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Tuesday, February 27, 2018


Alcohol In Any Amount Is Not Safe In Pregnancy

Most women know that drinking in pregnancy is a bad idea, but many wonder how much is really a problem.  They think, "could one glass on wine really hurt?"
See also: for more on pregnancy, fertility, and prevention of complications
 According to this article, there is no "safe" amount to drink in pregnancy. Read more:

From the article:
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The results showed that:

Higher prenatal alcohol exposure in every alcohol consumption pattern was significantly linked to an increased risk of the baby being born with reduced birth weight or length, having a smooth philtrum, thin vermillion border or microcephaly.

The most significant links were during the second half of the first trimester.

During this period of gestation, for every increase of one alcoholic drink in the average daily consumption, there was a 25% increase in risk for smooth philtrum, 22% increase in risk for thin vermillion border, 12% for microcephaly, 16% for reduced birth weight, and 18% for reduced birth length.

The authors note that the links "were linear, and there was no evidence of a threshold."

"Women should continue to be advised to abstain from alcohol consumption from conception throughout pregnancy," they add.


Monday, February 26, 2018


If you're a big reader/researcher like I am, and you are trying to conceive or already pregnant over the age over 40 the amount of negative information about birth defects and pregnancy complications can be overwhelming.  The problem with most of these articles is that they do not put things into perspective.  Yes there are more complications for older women, but what we're not told is that the rate of birth defects and complications isn't THAT MUCH greater than younger women.
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This new page on my website explains more:


Saturday, February 24, 2018


Even though I had a totally normal pregnancy, because I was well into m 40's I had a consult with a perinatologist.  Based on his recommendations, I was induced  at 39 weeks.  His reasoning was that older women tend to have "lower quality" placentas because their eggs were older to begin with (although my placenta was fine).  As the pregnancy progresses toward the end, the placenta starts to deteriorate - so older women have a double whammy (i.e. lower quality placenta - failing placenta).

This article talks about induction as an option:

This seems to be the case for first-time mums, according to a review of 80,000 women in England. Gordon Smith of the University of Cambridge and his colleagues found that when women aged 35 or older are induced at 40 weeks, only 0.08 per cent of their babies died. But in women who waited until they gave birth naturally, or who were induced at 41 to 42 weeks, this rose to 0.26 per cent.
This means that, for every 562 women who were induced at 40 weeks, one stillbirth was avoided.

Failing placenta

After a certain point, the longer a pregnancy continues, the more likely it is that a baby will die unexpectedly in the womb – probably because it gets too big to be supported by a deteriorating placenta. By 40 weeks, the placenta is beginning to fail, says Smith.
Birth can be triggered with medicines that open the cervix and bring on contractions, but this tends to make labour longer and more painful. Induction is currently recommended in the UK if a woman has gone overdue by one to two weeks, regardless of her age. 

Thursday, February 22, 2018


Pregnancy and Fluoride

I did drink bottled water when I was pregnant, although sometimes it's hard to know what bottled water has in it and what it doesn't.
 If you are pregnant, this article might be of interest about the possible affects of fluoride on your unborn baby:

From the article:
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First Study to Find Neurological Deficits After Fluoride Exposure

Chinese investigations have shown levels of fluoride in drinking water at levels of 3-11 ppm affect the nervous system without first causing physical malformations. Another Chinese study found Attention Deficit Disorders in adult humans if sublingual drops containing 100 ppm of sodium fluoride were administered. Sources of fluoride exposure include processed beverages, toothpastes, mouth rinses, dietary supplements and food. This is an exposure level potentially relevant to humans because toothpastes contain 1000 to 1500 ppm fluoride and mouthrinses contain 230-900 ppm fluoride.


In the 1995 article appearing in the journal Neurotoxicology and Teratology, Dr. Phyllis J Mullenix states,

"Still unexplored, however, is the possibility that fluoride exposure is linked with subtle brain dysfunction. This is the first study to demonstrate that central nervous system output is vulnerable to fluoride, that the effects on behavior depend on the age at exposure and that fluoride accumulates in brain tissues. Of course behaviors per se do not extrapolate, but a generic behavioral pattern disruption as found in this rat study can be indicative of potential for motor dysfunction, IQ deficits and/or learning disabilities in humans. Substances that accumulate in brain tissue potentiate concerns about neurotoxic risk."


