Dear Doc | I am afraid to exercise while pregnant
Q Dear Doc, I am in my late 30s and I am finally having a baby. I am constantly told that the pregnancy is precious because it is my first at a late age, and so I am afraid to do exercise or be active. I have read that exercising in pregnancy is good, but some still say I should continue to treat my pregnancy as precious, and it is very precious to me. What should I do?
A I understand your dilemma. This is actually a very common concern for pregnant women.
Most pregnant women can be as active as they were before they got pregnant. This includes travelling, working and exercising. Women with certain pregnancy conditions might need to limit their activity and your doctor would let you know if you have any of these conditions and thinks you should limit your activity.
It is recommend that all adults, including pregnant women, get at least 30 minutes of exercise on all or most days of the week; and during pregnancy, exercise has many benefits.
It can help with your mood, energy level and sleep, and can even help with some pregnancy symptoms such as constipation, bloating, swelling and back pain.
The type of exercise best suited for you is dependent on your pregnancy, past pregnancies and, most importantly, how active you were before you got pregnant.
Walking and swimming are good types of exercise for pregnant women; and you should avoid activities in which you could easily fall or hurt your belly; for example, netball.
Things to remember when pregnant and exercising:
- Avoid lying flat on your back; especially in the late second and third trimester.
- Start off slowly and gradually increase your level of activity.
- Avoid exercising in a hot environment.
- Keep hydrated.
- Stop exercising if you get out of breath or feel unwell.
You should stop exercising and see your doctor immediately if any of the following occurs:
- Vaginal bleeding.
- Difficulty breathing.
- Feeling dizzy or faint.
- Chest pain.
- Abdominal pains or contractions.
- Fluid leaking from vagina.
- Not feeling your baby move as much as usual.
Q I have always been very proud of my hair. Girls in high school always had their hands in it and were always playing in it. As I got older, it was even better. Girls want pretty-hair babies ... but my hair has been getting thinner and not as pretty as before. I am now easily seeing the scalp at the front. I have stopped using gel and stopped brushing it and using a lot of female hair products, but it hasn't helped. Is there anything I can take to get my hair thickness back?
A There are many reasons for hair loss. Some medical conditions and even some medicines can cause hair loss.
However, for you, it appears that you may be having male pattern baldness.
It is the most common cause of hair loss and is a condition medically called androgenetic alopecia. In men, it often appears as bald areas on the front and the top of the scalp.
Your doctor may want to do tests to make sure your hair loss is not caused by a hormonal problem or another medical condition.
Depends on what type of hair loss you have, treatment may be possible.
If your hair loss is caused by a medical condition, treating that condition usually helps. Other types of hair loss, like male pattern baldness, are treated with medicines that go on the scalp or others that come in pill preparation.
For some people with areas of hair that cannot grow back, sometimes surgery may be an option, in the form of hair transplantation.
Medication for baldness and hair loss are usually prescription medication. Your doctor is the best source for confirming the diagnosis, starting treatment, and discussing any other concerns. For many people, losing their hair is a frustrating experience that they shouldn't manage alone.