Posted by: allisonkatseanes | December 1, 2010

“It”

Up until recent years, women had no way of knowing if they were having a boy or a girl until they actually gave birth. Now we have ultrasounds that can tell us what the gender is well before we ever meet the little one. Some people still choose not to know, however, and keep it a surprise to the end. I am not one of those people. I was so anxious to know, and was thrilled when I found out I am having a girl. I was also thrilled to be able to refer to my baby as “she” instead of “it.”

I was even tempted to pay money and find out early. There are many places you can go to get an early ultrasound, fetal foto is one of them. You can get amazing pictures and videos of your baby moving around, which is pretty neat!

One of the downsides to finding out the gender, is that it is not 100% accurate. Depending on your technician, the equipment used, and how far along you are, you may or may not get a correct reading. This doesn’t happen all that often, but it does! One of my friends was told all along that she was having a girl, because there didn’t seem to be “anything there.” But come delivery day, she had a boy!

If you are pregnant or have been pregnant, what did you do? If you found out, was it accurate? And for those who aren’t pregnant, what are you planning on doing? Have any good horror stories?

Posted by: allisonkatseanes | December 1, 2010

A “Peanutty” Problem

The list of foods a pregnant woman is not supposed to eat seems to keep growing and growing. Another thing that you might consider adding to the list?

Peanuts. Studies have been done that show that eating peanuts while pregnant and nursing may increase the chance that your baby develops a peanut allergy. In 2000, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that pregnant women with a history of food allergies should avoid eating peanuts, because it might cause an allergy in their child. This was recalled in 2008, however, because of lack of evidence.

A study is currently underway to determine if this correlation could be true, but researchers admit that the study is limited and may not provide the most accurate results. While this may be the case, it is still pointing toward the direction that a correlation does exist.

The issue now is whether or not this study will provide enough evidence to claim that eating peanuts while pregnant or nursing can actually lead to a peanut allergy. How much evidence is necessary to advise women to avoid peanuts? In my opinion, if there is even a possibility that something could cause a problem (especially a dangerous one), I will definitely avoid it. But is it right to make national recommendations based on limited evidence?

Posted by: allisonkatseanes | December 1, 2010

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes only happens during pregnancy, and presents itself in the second 20 weeks. The good news is that it is manageable and goes away after the baby is born. While it is not necessarily harmful for the mother, it can be for the baby, which is why it is so important to keep it under control. The baby is given extra glucose, which is stored as fat, and can cause the baby to be very large at birth.

It is important for women to know about gestational diabetes before they become pregnant, so they can do everything in their power to prevent it. Maintaining a healthy body weight is an important way to decrease your risk. Because losing weight while pregnant is definitely not recommended, beginning your pregnancy with a healthy weight it the way to go.

Eating a healthy diet that is low in calories can also help. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Exercise is another proven way to help lower your risk for gestational diabetes. It is important to continue to exercise throughout your pregnancy, making sure you only perform exercises that are approved for pregnant women.

A glucose test is used to see if you have gestational diabetes. I had heard horror stories about how awful the sugary solution tasted, so I was not looking forward to it at all. I went in for the test today, however, and it wasn’t bad at all! It wasn’t the most pleasant experience, but really not too bad. Let’s just hope that the test results bring good news!

Posted by: allisonkatseanes | December 1, 2010

To wait, or not to wait..

Miscarriages are a sad but fairly common occurrence among women. About 15% of known pregnancies end in miscarriage, and many women miscarry before they even know they are pregnant. A common concern with losing a baby is whether the mom should wait to get pregnant again, or try for it immediately.

According to this article, women who experience a miscarriage should try to get pregnant again right away. A study done in Scotland showed that women who got pregnant within 6 months of having a miscarriage had healthier babies than those who waited 2 or more years. Previous guidelines established by the World Health Organization have said to wait 6 months before trying again, but this article claims that the recommendation should be changed.

I had heard that you should wait a few months after, but I wasn’t sure if it was true. Back in the beginning of the summer, I experienced a miscarriage. It was a hard thing to go through, and I wasn’t really sure where to go to from there. I talked to my doctor, who said there was no reason to wait to get pregnant again. It took just a couple of months and, sure enough, I was pregnant again! It worked for me, but it may not work for everyone. Should the recommendations of the WHO be reconsidered based on this study? Does more research need to be done?

Posted by: allisonkatseanes | November 30, 2010

Feeling Queasy?

According to Americanpregnancy.org, about 2/3 of women experience some type of morning sickness at some point in their pregnancy. Morning sickness, despite its name, can come at any time in the day. It typically shows up around week 6 of pregnancy, and leaves sometime around week 12. I, however, am one of the lucky few who have it throughout the entire pregnancy. This just means I have plenty of experience trying to settle my stomach!

