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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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Now displaying: Page 6
Jun 19, 2016

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.

Jun 15, 2016

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.

Jun 12, 2016

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.

Jun 5, 2016

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.

May 29, 2016

Hospitals have become the go to place to give birth in many countries.  About 98% of all births in the United States are in hospitals, so if you live in the U.S. there is a good chance that is where you are planning to give birth.  Even if you are planning for a birth center or home birth knowing about your backup option is smart.  Birth is not an all or nothing decision where you are either having a baby in hospital with tons of interventions, or having a baby at home with no interventions and incense burning in the background.  There are an infinite number of options available to you to really prepare for and craft the birth experience you want.  The key to getting the birth experience you want is being educated.  Whether you are planning a cesarean section or will be having a natural labor you could do either in a hospital setting and this episode will help you get more familiar with what you expect in a hospital birth from the moment you arrive, through your labor and birth, until you are discharged and headed home with your new baby.

May 22, 2016

For most of our entire human history a mother in labor was free to move around and change positions to whatever was most comfortable and suited her best at the time.  It really wasn’t until we made labor and birth a highly medicalized process that women began laboring on their backs in a bed.  There are an infinite number of positions you can try during labor and there is no one size fits all.  Labor will likely start at home and you can utilize many different positions to keep labor progressing and be as comfortable as possible before you even get to the hospital or birth center.  No matter where you are giving birth, what your birth plan is, or what interventions you are electing to have, you have options.  This episode has a lot of different positions to try with the pros and cons of each, and what the research says about the best positions for both labor and birth.

May 15, 2016

Electronic fetal monitoring is probably a topic that you don’t think you need to know anything about.  Knowledge is power, and knowing how this works, what your options are, and how it can impact your labor, and even the outcome of how your baby is born is powerful.  Although electronic fetal monitoring sounds pretty uninteresting it can have a bigger impact on your labor than you think, and you may have some different choices about it depending on your risk level and how you and your little one are doing during labor.  During your labor and birth your doctor of midwife will be checking the heart rate of your baby.  This is monitored because your little one’s heart rate is thought of as the best way to check their well-being during labor.  The goal of using electronic fetal monitoring is to identify babies who are short on oxygen and then identify what the underlying cause is to correct it.  Monitoring heart rate can also alert your doctor or midwife in the event an emergency arises in which the baby needs to be born immediately either via cesarean section or through an assisted birth.

May 8, 2016

Should you see a Midwife or OBGYN?  Your care provider is the cornerstone of your prenatal care and choosing the right one can make a big difference on your birth experience.  This is your expert resource that you will be working with throughout your pregnancy to make some very important decisions.  You need to be comfortable with, and trust, your care provider.  Both a midwife and an OBGYN offer prenatal care, assist in labor and delivery, and are qualified to give postnatal care.  While they are similar, these are two different designations, and there are pros to each of them.  There are also some situations in which one would be more appropriate than the other.  This episode breaks it all down for you so you know the difference between a Midwife and an OBGYN, and know which one is the right choice for the pregnancy and birth you are planning for.

May 1, 2016

The majority of babies will get fed formula in the first year of their life and this episode has some great info on what your options are, what the ingredients are, and everything else you need to know to decide what formula is right for your little one.  Since the inception of formula, manufacturers have spent a pile of money and resources trying to mimic breastmilk as closely as possible.  All the ingredients that go into formula are in one way or another mimicking what is actually in breastmilk.  Infant formula today is the best we have ever had available and it is continuing to improve over time.  After breastmilk, formula is the next best thing.  When it comes to choosing an infant formula you have a lot of options.  Just walk down that aisle of your grocery store and you have floor to ceiling packages with brilliant marketing telling you that each formula is the best.  So which one is the absolute best?  I wish that were an easy answer, after listening to this episode you will have a much better idea of your options and be able to decide which one is right for your baby.

Apr 24, 2016

This episode really gets into all of the basics about bottle feeding.  There are a lot of different options for bottles, and this covers all of your options for different materials, sizes, shapes, and features.  Each design has pros and cons and we go through each of them so you will have a better idea of what type of bottle is right for your baby.  This episode covers everything from the very first step of warming up a bottle to cleaning everything after your baby is done with a meal.  Do not stress about introducing a bottle and bottle feeding your baby.  This episode includes all the details you need to know about when to introduce a bottle and the mechanics of bottle feeding your little one.  Introducing a bottle can add some challenges to breastfeeding but there are some excellent tips for you to make the two work together and keep you and your little one happy.

