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 … Continue reading

The Truth About Your Diet During Pregnancy

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

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

Should You Create A Birth Plan?

Should you create a birth plan?  It can be a helpful tool for making your wishes known both to your healthcare provider and the labor & delivery staff, but it also seems a little silly to plan something like one’s labor: after all, if we could control it, we would all have easy births. When I first heard about birth plans, I decided that they weren’t for me.  I’m a very Type A person; I get stressed if even my silliest of plans get messed up, if they’re ones I’m excited about.  Trying to plan my baby’s birth, and everything … Continue reading