If you are pregnant after forty, hoping to be or had a baby in your forties you’ve arrived at a special place just for you!
This site came to be after the birth of my daughter when I was 42. During my pregnancy I had a difficult time connecting with younger moms and locating research and resources to support having a baby a little later in life. My goal with After Forty Mom is to provide just that; the latest research, nutrition, lifestyle and parenting ideas along with some blog posts on everyday life as an older mom.
Please join in this collective journey by sharing your ideas and experiences at this special time which is, in my humble opinion, the best time to have a baby.
Constipation is a condition that affects thousands of people from all over the world regardless of age. This condition occurs when muscle contractions in your intestines are slow to push the bowel out of your body or when you have insufficient water in your stool to soften it to smoothly move through your intestines.
· Symptoms of constipation
· Tight and bloated stomach
· Bad breath
· Bowel movement disorder
If you are suffering from this condition, you should not worry because this condition not permanent. There are ways to relieve it. Just follow the following tips on how to get rid of constipation:
1. Add more fiber rich foods to your diet
Foods that are rich in fiber are known to aid in stimulating bowels. Unfortunately, many people overlook these foods in their daily diets. To achieve positive results, you should make these foods crucial part of your diet. Not only will these foods ease your constipation but will also lead to an improved digestive health. Example of fiber rich foods include; avocado, broccoli, split peas, oatmeal, bran cereal, brown rice, raspberries, blackberries, cabbages, cauliflower, and more.
2. Increase water intake
Constipation is mostly caused by insufficient hydration. Generally, you should drink a minimum of 8 glasses of water per day, or more depending on your size, exercises, or even weather. Constipation occurs due to lack of fluid in your stool and so you should keep yourself hydrated to solve this problem.
3. Add prunes to your diet
Prunes are usually high in fiber and also contain sorbitol, which is a stool loosening sugar that helps in relieving constipation naturally. Sorbitol is a mild colonic stimulant that usually help in reducing transmit time of stool and so it reduces the risk of constipation.
4. Schedule time for bowel movement each day
Scheduling time for bowel movement promotes regularity and can easily trigger your body to have smooth stool movement. Set specific time, be it in the morning, afternoon, or at night. Just set time that is convenient for you. Failure top have a regular schedule, your body will be confused and will not be ready to have a bowel movement.
Exercises are known to help in relaxing muscles and aiding in bowel movement. Instead of just sitting down, you can set aside 10 to 15 minutes walk to stimulate your digestive tract. Any type of exercise can lead to healthy bowel movement.
6. Do yoga
Yoga has been known to boost overall digestive health, as well as reducing stress in your body. There are yoga poses that can stimulate bowel movement, and holding the poses only can be effective in relieving constipation.
7. Avoid foods that cause constipation
Instead of processed foods, you should go for natural foods to prevent and fight constipation. This means that you should choose fruits and vegetables over canned and those foods that have preservatives in them. When you take fresh fruits and vegetables you will have all the important ingredients and fibers intact.
8. Take laxatives
There are numerous laxatives that are available in the market. Laxatives can help greatly in relieving constipation. However, even though laxatives are effective in getting rid of constipation, they should be used only for a short period of time. This is because regular use of laxatives can cause dependence, weaken your bones, and may lead to severe constipation.
Preventing and fighting constipation is very easy, and most especially if you know the cause. By following the above tips on how to get rid of constipation, you will surely win the fight against constipation. Your body will effectively perform its most crucial role, which is waste elimination.
Epidural anesthesia during childbirth has become one of the most popular forms of pain relief during labor. More than half of all women giving birth at American hospitals now opt for an epidural. This form of pain relief aims to block nerve impulses and numb the lower part of the body, using a cocktail of medications. Although the use of epidural anesthesia is extremely wide-spread, it does not come without risks.
There is no one drug, or combination of drugs, that universally make up “the epidural” – the exact cocktail women are administered with epidural anesthesia varies from one anesthesiologist to the next. Local anesthetic drugs such as bupivacaine, chloroprocaine, or lidocaine make up one part of the epidural, and they are often mized with opioids or narcotics. These may include fentanyl and sufentanil, and epinephrine, fentanyl, morphine, and clonidine are sometimes added to the mix, to increase the period of time during which the epidural remains in effect. Besides the regular epidural, so-called walking epidurals are also used on ocassion. These allow the laboring women some freedom of movement.
