Live chat: great expectations

Times Staff Writer

2007-07-30 14:49:16.0 Administrator: The chat with Heidi Murkoff will start at 3pm.

2007-07-30 15:13:59.0 Administrator: Question from Tamara: how to beat the all-day sickness in the first tr-mester? my dr. wont see me till i'm 10wks. so i've stopped my pre-natals since no matter what i ty they make me vomit.

2007-07-30 15:14:45.0 Heidi Murkoff: Hi, Tamara -- congratulations, first of all! Sorry about the morning sickness -- and yes, whoever named it definitely never had it (I like your name better "all day sickness"). There are plenty of things you can try, including:*The Six Meal Solution. It seems counterintuitive, but actually, eating more often helps you feel less sick. Grazing on small (tiny) amounts of food all day long (and during the night, too, if you wake up to pee -- which I'm sure you're doing plenty) can keep your tummy a little full all the time.

2007-07-30 15:15:10.0 Heidi Murkoff: Ginger -- have you tried it? There are lots of ginger products available, from the ginger Preggo Pops, to crystallized ginger, to ginger sucking candies. Ginger tea can help, too.

2007-07-30 15:15:18.0 Heidi Murkoff: Sea bands -- or Relief Bands -- help some women, using accupressure on the inner wrist. Some other CAM (complementary and alternative) approaches help some women too -- meditation, acupuncture (check with your doctor's office for a recommendation).

2007-07-30 15:18:21.0 merritt08: Does the feeling that im going to do something wrong in my pregnancy ever go away?

2007-07-30 15:19:10.0 Heidi Murkoff: Hi, congratulations first of all. I'm not exactly sure what you're asking -- but I'll give it a shot anyway. I think you might be wondering about all the things you're expected to worry about/do/not do when you're expecting. I know it's sometimes overwhelming -- but try to keep it all in perspective. The odds of having a completely safe pregnancy and a completely healthy baby are overwhelmingly (overwhelmingly!!!) in your favor. And every little positive thing you do during the day -- and I'm sure you're doing a lot more than you even think -- makes those already incredibly excellent odds even better. Eating well. Getting good prenatal care. Taking good care of yourself. There are so many things to keep track of, I know -- but I'm sure you're doing a great job. If you have any specific concerns or questions, I'm here to answer them. In the meantime, just think positive -- happy baby thoughts!

2007-07-30 15:19:26.0 nikkimc05: i'm expecting my first baby and i am scared out of my mind

2007-07-30 15:26:01.0 Administrator: We're continuing to have some technical difficulties. Please bear with us.

2007-07-30 15:33:08.0 Administrator: Question from tamara: this is my 4th preg. and i have never felt like this...i'm eating like i did b4 (healthy) and cant even drive-i feel so quesy.

2007-07-30 15:33:20.0 Heidi Murkoff: Congratulations, first of all. Second of all, your dates could definitely be off -- this happens ALL THE TIME. So absolutely, everything could be just perfect -- and it could just be that you're a little less far along than you thought. Don't worry!

2007-07-30 15:33:50.0 Administrator: Question from shines: I went for my first prenatal check up today, I am 7weeks. The ultrasound showed a gestational sac that measured 4.5 weeks, is there still hope that everyting is okay??

2007-07-30 15:34:47.0 Heidi Murkoff: So sorry to hear that Tamara! You know, stress definitely compounds the queasiness -- so definitely try relaxing as much as you can. But if it's that bad -- by all means call and get a prescription/recommendation for a medication (that combo i mentioned, probably) from your doctor. You don't have to suffer this much! I hope you feel so much better (and as I'm sure you've already noticed -- every pregnancy, like every baby that follows, is different!)

2007-07-30 15:34:49.0 bubs0816: Does pitocin make contractions hurt worse?

2007-07-30 15:35:37.0 Administrator: Shan: Hi, my name is Shan and I am 24weeks pregnant. I wanted to know feel shortness of breath at this stage in my pregnancy

2007-07-30 15:36:01.0 Heidi Murkoff: Shortness of breath is completely normal in pregnancy -- most women experience it. A lot of it is triggered by hormones (what isn't???), and all that stretching that's going on. Also, as your uterus starts to grow, it begins to push up against your diaphragm, making it seem like it's harder to breath. As long as you're not feeling dizzy and weak (if so, check in with your practitioner -- it's also common to start being low on iron at this point in pregnancy, in which case an iron supplement could be just the ticket), take a deep breath (that is, if you can!) and relax. Just another of those crazy pregnancy symptoms.

