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I am a wife and a mother to the most handsome little boy in the world. I married the man...(click here for more information on me: http://sisusami.com/welcome-to-sisusami-com/)

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Teenage Pregnancy: Not The End Of The World!

General, Pregnancy January 7, 2017

By Sage Nyatsanga
I once came across a picture that said, ‘Dying doesn’t end the pain, it just passes it on to someone else’. To some extent this is true. Dying was the first thing that came across my mind when I found out I was pregnant. It seemed like the best option at the time, followed by abortion. My train of thought was a very dark and bleak one. To most women pregnancy is much celebrated, to most teenage girls, it is not. It is a sign that something went horribly wrong and the only way to fix this wrong is to play God. But what right do we have to play God? The day I found out I had fallen pregnant everything fell apart, well it seemed like it had fallen apart. All the plans I had made for myself seemed to have fallen down the drain. I did not go through the motions very well. I cried and cried and cried until I couldn’t cry anymore. Slowly, I began withdrawing from the world, shutting people out. I felt ashamed of myself, what I had done and what this meant for my family. For the most part, I thought the ‘curse’ had caught up to me. The ‘curse’ was something my best friend and I nicknamed the constant teenage pregnancy syndrome that seemed to plague my line of the family. My great grandmother had her first child at 17, so did my grandmother and mother.

I was troubled and my family began to notice how withdrawn I had become, they started to enquire more about my life and I resorted to lying each time. After a couple of weeks I told my closest aunt about my predicament. She did not take it very well and made sure I knew the repercussions that were headed my way once my mother found out. Like my boyfriend, she was strongly against the idea of abortion. Did I feel proud of myself? Most certainly not. I was forced to come clean, so I did. My mother did not take it well; my father was the total opposite. She took it harder than I thought she would and I felt even more disappointed in myself. The relationship I had with my mother died in an instant. The first thing she asked me was if I had thought about the possibility of dying during labor due to my anemia.

I was certain in that moment she had already killed me in her head.

I felt more like a failure than I ever did in my life and I thought about ending it once again. At some point I even had a conversation with my then boyfriend about suicide, he was not happy. He asked me what I would stand to gain, how the people left behind would feel, if that decision did not feel remotely selfish. He told me that if I succeeded he would hate me and never ever visit my grave. This hurt me extremely because it was coming from someone I deeply cared for, someone I loved. From that day, I shelved all suicidal plans. As time progressed I slowly began accepting the new reality that was playing before me, I was going to become a mother in 2017, a scary and yet exciting prospect once I began to look at it positively.

My life was progressing at an alarmingly fast rate. Before I knew it I was already showing, people were asking about my due date, the baby shower and baby welcome. I felt overwhelmed, even more so when my boyfriend came to pay roora/lobola (bride price) for me. After everything I had said and done to him in my darkest moments, he still wanted to be with me. So, on the 1st of October we were customarily married, which was a step in a positive direction. The steps in my life plans were happening in a haphazard manner and I quickly had to adjust. Eight months into this pregnancy, I am now in a good space. Happily married, rebuilding relations with my mother, planning for the arrival of my baby girl and planning for my upcoming wedding. In all this I have not forsaken my academic studies, difficult as it had become I continued with my program and successfully finished my first year. Dropping out of school was and is never going to be an option, with or without this blessing that has been given to me.

With the coming of this child I am even more determined to do well in life and thrive to be a better person than I had initially intended to be. The main thing I have learnt this year was that if you dip your feet in water they will get wet. Everything has a consequence and that of being sexually active is eventually falling pregnant by chance or by choice. Being a pregnant teenager is not easy. It happens to the best and worst of us. Those who are strong will live with consequences of their actions and those who are weak will play God. Killing someone will rip away a bit of your soul and humanity; you will never be the same person. Killing yourself may end your pain but it will only increase the pain that those left behind were already feeling.

When things get overwhelming for me, I write letters to no one in particular to help me organize my thoughts and express my feelings. I feel so much better afterwards. This helps me distress, though once in a while I talk to an actual human being to get help and advice. The moment I started seeing my unplanned child as a blessing things became easier. Life did not end because I made a couple huge mistakes, it just changed direction and in it doing so I have to come up with ways to get to where we wanted to go initially. I have started learning to maneuver through life as someone responsible for another being and not as a single entity as I did before. My mother always tells me that the pregnancy will not be easy because people will judge you harshly and call you names, but once the baby comes they will be the first to want to hold it. So what’s a hellish nine months compared to a lifetime of memories with your little human?

