• What Causes Premature Birth?

    According to the CDC, about ten percent of babies were born prematurely in 2020. Let’s look at the causes of this phenomenon, and how to prevent premature births.

    What Qualifies as Premature Birth?

    According to Mayo Clinic, “A premature birth is a birth that takes place more than three weeks before the baby’s estimated due date. In other words, a premature birth is one that occurs before the start of the 37th week of pregnancy.” They also define more particular preterm stages:

    • Late preterm stage – babies born between 34 and 36 completed weeks of pregnancy
    • Moderately preterm – babies born between 32 and 34 weeks of pregnancy
    • Very preterm stage – babies born at less than 32 weeks of pregnancy
    • Extremely preterm stage -babies born at or before 25 weeks of pregnancy

    Complications of Premature Births

    Cleveland Clinic describes many health problems that can afflict preemies, including:

    • Apnea of prematurity, or temporary pauses in breathing during sleep.
    • Bronchopulmonary dysplasia, or underdeveloped lungs.
    • Intraventricular hemorrhage, or bleeding in the brain.
    • Necrotizing enterocolitis, or inflammation of the intestines.
    • Neonatal sepsis, or blood infection.
    • Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), or abnormal blood flow in the heart.
    • Retinopathy of prematurity, or underdeveloped blood vessels in the eye.

    They note that preemies are also at a higher risk of developmental challenges later in life, including cerebral palsy, hearing and vision problems, learning disabilities, and poor growth. Mothers of preemies are at elevated risk of anxiety, postpartum depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and problems bonding with their baby.

    Who Is At Risk?

    Johns Hopkins Medicine lists the following risk factors for premature births:

    1. Having previously given birth prematurely.
    2. Pregnancies with multiples (twins, triplets, et cetera).
    3. Any history of uterus or cervix problems.

    Additional risk factors listed by Johns Hopkins include: smoking, infections, and not getting prenatal care. They advise pregnant women to “learn about all the risk factors and talk to your obstetrics provider about what you can do to help reduce your risk for preterm labor.”

    Prevention Tactics

    The CDC lists several ways to help prevent premature births:

    • Assuring access to health care before and between pregnancies.
    • Identifying women at risk for preterm delivery and offering effective treatments to prevent preterm birth.
    • Preventing unintended pregnancies.
    • Waiting 18 months or more between pregnancies.
    • Choosing single embryo transfer as appropriate when undergoing in-vitro fertilization because pregnancies with multiples has higher risk of preterm delivery.

    Additionally, Cleveland Clinic recommends a surgical procedure called cervical cerclage, which uses a single stitch to keep the cervix closed until delivery.

    At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping people start families with healthy pregnancies. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-210-6649.

     

     

  • What is hyperemesis gravidarum?

    If you follow the British royal family, you may recall that Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, experienced hyperemesis gravidarum during all three of her pregnancies. In fact, during her first pregnancy the problem was so severe that she was briefly hospitalized! Reading this news a few years back, you may not have paid much attention. If your pregnant partner is suddenly throwing up more than seems normal, though, you may be getting nervous. Is it morning sickness, or could it be hyperemesis gravidarum?

    It’s important to note that nausea is very common during pregnancy, and typically harmless. It’s uncomfortable, to be sure, but fortunately, it usually resolves by the end of the first trimester, although some people experience it for up to 20 weeks. Nausea during the first trimester, sometimes accompanied by vomiting, is known as morning sickness. It doesn’t usually cause dehydration, though it can leave a woman fatigued, with appetite loss, and it can cause her to have trouble with her normal daily activities.

    Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) is not nearly as common. In fact, it only happens in .5 to 2 percent of pregnancies. With this condition, the nausea won’t go away, and the vomiting is so severe that the person can’t keep any foods or fluids down and becomes dehydrated. These symptoms can be debilitating, typically start in the first 6 weeks of pregnancy, and can cause fatigue that lasts for weeks or months. It’s a major concern not just because of the dehydration, but because it prevents proper weight gain during pregnancy. A woman with hyperemesis gravidarum can lose more than 5 percent of her body weight because of the nausea and vomiting.

    A woman is more at risk for HG if she has a family history of the condition, is pregnant for the first time, or is carrying multiples. Trophoblastic disease, a condition that occurs when there’s abnormal cell growth in the uterus, can also cause HG. There’s no way to prevent hyperemesis gravidarum, but it can be treated. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, treatments vary. Mild cases might be treated with natural nausea treatment, dietary changes, rest, or antacids. In some cases, acupressure or homeopathic treatments can be helpful, but it’s important for anyone with HG to talk to a doctor and refrain from self-medicating. More serious cases of HG require hospitalization. In the hospital, treatments include intravenous (IV) fluids, tube feeding, and medication. If you have any concerns during pregnancy, calling your doctor for advice is always a good choice to promote a healthy pregnancy.

    At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping to start families by facilitating healthy pregnancies. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.

     

  • Signs Your Partner is Approaching Labor

    From start to finish, pregnancy is tricky. Whether you’re waiting to learn if you’re pregnant or waiting for labor, the signs and symptoms involved can be confusing. Just as all people are different, all women experience childbirth a little differently, so a sign of labor for one person might not be there for another person. What’s more, every pregnancy is different! Even if you’ve been through a pregnancy before, labor can be a different experience the next time. If your partner is pregnant, it can be frustrating to try to decipher the signs. The following symptoms are fairly universal, though, so pay attention if any of these things seem to be happening.

    • Labor hormones can cause shivering. If it’s not cold and your partner is layering up, she might be in labor.
    • A loss of appetite could mean labor. Just as early pregnancy often causes women to feel nauseous and disinterested in food, labor beginning can cause the same symptoms, along with increased thirst. Ginger chews and ice chips can be very helpful.
    • Back pain can be a sign of impending labor. It’s understandable that a pregnant woman’s back will hurt, because she’s carrying around the extra weight of pregnancy. In the early stages of labor, though, that lower back pain may become intense. If she can’t seem to get comfortable, is having menstrual-like cramps, and her back is aching, pay attention because it could mean it’s almost time to head to the hospital.
    • As the due date grows nearer, pay attention to contractions. Your partner may have been experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions for some time, but if the contractions start getting stronger and longer, it could be almost time for the baby to arrive. How do you know when contractions are actually labor? They’ll come close together, around five minutes or so apart, and your partner will not be able to walk or talk through them.
    • When labor is approaching, the baby may drop. This can give your partner a feeling of lightness and she may be able to breathe and speak more easily because there’s less pressure on her diaphragm. The flip side of this is that she may have to go to the bathroom more often because there’s more pressure on her bladder.
    • Her water may break, and it may not be like the movies. Sometimes it’s just like you’d expect, a gush of fluids rushing out suddenly. However, it’s not always that obvious. Some women experience trickling fluid for a while, and may not realize that this is what’s happening. Encourage her to call her doctor if this is happening, because it means the “seal” around the baby has broken.
    • In the end stages of pregnancy, her joints may feel loose. Pregnancy hormones work to relax the joints, muscles and ligaments, to allow the pelvis to open and give birth. Unfortunately for your partner, those same hormones may loosen her bowels as well. The good news is, it’s a sign that birth is near.
    • If she’s fatigued but still obsessed with organizing the nursery, she’s probably getting close. It’s hard to sleep in the third trimester, which can lead to fatigue. By the same token, many women feel an urgency to “nest” right at the end of the pregnancy.

