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Who is the Breast Mom?

For a teen who becomes pregnant, there are a number of different effects.  These effects involve making some various serious decisions that they are not necessarily prepared to make.  Included in these decisions are whether or not she should keep the baby, whether adoption is a possibility and even consider aborting the baby as well.  The physical changes are rapid and overwhelming and often times, the young woman does not have a significant other who is present and helpful in working out these decisions.

♡ pregnant © by janineomg

There is a lot of debate surrounding the causes and effects of teenage pregnancy but one thing is for sure.  The young women who become pregnant do not have access to or are aware of the resources that are available to her when she is pregnant.  Because of this she is often lacking in good advice with respect to medical care, nutrition and the general information needed to make good decisions about her health and that of her unborn child.

There are also many psychological side effects of teenage pregnancy.  Young women may feel depressed or alone as a result of all the physical and emotional changes that are occurring.  These teenage pregnancy effects are often unaddressed by professionals and the girl’s teenage friends are often incapable of providing appropriate and useful counsel unless they do have gone through the same experience.

The biggest lifestyle effect of teenage pregnancy, especially if the decision is made to have the baby, is the permanent impact it has on the life of the teenage mother.  She will often have a difficult time completing school and other age appropriate activities.  Her priorities change dramatically.

There are more than 1 million teenage pregnancies in the United States every year, and 85% of them are unplanned.  It has long been known that there are certain physical side effects that result from teenage pregnancies which include higher infant death, low birth weight, and lower nutrition. Clearly, there needs to be greater education with respect to this subject among teenagers.

Irrespective of the social issues, because of the health matters involved, pregnant teenagers need to know that they can seek help and assistance.  Hiding the fact and not getting medical care can lead to a host of problems later on.  Tackling the problem head on with good information is the best way to start.

 

 

One of the most common questions that comes up with respect to pregnancy tests is when should they be taken.  After all, there are a number of different home pregnancy tests with varying levels of sensitivity. Taking the test too early can result in a false negative.  When can the pregnancy test be taken to give you a reliable result.

Thankfully, there are a number of resources that are available on line that can help you answer those questions. On the internet, there are several sites which offer calculators which make figuring out the timing of a pregnancy test a snap.

Maternity Session © by amiefedora

A great resource is the early pregnancy test calculator on WhenMyBaby.com

http://www.whenmybaby.com/pregnancy-test-calculator.php

This home pregnancy test calculator is simple an easy to use – just input your last period start date, average cycle length, along with your last ovulation date, and it will forecast for you when home pregnancy tests will be the most accurate, including early pregnancy tests.

A similar, but more detailed calculator can be found at ovulation-calculator.com

http://www.ovulation-calculator.com/online-pregnancy-test.php

This calculator has the same questions as the first, but also considers frequency of sexual intercourse, birth control, and physical symptoms.

Another great tool is found on the BabyMed.com site, which offers an online pregnancy test.

http://www.babymed.com/online-pregnancy-test

This tool is a quiz that answers questions asked by women who want to get pregnant.  Although this is not an online pregnancy test calculator, this is a very useful and informative resource nevertheless.

Getting a early negative can be a very depressing thing, so it make sense to take the test at an appropriate time.  Use these resources so that you can minimize the likelihood of an incorrect result.

 

 

One of the unintended results from stopping breastfeeding is the painful experience of having a plugged duct in your breast.  Many mothers are simply not prepared for the pain of having a blocked duct that results often from breastfeeding stopping engorgement.  There are many mothers who never experience this, and for other mothers it can be a recurrent problem.

Women notice a plugged duct is a knotted, sore, lumpy area in the breast. When the breast does not drain well, the area around it becomes inflamed.  The bump might be warm to the touch or red in color and, if it is close enough to the surface of the skin, you will be able to feel it.  Generally a plugged duct will only occur in one breast at a time.  If a larger area of the breast becomes inflamed as a result of the plugged duct, it can be known as a “caked breast”.

Pacifier anyone? © by p886

A plugged duct results generally from a lack of drainage from the breast and many mothers experience this when they stop breastfeeding.  There is not a lot of information out there discussing this in general breastfeeding stopping advice, but here are a few treatments that will definitely help.

- Get as much rest as possible.  This allows the breasts to empty more freely and easily.

- Apply heat to the affected breast, especially before nursing. This will help circulation in the area, and help remove the blockage.

- Breastfeed often on the side that is impacted.  Try to feed as often as possible as this is the best way to unplug the breast duct.

