Pain Meds and Pregnancy
Not all over-the-counter pain relievers are the same, and for pregnant women it is important to know which are safe for both mom and baby. Dr. Lisa says if you are pregnant and in pain, taking an acetaminophen is perfectly safe, however she advises against nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Studies show that NSAIDs can increase the risk of certain heart defects in children. Consult with your doctor before taking aspirin because it thins the blood.
Attack of the Spider Veins
After having her second baby, Claudine says over home video that she saw an increase in the spider veins in her legs, and wants to know how to get rid of them. Spider veins are small superficial blood vessels that appear red or blue.
“Most women who go through pregnancy are going to get a certain degree of either capillaries, veins, spider veins, that kind of thing, in their extremities,” Dr. Ordon says. “Women should know that they can help prevent these things by good support during pregnancy [such as wearing good] shoes. Support like elevating your legs, [you should] do that daily.”
If you have developed unsightly veins, there are non-surgical solutions to treat them. In terms of treatment, Dr. Ordon explains that the smaller, red veins respond to a laser treatment very well, but larger, blue or purple ones will need to be injected with sclerosing agents to shrink down the veins. Varicose veins, which are larger than spider veins, need to be treated surgically.
Roslyn explains by home video that her daughter constantly gets high fevers and it scares her. She asks The Doctors how high of a fever is too high and when she should take her to the emergency room because of them.
“We don’t worry as much about the number as how does your child look,” Dr. Travis says. “Are they eating and drinking OK? Are they out playing in the yard? If they’re doing those types of things, normally the kid is doing OK and the fever is benign.”
Dr. Travis warns that a fever becomes dangerous when it rises to 105 to 106 degrees. In newborns, any fever over 100.4 degrees taken rectally can be a sign of a serious infection. Dr. Travis does advise, however, regardless of how high the temperature is, if you ever feel concerned about a fever, take your child to the ER or call your doctor.
For treating a child’s fever, Dr. Jim recommends low doses of an acetaminophen to help reduce the fever, but warns against giving a child aspirin because can lead to liver problems.
Dr. Jim tells Roslyn that she should keep track of her child’s constant fevers and discuss with her doctor.
Jewel tells The Doctors via home video that her son has an imaginary friend, and every time he gets in trouble, he blames his fictional pal. She asks The Doctors how to teach him to be more responsible for his own actions.
“In terms of imaginary friends, they’re actually a good thing,” Dr. Jim says. “It’s a sign of a good imagination and it’s a sign of intelligence. But I recommend to parents, get to know your child’s imaginary friend.”
Dr. Jim explains that by getting to know the made-up playmate, parents can gain insight into their child’s feelings. To do so, he recommends asking questions such as what he or she looks and acts like.
Dr. Jim also advises holding the child accountable if he or she does something wrong and blames the invented sidekick by explaining that they are still responsible for the friend’s actions.
Dealing With Teen Pregnancy
The Doctors discuss the serious implications of teen pregnancy with 15-year-old Erin, who is seven months pregnant, and her mother, Melanie.
Because she was a teen mother herself, Melanie says she tried to educate Erin about the consequences of having sex at a young age. “I tried to keep her on a short leash,” Melanie says. “But it clearly didn’t work.”
Despite her efforts, Erin began having sex at age 14, and now has many questions about her current situation.
Dr. Lisa explains that Erin’s body is still growing; therefore it is difficult to grow a child at the same time. “Your body, unlike an adult’s body, is much tougher for pregnancy, so [there are] a lot of risks.”
Dr. Lisa explains that there are numerous risks involved with having unprotected sex at a young age, including low birth-weight babies, C-sections and anemia. She says that if a teen does get pregnant, it is important to have early and regular prenatal care and support.
“Even though this may be an exciting time, and you’re looking forward to your baby, it’s going to be the hardest time of your life,” Dr. Lisa tells Erin.
Erin’s baby is in the breech position, which means that instead of the normal head-first delivery, the baby is positioned to come out feet first. Dr. Lisa says most babies that are breech are delivered through a C-section.
After the baby is born, Erin says she plans to stay in school, and shares that her high school offers child day care to enable young parents to remain students.
To get a sense of what a day as a teen mother’s life is like, Erin visits Hannah, 16, and her 7-month-old daughter Neva. Hannah tells Erin that her life has changed dramatically. In addition to putting in a full day of school, most of Hannah’s free remaining time is spent caring for Neva. “[My life is] so different from last year when I wasn’t pregnant or anything,” Hannah says. “None of my friends call me to go out or hang out with them anymore. I’m always at home taking care of [Neva]. I never get to go out and do anything.” Hannah also demonstrates how she gives Neva a bath and explains how she prepares her diaper bag.
Erin says spending the day with Hannah taught her that having a baby is a “24/7 job.”
To help Erin with her baby, The Doctors surprise her with a year’s supply of diapers from gDiapers and will provide her with parenting classes and a parenting mentor from a group called 4C of Southern Indiana, who will stop by her house and check in monthly. Dr. Jim also gave Erin a copy of the book he co-wrote with his parents, Dr. Bill and Martha Sears, “The Baby Book”.
Debbe Magnusen, founder and CEO of Project Cuddle, joins The Doctors to raise awareness about safe haven laws, which enable parents to drop off their newborns at designated hospitals with no consequences. Project Cuddle is a 24/7 crisis hotline and resource center for girls and women contemplating abandoning or harming their newborn babies.
Jackie, 29, was born with very thin eyebrows and says she has always been unhappy with them. She even began using a pencil to draw in the brow in the sixth grade.
To fix her sparse arches, Jackie undergoes an eyebrow transplant. Dr. Kenneth Siporin performed the procedure by dissecting the hair from the back of Jackie’s scalp, dissecting the hair, making multiple incisions across the brow and inserting hundreds of hairs. The hairs will fill out gradually, and the final result will be reached within five months to a year. The transplant costs between $4,000 and $5,000 for both brows.
“I feel really excited,” Jackie says. “I’m going to throw the pencil out. No more penning them on.”
Dr. Ordon blogs about the procedure.