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There's this little thing that can happen during your pregnancy to make you think that you could possibly be going into labor. Your belly can tighten and then relax. It can be sporadic with no real rhyme or reason. What is it? Braxton Hicks, but more on that later. I'm going to share my experience, short story time.
I remember taking several trips to the hospital during pregnancy number one because of many episodes of discomfort and what I thought were contractions. Each time, I was put on a monitor, and then sent home. However, one time I went and guess what? I was really having contractions. I was given medication to stop them because I was so early and we didn't want the little peanut to come yet. It can be confusing sometimes, telling the difference between a real contraction and braxton hicks. So I'm going to help shed some light on the two and what makes them different.
Braxton Hicks. What is it exactly?
This is false labor. It's your body's way to preparing you for labor. The discomfort you feel can happen whenever but mainly in the second or third trimester. You may feel it once and then not again for another twenty minutes, an hour later, or days later. There is no consistent pattern. It's also common to only feel discomfort in the front of the abdomen and changing the position you are in can also stop them and they don't increase in intensity. These are really nothing to worry about.
Contractions on the other hand
Really send you into labor! They intensify with over time and become more and more consistent. You may begin feeling them every twenty minutes, then every fifteen, then every five! The become closer and closer together the more your labor progresses. They are also more painful. Not only can you feel the pain in your lower abdomen, you can feel it in your lower back and upper legs as well. Unlike braxton hicks, changing positions will not stop the contractions.
So hopefully this little break down helped you some. Always remember if you are unsure, never ever hesitate to contact your health care provider or if you feel you need to seek emergency care go to the hospital. It never hurts to be sure!
Until next time! Peace love and light!
Tiffany Underwood
Pregnancy Health Coach
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324326.php
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I was finally able to send my book off for the final edit. I actually received some really good feedback. Writing has been a passion of mine for as along as I can remember. I've written all kinds of books from children's books to thriller and suspense. I've even written scripts. However, I've never done anything with the work. I guess I just never felt as though I really had a voice and I thought no one would be interested. Now, I no longer feel that way. I felt like writing this book would help someone. It would also be a way for people to get to know me a little better and see where a came from and how I was able to keep going. So here is chapter two. Let me know what you think.
Chapter Two
Support or Lack Of
I don’t think people realize how important it is to have a support system in place during pregnancy. Many people are so used to seeing the positive happy side of pregnancy, however that is not a reality for everyone. Not everyone is always happy about being pregnant. Some people feel ashamed and alone. There are some people out there who are in certain situations in their lives and just don’t know what to do. Not everyone has access to the love and support that they need nor are they sure how to get it.
It can be hard when you’re alone or when the people you thought would support you and be there for you aren’t. This was indeed a tough period for me. Sure, the father of my child was there but at that time I still wanted that love and support from my family and from most importantly my mom. She eventually came around however she made a point every chance she got to remind me of how disappointed she was in me and how fat I was getting.
I’m sure she was angry with me. She had become pregnant at a young age too. She didn’t get support from her mother either and ended up leaving home. It’s interesting how history repeats itself. I figured if anyone knew how badly support was needed, it would have been her. Maybe she did know, but maybe she just didn’t know how to give it, maybe she didn’t know how because she was too upset and too ashamed. This caused me to be ashamed as well. What child wants to disappoint their parents? I remember seeing other pregnant women with their mothers at doctor’s appointments. I longed for that, but I then realized I would never get it. I would have to figure this out on my own.
What many people fail to understand is that support during pregnancy is just as important as postpartum support. There are changes in hormones in your body that can take your mind through some drastic changes in the way you think. You can go from feeling great to feeling overwhelmed and completely lost. It’s so important to maintain mental and emotional health during pregnancy. If not, you increase the risk for pregnancy complications. Everything that goes on with you can affect your unborn child. Working your way through that by yourself can be and is a task.
