Yes. Periodontal disease is a chronic gum infection that is associated with preterm delivery. Researchers hypothesize that the infection may raise levels of prostaglandin and cytokine, both of which may contribute to an increase in uterine contractions. A study reported in the Journal of Periodontology, led by Marjorie K. Jeffcoat, D.M.D., dean of the School of Dental Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, found that scaling and root planing, a nonsurgical procedure, resulted in a large decrease in preterm births for pregnant patients with periodontal disease.
It is always best to avoid taking any type of medication during pregnancy, if possible. That said, if allergies or nasal congestion due to upper-respiratory infection are keeping you from sleeping, eating or participating fully in your life, your doctor is likely to consider Claritin to help you cope with your symptoms.
Rest assured that after years of research on animals and humans, Claritin has been classified as safe to use during pregnancy. But even so, I think it is always best to use the minimum required dosage to achieve relief.
Two factors contribute to constipation in pregnancy. The first is the body's increased production of progesterone, which relaxes not only the smooth muscle of the uterine wall but also of the intestinal wall and stomach, thereby making digestion sluggish. The second is the body's tendency to become underhydrated as it adjusts to an increasing blood volume. To help prevent constipation, drink at least eight glasses of water a day. Also exercise daily and eat more vegetables and dried fruits.
Yes. Your overall health will undoubtedly benefit you and your baby, but since your history includes a first-degree relative who has diabetes, you are at higher risk of developing gestational diabetes while pregnant. Testing you in the first trimester rather than the third--the standard for women without risk factors--is also important.
You can, with certain precautions. For example, you should pay close attention to the warning labels on all of the materials you are handling, be vigilant about painting in a well-ventilated area, wear coveralls while working, and never eat or drink where you work.
No. I advise you to stay off all rides with rapid or jerky motions, as the sudden shifting of your baby from one side of the uterus to the other could cause damage to the placenta. You also shouldn't stand in line for long, as you put yourself at risk for swollen ankles and blood clots in your legs. So let your husband take your son on the exciting rides as you wave from the sidelines.
While the patch and other nicotine-replacement products are generally considered OK to use during pregnancy, their absolute safety has not been confirmed. As such, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that pregnant women try to stop smoking via other means before turning to these products. You might, for instance, work with a therapist who specializes in smoking cessation or find a "smoking buddy" you can turn to for support and encouragement.
That may depend on your exercise intensity and workout goals. As long as you have a low-risk pregnancy with no contraindications, such as high blood pressure or symptoms of premature labor, exercise is good for you, and aiming for a target heart rate can help you work out at an appropriate level. While the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that pregnant women use the "talk test" when exercising (if you can talk normally, your heart rate is acceptable), in 2002 Canadian experts suggested utilizing target heart rates.
A recent Israeli study of more than 300,000 young adults showed that autism rates in the offspring of men who were 40 or older when their babies were conceived were almost six times that of the children of fathers 29 or younger. (The study found no link between autism and maternal age.) The researchers are now looking for reasons; there is speculation that sperm-producing cells spontaneously mutate as men age.
Much more study of paternal age is needed if we are to better understand its impact.
Perhaps it can, according to two recent studies. A British survey of more than 14,000 moms found that babies born to women who were deemed clinically anxious during pregnancy were 40 percent more likely to have such sleep problems as trouble falling asleep or waking too early at 6, 18 and 30 months of age.
Week 1: If you haven't started already, you should be taking a prenatal multivitamin with folic acid daily (bump it up to 600 micrograms folic acid once you know for sure you're pregnant).
Week 2: You should be eating the healthiest diet possible for the next nine months. For some simple guidelines, check out "Tell Me What to Eat"
Q: Is mineral makeup safe?
A: Mineral makeup is a good choice during pregnancy, when skin may react unexpectedly, says Joanna Schlip, a Los Angeles makeup artist. That's because it doesn't contain ingredients that can irritate skin, such as fragrance or preservatives. Mineral makeup also contains titanium and zinc, which act as a natural SPF to protect your skin from the sun's harmful rays.
Q: Now that I'm pregnant, should I switch to organic skin-care products?