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Tuesday, June 30, 2015


Pregnancy Over 40, Success Comes With A Gag Order

I do recall when I finally conceived my daughter. I was extremely nauseated the entire first trimester (to the point that I couldn't leave the house).
 But I couldn't complain because I finally had achieved my dream of becoming pregnant without miscarrying. In retrospect, I realize people who finally do conceive after infertility have the right to feel bad and get support, but you don't feel entitled because you been handed the winning lottery ticket.   I recall when I ran an infertility support group, one of the members was apalled that her pregnant friend (who had also suffered from infertility and subsequently got pregnant) was complaining about some of her pregnancy symptoms.  This article sums it up:


From the article:

You're in your first trimester, and you're nauseous 24/7. You dare not complain to a soul, however, for fear that you'll hear:

I told you so!
And you wanted to be pregnant sooo badly...
Can you believe you went through all of that to feel like this?
Or perhaps you're in your last trimester, and the only shoes that will go on your swollen feet are shower sandals, while your sciatica gives you such pain that the slightest movement brings tears to your eyes. After seven or more months, you've probably learned by now that not only do folks tire of hearing pregnant women complain, any kvetching on your part will probably be heard with even less understanding. After all, didn't you say that you'd never complain if you could only conceive? 

excerpted from:

Sunday, June 28, 2015


Pregnancy Over 40, Not Related To Post Partum Depression

A number of articles claim older mothers have more problems than younger ones, but I find there are plenty of publications that say just the opposite.


 This article for instance says that older mothers don't have a higher rise of post partum depression. Read more:

Women who have their first baby at an older age aren't at any greater risk of postpartum depression than their younger counterparts, according to an Australian study of more than 500 first-time mothers.

Researchers led by Catherine McMahon at Macquarie University in Australia found that women aged 37 or older were no more likely to get postpartum depression than younger women, regardless of whether they conceived naturally or had infertility treatment.

"Older mothers are frequently discussed in the media. There are a lot of myths, and limited empirical data," McMahon, a psychology professor, said in an email.

There has been speculation, for instance, that older mothers might have a tougher time adjusting to motherhood after being in the workforce for a long time, or have more trouble dealing with the lifestyle changes that a baby brings.

"There is no research evidence to support these speculations,"

Thursday, June 25, 2015


Pregnancy Over 40, Severe Nausea and Vomiting

I think most women experience some type of nausea in pregnancy...even if it's just a little.
As a matter of fact, you will probably hear that nausea and vomiting is considered a sign of strong hormones and a healthy pregnancy - even though it doesn't feel like it!  I had fairly severe nausea (I was practically bedridden the first trimester), however the vomiting was not as bad.

Some women, however have debilitating nausea and vomiting in pregnancy.  It's something you should get checked out because even though nausea may be seen as a sign of a healthy pregnancy, it may lead to dehydration and if it is severe, it could be an indicator of an underlying problem.

I didn't realize that excessive vomiting in pregnancy could actually be some type of allergic process. This article explains how a woman with hyperemesis gravidarum got through her pregnancy:


From the article:

'It was like flicking a switch,' she said.

Andrea was given steroids to limit the damage as specialists feared she would need a feeding tube because of the constant vomiting. She was also taking anti-sickness tablets prescribed to chemotherapy patients.

But despite the constant struggle, Andrea got through it with the support of husband Kevin and family and friends.

Kevin, a gas man, said: 'I put on a brave face for Andrea, we had to keep her spirits up. We all had fears but no one wanted to say it out loud.

'I was worried about so many things, I wasn't sure if I was going to lose both of them or one of them.'

Andrea added: 'I didn't once get excited about being pregnant because I didn't know if it would end in a baby.

'But now I just feel normal. Hyperemesis changes your whole personality. I just feel relieved.'

Andrea and Kevin lost a baby four years ago, at around 20 weeks, because of the condition.

She is urging pregnant women to make sure they seek medical help as soon as they think they could have HG as catching it early helped save Kurt.


