Monday, April 28, 2014

The Dos & Donts of Donts & Dos During Pregnancy

We are all told “do this, do that, don’t do this, don’t do that” when pregnant.  I want to break down some of the dos and don’ts of the don’ts and dos of pregnancy.
Fiction: You can’t fly during your first or last trimester.
False. This comes from the fear that you may go into labor while on the plan and there won’t be the proper medical attention available.  It has little to do with any other medical reason.
Fiction: You can’t pet your cat during pregnancy.
False. Petting your cat is absolutely not the issue.  It is changing you cat’s litter box where the problems lies.  You should not change your kitty’s litter box; however, it is perfectly okay to pet and snuggle with your fuzzy friend during pregnancy.
Fiction: You should not eat fish while pregnant.
False. Salmon is good for mothers-to-be; it’s high in omega-3 fatty acids like DHA.  Salmon is a fresh water fish, so there is there less chance of mercury poisoning.  Tuna is also fine as long as you stay under 12 ounces per week.  The fish you should avoid is mackerel, shark, tilefish and swordfish.  Other than these, you are in the clear.
Fiction: You can not dye your hair during pregnancy.
False. It is said that the chemicals from the hair dye will seep into your system and get to your baby.  I actually believed this and didn’t get my hair done at all through my whole pregnancy.  It is a good thing the ombre was super in style!
Fiction: No sex!
False.  Unless there is a serious reason that your doctor or midwife advises you not to have sex, you are in the clear!  In fact, it is recommended.
Fiction: No coffee while pregnant.
False. A cup a day is A-OK!  Don’t go crazy having extra shots of espresso 3 times a day, but a simple cup of coffee in the morning shouldn’t hurt.
Fiction: Don’t walk, it’ll make you go into labor.
False. Unfortunately, there is nothing that will bring on labor until you and your baby are ready.

Friday, April 25, 2014

The Name Game

When you find out you are pregnant, nowadays, most are incredibly eager to find out the sex of the baby, and of course, once the sex is determined, you can choose a name.  From the time you and your partner find out you are going to be parents, you both start spitting out possible names for boys and girls.  It is never really to early to start the process of choosing a name for your baby.
When you start choosing a name, the possibilities may seem overwhelming. There are so many things to take into consideration like, popular names of the year, family names, how a name flows together, name association and much more.  Maybe you have had a name in mind since you were a child; but, now that everything is so real, perhaps, you have changed your mind.  I urge you to remember how important a name is.  This is the label for your child for the rest of his or her life.
A big reason for choosing a name during pregnancy is to help give your little one an identity.
Choosing a name allows you to start thinking of your baby as a little human being instead of an it.  Even chose a nickname that yo refer to your baby to give an identity to him or her.  When I was pregnant there was conflict about whether the baby was a boy or girl so we started calling the baby, Baby Bop.  It stuck with him and now we call him Bradley Bop.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when naming your baby.
  • Be careful of rhyming names, like Paul Haul.  Not nice.
  • Is it easy to pronounce?
  • Is there a mean nickname that could be associated with the name?
  • Does the name flow?
  • Try to avoid making your child’s name humorous, like Holly Wood.  I knew a boy in high school, believe it or not, his name was Richard Head.  That poor boy got teased horribly.  Be careful of something like this.
  • Decide if you want to have your baby go by his formal name or a nickname.  For example if you name your baby James and do not want Jim or Jimmy, establish that early on with your partner.
  • If you are considering naming your child after a celebrity or someone famous, think carefully naming your child with a name that has a lot of positive or negative attention.  The shoes could be too big to fill.
  • The most important tip...if you are having trouble thinking of a name, you will know your baby’s name the first time you see him or her.  Truly.  For my mother’s entire pregnancy she had me named Brittany...I am no Brittany.  As soon as I was born my Daddy looked at me and said I was a Trish, and I am.  You will know when you see your darling for the first time.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Avoid Long Waiting – How to Schedule Your Prenatal Care Office Visits

