When Will You Have Your First Ultrasound Scan During Your Pregnancy?

The day you know that you’re going to become a mother, that is one of the most exciting days in your lifetime. Isn’t it?  You, your partner and the rest of your family are all happy with this news. But then the journey of happiness and challenges begin, at the same time. 

In fact, your weekly doctor visits may be a filled with anxiety for you, but the day when your doctor suggests you to get the first ultrasound scan, that day is even more exciting for you. After all, in this way, you will get to see your baby, who’s sweetly curled up inside your womb. 

But, the question that many of you, expectant mothers might often ask is, “When can I have my first ultrasound scan?”  

Read on to find out the answers to your queries:

If You’ve Had Been Bleeding or Must’ve Had a Miscarriage

Especially within the first week of your pregnancy, your healthcare practitioner, will recommend you to undergo an early ultrasound. Maybe between six and ten weeks of your pregnancy. This is known as vaginal ultrasound as the scan through the vagina offers a clear picture of the baby, inside your womb. You might also alternately undergo an abdominal ultrasound, however, before going through the process talk to your healthcare practitioner about the type you’ll be going through. 

If You Don’t Have Any Problem

Then you might have to undergo two ultrasound scans. The first one will be your dating ultrasound, booked between 10 weeks and 13 weeks of your pregnancy. During this scan, you will get to see the foetal anatomy of your baby – a much bigger picture. Basically, in this procedure, the sonographer will put gel on your belly, move a device with his or her hand, by placing on the skin of your belly, for you to see the entire view of your baby. 

The Benefits of the First Ultrasound

  • It can easily confirm the due date of pregnancy 
  • It can indicate whether yours is an ectopic pregnancy or pregnancy in the uterus 
  • It can detect the heartbeat of your would-be baby. It can even calculate the number of beats per minute 
  • It can measure the baby in your womb
  • It can also tell if you are going to have twins – monochorionic twins (sharing the same placenta) or dichorionic twins (separate placenta) 

To Conclude

Don’t miss the scans and keep yourself informed about your baby on the way. 

Author Bio: Prapti Chauhan is a professor of Genetics in Bangalore. She has contributed to several online research papers. However, she passionately develops contents on pregnancy, childbirth, childcare, baby’s cord blood preservation, umbilical cord lining and more.

 

Can Stem Cell Treatment Help Patients with Hepatitis B?

Can Stem Cell Treatment Help Patients with hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a type of liver infection that is caused by the Hepatitis B Virus or HBV. It occurs during infancy, childhood or adulthood and can lead to liver cirrhosis or cancer. HBV spreads through bodily fluids, and it can also spread from an infected pregnant woman to her child during childbirth. The disease affects the liver in several ways, as seen below:

Acute Viral Hepatitis

This condition is commonly seen in adults, and most of them can fight the virus without it turning into something severe. Symptoms of acute viral hepatitis include fever, body ache, jaundice, etc.

Chronic Hepatitis

More common in children than in adults; this condition doesn’t show any symptoms. In most cases, it is diagnosed during a routine check-up or while testing for some other illness. Children with chronic hepatitis will show signs of anorexia, fatigue, and low-grade fever.

Chronic Liver Disease

In this condition, the disease diagnosis happens later when the liver is already damaged and cannot perform its normal functions. Patients suffer from jaundice, swollen feet, bloody vomit, weight loss, fluid in the abdomen, etc.

Liver Cancer

If the virus and its symptoms are left undiagnosed and untreated for an extended period, it can develop into a form of cancer known as Hepatocellular Carcinoma.

Acute Liver Failure

This is a rare condition where the virus damages the liver so badly that it starts to fail. A patient suffering from this condition may even require a liver transplant.

The treatment for Hepatitis B can range from medication to surgery, depending on the nature and progression of the disease. There is a new ray of hope with stem cell treatment for patients waiting for a liver transplant. Although the damage caused to the liver by HBV cannot be reversed, new stem cells introduced into the patient’s body can replace the damaged tissues and form new liver cells that are free of the virus. They can help in rebooting the liver functions and provide relief for patients suffering from chronic liver disease. Ongoing research points out the benefits of stem cell banking as it has the potential to be the cure for Hepatitis B disease. As a soon-to-be mom, you have the option of opting for newborn cord blood banking, which can one day give your baby the gift of good health.

