1. Hi Tori! I had a m/c in 9/7/09. I was 11 wks and 4 days pregnant. My question is: is lifting heavy patients (in nsg home) ranging 100 lbs- 300lbs could possibly be the cause of my m/c? I had a previous m/c 2 1/2 yrs ago. I asked my OB if i have any limitation at work now that i am pregnant again and she said none. I didnt have any prob during my pregnancy…no d/c or anything…except when i strain to assist bariatric patients to stand…i would leak little amt of fluid..i know its not urine…it was clear, no odor. didnt pay attn to it until fri 9/6/09 when we assisted a 300lb lady to stand..i leaked more than usual..still not enough to saturate my undies, however, i felt minimal cramping and it lasted overnight. come morning i saw bld when i urinated. then it would stop and then more bld came out when i tried to do anything in standing so i decided to lie down and propped my feet up. After awhile, i felt like i peed and fluid gushed out (saturated my undies) then blood and more blood..with cramps…that got severe as time goes by. went to ER and had a m/c again.

    • Hi Maria, I am so sorry that you had a miscarriage in September. Please let me reassure you that absolutely nothing you did caused it to happen. I am so often asked this and it is a completely natural question to wonder.

      It is possible that your amniotic sac had a slight tear in it for a time before you miscarried but it was due to there being a problem with the pregnancy itself, not the fact that you lift patients in your work. Our bodies are designed to handle the physical work we do, even during pregnancy. Such things as physical activities, lifting, even emotional upset, do not cause a miscarriage. Often, if a woman has two successive miscarriages her doctor may suggest some additional testing to be sure that there is not a hormonal or physiological cause. You may want to ask your doctor if she thinks you should have any additional testing done.

      I wish you all the best in growing your family.

  2. nan

    Tori –

    I have just completed my 27th week of pregnancy and I have PUPPP. Is it recommended that I receive the H1N1 vaccine? Will there be any side effect due to the PUPPP? Thanks very much.

    • Nan, I am so sorry you are experiencing the discomfort of PUPPP. PUPPP stands for pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy and most commonly occurs in abdominal stretch marks but can also occur on the buttocks, thighs, and arms. As you know, PUPPP is itchy, itchy, and itchier. Its cause is unknown, but PUPPP is not a serious condition; it poses no danger to you or your baby. It lasts about six weeks, on average, and disappears within two weeks after birth. It generally doesn’t recur, even in subsequent pregnancies.

      To lessen the itching, you can try taking oatmeal baths or use an over-the-counter anti-itch cream containing 1 percent hydrocortisone. If this doesn’t help, your doctor or midwife may suggest an antihistamine or, if the itching is very severe, a corticosteroid.

      Yes, you should absolutely receive the H1N1 (swine flu) vaccine? Please read more information about this herein one of my recent blog posts. There is no contraindication in taking the vaccine with also having PUPPP. Please check with your practitioner about what they recommend.

  3. Tori, i feel like I’m taking on the world. I am 7 months, going to be 8 months pregnant and i feel like I am doing everything for everybody. Should i feel this way or is it just something I am worrying too much about?

    • Hi Trisheena, I am so sorry that you feel as though you are being pulled in so many directions. I am not sure if you have other children or if this is your first baby but your body is working very hard in growing your baby. Pregnancy is a time to care for yourself as much as possible. It is important to get enough rest, to eat properly and to prepare for your new arrival.

      This is the time to share with those around you the importance of this and to not overwork or over-stress yourself. I suspect you are pretty tired and asking for help may allow you to slow down enough not to feel as though you are taking on the world.

  4. I am 9 weeks according to my last period and I am starting to show already … I have 3 other children and am a little older with this one (36). I feel like I’m very bloated up high, just under my breast and it gets really hard sometimes and hurts. Is there something wrong ? I know I’m feeling very anxious about this pregnancy due to the fact that I am alot older than with the other 3. Is it just me being a worrier or should I be concerned about the odd way that I’m feeling ?

    • Crystal, Thanks very much for your question. How you are feeling is very normal. With each baby that you have your uterus and skin become more relaxed and stretchier. This is what causes you to “show” earlier than you may have with your other children. Please know that there is no reason for you to be anxious about this pregnancy.

      Although you are older than with your others, you are certainly quite young. I have no doubt that your life is very busy with three children. Please try to take good care of yourself; eat healthy foods and rest as you need to.

  5. I having a hard time deciding on whether or not to cont with my pregnacy. I am only about 6 1/2 weeks long. I’m about to be 33 years old and currently have no children. My partner is leaning more towards me not continueing but I am thinking I would like to be a mom. All the circumstances would say not have the baby: finacially, early into relationship w/ my partner, and just a bad ecomony in general. I feel very confused on my feeling about which choice I should make. Any advice…

    • T Fort, Thank you for your question. Deciding whether or not to have children is such a personal choice, it is impossible for me to offer you advice. This is a very serious topic for you and your partner to work through. You may find Planned Parenthood to be a good source of more information. I wish you all the best.

  6. My husband and I are starting to try for our 2nd baby. We currently have a 2 year old. My question is whether or not we should wait until I get the swine flu vaccine or if we should continue to try? Also, what trimester is safest to receive the vaccine, if I do become pregnant before getting the vaccine? Thanks for your insight!

    • Hi Candice, Thanks for your great question and I wish you much happiness on expanding your family.

