Expecting? Check Out The WebMD Pregnancy App

There are hundreds of pregnancy apps out there. Having just had a baby, WHNT News 19 morning anchor and technology reporter Michelle Stark has tried many of them.

Monday on WHNT News 19 This Morning, Michelle featured WebMD Pregnancy as the daily “Click Pick.” It’s worth a look for any expecting momma.

WebMD Pregnancy is a free app for iPhone and a companion to the website WebMD. When you log-in, you’ll need to enter your due date. In return, you’ll get information tailored to your pregnancy’s progression.

You’ll also get weekly updates on your baby’s growth and can take advantage of a journaling tool to chronicle your experiences.

There are also doctor reviewed articles, video and slideshows, plus a checklist of questions to ask your doctor – helpful when your “pregnancy brain” makes you desperate to remember even the most basic things.

Last but not least, there’s a contraction timer for when the big moment arrives!

Waiting On Baby: When A Due Date Comes & Goes…

Depending on how you calculate the due date, I am 40.2 weeks pregnant or exactly 40 weeks today.

Truth be told, I never expected to make it to my due date. I know that for many first-time moms, going over a due date is common. I’ve measured several weeks ahead in tummy height though for most of the 3rd trimester. Baby is also measuring on the larger end – estimated to be about 8.5 pounds!

Waiting On Baby...

Waiting On Baby…

So now here we are… waiting on baby girl. I’m so incredibly anxious. Every day that creeps by I worry about not being able to have a natural birth the way I’d hoped. I worry that we’ll have to induce if she stays in there much longer and that it could fail and I’ll end up with a c-section because my body just isn’t ready.

From what I’ve read, there are some real increased risks of letting a baby go to 42 weeks or longer – like increased risk of meconium aspiration. Bigger babies also have an increased risk of shoulder dystocia (a very serious obstetrical complication). Oh, and we have family coming in around the 41.5 week mark, so I feel a little bit of self-imposed pressure there to have a baby in arms by the time they arrive.

On the other hand, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) does not recommend induction for suspected macrosomia (also known as “big” baby) in large part because fetal size is very hard to predict:

“In cases of term patients with suspected fetal macrosomia, current evidence does not support early induction of labor. Results from recent reports indicate that induction of labor at least doubles the risk of cesarean delivery without reducing the risk of shoulder dystocia or newborn morbidity…” – ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 22, November 2000 issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

In the hope of avoiding an induction or other interventions, I’m doing everything I can think of to encourage baby to join us on her own – walking, shoveling down whole pineapples, etc. Braxton Hicks-like contractions and low back pain have really picked up recently, so I’m hopeful that means labor isn’t far off. It’s just so hard waiting.

We’re supposed to get snow tomorrow (Friday morning) and I’m hopeful that will be the boost baby needs to come out and meet her family! lol. It sounds crazy to buy into an old wives tale about stormy weather sparking labor but at this point, I’m a little desperate.

Ladies, if your baby was overdue, how long did you have to wait? How did you manage to relax? Was there any one technique you think finally kicked off labor? Share your comments here! I could use some advice! :o)

Michelle

 

Birth Options Recap: How Should Your Baby Be Born?

Last week on WHNT News 19 This Morning, we aired a special series of reports called “Birth Options” with the goal of helping moms-to-be and families across the Tennessee Valley learn about various methods of labor and birth available to them.

Birth Options: A Recap

Birth Options: A Recap

I began researching for this series a few months after I learned I was pregnant. Like any first time mom, I was overjoyed. I also had a LOT of questions. What should I eat? What exercises are appropriate? What should we register for? How do pregnancy and labor develop? What can go wrong during both?

As I read and talked with people, I found myself facing a very fundamental question: How should a baby be born? The obvious, easy answer, is safely. That’s what all parents hope for. How families achieve a “safe” birth though is actually more varied than you might realize. There are several different ways of birthing a child in the United States – including at a hospital, with a Certified Professional Midwife at home, or in a specialized birth center. You can go without drugs, opt for a C-Section, or experience a mix of natural labor and interventions.

Deciding which of the above experiences are right for you is a big deal. So if you missed any of our special Birth Options reports, you can click on the links below to watch each one and learn more:

The Farm Midwifery Center – Nestled to the southwest of Nashville, Tennessee, in a rural community dedicated to sustainable living, The Farm Midwifery Center is run by highly-trained midwives. These women care for pregnant moms who come from around the world for a natural, drug free labor and to birth in cabins among the trees.

Home birth with a CPM – A certified professional midwife – or CPM – is trained to attend out-of-hospital home births and provide care to pregnant women. Many women desire a home birth to avoid medical interventions in a hospital, as well as to feel comfortable in familiar surroundings. Home births with a CPM are an option in Tennessee but illegal in Alabama and some women would like to see the law changed.

A modern hospital experience – The modern hospital experience offers epidurals and other pain-relief medications, as well as instant access to the latest technologies and physicians. For many women, this is a great comfort and in rare cases when an unexpected emergency arises, can be life-saving.

Having a baby is a miraculous and complicated experience and this series of reports was in no way intended to be a comprehensive guide to birthing. Instead, it should serve as a springboard for moms hoping to learn more and motivate them to research medical and natural options in consultation with a care provider.

Feel free to share your Birth Options experiences with us below! Only 5 weeks left until my own little one’s due!

The Home “Stretch” Of Pregnancy

Oh boy! Only 7.5 weeks to go until our due date! It’s hard to believe how quickly this pregnancy has flown by and how much is left to be done. One thing that isn’t hard to believe? I am well into my third-trimester.

Palmer's Cocoa Butter

Palmer’s Cocoa Butter

If you’ve seen me on television recently you’ve probably noticed tummy has “popped.” Baby girl appears to be all out in front… and could be a large one. At my last update, ultrasound suggested she could be 9lbs. or so at full term. Now, I know these readings can be off by several pounds but there’s no doubt I’m feeling the “stretch” of the final weeks.

How so? Well, I’ll just go ahead and admit… I have recently acquired a small hurricane of stretch marks on the tummy. That skin is stretched to the max! lol. I was holding out hope I would escape without those odd-looking red lines but they popped up almost overnight! I’ve been slathering on lotion and creams with Vitamin E… and thought Cocoa Butter might help. Oh well.

Other “stretching” I’ve noticed at week 33? My fingers! OK, they’re actually more bloated than stretched but the effect is the same. I can’t even get my wedding rings on! They’re like little sausages.

I’m also struggling to fit some of my maternity clothes around my baby bump. It’s like baby girl decided to streeeeeeeeeeeetch out as long as possible inside and is making her little home as large as possible until she comes to meet us.

Ladies, did you experience any of the same “stretching” in the home-stretch of pregnancy? What were your third-trimester experiences like? Were you low energy? Big bumped or little? What was the biggest challenge to overcome? Sound off below!