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Friday, January 30, 2015


Pregnancy Over 40, Mothers Deserve More Respect

I've read so many advantages to having a baby over the age of 40.
Not only are you more mature, financially stable, but you are more likely to have happier and smarter kids.  Here's an article that gives a well rounded perspective of pregnancy over 40. They address both the positive and some of the challenging aspects that midlife or past midlife mothers face:

Among the famous women who had children long after their nubile years are Halle Berry (daughter at age 41), Mariah Carey (twins at age 41), Jane Seymour (twins at age 44), Marcia Cross (twins at age 44), Christie Brinkley (daughter at age 44), Susan Sarandon (son at age 45), Holly Hunter (twins at age 47) and Geena Davis (twins at age 48).


Other front-page births were Cheryl Tiegs’ twins at age 52 (via a surrogate), Joan Lunden’s two sets of twins (at ages 52 and 54, with a surrogate), and Elizabeth Edwards, who had unspecified fertility treatments to have a daughter at age 48 and a son at 50.

But hundreds of thousands of women have late-in-life childbirths that do not make the tabloids. In 2009, more than 105,000 babies were born to women ages 40 to 44, and almost 8,000 more were born to women ages 45 to 54. More than half of these children were first- or second-borns.

Many of these births, especially after age 45, involve egg donation, a scary subject for many women, said Marna Gatlin, who struggled with infertility for more than 15 years before having a child via egg donation.

When Ms. Gatlin and her husband went through the donation process 11 years ago, “it was so in the closet, it was deemed as something out of ‘Star Trek.’ Very science fiction.”

Saturday, January 24, 2015


Can You Ovulate While Breastfeeding?

Many women wonder if they can get pregnant while breastfeeding.
I should mention that even though menstrual cycles typically stop or become irregular when nursing, it should not be considered a contraceptive.  I know a number of women who got pregnant while breastfeeding.

 Here is an excellent article which explains in detail how the menstrual cycle may change while breastfeeding:


“Most nonlactating women resume menses within 4 to 6 weeks of delivery, but about one-third of the first cycles are anovulatory, and a high proportion of first ovulatory cycles have a deficient corpus luteum that secretes sub-normal amounts of steroids. In the second and third menstural cycles, 15% are anovulatory and 25% of ovulatory cycles have luteal-phase defects…Lactation, or breastfeeding, further extends the period of infertility and despresses ovarian function. Plasma levels of FSH return to normal follicular phase values by 4 to 8 weeks postpartum in breastfeeding women. In contrast, pulsatile LH stimulation is depressed…in the majority of lactating women throughout most of the period of lactational amenorrhea.” [1]

In other words, after not menstruating for so many months, it takes the body a few tries to get the delicate hormone balance back up to speed again. The first few cycles either don’t release an egg, or if an egg is released, the corpus luteum, which is responsible for secreting enough progesterone to maintain the pregnancy until the placenta can take over, isn’t quite up to the task. This is called a luteal phase defect, and it’s a very common cause of early miscarriages. In women who are breastfeeding, the process of returning to normal ovarian cycles takes even longer


Tuesday, January 20, 2015


Here is another reason to cut junk food out of your diet if you are trying to conceive or already pregnant.  Women who ate healthy diets were 50% more likely to have a full term birth than women who at junk food or food high in sugar and fat.  If you are trying to conceive, this is important because a healthy diet can make conception more likely as many fruits and vegetables can help regulate hormones and, according to the study below, it can help prevent pre-term birth:

The results, published in The Journal of Nutrition, show that women who consistently ate a diet high in protein and fruit prior to becoming pregnant were less likely to have a preterm birth, while those who consistently ate high fat and sugar foods and takeaway were about 50% more likely to have a preterm birth.
"Preterm birth is a leading cause of infant disease and death and occurs in approximately one in 10 pregnancies globally. Anything we can do to better understand the conditions that lead to preterm birth will be important in helping to improve survival and long-term health outcomes for children," says the lead author of the paper, Dr Jessica Grieger, Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Robinson Research Institute, based at the Lyell McEwin Hospital

Sunday, January 18, 2015


What You Should Know About Natural Birth

Guest Post By Wendy C Staas

According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary natural child-birth is

"a system of managing childbirth in which the mother receives preparatory education in order to remain conscious during and help in delivery with minimal or no use of drugs or anesthetics"

Natural Child birth is not something to be afraid of. It is a wonderful experience and can happen in three places. Home, a birth center and the hospital.
It was not until the 1900's that women started to give birth in the hospital, up until that point women gave birth at home.The website Midwifery has articles that can help anyone considering giving birth at home. Specifically 'The Home birth Choice' talks about the specifics about why consider home birth, who attends, midwifery, prenatal visits and how the midwife handles complications.

