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Pregnancy Podcast

The Pregnancy Podcast is a podcast all about navigating the crazy awesomeness that is pregnancy, birth, and being a new parent! Vanessa Merten provides info that goes way beyond the typical “pregnancy instruction manual” by sharing perspectives from first-time moms, experienced moms, midwives, doulas, the latest research, and even a physician here and there – all so you decide what the best option is for YOU and feel confident about​ your decisions during your pregnancy and beyond. The Pregnancy Podcast covers everything from pregnancy, prenatal care, labor, natural birth, breast feeding, newborns, and being a new parent. The Pregnancy Podcast is ​a resource to help you make informed decisions about your pregnancy and your baby. Rest assured, you’ll find the real solutions that are in line with your family and your lifestyle.
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Nov 9, 2016

During your pregnancy estrogen, progesterone and prolactin are changing your breasts to prepare your body for producing milk and breastfeeding. One of the biggest changes is the growth of additional breast tissue. It is recommended to examine your breasts and your armpits for lumps just to be on the lookout for anything out of the ordinary but chances are when you are pregnant you will have a lot of lumps where you didn’t before. We have been conditioned to associate a lump in our breast to cancer but another possibility during pregnancy is that it could be a lactating adenoma. This is a benign growth that will naturally disappear at the end of your pregnancy or when you have stopped breastfeeding. This episode answers a question about whether you should be worried about finding a lump in your breast during pregnancy.

Nov 6, 2016

In the United States, the average cost of a vaginal birth is $18,329 and the average cost for a cesarean section is $27,866.  Health insurance is important because it will help to cover some of these costs and minimize the amount you will need to spend on medical bills.  The first step is to find the right insurance coverage for pregnancy and birth.  This is going to get you off on the right foot to minimizing your costs and making sure you are covered.  Next, you should know how your insurance works so you aren't surprised by medical bills after your baby arrives.  If you already have health insurance that you are happy with this episode is going to help explain how health insurance works during your pregnancy and birth and how to understand what your cost is going to be. If you do not have health insurance or you are in the process of changing your insurance this episode will help you figure out how to choose the right plan.

Nov 2, 2016

A nuchal hand is one of several compound presentations where an extremity is alongside the presenting part of your baby at birth.  With a vertex baby, the presenting part is their head, and with a breech baby, it is their bottom. A nuchal hand means that their hand is up by their face when they are being born and this is the most common presentation irregularity.  Ideally, your baby retracts their arm and comes out headfirst.  A nuchal hand doesn't automatically mean a C-section, but it does have the possibility to bring up some complications. This episode answers several questions about a nuchal hand, how it affects your birth and whether there is anything you can do during pregnancy or labor to prevent it.

Oct 30, 2016

Circumcision can be a very controversial topic and a very confusing one. Circumcision is the removal of foreskin from a penis, and it is a permanent surgical procedure. The considerations in making a decision to circumcise your baby include your baby’s health, benefits and risks of the procedure, and religious and social considerations. From a medical standpoint, on one side the claimed benefits are decreased risks for sexually transmitted diseases, easier or better hygiene, decrease risks for urinary tract infections and penile cancer.  On the other side proponents against circumcision cite the risks for complications of the procedure and inflicting pain in your baby for an elective procedure. This episode is about the pros and cons, the research available, and all of the considerations to take into account when deciding whether to circumcise your baby. There is a lot of literature available on this topic and a lot of strong opinions on both sides of this debate. After listening to this episode you will have all of the information you need to weigh the risks and benefits and make the decision that is right for you and your baby.

Oct 26, 2016

The process you go through to create your birth plan, which includes educating yourself, and working with your care provider is really important to get the birth experience you want. The final step of creating your birth plan is writing it out. A written birth plan is going to serve as your blueprint for how you want your birth to unfold from start to finish. This episode answers a question about whether it is really necessary to write out a plan and hand a copy to your doctor or midwife.

