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Monday, February 29, 2016

URINARY TRACT INFECTIONS UTI IN PREGNANCY

In pregnancy, women tend to be more susceptible to urinary tract infections (and yeast infections).  But there are some things you can do to avoid UTI's.
Drink lots of water.  Water helps eliminate and flush away bacteria (I think of it as "washing out your bladder").

See Also: Early Pregnancy Symptoms, strange and unusual (www.getpregnantover40.com) 

Drinking cranberry juice can also help.  The pH of this juice creates an environment where bacteria don't like to grow.  Women should also wear breathable cotton underwear and stay away from tight clothing.  Use wet wipes instead of toilet paper, this may help wash the area so bacteria do not travel up the genitourinary system.

Of course you should talk with your doctor if you think you have a UTI...he/she may prescribe some of the following medications as mentioned in this article:

Ampicillin

One of the most common antibiotics used in treating UTI’s during pregnancy. This drug is under pregnancy category B which means that it was tested on animals and was proven safe. However, pregnancy category B drugs are not tested on humans. Mothers who take this drug can feel side effects such as nausea and vomiting.

Cephalexin

This drug is a member of the third generation cephalosporin that is well tolerated by pregnant mothers and proves to be effective in treating UTIs. Side effects of taking the drug includes diarrhea, but it is only minimal and does not need any immediate intervention.

Erythromycin

It is safe to take during pregnancy and cures most UTIs.

Although these drugs are said to be safe to take during pregnancy, it is still important to consult your health care provider before taking in any medications while you’re pregnant. Self- medication is a big NO-NO for expectant mothers. Natural remedies for UTI are still best.

from: 
www.utiresource.com

Friday, February 26, 2016

WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT MISCARRIAGE AND SYMPTOMS

Nobody wants to think their pregnancy may end in miscarriage.  If you've had a hard time getting pregnant, or if you've previously had a miscarriage, you may be obsessed with the possibility that you could lose the pregnancy.  This can lead to an extreme amount of worry and many times unnecessarily.  Here are some things you should know about miscarriage, treatments and misconceptions:
MISCARRIAGE, TEN THINGS TO KNOW AND MORE (getpregnantover40.com) 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

CERVICAL PROCEDURES MAY HARM PREGNANCY

Abnormal pap smear? Be sure to discuss with your doctor all of the possible options.
 Some procedures for cervical abnormalities may affect your future pregnancies. Read more:

 THINK YOU MAY BE PREGNANT? READ ABOUT EARLY PREGNANCY SYMPTOMS HERE (getpregnantover40.com)


A popular type of surgery for removing abnormal cells from the cervix -- a problem that could lead to cervical cancer if left untreated -- may put women at risk of pregnancy complications.

Women who had this procedure, known as loop electrosurgical excision procedure, or LEEP, were at greater risk of delivering preterm babies or having a low-birth-weight infant, according to British researchers.

Doctors should use caution in treating young women with mild cervical abnormalities or precancerous cells, the study authors concluded in a paper published recently in the medical journal The Lancet.

"Women should seek detailed information on efficacy but also on long-term pregnancy-related morbidity before they consent," lead study author Dr. Maria Kyrgiou of Central Lancashire Teaching Hospitals in Preston, Great Britain, told HealthD
  
excerpted from:  Method for Treating Cervical Lesions May Pose Pregnancy Risks
Some experts say the procedure should be reserved for high-grade abnormalities (health.usnews.com)

Monday, February 22, 2016

HERBAL ALLIES FOR PREGNANT WOMEN

Many women wonder what herbs are safe or unsafe in pregnancy.  This guest post discusses some herbs you may or may not have heard of.  Be sure to talk with your doctor before taking anything in pregnancy.

