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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Douching May Lead to Low Birthweight or Ectopic Pregnancy

Avoid Douching To Prevent Pregnancy Complications

Douching may not be the best thing for women who want to become pregnant. It has been associated with low birth weight and ectopic pregnancies. I was surprised and the high percentage of women cited in the article that douche on a regular basis. Read more:

Women who douche frequently--and then become pregnant--appear more likely to have a low-birth-weight baby than women who don't douche, a new study shows.
For More Information on preventing complications and ectopic pregnancy, visit:
Douching is a personal hygiene practice, but its health benefits remain unproved, says study coauthor Kevin Fiscella, a physician at the University of Rochester (N.Y.) School of Medicine.

In fact, some scientists link the practice to a vaginal infection that can arise when natural protective flora are killed off in the vagina (SN: 9/5/98, p. 158). Women with such infections have a higher risk of giving birth prematurely.

Other studies have suggested links between douching and ectopic pregnancy, a dangerous condition in which the fertilized egg implants outside the uterus. Douching may also increase incidence of infertility and of pelvic inflammatory disease, an infection within a woman's reproductive tract. The new study is the first to link douching with low-weight newborns.

Fiscella and his colleagues analyzed data collected from 4,665 women across the United States who had given birth before 1988. About half of the women douched regularly. In the December 1998 OBSTETRICS & GYNECOLOGY, they report that 9.7 percent of the women who douched gave birth to low-birth-weight babies, compared with 5.8 percent of women who didn't douche regularly.

Pubic Bone Pain In Pregnancy - What You Can Do About It

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Back Pain In Pregnancy

Pregnancy, Back Pain and Posture

I guess I was a bit odd, because I didn't have much back pain in pregnancy when previously I did.  I believe some of my back pain was caused by hormonal fluctuations associated with my period (so when I was pregnant, I no longer had the fluctuating hormones).  
See also: for more on pregnancy over 40 and preventing complications 
One doctor described it at referred pain.   However, this article explains why women have back pain and some ways to deal with it. Read more:

During antenatal care, it is essential that pregnancy care providers and perinatal educators identify women who may be at risk for long-term back pain. Consequently, special attention can be focused on the back during labour and delivery and, again, at postnatal visits so that these women can be properly assessed and correct treatment organised. The need for improved assessment of pain as part of postnatal care has recently been described in an earlier issue of this journal (Stainton, Edwards, Jones, & Switonski, 1999).
Assessment of posture, history, and exercise pattern—particularly during the early stages of pregnancy—is an important feature in preventing a pregnant woman's experience with back pain/discomfort (Waddell & Turk, 1992). Much more focus is spent on ultrasound and other investigations that address the front of a woman's body during pregnancy compared to the lack of attention and technology for investigating the back of her body
Klein, P. M., (1995). Anatomy and physiology of pregnancy. In I. M. Bobak, D. L. Lowdermilk, & S. E. Jensen (Eds.), Maternity nursing (4th ed., p. 104). St. Louis, MO: Mosby.Klein, P. M., (1995)

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Getting Pregnant Over 40 Memories And Mood Swings

Pregnancy Over 40, Hormones And Emotions

Not only do pregnant women have to deal with intense hormonal changes which can lead to emotional ups and downs, but in anticipation of you're own baby, just being pregnant can trigger old memories of what it was like growing up.
Visit: for more on fertility and pregnancy mind-body connection
  Many women who have delayed marriage or childbearing may have done so for reasons related to their upbringing.

Getting Pregnant Over 40 May Trigger Memories of Childhood

Now that I think about it, pregnancy did bring up a lot of old feeling and emotions from my childhood.  I remember watching some of my old home movies when I was pregnant and the old feelings that came up.  Actually it gave me a small glimpse of what my mother might have gone through when raising three kids.   I think it helped me to understand her a little better and it makes you want to be a better mother.  Here is a question/answer article from about dealing with mood swings in pregnancy:

From the article:

Do not panic about your wife's current emotionalism. There may be much she is afraid of that she has not begun to share with you. Her experience of her childhood family relationships will serve as a clue to concerns that may igniting her resentments. The quality of her relationship to her parents, and her perception of her parents marital relationship come up as key issues during pregnancy. Attune yourself to her experience of being female in her family. Were women respected? abandoned in parenthood? devalued or valued as mothers? Did she see her mother's experience of pregnancy, childbirth and parenting as empowering or shameful? Did she view her mother's role as a parent to be positive or negative? Naturally, there is much to be explored and it cannot all happen at once.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

