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Beta numbers Morning sickness
Gestastional diabetes Pregnancy and losing your memory
Birth and labor links The controversy over C sections
Doula's Vaginal Birth After C-section/VBAC
Labor pain Episiotomy
Apgar scores for fathers' humor PCO symptoms after childbirth
Single parenthood recurrant pregnancy loss
Waterbirth Metformin in pregnancy

Resource URL's on the 3 'sections' of pregnancy:
Gentle birth
Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nursing
The Florida Medical Network
The Pregnancy Channel
How Pregnancy Tests work
OB PG Family Medicine
BORN IN THE U.S.A. - Childbirth in America

Recommended pregnancy books:
Pregnancy Week by Week, Dr Jane Macdougall
Parenting Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth, editors of Parenting magazine
A Child is Born.
The Developing Human by Keith L. Moore is good, but it is very graphic

Beta numbers:
These numbers are the levels of HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) in the bloodstream. They should double about every 2 days for a healthy pregnancy. If they are higher, it usually means twins or triplets. If the levels go down, it is a sign of an impending miscarriage. If they rise very slowly, it may be a sign of an ectopic pregnancy.
Resource URL's:
Repro-Med site
Advanced fertility's site
FertilityPlus's site
HCG Level's in Early Pregnancy
Inciid's beta numbers site

morning sickness
You can try this treatment for morning sickness. My understanding is that there are some bracelets you can get that help more than anything, are natural, and should not hurt either you or the baby. Also try having something to nibble on in the morning before you get out of bed (protein of some sort works good) and something to drink (no carbonation or caffeine) helps. Hard candy can work also. Just came across this link: US FDA Clears Wristband Device For Morning Sickness
The newest thing I've seen is the Preggie Pop. I'd love to hear from anyone who tries it out.

Gestational diabetes:
Gestational diabetes is developing or having diabetes in pregnancy. This is a problem because of a greater risk of getting PIH or pregnancy induced hypertension and having a baby who at birth has blood sugar problems. A condition called macrosomia, where your baby becomes very large, puts you at risk for having a longer labor, and more interventions in labor.
The test that you have to do - drinking a sugar cola type - is awful, but there are other ways to take it. If you have your doctor check out: Jelly beans as an alternative to a 50-gram glucose beverage for gestational diabetes screening, American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Vol 181, Number 5, Part 1, Michael E. Lamar, et all, and Alternative methods of diagnosing gestational diabetes mellitus, American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, November 1999 issue, Lorraine C. Atilano, et all, you might be able to use jelly beans. Using fasting plasma glucose concentrations is another way to screen for GD. You can get a more official overview at the British Medical Journal.
For the most part, diabetes in pregnancy is treated by diet and using insulin shots. The new regimens might go to twice daily versus four times daily.

Pregnancy and losing your memory:
I've heard a lot of jokes about this. I thought this was just folklore, then I found the following sources that say it is true:
Am J Obstet Gynecol 1998 Sep;179(3 Pt 1):731-7 (ISSN: 0002-9378); Keenan PA; Yaldoo DT; Stress ME; Fuerst DR; Ginsburg KA, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience, Wayne State U., School of Medicine/Detroit Medical Center, Michigan, USA; "Memory in pregnancy. II: Implicit, incidental, explicit, semantic, short-term, working and prospective memory in primigravid, multigravid and postpartum women."
J Psychosom Obstet Gynaecol 1999 Sep;20(3):158-64 (ISSN: 0167-482X); Casey P; Huntsdale C; Angus G; Janes C School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Charles Sturt University, (CSU), Wagga Wagga, Australia.
J Psychosom Obstet Gynaecol 1999 Jun;20(2):80-7 (ISSN: 0167-482X), Janes C; Casey P; Huntsdale C; Angus G; Centrelink, Mt Druitt, Australia.; Memory loss during pregnancy
[letter; comment], Br J Obstet Gynaecol 1994 Feb;101(2):177-8 (ISSN: 0306-5456); Silber M [Find other articles with this Author], Comment on: Br J Obstet Gynaecol 1993 Mar; 100(3):209-15.

