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Monday, April 20, 2015


Pregnancy Over 40, Procedure For Uterine Leiomyata

One of the newer options for uterine fibroids is uterine artery embolization. Many women are advised that this procedure may not be the best if you want to become pregnant.   I did have uterine fibroids removed when I was much younger, and back then, they did not have this procedure (I had major abdominal surgery).   However, this study found that although there may be a higher rate of complications, pregnancy is possible. Read more:

Results: Fifty-six completed pregnancies were identified in approximately 1200 women after
UAE. One hundred eight patients were attempting to become pregnant and 33 of these became

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Thirty-three (58.9%) of the 56 pregnancies had successful outcomes. Six (18.2%) of
these were premature. Seventeen (30.4%) pregnancies miscarried. There were 3 terminations, 2
stillbirths, and 1 ectopic pregnancy. Of the 33 deliveries, 24 (72.7%) were delivered by cesarean
section. There were 13 elective sections and the indication for 9 was fibroids. There were 6 cases
of postpartum hemorrhage (18.2%).


Friday, April 17, 2015


We frequently talk about natural ways to enhance fertility over 40, but can and do women get pregnant over 50 naturally?  Yes, it does happen and I've devoted a page on my website to some stories of women who got pregnant against all odds.  Even women who thought they were going through menopause were still fertile! 

Click here to read about these amazing stories of pregnancy over 50:


Tuesday, April 14, 2015


Pregnancy Over 40, Older Parents Let Their Kids Live Their Life

I always thought that since I was an "older mom" that I was "above" all the competitive parents out there who feed their own egos with the accoplishments of their kids.
 Okay, for the most part, I am...well, I try to be. It is awfully hard to not want your kid to be the best at whatever they try to do.

So what brought all this up? Well, I enrolled my daughter in swim lessons. I always thought she was going to be a "fish"...she's a real dare devil in almost everything she does....uh...except swimming. Turns out, she doesn't really like the water...she doesn't like to get her face wet, and I'm beginning to think she must have drowned in a previous life...she's petrified of the deep water.

Truth is, I was a bit embarrassed, she's taken the same class over again and she's very slow to progress. I feel like I must apologize for her lack of interest and refusal to do some new skills. I'm surprised at how upset I am. I see some of these very little kids just swim away, and she's still not doing much...I feel like a bad mom.

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Okay, step out of the mom mode for a minute...what's the objective here? To teach her how to swim or to be the proud mom? It's so easy to get carried away with the "My kid's better than your kid therefore I'm a better mom" mentality. All I really want is for her to be able to be safe in and around the water...NOT to be an olympic swimmer. Yes, she has made progress from when she started, and that's what's important...Heck, I didn't even take swim lessons until I was well into elementary school and I'm a great swimmer if I do say so myself.

Bottom line? Respect your kids for who they are...warts and all. Everyone has their own set of strengths and weaknesses. Swimming isn't her thing...but she has other wonderful assets. So maybe it's going to take a little longer to learn to swim. So what? Maybe we'll take the 2nd level class yet a third time and more after that. I have to remember how lucky I am to even be a mom - in the big scheme of thing, this is just not that big of a deal.

Saturday, April 11, 2015


Pregnancy Over 40 and The Thyroid

I had terrible morning sickness (which lasted all day) for the first three months of my pregnancy.
 Although my thyroid function was tested many times and considered to be normal, I found this article about how hyperthyroidism can cause not only morning sickness, but other pregnancy complications. Read more:


"In pregnancy, hyperthyroidism can aggravate morning sickness into the much more debilitating hyperemesis gravidarum, requiring hospitalization for rehydration. (In my practice, anyone with morning sickness is evaluated for thyroid function again after the initial labs.) But this just covers the mother. Hyperthyroidism can impact the pregnancy, too, with increased risk toward preterm labor, premature deliveries, low birth weight infants, and pregnancy induced hypertension (pre-eclampsia). The antibodies that make the mother's thyroid overreact can pass through the placenta to the baby, causing hyperthyroidism in the fetus, too.

