Preeclampsia During {and AFTER} Pregnancy

Preeclampsia, formerly known as toxemia or pregnancy induced hypertension is seen in at least 5-8% of all pregnancies, according to the Preeclampsia Foundation. It is a pregnancy related syndrome that affects the liver, kidneys and red blood cells. During pregnancy, your doctor or midwife is checking for high blood pressure and testing for protein in your urine, to monitor for signs of preeclampsia. The risks of eclampsia are seizures, coma and death so prenatal screening can help your provider monitor things and form a treatment plan if necessary.

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5 Tips for Your First Outing With a New Baby

Pregnancy and birth are (barely) behind you and you’re adjusting to life with a newborn at home. Maybe you’ve found your daily routine or you’re still trying to figure out how to do life with this needy, adorable baby bird. At some point, most new parents just need out of the house and they’re ready to take the new baby on their first big outing. These tips will help to make that adventure a little less stressful.

1.     Pack the diaper bag the night before.

Make sure you have plenty of diapers, wipes and clean clothes. In the early months, 2-3 changes of clothes for the baby aren’t a bad idea. If you’re bottle feeding, take enough formula or breast milk for the feedings you’ll need, and maybe one extra. If you’re breastfeeding and like to use a cover, pack that too. I always kept a change of clothes for myself in my car too, because babies don’t care about your “I’m going out in public and want to look human” outfit.

2.     Make it a low-pressure outing.

Try to choose something that doesn’t require getting out of the house by certain time. Give yourself plenty of time to get ready and to get the baby ready, allowing for surprise diapers, long feedings or an unexpected bath. A walk through downtown McKinney with lunch at Spoons Cafe or even just a quick trip to Target can be enough.

3.     Practice using your stroller or baby carrier at home first.

I’ll never forget struggling with a brand-new jogging stroller in a parking lot, while snow (yes, in Texas) hit me in the face and the baby cried in her car seat. Take your stroller on a practice walk around the house or down the street. Learn how to fold it, strap the baby in and where to put your things. If you plan to wear your baby, practice using your carrier at home so you’re a pro with it when you’re out in public. We really like the ease of Lille carriers and they’re not bad on your lower back either.

4.     Be mindful of germs, especially during flu season.

Be sure to ask your baby’s pediatrician if they are healthy enough to go out in public just yet. You can wear your baby and tuck their hands in, to keep well-meaning strangers from touching them, or use an open-top car seat cover like this one, since it can double as a nursing cover and is breathable. Wash your hands often and wipe down shopping cart handles.

5.     Treat yourself while you’re out.

Go find something that makes you happy. Grab your favorite coffee from Snug on the Squarea cup of that great soup at Harvest or a new lipstick if that’s your thing. Getting out and about with a new baby is hard work sometimes, so reward yourself. If you want to make it even easier on yourself, take your postpartum doula with you. She can help you feel confident, hold the baby while you shop and make sure you’re taken care of while you take care of your little one.

Where was your first outing with your new baby?

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Missed The Boat...Why I Should Have Been Floating in Pregnancy!

I am always looking for things that will make my clients lives a little easier and help them to really focus on self-care during and after pregnancy. Last week I met Ray Thoma, the owner of The Float Spot in Frisco, Texas. I told him I wanted to learn more about floating and to try it myself before I recommended it to clients. I did a one-hour float and now I'm sold! For that hour, I had none of my usual back pain, I got to truly clock out and rest and I didn't have to care about a thing. 

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Lovenox Injections in Pregnancy

Some women like me, know before they ever get pregnant they will have to be on anticoagulation (blood thinning) therapy, like Lovenox injections during pregnancy. Others have never heard of it and can be scared when they think about having to give themselves injections every day. Lovenox can be prescribed for a variety of reasons. For me, it was a history of a DVT, deep vein thrombosis (blood clot) in my leg. My DVT was a postoperative complication of my spinal fusion surgery, but once you have had a clot, you are at risk to have another. So for me, that meant 546 injections in my stomach over 39 weeks to get my baby here as safely as possible. Factor V Leiden thrombophilia in pregnancy and history of some pregnancy losses or fertility treatments are also reasons a woman might be put on anticoagulation like Lovenox. Pregnancy increases a woman’s risk of blood clots and they can be detrimental if they travel to her heart, her brain, the baby’s placenta or the umbilical cord. Although it can be intimidating, if your obstetrician or midwife prescribes Lovenox or anticoagulation therapy, it is because the risk of a clot outweighs the risk of the medication in your pregnancy.

 

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What Happens at the 6 Week Postpartum Checkup?

When you have a baby, some doctors and midwives will see you a few days or a week after the birth. Some will want to see you at two weeks postpartum, especially if you had a cesarean birth, but the majority of women will see their doctor or midwife at six weeks postpartum for a checkup. You might be wondering what happens at the six-week checkup or when you can have sex again after having a baby. If that’s the last thing on your mind, that’s ok too...

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Physical Therapy and Pregnancy: Part 2 Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

Pelvic floor dysfunction or disorders can occur before, during or after pregnancy. We most often hear about them after a baby has been born. We’ve all heard someone say “I pee when I sneeze” or “I have to cross my legs when I laugh- since I’ve had my kids.” Pelvic floor dysfunction actually refers to a variety of issues caused by the muscles of the pelvic floor. These muscles can be too tight or weak and can cause impairment or pain in the sacroiliac joints, hip joints, low back or coccyx (tailbone). Inability to hold urine or incontinence can also stem from pelvic floor dysfunction. It can cause pain with intercourse, vaginal exams or cervical checks during labor, and rectal pain.

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Physical Therapy and Pregnancy: Part 1 Diastasis Recti

Pregnancy affects your entire body in pretty big ways, so it’s not surprising that after the baby is born you might experience pain, weakness or a new condition. Diastasis recti, pelvic floor dysfunction, symphysis pubis dysfunction or sacroiliac joint pain are all common conditions that can come on during or after pregnancy. The focus of physical therapy is on strengthening the muscles around the source of pain, functional exercises to teach you ways to care for yourself and your baby to avoid injury and therapies for pain after pregnancy.

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How Do I Know if I Have Postpartum Depression?

You have just had a baby and you might be wondering, why don't I feel normal? You might also be feeling anxious or fearful. Just like joy, happiness and love for your baby, feelings of guilt, sadness, fear and stress are all normal. None of these feelings are inherently bad, but they can be intrusive and hard to manage. 

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Bringing Home Baby: Postpartum Doulas

You are now at home with your new baby who you just want to gaze at and soak in every moment. Then reality sets in. How are you supposed to rest and recover from birth? When will you have time to cook? You’re supposed to be taking it easy, but so much needs to be done. Do tidy houses even exist with newborns? What about caring for the rest of the family? Unpacking the hospital bags looks so daunting.

 

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