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UTIs in Pregnancy & Postpartum

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are unfortunately very common during pregnancy and postpartum. Your urinary tract includes your urethra, kidneys, and bladder. Pregnancy causes changes to the urethra, hormones, pressure on the bladder, prolapse, a weak pelvic floor, and a harder time staying clean, these are all factors that can cause infection. Pregnancy is also a state of immunocompromise, meaning you have a lowered ability to fight infections and diseases.

It’s rare that a UTI will cause problems with your pregnancy and usually, they are easy to treat. But when you’re pregnant or have a newborn, it’s the last thing you want to think about.

How Do you get a UTI?

 

These infections happen when outside bacteria get into the urethra or develop in the urinary tract. Symptoms of a UTI can include,

  • Persistent urge to urinate
  • A burning or painful sensation while using the bathroom
  • Only peeing in small amounts
  • Cloudy, red, pink, or brown colored urine
  • Bad smelling urine
  • Pelvic pain or pressure
  • Pain during sex
  • Incontinence
  • Chills, fever, nausea, vomiting

Obesity, diabetes, a weak pelvic floor, organ prolapse, age, disabilities, and injuries can also all make UTIs more common.

How to Avoid UTIs 

 

  • Drink enough fluids
  • Adopt a healthy diet
  • Go to the bathroom regularly
  • Wipe from front to back
  • Use a mild soap
  • Pee and rinse off after sex
  • Wear clean, breathable underwear
  • Don’t wear clothing that is too tight
  • Avoid long or soapy baths

UTIs while Pregnant or Breastfeeding 

 

Talk with your doctor about your UTI. UTIs are common and safe to have while pregnant and breastfeeding (not that you want them!). The important thing is making sure they don’t spread into something more serious.

Kidney infections (pyelonephritis) can happen when your UTI is not taken care of or because your urine is not being properly drained from the kidney to the bladder due to pressure from pregnancy and hormones. Pyelonephritis can cause an infection of your blood (sepsis), respiratory problems, and preterm labor if untreated.

Your doctor will prescribe antibiotics that are safe for pregnancy and breastfeeding. Make sure you take all of the doses, even if you start to feel better. Learn the signs of a UTI and do what you can to prevent them!

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Pelv-Ice Nominated as a Top Medical Company in Los Angeles by BestStartup.us

Pelv-Ice is proud to be included in Best Startup’s

top medical companies in Los Angeles for 2021!

We are passionate about creating modern and medically sound solutions for pelvic health and the health of moms. It is our honor to be added to this list with other medical companies in Los Angeles that are both innovative and have a societal impact.

Thank you to Best Startup for recognizing our work to revolutionize the standards of care for all patients!

More about Best Startup

Best Startup brings you information about cutting-edge, inventive American businesses. Companies that find breakthrough solutions to new and existing challenges can be found on a Best Startup list.

Learn More about Pelv-Ice

We work with hospitals, clinics, physical therapists, medical supply stores, individuals, and more for the health of all those that need it. Find out more about our flagship Mama Strut products here, www.mamastrut.com.

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Postpartum Health Must Haves

How will pregnancy and birth change my body? This is one of the big questions EVERYONE asks. This is a fair question because although it is a natural process, we aren’t meant to “bounce back” to the way we were before.

Having a baby changes you permanently and can leave you with side effects or injuries. In fact, some issues are so common that they are overlooked as a “necessary evil” such as incontinence (lack of control over your bladder or bowels). It’s crucial to have the right tools and know-how to navigate your postpartum period for a lifetime of health. Here are some of our top suggestions…

Access to Knowledge

 

The first thing on our list of postpartum necessities is access to knowledge. Give yourself several credible and evidence-based resources for information. There are many great books out there, or sign up for a free copy of our Hair to Toe Guide.

There you can find out what postpartum symptoms are normal, common, exist on a spectrum, or should have a doctor’s opinion.

