Keeping Your Pregnancy Low Risk

There are many advantages to having a low-risk pregnancy, especially if you’re planning a natural birth. What should your blood pressure look like? What about the food you eat and the amount of time you exercise? This episode explores some practical ways for you to stay in optimal health during the next nine months.

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Preggie Pals
Keeping Your Pregnancy Low Risk
Episode 108, June 2nd, 2014

[0:00:00]

SUNNY GAULT: Hey Preggie Pals, we have a special announcement before we start the show. New Mommy Media – the parent company of Preggie Pals is looking for moms and dads to join the new sales team and sell some advertising on our shows.

This is a great opportunity for new parents who are looking for a job where they can work from home and still be able to spend some time with their kids. Visit www.newmommymedia.com/jobs for details.

[Theme Music]

ANDREA MEYER: As you’re progressed to your pregnancy, you want to make sure that you are in your best and in your most optimal health. But what are the practical ways that you can stay in a low-risk category? What should your nutrition look like? What should your exercise look like?

I’m Andrea Meyer, a licensed midwife, certified professional midwife. Today, we’re learning all about: “How to keep your pregnancy low-risk.” This is Preggie Pals.

[Theme Music/Intro]

ANNIE LAIRD: Welcome to Preggie Pals broadcasting from the Birth Education Centre of San Diego. Preggie Pals is your weekly online on-the-go support group for expecting parents or if you’re looking to become pregnant. I’m your host Annie Laird.

Thanks to all of our loyal listeners who have joined the Preggie Pals Club. Our members get special episodes. After each new show, you get to listen to bonus content plus special giveaways and discounts. See our website www.preggiepals.com for more information.

Another way to stay connected is by downloading our free Preggie Pals app and it’s available in the Android, iTunes and Windows Marketplaces. Samantha our producer is now going to give us some more information about our Virtual Panellists Program now.

SAMANTHA EKLUND: Thanks Annie. So, if you don’t live in San Diego but you’d like to be a panellist on our show, you can still participate through our Virtual Panellists Program. Just like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter using hash tag #preggiepalsvp and all new follow us on Instagram at New Mommy Media and search hash tag #preggiepals.

We’ll post questions throughout the week prior to our taping. We’d love for you to comment so we can incorporate your thoughts into our episode. You can also submit your questions directly to our experts. Learn more about our VP Program through the Community Section on our website www.PreggiePals.com.

ANNIE LAIRD: Great. Well, let’s go around the horn and introduce all of our panellists. So Melissa, we’ll start with you.

MELISSA LANG LYTLE: Okay. I’m Melissa Lang Lytle. I’m a mom, a labour doula and a Vice President of San Diego Birth Network. I just had my baby, baby Milo three months ago. So, no longer a due date. I have three sons – Benjamin 5, Joseph, 3 ½ and Milo 3 months.

ANDREA MEYER: I can hear him. He’s so sweet.

ANNIE LAIRD: I’m Annie. I’m the podcast host. I’m also a government contractor. I do a labour doula work; help out moms with breastfeeding on just whatever, whenever anybody needs it. I get random phone calls in the evening about breastfeeding. So, I dig that too. I’m starting a bit of a free-school this fall.

No due date. I think my husband has said that: “He wants to be diaper-free for a month which is kind of funny because he’s at the plummet right now and I change all the diapers.” So, I don’t know what he’s talking about but I’m down with that plan. So, I have three girls and they are almost 9, almost 2 and 6 months.

So, I had a hospital birth, then a home-birth transfer and then a home-birth for my third. So, all right during the week and on the weekends; I take Preggie Pals on the host here. I have three little girls – almost 9 year old, almost 2 year old and then my baby.

SAMANTHA EKLUND: All right. I am Samantha. I’m 22. I am mostly a stay-at-home mom except for my job here at Preggie Pals. I’m also a certified lactation educator. I have an 18 month old daughter named Olivia. She was in unplanned caesarean and I’m hoping for a V Back next time around.

