Amazing Pregnancy Blog
Pregnancy can do crazy things to your body. Many of the nutrients you rely on to help keep your body strong are being shared with your baby. That’s why pregnancy nutrition is so important: not only to keep your baby growing and healthy, but to keep you healthy, too.
Many women find that they experience dental problems during pregnancy, probably because of the calcium needed to help build their baby’s bones. This creates an additional concern, of course, because there are certain things you simply can’t or shouldn’t do while pregnant in terms of dental care.
Here are some of the things that can cause difficulties with dental care and pregnancy:
- Ignorance on the part of the dentist. Many dentists were taught in dental school that they should not treat pregnant women. While there was no evidence that dental treatment could cause harm, many simply err on the side of caution, which leaves many pregnant women out in the dust.
- Concern about X-rays. A key component of dental treatment is the X-ray. Some women, and some dentists, may be concerned that diagnostic X-rays could be harmful to the pregnant woman or to her baby. However, studies show that diagnostic x-rays pose no threat to either.
- Self-medication by the patient. In the case of a painful dental emergency where a dentist is reluctant to see a pregnant woman, the consequences can be even more devastating. The patient may choose to self-medicate with over the counter medications that could be harmful to her baby, or even with narcotics.
- A lack of communication between professionals. If a dentist has concerns about seeing a pregnant woman, the safest procedure is always to speak with the woman’s obstetrician. Together, they and the patient can make an informed decision about what the best course of treatment will be for her.\
So, what about you? One study showed that nearly 77% of pregnant women had been denied dental care during pregnancy. Have you experienced this kind of trouble? What did you do in order to resolve the problem?
A home birth can be a wonderful experience for you, your partner and your baby. While a home birth might seem a little bit out of place in the modern West, it’s important to remember: for the vast majority of human history, home births were the norm.
One of the most important components of your home birth is your choice of midwife. A midwife provides medical support and care for you during labor and delivery. This can include things such as helping you with prenatal care, helping you to learn to breastfeed, performing pre-pregnancy gynecological exams and guiding you through the labor and delivery process.
There are different types of midwives, and not all have the same amount or type of training. In addition, regulations for midwives vary from one state to the next, sometimes greatly. You need to check with your state to see what qualifications midwives are required to have for licensing, and you need to talk to potential midwives about their background, education and experience in helping with labor and delivery.
Here are some of the different types of midwives you’ll encounter:
- Certified nurse midwives. These midwives are also trained as nurses and have a bachelor’s degree. They are certified by the American College of Nurse-Midwives and are granted a state license.
- Certified midwives. These midwives have a college degree, but not necessarily in nursing. They’re certified by the American College of Nurse-Midwives, and may or may not be licensed in your state.
- Certified professional midwives. These midwives are certified by the North American Registry of Midwives. Some states don’t certify these midwives.
- Direct entry midwives. This is the lowest level of midwife, and they may receive their training via self-study, an apprenticeship, or workshops. Many states don’t recognize these midwives.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that midwives attending a home birth be certified by the American Midwifery Certification Board, as well as licensed in their state.
So, what about you? Have you had, or would you consider, a home birth with a midwife? Why or why not?
We hear all too often about the discrimination that pregnant women can face in the workforce. In fact, we’ve highlighted many of those stories right here on this blog. Most of them end up in a lawsuit, with the pregnant woman having to fight for her rights, and still wind up without a job at the end of the day.
A story on pregnancy discrimination in Connecticut, though, reminds us that there is still hope.
Annie Balcastro is a police officer in the town of Wallingford, CT. During her pregnancy, she requested accommodations for light-duty work in order to maintain the health of her pregnancy.
All too frequently, we’ve heard about women like Annie who are essentially forced out of the workplace during pregnancy. This often happens in a workplace where the employer makes other accommodations for workers who are temporarily not able to perform all of the normal duties involved in their jobs.
Connecticut pregnancy law
There are currently only 10 states that require employers to make reasonable accommodations to pregnant women who wish to stay in their jobs but are not able to perform all of their normal duties. Connecticut is one of those states, which made it easier for Annie to request those accommodations.
In fact, if an employer doesn’t make an effort to provide reasonable accommodations, or even a transfer to a position that is more suited to pregnancy, they are considered to be discriminating.
Even in Connecticut, however, this victory didn’t come naturally. At first, Balcastro was turned down when she requested a light-duty assignment. She was told that she’d be required to take unpaid leave while she was pregnant. So, Balcastro was forced to file suit.
The suit pointed out that, while other police officers were able to take paid leave or be transferred to a light-duty position when they had an on-duty injury, pregnant police officers were forced into unpaid leave.