Apr 17, 2016

Tips for pumping breast milk and maximizing your supply, how to build up a serious stash of milk, and how to rock pumping at work.  Understanding the relationship between breastfeeding and pumping will set you up for success when you are building up a stash of milk or pumping when you return to work.  Pumping will get easier and you will get better at it the longer you do it.  Part of the learning curve is going to be figuring out what works best for you, and finding ways to make pumping more productive and convenient will make it easier.  The easier it is, the more consistent you will be, and consistency is really the key to making it work.  Whether you are looking to stockpile your freezer with milk, continue pumping when you return to work after your maternity leave, or if you just want to be able to give your baby pumped milk from time to time this episode has some great tips for you to maximize your supply and make this task as easy as possible.

 

Show notes: http://pregnancypodcast.com/episode31/

 

Thank you to Aeroflow for sponsoring this episode. Aeroflow is a company that helps you get a breast pump through your health insurance. There can be some hoops to jump through to get a breast pump through your insurance but Aeroflow does all of this for you and makes it so easy. All you need to do is fill out a form that takes just a minute and they will contact your health insurance company and work out all the details, then they will get in touch with you to help you choose the right breast pump. To get started on ordering your pump go to http://pregnancypodcast.com/breastpump/

Apr 10, 2016

Pumping is a great way to provide breast milk to your baby when you cannot be there to breastfeed.  This could be so you can run errands for a couple hours, enjoy a night out with girlfriends, or because you will be returning back to work after your maternity leave is over.  Breast milk is often referred to as liquid gold, and it is.  It is so valuable and amazing that it cannot be reproduced in a lab, only you can make it, and your milk is perfectly formulated for the needs of your baby.  Hooking your boobs up to a machine to pump milk is pretty strange, but the fact that you can give your baby your own breast milk from a bottle is awesome.  Pumping breast milk can really make a major difference for moms who need to be away from their baby during a short time and especially if you will be returning back to work at some point after the birth of your little one.  This episode is focused on all the fundamental things you need to know about pumping breast milk.

 

Show notes: http://pregnancypodcast.com/episode30/

 

Thank you to Aeroflow for sponsoring this episode. Aeroflow is a company that helps you get a breast pump through your health insurance. There can be some hoops to jump through to get a breast pump through your insurance but Aeroflow does all of this for you and makes it so easy. All you need to do is fill out a form that takes just a minute and they will contact your health insurance company and work out all the details, then they will get in touch with you to help you choose the right breast pump. To get started on ordering your pump go to http://pregnancypodcast.com/breastpump/

Apr 3, 2016

There is a lot you can do to prepare for breastfeeding before you have your baby and some very simple steps you can take during your pregnancy.  The more prepared you are for breastfeeding, the better start you will have, and the more successful your breastfeeding relationship will be.  Don't wait until you are holding your baby in your arms to think about breastfeeding.  This episode features Lori Isenstadt of the All About Breastfeeding podcast.  Lori is a breastfeeding expert and explains everything you can do to prepare for breastfeeding now and get off to a great start once your baby arrives.

Lori Isenstadt has many certifications in the maternity field.  She has worked as a childbirth educator, postpartum and birth doula, she has written several eBooks, and for the last 20 years has worked as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. She is a pro on all things breastfeeding, she runs a private practice where she helps moms and babies with breastfeeding, and is the proud host of the All About Breastfeeding podcast.

Mar 27, 2016

Consumption of placenta by a mom after birth has been a taboo subject and has been gaining popularity in recent years.  We are going to really dive into the possible benefits and risks of this practice, discuss the scientific evidence available to back up the claims, and talk about your options for consuming it, from raw placenta smoothies to placenta encapsulation.  The thought of eating your placenta might gross you out at first but once you hear about some of the amazing benefits women claim it has you might be willing to consider it.  This is not another podcast solely focused on the all of the wonderful things placenta encapsulation does.  This is an examination of all of the pros, cons, evidence, studies, and all of your options.  After listening to this episode you will totally understand what placenta encapsulation is and have all of the information you could possibly need to decide if this is something you want to consider.

