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Messages - Angela

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Preterm Labor: Anything and Everything / Paging Rheam1984
« on: March 27, 2009 at 11:18 PM »
How are you doing? I know the losses you've faced have been so hard. Do you feel you are coping OK? Do you have good support? Have you seen your OB recently, and have you thought about when you might try again?

How did your scan go? Any change?

Thanks for taking the time to be her advocate. I think you are right to be concerned. Here's a short answer to your question:
"The length of the cervix is expected to shorten as a pregnancy progresses, but a length of 3.0 cm to 3.5 cm isn't expected until 32 to 36 weeks." You can find more info from two major studies on cervical length and preterm labor here:

Statistically, your DD may be just fine, but I'd like to recommend two things, based on my personal experiences with an early-shortening/softening cervix. First, please print out this list of preterm labor symptoms ( for her to keep at home on the fridge and also somewhere at work.  Please have her call her doctor if she has any of the symptoms, OR she can go straight to L&D to have her cervix checked.

I'm also concerned about her symptoms being overlooked, because the symptoms of preterm labor can be so similar to the normal discomforts of pregnancy. You can also print out this guide for how to describe her symptoms to her doctor:  You mentioned that she's been having pains. Can you describe them?

I do hope her doc will do another u/s on the 9th, even if just to give her peace of mind. Please let us know how the appointment goes. And don't hesitate to get in touch!
Keep 'em cookin'!

CDC Reports Slight Decline in Perterm Birth Rate

The annual percentage of preterm births in the United States dropped to 12.66 percent in 2007, compared to 12.8 percent in 2006, according to preliminary data released by the CDC last week.

"It is a small victory, but still significant," says Angela Davids, founder of, an organization that educates women about the risk of preterm birth and
the warning signs of preterm labor. "If the percentage of preterm births in 2006 had been the
same as it was in 2007, there would have been 6,528 fewer babies born prematurely in 2006," Davids


Thanks for sharing your story! You've given other women a lot to learn from -- especially knowing to listen to their bodies and to be aware of preterm labor symptoms ( You went through SO much, it is just unreal. I hope you'll check back and offer support to some of our hospital bed-resters. We've just started an outreach campaign to about 10 MD/VA/DC hospitals, so we will likely see more of the hospital "prisoners" on the forum (in addition to those on "house arrest").

My little guy turned 8 months old this week. I did 3+ months of bed rest before he was born, and then almost 2 months of very limited activity afterward due to pre-e and kidney failure. I wish someone had warned me how HARD the recovery/rehabilitation would be! Every day I figured it had to get better soon, but I probably should have done physical therapy. I'm sorry you still aren't feeling 100 percent, but you've got a great attitude and that will really help. Some days I just felt so beat down, but I found if I pushed myself a bit more a few times each day, my strength seemed to grow.

Thank you for being an advocate for yourself, your daughter, and other moms everywhere!!!

From The Atlantic: A look at the history of formula-feeding, feminism, shared parental responsibility, and more...

What have your experiences been? Any challenges because you DID or DIDN'T decide to breast-feed? Any changes in your decision to breast-feed with your second or third children?

 (CNN) -- The average cost of medical care for a premature or low birth-weight baby for its first year of life is about $49,000, according to a new report from the March of Dimes Foundation.
Babies born after the 37th week of pregnancy are less costly to the health care system than premature babies.

By contrast, a newborn without complications costs $4,551 for care in its first year of life, the report said. Newborns with other kinds of complications, such as congenital defects, have medical expenses of $10,273 on average in the first year.

What do you all think about this article? Too negative? Or realistic?

(Reuters Health) – Being born too early can do lasting damage. A team reports that many 12-year-olds who were born prematurely with a very low birth weight have lower IQs and more developmental problems than similarly aged children who were born at term.

Dr. Betty R. Vohr of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, and colleagues compared outcomes of 375 children with birth weights between 600 and 1250 grams born between 1989 and 1992 with 111 age-matched full-term "control" children.


Okay, I thought I had heard it all. Is it really possible to potty train a baby, or are we potty training the parents? Does it matter WHO gets trained? Interesting stuff...What do you ladies think?

Elimination Communication
Can Infants Really Be Potty Trained?

