Study – Smoking During Pregnancy Increases Risk of SUID

A study that was published in the Journal Pediatrics aimed to investigate the effects of maternal pregnancy and smoking, reduction of smoking during pregnancy, and smoking during pregnancy. Their conclusion was that US rates of SUID could be reduced by 22% if no women smoked during pregnancy. SUID stands for sudden unexpected infant death. It is used as a broad term that encompasses all sudden infant deaths. This includes SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), accidental deaths, and sudden natural deaths (from infections, disorders, neurological conditions, and homicides). In the study, the researchers investigated a known factor for SUDS: maternal smoking during … 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

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 … Continue reading

More Fun Pregnancy Symptoms: Leg Cramps

In the middle of the night a few weeks ago I woke up with a terrible pain in my leg.  I cried out about it, and immediately began trying to rub and move my leg.  My more-than-half-asleep husband drowsily watched me do this.  He watched me try to bend my leg, to rub it, to put weight and hobble around the room on it.  When I made it to the bathroom he followed me, and asked me if I thought I was just having Braxton-Hicks.  In my leg.  Now we know that if I go into labor in the middle … Continue reading

Five Weird Pregnancy Symptoms

There are a number of weird, though perfectly normal, side effects to pregnancy that no one tells you about.  You might get all or none of these, and it could vary from one of your pregnancies to another. 1. Bloody Gums.  Early in the second trimester I began noticing a bit more blood than normal when I flossed.  I went to my routine dentist appointment, and the hygienist confirmed that yup, that’s just something that can happen when you’re pregnant.  Chalk this one down to hormones; they’re making your gums (and other parts) more inflamed than usual.  Pregnant women are … Continue reading

Medication and the First Trimester

At the beginning of the week I cautioned against going off medication when you get pregnant.  Now I want to write a follow-up, because it actually is important to know any potential dangers with medicine and the first trimester. As a rule I’ve avoided reading lists of dangers, side effects, and rare pregnancy and birth problems.  They’ll just cause me unnecessary stress, and since pregnant women usually see their doctors at least once a month, I trust mine to keep me informed about anything that will actually/is actually affecting me.  But it is important to know that the first trimester … Continue reading

Most Important Early Pregnancy Advice

Many people might start off their first pregnancy blog with a story: why they decided to have a baby (or not), the story of how they became pregnant, their early thoughts on pregnancy and childbirth.  I might get to all of that, or I might not.  But today I want to share one of the most important things I learned in my first month of pregnancy: do not go off any medication without talking to your doctor first. This might seem silly or obvious, but I cannot stress how important it is.  My whole first trimester might have taken a … Continue reading

Mega Morning Sickness

Kate Middleton’s baby is due to arrive any day now. The royal newborn will make the Duchess and Prince William first-time parents. It’s hard to tell who is more excited about the impending birth—Kate and Wills or the paparazzi. Middleton is said to be counting down the days to motherhood by clothes shopping near her parents’ home. Her retail therapy is a far cry from her hospitalization for severe morning sickness earlier in her pregnancy. Duchess Kate admitted to suffering from an acute form of morning sickness called hyperemesis gravidarum.  The serious-sounding condition can level even the toughest moms-to-be.  Doctors … Continue reading

Ouch – Pregnancy Heartburn

If I had to choose which pregnancy symptom was the most uncomfortable or unpleasant for me, I would say that it was the heartburn. I’m almost getting heartburn right now just thinking about the heartburn that I experienced during both of my pregnancies. Unfortunately, many women experience heartburn during pregnancy. It is one of the most common pregnancy – related discomforts, with just about half of all pregnant women experiencing during one or more of their pregnancies. If you are suddenly feeling the burn, you may be wondering why. There are a couple of reasons why heartburn is so common … Continue reading