There are many speculations about cord blood banking and whether or not it’s right for you and your family. The topic can also become a sensitive subject with parents, when faced with making such decisions during pregnancy.
When it comes to the well-being of your family, it’s important to prepare for unpredictable and unforeseen variables, as well as to weigh the pros and cons in any decision you make.
So, what is cord blood banking?
In order to answer this, we first need a clear understanding of stem cells and how they function. Stem cells are the building blocks of our physical constitution. They are responsible for building and repairing our immune system, organs, tissues, skin, blood, etc.
When something goes wrong, stem cells can be used to help speed up the healing process. As a result, stem cells play a major part in cord blood banking, which is the process of storing the blood of the umbilical cord at birth. The stem cells found in cord blood are very strong and can be used for regenerating tissue, blood, organs and more.
If you are wondering whether cord blood banking is right for your family, here are a few factors to consider:
- The stem cells can be used for transplant to help treat immune system disorders such as sickle cell anemia and leukemia, to name a few, and has helped save lives.
- It’s a simple procedure with very low risk.
- It provides a safety net for your loved ones in case something goes wrong.
- The price of banking cord blood may be viewed as affordable or expensive depending on your financial situation, so it’s important to do all of your research before you make a final decision.
Use this checklist from WebMD to answer a few questions that can aid you in making your decision:
|I have a young family member who will probably need a stem cell transplant in the future.||
|I think banking the cord blood would be a wise investment.||
|The cost of banking the cord blood worries me.||
|I will donate the cord blood if I can, because I’ll feel better if the stem cells don’t go to waste.||
|I like the idea of banking the cord blood for the future, “just in case.”||
|We plan to have more children, and there is leukemia, Hodgkin’s, or sickle cell disease in our family.||
If you choose to forgo private cord blood banking, you may be able to choose to donate your child’s cord blood to a public bank. While you waive the right to the cord blood for future use, you may help to save a child in need.
For more information on cord blood banking and how it can affect you and your family, Contact the experts at Contemporary Women’s Care in Orlando at 407-478-6249. We are here to help you make the best decisions and achieve the best possible experience during your pregnancy.
The holidays are always a special time of the year, but your baby’s first experience should be just a little more magical. It’s true that baby won’t remember anything that happened, but you and the rest of the family will.
It’s important to make plans during the season. Will dinner be at your husband’s family’s home? Are presents going to opened at your parent’s home? Will everyone be coming to your house for everything in order to spend time with baby?
Plan out everything early and stick to your plan. Relatives can sometimes be pushy, but you can remind them that, while it is the holidays and the time to be with family and the ones you love, there are other family members who want to spend time with the baby. Setting expectations will save you a big headache later.
It’s also important to make sure baby doesn’t feel as if he is part of a traveling circus, an elaborate display for others to see. Give baby and yourself time to rest and recuperate. Naptime and playtime are essential to keeping a smile on baby’s face for all the holiday photos.
Here are a few other tips to make this holiday the most special yet:
- Have a baby gift guide for the family. Everyone wants to get baby the greatest thing ever. Make it easier for the family and make a “baby’s wish list” so they know what kind of things baby needs.
- Have an outfit just for baby’s first holiday. Photos will capture the best memories that you and the family can look back on in the years to come. Whether it’s an annual Christmas card or the first photo with Santa, splurge a little and get baby a special outfit. Make sure that the clothes fit so it doesn’t look like baby’s drowning in the material.
- Bedtime stories are a given, but change things up with a children’s holiday story in the days leading up. Not only will it get you into the holiday spirit, but it will also give baby exposure to a classic tale that could become a tradition to read every year. Start other family traditions too, such as opening one gift on Christmas Eve, taking photos in matching holiday pajamas, etc.
- Babies love colorful, sparkly things, so go all out with decorations. Lights, tinsel, and sparkly ornaments can intrigue baby and he’s sure to love the change in the atmosphere. Music and scents can be used to experience the holidays with his senses. Taking baby out and about to see the decoration in the stores can also be a fun way to get into the holiday spirit. Just make sure to baby proof your home so that baby can’t get to the Christmas tree and lights.
