Whenever I think about pregnancy weight gain, I think of Renée Zellweger playing Bridget Jones, the role that catapulted her to true stardom—and for which she had to gain some 30 lbs. After losing the weight and then regaining it for the second Bridget Jones film, Zellweger was fed up with the yo-yo-ing. She griped […]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
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. It affects 2-8% of all pregnancies in the U.S, and typically begins with newly elevated blood pressure (readings above 140/90 on two or more occasions) sometime after 20 weeks of pregnancy. (Women who enter pregnancy with chronic high blood pressure can […]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
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
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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