Find a Midwife
Articles: Frequently Asked Questions
Find quick answers to questions we've heard over and over.
Babies should move at least 10 times every 12 hours. Most babies move much more often than that. Some even move hundreds of times each day.
Almost any kind of sexual activity is all right in pregnancy if there are no problems and the mother-to-be (that's you) wants to have it.
First, it is important to know that your "due date" should really be thought of as a "due month."
Pre-eclampsia or toxemia is a condition that only occurs during pregnancy, with signs and symptoms that may include high blood pressure, protein in the urine, and significant swelling in the hands and the face. (This is why these things are checked at each prenatal visit close to your due date.)
Stripping or sweeping the membranes is the separation of 2-3 cm of the membranes (bag around the baby) from the underlying cervix or lower part of the uterus. It is done during a vaginal examination with the finger of the examiner. There is some evidence from research studies, and many practitioners believe, that stripping the membranes may help to start labor in women who are past their due date (from 41-42 weeks of gestation). Unfortunately, if the cervix is closed, it is not possible to strip the membranes, and it is the woman with a closed cervix who has the greatest chance of not going into labor on her own. The procedure of stripping the membranes is no more uncomfortable than the usual vaginal exam (never very comfortable!) and has not been shown to cause complications such as infection or bleeding.
Shoulder dystocia refers to the situation when, after the baby's head emerges from the vagina, the shoulders fail to follow easily, either on their own with the mother's pushing, or with some gentle assistance from the midwife or doctor.
The most common hormone looked for in pregnancy is human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), the "pregnancy hormone."
Folic acid is a B-vitamin that is essential for normal neural tube closure and development in the fetus.
Hemorrhoids, which are the abnormal dilation of veins in the anal canal, frequently occur or flare up during pregnancy. Constipation, also common during pregnancy, makes hemorrhoids worse, so try to avoid constipation. Here is an easy, inexpensive, and effective remedy for hemorrhoids from Sr. Angela Murdaugh, whose years of midwifery experience and having to cut corners have produced some invaluable tips: "Take a regular white potato and cut it into bullet shaped pieces about as big as the end of one's middle finger. Keep the pieces submerged in water in the refrigerator. Whenever hemorroids swell and/or itch, just insert one rectally. Can be used as often as necessary and will bring fabulous relief at a very low cost."
Here is a thoughtful response from Mary Knauer, CNM.