Posts Tagged ‘ pregnancy ’

Apparently, Prince Charles Wants a Granddaughter (No Pressure, Kate!)

Friday, May 1st, 2015

princess katePoor Princess Kate. Days past her reported due date, the pregnant mama is probably swollen, tired, and just ready to get this show on the road. To her credit, she’s being a good sport about the world’s obsession with her bump, even going so far as to send pastries to well-wishers camped outside of the hospital where she’ll evenutally deliver. Still, I have to think she’s feeling the pressure from the so-called “Great Kate Wait.”

Adding a wrinkle to things? Her father-in-law, Prince Charles. At an event this week in Windsor Castle, the next-in-line casually let it drop that he and wife Camilla are “hoping for a granddaughter.” (William and Kate have chosen not to find out their baby’s gender before the birth.) And you know if he’s telling perfect strangers his preference, he’s probably been yakking about it with his son and daughter-in-law for the last nine months.

The upside is that Prince Charles went public with his opinion this late in the game, whereas most eager grandparents-to-be let that stuff fly as soon as you tell them you’re pregnant. And talk about added pressure! The day after I broke the news to my parents, my dad and I were having lunch and he announced he knew I was having a girl. So sure was he that he even picked out a name for her: Hannah. (Um, how thoughtful?) For the next several weeks, until an ultrasound revealed I was having a boy, every conversation involved “Hannah”: How she’d love stamps as much as he does. How he would show her how to bait a hook and change a tire. How they’d be the best of friends. The happy little world he created for himself and my unborn child was so vivid that when I found out I was having a boy, I almost hesitated to tell him. I did, of course, and he took the news in stride: it took him about 20 seconds to mentally unhook his dreams of a granddaughter and latch on to the reality of a grandson.

Related: Celebrity Gender Reveals: How Stars Shared the Boy-or-Girl News

Considering how much scrutiny the royal pregnancy has already received, my bet is that Princess Kate is a seasoned pro at deflecting pressure, even when it comes from the future king. Because royalty or no, in the end, they want what we all want for the young family: a happy, healthy baby — whenever he or she decides to arrive.

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Bonnie Gibbs Vengrow is a New York City-based writer and editor who traded in her Blackberry and Metro card for playdates and PB&J sandwiches—and the once-in-a-lifetime chance to watch her feisty, funny son grow up. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.

Boy or Girl: How Genetics Determine Your Baby's Gender
Boy or Girl: How Genetics Determine Your Baby's Gender
Boy or Girl: How Genetics Determine Your Baby's Gender

Image of Princess Kate courtesy of Shutterstock

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Um, Three Moms Give Birth In These Awkward Spots!

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

Baby just after birthWhen my friend Sarah’s water broke last year, she and her wife were in the back of a cab, stuck in rush hour traffic. After a long, harrowing trip uptown, they made it to the hospital just minutes before their baby arrived. Their adventure gave me goosebumps, so I silently crowned it the Most Dramatic Birth Story Ever—until today.

That’s because three new moms have recently given birth in some of the most impossible, inconvenient spots: at 30,000 feet, in a convenience store parking lot, and on the shoulder of a major interstate.

But let’s back up. On a recent flight from Miami to Qatar, a woman went into labor somewhere over Canada. An emergency landing was in order, so the plane and all of its 337 passengers were rerouted to a runway in Newfoundland. The baby, however, wasn’t prepared to wait that long. So with the help of two on-board doctors (lucky!), and most likely squeezing into a too-tight space, the mom delivered her newborn about 30 minutes before the wheels touched down. Paramedics took them to a nearby hospital, where both are said to be doing well.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday a pregnant woman in Pennsylvania was making a mad dash to her own hospital but, in the throes of labor, ended up having to pull over to the side of the road. Two state troopers—one of whom also happened to be a trained EMT—spotted her and began to escort her the rest of the way. Yet again, Mother Nature had other plans: This baby was coming—stat! So the trio pulled into a convenience store parking lot, where the trained EMT helped deliver the infant as his partner ran into the shop to get towels and supplies. The delivery went off without a hitch, all things considered, and the happy and healthy mom and baby were taken to the hospital afterward.

