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Friday, January 29, 2016

ARE WOMEN PRESSURED INTO C-SECTIONS?

Well, this almost happened to me too!  Since I was an "older" mom, I was told I would probably need a C-Section because, in the words of one of my doctors, "older women need a stick of dynamite to get their cervix to dilate".  So, there I was, on the day of delivery scheduled to have a C-Section,  however, I was "allowed" to try the vaginal route first.  Guess what?  It worked.  Yes, I had to push for a while, but I didn't need a C-section.  This article talks about a woman who felt like she was bullied by her doctors into having a C-section because they thought the baby was too large.  As it turns out, it was actually not an overly large baby, but the procedure had already been done.
___________

SEE ALSO: PREGNANCY OVER 40 (getpregnantover40.com)

___________


from nytimes.com:

Many women identified with Katy Clemens, the mother I interviewed for the article who said she felt “bullied” to have a planned cesarean after doctors inaccurately predicted she was carrying a large baby.

Emily Malstrom said her doctor also pressured her into having a planned C-section after a scan predicted a 10-pound baby. The doctor “told me my baby could die, used every scare tactic out there,” Ms. Malstrom said.

Chandra Dash, a Baltimore mother, whose baby was predicted to weigh 9 pounds, said doctors told her “I would probably kill my baby if I tried a natural birth.”

Alexandra Harper of Northampton, Mass., said her doctor determined the baby would be larger than expected while she was in labor. She recalled being told “they would only give me 30 more minutes to try and push the baby out and then I would have to get a section. They didn’t present it as a choice to me.”

She had a cesarean, and the baby was of average size, she said.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

WHAT ABOUT LIVING CHILDFREE (BY CHOICE)?

Pregnancy Over 40 or Childfree

If you read my blogs, you're probably trying to conceive or you became a mother later in life.
 However, it certainly is worth mentioning that some women don't want children and have chosen to remain childfree (until my upper 30's, I never wanted children, so I certainly understand opting for this life choice). I have a sister who has chosen to live childfree, and I must say she has a very full, exciting and fun life. Here is an article about how some women choose to live childfree and how other women may judge them unfairly:

SEE ALSO: GETPREGNANTOVER40.COM FOR MY STORY OF INFERTILITY AND GETTING PREGNANT NATURALLY AT THE AGE OF 44

From the article:

Although child-free-by-choice women have always endured criticism from other females, it's only recently that people like Semper have chosen to square off against the motherhood mafia: baby-biased women eager to smother any whimper of dissonance in the ranks.

"There has been an assumption among some mothers that I haven't really thought through my decision and can be easily dissuaded from it," says Semper.

"It tends to take on the air of proselytizing -- it's rude, it's uncomfortable. (It's) almost as if you've verbally or physically attacked a person and they now feel they must defend themselves or their values."

She believes the lack of understanding may stem from other women's own self-doubt, noting "people tend to fear that which isn't the same as them, and begin to question their own choices when presented with an alternative."

Jane Dahl, who by age 18 was requesting a tubal ligation to ensure she never became pregnant, had one woman tell her she was "selfish, immature and irresponsible" for opting out of motherhood.

"Women tend to judge other women very harshly," says Dahl, a 47-year-old trust accountant for the federal government. "If you aren't interested in hearing about colic and spit up, you aren't part of the club. You're an outsider. Now, we have our own exclusive club that only we get to join."

from:
canwest

Sunday, January 24, 2016

PREGNANCY OVER THE COUNTER DRUGS TO AVOID

10 OTC drugs to avoid during pregnancy

Note: This chart does not list every drug to avoid during pregnancy. Always talk to your healthcare provider before taking any drug or supplement.
Information from Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ eds. Drugs in pregnancy and lactation: a reference guide to fetal and neonatal risk. 9th ed. Wolters.

Drug Found in Consumer Reports'
recommendation
Possible
alternative
Aspirin Bayer; Excedrin
Migraine
Not recommended1 Tylenol
(acetaminophen)
Bismuth subsalicylate Kaopectate; Pepto
Bismol
Before 20 weeks:
Use with caution

After 20 weeks:
Not recommended
Imodium
(loperamide)
Bromphen-iramine Dimetapp Cold
and Allergy
Before 36 weeks:
Use with caution

