The umbilical cord has one vein, which is carrying oxygenated blood from the placenta to your baby, and two arteries that take deoxygenated blood from your baby back to the placenta. A single umbilical artery means that instead of two arteries carrying deoxygenated blood from your baby there is only one. This is the most common umbilical abnormality and occurs in about 1 percent of pregnancies with a single baby. It is much more common with twins or multiples and occurs in about 5 percent of those. This episode answers some questions about the risks involved with this diagnosis.
There is so much you can do to set up your labor room environment to be supportive of the birth experience you want. Your labor will progress best in an environment where you feel safe and relaxed. No matter where you are having your baby you could make some adjustments to your surroundings to create the environment that works best for you. This episode has some great tips to improve your birth environment, whether you are giving birth at your home, in a birth center, or a hospital. You want to set up the room to be your space. If there is anything that would make a difference to you pack it in your hospital or birth center bag. If anything about the environment is not working for you, ask if you can adjust it, remove it, or turn it off. The more comfortable you are in your surroundings the more relaxed and at ease you will be to focus on meeting your baby.
The glucose challenge screening is a preliminary screening test you take in the early part of your third trimester. This has become a standard test performed between 26-28 weeks. During the test, you are asked to drink a sweet liquid of glucose and then will have blood drawn one hour from having the drink, as blood glucose levels normally peak within one hour. This screening test evaluates how your body processes sugar and a high level in your blood may indicate your body is not processing sugar effectively. If the results of this screen are positive, meaning your body is not processing glucose effectively, you may have the Glucose Tolerance Test performed, which is used to diagnose gestational diabetes. This episode answers a few questions relating to the glucose screening test.
Natural birth is a birth without medical interventions, particularly anesthesia. It is not some hippie ideology that rejects the advances we have made in medicine. The picture a lot of expecting moms have when they think about natural birth is a mother having a baby in a bathtub at home. Natural birth does not have to be confined to your home, and many women do have a birth without any interventions in a hospital setting without chants going on and incense burning in the background. Natural birth is not just for hippies and this episode is really going to get into the science behind natural childbirth. By understanding the natural process of an uninterrupted birth you will be better able to understand how interventions can affect this process and why some women choose a natural birth.
Cesarean section uterine incisions can be closed either with a single layer or a double layer of sutures. In the 1990’s, the single-layer technique was touted as having fewer complications and became pretty widely accepted in the medical community, because short term, it seemed like the single layer technique was better. There have been questions raised about whether a single layer closure is linked to complications in the long term, specifically with a subsequent pregnancy. This episode answers the question as to whether a single or double layer suture is better in the short and long term and includes the available research on the two methods.
A cesarean section, also known as a C-section, is a surgical procedure used to deliver a baby through incisions in the mother's abdomen and uterus. A C-section could be planned ahead of time if you have a complication that would make a vaginal delivery difficult or you have had a previous C-section and aren't considering vaginal birth after cesarean, commonly referred to as a VBAC. Often a cesarean is not planned and the circumstances change when you are in labor, which lead to a C-section. If you are planning on a C-section you should know what is involved and what you can expect. This episode will also give you some tips on options you may not know that you have, and some tips to get your recovery off to a good start. If a C-section is the furthest thing from how you envision your birth knowing about C-sections will have you prepared for anything.
The term epidural is basically used to encompass any type of anesthetic medication used for labor and birth. There are actually three separate procedures that can be done that are often lumped under the umbrella term, “epidural”. The three procedures are epidurals, spinals, and the combined spinal epidural. Different techniques, medications and doses all have different results and risks, so it is really important to talk to your care provider about what their policy and practice is, so you know what options you have when it comes to medications, and make the best choice for you and your baby. This episode explains what your options are for an epidural, what is involved in the procedure, how it will impact your labor, what the benefits and risks are, and the possible side effects.