Complications During Pregnancy

For as long as you clean and disinfect things that people touch a lot, like phones, doorknobs, and counters pregnancy and covid-19 has no issues in it. Any woman who has ever had a baby will tell you that her worst nightmare while she was expecting was pregnancy complications. Fortunately, for most women the nine months from conception to birth pass by fairly smoothly, but in some cases difficulties or issues will arise. But before you start panicking, remember that most of these problems are easily solved, while others may make this time a little more inconvenient or unpleasant, but there will still be a healthy baby at the end. And yes, there are those times when these complications can result in a still-birth or a miscarriage, but this does not have to be the inevitable outcome or a constant source of worry throughout.

Monitoring the Stages of Pregnancy

One of the best ways to head off complications during pregnancy is to follow the old adage, “Prevention is better than cure” Register with a good prenatal clinic near your home, and go for regular checkups.

Many places have free or subsidised prenatal testing, provided by their public health service. Find out the rules and procedures where you live and where to get the best access to competent health professionals.

Once you have registered at the clinic or with the healthcare provider of your choice, you will take regular blood tests, urine tests, and do ultrasounds at various points. Your weight gain will also be monitored, as well as changes in the shape of the uterus as your baby develops. Additionally, you will be offered the choice of taking various prenatal genetic tests, depending on your age and other individual factors. At various points, the doctor will do a sonogram, listening to your baby’s heartbeat.

By doing all of these tests, you are most likely to head off any potential trouble at the earliest stages. At the same time, you will feel reassured whenever the doctor tells you that everything is developing nicely and that you are having a healthy pregnancy. You will also have a reliable place to ask all of your pregnancy questions.

Below are some of the complications that you are being tested for and are seeking to avoid:

  • Anaemia – This is insufficient iron in the blood to deal with the growing number of red blood cells that appear in the body while you are expecting. If you are anaemic, you will feel weak and constantly exhausted. You may also lose far more blood during the birth and can become less resistant to infection.
  • Gestational Diabetes – Some women find that they develop diabetes in pregnancy. If they have never had diabetes before, chances are that it will go away after the baby is born. Nonetheless, this is a condition that must be watched because it can make the baby grow too large, possibly necessitating a Caesarean section, or it can put the baby at higher risk of jaundice. Most clinics will test your glucose and sugar levels at various points to find out if you are developing gestational diabetes. The good news is that this condition can be controlled with the help and vigilance of your healthcare provider.
  • Preeclampsia – Preeclampsia is an unusual condition due to which the mother develops high blood pressure, water retention, and protein in the urine. Very occasionally, preeclampsia leads to seizures and can even have fatal consequences for both mother and child. For this reason, you will be tested several times over the coming months for protein levels in your urine. It most usually develops towards the end, from about 20 weeks on, and is more common in the first pregnancy than in later ones.

There are various types of preeclampsia, and in some cases the baby has to be induced, even if this means a preterm birth. However, treatment does not always have to be this radical, and if caught early enough preeclampsia can be treated through bed rest, changing the diet, avoiding stress, or having to go into hospital for a while. If you experience high blood pressure, dizziness, sudden swelling in the wrists or ankles, headaches, and disturbances in your vision, do not hesitate to contact your healthcare professional.

Constantly monitoring your blood pressure and protein testing will go a long way to helping you catch this condition before it spirals out of hand. Do not stress about it. Just do the relevant tests and don’t worry about it unless there is a reason to do so.

Unforeseen Problems – Pregnancy Bleeding

Apart from the complications that you are screened for, sometimes certain things may arise unexpectedly. For example, as you are well aware, one of the first pregnancy symptoms is missing a period. In theory, you will not see any blood from then on until you actually give birth. So what do you do if you find that you are bleeding during pregnancy? What does this mean?

In very early pregnancy, you might have a tiny bit of spotting due to a partially repressed period. At that stage, your hormones might not have caught up with your new state and you will still have a very scanty period. This, however, is quite rare. Sometimes, bleeding is caused by a cervical erosion, which when the cervix is inflamed and sore. This can be for a variety of reasons, from venereal disease to a reaction to the previous use of an IUD.

