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Wednesday, December 30, 2015


If you've never heard of pregnancy tinnitus, it's a fancy way of saying that your ears are ringing while pregnant.  It is an annoying problem and the reason it can be more common in pregnancy is because blood volume and pressure may be elevated.  Of course your blood pressure will be checked during your prenatal visits, but if your ears are ringing, it may be something to check out. 
Tinnitus can be caused by hormonal changes and stress.  No matter how happy you are to be pregnant, it can be a stressful time both physically and emotionally. 
Some people find relief with white noise to mask the sound in their ears.  I have always slept with a box fan in the corner of the room (whether pregnant or not!)  I find the white noise not only masks ear ringing, but it also masks noise from outside.


Sunday, December 27, 2015


I Can Feel My Baby Move! Prenatal Developmental Movement and Parental Response

Guest Post By Stephanie Mines, Ph.D.

"The embryo is the human being expressing itself."

Jaap Van Der Wal, MD
"I think I can feel my baby move," Whitney said, her dewy blue eyes wide with anticipation. Her voice rose at the end, turning her sentence into a query. She was a few weeks shy of the second trimester of her second successful pregnancy. Exuberantly curious, she sought validation for her awareness. Whitney was more confident with this baby than her first, but on the issue of whether or not she in fact could detect her baby's movement, she was uncertain.
The delivery of Whitney's first child was by caesarean section. At the time, and now in retrospect, she questioned the procedure. It had evoked a prolonged and recurring experience of loss. She nstead of reacting to it.
Moments later Whitney determined that only she could address her uncertainty about her baby's movement. When she inquired inside, the answer was definitely, yes, she could feel her baby move. In her first pregnancy, she would have accepted her doctor's response. Having traversed the painful territory of post-partum depression that she now correlated specifically with the unnecessary caesarean, Whitney had become much more confident in her feminine wisdom. She could honor her hormonally endowed attunement to herself and her child. She was alert to her own tendency to collude in an institutionalized disempowerment of mothers.
As she reflected further on Dr. Carlson's response, Whitney wondered what kind of relationship she could have with a doctor who did not trust a mother's experience. Whitney dialogued with her unborn child. Silently, but with passion, she said to her baby, "I recognize your movement and I love it! I'm sorry I was not more confident earlier." Her baby moved, subtly but clearly, spreading out, stretching with relief in utero.
"The growing gestures of the embryo and the fetus are the gestures of the soul."

Dr. Erich Blechschmidt
"Movements of the embryo and fetus are a fundamental expression of early neural activity," says embryologist Jan Nijhuis in his groundbreaking book Fetal Behavior. "The fetus of 8-10 weeks post-menstrual age moves spontaneously in utero under normal circumstances."
Prenatal movement in the first trimester, and then the patterns of movement that form in the second trimester, are the expression of the developing baby's nervous system. This primary neurological unfolding is nourished and enhanced by parental awareness, dialogue and subtle touch on the mother's body that communicates to the baby. The entire family can participate in this encouragement. The knowledge of how to do this is inherent in each of us. It is part of the magnificent design of the human being. Excellent education is now available to stimulate and sustain this natural wisdom. Awakening to, trusting and acting upon our innate human connection is the joy of parenthood.
Prenatal movement is preparation for neonatal activity. It is also warm-up for the marathon of labor and delivery. It is designed to result in the baby's thrilling victory of entry into the arms of a world already sensed and perceived.
Movement patterns in prenates are replicated in neonates, demonstrating the continuity of neural behavior. The human fetus sleeps, breathes moves, eliminates, and feels, sees, cries, initiates and responds. He or she is acutely sensitive, as a result of constantly expanding neurological capacities, to the surrounding environment and its vicissitudes.
The prenate communicates its experiences the only way it can: through motility. Eye movement, heart-rate, respiration, gestures, and elimination patterns speak volumes about the individual prenatal world. The patterns that these expressions make, when attended to, add texture to our understanding of the quality of prenatal life. They also give us our first insights into who the unique being is within its mother's body.


