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Cholestasis?! What It Is and How to Deal

Pregnancy comes with a lot of aches, pains, and minor complications. Typically they’re just annoyances that go away, and rarely become something serious.

Most of you have probably heard of preeclampsia. But you probably haven’t heard of Cholestasis. It’s a liver disorder that might show up during pregnancy. Usually, it’ll show up in the third trimester, and no one knows yet exactly why it happens. It causes a backlog of bile acids in the bloodstream when your liver all of a sudden stops moving the bile acid out of its cells.

So how do you know if you have Cholestasis? You’ll feel itchy, starting on the soles of your feet and palms of your hands. Other symptoms can include dark urine, pale poop, and sometimes jaundice.

As one woman shares, “I remember that one day my feet were just bit itchy. But by that night, I wished I could scratch them right off! The itching spread to my hands and then my arms and legs. I tried lotion and antihistamines, but they didn’t help.”

If you think you have Cholestasis, tell your doctor. They’ll ask you to come in for some bloodwork. If you do have it, they’ll probably prescribe you a medication called Ursodeoxycholic Acid. It’ll likely reduce (or even get rid of!) the itching. Your doctor will also give some tips and monitor your pregnancy more closely because having this disease puts your baby at a higher risk.

If you’d like to learn more info, try visiting www.icpcare.org. They also have a great Facebook page and support group. The good news is that everything should go back to normal pretty quickly after you deliver!

 

Why Is Water So Important During Pregnancy?

When you’re pregnant, you’ll need to drink lots of water and other fluids. Fluid helps your body grow new cells, process nutrients, and regulate body temp. You’ll probably feel better during your pregnancy if you drink more water than usual!

Studies have shown that for every 15 calories your body burns, you need around one tablespoon of water. So if you burn 2,000 calories each day, you’ll need to drink about two quarts of water! Your calorie needs will increase when you’re pregnant, so that also means drinking more water. A good goal is six to eight glasses a day. Make sure you sip water throughout the day and decrease how much you drink later on in the day. That will save you a few bathroom trips in the middle of the night!

Water is your best source of fluid. But, you can also try milk, vegetable juice, fruit juice, and certain teas. We say “certain teas” because some aren’t safe for pregnant women. Share the type of tea you’d like to drink your doctor, and he or she can let you know if it’s safe. Other ways to reach your goal of fluid consumption are by eating fruits and veggies, milk products, and meat.

Avoid drinking coffee and cola, which may have sodium and caffeine in them. Sodium and caffeine are diuretics, which will actually increase your water needs!

Common pregnancy complaints such as uterine cramping, headaches, and bladder infections may be helped by drinking water.

You can check the color of your pee to find out if you’re getting enough water. If it’s clear to light yellow, you’re getting enough. If it’s dark yellow, definitely up your fluid intake. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink water because by that point you’ve already lost around 1% of your body’s fluids.

10 Fun Ideas of What to Do During Your Last Trimester

When you’re in the home stretch of your pregnancy, it might feel like it’s taking forever for your baby to arrive! Here are some fun activities you can do to pass the time:

1. Get a pregnancy massage.
2. Sleep, rest, and watch Netflix
3. Follow whatever whim you have, whether it’s a relaxing bath or a pedicure.
4. Go to a movie by yourself
5. Go out to dinner with some friends
6. Learn how all the baby gear you have (like strollers and car seats) work
7. Make double the food you’d usually make for every meal, and freeze the leftovers.
8. Eat ice cream
9. Get a haircut, color, and salon blowout
10. Enjoy a nice, long hot shower

How to Cope With Your Pregnancy Exhaustion

Pregnancy exhaustion at its finest!Are you totally exhausted and feel tired all the time now that you’re pregnant? In this article, we’re going to share the causes behind your pregnancy exhaustion, plus tips on how to feel better!

What causes pregnancy exhaustion?

Total fatigue! Your body’s working so hard at keeping you going while supporting the new life inside you. You’re using up more water and nutrients, producing more blood, and your heart rate is up. A hormone called progesterone might also increase your fatigue since more of it is circulating through your system nowadays. AND, you’re experiencing so many more emotions in your mind, which can make you feel overwhelmed.

