Posts Tagged ‘having a baby’

Contractions – is this the real thing?

Friday, August 16th, 2013

contractionsThere are two different kinds of contractions. Braxton-Hicks contractions, also called false labor, prepare your body for labor and delivery. Labor contractions, however, signal the beginning of childbirth. If you’ve never been pregnant before, how do you know which is which?

Towards the end of your pregnancy, you may have regular contractions that don’t immediately lead to changes in your cervix or progress to labor. If you go to the hospital only to find out that you are having false labor, don’t feel bad about it. It’s sometimes hard to know the difference between real and false labor, even if you’ve had a baby before. To tell if labor has begun, your health care provider must examine your cervix.

When you first feel contractions, time them. Write down how much time passes from the start of one contraction to the next. Make a note of how strong the contractions feel. Keep a record of your contractions for an hour. Walk or move around to see whether the contractions stop when you change positions.

You are probably experiencing false labor if:
• The contractions stop when you walk or stop on their own.
• The contractions are irregular.
• The contractions don’t get stronger or closer together over time.
Contact your health care provider right away if you are having contractions that trouble you, especially if they become very painful or if you think you are having preterm labor (labor before the 37th week of pregnancy).

For more information on the difference between Braxton-Hicks and labor contractions, click on this link.  Every pregnant woman also should know about the signs of preterm labor.

Great new pregnancy book

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

Dr. Siobhan Dolan talks about her new pregnancy book, Healthy Mom, Healthy Babies.

Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

bookAre you pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant? Pre-order your copy of Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby brought to you by the March of Dimes! This new book clearly lays out all the must-know information about every stage of your pregnancy, along with research-based advice to help keep you healthy and full of energy.

Get the facts you need from a source you can trust. Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby was written by two amazing women, both moms themselves. Dr. Siobhan Dolan is an Associate Professor in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Women’s Health at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and an attending physician in the Division of Reproductive Genetics at Montefiore Medical Center, the University Hospital for Einstein, in New York City. Co-author Alice Lesch Kelly is an award-winning medical writer and health journalist.

Having a baby is one of nature’s true blessings and miracles. You have many choices before you in this exciting time and the more you know, the more empowered you become!

Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby features:
• A straight-forward “Start Where You Are” approach to maternity
• A month-by-month look at how your baby is growing
• The truth about weight gain and nutrition
• The essential labor checklist

To learn more, read excerpts, watch a video and pre-order your copy, click on this link.

Dads, are you up for the delivery room?

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

delivery dadSome guys seriously can’t handle the delivery room (the sight of blood makes them pass out cold – not so helpful) and that’s OK… but if you’re not too keen on being bedside when your little one arrives, consider the following. Don’t say no without making an informed decision. Sure, this whole birthing thing is scary, but you can be a lot more supportive than you may think.

Attend prenatal care appointments with your partner. Talk with her provider and nurses to understand a typical birthing routine within their practice. Ask who will be present, what will happen and who will be in charge of your partner and the baby after delivery.

Take childbirth classes and learn more about the process and how you can be supportive during labor. Make a list of questions and ask them all. You’ll learn a lot and meet other soon-to-be dads.

Take a tour of the hospital maternity ward so that you’ll be somewhat familiar with the layout once you arrive and, again, ask questions.

Ask yourself what you want out of the birth experience. Do you want to “catch” the baby? Cut the cord? Or just do your best to stay upright?

Talk with your partner about how she would like the delivery to go, what she sees as your role in it and what she needs and wants you to do.  Make a birth plan together, one that works for both of you. Be sure to discuss different scenarios in case things don’t go as planned.

Don’t get your feathers ruffled or take it personally if she gets a little snippy on the day of… it isn’t you.

If you’d love to support her but really don’t think you can take a ringside seat, talk with her about getting a doula or coach involved for that part. We’re all different and we can only do what we can do and, truly, that’s OK. But let her know that one way or another you’ll do all you can to see to it that she has what she needs when the time comes.

Stopping birth control

Monday, August 6th, 2012

If you’ve been using birth control and are ready to have a baby, you’re going to stop using birth control one of these days. There are no hard-and-fast rules about how long you should wait to start trying to get pregnant after stopping birth control, but talk with your health care provider about what’s best for you.

You can begin trying right away. But if you don’t have regular periods, it may be more difficult to determine the right time for conception.
• If you’ve been on birth control pills, you may not have regular periods for a month or two after stopping the pills.
• If you take Depo-Provera, it can take from three months to one year to ovulate regularly after your last injection.
• If you have an IUD (intrauterine device) or implants, you can start trying to get pregnant as soon as you have the device removed.
• The barrier methods – such as condoms, diaphragms and spermicides – stop working as soon as you stop using them.