On the other hand, bleeding can also be the first sign of a miscarriage. Is the blood heavy? Is it red, indicating that it is fresh, or brown, showing that it is old and possibly from another source? Do you feel cramps or pain with it? When and how did it start?

Sometimes, bleeding can be a sign of placenta previa, when the placenta moves to cover all or part of the cervix. Depending on the extent and type of previa, it can also be diagnosed before any bleeding occurs. In this case, the woman is often put on bed rest and told to refrain from sexual intercourse until the situation resolves itself. If there is bleeding, the situation is more complex and sometimes, depending on various factors, the baby is delivered with an emergency Caesarean section, or the woman may have to remain on bed rest until the end of the pregnancy. In this situation, constant blood transfusions and certain injections may be given until the mother can deliver. Placenta previa is even more serious if it occurs at term, as it can cause various complications for the baby.

In light of everything written above, it is important to remember that you should never ignore pregnancy bleeding and just assume that everything will be all right. If there is even just a little bit of blood, you should contact your healthcare provider as soon as you can. And if the clinic is closed, or you are experiencing heavy bleeding and cramps, don’t wait around. Get to the nearest emergency room and find out exactly what is going on. Only a medical professional is really qualified to tell you what is going on and what can be done.

Expecting the Unexpected – Twin Pregnancy Complications

Carrying twins does not exactly fall into the same category as bleeding or preeclampsia. There is actually nothing more delightful than the birth of an extra, healthy baby. However, a twin pregnancy definitely has more risks associated with it than a regular singleton birth. First of all, you will feel far more uncomfortable and heavy while you are expecting. All the hormones are more in evidence, so you may experience stronger pregnancy signs, as well as more intense varicose veins and back pain, both of which can feel a lot worse especially towards the end because you will also be carrying extra weight. Obviously, you will feel more tired for the same reason and will need more rest.

But discomfort is not the only problem here. Multiples are higher risk pregnancies. For example, the risk of miscarriage is higher. There is even the phenomenon of “vanishing twin syndrome,” when one twin is lost and reabsorbed into the mother’s body without any outward signs of loss beyond an empty sac or a disappearing foetus on an ultrasound image.

Due to overcrowding in the womb, you are also far more at risk of preterm labour. The babies effectively almost push each other out. Around 70% of twins are delivered before the 38th week, though usually after the 28th week.

Another syndrome to watch out for is preeclampsia (see above), which has a higher incidence among women carrying twins or multiples. For this reason, such women are monitored more closely and are constantly tested for high blood pressure and protein levels in the urine.

If you are expecting twins, don’t allow these potential complications to worry you. All you need to do is do the necessary tests, pay close attention to your diet and general health and make sure that you never get dehydrated. It is also vitally important that you rest enough and do not allow yourself to get too stressed. Obviously, if you see or feel anything that is worrying you or seems unusual, you must not wait around. Consult with your healthcare professional immediately.

Preterm Labour – What is It and What Do You Do?

One of the complications in pregnancy that many women dread is preterm labour, which refers to going into labour before the 38th week. There are various reasons why a woman may go into labour too early. For example, she may have an incompetent cervix, which means that her cervix will not support the baby till the very end of the pregnancy. This kind of complication can be foreseen and may mean that the mother has to go on bed rest either at home or in hospital until it is safe enough for her to deliver the baby, or her cervix may be given a stitch that is only removed during labour.

Other reasons for preterm labour are various types of infections, placenta problems, too much physical work, various structural problems with the uterus and/or cervix, and more. Some of these reasons are unforeseen, so you should be alert for any possible signs of early labour.

If you feel certain symptoms, like steady contractions before they are supposed to happen, vaginal bleeding, severe cramping in the pelvic area that is different from anything you have felt until now, intense pelvic pressure, severe pain when you urinate, or a sudden, unexpected gush of clear water, get medical assistance right away.

A Word of Reassurance

While it is important to know about various complications with pregnancy, it is also vital to be relaxed while you are expecting. For some reason, people often like to share their horror stories with you almost as soon as they find out that you have conceived. But while it may be fun to spread the word about the “miracle birth” and “how I nearly died,” this can be terrible source of worry for an expectant mother.

