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How do I tell the difference between Braxton Hicks contractions, baby movements & real contractions?
 
02:38
You want to know how you can tell the difference between a Braxton Hicks contraction and then just baby's movement. And a lot of moms are confused by this. They think they're contracting, and it's baby's movement, or say that it's just the baby moving, when they're actually contracting, and they should get checked out. So a Braxton Hicks contraction is a real contraction. A contraction is a contraction. It's the uterus tightening and squeezing, and the whole point is that if you have enough of them that are intense enough, it will eventually cause the baby's head to put pressure on the cervix so it can thin out and open up, and the baby can come through and be born. But the whole thing about it is if you're preterm, we don't want you to be contracting. So it is important to watch out for signs of preterm labor and regular contractions. So Braxton Hicks contractions are very infrequent, they're not painful, they're just uncomfortable, you feel a little bit of pressure, they may take your breath away for a second, and then you can go on with your day - maybe just have a few a day. That's okay. But if they start to become regular and intense, you're feeling abdominal tightening, abdominal pressure, lower abdominal cramping, back ache, maybe you have an increase in discharge associated with the pain, leaking of fluid, bleeding or spotting - all of those things are signs of preterm labor and reasons to get checked out. If you're less than 37 weeks and you're contracting every 10 to 15 minutes, which is only 4 to 5 times an hour, then you need to be seen. Now when it comes to a baby moving, I've been pregnant before, and I remember thinking, "Oh, am I contracting, or what is that?" The best way to tell is to feel your belly. When you feel that extra pressure, touch both sides of your stomach, and a baby's movement will usually be just on the lower half of your belly, or just on the upper half, or just on the right, or just on the left. And a contraction is going to squeeze and get tight everywhere. So that's the best way to tell, really, is just to feel and see if you can tell where your baby is at. And if it's just tight in one spot on your stomach, that's not a contraction. But if it's tight everywhere, and it starts to become intermittent, and there's a pattern to it, then it could very well be a contraction. Really, in the end, if you have doubts or concerns, call your doctor. They'll ask you more questions about what you've been experiencing, and decide if further investigation is necessary for the pain that you're having. If you have any other questions for me in the future, feel free to ask them on our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/IntermountainMoms, and recommend us to your friends and family too.
Просмотров: 271860 IntermountainMoms
How do I know when it's time to go to the hospital to deliver my baby?
 
04:09
A lot of women want to know when it's time to go to the hospital when they're contracting and they're full term, or their due date is only a couple of weeks away. Technically speaking, full term is 37 weeks and beyond. So you need to start watching out for regular contractions, and if they become regular, time them. Write down the time that each one starts. And let's say that one started at 9:45, and then you had another one at 9:49, you would know that those are 4 minutes apart, so it goes from start to start. Once they are consistently 4 to 5 minutes apart, and that's been going on for at least 2 hours, then it's time to go to the hospital. And what we're looking for is cervical change, so when you get there, the first thing we're going to do is check your cervix. And unless you're like 5, 6, 7 centimeters, then we're going to watch you for an hour, and unfortunately, all we can do at that point is cross our fingers, tell you to work hard, shut the door, and then come back in an hour and re-check you to see if your cervix has changed, meaning it's dilated. Cervical dilation from hour to hour is actually the true definition of labor. Women can contract for days leading up to the actual delivery of their baby, but they're only in labor for the hours leading up to delivery when their cervix is actively changing. And also know that it's okay to get sent home from the hospital at least once before you deliver, especially if it's your first baby, because you don't know exactly how contractions are going to feel. It takes regular and intense contractions for your cervix to change, and a lot of people don't expect it to hurt as bad as it does, and so they go in maybe a little bit prematurely and get sent home - that's okay. Now a lot of women want to know what contractions actually feel like. If you've never had one before, that's a very valid question. And even women who have had babies before sometimes don't exactly know, because maybe they were induced with previous babies and got their epidurals early, so going into spontaneous labor is a new thing for them. Contractions are felt in a few different ways, and everyone feels them differently, but generally speaking, most women describe it as lower abdominal cramping, lower back ache - kind of where the dimples are on your lower back, where your back meets your butt cheek - it aches. And you also feel abdominal tightening, you experience pressure, and sometimes you can have shooting pains down your thighs associated with all of those other sensations. Sounds fun, right? So one helpful thing to ask yourself is how bad your contractions are actually hurting on a scale from 0 to 10. 10 is like surgery without anesthesia, 0 is no pain. So when you start having regular contractions, remember there's 2 pieces to the puzzle - regularity and intensity. So once they're regular, ask yourself how intense they are. Sometimes we get women who come into the hospital and they rate their pain at a 10, and then we check their cervix, and they're only 1cm, and that's so discouraging for them. And we still watch them for an hour and see if their cervix changes. And sometimes it does, and they get to stay. And sometimes it doesn't, and then you go home, and come back later when they're more intense. So asking yourself how intense your contractions are is helpful, because it puts it in perspective for you. It also helps you to have a discussion with your caregivers about your pain so that we can understand what you're going through. For example, if you walked into the hospital and told me that your pain was at a 4, and then an hour later, your pain was a 7 or an 8, then I know you've crossed that threshold - you're really hurting. It helps to turn it into an objective conversation. It's also helpful, because then if you end up going home, and I tell you to just come back when they're more regular and more intense, then you can be realistic about it and say, "Okay maybe I'm really only like a 5 or a 6." And then hours later, days later, weeks later, whatever the case may be, you're contractions are now like a 7, 8, 9 on that pain scale, then you know it's time to go back and get checked to see if your cervix is actually changing this time. Good luck, I hope you have an amazing labor and delivery experience, and that things go well for you and your baby. And if you have any other questions for me in the future, feel free to ask them on our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/IntermountainMoms, and recommend us to your friends and family too.
Просмотров: 242194 IntermountainMoms
What is Clomid, and what should I know about it?
 
03:30
In order for a woman to get pregnant, she needs to ovulate, or release an egg that can then be fertilized by sperm. And in order for pregnancy to happen, intercourse needs to be timed just right with ovulation. There are some medical conditions out there that affect a woman's ability to ovulate. For example, one of those is polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS. If you haven't been having irregular cycles, or you're not ovulating, and you know that because you've been testing, then you should talk with your doctor, and they'll be able to recommend a plan - something that will help to stimulate ovulation and hopefully increase your chances of conceiving. One of the treatment methods used commonly for women who aren't ovulating is Clomid. It's a medication that stimulates your body to release an egg. To increase your chances of conceiving, you need to start having intercourse every other day, 5 days after your last dose of Clomid is taken, and continue with this for a week. And if you do this, then hopefully things will be timed just right. In conjunction with Clomid therapy, your doctor will probably recommend checking for a luteinizing hormone surge, or LH surge, and that's associated with ovulation. You can detect this by using ovulation kits. And as soon as you're seeing a positive, that gives you about a 1 to 2 day window. So if you weren't already going to have intercourse during this time, then you need to plan on it. There are some potential side effects associated with Clomid use, and one is the risk of multiple gestation. For some people, that's not a risk, and that would be welcome, especially if they've been trying to have babies for a while. But you should know, when you take this, there's a slightly higher chance that you could end up with twins, or maybe even triplets. The chance of twins is about 7% to 8%, and that's higher than the normal population that isn't taking Clomid. Other side effects include headache, nausea, vomiting, breast tenderness, abdominal pain, bloating, mood swings. And many of these things are actually associated with pregnancy too, so it makes women feel extra hopeful, when they've been taking Clomid, that they're pregnant, but these symptoms, if they're associated with pregnancy won't happen until about 5 to 6 weeks gestation, or about 5 to 6 weeks from your last period. So you can expect to feel things if you've been taking Clomid. Hot flashes are also common. But if you experience anything that seems abnormal to you, call your doctor, and they'll decide if it's a side effect of the medication, or if further investigation is necessary. Now as for how many doses you might take, a lot of women do successfully get pregnant and conceive when they take Clomid, but sometimes it's not effective. And sometimes it takes multiple rounds, even when it does work. So it may not work the first month, or even the second, or even the third. Your doctor may recommend trying for a few months to see if it helps, but after about 6 months, studies have shown that pregnancy rates actually fall significantly for women who have been using Clomid for that amount of time. And at that point, a doctor should look into other reasons for infertility. Maybe in addition to not ovulating, there's fallopian tube blockage. There's so many different factors that go into a woman and a man being able to conceive, so they might want to investigate other possibilities, other underlying conditions that need to be addressed. If you have any other questions for me in the future, feel free to ask them on our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/IntermountainMoms, and recommend us to your friends and family too.
Просмотров: 60168 IntermountainMoms
How do I know when my baby has dropped in my pelvis?
 
02:03
Most women don't necessarily notice when their baby drops in their pelvis until someone says to them (when they haven't seen them for a while) "Oh it looks like your baby has dropped." And the medical term for this is lightening - your baby descending into the pelvis. And you might notice when someone says this to you that - oh yeah, I can take a little bit more of a deeper breath and my heartburn is not quite so bad. But it's not necessarily a great trade off because with the increased pressure in your abdomen down in your pelvis, you have to urinate more frequently, and you kind of feel like you've got a bowling ball that's trying to push through because it kind of is. And so you just have more pressure down low instead of up high. This isn't a good predictor of when labor is going to happen. For a first-time mom, this can happen 2 to 4 weeks before the baby is actually born, and sometimes even earlier than that. And for moms who have already had a baby before, sometimes this can happen right before labor starts. Now one of the things we check when we check your cervix is (your doctor in the doctors office, and then the staff at the hospital) is where the baby's head is in your pelvis, and this is called station. And there's prominent points on the inside of your pelvis called ischial spines, and if the baby is at that level, then your baby is 0 station. And just to put it in perspective, your usually not that low until it's about ready to have the baby especially if it's your first baby. Anything above that is negative. So it goes 0, -1, -2, -3 moving up in your pelvis. And then in the opposite direction, it goes +1, +2, +3. And your baby is +3 station when they're about ready to be born. We can actually see some of the baby's head from the outside. So if your baby hasn't descended in your pelvis, they're usually floating, not even -3, or as they start to come down, -3, -2. And then as they drop, maybe they'll be like -1 or 0 station. If you have more questions about your specific circumstances, don't hesitate to ask your doctor. But if you have any other questions for me in the future, feel free to ask them on our Facebook page at Facebook.com/IntermountainMoms, and recommend us to your friends and family too.
Просмотров: 474027 IntermountainMoms
What could happen if I accidentally fall asleep on my back during pregnancy?
 
02:18
As you're approaching 18 to 20 weeks gestation, you need to think about how you're sleeping. A pregnant woman should avoid sleeping on her back and avoid doing activities that will put you flat on your back for extended periods of time. And the reason is that the weight of the growing baby and uterus begins to compress your main arteries and veins that run through the trunk of your body, and it affects blood-flow through your body, and ultimately, can also affect blood-flow to the baby. You might start off sleeping on your side, but then naturally roll onto your back, and get nervous, and wonder if everything is okay, and all you have to do is roll back on your side, and things should be okay. Now, you might feel a little bit nauseous and dizzy when you wake up on your back, and that should resolve as you lay on your side and blood gets flowing. In order to keep you on your side, get a firm pillow or a rolled-up blanket and prop it behind your hip so that it keeps you on your side. It will be a big lump and it will be kind of hard for you to naturally roll onto it or roll over it in the middle of the night. If you wake up and feel like you need to adjust sides, then just adjust your pillows accordingly, and you'll get used to this as you get bigger, because you'll have to have more pillows in order to help you be comfortable while you're sleeping. Now as I mentioned before, if you wake up on your back, you might feel a little bit nauseous or dizzy, and turning to your side will help. One of the signs we see as evidence that the baby is not getting great blood-flow is that there's dips in the pattern of the baby's heart rate. I've worked on Labor & Delivery for a long time, and I've taken care of a lot of women that are on the monitor 24/7, and sometimes we're watching the monitor and we see a dip in the baby's heart rate, and we go into the woman's room to see what's going on, and she's laying flat on her back. So if we tilt her, then those dips resolve and everything is okay. Now this is going to naturally happen when you're at home and when you're sleeping, and that's okay. Again, just turn to your side and it should be okay, as long as there's not any other issues that are causing compromised blood-flow to your baby. If you ever have questions or concerns about it, talk with your OB provider, and they'll be able to give you tailored information and advice. And if you have more questions for me in the future, feel free to ask them on our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/IntermountainMoms, and recommend us to your friends and family too.
Просмотров: 135010 IntermountainMoms
I want to be a Labor & Delivery nurse.  What's the best/worst part? What do I look for in a school?
 
