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  • Enemies of a pregnant woman

    Photo Source: vivacommunications.com.au

    Pregnancy is usually a time of great joy and expectation — thus the term “infanticipation” that is sometimes used to refer to it. However, most moms know that with the anticipation sometimes comes great anxiety, too, especially if you’re not exactly in the pink of health.

    In fact, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, pregnant women can have quite a number of health-related complaints and ailments.

    What causes them? We list here the top five culprits, and how to avoid them:

    1. Sugar
    Can cause: Gestational diabetes mellitus or GDM

    Diabetes mellitus is a disease that involves increased blood sugar levels. Diabetes mellitus in pregnancy or gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is diabetes that occurs for the first time when a woman is expecting, meaning she had no increase in her blood sugar levels prior to her pregnancy.

    Filipino mothers are reportedly at high risk for GDM, and thus need to take extra care in monitoring their sugar levels. Keeping your blood sugar as near to normal as possible is important for your and your baby’s good health.

    You can do this by:
    - Having a healthy meal plan for your pregnancy — this includes cutting down on unnecessary sugar—especially processed sugar—in your diet
    - Doing regular exercise that is safe for your pregnant state
    - Consulting with your healthcare provider (doctor, midwife, etc.) about the need for and frequency of blood sugar tests

    Related article: What you need to know about Gestational Diabetes

    2. Smoking
    Can cause: Pregnancy complications like placenta previa, miscarriage, and a whole lot more!

    It is a known fact that smoking harms your body in many ways, even if you are not pregnant. Smoking when you’re pregnant puts both you and your baby at risk for many ailments.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking during pregnancy “increases the risk for pregnancy complications.” It can lead to conditions like placental abruption, placenta previa, tissue damage in the unborn baby, and even increases the risk for premature births and miscarriage.

    If you’re a smoker who has been trying to quit but have been unsuccessful, and you are now pregnant, this is the best time to stop your “fuming” habit. You can use online resources like Reader’s Digest or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for starters, or join online forums especially for pregnant women who want to quit smoking.

    3. Stress
    Can cause: High blood pressure in pregnancy

    High blood pressure or hypertension during pregnancy can lead to different conditions that may adversely affect you and your unborn baby. According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, this applies to women who already had hypertension before getting pregnant and those who had it when they got pregnant (this is called gestational hypertension).

    While there are many factors that can cause hypertension—including stress—experts agree that the following are important in the treatment of high blood pressure during pregnancy:
    - close monitoring of the baby
    - specific medicines
    - lifestyle changes

    Avoiding stressful situations and learning how to manage your stress are a few lifestyle changes that you can make.

    4. Shoes with high heels
    Can cause: Backache

    Many pregnant women complain of backache, which is mostly caused by the alteration in your posture brought about by the softening of your body’s ligaments and the weight of your growing baby.

    There are many ways to deal with back pain in pregnancy, and experts say that using low-heeled shoes is one of them. Avoiding the use of high heels during pregnancy also decreases your risk of falling while moving around with that extra weight, among other things.

    Take note, though, that if you are pregnant and are experiencing persistent, severe back pain or rhythmic, cramping back pains, you should consult your doctor or healthcare practitioner immediately.

    5. Tight pants and nylon panties
    Can cause: Vaginal yeast infections

    According to the American Pregnancy Association, “yeast infections during pregnancy are more common than any other time in a woman’s life, especially during the second trimester of pregnancy.”

    This is because there is more sugar in your vaginal secretions during pregnancy, which means there is more “food” for the fungus (called Candida albicans) that is normally present in small amounts in your body. An increased amount of Candida leads to yeast infections.

    To avoid such infections, the association suggests different preventive measures, including the following:
    - Wearing loose, “breathable” clothing and cotton underwear
    - Wiping from front to back after using the toilet
    - Washing and drying your genital area regularly
    - Limiting your sugar intake, since sugar increases the growth of yeast
    - Consuming yogurt with “lactobacillus acidophilus”


    To end, it is important to note that each woman’s body is unique, and so is each pregnancy, which means that every pregnant woman may probably have more “enemies” and resulting ailments than the five listed here. The good news is that most of these ailments can be avoided and/or treated with proper knowledge and advice from your doctor.

    Disclaimer: By publishing this article, Smart Parenting does not claim to dispense medical advice in any way. Always consult a healthcare professional if you have any concerns with your pregnancy.

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