The most important thing to do is make sure that you are as healthy as possible before conception and during the months afterwards. Always do the necessary testing and never miss checkups, as they are a vital part of monitoring a healthy pregnancy and your preparation for birth. The rest is not in your hands. Therefore, you should always be alert, but not obsessed. Think how many women around the world conceive and deliver babies without any pregnancy complications at all.

If you would like to find out more information on early pregnancy complications visit Newborn Baby. We offer help and advise to parents on ectopic pregnancy symptoms as well as free help from our expert panel.

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5 Reasons To Focus on Inner Thigh Exercises With Your Pilates and Fitness Workouts

If I asked you to “name the parts of your legs,” what would you list? Quads? Hamstrings? Calves? Shins? Feet? Ankles? Did I miss anything? Dynamic Pilates Manly have also leg exercise.

What about your inner thighs? When was the last time you put a little focus on working the muscles of your upper, inner thighs? For healthy movement habits a body in balance needs the benefit of strong, fit, and flexible inner thigh muscles. How much love and attention are you giving your whole leg? (Inner thighs included.)

Every muscle in our body needs to have an adequate amount of both strength and flexibility to function well. When we think about targeting the thighs most of the attention gets placed on the Quads (along the front of the thigh), and the Hamstrings (along the back of the thigh) since these two muscles groups are needed to bend and straighten the knee and help us stand up, sit down, climb stairs, etc…

And from there it’s usually, “I want to tone my hips.” Or “I want a better looking, tighter behind.” So we start focusing on exercises to work the Glutes and outer thighs, and sometimes forget completely about the value of the all-important, sexy upper inner thighs!

When I work with new clients I am surprised how little muscle activity is happening with these muscles! For many people the inner thigh muscles are both weak and tight (yes, it’s possible) which can result in restricted hip mobility, tight hamstrings, poor leg alignment and additional stress (wear-and-tear, pressure, and pain) at the knee joints. And if the knees don’t hurt, there’s a really good chance that the lower back does!

Above and/or below weak, tight, inner thighs there is increased risk for pain or injury. Think you’ve been training your inner thighs… I find that many clients, rather than engaging the full length of the muscle initiating from where the leg meets the body, the tendency is to squeeze the legs together starting at the knees which only places more stress on the already stressed-out knee joints.

Whether you do Pilates, Yoga, walk, run, play sports, lift weights or just want to stay safe and healthy for your daily life activities, here are five reasons to find, feel, and focus on stretching and strengthening the inner thigh muscles (Adductor Muscles).

1. IMPROVE BALANCE – The inner thighs are an important part of the leg to help maintain balance when standing and walking. As we age, there is a tendency to stand and walk with a wider stride thinking that this is helping our balance. But this “wider” stance only further weakens the inner thighs, and makes us less stable. Maintaining strong inner things so it’s easy to stand and walk with your legs closer together will help keep you more on-center to enjoy better balance.

2. HEALTHY HIP MECHANICS – The inner thighs stabilize the leg as it swings forward and backwards for a healthy stride to walk and run. They also are critical for support and movement for lateral (side-to-side) movement. Sports like basketball, tennis, racquetball and horseback riding would be impossible without strong inner thighs.

3. PAIN-FREE KNEES – The balance of support between the inner thighs and outer hip muscles is what stabilizes the leg for healthy, pain-free movement at the knee. The knee joint can only flex and extend, but the leg can move in all directions from the hip. Without adequate support on the inside and outside of the thigh the risk of a medial or lateral knee injury (pain) may increase.

4. BETTER ANKLE MOBILITY – Do you have stiff ankles, tight calves, heel pain… a contributing factor can be what’s happening at the other end of the leg. Your inner thighs are every bit as important as what is happening at your feet. The inner thigh muscles contribute to how you stand – rolling in or out at the ankle. With the right amount of both support and flexibility at the hip-end of the leg with the inner thighs, you can help improve posture, reduce foot pain and keep your ankles healthy with better mobility to avoid sprains & strains, Achilles tendonitis and other debilitating foot, knee and hip problems.

5. ENJOY MORE CORE SUPPORT – Of course your inner thighs aren’t a part of your core… BUT, what they do, or don’t do, can dramatically affect how well you are able to maintain good posture and enjoy healthy movement habits. For a strong well-lifted core, good inner thigh support along with proper pelvic floor function is an important foundation for hip placement and a healthy, well-aligned spine.

