Prenatal exercise: Listen to your body

prenatal exerciseOne of the questions I ask all of my patients during their first trimester is if they currently exercise and what their plans are for prenatal exercise.

Exercise is vital to the health of a pregnant woman, not only for her physical health, but also for her mental well-being. The numerous benefits of exercise include helping to maintain your body weight during pregnancy and helping to prevent and control gestational diabetes. Exercise is also powerful in preventing depression.

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Your birth plan

Creating a plan, getting your questions answered, and being prepared for the unexpected

birth plan blog post - birthing ball picA “birth plan” is like a game plan for your baby’s arrival.  You have little control over when your labor starts, but a birth plan ensures that you, your partner, and your care team are all aware of your wishes on some key things like pain meds, the people involved, episiotomies and cord cutting.

When to start your plan:

Usually I discuss the birth plan with my patients at the beginning of the third trimester.  Often it is the childbirth classes she takes that help a woman make decisions about the type of birth she wants. If a woman has not taken classes, I suggest other resources available online or at the library that will help her make choices regarding her baby’s birth.

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Tub Talk

Are you wondering about the benefits of using a tub during labor and birth?

I love being part of the peaceful stillness of a birth center room where a woman is resting quietly between contractions immersed in water.  With the lights dimmed, her eyes closed and her partner quietly whispering in her ear, there is a sacred beauty to this moment before she starts to breathe through another contraction.  Over half of the women the University of Michigan Certified Nurse Midwives care for will use the tub or a shower for relaxation during labor. We have done hundreds of waterbirths in the birth center over the past fifteen years, but now even more women are interested in this option.

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Expecting a baby during flu season?

Newspapers, web pages, and the evening news have constant reminders of the people who are a priority for receiving flu vaccines (particularly H1N1). Are you on the list? If you are pregnant, you probably already know that you are in the high priority group for receiving the vaccination for the H1N1 flu. Continue reading