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If you are looking for birth support, or Perth area placenta encapsulation in the Perth, Peel and Hills regions I can help. Kelly Evans - The Modern Doula 

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News + Notes

News & Notes from Kelly Evans (The Modern Doula) on pregnancy and giving birth in Perth, Western Australia.

Filtering by Tag: pregnancy

5 Ways To Splurge On Yourself In Pregnancy/Birth

Kelly Evans

So this baby is happening! You are so excited and want to give this baby the best. What do you buy? Many women get carried away preparing the nest, buying clothes for the baby, setting up a nursery and so on that they forget the most important thing - to look after themselves~!

Here are my Top 5 Ways To Splurge On Your Pregnancy/Birth.

1. Hire an Independent Midwife!

If you are in Perth - here is a list of Midwives that operate Independently (that means that they are not acting as employees of the hospital but are employed by you directly). This is hands down the best way to ensure the Continuity Of Care that we all know helps women get the birth they really want.

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H is for Hyperemesis Gravidarum

Kelly Evans

H is for HG The Modern Doula
H is for HG The Modern Doula

What is HG?

Hyperemesis Gravidarum (or HG) is every pregnant woman's worst nightmare. It's a bit like extreme vomiting, nausea, and weight loss and it's certainly more than a bit of morning sickness. Whilst most women experience some morning sickness in pregnancy, while HG is quite rare (some estimate 1 in 100 pregnanies). I know of a few pregnant women who have suffered through HG for their entire pregnancy.

What can I do if my pregnant friend has HG?

Part of the problem is others trying to be helpful and telling a Mumma to just eat ginger (let me tell you nothing repulsed me more than the smell of ginger when I was pregnant or dry biscuits for that matter). We need to start educating each other on HG and start being more empathetic and practical with our support (instead of offering solutions). So if you know someone suffering HG ask them what you can do to help. Acknowledge that you don't know exactly what they are going through but offer to provide practical assistance (assuming you know them well enough).

How do I know if it's HG or just morning sickness?

There are a few differences between the two. With morning sickness you sometimes have vomiting, with HG you get severe vomiting. Morning sickness generally settles down at about 12 weeks, whereas HG often continues (sometimes up until the moment of birth). HG often results in severe dehydration and you are unable to keep any food down (as opposed to morning sickness where you can usually keep some food down).

If you are thinking you may have HG there's a checklist you can download here that you can take to your care provider as well (Rhodes Index of Nausea, Vomiting and Retching).

Is there anything that will help cure HG?

If you think you are suffering from HG be sure to talk to your care provider. There are treatments available for the symptoms, though there's no known cure.  You may be given medication (your care provider will work with you to balance possible side effects with benefits).

If the medication doesn't help, or you get dehydrated you may need to go to hospital for treatment (although this sounds scary, you will feel alot better just by not being dehydrated and not nauseous).

What can I do if my loved one is suffering with HG right now?

There is a great printable brochure you can download from the HELPHER website: http://www.helpher.org/downloads/hg-loved-one-brochure.pdf which can help you to help your loved one through this really difficult time.

Further reading

If you want any further information on HG the HELPHER website is my go-to resource: http://www.helpher.org/
 

So, if you don't want to sit there wondering if you could have done things differently, if you want to learn what ALL your birth support options are, and how to take charge of your birth, let's talk.

Contact me to set up a complimentary Better Birth Chat for those women who are ready to get the birth they really want.

What to avoid when shopping for a maternity bra

Kelly Evans

How to choose a maternity bra One of the first things I noticed when I became pregnant was that my breasts were sore.

It wasn't long before I needed a new bra and as I found out there are a few things to look out for!

SIZE

You will probably find that you go through a few different bra sizes before your pregnancy and breastfeeding journey is over. So aim to get a maternity bra fitted for now, but know that you will probably need another few bra size upgrades (especially once your milk supply comes in). Now is not the time to make do with an ill-fitting bra - your breasts deserve the best.

NO UNDERWIRE? OR FLEXIWIRE?

It used to be that experts advised against wearing underwired bras. Now modern technology has design flexi-wire which is much safer for pregnancy/breastfeeding as it is more flexible.

The reason that the old style of underwire was not recommended was due to wire that digs into your breast tissue could harm the later development of your breast ducts causing blockages and very painful mastitis.

You can still get great support in wireless bras (even in larger sizes) so now the choice is yours.

DESIGN MATTERS

A few simple design flaws can ruin a comfortable bra. If you are looking at breastfeeding bras - always try out the release clips one handed. After all you will be holding a baby in the other hand.

Look for a wide band which can be more comfortable as it shouldn't dig in so much.

The more adjustable a bra is, the better it will continue to fit even as it gives with continued use and washing. There's nothing worse than a bra stretching and becoming too loose after a couple of washes.