- If the plugged duct becomes infected, seek medical attention immediately to get antibiotics to treat the infection.

- When sleeping, try to do so on your back or on your side to not put pressure on the affected area.

- Wear a bra that is supportive, but not too tight.  You should try to avoid under-wire bras.

If you take these steps you should expect the plugged duct to fix itself within 24 hours.

 

Many women wonder what foods should I avoid while breastfeeding to keep my child from developing colic.  Thankfully when looking at breastfeeding foods to avoid, there is a single category that is usually the main culprit.

Oftentimes, the cause of colic can be traced to the mother’s consumption of cow’s milk.  A baby’s digestive system is simply not developed enough to process the protein in cow’s milk. This causes up a build up of gas in the baby’s intestines causing a great deal of discomfort and making the baby cry loudly. Therefore, if the mother does away with cow’s milk, she can significantly impact the baby’s colic.

The challenge is that cow’s milk is found in a number of different food products and it will be a challenge for a mother to identify and eliminate them.    To start, if you see the following names on the labels of food that you are eating, then you should avoid them, as they are related to cow’s milk.  These names are whey, Lactabumin, Sodium Caseinate, and Lactoglobulin.

Cow © by kasthor

There are also a lot of processed items in supermarkets can contain milk product.  Examples of these include butter, cheese, chocolates, and battered products like cupcakes, waffles, cakes, and cookies.

You should expect that it will take a week or two for the dairy to be eliminated from your system and your breast milk.  If, after two weeks, you do not see your baby’s colic improve, then you can rule out cow’s milk as the source of your baby’s colic.

Another source of colic for babies is cruciferous vegetables.  These include bok choy, broccoli, turnips, radishes, swiss chard, mustard greens and cauliflower.  Many women who have focused on these foods to avoid during breastfeeding have seen some good results.

The challenge of dealing with the problem of colic is that there are so many different potential causes.  Only by being patient and experimenting with different foods will the actual cause be discovered.  The most important thing is for the mother to stay determined to stick with breastfeeding even as she works out the colic issues.

Home pregnancy tests all work pretty much the same way and this is through detecting HCG or Human Chorionic Gonadotropin in urine.  HCG is a hormone made by the placenta after a fertilized egg in implanted in the uterus.  Because of this, the presence of HCG is a good indicator of pregnancy.

Different types of pregnancy tests will measure HCG with different levels of sensitivity.  Concentrations of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin are measured in milliInternational Units or mIU.  Each unit is equal to 1/1000th of an UI per millilter.  The lower the sensitivity level, the earlier that the test can detect pregnancy.  It is possible, therefore, to have an accurate test as early as eights days after conception. The differences in sensitivity will account for different results in Boots pregnancy test results versus Clear Blue Easy pregnancy test results for instance.

its true © by Josh Parrish

The general medical opinion is that one should wait until one day after the first missed period before using a home pregnancy test.  This is usually about two weeks after conception has occurred.  However, because of the variation in sensitivity of pregnancy tests, some can be taken much earlier.  Generally home pregnancy tests when administered properly can provide results that are 97 percent accurate.  However, the doctor administered blood tests have the highest sensitivity.  These tests can detect pregnancy as early as seven days after conception. It should be noted, however, that detecting very low levels of HCG can result in false positive readings, as HCG can be in the body without being pregnant.

When taking a home pregnancy test, it is critical to follow instructions very closely to make sure that one gets the most accurate result.  When taking a urine sample, use the first morning urine, as this is the urine that contains the highest concentration of HCG.  If this is not possible, then avoid urinating for several hours before taking the test, and urinating can decrease the amount of detectable Human Chorionic Gonadotropin.

If you see a faint line or indicator in the exam, then it is recommended to test again the next day as it means that some amount of HCG was detected.  If the faint line is repeated that second day, then the pregnancy test is deemed positive.  If the faint line is not repeated, then wait several days and give it another try.  When taking pregnancy tests, it is possible to have false positives, although they are a rare occurrence.  Generally, if a pregnancy test is positive, it is highly likely that one is pregnant. However, when looking at early results pregnancy test administration is critical.

