Friday, May 19, 2006
Thursday, May 18, 2006
1. Acceptable Weight Gain How long have we waited for that? A lifelong -- and typically self-denying -- Pop-Tart lover, I reveled in the consumption of not one, but both succulent pastries on an almost daily basis. (You're right. Pop-Tarts, delicious though they may be, weren't the healthiest breakfast option. When I gained 11 pounds in one month, it was pretty easy to determine the culprit. Although weight gain is certainly expected, my ob-gyn gently reminded me to be a bit more "occasional" with the double Pop-Tart-fests.)
2. Pregnancy Glow It's true! You, as a double baby-bearer, are likely to absolutely ignite with it. Caused by the increased blood flow to the skin, you literally should have twice the glow of your pregnant-with-single-baby pals. Twincandescence. Enjoy it. Consider having your picture taken.
3. Helping Hands People will bend over backwards (and they'll need to, because you certainly can't) assisting you with heavy doors, lifting even the lightest of loads, making meals, whatever they can do to help. Let them. Accept assistance graciously, remembering the times you have helped others in a similar state.
4. Relief from Usual Discomforts Weeks of potential relief from chronic conditions/discomfort. As difficult as it seems to believe, in many cases, mine included, the hormonal upheaval of pregnancy (intensified in twin pregnancy) often minimizes/soothes the day-to-day physical imperfections of your pre-pregnancy life. My prescription drug requiring allergies? Nary a symptom during my pregnancy...especially welcome since my prescription was not approved for use while knocked up or breastfeeding. Equally absent was my chronic knee/joint pain. Remarkable, since the discomfort is typically exacerbated with even the slightest weight gain -- and I piled on 45 pounds in short order. A friend who suffers with fibromyalgia experienced her longest absence of symptoms during the months of her pregnancy. Clearly no guarantees exist, but you may find yourself relieved of some of your usual conditions as a result of your "babies on board" state.
5. Your Growing Belly! You've seen people throughout your life lovingly caressing a tummy large with child. Now's your chance. You have two babies in there who can feel your touch and hear your voice. Massage them, sing to them, and read to them. Their birth will be a face-to-face meeting with a very special someone they already know through their other senses. Encourage Daddy to do it, too.
Research has suggested too much caffeine during pregnancy - over five cups of ordinary strength coffee a day - could increase the risk of having a low birth-weight baby. These babies are at greater risk from a range of problems in later life, including developmental delay in childhood and high blood pressure in adulthood, making this an important relationship to understand. Many previous studies have not, however, included an accurate measure of caffeine intake or taken into account other factors, such as a person's individual metabolism of caffeine.
The CARE study is looking for the first time at the relationship between caffeine intake from a variety of sources, caffeine metabolism during pregnancy and the risk of having a low birth-weight baby. Dr Sara Kirk from the Leeds University's Nutritional Epidemiology Group explains: "Caffeine is present in many products from chocolate to over-the-counter medications such as flu remedies. It's also hard to measure a person's caffeine intake as caffeine levels in drinks vary from one cup of coffee or tea to another."
Project leader Professor Janet Cade said: "The findings of this study will be of great importance in providing advice to pregnant women, based on the best available evidence. We hope it will clarify the role of caffeine in pregnancy and inform health professionals working with pregnant women."
The study in Leeds is in collaboration with the department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Leeds General Infirmary, and the University of Leicester and is funded by the Food Standards Agency.
"They've signed a £2.6million deal with a publication and the money will go to children's charity UNICEF," a source told British newspaper the Daily Mirror.
The child is expected within the next few weeks.
"Angelina's very private but they figured they might as well use the opportunity of one child being born to help a lot of others," the source added.
It is great to see that Angelina Jolie and her BF are so interested in helping others. They clearly understand that the first pictures of their baby are worth a lot, so they're taking advantage of this. Good for them!
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
The team asked 137 healthy women with low-risk, normal pregnancies to report on their stress between the 24th and 32nd week of pregnancy.
The study in Child Development found the children of those who reported more stress were more advanced at age two.
Earlier studies suggest stressed out mothers can pass it on to their babies.
They also suggest high stress levels can lead to restricted growth and birth defects in the unborn child.
Research author development psychologist Professor Janet DiPietro said: "We thought maybe they would show some signs of being difficult or of emotional dysfunction. Instead we found the reverse was true."
There were two possible explanations for this, she said.
Women who have high stress levels would be generating more of the stress hormone cortisol.
It is one of the chemicals produced naturally in the body when stress triggers a 'fight or flight' response.
"Cortisol has a bad rap as the stress hormone - but every organ in the body needs cortisol to develop properly.
"It could be enhancing the development of organs before birth," said Professor DiPietro.
Alternatively, said Professor DiPietro, it could be that the type of women they are affects the way they bring up their child.
She said: "These are normal, mostly working women who are juggling the demands of every day life. These are women that challenge themselves - they are not severely depressed or in receipt of psychiatric care.
"Maybe these women have higher stress levels because they challenge themselves, and because they challenge themselves they challenge their children after birth too prompting faster development."
In addition the team also found prenatal stress did not affect the children's ability to handle their own emotions or control their behaviour.
However the children of women who had reported negative feelings about being pregnant appeared to show poorer behavioural and emotional regulation.
Again it was not clear from the research whether this was caused by biological factors or the way the child was treated after birth.
Professor DiPietro said although the team found the results unexpected they were pleased with them.
She said: "I'd like all pregnant women to heave a big sigh of relief - they hear all these awful stuff about everything they do.
"Now they can stop worrying about worrying.
"The reason to avoid stress is not because it's hurting the baby but because it is hurting you."
