Health Chats
Pregnancy: What to Expect from Conception to Birth
Wednesday May 06, 2009, 03:00PM - 04:00PM (EST)
603463?1220626855
Elaine Brown, MD - BLOG
gynecology, Billings, MT
The nine months of pregnancy are a time of excitement and anticipation of the day you greet your newborn, but it can also be a time of change and anxiety as your body adapts to the little one growing inside of you. You've probably received a lot of advice about what you should and should not do during a pregnancy, what is safe for the baby and what isn't, and what is normal and what isn't. Learn all about what to expect and when to expect it - from hearing the baby's heartbeat for the first time to feeling that kick from inside, from morning sickness to cravings - and learn to differentiate between old wives' tales and scientific research. From trying to conceive to the first trimester to labor, learn what to expect during your pregnancy in this live health chat with Dr. Elaine Brown, MedHelp's resident expert on Fertility, Pregnancy, and Gynecology.<br><br> Dr. Brown is an expert in women's health. She did her internship at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard University – Brigham & Women’s Hospital, where she also completed her OB/GYN residency. With the help of her husband, who is also a doctor, and her indispensable "right-hand" 7-year-old daughter, Jacey, Dr. Brown is currently on leave and enjoying her time with newborn triplets James, Jay and Jacob. As a mother of four, Dr. Brown is uniquely qualified to answer your questions from a professional and personal perspective.
Elaine Brown, MD:
Everybody is different and it seems that every pregnancy is different too!  Most people feel at least a little queasy from about 7-12 weeks.  I have had plenty of patients who felt fine throughout.  I have also had plenty of patients who were 20-24 weeks along before they got better.
laurenmichelle:
How about being up-side-down during pregnancy?  I have a lot of back pain and pressure in my sciatic nerve and my yoga teacher has some hanging poses he says would help - do you think this would be ok?
Elaine Brown, MD:
I think this would be OK for short periods of time.  I wouldn't recommend it for longer periods.  It would probably help with back pain and swelling too!
sk123:
When I visited a pediatric intensive care unit, I saw some babies with a blue light on them. It was supposed to be for jaundice. What causes jaundice and is there any way to avoid it?
Elaine Brown, MD:
babies get jaundice because their digestive tract is immature.  For term babies this is usually not a big problem once they start taking plenty of milk, as the milk "washes" the bile out of their system.  Many premies are too little to drink milk, so they have to spend a lot more time  "under the lights".  My boys were there a lot.
ChitChatNine:
What are your thoughts on using artifical sweetners during pregnancy .. i.e, Equal,  Diet Soda, NutraSweet type products vs. real sugar ?
Elaine Brown, MD:
Nutra sweet is a combination of two amino acids.  Equal is a type of sugar,  so I think either of those is OK during pregancy in moderation.  Real sugar is probably safest as long as there are not weight issues.  too much weight gain can be bad too
squeakyquynh:
Can I still run a 1/2 marathon if I'm in my first trimester? I'm not pregnant now, but I do run regularly.
Elaine Brown, MD:
did you get my answer earlier?
chantal21:
My grandmother had twins, and my mom has been known to drop more than one egg at a time certain months (she was seeing a specialist years ago) like one month she dropped 3 eggs at once, and she wasn't on any medication. Does this mean it's possible for me to carry twins (or more) one day, naturally? Or do twins need to run on both sides of the family? My husband's side has no record of twins. Is it usually the mother's side that passes it down?
Elaine Brown, MD:
fraternal (non-identical) twins are hereditary.  Identical are not. I don't know whether  it matters which side  of your family it runs on--but it does sound like you are at risk for multiples.
MedHelp:
That's all we have time for today.  Thanks for joining us and thanks again to Dr. Brown for providing us with some great insight!  Please join us for the upcoming Lasik Health Chat:
http://www.medhelp.org/health_chats/register/16
JoyRenee:
I'm pregnant with my 3rd child (technically 5th if you count 2 miscarriages I've had). My doctor told me at my last appointment that tuna is no longer considered safe at all because of rising levels of mercury. What is your take on this and do you have any articles to support this new thought?
Elaine Brown, MD:
I could do some research for you for an article.  From what I've read, you could have tuna up to one time per week.  And, yes, mercury is the concern.
jessbbg:
My doctor and I suspect that I may have Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy and are going to discuss options at my next appointment.  I'm hearing a lot about women having difficulty getting their doctors to take the risks seriously with ICP, and my doctor seems as though he may be the same.  My question is three-fold: What are your thoughts on ICP and the recommended early delivery?  Do you feel that ICP is a condition that most general OBs do not know about and therefore this would be why they don't understand or take the risks seriously?  And how would *you* as a doctor like to be approached by a patient if the patient felt you weren't taking her concerns seriosuly enough (i.e., how would you like the patient to handle it)?
Elaine Brown, MD:
Hi jessbbg
Elaine Brown, MD:
It should be relatively easy to sort out whether or not you have cholestatis of pregnancy as we can test your bile acids. Make sure the test is done properly--I believe you have to be fasting.
Elaine Brown, MD:
If the bile acids are elevated, then you have it, and your baby should be monitored weekly for evidence of distress.  If your baby does show evidence of distress, you do need to be delivered.  Most people recommend delivery no later than the due date. If my patient thought I wasn't taking her seriously, I hope she would tell me so to my face.  To me it would mean that I wasn't doing a good job of explaining things.
Sandy M:
When my baby was born they told me they thought something was wrong with her because she was arching her back.  It turned out that she was just superbaby and was able to pull herself from one end of her crib to the other at 3 days old.  However, I always wondered what they suspected could be wrong - they never elaborated.
Elaine Brown, MD:
the most common thing I have seen that presents that way is reflux.  There could be some other neurologic disorders that look like that--some type of spasticity.  Sounds like you have an athlete on your hands!
laurenmichelle:
thanks!!
Elaine Brown, MD:
you
Elaine Brown, MD:
are very welcome!
brooklyn_gal:
I'm carrying twins (30 weeks now) w/ placenta previa.  Is there anything I can do to alleviate pelvic pain?
Elaine Brown, MD:
Hi again
Elaine Brown, MD:
I answered this one earlier before I totally figured out the system.  We call these binders maternity supports, We have them at our office, or they are available at most maternity shops.  Good luck with the twins!
MedHelp:
Thanks again Dr. Brown!