5 Sep 2015

The ABC of Multivitamins (While Pregnant)

It’s tempting to think you can tackle all your body’s extra dietary needs with a pill. But are multivitamins the answer for you and your baby?

it’s a question most pregnant women will ask themselves at some point. Should I be taking a multivitamin?” It especially comes up when that exhausted feeling sets in. Surely one tiny capsule will offer a neat little pick-me-up, not to mention help the baby you’re growing? The short answer for many pregnant is: no, you probably don’t need a multivitamin With the exception of the hugely important and very clever folic acid, most women are able to meet all the additional vitamin and mineral requirements through a healthy diet.

This is the advice that Dr Sharyn Wilkins, guided by the protocols at the Royal Hospital I a r for Women in Randwick, she’s confident that it’s the right answer in most cases. There are exceptions, of course, and these are the women who, for different reasons, can’t eat a regular diet. They might be vegetarians, so nauseous they can’t eat, or they may have a condition which means they don’t absorb nutrients properly, such as coeliac disease.

“There are women out there who don’t eat well, they eat so little. Others throw up. Those are the ones who are needing a supplement, because they just don’t eat well enough,” says Dr Wilkins. For everyone else though, their diet should be able to provide enough vitamins. “By eating something from the major food groups every day – grains, fruit and vegetable, meat and dairy – you’ve covered nearly every every major nutrient that you need,” says Dr Wilkins.

Getting your added nutritional from food is better than from a multivitamin, as whole foods have all sorts of other goodies such as fiber and antioxidants. Dr Wilkins also notes that you can never be sure your body is absorbing the vitamin from a capsule, whereas it will from the whole foods. If you feel you’re just not getting enough of the right foods and you really need the extra boost, have a chat to your pharmacist about the right pregnancy supplement for you It’s important you have a multivitamin especially for pregnant women – the regular supplements may contain too much vitamin A, which could be harmful to baby.
So which additional nutritional requirements does your body have during pregnancy? Here are a few key ones you’ll need:

Folic acid
This is the only supplement recommended for all pregnant women, and it’s been shown to have a big impact on reducing the numbers of babies born with neural tube defects. It’s crucial you take it before you conceive so there will already be lots of the stuff on board. The baby’s neural tube, brain and spinal cord start developing from scratch. You usually don’t realize you’re pregnant until six weeks into the pregnancy, and that’s when all those major things are happening,” says Dr Wilkins.
“It’s better to have a large amount of folic acid when you fall pregnant because, by the time you realize you’re carrying a baby, you may have missed the first half of the first trimester.” The recommended dose is between O.4mg to O.5mg a day.

Calcium and iron
Since the baby is building bones and blood, you’re going to need more calcium and iron. Iron tablets are one option but these can sometimes make you feel constipated and sick Dr Wilkins says you can get the additional iron from food sources such as red meat, lentils or apricots. A pregnant woman’s additional calcium needs are about 300mg a day more than non-pregnant women, which can be met through an extra serve of dairy a day.

Iodine
Australians are traditionally low in iodine. In the past we happily sprinkled a little bit of iodized salt onto our food but now that so many of our foods are prepackaged, the salt is already added and usually not iodized. Pregnant women do need more iodine, and this can be done by adding iodized salt to your food. There’s also iodine in kelp, seafood, milk, yoghurt and mozzarella cheese. But Dr Wilkins warns you can go overboard, so try to choose a supplement with only a little added iodine.

4 Sep 2015

Pregnancy Niggles from Top

Feeling less than blooming? Follow our head(ache) to (swollen) feet guide to the most simple ways to soothe pregnancy minor aches and pains.

Headache
Tension headaches – the kind where your head feels like its been put in a vice — are thought to be caused by increased blood volume during pregnancy and changes in hormone levels. But other factors can play a part, including stress, bad posture, blood-sugar levels and caffeine withdrawal. Keep them at bay by taking regular time out to unwind, think about your posture and have regular, balanced meals with plenty of fluids
Try This: Aromatherapist Carole Preen says Lavandula Angustifolia essential oil – also known as “true lavender” – is a good cure. “it’s very calming so it’s useful for treating stress headaches,” she says.

