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Monday, September 28, 2015


Over the years, I have read numerous articles about how the season of conception and the subsequent season of birth can affect pregnancy and birth outcomes. This article gives some possible explanations:

From the article:

Other researchers have suggested other reasons for season-of-birth differences. Maybe vitamin D was playing a role, for example, because children born in the winter were getting less sunshine in early life. Or maybe being put in the same school year with children who are mostly younger makes children born in the winter less socially mature. A study published in the medical journal Acta Pædriatica in April found that children born in the winter have higher birth-defect rates and suggested it was due to a higher concentration of pesticides in surface water in the spring and summer, when the children were conceived.

There may be validity to all of that research. But if there was any truth to the pattern that Ms. Buckles and Mr. Hungerman discovered, it would question the weightiness of other factors from past research. If winter babies were more likely to come from less-privileged families, it would be natural to expect them to do more poorly in life.

The two economists examined birth-certificate data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for 52 million children born between 1989 and 2001, which represents virtually all of the births in the U.S. during those years. The same pattern kept turning up: The percentage of children born to unwed mothers, teenage mothers and mothers who hadn't completed high school kept peaking in January every year. Over the 13-year period, for example, 13.2% of January births were to teen mothers, compared with 12% in May -- a small but statistically significant difference, they say.

from: (

Friday, September 25, 2015


Pregnancy Over 40 and Low Lying Placenta

Having a low lying placenta doesn't necessarily mean you're going to miscarry, but it can lead to some complications.
 This article explains what to expect:

From the article:

The main problem that a low-lying placenta can cause is bright red bleeding from the vagina during the later stages of pregnancy. The bleeding may stop and start at first, and is painless. It happens because the lower part of your womb is starting to change shape and thin out in readiness for your baby to be born, but because the placenta can’t stretch in the same way, it peels away at the edges, which causes bleeding.


At first, the bleeding is usually slight, but there’s a risk that it might become heavy at any time without warning. Heavy bleeding may be accompanied by signs of shock – paleness, sweating and an increased pulse.

If you haven’t had a scan that has shown the position of your placenta and you experience this kind of bleeding, it may be an indication that the placenta is low-lying. Another sign that you might have a low-lying placenta is that your baby is lying in an awkward position in your womb – for example from side to side, or at an angle.


Monday, September 21, 2015


Pregnancy Over 40, Bonding Before Birth

If you've just found out you're pregnant, it's not too soon to think about bonding with your baby.
 I recall patting my belly in a series of three pats, then three circles and talking in a very high voice with my baby.

 Here is an article that gives some tips on how to facilitate the bonding process.

From the article:

By providing a peaceful environment in which you and your baby can bond before it's born, Luminare-Rosen says, your baby gets the message that it's wanted and loved. She suggests communicating those feelings of love by taking some time every day and sitting quietly, with your eyes closed, and telling your baby how welcome it is in your life.

"Even if you're only bonding to a concept at that point, and not the baby itself, you're establishing a connection that will continue after the baby is born," says Luminare-Rosen. "You're expressing your love."


When Luminare-Rosen was pregnant with her daughter, she kept a journal that not only documented her pregnancy, but also included letters to her daughter telling her about her hopes and her fears. "I read the journal to her now so that she knows how loved she has been, from the very beginning," says Luminare-Rosen.

In the prenatal bonding classes that Luminare-Rosen holds, she will play relaxing music, then have the parents (mostly moms-to-be) imagine that they are meeting their child for the first time. "Visualize your child," she suggest. "What is the image you have of the child?"

Luminare-Rosen says that you may see a picture of your child in your mind, you may hear a conversation between you and the baby. "Draw a picture of what you have seen, or write it in your journal," she says. "This will make the visualization that much more conscious."

Marilee Hartling has several tips of her own:

Talk to the baby. Say goodnight before you go to bed, good morning when you wake up, and talk to it throughout the day. "Newborns know their mom's voice after birth," she says. "That's the voice they will turn to."