- Choose a special stocking for baby to use this year. It could be something specific for his first Christmas, or you could go with something that they can use each year as they get older.
- Throw a baby holiday party. Instead of an adults-only shindig, have your friends bring their little ones with them for an afternoon get-together. The babies can socialize and play with Santa hats while the adults sip on eggnog and cider, swapping tips to survive the season.
About Contemporary Women’s Care.
Contemporary Women’s Care is the leading Winter Park OB GYN and Orlando OB GYN practice located within Central Florida. We take a modern approach to medicine while remaining sensitive to the individual needs of our patients. Excellence is the standard and we hold ourselves accountable to provide nothing less. Book an appointment today by calling 407-478-6249 (OBGY).
We use our phones for everything and depend on it more than most things. They can do just about anything and are typically the one item some people can’t live without. While phones are used for lots of recreational purposes, from taking photos to keeping us in touch with our friends, there are new apps that can also benefit your health.
Here are five of the best health apps that women can download:
What it is: Find answers to your health questions with iTriage Health, Doctor, Symptom & Healthcare Search app. It was created by two ER physicians and provides medications, diseases and medical locations to you for instant answers to questions.
Why it’s cool: You can search symptoms and learn about potential causes, and then iTriage helps you find the most appropriate treatment, facility and/or doctor. The iTriage Doctor Search lets you find any doctor or physician quickly and easily with information on thousands of medical symptoms, diseases, conditions, procedures, medications and drugs available to you.
Cost: Free. Available for iOS and Android.
Period Tracker Lite
What it is: It’s the easiest way to track your period. All you have to do is press a button at the start of each period and the app logs your dates and calculates the average of your past three menstrual cycles to predict the start date of your next period. You can also predict future ovulation and fertile days.
Why it’s cool: You can take daily notes of mood changes, symptoms and intimacy, which help to plan for getting pregnant. This can also help your doctor have a better understanding of your flow and how it might be affecting you.
Cost: Free. Available for iOS and Android
What it is: Reaching your weight loss goal has never been easier with this new calorie tracker. Simply set a daily calorie goal, record your food and exercise, and make sure that you stay on track. MyFitnessPal is one of the biggest names when it comes to fitness. With a database of more two million food items, the platform makes it easy for users to keep track of calories and lose weight.
Why it’s cool: The platform can be used with all diets, whether you’re going low-carb, high-protein, or just trying to eat healthier. The app gives full access to your MyFitnessPal.com account so logging food and exercise can be done anywhere at anytime.
Cost: Free. Available for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry.
What it is: Constantly tired even though you got the recommended hours of sleep? When you’re in your deepest cycle of sleep, your body is fully recharging and when you’re awakened during this period, you can often be left feeling sluggish throughout the day. This app analyzes your sleep patterns and wakes you when you’re in the lightest phase of sleep. You also get to go through troves of data showing how well you slept during the night.
Why it’s cool: Most sleep-tracking devices are pretty pricey and involve some fancy headgear. Sleep Cycle, however, is just about the app. Users place their smartphones in their beds and the app senses what phase of sleep they’re in based on how much or little they’re moving.
Cost: $1.99. Available for iOS.
Slim-Down Shopping List
What it is: Grocery shopping while trying to lose weight just got easier. Women’s Health Magazine’s team of nutritionists tested aisles worth of items for the annual roundup of the healthiest, tastiest and most convenient supermarket finds. Optimize your shopping list and flatten your tummy with over 240 of the best foods for women that promote weight loss, build muscle, fight cancer and heart disease and build bones.
Why it’s cool: You can find 240+ of the best foods from all categories, including: cereals and breads, sweets and treats, snacks, rice and pasta, fruits and vegetables, frozen meals, drinks, dairy, meats and fish, soups, and condiments.
Cost: Free. Available with iOS.
We use technology in our everyday lives and with these easy to use apps, you can lead a healthier lifestyle. If you would like to see a female OBGYN in Kissimmee call Contemporary Woman’s Care at 407-478-6249.
