Miscellaneous

A quick update and where to check out some of my latest writing elsewhere on the web

As you may have noticed, it has been a while since I have posted on this blog. Rest assured, I have a ton of great content in the works.

But what has been keeping me too busy to post and up at night? Well, Baby #3 for starters. (Now 8 months! How time flies… or with a new baby, how it passes in slow motion and sudden leaps.)

And in my stolen moments (read:naps) I have been writing content for a company called BloomLife. BloomLife makes a contraction tracker, just like those used in a hospital but for at home use. It syncs with your phone and lets you know if you are experiencing contractions, how strong they are, and how long they last.

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Baby #3 and her big sister. None of us were quite ready to wake up the morning this picture was taken. Yet there we were, up.

Many of my posts for Bloom will be of interest to my readers, so I wanted to share them with you here. Hop on over and check them out!

  • Prenatal Genetic Testing and Screening. My take on the new kid on the prenatal genetic screening block, Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT) and why it needs to be offered to all women, not just women over 35.
  • Stalled Labor. My first labor was going gangbusters until I arrived at the hospital, where it swiftly ground to a halt. This is a common birthing experience. At the time, I blamed the slowdown on stress, but another unexpected culprit may have been to blame: those glaring florescent hospital lights. Here’s more on how humans evolved to labor at night, and why laboring women would be wise to dim those darn lights!
  • Exercise during pregnancy. Should you avoid starting a new exercise program while pregnant? Do you need to keep your heart rate below 140? Will lifting weights prompt preterm labor? Contrary to what you may have heard, the answer to all of these questions is an emphatic NO. I discuss the all these exercise myths here, and talk about the latest research and recommendations on exercise for pregnant women.
  • Natural Remedies for Group B Strep. Anywhere from quarter to a third of pregnant women test positive for Group B Strep (GBS) in their third trimester. In the U.S., this means receiving IV antibiotics during labor, to prevent early-onset Group B Strep, a serious but rare infection that occurs when a newborn contracts GBS during birth. But nobody wants to receive antibiotics if they can avoid it, especially during birth, when mom needs to pass her microbiome–a diverse collection of healthy bacteria and other microbes–to her baby. So, is there anything you can do to avoid testing positive? I talk about the research on vinegar rinses, yogurt squatting, and probiotics here.

Categories: Miscellaneous

4 replies »

  1. Thanks for the update, and congrats on the gig! What a great article about GBS. I was GBS positive during my first full-term pregnancy, and it sounds like probiotics are safe and worth a try next time around (if I’m lucky enough to get there). The tip about Penicillin G vs. ampicillin is also great. Keep up the good work — love your writing!

  2. Interesting articles! I’m somewhat surprised by your discussion of hospital lighting because it seems like something that would be quite easy to test with an RCT (e.g., Even if all a hospital did was randomize whether delivery room lights are initially on or off and monitor light levels, it seems likely that even if everyone involved is free to allow anyone to adjust the light levels the difference in default setting would still likely generate some random variable in light exposure. And it’s hard to imagine that an IRB or laboring mom would complain too much about such a study.) Do you have a sense of why there is so little data on this question?

    • It does seem worthy of a randomized trial. I am not sure why one hasn’t been published yet, but much of the research is recent, so perhaps a team is working on it now.

  3. Dear Amy, I’m a FTM in my late 30s, and your blog has been so very helpful to me in cutting through the equivocations and superficiality online on prenatal issues. I’ve now read almost all your entries here and am happy to learn you also have Bloom as an additional platform. One topic I would absolutely love to see you do a post on — whether on Expecting Science or on Bloom — is the effect of air cabin pressure on pregnancy. I’m 24 weeks now and have been traveling between US and Europe for work about once every two months. I try to stretch, walk around, and hydrate well during these flights — and will stay put after 36 weeks — but am still deeply curious about the cumulative effects of flying. Hope to see you direct your expert literature reviews and analysis toward this question. Thank you!

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