Pregnancy is a time of joy, but it can also be a time of worry. There are many health issues that a mother may already have, or could develop during pregnancy. Working closely with a doctor during this time will not only help put a mother’s mind at ease, but will also allow a health problem to be monitored regularly so mom and baby remain as healthy as possible throughout the next nine months and afterward. Health communication with a doctor is key during this trying time.
When there are earlier health concerns already known, it is especially important to keep in contact with the obstetrician so the situation can be monitored. One expectant mom may have a low progesterone level. This can be dangerous to the pregnancy, and will require blood levels to be checked regularly. She may be prescribed progesterone to improve levels, and the checks will find if the medication is, in fact, improving the circumstances.
Another mother may have high blood pressure. This vital sign will need regular monitoring as well to make sure levels are not becoming dangerous. Asthma is even a concern to unborn fetuses. Breathing could become extremely difficult for mom, putting stress on the baby.
A number of prior health concerns could cause issues during a pregnancy. No matter what that health concern is, meeting with a doctor regularly will ensure the issue does not develop into a more dangerous problem for either the child or the expecting mother.
A major concern during birth is an infection that can be passed from a mother to her baby through her blood. Hepatitis B is one virus that does this. Knowing the mother is a carrier of this virus will ensure a necessary vaccine is given to the baby right at birth.
A mother could also be a carrier of the sickle cell trait. This could cause Sickle Cell Disease in her infant. It is necessary to be aware of this possibility so the mother can make a decision about cord blood banking. The blood from the umbilical cord contains stem cells that can be vital in regenerating tissues in the body and combating the disease. The stems need to be taken immediately after birth to be saved for a later treatment.
Trouble With Breastfeeding
Even while breastfeeding after baby arrives, it is necessary to speak with the doctor regularly to ensure the process is going well. Health problems with the mother can cause eating issues for the baby. There are even medical conditions that can be passed from mom to baby through the breast milk, including illness and infection. In order to keep both mom and baby healthy, the doctor needs to discuss the concerns and find the best course of action.
Medications also play a part during this time. A health issue the mother has may require medication to treat. The prescribed dose may be too much for baby, and could potentially be unsafe. The doctor needs to look over medications and work to determine the next steps. Supplementing with formula may be required while the medicine is in the mother’s system.
Communication is important for all healthcare professionals, especially when it comes to speaking with patients and easing their worries. Mothers-to-be need to be able to communicate regularly with their obstetrician so any health concerns can be addressed promptly. Whether it is during the pregnancy, or while breastfeeding, moms and babies can be taken care of and kept healthy as long as they have a doctor who stays in touch and offers routine checks that keep complications under control.
It’s National Sickle Cell month and I’m back ...