2007-07-30 15:36:12.0 Administrator: how will i know when my baby has an ear infection?

2007-07-30 15:36:20.0 Heidi Murkoff: Babies, unfortunately, can't tell you where it hurts when they're not feeling well. But a baby with an ear infection will likely be very, very fussy -- just not herself. She may pull at her ear (though babies who are teething might also do this), she may run a fever, she may have trouble feeding, and will probably do a lot of crying. The only way to tell is to check in with the pediatrician, which you should definitely do if you suspect an ear infection. I hope your baby feels better fast!

2007-07-30 15:36:54.0 Administrator: paddogrrrl: I was wondering if u knew how early we can practice sittibg up and standing up, my baby is 2 months and my Mom & Dad keep telling me his bones r to fragile - is that true?

2007-07-30 15:37:30.0 Heidi Murkoff: Babies will tell you when they're ready to do something -- and lots of two month olds love "standing" on their parents laps, carefully supported, of course. It won't do any harm at all -- a baby will cry and let you know if something hurts them, or if they're not in the mood for it. As for sitting, a baby will definitely enjoy that perspective, too. As long as your baby's well supported -- no harm done, and your baby will love it!

2007-07-30 15:41:08.0 Administrator: paddogrrrl: I also wanted to ask how early we can start using sippy cups or even reg. cups?

2007-07-30 15:41:15.0 Heidi Murkoff: I'm a big advocate of starting cups earlier than later! The American Academy of Pediatrics actually recommends weaning from a bottle (breast can continue as long as mom and baby are enjoying) at a year -- but that's hard to do unless baby's an accomplished cup drinker. I like switching off between sippy cups and regular cups -- for the experience and the jaw development. It's definitely messy at first (start with water), but by the time a baby can sit up supported (I'd start by five or six months) they can definitely begin their cup experience. Good luck - and have fun!!!

2007-07-30 15:41:41.0 Administrator: Chrissy: I wanted to say thank you for the book, as a first time pregnancy it really helps... not only for me but my husband too!

2007-07-30 15:42:04.0 Heidi Murkoff: THanks so much, Chrissy -- I'm so, so glad it helped both of you! May all your greatest expectations come true!

2007-07-30 15:42:21.0 Administrator: prasi: hi heidi my name is prasi .....i am in my 29th week of pregnancy...these days i ve been having a slight pressure near my bladder accompanied with mild needle like feels as i have to use the restroom again..

2007-07-30 15:42:29.0 Heidi Murkoff: Hi, Prasi -- congrats on your pregnancy! You could be experiencing the symptoms of UTI -- very common in pregnancy and easily treated (but very important to treat ) so definitely put a call in to your practitioner. And in the meantime, make sure you're drinking enough -- if your output is scant, or if the color is dark or cloudy, that's a sign that you're not. Cranberry juice (actual cranberry juice -- not the juice cocktail) is great for urinary tract health. Good luck!

2007-07-30 15:42:46.0 Administrator: jana: That you for including the chapter "Of Special Concern" in your book.

2007-07-30 15:42:53.0 Heidi Murkoff: Thank you Jana -- thanks so much! So glad to help all of you!!!

2007-07-30 15:43:16.0 Administrator: Jen: I haven't been able to stomach green vegetables for a couple of weeks. I have been taking a prenatal vitamin. What other foods can I eat so that my baby will be healthy? Eating greens makes me sick.

2007-07-30 15:43:26.0 Heidi Murkoff: Congrats to you, too, Jen! And welcome to the Club! One of the most common pregnancy aversions is to green vegetables (which often make women feel green). Don't worry! No need to eat green! Many fruits -- especially summer fruits, such as cantaloupe, mango, yellow peaches, apricots -- have as many of those important nutrients your baby needs (vitamin A, vitamin C most notably) as well as the fiber you need. So stick with those -- a smoothie is sweet revenge for the vegetable averse (and if you add some yogurt, too, you'll be getting a calcium bonus). Babies don't need green vegetables (and that's true afte rthey're born, too -- if you end up with a picky toddler, the right fruits can always stand in for veggies). Also -- carrots and sweet potatoes aren't green, but they're PACKED with the same nutrients as that broc you can't stomach. Good luck!