"Women may prefer a home birth over a hospital birth for a variety of reasons, including a desire for a low-intervention birth in a familiar environment surrounded by family and friends, and cultural or religious concerns." According to the Center of Disease Control.

Most women in the United States choose to give birth in a hospital. However, it has its challenges. Having an unmedicated birth in a hospital is difficult if you do not do your research. You must choose the right obstetrician with a low intervention and cesarean rate. He/ she must also not be overly concerned should your baby go over the due date. It is not out of the ordinary for a baby to go to the 42nd week because obstetricians base the date upon your menstrual cycle and not conception date.
It is also important to research different hospitals, tour the hospital and check to see how 'home-like' the delivery rooms are, as well as gather cesarean and intervention statistics. When you tour hospitals, you want to get their policies on allowing skin-on-skin contact with your baby immediately after birth and do they allow the baby to room-in with the mother? These experiences are something that a mother birthing at home get to experience. The baby bonds more quickly and breastfeeding is easier.


Giving birth in a birth center allows the woman to have home birth like experience in an environment similar to a hospital. Women who are not comfortable having a home birth and do not want the stress of birthing in a hospital typically choose a birth center if one is available in their area. Also, it is a great way to get a home birth experience in states where having a home birth is illegal.
How to prepare for a natural birth?
Having a drug free birth is not something a woman goes into saying "I will try it". That is as foolish as waking up one day and saying "Today I am going to run a marathon", except you do not have the proper running shoes and you have never run a day in your life.
First, decide where you want to give birth. Who do you want to deliver your baby and interview many professionals explaining to them that you want a drug-free birth and are assembling your team to help you make this goal.
Then you need to research what birth classes are available (not classes at the hospital, they do not adequately prepare you for a drug free birth). There are three well-known birth teaching methods. Lamaze, The Bradley Method, Hypnobabies. Each have a website and a way for you to find an educator near you.
Next you want to interview and hire a doula. A doula is a professional that comes along side you and your partner/ husband to guide you through labor and birth. She does not replace the partner/ husband, but assists them.
A doula also is a consistent support for the laboring mother. When giving birth in a hospital, the nurses come and go to aid other patients and the obstetrician may call in for updates, but likely only shows up to catch the baby. There is not continual support for the mother, which is why a doula is so important.
A doula also assists the mother with relaxation techniques and assists in assuring the mother along the way. Should a situation arise where information in need to make a decision, the doula will help the laboring mother and partner/husband get all the questions answered by the medical staff. She does not in any way make decisions for or talk to the medical staff on their behalf.
A doula meets with you several times before the due date, assists in the labor/ delivery, helps breastfeeding and visits the mother postpartum to go over how the delivery went and helps the mother in any way she may need. She is an asset to your birth team and will support how you want to give birth.
Finally you need to practice relaxing. This cannot be stressed strongly enough. Relaxation is the key to your body opening up and allowing the baby to descend and be born. Spend at least an hour every day listening to relaxing music, practicing making your entire body limp. Then from your toes to your head, take each area tense it up and release. This helps you learn that you do have control over your body and that you can relax. Relaxation is the key to successful drug free birth.
Remember, giving birth and labor is not pains of suffering. Contractions are surges. The pains that you experience are manageable, it just takes relaxation and concentration (and as little distractions as possible). It takes an extreme amount of mental control to realize that with each passing surge you get closer to meeting your sweet baby. You can do it, however preparation is not only recommended, but necessary.
Article Source:

Sunday, January 11, 2015


Vibrant Birth - Vibrant Life: The Origins of Trauma At Birth

Guest Post By Graeme Dinnenand, Phylipa Dinnen

It is generally understood that the birth process can be difficult and traumatic for the baby. Here we will go into more detail about the different patterns which, if left unhealed, become our normal, distorted, behaviour as we grow up.
From the time we are conceived we are carrying a genetic inheritance of the distorted ancestral patterns of the father and the mother. Each generation has an opportunity to transform these patterns, but only if they are aware. Most people are not alert to this possibility and believe these patterns simply to be a part of their nature. In Human Design terms, genetically, the heavy influence of Mars carries an energy from the father that needs to be transformed. It is only through this transformation that we can live out who we really are, following our inner truth.
Each one of us has come with work to do in this lifetime, but unless we find a level of awareness, growth and healing while we are here, we may depart without any knowledge of transformation and our true potential. Every cell in the body vibrates at a frequency and if we can raise the frequency of our cells then we can come into resonance with the planet and our purpose here. Although we are each born with a particular genetic pattern there are always possibilities for raising the frequency of that pattern so we live it out correctly instead of living a life of struggle when we are not in harmony. When we are living our true genetic role we find it is what we are here to do, what we are passionate about, what interests us most; and by doing our own work, we are raising the overall frequency of the planet.


