CDC Urges Pregnant Moms to Get Pertussis Vaccine

The Centers for Disease Control have seen a pretty significant jump in reported cases of pertussis–also known as “whooping cough” over the past two years.  Jumping by nearly 4,000 cases across the US since 2009, pertussis can be a deadly infection in babies less than 6 months of age.  Previous recommendations suggested that mothers be vaccinated immediately after birth to help protect babies from the bacteria that cause the condition, but now researchers feel that in order to properly protect babies, they should be receiving mom’s antibodies in utero.

There are still questions to be answered regarding the use of the vaccine before delivery–and the vaccines are currently still being given after delivery, so don’t be surprised if a nurse walks in with a dose for you before you leave the hospital. Continue reading “CDC Urges Pregnant Moms to Get Pertussis Vaccine”

Oh my aching….

You can fill in the blank. It’s amazing to me how differently some women handle the aches and pains of pregnancy (and child birth for that matter) so differently, and how different the discomforts of becoming a mother vary from pregnancy to pregnancy. With my first child, I could have run a marathon, and I would have if someone had asked.  In fact, three weeks from my due date, someone dared me to channel my old cheer leading vibes and do the splits–which I did, belly and all. I was an unstoppable force, and I loved the way I felt.

Continue reading “Oh my aching….”

Induction of Labor Increases Chances for Cesarean Section

New research appearing in a past issue of Obestrics and Gynecology is confirming what many have long suspected. Induction of labor can double a mother’s chance of delivering by C-section. In a study that focused on reasons for labor induction and labor outcomes, mothers were 2.6% more likely to take a trip to the operating room for the birth of their baby.

Induction of labor involves administration of intravenous medications, or medications placed into the vagina to start contractions, and soften/dilate the cervix. In the past, inducing a patient for labor was done only for medical situations in which the baby needed to be delivered due to medical complications in which it is not safe to continue the pregnancy. Recently however, more and more women are requesting labor inductions for a variety of new reasons, and it appears that physicians are complying. (Even though I don’t know why…) Continue reading “Induction of Labor Increases Chances for Cesarean Section”

Doin’ it with a doula–a birth coach makes a difference

Making it through the long hours of labor with your motivation intact can be a bit dicey.  Hours of pain and concentration can lead to even more hours of even worse pain and pushing (doesn’t that sound fun), but gives way to the most glorious moments in any mother’s life.  Getting through each contraction and being ready to face what’s ahead is more easily managed if you don’t have to do it alone.  Finding trusted, supportive partners, friends, or even professionals to help coach you through even the most powerful emotional and physical moments. Continue reading “Doin’ it with a doula–a birth coach makes a difference”

Learning to cope when your baby is born sick

This is  never an easy subject to broach, but I feel like eventually we might need to discuss it.  No parent ever wants to think that their new baby may be sick after birth, but the truth is, that it happens on occasion–and there’s usually not a thing you could have done about it. Especially if you have no warning of an illness or medical condition, it can be startling to take an already stressful event (though a happy one) and make it more stressful.

Statistics show that one in ten babies born in the U.S. will require some form of resuscitation after birth.  It may not be a full-blown CPR event, but sometimes babies need a little “jump start” to get going.  Thankfully, the resiliency of newborns makes them respond almost instantly to the assistance given by skilled doctors and nurses, and they bounce back quickly with no problems.  For you as a parent, you probably will never even notice the quiet whispers being passed between your nurses as they work to help your baby.  I have handed beautiful, healthy pink babies to mothers only minutes after I had been scrambling to help them breathe–and their mothers have no idea.  It’s the way it is. Continue reading “Learning to cope when your baby is born sick”