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Monday, March 31, 2014

Fevers During Pregnancy - Will It Hurt The Baby?

Fevers in Pregnancy, Are They Dangerous?

I had a couple of pretty severe colds when I was pregnant. To my knowledge, I never ran a fever, but I worried about how being sick may affect my baby. Here is an article about if and when a fever may be harmful in pregnancy:
From the article:

Studies of women who had a high fever or went in hot tubs or saunas during pregnancy have found a higher risk for neural tube defects such as spina bifida. This risk occurs mainly when the fever or exposure to high temperatures happened between the fourth and 14th weeks of the pregnancy. Developing a fever after this time, in the second or third trimester, is unlikely to harm your growing baby.
See also: for more on pregnancy and having a healthy pregnancy over 40

Researchers have also linked prolonged high fevers, particularly in the first trimester, to miscarriage, but the results aren't conclusive.

Rest assured that a brief fever is unlikely to do any harm and can be treated with acetaminophen. But if the fever gets really high or lasts a long time, it's best to call your doctor. When flu season rolls around, keep in mind that all pregnant women, regardless of how far along they are, are advised to get a flu shot, which can help prevent flu-related fevers.


Saturday, March 29, 2014

Why You Should Eat Figs When Pregnant

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See my entire series on foods for fertility and pregnancy at: 


Allergies in babies and kids

I recall my OB doctor telling me that eating peanut butter during pregnancy could possible predispose my baby to nut allergies, but I did eat quite a bit of it.I don't want to minimize the danger of severe allergic reactions, but according to the article below, maybe we are going a little overboard.
See also: for more on having a healthy pregnancy and articles on foods for fertility 
 My daughter does seem to have quite a few food allergies, she gets hives, but gets over it. As time goes on, and she tries more foods, we find more and more things she's allergic to. Fortunately, she doesn't have a peanut allergy because she practically lives on peanut butter. I found this article amusing if nothing else - and it certainly is "food for thought". Read more:

A study of Jews of similar demographics and genetics in Britain and Israel found that British kids were 10 times more likely to have peanut allergies than Israelis. That's probably because Israeli kids have other things to be afraid of. I would like to see a study that measures one's increased likelihood of peanut allergies if you're an American kid named Oliver, Aidan, Spencer or Finn.

Parents may think they are doing their kids a favor by testing them and being hyper-vigilant about monitoring what they eat, but it's not cool to freak kids out. Only 20% of kids who get a positive allergy test result need treatment. And a 2003 study showed that kids who were told they were allergic to peanuts had more anxiety and felt more physically restricted than if they had diabetes. "It's anxiety-producing to imagine that having a snack in kindergarten could be deadly," Christakis said. Remember, this is a demographic so easily panicked that, equipped with only circles and dots, it invented an inoculation to cooties.

A few years ago, I was at a bar without food, so I started downing peanuts. Around the third bowl, I started coughing and felt this itchiness in the back of my throat, which I quickly treated with beer. Still, for a few minutes, I was convinced that a peanut allergy was about to kill me. If the beer had not made me forget the incident, I might have avoided nuts for the rest of my life. Or, worse, bored everyone at the table with my questions about nut allergies.

So bring back nuts to schools. If parents need to panic about a food, at least go with seafood allergies. Those fish sticks are disgusting.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

If You Pump Your Breastmilk, Read This First

Nursing and Pumping Milk

Yes, I did pump my breastmilk due to the extreme pain I felt when nursing. Pumping was a good way to control the pain and still give my daughter breastmilk.

For more information and articles on pregnancy over 40, visit: 

However, this article brings up something I never thought about. Your milk may have natually occurring chemicals called nucleotides which may help your baby sleep. Depending on the time of day you pump or feed, these chemicals are in higher concentration. Read more:
Cristina Sánchez at the University of Extremadura in Badajoz, Spain, and her colleagues looked at the concentrations of 5'UMP, 5'AMP and 5''GMP – the three nucleotides most strongly associated with sleep and sedation – in the breast milk of 30 healthy mothers who had been breast-feeding for at least 3 months. Samples of milk were collected before each feed over a 24-hour period, with between six and eight samples collected per mother.

They found that concentrations of 5'AMP were highest at the beginning of the night, while levels of 5'GMP and 5'UMP increased as the night wore on. These sedatives were found at much lower concentrations in milk expressed during the day.

"It is a mistake for the mother to express the milk at a certain time and then store it and feed it to the baby at a different time," says Sánchez.


Hypertension In Pregnancy

We all know that developing hypertension is dangerous in pregnancy, however, according to the article below, it could lead to problems later in life like weight gain, hypertension and heart disease. Read more:

Women who develop hypertensive disorders of pregnancy are more likely to have later health problems such as heart disease, hypertension or blood clots.

The researchers hypothesized that women with hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, whether or not they were obese when they became pregnant, are more likely to become overweight, which could help explain their increased risk of these health problems.
See also: for more on having a healthy pregnancy and conceiving naturally
Callaway's group looked at data for 3572 women who delivered infants at a local public hospital between 1981 and 1984, and were then followed for 21 years. Among the 8.9 percent of these women who developed a hypertensive disorder of pregnancy, 73.3 percent were of normal weight when they became pregnant, as measured by body mass index (BMI).

