Posts Tagged ‘before pregnancy’

Do you have your measles vaccination?

Monday, August 18th, 2014

vaccinationMeasles is a disease that is easily spread and causes rash, cough and fever. In some cases, it can lead to diarrhea, ear infection, pneumonia, brain damage or even death. Measles spreads through the air by breathing, coughing or sneezing. It is so contagious that any child who is exposed to it and is not immune will most likely get the disease. Measles can cause serious health problems in young children. It also can be especially harmful to pregnant women and can cause miscarriage or premature birth.

This year the U.S. is experiencing a record number of measles cases. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that between January 1 and August 1, 2014, there have been 593 confirmed measles cases reported. This is the highest number of cases since the U.S. declared that measles was eliminated from this country in 2000.

The majority of the people who get measles are unvaccinated. Children under 5 and adults over 20 are at higher risk for getting complications from the measles virus, including hospitalization and death.

The measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine protects against the measles disease, as well as the mumps and rubella diseases. Your baby gets the MMR vaccine in two doses: the first between 12 and 15 months, and the second between 4 and 6 years.

If you’re thinking about getting pregnant, make sure you’re protected against measles. If you need to get vaccinated, get the MMR vaccine before pregnancy. Wait at least 1 month before trying to get pregnant after getting the shot. The MMR vaccine is not recommended if you are already pregnant.

To read more about vaccines before, during and after pregnancy, click here.

If you have further questions on measles or vaccines, feel free to email us at AskUs@marchofdimes.org.

Click here to read more News Moms Need blog posts on: pregnancy, pre-pregnancy, infant and child care, help for your child with delays or disabilities, and other hot topics.

Planning a family?

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

Are you pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant? Do you have friends who are planning a family? Watch and share our Get Ready for Pregnancy video, with Dr. Siobhan Dolan, to learn some tips that you can follow before becoming pregnant. We want to help you have a healthy, full-term baby.

 

We are proud to be partners in the Show Your Love national campaign designed to improve the health of women and babies by promoting preconception health and healthcare.

Before Pregnancy site

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

We have written about many topics related to preconception health.   You can find articles from being ready emotionally, physically, or financially, to finding a good vitamin, getting fit, signs of pregnancy, fertility treatments, pregnancy after a premature birth, etc.

Recently, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) created a web page for women thinking about starting a family.  Before Pregnancy  is a page on the CDC Pregnancy site that talks about planning and preventing problems and it gives 5 tips to get ready for a healthy pregnancy.  You might want to check it out.

New guidelines for weight gain during pregnancy

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

pregnant-woman-on-weight-scale-shrunkIf you’re an expecting mommy or a woman trying to get pregnant, listen up. The Institutes of Medicine (IOM) released a report today with new recommendations for how much weight a woman should gain during pregnancy, including how much weight they should gain week by week.

The authors of the report stressed how important it was for women to get to a healthy weight BEFORE getting pregnant. That’s because women who are overweight or obese before pregnancy face greater health risks to herself and her baby during pregnancy. For women who are overweight or obese and already pregnant, the authors recommend that women, working with their health providers, carefully monitor their weight gain so that both mom and baby have a greater chance of staying healthy.

The pregnancy weight gain recommendations are as follows:

BMI* Before Pregnancy

Total Weight Gain During Pregnancy

Weight Gain Week by Week** in 2nd and 3rd Trimester

Underweight (BMI less than 18.5)

28-40 pounds

1 pound

Normal weight (BMI is 18.5-24.9)

25-35 pounds

1 pound

Overweight (BMI is 25.0-29.9)

15-25 pounds

½ pound

Obese (BMI is greater than 30.0)

11-20 pounds

½ pound

Use this calculator to find out your BMI
**  These figures assume a 1st trimester weight gain between 1-4½ pounds

Remember, all women need to make sure they eat a healthy, well-balanced diet and get their folic acid, both BEFORE and DURING pregnancy. With your health provider’s OK, most pregnant women should try to get 30 minutes of aerobic exercise on most, if not all, days.

