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Saturday, July 30, 2016


Time of Birth and Risks

I was always worried about when I was going to have my daughter...was I going to go into labor in the middle of the night? We've all seen the sensational stories about how women deliver their babies in taxi cabs or on the way to the hospital. But in reality those stories are quite rare.
See also: for more on pregnancy over 40 and risks
 This article, however, talks about the association between having a baby at night and a higher rate of infant death. Apparently nobody has been able to say why, but it's been studied a number of times with the same results. Read more:

There is strong evidence that babies born at night have a greater risk of dying in their first month of life than babies born earlier in the day, according to a study published in Obstetrics & Gynecology.

"We're not surprised at this finding because it is supported by previous studies in the medical literature that were carried out in Europe," said Diane M. Ashton, M.D., M.P.H., associate medical director of the March of Dimes. "More research needs to be done to identify the causal factors that underlie this greater risk. This would be an important next step in developing effective strategies to prevent these excess neonatal deaths from occurring. If even one or two of the key elements could be identified, that could make a big difference in saving babies' lives."


Monday, July 25, 2016


It never ceases to amaze me how much our lifestyle has an affect on our overall heath, fertility, and pregnancy outcomes. This article talks about how being obese prior to pregnancy can increase the chance of birth defects.


 Although the exact reasons for birth defects are unclear, the article does state that women who are obese tend to have more chronic health conditions, menstruation problems and more pregnancy complications Read more:

Mothers of babies born with some structural birth defectsincluding missing limbs, malformed hearts and underdeveloped spinal cordsappear more likely to be obese prior to becoming pregnant than mothers whose children are born without such defects, according to a report in the August issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Overweight and obese women are known to be at risk for chronic diseases, infertility, irregular menstruation and complications during pregnancy, according to background information in the article. In 2003 and 2004, about 51 percent of women aged 20 to 39 were classified as overweight or obese.

D. Kim Waller, Ph.D., of the University of Texas, Houston, and colleagues interviewed 10,249 women in eight states whose babies were born with birth defects between 1997 and 2002. The women were contacted between six weeks and 24 months after the babys birth and asked for their height and weight before pregnancy, along with other demographic and medical information. These women were compared with 4,065 women who had babies without birth defects during the same time period.

Mothers of babies with the following seven of 16 birth defects were more likely to be obese than mothers of infants without birth defects


Saturday, July 23, 2016


It seems that with all of the new technology out there that few people ever need to guess anymore whether they're having a boy or a girl. Honestly, I would have welcomed a boy, girl, or alien for that matter. Here's a fun quiz if you're pregnant and have decided not to know your baby's gender ahead of time:

Boy or Girl Quiz


Thursday, July 21, 2016


Dealing With Gall Bladder Pregnancy Problems

Guest Post By Sandra B Wilson

Pregnancy can bring a wide range of inconveniences - food cravings, frequent urination, dizzy mornings, nausea and many more. Yes, aches and pains become very typical during the entire span of pregnancy. However, one form of pain can remain consistent even after you have given birth - the pain we are referring to is that which is caused by gallstones. Such a gall bladder pregnancy problem is characterized by intestinal discomfort and stabbing pains. In fact, for fear of gall bladder infection pregnancy, some women have their gall bladders removed before giving birth because they find it difficult to bear with the pain brought about by the stones. Before getting pregnant, it is important for you to understand and to get as much information as you can about gall bladder pregnancy problems as well as those that may occur after giving birth.