Tuesday, June 23, 2015


Pregnancy Hypertension Complications

When I was pregnant, my blood pressure was monitored quite closely.
 Although older women tend to have problems with blood pressure in pregnancy, thankfully, min was normal.  As far as blood pressure medications, in the past, there were concerns that ACE inhibitors were associated with birth defects. However, this article also talks about how high blood pressure itself may also be a risk factor. Read more:

Researchers behind a new, larger study suggest it’s the high blood pressure itself that is responsible for the higher risk of birth defects, not the medications.


Compared to women without high blood pressure, those with the condition were more likely to have babies with congenital heart, brain or spinal-cord defects regardless of whether they were taking ACE inhibitors, other medications, or getting no treatment at all, the study found. The study was published online this week in the journal BMJ.

De-Kun Li and colleagues from Kaiser Permanente in California examined data covering more than 460,000 pregnant women and their babies from 1995 to 2008 for the study, which was paid for by groups including the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 


Thursday, June 18, 2015


Pregnancy Over 40, Amniotic Fluid May Be Monitored

When I was pregnant with my daughter I had a totally normal pregnancy - but even so, I was closely monitored.
My doctor, however, kept a very close eye on me and I had numerous ultrasounds and tests to measure my amniotic fluid. My doctor told me that, in her opinion, the amniotic fluid measurements were one of the most important factors in assessing the health of my pregnancy. Here is an article about amniotic fluid:


From the article:

"Amniotic fluid is one of the main ingredients that keeps a baby doing well," says Dr. Robert Atlas, the chairman of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, Md. "It's a combination of solutes – substances within our own bodies – which help bathe the baby. Early on, it consists of electrolytes, similar to what is in our own blood. The baby then begins to urinate, and that becomes one of the big components of the fluid in the cavity."

This means that the volume of amniotic fluid increases by 10 milliliters until 8 weeks, says Dr. Abu Alam, an OB/GYN affiliated with Overlook Hospital in Summit, N.J. "At this point, the fluid increases up to 60 milliliters per week until 21 weeks when it starts to gradually decline to a steady rate by 33 weeks of pregnancy," says Dr. Alam. "By the end of the pregnancy, it's down to a single liter."

And the purpose of these fluctuating levels of fluid? "Amniotic fluid serves to cushion the fetus to help the baby have normal development and supports the umbilical cord from compression between the fetus and the uterus," Dr. Alam says.

What's more, says Dr. Atlas, is that the fluid allows the baby to move about in the uterus, enabling muscles and tendons to develop. "Otherwise there would be significant orthopedic injuries, which could be lifelong," says Dr. Atlas. "But the most important role for the amniotic fluid is its role in the development of the fetal lungs. The infant breathes in fluid and exhales the fluid, allowing the lungs to develop. If there is no fluid, the lungs won't develop and the fetus will be unable to breathe. Amniotic fluid has an incredibly important role during pregnancy." 


Monday, June 15, 2015


I saw this article about what used to be a rare birth defect which is becoming alarmingly commonplace.
The condition is called gastroschisis where a baby's intestines are outside the body when they're born. I remember seeing a story about this on TV when I was pregnant and it scared the heck out of me. Interestingly, even though women over 40 seem to get a bad wrap when it comes to pregnancy statistics and pregnancy outcomes, this particular condition is three times more common in women who give birth either at or under the age of 20. According to the article, aside from the age factor, research is being conducted to hopefully isolate drugs, toxins, and other environmental factors which might be contributing to this condition.


If you are trying to conceive, this article should give you even more incentive to clean up your diet, cut out your bad habits, and as much as possible, avoid environmental toxins. Even though this condition seems to be prevalent among younger women, it never hurts to do all you can to have a happy healthy pregnancy and, of course, a healthy baby.

Read more about gastrochschisis here:

Saturday, June 13, 2015


Pregnancy Over 40 and Stress

Most of us already know that stress may contribute to infertility and possibly miscarriage.
However , stress during pregnancy may also affect your baby. Read More:

"Researchers at the University of Trier, Germany, say that stressful or traumatic events experienced during pregnancy can have long-lasting effects on the fetus, and these effects may not become apparent until many years later. They cite fibromyalgia as one example, claiming that girls born of stressful pregnancies may be at a greater risk for developing the painful muscle condition as adults.