By: Douglas Penta MD OB/GYN  (Platinum Ezine Author)
This is the type of information I enjoy sharing with my readers. Advice that is intended to be practical and very applicable, to help you with the little things that can make a big difference.
When scheduling an OB/GYN office visit, it is helpful to first have an understanding of how a women’s health medical practice is managed on a daily basis.
In OB/GYN, there are many unpredictable factors that can impact how efficiently a practice will function from day to day. Unexpected events can disrupt even the most well thought out office schedule. Miscarriages, surgical emergencies and patients in labor are unpredictable events.
Granted there are always coverage arrangements in place to meet practice demands, but even with this being the case, there will always be occasions when the medical staff will be over-extended. When this happens, it is our hope, as providers, that patients will be understanding.
I am very sensitive to the total amount of time which can be lost by a prenatal patient during the course of her prenatal and postpartum care. Frequent visits can result in a significant amount of lost time from their daily schedules, including travel time, etc.
Providers dread running late for patients and even worse having to reschedule a patient, as this is not good for the relationship. Furthermore, it can often feel like a double standard to the patient, if the provider cannot see her. Patients wait for doctors… why shouldn’t doctors wait for patients?
The recommendations I am going to list below are extremely simple and intended to help minimize some of the inconveniences and frustrations associated with scheduling office visits:
  • Book in advance.  Try to book as many appointments at one time as is possible/allowed so that you can get the times that you want. The intervals between appointments will be determined by the gestational age of your pregnancy.  Generally, appointments start about every 4 weeks, then become every 2 weeks, then every week as you approach your due date.
  • Schedule early in the day.  You want to keep your appointments at the start of your provider’s work day. This will reduce the possibility of problems occurring that can set your provider behind. If you are scheduling an afternoon appointment, try to get a time immediately after lunch (at the start of the afternoon session). Most providers, who are running behind, will tend to use their lunch time as a buffer to catch up if their morning session runs late. Needless to say, this might mean giving up their allotted time for lunch but that is simply how schedules are kept on time in this setting.
  • Call ahead.  Whenever possible, phone ahead to determine whether your provider is running on time. Most practices are glad to hear from you before you arrive so they can address a potential delay in the office schedule. When I am behind and am asked what to do about a patient who is inquiring, I much rather hear that the patient is on the phone and not sitting in the waiting room. I feel I have more flexibility, perhaps I can see the patient for the last appointment of the day or during a canceled appointment time that might have been called in earlier that day.
  • Schedule when more than one doctor is in the office.  If there are choices to schedule your appointments, try to schedule on days when there are more than one provider in the office. As a result of surgical schedules, providers being on-call or just coming off call (at the hospital) there can be days with limited office coverage. This is no fault of anyone, it is simply part of the logistics of maintaining an office practice. If there is only one provider in the office (“your provider”) it can take just one urgent problem/emergency to disrupt a schedule for the rest of the day as there is no one else in the office to help catch up.
I hope these suggestions are helpful to you and also will help you have a better understanding of why there may be a wait for routine office visits.

Douglas Penta MD OB/GYN

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Postpartum Depression

During pregnancy you are get yourself amped up for the big day and beyond.  There is so much anticipation and excitement leading up to becoming a new mommy and daddy.  I have had some people ask me a few questions about what they can expect for their first few weeks home from the hospital.  One momma sent me an email asking me all about postpartum depression.  She is about 22 weeks pregnant and has a concern that she will have postpartum depression because her mom had it after delivery.  There are a ton of questions about postpartum depression that women are looking into during their pregnancy.  I hope to answer a few!

What is the difference between “the baby blues” and postpartum depression?
“The baby blues” is something more common than mommas think.  You normally begins to see symptoms a few days after giving birth.  “The baby blues” happens because of the hormonal changes in your body happening post birth.  The symptoms include: 
  • mood swings
  • sadness
  • crying spells
  • trouble sleeping
  • irritability
  • changes in appetite
  • trouble concentrating
All of the symptoms are perfectly normal post delivery.  They should last from 1 to 2 weeks.  It is when your symptoms last longer than this that you want to discuss it a bit further with your doctor or midwife.  

Postpartum Depression is a severe depression with some symptoms similar to “the baby blues”.  At first it is hard to decipher postpartum depression from “the baby blues” because of the similarity in the symptoms.  With postpartum depression you can have similar symptoms to “the baby blues” such as:
  • mood swings
  • crying spells 
  • sadness
  • difficulty sleeping
  • irritability
The difference comes in when the symptoms become destructive to your life as a new momma.  You may find some other symptoms with postpartum depression such as:
  • neglectful of your baby
  • negative feelings towards your baby
  • concern you will hurt your baby
  • disregard for yourself
  • constant exhaustion
  • feelings of worthlessness
  • constant guilt
  • changes in appetite
  • weight loss or weight gain
  • recurrent thoughts of death or suicide

Is postpartum depression genetic?  What causes postpartum depression?