After 36 weeks
(9th month):
Not recommended
Claritin (loratadine);
Zyrtec (cetirizine)
Caffeine Anacin Regular
Strength; Excedrin
Extra Strength;
Excedrin Migraine
Use with caution; To reduce risk of miscarriage, do not exceed 200 milligrams daily, including caffeine from coffee, tea, or soda.   None
Castor Oil
    —
Do not take—
unacceptable risk
Increase physical activity, drink more fluids and eat fiber-rich foods. Consider psyllium- based fiber supplements.   
Chlorphen-iramine Chlor-Trimeton;
Combination
products: Advil Allergy & Congestion Relief;
Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold Formula; Dristan Cold
Before 36 weeks:
Use with caution

After 36 weeks
(9th month):
Not recommended
Claritin (loratadine);
Zyrtec (cetirizine)
Ibuprofen Advil, Motrin Weeks 14 to 26
(2nd trimester):
Use with caution

Before 14 weeks
and after 27 weeks
(1st and 3rd trimester):
Not recommended
Tylenol
(acetaminophen)
Naproxen Aleve Weeks 14 to 26
(2nd trimester):
Use with caution

Before 14 weeks
and after 27 weeks
(1st and 3rd trimester):
Not recommended
Tylenol
(acetaminophen)
Nicotine Cigarettes and all other forms of tobacco; Nicorette gum; Nicoderm CQ patches   Not recommended;
however the benefits
of gum or patches to help stop smoking
may exceed
risks of smoking during pregnancy.
None
Phenylephrine and pseudo-ephedrine* Products containing pseudo-ephedrine2: Advil Cold & Sinus; Claritin-D; Sudafed 12 Hour

Products containing phenylephrine: Alka-Seltzer Plus Day; Sudafed PE Pressure + Pain; Tylenol Cold Multi-symptom; Vicks Dayquil Cold and Flu Relief
Before 14 weeks: (1st trimester):
Not recommended

After 14 weeks (2nd and 3rd trimester):
Use with caution
Drink plenty of fluids, consider using steam to relieve congestion, avoid irritants like tobacco smoke  

See also: STRANGE EARLY PREGNANCY SYMPTOMS (getpregnantover40.com)

Thursday, January 21, 2016

ANTIBIOTICS MAY CAUSE WEIGHT PROBLEMS IN BABIES

The safety of giving antibiotics is being questioned for everyone.
 The overuse of these drugs is causing superbugs that are resistent creating a real problem for those with infections.  But now, antibiotics may also be responsible for some weight problems in kids. 
From the article:

SEE ALSO: PREGNANCY OVER 40 (Getpregnantover40.com)

A new study reveals that giving sick babies antibiotics to cure them could lead to weight increase and do more harm than good.
A study of more than 11,000 ­children found those given the drugs before they were six months old are more prone to be overweight than those who had not.
By the time they were three, children treated with antibiotics were 22% more likely to have a greater body mass index.
And it’s all down to ­antibiotics killing off bacteria in the intestine, said eminent professors Leonardo Trasande and Jan Blustein.
Prof Trasande, of New York ­University, said: “We typically consider obesity an epidemic grounded in unhealthy diet and exercise, yet increasingly studies suggest it’s more ­complicated.
“Microbes in our intestines may play critical roles in how we absorb ­calories and exposure to antibiotics, especially early in life, may kill off healthy bacteria that influence how we absorb nutrients into our bodies, and would otherwise keep us lean.”

mirror.co.uk

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

INFANT MASSAGE BENEFITS

Infant Massage Has Many Benefits

I think most of us underestimate the power of touch. It's important for people of all ages and of course for infants.
 This article talks about the benefits of infant massage:

From the article:

SEE ALSO: FERTILITY MASSAGE (getpregnantover40.com)

According to Santi, touch therapies can efficiently benefit the following groups of people:

- Newborn infants

Studies show that newborn infants who are given massages will gain weight crucial for survival and appear more cheerful. Their stress hormone will decrease and the infant will cry less, become more active and show considerable improvement in cognitive, physical and social development.

Not only massages, but hugs, caressing them or gentle strikes to certain parts of the body can also help to stop babies from crying, particularly when they can feel the warmth of the parents' chests.


The changes are clearly observed, especially in prematurely born babies, as they will have increased weight, and improved muscle skills after getting massages. Most importantly, it shortens the time that infants have to stay in the hospital.

excerpted from:  bankokpost.com

Sunday, January 17, 2016

WHAT IS FLAT HEAD SYNDROME?

I did know a women who had a baby with a very round face and a very flat head. According to this article, the condition can be corrected. Apparently it's prevalance increased when the "back to sleep" campaign started since more infants are spending more time resting with the back of their head down. Read more:

Although the majority of cases of misshapen heads in babies can be attributed to positional plagiocepahly, a small number of infants are born with a far more serious form of plagiocephaly caused by craniosynostosis. In such cases, the deformity is caused by premature closure of the fibrous joints between the bones of the infant skull (called cranial sutures). A thorough examination is necessary to confirm or rule out this diagnosis.

