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Summer Pregnancy? Don’t Sweat It!

Ah, summer! What could be more fun than barbecues, beach balls, and…baby bumps?

If you’re reading this in the later stages of your pregnancy, you might be rolling your eyes. Pregnancy + heat = not fun, you say. We get that. Pregnancy already raises our body temperatures, and our annual friends June, July, and August don’t help. We don’t have to let the humidity drag us down! There are plenty of perks to a summer pregnancy, and plenty of ways to handle the non-perks. Let’s talk through ‘em:

PERKS OF BEING A SUMMERY PREGNANT WONDER WOMAN:

Fresh clothes. Summer’s all about fun patterns, airy material, open-toed shoes that let swelling feet and ankles breathe…and we don’t have to worry about piling on layer upon layer of sweaters and coats over that bump like we would in the winter.

Fresh air. Being (safely) active and breathing fresh air can help keep us and our babies healthy during pregnancy. Even if the afternoons are scorching, summer mornings and evenings are great for a de-stressing stroll!

Fresh produce. Summer provides us a plethora of wonderful fruits and veggies. Whether we grab these from the local farmers market or a chain grocery store, we can help out the pregnancy glow with these vitamin-filled yummy goodnesses that are cheaper and fresher than they’d be in any other season. Plus, we won’t feel so weighed down by the hearty meals of winter.

HOW TO HANDLE THE NON-PERKS:

Swim it up. Take advantage of community pools and lake season to cool off. And wear that swimsuit with pride. There is no need to be ashamed of our bodies during pregnancy. We’re making human beings: what’s more beautiful than that? And if swimming isn’t your thing, carry a spray bottle of water around with you to mist yourself throughout the day.

Wear clothes that breathe. A summer pregnancy wardrobe requires light, sweat-wicking fabrics. Not only will this keep you cool, but also help prevent heat rash. Heat rash commonly happens when skin rubs together, so as the breasts and abdomen grow and sweat starts to collect…you get the picture. Thin, breathable materials will help keep this issue at bay.

Water water water. Stay hydrated! This is always important, but especially during pregnancy. Besides leading to uncomfortable thirst, headaches, and fatigue, dehydration can contribute to preterm labor.

Avoid swelling. Leg-swelling (or physiological edema, if you want to be fancy) can flare up during the summer months, especially for those of us in our second trimester. Try lounging on the couch with your legs elevated, taking a walk a few times a week during the cool hours of the day, and wearing a shoe size up to allow for extra blood-flow.

Seriously, we can do this! Let’s celebrate this season with gusto, ready to relax with our developing kiddos.
Want to learn more about prenatal care or parenting while also earning free baby supplies? Click here to learn more about Lifeline’s Earn While You Learn program. We’re here for you – call us or email us if you need any help!

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Resources:

https://www.webmd.com/baby/features/summer-pregnancy#1

https://www.parents.com/pregnancy/my-body/pampering/summer-pregnancy-survival-guide/

Super Heroes in Scrubs

Meet our nurses!

What happens when you cross a medical professional, a mom, a counselor, and a superhero? You get a Lifeline Nurse. These ladies are here to serve the women and families who walk through our clinic doors. They perform the pregnancy tests and ultrasounds that give clients important information about their bodies and babies. They check in every week with expectant and new parents to make sure they have all the answers and supplies they need — all with compassion because they truly care about the families in our community. Lifeline would not be able to provide families with the care they need without these warriors in scrubs.

 

Kris Polovich, BSN

Kris spent most of her years as a nurse in surgery, first in Hannibal and then at Mizzou’s University Hospital in the level one trauma center. “I worked the weekend night shifts, where I saw everything,” she says. “And then I took five years off when my kids were small and stayed home, which was hard. I was ready to go back to work, and fell into this position by chance.” Lifeline needed a temporary nurse to fill in for the former nurse’s maternity leave, and it morphed into a permanent job as both nurses decided to work part-time. Kris is still here, now our fearless clinic manager.