Heartburn
When the valve that separates your stomach from the Oesophagus relaxes, stomach acids can creep back up and cause a burning feeling. During pregnancy you have high levels of the hormone progesterone, which helps soften the walls of the uterus; unfortunately, it also softens the valve, making you more prone to heartburn. Cutting out soft drinks and spicy, fried and fatty foods will help. Heartburn tends to be worse at night, as it’s easier for stomach acids to reflux when you’re lying flat, so eat early in the evening and avoid late-night snacks.
Try This: Nutritionist Natalie Savona says to eat alkaline food to neutralize the acids. “Banana, natural yoghurt or milk will ease some of the discomfort,” she says. And always carry antacids, so you’re not stuck.

Backache
It’s no surprise that carrying all that extra weight can take its toll on your back. Whats more, another pregnancy hormone softens the ligaments around your pelvis to cope with your expanding belly, which adds to the burden on your back. Take care to stand up straight, bend at the knees when lifting and trade in your heels for some flats (cute ballet flats are the pregnant woman’s best friend!). When it comes to bedtime, sleeping on your side with a pillow between your knees to keep your spine straight will also help.
Try This: “True lavender essential oil has analgesic properties so it can be helpful when gently rubbed into the lower back,” says Carole.

Thrush
During pregnancy, your vagina contains more glycogen, a natural sugar that promotes the growth of the fungus candida albicans. An overgrowth of candida can cause a burning or itching feeling around the vagina and anus, also producing a thick white discharge. To restore the balance of bacteria, cut out sugary foods and eat more live natural yoghurt. As candida thrives in damp areas, always dry off properly after a shower, avoid wearing tights and opt for cotton underwear.
Try This: A leading homeopath, Melanie Oxley, says that mercury 30c is often used as a remedy. “For the best result consult a homeopath – the remedies will differ according to very specific symptoms,” she says.

Morning sickness
Morning sickness is believed to be related to your hormones — particularly one called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), which your body produces in high levels to help sustain pregnancy in those fragile early weeks. As hCG levels drop at the end of your first trimester you’ll usually start to feel well again. Pregnancy sickness also tends to be worse when your blood sugar is low – often in the morning when you haven’t eaten for hours – so always keep some dry crackers or rice cakes nearby to nibble on first thing, even before you get up, and whenever you’re feeling peckish. Keep hydrated by sipping plenty of water, too.
Try This: Dietitian an P&B Kate Di Prima says ginger has a long history of helping relieve the nausea that is associated with morning sickness. “Sipping tea made from fresh ginger can be a very effective remedy,” she says. You can just grate a little bit into a mug filled with hot water for a quick fix.

Swollen Feet
Your body retains a lot of fluid in its tissues during these nine months – you’ll put on several kilos in water weight alone. A lot of this collects in the ankles and feet, thanks to decreased circulation in the legs. Elevating your feet as often as you can will go a long way to reducing some of the puffiness, as will gentle exercise to boost circulation. While it may seem like a contradiction, fluid retention is worsened by dehydration, so drink lots of water and avoid salty foods.
Try This: Minor swelling is common but always mention into your GP or midwife, as it can be a symptom of pre-eclampsia, a potentially fatal condition. “If it’s just the usual fluid retention, use germanium oil to stimulate the lymphatic system – it also acts as a diuretic,” suggest Carole. “Add a drop to a teaspoon of vegetable oil and rub it in, stroking with your palm towards your heart.”

Hemorrhoids
Those painful protrusions you’ve noticed down there are actually varicose veins – the result of increased blood volume and the pressure caused by your growing uterus. Women who are often constipated are especially prone during pregnancy, as straining puts more pressure on the veins. Eating fiber-rich foods, such as whole-grains, fruit and vegetables, staying hydrated and exercising regularly will help keep things moving along.
Try This: Susan Curtis, medicines directors of Neal’s Yard Remedies, says Calc Fluor 6x is a homeopathic remedy that helps improve the elasticity of tissues, including vein walls. Creams sold over the counter at pharmacies can help soothe that burning feeling too.