Monday, February 19, 2018


Pregnancy Over 40 and Weight Gain

I guess it seems logical that heavy mothers have bigger babies. However, according to the article below, women with higher BMI (body mass index) do have a higher incidence of larger infants.
See Also: for more information on pregnancy over 40 
There may also be a concern that women who go into a pregnancy with a heavier weight can pass insulin resistence on to their child which could lead to a lifetime of weight problems and obesity. Read more:
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Lead author of "Maternal weight characteristics influence recurrence of fetal macrosomic in women with normal glucose tolerance", Rhona Mahony examines the relationship between maternal weight and recurrence of fetal macrosomia in non-diabetic women delivering a second infant following first macrosomic pregnancy and finds that increased body mass index (BMI) elevated the risk of a recurrent macrosomic pregnancy.

Out of the 111 women who delivered a first macrosomic baby, about one-third gave birth to a second macrosomic infant. These women who had a second large baby were heavier at the start of the pregnancy compared to women without recurring macrosomic babies.

Another factor that increases the risk of recurrent macrosomic pregnancy is excessive maternal weight gain during pregnancy. 

medical news today

Thursday, February 15, 2018


If you're anything like me, after years of infertility, miscarriage and finally the birth of my daughter, you are open to taking help from sometimes the most unlikely of sources.  Yes, I grew up Catholic, so the idea of praying to saints is just something I grew up with.  Although my religious affiliations have changed over the years, I certainly have taken comfort in praying to saints especially for impossible causes.  That is where Saint Rita comes in.  She is known as one of the saints for impossible causes and because of her history is known to be a saint for fertility, and pregnancy.

 Read more about Saint Rita here (
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Saint Rita Prayer

Tuesday, February 13, 2018


Pregnancy Over 40 - Keeping It Secret

I recall being in this dilemma. I was so happy to be pregnant after years of infertility and miscarriage.
See also for more on pregnancy over 40
Then, when you're definitely pregnant, you don't want to tell anyone because of the risk of miscarriage. It's hard to go through that when everyone knows about the pregnancy - so you keep it a secret. This article deals with this dilemma:
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From the article:

Many women like to refrain from going public about their pregnancy until the three-month mark, when the risk of miscarriage is said to significantly reduce and they've had that reassuring first scan, which (hopefully) not only shows them that the baby's ok, but which gives irrefutable evidence that there is, indeed a baby in there, and they're not just imagining it/going crazy/getting fat!

You might choose not to tell family and friends until this point because you don't want them to get too excited until you get this first all-clear.

And you may decide not to tell your work colleagues if you have worries about how you'll be treated once people know that you're pregnant, or even about the safety of your job.

Or perhaps you just don't want people to know yet, because it's a lovely experience for you and your partner to share alone, even just for a little while.

Three whole months of having your own lovely secret, without those well-meaning relatives telling you what you should and shouldn't be eating, drinking, doing or thinking... Bliss!
Hmm, is that woman pregnant or just fat?

Symptoms in the first three months

But then Mother Nature, in her infinite wisdom; (and demonstrating a cracking sense of humour); ensures that if you're going to have pregnancy symptoms, then the ones which are most obvious and difficult to hide (except perhaps for the baby bump itself), will occur during those first three, special months.

Sunday, February 11, 2018


I'll have to admit, there a  many so called myths associated with how we came to this earth and how we procreate and multiply. One of my favorites is how the stork came to symbolize pregnancy and "baby on the way".
Birds have, since ancient times been associated with maternity and childbearing.  Why was the stork chosen?  First it's rather large (big enough to carry a baby), it is white symbolizing purity, and it can fly at high altitudes symbolizing the pathway from the heavens to earth.  Storks' association with babies gained widespread recognition from the Hans Christian Anderson story, "The Storks" where they would bring babies to expectant parents:

From the story:  "I know the pond in which all the little children lie, waiting till the storks come to
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take them to their parents. The prettiest little babies lie there dreaming more sweetly than they will ever dream in the time to come. All parents are glad to have a little child, and children are so pleased with a little brother or sister."

