Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is in the news once again. Korean researchers have reported that high risk HPV increases the risk of premature rupture of membranes (PRM) and preterm labor in Korean women. While more studies are needed to determine exactly how HPV causes PROM and preterm labor, the researchers conclude the HPV is a serious risk to pregnant women and their babies.
These researchers knew that Human papillomavirus (HPV) is known to be more prevalent in spontaneous abortions than in elective terminations of pregnancy. Additionally, placental infection with HPV was shown to be associated with spontaneous preterm delivery. Yet to date, no one had looked at HPV prevalence and preterm births, so the researchers studied this question in Korean women.
311 women who gave birth at Korea University Medical Center were the study sample and included 45 preterm deliveries, 50 cases of premature rupture of the membranes (PROM), 21 preeclampsia cases, and 8 gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) patients. The women were tested for HPV at 6 weeks post partum using the Hybrid Capture II system to detect high-risk (HR)-HPV infection.
The prevalence of HR-HPV infection was 14.1%. Women with HR-HPV infection had a higher incidence of PROM than those without HR-HPV and HR-HPV infection was associated with an increased risk of PROM. The prevalence of preterm delivery, preeclampsia, or GDM was not different between the women with HR-HPV and without HR-HPV.
This is an interesting and important study. While it was not clearly stated when these women became positive for HPV (seroconversion during pregnancy or “newly infected”), the implication that I read is that they were not positive prior to the study. (Would be an interesting fact to know!) In any event, by delivery, 14.1% of these women were infected with the HPV virus and were at increased risk of having PROM. It seems that this data may be translated to women of other cultures (but again, further studies are needed to confirm the results), but the most important fact to note is that HPV infection causes an increased rate of spontaneous abortion and in pregnancies that progress, an increased rate of PROM and preterm labor.
I was not tested for HPV when I was having my kids and I am not sure if it is routinely done today as part of the first prenatal visit screening laboratories. But given this information, I think its important that clinicians screen for HPV at the first prenatal visit and at the post partum visit and that women ask about being screened if they feel that they may be at risk (and even if they are not at risk!!!).
GeumJoon Cho, Kyung-Jin Min, Hye-Ri Hong, SuhngWook Kim, Jin-Hwa Hong, Jae-Kwan Lee, Min-Jeong Oh, HaiJoong Kim Risk “Human Papilloma Virus Infection is Associated With Premature Rupture of Membranes” BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 2013, 13:173 doi:10.1186/1471-2393-13-173
Mamas, The holidays are upon us and once Thanksgiving hits, its a veritable feeding frenzy until New Year’s and the annual resolution to lose weight and get into shape! I’d like to suggest that since you are on bedrest, you pace yourself. Unlike other years, you aren’t able to offset those holiday goodies with a brisk walk or a trip to the gym. And the added sugar and salt can have serious consequences on your body in the form of constipation and swelling. So go easy and remember these 5 tips for holiday eating while on bedrest.
1. Watch your salt intake. Salt is a staple in cooking and gives food flavor and texture. However, added salt can cause you to retain fluid leading to excessive swelling in your hands and feet which can be more pronounced if you are on bed rest. Added salt can also worsen pregnancy induced high blood pressure and pre-eclampsia. Watch salty snacks such as salted nuts and nuts. And if you are in my neck of the woods, the land of Honey Baked Hams, limit the amount you eat. It may taste good going down, but the added salt can have serious negative effects for you long term.
2. Maintain or even increase water intake. The above being said, be sure to stay hydrated and drink lots of water. While eating salty snacks and foods increases during the holidays, those of us in the colder climates are also running the heat. The air is drier and can cause dehydration. Remember, try to drink half your weight in ounces in water daily. The means if you are 14o lbs, try to drink 70 oz of water. The additional water will help dilute and flush out added salt, help reduce swelling, keep your kidneys happy and your skin from feeling so tight and dry.
3. Limit sugary treats. I say this tongue in cheek because my kids and I are about to embark on our annual cookie bake. We do share the cookies with folks as gifts, but a number are consumed by us! As I say to my children, have enough to have a taste and no more. I know this is hard. Who wants to watch a movie and eat only 1 or 2 cookies? But look on the bright side, you’ll have more to eat in the coming days and less to lose when bed rest is over (and it really does end, I promise!!).
4. Increase your fiber intake. And this doesn’t mean extra servings of peacan pie! One thing you may have noticed being pregnant is that your bowels slow down. This is so that your intestines can draw out the maximum amount of nutrients from your food to give to your baby. For you, this often results in constipation and bed rest does nothing to help this. With the added sweets and yummies during the holidays, try adding some fiber to your diet in the form of nuts and grains. There are some wonderful holiday trail mixes and nut mixes available and they make wonderful gifts at are easily ordered and shipped online.
5. Move. Whaaaaaat???? “But I’m on Bedrest!” You still need to move and its even more critical because you are on bed rest. Each hour you should do a full body stretch series to keep your muscles activated and toned, and to stimulate your circulation. If you don’t know what exercises to do, there is a complete series in our Bedrest Success Kit. You can access them when you join our mailing list. Also, there are several videos of modified exercises for Mamas on Bedrest on the Mamas on Bedrest YouTube Channel. Bedrest Fitness is also available and you can obtain a copy by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or on Amazon.com. Every hour move your body. Movement is one of your best allies. Be sure to use it during the holidays!