How can you find relief from pregnancy exhaustion?

Rest, rest, and more rest! Go to bed earlier at night, take breaks during your day, and nap whenever possible. On your breaks, get yourself a nice drink of water or juice and put your feet up. It’s OK to stop doing additional activities for now. That means not attempting to do it all: rush to parties, renovate your house, and learn how to play guitar all at once! Allow yourself and your body plenty of rest time.

It’s still smart to exercise, provided you feel up to it. You can really get an energy boost by going to prenatal yoga or taking a brisk walk outside. Make sure to eat foods with protein, as well as veggies and fruits. It’ll help fuel your body!

What to Eat When You’ve Got Morning Sickness

If you’re suffering from morning sickness, you might be wondering what kind of food you can possibly stomach. Here are some nourishing and comforting foods to try:

Guacamole
Here’s a dip that’s packed with nutrients and is tasty yet mild enough for your upset stomach! Avocados are an excellent source of monounsaturated fats (also known as “good” fats) and omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for your heart. Guac also has nutrients like vitamins E and K, fiber, folate, iron, potassium, and magnesium.

Something with ginger

Ginger is recommended to pregnant women a lot because of its soothing effects on a queasy stomach. You can try ginger candies or ginger tea. If you’ve been chewing on ice to help with your nausea, just freeze some ginger tea in small ice trays. It’ll create icy lozenges that you can safely suck on. Or, drop your frozen lozenges into a glass of water or seltzer.

Crackers

Keep a stash of dry crackers (like Saltines) on your nightstand. Munch on them when you wake up to fight off morning sickness. Many pregnant women get up during the night to pee lots of times. If this sounds like you, eat a few crackers while you’re up. It’s also a good idea to snack on some before you go to bed, to kick queasiness to the curb.

Soup

When you’re feeling nauseous, soup is warm and soothing. Plus, it’s not so filling that it’ll complicate an upset stomach. Aim for a simple, mild soup like chicken noodle soup or even plain bone broth.

 

Make sure to tell your doctor if you’re experiencing severe morning sickness. If you vomit blood or something that looks like coffee grounds, throw up more than three times a day, or feel sick after your fourth month of pregnancy, call them right away!

 

Post-Delivery Care Tips

Post-Delivery CareCongratulations! Your pregnancy is finally over, and you have a precious new baby in your arms!

You’ll probably have questions about self-care and care for your baby. This info will help you to care for yourself and your baby during the weeks before your first visit to your doctor.

Visitors

Limit visitors to close family members or those who bring food or help with your housework or other children. Many new moms have found it beneficial to set up a “meal train” website to coordinate meals, and so that people know what kind of meals to bring and when.

Your visitors shouldn’t have any signs of infection or illness. Make sure that everyone washes his or her hands with soap and water before holding (or touching) your baby. You might hang up a sign on your front door that sweetly says something like “Welcome! We’re so happy to see you! Since our baby is new to the world and can’t yet fight germs, please wash your hands before laying them on this new little one.”

Outings

For the first six weeks, avoid close contact with crowds. Newborn babies and their mamas don’t need any unnecessary exposure to illnesses. But don’t think that you must stay at home for these six weeks! You probably will want to get out of the house for a little outing with your little one. A short walk around the block with your babe or dining out might be really therapeutic for you and prevent cabin fever.

Rest

All new moms need rest after the physical demands of labor, birth, and now caring for a newborn. Plus, there are the emotional demands that a new baby puts on you. You’ll probably be exhausted, so rest a lot. When the baby naps, lay down for a nap as well.

Try and limit how much time you spend sitting. Lying down or standing up helps you heal and will probably be more comfortable. If the weather lets you, take short walks outside each day.

You can do light housework if you feel up to it. When your family and friends ask if they can help, take them up on the offer! They can make meals, vacuum, do laundry, and heavy cleaning.

If you have stairs in your house, climb them carefully and slowly. Don’t lift anything over 10 pounds for two weeks after vaginal delivery or six weeks after C-section. Ask your doctor how long to wait before driving a car.