There are many factors that put you at a higher risk for postpartum depression.  Just because your mom had it with her children does not necessarily mean you will have it with yours.  Some things that put you at risk are:
  • history of depression
  • history of severe PMS
  • medical complications for you or your baby during pregnancy and/or delivery
  • stressful relationships
  • lack of support from family and/or friends

A difficult relationship with your baby fathers or difficult family relationships will add a great deal of unnecessary stress to the already stressful new mommyhood.  This can add fuel to the fire if you are already at risk for postpartum depression.  You are also dealing with so many changes to your body after you have delivered your baby.  You may be in severe pain and discomfort and may feel unattractive with your new post baby body which can add to feelings of depression.  One of the biggest causes of postpartum depression is the drop in estrogen and progesterone.  This drop can lead to depression.

Can I prevent postpartum depression from happening to me?  How?

There are some things to do to help you ease into motherhood and keep the stress levels down.

Get sleep.  Rest as much as possible.  When your baby sleeps, you should take advantage of the time and get a little cat nap in.

Set time for you.  Talk to your partner about having some time for yourself, even if it is just to take a shower.  Have a little bit of alone time to just decompress after your long day with your baby.  Get a schedule going with your partner that allows you that time.

Get fresh air.  Taking your baby out for a stroll is the best thing for the both of you.  Some fresh air really makes the difference with helping your post delivery recovery.  There is nothing like fresh air to help a baby sleep.  Of course you can’t bring your baby out in 20 degree weather so if you have a winter baby do your best to have lights on open the shades to let the light in.

Exercise.  It is so important to be active.  It will help keep the endorphins flowing and improve any depression you may be feeling.  Studies have proven that exercise is a wonderful medicine for any depression.

Surround yourself with love and support.  Keep out any negativity!  Whether it is your in-laws or someone down the street...keep yourself surrounded with the people who will love, support and care for you.  There is no need to have any negativity around you or your beautiful family.  Negativity from outsiders will not only add to postpartum depression but it can also cause problems between you and your partner.  It is best to nip it in the bud before it starts and make a healthy choice not to be around it.

Share your feelings.  Set some time for a date night with your partner at least once a week when you and your partner can talk about how you are feeling about the new exciting things happening in your life.

Ask for help.  It is totally okay to ask for help if you are feeling overwhelmed.  Being overwhelmed doesn’t make you a bad mommy.  It is part of motherhood. 

Breastfeed.  Breastfeeding, like exercise, releases endorphins and keeps the sprits up.  it does wonders for your body and your baby.  It is natural and your body's reaction to delivering a baby,

Monday, April 21, 2014

Low Back Pain During Pregnancy

Low Back Pain During Pregnancy by Douglas Penta MD

Low back pain during pregnancy is a common problem. There are a number of conditions that can cause this symptom and this article is by no means all inclusive.Perhaps the most common cause is simply the weight of the pregnancy particularly in the third trimester creating a strain on the back muscles and ligaments used to maintain your body stature. This is often seen more in women who have had one or more prior pregnancies as the supportive structures are loose and more likely to cause pressure on nerves innervating the lower back and pelvis. Assuming the pain is constant and has not been attributed to other problems (some of which are yet to be discussed), the use of belly bands or maternity support belts can be very effective in addressing the problem as they lift the weight of the pregnancy off of the lower pelvis and transmit the weight in such a way as to alleviate the strain on the back muscles and ligaments.
Another cause of low back pain during pregnancy, though less common, can be a symptom of a kidney infection. This can be seen most commonly after the first 15 to 20 weeks during which time the ureters leading to the bladder can be blocked by the uterus at the level of the pelvic brim. This blocks urinary flow to the bladder and can cause stasis of urine and increase the potential for a kidney infection (pyelonephritis). This is a problem that must be diagnosed and treated promptly as kidney infections can cause premature labor.Kidney stones is yet another problem that can cause low back pain and is determined by your primary care provider based on your symptoms, medical history and physical findings.Though all of the previously discussed causes of low back pain can be serious and cause significant discomfort the one cause of low back pain that is very important to recognize and not overlook is contractions. The low back pain relating to contractions is likely to have a regular, intermittent pattern unlike the other causes and is best evaluated by monitoring uterine activity with a uterine monitor for contractions. Causes for contractions prematurely can relate to dehydration, kidney infections, fibroids or have no defined cause. Regardless of the cause this is one cause of back pain that cannot be ignored.
Though there are other less common causes of low back pain during pregnancy the conditions mentioned above are the most common.
To best avoid low back pain during pregnancy, lift heavy items with caution and maintain posture as best you can. Keep well hydrated at all times particularly during the hot weather as dehydration occurs often during pregnancy if one does not make a conscious effort to drink eight to ten glasses of water a day. Prenatal visits are designed to pick up signs of bladder infection as prenatal care patients have their urine checked at each visit.If there are no serious medical problems detected leading to the onset of low back pain during pregnancy and the symptom is determined to be due to the weight of the pregnancy, perhaps the absolute best thing you can do to prevent or alleviate low back pain and ligament pressure is to use a maternity belt. I have seen patients experience a tremendous amount of relief with maternity belts. It used to be that such belts were hard to find but with the resources available online this is no longer a problem.
I hope this article has been informative about some (not all) causes of low back pain during pregnancy. Again this is only for educational purposes and any questions or concerns relating to this problem must be addressed by your primary care clinician.
For more information about pregnancy and your prenatal care please visit:
This article is for educational purposes only and is not a replacement for the care you receive from your primary care clinician. Only your personal health care provider can manage your medical problems as he/she has the necessary history and physical information required to address your particular problem. This article does not include all causes of low back pain during pregnancy.

