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Pregnancy Podcast

The Pregnancy Podcast provides information that goes way beyond the typical “pregnancy instruction manual” by sharing research-backed, evidence-based information. Vanessa Merten designs every episode to give you all the evidence, research, pros, cons, risks, and benefits. You will have all of the knowledge you need to decide the best options for you and feel confident about your decisions during your pregnancy and beyond. This podcast covers everything from trying to conceive, pregnancy, prenatal care, labor, birth, postpartum recovery, breastfeeding, newborns, and being a new parent.
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Now displaying: 2021
Dec 19, 2021

We all deal with some level of stress daily. Pregnancy can be a time of additional stress as you are experiencing many physical changes and preparing for birth and a new baby. In a sense, everything you expose yourself to during pregnancy also can affect your baby, and stress is not an exception. Stress during pregnancy can affect your baby in many ways. Physiological changes can impact your developing baby. Stress that puts you at a higher risk for some complications can affect the health and development of your baby. How you and your baby are affected by stress, both in the short and long-term, is essentially a function of your stress response and your ability to turn it off. The good news is that understanding your stress response and learning about evidence-based tools to manage stress will minimize the adverse effects for both you and your baby and positively impact your mental health.

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

Join Pregnancy Podcast Premium to access the entire back catalog, listen to all episodes ad-free, and more.

 

For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

Dec 12, 2021

Consumption of the placenta by a mother after birth has been taboo, but it has been gaining popularity in recent years. The thought of eating your placenta might gross you out at first, but once you hear about some of the fantastic benefits women claim it has, you might be willing to consider it. This is not another pregnancy podcast solely focused on all of the wonderful things placenta encapsulation does. This episode dives into this practice’s possible benefits and risks, examines the scientific evidence available to back up the claims, and addresses your options for consuming your placenta from raw placenta smoothies to placenta encapsulation. After listening to this episode, you will understand what placenta encapsulation is and have all of the pros, cons, evidence, and options so you can decide whether you want to encapsulate your placenta.

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

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For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

Dec 5, 2021

You will have many opportunities to opt-in or out of interventions in your pregnancy, birth, or with your newborn. In a perfect world, every procedure comes along with informed consent, and you have all of the information you need to make an informed decision confidently. In the real world, constraints like limited time available for appointments make proper informed consent a challenge. One of the most versatile tools that you can apply to anything is your brain. Not the three-pound organ in your head, the acronym BRAIN. This episode has five simple questions you can ask to help determine whether any procedure or intervention is right for you during pregnancy or birth.

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

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For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

Nov 28, 2021

A rebozo is a long rectangular shawl that originated in Mexico. Like many non-western traditions, the art of rebozo is more than a tool. The use of a rebozo has grown in the midwife and doula communities because of the teachings from traditional Mexican midwives. This is a practice that has been passed through generations of midwives and birth workers over centuries. In addition to the cultural and traditional significance, a rebozo can be utilized during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. This episode covers the history of the rebozo, how it can be used for relaxation, support, and pain relief, and how to find a practitioner who is experienced in the art of rebozo.

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

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For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

Nov 21, 2021

The placenta is an organ with a highly specialized purpose, and that is to support the normal growth and development of your baby. Before the widespread use of ultrasounds, few expecting mothers knew what position their placenta was in or if it was considered “normal.” When you have your anatomy scan ultrasound, usually between weeks 18-22, the ultrasound technician will examine your placenta. There are many variations in size and placement. Some of these abnormalities are simply variations that have no impact on your baby, and others can signal potential complications your care provider will want to monitor. This episode includes information on low-lying placenta, placenta previa, placenta accreta spectrum, bilobed placenta, succenturiate placenta, circumvallate placenta, circummarginate placenta, placenta membranacea, ring-shaped placenta, placenta fenestrata, and abnormal cord insertion.

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

Join Pregnancy Podcast Premium to access the entire back catalog, listen to all episodes ad-free, and more.

 

For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

Nov 14, 2021

In the United States, the average cost of vaginal birth is over $9,000, and the average price for a cesarean section is almost $13,000. There are tools and strategies you can use to save money on your medical bills. Insurance can help cover the cost of prenatal care and birth. Tax-advantaged accounts like a flexible spending account or a health savings account can save you money on the expenses you have to pay.

