Posts Tagged ‘early’

Making the best of bedrest

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

knit-scarvesSometimes a health provider tells a pregnant women to stay in bed because she is having spotting, early contractions or other signs of preterm labor.

Both mom and the provider want to do everything they can to help get the baby to term.

But let’s face it, bedrest can be BORING! Women knit, catch up on their reading, watch a lot of TV, or visit online communities like Share Your Story from the March of Dimes and Sidelines.

Some women get very anxious when they’re on bedrest. They worry about everything they feel in their bodies. And with so much time on their hands, their thoughts race.

A small new study has found that music may relieve anxiety. In the study, women on bedrest chose from a selection of slow, soothing music provided by the researchers. Anxiety levels in women who received “music therapy” decreased.

This study reminds us that sometimes medical research confirms what we already suspect. So if you are on bedrest or if you know someone who is, play some restful slow music. It might help.

Scheduled c-section: May not be good for your baby

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

More and more women are having scheduled deliveries these days. It may be convenient for the mom and the doc. But if the delivery is too early, the baby could have problems.

Babies delivered by c-section before 39 weeks are at increased risk of breathing problems, infection, and admission to an intensive care unit. These were the findings of a new study published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine. Researchers looked at “elective” c-sections; that means there was no medical reason to deliver the baby early.

As you think about your delivery, remember it’s best if babies are born full-term, not early. For more info, read Cesarean Section by Request on our Web site.

The last weeks of pregnancy really count: Here’s why

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

Scientists have known for a long time that premature birth can lead to problems with a baby’s brain development.

A research team, led by Dr. Joann Petrini of the March of Dimes, has learned that early birth increases the risk of cerebral palsy, developmental delays and mental retardation. The surprising finding is that this risk is true even for babies born as late as 34-36 weeks. The researchers published their study today in The Journal of Pediatrics.

A full-term pregnancy is 39 weeks. But more and more births are being scheduled early for non-medical reasons. Wouldn’t it be nice if the baby could be born when Grandma is in town? Or before the obstetrician goes on vacation?

But early births can cause problems for both mom and baby. If possible, it’s best to stay pregnant for at least 39 weeks.

There are lots of important things happening to your baby in the last few weeks of pregnancy. If you can, give your baby all the time he needs to grow before he’s born.

Those last weeks of pregnancy are hard. You’re tired, you’re not sleeping, you ache. It seems as if you’ve gained a million pounds. As my sister used to say with a long sigh, “I can’t see my feet any more.” But staying pregnant until 39 weeks matters: for you and for your baby.

The March of Dimes Web site has a helpful drawing, showing the difference between the brains of babies born at 35 and 39 weeks. Take a look. And tell us what you do to make those last hard weeks of pregnancy a little easier.