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Friday, August 28, 2015


Pregnancy Over 40, Drugs and Birth Defects

There is a category of drugs called "Retinoids" which should be avoided if you're TTC or already pregnant.
  Usually, physicians won't prescribe them to women of child bearing age unless they have proof of birth control or some type of sterilization procedure. 


Read more:

What birth defects are caused by use of isotretinoin during pregnancy?
There is an extremely high risk of birth defects if a woman takes isotretinoin during pregnancy, even if she takes a small amount of the drug for a short period. Birth defects caused by isotretinoin include (1):

Hydrocephaly (enlargement of the fluid-filled spaces in the brain)
Microcephaly (small head and brain)
Mental retardation
Ear and eye abnormalities
Cleft palate and other facial abnormalities
Heart defects
Isotretinoin can cause birth defects in the early weeks after conception when a woman often does not know she is pregnant. Even babies without obvious birth defects may have mental retardation or learning disabilities (1, 2). The drug also increases the risk of premature delivery and infant death (1, 2).

excerpted from:   (

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


I think most moms (and dads) practice some sort of "attachment parenting", but as this article explains, the term refers to a practice of creating a strong bond and closeness with the child which can make them more secure throughout their life. Read more:

From the article:

What Is Attachment Parenting?
Attachment Parenting—known by the shorthand AP—is not easily defined. Generally speaking, it’s a parenting philosophy “that nurtures the bonds between parents and their babies,” says Lysa Parker, co-founder of Attachment Parenting International and author of Attached at the Heart: 8 Proven Parenting Principles for Raising Connected and Compassionate Children. According to scientific “attachment theory,” babies have an innate drive to form a close attachment to a primary caregiver. Applying this theory to parenting, “attached” babies are secure babies. Says Parker, “Securely attached children are happier, healthier, better behaved, and more successful in school.”...


...Like Precourt, these parents often “wear” their babies. They opt for breastfeeding over formula and nurse on demand long after the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendation of one year; some allow children to decide when to wean. Many AP parents vaccinate their children as recommended, but some do so only selectively—and a few don’t vaccinate at all. To facilitate night nursing and strengthening the family bond, AP parents practice bed-sharing, with one or more children sleeping in the same bed with their parents. AP parents say they practice “gentle discipline,” opting to redirect rather than scold or punish their children. Sons of AP parents often aren’t circumcised; later on, older children are frequently homeschooled.


Sunday, August 23, 2015


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.  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 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 

Friday, August 21, 2015


Pregnancy Over 40, How Cholesterol May Help

I think it's been drummed into all of our heads that you should try to keep your cholesterol levels low.
 However, I was surprised to read, according to the study cited below, low cholesterol could lead to pre-term births in pregnant women. Read more:

Mothers with low serum cholesterol levels are significantly more likely to deliver premature babies, or full-term babies with lower weight, according to the study, "Adverse Birth Outcomes Among Mothers With Low Serum Cholesterol." Researchers studied 118 women with low total cholesterol (less than the 10th percentile) and 940 women with mid-range cholesterol levels. The women - between the ages of 21 and 34; all nonsmokers without diabetes - were referred to South Carolina clinics for routine second-trimester prenatal care between 1996 and 2001. 

See Also Foods For Fertility (

Among white mothers, the prevalence of preterm delivery was 21 percent for the low cholesterol mothers, compared to 5 percent for the mid-cholesterol mothers. There were no significant increases in preterm birth rates among African American mothers. However, a low maternal serum cholesterol level was associated with lower infant birth weights at term - 150 grams less, on average - in both racial groups. In addition, a trend was found towards small head size among babies born to mothers with very low cholesterol. Low serum cholesterol levels often reflect poor diet or nutritional deficiencies. 
Froms (

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


Most women who are trying to get pregnant want to take a pregnancy test as soon as possible so pregnancy test sensitivity is a critical piece of information.  Here is a sensitivity chart from

Sensitivity Chart
Pregnancy Test Brand
Sensitivity (or the hCG threshold at which a positive result is indicated). The lower the number, the higher the test sensitivity.
Early Pregnancy Standard Tests
20 mIU/hCG (to purchase click here)
Answer Early Result Pregnancy Test 25 mIU/hCG
Confirm 1-Step 25 mIU/hCG
Equate 25 mIU/hCG
First Response Early Results Test 25 mIU/hCG
One Step Be Sure Pregnancy Test 25 mIU/hCG
Walgreen Digital 25 mIU/hCG
e.p.t. Home Pregnancy Test 40 mIU/hCG
e.p.t. Certainty Digital Test 40 mIU/hCG
Fact Plus Pregnancy Test 40 mIU/hCG
Clearblue Digital 50 mIU/hCG
Dollar Store Brand Pregnancy Test 50 mIU/hCG
Target Brand 50 mIU/hCG
WalMart Brand 50 mIU/hCG
Walgreens 100 mIU/hCG

Monday, August 17, 2015


Pregnancy Over 40, Try To Decrease Post-Partum Anxiety

Not only might there be a "mind body connection", but apparently there might be a connection between your mind and your offspring's body.
 Here is an interesting study about the affects of anxiety in pregnancy and the post-partum period and how it may affect the child:

From the article:

Women have an increased rate of anxiety during pregnancy and for 2 years after giving birth, said the study's lead author, Caroline Larsen, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand.