7 Pregnancy Symptoms You Shouldn’t Stress Over

Pregnancy lasts about 40 weeks long and has an effect on almost every part of your body. But, most pregnancies are healthy and turn out just fine. There are some pregnancy symptoms that require medical attention, but there are tons of other symptoms that you don’t have to hurry to the doctor’s office about. We encourage you to mention your symptoms to your OB-GYN, but here are seven pregnancy symptoms you don’t need to stress over:

1. Pain in your Abs—Unless you feel that the pain is getting worse or includes bleeding, it’s probably just your uterus growing normally. It may also be because of your round ligaments stretching, or gas. These pains are usually brief but can be strong. You might find that rest makes your round ligament and uterus stretching aches go away.

2. Feeling Tired—There’s a lot of work involved in growing a little human, so many women find they need to sleep more and have less energy to exercise less. It’s good to listen to your body and rest when you need to. So, skip making dinner if you need to, and let the laundry sit unfolded. After a long day at work, it’s totally OK to order takeout and watch TV to rest and recharge.

3. Queasiness a.k.a “morning sickness”—it’s normal to get nauseous all day long while pregnant. Nausea isn’t a big deal, but when you start throwing up and losing weight, see your doctor. You might get bad morning sickness in your first trimester, and find that it fades. You can help avoid it by drinking enough water and eating often.

4. Constipation—Your little one is pressing down on your rectum which slows down the intestinal muscles. Also, pregnancy hormones make constipation a common grievance during pregnancy. Prenatal vitamins contain iron which can add to your constipation. Try upping how much fiber you eat, drinking more water, and exercising. Ask your doctor before trying a stool softener.

5. Intense Dreams—Many pregnant women get vivid, scary nightmares or dreams. Pregnancy hormones make it harder to tell the difference in the middle of the night between reality and nightmares. Intense dreams may increase during your third trimester, but know that they’re normal and usually go away after you deliver.

6. Forgetfulness—Also known as in “pregnancy brain,” you may feel frustrated that you forget words, tasks, or appointments at times. Pregnant women are simply more forgetful, especially in the last trimester. The stress of pregnancy and a new baby can affect memory, so know that you’re not alone.

7. Mood Swings—All of the changes to your eating habits and sleep patterns have an effect on your emotional state. It’s totally common to feel irritable, scared, irritable, or unsure when you’re pregnant. Pregnancy is a very emotional experience, and there’s a lot going on in your head right now. You might find that your emotions change quickly from nervous to sad to happy. It’s important to realize that your fears are a normal part of pregnancy. If you feel that something is seriously wrong or if you have thoughts of hurting yourself or someone else, get help.

All content on this site, including health-related info, is for informational purposes only and shouldn’t be used to diagnose or treat. Remember to ask your doctor about any issues you’re facing during your pregnancy.

7 Safe Ways to Fight Pregnancy Exhaustion

Many pregnant women feel so tired that just getting up for work every day becomes difficult. The first trimester is usually when you’ll feel super-tired, and it may reappear during your third trimester. The good news is that there are some natural, safe ways to boost your energy:

  1. Keep up with a healthy diet and lifestyle. Try nutritious and satisfying foods with anti-inflammatory abilities, like organic fruits and vegetables.
  2. Avoid processed foods as much as possible
  3. Don’t eat simple carbs, such as white bread
  4. Keep well-hydrated by carrying water with you wherever you go
  5. Exercise every day, even when you feel tired. Cardio exercise like brisk walking will almost always make you feel more alert, and even more so if you walk outside.
  6. Go to bed at a time that’ll let you get eight to nine hours of sleep a night.
  7. Nap whenever you can! Even small “catnaps” of 15 to 20 minutes during your breaks at work can be energizing.

Talk to your doctor if you’re pregnant and suffering from persistent fatigue. They may want to run tests to make sure you don’t have anemia or hypothyroidism.

Working While Pregnant? 8 Tips That’ll Help!

Working when you’re pregnant isn’t always easy. Not to worry, we’ve got you covered! Here are 8 common pregnancy challenges along with tips on to help them at work:

  1. You’re exhausted, but scared to drink coffee

Most OB-GYNs will tell you it’s okay to have coffee in limited amounts when you’re pregnant. There are definitely things you need to avoid during pregnancy like drinking and smoking. A small amount of coffee is safe, though, especially if it helps you get through the day. Make sure to talk with your doctor about your exhaustion.

