January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month, and there is a lot of information to be had if you are pregnant or know someone who is and want to decrease your chances of having a child with a birth defect.
According to the National Birth Defects Prevention Network:
- Every 4 ½ minutes, a baby is born with a birth defect in the United States
- More than 120,000 babies born with a birth defect (approximately one in every 33 live births) are reported each year in the United States
- Birth defects are the most common cause of death in infants and the second most common cause of death in children ages one to four years old
- Congenital heart disease is the most common birth defect. It occurs in one out of 100 births
Don’t let these statistics overwhelm you. The risk for many types of birth defects can be reduced through healthy lifestyle choices before and during pregnancy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, women who are pregnant or want to become pregnant should:
- Consume 400 micrograms of folic acid daily
- Manage chronic maternal illnesses such as diabetes, seizure disorders or phenylketonuria (PKU)
- Reach and maintain a healthy weight
- Talk to a health care provider about taking any medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, as well as any supplements Continue Reading »
As someone who serves on the front line of face-to-face care with families suffering from a miscarriage or stillbirth, I see how devastating losing a pregnancy can be for mothers. Miscarriage is not a topic women want to think about or discuss, especially if they are in their first trimester of pregnancy. In this blog post, I will help break down what a miscarriage is, the signs and symptoms of a miscarriage and some advice and tips.
What causes a miscarriage?
Many miscarriages are caused by a chromosomal abnormality that make it impossible for the baby to develop. Other possible causes include drug and alcohol abuse, exposure to environmental toxins, infection, problem with the body’s immune response and hormonal abnormalities. Continue Reading »
Preeclampsia is a condition that can develop after 20 weeks of pregnancy. You may be diagnosed with preeclampsia if you have high blood pressure, generalized swelling and excess protein in your urine. Physicians use a cutoff blood pressure reading of 140/90 for mild preeclampsia and 160/110 for severe preeclampsia. Continue Reading »
Too busy to exercise during pregnancy? There is data out there suggesting that you should try to squeeze in a few workouts a week.
Some of the benefits of exercise during pregnancy for mom include:
- Reduced weight gain
- Improved muscle tone
- Improved self esteem
- Decreased incidence of varicose veins
- Improved sleep
- Decreased incidence of low back pain, musculoskeletal pains
- Improved posture, body mechanics
- Improved heart, lung function
- A possible link is decreased need for induction, cesarian deliveries, episotomy, anesthesia
- Prevents and provides treatment for:
During pregnancy you might find yourself tossing back and forth at night to find a comfortable spot. You may have to change your usual sleeping positions for your second and third trimester. Sleeping directly on your back after 20 weeks should be avoided. This is because a large vein, called the vena cava, delivers blood from your lower back to your heart. If you lie flat on your back and the baby is on the right side, it could compress the vein and could block delivery of blood back to your heart. Continue Reading »