Spokesman for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Patrick O'Brien said the findings of this well-designed study were very interesting although they conflicted with earlier research.
"It will be very reassuring to the many women who do experience a reasonable amount of stress during their pregnancy for whatever reason.
"There are so many people that come to me and say they are worried about how working long hours or a problem with a boss is affecting their baby.
"The message is that a moderate amount of stress will not harm the baby at all and in fact might do it some good," he added. Source: BBC News
DHA plays an important role in nervous system and eye development in the fetus (and in infants), so it's important that pregnant women get adequate amounts.
Let's look at a couple of prescription-only sources of omega-3 fatty acids to gain some perspective: Duet DHA and Omacor.
Duet DHA is a prenatal supplement intended for pregnant women that provides 250 mg of omega-3 fatty acids "with at least 200 mg derived for DHA."
It's package insert carries no pregnancy statement. Presumably, the product and insert were approved by the FDA.
The insert does caution that the prescribed dose of DHA should not exceed 1,000 mg daily.
The other prescription product, Omacor, is a concentrated form of fish oil omega-3 fatty acids prescribed for high triglycerides.
Each one-gram Omacor gel capsule contains 465 mg of EPA and 375 mg of DHA. The recommended daily dose of four capsules provides 1,860 mg of EPA and 1,500 mg of DHA.
Omacor carries pregnancy category C labeling.
There are five FDA pregnancy categories for prescription drugs based on progressive risk: A, B, C, D, and X. Category A is the lowest risk, category X the highest.
Here's the category C wording for Omacor: "There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. It is not known if Omacor can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Omacor should not be used during pregnancy unless the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus."
In studies of pregnant rats, omega-3 fatty acids have been found to harm the embryo at doses estimated to be several times the recommended human dose.
It should be said that Omacor contains substantially higher amounts of omega-3 fatty acids per capsule than typical OTC fish oil supplements.
The bottom line: Supplements providing fish oil omega-3 fatty acids within a certain dose range may indeed be safe for pregnant women. The water's just too murky to know for sure.
Another concern is that the OTC supplements market is only loosely regulated. You can't always be sure you're on firm ground unless product content has been certified by an independent tester such as ConsumerLab.com, USP or NSF.
The alternative to fish oil supplements is dietary fish. The chief concern here is mercury contamination.
That's why the EPA/FDA issues guidelines on the amounts of various types of fish thought to be safe for consumption during pregnancy and nursing (www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/admehg3.html).
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
"She loves to do yoga with Maddox," reveals the secret Angelina Jolie's yoga instructor, Maryam Askari.
Angelina Jolie got hooked on yoga in Paris, and she was taking prenatal yoga classes along with her son Maddox, 3.
"Maddox had fun jumping around the room, while Angelina does pregnancy poses while I support her belly," Askari told Life&Style weekly magazine. However, Brad Pitt doesn't share Angelina's passion for yoga - yet? "He's more of a weight-lifting kind of guy," says yoga instructor.
A: Shoe size does change during pregnancy. For some women the change is minor and temporary. About a half-size to a full-size is normal. But other women may experience a larger increase in shoe size, and it can be permanent.
Part of the problem is simple weight gain and fluid retention. Excess weight stresses the foot, and may flatten the arch. This can elongate and widen the feet. Fluid retention during pregnancy often causes edema, a swelling of the feet, which may also contribute to a shoe-size increase. But hormones also play a role. Early in the third trimester of pregnancy a woman's body produces relaxin, a hormone that relaxes the pelvic muscles and ligaments in preparation for childbirth. Relaxin also appears to loosen the muscles and ligaments of the foot, which could contribute to lengthening and widening.
Never force your feet into tight fitting shoes. Proper fitting shoes will help make pregnancy more pleasant. Massaging, elevating the feet, and maintaining a healthy weight could help minimize some podiatric problems during pregnancy.
Monday, May 15, 2006
Researchers found that moms who don't lose the weight they gained during the first pregnancy and continue to gain after their first child is born are at risk of having bigger babies than mothers who do not gain weight between pregnancies. A patient's pre-pregnancy weight remained the strongest predictor for the birth of a large infant in the next pregnancy, according to Dr. Robert Blaskiewicz, professor of obstetrics, gynecology and women's health at Saint Louis University.
Large babies can be more difficult and take longer to deliver than normal-weight babies because they are too big to fit easily through the birth canal and might also lead to a Caesarean delivery.
"The ideal is to have their weight as close to normal as possible. Weight gain between pregnancies doubles the risk of having a 'large for gestational age' baby," Blaskiewicz said.
The findings were presented at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.Source: United Press International
Since Mother's Day just passed I was wondering which celeb moms were most searched. I found that the most searched recent celebrity moms and moms-to-be on AOLSearch.com from May 1-6 were:
1 Britney Spears ……. Sean Preston born September 17, 2005 and expecting 2 Angelina Jolie …….. expecting 3 Katie Holmes ……… Suri born April 18, 2006 4 Gwen Stefani ……… expecting 5 Mariska Hargitay …. expecting 6 Heidi Klum ………… Henry Gunther Ademola Dashtu Samuel born September 12, 2005 7 Melissa Etheridge .. expecting 8 Jennifer Garner …… Violet born December 1, 2005 9 Vanessa Bryant ….. Gianna Maria-Onore born May 1, 2006 10 Brooke Shields …… Grier Hammond born April 18, 2006What about Gifts?
What gifts might mom be receiving? When we look at AOLSearch.com data as an indicator for what people are interested in, mom might be lucky enough to unwrap one of the following gifts (in order of recent % increase in searches):
1. digital camera 2. camcorder 3. flowers 4. jewelry 5. mp3 player (including iPod)