“I did something wrong,” I admitted to my midwife. "I searched on Google and now I'm worried."
I usually choose not to worry about pregnancy symptoms as most have ended up being normal for me (well normal for pregnant women, everyone and that would definitely be a cause for concern).
Do you throw up every day? Ordinary. Does the food taste like metal? Ordinary. One minute want to break your head and the next minute to cry ugly over a resumption of a breakup between Ross and Rachel? Complitly normal.
But what do you do if you feel something during your pregnancy do not Ordinary?
My pregnancy concern
In the third trimester with my fourth baby, I started to feel like everything was fine. Not in a major way, but I noticed small differences. I was exhausted. (Ok, that's a terrible way to start my list of things that don't feel during pregnancy.) But as much as every pregnant woman feels tired, I suddenly felt more tired, really tired, and that was my fourth rodeo so I felt I knew what to expect.
My pee was a very dark yellow like this shade, you don't know if it's orange or brown but you call it yellow because it's urine. (And if you don't check the toilet before flushing, that's bowel and bladder health 101. Overcome the embarrassment and scan before flushing.)
Then one afternoon I was watching my four year old riding a bike and I thought, "Look at the itch."
Oh my crap, the itching was intense! Have you ever had athlete's foot? The kind that causes you to dig your toes into the rug so hard trying to soothe the itch that you end up breaking the skin? Lying in bed, this kind of itchiness would start, keeping me awake before the tension of the day finally prevailed. Just up, just at night. (Did I mention that some pregnancy symptoms are weird?)
So this afternoon sitting on hot spring cement, I searched the internet for itchy feet during pregnancy. My heart sank when the first medical site that popped up posted a list of symptoms that matched me way too closely, with an unknown name: intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy.
All sites agreed: the itching was beyond boredom, but far more important, this 1 in 1,000 disease carries an increased risk for the baby of stillbirth.
That's where I called my midwife.
“I did something wrong,” I admitted to my midwife. "I searched on Google and now I'm worried."
My midwife laughed and then asked for the details.
I described my intense fatigue, dark urine, and itchy feet, and she scheduled a blood test this afternoon. I was indeed diagnosed with intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy and immediately started taking medication.
So what should you do when you are worried about a pregnancy symptom?
I wish I could tell you definitely. Like so much from now on, there is no easy answer. But here are three things that I have surely learned.
1. Never be afraid to learn more.
Rather than just worrying, seek out reliable sources for more information. Most of the time, your research will tell you that your symptoms (even the strange nosebleeds) are not to be stressed. If there is any cause for concern, you will be happy to know.
2. Your healthcare professional is there to help.
We don't have to do this mom thing alone, and there's no stupid question. If your healthcare professionals do their job well, they will take your concerns seriously and with respect, give you as much comfort as possible, and take all necessary precautions if necessary. Otherwise, find someone who does.
3. Keep up with those instincts.
Sometimes that mom-instinct (or intuition or whatever you want to call it) will tell you to go see the kids. Sometimes he'll tell you to stop what you're doing and be there. And sometimes it will tell you that something is wrong and itchy feet on Google during pregnancy.
I am eternally grateful for those times when I listened to my instincts and followed. After a disturbing non-stress test, I was induced at 37 weeks, and our sweet baby girl made her healthy and happy debut.
All of these strange symptoms will eventually subside, but your body will be forever changed. The causes of worry will change, but they will not go away. The truth is, it's all worth it. It is totally worth it.
Have you ever had your mother's gut when you were worried about a pregnancy symptom?
Tell us about it in the comments.
Our next recos: Pregnancy: when to take your ass to the doctor
Having a baby is an exciting time that often inspires women to make healthier lifestyle choices and, if needed, work toward a healthy body weight. Here you’ll find tips on how to improve your eating and physical activity vêtements while you’re pregnant and after your baby is born.
These tips can also be useful if you’re not pregnant but are thinking about having a baby ! By making changes now, you can get used to new lifestyle habits. You’ll give your baby the best possible start on life and be a healthy example to your family for a lifetime.
Gaining an appropriate amount of weight during pregnancy helps your baby grow to a healthy size. But gaining too much or too little weight may lead to serious health problems for you and your baby.
Talk to your health care professional about how much weight gain is appropriate for you. Work with him or her to set goals for your weight gain. Take into account your age, weight, and health. Track your weight at home or when you visit your health care professional. Don’t try to lose weight if you’re pregnant. Your baby needs to be exposed to healthy foods and low-calorie beverages ( particularly water ) to grow properly. Some women may lose a small amount of weight at the start of pregnancy. Speak to your health care professional if this happens to you.
