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Friday, October 30, 2015


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Saturday, October 24, 2015


Miscarriage Statistics By Gestational Age

Miscarriage can be quite common, especially in those very early weeks past fertilization when you probably had no idea you were pregnant.
This site gives some statistics for miscarriage in your first pregnancy and subsequent pregnancies:

For most normal, healthy women in their first pregnancy, the statistics look like this:

Week of Gestation
Percentage Likelihood
of Miscarriage

See Also: HcG Levels and Miscarriage (

1-2 (You do not know you are pregnant)
75% (this includes eggs that never grow past fertilization, and it would have been impossible to know you were pregnant; after implantation, which occurs 

7-10 days after ovulation, the odds go down to 31%)2

10% (after home urine test is positive at 14 days post ovulation when hCG levels reach 50-80)2

5% (or less if heartbeat heard)

2nd trimester
3% (considered stillbirth after 20 weeks)

3rd trimester
No longer considered miscarriage once fetus is beyond one pound (500 grams) around 24 weeks gestation. Stillbirth rate is 1%.

excerpted from


Pregnancy Over 40, Diet Matters

I was so nauseated my first trimester that I can't say I always ate healthy foods.
 For my series on foods for fertility and pregnancy:  see
 I had to eat creamy usually high fat dairy just to soothe my stomach. But I made up for it my second and third trimester when I got back to eating fruits vegetables, fiber and calcium rich foods. Here is an article from WebMD about what to eat when pregnant. I should mention that the only thing I disagree with in this article is the use of artificial sweeteners. I've read from numerous sources that pregnant women should stay away from aspartame and other artificial sweeteners when pregnant. Read more:
  • Choose at least one good source of vitamin C every day, such as oranges, grapefruits, strawberries, honeydew, papaya, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, green peppers, tomatoes, and mustard greens. Pregnant women need 70 mg of vitamin C a day.
  • Choose at least one good source of folic acid every day, like dark green leafy vegetables, veal, and legumes (lima beans, black beans, black-eyed peas and chickpeas). Every pregnant woman needs at least 0.4 mg of folic acid per day to help prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida.
  • Choose at least one source of vitamin A every other day. Sources of vitamin A include carrots, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, spinach, water squash, turnip greens, beet greens, apricots, and cantaloupe.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


Pregnancy Over 40 and Stress

I've always believed that the prenatal environment is incredibly important for the development of your baby.
 Here is an article that gives more evidence that women under stress (especially as it relates to their relationship with their partner) may unknowingly be negatively affecting their baby's IQ.
Read more:

They believe high levels of the stress hormone cortisol can affect unborn babies by crossing the placenta.

Lead researcher Prof Vivette Glover, a foetal development expert at Imperial College London, said: "We have known for a long time that both genetics and upbringing have an important effect on how a child turns out.

See Also: Stress and Fertility, the Most Overlooked Factor In Our Control (

"Our study shows that what happens while the baby is in the womb is also important.

"When we looked at what kind of stress was most significant, we found that if the woman had a partner who was being emotionally cruel to them while they were pregnant it had a really significant effect on their baby's future development.

 from: (


Pregnancy and Back Pain

Oddly enough, one of the few times I didn't have back pain was when I was pregnant.
However, pregnancy can trigger back pain. This article talks about the different types of back pain and what you can do:


From the article:

Posterior pelvic pain in pregnancy can extend down into the buttock and upper portion of the posterior (in back of) thighs, and does not usually radiate below the knees. It can be associated with pubic pain. The pain does not quickly resolve with rest, and morning stiffness may also be present.

Posterior pelvic pain during pregnancy can be brought on or exacerbated by the following activities:

* Rolling in bed
* Climbing stairs
* Sitting and rising from a seated position (such as getting in and out of cars, bathtubs, bed)
* Lifting, twisting, bending forward
* Running and walking.

A job that involves prolonged postures at extreme ranges (such as sitting at a computer and leaning forward, standing and leaning over a desk or workstation) increases the risk of developing pregnancy pelvic pain.