Feel the baby. Place your hands on your abdomen and rest your hands quietly, feeling the baby kick, or gently massaging the baby. You can even play games with the baby, says Hartling. Press lightly on your abdomen and you'll feel the baby kick back, she says.


Saturday, September 12, 2015


 When I was pregnant with my daughter, I removed all coffee and soda from my diet (including regular and diet).  I knew there was no nutritional value in drinking these carbonated beverages and I wanted to make everything I put in my body count.  According to this article, diet soda has been linked to premature birth.  Read more:

In the study, which appears in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the researchers found that 4.6 percent of study participants delivered babies early and one-third of those premature births were medically induced.



Researchers categorized the women in accordance of how much soda they drank, labeling them as those who never drank soda, drank less than one serving per week, one to six per week, one a day, two to three a day, or four or more a day.
Though no link was found between premature birth and the consumption of soda naturally sweetened with sugar, the results did find that compared to those who never drank the beverages, women who guzzled four or more artificially sweetened diets drinks daily were 78 percent more likely to deliver early.
One or more drinks a day was associated with a 38 percent increased risk of premature delivery.
The study was unable to explain why diet drinks specifically were shown to have this effect on premature birth, but previous studies have suggested the link could be involved with high blood pressure and the fact that some diet sodas are high in sodium.

Thursday, September 10, 2015


Pregnancy and Chocolate

Chocolate seems to be the new health food (at least dark chocolate).
 Now here's good news for pregnant women who love chocolate - it may be good for your baby. This article does not address the amount of caffeine these women were exposed to, so keep that in mind. Read more:

Katri Räikkönen at the University of Helsinki, Finland, and her colleagues asked pregnant women to rate their stress levels and chocolate consumption. After the babies were born, they looked for an association between the amount of chocolate their mothers had eaten and the babies' behaviour. Six months after birth, the researchers asked mothers to rate their infants' behaviour in various categories, including fear, soothability, smiling and laughter.

See Also: Foods To Help You Conceive(

The babies born to women who had been eating chocolate daily during pregnancy were more active and "positively reactive" - a measure that encompasses traits such as smiling and laughter. And the babies of stressed women who had regularly consumed chocolate showed less fear of new situations than babies of stressed women who abstained (Early Human Development, vol 76, p 139).

Tuesday, September 08, 2015


Fetal Antibodies and Autism

It seems like every time I turn around, I'm reading something new about autism and research.
 Here is an article that talks about how the mother's antibodies may lead to brain inflammation in the baby. Read more:


A report on the research from investigators at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center published online in the Journal of Neuroimmunology expands on a 2008 report from the same team showing that mothers of autistic children tested positive for fetal brain antibodies. Antibodies are proteins the body naturally makes to attack foreign tissues, viruses or bacteria.

Because a growing fetus is not "rejected" by the mother's immune system even though some of its DNA is "foreign" (from the father), scientists have long suspected that some combination of maternal and fetal biological protection is at work. The new research from Hopkins, however, suggests that the protective system is not perfect and that antibodies are not only made but are re-circulated back to the fetus through the placenta, possibly triggering inflammation in the brain and leading to a cascade of neurological changes resulting in neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism.

Thursday, September 03, 2015


When I was pregnant with my daughter, I drank between 64 and 80oz. of water per day. Here is an article that discusses the importance of water in pregnancy:

From the article:

"Water plays many vital roles in a healthy pregnancy.


Think of water as your body's transportation system — it carries nutrients through your blood to the baby. Water also helps prevent bladder infections, which are common during pregnancy. If you drink enough water, your urine will stay diluted, reducing your risk of infection.

Water can also stop constipation and help prevent hemorrhoids. Although it may seem counterintuitive, the more water you drink during pregnancy, the less water your body will retain. Also, drinking enough water prevents dehydration. This is especially important in the third trimester when dehydration can actually cause contractions that can trigger preterm labor.

 from: (

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