There is no substitute for the advice of your trusted doctor. Postpartum groups, friends, and your doula can all have great insight too. Just remember, everyone’s experience is different, you are an individual with a unique body and medical history.

Physical Therapy

 

You may never look or feel like you did before pregnancy, and that’s ok! You just went through something HUGE. The important thing is to feel healthy, capable, and pain-free. Physical therapy is something to consider to help pelvic weakness, back pain, separated abdominal muscles, pelvic girdle pain, incontinence, prolapse, sexual dysfunction, and more.

Check with your insurance provider to see if they will help cover your physical therapy. If you can’t get to a physical therapist, check with your doctor to see what at-home movements or exercises are safe for you. It’s a good idea to wear a support brace to help stabilize your core and protect you from injury. Never push yourself to the point of pain. 

Pelvic Support Bracing

 

When you get hurt as an athlete, there’s a brace to help get you back in the game. There are ankle, wrist, shoulder, arm, knee, neck, and more braces! These braces can be used for compression therapy to ease pain and swelling, they support and protect the injured area, and they use what’s called optimal loading to gradually let your body do more work to return to normal function.

What about bracing for after having a baby?! We asked the same question before making the Mama Strut. Studies have shown that injuries sustained while pregnant and giving birth look similar to sports injuries. So throw away your girdles, corsets, and waist trainers. These are not built for health. The Mama Strut postpartum brace does everything the sports braces do, but it is specially designed for mamas and the issues they encounter!

Learn More

Ice and Heat Therapy

 

We won’t stop comparing athletes to mamas (because Mama, you are an athlete!). Let’s take another page out of the Sports Therapy Handbook. Ice and heat therapy has been around for centuries as an all-natural remedy to pain, swelling, and mobility problems.

Ice: Use right after giving birth (and any time after) on your perineum, abdominals, and lower back for instant pain and swelling relief. 

Heat: Use after your swelling has gone down for pain relief, better mobility in muscles and joints, and to help with muscle spasms.

The Mama Strut pelvic bracing mentioned above comes with hot and cold packs that are easily insertable between your legs, on your tummy, and your back!

Postpartum Pads

 

We all know what period bleeding is like…your postpartum bleeding is NOT that. Your bleeding will last for weeks and you may see blood clots. You can’t use tampons and normal pads don’t usually cut it. Invest in postpartum pads built to stand up to the task. These will help you feel more comfortable and dry, giving you more time to focus on your baby and other things. 

Check out Postpartum Pads

Stool Softener

 

Many mamas will feel constipated due to hormones, stretched muscles, anxiety, and vitamin supplements. It also may be painful to go to the bathroom because of tears, episiotomy, or hemorrhoids. You want to avoid straining too much at this time. A stool softener will help you pass your first movement and relieve some of the anxiety you may have about it. You should never try to hold back your bowel movements because it could end up being more uncomfortable in the end.

Getting exercise, eating right, and taking care of the area and any stitches you might have are also great ways to make things easier down there. 

Perineal Spray or Wipes

 

There are many sprays and wipes that can help cool, soothe, numb, protect, and clean anywhere between your legs that may need it. These can be especially helpful before or after you go to the bathroom. Make sure you read the ingredients list, after all, this is going on and around one of the most sensitive areas on your body!

Peri Bottle

 

“Peri” refers to your perineum (the area between your vagina and anus). The peri bottle is just a squirt bottle you use before, after, or during your trip to the bathroom. Wiping with toilet paper can cause friction, pain, and leave traces of itself behind. You will most likely be given a peri bottle at the hospital but you can find other bottles with various designs and features. Always use clean water, experiment with temperature, but don’t make it too extreme, and consider adding other safe liquids to the water like witch hazel.

 

We began by saying knowledge is key, and that is how we will end. Prepare for the postpartum period as much as you prepared for your pregnancy, your birth plan, and your baby!

