Trying to get pregnant? Make sure you know the bottom line on baby-making—what you don't understand can affect your bub-to-be's health.
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Considering that at least 60 percent of American women today have an epidural for pain relief during labor, it’s surprising how misunderstood this procedure is. For starters, even doctors use the word “epidural” generically, to encompass three similar, yet distinct procedures: epidurals, spinals and a more recently perfected procedure, the combined spinal epidural (CSE), or “walking” epidural. Since deciding whether or not to have an epidural means becoming informed about the benefits and risks well before labor begins, here are the facts to help you make sense of some misconceptions.
The Cesarean section rate in the U.S. has been skyrocketing for years. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, C-sections rose to 30 percent in 2005 from 5.5 percent in 1970. Some experts point to women who choose to have elective C-sections. But then there are those pregnant moms who are forced to have them, Time magazine reports.
It's important to allow yourself to have these feelings, says Dana Sullivan, co-author of The Essential C-Section Guide (Broadway Books/Random House). Too often, women are advised to focus on the fact that their baby is healthy rather than to work through their emotions. This not only negates their feelings, but also can lead to intense guilt for simply having them.
The ball is great for strengthening and toning the muscles of the back and abdomen. You can use it to support your legs while doing crunches or lie across it while doing leg lifts. It also helps with balance training, which is important as your body's center of gravity shifts back to normal after pregnancy. Just be sure to check with your doctor before beginning this or any exercise program.
Here are four tips to help you recover from a C-section. Read more >>
Undergoing a scheduled Cesarean section may have advantages, but one downside is a higher risk of re-hospitalization in the month following childbirth. Among every 1,000 women who delivered their first babies via planned C-section, 19 returned to the hospital, compared with fewer than eight per 1,000 first-time mothers who had vaginal deliveries, Boston University doctors found. Wound complications and infections were the major reasons.
Women should lose all the weight they gained during pregnancy before becoming pregnant again, say Missouri researchers. If moms don't drop the pregnancy pounds, or if they gain weight after the first baby, they double the risk their next baby will be too large, increasing their chances for a Cesarean section. "The ideal is to have their weight [at conception] as close to normal as possible," adds study author Robert Blaskiewicz, M.D., a professor at Saint Louis University School of Medicine.
A man's worry about his partner's planned C-section may exacerbate her own anxiety and fear of the operation, increasing her post-surgical pain, according to a report from British researchers. And there's more than just a new mother's comfort at stake. Higher pain levels can slow recovery and may even compromise breastfeeding and bonding between mom and baby. Dads-to-be can ease their fear of the unknown by reading up on the procedure.