However, it can be done. I couldn’t find support from the particular people that I thought I would but there were people who helped me. I will forever be grateful to them. Having support during your pregnancy can improve your health, welfare, and the way you look at and live life. If you find that you can’t get support from your family or partner there are ways to get the help you need and please don’t hesitate to ask for it. Don’t walk around being embarrassed or ashamed. No matter what anyone says about you or to you, you are AMAZING. Always remember that.
Tiffany Underwood
Pregnancy Health Coach
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So you're pregnant and you want to do the best you can to take care of yourself and your baby during the upcoming months. Have you thought about any goals that you may want to set? To be honest I never really was the type to think about setting goals. I've always been more of a go with the flow type of person, which there isn't anything wrong with that. But, there are some things that I wanted to improve and change about my lifestyle during my last pregnancy.
What are goals and why is setting them important?
Simply put, a goal is a result or outcome that a person works towards to achieve. Making the decision to set a goal and working to achieve it is something major. The reward is also amazing. Once you get it you feel so good and accomplished. I definitely did. Setting goals is a way to organize your time and make the most out your life. It gives you focus and motivation. It's also a way to keep you from procrastinating. Once you set that goal, you are responsible for the outcome and you're the only one held accountable. You deserve the best that life has to offer. Why not set goals to help you?
How to set SMART Goals.
Setting goals have to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. Get specific about your goal. It's easy to say I want to be active during my pregnant. But how do you plan to go about doing this? What are you going to do? What makes this important to you? And most of all how are you going to go about doing this? Example: You can set a goal to walk 30 minutes three days a week. This is important to me because walking during pregnancy has benefits for both my baby and me. (helping prevent things like gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia.) I will go to the park (if it's nice outside) or find an indoor track
Making sure your goal is measurable means you can check your progress over time. With the above goal, you can measure this by making sure you are walking three days a week. If you find that you have only been able to make one or two days, then you can reassess to see how you can fit that third day in. If you find that you can't fit in that extra day come back to your goal and determine if you need to set a different one. That leads us to the next goal.
We want to set goals that are achievable. There is no point in setting goals that we can't achieve. You want to set a goal to walk 30 minutes three days a week. What time will you do this? Are you currently working outside of the home? What time do you get off work and what time will you make it to the park after work? You have to sit down and determine how you will achieve the goals that you have set.
Goals also have to be realistic. You have to determine if the goals that you have in mind is actually possible for you to achieve. Do you really want to do this and if so do yo have the skills to do it? Like run a marathon if you've never trained. Sit back and think about what you want and be realistic about whether you can do this or not. Finally you want to think about time. You want to set a time frame for achieving the goal you set. I'm going to walk 30 minutes three days a week for the next three months. You have to set a goal with an end in mind, a time for when you want to have this done.
What are some pregnancy goals?
Everyone has different goals in mind and different things that they want to obtain. I've always been pretty fit and in shape my whole life. However, my eating habits haven't always been the best. I have a habit of stress eating. When I get stressed I can eat so much candy and junk! I worked to set a goal to incorporate better eating habits and also I worked to learn my triggers so that way I could avoid stress eating. It took a lot of work and in fact I still have my times where I may slip up. However I am better at recognizing when I'm stressed and I work hard to make better decisions to better deal with my stress.
Some goals that could be set during pregnancy are;
1. Getting more rest
2. Drinking more water
3. Eating healthier
4. Spend some time in nature
5. Be kind to yourself
These are just a few. Think about goals that you want to set for yourself and go for it! You will be so proud of yourself in the end! You've got this!
Until next time! Peace, Love and Light
Tiffany Underwood
Pregnancy Health Coach
https://www.mindtools.com/page6.html
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Round ligament pain. What is it? Sometimes it's a sharp painful jab in your lower belly. It's uncomfortable and you definitely don't like it. It's considered to be a normal part of pregnancy. (During the second trimester). It's also one of the most common complaints!
So what's happening exactly?