 

Treating Childhood Hearing Loss with Umbilical Cord Blood Stem Cells

Hearing loss in children can cause irreparable damages to their development. It can lead to a delay in speech and language skills, impact their social skills and create a hurdle academically. While some children are born with impaired hearing, others don’t show hearing loss symptoms until they are 6 years old. This type of hearing loss that is not present at birth is known as Acquired Sensorineural Hearing Loss. It can be caused by a multitude of reasons like medication, head injury, recurring ear infections, illness, trauma, noise exposure, and so on. 

In Acquired Sensorineural Hearing Loss, the hair cells in the inner ear (cochlea) are damaged or lost. Although hearing aids and implants are used to improve the hearing in children suffering from hearing loss, these devices don’t really repair the damaged hair cells. That’s why researchers are now turning to umbilical cord blood for a cure and not just symptomatic relief.

In one study1 conducted on mice with hearing loss, researchers observed that the hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) from the cord blood traveled to the inner ears through the bloodstream and engrafted into its tissues. This was a promising outcome and motivated them to do further trials and pretrials. 

The breakthrough came when researchers at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston, Texas, conducted a trial using cord blood stem cells in children with hearing loss. A little girl by the name of Madeline Connor was one of the subjects of this study2. Her mother had contracted a viral infection during pregnancy, and it had been unknowingly passed on to the foetus. After Madeline was born, and by the time she turned 1, she was completely deaf from the right ear and had severe hearing loss in the left one. Thankfully for Madeline, her mother had chosen to cord blood banking, which proved to be a blessing. During the study, the researchers started treating Madeline with these stem cells, and she became the first child to be treated with her own cord blood.  

After receiving stem cells, Madeline’s mother noticed a major improvement in her hearing. She even started speaking to her mother’s delight. This confirms what researchers believe that umbilical stem cell cord blood transplantation helps repair the structures within the inner ear. Studies like these give hearing-impaired children around the world hope of a better future. Doesn’t that sound sweet?

 

Best Ways To Boost Blood Circulation During Pregnancy

Undoubtedly, the body undergoes many changes during the gestation period including hormonal imbalance, weight gain, and nausea. Blood circulation plays a huge role in the nine months of pregnancy and there are chances it may slow down due to obvious reasons—your baby is thriving on your blood and it is normal.

However, it is not right to ignore any unusual observation regarding blood circulation and it is better to take precautionary measures at its earliest. Here’s a guide and tips to boost blood circulation during pregnancy.

Stay Active

It is no secret that exercise plays a huge role in maintaining overall health and 30 minutes of cardiovascular activity can improve your blood circulation. With the doctor’s advice, one should always follow an exercise routine that includes:

Walking

Walking is a great way to increase active time in your third trimester. A 30–45-minute walk at a slow rate is always a better option to keep your blood circulation in check.

Swimming:

Aquatic exercise is a high metabolic equivalent activity that is best suited for pregnant women. A low-intensity session will elevate heart rate and as a result, improve blood flow throughout the body.

Yoga

Yoga poses like cat camel, knee plank and other safe asanas contribute to blood regulation in the body. Pranayama is the best thing to start your day with.

Time to Add Some Spices and Fruits

Spices such as ginger and pepper help kick blood in motion and provide great results if consumed in moderation. They unclog the arteries, hence improving the blood flow. On the other hand, incorporating watermelon into your diet can be great for increasing blood in your vessels. Due to its high arginine and omega3 content, it supports the cardiovascular system also.

No Tight Fits

It is not a time to show off those tight leggings and ripped jeans. Tight clothing is the culprit for poor blood flow in the body and can also affect the baby’s health. Instead, go for loose maxi dresses and choose sandals over heels in footwear. You can also take a massage once a week to reduce stress levels and keep cortisol in check.

Summing Up

Blood circulation can slow down during pregnancy and it is easily treatable with the right measures. However, if you feel numbness and pain in some areas, immediately seek medical advice and get yourself checked, justifying the statement—prevention is better than cure.

Author Bio: Prapti Chauhan is a professor of Genetics in Bangalore. She has contributed to several online research papers. However, she passionately develops content on pregnancy, childbirth, childcare, stem cell banking benefits, umbilical cord lining, and more.

 

Is Caffeine Safe for Breastfeeding Moms?