[Theme Music]

ANNIE LAIRD: Well, here on Preggie Pals we occasionally look over news articles and this one was on moms.popsugar.com. The title of the article is: “Pregnancy test-taking go social with pee parties and more.” So, here are three trends to watch.

So, there’s Cycle Buddies. Those are woman find each other based on their cycle. They watch each other’s charts. They compare experiences. They cheer for each other to get that big fat positive.

The other trend to watch is: “Pee Parties.” So, if you’re taking a pregnancy test, sometimes that can be a nerve-wrecking experience. It feels like you’re the only person in the entire planet that is hoping to become pregnant. So, to come to that stress members of the community often test together in a Pee Parties.

So, they set a test time with members of similar cycles and they can share the results. The third trend to watch is: “Test Tweakers.” Sometimes you’ve heard it’s a line, it’s a line. It’s a line when it comes to pregnancy tests. But, it can be kind of confusing sometimes.

So, they help each other out if there’s a real faint line maybe give suggestions to try it again with first morning urine until they can call it a big fat positive. So, what do you ladies in the studio, what do you think about these trends here?

SAMANTHA EKLUND: I don’t know. I’ve heard it be pretty popular lately. I think it’s a little personal for me. That’s not something I cared to share with people that are complete strangers. I would prefer to keep that with close friends, family – things like that. But, I definitely understand where people are coming from as wanting to be close and get support especially if you’re people that don’t have friends and family close.

ANNIE LAIRD: Yes, I feel like there’s a lot of people who here in San Diego, they don’t live near family – whether it’s through the military or they have to take a job, darn in Sunny San Diego but they don’t have family around. So, they have to kind of create that online family for themselves.

SAMANTHA EKLUND: Yes.

ANNIE LAIRD: Melissa, what do you think?

MELISSA LANG LYTLE: I think it’s a great idea. I think I like connecting with other moms that are going through the same thing. I know that when my husband and I were trying to conceive, when my pregnancy tests wouldn’t come positive. I don’t know that he really felt the pain that I felt. It was like: “All right. Let’s try next month. Let’s practice more kind of thing.”

I think that I felt slightly disappointed and really could have used someone to connect with who really understood how disappointed it was for me. So, I could see why connecting with others be at social media since we don’t have our mama tribe in the same way that we used to at one time. I could see where that would be attractive.

ANNIE LAIRD: Yes. Andrea what do you think?

ANDREA MEYER: I think it’s very personal like Samantha said. But, I think it’s also about grief and I think that in our world, we don’t really have lot of avenues to talk about grief or understanding grief; not a lot of experience with it were very compartmentalized. So, I think it’s a really clever new way that people are finding a way to support themselves through something that’s really hard.

Missing, not getting pregnant for a few months is one thing even six months. But after it’s been a couple of years after you’re doing a whole bunch of things; it’s really hard and all your friends of course are pregnant. So, I think any way women can come together or families can come together and have community and support is awesome.

[Theme Music]

ANNIE LAIRD: Today, we’re going to be talking about: “How to keep your pregnancy low risk and stay in optimal health for yourself and your baby.” Joining us today in the studio is Andrea Meyer. She’s a licensed midwife, certified professional midwife and the owner of Andrea’s Midwifery. Welcome to Preggie Pals Andrea. Thanks for joining us.

ANDREA MEYER: Thanks for inviting me.

ANNIE LAIRD: Well, why don’t you introduce yourself a little bit too? I know your kids are probably going to listen to this afterwards. They want to hear their names. So, tell us something a little bit about yourself and your practice.

ANDREA MEYER: Yes, absolutely. I am mother of three. My oldest Deanna 22 already graduated and just amazing. My middle child Isabella, ballerina – she’s 12. My youngest little guy Talon, he is 10. Yes, thank you for sharing because they would be absolutely upset if I didn’t mention their names.