BMI is the ratio of height to weight commonly used to determine which weight range an individual falls into. A BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered normal; less than 18.5 is underweight; between 25 and 29.9 is overweight; and greater than 30 is obese. Individuals who are 100 pounds or more over their ideal weight or who have a BMI of 40 or higher are considered morbidly obese.

In the following 21 years, the researchers found that the BMI of women with hypertensive disorders of pregnancy was an average of 1.35 greater than the women who did not develop these pregnancy complications


Wednesday, March 26, 2014


What is Really Safe In Pregnancy

I was actually surprised when I read this article. Although I didn't avoid peanut butter (it was a quick snack when I was famished), but I did avoid lunch meat. This article addresses some of the do's and don'ts in pregnancy and whether they are based on true risk.  Read more:

“Many women come in and say, ‘I heard I should avoid lunch meat and peanut butter,’” Acuna said. “Those are not based on any factual information.”
See also: for more on pregnancy, fertility, miscarriage over 40 or any age
The concern about peanuts or peanut butter is that eating them would increase the baby’s chance of picking up the allergies. It’s not based on enough science, she said. With lunch meat, she said to just make sure that it is reasonably fresh.

The most important thing for women to do during pregnancy is to take a prenatal vitamin, Acuna said.

“It’s shown to prevent birth defects,” she said. “That’s an important thing that women may or may not know.” 


What is Trisomy 13?

 Living with Trisomy 13 - Patau Syndrome

Most of us have heard of down syndrome which is also known as trisomy 21. There is another type of genetic error called trisomy 13 which causes a number of problems in the child. This article explains more:

The 13th chromosome contains blueprints that direct a baby's development in the early weeks following conception. When a child has an extra 13th chromosome, as is the case in trisomy 13, the genetic messages are confused and contradictory -- there's just too much to juggle. This results in multiple significant defects in major organ systems. The brain is often the most severely affected. It's also not unusual for these children to be born blind, deaf, and with no sense of smell. Taste and touch become the limited means by which a mother can convey an ocean of feeling.

Fore more on pregnancy over 40 and preventing birth defects, visit:

Most children with trisomy 13 have some kind of heart defect, but a double-outlet right ventricle is uncommon. A normal heart has four chambers. Blood from the body enters the right atrium. From there it flows into the right ventricle, whose strong muscular wall sends the blood out of the heart to the lungs (via the pulmonary artery). In the lungs, the blood is supplied with oxygen before it returns to the heart, entering the left atrium. From there it flows into the left ventricle, whose mighty walls propel the blood out of the heart (via the aorta) to supply the rest of the body with oxygen.


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Some Fertility Drugs Not Effective

Glucocorticoids May Be Ineffective

Many of us "over 40's" have either considered fertility treatments or actually gone through them. However, like many drugs and/or medical treatments, the effectiveness vs. the risk should be considered.
For more articles on IVF over 40 and getting pregnant naturally after IVF see:
Here is an article about how some drugs routinely given to fertility patients haven't proven to be effective and they may pose health risks to the mother and baby should she become pregnant. Read more:

It was previously believed that glucocorticoids made the lining of the uterus more receptive to embryo implantation, but review author Carolien Boomsma says that the practice should stop. "Empirical use of glucocorticoids is not supported by evidence from studies," she said. "Moreover, we don't know enough about the possible adverse effects of glucocorticoids in early pregnancy. Therefore, at present, glucocorticoids should not be prescribed in this way."

The review was based on success rate comparisons between would-be mothers undergoing IVF or ICSI who took glucocorticoids around the time of embryo implantation and those who did not. The researchers found no overall improvement in pregnancy rates when the assisted reproductive technologies were combined with glucocorticoid treatment. 


Monday, March 24, 2014

Pregnancy Can Cause Eye Trouble

Vision Problems in Pregnancy

I don't get full blown migraines, but every now and then I do get the vision precursor to a migraine where I see little white spots everywhere.
For more on pregnancy and pregnancy over 40, see: 
 This seems to be triggered by the changing hormones associated with my menstrual cycle, and it did occur once when I was pregnant. Here is an article about vision problems which may be triggered by pregnancy:

Problems that pregnant women may experience include:

Refractive changes. During pregnancy, changes in hormone levels may affect the strength a women needs in her contact lenses or eyeglasses. This slight change is usually no cause for concern. Women should talk to their eye doctor about it.
Dry eyes. This problem is usually temporary and goes away after delivery. Lubricating or rewetting eye drops are safe to use during pregnancy or while nursing.
Migraines. These are caused by hormonal changes and are common among pregnant women. In some cases, migraine headaches can make eyes feel more sensitive to light. Talk to your doctor before you take any migraine headache medications.
Diabetes. Pregnant women are at increased risk for developing diabetes. Blurred vision may be an indication of elevated blood sugar levels. All women who are pregnant or planning to get pregnant and have been diagnosed with diabetes should get a full, dilated eye exam.
High blood pressure. Blurry vision and seeing spots may be a sign of high blood pressure during pregnancy. Very high blood pressure can cause retinal detachment


Friday, March 21, 2014

Childbirth Pain Control Options

Pregnancy, Childbirth and Pain

Most people I've talked to are surprised at how painful full fletched labor pains can be. I thought I had a high pain threshold - I never needed much pain medication after surgery. However, when my labor pains started, I basically panicked.
See also: for more on pregnancy and fertility over 40 
Even though I thought I was prepared, the level of pain surprised me. There are ways to deal with the pain naturally, and there are a number of medications and anesthetic agents that many women opt for. Read more:

What Is the Difference Between an Epidural and Spinal Anesthesia?

