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Friday, September 20th, 2013
It’s Emmy weekend, and no one could be more excited than Homeland’s Morena Baccarin. Sunday might just be twice as nice for her, because not only could it be her first Emmy win with her cast of the hit Showtime show, but Marena is also due with her first son any day now, and could in fact go into labor at the awards. Something as exciting as an Emmy win could certainly cause her to go into labor!
Morena recently joked on Jimmy Kimmel Live, “My doctor is my plus one, so it’s all good,” she said. “He’ll be waiting in the limo just in case.” Since it’s such a big night for her and her costars (including new mama Claire Danes), Morena doesn’t want to miss a moment of it. So what’s her birth plan? “I told myself that I was going to go, and if I went into labor at the Emmys, I was going to sit through it. I mean, no baby comes in four-and-a-half hours anyway. I’m going to wait it out. I’m going to cross my legs and hold tight.”
Well, I hate to break it to you, Morena, but it is possible to go into labor and deliver all in four-and-a-half hours. While according to a 2012 study by the National Institutes of Health, the average first time mom spends six-and-a-half hours in labor, 50 years ago the average was four hours, and plenty of women have had children in under a few hours. Um, haven’t you heard of all of those roadside baby deliveries on the way to the hospital? But the all-time craziest story happened in 2007, when a British woman set the record for fastest delivery when she gave birth to her daughter just two minutes (yes, a mere 120 seconds) after her water broke!
I hope for Morena’s sake, she doesn’t go into labor on Emmy night. But it would make for one unforgettable TV moment!
Homeland premieres its third season Sunday, Sept 29, on Showtime.
TELL US: Would you go to the Emmys if you were due any day, or is Morena coo-coo bananas for going so close to her due date?
Image of Morena Baccarin courtesy of Shutterstock.
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birth, Birth Plan, celebrities, delivery, due date, Homeland, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Labor, Marena Baccarin, pregnancy, pregnant, Pregnant celebrities | Categories:
Who Is Pregnant
Monday, September 16th, 2013
There seems to be so much contradictory news out there when it comes to inductions.How are you supposed to know what to do?
One recent study sings the praises of inducing a pregnancy (which is when a doctor gives you medicine like pitocin, or other drugs, to artificially start or speed up your contractions) as a major way to stave off the need for a C-section. Though this is contrary to a British study from two years ago that said the use of pitocin doesn’t lower the risk of a Cesarean section.Their findings stated that the use of pitocin sped up labor by about two hours, but that it did not lessen the need for a C-section or increase the number of unassisted births.
Meanwhile, an anxiety-inducing study was also recently published in the journal, JAMA Pediatrics, that says inducing a pregnancy can increase a child’s chance of having autism. Researchers say the method used to kick-start the labor process likely doesn’t cause the autism, but it comes from a larger underlying problem with the pregnancy. Studies have found that children are at higher risk for autism if they are born early or very small; if they are in medical distress during delivery; if they have older mothers or fathers; or if they are born less than a year after an older sibling. Autism risk also goes up if a mother has diabetes or high blood pressure; is obese; is exposed to significant air pollution during pregnancy; had low levels of folic acid; or makes antibodies toxic to the fetal brain.
There are plenty of medical reasons to induce, such as you’re one to two weeks past your due date; you have gestational diabetes and the doctor fears the baby may be getting too big; your placenta is no longer bringing nutrients to the baby properly, you have too little amniotic fluid, or your baby isn’t growing as it should; your water breaks but your labor doesn’t start on its own; you develop preeclampsia, which restricts the flow of blood to your baby; or you have high blood pressure, diabetes or kidney disease.
You should note that the March of Dimes advocates that a baby is not fully developed until at least 39 weeks of pregnancy, so if you’re having a healthy pregnancy they suggest you wait for labor to begin on its own. Why? At 35 weeks, a baby’s brain weighs only two-thirds of what it will at 39 to 40 weeks, and babies born after 39 weeks have fewer health problems and have an easier time feeding and staying warm.