Herbal Allies For Pregnant Women

Guest Post By Susun Weed

Most women would agree that drugs are to be avoided during pregnancy. Many over the counter remedies, especially antihistamines, acne medicines, and laxatives, have been shown to cause birth defects in animals or humans. Antibiotics may cause fetal abnormalities and sulfur drugs can cause neo-natal jaundice. Tranquilizers and painkillers can cause birth defects and addict the fetus. Antacids can cause muscle problems in the baby and edema in the mother. (In addition, they mess up a woman's calcium metabolism; see discussion following.)
And it is well accepted that the drug-like actions of alcohol, tobacco, and coffee are best avoided both before conception, during pregnancy, and while lactating.
Few women, however, understand that vitamin/mineral supplements are more drug-like than food-like. Though they are widely recommended, even by orthodox MDs, supplements are problematic for pregnant women and ought to be avoided. A study of 23,000 pregnant women, reported in The New England Journal of Medicine (1995) found 4.8 times more birth defects among the children of women who consumed 10,000 IU or more of vitamin A in supplemental form. And if that isn't enough to make you hesitate before reaching for the pills, consider this: the amount of iron in four prenatal-formula tablets can kill a child under the age of three.
In addition to drugs and supplements, many common herbal remedies, including golden seal, and flax seed are best avoided during the weeks of gestation. See below for herbs that may be problematic during pregnancy.
Nevertheless, there are many simple, safe home and herbal remedies available to ease the discomforts of pregnancy. The remedies of wise women, or "old wives," have persisted for centuries, passed from woman to woman. They are not strict protocols designed to work with the greatest possible number of women. Rather, they are part of the ever-changing wisdom ways of women, meant to be applied to the unique individual in unique and ever-changing ways. Although they have not been subjected to double blind studies, they are not superstition and dumb custom, but the results of millions of careful observations over thousands of generations. These remedies are the gifts of our foremothers. They are gifts from women who were deeply intuitive, immersed in day-to-day practice, and in tune with women's needs - emotional and spiritual, as well as physical.
Wise women believe that most of the problems of pregnancy can be prevented by attention to nutrition. Morning sickness and mood swings are connected to low blood sugar; backaches and severe labor pains often result from insufficient calcium; and varicose veins, hemorrhoids, constipation, skin discolorations and anemias are also related to lack of specific nutrients.
Excellent nutrition for pregnant women includes not just vital foodstuffs and nourishing herbal infusions, but also pure water and air, abundant light, loving and respectful relationships, beauty and harmony in daily life, and joyous thoughts.
All nutrients are needed in abundance during pregnancy as the gestating woman forms two extra pounds of uterine muscle; the nerves, bones, organs, muscles, glands and skin of the baby; several pounds of amniotic fluid; the placenta; and a great increase in blood volume. In addition, extra kidney and liver cells are created to process the waste of two beings instead of one.
Wild and organically grown foods are the best source of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients needed during pregnancy. All the better if the expectant mother can get out and gather her own herbs: stretching, bending, breathing, moving, touching the earth, taking time to talk with the plants and to open herself to their spiritual world.

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

 

Red Raspberry (Rubus ideaus and other species)
For centuries herbalists have relied on the leaves of red raspberry to nourish pregnant women and relieve difficulties during pregnancy and birth. Scientific herbalists are baffled by these claims, as they find no chemical constituents in raspberry leaves that are capable of inducing these purported effects. Nonetheless, "if pregnant women believe that it provides relief from various unpleasant effects associated with their condition, no harm is done," says Varro Tyler in The Honest Herbal.
Most of the benefits associated with regular use of raspberry throughout pregnancy can be traced to its astringent, strengthening, and nourishing powers. Raspberry leaves contain tannins and fragrine, which give tone to the muscles of the pelvic region, including the uterus. They also contain nourishing vitamins and minerals. Of special note are the concentrations of vitamins A, C, E, and B, plus generous amounts of easily assimilated calcium, iron, phosphorous, and potassium salts.
A strong infusion of dried raspberry leaves increases fertility, tonifies the uterus, aids in easy birthing, helps prevent miscarriage, alleviates morning sickness, reduces muscle/leg cramps and backache, and counters fatigue.
To make it:
  •     Put one ounce of the dried raspberry leaves in a quart jar; fill it to the top with boiling water, and cap tightly.
  •     After steeping for at least four hours, strain the leaves out of the infusion. 
  •     Drink the liquid hot or cold, with honey, or anyway you like it. 
  •     Refrigerate left-overs. 

Capsules, tinctures, and teas of raspberry are not as effective.
Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica)
Some people dislike nettle because of its strong sting, but it is an herb with myriad benefits for the expectant mother. A strong infusion (prepared by brewing one ounce of dried nettle leaves in a quart of boiling water for at least four hours) helps prevent varicose veins and hemorrhoids, eases leg cramps and backache, reduces the incidence of hemorrhage after birth, and increases the richness of breast milk.
Every cup of nettle infusion supplies amazing amounts of energy as well as huge amounts of calcium, magnesium and vitamins A, D, C, B, and K. It prevents folic acid anemia and iron deficiency anemia, and is also a digestive aid, a strengthener to the lungs, an ally of the kidneys, and a restorative to the hair and skin.
Capsules, tinctures, and teas of nettle are not as effective.
Red Clover (Trifolium pratense)
As a keeper of dairy animals, I was introduced to this herb as an ally to keep my goats' fertility high and their milk production generous. It took only a little imagination for me to begin to use it for women, too. Red clover blossoms are best taken as a strong infusion (one ounce of dried blossoms brewed overnight in a quart of boiling water). The tincture is a sedative; pills and capsules have very little effect.
To date, I know of dozens of women who, unable to conceive, have found success after drinking up to a quart of red clover infusion every day for at least six weeks. The generous amounts of minerals, proteins, antioxidants, and phytoestrogens in red clover restore health to the entire reproductive system. It's great for men, too. Most notable are the amounts of vitamin E and the presence of selenium and zinc. Red clover has ten times more plant hormones than soy.
Don't stop drinking red clover infusion once you get pregnant though. The infusion prevents and eases the constipation so common during pregnancy. It also strengthens the liver and improves appetite, especially when morning sickness is a problem. And it relieves anxiety.
And keep on drinking red clover once your child is born. There is no more valuable herb to keep breast milk rich and the breasts healthy then red clover. In fact, it is the world's most respected anti-cancer herb, acting not only to eliminate cancer but to stop its occurrence as well.
Seaweeds (including kelp, nori, dulse, kombu, and wakame)
One of the best green allies for women in their fertile years is seaweed, both for its mineral richness, and for the special substances it contains which directly counter birth defects. Algin or alginic acid, found in many seaweeds, absorbs radioactive neucleotides and heavy metals. When eaten by the prospective mother and father, seaweed protects them from cancer and protects the fetus from faulty genes. Seaweeds also protect the fetus and parents from the harmful effects of chemicals and carcinogens.
Seaweed is one of the most nutritious plants known. Earl Mindell, in his book Vitamin Bible notes that kelp contains vitamins A, B, C, and E, as well as choline, carotenes, and 23 minerals including calcium, selenium, iron, magnesium, and zinc. He recommends it especially for nourishing the brain, spinal cord, and nerves of the fetus. Eating seaweeds regularly improves the fertility and the health of the pregnant woman, too, strengthening her digestive system, increasing her overall energy, and helping to prevent constipation, muscle cramps, backaches, anemias, hemorrhoids, and depression. For healthy skin, hair, and bones, there is no better food or herb than seaweed.
Capsules, tablets, and powdered seaweeds are not as effective as eating seaweed as a vegetable several times a week. In addition to buying seaweed at your health food store, you can harvest it yourself. There are no poisonous seaweeds. For more information on harvesting and using seaweeds, consult the Lewallens' Sea Vegetable Gourmet Cookbook.
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinalis)
This common weed of suburban lawns is one of the best liver tonics known. All parts of the dandelion are medicinal: the roots, leaves, and flowers are brewed into tinctures, medicinal vinegars, cordials, wines, and bitter infusions.
If you dig your own, use them to make a mineral-rich vinegar: Fill a jar with cut dandelion, then fill the jar to the top with pasteurized apple cider vinegar. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap held on with a rubber band. Label, with the date; it's ready to use in six weeks. Try it as a salad dressing, or a condiment for beans. Some women like to drink it first thing in the morning: 1-2 tablespoonsful in a glass of water.
Nourishing the liver is critical during pregnancy. Lack of strong liver functioning is implicated in morning sickness, hemorrhoids, constipation, heartburn, indigestion, lack of energy, headaches, and mood swings. If using the tincture, try a dose of 10-20 drops in a small glass of water just before meals.
Fennel Seed (Foeniculum vulgare)

Anise Seed (Pimpinella anisum)

Dill Seed (Anethum graveolens)

Caraway Seed (Carum carvi)