EARLY SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF PREGNANCY, strange and wierd ways to know you're pregnant

Pregnancy Over 40:  How I Knew I Was Pregnant And The Symptoms Of Early Pregnancy

There's quite a bit of literature out there on the early signs of pregnancy. I wanted to give my early signs in this post.
For me, the problem with a lot of what's written out there is many of the symptoms didn't happen for a number of weeks into the pregnancy. Usually when you're wondering about early signs of pregnancy, you're only at the point of a missed period (or even earlier). So for those of you who are interested here is what I experienced:

1. Light and Dark brown spotting

 This was usually the first sign I experienced when I was pregnant. When I wasn't pregnant and my period was going to start, the spotting was more pink or red. I experienced spotting with all my pregnancies, even my successful one. The spotting usually started around day 25-26 of my cycle.

2. Pelvic pressure and slight cramping

 Usually when I was pregnant, I felt a type of slightly painful pressure in my lower pelvis. Sometimes I also had mild cramping (very similar to menstrual cramps).

3. Very slight "stirring" (butterflies) in my stomach

...not nausea. This was a little like motion sickness (the kind you get when you start reading in a moving car), but barely enough to even notice.

Other symptoms like breast tenderness, frequent urination, fatigue and morning sickness didn't happen to me until 2-4 weeks after my missed period.

  Click Here To Read About More Unusual Symptoms Of Pregnancy

Monday, February 10, 2014

Contstipation In Pregnancy

Pregnancy Over 40 and Constipation

Women don't like to talk about it, but constipation is extremely common in pregnancy. Here is an article about what you can do about it. I recall eating a few prunes everyday and eating "greens" worked wonders for me.
See my website: for instructions on cooking greens
 Read more:

What Can I do About Constipation?
•Exercise: Early in pregnancy exercise is very helpful to prevent constipation. Even walking will help to loosen your bowels, and will help you feel less bloated.
•Fluids: During pregnancy, the amount of water that is absorbed from your intestine into your blood increases. You will need to drink even more water than usual to keep your intestine and your baby healthy. Drinking at least ten, 8-ounce glasses of water will be essential for you and for the baby. If you are pregnant during the summer and it is hot or humid, you may need even more water. Drinking more water during pregnancy will help to prevent constipation.
•The right calcium and vitamin supplements: Calcium supplements and vitamin pills, essential for your baby's development, can cause bloating and constipation. The following are some suggestions for calcium and vitamin supplements that are less constipating.
The best calcium supplements are those that can dissolve in the pH of vinegar (also called acetic acid). Easily digested calcium supplements, which cause less constipation, include TUMS and Calcitrate. Usually I recommend TUMS because they supply calcium and they help to alleviate heartburn and bloating. Each TUMS contains 200 mg of elemental calcium. Taking five or six a day, in addition to a well-balanced diet, provides an excellent source of calcium. Be careful to avoid antacids that contain aluminum, which can be very constipating


Good News About Morning Sickness!

Morning Sickness: Nausea and Vomiting In Pregnancy

Maybe all that nausea and vomiting has a payoff!   I've heard that nausea and vomiting in pregnancy may actually mean that you have strong and healthy hormones.
See also: for more on pregnancy symptoms and strange early pregnancy symptoms
According to this article, the offspring of women that suffer morning sickness may have a higher IQ! That certainly makes me feel better since I was totally incapacitated by my morning sickness for the first three months of my pregnancy. Read more:

The same hormones which make expectant mothers feel ill could help their baby's development, doctors believe.

Children were more likely to do better in intelligence tests if their mothers had experienced nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.

The findings, published online in The Journal of Paediatrics and reported by New Scientist magazine, show that the severity of the sickness is a significant predictor of higher scores.

Dr Irena Nulman, from The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada, said: "Our findings suggest an association between morning sickness and improved neurodevelopment in the offspring."

She said that more research was needed to understand the range of effects caused by the common condition.

"Morning sickness is a widespread and puzzling physiological phenomenon that has yet to be sufficiently studied," she said. 