Epidurals do more than simply elimate pain, and they are not risk-free. Once a woman has had an epidural placed, the overall rate of complications in both mother and baby increase. From my personal point of view, epidurals for pain relief are not generally necessary. Labor pains are nothing most women cannot handle perfectly by themselves, and greatly differ from pain produced by injury. But that is another topic. Here, I will discuss risks of epidural anesthesia, as backed up by research and studies. I’ll leave out the side effects that are merely unpleasant, such as headaches and nausea, and will discuss only those that are medically dangerous.
• Fetal distress, where the baby’s heart rate drops to dangerous levels, can occur following epidural anesthesia. This can be caused by maternal low blood pressure, which is a common side effect of epidurals, as well as a number of other factors. In fact, the majority of babies whose mothers received an epidural develop episodes of low heart rates.
• Epidurals can lead to fetal malpositioning.
• Research suggests that epidurals affect the mother’s natural fetal ejection reflex, and interfere with the ability of the baby to descend into the birth canal, and rotate. Babies whose mothers had epidural anesthesia during labor are more likely to encounter shoulder dystocia, which can in turn lead to a c-section.
• Epidurals frequently cause low blood pressure in the mother, affecting the ability of the maternal heart to pump blood around the body. Hypotension affects as many as a third of all women who opt for an epidural, and the above mentioned decreased heart ouput negatively impacts the level of fresh blood that can reach the placenta (and with that the baby). In rare cases, low blood pressure can even lead to maternal heart attack.
• Seizures, convulsions, and a loss of consciousness are possible maternal side effects of epidural anesthesia.
• Injured blood vessels and permanent paralysis are rare, but possible, side effects.
• The very fact that women who have been given epidural anesthesia are not able to move around (unless they have received a walking epidural) means that labor can be stalled, and additional interventions such as pitocin are used more frequently. And once again, the dreaded c-section.
• Epidurals are sometimes so effective at numbing the body that the uterus stops contracting. Once again, this can lead to a surgical birth.
• Epidurals can numb the pelvic and perineum to the extent that the mother feels nothing. Epidurals have lead to an increase in assisted deliveries using forceps and vaccuum, which in turn carry their own risks.
• Epidurals can lead to breastfeeding problems. Babies whose mothers had epidurals are less alert, and may sleep for long stretches following birth. They also encounter more frequent latching problems.
• The site where the catheter was inserted may suffer permanent nerve damage.
• Epidurals can lead to maternal breathing difficulties, especially in women suffering from asthma.
• Anaphylactic shock can occur.
(I used this study and some other sources to make this list. If you have anything to add, or have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Over at the feminist philosophers‘ blog, questions are being raised about why the recent Wax meta-analysis, which concluded that hospital births were less safe for mothers than homebirths, did not lead to a discussion about the shortcomings of modern obstetrics in the United States. The study has been used as a launchpad to criticize homebirth, and is flawed in many ways (read more about why here). It has largely served the purpose of anti-homebirth advocates to illustrate their opinions that homebirth is not a safe childbirth choice. Indeed, we’ve seen no questions about what is wrong with the maternity care system in the United States. Let’s take a look at that now.
I’m not suggesting that the Wax meta-analysis, which this data is based on, is reliable. What is clear, however, is that the maternity care system in the United States is often doctor-centered and designed to make the system as a whole run smoothly, as opposed to patient-centered and designed to provide the best possible individualized care to mothers and babies. Policies that state that labors must be pitocin-augmented if labor fails to progress according to a certain, predetermined timeline is one example of this. Continuous electronic fetal monitoring (EFT) which prevents the laboring mother from changing positions and walking as she wishes is another. Policies that discourage laboring mothers to eat and drink can also be added to the list.
Then there is the fact that many mothers are pressured to accept pain medication, and that nearly every mother giving birth in a hospital still does so lying flat on her back (the lithotomy position). This narrows the pelvic opening and makes pushing a baby out more difficult. Then there are the epidemic c-section rates, which even professional bodies of obstetricians and gynecologist condemn. While I have no seen a break down of reasons for c-sections, I have no qualms about saying that I am sure the majority of cesareans are not medically warranted.
