March 2010

Inducing Labor and the Risks

Inducing labor carries many possible risks. Learn what the risks are, what they may mean for you and if inducing labor is the right choice for you. Keep in mind that those of you out there that are expecting to have a vaginal birth after c-section (VBAC), inducing labor should not be an option for you at all unless continuing the pregnancy will cause you or the baby harm and even then another c-section may be the safer route. Your doctor or midwife should discuss this with you as there are already risk factors involved opting for a VBAC.

The Episiotomy

An episiotomy is a surgical incision made between the vagina and rectum. It is done while in the labor process to create a larger opening for the baby to be delivered. Not all women require an episiotomy and for the most part, the decision for your doctor or midwife to perform one is your choice. However, there are situations where it is absolutely necessary or in your best interest to do so. I know it sounds a little scary, but the more you know about it and what to expect, the better decision you can make before it comes down to it.

Preeclampsia:What You Need to Know

Preeclampsia, also known as toxemia, is a very serious condition during pregnancy. At each prenatal visit, your doctor or midwife will take your blood pressure and any high readings will lead to more testing. Preeclampsia is a condition in pregnant women resulting from high blood pressure, swelling in the hands and face and upon testing, protein in the urine. It is important to know the warning signs and catch it as early as possible for treatment as it can be dangerous for mom and the developing fetus.

Avoiding the Baby Blues with Siblings

Adding another addition to the family is such a fun and exciting time for everyone. You, as mommy to be again, can relax more for the pregnancy since you know what to expect for the most part. From your first born, you may already have most of the big ticket items stored away so even nesting will be a breeze. But in all the commotion of the new baby’s arrival, don’t forget about your first love, your first born. This can be a difficult time for them and how you handle the pregnancy and your time after the baby is born, will determine just how well they will cope with their new sibling.

Prenatal Screening for Down Syndrome

While you are pregnant there are numerous tests that you must undergo to make sure that your baby is developing normally and your health is in check. A common test or screening that you will be asked to do is for Down Syndrome. The screening is simple and is normally scheduled to be done sometime between your 15th and 20th week of pregnancy. While the screening tests are not a means of giving a definite diagnosis of Down Syndrome, it will tell you how high the risk is for your baby.

Birthing Classes

Birthing classes have come a long way over the years. There are so many different birthing options for women that finding the right class for you might be daunting. Classes are no longer just about effective breathing methods and how to care for your newborn. Now you can chose classes on birthing at home, water birthing, birthing without pain medication and the list goes on and on. Before you sign up for the first class you see make sure it’s the right one for you.

Another Great Group: Gastroschisis

Finding support groups for rare birth defects is very difficult. I unfortunately know this from experience. Just six short years ago I got pregnant with my first child. Everyone was so excited including me, especially when it came time for the first ultrasound at about three months. Anxiously, I looked at the screen while the tech glided the wand over my growing belly. I waited for him to begin telling me that every little part of my child looked perfect, one body part and organ at a time. But when he stayed completely silent until the moment he announced that he needed to go get a second opinion, my heart sank and the tears couldn’t be fought back. My daughter had gastroschisis. Her intestines were on the outside of her little developing body from a hole in her abdomen.

Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association

Wouldn't it be nice to have one place that moms could go to and find the perfect doula, lactation consultant and childbirth educators all in one place? Now you can and I have found them on Facebook. The next page/group that I have found to have great worth for parents to be and even seasoned parents is CAPPA (the Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association). They are very informative on many different spectrums of the pregnancy and parenting world. Once you’re a fan, you’ll be hooked just simply by their news feed. Every day they send words of inspiration that are not only uplifting, but force you to reflect on all the heartfelt memories that have been created along your parenting path.

No Bottles, Please! I'm a Breastfed Baby!

Once you have made the decision to breastfeed your baby, you should know or at least be learning all the dos and don’ts that go along with it. A huge don’t is to introduce your newborn to bottles or binkies for the first four weeks minimum. You want to avoid these foreign nipples to prevent nipple confusion. This can make breastfeeding your new baby very difficult or for some, impossible. The baby may even end up preferring the bottle over your breast. It is very important to establish good nursing practices early on to better your chances of sticking with it. Nursing your baby isn’t just great for your child, but also has many health benefits for you too (I’ll post about that later).