Friday, December 16, 2005
The longer it takes for a woman to get pregnant, the more likely she'll give birth to a boy, according to a new study. Researchers say the findings may help explain why more boys than girls are born worldwide, despite the fact that human semen contains equal amounts of X (female) and Y (male) chromosome-bearing sperms. In the study, published in the BMJ, researchers compared information on more than 5,000 Dutch women who gave birth between July 2001 and July 2003. Boys More Likely When Pregnancy Takes Longer The results showed that among the 498 women who took longer than one year to get pregnant, the percentage of male babies was nearly 58%, compared with 51% among the women who took less time to get pregnant. Researchers estimate that for couples conceiving naturally, each additional year of trying to get pregnant is associated with a 4% increase in the likelihood of having a boy, even after adjusting for other factors, such as age, smoking status, alcohol use, and menstrual cycle variations. But for couples using fertility treatments to help become pregnant, the study showed there was no link between time to pregnancy and the baby's sex. Researchers say the results support the idea that sperms bearing the Y (male) chromosome swim faster than those bearing the X (female) chromosome in thick and sticky fluids and are more likely to fertilize an egg when the women's cervical mucus is difficult to penetrate. Previous studies have shown that women with thick and sticky cervical mucus take longer to become pregnant and are more likely to give birth to boys. Source: WebMD
Thursday, December 15, 2005
You pregnancy gals out there are such amazing writers. Or perhaps being pregnant or having children just instills that pregnancy gene. I've gotten so many great stories from you all. Today's guest writer is Dana who wrote this "Day by Day" which so eloquently expresses the slowing down of time when it becomes about not just you but the life you carry and the life you care for. Thanks Dana for writing. - I distinctly remember thinking (and maybe even saying out loud, once or twice) that I couldn’t wait until I could stop living my life in two week increments. I was referring to those two weeks between my supposed ovulation and my expected menstrual period. (Although in retrospect, I never really got that standard two weeks, as my cycles were so crazy and unpredictable, and the “ovulation” was never guaranteed or confirmed). Anyways, the waiting game, regardless of timing or duration, was excruciating. I thought to myself, “once I’m pregnant, I can stop this incessant counting…math never was my strong suit, anyways.” Well, I was wrong. On both counts. Those double lines on the pregnancy test ended my days of living in two-(three, four…) week increments…and I went straight to living life day by day. And I became an expert at math, particularly counting life in terms of week by week. It was scary at first. I was always aware that this first, statistically improbable pregnancy could end at any time. Thinking about what was supposed to be developing as each week went by…and knowing what could happen to my baby if there were any glitches along the way. These days, though, as I sit here at the magical “twelve week mark”, when the risk of miscarriage drops by massive percentage points, it’s actually quite enjoyable. It’s like enjoying the most delicious, juicy strawberry, nibble by nibble. It’s the act of savoring every precious minute as it comes, living fully in each minute, and noticing every nuance. For instance, I took a moment to pause in front of the mirror this morning, naked. Instead of critically glancing at the more unflattering aspects of myself (read: butt dimples), I really took it all in today. I noticed the fullness of my breasts, and how my belly protrudes a bit now. Yes, I saw the dimples too, but suddenly they just didn’t seem as important. My whole body is just …well, different. Curvy. Beautiful in a way I had never considered before. I also notice how I am more in tune with the basic needs—hunger, thirst, fatigue—all the little ways my body tries to communicate with me. I realized how much I ignored those signs before, as if my busy schedule was more important than taking care of this body of mine. Sure, it’s still difficult for me to respect those signs. I get very frustrated when my energy just won’t keep up with the schedule I’ve laid out for my day. But then I remind myself of what is most important—this little baby I’m already so responsible for. Today, my baby has fingers, toes, eyes, ears, and actually resembles a baby, even though he is only about three inches long. Day by day, he becomes more and more his own person. What a miracle! Suddenly, measuring life day by day becomes an incredible adventure, and I am enjoying every exquisite, juicy moment of it.