Leg Cramps
It’s most likely a combination of tired legs carrying a heavier-than-usual you, and the added strain of blood circulating through your legs that causes cramps. This sudden, painful seizing—up of muscles most often tends to pounce when you’re sleeping. To relieve some of the pressure, avoid standing for long periods during the day and take frequent breaks to put your feet up. Regular exercise and stretching will also help to relax the muscles.
Try This: Natalie says, “Cramps may be due to low level of magnesium, which help maintain healthy muscles”. So up your intake of dark green leafy veggies, pumpkin seed, almonds and tofu, as they’re all packed with magnesium.

3 Sep 2015

My Cervix Could Have Killed my Baby

For Carol Del Papa, of wollert, VIC; Her cervix made her pregnancy a very long nine months indeed.

“At 22 weeks, pregnant with my first baby, I went for my ultrasound. The baby was fine but I’d been having some lower abdominal pain, so I had a check-up with a specialist. He discovered I had a short cervix — it was only 2cm. I saw my obstetrician and he said it was lucky it’d been discovered early on, as most pregnant women don’t find out until they miscarry. He recommended that I stop working and start bed-rest, then arranged for me to be checked every fortnight. If my cervix got any shorter I’d need to have a stitch put in to support my cervix and prevent my membranes from rupturing.

At 24 weeks I had another ultrasound and was told my cervix had shortened to 1.2cm. I was just so worried because I knew my baby wasn’t ready to arrive – my precious little angel would be too
fragile to survive. I was told I had to go into hospital straightaway, and that I’d have to stay there for at least 10 weeks. There, my bed was set in a reclined position so my feet were elevated – it was designed to stop my baby putting pressure on my cervix, hopefully preventing me from having a premature labor. I was only allowed to get up to use the bathroom.

At 26 weeks I was given some steroid injections to help my baby’s little lungs develop – at that stage I was just hoping to get to 28 weeks. I ended up spending three months in hospital, just lying in bed looking at the same four walls. I missed walking on the beach and feeling the sun on my skin. Just before I made it right to 40 weeks I started bleeding. The doctors decided
to induce as I’m Rhesus negative. Soon the contractions were very painful so I had an epidural. After a night of labor my daughter Isabella Maya was born, weighing 3.23kg. She’s so healthy and beautiful – it was definitely worth it.”

2 Sep 2015

A Mummies Guide to The Cervix

You’ve heard the word and lei/tow where it is (well, sort of!) but do you really understand what d ‘cervix’ is, and what this body part does?

Ask a woman what a ‘cervix’ is and she’ll say, “The bit that gets tested in a pap smear”; if she’s pregnant she’ll respond, “The part that will dilate to 10cm during labor – hopefully very quickly!” But very few of us really know what the cervix is, or what it does, or that it sometimes doesn’t do what it’s designed to do right when we need it most.

Where is it?
You probably have a vague idea where the cervix is – it’s ‘down there but up a bit’, right? In fact, it’s the lower part of your uterus that extends into your vagina, which is why it’s often
called the ‘neck of the womb’. Think of it as the connection between your uterus and vagina.

What does it do?
The cervix is actually a very busy part of your body, even before its very important job during labor. After your period ends, your cervix is blocked by a thick acidic mucous that prevents infection. During most of your menstrual cycle your cervix remains firm, like the tip of the nose, and is positioned low and closed.
As you approach ovulation, your cervix becomes soft, then rises and opens due to higher levels of estrogen. During this stage the mucous thins to allow semen to pass through your cervix to the Fallopian tubes, where they wait for an egg to be released. The cervical mucous reverts to a thicker form shortly after ovulation occurs.
This change in mucous texture is important in natural family planning methods, which require careful observation of vaginal discharge to determine the fertile and infertile times of your cycle.

During pregnancy
When you’re pregnant, your cervix is blocked by a special mucous plug that prevents infection, similar to what occurs during the infertile part of your menstrual cycle. The mucous plug comes out as the cervix dilates in labor, or shortly before.
As a pregnant woman, it’s the cervix’s ability to dilate that probably interests you most. How does it know what to do? Ian S. Fraser, P88 expert and professor of reproductive‘ medicine, says that the cervix normally receives specially coordinated hormonal messages in the middle of the third trimester of a normal pregnancy. “These hormonal messages lead to a softening of the cervical tissue that’s accompanied by an increased elasticity and ability to gradually distend, due to a change in the elastic tissue within the cervix,” he explains.
Before you go into labor your cervix is about 3cm long and closed. When your contractions begin, your cervix will start becoming shorter (this is effacement’) and will dilate. The cervix is fully dilated when it has opened to 1Ocm. Once it has reached this point the first stage of labor is over, and you’re now ready to push.