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COVID-19 and Your Placenta

Your Placenta and Viruses

The placenta is one of the most important aspects in a healthy pregnancy. Your placenta will carry oxygen, nutrients, hormones and blood to your growing baby. The unwanted waste will also be flushed out through the placenta. Another major role is protecting your baby from sicknesses. The placenta is the life giving connection between you and your baby!

There are still unknowns about the placenta however. One of them is how viruses interact with it and what exactly is happening when those viruses cause problems. The outcomes of similar viral infections are known though and can include, miscarriage, preterm labor, stillbirth, fetal disease, seizures, mental disabilities and delays, and disease later in life like diabetes (Annual Review of Virology).

The Placenta and COVID-19

Reports of miscarriages, fetal distress and stillborn babies are being linked to COVID-19. According to CNBC obstetricians are reporting a rise in miscarriages since the pandemic started. They are unable to officially link this to the virus but view it as related. This is not surprising. The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reports that 40% of pregnant people with cases of MERS and SARS (both types of coronavirus) resulted in a miscarriage or effected growth.

Learning from the past and similar situations is a great way to keep ourselves safe and knowledgeable. In an article published in the Elsevier Public Health Emergency Collection, data from the 2002-2003 outbreak of SARS and MERS illustrates what can happen when infected with a virus. In pregnant SARS patients: 57% had a miscarriage in the 1st trimester, 40% had fetal growth restriction and 80% had a preterm birth, 25% died during pregnancy. In pregnant MERS patients: 91% presented with adverse outcomes, 44% of neonates required admission to the ICU, and 27% died.

Data is emerging for the new COVID-19 and its effects on pregnancy. Time will reveal more. The CDC states on their website, “A small number of other problems, such as preterm (early) birth and other problems with pregnancy and birth, have been reported in babies born to mothers who tested positive for COVID-19. We do not know if these problems were related to the virus.”

A study at Northwestern found placental injury, blood clots and abnormal blood flow in the placenta of people testing positive for COVID-19. One of the assistant professors of pathology at Northwestern says, “There’s an emerging consensus that problems with blood clotting and circulatory problems are a feature of the coronavirus, and I think our work shows there might be something clot-forming about coronavirus, and it’s happening in the placenta.”

In an article published by JAMA the details of one miscarriage related to COVID-19 are explained. A pregnant woman in her 2nd trimester with COVID symptoms took herself to the hospital. She was given acetaminophen and sent home. Two days later her symptoms did not stop and she started to experience severe contractions and a high fever. Her baby was unfortunately stillborn. The baby was not found to be infected with COVID, neither was the amniotic fluid. But when the placenta was biopsied the virus was found. The doctors could find no other reason for the stillbirth. The virus was then found in the woman’s nasopharyngeal swab.

What Can You Do?

Unfortunately the thing we keep hearing over and over is, more research needs to be done. It is understandably hard to collect data from large numbers of pregnant women, especially ones that are infected. On top of that we don’t know exactly how the virus works or how viruses in general interact with the placenta. 

Taking precautions is the very best thing you can do right now. Sanitizing, limiting social interactions, social distancing, wearing protective equipment and just all around being mindful is your best course of action.

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Fecal Transmission of COVID-19

Fecal Transmission of COVID-19

 

The outbreak of COVID-19 has everyone covering their faces, washing their hands and practicing social distancing. Those that are pregnant are even more cautious. This is wise because pregnancy weakens the immune system making you more vulnerable to sickness. One of the most concerning parts of our situation is that so little is known about the virus. This makes every precaution worth while, especially when it comes to the health of your baby.

The World Health Organization states that COVID-19 is transmitted through respiratory droplets containing the virus or the virus being suspended in the air. This is why staying away from people, facemasks and sanitising are so important. But exposure to COVID-19 isn’t limited to the routes everyone is talking about.

COVID-19 – Not Just Respiratory

 

Some patient results listed in Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology found that

those that are no longer testing positive for Coronavirus in their respiratory system are consistently still testing positive in rectal swabs. 

