Day 204, Week 30

Your Pregnancy Journey

You will soon be a mommy and as you have noticed by now, as and how the weeks proceed by, you will find your uterus becoming heavier and larger. It disturbs your centre of gravity and can cause you to loose your balance. Back aches are very common in this phase. Another pregnancy change which contributes to the back ache during pregnancy is the change in the size of the breasts. This is generally something which most pregnant moms will ignore. Here is what happens; The breast increases in weight and this causes the shoulders to droop forward. Most pregnant women by the third trimester have a deep arch in the lower back due to the growing uterus and shoulders drooping forward due to the growing breasts. Both these physiological changes can be managed by a simple posture correction. You could do a few things to help relieve yourself of them.

1. Stand sideways in front of a mirror, such that you can observe yourself full length at a side angle.

2. Make sure that when you stand, your feet are placed firmly on the ground with a 6 inch gap between them.

3. Next push your chest out and push your shoulders back.

If you are sitting, especially for long hours at work then follow these simple steps to correct your sitting posture;

1. Sit comfortably on the chair seat such that your buttocks are touching the back of the chair.

2. Your feet should reach the floor and be flat.

3. Your thigh should be at a slight angle to the floor. Which means that the knee should be inclined downwards.

4. Always tuck a small pillow in the small of your back for support – especially when sitting in office, in the car or watching television.

Avoid slouching. Sit upright and use a good multipurpose pillow or a wedge pillow while sitting so it can support your back and take the pressure off it due to the growing belly.

Your Baby’s growth

You should definitely communicate with the baby more in this phase. Maybe read to him or sing to him or just have a conversation because your baby at this stage is very aware of its surroundings. This will help you form a lovely bond with your baby while he is still in your womb and im sure he smiles and is the happiest to hear your voice  If you have experienced the Braxton hicks contractions yet, your baby would have felt it too. Your baby also now reacts to other external sounds and light.

Day 206, Frequent Urination

Feeling the need to frequently urinate and can’t figure what’s going on! Relax! You are perfectly normal.

It can be disturbing if you are in the middle of something and can’t find a ladies restroom to release the pressure.

There is the urge to urinate frequently and you may be surprised since the uterus is not yet large. But hormonal changes are making the bladder muscles also relax. Due to this the bladder is not able to empty completely and hence may cause the need to urinate frequently. The uterus presses against your bladder which also causes frequent urination.

In the second trimester your uterus will move into the abdominal cavity thus pressing against your bladder.  The urge to urinate often in Pregnancy will continue as and how the trimesters proceed, the baby grows and gets ready to come into this world.

Some women face Urinary Incontinence in their third trimesters. This generally happens when your bladder is too full and you haven’t emptied it. The signs to watch out for are that you may pass some urine say while laughing too hard or coughing. Try emptying your bladder from time to time to prevent this from happening.

There are a few things you could do to help the situation

1) Lesser liquid intake before going to bed: A few hours before going to bed you could look at consuming less fluids so thaty your sleep is not disrupted often due to the urge to urinate.

2) Drink plenty fluids in general: Ensure that you drink plenty of fluids as this will help you keep free from urinary infections.

If you do notice a burning sensation when you urinate or if your urine appears a little red in colour, consult your doctor at once as it could be a sign of Urinary Tract Infection.

Day 209, All about Labor & Contractions

Wondering what you could expect during labour? Already feeling Jittery about it? What’s the process like? How is it going to pan out? Don’t worry. This article will take you through all that you need to know about labour, contractions and pain relief remedies during labour.

Labor and contractions go hand in hand. Pain is an outcome on account of the contractions. Labour can last anywhere from 12 to 24 hours especially for first time moms. What do contractions mean? Contractions mean that the uterine muscle is contracting and squeezing and while doing so it pulls at the mouth of the cervix thus causing the effacement and the dilatation. By the time most moms realize they are in labor, they are already dilated 3 or 4 cms when they reach the hospital. After you reach the hospital the resident ob/gyn will examine you in order to confirm that you are indeed in labour.

Now let us go through the labour process according to the stages.

Labour stage 1: This is when you would realize that you’re in labor and will be rushed to the hospital because the baby is on its way soon. In this stage the cervix which is also known as the mouth of the uterus effaces (becomes thin) and dilates which means it opens. Normally the cervix has to efface upto 100% and dilate up to 10 cms which is the size of the baby’s head.

Labour stage 2: In this stage the process of actual birth giving takes place. The baby makes its way from the uterus, into the birth canal and outside into the world.

Labour stage 3: In the third stage of labour the placenta is delivered. This happens spontaneously. After the baby is born, and the cord is clamped onto the placenta and the placenta automatically starts separating from the wall of the uterus and is delivered. This is also referred to as “afterbirth”.

Relief from Labour Pain

Our Bodies are different and react differently. For some mothers labour is a manageable process, for others it is equivalent to long painful hours. For few moms if labor is very long and painful it can cause mental stress and this further slows down the process of labor. Hence, you may want to consider some pain relief options. The most favored and popular option is Epidural Analgesia. This is normally administered in the lower back. One of the benefits of epidural would include – pain relief which means that the mom is comfortable and can rest through labor. Epidural is administered when the mom is about 3 cms dilated. It is not given early in labor since at that point labor can take a pause. These pauses can sometimes even extend into days. Also one must not take epidural once you are 8 cms dilated. After this point you will dilate rapidly and labor duration is not long.

It gives total or partial pain relief hence it can actually be subjective. Which means that in some cases epidural can actually help to speed labor along.

There are also some drawbacks to this form of pain relief. The Epidural analgesia is administered in the lower back and makes the lower body numb. Hence this dulls the nerves which carry the sensations to the brain, thus making it difficult for the mother to push effectively. She would need to be instructed on how to push and this may not always be ideal and effective for the mum and baby. Epidurals also cause blood pressure fluctuations and the mother needs to kept under monitoring to ensure all is ok with her. There could also be a possibility of a local infection and in some cases mums also complain of a headache post the birth if the epidural punctures into the spinal fluid. Since it has a numbing effect it reduces mobility and hence can lengthen labor. However since it does not enter the blood stream it does not reach the baby but findings suggest that the baby can be a little lethargic post birth for a short time and this can result in delayed breast feeding. It also results in edema post birth

If you feel that labor is manageable and you are able to cope with natural forms of pain relief then you can avoid taking the epidural. It is recommended that you decide on whether to take an epidural or not based on your experience during labour. If you feel that labor is long and painful and you cannot manage it, then go ahead and take it. The ultimate decision lies with the Mom.