Sunday, October 30, 2005

Postpartum Candy Gifts

From Obstetrics and Gynecology, via Neonatology on the Web, comes this July, 1993 study: A Prospective Study of Postpartum Candy Gift Net Weight: Correlation with Birth Weight. I'm still deciding if it's a joke or not.

**Update 10/31/05** Well, almost certainly a joke. Check out more funnies here.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

28 Week Update

For some reason, I don't feel quite as "big" as I did last week. I guess I had a little growth spurt and needed to "catch up" to myself. I have a ton of energy right now, and am trying to get as many things done (cleaning, organizing, holiday planning) as I can before I hit that late-pregnancy big 'n tired stage.

I have this recurring dream where the whole family is at my house for Christmas. I am cooking a turkey. I realize that I am in labor, and I need to call my midwife and perhaps go lay down on the bed for a while, but first I have to take the turkey out of the oven. I don't want anyone but my husband to know I am in labor, because then folks might feel they ought to leave or something, and I want them to continue to enjoy the festivities. Only hitch; how to sneak the midwife in the front door without anyone catching on. Usually the dream ends with me successfully getting both the turkey and the "bun" out of the oven. If I remember correctly, I had a similar dream three years ago - that's what I get for having January babies.

Little Champion's transition to sleeping in the same room with his brother has gone remarkably smoothly. Actually, LC has slept in his own bed all night two nights in a row, and it is his big brother who has been crawling into bed with us in the wee hours. We are all set to go on the potty training; just need to pick a day or two to dedicate to the task.

By this week, your baby weighs a little over 2 pounds and measures about 14.8 inches from the top of her head to her heels. She can open her eyes - which now sport lashes - and she'll turn her head toward a continuous, bright light from the outside. Her fat layers are beginning to form, too, as she gets ready for life outside the womb.
Next up: Midwife appointment next week, when I will have the glucose challenge test. And I am working on getting my Baby Registry/wish list in good shape and will post details soon.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Incontinence Tied to Lifestyle, Not Mode of Delivery

The Ob.Gyn news reports on a study that shows that the mode of delivery has no bearing on incontinence in older women:
"Body mass index, smoking, and hormone replacement therapy remain bad news for the pelvic floor," said Kaven Baessler, M.D., who conducted the study at Royal Women's Hospital in Brisbane, Australia.

Speaking at the annual meeting of the International Continence Society, Dr. Baessler, who has since moved to Charité University Hospital in Berlin, said neither age nor mode of delivery was associated with incontinence in her study population of 443 women aged 40–80 years.

The data were analyzed based on three delivery modes: women who'd had no births, women with a cesarean delivery, and women who'd had either a spontaneous or instrumental delivery. This analysis showed no association between any of these three categories and incontinence.
Other studies which have shown a link between vaginal deliveries and incontinence have not differentiated between spontaneous and instrumental (forceps, episiotomy) deliveries.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

27 Week Update

"In every day, in every way, I'm getting bigger and bigger."

People no longer ask me if I am pregnant. They are safe to assume that I am. I have stopped "growing into" my maternity clothes and started "growing out of" them. At least it feels that way. I have a lot of growing left to do, though.

We just got back from visiting DH's parents in Iowa - on the occasion of their 50th wedding anniversary. More about our trip is posted here. Airplane flights with the boys went fine. They are pretty easy to travel with at their age. It was not fun to return to temperatures in the 90s, but we are scheduled for some cooler weather this week, but still no rain.

Baby is active and strong. At this point, I can feel body parts sticking out occasionally - can't tell which ones, but they are knees or feet or elbows or something.

Your baby is really starting to fill up your uterus. This week he weighs almost 2 pounds and is about 14.4 inches long with his legs extended. He can now open and close his eyes, and he sleeps and wakes at regular intervals. He may suck his fingers, and although his lungs are still immature, they would be capable of functioning - with assistance - if he were to be born prematurely. Chalk up any rhythmic movement you may be feeling to a case of baby hiccups, which may be common from now on. Each episode usually lasts only a few moments, and isn't bothersome to him, so enjoy the tickle. With more brain tissue developing, your baby's brain is very active now. Wonder what he's thinking?

