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Monday, June 17, 2019


Much has been written about communicating with your baby while they are still in the womb, but you may wonder what they can actually hear.  Babies can start to hear as early as 20 weeks.  This article explains how babies perceive sound and noise:

Nature does a pretty good job of programming or presenting the necessary kinds of stimulation that a
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fetus should get at the appropriate times during development," says William Fifer, a developmental psychobiologist at Columbia University. In fact, experts worry that sticking speakers or headphones up to your abdomen could actually disrupt your baby's sleep patterns or the natural order of growth.
If there's any benefit to spending time talking to your baby or letting your favorite music filter naturally through the uterine wall, it's as much for the parents as for the baby, they say. "I think most of the purpose of talking to your baby is to give people a chance to sort of attach, to get used to the fact that this new creature is going to be a big part of your life," says Fifer.  Your baby's hearing is intact by the third trimester, when sonograms show that a fetus will actually turn its head to respond to a sound. But studies have shown that your unborn child can hear sounds as early as 20 weeks and will be startled by loud noises at about 25 weeks. Very loud sounds can cause changes in your baby's heart rate and movements, and sometimes even cause them to empty their bladders.
Instead of the womb being the quiet place scientists once assumed, it is actually awash in sounds, particularly the whooshing of your blood and digestive system, the thumping of your heart and your voice, which sounds louder than it would transmitted through the air since it reverberates through the bones and fluids in your body.  Noises from outside your body are more muffled but they also make it through surprisingly clearly, says Robert Abrams, a fetal physiologist in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at University of Florida. Low frequency sounds, such as those above middle C, tend to be more audible than higher frequency ones. Men's voices, for instance, come through clearer than women's, and music also is easily recognizable.
It appears the fetus can even hear specific speech patterns and intonations, although probably not recognize words themselves, Fifer says. Some studies have shown that babies after birth will recognize -- and be comforted by -- a story read repeatedly to them while in the womb or even by particular songs, like the theme from a television show watched regularly during pregnancy.

From: WebMD

Thursday, June 06, 2019


Pregnancy Over 40 AND 50!  50 Year Old Has Baby

Some people think having a baby over 40 is out of the ordinary, but how about 50? Motherhood really doesn't have an age limit.  There are a number of women who actually do get pregnant with and without help at the age of 50.  This story involves a women who did undergo treatments, but it does happen to some women naturally.

A couple of years on from his arrival, while most 49-year-old women expect their child-rearing days
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to be giving way to becoming a grandparent, Juliet is preparing to rummage under the bed for Rafe's old pram and baby clothes, ready for arrival number two.

She may not quite be in the same league as the world's oldest mum – an Indian woman was revealed at the weekend to have become mum to IVF twins at 72 – but Juliet could be about to claim the title of Edinburgh's oldest new mother.

"People ask me if I'm really happy to be 49 and pregnant and I tell them that of course I am, but if I had the choice I would be pregnant and in my thirties," she shrugs. "Unfortunately I just was not lucky enough to meet the right person until later.

"I do think I'm probably in a better position emotionally and psychologically now, but who knows? If I'd had a child in my 30s then I might well have turned out to be a bad mother."
 from: (

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Thursday, May 30, 2019


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:
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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.

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.

Sunday, May 26, 2019


Ingesting Your Placenta

I've always been kind of an earthy person, but to be perfectly honest, when I read the below article, my eyes popped out of my head in disbelief.
 I'm not knocking it, but the thought of ingesting a placenta makes me a little queasy. According to the article below, there are some women doing this, and it may help with a number of problems in the post-partum period. Read more:

The practice, known as placentophagy, is far from widespread and is received with great skepticism
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by more traditional medical experts. But among a small but vocal contingent of expectant mothers and proponents, it is strongly believed that the organ created by the woman's body to pass nutrients between mother and fetus and is expelled after birth is rich in chemicals that can help mitigate fluctuations in hormones believed to cause postpartum depression.excerpted from:

Tuesday, May 21, 2019


Can you eat during labor? Does it lead to complications?

I remember when my husband and I went through our prenatal classes.  Our instructor said that some women are allowed to eat (depending on the facility they are in) and other women are not.  The logic is that if a woman is allowed to eat, and complications should arise requiring a C-Section, food in the stomach could cause complications.
I wish I would have known about the study cited below before I went into labor. I was induced, so I
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was told I could not eat anything that day. It was really tough to be starving and then having to go through labor on an empty stomach causing very low energy. I've heard different hospitals have different policies - so check it out ahead of time. Read more:

The review, published by the respected Cochrane Library, found that there were no extra risks.