SEE ALSO: EARLY PREGNANCY SIGNS, SYMPTOMS AND WAYS TO KNOW IF YOU'RE PREGNANT (getpregnantover40.com)

Due to SIDS awareness, many infants now spend nearly 100 percent of the time on their backs. The risk of positional plagiocephaly can be reduced by simply alternating the sleeping position of the infant, adding supervised tummy time during play, and being aware of which direction the infant tends to look. The AANS offers these simple tips:

•Place the infant with his or head turned on the opposite side of the head. This can be achieved by placing a towel roll or rolled up blanket beneath the back and hip on the flattened side, positioning the baby to 45 degrees. Place interesting objects on the opposite side of the bed to attract the infant’s attention. Do NOT put the towel or blanket under the infant's head, because this can lead to suffocation. Many infants will wiggle off of the roll in a short time; some physicians recommend using Velcro or tape to secure the roll to the infant's body.

•When holding, feeding or carrying an infant, make sure that there is no undue pressure placed on the flat side of the head. Change infant’s head position from side to side during feeding time.

•Provide an infant with plenty of supervised play time on his or her tummy. This helps build and strengthen neck, shoulder and arm muscles.

•For optimal results, positional therapy should be started before the infant is 4 months old.

If positional therapy does not work, helmet or band therapy may be recommended. There have been many improvements in design since the introduction of the original molding helmet in 1979. The helmet/band is precisely fabricated and customized to your baby’s head to achieve improved symmetry and proportion. For optimal effectiveness, it is recommended that helmet or band therapy begin by 5 months of age. The length of therapy depends on the individual case, but usually takes between two and six months. The AANS offers the following guidance:

Do not purchase helmets on your own without first consulting a physician specialist.
When treatment starts at the optimum age of 3 to 6 months, it usually can be completed within 12 weeks.
Correction is still possible in babies up to age 18 months, but will take longer.
The baby will wear the helmet/band 23.5 hours per day with the exception of one-half hour set aside for bathing and cleaning. 

 www.sciencedaily.com

Friday, January 15, 2016

GINSENG, CAUTION IN PREGNANCY

Conflicting Information On Ginseng In Pregnancy

I've heard and read so much about the health benefits of Gensing.
 It also is frequently recognized as something to take for morning sickness.  However, you may want to think twice about taking Gensing if you're pregnant or trying to conceive because of some studies done on animals. Read more:

"Researchers from Hong Kong have warned that women should be cautious about using the herbal remedy ginseng in the early stages of pregnancy.

They have found evidence that ginsenoside Rb1 - one of the principal active components of ginseng - can cause abnormalities in rat embryos.

Their research is published in Europe's reproductive medicine journal Human Reproduction.

Dr Louis Chan and colleagues at the Chinese University of Hong Kong Prince of Wales Hospital, tested ginsenoside Rb1 in various concentrations on 9-day old rat embryos.

They found that embryos exposed to more than 30 micrograms per millilitre of ginsenoside Rb1 had significantly lower morphological scores. Morphological scores are a way of assessing the development of the important organs of embryos: the higher the score, the more normal is the development of the embryo.
picture: plantsandbenefits.blogspot.com

See Also: Fertility and Green Tea (www.getpregnantover40.com)

At 30 micrograms the total morphological scores were significantly lower than the scores of the control group, which had not been exposed to gensinoside - 35 as opposed to 45 - and they had lower scores for heart, limbs, eye development and flexion. At the highest dose of 50 micrograms the total score fell to 28 and the embryos were also significantly shorter in body length and had fewer somites (muscle pre-cursor cells).

"Our study has demonstrated that ginsenoside exerts a direct teratogenic effect on rat embryos: that is to say it is capable of causing malformations in rat embryos," said Dr Chan.

"Although there are numerous reports in the literature concerning the potential benefit of ginseng, much less is know about the potential toxicity and there are no data about its potential effect on the developing human foetus. Yet a survey published in 2001 showed that over 9% of pregnant women report using herbal supplements, and in Asia up to 10% have taken ginseng during pregnancy," he said."

from: (www.aphroditewomenshealth.com)

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

HOW DO GMOS AFFECT FERTILITY AND PREGNANCY?

