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Pregnancy

CDC: Pregnant Women Should Get Flu, Whooping Cough Vaccines



Millions do not, and they may be endangering their babies as well as themselves. Only 35 percent of pregnant women get both vaccines; about half get one.

Millions of pregnant women in the United States are not getting two vital vaccines that protect not only their health, but their babies, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday.

The vaccines — against flu and whooping cough — are strongly recommended during every pregnancy. But only about 35 percent of pregnant women in the country are receiving both vaccines, according to a new C.D.C. report, and just over half receive one.

The consequences of missing vaccines for flu and whooping cough, also called pertussis, can be dire.

“Influenza and pertussis, or whooping cough, are serious infections that can be deadly for babies, especially for those who are too young to be vaccinated directly,” said Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the C.D.C. in a briefing. “We are stressing the importance of two safe and effective vaccines for pregnant women and the risks to both women and their babies when these vaccines are not given during pregnancy.”

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VIRAL: ‘Stop Asking Women When are They Getting Pregnant’ Sign

An Instagram post by Toront0, Canada-based Event Planner Barbara Nkansah went viral and has been re-shared because it simply states: “Stop Asking Women When are They Getting Pregnant”. In it is the Ghanaian-Canadian shares the hurt of being newly married and enduring probing questions and insensitive remarks by well-meaning family and friends.

“I remember being newly married and the first thing people started doing instead of greeting me was look right at my belly,” she shared. “Then when they noticed I was not pregnant the look of confusion following “oh you’re not pregnant yet” would be their conversation starter. I will never forget when just after 3 months of marriage church service ended and a member in the church who saw me yelled at the top of her lungs in front of everyone saying ‘BARBARA YOU’RE STILL NOT PREGNANT YET. WHEN WILL YOU GET PREGNANT? YOU’RE TAKING TOO LONG.'”

 

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This topic is an extremely sensitive one. I'll specifically speak from my own experiences with it. And the hardships us women and even men in my community face when it comes to pregnancy. ________________________________ For some reason pregnancy is something that is just automatically suppose to come after marriage. No idea who created such a rule or why such a rule exists. ________________________________ I remember being newly married and the first thing people started doing instead of greeting me was look right at my belly. Then when they noticed I was not pregnant the look of confusion following "oh you're not pregnant yet" would be their conversation starter. ________________________________ I will never forget when just after 3 months of marriage church service ended and a member in the church who saw me yelled at the top of her lungs in front of everyone saying "BARBARA YOU'RE STILL NOT PREGNANT YET. WHEN WILL YOU GET PREGNANT? YOU'RE TAKING TOO LONG." ________________________________ I remember standing their speechless because I could not believe someone could ask and act in such a way. My husband however, came to my rescue and respectfully told her everyone has plans and it's God who gives children. ________________________________ What made me so sad is what if I was really trying and had no success? What if I found out I could not conceive naturally? What if I just went through an unsuccessful expensive fertility procedure? What if I just recently miscarried? Do you know how all of these accounts affect women and men who are journeying this together? ________________________________ I always made sure I prayed for my future children regardless of when we decided to prepare. When God said it was my time, that was and the only timeline I followed through with and no one else's. ________________________________ Dont ever let anyone force their pregnancy timeline on you! Don't ever let anyone make you feel less of a woman or man because to them you're "taking too long." If pregnancy is something that you seek and whatever method you have to go through take it to the Lord in prayer. For it is he who provides. Photography by @mennydc5

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The statistics are jarring: 1 in 8 couples have a hard time getting pregnant and at least 1 in 4 will experience a pregnancy loss. People who are trying to conceive are fed up and would like you to stop asking them when they are going to have children or even worse, “why don’t they have children.”

In the celebrity world, Gabrielle Union and Chrissy Teigen recalled being asked this question constantly because they were with their spouses for several years without producing children and people just couldn’t stop asking a very personal, imposing and insensitive question not know that they were indeed trying but failing at it.