Here are some tips that I have read about and tried myself:

1. Eat 6 or 7 small meals a day. Never let yourself get too hungry or become too full.

2. Try a wide variety of foods. While some people recommend eating bland foods, I found that there are plenty of other foods that make me feel better, you just have to find out what those foods are. They change from person to person, and even differ between pregnancies.

3. Get plenty of sleep. I struggle the most on days where I don’t get enough sleep the night before.

4. Stay in cool places. Heat can seriously aggravate nausea.

And when all of this doesn’t help? Talk to your doctor. There may be a medication that can help you keep food down to avoid nutrition problems.

These tips are meant for morning sickness, but could work for regular nausea/vomiting as well. What do you do to help with an upset stomach? Any good tips?

Go HERE for more information on morning sickness.

Posted by: allisonkatseanes | November 30, 2010

The “angry lines” of pregnancy

Along with the long list of symptoms that women may encounter during pregnancy, stretch marks are just another thing you have to deal with. Most women get them, and they are not exactly preventable.

Some people claim that certain creams, especially those containing vitamin E oil and cocoa butter, may help soften the skin and make it stretch easier. The mayoclinic, however, says that this doesn’t prevent them, and the best way to prevent them is to stay within the healthy range of weight gain (between 25-35 pounds).

The problem with pregnancy stretch marks is that they are not just caused by the large amount of weight gained, but also by the hormonal changes a woman goes through. Genetics may even play a factor, so ask your mom if she got stretch marks when she was pregnant. So even if you keep your skin moisturized, drink plenty of water, and don’t gain too much weight, you could very well still get them (at 6 months pregnant, I already have my fair share!).

The good news? Stretch marks aren’t serious, and will most likely fade over time. They may be bright and noticeable when they first come in, but should calm down to a lighter silvery color.

The other good news? Just remember, it’s for a good cause! Holding that baby for the first time will make all of this craziness worth it!

Posted by: allisonkatseanes | November 15, 2010

The Breastfeeding Blues

Breastfeeding is a beautiful and natural way to provide your baby with optimum nutrients and protection against diseases. But it is not as easy as you might think. Some women simply cannot produce milk to feed their children, or may be able to nurse for just a short period of time before they dry up. It is important for these women to not feel guilty, but to remember that it is out of their control.

Even women who are able to breastfeed may struggle to continue, due to complications. These may include: dry and itchy nipples, cracking or bleeding, baby fusses during feedings and doesn’t seem to like it, baby gets an upset stomach because of something the mom ate, over-lactation, and general pain when milk comes in. These symptoms make nursing extremely uncomfortable, and make feedings seem like a battle.

If you are experiencing discomfort or discouragement about nursing, talk to a lactation consultant. These are specialists trained to help people feel comfortable and confident with breastfeeding. Go here to find a consultant or to learn more about breastfeeding in general.

While some women are not capable of producing milk, those who can breastfeed, should. It is extremely beneficial to your baby, and will provide him or her with a level of protection that cannot be replicated elsewhere. Advocates of nursing will continue to try to convince all women to make this important decision to nurse their babies. One celebrity, supermodel Gisele Bundchen, even caused quite the uproar by saying that breastfeeding should be a law. Do you think this is going too far? Should mothers be forced to nurse if they are able?

Posted by: allisonkatseanes | November 8, 2010

Raise your glasses…

of water of course! Drinking enough fluids during pregnancy is extremely important to the health of mothers and babies. It brings numerous benefits, including carrying nutrients to your baby, and preventing urinary infections, headaches, and that oh-so-wonderful constipation that pregnancy may bring. Drinking enough water will also keep you hydrated and alleviate some of that pesky itching that comes with overly-stretched skin. It can also help keep you from overheating, yet another joy of pregnancy.

But just how much should you drink? No more than usual, about 64 ounces of water per day. While pregnancy may not require you to drink more than you normally should, it is important to pay attention to your fluid intake, because most people don’t get the recommended amounts.

Some people may worry that drinking too much water will lead to fluid retention, but according to What to Expect, (authors of the famous “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”) “drinking plenty of liquids can keep excessive water retention under control — and prevent you from becoming a puff mommy.” Many pregnant women are far too familiar with puff mommy problems: swelling. Even I, only  5 1/2 months along, have started to battle the bulge in my feet and ankles. Mine usually only acts up if I am in really hot weather, which is less of a problem with winter right around the corner. At my last appointment my doctor told me what I expected to hear, “drink plenty of water.” It’s done the trick so far!

The benefits of a healthy fluid intake are easy to see, and drinking enough is not that hard to do. Just try to carry a water bottle with you and drink all throughout the day, not just around meal times. If water gets too boring, try flavored water, light juices, or even milk. Remember, every little bit helps!

Posted by: allisonkatseanes | September 22, 2010

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