They recommend that women should be allowed to eat and drink as they want, especially if they are at a low risk of complications.

Previously doctors have been concerned that patients who ate during labour could develop Mendelson’s syndrome, which can cause potentially fatal damage to the lungs.

The rare complication happens if pieces of regurgitated food are inhaled when patients are under general anaesthetic, for example during a Caesarean section operation.

The review looked at five studies involving a total of 3,130 women, around half of whom were allowed to eat or drink and half who were not.

They found no benefit from limiting food or water, especially in the number of Caesareans needed, a key indicator of labour progression. 


Friday, May 17, 2019


Pregnancy Over 40, Amniotic Fluid May Be Monitored

When I was pregnant with my daughter I had a totally normal pregnancy - but even so, I was closely monitored.
My doctor, however, kept a very close eye on me and I had numerous ultrasounds and tests to measure my amniotic fluid. My doctor told me that, in her opinion, the amniotic fluid measurements were one of the most important factors in assessing the health of my pregnancy. Here is an article about amniotic fluid:
From the article:
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"Amniotic fluid is one of the main ingredients that keeps a baby doing well," says Dr. Robert Atlas, the chairman of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, Md. "It's a combination of solutes – substances within our own bodies – which help bathe the baby. Early on, it consists of electrolytes, similar to what is in our own blood. The baby then begins to urinate, and that becomes one of the big components of the fluid in the cavity."

This means that the volume of amniotic fluid increases by 10 milliliters until 8 weeks, says Dr. Abu Alam, an OB/GYN affiliated with Overlook Hospital in Summit, N.J. "At this point, the fluid increases up to 60 milliliters per week until 21 weeks when it starts to gradually decline to a steady rate by 33 weeks of pregnancy," says Dr. Alam. "By the end of the pregnancy, it's down to a single liter."

And the purpose of these fluctuating levels of fluid? "Amniotic fluid serves to cushion the fetus to help the baby have normal development and supports the umbilical cord from compression between the fetus and the uterus," Dr. Alam says.

What's more, says Dr. Atlas, is that the fluid allows the baby to move about in the uterus, enabling muscles and tendons to develop. "Otherwise there would be significant orthopedic injuries, which could be lifelong," says Dr. Atlas. "But the most important role for the amniotic fluid is its role in the development of the fetal lungs. The infant breathes in fluid and exhales the fluid, allowing the lungs to develop. If there is no fluid, the lungs won't develop and the fetus will be unable to breathe. Amniotic fluid has an incredibly important role during pregnancy." 


Saturday, May 11, 2019


Pregnancy Over 40 and vitamin C

I had a tremendous craving for oranges when I was pregnant. Maybe it was my body's way of telling me I needed vitamin C. This article explains the importance of vitamin C in your diet especially when pregnant:

Why you need vitamin C during pregnancy
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is essential for tissue repair, wound healing, bone growth and repair, and healthy skin. Vitamin C also helps your body fight infection, and it acts as an antioxidant, protecting cells from damage.

Both you and your baby need this vitamin daily – it's necessary for the body to make collagen, a
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structural protein that's a component of cartilage, tendons, bones, and skin. Based on animal studies, some researchers believe that vitamin C deficiencies in newborn babies can impair mental development.

Vitamin C also helps your body absorb iron. Try to include a vitamin C-rich food with every meal to get the most iron out of the other foods you eat.

How much vitamin C you need
Pregnant women: at least 85 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C per day
Pregnant, 18 years or younger: 80 mg

Breastfeeding women: 120 mg
Breastfeeding, 18 years or younger: 115 mg

You don't have to get the recommended amount of vitamin C every day. Instead, aim for that amount as an average over the course of a few days or a week

excerpted from:

