As we follow Yolanda through her pregnancy, she talks about what she is experiencing during weeks 15 through 18. At this stage, the baby is around the size of a pomegranate, and you may be able to tell the sex of the baby. Some symptoms you may be dealing with include leg cramping and swelling of your legs and feet.
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recently updated its guidelines concerning the testing of pregnant women who have a possible Zika virus infection or exposure. It must always be noted that most people with the Zika virus infection are either asymptomatic or have mild clinical symptoms. Mild clinical symptoms can be an acute onset of a fever, a rash, joint pain, and/or conjunctivitis.
There is new data suggesting that the virus can be detected in the blood and urine for 2 weeks after the infection begins. This testing of the urine and blood for the virus should be performed for:
- Symptomatic pregnant women in less than 2 weeks after the symptoms begin
- Asymptomatic pregnant women in less than 2 weeks after a possible exposure
After this 2-week window, blood testing should begin for the Zika virus IgM antibody, which the body makes in response to a new Zika virus infection. If this is found to be positive, there was definitely an infection and close fetal evaluation should begin.
As always, you should discuss the Zika virus problem with your health care provider so you can get the best possible care.
We all know that cigarette smoking is a health hazard. In pregnancy, smoking spreads that hazard to the baby as well as the mom. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) provides us with the following information:
- It is reported that 10% of women smoke during the last 3 months of pregnancy
- 50% of women who smoke before a pregnancy will quit during the pregnancy
- 50% of women who stopped smoking during a pregnancy will go back to smoking after their baby is born
- Smoking increases the difficulty to become pregnant
- Smoking increases the risk of spontaneous miscarriages
- Smoking also increases the risk of a premature birth
- This action increases nicotine and decreases oxygen to the developing fetus
- The baby’s placenta may not work as well in mothers who smoke
- Smoking increases the risk of certain birth defects, including cleft lip and cleft palate
If you smoke, please try to stop for your health and the health of your baby.