Birth and labor links:
Fact Sheet
prelabor care in US
Midwife FAQ
Miwife USA FAQ
Labor Among Primitive Peoples
NACC FAQ's on Childbearing & Birthcenters
The Place of Birth
Book Reviews about prelabor care in US
the ACNM
Barefoot Doctoring
CAL Consultants Midwifery's interactive birth plan
Pregnancy, Birth, Childbirth
What Midwives Do
Garden Croft
Obstetrician Job Profile
Female Genital Diseases and Pregnancy Complications
Midwifery Today!
Care in Normal Birth

The controversy over C sections:
All references had to be deleted as of March 26, 2002. I'm looking for more.

Doula's, which are birth attendants and helpers who are experienced in childbirth, have been found to be of positive benefit to both mother and baby. I also have seen some good things from Nurturing Arms Doula Services for Today's Modern Mothers

Vaginal Birth After C-section/VBAC:
I found that there is a lot of difference between what is recommended and what isn't. I'm looking right now for some rules on when it should be offered. I know that there are some incisions that you don't want to have a vaginal birth with, because it raises your chance for the uterus to rupture. The lower cuts in the abdomen tend to be the best ones. The more C sections you have, the greater the chance for having another one. There are lots of controversies over C Section births. If you want your doctor to review the bibliography on it, have him/her look here because its from a doctors' point of view.

Labor pain:
There are several ways to help relieve labor pains. Breathing exercises (Lamaze style), walking, warm water baths, massages, and using different positions rather than flat on your back. Actually the squatting position, kneeling, being on all fours, tends to use gravity and the body to help the baby come out easier. It also means less time in labor because the pelvic outlet is opened up wider than if you are flat on your back. If you choose a hospital style birth, you can have epidurals, which are like pain killers, and spinal blocks for starters. The newest type of epidurals are walking epidurals. You can get up and move around with these.
You can read Birth Story Diaries, Pain Relief in Childbirth and Bornfree! for more indepth information. In addition, an anti-epidural article was written by Dr. Muir, in regards to the problems with epidurals. has some fascinating information regarding "birth rituals". It covers not just positions, but cleaning off of the vernix after birth and other esoteric items. goes over epidurals, but also other drugs (like morphine) more indepth than any other site I know. Vicki Elson, a childbirth educator, listed a number of reported side effects of epidurals (such as an operative delivery). I also was given the following information on Hypnosis for birth. It sounds very interesting!!

An episiotomy is a surgical cut that an ob makes so that you don't rip or tear the perineum, which is the area from the vagina to the rectum. There is a whole lot of controversy over this. From my reading, it seems that what happens is that over time, surgical repair of the tear deteriorates with time. The BMJ has several articles, Midline Episiotomy and Midline episiotomy and anal incontinence about the damage caused by this. It seems that the problem could be fixed by massaging of the perineum and slower times to let the tissues open and stretch naturally. On the subject, there is Obstetric Myths Versus Research Realities, and Episiotomy and Perineal Trauma. There is also an article not online entitled: "Episiotomy, operative vaginal delivery, and signficant perineal trauma in nulliparous women", American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Vol 181, Number 5, Part 1, Julian N. Robinson, et all. I do feel the need to bring this up: Maternal Mortality in the United States. A brand new article says that perineal massage does not prevent trauma, so its up to you to decide what you want to do.

Apgar scores for fathers is too funny for words.

If you are worried about your PCO symptoms after childbirth, I understand the symptoms come back with a vengance.

Single parenthood:single parent
Single Mom By Choice
Parents Without Partners
Single Mothers
Single parents help
Working Mother

I have two sites on recurrant pregnancy loss at Center For Human Reproduction and Perinatal death associated with homebirth. Latest stats are at Maternal Mortality in the United States.

Jury Still Out on Safety of Underwater Birth
Gentle birth
The labor of love
reasons to have a water birth
Birth Balance

Support in pregnancy
Kay, a CNM, was kind enough to send me the following information on back support, and other types of support during pregnancy. See Girdles and abdominal supports during pregnancy and Belly bras, search on belly or back support pregnancy.

Last Update: April 26, 2006