Pregnancy Sleep Aids
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Can't sleep? Read this before popping a pill to get your pregnant Zzzzs.
Transcript: You'd sacrifice anything for a good night's rest...except the safety of your baby. According to the FDA,...
You'd sacrifice anything for a good night's rest...except the safety of your baby. According to the FDA, there are currently no sleep aid medications that are 100 percent risk-free for an unborn child. But there are several meds that-based on animal studies-are presumed safe for unborn babies. Called Class B drugs, these include Benadryl and Ambien. Most doctors say that the occasional use of a Class B sleep aid poses little risk to your infant. Other sleep-aids, like Lunesta and Sonata, are Class C drugs, which mean animal studies have shown potential risks to a fetus. If you're not willing to take any chances, though, ginseng supplements have been shown to help ease stress and regulate sleep, ...and the herb is safe for use during pregnancy. Also, certain foods, like milk, honey and turkey, may increase your body's supply of sleep-inducing tryptophan. When you're pregnant, however, remember that just because something is "natural" does not always mean it is healthy for your baby. You should avoid potentially dangerous sleep aids like melatonin, kava kava, and valerian. Keep your baby safe. Talk to your doctor before you start any kind of new medication, natural or no.More »
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You may wonder what over the counter medications are safe to take during pregnancy. Check out this video to find out more.
Transcript: Pregnancy can sure be a headache! But is it safe to take an over-the-counter medication to soothe the...
Pregnancy can sure be a headache! But is it safe to take an over-the-counter medication to soothe the strain? If you're suffering from a headache or muscle pain during pregnancy, it's fine to take Tylenol, also known as acetaminophen. Other medications which are considered safe include: Nasal decongestant spray for a cold or sinus infection... and antacids-including prescription strength ones-for heartburn. Even cold medications containing small amounts of alcohol, like Nyquil, are probably fine during pregnancy. Even with safe medications, however, it is still wise to use them in moderation. In addition, you should never consume any medication at doses larger than those listed on the packaging. One class of drugs to avoid entirely is the NSAIDs, or Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Drugs in this class include Aleve, Aspirin, and Ibuprofen, which is sometimes marketed as Advil or Motrin. Some of these medications can potentially cause birth defects, and all of them can increase how much you bleed, which is particularly important as you approach labor. If you still have questions about an OTC medication, it's smart to call your doctor to ask about its use.More »
Last Modified: 2013-10-02 | Tags »
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If you have concerns about what medications to take during pregnancy, you'll be pleased to know that not ALL medications are off limits. Check out this video for more information about pregnancy and medications.
Transcript: For many women who rely on prescription medication, pregnancy offers a tough decision: Should I risk...
For many women who rely on prescription medication, pregnancy offers a tough decision: Should I risk harming my baby to keep myself well? The good news is that some common prescription medications are fine to take while you're expecting. These include most allergy and thyroid stimulation medications. However, some doctors advise women to steer clear of newer, less-researched allergy meds, like Allegra. Other prescription medications may not be as safe for a baby, yet can be vital to a mother's health. For example, anti-depressants may lead to lung problems, limb malformations, or heart defects in a fetus. But these side effects are very rare, and a mother may find that keeping her depression under control is worth the risk. Similarly, anti-epilepsy medications can lead to stillbirth or serious birth defects in a fetus. These problems, however, are seen in less than 10-percent of babies born to women on these medications, and... some doctors believe that seizures during pregnancy pose a more serious risk to the fetus than the potential side effects of anti-epilepsy medications. Because every woman's condition and pregnancy is different, however, it's vital to talk to your doctor about which prescriptions you can take while expecting.More »
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If you were drinking before you knew you were pregnant, you may be concerned about your fetus's health. Learn more about the effect alcohol can have on your fetus.
Transcript: Your whole alcohol MO has to change once you're pregnant. But what if you were drinking before you...
Your whole alcohol MO has to change once you're pregnant. But what if you were drinking before you knew you had a passenger? Whether you're the daily cocktail type or you only imbibe on special occasions, you may accidentally consume alcohol during the early weeks of your pregnancy. If this happens, you shouldn't be too hard on yourself - after all, you didn't even know you were pregnant! Fortunately, it is usually the case that when you drink alcohol at this stage of the pregnancy, it's too early to negatively affect the fetus's organs. This is because there isn't a strongly established blood connection between you and your baby during the time when you ovulate and the end of the month. Of course, this "safe window," is short! Once you know you're pregnant, or even suspect that you may be, you should stop drinking. There is, after all, a risk of fetal alcohol syndrome when you consume any amount of alcohol during pregnancy. But don't worry, you'll have plenty of time for a glass of wine after the baby is born. If you are breastfeeding, though, you'll have to wait until the baby is no longer nursing to enjoy that cocktail.More »
Last Modified: 2013-04-15 | Tags »
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Alcohol and pregnancy do not mix. Drinking alcohol while you're pregnant puts your fetus at risk for serious health complications. Watch this video for details.
