Friday, November 10, 2006

Can Working Mothers Have It All?

Tonight ABC's 20/20 is doing a segment on working Moms and if they can really have it all. Is it possible for a Mother to truly balance family and career? 20/20's Elizabeth Vargas, who is also a working Mother, reports about the difficulties that working Moms face when returning back to work while balancing a family life. Not only does she try to give an overall view of working Mothers in this nation, but she also gives her side of the story.
When ABC annouced that I would be stepping odwn this past summer as the co-anchor of "World News Tonight," there were a lot of people who felt this was a bad precedent for working Moms. Women's organizations protested to my bosses at ABC, and columnists debated the message my job would send. For me, though, giving up the anchor chair at the evening news, and returning exclusively to anchor "20/20" was the right decision. I loved my job at "World News," but the prospect of doing it well, and still finding time to be a good mother to 3-year-old Zachary and my new baby, Samuel, felt impossible. Anchoring "20/20" gives me a lot more flexibility to be a good parent.
I think this news segment will be very interesting to check out, especially for women who are balancing work and family. 20/20 airs at 10pm on Friday. On ABC's website there is special video clip of proud Mother and news anchor, Elizabeth Vargas, with her newborn, Samuel.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Tips For Pregnant Mothers With Gestational Diabetes

Why worry about high blood sugars during pregnancy? Moms and babies face serious complications when blood sugars get too high during gestation. Babies born to moms with uncontrolled diabetes can be too small or too large -- less than 5 pounds or more than 9 pounds -- at birth. Both these extremes set baby up for major health problems during his or her lifetime, including obesity and type 2 diabetes.

The goal? Provide all the important nutrients baby needs for normal growth and development without making mom's blood sugars skyrocket. The solution? Smaller meals and snacks distributed throughout the day. Most women with diabetes during pregnancy may need to eat five to six times a day to keep meals small enough to prevent abnormal rises in blood sugar levels.

Here are some other tried and true strategies to control diabetes during pregnancy:

Cut the extra sugar. Regular sodas, juice, candy and other sources of extra sugar can spike mom's blood sugar and put baby at risk. Reasonable amounts of sugar-free products made with sweeteners such as acesulfame potassium, aspartame, sucralose and neotame are considered safe for use during pregnancy.

Curb other carbohydrates. This can be tricky, since carbohydrate foods such as fruit, whole grain breads and cereals, milk and yogurt supply vital nutrients for building a healthy baby. Pregnant women with diabetes require a minimum of 175 grams of total carbohydrates a day... but no more than 30 to 45 grams at a time.

Eat your veggies. Non-starchy vegetables such as leafy greens, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, artichokes, green beans and carrots supply vital nutrients for baby to develop normally... with minimal effect on blood sugar levels.

Control the urge to eat a whole cantaloupe at one sitting. Even though whole fruit is a healthful source of fiber and other essential nutrients, large portions of fruit can make blood sugar levels jump too high. And most experts advise pregnant women with diabetes to avoid fruit juice entirely.

Don't skimp on protein. High quality protein builds high quality babies and has minimum effect on blood sugar levels. Good sources include low fat meat, milk, yogurt and cheese, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts and soy-based foods.

Eat smaller amounts of fat, and choose from healthful sources such as nuts, seeds and oils. Omega-3 fats in fish, flax, walnuts and other foods benefit baby's brain and eye development. (Fish more likely to be contaminated with mercury such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish should be avoided during pregnancy, according to guidelines from the Environmental Protection Agency.)

Put the brakes on excessive weight gain if you start your pregnancy in the plus-size category. New evidence is emerging that mild calorie restriction during pregnancy -- with medical supervision -- may benefit overweight women with gestational diabetes.

Get some exercise. Thirty minutes a day of appropriate exercise -- such as walking away from the refrigerator -- is recommended for most healthy women during pregnancy, according to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG). Physical activity helps keep blood sugars under control, which keeps baby from growing too big.

Get some help. Women with gestational diabetes need the help of qualified diabetes educators to learn how to monitor their blood sugars and control their diet.