Some significant patterns that we carry are just who we believe ourselves to be. These need to be transformed before we can truly be correct and self-realised.
1. Mother's need?

Ideally, all babies should be invited by both parents. When one parent is not fulfilled by the partnership one solution is to fill the gap with a baby to love. This is never an answer and places a huge burden on the baby that is essentially conceived and born to help repair the parent's relationship. Any child with this pattern will always seek the security of a solid foundation in their life. This could take the form of marrying someone who needs someone to love and also offers a very solid foundation.
2. Not recognised?

About 70% of births start as twin births. The mother subconsciously identifies with one particular foetus even if two tiny foetuses are present. If one of the developing foetuses leaves and the mother has already bonded with that one, the remaining foetus will feel unnoticed. There are two dynamics going on here for the surviving baby; the first one is that it suddenly feels lonely, bereft and unrecognised because of the mother bonding with the other, departed twin. The second is that the surviving twin becomes intensely resentful of the departed twin for taking nourishment that the surviving twin needed.
When the child is born, it will project that resentment onto an older or younger sibling. The mother may be surprised to find that it's not the child that she was subconsciously expecting. The baby will feel the lack of recognition that it felt throughout the pregnancy; this pattern will recapitulate with a parent, sibling or partner. If that parent, sibling or partner dies, then it is just projected onto another. There is always someone else who is taking from them - and can't give back (often financially). The truth is that although resources were limited in the womb, they do not have to be limited in the real world.
3. Wanted or Not?

Although many people "find they are pregnant", an unplanned or accidental birth is not a healthy way to conceive a child. A baby needs to be planned and consciously wanted by both parents to come into the correct, nurturing environment. Even if the parents are delighted to find there is a baby on the way, it does not dispel that disconnection of the unaware parents during those first few weeks. Children born with this pattern are often at a friend's house, staying the night, bonding with those parents. They try not to be too demanding and do everything for themselves because they think they have to. It's a survival mechanism for them. They may be children who are put into daycare before nursery school, so that the parents can both work. In later relationships they are never sure of the solidity of the partnership and need constant affirmation of their value to the partner.
4. Lost twin?

Another twin dynamic, although this is one where the two foetuses bond with each other. One twin departs and the other has lost the potential 'best friend'. Once born, this surviving twin bonds with a sibling, a parent, a friend at school, anyone who it perceives it can have the kind of close relationship that it had with its lost twin. They will marry their best friend only to find that the relationship is suffocating for the other, or if they both have the same wound, suffocating for both. They may also see that there is no bond; that initial recognition was just a phase because that other person also had a twin wound. There is always a double bind in a twin dynamic. There is nothing we can do to heal a double bind, but be informed and once aware of the pattern, wait for the miracle, which always appears.
5. Delusion

The true betrayal of the delusion and disconnect patterns is that they are imposed through external intervention. If a couple conceive after a heavy bout of drinking or taking drugs then the "drug affect" becomes imprinted in the baby and often recapitulates at birth by interventions such as C-sections and chemical pain management. It is this wound where the "false memories" issue originates. We remember in the cells of the body what may have happened in the past to our ancestors. We have inherited the pattern and it is our job in this lifetime to heal it rather than find someone to blame for it. Children with this pattern will grow up feeling blamed because they appear to be delusional, through the lack of clarity in the brain. They feel fuzzy headed until they can clear the toxins in the fourth ventricle of the brain (filled with cerebrospinal fluid) where the impact of the drug remains. They can be addicted to alcohol, drugs or other chemical substances until they discover where the pattern originated and can start to work on healing. Cranio-sacral work can help to release the toxicity in the fourth ventricle. Forgiveness for those who have blamed is a key to healing this pattern.
6. Disconnect