There are a lot of thick ligaments that help support your uterus as it grows during pregnancy. One of those ligaments is a round ligament. This lovely ligament is what connects the front of your womb to your groin (this is the area where your legs attach to your legs).
As your baby grows it causes these ligaments to stretch. Sometimes any sudden movements can cause these ligaments to get really tight, really fast, similar to a rubber band when it snaps! This is what leads to the pain you feel. It mostly happens on the right side of your body but it has been known to happen on both sides. It's normal to be concerned about the pain you feel but more often than not, everything is just fine. This is 100 percent normal during pregnancy. Even though it's uncomfortable it only lasts for a little bit.
So when can this pain happen?
Anytime there is a sudden movement like, sneezing, coughing, or even laughing. These are all things that can cause you to have this pain. I experienced this with all three of my pregnancies. It seemed to get worse with each one. Maybe it was because with each pregnancy my babies were bigger and bigger. I didn't like it but I survived. (Although sometimes I thought I wouldn't, honestly.)
What can you do to help with the discomfort?
You can take something over the counter like Tylenol. Check with your provider. I would think that at some point a list of safe meds were given so you'll know what you can and can't take. If not, please ask just to be sure!
Strengthen your core with exercise. It's important if you can to keep that core as strong as you can to support your growing baby and changing body. Exercises like prenatal yoga or stretching can help out tremendously. I was a part of a prenatal yoga class and I can honestly say it was a great decision. You can also apply heat. Something like a heating pad or even taking a warm bath can help ease the pain you may be feeling. Remember, avoid too much heat, this can be dangerous to your baby.
You can also try a belly band. I had to wear one when I was pregnant with baby number one and three. It helped to relieve the pressure in my lower belly.
Now, I know you're wondering if there is a time to be concerned? Yes, there is. You should contact your doctor if the pain is severe and lasts for a long period of time. If you are having difficulty walking, if you have a fever, or chills. Most of all trust your body and your intuition. If you feel like something isn't right don't hesitate to contact your doctor. There is nothing wrong with being sure, even if it's nothing. It's better to know that not know!
You've got this! Hang in there! Have any of you experienced this pain? What did you do to help with the discomfort?
Until next time! Sending you peace, love, and light!
Tiffany Underwood
Certified Pregnancy Health Coach
https://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/pregnancy-round-ligament-pain#2
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You've made the decision to go with the best healthcare provider that's right for you. Typically you won't have your first prenatal visit until you're around 8 weeks or so. It's important to remember that every pregnancy is different and it's important to make sure that you get prenatal care. This appointment will probably be the longest out of all of your appointments, so be prepared. Before going to this appointment, try to write down any questions or concerns that you may have so that you can go over them with your provider. You may have questions about what to expect during your pregnancy, what type of care you will receive, and what kind of birthing options are available to you. So make a list and don't be scared or think that you have crazy or strange questions. Knowledge is power! So ask away!
So what's the first thing you can expect?
#1. Your Medical History!
Your provider is going to want to know all about your medical history. Once you are triaged by the nurse or medical assistant (in which they get your weight, temp, blood pressure, height, and heart rate) They are going to want to know all about you. Any medical or psychological problems you may have. They are going to ask about your last menstrual period so they can determine your due date. They will ask about previous birth control, number of pregnancies (including abortions and miscarriages). They will ask if you've ever been hospitalized, are you taking any meds, or do you have any medication allergies. They will also want to know about your family's history. Oh yes and the fun part. You will have to have a breast and cervical exam. This is where you undress and get into one of those lovely gowns. You will have a pap smear done and std testing in most cases.And expect to pee at every visit because they have to check your urine for things like protein. Also, they will check for heart tones or listen for your baby's heart beat. If you've had any bleeding or cramping an ultrasound may be performed just to make sure everything is going alright with the pregnancy or if there is a question about how far along you are.
#2. Lab work and lots of it!
