Archive | April, 2011

Second Child Decision and Age Gap

Second Child Decision and Age Gap

With the busy lifestyle today having a single baby itself looks like a tough decision and needs more thinking than it required in earlier times. However, a few women wish to have a second child. Either to give the first born a companion or expand the family, the reasons could be abundant, but the main dilemma arises when women have to take the decision for the second child. There are a number of factors that you need to look at when considering a second pregnancy.

Your financial situation –
With the cost of living rocketing each day, maintenance of another baby could pose a problem. It is true that you may not have to go on a shopping spree to prepare for the new member of the family; the little one could come with specific needs of its own. A second child also means that you will have to take a break from working again. This will affect you financial situation. Thus you need to make sure that you have enough savings to support the entire pregnancy period and your family after that.

Your age –
Consider your age before you plan a second baby. Every woman today plans to make a career first and then get married. This leads to women getting married at a much later age. Your age and fertility are inversely related i.e. the more you age the less fertile you get. After the age of 35, women’s fertility rates fall significantly. So, if you have crossed the age of 35 and are planning for a second pregnancy, remember that getting pregnant this time may not be so easy.

Your health –
To conceive a second baby you need to consider your health conditions as well. The entire term of pregnancy and delivery take a toll on your body making it weak. It is important you recover completely before your body prepares to hold your second baby. This is important for you, your baby and family as well. As per a study, there is significantly higher risk of prematurity, low birth weight, and being small for gestational age in babies conceived within six months as compared to babies conceived within 18 to 23 months, of a previous birth. So in case you wish to have a second child, consider a gap of 18-23 months between the two pregnancies to recover your energies.

Age Gap
One of the most important things to contemplate on before you plan to have a second child is the age gap between the siblings. There is no ‘right’ gap that you need to adhere to while planning a second baby. Also there could be other reasons that make you wait before you have a second baby like your fertility or in case you had complications in conceiving the first time or if you plan pregnancy after 35.

Any kind of gap you consider to have between our babies small or big, each comes with its pros and cons.

The closer the age gap of your children the more hard work you need to do in the early years. Life can get very tough when handling two babies and basic things like getting out of the house, travelling and getting a good night’s sleep can look difficult to achieve.
When you look on the brighter side, having a small gap means that the first child doesn’t remember being without a sibling, this reduces sibling rivalry. Many mothers also wish to get rid of the “nappy years” all at once. Also watching the kids grow together is a beautiful experience.

Also small gaps lead to getting done with the various phases of child growth once and for all. It is much easier to handle the kids during school days like helping them out with their studies, school activities and planning eventful summer vacations.

But having a small age gap between kids can be difficult on you financially. You may have to take up major expenses especially in the education front. Also further ahead you will have to pay higher education costs in a short duration of time.

Having a bigger gap like three years or more between your kids means that you come back to taking care of babies after a long break. Some women like it as they love to take care of small babies and doing it after a long break gives them renewed energy. Also you have more time for the new little one. Moreover, it is easy to cope with your first born as you can explain things to them easily and mostly count on them for small help.

Many a time women also wish to regain their health back to have better energy to go through childbearing again. This involves getting back in shape as well. Taking a bigger break helps you to concentrate on your health and take efforts like having a healthy diet, get proper sleep, exercising etc.

At the end of the day deciding when to have a second child is completely your decision. But taking this decision cautiously will help you greatly in the long run.

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Pregnancy with diabetes

Pregnancy with diabetes

The health of the mother plays a major role during pregnancy for the development of the child. Therefore doctors recommend women planning for a pregnancy to get a complete check up done before conceiving. Pregnant women with diabetes as a condition before conceiving have special health concerns. With a major event to handle they even need to be careful of their blood sugar levels and be regular with their diabetes medications. Pregnancy for such women does call for a lot of caution to take. Having diabetes under control is very important for the health of the child.

However, delivering a baby is not a far-fetched dream for women with diabetes. There a few steps you need to take cautiously to lessen the risks to you and your baby.

How do you prepare?
It is important that a diabetic woman meets her care provider before getting pregnant. The care provider will help you understand whether your diabetes is under control or not. This will help you determine if you need to stop your birth control method or not. Normally doctors prescribe a blood test called the glycosylated hemoglobin test to evaluate how well your diabetes has been controlled over the past 8-12 weeks. Other tests that your doctor can prescribe are –

  • A urinalysis to screen for diabetic kidney complications
  • Cholesterol and triglyceride blood tests
  • Eye exam to screen for diseases common in diabetics such as glaucoma, cataracts, and retinopathy

Do not forget to have a pre-conception counseling session with your care provider. This will help you be prepared emotionally and stay healthy throughout pregnancy.

Importance of Blood Sugar Control
Keeping your blood sugar level under control is to maintain the blood glucose levels within the ideal range and balancing your meals exercise and medications. It is extremely important that you maintain your blood sugar level before you conceive as many women are unaware of their pregnant condition until 2-4 weeks after conceiving. High blood sugar level in the beginning of pregnancy is the major cause of birth defects. Also high blood sugar increases the chances of miscarriage and developing diabetes-related complications in you.

Diabetes Medication and Diet during Pregnancy –
Your doctor will work on the medications you take during pregnancy. In case you are administering insulin to control your diabetes, your care provider will instruct you on the new adjustment of the amount in which you need to take it. Normally your body will require more of insulin at this time, mostly during the last 3 months of pregnancy. Women who take oral medication for diabetes can be prescribed to switch to insulin. This is because safety of using certain oral medications may not be known. Also insulin provides better control.

Also taking a proper diet is crucial at this time. Your intake of food will play a major role on your blood sugar level. Your health care provider will ask you to follow a strict diet to maintain the required blood sugar levels. Ideally, your meal plan will also be adjusted to include more calories for your growing baby.

It is obvious that your diabetic condition will affect the child. The most common problem that babies of diabetic women face is “macrosomia,” which means “large body.” In simple terms the babies of diabetic women are considerably larger than others. This condition occurs as the baby gets too much sugar via the placenta as their mothers have high blood sugar levels. The pancreas in the baby sense the high sugar levels and it produces insulin accordingly to use up all the extra sugar. The extra sugar is converted to fat that makes the baby large. Sometimes the size of the baby is too large to be delivered through the vagina; in this case a caesarean has to be conducted. To avoid complications your doctor will constantly monitor the size of your baby and determine the safest way of delivery.

If you have high blood sugar level regularly during pregnancy and especially during the 24 hours of deliver, your child may have dangerously low blood sugars right after delivery. This happens because the insulin production in the baby is large as it is used to consume large amounts of sugar. The supply of sugar after delivery abruptly stops causing the blood sugar levels drop rapidly. To combat this, the doctor will check the blood sugar level of the baby and administer glucose intravenously. Also your child could have mineral imbalances such as calcium or magnesium. These can be treated with medication.

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