      It is perfectly fine to keep trying for your second baby, even before you receive the vaccine. The vaccine (shot) is a killed version of the virus so you are not at risk for becoming ill with it. The nasal drop version of the vaccine is a live virus and you should not receive that one at any time during pregnancy or while you are trying to conceive. It is safe to receive the H1N1 (Swine flu) vaccine during any trimester of pregnancy. I do recommend that you get the vaccine as soon as possible, when it becomes available.

      If you haven’t already, please take a look at my Sept.24th blog post specifically on the H1N1 vaccine. I wish you all the best.

  7. My wife is 24 weeks pregnant with twin girls. She is 41 years old, and we have a 3-year-old boy through natural conception. The twins were conceived through in-vitro fertilization.

    My question is this: My wife is very depressed and anxious, and her obstetrician has prescribed Ativan, in what he describes as a very low dose. Is this common, and is it safe? My wife’s family has said that she should just “snap out of it.” How can I deal with them, and how can I assure her that she will be okay? Prior to this pregnancy, she never had these kinds of problems.

    • Depression or anxiety before, during, or after pregnancy is a real medical condition that can happen to any woman, for a wide variety of reasons. Your wife might be feeling extremely overwhelmed at having twins when she already has a young child. Also, the powerful pregnancy hormones her body is producing may be causing major mood changes.

      Ativan, or lorazepam, is an antianxiety drug often used briefly in pregnancy. Especially if the dose is low, the benefits probably outweigh the risks. I strongly suggest, however, that your wife ask her obstetrician for a referral to a mentalhealth professional, who will have more expertise in current treatments for depression and anxiety. Talking with another woman who has experienced depression during pregnancy or after birth might be very helpful for your wife as well. As for your wife’s family, you can tell them that a person can’t just “snap out” of depression and that the condition can be life threatening. Remind them that your wife is under a doctor’s care, and assure them that she is being helped.

  8. My husband and I are transforming our spare room into a nursery. I will need to do a lot of lifting, although it won’t necessarily be heavy. Is it safe to do this? Will there come a time when it is no longer okay?

    • There is no time when lifting is absolutely safe or unsafe. If you aren’t under any medical limitations, you can follow these guidelines. During the first trimester, you can do whatever you did before your pregnancy. For example, if you were comfortably able to lift 30 pounds before, then you could still do so, unless you are feeling too fatigued. Good body mechanics and back-saving techniques are always important: Bend at the knees rather than the waist to lift a heavy object. During the second trimester, you will probably feel more energetic, so this may be the best time for projects such as rearranging the furniture and decorating. You can lift things carefully, keeping in mind that your center of gravity has changed and that you will be less balanced in certain positions. I recommend against lifting any amount of weight that causes you to strain. During your third trimester, it is best to leave the lifting to others. You need to reserve your energy and strength, and at this stage, it is much more difficult to maintain balance when lifting. If you must lift something heavy, have another person help you, and never lift more than you comfortably can.

      If you are going to be moving into a new home or renovating the current one, it’s best to get resettled a couple of months before the baby arrives. If you must take on a physically demanding project in late pregnancy, obtain as much help as you can get. You might invite over a group of friends, supply the pizza and sodas or beer, and have a party while getting the heavy work done. This can make for some happy memories after the baby is born.

  9. I am 25 weeks pregnant, and sometimes I feel my baby move very little or not at all. Other times, he seems to move constantly. Is this normal? How do I know that he is okay?

    • Babies have activity cycles just as we do. They can be more active or less so at different times of the day. Within an hour, they will have, on average, one 20-minute sleep cycle. They move more during the hour or so after Mom has eaten a meal, in response to the rise in her blood sugar. You may notice a few more punches, rolls, or kicks during that time.

      Many women say that they feel their babies move the most at night. This could be because the baby starts moving when you stop or because you simply notice the baby’s movements more when you slow down.

  10. I’m having a minor panic attack! I have just been prescribed full bed rest and Brethine because of preterm labor. My doctor assured me that this is an appropriate, safe medication, but someone on an e-mail list told me that Brethine is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use by pregnant women, and that it causes all kinds of problems in the baby, especially gastrointestinal.

    Is this true? Now I don’t know what to think, and I’m terrified that my baby might be harmed by this medication.

    Please help!

    • Brethine, also known by its generic name terbutaline, is a medication used primarily to treat asthma. It has also been found to be highly effective in stopping preterm uterine contractions. It works on asthma by relaxing the muscles of the lungs; for preterm labor, it has a similar effect on the muscles of the uterus. This drug does have side effects: It speeds up the mother’s and baby’s heart rates, and it can cause nausea, flushing, and nervousness. These symptoms generally are bothersome for the first few days only. Rarely are severe complications seen.

      You are correct that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved this drug for pregnancy, but FDA approval for medications takes many years. This medication, like many others, has been used in Europe for preterm labor for years. Studies have shown no increased incidence of short- or long-term developmental problems in children whose mothers were given terbutaline in pregnancy. Whenever the use of medication is considered, it is important to weigh the benefits against the risks. Premature birth can cause a baby significantly more complications than can taking this medication to delay the birth. Always remember to have your practitioner validate medical information that you hear from friends, relatives, or people you encounter on the Internet. Inaccurate information can bring more worry than help.

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About Tori Kropp

Tori Kropp

Known as "the Dear Abby of pregnancy," Tori has been interviewed on national television and radio and in national print publications, including CNN, The Wall Street Journal, New York Post, Washington Times, Atlanta Journal Constitution and Chicago Sun-Times.

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