I got an email today asking what preeclampsia is. Now, I'm no doctor and you should always ask a medical profesional. But here's a article from Pregnancy Weekly on what preeclampsia is. - Preeclampsia is also known as toxemia or pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH). No matter what you call it, its cause is unknown, though genetics play some role, and it causes the placenta to get too little blood. This is often because the placenta is overtaxed by multiple babies or because the arteries in your womb did not enlarge as they should during the first half of your pregnancy. Preeclampsia generally shows up after the 20th week and before the 27th week, but it doesn't show up that often, thank goodness! Fewer than nine percent of pregnancies are touched by it, but every caregiver is very careful to watch for it and to catch it early.Your prenatal appointments include a check of your blood pressure, weight, and urine sample so that your caregiver can identify preeclampsia if it is present. Pain under your ribs on the right side, sudden and severe headaches, spots appearing before your eyes, swollen hands and face, and rapid weight gains caused by swelling, are all symptoms of preeclampsia. High blood pressure and protein in your urine provide evidence of preeclampsia, and let your caregiver know that the two of you need to take steps to fight it. If you have a mild case of preeclampsia, your caregiver will probably diagnose bedrest and plenty of fluids as if you had a cold or flu.Resting on your side helps your kidneys function as efficiently as they can and allows blood to flow more freely to your placenta. You and your baby will be monitored closely while you rest. You can count on frequent blood pressure, blood, and urine tests twice a week on average. If your preeclampsia is diagnosed as being more severe, you will probably be spending your time in bed in the hospital as well.Some moms-to-be get magnesium sulfate delivered to them intravenously to increase uterine blood flow and to prevent seizures, or eclampsia. Non-stress tests, contraction stress tests, or biophysical profiles may be performed to check on your baby. Ultrasound exams will measure the amount of amniotic fluid your baby has at his or her disposal. If that level falls too low, or if your caregiver has any other reason to suspect that your baby isn't getting an adequate blood supply, they will induce labor or perform a cesarean section as soon as your baby's lungs are mature enough.They do so in order to prevent your baby's distress or growth retardation, caused by a shortage of nutrients and oxygen. Even if your baby's lungs are not fully developed, your doctor may choose to induce labor if your health is at risk due to kidney or liver damage, bleeding problems, or seizures. No matter how mild or severe your preeclampsia is, your pregnancy will probably not go beyond the 40 week mark without your doctor inducing labor in order to reduce any risk to your baby's health and strength.After your baby is delivered safe and sound, your blood pressure will probably return to normal within the next few days or weeks, with or without medication. Moms carrying multiple babies and moms with diabetes, chronic high blood pressure, kidney disease, lupus, hypertension, or a family history of preeclampsia, or any condition their caregiver advises them increases their chances of contracting it, often take a baby aspirin each day of their pregnancy as a preventive measure.It's not yet known how effective this is, but what is known is that early diagnosis and care lead to great outcomes for both mother and child.
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
I'm just trying to guess the name of Apple's sister or brother because Gwynth Paltrow and Chris Martin are pregnant again! What do you think? Will it be named after a fruit again? Fruit basket? Maybe it's time to start the name pool...