Source: MontereyHerald

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Pregnancy Weekly Guest Writer- Madelein

Here is a great pregnancy story by Madelein from Cape Town, South Africa. She has a wonderful and beautiful story that I think all of you would enjoy. Please take a bit of time to read another wonderful pregnancy story. __________________________________________________ I am married for almost 11 years. I struggled to start a family for the first 6 years. I have never used contraception. The first diagnosis showed that my hormones were imbalanced, one of my tubes was blocked and my husband sperm was low. Only IVF was our last hope. From 1997 to 1999, I went through IVF 3 times without success then we decided to accept our situation of not being able to have children. In 2001 I decided to visit a new gynecologist for my check ups. She offered me a second opinion and found out that my tubes were both open and that due to my irregular menstruations I would just need a little bit of help with clomid and monitoring of my ovulation. With the help of Clomid I found out that I was pregnant in Nov. 2001. Merari was born prematurely on 19 June 2002.Thinking that my fertility would be restored after his birth I hoped to have our second child soon after. But again after 4 years nothing happened until I got another clomid help. At 35 weeks of my second pregnancy, I developed pre-eclemsia and was monitored until 36 weeks when the baby had to come out on 31 May 2006. Shadai- El was our last one; so we thought. Seven days after birth, I developed clot in the lung and was soon on warfrin. By the time Shadai- El was 3 month old, I found out that I was pregnant! How come!
  • I am considered not to be fertile. I have been helped with my first two pregnancies
  • I did not get my period yet since the birth of Shadai-El
How could I be pregnant? Still a lot questions going through my mind, but have accepted to be a mother again for the third time beside the following worries:
  • Side effect of warfrin on the baby
  • My condition of blood clotting
  • Body fatigue (due to being pregnant twice in one year)
  • Age gap between the 2 babies (less than a year)
  • Financial strain
Medically speaking my 2 doctors (gynae and physician) is convinced that my situation can successfully be controlled. We all need to be positive! The baby is due on 17 May 2007, two weeks before Shadai – El 1st birthday. With my history of premature birth he might even decide to come much earlier. I can not wait to see what will happen.

Hospital sued over baby swap

Nothing like some crazy news in the morning to start your day! Everyone has to check this out! Imagine having a baby and the hospital mistakenly swapps your baby with another, but only discovering the swapp 15 years later! The drama continued with one of the couples getting a divorce thinking the baby was conceived through an extramarital affair! Wow! Wouldn't you sue the hospital? _________________________________________________ TWO families are suing a hospital in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region for mistakenly swapping their newborn babies 15 years ago, seeking about one million yuan (US$125,000) in compensation. The baby swap led to the divorce of one of the couples, because the husband thought "their son" was born of an extramarital affair, the China News Service reported. A district court in Nanning, the regional capital, has accepted the case, the report said. The two boys were born at the hospital on November 15, 1991. Following the hospital's requirement, the two babies were kept under observation for seven days before the parents were allowed to take them home, the report said. The alleged mistake was not discovered until May 2005 when one couple, a man identified as Lu and his wife, went to a local legal testing center, where they were told after a parental test that they were not the biological parents of the boy. They did the test because the couple found in a 2004 exam the boy's blood type was different from theirs. Source: Shanghaidaily

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Pregnancy and Old Wives Tales

Pregnant Women Should Not Take Baths This idea is false; however some of the beliefs behind it are true. Pregnant women can and should take baths. It is a great way for a pregnant woman to take some of the weight off her back and relax, especially later in pregnancy. If your water has broken however you should NOT take a bath as your uterus is then vulnerable to infection. You should also avoid throughout your pregnancy taking baths or sitting in hot tubs above 100 degrees. This can raise your body temperature too much and cause problems to your baby, especially during the first trimester. Holding Your Hands Above Your Head Can Hurt The Baby The truth is that the positioning of your hands has nothing to do with your baby's positioning in the uterus or the umbilical cord becoming wrapped around him. Babies born with the umbilical cord wrapped around them is actually quite common as it happens in about 1/3 of all pregnancies and is actually caused by the early movements your baby makes in utero, while they are still small enough to make them.

Wearing A Lei Can Choke Your Fetus This Hawaiian superstition is just that...a superstition. It makes no sense that a pregnant woman who wears a lei could be choking her baby.

You Have to Drink A Lot of Water or Your Baby Will Get Dirty A pregnant woman should drink water because it is good for them. However it has nothing to do with how clean or dirty the baby's amniotic fluid is. The truth is your baby pees in and drinks the amniotic fluid surrounding them, and the amniotic fluid actually replenishes itself every three hours. Staying hydrated helps your baby, but your baby will not get dirty if you do not drink the recommended eight glasses of water a day.

You Need Boiling Water Nearby During Childbirth Fact or fiction? In reality no one is really sure WHY midwives used to order the husbands to get boiling water. Some think it was just a ploy to get the husbands out of the room during tense times of labor. Others speculate that it was an effort to make sure the few tools that were used, were properly sterilized. Along the same lines so believe that it was a way to keep the tools used at room temperature instead of letting them get cold. Today there is little, if no need to have boiling water nearby during childbirth.

If You Have Heartburn During Pregnancy Your Baby Has A Lot of Hair Because of there being less room in your stomach since there is a baby growing and pushing on it, heartburn is actually extremely common during those nine months. There is no proof or reason to believe that having heartburn is a sign of a baby being born with a head full of hair.

