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Prenatal Care

Are Ultrasounds Safe in Pregnancy?

How safe are ultrasounds in pregnancy?

Ultrasounds, which were once considered a routine part of pregnancy, have many moms questioning whether or not they need this form of prenatal testing. While many expectant mothers look forward to seeing their baby on the ultrasound screen, some are choosing to decline the use of ultrasound since it is not typically medically necessary. Still, there is something reassuring about seeing your baby bouncing around on that screen, and ultrasounds offer the chance to discover the gender and screen for a wide range of abnormalities. But you should do a little research to ensure that your ultrasound is a safe experience for both you and your baby.
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Cordocentesis – Fetal Blood Sampling

Cordocentesis – also called fetal blood sampling, Percutaneous Umbilical Cord Blood Sampling (PUBS), and umbilical vein sampling – is a highly specialized diagnostic test performed in the second trimester to check for genetic defects in the developing baby.

During a cordocentesis, a doctor will remove a blood sample from the baby’s umbilical cord. (This is why this diagnostic procedure is often referred to as fetal blood testing, or fetal blood sampling).

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Amniocentesis risksIf you’re over 35 or at risk for having a baby with a birth defect, your obstetrician or healthcare provider may recommend that you have a prenatal diagnostic test called an amniocentesis. There are risks that come with an amniocentesis that you should be aware of, so you need to do your research before deciding whether to consent to this second trimester prenatal test.

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Prenatal Testing

prenatal testsAll pregnant women ask the question, “Is my baby healthy?” We all agonize over whether we’re eating all the right foods, if we’re doing anything that could harm the baby, and we even suffer through many uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms just so we can greet our baby in nine months. Your baby’s health and development is important, since we all want to have healthy, happy babies.

Although most babies are born healthy and normal, there are some babies who may need special care due to genetic disorders, prematurity, and etc. Many health problems can be detected during pregnancy through the help of prenatal testing.

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Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS): Risks vs. Benefits

Chorionic villus samplingIf you have a family history of genetic problems, or you are over 35 years old, your midwife or OB/GYN will recommend that you undergo a prenatal diagnostic test to identify genetic abnormalities in your baby. Chorionic villus sampling (CVS) and amniocentesis are two common diagnostic tests that your healthcare provider may recommend.

In this article, I will be discussing the risks and benefits of chorionic villus sampling – also known as CVS testing. Some women with a family history of a genetic disorder choose to have chorionic villus sampling, rather an amniocentesis, because it is performed in the first trimester so you will get your results sooner.

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What to Expect at Your First Pregnancy Ultrasound

Guest post by Junou.

pregnancy first ultrasoundAre you having a first pregnancy ultrasound? What an exciting milestone in your pregnancy. Here is what you should expect to happen during the first ever ultrasound in pregnancy.

At your first pregnancy ultrasound, a technician will use ultrasound equipment to take internal images of your fetus. These images will help determine the age of the fetus, the gender, and when you should expect the birth of your child. Your technician may use these pictures to detect any problems with the fetus. Usually, pregnant women have their first ultrasound at 16 to 20 weeks, yet some have when they are four to five weeks pregnant.
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Pregnancy Testing: A History Through the Ages

Pregnancy Testing History
Today, you’re going on a journey throughout history. The history of pregnancy tests through the ages. Before women peed on a stick to learn their fates, pregnant women urinated on a variety of other things that are quite humorous – including peeing on wheat and barley seeds.

The history of the pregnancy test is quite interesting and it’s colored in old wives’ tale (not just fun old wives tales for gender prediction), superstition, myths, and pseudo-science. For as long as women have been giving birth, there have been pregnancy testing.

Ancient Egypt: Urinating on a Seed of Barley

Around 1350 BCE, an ancient Egyptian document recorded an early method of pregnancy test. To figure out if they were pregnant or not, a potential mom-to-be would urinate on wheat or barley seeds over the course of a few days. If neither wheat nor barley grew, she wasn’t pregnant. If the barley grew, this meant she was carrying a male baby. If wheat sprouted from the seeds, this was a sign that it was a female child. [click to continue…]


Obesity, Poor Prenatal Care May Cause Stillbirths [New Study]

stillborn infant
No parent wants to hear the news that their baby has died in the womb, yet this is a sad reality for many couples in the United States. When your baby is stillborn, you go from happily anticipating your little one’s arrival to mourning his or her death.

Approximately 98 percent of stillbirths take place in poor or less affluent countries. Every year, 2.6 million stillborn infants are born in the world. In the United States, this statistic drops down to 27,000 stillbirths – but this is still a high number of stillborn babies.

As part of a series of research studies published online in The Lancet, a medical journal, scientists report that a leading cause of stillborn infants in the United States is obesity.

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Cameras Banned in the Delivery Room – Which Side are You on?

The moment of birth is a glorious occasion, albeit a bit bloody. Many parents like to capture this special moment on videotape. Some like snapping photos of the hospital room – mom lying in the hospital bed, all huge and exhausted, and dad by her side. Whether it’s photographs or videos of the “big day,” virtually all parents want a record of their baby’s arrival in the world. Is this a right or a privilege?

A recent New York Times article about cameras in the delivery room, and the rules against them has stirred a lot of controversy and talk in the parenting community.

Some parents might argue it’s their right to take pictures and video during birth, but more hospitals are limiting cameras and video cameras during delivery. For the hospitals involved, it’s not about the “rights” of the parents, but rather about the health and safety of the mom and baby, and of course, protecting the privacy of the medical staff.  Not all doctors and nurses want the world to see them on YouTube or Facebook. [click to continue…]