Category: Maternity

Moms Using Hypnobirth to Avoid Drugs and Pain During Childbirth

Posted on Jun 23, 2014 by 1 Comment

Can childbirth really be a pain- and drug-free experience? For those who have tried hypnobirthing, the answer is yes.

Hypnobirthing allows women to give birth calmly and in many cases without pain or drugs. It removes the drama often associated with getting to the hospital, and eliminates things like screaming and yelling. Instead, it transforms giving birth into a quiet, loving experience.

When it comes to hypnosis, if you think of someone waving a pocket watch in front of your face telling you “you’re getting sleepy” you’re not alone, but the techniques used during hypnobirthing are nothing like that.

It’s not like moms-to-be are under a spell. Instead, couples are taught techniques of hypnosis to help them relax and focus. It’s not a form of sleep or something you won’t remember. Couples are focused and fully aware of what is happening.

How does it work? Couples learn hypnosis techniques in class and practice them at home. These hypnobirthing techniques help couples release endorphins (the hormones that allow us to experience pleasure) and to block catecholamines which are hormones released when a person is under physical or emotional stress.

When the body goes into labor, these catecholamines naturally kick in as the mind alerts the body of a life-threatening situation. Blocking the catecholamines allows women to relax and stay calm during the birthing process, and the endorphins work as natural pain killers.

When the time comes to give birth, hypnobirthing is not always 100 percent pain free, but many mothers using this technique say they feel pressure but no pain. They are able to go through the delivery without the use of drugs, and deliveries are often quick, too.

For people who don’t want to put chemicals in their bodies and who want to take a more natural approach to having a baby, hypnobirthing offers ‘training’ to help control or eliminate the pain. It uses visual imagery and other techniques to help keep the body completely relaxed during labor.

To find a practitioner near you, check the hypnobirthing website.

Photo credits: salimfadhley, Amazon

Fertility Specialists Are Learning to Conserve Mom’s Energy

Posted on Jun 11, 2014 by No Comments

I can remember when the first “test tube” baby was born and how amazing that was. When you compare how things were then to how they are done now it blows your mind. New research and technology in fertility just continues to make it more likely that most people who want to give birth can do so.

The one downside of it has been multiple births. I say downside because most women do not want to take on four or five or six babies at the same time.

In fact, I know a couple of moms with twins and their lives are exhausting for awhile — like about eighteen years. Twins also have higher rates of prematurity, health problems, and complications for both mom and babies.

The reason for the multiple births is that doctors are never sure how successfully an embryo will implant so they use several. Normally most of them will fail and at least one will succeed in the implantation process. With medical advances being what they are, someone who is going through in vitro fertilization will almost always have twins at least.

Doctors are now trying to rein those numbers back and give more women the satisfaction of a “normal” pregnancy resulting in just one baby. They have backed off from using multiple embryos and use just the most viable looking one.

Once again, Europeans are way ahead of Americans. They already practice the one embryo at a time approach.

It makes sense to me. I understand the reason for using several at a time but I have issues with it morally and ethically. Doctors say they will still use several embryos on older women since the chance for success is much lower. Hopefully in the near future new moms who have gone through IVF will have fewer babies and more energy.

That’s got to be a good thing.

source: USA Today

photo credit: Klifton via photopin cc

Snow White and Prince Charming Welcome a Son

Posted on Jun 4, 2014 by No Comments

Last October, I was excited to hear that Ginnifer Goodwin and Josh Dallas were engaged. A month later, the couple announced they were having a baby.

If you don’t recognize the names, the couple plays Snow White and Prince Charming in the ABC hit Once Upon a Time. So the news gave me that nostalgic happily ever after feel. And I do hope it is happily ever after now that they have welcomed their first child into the world on May 29. It’s a prince…I mean a boy.

What about the wedding? Instead of big, glamorous extravaganza fit for a princess, they chose a quiet, private ceremony shared with about 30 close friends and family members in Venice, California. Ginnifer wore a custom-designed Monique Lhuillier gown and her childhood Rabbi performed the ceremony. Music accompaniment was provided by a Spanish guitar player.

Ginnifer Goodwin and Jimmy Kimmel
Ginnifer appeared on the Jimmy Kimmel show and talked about the wedding. “We’re both Southern and I was literally barefoot and pregnant at our wedding.” Kimmel followed up by asking why she was barefoot, and she said, “I was afraid I’d fall over. I don’t know what I was thinking.” But overall she said, “It was the most stress-free, relaxing, beautiful day.”

She discussed naming the baby and said that while Josh Dallas is an awesome, strong name, she found naming a child with the last name of Dallas was a bit tricky because if you weren’t careful it could sound like an airport…like Austin Dallas. As of right now, they haven’t released the baby’s name but it will be interesting to see what they came up with.

