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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy New Year!



Click here for another adorable animation from Jacquie Lawson:

www.jacquielawson.com

Have a safe holiday weekend...be back on 1-4-11.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays!


Click here for an adorable holiday animation:

lawson.com

Have a wonderful, relaxing and safe holiday weekend

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Birth Defects: What You Should Know

Pregnancy Over 40, Some Birth Defects are Preventable

Some birth defects don't have known causes.
My site: www.getpregnantover40.com
However, there are some birth defects that are preventable by getting enough essential nutrients and by avoiding toxins and radiation.
Here is a very thorough article about the different types of birth defects andwhat you may do to prevent them. Read more:

Birth Defects (www.kidshealth.org)

From the article:

Women who are planning to become pregnant should make sure their vaccinations are up to date, that they don't have any sexually transmitted diseases, and that they are getting the daily recommended dose of folic acid (which is present in orange juice and green leafy vegetables, or can be taken as a supplement in pill form). One way to ensure that you are getting enough is to start taking prenatal vitamins as soon as you begin trying to conceive. It's generally best to avoid unnecessary medications during pregnancy, so make sure you talk to your doctor about any and all over-the-counter and prescription medicines you're taking before you get pregnant; you'll want to stop taking any that aren't vital to your health. Don't do this without talking to your doctor, however.

If you or your partner have a history of any kind of birth defects in your family, if you've already had a child with a birth defect, or if you are part of a high-risk group (because of your age, ethnic background, or medical history), you might want to consult a genetic counselor before you get pregnant. More is being learned about the genes and other factors involved in birth defects all the time and genetic testing and gene therapy are becoming increasingly viable aspects of prepregnancy planning and pregnancy. A genetic counselor can give you advice about prenatal testing and help you deal with any concerns or fears you might have.

While you're pregnant. The best thing that pregnant women can do to increase their likelihood of having a healthy baby is to make sure they take care of their bodies during pregnancy by:

not smoking, and avoiding secondhand smoke
avoiding alcohol
avoiding all illicit drugs
eating a healthy diet and taking prenatal vitamins (make sure you're getting enough folic acid)
getting exercise and plenty of rest
getting early and regular prenatal care

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Abdominal Strength After Pregnancy

Picture: gabbydaily.com
After my pregnancy (where I did little to no exercise at all out of fear), I did start a workout routine about three times per week. I was surprised at how fast I saw results. Not only did I lose the extra weight, but the abdominal exercises really helped my belly to snap back. Here is an extensive explanation with pictures on some helpful abdominal exercises after pregnancy:


www.gabbydaily.com

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Fun Article From Andy Rooney About Women Over 40!



I saw this when it aired on 60 Minutes. I've posted this before, but for anyone who didn't see it...I wanted to post it again. I found a written transcript of Andy Rooney's assessment of women over 40 which I thought I would link to here. Go Andy!

Women over 40 and beyond.

Friday, November 05, 2010

My Interview With abc NEWS On Recurrent Miscarriage


I have always said that miscarriage knows no boundaries. I was contacted by abcnews.com to talk a little about some of the emotional aspects of repeat miscarriage. They were doing a story about Lily Allen and how she has suffered another heartbreaking pregnancy loss.

The article also talks about other women and celebrities who have endured the emotional trauma of multiple miscarriages (although most have gone on to have a baby). Read more:

abcnews.com

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Multiple Pregnancy: Don't Do These Things

There are so many more women nowadays pregnant with multiples due to fertility treatment and the higher liklihood of having multiples when getting pregnant at an older age. Here is an article which gives some good advice for those pregnant with multiples:


Top 10 Things Not to Do When You're Pregnant With Twins/Multiples
By Pamela Prindle Fierro, About.com


From the article:

2. Eat Too Little
You've heard the phrase "eating for two" during pregnancy. If you're having multiples, you are literally eating for three or more, and your caloric intake needs to reflect that. While it is a great time to implement a healthy approach to eating, it's not a good idea to start a diet or restrict your food intake in any way. You need at least 300 extra calories -- PER BABY -- so fill up your plate!
3. Eat Too Much
Just because you've got a license to eat more doesn't mean you should pull up to the all-you-can-eat buffet with a wheelbarrow. It's important to increase your caloric intake, but you've got to make those calorie count. Filling up on candy, soda and junk food does nothing for your babies; it just packs the pounds on you! Choose the right foods: fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein and whole grains.
4. Get Dehydrated
It's not just food that you need more of, it's drink too! Your pregnant body needs lots and lots of fluid -- especially water -- to keep your blood circulating. Dehydration can induce contractions and the onset of preterm labor; it's a very real risk.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What's Labor Really Like?

