Why is my heart beat so fast?

Due to some of the physiological changes of pregnancy, is common for women’s resting heart rate to be about 10 to 15 bpm faster while pregnant. Pregnant women are also more likely to have bigger increases in their heart rate with exertion since they or doing more work while pregnant. This increased work starts even in the first trimester, as pregnant women have a blood volume of expansion of over 40%; but it doesn’t stop there, as pregnant women also do more actual work, moving around another 35 pounds or more.

Is the uterus gets larger, the heart is actually pushed upwards and rotated to the left; this changing position of the heart allows women to become more aware of their heart beating and sometimes this is alarming because we don’t normally perceive that our heart is beating in our chest. Couple this with the fact that the heart may be beating faster than normal, then this can be quite anxiety provoking. But as long as your heart rate isn’t too fast it rest and you don’t notice that it is irregular, don’t worry too much. If you feel like that you’re heart rhythm is irregular for your heart rate is staying persistently very fast, talk to your doctor.

What can I do for my headache?

Pregnancy is good and bad for headaches.

The good news is, migraine headaches are uncommon during pregnancy. Most chronic migraineurs thoroughly enjoy pregnancy because it is one of a few times in their lives when they don’t suffer from migraine headaches.

The bad news is, other types of headaches, particularly tension type headaches, can become more common during pregnancy with the musculoskeletal strains and intentions of pregnancy and the anxieties and stresses associated with pregnancy.

You can always use acetaminophen at anytime during pregnancy for headache. If you’re less than 20 weeks, you can still use Ibuprofen or Naprosyn. Other medications like Excedrin Migraine can also be used on a limited basis.

A good massage, a relaxing bath, or just a good night’s rest may be the cure for a tension type headache.

Sometimes headaches have other causes, like sinus infections or allergies. If you suspect that your sinuses are the problem try and over-the-counter antihistamine and if this doesn’t work talk to your doctor.

Some women in the first trimester have caffeine withdrawal headaches. If you have recently cut out all caffeine because you’re pregnant these types of headaches are all too common. Remember that you can have up to 350 mg of caffeine per day. You may need to add a little bit of caffeine back in order to prevent headaches. Caffeine also is a treatment for some tension type headaches as well. Taking your acetaminophen with a serving of caffeine maybe just what the doctor ordered.

What can I for my acne?

Unfortunately, acne tends to get worse during pregnancy. Blame your hormones and you’re beautiful, oily glow of pregnancy. Still, there are a few things that you can do. It is safe to wash your face with benzoyl peroxide during pregnancy. Benzoyl peroxide is the common ingredient of most over-the-counter acne remedies. Check the label.

If you wash your face at night and then go and lay down on your pillow from last night, you may find that you have re-contaminated your face with last nights oils and bacteria. One evidence-based trick is to place a fresh clean towelette over your pillow each night that you removed in the morning. This towelette can collect the new night skin oils and bacteria and not allow them to saturate into your pillow in pillowcase. Just change it each night.

Many other acne treatments are not safe during pregnancy. Ask your doctor before trying any other remedies.

Is it normal that my boobs are leaking already?

Yes. Especially if you’ve already had children, you might notice that your milk comes in early or that you have occasional leakage even in the first trimester. Even if you haven’t had a baby yet, it’s not uncommon at all for you to leak some milk. If this is a persistent problem (and an embarrassing one), you might need to change up your bra or wear nipple shields so that your nipples are less stimulated.

My back is killing me. What can I do?

Back pain in pregnancy is almost universal. The bigger the belly, the more curved the spine, and the worse the back pain. As your center of gravity moves forward with ever increasing belly size, you’re hips rotate forward, the curvature of your back changes, and the muscle groups that you use In your back to maintain your posture change. Because you are not used to using these muscle groups to stay upright, and because all of your muscles are doing more work than normal carrying around the extra weight, then the result is chronic muscle strain, sprain, and fatigue.

What’s a girl to do?