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
My blog researchers and I have been scouring the web for new blogs to add to the blog roll of PregnancyWeekly. Over the next few days, I'll be updating with new blogs of expectant parents. If you would like your blog added to the blog roll, please send me an email with the title of your blog and the URL. To those blogs that I recently added...welcome to the PregnancyWeekly blog. :)
I'm not saying that every pregnant woman should run a triathalon. But when I got this story from Debbie, I was amazed! It shows that pregnant women are not necessarily limited because they are carrying a child. It shows us that pregnant women are brave, strong and courageous! Thanks Debbie for sharing such an amazing story. - My husband and I own a triathlon shop (www.TriSports.com), and both compete in triathlons. Back in October, when I was 8 months pregnant, we were representing our company at a local race. Everyone kept asking me, “Hey, Deb, you racing today?” with a wink and a smile. Although I knew they were joking, I knew I could do it if I tried, and to me that was a challenge. When it came to my attention that we were sponsoring a race on Thanksgiving Day, and I knew I would be past full-term at that point, my mind started churning. I told my husband I wanted to do the race and he said, “That would be the coolest thing you’ve ever done if you can do it.” I checked with my doctor, kind of figuring I’d get shot down, but she OK’d everything except the bike due to worries about my balance. I felt confident, though, and I have to say that I went ahead and signed up for the whole race instead of a relay. I expected that the bike would be uncomfortable (I hadn’t ridden in months), so I didn’t think I would finish it anyway. Race day dawned and I felt good. Normally, a triathlon goes in order of swim, bike, run, but this one was reversed…run, bike, swim. It was a short one – a 3 mile run, followed by a 12 mile bike, and finishing with a 300 yard swim. I’d done tons of them and, while never the first to finish, I usually came in the middle of the pack. I was bundled up in warm clothes prior to race start, so very few people even realized I was pregnant or that I was racing. Since I didn’t know if I would be able to finish the race, my goal was to at least run the entire 3 miles. I hadn’t run for two months (I had started getting some contractions, so it was banned from my workout regimen), so I thought that was a good goal to have. When the start gun went off, I quickly ended up at the back of the group. The men had started a few minutes before us, and as they, and then the women, passed me on their way back in, I got lots of open-mouthed looks and encouragement. There was still one woman behind me on the run, but when I finished and had to make a visit to the bathroom, she passed me and got out onto the bike course first (she would have passed me anyway!). I did run the whole thing, so I met my goal! The bike, while slow, was not as uncomfortable as I thought it would be, so I made up my mind to do my best to finish it. It was 4 loops of 3 miles each, and my husband met me halfway through my 2nd loop – he had just finished and come looking for me. He rode with me the rest of the way, bolting ahead at the end to grab the video camera. By this time, everyone else was done. I waded into the pool and began my swim. This was the one thing I had kept up throughout my pregnancy, so I knew it would be a cinch. I worked my way across the pool to the end. It was a deep-end finish, so my husband reached down to help me out and, looking like a beached whale, I rolled onto the deck. Unfortunately, he had informed the race director, who knew us due to our support of his race, of my condition, and he announced it to everyone there at the awards ceremony that I was about to finish. Needless to say, every eye was on me as I did my not-so-graceful flop out of the pool! Belly protruding, I grabbed my shirt and found my way across the finish line to a ton of applause. While dead last to finish, it was one of my greatest accomplishments, and I can’t wait to tell our child about his or her first triathlon!
Monday, December 12, 2005
Congrats - you live in the healthiest city for pregnant women. Or so says a study released by Babyfit.com. Here in full is the Top 100 Healthiest Cities for Pregnant Women. Leave a comment and let me know if your city makes the list! 1) Overland Park, Kansas 2) Ann Arbor, Michigan 3) Madison, Wisconsin 4) Sioux Falls, South Dakota 5) San Jose, California 6) Boise City, Idaho 7) Livonia, Michigan 8) Reno, Nevada 9) Anaheim/Santa Ana/Orange, California 10) Lincoln, Nebraska 11) Stamford, Connecticut 12) Anchorage, Alaska 13) Evansville, Indiana 14) Los Angeles, California 15) Honolulu, Hawaii 16) San Francisco,California 17) Akron, Ohio 18) Cedar Rapids, Iowa 19) Winston-Salem, North Carolina 20) Lansing, Michigan 21) Spokane, Washington 22) Chesapeake city, Virginia 23) San Diego, California 24) Providence, Rhode Island 25) Fayette, Kentucky 26) Hartford, Connecticut 27) Toledo, Ohio 28) Virginia Beach City, Virginia 29) Lakewood, Colorado 30) Independence, Missouri 