Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Subutex & Suboxone (Buprenorphine) Forum

As a temporary arrangement to my flooded inbox, I have decided to create a forum dedicated to woman and their families who are using (or thinking about using) Buprenorphine during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Buprenorphine is commonly called Subutex or Suboxone and is used to manage withdrawals from opiates. It can be used as a short-term treatment to manage withdrawals or as a long term arrangement to control an addiction.

Because it is a relatively new drug and drug trials on unborn children are neither ideal or moral there is limited information out there, some of it is rather dated or biased... except for the experiences that mothers have to share.

So to help cut through the confusion and let these mothers support one another, I'm hoping this forum will  be a safe place for them to come and bond over their shared predicament.

If you know somebody who is using Subutex or Suboxone during a pregnancy or someone who has, I'd like to invite you to come and visit to the Subutex Babies Forum but more importantly...to contribute to it.

Click here to visit the


Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Pregnant Vitamins: Are Prenatal Vitamins Really Essential For Me?

Prenatal Vitamins: Are they essential?
It doesn't matter whether you are already pregnant or you are ready to take the leap, your Doctor will have prescribed prenatal vitamins. A lot of women feel nervous about this. The experts seem to keep changing their minds. One study results in Doctors recommending something. The next study seems to be about how too much of any given vitamin can be harmful. So what's a Mum-to-be to do?

Are prenatal vitamins really essential for a healthy pregnancy? Are all prenatal vitamins the same - or are some better than others?

Prenatal vitamins are not necessarily essential for the health of your newborn, but they can be a good safety measure to ensure that your body is getting all the nutrients it needs during this especially important time.

Providing that you are eating a well balanced diet then prenatal vitamins may not be essential but they are there to fill in the gaps when you are missing out on any specific vitamin or mineral. Between  the morning sickness, the suddenly very super-sensitive sense of smell (especially for all things nauseating), cravings (usually for all things sweet and unhealthy) and overwhelming bouts of "I'm too tired to cook dinner" it's a wonder any mum-to-be is able to eat at all, let alone maintain a healthy, well balanced diet.

And so the prenatal vitamin can top up your recommended daily intake should you find yourself struggling to keep up with a healthy diet, making sure your baby gets all the vitamins he or she needs to grow and thrive.

Among the benefits of a prenatal vitamin is the fact that it ensures your body gets an adequate amount of iron.

The results are in...studies have proved that the majority of women don't consume enough iron during their pregnancies. Iron deficiency can and sometimes does result in anemia, a condition that can easily be avoided by taking a proper prenatal vitamin. Anemia leaves you feeling tired and unmotivated - not a good combination when the pregnancy itself is starting to take its  toll on you.

Another important component of prenatal vitamins is folic acid. Important in pregnancy, folic acid has been found to reduce the risk of birth defects, namely neural tube defects. In fact, the vast majority of doctors recommend that women who are trying to fall pregnant should begin taking a folic acid supplement or boosting their folic acid consumption at least 1 month before trying to get pregnant.

So how much folic acid do I need each day, you may ask. Great question and one that too many women fail to ask. Providing that there is no history of neural tube defects like spina bifida in the family, then the recommended daily dose of folic acid is 400mcg (micrograms). IF you do have a family history of spina bifida then the recommended does goes all the way up to 5mg (milligrams) each day. To this end, there are different levels of vitamins and minerals in prenatal vitamins - you should discuss your needs with your Doctor.

Although prenatal vitamins are not a necessity, they certainly contain many benefits. With one dose a day, you can rest assured that your baby-to-be is getting all the vitamins and minerals he or she needs, keeping his or her development and growth right on track and increasing your chances of having a healthy newborn.

We would like to take this chance to wish you a swift and trouble free pregnancy. Congratulations!

PLEASE NOTE: This article is to be used for informational purposes only and is not intended to be used as professional medical advice. The information contained herein should not be used in place of, or in conjunction with, a doctor's recommendation. Prior to starting or ceasing ANY medications (including those designed to be taken prenatally), the expectant mother must consult a licensed physician for proper recommendation.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Childbirth: I'm Thinking About Natural Children

Know you natural childbirth options
Natural childbirth is defined as a birth that seeks to minimize the intervention of modern medicine, which also includes using medications and/or surgical procedures.

There are some experts who believe that natural childbirth is beneficial to both the mother and child and they feel that anaesthetics will increase the possibility of complications during birth. They feel that the woman might not be capable of pushing properly during the concluding stages of delivery or could result in complications such as breathing difficulties in the newborn.