Saturday, February 08, 2014

Pregnancy Self Care Program

How To Examine Yourself In Pregnancy

A large number of premature births are caused by infections. This article discusses how women can start examining themselves and identify these problems earlier. This leads to earlier treatment and better pregnancy outcomes.
visit for more on pregnancy, fertility and miscarriage over the age of 40
Read more:

If you self-examine yourself, you can do it at much shorter intervals than is possible within the usual prenatal care visits and thus identify the initial changes of the vaginal pH much earlier.

How to determine vaginal pH

How do you determine your own vaginal pH?
The CarePlan®VpH test glove has been developed with our collaboration to measure the vaginal pH. A test strip whose color changes according to the pH is located on the index finger of the CarePlan®VpH test glove. You can perform this measurement at any time of the day and it is simple to use.

Put the glove on your right hand (even if you are left-handed) so that the test strip is on the inner side of your index finger. You should not touch the strip with wet fingers as this may give you a false result. Introduce the index finger about 2-3 cm (about one inch) into your vagina (no more than 3 cm as this may give you false information because the pH value is normally higher deep in the vagina) and then turn your index finger several times back and forth to make sure it gets well moistened inside the vagina. You can try different positions to make this easier such as standing, with one foot raised on a chair.

Remove your finger from the vagina and immediately compare the color of the test strip while it’s still moist with the color-scale (see illustration) and identify the correct color and the corresponding pH. The value is normal if it corresponds to the yellow color of the pH values 4.0 or 4.4.


Friday, February 07, 2014

Children, Sun and Skin

Sunscreens, Sun, Kids and Protection

I'm always joking around that my daughter is going to look great when she's 50. Everytime we go out in the sun, I slather her entire face and body with zinc oxide. I'll admit, she does look a little funny (very white), but at least right now, she doesn't seem to care. Most sunscreens make her skin break out, so I just use zinc oxide.
For more on pregnancy over 40, visit:
Sun damage is cumulative over a lifetime - so you need to start taking care of children's skin early on. I do let my daughter have a little time outside without sunscreen because some sun is good (especially for vitamin D), but I see some kids that are out all day and very tan. I always wonder what problems they might have with their skin as they get older. Here is an article about kids, sun, and protecting their skin:

Summer Skin Care for Kids

Food Cravings In Pregnancy

Pregnancy Over 40, Do Food Cravings Indicate Deficiencies?

Contrary to what you hear in the popular media, I've never heard of anyone craving pickles and ice cream when pregnant (well... maybe the ice cream).
Also visit: for my series on fertility foods

Personally I couldn't eat enough oranges, other than that, just about anything edible looked great to me when I was pregnant. I was constantly famished and when you're really hungry, all of a sudden all sorts of foods become your favorites (aside from a few pungent foods that make you gag). Anyway, click on the link below to read more about how to deal with food cravings:

 What do Food Cravings Mean?
Nutritionists and healthcare practitioners believe that there may be a connection between cravings and certain deficiencies in the body. Sometimes, though, this connection is unexplained, because the craved food cannot provide the deficient vitamin or mineral.

  • Ice craving seems to indicate iron deficiency, even though this item does not contain iron
  • Chocolate craving is supposedly connected to deficiency of vitamins from the B complex
  • Red meat indicates a lack of proteins in the pregnancy diet
  • Peach craving is related to beta carotene deficiency
Cravings disappear when taking flax oil, but this is most common in women who need more essential fatty acids. 

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Privacy Online: How Much Data Is Shared and How Much Is Collected

Is There Any Privacy Online?  How Much Data Are They Collecting On you?

Many of my readers are doing searches on some of the most private of bodily functions.  Is this something that you want your ISP, employer, or anyone else knowing about you?  Whenever I do a search on any of the major search engines, I am bombarded with ads that relate directly to my previous search.  It can be a little embarrassing to have ads about pregnancy, ovulation predictors, sperm counts, etc. pop up on my computer if someone were to walk by.  Even worse, what about some of the searches you may do on your break at work?  Can your employer track what you're doing?  Can health insurance companies get your health profile based on what kind of searches you have been doing?'s scarier than you may think.
 Click Here To Read The Full Article (

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Pregnancy: Expecting At Work

Maternity Leave:  What Employers Don't Tell You

I didn't have to deal with negotiating maternity leave because I quite my corporate pressure cooker job years before I finally had my daughter (which is probably why I got pregnant in the first place!)
See also: for more on getting pregnant over 40
Most women are aware of the "Family Medical Leave Act" which protects your job while you are on maternity leave.
 However, here is a good article on the different scenarios that can occur during pregnancy and after having a baby.