Here's a good video which explains the labor process. When the video is finished, there are some additional links about labor which may be of interest:


Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Down Syndrome - The Positive Side


I found this wonderful video that gives the "other side" of having a child with Down Syndrome. The video shows all of the things that these kids can do and it shows how healthcare professionals are being educated so they can better inform women who have been told they are carrying a Down Syndrome baby in pregnancy. See more from nytimes.com:

Down Syndrome (The New York Times)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Reduce Risk of Pre-eclampsia


This article talks about some possible ways to reduce preeclampsia - especially if you know you are prone to the condition. It cites the research and, of course, tells you to consult you doctor. Read more:


From the article:

There is no sure way to prevent preeclampsia. But you may be able to lower your risk by:



* Taking a very small dose of aspirin every day during pregnancy, under strict supervision by your doctor
* Taking calcium pills every day (you may hear these called calcium supplements).

To learn more, see Treatments for preventing preeclampsia.

Always check with your doctor before you start taking anything new if you are pregnant. He or she can tell you if it is safe for you and your baby.

There is also no sure way for your doctor to tell if you will get preeclampsia again. That's why he or she needs to keep an eye on you with more frequent checkups. 

from consumer reports

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Endometriosis - One Woman's Story of 10 Years of Pain

So many women suffer from endometriosis. Some don't even know they have it, and others have excrutiating pain every month. Here is one woman's story about how she finally got the problem diagnosed and treated - this is a Yahoo video, scroll down to the video title "10 Year Horror Story" to watch it.

yahoo.com

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

More on Alcohol in Pregnancy


I'm certainly not an advocate of drinking alcohol in pregnancy, but I found the following article interesting about how a little may not be a problem. Most doctors agree, however, that it's better to not drink during pregnancy.

Read more:

The odd drink in pregnancy won't harm baby (www.newscientist.com)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Mothers Teach Their Kids, Not The TV


Like most moms, I try to limit the amount of TV my daughter is exposed to. A little is OK, but I must admit, it is enticing for kids. Here is an article about how young toddlers don't learn words from TV, but from other people:

Turn Off TV To Teach Toddlers New Words
Toddlers learn their first words better from people than from Teletubbies, according to new research at Wake Forest University.


From the article:


In the study, Krcmar evaluated the ability of children ages 15 - 24 months to learn new words when the words were presented as part of a "Teletubbies" program. She then evaluated their ability to learn the new words from an adult speaker in the same room with them.

Children younger than 22 months did not accurately identify an object when taught the new word by the television program, but they were readily able to connect the word with the object when the word was presented by an adult standing in front of them, she said.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Pregnancy Exercises


In retrospect, I wish I had exercised more while I was pregnant. I was so afraid I would miscarry that I missed the chance to stay fit and feel better. Here is a great site which shows actual demonstrations of safe exercises to do while pregnant:

Wall Squats with Ball (www.babfit.sparkpeople.com)

Monday, August 09, 2010

Friday, July 30, 2010

Spare the Rod?

I'm not a big fan of spanking and I have never spanked my daughter. I prefer the time-out method of discipline. It seems like so many parents use time-outs that most kids actually expect it. According to the article below, there could be long-term ramifications of spanking. Read more:

Should Parents Spank Children? (drbenkim.com)

From the article:

According to a study published in the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, corporal punishment can lead to emotional and behavioral problems down the road. In fact, this study suggests that children who are spanked even occasionally are more likely to experience depression or low self-esteem compared to children who are not spanked.

The study in question was conducted by Dr. Paul Frick of the University of New Orleans in Louisiana. Dr. Frick and his research team were not able to find any positive effects that come from spanking.

In fact, they found that children who are spanked can learn that when they are angry and upset at another person, hitting is appropriate behavior. Put another way, getting spanked does not help children identify inappropriate behavior, nor does it teach them what they can do differently in similar circumstances in the future

Friday, June 25, 2010

Folic Acid Not Associated With Multiple Births




I never knew Folic Acid might be associated with multiple births until I read this article. However, according to the results of this study, it was not shown to increase the liklihood of multiples. Read more:

Folic acid supplements during early pregnancy and likelihood of
multiple births: a population-based cohort study

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Start Babyproofing While You're Pregnant

