We all appreciate clean, smoke-free air, right? (That's more true than ever during pregnancy.) Well, now it looks like there's even more reason to support smoking bans.
While you may think of high blood pressure as a problem for your parents or grandparents, many pregnant women experience blood-vessel problems that force the heart to work harder to pump blood to the placenta and maternal organs. In fact, up to 30 percent of first-time pregnancies are affected by hypertension, preeclampsia (high blood pressure plus protein in the urine) or eclampsia (high blood pressure, protein in the urine and seizures).
Thalia is 36 weeks pregnant and for the last few weeks, she’s been measuring large for dates. Her doctor sent her for an ultrasound, which revealed she has more amniotic fluid than some mothers do. A normal range of fluid at this stage of pregnancy is measured as between 5 and 25 centimeters or about 800-1000 mL.
These days, it’s more common for moms-to-be to be breathing deeply into a downward dog in prenatal yoga class than taking it easy at home with their feet up. But an estimated 20 percent of expectant mothers are still put on bed rest during their pregnancies, despite evidence that it may do more harm than good.
"The ladies I met online while on bed rest were like virtual nurses!”
- Casey Mclendon, Kannapolis, N.C.
When I was six months pregnant, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes and had to start testing my blood four times a day, alter my diet and go on medication.
Located in your neck, the thyroid gland produces hormones that affect metabolism, breathing, heart and nervous system functions, body temperature and more. During your pregnancy, your baby is entirely dependent on receiving thyroid hormone—which plays a large role in fetal brain and nervous system development—from you for the first trimester.