Because pregnancy tones down a woman's immune response to everything (so that she won't reject her baby), immune disease-caused hyperthyroidism may cool down after a temporary surge of activity at 15 weeks, but the medical community isn't in agreement about the studies on this area. However, based on this theory, a doctor should be wary of "thyrotoxicosis" in the early to mid second trimester as well."

from:  Pregnancy and Pre-Existing Thyroid Conditions

Wednesday, April 08, 2015


Importance of Breast Feeding for Your Baby

By Dr. Anuradha K

Why breastfeeding is important? What does WHO say?
WHO & UNICEF recommends that a baby should be exclusively breast fed for 6 months. After six months, safe & proper additional foods and liquids should complement breast feeding to meet the nutritional needs of a young child up to the age of two years.
Why breast milk is best?

  • Breast milk is Mother Nature's gift to the baby! There are more than 200 constituents of breast milk known to science.
  • About 80 percent of live cells in breast milk are made of macrophages that kill bacteria and viruses
  • Breast milk is sterile and free from pollutants
  • Breast milk in the first few days called Colostrum. This is called Liquid Gold for the baby. Colostrum contains antibodies to protect the newborn against disease, as well as being lower in fat and higher in protein than ordinary milk.

Who can Breastfeed?
Any woman who has given birth will have the ability to breastfeed. It is very rare to see some physical problem for the mother preventing her from breast feeding. Size of breasts does not have any effect the amount of breast milk production. Even with inverted nipples, women will be able to breast feed with some help. Amount of breast milk production will increase as your baby continues to suckle. Even mothers who have had Caesarean Section, Breech baby and twin babies can also breast feed comfortably with sufficient milk.
What are the benefits for the baby?

  • Nature has designed the breast milk in such a way that it has the perfect combination of proteins, fats, carbohydrate, and fluids that newborn babies require. The composition of the breast milk changes as per the baby's requirement so that baby gathers maximum nutrition. No formula milk can ever substitute breast milk in this manner

  • Breast milk is packed with antibodies which help the baby fight against infections. Hence the baby is has less chances of ear infection, diarrhoea & respiratory infections. Breast fed babies will have much less visits to the doctors for illnesses.

  • Hormones released during breast feeding will increase bonding between the mother and the baby. This leads to the fulfillment of the baby's emotional and physical needs.

  • Breast milk also has long term health benefits. It reduces the chance of child hood obesity; high blood pressure; high cholesterol level; eczema; type 2diabetes; leukaemia; asthma in later life.

What are the benefits for the mother?

  • Breast feeding is free and easily available.

  • Breast feeding stimulates the secretion of beneficial hormones called, prolactin and oxytocin. Pro- lactin ( pro lactation) Helps the mother to relax and facilitates bonding towards the baby. Oxytocin causes uterus/ womb contraction and reduces bleeding and anemia. Thus, breast feeding helps the uterus to come back to the pre pregnancy size and decrease the chance of post delivery bleeding risk and anemia

  • Breast-feeding uses up about 500 extra calories per day. So, it is easier to lose weight after giving birth if you are breast-feeding.

  • Breast feeding reduces the risk of pre menopausal breast cancer, ovarian cancer, type 2 diabetes, Osteoporosis (less breakage of bones ) and postnatal depression

  • It is very convenient and no hassle of sterilizing/ boiling the bottles. There is no preparation time needed.


How to ensure adequate breast milk?
Take pre-natal vitamins, specifically vitamin D supplement is recommended for all breast-feeding women and for breast-fed babies. Iron and Calcium supplements are also beneficial. Please consult your doctor.
Increase protein intake in the diet - include Dals, Milk and Eggs daily in your diet.
Begin breast feeding within the first hour of birth. Breast feed on demand. This will help regulate the fat content in the milk.
Eat lot of fresh fruits to get vitamins and micronutrients.
Ensure adequate intake of fluids including water and milk. Breast feeding can make you thirsty.
What are the steps of breast feeding?
Hold the baby's whole body close with the nose at the level of the nipple - " nose to the nipple". Let the baby's head tip back a little to allow baby's upper lip to brush against the nipple - this helps baby to open mouth wide. When baby's mouth is wide open, the chin is able to touch the breast and with the head tipped back the tongue can reach out and grab as much as breast as possible. Once chin is touching and nose is clear with mouth wide open encircling the nipple, baby starts to suckle and cheeks appear full and rounded as baby feeds. After baby has been fed, hold them upright on your shoulder to wind (burp). Breast fed babies have less problems with wind over bottle fed babies.
Please watch for the following signs to make sure your baby is feeding well:

  • The baby's chin is firmly touching the breast.
  • The baby has a big mouthful of breast.
  • The baby's cheeks are rounded throughout sucking.
  • Breastfeeding is not painful to the mother - although the initial sucks are strong with mild discomfort.
  • There is rhythmic sucking and swallowing, with occasional pauses. There will be cycles of short sucks and also long, deep drawing sucks.
  • The baby looks satisfied at the end of the feed and comes off the breast on his own.