According to Dr. Christy Dibble, director of the Gastrointestinal Endoscopy Service Program in Women's Digestive Disorders, next to appendicitis, the second most common condition encountered by women during pregnancy is the gall bladder removal surgery. It is also said that women aging between 20-60 are twice likely to develop gallstones than men. We become even more at risk to develop gall bladder problems when we get pregnant. Birth control use and estrogen can be a major cause of gall bladder abnormalities. In fact, approximately 2-4 percent of pregnant women taking birth control pills are found out to have gallstones during their pregnancy.
So how exactly are gallstones formed? Your gall bladder is a small organ which houses the bile and is located below the liver. The bile is the fluid breakdown of digestive enzymes and old red blood cells. Your digestive system needs the bile in order to carry out digestion. Normally, the bile stays in your intestine until you start eating and then the gall bladder squeezes the bile into your intestine in order to mix it with food. Gall stones are caused by several reasons. First, when the materials - salts, lecithin and bile as well -making up the bile become out of balance, they begin to form crystals.
These crystals tend to stick together growing harder and larger. The circulating estrogen, progesterone level and the hormonal milieu altogether, affect the gallbladder's ability for bile excretion and contraction. High level of the these hormones can weaken your gall bladder wall which induces gallstone formation. When the stones start to lodge in the ducts of your pancreas or bladder, the pain can be very extreme and intolerable.
Aside from female hormones and pregnancy, other risk factors which can induce the formation of gall bladder stones include ethnicity particularly Mexican Americans and Native Americans, obesity, rapid weight loss and diabetes. Patients claim that the pain oftentimes, occur at night time or after eating spicy food. If you are one of those experiencing such bladder inconveniences months after you give birth, it is highly advised that you take time to see a health care provider in order to prevent the abnormality from developing further.
Good health should not only be a priority during pregnancy but even more importantly, after giving birth. After all, you wouldn't want to miss any of your baby's milestones.
You can find helpful information about bladder infection pregnancy and everything you need to know about gall bladder pregnancy at Aha! Baby.
Article Source:

Friday, July 15, 2016


Pregnancy Over 40, Good News If You Have Arthritis

 I found an interesting article that discusses a pleasant side effect of pregnancy for some women--they found relief from their arthritis.
 It's interesting because prior to my pregnancy, I had quite a bit of low back pain.  When I was pregnant, unlike many women, I had no back pain at all.  Unfortunately, according to this article the arthritis pain returned after the post-partum period. It appears that the DNA from the fetus may be the contributing factor. Read more:


From the article:

(HealthCentersOnline) - Many women with inflammatory arthritis experience improvement during pregnancy because of fetal cells and DNA entering their bloodstream, scientists report.

Researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle investigated why women with inflammatory arthritis often experience remission or improvement during pregnancy, followed by a flare-up within a few months after delivery. They studied 25 pregnant women: 17 with adult-onset rheumatoid arthritis (RA), six with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) and two with other forms of inflammatory arthritis.

Blood tests were performed during and after the pregnancies to measure the amount of cells and DNA from the fetuses that entered the mothers' bloodstreams. The women were assessed for changes in their arthritis while pregnant and three to four months after they gave birth.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016


One of the most popular pages on my website is "Saints for Fertility and Pregnancy" ( 
If you are already pregnant or even if you are at the trying to conceive phase, Saint Gerard Majella  may not only help you conceive, but he may also help protect your pregnancy.'s last recorded miracle is one that many credit toward his becoming the patron of expectant mothers. Shortly before his death, Majella encountered a young girl. He had dropped his handkerchief and she set out to return it, only to be told to keep it. Majella told her she "may need it someday." Years after Majella's passing, the young girl became married and with child. She unexpectedly went into labor and was on the verge of losing her baby. She called for Majella's handkerchief to be applied to her. Almost immediately, her pain abated and she proceeded to give birth to a healthy child, something very rare during that time. His prayers are sought for getting pregnant,  unborn children, women in childbirth, mothers, expectant mothers, motherhood and children.

Monday, July 11, 2016


There are so many tests your infant will undergo after delivery that it can be hard for a new mom to keep up.

