Managing Allergies in Pregnancy
Allergies affect 18-30% of women in the childbearing age groups. Allergic diseases that complicate pregnancy include conjunctivitis, acute urticaria (hives, rash), anaphylaxis, food and drug allergy. These disorders represent the most common group of medical conditions that complicate pregnancy. The diagnosis of an allergy in pregnancy is often found through a detail medical history and assessing the symptoms experienced. Once the diagnosis is made there are many things that can be done to treat the condition.
Avoid triggers. Limit your exposure to anything that triggers your allergy symptoms.
Try saline nasal spray. Over-the-counter saline nasal spray can help ease nasal dryness, bleeding and congestion. Use the spray as often as needed.
Rinse your nasal cavity with a neti pot. Neti pots are available in most pharmacies. Once or twice a day, fill the neti pot with an over-the-counter saline nasal solution. Then tilt your head over the sink, place the spout of the neti pot in your upper nostril and gently pour in the saline solution. As you pour, the saline solution will flow through your nasal cavity and out your lower nostril. Repeat on the other side. If you’d rather make your own irrigation solution, use water that’s distilled, sterile, previously boiled and cooled, or filtered using a filter with an absolute pore size of 1 micron or smaller. Also be sure to rinse the neti pot after each use with similarly distilled, sterile, previously boiled and cooled, or filtered water. Leave the rinsed neti pot open to air-dry.
Include physical activity in your daily routine. Exercise helps reduce nasal inflammation.
· Use nasal strips at night. Over-the-counter adhesive nasal strips — such as Breathe Right and Breathe.
If none of these work, allergy medications are often given safely to women and include Claritin, Alavert and Benadryl. Before you take any medication always discuss alternatives with your obstetrician or healthcare provider.
I have been trying to write everyday but the days are flying by and the little one takes most of my waking time… not like I have very much sleeping time either! HA! Miles has been making incredible leaps and bounds. He has turned over many times now, he is standing up (of course with a little assistance) he’s chatting non stop and loud too… no doubt he is my son! Haha… He loves looking at himself in the mirror and having arguments with the baby he sees. He is going to be a great debater just like his father. Yesterday he had his first real giggle when I was holding him doing my squats… boy do my legs feel it too… just to get another giggle! He is only 11 weeks so I feel very proud of his accomplishments… He also said I love you… Yep…We have it on tape! Ian posted it, so check it out… Super Baby!!
I can say I love you!
Like the great Jet Li, I have channeled my inner dragon in the practice of Shaolin. Like Li, I have a cool robes. All that I have left to do now is decades of training.
Miles and I have been doing our stretching and exercises (more Miles than Mommy at the moment). According to the National Association of Sports and Physical Education, it turns out that exercising your baby is good for them.
Here are some exercises you can do.
Dancing to music while holding baby in your arms or in a sling/carrier.
Assisting your baby in pulling to a sitting position by grasping his hands with your fingers around them, making sure to position your thumbs in the baby’s palms for leverage.
Helping your baby to a standing position by holding his waist or grasping his hands before allowing his feet to touch the ground.
Assisting your baby in rolling front-to-back and back-to-front while he is supine or on his tummy by rolling him gently back-and-forth.
Moving your baby’s legs in a bicycle movement while she is in supine position at diaper changes or bedtime; this also soothes some colicky babies.
Waving your baby’s arms from side-to-side and up and down.
Raising your baby in the air to “fly” while supporting her abdomen.
Allowing baby to grasp or kick at a beach ball or other type of ball of similar size.
Heartburn During Pregnancy
More than 60% of pregnant women have symptoms of severe heartburn beginning in the second trimester and continuing throughout the third trimester. Heartburn is also known as acid indigestion and feels like a burning sensation in the esophagus caused by reflux (comes back up) of the stomach contents. The reason heartburn in pregnancy occurs is due to the changing hormone levels which affect the muscles of the digestive tract. These muscles “relax” allowing stomach acids to splash back up into the esophagus. This action along with an enlarging uterus can crowd the abdomen pushing stomach acid upward resulting in heartburn.
To reduce heartburn during pregnancy you can do the following:
· Eat several small meals a day instead of three large ones
Avoid fried, spicy, or rich foods, or any foods that seem to cause relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter and increase the risk of heartburn.
Drink less while eating. Drinking large amounts while eating may increase the risk of acid reflux and heartburn.
Don’t lie down directly after eating.
Keep the head of your bed higher than the foot of your bed. Or place pillows under your shoulders to help prevent stomach acids from rising into your chest.
Medications such as Tums or Maalox help coat the esophagus minimizing the burning sensation and are safe in pregnancy. Other over-the-counter medications that help with the symptoms include Zantac and Pepsid AC. These medications should be taken 30 minutes before each meal and before bedtime for optimal results. Rarely, prescriptive medications are needed to control severe heartburn symptoms. As always consult with your Obstetrician or health care provider.
Wear loose-fitting clothing. Tight-fitting clothes can increase the pressure on your stomach and abdomen.
The good news is that heartburn usually disappears following childbirth
Miles had his first physical feat, showing that he can roll over from his front to his back. Might not seem like much, but for a newborn to coordinate their arms, legs and head to do anything is quite a challenge.
