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Messages - Angela

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What's Your Story? Tell us. / Re: Placenta Previa
« on: September 15, 2009 at 11:15 AM »
Hi, m&m'smommy. How have you been doing? What have you been doing to fight the boredom at the hospital? Any news on how the placenta previa is looking? Let us know...

Hi, TwinMom.
Just wanted to check in and see how things have been going this past week. Are you adjusting to hospital life? Any contractions or bleeding lately? Have you had any ultrasounds this week? Let us know!

What's Your Story? Tell us. / Re: Bed rest and worried about bills
« on: August 24, 2009 at 11:41 PM »
Hello! Welcome to the forum. You post an excellent question about applying for disability, dealing with bills, etc. I tweeted a request on Twitter, so hopefully some other bed rest moms will have some advice and experience to share with you here.

What can you tell us about the process so far? So you applied for short-term disability through work? And what kind of coverage does that provide; for example, a certain percentage of your salary?

Thanks for sharing!

Hi, TwinMom!
How many weeks are you? How long have you been in the hospital? Do you know the gender of the babies?

Here's a link to the article on bed rest exercises:

And an excerpt:


 And also help speed your bed rest recovery

By Darline Turner-Lee

Bed rest is seldom in any woman’s plan for her pregnancy. Yet each year some 700,000 to 1 million women willingly succumb to their obstetricians’ bed rest prescriptions to ensure the best hope for their babies.

However, bed rest is not without risk. Numerous research studies report that inactivity—even for as short a time as two weeks—results in loss of muscle mass and strength. NASA studies done to evaluate the effects of weightlessness on female astronauts found that in 60 days women lost up to 25 percent of muscle mass and nearly half of their muscle strength.

Hmmm. I can only offer my personal opinion, but if it were me I would have hesitations after this doctor blew off the test so easily. It is FDA approved, has been studied by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and is supported by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

I guess I see his point about it making women "nervous" if they get a positive result, but then that gives you the power to take action. Or more likely, inaction--more bed rest. Ha ha. Why not have the information to make an informed decision?

I don't know if you had a chance to check out how the test works, so I'll put a link here: It's really pretty cool. FFN is a protein that should not be present in vaginal secretions between 22 weeks and 35 weeks, so I would guess a doctor would want to test every two weeks from 22 to 34 weeks. If you weren't having any preterm labor symptoms and/or your cervix was looking long and closed on ultrasound, I could see why they would test less often.

I'll pose this question on Twitter, and we can see what other moms think...

Making the Best of Bed Rest / Re: Heart Burn???
« on: June 09, 2009 at 10:50 PM »
Here are a few replies from Twitter:

heartburn often increases on bedrest because you're laying down so the acid isn't fighting gravity anymore

to lessen effects of acid reflux, have dh raise the headside legs (wooden blocks work well) a few inches to reintroduce gravity

My heartburn on bedrest was pretty bad too. It seemed to always happen before bed time. You can take Tums, but check with your doc first to see if that is the best option for you. In some cases it could be TOO much calcium. There's a heartburn med called Reglan that was recently given a blackbox warning (just in case OB or nurse mentions that as a possibility). Here's the warning on Reglan: (Article is dated 2.26.09).

Hope you can get some relief soon!

I am so very sorry for your loss. I hope it helps to give you some closure, or to somehow makes sense of thing, that they were able to explain the cause. Hopefully it was a one-time, rare occurance.

I'm excited to see that you've been researching options like 17P and cerclage. And, there are a few less-invasive options for prevention. With your next pregnancy, you can request that your OB perform regular measurements of the length of your cervix by ultrasound. Cervical length is an excellent indicator of preterm birth. There's lots of info on that here:

There's also the Fetal Fibronectin Test (FFN), which can be done every two weeks starting at 22 weeks. The test can predict the likelihood of preterm birth, based on the presence (or hopefully lack of) fetal fibronectin in a vaginal swab. There's more info about the test here:

Feel free to stop by the forum anytime! I wish you the best!

A doctor I talk with on Twitter noticed your post and asked me to forward the following info:

"Please tell mihindimindy she is a perfect candidate for FFN test. Cervix is dynamic and can change. Neg FFN means < 5% risk of preterm delivery in following 2 weeks."

He makes a GREAT point! If your risk is low, your doctor would likely support removing your bed rest restrictions, or agree to modified bed rest. Definitely ask your OB! I know it was always a big relief for me when I got a negative FFN test result! We have info about the test here: The article is titled "Preparing for a Preterm Birth"

And here (about three-fourths down the page):

And also see

Hope that helps! Let us know what your OB says! And the test results... :+)

This is a great question! I've asked an expert on exercise during pregnancy bed rest if she would write an article on some exercises women can do after bed rest (but while still pregnant) to help get their strength back. We hope to post that on the News & Articles page ( in the next several days.