ANNIE LAIRD: That’s really interesting. Your children, the spacing and ages are very similar to mine where you had one that’s much older than the younger two. So, you relate to like just the sheer craziness of like: “I didn’t know how nuts that would be.”

SAMANTHA EKLUND: I can’t tell it’s going to happen then. But, it’s kind of nice that I do have a little bit of a little mother around.

ANDREA MEYER: So, it’s really nice. It’s just the driving when they all go to different schools for a while. That’s a bit challenging.

ANNIE LAIRD: Yes, let’s talk about: “Staying low risk and what’s the advantage of staying low risk during a woman’s pregnancy?”

ANDREA MEYER: Well, I guess one advantage of low risk is: “Staying alive and having a living baby to go home with.” We can’t always control that. Tragedy happens and also people get sick. But, they are definitely lots of things we can do to keep ourselves away from those types of things.

When they happened then sometimes the things we do to stay low-risk can help us to stay as healthy as possible through whatever the illness or injury might be. I think that for me and my practice, I solely deal with home birth.

So of course, I’m looking, interviewing and really confirming that from my perspective as a midwife that women are low-risk before they go to deliver. If they weren’t low risk then I wouldn’t want to be somewhere with them where they were having the opportunity to have other care that we can’t give at home.

ANNIE LAIRD: That’s an interesting perspective. I never really thought of that before of like because the client things – the mother thinks that: “She’s interviewing you but it really is a two-way street.”

ANDREA MEYER: Absolutely, a two-way street. Absolutely; also is the client, is the mother interested in participating in a lifestyle that helps to keep them low risk? It’s a partnership for my type of work in practice. You can’t just come in and have me tell you what to do.

I’m going to give you lots of:

• Ideas
• Avenues
• Information
• Education
• Tell you what different people do – what the obstetricians and perinatologists do.

You and your partner or really the mom is the bottom line. She has to decide what works for her.

ANNIE LAIRD: Well, let’s start off talking: “High risk versus low risk.” Obviously, I need to fill any to put out this here. Anything in Preggie Pals here is not a substitute. You need to still go to your doctor or your midwife or whoever your care practitioner is.

ANDREA MEYER: Please.

ANNIE LAIRD: This is just a discussion with moms here. Let’s talk about blood pressure a little bit. So, is that expected that a normal base line of what a mom, what her normal is that it’s going to rise through a pregnancy or not necessarily?

ANDREA MEYER: No. I don’t expect blood pressure necessarily to rise. I can also say normal where it gets a little lower or a little higher. But definitely, I don’t expect it to rise. I expect your blood volume to increase. I expect you to get anaemic and then to work on that and bring that back up. I expect all sorts of complaints and problems. But blood pressure is such a quiet thing. It’s really important to get your blood pressure check regularly.

Even in my practice, I try to encourage or offer for the partner to have their blood pressure checked. Sometimes post-partum because we all think about the mom all the time – but that first time mom has a baby and now he’s a first time dad. Maybe he hasn’t thought about: “How valuable his health is to the whole picture.” So, quick blood pressure for that and know that they’re important in participating to the family as well.

ANNIE LAIRD: Yes.

ANDREA MEYER: There are certain diseases where blood pressure becomes a really issue where we’re watching that to track the disease.

ANNIE LAIRD: What would be a disease that a higher blood pressure would indicate?

ANDREA MEYER: PIH which is Pregnancy Induced Hypertension – meaning that: “For some reason the pregnancy has actually caused it to increase; they didn’t have it before their pregnancy.” Also things – Preeclampsia, HELLP Syndrome those are metabolic diseases. Very dangerous to the mom and high blood pressure can be a symptom of it although, not necessarily.

ANNIE LAIRD: Okay, all right. Is there such a thing as: “Having a too low of a blood pressure?” I know in my family, the women like having 100/60 is very normal for us. But we do feel kind of faint sometimes.