A study in the American Journal of Gastroenterology found that 99/204 patients stated digestive problems as their main issue (diarrhea, vomiting, nausea) resulting from their COVID-19 infection. There have even been patients that did not exhibit signs of respiratory problems that have tested positive in their rectal swab. Not all patients experience the discomfort in their stomachs either. Unfortunately that means even if you aren’t having trouble breathing or having stomach issues, you could still have the virus.

Researchers say that the virus could stay around longer in the digestive system than in the respiratory system. The City University’s Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering published that toilets can spread left behind bacteria far into the air and the surrounding objects through droplets from flushing. 

How COVID-19 reacts with the gastrointestinal tract and is spread through fecal matter and even in water are still some of the unknowns.

Pregnancy and Stomach Problems

 

The issues a normal person might face if they contract the virus are horrible. If you are pregnant, the worry of course increases. Gastrointestinal issues and pregnancy are of concern when it comes to pregnancy. A study published in the Open Forum for Infectious Diseases found that in a sample of 527 pregnant women experiencing diarrhea, a small gestational age was increased by approximately 20%.

Dehydration from diarrhea can lead to serious health complications and even be fatal for both mother and baby. Dehydration can affect how nutrients are carried throughout the body and negatively impact breast milk production. Dehydration can also lead to low levels of amniotic fluid. Amniotic fluid is essential to your baby’s development and can increase the chance for preterm labor. 

The Bottom Line

 

Nobody knows all of the facts about COVID-19. The new research being done on the virus and fecal matter illustrates that taking more safety measures is better right now. In addition to your respiratory defenses you should also be taking care in the bathroom.

  • Don’t use public restrooms

  • Wash your hands thoroughly after the bathroom

  • Put your toilet seat down when flushing

  • Clean and disinfect your bathroom and toilet often

  • Don’t hug the toilet if you’re experiencing morning sickness

 

 

 

 

References:⁣

https://www.familyeducation.com/immune-system-pregnancy-step-step-guide⁣

CDC Recommendations/Higher risk of respiratory infections: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/pregnancy-breastfeeding.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fprepare%2Fpregnancy-breastfeeding.html⁣

https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/dehydration#What-causes-dehydration?-⁣

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4161079/⁣

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41575-020-0295-7⁣

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32284613/?dopt=Abstract⁣

https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/health-environment/article/3050502/coronavirus-hong-kong-study-shows-pathogens-can⁣

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Holiday Foods to Avoid When Pregnant

Food is a big part of the holidays, but you may need to avoid some of your favorite foods during this holiday season to keep your baby safe. Your immune system is weaker right now, making you vulnerable to some food-borne illnesses that can cross into your placenta and hurt the baby, so even though it is tempting to break the pregnancy diet during the holidays, it is important to stick with it. If you are pregnant this holiday season, here are some foods you should avoid.

Undercooked Meat

You already had to give up your rare steaks and sushi, but you need to be extra cautious during the holidays to make sure any meat you eat is cooked all the way through. That big, beautiful turkey on your table needs to have an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees to make sure it is safe for you to eat.

The fancy meat tray with cured meats like salami and prosciutto should also be approached with caution. If you are preparing everything yourself, you can freeze it for four days to make sure you kill anything that can hurt the baby.

Undercooked meat has a risk of carrying toxoplasmosis, which is an infection from a parasite that can cause a miscarriage, so it is vital to the safety of your baby that you avoid any meat that may be undercooked.

Stuffing

If the stuffing was prepared inside the turkey, it is best to avoid it. Stuffing prepared outside the bird, in a pan, is perfectly safe to enjoy.

Homemade Eggnog

Even if the eggnog is not spiked, it should still be avoided. Homemade eggnog is usually made with raw or undercooked eggs, which can contain salmonella. However, while you cannot enjoy your granny’s famous eggnog, you can drink store bought eggnog, it is made with pasteurized eggs, so it is perfectly safe for you to drink.