EDITOR’S NOTE
Thank you for opening up and sharing your story with us. Too many times we fail to bring purpose to the pain we have endured and one way is by helping others in similar positions. Studies done in the US show that more pregnant women died as the result of suicide than as a result of the major causes of death during pregnancy which are hemorrhage/placenta previa, eclampsia/pre-eclampsia, amniotic fluid embolism, infection, substance abuse and poor general health. Teenage pregnancy is still taboo in most parts of Africa especially in Zimbabwe and difficulties in the economy don’t make it any easier on the people involved. childtrends.org reports that about 1 million teenagers fell pregnant in 2011 and that 43% of those pregnancies ended in abortion. That shows a problem with the amount of sexual activity with teens. Again, we do not have any local studies or statistics because abortions are only legal in cases of rape and even the few that come forward to report rape are not a true representation of the number of girls who are raped and fall pregnant. Some choose to keep silent and most ‘take care of it’ quietly.

Someone might say that this is not news and that it’s been going on for years. WELL THAT’S EXACTLY MY POINT! The fact that it’s been going on for years and being swept under the rug means it’s not being dealt with. In 2016 alone I heard of 5 pregnancies that ended in suicide, 3 of which were actual suicide and 2 which were attempted abortions that ended in death of the mother as well. If you are pregnant and this is the last place you want to be no matter what age you are, you are not alone and you will get through this! The fear, the shame, the disappointment, the pain and confusion and everything else you are feeling will go away! Fight for yourself, fight for your baby even if everyone around you turns their backs on you as long as you still have breath in your lungs and strength in your arms, get up and fight! Work hard, save more, spend less, register yourself at a local clinic and see this pregnancy through and if at the end of it you decide you cannot take care of that baby, talk to someone at the clinic about giving them up for adoption. There are families just waiting for the blessing that you’re carrying. Find support, inbox us, talk to someone. You have options! Keep your head up!

Share your experiences with us and share this with someone who needs to read this. Lets raise awareness, lets save lives!

No to baby Dumping

Baby Care, Birth, Parenting, Pregnancy April 1, 2016

There has been a story going around on social media about a baby who was tied up in a plastic bag and flushed down the toilet only to be discovered after there was a blockage and plumbers came to sort it out. Now there has been a lot of cursing of the mother of this innocent child who, thank the Lord is still alive and any number of reasons could have led to the inexcusable act but this article is not for judging or acquitting the accused. Rather, the focus is on trying to spread the word that there are always more acceptable alternatives. This is in a bid to ensure that horrible acts such as this one, no longer happen. It’s just not right!

  1.  Abstain- If you are not ready to have a baby, the best way to avoid it is to just not have sex! Self explanatory.
  2. Contraception- If you can’t fight the urge then woman, please use a contraceptive! Condoms, loop, jadelle, depo and if you can’t afford these, for crying out loud, ask him to pull out! The excuse that religion does not allow you to use contraceptives does not apply here at all because honestly, contraception or baby dumping? It’s a no brainer!
  3. Lets say she was raped- Report the bugger. Let him get whats coming to him and have it taken care of. Anti abortionists will say its both killing but whats the lesser evil? We just don’t want to see any more dumped babies!
  4. Adoption- Fair and fine, adoption is not a very widely practiced custom in Africa with people concerned about blood lines and ancestral mysteries and all BUT there are people who do adopt. Seek out aid from adoption agencies or the Department of Social Welfare while you are still pregnant.
  5. If access to adoption agency or social welfare information is a challenge, have the baby and take them to an orphanage, a church, the nearest police station. They will assign a social worker to the case who will make sure the baby is taken care of.
  6.  OR, have the baby and run away from the clinic leaving the baby there if you must! Crazy, yes! But it’s not as crazy as tying them up and flushing them down the toilet!
  7. If you wanted the baby but your parents, guardians or whoever did not approve and will do this as an “intervention” or else they will kick you out, stop supporting you or whatever else they can threaten to do then pack what you own and walk out the door, baby in hand. The unknown is scary but you were able to have sex and carry a baby to full term so I’m assuming you are able bodied and can get a job. And none of this, “There are no jobs,” business. If you’re looking for a flashy high paying job from the get go dear woman you need to drastically scale down your expectations and look for a job that will feed you and your baby. It won’t be easy but you are not the first to go through this. You will survive! Again, a church may be a good place to offer your services in exchange for a place to stay and a meal or two while you get back on your feet. You may have to go to one away from your area if you fear ostracism and the likes.