Article Source:

Friday, April 18, 2014

Know Your Birth Rights!

During labor and delivery, even prenatal visits, it can feel very procedure, it can make you feel like just another number.  You will have this, you must wear this, you can only do this.  By no fault of the doctors, it can feel like an object, not a person.  With pregnancy, there is so much to it that there is a procedure and it is followed by doctors and midwives because they must deal with so many women giving birth.  Because of the fact that doctors and midwives see so many women it is difficult for them to make it a personal experience fit to only you.  I stress, it is no fault of the doctor or midwife that this is how the system is, but it is.  With that being said, advocacy is a huge deal to me and being able to advocate for yourself during this special time is so important.  I find so many women just go along with things because they don’t know enough information to question.  It is because of this that I decided to start my blog in the first place.  In order to advocate for yourself you must understand your rights.  This goes for anything, but I am just going to discuss rights for women giving birth.

I want to start off by discussing consent.  Consent is an agreement between the patient and physician during any form of treatment.  You may have had to sign a few forms that allow treatment or something like this.  Women don’t always realize there are different types of consent.

Informed Consent-  This is probably one of the simplest concepts in medicine.  It means that the patient has the right to know what your are going to do before it is done, giving you the option to agree.  Everything must be explained and any questions you ask must be answered.  I have a girlfriend who just delivered her beautiful baby girl and when she went to the hospital they immediately started an IV, “just in case”.  They didn’t explain anything to her, why the IV was started or the benefits of it.  She didn’t know enough to question anything about it; but she didn’t end up needing the IV at all.  She has a huge fear of needles and was stuck for no reason.  As I said before, it is no fault of the doctor or midwife because it is simply procedure, but had she known all the details she could have refused.

Consent Forms- A consent form is usually given to you to sign at the time you check in at the hospital.  When they take your insurance information, you usually sign some paperwork, in this bunch of papers is the consent form.  Some don’t realize that you can do some creative editing to your consent form.  You have the right to read through and cross things out that you do not agree to and write in things that you would prefer to happen.

Emergency Consent- When you or your baby are in danger the doctor or midwife has the write to perform whatever medical procedure necessary without informing you.  Let’s not forget that it is the duty of the doctors and midwives to get the baby out safely.  For example, an emergency c-section.  If the reason you need an emergency c-section is fatal, there is no time for explanation and you have to trust that your physician knows what they are doing.

Along with agreeing to treatment, you have the right to disagree.
The Right To Refuse-  You reserve the right to refuse treatment if you feel the doctor or midwife is not doing you justice.  If you feel this way finding a second opinion is the best bet.  When I was 30 weeks pregnant, I had failed my gestational diabetes screening by 1 point, which was silly because in most states the cut off is 140, but where I am it is 130.  Because I was in a practice which had 15 doctors, it was impossible to meet everyone before my due date, the schedule just didn’t allow it, believe me, I tried.  At this prenatal appointment I ended up seeing someone who knew nothing about my history or the fact that I vomited my way through the 1 hour screening, which turned into 5 hours because I wasn’t able to hold it down and had to repeat it until I could hold it.  He was forcing me to get the 3 hour test done and fought with me about it.  I refused because I knew that I couldn’t keep the diet up even if I had GD because I had hyperemesis.  This is just one example of refusal.  Had I not had more knowledge about GD I would have tortured myself and literally made myself more sick by doing the test, when in my situations the risk outweighed the benefit.  Also something I don’t think most women realize is that you have the right to refuse certain doctors, midwives, or nurses.  If you are getting an IV done and you are not comfortable with the person doing it, you have the right to ask for someone else.

