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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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