Night Shift

Q: I'm having trouble staying asleep. What can I do?A: Have you considered that your interrupted sleep could be preparing you to meet your baby's needs? Human babies are dependent creatures who need lots of attention, often in the middle of the night, which seems to me a valid enough reason for …

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Don’t Take It Lying Down

Q: I'm birthing in a hospital, but I don't want to have to be on my back in bed. What are my options?A: It sounds like you already know the benefits of freedom of movement in labor and birth. Standing up, for example, allows gravity to help put the baby's head on your cervix. Research continues …

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Can Medicine Confirm a Feeling?

Q: Is it possible to feel yourself conceiving? I swear I know the exact moment I became pregnant, but my family thinks I'm a little nuts. Is there any medical evidence for this?A: I can find no research to support a physical ability to recognize the moment of conception. But I can't argue …

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Is 25 The New 40?

By Sandra HumeAt first all you see are the photos. They line both sides of the hallway in the neonatal intensive care unit at Baptist St. Anthony’s Hospital in Amarillo, TX. They are poster-sized and framed under glass. Children—babies to school-aged—larger than life, all smiling, …

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Is Sex Safe During Pregnancy?

Q: Last night my husband and I were having sex, and I think the baby moved! It was such a strange sensation. Does that mean we shouldn't be intimate anymore? I'm in my third trimester.A: The baby couldn't care less if you have sex, climb stairs, or do anything that jostles him. If you're having …

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Is smoke from a fireplace a health hazard for baby?

Q: I've been to a few parties this winter where I can smell smoke from a fire in the fireplace. I've read that breathing smoke can be harmful for a fetus. How seriously should I take that warning?A: Burning wood in the fireplace is generally safe during pregnancy, if the chimney is operating …

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Breastfeeding Battles

Q: My mother is against breastfeeding and my husband is very pro-breastfeeding. What can I do to deal with their different opinions?A: You're not alone in experiencing this generational divide. Our mothers, and even their mothers before them, likely didn't breastfeed. Today, we know the health …

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Employee Privilege

Q: My co-workers constantly tell me my desires and preferences for labor aren't going to happen - how can I handle that?A: Your workplace may not be the right environment to share birth preferences or post-natal priorities. Birth is very personal. After all, it's part of our human sexuality and …

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It’s A Stretch

Q: I apply a generous amount of baby oil gel on my tummy and breasts one to two times a day to prevent stretch marks. Will the absorption of the product do any harm to me or to my baby? Will baby oil gel even prevent stretch marks?A: Baby oil is safe to use externally as a moisturizer, and …

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Nutritional Information

Q: Is it OK if I occasionally skip my prenatal vitamin? In my first trimester, I would avoid it if I was feeling particularly nauseous that day. And, honestly, sometimes I just forget. I’ve never been a regular vitamin-taker. Can I get the nutrients in it by changing my diet, instead?A: Of …

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