Baby stories: Share yours

January 16, 2008 6:00:11 PM PST
Get tips for healthy pregnancies and healthy babies, while bonding with other moms in your community.

As every mom knows, the bond between a mother and her child is extraordinary. Now, you have a unique opportunity to share your baby stories and bond with other women in the process. Our own proud mommy Leigh Glaser was in San Francisco aboard the Baby Bus.

The March of Dimes' "Every Baby Has a Story" Bus will be stopping at:
Moscone Center
747 Howard St
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 974-4000 Dates:
Thursday, January 17, 10 AM-4 PM
Friday, January 18, 10 AM-4 PM

Share your baby stories:
www.marchofdimes.com/everybaby
For more info:
www.marchofdimes.com

Tips for Healthy Pregnancies

Pregnancy after 35: Women over age 35 have an increased risk of:

  • Fertility problems
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Miscarriage
  • Placenta previa, a condition in which the placenta is in the wrong place and covers the cervix
  • Cesarean section
  • Premature delivery
  • Stillbirth
  • A baby with a genetic disorder

Because of these increased risks for women over 35, prenatal care is especially important.

What you can do: No matter what your age, see your health care provider before trying to get pregnant. This is especially important if you: Have a chronic medical condition, such as diabetes, a seizure disorder or high blood pressure, or are on long-term medication.

If not under control, some medical conditions can cause risks for you and your baby. If you are older than 35 and don't get pregnant after trying for six months, see your health care provider.

Most healthy women from age 35 into their 40's have healthy pregnancies. Most women over 35 are in good health. Good prenatal care and healthy habits can help you reduce certain risks. If problems do arise for women over 35, they can usually be successfully treated.

Older women may find it harder to get pregnant than younger women because fertility declines with age. In many cases, infertility can be treated.

Prenatal Care Prenatal care is especially important for women over 35 because:

  • They're more likely to get high blood pressure and diabetes for the first time during pregnancy.
  • They may choose to have testing for Down syndrome and other problems.

Healthy Habits To help reduce risks during pregnancy:

  • Eat healthy foods.
  • Gain a healthy amount of weight (15-45 lbs., depending on your weight)
  • Exercise, with your health care provider's guidance.
  • Don't drink alcohol, smoke or take illegal drugs.
  • Don't take any medications or herbal supplements without first checking with your health care provider.

Prenatal Screening Tests Ask your provider about prenatal screening tests for the baby. For instance, amniocentesis is often recommended for pregnant women 35 or older.

Test results are usually available within a week or two. Most women who have prenatal screening tests learn that the baby is healthy and feel reassured by the results.

Pregnancy Then and Now

  1. Then it was OK to carry a baby home from the hospital in your lap. Now, many states have laws requiring children to ride in a car seat until the are in elementary school. Infants should be in a rear-facing car seat until they are at least one year old and weigh 20 pounds.

  2. Then it was OK to put an infant to sleep on its stomach. Now, we know that putting a baby to sleep on his or her back greatly reduces the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

  3. Then, most health experts did not tell women not to drink and smoke while pregnant. Now, we know that drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects (FAS) and that smoking during pregnancy contributes to miscarriage, premature birth, and other problems for babies.

  4. Then big, chubby babies were thought to healthier. Now, we know that sometimes being too big can be as much of a health risk as being too small. (E.g., difficult delivery, obesity, gestational diabetes, etc.)

  5. Then women usually stayed in the hospital for a week or more after giving birth. Today, mother and child re-discharged within 48 hours of birth, if there are no complications.

  6. Then parents were told that wearing shoes would help a baby learn to walk sooner. Now, we know that keeping a baby barefoot can help strengthen his or her foot muscles and help the child learn to walk earlier. Once a toddler is walking, though, he or she needs comfortable flexible shoes that fit well.

  7. Then moms had to wash cloth diapers. Today, disposables are the norm for most parents.

  8. Then a lot of mothers were told that formula was better for their baby. Today, we know that breast milk is the best food for most babies during the first year of life. Breastfed children have fewer ear infections, lower respiratory infections and urinary tract infections than formula-fed children. They also have diarrhea less often.

  9. Then parents occasionally rubbed whiskey or alcohol on a teething infant's gums to soothe them. Today, parents are encouraged to give them a frozen washcloth to chew on or to give their baby a massage.

  10. Then fathers and others were excluded from the delivery room. Today, fathers and grandparents are encouraged to be part of the birth.

  11. Then many new mothers were told to ignore an infant's cries for fear that picking them up too often would "spoil" them. Now, parents are advised to respond quickly when their babies cry during the first few months of life, and there are several techniques used to soothe them. If you respond quickly to your baby's cries, he or she may cry less overall.


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