 

Patty Jorden, RN

Patty was far from the nursing field at first; originally earning her degree in English, she took an interest test at a career center that pointed her to nursing. She returned to school to get her associates in nursing. Her new career led her to work in oncology and outpatient surgery as well as on the general floor that handles everything, still the 4th floor at Northeast Regional Medical Center today. She joined the Lifeline team three years ago, and her passion for encouraging women has been a great asset to the clinic. “I just have a heart for them,” she explains.

 

Come on by, we’d love to help.

Whether you need education on pregnancy or a listening ear, Kris and Patty are here for you. Their medical training in a variety of settings has prepared them to provide you with the health resources you need. And their years of experience as moms (and for Patty, a grandma) has given them a passion for empowering and encouraging women. Need a pregnancy test, ultrasound, or just someone to talk to about your potential pregnancy? Call, text, or email us today to schedule your appointment with one of these amazing ladies. All of our services are confidential and offered at no-cost.

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10 Early Pregnancy Symptoms

Interesting things happening in your body? Maybe you find yourself exhausted, nauseous, or more emotional than usual. And oh yeah, it’s been awhile since you’ve had a period. These clues start swimming around in your mind and you wonder, are these pregnancy symptoms??  

Now let’s be clear: the only way to be certain a woman is pregnant is through a pregnancy test. But if you are pregnant, you may experience a variety of bodily changes, even as early as a week after conception. Every woman is different. Your symptoms could be very different from your best friend’s or your sister’s or even from your own previous pregnancies. Just because you don’t have morning sickness or that famous pregnancy glow, doesn’t mean the possibility of pregnancy is out the window. You may not ever have these pregnancy symptoms, or they could crop up later on.

That being said, there are a variety of changes you are likely to undergo during the early stages of pregnancy. 

10 Common Pregnancy Symptoms:

 

Spotting and cramping

After conception (when the sperm meets the egg), the fertilized egg implants into the wall of the uterus. The uterus is where the baby grows and lives for nine months. When the egg attaches to the uterus, there could be some slight cramping or spotting, known as implantation bleeding. This happens 6-12 days after conception. If bleeding occurs it should be very light and could last a couple days. This bleeding should be lighter and shorter than a normal period.

Missed Period

Once the fertilized egg implants, the body will begin releasing a hormone known HCG. HCG is what urine pregnancy tests are looking for. This hormone tells the ovaries to stop releasing eggs. HCG also tells the body to stop shedding the lining of the uterus (which means no periods). That lining instead turns into a cozy environment for a baby to develop.

Nausea (Morning Sickness)

According to the American Pregnancy Association, 25% of women report nausea as their earliest pregnancy symptom. Though commonly referred to as “morning sickness,” this can happen at any time of the day. Whatever causes this unpleasant symptom hasn’t been found, but it’s likely the body’s reaction to the change in hormones.

Breast Changes

Also as a result of rapid hormone changes, the breasts may feel swollen, sore, or tingly a couple weeks after conception. They may even feel fuller, and the area around the nipples (the areola) might darken.

Increased heart rate

The heart begins to pump faster during pregnancy due to the rise in hormones. Palpitations and changes in heart rhythm are common because of this. As always, talk to your doctor about what is normal during pregnancy and report any chest pain or other changes in your heart rate.

Fatigue

Because of the hormonal changes as well as a drop in blood sugar, blood pressure, and increased blood production, the body might feel more exhausted than normal. This can happen even as early as a week after conception.

Mood Swings

You may feel more emotional than usual during pregnancy. Those good ol’ hormonal changes could cause feelings of depression, anxiety, irritability, or intense excitement.

Skin changes

The pregnancy glow you hear about is caused by a combination of increased blood volume and higher hormone levels pushing more blood through the vessels. This causes the skin to produce more oil than usual, creating a natural gloss and blush. However, this increase in oil could also lead to more acne than you may typically experience.

Frequent urination and incontinence

During pregnancy, the body boosts the amount of blood it pumps. This leads to the kidneys processing more fluid than usual, which in turn causes a fuller bladder.