The Right To Change Your Mind- Some women have birth plans or decide early on they want the delivery to go a certain way.  You can absolutely change your mind.  If you think you may want to go all natural, no pain medication and then when you are in labor decide you can’t handle it you have the right to go against your birth plan or previous decision.  You can also change your mind if you consented to treatment that a doctor or midwife prescribes.  Nothing is set in stone, especially with labor and delivery.  There is no way to know what will happen.

It is so important to inform yourself so you know what is going on and why certain treatments are offered.  Being an advocate for yourself is the biggest part of a good experience.  Never be afraid to respectfully question something that is going on. You are in control of your experience.  This is just some general information and is in no way legal advice.  Stay informed to make your experience the best one possible.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Tips To Remember When Choosing A Car Seat

One of the most important things for you and your baby that you will register for or purchase is the car seat.  They will not let you leave the hospital unless the car seat has been properly installed by the hospital or local fire department.  When choosing your car seat there is a lot to remember, though all car seats on the market are “safe” because they meet the government requirements to be sold.  I say “safe” because even if the car seats meets all requirements there can still be some problems if installed wrong.  There are some things you want to look at and keep in mind as you’re choosing the car seat for the baby.

When choosing the car seat for your baby, you will be looking at two different types of car seats.

  • Infant Car Seat- This car seat will always face the rear and holds up to 35 pounds.  When the baby has exceeded the limits for this car seat you will need to get another car seat that will face forward.

  • Convertible Car Seat- This car seat is used for infants and toddlers.  Rear-facing it can hold up to 40 pounds and forward-facing holds up to 70 pounds.

This is the first choice about the car seat you will make, which type.  For me and my son, we have a Convertible Car Seat because it avoids a later purchase and grows with baby.  I found this to be the best choice for us.  Some women like the infant car seats to start more than the convertible.  Something else to consider is getting a car seat and stroller combo.  It definitely has it’s pros and cons!  It is so convenient when you want to take the baby for a walk.  When I take my son out for a walk I have to take him out of the car seat and into the stroller.  With the combo, you just pop him in and out without having to take him out of the seat at all; however, you will need to purchase another eat later because the weight limit is about 35 pounds.

Some things to look for when choosing the car seat are:

Will it be easy to use?
When you are looking through the bunch of car seats give the seat a test run.  It is totally fine to take the car in and out of the base.  You should test and be sure it will be easy to release to get the seat out of your car.  You don’t want a car seat that is difficult to release because your baby will fall asleep in the seat and taking the baby in and out while asleep needs to be a smooth transition.  Don’t be afraid to fiddle with the harness of the seat as well.  You need to make sure it is easy to adjust.

Is is a comfortable car seat?
It is so important that the car seat is not only comfortable for your baby, but is also comfortable for you.  While testing the car seats at the store, take a look at the handle because you will be carrying the car seat around a bunch!  If you do find a car seat you love but the handle is a bit uncomfortable, don’t worry, they make cuffs that give the handle some padding so your arm doesn’t take too much of a beating.  For your baby’s comfort check out the fabric, how much padding, and ow breathable the fabric is.

Will the car seat fit in my car?
Be aware of the space in your car when choosing the car seat.  You don’t want to be sitting in the front with your knees scrunched up to your face because there is no room for the seat in the back.  There are different dimensions so try and measure before shopping.

Keep these tips in mind when you are on the look out for the car seat you choose for baby! Happy Shopping!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Prepare Your Pet During Pregnancy

So many couples decide to get pets before they decide to have children.  Once you have a pet, it becomes your baby.  You spoil them, love them, and give them all the attention in the world, because of course, you can; but, when you want to take your relationship to the next level and start a family...then what?  Having a baby is not only an adjustment for you and your partner, but your pets too.  I have a cat and a dog, who both during my entire pregnancy, laid on either side of my belly snuggling with me and the baby.  They were such loves during the whole pregnancy, but for some their pets can cause a problem.  There are some things you need to know about handling your pets during pregnancy and to help them adjust to the change of becoming an older sibling.