What can go wrong?
Most women will go through their pregnancies without having to think about their cervix. Some, however, will have what’s known as an incompetent cervix. “This is a relatively uncommon problem in pregnancy where the cervix begins to dilate very prematurely, often as early as i8-20 weeks gestation”, explains Prof Fraser.
This is a serious condition, often with fatal consequences, due to the fact the mother will go into premature labor well before 24 weeks. This generally results in a miscarriage, though there have been cases of premature babies surviving this young.
Unfortunately, most women won’t know they have an incompetent cervix until they’re pregnant and experience the trauma. So what causes it? Prof Fraser says there are a number of recognized issues, but there are also cases where there’s no recognizable predisposing problem.
“Occasionally the problem can be congenital – this is often associated with a double uterus, or some other congenital abnormality of the upper part of the uterus,” he says. “It may also follow treatment tor pre—cancerous cells (usually following a procedure called a cone biopsy). It can also occasionally follow other operations that result in the stretching of the cervix for a medical procedure, although this is very unusual.”
Some women may also suffer from a short cervix. Prof Fraser says this may be a different problem “but it can sometimes result in ‘incompetence’ with premature dilation of the cervix mid-pregnancy.” This can occasionally be congenital but usually follows a cone biopsy.

What can you do?
If you had an incompetent cervix in the past some doctors like to perform a ‘cerclage’ for subsequent pregnancies. This is a surgical stitch that helps support the cervix during pregnancy. It’s generally put in place towards the end of the first trimester then removed a couple of weeks before the baby is due. It may sound scary but Prof Fraser says it’s “usually a fairly straightforward procedure.”
Generally, your doctor would also prescribe bed-rest to minimize any further risk before the baby is born, and would probably recommend that you and your partner avoid having sex until your baby arrives safe and sound.

1 Sep 2015

The First Hour of Babies

It’s over. There you are, cradling a beautiful baby arid, miraculously, all that pain has simply stopped. So what happens next?

The Mum
After a few more mild contractions – which you may not even notice – the placenta will arrive. Once that’s out you’ll be checked for tears and grazes then stitched, if necessary, under local anesthetic. A large pad will be placed underneath you to catch the start of the lochia – a bloody vaginal discharge which will gradually ease up over the next few weeks.
Now the hard yakka is over you may feel thirsty, so drink up! Those snacks you couldn’t face a few hours ago may also look appetizing. If you wish, you can put your baby to your breast – your midwife will help you. She’ll also check your pulse, your blood loss and the firmness of your uterus.

The Baby
Your baby is usually lifted straight onto your abdomen and his umbilical cord cut. His ID tags are put on and a wrap placed over him.
Your baby is assessed at one minute after the birth and again at five minutes. This is the Apgar test and it stands for: Appearance (color), Pulse (heartbeat), Grimace (reflex), Activity (muscle tone) and Respiration (breathing). For each of these categories, your baby will be given Zero, one or two points. A score of seven or over is a good result.
Your baby is weighed and measured, his head is checked for grazes or forceps marks, the eyes are checked for burst blood vessels, and the mouth is checked for cleft lip or palate.

What if something wrong with my baby?
Premature babies or those with breathing difficulties or malformations may be taken to a special care nursery. Being separated from the baby you’ve just given birth to can be a shock but nursery staff are sensitive to your needs, and both you and your baby will be well looked after.

Try not to be concerned if you don’t immediately ‘bond’ with your baby – it might take days or even several weeks before you fall in love with your child.

What to expect:
My baby looks a mess!
If you’ve never seen a newborn before, you may be a bit unimpressed.

