The Importance of Prenatal Care

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    Whether you are pregnant with your first or fifth child, your prenatal health is essential to the best birth and long term health for you and your baby. Prenatal care helps to reduce the risk of disease and promotes health and safety for the best possible outcome.

    With so many medical tests and information a mother receives during her pregnancy, it is hard to determine what tests are necessary. Blood pressure checks, urine tests, and blood tests are considered routine in most medical offices, where as, amniocentesis, glucose tolerance tests, and cordocentesis are more invasive and potentially harmful to the baby. The risks and benefits of these tests must be carefully considered. One of the best ways to assess your risks is to educated yourself about the procedure your doctor is wanting to perform. Read about it, ask questions to your health care provider, talk to others that have had the same procedure, become as informed as possible!

    The American Pregnancy Association has some great information on pregnancy and an entire section about prenatal tests that your doctor may want to perform, if he or she feels that there is cause for concern. Being informed is essential before proceeding with any medical tests or interventions during your pregnancy, labor, or birth!

     

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Staying Healthy During Pregnancy

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Please click on the links below for some great articles on staying healthy during pregnancy.

How to Stay Healthy While You Are Pregnant 

Planning Your Healthiest Pregnancy by Age

Stress During Pregnancy Affects Fetal Development

Extreme Morning Sickness

9 Tips to Prevent Flu During Pregnancy

Dental Care and Pregnancy Tips

Battling Pain During Pregnancy

Pregnancy Should Not Be an Excuse to Stop Exercising

Women Trying to Conceive or in First 3 Months of Pregnancy, Should Not Drink Alcohol; New Guidelines Recommend

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You Might Need a Prenatal and Infant Psychology Specialist if…

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Early intervention is the best prevention.

  • Are you unsure whether you and your baby have bonded well or if something has gotten in the way of building a positive bond, such as a hospitalization for you or your baby, postpartum depression, adoption or foster care, extreme fussiness or severe parent stresses?
  • Does your baby have trouble taking in comfort by looking away, stiffening or arching away when held, or doesn’t calm down when comforted?
  • After 6 months of age, does your baby not show any stranger awareness or does not respond differently to parents and unfamiliar people?
  • Is your baby excessively clingy or anxious? Will he or she not move away from you even for a short distance to explore toys or interact with other children?
  • Are you having a hard time liking your baby, or if it seems as though most of your interactions are negative or upsetting?
  • Are you worried about your baby’s sleeping, feeding, toilet training, or other concerning behavior?
  • Do you feel that you overreact, yell, or hit your child, or feel extreme distress when your child shows certain typical or unusual behaviors?
  • Are you concerned about how your own experience of being birthed, raised, or parented might affect your own parenting?
  • Are you or your baby having trouble with breastfeeding or other feeding methods?

These are only a few examples of how prenatal and infant psychology could benefit you and your baby. If you are concerned about yourself or your baby, please contact contact me at InfantPsychology@gmail.com for more information.

“Attachment behavior is any form of behavior that results in a person attaining or maintaining proximity to some other clearly identified individual who is conceived as better able to cope with the world.”  – A Secure Base, John Bowlby

Prenatal and Postpartum Depression, Prevention and Treatment

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Preventing and Treating Prenatal Depression

“Outreach programs that provide support to pregnant women are highly effective at preventing the isolation and overwhelming stress some women feel during pregnancy.”

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How is Postpartum Depression Treated?

“Without treatment, postpartum depression can last a very long time. If, after two weeks, your symptoms persist or worsen, talk with your health care provider about a treatment plan.”

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5 Ways to Watch Out for Postpartum Depression

“We (and our hormones) all have our own reaction to child birth. Yours is valid. Get help as soon as you realize you might need it.”

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Pregnant Women Cope with Depression

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“While the phenomenon of postpartum depression has received increased attention and research over the last decade, less is known about prenatal depression – the sense of hopelessness, fear and anxiety that can afflict women during their pregnancy.”

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Pregnancy and Diabetes

Pregnancy_And_Diabetes-2For a woman living with diabetes being pregnant or trying to conceive doesn’t have to be stressful, but it is important for both the health of mother and baby that pregnancy is handled with caution. Women with diabetes can have just as normal of a pregnancy as a woman without diabetes with proper monitoring and care.
The first twelve weeks are the most crucial for the baby’s development. It is imperative that during this time and the time preceding conception, the mother maintains her glucose levels and A1C as close to normal as possible. Planning a pregnancy is always helpful to ensure that a woman has all the required nutrients needed for the baby to properly develop during those first months.

By seven weeks after a woman’s first missed period, the baby’s organs are already developed and most women don’t even know they are pregnant at this time. Because of this, it is very important for women who have diabetes are considering starting a family to plan ahead. For women with diabetes who are not quite ready for children, investing in an appropriate form of birth control will help avoid any unnecessary risks of having an unplanned pregnancy.
To assist in managing diabetes during pregnancy, the mother should have a diabetes treatment plan in places that includes balancing a meal plan, exercise, and insulin to ensure that glucose and A1C levels stay in a healthy range. Blood glucose levels should be checked often along with an up to date log with recorded data to keep on hand for doctor’s appointments. By maintaining healthy glucose levels, a woman with diabetes has a good chance of having a complication-free pregnancy.
After a
few months of pregnancy, doctors will want to develop a delivery plan that best suits the needs of the mother and child. Factors such as glucose control, blood pressure, kidney function, and any pregnancy complications will be evaluated to determine the best course of action when delivering. The size of the baby, heart-rate pattern, and amniotic fluid levels will also be considered.
During labor doctors will keep a close eye on glucose levels to ensure that they stay in an acceptable range to avoid any complications. Insulin needs will drop during active labor and the mother may not need any insulin for up to 72 hours following delivery. Glucose levels will be checked often and the medical team will establish a plan to help glucose levels go back to their normal range. Since women with diabetes need special care and monitoring during delivery, it is advised that they refrain from home deliveries.
With proper monitoring and care, women with diabetes can have very healthy pregnancies. As with any pregnancy, it is a good idea to be proactive in educating one’s self on what to expect during pregnancy and to have a course of action in place prior to becoming pregnant. Speaking with a doctor prior to pregnancy can also ease any concerns that may come up and help provide a stress-free pregnancy. They can answer any questions and recommend what is best for the individual. Do not hesitate to ask questions about topics such as diet, exercise,
cord blood banking, pain management medicine, or even circumcision.

A woman with diabetes can be as healthy as a woman without. She just needs to remember to be in constant contact with her health care provider. Doing what the doctor says will ensure a smooth transition between pregnancy and post-partum. It is such an exciting time as you prepare for your baby to be born!

“This is a guest post written by Katie Moore. Katie is an active writer within the Mom-o-sphere of the blogging world. Just after becoming a Mom herself, Katie took to blogging to share her knowledge and passion for motherhood, pregnancy, children, fitness and overall health. She enjoys spending time with her family, writing and researching, and connecting with others! If you have any questions or would like to connect with Katie please contact by visiting her blog “Moore From Katie,” or her twitter @moorekm26."

The Making of Our Earliest Memories

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The development of memory encompasses the development of language, the development of consciousness, personality and personal narrative. Infants are not only figuring out a new world, but also coming to understand their own independent existence, what one researcher called “me-ness.

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