From the article:

When and how to tell your boss? How to keep presenting a professional appearance, as the phrase goes, so much so as to ward off the loutish near-strangers in the office who -- and working women swear this really happens to them -- come up to you with a solicitous smile, pat your stomach, and say, ''How's the baby?'' (Funny, they never seem to do this to old Fred, the senior division manager who has put on a few pounds recently.) Begin by understanding what you're up against. -- The boss's big fear. When the company, as represented by your boss, finally gets the news, its worst-nightmare scenario will take the following form, approximately: You and he negotiate a period of maternity leave, say three months. A few weeks before your scheduled return, you call him to report that there have been some complications -- you haven't regained your old pep, the baby's been sick -- and you need another couple of months off. He grudgingly goes along, scrambling to make arrangements to cover for you in your absence. This only to have you call again toward the end of that period, pleading for just another month or two. Tight-lipped, he assents, setting an absolute final deadline for your return. Mere days before that date, you telephone to tell him you're quitting. While study after study indicates most new mothers do go back to their jobs, and fairly quickly, such double dealing occurs enough to make employers wary. ''Most corporate health insurance plans force women to lie,'' argues Martha Clark Briley, head of Prudential Power Funding Associates investment group and the mother of 9-year-old twins. ''They can keep their coverage only if they continue on a leave of absence.'' The experts note, too, that the U.S. is the only industrialized Western country without a law guaranteeing women a job with their company when they return from maternity leave. And sometimes mothers-to-be set off with every intention of returning, then find at the last minute that their child-care arrangements have fallen through -- a problem particularly for women in lower- paid jobs. -- The big stereotype. ''It's very rare to find somebody who gets up in the morning, looks in the mirror, and says, 'Today I'm going to discriminate against women -- or pregnant women,' '' observes DePaul 

Monday, February 03, 2014

C-Sections, When Are They Really Necessary?

Pregnancy Over 40, C-Sections Should Not Be Automatic

Because of my age, I was told to be prepared for a C-Section.
My site: for more on pregnancy and fertility over 40
 I never really understood that, but apparently older women who have never had a baby have a harder time getting their cervix to dilate. As it turned out, I had a normal delivery without any complications. However, as this article reports, it seems the medical community may be a little to quick to intervene. Read more:

Amid the controversy over what constitutes an ideal birth experience, doctors, researchers and natural-birth advocates agree: Caesareans save lives when medically necessary. But defining medical necessity is complicated. Natural-birth advocates cite a "cascade of interventions" caused by hospitals' practice of using the drug Pitocin to stimulate labor. The drug can cause painful contractions, which doctors treat with an epidural painkiller. The epidural can then retard contractions and lead to more drugs, fetal stress and the doctor's recommendation of a Caesarean. Natural-birth advocates say that hospitals, driven by profits and worried about malpractice, are too quick to intervene. "I compare it to a restaurant. If you have customers who sit at a table and don't order anything, you're not making any money," says Jennifer Block, author of "Pushed: The Painful Truth About Childbirth and Modern Maternity Care." Normal labor, Block says, isn't profitable (according to "The Business of Being Born," a Caesarean can cost three times as much as a normal birth). If something does go wrong, in the eyes of the courts "a normal birth is a risk. The courts reward action," Block says.

Saturday, February 01, 2014


Pregnancy Over 40,  women in England and Wales are getting pregnant over 40:

If you are pregnant over 40, or had children in your 40's, you are in good company.  In England and Wales, the number of women having a baby over 40 has tripled in the last two decades.

For more encouraging articles on getting pregnant over 40, fertility over 40 and pregnancy over 40, visit

The article talks about a number of reasons, some women just want to work on their education and career, and some women want to wait until they are more financially secure.
From the article:

Figures from the Office for National Statistics showed that 29,350 women over 40 gave birth last year, compared with 9,835 in 1991.
The trend is continuing to grow, with a sharp rise in babies born to women in their thirties and forties last year.
The number of women between 35 and 40 giving birth rose by 3.4 per cent and by 6.7 per cent among those over 40, while the figure was down by 8.7 per cent among girls and women under 20.
The number of births in England and Wales rose to 723,913 in 2011 from 723,165 the previous year, and the average age of a mother shifted to 29.7 from 29.6 in 2010. 

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