05:05
You mentioned that you're thinking of becoming a Labor & Delivery nurse, and you want to know - What are the best parts of the job? What are the worst parts of the job? What things should you look for in a school as you contemplate this? First and foremost, I love being a Labor & Delivery nurse. I'm so proud when people ask me what I do and I'm able to tell them I'm a Labor & Delivery nurse. I love it. I don't think there's a better job in the world. When you're a Labor & Delivery nurse, you get operating room experience, you get to both circulate and scrub during C-sections. Labor & Delivery is like the ER for pregnant ladies, so you get to triage patients and perform medical screening exams. Labor & Delivery is highly specialized. You get to learn new skills and concepts that you don't really deal with anywhere else in the hospital. So it's an exciting area in medicine. I think the best part of the job is interacting with couples during such a vulnerable and impressionable time, and being able to bond with them and help them through this process. The miracle of birth is amazing, and I get to see this on a regular basis. I consider that to be quite a privilege. Labor & Delivery nurses are adrenaline junkies and ambulance chasers. That's also one of my favorite parts of the job is that things can be going really well, and then all of a sudden it keeps you on your toes, because things can go wrong so quickly, and you learn how to react suddenly to obstetrical emergencies. You get to work with an exciting team of really smart people to get really good outcomes. This includes anesthesiologists, the OB providers, the other nurses, techs, secretaries, housekeepers. We couldn't do it without the whole team, so I love the team approach too. Labor & Delivery definitely has its downside. By far, the worst thing about the job is the fact that people have fetal demises where they have to come to Labor & Delivery and deliver a baby that has passed while inside of them. Sometimes terrible things happen to families during labor or afterwards. Maybe their baby is born with a genetic defect that they didn't know about, and then they have to cope with the loss of their child. These are very tender opportunities to help people through a very difficult time. I've learned so much as I've been able to help people through their experience. I'm amazed and very inspired by people's faith during difficult times. So while this is definitely the hardest part of being a Labor & Delivery nurse, it's also very rewarding, and it's helped me to grow in a lot of ways as I've seen people cope with their trials. To summarize it all up, Labor & Delivery is a special place to work for so many reasons. As you're considering your profession and thinking about going to nursing school, there are some things to consider when you're choosing the school you're going to go to. Are you going to move out? Are you going to move away from home? Are you looking for a school that's close to you? Affordability - What's tuition like? What can you afford? What type of program do the schools offer that you're looking at? Some programs allow you to take the NCLEX, or Boards, after you've gotten your associates degree, and you can start working and continue on to get your bachelors. Some take you all the way through the bachelors program, and then you take Boards. Some allow you to get your LPN midway through the program. So there's a lot of things to consider. Another huge factor to consider is the admissions process. It's hard to get into nursing school, but don't let that deter you. I would probably apply to a few different schools that you've been thinking about, and hopefully you'll get into at least one of them. Ask the school what the requirements are. They might require you to take tests, and get a certain score on that. They might require you to have a certain GPA, or to go through an interview process. A lot of schools require different things, so become familiar with that. Like I said, apply to a few different schools so you increase your chances of getting in somewhere. While you're doing your prerequisites, focus on the ones that are for nursing school. Make sure that you're getting good grades in those so that you don't have to retake them. When I went through school, I knew that anatomy, microbiology, and physiology were all heavily weighed at the school that I was applying to. So I took them one at a time and made sure I got an A in each one. That increased my chances of getting admitted, and I was able to get in the first time. It was a really great experience for me. But again, it definitely depends on the schools. So I would spend some time visiting a few campuses, talking with the counselors that are there, and they'll be able to give you more guidance and direction. I hope the best for you. I hope that you're able to be a Labor & Delivery nurse someday too, and love it as much as I do.
Просмотров: 64137 IntermountainMoms
How soon do I need to get to the hospital after my water breaks?
 
03:49
You mentioned that you're nearing the end of the pregnancy and you're concerned because you only have one car and your husband is often gone with it during the day, and what do you do if your water breaks? It sounds like this happened with your first pregnancy and it could very well happen again. You're doing well to think ahead and to get a plan. The amount of time you have after your water breaks varies so greatly. It depends on whether or not you're contracting and hurting when your water breaks, what was your cervix dilated to at your last appointment? Say that you're contracting and hurting and your water just broke and you were four centimeters at your last appointment, you need to get to the hospital ASAP. After your water's broken things go more quickly during labor. One out of every ten women will have their water break outside of the hospital but nine out of ten have to have it broken for them during labor. The reason why we do this during labor is to help labor go faster. There is a cushion of fluid between the baby's head and the cervix, if your water is still intact. That prevents the baby's head from applying a lot of good pressure on the cervix. As soon as that cushion is gone when your water is broken the baby's head drops and applies a lot more pressure and this is what makes contractions become stronger and more frequent and thus it helps labor progress faster. Let's say that you're just sitting at home and you're not hurting at all, your water breaks and you're like, it's time. You probably have a good amount of time but you can expect contractions to start to increase from that point on, or to start if they haven't been happening at all. Sometimes it takes a few minutes, sometimes it takes hours so really there is no way to tell how long your labor length will be. With all of this said, because you might be at home without a car it would be best to get a backup plan. Talk to friends and family who live close enough that they can be on call for you and available in case you need to be taken to the hospital. Of course there are other reasons in addition to having your water break that you should go to the hospital for. Contractions, if they're four to five minutes apart and they've been that way for one to two hours and they're strong enough, you have to breath through them, it's time to go. Because you might have to get a few things in place beforehand you might want to call and get arrangements going when you start contracting just in case it turns into something exciting. If you start to have any bright red vaginal bleeding, if you feel like your water broke, or if you're not feeling your baby move as much as you usually do, those are all reasons in addition to having your water break that you should get checked out for. You asked another good question about how long it might be before it's dangerous for your baby if your water breaks. In most cases it's not dangerous for your baby if your water breaks, it's just how fast labor is going to go afterwards. Do take note though of the time and the color and if the fluid is green then that means your baby has experienced stress at some point and they've had a bowel movement inside of you and that is why the fluid is some shade of yellowish to greenish, green means go. Just go to the hospital as soon as you can so that they can check you out and make sure the baby is okay. The other piece to the puzzle is that once your water is broken--there is a barrier between the inside and outside world that is naturally created by the amniotic sac and once it's broken then the chance of infection increases and it goes up with time. We really want you delivered within 24 hours if you're full term and your water has broken. Again, you have some time, it will probably naturally happen faster than that. The bottom line is just get to the hospital as fast as you can. I hope the very best for you. If you have more questions for me before your pregnancy or after you've delivered, please feel free to ask them on our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/intermountainmoms and recommend us to your friends and family too.
Просмотров: 142730 IntermountainMoms
How can I prepare for a C-section?
 
03:46
If you know you're going to have a C-section, chances are that there's something going on in your situation that makes it so that your doctor scheduled you for a C-section. In your example, it sounds like your baby's probably breech and so your doctor likely has scheduled a date around 39-40 weeks where you come into the hospital, they do the operation and you have a baby just a couple hours after getting there. That sounds convenient to a lot of people because then you can schedule the day, you can get babysitters if you have other kids, dad can get work off, and you know that that's your ultimate due date. As for preparing for a C-section versus a vaginal delivery, there are a few things that might be helpful to know going into the process that will make it go more smoothly for you. When you come into the hospital for a scheduled C-section, the first thing they do is ask you a whole bunch of questions. We need to know about your health history. We monitor the baby to make sure that things are okay at that moment in time. We see if you're contracting at all. We start an IV because an IV is necessary for epidural anesthesia, which is ideal to use if you're having a C-section. The anesthesiologist will come in and talk to you about anesthesia, likely place the epidural or in some cases, they do spinal anesthesia, both of which make you numb from about the breast down. It also affects your ability to move so you don't have much control, if any at all, over your legs. But the staff will help you move so you don't have to worry about that. Then you're taken back to the operating room and we put you onto a table and you have your arms out to the side. Your loved one, one loved one can be with you in the operating room to support you and sit by your head. The anesthesiologist is with you all the time to make sure that you're comfortable. You can expect to feel pressure, tugging, pulling sensations, but not pain, with the surgery. Epidurals are very effective at controlling pain during a C-section. A blue drape is placed in front of your face so that you can't see what's going on. Then as soon as your baby's born, you still get to hear them cry for the first time and you still get to be mentally present for the delivery of your baby. As far as postpartum care, recovery is a little bit longer for a C-section. You can expect about 8 weeks to recover instead of 6. It does hurt more in the immediate postpartum period because you had abdominal surgery. So your doctor will order pain medications and talk to you about pain control after the surgery. Keep in mind that the more you get up and move afterwards, the faster you will heal. So if you have to be medicated to move around, do it, because that's going to help you. You're also at higher risk for blood clots after you've had a baby, either vaginal delivery or a C-section; especially C-section because you've been immobile for a longer period of time. So, again, getting up and moving is going to help you recover more quickly and reduce the risk of complications. As for going into the hospital to actually prepare for a C-section, one thing you could do is prep the area. If you've not shaved down there, then we will do it for you so that's maybe something that you can do before you come in. We put a huge bandage over the incision and we have to change that a couple of times while you're in the hospital and in addition to reducing the risk of infection for surgery, not having hair there will make it so you don't get a wax that you weren't intending on every time we need to change that. If you have more questions about a C-section and what to expect, don't hesitate to ask your care provider. They can talk to you in more detail about your situation and give you more information so that you feel mentally and physically prepared for it. Congratulations ahead of time on the birth of your baby and if you have any other questions for me in the future, feel free to ask them on our Facebook page at facebook.com/intermountainmoms and recommend us to your friends and family, too.
Просмотров: 49396 IntermountainMoms
Will induction cause labor to hurt all at once or gradually? Can I still get an epidural?
 
04:03
It sounds like you're going to be induced in a couple of weeks and first of all, congratulations on that, that's so exciting. You have some really good questions. Is it going to hurt worse if you're induced? When can you get the epidural? In order to explain how it's going to feel during labor let's talk about the natural progression of things if you're not induced first. Up to the days and weeks before delivery your body starts to release hormones called prostaglandins that act on your cervix that actually ripen and prepare it for labor, very similar to how a fruit ripens. If you take a cervix that's not ripe and ready for labor it usually won't start to dilate or change or do much even if you have regular contractions. Your body starts to do some prep work leading up to the time of the delivery and then if you spontaneously go into labor your brain is releasing a hormone called oxytocin that acts on the little cells of your uterus and tells them to the contract. Then you start to have regular and intense contractions and that leads to cervical dilation and ultimately delivery. If you're coming to the hospital for an elective induction then your body has already done that prep work, it's already ripe and ready. All we have to do is start an IV, put Pitocin in your IV, Pitocin and oxytocin are the same thing, your body doesn't perceive a different between the two, and it causes your uterus to contract. Ultimately those contractions get more intense and more frequent leading to cervical dilation and delivery. A lot of people are afraid of Pitocin because they've heard that it hurts more than spontaneous labor. Actually it doesn't hurt more it just hurts faster. What I mean by that is if you go into spontaneous labor there is a nice curve. You start with very irregular uncomfortable contractions and you work your way up slowly to the ones that are every two to three minutes and really, really intense. Pitocin just takes the beginning stages out of that and you go from 0 to 60 faster and your body doesn't have time to acclimate to the pain. The perception is that it hurts more but ultimately whether it's spontaneous labor or induced labor it's going to hurt just the same in the end, contractions need to be every two to three minutes and be intense enough to get your cervix changing. Some people do say yes, Pitocin makes you hurt more but if you're planning on an epidural you don't really have to worry about that. The beauty of an epidural is that it takes pain away, not pressure sensation, you might still feel pressure but you won't feel pain. You can get it as long as you're having regular contractions. They don't need to be super intense. I always tells my patients the right time to get an epidural is about the time when you feel like you would take a Tylenol for a headache. We ask you a lot at the hospital on a scale from 0 to 10 if a 10 is surgery with no anesthesia. Maybe you're a four or a five if you have a headache and you're deciding if you want to take some Tylenol so it's not going to get worse, that would be about the right time to get an epidural. There have been lots of studies done to prove that epidurals slow labor down and there are lots of studies out there that show that labor speeds it up, it depends on the circumstances. In real practice I've probably seen more instances where epidurals speed labor up. It's really not going to slow you down as long as you're having good, regular contractions. If we gave you an epidural the second you walked in the door and that was the first thing we did to you and we started Pitocin after, we would have a hard time getting your body started. The best thing to do is wait until you've been on Pitocin for a little while, you're hurting just a little bit about to the point where you take a Tylenol for a headache, then you should be just fine. Your labor should progress nicely. Of course your doctors and nurses are going to be there to help you and answer any questions you have. I hope the very best for you and congratulations ahead of time. If you have any other questions for me in the future feel free to ask them on our Facebook page at Facebook.com/IntermountainMoms and recommend us to your friends and family too.
Просмотров: 80198 IntermountainMoms
When does a woman's pregnant belly start to show?
 
01:38
A lot of women want to know when they'll actually start looking pregnant during their pregnancy. In the beginning, you just feel a little bit bloated and people may think you're putting on a few pounds. And actually, I was so excited when people started asking me if I was pregnant. I took that as a compliment, because then I actually looked pregnant, not just like I was gaining weight. Everyone starts to show pregnancy at different times. It's largely dependent on a couple of different factors - one being your pre-pregnant size, how many kids you've had, and also you're frame. The more kids you've had, the sooner you may start to show. And also, if you're tall, then you have more places for the baby to hide in, and if you're short, then the only place for the baby to go is out, so you may poke out a little bit sooner than a taller woman. Around 20 weeks, you'll notice at your prenatal appointments that the doctor is measuring the size of your belly. He'll measure from your pubic bone to the top of the uterus, and this is called the fundal height. This measurement should match your gestational age in centimeters. So at 20 weeks, you should be about 20 centimeters. And as your pregnancy progresses, they'll continue to watch this, and if there's ever a large discrepancy, like your belly is measuring abnormally small or large for your gestational age, then they'll send you for an ultrasound to find out if it's actually the size of the baby, maybe the amount of fluid surrounding the baby, or just the way you're carrying the baby. If there's any issues that need to be addressed, then they'll take care of those at that time. If you have more questions for me in the future, feel free to ask them on our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/IntermountainMoms, and recommend us to your friends and family too.
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What does it mean for a pregnant woman to have her membranes stripped?
 