And yet another baby was born roadside, this time on an interstate in Maryland. Details are scant, but officials in Montgomery County confirmed that a woman had delivered her son on busy Interstate 270 around 4 a.m., and emergency personnel transported them to a local hospital. Both are reportedly doing well.

Congratulations to these brave mamas—and their quick-thinking helpers!

Bonnie Gibbs Vengrow is a New York City-based writer and editor who traded in her Blackberry and Metro card for playdates and PB&J sandwiches—and the once-in-a-lifetime chance to watch her feisty, funny son grow up. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+

Birth Stories:
Birth Stories:
Birth Stories: "My Water Broke..."

Image of baby just after birth via Shutterstock

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Blizzard Juno “Birthed” These Babies!

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

blizzard-babiesUpdate (1/29/15): Since this writing, dozens more blizzard babies were revealed, including ones in Connecticut.

Babies stop for no one — not even Mother Nature. Two Massachusetts women found that out firsthand when they went into labor smack dab in the middle of Monday’s blizzard, ABC News reports.

In Patricia Strickland’s case, it all started with a joke with a friend: What if I had my twins during the storm? At 35 weeks, it seemed like a bit of a longshot. But one hour later, the Worcester woman was in the throes of contractions (and fighting the urge to push) while an ambulance was on its way. Unfortunately, because all roads were closed to non-emergency traffic, Strickland’s husband had to stay home with their 5-year-old daughter.

If the idea of having twins solo wasn’t bad enough, the “scared” mama’s water broke in the back of the ambulance and, moments later, one of her babies, Gabriel, was born. The moment she arrived at the hospital, she was wheeled into the operating room, where daughter Aliyah was born. Though premature, the kiddos are expected to go home in about 10 days. Which considering how much snow Massachusetts received, might be just enough time for all the roads to be cleared.

At the other end of the state, another mom-to-be was plunged in her own delivery room drama. Just as the power flickered out in Nantucket Cottage Hospital, Danielle Smith went into labor. Luckily, the hospital had back-up juice, and the rest of the delivery went off without a hitch. “[Baby] Cayden was born at the height of the blizzard just after the island had lost power, forcing the hospital to rely on its generator for power,” said hospital spokesman Jason Graziadei. As of this writing, most of Nantucket was still without power, but hopefully it will be restored in time for Danielle and Cayden’s trip home.

Congratulations to these brave mamas!

Tell us: Was your labor relatively smooth, or did you run into any snags?

Bonnie Gibbs Vengrow is a New York City-based writer and editor who traded in her Blackberry and Metro card for playdates and PB&J sandwiches—and the once-in-a-lifetime chance to watch her feisty, funny son grow up.Follow her on TwitterPinterest, and Google+

Birth Stories:
Birth Stories:
Birth Stories: "My Water Broke..."

Have questions about your baby? We have answers — just check out our comprehensive Baby Q&A.

Image of pregnant woman courtesy of Shutterstock

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Is Your Nursery Making Your Baby Sick?

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

baby on new carpetWhen most of us were setting up baby’s nursery, there were certain things we knew to avoid: loose bedding, lots of toys in the crib, anything with sharp edges. But a new study has found one more potential no-no for baby’s room, at least during the first year of life: new carpet, rugs, or laminate.

According to an article in The Telegraph, researchers at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) in Germany have discovered that the chemicals in the glue used to install brand-new flooring can be toxic for babies and make it difficult for them to breathe. Their study involved 465 moms and babies living in Leipzig, Germany, two-thirds of whom made some kind of renovation to their home and a sixth of whom replaced their flooring. During the home improvements, the scientists regularly assessed the babies’ breathing and monitored the air quality in their homes. The findings were published in the journal Environment International.

