Summer Pregnancy? Beat the Heat
Summer heat can be especially hard on expectant moms. For your own comfort, and for the health of your baby, it is important to stay cool. Following are some tips to help you “chill out” and stay healthy this summer.
* Drink lots of fluids and be sure to limit coffee and tea as these tend to cause dehydration. Soft drinks and “juice” drinks provide few cooling benefits. Water remains the ideal choice.
* If you perspire heavily because of the heat, consider not only drinking water but also adding in orange juice, milk and sports drinks which help replace those electrolytes you are sweating away.
* A cool, damp wash cloth on the back of your neck, forehead or top of your head is another good way to keep your body temperature down. Running cool water over your wrists will also help.
* Have a water-filled squirt bottle on hand so you can mist yourself when you start to feel hot.
* When you are outside, stay in the shade. Try to limit your outside time to the cooler parts of the day, such as early morning, late afternoon, and evening.
* An excellent way to cool off is to swim; swimming can also take some of the weight off of your sciatic nerve. (ALWAYS check with your doctor before embarking on any fitness program.)
* Be sure to change right after swimming. Lingering in a wet suit can cause vaginal infections.
* Stay out of lakes in the summer, especially if the lake is low. This can help you avoid the risk of “duck itch.”
* Avoid exertion during the hottest hours of the day, and stay off your feet as much as possible to avoid swelling.
* Wear breathable fabrics. These will keep you cooler and will also help prevent the heat rash that often develops under the breasts and abdomen of many pregnant women.
* Obtain an air conditioner for your bedroom; if you are home all the time, you might want a unit for the room where you spend the most time. Portable units that can easily be moved from room to room are also be a good choice.
* Keep your house cool at night by drawing shades during the hottest part of the day, then opening them at night to let cool air flow through the house. Some people close their windows during the day, sealing in the cooler morning air, then open the windows during the evening.
* Learn how to breathe properly. Breathing lets off heat, so make sure you have a good breathing pattern and are not breathing too rapidly or too slowly. If you are having trouble breathing, talk to your doctor. If this is due to allergies or asthma, stay indoors in an air-conditioned space.
The HPV Vaccine: Why It’s Important
If you are a young adult, or have a pre-teen or young adult in your family, then the HPV vaccine should be part of your immunization program. Simply stated, the HPV vaccine (Human papilloma virus) is a vaccine to prevent cancer. The HPV vaccine prevents infection from the strains of HPV that cause more than 70 percent of all cervical, anal and oropharyngeal cancers, precancerous cervical lesions and genital warts. It is available for boys and girls ages nine to 26. Most doctors recommend that children receive the vaccine around age 11 or 12. It is a three-shot series given over the course of six months. Your child must complete the three-shot series for maximum protection from cancer. If you have questions about the vaccine, talk with your physician. Partners for Women’s Health also has a doctor on staff who specializes in pediatric and adolescent girls. If you would like to see Dr. Caron, contact our office. To read more about Dr. Caron’s background, visit the Staff section of our website.
Get connected with Partners for Women’s Health through our Patient Portal
The Patient Portal is an online service that provides you with a fast, reliable, easy to use method of communicating with your physician’s office any time it’s convenient for you. With Patient Portal, you can connect with your doctor during office hours through a convenient, safe and secure method.
The Patient Portal allows you to do the following:
1) Request Appointments
Even receive appointment reminder emails!
2) Email Your Doctor’s Office
No more playing phone tag. Simply send a message!
(NEVER use email in an emergency or if you need immediate assistance.)
3) Manage Your Medications
View dosage information and request a prescription refill!
4) Care for Your Entire Family May Be Possible
If your family member is also a patient of Exeter Hospital Core Physicians, you may be able to combine accounts. You would then have one location for your entire family’s upcoming appointments, medications and more.
If you want to enroll in the Patient Portal, simply call or visit our office, or complete our online Patient Portal (NextMD) Enrollment Form. After validating your information, we will notify you of your temporary enrollment token number. You will also receive an email with instructions on how to use this token number to complete your patient portal enrollment.
What You Should Know About Zika
Zika is a virus that is spread by mosquito bites. It causes fever, rash, joint aches and conjunctivitis or “red eye.” It is currently occurring in Central America, northern South America (especially in Brazil), and in the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In most people, Zika is not of great concern, with symptoms usually abating in a few days to a week. However, in pregnant women or women trying to become pregnant, Zika is a more serious issue.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report that Zika is transmitted from the mother to the unborn child and can cause serious birth defects, including microcephaly, and termination of pregnancy. For this reason, pregnant women in any trimester are advised NOT to travel to any regions where Zika is being reported. The CDC also cautions that women trying to become pregnant, and their partners, should also avoid areas where Zika is present as the virus is believed to also be transferred during sexual intercourse.
If travel to regions where Zika is present is unavoidable, the CDC urges women to first consult with their healthcare provider before making the trip, and to then take the strictest precautions for avoiding mosquito bites.
If you are pregnant and have recently been to a region where a Zika outbreak has occurred or is now occurring, see your doctor even if you do not have symptoms. Your provider will then determine whether you or your unborn baby should undergo certain tests.
If you believe you had Zika at some point, but are now well, you should also see your doctor right away.
The CDC also emphasizes that Zika is spreading, so the areas where it may be found will be constantly changing. If you are pregnant and planning to travel (or are trying to become pregnant), visit the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/zika first to see if Zika has been detected in the areas you are planning to visit.
The Dangers of Marijuana During Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
With the recent legalization of medical marijuana in a number of states, there has been the incorrect assumption that marijuana must be safe to smoke during pregnancy. However, this is not the case. Marijuana is still a drug, and a drug with known harmful side effects to developing babies.
Medical research has shown that the chemicals in marijuana influence brain maturation.
Babies born to women who used marijuana during their pregnancies respond differently to visual stimuli, tremble more, and have a high-pitched cry, which may indicate problems with neurological development. As marijuana-exposed children reach school age, they tend to have difficulty with problem-solving skills, memory and the ability to remain attentive.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, breast-feeding mothers should also be leery of using marijuana as research suggests that THC is secreted into breast milk in moderate amounts. These amounts could also be harmful to a baby’s developing brain.
While marijuana may have positive uses in aiding certain medical conditions, it is still a drug that can put your baby’s healthy development at risk.
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