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My daughter is 8 months pregnant and suffering with PUPP. This is an itchy rash that develops on the belly of a expectant mom. 1out of 150 woman acquire it. My question is what is the best remedy to relieve the itching? It gets so intense that it brings her to tears. 

It’s no fun having PUPP when you’re pregnant with your little puppy. Most important is that she has gotten the correct diagnosis from her doctor or midwife (there are lots of itchy, rashy skin conditions when expecting).

She can ask her practitioner for a topical medication, or about using an antihistamine (which will make her sleepy but probably less itchy). Taking oatmeal baths might help a little, too – but I know, it can be miserable! Light at the end of the tunnel! Big hugs and Happy #BumpDay

 When should you have your 1st appointment with the OB-GYN after learning that you are pregnant???

As soon as you get a positive result on the HPT (home pregnancy test), call your OB’s office and schedule an appointment. Some offices will want you to come in for an early-ob appointment, others will schedule you at 8 weeks, even later. But most will want to do an early ultrasound, because it’s the most accurate way to date a pregnancy.

Meanwhile, if you have questions about what you should eat, what you shouldn’t eat, what meds you can safely take, make sure you ask for that information while you’re waiting for the appointment. And of course, you can always check in with What to Expect When You’re Expecting, the What to Expect app, or ME:) You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and I’m always there to help. Congrats and big hugs!

Have there been any new federal programs since WIC which focus on the prenatal well being of the mother?

The most important program is ACA and Medicaid expansion (depending where you live). Pregnancy was, until the enactment of the ACA (Obama Care) considered a preexisting condition. Now you should be able to access prenatal care (some states also offer under CHIP, children’s health insurance program).

You can find out more through HRSA Maternal Child Health Bureau. WIC does cover healthy food for moms-to-be and breastfeeding moms – but the truth is, we need to do more to support every expectant mom so she can expect a healthy pregnancy, a safe delivery, and a healthy, happy baby!

My daughter is 4.5 months pregnant with our first grandchild. She panics about every little change in her body since she’s not sure what to expect.

Congrats on your grandbaby (trust me, it’s the best!!). Every expectant mom worries – and first time moms worry far more. That’s why I wrote What to Expect When You’re Expecting in the first place: I was a first-time mom with hundreds of questions and thousands of worries (what was that twinge? Why haven’t I felt the baby kicking? Did I drink too much coffee before I realized I was pregnant? And more!).

First of all, she should ask her OB or midwife when she has a question or concern – they’re used to getting lots of questions from first-time moms. She can also read What to Expect and get the What to Expect app (it’s free!)to find answers to her questions (and to get reassurance!).

Plus, I am on social media and answer every question I get – so let her know I’m there for her too! Growing a baby is hard, and as exciting as it can be, it can also be stressful. She can find me on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook (and so can you if you have questions).

One thing to keep in mind: if the anxiety is more than just first-time-mom jitters, she should talk to her practitioner – sometimes moms (especially with a history of anxiety disorder or depression) can experience pregnancy anxiety disorder, which might require treatment. Chances are, however, it’s just new mama-to-be-nerves:)

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