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

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

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

Pregnancy and Last Minute Changes

Yesterday I found out that one of my two midwives left the practice.  Yesterday also happened to mark a calendar month before my due date.  As you might guess, in my hormonal state (and given that I’m also just kind of a worrier anyway), I found this all upsetting. Now that there’s only one midwife, there’s a chance I might have a regular obstetrician deliver my baby, if my midwife isn’t on call when I go into labor.  Not only that, it will be one I won’t know, because all of my prenatal appointments have been with my midwives.  It’s … 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

Why I Have A Doula

We’ve written a little bit before about doulas on the site, but we’ve never been able to share personal experiences with one until now.  Back when I first found out I was pregnant, I wanted a midwife but couldn’t find one.  I thought at least I might be able to find a doula, because that would be better than nothing.  I wanted someone, other than my at-times too logical husband, who would definitely be all on my side during labor. It took me a while, and I actually ended up finding a midwife first, but I was able to find … Continue reading

Switching Doctors: It’s Never Too Late

It’s been said hundreds of times, but it always bears repeating: it’s never too late to switch doctors.  If you don’t feel 100% comfortable with your doctor, you can switch.  It doesn’t matter how early or late into your pregnancy you are, whether you mostly feel all right with your current doctor, if you can’t put your finger on exactly why you don’t feel completely comfortable, or if you’re just curious to see what else is out there.  It’s OK.  Shop around.  Meet with other doctors.  Switch if that’s what, deep inside, you want to do: you’re not being unreasonable … 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