Reliable indicators of baby getting enough milk
You will notice that the baby gains weight adequately and regains birth weight by 2wks. The other way to monitor weight gain is that the baby gains 500gms or more per month or 125gms/wk. The baby should pass light coloured urine about 6 times or more times a day by 4 days of age if the baby is exclusively breast fed. Please monitor the wet nappies.
Diet during breast feeding
The mother should try to eat a balanced diet. Foods that can be used liberally in the diet are fresh fruits and vegetables, soup of vegetables, milk, curd/Lassi, sprouted moong/ channa, fermented products like Idli, Dhokla, Dosa etc and egg white. Include lot of iron and protein rich food in the diet. The food items which are good sources of iron and protein for vegetarians include Legumes (Dhals), Milk, Paneer, Spinach and other green leafy vegetables, Anar ( Pomegranate), Banana and black grapes. Orange juice and Amla have plenty of Vitamin C which is important for Iron absorption in the body. Handful of nuts for snacking is a good idea for making the diet iron and protein rich for vegetarians.
Natural Galactogogues
Natural galactogogues are foods that increase breast milk production. Indian cuisine has plenty of such food items which are used in everyday cooking. Some examples are Methi seeds (Fenugreek), Garlic, Saunf (Fennel seeds), jeera water, oats and Brewer's Yeast.
Common problems during breast feeding
Full breasts with discomfort and pain - It may happen 3-4 days after delivery, breast are full, hot and hard to touch
Management - Baby needs to be well attached and breast fed frequently. You can express the milk if required. Simple pain killers like Paracetamol may help if the pain is intense.
Breast engorgement - This happens in blocked milk duct. Breast appears swollen, skin looks shiny and red. This may be accompanied with pain in breast but pain may not be as severe as mastitis. You may also notice mild fever.
Management - Feed the baby frequently, apply warm compress or take bath with warm water. Try simple & safe pain killers.
Mastitis - hard swelling in the breast with redness and severe pain. In this condition mother will have fever too
Management - take rest, Breast feed the baby frequently, apply warm compress, take simple analgesics. You may need to be treated with antibiotics. Contact your doctor.
Sore or fissured nipples - Pain when baby suckles. This is due to excess suction on the nipples
Management - If you develop sore nipples, check the position of the baby. Make sure the baby has adequate amount of breast tissue, areola and the nipple in the mouth. Improve the baby's attachment. You can try some soothing creams.
Working women & breast feeding

  • Avail all possible leave at your credit including unpaid leave
  • If possible, take your baby to work, make use of the cr�che if available
  • Do not start other feeds before you really need to.
  • Don't think "I will have to go back to work in 12wks, so I might as well bottle feed straight away". This is the most common mistake the mothers do. Even if you can brest feed for a short period of time, it does provide significant benefits to the baby. The baby will have received some amount of valuable antibodies during this time.
  • Continue to breast feed even at night, in the early morning, and at any other time that you are at home.
  • Express as much breast milk as you can before you go back to work, into a very clean jar, even 1 cup (200ml) can give the baby 3 feeds/day of 60-70ml each.
  • Cover the milk and keep in the coolest place that you can find in the house or in the refrigerator
  • Expressed breast milk stays in good condition for 8-10hrs even in a hot climate and up-to 24hrs in the refrigerator
  • Breast feed your baby after you've expressed the milk, so the baby will get the breast milk that you can't express including some hind milk.
  • Don't boil or reheat your own breast milk
  • It is absolutely not necessary to bottle feed at all, even very small babies can feed from a cup if you decide to use a formula
  • Breastfeeding should begin within an hour of birth
  • Breastfeeding should be "on demand", as often as the child wants day and night
  • Bottles or pacifiers should be avoided.

