Natural Pregnancy — Prenatal Care


Prenatal Testing and Ultrasound 0

prenatal testing and ultrasoundAuthor: Mandy Robinson With advances in technology, even if there was a problem with the prenatal development of your baby, doctors are able to respond sooner. This is all made possible due to technologies such as prenatal testing and ultrasound. It is a common misconception that pregnancy testing takes place only once, at the beginning of your pregnancy. Nothing could be further from the truth - from ultrasounds to blood tests, you will be bombarded with test after test up until even the very morning of your delivery date. 1. Primary Testing Quite a lot of blood work is performed initially for various reasons including whether you are Rh negative or positive, your immunity to viruses such as rubella, and whether you have a more serious condition such as hepatitis B, or HIV. At this initial visit you will also receive a physical and internal examination to check your capability for giving birth, and if necessary, a PAP smear. 2. Ultrasound Ultrasound, unfortunately, is not merely a tool that allows the mother to see her child before it is born, or to determine the sex of the child prior to childbirth. The real purpose of an ultrasound is to detect fetal development problems in advance or to pinpoint potential delivery problems such as placenta previa. Don't worry, however, this is actually a routine procedure carried out at 18 weeks for all pregnant women. Ultrasounds can:
  • Determine early the gender of the baby
  • Measure the placenta
  • Check embryonic fluid composition
  • Ensure the umbilical cord is not causing any complications
  • Ensure there is no internal bleeding
3. Gestational Diabetes Testing for gestational diabetes is carried out on all pregnant women during their second trimester. This primarily involves fasting until the test, then drinking a special glucose drink, waiting a specified period of time and then checking the blood sugar level with a simple finger prick blood test. If the blood sugar levels are off the charts then you will have to go for additional blood testing at a later date. 4. Amniocentesis You are only eligible for this level of testing if you are over 35 years of age or if you have a medical history in your family such as Down's syndrome. Usually carried out between 14 and 20 weeks of pregnancy, there is a slight risk of miscarriage as a result of this test so it is not compulsory. 5. Chorionic Villus Sampling The most feared and invasive of all pregnancy tests, this is an exhausting test for a woman to endure. Carried out between weeks 10 and 13 of pregnancy. This test is only carried out when there is an absolutely urgent need to determine the health status of the baby. About the author: For more great pregnancy related articles and resources check out Sheryl's comment: Please do not assume that just because these tests are routine that they are safe. They are certainly not natural. If you love your child with your whole heart and there is no way you would terminate your pregnancy despite Down's syndrome or some other condition, then refuse the CVS or the amniocentisis (unless you are really concerned about your OBGYN's Mercedes payment).   Image Source:

Caring for Your Teeth and Gums While Pregnant 24

If you are pregnant, it is vital to pay close attention to your oral hygiene. Due to increases in pregnancy hormones, the likelihood of gum disease also increases. When a woman is pregnant, hormonal changes occur pretty rapidly in a woman's body. And since hormones travel throughout a woman's body through the bloodstream, it only makes sense that the jaws and the oral structures also receive a healthy dose of hormones. This can result in an increase incidence of gum disease, especially if the pregnant woman does not take the necessary precautions to prevent the bacteria from building up. If you have gum disease before you became pregnant, it is more likely it can get more severe if you become pregnant. The reason for this is multi-factorial. One reason for this is that the pregnant mother easily neglect their oral hygiene. With all the excitement of expecting a new child, thoroughly cleaning their teeth and gums is not a priority. These women neglect their flossing and brushing when it is more important to pay more attention to them. In addition to the distractions, pregnant women also fail to realize that their hormones affect their gums. In fact, in one study, they found that more severe periodontal disease poses additional threat to pregnant diabetics. Finally, poor nutrition can play a significant role during pregnancy especially during the first trimester when you feel sick and not likely eating the most nutritious foods. Eating the right foods and maintaining a proper nutrition is not only good for your baby but also good to maintain healthy gums. If you are pregnant, here are some tips for caring for your teeth and gums while pregnant that you can use today to help prevent gum disease from sneaking up on you and your baby.
  • Brush and Floss. Just because you are pregnant does not mean you can neglect your smile. Be sure to brush and floss your teeth at least once daily.
  • Make sure to include in your diet foods that are rich in proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and fats.
  • It is also important for you to drink lots of water.
  • Consume or supplement with Folic Acid. Folic acid is also very important in your diet. Folic acid is usually found in green leafy vegetables, beans, peas, bell peppers, and nuts.
  • You also need to take plenty of diary products because these food groups are rich in calcium. Pregnant women need more calcium intake because their baby usually takes their calcium nutrients, which leaves them to lack calcium for their own body nutrients.
So, if you are pregnant you should not only think of your growing baby inside you, you should also take care of yourself. Maintaining a balanced diet, proper nutrition, and excellent oral hygiene will save you from any surprises and damaging gum diseases. Auhor: Dr. Marvin Pantangco About the author: Marvin Pantangco, DDS, the Leading Internet Dental Advisor, invites you to visit the high-traffic dental advice website and learn all you need to know about your smile. Sign up for our Free Newsletter where you will receive valuable tips on keeping your smile healthy and naturally beautiful. Also visit for more information on cosmetic dentistry. Image Source: