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Answers About Urinary Tract Infections In Pregnancy

Answers About Urinary Tract Infections In Pregnancy

It seems that there are so many things to worry about when you are pregnant. Of course, this is also offset by all the good, like the delivery of your baby and the first time you hold them in your arms. If urinary tract infections in pregnancy is a worry to you, read on to get the answers to questions that will help put your mind at ease.

Are you worried you might have a urinary tract infection? Do you know what a UTI is? There are so many questions about the condition, so where do you get the answers you are looking for? Right here of course. If you suspect that you have a urinary infection in pregnancy it is important that you seek confirmation and get treated in order to avoid any complications.

First off, a UTI is basically an infection affecting the urinary system, which is made up of the bladder, the kidneys, the ureter (which is the tube taking urine from the kidneys down to the bladder), and the urethra (the tube taking urine out of the body).

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Of course, you may have many questions about urinary tract infections in pregnancy. To ease your worries because here are some of the most common questions and answers.

What Causes Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)?

One of the most common causes of UTIs is bacteria getting into your urine. Of course, bacteria are naturally present in the body and can be typically found in the lower bowel, along with stool. Problems begin when the bacteria sneaks its way into the urinary tract. Generally, there are several ways that it can do this.

uti
    image source: WebMD.com

    Typically, bacteria can get into the urinary tract system by the following:

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    • Sexual intercourse.
    • A blockage of the urinary passage, like pressure caused by an enlargement of the uterus during pregnancy.
    • Wiping the vagina from back to front, more so if you have just emptied your bowels. Always wipe front to back, otherwise you risk getting stool into the vagina.
    • Having a catheter in place to help you empty your bladder.

    Do Pregnant Women Get More Urinary Tract Infections?

    Are pregnant women more likely to suffer from a urinary tract infection? This is a question that is debatable as there has been research suggesting that urinary tract infections in pregnancy are more common. On the other hand, anyone can suffer from the infection at any time – men included.

    The risk; therefore, may be higher when pregnant due to the fact that when pregnant the hormones change the urinary tract, leaving you open to infections. Along with this, as the unborn baby grows the uterus also grows, pressing against the bladder. If you have been pregnant before you will know that this can cause you to feel as though you want to empty the bladder more frequently, but it may also mean that you might not be able to empty the bladder completely. This leads to urine being left in the bladder where it becomes stagnant, resulting in infection in the kidney.

    How Do I Know If I Have A Urinary Tract Infection?

    If you have never had a urinary tract infection before and you only have a mild infection now, it may be difficult to distinguish whether or not you actually do have an infection. So, how can you tell and what are the main symptoms to look for?

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    • Finding that you need to pee more frequently than normal. Of course, as the baby grows you may find the need to pee more often as the baby presses down on the bladder. In this case, you should get advice because if it is an infection and you leave it, it will get worse and could cause complications.
    • Finding that you cannot pee correctly even though it feels you want to.
    • Feeling a sensation of burning when you pee.
    • Feeling a cramp in your lower back or your lower abdomen.
    • Your pee has taken on a cloudy appearance or it smells strange.

    In any of the above cases, you should seek medical advice and possibly have a urine test to find out if you have a urinary tract infection so you can get treatment.

    urinary tract infection
      image source: WebMD.com

      Do Urinary Tract Infections Cause Serious Health Problems?

      When you’re pregnant there is always the worry that an infection can cause problems for your unborn baby. A UTI in pregnancy is one infection that women may worry about.

      For the most part, your worries will be unfounded as a UTI in pregnancy will rarely cause serious health issues. That said, it should never be taken lightly since a urinary tract infection may lead to getting a kidney infection, which may be more serious. This may cause problems with the unborn baby and lead to a low birth weight or even preterm labor. In other words, your baby may be born early – often, well before the due date.

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      If I Think I Have A Urinary Tract Infection, What Should I Do?

      If you believe that you have a urinary tract infection and you are pregnant you should seek advice from your doctor and get it treated sooner rather than later. Your doctor will ask you for a urine sample and test it.

      This test is also generally made at your very first pre-natal visit to find out your chances of getting a UTI later on.

      How Are Urinary Tract Infections Treated?

      If the test reveals that you have a UTI your doctor will prescribe antibiotics. You shouldn’t worry about these hurting your unborn baby since they will be safe to take. You should take the full course and then you will have to give another urine sample to make sure that the antibiotics have treated the infection.

      How Can I Avoid Getting Urinary Tract Infections?

      There are several things that you can do to avoid getting a UTI in pregnancy, or indeed at any other time. They are as follows:

      • Make sure that you drink enough water. Around eight 8 ounce glasses of water per day.
      • Never hold onto your pee, go and pee when you feel the need.
      • Wipe front to back after you use the bathroom. This applies more if you have opened your bowels at the same time.
      • Make sure that you clean your genital region with only mild soap and water.
      • Cranberry juice is great for bringing down the levels of bacteria in the body. If you like this beverage, drink it more.
      • Try to avoid any feminine hygiene products because they may cause irritation.

      Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.com

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      Published on November 7, 2018

      How to Homeschool in the 21st Century (For All Types of Parents & Kids)

      How to Homeschool in the 21st Century (For All Types of Parents & Kids)

      In 2016, it was estimated that 1.7 million children were being homeschooled in the U.S, roughly 3.3% of all school-aged children.[1] Although this may not sound like a big portion of the population, the growth rate of homeschooling has been 7 to15% per year for the last two decades.

      The burgeoning numbers are not a coincidence. There are tremendous benefits to homeschooling, including one-on-one teaching, adaptability to individual needs and learning styles, a safe learning environment, encouraging learning for knowledge rather than grades, and tailoring a curriculum to the child’s interests.

      Is homeschooling something that you have been considering for your family? With all of the tools and resources available for homeschoolers in the 21st century, it may be easier than you think.

      How to Homeschool (Getting Started)

      After thinking it through, you’ve decided that homeschooling is the right step for you and your family. Now what? Here are the first things you should do to get your homeschooling journey started on the right track.

      Figure Out the Laws

      Homeschooling is regulated by the state, not the federal government. The first step is to find the current and accurate legal requirements mandated by your state in order to educate your child legally.[2]

      The regulations can vary widely, from strict guidelines to no guidelines at all. However, don’t be overwhelmed by the legal jargon. There are many resources and local communities for homeschooling families that can help you figure out the logistics.

      Decide on an Approach

      Every child’s needs are different. This is your chance to choose the homeschooling style or combination of styles that best fits your child’s learning style and interests. A brief description of seven different homeschooling methods are listed below.

      Supplies/Resources

      Often times, purchasing a homeschooling curriculum is done too early in the planning process, resulting in buyer’s remorse.

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      A curriculum is not always needed for homeschooling, and other types of free or less structured resources are readily available.

      Find a Community

      Getting connected with a community of homeschoolers is one of the most important parts of building a successful and thriving homeschool environment for your kids.

      Look for communities online for virtual support or a local group that you and your kids can interact with. Partnering with others fosters better socialization skills for the students and provides opportunities for field trips, classes, and outings that wouldn’t have otherwise been a part of the homeschooling experience.

      7 Different Homeschooling Methods

      1. School-At-Home

      Also known as Traditional homeschool, School-At-Home uses essentially the same curriculum as the local private or public school but at home.

      The lessons can be completed independently, but more commonly, they are administered by a parent or a teacher-facilitated online school.

      • Benefits: formal standards, wide selection of curricula, same pace as peers, short-term friendly
      • Drawbacks: expensive, inflexible, time consuming, parent can get easily burnt out
      • Resources: K12, Time4Learning, Abeka

      2. Classical

      One of the most popular homeschooling methods used, it borrows educational practices from Ancient Greece and Rome. Subject areas are studied chronologically so that students can understand the consequence of ideas over time.

