Smoking, Vaping, & Nicotine Patches | SIDS Risks

How To Protect Children & Prevent SIDS Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden, unexplained death of a child under the age of one. While the knowledge that SIDS can happen is frightening, parents can effectively lower their child’s risk of SIDS if they know what to avoid. Particularly important to reducing SIDS risk is refraining from smoking, vaping, and using nicotine patches. The highest preventable cause of infant death Smoking can increase SIDS risk in a couple of different ways. While pregnant, smoking and all nicotine use put the infant at a higher risk of SIDS. In fact, smoking during pregnancy is the highest preventable cause of infant mortality. After pregnancy, secondhand smoke is also detrimental and increases chances of SIDS. Infants who die of SIDS are found to have higher levels of nicotine in their lungs than infants who die of other causes. These nicotine levels in the infant’s lungs can either be caused by the pregnancy or by secondhand smoke. Avoid smoking as a parent, and also avoid bringing the child into any environments where they’ll be exposed to secondhand smoke. Risk of SIDS is particularly high when parents who smoke sleep in the same bed with their infant, even if they are not smoking in the bed itself. Is vaping safer than smoking? Often, people assume that vaping and e-cigarettes are safer than conventional cigarettes. However, using e-cigarettes during pregnancy still puts the child at risk. Any fetal exposure to nicotine increases the chances that a child will not have normal lung development. SIDS is often connected to respiratory issues and suffocation. When a baby has underdeveloped lungs or suffers from breathing problems, he or she is [...]

2018-10-08T21:44:28-05:00November 20th, 2018|Pregnancy|

Can You Get Pregnant With An Abnormal Uterus?

What Does A Standard Uterus Look Like? Most women do not know they have an abnormal uterus until pregnancy. The standard uterus is shaped like a pear. It’s comprised of two parts: a fundus and a cervix. The fundus houses the baby after the egg gets fertilized and starts growing. The uterus sits at the top of the uterus. The cervix, located in the lower half, connects to the vaginal canal. The uterus also has two fallopian tubes connected to each side of the fundus. What is an abnormal uterus? Uterine abnormalities are either positional or structural. A uterus that is positioned abnormally is tilted and angles away from the bladder instead of resting over the bladder. Women with abnormally positioned uteruses can still conceive normally.  The second abnormality affects the uterus’ structure and includes many different types of shapes. Bicornuate uterus A bicornuate uterus has a depression at the top that makes it look heart-shaped. Women with a bicornuate uterus are at greater risk for miscarriages. Septate uterus A muscular wall develops in the center of a septate uterus either partially or fully separating the uterus. Women with a septate uterus can have trouble conceiving or carrying full-term. Uterus Didelphys A uterus didelphys is a split uterus with two separate vaginal cavities. Both cavities lead to its own uterus which can look or feel like two separate vaginas. However, women with this condition can conceive normally. Unicornuate uterus The unicornuate uterus is smaller than the average uterus and has only one fallopian tube with two ovaries. Conception is possible with this condition though women must be mindful due to Arcuate uterus With an arcuate abnormality, the uterus indents at the top yet [...]

2019-01-29T15:38:20-05:00October 23rd, 2018|Pregnancy|

Pregnancy Complications | Bed Rest

What is Bed Rest? Bed rest requirements are different for every woman, but it is common, so if your doctor prescribes it, there’s no reason to be alarmed. Your doctor may recommend resting at home or bed rest in a hospital where you can be monitored by medical staff. Your doctor may place you on bed rest for a short length of time to help your health stabilize, or you may be prescribed bed rest for most of your pregnancy. When you may need bed rest There are a number of common reasons for bed rest. These include: High blood pressure, such as eclampsia or preeclampsia Changes in your cervix, such as cervical effacement Gestational diabetes Vaginal bleeding Premature labor Multiples Poor fetal growth Complications with the placenta Benefits of bed rest Bed rest can help by decreasing stress and lowering blood pressure. Resting during pregnancy also means that you will avoid strenuous activity such as lifting or stretching which may increase the risk of premature labor or vaginal bleeding. It can also improve the supply of blood to the placenta. What is the best position for bed rest? The best position will largely depend on the reason your doctor prescribed bed rest. Usually, he or she will recommend that you rest on your side, with your knees bent. Having a pillow between your knees can also make you feel more comfortable. Alternatively, your doctor may suggest that you lie on your back, propped up with pillows, with your feet elevated. Dealing with bed rest discomforts If you have been prescribed bed rest for a long period, it can start to cause some of your joints to ache and reduce your blood [...]

2018-09-17T17:31:33-05:00September 21st, 2018|Pregnancy|

Coping with Miscarriage

What is a miscarriage? Miscarriage, otherwise known as spontaneous abortion, is the most frequent loss of pregnancy. It’s been reported there are over 3 million miscarriages in the United States each year. Many women miscarry before they are even aware they are pregnant or before confirmation from a doctor. The most common cause is abnormal development of the fetus, which is in many cases out of the mother’s control. Some risk factors that can be controlled such as smoking and drinking. While other factors such as advanced maternal age, disease, hormonal or structural abnormalities, or physical trauma such as a car accident are not lifestyle related.. Symptoms of miscarriage A miscarriage can develop over several hours, days, or even weeks. Symptoms of miscarriage may include spotting, mild to severe cramping or contractions, back pain, nausea or vomiting, white-pink mucus, passing tissue or clot-like material, or weight loss after steady pregnancy weight gain. In some cases there are no symptoms, and a miscarriage is not detected until a doctor confirms the absence of a heartbeat. Coping with miscarriage Miscarriage can be devastating and painful both physically and mentally. Women and their partners can expect varying challenges in coping with this loss. Physical recovery It can take between a few weeks and a few months to fully recover from a miscarriage. Usually, recovery corresponds with how far along the mother was in her pregnancy before miscarrying. Women may experience vaginal bleeding for up to a week after the miscarriage. Other results of miscarriage can include light bleeding or spotting, lower abdominal pain similar to menstrual cramps, and breast discomfort. Pregnancy hormones may remain in the blood for one or two months, but women can [...]

