Posts Tagged ‘Planning for Baby’

Thinking about another baby?

Friday, December 20th, 2013


After giving birth, there are some women who want to have another baby right away.  Others need a bit more time in between children.  Although there is no right or wrong time to have another child there are certain health considerations that point to optimum birth spacing.

Timing pregnancies less than 18 months or more than five years apart could raise the odds of the second baby being born prematurely, at low birth weight, or small for gestational age.  With too short an interval, researchers theorize, the problem may be that a mother’s body needs more time to recover from the stress and depleted nutrients of the first pregnancy.  With longer spacing, the problem could be that fertility gradually declines after a woman delivers.

Some research (although limited) suggests that a pregnancy within 12 months of giving birth is associated with an increased risk of placental abruption or placenta previa in women who previously had a C-section.

While waiting may be ideal, we understand that not all women can wait 18 months before trying for another child.  If you are thinking about having another baby, make sure you schedule a preconception checkup with your health care provider.  The two of you can discuss any health concerns.  Also, if you have had a premature baby, make sure you discuss ways to reduce your risk of having another premature birth.    Together you and your health care provider can choose the best time for you to add to your family.

Chat on pregnancy after age 35

Monday, May 13th, 2013

texting21How old were you when you had your baby? Today, 1 in 5 women in the US has her 1st child after age 35. Halle Barry currently is pregnant at age 46! The good news is most have healthy pregnancies & healthy babies. There are, however, a number of challenges and concerns. 

Join us on Twitter Tuesday May 14th at 1 PM ET for our next pregnancy chat. Learn about these issues and things you can do to help start a family when you’re no longer in your 20s. Join in the conversation by using #pregnancychat.

Chat on genetic counseling

Monday, March 4th, 2013

Susan Klugman, MDEver wonder if genetic counseling is for you? Join us for a #pregnancychat on genetic counseling and why it’s important. Dr. Susan Klugman, Director of Reproductive Genetics at Montefiore Medical Center, will be our guest to answer your questions, such as: What ethnic groups are more at risk for a genetic disorder? What does a family health history entail? Which prenatal tests are right for you? and more.

Dr. Klugman is a “medical detective” who works to identify the possible genetic risk factors for many inherited diseases. She encourages couples to consider genetic testing even before they get married so they can be as informed as possible when planning their families. She serves on the Board of Directors of the New York State Genetics Task Force. 

Dr. Klugman has appeared on many broadcast media outlets including ABC World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer. Take this unique opportunity to learn from her and ask questions. Join us on Twitter Wednesday, March 6th at 1 PM. Don’t forget to use #pregnancychat to make sure we see your questions.

Family history awareness

Monday, December 6th, 2010

generations-at-the-tableOver the holidays, most of us try to get together with family members for fun and feasting. While you’re gathered to share a meal, you’ll be in a perfect situation to share your family health history, too. For those of us who are young and hoping to start a family some day, it’s important to know if anyone has had heart disease or diabetes, hearing loss or a serious vision problem, a child with a birth defect or genetic disorder.  Find out what’s “all in the family.”   I was surprised to learn that my grandmother had two brothers who died young from the same heart condition. Nobody ever mentioned it before.  Family health history information can help health care providers determine which tests and screenings are recommended to help family members know their health risks for certain conditions.

Here is a link to more information on the importance of keeping a family health history.   We have created some tools to make it easier for you to collect information.  Here is a questionnaire for adolescent and adult family history collection.  If you would like a handy form to help you collect your family’s health history for preconception/prenatal purposes, click here.   Take advantage of this time to have your past shed light on the future.

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.

Diabetes Awareness Day

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

One third of women with diabetes don’t know they have it – that’s one out of every three women with diabetes, a lot!  Today is Diabetes Awareness Day.  We’ve posted on the importance of getting diabetes under control before you conceive and keeping it under control during pregnancy, but today is a good opportunity to mention it again.

This is really important ladies.  If too much glucose (sugar) is in a woman’s blood during early pregnancy, there’s a chance that this can cause birth defects of the brain or spine, heart defects, cleft lip or palate, kidney problems, etc. In later pregnancy, too much glucose could lead to high blood pressure in the mom, a baby that is too large or born prematurely, a cesarean delivery or other life-threatening situations.

Pre-existing diabetes may also increase the risk of miscarriage and poorly controlled diabetes later in pregnancy may increase the risk of stillbirth.

But don’t panic, because paying attention now has excellent benefits.  Most of these women can look forward to having a healthy baby. While diabetes poses some risks in pregnancy, advances in care have greatly improved the outlook for these pregnancies. So make sure you get your preconception checkup, fine tune any issues and be as healthy as possible before you conceive.

Not conceving? It takes two to tango

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

coupleI don’t know why it is, but so often I have heard women who haven’t be able to conceive say “What’s wrong with me?”  For some reason, women have a tendency to assume blame for whatever goes wrong – well, at least not according to their plan.  Often, patience is needed.  (It can take a lot longer to conceive than you think!)  But there are plenty of times when a fertility issue may have little to do with the woman and more to do with her mate.

If you’re having trouble getting pregnant, don’t automatically assume the problem is with the female side of the equation.  While there are things a woman can check into, her partner can do things, too.  Here are some suggestions to help his sperm production:
• Quit smoking
• Limit the amount of alcohol he drinks
• Give up marijuana and other drugs
• Wear boxers and loose pants instead of briefs and tight pants
• Ask his provider about his prescription medications. Some medications used to treat high blood pressure, infections and other health conditions can make a man less fertile.
• Consider paternal exposures to chemicals at work or home.

Talk with your partner and explore all options.  You can read more about fertility treatments, too.   Remember, this isn’t a time to place blame.  You both need to understand your situation and move forward together to change what you can for a positive pregnancy outcome.

Does caffeine affect fertility?

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

7236819_thbSmall amounts of caffeine probably don’t reduce a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant. Most studies have found no effect on fertility when women consume less than 300 mg of caffeine a day. A few studies have found that women who consume more than 300 mg a day may be more likely to have trouble conceiving. But, again, this has not been proven. If you’re trying to get pregnant it’s better for your body if you drink water, milk and fruit juice. But, the occasional cappuccino is probably just fine. You might want to ask your doctor during your pre-pregnancy check-up what he/she thinks.

Got vitamins?

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

67958806_thbWhether you visit this blog regularly (woo hoo!) or you’re stopping by for the first time (welcome!), I’m sure you’ve heard by now that women are encouraged to take folic acid everyday. Getting the recommended amount through diet alone can be tough though. That’s why March of Dimes has created a quick and easy way to get the information you need on this important topic. Through video and audio you can meet medical experts like Dr. Dolan and Dr. Fleischman who discuss the importance of taking folic acid before pregnancy. Click here to watch and listen. Let us know what you think!

Vaccines before pregnancy

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

At a checkup before pregnancy, your provider can do a blood test to find out if you’re immune to certain illnesses such as rubella (German measles) and chickenpox. If you’re not, you can safely be vaccinated before pregnancy. After you’re vaccinated, you should wait for one month before trying to conceive. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend these vaccines during pregnancy.

A while back I wrote a post about my “before-baby” check up. I discovered that my immunity to chickenpox was borderline so I received a booster. I always assumed I was immune because I had the chicken pox as a kid. I’m so glad I got that shot! A few months later I was exposed to a friend’s daughter who had the illness and I was newly pregnant.