    If you think your partner is in labor or close to it, encourage her to call her medical provider. They won’t mind an extra phone call or two, and it’s better to be safe than sorry. It’s imperative to call if there’s bleeding or bright red discharge, her water breaks, or she experiences blurred or double vision, a severe headache, or sudden swelling, which can be signs of a life-threatening condition known as preeclampsia.  If she’s experiencing the signs of labor before the 37th week, call the doctor: it could be preterm labor. It’s always better to give the medical practitioner a call in the interest keeping both mom and baby healthy and safe.

    At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping people start families with healthy pregnancies. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.

  • How the Body Changes During Pregnancy

    Pregnancy is a time of enormous changes to the body. Some of the physical effects of pregnancy are well known, like weight gain and nausea. Many, however, come as a surprise to women experiencing pregnancy for the first time. If your partner is pregnant, here are some changes you may want to know about, so you’ll understand what to expect.

    Trying to get pregnant can be extremely thrilling, but also full of anxiety. The first sign of pregnancy may be a missed period, but you may experience other symptoms right around the same time. For many women, overwhelming fatigue may be the first clue that they’re going to have a baby. It makes sense that the body would be tired, since it’s having to adjust to a lot of physical changes. A pregnant woman should sleep whenever possible, whether that means sleeping longer at night or squeezing in naps during the day. Fortunately, she’ll have more energy in the second trimester.

    Morning sickness may be the most well-known symptom of early pregnancy, and it involves nausea and vomiting caused by pregnancy hormones. It doesn’t really confine itself to morning, though, and can happen any time of day or night. A pregnant woman might find that certain foods or smells make her feel sick, and many people feel sicker on an empty stomach. There are tons of remedies for morning sickness, from taking vitamin B6 to using over the counter ginger supplements and other herbal remedies, to wearing sea-sickness bands on the wrists.

    Other symptoms that women experience at the beginning of pregnancy include frequent urination, lightheadedness, heartburn, constipation, skin changes from increased circulation, visible veins because of the extra blood being pumped through the body, swollen, tender breasts, vaginal changes, emotional swings, and a metallic taste in the mouth. Some of these symptoms go away as the pregnancy progresses, but others stick around until after the baby is born. As a woman gets further into her pregnancy, her ligaments loosen, she’ll gain weight, and she’s likely to retain fluid. It’s important for pregnant women to eat a nutritious diet, stay hydrated, get enough rest, and be careful to follow the doctor’s instructions to avoid pregnancy complications.

    Some of the changes women experience during pregnancy come as a surprise. For instance, many people don’t know that nearsightedness and blurred vision often occur during pregnancy. There may also be an increase of intraocular pressure. Most pregnant women tend to prefer saltier or sweeter foods than they did before pregnancy. The sense of smell may also increase, making the woman more sensitive to odor. Many women find that it’s harder to exercise when pregnant, and most find that their hair and nails grow very quickly. Once the baby is born, though, the body will shed most of that hair, with shedding happening for up to a year postpartum. Hyperpigmentation can occur during pregnancy, with skin tone darkening on various parts of the body, and sometimes on the face. It’s important to wear sunscreen during pregnancy to help keep this to a minimum, but this darkening typically goes away after the baby is born.

    Pregnancy is an extremely exciting time for both parents, and full of change. The best thing to do is embrace it and support your partner as she experiences physical and emotional changes. At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping people start families with healthy pregnancies. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.

  • How to Help Relieve Morning Sickness

    Some women experience it, some don’t, and it’s over-dramatized in the movies and on TV. We could be referring to a number of things, but in this case, we’re talking about morning sickness. Here are some facts you should know about this unpleasant side effect of pregnancy and how to help if your partner is experiencing it.

