Posts Tagged ‘ due date ’

A New Way to Predict Your Due Date — Coming Soon?

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

Here’s a surprising fact: Only about 5 percent of women actually give birth on their due dates!). But new research involving “good bacteria” in the placenta suggests that doctors may soon be able to do a quick and easy test to better determine when your baby might be born.

Sound crazy? Not really, say researchers led by Dr. Kjersti Aagaard at the Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital, who found that the placenta contains clues about when the baby will be born. According to Time magazine, “Dr. Aagaard is not ready to say that the bacteria living there actually decide when moms-to-be will give birth, but the association is strong enough to make it worth studying further (and she already plans to compare the placental and oral microbiomes of more than 500 women at risk for preterm birth to dig a little deeper).”

Within an hour of delivery, Aagaard and her team collected 320 placentas from women who delivered preterm (at 34-37 weeks), or at term. They analyzed the tissues for the microbes inhabiting them, and concluded that the makeup of the microbial community within the placenta was different between the preterm and term groups.

“We’re not suggesting that the differences in the placental microbiome necessarily cause preterm birth; we don’t know,” says Dr. Aagaard. “All we know is that they are different.” The theory is that the varying communities of bacteria—most of which have important day-to-day functions, such as dealing with molecules like vitamins, biotin, and folic acid, which are key for a developing fetus—have different functions, and these affect both the placenta’s ability to nurture the fetus and the development of the fetus itself.

It wouldn’t be safe to go in and sample the placenta throughout pregnancy, but the placental microbiome most resembled bacteria frequently found in the mouth, Dr. Aagaard reported in the journal Science Translational Medicine. That news is a big deal in the scientific world! Scientists had long thought the placenta was sterile, free of bacteria and other microbes, as opposed to mouths, which have tons of bacteria. Dr. Aagaard’s hypothesis: Oral microbes slip into the mother’s bloodstream and make their way to the placenta.

So, in the future, a non-invasive mouth swab might be able to help predict whether you might go into labor early or deliver at term. Freaky, yet cool, right?

Pregnant? Calculate your due date!

Your Pregnancy: How To Calculate Your Due Date
Your Pregnancy: How To Calculate Your Due Date
Your Pregnancy: How To Calculate Your Due Date

Image of calendar courtesy of Shutterstock.

 

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You Must Read This One-in-a-Million Birth Story!

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

Talk about the opposite of sibling rivalry! This is the epitome of togetherness!

By chance step-sisters  and best friends Lydia Crispin and Dawn Bamber shared a birthday of April 1. Nothing too odd there, but then they both also found out they were pregnant on June 18, 2013.

“On June 18, I did a pregnancy test and found out it was positive, and the first person I phoned was Dawn.

“That night, she texted me to see if I was still awake and if she could phone me.

“She was crying her eyes out and told me she was pregnant.”

Then—even though they both had different due dates—they gave birth on the same date, in the same hospital, and they both delivered daughters too!

Dawn was originally due on February 15, while Lydia was expecting her bundle of joy on February 20. Lydia gave birth to baby Summer at 12:30 a.m. on February 28, who weighed in at 7 lbs and 12 oz. Meanwhile, Dawn—who was almost two weeks past her due date—was induced before having 10 lb, 11 oz. baby Courtney at 7:50 p.m.

“For our girls to have the same birthday, like us, is lovely,” said Lydia. Dawn agreed: “I think they will be best friends like me and Lydia.”

According to a piece in The Daily Mail, Experts say the odds of two sisters discovering they are pregnant and giving birth on the same days are a million to one.

It’s a little crazy, but it got me thinking: You know how they say female family members, or even coworkers, who spend a lot of time together can have their periods sync up? Is it possible to have pregnancies somehow miraculously sync up too? A good friend of mine and I—unbeknownst to each other—found out we were pregnant around the same time, and our due dates ended up being just a week apart. We couldn’t believe it. If we had the story of these two step-sisters, we really would have lost it!

TELL US: Do you and a friend have close due dates? Do you think pregnancies can sync up?

When will your baby make his grand entrance? Use our Due Date Calculator to find out.

Labor & Delivery: Labor & Delivery Timeline
Labor & Delivery: Labor & Delivery Timeline
Labor & Delivery: Labor & Delivery Timeline

Image of calendar courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Is Kerry Washington’s Pregnancy Ruining Scandal?

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

Talk about must-see TV! On any given Thursday night at 10 pm, your butt is probably firmly planted on the couch watching one of the most buzzed about shows on TV, Scandal (and if it isn’t, it should be!). Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope is just the coolest, most brilliant and powerful badass who has ever walked in Louboutins. She runs (or at least fixes!) Washington, and she looks fantastic while doing it! What’s not to love?

When I heard Kerry Washington and her hubby Nnamdi Asomugha were pregnant, I was so excited. Love her! Love her wardrobe! She’s just going to be the cutest pregnant woman ever, I thought (and she’s proving me right!). Then I started to think, How will this affect the show? Will Olivia have a love child with the President? Or will they choose not to add the pregnancy to the plot, and she’ll just be at her desk a lot, or carrying really conspicuous file boxes in front of her at all times?

Well, now I know the pregnancy will not be incorporated in—which I’m fine with. But, sadly, Kerry’s surprise pregnancy means a shortened Scandal season. Say it isn’t so, ABC! Unfortunately, it’s true. In order to work around Kerry’s pregnancy, the network has decided to cut the season by four episodes, from 22 down to 18.

According to TVLine, “The actress’ spring due date would’ve made shooting those final four episodes next to impossible (and, according to sources, writing Olivia out of the show for an extended period of time was not an option.)”

In the end, of course I want Kerry to take things easy. Filming those super-intense, drama-filled scenes can’t be easy on her or the baby. The spring can’t come soon enough! Hurry up and have that baby, Kerry, so we can have our beloved Olivia back!

TELL US: Are you bummed Kerry’s pregnancy means less Scandal this season?

Image of Kerry Washington courtesy of s_bukley/Shutterstock.com.

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WHO Could Go Into Labor at The Emmys?

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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Induce Labor. Don’t Induce Labor. Which is It?

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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