There are always options! This article may seem a bit tough but it is just what someone out there needs to hear to discourage any future incidents like this one. Please share this. Help educate our sisters and save our future leaders!

Bleeding Gums and Pregnancy

Medical, Pregnancy February 8, 2016

Dental care is generally very important but more so when you are pregnant because pregnancy hormones may cause the gums to be very sensitive, inflamed or even bleed.This is also known as gingivitis and is common from about the 15th week of pregnancy onward.

How to stop bleeding gums.

  • See your Dentist regularly.
  • Although brushing does initially make the gums bleed, brushing teeth twice a day, morning and evening eliminates plaque which makes the gums more prone to bleeding so keep your teeth clean.
  • Brush your tongue. This helps to minimize bacteria in the mouth.
  • Use mouthwash twice a day. Ask your dentist which one is safe to use during pregnancy.
  • Brush or at least rinse your mouth after you throw up if you’re experiencing morning sickness. This removes acid and bacteria in your mouth which can lead to bleeding gums.
  • Use dental floss three times a week to remove food that gets caught between your teeth.
  • Skip the sweets and dried fruit especially if you can’t brush right after. Opt for nuts (if you’re not allergic). They have antibacterial properties.
  • Gum disease is more common in people who have diabetes so keep your blood sugar levels under control.
  • Smoking makes gum disease worse so you may want to give that up. You are not supposed to be smoking while pregnant anyway.

Untreated gingivitis can lead to periodontitis, which weakens the tissue and bone that keep your teeth anchored in your jaw meaning you could possibly lose a tooth or two. This only happens when the disease is left untreated until it gets to an advanced stage so see your dentist as soon as you notice bleeding and tender gums. Make sure to tell the dentist that you are pregnant so you do not have any xrays unless you urgently need one and if you need a local anesthetic for dental work, anytime during pregnancy experts say it is safe.

Some experts seem to think that there is a link between gum disease and premature delivery and low birth weight however research has shown differing opinions on that. Rather stay on the safe side and keep your teeth and gums clean!

Zika Alert

Medical, Pregnancy February 4, 2016

Zika is a virus that is usually mild ie slight fever, joint pain, rash and less common are headaches and vomiting. These symptoms can last up to a week. Zika is however a concern in pregnant women as it has been reported to cause a serious birth defect of the brain called microcephaly (a small head and underdeveloped brain).

Zika is transmitted through mosquito bites and can pass from a pregnant woman to her unborn baby. Blood tests are done if one suspects that they have the virus based on the above mentioned symptoms.

There is no known cure for Zika but a doctor will probably recommend that you get plenty rest, drink lots of water to avoid dehydration and will prescribe something to relieve the pain and fever. Remember not to take any drugs when pregnant without permission from your doctor.

When planning to travel to areas where Zika has been reported such as South America and Tropical Africa, you need to take safety precautions to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes.

  • Use insect repellent which is safe during pregnancy
  • Wear long sleeves and pants
  • Sleep under a treated mosquito net

Information about Zika is evolving everyday as it is still being studied. No cases have been reported in Southern Africa as yet but you are all advised to take the necessary precautions. Keep watching for more Zika Alert updates.

Heartburn During Pregnancy

General February 3, 2016

Heartburn though not harmful to you or your baby, can be very uncomfortable and more than half of all pregnant women report to suffer from it especially in the second and third trimester. It is caused by the relaxing of the muscle between the stomach and the esophagus which then allows acid reflux or acid to come back up to the esophagus.It is also caused by the enlarged uterus crowding the abdomen and pushing stomach acid upward.

