Pregnancy is filled with endless riddles and a new mother is bound to feel a little worried about all the symptoms and procedures that are going to happen. Therefore, we have jotted down 10 not-so-talked about pregnancy symptoms/procedures/habits etc. which a woman or her baby has to go through during their journey.
Pica is a condition which affects around 10-20% of pregnant women all around the world. The word Pica is latin for Magpie, a bird that used to eat almost anything. It basically means craving something which has little to no nutrition value like ice, detergent, rocks, toothpaste etc. It’s real and is not that uncommon (You could probably make it out with the numbers mentioned above).
Some research has suggested that Pica could occur because of low iron or zinc levels even though the chances of deficiency are scant. It also affects women suffering from celiac disease.
There is no specific treatment for Pica but your doctor might put you on Vitamin Pills or suggest to eat small meals so as to suppress Pica cravings.
Tokophobia is fear of childbirth. It affects almost all women (on different levels, of course). Intense anxiety or fear can occur in around 10% of women.
If at any point of time you have even the slightest anxiety, there is no harm in consulting a therapist once. Not only does tokophobia build the roots for depression and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), it can cause stress to the baby too leading to preterm birth. OB/GYN are experts in dealing with these fears and can help you alleviate your fears.
Tokophobia is of two types:
Primary Tokophobia occurs when you fear childbirth and labor pains with no experience of your own. This might occur after hearing or witnessing traumatic stories of someone who is close or being around a person who suffers from Secondary Tokophobia.
Secondary Tokophobia is when the fear develops after experiencing labor and childbirth of your own child.
Gestational age vs Fetal age
Gestational Age is the age of pregnancy from your last menstrual period. This is what doctors use as a reference most of the times.
Fetal age is the time which has lapsed since the conception a.k.a since the time your baby actually started growing.
This difference leads to confusion between due date too.
Crowning is the most painful part of labor and it happens when your baby’s head is visible and doesn’t go back inside. It happens during the second stage of labor.
During contractions, your uterine muscles stretch and relax so as to push the baby out. The baby’s head comes out and spins back several times before it becomes permanently visible once and for all. This is called crowning. Crowning is followed by pushing stage.
Ring of fire:
Crowning is succeeded by the ring of fire, which is a feeling of burning sensation in the vaginal tissues caused due to stretching by baby’s head. It generally lasts for just a few minutes and when it’s over the major part of pushing is already done. This stretching is when you may suffer from tearing and damage in your vagina. An upright squatting or upright side lying position generally helps in pushing and reduces damage.
Stripping your membranes:
This is a method to induce labor and around 40-50% of the women go into labor after this procedure. The process involves your doctor putting his fingers inside your cervix and gently separating amniotic sac from the side of the cervix. This can trigger production of certain hormones in your body, which could induce labor.
The method is generally performed on women whose cervix is already ripe.
APGAR stands for:
Appearance (skin color),
Pulse (heart rate),
Activity (muscle tone)
and Respiration (breathing rate and effort).
It’s a quick test done on the newborn baby to quickly evaluate his condition and see if there is any medical emergency. It’s done 1-minute and 5-minutes after birth. The 1-minute test tells us how well baby tolerated birth process and 5-minutes tells us how well the baby is doing on Earth.
Meconium is baby’s first stool which is black in color. Yes, it’s completely fine if the baby’s first stool is black.
Sometimes, if the mother is way past her due date then the baby can pass his first stool inside the womb. If your water breaking consists of small black lumps then the reason could be the one mentioned above.
Thrush is a yeast infection which can occur in the mouth of the babies or the nipples of the breastfeeding mother. It is a white colored growth on the nipples or tongue of babies aged below 6 months and is easily visible. Almost 50% of the population have Candida Albicans in their mouth. Thrush is caused by the overgrowth of Candida. Even though the exact reason is not known some of the contributing factors include the transfer of yeast infection during vaginal birth or transfer of infection from the mother’s nipples.
Thrust is benign and can be easily cured. However, it can lead to problems for the mother and the baby such as bleeding breasts, improper latch, fewer feedings or painful breastfeeding.
When your baby sucks on your breasts – two hormones – prolactin and oxytocin are released. Prolactin is responsible for the formation of milk ducts and oxytocin is responsible for making the ducts wider and making the milk flow from the breast to the baby’s mouth. This feeling of milk flowing down your breasts feels like a tingling sensation and is termed as let down reflex.
Let down reflex is often considered a good sign and means that your baby is getting enough.
We hope that with this article little gaps in your pregnancy know-it-all puzzle is filled and you feel much more empowered as a parent. If you have any other term of your own which you think is noteworthy to other parents reading, Jot them down in the Comments section below and help them stuff their puzzle too.