Forceps and Caesarian Sections (which also have the chemical aspect) have become very common methods of delivering a baby whether it is necessary or not. Any rough handling by someone pulling a baby out of the womb by its head in a slightly too heavy handed manner can cause immense damage. The tiny skull is still very fragile and both these methods should only be used in a life or death emergency. Male doctors decided to make child birth a medical procedure and initially they secretly used forceps and other tools to "assist" the birth. The resultant pain to the baby is almost impossible to bear, and the baby disconnects from the body in order to survive. So the baby continues to spend the rest of its life in "disconnect" because it cannot be grounded and centred in its body. These are the people who seem to be "on another planet" or "away with the fairies" and drift through life; and they have bouts of intense anger. Nothing can possibly work for them when they are not grounded and centred in the body. We are here to be body oriented people, yet for those who have had a forceps birth, the body is perceived as a dangerous place to be. It continues to invite abuse simply through the aura. There is also a sense of wanting to go home, not being afraid of death, possibly even having had a sense of "the divine" at that moment of disconnect. These people need a great deal of body work and realignment of the cranium to succeed with their lives.
This is just a brief look at what the distortions are. A baby is only in the present moment and believes what happens at the moment of birth is "forever", until someone informs them otherwise when they are able to rationalise. There are much more detailed healing procedures, but to start with we need to identify the patterns.
If a parent can speak to the baby, apologise for what happened, and explain the circumstances "you may not have survived if we had performed this intervention... ", then the emotional trauma around the event can be released.
It is never too late - you can apologise to your 40-year old children about what happened at their birth. It could transform their life.
Author Phylipa Dinnen is a mother of four children a Human Design Professional and a Practitioner of Pre and Peri-Natal Birth Trauma. Together with her husband Graeme they run Resources For Life a natural health business in Chichester, West Sussex.
For more information http://www.resourcesforlife.net

Friday, January 09, 2015


Feng Shui For Baby!  Preparing For Your Special Day - All Your Questions Answered!

Guest post by Fay Chapple
Congratulations!  A new baby is truly a miracle and there is no better way to prepare a baby's room for your new miracle then incorporating Feng Shui!  Creating a space for your baby is a labour of love!
If you have the luxury of plenty of space and choices for the baby's new room then it would be very beneficial if you can avoid the following:
Any room over the garage in not a good choice - Baby needs to sleep over something solid, Any room over a storage area is not a good choice, Any room that is open to excessive noise is not a good choice.


So what would be an ideal location?
o    A quiet room
o    A room with a beautiful view
o    For boys a room in the north and east
o    For girls a room in the south, west or southwest
o    A good flow of energy (nothing blocking your path from the door to the crib!) a good healthy flow of chi will lead to a healthier and happier baby!
What's the most important thing to do first?
o    Quite simply, in Feng Shui the number one thing you can do to prepare a room is to clear the clutter.  Make sure that everything not pertaining to baby is out of the room. Make sure that you repair anything that is broken, replace anything that is missing.  The room should be in very good shape before baby comes home!  Ensure you clean the room with organic healthy toxic free cleaners.
o    When you move in the furniture don't store anything under the crib - again creating clutter!
o    Ensure your clear the space and rid it of any old energies - you are starting with a clean slate.  You can clear your space by burning incense, ring a bell, clapping your hand or opening the windows on a beautiful sunny day for a couple of hours!
What about furniture?
o    As with all Feng Shui the baby's crib should have a view of the door so they are not surprised when someone enters the room.  The bed head (or headboard) should be against a solid wall.
o    Do not place the crib against a wall attached to a bathroom if possible
o    Furniture with rounded edges is your best choice.  If your change table or dresser has sharp corners ensure that none of the corners are pointing directly at baby's head or body.
Are traditional Wall Colours Good?
o    Certainly traditional wall colours are good but if you want to paint the walls in accordance with Feng Shui principles you will need to consult the Feng Shui energy map!  Called the "Bagua"  when you direction which direction your baby's room falls into it will lead you to the colour that is ideal for the sector
o    Do you want to personalize it even further?  Then determine the baby's KUA number and paint it in one of the baby's auspicious colours!
o    Still not sure?  White is the principle colour for Children and Creativity.  You can use white on the walls or white as accents.
What about bright Primary Colours?
o    Bold, bright colours are considered to be to much Yang (aggressive) colours for babies.  Stick with soft, muted and pale Yang colours for optimum health and relaxation including soft yellow, soft greens, pale blues, turquoise and pink!
I was thinking of a jungle theme what do you think?
o    Too much stimulus is just as bad for baby as not enough.
o    It is better to stick to soothing nature scenes without actual animals in them
o    Water themes are popular but are deemed to cause health problems with babies according to Feng Shui principles
o    When decorating be guided by your own senses.  The baby's room is a place that should be relaxing, nurturing and soothing.  You will rock your baby in this room, you will bond with your baby in this room, you will play with the baby in this room, so when you close your eyes and imagine yourself rocking your baby to sleep what do you see?  Go with your instincts not what  someone else tells you is right.
o    Try to use as many natural fiber products as possible in bedding, drapes, pillow and rugs.
Do I need blinds - or should I let all the light I can in the room?
o    Babies are sensitive and they need a subtle combination of lighting - a perfect balance of yin and yang.  Warm soothing light in the morning, and quiet and restful lighting at night.  Blinds are a good option that would allow you to monitor the level of light that you let in.
o    Different sources of lighting should be available at different times of the day. Soft and night lights for the evening, Bright lights for dark rainy days, Good medium day time lighting
Do you have any other great tips?
o    Keep electrical appliances including telephones, baby monitors and alarm clocks away from the crib (at least 3 feet away from baby's head)
o    Essential oils in soft lavender, chamomile, rose or vanilla will soothe baby.
o    Soothing relaxing sounds are good for baby while sleeping whether it's a relaxing music cd, the soft ticking of a clock, a small soft fan or anything else that imparts calmness into the room.
o    In order to create good energy movement - place mobiles  or small soft wind chimes either near change table or by windows to encourage the flow of chi - never place the mobile above the baby's head as it is to stimulating.
The addition of a baby is truly a joy.  Take time and pleasure in designing your baby's new room  - after all not everyone is lucky to have such an miraculous opportunity!
© Copyright  2007 Fay Chapple
Fay Chapple is an International Feng Shui Expert and is Principal of the award winning Home & Life Design Firm Blue Avalon.
Blue Avalon specializes in Interior Decorating, Feng Shui and Abundant Living.  Blue Avalon is the publisher of The Blue Avalon Journal, a monthly e-zine packed with ideas, tips and insider secrets!  To subscribe log on to our site at and you'll receive a bonus book, The Number One Feng Shui Secret That Will Transform Your Life!
Blue Avalon - "Harmony for your home... Balance for your life!"
Article Source:!--Preparing-For-Your-Special-Day---All-Your-Questions-Answered!&id=964579

