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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Obstetricians recommend that a woman wait until she has had one normal menstrual period before trying to get pregnant again. This
The treatments themselves don’t make a pregnancy high risk; the medical issues that often cause female infertility, such as diabetes, endometriosis, fibroids or simply being older, may. (“Male factor” issues are responsible for the infertility approximately 40 percent of the time, but treatment is often the same.)
However, up to 40 percent of such pregnancies result in twins. These pregnancies carry a three to six times higher risk for problems, such as high blood pressure, preterm delivery and low birth weight babies.
Get a second opinion. While some experts believe uterine fibroids, which are noncancerous tumors, do not cause miscarriage, others say they can. “The key is a fibroid’s location and size,” says William P. Hummel, M.D., a reproductive endocrinologist specializing in miscarriage at the San Diego Fertility Center. The closer it is to the center of the uterus, where a fetus is likely to implant, the more likely it is to cause problems.
The current recommendation is that all women capable of becoming pregnant get 400 micrograms of folic acid daily from supplements or fortified foods in addition to their intake of folate from a varied diet to help prevent neural-tube defects, such as spina bifida. Once pregnancy is confirmed, the recommended intake for supplementation jumps to 600 micrograms. Most prenatal vitamins contain 800 to 1,000 micrograms, which will cover your folic acid needs.
Absolutely not. Not only are most asthma medications safe to continue during pregnancy, but stopping them greatly increases the chances that you’ll experience a flare-up, which is risky for you and your baby.
A septate uterus is a congenital condition in which a thin membrane called a septum divides the uterus, either partially or completely. While the condition does not affect a woman’s ability to conceive, it can impact a pregnancy’s outcome. “We see a higher risk of first- and second-trimester pregnancy loss with septate uterus,” says Beth W. Rackow, M.D., an assistant professor of OB-GYN at Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn. “There is also an increased risk of preterm labor.”
Nancy O'Dell, co-anchor of NBC's Access Hollywood, has had a busy year so far: Daughter Ashby (named after O'Dell's grandfather) turns 2 on June 11; O'Dell was scheduled to compete on Dancing With The Stars (DWTS) (and had to drop out due to a knee injury); and in April her first book - Full of Life: Mom to Mom Tips I Wish Someone Had Told Me When I Was Pregnant (Simon Spotlight Entertainment) comes out. She spoke with us one afternoon in March after taping Access.
Think "fertility problem," and most people assume there's something wrong with the female half of the conception equation. In fact, when couples are having trouble making a baby, what's known as "male factor" is responsible an estimated 40 percent of the time. Here's what a guy can do—and what he should avoid doing—to maximize his chances of making plenty of hardy, healthy, fast-swimming sperm.
It was a windy, rainy day. It wasn't the kind of rain you could venture out in for an afternoon puddle-jumping excursion with two little girls. And that sent my preschool daughter, Julia, on a tirade. First came the pleading and whining. "Please, please, please, please can't we go outside?" Then came the screeching demand. "I want to go outside!" Then she launched the mother-of-all-fits on the floor—arms flailing, legs kicking, and even a last minute head-butt thrown in for dramatic effect.
A 26-year-old reader (who didn't include her name) is thinking about aiming for a pregnancy early next year. She has a lot of questions about how to go about this. I know what you're thinking: "have sex, duh—end of story." Not so fast. Unlike the gajillion of us who just plain ol' get pregnant, knocked up or caught by surprise in the family way, this reader is being very thoughtful about it.
When Elizabeth Parker first learned she was pregnant after years of trying, the then-44-year-old Los Angeles woman was ecstatic. Her doctor, however, was less so. Older moms, he told her, have a higher risk of miscarriage and other age-related concerns. “He seemed negative,” recalls Parker, now the mother of a healthy 6-year-old boy. “But looking back, I realize he was just telling the truth.”
If you’re reading this article, chances are you’re not pregnant yet but would like to be soon. For approximately 85 percent of American couples, conception happens fairly easily, and we hope you’re among them. During the times in your life when you’re trying not to have a baby, you know that having unprotected sex just once can result in pregnancy. But the truth is, conception doesn’t happen quite as quickly as you may think, particularly when you’re 35 or older.
Are you waiting to get pregnant before you improve your health habits? If so, you may be going about things in the wrong way. To make sure that you’ll have the healthiest baby possible, it’s best to make positive changes months before you conceive.
“Most women don’t consider their health before they get pregnant, but they should,” says Merry-K. Moos, R.N., an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill. (Moos was on a task force coordinated by the March