Regularity of movement can be a sign of health whereas deceleration or lack of movement can signal distress or concern. Certain fetal movements may convey discomfort. By noticing movements or their absence, the family can come to know its new arrival and begin, well before birth, to integrate the baby into the family. Prenatal consciousness is neurologically organized to be present, alert and receptive. The unborn baby delights in recognition.
Whitney had an unforgettable experience of this when she became ill during her second trimester. A terrible virus hit Whitney's family hard. They were housebound and unable to function. The baby's movement was significantly reduced until Whitney came out of her fevered trance.
"I know you are concerned," Whitney said, as she lay in bed. "You are so caring and we are so connected to you. I am sorry I was too weak to include you, but now I want to reassure you. We will all get better soon. Don't fret. I've been worried myself and that's why I forgot to talk to you."
By the next day Whitney felt movement in her womb again. The comforting rhythmic presence of this life she had welcomed in reminded her of how much she had missed contact with the newest addition to her family. As she recovered, Whitney felt she now knew more about the baby she was carrying. This child was engaged with all of them. She talked to her family about her discoveries. They acknowledged the compassion of their new arrival who became still so as not to further burden them. They were truly a family of four now.
"The human embryo is a coherent whole, a unity of form, shape and function, interacting with its environment."

Jaap Van Der Wal, MD
The question of whom and what the baby in utero actually is and what he or she is capable of doing can best be answered by a respectful collaboration between scientists, parents and people who remember their own prenatal lives. Optimally, these three categories can be combined. Scientists, like me, who are passionate about the role and function of very early life in holistic healthcare, are building the case to demonstrate that prenatal life is, in fact, the basis of all health.
Immune function, structural development, spiritual wellbeing, relational health, confidence, and the capacity to respond to change and threat in a balanced way are all formed by what transpires in utero. Embryology bears this out. Of all the populations that will make the best use of this information, parents, I believe, are the most significant.
When we recognize the power and function of the precious formative primal period and educate broadly and appropriately about it, including educating youth who are the parents of the future, we will be making a decisive contribution to the continuity of civilization.
The personality of the unborn baby is present and engaged with its family from virtually the moment of conception, and some believe even before. The baby is not only interacting, he or she is a full time student, constantly learning and creating the blueprint for a lifetime of physical health, relationships and motivation. Honoring this can decisively shift disturbing trends in violence and disease.
"Embryology is an ongoing process. It is a lifetime of communication through the body, through movement, and through partnership."

Stephanie Mines, Ph.D.
All relationships flourish with authentic and frequent communication. This is as true for prenates as it is for husband and wife, and for parents and children of all ages.
I am reminded of a story reported to me by a young friend who attended a conference where insights into prenatal health were discussed. He was inspired by what he heard. Soon after, he discovered that friends of his had been told that their baby was breach and that a caesarean was scheduled. This young man immediately went to their home, sat in front of the mother's pregnant belly, and begged and pleaded with the baby to turn. He spoke with full commitment, faith and insistence. The baby turned and was delivered vaginally.
What does embryology say about the prenate's ability to hear and respond to auditory communication?
Neonates as well as prenates, until relatively recently, were regarded as being deaf as well as mute. Beginning in 1977, however, research demonstrated that the fetus responds to sound from at least 12 weeks in utero and perhaps sooner. Certain sounds, like the mother's heartbeat, elicit strong responses. The mother's voice is decidedly heard, as well as the voices of others in the environment. This is supported by the discovery that neonates prefer the sound of their mother's voice to other sounds.
Auditory sensory mechanisms begin developing during the fourth and fifth week in utero and continue to completion by about the 25th week. At the early stages, however, the baby can hear. A study involving invasive sound at less than 24 weeks of gestation revealed that after hearing a loud and shrill noise that evoked initial dramatic fetal movement, the fetus stopped responding completely. The overwhelming invasion resulted in fatigue and collapse. The fetus learned it was powerless to stop the invasion. The method of the study disturbs me but I hope we will learn from this and stop such painful experiments. However, we can take this knowledge and use it to protect our own prenates from auditory assault!
"The fetal environment is not one of sensory deprivation as was previously believed, but rather one of richness. There is little doubt that the fetus does learn whilst in the womb."