    First, the facts. Morning sickness can happen at any and all times of day, and it doesn’t always involve vomiting, but the nausea can be extremely uncomfortable. It usually starts around the sixth week of pregnancy, and passes by week 12, though it’s different for every woman. Morning sickness happens to about half of all women who become pregnant, and only requires medical treatment if there is excessive vomiting that leads to dehydration and weight loss. Otherwise, it’s fine to treat it through measures like acupressure and home remedies. Here are some ways you can help your partner get some relief from morning sickness:

    • Encourage her to rest. Whether it’s a good, long night of sleep or naps during the day, rest can help alleviate morning sickness. If you have kids already, arrange for a babysitter to give their mom a break so she can catch some z’s.
    • Offer to cook. When a woman has morning sickness, her sense of smell is typically heightened. This may make her reluctant to cook, but it’s important for her to keep something in her stomach to help with the queasiness.
    • Help her to eat the right foods. Women with morning sickness should steer clear of fatty and spicy foods, as well as caffeine. Carbs, protein, and fruit with potassium can help, and small portion sizes are best. For many women, a snack of salty crackers and protein before getting out of bed in the morning can be a great remedy for morning sickness. A high-protein snack before bed is good for regulating blood glucose levels during the night.
    • Make her some tea. Ginger and peppermint teas are known to help settle the stomach and ease feelings of nausea. Ginger in any form can be helpful, so your partner might want to try a few different types of ginger products to see which works for her. Ginger snaps, gingerbread, and crystallized ginger are all good options.
    • Help her stay physically and mentally active. Offer to take a walk with her, play cards, or do a puzzle together. Encourage her to talk to you about how she’s feeling so that you can have a better idea of how to help.
    • Suggest some other remedies. Some women find that wearing sea-sickness bands alleviates morning sickness. Others find relief from sipping on a coke or brushing their teeth with children’s toothpaste, which doesn’t have such a strong, minty flavor.

    Morning sickness is uncomfortable, but it can be a normal part of a perfectly healthy pregnancy. At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping people start families with healthy pregnancies. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.

  • Things You Should Do Before Your Partner Goes into Labor

    Waiting for the arrival of a new baby is very exciting! It may seem like it’s a long way away but trust us, if your partner is pregnant, that baby is right around the corner. Are you ready? Here are some things you and your partner need to do before labor begins.

    • Get the baby gear ready. You may already be preparing the nursery, but now is also the time to unbox and assemble all the things you got at the baby shower! Install your car seat, assemble your changing table, swing, bouncer, and other equipment you’ll use in the first few months. In fact, if you have room for it all, you can go ahead and put together things your baby won’t use for quite a while. Trust us, you won’t feel like assembling that exersaucer while holding a baby.
    • Load up on essentials. Stockpile things like cleaning products, paper products, and toiletries, so that you don’t have to think about shopping while you’re sleep-deprived and caring for a newborn. While you’re at it, stock your medicine chest with over the counter medicines and first-aid supplies, as well as any prescriptions you might forget to refill once you’re preoccupied with a baby.
    • Fill your freezer. You may have meals lined up through your friends and family members, but it never hurts to stick some casseroles in the freezer. It’s good to have healthy meals available so you won’t be tempted to order out.
    • Make arrangements for your furry babies. If you’ve got pets, anticipate that they’re going to need some care when the baby comes. Arrange not only for someone to take care of them while you’re in the hospital, but also for someone to come play with them and give them attention after you’re home. Expect them to be a little jealous when you’re giving all of your attention to this new little stranger.
    • Plan some nights out. Have a last hoorah with your friends or plan a babymoon for the two of you. The mom-to-be might also want to take a day all to herself to be self-indulgent and pampered. It will be a while before you get another chance to hit the town, so you might as well do it before the baby arrives.
    • Schedule some preventive care. Go to the optometrist, the dentist, and any other doctor you might need to see for routine care before your calendar fills up with baby care.
    • Make plans for the birth announcement. Are you planning to hire a photographer to take newborn photos? Get an appointment in the books! If you’re planning to mail out birth announcements, design them ahead of time, so that when the baby comes you can just fill in the details and get them done.
    • Get ready for the hospital trip. This means taking a hospital tour, packing a bag, and driving the route you’ll take when the baby comes so that it will be familiar when it’s go time. As the due date approaches, make sure to keep your gas tank full.