Little is known about the causes of fibromyalgia, a condition affecting mostly women and characterized by extreme fatigue and widespread muscle pain. In the new study, led by Dirk Hellhammer, the researchers found that "prenatal programming" likely plays a role in the later development of fibromyalgia. Hellhammer says that stress experienced during pregnancy can affect the development of the fetus's adrenal gland, permanently limiting its capacity for producing adequate amounts of the hormone cortisol."
excerpted from:

Thursday, June 11, 2015


Prenatal Omega 3 Fatty Acids - Find Out Why it is Important For You and Your Baby

Guest Post By Chuck Blake

Prenatal omega 3 fatty acids in pregnancy work like lock and key combination for both mother and the baby. They are essential long chain polyunsaturated omega3 fats that are required for mother's health and baby's proper development.
Importance of prenatal omega 3 fats for the mother

1. Protection from post partum depression

2. Reduced risk of miscarriages, pre-term labor and cesarean

3. Reduced chances of breast cancer

4. Protection from pre-eclampsia

5. Safe delivery


Importance of prenatal omega 3 fats for the baby

1. Proper brain development

2. Better eye sight

3. Less sleep disorder

4. Better hand/eye coordination

5. Good nervous system development

6. Reduced risk of neurobehavioral disorders like Autism, Dyslexia, etc

7. Enhanced concentrating and comprehending skills

8. Improved memory

9. Higher IQ

10. Better immunity
Because of the enormous and unmatched health benefits of omegs3 fats for both mother and baby, doctors around the globe recommend a high DHA omega3 diet during as well as after the pregnancy. This is because pregnant women are the only source of nutrition for both fetus and the newborn baby. She has to have high levels of DHA fats to cater the need of both baby and her body.
Experts recommend that pregnant females should take 500mg of DHA daily. This is equivalent to having one healthy, oily and naturally DHA rich fish (like hoki, tuna, salmon, etc.) serving daily. However, because of increase in water pollution, there is an increased risk of toxin poisoning by eating too much fish. Thus, fish supplements that undergo refining process to filter out the harmful chemicals from the oil are recommended instead.
Ideal prenatal omega 3 fish oil supplement
1. High DHA content

Since, DHA fat is often called as brain food, it is vital to have a supplement that is rich in DHA fats. 1000mg of oil should at least have 250 mg of DHA.
2. Fresh

Supplement should be fresh and should smell like ocean waters. Consumption of stale oil could result in fishy burps, long lasting metallic after taste, and increased free radical activity in the body.
3. Pure

The presence of impurities like mercury, lead, arsenic, etc. in the oil via fish caught from polluted ocean waters could be dangerous. Look for supplements that undergo the molecular distillation process to ensure that all the oil is of pharmaceutical grade quality.
Now that you know the importance of prenatal omega 3 fats and what to look for in an effective fish oil supplement, your next step should be put this information to test and find out an effective prenatal omega 3 supplement and start taking it for safe delivery and healthy baby.
Chuck Blake is an active researcher and consumer of fish supplements. He shares his research into the benefits of these nutritional supplements on his website For more information on exceptional and powerful benefits of omega-3 fish oils visit his website today.
Article Source:

Tuesday, June 09, 2015


It has been reported that women should avoid eating peanuts during pregnancy due to the possibility that this could trigger nut allergies in children. It seems like more and more people are experiencing life threatening allergies to nuts and schools now are equipped with "peanut free" tables in their lunch rooms. I ate peanut butter all through my pregnancy because it is a quick and easy snack and because of my rather severe nausea, I needed to eat at regular intervals. Interestingly, my daughter has many allergies, but luckily, peanuts are not one of them which is wonderful since peanut butter seems to be a staple of her diet.

So, should pregnant women eat peanuts, peanut butter or other nuts during pregnancy? According to the UK NHS,

"You may have heard that peanuts should be avoided during pregnancy. This is because the government previously advised women to avoid eating peanuts if there was a history of allergy (such as asthma, eczema, hay fever and food allergy) in their child's immediate family.