My site:

For starters, the first test is called the APGAR. Here is an article that explains this assessment:

From article, here are the breakdown of the scores:


Heart rate:
0 - No heart rate
1 - Fewer than 100 beats per minute - the baby is not very responsive
2 - More than 100 beats per minute - the baby is obviously vigorous

0 - Not breathing
1 - Weak cry; may sound like whimpering or grunting
2 - Good, strong cry

Muscle tone:
0 - Limp
1 - Some flexing (bending) of arms and legs
2 - Active motion

Reflex response:
0 - No response to airways being suctioned
1 - Grimace during suctioning
2 - Grimace and cough or sneeze during suctioning

0 - The baby's whole body is completely blue or pale
1 - Good color in body with blue hands or feet
2 - Completely pink or good color


Saturday, July 09, 2016


Pregnancy and Delivery:  Seasonal Variations

Many women who struggle to get pregnant are happy to have their pregnancy whenever it happens to come along.  However, there are a number of sources out there that talk about when a baby is born during the year can have an affect on different aspects of their life.  I found this interesting article about how the season of birth may affect infant growth. Read More:


"The season in which a baby is born may influence the baby's birth weight as well as how quickly the baby gains weight during the first four months of life. A study published in the May issue of the Journal of Nutrition found significant differences among U.S. ethnic groups, with lower birth weights and lower rates of weight gain for black infants born in autumn, compared to other seasons.

"To our knowledge, this is the first description of seasonal variation in infant weight gain in a western society. Previous studies have focused on birth weight or on infant growth in low-income countries where food intake is directly linked to agriculture and the seasons," said Nicolas Stettler, M.D., a pediatric specialist at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and a co-author of this study."


Thursday, July 07, 2016


Why Is 40 Weeks of Pregnancy So Important?

Guest Post By Dheepan Dina
Every movement and every small activity seems uncomfortable and painful - what with a bulging belly weighing you down like a huge boulder. If only there was a way to fast forward the weeks to get to your due date.
While it's natural for most pregnant women to go through these feelings, going the full course and staying patient can prove to be healthy and beneficial in the long run.
Why is it important to wait till 40 weeks of your pregnancy?
Even though your baby is considered full term at 37 weeks, staying pregnant until 39-40 weeks has tremendous benefits for both, you and your baby. Research shows that every week of pregnancy is important for the baby's development. If you've tracked your pregnancy week by week, you'll see the rapid progress your baby makes during each week. The last few weeks of pregnancy are as important as any other week - as many vital organs are still developing at this stage. Consider this, at 35 weeks gestation, your baby's brain is only about 2/3 the size that it would be at 39-40 weeks. This is also the period when the folds of the brain - which help co-ordinate the sucking and swallowing action - are developing. Studies show that full term babies are able to suck and swallow more effectively than babies born earlier.


So if you've had a healthy pregnancy so far, you'll be doing more good than harm by waiting for another few weeks to allow your baby to grow into a healthy full term baby.
A baby born before 37 weeks is considered pre-mature. Unless there is a complication or a medical reason, don't push to have the baby earlier. Because full term babies are healthier. They have fewer complications, and need fewer medical interventions. They also spend less time in the ICU so they are sent home faster.
Here's more reason why you should give your baby 40 weeks of pregnancy

  • The last few weeks are crucial for the development of baby's brain, lungs and liver - which are growing at accelerated rates

  • Babies born at 40 weeks are able to suck and swallow better, because of advanced muscle development

  • Premature babies are at an increased risk of having vision and hearing problems later in life

  • During the last six weeks or pregnancy the connections needed for balance, coordination, learning, and social functioning is added in the brain. It is also during this time that the baby's brain size doubles in size.

  • A premature baby's lungs are not fully developed at birth, so it's likely to suffer from respiratory problems.

  • Extra fat accumulated during the last few weeks of pregnancy allows baby to prepare for birth

  • Babies born before 38 weeks have an increased risk of learning and behavioral problems

  • Compared to babies born early, full term born babies perform better at school due to better developed brains

  • A premature baby's liver is underdeveloped and hence not able to perform its function of removing bilirubin from the body. Excess of bilirubin can cause jaundice in early babies.