Your Partner Will Get a Sty in the Eye if They Don't Feed You What You Crave While this is fun and definitely something a pregnant woman might be able to get away with holding over her partners head, it is not true. However, that doesn't mean that the person who denies their pregnant partner the food she craves is safe...

Sex Can Kick Start Pregnancy This one is actually true! Female enjoyment creates the hormone oxytocin which can help ripen your cervix and get it ready for labor. A mans semen contains the hormone prostaglandins which can cause contractions. Sex is often recommended at the end of a healthy, normal pregnancy. Ask your OB!

Full Moons Bring the Babies While it is widely believed and noted in L&D rooms every where, however this myth has never been scientifically proven.

These are just a few that they have put together for you. To see our list of gender related pregnancy old wives tales, click here.

Monday, November 06, 2006

? OF THE WEEK: How Long Did It Take You To Get Pregnant?

I have a friend who recently got pregnant. As soon as her and her husband starting talking about it, she was pregnant. They successfully did it on their first attempt. Now she is happily edging along at 17 weeks and is super excited! It took us 10 months to get pregnant and I thought that was pretty good. Actually I was pretty darn proud of ourselves for accomplishing our goal within a year! I did seek help from a doctor and took my prenatal vitamins. I found some fun tips to get pregnant on BabyHopes.com. I surely went through quite a few of these as well:
Fuel up on folic acid Folic acid is a synthetic form of folate, a B vitamin that can help reduce the risk of serious birth defects that affect the brain and spinal cord. For this reason, the FDA recommends that all women attempting pregnancy take folic acid supplements for decreasing chances of birth defects.

Quit smoking, drinking and drugs now Smoking or taking drugs greatly diminishes your chances of getting pregnant and can lead to miscarriages, premature birth, and low-birth weight babies. Plus, research suggests that smoking can affect your fertility and lower your partner's sperm count. In fact, studies have shown that even secondhand smoke may affect your chances of getting pregnant. It is also recommend that women avoid alcohol when trying for pregnancy. Cut down on Caffeine Research shows that too much caffeine can reduce your ability to absorb iron and increase your risk for stillbirth. Avoid coffee, tea, and colas or switch to decaf to increase your chances of getting pregnant. If you are a complete caffeine junkie, then the safe limit would be a cup a day. Try switching to a milkshakes which will boost your calcium as well and assist in conception. Get your weight in check Healthy weight women have an easier time getting pregnant than overweight or underweight women. Studies show that women whose body mass index (BMI) is below 20 or above 30 have a harder time getting pregnant, so it's a good idea to try to get yourself into the 20 to 30 range before you start trying. Timing is Everything You will have little chance of getting pregnant if you had sex on the wrong days and missed the most fertile ones. Figure out your ovulation days with our ovulation calendar to increase your chances of conception. Read our articles on and Signs of ovulation to assist you in knowing your fertile period. Ovulation predictor kitscan also help you figure out when you're ovulating by detecting hormones in your urine that signal ovulation is about to occur. Mind Control Women who suffer from depression are twice as likely to have problems with fertility as women who don't. Get a mental health check if you notice signs of depression. Also, try stress management techniques, such as yoga and meditation, which research suggests can also help in getting pregnant. Buy something sexy Some experts say that if a woman is highly aroused while she's having sex, the sperm has a better chance of fertilizing her egg. Others say it makes absolutely no difference. It definitely wont hurt and may even help in boosting your libido and killing that awkward feeling of having sex for pregnancy. Positioning yourself Many experts suspect that the missionary position (man on top) provides the best opportunity for getting pregnant, though no definitive studies have been done on this question. This position allows for the deepest penetration which deposits sperm closer to the cervix. For additional effectiveness, the woman can try elevating her hips with a pillow so her cervix is exposed to the maximum amount of semen. Other positions could be Rear entry and lying side-by-side. Avoid woman on top, standing, or leaning positions, which discourage the flow of semen to the uterus. Increase the Odds Make your vaginal environment as sperm-friendly as possible. Avoid vaginal sprays and scented tampons, artificial lubricants, and douching. Not only can they cause infections, they may wash away cervical mucus or create a hostile environment for the sperm.

If you find that your is not as conducive of getting pregnant as it should be, you may want to try a specific type of lubricant. Pre-Seed lubricant is the sperm friendly choice of many people trying to get pregnant. After intercourse, elevate your hips on a pillow for about fifteen minutes.

So, my question is how long did it take you to get pregnant? Were you guys geniuses on the first try? Or did you consider yourselves experts at love-making by the time you got pregnant?