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Pregnancy Quote:

“Making the decision to have a baby is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”  – Elizabeth Stone

 

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Size of Fetus at Eight Months:

At the end of 8 months, your baby will be approximately
18 inches long or the size of a pumpkin.

 

Back Pain During Pregnancy

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Did you know that about 50 to 70 percent of pregnant women experience back pain?

Common causes include fluctuating hormones, your shifting center of gravity, weight gain, poor posture, and stress.1

7 Tips to Help Ease Back Pain During Pregnancy

The Mayo Clinic offers the following tips:  

  1. Practice good posture when sitting and standing
  2. Get the right gear, including low-heeled shoes and a maternity support belt
  3. If you have to lift something, remember to squat down and lift with your legs
  4. Sleep on your side, with one or both knees bent
  5. Try a heating pad, a cold pack, or a massage
  6. Add light physical activity to your daily routine
  7. Consider complementary therapies, such as acupuncture or chiropractic treatment, just check with your healthcare provider first2

According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), contact your healthcare provider if the pain is severe or if it lasts more than two weeks. See your healthcare provider immediately if your back pain is accompanied by fever, burning during urination, or vaginal bleeding.3

 


 

 Nutrient Spotlight: Vitamin D 

What you need to know

What is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is known as “the sunshine vitamin” because it is created naturally by the body when skin is exposed to the sun’s UV rays.

The importance of Vitamin D

Vitamin D may help minimize the risk of preeclampsia4; support healthy birth weight, postnatal bone growth and strength, and immune function4; and support positive pregnancy rates in women undergoing IVF.Increased calcium demands during the third trimester of pregnancy make sustaining vitamin D levels even more important for maternal health, as vitamin D enhances the absorption of calcium into the body.4

Are you getting enough?

An estimated 5-29% of pregnant women in the U.S. may have inadequate levels of vitamin D, with higher prevalence among African American women.6

Your healthcare provider can check your vitamin D levels to determine if you are deficient and suggest how much you may need during pregnancy. You can also obtain vitamin D from certain foods including oily fish (salmon, trout, and sardines), dark leafy greens, and fortified foods (cereals, grains, milk, and dairy products). 

 


 

Normal to Experience:

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Shortness of breath

Being short of breath is quite normal during your eighth month of pregnancy. This is due in part to rising levels in the hormone progesterone, which stimulates the respiratory center in your brain, affecting lung function. During this time, you may also experience excess pressure on your diaphragm and lungs due to your expanding baby bump. The March of Dimes offers the following tips to breathe easier.

  • Sit or stand up straight. These positions give your lungs more room to expand.
  • Slow down. When you move more slowly, you lessen the work of your heart and lungs.
  • Lift your arms over your head. By taking pressure off your rib cage, you can breathe in more air.
  • Sleep propped up. To put less pressure on your lungs, prop up your upper body with pillows.7

 


 

Watch Out for:

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Acne

Acne flare-ups during pregnancy are due to fluctuating hormones that trigger skin’s oil (sebum) production, resulting in blocked pores, inflammation, and irritation.   

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends:

  •    Washing your face twice daily with a mild cleanser and lukewarm water
  •    Shampooing your hair daily if it is oily and try to keep it off your face
  •    Avoid picking or squeezing your acne to lessen possible scarring
  •    Choosing oil-free cosmetics8

If none of these suggestions work, ask your healthcare provider about new options that might be right for you.

 


 

 

This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. You should always consult your healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for your own situation.

References:

  1. Back Pain During Pregnancy: Causes, Treatment and Prevention. Back Pain During Pregnancy. American Pregnancy Association.
  2. Pregnancy Week by Week. The Mayo Clinic.
    http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/pregnancy/art-20046080?pg=2
  3. Frequently Asked Questions. Back Pain During Pregnancy. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Back-Pain-During-Pregnancy#contact
  4. Mulligan M, Felton SK, Riek AE, et al. Implications of Vitamin D Deficiency in Pregnancy and Lactation. Am J Obstet, May 2010:202(5): 429.e1-429.e9.
  5. Paffoni A, Ferrari S, Vigano P, et al. Vitamin D Deficiency and Infertility: Insights From in vitro Fertilization Cycles. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 2014; jc.2014-1802 DOI: 10.1210/jc.2014-1802.
  6. Brannon PM1, Picciano MF. Vitamin D in pregnancy and lactation in humans. Annu Rev Nutr, 2011 Aug 21;31:89-115. doi: 10.1146/annurev.nutr.012809.104807.
  7. Shortness of Breath. The March of Dimes. http://www.marchofdimes.org/complications/shortness-of-breath.aspx
  8. Skin Conditions During Pregnancy: What are some of the common skin changes that occur during pregnancy? http://www.acog.org/

 

 

Month Eight

06/20/2016 - Contributed by: