Posts Tagged ‘ Bed rest ’

Why Doctors Don’t Want You to Have Twins

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

With IVF treatments, twins have basically become the new norm—46 percent of IVF births are multiples, mostly twins. But now fertility experts want to change that. The new goal: single births, even when using IVF.  Why? Twins have a much higher risk of being preemies and having serious health problems that could potentially last a lifetime.

The most recent info from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that 37 percent of IVF babies, who are multiples, are born premature, while only 3 percent of babies born without fertility treatments are twins, and of those about 12 percent are preterm.

Many women who’ve struggled to have kids are excited to have twins—even asking their physicians for twins—because they may not have the money for multiple IVF treatments (each round can cost up to $20k!), or they would love to have two kids at once, and never have to go through pregnancy again! But doctors fear that couples are making a rash decision without really knowing the increased medical risks for babies and moms (risk of gestational diabetes and preeclampsia are higher).

The American Society of Reproductive Medicine’s recent guidelines state that women should be counseled on the risks of multiple births and embryo transfers and that this discussion should be noted in their medical records. According to the guidelines, “for women with reasonable medical odds of success, those under 35 should be offered single embryo transfer and no more than two at a time.” They are open to more embryos being implanted, if the woman is over 35.

According to Valley News, with stronger screening of embryos, success rates for single embryos could be nearly as good as when two or more are used, say experts. The new techniques include maturing the embryos a few days longer, improving viability and allowing cells to be sampled for chromosome screening. Embryos can be frozen to allow test results to come back and more precisely time the transfer to the womb.

Taking these steps with single embryos results in fewer miscarriages and tubal pregnancies, healthier babies with fewer genetic defects and lower hospital bills from birth complications, many fertility specialists say.

I’m really torn on this subject, because I don’t think any of us want more Octomoms running around out there, or kids with health problems. But—and it’s a big but—all of the women I’ve known who’ve had IVF (and I should note that all of them have been over 35), have had twins, and are beyond thrilled with their decision to have multiple embryos implanted. Many of them did have complicated births—including extended bed rest, spotting, C-sections, and breathing problems in the children that caused them to stay in NICU for weeks, up to months after their births.

All of that said, as far as I know every single one of them is a happy, healthy kid with no lingering medical issues (at least so far—fingers crossed!). And even though the pregnancies and births were more complicated, required more doctor visits, and now they have twice the expenses with two little ones running around at the same time, the parents’ love for their two cuties made all of that initial anxiety worth it for them, and they would never, ever want to have traded that experience in for a single birth.

TELL US: Do you think women should be discouraged from having twins? Do you have twins? Tell us your story!

Use our Ovulation Calculator to see when you’re most likely to get pregnant. Then, see the 13 tell-tale signs you’re expecting.

Baby Names: How To Name Twins and Multiples
Baby Names: How To Name Twins and Multiples
Baby Names: How To Name Twins and Multiples

Image of twins courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Tori Spelling Dishes About Her Bed Rest Nightmare

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

Two months of bed rest may sound like a lovely spa vacation—unless it’s in a hospital, under doctor’s orders, and you’re having scary pregnancy complications. In that case, it can be total hell, according to Tori Spelling, whose new book Spelling It Like It Is describes her 50+ days of hospital bed rest when she was pregnant with her fourth child, Finn.

She told E! News, “I was flat on my back. I wasn’t allowed to even get up to walk in the halls. My bathroom privileges would be taken away. I wasn’t allowed to shower. Everything was stripped from you.”

And keep in mind she was in a hospital room that she describes as tiny, where she was only able to see daylight a little bit each day. Sounds more like a prison cell, right? So does Tori’s feelings of freedom when she finally got to leave the hospital. “I was like, ‘I appreciate the sunlight. I appreciate the warmth on my skin,’” she said.

Tori’s “lock up” was thanks to being diagnosed with a serious condition called placenta previa, which is when the placenta grows over the cervix, and often blocks the baby’s exit from the uterus during delivery. Placenta previa occurs in one in 200 pregnancies and can result in heavy bleeding, a danger for mom and baby. It can happen to anyone, but occurs most often in women who are pregnant with multiples or for the second or third time, who smoke or use drugs, who are older than 35, or who have had a C-section (At the time, Tori was over 35, on her fourth pregnancy, and had already undergone three Cesarean sections). Tori also became pregnant with Finn just one month after giving birth to daughter Hattie, which could have complicated things further.

Though Tori’s pregnancy with Finn was a struggle (to say the least!), there was a happy ending—he was delivered at 37 weeks and is a completely healthy  14 month old!

If you’re one of the 1 million women per year who are prescribed bed rest, check out this guide to surviving bed rest and the 19 must-have survival supplies.

TELL US: Were you put on bed rest? Was your experience as scary as Tori’s?

Image of Tori Spelling courtesy of S_Bukley/Shutterstock.

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Could bed rest do more harm than good?

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

Mariah Carey pregnancy bed restWe’ve heard the story a million times: A woman is going through pregnancy complications—especially if she’s having twins—and the doctor prescribes bed rest. When you’re retaining water, having hot flashes and are breathing so heavily that you could be mistaken for a crank caller, it sounds like a dream come true. It’s basically doctor-imposed relaxation. Cue the dream sequence of you at the spa for weeks on end. Not bad, right?

Reese Witherspoon was placed on bed rest with her third child, Tennessee; Marcia Cross missed the Golden Globes because of it when she was pregnant with her twins, Eden, and Savannah; Pilates devotee Julia Roberts had to give up her fitness classes in favor of bedside games of Scrabble with hubby Danny Moder when she was pregnant with twins Phinneaus and Hazel.

Singer and American Idol judge Mariah Carey had a super-complicated pregnancy with twins Monroe and Morocco—she developed gestational diabetes, then oedema, which is when fluid develops under your skin. It usually only happens in women’s feet and ankles, but Mariah’s condition started to spread up her body. All of that combined lead to several false labors and emergency trips to the hospital that she was finally placed on bed rest. “I had a really tough pregnancy,” Mariah told Barbara Walters on 20/20. “It was so bad that even the bed [rest] hurt.”

After years of it being the go-to answer for women with difficult pregnancies, a new study suggests that bed rest might be causing more harm than good. In a study conducted by the National Institutes of Health, 40 percent of women who cut out activity had a premature baby, compared to 17 percent of women who didn’t scale back. Researchers say bed rest also increases the risk of blood clots, and bone and muscle loss.

While one study doesn’t prove absolutely conclusive, its findings do warrant a discussion with your doctor, if your physician suggests bed rest. At the end of the day, it’s important for you to trust your doctor’s expertise (all of those years of schooling and training mean something!), but you need to feel good about your decision as well. So it’s best to be as knowledgeable about the situation as you possibly can be. Don’t be afraid to ask questions!

Tell us: Have you ever been placed on bed rest? Do you think it was the right decision?

Image of Mariah Carey courtesy of Shutterstock.

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