ANDREA MEYER: I think that sounds normal. I see a lot of women with their bottom number in the 50’s. It’s not a risk in the same way high blood pressure is. But, it is a risk in like what you said. So, it’s much easier if you’ll get low blood sugar or stand up too quickly or anaemic, to feel dizzy, you’re uncomfortable to want to throw up or to pass out. That’s not really helpful in the middle of labour or pregnancy.

ANNIE LAIRD: No.

ANDREA MEYER: My understanding is: “If you pass out in public and they call the ambulance then take your driver’s license away.”

So, what we definitely like you to be sure that:

• You move slowly if you were like that
• You eat regularly
• That you get your iron up – all of that.

But in general, low blood pressure is pretty good for you.

ANNIE LAIRD: Yes. Let’s talk about: “Weight gain a little bit.” No one here in this studio – Melissa, you don’t have to say how much you gain.

MELISSA LANG LYTLE: I don’t mind sharing. I don’t have a problem with that. I think it is taboo and it’s kind of silly but I don’t mind sharing it all.

ANNIE LAIRD: With weight gain, I don’t know. It’s funny because I say one thing then I almost kind of feel another and I don’t know if it’s an American women thing or like there is a certain point in my third pregnancy, I just broke down my midwife and I was like: “I don’t want to get weight anymore. I don’t want to even see the number.”

So at that point, we just kind of made a deal and she said: “Well, you stop eating ice cream or at least with the frequency that you’ve been eating and then you won’t have to go on scale anymore.” So, we kind of made a deal like that. But, yes I know that that’s sort of lot of stress I think for a lot of women as: “What’s the number on the scale?”

MELISSA LANG LYTLE: I think there’s a difference I’m sure Andrea can speak to it more because by no means: “Am I anywhere near speaking of it?” But, I think there’s probably an issue of where it could be a danger and then there is an issue of: “How much am I going to lose after the baby as well as -- what is my ideal where I’m feeling really good and I’m going to push this baby out feeling like I feel strong and healthy and centred.”

So, I think when I think about eating things that aren’t whole foods or unhealthy, that’s probably speaking a lot of where my mind’s at also. So, I don’t know just working with a midwife, we would be probably talking about the whole picture if there was some huge increase in weight for some reason. But, it really wasn’t an issue in all of my pregnancies.

It was always after like:

• Slowing down
• How soon can I work out?
• When is a good healthy type for my body to start moving again?

ANNIE LAIRD: That sounds so familiar like my first job – baby when I had her, the first question I think what my OB was used to hearing was: “When can I start having sex?” That was like the least thing on my mind. It was: “When can I start running again – which is probably not a very healthy thing.”

It was a healthy mindset because it was like: “I need to get back down.” Some of it was that: “I was active doing military at that time.” So, it was a lot of pressure to get back into the uniforms again and get that size number.

ANDREA MEYER: I think a lot of women wanted to lose weight so they can feel good about: “Getting back to sex.”

SAMANTHA EKLUND: Absolutely.

ANNIE LAIRD: Absolutely.

ANDREA MEYER: We are so in our heads, if we don’t think we look okay to our partners and we certainly don’t want them to see us or touch us.

MELISSA LANG LYTLE: That’s one thing to have a baby in that belly. It’s another thing for it to be just as big or soft or look like you were in first trimester with no baby.

ANNIE LAIRD: Are you pregnant? No. Here’s my month-old baby.

ANDREA MEYER: I can’t remember when I was gained enough weight that I could fit in my husband’s pants. That was just shocking to me. That was just crazy. But, in the midwifery practice really I think that we have kind of a modern look at it. I was taught and I believed that 40 pounds is average. That’s what I see as average.

Of course, my clientele is really wonderful because they want to eat well and they have a reason too.

SAMANTHA EKLUND: Exactly Andrea. That’s not like: “You’re not giving the clients that are like – well, I gain 40 pounds but I ate a cheeseburger and a super double [inaudible].”