Ginnifer was an upbeat and fun guest, and while they didn’t talk about weight gain or any of that, the 8-months-pregnant star appeared much larger than her normally petite self. Instead of approaching it from a negative perspective, she asked if she was the “most pregnant” guest he’d ever had. He thought for a moment and said, “Nope. Octomom.”

I wish them all the best!

Photo credits:, Jimmy Kimmel Live

Pregnancy Increases Risk of Motor Vehicle Accidents

Posted on Jun 2, 2014 by No Comments

I’m short, and when I was pregnant with my second child I had to give up driving when my belly made it impossible to reach the clutch and gas pedal safely. According to a recent study, that may have actually helped to keep me safe!

The study published in CMAJ shows pregnant women were 42 percent more likely to be involved in an accident that sent them to the emergency room compared to when they weren’t pregnant. What does one have to do with the other?

According to Dr. Donald Redelmeier, the study’s lead author from the University of Toronto, “A normal pregnancy is usually accompanied by a lot of fatigue, nausea, mood fluctuations, anxieties and distractions which may all contribute to distracted driving.” The study also suggests that women are at increased risk for serious injury during a motor vehicle accident during their second trimester of pregnancy.

For this study, they looked at data on all adult women who gave birth in the Canadian province of Ontario from April 2006 to March 2011. During that time more than half a million women gave birth and were responsible for about 8,000 crashes during that time.

Dr. Redelmeier is an internist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, and he became curious about the risk of vehicle crashes during pregnancy, because pregnant patients often asked about dangers related to other activities like riding a rollercoaster.

He said that none of the women ever asked about road safety even though it is a larger risk to both the mother and child. He and his colleagues analyzed the data available and compared crash rates before and after pregnancy to see if there was a difference.

The findings showed that the rate of accidents was around 4.6 crashes per 1,000 women before pregnancy, but the number rose to 7.7 crashes per 1,000 women during their second trimester. This increase existed regardless of background and demographics and didn’t seem to be affected if the women already had other children.

While they can’t say absolutely why the risk of car accidents increases during the second trimester, Redelmeier thinks it may have to do with the symptoms that result from wide hormonal fluctuations.

Photo credits: Erik Starck

Link Roundup: Healthy Treats, Coloring Pages, Playroom Mural, and More

Posted on May 27, 2014 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has healthy treats, coloring pages, a playroom mural how-to, and more.

Chocolate Covered Katie showed us how to give Entenmann’s chocolate covered mini donuts a healthy makeover.

About a Mom showed us where we can get Maleficent coloring pages.

Echoes of Laughter shared five tips for creating a beautiful outdoor space.

link roundup playroom animals
Kenarry showed us how to make a castle playground woodland mural.

Create Craft Love showed us how to make Jello Play-doh.

Spot of Tea Designs showed us a cute transportation-themed baby boy shower.

My Life of Travels and Adventures shared a list of simple toddler meals.

Photo credit: Chocolate Covered Katie and Kenarry

This Pregnancy Belt Is Super Cool

Posted on May 19, 2014 by 1 Comment

One of the things I enjoyed the most about being pregnant was feeling the baby kick and move in my ever expanding belly. From those first butterfly flutters to the wince-inducing body slams in the last few weeks, I was fascinated by the feeling. I always felt kind of sorry for dads because they didn’t get to experience it.

Well, soon maybe they can.

Huggies has had a belt created that, when strapped on to both the mother and the father, allows the father to feel all of those little wiggles and rolls.

It is made up of two different bands. The one worn by the mom has electronic sensors that record the baby’s movements. The signals for the movements are wirelessly transmitted to the band that the dad wears. He also has LED lights in his belt which create visual patterns and technology that allows the father to feel those kicks as they happen.

Huggies diapers had the belt created in Latin America in order to create a new video greeting card. It is obvious that the fathers experience the physical sensation as well as that sense of overwhelming awe and wave of emotion that hits you the first time you feel a kick.

Kimberly Clark, parent company of Huggies, had the belt made just for the video and does not plan on selling the belt but you never know, maybe someone will at some point.

I think that it is cool but, even more importantly, I think that it can help dads-to-be bond a little more easily to their baby before birth. Now that’s awesome!

photo credit: harinaivoteza via photopin cc

Rare Twin Girls Born Holding Hands

Posted on May 15, 2014 by No Comments

When I heard that a rare set of twins were born holding hands and breathing on their own, I wondered if the hand-holding was the reason they were rare. That wasn’t it. That unusual gesture just made them all the more special.

What makes twin sisters, Jillian and Jenna Thistlethwaite’s birth unusual is that they shared the same amniotic sac and placenta. This condition is known as a monoamniotic or mono-mono birth and only happens about once in 10,000 pregnancies.