Prevention

  • Avoid fatty foods premarin dosage. These take longer to digest and increase the chances of experiencing heartburn
  • Avoid citrus and spicy foods
  • Cut down on caffeinated drinks. Besides causing heartburn it is recommended that you cut down on them while pregnant anyway
  • Alcohol causes heartburn. You should’t be drinking any for next few months actually!
  • There is no hard and fast rule about foods that cause heartburn so something that normally wouldn’t give you the discomfort may start to do so during pregnancy because of the changing hormones that affect digestion so watch what you eat and eliminate foods that you think might be triggering heartburn
  • Eat smaller meals more frequently and eat slowly
  • Do not drink while you eat
  • Avoid lying down soon after eating
  • Put a pillow under your shoulders. Being slighty elavated will allow gravity to help keep the acid down

Treatment

If you’re already at the mercy of heartburn you may want to-

  • Speak to your doctor about taking a liquid antacid which is safe during pregnancy and is effective as it lines the stomach
  • Wear loose fitting clothes as tight fitting ones increase pressure on your stomach and abdomen

Cheer up mommy. Heartburn usually goes away after childbirth.

Ectopic Pregnancy

Medical, Pregnancy February 1, 2016

sisusami_ectopic_pregnancyEctopic pregnancy is when the fertilized egg does not move to the uterus but stays in the Fallopian tube.It is usually discovered by the 8th week of pregnancy and can be frightening and life threatening and so emergency treatment is required.

Symptoms

  • Light vaginal bleeding
  • Nausea and vomiting with pain
  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Sharp abdominal cramps
  • Pain on one side of your body
  • Dizziness or weakness/ fainting
  • Pain in your shoulder, neck, or rectum
  • Severe bleeding meaning the Fallopian tube has likely ruptured

If you experience any of these symptoms it is important that you pay your doctor a visit immediately. A quick response reduces the chance of
hemorrhaging/severe bleeding and preserves your fertility.

Causes

  • A damaged Fallopian tube that does not allow the fertilized egg into the ovary
  • Previous ectopic pregnancy
  • Conception while an IUD is in place
  • Using fertility medications
  • Previous pelvic or abdominal surgery
  • Unsuccessful tubal sterilization
  • Maternal age of 35-44

Treatment
If the pregnancy had not progressed far and the Fallopian tube has not raptured laparoscopic surgery will be conducted to remove the embryo. In some cases, medication may be given to stop the growth of the pregnancy tissue. If the doctor suspects that the Fallopian tube has been ruptured emergency surgery is needed to stop the bleeding and in some cases the tube and ovary may have to be removed. After treatment blood tests that detect hCG level (the hormone produced during pregnancy) will be done to ensure that the procedure was successful.

Ectopic pregnancies happens in about 1 of every 50 pregnancies and most women who experience it go on to have successful pregnancies and births in the future even if one falopian tube has been removed. Doctors recommend waiting between 3-6 months before attempting to get pregnant again. If the ectopic pregnancy was caused by illness, treatment of the illness and healing of the body is necessary before giving it another go. You may also want to consider counselling to help you cope with the loss before trying again.

Weaning and Sleeping Through The Night

Baby Care, Parenting January 18, 2016

Mothers all over the world who have newborns have a common struggle and that is sleepless nights. Some opt for sleep training as early as 6 weeks to get babies to sleep through the night but experts advise against that as breast or bottle fed babies should not go more that 4 hours without a feed. This is because their tummies are small so frequent feeding is needed. The good news is that as they grow older and solid food is introduced, they can go a few more hours in between each feed.

I’ve heard it being said that once you wean your child then they are more likely to sleep through the night and based on my experience I can safely say that that is true. The reason being that they no longer wake up looking for milk. It does not happen right away and they may still wake up out of habit but give it a few days and your bambino will be sleeping for a good 8-10 uninterrupted hours. You may even find yourself waking up just to check on them because your body is so used to getting up intermittently.

I weaned my son at 20 months and within a week he was sleeping through the night. No crying, no fussing. For ideas on how to wean read Weaning- When??? and do share your experiences with sleep or lack of it in the comments below.

Fussy Eaters

Baby Care, Dieting, Parenting January 14, 2016

When babies gradually transition from milk to solids, many parents have difficulties with getting them to eat or to try new foods. Here are a few tips on how to deal with fussy eaters to make meal times less of a headache for both you and baby.