The evidence is debatable and it is up to YOU to decide what is best for you and your family in consultation with your doctor. If this is your first pregnancy then I cannot stress upon you enough - babies seldom come as per the birth plan. Things change - your body, the baby, your tolerance to the contractions or frustration.

Be prepared to have a back up plan. Know your pain relief options - even if you don't want to use them now. Nearly 10% of deliveries end in a caeserean section - this is an extreme option however very few Doctors properly prepare their patients for the possibility.

But back to the process of a natural childbirth.

Mothers have been giving birth naturally since the the beginning of time. Birth trends in the Western world seemed to have altered the rules somewhat. A lot of Doctors are prompt to intervene or have zero tolerance towards any sign of fetal distress when  close monitoring of the baby is possibly all that is needed. Its interesting to have discovered that in far flung parts of the world, there are much lower rates of problems like post natal depression - in part due to women being exposed to childbirth through female relatives in addition to being supported by those dearest to them and being in a comfy "homely" environment.

In regions of Australia, the Indigenous Australians are still giving birth to beautiful, healthy children in the outback.

Natural childbirth often promotes a healthier delivery overall because it eliminates the risks associated with caesarean sections and possible side effects from particular medications. Lamaze is a technique that is designed to help women who choose to deliver via natural childbirth and provides instruction in breathing and relaxation. Regular classes are given at local hospitals or clinics by a qualified instructor. The Dad-to-be is welcome to be present for each class in order to provide support for the mother. This is wonderful preparation because in the majority of cases, the father of the child will also be in the delivery room - this is why it is so important that he also be present to help learn how to coach the mother on breathing and relaxation exercises.

Not all physicians believe that natural childbirth is a positive experience, noting the pain involved as being sometimes extremely difficult for the mother. Others believe that it is beneficial as the process of natural childbirth leaves the new mother feeling empowered and also permits her to be alert as the child is brought into the world and placed in her arms.

Depending on the expectant mother's overall health, particular medical intervention may often be required in order to ensure a successful and safe childbirth. In a lot of cases, having access to pain relief reduces the stress that the mother feels and makes for an easier delivery.

Whether or not a natural childbirth is an option will be assessed by the physician and the expectant mother. Unless it is a matter of life and death or extreme concern as to the health of the mother or child, the choice will ultimately be left up to the mother as she will have the final say in the delivery method. Keep in mind that it is your physician who has been through years of schooling and you should make this decision and informed one with his/her assistance.

The biggest concern about a natural childbirth is that when things do go wrong, they can go wrong VERY QUICKLY. Safely is the number one priority.

This article is to be used for informational purposes only and is not intended to be used as professional medical advice. The information contained herein should not be used in place of, or in conjunction with, a doctor's recommendation . Prior to deciding either for or against natural childbirth, the expectant mother must consult a licensed physician for proper diagnosis and a recommendation.

The Pill & Fertility: I'm Ready To Have A Baby

Getting pregnant after the pill - fertility facts
Okay, I think I'm ready to have a baby but I'm still on the pill. Is there anything that I have to know? For the majority of couples, infertility will never be a problem. For other couples, infertility a very real and difficult problem to live with - it affects every aspect of their lives. If you're thinking about getting pregnant after the pill, then there are a few things you need to think about first.

The first thing you should do is make an appointment with you doctor for a pre-conception exam. Providing you are given the go ahead you can start trying to immediately.

There are some things that both partners can do to help improve your fertility and chances of conceiving quickly.

FERTILITY BASICS FOR WOMEN:
If you are currently still on the pill then you will need to stop taking it. You may have heard that its a good idea to wait a 3 months before trying to get pregnant. However as far as your fertility is concerned, you are more like to be more fertile in the first three months after stopping the pill than in the next three months after that.

The best way to improve you fertility is by making sure your body is getting all the nutrients it needs and is not being exposed to huge amounts of junk foods. Your reproductive health may need some care and attention after all this time so pay attention to what you are eating and make sure you get plenty of amino acids, vitamin A, beta-carotene and vitamins B and C. Iron and magnesium are important, so stock up on green vegetables, lean red meat, eggs, nuts, beans and rye. Folic acid reduces birth defects, so eat lots of green leafy vegies.