With a spinal, the medication is injected inside the dura, the tough coating surrounding the brain and spinal cord. During an epidural, medication is put inside the spinal column just outside the sac that surrounds the spinal cord.
A spinal requires less medicine and works faster than an epidural. But it is more likely to cause a headache or low blood pressure.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Pregnant? Keep Your Cell Phone Away From Your Baby

Cell Phone exposure in pregnancy and babies

It seems I'm always hearing about new research on how cell phones can be hazardous...especially to children and babies.
See more on environmental toxins and threats to fertility and pregnancy at: 
If you're pregnant, keep your cell phone in your purse, and only use it when absolutely necessary. This article explains more:

The authors included some disturbing data in an appendix available only online. These showed that subjects who used a cellphone 10 or more years doubled the risk of developing brain gliomas, a type of tumor.

The 737 minutes that we talk on cellphones monthly, on average, according to the C.T.I.A., makes today’s typical user indistinguishable from the heavy user of 10 years ago. Ms. Davis recommends keeping a phone out of close proximity to the head or body, by using wired headsets or the phone’s speaker. Children should text rather than call, she said, and pregnant women should keep phones away from the abdomen.

The F.C.C. concurs about the best way to avoid exposure. It is not by choosing a phone with a marginally lower SAR, it says, but rather by holding the cellphone “away from the head or body.” 


Pregnancy and Childbirth - Incontinence May Not Be Related

Pregnancy and Incontinence

I've read and heard about how many women opt for C-Sections because they don't want to take a chance that they will experience long-term problems if they should have a difficult delivery.
See also: for more on pregnancy over 40 and having a healthy gestation 
One problem many women fear (for obvious reasons) is urinary incontinence. However, according to the article below, incontinence may have more to do with collagen than childbirth. Read more:

"We found that women with prolapse and incontinence had decreased amounts of collagen in the cervix, regardless of all other factors. This supports the theory that there's an intrinsic factor that can contribute to these problems, and everything else, such as childbirth and obesity, is additive," said Harmanli.

The next step is a larger-scale study to determine whether these findings hold true in a larger group of women. "What we learn could improve our ability to predict which women are at higher risk for these problems and help them take preventive measures," said Harmanli.

from:  (

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Women and Pain, Hormones and More

Women and Pain

I'm thoroughly convinced that hormonal shifts are behind much of the pain that women feel throughout the month. It's not just menstrual cramps either. Research has shown an association between hormones and everything from migraines to osteoarthritis.
See also: for more on pregnancy in women over 40 

From the article:

You’re not alone: Many women have a tough time finding the right kind of relief for their pain—and for good reason: Until recently, experts hadn’t actually studied women’s pain specifically, and most research wasn’t conducted with a woman’s hormones and physique in mind. All that’s changing, though. Docs now know that to banish our aches, they must develop treatments formulated for women’s bodies. What’s more, researchers are also looking for—and finding—ways to head pain off at the pass, so those of us with chronic troubles like migraine, fibromyalgia, or backache don’t have to be hobbled by pain on a daily basis. Here, how the new research will help you live an (almost) pain-free life. 

Stress In Pregnancy, Stress In Childhood: Negative Consequences

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See also: Stress, Cortisol, Infertility and Miscarraige at 


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Genetic Screen May Raise Unfounded Fears

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See also: for more lifestyle changes for a healthy pregnancy

Secret Database Of Newborn DNA?

Your Baby, DNA and Government Database

I've never been one to think that there is a government conspiracy, but this article caught my eye as being wrong on so many levels. Apparently there may be a database of newborn DNA gathered without the parents' knowledge.

From the article:

According to The Texas Tribune, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) routinely collected blood samples from newborns to screen for a variety of health conditions, before throwing the samples out.

But beginning in 2002, the DSHS contracted Texas A&M University to store blood samples for potential use in medical research. These accumulated at rate of 800,000 per year. The DSHS did not obtain permission from parents, who sued the DSHS, which settled in November 2009. 

See also for more on pregnancy and fertility over 40

Now the Tribune reveals that wasn't the end of the matter. As it turns out, between 2003 and 2007, the DSHS also gave 800 anonymised blood samples to the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (AFDIL) to help create a national mitochondrial DNA database.


