Top 3 Questions You’re Embarrassed to Ask Your OB-GYN

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For first-time and veteran mothers alike, pregnancy can bring up a variety of questions that might feel a little awkward asking out loud. The good news is that most women have had those same questions at some point and that there are answers from trained professionals.

 

Here are some questions about pregnancy you may have wanted to ask but felt too nervous to do so:

 

How Likely Is a Bowel Movement During Delivery?

This fear comes up frequently with new mothers, to the point where they can become so fixated on not having a bowel movement that it inhibits their ability to push.

 

It’s actually extremely common to have a bowel movement during labor, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. There’s a simple reason why it happens: the same muscles a woman uses to push a baby out of her uterus are the same ones she uses when having a bowel movement. With the added weight on her colon and rectum as the baby moves through the birth canal, it’s a very natural bodily reaction.

 

While it may seem embarrassing, keep in mind that childbirth is a very private affair. Doctors are not only undaunted by this, but generally expect it. They’re trained professionals and their primary concern is making sure the mother and baby are healthy throughout the entire pregnancy and delivery.

 

Will My Vagina Be Stretched After I Give Birth?

Not really. Believe it or not, vaginas have muscle memory. The vagina is also made to accommodate childbirth; in other words, it stretches during childbirth and then contracts to its normal size. If a woman wants to strengthen her pelvic floor muscles, there are Kegel exercises, though make sure to check with a doctor first before trying them.

 

Why Does Sex Hurt After Birth?

Having a baby is hard work! With childbirth comes natural trauma to the vaginal area, and it needs time to heal. It’s natural for the sex drive to decrease, given how exhausting caring for a newborn can be. On top of that, if mothers choose to breastfeed, that can change her hormone levels as well, particularly her estrogen levels. This can lead to problems with lubrication. One potential solution is to use a lubricant, as well as giving the body time to adjust postpartum.

 

If the pain continues to exist months after birth, however, it’s best to speak to a doctor to make sure there aren’t any lasting issues.

9 Natural, Vagina-Friendly Ingredients You Should Look For In Soaps

Dr. Lori Gore-GreenBuying lotions, perfumes, and soaps for your body is already an adventure of trial and error. With that in mind, you have to be even more discriminating if any of that product will come into contact with your vagina.

When purchasing new products, seek those with certain natural ingredients, which won’t be harmful to that delicate area.  The wrong ingredients will affect bacterial balance and/or pH balance and can lead to vaginal dryness,  a yeast infection, or cause an unpleasant stench.

Search for the following ingredients, and steer clear of harsh chemicals when you’re reviewing soaps or beauty items that might be used near or around your vagina.

Aloe Vera Gel: Aloe is very good anti-inflammatory and moisturizer, which can be applied for dryness, and can help to lubricate dry vaginal tissue.

Yogurt: Yogurt can help with infections, odor, and can encourage bacterial balance.

Lemon Leaves: Lemon leaves, because they’re anti-allergic, antibiotic, antimicrobial, is frequently used to eliminate odors and maintain acidic pH.

Essential Oils: Use Chamomile, Lavender, Or Tea Tree Oil: Natural essential odors can be non-hormonal remedies, treating vaginal dryness, or even vaginal atrophy, or muscle cramps.

Baking Soda: In a low quantity, baking soda can help to balance the pH level in your body. It can also reduce odor.

Apple Cider Vinegar: The acidic qualities of apple cider vinegar can restore the acidic quality of the vaginal flora. Adding a few drops to your bath water can help to resolve a number of issues, among them odor issues.

Coconut Oil: Pure coconut oil can soothe irritated tissue, ease itching, and rejuvenate dryness. Quick reminder, coconut oil shouldn’t be used in combination with latex condoms, as it can damage it, putting users at risk of pregnancy and/or infection.

Olive Oil: Olive oil has unsaturated fatty acids, and it can enhance hydration without disrupting the vaginal microbiota.

Honey: Honey is a natural moisturizer, and it’s a humectant and emollient.  It draws moisture from the atmosphere and seals it in the skin. Honey should be diluted with water if you’ll be putting it near your sensitive area.

Be mindful of the concentration of these ingredients, because too much of a good thing can impact vaginal health. If you have any thoughts on other natural ingredients that can be good for the vagina, please feel free to share. 

 

10 Tips to Help Keep Your Kids Safe on Halloween

dr. lori gore greenEvery October, children around the country buzz with excitement as they prepare dutifully for a holiday that caters to their imagination. On Halloween, children get to dress up as whomever they want, run around outside with their friends, and get rewarded for this with candy. On paper, Halloween sounds almost too good to be true. And while the spirit of Halloween is meant to be harmless and fun, there are certain things that parents should think about when it comes to trick-or-treating.

The age at which a child is allowed to go trick-or-treating with his or her friends unaccompanied by an adult depends entirely on the rules set forth by the parent(s) or guardian. Regardless of what that age is, there are certain rules that parents should establish with their children beforehand. 

  1. Talk about the route that your child is taking
  2. Make sure that your child is trick or treating in a group with other children. Make a point to know who these friends are and talk to their parents so that you are all on the same page. 
  3. Tell your child that he or she should not go into the homes of the residents that they are visiting unless you have explicitly agreed on it. 
  4. If your child has a cell phone, come up with certain times when your child will check in. 
  5. Come up with a clear curfew and meeting point if you will pick up your child.
  6. Have a code – an expression or word that your child can use (via text or when talking on the phone) if they want to come home. Find out where your child is and pick him or her up immediately. While it’s likely that it isn’t a true emergency, make sure that you evaluate the situation when you get there to ensure that the other children aren’t in any true danger. Try not to interrogate your child on the way home. Just make sure no one is hurt or in danger. After that give him or her some space and then talk about it a bit later. 
  7. Tell your child not to accept unwrapped goods.
  8. Have a candy system. While candy is one of the main draws of Halloween, kids can often go overboard if left to their own devices, so be very clear about how much/how often they are allowed to eat these treats. Additionally, consider finding ways that they can share the candy with others.
  9. Make sure that your child brushes and flosses her teeth longer than usual when she gets home. 
  10. Encourage your child to use good judgement and have fun!

For more great tips on halloween safety, see this article.