Friday, August 18, 2006

Acupuncture and pregnancy

About one in every seven couples in this country has trouble conceiving a child. Fortunately, there are infertility treatments to help, but doctors are always looking for new ways to improve on helping women get pregnant. Now, they've turned back in time to the ancient art of acupuncture.

Francesca Piotrowsky is having acupuncture done. But, what makes this unusual is the reason why.

"We became pregnant without IVF, miscarried early on, then we did our first cycle of IVF, became pregnant, and lost that pregnancy as well," Francesca said.

But, acupuncture may help her get pregnant again.

"Several years ago a group in Germany actually studied acupuncture and felt like they had higher implantation rates when they used acupuncture," Dr. Richard Scott, of reproductive medicine associates, said.

Implantation means embryos from in vitro fertilization, or IVF, are transferred into the womb where they attach to the uterine wall. Dr. Scott says acupuncture can aid the process.

"Western trained scientists have been able to demonstrate that when you do acupuncture that the uterus relaxes, contractions decrease, blood flow increases, and those are all changes that we consider more favorable," Dr. Scott said.

Three-year-old Zachary Kertesz is a success story his mom Doris chalks up to acupuncture.

"We did the acupuncture before transfer and after transfer, and, it worked!" Doris said.

Yet, none of this proves acupuncture is what makes the difference. So Dr. Scott is doing a study to compare women who get acupuncture during IVF, and women who don't. Even if acupuncture doesn't make the womb more receptive, it often has a secondary effect.

"I definitely feel more relaxed, the relaxation does last a couple days beyond the treatment," Francesca said.

Preliminary results of Dr. Scott's study show the acupuncture group is getting more successful embryo implantations.

But, acupuncture is not meant as a replacement for proven fertility treatments...only as a way to improve the pregnancy rate for IVF.

Source: WHDH

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Elizabeth Vargas has a baby boy!

ABC news anchor Elizabeth Vargas has given birth to a baby boy, PEOPLE has confirmed. Samuel Wyatt Cohn was born on Wednesday with a full head of hair and weighed in at 7 lbs., 9 oz. This is the second child for Vargas and her husband, Grammy-winner Marc Cohn, who sings the hit song "Walking in Memphis." They also have a three-year-old son, Zachary. Both mom and baby are doing "incredible" – and Samuel looks very much like his big brother, according to proud dad Cohn. In April, when she was five months along, Vargas, 43, told PEOPLE, "I feel bigger. Any woman who's been pregnant twice will tell you, you get bigger faster the second time." This time around was harder on her as well. "I'm more tired, I feel sicker," said Vargas, though she admitted that moms-to-be "perhaps have more of a glow. The only time I have decent fingernails is when I'm pregnant or nursing." Vargas had co-anchored World News Tonight with Bob Woodruff, who was injured in a roadside bombing in Iraq on Jan. 29. He is still recovering. On May 23, Charles Gibson was named anchor of the newscast after Vargas was to go on maternity leave. She is due to return in the fall to her hosting duties on ABC's 20/20. Source: People

Britney Talks About Pregnancy Number 2

Once again Britney, who wants to be left alone, is directing attention toward herself, agreeing to open up to People Magazine about her second pregnancy. Britney admits that "It just kind of happened," regarding her 2nd pregnancy with Kevin Federline. She adds, laughing: "I'm going to wait a while for the next (one)!" Soon after getting married to KFed, Britney fell pregnant with her first, Sean Preston, who is know 11 months old. Before anyone could realize that she is really a mother, Britney was quickly pregnant again with number two. "I feel like I've been pregnant for 10 years!" she says. Knowing that being pregnant and having a baby can be very stressful on your life, her Mom gives her guidance by reminding to take it "one day at a time." "It is now starting to get a little tiring, holding (Sean Preston), but the whole pregnancy I've done it a lot because he's very attached," she tells the magazine. "It makes me feel needed and wanted, so I like it too." Britney and husband Keving don't know the sex of their second baby, but they do know that their two little ones "are going to be so close together, it's going to be weird. But I love it," she says.

Throughout this pregnancy she has gained 40 pounds (18 kilograms), so she plans to get right back into shape. She is already dreaming about the gym and dieting soon after having baby number 2, scheduled to be a Caesarean birth. I'm sure is ready to start feeling sexy again.

What's awesome is that Britney is NOT ignoring those cravings! "Crunching ice and chocolate, oh my God," she says. "I'll get up in the middle of the night and I'll get a Hershey's bar, the real big ones, and I'll put it in the microwave and melt it and eat it. It sounds disgusting, but it's so satisfying." Gotta do what you gotta do!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Pregnancy Weekly Guest Writer- Teresa

This is a great story by one of our guest writers. Thanks to Teresa for participating and sharing her story. Teresa, I am so happy for you and your family! I wish you the best of luck throughout your pregnancy! [If you wish to share your story please email me (, I'm trying to make this a usual Wednesday addition to the blog] -------------------------------------- "To say the least I am still in shock about being pregnant. My husband and I have been trying for at least 5 years. We have been going to the Regional Fertility Clinic in for the last 2 and a half years. They have tried everything. After my unsuccessful IVF, due to few and fragmented eggs we were given one last option. And my levels had indicated that I was in the early stages of menopause. I am only 38. We had 3 embryos transferred in June from another couple through the Embryo Donation Program there. I went for my pregnancy test as directed and it was negative. We were getting ready to do the 2nd transfer and my period was late. I was actually kinda ticked off, I had tentative time booked off work and had a schedule to follow, no time for a late period. I called and was told to take a pregnancy test on the 2 of August to rule out pregnancy. I did the test and started to get ready for work and ....the test had a plus on it...I had never seen that before. I went to my friends house 2 doors down to make sure it was what I thought. It was. I called my family Dr. at 7 am and left him a message to call me asap. He called and told me to be at his office at 2pm. I of coarse bought another test and did it at work and again it was positive. I got to the Doctors office and again the urine test was positive! I went for blood work and it was also positive! It has been over a week and I still can not believe it. That is my story. I think it is amazing.Thanks for the opportunity to share my unbelievable story."

TIP: Sweeteners And Pregnancy

Have you ever wondered if non-nutritive sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin and sucralose are safe to consume during pregnancy? Current research shows no reason to avoid foods and beverages with these sweeteners. The only concern is that while consuming calorie-free soft drinks and candies, you may be missing out on more nutritious foods and beverages that are better choices for mothers-to-be such as milk, juice and water. Pregnant women with the rare genetic disorder phenylketonuria, or PKU, should avoid foods and beverages sweetened with aspartame because their bodies cannot break down phenylalanine, the amino acid aspartame contains. If you have PKU or carry the gene, consult a doctor and registered dietitian for health and nutrition advice.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

? OF THE WEEK: Are You Feeling the Pressure From Juggling Work And Family Life?

I read an article that working women are increasingly feeling the pressure from juggling work and family life. A survey from revealed the 52% of women are willing to take a pay-cut to spend more time with their children, and nearly 1 in 10 are willing to take a pay-cut of 10% or more! Do you feel that you fit into this category? I am currently 36 weeks pregnant with my first, so I have not faced the world of working with a child. I look at many other Mothers who are able to do this day in and day out, but it seems very difficult. I don't know if I want to go back to work once I have my baby, but I think I don't have much of a choice. Money seems to be very important these days, so going back to work is something that I will have to do. I'll be looking for a full-time Nanny soon enough! Claire Newell (the Times) wrote that women were being prevented from making the same progress towards equality at home as what they have achieved in the workplace and that economic reality meant that women are pushed to adopt a traditional role of doing most of the child rearing. Are you a Mother who is constantly juggling work and home with a full-time Nanny? Or have you decided to stay at home to be the one to raise your children?

Even Pregnant Women Need To Get Pampered, Ask Maggie!

Over the weekend Maggie Gyllenhaal got pampered. She got what many pregnant women need, a pedicure! God, knows I love it! And it makes me feel sexy. Eventhough, sometimes I feel fat and unattrative! Boo! Anyway, I hope she enjoyed her day! So, that reminds I should definitely pencil in my next pedi/mani appointment... can't wait!

Monday, August 14, 2006

No Association Between Anxiety and Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes

I can say that I've experienced a lot of anxiety throughout my pregnancy. I am happy to hear that most likely it will not cause any complications. Are their many women who have had or are experiencing anxiety symptoms? --------------------------------------------------------------------- According to a review of the research on anxiety and pregnancy outcomes, researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch found that experiencing anxiety symptoms during pregnancy is not associated with an increased risk of a number of pregnancy complications such as having a longer labor or a low birth weight baby. These results will be presented at the 114th annual convention of the American Psychological Association (APA). “Pregnancy can be an emotional time for women and, for some, anxiety associated with the pregnancy can be compounded by pre-existing difficulties such as having an inadequate social support system,” said lead author Heather Littleton, PhD. She and coauthors Carmen Breitkopf, PhD, and Abbey Berenson, MD, from the University of Texas Medical Branch sought to evaluate if there is a correlation between the anxiety experienced during pregnancy and adverse perinatal outcomes. Anxiety was defined as either current levels of anxious symptoms such as tension and worry or a woman’s general tendency to become anxious in stressful situations. Previous research examining whether anxiety during pregnancy does cause harmful effects has shown mixed results until now. This meta-analysis of research that spanned 39 years and included 50 studies of 48 sample groups of women recruited from prenatal clinics and other medical settings, clarifies that within the range of normally experienced variations in maternal emotional distress, no effects on reproductive outcomes are evident. Perinatal data was collected from participants’ medical charts or from a physician’s report. While anxiety was not found to have a direct effect on perinatal outcomes, a number of important outcomes that have been theorized to be affected by anxiety have not been studied. This includes the development of pre-eclampsia during pregnancy and having a small weight for gestational age infant. In addition, more work is necessary to determine if these findings generalize to women with very high levels of anxiety, such as those who have an anxiety disorder. “This review of the literature clearly shows that additional research is necessary to completely understand how to best treat an anxious pregnant woman,” says Dr. Littleton, “and such work evaluating the mental and physical health of women during pregnancy could help to increase the number of healthy babies that are born.”

Source: Newswise

Laughing Babies

They are so cute!