Skin; Until your baby has taken his first lungful of oxygen, he may be a blue~grey color. A baby may also appear white, particularly if he’s premature. This is because he’s covered with a substance called vernix, which is believed to protect his skin during the long soak in amniotic fluid. There are a variety of skin blemishes that may mar your newborns if complexion, ranging from “stork marks” to pimples or flaky skin. Nearly all of them are temporary.

Head; If your baby arrived in the world vaginally, the four plates that make up the skull will have molded to the shape of the birth canal, giving his head an elongate appearance. This will be even more obvious if you had a ventous (vacuum) delivery in which case your baby may even have a red patch or bruise on top of his head. These will all settle down within the first few weeks.

Hair; Some babies are born with a mop of dark hair, others with none at all. Baby hair usually falls out during the first weeks and is then replaced with stronger hair.

Eyes; Caucasian babies’ eyes are usually blue at birth (and change later); dark-skinned babies’ eyes are usually brown. Puffiness is common but this settles down within a few days.

Genitals These are quite often enlarged at birth, particularly if it’s a boy baby delivered by caesarean. Some babies have swollen breasts and some girl babies have a vaginal discharge. This is all due to the hormones produced in the mother’s body before birth, and normalizes over he first week or so.

31 Aug 2015

Birth is Painful But

Birth is painful but there are ways to deal with it if you want to..

All women staring down the barrel of imminent labor spend a moment or two thinking about pain – or more specifically, how they plan to deal with it. Labor and birth are unpredictable. Study your pain relief options now, while you can think clearly, then when the big clay arrives and your labor begins to unfold, you’ll be in a good position to make decisions on this important topic. Try to go with the flow. The important thing is to have as enjoyable a birth as possible with a positive outcome at the end – that is, a healthy baby and a healthy mum.

Gas and air (Entonox)
This involves inhaling a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide (laughing gas) through a mask or mouthpiece. It affects people differently – you may feel giggly, woozy, drunk or out of control. For some women, it may be all they need to get through labor; for others, it has no real effect whatsoever. It can cause nausea and vomiting in some women.
Availability: All labor wards have this on tap. Some birth centers will provide it, too.

Pethidine
This drug may be given as a sedative during the first stage of labor, usually as an injection in the thigh or buttock. It’s not normally given if birth is expected within a few hours as it can cross the placenta and make the newborn temporarily drowsy and unable to feed. Some women experience an unpleasant ‘high’ sensation while pethidine works well for others, enabling them to relax or even sleep during labor.
Availability: Pethidine is provided by most hospital labor wards. Birth centers don’t normally offer it.

Teens
Trans-cutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation involves applying minute electrical impulses to the nerve endings just beneath the skin. The theory is that it blocks pain messages from the uterus reaching the spinal cord and brain. It’s also believed to stimulate the production of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers. It may be useful in the early stage. TENS has no effect on the baby.
Availability: Ask your chemist about hiring one, or search the internet for companies who offer sales or hire.

Epidural
A mixture of local anesthetic and painkilling drugs are injected into the epidural space around the nerves attached to your spinal cord. A strange icy-cold sensation will move through your body, numbing you from the waist down. An epidural may be given if the labor has been prolonged and the woman is exhausted, if the pain becomes intolerable, or if a woman simply wants one.
While an epidural can provide excellent relief from pain, it can mean that you lose all sensation and feel little or no urge to push. However, there are newer epidurals around that allow the woman enough sensation that she can push. Having an epidural also means you won’t be able to walk around or change position, so you sacrifice the benefits of gravity and Keeping active. Also, you may need to have a catheter, an intravenous drip and continuous foetal monitoring.
Availability: An epidural needs to be administered by an anesthetist. Once the decision has been made to have one, you’ll face a wait – short or long – before the nice man or woman arrives with the goods. As for mobile epidurals, these are relatively new and aren’t offered by many hospitals yet. Birth centers will transfer you to the labor ward if you need an epidural.

