Monday, December 30, 2013

Fistula Foundation Donation

It's that time of year to get your final donations into your favorite non-profit organization. One of mine is the Fistula Foundation. Part of my blog is actually dedicated to helping these women. Click on the "Shop" tab and check it out.

About two weeks ago my husband posted the "shop" part of my blog on facebook and within 3 days, I was able to raise $100 for this awesome cause. My goal is $450, which is the cost of one fistula surgery in developing nations. I am over half way there, raising $295. Wow! That is so awesome.

If you want to help, you can go to the and donate there or purchase some great baby/mama gear on my blog and 100% of the profits go to these women.

If you need a little inspiration, check out this video!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Preeclampsia Update

Preeclampsia, one of the leading causes of maternal mortality in the US and around the world, has been updated in terms of diagnosis. There no longer has to be a detection of protein in urine for a pregnant mother to be diagnosed with preeclampsia. A report has recently been released by ACOG determining that a mother with other signs of preeclampsia, such as high blood pressure, can now be diagnosed with the condition even if there has been no detection of protein in her urine. Just be aware that if you have elevated blood pressure and other risk factors, you could be diagnosed with preeclampsia. One way to avoid high blood pressure is with a proper diet. Check out the Brewers Diet to see what you can do to possibly avoid preeclampsia.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Placenta Encapsulation

Women all over the world choose to take their placentas home from the hospital and have it encapsulated. Many believe that the consuming the placenta helps increase iron lost during childbirth, it encourages milk production, reduces fatigue, helps lessen postpartum bleeding, help the uterus return to normal, and improves mood and energy. If you are considering placenta encapsulation for yourself, you need to know some information about how it should be handled to keep you safe.

How to Choose an Encapsulation Specialist:
1. Make sure they are a Certified Encapsulation Specialist.
2. Do not allow the Encapsulation Specialist to remove the placenta from your home. The procedure should be done in your home.
3. Look for an Encapsulation Specialist with experience.

How the Placenta Encapsulation Process Normally Works:
(information provided by Lauren Agro, CD(DONA), CPES(PBi)

Step 1: Save your Placenta! Request in the hospital that you would like to take your placenta home and have it refrigerated/frozen as soon as possible after the birth. It needs to be placed in a refrigerator or kept cool on ice. Then, call to schedule placenta encapsulation services. Typically, an encapsulation specialist will arrive at your home within 24-72 hours after the birth to begin the process.

Step 2: Day 1, The Encapsulation Specialist arrives at the client's home and the placenta is cleaned and prepared for dehydration using Traditional Chinese Medicine methods.

Step 3: Day 2, The Encapsulation Specialist powders and encapsulate the placenta and gives detailed instructions on how to take their capsules. When the Encapsulation Specialist leaves, the kitchen should be cleaned and sanitized.

Here is some more information about placenta encapsulation: 
Placenta for Healing:
Scientific Research:

Please contact me if you would like a recommendation for an Encapsulation Specialist in the Baltimore area.

Seeing Double: Webinar on Twins

In recent years, the incidence of twins (or higher order multiples) has increased in the United States due to many factors some of which include: increased use of assisted reproductive technology (ART) such as IVF and ovulation enhancers like, Clomid. Also, women are choosing to start families later in life. This increased maternal age increases the incidence of multi-ovulation cycles, in turn increasing the incidence of twins.

I wanted to gain some more knowledge about twinning and capture a few take-home points for my readers, so I found a webinar that gave some helpful information about twins, that I wanted to pass along.

Women who are pregnant with twins need to eat 300 more kcal than women pregnant with singletons. That means increasing your normal diet by 600 kcal. More important than calories alone, is the vitamins and minerals that you take. Doctors recommend getting 1mg of folate and 60mg of iron after the first trimester. Also, many care providers suggest increasing the amount of protein that you eat, which has been shown in to possibly decrease the incidence of pre-eclampsia. Click here to read more about diet and pre-eclampsia.

How do you know what type of twin you are having?

Most twins are dizygous, meaning they were formed from two eggs and two sperms. They typically have two placentas (dichorionic) and two amniotic sacs (diamniotic). These twins are called "fraternal".

"Identical" twins or monozygous twins are formed with one egg and one sperm that later split into two. Although identical twins can have one or two placentas, one or two amniotic sacs or be conjoined, the most common situation is one placenta (monochorionic) and two amnotic sacs (diamniotic).

                                  (most common)

So what does all this mean in practical terms?

ACOG (American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology) has set some standards on when these type of twins should be born. If you are having babies that have two placentas (dichorionic), they should be born between 38-39 weeks. However, if you are having twins with one placenta (monochorionic), ACOG recommend delivery between 34-38 weeks. 

What is the likelihood that you will deliver vaginally?

As long as there are no other twin-type complications, 43% of twins present both head down, which would allow for a vaginal birth. The second most common presentation is 1st baby head down and 2nd baby "other" (breech or transverse). This presentation also usually allows for a vaginal delivery.

After all that information are you seeing double? I know I am! I hope this information was helpful. For more in-depth knowledge, check out the webinar linked above.