Balcastro’s suit led to a settlement with the police department, and she was able to continue in her job. For so many women, the results aren’t quite as cheery.
So, what do you think? Have you experienced any workplace discrimination due to pregnancy?
At some point during your pregnancy you’ll find you need to take some sort of medicine. Yet even though you might have your doctor’s blessing for some, there is precious little information regarding drugs. The information that can be found is often difficult to come by without extensive research. With your unborn baby’s life on the line, shouldn’t easy to understand information be readily accessible?
Safe Drugs, or Not
If you’re a woman who’s pregnant, or looking to become pregnant, you can use the internet to find out what drugs are safe to use. With vast amounts of information at your fingertips, this information shouldn’t be too difficult to find.
The problem you’ll run into is that no two lists are the same. Drugs listed on one website as safe are determined to be risky on another. In addition, no conclusive evidence could be found regarding safety claims for over 40% of the drugs listed. Although these claims may be valid, the truth is it’s unknown to the general public.
To make matters worse, doctors further the confusion by issuing lists that vary as widely as the websites do.
There are a handful of drugs that are considered safe by the medical community. Flu shots throughout your pregnancy are fine, as well as ibuprofen in your first two trimesters. Experts also agree Zofran, an anti-nausea drug, is safe to use throughout your pregnancy.
Revamping the System
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) and the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) have called for a reworking of drug labeling. These agencies are proposing new requirements in regards to more informative details on the labels. With this proposal being recently put on the table, it’s unlikely you’ll see the new labels any time soon.
Many issues stem from pharmaceutical companies being reluctant to study drug effects on pregnant women. Such hesitation results in research taking years to become conclusive one way or another.
Of course, each pregnancy is different. Because of this fact, it’s difficult to determine what drugs are safe. Family medical history, allergies, quality of life and your general environment are all components that need consideration.
Your doctor may tell you not to worry about taking ibuprofen, for example, during your first two trimesters. However, the same doctor might recommend against it for your next door neighbor. Due to your differences in the factors mentioned, drugs that are safe for your pregnancy could result in a number of birth defects for someone else.
Until details about manufactured drugs are readily available, it may be best to avoid them during your pregnancy. There are natural remedies that pose little threat to you and your unborn child. These homeopathic medicines are time tested and don’t carry many of the side effects that man-made drugs do.
With so much information at hand, it’s shocking how little can be found. In the end, the CDCP and FDA need to push harder to revamp drug information. Making the pharmaceutical companies more transparent is vital in increasing your health, as well as your baby’s.
Congratulations! You’re about to have a baby. So do you know what to take to the hospital or birthing center?
Here are 10 items to make your stay as relatively pleasant as it can be:
The first thing you’ll do is write down what you absolutely need for your stay. Here are the items you can’t go without:
- Car Seat. First and foremost, you need to make sure you bring the newborn’s car seat. It’s against the law in many states for the hospital to discharge the baby without one.
- Important Paperwork. You are probably already pre-registered at the hospital, so bring your pre-registration papers. You’ll also need your insurance card and your photo ID.
- Clothing. Delivery is messy. Bring sleepwear you don’t care about getting ruined. You should also bring socks, slippers or other footwear you can slip on and off. Hospital floors are exceptionally cold.
- Medication. Make sure you bring prescriptions or vitamins you may be taking.
Next you’ll want to add items that increase your comfort level and help pass the time:
- Reading Materials. Just in case you have a longer wait than expected, you’ll want something to read. You never know how long labor will be, especially if it’s your first pregnancy.
- Snacks. Bring some snacks that are easy to access like cheese cracker packets. If your labor is longer than expected, you’ll get hungry in between meals. Make sure to follow the hospital or birth center’s policies, however.
Birth and Beyond
To round out your birthing list, you’ll need to pack a few things for the birth and your trip home:
- Camera and Camcorder. Your camera and camcorder batteries should be fully charged. Alternatively, you might use your cell phone for pictures and video. In either case you’ll want to have a charger.
- Your Baby Book. This is to register the baby’s footprint. Bring your own stamp pad with the baby book. Hospital ink may not work on everyday paper. Use these to stamp baby’s feet and hands into your baby book.
- Mother’s Homecoming Clothes. You’ll want to pack something comfortable and loose fitting, such as sweatpants. You won’t feel like wearing jeans for a few days.
- Baby’s First Outfit. Before you take your baby home the hospital photographer will take pictures of your newborn. You’ll want your little one to look great, so have a nice outfit packed.
As always, make sure you know the hospital or birthing center’s policies on what you can and can’t have in the delivery room.