Dr Anuradha Kharinar holds M.B.B.S, MRCGP (UK), DFSRH (UK).
She has over 16 years of experience in Women's Health. She has worked in various hospitals and health centres in India and UK. She is a Member of the Royal College of General Practitioners, UK and holds a diploma in Reproductive and Sexual Health from the Faculty of Royal College (UK ).
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Monday, April 06, 2015


Pregnancy Over 40, Snoring And Blood Pressure

If you find yourself snoring in pregnancy, it may be time to check your blood pressure.
 This study cited below talks about how snoring may be a signal that you are developing a more dangerous condition. Read more:

Dr Karl Franklin and colleagues gave questionnaires to 502 pregnant women.

While only 4% reported frequent snoring before pregnancy, 23% snored by the end of their pregnancies.

Around 10% of the snoring women had pre-eclampsia, while only 4% of non-snorers developed the condition.


All patients with pre-eclampsia started snoring before any hint of pre-eclampsia, such as blurred vision, appeared.

A second study by the University of Sydney produced similar findings.

Dr Natalie Edwards and her colleagues at the University of Sydney looked at 32 women with severe pre-eclampsia and 40 with normal pregnancies and found that all the women with pre-eclampsia were snorers.

Women with the highest degree of airway obstruction during sleep also had the highest blood pressures. 


Friday, April 03, 2015


With the widespread use of antidepressants in men and women, it's important for women of childbearing age to talk with their doctor and pharmacist about how safe it is to continue medications in pregnancy. Paxil has an association with a higher rate of birth defects.


From the article:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is advising that birth defect warnings should to be added to the prescription-only antidepressant, Paxil (Paroxetine).

Researchers are investigating the link between fetal heart defects and Paxil used by women in the first trimester of pregnancy. Early results suggest the drug increases the risk of this and other birth defects. The agency is waiting to hear the final results of the recent studies, but still warn the preliminary results require immediate label changes.

Heart defects in babies whose mothers had taken Paxil in the first trimester of pregnancy showed a 2% risk, compared to a 1% risk in the whole population. Mothers who took other antidepressants showed a 1% chance of birth defects.


Wednesday, April 01, 2015


Pregnancy Over 40, Get Sunlight and Vitamin D

If you're pregnant, get a little sunshine.
According to this article, it could help your baby's bone width and strength.  You baby's bone mass can be increased with Vitamin D.


 Read more:

Those children born to mothers with the highest sun exposure were ½ cm taller on average, and had 12.75 cm² extra bone area due to increases in bone width, compared with children born in the darkest months.

Taller people tend to have wider bones, but these children had increased bone width over and above that accounted for by their extra height.

The researchers believe that this increase in bone mass is attributable to Vitamin D levels. Sunlight on the skin generates Vitamin D, which works together with calcium to build bones. For most people, sunlight is their main source of Vitamin D.

ALSPAC’S research indicates that Vitamin D is important for bone-building even in the womb.

In addition to studying the meteorological data, the researchers measured Vitamin D levels in the blood of 350 of the mothers in the 37th week of pregnancy, and the results closely mirrored levels of sun exposure.

Jon Tobias,Professor of Rheumatology at Bristol University and researcher on the project, said: "Wider bones are thought to be stronger and less prone to breaking as a result of osteoporosis in later life, so anything that affects early bone development is significant.

"Pregnant women might consider talking to their doctor about taking Vitamin D supplements, particularly if their babies are due between November and May, when sunlight levels are low."

Sunday, March 29, 2015


 Coffee In Pregnancy And Epilepsy In Child

When I was pregnant, coffee was repulsive to me. Having been a coffee drinker since high school, that must have been my body's way of telling me to stay away from something potentially dangerous.  I did not drink coffee or any other caffeinated beverages my entire pregnancy - most of the time I just drank water.
 I have read that coffee can contribute to miscarriage, but this article talks about how it may contribute to epilepsy in the baby. Read more:


Pregnant women who drink too much coffee may increase the risk of their babies developing epilepsy, scientists have warned.

Researchers have found that caffeine may be linked to the development of epileptic discharges in cells from newborn mammals that have been briefly starved of oxygen.

The levels of oxygen that reach a baby often dip during birth.

It has been established that caffeine contained in coffee drunk by pregnant women crosses into the brain of the developing foetus. 


