Oct 19th 2012 How to Take Care of Your Body During and After Pregnancy

Throughout pregnancy, a woman’s body undergoes an amazing transformation in order to nourish and support her growing baby. During this transformation, her blood supply is increased by 30-50 percent, and her uterus expands to multiple times its normal size. This rapid expansion stretches and strains pelvic connective tissues and muscles, which can lead to a condition called Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP).

In order to maintain the health of pelvic organs and tissues throughout pregnancy and beyond, it is important that women remain properly hydrated, eat a well-balanced diet and exercise regularly. By paying particular attention to pelvic health during and after pregnancy, women can minimize the chances of developing conditions like pelvic organ prolapse or urinary incontinence.

Maintaining the Health of Your Body During and After Pregnancy

  • Live a healthy lifestyle. For women who have not been as careful about their dietary intake and exercise, pregnancy is an important time to begin focusing on overall health and well-being. Developing babies need a diet high in protein, vitamins and minerals. Women should lower their consumption of processed foods, sugars and saturated fats. It is also important for women to quit smoking, as it is linked to health complications for both the baby and the mother.

 

  • Daily exercise. Exercise is important during pregnancy and throughout the postpartum period. Women should talk to their doctor about appropriate exercises for their stage of pregnancy. Some activities are safer than others, as a woman’s pregnancy progresses. However, daily exercise will help to maintain a healthy weight and increase circulation.

 

  • Daily pelvic floor exercises. During pregnancy, the weight of the growing baby, combined with the rapid expansion of pelvic connective tissues, can cause a woman to become incontinent. Kegel exercises can work wonders to maintain strength and tone in the upper vagina and pelvic floor. Studies have shown that women who do daily Kegel exercises throughout their pregnancies are significantly less likely to develop pelvic organ prolapse or stress urinary incontinence.

 

After the baby’s birth, continued emphasis on Kegels, as well as other core-building exercises — such as yoga and Pilates — can help to build and maintain strength in core muscles, which can prevent stress urinary incontinence later on.

 

  • Postpartum massage. After the baby is born, it can be helpful to receive postpartum massage from a licensed massage therapist. Pelvic massages, especially those using techniques that focus on myofascial and connective tissues, can help to facilitate the return of healthy pelvic and abdominal tone. Techniques that work to realign organs and nourish pelvic tissues include Shiatsu, Myofascial Release and Maya massage.

Once the baby is born, it can be challenging for women to focus on their own physical and emotional well-being. However, by prioritizing their pelvic health, women can prevent the onset of debilitating symptoms from pelvic organ prolapse or stress urinary incontinence. While these conditions are usually diagnosed during menopause, an emphasis on pelvic health earlier in life can prevent a woman from requiring surgical procedures in the future — including transvaginal mesh surgery, which comes with the risk of serious complications. Some complications are so serious, many women have had to file a vaginal mesh lawsuit.

Elizabeth Carrollton writes about defective medical devices and dangerous drugs for Drugwatch.com.

 

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Nov 26th 2010 First Month Pregnancy Symptoms

If you’re wondering what the first signs of pregnancy are during the first month, it’s important to define what the “first month” really means. Pregnancy is measured by counting the number of weeks since the last menstruation.

So the first month of pregnancy is really the two weeks before conception and the two weeks after. This makes it a little confusing, but in the first month, pregnancy symptoms are still there for many women. Here are some early pregnancy signs that you may experience.

The very first symptoms of pregnancy that some women experience is the spotting or light bleeding that can occur when the fertilized egg implants to the lining of the uterus. Not all women experience this, but many do. Many women mistake it for a period because of the bleeding and the cramping, tender breasts, and mood swings that can go along with the spotting. Spotting is usually nothing to worry about.

There are many signs of pregnancy in the first month you may or may not experience. Most of them can also happen later during the first trimester or even later on in the pregnancy. Because high levels of pregnancy hormones are being released in the woman’s body in the beginning of pregnancy, many different symptoms and changes can occur. Here are some of the many symptoms women can experience.

  • Spotting was mentioned above, but it is the light bleeding that can happen during implantation. This bleeding is distinguishable from a period – it’s usually lighter and pinker.
  • Cramping. The stomach cramps can feel like regular menstrual cramps, or they can last longer and feel worse.
  • Fatigue. The extra hormones and the fact that you’re growing a person inside you can really tire you out.
  • Breast tenderness. The breast tenderness can last longer and hurt more than the kind experienced during a menstrual period. Some women notice a change in their breast size and nipple color.
  • More frequent urination. A woman’s body acquires extra body fluid during pregnancy, and this can cause your kidneys to flush out wastes faster than usual.
  • Nausea. Morning sickness can happen early in pregnancy, can happen any time day or night, and can last all pregnancy long. You never know when or if this symptom will happen to you.
  • Sense of Smell. Estrogen is blamed for the heightened sense of smell many women experience during pregnancy. For better or worse, most women notice smells more during pregnancy.
  • Hunger. Even early in pregnancy you can feeling that increased hunger that comes because you’re providing nutrients to another person.

These are just some of the symptoms you might experience during the first month if you are pregnant. But keep in mind that having these symptoms does not necessarily mean you are pregnant. Many of these symptoms are also present during a menstrual period, so it’s important to check with a medical professional if you suspect you are pregnant.

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Nov 4th 2009 What are the Earliest Signs of Pregnancy?

If you wonder whether you could be pregnant, you may want to learn the earliest signs of pregnancy. Not everyone experiences all the early symptoms, and some people experience no symptoms at all. But if you’re experiencing a few of the following, there’s a good chance you might be pregnant.

Tender and swollen breasts are one of the very first giveaways that you might be pregnant. Pregnancy hormones can make your breasts tender to the touch two weeks after conception. This is one of the earliest pregnancy signs. Hormones related to your menstrual period can also cause tenderness, however, so this sign alone is probably not indicative of whether you are pregnant or not.

Tiredness and fatigue is another early pregnancy sign that can tip you off that you may be pregnant. The hormone progesterone surges during early pregnancy, and this can cause sleepiness and fatigue.

Spotting or cramping can be another sign of pregnancy. Some women mistake the spotting and cramping for a menstrual period, but pregnant women can experience bleeding known as implantation bleeding. When the fertilized egg attaches itself to the uterus, light bleeding can occur. If you experience a shorter period with lighter-colored bleeding, it may signify pregnancy.

Some women experience nausea and even vomiting only two weeks after conception. Nausea, likely caused in part by a surge of the hormone estrogen, can cause nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy, and this can last for weeks and months.

There are several other small signs of pregnancy that may be experienced early on in the pregnancy. While none of these smaller symptoms can prove you are pregnant, they may be experienced early in pregnancy. Some of these symptoms include headaches due to hormonal changes, constipation and irregularity, fluctuating moods caused by surging hormones, and dizziness or fainting due to falling blood pressure.

If you experience any of the above pregnancy symptoms and suspect you may be pregnant, you may wish to take a pregnancy test. You can also speak to a doctor about your concerns, and should definitely make an appointment with a healthcare provider once you confirm that you are experiencing the earliest signs of pregnancy.

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