Staying hydrated during pregnancy

Last weekend, while laying poolside in the 104 degree Las Vegas heat, from the corner of my eye I saw a glowing preggers. She was probably a good 7 months, laying in her gold studded tankini soaking up the rays like the rest of us. After thinking, “wow she looks great”, quickly my overprotective mama bear doc personality kicked in and I had to physically hold myself back from walking up to her to hand her a cup of ice cold water!
Keeping hydrated is extremely important during pregnancy, especially in the later months when you are at risk of preterm labor. Normally one should drink 6-8 glasses of water per day, but a pregnant women should try to have anywhere from 8-12 glasses daily, if not more while in the heat. Keeping hydrated is extremely important not only during your pregnancy, but also during the postpartum period. Adequate hydration helps the liver and kidney function both in mom and baby; it helps the cells of the liver flush all the toxins out. Also, during pregnancy, the body’s blood volume increases, therefore you need to keep hydrated to help your body in as its fluid volume expands. Poor hydration can lead to the obvious like constipation, thirst and fatigue, but it can also increase your risk of preterm labor, worsening braxton hicks contractions and even miscarriage.

Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink water. More chances than not, by the time your body signals your thirst, you are already dehydrated. I always recommend filing a large water bottle and sipping it throughout the day. I personally love my bobble. I fill it in the morning and sip it throughout the day. When it runs out I can easily refill it from the sink at work because it has a filter attached to it so it does not matter what water source you use (now don’t go using river water or anything ;-)). Whatever your reservoir for water is, find one that fits your lifestyle. Try to stay away from beverages with high amounts of sugar or caffeine. These drinks not only do not count towards your daily total hydration, they actually subtract from it because they do just the opposite and dehydrate you. Remember, water, water, and more water! What’s your favorite way to stay hydrated?!?!

 

Can I get a brazilian wax while pregnant?

I’ve had a lot of friends tell me “I’m too embarrassed to ask my doc but can I get a Brazilian wax while pregnant”? I figured this is an important topic for all…whether you want to just trim up your bikini line or go for the full Brazilian, it does not mean you cannot be a sexy preggers gal! Thanks to all those hormones and vitamins that are making your nails grow longer than ever and your hair thicker and more beautiful, unfortunately it is probably doing the same down South. The good news is it is generally considered safe for pregnant women to get waxed. How else are you expected to keep the trimming in control when you can barely see over that bump!?!?

If you decide to wax during your pregnancy, remember a few things. During pregnancy, your skin tends to be more sensitive because you have increased blood flowing, including to your pubic area, so this may cause extra sensitivity and even maybe a few extra broken blood vessels…meaning you may have a few extra specs of blood after the tugging to your hair or a little bit of bruising, which are both harmless. With that being said, try to stay away from topical products that help numb the area or prevent ingrown hairs (and those bumps after waxing) that contain salicylic acid. Unfortunately while you are pregnant you also should stay clear of pain relievers that are categorized as anti-inflammatory medications (NSAID’s) like Ibuprofen aka Motrin aka Advil etc. These medications can lead to complications in your pregnancy. However don’t let the fear of pain scare you away from being the trimmed gal you once were.  Some tips to help; One patient that told me she applies orajel (yup “that stuff you put on your babys gums to numb them”) to that area about 10 minutes before her appointment and it helps to take the edge away. You figure if you can put it in your baby’s mouth, it’s probably safe to use on your skin while pregnant ;-). Also you can simply use a warm compress or even the good old baby powder to tune down the irritation or aftermath you may experience after waxing. With all that being said, some may prefer to turn to the good old razor. Whatever method you prefer, don’t forget pregnancy is 40 weeks long! As those weeks pass, your bump will grow only larger and it will get more difficult to tame the area yourself. If you opt for waxing, just do not forget to tell your esthetician you are pregnant!

Preggers Timeline

maternity

This is the first post! I figured a good way to start off a pregnancy blog is with a quick overview of what to expect when you’re expecting (I know, it’s overused, but it’s such a catchy phrase!). Don’t forget, this is just a vague overview to familiarize you. Your own doctor will give you specific details pertaining to your pregnancy.

First Trimester: Conception to 12 Weeks

Be prepared to visit your doctor about once per month during your first trimester. On your first visit (generally when you are 4-8 weeks along), your doc will do a full physical exam, including a pap smear, (depending on how recently your last one was), STD screening for chlamydia and gonorrhea, and also some blood work. Also, your baby’s gestational age (aka how far along you are and your due date) will be determined. Depending on how far along you are (generally if you are over 12 weeks), your doctor will listen for fetal heart tones, that’s your baby’s heart rate. Nuchal translucency screening will be done around week 10-12 and your first chromosomal disorder screening is done between week 10-14 (these tests are optional depending on your wishes. Please discuss the risks and benefits with your physician). Also, your doctor will arrange for a formal ultrasound around this time. If you are older than 35 years old or have any risk factors that may make your pregnancy more high risk/complicated, your physician may refer you to a Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist at the start of your pregnancy.

Second Trimester: 12 to 24 Weeks

You’ll still be visiting your doc about once per month. Between 15 to 18 weeks you will be offered a triple screen for chromosomal abnormalities. Around 16 weeks, you will start to really show your bump, if you already haven’t done so! Most people wait until around this time to tell their friends and family! Also, between 16 to 20 weeks you will start to feel your baby kick. You may want to start considering registering for some prenatal classes at this point.

Third Trimester: 24 Weeks to Delivery

Your doctor visits will increase to about every two to three weeks. At around 26 weeks, you will be tested for gestational diabetes. At around 28 weeks, your doctor will likely suggest to do fetal counts and discuss signs of preterm labor with you. By 32 weeks, your baby is taking it’s final position in your belly and pelvis so your doctor will determine your baby’s position. Between 35 to 37 weeks, you will have a vaginal culture for group B strep (this is done on everyone and is not a sexually transmitted disease that you are being tested for).

At around 36 weeks, you will usually start to visit your doctor every week or even more if you have a high risk pregnancy. At about 37-38 weeks, your doctor will do weekly cervical checks to see if you are dilating yet. At around 39 weeks, depending on your doctors preference of practice, you may be induced if your cervix is ready. Once you hit 40 weeks, you’re officially full term and your baby should be coming out ASAP if he/she hasn’t done so yet! After this point, you will have close surveillance for post-dates. If your baby decides to hang out until 42 weeks, most doctors will induce you at this point for post-dates.