During pregnancy, increased pressure on the abdominal wall can cause a condition called diastasis recti. I wish it had a less scary name. Diastasis recti looks like a gorge running vertically down the middle of the belly area. It stretches from the bottom of the breastbone to the belly button, and increases with muscle straining. The middle muscle, the ‘linea alba’, is where our 6-pack usually lies. Chuckle. When the muscles on either side of this line pull apart, women may develop 2 finger’s width of separation (2.7cm or greater) of the abdominus recti muscle (down the centre line of the belly). The area between these two muscles may stick out like a vertical pouch. It’s important to realize that this area is not torn – just temporarily separated.
Miscarriage, premature delivery, stillbirth, brain abnormalities and low IQ are some of the complications that may affect an unborn infant if the mother has untreated thyroid disorder. So, are women at particular risk of developing thyroid disease when they are pregnant?
If certain known risk factors are present, the answer is: Yes. These include a family history of thyroid disease, signs and symptoms of thyroid disease, the presence of goitre, type 1 diabetes, or other autoimmune diseases.
Yet another risk factor is that the mother’s hormone levels may fluctuate during pregnancy. Thyroid disorders include the gland being under-active (hypothyroidism) or over-active (hyperthyroidism).
For the unborn infant, it is vitally important that the mother’s thyroid hormone levels be normal, especially during the first three months of pregnancy.
Here’s why: Thyroid hormones are critically important in the development of the infant’s brain. So thyroid hormones provided by the mother during the first three months of pregnancy are especially important. The infant’s thyroid becomes functional at approximately 12 weeks.
To be sure your thyroid gland is healthy, ask your doctor for a TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) test. This simple quick blood test is the most accurate way to diagnose a thyroid disorder.
Thyroid disorders are among the most common medical conditions in Canada. It is estimated three million Canadians have a thyroid condition – and half may be unaware of it. Hypothyroidism represents the most common thyroid disorder and affects women three times more often than it does men.
Q – I am 6 months pregnant and my back has been bothering me and was thinking of seeing a Chiropractor.
Is this safe during my pregnancy?
Q – I am experiencing mood swings during pregnancy, how do I stabilize my moods?
Q. How do I prevent gestational diabetes in pregnancy?
Q – I just discovered I’m pregnant and I’m thrilled. I am about 5 weeks pregnant and this morning when I went to the bathroom I found a few tiny spots of blood. What does this mean? Am I still pregnant? Is something wrong?
Child Birth Preparation Classes
The Roundhouse Community Centre
June 24th, 10am-4pm
The Birth Place is happy to present Group Prenatal classes which offer information on every aspect of pregnancy, labour and infant care. A strong emphasis on the social component of having a baby. Topics include: optimal fetal position, stages of labour, relaxation, massage, breathing, knowledge of birth options, breastfeeding and infant care. To register or for more info please call www.thebirthplace.ca
Q – What’s the deal with folic acid? I know I’m supposed to start taking it but don’t fully understand why? Should I take it before I get pregnant or just during my pregnancy? Do I need to keep taking it if I’m breastfeeding?
Nutrition For Pregnancy
The Roundhouse Community Centre
May 15th, 1:30pm – 2:30pm
Pregnancy, childbirth and raising children calls on our deepest resources. We reach down into our core values, experiences and come up with a way to be the best parent we can. For many parents, that means balancing the health wisdom of the ages with new nutritional information and our own gut feelings about self care. Join Capers Nutritionist Victoria Pawlowski, RD, MED for a seminar on the latest nutritional information for a healthy pregnancy. For more info please call 604-713-1800
Q – Since becoming pregnant I’ve been having a hard time with constipation. I thought maybe it was from the prenatal vitamins that I have been taking and that my body would adjust, but it doesn’t seem to be getting any better. I am very uncomfortable and am wondering if you can suggest anyways that might be helpful in reducing this.