Though not all flooring requires glue — area rugs are a classic example — researchers still warn parents to hold off on laying down the new stuff in the nursery. “Although the concentrations of these volatile chemicals are lower if no adhesive is used when installing the flooring, even then the concentrations are still high enough to significantly increase the risk of infants suffering from respiratory complaints in their first few months,” said the study’s lead author, Dr. Ulrich Franck.

Pregnant women aren’t off the hook, either. UFZ researchers believe the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found in new flooring and adhesives can affect developing babies in utero and even boost their chances of developing allergies, especially if you or your partner already suffer from conditions like hay fever or asthma.

One of the biggest takeaways from the study is to hold off on installing your new flooring until after baby’s first birthday. That’s because the study found that home improvements (and all the airborne chemicals associated with them) that occured after baby was born didn’t impact baby’s respiratory functions as much as ones that took place during pregnancy. “According to our results, exposure to these volatile chemical compounds seems to be more critical in pregnancy than in the first year of a child’s life,” says Dr. Irina Lehmann of he UFZ.

Tell us: How was your experience setting up baby’s nursery?

How safe is your baby’s gear? Check out our Products Recall database to find out. And be sure to like All About Babies on Facebook to keep up with the latest baby news!

Nursery Ideas: Design a Modern Nursery
Nursery Ideas: Design a Modern Nursery
Nursery Ideas: Design a Modern Nursery

Bonnie Gibbs Vengrow is a New York City-based writer and editor who traded in her Blackberry and Metro card for playdates and PB&J sandwiches—and the once-in-a-lifetime chance to watch her feisty, funny son grow up. Follow her on TwitterPinterest, and Google+

Image of baby on a carpet courtesy of Shutterstock

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Finally, an Easy Way to Tell When Medicine Is Safe for You and Baby

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

fda-prescription-label-requirementsDo the letters A, B, C, D and X mean anything to you? Yeah, me neither. But apparently, prescription drug manufacturers have been using them on medicine labels since the ’70s to alert pregnant women and breastfeeding moms to the potential risks of taking certain medications.

Though ridiculously simple on the surface, the lettering system has been anything but effective. In fact, Sandra Kweder, deputy director of the Federal Drug Administration’s Office of New Drugs, said it “has been highly, highly inconsistent,” often contained outdated information and was confusing, the Washington Post reports.

Needless to say, it was time for a change.

So after six years of development, the FDA last week unveiled a shiny new set of requirements aimed at helping doctors and patients make more informed decisions about what they’re putting into their body (and their baby’s). Chief among them is that drug makers will be required to include information packets with the prescription that spell out any potential risks to pregnant or nursing moms, babies, and small children, or people considering getting pregnant — plus whatever research backs up those claims. Each packet will contain three clearly marked sections: “Pregnancy,” “Lactation,” and “Females and Males of Reproductive Potential” for easy skimming.

Starting June 2015, all new prescription drugs and biologics will be subject to the revised system, as will drugs approved by the FDA since 2001 that didn’t provide info related to about pregnancy and lactation. (Note that requirements don’t apply to over-the-counter meds.)

As someone who pestered her OB with frequent “is-this-safe-to-take” questions during pregnancy and nursing, I think the new rule can’t go into effect fast enough. While nothing can replace a quick convo with your healthcare provider, the information packet sounds like a great alternative. After all, when you’re pregnant or nursing — and extra conscious of what’s going into your body — having the most current facts about a medication at the ready can go a long way toward giving you peace of mind.

Now it’s your turn: What’s your take on the FDA’s new requirements for drug manufacturers? How likely are you to read the information packets before taking the medication?

Have questions about your baby? We have answers — just check out our comprehensive Baby Q&A. And be sure to like All About Babies on Facebook to keep up with the latest baby news!

Meds and Breastfeeding
Meds and Breastfeeding
Meds and Breastfeeding

Image of woman holding a pill bottle courtesy of Shutterstock

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