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Q & A about Pregnancy Issues

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Expectant mothers all want to make sure they do what is necessary to protect their health as well as their babies’. As a result, there are many issues that do well to be addressed, especially at this time of the year. This article lists at least a few answers that might be helpful to some.

Since you’re pregnant, should you be concerned about H1N1? Is the flu shot safe for pregnant women?

Everyone should take precautions during the flu season but especially expectant mothers. The Mayo Clinic indicates that since pregnancy puts stress on the heart, lungs and to some extent, compromises your immune system, pregnant women may become more susceptible to getting the flu and/or flu complications like pneumonia and respiratory distress. When complications like these appear, the risk of miscarriage, preterm labor and other pregnancy problems are more likely to occur.

H1N1 flu symptoms are very much like seasonal flu symptoms – fever, cough, sore throat and body aches. This may lead many to ask, in order to take the needed preventive measures, is it alright to take the flu shot? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends flu shots for pregnant women. Of course, this is with the exception of anyone who has had severe allergic reactions to this shot before or who has an allergy to eggs. This recommendation would include the combination flu shot that offers protection from the seasonal flu and H1N1.

How do you handle hemorrhoids during pregnancy?

Hemorrhoids can become a problem during pregnancy. The Mayo Clinic offers some the following advice:

• Soak in warm water. Fill the tub with plain water and soak several times a day.
• Use ice. Apply ice packs or cold compresses to your anus several times a day to help relieve swelling.
• Try witch hazel. Soak cotton pads with the astringent witch hazel and apply to your anal area. Change the pads frequently. Witch hazel is available over-the-counter at most pharmacies.
• Avoid sitting for long periods of time. Sitting puts pressure on the veins in your anus and rectum. When you can, lie on your side or stand up. If you must sit, take frequent breaks.
• Keep your anal area clean. Pre-moistened wipes may be more comfortable than dry toilet paper. Choose brands that don't contain perfumes or alcohol — or use medicated wipes made specifically for people who have hemorrhoids.
• Try an over-the-counter hemorrhoid remedy. Ask your health care provider to recommend a suppository or hemorrhoid cream that's safe to use during pregnancy.
The key is to work preventively, that is, try not to get constipated. The Mayo Clinic recommends:

Include plenty of fiber in your diet
Drink plenty of water and other fluids
Include physical activity in your daily routine
Ask your health care provider about stool softeners and fiber supplements

You’re pregnant and have a splitting headache – is aspirin safe?

As a rule, the answer would be a resounding no. This would apply to aspirin as well as ibuprofen - Advil or Motrin. Aspirin blocks the production of prostaglandins which would then reroute the baby’s blood flow in the uterus. This could possibly cause fatal problems for the baby. Only in special cases is low-dose aspirin therapy prescribed such as a threatened miscarriage or other special conditions.

Source: Mayo Clinic

Dita Faulkner is a freelance writer that works for the State of Tennessee assisting at-risk families.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.