  1. Persistence- Keep reintroducing the food that baby seems to frown at or make funny faces when  first tasting. Don’t assume that they don’t like it and give up that reinforces picky habits. It also helps not to stare at them in order to see their reaction. That may make baby self conscious and refuse to eat.
  2.  Veges First- Introduce vegetables before sweet things. If done the other way round, children tend to develop a stronger liking to sweet tastes and may then refuse to eat their greens.
  3. Texture-  When baby has teeth, try offering the food in different textures; mashed, cubed, blended. they may refuse boiled apples but enjoy small diced ones. You may also let them feed themselves but keep a close eye to avoid choking.
  4. Meal Plan-  Monitor their eating habbits over a few days. Are they perhaps filled up on in  between meal snacks that their simply not hungry at meal time? That could result  in a seemingly fussy eater. Try to stick to a scheduled meal plan to regulate  their appetite for better results look at here now.
  5. Independence- As children come out of the toddler stage they become more assertive  and allowing them to decide what food for example, vegetables, they would like for supper or  allowing them to dish for themselves may make them more likely to eat. Letting  them help you prepare the meal will also make them look forward to eating the  food because they were part of the process of preparing it.
  6. Food Art- Make the food look appealing. Try different colors, smiley faces and  different plates and cutlery.
  7. Eat with your children where possible- Making meal time social makes them less self  conscious. It is also a great time to start teaching about names of the food  their eating.
  8. A good example- If you know other kids who are about the same age and don’t  struggle with eating, you could invite them over for a meal. Your child seeing  them eat with no fuss may encourage him/her to do the same.

Remember, as long as their eating from the 4 main groups which are Protein, Fruits  and Veges, Milk and dairy products and starch then don’t worry if its always the  same favorites. You can gradually reintroduce new foods that they make have  rejected before. Please do share any other tips you may have to help our little ones look forward to eating and eating healthy, in the comments below.

C-section Recovery Tips

Birth January 12, 2016

A C-section is a major abdominal surgery so recovery will take a while. Experts say it takes about 2 years for total recovery and that is why women hoping to try for a vaginal birth after c-section or VBAC, are advised to wait 2 years after surgery before falling pregnant. Here are some tips to get you well on your way to recovery mommy.

 

  1. Be Active- Slow movements like wiggling your toes and rotating your ankles as soon as you come out of surgery is a great place to start. As soon as 24 hrs after surgery you should take walks to the bathroom. You will probably need the nurse’s assistance the first few times so don’t try to get up on your own. Slow movements though painful at first will actually help relieve the pain and decrease the chance of blood clots. It also gets the digestive system going again.
  2. Watch Your Diet- If you’re having or had an elective C-section your doctor may have advised you to eat semi-liquid food such as porridge, oats and soup from about 48 hours before the surgery is scheduled. These are easier for the intestines to digest thereby reducing post surgery gas which can be uncomfortable and hurt quite a bit. You can continue with these semi-liquid foods after surgery for the same reasons and also try to avoid constipation causing foods such as dairy products, potatoes and other carbs until after your first bowl movement. A stool softener will prescribed to you when you leave hospital (I took mine but the first bowel movement still hurt like crazy so help the process along by eating right.)
  3. Urinate Regularly- You’ll also be drinking a lot of water to avoid constipation so urinating regularly will ease the pressure of a full bladder on your wound.
  4. Prescribed Pain Medication- When you leave the hospital you will be given a prescription for a painkiller and after about a week you will be able to transition to an over-the-counter painkiller as the pain lessens. If you’re breastfeeding, don’t take aspirin or drugs containing acetylsalicylic acid.
  5. Take It Easy- You will need to get some extra hands to help you when you go home as you are advised not to lift anything heavier than your baby for 2 weeks. You are also not advised to drive until about 10 days after surgery. If you can avoid it for even longer that’s better. Stay away from heavy duty housework and avoid stair climbing as well.
  6. Watch For Signs Of Infection- warmth, redness, swelling, or oozing at the incision site, worsening pain or sudden onset of pain, any fever even if your incision looks fine, foul smelling vaginal discharge, pain or burning when urinating, the urge to pee frequently when not a lot comes out, or urine that is dark and scanty or bloody. Contact you doctor immediately if you notice any of these. Your vaginal bleeding and discharge should be diminishing, though it may last up to six weeks. It should gradually turn from bright red to pink and then yellow-white. If menstrual-type bleeding continues past the first four days after delivery or comes back after slowing, call your healthcare provider. You’ll also need to call your caregiver immediately if you have any signs of a blood clot such as severe or persistent pain or tenderness and warmth in one area of your leg, or one leg that is more swollen than the other.
  7. Fitness- It will be about 89 weeks before you can begin moderate exercise regime but get the go ahead from your caregiver. Don’t rush it. Continue with short walks in the mean time and you’ll be better in no time!

