Skin so translucent and fragile it tears like tissue paper. Faces obscured by oxygen masks. Alarms going off very few minutes. Bassinets covered in plastic wrap. This is the world of babies born extremely preterm—at less than 28 weeks of pregnancy. Yet for all the almost sinister machines surrounding these tiny humans–tubes and incubators, oxygen […]Read more
I knock gently on the door in the post-delivery unit, and enter to find a new mother trying to latch her baby. It’s not going well, and I can tell she’s stressed. And standing a bit off to the side is the baby’s father, looking unsure of where he fits into this picture. As a hospital-based […]Read more
Back labor. It’s more than just a birth story talking point. It’s real, and it can suck. But, there are things you can do to get through it. What is back labor? The intense lower back pain that some people experience during labor occurs when the baby’s head puts pressure on the lower back. More […]Read more
The glucose tolerance test for gestational diabetes is something of a second trimester rite of passage. If your pregnancy has proceeded uneventfully so far, nearly all the standard tests are behind you. Only one standard test left. And for this final one (typically between 24-28 weeks), you get to choke down a disgustingly sweet drink* […]Read more
Stressful. That was the word that best captured Jessica’s diagnosis with Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM). The 35-year-old’s first pregnancy had proceeded uneventfully until her glucose tolerance test. When, at 28 weeks, her test results came back positive. The positive result came on a Friday. She could not see her doctor until after the weekend. The […]Read more
At a routine 36-week prenatal exam, Jessie Ha’s blood pressure measured 120/80. These numbers were on the high side for her. She has an autoimmune disease that normally causes her blood pressure to run low. But the 35-year-old disability advocate was not overly worried. Nor was her doctor. They chalked it up to normal pre-birth […]Read more
You’ve been waiting and wondering when this would happen— that first sign that maybe, just maybe, your baby is ready to come out into the world. And then, one day, you get a sign. Or is it a sign? Is that my mucus plug? Is that what it is supposed to look like? Should I […]Read more
If you’re pregnant or planning to be pregnant, chances are you’ve heard stories about what might happen to your nether regions during a vaginal birth. Perhaps you’ve heard about tearing during delivery or even heard the term episiotomy. Tearing naturally during labor is super common (over 80% of women will experience tearing to some degree). […]Read more
Positive pregnancy test in hand? Wiped out just by getting up from the couch? Mapping out the best places to discretely puke while at the office? Congratulations, and welcome to the first trimester! Assuming you’ve had your first prenatal visit and seen that galloping heartbeat, you’re ready for the next step—testing. So much testing. You’ll […]Read more
If your round ligaments weren’t on your radar before, they certainly may be by the time you hit your second trimester. A sudden change in position may spur a painful sensation. Or you may notice a constant feeling of discomfort, especially during the third trimester. Welcome to round ligament pain, my friend. Another totally normal […]Read more
There is no other organ quite like the uterus. If men had such an organ they would brag about it. So should we.” – Ina May Gasken Let’s talk about the uterus. All of us lived inside one at some point of our lives. Many of us have the great luck to use ours to […]Read more
As you near the end of your pregnancy (hello, cankles!), you will be screened for Group B Strep, a common and normally harmless bacteria found in between 10-25% of women’s digestive and reproductive tracts. Although mostly benign in adults, Group B Strep (GBS) can cause serious infections in newborns, whose immune systems are still developing. […]Read more
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