Having a cat can be difficult through pregnancy because cats carry a parasite in their feces called, toxoplasmosis.  Toxoplasmosis can be very harmful to your and your baby during pregnancy.  Normally, it will cause symptoms of the flu, but due to your immune system becoming weak during pregnancy it has a greater effect on you and your baby.  If you have a cat, chances are you have already been exposed to toxoplasmosis and are immune to it.  There are some things to do to lower your exposure to toxoplasmosis:
  • Have someone else clean your cat’s litter box
  • Wash your hands often
  • Carry a bottle of hand sanitizer with you
  • Avoid doing yard work or gardening (toxoplasmosis can also be picked up from soil

There are also some ways during your pregnancy to prepare your cat for your new baby’s arrival.
  • Start limiting any extra attention
  • Keep the door closed to the baby’s room at all times to help your cat get used to the room being off limits
  • If you are not keeping kitty out, put foil in the baby’s crib and on the glider to keep the cat off
  • If you don’t already have one, get your cat on a very consistent feeding schedule
  • Youtube baby cries and start playing the sound around your cat to get him used to the sound of a baby crying
  • Whenever your cat does the right thing, reward him! A nice neck rub and a treat will go a long way
  • Put areas around the house that are designated to your cat, maybe near a window, put a post for him to have as his own space
  • Invest in a nail clipper or nail grinder and get on a schedule to clip your cat’s nails to lessen any possible scratching to the baby

Adjusting your dog may be a more difficult feat.  Dogs are far more clingy than cats.  You will be doing a lot of the same things you do to prepare your cat, along with some others.
  • Start to alter your pup’s routine for the baby’s arrival
  • Use a baby doll and start to train your dog how to handle the doll so having a baby will not be a foreign sight for your dog
  • Start teaching any new skills or demands you may want your dog to know for when the baby is here
  • Start limiting any extra attention
  • Keep the door closed to the baby’s room at all times to help your dog get used to the room being off limits
  • If you are not keeping the dog out, put foil in the baby’s crib and on the glider to keep the dog off
  • If you don’t already have one, get your dog on a very consistent feeding schedule
  • Youtube baby cries and start playing the sound around your dog to get him used to the sound of a baby crying
  • Whenever your cat does the right thing, reward him! A nice neck rub and a treat will go a long way
  • Put areas around the house that are designated to your dog

A rue of thumb to remember is to never leave your baby alone with your pets.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Anticipated Newborn Stress

Couples are so excited to become parents and during the pregnancy into the first weeks home are just enthralled with what is going on.  We call this the “honeymoon phase”.  As I am sure you have heard, with anything that is eventually hard work, there is a “honeymoon phase”.  Then reality sets in.

Having a baby brings up so many things that you never had to worry about with your partner before.  There are decisions that need to be made and it is important to be on the same page with your partner.  So many couples feel invincible to the stress that will come with the baby.  I am so guilty of this!! I was convinced we wouldn’t have any stress and we’d be on the same page about everything.  Of course, I was seriously mistaken.  We are dealing with so much, from finances, to folding the baby’s laundry differently!  There are so many details that you don’t realize you will be facing when you are raising a baby together. Here are just some tips that help me and my husband get through the monotonous days and sleepless nights.

Have empathy for your partner and be thoughtful.  At times you may forget that they are experiencing what you are and it is so important to be understanding to how they are feeling.  Try your best to remember that they may be stressed to and be thoughtful.  Doing little things for your partner just to let them know you are thinking of them is something my husband and I do.  He brings a rose home after work if he knows I had a tough day or I will bake him something he loves.  Just something a bit thoughtful to show you are thinking of them.

Be conscious of your attitude.  When you lack sleep, as most couples are in the first weeks with a newborn, you may get a bit testy.  Be aware of those little things you do that may seem negative.  Try not to make faces, or roll your eyes when your partner says something. 

Have patience with your partner.  Do your best not to lose your temper if something comes up.  Try to avoid snapping at your partner over silly insignificant things.  There are many minute details with a baby that don’t matter that can add fuel to the fire.  Keep it in perspective.

Attempt to rest.  Do your best to get on a schedule with your partner that will allow you both to get in a bit of added rest.  Maybe you do the night time feeding and let him go to sleep earlier and maybe he does the morning feeding so you can rest a bit in the morning.

Keep the lines of communication open.  Make sure you make time to discuss the important things going on like finances, or future plans with the baby.  Talking in the key for relationships! 

Try to make time for intimacy.  This doesn’t necessarily mean sex.  Intimacy is a number of things.  Communication about deep feelings is a form of intimacy. It doesn’t hurt to make time for sex either.  Though incredibly difficult with a new baby.  Snuggling, talking, make time for each other.
These are just some tips I can offer based on my own life and my own relationship.  Things are stressful and hard work with a new baby.  Remember it does get better and enjoy every second!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Gestational Diabetes By Douglas Penta MD

There is a distinct difference between adult onset diabetes and juvenile diabetes.
Pregnancy-related diabetes, better known as gestational diabetes, is also important to understand should this condition arise during your pregnancy. I hope this article will clear up any questions regarding the distinction between these various types of diabetes mellitus. Unlike many medical conditions that are not fully understood, diabetes is well understood and regardless of what type you are dealing with, the goal is the same: to maintain an overall normal range of blood sugar levels to prevent organ damage associated with uncontrolled diabetes, including heart disease, renal disease etc..