Human births have even been correlated with the number of stork nests!  It's hard to escape the use of storks in popular culture to signify pregnancy, fertility and conception.  Birthmarks on the backs of babies necks are still called "stork bites" and  in German folklore, people are said to leave sweets on their window sill to attract the stork and let them know they are ready for children.

Storks are one of my favorite symbols of fertility and pregnancy.  Like many symbols, they derive their power from your belief in them!

Friday, February 09, 2018


What Is The Best Natural Nutrition For Pregnancy?

By Helena Bingham

We all want to give our babies the best start in life and eating well during pregnancy will do just that. The old myth of eating for two applies more to nutrients not quantity. The trick is to know what you need, why you need it and how to make each mouthful that you do eat really count.
Water, make sure during all of the different stages listed below that you are keeping yourself hydrated with drinking enough water Aim for up to 4 pints per day of mineral water where possible. This will help you keep your skin glowing and elastic, energy levels up and all the important bowels moving!
Nutrition for PreConception
If you are trying to become pregnant there is never a better time to eat well. Imagine planting a seed, you would want it to have the best soil ever and you are the soil for your baby! If you can provide the best home for your new baby then the chances of conception will improve no end. The most
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important nutrient during this time is folic acid; this is needed for the correct cell division and to prevent spina bifida. Along with that you need good supplies of Vitamin C, E, Zinc, Magnesium, Vitamin B3 and B6, and omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.
First Trimester Tips
This stage is crucial to your baby's development and really the most important nutritionally. During the first trimester your baby would have developed all its major organs as well as finger nails, eyebrows and of course it's little beating heart. All of that is made from what you have eaten! Important nutrients are folic acids, B vitamins as well as essential omega oils and zinc. Your body will also need plenty of iron as blood volume increases and the placenta is made.
If you feel sick during this stage make sure you are taking enough vitamin B6, this can really help to relieve sickness. Drinking enough water, taking regular exercise and eating small frequent meals will help too!