Soft Cheeses

Cheese is another staple that you are likely to encounter during the holidays, but you should avoid soft cheeses that were made with unpasteurized milk. Unpasteurized milk can contain listeria, but the pasteurization process kills it. It is best to avoid cheeses like Brie, goat cheese, blue cheese, Havarti, gorgonzola, muenster, and others, unless you know they were pasteurized.

You can still eat cheddar, Monterey Jack, feta, swiss, and mozzarella. You can also eat cream cheese, which is often used in holiday dips.

Raw Batter

Licking the beaters when baking is something many people love to so, but since it usually contains raw eggs, it is best to avoid it this year.

Homemade Cider

If the cider is unpasteurized, you should avoid it, because it can run the risk of E. Coli. Of course, alcoholic cider should also be avoided, even if it is pasteurized.

Creams and Sauces

Caesar dressing, hollandaise sauce, and other types of sauces should be avoided if they are made with unpasteurized eggs, because the eggs in these sauces are usually raw.

But the Pie is Safe!

You can still have your big slice of pumpkin pie at the end of your holiday dinner. Pumpkin helps regulate blood sugar and it can help reduce cramps and swelling in your legs. While there are some favorites you should avoid, at least the pumpkin pie is perfectly safe to eat; just make sure your whipped cream is pasteurized.

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Prescription Opioids

These painkillers are prescribed to new mamas for anything from perineal tears to C-section incisions. The potential for developing a habit is huge and spikes every day you use them. Abuse, addiction, and even death are all part of the opioid epidemic that is spreading worldwide. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), more than 130 people die in the United States every day from an overdose of opioids. These issues don’t seem like they belong in the same place as a beautiful new family with their whole lives in front of them. Unfortunately, that’s where they are found all too often.

Between 2008 and 2016 Jama Network Open studied 300,000 women that were prescribed opioids after childbirth. Of those 300,000 new moms, 6,000 of them showed “persistent” opioid use by refilling their prescriptions beyond the average time a woman recovers from most postpartum pains. (what is the time period?) 

Misuse and addiction aside, opioids can cause a person to feel drowsy, delirious, dizzy and nauseous… all of these things are distracting and can take away from the ability to care for a baby.

(I would also add a section on how the opioids impact the baby)

INCREASED RISK

New mothers that are prescribed opioids may have never been exposed to their dangers. It’s easy to accept whatever a medical professional tells you to do. (maybe say something like they have the best intentions to manage your pain and may not be aware of safer alternatives. Also. the drug companies have been telling doctors and patients for decades that opioids are safe and non-addictive, so really the fault lies with them and not your well meaning provider) This can make things like heavy pain medication seem absolutely normal and enjoyable.

Postpartum women are especially vulnerable to misusing their pain meds. The prevalence of postpartum depression and even the “baby blues” increases the chances of substance abuse. Turning to drugs to lessen feelings of sadness or loneliness is extremely common. Developing an addiction and not dealing with mental health issues in a proper way can set a person up for a lifetime of problems. (Talk about how this crosses educational, racial and socioeconomic lines) 

Substance abuse can also come on by accident. A new mom is already tired and it sometimes can feel like the days blend together those first weeks postpartum. How easy would it be to forget how much you took or when you took it? (good point!)

MANAGING PAIN

Knowing that you will be dealing with pain postpartum can be scary. Setting up a plan to manage that pain is necessary and will set your mind at ease. Talking with your doctor about options and their risks and benefits is always a good idea. We want every mama to be as comfortable as possible after birth and that comfort doesn’t necessarily have to come from a prescription bottle. The world of sports technology has long been using pain relief approaches that do not require medication to treat athletes. Compression, support, icing, and heating are beloved methods used by professionals… so we applied this to postpartum care! Every mama’s journey is different so we encourage you to listen to your body and talk to your doctor if anything is not working for you. 