FERTILITY BASICS FOR MEN:
Don't think you are getting out of it that easy, Dad-to-be! You also play a role in conception and you can help your partner to get pregnant sooner rather than later by wearing cotton boxer shorts and avoiding overheating in jacuzzi's, saunas and hot tubs. Just like Mummy-in-the-making, you should also attempt to minimize stress (ha! If only it was that easy), alcohol & smoking. Antioxidants are also important for improving male fertility chances, so eat foods rich in vitamins C & E. Don't forget zinc and beta-carotene as well. Concentrate on eating fruit, grains, oily fish, and dark green vegetables.

FERTILITY FOR BOTH OF YOU:
If either of you have any dirty little habits...now is the time to stop - specifically, I'm talking about smoking. Detoxifying your body to ensure both you and your baby will be healthy is essential not just for your long term health but also for your reproductive health. Alcohol, caffeine and pre-processed foods - they don't necessarily need to be on your banned substance list at this time but you should know that it is vital that you start minimizing your intake immediately so that when you do conceive, stopping these things will not be an problem for you. Please be aware that they do interfere with fertility so if you have any concerns then you ought to avoid them completely.

Concentrate instead on eating fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Avoid sugar, salt and orange juice. (You should always talk to your doctor before removing any food from your diet in its entirety.) And don't underestimate drinking plenty of water, preferably
filtered.

Regular exercise is also very important when trying to begin a family. Try walking in the evening together. After all, once your baby is here you won't have that special time together - so take advantage of it!

Remember, conception may take a bit of time. So stay healthy, exercise, eat right and relax. And if you have questions regarding you or your partner's fertility, your physician is just a phone call away.

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Early Pregnancy: Conception

The moment of conception
Early pregnancy explained. Conception is one of those amazing, life changing events in every woman's life. We are going to examine what goes on inside your body in early pregnancy before you even discover you have conceived.

Some women have mixed feelings about their pregnancy but if you have been trying to get pregnant for quite a while now you will be overwhelmed with a combination of joy and relief. All the same, you still have a long way to go. Lets start at the very beginning. The first week of pregnancy.

This is the week that your egg will be fertilized and start its amazing process of becoming your baby.

When the sperm and egg meet, an explosion of new cells begin to form. It moves down the fallopian tube, and in about 5 days it implants itself into the uterus.

You probably don't even know you are pregnant, unless you have been keeping track of your cycles and know when you ovulated. Your baby is now known as a zygote and in two weeks it will an embryo.

This is the end of your baby's first week of a long journey towards birth. And what an exciting journey it will be!

AFTER EGG AND SPERM COLLIDE: WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
This is the week of implantation. Implantation is much easier in theory - in fact, an enormous number of miscarriages happen at this point but they are unrecognized and brushed off as an unusually heavy (sometimes a little late) period. Implantation usually takes place more or less 5 days after conception.

At this point in time, the embryo (currently called a blastocyst) reaches the uterus and looks for a place to tunnel itself beneath surface. After finding that perfect spot, the cells then split into two groups: a cluster of cells which will become your beautiful little baby and a cluster of cells which will become the placenta.

You possibly don't realize your pregnant just yet. You possibly be a touch tired or queasy...or possibly not. A lot of women feel as though they have PMS because this is about the time she is supposed to start her period. Your breasts may feel tender and you may also experience some mild pain in the pelvic area.

By the end of this second week, your baby's backbone, spinal column and nervous system are well on their way to forming. Kidneys, liver and intestines are starting to take shape. Facial features are emerging although you baby will still look almost alien and unrecognizable at this moment.

Wow, this miracle of life is really beginning. Your baby will continue to develop until very soon that magical heartbeat will begin! This is your time - take care of yourself and let others spoil you. Let somebody else worry about the dishes and laundry for now. Pregnancy is all about the new life growing inside YOU...so look after yourself, there is a long and sometimes arduous journey ahead until that special day you welcome your baby into the world.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Infertility: What Is Infertility?

There are now many options available to couples suffering infertility
If you have been trying to fall pregnant for some time now and still haven't been successful, then you may be suffering from infertility. By definition, infertility means that a woman is unable to get pregnant after one year of trying or has an inability to carry her baby to term.

Infertility affects approximately 1 in 6 couples in The states today. That's 10 million people who know exactly what its like to want something beyond their clutch. In some area's, the decision to post pone childbirth (for career purposes) would make 1 in 6 a very conservative number. It's a sad truth, infertility is seldom discussed openly among friends and family and unless you have had personal experience with infertility, it is understood even less.