All week long you’ve been feeling a bit strange. Depending on where you are in your life this could mean a number of things, but you take a pregnancy test to be certain. The test is POSITIVE! You scream and jump in excitement! You have goose bumps and your heart is beating so fast you feel like it might even be harmful to your already-developing baby! BREATHE! Okay, so now you’re pregnant. What are you going to do next?
Your first instinct might be to drive to the nearest mountain top and announce the big news to the world. Don’t jump in the car just yet!
Breaking The News To Your Partner
Again, depending on where you and your partner are in life, baby news could mean different things to different people. You don’t want to keep the baby news a secret from your partner for too long because his or her participation will be extremely significant during your pregnancy (reference link to blog about how to help your partner during pregnancy).
Consulting A Doctor
Once your partner is on board the baby train, you should start discussing a doctor’s appointment together. Visit a professional at Contemporary Women’s Care to take another pregnancy test. This is just to be certain the results are accurate since at-home pregnancy can sometimes give false positives. Also you will want to talk medical expenses and prenatal appointments during your doctor visit.
Discussing Financial Options
Once you have spoken to your doctor about medical expenses, you will want to have a conversation with your partner about what this will mean financially for the home. Start a financial plan for all of the baby’s prenatal and postnatal needs and allocate expenses accordingly. This could also mean discussing maternity leave at work (reference link to “Maternity Leave” blog here) and so on.
Whether or Not To Tell Others
Once you know with 100 percent certainty that you are pregnant, you and your partner must now decide if and when to break the baby news to others. Your doctor will recommend waiting until after the first trimester to tell your friends at work and perhaps even your family members. This is because the first 12 weeks are the most fragile during pregnancy. Depending on how much self-control you have, this could either be a good or a bad thing. Many couples cannot contain their excitement and make the announcement right away. It’s a very personal decision for you to decide who you tell and when you tell them. Some women have no reservations about announcing the pregnancy to immediate family and /or close friends because this is a support network for them no matter what the pregnancy outcome.
Preparing Your Mind And Your Body
Now that all of the technical things are out of the way, these nine months are your opportunity to prepare for your baby’s arrival. Read baby books, eat healthy foods, and by all means get excited! Take this opportunity to enjoy time with your partner, friends, and family to prepare for the upcoming arrival. Also don’t forget to visit your Winter Park OBGYN at Contemporary Women’s Care for regular check-ups and updates on your baby’s development.
Thinking about your work when your baby-excitement is already consuming your mind can be stressful. It is best to prepare your work arrangements ahead of time so you can enjoy your little one when he or she arrives. Maternity leave is an integral part of baby preparation and you want to know your plan as soon as possible!
Before Telling Your Employer
You may want to consider waiting until after the first trimester to discuss maternity leave options with your employer, seeing as it is the most sensitive stage of pregnancy. You want to discuss maternity leave options with your partner first. Set aside a plan to figure out how much time each of you wants to request from your places of work and how much money you have set aside to allow you this time off. If monetary conditions allow, perhaps you would like to start your leave a month in advance for resting and baby preparations. Conversely you may want to continue working up until delivery day to allot the maximum time possible with your baby after his or her birth.
How To Break The News To Your Boss
Depending on your job and your relationship with your boss, breaking the baby news could go many different ways. As a precaution, get advice from other women who have taken maternity leave at your job. In any case, the most responsible thing to do is notify your boss at the end of your first trimester. You certainly want to tell your supervisor of your soon-to-be mommy duties BEFORE you start showing. Your boss will appreciate the open and honest communication about your pregnancy plans and this might even work to your advantage. Discussing paid leave or unpaid leave with Human Resources is also a good idea after the first trimester. Make sure you know your options because opportunities for maternity leave vary from job to job.
Preparing For Maternity Leave At Work
Once you have shared the news and have decided on plans for your leave, you want to make sure situations at work do not crumble once you are gone. Talk to your boss in advance about the projects you’re working on and discuss ways to delegate your workload among other employees to make up for your time away. This will put your boss’ mind at ease about your leave and will also allow for a smoother transition back to work once your leave is over.
