Posts Tagged ‘pregnant woman’

Flu is dangerous for certain people

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

You’ve all heard it: get your flu shot. It is on our blog, website, and everyone from the CDC, FDA, AAP, ACOG, doctors, and other notable tired-toddlerorganizations all agree: getting the flu shot is the single best form of protection from flu.

Is it really that important?

Yes. Flu can be life-threatening. Certain groups of people are at higher risk of serious complications from flu:

• Children younger than 5 years of age and especially kids younger than 2 years old.

• Children of any age with long-term health conditions including developmental disabilities. See this post to learn which high risk conditions are included.

• Children of any age with neurologic conditions. Some children with neurologic conditions may have trouble with muscle function, lung function or difficulty coughing, swallowing, or clearing fluids from their airways. These problems can make flu symptoms worse. Learn more here.

• Pregnant women. They are at high risk of having serious health complications from flu which include miscarriage, preterm labor, premature birth or having a low-birthweight baby. In some cases, flu during pregnancy can even be deadly. By getting a flu shot during pregnancy, your baby will be protected for several months.

•  Adults older than age 65 (attention grandparents!).

When should you talk to your provider?

According to the CDC, you should seek advice from your provider before getting a flu shot if you are allergic to eggs, have had Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS), have had a prior severe reaction to the flu shot or to an ingredient in the shot, or are not feeling well.

Bottom line- get your flu shot

Read Test your flu knowledge – true or false? to learn the truth about flu.  Knowledge is powerful.

If you have questions, speak with your health care provider or visit flu.gov  or send them to AskUs@marchofdimes.org. We welcome your input!

Updated Feb. 2017.

Sunscreen safety for pregnant women

Friday, June 6th, 2014

mom and child in sunSummer is here! Sunscreen is important whenever you are outside, especially if you are pregnant. During pregnancy your skin is more sensitive to sunlight than it was before pregnancy. The sun gives off ultraviolet radiation (UV) which can increase the risk of skin cancer, give you a bad burn and increase signs of aging.

There are two types of rays that can cause skin damage. These are ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B radiation (UVA and UVB). Both of these can cause premature aging and skin cancer however UVB rays are what cause sunburn. It is important to choose a sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB. But, choosing the right sunscreen to slather on can be confusing.

Here are tips on choosing the right sunscreen for you:

•    Avoid retinyl palmitate This type of vitamin A has been linked to an increased risk of skin cancer and is associated with a risk of birth defects.
•    Choose sunscreen with a sun protected factor (SPF) of 15 or higher.
•    Only use products that have UVA and UVB protection – also called Broad Spectrum protection
•    Use a water resistant sunscreen if you intend to go swimming
•    Reapply sunscreen every two hours, or more often if you are swimming or sweating (even if you use water resistant sunscreen).
•    Limit your time in the sun between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. when the sun rays are most intense.

Combination products

To fend off those pesky mosquitoes, there are also combination sunscreen products that include bug spray. These can be  great two-for-one products, but combination sunscreens may be more hazardous that you thought. A combination product has the possibility of toxic exposure, due to overdosing on the bug repellant. It’s safe to apply the combination lotion first, but when it’s time to reapply, skip the combination and just use sunscreen.

Read our post for specific tips on how to keep your baby safe in the sun.

Have fun outside this summer, but wear your hat, sunglasses, stay well hydrated and remember your sunscreen!

Latina health chat

Monday, April 14th, 2014

Join us this Wednesday!

Be sure to use #WellnesWed to fully participate in the conversation.

WellnessWed Twitter Graphic

Sleep during pregnancy

Thursday, December 26th, 2013

sleep2Almost all pregnant women have sleep problems at some point. Nausea, difficulty finding a comfortable position, having to get up umpteen times to pee, etc. all contribute to problems in Slumberland. Here are a few positioning tips:
Avoid sleeping flat on your back.
• This position puts the full weight of your uterus on your back and on the major vein that carries blood between your lower body and heart.
• Sleeping on your back can increase your chances of getting backaches. It can also aggravate digestive problems, heartburn and hemorrhoids.
• Try to get used to sleeping on your side, particularly on your left side. This position can improve your circulation and help reduce swelling in your feet.
Use pillows.
• Tuck one pillow between your legs.
• Use more pillows to support your back and abdomen.
• If you suffer from shortness of breath or heartburn, use pillows to lift up your upper body.

For more tips on getting through the night, or nap, read our information on sleeping problems.

Chat on travel during pregnancy

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

travel-by-airThe holidays are here and people are traveling to visit family and friends. If you’re pregnant, do you know how much travel in one day is recommended? As the months progress, how far along in your pregnancy is it safe to travel? What are some things to know about travel by car, plane, ship? What about going out of the country?

Join us on Thursday December 12th at 1 PM ET for a chat on travel during pregnancy. Share any tips you have that made your travel experience easier. Be sure to use #pregnancychat to fully participate.

Pregnant at 46

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

pregnant2Most of us have heard that Halle Berry is pregnant at the age of 46. Wow, you go girl!  And did you see the recent episode of Call the Midwife where a first-time pregnant woman (a twin) in her 40s gave birth to twins of her own? Some women are asking us “If they can, why can’t I?”  Good question, complicated answer.

Women over age 35 may be less fertile than younger women because they tend to ovulate (release an egg from the ovaries) less frequently. Certain health conditions that are more common in this age group also may interfere with conception. These include endometriosis, blocked fallopian tubes and fibroids.

