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Friday, October 30, 2009

Indulge in Healthy Chocolate For Halloween

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Problems Sleeping In Pregnancy

Maybe I'm the oddball, but the only time in my life that I consistently slept great was during pregnancy. Sleep really helped me escape the terrible nausea I suffered the first three months. I did, however have to prop myself up on three pillows. Here is an article about insomnia during pregnancy and what you might be able to do about it:

Suffering From Insomnia During Pregnancy

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pregnancy Nutrition

I worried about everything I put in my mouth while I was pregnant. My first three months, however, I ate whatever made my nausea subside. That usually included many starchy and creamy foods like potatoes, toast, ice cream, egg nog, etc. After my first trimester, I went back to eating healthier fruit and vegetables. Here is an article that goes into detail about nutrition in pregnancy:

Smart, simple nutrition
By Densie Webb, Ph.D., R.D.(

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Post Partum Hair Loss

Yikes! What's all that in my hairbrush?? I've always joked around that I shed like a long haired cat. I have tons hair in my combs and brushes and my poor vacuum is constantly needing new belts because my hair winds up around them. Some hair loss is normal for everybody, but hair loss can be exacerbated in the postpartum period. Here is an article that explains why:

Post-partum Hair Loss

From the article:

... Normally, about 85 to 95 percent of the hair on your head is growing and the other 5 to 15 percent is in a resting stage. After the resting period, this hair falls out — often while you're brushing or shampooing it — and is replaced by new growth. An average woman sheds about 100 hairs a day.

During pregnancy, increased levels of estrogen prolong the growing stage. There are fewer hairs in the resting stage and fewer falling out each day, so you have thicker, more luxuriant tresses.

After you give birth, your estrogen levels take a tumble and a lot more hair follicles enter the resting stage. Soon you'll have more hair coming out in the shower or on the brush. This unusual shedding will taper off and your hair will be back to its pre-pregnancy thickness about six to 12 months after you give birth.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Pregnancy, Delivery and The Possibility Of Birth Injuries

One of my worst nightmares was that my baby might be injured during the birthing process. But, for some women and babies this could be a reality. Here is an article about birth injuries and some possible ways to prevent them:

Birth Injuries(

From the article:

What is a birth injury or birth trauma?
A birth injury is any complication that results from labor and delivery with the newborn and happens in 2-7 in 1,000 births.

How common is it for baby to break his collar bone during birth?
The most common bone injury sustained in birth is fracture of the collar bone, which is always a risk when a large baby is delivered. [1] However, even in large babies (over 8 lb, 13 oz), there is only a 5%-9% chance that the baby's shoulder will get stuck during delivery.[9] And even if baby does get stuck on his way out, it's quite possible that the doctor's will be able to get the baby out without any complications -- including breaking his collar bone.

Higher-Risk Conditions for Broken Bones During Delivery include:[2]

• Suspected large baby;
• Maternal diabetes or gestational diabetes (ie larger baby);
• Maternal obesity;
• An overdue baby - gestation over 40 weeks;
• Short maternal stature;
• Contracted or flat pelvis;
• Maternal weight gain of more than 35 lbs;
• Protracted first stage of labour;
• Prolonged second stage;
• A history of similar problems during a previous delivery;
• A history of giving birth to large babies;
• 8 years or more have passed since the mother's last labour:
• A forceps delivery may increase the risk.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Pregnancy Complications Influenced By Low Levels of Anti-clotting Protein

I've never heard of "protein Z or protein S", but apparently, women who have low levels of these anticlotting proteins may be at risk for everything from pregnancy complications to miscarriage to stillbirth. Read more:

From the article:

Recurrent miscarriage, stillbirth, preeclampsia, poor fetal growth, preterm delivery and bleeding in pregnancy are influenced by low levels of the anti–clotting proteins Z and S, Yale School of Medicine researchers report in the March issue of Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

“Our findings will help clinicians determine early in pregnancy, which women will have healthy pregnancies and which women will develop complications,” said lead author Michael Paidas, MD, associate professor and director of the Program for Thrombosis and Hemostasis in Women's Health, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences at Yale School of Medicine. Paidas conducted the study with colleagues at the Bio–Reference Laboratory (Elmwood Park, New Jersey).

Low levels of a novel anti–clotting factor, protein Z, and protein S early in pregnancy may act together with other genetic clotting tendencies to adversely affect pregnancy, according to the study. Testing for these proteins can help determine which women with inherited clotting problems are at risk for pregnancy complications and how they should be treated.

The study included 103 women with normal pregnancies, 106 women with pregnancy complications, and 20 women with inherited clotting conditions, which affects about 20 percent of Caucasian women. “In early pregnancy, patients with low levels of protein Z have a four–fold higher risk of pregnancy complications,” said Paidas. “Based on our data, we speculate that protein S free antigen levels below 29 percent may be associated with clotting related pregnancy complications.”

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Flu Shot H1N1 and Pregnancy

I previously did a post about the swine flu in pregnancy. Here's another article that talks aobut the particular risk for pregnant women:

From the article:

With swine flu, what doctors call the 2009 H1N1 strain, pregnant women seem at particular risk for complications. Pregnant women make up 6 percent of H1N1-confirmed deaths even though they account for only 1 percent of the population, according to the CDC. They're at least four times as likely to be hospitalized as other flu sufferers.

Vaccine is a two-for-one deal during pregnancy: It can protect not just mom but the baby, too, for the first few months after birth. The mother's body makes flu-fighting antibodies that easily cross the placenta to be carried by the fetus, explains Dr. Neil Silverman of the University of California, Los Angeles. That's important because flu can easily kill newborns, yet babies can't be vaccinated until they're 6 months old.

Once women get that vaccine advice, where do they get the shot?

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has no count of how many OBs offer flu vaccine. It's still considered a minority although recent surveys suggest many more may be starting this year, especially in large cities.

An extra complication: Each state's health department ultimately will decide who gets to offer the H1N1 vaccine, aiming for locations that vaccinate the most people. Those decisions haven't been made public yet. Even if your OB requested swine flu shots, he or she may not get any, at least from initial shipments.

So the CDC and ACOG are urging obstetricians to partner with a nearby site — a hospital or drugstore, for example — to guarantee their patients a flu-shot source, a message the government will reiterate Tuesday in a swine flu training seminar for obstetricians nationwide.

Yet providers who don't routinely treat pregnant women may not understand flu's risk and the shot's safety record, says Silverman, who helps set ACOG practice guidelines.

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