Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Week 15- Ouch bladder infection.

Baby S is 4 inches long and weighs more than 2.4 ounces now! If you were to peek inside your uterus during pregnancy week 15 you would still be able to see your baby's blood vessels through his paper-thin skin. In fact, the blood vessels forming in your baby's body make him look rather like a map! This week, your baby will start producing lanugo, which is fine hair that will cover your baby's body up until a few weeks before birth. Lanugo covers every part of your baby in utero, except for the palms, soles of the feet, lips, penis, nails, and inner fingers and toes. Typically babies will shed this hair by the 8th month of pregnancy, but it can persist in some newborns for a short period of time. Pre-term babies are more likely to be born with lanugo than full term babies. Your baby might start sucking his thumb this week. The bones in your baby's body are also starting to get harder during pregnancy at 15 weeks and will continue to do so throughout your pregnancy. Your baby is spending most of his time practicing breathing, by inhaling and exhaling amniotic fluid. Believe it or not, the very act of doing so will help your baby's air sacs develop during pregnancy. Your baby continues to form taste buds at this point in time.

Friday I called the doctor in the morning. I have been feeling pressure and it hurt when I went to the bathroom. They told me to come right in. They close early on Fridays so they told me to get in the car and come over. The doctor was pretty sure I had a bladder infection. They gave me antibiotics and she said the results wouldn’t come back until Tuesday because of the long weekend. She said to take the antibiotics anyways and if it comes back negative I will simply stop taking them. I got a call today that I do in fact have a bladder infection. I feel much better than I did before. I guess it is very common in pregnancy.
A urinary tract infection (UTI), also called bladder infection, is a bacterial inflammation in the urinary tract. Pregnant women are at increased risk for UTI's starting in week 6 through week 24.

Why are UTI's more common during pregnancy?
UTI's are more common during pregnancy because of changes in the urinary tract. The uterus sits directly on top of the bladder. As the uterus grows, its increased weight can block the drainage of urine from the bladder, causing an infection.

What are the signs and symptoms of UTI's?
If you have a urinary tract infection, you may experience one or more of the following symptoms:
· Pain or burning (discomfort) when urinating
· The need to urinate more often than usual
· A feeling of urgency when you urinate
· Blood or mucus in the urine
· Cramps or pain in the lower abdomen
· Pain during sexual intercourse
· Chills, fever, sweats, leaking of urine (incontinence)
· Waking up from sleep to urinate
· Change in amount of urine, either more or less
· Urine that looks cloudy, smells foul or unusually strong
· Pain, pressure, or tenderness in the area of the bladder
· When bacteria spreads to the kidneys you may experience: back pain, chills, fever, nausea, and vomiting.

How will the UTI affect my baby?
If the UTI goes untreated, it may lead to a kidney infection. Kidney infections may cause early labor and low birth weight. If your doctor treats a urinary tract infection early and properly, the UTI will not cause harm to your baby.

How do I know if I have a UTI?
A urinalysis and a urine culture can detect a UTI throughout pregnancy.

How is a UTI treated?
UTI's can be safely treated with antibiotics during pregnancy. Urinary tract infections are most commonly treated by antibiotics. Doctors usually prescribe a 3-7 day course of antibiotics that is safe for you and the baby.

How can I prevent a UTI?
You may do everything right and still experience a urinary tract infection, but you can reduce the likelihood by doing the following:
· Drink 6-8 glasses of water each day and unsweetened cranberry juice regularly.
· Eliminate refined foods, fruit juices, caffeine, alcohol, and sugar.
· Take Vitamin C (250 to 500 mg), Beta-carotene (25,000 to 50,000 IU per day) and Zinc (30-50 mg per day) to help fight infection.
· Develop a habit of urinating as soon as the need is felt and empty your bladder completely when you urinate.
· Urinate before and after intercourse.
· Avoid intercourse while you are being treated for an UTI.
· After urinating, blot dry (do not rub), and keep your genital area clean. Make sure you wipe from the front toward the back.
· Avoid using strong soaps, douches, antiseptic creams, feminine hygiene sprays, and powders.
· Change underwear and pantyhose every day.
· Avoid wearing tight-fitting pants.
· Wear all cotton or cotton-crotch underwear and pantyhose.
· Don't soak in the bathtub longer than 30 minutes or more than twice a day.
AAH the joys of pregnancy! I feel so much better already. I have been on the antibiotics since Friday and what a difference. Don't ever hesitate to call your doctor!

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