ANDREA MEYER: Three times a day.

SAMANTHA EKLUND: Yes.

ANNIE LAIRD: I’m not saying that a cheeseburgers that occasionally.

ANDREA MEYER: Actually, it can be really helpful but sometimes in our country, people don’t’ have enough money and all they can afford is a cheeseburger three times a day as strange as that sounds. There’s always a range. So, I tell people: “20-60 pounds is kind of that average range.”

A pound a week but nobody gains at a pound a week. You gain 20 pounds all at once. So, you lose 20 pounds all at once or you gain at all at the end and you’re panicking that you’re really gaining too much weight.

I think that: “Really looking at what’s happening to the pregnancy and talking to your practitioner is the best way to handle that.” Don’t just look at what’s happening in Hollywood. Don’t just look about what’s happening to your girlfriend or what your mom did. Really, like you said MELISSA LANG LYTLE: “How do you feel? Do you feel resourced physically?”

ANNIE LAIRD: Talking to the right people too. Catherine was on, she had her baby now. Anyway, she was on the show a couple of weeks ago I was talking to her at Acupuncture this past weekend.

She was saying that: “She was about all 20 weeks pregnant or something along those lines and someone asked her – how much weight she had gained?” Like it was any of their business but she answered and she said: “I’ve gained 20 pounds.” They said: “Well, you got to stop right there. Don’t gain anymore.”

She’s like: “I’ll just get right down that.” My baby is only a pound right now but I’ll just stop gaining weight then it will solve everything.

MELISSA LANG LYTLE: Well then, I think it’s interesting too; with my first son, I was really excited. I’m finally pregnant. I get to eat and I wasn’t as conscious about: “What I ate.” I didn’t go super crazy but I think there were many times I was being irresponsible.

The interesting thing for me is: “When I was become pregnant with my second son, I was way more conscious.” I thought about walking every day. I thought about eating more whole foods. My whole goal was: “Having a better birth.” Not necessarily worrying about weight gain.

The irony is: “I gained the same amount of weight.” Now, my recovery time and my birth were night and day. However, I remember being really upset about that. I thought this was going to be some miraculous. I was going to stay just fabulously fit but it was the same exact weight gain that I felt a heck of a lot better at the second time around.

ANNIE LAIRD: Yes.

ANDREA MEYER: I don’t think I have any evidence on this but midwives always say: “Women are built to gain the weight they’re built to gain.” That you gain weight or you don’t gain weight, there are so many different body types. What you do is what you do. You can’t know until your first pregnancy.

Your weight gain – unless you’re diabetic is not related to the baby’s weight gain. It does not mean the baby will be big or small. That’s completely different because the baby has completely different genetics than the mom. It’s isolated in the womb.

ANNIE LAIRD: I’m so glad that you’ve said that because I think there is a fear sometimes of: “A lot of fear mongering of – don’t gain too much weight because you are going to have a 14 pound baby.”

MELISSA LANG LYTLE: I was told that by an OB. That person quickly became not my OB. But I think that-that is perhaps a myth. I don’t know. It was like: “You better slow down or your baby’s going to be too big to push out.”

ANDREA MEYER: Well, the myth I imagined comes from the time we could understand gestational diabetes. So, then what you ate could affect the weight of your baby. But now, we know that through lab work that we can find out what mom’s blood sugar is. Keep it more stable and regulated through changing her nutrition in what she eats and her exercise.

So, we don’t have the myth anymore. We can let go of that: “What you eat is going to affect your baby’s weight.”

ANNIE LAIRD: Right. Well, when we come back, we’re going to be discussing: “A little bit more about diet and also exercise.” We’ll be right back.

[Theme Music]

ANNIE LAIRD: Welcome back. Today we’re discussing: “How to keep your pregnancy at low risk.” Andrea Meyer is our expert. So, let’s talk a little bit more about diet.