Just knowing that your inner thighs should be working won’t make them turn on and start working correctly… It will take intentional focus to improve your mind-body connection, deliberate muscle engagement, and purposeful fine-tuning of your movements habits during exercise and daily life activities to activate the inner thighs for proper support.

Understanding how to use the inner thighs properly along with how they relate to the rest of the body to improve balance, healthy hip mechanics, pain-free knees, better ankle mobility and more core support is a part of the process of retraining your body for better health. When you understand the value of better body mechanics you are one step closer to better health.

What are your inner thighs doing for you? Helping you stay strong, healthy, and on-balance? Or are you feeling challenged to stand upright, find it difficult to balance easily on one leg, or are battling to maintain your good health and are struggling with foot, knee, hip, or back pain?

What can YOU do to take action and start incorporating the right inner thigh exercises into your weekly workouts to re-train your body for better posture and develop healthy movement habits?

Is it time for you to find, feel, and focus on your inner thighs?

Aliesa George, PMA-CPT is the founder of Centerworks® and creator of the Healthy Movement Habits™ Training and Mentorship programs. For more than 20 years, Aliesa has been helping her clients improve their mind-body connection for better strength, flexibility, and fitness for an active, injury-free lifestyle. Good health doesn’t happen by accident! To improve health & fitness it takes the right action to get the right results. Aliesa has helped transform thousands of lives by sharing her expertise, tips, techniques, and wellness success strategies through her online courses, live events & training programs, books, products, and educational learning resources. Specializing in foot-fitness, functional movement, and Pilates she assists clients in integrating her Intentional Movement Training Systems™ strategies for whole body health through the development of healthy movement habits into everything from sports, fitness, and daily life activities. Register NOW to receive the bi-monthly Centerworks Wellness Success eNews packed with articles, tips, and information to keep you healthy from your head to your toes!

Are you ready to fine-tune your fitness to look good and feel great? How’s your posture affecting your health? Take the Quick Posture Quiz ( http://www.centerworks.com/functional-movement/ ) on the Centerworks.com home page to learn more about your current posture and health habits.

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6 Whiteboard Animation Questions Answered

I’m sure you’ve noticed the growth in so-called ‘whiteboard animation’ videos on the Internet. Storyboard artist Sydney employs three rendering steps to increase the flexibility of retrieved images, which include erasing irrelevant regions, unifying styles of images and substituting consistent characters.

You know. The ones where an artist’s hand is seen to sketch out text and images in double-quick time to illustrate the message the video is trying to get across.

And I’m sure, like most people, you find this type of video very entertaining to watch and maybe you’re curious as to how they are made and would like to know whether you could make them too.

In this article, I will answer some of the most common questions about whiteboard animation videos and demonstrate that they are far easier to create than you probably imagine.

Are you ready? Then let’s dive in.

1. Why should you use video?

We’ll start at Square One. If you are trying to get a message across, whether to sell something, educate people or just to entertain, why choose video over other formats?

There are at least three good reasons.

Firstly, video is the most accessible, immediate and compelling medium around at the moment. We are all used to watching TV or film and digesting content in the form of moving images. We associate it with being entertained and we like to be entertained.

In other words, people are more likely to stick with a video until the end than they are with pure text or text and images.

Second, the Internet loves video. People will share entertaining or informative video content through social media, such as Facebook or Twitter, with a readiness not found with other formats. (When did you last hear of a printed document ‘going viral’?)

And Google loves video. Do a search on almost any subject and you will find a good crop of videos appearing prominently. It has been amply demonstrated that, all else being equal, a video will rank higher and more quickly than the same content in another form will.

Third, if you create a video, you have the means to easily adapt it to present the same information in other formats. You can strip off the audio to create something people can listen to and have that audio transcribed to have something people can read.

2. Why should you use whiteboard animation videos?

In simple terms, whiteboard animation videos have all of the plus points of other videos, but much more so.

First, there is always something happening on screen to keep the viewer engaged and interested.

Second, most of us have been brought up on cartoons and the element of animation creates a powerful subconscious draw. It brings the kid out in us.