Please stop asking women (AND MEN!) when they are having kids or, even worse, why they don’t have children. ⁣

I remember the words of Assistant Professor Rondrea Danielle from Bethune-Cookman College on Facebook last year:

“Getting pregnant is hard.

Sustaining pregnancy is hard.

Giving birth is hard.

Raising a baby is hard.

So asking folks why they don’t have kids is both inconsiderate and insensitive (it also isn’t your business), and it needs to stop now.

We have no idea how much women go through to get pregnant and then bring a baby into the world.”

Conduct a Google Search and you’ll encounter dozens of articles from women and lifestyle and advice sites about this very topic and also demanding that they not be asked the question when they gain weight. Phew!

Here is a summary of a few:

Yes, My Sister Is Pregnant, Now Stop Asking Me When Will I Get Knocked Up

Sorry, nephew, you won’t be getting any cousins from me anytime soon (or at all). -The Odyssey Online

Can we finally stop asking women about when they’re going to have Kids?-Babble

Stop asking women when they’re going to have kids -Salon

Stop asking women when they’re having kids – Asian One

Stop Asking Couples When They’re Going to Have a Kid (or Another Kid) – Lifehacker

It’s Time to Stop Asking Women If They’re Pregnant – Medium

When will we stop asking ‘What are you, pregnant? – Austrian Adoption

New Moms: What to Pack in Your Hospital Overnight Bag

duffel bag
duffel bag

Becoming a mom is one of the toughest things that you will ever have to do. It’s rough on your body physically and mentally. Yet, it’s also one of the most rewarding things that you can do. When you’re about to become a parent, you have a million things racing through your mind. You can’t prepare for everything that’s going to happen. There are a million little things about parenthood that you can’t know until you have the experience yourself. However, there are a lot of little things that you can do to get ready. 

For example, as your due date approaches, you can pack an overnight hospital bag. Fill it up with all of the things that you’re going to need to make your stay more comfortable. 

Here are a few ideas you can work with.

Notebook

You may want to write down your thoughts while you’re at the hospital. Everything is digital now, but some people still feel connected to pen and paper. If everything goes smoothly, your written words can be used to recall a wonderful moment in your life. If there’s a problem, suddenly you have an extra record of what happened. 

According to Canadian personal injury lawyers Mazin and Associates: “The nature of a birth injury claim means that there are many details that must be investigated. Proving a birth injury case is complex and takes a significant amount of preparation.” Click here to learn more about what you can do if this occurs. 

Makeup 

Okay. We get it. The day you give birth, the last thing that should be on your mind is your looks. However, people are probably going to be taking pictures of you. There’s nothing wrong with deciding to go makeup-free. But there’s also nothing wrong with applying a fresh coat before the cameras start clicking. If you do want to put on a little bit of makeup, pack everything that you may want into your overnight bag. That way, you won’t have to think about it again. 

Snacks 

Hospital food is notoriously bland. It’s only a few steps above regular cafeteria food. Yet, after you give you birth, you might be ravenously hungry. Instead of forcing your partner to make a fast-food run, you can come prepared with snacks. It may be the first thing that you put in your mouth after you give birth. Try to bring your favorite snacks. You may not have eaten them for the past nine months. 

Champagne 

You may have spent the last nine months abstaining from alcohol. Now that you’re body is your own again, you may want to celebrate with a drink. A post-birth glass of champagne is popular for many women. If you decide to go this route, however, you have to be prepared in advance. Champagne, wine, etc., are all popular choices. You won’t be able to buy it at the hospital. 

Chargers 

If you’re going to have multiple cell phones, as well as tablets or perhaps laptops, you need to bring the right chargers. It would be very annoying if your phone died right when you wanted to take pictures. If you forget to do this, you may be able to get a charger at the hospital. But it would be one more thing to worry about. 

Clothes

Hospital gowns are comfortable yet you may be glad to throw it off as soon as possible. You have to have a spare change of clothes ready for that moment. Try to go for comfort rather than sex appeal. You will likely feel very under the weather. It takes a long time to fully recover from giving birth. 