Second Trimester Tips
Your baby has already been formed and what it needs now is to grow! This trimester is when the organs start to mature and the bones and teeth start to harden needing calcium, magnesium and vitamin D. Along with these Vitamin A, C, E, Zinc and essential omega oils will continue to nourish the skin (stretch marks), baby and body.
Third Trimester Tips
This is the time that the baby begins to lay down fat stores. Vitamin C is needed for gums, teeth, bones and blood vessels and of course calcium remains necessary for bones too. Can you believe that your baby can hear you now! Baby's brain is growing faster and faster so essential omega oils remain crucial (in fact they always are!).
Eating small regular meals during this time last trimester. You really won't fancy large meals as there isn't room, but regular highly nutritional meals will help you feel energised, healthy and no heavier than you already feel!
Taking some Magnesium Citrate is good for the muscles to contract during labour and it is worth keeping zinc high to help with all the healing that is needed after the birth. Vitamin K is good for blood clotting, and to prevent haemorrhaging.
Post Natal Tips
Repair, need of energy and of course breastfeeding are all important reasons to keep eating well. If you are breastfeeding you still need nutrients for two and lots and lots of water. Vitamin A, C and E and Zinc are particularly important to repair the damaged tissue as is an amino acid called glutamine. Calcium, magnesium, iron and B vitamins will all have been depleted during the birth so getting these replenished and balanced again is very important and will help you to feel better.
Small frequent meals are often the way to go during this stage too as time is of the essence when there is a new baby in the house! Ask visitors to bring a nutritious meal with them when they visit and ask them to wash up and hoover maybe as well!
Why Zinc?
Zinc is an essential trace element and is very important during pregnancy and the post natal period. Unfortunately a lot of zinc is lost during the refining of foods so a supplement more than likely going to be needed.
Zinc is needed for the breakdown of carbohydrates. It is also involved in every area of reproduction and has been known as the most important trace element for any pregnant woman!
Zinc is required for fertility in both the male and female. It is also necessary for the proper formation of elastin chains in connective tissue so vital for the growth of both belly and boobs! It helps the uterus to contract efficiently and the perineum to stretch.
Adequate zinc levels are required for foetal growth and zinc can help prevent premature births, toxaemia and post natal depression. It's worth noting here that positive maternal instinct can depend to some extent on good nutrition. If your body is out of sorts then so will your mind and instinct be.
If you are deficient when breastfeeding then so will your baby be! Babies with low zinc levels are more likely to be restless and cry which won't help your mood if you are struggling! That in itself makes a zinc supplement worthwhile.
Drink water! You will be losing around a pint a day of fluid so you need to replace this! 2 litres per day minimum is needed! Trust me, when you start feeding you'll be grabbing water to drink. Always try and have glasses or bottles dotted around the house at your feeding points so you can drink all the time. It's vital to form milk and of course to give you energy. Keep some good books around the house too at feeding points as you'll be feeding for a while at the beginning!
As well as water and zinc make sure you are getting enough essential oils in your diet. These are still needed for brain development and of course for luscious skin.
Avoid empty calories and remember that whatever you eat so does your baby! Avoid caffeine, alcohol, curries and highly gaseous foods such as garlic, onions and cabbage. Lots of brown rice and vegetables, oily fish (avoid shellfish) and whole foods are a fabulous way to give your baby all it needs.
Is a Vegetarian Diet ok?
No worries here to still get all you need!
Iron stores can stay up with lots of green vegetables, sunflower seeds, peanuts and dried fruits. Molasses, almonds and parsley are also fabulous ways!
As for Vitamin D... walk outside daily!
If you are vegan you may have to get B12 from a supplement; fortified soya milk or yeast extracts.
Nuts and seeds carry essential fats that you both need.
Carbohydrates  whole grains, e.g. rice! Potatoes, beans, pulses, cereals, oats, pasta, dark  leafy  vegetables, root vegetables, fresh fruit
Protein     eggs, tofu, quinoa, tahini, bean sprouts, organic meat, cheese
Essential fats  Flax oil (linseed), hemp seed, avocado, green leafy vegetables, soybeans, walnuts, sunflowers seeds, sesame seeds (tahini), almonds, oily fish
Vitamin A    carrots, sweet potato, squash, watercress, mango, melon, cabbage, dried apricots
B Vitamins  green leafy vegetables, banana, avocado, nuts, watercress, squash, courgette, cabbage, broccoli, fish (sardines, mackerel), mushrooms
Folic Acid    spinach, broccoli, peanuts, sprouts, asparagus, sesame seeds, wheat germ
Vitamin C    broccoli, green peppers, parsley, oranges, watercress, kiwi, lemon
Vitamin E    olive oil, pepper, tahini, nuts & seeds, avocado, sunflower seeds
Vitamin K    Brussel sprouts, seaweeds, blackstrap molasses, lentils, peas, cauliflower, beans, peas
Choline    lecithin, sardines, anchovies, eggs, soya, peanuts
Chromium    brewers yeast, wholemeal bread, rye bread
Iron    tofu, beans & pulses, cabbage, watercress, prunes & dates, dried apricots, blackstrap molasses, pumpkin seeds, parsley, almonds
Magnesium    green leafy vegetables, soya beans, cashew nuts, almonds, banana, prunes, broccoli, Wheatgerm, brewers yeast, buckwheat flour, brazils
Selenium     Molasses, herrings
Zinc    wholegrain rice, lentils, pumpkin seeds, almonds, tofu, ginger root, pecans, and split peas
Most importantly, be happy!
Helena Bingham is the owner of and is a qualified Natural Nutritionist, Yoga Teacher and Mother. She specialises in Natural Pregnancy, Natural Detox and Natural Weight Loss all through Nutrition, natural supportive body techniques and yoga.

Article Source:

Thursday, February 08, 2018


IVF Over 40, Can You Get Pregnant Naturally?