Our dream is to make every new mama happy, healthy and feeling her best – our dream is to raise the standard of postpartum care.

(Be more informative about soft tissue swelling management and how important support/compression and ice are to managing tissue trauma. I would also talk about how everyone thinks about supporting the stomach but they often forget about the most important part…the pelvic floor. Every new mama has some level of pelvic floor dysfunction, even if she had a c-section. Like how common incontinence is here in women childbearing age and older. Maybe make a comment about how young the models are in the Depends ads today. They are trying to “Normalize” it and we are trying to prevent it.

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The Postpartum Diet

After having some major food restrictions for nine months, you may be ready to begin enjoying all of your favorite food again, but there are still some nutrition needs your body will require from your postpartum body in order to fully recover; especially if you are breastfeeding.

Calories

The most important part of your postpartum diet is making sure your body gets enough calories every day. The calories and nutrients will go to your breast milk before it goes to you, so upping those calories to ensure both you and baby get enough is important. You may not be completely eating for two anymore, but you are still providing nutrients to two bodies.

Aim to consume between 300 and 500 more calories per day than you did before you were pregnant, dividing those between protein, carbs, and fat. You can always consult your doctor on exactly how many calories you should eat every day.

Protein

Protein is one of the most important things you need to have in your postpartum diet. You should try to eat at least an extra 25 grams, or five to seven servings of protein every day. This is an important nutrient to help your body recover from giving birth. It also helps promote cell growth and immune function in your baby.

Some great protein rich foods are milk, yogurt, beef, turkey, eggs, nuts, beans, fish, and tofu.

Calcium

Calcium is another vital nutrient for you and baby. Your baby needs it for their growing bones, and since your body has lower estrogen levels when you are nursing, the extra calcium can help protect your bones from osteoporosis. You should aim for about 1,000 milligrams of calcium daily, which is about three servings.

Many new mothers tend to cut dairy out if their baby is gassy, spitting up, or fussy, but you should not do that right away. The baby’s system is adjusting to life outside the womb, so it is going to take a little time before the baby’s body sorts itself out.

Iron

Iron is what helps your body make new blood cells, so if you lost a lot of blood in your delivery, this is an especially important nutrient for you. It is recommended that lactating women consume nine milligrams of iron daily.

Red meat and poultry are high in iron, and it can also be found in dark chocolate, black beans, lentils, spinach, and kale. If you are vegan, you may want to consult your doctor about a good supplement to ensure your body is getting enough iron.

Fresh Fruit and Vegetables

Fruit and vegetables are full of nutrients, but low in calories. One way that is often recommended to ensure your body gets enough fruit and vegetables is to fill half of your plate with them at every meal. Keeping them handy as snacks is also important.

You can get Vitamin C from citrus fruits, as well as bell peppers, broccoli, and snow peas. Vitamin A, another important nutrient, can be found in tomatoes, carrots, spinach, and sweet potatoes.

Stay Hydrated

While this is not a vitamin, keeping hydrated is important for your recovering body, especially if you are breastfeeding. Try to drink 10 to 15 glasses of water a day. Not only will that keep you hydrated, it will also help your body produce enough breast milk. Your body will also rebuild and regenerate faster with extra fluids.

These are just some of the basic foods you can have to keep your body healthy after giving birth. Your doctor can provide you with more detailed information based on your body and your baby’s specific needs. 

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Tea and Pregnancy: What Teas Are Safe?

Pregnancy brings with it a lot of changes for every woman, including changing your diet and giving up caffeine. Some women will exchange coffee for tea when pregnant, so they still get some caffeine, but some teas can also be harmful to consume while pregnant. These are some teas that are safe to drink and some you should avoid while pregnant.

Safe Teas

Ginger Tea

Ginger is good for easing nausea, which can help with morning sickness. It also helps with digestion, and stimulates circulation; plus, it is a good source of zinc.