Books and Magazines

Giving birth can take a long time. There’s not a lot for you to do for most of it. To keep yourself from going crazy with boredom, pack books and magazines into your overnight bag. They will help keep your mind entertained while you’re waiting. It’s not unusual for women to be in labor for more than 10 hours. Anything that you can do to make the process easier on yourself should be investigated. 

Your overnight bag is a source of joy. It’s a sign of what’s to come, the next adventure in your life. You can keep packing it and repacking it until it’s perfect. Ideally, it would be ready at least a week or two before your due date. You don’t want to go into labor early and be unprepared. 

5 Excellent Tips To Baby Shower Hosting

Photo by Vidal Balielo Jr. from Pexels

When one of your close friends is pregnant, it’s an exciting time — but there’s so much to do!

She has to figure out how to put in a car seat, decorate the nursery, and read through countless confusing parenting books. 

You want to throw her a baby shower to help take her mind off the stress and onto celebration. 

Need a little help?

Read our ultimate guide to throwing a baby shower the right way below.

1. Send out Invites Early

The first step of baby shower planning is getting those invites out early!

You want everyone the guest of honor cares about to be able to make it, after all. This also gives her plenty of time to set up and decide on the things she wants to list on her registry.

To get invites out ASAP, check out this free save the date template.

2. Get the Mom-To-Be’s Input

Remember, you’re throwing a baby shower for your friend, not for yourself. 

Always let her have the last word on any games, food, guest lists, and entertainment. You want her to be happy, not to resent you for insisting on doing things “your way.”

Photo by fu zhichao from Pexels

3. Find a Comfortable Hosting Space

Number one on the list of things you need for a baby shower?

A comfortable and cozy spot! The guest of honor will want to relax, spread out, and likely be in an environment she’s familiar with. 

If possible, try to host it in a friend’s home (not the mom-to-be’s own, as she shouldn’t have to handle the cleanup.) 

4. Avoid Stereotypical Games

Games are a huge part of throwing a baby shower, but things like racing to see who can change a diaper the fastest or forcing everyone to do a taste test of baby food aren’t fun for anyone. 

Instead, have everyone bring in an old baby picture of themselves and try to get guests to figure out who is who. You could also hire a singer, organize a betting pool about the time of the baby’s birth, and more. 

Any of these games are also a welcome alternative to the standard stuff. 

5. It’s OK to Serve Cocktails

Remember that just because the mom-to-be isn’t drinking doesn’t mean she doesn’t want her friends to have to do the same. 

Having a bottle of prosecco (or several more) around can make the experience of watching one person open gifts for hours much more fun. 

We also love the idea of creating a unique mocktail for the mom that’s named after her and includes her favorite alcohol-free ingredients. She shouldn’t have to stick to just sparkling water. 

Make Throwing a Baby Shower Easy with These Tips

Above all, remember that throwing a baby shower is something you do for a friend because you want to share her excitement and give her the chance to show off. 

You don’t have to spend weeks on end and thousands of dollars to make it memorable. 

Instead, focus on creating an event you know she’ll love. 

Need more tips on how to raise and celebrate a baby? 

Our blog has the advice you need. Bookmark us to stay in the know.

Breastfeeding Week: More Women Would Breastfeed If They Ignored People

Breastfeeding, believe it or not, is a controversial topic when it comes to discussing women’s rights to perform the act in public and the level of covering up society requires of them.

It is also contentious when images of breastfeeding is banned by social media algorithms that equate the flesh of a women’s breast with a sexual image and blocks it.

It comes with all sorts of myths and women who face diffuculty are vulnerable to quit too soon, especially when they are not supported by their partner, culture, home or work.

It is nature’s way of providing for a newborn but it is not easy for everyone.

If you are having trouble, ask for a lactation consultant to help while you are still in the hospital and before discharge. This service is usually complimentary or covered by many insurances including socialize forms of insurance like Medicaid in the US.

They can help you with issues related to latching, increasing supply, sore nipples, and any other questions you have.

