Pregnancy, Fertility and Childbirth

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    A , OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology), answered
    Is it possible to be pregnant and not know until delivery?
    It is possible to be pregnant and not know until the baby is delivered, due to some unique factors. In this video, OB/GYN specialist Jessica Shepherd, MD, explains how a retroverted uterus can cause a cryptic pregnancy, or even a cryptic delivery. 
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    A Obstetrics, answered on behalf of
    A normal low-risk pregnancy can last anywhere from 38 to 41 or 42 weeks
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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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    Prenatal massage is massage that is given to pregnant women. This is safe after the first trimester (the first three months of pregnancy). Usually, your provider will have you lie on your side to perform the massage. A prenatal massage can help reduce muscle tension, joint pain, anxiety and depression. Some studies suggest it can help with nausea and labor, too.
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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.
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    A OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology), answered on behalf of
    Women have sleep problems during pregnancy for many reasons. Women often wake up in the middle of the night to urinate, which can disrupt sleep. It’s also uncomfortable to sleep as your abdomen grows, and position changes will often wake you up. Thanks to changing hormone levels, women are also often hotter at night, which can impact sleep. 
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    A OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology), answered on behalf of
    What Steps Do Women Go Through before IVF?
    Before going through IVF, a woman can have her OB/GYN perform a number of tests and take her history, says Stephen Montoya, MD, an OB/GYN at Sunrise Hospital. In this video he describes this process.