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Nine Months : Common Concerns in Pregnancy

Oedema

What is it? Another name for swelling, this occurs quite commonly in pregnancy.

Cause: The swelling or oedema is caused by fluid retention which is a necessary increase of the body fluids during pregnancy. This fluid tends to gather in your feet by the end of the day especially after long standing time.

Symptoms:

* Swelling of feet and ankles

* The swelling may be worse at the end of the day or even when the temperature rises

* Hands may also be swollen especially in the morning

What to do?

* Try to rest as much as possible especially with your feet up

* Avoid standing for long periods of time

* Wear comfortable shoes

* Support hose might help

* Don't wear rings that are tight on your fingers.

* Drink plenty of fluids as it keeps your waterworks functioning properly

Always mention any degree of swelling to your doctor or midwife as pre-eclampsia, which can be dangerous for both you and the baby needs to be ruled out.

Overdue Baby

What is it? A normal pregnancy lasts for 40 weeks, however babies can be born two weeks before and after the due date. When pregnancy exceeds the normal 40 weeks, the baby is said to be overdue or medically speaking, 'postmature'.

Characteristics: Although it may vary, depending on how overdue the baby is, it may show these characteristic features:

* More weight than their counterparts born around EDD

* Absence of vernix from the body

* Skin may be dry, cracked and peeling because of the absence of vernix

* Skin may also be wrinkled and loose

* Long fingernails

* Abundant hair

* Open eyed and alert

Risks: If the baby is doing fine in the womb and is just not prepared to leave the warm environment and enter the cold world outside, it is fine. However, sometimes, the conditions inside the womb may not be condusive to the well being of the baby. The placenta may stop providing the essential nutrients to the baby which can be dangerous. Also, as the baby continues to grow, normal delivery may seem difficult.

What is done? If the baby is doing well (doctors will confirm this and you can keep a count of kicks), the doctors will wait for 41-42 weeks before they induce. In some cases, if the cervix is found to be ripe and ready for delivery, labour may be induced before 42 weeks are up. In cases, where the condition of the baby is distressed, a caesarean may be carried out to prevent any danger to the baby. A lot depends on the hospital's policy.






               

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