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Wordle: Leaders

Brigham Young University and the University of Utah are usually rivals but not when it comes to science and determining premature births. Steven Graves, who directs the chemistry program at BYU worked with Dr. Esplin from the U of U to find that a blood test taken in the 2nd trimester of pregnancy can predict a premature delivery. Certain peptide bio-markers and proteins seen in the blood tests can signal this preterm delivery.  “With pre-term birth, if we could even prolong a pregnancy by one or two weeks, we could make a very big impact on the number of babies that survive and make sure that those that survive are healthy,” said Esplin. Dr. Esplin hopes that every pregnant women will be able to receive this blood test at 24 weeks. This will help Doctors see which patients are at high risk.

Well baby #5 came into the world on 1-11-11, cool birthday right? Despite the efforts taken to prevent a premature birth he came early like his other siblings. He spent 2 weeks in the NICU but is doing well now . He has chubby cheeks and you wouldn’t even be able to tell that he was born prematurely.  He is another miracle baby in our family! It doesn’t seem that the progesterone helped in preventing a premature birth in this case but I guess he could have been born even earlier with out these shots, who knows? In my reading about progesterone shots I have come to find out that a lot of the studies  have mostly been done with twins. Women pregnant with twins, triplets etc are also at high risk for premature births. “Full term” for twins is anywhere between 35-37 weeks compared to the 40 weeks for a single birth.

I’ve been learning a lot about the importance of nutrition in preventing chronic disease. Eating a well balanced diet while pregnant is so important to keep your body healthy and ensure a healthy pregnancy and baby. You should be eating approximately 300 extra calories a day of nutritional food once you become pregnant. Its important that you gain weight while pregnant but not too much, as to too much weight can contribute to obesity and therefore other realted health risks like heart disease, hypertension and diabetes for you and your baby.

MyPyramid.gov is a great way to figure out what and how much you should be eating while you are pregnant or breastfeeding. It allows you to create a personalized plan since everyone is different. You can find out about pregnancy weight gain, dietary supplements, food safety and nutritional needs during breast feeding. There is also a MyPyramid menu planner for moms. You will need to register for an account and type in your age, weight etc. I have used this program in the past few months and it has really helped me see where I need to improve, I would imagine it would be even more helpful during pregnancy. 

Morning sickness

Some women deal with morning sickness every day for their entire pregnancy, like my sister in law. Other women don’t have morning sickness at all, like my sister. This can seem so unfair and it is. What causes morning sickness? There isn’t a for sure answer but there are some probable causes. It may be because of the many new physical changes that are happening in your body like, increased HCG or estrogen hormones, an enhanced sense of smell and sensitivity to odors, or you may have a more sensitive stomach or GI tract. Researches are continually trying to find exactly how each other these are linked to morning sickness but have also proposed that some women are just predisposed to get it. I found some iteresting tips on WebMd on how to deal with morning sickness. They said to do the following:

  • Changing what, when, and how much you eat.
  • Taking ginger, vitamin B6, or vitamin B12, which are known to reduce nausea and/or vomiting during pregnancy.
  • Trying acupressure, which seems to work for some women.
  • Taking doxylamine with vitamin B6, which you can buy without a prescription. Talk to your doctor before taking this remedy.
  • Keep food in your stomach but not too much. An empty stomach can make nausea worse. Eat several small meals every day instead of three large meals.
  • For morning nausea, eat a small snack (like crackers) before you get out of bed. Allow a few minutes for the snack to digest, then get out of bed slowly.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink a lot of fluids. Try a sports hydration drink, as well as water, broth, or juice.
  • Eat more protein, and cut your fatty food intake.
  • Avoid smells and foods that make you feel nauseated. Citrus juice, milk, coffee, and caffeinated tea commonly make nausea worse.
  • Avoid iron supplements, which can make nausea worse. These aren’t necessary during the first trimester.
  • Get lots of rest. Stress and fatigue can make morning sickness worse.

Excercise is a great way for pregnant women to get rid of aches and pains, boost mood, get better sleep and strengthen muscles for delivery. I think in pregnancy its easy to get a little “lazy”. Which is justified in my opinion but I know that when I excercise,   I feel so much better physically, mentally and emotionally (I’m not pregnant). I can’t imagine why this wouldn’t be the same for a pregnant women. I know a lot of runners who get pregnant and then think, “now what kind of cardio can I do?”  The best cardio to do is swimming, walking, dancing or low-impact aerobics. Keeping up excercise during pregnancy helps loose baby weight quicker after delivery! who doesn’t want that? You do need to be careful when excercising while your pregnant and the baby center has 13 rules of safe pregnancy excercise:

1. Check with your healthcare provider first
2. Take in extra calories
3. Steer clear of dangerous sports
4. Wear the right clothes
5. Warm up
6. Drink plenty of water
7. Don’t lie flat on your back
8. Keep moving
9. Don’t overdo it
10. Don’t get overheated
11. Get up from the floor slowly
12. Cool down
13. Make it a habit

Yoga is also a great way to get excercise and feel good. Excercises that should probably be avoided are yoga moves that require you to lay on your back, activites that require balance (horse back riding or skiing) , activities that disrupt your breath (heavy weight lifting or scuba diving; any time you get a lack of oxygen so does your baby) and strenuous activities (running or sports).

“High blood sugar”…what does that exactly mean?…answer: Diabetes. Diabetes occurs when your body can not make sugars and starches into energy. The extra sugar is then stored in the blood which can cause a variety of different symptoms and lead to other diseases or conditions.  The onset of diabetes for women usually occurs during the child bearing years of her life. Some women get diabetes while they are pregnant; this is called gestational diabetes. Others may already have diabetes and want to get pregnant but may be worried about potential harm to herself or her baby such as birth defects, miscarriage or stillbirths.  The CDC (center for disease control) put out these suggestions regarding women who are diabetic and want to get pregnant:

Check boxPlan the pregnancy. It is very important for a woman with diabetes to get her body ready before she becomes pregnant.

Check boxSee her doctor. Her doctor needs to look at the effects that diabetes has had on her body already, talk with her about getting and keeping control of her blood sugar, change medications if needed, and plan for frequent follow up.

Check boxMonitor blood sugar often. A pregnant woman with diabetes needs to check her blood sugar more often, sometimes 6 to 8 times a day, than when she is not pregnant.

Check boxTake medications on time. If medicine is ordered by her doctor, a pregnant woman with diabetes should take it as directed.

Check boxControl and treat low blood sugar quickly. Keeping tight blood sugar control can lead to a chance of low blood sugar at times. A pregnant woman with diabetes should have a ready source of carbohydrates, such as glucose tablets or gel or hard candy, on hand at all times.

Check boxFollow up with the doctor regularly. A pregnant woman with diabetes needs to see her doctor more often than does a pregnant woman without diabetes. Together, the woman can work with her doctor to prevent or catch problems early.  

These suggestions can also be applied to those who get gestational diabetes. 2-5 % of pregnant women get gestational diabetes but this usually goes away after pregnancy. The women who get gestational diabetes when they are pregnant have a 45% chance of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. This calls for some major lifestyle changes, such as a healthy diet and excercise, to make sure that type 2 diabetes doesn’t become present later in life. Although there are genetic factors that play a role in diabetes, it can be diminished or even prevented by changing a few bad habits. I don’t know anyone in my life that has experienced gestational diabetes so I’m curious to know what this is like from personal stand point…does anyone want to share?  did you or the person you know develop type 2 diabetes later?