We are finding in modern society today that more and more women over the age of forty are giving birth to perfectly healthy babies.  Thanks to technological advances in health care along with IVF, women who in previous generations would have given up on the idea of giving birth are experiencing or re-experiencing mother hood. The pregnancy over 40 statistics continue to be more encouraging every year.

baby bentrup © by paparutzi

However, as with all miracles of modern science, there have been complicating health issues that have arisen as a result of this development.  The medical experts agree that the likelihood of health issues is relatively minimal with a woman over forty who is in perfect health.  The problems seem to be coming up where the woman has some health problems and the pregnancy exacerbates the health issues.  Relatively minor instances of preeclampsia and gestational diabetes, are pretty commonplace in pregnancies can be life threatening issues for many women over forty. There are many pregnancy over 40 risks to looks out for.

One of the risks that has been very controversial as of late is the potential increased risk of cancer due to IVF in older women.  At least with respect to breast cancer, the concern is twofold.  Medical professionals have expressed concern that the large amount of estrogen that the over forty woman is exposed to during pregnancy can potentially lead to breast cancer.  The second concern is there is a two year period, where, due to pregnancy and breast feeding, doctors cannot test to breast cancer.

Another risk to women over the age of forty is the strain of pregnancy on their hearts.  There is speculation that the strain of pregnancy and delivery can bring about the onset of certain heart problems that would have otherwise arisen much alter on.  Furthermore, the additional pounds that women tend to put on with each pregnancy adds an additional workload for the heart.  Women over forty should absolutely take precautions to control their blood pressure and weight after they have given birth.

Women over the age of forty who want to get pregnant should undergo a through screening to test everything from their heart function to cholesterol levels.  There is a common tendency to just focus on the IVF process, but it really should be much more involved than that.  There are serious risks out there to not only the baby but to the mother herself.  Additional preparation will go a long way to avoid problems an alleviate pregnancy after 40 risks.

 

It is generally not a good idea to not seek the opinion of a medical professional when it comes to a pregnancy test.  After all, if you are really pregnant, you should really seek to know for sure so that you can seek the appropriate medical attention.  Although there is a lot of interest in how to make a homemade pregnancy test, these results are really not very reliable. Also, because of the relative inaccuracy of these tests versus medical examination or other store bought pregnancy tests, these results can leave you quite uncertain and looking for other ways to reconfirm.

That being said, pregnancy tests typically work by testing for the presence of HCG, or human chorionic gonadotropin, which is a substance produced by a growing placenta shortly after conception.  This level rises dramatically in the woman and is present in the urine as well as the bloodstream.  Usually about seven days after ovulation, the placenta will release the HCG after the fertilized egg is implanted in the uterus.

Many folks for economic reasons cannot afford to purchase a pregnancy test at the store or visit the doctor.  For that reason, pregnancy tests made with free or household items have always been popular.  Here are a few that some people who decided to  make a pregnancy test at home have found effective.

One of the ways to make a homemade pregnancy test is by using regular household bleach.  Bleach is a substance used in cleaning or whitening.  If one mixes a small urine sample with a cup of bleach, and the subsequent mixture fizzes, then it is a possible sign of pregnancy.

Another test is made using Pine Sol, a cleaning agent made from distilling various species of pine.  This test mixes the urine sample with the Pine Sol and looks for a color change.  If the mixture changes colors dramatically, then there is a possibility of pregnancy.

Dandelion © by D H Wright

Yet another test uses dandelion leaves.  For this test, take the leaves off of a dandelion and lay them on a small piece of plastic wrap.  Make sure that these leaves are away from direct sunlight.  Urinate on the leaves and check on them every ten minutes or so.  If red blisters appear on the leaves, then it may be a sign of pregnancy.

Certainly as a last resort, these may be effective ways to determine if you are pregnant.  However, if you do get a positive result from a pregnancy test made at home, do seek a medical professional or last least confirm with the store bought test as soon as possible.

 

 

When it comes to drinking alcohol pregnant women have a lot of questions.  On one hand, pregnancy is a very stressful time, yet on the other the pregnant mother should be doing everything she can to make sure that the health of her baby is the primary consideration.  There are a lot of conflicting reports on drinking alcohol while pregnant.  Some say that a glass of wine is okay and other tout the number of risks involved when imbibing.  Is drinking alcohol pregnant a complete no no?  Should women be drinking Odouls while pregnant?

Beer © by Phil_Parker

The consensus among the health organizations is that alcohol should be strictly avoided during pregnancy.  It is known that there are certain alcohol levels that will cause irreparable harm or even death if the mother drinks too much. However, even those mothers who drink smaller amounts can not be certain that they are not doing harm to their unborn child.  The fact of the matter is that no long term studies exist.

The United States Center for Disease Control states that drinking alcohol during pregnancy is one of the easiest preventable causes of childhood disorders.

“Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders” or FASD refers to a range of negative outcomes that can result in babies exposed to alcohol before birth.  Extreme cases of FASD result in fetal alcohol syndrome, which is a condition that lasts a lifetime consisting of poor growth, abnormal facial development and central nervous system damage.

However, this is not the only possible outcome of FASD.  The child may experience a number of defects in the brain, spine, or the heart.  The central nervous system may be damaged, and the child may suffer from mental retardation, have behavioral problems, and have vision or hearing issues.

For those mothers who drink larger amounts of alcohol, more than one drink for example, they are definitely exposing their babies to greater risk.  For those mothers who drink less, or who drink Odouls, their risk may be substantially less. However, the fact of the matter is that many of the risks are unknown.  Sage mothers who are trying to take the best precautions would do well to simply stay away from drinking during pregnancy.

Although it may sound far fetched, there is a market out there for breast milk.  Many mothers who produced excess milk oftentimes will donate or sell their excess milk to others.  People who buy the breast milk for sale are often mothers who cannot produce enough milk, divorced fathers who want to feed their babies breast milk, and even some people who like to drink human breast milk.

Several states actually offer centralized locations for storing and processing breast milk.  This is milk that is donated and checked for abnormalities and stored in sterile containers.  These are probably the most accessible places for many people seeking human breast milk for sale.  This is breast milk that likely passes the highest quality health standards and probably the most reliable for those mothers who are seeking an additional source of milk.

For Sale © by Ian Muttoo

There is been some controversy about the auction site Ebay and whether or not mothers were holding auctions to bid away their valuable resources.  Although there have been many stories from time to time about breast milk for sale Ebay does not endorse nor allow the auction of human breast milk.

Of course, it is not difficult to find online many resources for breast milk.  I have seen everything from ads on craigslist to classified listings to webpages offering the sale of breast milk for varying costs per ounce.  At the end of the day it is a preference and a safety decision.  One should weight the cost of these alternatives versus formula feeding but most importantly, if this milk is to be fed to an infant, much consideration must be paid to the safety of the product.  When a mother is nursing her own child, she will consider her diet and medications and so forth before feeding her child.  You will not have that type of guarantee when you approach an unknown third party.  Going to the state milk banks may be a good idea if not just for the piece of mind.

The important thing for new mother to know, however, is that there are other options available.  Many mothers are very frustrated by the fact that they cannot produce enough milk and many of them do not want to put their children on formula believing that they are not getting all the nutrients they need – and there is no doubt that human breast milk is more nutritious than formula.  Knowing that there is human breast milk for sale is heartening for those needing another option.

 

When new parents are setting up the nursery for the baby they are often very careful about getting all the perfect things for the new addition to the family.  They get the perfect crib, the perfect accessories, all the right clothes and fantastic toys.  However, one of the things that is overlooked is a furniture item that will be used for hours and hours by the new mother.  And that would be a breastfeeding chair?

I know you are wondering, why would anyone think about the best breastfeeding chair?  After all, are not all chairs the same?  People do not necessarily believe that there is a best chair for breastfeeding.  They are wrong.  The best breastfeeding chairs have certain characteristics that make breastfeeding easier.  And it is not just a gliding or rocking motion, although I do believe that a rocking chair for breastfeeding is a good idea.

The Chair: Take 3 and final © by German Blanco Photography

Because breastfeeding is a private affair, the mother should not be concerned about neighbors peeking in when she is feeding.  Therefore, the ideal chair should have high side panels that obstruct the view of the mother when she is sitting on the chair.

The chair should also have high neck and back support so that she can maintain and upright and correct posture.  It should not force her to slouch or be uncomfortable in any way.

It should also have comfortable and padded armrests that provide for mobility and ease of motion.  In addition to this, the chair should have wide seats for flexibility of position and a foot rest so that she can maintain the proper position when breastfeeding.

Lastly, the chair should have ample room for placing items and an accessible storage area for the various items needed for effective feeding.

If you have the opportunity to read this article before you have set up your nursery, consider yourself lucky.  There is nothing worse than feeling like you have everything in place only to find yourself in awkward positions every single time you breastfeed.  It is so important to have your baby in the proper position and there is so much to think about when you are feeding the baby.  The last thing that you want to have happen is ineffective feeding because of an completely avoidable thing such as a breastfeeding chair.

Remember, at the end of the day, the most important thing is function.  Do not purchase a chair simply because of its appearance.  Find something that is comfortable and functional