Also, when you are discharge, you will hear lots of advice and opinion. Not all of it will be supportive. Take in the words but trust your own gut and desires and if all else fails, Google or YouTube to see if you can find online voices for support.

When I was expecting my first child, I got tons of support and encouragement from mom groups online. I am still friends with many 18 years later as our babies we were all expecting at the time prepare for their senior year in high school and to vote in the next election.

You are not the first mom to have difficulty. Getting help when you need it doesn’t make you worse at breastfeeding than others.

Among a long list of myths women have about breastfeeding is the notion that If You’re Sick, You Shouldn’t Breastfeed.

Just because you’re feeling under the weather doesn’t mean you can’t naturally feed your child, notes the site which boasts the best rated nursing covers.

In fact, “There are very few illnesses that require a mother to stop nursing,” explains the site, breastfeeding.

The site explains that your baby has likely already been exposed to the virus that is making you ill, and breastfeeding will actually help fortify your baby’s response to the virus through antibodies from your system.

Even being HIV positive is not a reason to stop breastfeeding, notes other sources (although antiretroviral drugs will likely be prescribed during the first year of breastfeeding).

Hopefully, knowing the truth bout when to get help and not falling prey to myths that prevent you from giving up too soon.

Yale OB/GYN Professor’s List of 7 Things To Give Up To Increase Your Chances of Getting Pregnant

by Mary Jane Minkin, MD, Clinical Professor of OB/GYN at Yale University

Every couple mired in infertility, every woman who has ever spent hours scouring the Internet for new breakthroughs and conception tips has had the same wish: For a clear-cut, easy-to-follow program that would guarantee a healthy pregnancy.

Unfortunately, a simple do-it-yourself plan doesn’t exist, but fertility specialists and women’s health experts agree that certain measures can create the best possible chances for fertilization to occur. So, without ironclad guarantees, here are 7 things to give up to help you get pregnant this year:

1. Alcohol. Studies focusing on alcohol’s effect on conception have produced mixed results, with some indicating that pregnancy is more likely if women give up drinking entirely and others suggesting that those who drink moderately might increase their chances of conception – perhaps because an occasional glass of wine makes them more relaxed. But experts agree that women who give up alcohol will increase their chances of a healthy baby once conception does happen, and that alone is reason enough for most women to quit.

2. Tobacco. Unlike alcohol, the data smoking’s correlation to pregnancy is undisputed. Both primary and secondhand smoke are detrimental to a woman’s chance of conceiving and to a developing fetus as well. Quitting is never easy, but resources and support to help you find a plan and stick to it.

3. Caffeine. As the daily substance of choice for most Americans, dependency on those morning cups of coffee is difficult to break. Try cutting back on your intake if you drink multiple cups a day- a recent study confirms ACOG guidelines that one standard 12 oz. cup of regular coffee (200 mg of caffeine) is safe for pregnancy.

4. Your Spot on the Couch. In other words, get up and move around! Couch potatoes aren’t helping any aspect of their health, but women who are trying to conceive have an extra-compelling reason to kick it into high gear. Experts agree that women who stay within their ideal weight have a better chance of becoming pregnant, and a study published in Obstetrics and Gynecology reported that women who exercise 30 minutes or more a day had a reduced risk of ovulation disorders, which often lead to infertility.

5. Junk food. Generally speaking, any change that moves you toward a healthier lifestyle will promote fertility. But when it comes to diet, advice seems to fall all over the map. Specific fertility diets advocate for eating foods like oysters, garlic and yams, but an extensive 2009 study advised women to follow simpler guidelines – healthy fats, selective proteins, whole grains and plenty of iron and other vitamins. It’s important to start taking supplemental folic acid to help prevent birth defects. The sooner you can start taking a prenatal vitamin with sufficient folic acid like vitafusion, the better! You should begin taking prenatals even before you begin trying to conceive. And, obviously, putting down the potato chips and the candy bars is an excellent first step to take to help you get pregnant this year.