Transcript: Fast fact: More than 10 percent of women in the U.S. drink during pregnancy. Here's why that's harmful....
Fast fact: More than 10 percent of women in the U.S. drink during pregnancy. Here's why that's harmful. An unborn baby and booze don't mix, and you'd be hard pressed to find a doctor to disagree. When consumed during pregnancy, alcohol travels through your blood to your placenta and reaches your baby. Because a fetus breaks down alcohol much more slowly than an adult, it will often have higher blood alcohol levels than its mother. As a result, a baby that is given alcohol in the womb is more likely to develop any number of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. In fact, the Center for Disease Control lists exposure to alcohol as the number one most preventable risk for birth defects. The most severe illness that can result from in utero exposure to alcohol is Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, a lifelong condition characterized by...poor growth (both in the womb and after birth), abnormal facial features, mental retardation, behavioral problems and delays in development. Even when Fetal Alcohol Syndrome doesn't occur, alcohol exposure can still lead to miscarriage, very early birth and a host of other mental and behavioral problems. If you're pregnant, it's important to stop drinking as soon as you find out-your child's future depends on it.More »
Last Modified: 2013-06-07 | Tags »
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Smoking during pregnancy will harm your fetus's health. Watch this video for details on cigarettes and pregnancy.
Transcript: Up to 13 percent of women still smoke during their pregnancies. Cigarette smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals,...
Up to 13 percent of women still smoke during their pregnancies. Cigarette smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals, all of which enter the blood stream and head straight for your baby. Two of these in particularcarbon monoxide and nicotinenarrow the blood vessels in the umbilical cord. Since this is the babys source of oxygen, when this happens it becomes much harder for him to breathe. Oxygen deprivation in the womb can lead to stillbirth, premature delivery, low birth weight, learning disorders and a lower IQ. If youre a non-smoker, but your partner lights up, your baby is still subjected to serious risks. In fact, the CDC says that women exposed to secondhand smoke have a 20 percent greater chance of delivering underweight babies than women who arent exposed. Even women who spend a great deal of time around wood fires may experience similar negative effects due to inhalation of carbon monoxide. This risk, however, is smaller than the risk of smoking, and not something to be worried about if it occurs in moderation. If youre pregnant and cant stop smoking, talk to your doctor about quitting. If you can do so by week 14, youre about as likely as anyone to have a healthy baby!More »
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A miscarriage can never be easy but understanding the facts on miscarriages may help you to cope with it better. Check out this video to learn more.
Transcript: A miscarriage is the natural loss of a fetus, which occurs before a pregnancy has reached its midway...
A miscarriage is the natural loss of a fetus, which occurs before a pregnancy has reached its midway point of twenty weeks. When a woman has a miscarriage, her fetus and placenta can be expelled naturally from the body through her vagina. This manifests as vaginal bleeding, spotting, or blood clots, and as abdominal pain or cramping. For those women unable to expel the tissue naturally, a surgical procedure may be required to extract the fetus from the womb. Miscarriages are devastating, but they usually occur when there is something very wrong with the baby or the pregnancy. There are three common causes of a miscarriage, which can be subdivided into chromosomal abnormalities, internal difficulties, and substance abuse. Chromosomes are strands of DNA which carry a person's genes and help to the pass on hereditary traits from parent to child. Humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes, or 46 total, which are with them from their first day in the womb. Occasionally though, a developing fetus will not have the proper number of chromosomes. For example, in a trisomy, a baby receives three chromosomes of one type rather than a standard pair. With one extra chromosome, the pregnancy will often not carry to term. Conversely, a fetus with a condition known as monosomy is missing one chromosome. This is also a common cause of a miscarriage. Sometimes, a mother may have internal difficulties of her own that can lead to an interrupted pregnancy. One example is a misshapen uterus, in which a woman's uterus is not large enough to accommodate the needs of a growing baby. Some women experience miscarriages (or even infertility), due to non-cancerous tumors in the uterine cavity, which are called submucous fibroids. Others have adhesions, or scar tissue, inside the womb, which can restrict the implantation of the fetus and stunt its growth, leading to a miscarriage. Cervical incompetence is a problem that occurs less frequently, when a weakened cervix shortens and widens, expelling the fetus prematurely. On a rare occasion, a chronic condition present in the mother...such as diabetes, kidney disease, high blood pressure, or lupus...can also provoke a miscarriage. But don't worry: with careful monitoring, women with these conditions usually deliver perfectly healthy babies! Rarely, outside toxins like high-dose radiation, insecticides, and lead, may lead to a miscarriage. Miscarriages are devastating, but there can be ways to reduce the chances of having one. If you are attempting to conceive, make sure that you speak with your doctor about preconception care and your own health risks.More »
Last Modified: 2012-10-08 | Tags »
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During pregnancy, your health can affect the health of your fetus, whether you're coping with depression or just a fever. Find out why a sick mom may mean a sick fetus, too
Transcript: Are you running a fever? Are you depressed? If you're sick, you'll understandably worry about your baby....