Tuesday, May 07, 2019



Being a vegetarian or a vegan can be a very healthy lifestyle. It centers around a plant based diet and, although there still temptations in junk food, being a vegetarian usually lends itself well to eating right. I was a vegetarian for many years and like me, most vegetarians are very well educated on how to have a balanced diet with the right amount of protein. The average person's protein needs will vary, and there are differing opinions in the literature for what the protein needs are for men and women. It's estimated that the average sedentary person should get 46 grams (women) to 56 grams (men) per day. This can vary based on body mass and the amount of physical activity. Pregnancy increases your protein needs to about 70 grams per day (again, this can vary based on body weight, exercise and so on). What may be even more important than the actual protein is the other nutrients that vegetarians may miss. This article explains more:
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Six Common Nutrient Deficiencies in a Vegetarian Diet
By Penny Crowther
Vegetarianism is a healthy way of eating if done properly. However there are 6 nutrients which
require careful attention in a vegetarian diet, in order to avoid deficiency symptoms.
1. Vitamin D deficiency is common, particularly amongst vegetarians. Vital not only for strong bones and preventing osteoporosis, this vitamin has recently been found to play an important role in immune and cardiovascular health and insulin regulation. Vitamin D is made by the body in the presence of sunlight but with the increased use of high SPF factors, we are generally not obtaining adequate vitamin D by this means. The principle food sources for vegetarians are dairy foods. Foods fortified with vitamin D such as breakfast cereals and margarine are often not particularly healthy. Most vegetarians would do well to supplement vitamin D in a strength of 800-1000iu daily, more if a blood test shows very low levels of vitamin D.
2. Zinc is very important for the immune system and for reproductive health in men and women. It is an essential component of healthy sperm. Vegetarians should ensure adequate intake of this mineral through frequent consumption of pumpkin, sesame & sunflower seeds. Pine nuts, pecans, cashew nuts, peas, seaweed, lentils, oats are other good sources. A poor sense of taste or smell, reduced appetite, frequent infections and white spots on the nails may be signs of zinc deficiency. Stress, alcohol and pollution deplete zinc levels. A high fibre vegetarian diet is likely to interfere with zinc absorption.
3. Vitamin B12 is required for healthy nervous system function, healthy blood and the prevention of anaemia. It is only found in animal food sources, the richest sources being meat and fish. There is a smaller amount in dairy foods. Suggestions that algae may be a source have not been proven.
Persistently low iron despite supplementation may be due to a B12 deficiency. Very low energy and tingling sensations in the body may also be present and elevated levels of homocysteine, a risk for stroke. B12 is not well absorbed orally. Look for a sublingual (dissolved under the tongue rather than swallowed) B12 lozenge.
4. Vitamin A (Retinol) is only found in dairy foods in a vegetarian diet. Beta carotene, the vegetable form of vitamin A is found abundantly in orange and yellow fruit and vegetables but not everyone efficiently converts beta carotene into vitamin A. Healthy skin, gums and prevention of recurrent infections (including thrush and cystitis) are dependent on adequate Retinol levels. Vegetarians with an underactive thyroid are particularly likely to have poor vitamin A conversion.
5. Iron is required to maintain good energy levels, resistance to disease and healthy skin tone. Meat, fish and poultry are the only sources of heme iron which is absorbed more efficiently than non heme iron from vegetarian sources such as soya beans, dried apricots, seeds, lentils, cashew nuts, dark green vegetables & wheatgerm. Female vegetarians of child bearing age have a particularly increased need for iron.
6. Essential Fats such as omega 3 and 6 are to be found in nuts, seeds and oils such as hemp, walnut or flax. These fats are vital for mood, brain, hormone and immune function. Dry skin is usually a sign that more essential fats are needed. As with vitamin A conversion, it relatively common for there to be inefficiency in converting the omega 3 and 6 into the highly usable forms, DHA/EPA and GLA. For this reason vegetarians would do well to take a capsule supplement of algae-derived DHA and evening primrose oil to provide GLA.
Penny Crowther is a nutritional therapist with 14 years in clinical practice in London and Bournemouth, UK. Personalised programmes for energy, IBS & digestive problems, pre-conception, cardiovascular health. Consultations in person or by Skype.
Article Source:

Sunday, May 05, 2019


Pregnancy Over 40, Autism and Testosterone

Autism seems to be in the media more now than ever and new theories seem to abound.
This article talks about how higher levels of testosterone may have some association with the disorder. This may also explain why the incidence of autism is higher in boys. Read more:

Of the 452 women contacted, 235 completed and returned both questionnaires and were included in this study. The researchers measured IQ using a standard test in a subgroup of 74 children whose mothers agreed to bring them in for cognitive testing.

