Posts Tagged ‘developing baby’

Tattoos and pregnancy

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

tattooTattoos are really in these days and I know lots of women who have them. But if you’re pregnant, it’s probably best for you to wait until after your baby arrives to put on that pretty ink. If you do want a tattoo, be aware of a few important issues.

The first three months of pregnancy are especially important. This is the time when the organs, bones, nerves, muscles—pretty much everything—are developing and we don’t know if tattoo dyes and inks affect a developing baby.

At the end of the first trimester, the baby is only about 3 inches long and weighs 1 ounce. (That’s about as heavy as five quarters.) Amounts of chemicals that might be small and harmless to an adult can have a much bigger impact on a tiny, developing fetus. So if you’re about to get a tattoo, consider postponing your pregnancy attempts to a month or so after you lay on the artwork.  If you’re already pregnant, wait at least until the second trimester.

Whenever you get your artwork put in place, be sure to go to a reputable artist. Hepatitis B and HIV/AIDS are two of many diseases that may be passed along by a dirty needle. If you should catch one of these infections, you could pass it on to your baby.  You want to be sure your tattoo artist is following safety precautions.

An epidural is a shot given in the lower back to help block the pain of childbirth. Most health care providers will give an epidural to a woman with a tattoo on her lower back, but they may not if the tattoo is recent and still fresh.  There is no clear evidence for or against giving epidurals near tattoos. If you do have a back tattoo, find out the hospital’s policy on epidurals in advance so you won’t be surprised later.

How your baby grows – month 7

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

big-bellyYour baby:

By the end of the seventh  month, your baby is about 15 to 16 inches long and weighs about 2 ½ to 3 pounds. Your baby can open or close her eyes and suck her thumb. She kicks and stretches. Your baby responds to light and sound.

Your body:

You should feel your baby move. As he gets bigger, it may feel like he’s rolling around. (Tell your provider if you notice any change in how often your baby moves.) Your ankles and feet may swell. Try lying down and putting your feet up. (If your hands and face swell suddenly, call your provider.) You may get stretch marks on your belly or breasts as they get bigger. You may have “practice contractions.”   (This is OK, but call your provider if you have more than five contractions in 1 hour.) As your belly gets bigger, it may be harder to keep your balance. This makes it easier to fall. Be careful! You may have trouble sleeping. (Try sleeping on your left side or with extra pillows.) You also may sweat more than usual.

How your baby grows – month 2

Monday, September 5th, 2011

pregnant-couple

Your baby:

By the end of the second month, your baby is about an inch long and still weighs less that 1/3 ounce. Your baby’s major body organs, like the brain, heart and lungs, are forming. The placenta is working. The placenta grows in your uterus and supplies the baby with food and oxygen through the umbilical cord. Your baby’s ears, ankles, wrists, fingers and toes are formed. Eyelids form and grow but are sealed shut.

Your body:

Your breasts may till be sore and are getting bigger. Your nipples and the area around them begin to get dark. You have to go to the bathroom more often because your uterus is growing and pressing on your bladder. You may still have morning sickness. You may feel tired and need to rest more often. Your body is busy making more blood.

How your baby grows – month 1

Monday, August 29th, 2011

pregnant-coupleEvery Monday for the next nine weeks, I’ll be writing about the fascinating changes that occur within a developing baby and the changes a woman experiences during her pregnancy. Here’s what goes on in your first month.

Your baby:

By the end of the first month, your baby is about ¼ inch long. Tiny limb buds appear that will grow into your baby’s arms and legs. Your baby’s heart and lungs begin to form. By the 22nd day, the heart starts to beat. Your baby’s neural tube begins to form and will become the brain and spinal cord.

Your body:

Your body is making lots of hormones that help your baby grow. But hormones can make you feel moody and cranky. Your breasts may get bigger and may hurt and tingle. You may feel sick to your stomach. This is called morning sickness, even though it can happen at any time of day or night. (Try eating some crackers and smaller meals.) You may crave some foods or hate foods you usually like. You may feel very tired. It’s important to rest whenever you can.

Ultrasound options

Monday, February 28th, 2011

Over the next couple of days, I’m going to write about ultrasound.  There are different types that are used for different purposes and I’ll review them.

Ultrasonography is the most commonly used tool for viewing a developing fetus. Ultrasound has been safely utilized for over 40 years, but only specially trained technicians and providers should perform an ultrasound, and only for medically necessary reasons.

Using sound waves to bounce off curves and shapes within your body, technicians are able to translate light and dark patterns into images of internal organs or a developing fetus. Standard ultrasound creates a 2-D image of a developing baby in mom’s womb. A woman may have a standard ultrasound during the first trimester to confirm and date the pregnancy (or to find out if she’s having twins like her mother did!)  But not all providers offer it that early in pregnancy, so don’t be upset if yours doesn’t. It also can be used to check the positioning of the placenta or level of amniotic fluid later on.

Most providers request an ultrasound between 18 and 20 weeks. The procedure lasts about 20 minutes and can be performed abdominally (by moving a transducer over the belly) or vaginally (using a slender wand-like device that is placed inside the vagina). A full bladder acts like a mirror and helps the technician get a clearer view, hence the recommendation of drinking a few glasses of water before the procedure.  This is great for the tech, but might get slightly squirmy for mom after a while.

Tomorrow’s post – What’s Doppler imaging (nope, not part of the weather report) and fetal echocardiography?