    At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping people start families with healthy pregnancies. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.

     

  • Everything You Need to Know About Couvade Syndrome

    Have you ever heard of Couvade syndrome? If you haven’t, you may know it by its more familiar moniker, sympathetic pregnancy. First noted in 1865 by anthropologist Edward Burnett Tylor, this condition is actually much more common than you might think.

    Couvade syndrome comes from the French “couvee”, which means “to hatch.” It happens when fathers-to-be who are otherwise healthy begin experiencing pregnancy-related symptoms. The symptoms of Couvade are vague and varied, and can include nausea, heartburn, abdominal pain or bloating, leg cramps, backaches, breathing issues, weight gain or loss, and urinary or genital irritation. About 40 percent of men with Couvade syndrome can even experience tooth pain. Dads with Couvade may experience psychological symptoms like reduced libido, restlessness, anxiety, or depression as well. Sometimes, men with Couvade syndrome can experience such a high level of stress that they may even risk a mini-stroke.

    Interestingly, even though it’s been around a long time and affects a large number of people, Couvade syndrome is not an official diagnosis. It’s not considered a disease or even a psychological condition. So, why does it happen to so many men? And how many men does it actually affect?

    Estimates of how many men are affected are imprecise. Part of the reason for this is that this syndrome has been studied more by anthropologists and sociologists than the medical community. What we do know is that your likelihood of developing Couvade syndrome varies depending on your culture, how involved you are with your partner’s pregnancy, and how stressful the entire situation is for you. It’s also more likely to happen when a couple has experienced infertility or pregnancy loss. When it occurs, Couvade syndrome typically kicks in during the first trimester, eases during the second, and reoccurs during the third, much like a woman’s pregnancy symptoms. It doesn’t necessarily go away after childbirth, however. Many men with this syndrome experience postpartum depression, probably because they’re living through similar stressors to their partners, including lack of sleep, a massive sense of responsibility, and overall disruption to their lives.

    If you or your partner are experiencing Couvade syndrome, what can you do? The most important thing is to keep the communication flowing. While this syndrome is ill-defined, it is fairly common, and knowing that can alleviate some of the stress. If the symptoms are particularly concerning, seek medical care. Otherwise, just do your best to take care of each other and make sure both partners are getting plenty of rest, eating a nutritious diet, exercising regularly, and managing stress.

    At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping people start families with healthy pregnancies. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.

  • What is Lightning Crotch Pain?

    It’s got a cringey name, but that doesn’t make lightning crotch pain any less serious for the women who experience it. What is it and why does it happen? More importantly, what should you do about it if it happens to you?

    A sudden, shooting pain that’s felt in the pelvis, rectum, or vagina, lightning crotch is often felt in the third trimester of pregnancy. In addition to the shooting pain, it can include symptoms like a pins and needles sensation, as well as pain that radiates down the legs. Sometimes the pain is so intense that it causes the woman to double over in response, but the pain typically comes on suddenly and dissipates quickly.

    Doctors aren’t completely sure why this happens, but there are a variety of possible causes. First, as the growing fetus moves, pressure on the nerves can cause sharp pain. Then, too, as the baby’s head drops lower into the pelvis in preparation for labor, the new position can also cause pressure on sensitive parts of the body. Finally, as the body prepares for birth, the pelvic bones can pull away and separate. Sometimes, the ligaments supporting the uterus can stretch and cause pain when you move in a certain way.

    Sometimes, staying in one position too long can trigger lighting crotch pain. You can alleviate this pain, then, by shifting your position. In general, remaining active and changing positions frequently can help prevent this pain from occurring. Other home treatments include using side-lying positions, placing a pillow between your legs while sleeping, wearing a pregnancy support belt, and doing Kegel exercises. A warm bath or prenatal massage can also be helpful. If it’s extremely problematic, this pain can also be treated using chiropractic adjustments or a pelvic block, an injection of pain medication into the affected region.