If you’re currently pregnant, be sure to discuss the best time to start birth control after you deliver. (It’s important to wait a few weeks after delivery before taking some pills.) You’ll want to be sure to give your body enough time to recover before having another baby. If you’ve recently had a new baby, ask your provider how long you should wait to get pregnant again. For most women, it’s best to wait at least 18 months. But some women can’t wait this long because of their age or other reasons. Talk to your provider about what’s right for you.

A baby – are you ready emotionally?

Friday, June 1st, 2012

are-you-readyWhen we talk about preconception health, we usually mean your physical health.  But, there’s so much more to becoming a parent than just being in good physical shape. There are big changes involved that will affect you in a number of different ways.

Being a parent is a full-time job. Before you get pregnant, think about the emotional and lifestyle issues you will face as a parent. It’s important for you and your partner to agree on most of the major issues, or begin discussing your differences, before you conceive.

The following questions can help you think through some of the emotional issues you’ll face as a parent.

1 – Why do you want to have a baby? Do you want to have a baby or is your partner, parent or someone else pressuring you?
2 – How will a child affect your relationship with your partner? Are you both ready to become parents?
3 – If you’re not in a relationship, are you prepared to raise a child alone? Who will help you?
4 – How will a baby affect your education or career plans?
5 – Do you and your partner have religious, cultural or ethnic differences? Have you discussed how you’ll handle these differences and how they might affect your child?
6 – What will you do for child care?
7 – Are you prepared to parent a child who is sick or has special needs?
8 – Are you ready for your free time to become limited? Are you ready to give up sleeping late on weekends? Or find child care when you want to go out without your baby?
9 – Do you enjoy spending time with children? Can you see yourself as a parent?
10 – What did you like about your childhood? What didn’t you like? What kind of childhood do you want for your child?

These are tough questions, and there are no correct answers.  Only you can decide if you’re emotionally ready to have a baby.

Teen pregnancy

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

bellyOver the past 20 years, the rate of teen girls having children has dropped by about 40% to its lowest level since they began keeping records 70 years ago. That’s good news, but it’s not great. 

Did you know that, according to the CDC, teen birth rates in the US are up to 9 times higher than in most other developed countries? Hispanic and black teen girls are about 2-3 times more likely to give birth than white teen girls. Girls born to teen parents are almost 33% more likely to become teen parents themselves. Only about 50% of teen mothers get a high school diploma by age 22, compared with 90% of teen girls who do not have a baby. And, at the risk of sounding crass, teen childbearing costs US taxpayers about $9 billion each year.

Premature birth is a big issue for us, as you know. But did you know that teen moms are more likely than moms over age 20 to give birth prematurely? Many teens smoke and babies of women who smoke during pregnancy are at increased risk for premature birth, low birthweight and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). These moms have an increased risk for pregnancy complications, including placental problems, anemia, and high blood pressure.

Teenage mothers are more likely to have a low-birthweight baby and most low-birthweight babies are born prematurely. Babies who are premature and low birthweight may have organs that are not fully developed. This can lead to breathing problems, such as respiratory distress syndrome, bleeding in the brain, vision loss and serious intestinal problems. Babies of teenage mothers are more likely to die in the first year of life than babies of women in their 20s and 30s. The risk is highest for babies of mothers under age 15.

So, it’s good news that the teen birth rate has dropped, but we still have a long way to go to give every baby a healthy start. The reality of these facts and figures may surprise some people – serious complications exist for the young. Help us spread the word.

When is your body ready to get pregnant?

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

You’ve thought carefully about having a baby and decided you’re ready. You stopped smoking and drinking alcohol. You’re eating a healthy diet and taking a multivitamin with 400 micrograms of folic acid every day. You’ve visited your health care provider, and you’re putting money in your savings account each month. You’re ready to start trying to get pregnant.

A woman’s egg is fertile for only 12 to 24 hours after its release, ovulation.  Ovaries release an egg every month, about 14 days before the first day of a woman’s period.  A man’s sperm can live up to 72 hours after intercourse. So the best time to have sex if you’re trying to conceive is:
• A few days before ovulation
• The day of ovulation

The closer intercourse is to ovulation, the more likely it is you’ll get pregnant. You can track your ovulation using different methods.  And the more often you have sex, the more likely you are to get pregnant. But don’t get too anxious if it doesn’t happen right away.  On average, there is a 15-25% chance of conceiving each month.  Studies have shown that roughly half of couples trying to get pregnant conceive within four months, 75% of couples by six months, and 85% within a year.