03:26
When you get further along in your pregnancy and go to your prenatal appointment, like at 36-37 weeks, the doctor will start checking your cervix. And when you're 38-39 weeks, your doctor might say, "Hey, let's strip your membranes." And a lot of women are like, "That sounds kind of scary. What is that?" And basically what it's doing is stirring up the cervix. It irritates the cervix, and it can cause you to contract, and those contractions may or may not lead to labor. Now, a lot of people think that labor is contractions, but the true definition of labor is actually cervical change. So those contractions may or may not make your cervix start dilating, which means you're in labor. It's about 50/50. Some women who have their membranes stripped go into labor within 24 hours, and some just hurt and cramp for a little while after, and it doesn't turn into much more than that. But one of the beauties of pregnancy is that towards the end, you're so uncomfortable that you're willing to do whatever it takes to get your baby out. So is stripping the membranes uncomfortable? Yeah, it definitely can be. Now a vaginal exam, in and of itself, is not comfortable. It's not something that women look forward to, but it's just more uncomfortable, not painful. When your membranes are stripped, it adds an additional level of pain, because what the doctor is doing, if your cervix has dilated at all, they're sticking their finger up inside and then manually separating the cervical membranes from the amniotic sac. So basically, again, it's just irritating the cervix, and that hurts for the few seconds while they're doing it, and then you may cramp or contract for a period of time during the day. And again, it might lead you to go into Labor & Delivery, and your cervix has changed, and you get to have a baby. I say if your doctor is going to do it for you, it's worth a shot. There's nothing dangerous about it, it's not going to hurt anything. It could just help. Even if you don't go into labor, it might help to speed up the ripening process - the process your body has to go through in order to prep for labor. Because in the days to weeks leading up to pregnancy, your cervix needs to ripen. That's the actual medical term we use - just like a fruit. So when it's not ripe, it's way far back in your pelvis, the cervix is thick, and it's hard in consistency. And when it's ripened, it's moved forward in your pelvis, it's thinned out, and it's softened in consistency. And stripping the membranes can actually help this process along to if it doesn't help you go into labor. So hopefully it just shortens the amount of time you have to be pregnant after the doctor has done it. With all of this in mind, it's not good to encourage labor early, because the definition of full-term is 37 weeks, but babies do best if they're born after 39. So this is why your doctor won't do it until you're closer to 39 weeks, because they don't want to be responsible for you having a baby a little bit early that might have a higher chance of having breathing issues, jaundice, or breastfeeding issues, because even babies between 37 and 39 weeks sometimes come out with organs that aren't fully mature, and this does give them a greater chance at having issues like jaundice, breastfeeding problems, or breathing problems. Good luck with everything, and if you have any other questions for me in the future, feel free to ask them on our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/IntermountainMoms, and recommend us to your friends and family too.
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What position should I sleep in at 18 weeks pregnant?
 
01:56
You mentioned that you're 18 weeks along, and it sounds like you're starting to be a little bit uncomfortable when you're trying to sleep at night. And this is normal. It's the beginning of the end, really. I always say that we're uncomfortable when we try to sleep during pregnancy, because that's nature's way of prepping us for when the baby is born. As your baby and uterus continue to grow, you will feel a bigger pull as you move yourself from left to right at night. And because of gravity, when you lay on your right side, your baby will go to the right side, and when you lay on your left, your baby will go to the left. It's actually best to start sleeping on your side around this point in pregnancy, because the weight of the growing baby and uterus can compress your main arteries and veins that run through the middle of your trunk. So if you lay flat on your back, it smooshes those vessels, and it can cause your blood pressure to drop. And this may make you feel things like nausea and dizziness, and it can actually reduce blood-flow to your baby. So for this reason, it's always best to sleep on your side from this point on in pregnancy. And it may also help you be more comfortable at night. Get either a really firm pillow, or roll up a medium size blanket, and put it underneath your hip, propping you to one side or the other. Now of course, that's going to leave your baby and your belly hanging off to one side, and so roll up another blanket, or get another firm pillow, and put it underneath your belly. So you've got a blanket or a pillow on either side of you, and this will help you stay propped, and also help support you, and hopefully make it more comfortable to sleep. If you have any other discomforts that are concerning to you, don't ever hesitate to bring them to the attention of your doctor, because they can ask you more specific question and make sure it's not something that needs to be looked into. Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy, and if you have any other questions for me in the future, feel free to ask them on our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/IntermountainMoms, and recommend us to your friends and family too.
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As a new mom, what should I expect when I bring my baby home from the hospital?
 
03:53
I think there are a few things expectant mothers should know when they get close to their delivery date, like "What's going to happen when you bring your baby home from the hospital?" I think, first and foremost, it's helpful to go into it understanding that sleep is relative, it's not as important as you thought it was in the past. And if you go into it with that attitude, you'll do much better, because it's a fact that newborns sleep 16 or 17 hours out of a 24 hour period, but it's never when we want them to sleep. And their sleep patterns are largely governed by their eating patterns. And a newborn needs to eat every 2 to 3 hours, and on occasion, they might even want to eat more frequently than that, like every 1 1/2 to 2 hours. And they need to be fed on demand. And the reason why they want to eat so frequently is because, number 1, their tummies are so small. So they have to eat small amounts very frequently throughout each day to get the nutrition they need. And number 2, they're growing rapidly, so this is going to require almost constant nourishment. Then there's diapers. So the frequency of diapers usually depends on the frequency of feedings. When a baby eats, it stimulates their bowels, so they very frequently eat, and then they poop. So then you always wonder, "Do I change them before I feed them, or do I change after?", because after you feed them, then they fall asleep, and you don't want to wake them up and change their diaper, but you can't let them sit in a dirty diaper, because the stool is very acidic, and it will eat at their skin and cause diaper rash. So an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Definitely change your baby's diaper before you put them down if it's very wet or if it's soiled. And it is normal to go through 8 to 12 diapers each day, so stock up on those for sure. It's very typical to see the pediatrician for the first time a week or 2 weeks after the baby is born. This is a very important appointment. The doctor is going to spend time with you, as a new parent, talking about what you can expect. It's also a time for you to ask what's normal and what's not, especially if this is your first. Everything is going to seem abnormal to you, and there are no stupid questions. If you have concerns about anything, don't hesitate to bring them up at this appointment. And also call in between appointments if you feel like it's urgent. You can speak to a nurse from the doctor's office, who can then talk to the doctor if they need to, and decide if your baby needs to be brought in so the doctor can examine them if something is going on. Growth is a very very important thing to pay attention to at this point. So a baby is going to go home from the hospital weighing less than they did when they were born simply because a mother's milk doesn't come in right after the baby is born. It usually takes anywhere from 2 days to 6 days, and that's a large range, so 2 would be on the quick end, 6 would be on the long end. But because the baby is not getting milk, they're getting colostrum. And colostrum is like liquid gold, it's so good for babies, but they're not getting much of it. It's packed with a punch though, and so it's full of fat, antibodies - which are disease-fighting properties, protein, and so every little bit the baby is getting is so valuable to them. But they will go home from the hospital weighing less than they did at birth, and the pediatrician will want to see your baby up to birth weight by 2 weeks. So if you feel like your baby isn't growing well, your milk isn't coming in, or they're not nursing well, then those are definitely urgent issues that you need to talk with your pediatrician about. If nursing isn't going well, a lactation consultant can sit with you and your baby, watch you nurse, and decide if adjustments need to be made so it can be successful for you and them. And if you don't know about one in your area, talk with your pediatrician, and they can point you in the right direction. I hope the very best for you and your new baby, and if you have any other questions for me in the future, feel free to ask them on our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/IntermountainMoms, and recommend us to your friends and family too.
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How can I get my newborn to sleep at night?
 
02:34
You want to know how you can get your one month old little girl to sleep better at night instead of sleeping all day. This is a question that many new mothers ask. It's because newborn babies sleep about 16 hours out of each 24 hour period but it's never when we want them to. In fact, newborns frequently eat more at night and are more fussy and these patterns and habits are normal. It's normal for their development. Their feeding schedule has a lot to do with their sleeping schedule. Right now your baby has a very small stomach and it can't hold much volume and your baby is growing rapidly. She needs to eat smaller feedings more frequently throughout the day. It's normal if she's eating about every two to three hours and sleeping for small increments in between each feeding, like maybe one or two hours at a time. As she gets a little bit older she'll naturally start to understand the difference between night and day. This is called circadian rhythm and this understanding usually comes between six and eight weeks. By eight weeks most babies are sleeping about six to eight hours at night. Hang in there just a little bit longer and hopefully she will start sleeping better and so will you. In the meantime there are things you can do to encourage healthy sleep habits in the future. Every time you put her down whether it be for a nap or at night, put her in a crib on her back. This is the safest position for her to sleep in and will help to reduce the risk of SIDS. Keep all extra, soft, fluffy things out of her crib. This includes bumper pads, pillows, extra blankets, and stuffed animals. Develop some sort of routine before bedtime. She probably won't understand it now but as she gets older both of you will be on the right track. For example, this could involve rocking, it could be a story, you could give her a bath. As she gets older she'll learn that these activities mean that it's time for sleep. It helps her wind down and get ready to go to bed. Each time before you put her down for a nap also develop some sort of routine. When your baby wakes at night don't encourage wakeful periods by turning on lights, talking to her, or playing with her. Keep things quiet, keep the lights low, and feed her, change her, and put her back to bed. This will help her understand that this is time for sleep, not time for play. If your baby isn't sleeping through the night by four months of age talk with your pediatrician and they can give you advice on that. If you have more questions for me in the future, please feel free to ask them on our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/intermountainmoms and recommend us to your friends and family too.
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What will the doctor do at my first prenatal appointment?
 
03:09
A lot of women want to know what is going to happen at the first prenatal appointment. And it's a very important appointment that usually happens between 8 weeks and 12 weeks gestation. The first thing they're going to do is have you take another pregnancy test to verify that you are indeed pregnant. And then they're going to establish a due date. This is probably going to be based on your last menstrual period, if you were regular. And if you were irregular and have no idea where you were in your cycles, then they might do an ultrasound to determine how big your baby is at that point. And if an ultrasound is done early in the pregnancy, then it's a pretty reliable factor in determining how far along you are. You can expect the doctor to ask you a lot of questions about your health history, about your family's health history, any genetic problems that might run in the family, if you've had surgery before, if you're taking medication, and if you've been pregnant before. They'll review that history, and that helps them determine if there's things they need to watch you for during the pregnancy, like things you're at greater risk for. They'll also have you do a urine test, and they'll draw your blood, and they're looking for additional risk factors that might need to be monitored throughout the pregnancy. If you're over 12 weeks, then the doctor will try to hear the baby's heartbeat using a doppler. Before then, it's hard to hear, so if the doctor tries and can't hear it, then that's okay. It doesn't mean that there is no heartbeat, it's just hard to hear until that point in pregnancy. This appointment is also an opportunity for you to ask questions, and for the doctor to educate you on topics like safe seatbelt use, exercise, weight-gain during pregnancy, things to avoid - like if you're using alcohol, drugs or tobacco, you should stop. You should think twice about everything you put in your mouth really, like over-the-counter medications. They'll review your prescriptions with you and make sure that they're all safe, and talk to you about thinking twice about even herbal supplements. You should always make sure those things are safe to take while you're pregnant before you take them. They'll also discuss typical discomforts of pregnancy like nausea, vomiting, fatigue, reflux, all of those things, and discuss different ways you can overcome them or combat them during pregnancy. They'll talk to you about things you can expect to be normal, things that are abnormal, reasons to get checked out, and of course, come with questions that you've been thinking about. So if you have them, write them down and pull them out at your appointment, because doctors always say, "Do you have any questions?", and usually our minds are just blank, and we say "no", we walk out, and we think, "Oh, there's a million things that I did want to know." So write down your questions, bring them to your appointment, and make sure you've had all of your questions answered before you leave. Remember 13 by 13 - see the doctor by 13 weeks gestation at the latest, and plan on about 13 weeks over the course of the pregnancy, possibly more if you need additional monitoring. Prenatal care is so important to your well-being and the well-being of your baby. If you have any other questions for me in the future, feel free to ask them on our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/IntermountainMoms, and recommend us to your friends and family too.
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What are the normal aches and pains of pregnancy?
 
03:55
There are so many aches and pains associated with pregnancy, and it's hard to know what's normal, what's not, when you should get checked out. So I want to talk about 3 specific types of discomforts that are normal for pregnant women to feel. The first is lower back pain. When you're pregnant, your belly starts to grow outward, and so your center of gravity shifts back, and you start to waddle, and you carry things funny, and you do all sorts of things that put strain on your back. In addition, your abs are shot as your belly starts to grow, so your back is bearing the brunt of most of what you do, so you may have lower back pain. Another thing to consider, though, is that lower back pain can be a symptom of contractions. So if you're having lower abdominal cramping, lower back ache, feeling abdominal tightening, pressure, pain in your thighs, or you have leaking of fluid, vaginal bleeding, or an increase in discharge associated with the pain, then think more along the lines of preterm labor, and that's when you should get checked out. If it just feels like it's due to the fact that you've sat too long, or you've stood up too long, or you just need to change positions, it's probably just because you're pregnant. Another normal type of discomfort is round ligament pain. Your uterus is not just hanging out in your belly. It's supported and anchored by ligaments, and one of the most prominent is called the round ligament. It attaches on the side of your uterus at about the level of your belly button, and then runs down and attaches to the pubic bone. So if you have pain in your groin area, like from the side of your belly down into the groin on one side or the other, especially if it came on with a sudden change in movement, it's probably round ligament pain. It usually comes on suddenly and is sharp. Although for some people, it's dull and long-lasting. Sometimes it just feels a little bit achey on one side, and you just want to massage it a little bit. If you're experiencing this type of pain, it's probably round ligament pain. Another type of pain that people commonly feel is pubic pain, or just generalized pelvic pain. In pregnancy, your body starts to release a hormone called relaxin. And the name makes sense, because it acts on the joint of your pelvis and it relaxes it. It actually happens to increase the internal diameter of your pelvis so that the baby can fit through and is more likely to be born vaginally instead of you needing a C-section. So just tell yourself that it's all for good reason. Some women do, though, have an abnormally large separation of the pelvic joint, and this is called synthesis pubis disfunction. So if you have any questions or concerns about that, talk with your doctor. So what do you do about lower back pain, round ligament pain, and generalized pelvic pain? Positioning can help with this. Avoid standing for too long or sitting for too long. Position yourself properly at night when you're sleeping. Sleep on your side after 20 weeks of pregnancy, and just get a rolled up blanket or a pillow and prop yourself to the side by putting one behind your hip and then put one beneath your belly on the other side so that the weight isn't just pulling, because that can be uncomfortable. And it also helps to put a pillow in between your knees. You can also try using a heating pack on your lower back for 10 to 15 minutes if you don't feel like it's due to preterm labor. Try taking a warm bath before bedtime. And call your doctor and talk to them about over-the-counter pain relievers that are safe to take during pregnancy. My motto at the end of the day is "When in doubt, get checked out". If you're not sure what you're experiencing or you're worried about it being related to preterm labor, then don't hesitate to get seen. After being examined, your doctor will decide if further investigation or treatment is warranted for you. Good luck with everything, and if you have more questions for me in the future, feel free to ask them on our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/IntermountainMoms, and recommend us to your friends and family too.
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How can I increase my milk supply?
 