Coriander Seed (Coriandrum sativum)
The aromatic seeds are members of the "carrot family" of plants and are used around the world to ease indigestion, freshen breath, and increase milk supply. As the medicinal value is found in a volatile oil, the seeds are quickly and easily brewed: add a heaping tablespoonful to a mug and fill it with water just off the boil, letting it steep for 2-5 minutes. A spoonful of honey is a delightful addition.
For a somewhat more complicated brew, midwife Elizabeth Davis (in her book Heart and Hands) relates this old wives' remedy to increase milk supply: Boil 1/2 cup pearled barley in three cups water for 25 minutes. Strain and refrigerate. Heat (but do not boil) one cup of barley water and pour it over one teaspoon fennel seeds. Steep no longer than thirty minutes.
And how delightful that the ease imparted by the brew influences the infant through the breastmilk, relieving colic, turning fretfulness into slumber, and countering teething pain. For best results drink your brew, hot or cold, while nursing your baby. Herbalist Juliette de Bairacli Levy advises mothers of infants and young children to always carry some aromatic seeds in their pocket for the children to chew should they be car-sick or become argumentative.
Ginger (Zingiber officinalis)
When it comes to quelling nausea or morning sickness (motion sickness, too) there is no better herb than ginger root. Whether you use it fresh or dried, a little ginger goes a long way toward warming the belly and relieving queasy feelings. Some books mistakenly list ginger as an herb that can cause a miscarriage. This misinformation no doubt got started by a hopeful woman who had noticed that drinking ginger tea made her menses flow more easily. But midwives agree that ginger is safe, even in early pregnancy.
In addition to quelling morning sickness, ginger helps prevent constipation of pregnancy, keeps the pelvic muscles warmed and toned, relieves intestinal cramping and gas (in infants, too), increases digestive force by encouraging the secretion of digestive enzymes, lowers blood pressure, and restores vitality.
Calcium
Of course calcium is a mineral, not an herb, but it is so important during pregnancy that it deserves our attention. Lack of adequate calcium during pregnancy can cause muscle cramps, backache, high blood pressure, intense labor pains, severe afterbirth pains, loss of teeth, and pre-eclampsia. Lack of calcium also contributes to feeble fetal heart action, a difficult birth, and "cranky" babies with easily irritated nervous and digestive systems. For optimum health of mother and child, eat plenty of foods rich in calcium and other minerals.
The calcium found in foods and herbs is metabolized by the body far more effectively than the calcium in pills. Calcium in plants is found in the form of minerals salts, which are naturally chelated. In addition, the varied forms of these salts aids in assimilation. And, of course, no plant contains only one mineral. The multitude of mineral salts found in herbs and foods act synergistically with the calcium salts, improving utilization by all the body's tissues.
In general, to improve calcium assimilation, women are advised to consume it with acidic foods (antacids interfere with calcium absorption), plenty of vitamin D (which can be produced by sitting in the sun for 15-20 minutes), magnesium, and daily exercise. Stress, use of antacids, consumption of coffee, use of steroids, drinking fluoridated water, and too much phosphorous in the diet also interfere with calcium assimilation.
Getting 1500 to 2000 milligrams of nourishing calcium salts every day is not hard with the help of Wise Woman ways.
  •     Many wild greens are exceptionally rich in calcium and other mineral salts. The leaves of lamb's quarters, mallow, galinsoga, shepherd's purse, knotweed, bidens, amaranth, or dandelion, when cooked until tender, supply more calcium per half-cup serving than a half-cup of milk.
  •     Herbal teas and tinctures contain little or no calcium salts. For mineral richness, make herbal infusions by steeping one ounce of dried herb (such as raspberry, nettle, or red clover) overnight in a quart of boiling water. Or make mineral-rich vinegars by steeping fresh herbs in apple cider vinegar for six weeks. The long steeping of the water infusion releases minerals, the acid of the vinegar does it too. A cup of herbal infusion can have 150-300 milligrams of calcium salts. A tablespoon of medicinal herbal vinegar can contain 75-150 milligrams of calcium salts. 
  •     Cultivated greens are good sources of calcium, better if they are cooked thoroughly, and best if they are organic. Kale, collards, mustard greens, oriental greens, broccoli de rape, turnip greens, even cabbage supply 100-250 milligrams of calcium salts per half-cup serving.
  •     Fresh dairy products are the best place to get mineral salts, especially calcium, but there is controversy about the assimilability of calcium from pasteurized milk. Fortunately, raw milk cheeses are now easily available; look for them as a reliable source of nutrients. 
  •     When milk is made into yogurt, it becomes superbly digestible and the calcium content increases by fifty percent (up to 450 milligrams of calcium in just one cup). A daily cup of plain yogurt not only prevents pregnancy problems, it also counteracts vaginal and bladder infections. Women who eat yogurt regularly are far less likely to be diagnosed with cancer as well. When buying yogurt, I look for plain yogurt that contains only milk and culture. I absolutely avoid dried milk powder, skim milk powder, pectin, and other thickeners. 
  •     Other great-tasting sources of calcium include goat milk and goat cheese, canned fish eaten with the bones such as salmon, sardines, and mackerel, and tahini (ground sesame seeds).
  •     There are roughly 200 milligrams of calcium in two ounces of nuts (excluding peanuts), one ounce of dried seaweed, two ounces of carob powder, one ounce of cheese, half a cup of cooked greens, half a cup of milk, three eggs, four ounces of fish, or one tablespoon of molasses.
  •     Many fruits are rich in calcium (though not as rich as the above foods). Dried dates, figs raisins, prunes, papaya and elderberries are the best.
  •     Avoid foods high in oxalic acid such as spinach, swiss chard, beet greens, rhubarb, and brewer's yeast. They interfere with your ability to absorb calcium.
  •     Do not use bone meal or oyster shell tablets as sources of supplemental calcium. They have been found to be high in lead, mercury, cadmium and other toxic metals, which can cause birth defects in your child.
HERBS WOMEN MAY WISH TO AVOID DURING PREGNANCY AND WHILE LACTATING
Agave and Yucca (Agave species): contain large quantities of irritating saponins

