Pregnancy, Fertility and Childbirth

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    A OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology), answered on behalf of
    How Important Is Prepregnancy Counseling?
    It's important for women to seek pre-pregnancy counseling to ensure they're receiving proper nutrition and vitamins. Watch Thomas Antony, MD, of Citrus Memorial Hospital, explain.
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    It is better to consult a doctor rather than a nurse-midwife for your pregnancy under certain circumstances. Some of these arise prior to or during pregnancy, some during the birth and some during the postpartum time. Some examples include chronic health conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes, preterm birth, twins, a baby being breech or known problems with the placenta. These are just a few examples and your healthcare provider will be able to tell you if your pregnancy requires collaboration with or transfer of care to a doctor. Even in these situations, it can be possible for the midwife to remain involved in your care.

    This content originally appeared on http://www.livehealthyaustin.com/
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    Although rare, it is possible to be pregnant and not be aware of it. There are different explanations of how this might be possible. Some women have very irregular periods and may not find it abnormal to not have a period for months on end. Some women may be overweight and not be aware of changes in body shape. It is possible that some women may just deny the idea that they are pregnancy. There are also some women who always take birth control, so they would not think they could be pregnant.
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    How long does a normal pregnancy last?
    A normal pregnancy lasts 40 weeks. Watch this video to learn more about obstetrics and gynecology from Regina Epple, APNP at Citrus Memorial Hospital. 
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    A OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology), answered on behalf of
    How safe is it to clean out a litter box while pregnant?
    Whether you have an indoor-only or outdoor cat will affect how safe it is to clean its litter box when pregnant, says OBGYN Monica Diaz, MD, of Medical City Dallas Hospital. In this video, she explains the relative risk for toxoplasmosis.
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    I'm pregnant, are prenatal massages a good idea?
    Prenatal massage can help pregnant women with back pain. In this video, OB/GYN Steven Seligman, MD, of Medical Center Arlington, describes the benefits of massage and recommends that women see a professional massage therapist.
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    A Obstetrics, answered on behalf of
    In humans, singleton (one-baby) pregnancy lasts, on average, 40 weeks, or 280 days from the first day of the last menstrual period, which this is how doctors determine the estimated due date. By comparison, elephants can be pregnant for up to two years.

    Until recently, anyone between 37 to 42 weeks of pregnancy was considered “term” and safe to deliver. This conventional wisdom existed because it was believed that the outcomes for both the baby and the mother during this interval of time were uniform and good, or safe with few risks. However, a large amount of research has now shown this is not uniform during these five weeks, and  risks can exist from both a maternal and neonatal standpoint. As a result, in 2012, a group of professional societies convened and redefined what exactly “term” means, and provided recommendations regarding delivering for medically indicated and non-medically indicated circumstances. In addition, national initiatives now exist to decrease complications to babies and the mothers when delivery occurs too early without a medical reason.

    In defining term pregnancy, it is now recommended to use the following: Early term is between 37 weeks through the 38th week, full term is 39 weeks through the 40th week, late term is 41 weeks up to the 42nd week and post term is greater than 42 weeks. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, The Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine, and many neonatal and pediatric societies support these definitions as well.

    These definitions are important because research shows that adverse neonatal outcomes, especially regarding respiratory issues, is the lowest among uncomplicated pregnancies delivered between 39 weeks of gestation and through the 40th week. Lung development continues into early childhood, and elective early term deliveries increase the incidence of respiratory distress syndrome, ventilator use, infections such as pneumonia, respiratory failure, NICU admissions, low blood sugar, decreased APGAR scores and possibly infant mortality. Unless one enters labor naturally, or a medical reason exists for early term delivery, elective delivery prior to 39 weeks is discouraged.
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    Locking or locked twins is a rare condition in which during birth a fetus in a breech (feet-first) position becomes locked at the chin with his twin fetus who is in a vertex (head-first) position. Locked twins occur in about 1 in every 1,000 twin births and one in every 90,000 births overall. Locked twins can be identified on an ultrasound examination at the beginning of labor. In most cases, a Caesarean section will be recommended for delivering the babies.
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    Call your doctor immediately if you experience these symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy (a condition in which a fertilized egg grows outside of the uterus, usually in a fallopian tube):
    • abnormal vaginal bleeding
    • abdominal or pelvic pain
    • shoulder pain (may signal blood build-up in the diaphragm from a ruptured fallopian tube)
    • feeling faint or dizzy (may be a sign of blood loss)
    Ectopic pregnancy is a serious medical condition. Your doctor can do an ultrasound exam and blood tests to diagnose the ectopic pregnancy. Medications or possibly surgery can be used to treat an ectopic pregnancy. Once you have had one ectopic pregnancy you are at increased risk of having another one. However, many women who have had ectopic pregnancies go on to have normal pregnancies and births.
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    A , Family Medicine, answered
    Varicose veins are a common complaint during pregnancy. If and when you develop varicose veins may depend on which pregnancy it is sometimes. For women in their second, third or fourth pregnancies, they may see varicose veins earlier, while women in their first pregnancies may see them later in second trimester. Some pregnant women may never have varicose veins.