Recipe for Homemade Postpartum Relief Pads- soothing the nether region The 411

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Step 1: Assemble your ingredients!

-Extra Long, Super Thick Maxi Pads
-Lavender Oil
-Witch Hazel (make sure it’s alcohol free)
-Aloe Vera Gel (not liquid)
-Foil

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Step 2: Slather a good amount of aloe vera all over the pad

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Step 3: Pour a tablespoon of witch hazel evenly over the pad

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Step 4: Add a few drops of lavender oil

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Step 5: Fold in the tabs and leaving the rest of the pad unfolded, wrap in foil.

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Step 6: Continue making more pads until you have a big stack of them. Place them in the freezer and store them there until you are ready to use them.

Can’t wait for you ladies to put these to the test! And I hope they bring some relief to you other expecting mamas! Leave comments !!

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Great Prenatal Vitamin ! – the 411

Great Prenatal Vitamin ! - the 411

Another celebrity mom who is pregnant mentioned a natural lab grade vitamin she takes. I ordered it from Amazon.com and I love it ! I am taking one at night before bed in addition to my prescription prenatal vitamins and other supplements I take throughout the day. I have noticed a surge in energy since I started taking these ! The manufacturer makes these for different stages of pregnancy. Woooo Hooo !

Be Your Own Advocate – the 411

After reviewing my labs from my physical in May all the way through my December labs, I noticed that my TSH level had been slowly creeping up.  I brought this up to my Internist’s office and left a message with my doctor’s nurse that was doubling my Synthoid for two weeks and to call if that was a problem.  I took 150mg of Synthroid daily for 8 days before my next baseline blood work appointment.  My TSH dropped from 3.78 down to 1.8. 

For optimal conception, the TSH should be between 1 and 2.  I was shocked to learn from my RE that the TSH level being up 1 point could lower a baby’s IQ by 4 !  WHAT????

In a month, my TSH went back up to 3.11 despite me now taking 125mg of Synthoid that my Internist called a script in for.  I called immediately after my last lab results were in and left a message for my Internist.  I was a bit annoyed that I did not get a phone call back.  I did my own research and noted that a drop in Vitamin D level could affect the TSH level as could gluten.  I ran out of my prescription Vitamin D so I did let the nurse know.  A whole week later, after calling the office AGAIN yesterday and complaining about my doctor not personally calling me despite me leaving a detailed message, my doctor’s nurse calls me this morning. 

I completely unleashed on her about their failure to do their job.  My doctor’s office is a top rated medical practice on 5th Avenue.  I handpicked my doctors for a reason.  They are in the top 100 docs !  Your bedside manner, office manner, AND your response to patients when they call manner better ALL line up !   I have no patience for foolishness or ineptitude AT ALL. 

Of course, the nurse could not answer my questions and said my doctor would call.  This evening, Dr. Witt calls, which is what I asked him to do LAST WEEK, and I had to explain what has been going on and why it is important that he call me back and stay on top of my TSH levels.  These levels must be and remain between 1 & 2.  I did not want other doctors prescribing me meds and I wanted him to manage the care that is not reproductive care.  He immediately called in a prescription for 175 mg of Synthroid.  He did not want to overshoot by giving me too much Synthroid.  I have baseline in a few weeks, so hopefully, this will drop the TSH and keep it steady. 

I am really annoyed that my bloodwork was drawn a few times and NO ONE noticed the increase in the TSH nor addressed it. 

My sister is an RN so I will be sending her all of my lab results from now to monitor them.  I am now taking prescription Vitamin D (1200 mg a day) and the Synthroid. 

Doula – The 411 !

Doula - The 411 !

What is a doula? A doula s a nonmedical person who assists a woman before, during, or after childbirth, as well as her partner and/or family, by providing physical assistance, and emotional support.

Ten Reasons for Hiring a Doula:

Birth Doulas Enhance the Birth Experience:

You may forget what it felt like to take your first “legal” drink, but you’ll never forget the birth of your children. The birth doula’s role in labor and delivery is to anticipate your needs and help carry out your wishes. The birth doula is there to provide continual physical and emotional support.

Assistance with Creating and Maintaining a “Birth Plan”:

A birth plan is a document that spells out in writing your wishes for your labor and delivery. If you’re planning a hospital birth, the birth plan would be shown to your doctor, hopefully before you would go into labor. Most doctors and hospitals adhere to expectant mother’s birth plans, as long as it does not compromise the mother’s or expectant child’s health. A birth doula can help an expectant mother create her birth plan. Once the woman is in labor, the birth doula would be there to support and encourage the woman, according to her wishes. The birth doula, however, is not in the position to make demands on your behalf. The birth doula also can not force you to adhere to your birth plan or withhold pain medication. The birth doula’s role is to encourage you the best they can, to follow your wishes.