Saturday, March 15, 2014

Our Society's Discomfort With Miscarriage

Pregnancy Loss, Miscarriage and Mourning

I spoke with abcNEWS a few years back about miscarriage and some of the surprising medical practices and societal attitudes. George Bush wrote about his mother's miscarriage in his book and it received quite a bit of media attention.
See also: for more on miscarriage and dealing with recurrent miscarriage 
 Apparently Barbara Bush saved a miscarried fetus in a jar and took it to the hospital. This practice seems rather creepy to many people, but I myself was told by a physician's assistant to save the "products of conception" when it expelled after we knew one of my pregnancies wasn't viable. I never did because the miscarriage itself was just like a heavy period when I finally started to bleed.

The article talks about how our society in general is uncomfortable with most aspects of pregnancy loss.

"We'll never look at Barbara Bush the same way again," wrote another.

The reaction, say psychologists, illustrates the "ick" factor when discussing miscarriage and misunderstandings about a loss that is still treated in hushed tones.

"It's just the sight of blood and human tissue that is hard for people to see," said Sandy Robertson, a 52-year-old Colorado professor who had six miscarriages. "Then you're dealing with the death of a baby on top of it.

"Our society, at least in this country, is so sterile anyway," she said. "People just aren't used to seeing that."

People are also uncomfortable around those who are experiencing a miscarriage and don't want to cause further discomfort, she said. 


Essential Oils - Aromatherapy In Pregnancy

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 See also: for more on alternative medicine, ayurvedic medicine and home rememdies

Friday, March 14, 2014

Is It Safe To Fly In Pregnancy? What Are The Risks?

Risks of Flying In Pregnancy

I knew a fertility doctor who advised his patients not to fly anytime during their pregnancy. There does seem to be reason for concern - even though most people who take an occasional flight are probably not going to experience a problem.This lays out some of the possible negative effects associated with flying while pregnant:

Blood clots - everyone may be at risk for blood clots while sitting still, but pregnant women may be at a higher risk.  It may be wise to use compression stockings

See Also: for more on having a healthy pregnancy

After 28 Weeks - Some airlines may require a doctor's note with your expected date of delivery and whether or not you are at risk for complications

Hydration - Many people become dehydrated while traveling.  It is extra important for pregnant women to drink enough water and other fluids.

Radiation - Some people are worried about radiation exposure when flying.  Here is a response from the "Health Physics Society":
The background risks for birth defects are 3 percent and for miscarriage are 15 percent; this is the normal incidence. The most important factor with regard to radiation risks is the dose. Fortunately, when you are flying in a jet at 30,000 feet altitude the exposure is extremely small and for only a short period. Based on our knowledge of the amount of radiation to result in birth defects or miscarriage, there is no risk from commercial flying.

The reason why consultants differ in their statements on the risk of childhood cancer is that there is a theoretical risk for cancer from any exposure of radiation (ionizing). But when the dose is as low as it is when you are flying, the theoretical risk is dwarfed by the spontaneous risk of cancer. So you could say the cancer risk from flying is very, very, very, very small or you could say it should be of no concern because the dose is so low.

Pregnancy Over 40: Forgetfulness Momnesia

Pregnancy Over 40, You May Forget Some Things But Remember Others

I'm definitely more forgetful in certain aspects of my life (some may call it "momnesia'.)
Check Out: for more information on pregnancy over 40 and getting pregnant over 40
 But when it comes to my daughter, I remember everything...there may be a reason for all of this. This article explains that you might be hyper-vigilant in some areas, but not in others. Read more:

The Austin mother, who once had an "almost photographic" memory, began to stumble over friends' names when introducing them. She would hop in her car and forget where she wanted to go.

Massingill began to wonder about her brain, though, after she asked her friend if she was looking forward to her upcoming wedding. The friend reminded her the wedding had taken place a month ago — and Massingill was there. ...

... "It turns you into someone who serves that little infant, to keep it alive no matter what," says Brizendine, founder of the Women's and Teen Girls' Mood and Hormone Clinic at the University of California in San Francisco. "Other parts of your brain that are usually on high alert are sort of taken offline."

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Dr. Phil: Having A Baby Later In Life Advice

Dr. Phil Talks About Having A Baby When Older

Having a baby at an older age always seems to be an item of discussion.
See Also: for more articles and encouragement for pregnancy over 40
  I've certainly had no problems raising my daughter.  Yes, all parents are tired most of the time...the young ones and the old ones!
I don't always have a lot of time to watch daytime TV, but for you Dr. Phil fans, here is an article from about having a baby later in life:

If you decide to get pregnant later in life, Dr. Phil has advice:

Think ahead to what the future will be like. "Age is not just a state of mind," says Dr. Phil. "It makes a good story, but it's not. It is a state of body, it is a state of organs, and the mortality risk goes up as you get older." The difference in your body between 40 and 55 is not the same as the difference in your body between 55 and 70 because the aging curve accelerates. You're going to deteriorate more per year between 55 and 70 than you did between 40 and 55. Consider what age you'll be when your child becomes a teenager. How will your parenting abilities be? Imagine being 70 years old during that high demand time. Will you have the energy? Will you have the physical presence and health?

Work closely with medical personnel that are skilled in older-age pregnancies.