Juvenile diabetes is perhaps the easiest to understand as it relates to a lack of insulin production by cells in the pancreas and is thought to be a result of genetically predisposing factors and viral-mediated in certain cases.
Adult onset (AODM), is very different in terms of its cause as it is not related to a lack of insulin production, but instead, to the ability of insulin receptors to respond to the insulin. AODM is controlled well with life style changes and in many instances such changes alone can resolve the problem ( changes include weight loss and changes in diet and exercise). I have actually seen many overweight patients with AODM, lose weight such that the condition no longer required treatment with medication.
Finally, as an OB/GYN physician I must mention the diabetic condition I have dealt with most often during my career and that is gestational diabetes (diabetes relating to pregnancy). It is routinely screened for during pregnancy and is most like AODM as it is a lack of response of receptors to the insulin that is present and not a deficiency of insulin.

I have had many patients on very large doses of insulin for gestational diabetes to maintain normal ranges of blood sugar. The insulin receptors are not sensitive enough to normal levels of insulin and thus the need for additional insulin supplementation. Women with gestational diabetes are thoroughly educated about how to maintain normal blood sugar levels and it is a task that takes a great deal of education/instruction.
Gestational diabetes can be indicative of a predisposition to diabetes later in life and thus it is important to follow-up one’s blood sugar after delivery and be conscious of this possibility later in life. In the majority of cases the diabetic condition associated with pregnancy resolves immediately after delivery of the placenta.
I hope this information is helpful. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any condition; however, the more one understands the cause of a particular condition the more proactive one can be about the management.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Long Distance Pregnancy

When you find out you are pregnant, you immediately share in the joy with your partner and celebrate.  So many emotions are taking over y’all.  As you dive into your pregnancy you have so many stages to go through and enjoy them all.  What about those women who don’t get to share the joys, highs, and lows of their pregnancy with their partner?  Maybe he is deployed, maybe he has to live else where for his job or he is a traveling athlete.  Whatever the reason he is away, going through a pregnancy alone is terribly difficult.

Being alone during your pregnancy can cause a great deal of depression.  Prenatal depression is a complication that can happen during pregnancy and we want to avoid this from happening.  Though completely understandable, here are a few tips to help you through having a long distance pregnancy.

Keep busy.  There are so many things you can do to keep yourself occupied during pregnancy.  It is a great time to take up a new hobby and explore some of your new talents!  Something that is also great for pregnancy and will occupy some time in your day is exercise.  It will help you feel good, keep you going and help keep you busy.  Maybe you want to try knitting a hat or blanket for your baby! Give it a go!

Keep a journal.  Keeping a pregnancy journal is a great way for you to reflect and also share with your partner later on.  Every tear, joy, baby kick should be documented so when your partner reads it, he will feel as though he can remember it.  It isn’t quite the same as having him there, but you want to help him feel included and this is a great way.

Take pictures and videos.  Along with keeping a journal, take videos and pictures week to week so you can your partner can reflect on it later.  I believe we should all be taking pictures and videos to document the pregnancy whether your partner is with you or not.  It is so beautiful to reflect upon later.

Find other mommas.  Knowing that you are not alone is a huge part of getting through your pregnancy while your partner is away.  There are other women who are going through the same thing.  Luckily, you can hop on Facebook or Twitter or any social network and find pages and group supports for women going through this.

Keep him in the loop.  We are so lucky nowadays to have so much amazing technology that can allow us to be in the same room with someone without actually being with them.  Facetime, Skype, Oovoo, Ichat there are a ton of ways to video chat with your partner to keep him in the loop.  Under certain circumstances you can be in contact with your partner and for those instances the other tips here will be helpful.

Meditate.  Set aside time for yourself everyday to spend just you and your darlin’.  Whatever relaxation techniques work for you, do them.  Some women use music and a warm bubble bath, some literally meditate, whatever works for you.

