Pregnancy questions some are afraid to ask

Pregnancy questions some are afraid to ask

For many women, pregnancy is an exciting milestone in life. But, it can also be a nerve-racking experience as the body undergoes changes to support the life of another human being. Although maternal instincts can help guide an expectant mother, there are many other questions that can be left unanswered.

Here are some answers to common questions:

Is it safe to travel by air when pregnant?

Dr. Ralph Dauterive of the highly rated Ochsner Clinic Foundation in Baton Rouge, La., advises pregnant women not to travel by air after 28-30 weeks of pregnancy, although it can vary depending on pregnancy history and the level of risk for complications. During the third trimester, the risk of premature labor or various complications increase, so it's wise to stay within 90 to 100 miles of your physician and your hospital.

Which symptoms are considered abnormal during a pregnancy?

According to the American Pregnancy Association, you should contact your physician if you have the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Bleeding
  • Continuous cramps
  • Continuous vomiting
  • Severe lower belly pain
  • Severe lower back pain
  • Migraines 
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Extended stillness from baby at the later stage of the pregnancy

What is considered normal weight gain during pregnancy?

It is important for women who are pregnant to monitor their weight throughout each stage of pregnancy to protect their own health and their baby’s health. Dieting or calorie restrictions are not advisable.

A low amount of weight gain often results in babies with a low birth weight, while healthy moms are more likely to produce healthy babies. Generally, women with a normal body-mass index (BMI) should gain between 25 to 35 pounds, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health. Overweight women with higher BMI’s are more likely to gain between 15 to 25 pounds.

What is my risk for postpartum depression?

Postpartum depression is a psychological state that may burden new mothers after delivery. A few days of emotional changes, exhaustion and even insomnia are often considered normal.

However, if a new mother’s condition worsens and she begins to feel manic or even obsessive-compulsive, she may be experiencing postpartum depression. According to the Office on Women’s Health, some factors that have been found to increase the risk of postpartum depression include:

  • Family history of postpartum depression
  • Marital issues
  • History of depression, obsessive-compulsive discorder, mania or anxiety
  • Extremely low confidence as a parent 
  • Baby’s health
  • Lack of spousal support

What are some tips to ensure safe sleep for my baby?

New mothers should make sure that all sheets are fitted tightly across the mattress, and that no spaces exist between the mattress and the crib, according to

These precautionary measures can prevent the sheets from suffocating the baby and to keep the baby from getting stuck in small spaces. All stuffed animals and other objects in the crib should be removed as well. Mothers should always dress their babies in clothing that will not overheat them, and then place them on their backs in the crib, not on an adult bed. Crib slats should not be spaced any wider than 2-3/8 inches.

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