Its not an easy thought for couples to try and come to terms with. It a shock that is difficult to understand much less learn to live with. And it comes as little surprise. Secondary infertility is especially hard for couples to understand - it seems impossible that after conceiving one perfect child (or several) that a woman is suddenly unable to have anymore. Secondary Infertility is something that you cannot explain to friends or family who reply with hurtful yet well intended comments like "At least you already have one" or "Your body knows what to do - its done it before...you just have to be patient."

Although infertility can affect people of all backgrounds, the childless poor usually have neither the time nor the money to undergo a lengthy series of tests - commonly called an infertility work-up - to determine the cause of the problem. When you are thinking about starting a family, you should always begin with a pre-conception check up at your local Dr surgery. If your Dr has any concerns or you have been trying for more than a year or you are in your 30s you will be referred to a Fertility Specialist. There are many tests that will help to determine the source of the problem and many treatments that can range from something as simple as lifestyle changes, to medications to "minor" corrective surgery (its called minor up until you're lying on the table panicking!) to the very costly and invasive IVF treatment.

The anguish of infertility will strike increasing numbers of couples in the next few years, however, as the children of the baby boom reach their late twenties and early thirties. Others who till now have postponed marriage and childbearing for their careers will turn to both to round out their lives - and find conceiving a child is not possible.

The men, after years of enjoying what they consider a sizable sex drive, will be dismayed to discover that their sperm are too few in number or perhaps not active enough to result in a conception. The women may be diagnosed with endometriosis, a condition in which parts of the uterine lining seed themselves in various places along the reproductive tract. Unknown in cultures where women marry young, it is a common finding in American women past 30. Or the women may be part of the 10.9 million who took the Pill every day despite having pre-existing gynecological abnormalities which should have warned the physician against the prescription.

You should always discuss your options with an sympathetic doctor - do not waste time with a doctor who Refuses take your concerns seriously. Seek a second opinion. A generation ago, before the current explosion in medical technology, couples had few options. However today we are blessed with many options that have brought thousands healthy children into the arms of their ecstatic parents. My advice is to work closely with your Doctor who can instruct you on the best options you have at your disposal be that a holistic approach or medical intervention.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Peanuts During Pregnancy

 Peanut allergies although common can be one of the most fatal allergies a child could suffer from. Some children are so sensitive to their peanut allergy that if they come into contact with peanuts just from someone else's skin, their life can be at risk. Peanut allergies can lead to anaphylactic shock which is a sever allergic reaction that can be fatal.

Ask any parent who has a child who is allegeric to peanuts how difficult their live has become. Food shopping can take hours because every food label must be read it and studied to make sure it contains no traces of peanuts. Arrangements for peanut free foods must be made with the child's school ahead of time and other children's birthdays parties can be a parent's worse nightmare.

Peanut allergies are usually not diagnosed until a child reaches the age of 2 or even three years old. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that parents who have a peanut allergy in the family should wait until their child is at least three years old before giving them peanuts or anything containing peanuts.

There are even some conservative obgyns who advise their pregnant patients not to eat peanuts especially if when they are in their third trimester regardless of if there is a history of peanut allergy in the family or not.

The reason for this is because in order for a peanut allergy to develop, the child has to come into contact with small traces of a peanut. This contact sensitizes the child so that they later have a severe allergic reaction. Some experts believe that this first sensitization can occur during pregnancy.

It is believed that a tiny amount of peanut protein can cross the placenta.

In fact a recent study showed that if a women ate peanuts or peanut butter while pregnant their baby could be four times more likely to develop a peanut allergy than a child whose mother didn't eat any peanuts during her pregnancy.

This isn't to say though that if you have a no history of nut allergies you should avoid peanuts at all costs. In fact, peanuts and peanut butter are very beneficial to you and your baby. Peanuts are a useful source of folic acid and protein, both which are very important to your and your growing baby.

Peanuts and peanut butter has been said to help some women get through the first trimester morning sickness. Keep in mind however that there have been some instances when women who had no history of peanut allegeries in their family and ate a over whelming amount of peanuts or even peanut butter through out their pregnancies wound up with children who had a peanut allergy.

Before you decide to throw out all your peanuts and say good bye to peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, talk to your doctor. Give your doctor a detailed family history and let him know if there are any peanut allergies in your family.

With your doctors help you will be able to create a healthy peanut eating plan for your pregnancy. If you do not feel comfortable at all eating peanuts due to the risk do not let anyone change your mind. At the end f the day, it is your body and your child and you have the right to make that decision.