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Friday, December 12th, 2014
If there’s anything that being a new mom has taught me, it’s that the best laid plans go out the window when it comes to babies—you gotta just roll with the punches, am I right?
But just for fun, let’s imagine we could plan exactly what day our babies would come into the world. Wouldn’t we try to pick some significant birth date—like 12/13/14?
That cool-sounding date is coming up tomorrow, and it’s the last sequential date of the century; it will be 89 years before we see one again. And if you conceived a baby around March 22 this year, it may very well be your baby’s birthday. (Record cold temperatures around the country did extend into March this year… so maybe we’ll see a baby boom!)
While it’s hard to target a specific birth date for a baby, it’s certainly possible to stack the deck. Doctors reported labor and delivery wards bursting to the seams on the date of 11/11/11, for instance, with people scheduling cesarean deliveries on a date they thought could bring luck to their babies.
For sure people are taking advantage of the 12/13/14 date for weddings this year, with venues and vendors booking up like crazy to accommodate couples. The city of Las Vegas is even doing a big marketing push to capitalize on the idea of the date as an auspicious—not to mention convenient—one! So goes the language on its website: “If you get married on this special date, remembering your anniversary will be as easy as counting from 12 to 14. Plus, it’s super trendy… We’re here to help make sure you’re one of the lucky ones.”
Well, one thing’s for sure: If you deliver a baby tomorrow, friends and family will always remember your kid’s birthday—how could they forget? So that’s a neat thing. But as for it being a lucky birth date? Well, any day that a healthy baby is born to a healthy mama is a darn lucky day in my book!
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Alesandra Dubin is a new twin mom, as well as a Los Angeles-based writer and the founder of home and travel blog Homebody in Motion. Follow her on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock
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Monday, August 11th, 2014
While some recent studies have brought good news for women hoping to get pregnant after 35, this latest research isn’t so rosy.
According to a new study published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, older moms-to-be are at increased risk of requiring emergency measures to give birth, whether that’s a C-section or an “operative vaginal delivery,” which includes forceps or ventouse. In fact, the study found that women over 40 had triple the rate of emergency C-sections, and nearly double the rate of operative vaginal deliveries of women 20 to 24. Women over 40 had a 22.4 percent emergency c-section rate, and a 23.7 percent rate of use of forceps or ventouse. And those rates aren’t just for high-risk moms-to-be: That’s the rate for healthy older moms.
But maternal age wasn’t the only risk factor for these emergency interventions—using an epidural, induction of labor, large birthweight or a gestational age over 41 weeks were also factors.
Long story short? If you’re an older mom, your doctor should be aware of the likelihood that intervention may be necessary—and you should be realistic about your odds of requiring a little help to bring that baby into the world.
Tell us: If you’re an older mom, did you have an unexpected C-section or another emergency intervention? How did you handle it?
If you’re getting ready to give birth, consider these birth plan strategies to ensure that your wishes are met. And don’t forget to like Everything Pregnancy on Facebook to keep up with the latest pregnancy news.
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Wednesday, July 30th, 2014
That’s the scary implication behind one hospital’s attempt to keep a mom-to-be from trying a vaginal birth after previous C-sections (VBAC). Mom-to-be Jennifer Goodall received a letter from the hospital where she planned to give birth, Bayfront Health Port Charlotte in Florida, stating that “because she decided to have a trial of labor before agreeing to cesarean surgery, her prenatal care providers intended to report her to the Department of Children and Family Services, seek a court order to perform surgery, and to perform cesarean surgery on her ‘with or without [her] consent’ if she came to the hospital,” according to a press release from the National Advocates for Pregnant Women.
Goodall tried to fight it in court, but was unsuccessful—the judge said that she had no “right to compel a physician or medical facility to perform a medical procedure in the manner she wishes against their best medical judgment.” (And that’s despite the fact that Goodall herself said she wasn’t adverse to having another C-section—but just wanted the chance to try laboring.) In the end, she gave birth to a healthy baby boy last weekend, at a different hospital where they were willing to allow her to labor—and had a C-section.
But this wasn’t the first time that a woman reported being bullied into a C-section. We reported about a woman who was suing a New York-area hospital for forcing her to have a C-section against her will.
VBACS aren’t right for everyone. But at a time when the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is expressing concern over the startling numbers of C-sections (one in three babies is born via C-section now), why are so many hospitals still pushing for surgery? And why are they using scare tactics like reporting parents to Child Services for questioning the hospital protocol?