You will have so much lab work done at this visit! Here's what they will be checking
1. Your hemoglobin and hematocrit
2. Your blood type and Rh factor (if you're Rh negative you will receive a Rhogam shot)
3. Rubella, Hep B and C
4. Sickle Cell
5. HIV
6. Cystic Fibrosis
And some providers have their own panel which will include the above labs and more.
#3. Important information
Your provider will go over which medications are safe to take during pregnancy.Sometimes they have a prenatal packet already put together with the information inside. They will discuss miscarriage precautions and prescribe prenatal vitamins, if you aren't already taking ones that work for you. They will discuss diet, exercise, and what proper weight gain is for you. If you are planning to travel or do a lot of traveling they will go over travel limitations if there are any. They will discuss hazards and things to watch out for in the environment. They will go over the office rotations. There are a lot of times when the
provider that you see regularly may not be the provider that delivers your baby. This is why many offices try to make sure that you are familiar with all of the providers in the office.
This may seem like a lot to take in but I can assure you, you will get through this. I did, three times and there are millions of other women who have done the same thing!
If you've already gone through this already? If so what was your experience? If not what concerns do you have? Please comment and share!
Tiffany Underwood
Certified Pregnancy Health Coach
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I've always been into writing. In fact that's what I originally wanted to go to school for. But I changed that idea and went into the the health field. I've written movies and a variety of books, children's books included. However, I never did anything with them. They've sat around collecting dust. I figured maybe I wouldn't be able to reach anyone. Maybe people would think what I had to say was corny and so on, and so forth. I completely doubted myself. Until I jumped into my pregnancy coaching. I decided to write The Good, The Bad, and The Bump because I wanted to share my pregnancy experiences with other out there. People are going through similar things or maybe not, maybe others just want to know what people are going through and I how they dealt with things. So I put that doubt and fear aside and decided to go for it. Even if I reach one person I did something great and if I reach no one, I did something I've always wanted to do. Write and publish a book! Read ahead for chapter one! I hope you enjoy. Please leave comments or questions! Release date coming soon!
Chapter 1
17 and Pregnant
I thought I had a stomach bug. I tried every over the counter nausea relief medication that I could find and still there was no relief. Let’s not mention the pickle and peppermint sticks that I would eat almost every day. Or the strange cravings for Totinos pizzas. I hated those before. Being pregnant was the last thing on my mind. I couldn’t be. Could I? We only had sex one time unprotected and I thought we were playing it safe.
Positive. Those two pink lines changed my life. I’m sure they do for everyone however seeing as how I was only seventeen and not quite done with high school it REALLY changed my life. What do I tell my mom? She’s going to kill me. What will the father of my unborn baby think? Will he even want to be with me or go through this with me? My head was spinning. I didn’t even know how I would go about getting through this.
My boyfriend at the time handled things quite well considering. So did his family. They were disappointed because we were both so young, 17 and 18. However they were willing to help as much as they could. Telling my mom on the other hand, well let’s just say things didn’t go so well. My mother and I had a huge fall out that would shape our future for years to come. As I’ve grown older I can say that I can understand her frustration. Parents only want what’s best for their children and becoming pregnant at a young age can and will make achieving goals very difficult, not impossible but difficult. She was beyond disappointed. Furious! I became everything but her daughter. Her answer. Abortion. I’ve never judged anyone for any decision that they have made in regards to continuing a pregnancy or not. However at that point in my life that wasn’t an option for me.
I was young and knew nothing about the world but I did know I didn’t want to abort my baby. I also made the decision not to stay in an environment that was toxic. I left home and found a job. We made it work as best as we could. His family was supportive however they wouldn’t let us stay with them. Something about not believing in letting us live there and sleep in the same room or bed if we weren’t married. But hey, I was already pregnant what more could happen? I understood though. A good friend of his talked his mom into letting us stay there until we were able to save up and find a place.
The first few months after I left home I slept on a blow up mattress. It wasn’t what I was used to at all but sometimes you have to do what you have to do. I decided to not to continue my senior year in public school so I started home school. I was embarrassed honestly. Sure, I had gone to school with girls who had gotten pregnant and had their babies but I just didn’t want to be one of them. I also didn’t want to become a statistic and I wanted to prove everyone who doubted me wrong. My life became work and home. Play time was definitely over. It was time to grow up.