Dr. Frank Hepper
Visual information, like sound, is mediated by the mother's body. Through her, the fetus watches events unfold, and has the ability to associate these events. In addition, the retention of prenatal learning (such as identification of the mother's voice and the neonate's ability to choose the mother's voice from the voices of others), indicates that there is memory in utero. This memory influences later social interactions that rely on attunement to others. What the prenate learns promotes or discourages later bonding and attachment.
How do babies reveal their memories post-natally? Long term studies conducted by Italian psychologist Alessandra Piontelli and published in her book From Fetus to Child show that babies who are frightened and insecure in utero and who demonstrate this through their behavioral states, do the same thing at five years of age and older. Memories are displayed in relationships, play, illnesses, sleep patterns and dreams. Children rely on their parents to pay attention to these expressions and help them to understand what they mean.
Whitney's experience of her first son's memories of his caesarean birth supports this theory. In the midst of storytelling, Timmy said "Will our new baby have to wait to come out instead of pushing, the way I did, Mommy?" At first Whitney stared at her son in amazement, and then she acknowledged his wisdom, just as she had learned to acknowledge her own.
"Was waiting hard for you?" she asked her son. "It was very hard," Timmy replied. "I don't want my baby to have to wait." "OK," Whitney said, "I'll do my best so there will be no waiting this time."
My own second daughter's accusation, when she was twelve years old, that I "really wanted a boy" (a truth I had almost forgotten) is my personal substantiation of the prenatal capacity to experience, to know, and to remember.
"It is the fetal nervous system that integrates all kinds of sensory and physiological information to judge when it is time to be born."

Lise Eliot, Ph.D.
Whitney learned how her child's embryological behavioral states continued into the birthing process when she went into labor. The process slowed just when it should have intensified, causing even her midwife to consider going to the hospital. It was deja vu for Whitney and her family. Everyone was recalling Dr. Carlson's cautionary words when the family declared their intention to deliver at home. "Vaginal deliveries after caesareans are not recommended," she had said, sternly.
"It's OK," Whitney told her family and midwife, turning the tables on her team. Weren't they supposed to be reassuring her?
"My baby is just concerned," she declared, smiling. "We need to have a conversation." Her body provided Whitney with the truth she trusted. Her baby could and would decide the time of birth.
Whitney closed her eyes and commenced an internal dialogue in which she encouraged her child to continue to journey forward and inquired about what the difficulty might be. Her communion was a show stopper for everyone.
"What's he saying?" Timmy blurted out, unable to control himself. He had always known he had a brother in there!
"He says that he doesn't know if we will have time for him because we are all so busy. He's not sure we really want him," Whitney said softly, looking directly at her husband.
"Is that just you talking?" Blake asked, dumfounded.
"He's been listening, watching and learning," Whitney answered, her face radiant in the greatest certainty she had ever known.
"OK," Blake said, tears streaming down his face. "I'll spend more time at home. I really want to." By this time he was sobbing.
The baby's response was the biggest contraction Whitney had ever felt. Within thirty minutes their baby was born. They named him Micah, the merciful messenger.
Stephanie Mines, Ph.D. is a psychologist with great interest and experience in prenatal development. She is the developer of the TARA approach, a system of medicine blending east and west traditions to resolve shock and trauma for patients in all walks of life. She has dedicated significant resources to the reduction of trauma in the birthing process for both the mother and child. See more at her site:
Article Source:,_Ph.D.!-Prenatal-Developmental-Movement-and-Parental-Response&id=181718

Friday, December 25, 2015


For those of you who celebrate this time of year, Merry Christmas!  Click on the link below for a wonderful animation!


From:FROM: Sandy Robertson, 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015


Do you think you might be pregnant?  There are a number of crazy changes your body may go through even at the point of conception.  I previously ran a women's support group and one women (who also had her baby at the age of 44 like I did) swears that she actually felt herself conceive!  When I finally got pregnant with my daughter, I had some very early symptoms that came probably about a week after I conceived.  I kept feeling a butterfly sensation in my stomach.  I am very aware of changes going on in my body, and I'm sure many women who get pregnant by surprise, don't associate these changes with the possibility of pregnancy.
Here is an article on my site about strange early and unusual pregnancy symptoms: 

Click here to read the full article on strange early pregnancy symptoms (

Monday, December 21, 2015


Pregnancy Over 40, Motherhood Over 40 Too Much Sodium In Kids Food

Yikes! I think we all like some of the pre-packaged and canned foods out there, however, the manufacturing process adds a dangerous amount of sodium to our foods.
This can hurt babies and children as this article explains:


From the article:

High levels of salt can damage developing kidneys, give children a taste for salty foods and establish poor eating practices that continue into adulthood and can result in health problems later in life.

Researchers at the University of Bristol, who studied almost 1,200 eight-month-olds, found half consumed more than twice the maximum recommended amount of 400mg of sodium (or 1g of salt.)

Just one in four consumed the recommended amount.

Babies who consumed the most salt were more likely to drink cows' milk (which has triple the amount of salt than breast milk) and ate three times as much bread than infants with low salt-intake.


Friday, December 18, 2015


I found this interesting article from the BBC news about how doctors may be able to predict which premature babies may go on to have problems.
 I was surprised to read that half of babies born very early go on to develop a disability. Read more:

The premature babies were scanned up to the point when they would have been eight weeks old, if the pregnancies had gone to term.