Image: Rissy Story/Shutterstock.com
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american college of obstetricians and gynecologists, birth, C-section, Cesarean Section, cesarean surgery, child services, childbirth, Healthy Pregnancy, Labor, pregnancy, Vaginal Birth, vbac | Categories:
Everything Pregnancy, Healthy Pregnancy
Thursday, June 5th, 2014
Lifetime has had a full slate of questionable reality shows for a while, including the painful-to-watch therapy session of True Tori and the bitter backstage griping at Dance Moms. But the latest show they’re developing may just go a bit too far—called “Born in the Wild,” the show will chronicle women who decide to take home birth a few million steps further, and take their birth outdoors and into the woods. (Want to see the video that inspired it? Check it here!)
OB/GYNs, as you can imagine, have been extremely critical of the idea of the show, and the potential risks to both mom and baby should something go awry when they’re out in the middle of nowhere. (Heck, even home births have been shown to be more risky than their medically assisted counterparts—and those don’t include giving birth on a grassy knoll in the rain.) But the producers say that they have many safeguards in place, including requiring the birthing place to be a short distance from a hospital, having an EMT on site with the camera crew to intervene if needed, and casting only low-risk moms who already have an uneventful birth or two under their belts.
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birth, birth risks, born in the wild, dance moms, delivery, Home Birth, lifetime, Natural Birth, pregnancy, reality tv, true tori | Categories:
Everything Pregnancy, Must Read, Pregnancy News
Friday, May 9th, 2014
As your birth may be fast approaching, you might be getting palpitations (I’m not talking about contractions!) about whether the nursery will be done in time, if you’ve picked the best name for your baby, what labor might be like, how you’ll manage money while on maternity leave, or even whether you’ll be passed up for a promotion while you’re at home taking care of your newborn. It can be super-stressful just thinking about it!
But now imagine living in a developing country where just being pregnant is risky. Globally, 800 women die each day during pregnancy and childbirth, and 99 percent of all maternal deaths are in developing countries. (Pause a minute to let that sink in.) Less than half of pregnant women in developing countries visit a doctor, midwife, or trained birth professional during their pregnancy or childbirth because it’s just too expensive. But for the amount you spend on your weekly coffee fix, you can change that.
Kangu—a non-profit organization that crowdfunds safe births for women in underserviced communities in India, Nepal and Uganda (and which will soon expand to parts of Latin America)—gives you an opportunity to donate as little as $10 towards a woman’s birth in a clean, safe facility as well as prenatal and postnatal care.
The idea for the organization came to founder Casey Santiago, a mom of two, when she was in labor with her first son. “I imagined all the women around the world laboring at the same time,” she says. “It was a very intense feeling—I really felt like we were all in it together, helping each other through the contractions and comforting each other in between them.”
After giving birth, savoring every minute with her son in her arms, she was also haunted by the knowledge that so many women—those mamas that she had imagined laboring with—didn’t have access to the services that she did, and might die as a result. “I knew that I had to find a way to connect with those women and direct resources their way,” she says. “And so, Kangu was born.”
Sadly, most of these deaths are completely preventable, she says. “Many women deliver without proper lighting in unclean environments, with an unprepared family member. The majority of maternal deaths come from excessive bleeding, infection, and high-blood pressure, all of which can be prevented with access to a clean birthing place and a skilled helper by your side.”
To me, though, one of the coolest parts of Kangu is that, instead of just giving to a faceless charity, Kangu allows you to virtually meet the pregnant women who are in need of your help, by giving you their country of origin, names, photos, and stories about their lives and hopes for their babies. While you can give year round, this Mother’s Day, when you give a donation to a mom in need, Kangu will also send an electronic Mother’s Day card to the mama you love, telling her you’ve given your present in her honor. And the gift keeps giving! After your sponsored mom gives birth, “you get updates on the mama and baby, often with a photo,” says Casey, so you can see “how you’ve made an impact on the woman’s life and her baby. You’ve become a part of someone else’s birth story—which is very moving.”
Image of flowers courtesy of Shutterstock.
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birth, Casey Santiago, childbirth, Contractions, Kangu, Labor, maternity leave, Mothers Day, Nursery, pregnancy, pregnant | Categories:
Everything Pregnancy, Pregnancy News