Recovery can be really tough. You want to do so much after sitting around so long, but your body just can't do it. Other women have the opportunity to get used to the gradual weight gain, but women on bed rest don't. For me, I tried to balance easing back into things with pushing myself harder a few times each day. In the meantime, you could start with the pregnancy bed rest exercise video by the expert I mentioned earlier: She has clips on her site.

If you find that your lack of energy is turning into weakness or extreme fatigue, be sure to mention it to your doctor. It's easy to pass things off as "normal" pregnancy pain/discomfort/fatigue, but it can be a symptom of something more. Especially mention any dizziness, nausea, seeing spots, headache, or bleeding gums.

Why have you been on bed rest, if you don't mind me asking?

Hi, maesmomommy.
I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. I think it's a great sign that you are healing well emotionally if you are thinking about trying again. I have talked with MANY women who had great success with the combination of cerclage and the 17P shots, plus bed rest!

That is wonderful that you are already researching those options, and are interviewing OBs. You want a doctor who will take every opportunity to keep your baby safely cookin'. Some OBs aren't as proactive as others.

I've posted an article about the various options for the prevention and treatment of preterm labor here:    Check out the section on the importance of cervical length. That'll be something to keep an eye on. I really believe that is what saved my son: When I was in preterm labor at the hospital at 24 weeks and they were getting ready to send me home because the contractions had eased up, I asked to speak to the attending physician (as opposed to a resident). I told her I would feel much more comfortable going home if I knew the contractions hadn't been causing cervical change. Could she do an ultrasound? She agreed, and my cervix was just 1.5 cm in length. That's not normal until just before delivery! I was put on hospital bed rest for the next few days, and medication to limit the contractions for the rest of the pregnancy. It was a looooong, tough road, but we made it to 39 weeks. Your doctor can schedule you for regular cervical length check every few weeks, probably starting around 16 weeks.

Did any of the doctors mention the possibility of you having an incompetent cervix? If so, I can direct you to some good sources of info.

So glad you are taking a proactive approach to your next pregnancy! I wish you the best!

Hi, there! I've been thinking about you a lot these last few days. Glad to see you here!

My Little Guy is now 10 months old, but I clearly remember the depression I experienced during my many months on bed rest! I know it can be nearly impossible to be positive when you are staring at the same four walls, are stuck in your house, and have nothing to do but worry that your baby arrives safely. I guess that's why I spent a lot of time researching preterm birth and how to prevent it. That was one thing I did to help me feel in control of the situation. I reviewed the symptoms of preterm labor just about every day, to be sure I was on top of it!

I know you've said you feel like no one cares about you or supports you. But people do--even if it is people like us on the Internet! And your nurses and doctors! And even the family members who don't have the time to stop by or are too scared to tell you they are worried about you.

During my bed rest days, I didn't want to see anyone, or call anyone, or have guests come over. But that was EXACTLY what I needed to do. To welcome people into my space. To tell them what I needed. Each day, try to reach out to one person; I know it is hard. Any family members, a religious group, coworkers, even old friends through Facebook.

And anytime you want to vent here, feel free! Even if it seems like a silly thing. I was upset that I never got to go maternity clothes shopping, with being on bed rest starting at 24 weeks. And I think we were all too afraid to jinx thing by planning a shower. :+( It's normal to miss those things! And even be upset about it.

Tell me more about you. Is this your first child? How many weeks are you? How did you discover you have PIH?

Talk soon,

I had the waves of nausea too! Around the same time: weeks 36 to 39 (when I delivered). It was like "Hold up, stop the Earth, somebody turn the lights back on." One doc said it was probably heartburn. :+( 

Glad they checked your liver; I'm guessing they checked your kidney function too. That is measured by checking the "creatinine" level in your blood. For me, it was my kidneys that suffered from the high BP (followed by acute kidney failure after delivery).

Hope you'll continue to let us know how you are doing! In the meantime, here's a list of preeclampsia symptoms to watch for: An easy symptom to miss is hyperactive reflexes. Have them check those at your next appointment. :+)

The globby discharge could have been part of your mucus plug. Your mucus plug can "regenerate," but it is always a reason to call the doc if you aren't yet at 37 weeks. Especially if you're having other preterm labor signs. So glad you are staying on top of this!

I've posted some info on "normal" discharge versus "mucus plug" discharge at the bottom of this page:

TMI, I know, but we gotta talk about this stuff. Right? :+)

Do you think there is a genetic link to preterm labor and/or preterm birth? Why or why not? Did your mother or grandmother have issues with preterm labor or preterm birth? Your sisters?

If anyone is able to find a study that explores a genetic link, please let me know...

UPDATE (2/8/2010): New Research Shows Genes Of Pregnant Women And Their Fetuses Can Increase The Risk Of Preterm Labor. Click here:

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