2018-09-06T14:04:38-05:00August 6th, 2018|Pregnancy|

Caring For Your Pregnancy

Caring For Your Pregnancy Whether you’ve been trying to conceive for months or your little bundle of joy is a surprise- prenatal care is vital to ensuring a healthy pregnancy. Oh, Baby Prenatal care starts with your OBGYN at Texas Healthcare. During regular appointments and routing testing, your OBGYN will monitor you and your baby’s health throughout the pregnancy. Expect office visits every four to six weeks until your 32nd week of pregnancy, then every two to three weeks until your 37th week, followed by weekly appointments until delivery. If your pregnancy is considered high-risk, you’ll likely see your obstetrician more often. Let’s Get Started Your first appointment will probably be your longest one. It starts with a complete history, physical exam and blood test. Screening for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and other diseases like diabetes and hepatitis B gives your obstetrician insight into potential challenges for your baby’s development. Prenatal tests like ultrasounds and amniocentesis can verify the healthy development of your baby and identify potential birth defects. Your obstetrician will recommend at least one ultrasound to estimate the due date and evaluate the size, position and health of your baby. An amniocentesis- where a small sample of amniotic fluid is tested for chromosomal defects- is sometimes used in high-risk pregnancies or if you have a family history of genetic conditions. You Are What You Eat During the first appointment, your Texas Healthcare OBGYN will also talk to you about your diet and lifestyle. A well-balanced diet with lots of fruits, vegetables and water is important when you’re expecting. Avoid certain foods, like lunch meats and some seafood, to decrease your risk of listeria, toxoplasmosis or mercury exposure. Prenatal vitamins, like folic acid [...]

2018-09-06T14:10:30-05:00July 7th, 2018|Pregnancy|

Postpartum Depression Types and Causes

Postpartum Depression (PPD) Postpartum Depression (PPD) can affect a woman during pregnancy and after childbirth. Common symptoms of PPD are more severe than baby blues with symptoms such as anxiety, irritability, and nagging self-doubt about mothering skills. Postpartum Depression can be moderate to severe and can occur within the first year of delivery.  Postpartum Depression usually occurs within the first three months though it can span through the first year pending on the baby’s sleep pattern.   What is Postpartum Depression? A new mom faces a lot of challenges getting used to a newborn.  A new mom will also be sleep deprived with a newborn that wakes up several times a night.  A new mom will also experience physical changes with breast pain from breastfeeding and healing after the delivery of the baby.  All this can cause baby blues (Postpartum Depression). Types of Postpartum Depression: Postpartum Depression (baby blues)- moderate symptoms lasting only a couple of weeks after child birth Postpartum psychosis-agitation, confusion, memory problems, irritability, worsening insomnia, and anxiety Postpartum anxiety disorder-anxiety that makes it difficult to take care of newborn; unable to eat or sleep, afraid of hurting newborn, panic attacks (This type of Postpartum Depression requires medical attention) Postpartum obsessive-compulsive disorder- intrusive thoughts about newborn that continue to persist,  repetitive actions that reduce new mother to fear and obsession, fear of being left alone with baby, abnormal protection of baby, this disorder does create bizarre thoughts but mother is unlikely to act on them Postpartum post-traumatic stress disorder- caused by complications during birth or the loss of the baby;  flashbacks (nightmares), avoiding feelings, people, events; irritable, insomnia, easily startled, anxiety and panic attacks. (counseling and medical help are required) Causes for [...]

2018-09-06T14:10:54-05:00July 1st, 2018|Pregnancy|

Postpartum Hemorrhage (PPH)

Postpartum Hemorrhage (postpartum bleeding or PPH) Postpartum Hemorrhage is more commonly caused by poor contraction of the uterus after childbirth. What are some conditions that cause Postpartum Hemorrhage? Placental abruption Placenta  Previa Over distended uterus Multiple pregnancy Gestational hypertension or preeclampsia Many previous births Prolonged labor Infection When should a physician be seen during Postpartum Hemorrhage? Vaginal bleeding is normal after childbirth.  It is also normal for the blood to be bright red with some clotting.  The bleeding should get less as the days progress. Postpartum Hemorrhage affects 5% of women usually 24 hours after delivery.  However, it can happen as late as 12 weeks after delivery. Postpartum Hemorrhage (the loss of 500ml to 1000ml in a 24 hour period) is a serious condition and it can cause a drop in the blood pressure causing the organs to not get enough blood.  The patient will go into shock which can cause death. Postpartum Hemorrhage requires immediate medical attention! What methods are used to stop Postpartum Hemorrhage? Medication Balloon in uterus to create pressure D&C Manual massage Surgery The method of treatment depends on what is causing the Postpartum Hemorrhage. Can Postpartum Hemorrhage be prevented? Medicines can be used in the third stage of labor for women who are prone to have Postpartum Hemorrhage.     Good prenatal nutrition with supplements is important in all pregnancies. Blood work showing the amount of hemoglobin, hematocrit, and platelet count is important for determining if Postpartum Hemorrhage could be possible. The delivery of the placenta should not be rushed. Can the mother still breastfeed after having Postpartum Hemorrhage? Yes the mother can still breast feed after a Postpartum Hemorrhage.  The pump an dump method would need to be performed [...]

2018-09-06T14:26:19-05:00June 25th, 2018|Pregnancy|