Posts Tagged ‘premature labor’

No cheating on bed rest

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

bed-rest“I’m putting you on bed rest” can mean a lot of different things.  Some women are put on bed rest at home, some are in the hospital.  Some are on partial bedrest, meaning they can get up and fix a sandwich for lunch, take a shower, etc. and stay off their feet the rest of the time.  Others are on strict bed rest and must remain horizontal, perhaps hooked to monitors, at all times.  You’ve got to know exactly what your doc means.

A lot depends on why you’re on bed rest.  Although there is no clear consensus on the benefits of it, many doctors prescribe bed rest to address a complication.   If your blood pressure is elevated, bed rest may help reduce the pressure. It may increase blood flow to the placenta or reduce strain with certain placental complications.  Bed rest may help reduce vaginal bleeding, take pressure off an incompetent or effacing cervix, lower the chance of preterm labor and the possibility of delivering too early. Bed rest can mean a lot of different things, so if your provider mentions it to you, ask a lot of questions so that you fully understand what is meant.  (Can I use the toilet, take a shower or bath? Can I sit up, go into the kitchen? Is sex off limits? What exercises are OK and what’s not?)

The object of bed rest is to allow pregnancy to continue in as healthy a way and for as long as possible.  But it can turn into a real drag pretty quickly.  If you’re going stir crazy and tempted to cheat, don’t.  Instead, work on crossword puzzles, Sudoku, photo albums, baby announcements, read, listen to books on tape, watch movies, write emails or blog posts… Take up a new hobby like scrapbooking or knitting. Plan a girls night in, watch a flick and do your nails. Allow your family and friends to help you.  Work up weekly menus and shopping lists for them.  Most of them will be happy to help keep you and your baby healthy.  It’s not forever, and it is for the best possible outcome.

The risks of teen pregnancy

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

teenage-girl-2For so many women, pregnancy is a wonderful time: full of hope and excitement about a new baby. But for teens, pregnancy brings some  challenges.

Teen mothers and their babies face special health risks. Compared to other pregnant women, the teen mom is more likely to face complications. Examples:  premature labor, anemia and high blood pressure.

Babies born to teen moms are at increased risk of premature birth, low weight at birth, breathing problems, bleeding in the brain,  and vision problems.

Teen pregnancy also affects a young woman’s educational and job opportunities. Teen moms are less likely to graduate from high school than other teenagers. They are also more likely to live in poverty than women who wait to have a baby.

Today is the National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. Teen birth rates in the United States are on the rise again after a steady decline between 1991 and 2005.

If you are a teen, please think carefully about getting pregnant. If you know a teen, help her understand why it’s usually best to delay pregnancy.

For more information, read the March of Dimes fact sheet.