SALT LAKE CITY — Baby doctors had their work cut out for them Saturday, as several women called or wrote in with questions about life before, during and after pregnancy.
Questions directed at the Deseret News/Intermountain Healthcare Health Hotline ran the gamut from physical discomfort associated with carrying a baby, to potential problems that can arise with medical conditions, yeast infecitons and ongoing intimate relations between spouses.
One woman reported hearing the joints in her pelvis "popping" in the last week of pregnancy. Dr. Scott Rallison, an obstetrician/gynecologist at Intermountain's Avenues Specialty Clinic, recommended putting pressure around the hips, using a belt or tight fabric of some sort. He also said getting in a swimming pool would provide some comfort.
Yeast infections are common in mothers-to-be, and certified nurse midwife, Gretchen Faucett, said more often than not, she tells patients to take a probiotic supplement or eat active-culture yogurt daily, to help with the bacteria brought on by extra sugars in the body during pregnancy.
Avoiding scented soaps or cleansers, wearing cotton undergarments and even sleeping with nothing on can also help to relieve the discomfort associated with the typically annoying infection, she said.
Both physicians emphasized that women should maintain a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet and regular exercise, for the benefit of their unborn child. Faucett said it is important to monitor preexisting medical conditions prior to conception and throughout pregnancy, specifically involving the thyroid, as proper levels are necessary for the baby's brain development.
Numerous tests and various technologies are available these days, however, helping to make navigating pregnancy easier on the women involved, she said.
"Nobody can predict how the body is going to work," Faucett added.
Rallison and Faucett said the part about their jobs they enjoy most is educating prospective mothers. They said more and more moms are turning to the Internet for help with carrying, birthing and raising their children, including Intermountain Moms, a Facebook page monitored by Intermountain Healthcare. The popular site provides an online location where moms and mothers-to-be can share advice and ask questions of health care workers.
The health hotline is offered to readers through a partnership between Intermountain Healthcare and the Deseret News. It covers a different health topic the second Saturday of each month.