I’m especially interested in—okay, obsessed with— this topic because my OB induced me at 39 weeks. My water had broken at 4 am, and by 8 am, I was still just dilated one measly centimeter. I also had gestational diabetes, so she worried that I could end up having to have a c-section if all did not go well. Luckily, all did go well! In fact after getting the pitocin at around 9, I went to sleep around 10 and when I woke up at noon, I was fully dilated! The best part was meeting my ridiculously-cute son, Logan (pictured on the day we took him home from the hospital).
But now to hear that induction can be a sign that your baby may be on the autistic spectrum only makes me analyze his every move, wondering if what he’s doing is a sign of autism (I’m a first-time mom—we freak about about anything and everything!). As scary as the media makes autism out to be, though, having a child with autism is not the end of the world—far from it. I know a few parents who have children with autism, and they’ll be the first to tell you that there are incredible ups and very emotional downs with coming to terms with the diagnoses and the day-to-day challenges that affect the entire family. But life with kids with autism is still good—just different, and those differences deserve to be celebrated too.
TELL US: Which study do you believe? Were you induced? Are there any signs of your child having autism?
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Amniotic Fluid, Autism, Being Induced, birth, C-section, childbirth, delivery, due date, Gestational Diabetes, Inducing Pregnancy, Induction, Pitocin, pregnancy, pregnant | Categories:
Monday, September 9th, 2013
Vanity Fair recently reported that sources close to the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, revealed she told friends that her natural birth was “perfect.” And by “perfect,” she meant she had no complications and she was able to stick to her birth plan. For some reason, though, that description of perfection really stood out to me as odd—on so many levels.
Really, let’s be honest. Yes, the act of having a baby is a miracle. The big picture is a beautiful one; you’re creating life, specifically, you’re creating the person you’ll love the most in the world. But when you look at the small details, even if everything goes off without a hitch, pregnancy isn’t exactly a walk in the park, and childbirth is hard, exhausting work and can be really disgusting (like no one tells you that you can actually poop while pushing during delivery. I didn’t even know that was a possibility until friends who’d gone through it asked me if I had. For the record, as far as I know, I did not!).
Also, what if there are complications and you have to have an emergency c-section (about 30 percent of women have either a planned or emergency c-section)? I’m sure Kate was not trying to make any grand statements about natural childbirth being more perfect than surgically-assisted births, but it could be taken that way, and another Kate—Kate Winslet—did get into hot water for outright suggesting natural childbirth is superior. After having her second child, Kate Winslet, who is now pregnant with her third, revealed in New York’s Gotham magazine that she had lied for years about having her daughter Mia vaginally when she actually had an emergency c-section. “I just said that I had a natural birth because I was so completely traumatized by the fact that I hadn’t given birth,” she told Gotham. “I felt like a complete failure. There’s this thing amongst women that if you can handle childbirth you can handle anything. I had never handled childbirth and I felt like in some way I couldn’t enter the ‘powerful women’s club.’ It was an amazing feeling having Joe naturally. Fourteen hours with no drugs at all, but then I had to have an epidural because I was so tired. It was an incredible birth. It was really triumphant.”
Reading that really upset me, because I don’t think women should be made to feel that the only way or “the right way” to have a baby is if she delivers vaginally. So many women I know who’ve had c-sections already feel a sense of guilt, as if they did something wrong, or they just weren’t woman enough. This insanity should not be perpetuated. Childbirth is not a competition. Whether you choose to have an epidural or not is your business. If a cesarean section is needed in order to have a healthy delivery, do it without second thought! No one has the right to judge you. And remember that the end result is still the same: you’re taking home a beautiful baby, and any way you do it is “perfect” in my book! Don’t let anyone take that amazing feeling away from you.
TELL US: Have you or someone you know had c-section guilt?
Image of Kate Middleton and Prince William courtesy of the British Monarchy’s Twitter page.
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birth, Birth Plan, C-section, celebrities, Cesarean Section, childbirth, Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, Kate Winslet, Natural Birth, Prince George | Categories:
Must Read, Pregnancy News
Thursday, September 5th, 2013
If you want your babies to grow up to be tall, drink milk according to new research
published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition
. Nutrition experts from the U.S., Iceland and Denmark teamed up to track 809 pregnant women who gave birth in Denmark between 1988 and 1989. They found that women who drank at least a quarter pint of milk per day were more likely to have tall teenagers.
Call me skeptical! I know plenty of people who start the day with an ice-cold glass of milk, but still give birth to shorties (like my mom—my sister and I are no supermodels at 5’4″ and 5’3″). But scientists maintain that the babies were measured for length
and weight at birth, and then again nearly 20 years later, and the results found that women who drank more milk while pregnant tended to have taller children—both boys and girls
Past research has indicated that a mom’s propensity for milk while pregnant has an effect on her babies in the womb, causing them to be stronger and healthier, and thanks to a boost in iodine (that is essential to fetal brain development) even smarter. But this is the first evidence that a pregnant woman’s milk consumption can have lasting effects on her children’s height.
If it really is true (could it be???), I wonder how short my sister and I would have been if my mom wasn’t a fan of moo juice. Clearly, her mother wasn’t, because my mom is only 5’1″.
Check out these other five food and drinks all pregnant women should include in their diet here
TELL US: Are you going to run out for a pint of milk pronto, or do you think this study is bull?
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Wednesday, September 4th, 2013
A scary new study suggests the high number of cesarean sections may have more to do with doctors’ greed than the patient’s need. According to a story by NPR, “about 1 in 3 babies born are now delivered via C-section, compared to 1 in 5 in 1996. During the same time period, the annual medical costs of childbirth in the U.S. have grown by $3 billion annually.” That’s worth repeating: an increase of $3 billion—that’s with a “B”!
In a paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, economists found that in many cases, doctors are paid hundreds more for performing a C-section over a vaginal delivery, and hospitals can be paid up to thousands more.
Health care economists Erin Johnson and M. Marit Rehavi hypothesized that OBs might be less likely to perform C-sections for financial incentives if the patients had significant knowledge about childbirth and its risk factors. So they looked at how many doctors had C-sections while giving birth to their own kids as opposed to non-doctors—who would likely know much less about whether a C-section was the right birth method for them.
The findings were that in cases where financial incentives were involved, pregnant doctors are about 10 percent less likely to get C-sections than their non medically-trained counter parts, which points to the fact that when armed with knowledge about whether a cesarean section is really necessary, women are likely to push back if they think it is more of a doctor’s elective surgery.
In situations when vaginal delivery is first tried, and for whatever reason doesn’t go as planned, women without a medical degree are more likely to have cesareans—which makes sense because during that time all you hear is “there is a problem,” and the rest of your mind shuts down. You of course trust your doctor and presume he or she knows a hell of a lot more than you do in this situation, so in most cases you are going to do exactly what they say.
Interestingly, in instances where doctors were paid flat rates whether they did a vaginal birth or surgical birth (so there were no benefits to the doc for performing a c-section), pregnant physicians actually had more C-sections than non-doctors, which could mean that when there aren’t financial incentives doctors are less likely to give women c-sections (often a longer and more difficult procedure) even when they need them.
Neither the study nor I are saying that all doctors are evil or that they would all do an unnecessary surgery just for the extra bucks. But the reality is that it does happen, whether subconsciously or not. So the best thing you can do for your and your baby’s health is to read up as much as you possibly can about births and emergency procedures, or even hire an impartial doula or midwife if you can afford it (many insurance companies don’t pay for them), so if and when you are put in that situation you can make the most informed decision possible.
TELL US: Do you believe doctors would be more likely to perform a cesarean section because of the bigger paycheck? Do you suspect your doctor steered you into having one?
Image of doctor courtesy of Shutterstock.
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birth, C-section, Cesarean Section, childbirth, Doula, Labor, Midwife, pregnancy, pregnant, Vaginal Delivery | Categories:
Healthy Pregnancy, Must Read