Make a conscious decision to take the best possible care of yourself by not smoking, not exposing yourself to any toxins, not allowing yourself to get overweight, out of shape, run down or overworked. You truly have to take care of your children's mother, because you know that some of the high demand years are some of the years that you are going to have to be at your absolute best in order to cope and companion them through those times. Put yourself at the top of the list.

Prepare your child for the eventuality of your death. As morbid as it sounds, you have to take your death into consideration because your chance of death between 55 and 70 is a whole lot higher than it is between 40 and 55. How will your child get along without you? Will there be a legal guardian? Will your child have financial support? If you have a support system of friends and family, the transition may be a little easier on your child. As soon as your child is old enough, start talking about the fact that you're older than a lot of moms. Of course, any of us can be gone in the blink of an eye, whether we're 22 or 72, but you want to take particular care to prepare your children to have a really good foundation about who they are mentally, emotionally and spiritually so they don't feel devastatingly alone if they lose you during their teen years. By making sure there are significant others in their life, a spiritual foundation, things to fall back on, you can really mitigate the impact should something happen. 


Home Births: Safe or Risky?

Home Births - Be Prepared

I know home births are right for some people, and fewer medical procedures may actually benefit the mother. However, the outcome of the newborn must be taken into account as well. One of the women who was in the infertility support group I ran got pregnant naturally and had her baby on her 44th birthday.
 See also: for more on getting pregnant over 40 and pregnancy over 40
She decided to have a home birth but had complications when the placenta would not come out. She was rushed to the hospital and had to have transfusions. her baby was fine, but she could have lost her life.
This article explains the benefits and risks:

From the article: What Are the Risks? There are two sets of risks: to the baby and to the mother. The most serious risks fall to the infant. The ACOG's Committee on Obstetric Practice cites an analysis of studies comparing planned home births to hospital births. They found, most key, that planned home births carried two to three times the risk that the baby would die compared to planned hospital births. "What women sometimes forget is that even in the most low-risk circumstances, emergencies still happen. The baby can still get in trouble," says Kilpatrick. The ACOG committee's research also found that first-time mothers were far more likely to need a last-minute transfer to a hospital -- 25 percent to 37 percent of them, compared to only 4 percent to 9 percent of home birthing women who had had at least one other child. The transfers resulted from lack of progress in labor, concerns about the fetus, a need for pain relief, hypertension, bleeding and a poorly positioned fetus. Mothers themselves had fewer medical interventions like epidurals for pain or fetal monitoring in the home births. No maternal deaths at home were reported in the analysis. In fact, mothers did better with fewer medical procedures: they were less likely to suffer lacerations and infections. But, as noted, this decreased risk to the mothers comes with a greater risk to their newborns.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

What Herbs Are Safe In Pregnancy?

Of Course you should talk with your Doctor about taking anything when you are pregnant. For those of you interested, here is an article about some helpful herbs in pregnancy.

Guest Post By Diane Van Doesburg

Herbs can be used to meet some of the nutritional needs of a pregnant woman as well as help with some common ailments. The trick to knowing what is safe and what is not safe is to know what the herb is actually used for. Of course, caution should always be exercised and when in doubt it's better to be safe than sorry.
However, the following are some safe guidelines when considering what herbs to use during pregnancy.
The best herbs to use for a pregnant woman are mild tonic herbs. These are herbs that have traditionally been used as food. They can be used daily to nourish and supply the nutritional needs of a pregnant woman.
What are some good mild herbs? Raspberry leaf, alfalfa, nettle, oat straw, chamomile, dandelion and lemon balm. Raspberry leaf for instance is a great herb that tones and prepares the uterus for labor and delivery. It may actually cause an easier labor! These herbs are also heralded as having wonderful nutritional benefits such as iron, calcium and magnesium. Make a daily tea with these herbs to benefit from their wonderful qualities throughout the pregnancy.
See also: for more on herbs for fertility and alternative medicine to get pregnant

Sometimes a woman suffering from morning sickness can benefit from the use of milk thistle. Milk thistle has been used by many to help clear excess hormones from the liver which at times can be the cause of morning sickness. Peppermint essential oil diffused throughout the room can calm a queasy stomach, also.
As well, a tablespoon or two of ginger root tea may help alleviate morning sickness.
Another common pregnancy ailment is hemorrhoids. Beneficial herbs are witch hazel. A small cotton pad can be soaked with witch hazel and applied to the affected area. Drinking oat straw or nettle tea will help with strengthening and promoting elasticity of the capillaries in the rectum area.
Herbal sitz baths can be used for hemorrhoids to reduce swelling and provide some relief. A small bag of anti inflammatory herbs such as calendula, yarrow, oats and chamomile can be used. These herbs can also be used in a salve and applied topically.
Of course, hemorrhoids could be a cause of constipation. Keep the stool moving by eating plenty of fiber and use psyllium husks if needed.
Unsweetened cranberry juice is one of the best remedies for bladder infections. Several cups of juice need be consumed on a daily basis in order to be effective. The hippuric acid produced in the urine from cranberry juice actually prevents bacterial growth and prevents the bacteria from sticking to the lining of the bladder.
Heartburn, another pregnancy ailment can be alleviated by sipping on chamomile tea during your meals. Sucking on some slippery elm lozenges can also help. Papaya, full of good digestive enzymes is so beneficial after a meal. Papaya will aid with proper digestion.
The herbs you would want to avoid are the herbs that are used to promote menstruation. These herbs can actually cause contractions and are considered abortifacient. The herbs to avoid are black cohosh, blue cohosh, pennyroyal, yarrow, shepherd's purse, angelica and motherwort to name a few.
Always err on the side of caution and if unsure about the use of an herb consult with a trained herb specialist or avoid its use.
For a wonderful Pregnancy Tea recipe that offers important vitamins and minerals, tones and prepares the uterus for easier labor and delivery visit []
Diane Van Doesburg (Herbalist)
The information provided is not meant to diagnose, treat or prescribe any illnesses. It is meant for information only. Please consult with a trained health care practitioner of your choice.