05:00
A lot of women worry about their milk supply and feel like it's diminishing. If this is happening to you, don't get discouraged, because there are things you can do to increase your milk supply. First, it's important to understand that milk supply is based on supply and demand. The more you nurse or pump (empty your breast), the more your body is stimulated to make milk. Let's say your baby is eating every 3-4hr. If you want to try to make more milk, squeeze in a few extra feedings during the day by feeding them every 2hr while they're awake. Do this for 3-5 days and you'll probably notice an increase in your milk supply. This happens naturally when babies have growth spurts and want to eat more frequently. It makes your body make more milk and it just continues to build as they get older and as their needs change. You can also do something called power pumping. Pick an hour during the day to dedicate to pumping, and pump for 10min and then rest for 10min, and pump for 10min and rest for 10min, and do this for an hour. Basically, you're pumping for a total of 30min and resting for 30min, but doing it in increments of 10min. Do this once a day for a few days and that should also increase your milk supply. If you're exclusively pumping, you may want to look at the quality of your pump. A good hospital-grade pump is best, especially during the first 2mo of your baby's life, because you're putting in your milk order for your entire breastfeeding experience, meaning your body is more sensitive to things like the efficiency of the pump, how much you're eating, how much you're drinking - those are all things to consider. One thing to consider is the type of pump you're using. Not all pumps are created equal. A lot of women turn to double electric pumps, because they get the job done faster, especially if you're a working mom and need to do it while you're gone, these are really good. But some are better than others. Remember, milk supply is stimulated when your breasts are emptied, so if a pump isn't working well and not emptying the breast well, then you may struggle with milk supply. Another thing to think about if you're working outside of the home is how often you're pumping while you're at work. You need to pump about as often as your baby eats. If they eat every 2-3hr, then the most you want to go between pumping sessions is 3hr. Another important part of how much milk you're making is how much you're eating and how much you're drinking. Be sure you're taking in enough calories to meet your needs and to meet your baby's needs by making good milk. You need 400-500 extra calories each day, and this should be good nutrition, not just an excuse to eat 2 donuts. Eat whole grains, lots of fruits, lots of veggies, lean protein, low-fat dairy and healthy fats. Also be sure that you're drinking enough. You need, at minimum, 6-8 glasses of water each day. While you're making milk, you'll probably notice you're thirstier when you're nursing your baby or pumping, so it's a good idea to have a cup of water next to you and sip while you're nursing. That way, you're getting hydrated; you're making sure your baby is hydrated. If these suggestions aren't helping and you still feel like your milk supply is dwindling, make an appointment with a lactation specialist. They'll sit down with you, watch you nurse your baby and see if any adjustments need to be made, because sometimes, a cause of dwindling milk supply can be improper latch, because the baby isn't latching properly and not emptying the breast fully. If they can help you make adjustments, then hopefully breastfeeding can be successful for you and your baby. Some mothers, when they worry about milk supply, wonder if they need to supplement with formula. It all comes down to whether or not your baby's needs are being met with what your body is producing. Some mothers need to supplement and that's OK. I recommend talking with your pediatrician about it. They'll ask you how many wet diapers your baby is having each day, assess their weight-gain and growth over time, and if they're gaining the appropriate amount of weight and they're having at least 6 wet diapers a day, then their needs are being met and you can try to stimulate your body to make more milk. But if your baby's needs aren't being met and you need to supplement with formula, just keep in mind that you may notice a slight decrease in your milk supply, because if you're giving your baby formula instead of nursing or pumping, then your body is never stimulated to make more milk, and that's OK if this is going to be your long-term plan. In the end, the most important thing is that your baby is happy, healthy, and gaining the appropriate amount of weight. If this can be accomplished with breast milk alone, then that's great. But if you need to supplement with formula, that's OK, because formula-fed kids go to kindergarten too. If you have more questions about it, talk with your pediatrician.
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What do I need to know about gestational diabetes?
 
03:06
All pregnant women should be screened for gestational diabetes around 28 weeks gestation. And it's important to test for this because if a woman has gestational diabetes or if she had previously diagnosed type 1 or type 2 diabetes, if uncontrolled, it can cause complications like preeclampsia, blood sugar problems for the baby after delivery, stillbirth, and an abnormally large baby, which has complications associated with that too. 5% to 18% of women develop gestational diabetes, and it all goes back to insulin resistance. Insulin is the key that unlocks your body's cells so that sugar can go inside and make the cells work. And your body naturally becomes a little more insulin-resistant during pregnancy so that there's enough sugar circulating in your blood so the baby gets what it needs. Normally, mothers can compensate for this by producing more insulin, but mothers who have gestational diabetes aren't able to make more insulin, and so blood sugar levels rise. So testing, like I said, for this is done are 28 weeks, and what will happen is the doctor will have you drink a very sugary drink. It contains 50 grams of glucose. And then they'll test your blood sugar an hour later and see how your body responded. If you get a value of 130 to 140, then you may have gestational diabetes, and the doctor will want to do a follow-up test. If the value you get on your first test is 200 or higher, then you just have gestational diabetes, but they may still want to do follow-up testing. And in both cases, it's doing a 3 hour glucose tolerance test. This is done when you're fasting, and then you drink double the amount of sugar. It's a 100 gram glucose sugar drink. And then they test your blood sugar every hour for 3 hours and see what it is. And then, based on those values, they determine if you truly have gestational diabetes or not. If the diagnosis is made, then there's a couple of different ways to manage it. And it's super important to keep your blood sugars under control so that you don't have the complications I discussed before. The management plan is going to be dependent on how severe your case is. And for a lot of women, it just involves some diet changes and exercise. For other women, it involves taking oral medication. And for about 15% of women with gestational diabetes, it has to be controlled with insulin. And you may start out just needing to make a few diet changes, and then as the pregnancy progresses, so do your body's needs, and so do your baby's needs, and so that may change the plan as well. So you could start out being diet-controlled, and then you may end up with oral medication or with insulin. So this speaks of the importance of consistent monitoring. A diabetic educator will meet with you and talk to you about your treatment plan and also tell you how often you should be monitoring your blood sugars. They'll take a peek at your values each week and, based on that, determine if additional changes in your treatment plan are necessary. If you have more questions for me in the future, feel free to ask them on our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/IntermountainMoms, and recommend us to your friends and family too.
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I'm 17 weeks pregnant. Should I be feeling my baby move?
 
02:14
Most pregnant women start to feel their babies move between 16-18 weeks of pregnancy although some will feel it a little bit sooner especially if they've had babies before because they kind of know what they're looking for. Others start to feel it a little bit later. Maybe the placenta is at the front of your belly and preventing you from feeling a lot of movement and so it's felt later when the baby gets bigger and the movements are stronger. You mentioned that you're 17 weeks and you're worried about how you haven't felt much regular movement yet and that's totally normal. At 17 weeks your baby isn't big enough yet to allow you to feel a lot of normal movement. That doesn't mean your baby's not moving it just means you're not feeling them all. Movement will start to get more regular as your baby gets older, get bigger. By the beginning of your third trimester you should feel regular movement. The guideline is that you should feel about six movements per hour. If it's ever less than that or at any point in your pregnancy if you're concerned just drink something sweet, lay down on one of your sides, and count movements. If it's before the beginning of your third trimester and you're worried, it's way less than you've felt in the past, then go to the hospital and get checked out. They can put your baby on the monitor and make sure everything is okay. If you're at the beginning of your third trimester and beyond if you feel less than five movements in an hour or six or less movements in an hour and some textbooks and guidelines say ten or less movements in two hours, then it's time to go to the hospital for sure and get checked out. The best indication that you have that your baby is doing well when you're not at the hospital or hooked up to a monitor is that you're feeling your baby move. If that's ever less than your norm then it's always worth paying attention and getting checked out if you feel like you need to be. We're huge believers in mother's intuition and we'd love to just check you out and make sure things are okay if you just simply come in and say I feel like something is concerned and I'd like to be seen. Good luck with everything and congratulations on your pregnancy. If you have other questions during your pregnancy or after with your baby feel free to ask them on our Facebook page and recommend us to your friends and family too.
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What do I need to know about induction?
 
03:07
A lot of women have questions about induction - What exactly is it? Is it good or bad? Is there a difference between elective and indicated induction? And when do you qualify for elective induction? Let's start with spontaneous labor first. If a woman goes into labor on her own, then her body has done some prep work. In the days to weeks leading up to the delivery of the baby, her body starts to release prostaglandins (or hormones) that act on the cervix and ripen it - that's the actual medical term we use, just like a fruit. And it begins to soften the cervix, move it forward in your pelvis, it thins out and begins to open up slightly. The baby may also descend in the woman's pelvis. Then, once she starts having regular and intense contractions, then the cervix will respond by dilating. And that's the true definition of labor - cervical change from hour to hour leading up to the delivery of the baby. So if a woman is induced, we have to mimic what the woman's body would have done if it had a chance to go into labor on its own. If the woman's cervix isn't favorable or ripe, then we have to do that for her by giving ripening agents that soften the cervix, move it forward, thin it out, and then we can give pitocin, if necessary, which is what your brain actually releases to make you have contractions. And then those regular and intense contractions will, again, cause the cervix to dilate, which is the definition of labor. There are two different types of induction. One is indicated and the second is elective. If a doctor determines that (either for the mother's or the baby's well-being) the pregnancy needs to end, that is indicated. And a couple of examples include preeclampsia, 41 weeks gestation, or the baby is not growing like they should inside the mother. Now, elective inductions are done for convenience, basically. Dads can get work off, you can get babysitters for your older children, you have an ultimate due date, you know that you don't have to go past a certain date. And when you come into the hospital, we mimic what your body would have done if it went into labor on its own by giving you pitocin through the IV. It causes you to have regular and intense contractions which, again, make your cervix dilate, and you have a baby. The complications and risks are minimal, and of course, the benefits are great, because it's very convenient. When it comes to determining who's a good candidate for elective induction, the doctor will consider a lot of different factors. Some of the most important ones are the woman's gestational age, which baby it is for her, and what her cervix has already done. Basically, has your body already done some of the prep work? So if your cervix has moved forward, softened, began to thin out and open up a little bit, and the baby has started to come down in your pelvis, then your body should respond well to an induction. If you have more specific questions about induction, whether it be elective or indicated, talk with your OB provider, and they'll be able to give you tailored information and advice for you. And if you have more questions for me in the future, feel free to ask them on our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/IntermountainMoms, and recommend us to your friends and family too.
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How long and often should I nurse my newborn? How do I know when he has had enough?
 
02:11
First of all, congratulations on the recent delivery of your baby boy! That’s so exciting! But yes, your question is valid, and it doesn’t matter if you’ve had kids before or not. We forget a lot of things. So, when you bring another new baby home, you usually do have lots of questions. You want to know how long and how often a little newborn should nurse, and what’s the difference between nutritive sucking and non-nutritive sucking or just sucking for comfort. So, most newborns need to eat every two to three hours. And this is because their tummies are small and they can’t hold much volume and they’re also growing quickly. So they need to eat small amounts frequently during each twenty-four hour period. So, nurse your baby every two to three hours, and as long as he is sucking rhythmically for ten to fifteen minutes on each side, then a nursing session that’s a total of twenty to thirty minutes is good. If he is sucking this long, then he’s probably gotten what he needs, especially if he is acting satisfied afterwards. That’s the most important thing to look for is how he is acting. If he just kind of naturally falls off the breast or falls asleep, then that means he’s gotten enough. And then after that, if he just does little sucks, ones that are just kind of like light lip smacking, like he’s not deep-throat sucking, then that means he is probably just sucking for comfort. You could try offering him a pacifier and see if that helps, and especially if it does, then that means he was just sucking for fun. And if you do that on a regular basis, that will cause you a lot of soreness. So try to avoid that.   Many parents are concerned about offering binkies because they worry about their babies developing nipple confusion, they won’t nurse as well, and that’s not necessarily the case, especially if you use the right type of binky. There are those that just have a straight nipple, and they mimic a real nipple, and a baby has to suck just as hard on those as they do at the breast, and so they don’t get confused between the two. If you have more specific questions about your son and want to know if he's getting enough to drink, or if you notice any abnormal symptoms, talk with your pediatrician. If you have any other questions for me in the future, please feel free to ask them on our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/intermountainmoms, and recommend us to your friends and family too.
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Am I having round ligament pain or is it something else?
 