I recall going to a number of prenatal classes where babyproofing your home was discussed. I remember thinking the people teaching the class were crazy when they suggested how we should be modifying our house. However, once my daughter started crawling and walking, I finally understood the importance of babyproofing. I had absolutely no idea what this small little toddler could get into. We found ourselves scrambling at the last minute to get things out of her reach. We had to move many pieces of furniture temporarily to the basement and hire a handyman to install locks everywhere. Here is a good article on babyproofing your home:

Babyproofing Your Home (principalhealthnews.com)

Monday, May 24, 2010

FAQ's About Breastfeeding



Breastfeeding was one of the most difficult aspects of having a baby for me. I was extremely sore and my breasts actually had broken skin and scabs. I had to start pumping until my breasts healed and by that time, my baby had gotten more comfortable with a bottle. There are probably a number of things that I could have done initially to reduce the pain and soreness if I had known. Here is a good resource on some frequently asked questions about breastfeeding:

www.womenshealth.gov

Monday, March 29, 2010

Spring Break




I'll be taking a "Spring Break" from my blogs the week of 3/29--4/2. I'm still here and I'll still be checking my emails. Have a relaxing week.

Be back 4/5/10.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Fetal Growth First 9 Weeks

Here is a great animation and explanation of what happens in the first 9 weeks of pregnancy. It's amazing so much is going on even before some women know they are pregnant.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Pregnancy Discrimination



I guess I thought in this day and age that pregnancy discrimination was a thing of the past. However, acording to this Wall Street Journal article, pregnancy bias complaints are on the rise. Read more:

online.wsj.com

From the article:

A spike to record levels in pregnancy-discrimination complaints to regulators suggests more women are speaking up about suspected workplace bias.

Pregnancy-bias complaints recorded by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission surged 14% last year to 5,587, up 40% from a decade ago and the biggest annual increase in 13 years.

And that "may be only the tip of the iceberg," an EEOC spokesman says. The agency also received 20,400 pregnancy-bias inquiries at its call center last year, the center's first full year of operation; that doesn't include thousands more walk-ins asking about the same topic at fair-employment offices. An advocacy group, 9to5, National Association of Working Women, also is seeing an increase in pregnancy-bias calls on its hotline.

The groundswell reflects both changing demographics and a new activism among mothers. It also shows that even now, 30 years after passage of the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act, there is still confusion about what protections it provides. "I thought we were protected," said an advertising executive during a recent gathering of 100 working mothers. "Then I find out we can be fired while we're pregnant, employers can refuse to hire us -- what exactly are our rights?"

Thursday, February 18, 2010

What To Take To The Hospital When You Have Your Baby


I had my hospital bag packed a full month before I had my daughter. I was so afraid I would deliver prematurely, I was ready to run at any moment. Well...as it turns out, I carried to term and was actually induced. Anyway, it never hurts to be prepared. Here is an article that gives some suggestions on what to bring to the hospital when you go to deliver your baby:

What to Take to the Hospital by Pam Cass (childbirthsolutions.com)

Friday, January 29, 2010

Making Decisions about Drugs In Labor


I never realized what a "hot button" the subject of drugs and labor is for women. When I took my prenatal classes the instructor had us secretly write down whether or not we were thinking about having an epidural so we wouldn't be judged harshly by others who were considering the natural route. Here is an article about some things to consider:

pregnancy.about.com

From the article:

First of all, don't listen to every woman who tries to tell you the horror story of her epidural or her natural birth. Chances are she had complications or a situation that she fully didn't understand and you are only going to get part of the picture.

Secondly, it's important to realize that there are many factors that will play into your decision to not use medication or to use them:


•How much sleep have you had prior to labor?

•How much energy you have. (More related to food and drink.)

•How long your labor lasts, though this doesn't mean that you can't successfully go without medications in a longer labor, just that you need to plan accordingly and pace yourself.

•What position mom is in. Lying in bed is probably the worst position for mom, it can create more pain. Even if you need to be monitored you can do that standing up or from a chair or different position in the bed.

•What type of support mom has. Is everyone with her helping her with labor or are they distracted and doing non-essential things?

•What position your baby is in. Certain positions can create more pain for the woman.

•Knowledge going in to the birth. The more you understand what is happening the less frightening and therefore painful it will be.

•When to make the decision.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Pregnancy Myths


It seems there are so many old wives tales and myths about pregnancy. Some are actually quite funny, and some have some basis in fact. Here is an article about some of the more common old wives tales and myths about pregnancy:

www.mamashealth.com

From the article:

Pregnancy Myths

Science and education have done much to debunk many pregnancy myths. However, many myths are still handed down from generation to generation.