Article Source:

Yeast Infections In Pregnancy

Pregnancy Over 40, Yeast Infections Common

Yeast infections are quite common in pregnancy because of the hormonal changes that may encourage the growth of years.
See also: for more on preventing pregnancy complications
 They can be treated  with over-the-counter medications safely.  It's usually recommended to use the 7 day creams rather than the one day creams, but talk with your doctor.

The symptoms of a yeast infection may include one or more of the following:

Discharge that is usually white, similar to cottage cheese and may smell like yeast/bread
Other discharge may be greenish or yellowish, also similar to cottage cheese and may smell like yeast/bread
Copious amounts of discharge
Redness, itching, or irritation of the lips of the vagina
Burning during urination or intercourse

Monday, March 10, 2014

Low Cholesterol May Not Be A Good Thing In Pregnancy

Pregnancy Over 40, The Role Of Cholesterol

I think it's been drummed into all of our heads that you should try to keep your cholesterol levels low.
See also: for fertility and pregnancy foods
 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.

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. 


Pregnancy the Organic Way - Is It Really Better?

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See also: for foods for fertility and pregnancy 

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Have A Baby, Lose Yourself?

Having A Baby Over 40 - You Can Still Have A Life

The following article is so true. When you're pregnant, all the attention is focused on you. People go out of their way to help and you feel entitled to just sit back and be "lazy".
See Also: for more on increasing your chances of getting pregnant and motherhood over 40
But when the baby comes along, it's a different story. You're so busy feeding, bathing, and most of all worrying, that you rarely take time out for yourself. Read more about how you can take care of yourself after having a baby:
 Does that mean building a meditation room -- complete with New Age music -- and setting aside an hour a day for yourself? Like that would happen, Louden laughs. The important thing, she says, is giving yourself permission to put yourself first. So much, and so many precious people, depend on your ability to do so.


Chinese Gender Prediction Pregnancy Chart

Chinese Gender Prediction

Guest Post By Thord Hall

Reportedly, the original Chinese gender calendar was interred in a royal tomb somewhere near Beijing about 700 to 900 years ago. It was there that it was found by a Chinese scientist who created the Chinese gender prediction chart.
Although you should definitely realize that this chart should be used for entertainment only, it is also alleged that the Chinese gender prediction chart is between 90% and 99% accurate when used properly.
The prediction chart is meant to be used in conjunction with the Chinese Lunar Calendar. So, it is important that when you calculate the mothers age at conception that you do so using the Chinese Lunar Calendar.
An important factor when calculating your Chinese lunar age is to realize that the Chinese consider the time spent in the womb as part of their age. Therefore, the time spent in the womb must be added to your age to get correct results when using the Chinese gender prediction chart. The time spent in the womb varies but is usually somewhere around nine months. The Chinese will average this time and call it one year. Consequently, by Chinese standards, you are already one year old at birth. Adding one year to your age will work for most people when using the Chinese gender prediction chart.
See Also Chinese Medicine For Fertility
However, unlike the western new year, the beginning of the Chinese new year varies and can begin anywhere between January 22nd and February 22nd.
Let's use 1970, year of the Dog, as an example. In that year the Chinese New Year began on February 6th. If you were born after that date you would have been born in the year of the Dog and in 1970. Adversely, if you were born anytime between January 1st and February 6th you would be considered born, by Chinese standards, in the previous year of the Chicken or numerically 1969.
So, to calculate your Chinese age in 2010 simply subtract the year you were born from 2010 and add 1. If you were born before the Chinese New Year date, use the previous numerical year and still add 1. The following calculations are for someone born in the year 1970.
Chinese age if born after February 6, 1970

2010 - 1970 + 1 = 41 years old
Chinese age if born between January 1, 1970 and February 6, 1970

2010 - 1969 + 1 = 42 years old
Of course, each year of the Chinese Lunar calendar has a different New Year's Day. Visit the Chinese Gender Prediction [] site to review the chart and see a list of Chinese New Year's dates from 1950 through 2015.

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Friday, March 07, 2014

Fish Oils In Pregnancy

Pregnancy and Fish Oils - Miscarriage Prevention

It seems like fish oils seem to be the new miracle food. As the article below mentions, they can be help for your developing baby.
See also: for more on fish oils, and other foods and supplements for fertility and pregnancy
You do want to be careful, however, to make sure your fish oils are purified due to high levels of mercury in some fish. Read more:

A large portion of the brain is made up of fats. It appears that brain health and mood can be helped by consumption of more fats from fish and flaxseed.