Aloes (Aloe species): purging cathartic

Birthroot (Trillium species): contains oxytocin

Black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa): may irritate the uterus

Blue cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides): contains oxytocin

Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica, Rhamnus frangula): purging cathartic

Cascara sagrada (Rhamnus purshiana): purging cathartic

Castor oil (Ricinus communis): purging cathartic

Comfrey (Symphytum uplandica): alkaloids in roots are dangerous to the liver; leaves are safe to use

Cotton root bark (Gossypium harbaceum): contains oxytocin

Dong quai (Angelica sinensis): contains coumarins which may irritate uterus and liver

Ephedra (all species): increases blood pressure; may cause heart palpitations, insomnia, headaches

Evening primrose oil (Oenothera biennis): used by midwives to initiate labor

Ginseng (Panax quinquefolium): may cause headaches, irritability, insomnia

Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis): contains irritating alkaloids which stress liver and kidneys

Juniper berries (Juniperus communis): very harsh on the kidneys

Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra): increases blood pressure; large doses can cause heart failure, headache, lethargy, water retention, and excessive excretion of potassium

Ma-huang (another name for ephedra)

Mistletoe (Viscum album): large doses can have detrimental effects on the heart

Mistletoe, American (Phoradendron flavescens): raises blood pressure, causes uterine contractions

Rue (Ruta graveolens): contains essential oils that can damage the kidneys and liver

Senna (Cassia senna): potent purging cathartic

Thuja (Thuja occidentalis): contains essential oils that can damage the kidneys and liver

Turkey rhubarb (Rheum palmatum): purgative; may cause uterine contractions

Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium): essential oils can adversely affect brain
WOMEN WHO MISCARRY EASILY MAY ALSO WANT TO AVOID THESE HERBS
Autumn crocus (Colchicum autumnale): also known as saffron; large doses can cause miscarriage

Basil (Basilicum species): see mints

Bearberry (Berberis vulgaris): bark contains similar alkaloids to goldenseal; berries and leaves OK

Catnip (Nepeta cataria): see mints

Flax seeds (Linum usitatissimum): large doses may stimulate uterine contractions

Feverfew (Chrysanthemum parthenium): contains essential oils that can damage liver and kidneys

Ground ivy (Hedeoma hederacea): see mints

Mints - such as basil, catnip, rosemary, thyme, savory, peppermint, oregano, ground ivy, sage, and spearmint - contain essential oils that, used internally (or extracted into a tincture) may harm the kidneys and liver; the infusion, taken in large enough quantity, may stimulate uterine contractions

Mugwort/Cronewort (Artemisia vulgaris): used to help bring on labor

Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans): a large dose of this spice contains the essential oils that could adversely affect the brain, liver, and kidneys

Oregano (Oreganum species ): see mints

Osha (Ligusticum porterii): may irritate the uterus

Parsley (Petroselinum crispum): a well-known, and quite effective, abortifacient

Poke root (Phytolacca americana): large dose (more than 4 drops) may stress kidneys

Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium or Hedeoma pulegiodes): essential oil may harm kidneys and liver; also see mints

Peppermint (Mentha piperita): see mints

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis): see mints

Sage (Salvia officinalis): see mints

Savory (Satureja hortensis): see mints

Southernwood (Artemisia abrotanum): essential oils, similar to those in wormwood, are easily extracted into tinctures and can adversely affect the brain

Spearmint (Mentha spicata): see mints

Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare): essential oils in tincture may damage kidneys and liver