Oct 23, 2016

No matter what type of birth you have, the most important thing after your baby is born is that you get skin to skin with your baby. Skin to skin means that your baby is not swaddled or clothed and their bare skin is placed belly down against your bare chest. Being skin to skin stabilizes your baby’s heart rate, breathing and temperature, and reduces stress in both you and your baby. It also increases your interactions with your baby and increases the likelihood and length of breastfeeding. The benefits to both you and your baby are well documented.

Oct 19, 2016

It is common to have some discomfort in your vaginal area and perineum after having a baby. This can obviously come along with an episiotomy or a vaginal tear, but even without a tear you will probably be tender. Padsicles are a fantastic tool to help soothe your sore areas and are super quick and easy to make. Padsicles are postpartum healing pads that you can DIY at home. By adding a few ingredients to feminine pads and freezing them before you give birth you can be more comfortable once you are home with your baby. This episode answers a question about what recipe to use and gives you simple step-by-step instructions to make your own postpartum healing pads.

Oct 16, 2016

Choosing a pediatrician can be a stressful event, but it doesn’t have to be. You have two options when it comes to picking a doctor for your baby; a pediatrician or a family physician or general practitioner. The upside to a pediatrician is that they are specially trained in providing care for newborns, babies, and toddlers. A pediatrician is your trusted partner in your baby’s health. Together you ensure your baby is growing and developing on track and if there is any deviation from the norm you work together to figure out what is going on what is going on and how to treat it. A pediatrician will monitor your child’s growth and development and be there in the event your baby’s health is not optimal. This episode gives you tips to choose a pediatrician and lets you know what you can expect from your doctor visits with your new baby.

Oct 12, 2016

It has long been rumored that cabbage leaves are a remedy for breast engorgement and drying up your milk supply. It is thought that the phytoestrogen property of cabbage is what helps to draw the fluids into the cabbage leaf. Engorgement can be so uncomfortable when you are breastfeeding. This episode answers the question of what's up with cabbage leaves? Do they have magical properties or is it simply a popular placebo?

 

Huge thank you to Lori Isenstadt of the All About Breastfeeding Podcast for contributing to this episode!

Oct 9, 2016

Dental care during your pregnancy may not be the most glamorous topic but it is an important one. Your body does some wacky things when you are pregnant and this also applies to your mouth. There are some dental issues you may experience during your pregnancy and this episode talks about what those are, why they are important, and what you can do to prevent issues and keep your mouth healthy during your pregnancy. It can also be confusing as to whether routine things like cleanings and x-rays are okay, and some not routine procedures like cavity fillings or root canals. Find out what the recommendation is for dentist visits, cleanings, x-rays, medications, and dental procedures. Listen to this episode for everything you need to know to keep your beautiful smile healthy during your pregnancy.

Oct 5, 2016

There are a lot of rules about what you can and cannot eat during pregnancy. Sushi is on the list of foods to be cautious about and this episode breaks down all the info you need to know to decide whether you are comfortable eating sushi during your pregnancy. There are a few things to keep in mind when deciding whether it is safe to eat sushi. Your main concerns are parasites, bacteria, viruses, and mercury. This episode talks about what your risks are with eating raw fish during pregnancy and answers a question about whether it is safe to eat sushi when you are pregnant.

Oct 2, 2016

Whether this is your first pregnancy and you are planning on more children or this is your second or third time around there are a lot of things that will be different from the first time you were pregnant. This episode covers everything you can expect when you are pregnant with your second baby.  Your risks for certain complications can also change the second time around.  It can be a challenge to prepare your existing kids for their new role as big brother or sister.  This episode has a lot of tips on how to deal with pregnancy, labor, birth, and breastfeeding if this is not your first baby.

Sep 28, 2016

Fentanyl is an opiate which can decrease the intensity of contractions but will not numb the feeling completely like an epidural could. Opiates will cause mild to moderate sedation and tend to go to work very quickly but they do not last for an extended period of time. Fentanyl takes 3-5 minutes to be effective and will last anywhere from about 20-45 minutes. Any opiate does cross the placenta, and as with any medication there are potential side effects to you and your baby. This episode answers a question about using fentanyl during labor and the risks and benefits associated with the medication.