03:08
You mentioned that you are 20 weeks pregnant, and having some weird pains. You're wondering exactly what they are. There's a few different things to think about, especially if you're pre-term and having issues with pain. One of the possibilities is round ligament pain. Your uterus isn't just hanging out in your belly. It's attached to different parts by ligaments. One of the ligaments is called the round ligament. It's attached at about the level of the belly button on the side of the abdomen. Then attaches on the other end to the pubic bone. So, it kind of runs on a pregnant woman's belly from the sides in. It's kind of like an elastic, you know, and if you pull it and stretch it and then tweak it, you can see how that would cause pain. So if you get out of the car quickly, if you stand up from the couch, if you get out of bed for the fifth time in the middle of the night to go pee, or if you stand up off the floor. Any abrupt movement can cause you to have some sharp pain on one side or the other in your lower abdomen, kind of running where that ligament runs on the side of your abdomen down into the pubic area. So if you experience that and it's sharp pain on one side, it usually goes as quickly as it comes. Then it is probably round ligament pain. Sometimes it can be a little by achy. You just kinda feel like you want to rub it for a second, maybe it's duller and it lasts a little longer. That is a possibility to, with round ligament pain. But, one of the concerns is always, "Is it a contraction?" and "Is there anything to be worried about?" My motto is always, "When in doubt, get checked out." There's really no way to tell for sure, unless you talk with your doctor or go to the hospital and see a nurse who can perform an exam and decide if there's anything going on that warrants further investigation. Generally speaking, contractions feel like constant lower abdominal cramping, constant lower back ache if your pre-term, or it can be pain and cramping in your lower abdomen that comes and goes, a lower back ache that comes and goes. You may also experience abdominal tightening and pressure and sometimes shooting pains down your thighs. So, those are the main ways people describe contractions. If you ever feel any of those symptoms, or you have leaking of fluid, bleeding or an increase of vaginal discharge. Those are all reasons to get checked out. Now you did mention one other thing, when you urinate you kind of feel a lot of pressure afterwards. That's normal, because the bladder sits below the uterus and when you have to go to the bathroom and it gets full it pushes the uterus up a little bit. But then when you urinate the uterus contracts back down and so you feel tightening and pressure. You have a little contraction. That's very normal, as long as it only lasts for a few seconds and it's only associated with urination and you're not having regular or intense pains during the rest of the day, then it's nothing to worry about. But if you're ever concerned, like I said earlier, don't hesitate to ask your doctor and they can help you decide if it's something to be concerned about or not. If you have any other questions for me in the future you can ask them on our facebook page at facebook.com/intermountainmoms, and recommend us to your friends and family to.
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How accurate is a due date that is determined by ultrasound?
 
02:17
You mentioned that you're about 24 weeks along, you had an early ultrasound when you were 6 weeks, and you weren't sure when your last period was. And that's probably why the doctor did an ultrasound, because there's 2 ways to figure out how far along a woman is. One is going off her previous cycle history. If a woman has had a history of regular periods, then they'll ask you what your last period date was. And if you're sure about it, then it's pretty easy to figure out how far along you are. But if a woman has irregular periods or you don't know when your period was, then an ultrasound is the best way to date your pregnancy. A fetus will grow at a pretty consistent rate during the first trimester, and so when they did the ultrasound at 6 weeks and figured that your baby was 6 weeks along, that's the best and most accurate thing that we can go by. In fact, if a baby starts to be either larger or smaller than they should be in the 2nd or 3rd trimester, a lot of times we ask, "Did she have an early ultrasound?", because that's the best way to figure out if our due dates are accurate. So because your due date was based on an early ultrasound, you can say that it's really accurate - as accurate as we can get. So you also had some questions about the extra weeks added on at the beginning of a pregnancy when you weren't actually pregnant. And this does get pretty confusing for a lot of people. So conception happens at the time you ovulate, when sperm an egg meet up. And ovulation usually happens about mid-cycle, or about 2 weeks after your period started. You won't find out you're pregnant until the time of your missed period, or 2 weeks after conception, but at that point, you're considered to be 4 weeks along. It's been 4 weeks since your last period, but the baby has actually only been growing for 2 weeks. So that's where it gets confusing. So the first week of the 40 week gestational period is actually the first week when you were having your period in the cycle that you actually got pregnant in. So that's all a little bit confusing, but just go with it since your doctor gave you an accurate due date based on an early ultrasound. Then you can pretty much say, "Yep, I'm due on October 21st. I sincerely hope the best for you during your pregnancy, and if you have any other questions for me in the future, feel free to ask them on our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/IntermountainMoms, and recommend us to your friends and family too.
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How long should postpartum bleeding last?
 
02:13
After you have a baby you can expect to have some baby and it's because the vessels that were feeding your baby, every time your heart beat a large percentage of your blood volume was going to that spot. Those vessels are kind of left still raw and bleeding and your uterus needs to cramp down really tightly over them and act like a tourniquet and prevent you from bleeding too much. The immediate postpartum period, the first hour after you've had a baby is the most important time to be watched for signs of hemorrhage. That risk still continues for up to the first three months after you've had a baby so it's important to watch your flow and make sure that it's slowing down. If you ever have any specific concerns about it, it would be best to talk to your doctor. They can ask you more specific questions about it and decide if it warrants further investigation or treatment. There are a few different things that can cause additional bleeding after you've slowed down so the doctor can help you work through those issues and decide if something needs to be done about it. Generally speaking blood flow will be most significant the first week after you've had a baby and it will be bright red and be accompanied by significant cramping. That should all taper off over the next couple of weeks. Weeks two and three you should notice that you're not having heavy bleeding, you're not having bright red bleeding, it should go to a more pinkish brownish color. Then usually most women, by weeks three to five, are noticing that they're not bleeding at all, they're just having normal white discharge. If you ever stop bleeding and start again then it would be best to talk to your doctor especially if it's persisting. Make sure that if you ever saturate a pad in an hour or you're passing a lot of clots that you go to the Emergency Room to get checked out. Avoid using tampons because it's good for what is in there to come out to prevent infections and things like that. Make sure you're changing your pads every four hours to prevent irritation and infection. If you have any other questions related to bleeding and your specific circumstance be sure to talk to your OB provider that delivered you. But if you have any other questions for me feel free to ask them our Facebook page at Facebook.com/IntermountainMoms and recommend us to your friends and family too.
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What's the difference between nightmares and night terrors?  What should I do if my child has them?
 
02:48
Nightmares, night terrors, are a very common part of childhood. First you have to understand the difference between the two. Nightmares generally are a little bit older with kids, they start when they're a little bit older. Nightmares pretty much happen in all kids. They are as follows: The child will wake up and be totally conscious, and will be frightened. They will be able to describe to you what they saw, maybe not in detail, but they'll be upset. "I saw a monster." They can recall what the nightmare was about. Night terrors are very different. They tend to be genetic. Only 10%-20% of kids have them. They tend to come in clusters. They really actually are a form of sleepwalking. The kids aren't really awake. Normally when you sleep, your brain suppresses your motor activity, your ability to move. If you've ever woken up from a deep sleep, you may recall that you can hardly move as you first wake up, and that's normal. Mother Nature normally keeps you very calm and immobilized when you dream. A night terror, those inhibitions are gone. So the child is talking, screaming, yelling, acting out, and sometimes literally walking through that episode. The inhibition to lay there still is gone. When you go in running and see a child with a night terror, they'll look almost like they're looking through you. It's scary. It looks like they're possessed. They'll be screaming, and pointing at something, and talking around to people that are in the room that they see. It's a little creepy. Then they'll suddenly just go to sleep, and you'll go "whoa". The next morning you ask them about it, they have no idea what you're talking about. That's a night terror. Generally we counsel families with night terrors to try to ignore it. It's hard to. But they're not getting up out of the bed and walking around or getting in a situation where they can be in trouble, it's really all you have to do. Nightmares, they'll come in you comfort them and try to help them feel safe, and you put them back to bed. And help them realize it was just a dream, and reassure them. Night terrors, they're not going to remember, so it doesn't do any good to talk about it the next day. Reassure yourself that it's a normal part of childhood for some kids. They tend to come in groups and clusters. Occasionally there are some medications that make a difference if they're frequent and long term, but for the most part, they're transient.
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At 29 weeks, is it normal for a baby to move a lot sometimes, and not move a lot at other times?
 
01:56
You mentioned that you're 29 weeks a long and some days you feel your baby move a lot and other days your baby doesn't move much at all. On those days when you notice a decrease in your baby's movement, stop what you're doing, get rid of all distractions, lay down on your side because that's actually the position where your baby gets the most oxygenation and blood flow, and count movements. At this point in pregnancy your baby should move at least six times an hour. If in that hour you're counting you get five or less it's time to go get checked out. Many mothers feel that if they aren't feeling their babies move that much it's just because they're sleeping but babies only sleep for 20-30 minutes at a time so hours and hours of no or decreased movement can't be attributed to a baby sleeping. In and of itself, going to the hospital to get checked out because you're not feeling your baby move as much is a good reason. We welcome mothers who come and say I just haven't felt my baby move as much. Of course you're so stressed out. We want to send you home reassured. 99.9% of the time that's what we're able to do. We hook your belly up to a monitor, one that monitors the pattern of your baby's heart rate and one that monitors contractions, and the pattern of your baby's heart rate tells us a lot about how they're doing inside of you. When you're not hooked up to a monitor the only way you can tell if they're doing okay or not is that they're moving. Movement is an indication of well being. Again, during those times when you're not feeling your baby move as much, count movement and if it's less than six in an hour or, technically speaking, ten or less in two hours, that's not enough and you should get checked out. I always encourage mothers when there is decreased, not absent, movement. If you have any other questions for me in the future please feel free to ask them on our Facebook page at Facebook.com/IntermountainMoms and recommend us to your friends and family too.
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What can I expect when I go to the hospital for labor and delivery?
 
04:01
When you're getting closer to the time of delivery it's good to think about what is going to happen when you arrive at the hospital, and there are actually a couple of things you can do ahead of time that will make it easier once you get there. For example, pre-registration will make it easier so that when you arrive the staff members aren't bothering you about your insurance information and billing information. You can take care of all of that ahead of time by calling the hospital you're planning on delivering at and they'll probably ask you for your ID, your insurance information and basic billing information like address and such, and then you can get that out of the way so that when you come you're just there to be taken care of. When you come in what is going to happen is largely going to depend on your circumstances. For example, let's say you're there because you've been having contractions. As soon as you get there the nurse is going to ask you some questions about your overall health history like, have you had any surgeries, do you have any allergies, are you on any medications, have you been pregnant before, if so did you have complications? I tell my patients it's 50 question time, not even 20 question time. In the midst of contractions we still need to talk to you about what is going on because there is important information we need to know in order to take care of you. If you're there for contractions we'll monitor you and your baby. The pattern of the baby's heart rate is the best indication we have of how the baby is doing while inside of you. The pattern of the baby's heart rate tells us whether or not they have enough oxygen and if they're doing well. Then we'll monitor your contraction pattern and we'll check your cervix when you get there and then after all of our assessments are done we just have to wait and see what happens with you over the course of an hour. Once we've gathered information about you and your baby then we call the doctor and let them know what is going on. Based on your situation they'll decide whether or not you're going to be admitted. Your admit tickets to labor and delivery are number one, your cervix is changing which means you're in labor, number two, your water is broken, and number three, something is wrong with you or the baby. It's best to stick with the first two scenarios if possible. If there is anything we see over the course of our monitoring that causes us to be a little bit concerned but your cervix isn't changing, your water isn't broken, then we just watch you for an extended period of time to decide if anything else needs to be done. You can plan on having an IV. An IV keeps you hydrated because while you're in labor we don't let you eat or drink, and that may sound funny and a little bit torturous, but it's all for good reason. We never know who is going to have to have a C-section. If you've had food in your stomach that then that puts you at greater risk for complications if you've had food recently. If you were going to the hospital for a schedule operation they'd call you the night before and tell you not to eat or drink anything after a certain point in time. Because we don't know when a C-section might happen during labor we just have to basically starve you the entire time. But we do keep you well hydrated through fluids we give you through the IV and we can also add a little bit of sugar water if we need to if you're in labor for a prolonged period of time to give you some calories and, of course, it makes sense that your body will work better if it has energy. Most facilities will also let you suck on ice chips so talk to the nurses at the hospital you're delivering at and they'll tell you what's available to you just to help you feel a little bit more comfortable and keep your mouth moist. As discussed previously monitoring is very important for your baby so you can expect to be monitoring the entire time from the moment you get there until the moment you deliver the baby. In summary what's going to happen at the hospital will largely depend on your circumstances and your nurses are there to help you along to talk to you about what is going on and of course we want to answer any questions that you might have. Your doctor is also available to you before you go into labor and you can ask them any more specific questions that you might have or I'd be happy to answer them for you to, as well. If you do have any other questions in the future feel free to ask them on our Facebook page at Facebook.com/IntermountainMoms and recommend us to your friends and family too.
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Is a placenta previa anything to be seriously concerned about?
 
