Expert Frankly Answers Most Common Concerns Of Future Moms
November 23, 2018 15:54 By Fabiosa
Pregnancy is a special period in every woman’s life. But the joy of expecting a baby often changes to anxiety, especially if the baby is going to be the first. This anxiety can make you feel worse and cause natural physiological changes in the female body. Remember that each pregnancy is individual and differs depending on the set of concurrent factors. However, there are questions, including a couple of "uncomfortable" ones, which almost all future mothers share at a certain time. These questions are answered by an expert doctor.
The nature of vaginal secretions often changes with the onset of pregnancy. Not knowing what and when to expect, it is possible to get frightened for nothing, or miss something serious. It is necessary to pay attention to the nature of secretions, since some varieties are quite normal, while others may indicate a pathological process.
1. "What does the scanty discharge in the middle of the cycle indicate?"
Minor and very scanty discharge of light pink or brownish shade may appear 7-10 days after supposed ovulation or unprotected sexual intercourse (usually, these are days 20-26 of the menstrual cycle). They can last from a few hours to 2-3 days.
If an unprotected sexual intercourse took place during ovulation, then the described secretions can be in fact implantation bleeding, indicating the onset of pregnancy.
They are considered quite normal if:
- they are light in color and homogeneous, without clots;
- they don’t increase in amount, remaining scanty;
- they are accompanied by mammary glands getting bigger and sore.
The described secretions are the reason for medical attention if pregnancy is:
- ruled out;
- confirmed, but the nature of the secretions is different from the described.
At normal state of health with no expressed discomfort after the secretion, wait for the first day the menstruation is delayed, and take a pregnancy test or ultrasonography.
2. "What should I do in case of vaginal bleeding during pregnancy?"
In the event of vaginal bleeding during pregnancy, it is necessary to see a doctor immediately. Pay attention to all the changes in the general state of health – pain in the lower abdomen, sensations in breasts. If this kind of secretions occurs after the 20th week of pregnancy, pay attention to movements of the fetus.
3. "Is it normal for regular secretions to increase after the onset of pregnancy?"
With the onset of pregnancy, natural vaginal discharge somewhat changes its consistency – it can becomes slightly clotted and more abundant. But this is not alarming, unless you have pain, itching, or burning sensations in the perineum, or its odor and color change.
4. "Secretions changed color – should I be worried?"
When the secretions acquire an unpleasant, pungent smell, and change their color to yellow or green, it is most likely a symptom of an infectious disease of the genital tract. Often, such diseases are accompanied by itching and burning in the perineum. In this case, you need to see a doctor, pass a smear test, and treat the infection.
Nausea and vomiting
Experienced mothers, as well as women who only plan to have a baby, are well aware of the toxemia of pregnancy. The intensity, duration, and time of it are individual and depend on the organism of the future mother. At the same time, there are certain common patterns.
1. "How to cope with toxicosis in the early stages of pregnancy?"
Most usually, signs of toxicosis occur in the mornings of the first trimester of pregnancy, approximately until the 13th week. Usually, a snack immediately after waking up is effective in dealing with this discomfort – it is recommended to get something ready in the evening and put it next to bed to be readily available upon waking up.
When the first trimester of pregnancy is also accompanied by vomiting, you need to track how frequent it is. If it occurs up to 5 times a day, you can manage it by adjusting your diet and avoiding contact with irritating smells.
- Try to switch to split meals – eat 5-6 times a day, but in small servings.
- Carry something to snack on at all times.
- Exclude heavy (fatty, high-calorie) food from the diet, as well as foods that, in your opinion, can provoke vomiting.
- Drink more water.
- Refrain from perfumes and ask your close ones to do the same.
It is also advisable to let your attending physician know about it and take a blood test. If vomiting occurs more than 5 times a day, it is for obstetrician-gynecologist to decide how to relieve the condition of the mother-to-be.
2. "Is it normal for nausea to carry on after the 13th week?"
Usually, toxicosis is typical for the first trimester of pregnancy, but in some cases, it continues in the second trimester, which is something to notify your obstetrician-gynecologist. Consult a gastroenterologist if this condition started to appear later, after 13th week.
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"Increased salivation during pregnancy – is it normal and what should I do?"
Another unpleasant change in the body of a future mother may be increased salivation. In this case, it is necessary to inform the observing obstetrician-gynecologist. There are things that can help with this: brush teeth 3-5 times a day, drink water with lemon, and rinse the mouth with chamomile or sage brews.
"What should I do with heartburn and constipation?"
The most frequent problems that pregnant women face are heartburn and constipation. For the former, it is recommended to consult a gastroenterologist who will recommend how to cope with discomfort without harming the baby.
Constipation causes pronounced discomfort. Walking or other minor sports activities will help, provided that there are no contraindications.
It is recommended to adjust the diet:
- Switch to split meals.
- Eliminate or minimize the consumption of starchy foods, potatoes, fatty foods, rice and semolina porridges, grapes.
- Protein products are best to eat in the morning, and it is recommended to limit to cultured milk foods and vegetables in the afternoon.
You can also do simple exercises (10 repetitions each) to activate intestinal motility:
- "bicycle," "scissors," and pelvic lift;
- tensing and relaxing the sphincter.
The baby begins to move approximately on the week 20 or 18 during the first and second pregnancies, respectively. It is common to mistake increased intestinal motility for fetal movement.
"How do I know when the baby is acting odd?"
If the baby starts to move more or less than usual, make sure to note when it happened and try to establish a possible connection. Then, consult an observing obstetrician-gynecologist.
Take an ultrasonography immediately after you notice the fetus has stopped moving.
"In what situations should I call the doctor immediately?"
There is a number of cases where a timely call to a doctor can be life-saving not only for the baby, but for the mother as well. You need to call a doctor as soon as possible in case of:
- pain in the lower abdomen and lower back;
- dizziness and headaches;
- nasal congestion in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters of pregnancy;
- changes in blood pressure;
- rashes of any type and origin, regardless of the period.
Despite the fact that puffiness is not uncommon in pregnancy, it shouldn’t be ignored. Something is wrong with the body if you gain weight fast at a normal diet, ruling out overeating. Press your finger on the shin directly near the bone: If your finger leaves a depression – it is an edema.
Pregnancy is not only associated with poorer well-being and physiological changes in the body, it also requires to change some habits.
- During this period, it is undesirable to wear heels, but you can wear them on special occasions, unless there are problems with bearing or placental presentation.
- Even the smallest dose of alcohol or tobacco is detrimental to the baby’s health, contrary to the widespread myths that mother can sometimes indulge themselves in a sip of red wine, and that it is harmful to quit smoking abruptly.
- Many women are interested in whether there is a need to completely give up coffee during pregnancy. If the blood pressure is normal or low, there is no irritability or sleep problems, you can drink no more than 1 cup a day.
- Sports during pregnancy, in particular jogging, are permissible providing that the woman has regularly trained before, while the first trimester should be taken off anyway.
- There is no prohibition on intimacy during this period, on the contrary – it is recommended, unless there are some contraindications, which the obstetrician-gynecologist will necessarily warn you about.
- If you learned about the onset of pregnancy soon after vaccination with live cultures, you shouldn’t be alarmed. But it is something to tell your obstetrician-gynecologist.
Of course, this is not an exhaustive list of questions that worry future moms. However, these are in fact the most common ones expert gynecologists answer. Changes in the organism and well-being are inevitable, but women should know which of them are to be expected and which ones require medical supervision and treatment.
Source: Lilit Nasibian, an obstetrician-gynaecologist
This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for any harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.