Wednesday, January 07, 2015


Nuchal Translucency Screening is a prenatal test that measures the tissue at the back of the develping baby's neck.  In some disorders, this area appears thicker due to additional fluid.  I did not have this test since I had an amniocentesis, however, it may be a good alternative.  Read more:


Normal Results
A normal amount of fluid in the back of the neck during ultrasound means it is very unlikely your baby has Down syndrome or another genetic disorder.
  • A normal measurement at 11 weeks is up to 2 millimeters (mm).
  • A normal measurement at 13 weeks, 6 days is up to 2.8 mm.
What Abnormal Results Mean
More fluid than normal in the back of the neck means there is a higher risk of Down syndrome. But it does not tell for certain that the baby has Down syndrome.
If the result is abnormal, other testing can be done. Most of the time, the other test done is amniocentesis.

from medline

Saturday, January 03, 2015


Pregnancy Over 40, Symptoms

I really did have some symptoms in pregnancy that nobody ever told me about. This article talks about everything from balance to heartburn to itching. Read more:

Unpredictable Allergies

Seasonal allergies and asthma may become unpredictable during pregnancy. Stein tells WebMD some women see their symptoms improve, while others notice the opposite. She says expectant moms with asthma generally should continue using their inhalers. "If you don't breathe, your baby won't either."

Changes in Balance

In the third trimester, many women find they are perpetually off-balance. "This change happens later in pregnancy, but I notice very few women expect it," Stein tells WebMD. While a growing belly tends to throw off your center of gravity, there's more to it than that. "A hormone called relaxin kicks in toward the end of pregnancy," Stein explains. "Its main purpose is to loosen the pelvic joints so they are more flexible during labor. But this hormone also works on the hips, knees and ankles. This makes [expectant mothers] more wobbly and achy and likely to fall."

Abnormal Pregnancy Symptoms

With so many changes taking place in your body, you may be tempted to dismiss any new discomfort as normal during pregnancy. But certain symptoms could signal a serious problem:

* Bleeding or spotting - According to Lindsay, "bleeding or spotting is never felt to be normal during pregnancy." Spotting is common in the first trimester and probably not a cause for alarm. However, in the second and third trimester, bleeding could provide advance warning of a serious complication, such as preterm labor or problems with the placenta. Always report any bleeding or spotting to your doctor or midwife.
* Severe itching - In the late second and third trimester, severe itching may signal a rare liver problem that sometimes develops during pregnancy, known as intrahepatic cholestasis. "This condition requires increased fetal surveillance and early delivery," Lindsay says.
* Blurred vision, severe headaches and pain in the right side of abdomen - These symptoms, whether they occur alone or in combination, may indicate severe preeclampsia - the medical term for dangerously high blood pressure during pregnancy. "Women who experience any of these symptoms should contact their health care provider immediately," Lindsay advises. Early delivery may be necessary "to avoid life-threatening maternal and fetal complications."
excerpted from

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