How Pregnancy Loss Changes You

It is estimated that nearly 6 out of 10 women experience some form of pregnancy loss in their life. Some, may not have even known they were pregnant while others knew and celebrated wholeheartedly only to be heartbroken. The reality is that whether you are trying to conceive, or conceived by accident, the loss of a pregnancy is real. In fact, it is the loss of a dream for many, and is not just the loss of a pregnancy – but the loss of a life that is felt.

Recovering can be painful. Most people don’t know what to say to you, and even if they did – it is likely they wouldn’t make you feel any better. As your body goes through the changes of being pregnant to not being pregnant, there is an avalanche of hormones that can make your emotions feel even more out of control. And often, knowing that you are not alone is not much of a consolation prize. Each woman processes pregnancy loss differently, but one thing remains the same. The little life that was inside of you changes you. And he or she had lessons to teach you, and he or she will always be part of your life whether you knew about him or her for 2 weeks or 2 months.

At the end of the day, pregnancy loss changes you, changes who you are.

For one thing it can change your outlook and optimism. Even though the odds are in your favor that your next pregnancy will go off without a hitch, you lose that spring in your step and your eternal optimism after such a large loss. It is normal for your next pregnancy to be outlined with worry and underlined with a constant hint of anxiety. We try to save ourselves from ever feeling that loss again, and put up protective mechanisms to ‘prepare’ us and keep us from ever being ‘too’ excited. We become careful and calculated and often fearful. The only thing you can do is do your best to stay focused on the positive in your life.

It also changes how we feel about ourselves. Typically women go through a gamut of emotions from shame and embarrassment to humiliation and denial. For many women, telling all the people who knew about the pregnancy that they were no longer pregnant was one of the hardest things to do. Not because others would be judgmental or mean, but because they may have felt like their own bodies had failed somehow. It can take many years to come to grips with the feelings about yourself and your body.

It also changes what we take for granted. As any deep loss does, pregnancy loss is no different. As humans, it is often through our pain and our losses that we grow the most – and yet this is one of the most painful ways to grow.

Anger can become a constant companion as well. At least for a while. When you lose a baby, it’s easy to become angry at everyone who has one, every pregnant woman that you feel is less deserving than you were, every woman that you see somehow can become a reminder of your loss and it is natural that it makes you angry. Even so, at some point – you have to let go of that anger in order to truly live and breathe again. But it does take time.

Pregnancy loss is different for every woman. One thing however, remains the same and that is that we have to embrace the changes and the full circle of our emotions. We have to find someone we trust to talk to about our feelings and allow ourselves to grieve and feel. None of what we feel is wrong along the way, none of what we feel is something to be ashamed of. It is part of us. And we owe ourselves the time and space to truly feel our emotions so that we can recover wholly. Even so, the loss – will have changed some aspect of who you are. The best we can hope for is that through the experience, we learn something positive that we can take forward in our lives as something to build upon.

Written By Stef, Mom of 4 @Momspirational

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2018. All rights reserved.

Can I Get Pregnant While Breastfeeding?

As a breastfeeding mother, you may think you have a free pass when it comes to birth control. Many couples mistakenly presume that they won’t be able to conceive while the mom is still breastfeeding. In reality, however, plenty of breastfeeding mamas have fallen pregnant. There is no way of knowing whether you’ll be one of them, so it’s better to play safe if you don’t want to get pregnant. It seems unfair, doesn’t it? After carrying a baby for nine months, giving birth to it, feeding it and living up to your elbows in dirty diapers, you’d think mother nature would, at least, give you a few months break from worrying about getting pregnant while breastfeeding.

Whilst it’s true that many mamas find their cycles don’t return until they’ve stopped breastfeeding, there is no guarantee. If you want to avoid an unplanned pregnancy, you’ll need to use birth control when you’re breastfeeding. Some mamas find that their periods don’t return until after their child’s first birthday, but for other women, it can be just a couple of months after the birth when their cycle returns.

It’s not wise to wait until your periods start again before turning to birth control, because ovulation can occur first. Some women have already ovulated by the time they get their first period. If this happened, you could already be pregnant even before getting your first period.

