Media Reviews

Mamas on Bedrest: PublicHealth.org’s Prenatal Care Guide

October 6th, 2014

Good Monday Morning, Mamas!

Today’s post is a review of the prenatal care guide published by PublicHealth.org. PublicHealth.org is an organization that works to provide the public information about a variety of health care issues. They research their topics and try to provide the most current data and additional, useful information for both consumers and researchers alike. They asked me to share with you their resource on prenatal care and so here is my review on the guide.

Now you may be reclined in your bed thinking, Darline, why the *&^( do I need a guide on prenatal care?? I’m already pregnant and on bedrest for heavens sake! Well, I decided to share this guide with you all because many of you will go on to have subsequent pregnancies after this one and it is critical that you prepare your self-physically and emotionally-for that pregnancy.

At first glance, I find that it has a decent overview of things to be on the look out for before, during and after pregnancy. They broke the guide down into

  • Provider options
  • Nutrition and lifestyle changes
  • First, Second and Third Trimester Changes
  • Newborn Care
  • Post partum care

However, this guide is more like a checklist of things to be on the lookout for, to talk with your provider about and some things that you can do for yourself than an actual, practical guide. While the information provided was useful, I personally didn’t feel like there was enough explanation or information provided for most of the topics listed.  And I feel many topics, very important tops, were omitted.

Now admittedly, I am a self professed data (and detail) head, so I more, “the meat of the matter”. But (for example) to list the recommendation for folic acid and not give even a brief explanation as to why folic acid is important (for the prevention of neural tube defects {holes along the spinal column} or Spina Bifida) I feel is incomplete information. I find it frustrating to have something mentioned, but no explantation given about it’s use or function. Much of the information provided is in this format. But providing a list without much explanation really isn’t very helpful.

Another example. They have a section, “What foods should Pregnant mothers avoid” and they gave a brief list of foods to avoid. But what about foods mothers should add or increase. like foods high in Calcium and iron? What about talking about eating several small meals a day to help ease nausea? There was no mention on this aspect of nutrition.

As a public health organization, I would have expected a discussion of taking the flu shot while pregnant, genetic testing and more on the prenatal tests already being done.

And the biggest negative for me: NO MENTION OF BED REST!!!

But this guide (to my understanding) is free and as such, isn’t an awful starting point for mamas to begin learning what to expect during their pregnancies. However, it really is just a starting point. I would highly recommend mamas who are serious about taking extremely good care of themselves through the prenatal period take a look at this guide, but them continue their research with books like, “What to Expect When Expecting” “Our Bodies Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth”, Henci Goer’s “The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Childbirth”, “Optimal Care in Childbirth” and others provide (Like our blog!!) much more information so that mamas can make informed healthcare choices for themselves and their babies. 

So do take a look because I feel that there are never too many resources. However, know that as you read through this guide, you are likely going to have more questions and will need to seek out other, more complete resources, for answers.

Mamas on Bedrest: I Just Read “One Recumbent Mommy”

March 24th, 2014

One Recumbent Mommy Book CoverGreetings Mamas!!

Rachel Blumenthal, a former Mama on Bedrest, and a member of our community wrote a book called, “One Recumbent Mommy: A Humorous Encounter with Bedrest”.  First I must apologize to Rachel because she sent me a copy of the book about a year ago and in the course of moving I misplaced it. She was gracious enough to send another and after several more months, I am finally reading it and sharing my thoughts with you all.

First, I applaud Rachel for being so committed. When I was pregnant with my daughter and facing all my medical challenges, I most certainly didn’t have the where-with-all to do a daily blog. Yes, I have encouraged you all to monitor your journeys, but this is most certainly a case of “Do as I say, not as I do”. I admit that I did keep meticulous baby books and still keep journals for my kiddos now that they are in “this realm”, but during pregnancy-not so much. Rachel wrote daily about her hospital bed rest stay in a blog; all the quirky little nuances of the staff, the hospital itself, her rooms and the various schedules and tests have become this book.