More and more pregnant women are taking fish oil supplements. Scientists now believe that these healthy fats are beneficial to the brain development of a healthy baby while in the womb.

See Also: Fish Oil To Prevent Miscarriage

Pharmaceutical grade purified fish oil supplements may be a better choice than eating a lot of fish which may contain mercury or contaminants.

Dr. Andrew Stoll, M.D. has written a book about why omega 3 fats are important to mental health. Stoll is the director of the psychopharmacology research lab at Boston's McLean Hospital and assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School


Protect Your Unborn Child From Medical Mistakes

Medical Mistakes Could Affect Your Unborn Baby

Many healthcare workers aren't as careful as they should be. They're in a hurry and they make mistakes.
This can be particularly scary if you have a medical test that could harm your unborn baby if you're pregnant.
See also: for more on how to detoxify your body for pregnancy
This story illustrates how pregnant women (and everyone else for that matter) need to double check before allowing invasive procedures. This article gives some suggestions on how you can communicate with healthcare workers to avoid mistakes. Read more:

I started to cry and asked if I'd miscarried, and they said no, I was still pregnant. My husband and I said, 'Oh, that's great!'" she remembers.
But then they told the Higueras there was something else they needed to know. "They said, 'We made a mistake; we did something we shouldn't have done,' and I was like, 'What do you mean?'" Higuera remembers. "They said 'There's another patient here named Kerry, and you two are the same age. We mixed you up. She was supposed to have the CT scan, not you.' "
While no large studies have been done on the effects on the fetus of performing a CT scan to a pregnant woman's abdomen, experts say a fetus exposed to radiation can, in some cases, develop physical and mental growth problems


Thursday, March 06, 2014

Dental Hygiene, Pregnancy and Prostaglandins

This article has moved, for more on preventing pregnancy complications, visit:

Vaginal Birth May Help Reduce Allergies

Pregnancy:  Benefits of Vaginal Birth

I was surprised when I found the following article about how vaginal births can lower the child's risk of developing allergies.
See also: for more on preventing pregnancy complications and miscarriage
 Apparently, babies delivered vaginally are exposed to beneficial bacteria which, in the long run can help with allergies. Read more:

One of the benefits of vaginal birth is the gift of Mom’s beneficial bacteria to the baby. Normally, these quickly take up residence in the newborn’s gut. Cesarean sections can be life-saving interventions, but the sterile environment they require can change or delay beneficial bacteria making their home in the baby’s intestinal tract. Perhaps this is the reason that cesarean section delivery increases the risk of food allergy by 106 percent and the risk of infant diarrhea by 46 percent compared to vaginal birth, according to a study published in the November Archives of Diseases in Childhood. 

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Morning Sickness...A Good Thing

 This article has moved
See also: for more on pregnancy and fertility over 40 and preventing miscarriage

Inducing Labor When Overdue and C-Sections

Does Inducing Labor Lead To C-Sections

Apparently, there has been some association between labor induction and an increased rate of C-sections. However the following article disputes this. The article discusses a study and found that the increase risk of C-section was associated with the patients themselves rather than the induction. Read more:

The Caesarean delivery rates were compared to those who entered spontaneous labor (52 percent) and those who underwent induction. Women with diabetes, prior Caesarean delivery, multiple fetuses, breach presentation or other medical or obstetric problems were excluded from the study.

In the spontaneous labor group, 14 percent of the women underwent Caesarean section. In those whose labor was induced, 19 percent delivered by Caesarean.

"Patients' failure to progress resulted in a higher percentage of Caesarean deliveries in the induced group," Alexander said. "However, the risk factors intrinsic to the patients - rather than the labor induction itself - resulted in an excess of Caesarean deliveries in the women we studied."

Other findings showed that labor was longer and more likely to extend over 10 hours in women who were induced. The average labor time for spontaneous labors was less than six hours.


Monday, March 03, 2014

Mother's Diet in Pregnancy Can Affect Baby's Preferences

Pregnancy Over 40, Your Baby Is Affected By What You Eat

I've always wondered if my craving for oranges during pregnancy may have affected my daughter's taste...she's a picky eater, but LOVES oranges.
 This article explains how the mother's diet during pregnancy can affect her baby's preferences. Read more:

During the study, 12 pregnant women were given biscuits and sweets laced with aniseed. After they had given birth, their baby's reaction to certain foods were monitored against babies who were not exposed to food with aniseed.

Babies who were exposed to the strong flavour of aniseed in the womb seemed more interested and attracted to the food when presented with it. The study reveals that the babies smiled and moved towards the aniseed smell, whereas babies who were not exposed to it, turned away in disgust.

Scientists believe that babies can sense strong flavours by inhaling amniotic fluid from in the womb.

"During pregnancy, a woman is relatively vulnerable to her environment," Dr Benoist Schaal explained at the annual meeting, as reported by the Press Association.

"What the mother takes in a certain dose goes also to the foetus during a period when the brain is being formed, probably with long term consequences."

