Tag Archives: Fit Pregnancy magazine

Fit Pregnancy magazine April/May 2012

How to Have the Best Labor and Delivery Possible

Fit Pregnancy April/May 2012A veteran nurse of 20 years talks to Fit Pregnancy about how to realistically improve your labor and delivery.

Confession: When I was in the midst of a high-risk pregnancy with twins, my OB suggested I have a C-section. In such a stressful situation, I never questioned the doctor’s opinion, opting instead to get the girls here safely and as close to term as possible. The rest would be up to her.

I’d be lying if I said I never sit back and wonder about my birthing process. When I watch my friends contemplate their own birth plans, I sometimes feel a little remorse. Did I miss out on something great?

The April/May issue of Fit Pregnancy focuses on helping women have the easiest delivery possible, seeking the advice of an expert. No, not a doctor–a labor nurse. If you’re giving birth, you’ll be spending more time with her than the doctor anyway. That said, it might be good to hear what she has to say now–before you hit the stirrups. Her job is to comfort and coach you, so why not bend your ear to the real expert in the delivery room?

Here’s what Jeanne Faulkner, R.N., had to say about having the easiest labor and delivery possible. Listen up!

1. Get out of the bed. Changing your position can help alleviate pain and cramping. It also helps move the baby down the birth canal. Try a tub, sit on a ball or go for walk, but don’t stay in the same position.

2. Plan to be flexible. You’ll have your ideal birth plan in mind, but don’t get too attached. Things can change quickly in a high-stakes situation. Decide on the non-negotiables and stick to a one-page plan. But don’t worry if you have to scrap it at the last second.

3. Let go of the modesty. Check the vanity. Doctors, nurses, doulas–they’ve all seen it all before, so don’t stress about what everything looks like “down there.” Freshly showered is all they hope for. As for the screaming and crying–nothing could surprise them. Just don’t be mean!

4. Be honest about your fears. No one minds helping you, and no worry is too small. If you’re afraid of something, speak up so someone can help you.

5. “Labor is a journey, not a race.” There is no “crystal ball” as to how long someone’s labor will take. Pros can guess, but they don’t really know. One way to make it go faster? Nix the entourage in the delivery room. You’re more modest and worried about appearances when they’re there, and it does slow the process. Now, there’s your excuse for keeping grandma in the waiting room!

What’s your best advice for a smooth delivery?

Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies?

‘Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies?’ A New Book Tells All

Fit Pregnancy December/January 2012

Cover of December/January Fit Pregnancy

Jena Pincott’s new book unveils the mysterious side of pregnancy through scientific studies that will have you reaching for the dark chocolate.

To say pregnancy is a mystery is a gross understatement. In order to fend off the realm of the unknown, we tend to book-up–or worse, Google-up–reading everything we can get our hands on in an effort to quell our doubts and answer all our questions. So, what’s the problem with that? There are so many answers, from good to bad and very ugly. Worst-case scenarios abound. While pregnant with my twin girls, I finally had to throw out one bestselling pregnancy book and tell the hubs to do the reading from there on out. I was making myself crazy! Sound familiar?

Too bad I missed out on science writer Jena Pincott’s new book, “Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies? The Surprising Science of Pregnancy.” According to the December/January issue of Fit Pregnancy, Pincott effortlessly “melds fascinating facts about pregnancy with practical advice.” None of the scary stuff. Love that. Here’s a sampling of some tips from the book:

1. Expect to hate your partner’s smell. Prior to pregnancy his smell subconsciously drew you to him, even to the point of being “a sign of compatibility on a biological level.” Most likely, your sniffer is “now under the influence of progesterone,” which is not only helpful for a developing pregnancy, but is also associated with bonding. Could our noses be drawing us closer to flesh-and-blood kin (our babies) over our dear husbands? Pincott says, “In our ancestral past, parents, siblings, cousins, uncles, and aunts may have been more helpful than mates when it comes to childbirth and raising a baby.” Good thing our husbands have evolved.

2. Enjoy chocolate daily. The author–and she’s a scientist!–says pregnant women should eat chocolate regularly because it might help alleviate the baby’s stress in the womb and even “improve his temperament after birth.” So Junior actually is sweeter! Don’t forget, dark chocolate is the go-to for less fat and more health benefits.

3. Embrace the pregnancy dreams and nightmares. We have vivid dreams more often while pregnant, thanks to all those “hormones and fractured sleep cycles.” But relax! There’s a good reason for them. The more vivid the dreams and nightmares, the more our “evolutionary purpose of dreaming” may be working out our stresses due to a major life change. Impending parenthood certainly counts, right? Expectant mothers who dream more also tend to have faster deliveries and a significantly reduced chance of postpartum depression.

4. Push yourself a little bit. While we’re always telling ourselves to stress less, Pincott believes there could be an upside to the pressure. Studies have shown that moderate stress in the second and third trimesters has been “associated with higher cognitive and motor scores in children” compared to those whose mothers had a relatively stress-free pregnancy. In that case, I may have given my girls a leg up in this world.