On the eve of January as the clock strikes midnight, kisses are exchanged, resolutions are made and new beginnings are imminent. For some, new beginnings in 2013 may also include a new family addition.
According to Stephen Frausto, M.D., FACOG, an obstetrician and gynecologist on the medical staff at Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital, New Year’s moms have additional reasons to be comforted by the chapters ahead as he answers questions for moms-to-be in 2013. “We’ve made huge medical advances, and expecting moms, parents and families have a vast amount of recourses at their disposal.”
What’s your number one tip for the nine-month journey? — Hydration. Aim for two liters of liquids, preferably water, per day. Avoid soft drinks, since they work like diuretics, stealing more water from the body than they provide. You can also make your own refreshing drink by adding a few lemon and cucumber slices to a pitcher of cool water. By keeping your body constantly hydrated, you’ll help to avoid the discomfort of pregnancy-related swelling.
They say pregnancy is like eating for two. How can moms monitor their eating habits? — The trick is to calorie count the right way. Just because you’re eating for two doesn’t mean it’s wise to overindulge. Additional caloric intake begins at around 300 calories within the first trimester, 350 in the second, and 500 as you get closer to your due date. If carrying twins or other multiples caloric needs will be higher so always follow the advice of your medical provider. Another thing to keep in mind is that your baby’s developing immune system is also much more sensitive than that of an adult. When possible, eat organic and locally grown foods. Remember that a banana is better than a banana split and fresh green beans are better than frozen beans.
Is morning sickness inevitable? — Morning sickness can start as early as six weeks into pregnancy and usually dissipates by week 12. Anything from certain scents to foods can trigger nausea. Try eating and drinking foods with ginger – gingerbread, gingersnaps or hot water or tea infused with a thin slice of ginger. And remember when you never wanted to take naps when you were younger? Take that rain-check now. Lower blood pressure, lower blood sugar and increased blood volume may have you wanting to shut your eyes at any moment. Try to get at least eight hours of sleep each night and you’ll wake to a world of difference. If your nausea is severe, ask your doctor about prescription medication that may be able to help you.
What additional challenges do moms face living in the Arizona heat and how can they be avoided? — Depending upon when your nine months mark the calendar, odds are that many will endure pregnancy during the summer months. And as if baby bearing wasn’t enough, living in Arizona brings its own set of challenges but I suggest staying indoors as much as possible. Swimming can also keep you cool, take pressure off of your overworked joints and provide a good source of exercise during your pregnancy.
Remember to protect your skin too. Chloasma, also known as “pregnancy mask”, is a tan or dark skin discoloration common in pregnancy, which usually appears on the upper cheek, nose, lips, upper lip and/or forehead, and is caused by hormonal changes and sun exposure. Always wear sunscreen and invest in a wide-brimmed sun hat.
Stephen Frausto, M.D., is a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist on the medical staff at Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital.
This information is provided by Tempe St. Luke’s as general information only and is not intended to replace the advice of a physician.