  • For starters, you can use acetaminophen to treat the pain and, if you are less than 22 weeks pregnant, you can still use nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen or naprosyn. A heating pad on the back, or heat releasing patches, or a nice bath may also help a lot.
  • Exercise can help tremendously. Gymnasts and ballet dancers rarely complained of back pain during pregnancy because they have well-developed back musculature and core abdominal muscles. Exercises that help strengthen the back in core abdominal muscles can provide relief and prevent worsening problems as the pregnancy goes on. This includes things like Pilates or Yoga.
  • Many women benefit from wearing a back brace or pregnancy support belt. These devices tend to change your center of gravity slightly and help redistribute the load. Typically, these are most helpful in the third trimester and even though you may not have needed one in your first pregnancy, because you likely carry the baby differently in your second or third pregnancy, you might find one helpful in those subsequent pregnancies.
  • A good massage is nice and some women will appreciate chiropractic therapy during pregnancy as well. In some cases, your doctor might order physical therapy.
  • It is unusual for back pain during pregnancy to require any testing or other treatments. However, if you have a history of chronic back pain or orthopedic abnormalities, be sure to tell your doctor.

I have gestational diabetes. Now what?

If you failed your glucose screen and your glucose tolerance test, then you now have gestational diabetes.

Hopefully, you’ll get a chance to talk to a dietitian. In the meantime, cut out all of the simple sugary items from your diet: colas, cookies, cakes, candies, and other sources of sugary carbs. Pay attention to portion size. If you’re not already, and-in for or five 20 minutes walks or other cardiovascular exercise sessions per week.

You’ll need to check your blood sugar several times per day, at least initially. You should check your blood sugar first thing in the morning, a fasting blood glucose, and then check it two hours after each large meal  – breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You’re fasting blood sugars should be below 95 and your blood sugars after meals should be below 120. If your blood sugars are running higher than this, you may need to take medicine to help lower your blood sugars.

Is also helpful in the beginning at least to track what you are eating. This can help your dietitian and your doctor decide if their are some things you should do differently in your diet. It can also help you understand why your blood sugar might spike – for example, after delicious pizza.

How can I prevent stretch marks?

The short answer is no.

Though there are a lot of products marketed to pregnant women who are willing to spend a lot of money to prevent stretch marks, none of them have good scientific data that they work. Some products site their own small studies, but don’t waste your money on that kind of evidence. If your belly is dry and it feels good to use a nice lotion or other skin care product, go for it! But don’t pretend that it will prevent any stretch marks.

Why don’t I feel the baby moving?

The answer to this question depends on how far along you are. If you are less than 20 weeks or so, you probably are just too early to feel any fetal movement. First time moms don’t typically report feeling movements for the first time (quickening) until 20 weeks or so; women who have had children before often feel the first movements two or three weeks sooner. Even after these gestational ages, it is still common to go a few days without feeling fetal movement until about 24 weeks or so.

After 24 weeks, you should expect to feel some movement everyday but how much movement varies from pregnancy to pregnancy. You or your partner may not be able to feel the baby with a hand on the outside of your belly simply because you have an anterior placenta or the baby is turned and kicking in the other direction.

If you are concerned that you have not felt enough feeling movement, and you are after 24 weeks, then lie down on your left side and concentrate on feeling for movements. You should feel six movements of some sort in the first hour; if you have felt some movements but not six, then go another hour. You should feel a total of 10 movements or more in a two hour period and sometimes it takes a while because babies have periods of time when they are asleep. If it’s been two hours and you have not felt 10 movements then you may need to go to the doctor or the hospital for evaluation.

You might have read on the Internet that you should do “Kick counts” every day. Most pregnant women do not need to do this in the practice may actually be harmful overall to the pregnancy. Only do daily kick counts if your doctor has told you to for a specific reason.

Heartburn! Help!

You’ve probably heard the the folktale that a lot of heartburn means that your baby will have a lot of hair; this probably isn’t true, but dreams of a well-coiffed baby undoubtedly doesn’t make your pain any better.

Heartburn or indigestion or acid reflux is a common problem during pregnancy and likely gets worse throughout the third trimester for most women as the uterus grows and puts more pressure on the stomach. If you have occasional symptoms, then avoiding triggering foods and using some Tums may be enough; but for persistent symptoms, it is okay to use over-the-counter or prescription antacid medications, including both proton pump inhibitors and antihistamines. Click here for a list of medicines that are safe to use during pregnancy