A quick look at pregnancy symptoms at 40 weeks
You're in the final weeks of pregnancy almost reached the end of the journey. With the big day just around the corner, it's a good idea to keep your hospital bag ready - because the baby may pop out any time. Meanwhile, here are some symptoms that are typical during 40 weeks of pregnancy

  • You may run out of patience due to sheer tiredness

  • Getting a good night's sleep may be difficult

  • Your body is preparing for labour, so watch out for those early signs of labour - like abdominal cramps, bleeding/spotting

  • A lot of women experience the 'nesting instinct' - an obsession to clean the house and prepare for baby's homecoming.

  • Your baby drops further down into the pelvis. As a result you could have some discomfort in the lower abdomen.

  • Since the baby has been pushed down, it exerts extra pressure on your bladed, increasing the frequency of your visits to the toilet

  • Sometimes, even before the onset of labour, the water bag may break (rupture of the amniotic sac). It's normally a sign that labour will begin in the next 24 hours.

  • This is also the time when you may experience the Braxton Hicks Contractions. These are irregular, false contractions which may be hard to be distinguished from the real labour.

Get more about Pregnancy tips on
Article Source:

Tuesday, July 05, 2016


Pregnancy Over 40, How Breasts Change

Breast changes were always one of the first signs I was pregnant and it seems like my breasts were one of the last body parts to return to normal after giving birth and nursing.  Many women worry about new lumps and bumps in their breasts - especially when their milk starts coming in.
Here is an article from the March of Dimes about pregnancy and breast changes:
From the article:

Tingling, swelling, sensitivity to touch, or tenderness. For many women, tenderness in the breasts is one of the first signs of pregnancy. It is caused by increased amounts of female hormones in your body.
Increased breast size. During early pregnancy, fat builds up in the breasts. The milk glands increase in size. By six weeks, your breasts may be noticeably larger—by as much as a full cup size or more. Your breasts may keep growing in both size and weight throughout the first three months of pregnancy. 



Itchiness and stretch marks. As your breasts grow and the skin stretches, you may feel itchiness or develop stretch marks.
Larger veins. Increased supplies of blood to the breasts may cause bluish veins to appear just under the skin.
Nipples. The nipples will grow darker and may stand out more.
Areolas. The areolas (the skin around the nipples) darken and grow larger. The small glands on the surface of the areolas become raised and bumpy. These bumps produce an oily substance that keeps your nipples from cracking or drying out.
Leaking. By 12-14 weeks of pregnancy, some women find that their breasts are leaking a fluid. This is colostrum (the fluid that nourishes your baby for the first few days after delivery before your breasts start to make milk). The colostrum may leak on its own or may leak during breast massage or sexual arousal. Early in pregnancy, the colostrum is usually thick and yellow. As delivery approaches, it turns pale and nearly colorless. Don’t worry if your breasts don’t leak during pregnancy. This has no effect on whether or not you’ll be able to breastfeed. Some women don’t start producing colostrum until after delivery


Friday, July 01, 2016


 I never would have guessed that there would be an association between a person's IQ and how late they were born in a pregnancy.  According to this article, babies born after 41 weeks have a higher IQ.  However, according to this study, they may have a higher rate of physical problems.  Read more:


Later birth indicates higher cognitive functioning

For all three cognitive measures, infants who were born late achieved higher scores than those born full term.
Results indicate that those born in week 41 had higher average test scores in elementary and middle school, a 2.8 percent greater chance of being classed as gifted, and a 3.1 percent lower probability of poor cognitive outcomes. However, they also had a 2.1 percent higher rate of physical disabilities at school age, and they were more likely to have had health problems at the time of birth.
The findings suggest that there may be a "tradeoff" between physical and cognitive outcomes in those who are born late, say the authors.
Those who are born late appear to have a greater risk of abnormal conditions at birth and physical challenges during childhood, but they also have an increased chance of higher cognitive functioning.
The authors note that the results could help parents and doctors when making decisions about inducing delivery.


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