Among all the chaos and uncertainty COVID-19 has brought us, one thing hasn’t changed: People are still having babies. But the landscape of giving birth sure has changed. And one of the big changes, in the hopes of flattening the curve, are new hospital visitation policies that, in some cases, cut doulas out of the […]Read more
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
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
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
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
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
Red raspberry leaf tea is an ancient tonic—pregnant women as early as the 6th century drank the stuff. It is still a popular herbal supplement for pregnancy today, with claimed benefits ranging from it’s ability to strengthen the uterus and help prepare the body for birth to directly stimulating labor (in one survey, more than […]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
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