Sixty-three of these children were then assessed to see how they were developing mentally when they were about two years old.


The slower the rate of growth of brain surface area and the smoother it was compared to brain volume, the more likely it was for a child's development to be delayed.

Boys born very premature were the most likely to be affected.

The researchers identified that a temporary "marshal" for brain development - called the cortical subplate - underneath the cortex directs neurons to go where they are needed.

The subplate, a network of cells, develops at 24 weeks, and is at its biggest at around 28 to 30 weeks.

When very premature babies are born, the subplate is abnormal and tissue is damaged.

In babies born at full term, the plate has disappeared - because it has done its job - and the surface of the brain has taken on its usual "rippled" appearance. 

from: bbc news

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


Why You Should Use Fish Oil in Pregnancy

Guest Post By Laurel Cohen

You might disagree, but hear me out. There is a very important reason that women are now being urged to take fish oil in pregnancy. It has been discovered that deficiency in essential fatty acids can cause a myriad of problems for not only you, but form your unborn child. Omega fatty acids play a critical role in the physical, visual, and mental development of your child, so the warning to supplement you diet with fish oil should be heeded.


Being deficient in essential fatty acids can be the cause behind decreased growth in infants and children, and they can suffer an increased susceptibility to infection, and impaired wound healing. They can also develop visual problems, and sensory neuropathy. Studies have revealed that lowered levels of omega-3 fatty acids cause a significant impairment in learning ability, and memory.
There have been numerous studies conducted on the benefits of the increased intake of fish oil in pregnancy, and all of these studies noted that higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids produced positive visual and cognitive development in infants. These studies have proven that improvement in your child's development is recognizable even in the all important third trimester of pregnancy.
Children whose mothers has supplemented their diets with omega-3 fatty acids have been shown proven to scored markedly higher than there peers that did not receive the benefit of maternal fish oil supplementation in several areas. They regularly perform better when it comes to mental processing, display better hand and eye coordination, and possess better problem solving skills.
While much research has been done on infant requirements for DHA for development, there has been precious little research into the requirements of mothers when it comes to fish oil in pregnancy. This is odd, because the mother is the sole source of omega fatty acids for the fetus, and the exclusively breast fed infant. There have been a few studies done however.
These studies have suggested that maternal omega-3 fatty acid supplementation does not decrease the incidence of gestational diabetes, pregnancy induced hypertension, or preeclampsia. It has also been shown that supplementing your diet with fish oil leads to moderate increases in gestational time, and considerably reduces the risk of premature delivery.
It is often recommended that the way you should supplement fish oil in pregnancy is too increase the amount of oily fish that you eat. Depending on which region of the world your source fish was taken from this could lead to a very serious problem for you and your baby. The meat of oily fish found in certain areas contains dioxins, mercury, PCBs, and lead, which could affect the health of you both.
This is why a better recommendation would be to obtain your fish oil in pregnancy through the use of a high quality nutritional supplement. The level of contaminants is carefully controlled by the manufacturers, who must meet rigorous standards of purity. This is the only way that you can guarantee your child all of the benefits of fish oil, with none of the dangers involved with eating fish.
Laurel Cohen is a strong advocate of natural health in all its forms: skin care, supplementation, and farm fresh foods. She enjoys introducing people to the best natural products she can find and uses herself daily.
Visit her site to learn about the omega 3 fish oils Laurel uses daily for optimal health.
Article Source:

Monday, December 14, 2015


Vaginal Birth After C-Section, Is Rupture A Problem?

Ever heard of a VBAC? No, that doesn't have anything to do with heating, ventilating and air conditioning your home (that's HVAC!) 
 All kidding aside, VBAC stands for vaginal birth after C-Section. Some women successfully deliver subsequent pregnancies vaginally after previously having a C-Section, however, not all women are so lucky. VBAC's could possibly lead to uterine rupture which can be life threatening mother and baby.
I am not saying that VBAC isn't possible, it's just important to know the risks:  Read more:


“Something just did not feel right to me, so I went back to the hospital,” she recalls. “It was there that the fetal monitor and sonogram showed that my baby had no heartbeat.”
Georgia was later informed that the original pain that she thought was labor was actually her uterus separating. The burning feeling was most likely the uterus rupturing.
After her baby had been pronounced dead at 7 a.m., her doctors told her that since “the baby’s health was no longer an issue,” they would induce labor for a vaginal delivery. Had she not progressed by 7 a.m. the following morning, they would go for a c-section. Georgia demanded a c-section at nearly 1 a.m. that morning, but nurses hesitated to wake the surgeon. Her then-husband pushed even more and the nurses “reluctantly” agreed to call the surgeon.
A different OBGYN who performed Georgia’s followup care informed her that when the surgeon opened up her abdomen, the damage to her body was quite severe. Her uterus had fully ruptured and the baby was in her abdominal cavity. Although her uterus had healed from her first c-section, the incision had fused against her bladder, which also ruptured. Georgia had to have an additional “clean up” surgery which revealed damage to her cervix as well. Several experts who reviewed her medical records told the mother that by all accounts, she should not have survived the ordeal.


Friday, December 11, 2015


I know our society is obsessed with most celebrities.  We watch their every move and most of the time invade their privacy.  But, celebrities sort of set a "benchmark" for the rest of us.  The movement to have babies later in life has certainly been fueled by Hollywood.  It seems like every time I turn around, another celebrity over age 40 is announcing a pregnancy or a new baby through other means.
This certainly has made it more commonplace for all women who want to have children at older ages.
Here is a list of celebrities who have had pregnancies over the age of 40:


Wednesday, December 09, 2015


Watch Out for Antibiotics in pregnancy

Of course you know to check with your doctor about taking anything in pregnancy.
With the widespread use of antibiotics in general, no doubt pregnant women may be prescribed when needed. Before you take anything, do your own research as some classes of antibiotics can cause problems for your baby. Read more:


From the article:

Certain other antibiotics should be avoided during pregnancy. For example, tetracyclines — such as doxycycline, tetracycline and minocycline — can damage a pregnant woman's liver, discolor a developing baby's teeth and cause various birth defects.

In addition, it's important to note that a recent study found an association between two classes of antibiotics commonly used to treat urinary tract infections — nitrofuran derivatives and sulfonamides — and rare birth defects. Although there's no direct proof that these antibiotics cause birth defects, additional research is needed. In the meantime, health care providers are likely to be more cautious in the use of these medications during pregnancy. 


Monday, December 07, 2015


Pregnancy Over 40, Are You Prepared?

Many women over 40 spend a number of years trying to get pregnant.
 When they finally do, they focus on the health of their baby and ensuring that their pregnancy progresses without complications.  But what the actual process of being pregnant and the physical changes going on?

Even though I tried to get pregnant for 6 years, when I actually was pregnant, I was extremely nauseated and exhausted like never before.  Here is an article about how many women feel unprepared and even surprised at the physical and emotional demands of being pregnant. Read more:


From the article:

One in five pregnant women say they do not feel "emotionally ready" to have a baby, a survey has revealed.
The poll of 1,100 women for Tommy's baby charity found many women were surprised at the physical and emotional demands of pregnancy.

Half felt under pressure to be "perfect", and 44% said those around them felt the need to pass on "tips".

Experts said more services should be available to support pregnant women and to stop them feeling so isolated.

Pregnant women must be reassured that their emotional feelings and stress are commonplace

Tommy's, which funds research into the causes of, miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth, found 67% felt more exhausted than expected during pregnancy, and 58% felt more emotional.

Over half said they felt more in need of reassurance than they expected, but 29% felt confused by all the conflicting advice they read.

 From (BBC News)

Wednesday, December 02, 2015


Pregnancy Over 40, Depression Before Birth

We've all heard of post-partum depression, but how about pre-baby blues?
 Apparently this condition can affect women before they have their baby. Read more:

From the article:

But for some women the black cloud descends during pregnancy rather than after it. A surprising number of women feel unable to cope at a time when they are supposed to be feeling euphoric. 


Pregnancy manuals make no reference to depression before the birth. It is not mentioned at antenatal classes and is so taboo that sufferers themselves usually stay silent on the subject. Yet if they spoke out, they would realise that they are not alone.

Some research suggests that, far from antenatal depression being unusual, women are more likely to

suffer an attack of the blues before the birth than after it. In a recent study published in the journal Obstetrics and Gynaecology, between 12 and 17 per cent of pregnant women were found to have significant levels of anxiety and depression. This comes as no surprise to Dr Jonathon Evans, a psychiatry lecturer at the University of Bristol, whose study of 9,000 pregnant women in 2001 indicated that 13.5 per cent were depressed during the third trimester of their pregnancy (compared with one new mother in ten who is thought to suffer from postnatal depression). 


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