Monthly Archives: February 2011

When your child is sick, sometimes all you can do is cry

Oliver was 7 days old and weighed less than 800 g when I learned he had congenital heart disease. It was a heart murmur that prompted the echo (ultrasound of the heart), although he would have had an echo anyway, … Continue reading

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What is an atrial septal defect (ASD)

An ASD is a communication between the two atria (top chambers) of the heart. During pregnancy, a baby normally has an opening between the two atria (the opening is called the foramen ovale). This opening exists because blood doesn’t need … Continue reading

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Thoughts on perseverance and preemies

Motor skills do not come easy for many preemies. Kids with congenital heart disease also have issues with muscle tone. So, poor Oliver, doubly cursed (birth weight 783 g with pulmonary regurgitation, a now repaired ASD, and right ventricular hypertrophy) … Continue reading

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Terbutaline and preterm labor. Just say no.

I am struck by the number of women who are taking or who have taken terbutaline to prevent a premature delivery. So what’s the big deal you ask? Well, it doesn’t work. This is a medical fact, because it has … Continue reading

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Screening babies for congenital heart disease: what every parent should know

Congenital heart disease (a structural defect of the heart) affects 1% of newborns. Not all heart defects are serious, many close spontaneously or are so small that surgical repair offers little benefit. However, about 25% of congenital heart defects will … Continue reading

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Is congenital heart disease more common among preemies?

Congenital heart disease, a structural defect in the heart, affects 1% of newborns. Approximately 25% of these heart defects are serious, meaning some intervention will be needed soon after birth (many heart defects involve small openings between the chambers of … Continue reading

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Videoing your birth: thoughts of an OB/GYN mom

A recent NY Times article that discussed videoing birth generated a lot of comments. (I guess we can’t really say videotaping, because who uses a tape anymore?). The article presented two sides: hospitals that don’t allow videoing the actual birth … Continue reading

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Raw milk products, listeria, and pregnancy: What you need to know

Listeria is a bacteria found in raw milk (milk that has not been pasteurized). It is actually everywhere: in the soil, on the floor of the barn, and in the water. Because it is ubiquitous, meat, milk, cheese, and even vegetables … Continue reading

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I have PPROM, when should I be delivered?

The membranes rupture before 37 weeks in 2% of pregnancies - this is called preterm premature rupture of membranes or PPROM. Forty percent of premature deliveries are complicated by PPROM. I understand just how devastating it can be as I ruptured my membranes … Continue reading

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Why I vaccinated my babies against hepatitis B

Many parents (of preemies and term babies too) are all for vaccines, but balk at the hepatitis B vaccine. For some reason, they associated hepatitis B with “other people” or something their baby will be at risk for “later in … Continue reading

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