BUY 2-3 BRAS

If you find a bra you really like - buy at least 2 of them so that you can alternate and wash. This is especially important after baby arrives as it is likely milk will leak and you will need to wash your bra more frequently.

START WITH A BREASTFEEDING BRA

Some people skip maternity bras (which don't have opening clasps) and go straight to a breastfeeding bra. That way they will have worn in and have a comfy bra all ready to go when baby arrives and they want that all important skin on skin.

The choice is up to you.

WHERE CAN I BUY A MATERNITY/BREASTFEEDING BRA?

Maternity/breastfeeding bras can feed found at:

 

Foods to avoid eating when pregnant

Kelly Evans

Being pregnant can make meal times tricky. It's hard enough for you as a pregnant woman to remember all the do's and dont's - but this is compounded when you need to eat out. So what are you meant to look out for - and what are the main foods to avoid and why? Here's a brief list!

Listeria

A rare but potentially severe illness caused by the Listeria monocytogenes bacteria.

Many pre-prepared or takeaway foods are considered high risk for Listeria, this occurs due to contamination with bacteria as part of the food preparation process and the bacteria continues to grow in the fridge.

Here are some of the most common foods to avoid when you are pregnant to avoid listeria (this list is not exhaustive):

  • pate
  • cold ready-to-eat chicken
  • manufactured ready-to-eat meats (including polony, ham and salami)
  • soft cheeses (including brie, camembert, fetta, ricotta)
  • pre-packed, pre-prepared or self-serve fruit or vegetable salads (this includes coleslaw, potato and other salads)
  • freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juices
  • ready-to-eat cold, smoked or raw seafood, including smoked salmon, oysters, sashimi and cooked prawns
  • sushi
  • soft serve ice cream and thick shakes (you might want to check other iced drinks and milk shakes too)
  • tofu (both soft and hard types) and tempeh
  • unpasteurised milk and unpasteurised milk products
  • raw sprouts (including alfalfa, clover, radish, and mung bean). Bacteria can get into sprout seeds through cracks in the shell before the sprouts are grown. Once this occurs, these bacteria are nearly impossible to wash out. Sprouts grown in the home are also risky if eaten raw. Many outbreaks have been linked to contaminated seed. If pathogenic bacteria are present in or on the seed, they can grow to high levels during sprouting - even under clean conditions.

 

Methylmercury

Is a metal that can be found in certain fish which can be harmful to your unborn baby if you eat them. Mercury can reach the fish both through natural occurence as well as industrial pollution, which accumulates in our oceans. Bacteria in the water transforms the mercury chemically into methylmercury, which can be toxic.

Fish absorb methylmercury as they feed on other fish, however, larger fish that have lived longer have the highest levels of methylmercury because they've had more time to accumulate it. The following large fish pose the greatest risk to pregnant women who eat them regularly: 

  • Swordfish
  • Tilefish
  • King mackerel
  • Shark

It's okay to eat other cooked fish/seafood as long as you select a variety of other kinds while you're pregnant. You can eat up to 12 ounces (2 average meals) a week of a variety of fish and shellfish that are lower in mercury.

Five of the most commonly eaten fish that are low in mercury are:

  • shrimp
  • canned light tuna 
  • salmon 
  • pollock, and
  • catfish. 

Salmonella

A type of food poisoning caused by the salmonella bacterium found in the following foods TO AVOID (the following list is not exhaustive):

  • cake batter
  • raw cookie dough
  • raw eggs
  • raw or undercooked sprouts
  • undercooked eggs (cook until yolk is firm)
  • undercooked poultry and stuffing

Toxoplasmosis

Is another infection that can affect unborn babies. To reduce the risk thoroughly cook all meat, and ensure that salad and vegetables are thoroughly washed.

(Pregnant women should also avoid contact with cat faeces and should wear disposable gloves if handling cat litter. Hands should be washed after gardening or handling pets).

What are the symptoms of foodborne illness?

Symptoms vary, but in general, a person might get sick to their stomach, vomit, or have diarrhea. Sometimes foodborne illness is confused with the flu because the symptoms can be flu like with a fever, headache, and body aches.

What should I do if I suspect a foodborne illness?

If you are unwell contact your doctor, hospital or healthdirect Australia on 1800 022 222 (24 hours a day, seven days a week) as soon as possible.

 

Please note that this list is not exhaustive - but designed to give you a quick guide of foods to avoid when you are pregnant.

Sources:

Foods to avoid during pregnancy: http://www.foodsafety.gov/poisoning/risk/pregnant/chklist_pregnancy.html Listeria: http://www.public.health.wa.gov.au/2/402/2/listeria_infect.pm#A Methylmercury: http://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/HealthEducators/ucm083324.htm While you are pregnant - what is foodborne illness?: http://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/HealthEducators/ucm083316.htm