    Sometimes, lightning crotch pain can be an early sign of labor. If you’re experiencing other symptoms, like period-like cramps, pelvic pressure, diarrhea, a burst of energy, or loss of the mucus plug, pay attention. If you start having consistent contractions, it’s time to call the doctor. Symptoms that mean you should call the doctor right away include vaginal bleeding, a temperature above 100 degrees, abdominal pain, a severe headache, sudden swelling of the face, hands, or feet, new problems with your vision, or a sudden rush of fluid, also known as your water breaking.

    The good news is that for most women, this pain usually passes quickly. Even better, it will go away entirely once the baby is born. While it may be uncomfortable, it’s actually a normal part of a healthy pregnancy.

    At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping people start families with healthy pregnancies. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.

  • The Best and Worst Foods During Pregnancy

    Eating healthily is always good for your health, but when you’re expecting a baby, what you eat becomes even more important. Your doctor will have sound advice for you on what to eat and what to avoid, so make sure you get clarification about your diet during your prenatal appointments. In the meantime, here are some guidelines regarding the best and worst foods to eat during pregnancy.

    Certain vitamins and minerals are at the top of the list. Folic acid, also known as the B vitamin folate, calcium, iodine, iron, vitamin D and DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid are all important for a healthy pregnancy. You should absolutely be taking a prenatal vitamin- again, get recommendations from your doctor- but most of your nutrition should come from your food. Especially if you’re feeling nauseous, nutrient-dense foods are the best way to effectively get the nutrition you need. Here are some foods to incorporate in your pregnancy diet:

    • Lean protein: Lean cuts of meat are full of protein and iron. The amino acids in protein are the building blocks of cells, and high-protein foods can help keep you from feeling hungry by stabilizing your blood sugar. Iron helps build your baby’s red blood cells while supporting yours. Not a meat eater? Lentils are an excellent vegetarian protein source, with 17 grams of protein and 7 milligrams of iron. They’re also rich in the folate, which is crucial for your baby’s developing brain and nervous system. Edamame is also excellent, with 18 grams of protein, 100 milligrams of calcium, 3.5 milligrams of iron, and 482 micrograms of folate. Eggs are a good source of protein, and they also provide a hefty serving of vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium and may reduce the risk of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and low birth weight.
    • Dairy: Dairy provides calcium, vital for your baby’s bones. Low-fat milk is good, but yogurt is even better. It’s got as much calcium as milk, along with protein, folate, and active cultures, which can help prevent both stomach upset and yeast infections. Choose plain yogurt with a drizzle of honey or fresh fruit, put yogurt in your smoothies, or layer it with granola and fruit for a parfait.
    • Healthy fats: Cold water fish, avocado, and nuts all contain fats that support a healthy pregnancy. Fish like wild salmon have DHA omega-3s, essential for the development of your baby’s eyes and brain. Avocado has healthy monounsaturated fats, which help your body absorb vitamins, along with folate and B6, which is good for your baby’s brain and may help ease morning sickness. Nuts are packed with nutrients, including magnesium, zinc, potassium, vitamin E, protein, fiber, and healthy fats. Reach for walnuts to get omega-3 fatty acids, go with almonds for calcium, and peanuts for folate.
    • Colorful fruits and vegetables: The beta-carotene in carrots is converted in the body to vitamin A. Red bell peppers provide both vitamin A and vitamin C, along with healthy fiber. Sweet potato is another powerhouse, with 400 percent of the vitamin A you need daily, and kale is a superfood with vitamins A, C, E, and K, as well as folate, iron, calcium, and fiber. Can’t tolerate vegetables? You can get your vitamins A and C from mangoes, and your potassium from bananas. Bananas are a source of quick energy that’s easy to digest even if you’re queasy.
    • Dried fruit: For a quick snack, you can’t beat dried figs, dates, prunes, and apricots. Not only will they satisfy your sweet tooth and provide an energy boost, but they’re full of nutrients like fiber, iron, calcium, potassium, and antioxidants.
    • Whole grains: Oats and quinoa are particularly good for pregnancy, providing fiber and magnesium to help both mother and baby. Quinoa also contains 8 grams of protein and nearly 3 grams of iron, along with calcium, potassium, and zinc.