Happy Recovery…

My Angel Has An Extra Chromosome- Part 1

Baby Care, Parenting, Pregnancy January 11, 2016

My boyfriend and I had been dating for two years when we decided to take the next step and get married customarily. He approached my family and the date for lobola was set for the 27th of September 2015. We were so in love and couldn’t wait to be formally joined together so we went ahead doing married people’s business while we waited for the big day.We used condoms as contraceptives but one day we were naughtier than usual and we didn’t use one. I drank a morning after pill and we decided not to be that risky again until we were actually trying to get pregnant so we went back to our trusted contraceptive.

You can imagine our surprise when in July we found out that I was pregnant! The timing could’ve been better but we loved each other and had decided to start a family anyway. So, it happened a few months before we wanted it to but we were happy. I decided not to tell my parents and although my mother noticed it the day I went home for the lobola proceedings, she was awesome and didn’t tell my father until only after the ceremony was done and everyone welcomed the news with joy.

Besides heart burn and morning sickness, I can say I had a relatively good pregnancy. I went for regular check ups and because I enjoyed seeing my daughter, I went for scans every month and the doctors assured me that everything was normal. It was only after she was born on the 2nd of March, very floppy, that they suspected she had down syndrome. Tests were done and 2 weeks later, it was confirmed that my baby girl had an extra chromosome. Join me for the next few weeks as I share our wonderful journey with you.

What to expect during a C-section

Birth January 4, 2016

Before

Your birth partner may be allowed in depending on the severity of the emergency. If there is enough time for them to change into appropriate attire and the surgery is straight forward then they will most likely be allowed into the operating room. You’ll be given antibiotics through an IV to prevent infection during surgery. The top section of your pubic hair will be shaved however if you can get it waxed a day before surgery that will save you the discomfort of new hair growth through your incision. You will be given an epidural or spinal block to numb the bottom half of your body but leave you conscious so as to experience the birth of your child(ren). A general anesthetic will knock you out completely (I was told to count backwards from 100 and I only remember getting up to 97, it knocked me out quick). It is usually used in emergencies. A catheter is placed in your urethra to drain urine during the procedure. A lot of women are squirmish about this but it’s nothing to worry about, you’ll barely even feel it. If you are having a scheduled C-section you are advised not to eat for about 10 hours before so you don’t throw up during surgery. If you’re completely out like I was, there will be a nurse keeping your head sideways into a dish and cleaning you up if you do.

During

When the anesthesia has taken effect, your doctor will make 2 incisions, 1 above your pubic bone also known as a “bikini cut” then either a horizontal or vertical incision on your uterus. Vertical if your baby is premature and the lower part of the uterus has not thinned enough to cut. If you have a vertical cut you will not be able to attempt a vaginal delivery or VBAC  with your next pregnancy as chances of rupturing your uterus during labor are very high. If you are alert during the surgery, a screen will be placed above your waist. If you wish to witness the birth, the nurse will lower the screen slightly so you can see the baby and not much else. Your partner will be seated close to your head. Once the cord is cut you’ll be able to see baby for a brief moment before they are taken for examinations while the doctor delivers your placenta and starts stitching you up. The process takes slightly longer than opening you up but no longer than 30 minutes. You doctor may choose stitches that dissolve on their own or staples/stitches that need to be removed between 3-7 days after surgery.