Thyme (Thymus species): see mints
Legal Disclaimer: This content is not intended to replace conventional medical treatment. Any suggestions made and all herbs listed are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, condition or symptom. Personal directions and use should be provided by a clinical herbalist or other qualified healthcare practitioner with a specific formula for you. All material contained herein is provided for general information purposes only and should not be considered medical advice or consultation. Contact a reputable healthcare practitioner if you are in need of medical care. Exercise self-empowerment by seeking a second opinion.
For more information about herbs and pregnancy, including herbs to use during birth, to improve lactation, and to help the newborn infant, see: Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year, by Ash Tree Publishing. To receive a free brochure of classes and correspondence courses available from Susun S Weed, contact her at:
Susun Weed
PO Box 64
Woodstock, NY 12498
Fax: 1-845-246-8081
Learn how to prevent illness and heal yourself safely and easily the Wise Woman Way. Women's health forum, FREE womens forum, weblog, and email group. Topics include menopause, breast health, childbearing, fertility, disease prevention, nutritional advice, and cancer prevention. Visit the Wise Woman Web

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Susun_Weed/3678


http://EzineArticles.com/?Herbal-Allies-For-Pregnant-Women&id=300481

Saturday, February 20, 2016

DO WOMEN GET PREGNANT OVER 50?

I frequently focus on women who get pregnant over 40 naturally or ways to enhance fertility over 40 naturally.  But what about women over 50?  Do they get pregnant without IVF or other assisted reproduction (like donor eggs or surrogates)?  Well, even though most doctors would laugh at the prospect of a 50 year old getting pregnant spontaneously, it does happen.  I have devoted a page on my website to women who had natural pregnancies over the age of 50. 

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE ON TRUE STORIES OF NATURAL PREGNANCY OVER 50 (getpregnantover40.com)

Thursday, February 18, 2016

ALLERGY MEDICATIONS IN PREGNANCY

Women who have allergies may find that all the hormones associated with pregnancy can make the condition worse.
Do you have to suffer, or is it safe to take allergy medications? This article answers some of those questions. Of course, you should talk with your doctor before taking any medications whether over the counter or not during pregnancy.  Read more:


SEE ALSO: UNUSUAL EARLY PREGNANCY SIGNS (Getpregnantover40.com)


Some women report the severity of their seasonal allergy symptoms actually changes during pregnancy. Women in general do suffer from more nasal congestion due to hormonal influences during pregnancy. Allergies compound these symptoms, and sinusitis is about six times more common in pregnant women according to a Finnish study. In general, one-third of women state that their allergies worsen during pregnancy, one-third report that their symptoms stay the same and about one-third say they actually get better. No one can predict into which group you might fall!
Which Medications Are Safe?
When allergy symptoms spring up during pregnancy, the only thing most women would rather reach for is another tissue. Many would rather not take allergy medications. Sneezing, coughing and watery eyes were accepted as yet more symptoms of pregnancy that would be tolerated for the good of the baby, but do they need to be?

The reality is most allergy medications are safe for pregnant women. In 1979, the FDA divided all medications into categories based on their safety for pregnant women. Many over-the-counter and prescription allergy medications are Category B, which means studies in animals have failed to link any increased risk of medical problems to the fetus. Other allergy medications are Category C, wherein no studies have been done as of yet, or there were studies which showed potential problems in animal fetuses but not in humans. Category C medication may be considered safe to use but should be used under the guidance of your doctor.


From:  pregnancytoday.com

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

FOLIC ACID TESTING TO PREVENT DEFECTS

Folic Acid In Pregnancy

Most of us know that folic acid is essential to start taking before you plan on becoming pregnant.  Getting enough folic acid can help prevent some birth defects and has even been associated with reducing the chances of a baby being born with Down Syndrome.  Additionally, some research suggests it may play a role in preventing autism.
This article explains how a woman can be tested for folic acid and the different ways the test may be done. Read more:

SEE ALSO: STRANGE EARLY PREGNANCY SYMPTOMS TO LOOK FOR (Getpregnantover40.com)

A folic acid test measures the amount of folic acid in the blood. Folic acid is one of many B vitamins. The body needs folic acid to make red blood cells (RBC), white blood cells (WBC), platelets, new genetic material (DNA) in cells, and for normal growth. Folic acid also is important for the normal development of a baby (fetus).

Folic acid can be measured in the liquid portion of blood (plasma). This reflects a person's recent intake of folic acid in the diet. Folic acid is found in foods such as liver; citrus fruits; dark green, leafy vegetables (spinach); whole grains; cereals with added B vitamins; beans; milk; kidney; and yeast.

Folic acid may also be measured as the amount in the red blood cells. This test may be a better way than the plasma test to measure the amount of folic acid stored in the body. The amount of folic acid in red blood cells measures the level when the cell was made, as much as 2 months earlier. This level is not usually affected by the amount of folic acid in your diet each day. It is a more accurate way to measure the body's level of folic acid.