Are you running a fever? Are you depressed? If you're sick, you'll understandably worry about your baby. The good news is that the majority of illnesses that can befall a pregnant mother, if treated, won't harm her fetus. Similarly, most medications that you might take to treat an illness will be far less damaging to your baby than being sick. If you're running a fever, it's true that both you and the baby will burn off oxygen and calories faster than normal. But, while this may cause brief stress to the baby, it's not generally harmful in the long term. The exception to this is a fever above 103 degrees, particularly during in your first trimester, which could lead to neural tube defects in your baby if not monitored. Meanwhile, if you're suffering from depression while pregnant, your baby will be fine- as long as you take care of yourself. That means going to counseling to sort through your emotions, and being proactive about prenatal care. Your doctor may even recommend an anti-depressant, as most physicians agree that this is less hazardous to your baby than the risks of the disease itself. When in doubt, remember to be gentle on yourself and to talk to your doctor about safe healing.More »
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Pregnancy can change a lot of things about a woman's body, including her teeth. Watch this video to find out more about what happens to tooth health during pregnancy.
Transcript: Hearing the old wives' tale, "You lose a tooth for every pregnancy" may make you reconsider this whole...
Hearing the old wives' tale, "You lose a tooth for every pregnancy" may make you reconsider this whole baby thing! Luckily, the adage isn't true...but here's what is. Pregnancy is a trying time for your whole body, and your teeth are no exception. While you're expecting, the likelihood of developing gingivitis, or inflammation of the gums, rises dramatically. Unfortunately, gingivitis has been linked to premature labor and low birth weight in babies. The disease can often be avoided, however, when you take extra steps to care for your pregnant teeth. Start by flossing daily, even if you don't usually do so. This promotes strong, healthy gums. Continue brushing three times a day,More »
Last Modified: 2013-10-02 | Tags »
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All you want is sleep, right? But you want to sleep safely for the little one your carrying. Check out this video to learn more about safe sleep during pregnancy.
Transcript: Forget ice cream, you just crave sleep! Here, tips to make snoozing safer for your little one. It is...
Forget ice cream, you just crave sleep! Here, tips to make snoozing safer for your little one. It is most commonly recommended that a pregnant woman sleep on her left side. This position improves the flow of blood and nutrients to the placenta. It also helps your kidneys efficiently eliminate fluids from your body. In turn, you'll sidestep some swelling in your feet and ankles. During the first twenty weeks or so of pregnancy, it's ok to sleep on your back. After that though, you should try not to, because the weight of your uterus could press on the artery which leads from your legs to your heart, resulting in reduced blood flow to your baby. You can also sleep on your right side, or your stomach, if that is comfortable for you. But by the third trimester, most women would rather sit up than lie on their bellies! Regardless of the position you sleep in while you are pregnant, if you're cold at night, you may wish to use an electric blanket. This is fine as long as you don't allow your body temperature to rise above 103 degrees, which can harm your baby. No matter how you sleep, make sure you do. Growing a baby is a lot of work!More »
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Although pregnancy can be a time of cravings and indulgences, pregnant women should be careful about what kinds of foods they're consuming--seafood especially. Learn more about seafood during pregnancy by watching this video.
Transcript: With all of the alarming news about mercury, pregnancy diet decisions can be difficult for a girl who...