See also
DiaperFreeBaby is a network of free support groups promoting a natural approach to responding to babies' elimination needs. This practice is followed worldwide and is known as Elimination Communication, Natural Infant Hygiene, and Infant Potty Training. The process involves observing one's baby's signs and signals, providing cue sounds and elimination-place associations, and can be done with or without any diaper use.

What does everyone think of KeepEmCookin's "Idea of the Day"?
(The "Idea of the Day" is something fun to do online, updated each day.)

Do you enjoy the ideas that get posted there? Do you check it regularly? Do you have any suggestions for what else you'd like to see?

Would you want a book club here on the Forum? Or a "What's Everyone Reading?" category?

Let me know... Thanks!

Click here for the Idea of the Day:

I've talked to quite a few women lately who have said that their doctors won't stop labor once they have reached 34 weeks. One of the doctors at my OB/GYN's office said the same thing  (because their "NICU outcomes were so favorable," he said), but my usual doctor said to continue with bed rest and nifeipine until 37 weeks. Developmentally speaking, there is a world of difference between 34 weeks and 36 weeks, and even a big jump between 36 and 37.

Had anyone's doctor said that they won't stop labor after 34 weeks? And why would this be the standard protocol?

We have a right to medical intervention when it is in the best interest of our babies, and if it is not a risk to ourselves (as with preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, etc.). Shouldn't our goal be 40 weeks? With my first pregnancy I didn't know what the treatment options were. With my second pregnancy, I did, and I was able to ask the right questions and keep my little guy cookin'. I want that for EVERY pregnant women. If you haven't had a chance already, please take a look at the most current treatment options here:

I look forward to hearing what you ladies think...

Making the Best of Bed Rest / Article for Single Moms on Bed Rest
« on: February 22, 2009 at 01:17 AM »
Full article:

Being prescribed bed rest during pregnancy is never easy. But when you're a single mom, being put on bed rest comes with unique problems. Depending on their restrictions, single moms may need help with everything from food preparation to childcare to household chores. Even when family and friends volunteer, it's often difficult to accept help.

Ladies, what other advice can you offer?

Any single moms out there who want to talk? What makes bed rest especially challenging for you?

Hi, Beccah.

Sorry you're going through this. I'm glad you are continuing to ask questions though! Don't let the "little" hills fool you. The monitors can be adjusted to make the hills bigger or smaller, depending on how much variation they are trying to see. You're right to be most concerned about the consistency of the contractions!

Your situation sounds similar to my first pregnancy. At 29 weeks I had a handful of painful cramps and just felt like something wasn't right. Like you, my cervix had already started to shorten and they told me I'd probably deliver at 36 weeks. Well, I was back at 33 weeks in full-on labor. They were able to stop it with mag sulfate, and although I had several more episodes of PTL, my daughter stayed put until 39 weeks. (Thanks to bed rest, I believe.)

With my second pregnancy, I had learned about how the length of the cervix is a strong predictor of preterm labor. I requested transvaginal ultrasounds on those occasions where the pressure seemed to be stronger or the contractions more consistent.  Please check out the information on cervical length I have compiled here: My short answer is that it sounds like your cervix IS starting to ripen on the early side. I'd take it easy for now, and definitely get an appointment to have your doctor check your cervical length by transvaginal ultrasound. That will help you and your doctor decide if it would make sense for you to be on bed rest  or on a medication to reduce contractions. (See for information on treatments for preventing preterm labor.)

I'm glad you are being proactive in seeking more info! We ladies have to remember that WE are in charge of our pregnancies.

What kinds of symptoms ( are you having? Can you tell us more about the pressure you were feeling? Any cramping? Tummy feeling hard? Any more spotting? Any change in discharge?


Making the Best of Bed Rest / 5 Ways Prison Is Better than Bed Rest
« on: February 20, 2009 at 12:53 AM »
Five Ways Prison Is Better than Bed Rest

1) Daily showers
2) One hour of exercise each day
3) Time spent outdoors on chain gang
4) Spending time with others in similar circumstances
5) Conjugal visits

Any other comparisons, ladies?
And, who wants to start a topic for "5 Ways Bed Rest Is Better Than Prison"?

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