03:00
You asked a really good question. You're wondering if placenta previa is anything to be concerned about. And actually, it does warrant your concern. And it's important, if your doctor has told you that you have a placenta previa, to stay in close contact with them, and go to the hospital as soon as possible if you have any vaginal bleeding. Now what exactly is a placenta previa? That is when the placenta, which is essentially the baby's lifeline, attaches over the cervix. The cervix is the part of the uterus that starts to this out, open up so that the baby can come through and be born. So that presents a problem for a couple of reasons if the placenta is over the cervix. First of all, it's plugging it up, and you can't have a vaginal delivery because you can't deliver the baby's lifeline first--the baby needs to come first and then the placenta--so it means a C-section if you have a placenta previa. And if you start to contract and dilate at all, it could mean that you can start to bleed, sometimes even a lot, because that area is highly vascular, a large percentage of your blood volume is going to the placenta every time your heart beats to feed this growing baby, and so there's a lot of blood supply right there, and that can cause bleeding if you start to contract or dilate at all. In most cases, I'm not exactly sure what yours is, but usually an ultrasound is done at about 20 weeks of pregnancy, and at that point the uterus is still pretty small, and sometimes they note that the placenta is low-lying, or sometimes it actually is over the cervix at that point in time. But they're likely to do repeat ultrasounds and to watch the position of the placenta, because it's very similar to a balloon. Take a balloon that has writing on it--when the balloon is deflated the writing may look pretty small and near the bottom of the balloon, but when you inflate it, the words are kind of pulled up to the top. And so that's the same with the uterus--sometimes the placenta can be low-lying or over the cervix early on in pregnancy, but as the uterus grows, it doesn't grow legs and walk up, but it's pulled up as the uterus grows. So they usually do a repeat ultrasound around 28 weeks just to see what it's looking like at that point. And then if it's resolved, then great. If it's still a placenta previa, then continue to follow the recommendations of your doctor, and get checked out as soon as possible if you have any bleeding. Your doctor will likely also recommend pelvic rest, which means no intercourse or those sorts of things, because that can stir things up and can cause bleeding. And most women who have a placenta previa have bouts of pre-term labor, usually bleed at least once before they end up delivering, and a C-section is usually scheduled about a month prior to your due date to make sure that there's no complications. Ask your doctor about any other specific questions you might have about it. But if you have any other questions for me, feel free to ask them on our Facebook page, facebook.com/intermountainmoms, and recommend us to your friends and family too.
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What can I do to help my labor and delivery go easier?
 
04:01
You asked a really good question, you want to know if there is anything you can do to possibly hasten labor when it comes time to deliver your baby. A lot of women think they're in labor for as long as they're contracting and hurting. I've heard women say, "I was in labor for five days!" They were sad because they got sent home from the hospital two to three times during that five day period and they're wondering why we sent them home when they were in labor. The fact of the matter is we would never send home a woman if she was in labor. The reason why some people go home in spite of contracting and hurting is that they're not really in labor yet. That leaves people wondering, what is the true definition of labor if it's not just contracting. The true definition is cervical change, meaning that hour upon hour your cervix is dilating and opening so that the baby can come through and be born. Really you're only in labor the hours leading up to the delivery of your baby. Your body leading up to delivery in the days and weeks prior will start to do some prep work. Your body starts to release hormones called prostaglandins that act on the cervix and start to thin it out and move it forward and soften it, it actually gets softer in consistency. Then once your brain decides to release oxytocin, that's a hormone that causes your uterus to contract, then your body will usually respond after you've had regular and intense contractions dilating or opening up. We can't ever really predict when this is going to happen, nature just kind of follows its course. The actually length of labor depends on what baby it is for you. On your first baby it's going to be really long. On average most first time moms are in labor for 12-18 hours. Remember, she may have been contracting a lot longer than that, those are just the hours leading up to delivery when her cervix is actively changing hour by hour. It takes so long because your body is stubborn the first time. Once you decide that you're actually going to be in labor your cervix changes more slowly. Once you actually get to be 10 centimeters you've got to push your baby out. All the muscles in your pelvic floor are like a basket weave of elastic. Just imagine a bowling ball sitting on top of that basket weave of elastic. It's going to have to apply a lot of good, constant, hard, steady pressure in order to stretch them out enough so the bowling ball can come through. That's exactly what is happening with your pelvic floor and the baby's head. There has to be a lot of good, hard, steady pressure for usually one to two hours and then all the tissues have stretched enough and the baby has come through the pelvis enough that it can be born. The second time around it goes much faster. Your body starts contracting once it's been prepped and ready and it's like, oh I've done this before, and things pick up and go more quickly. Usually your second, third, fourth labors are at least half the length of your first. If your first is extra fast, faster than the norm, then watch out on your second. Unfortunately there's not anything you can do to hasten delivery or to speed up the process of labor. It just kind of is what it is, there's nothing you can do ahead of time for that. When you are in that situation, if you stall out and your cervix stops changing then there are things the doctors and nurses will do. For example, the doctor will come and break your water, he may tell the nurses to start pitocin or oxytocin which makes you have stronger and more regular contractions. All of these things help your cervix change more quickly. Sometimes things have to be done in that moment to help you progress but there is nothing you can do ahead of time. We want to have control over things but unfortunately labor length is just not one of those things we can control. If you have more specific questions about your situation and want to know more of what to expect for your labor, don't hesitate to talk with your OB provider because they know more about your situation and can give you the best advice. If you have more questions for me in the future, please feel free to ask them on our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/intermountainmoms and recommend us to your friends and family too.
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When will I feel my baby move, and what is normal movement for a baby?
 
02:06
Most mothers start to feel their baby move for the first time sometime between 17 and 20 weeks of pregnancy. Mothers who have had children before might know what they're looking for, and feel it a week earlier, like around 16 weeks, and others might not feel it till around 21 weeks or sometimes even just a tad bit later. This might be caused by the fact that the placenta is attached at the front of your uterus, or you might hear the doctor use the term, an anterior placenta. It's acting as a shock absorber, or kind of like a pillow, so that when the baby moves, you're not able to feel it as well. Until the baby is old enough, you might not feel regular movement, if this applies to you, until you're around 21 or 22 weeks. If you've never had a baby before, and you're wondering what the movement feels like, it might just feel like gas pain. Sometimes mothers write it off as such. It might feel like little flutters or like popcorn is popping in your belly. Mothers have used many different terms to describe it, but whenever you feel it for the first time, it is so exciting! Most moms feel pretty irregular or sporadic movement until the baby is big enough that they can feel more regular movement, and this usually happens around 26 to 28 weeks. At that point, you should feel regular movement, and you should pay very close attention to it, and if you ever feel less than your norm, if you're going throughout your day and feel like "Oh, I haven't felt my baby move as much", get rid of all distractions, lay down on your side (because the side is the best position for the baby, they get the best blood-flow while you're on your side), and count movements. If you get 10 movements or less in 2 hours, then that's not enough, and it's a reason in and of itself to go to Labor & Delivery and get checked out. We can then monitor the baby and see if they're doing well or if they need further monitoring. But the best indication you have while you're not on the monitor that your baby is doing well is that they are moving. If you are ever concerned again, remember that we are huge believers in a mother's intuition, and we would love to check you out. If you have any other questions for me in the future, feel free to ask them on our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/IntermountainMoms, and recommend us to your friends and family too.
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What should a pregnant woman know about preeclampsia?
 
04:14
You've probably noticed that each time you go to your prenatal appointment, your doctor checks your blood pressure. And this is because we want to know what you were at the beginning of pregnancy so that we can compare it in the future to blood pressures that might be higher than your norm. Preeclampsia is a condition of pregnancy that causes your blood pressure to go up. A normal blood pressure for most people is about 120 over 80, and so if your blood pressure is much higher than that, usually about 140 over 90 or greater, then we need to look into it and determine if you're developing preeclampsia. If your doctor discovered that you had high blood pressure in the office, they would probably send you over to the hospital for further monitoring and investigation. This would involve watching the pattern of the baby's heart rate, seeing what your blood pressure does over a period of time at rest, and drawing your blood, and also getting a urine sample. And then they combine all of the pieces of the puzzle together and decide if you are developing preeclampsia, or if maybe you have chronic hypertension, or maybe you have white coat syndrome. Some people just have really high blood pressure when they first get to the doctor's office because they're scared, and then all of their other blood pressures are fine, their labs are normal, so maybe we could attribute it to that. But we always have to rule out the most serious complication first. Some women who have preeclampsia feel nothing. And it's hard for them when their doctor tells them to be on bed rest, or says you have to have your baby when you're preterm because it's so severe, if you feel fine, and you're wondering why everyone is so excited by this and telling you that you're sick. There may also be symptoms associated with preeclampsia, though, that you should watch out for, and if you have these in between doctor's appointments, call your doctor and let them know so they can check your blood pressure. The biggest one is a headache. Watch for a headache that's different than usual. We all get headaches from time to time if we haven't eaten, or we haven't slept well, or we're really tense, we have a tension headache. Eliminate these possibilities, and if you still have a persistent headache, then get your blood pressure checked for sure, and let your doctor know that you're having a headache. Other symptoms might include seeing spots before your eyes, or having little blind spots in your field of vision, having a new onset of nausea or vomiting, or having pain underneath your ribs, especially if it's off to the right side. So let your doctor know if you're experiencing any of these things, and they'll check your blood pressure and decide if further investigation is necessary for you. If it is determined that you have preeclampsia, the doctor will decide how severe it is, and that determines the plan of care. Sometimes we can just put you on bed rest, and watch you for a little while, and buy some time, because, especially if you're preterm, we have to weigh out the risks of preterm delivery to the risks of this disease. Ultimately, we do worry about seizures and strokes, and it can cause decreased blood-flow through the placenta and affect the baby's well-being if it's not taken care of and addressed. But if a mother just has a mild case, if she's like 35 weeks along, maybe we can buy some time until she gets to full term, and just continue to monitor blood work and labs, and see how things go. But maybe it's so severe that she needs to deliver now, because all of the signs are telling us that if we don't get this baby out, then it could be a risk to the mother and the baby. Basically, we have to weigh out the risks of preterm delivery to the risk of staying pregnant, and once the risk to the mother is greater than the risk of the baby being born preterm, that's when the doctor would decide to deliver. Or if this starts to happen once you're over 37 weeks, you just are done, because the fact of the matter is that pregnancy is causing this issue, so that means that the cure is delivery. Once the placenta is delivered, then the process usually starts to reverse itself. And a mother is still at risk for those complications that I discussed before for a few days after delivery, sometimes it extends a little bit longer, depending on the severity of the case, but nonetheless, it does start to reverse itself once delivery happens. So the take-home message of all of this is to keep your prenatal appointments and call your doctor if you have suspicions that you might have symptoms associated with preeclampsia, especially a headache. If you have any other questions for me in the future, feel free to ask them on our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/IntermountainMoms, and recommend us to your friends and family too.
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5 Things Every New Mother Needs to Know
 
03:32
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Does the second baby usually come earlier than the first baby?
 
01:44
Most women deliver at full term or after 37 weeks whether it's your first, second, third or fourth baby. In reality most women probably deliver between 38 and 40 weeks on average. The chances of having a full term baby are great, overall the chances of having a preterm baby on your first are about 11% in this country. There are things that can increase the chances of preterm labor, things like smoking, drug use, being at a low birth weight or having certain medical conditions or complications during your pregnancy can predispose the woman to having preterm labor and deliveries. You asked a really good question, are second babies likely to come earlier than the first? No, not generally speaking. Not unless your first baby came early so the best predictor of future behavior is past experience. So if your first baby was preterm your at greater risk that your second baby will be preterm. If your first one is full term your likelihood of having a preterm baby is the same as the rest of the nation at about 10%. Here's the thing though, second babies may not come earlier but they usually come faster. You're probably going to be at about the same gestational age full term some time between 37 and 40 weeks but once those contractions start it usually doesn't take as long for you to be in labor and doesn't take as long to push the baby out, so the actual labor length is shorter. If you have more specific questions for me, be sure to ask them on our facebook page at facebook.com/intermountainmoms and recommend us to your friends and family too.
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How accurate are ultrasounds in determining the size of a baby?
 
02:11
Many women notice that over the course of their pregnancy their baby seems to be either slightly smaller or slightly larger than where they should be for their current gestational age. They begin to wonder, does this affect my due date? This is a valid question and always should be brought to the attention of your OB provider. They can give you the best information depending on your circumstances. However, there are basic principles that will probably guide the answer that your OB provider is going to give you. Ultrasounds that are done in the early first trimester are very accurate - meaning, a fetus grows at a very consistent rate during the first trimester and the beginning of the second trimester. Any ultrasounds done at this time can accurately date your pregnancy. Let's say that you're having irregular periods and you called the doctor and said you had a positive pregnancy test. One of the first things they're going to want to do is do an ultrasound, because that can accurately date the pregnancy. If the fetus is measuring eight weeks at the time they're doing the ultrasound, then you're eight weeks along. That's what they'll base your due date off of. If you had an early ultrasound in your pregnancy, you can bet that your due date is pretty accurate. In the late second trimester, early third trimester, especially 28 weeks and beyond any ultrasound that is done on your baby will not affect your due date. If a baby is either larger or smaller than other issues need to be considered. If your baby is consistently measuring larger than usual that's called large for gestational age, or if a baby is measuring consistently smaller it's called small for gestational age. If it gets past a certain point it can even be called intrauterine growth restriction. That means there might be issues with the placenta and so it's not something to ignore, you don't just want to change the due date and assume that the baby is off, you need to pay attention to other pathological issues that might be causing the baby to be too small or too big. Again, I recommend talking with your doctor and they can give you the best information. If you have other questions for me in the future, feel free to ask them on our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/intermountainmoms and recommend us to your friends and family too.
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How often should I feel my baby move?
 