Reacting to the study’s findings, fertilty expert, Emma Cannon, told The Huffington Post: "I believe that a mother's experiences during pregnancy all have an impact on the growing baby. Even her inner most thoughts and feelings affect her baby. 


Pregnancy May Offer Protection From Breast Cancer

Pregnancy Hormone May Inhibit Breast Cancer

Pregnancy may be good for your health in more ways than previously thought. This article talks about how AFP may help inhibit cancer of the breast. Read more:

"Hormones in pregnancy, such as estrogen, all induce AFP, which directly inhibits the growth of breast cancer," said lead researcher Herbert Jacobson, Ph.D., who is a basic breast cancer researcher in the Center for Immunology and Microbial Diseases and in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at Albany Medical College, N.Y.

"The body has a natural defense system against breast cancer," he added. "AFP needs to be safely harnessed and developed into a drug that can be used to protect women from breast cancer."


Sunday, March 02, 2014

Early Pregnancy Complications Require Closer Supervision

Complications In Early Pregnancy

With my miscarriage history, it probably explains why my pregnancy was so closely monitored. I had spotting with all my pregnancies, even my successful one.
See Also: for more on preventing complications in pregnancy
 Although most doctors seem to be rather unconcerned with spotting, it can signal future problems with the pregnancy. Read more:

From the article:

Problems in the first three months increase the risk of premature birth and other difficulties - in that pregnancy and subsequent ones.

The data from 75 studies also showed a history of miscarriages was linked to future premature births.

Experts said the research would help identify those at high risk.

The analysis presented at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) annual meeting looked at several common complications of the first three months of pregnancy.

It notches up our level of awareness that if someone has problems in early pregnancy, especially repeated problems, maybe we should be watching these women a bit more closely

Patrick O'Brien, obstetrician
Vaginal bleeding in the early weeks was associated with an increased risk of pre-eclampsia, premature delivery and more than double the risk of having a low birth weight or very low birth weight baby. 


Pesticide Exposure In Pregnancy May Lead to ADHD In Child

Pesticide Exposure In Pregnancy

Here's another reason to avoid pesticide exposure, especially in pregnancy. It could lead to ADHD.
For more information on pregnancy-detox and environmental toxins, visit:

From the article:

Researchers at the University of California Berkeley tested pregnant women for evidence that organophosphate pesticides had actually been absorbed by their bodies, and then followed their children as they grew.

Women with more chemical traces of the pesticides in their urine while pregnant had children more likely to have symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, at age 5, the researchers found.

"While results of this study are not conclusive, our findings suggest that prenatal exposure to organophosphate pesticides may affect young children's attention," Amy Marks and colleagues wrote in the study, available on the Environmental Health Perspectives website.


Saturday, March 01, 2014

What Pregnant Women Should Know Myths and Facts

Pregnancy Information, What You Should Know

There's enough advice out there for pregnant women - almost to the point that you don't know what to believe.
Also see: for more on pregnancy and environmental toxins
 This article addresses some common questions and/or misconceptions about pregnancy and what's safe and what's not. Read more:
This article addresses issues such as:  drinking alcohol, dying your hair, what to eat and traveling by plane:
How much alcohol can you drink?
Not even the experts have been able to agree on this. Nice said the first three months should be teetotal but one to two drinks a day was safe thereafter in guidance issued last March. That clashed with advice from the Department of Health last year which said there was no safe limit throughout pregnancy.
Tommy's advice is that alcohol is best avoided altogether, on the ground that the risks of heavy drinking during pregnancy are well known: an increased incidence of miscarriage and low birth weight. "But if you have the odd glass of wine it is unlikely to cause a problem," said Ms Carter. "It is just that we can't say for sure because we don't have the evidence."
Is it OK to have sex during pregnancy?
The myth that having sex may in some way damage the developing baby is widespread. But Ms Carter was emphatic. "There is absolutely nothing wrong with having sex during pregnancy. Some women may feel more sexy and some less – libido can change. Often in the early months when women feel tired and sick they are less interested in sex. But the basic message is it is absolutely fine – there should be no confusion about that."

Doing Fetal Kick Counts

Pregnancy Over 40, Monitor Your Baby With Fetal Kick Counts

When I was pregnant, I received quite a bit of conflicting information on doing fetal kick counts.
See also: for more on preventing pregnancy complications and miscarriage
What I was told in my prenatal classes seemed to be different from the information I was given from my OB clinic. Many OB clinics and doctor's offices have handouts on how and when pregnant women should do fetal kick counts. Fortunately, my daughter was very active when she was inside of me. I could feel her move sometimes 40 times in one hour. My doctor warned me she would probably be the same way after she was born and to get ready to run. Well...I'll have to say she was right. My daughter is one of the most active kids I know - let's just say it's keeping me young.

Pay attention to each of your baby's movements. Record the number of minutes it takes for the baby to move the specified number of times. (Kick count specifics vary from practitioner to practitioner -- talk with your healthcare provider. Usually you're asked to record at least 10 kicks/movements within a four- to six-hour window of time.) When the baby has completed the required number of movements, put an X in the box corresponding to that time.

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