This episode will get you off on the right foot to minimize your costs and make sure you are covered. If you already have health insurance, this episode will help explain how health insurance works during your pregnancy and birth. If you do not have health insurance or are in the process of changing your insurance, this episode will help you figure out how to choose the right plan. Plus, get an overview of tax-advantaged accounts you can use to pay qualified medical expenses. If you are not in a financial position to obtain insurance or utilize tax-advantaged accounts, this episode also has tips for understanding the costs and how you can get assistance with coverage.

 

This episode is not intended to be used as tax advice. Please consult your CPA, accountant, or tax professional for questions and more information.

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

Join Pregnancy Podcast Premium to access the entire back catalog, listen to all episodes ad-free, and more.

 

For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

Nov 7, 2021

A fever is part of your body’s immune response as a natural defense to infection. The risks and benefits of fever during pregnancy are different than those of someone who is not pregnant. Running a fever during your pregnancy can be scary. Studies have linked maternal fevers to complications like autism, neural tube defects, oral clefts, and congenital heart defects. The best way to alleviate any fears or unknowns is to educate yourself about what temperature constitutes a fever, when to call your doctor or midwife, and what to do if you get a fever during your pregnancy. It is common to take over-the-counter medicine to reduce a fever. Over the years, attitudes towards the use of medications like acetaminophen have evolved. While doctors have long considered this safe, more recent research raises questions about taking this over-the-counter medication during pregnancy. 

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

Join Pregnancy Podcast Premium to access the entire back catalog, listen to all episodes ad-free, and more.

 

For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

Oct 24, 2021

The severity and spread of COVID-19 drove demand to create vaccines and get them to the public in record time. In the United States, the FDA has approved three vaccines; two of them are still under an emergency use authorization. We know from real-world data that pregnancy can increase your risks for severe illness from COVID-19. Despite pregnancy increasing COVID-19 risks, clinical trials did not include pregnant participants. Studies are beginning to focus on these vaccines in pregnancy, and researchers are releasing more data on vaccinated pregnant women. While we lack long-term data, ACOG and the CDC recommend that pregnant women get vaccinated for COVID-19. This episode dives into the available evidence on the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines during pregnancy so you can make an informed decision on whether to get the vaccine.

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

Join Pregnancy Podcast Premium to access the entire back catalog, listen to all episodes ad-free, and more.

 

For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

Oct 17, 2021

Flu is an infectious disease caused by the influenza virus. The flu typically isn't severe in healthy adults, and symptoms usually subside in about a week. When you are pregnant, your body's inflammatory response to the flu during pregnancy puts you at a higher risk for some complications. The medical community recommends that pregnant women get the flu vaccine to protect them and give their babies passive immunity. The COVID-19 pandemic is also bringing some additional changes and challenges to the current flu season. There are many flu vaccines available, and it can be challenging to weigh the risks and benefits to decide whether getting the flu vaccine during pregnancy is right for you. This episode dives into all of the evidence and considerations to make an informed decision on whether you should get the flu vaccine during your pregnancy.  

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

Join Pregnancy Podcast Premium to access the entire back catalog, listen to all episodes ad-free, and more.

 

For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

Oct 10, 2021

A vaccine contains a weakened or killed form of a disease-causing micro-organism that causes your body to produce antibodies. This provides immunity without actually inducing the disease. Vaccines are a very controversial topic. This episode introduces what vaccines are and gets into specifics on the Tdap vaccine during pregnancy. In addition to different types of vaccines, they contain many ingredients. These ingredients serve a particular function like increasing your immune response or as a byproduct of the processing. Tdap provides immunity for tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough) and is recommended during pregnancy. Get the evidence-based risks and benefits of getting the Tdap vaccine during pregnancy so you can make an informed decision on whether it is right for you. 

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

Join Pregnancy Podcast Premium to access the entire back catalog, listen to all episodes ad-free, and more.

