Your actions can impact your baby's growth at this stage
Urinary tract infections
During the 1st trimester your urinary tract is working overtime to filter waste from your blood - this means frequent trips to the washroom. Don't be tempted to cut down on water because of this inconvenience because your body and baby need to get rid of waste to grow! Pregnant women are at a higher risk for UTIs due to the softening or the urethra because of hormonal changes.
- UTIs in pregnancy are more likely to develop into kidney infections which can in turn increase the odds of preterm delivery.
- A woman is more likely to get UTI if she has had them in the past.
- Some women more than others are more vulnerable to infection.
- Typical symptom is the feeling of having a constantly full bladder but not able to pass much fluid when in the bathroom; pain, a burning sensation when you pee; bloody, cloudy or foul smelling urine; lower back or abdominal pain; a low fever
- Sometimes the symptoms don't show
- It is important to treat UTI right away to prevent kidney infections.
Ways to prevent
- Wipe from front to back to keep bacteria out of the urethral area
- Wear cotton underwear; avoid synthetic materials and thongs
- Avoid skin irritants such as perfumed toilet napkins, soaps, douches etc
- Urinate frequently or whenever you get the urge to prevent urine from standing still in the bladder
- Make caffeine null and void for now as it is an irritant to the urinary tract.
- Different brands of coffee can have different amounts of caffeine
- Every 8 oz of Starbucks drip coffee has 200 mg; Maxwell house has 135 mg while instant coffee has only 95 mg
- Go for cappuccino or latte if you get the buzz for caffeine as the coffee is diluted in milk
- Caffeine dehydrates, causes headaches, muscle cramps and premature contractions
- Down lots of water whenever you have a cup of coffee
- The good news: Caffeine does not cause birth defects
The Flu Shot
- This is a safe vaccine made of inactive viruses and egg whites.
- This shot is recommended to pregnant women during the flu season.
- Pregnant women with chronic ailments such as asthma or diabetes are advised to go for this shot since flu becomes dangerous for them.
- Flu shot protects again the serious strains of flu but not the familiar infections like the common cold
Weekly Nutrition advice in Week 13
- Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant found in many beverages and foods including tea, coffee, cola drinks and chocolates. Caffeine is also found in headache medicines.
- Research shows that you may be more sensitive to caffeine during pregnancy comparatively. High caffeine intake has been associated with low birthweight babies and a smaller head size in newborns. Some researchers have gone as far as to say that caffeine use leads to miscarriages, stillbirths and premature labor.
- Cut down on caffeine or better still eliminate it from your diet. Too many negative associations i.e. it crosses to your placenta to the baby, it can affect yours and your baby's calcium absorption.
- Increased intake can lead to breathing problems in your newborn; if you are jittery your baby may suffer from the same effects.
- Breastfed babies can suffer from sleeplessness and irritability. Since an infant metabolizes caffeine at a slower rate than an adult, caffeine can collect in the infant. Effects of caffeine on you during pregnancy may include irritability, headaches, stomach upset, sleeplessness and jitters. Quit caffeine use or limit its consumption.
- Read labels on over-the-counter medications for caffeine. Up to 2 cups (not mugs) of regular coffee or its equivalent is probably permissible as that is less than 200mg a day. Still it is a good idea to stop consuming caffeine altogether to have a healthier you and a healthy baby. The list below gives you a rough idea on the amounts of caffeine from everyday sources:
Coffee 5 oz - 60 - 140 mg and higher
Tea 5 oz - 30 - 65 mg
Baking chocolate 1 oz - 25 mg
Chocolate candy 1 oz - 6 mg
Soft drinks 12 oz - 35 - 55 mg
Pain relief tabs standard dose - 40 mg
Allergy and cold remedies - 25 mg