      Socratic dialogue fosters effective discussions and debate to achieve beyond mere comprehension. There is often a strong emphasis on Great Books[3] as well as Greek and Latin.

      3. Unit Studies

      Rather than breaking up education into subjects, unit studies approach each topic as a whole, studying it from the perspective of each subject area.

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      For example, a unit study about animals could include reading books about animals, learning about the classification of animals, figuring out which animals live on which continents, etc. This method is often used as a technique in other more comprehensive educational methodologies.

      • Benefits: promotes thinking about concepts as a whole, not monotonous or redundant, student-directed, bolsters weaker subject areas, beneficial for teaching multi-age students
      • Drawbacks: incomplete, knowledge gaps, curriculum-dependent
      • Resources: Unit Study, Unit Studies, Unit Studies Made Easy, Konos

      4. Charlotte Mason

      This Christian homeschooling style utilizes shorts periods of study (15-20 minute max for elementary, 45 minute max for high school), along with nature walks and history portfolios.

      Students are encouraged to practice observation, memorization, and narration often. With a focus on “living books” (stories with heroes, life lessons, socio-ethical implications), reading plays a big role in this student-paced teaching style.

      5. Montessori

      Maria Montessori developed this method through working with special needs children in the early 20th century.

      With a primary focus on the student setting the pace and indirect instruction from the teacher, this approach includes free movement, large unstructured time blocks (up to 3 hours), multi-grade classes, and individualized learning plans based on interests.

      6. Unschooling

      Unschooling is a learning model largely based on the work of John Holt.[4] The teaching style focuses mainly on the students’ interests, putting priority on experiential, activity-based, and learn as you go approaches.

      For basic skills such as reading, writing, and math, a systematic technique is employed, but testing and evaluations are typically not utilized. Teachers, in general, play more of a facilitator role.

      7. Eclectic/Relaxed

      As the most popular method of homeschool, eclectic homeschooling is child-directed, resourceful, and non-curriculum based.

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      Parents can sample any combination of homeschooling methods and styles or resources. One growing sector of eclectic homeschooling combines part homeschooling with part traditional schooling.

      How to Facilitate Homeschooling with Technology

      One of the reasons homeschooling is more feasible than ever before is due to the accessibility of tools and resources to enhance the learning process.

      Email

      Email is a tool that has really stood the test of time. Invented in 1972, it is still used today as a primary means of communicating on the Internet.

      It is a great way to share assignments, links, and videos between parent and student.

      Google Drive/Calendar

      Google Drive offers a multitude of essential programs that can come in handy for homeschoolers, such as Docs, Sheets, Slides, and more.

      With its sharing capabilities, easy accessibility, and auto-save ability, it’s easier than ever to organize and complete assignments. It will improve students’ writing and typing skills, as well as eliminate the need for paper.

      Google Calendar is an excellent tool for tracking assignment due dates, planning field trips and activities, and developing time management skills.

      Ebooks

      Rather than invest in physical copies of books, ebooks are a wonderful option for saving money and space. There are plenty of places that offer a free or paid subscription to a wide selection of ebooks:

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      E-Courses

      When a structured curriculum is necessary for teaching a certain topic, an e-course is the way to go.

      From watercolors to calculus, there are e-courses available about almost everything. Including different teaching styles that vary from the parents will encourage students to learn in different ways.

      The visual and auditory stimulation will also be beneficial in helping students understand and retain the concepts being taught.

      Some recommendations:

      Youtube

      Youtube is not just a platform for music videos and cats doing funny things. There are a number of Youtube channels that produce quality educational videos, free of charge.

      Creating a playlist of videos for various topics is a great way to supplement a homeschool education.

      Some recommendations:

      Final Thoughts

      Homeschooling in the current age looks much different than it did ten years ago. There are more options and more flexibility when it comes to educating kids at home.

      Don’t be overwhelmed by the idea of homeschooling your children if it could make a positive impact on your family.

      Featured photo credit: Hal Gatewood via unsplash.com

      Reference

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