Enhance the Birth Experience for Expectant Partners:

A birth doula is not there to take the place of the partner. With the doula’s experience, they are better able to assist the partner and guide them on ways to better assist the laboring mother. The doula and the partner’s roles compliment each other.

Full One on One Care/Support:

Many people believe they will receive all the care and attention they will need from their doctors and nurses. If you’re planning a hospital birth, chances are, you will not be the only patient. Doctors and nurses are there to monitor your health and labor progress along with every other laboring mom. The birth doula is there solely for you. They do not work with other moms while you’re in labor. Doulas also do not work in shifts. You will have the same doula at your side for the entire birth experience.

Decrease in Incidence of Use of Pain Medication:

Many expectant moms choose to forego the use of pain medication during childbirth. The doula’s role is to assist and encourage the birthing mother the best they can to adhere to those wishes. The continual physical and emotional support offered helps laboring moms cope with the pain and discomfort, making labor pain management much more likely without the use of drugs.

Assists with Breast Feeding:

For those who choose to breast feed, research has indicated that women who choose birth doulas have a better success rate with breast feeding then those who do not. The doula is there to offer guidance and support with breast feeding per their training and education.

Increases Better Bonding:

Part of a certified birth doula’s training places emphasis on maternal/paternal/infant bonding. The birth doula recognizes the importance of those first few minutes/hours after birth with bonding. Research indicates families who have used birth doulas have a higher recorded incidence of maternal/paternal bonding then those who have not. This does not mean that you have to use a birth doula in order to bond with your baby; it just shows that the birth doula’s presence is a factor in bonding success for all parties.

Decreased Incidence of Post Partum Depression:

Women who use birth doulas appear to have more confidence and feel empowered by their birth experience. A common complaint from women who have/had suffered from post partum depression is unsatisfactory or complicated births. We already know that birth doulas can play a role in overall childbirth satisfaction.

Birth Doulas Assist with Communication:

While birth doula can not give medical advice, perform diagnostic tests or diagnose problems, they can, however, promote positive communication between you, your partner and the hospital staff. Many women feel overwhelmed or helpless during labor. The birth doula’s role is to help be your advocate.

Birth Doulas are Relatively Low Cost and Recommended:

Clinical researches as well as major health organizations such as The WHO recommend continual labor support. Birth doulas are shown to reduce labor times and improve the overall satisfaction of the birth experience. Many insurance plans also cover birth doula services.

Doulas are certified by Doulas of North America. To find a doula near you and assistance with choosing a doula, visit
http://www.dona.org

MY ANTRAL FOLLICLE COUNT….. – the 411

MY ANTRAL FOLLICLE COUNT..... - the 411

I called my doctor and learned that I had 7 antral follicles on one side and 8 on the left ! Whoooo hoooo ! That is with NO stims ! That is just au naturale ! Well, with the help of fertility acupuncture, chinese herbs, and a mad supplement regimen !

No wonder two of those suckers decided to hang around and become cysts and hang up my plans for ER/ET stimming.

At any rate, I am on the second day of birth control pills to suppress ovulation and prevent development of any additional cysts and shrink the two that are there.

It has been so long since I have taken birth control that I do not even recognize the names of them LOL. How terrible !

I was, however, reminded WHY I did not like BCPs… NAUSEA ! Oh Em Geeee ! I am so nauseated I am back in bed today ! I guess this is preparation for upcoming morning sickness eh?

Ovarian Cysts – the 411

Ovarian Cysts - the 411

What are ovarian cysts?

A cyst is a fluid-filled sac. They can form anywhere in the body. Ovarian cysts (sists) form in or on the ovaries. The most common type of ovarian cyst is a functional cyst.

Functional cysts often form during the menstrual cycle. The two types are:

Follicle cysts. These cysts form when the sac doesn’t break open to release the egg. Then the sac keeps growing. This type of cyst most often goes away in 1 to 3 months.

Corpus luteum cysts. These cysts form if the sac doesn’t dissolve. Instead, the sac seals off after the egg is released. Then fluid builds up inside. Most of these cysts go away after a few weeks. They can grow to almost 4 inches. They may bleed or twist the ovary and cause pain. They are rarely cancerous. Some drugs used to cause ovulation, such as Clomid® or Serophene®, can raise the risk of getting these cysts.

Other types of ovarian cysts are:

Endometriomas (EN-doh-MEE-tree-OH-muhs). These cysts form in women who have endometriosis (EN-doh-MEE-tree-OH-suhss). This problem occurs when tissue that looks and acts like the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus. The tissue may attach to the ovary and form a growth. These cysts can be painful during sex and during your period.