•It is a myth that you can tell what gender your baby will be by the way you are carrying your child. Only through ultrasound or amniocentesis can the sex of your child be known.
•It is a myth that holding your hands above your head will strangle or wrap the baby’s umbilical cord around his or her neck.
•It is a myth that having sex during pregnancy harms the baby. Pregnant women are encouraged to continue sexual relations unless they are having a high risk pregnancy, have a history of miscarriage or pre-labor. Your doctor will inform you if there should be a change in your sexual activities.
•It is a myth that your level of morning sickness dictates the sex of your baby.
•It is a myth that taking baths or submerging in water is harmful for the mother and baby.
•It is a myth that harm is brought to a baby if the mother sleeps on her back. However, some pregnant women are encouraged to sleep on their left side if they have kidney problems or high blood pressure.
•It is a myth that if a pregnant woman has heartburn that her baby will have a head full of hair.
•It is a myth that a woman who has bouts of acne during her pregnancy will give birth to a girl.
•It is a myth that a woman who has wide expanding hips during her pregnancy will give birth to a girl.
•It is a myth that a mother who delivers a child with one or more birthmarks consumed too much of any given food or drink during her pregnancy.
•It is a myth that having a bird fly into your home while you are pregnant is a sign that you will miscarry or have a stillbirth.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Hormones May Affect Spacial Skills


I'll admit I'm a terrible map reader. Maybe it's hormonal (good excuse anyway!) The following article draws an interesting connection between hormones and everything from spacial skills to finger length, to fertility. Read more:

Bad driving 'linked to hormones'
Parked by a man or a woman?
Spatial skills such as map reading and parking may be difficult for some women because they had too little testosterone in the womb. (BBC News)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Dangers Of Using Cell Phones When Pregnant


I've heard about about a number of physical problems which can be caused by cell phones. Everything from brain tumors to male infertility is being blamed on this technology. I just came across another article which recommends that pregnant women stay away from cell phones. Read more:

Warning: Using a mobile phone while pregnant can seriously damage your baby

Study of 13,000 children exposes link between use of handsets and later behavioural problems
By Geoffrey Lean, Environment Editor (www.independent.co.uk)


From the article:

Women who use mobile phones when pregnant are more likely to give birth to children with behavioural problems, according to authoritative research.


A giant study, which surveyed more than 13,000 children, found that using the handsets just two or three times a day was enough to raise the risk of their babies developing hyperactivity and difficulties with conduct, emotions and relationships by the time they reached school age. And it adds that the likelihood is even greater if the children themselves used the phones before the age of seven.

The results of the study, the first of its kind, have taken the top scientists who conducted it by surprise. But they follow warnings against both pregnant women and children using mobiles by the official Russian radiation watchdog body, which believes that the peril they pose "is not much lower than the risk to children's health from tobacco or alcohol".

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Pregnancy Weight Gain

It's tempting, when you're pregnant, to use the old excuse "I'm eating for two". But actually, I've read from numerous sources that a pregnant women should only consume an extra 300 calories a day. That can be eaten up pretty fast! Here's an article that associates pregnancy weight with overweight children:

Pregnancy weight gain can lead to fat toddlers
Study suggests recommended guidelines need to be revised (msnbc.com)

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Prenatal Vitamins Explained

I found the whole subject of prenatal vitamins very confusing. My doctor's office really didn't give me much information on what to buy or why I needed to take them. This video is sponsored by CVS pharmacy, but it has some good information on what the difference is between regular vitamins and prenatal vitamins:

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Pregnancy and Forgetfulness


I don't think I required much of myself mentally while I was pregnant. I spent most of my time laying around scared to do anything. However, according to the article below, it's not uncommon for pregnant women to be absentminded and forgetful. There may be a hormonal reason why. Read more:

Absentmindedness and Pregnancy (principalhealthnews.com)

From the article:

There is much debate on the topic, but many experts believe changing hormone levels are to blame. Hormones have a powerful influence on our bodies -- including the brain -- and pregnancy is a time of dramatic hormonal changes. In a process that is not completely understood, these hormonal shifts seem to cause diminished memory and changes in thinking. Many women find that they are similarly affected at other times when hormones are fluctuating: before their monthly periods and during menopause.

According to one study described in New Scientist, in 1997 researchers recorded a number of changes in the brain that may explain the alterations in memory function. One small study looked at images of the brains of healthy pregnant woman and detected a temporary slight shrinkage in the overall size of the brain during the latter stages of pregnancy as well as an increase in the size of the pituitary gland. However, scientists said more research was necessary before memory loss could be attributed to these observed conditions.

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