Every woman is different and there is no fixed schedule to determine when your periods will return. For some women, their cycle doesn’t return until their baby is feeding less frequently, but for others, their periods return when their baby is just a couple of months old and still attached to the boob for most of the day.

How to avoid getting pregnant while breastfeeding

If you know now is not the time to add a younger sibling to your family, you’ll need to decide on a method of contraception to use. This is something usually discussed by your healthcare provider at your postpartum checkup. If it wasn’t discussed at yours or if you’d like some more advice, get in touch with your healthcare provider today. There may be some forms of contraception that are not advised for use during pregnancy. For example, estrogen can interfere with breast milk production, so your doctor may advise you to avoid the combination pill.

Trying to get pregnant while breastfeeding

If you are hoping to conceive and would like advice on how to achieve this while breastfeeding, ask your healthcare provider for advice. You may have to wait until your baby is feeding less frequently or sleeping for longer stretches until you can become pregnant, but remember, this is not always the case.

Have you spoken to your healthcare provider about contraceptive options?

Written by Fiona (@Fiona_Peacock), mother, writer and lover of all things baby related.

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2016. All rights reserved.

3 Tips for Increasing Your Chances of Conception

Trying to conceive is not an easy time for everyone. Some folks get pregnant just thinking about it, while for others it can take months of timing intercourse and planning before you become pregnant. Either way, there are some rather simple things that you can do in the pre-conception period that will increase your chances of conception.

One of the most important things you can to increase your chances of conception AND ensure a healthy baby is to get yourself in optimal health. You should have a check-up with your physician, have blood work done to test routine things such as your thyroid function, and be as close to a healthy weight as possible. Making changes to increase your overall well-being by eating healthy and exercising regularly can go miles to increase your chances of conception. You should also make sure that you are getting enough rest and start taking a prenatal vitamin to boost vitamins and nutrient levels that may be low. When your body is healthy and in shape, your organ systems (including the reproductive system) and hormones are more in balance, which increases your chance of speedy conception. Also, don’t forget to talk to your doctor about any medications you may be taking that could potentially be harmful to a developing fetus, or thwart your chances of conception. (Remember your partner should be in good health, as well!)

Another step that can increase your chances of conception is to become familiar with your monthly cycle. Some women have very regular cycles and some do not. It is very important for you to pay attention to changes in your body, and to be able to look for the signs of ovulation. Purchasing ovulation predictor kits can be a good way to start, as well as charting your basal body temperature. Understanding your monthly cycle – especially for those who are not regular – can take 2-3 months. However, knowing when you are ovulating, and knowing the best time to try for conception can help you get pregnant faster.

One thing that many women in particular do not recognize as a factor in conception is stress. Stress can cause many adverse effects on your body. Stress can cause weight gain, sleep problems, disruption in normal hormone levels, monthly cycle irregularity, and disruption of normal ovulation. Many women know that they have stress in their lives, but have not yet realized that the emotional and mental stress is manifesting physically. Controlling stress through meditation, yoga, diet, and exercise can help to reduce the bursts of stress hormones that result in diminished fertility. It is important to pay attention to your stress levels, and to take measures to control stress in your body. During preconception, many doctors focus on physical conditions. However, it is has been proven that mental and emotional health is also an important factor in conception. This explain the phenomenon of women TTC, who don’t get pregnant and then find that they do easily, once they stop trying so hard.

Your body is one system. When you are planning for conception, it is important to take care of all of you! Eat well, exercise regularly, pay attention to your body, and make sure that you aren’t suffering from excess amounts of stress.

Written By Stef, Mom of 4 @Momspirational

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2015. All rights reserved.

Keeping Sex Fun While TTC

“It’s time!”  Those two little words quickly replaced lace lingerie, and making out on the couch as prerequisites to sex.  While the old cliché that married life drastically reduces a couple’s sex life and drive may be true – it is the complete opposite when a couple begins ‘trying’ to conceive (TTC).  In just a few short weeks, you can go from knowing very little about the intricacies of ovulation and conception, to rivaling the know-how of any good doctor in town.  And of course, the sex is an absolutely important part of the plan.

