Our Most Common Q&A Questions Revealed!Oct 05, 2022
If you are a regular listener and follower of our Instagram account (@She.Found.Motherhood), you will know that every Sunday we do a Q&A with our community where we try to answer as many of your burning questions as we can - but we often don’t have the capacity to get through all of them! So we decided to answer your most frequently asked, crucial questions here on the podcast in what is part one of many in the series over the coming months. Enjoy!
QUESTION: Spotting in the first trimester. What causes it? When should I worry? When should I call my provider?
ANSWER: There are so many reasons spotting might occur in the first trimester. Some reasons are worrisome, others are not, and sometimes the bleeding or spotting can be a complete mystery and resolves itself.
One common reason for bleeding in the first trimester is due to the changes the cervix undergoes in pregnancy. The cells lining the inside of the uterus, those that are shed during menstruation each month, kind of travel to the outside of the uterus where the placenta attaches to them. Some bleeding during this process can be normal and expected, especially during intercourse or if something like a toy interferes and “scrapes” the highly vascular area. Another common reason is when a little piece of placenta detaches from the uterine wall. If this is the case it can usually be identified on an ultrasound, is not worrisome, and resolves itself.
A less common and worrisome reason for bleeding in the first trimester is pregnancy loss (miscarriage). Unfortunately, it’s not really possible to diagnose if this is the cause based solely on the type or heaviness of the spotting, so an ultrasound is necessary to determine if this is cause. Ectopic pregnancy, where the egg gets implanted in the fallopian tube or somewhere else it shouldn’t be is also a worrisome cause of bleeding, usually also associated with significant pain.
If you’re experiencing significant pain and bleeding - defined as soaking through a pad an hour, for four hours - this is considered an emergency. Do not delay going to the emergency room or see your care provider until the next day.
QUESTION: What are some tips for nausea and vomiting in pregnancy?
ANSWER: Nausea usually affects pregnant people in roughly the first 12-15 week of pregnancy, but for about 20%-30% of people it can last throughout. Essentially it is caused by a hormone released in pregnancy - so consider that the nausea is actually a good reassurance you are pregnant!
Non-medical treatment is centered around diet - often having something in your stomach will help alleviate it, such as small snacks throughout the day, especially paired with protein. Ginger has been known to help as well as citrus and other sour foods such as green apples. Heartburn can aggravate nausea and there are a lot of safe options to combat it, such as taking Tums.
Medically it is safe to take gravol when nauseous in pregnancy. The most common medication used is Diclectin, which is simply a combination of Vitamin B6 and an antihistamine, but note it can be quite sedating. If symptoms are really bad and you’re not able to keep any liquids down despite medication, doing a two to three day IV hydration and medication treatment in hospital might be necessary to reset the body and go back to being able to manage symptoms at home with oral medication.
Tip: If you find prenatal vitamins are causing significant nausea, try kid’s chewable vitamins! Make sure they’re for kids as adult vitamins have more Vitamin A. Here is a link to our podcast Morning Sickness: The low down on nausea and vomiting in pregnancy which talks about all this in more depth!
QUESTION: How do I prevent tearing at birth? And if I had a bad tear, will I tear again in a subsequent birth!?
ANSWER: Most people experience some tearing in childbirth, especially on the first. There are four degrees of tearing, with the third and fourth degree being much less common.
- A “scrape” of the vagina
- A slight tear into the muscles surrounding the vagina
- A tear into muscles surrounding the vaginal and anus
- A full tear through the muscle between the vagina and anus
There is evidence that perineal massage can reduce the risks of tearing, especially with your first child. Upon subsequent pregnancies, there is less evidence, however a scar tissue massage can’t hurt in helping limber up the area. Consulting with a pelvic physiotherapist prior to giving birth can also be helpful!
Download our Free Guide on Perineal Massage!
QUESTION: Fetal movements! When do you start feeling them? What's normal? What's not!? And when should I go to the hospital?
ANSWER: Most people start to feel movements around 16 to 22 weeks of their first pregnancy, and a little bit earlier in subsequent pregnancies. Movements usually don’t get consistent until about 28 to 30 weeks.
There is no need to do fetal movement counts all of the time, but be aware of your baby's patterns - each baby will be different! If you notice a shift in what you feel has been their pattern, they suddenly feel much quieter than you expect, then we recommend sitting down with your feet up and a cold glass of water, and really focusing on your baby’s movement without outside distractions. You should be counting about 6 to 10 movements within a two hour period. Keep in mind that babies have sleep-wake cycles of about 45 minutes in length, so you may feel a lot of movement in the first 15 mins and none in the subsequent hours, or you might experience stillness for an hour until they wake up. This is normal!
As the baby grows, the quality of the movements will also change - they have less room in there! But as long as they’re consistent, they are fine. If you notice a change in consistency or no movement in a two hour period, do not hesitate to call / come in to see your provider as this is an urgent matter. Also note, there is no such thing as too much movement!
QUESTION: Hemorrhoids and constipation in pregnancy - help!!
ANSWER: Do not be embarrassed! Constipation and hemorrhoids are very common and happen due to an increase in the progesterone hormone in pregnancy, as well as due to an increase in blood volume, potentially being less physically active, and losing fluids if breastfeeding.
Drink lots of water, make sure to include extra fiber in your diet, consider a squatty potty, a pelvic physiotherapist, and talk to your provider. If none of these help, PEG 3350 laxatives such as MiraLAX, Clearlax, GlycoLax are safe to use in pregnancy.
For more a deeper dive, check out our podcast on Constipation & hemorrhoids in pregnancy | How to Treat Naturally at Home.
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