This advice has now been changed, because the latest research has shown no clear evidence that eating peanuts during pregnancy affects the chances of your baby developing a peanut allergy"


Sunday, June 07, 2015


I've written before about some of the dangers in plastics in terms of how they can affect hormones in both men and women. According to the article below, BPA is also found in infant formula cans. Read more from
From the article:

"Breast-feeding was my absolute first choice," says Helen Niblock, cradling her newborn and watching tentatively as she puts 5-week-old Emma on a scale. "I actually cried when they told me that I had to give her formula in the hospital."

Niblock gives Emma Enfamil from a can to supplement her diet. But a research group says the cans that contain the formula are lined with a toxic, potentially harmful chemical.


The Environmental Working Group, an advocacy and research organization, says in a new report released to CNN that liquid formula from the nation's top baby formula makers is sold in cans lined with bisphenol-A, or BPA. The formula makers acknowledge the presence of BPA, but say it is not harmful. The Food and Drug Administration agrees.

The Environmental Working Group is a nonprofit research organization focused on public health and the environment. It does not take money from special interest groups. The group previously raised concerns about the presence of BPA in plastic baby bottles and is pushing for regulation of the compound. Dr. Sanjay Gupta explains the Environmental Working Group's findings »

The group says, based on its analysis of existing research on BPA, even a very small amount of the compound may cause a host of problems, from brain and behavioral disorders to cancer, a claim the formula makers and federal regulators adamantly deny.

"BPA is a chemical that is harmful at very low doses," says Jane Houlihan, the organization's vice president for research. "We're talking about millions of babies exposed every year to this toxic chemical that's found in infant formula."


Friday, June 05, 2015


Chubby babies are so cute...but, this may be a sign that trouble is on the way. According to this article, this may predispose the baby to heart disease and obesity later in life.  Some of this may be due to the mother's weight and diet in pregnancy, read more:


Obese baby girls are at increased risk of developing heart disease and diabetes when they grow up, new research suggests.

The study of 1,053 17-year-old girls also shows that they may also be more likely to suffer problems with their metabolism if they were overweight as a baby.

Scientists from the University of Western Australia tracked the research participants on eight occasions between the ages of one and 17 years of age.

Measurements including weight, Body Mass Index (BMI), blood pressure and cholesterol levels were taken, reports the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015


Your Pet And The New Arrival

Guest Post By Fran Gratton

A new baby disrupts and turns life upside down for everyone in the household including the pets in the house. The unused, untidy storage rooms, or the office is scouted out to decide which room is going to be rearranged to make space for the new arrival. The hustle, and bustle begins early on in the pregnancy. The house gets purged. There are many adjustments to be made. How do you let the pet in on what's going on? He's watching you and maybe he already knows as he picks up one of his stuffed animals and begins to shake it vigorously until the stuffing comes out. He may be showing us just what he thinks of the news and the changes it has precipitated. With all that goes on even a well trained pet may react negatively to the change in attention and focus. Remember he was your "first baby" How will he greet the "new baby" in town? Get you vets advice for what you can do to get Fido ready for babies impending arrival. Positive reinforcements of training techniques should be used consistently before baby arrives. Not being allowed in rooms the pet has spent time in, new smells and most importantly new sounds are things to prepare the pet for. It has also been suggested that you bring an item belonging to the baby home and allow the pet to smell it. Limit the dog and or cat from the chosen baby room before the baby arrives to give them time to make the necessary adjustments in their environment. Set up routines such as the times you will walk your dog and when he eats etc. Plan areas for play away from the babies room. This is the time to try new training techniques to correct problem behavior, use words and sounds in your training that the dog responds to best.Give lots of praise. Be sure that at all times you are in control of your pet.
Hopefully as time goes by your pet will respect your baby as a "new leader" in the family and bond well with your growing child.