Most importantly, you must remember to stay positive and enjoy every moment for you and your baby.  Remember you are not alone.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Birthing Options

Since the beginning of time women have been giving birth.  Women have given birth in fields, elevators, any and everywhere.  We are so lucky now to have options where we can labor and deliver.  Here are some of the options for women to consider when planning their delivery.
Birth Centers
Birth centers are for women who have a low risk pregnancy.  Giving birth in a birth center allows women to have a more natural experience while still having the medical assistance at the ready if any complication were to arise. 
Benefits to birth center:
  • Momma has control
    In a hospital setting you may be limited to how much you can move around, or who can be present with you during labor and delivery. In a birth center you are able to invite who you would like to be there.  If you have children and you would like them present, they are 100% welcome. Also, you may want to be moving around to ease the contraction pain, which you are more than able to do in a birthing center.
  • A warm environment
    A birth center has a different feel from a hospital.  It is a much more personalized experience.
  • Medical attention if necessary
    If any complication is to happen, there is medical intervention at the ready.  If you are not in a birth center which is in a hospital, the medical attention given at your birth center will get you to a hospital if needed.
Risk of birth center:
  • Early discharge
    Mommas are discharged within 12 to 24 hours of the baby being born.  This could be seen as a benefit to some women.  For some women, they need or want that 2 day recovery time where they have the help of the hospital staff.
  • No on call pediatrician
    You need to have the appropriate doctors ready for your baby because there is no on call pediatrician who can come check out the baby.
  • Difficult transport
    If problems arise, you will be transported during labor
Home Birth
For women who have absolutely no risk in their pregnancy, 100% normal and healthy pregnancy, this option may be for you.  One thing you need to make sure of is, if you have a medical history with prior pregnancies like preeclampsia, diabetes, high blood pressure, or previous c-section, you may want to reconsider this option.  With the right team and support anything is possible, but when dealing with your health and your baby’s health, you can never be too safe.
Benefits to home birth:
  • Comfortable environment
    For home births, what is more comfortable than being in your own home?  Being in a familiar environment will help ease your anxiety.
  • Family and friends welcome
    You can have anyone and everyone come to your home and witness the birth of your baby.
Risks of home birth:
  • Insurance
    A home birth may not be covered by insurance.
  • No pain relief
    There is no pain relief available if you are to change your mind
  • No on call pediatrician
    You need to have the appropriate doctors ready for your baby because there is no on call pediatrician who can come check out the baby.
  • Difficult transport
    If problems arise, you will be transported during labor
Water Birth
A water birth is when you give birth or labor while in a tub or jacuzzi, basically being immersed in warm water.  In order to have a water birth, you must not have any pregnancy complication or infection and your baby should full term, at least 39 weeks.
Benefits of water birth:
  • Relaxation
    The water flow will help relax momma’s muscles and improve blood flow.  The water also allows momma to focus more.
  • Pain Relief
    The water will relieve some of the pressure on your body.
  • Eases the baby in
    Some women believe since their baby is in water in the womb, it will ease their coming into the world by bringing him or her in warm water, rather than a cold bright room.
Risks of water birth:
  • Baby swallowing water
    The baby can swallow water which could lead to electrolyte problems.  The baby could also get an infection if the water is contaminated in any way.
  • Lack of oxygen
    It is possible there could be a lack of oxygen underwater.  If this happens the baby could suffer brain damage.
Giving birth in a hospital is the most traditional birthing method.  Hospitals have private rooms with tubs where women can labor and deliver.
Benefits to hospital birth:
  • Medical comfort
    Many women feel safest when in a hospital setting because the proper medical attention is right there. 
  • No last minute rush
    You don’t have to worry about being rushed to a hospital if some complication were to arise.
  • Pediatric attention
    There is immediate pediatric attention for your baby.
  • Recovery help
    In a hospital you have 2 days recovery time where the hospital staff is there for all your needs. 
Risks to hospital birth:
  • Limited people involved
    You are only allowed 2 people in the room with you during labor and deliver.  Some women want more than 2 family members or friends.
  • Less privacy and impersonal
    It is not quite as personal an experience as a home birth or a birth center.  In my own experience, I felt like a priority during my labor and delivery and had a very personal experience, but not every women has this experience.
  • Limited activity
    You are most likely stuck in a bed because you are hooked up to the fetal monitors.  Some women don’t mind this, some need to move during labor.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Tot Toppers & Beyond!


I am so excited to share with y’all this up and coming company called Tot Toppers & Beyond!  It was started by an incredibly talented woman named, Corina.  She makes handmade knitted hats, knitted animals, blankets, pillows, you name it, she makes it.  I am so excited to be hosting a giveaway for her and to have her products coming up on my site!
No matter how you want an item personalized, she can do it!  From monogramming to putting a sail boat on your pillow..she is incredible.  All her products are made with baby soft yarn so it will not irritate your baby’s skin.
Here are some examples of her baby hats!

a Rafflecopter giveaway