Archives for January 2008

Folic Acid can help prevent premature births

Doctors have long recomended taking folic acid supplements taken for a year before pregnancy, to reduce the risk of certain birth defects. But now a new study shows an additional benefit: folic acid can cut the risk of premature births by 70% and save thousands of lives, say researchers.

One in three babies born under 28 weeks die, and others face lifelong disability.

Pretty Me Maternity

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A friend of mine has a new maternity website featuring stylish, comfortable clothes that won’t have you feeling like your new figure is on display. It’s called Pretty Me Maternity, and in their own words: “It took too many hours at too many stores to find something we felt comfortable wearing to a PTA meeting. So we decided to cull the best that all your favorite brands have to offer and bring it to you here!”

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Cozy sweaters, pretty skirts, and jackets and dresses for special occasions!

There are worse things than pregnancy

I haven’t been keeping tabs on what goes on in Iowa lately, but this little commentary caught my attention. It’s titled, “There are worse things than pregnancy” and hey, it’s a short entry so I’ll just cut and paste it here for you:

It’s ironic that Christie Vilsack’s inspiration for her work with the newly formed Iowa Initiative to Reduce Unintended Pregnancies is the biological mother of her husband, former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack.

(Ha, that IS ironic!)

If Christie Vilsack and the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation had existed when Tom Vilsack was conceived, he would not have been born. And look how poorly he turned out.

The worst thing we can teach our sons and daughters is that the only side effect of sex outside of marriage is pregnancy. Whose foundation will follow up with funding to teach our children about sexually transmitted diseases, cervical cancer, genital warts and sterility caused by promiscuous sex?

Jessica Tate’s Virtual Pregnancy: A lesson in “normal”

Midwives-in-training now have a new way to learn about pregnancy and childbirth.  Instead of practicing on live patients, the BBC reports on a new computer program designed to give students the chance to practice examinations and diagnosis. Using graphics, video and sound, midwifery students are taken on an imaginary journey through the pregnancy of Jessica Tate – from its earliest stages, to early labour.

The program has been running at Swansea University since 2004, and has won a top award. Presenteres of the award say they’d like to see the program used at other universities as well.

Creators of the program wanted students to become familiar with a normal pregnancy and normal birth… with minimum intervention. So Jessica’s experience is pretty “normal”, with small problems cropping up to “challenge” the students.

Susanne Darra, one of the program’s authors, says, “There is a big issue in the western world with ‘problem’ births and it doesn’t have to be like this. We have a strong trend to alert people to problems, but most of the time things turn out fine.”

Lots of veggies during pregnancy can protect your child from asthma and allergies

I read this article suggesting that pregnant women who eat a Mediterranean diet during pregnancy can significantly reduce the risk of asthma and allergies in their children. This is according to researchers from the University of Crete, Greece, who studied 468 mothers and their children from pregnancy until the children were 6½.

A Mediterranean diet typically includes lots of vegetables, fruit, nuts and fish. It rarely includes red meat. This type of diet is high in antioxidants, which help keep the body healthy.

The study also found that eating red meat more than 3 or 4 times a week actually increased the risk of asthma and allergies.

Plus-size Pregnancy Support and Info

After posting about Lisa Graves, a woman refused admittance to her neighborhood maternity ward because of her weight, I found this website called Plus-Size-Pregnancy. It is dedicated to providing “Empowering Information for Women of Size (and Women of All Sizes).”

Readers will notice that this website presents a different view on obesity and pregnancy, compared to most websites. “Instead of “gloom and doom” scare tactics and lectures, I prefer to emphasize a positive approach, with realistic looks at the risks but also at the success stories and happy outcomes.” There are articles on Size Acceptance and dieting and ways to make your pregnancy as healthy as possible. There are also tips on finding a “Size Friendly Provider” and Top Ten Hints for a Better Birth. You can also get important info on prenatal testing, epidurals, oversize blood pressure cuffs, alternative medicine, breastfeeding, delivery, cesareans, VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) and postpartum. And of course there are Birth Stories of Big Beautiful Women.

This is a website full of important information and support for obese (and every size) women. Don’t hesitate to check it out! Here’s to an informed, empowered pregnancy for women of all sizes!

A new maternity look: Pregnant cops get roomier uniforms

maternitymos1901_228x513.jpgIt used to be that when a female officers in the UK became pregnant, they were “immediately whisked off ‘operational duties’ to do office work where they could wear their own clothes,” according to the Daily Mail.  Not any more! Now gal cops can get maternity trousers, black pinafore dresses and loose-fitting shirts that expand at the waist as the pregnancy progresses. 

Liz Owsley, of the British Association of Women in Policing says: “More and more women are joining the force and increasingly they don’t want to be pulled off operational duties as soon as they become pregnant… women constables and sergeants don’t necessarily want to stop being with their teams and removing their uniform.”

A pregnant woman in a police uniform… I bet no one tries rubbing HER belly!

Overweight woman turned away from maternity ward

Lisa Graves, a 26 year old Australian mother, is 4 months pregnant and weighs 100 kg (220 lbs). Her local hospital is refusing to admit her due to her weight, instead directing her to another hospital that’s better equipped to deal with complex births.

Ms Graves  says the hospital is discriminating against her. “It’s my local public hospital. I should have access to it.”

But Dr Christine Tippett, president of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, says directing obese pregnant women to high-needs maternity units is in their best interest. “Women who are seriously overweight have to recognise that it is not only a risk to their health but that the pregnancy can be associated with problems, and it is better to go somewhere where there are more people available. It is done with the woman’s best interests in mind and it should not be seen as discrimination at all. It is safe medical practice.”

Obesity can lead to high blood pressure and pregnancy diabetes. Ultrasounds and monitering babies during labor are more difficult. Epidurals are harder to administer, and it is more difficult to operate if an obese woman needs to go to theatre.

For these reasons, as well as other general health matters, and the health of the baby, its important for obese women planning to get pregnant to deal with their weight issue. Get more info here.

Is your kid feeling neglected?

How to tell you’re NOT your mom’s favorite…

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Leaving On a Jet Plane – a tale of flying pregnant

747 takeoffI tried very hard to forget that I was soon going to be on a plane for at least 5 hours while also being 7 months pregnant, but forgetting isn’t as easy as it may seem.

Everywhere I went people would say, “Are you sure it’s safe to fly in your condition?

”Well yes, my condition isn’t as severe as one may think. My doctor assured me that I could fly up to 35 weeks of pregnancy and so off I went…on my little flight adventure.

When I got to the airport, I found myself wondering how flying pregnant would be any different from flying in the past.I soon found out…with each bump in the sky, a second bump of equal strength manifested itself in my belly. I had to literally hold by belly from underneath, so it wouldn’t smack down with a bang.Oh…how fun that was! I was my belly’s own belt!

I also had to get up every hour to use the lavatory…thank god for aisle seating!

Flight attendants became “my friends” over the course of the flight, because I must have pressed that button at least 6 times to ask for more water, juice and soda. I think they secretly plotted to throw me off the aircraft. But luckily, the flight was over before they could put their plan into action.

I have never been so thrilled to touch ground before.

The moral of the story is…wear something that supports your pregnant belly, make sure you drink lots of fluids, but don’t forget to ask with a smile, and definitely get yourself an aisle seat!

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