"Postpartum anxiety disorders are poorly understood and difficult to treat," Larsen said. "There is growing evidence that untreated anxiety disorder during pregnancy may contribute to premature birth and also can have major and lasting adverse effects on the infant's development and behavior."

Prolactin is a hormone that may protect against anxiety. Recently Larsen and her co-workers found that mice with induced low levels of prolactin in early pregnancy displayed substantial anxiety after they gave birth. Because the researchers also noted that daughters of the anxious mothers had delayed onset of puberty, they conducted the current study to learn what causes this late physical transition to sexual maturation.


Saturday, August 15, 2015


Pregnancy Over 40 And Labor

I had never heard about pineapple bringing on labor in pregnant women. Apparently, this old wives tale may actually have some truth. Read more:

From the article:

Eating pineapple or drinking pineapple juice is said to be an old wive’s tale to bring on labour for woman past their due date. Large amounts of pineapple juice can, in fact, cause uterine contractions.

See Also Foods For Fertility and Pregnancy ( 

It’s for this reason that in early pregnancy, it’s often suggested that you don’t drink pineapple juice in excess amounts.
Why pineapple can cause contractions

Fresh pineapple contains Bromelain which can also soften the cervix . Butm it is said that it takes large quantities to have any effect which can also result in diarrhea. Some women say that they’ve had zero problems having plenty of pineapple and pineapple juice during pregnancy and others claim it brought on labour. The verdict on pineapple during pregnancy? Some would say that you should eat it in moderation and watch for any signs of problems before your due date.

 excerpted from:

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


Just for fun, I thought I would post this article on how palmistry may predict your future fertility and pregnancies.  I've never had my palm read, but there are many resources online if you are interested.  Read more:

The bracelet lines are a series of horizontal lines on the wrist.

Most people have three bracelet lines. These are an ancient indicator of fertility and are connected with past lives also.  The uppermost line is related to fertility and your pregnancy. If the line is peaked or broken this can show difficulties in pregnancy. This is usually due to hormone imbalance only and it is advised to seek advice from a naturopath. If the upper line is broken care is also to be taken during pregnancy as complications are very likely.


Signs showing a child in your future

A child is seen on the heart line with branches reaching up toward the middle finger of Saturn. Also a classic indicator is on the marriage lines under the little finger for vertical branches for boys and diagonal branches for girls. If the branch is attached to the line, as in it does not cut through the marriage line, this shows a healthy child. Square symbols can be found attached to these branches known as your angels who are there to help your children.

Monday, August 10, 2015


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 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

Friday, August 07, 2015


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.

Read about my surprise pregnancy at 49 at


Women who had natural pregnancies over age 50 ( 

A couple of years on from his arrival, while most 49-year-old women expect their child-rearing days 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: (

Wednesday, August 05, 2015


Pregnancy Over 40 and Nitrates

I've heard that processed lunch meats can be a problem in pregnancy for a number of reasons.
 This article addresses the use of nitrites as a preservative in meats and how they could be a problem in pregnancy:

From the article:

In recent years, the level of nitrates contained in processed foods has decreased, and is considered safe for pregnant women. In fact, nitrates are used as a preservative in meats, often making the meat safer than it would be otherwise, from a bacterial safety standpoint. However, I would suggest that you avoid them whenever possible, as foods containing nitrates, such as preserved meats like hot dogs and bacon, are not good nutritional choices for pregnant women because of their high sodium and fat content.


On the other hand, nitrates in food are a danger in that they can be converted to nitrites, which can react in your stomach to form nitrosamines. Nitrosamines are potent cancer-causing chemicals. Generally nitrates are most dangerous when they are converted to nitrites prior to ingestion, which happens during the cooking process. Nitrites form under conditions of extreme heat, such as frying. Therefore, if you choose to eat nitrate-containing foods, do so in a manner that minimizes the conversion. For example, you will want to avoid using bacon dripping for cooking, or frying processed ham. It just makes sense to avoid exposure to any potentially cancer-causing compounds whenever possible, but most certainly when you are pregnant. 


Monday, August 03, 2015


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

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