Did you know that the rate of surprise pregnancies in women over the age of 40 is second only to teenagers?  Did you know that quite a few women and couples who undergo fertility treatments (including IVF) conceive naturally afterwards (either after having a child through IVF or after fertility treatments failed)?
I am a living example that a natural pregnancy is possible against seemingly insurmountable odds.
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Fertility treatments left me with only one fallopian tube after I had an ectopic pregnancy and I still managed to conceive after years of infertility, fertility treatments and multiple complications from those treatments.  So, is IVF absolutely necessary if you're over the age of 40?  Well, I think it depends on your physical situation.  If you know that your tubes are blocked, IVF may be the only way around that.  If you fall into the "unexplained" category, the natural route may deserve a chance.

Click Here to Read the Full Article on IVF Over 40 (

Tuesday, February 06, 2018


Pregnancy Over 40, Sleep and Weight Connection

One of my fears about getting pregnant was that I would never lose my "baby" weight.

 I did finally lose it all (and a bonus 2lbs extra), but little did I know the answer to weight loss was right on my pillow. Here is an article about how getting some sleep can help (I know, easier said that done!)


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Researchers presented a conundrum to new mothers on Monday, saying
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that women who want to lose the extra weight gained in pregnancy should try to get more sleep.

They found that mothers who slept five hours or less a day when their babies were six months old were three times more likely than more rested mothers to have kept on the extra weight at one year.

"We've known for some time that sleep deprivation is associated with weight gain and obesity in the general population, but this study shows that getting enough sleep -- even just two hours more -- may be as important as a healthy diet and exercise for new mothers to return to their pre-pregnancy weight," said Erica Gunderson of Kaiser Permanente, which runs hospitals and clinics in California.

Gunderson and colleagues studied 940 women taking part in a study of prenatal and postnatal health at Harvard Medical School in Boston.

The women who slept five hours or less a night when their babies were six months old were more likely to have kept on 11 pounds (5 kg) of weight one year after giving birth, they found.

Women who slept seven hours a night or more lost more weight, they reported in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

excerpted from:

Sunday, February 04, 2018


Wow, now they tell me!  I suffered from horrible "morning" sickness the entire first trimester of my pregnancy.  I often thought that I had the flu or that something was very wrong.  But no, it was "garden variety" morning sickness which happened to last all day.  Now they may have found a connection between a protein found in the placenta and morning sickness.  This could lead to new treatments.  Read more:


A single protein might explain why some women have morning sickness during pregnancy while others come through the initial months without feeling much of anything.
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According to a study done by researchers at the University of Cambridge, women who reported vomiting into their second trimester—when bouts of morning sickness will typically start to diminish—had higher concentrations of a protein called GDF15 in their blood around the start of their second trimester. The study involved about 2,229 women who were seen over eight years at one clinic.
 This research isn’t the first time that GDF15 protein has been linked with pregnancy. A lack of this particular protein has previously been tied to miscarriages. Given that link, the authors of the new paper speculate that high levels of GDF15 could mean the placenta has developed properly (the opposite of what a deficiency indicates). As for why the protein is implicated in morning sickness, the authors theorize that perhaps the protein triggers vomiting during the early stages of pregnancy so women aren’t tempted to eat anything that might hurt the developing fetus.

Thursday, February 01, 2018


Having A Baby Over 40, Do You Remember When You Started Your Period?  It May Affect Child's Height

It never ceases to amaze me how much a child is affected by their mother's genetics and lifestyle. This article talks about how a child's height may be affected by when a mother starts her first period. Read more:

See also: for more on pregnancy, miscarriage and fertility over 35 and 40 

From birth through age 8, the two groups had small but consistent differences in height, weight and
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body mass index (BMI) -- a measure of weight that accounts for height.

By age 8, children of mothers who had early periods were an average of a third of an inch taller and 2 pounds heavier than children whose mothers' periods started late. Their average BMI was also slightly higher, although still within the normal range. (A third of an inch may not sound like much, but as an average in a group of this size it's a significant difference, according to the research team.)

The differences held regardless of sex, race, socioeconomic status, and mother's age and size, the researchers say in the International Journal of Obesity.

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