Mar 20, 2016

What cord blood is, how a cord blood bank works, how cord blood is used, and what conditions it can treat.  There are many reasons you may consider cord blood banking, and the decision to do it should be based on all of the pros and cons.  If you do decide to bank your baby’s cord blood you have options between public and private banks, and this episode gets into the pros and cons of each.  This is definitely a confusing topic and it can be a challenge to get all of the information you need to understand cord blood banking, and make an informed decision as to whether it is something you want to do.  There is also a lot of confusion about whether cord blood banking is compatible with delayed cord clamping and this episode gets into the details on how you can potentially do both.

Mar 13, 2016

Everything you need to know and take into consideration about delaying the clamping of your baby’s umbilical cord.  Your baby’s umbilical cord is their lifeline.  It is constantly delivering oxygen and nutrients, and removing carbon dioxide and waste.  Learn how the placenta and the umbilical cord work both during pregnancy and after birth, whether there are benefits of delayed cord clamping, and what your available options are.  If you do decide to delay the clamping of your baby’s umbilical cord, find out some great tips on how to approach this topic with your doctor or midwife.  Whether or not to delay cord clamping does not just apply to a vaginal birth for a full term baby.  The timing of clamping the cord is still very important if you have a baby preterm or if you have a cesarean section.

Mar 6, 2016

Have you thought much about maternity clothes?  Does the thought of not fitting into anything in your closet freak you out?  Maybe you are excited to dress up and show off your growing bump.  Expecting moms fall all over the spectrum on how they feel about maternity clothes.  On top of your emotions and feelings about growing, you may love shopping and have an unlimited budget, or you may not like going to the mall and not have much, if anything, to spend on maternity clothes.  The good news is that we are covering all the basic things you need to know about maternity clothes.  The goal is to feel comfortable and stylish no matter how you feel about fashion, and regardless of what your budget is.  In this episode we will get into how you can raid your closet (or a friend's closet) for pieces you can wear throughout your pregnancy, what are some must haves, and where to shop for great deals.

Feb 28, 2016

Exactly what you need to pack in your birth center or hospital bag to be prepared for labor, birth, and caring for your new baby.  This is a pretty big to do on your list when you are pregnant because of course you want to be prepared and make sure you have everything you need and that you are not forgetting anything when the big birth day arrives.  This episode goes into detail on everything you need to pack, whether you are planning on having your baby at a hospital or a birth center.  If you are planning on a home birth this episode will still be helpful for you because you will want to have a lot of these items on hand and easily accessible during and after your labor at home.

Don’t over think this.  It is easy to get wrapped up and over do it.  To be perfectly honest, if you went into labor, and showed up to the birth center or a hospital with nothing you would fine.  I promise you it would not be the end of the world.  You would probably have to send your partner out to buy a car seat so you could take your baby home from the hospital or birth center, but otherwise you would surely survive.  With that being said, there are definitely some things you can pack in a bag during your pregnancy that will make your labor and birth experience more comfortable.  This episode breaks everything down by what you need to pack for mom, baby, and dad.  Don’t forget about dad, he needs some stuff too.  We will get into what items are must haves and some optional things you may want to consider too.  Don’t worry about writing all of this down.  I created a checklist for you to download with everything on it at http://pregnancypodcast.com/episode24

 

Feb 21, 2016

A doula is a professional who has been trained in childbirth and who provides emotional, physical, and educational support to a mother and their birth partner.  Having a doula can be an amazing help in creating the birth experience you want, and can drastically decrease your chances of requiring an intervention and a cesarean section.  This episode features Nathalie Saenz of the Dearest Doula podcast.  She has a passion for birth and explains everything you need to know about doulas from what they do to some great questions to ask when finding one that is the right fit for you.

 

Nathalie Saenz is a birth doula, and the creator and host of the Dearest Doula podcast, a free online resource for new and aspiring birth workers. She currently offers pregnancy and birth support in San Antonio, Texas.