The researchers then looked at the levels of testosterone found in the amniotic fluid taken during amniocentesis. The researchers used statistical tests to assess whether there was any relationship
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between testosterone levels in the womb, and the children’s IQ and levels of autistic traits. The researchers also looked at girls and boys separately to see if gender had any effect. The researchers also took into account various factors that might affect their results, such as the mothers’ age, duration of the pregnancies when the amniocentesis was carried out (usually between 14 and 22 weeks), parental education, having an older sibling, and child age at the time of the questionnaire.

What were the results of the study? The researchers found that, as expected, the amniotic fluid in pregnancies carrying males had higher testosterone levels than in pregnancies carrying girls. At age 6-10 boys showed higher levels of autistic traits than girls.

Children whose amniotic fluid contained higher levels of testosterone had stronger autistic traits, as indicated by higher scores on the CAST and AQ-Child questionnaires. The researchers found similar results if they looked at boys and girls separately on the AQ-Child, but on the CAST measure, foetal testosterone levels were only associated with levels of autistic traits in boys, not girls.

from:  Testosterone linked to autism

Monday, April 29, 2019


Even though I am not a religious scholar, I periodically post prayers for fertility and pregnancy.  Here is one you may find helpful if you are pregnant or trying to conceive:

Prayer and Promise for A New Life

Blessed is this new life who will come into our family
We wait for your birth and we pray for your health
You are sent by God as a divine gift
We promise to love and cherish you throughout your life
We promise to raise you according to the word of God
We promise to protect and keep you from harm

Thursday, April 25, 2019


If you should become pregnant over the age of 40, many well-meaning medical professionals may scare you with all of the doom and gloom regarding older-age pregnancies.  Okay, they are doing their job and trying to inform you of the risks, but how much higher are pregnancy complications and/or birth defects over the age of 40?  I think you'd be surprised that outcomes aren't that different between older women and their younger counterparts.  Some birth defects are actually lower in older women and some measures of childhood outcomes are better for children born to older mothers!

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Monday, April 22, 2019



Many women hear about natural progesterone cream to help with fertility and hormonal balance.  When I was trying to conceive, I did use natural progesterone cream because I had been told that my progesterone fell too early in my cycle (this was a test I had done when I went through fertility treatments).  I'm certain that it did help me conceive by resolving some of my estrogen dominance.  This article explains what natural progesterone cream is:

If you think you may have estrogen dominance, progesterone opposes the effect of estrogen. I knew my progesterone was low from one of the blood tests I had done during my fertility treatments. Also, my menstrual cycles were quite short (indicating my progesterone was falling too quickly after ovulation.) I kept coming across natural progesterone cream in my reading which I immediately began using. Natural progesterone is a plant extract which has a molecular structure identical to the
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progesterone produced by your body (unlike the synthetic progesterone widely used by the medical community). Using natural progesterone and avoiding xenoestrogens can put your hormones back in balance. Since my menstrual cycles were as short as 21 days (they would range between 21-24 days when I first started trying to get pregnant), I knew progesterone cream could help maintain my uterine lining and lengthen my menstrual cycle.

Natural progesterone cream is used between days 12-27 of your menstrual cycle (if it goes that long) and you can purchase it over the counter at health food stores. You can also purchase it on-line, but I prefer to buy products carried by my health food store because I know they enforce a high quality standard with the manufacturers. Follow the directions on the package. The label will tell you how much to use and how many times per day. Be sure to put it on different parts of your body with each application so your skin doesn’t build up resistance. There are different brands on the market, you just need to look for at least 480mg of USP progesterone per oz. The symbol ‘USP’ stands for United States Pharmacopeia. If a product has this symbol, it must meet certain quality standards so you can be assured you are getting the amount of progesterone stated on the package label. 

I should mention that there seems to be differing opinions in the medical community about natural progesterone cream (assuming they’ve even heard of it). Some doctors don’t think you can get enough to do any good through a topical application. However, there are other doctors who think just the opposite --- that progesterone is best absorbed through the skin. There are even doctors who feel you can get too much with continued use! All I can tell you is my experience. I was fairly certain from previous lab work that I was progesterone deficient in the second half of my cycle. My menstrual cycles did lengthen in the months before I conceived, frequently 26 - 28 days. Most importantly, I did conceive while using it. Many manufacturers of natural progesterone cream claim that it can help prevent first trimester miscarriage by giving your body the progesterone support it needs. Even though I had a problem with miscarriage, I did not use it during pregnancy. I used it up until the time I found out I was pregnant. When you do become pregnant, talk to your doctor about whether it’s safe to continue using natural progesterone cream.

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