Maternity leave options will vary from person to person, but you should always place your baby’s safety on the forefront. You can also talk to a Winter Park OBGYN at Contemporary Women’s Care about what the healthiest options are for time off from work.
Realizing you left something important at home on the day your baby arrives just isn’t a good feeling. The last thing a soon-to-be parent wants is to get to the hospital and think, “Why didn’t I bring a camera?!” You should consider the items you’ll want and need to have on the big day so you won’t be kicking yourself later. Let’s face it, when it comes to labor and delivery, you don’t get a re-do. Here are some things you should think about as you create your hospital checklist.
Labor can last a while, especially if you’re being induced, so it’s nice to have something to do. You should think about how to keep yourself entertained while you wait for your baby to arrive. Bringing a music player or a light magazine are both popular choices. But you could also bring something to play games on, like a phone. If your labor goes on for a few hours, you’ll be glad to have something to keep your mind and help you relax.
You’ll likely be in bed for the majority of your hospital stay, so you should think about how you’ll stay the most comfortable. The hospital gowns, blankets, and pillows provided by the hospital just aren’t appealing to some moms. If you tend to get chilly, you might want to bring a sweater and a pair of non slip socks. If you don’t think comfort is important now, remember this: Once you leave the hospital, you’ll be taking care of your newborn and sleeping less, so you should use your hospital stay as a chance to get some good rest.
As you’re creating your hospital bag checklist, think about how you’ll want to capture the memories of child’s birth. You’ll probably want to bring a camera or video camera, but you might also want to bring a journal. Depending on the type of phone or computer you have, you might also be able to video chat with close relatives who live out of state and want to say hi to your new baby. One thing you should also think about is that you’ll probably want to be in some of those pictures and videos. You might not think you’ll need make up now, but you should consider whether it will help you feel more comfortable being in photos.
You should find out what items your hospital provides to mothers and babies, and what you’ll be responsible for bringing on your own. Many hospitals will provide new parents with shampoos, soaps, and diapers for their baby during their stay. But there are also things you won’t be provided with, like a car seat for the drive home.
Putting some thought into which items you’ll want during your hospital stay could mean a big sigh of relief later. Making a list with all of these items will prevent you from forgetting anything for yourself, your birth partner, and your baby. If you have questions or concerns about which items to bring to the hospital, your OBGYN can give you tips on things to bring along. The doctors at Contemporary Women’s Care have worked with dozens of moms and can give you advice on popularly packed items.
You’ve reached the homestretch! In the next three months you will be the proud mother of a brand new baby. You will encounter a lot of commotion during the next few months as you prepare for the wonderful new addition to your family. You can use this pregnancy checklist to make sure that you are ready for the big day.
How to Create a Baby Safe Environment
Baby proof your house. It may seem early, but this is a perfect time to make sure that your house is safe for your baby. Important baby proofing items include:
- Outlet covers
- Door knob locks
- Toilet lid locks
- Baby gate (to prevent them from entering dangerous areas such as stairs)
- Cabinet locks
- Window blind cord wind-ups
- Baby monitor
Install a car seat. Even if you purchase the top car seat on the market, it will not work properly unless installed correctly. You can go to the National Highway Traffic Administration website to find a car seat inspection station near you.
Prepare your baby’s first aid kit. You will always want to call your doctor right away if your baby is sick or hurt, but it is still important to have some essential first aid supplies on hand:
- Baby Thermometer
- Bulb Syringe
- Cotton Balls
- Medicine Dropper (with spoon measurements)
- Baby gas drops
- Saline nasal drops
- Any antibiotic cream and infant acetaminophen that your doctor recommends
Preparing Yourself for the Baby
Update your birth plan. If you have not created a birth plan yet, this is a good time to do so. A birth plan will outline everything that you want during your delivery, so you can make all the big decisions before you are in labor. Here is a link to a birth plan form created by TheBump.com: Birth plan.
