84: Pacifiers

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Episode 84 Content and Overview

Your baby starts building their strong sucking reflex in the womb. This is needed for breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, but it also has a calming effect on your baby. While it may seem like all parents give their babies pacifiers, some parents choose not to. There are benefits to giving your baby a pacifier beyond soothing a fussy baby, like a reduction in the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Along with the pros come some drawbacks to their use, and some precautions about pacifier use and breastfeeding. There is quite a bit of research on pacifiers and things like breastfeeding, dental issues, ear infections, and SIDS. By hearing the evidence both for and against the use of pacifiers you can make an informed decision as to whether you want to give one to your baby. If you do choose to give your baby a pacifier this episode also has recommendations for their use, and tips for shopping for pacifiers.

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Q&A: Uncomfortable Ultrasounds

Question

“I’m 20 weeks pregnant and just had an ultrasound to check on the development of my baby. I found the experience to be quite unpleasant, the technician often dug in hard with transducer and I thought I was going to cry. I have been looking at some forum discussions and some are saying this shouldn’t happen and digging in doesn’t help with getting a clearer picture. I was wondering if you could explain whether or not this is true, and perhaps even why ultrasounds can be an uncomfortable experience.” – Joscelynne

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83: When Birth Does Not Go as Planned

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Episode 83 Content and Overview

You spend 9 months dreaming about the day you get to meet your baby, you meticulously design your birth, you draft up the perfect birth plan, you over prepare, then you go into labor and nothing goes like it is supposed to. When things do not go as planned, it can be a huge disappointment. There are so many factors that impact your labor and birth, and when the big birth day comes it is possible that some of those things are out of our control and can send your birth experience in a different direction than you planned. What do you do when birth does not go as planned? You often hear, all that matters is that you have a healthy baby’. That is important, but how you feel about your birth experience is also important, and it also matters. Everyone copes with emotions differently and this episode has some tips and strategies you can apply in the event your birth does not go as planned, and some ways to be more prepared for those unplanned outcomes.

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Q&A: Exercising Before a Glucose Test

Question

“Hi Vanessa!  I have a question about the gestational diabetes 1 hour test. I was hoping you could help provide some input.  I have my screening coming up, and I typically work out in the mornings.  I know they told me it shouldn’t matter if I eat or not beforehand (as long as it’s not a pure sugar breakfast), but would working out affect the results?  Typically working out lowers your blood sugar, so I’m worried my fasting blood glucose will be low, but drinking the drink will spike me up high. Any insight?” – Erin

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82: Premature Rupture of Membranes (PROM) and the 24 Hour Rule

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Episode 82 Content and Overview

The technical term for your water breaking before labor starts is premature rupture of membranes (PROM). The amniotic sac and amniotic fluid serve a lot of purposes like protecting your baby from infection, cushioning your baby from bumps and injury, and maintaining a constant temperature. The majority of expecting moms will have their water break during labor. For about 1 in 10 it will happen before labor, prior to the onset of contractions. For decades it was a common rule that you had to give birth within 24 hours of your water breaking, even if that meant having a cesarean section. Today we have a lot more research in this arena and are more educated about the risks of employing interventions vs. expectant management. This episode talks about the signs of your water breaking, and the risks, options, and evidence in relation to the time between premature rupture of membranes (PROM) and birth.

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81: Labor Positions (Rebroadcast)

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Episode 81 Content and Overview

For most of our entire human history a mother in labor was free to move around and change positions to whatever was most comfortable and suited her best at the time.  It really wasn’t until we made labor and birth a highly medicalized process that women began laboring on their backs in a bed.  There are an infinite number of positions you can try during labor and there is no one size fits all.  Labor will likely start at home and you can utilize many different positions to keep labor progressing and be as comfortable as possible before you even get to the hospital or birth center.  No matter where you are giving birth, what your birth plan is, or what interventions you are electing to have, you have options.  This episode has a lot of different labor positions to try with the pros and cons of each, and what the research says about the best positions for both labor and birth.

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