I think it’s interesting of the whole diabetes connection and all of that and what you eat and how much you gain. How to stay just as healthy as you can be – getting to the point where you’re ready to give birth, you’re vibrantly healthy and you’re ready to push out that baby. Do that in a healthy way, it’s a normal natural process.

You would think: “This is just going to happen.” I remember when I had my first baby and she was 10 pounds 4 ounces and my mother was like: “They must have missed something with the gestational diabetes.” No, I was actually not diabetic.

I looked back a picture of myself now – occasionally; I didn’t keep ice cream in the house because I knew I had no self-control with it. I knew that it wasn’t a good thing to have on a constant basis but occasionally, we’ll go out and have some. But I was like: “No. I’m pretty sure that I ate really healthy for my baby.”

I look at back at the pictures and I looked really healthy. I looked really healthy but it was just how big that baby was going to be.

ANDREA MEYER: I wanted to say that: “Eating the ice cream, unless you’re diabetic isn’t going to add weight to the baby.” It’s only going to add weight to you. So, just to keep that in mind; I think people should eat healthy all the time. We should eat healthy after pregnancy so we can be good role models for our kids and everything.

But, that’s going to be dependent on:

• Your lifestyle
• Where you live
• The money you have
• What your choices are
• How you were raised
• What your body is craving

There’s going to be so many ways to make choices on that.

MELISSA LANG LYTLE: I agree and I also think: “Now, that I’ve had three. It was really interesting that my mid-wife and I looked at my patterns and my patterns were similar with my weight gain and my baby size.” I couldn’t get over that because I was fascinated with that whole thing.

I gained like four pounds this week and then would jump where I actually loss. So, it is interesting when you have a couple of babies that you can actually look if there’s a pattern with you in your pregnancy as well.

ANDREA MEYER: So, I wanted to say that: “I’ve noticed that women who come in who maybe aren’t comfortable with their weight – we all think of course that it might be someone who feels they’re over weight.” Maybe they are overweight via the charts. But also, I see a lot of women who have weight problems the other way. They have histories of anorexia and bulimia – that type of thing.

It’s amazing how motivating a pregnancy can be to start you to change a lifestyle in terms of the food we eat and exercise we have. It’s a wonderful thing. I think that’s why we’re hearing in the country right now all these only gain 20 pounds – because overall in our country right now, we have so much that we have a tendency to weight more than we need to weight. I think we’re very worried about what we weight.

So, conversely then, we all want the answer and the answer is: “Don’t get more than 20 pounds.” But then, when we go in to see our doctor, we go to see our midwife – we talk to our friends. We listen to Preggie Pals, we realized that: “We need to say – where am I at? Do I need to eat more to be healthy? I want a healthy baby.”

I think that’s the whole goal of pregnancy, of being low-risk in pregnancy is to have a healthy baby in a low-risk post partum.

ANNIE LAIRD: Well, let’s talk about – exercise, I think some moms. They are some women they get pregnant and they’re not used to a normal exercise routine. I think maybe their connotation of exercise is: “The gym class in high school and I hated it.”

Now, people are talking about: “exercise.” Are those crazy people who run marathons, go to the gym every day and they look so trim and healthy.

ANDREA MEYER: It’s related to that weight or that weight gain. That’s what it’s tied to as opposed to thinking about: “You and your baby, how you’re feeling relating to birth? How’s your mindset?” We’re not tying it to that more eastern way of looking at exercise and movement.

I feel like: “Unfortunately, there’s a need, a feeling that when you’re talking about exercise and pregnancy, it’s connected to weight.”

ANNIE LAIRD: So, movement is important. How often would you say?

ANDREA MEYER: Every day.

ANNIE LAIRD: Yes.

ANDREA MEYER: Every day, I think something that people in other countries have over us is: “This concept of walking.” It’s so hard here to walk to the store or walk to work or walk to the park where it’s amazing how a few sidewalks are in San Diego. What a beautiful area and there are so few bike lanes and sidewalks.