Sep 25, 2016

The infection caused by the Zika virus normally isn’t a big deal. The issue is not a risk to you, even if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, the risk is that it can be passed to your baby and cause some pretty serious complications. If you live in an area where the virus is not reported and neither you or your partner have traveled to any Zika affected areas you should have nothing to worry about. Unfortunately the virus is spreading, and now it isn’t just being transmitted by mosquitos but it is also being transmitted sexually. This episode dives into what the Zika virus is, how you can get it, how it can affect your baby, and how you can best protect yourself from getting the virus.

Sep 21, 2016

There is a lot of evidence of the benefits of prenatal yoga, and there is research that shows in general yoga is safe to practice when you are pregnant. However, there have been concerns raised about Bikram yoga. Practicing yoga in a heated room has the potential to loosen your ligaments, which are already loose just from pregnancy, and increase your risks of overheating and dehydration. During pregnancy there is concern of an elevated core temperature causing neural tube defects, spontaneous abortion, and other abnormalities. This episode answers a question about prenatal yoga and what room temperatures are considered safe to practice yoga in during pregnancy.

Sep 18, 2016

Traveling can be a challenge even when you are not pregnant. Traveling can be a big part of our lives from taking a trip for work, to visiting family, to taking vacations. With a few exceptions traveling while pregnant is no different than traveling when you are not expecting. The key is planning ahead. Whether you are hopping in a car for a road trip, getting on a train, or flying to another country this episode goes through some tips to stay healthy and be as comfortable as possible while traveling when you are expecting.

Sep 14, 2016

A lot of expecting moms wonder if it is safe to dye their hair during pregnancy and looking for an answer often leaves you with mixed results. So which is it, can you dye your hair or not? The short answer is yes you can, but like everything pregnancy related, it isn’t exactly as simple as a yes or no question. Ideally during your pregnancy you want to limit your exposure to harmful chemicals. While there is not any solid research linking coloring your hair to negative effects to your baby there are some considerations you should take into account before coloring your hair. This episode answers the question of whether it is safe to dye your hair when you are pregnant and some things you can do to limit your exposure to harmful chemicals.

Sep 11, 2016

Your baby starts out with a lot of room to move around in the beginning of your pregnancy, and as they get bigger they have less room to move around. Ideally before birth your little one is positioned head-down, facing your back, with their chin tucked to their chest and the back of their head ready to enter your pelvis. Most babies settle into this position within weeks 32-36. In some cases a baby is not head down and is bottom first rather than head first, and this is referred to as breech. There is a procedure called an external cephalic version that may be able to assist your baby turn in the right position, so they are head down, before you go into labor. This episode is going to go into some causes of breech babies, what the complications of a breech vaginal birth can be, and all of the pros, cons, and research on the ECV procedure.

Sep 7, 2016

Being pregnant often comes along with stress and pressure from in-laws, parents, other family members, or friends to do thing the way they think is best.  The very first thing you should know is that you are running the show, even if it doesn’t feel that way at times. When people who are close to you try to assert their opinions on you they are coming from a good place.  You and your partner are in charge and you need to speak up and make your plans known.  Of course family is important and you do not want to hurt anyone’s feelings, so how you decide to tactfully bring up these conversations is going to be your call.  Bottom line, do not feel bad, and do not let anyone else make decisions for you or dictate how your pregnancy, birth, or newborn experience goes. This episode answers a question about how to deal with a difficult and stressful situation with family.