Feb 14, 2016

Unfortunately, sometimes when your skin is stretching during birth it can tear.  It is pretty common for first time mothers to have some tearing during a vaginal delivery and of course there is also the possibility that you could have an episiotomy, which is a surgical incision.  The good news is that there are some things you can do leading up to, and during, your labor and delivery to prevent this.  I know all of this can sound scary but it shouldn’t be.  The benefits of a vaginal delivery far outweigh the downside of a tear or an episiotomy.  Keep in mind some women make it through a vaginal birth without any tearing so it is not unavoidable.  If you do end up with a tear or incision there is a lot you can do to make yourself more comfortable, give yourself some relief, and help your body heal afterwards.

Feb 7, 2016

There are a lot of rumors about activities you can do or certain foods to eat for inducing labor naturally.  Some of these methods have some science behind them and some of these remedies are just old wives tales that you can probably skip.  This episode gets into all of the remedies of inducing labor naturally to give you the information you need to know what works and what doesn’t.  Of course you want to wait until your baby is fully mature and your body is ready for labor but there are some things you can do at home that can help to naturally induce labor, and some are definitely worth trying, especially if your doctor or midwife is bringing up the possibility of a medical induction.

Jan 31, 2016

In a perfect world everything works like it is supposed to, your body is ready, your baby is fully mature and ready to make their entrance into the world, and you naturally go into labor.  As you probably know, everything doesn’t always go the way we plan and many women end up getting an induction to jump start labor.  The key is knowing when an induction may be medically necessary, and when it may be better to wait it out.  There are many reasons your doctor or midwife may suggest an induction and this episode really dives deep into the reasons an induction may be necessary, as well as some reasons it may be better to wait.  There are many ways your labor can be induced and we go through each method, how it works, what risks are involved, and what the benefits of each method are.  We get into the details on stripping and sweeping membranes, misoprostol (Cytotec), dinoprostone (Cervidil & Prepidil), synthetic oxytocin (Pitocin), using a laminaria or balloon cathedar, and breaking your water.  You will definitely want to listen to this episode to get all the information you need to determine whether an induction is right for you, when is the best time to do it, and what methods you want to use.

Jan 24, 2016

Hypnobirthing is a practice that uses calming and relaxation techniques to create a calm, positive birth experience.  This is an amazing tool you need in your toolbox as a mom-to-be!  It can be applied during your pregnancy, labor, birth, and even in your parenting journey.  Hypnobirthing will be useful whether you’re planning a hospital, home, or midwife-led birth.  This episode features Suzy Ashworth of the Calm Birth School.  Suzy is a hypnobirthing expert and has helped teach thousands of women, all over the world, her unique method for creating a smooth birth experience.  Suzy explains everything involved with hypnobirthing, the science behind it, and how it can help you get the positive birth experience you want.

Suzy Ashworth is a pregnancy coach, hypnotherapist, psychotherapist and a hypnotherapist, with two children and a growing bump. She has a passion for showing women exactly why they can and should believe in themselves, empowering them to create mind-blowing birth experiences. Making women feel confident and amazing is what she rocks at.

Jan 17, 2016

Braxton Hicks contractions are sporadic “practice” contractions that many pregnant women experience during the second and the third trimesters.  This episode talks about what they are, what they feel like, what can trigger them, and how you can find some relief.  There are some key ways to distinguish between Braxton Hicks contractions and real contractions.  Knowing the signs of pre-term labor and labor and how to tell the difference between fake contractions and the real thing will you give you the confidence you need to decide when to call your doctor or midwife, when to go to the hospital or birth center, and when you just need to relax and wait it out.  Listen to this episode for everything you need to know about Braxton Hicks.

Jan 10, 2016

This episode covers everything you need to know about ultrasounds.  It explains what ultrasounds are and how they are used and gets into the details of ultrasound safety.  The scientific studies that have been done on their use, and what the World Health Organization and some other entities recommend about their use.  This is a great episode for anyone who is pregnant to listen to as you will most likely have at least one, if not multiple ultrasounds throughout your prenatal care.  This episode also may make you think twice about an elective ultrasound for 3D pictures or a 4D video of your little one.  An ultrasound exam is a procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves to scan your abdomen and pelvic cavity, creating a picture, which is called a sonogram, of the baby and the placenta.

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