With all of the alarming news about mercury, pregnancy diet decisions can be difficult for a girl who likes her seafood. How's this for confusing: The omega-3s provided by seafood have been shown to help your baby's developing brain thrive. But eating fish contaminated with mercury, PCBs, dioxins and pesticides has been shown to cause pre-term labor, miscarriage and birth defects. Before you fret, know that most doctors agree that the benefits of eating some seafood-up to 12 ounces weekly-far outweigh the risks. To be safe about what you consume, take high mercury fish like shark, mackerel, swordfish and tilefish off your plate for now. However, lots of fish are relatively pollutant-free. You can enjoy scallops, shrimp, flounder, sole, clams, oysters, tilapia, catfish, crayfish, whitefish and sardines with relative safety. Tuna can be safe, but some forms are safer than others. For example, tuna steaks are high in mercury, and should be avoided, but canned light tuna is ok, as long as you limit yourself to six ounces a week. It's smart to vary what you eat while you're pregnant-don't have any one type of fish more than once a week. In addition, because most fish have a high concentration of toxins in their skin, it's beneficial to remove the skin before cooking, and you can remove even more toxins by always cooking the fish all the way through. Unfortunately, the possibility of raw toxins does mean that sushi is off the good list for now-so why not enjoy a sardine snack in the meantime?More »
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Mercury can be extremely dangerous for your unborn baby. Find out more about this by watching this video on pregnancy and mercury.
Transcript: You love tuna and other fish dishes, but, oh mercy, the mercury! Mercury compounds, like methylmercury,...
You love tuna and other fish dishes, but, oh mercy, the mercury! Mercury compounds, like methylmercury, are chemical byproducts dumped into our oceans and rivers, which can contaminate some of the fish we eat. While mercury hasn't yet been shown to significantly harm adults, it can be extremely bad for babies. When a pregnant woman ingests mercury from fish, it can pass easily through a mother's body into her baby's placenta. This metal is toxic to a baby's nervous system and can result in disabilities ranging from cerebral palsy to mental retardation. For this reason, it is wise to avoid large, high-mercury fish while pregnant, including: shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish. Another worrisome fish is tuna, which tends to have a moderate level of mercury. Tuna isn't completely off-limits, but pregnant women should limit their consumption of it, and avoid tuna steaks and filets, which have been shown to be high in the toxin. Instead, stick to light, canned tuna, and don't consume more than six ounces of it a week. You can feel safe about consuming smaller fish, like sardines, catfish and tilapia. Most shellfish is fine, as well, with the exception of lobster, which, like tuna has moderate mercury content. Unfortunately, methylmercury remains in your system for up to a year after it is consumed. A. Because mercury consumed even prior to pregnancy can harm a fetus, B. it's wise to minimize dangerous fish if you're trying to conceive. However, if you became pregnant unexpectedly and know that you've consumed large amounts of mercury, don't panic - it most likely won't have any consequences. However, you should stop eating fish that have mercury, and talk to your doctor. If you are concerned, you can always have a test performed to ascertain the level of mercury in your system. Today's pregnant woman needs to be very careful to minimize her mercury intake, but remember, just because mercury is bad for you doesn't mean you should stop eating fish.More »
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During pregnancy, it's extremely important to eat food that is healthy and safe for your baby. Check out this video to find out more about the safe stuff to eat during pregnancy.
Transcript: If there's one thing you've learned during your pregnancy, it's that an expectant momma's gotta eat....
If there's one thing you've learned during your pregnancy, it's that an expectant momma's gotta eat. Some foods-like veggies and dairy-are clearly in the "good for baby" department. However, since some others are more questionable, here's a rundown of foods that were once considered 'iffy' that are definitely A-OK for you and your baby. In terms of sweet stuff, you'll be thrilled to hear that eating chocolate is totally safe, as its trace amounts of caffeine aren't enough to harm your fetus. In fact, you'd get sick from gorging yourself on chocolate long before the chocolate's caffeine content could be dangerous. Artificial sweeteners like sucralose, more commonly known as Splenda, and aspartame, the sweetener in Equal and NutraSweet, are also fine for pregnant women, although they should be consumed in moderation. However, pregnant moms should avoid the potentially toxic sweetener saccharin, which is the primary ingredient in Sweet 'N Low. Many women express worry about eating non-organic livestock and produce, but these concerns are unfounded. Although non-organic livestock is treated with antibiotics, these antibiotics have not been shown to harm a developing baby. Similarly, non-organic produce treated with pesticides is safe, although it's wise to wash it first, just as you did prior to pregnancy. If you are looking to spice up your pregnancy, feel free to indulge. Very spicy foods are also fine for expectant moms. However, the potential for heartburn may make you think twice about Indian take-out!More »
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