    There are also some foods you should avoid when pregnant. Steer clear of high-mercury seafood, especially swordfish, shark, king mackerel, and tilefish. Don’t drink unpasteurized milk or juices or eat unpasteurized soft cheeses, because they can contain harmful bacteria. Refrigerated deli meats and deli salads can also contain bacteria, so don’t eat these unless they’re heated. Avoid raw or undercooked meat, fish, poultry, shellfish, or eggs, even in sauces or raw cookie dough, and don’t eat raw sprouts or unwashed produce. Don’t eat unripe papaya: it can trigger contractions. Avoid excess salt and sugar, processed foods, and trans fats, and limit your caffeine consumption to just one cup of drip coffee per day or less. Eating nutrient-dense whole foods is the best plan for your pregnancy diet.

    At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping people start families with healthy pregnancies. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.

  • How to Prepare for When Your Partner Goes into Labor

    Did you know that supporting a woman during childbirth is an important job? Research indicates that women who have support during labor are more likely to have a positive outcome. If your partner is pregnant, you should be prepared to take on a supportive role when the big day arrives, providing her with comfort, strength and encouragement. In return, you’ll get to share in one of the most meaningful and powerful moments of your life together. Here are some tips to make sure you’re ready for what’s in store.

    • Learn as much as you can before the baby arrives. Attend a childbirth class: in-person classes are preferable, but if that’s not possible, take an online course and watch videos so that you’ll be prepared. Read as much as you can, so you’ll feel confident when your child makes an appearance. Make a birth plan and discuss labor strategies with your partner.
    • Expect to hurry up and wait. During the last trimester, many women experience Braxton Hicks contractions. This is a belly-tightening sensation that can feel like labor, but it’s just the body’s way of preparing for childbirth. Even when labor does begin, there will probably be several hours before it’s time to go to the hospital. It’s important to understand the stages of labor.
      • The first stage consists of three phases.
        • Early labor: During this time, the woman’s water may break, triggering labor. Contractions may feel like persistent low back pain, and will become longer, stronger, and closer together as labor progresses. It’s often more comfortable to spend the earliest part of labor at home, timing contractions so you’ll know when to head to the hospital. Generally, that time comes when the contractions are about five minutes apart.
        • Active phase: By this time, you’ll be at the hospital, and the contractions will be more intense, spaced three to five minutes apart, lasting 40-60 seconds. Your partner will need your help with breathing exercises and relaxation techniques you learned in the childbirth class, and she may want to opt for pain relief. It can also be helpful for you to massage her temples or apply counterpressure to her back. On the other hand, she may not want to be touched. Every woman is different and it’s important to listen to your partner and find out what she needs.
        • Transition phase: This is an intense phase, during which contractions will last 60-90 seconds and be about two to three minutes apart.
      • Birth happens during the second stage. This stage can last minutes to hours and includes pushing and delivery.
      • The third stage begins after the baby is born. The placenta is delivered five to ten minutes later, and it’s common for the mom to feel shaky or get chills. Now is a good time for you as the partner to offer a warm blanket. It’s also a great opportunity to hold your newborn child and let your partner rest.
    • Be prepared to be flexible. The strategies you have planned for labor may not pan out. The birth plan may have to change. You may feel faint or queasy, and labor may not go the way you expect. The important thing is that you’re bringing new life into the world and your partner has you as an advocate and a source of support.

    If you’re ready to start a family, call the Center for Vasectomy Reversal. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.