sufficient blood to the rest of your body. Smoking and Pregnancy Did You Know? Studies have shown that maternal smoking during pregnancy has long-term effects on children's behavior and health, including adolescent drug abuse and negative behavior and conduct such as impulsiveness, risk-taking, and rebelliousness. Prenatal exposure to smoke may also predispose children to early smoking experimentation.

Source: National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information (NCADI) Taking Medications During Pregnancy During my encounters with my patients' mothers, they have mentioned that they experienced having urinary tract infection during their pregnancy and their doctors have prescribed some medications for them to take. However, when asked what those medications are, they cannot recall the exact prescriptions anymore. The same story is reported by some moms who had experienced having a fever or flu instead during their pregnancy. Some medications are really dangerous to be taken during pregnancy and doctors will probably not prescribe medicines to pregnant women if those are known to be harmful. Illegal drugs are out of the questions because those are definitely dangerous even to women who are not pregnant. What women should do during their pregnancy is to consult their doctors regarding any medications that they plan to take for any illness.

Avoid taking unprescribed medications, if possible. You and your doctor should carefully weigh the risks and benefits of using these vaccines during your pregnancy. Backache Backache can occur in pregnancy owing to the increasing size and weight of the womb and the breasts, and because pregnancy hormones loosen the ligaments that attach the spine to the pelvic bone.

Backache may be relieved by resting, having warm baths, or massage. If pain is severe, a doctor may prescribe painkillers (such as paracetamol) that are safe to take in pregnancy. Stretch Marks More than 90% of pregnant women will develop stretch marks in response to the pulling and stretching of underlying skin during pregnancy, Kroumpouzos says. Stretch marks are pink or purple bands in the stomach area and sometimes on breasts or thighs. Medical problems The symptoms described so far are common in a normal pregnancy and generally clear-up without medical treatment. However, there are a number of less common pregnancy-related conditions that may need medical treatment.

For more information, please see the separate factsheets on Anaemia, Pre-eclampsia, DVT and Diabetes in pregnancy.

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