Check out ChooseMyPlate, an online tool from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It can help you plan a healthy diet based on your age, weight, height and physical activity. There’s even a special section for pregnant and breastfeeding moms.

Managing weight for baby’s sake

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

scaleYou might remember me writing about my best friend and her new baby, Milana. I can’t get over how cute Milana is!!! Now that she’s 4 months old and doing fine, my best friend is ready to hit the gym and lose the weight she gained during pregnancy. I’m hitting the gym, too – not to lose any baby weight, but rather to stay at a healthy weight for the baby I’ll have someday.

I know all about the benefits of being at a healthy weight, such as reduced risk of diabetes, heart disease and more. But I was fascinated to learn that being at a healthy weight has a major impact on the health of your baby, even before pregnancy.

USA Today recently featured an article about a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study reviewed research that showed babies born to overweight, obese moms were more likely to face special health risks. Some of these risks include birth defects (spina bifida, cleft palate, heart defects), being born prematurely or being born too large (macrosomia).

Since you can’t diet once you’re pregnant (because you risk limiting nutrients your baby needs to grow), it’s very important to eat healthy and manage weight before getting pregnant. Not only will I have a better chance of having a healthy pregnancy someday, my future baby will also have a better chance of being born healthy.

Ladies – keep on taking those vitamins!

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

You may have seen recent news coverage about a study showing that daily multivitamins may not help prevent cancer or heart disease. But that doesn’t mean you should stop taking your multivitamins. That’s because most multivitamins have folic acid, and folic acid is known to help prevent birth defects of the brain and spinal cord when taken before the end of early pregnancy. The trouble is that most women may not even know they’re pregnant at the time when folic acid is most beneficial at preventing birth defects. That’s why it’s important that women take multivitamins before getting pregnant.

When shopping for a multivitamin, make sure it has at least 400 micrograms of folic acid. Once you know you’re pregnant, your health provider will give you prenatal vitamins, which have the amount of folic acid you need.

9 questions to ask your provider before you get pregnant

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

There are things you can do, before you get pregnant, to help give your baby a better chance of a healthy and full-term birth. See your health care provider before pregnancy and ask about the following topics.

What do I need to know about…

1. Diabetes, high blood pressure, infections or other health problems?
2. Medicines or home remedies?
3. Taking a multivitamin pill with folic acid in it each day?
4. Getting to a healthy weight before pregnancy?
5. Smoking, drinking alcohol and taking illegal drugs?
6. Unsafe chemicals or other things I should stay away from at home or at work?
7. Taking care of myself and lowering my stress?
8. How long to wait between pregnancies?
9. My family history, including premature birth?

Diabetes and birth defects

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

While more of our country’s people are becoming overweight, diabetes is quickly becoming a major health problem. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently did a study about how diabetes can affect an unborn baby’s health.  It showed that a woman who has type 1 or type 2 diabetes before pregnancy is four times more likely to have a baby with a birth defect than are other moms.

Women need to be extra careful of diabetes.  It’s important to keep a healthy lifestyle by exercising and eating a well-balanced diet.  If you are currently overweight and are thinking about getting pregnant, you may want to try losing some weight beforehand.  This will help lower your chances of having health problems that can affect you and your baby.

Keep an eye on your health by having regular checkups with your health provider. Also, be sure to schedule a preconception visit when you’re thinking about pregnancy.

Remember – having a healthy baby begins before pregnancy.  The healthier you are, the healthier your baby will be.

Smoking can hurt your baby’s heart

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

Smoking early in pregnancy can increase the risk of heart defects in your baby. This is what the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found in a recent study. The more the woman smokes, the greater the risk.

For more information and to get help for quitting, see the March of Dimes article on smoking. To learn about heart defects, read the March of Dimes fact sheet.