Unlike many other forms of lower back pain in pregnancy, a previous high level of fitness does not necessarily prevent posterior pelvic pain while pregnant.
Labor Pain during Pregnancy

It is important to note that labor pain is a different type of pain. It is similar to an intense menstrual cramp and has the following characteristics:

* The pain is persistent
* It increases in intensity and frequency over a short period of time
* It is not affected by your level of activity (while back pain associated with pregnancy is often activity-induced).


Monday, October 19, 2015


Pregnancy, Peanuts and Childhood Allergies

I'll admit, I ate lots of peanut butter when I was pregnant. It was a nice snack when I got hungry between meals.


  Now that I have my daughter and I have quite a bit of contact with elementary age children, I see how many kids have peanut allergies (some cases can be life threatening).   According to the article below, you may want to avoid peanuts under certain circumstances. Read more:

The UK government recommends that certain women avoid eating peanuts while they are pregnant. You are advised to avoid peanuts if you, your baby's father, or one of your previous children has had an allergic reaction to something. Allergic conditions include:

• eczema

• asthma

• hayfever

• any allergic response (rashes, itches, bumps) if you've eaten food such as strawberries, shellfish, or peanuts.

It is only peanuts that should be avoided by some women - other nuts, such as brazil, hazelnuts, walnuts or cashew nuts are perfectly safe. 

excerpted from:  

Saturday, October 17, 2015


Pregnancy and Cheese Consumption

Who doesn't like cheese?
 The problem is that there are many kinds of cheeses and some may carry organisms that are not safe in pregnancy. This article explains more:


These cheeses are not safe for you while you're pregnant:

Soft, mould-ripened cheeses, such as brie, camembert and chevre (a type of goat's cheese).

Blue-veined cheeses, such as danish blue and stilton.

Even if these cheeses are pasteurised, they still aren't safe to eat. That's because they are more moist and less acidic than other cheeses. It's this moistness and acidity which provide the perfect environment for listeria bacteria to grow.


Wednesday, October 14, 2015


Depression may be related to the reproductive cycle so it may be more than PMS. Women who think they're suffering from PMS may actually have a condition called PMDD or premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Read more:


From the article:

The DSM-IV classifies premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) under research diagnostic criteria as depression not otherwise specified (Table below). Mood and anxiety symptoms can occur only during the premenstrual period, or preexisting symptoms can become worse at this time. Identifying and treating symptoms that have a significant effect on patients is important; dismissing them as "simple" premenstrual symptoms deprives women of potentially beneficial treatment.

PMDD is a severely distressing and debilitating condition that requires treatment. Between 3 and 5 percent of women meet the diagnostic criteria for this disorder, which presents with symptoms of depression and anxiety as well as cognitive and physical symptoms. The diagnosis of PMDD requires the presence of five of 11 symptoms, with at least one of the first four symptoms experienced during the last week of the luteal phase; in addition, remission of symptoms must occur within a few days of the onset of menstruation.


Friday, October 09, 2015


I think it's heartbreaking how some kids get picked on their entire life. Being an overweight kid has got to be one of the hardest ways to grow up. My husband's cousin has an overweight ten year old who has very few friends and is very self conscious about her size. The problem is, she doesn't know what to do about it and neither do her parents - perhaps they should start with one less trip to the ice cream shop (which they go to regularly). I previously posted another article about how many kids are overweight by the time they enter preshool. These poor kids don't have a chance.


This is truly one situation where prevention is key. Most adults fail at do you expect a child to succeed? Kids tend to model the behaviour set by their parents. If junk food is the norm around the house, that's what kids will want to eat. I'm so happy I trained myself years ago to eat a multitude of fruits and vegetables. I can't say my daughter likes all of them, but slowly but surely she's starting to eat what I eat.