Pack your hospital bag. It is a good idea to do this early so that you are prepared whenever your baby decides to come. The next few weeks are going to go by quickly so it is important that you make yourself as prepared as possible. Here are some hospital bag essentials:
- Insurance info, hospital forms, and birth plan
- Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, hair brush, soap, etc.)
- Maternity bras
- Non perishable snacks
- Phone charger
- Comfortable nightgown you don’t mind getting ruined
- Comfortable going home outfit
- Warm non-slip socks
Stock up on food for yourself. After your baby is born it is just as important to keep yourself healthy as your baby. With all the chaos of a newborn it is easy to forget to take care of yourself. By making a few meals for yourself before you go into labor, it will ensure that you have food for the first few days when you get home from the hospital. While preparing for your baby don’t forget about yourself.
Your third trimester is full of excitement and anxiousness as you await the arrival of your new bundle of joy. The time will fly by, so it is important that you try and complete everything on your to-do list early. As it gets closer to your delivery date, you should schedule weekly appointments with your obstetrician. If you have any questions or are in need an OB/GYN contact Contemporary Women’s Care.
Photo Credit: http://www.babyspace.net.au/2012/02/bump-baby.html
The second trimester is the perfect time to get the majority of planning and preparation out of the way. While the first trimester of pregnancy brings morning sickness, expecting moms are usually feeling better by this stage. It’s a good idea to get most of the work done before the third trimester, when tiredness often strikes.
Here’s a pregnancy checklist filled with important things you’ll need to get and do so you aren’t caught off-guard when the baby arrives!
Things You’ll Need
- Buy comfortable maternity clothes. By the second trimester you’re probably finding it more difficult to fit into your favorite jeans. Buying maternity clothes will make your life much simpler and more comfortable. High waisted dresses, tunic tops, and jeans with a fabric, stretch waist are some good go-tos.
- Focus on sleeping better. Your belly may be making sleep uncomfortable, leaving you feeling tired throughout the day. If you haven’t already, you’ll want to invest in some good body pillows and consider sleeping on your side. Both offer more back and belly support which can make you more comfortable. You can also try sound soothers, which can help you relax at bedtime.
- Think about childbirth classes. These can be really helpful, especially if you’re expecting your first child. The classes are designed to prepare you for childbirth by minimizing your fears and helping you understand what to expect. They’ll teach you things like the signs of labor, techniques for coping with pain, and more. Plus, you can meet other expecting moms.
How to Start Preparing for Your Newborn
- Start making your baby registry. Your new baby will require a ton of supplies, making a lot of them easy to overlook. Starting a registry is an easy way to remember all the things you need, and give family and friends the opportunity to search for your list and get the items as baby shower gifts. This will also help you avoid getting duplicate items.
- Plan your shower. You’ll want to start planning your baby shower early so friends and family are able to attend. Start by picking out a venue, creating a guest list, and sending out invitations with the locations where you’re registered listed.
- Buy these big items. While you’ll get a lot of items for the baby from friends and family, there are a few items you should buy ahead of time to be prepared. Shop around for a safe crib and mattress. You may want to consider a crib that converts into a toddler bed, and then a twin bed as your child grows. You’ll also want to get a comfortable rocking chair, since you’ll be spending a lot of time there! It’s also never too early to start stocking up on diapers.
What You Should Put on Your To-Do List
- Schedule your mid-pregnancy ultrasound. By this point in your pregnancy your doctor will probably be able to determine the sex of your baby. Accuracy will depend on a few factors, including how your baby is positioned. You and your partner should decide if you want to know the sex at the appointment, or keep it a secret until your delivery date. You should also continue prenatal visits as suggested by your doctor. At this stage, you’ll typically have a visit every 4 weeks, unless your doctor suggests otherwise.
- Decorate the nursery. Now is the time to buy sheets, curtains, shelves and any other items you need to decorate your nursery. If you know the sex of the baby, you can customize accordingly. Otherwise, you can use gender neutral color schemes like green and yellow, or white and brown. Position your crib, changing table and rocking chair where you want them.