Third, they say a picture is worth a thousand words. Carefully chosen images in a whiteboard animation can engage with viewers on an emotional level that simple words cannot. The fact that those images are moving only adds to the engagement.

For all of these reasons, whiteboard animation videos have been shown to be significantly more effective at getting a message across than other video formats. And that is particularly true of sales messages.

3. Why else should you use whiteboard animation videos?

Still not convinced? Then here’s the decider.

Yes, whiteboard animation videos are entertaining and informative but they are also a whole lot more fun to watch than dry wordy PowerPoint presentations.

Which would you rather sit down and watch (and pay attention to) – a serious public information film or an episode of the Road Runner trashing Wile E Coyote (yet again)?

That is an extreme example but you get the point. We are going to be much more ready to digest information if we are having even a little bit of fun along the way.

In other words, we learn better when we are being entertained.

But that is not all. Having to break information down into a form where it can be demonstrated with simple sketch images and short text snippets forces whoever is making the video to present even complex concepts in an accessible manner.

4. How do you make whiteboard animation videos?

Not so long ago, it used to be very hard or very expensive to create whiteboard animation.

You literally had to get a graphic artist to draw the images and text you wanted to use in your video and then film them doing it in ‘real time’.

You then had to use some clever technology and editing skills to speed up the footage you had taken and make it synchronise with the message you were trying to get across.

If you were not gifted with the whole range of expertise required to do this for yourself, you had to employ some very expensive professionals to do it for you.

And that did not come cheap.

That is why almost all of the early whiteboard animation videos that hit the Internet streets came from big businesses with deep pockets.

Fortunately for the rest of us, that has now all changed.

There is now ‘off-the-shelf’ software that automates the process of creating whiteboard animation.

In simple terms, you just select the images and text you want to use, specify how you want them to be animated and let the software do the rest.

5. How does whiteboard animation software work?

The first thing you will need to do is write down the key points you want to convey in your video.

Next, you develop your outline into a ‘script’. How detailed this is will depend on how good you are at ad-libbing.

(If your video is not going to have a voiced narrative, you will, of course, miss out this step.)

You then use your script to create a rough ‘storyboard’. This will indicate the type of images and text you want to use to illustrate each of your points.

Text is easy because the software will provide a text-editing tool, much like a standard word processor. You will just select the font, color, etc you want to use.

Images may be a little more difficult. The software will come with a built-in image library and you may be able to find most (or even all) of what you need there.

If not, you can pay a few dollars to acquire royalty-free images from online stock image libraries. Or, if you have particularly specialized needs, you can always pay someone on websites like Fiverr.com to create tailored images for you.

You now fire up the software and you are ready to roll.

If you have a narrative, you can record that inside the software or import an audio file you created elsewhere.

Then it’s just a case of adding the images and text to the virtual whiteboard in the order you want them to appear. You will be able to specify the animation effect you want to use to introduce each image or text, how long you want it to take and whether you want it to stick around or disappear.

If you have a narrative, you will need to play around with timings to make sure what happens on screen dovetails with what is being said.

When you have finished, you hit ‘create video’ and job done.

Your new whiteboard animation video is now ready to be uploaded to YouTube, Facebook, your website or wherever else you want to place it.

6. Should you be using whiteboard animation?

Yes! All else being equal, whiteboard animation videos are going to out-perform run-of-the-mill videos in a whole array of applications.

They have been shown to be more effective at selling, training, presenting and entertaining.

And with very affordable software now on the market to automate the process of creating whiteboard animation, there is no longer any excuse for not using this powerful medium in your online activities.

This is especially true if you aren’t the most polished presenter out there. Whiteboard animation carries a highly perceived value because it looks slick and professional and few people realise that it can now be produced cost-effectively.

And here is another reason to use whiteboard animation. It is a whole lot of fun!

When you start enjoying the video production process, not only will it stop feeling so much of a ‘chore’, that enjoyment will also come across in your finished product, making it even more effective at getting your message across.

The bottom line is that whiteboard animation is a new and exciting medium that has the potential to significantly boost your online activities.

Once the preserve of big business, software now makes whiteboard animation accessible to all. So isn’t it time you used it to get your message across in a fresh and compelling way?

If you want to find out more about using whiteboard animation in your business, visit Scenesbydean.com

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