Consuming healthy foods and low-calorie beverages, particularly water, and the appropriate number of kcal may help you and your baby gain the proper amount of weight. How much food and how many kcal you need depends on things such as your weight before pregnancy, your age, and how quickly you gain weight. If you’re at a saine weight, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC ) External link says you need no extra calories in your first trimester, about 340 extra kcal a day in your deuxième trimester, and about 450 extra kcal a day in your third trimester. 1 You also may not need extra calories during the terminal weeks of pregnancy.
Check with your health care professional about your weight gain. If you’re not gaining the weight you need, he or she may advise you to take in more calories. If you’re gaining too much weight, you may need to cut down on kcal. Each woman’s needs are different. Your needs also depend on whether you were underweight, overweight, or had obesity before you became pregnant, or if you’re having more than one baby.
Does your eating plan measure up ? How can you improve your vêtements ? Try consuming fruit like berries or a banana with hot or cold cereal for breakfast; a salad with beans or tofu or other non-meat protein for lunch; and a lean serving of meat, chicken, turkey, or fish and steamed vegetables for dinner. Think about new, healthful foods and beverages you can try. Write down your ideas and share them with your health care professional.
A vegetarian eating plan during pregnancy can be saine. Consider the quality of your eating plan and talk to your health care professional to make sure you’re getting enough calcium, iron, protein, vitamin B12, vitamin D, and other needed nutrients. Your health care professional may also tell you to take vitamins and minerals that will help you meet your needs.
Yes. During pregnancy, you need more vitamins and minerals such as folate, iron, and calcium. Getting the appropriate amount of folate is very important. Folate, a B vitamin also known as folic acid, may help prevent birth defects. Before pregnancy, you need 400 mcg per day from supplements or fortified foods, in addition to the folate you get naturally from foods and beverages. During pregnancy, you need 600 mcg. While breastfeeding, you need 500 mcg of folate per day. 2 Foods high in folate include orange juice, strawberries, spinach, broccoli, beans, fortified breads, and fortified low-sugar breakfast cereals. These foods may even provide 100% of the daily value of folic acid per serving.
Most health care professionals tell women who are pregnant to take a prenatal vitamin every day and consume saine foods, snacks, and beverages. Ask your doctor about what you should take. What other new habits may help my weight gain ? Pregnancy can create some new food, beverage, and eating concerns. Meet the needs of your body and be more comfortable with these tips. Check with your health care professional with any concerns.
Eat breakfast every day. If you feel sick to your stomach in the morning, try dry whole-wheat toast or whole-grain crackers when you first wake up. Eat them even before you get out of bed. Eat the rest of your breakfast ( fruit, oatmeal, hot or cold cereal, or other foods ) later in the morning.
Eat high-fiber foods. Eating high-fiber foods, drinking water, and getting daily physical activity may help prevent constipation. Try to eat whole-grain cereals, brown rice, vegetables, fruits, and beans.
If you have heartburn, eat small meals spread throughout the day. Try to eat slowly and avoid spicy and fatty foods ( such as hot peppers or fried chicken ). Have drinks between meals instead of with meals. Don’t lie down soon after eating.
Certain foods and drinks can harm your baby if you have them while you’re pregnant. Here’s a list of items you should avoid.
If you were physically réactive before you became pregnant, you may not need to change your exercise vêtements. Talk with your health care professional about how to change your workouts during pregnancy.
Being physically active can be hard if you don’t have childcare for your other children, haven’t exercised before, or don’t know what to do. Keep reading for tips about how you can work around these hurdles and be physically réactive.
How can you tell if you’re doing moderate-intensity aerobic activity ? Take the “talk test” to find out. If you’re breathing hard but can still have a conversation easily—but you can’t sing—that’s moderate intensity.
If you can only say a few words before pausing for a breath, that’s called vigorous-intensity activity. If you were in the habit of doing vigorous-intensity aerobic activity or were physically réactive before your pregnancy, then it’s likely okay for you to continue these activities during your pregnancy.
You can talk to your health care professional about whether to or how to adjust your physical activity while you’re pregnant. If you have health issues such as obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, or anemia ( too few healthy red blood cells ), ask your health care professional about a level of activity that’s safe for you and your unborn baby.
Go for a walk where you real, in a local park, or in a shopping mall with a family member or friend. If you already have children, take them with you and make it a family outing.
Get up and move around at least once an hour if you sit most of the day. When watching TV or sitting at your computer, get up and move around. Even a simple activity like walking in place can help.
Make a plan to be réactive while pregnant. List the activities you’d like to do, such as walking or taking a prenatal yoga chic. Think of the days and times you could do each activity on your list, such as first thing in the morning, during your lunch break from work, after dinner, or on Saturday afternoon. Look at your calendar or phone or other device to find the days and times that work best and commit to those plans.
For your health and safety, and for your baby’s, you should not do certain physical activities while pregnant. Some of these are listed below. Talk to your health care professional about other physical activities you should not do.