One Recumbent Mommy is easy to read.  I find Rachel’s conversational style easy to read and pages are not crowded with tiny print. In fact, I really liked the layout of the book as each daily entry’s header is in bold print. She kept the entries short for the most part, so if you wanted to take the entries day by day, you could also do that. Some days she wrote more than one entry, but like I said, each entry was pretty brief so it was easy to read and keep up with what was happening.

I think the one thing that I missed reading the book was what Rachel and perhaps even her husband really thought about her bed rest experience. The entries were all very neat and tidy, grammatically correct with excellent politically correct word choices. But I never really got a sense of how Rachel really felt about being in the hospital or her baby’s life being in danger due to her incompetent cervix. She mentions that it is not fun, she mentions that she misses her 2 year old son terribly. But, and this may be semantics/word choice, I could never really get a sense of Rachel. I don’t know if it’s because she initially started the blog as a way to keep friends and family members informed of her status and didn’t want to upset them, or she is a very private person, but I got very little emotional response when I read the book. The only times I noted emotion was when Rachel spoke of her son and his visits. You could feel her love for him and how much she missed him. Also, Rachel was in the hospital over the winter holidays and she did a (for her) lengthy entry on a woman who had come with Christmas gift bags and how it was a bit off-putting because she is Jewish and no one really bothered to ask. That entry was the first time I really felt like I was talking to and hearing from Rachel. As is customary of her temperament (that which I saw) her word choice was kind and respectful, yet in this post, I could feel that something important to her had been “stepped on” and although courteous, she provide a subversive “Hey, watch it!” Even when she fainted when she had her cerclage removed, her recount is more of a soundbite than, “Wow, that was kind of weird” or “Wow, I was so overwhelmed that I fainted.” She gives a cheeky description of how her eyes rolled back and she shuttered a bit, but I don’t know how she-or her husband really felt about the incident. When Maya, Rachel’s daughter is born, we again get the highlights. Yet I do sense more emotion-much like when she is  speaking about her son. Rachel is a proud mama indeed! I’d like to get to know her better and I missed her in this book.

One Recumbent Mommy is a “nice” account about one mama’s journey on bed rest. It is well written, an easy read and very accurate. For my taste, I would have liked to have had a bit more “Rachel” in it and more meat on the bones. In a book that I think she intends to help other mamas on bed rest, to say, “Google it” when she has a procedure is not very helpful. I would have liked to get to know her better, to hear (perhaps) from her husband and to get a sense of the impact that this experience had on her and her family. My perspective is that this is the “public view” and quite frankly, I would love to have “the inside scoop”-especially as I have gotten to know Rachel a bit in our Mamas on Bedrest & Beyond Community. If you are a mama on bed rest and looking for what you may encounter if you go on hospital bed rest, this is a good book to read. But if you are a mama on bed rest looking for ways to navigate the myriad of emotions-loss of control, fear, anxiety, uncertainty, and really hear from a mama who has been there, I don’t think this is the book for you.

You can order One Recumbent Mommy: A Humorous Encouner with Bedrest from Rachel Blumenthal directly or at Amazon.com.

Mamas on Bedrest: Win a Free Copy of The Pregnancy Puzzle Book

February 12th, 2014

The Pregnancy Puzzle BookHappy Wednesday Mamas!!!

The Pregnancy Puzzle Book is a paperback book of games and puzzled designed to keep mamas busy during pregnancy. The puzzles range from fill in the blanks to word finds and use terms appropriate for each trimester of pregnancy. According to the publisher, the games get progressively easier to accommodate “pregnancy brain”. (Their words not mine!)

Seal Press has released 3 copies of The Pregnancy Puzzle Book to Mamas on Bedrest & Beyond and we are giving them away!!

To obtain one of the three available copies, you must register and participate in the Third Thursday free tele seminar being held on February 20, 2014, Do You or Don’t You Need Vitamin D? Following the Teleseminar, be one of the first 3 participants to fill out and submit the survey and you win!

Thanks so much to Seal Press for providing these copies of The Pregnancy Book. If you don’t win and choose to purchase one, they retail for $13 US and are available wherever books are sold.