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Is shape wear safe for pregnant women?

November 26, 2017 Pavel Anyukov 0

Shape wear or body shapers is worn to create an illusion of a curvy waist and a flat stomach and perhaps an hourglass figure. Corsets and shape wear have a considerably long history and what we get to see is the result of a series of changes that this segment of fashion apparels for women have gone through over the last several decades, in terms of sizes, shapes and fabric. Though shape wear primarily focuses on women, of late men are also taking some fancy towards this space.

Shape wear temporarily alters the shape of the body of the one who is wearing it and is worn under apparel. Shape wear compresses and hardens bulgy and flabby areas of the body giving the desired shape to the body of the individual using this. During the Victorian days, shape wear used to be made out of cotton, fine fabric and linen apart from silk and satin. Harder materials like iron wires were also employed to make what was known as corsets. These materials could crush the ribs and at times even internal organs impacting the expansion of the lungs during breathing. However, manufacturers claim that modern shape wear like B Free’s strapless shapewear range is made of breathable and skin-friendly material making them more comfortable when selected and worn properly.

Pregnancy and shape wear

A series of changes to your size and shape occurs to a woman’s body throughout the pregnancy and post-birthing. Some of these changes can be rapid and can happen even overnight. Imagine waking up in the morning and being unable to button up the pants in which you slept. Some clothes can be uncomfortably tight and they can exercise pressure on some parts of the body. There is no medical evidence to show that wearing tight clothing impacts the health of a pregnant woman.

However, potential health concerns from wearing tight clothing include the following:

Heartburn

Acid reflux or heartburn is a common discomfort that occurs during pregnancy. Increased progesterone impacting the digestive process has been attributed in part to tight clothing worn around the waist. When the contents of the stomach stay longer there, on account of the slowness of the digestive system, there is a risk of the content moving upward and causing heartburn. The three constituents that will add pressure to the abdomen are the baby, the growing uterus and amniotic sac. Tight clothing around your waist only adds to this pressure.

Yeast infection

Vaginal secretions increase during pregnancy. Tight or unbreathable clothing further enhances the potential for yeast infections because tight underwear creates a perfect environment for the excessive production of yeast.

Pain

Tight clothing can trigger pain in several areas of your body, particularly during pregnancy and can include the chest, abdomen and arms. The bra size for a pregnant woman can increase in terms of the elastic around as well as the cup. When the bras are tight fitting, it can cause pain in the back, underarms and the breast itself. When such clothing is worn at work or activities outside the home, the only option before pregnant women would be to suffer the pain till they get back home and change into more comfortable clothing. Further, for those who continue to use such tight bras even during the third trimester, the milk ducts can potentially become clogged even before breastfeeding starts.

Reduced blood circulation

Ideally, oxygen intake and blood circulation should be at their best, particularly for pregnant women. Tight clothing contributes to slowing down of blood circulation. During early pregnancy, the blood vessels in a pregnant woman expand to allow free flow of an increased volume of blood essential for the baby and the placenta. Before the increase in blood volume starts, pregnant women may also experience low blood pressure or hypotension. Standing up quickly from a lying, sitting, or kneeling position could be an indication of this. If you are also wearing tight clothing on such occasions, then blood circulation to various body parts like the limbs, thighs and arms could be restricted or even cut off creating a tingling sensation or numbness.

Depending on individual circumstances, there can be other potential health hazards from wearing shape wear during pregnancy. When you explore the medical world and pregnancy-related websites, you will notice that most of them advocate wearing loose-fitting clothing throughout pregnancy. A major reason behind is that a pregnant woman already has a series of other challenges like enhanced hormonal activities, balancing herself, palpitation, difficulty coping with nutritional necessities and more. Adding more potential discomfort from shape wear should, therefore, lie in the realm of one’s personal choice. Most pregnant women would also agree that once the pregnancy is confirmed, the focus shifts to the well being of the foetus and measures that the mother to-be needs to take to ensure that. Obviously, this includes her own well being and anything that can even remotely hinder that is best avoided.

Shape wear is a temporary support

What shape wear does is only to provide a temporary support, though it has become an undergarment of choice for brides, celebrities and all women who want to enhance the way they look. It generally provides a compressed and slim appearance of the hips, thighs, buttocks and waist. Having understood the health risks associated with shape wear during pregnancy, whether to opt for this kind of undergarments would fall entirely in the realm of personal preferences. However, during the post pregnancy period, some moms may find the shape wear products helpful, particularly with regard to controlling their waistline. Considering that shape wear sits tightly in very close proximity to your skin, you may also want to ensure that the fabric used in the shape wear is suitable for your skin and more importantly that it can breathe. Remember that even in the post-pregnancy period, you have plenty of physical activity in terms of looking after your baby. Would you be comfortable with shape wear all through those physically demanding activities?

slim woman

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Dealing with multiple pregnancies – Here is what you should know

September 11, 2017 Pavel Anyukov 0

Multiple pregnancies refer to instances where a pregnancy has more than a single live foetus. The most common cause of multiple pregnancies is the use of IVF treatments or fertility drugs, but can also occur from natural conception. Since the mother is called upon to care for the well being all the babies in the pregnancy, complications can arise and often this can lead to issues like high blood pressure, miscarriages, premature delivery, diabetes etc. In some instances, one or perhaps all the babies in multiple pregnancies may experience congenital defects.