2007-07-30 15:46:27.0 Administrator: Heidi will be back in a minute with more answers.

2007-07-30 15:51:18.0 Administrator: bubs0816: How much formula should my six month old be drinking?

2007-07-30 15:51:38.0 Heidi Murkoff: Hi! A good rule of thumb is about 2 ounces per pound of weight -- but check with your pediatrician for the goal that's right for your baby (every baby is different). His intake will also vary day to day, and also somewhat depending on what else he's eating. Best is to let him take what he wants -- not to push a certain number, as long as he's healthy and thriving.

2007-07-30 15:51:54.0 Administrator: MAMA4G: I have an ovarian cyst on the right side.. im 9 weeks prego.. i have a history of pre-term pregnancys..Should i be worried?

2007-07-30 15:52:02.0 Heidi Murkoff: Cysts are pretty common in pregnancy -- so it doesn't sound like something to be worried about this early on. I'm sure your practitioner will keep an eye on it. Good luck, mama!!!

2007-07-30 15:52:31.0 Administrator: sweetmama: I read your book because my sister in law was pregnant to be of support to her. What's the best way to be a supportive to someone who is pregnant when you're not, and you've never been?

2007-07-30 15:52:57.0 Heidi Murkoff: That is so sweet of you! (I guess that's why you're "sweet mama"!). Sometimes just being there for her is all a pregnant woman needs -- someone to vent to (when you're pregnant, you have a lot to vent about!), a shoulder to cry on when those mood swings are swinging. That's worth a lot! And of course, help her out any way that you can -- with housework, etc. Make her some dinner (who wants to stand in the kitchen on swollen ankles?). Take a walk with her (or later on, a waddle). Thanks for being a friend to the pregnant!

2007-07-30 15:53:03.0 Administrator: Jen: i'm a single mom and this is an embarrassing question, but i have to know... is it safe to use a vibrator during pregnancy?

2007-07-30 15:54:43.0 Heidi Murkoff: There are no embarrassing questions here! And yes, yes, yes! You can use a vibrator during pregnancy -- and by all means, go for it (it's a great release for all that tension, plus many women are extra in-the-mood when they're expecting). It's just a mechanical version of the real thing, after all. Just make sure it's clean, and go gently.

2007-07-30 15:57:06.0 Administrator: Heidi will be right back with more answers.

2007-07-30 16:03:00.0 Administrator: katie2k: Hi I am not yet pregnant buy I have 2 children and am breastfeeding my 10 month old still and I had my perioud july6 and had intercourse july 21 and the next day I had light bleeding after using the bathroom,cramps and bodyaches could I be pregnant or just hopeful thinkink ?is it to soon to be?

2007-07-30 16:03:16.0 Heidi Murkoff: well, let's just say -- it's never impossible to get pregnant (not even when you're breastfeeding....a good reason not to rely on nursing for birth control). But when you're nursing especially, your cycles could be off slightly -- so you never, ever know. The next day after intercourse would be a little soon to call -- though of course you could have been ovulating if it was about two weeks after your LMP. So test away -- and good luck to you!

2007-07-30 16:03:40.0 Administrator: Anna: I am on my second baby, and am going to go for a VBAC this time. Is there anything that I need to do to help the odds that this goes as planned

2007-07-30 16:04:05.0 Heidi Murkoff: Congrats on your second baby -- and on giving VBAC a try! The most important thing you can do is get educated -- so definitely take a childbirth education class. Another important thing you'll have to do is stay flexible -- VBAC is always a trial of labor, as you know. The chances are good -- if the reason for the first cesarean no longer exists -- that you'll be able to succeed, but even women who've never had a c-section have about a 30% chance of having one. (Midwives have much better stats though.). You may have to go without pain relief -- since some practitioners limit pain relief (even epidurals) during VBAC, in order not to mask any pain (in the very very very unlikely chance of a rupture). And of course, you won't be able to be induced, since the risk of rupture is much greater with induction. Ask your practitioner lots of questions ahead of time, too. And lots and lots of luck to you!

2007-07-30 16:04:17.0 Administrator: Jane: Can you lift your crawling baby when you are in your first trimester with your second baby?

