Pregnancy, Fertility and Childbirth

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    ARonald Tolchin, DO, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, answered on behalf of Baptist Health South Florida
    Certain hormones produced in pregnancy may increase your risk for back pain. For example, the hormones estrogen and relaxin allow your pelvis to widen to accommodate your growing baby. Those hormones work on the ligaments in the sacroiliac joint, which connects your spine to your pelvis, causing them to stretch. That stretching can cause back pain. If you are having back pain, talk to your doctor about the best way for you to manage it during your pregnancy.
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    AScripps Health answered

    New parents may feel crowded by relatives and friends who want to be in the delivery room. Besides making a private affair feel congested, too many people can put a strain on the doctors and nurses who are there to ensure a safe delivery. Don’t hesitate to decline these requests; instead, invite them for a private visit at home.

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    AMarch of Dimes answered

    There are lots of changes happening in your partner after pregnancy. Her body has taken care of your baby for 9 months. It has to get used to not being pregnant any more. There are lots of hormones in her body after pregnancy. These hormones can cause the baby blues, which are feelings of sadness a woman may have 3 to 5 days after giving birth.

    Your partner may be cranky and she may cry a lot. This happens to lots of women. By about 10 days after the baby's birth, the baby blues should go away. If they don't, tell her health care provider. If she’s really sad for longer than 2 weeks, she may have postpartum depression. This is a more serious problem that requires medical treatment.

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    AMarch of Dimes answered

    The Rh factor may be a problem if mom is Rh-negative but dad is Rh-positive. If dad is Rh-negative, there is no risk.

    If your baby gets her Rh-positive factor from dad, your body may believe that your baby's red blood cells are foreign elements attacking you. Your body may make antibodies to fight them. This is called sensitization.

    If you're Rh-negative, you can get shots of Rh immune globulin (RhIg) to stop your body from attacking your baby. It's best to get these shots at 28 weeks of pregnancy and again within 72 hours of giving birth if a blood test shows that your baby is Rh-positive. You won't need anymore shots after giving birth if your baby is Rh-negative. You should also get a shot after certain pregnancy exams like an amniocentesis, a chorionic villus sampling or an external cephalic version (when your provider tries to turn a breech-position baby head down before labor). You'll also want to get the shot if you have a miscarriage, an ectopic pregnancy or suffer abdominal trauma.

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    AMarch of Dimes answered

    Gallstones are not common during pregnancy, but they do happen. Elevated hormones during pregnancy can cause the gallbladder to function more slowly, less efficiently. The gallbladder stores and releases bile, a substance produced in the liver. Bile helps digest fat. When bile sits in the gallbladder for too long, hard, solid nuggets called gallstones can form. The stones can block the flow of bile, causing indigestion and sometimes serious pain. Staying at a healthy weight during pregnancy can help lower your risk of gallstones. Exercise and eating foods that are low in fat and high in fiber, like veggies, fruits and whole grains, can help, too. Symptoms of gallstones include nausea, vomiting and intense, continuous abdominal pain. Treatment during pregnancy may include surgery to remove the gallbladder. Gallstones in the third trimester can be managed with a strict meal plan and pain medication, followed by surgery several weeks after delivery.

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    AMarch of Dimes answered

    Postpartum bleeding is bleeding from the vagina after giving birth. It’s normal. However, heavy bleeding (hemorrhaging) can be a sign of other health problems. The most common causes of serious, heavy bleeding after birth are:

    • Uterine atony: This is when the muscle in your uterus (womb) doesn’t contract (tighten). When your uterus contracts, it helps manage bleeding. The placenta grows in your uterus and supplies the baby with food and oxygen through the umbilical cord. If you have twins or a large baby, or if you are in labor for a long time, you may be at risk of having uterine atony.
    • Retained placenta: During the third stage of labor, you deliver the placenta. If the placenta doesn’t pass within 30 minutes after your baby is born, you may have heavy bleeding.
    • Tearing: If your vagina or cervix (opening to the uterus that sits on top of the vagina) is cut or torn during birth, you may bleed heavily.

    If you have serious bleeding after birth, it most likely happens when you’re still in the hospital. Your health care provider may massage your uterus or give you fluids through an IV needle into your vein. This can help stop the bleeding. She also may give you oxytocin (a hormone that can help your uterus contract). In very rare cases, a woman may need surgery or a blood transfusion.

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    AMarch of Dimes answered

    Most experts recommend that, after the birth of a child, you should wait at least 18 months before getting pregnant again. This applies both in the case of a vaginal or cesarean birth. Waiting 18 months gives your body the time it needs to fully recover from the last pregnancy. It also helps prevent health risks during your next pregnancy, like premature birth or having a low-birthweight baby. Spacing pregnancies too close together also has been associated with sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Frequent pregnancies can have an impact on the mother's health.

    Sometimes it's not possible to wait so long, either because of your age or other reasons. The best thing to do is to talk with your health care provider about what’s best for you.

    However, if you're planning to have more than one child, it's best to wait no more than five years between pregnancies.

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    AMarch of Dimes answered

    First-trimester ultrasound (also called early ultrasound) is a prenatal test that uses sound waves to show a picture of your baby in the uterus (womb). Some providers may use this kind of ultrasound to make sure your baby’s organs are growing and developing normally.

    Your health care provider uses it to check your baby’s health. A first-trimester ultrasound takes place before 14 weeks of pregnancy.

    The kind of first-trimester ultrasound you have depends on the type of information your provider needs. Your provider usually does ultrasound by moving a plastic tool, called a transducer, across your belly. This is called transabdominal ultrasound. You also can have a transvaginal ultrasound, which means it’s done in the vagina (birth canal). Both kinds usually take about 15 to 20 minutes.

    Your provider can use first-trimester ultrasound to:

    • Make sure you’re pregnant
    • Check your baby’s heartbeat and health. Your baby’s age and growth helps your provider figure out your due date.
    • Look for twins, triplets or more
    • Examine your ovaries and uterus
    • Check for pregnancy problems, including ectopic or molar pregnancy, miscarriage, vaginal bleeding or pelvic pain
    • Find or remove an intrauterine device
    • Screen for birth defects, like neural tube defects or Down syndrome
    • Use along with another prenatal test, like chorionic villus sampling

     

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    AMarch of Dimes answered

    4-D ultrasound is a prenatal test that uses sound waves to show a three-dimensional picture of your baby in the uterus (womb) and shows your baby’s movement. 3-D images are almost as clear as a photograph, and 4-D is a moving-picture version or video. Some providers may use this kind of ultrasound to make sure your baby’s organs are growing and developing normally.

    You may know of some places, like stores in a mall, that aren’t run by doctors or other medical professionals that offer “keepsake” 3-D or 4-D ultrasound pictures or videos for parents. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Food and Drug Administration and the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine do not recommend these non-medical ultrasounds. The people doing them may not have medical training and may give you wrong or even harmful information.

  • 1 Answer
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    AMarch of Dimes answered

    3-D ultrasound is a prenatal test that uses sound waves to show a three-dimensional picture of your baby in the uterus (womb). Some providers may use this kind of ultrasound to make sure your baby’s organs are growing and developing normally.

    The 3-D ultrasound is almost as clear as a photograph. A moving-picture version is called 4-D ultrasound.

    You may know of some places, like stores in a mall, that aren’t run by doctors or other medical professionals that offer “keepsake” 3-D or 4-D ultrasound pictures or videos for parents. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Food and Drug Administration and the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine do not recommend these non-medical ultrasounds. The people doing them may not have medical training and may give you wrong or even harmful information.