Steps for Helping Your Pet Adjust to a New Baby
Before the Baby is Born
  • Make sure your pet health needs and vaccinations are up to date. A healthy pet is a happier pet. Make sure your pet has had a physical exam and that no underlying health concerns exist.
  • Take care that your pet is well groomed. Keep your pets nails clipped. Long nails may accidentally scratch your baby.
  • If you haven done so, consider having your pet spayed or neutered. Doing so now will help decrease the jealous feelings that may cause both dogs and cats to mark their scent around the house.
  • Consider obedience training for your dog. Every dog should understand the commands of come and sit. There are many books to help you teach your dog these basic commands, as well as many dog obedience courses for you to consider. Contact your local pet supply store or veterinarian for information about dog obedience classes in your area.
  • Address any serious behavior problems. If you have problems disciplining your pet or your pet has anxiety, seek the help of a specialist before the arrival of your baby and be sure to get the specialist opinions of how your pet will react once the new baby arrives.
  • Consider behaviors you will want to change after baby arrives and begin working to change them now. If you allowed your pet to jump freely into your lap before, now is the time to teach your pet not to do so. Block access to areas that will be "off limits" for several months before the baby arrives, for example, no longer allow your pet to enter the room that will be the nursery when the baby arrives. Consider laying double stick tape onto furniture to discourage your pet from jumping on it.
  • Begin to spend less time with your pet. Attempt to set a schedule that will mimic the one you will have after the baby arrives. This will prepare your pet for the decreased amount of attention it will receive.
  • Invite friends with babies over for visits. This interaction will allow your pet to get accustomed to the look, smell, and sounds of a baby.
  • Start "playing house". Carry a baby doll around with you and take care of the doll as if it were a real baby. Change its diaper, pretend like you are giving it a bottle, and rock it to sleep.
After Baby has Arrived
  • Allow your pet to sniff the baby's belongings before bringing home baby. After the baby is born, bring home a towel or blanket that has the baby's scent on it and allow your pet to become accustomed to the new baby smell. Do this before bringing home baby from the hospital but after the baby is born.
  • Don't scold your pet for being curious about the baby. This is natural. Allow your pet to sniff the baby's feet - a little lick won't hurt the baby and a positive introduction will go a long way towards a healthy relationship between baby and pet. Brushing your dog or cat away each time your pet comes near your new baby may cause feelings of resentment.
  • Consider having someone else introduce the baby to your pet so that Mom can show the anxious pet needed attention at this time.
  • A gradual process of introducing the pet to the new baby is often recommended. Some experts suggest isolating the pet from the new baby for a few days so it can get used to the idea of Mom and baby together in the environment.
  • If you are contemplating a new puppy or a kitten for your new baby first playmate, you may want to reconsider. Puppies and kittens also have demands that must be met. Consider carefully whether you want to spend time training a puppy or a kitten or if you would rather spend that time with your new baby.

And Most Importantly
  • Do not leave your newborn unattended with a pet.
  • Never leave a dog and a young child unsupervised.

*** This article is for educational purposes only. None of the above information replaces the advice of your OB/GYN Doctor or your Veterinarian. Please contact your doctors for questions, concerns and professional advice.****
Your doctors experience, education and knowledge supersedes all information provided here.
Written by Fran Gratton a baby lover, dog lover and a believer in the help "The Sounds Of Baby" Cd can provide. Music For Dogs []
Article Source:

Monday, June 01, 2015


Electric and Magnetic Fields (EMF’s)

Electric and magnetic fields come from power lines, appliances, electrical wiring, equipment, computers among other things.  A number of studies have been done on the effects of prolonged exposure to high electric and magnetic fields.  I should say that there is conflicting information about the hazard EMF’s pose to pregnant women.   In terms of fertility and miscarriage, some sources claim that there is an increased incidence of infertility, miscarriage, birth defects and even some cancers in babies when the mother was exposed to high EMF’s.  Almost anything that is plugged in gives off an electric field.  To give off a magnetic field, the item must be plugged in and operating. 


There is quite a bit of variability in the EMF’s given off from different appliances or electronic devices.  Here are some things to avoid to the greatest degree possible:
·        Electric heating pads, humidifiers, heated waterbeds
·        Prolonged computer use (about 20 or more hrs. per week)
·        Electric blankets have been associated with a higher miscarriage rate.   
·        Don’t sit too close to the television, microwave or other electronic devices when in use as the further away you are from an appliance or electronic device, the less exposure you will have to it’s EMF (although some EMF’s can penetrate through walls.)
·        Limit use of wireless devices like smartphones (and wireless landline phones) and tablets – these are thought to have a negative effect on the fetus. Try to keep them away from your belly when using them.

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