GMO's have received quite a bit of media attention lately.  Product labeling will probably change and most people agree that we just don't know the long term consequences of a diet high in foods containing genetically modified ingredients.  Studies done on animals are a bit scary and showed reduced fertility and higher mortality in their babies.  They also showed changes in their reproductive system.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE ON GMOS AND FERTILITY (Getpregnantover40.com)

Monday, January 11, 2016

THE EFFECT OF ALCOHOL IN PREGNANCY

Newsflash!  Don't drink in pregnancy! Umm....okay, I didn't need to tell you that!
We all know that drinking isn't safe in pregnancy, but this article gives some insight as to why it affects the fetus. It may cause actual changes in their DNA. Read more:

From the article:

Drinking too much during pregnancy can harm offspring permanently. Now experiments in mice suggest this may be because alcohol chemically alters the fetus's DNA, affecting how genes are expressed.

SEE ALSO: HOW TO DETOXIFY FOR FERTILITY AND PREGNANCY (getpregnantover40.com)

It's well known that fetal alcohol syndrome occurs when pregnant women drink excessively and causes behavioural and physical harm to the child after birth. But we know little about the molecular mechanisms underlying the condition.

Previous studies have shown that factors in the mother's environment during pregnancy can cause "epigenetic" modifications to the fetus's DNA. These don't alter the genetic code itself but might switch certain genes on or off, or increase or decrease their expression.

from: 
www.newscientist.com

Friday, January 08, 2016

TOPICAL MEDICATIONS IN PREGNANCY

I think we sometimes forget that medications that are applied to the skin still enter our bloodstream and can negatively affect a pregnancy.
 If you've been prescribed topical steroids, you should check with your doctor and pharmacist about its safety for use in pregnancy. Read more:

Investigators at Chang Gung University in Taoyuan, Taiwan, and the University of Oxford (England) used the U.K. General Practice Research Database to identify 35,503 women who had been prescribed topical corticosteroids during or shortly before pregnancy, and a control group comprising 48,630 unexposed pregnant women.

SEE ALSO: DETOXIFY FOR FERTILITY AND PREGNANCY (getpregnantover40.com)

Maternal exposure to potent or very potent topical steroids was associated with an adjusted 2.1-fold increased relative risk of fetal growth restriction.

Moreover, a significant dose-response relationship was found, such that for every 30 g of prescribed potent or very potent topical steroids, the risk of fetal growth retardation climbed by about 3%.

The risk rose with the increasing potency of the topical medication, Dr. Stein said at the meeting.

The investigators estimated that 168 pregnant women would have to receive potent or very potent topical steroids in order to result in one additional case of fetal growth restriction ( J. Invest. Dermatol. 2010 [doi:10.1038/jid.2010. 392]).

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

INCREASING PROGESTERONE NATURALLY

You may have heard of progesterone as the "pregnancy hormone".  I guess that's why it's name comes from "pro gestation".  There have been many conflicting studies on whether or not supplementing with progesterone increases live pregnancy rates, but aside from taking supplements, there are a number of things you can do to increase progesterone naturally through your diet and over the counter supplements. 
Click here to read the full article on natural ways to increase progesterone (getpregnantover40.com)

Monday, January 04, 2016

PREGNANCY ULTRASOUND, GRANDFATHER IN PICTURE!

This is a very strange story, almost to the point that I wondered if it is true.  Pregnancy ultrasounds have become quite commonplace.  Most women have them at regularly scheduled intervals.  This amazing ultrasound picture shown in the Mirror (UK) supposedly shows the face of a woman's late grandfather looking over the baby.  You be the judge!

from: Mirror.co.uk

Friday, January 01, 2016

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Happy New Year!

Sandy Robertson: getpregnantover40.com
For some interesting history on New Year's celebrations, see here:

New Year's Day Holiday History

New Year's is one of the oldest holidays still celebrated, but the exact date and nature of the festivities has changed over time. It originated thousands of years ago in ancient Babylon, celebrated as an eleven day festival on the first day of spring. During this time, many cultures used the sun and moon cycle to decide the "first" day of the year. It wasn't until Julius Caesar implemented the Julian calendar that January 1st became the common day for the celebration. The content of the festivities has varied as well. While early celebrations were more paganistic in nature, celebrating Earth's cycles, Christian tradition celebrates the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ on New Year's Day. Roman Catholics also often celebrate Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, a feast honoring Mary. However, in the twentieth century, the holiday grew into its own celebration and mostly separated from the common association with religion. It has become a holiday associated with nationality, relationships, and introspection rather than a religious celebration, although many people do still follow older traditions.
 www.wilstar.com

 Wishing you a safe holiday.

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