I did the best that I could with what knowledge I had at the time. I didn’t know anything about being pregnant. What foods to avoid, what foods to eat. What adequate rest was or how to properly hydrate myself. I was still a kid in a grown up world. I ate when I was hungry and I didn’t choose the best meals. I remember craving things like hot wings, hot chips, pretty much anything spicy or hot I ate it. I didn’t see anything wrong with it. I was eating for two so I could eat any and everything right? I was so wrong and I would find this out soon.
Tiffany Underwood
Certified Pregnancy Health Coach
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Congratulations! You've made it to the third trimester and those small issues that you noticed in the second trimester are probably a little bit bigger. Okay, maybe a lot bigger. The last trimester for me, while it was exciting, I was also miserable. I couldn't sleep at night, I had to go to the bathroom even more than I did in the beginning of my pregnancies, and I had so much pressure in my abdomen I felt like I could fall apart at any moment. I was just ready for it to be over and I'm sure there are many of you that did (or will) feel this way. So don't feel bad. Just know that in a few more weeks you will be holding your new addition in your arms.
Trying to sleep
I couldn't sleep lying down or on my side. I didn't have a body pillow during pregnancy one and two so I had to stack as many pillows around me to support my legs and back. I found that sleeping sitting up was the best thing ever! During pregnancy number three I decided to see what the hype was about when it came to those body pillows everyone talked about. And again I ended up sitting up to sleep. I also had to make sure I had a pillow under my belly. I needed that extra support.
What is my baby doing?
Your baby is still growing at this point. At the end of your sixth month your baby typically will be about a pound or a little more. And then your baby will start to pack on the pounds. Most babies will average around 6 or 7 pounds but this can vary. My first born weighed 6 pounds and 8 ounces when she was born. My second daughter weighed 8 pounds and 1 ounce, and my third daughter weighed 8 pounds 8 ounces! (they got bigger each time) Sometimes a final ultrasound is done to try to get an estimate of how much your baby will weigh but again this is just an estimate and sometimes it can be off a bit. Your baby is stretching and moving around even more. It may even feel like they are trying to escape! During your final visits your provider will want to check to see if your baby is head down or still breech. (bottom down) If your baby is still breech in your final weeks of pregnancy your provider will discuss options for turning your baby and for delivery.
Preparing for labor and delivery
There are some things in life that you can never really be 100% prepared for. I feel like labor and childbirth is one of those things. You can prepare your mind and body as much as you can for the actual event though. There are classes you can take that are specifically designed to help you get ready. There are Lamaze classes which focus on ways to manage any pain that you may have. Women are also educated on the different options for pain like epidurals and so on. I felt like no matter how much I prepared for the "event" I had to go through it to know how to handle it. You would have thought that with each pregnancy I would be used to it however, I was still nervous and each time all ended well and my babies were delivered safe. My body did exactly what it was supposed to do.
How are you feeling in your third trimester or how did you feel? Share your experiences!
Tiffany Underwood
Certified Pregnancy Health Coach
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Happy Feelings
Wooohooooo! Congrats! You've made it to the second trimester! Or maybe you haven't and you're just curious about what you can expect when you do get there. This is the point where you start to feel better. Oh yes, you do get better. For many of us the first trimester can be tense. It can be rough and it leaves some of us feeling MISERABLE! There is light at the end of the tunnel just hang in there. These next three months (the fourth, fifth, and sixth months) are considered to be some of the easiest through out the whole pregnancy journey.
What's happening?
