Posts Tagged ‘
Cesarean Section ’
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!
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Image of twins courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Baby Names: How To Name Twins and Multiples
Bed rest, C-section, Cesarean Section, fertility, Gestational Diabetes, In Vitro Fertilization, infertility, IVF, Multiples, Preeclampsia, Preemies, pregnancy, pregnant, Spotting, Twins | Categories:
Monday, December 2nd, 2013
The Huffington Post UK is reporting that a pregnant 35-year-old Italian woman in England for a work trip was ordered by Essex’s Court of Protection to have a Cesarean section against her will. And it gets worse! She was then forced to put her child up for adoption. Scary, right? The court says it was all done to protect her unborn child. Why? The woman—who is the mom to two other girls—has Bipolar disorder, and if she fails to take her meds she can have manic episodes and paranoid delusions.
She had what appears to be a breakdown at a hotel and was taken into custody. The court ordered the C-section, and the baby was taken by social workers the following day. Another judge began the adoption process for a British couple to take full custody of the child—despite the mom being back on her meds, with a job, home, and family support (her 11 and 4 year old are being raised in Italy by her parents). She testified that having her daughter taken away is what finally made her accept that she is in fact bipolar, and got her back on her medication.
The mom, whose daughter is now 15 months old, plans to continue to challenge the adoption, in hopes that she and her baby can return to Italy, so her entire family can be together. I know the intention was to “save” the baby, but this sounds like a total violation of the mom’s human rights to me. A forced Cesarean section? That sounds like something that would happen in a barbaric nation, not England!
Mental health is a serious issue—and more help and insurance coverage should be devoted to it, IMHO—but why not notify the woman’s parents in Italy, so the baby could grow up with her sisters? Why rip her from the arms of her mom, and out of her siblings’ lives? I don’t get it! Where’s the common sense here? They are supposed to be the family court, but they clearly don’t value the importance of family.
TELL US: Do you think the Court of Protection did the right thing, or was it a huge human rights violation?
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Monday, November 4th, 2013
When you’re pregnant, you’re pretty much worrying every waking moment wondering, Are you eating the right foods? Getting enough rest? Working out as many times as you should? Will you be a good mom? The list of internal questions goes on and on. Well now apparently there’s a reason to be worried when you’re sleeping too!
According to research from the University of Michigan, published in the journal Sleep, moms-to-be who snored three or more nights a week “had a higher risk of Cesarean sections and babies with lower birth weights. Moms who snored before and during pregnancy are two thirds more likely to have a baby born below the tenth percentile for babies the same gestational age (that means they’re smaller than 90 percent of other babies in that group). They are also more than twice as likely to need an elective C-section, researchers found.“
The study included 1,673 pregnant women who were recruited from prenatal clinics by the university between 2007 and 2010, with 35 percent of the women reporting they regularly snored.
Snoring is a key sign of obstructive sleep apnea, a sleep-related breathing problem that can reduce blood oxygen levels during the night and cause serious heart conditions. This study’s findings follow another just a year earlier that found that women who begin snoring during pregnancy are at high risk for high blood pressure and preeclampsia.
Dr Louise O’Brien, from the University of Michigan’s Sleep Disorders Center, and one of the lead researchers of the study says the findings are so important because: “If we can identify risk factors during pregnancy that can be treated, such as obstructive sleep apnea, we can reduce the incidence of small babies, C-sections and possibly NICU admission that not only improve long term health benefits for newborns but also help keep costs down.”
The good news is that sleep apnea can be treated with CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure), which involves wearing a machine during sleep to keep the airways open. So if you are diagnosed early on in your pregnancy and are treated, you lower the risks of a C-section for you or low birth weight for your baby.
TELL US: Have you developed a snoring habit while pregnant?
Image of sleeping pregnant woman courtesy of Shutterstock.
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C-section, Cesarean Section, High Blood Pressure, Low Birth Weight, Preeclampsia, pregnancy, pregnant, Sleep, Sleep Apnea, Sleep Disorders, Snoring | Categories:
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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Friday, October 4th, 2013
It’s become sort of a given that if you’re expecting twins then of course you’ll have a Cesarean Section, right? Not so fast, says a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The assumption is that a C-section is the safest way to deliver two babies, especially since many second-born twins end up in a breech position, but the mere fact that you’re carrying twins doesn’t automatically rule out vaginal birth. As long as things are progressing normally with your pregnancy, it’s still a viable option.
That said, the rate of C-sections for single births is at around 31 percent, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, while the C-section rate for twin births has jumped to 75 percent as of 2008 (the latest numbers available), and is thought to be even higher now.
While some women like the idea of having a planned c-section—you know exactly when you’ll give birth and can therefore plan for it; there’s not all of the agony involved in pushing; and your lady parts are just as you left them—it is still surgery and with all surgery there can be complications (like infections, blood clots and adhesions). So with all things equal, in a normal, healthy pregnancy with no complications, vaginal births are still safer, and there’s no reason to think that you cannot have one—even with twins.
This is great news for women who had wanted to give birth vaginally, but didn’t think they could because they had two babies onboard. I think childbirth is scary for a first-time mom anyway, but once you tell her that she has no choice in the matter, and has to give birth a certain way, it just ups the fear factor. Now women expecting twins can feel like they’re still in control of their bodies and their decision, and choose which method is truly best for them.
TELL US: Are you psyched to hear it’s possible to give birth to twins vaginally, or would you prefer to have a planned C-section instead?
Image of the twins is courtesy of Shutterstock.
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