Sunday, March 22, 2015


Stress Affects The Fetus In Your Womb

I have written and posted a number of articles about how stress can affect fertility and your ability to carry a pregnancy to term.  (To read how hormones are affected by stress see:
One study found, after examining the fetuses of women who had miscarried that the stress hormone "cortisol" was found in the offspring of women who were under stress.
Your uterine environment is affected by your stress level as well. This can have long term consequences for your baby including everything from irritability to infections. Read more:

Stress is an example of how a fetus responds to stimuli in the womb and adapts physiologically. "When the mother is stressed, several biological changes occur, including elevation of stress hormones and increased likelihood of intrauterine infection," Dr. Wadhwa says. "The fetus builds itself permanently to deal with this kind of high-stress environment, and once it's born may be at greater risk for a whole bunch of stress-related pathologies."

Thursday, March 19, 2015


Pregnancy Over 40 and The Rh Factor

If you are Rh negative, and you are pregnant or had a miscarriage, you may need to worry about getting an Rhogam shot.
 Rh sensitization can be harmful to your baby, but does not occur until a second pregnancy (if your blood and the baby's blood with different Rh factors have mixed). This article explains more:

What causes Rh sensitization during pregnancy?

Rh sensitization can occur during pregnancy if you are Rh-negative and pregnant with an unborn baby (fetus) who has Rh-positive blood. In most cases, your blood will not mix with your baby’s blood until delivery. It takes a while to make antibodies that can affect the baby, so during your first pregnancy, the baby probably would not be affected.

But if you get pregnant again with an Rh-positive baby, the antibodies already in your blood could attack the baby’s red blood cells. This can cause the baby to have anemia, jaundice, or more serious problems. This is called Rh disease. The problems will tend to get worse with each Rh-positive pregnancy you have.

During your first pregnancy, your baby could be at risk for Rh disease if you were sensitized before or during pregnancy. This can happen if:

See Also: Get Pregnant Naturally(

You had a previous miscarriage, abortion, or ectopic pregnancy and you did not receive Rh immune globulin to prevent sensitization.
You had a serious injury to your belly during pregnancy.
You had a medical test such as an amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling while you were pregnant, and you did not receive Rh immune globulin. These tests could let your blood and your baby’s blood mix.


Monday, March 16, 2015


Pregnancy Over 40, Morning Sickness

Even though older women supposedly experience less morning sickness, it's not true for everyone.  I actually had horrible morning sickness for the first trimester of my pregnancy (and it lasted all day).  One thing that was helpful for me was to suck on peppermint lozenges. Here's a great site that gives some help for women who experience morning sickness. Read more:

General Remedies:

Avoid warm places as heat can increase the nausea feelings.
Take naps during the day (but not right after eating). Tiredness plays a big part in morning sickness.
Get enough sleep at night.
Get out of bed slowly in the morning.
Try eating plain crackers or dry cereal before you get out of bed in the morning.

See Also: strange early pregnancy symptoms (

Open windows or turn on exhaust fans when cooking and after meals.
Cooking in the microwave usually produces less odors.
Silly as it sounds, carry a handkerchief with a few drops of a non nausea causing essential oil (lemon for example) in it and breath through it if you can't get away from the smell that is bothering you.
Food and Drink:

Avoid greasy or spicy foods as they often cause nausea or heartburn.
Eat what you want when you want it. Your cravings will not lead you the wrong way.
Have frequent protein snacks. (Low fat meats and seafood, nuts, eggs and beans are high protein.)
Eat smaller meals every two hours or so.
Eating something salty before a meal can help you "make it through" a meal.
Do not drink fluids with your meals.
Non caffeinated teas like peppermint and ginger can help calm nausea.
Drink small amounts of fluids regularly though out the day to avoid dehydration.
Do not skip meals if you can help it.
Avoid spicy and fried food - both eating and smelling it can increase your nausea.
Cold food may have less nausea inducing smells associated with them.

Try taking your prenatals later in the day.
Talk to your doctor about:
Vitamin B6 - 50 mg. daily. Vitamin B6 has been shown to help with pregnancy induced nausea.
Ginger capsules: 250 mg. three times daily. Ginger has long been associated with alleviating nausea. (Remember drinking ginger ale when you felt sick when you were little?)
Ask your doctor if you can stop taking your Prenatals temporarily to see if the nausea diminishes. You may still need to take a Folic Acid supplement to help protect your baby.
Talk to your doctor about not taking iron supplements unless you are anemic. Iron supplements can be hard for your stomach to deal with.

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