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Nine Months : Common Concerns in Pregnancy

Leaking Breasts

What are they? Some pregnant women experience in mid to late pregnancy, some leakage from their breasts. Contrary to what people think, this is not breast milk leaking but a premilk called colostrum. Actual breast milk is not produced till about 3-4 days after delivery. This colostrum leaks as a yellow fluid and may form a crust on the nipples.

What to do? If you have crusts forming on the nipples, keep the nipples dry and wash them twice a day.

If the leakage is more, place breast pads or folded tissues inside your bra.

Leaking Urine/Stress Incontinence

In pregnancy: Mid to late pregnancy onwards, some women may leak some urine on coughing, sneezing, laughing or running around. Known as stress incontinence, this is exceptionally common in pregnant women.

Causes: Stress incontinence is caused by weak pelvic floor muscles and also by the pressure of the growing uterus on the bladder. In some cases, the problem of leaking urine may also be caused by or made worse by cystitis.

What to do?

* Pass water whenever you need to

* Avoid constipation

* Avoid heavy lifting

* It is very important to practice pelvic floor exercises

* Wear a sanitary pad if it makes you feel comfortable

* Reduce your intake of tea, coffee and alcohol

* Stress Incontinence could also be caused by or made worse by cystitis.



Listeriosis

Cause: Listeriosis is caused by the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. It can be found in soft cheeses and pre-cooked foods.

In pregnancy: Although a mild food poisoning bout in normal life, listeriosis is a serious infection to catch in pregnancy. It can cause stillbirth, premature labour and miscarriage. Also, there can be serious consequences if the baby has to be delivered early. The baby may be very ill and need antibiotics to prevent complications like meningitis and poisoning of the blood.

Symptoms: The symptoms are similar to those experienced in flu and food poisoning.

Treatment: If you are found to be infected (through a blood test), you will be started on antibiotics and early delivery of your baby may be considered (if possible).




               

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