Women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant need extra folic acid to make more red blood cells and maintain normal growth of their baby. Women who do not get enough folic acid before and during pregnancy are more likely to have a child born with a birth defect, such as a cleft lip or cleft palate or a neural tube defect, such as spina bifida.

from: 
webMD

Saturday, February 13, 2016

PREGNANCY: GOOD FOR YOUR NERVES?

 Pregnancy Over 40 May Be Good For Your Nervous System

Pregnancy can really help your body in many ways, but here's one I've never heard of.
It is thought that prolactin can help repair nerve damage or at least minimize it. This may lead to future treatments for women with MS and other neurological diseases.

SEE ALSO: HOW PROLACTIN CAN AFFECT FERTILITY (getpregnantover40.com)


From the article:

"It was thought that during pregnancy, their immune systems no longer destroyed the myelin," says Samuel Weiss of Hotchkiss Brain Institute in Calgary and co-author of the study published in The Journal of Neuroscience. "No previous study has tested whether pregnancy actually results in the production of new myelin, which may explain [the] improvement of symptoms."

Weiss and his colleagues compared healthy pregnant and virgin mice of the same age to determine whether differences in myelin formation were taking place. The researchers found that there were twice as many oligodendrocytes (nerve cells that produce myelin) in the brains of pregnant mice and, also, that the mice continued to produce oligodendrocytes throughout their pregnancies, leading to 50 percent more myelin sheathing in their nerve cells than in those of their virgin counterparts. 


excerpted from:  
www.scientificamerican.com

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

THE DANGER OF HIGH FAT DIET ON BABY

Pregnancy Over 40, Stay Away From High Fat Diets

I've been writing about the importance of your diet during pregnancy.
 Another good reason to really watch what you eat during pregnancy. According to the article below, babies may be predisposed to weight problems and obesity if their mothers consumed a high fat diet in pregnancy. Read more:

SEE ALSO: FERTILITY AND PREGNANCY DIET (getpregnantover40.com)

A study in rats shows that exposure to a high-fat diet during pregnancy produces permanent changes in the offspring's brain that lead to overeating and obesity early in life, according to new research by Rockefeller University scientists. This surprising finding, reported in the Nov. 12 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience, provides a key step toward understanding mechanisms of fetal programming involving the production of new brain cells that may help explain the increased prevalence of childhood obesity during the last 30 years. "We've shown that short-term exposure to a high-fat diet in utero produces permanent neurons in the fetal brain that later increase the appetite for fat," says senior author Sarah F. Leibowitz, who directs the Laboratory of Behavioral Neurobiology at Rockefeller. "This work provides the first evidence for a fetal program that links high levels of fats circulating in the mother's blood during pregnancy to the overeating and increased weight gain of offspring after weaning." 
excerpted from:.(www.esciencenews.com)

Friday, February 05, 2016

EGG DEFECTS AND MISCARRIAGE

Miscarriage and Flawed Eggs

I can't tell you the amount of literature I've read about older women, egg quality, and the higher chance of chromosomal abnormalities.
 Here is an interesting article about how younger women may also have a high incidence of chromosomal problems. This article talks about how embryos of younger women (ages 21-31) were examined from donor cycles. I found it interesting that it's also possible that the chromosomal problems may be as a result of the IVF procedure itself or possibly the sperm:

SEE ALSO: HOW DHEA CAN IMPROVE EGG QUALITY (getpregnantover40.com)

Paulette Browne, at the Shady Grove Center for Preimplantation Genetics in Rockville, Maryland, US, and her colleagues, examined 275 embryos created from the donated eggs of women aged between 21 and 31. All the donors were ostensibly healthy. The researchers removed cells three days after conception and examined them for aneuploidies. They found that 137 - half - of the embryos had at least one error.

In a similar study, Nelson and colleagues looked at 289 embryos created using eggs from 22 donors under the age of 30. About 42% had chromosomal problems. "Initially, it shocked me," says Nelson. The studies were presented at a meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine in Montreal, Canada, on Monday.
from newscientist.com

FOLIC ACID MAY REDUCE AUTISM RISK

Folic Acid And Pregnancy Outcomes

I've always associated folic acid with reducing neural tube defects.
However, according to this article, folic acid can also help reduce the chance of autism spectrum disorders. Read more:

From the article:

The finding suggests that, in addition to women who already have conceived, those who are attempting to become pregnant should consider consuming folic acid supplements, the authors said.