The best way to avoid complications with multiple pregnancies is to take utmost care. It should also be emphasized that many babies are born as twins or multiple siblings without any health issues mainly because there were no complications when these babies were conceived, and the mother was also very careful with her health and the pregnancy throughout the tenure.

What are the symptoms of multiple pregnancies?

The following are broadly the symptoms of multiple pregnancies:-
-Heartbeat count
-Ultrasound
-Higher level of hCG
-Abnormal results from AFP test
-Weight gain
-Larger measurement for the gestational age
-Enhanced morning sickness
-Frequent or early movement of the foetus

While you can use a pregnancy test kit at home to confirm pregnancy, you will need the services of an obstetrician to confirm whether you are carrying multiple pregnancies or not.

Ultrasound
Ultrasound test helps the doctor check the number of babies in the uterus and the condition of the babies. The doctor may also advise more ultrasounds to track the development of the babies. It is safer to get an ultrasound test done during the early days of pregnancy itself so that the mother can take all the additional precautions if it is detected that she is carrying multiple pregnancies.

Doctor Conducting Ultrasound On A Pregnant Woman

Heartbeat count
Your obstetrician can detect the heartbeat of the babies with the help of a foetal Doppler. This is done during the fag end of the first trimester. A heart beat monitor is helpful in detecting the condition of the babies.

Human chorionic gonadotrophin or hCG level
Pregnant women are expected to have an enhanced level of hCG across the nine months before the baby is delivered. The blood, as well as the urine of a pregnant woman, will carry this hormone. While the presence of the hormone is not a definite pointer towards multiple pregnancies, it serves as a signal to see your obstetrician/gynaecologist.

Fundal height
The distance between the pubic bone of the mother and the top edge of her uterus is referred to as the fundal height. In multiple pregnancies, it is expected that the uterus will be more stretched to accommodate the additional foetus and thus increase the fundal height.

Additional weight
When a pregnant woman has twins in the uterus, an additional 10 pounds of weight is usually expected for the stretched uterus. This additional weight is higher compared to a woman with a single baby in the uterus. However, during pregnancy, weight gain can also happen due to a variety of other factors.

Causes of multiple pregnancies

Multiple pregnancies can be caused by a single egg cell or different egg cells. Babies coming from the same egg (fertilized by a singular sperm cell) are known as identical twins. In this case, the fertilized ovum has multiplied into two zygotes. Identical twins can also be all males or females. The genes and physical characteristics of this type of twins tend to be same. They will also look very similar though they would still have features that distinguish them from one another. Their fingerprints too would be different.

Fraternal twins, on the other hand, come from two different egg cells with different sperm cells fertilizing them. Fraternal twins can either be both male and both female or one male and one female.

Multiple pregnancies can also mean more than two foetuses. In such an instance, three foetuses would be called triples, quadruplets meaning 4, quintuplets denoting five, and the list goes on. While more than two foetuses are rare, there are indeed instances of even six babies in a single delivery and the coming of fertility drugs is often reckoned as a major cause of multiple pregnancies with more than two healthy foetuses.
Most multiple pregnancies also tend to complete the full term of 39 weeks, and most of the twin babies are delivered around the 37th week or earlier.

Some of the major causes that lead to multiple pregnancies include:-

-Above 35 years of age
-Taking fertility drugs prescribed by your doctor
-In vitro fertilization
-Family tradition of twins
-Withdrawing birth control pills
-African descent

Fertility drugs, in particular, induce production of more eggs before the start of ovulation increasing chances of multiple eggs being fertilized. Similarly, in the case of in-vitro fertilization, the woman may receive more fertilized eggs in her uterus to enhance the chances of having one or perhaps more offsprings

Risks and challenges associated with multiple pregnancies

Some of the challenges and risks associated with multiple pregnancies include:-
-Miscarried or vanishing twin
-Conjoined twins
-Low birth weight
-Gestational diabetes
-Foetal loss
-Caesarean
-IUGR or intrauterine growth restriction

Carrying multiple pregnancies can be pretty overwhelming. It would also mean twice the challenge as well as fun. Pregnancy is also the best time to keep yourself healthy. You should also remember that including you, the well being of three or more lives is dependent on your nourishment.

The following are some of the measures that will keep you in good stead:-

Pregnant Lady Posing With Flower

1. Balanced diet: consume more fruits and vegetables including food rich in iron, folic acid, and calcium. These are important nutrients essential for the development of your babies.
2. Stay free from all vices including alcohol, drugs and cigarettes
3. Do devote attention to adequate rest, but don’t forget the importance of some exercise at intervals
4. Do not skip your appointment with the doctor
5. According to Dr Shelley (maternal fetal medicine specialist), always rely on medicines prescribed by your obstetrician and avoid OTC drugs
6. Take your doctor into confidence and always seek his/her opinion even on small issues like a specific food, an unusual uneasiness etc.