04:01
One of the most exciting parts of pregnancy is when you start to feel your baby move for the first time. And those first movements can usually be felt sometime between 17 to 20 weeks gestation. If you've already had a baby before, then you kind-of know what you're looking for, and you might feel it a little bit earlier, like around 16 weeks. Or maybe if the placenta is attached near the front of the uterus and acting like a shock-absorber, or if your doctor tells you you have an anterior placenta, you may not feel the baby move until a little bit later, like 21 weeks or so. Fetal movement has been described in lots of different ways, but some common themes include feeling like you have popcorn in your belly, or kind-of just like you have rumbly gas. And so if you notice that this is happening on a regular basis, then it's probably your baby moving, and you should pay attention to it, and as your baby starts to get bigger, then you will feel more regular movement. Between 26 to 28 weeks, a baby is big enough now that you should feel regular movement throughout the day. And so if you're this far along in pregnancy and you're not feeling your baby move as much as usual, get rid of distractions, because that's the number 1 reason why moms don't feel movement - you just weren't paying attention and you had a lot on your mind. So get rid of distraction, lay down on your left side (when you're laying on your side, the baby will get better blood-flow through the placenta), and count every single movement. And if you get 10 movements or less in 2 hours, or not much during that first hour, or are just concerned and looking of some peace of mind, then get checked out. And best case scenario, your nurses and doctors look at everything and send you home with some peace of mind, and that is priceless, so don't ever hesitate to get checked out for that. Now, some moms might go a few hours or even a day without feeling much movement and just chalk it up to the fact that their baby is sleeping inside of them. But a fetus (which is a baby inside of you) will only sleep for 20 to 30 minutes at a time, so you can't chalk up hours and hours or a day or more of little or no movement to the baby sleeping. So again, if you feel decreased movement, then you should count movements and get checked out if it's decreased or if you're concerned. Basically, when you're at home, the best sign that you have that your baby is doing well inside of you is that your baby is moving regularly. So when that changes, that's when you get checked out. And when you come in to be seen, then the doctor will likely want to hook you up to some monitors and watch the pattern of the baby's heart rate, because that's one of the best tests that we have to check how well-oxygenated a baby is while inside of you. The pattern of the heart rate tells us a lot of different things. We can see if there's issues with blood-flow through the placenta or the umbilical cord, and if there's anything concerning that we can watch longer, or intervene if necessary. A lot of moms wonder when their baby starts to get bigger, as the pregnancy progresses, if the quality will change. And it might, but the quantity won't. And so instead of feeling big kicks and punches, you might feel body rolls, and shifting in your stomach, or just little tiny jabs, and those all count, and they're all good. And so, again, if you're concerned, count every single movement (the big ones and the small ones) and get checked out if it's not at least 10 in 2 hours, or not much the first hour, or if you're just concerned and want some peace of mind. Now another question that I've had commonly is, "Can a baby move too much?" And it's never a concerning thing if a baby is moving a lot. And you may notice that they move a ton at night, and I actually think that's nature's way of getting you used to what it's going to be like after they're born, because they're just slowly getting you used to not sleeping through the night. Also, if your baby has hiccups, which are felt as rhythmic movements in your belly, those are also a reassuring sign, and you can count each one of those as a movement. The bottom line, again, is if you're concerned, then don't ever hesitate to get checked out. We are huge believers in a mother's intuition, and you should be too. f you have more questions for me in the future, feel free to ask them on our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/IntermountainMoms, and recommend us to your friends and family too.
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How will I know if I'm having contractions?
 
02:54
You mentioned that you had a C-section with your previous baby, and you really never had many contractions, and your doctors keep asking you (now that you're pregnant again) if you're contracting, but you don't really know how they feel. So what will they feel like? This is a great question, and one that a lot of women have, because they either had C-sections or inductions in the past and got an epidural before they were feeling much pain. So generally speaking, you're looking for lower abdominal cramping, lower back ache, abdominal tightening, pressure, and sometimes women even have shooting pains down their thighs, or feel like they ran a marathon or did a million squats and they haven't exercised for 9 months. So if you're experiencing these sensations and they're intermittent (meaning they come and go), then they're probably contractions, and these are the things that you should be looking for. Now it's all about intensity and frequency. If you just have a few contractions a day, you feel like something just took your breath away, you have a lot of pressure in your belly and down low, that could very well be like a Braxton Hicks contraction, because, by definition, they're infrequent and just uncomfortable, not really painful. I like to call them growing pains, because as your uterus grows and stretches you will have some contractions, but once they start to become more regular, you're noticing a pattern (especially if you're preterm), you need to take note and make sure that you get checked out sooner rather than later. If you are less than 37 weeks and you're having contractions every 10 to 15 minutes (which is only like 4 to 5 an hour), it's time to get checked out. And the whole point of getting seen sooner rather than later is so that we can look at the contraction pattern, check you out, and find out if we can intervene to stop or slow them down at the very least so that your cervix doesn't start changing as a result of that and causing you to deliver prematurely. Now once you're full-term, it's a different story. Once you're contracting about every 5 minutes or so, it's time to go in and get checked to see if your cervix is changing as a result of those contractions. Now that's just with someone who is planning on delivering vaginally. You have to remember that in your situation, you had a previous C-section, and so I suggest talking with your OB provider about your plan for delivery this time around. And if you're planning a repeat C-section, the advice the doctor gives you about when to come in and be seen may be different then if you're going to try for a vaginal birth after a C-section or a VBAC. Based on their knowledge of your circumstances and ability to have a conversation with you about your goals and desires for delivery this time around, they'll be able to give you tailored information and advice. If you have more questions for me in the future, feel free to ask them on our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/IntermountainMoms, and recommend us to your friends and family too.
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Is it common to get diarrhea before labor?
 
01:41
You asked a question about whether or not it's normal to get diarrhea before labor. And some women do. In fact, a lot of women notice that anything that happens to the uterus can affect your bowels, and things that happen to the bowels can, for sure, affect the uterus. For example, if a woman catches a stomach bug, or has food poisoning, and experiences diarrhea, then frequently, it will make her contract. So sometimes contractions can cause women to have diarrhea. One of the things to keep in mind though, is that if you feel like you're having diarrhea cramps, you might actually be contracting. Sometimes that's how women perceive the pain that is caused by labor. If you're preterm and having these types of stomach pains, but nothing is coming out, then it would be best to talk with your OB provider and get checked out to make sure you're not having preterm labor. In addition to lower abdominal cramping, other signs of preterm labor include a lower back ache, an increase in vaginal discharge, leaking of fluid, or bleeding and spotting. So again, get checked out if you have any of those things going on. If you're over 37 weeks, then you're full term. And if you're having diarrhea cramps, and you're actually having diarrhea, then just watch it and see how it goes. And if it persists, and it gets to the point where you feel like you're becoming dehydrated and sick, call your doctor, and they can decide if anything else needs to be done for you. If you feel like you're having diarrhea cramps, but nothing is coming out, then you probably, again, are contracting. And if you feel like this is happening every 4 to 5 minutes, then go to the hospital and get checked out, because maybe you're in labor. If you have any other questions for me in the future, feel free to ask them on our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/IntermountainMoms, and recommend us to your friends and family too.
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Why did I get a positive pregnancy test and a negative one?
 
02:21
Whenever a woman suspects that she might be pregnant, it's best to take a home pregnancy test. And it sounds like you did - you took a couple of them, and one was positive and one was negative, and so of course that leaves you wondering "Am I pregnant or not?" And women can get different results because of a few different things. First of all, it's important to understand how a home pregnancy test works. It detects a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin, or HCG, which is released by a woman's body early on in pregnancy, and these levels rise exponentially each day until they peak at around 8 to 11 weeks gestation. And early on in pregnancy, like the first 2 maybe even 3 weeks, there's not enough circulating HCG in a woman's system to be detected in the urine. So that's why most home pregnancy tests aren't usually accurate until about the time a woman would miss her period. The first sign of pregnancy is a missed period, so if that day ever comes when your period should have started and it didn't, then that's when you take a home pregnancy test. Any test taken prior to that point may be falsely negative, meaning you could actually be pregnant but still be getting negative results. And if HCG levels aren't that hight yet, you could have fluctuating levels throughout the day and possibly get a positive test and a negative test at different times. So that might be the case with you. The concentration of urine does also affect it, so it's always best to take a home pregnancy test first thing in the morning when your urine is most concentrated, and that will give you the most accurate results. It's also important to read the pregnancy test within the amount of time specified by the manufacturer of the test. For example, most will say that they need to be read within 5 to 10 minutes, and if you see a positive result outside of that timeframe, then that can't be considered a reliable result. If you continue to get conflicting results, call your doctor and let them know about your situation. And after asking you more specific questions, they can decide if further testing is warranted. Good luck with everything, and if you are pregnant - congratulations! And if you have any other questions for me in the future, feel free to ask them on our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/IntermountainMoms, and recommend us to your friends and family too.
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What is the best way to discipline a 1 year old?
 
03:34
You asked a really good question, one that's actually age old. How do you discipline a one-year-old? Because it's so hard when they don't really have the developmental skills to understand everything that you're telling them but they're asserting their independence and getting into things they shouldn't and they like to throw tantrums. So it can be difficult. I have one myself and I hope that the tips I give you will also be helpful to me. One of the best things you can do for your child is to let them learn consequences naturally. Of course, this applies to situations that won't harm them. For example, we all know that toddlers like to play a game where they throw things off their high chair and what's our instinct? To pick it up, right? Say that your child's throwing cookies off their high chair and if we just give them more, then they're never going to learn that that's bad behavior. But if we just don't give them anymore cookies and once they're all on the floor, they're on the floor and gone, your child will quickly learn that in order to have cookies, they can't throw them. This applies to maybe breaking a toy, too. If your child is rough with toys and you keep replacing them and not really doing anything to let them know the behavior's not okay, then they will just keep being destructive and so you've got to break into that cycle and not give them more toys when they break them and when they're broken, they're gone. There's also logical consequences and again, this is better applied once your child gets a little bit older but it doesn't hurt to start younger because at one point, they will start to understand more than you think. So let's say that your child doesn't want to pick up their toys. You start to say "if you don't pick up your toys, then you can't play with them for the rest of the afternoon" and you can take them away if they choose to throw a tantrum about it. They'll quickly learn that that behavior does not get them what they want. You may find yourself in situations where withholding privileges or items is helpful. For example, especially as your child gets older, they may have a favorite toy and if you take that away as a consequence for certain behaviors, then they'll start to learn that that behavior is not okay and they'll do it because they want the toy back. But obviously don't withhold things that the child needs like meals and those sorts of things. You can also start implementing time out between the ages of 1-2 but it's usually best received between 2-5. But again, it doesn't mean you can't start trying it. Pick a time out spot and a lot of parents feel like the room is not necessarily the best spot because they want that to be an inviting place, not a place where they're put when they're in trouble. Designate a spot in your house that's the discipline chair or whatever you want it to be and when your child acts out, you can put them there for one minute if they're one year of age, two minutes if they're two years of age and so on. It's hard to keep a toddler in one spot for one minute but they'll learn again that this is not something we want to do, especially because they have a short attention span and again, hopefully, it will serve as incentive to be better in the future. Above all, your attitude towards discipline is going to rub off on your child the most. For example, one of the things we're tempted to do when our child freaks out is yell and scream back at them, but we can't teach them to be calm and to overcome their angers and those sorts of things when we're showing anger. So we can't fight a tantrum with a tantrum. So be firm and be consistent. Those are two important things for us to remember as parents when we're trying to discipline our kids. Good luck with everything and I hope these tips helped. If you have any other questions for me in the future, feel free to ask them on our Facebook page at facebook.com/intermountainmoms and recommend us to your friends and family, too.
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Am I having real contractions or Braxton Hicks contractions?
 
01:52
Many pregnant women who experience pain, pain that they think might be due to a contraction wonder if they're experiencing a Braxton Hicks contraction or if it's something to be worried about. Now, the term Braxton Hicks contractions just describes pains that happen very infrequently and they're more uncomfortable instead of painful. You might just feel your belly tighten a little bit and then loosen up and maybe it took your breath away a little bit but it wasn't necessarily painful. Like in the hospital, we talk about pain a lot on a scale from 0-10, 10 being the worst pain you can ever imagine, like surgery without anesthesia. So most people who experience a true Braxton Hicks contraction or something that's just not anything to worry about would rate their pain still at like a 1 or 0 at best. So they're not painful at all; not regular. But if you start to feel like you're having painful or regular contractions or pains-- this can include constant lower abdominal cramping, constant lower back ache or pains in your belly, your lower abdomen or lower back that come and go---- these can all be contractions and you should start paying attention to how often they're happening. If you feel like you're having 4-5 an hour and you're less than 37 weeks along, this is a reason to go to Labor and Delivery and get checked out. They'll ask you about other signs and symptoms of preterm labor, perform an exam if necessary, and then decide if treatment or further investigation is warranted. Of course, you can always use your doctor as a resource. But my motto is always "when in doubt, get checked out." The whole point is that when you're preterm, we don't want you to deliver early so it's always better to get checked out sooner rather than later. If you'd like to see more tips like this each week, be sure to like us on our Facebook page at facebook.com/intermountainmoms, subscribe to our posts, and recommend us to your friends and family, too.
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My 3 week old nurses every hour and is never satisfied. What can I do?
 
03:15
First off, congratulations on the recent delivery of your baby boy. And you mentioned that he's 3 weeks old, he's wanting to eat every hour sometimes, you're wondering if this is normal, if it's a sign that he's not getting enough to eat. And most newborns during the first 4 to 6 weeks of life will want to eat 2 to 3 ounces every 2 to 3 hours, but some babies want to eat every hour, and this is especially common during growth spurts and in the evening hours. And it's important to nurse a baby more frequently when they're going through growth spurts, because this is how your baby gets the nutrients they need to grow and how your body is stimulated to make more milk. So these natural growth spurts (which actually can happen between 2 and 3 weeks of life) are meant to stimulate your body to make more milk, because the more your baby nurses, the more your body gets the message to make more. So you go from making 2 to 3 ounces every 2 to 3 hours in the beginning to making 4 to 6 ounces every 3 to 4 hours when your baby is 5 to 6 months old. So it's really important to feed your baby on demand in the beginning, especially if they're wanting more. Now there are a couple of other explanations. Maybe he's going through a growth spurt, maybe he's just looking for comfort in between feedings. If you just finished feeding him and he's acting fussy, try soothing him in other ways. And if he's really liking sucking, you can try a pacifier. If you use the right kind and you wait till a baby is well-established on breastfeeding, it's not likely to cause nipple confusion and make it so that they won't breastfeed. Look for the types of binkies that have a long skinny nipple, and that makes it so that he has to work just as hard to keep that in his mouth as he would a real nipple, so he doesn't get confused and have the big bulbous nipple in his mouth that just stays there even if he doesn't work to keep it in his mouth. Now, it is possible that he needs more to eat, and so you might want to try boosting your milk supply, and there's a lot of different ways to go about this. Basically, you just sneak in extra pumping sessions or nursing sessions, and again, this stimulates your body to make more milk just like a natural growth spurt. And if you choose to pump, then you'll be able to see how much your body is actually producing, and if you're producing enough, that will reassure you that what you're giving him is sufficient. Ultimately though, the best sign that he's getting enough to eat is that he's having at least 6 wet diapers a day, he's having regular bowel movements, and he's gaining the appropriate amount of weight as determined by your pediatrician. So I do suggest talking to them about it before you supplement with formula. They'll be able to weigh him, make sure he's gaining weight, and if he's not and he's falling behind, then maybe they will recommend supplementation with formula if you're able to naturally boost your own milk supply. Now keep in mind that if you have to supplement with formula, that's okay. Don't feel bad about it, don't feel guilt. Some moms don't make enough milk, some make skim instead of whole, and thankfully we just have a good alternative to breast milk that can provide the nutrition a baby needs in order to grow and thrive. And if you're still giving your baby some breast milk, then whatever you've given up to this point is giving your baby the benefits of what breast milk has to offer. Good luck with everything, and if you have more questions for me in the future, feel free to ask them on our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/IntermountainMoms, and recommend us to your friends and family too.
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How do I know if my HCG levels are good?
 