Monoamnionic babies run the risk of getting entangled in each other’s umbilical cords which can lead to a cut off of blood to one twin. This causes death in 10 to 70 percent of pregnancies. As a result, the at-risk pregnancy landed their 32-year-old mom, Sarah, in the Akron General Medical Center in Akron for monitoring for 56 days before the babies arrived.

The day the babies were born, she allowed news cameras into the delivery room. To everyone’s surprise, when the twins were lifted for the Mom and Dad to see, they were holding hands. Jillian was breathing on her own, and after a little help, Jenna was doing the same just in time for Mother’s Day.

Jenna weighed in at 4 pounds, 2 ounces and was 17 inches long. She is older than her sister by 48 seconds. Jillian weighed 3 pounds, 13 ounces and is 17.5 inches long.

Sarah Thistlethwaite told WEWS News Channel 15, “They’re already best friends.” The identical twins will join their 15-month-old brother when they go home. After almost two months in the hospital, Sarah admitted she couldn’t have had a better Mother’s Day present.

With all this attention and talk about how rare a mono mono birth is, would you believe there is another woman in the same hospital expecting mono-mono baby girls? That 24-year-old mom has been in the hospital for a month as she awaits the arrival of her daughters.

Photo credits: WEWS NewsChannel5

Diet During Pregnancy Can Alter Baby’s DNA

Posted on May 6, 2014 by 2 Comments

We all know that eating healthy during pregnancy is important, and that how we eat during those nine months can have an effect on our child’s long-term health. But now a report issued by scientists at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine links what a mom is eating before she conceives and at the time of conception to altering a baby’s genes permanently.

The study was published in Nature Communications and is the first such study to connect environmental factors during the first few days of development and long-term changes in DNA. The research did not study how these genetic changes influence overall fetal development or the baby’s health later in life. Instead, research studied the umbilical cord tissue from 237 individuals and analyzed six genes and their interaction between prenatal environment.

The findings of this research, along with evidence gathered through other studies which have shown similar types of genetic changes, may be used in the future to determine a child’s risk for some diseases including autism, diabetes, and mental disorders.

I had actually seen a man talking on one of the morning talk shows about how we may be able to insert a gene to correct some of these issues in the future. I’m not really in favor of inserting foreign genes into a child…at least not at the moment. It smells too much like genetic engineering.

This study isn’t talking about doing that. It’s just looking at the building blocks of genes and whether they are turned on or off in the earliest stages of pregnancy. According to the findings of this study, how moms ate during these early stages made a difference in the micronutrients in the blood stream.

While the research teams couldn’t pinpoint which micronutrients were most important, they did find that when several of these nutrients, including vitamin B2 were lower, the six genes being looked at had less methylation.

Why is this important? DNA methylation is vital to healthy growth and development. It plays a role in genomic imprinting, carcinogenesis and the inhibition of repetitive elements. It also enables the expression of potentially dangerous sequences of DNA to be suppressed.

Now as a mom of a child who has learning challenges, it makes me wonder if I could have done something differently. But as soon as I thought it, I let it go. The past is the past, and I can’t change that. However, for all those out there thinking of getting pregnant, instead of thinking of eating for two, think about eating for the one who is developing! It may make a life-long difference.

Photo credits: Wikipedia

“Mix-up” Not a Word You Want to Hear When Pregnant

Posted on Apr 23, 2014 by 1 Comment

Another “mix-up” has occurred involving fertility treatments. I can’t imagine going through all those treatments involve, and then the roller coaster of emotions when you find out you’re finally expecting, only to be told the baby is someone else’s.

Right now there is a woman in Rome who is in the headlines for just such a mix-up. She is pregnant with twins but learned the embryos implanted in her are not those of her and her partner. The mistake is said to be the result of the fact that four couples received treatment that day.

The woman learned of the error when she was three months pregnant and told there was “genetic incompatibility” between the babies and the parents. Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time this has happened.

In 2009 an Ohio woman implanted with the wrong embryos chose to carry the baby to term rather than to terminate the pregnancy. She gave birth to a healthy baby boy and handed him over to his biological parents. In another in-vitro mix up, a San Francisco woman pregnant with another couple’s embryos didn’t learn of the mix-up until 10 months after the baby was born. When the biological father learned he had a son, he sued for custody and was granted shared custody.

The first story I remember about such a mix-up was about a white Staten Island couple who gave birth to a black baby. At the time, the court ruled that the biological parents were granted full custody. That happened back in 1999. Mix-ups don’t seem happen often but when they do, the consequences are far reaching.

Everyone wishes they never happened and part of me wonders if they happen more than we know. But beyond that conjecture, I hope those doing this important procedure learn from such mistakes and put policies in place to makes sure whatever went wrong isn’t repeated.

Photo credits: Saravanan Lakshmanan

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