All through your pregnancy, caffeine has been a no-no, and you’ve just about survived fighting off your cravings. While you’ve done a good job of avoiding caffeine till now, most moms wonder if it’s fine to add some limited caffeine to their diet after they deliver. We’ve put together all you’d ever need to know about drinking coffee or other caffeinated items while you’re breastfeeding. 

Is it safe to have coffee or tea?

Let’s first understand what happens when you have caffeine. When you consume caffeine, it is absorbed by your gut and transferred to your bloodstream. While adults retain caffeine for about 3-7 hours, infants can retain it for about 65-130 hours since their kidneys and liver aren’t fully developed. If you’ve delivered a premature baby, the caffeine may break down even slower. Research has shown that while about 1% of the caffeine you consume passes to your breastmilk, with time, it can build up in your baby’s body. 

Having said that, breastfeeding mothers can still consume moderate amounts of caffeine. So don’t worry; you don’t need to kick the habit altogether. You can safely have up to 200g-300mg of caffeine per day. It has been found that if breastfeeding mothers consume more than this amount, it could result in your baby being fussy and jittery. A higher intake can also cause anxiety, rapid heartbeat, dizziness and insomnia in mothers. 

What exactly contains caffeine?

Other than coffee and tea, caffeine can be found in energy drinks, soda, hot chocolate, candy, and even certain medication and supplements. Even decaffeinated coffee or tea still includes trace amounts of caffeine. 

What can you have instead of coffee or tea?

If you’re looking for a hot drink, you can have turmeric milk, ajwain water, or a cup of warm ginger and honey lemonade. You can try some herbal teas as well, but make sure you check the packaging for caffeine content. Other drinks like lemonade, coconut water, and vegetable juice can also be added to your diet. Of course, when you’re talking about liquids, there’s nothing better than water. If you still need to have a bit of tea or coffee, try this:

– brew tea for lesser time (about a minute), which will reduce the caffeine content

– have instant coffee instead of brewed coffee as it has slightly lesser caffeine

Remember that if you are giving up your daily cup of coffee or tea, replace it with some other fluids to make sure that you’re hydrated.

Author Bio: Prapti Chauhan is a professor of Genetics in Bangalore. She has contributed to several online research papers. However, she passionately develops content on pregnancy, childbirth, childcare and newborn cord blood banking, stem cell banking and umbilical cord lining, and more.

 

Your Guide to Choosing a Bra During Pregnancy

choosing bra during pregnancy


Mommies-to-be, if you’ve been choosing sleek and sexy bras before getting pregnant, things are going to have to change. At about 16 weeks of your pregnancy, you will begin to notice that your fashion bras can no longer fully contain your growing breasts. Don’t think about throwing away the concept of wearing a bra just yet, as it will cause your breasts to sag after delivery. Don’t simply choose to buy a bigger size bra either. Regular bras tend to focus on being fashionable and aren’t designed to accommodate heavy, sensitive breasts. That’s why it’s best to shop for a maternity bra that is specially constructed to support you and keep you comfortable. Here’s what you need to look out for in a maternity bra:

The Fit

Your bra shouldn’t leave behind any marks after wearing it for a while. So, when you’re shopping for a maternity bra, choose one that perfectly fits. Too tight or too loose, and you’re not going to be comfortable in them.

The Straps

Adjustable straps are the way to go, so they can be altered to support your growing breasts. Choose ones that are wider, too, so that they provide sufficient support and don’t cut into your skin.

The Position of the Hook

It’s going to get more and more challenging to get your hands around your back to hook and unhook your bra. So, make sure that the position of the hook isn’t towards your upper back.

The Underwire

While underwired bras don’t pose a health risk to you or your baby, they can hurt your already sensitive and swollen breasts.

The Fabric

Choose a cotton bra or one that’s made with a light, breathable fabric. Avoid any material that would cling to your skin. You can also look out for stretchable fabric to accommodate all the changes.

The Cup Size

Go in for larger cup sizes than what you usually buy as your breasts will swell rapidly.

With your hormones causing so many changes in your body, pregnancy can become quite uncomfortable. However, by choosing the right bra, you’re at least ticking that discomfort off your list.

Author Bio: Prapti Chauhan is a professor of Genetics in Bangalore. She has contributed to several online research papers. However, she passionately develops contents on pregnancy, childbirth, childcare and baby’s stem cell preservation and umbilical cord lining and more.