Cystadenomas (siss-tahd-uh-NOH-muhs). These cysts form from cells on the outer surface of the ovary. They are often filled with a watery fluid or thick, sticky gel. They can become large and cause pain.

Dermoid (DUR-moid) cysts. These cysts contain many types of cells. They may be filled with hair, teeth, and other tissues that become part of the cyst. They can become large and cause pain.

Polycystic (pol-ee-SISS-tik) ovaries. These cysts are caused when eggs mature within the sacs but are not released. The cycle then repeats. The sacs continue to grow and many cysts form.

What are the symptoms of ovarian cysts?

Many ovarian cysts don’t cause symptoms. Others can cause:

Pressure, swelling, or pain in the abdomen
Pelvic pain
Dull ache in the lower back and thighs
Problems passing urine completely
Pain during sex
Weight gain
Pain during your period
Abnormal bleeding
Nausea or vomiting
Breast tenderness

If you have these symptoms, get help right away:

Pain with fever and vomiting
Sudden, severe abdominal pain
Faintness/dizziness/weakness
Rapid breathing

How are ovarian cysts found?

Doctors most often find ovarian cysts during routine pelvic exams. The doctor may feel the swelling of a cyst on the ovary. Once a cyst is found, tests are done to help plan treatment. Tests include:

An ultrasound. This test uses sound waves to create images of the body. With an ultrasound, the doctor can see the cyst’s:

Shape
Size
Location
Mass — if it is fluid-filled, solid, or mixed

A pregnancy test. This test may be given to rule out pregnancy.

Hormone level tests. Hormone levels may be checked to see if there are hormone-related problems.

A blood test. This test is done to find out if the cyst may be cancerous. The test measures a substance in the blood called cancer-antigen 125 (CA-125).

The amount of CA-125 is higher with ovarian cancer. But some ovarian cancers don’t make enough CA-125 to be detected by the test. Some noncancerous diseases also raise CA-125 levels.

Those diseases include uterine fibroids (YOO-tur-ihn FEYE-broidz) and endometriosis. Noncancerous causes of higher CA-125 are more common in women younger than 35. Ovarian cancer is very rare in this age group. The CA-125 test is most often given to women who:
-Are older than 35
-Are at high risk for ovarian cancer
-Have a cyst that is partly solid

How are cysts treated?

Watchful waiting. If you have a cyst, you may be told to wait and have a second exam in 1 to 3 months. Your doctor will check to see if the cyst has changed in size. This is a common treatment option for women who:

Are in their childbearing years
Have no symptoms
Have a fluid-filled cyst

It may be an option for postmenopausal women.

Surgery. Your doctor may want to remove the cyst if you are postmenopausal, or if it:

Doesn’t go away after several menstrual cycles
Gets larger
Looks odd on the ultrasound
Causes pain

The two main surgeries are:

Laparoscopy (lap-uh-ROSS-kuh-pee) – Done if the cyst is small and looks benign (noncancerous) on the ultrasound. While you are under general anesthesia, a very small cut is made above or below your navel. A small instrument that acts like a telescope is put into your abdomen. Then your doctor can remove the cyst.

Laparotomy (lap-uh-ROT-uh-mee) – Done if the cyst is large and may be cancerous. While you are under general anesthesia, larger incisions are made in the stomach to remove the cyst. The cyst is then tested for cancer. If it is cancerous, the doctor may need to take out the ovary and other tissues, like the uterus. If only one ovary is taken out, your body is still fertile and can still produce estrogen.

Birth control pills. If you keep forming functional cysts, your doctor may prescribe birth control pills to stop you from ovulating. If you don’t ovulate, you are less likely to form new cysts. You can also use Depo-Provera®. It is a hormone that is injected into muscle. It prevents ovulation for 3 months at a time.

When are women most likely to have ovarian cysts?

Most functional ovarian cysts occur during childbearing years. And most of those cysts are not cancerous. Women who are past menopause (ages 50­–70) with ovarian cysts have a higher risk of ovarian cancer. At any age, if you think you have a cyst, see your doctor for a pelvic exam.

More information on ovarian cysts

For more information about ovarian cysts, call womenshealth.gov at 800-994-9662 (TDD: 888-220-5446) or contact the following organizations:

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, HHS
Phone: 301-427-1104

American Academy of Family Physicians
Phone: 800-274-2237 or 913-906-6000

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Phone: 202-638-5577

American Society for Reproductive Medicine Phone: 205-978-5000

Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIH, HHS Phone: 800-370-2943 (TDD: 888-320-6942)

The InterNational Council on Infertility Information Dissemination, Inc. Phone: 703-379-9178

Source: WomensHealth.gov