SAMANTHA EKLUND: Maybe pretty much you got to get out on a highway to get anywhere you want to go.

ANDREA MEYER: Yes, absolutely or getting in your car or something. But, I do tell people: “Two miles a day.” I just think that’s a minimum – two miles a day. It really doesn’t take more than half an hour just around your neighbourhood. That’s the most important thing you could do.

If you did that every day, two miles a day; what a difference it would be in your pregnancy and your whole life everything.

ANNIE LAIRD: Like you were saying: “It’s not just pregnant. It’s a great thing to do even before you trying to get pregnant so you have a healthy body and have your body in a place where you have a pregnancy that’s healthy from the very beginning.” You have a healthy body in a very beginning through the pregnancy, through the birth and the even post partum. Not immediately post partum.

ANDREA MEYER: Right.

ANNIE LAIRD: One hour and tell your midwife: “I’m going to get up and go my two miles.”

ANDREA MEYER: I don’t like my moms to go for their walks until their good two weeks or so. But you bring up a good point. I mean not only in pregnancy but before they get pregnant. Maybe women who are looking to get pregnant might listen to the show to get ready.

Some of these things are great to do before you even get pregnant and kind of in a habit or get your family set up this way, get your partner walking with you. There’s a wonderful book called The Listening Walk for kids.

This little kid goes out for a walk with their dad and their dog – and they don’t talk the whole walk. When they get home, they share with each other what they heard. I just loved that.

MELISSA LANG LYTLE: I made a point to drop my iPod which was really hard for me because I was a marathon runner. Putting in like 8 miles, 10 miles, and 12 miles – I needed something more than just hearing the Peter Potter of my feet. So, I’ve gotten the habit of using like my iPod or my phone.

I think around that time, I was trying to get pregnant with my second son. My husband said: “Why do you just drop that whole music thing and just go out and be with yourself and be with your body and listen to nature?”

SAMANTHA EKLUND: What a guy.

MELISSA LANG LYTLE: It really worked. I found that it worked in both my last two pregnancies too. I connected with baby.

ANNIE LAIRD: Were you running or were you walking at that point?

MELISSA LANG LYTLE: I was walking. My midwife gave me thumbs up that I could run. But I was like: “No.” But just walking, I kind of connected with nature but mostly connected with my baby. I could feel the weight of him. I could feel how my body was changing where I was softer, where I felt fuller. I kind of liked that. It was just my baby and me-time.

Especially if you have other kids and other things in your busy life going on, it was just that two-mile – no I didn’t do it a day but I did get out and walk quite a bit with my last two pregnancies and that was really special. I really liked it.

ANDREA MEYER: Well, I think something that’s neglected a lot during pregnancy – I think pregnancy is thought of this very clinical in the United States. But something that I think could contribute to a low risk pregnancy is just that: “The whole emotional side that the spirituality and stress control, movement obviously can play a major part of that.” Meditation or just quiet time; just stop the busyness, stop the noise.

SAMANTHA EKLUND: Turn your head off.

ANNIE LAIRD: Yes, which is really hard when you have a toddler

MELISSA LANG LYTLE: Absolutely. I really liked yoga too and I have to stress it: “I’m not a yoga person.” I was a runner and I liked to run and I thought that yoga

SAMANTHA EKLUND: Is that your best friend a yogi?

MELISSA LANG LYTLE: Yes. She’s pretty awesome. She begged me to come to class. But here’s the thing: “I think yoga even if you don’t do yoga, I can’t stress enough in pregnancy. There’s poses that you do that feel like contractions in terms of what it means to hold something, listen to your body and really open.” I really enjoyed yoga.

I only probably did maybe 6 or 7 classes in my last pregnancy but I did it more in my second. That was a fabulous get-ready for labour for me personally.