Here is an article about the difficult life overweight kids face:


Wednesday, October 07, 2015


Case Study: Acupuncture for Gestational Diabetes

Guest Post By Richard Lobbenberg

A 34 year-old pregnant woman in her sixth month came to me worried about how her newly diagnosed gestational diabetes might affect her baby's health, and that of her own in the long term. She had not previously suffered from diabetes, although she explained that her father had had type-2 diabetes since his forties. She did not have high blood pressure, was not overweight before becoming pregnant, and neither did she have any of the other risk factors associated with gestational diabetes. This was her third baby and she had not had any issues associated with her previous two pregnancies.
The patient presented with fatigue in the late afternoon/evening as well as occasional back pain and she also complained of feeling a little cold in the evenings. She said that before becoming pregnant, she had always maintained good eating habits but did not exercise very much. Part of her worry with the gestational diabetes was that in this case, exercise did not seem to help regulate her blood sugar levels and she was concerned about taking too much insulin. She also wanted to prevent the possibility of her baby gaining too much weight in utero and possibly having other complications.
As she had been told by her doctor I explained that taking insulin while pregnant cannot harm the baby, but she hoped nonetheless to minimize the amount she had to take. I explained that acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine might help regulate her blood sugar levels but that she should continue to also follow her doctor's advice and monitor her levels and also take insulin as directed by her specialist.


She began to see me once a week for acupuncture and Chinese herbs. My approach was aimed at strengthening her Spleen and Kidney (words capitalized here indicate differentiation from their scientific definitions) energy systems to combat the fatigue and manage her blood sugar levels by essentially helping her digestive system (i.e. her Spleen) function more efficiently.
Her pulse was choppy and slippery, and was also somewhat weak. Since she had occasional back pain recently and tended towards feeling a little cold in the evenings, I attributed these signs to a slight Kidney deficiency, possibly brought on by a third pregnancy. We used point such as DU 20, BL 17, BL 20, BL 23, ST 36, KD 2, KD 6.
The herbal formula used in this case was You Gui Wan, meant to tonify her Kidney deficiency to, in effect, support her Spleen and improve the efficiency of her digestive system. In this case the lower energy and feelings of cold indicated Kidney Yang deficiency.
Over the course of two months, with treatment nearly once per week, the patient was able to manage her gestational diabetes well and needed insulin injections most often only at night. In her last month of pregnancy, her specialist advised her to decrease the amount of insulin she was using, and we were able to reduce our frequency of treatments as well.
She came back to me two months after giving birth, and was happy to claim that her baby was in great health, and that her own blood sugar levels were back to normal and she no longer would need any insulin.
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Monday, October 05, 2015


Pregnancy Over 40, The Safe Way To Eat Meat

Although I spent many years as a vegetarian, I did eat meat when I was pregnant.
I was so very hungry, that it was one of the few foods that would fill me up for hours at a time. This article talks about what to watch out for when eating meat:

From the article:

To reduce your risks of contracting toxoplasmosis or salmonella from meat, follow these food hygiene guidelines:

• store raw meat carefully so that the juice cannot drip onto other food

• do not put cooked food down on the same chopping board or surface that has been used for raw meat without thoroughly cleaning the surface first

• if you are marinating meat, keep it refrigerated and in a covered dish

• wash your hands and all utensils after handling raw meat

• cook poultry and meat until no pink remains and the juices run clear - test this by sticking a fork or skewer into the thickest part of the meat.

• take special care with grilled or barbecued meat: burgers and sausages may appear black on the outside but remain underdone and pink on the inside 


Friday, October 02, 2015


Pregnancy Over 40, Environmental Threats

Here's a good reason to leave housework to your husband while you're pregnant (or to take a break from a job with high EMF exposure).
 Some appliances may negatively affect your pregnancy and child if they have high levels of electromagnetic fields. Read more:

The findings, published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, show that youngsters whose mothers had been exposed to high levels of magnetic energy in pregnancy could be at three times higher risk of asthma.

See Also: Dextoxify Your Environment To Get Pregnant

It is the first time scientists have shown that using hairdryers, microwaves or even living near power cables during pregnancy could affect the incidence of asthma.
Dangerous: Pylons are a source of potentially harmful magnetic energy

Researchers have already shown that this type of magnetic energy can increase the risk of miscarriage and some types of cancer.


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