Natural paint relief
If you want to use the following techniques during labor, practice them at home first so they become second nature. Try to save the most potent weapons of the spa bath and hot packs for the period when you’re nearly fully dilated and the need for pain relief is greatest.
If you re really keen on delivering your baby without the use of artificial pain relief try to enroll in natural or active birth classes where the focus is on using your own resources.
A motivated birth partner is useful as he or she will need to be actively involved in helping you

Breathing
Controlled breathing during labor is one of the most effective forms of natural pain relief. During early labor breathing slowly and deeply through your nose and out through your mouth will oxygenate your body, increase endorphins and calm you.
As contractions intensify during the second stage, most women tend to follow their instincts However some find light breath helpful at this point.
When the head crowns panting will reduce your chance of vaginal tearing by slowing down the delivery of your baby.

Massage
This helps in two ways Emotionally it’s relaxing and reassuring to be massaged by your birth partner physically it can ease the discomfort of labor and the backache that often accompanies it.

Water
Having a shower bath spa or foot bath during labor can be of great benefit It’s relaxing can reduce swelling and pressure as well as cushioning your body against the force of your contractions.
Try a shower in early labor save the warm bath for later when labor is well established. Taking the plunge so to speak during early labor can be so relaxing your contractions might stop!

Heat
Most hospitals and birth centers can provide you with hot packs Ask your midwife for one – they re kept hot in a big vat For maximum effect place the pack on your lower back as the contraction is nearing its peak The hot packs need to be really hot to provide good pain relief so ask your midwife to

Other alternative therapies
Aromatherapy, hypnotherapy, reflexology and acupuncture can all provide terrific during labor Always consult a qualified therapist and start practicing the therapy as early in your pregnancy as possible, so it won’t be all forgotten or foreign when you’re finally in labor.

30 Aug 2015

Health Nutrition Work Style

SCALES FOR SALE
Worried about your baby’s weight? Don’t want to wait until your next check—up to see how much he’s gained? The new Getzi Baby Scales mean you can keep a close eye on your bub’s growth at home — and at $99.95 (+ P8zH) they’re also affordable. For details,
getzi.com.au or call check them out at 1800 424 859.

Women who conceive in spring most likely to have their baby prematurely – but researchers are still unsure why.

Reaching out
Scientist have discovered babies learn to deliberately and carefully reach for things in the womb. Ultrasound movies made by an Italian psychologist show that unborn babies are more careful moving their hands near their eyes than their mouth by 22 weeks. But after birth, the baby needs to learn how to cope with a new environment, which is why planned arm movements only reappear at around three or four months of age.

Beef Warning
Filling up on beef while pregnant? If you have a boy, he may be born with a low sperm count, A study by a New York university found that women who eat more than seven beef meals a week give birth to boys whose sperm levels are classified as ”sub-fertile”. The scientists says it could be the pesticides, contaminates or hormones in cattle feed that led to the tall in sperm standards. More research needs to be conducted to be sure, though.

The rumor mill Victoria Beckham has reportedly put husband David on an alkaline-rich diet so the couple conceive a girl. Victoria is also said to be planning to get a special fertility tattoo to help them in their quest.

30 Aug 2015

Main Event: Be in Labor (After Pregnant)

After nine long months of waiting you’re finally in labor Here’s what happens next…

Labor is divided into three very distinct stages. Read our guide to find out what you can expect from each stage.

First Stage
This forms the bulk of your labor, lasting from the first contraction through to the cervix being fully dilated (about 10cm). it’s further broken down into the following:

Initial (latent) phase

  • Contractions begin. Each one lasts 30-60 seconds and comes every 5-20 minutes. They become progressively stronger and more rhythmic.
  • Pain is minimal.
  • The cervix thins and dilates to 4cm
  • In a first pregnancy this phase lasts an average of 81/2 hours but it can vary a lot

Active phase

  • Contractions last up to 9O seconds and come every 2-4 minutes.
  • The cervix dilates from 4crn to 7cm.
  • The baby s head moves into the pelvis.
  • As the baby descends, the mother begin to feel the urge to push.
  • This phase lasts an average of 2-3 1/2 hours but this varies

Transition
This is the period between the first and second stage, when the cervix dilates that last little bit to 10cm its the most challenging and tiring part of labor The contractions become intense and long with only brief periods between This is the point at which you might announce that you are going home now, or you may vomit shake uncontrollably, grunt, scream or feel quite out of control. Some describe it as a tunnel they go through into the next stage This phase is brief – l5 minutes to an hour on average – and you should try to welcome it as it means it s nearly time to push your baby out