The study found that women who each day consumed the recommended amount of folic acid (600 micrograms, or .6 milligrams) during the first month of pregnancy experienced a reduced risk of having a child with autism spectrum disorder, specifically when the mother and/or her child had a specific genetic variant (MTHFR 677 C>T) associated with less efficient folate metabolism. The study will be published in the July issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

See www.getpregnantover40.com for more about fertility foods 


 "This research is congruent with the findings of earlier studies that suggest that improved neurodevelopmental outcomes are associated with folic acid intake in early pregnancy," said lead study author Rebecca J. Schmidt, assistant professor of public health sciences in the UC Davis School of Medicine and a researcher with the UC Davis MIND Institute. "It further supports recommendations that women with any chance of becoming pregnant should consider consuming folic acid at levels of 600 micrograms or greater per day." 
from: 

medicalnewstoday.com

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

HOW MUCH SALT IN PREGNANCY?

I think most of us naturally assume that a low salt diet would be good during pregnancy.
 I was surprised to find out that this isn't true. We usually get more than enough sodium in our diets, but pregnant women shouldn't necessarily restrict sodium unless directed by their doctor. Read more:

From the article:

Sodium Restriction
Many women are casually advised by friends or family to restrict their salt intake to prevent 'swelling' of feet and ankles. This is not a current medical recommendation. While it is prudent to avoid 'excess' salt use, sodium restriction should not be casually undertaken. Edema (accumulation of fluid) in the feet and legs often occurs during pregnancy. This is a result of increased estrogen production and greater blood volume. Estrogen increases a mother's ability to absorb water into connective tissue, thus fluid retention is naturally higher. At the same time, progesterone increases the sodium content of urine, so more sodium than usual is lost by women during pregnancy. Therefore, despite the presence of edema, sodium needs still increase for pregnant women.

See Also: Foods For Fertility (www.getpregnantover40.com)

Although the increase in sodium requirement is not dramatic, it is important. Restricting sodium during pregnancy can cause problems for mother and her fetus, by disrupting this delicate fluid balance. Edema that occurs during pregnancy is not considered harmful, unless high blood pressure or protein loss in urine is also occurring. If your obstetrician advises a low sodium diet, clarify with the doctor the extent of sodium restriction and any fluid recommendation being made to you.

from:
www.storknet.com

Monday, February 01, 2016

HOW DOES HIGH ALTITUDE AFFECT PREGNANCY

I've lived at a high altitude my entire life. I tend to forget that it's hard for some people to go from sea level to a high altitude without feeling the lack of oxygen.

 I remember going to a concert when I was in college, and the lead singer had to keep stopping to put on an oxygen mask! Here is an article about high altitudes, exercise and pregnancy:


SEE ALSO: STRANGE EARLY PREGNANCY SYMPTOMS (getpregnantover40.com)

From the article:

The ACOG (American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology) suggests that pregnant women new to exercise keep their exercising heart rate under 140 bpm (beats per minute); those who were avid exercisers prior to becoming pregnant should stay below 160 bpm (1). A woman who is pregnant is also advised to modify the duration of exercise, pay very close attention to how she feels and how the baby is responding to exertion, stay well hydrated, and avoid hyperthermia.

Due to the body’s natural tendency to work harder at higher altitude (including higher heart rates), the factors that most affect whether a woman will feel comfortable at altitude include rate of ascent, exercise pace, terrain, and how far along the woman is. In general, past the first trimester (when risk of ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage is highest) and before the 3rd trimester (when risk of early pregnancy and complications could occur) (2) if the pregnant woman is feeling good, short stays at altitude should not have significant impact on the fetus or on the woman’s health. When in doubt, however, consult your physician. Also consider where you will be staying at altitude; a woman planning to stay near Boulder, Colorado will have a different response to potential risks than one visiting family in the Swiss Alps or another who had originally planned to trek in Nepal, far away from her medical advisors, should anything go wrong mid-pregnancy.

According to both the Center for Disease Control and David Shlim (1997) at http://www.ciwec-clinic.com/altitude/alti4.html , “there are no reported cases of high altitude exerting a negative outcome on pregnancy in a trekker or climber. Oxygen saturation is fairly well maintained up to an altitude of 10,000-12,000 feet…Because of the rapid drop-off in oxygenation above 12,000 feet (3,658 m) or so, we generally recommend that pregnant women avoid exposures above that height. However, there are numerous anecdotal stories of women who have traveled higher while pregnant and who gave birth to normal children.

www.bodyresults.com

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