6. Excessive Stress. Granted, this step is easier said than done, especially when the chief cause of the stress is the infertility itself. But if external factors are causing undue anxiety, a woman’s chance at conception can decrease, and the stress of waiting for that positive pregnancy test month after month could be the last straw for her emotional health. Give up extra responsibilities whenever possible, talk to your boss about reducing your job stress and work in regular “mental health” days to be refreshed by activities and people you enjoy.

7. Lubricants Containing Glycerin. According to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM)’s “Guidelines for Optimizing Natural Fertility”, several leading vaginal lubricants (e.g. K-Y) may decrease fertility based on their observed effects on sperm survival. Another study showed that lubricants containing glycerin had an adverse effect on sperm motility. Fertility experts recommend using a fertility friendly lubricant like Pre-Seed that is specially formulated without glycerin that will not harm sperm and allows sperm to swim freely.

Like we said, there is no checklist you can complete that guarantees a healthy pregnancy, but giving up these 7 things can help you get pregnant. It’s all about creating the ideal environment for the pregnancy to happen; a healthy, happy and active lifestyle is a solid base and giving up the aforementioned things will get you there.

Mary Jane Minkin, MD is a clinical professor of obstetrics & gynecology at Yale University’s school of medicine. She is also the founder of MadameOvary.com, an educational resource for women’s midlife health.

3 Breastfeeding Myths Busted!

woman breastfeeding

There is so much to learn about when preparing for a new baby. Car seats, cribs, diapers, and breastfeeding.  Often confusing, and sometimes frightening, breastfeeding advice comes with different points of view and opinions. 

Here are three myths to bust!

1. HAND-EXPRESSING MILK IS A WASTE OF TIME



FALSE!

A recent study by Dr. Jane Morton revealed that hand expression of milk has been an under-utilized skill. There are many benefits of knowing how to express milk from the breast without the use of a pump. Learn more from Stanford Medicine, Newborn Nursery at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital.

2. ZONING OUT IS BAD FOR BREAST MILK PRODUCTION.

FALSE!

In a study conducted by Dr. Stephen Feher, groups of moms whose babies were in the NICU and who had to pump their milk were given relaxation and visualization tapes to help reduce stress. 

After one week, the moms expressed 63% more breast milk! 

3. Herbal Lactation Supplements Must Have Fenugreek to Work



FALSE!

For centuries, certain herbs and foods have been used in different cultures to promote breast milk production.



While fenugreek has been the go-to galactagogue (a substance that increases milk supply) in the US for many years and works well for some women, others may experience some undesirable side effects while taking it. In one survey of nursing mothers in the United States, 85 had used fenugreek as a galactagogue and 45% of those mothers reported having experienced an adverse reaction from the supplement.

In fact, Luna Feehan, the owner of Legendairy Milk® experienced this firsthand with her son when her lactation consultant recommended she try a fenugreek tincture. After determining it was not a good fit for her or her baby, she began to research other galactagogues used in various parts of the world to support milk production.

There you go! Knowing is half the battle!

How To Ensure Your Family Has Clean Water

We all know how important water is to all forms of life. It is all around us, in the clouds, streams, rivers, lakes, and oceans. It is the single most essential aspect of our lives, and we can’t survive without it.

With a lot of tap water being known to contain contaminants, it is a good idea to look into alternative options, such as filtration systems to ensure that the water you and your family drinks is safe, clean, and tasting like water should.

Tap Water and Known Contaminants

Tap water has been shown time and again to contain contaminants that can be detrimental to human health. This is bad news for anyone who doesn’t have bottled water handy, who don’t have a refrigerator with a built in water dispenser, or just folks who want to know they are drinking safe water.

Did you know that estimates provided by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) show that around 60,000 chemicals are added to public water sources in the United States? Shockingly, only 91 of these are actually regulated by the Safe Water Drinking Act. With the alarms sounding in many folks’ heads over lead discovered in the Flint, Michigan water supply, it is quite easy to understand why so many people are worried about the safety of their tap water.