  1. You’re feeling really drained

The first trimester can really drain your energy and make work difficult.  You might be also hiding the news of your pregnancy from your boss until you’re farther along. In that case, talk to her about other ways you can work, such as working from home or working alternate hours.

  1. You’re nauseous all the time

If you travel to work using public transportation, it may be making you feel light-headed and faint. So, make sure to eat breakfast before you leave for work, and also eat a late afternoon snack. Also, stay hydrated by always having water handy. Having a small snack can help keep your blood sugar levels in check which will prevent fainting. We recommend asking someone to give up their seat. In the wintertime, take off your scarf and coat before getting on the train or bus to prevent overheating.

  1. You need to pee all the time

There’s pretty much no way to decrease your need for bathroom breaks. Try to cut down on trips to pee by drinking to only to quench your thirst. Also, make sure to empty your bladder completely. To help more pee to pass, you could change up your position on the toilet and try lifting your belly a bit.

  1. Your legs are totally swollen and hurting

Some pregnant women get lots of swelling during their pregnancy, especially near the end of the day and end of the pregnancy. If you have to be on your feet at work, it might make the swelling worse. Try wearing compression socks or stockings to help cut down on your swelling and pain. If you’re able to, put your feet up as you work…even a slight elevation can help.

  1. Your boobs hurt

Lots of pregnant ladies complain about breast pain during pregnancy. They’re painful because your body’s getting ready for breastfeeding. We recommend that you buy a few larger-sized bras with good support.

  1. You’re hungry all.the.time.

It’s important that you to manage how much food you eat so that you can prevent low blood sugar and afternoon cravings. Always keep healthy snacks with you…it’ll prevent unhealthy food choices. Try things like protein bars, yogurt, fruit, cheese or granola—these options are easy to pack in your purse.

  1. Your feet hurt

We suggest that you stop wearing heels. It’s best for your feet, your back, and your pelvic floor to wear shoes that are more comfortable. Heels tend to make your body pitch forward and cause you to lean back, which will lead to leg cramps, bad posture, and tight, short pelvic floor muscles (not what you want when you need to give birth!).

Get Relief from Your Pregnancy Back Pain

pregnancy back pain affects tons of women!Back pain is a very common pregnancy symptom! Drop by a physical therapist or masseuse, and you’ll probably see some pregnant women there. Back pain during pregnancy is caused by weight gain, hormones, and a shifting center of gravity.

Thankfully, back pain usually goes away within two weeks of delivery. But it may flare up again once you start lifting and carrying a seven to 10-pound baby so many times a day.

Here are some tips that’ll relieve your back pain. All of them are safe to do while pregnant and may even help you avoid taking meds. As always, check with your doctor before starting anything new.

  1. Buy Some Pregnancy Gear

We’re talking about a band to support your growing belly, the correct shoes, and a pregnancy pillow. A belly support band lifts the weight off your baby bump, saving your back.

Supportive flats or sneakers are good for everyday wear. If you want to try something with heels, stick to rubber-soled wedges. They offer shock absorption and issue body weight across a larger surface area. Avoid wearing flip flops or ballet flats, unless you have insoles that offer arch support.

To sleep in a better position for your back, put a wedge under your belly. And, sleep on your side. Both these tips can lessen back pain by bracing your belly, so it doesn’t strain your back muscles.

  1. Hot and Cold Therapy

For really bad back pain, wrap an ice pack in a towel. Apply it to your back for about 15 minutes to ease swelling. If you don’t have an ice pack, a bag of frozen vegetables will do. Then, after the worst of the pain is over, apply heat to encourage healing. Heat will reduce any aches that are still there, and improve circulation. Try putting two cups of uncooked rice in a cotton sock. Make a knot on the open end of the sock, then throw it in the microwave for a minute. Put it onto the painful area for about 15 minutes.

  1. Exercise

Research has shown that pregnant women who exercise three times a week have less low-back pain. Try a pregnancy-safe exercise such as swimming or walking. You can get pointers on pregnancy exercise in these articles:

5 Easy Pregnancy Exercises You Can Totally Rock

Choosing the Type of Pregnancy Exercise That’s Right for You

Exercise in the Second Trimester