Giving Birth After Age 33 Relates to Longevity

A new study determined that women who give birth after age 33 had twice the odds of having a longer lifespan than women who did not do so. This doesn’t necessarily mean you should consider having a baby (or another baby) after age 33 in an effort to increase your lifespan. The reality is a bit more complex than that. Researchers at Boston University, Boston Medical Center (and elsewhere) conducted a study about aging. They looked at information that was gathered in a previous study that was called the Long Life Family Study. In other words, this study used previously … Continue reading

Is Natural Safe?

Because I have a midwife, a doula, and took a natural childbirth class, I hear a lot about alternative/natural/herbal methods for childbirth and child-rearing. Some of these go too far for me – the woman teaching my natural childbirth class wasn’t just into delaying vaccinations, she didn’t seem to want to have them done at all, which is not something I want – but a lot of them are appealing. When almost every medication, painkiller, supplement, or even cream that I want to put on my face has a warning about “check with your healthcare provider before use if pregnant/breastfeeding,” … Continue reading

Dealing with Placenta Previa

I’ve lucked out in having a mostly low risk pregnancy.  I had one minor complication, however, and I want to share my words of encouragement for anyone else experiencing the same thing. After my 20-week ultrasound, I received a call from my midwife telling me that I had a minor placenta previa.  Placenta previa is when the placenta goes over the cervix.  This is a problem because if it remains there during labor, the baby will have to push through the cervix, which can lead to dangerous bleeding both for mother and baby.  If previas are severe enough, caesareans are … Continue reading

Yoga Moves to Relieve Pregnancy Pain

On Monday I shared a list of positions that can help ease pain during labor.  As a follow-up, I thought I’d share some of the moves that I’ve learned in prenatal yoga that can help with some common aches and pains during pregnancy. One of the biggest complaints in pregnancy is pain in the bladder/round ligament reason.  My daughter set up shop on top of my bladder once I was about four months along, and it’s been her favorite spot ever since, much to my discomfort.  I’ve learned a number of moves in class that really help when I’m having … Continue reading

Yoga Positions for Early Labor

The other day my doula visited our home to show us some techniques we’ll use for pain management during early labor.  Our goal is to do as much of the labor at home as possible – we’re more comfortable at home, and thus more likely to be relaxed here – and so these are some moves and positions Jon and I can do to help me get through the pain. If you get a book like The Birth Partner or other books about/that have sections on natural childbirth, these positions might be familiar to you.  I don’t know exactly what they’re … Continue reading

Pregnant: Am I Doing It Right?

During my pregnancy I’ve felt a couple times like I wasn’t “doing it right.”  Not that I wasn’t taking care of my body or baby properly, but that I didn’t care enough, and that meant I wasn’t going to be very good at this whole mothering thing.  I didn’t feel that way in response to serious events, or in the face of friends with children, or anything like that. It started when I was asked “what’s your countdown?”  I had no idea what the person was talking about.  Apparently it meant how many days left until my due date.  I … Continue reading

Late Trimester Test: The Cervical Exam

As your due date approaches, you’ll start getting more and more checks by your doctor.  Your appointment schedule will increase to every two weeks from around week 30, and then every week from around week 37.  In addition to the fetal heartbeat check, you’ll probably have your belly measured as well, and your provider will feel around your stomach to determine the baby’s position.  Some doctors might even do a vaginal exam for this, if they’re having trouble determining where the baby is. You’ll get your group B strep test, and this might also be around the time you’ll start … Continue reading

Fun with the Pregnancy Diet

One of the assumptions I made about pregnancy prior to becoming pregnant is I’d have a diet-related Get out of Jail Free card.  I knew that there are certain foods it’s best to avoid, but I thought at least I’d have a free pass to eat, well, not quite as much as I wanted, but to feel a bit more guilt-free about evening ice cream binges. That turned out not to be the case at all.  First off, the whole “eating for two” thing isn’t true.  At most, you should eat for one and a quarter.  In addition to that, … Continue reading

The Importance of Pregnancy Support Groups

If you’re pregnant and feeling uncertain, or even if you feel great about pregnancy/childbirth, I still have an important recommendation: try to find a support group.  Not necessarily one called “pregnancy support group,” but try to find a group of other veteran, new, or expecting moms to spend time with. The support that’s offered just from spending time with others in the same boat, or who have been through it recently, is invaluable.  A lot of the weird things about pregnancy can be less alarming if you have others to talk about them with, who can say: “oh yes, that … Continue reading

Maternity Care in the U.S.

The recent birth of the royal prince cost $15,000.  That sounds like a lot, right?  It is, but it’s only half the cost of a birth in America.  That’s right: the average price of a birth — in a normal hospital, not a luxury wing — in the U.S. is $30,000.  That makes us, according to an in-depth article by The New York Times, the nation that pays the most for maternity care.  Yet, we also have one of the highest infant mortality rates in the developed world.  It seems like these two things should counter one another, but in … Continue reading