If you are over 35 and haven’t conceived after 6 months of trying, make an appointment to see your health care provider. Studies suggest that about one-third of women between 35 and 39 and about half of those over age 40 have fertility problems.  At age 47, most babies are conceived with some form of fertility treatment.  This can be time consuming and expensive and there is no guarantee the treatment will work.

Most miscarriages occur in the first trimester for women of all ages, but the risk of miscarriage increases with age. Studies suggest that about 10 percent of recognized pregnancies for women in their 20s end in miscarriage. The risk rises to about 35 percent at ages 40 to 44 and more than 50 percent by age 45. The age-related increased risk of miscarriage is caused, at least in part, by increases in chromosomal abnormalities.

The good news is that women in their late 30s and 40s are very likely to have a healthy baby. However, they may face more complications along the way than younger women. Some complications that are more common in women over 35 include: gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, placental problems, premature birth, stillbirth.  About 47% of women over age 40 give birth via cesarean section. You can see why it’s so important to keep all appointments with your health care provider.

All these things taken into consideration, many women who do conceive in their late 40s, either on their own (unlikely but not impossible) or with some fertility treatment, do manage to have healthy babies.  The important thing to remember is to have a preconception checkup and early and regular prenatal care. Know the signs of preterm labor, and give your doc or midwife a call whenever you have a question or concern.

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.

CineMama named app of the week

Friday, April 12th, 2013

cinemama-appExciting news – our iPhone app CineMama is Parenting Magazine’s App of the Week

Cinemama is an iPhone app that lets you turn daily photos of your belly into a fun movie momento of your pregnancy. You can record memories and milestones in a diary while staying informed with weekly tips.

Track your growing belly with pictures organized by day and month in an easy to view calendar mode.  The more photos you take the better your movie will be. Customize it with titles and one of our soundtracks for a great effect. You can keep it private or share it with friends and family.

It’s cool, it’s fun, it’s free!  Check it out!

FDA approves drug to fight nausea and vomiting

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

On April 8, 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the drug Diclegis (doxylamine succinate and pyridoxine hydrochloride) to treat pregnant women experiencing nausea and vomiting.

More than half of all pregnant women have some nausea during the first trimester. For most women this nausea usually goes away by the second trimester. But for some women, nausea and vomiting may continue even past the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

Diclegis is a delayed-release tablet intended for women who have not adequately responded to conservative management of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, such as changes to their diet and lifestyle. These modifications include eating several small meals instead of three large meals, eating bland foods that are low in fat and easy to digest and avoiding smells that can trigger nausea.

“Diclegis is now the only FDA-approved treatment for nausea and vomiting due to pregnancy, providing a therapeutic option for pregnant women seeking relief from these symptoms,” said Dr. Hylton V. Joffe of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Observational studies have shown that the combination of active ingredients in Diclegis does not pose an increased risk of harm to a developing fetus.

For questions and answers about how drugs are approved by the FDA, click on this link.

Pregnancy – not an excuse to stop exercising

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

bikingSome women think that pregnancy is a time to sit back and put their feet up. Not so! For most women, it’s important to exercise during pregnancy. In fact, it has many health benefits, so put down the remote, step out of your office and tie up your sneakers.

Healthy pregnant women need at least 2½ hours of exercise each week. This is about 30 minutes each day. If this sounds like a lot, don’t worry. You don’t have to do it all at once. Instead, split up your exercise by doing something active for 10 minutes three times each day. Take Fido for his morning constitutional. Walk around the block or parking lot with friends on your lunch hour. Go for a walk or bike ride after dinner to pick up a decaf at the local café or to check out the neighborhood gardens. Exercise doesn’t have to be boring.

For healthy pregnant women, exercise can:
• Keep your heart, body and mind healthy
• Help you feel good and find the extra energy you need
• Help you stay fit and gain the right amount of weight during pregnancy
• Ease some of the discomforts you might have during pregnancy, like constipation, backaches, trouble sleeping and varicose veins (swollen veins)
• Prevent health problems like preeclampsia and gestational diabetes
• Help your body get ready to give birth
• Reduce stress

If you’d rather keep going to the gym, you probably can. With their health care provider’s OK, exercising during pregnancy is safe for most expecting moms and their babies. So talk to your doc or midwife before you start any exercise program, and ask about what kinds of exercise are safe for you to do.

Chat on hyperemesis and morning sickness

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

No doubt you have heard that Kate Middleton, Dutchess of Cambridge, is pregnant. The news came as she was admitted to hospital suffering from a severe form of morning sickness called hyperemesis gravidarum, HG. 

As many of you moms well know, 50-90% of women report some nausea and vomiting, especially in early pregnancy. But in rare cases, about 1 in 200, pregnant women develop this severe morning sickness that prevents them and their babies from getting the nutrients and water they need. HG is marked by severe nausea and vomiting accompanied by dehydration and weight loss, and women can report feeling their heart racing or lightheadedness. It’s a serious matter and must be treated and watched carefully.

Join us and Dr. Dolan this Wednesday, Dec. 5th, at 3 PM ET for a #pregnancychat on hyperemesis – who’s at risk and different treatments. Feel free to ask questions. Did you have hyperemesis? Share your experience, how you handled it, what support you got or needed.