Just two of the contaminants that are known to be in tap water include:

Chlorine and Chloramine: Disinfectants added to the water supply, chlorine is usually thought to be the main chemical added to swimming pools to make the water blue and crisp. This doesn’t, however, mean that it is safe for human consumption. Chlorine (and its longer-lasting and harder to filter chemical twin, chloramine), are known to have links to cancer, miscarriages, and more.

Lead: Lead finds its way into public water supply through outdated pipes. It can cause blood disorders and brain damage, and is also known to cause even more issues in children, such as developmental disorders and mental deficiencies.

With contaminants that are known to cause so many issues floating around in public drinking water, it is no wonder many people are looking into other sources for getting their drinking water, such as bottled water, digging a well, or looking into a whole house water filtration system to get all these bad chemicals out.

Home Water Filtration

Whole house water filtration systems can be an excellent way for you to filter out all these contaminants in your drinking water. There are all sorts of filtration systems out there for you to choose from, with great benefits such as easy installation, systems that can filter out the bad chemicals and leave in the healthy minerals that actually do help, and some that soften the water for you! A recent review by iPropertyManagement that compares the pros and cons of many whole house water filtration systems is worth reading.

With a whole host of filtration systems on the market, it may seem like a daunting task to decide which one is the best for you and your family. Luckily, affordable filtration systems are within reach for almost anyone looking to get into the water purification game. Companies like iSpring, Home Master, and 3M have you covered with wallet-friendly filtration options, so you can rest easier knowing you are putting only the good minerals found in your drinking water into your body, and not the potentially harmful contaminants.

The Good News

You don’t have to be content with the fact that public drinking supplies seem to be ridden with things that are known to be harmful to humans. There are many options available to you to make sure you are getting only the best from your water supply, and knowing just how important it is to drink plenty of water, you are naturally only going to want to drink pure water, not something laced with contaminants.

Well water is one way to truly own your water supply, but it can be out of the question for many families, as it can be quite pricey to dig a well. Many families opt to exclusively bottled water, but depending on how many people are in your family and how much water they drink, this can be a pricey option as well.

A water filtration system is a one-time, affordable purchase that will allow you to get the good from your water, without having to worry about the bad, and that is something to feel good about!

10 Creative Ways to Announce Your Pregnancy

Being original is what it is all about when revealing that you are pregnant, with some parents taking it that extra step when deciding to tell the world that they are expecting a little baby. Take these guys for example (pictured above) who have used the simplest of things to tell their own personal story. Yes, unique and humorous baby reveals have become incredibly popular over the last few years, with parents using whatever they find on the street as a means to let people know that they are adding an extra placemat to their dining table.

Check out these other 9 creative ways via Mom.com

Study: Pregnant Women Space Themselves from Others Farther Apart

man and woman in office standing far apart

Are pregnant women really more prone to forgetfulness and spacey behavior? Research looking into “pregnancy brain” have had mixed results.

But a new study from Anglia Ruskin University and Addenbrooke’s Hospital shows that pregnant women are much more alert and vigilant than their peers, even subconsciously seeking out more personal space – as much as 26 inches.

“Pregnancy involves massive and rapid changes to the body both externally, as the body suddenly changes shape, and internally, while the fetus is growing,” lead author Dr. Flavia Cardini of Anglia Ruskin said. “Our results suggest that when the body undergoes significantly large changes, at the stage when the abdomen is clearly expanded, the maternal brain also begins to make adjustments to the space immediately surrounding the body.”

The researchers used an audio-tactile test with more than 80 pregnant women in their second and third trimesters, along with 41 women who weren’t pregnant. In three sessions, they played threatening sounds and then used a small tapper attached to their abdomen to provide a “touch” sensation.

On average, personal space is the space within about an arm’s length, though that can vary by culture, age and environment.

And it can apparently also vary based on the stage of pregnancy.

The researchers from Anglia Ruskin and Addenbrooke’s found that during the third trimester, pregnant women subconsciously seek out more personal space. However, they showed little difference on space preference in the second trimester or after birth compared to women who were not pregnant.

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