Signs of transition are:

  • feeling pressure in your bottom
  • an uncontrollable trembling in your legs
  • feeling hot and/or cold
  • feeling irritable
  • nausea or drowsiness

Second Stage
Your cervix has now dilated to 10cm. More than likely, you will also feel an intense urge to push, as the cervix disappears behind the baby’s head and he is Free to move down on to your pelvic floor muscles. As his head touches these muscles, it triggers a reflex (called Ferguson’s Reflex) which creates the uncontrollable urge to push.
Your contractions may become less frequent but they are much more expulsive and designed to push your baby down and out. You are now working with your uterus to push your baby through the birth canal.
The second stage of labor generally lasts 30-90 minutes for a first baby, and sometimes only a few minutes for subsequent babies.

Third Stage
This stage lasts from the arrival of the baby to the delivery of the placenta and often only takes a few minutes.
Though labor is usually only divided into these three stages, the four hours after delivery of the placenta – when the risk of bleeding is greatest – is sometimes called the fourth stage.

Assisted Delivery
Some form of assistance is sometimes needed to deliver your baby. Both ventouse (vacuum extraction) and forceps can be used to help pull the baby out or to turn him if he’s in an awkward position. They’re used when:

  • the cervix is fully dilated but the baby is stuck
  • the baby is posterior (facing outwards instead of inwards) or breech (bottom first)
  • your baby has an abnormal heart rate
  • the uterus stops contracting
  • you’re too tired to push.

You’ll be asked to lie on your back and put your feet in stirrups. If you haven’t had an epidural yet you’ll be given a local anesthetic (a pudenda block) in your perineum. An episiotomy (a cut in the perineum) may be made to allow more room for the baby to come out.

Forceps Delivery
Forceps look like big salad spoons and are carefully placed, one at a time, round the baby’s head so he can be gently pulled out.

Ventouse delivery
Another option is to use vacuum extraction, in which a large suction cup is attached to the baby’s head so he can be pulled out.

Episiotomi
Cutting a woman’s perineum (the bit between your vagina and rectum) to make room for the baby to come through is no longer a routine procedure. In fact, in Australia these days, only 13% of women have one. Research has shown that a natural tear – as opposed to a deliberate cut – is less likely to involve the deeper layers of muscle, therefore making it more likely to heal without complications.
However, where forceps or ventouse will be used, or where the baby’s head is very large or pushing is taking a long time, an episiotomy may be necessary. It should be done when the perineum is at full stretch and naturally numb. Local anesthetic can also be used, however it’s not always a good idea as it can swell the tissues and extend the cut.

Ways to avoid a tear or cut

  • Do your pelvic floor exercises throughout your pregnancy.
  • As the baby crowns, pant rather than pushing hard.
  • Labor in a warm bath: this can relieve the tension in the muscles in and around the perineum.
  • Massage your perineum daily in late pregnancy. Put a little almond or olive oil on your thumbs and place them about 3-4cm inside your vagina. Gently and firmly massage and stretch your perineum for three to four minutes, once or twice a day

Labor Positions
The positions you adopt during your labor can have a huge impact on its progress. Lying flat on your back is occasionally a medical necessity but it can make contractions more painful, and slow labor down. If you want to – or have or have to – lie down, try resting on your side.
Gravity is your friend in birthing your baby, so use it. Get up and roam around. Sit, squat or slump on a beanbag. Try out the big ball or birthing stool in the delivery room. Stand, resting against the wall, and rotate your pelvis during contractions. Get on your hands and knees in the shower and let the water pressure ease the pain in your back. Or try supported sitting or squatting, where your partner sits behind you and lets you rest against him for support as you labor.

29 Aug 2015

Health Nutrition and Vitamin for Pregnant

Eat up
By now you’ve probably seen the “Go for 2 and 5” campaign on TV, telling us to eat at least two serves of fruit and five serves of vegies a day. Pregnant and breastfeeding women actually need to aim a little higher, with four to five serves of fruit and six to seven serves of vegies daily. Here are some ways to get creative and add more fibre to your diet.

