Women carrying twins. Women who begin pregnancy with diabetes, or hypertension, or lupus. African-American women who become pregnant after age 35. What do these different groups of pregnant women have in common? The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) now considers them candidates for early aspirin therapy—a daily baby aspirin starting at the end […]Read more
What is preeclampsia? Preeclampsia is one of the most common, serious disorders of pregnancy, affecting between 2-8% of all pregnancies in the U.S. It typically begins with newly elevated blood pressure (readings above 140/90 on two or more occasions) sometime after 20 weeks gestation. (Women who begin pregnancy with chronic high blood pressure can also […]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
Have you lined up your pregnancy care team? Successfully navigated through insurance and other minefields and found providers you can trust and communicate with? If your pregnancy is considered high risk, you may have one more step in the process — adding a maternal-fetal medicine specialist (MFM), also called a perinatologist, to your team. What […]Read more
In addition to weird aches and discomforts (sciatica, anyone?), weight gain, and puking, pregnancy can make routine decisions—what should I eat right now?—annoyingly complex. For every meal, it’s a series of questions. Does this contains any “no-nos” like soft cheese or deli meats? Is it healthy enough? Did I get at least two servings of […]Read more
Call me naive, but I went into my first pregnancy expecting that after having my baby, the extra pounds would more or less fall off on their own. It was a huge wake up call, when a year out, I was still a steady 5 lbs above my pre-baby weight. My son was finally sleeping […]Read more
When you’re pregnant, it’s hard to escape the eat fish, don’t eat fish dilemma. On the one hand, pregnant women are told that fish–rich in iodine, selenium, and omega-3 fatty acids, and other vital nutrients–is good for our babies’ rapidly growing brains. Recent studies have linked fish consumption during pregnancy with faster processing times and […]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
Last month, the measles outbreak in Washington State prompted its governor to declare a state of emergency. Some parents have wised up and finally vaccinated their kids. But others have dug in, even gathering to protest universal vaccine policies. As a researcher who knows how thoroughly the autism-vaccine hypothesis has been debunked*, it’s hard to watch […]Read more
Since 2002, The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has recommended that doctors screen all pregnant women for Group B Strep between 35-37 weeks, and that all women who test positive receive IV antibiotics during labor. This policy has more than halved the rate of early onset newborn GBS disease (GBS infection occurring within the first […]Read more
Perhaps you’ve changed your diet. Perhaps you’ve changed your exercise routine. Or coffee intake or sleep habits, or any number of little lifestyle adjustments to have a healthy pregnancy. I know you have a lot on your plate, my pregnant friend, but I’m just going to throw one more thing onto it—stress management. Stress management […]Read more
It’s never fun to hear that your placenta is in the wrong spot. Honestly, I didn’t even know that was a possibility until my 20 week ultrasound when the sonographer told me I had a low lying placenta. In her words: “Not technically placenta previa but your placenta is very close to your cervical opening […]Read more
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