What happens in far too many instances is that sex becomes an act of creation rather than an act of passion and romance.  Sure, it might be sort of fun, but basically man and woman are simply waiting for the big finale, going through the motions so to speak – so that the woman can lie on the bed with her feet stuck straight up in the air for the suggested ten minutes.  You know… to allow the sperm to sink in to the uterus so those silly fellows can find the awaiting egg.  It’s funny really.  If baby making truly took a bunch of tricks and acrobatic acts to be successful, I imagine that pregnancy rates would be a lot lower than they are today!

There are all sorts of methods of conception that can help you to plan a birth date or sway the chances of conceiving one gender or another.  In the time it takes you to read all these books and effectively subtract the ‘fun’ out of your sex life, you could have conceived already.  Today, we are a society that tries to control too much, and in some instances of life, such as having a baby, we should leave things up to destiny to show us the path.

After a month or two of this TTC, partners often feel lifeless in the sack and completely exhausted from the stress and pressure of trying to make a baby.  If it doesn’t work right away, worry sets in heightening anxiety and often distancing partners sexually and otherwise.  Research strongly suggests, that in many cases this is exactly what keeps us from conceiving.  The release of stress hormones just doesn’t coincide with the hormonal reactions necessary to producing children.  Perhaps that is why so many babies are conceived in the most precarious of places, like the backseat of the car, the kitchen counter, an elevator or during a Christmas Party at your folk’s house during a quick trip to the bathroom with your partner.  (Ooh la la)

Wanting to have a baby definitely changes your life.  However, you should take this opportunity to enjoy the freedom of being able to make love anytime you want without worrying about waking up children.  Trust me, once a child is born you will reminisce about the old days of sex!  Remember to keep it real and rather than try to make stringent plans that fall in line with your lifestyle or desire to give birth in a certain month of the year – take the stance of simply ‘not trying to NOT get pregnant.’ That is exactly how MOST folks end up pregnant to begin with.

Remember, HAVE FUN.  Keeping sex fun while TTC can help reduce the stress of wanting a baby. And we all know, stress is not good for couples trying to conceive.

Written By Stef, Mom of 4 @Momspirational

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2014. All rights reserved.


Conceiving After Vasectomy Reversal

A vasectomy is considered a permanent male form of birth control. Even so, there may come a time when a man wants to reverse his vasectomy so he can have another (or a first) child. This is especially true today when many young men are getting vasectomies prior to having any children at all, a practice that has received a lot of negative publicity over recent years. Conceiving after vasectomy reversal can be tricky, but it certainly can be done.

According to American Association of Urology, one of the key factors in conception after a vasectomy reversal has to do with the amount of time that has passed since the vasectomy was performed. Over long periods of time, blockages and scar tissue can develop as well as the development of anti-bodies that makes men allergic to their own sperm, which can make conception after a reversal downright difficult or impossible. The key window for opportunity is less than 10 years after the initial procedure.

It is also important to note that a reversal is much more surgery difficult than the initial vasectomy. In fact it is most often done under anesthesia and can take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours to perform. Even with the surgery, few doctors will guarantee fertility afterwards. Overall the fertility rate after a vasectomy reversal is around 50%, meaning that half of the men are able to conceive after the reversal procedure. After 10 years, this number drops to around 30%.  Sometimes the reasons for infertility have nothing to do with the vasectomy, and are instead related to an underlying fertility problem that the man unknowingly had prior to his vasectomy.

Before the man in your life gets a reversal, it is advised that he get tested to make sure that he does not have a build-up of sperm anti-bodies. If sperm antibodies exist, a vasectomy reversal has a very slim chance of a man gaining his fertility back. In this case, looking to other forms of fertility treatments may be advised.

Additionally, as with any form of surgery – there are risks associated with a vasectomy reversal that can lead to permanent damage. If you and your partner are considering a vasectomy reversal, it is in your best interest to do your research and formulate your plan of action based on the advice of more than one doctor.

Do you know anyone who (or have you) has had success conceiving after a vasectomy reversal?

Written By Stef, Mom of 4 @Momspirational

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2013. All rights reserved.