Hopefully by this point you aren't feeling as nauseated as you did before. You may also feel super energetic. I know I did. I was really ready to get up and get out once I made it to the middle of month four. By this point your body has had time to adjust to all of the different hormonal changes that were taking place before. The fun also begins during this trimester. You may start to feel flutters in your fourth month and for some it may take longer. During my first pregnancy I didn't really feel anything until around the fifth month but with pregnancy three and four I felt them move much sooner because I knew exactly what it felt like. You will also be able to get a better look at your baby with an ultrasound. If you had an ultrasound during your first trimester (which I'm sure you did) your baby probably looked like an alien. Okay maybe that's a bit much but maybe you just weren't sure what you were looking at exactly. But during your second trimester, your baby has grown so much that now you can definitely identify that you are indeed having a little human. One thing to keep in mind is that you won't get an ultrasound every time you see your provider. Many providers believe that these should be done only when necessary. Like getting your baby's gestational age, determining the sex, checking to make sure that your baby is developing as he or she should, and checking for positioning. Oh and hang in there dads, around five or six months your will be able to feel your baby moving too.
My baby is doing what?
Your baby is continuing to gain weight and grow. Another cool thing is happening. Your baby is now responding to stimulation outside of the womb. I remember reading to all of my girls while I was pregnant with them. I would also play different types of music for them as well. They can also start to become familiar with different voices too! Don't hesitate to try these things or think it's crazy to do. It isn't at all. Another thing to be conscious about is how you're feeling. Your baby shares your emotions. If you are feeling anxious or feeling upset, your body releases stress hormones which go into the blood stream and straight to your baby. I know it's unrealistic to avoid all stress, we have it in our lives, however it's important to find healthy ways to deal with it. If you're continuously stressed it can create a anxious and fussy little person.
What about me?
At this point you're probably noticing that your clothes don't fit like they did before. Yes, uterus is growing which means your waist is too. Others are noticing that you are pregnant as well. This is a good time to decide or even start to really think about where exactly you want to deliver your baby. Would you like a home birth or hospital birth? Do you have a birth plan or an idea of how you want your pregnancy to go? Have you discussed these things with your provider? (OBGYN, Midwife, etc) It may all seem a little overwhelming but everything will work out just fine. Having a baby is a huge decision and there are many things that go along with it. It's also important to stay as active as you can. You can do simple things such as walking or swimming. These things can help you big time during labor!
Do you have any questions? How is your second trimester going? Or if you've delivered and want to share your memories of your second trimester please feel free to do so!
Until next time, I'm sending you piece, love, and light!
Tiffany Underwood
Certified Pregnancy Health Coach
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There are several reasons I decided to pursue being a pregnancy health coach. I was completely clueless about how to take care of myself during my first pregnancy. I had so many questions and concerns. There were some things that my doctor was able to address for me but I still felt confused and unsure about several topics. I was also having emotional ups and downs and support was limited. Once I gained more knowledge I knew that I wasn't the only one out there who needed support and guidance while they were pregnant. I wanted to be a voice, someone to help out, someone to support others. Voila! I am doing just that. I remember not knowing what in the hell was going on during my pregnancy or how my body was changing, especially during the first trimester. All I knew was I was sick! All the TIME! I didn't know why, I didn't know how to help it. I just dealt with it the best way I knew how.
Where's My Period?!
You've missed your period and you find out you're pregnant. Now I'm sure many are wondering what exactly is going on right in the beginning. In a short answer, A LOT! Hormones are being produced in your body and the main one is HCG (or Human Chorionic Gonadotropin). This is the hormone that rises and causes you to miss aunt flow. Some people can have a positive pregnancy result as soon as one week after they conceive and for some it may take a little longer, maybe ten days or so after conception. The first three months of your pregnancy is when so much happens. Your little one is getting all cozy in your uterus, this is implantation taking place. Within weeks the placenta starts growing. The placenta provides your baby with all the nutrients he or she will need while you are pregnant. It also gets rid of any waste your little one has.
Let's talk about lifestyle.
