What causes them? Swollen, tender breasts during pregnancy can be uncomfortable especially in the first trimester. They are caused by the increased amounts of female hormones (oestrogen and progesterone) being produced in your body. The breast changes are in a way preparing you for breastfeeding later on.
What to do? There is only one solution to bring comfort to your aching breasts : A GOOD SUPPORT BRA from the time your pregnancy is confirmed. This will also prevent your breasts from sagging after pregnancy. At times, it may be necessary to wear a bra at night. I remember that when I was expecting our first child, my breasts used to pain severely at night, especially the nipples (somewhat close to how you would feel if someone pinched your nipples with pegs!!) I started wearing a bra at night and the result was excellent. Although the discomfort went after a couple of months of pregnancy, I continued wearing a bra at night right through pregnancy and as a bonus I protected the breasts from sagging after birth. An added advantage!! A sound piece of advice - wear a good support bra even if your breasts are not painful. It is very essential to provide the right support to your breasts for their long term cosmetic feel and look as well!
What is it? Termination is an artificially induced abortion, usually before 24 weeks of pregnancy.
When is it done? If various tests come to the unanimous conclusion that your baby has a severe abnormality, you may be faced with this tough decision of whether you want to continue with the remainder of the pregnancy or not. It is best to be educated on the abnormality and the degree to which the baby may be affected before taking a decision.
How is it done? If the baby is just 12-15 weeks, the termination will be carried out under a general anaesthetic. If however, the baby is older than this, it is safest for you to go through real labour.
How do I cope with it? Termination of a pregnancy can be a very unfortunate experience, especially if you've felt the baby move. It is important to grieve for the baby so that he becomes a reality for you. Ask for a photograph to be taken if you can't yourself. It may seem inappropriate at that time but will help you in the years to come. If possible, try and hold the baby. You can get in touch with associations that deal with these issues and it will help to talk to people who have gone through the same tragedy.
What is it? Thrush is a common and harmless fungal infection of the vagina. However, it needs to be treated before delivery or else the mouth of the newborn baby may be affected and thus make feeding difficult.
* Thick, white discharge from the vagina
* Severe itching
* General soreness of the vaginal area
* Pain on urination
* The area may ocassionally bleed after intercourse as it is raw and sensitive
What to do? A doctor should be consulted who will prescribe some cream or vaginal pessaries for relief of thrush.
Also, you can help yourself by the following:
* Wear cotton underwear or wear ones with cotton crotches
* Avoid tight trousers
* Avoid vaginal deodorants
* Don't use soap if you are sore
In pregnancy: There are lots of reasons in pregnancy to make you feel tired than usual, especially in the first and last trimester. To mention a few:
* You are carrying extra weight
* Your body is working much harder than before
* Your heart is pumping more blood at a faster rate
* Your breathing rate has increased
* Worry may also cause you to be tired
* Tiredness may manifest itself in the form feeling weary and sleepy with an inclination to sleep during the day or sleep longer at nights (if that's possible!).
What to do?
* Tackle things at a slow pace
* Don't over-exert yourselves
* Try to rest with your feet up if possible
* Ensure that your diet has sufficient iron in it
* Ensure that your diet has sufficient iron in it
* Go to bed early
* Practice relaxation exercises
What is it? Toxoplasma is an infection that affects both humans and animals and is caused by Toxoplasma gondii.It is spread to humans by eating raw or undercooked meat and through coming in contact with infected cat faeces. Infection can also be caught from sheep at lambing time.Toxoplasmosis is a dangerous infection to have during pregnancy as it may affect the baby, if the infection is left untreated.
Symptoms: It is usually symptomless or may be accompanied by mild, flu-like symptoms.
Treatment: If there are chances of infection, a blood test will be carried out to determine the status. If you are found to be infected, there are certain pregnancy safe antibiotics which will be prescribed to fight the infection. Frequent scans wil also be done to check the baby's growth. However, if the infection is not detected but the mother is infected, if left untreated, toxoplasmosis can cause miscarriage, stillbirth and if born, severe mental diabilities and deafness in the newborn.
Prevention: As the disease has such serious consequences, it is best to prevent it from happening in the first place:
* Avoid under-cooked and raw meat
* Wash your hands thoroughly after cooking raw meat
* Avoid unpasteurised goat's milk
* Wash all fresh fruit and vegetables very well to remove any traces of soil
* Wear gloves when working in the garden
* Be very careful and wear gloves when handling cat litter.
Tips for travelling in pregnancy:
* If travelling abroad, check with the airlines about their rules on pregnant women - some airlines don't allow pregnant women after 34 weeks to fly with them.
* Some airlines may insist on a medical certificate to say that it is safe for you to travel.
* Also check with the doctor if any immunisation is required for the country you are travelling to - certain vaccines are best avoided in pregnancy.
* Long journeys by car should be avoided in the later months. If you do go on long drives, ensure that someone is with you. Break a long journey by stopping every few hours and walking around for a few minutes to get some circulation in your legs.
* Wear comfortable clothes.
* Always carry your hospital notes with you.
* Always wear a seat belt, fastening it under your bump and not over your bump. If worn incorrectly, a seat belt could actually harm your baby in the event of an accident. If there is an accident and everything seems fine on the outside, still do report it to a doctor so that your baby can be checked.
What is it? This is a rare condition in which twins are connected to one another through an abnormal blood vessel in the placenta. Of the twins, one baby becomes the donor and one, the recipient. The donor ends up spending most of its energy pumping blood not just around its own body but also around the body of the recipient. As a result, the donor baby does not grow and there is reduced amniotic fluid. The recipient twin, however, continues to thrive with increased amount of amniotic fluid.
Who is affected? This condition is very rare and is only seen in identical twins who are sharing a placenta between them.
Symptoms: The increased amniotic fluid in the recipient twin may cause you to have swelling and pain in the abdomen. Sometimes, premature labour may begin.
* Laser treatment of the abnormal vessel has been attempted.
* Draining the excess amniotic fluid has also been tried.
However, the success rates with these two attempts have not been overwhelming.