Black Tea

While black tea does have caffeine in it, it can still be drunk during pregnancy, as long as you do not overdo it. Getting a decaf black tea is a good way to enjoy it; there is usually still some caffeine in decaf tea, but nowhere near as much as regular black tea has.

Lemon Balm Tea

This tea can help lower your stress and anxiety levels and help you sleep better. Lemon balm tea also helps with digestion.

Raspberry Leaf Tea

The rich mineral content in this tea can help prepare the uterus for labor. It is not recommended to drink until the second trimester though.

Raspberry leaf has an astringent effect that can help prevent postpartum hemorrhage. It also helps with breast milk production.

Green Tea

So long as you watch out for the amount of caffeine in the tea, you can safely drink green tea while pregnant.

Teas to Avoid

Chamomile Tea

Chamomile is commonly used to help ease stress and promote sleep. You can drink it while pregnant, but not regularly or in large quantities. Doctors will often recommend avoiding chamomile completely while pregnant, because it can trigger contractions, causing early labor or miscarriages.

Peppermint Tea

This is another tea you need to limit yourself on while pregnant, especially in the first trimester. Peppermint can cause some mild contractions, so there is a risk of miscarriages early in pregnancy.

Peppermint can help ease nausea, so having some on hand is a good idea, especially if ginger does not help.

Nettle Tea

This tea has conflicting opinions on whether it is safe to drink during pregnancy. Nettle leaf has high amounts of iron, calcium, and magnesium, so it is often considered safe, especially in the first trimester. However, tea made from nettle roots can lead to contractions or miscarriage. Unless you know for sure that your nettle tea is made only from the leaves, and not the roots, it is best to avoid this kind of tea altogether while pregnant.

Dandelion Leaf Tea

Dandelion is another tea that should be used with caution in pregnancy. It is high in calcium and vitamin A, and it can help reduce swelling during pregnancy. However, it is a diuretic, so it should be drunk with caution during pregnancy.

Licorice Tea

Licorice contains estrogen, so consuming it during pregnancy has the potential to lead to premature birth or anomalies in the fetus.

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A Rainbow After Loss

Rainbows remind us that there is hope and beauty after a storm. It is no wonder why the term rainbow baby is used for babies born after a miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss. It is fitting that meteorologist Dylan Dreyer publicly announce that her recent pregnancy is going to give her a lovely rainbow baby!

The pain and grief that comes with her loss took another emotional toll when she had to hide it. Dylan reveals, “I’m devastated, and I have to go to work on the ‘Today’ show and be happy and smiling and pretend like nothing’s wrong.”

Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and Montefiore Health System, found that feelings of guilt and shame are prevalent with men and women that have experienced this type of loss. Out of 1,000 US adults surveyed, 47% reported feeling guilty, 41% felt they had done something wrong, 41% reported feeling alone and 28% reported feeling ashamed. Only 45% felt they had received enough emotional support from the medical community.

We applaud Dylan for acknowledging this devastating event and speaking to the fact that everyone’s situation and feelings are valid and can coexist. She says, “My sadness doesn’t take away from anyone else’s happiness and my sadness isn’t minimized because someone else has a sadder situation.”

28% of those surveyed that had suffered a miscarriage said that celebrities’ speaking about their loss had lessened their feelings of isolation, 46% said they weren’t as lonely when friends told them about their own miscarriages.

“…miscarriage is very common but rarely discussed, many women and couples feel very isolated and alone after suffering a miscarriage. We need to better educate people about miscarriage, which could help reduce the shame and stigma associated with it,” said Dr. Williams. “We want people who experience miscarriage to know that they’re not alone—that miscarriages are all too common and that tests are available to help them learn what caused their miscarriage and hopefully to help them in subsequent pregnancies.”

A storm leaves droplets of water that act like tiny prisms to reflect pieces of light into something magnificent. Your unique story of pain is like those millions of raindrops that can refract a brilliant light in the world – no matter if you are creating your own rainbow or easing the effects of the storm for someone else.

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