Bedrest adds a complicated twist to the holiday. Just be sure your eating doesn’t complicate your bed rest. Happy Holidays!!
I am totally dismayed by the fact that the United States is the only industrialized nation and one of only 3 nations globally that don’t offer any sort of mandatory paid maternity/paternity leave. I believe that it is a HUGE detriment to our workforce, especially now since approximately 51% of the workforce is women. Because of US employment policies, many women are forced to choose between career and family, i.e “career track” and “mommy track”. Likewise, many men miss out on the joys of family and parenting as they work diligently to support their families if and/or when their wives become pregnant and are home caring for the children. Families should be allowed more flexibility and balance, and unfortunately this just isn’t the case.
As many Mamas on Bedrest know, unexpected complications during pregnancy can further throw off family financial balance. If a woman is the principle wage earner and has to be out of work for weeks to months due to bed rest, the impact to the family’s financial security can be devastating. The family will not only be impacted financially on the day to day level, but may also be at risk of losing precious health care benefits at a time when they are needed most. Today, Eric Adamowsky, co-founder of CreditCardInsider.com shares with us 10 Tips for Maternity Leave. They surveyed working mamas and asked them what they thought the most important tips are to note regarding maternity leave. This is what Mamas shared with them, and they graciously shared this information with us. Thanks so much Eric! Mamas, take note. There is some really good info here!!
While our biggest focus at Credit Card Insider is providing information about the responsible use of credit and credit cards, we’re always looking for ways to help people manage their finances in all areas of life, and especially at different major life stages. For this post, we asked for maternity leave advice from experienced moms in the workforce and discovered ten key themes.
1. Communicate with your employer
2. Be professional
3. Prepare – physically, emotionally, financially
4. Pre-plan a few meals
5. Cherish and maximize your time with baby
6. Give yourself a break
7. Accept help
8. Learn to be the baby’s mom
9. Include dad in the plan
10. Pace your transition back to work
If you notice overlap in the themes, such as a consistent message to take as much time off as you can, pay attention.
Communicate with your employer
No one will plan your maternity leave for you. It’s up to you to research any benefits and how to get them. Don’t be afraid to take full advantage of any maternity leave benefits available to you. If your maternity leave is unpaid, you could be eligible for paid family leave benefits from the state. Call your state’s unemployment/disability office for more information.
Prepare – physically, emotionally, and financially
Realize that everything is about to change – your body, your feelings, your schedule, your budget. Plan as well as you can. Be kind to your body. Producing a little human is no small job. Play with the idea that you might want to take an extended absence from work. Your career will always be there, but your child wants and needs your time and attention now. So think now – before the baby comes – about money. Don’t chant the “everything will work out” mantra. To get what you want, a solid financial plan will be a thousand times more effective than a wish and a prayer.
Pre-plan a few meals
You’ll hear from practically every new parent that once the baby is born, your day will revolve around meeting baby’s needs and not much else. You’ll be tired, possibly overwhelmed, and very short on time to handle previously mundane tasks like shopping and cooking. The most organized new parents think ahead to prepare meals (or at least key ingredients, like meat) that can later be heated, requiring no preparation whatsoever.
Cherish and maximize your time with baby
Studies show that most new moms don’t want to return to full time work after the birth of a baby. Even if you love your job or you don’t think you can live without the income, consider the possibility that you’ll fall into that category and plan for it as well as you can. Maximize your time off. Once you go back to work, find out if you can work from home or ease back part-time. While you’re off, enjoy the time with your new child.
Give yourself a break
Don’t expect to be a “natural” or to take it all in stride, no matter how much experience you have with other peoples’ children. It’s easy to become overwhelmed, and when it’s just mom, dad and baby, the answers don’t always present themselves clearly. In days gone by, extended families lived together and there were older generations around to teach new moms what to do. These days, you might not have that advantage. So cut yourself some slack for any doubts, lack of confidence or unrealistic expectations you may have.
When friends and family offer to help, let them. It may seem like a big imposition to ask your mother-in-law or surfing buddy to do your shopping, but if the offer is made, accept it gratefully. Running errands, cooking meals, cleaning the house, and walking a fussy baby are all great tasks to assign to caring people in your inner circle during the first few weeks of your little one’s life. Outside the home, get connected with a lactation support group nearby so that you’ll know where to go if any challenges arise.
Learn to be the baby’s mom
You might slip into your new role with ease… and you might not. Give yourself time to get used to the new routine. Relax and stay in the moment.
Include dad in the plan
You’re in this together. Encourage dad to be an active participant and to bond with baby. Like mom, dad should be unafraid to take the maximum amount of family leave available. Some men feel awkward around the baby, not knowing what to do or how they can help. Comfort will only come with practice. Also, men tend to feel much less free to take extended absences from work, and far more pressure to put the hours in. Each new dad has to set his own priorities, but more and more men are choosing to put family at the top of the list
Pace your transition back to work
Whether you must return to work or just want to, pace the transition. Spend the first two weeks in the daycare setting with your baby, to show that it is a safe, comfortable place that the baby can still associate with mom. If possible, go back to work part-time and ease into your full-time schedule over time.
And don’t underestimate the amount of time you’ll want to take off!
Thanks so much to Eric Adamowsky, Co-founder of CreditCardInsider.com for this post. Mamas, what has worked for you financially balancing bed rest/maternity leave and finances? Please share your tips in the comments section below.