More than anything else, what is wrong with modern obstetrics in the US is that, apparently, the opinions, instincts, and wishes of the laboring mother herself are inferior to just about anything else. Mothers arerelevant, mothers want the best for their babies, and are people with brains who are generally competent to decide what that is. It is not the role of modern obstetrics to “save” babies from their mothers’ crazy wishes to move around freely during labor, have a little privacy, or squat during birth.
Making hospital births a safer and more pleasant, relaxed experience for mothers and babies is a valid goal, that everyone should be on board with.
What are your opinions?
Many natural childbirth advocates agree on this – the c-section in the US is way too high at 32 percent. But there will always be cases in which a cesarean section is truly medically necessary. Some of these will be emergency c-sections that were not planned in advance. In the case of cesareans that were planned in advance (for women who have placenta previa, for instance), there are options that make the c-section more pleasant for the family. Just what are these “natural” or “family-centered” cesarean sections?
Your typical, every day planned cesarean may include such experiences as the mother’s hands being strapped down to prevent her from touching the “sterile field” around the incision. The actual extraction of the baby is probably over with rather quickly, and the surgical team may be talking about the weather, their family, or even other patients with each other. The mother may feel like she has no control over what is happening to her at all.
Enter the family-centered c-section, that is designed to give families a better experience and more opportunity to bond. If you are going to have a c-section, it may not have to mean that Total Surrender is your only option. Families who managed to find doctors that provide this kind of cesarean have had great experiences, including immediate skin-to-skin contact with their babies.
Here are some things that could change your c-section experience for the better:
- Medical staff behaving respectfully, aware that this is a special moment for you and your family. No talk about cars or horrible patients, etc.
- Being informed of what is going on the whole time.
- The drape can be lowered while your baby is born, so that you can see his entrance into the world.
- The procedure can be carried out more slowly, allowing the baby more time to “autoresuscitate”, in other words to start breathing alone. A slower delivery allows the baby’s lungs to be compressed by the uterus in contractions, squeezing out fluids stuck in there.
- Your hands will be free, and the baby will be handed to you immediately upon birth.
- Newborn exams can be carried out on your chest.
- One of the parents can cut the umbilical cord.
- Some parents have successfully requested music and more people at their births.
Childbirth has a bad reputation. Many people, including women, and including women who have given birth, see labor and birth as a painful ordeal that may just be the most painful experience in a woman’s life. Women in labor are portrayed as hysterical, in pain, and afraid. Actors often hurl insults at their “husbands” during labor scenes, and are shown as nearly having lost their ability to think rationally.
Is labor really that painful? And if it is, as some women have certainly experienced, why are women portrayed as not being able to cope with the pain? It is, I believe, because of the fact that women are seen as weak and incompetent. Childbirth, one of the few acts that are truly unique to women, is marketed as something that that women cannot handle alone – as something that requires medical professionals, and most often men, to save the day.
Although painless or nearly painless childbirth is indeed possible, here I am not addressing the issue of pain itself. Instead, I am talking about the notion that pain is not something women – because of their perceived weak nature – can cope with very well. Likewise, the belief that women in the throws of labor all but lose their minds is misogynist in nature.
Childbirth may be painful for many women, and many may even turn into themselves to concentrate on the task at hand. Women are more than strong enough to deal with labor and birth, however, and even if large numbers will opt for pain relief, that does not mean they are too weak to deal with a little pain, that lasts for a relatively short time.
It’s funny; women dealing with tough pregnancy symptoms are often told to “suck it up” because it’s normal, and even women who are so sick they can barely function due to hyperemesis gravidarum are told they are whining. Childbirth is different, for some reason.
Let me tell you, women in labor don’t suddenly lose their intelligence or their ability to act, and women generally handle pain in a much more “manly” way than men. Childbirth is not something that requires men to save helpless, incompetent, desperate women. We can do it!
- How to get rid of constipation
- Risks of epidural anesthesia
- What is wrong with obstetrics in the US
- What is a “natural” cesarean section?
- Childbirth and feminism
- writenow on What is wrong with obstetrics in the US
- Issa on What is wrong with obstetrics in the US
- Chelsea11 on Childbirth and feminism