What to eat when you're expecting

Could what you eat during pregnancy affect your child's health as they grow up?


Midwives and OBGYNs get these kinds of question all the time from our patients. What should I be eating during pregnancy? Most of us recommend  a healthy balanced diet with perhaps some changes for women at risk for diabetes, such as those with PCOS. Most women's health care professionals see proper nutrition during pregnancy as a way to give the baby the best chances for a good start in life.

It turns out that prenatal nutrition may be even more important than previously thought. A new study from a group in the UK suggests that a mom's diet may actually affect a baby's immune system and overall health. They looked at women of reproductive age in Gambia where they experience distinct dry and rainy seasons, and eat very different foods during the two seasons. The researchers looked at a gene called VTRNA2-1, what is called a tumor suppressor gene, a gene which controls how a person's immune system responds to infections and cancers. They found that this gene was expressed differently in children conceived in different seasons, presumably due to the change in diet.

So, what does this all mean? It suggests that maternal nutrition may affect the child's ability to fight off infections or cancer. It doesn't tell us what pregnant moms should or should not be eating, and should not be a cause for concern at this time. It only reinforces what midwives and OBs have been telling their patients for years: eat a healthy balanced diet.

Source: http://www.figo.org/news/pre-pregnancy-die...

Yoga and Pregnancy

Yoga appears safe during pregnancy


For many years, midwives and OBs, have recommended yoga as a safe and effective way of staying fit during pregnancy.

Some of the suggested benefits of Yoga include:

  • Stress reduction
  • Helping to improve the strength and endurance of the muscles needed in childbirth
  • Improving symptoms such as headaches, nausea and low back pain
  • Reducing the risk of pregnancy complications such as  high blood pressure and poor fetal growth

Obstetricians and midwives have presumed there was no risk, and recommended Yoga without an objective way of determining its safety. Now, researchers have studied this issue and published their findings in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology. They looked at the mom's vital signs, the baby's fetal heart tones and evidence of uterine contractions, both before and after Yoga sessions, and what they found was reassuring, confirming that Yoga did not harm mother or baby.

One word of caution for those who do Bikram (hot) Yoga. While Yoga may be safe during pregnancy, excessive heat is not. It is probably still a good idea to avoid Bikram Yoga.

    Source: http://journals.lww.com/greenjournal/Abstr...

    Birth control after childbirth

    How effective are contraceptives after the baby is born?


    A study published in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology questions the issue of how effective birth control methods are when used in postpartum women.

    The majority of women who have recently delivered (or at least in the past year) are not ready to have another, and it turns out that a remarkable 70 % of pregnancies in the first year and a half are unintended. So why is this the case in women with good access to reproductive health care? At least a quarter of women used no birth control at all and a slightly lower percentage used less effective methods such as condoms or the rhythm method. Women who used long active reversible methods (LARCs) including IUDs such as Mirena, Paraguard or long acting injections or implants such as Depo Provera had very few unintended pregnancies. The rate was less than 0.5%. The big surprise was for women taking oral birth control pills. Over 12% of these women taking these otherwise very effective contraceptives conceived when they thought they were protected.  It turns out that birth control pills may not be as effective after childbirth and women who are not ready to conceive again and want to retain their fertility might be best served going to long acting methods such as IUDs. injections or implants.

    Pregnancy tests in bars

    Can pregnancy tests in bars prevent pregnant women from drinking alcohol?


    Researchers from the University of Alaska are trying to answer that question. It is a well known fact that heavy and chronic alcohol use during pregnancy can lead to birth defects, commonly known as fetal alcohol syndrome. It turns that the last frontier also has among the highest rates of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in the country. Alcohol use is high in the state and many women continue to drink before they are aware that they are actually pregnant. The investigators have intervened by putting up warning signs and machines offering free pregnancy tests in a several bars across Alaska including the Peanut Farm bar in Anchorage. They hope to determine whether this might dissuade women from alcohol consumption during pregnancy and reduce the incidence of Fetal Alcohol syndrome. Only time will tell.

    For more details, listen to the story on NPR's All Things Considered:

    Source: http://www.npr.org/2015/05/10/405245842/wi...

    Japanese midwifery and chilbirth seminar in Princeton

    Ursula Miguel to speak at childbirth seminar for Japanese couples in Princeton, NJ


    Ursula Miguel, one of our certified nurse midwives will be speaking at an upcoming seminar for Japanese couples at The Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton. The seminar which was organized by Yuki Seidler, a Japanese Public Health Researcher at the Institute of Advanced Studies in Princeton and a lecturer at the University of Vienna in Austria, will address the midwifery and childbirth needs of Japanese women in the US. Besides Ursula Miguel and Yuki Seidler, the panel will include other midwives and doulas in the Princeton area, as well as translation services and discuss the resources available to Japanese couples here in New Jersey and beyond. 

    Here is the announcement:

    “What is midwife? What is doula?”

    Invitation to a talk on midwifery, midwives and doulas and other topics related to birth/child rearing in the US for Japanese families in Princeton area

    • Date: May 16th 2015, Saturday
    • Time: 3 pm to 5 pm (informal tea and registration starts at 2:30 pm so please come early!)
    •  Where: Institute for Advanced Studies (IAS) Members’ Housing Activity Room
    • GPS for the car park372 South Olden Ln, Princeton 08540, NJ then please follow the signs as indicated (actual venue’s address is 85 Morse Ln Princeton 08540, NJ)
    • Language: Japanese and English (with both direction translation support provided)
    • Aim: To introduce midwifery and other birth related support services available in Princeton area targeting especially Japanese families. 2) To provide other related information around birth and birth/childrearing in the US.
    • Organized by: Private initiative of Yuki Seidler (Japanese Public Health Researcher in Princeton)
    • Whomever is interested in this topic is welcome to come! For questions please write or call (Japanese or English): yuki.seidler@gmail.com (M) 609 356 3000


    ·         日時:2015年5月16日(土)、午後3時~5時


    ·         場所:プリンストン高等研究所(IAS)居住区内Activity Room

    駐車場GPS372 South Olden Ln, Princeton 08540, NJです。そこから徒歩3分、矢印に従って会場までお越し下さい。会場自体のGPSアドレスは85 Morse Lnです。

    ·         言語:日本語と英語(必要に応じて通訳いたします)

    ·         目的:米国、とくにプリンストンにおける助産師サービスについて知って頂くこと。その他、母乳・添い寝など育児に関する情報の提供。

    ·         開催者:サイドラー幸(ゆき)(ウィーン大学講師:公衆衛生専門)

    ·         参加にご興味のある方は: yuki.seidler@gmail.com (M) 609 356 3000までご連絡下さい。当日そのままいらしても結構です。


    This event is a private initiative of Yuki Seidler and is not related to the organizations where the guest speakers or the volunteer supporters come from. The event’s main purpose is information sharing and purely non-profit and aims to fill certain information and knowledge gap among the Japanese families living in and around Princeton.