If you weren't thinking about your lifestyle before then now is the time to do so. I had always thought that lifestyle consisted of more material possessions than anything. However, over time I've learned that a person's lifestyle is not only how they spend money but what they do with their time and how they care for themselves and their families. When thinking of lifestyle especially when you think you want to have a baby or you are already pregnant, it's important to think about your lifestyle choices. Everything you do from here on out will have an impact not only on you but on your baby. Did I say everything. YES EVERYTHING! If you've wanted to make any positive changes right now is the time to commit and do it! During your first trimester your baby is at risk (the most) when it comes to what you eat, drink, and even breathe in. This is important to note because by the end of these three months your little peanut has formed so many features like finger nails, taste buds, little hair follicles, and even vocal cords! You may also notice that you are going through some changes too.
What's happening to me?
Your boobs may hurt, you may feel sick to your stomach, and you may also feel extremely tired. I know I did with my pregnancies. I woke up with energy but by noon I couldn't function. All I wanted to do was sleep! These things can make you feel a bit pissed off too so mood swings are normal. You may feel happy and sure about life one minute and then the next you may feel like your whole world is falling apart. Just remember that you won't feel this way during your entire pregnancy. This too shall pass. My biggest thing was worrying. I would worry about everything. However over time I learned that I can't do anything about the things that I can't control. I learned to take it one day at a time and work on the things that I could. It's important for you to remember that as well! If you can't control it let it go and if you can, then do so.
Get rest! Plenty of it when you can. Eat small meals and eat them often. That can help with the nausea. Also remember, being pregnant and tired can make you emotional. Any big decisions that need to be made can be done when you are feeling good and sure, not when you are feeling irritated! Making the decision to become a parent is a HUGE one and kudos to you! Just know that you can do this. You can make it through your first trimester, then your second, your third, all the way to childbirth. You've got this!
Hopefully this was helpful to someone out there. Until next time, peace, love and light!
Tiffany Underwood
Certified Pregnancy Health Coach
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Group B Strep, GBS, or Group B Streptococcus......What the heck is it? Should you be worried? Is it similar to strep throat? I remember during my first pregnancy when my doctor told me that between my 35th and 37th week of pregnancy I would be having a test done that checked for GBS, I had no idea what it was or what to expect. So what is Group B Strep exactly?
Group B Strep is a type of bacteria that is naturally found in your digestive tract and lower reproductive tracts of men and women. Having GBS does not mean that you aren't clean and it's not a sexually transmitted disease (even though it can be passed during sex) it usually does not cause any symptoms. In fact someone can be GBS positive even if they've never had sex.
Women are tested for this bacteria during pregnancy because even though it can have no affect on you it can cause the baby to become really ill (which can be passed during the process of delivery). I bet you are wondering how this test is done exactly? Your provider will perform the test by swabbing your vagina and rectal area. Yes I know, it wasn't really fun for me either and I'm sure it may not be fun for others. But it had to be done. If you test positive for this bacteria antibiotics are given (through a lovely IV every four hours) before you deliver. Keep in mind that every woman that tests positive for this bacteria will not deliver a baby that will get sick. However if it is passed to your tiny human there is a risk of breathing problems, sepsis, meningitis, pneumonia, and blood pressure issues. These symptoms can occur within hours of delivery.
That's why this test is important. It's important to know whether you are positive or not to ensure that your baby is protected. So what if you aren't delivering your baby vaginally? What if you are having a c-section? Do you still need to have the antibiotics? If your water hasn't broken and you aren't actively in labor then you can hold off on the antibiotics, however if your water has broken and you are in labor, to be on the safe side providers usually wants you to have it.
And last but not least. No! It's Group B Strep and strep throat are not the same at all. Strep throat is transferred from person to person through coughs and sneezes.
So in a nutshell, this bacteria can be harmless for moms but pretty serious for your little one. Be sure to follow up with your provider if you have any concerns.
Until next time I'm sending you peace, love and light!
Tiffany Underwood
Certified Pregnancy Health Coach
http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-complications/group-b-strep-infection/
https://www.livestrong.com/article/119244-differences-between-strep-strep/
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