 

For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

Oct 3, 2021

Ophthalmia neonatorum is a newborn eye infection and in the United States occurs in 1-2% of newborns. This infection can be caused by sexually transmitted infections, viruses, and bacteria. Administering erythromycin eye ointment to newborns is standard procedure in the United States to prevent ophthalmia neonatorum. As with any intervention, there are pros and cons to consider. This article examines the evidence on the efficacy and safety of erythromycin eye ointment so you can make an informed choice for your baby.

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

Join Pregnancy Podcast Premium to access the entire back catalog, listen to all episodes ad-free, and more.

 

For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

Sep 26, 2021

At birth, babies naturally have low levels of vitamin K. The danger in having low levels of vitamin K is the risk of vitamin K deficiency bleeding. This is a rare but serious complication. You can decrease the risk for vitamin k deficiency bleeding with the vitamin K shot. Administering the vitamin K shot to newborns is standard procedure in the United States and many other countries. As with any intervention, there are pros and cons to consider. This episode examines the evidence on the efficacy and safety of the vitamin K shot so you can make an informed choice for your baby.

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

Sep 19, 2021

Prenatal care is healthcare from a medical professional for you and your baby during pregnancy. It is well established that women who receive prenatal care are more likely to have healthy infants. Your doctor or midwife is your trusted partner and has education about all of the intricacies of pregnancy and birth. An important point to keep in mind is that you are in complete control over what happens and what procedures your doctor or midwife performs throughout your prenatal care. You can expect to have somewhere around 14 appointments throughout your entire pregnancy. The time you spend with your doctor or midwife will shape the tests you take, the procedures your care provider performs, and the preparation for your birth. Learn what to expect at each appointment and how to navigate prenatal care confidently.

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

Sep 12, 2021

Some of the best breastfeeding resources lack great information on weaning. What you find instead is information on why you should keep breastfeeding and anxiety-inducing articles on all of the things that can go wrong when you stop nursing. Breastfeeding is important and thankfully there are many resources for this, but it can be stressful when you are ready to wean and have limited evidence of how to do it. This episode aims to take the anxiety out of weaning. Get actionable tips on how to stop breastfeeding and transition from being a breastfeeding mother to your next parenting adventure.

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

Sep 5, 2021

Even if you plan to breastfeed exclusively, there is value in learning about bottles and formula if you decide or need to incorporate them to feed your baby at some point. If you pump breast milk, you will be using a bottle to feed your baby. If you stop breastfeeding before your baby’s first birthday, you will need to supplement with formula. You have many options for bottles and formula, and choosing the best fit for you and your baby can be challenging. This episode is your comprehensive guide to bottle feeding your baby, from introducing a bottle to choosing the right infant formula.

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

Aug 22, 2021

Breast milk is liquid gold. It is so valuable and amazing that scientists cannot reproduce it in a lab, and only you can make it. Your body perfectly formulates your milk for your baby, and pumping allows you to provide milk for your baby even when you are not there. This episode covers the fundamentals of pumping breastmilk to meet your goals, whether an occasional pumping session or building a serious freezer stash. If you plan to return to work after maternity leave, this episode walks through navigating pumping at work. Plus, everything from cleaning and sterilizing your pump and accessories to safely storing your milk.

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

Aug 15, 2021

Your newborn is hard-wired to breastfeed and is born with instincts to help them latch right after birth. Despite these instincts, breastfeeding doesn’t always come naturally or go perfectly right from the start. In reality, breastfeeding can take practice and patience as you and your baby navigate your nursing relationship. Many issues can come up during breastfeeding in the first few days and even months down the road. The more you know about the small speed bumps you could run into, the more likely you are to be able to get over those and correct minor issues before they become significant problems. Issues can include symptoms in your breasts like leaking, sore nipples, nipple shields, pain during breastfeeding or pumping, vasospasms, blebs, plugged ducts, mastitis, and engorgement. Or issues that affect your baby like jaundice, tongue-tie, yeast infection, thrush, food allergies or sensitivities, nursing strikes, sleepy babies, cluster feeding, growth spurts, and spitting up. This episode will help you identify common breastfeeding issues and have a basic understanding of how to correct them so you and your baby can enjoy the benefits of breastfeeding.

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

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