ANNIE LAIRD: It really brought your awareness to your body in a different way than you were used too.

MELISSA LANG LYTLE: Absolutely.

ANDREA MEYER: I want to talk about what you’re saying about walking also. Not only as walking great because we think about it as maybe exercise to lose weight or maintain our weight. But in pregnancy specifically, walking does some more things that are really important to keep you and your pregnancy low risk for birth. That is that: “It rocks your hips and it rocks the baby.”

As it does that, it settles, bounces, opens the pelvis and it jiggles the baby whose head is super heavy. Everybody knows you can’t hold – a baby can’t hold its head up when it’s born. So, it just jiggles with it with gravity all the way down to the bottom so that you have a head-down baby not a breech baby, not a transverse baby. So, it doesn’t just keep mom low-risk with her weight

ANNIE LAIRD: That’s a great position. It’s great position for the baby.

ANDREA MEYER: It’s absolutely invaluable.

ANNIE LAIRD: Well, thanks Andrea for joining us today. For more information about Andrea and her midwifery practice as well as information about any of our panellists, visit the episode page on our website. This conversation continues for members of our Preggie Pals Club.

After the show, Andrea is going to be discussing with us: “What categorizes a pregnant woman as low-risk enough to give birth at home or another type of alternative birthing location.” To join our club, visit our website www.preggiepals.com.

SAMANTHA EKLUND: So, we have a question for one of our experts. Gene in Sherman Oak’s California writes:

I want to have a water birth for my next son but my Aunt Franny said that: “The baby would drown if I do that.” I’m concerned that when my baby is born, he will take a breath under water. Is that a valid risk of water birth or am I worrying about nothing?

-Gene

SUSAN MELNIKOW: Hi. This is Susan Melnikow. I’m a certified nurse midwife and I’ve been practicing for about 32 years. I wanted to answer your question regarding water birth. I personally have done at about 350 to 400 water births myself so I feel very experienced and qualified to answer your questions.

I have not had any problems with any of the water births that I just attended. Babies do not drown. Mostly because they don’t make any attempt to breathe as they’re emerging and being born until they come up to the air.

There are really defines pressure changes and temperature changes that’s stimulates the baby’s first breath. Those down with occur when a baby is coming from the womb full of water into water. So, as long as the baby is submerged, it doesn’t make any attempt to breathe; as long as the entire body is under water.

There with a wonderful body of knowledge just published by the American Association of Birth Centres. They have a five-year study and followed many at least 15,000 women and out of that, they were closed to 4,000 water births.

In the 4,000 water birth centres all over the United States.; they found that the [inaudible] for the new born were actually higher for babies that were born in water and that tells: “How the baby responded to the birth.”

They also found that: “They were fewer transverse of babies requiring have to transfer to the hospital after a water birth.” The air-borne babies actually had a higher transferred rate.

So, with the evidence that we currently have with the studies that has been done; you can really count on the fact that: “Water birth is a very safe option; as long as you were working with people who are going to assist you who have experience and know how to do it appropriately.”

[Theme Music]

ANNIE LAIRD: That wraps up our show for today. We appreciate you listening to Preggie Pals.

Don’t forget to check out our sister shows

• Parent Savers for parents with new born, infants and toddlers
• Twin Talks for parents of multiples
• Our show The Boob Group for moms who breastfeed their babies

This is Preggie Pals: “Your pregnancy, your way.”

[Disclaimer]
This has been a New Mommy Media production. Information and material contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of New Mommy Media and should not be considered facts. Though information in which areas are related to be accurate, it is not intended to replace or substitute for professional, Medical or advisor care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating health care problem or disease or prescribing any medications. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified health care provider.
SUNNY GAULT: New Mommy Media is expanding our line up of shows for new and expecting parents. If you have an idea for a new series or if you’re a business or organization interested in joining our network of shows through a co-branded podcast, visit www.NewMommyMedia.com .

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