01:32
A lot of women go to their doctor about concerns they've had in early pregnancy, and then their doctor orders an HCG level. So you go and get your blood drawn, and then you get a number back, and you're wondering "What does that mean?". And really, your doctor is always going to be the best one to interpret your lab results, but generally speaking, there is some information about HCG that you might find helpful. HCG, or human chorionic gonadotropin, is a hormone that's released early in pregnancy, and levels rise exponentially until about 8 to 11 weeks gestation when levels peak. So if your doctor drew your blood on Monday, they would probably want you to return on Wednesday, and then compare those results. And really, more importantly than the actual number is the fact that it's growing. We usually like to see it about double in early pregnancy. So the doctor will compare the results, and if the pregnancy is going well, that's likely what they would see. HCG levels alone cannot date your pregnancy, or in other words, if you're given an HCG result, you can't tell exactly how far along you are. Take 5 weeks gestation for example. Your levels could be anywhere from 18 to 7000 and still be normal. And so really, again, it's all about the trend. As long as the trend is going upward, then things are probably going well. Good luck with everything, and if you have any other questions for me in the future, feel free to ask them on our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/IntermountainMoms, and recommend us to your friends and family too.
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How should I care for myself after a C-section?
 
02:54
Sometimes a C-section is necessary to ensure that you and your baby are as healthy as possible at the time of delivery. If you do end up having a C-section, you can plan on a longer recovery and little bit more pain after delivery. Generally speaking, women who have had a C-section take about 6-8 weeks to recover and after a vaginal delivery, most women are feeling like getting up and doing normal activities 1-2 weeks later. A C-section, it might take about 4 weeks before you feel up to your normal speed again. Your doctor will probably have a few tips for you when you leave the hospital as well as right after surgery. They'll talk to you about pain management and make sure that you take pain medication in order to feel functional. A lot of women want to avoid taking pain medication because they're afraid of it and then their pain gets totally out of control and it's hard to get it back into control. So your nurses and your doctor will work closely with you to make sure that your pain is all managed. You'll probably have incisional painful for the first couple of weeks and that's normal. They'll talk to you about watching for signs of infection and when to call the doctor, like if you notice that the area is red, extra tender, or has any pus coming from it. It is okay to shower. They'll teach you how to cover your incision and while you're in the hospital and after you've gone home how to just pat it dry and care for it. Avoid exercise, sit ups, and lifting anything heavier than your baby for the first 4-8 weeks. Your doctor will tell you when you can resume normal activity. They'll probably want to check you out first and make sure that you've healed and that you're feeling good. When they give you the green light, you can start exercising again. Walking is good, though, because after you've had a baby, you're at higher risk for developing blood clots. Actually, after you've had a C-section or a vaginal delivery, the more you move like walking around afterwards, the faster your recovery will be. They'll probably talk to you at the hospital about putting your baby in a little bassinet and doing a few laps around the halls. When you get home from the hospital, walk around your house as much as possible. If it's nice outside, put your baby in the stroller and go for a walk, too. You can expect to have vaginal bleeding for about the first 4-6 weeks after delivery as well, whether you had a C-section or a vaginal delivery. It's important to remember to use pads, not tampons at this time to help prevent the risk of infection. If at any time you saturate a pad in an hour or you're worried about your incision, you develop a fever or have weird abdominal pain that's concerning to you, be sure to talk with your doctor and they can check it out and decide if it needs further investigation or treatment. When you do go to the hospital to have your C-section, the staff will be really good at teaching you everything to expect and before you go home, they'll make sure that you're comfortable with everything and answer any questions that you have. If you have any other questions in the future for me, though, please feel free to ask them on our Facebook page at facebook.com/intermountainmoms and recommend us to your friends and family, too.
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I’m 37 weeks and 2cm dilated. How long until labor starts?
 
03:14
Once you're 36 or 37 weeks along, your OB provider will likely begin checking your cervix at your prenatal appointments to see if there's any progression or change as the pregnancy gets closer to the end. And ideally, in the days to weeks leading up to the delivery of the baby, the cervix will begin to "ripen" (that's an actual medical term that we use), and it's caused by the release of hormones called prostaglandins that act on the cervix and cause it to thin out, move forward in the woman's pelvis, and actually soften in consistency, and the woman might actually dilate a little bit too. And then later on after the woman starts having regular and intense contractions, a ripe cervix should respond to those intense contractions by dilating or opening up. And the true definition of labor is cervical dilation from hour to hour. So in other words, lets say that the ripening got your cervix to 1 1/2 centimeters, and then you start having regular and intense contractions, and you change from 1 1/2 to 2, to 2 1/2, to 3, to 4, to 5, to 6, to 7, and 8, and 9, and 10 - that's when you're in labor. But it's possible to have a lot of contractions and your cervix may not be changing as a result of those contractions, and you get sent home from the hospital. That's actually very normal too, and there's no way to know if your cervix is dilating as a result of your contractions without going in and being checked out. And it's never a wasted trip. You don't ever have to worry about taking "the walk of shame" (which I've heard a lot of people call it), because that trip helps you to know what's going on and gives you experience so you know when to come in again in the future. So you had a specific question about your cervical exam when your doctor checked you, and you want to know how long it's going to be until labor starts. And really, no matter what your cervical exam is, whether you were 1 when the doctor checked you or whether you were 5, there really is no good way to tell. There are women who can walk around at 5 centimeters for weeks. And then there are women who are 1 centimeter in the doctor's office in the morning when they go for their appointment and they end up delivering their baby later that night. So really, the best sign of labor you have is regular and intense contractions, so if you are over 37 weeks and you begin contracting every 45 minutes, let it go on for about an hour or 2 as long as you're not having any vaginal bleeding, you're feeling your baby move in between contractions, and you don't feel like your water is broken. And then once you've been contracting that regularly for a couple of hours, then go to the hospital and see if your cervix is changing as a result of those contractions. But there are reasons (independent of contractions) to go to the hospital like I alluded to before, so if you have any vaginal bleeding, if you feel like your water is broken, or you're not feeling your baby move as much as usual, those are all reasons to go in (in and of themselves), whether you're contracting or not. If you have any specific questions or concerns, it's always a good idea to call your doctor, because they can ask you more specific questions, get an idea for what's going on, and then determine if you need to be seen or not. Good luck with everything, and if you have more questions in the future for me, feel free to ask them on our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/IntermountainMoms, and recommend us to your friends and family too.
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Can a baby's due date be a month off when determined by an ultrasound?
 
02:59
A lot of women have questions about their due date and how the doctor determined it. And it's usually done 1 of 2 ways. First of all, it's important to seek early prenatal care before 13 weeks gestation. And at that point, the doctor will ask you if you've had regular cycles in the past and when your last period happened. If you know what date that was and you've been regular in the past, then the doctor can pretty reliably calculate a due date off of that, because a woman is fertile for 6 days out of each cycle - 5 days leading up to ovulation and on the day of ovulation. And we know that because you had a period, you weren't pregnant at that point in time, so you got pregnant during that next cycle when you ovulated and egg and sperm met up. If you had irregular cycles in the past or you're not sure when your last period was, then the doctor may send you for an early ultrasound. And this is where they measure the size of the growing fetus, and look at growing structures, and determine your gestational age from that, because a fetus will grow at a very consistent rate during the 1st trimester. So if your baby is measuring 8 weeks, you're reliably 8 weeks along. Now there's also some confusion surrounding the amount of time the baby has been growing versus your gestational age. The entire gestational period is 40 weeks. However, a baby only grows for 38 out of those weeks, because the first 2 weeks of the gestational period are from the time of your first period till the time of ovulation and conception. So the baby is not actually growing for those first 2 weeks, so that confuses some people. They get caught up in the fact that the doctor told them they were 8 weeks, but the baby has only been growing for 6 - you're just 8 weeks gestation. We standardize it across the board. Now another commonly asked question is, "Will my due date change if my baby is measuring abnormally small or large later on in pregnancy?". Now I told you that in the 1st trimester, a fetus will grow at a very consistent rate, but thereafter, it can differ. And there are underlying causes that can make a baby be abnormally small or abnormally large, and those are the things that a doctor needs to consider - not changing the due date. So let's say, for example, that you have an ultrasound at 8 weeks, and the doctor knows reliably how far along you are, and what your due date is. Later on in the pregnancy, if you have an ultrasound at 28 weeks for whatever reason and the baby is measuring 32 weeks, they won't just change your due date. And there's a couple of reasons for that. Number 1, a doctor needs to consider underlying causes and decide if further investigation or treatment is necessary for that. And the 2nd is that if the doctor actually changed your due date and put you a month ahead, that's not going to change how much time the baby has spent growing in the womb, and their organs won't be fully mature when the baby is full-term. If you have more specific questions about your situation, don't hesitate to talk with your OB provider, and they'll be able to give you the best advice and information based on their knowledge of your situation. And if you have more questions for me in the future, feel free to ask them on our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/IntermountainMoms, and recommend us to your friends and family too.
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Lately my 4 week old wants to eat every hour. Is it a growth spurt? What should I do?
 
02:13
You mentioned that you have a 4 year old little boy who's been eating every hour, and you're wondering if this is normal or not. Most babies drink 2 to 3 ounces every 2 to 3 hours during the first month of life, and then between 4 to 6 weeks, they start to drink 3 to 4 ounces every 3 to 4 hours. And feedings naturally space out as babies begin to get bigger tummies as they grow, so they can hold more volume and drink more less frequently throughout the day. Many mothers, notice, like you did, that their babies want to eat every hour, and it could very well be due to a growth spurt. Growth spurts are very common at 7 to 10 days of life, again at 2 to 3 weeks, 4 to 6 weeks, 3 months, 4 months, 6 months, and 9 months. And of course, they continue to happen after a year of age, but there's a lot of them during the first year, because babies are growing very rapidly at that point. The best thing to do when your baby wants to eat every hour is just to respond to your baby's needs and feed them on demand. This is how your body goes from making 2 to 3 ounces every 2 to 3 hours to making upwards of 6 to 8 ounces 4 to 5 times a day when your baby is 6 months old. When your baby nurses more frequently, it stimulates you body to make more milk, and therefore, it meets their needs, and you make more milk in the future. If you notice that your baby just isn't satisfied, you feel like maybe you're struggling with your milk supply, you notice a decrease in the number of wet and poopy diapers that you're seeing, then it would be best to talk with your pediatrician, and after asking you more specific questions, they can talk to you about what's going on, and decide if any changes need to be made. You asked one more question about whether or not it's normal for a baby to poop right after they've eaten. And actually, that is very common. Newborns can have 8 to 12 dirty diapers a day, because that's how many times they're eating, and they frequently eat, and then they poop. It stimulates their bowels, and so that's a very common thing to see. If you have any other questions for me in the future, feel free to ask them on our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/IntermountainMoms, and recommend us to your friends and family too.
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How soon can I know that I'm pregnant?
 
02:12
A lot of women want to know how soon they can know they're pregnant. And really, it all comes down to the fact that if you're suspicious of pregnancy, the only thing you can do is wait until your next period should start. And then if that day comes when it should start, and it doesn't, then it's time to take a home pregnancy test. The reason why you have to wait so long is because there's a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin, or HCG, which is released by your body early in pregnancy, and levels rise exponentially until around 8 to 11 weeks gestation when they peak, but HCG levels aren't high enough until 2 weeks after conception for a home pregnancy test to detect it. So this is why all you can do is wait until your next period is supposed to start. That makes the timing just right. For one, levels should be high enough because it's been 2 weeks since conception. And number 2, the first sign of pregnancy is a missed period, so that's why it's best to wait until that day comes, and then if it never starts, then take a home pregnancy test. It is possible to get false negatives, especially if you ovulate a little bit later than the norm, because ovulation isn't a perfect science. Not all women ovulate exactly mid-cycle. Some ovulate a little bit sooner, some a little bit later. And this is why some women can get positive pregnancy test results before the day of their missed period, and why some don't get positive test results until a few days after their missed period. So if you take that first test when you're suspicious of pregnancy, and it's negative, but you still haven't started bleeding, in another 5 to 7 days, repeat the test, and if you get a positive at that point, congratulations! If it's still negative though, continue to track your bleeding patterns, and if you go a total of 3 months without a period, and you've ruled out pregnancy as the cause again, then it's time to talk with your doctor. And they can discuss your situation with you, and decide if further investigation or treatments are necessary for irregular periods. Good luck with everything, and if you have any other questions for me in the future, feel free to ask them on our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/IntermountainMoms, and recommend us to your friends and family too.
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