Sep 4, 2016

Caffeine is one of the very first things to be cautious with once you see that positive pregnancy test.  Caffeine is considered a psychoactive drug, meaning that it changes brain function and results in alterations in perception, mood, or consciousness. It is the most widely consumed drug in the world and is most commonly found in coffee, tea, and chocolate. Trying to figure out whether you can have caffeine when you are pregnant can be confusing. Understanding how caffeine effects your body, and how it is processed will be help you to determine whether you are comfortable enjoying some caffeine when you are expecting.  Some common questions are: Can you consume caffeine during your pregnancy? Does caffeine affect your baby?  How much caffeine is okay when you are pregnant? This episode answers these questions, dives into all of the details on caffeine and pregnancy, and talks about what the research says about caffeine consumption when you are pregnant.

Aug 31, 2016

During pregnancy, or even before if you are trying to conceive, it is suggested you take a prenatal vitamin or supplement with folate or folic acid. Folate is water soluble, so it does not remain in your system for long, and this is why you need to constantly replenish your supply through your diet. Although folate deficiencies are rare, folate is really important when you are pregnant because it helps prevent neural tube defects. Folate and folic acid are often used interchangeably but they are not identical. This episode answers a question about the differences between folate and folic acid and which one is better.

 

Show notes: http://pregnancypodcast.com/folicacid/

 

Thank you to Zahler for their support of this episode. Zahler makes a high quality prenatal vitamin that has the active form of folate, that I refer after all of the research I have read on folic acid, plus it has omega 3s and DHA. This is the prenatal vitamin I take and the one I recommend. Zahler was very generous and gave me a promo code I can share with you so you can save 25% off when you buy a month supply on Amazon. To order them today go to http://amzn.to/2nOuFVB and enter the promo code PREPOD25 when you checkout.

Aug 28, 2016

Alcohol is one of the very first things to go once you see that positive pregnancy test.  A lot of expecting moms have questions about alcohol. Trying to figure out guidelines for alcohol and pregnancy can be so confusing.  Can you drink any alcohol during your pregnancy?  Does it affect your baby?  How much is okay?  These are questions you may have asked your doctor or midwife and you usually get one of two answers.  You hear, absolutely no alcohol, in any quantity, or, it’s okay to enjoy a glass of wine from time to time with a meal.  When you drink alcohol it is absorbed through your stomach and small intestines and enters your blood stream. Once it is in your blood stream it goes to your heart, brain, muscles, and other tissues.  If you are pregnant, it is also going to your placenta and then gets passed to your baby through the umbilical cord. You already know that drinking high amounts of alcohol is a bad idea. What about an occasional drink? This episode is going to get into all of the details on alcohol and pregnancy, how it affects your baby, and what the research says about drinking when you are pregnant.

Aug 24, 2016

A pudendal nerve block is an injection of an anesthetic that works to block the pudednal nerve. This nerve goes into two branches, one on each side of your body, and carries sensation from your labia, clitoris, and perenium. Transvaginal refers to how this shot is administered, and it is given through your vagina. This procedure is done in the second stage of labor, just before your baby is born. This episode answers several questions relating to a pudendal nerve block including whether it is recommended, what the short and long term risks are, and whether it will affect the progression of labor or your baby.

Aug 21, 2016

A birth plan is your plan of how you envision your birth and what happens directly following the birth of your baby. A birth plan allows you to make choices. You get to choose where you want to have your baby, who you want to be there, what procedures are done to you, and what procedures are done to your baby. If you don’t make these choices someone else will make them for you. You know your body, your lifestyle, your preferences, and your priorities better than anyone. A birth plan is really more than a piece of paper you hand to your care provider. It is the process you go through to prepare for the birth experience you want. The importance of a birth plan has a lot more to do with the process of writing it than it does with the finished product. How your birth unfolds, and how you and your baby experience it, are a direct result of your planning ahead.

Aug 17, 2016

Shopping for baby gear can be overwhelming. Choosing the right crib can be especially intimidating because safety is a top priority. You have a lot of options when it comes to cribs, with many different styles and price ranges.  As if shopping for a crib isn’t confusing enough, you also have other options like a bassinet for the first few months. Deciding what sleeping arrangement is right for you can be a challenge. This episode answers a couple questions about choosing the right crib and whether you need a bassinet and has a great resource to check out before making a purchase.

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