2007-07-30 16:04:53.0 Heidi Murkoff: Hi, Jane -- and congrats! Unless your practitioner has advised you otherwise, lifting heavy loads (even preschoolers) is perfectly safe to do when you're expecting. If you don't have restrictions -- a nd most women don't -- then it's definitely fine. Lift away! But so you don't hurt your back while you're at it, learn to lift the right way, by bending at the knees. And do lots of cuddling and hugging from a sitting position, too -- especially as your baby gets bigger and the new load that you're carrying gets heavier -- to give your back a break.

2007-07-30 16:04:56.0 Administrator: bubs0816: Does pitocin make contractions hurt worse?

2007-07-30 16:05:52.0 Heidi Murkoff: Hi -- Pitocin definitely can trigger contractions are that are more powerful --- the idea of using it (and btw, it's just a synthetic form of the naturally occurring hormone that triggers labor -- but the dose can also be adjusted so that the contractions aren't too strong or too long. Some women find that the contractions do hurt more -- but if that's the case, the infusion rate can just be reduced. Hope that helps!

2007-07-30 16:08:06.0 Administrator: shines: Thank you. In reference to the ultrasound measurement, I am sure of my LMP and I got a BFP on July 7th. It makes me wonder how it could be off.

2007-07-30 16:08:20.0 Heidi Murkoff: Definitely -- it can still be off. Believe me -- check out the message boards at my site, I hear this ALL time time from newly preg moms. Good luck!!!!

2007-07-30 16:08:36.0 Administrator: TJ0903: Can dry mouth be an early symptom of pregnancy?

2007-07-30 16:08:56.0 Heidi Murkoff: Actually, an excess of saliva is more common in the first trimester -- that and a metallic taste. Those can accompany morning sickness, or arrive all on their own. But every pregnancy is different -- and every pregnant woman is different, and has different symptoms, so dry mouth may be your body's hormones talking. Something to keep in mind, too -- you might not be getting enough fluids if your mouth is dry. So drink up if you're expecting!!

2007-07-30 16:12:16.0 Administrator: Jen: should you breastfeed when the baby wants it, or on a schedule? what about in the middle of the night?

2007-07-30 16:12:37.0 Heidi Murkoff: Hi Jen -- Newborns should definitely be fed on demand -- not on a schedule. And they actually need to eat in the middle of the night (typically a couple of times during the middle of the night). And most newborns can't sleep through the night without a snack until about four months, a little earlier sometimes. So bring on the feed! But also keep in mind that babies cry for other reasons than hunger -- sometimes they're bored, sometimes they're sleepy, sometimes they just need a cuddle. And as your baby gets a little older (not sure how old your baby is), you'll be able to stretch the time between feedings.

2007-07-30 16:12:50.0 Administrator: marigree: hi I had an emergency c-section when i had twins 7 years ago-Is it possible that I can have a normally delivery?

2007-07-30 16:12:58.0 Heidi Murkoff: Hi -- absolutely it's possible that you can have a vaginal delivery (VBAC). Twins are much more likely to be delivered by c-section (and if it was an emergency situation, it's unlikely to be a situation that happens again). So talk to your practitioner about trying VBAC -- it's a trial of labor....hopefully you'll be able to. But of course keep in mind that every woman has about a 30% chance of needing a c-section these days.

2007-07-30 16:13:23.0 Administrator: purrfectkim: is it ok that Caleb will still only eat the dole fruit cups and no other kinds of fruit?

2007-07-30 16:13:33.0 Heidi Murkoff: HI KIM!!!!! Have you tried some soft mango chunks? Or some cantaloupe? Listen, any fruit is a good fruit! Kiss Caleb for me!

2007-07-30 16:14:52.0 Administrator: We're going to have to wrap up now. Thanks to everyone. Heidi? Have a couple of words?

2007-07-30 16:15:30.0 Heidi Murkoff: Thanks everyone so much for stopping into the chat today! It was great talking to you all -- sorry if I didn't get to everyone, but I hope you'll stop by and see me at Big virtual hugs to all of you -- and may all your greatest expectations come true! all best, heidi

2007-07-30 16:15:58.0 prasi: thank you

2007-07-30 16:16:08.0 mommytobe: yeah, thanks!

2007-07-30 16:16:09.0 Uyenly Doan: thank you

2007-07-30 16:16:11.0 purrfectkim: thanks Heidi!

2007-07-30 16:16:15.0 Anna: Thanks Heidi!

2007-07-30 16:16:18.0 trinjaszoeymom: Thanks Heidi!

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