31) New Haven, Connecticut 32) Oakland, California 33) Macon, Georgia 34) Springfield, Missouri 35) Modesto, California 36) Des Moines, Iowa 37) Colorado Springs, Colorado 38) Columbus, Ohio 39) Concord, California 40) Durham, North Carolina 41) Hialeah, Florida 42) Topeka, Kansas 43) Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 44) Greensboro, North Carolina 45) Huntsville, Alabama 46) Thousand Oaks, California 47) Wichita, Kansas 48) Simi Valley, California 49) Newport News city, Virginia 50) Sacramento, California 51) Nashville-Davidson, Tennessee 52) Santa Rosa, California 53) Plano, Texas 54) Ontario, California 55) Rancho Cucamonga, California 56) Boston, Massachusetts 57) Las Vegas, Nevada 58) Portland, Oregon 59) Arlington, Virginia 60) Omaha, Nebraska 61) Waterbury, Connecticut 62) Sterling Heights, Michigan 63) Louisville, Kentucky 64) Grand Rapids, Michigan 65) Salt Lake City, Utah 66) Moreno Valley, California 67) Riverside, California 68) Tucson, Arizona 69) Minneapolis, Minnesota 70) St. Paul, Minnesota 71) Phoenix, Arizona 72) Oxnard, California 73) Little Rock, Arkansas 74) Tampa, Florida 75) St. Petersburg, Florida 76) Seattle, Washington 77) Springfield, Illinois 78) Jacksonville, Florida 79) Aurora, Colorado 80) Hampton City, Virginia 81) Kansas City, Missouri 82) Fresno, California 83) Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 84) Miami, Florida 85) Tacoma, Washington 86) Flint, Michigan 87) San Bernardino, California 88) Warren, Michigan 89) South Bend, Indiana 90) Salem, Oregon 91) Bakersfield, California 92) Norfolk city, Virginia 93) Bridgeport, Connecticut 94) Allentown, Pennsylvania 95) Portsmouth city, Virginia 96) Atlanta, Georgia 97) Kansas City, Kansas 98) St. Louis city, Missouri 99) Savannah, Georgia 100) Washington, DC
There was a good article from Business Wire which talks about preparing for a baby that begins long before conception. I have copied the article in full for you who are planning on having a baby... - IRVINE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 12, 2005--New Year's Resolutions to get yourself in better shape and forgo vices carry equal value -- if not more -- for aspiring parents. Doctors and health professionals recommend beginning a clean livin' lifestyle anywhere from three months to a year before beginning to attempt conception. Ensuring your best body for your baby will improve fertility and decrease the risks of miscarriage and birth defects. Is baby making in your plans for 2006? Dr. Lawrence Werlin, principal investigator for the research group GENESIS Network for Reproductive Health and director of Coastal Fertility Medical Center (www.coastalfertility.com), offers the following tips to maximize a couple's success for conceiving: -- Butt Out - Smoking not only negatively impacts the woman, but also her partner. For women, studies have shown that smoking ten or more cigarettes per day has a negative effect on egg production. And in men, cigarette smoke constricts blood vessels, which in turn, negatively affects sperm by altering oxygen consumption and nutrient intake. -- Go Easy on the Caffeine - Research has shown that high doses of caffeine, such as more than three cups of coffee or eight cans of soda in a day, can hinder a woman's chance of conceiving. -- Avoid the Binge - Alcohol lowers estrogen levels, which can interfere with ovulation. Likewise, binge drinking for men can also negatively impact the chances for conceiving. There is hope, however, as sperm have a lifecycle of 74 days and change up every 90 days. If sperm are negatively affected by environmental or personal factors, it can be corrected within its next life cycle. -- Maintain that Weight - Having a healthy body weight helps maximize fertility success rates. Weight fluctuations either 20% above or below a woman's target range can disrupt estrogen levels which regulate ovulation. -- Eat Your Veggies - Not only will eating your 5 daily servings of fruits and vegetables help main your weight, but will also ensure that you are getting your balance of vitamins to improve conception rates. Taking a folic acid vitamin supplement is also key to preventing birth defects in the developing embryo. -- Be Punctual - Timing is by far the most critical factor in trying to achieve a successful pregnancy. On average, a woman has a 20% chance of conceiving each month with the egg remaining viable (fertilizable) for a 24-hour period. To optimize the baby making time of the month, it is important that a woman understand what changes occur in her cycle, so that she may use these factors as sign posts to knowing what her optimal time to conceive is. -- Relax - Stress -- whether it's related to infertility or life events -- may impact the body by interfering with normal ovulation in women and may reduce sperm production in men. Couples are encouraged to relax. In case-by-case scenarios, alternative methods such as acupuncture may be advised. -- Know When is When - If a woman and her partner are consecutively trying to achieve pregnancy for a year without success, it is recommended that she seek professional medical attention; or after six months if she is 38 years or older.