- Research and make your birth plan. Having a birth plan for your delivery day is a way to make you feel more organized, calm, and in control. It helps you, your partner and your doctor decide how you’d ideally want the delivery to go. The decisions include under what circumstances you’ll want pain medication, who you’ll have with you in the delivery room, and what you’d like to happen in case of any complications.
- Plan your maternity leave. Tell coworkers and your boss your exciting news! After that, you can begin discussing maternity leave.
While there are a lot of things to consider during your second trimester of pregnancy, it’s important to remember that you’re halfway to the finish line. Avoid stressing over all of the things you need to get done–your partner, obstetrician, family and friends are there to help you. Contact Contemporary Women’s Care today if you have any questions about your pregnancy.
Congratulations on your pregnancy! This wonderful miracle comes with a roller coaster of emotions – joy, fear, excitement, panic, disbelief and so much more. Experiencing this overwhelming bundle of emotions is your welcoming ritual to being a new mother.
Then, after this initial shock and awe period fades, it’s time to start preparing your body and mind for having a child. Although it may seem early, there are plenty of things you’ll need to do during your first trimester. Our pregnancy checklist will help start you on the right track for having a healthy and safe pregnancy.
What You Should Put on Your To-Do List
- Begin taking your prenatal vitamins. If you haven’t started taking a prenatal vitamin yet, now’s the time to start. It’s particularly critical to get enough folic acid during your first trimester. Make sure your prenatal contains DHA-an omega 3 fish oil component that helps fetal and newborn brain development.
- Investigate your health insurance coverage. Make sure you know what your health insurance plan cove
rs as far as your prenatal care and delivery costs, as well as care for your new baby.
- Choose a caregiver. Talk to friends and relatives, or ask one of your other healthcare providers to recommend someone. You can also check out the preferred providers under your health insurance plan and search online for the right Obstetrician for you.
- Make a prenatal appointment. Although your first appointment usually doesn’t happen until the 8 weeks it is important to call and schedule this visit in advance. You’ll want to get on your provider’s calendar since appointments usually fill up fast.
- Exercise. If you were active before your pregnancy, you can continue to exercise during your pregnancy. Most regimens can be maintained with few exceptions.
What You Should Change in Your Diet
- If you smoke, quit. Smoking raises your risk of a host of problems, including miscarriage, placental problems, and preterm birth. It also slows fetal growth and increases the risk of stillbirth and infant death. Every cigarette you don’t light gives your baby a better chance of being healthy.
- Stop drinking alcohol. We are oftentimes asked about the situation of alcohol consumption without knowledge of the pregnancy. This usually happens very early in pregnancy, before embryo implantation, and therefore is highly unlikely to affect your baby. However, once pregnancy is confirmed, all alcohol consumption should stop. Unlike caffeine, no amount of alcohol can be considered safe in pregnancy.
- Cut down on caffeine. The good news is that you don’t have to stop drinking caffeine completely! The American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology advises limiting caffeine intake to 200 mg per day (that’s about one 12-ounce cup of coffee).
- Stick to a diet naturally high in folic acid. These foods include, oranges, melons and dark green vegetables.
- Eat plenty of iron-rich foods. This includes, whole grains, beans, raisins and nuts.
What You Should Purchase
- A good pregnancy book. Because you’ll have questions. Lots of them. Think about buying one for the father as well, he will need answers too.
- A body pillow. Some pregnant women say their number one favorite purchase is their body pillow. Even this early, you may get uncomfortable easily, and a body pillow may help you get a better night’s sleep.
- A maternity bra. You may outgrow your usual bra between 8 to 10 weeks of pregnancy. As your breasts fill out, you’ll find a good maternity bra keeps you comfortable and well-supported in the coming months.
Now that you have a better idea of what things to accomplish during your first trimester, it’s time to start checking things off the list. Contact Contemporary Women’s Care today to schedule your prenatal appointment and take the first step in this exciting journey!