Grow Baby Grow
Welcome to your first trimester! This week, preconception, commences your 40-week pregnancy journey beginning with the first day of your last menstrual period. So, technically speaking you are not pregnant the first week or two of your pregnancy. Get ready.
Please speak with your health care team soon about your diet and supplements. You may want to enhance your diet by including more leafy vegetables, less sugars, less processed foods, and eliminating caffeine, deli meats and unpasteurized cheeses such as types of feta and goat.
Take a prenatal vitamin with folic acid as a regular daily supplement. There are some medical conditions that would call for specific types of prenatal vitamins with much higher doses of folic acid. One such medical condition would be a type of blood clotting disorder. Please consult your health care team for the best recommendations for you. Lastly, avoid handling the cat litter box or gardening, as mom can pick up Toxoplasmosis, a neglected parasitic infections, from either activity.
A study conducted by the NIH and the Ohio State University recently published in the journal Fertility and Sterility found a worrisome link between caffeine consumption and miscarriage. Quite simply, the data proves that couples who drank more than two caffeinated drinks a day during the weeks prior to conception had a greater risk that the woman would miscarry.
That’s correct – the research found that both Mom’s caffeine and Dad’s caffeine consumption could play a role in miscarriage! This study also confirms previous research showing that women who drink more than two caffeinated beverages each day during the first seven weeks of pregnancy are also more likely to miscarry. On the bright side, this study did show that women who took a daily multivitamin before and after conception appeared to greatly reduce miscarriage risk!
Call them what you will, but Pregnancy Folklore, Myths and Old Wives Tales have survived the test of time. PAK will now put the record straight on what is fact and what is fable. You’ll find more info on every fact mentioned as you explore our trimesters week by week. We’re giving you a “heads up” with lots of great info before you’re pregnant so you’ll proactively reach your delivery day well informed and confident! Let’s go…
#1. Experiencing heartburn during pregnancy means your baby will be born with hair or if you have a lot of heartburn, your baby will be born with a head full of hair.
Oh boy, this myth buster cannot be busted! It’s actually TRUE to some extent. Interestingly enough, folklore comes into being by uncovering a genuine association involving unrelated events that are immortalized through oral tradition. A small study uncovered that women who experienced mild to severe heartburn delivered babies with hair. Researchers believe there is a shared biologic method involving a dual role of pregnancy hormones in both the relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter and the variation of fetal hair growth. That makes sense, right?
So, if you experience heartburn that is more than mild, research shows us that you may deliver a baby with a full head of gorgeous hair!
#2. Don’t Pet Your Cat During Pregnancy.
Meow, meow, and meow. This myth can and will be busted! Of course, you can pet your cat during pregnancy but the two things you shouldn’t do are change the litter box and play with your children in their sand box as kitties like to use the sandbox a litter box! But why?
Toxoplasmosis is an infection that a mom may pick up from something as simple as cleaning a cat litter box or making a hamburger patty. Although usually asymptomatic, symptoms accompanying toxoplasmosis may be similar to those of the flu with swollen lymph glands or muscle aches and pains that last for a month or more.
If you have been recently infected, it is advised you wait six months before becoming pregnant. The great news is that usually, if you have been infected with toxoplasma before you became pregnant, your unborn child is protected by your immunity. Your health care team may advise a blood test be drawn to check for antibodies to toxoplasma if you are pregnant.
If you become infected during pregnancy, medication is available. You and your baby should be closely monitored during your pregnancy and after your baby is born.
Unfortunately, this infection may possibly result in miscarriage prior to 20 weeks or a stillbirth after 20 weeks. Find out more info on Toxoplasmosis at Week 8!
#3. The size of the placenta cannot be tracked during pregnancy; as long as my baby is growing fine, the placenta is also growing fine.
Of course, your baby’s placenta can be tracked during pregnancy; BUSTED!
So why measure the placenta? Did you know that a standard prenatal ultrasound typically measures the baby, internal organs and placenta location – but not placenta size? It’s a scientific fact that a baby can outgrow his or her placenta anytime during pregnancy. A small placenta will not provide the nutrients and oxygen necessary to survive and thrive in utero. It is a risk factor for complications such as Preeclampsia, Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR) and Stillbirth.
Estimated Placental Volume (EPV) is a simple, free placental screening tool that’s easily calculated during ultrasounds between Weeks 7 and 40 by your health care team. The potential to save lives by drawing attention and awareness to EPV will help close this alarming gap in prenatal care. Check out Week 7 and say YES to EPV!
#4. Don’t lift your hands above your head or the umbilical cord will get tangled around the baby’s neck and it will choke.
Let’s call this myth buster ~ Umbilical Cord 101 or The Excellent Eight! Many moms are not familiar with the Umbilical Cord and the major role it plays during pregnancy. So let’s address The Excellent Eight…
#6. Babies’ movements slow down the closer you get to delivery day because the baby has less room.
Absolutely NOT! We have to bust this old wives tale STAT! Yes your baby is growing but your baby’s movements and heart rate will basically stay the same during your last trimester. Your baby’s movements should still be occurring every hour and should not decrease in number. Movements may or may not become less defined as specific punches and kicks; they can feel more like twirls, twists and jiggles.
#5. Hiccups are a sign your baby has healthy lungs!
Another busted myth! Babies love to hiccup! Light, recurring and sequential patterns are what you will notice at first. Later in your pregnancy, your baby’s hiccups will become robust and recognizable. Although most babies have hiccups and they are harmless, some fetal hiccups may be a reason for concern. According to Obstetrician-Gynecologist Dr. Jason Collins, MD, MSCR, of The Pregnancy Institute, even though your baby’s hiccups can be recurrent, once the Week 32 gestational marker is reached, your baby’s hiccups should lessen and not be present on a daily basis. So, when your baby continues to hiccup every day with hiccups lasting longer than 15 minutes or a series of hiccups 3–4 times with 24 hours, alert your health care team and have your baby evaluated for possible umbilical cord concerns.