  • Make a fruit smoothie with fresh fruit, milk and yoghurt.
  • Make a delicious fresh fruit platter for breakfast, a snack or for dessert. (This is often a hit with the whole family!)
  • Freeze fresh fruit by itself or mixed with yoghurt for a refreshing morning or afternoon tea.
  • Dice fresh fruit and keep it in a container in the fridge so it’s a quick. convenient snack-this works well with fresh melon.
  • Serve chopped vegetables with salsa for a healthy snack.
  • Grate vegetables in to pasta sauces or homemade hamburger patties.
  • Add vegetables such as carrot and zucchini to muffins, cakes and gourmet breads.
  • Thread vegetable pieces onto skewers with lean meet, chicken, fish, or tofu, then put them on the grill or BBQ.

Light the barbie..
But don’t burn it. BBQing is a great low-fat cooking option, but be careful how well you cook your meat: the charred bits left on the hotplate contain chemicals called hetero-cyclic amines that have been linked to some forms of cancer.

Did you know?

Frozen vegetables can be just as nutritious as the fresh ones, Providing they’re in their uncut form. Try out frozen peas, broccoli, baby corn and baby carrot.

Verify your vitamins
A recent study has reported that high doses of some vitamin supplements can do more harm than good. Always follow the recommendation on the label or check with your GP.

Flick the fat
Ever heard of “trans fats”? They’re From the “nasty” tat family and can increase bad levels of cholesterol, as well as raising the risk of heart disease. Some Fast—Food chains are now cooking with healthier oils in order to reduce the level of trans tats in their products. Ready for the bad news? Manufacturers don’t have to include trans fats levels on their food labels in Australia unless they also make a claim about cholesterol or fat. So opt For items that include trans fats levels on their labels, and stick to lean meats and low-fat dairy whenever you can.

Cook this : Easy Lasagne
5-6 ready to use lasagne sheet
Meat sauce:
– 500g Lean mince
– 500g tomato Pasta sauce
– 1 cup frozen peas and corn
– 1 carrot, grated
– 1 Tbsp soy sauce
– 1 Tbsp brown sugar

White sauce:
– 3 Tbsp olive oil margarine
– 3 Tbsp plain flour
– 500ml milk
– 1 Tbsp nutmeg
– 1 cup reduced fat cheese, grated

Method:
Meat sauce
Fry mince using spray oil in the pan
Add tomato pasta sauce
Add remaining meat sauce ingredients
Set aside

White sauce
Melt margarine over heat
Remove saucepan from heat and add flour until a paste is formed
Gradually add milk until smooth
Return to low heat, stirring constantly until it thickens
Add nutmeg and cheese

In pan, place 1/3 meat mixture then 2 lasagne sheets. Top with 1/3 white sauce
Repeat until all ingredients are gone
Sprinkle small amount of cheese on top
Cook in moderate oven for 1 hour, until golden

28 Aug 2015

Working with a Bump (Pregnant)

At least a Fortnight of paid paternity leave and 14 Weeks of paid maternity leave, making Way For 38 weeks of paid leave for parents… sounds great, right? Those are some oi the 45 recommendations in the latest report by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission. The report, which aims to guide the way For new legislation, calls for a national framework to limit long work hours, making a family-Friendly Work environment tor all. It also suggests that discriminating against workers for meeting family responsibilities should be illegal.

Working with a bump?
Jodie Smith, 29, is seven months pregnant. She works as an intensive care paramedic with the Ambulance Service of NSW.

Q: What’s been the biggest hurdle to working?
That would have been when I was still on the road and lifting. At times this job can be physically demanding, and once your bump is getting in the way you know it’s time for alternate duties! That includes days in the office and school visits, which I can do until I’m on maternity leave.

Q: Have your colleagues treated you any differently?
Yes — in a good way. The people I work with always look out for me and make sure I’m not doing anything that I shouldn’t be, which probably comes with being in the health industry.

Q: How do you keep your energy levels up at work?
Early on I snacked whenever I could — with my job you eat when you can as you don’t know how busy the day will be. But now that I’m on alternate duties I try to keep a healthy diet… most of the time!

Did you know?
Aussie women still earn $100 a week less than men, which is the same gender pay gap we experienced back in 1978.