After

You may request that your baby be placed on your chest soon after delivery before they are cleaned up. Congratulations, baby is here! You can expect to remain in hospital for about 3 days. As soon as you have settled into the recovery room you’ll be able to breast feed. You will continue to receive fluids through your IV until you can eat and drink (it was 6 hours before I could eat and drink). You will also receive pain medication and you’ll be well enough to go home soon enough. Keep a close eye for quick C-Section recovery tips.

Reasons for a Caesarian Section

Birth, General, Pregnancy January 3, 2016

Also commonly known as a C-section is when baby is born through an incision on the mothers abdomen.

Scheduled C-section

Your doctor may schedule a C-section no earlier if than 37 weeks for one of the following reasons-

  • If you’ve had more than one C-section
  • If you had uterine surgery such as removal of fibroids
  • If you’re carrying more than one fetus
  • If baby is in breech (bottom first) or transverse (sideways)
  • If you have HIV and blood tests done close to delivery show that you have a high viral load
  • If you have placenta previa (when the placenta is so low that it covers the cervix)

Emergency C-section 

A C-sections may be performed in response to an unforeseen complications which make inducing or continuing labor dangerous for you and for baby such as-

  • If your baby’s heart rate is concerning
  • if baby stops moving down the birth canal
  • if contractions have stopped and methods to get contractions going again have not worked
  • If the umbilical cord slips through your cervix (prolapsed cord). This can cut off baby’s oxygen supply
  • If your placenta starts to separate from your uterine wall (placental abruption), which means your baby won’t get enough oxygen unless he/she is delivered right away find here.

False Fetal Distress Reading

Pregnancy January 1, 2016

DID YOU KNOW that before a pregnant woman has a scan to determine the baby’s heart rate, they have to have been sitting upright or lying on their side for at least 10 minutes for the readings to be accurate? Lying down on their back can cause a false fetal distress pattern. Share this with every pregnant woman you know.

Preeclampsia

Pregnancy December 31, 2015

What is Preeclampsia?

It is a condition marked by high blood pressure and high protein in urine, developed by pregnant women during the second half of their pregnancy. The exact causes are unknown but researchers suggest that high body fat, poor nutrition, genetics and insufficient blood flow to the uterus play a part. This means that women with a history of obesity or women whose mother or sister had preeclampsia are at risk of having it as well. Other risk factors include women who had high blood pressure before pregnancy, are carrying more than one fetus, are over 40 or have a history of diabetes or kidney disease.

Symptoms

Swelling in your hands, face, eyes and feet are symptoms of preeclampsia although swollen feet not accompanied by other symptoms may be normal. Other symptoms include blood pressure over 140/90, abdominal pain, reduced or no urine output, excessive headaches, sudden weight gain (over 1/2 days), blurry vision and dizziness. If you experience these symptoms seek medical attention immediately.

Treatment

There is no form of treatment and this may worry you however if it is detected early it is manageable. It is therefore crucial to stick to the antenatal checks and tests throughout the pregnancy. If you are 37 weeks or above the doctor may want to induce labor or perform a C-section as this is the best way to stop the effects of preeclampsia on the unborn child such as epilepsy, cerebral palsy, hearing and vision problems and, seizures, stroke, bleeding in the lungs and bleeding after delivery in the mother. If the baby has not reached 37 weeks the doctor may prescribe hospital bed rest for continuous monitoring of the mothers blood pressure and urine and baby’s heart rate as well giving medicines to lower blood pressure and prevent seizures until the baby can be safely delivered. After delivery signs of preeclampsia normally disappear between 1-6 weeks.

Grapes: A choking hazard

Baby Care, Dieting, Parenting December 30, 2015

My 2 year old son loves grapes and because I always buy seedless grapes, I did not put any thought to the fact that the actual grapes not just seeds, can be a choking hazard. It was only after I saw a post on social media about a boy much younger than my son who choked on a grape and unfortunately died that I realized the potential danger.

I highly recommend that you not only buy and wash seedless grapes but that you cut them the long way down to avert the danger. Also, don’t leave children unattended because even the safest things can become a danger when these little ones get mischievous. I also recommend that you take a First Aid class. Make it a goal for the new year. No one wishes for accidents but knowing how to react in the event that you have an emergency on your hands is always a plus!

Please share other potentially harmful foods with us in the comments below and how to ensure that our children still enjoy a wide variety of food in a safe way.

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