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Pregnancy, Weight Loss Surgery, Flu Shots, Etc.

by Jane Wangersky | January 16th, 2013 | Pregnancy

surgeryPregnancy issues are in the news again, and as usual the news is mixed, good and bad. But it all adds up to more knowledge about having babies, and in the long run that’s good for everyone.

British journalist Linda Geddes is angry that, during her first pregnancy, she was misinformed that inducing labor increases the risk of C-section or the need for forceps. As someone who agreed to an induction only because I was trying to avoid a C-section, I’d have been bewildered to hear that. However, it’s important to distinguish between inductions done for medical reasons (infection, waters breaking without labor starting, or in my case an overdue baby on the verge of growing too big to deliver vaginally) and elective inductions, which have more to do with timing and the mother’s discomfort. Womenshealth.gov says “we do not know if elective labor induction leads to higher or lower rates of cesarean delivery”. The good news is, if it’s not done before 39 weeks, it doesn’t seem to affect the baby’s health.

It’s good to be at your optimum weight going into pregnancy, and some women achieve that through surgery.   HealthDay News reports that a new study says pregnancy after weight loss surgery is safer than pregnancy while morbidly obese, but it’s a good idea to wait a year after the operation before getting pregnant. This helps prevent problems like “gastric band slippage”. Waiting as long as 18 months after the operation cuts down the chance of miscarriage.

The State of California now considers “‘Perceived pregnancy,’ postpartum depression, breastfeeding and loss or end of a pregnancy” to be disabling conditions. Before you let yourself get indignant, consider: Sometimes the only way to get the help you need is to be labeled with a disability. In California, a woman may have the right to employee leave because of any of these.

Not only are flu shots safe for pregnant women and their babies, “there is some research showing that the flu shot may actually decrease the risk of miscarriage” says Dr. Brenna Anderson of Women and Infants Hospital in Providence (thank you to WPRI).

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