Food cravings/aversions

Your developing baby needs lots of nutrients, some of which you may not normally eat. Your body will start to crave foods you don’t often find appealing so that you and baby will get all the right nutrients you both need. Some women report a new aversion to certain tastes or smells, which–you guessed it–is due to change in hormones. These aversions should go away around week 13 or 14.

 

How do I know for sure?

Remember, you could experience all of these pregnancy symptoms or only a couple. Always talk to your doctor about any symptoms that interfere with your everyday life. He or she can help you form a plan to ease these more uncomfortable changes.

Taking a pregnancy test is the first step in confirming a pregnancy. Lifeline Pregnancy Help Clinic offers confidential, no-cost pregnancy tests, as well as a variety of other resources to help you figure out your next steps if the test is positive. Pregnancy brings a lot of changes, physical and otherwise, but you don’t have to walk through it alone. Call Lifeline at 660-665-5688 or click here to request an appointment.

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References:
WebMD  http://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/pregnancy-am-i-pregnant#1
Healthline http://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/early-symptoms-timeline#implantation-bleeding
American Pregnancy Association  http://americanpregnancy.org/getting-pregnant/early-pregnancy-symptoms/
What to Expect  http://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/pregnancy-health/early-symptoms-of-pregnancy

On the Outside Looking In: The benefits of having an ultrasound during early pregnancy

The pregnancy test is positive. You’ve taken home test after home test, and maybe even had one at the doctor’s office or at Lifeline Pregnancy Help Clinic. Your mind is a washing machine with thoughts and questions on a spin-cycle. One in particular clunks around, circling around the rest: Now what?  One important component for any of us to understand our pregnancy is to have an ultrasound. An ultrasound provides us with valuable data that a pregnancy test can’t.

Ultrasound: Seeing the Invisible

 Using high-frequency sound waves, a prenatal ultrasound forms a live video stream of what’s going on in our abdomens. A nurse will use the ultrasound to confirm the pregnancy and make sure that it is in the uterus. If the pregnancy is outside the uterus (ectopic pregnancy), it’s vital to get medical attention right away. An ultrasound can help a medical professional see that. Though rare, if an ectopic pregnancy is left undiscovered, it can cause serious damage to our bodies.  

Also, because a lot of factors influence our menstrual cycles, using the date of our last menstrual period to determine how far along we are may not be accurate. During an ultrasound, the nurse will be able to measure the length of baby to determine its gestational age. This will show how far along we are in our pregnancy. The nurse will also measure baby’s heart rate to make sure it is healthy. 

Ultrasounds provide information necessary in helping us figure out our next steps. Even if someone is considering an abortion, she would need to know how far along she is to determine what type of abortion procedure would be used. Regardless of the decision, ultrasounds will give us peace of mind and vital details about the health of our own body as well as our baby’s.

How Will I Pay?

Insurance companies will often cover or partially cover the costs of an ultrasound if a doctor considers it medically necessary. This doesn’t usually happen until much later in the pregnancy. However, Lifeline Pregnancy Help Clinic offers no-cost and confidential ultrasounds as early as 6 weeks. You won’t pay anything for any services provided to you at Lifeline, and Lifeline does not financially benefit from your decision regarding your pregnancy. Our nurses and counselors are here to provide you with the resources you need to figure out your next step. Click here to make an appointment or here to find out more information about our services.

An unexpected pregnancy can feel like chaos, but when we reach out and arm ourselves with all the information available to us, we gain a sense of control that will help us make the healthiest choice for us and our families.

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Resources:
WebMD (
http://www.webmd.com/baby/ultrasound#3),
Healthline (
http://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/checkups-tests#checkups-and-tests1)

Find Us

CONTACT US
Lifeline Pregnancy Help Clinic
1515 N. New St.
Kirksville, MO 63501
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Text: 660.851.4350
Call: 660.665.5688
lifelinephc@gmail.com