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Epidural analgesia has become a popular way to reduce pain during labor. Because epidural use is not limited to women who plan its use, but extends to some who originally planned a nonmedicated birth, it is important for the childbirth educator to provide information on this topic to all women. In this column, the authors provide examples of Web sites that address epidural anesthesia. Web sites for professionals and consumers are included. Encouraging the use of such resources by expectant parents can provide them with good information and allow the class time on this topic to be that of clarification.
Research has identified pregnancy as a trigger to obesity among women; therefore, childbirth educators are encouraged to include the topic of weight gain in their classes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently published a guide on obesity that may serve as an excellent resource for both educators and their clients.
Health-care providers need to recognize that not all adolescent pregnancies occur as a result of error. A small subset of adolescents intentionally plan their pregnancy. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to describe the experiences of 14- to 17-year-old pregnant females who had planned their pregnancies. Participants were recruited from one prenatal clinic at a large tertiary medical center in the eastern region of the United States. Three themes emerged from participant interviews that were related to the adolescents’ pregnancies. Themes included living environment issues, adjustment to the pregnancy, and an increased motivation to do well in school and work to provide a good life for their infants. Understanding the phenomena of planned adolescent pregnancy can provide a basis for health-care providers to provide support to adolescent females in this life transition. Understanding the common experience of these adolescents can assist health-care providers to develop individualized interventions to best meet these young women’s needs and to improve birth outcomes among this population.
- Go to article: Men’s Perceptions of Pregnancy-Related Weight Gain: A Psychosocial Firestorm (Upheaval) Intertwined With Supportive Intentions
Men’s Perceptions of Pregnancy-Related Weight Gain: A Psychosocial Firestorm (Upheaval) Intertwined With Supportive Intentions
In-depth interviews were conducted with 16 men who had a significant other who had given birth within the last 5 years. Men were asked about their perceptions of pregnancy-related weight gain, and content analysis was used to identify themes from the interviews. Men described nine themes related to perinatal weight gain: (a) negative perceptions, (b) eating behaviors, (c) exercise habits, (d) health impact, (e) body changes, (f) weight-loss success, (g) “it bothered her more than me,” (h) “the weight gain wasn’t a problem,” and (i) intimacy. Together, these themes offer a glimpse into men’s experiences and highlight the discord and balance between experiencing negative feelings/perceptions and being a supportive partner. This information on how men perceive pregnancy-related weight gain can be used to develop interventions to assist men to support their significant others in meeting weight loss goals following pregnancy.
In this column, the author provides examples of Web sites that address exercise and physical activity during pregnancy and the postpartum period.
Soy protein comes from soybeans and offers multiple health benefits, some of which are just beginning to be discovered. This column reviews the health benefits of soy products with a special focus on women and children’s health. To date, little has been written or researched that is directly related to perinatal health. Thus, the column has a more broad focus so that childbirth educators have a general resource to gain knowledge related to the use of soy-based foods.
Families of preterm infants need a tremendous amount of support. This resource column highlights several Web sites that may be useful to health care providers and childbirth educators, as well as to parents of premature infants and their families.
This column features excerpts from a recent series of articles from the Lamaze International research blog, Science & Sensibility. The eight-part series examined the issue of maternal obesity from various perspectives, incorporating writings from Kimmelin Hull, a physician assistant, a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, and the community manager of Science & Sensibility; Kristen Montgomery, a nursing professor at the University of North Carolina‐Charlotte; Pamela Vireday, a childbirth educator and blogger; and Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, a health psychologist, lactation consultant, and writer/speaker. The authors of the blog series, titled “Maternal Obesity from All Sides,” reviewed current research about risks associated with maternal obesity as well as the humanistic issues and lived experiences of pregnant women of size.
- Go to article: Creating Consistency and Control Out of Chaos: A Qualitative View of Planned Pregnancy during Adolescence
Creating Consistency and Control Out of Chaos: A Qualitative View of Planned Pregnancy during Adolescence
Adolescent pregnancy can have devastating effects for both mother and child. However, little is known about the experience of planned pregnancy among adolescents. This paper presents an in-depth analysis of themes identified in a previous study of the experience of planned adolescent pregnancy. The experience of planning a pregnancy during adolescence consists of typical adolescent behavior in that these girls demonstrated the need for control, invulnerability, and a present focus to their lives. In addition to this typical behavior, a component manifests itself in which adolescent girls make reproductive health choices to gain control. By establishing a level of control over their hectic and stressful lives, they are able to add meaning to their lives. The need for consistency and control seem to be linked, because many of the adolescent girls’ statements reflected dimensions of both concepts. This initial, descriptive study can be used to further explore adolescent pregnancy and to develop interventions that might assist these girls to lead healthy lives.