Yesterday we went for dinner at our friend’s house in Venice. It was great to have a conversation that wasn’t all about babies, education and poop! Michael and Eleanor have an adorable and gorgeous 6 year old daughter named Mariel. This is the first time that Miles had seen a child and he was just fascinated. He couldn’t take his eyes off of her! I should have taken a picture but I got one with El.
Omega 3 fats are called essential fatty acids because the body cannot manufacture them on it’s own. Since your brain is 60% fat by weight it needs food just like your body does and omega 3 fats provide that fuel!
Increasing omega-3 fats during pregnancy may be one of the most important steps in helping your baby.
Omega-3 fats can reduce the chances of your child being overweight at birth, having a high cholesterol level or internal inflammation – all of which set the stage for their future health. Studies show higher levels of omega-3 fats can lower a mother’s triglyceride levels by 10 percent, which can decrease the chance of an overweight infant. Triglycerides are the storage form of fat in the blood and are associated with insulin resistance.
Omega 3 fats also feed the brain of your future child helping to create healthy brain cells for intelligence.
What are they and how do you get them?
1. ALA – found in the highest concentration of ground flax seed – 1 tablespoon per day will meet your needs
2. DHA and EPA – found in fish and fish oils. I recommend getting at least 500-1000 mg. each of DHA and EPA which you can easily get via supplement form or eating fish a few times a week.
Ground flax seed and some fish or fish oil for to ensure you and your baby’s health – a no brainer to me!
Thank goodness today was a better day. Yesterday was a tough one. Thankfully Miles slept two four hours stretches. He hasn’t done that before. I also got 5 hours sleep, thanks to Ian covering a couple of feedings. I feel like a totally different person.. HA… 3 months ago I would have be dragging my feet feeling sleep deprived! Aah….. how the times have changed!
Round 1 for the vaccines. This was not a fun day!
Ian and I took Miles in to see the Dr. for his 2 month old check up. He is 9.4 pds which is great considering where he started from. The Dr. said even though he is small it doesn’t represent how big he will be. I am 5’3 and Ian is 6’3 so who knows how tall he will be! Miles is holding up his head, still a little wobbly but oh so exciting! The Dr. was pleased with all of his accomplishments. After the Dr. examined him it was time for the dreaded vaccines.. Ian and I decided to only do 3 of the 5 they wanted to give him. I feel like it is unnecessary to give a baby Hep B and a couple others right now. Ian feels really strong about giving Miles all the vaccines and I am too for the most part. The actual shots were very quick, our Dr. kind of distracted us while the nurse gave him the needle. He cried for a minute then was fine. It was after a few hours, that he cried like I have never heard him cry before. It was a painful cry.. Just horrible. We gave him some acetaminophen to easy his pain. He just moaned. Poor little guy.. My heart was breaking. Hours later the pain subsided and he went to sleep… Yikes… how many times do we need to do this! ARG!!!!!!!!
Why am I experiencing nosebleeds?
During pregnancy your heart pumps 40% more blood volume to support the growing fetus that you are carrying. As a result of this increase in blood volume and changes in blood cells/vessels in your body, nosebleeds can occur. Tiny blood vessels in your nose can become engorged, dry out and rupture causing your nose to bleed. It is the combination of increased blood flow in the nose and sinus area and dryness that make nosebleeds more common. One of the ways to prevent dryness is to use a humidifier in your bedroom while you sleep. Additionally, you can use a saline nose rinse to keep the nasal passages moist and petroleum jelly around your nostrils before going to bed. When you blow your nose be extra gentle and use a soft tissue around the nasal area. If you experience a nosebleed treat them in the usual way by applying pressure and something cold over the nose. You can insert a tampon into your nose and apply pressure for an alternative strategy to stop the bleeding. It is very unusual for nosebleeds to occur as a result of a serious medical condition such as high blood pressure or a bleeding disorder. Pregnancy related nosebleeds usually subside quickly, but if you cannot stop the bleeding, call your Obstetrician or health care provider.
One of my favorite times now is in the morning when I am cuddling my son. We are both really sleepy (me, with waking up every two or 3 hours and Miles, just starting his day). Ian always comes in to catch the moment.
Let’s start with a little physiology. Red blood cells are important in the body since they carry oxygen to the tissues. Oxygen to the tissues equals energy in the body. What happens when this is compromised?
- Lack of energy
- Lean red meat
- Pumpkin seeds
My step sister put sunscreen on her baby and he had a horrible reaction to it. This is quite a common occurrence so I wanted to direct you to a site (EWG) that does tons of research on what sunscreen products are best for your baby and you! I use this also to find out what fruits and vegetables that I need to buy organic.
Why do pregnant women feel tired?
One of the earliest signs of pregnancy is feeling exhausted or fatigued. In the beginning of pregnancy this is considered completely normal and often expected. Many hormonal changes are occurring as pregnancy develops, and women experience fatigue and an increased need for sleep. In the second and third trimester of pregnancy, lower blood pressure levels, lower blood sugar levels, hormonal changes due to the sleep-inducing effects of progesterone, metabolic changes, and the physiologic anemia of pregnancy all contribute to fatigue. Your body is working harder to accommodate the fetus that is growing inside of you and as a result the feeling of fatigue can be overwhelming. Plenty of rest, staying adequately hydrated and eating a well balanced diet will boost your energy levels. Women should check with their Obstetrician or health care provider to determine if an additional work up, prenatal vitamin changes, and/or supplemental iron would be beneficial.