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Bed Rest for Pregnancy Hypertension Ineffective

Via BloggingBaby, a new study shows that "routine recommendation of bed rest for pregnant women with hypertension is not strongly supported by the limited available research." Bed rest may additionally cause physical, emotional, and financial problems for pregnant women and their families.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

VBACs After 40 Weeks

A new study shows that attempted VBACs after 40 weeks gestation are no more risky, and only slightly less successful, than VBACs which occur at or before 40 weeks:
The researchers found that 69% of women who attempted VBAC at or after their estimated date of delivery were less likely to be successful compared with 78% of women who delivered before their estimated date of delivery. ... Researchers said there was a small increase in "absolute risk" of operative complications and adverse effects among women who attempted VBAC at or beyond 40 weeks' gestation compared with those who chose repeat c-section delivery. However, the differences disappeared once other factors were taken into account. Therefore, the "risks of a VBAC attempt are not increased simply because the due date has passed," the researchers said.
Source: Reuters via Kaiser Network

26 Week Update

Not much new to report. Pretty much the same as the 25 Week Update, only a little bit more so. My DC says that my rib cage is starting to spread.

BabyCenter's Week 26:
Your baby now weighs a little under 2 pounds and measures about 14 inches, from head to heel. The nerve pathways in her ears are developing, which means her response to sounds is growing more consistent. Her lungs are developing now, too, as she continues to take small breaths of amniotic fluid — good practice for when she's born and takes that first breath of air. If you're having a boy, his testicles are beginning to descend into his scrotum — a trip that will take about two to three days.
We'll be out of town this week, so blogging will be light.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

The Mommy Blawg - reminder

If you are interested in the legal aspects of birthing, make sure you are reading The Mommy Blawg - for instance, my recent piece on Cerebral Palsy litigation and Electronic Fetal Monitoring.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Quit yellin', it's only childbirth

The New York Daily News reports on the Tom Cruise/Katie Holmes pregnancy, from the standpoint that Scientology, which Cruise practices, encourages silent childbirth:
Practitioners of Scientology are against drugs but insist on "silent birth" because they believe it's traumatic for babies to hear their mothers groan or cry.
Scientologists also favor seven days of silence for newborns so their first week on Earth is trauma-free.
Um... has anyone ever told them that the womb is a very noisy place? I mean, I'm all for a calm, gentle birth, but a newborn is more likely to be shocked by the silence than disturbed by the noise.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

25 Week Update

The baby's growth now is such that the top of the uterus is pressing against my diaphragm - which means occasional shortness of breath and very mild, transient heartburn. I'm not exactly feeling nausea, but I will say that my stomach is not as joyfully happy and welcoming as it has been for the last month or so. More like a premonition of things to come. Have you seen those diagrams of how a woman's internal organs get squished and rearanged during pregnancy?

The baby is quite a bit stronger now. Occasionally, I can see my tummy move when he kicks. Enjoy it now before it becomes painful.

Midwife report: Just when I was marveling at how closely my fundal height measurements track my calendar, this week I am measuring a whopping 27 1/2 cm! And while only gaining 2 lbs. this month. Some sugar in my urine but my blood sugar is 84. Hemoglobin at 11.3.

Head to heels, your baby now measures about 13 1/2 inches. His weight — a pound and a half — doesn't sound like much, but he's beginning to exchange his long, lean look for some baby fat. As he does, his wrinkled skin will begin to smooth out and he'll start to look more and more like a newborn. His hair is probably recognizable now (in color and texture), although both may change after he's born.
Little Champion has done great with transition to sleeping in big brother's room. Now ... what to do with the toddler bed in our bedroom until we need it again? Next project: paint. The 95- 99 degree days are getting me down; can't wait for the cold front that moves though tomorrow. We may barely get to 70 degrees on Thursday. I might even get to break into my fall/winter maternity clothes! Cooler weather means more baking, too.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Breastfeeding Down Under

Two interesting stories from Australian papers this week. The Mercury reports that babies who are breastfed grow into more beautiful adults, according to Dr. Brian Palmer, a US dentist who spoke at a conference in Tanzania:
"I believe the best chance for an individual to have a beautiful natural smile -- no need for orthodontics -- with a nice occlusion is if that individual was breastfed as an infant," he says.
The Australian discusses extended breastfeeding in Price of Premature Weaning. In particular, the article discusses the social stigma faced by those who are breastfeeding a toddler:
A number of women taking part in an online chat at the parenting website to mark World Breastfeeding Week last month told of their negative experiences feeding babies of all ages in public and unwelcome reactions from family and friends.

"My sister-in-law has a beautiful, healthy breastfed one-year-old and she has been bombarded with (comments such as) 'Gross', 'When are you going to stop that', 'What a disgusting thing to be doing at her age'," one said.

This despite the World Health Organizations' reccomendation that babies be breastfed until the age of two.

Breastfeeding rates in Australia are higher than those in the US and the UK, but still fall far short of the goal. For instance:
A 1997 study estimated that $11.5 million could be saved each year in Australia if the prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding at three months was increased from 60 per cent to 80 per cent (Breastfeeding Review 1997;5(1)).
Norway has the highest breastfeeding rates among the Western nations, with 80 per cent of babies still breastfed at six months.