Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Time Saving Tips For Surviving a Newborn

There's no doubt about it. Newborns are hard work. But there are a few shortcuts that will make life that little bit easier. Let's face it, the sleep deprivation, the stinky diapers, the wheel barrow full of baby goods you have to carry with you every time you walk out the door with baby are bad enough, if there's a way to save yourself some time to catch some sorely needed Zzz's then you want to hear about it, right?

Refuse nothing but blows...
This was something that my Scottish Grandfather used to say and it's a great motto when you're having baby. In this case we want to accept every offer of help. Doesn't matter if it's a sincere offer from your Mom or if it's a polite offer by your neighbor - it's their own fault for asking!

There's one phrase in particular that people seem to use instead of saying goodbye... "Let me know if there's anything I can do to help." Don't let these people get away Scot free. Put them to work. When you have had a good nights sleep and you don't have a newborn baby in your arms, it takes a few minutes to go through and straighten out the bathroom or move a load of clean clothes from the washing machine into the dryer. But if you were to try and do it in between feeds and resettling baby then you could easily spend half the day trying to get around to it.

In my experience, when people make the offer, they are politely saying "You poor thing, you look so tired. I wish you would let me help you." Seriously, take advantage of these offers and don't feel that people are making them just to be polite. They think it's a huge honor when you ask them to hold the baby while you go and have a shower. Use them but don't abuse them.

Plastic Plates
I know we're all heading toward a sustainable living but if ever there was a time to break open a packet of plastic plates and cutlery then the time is now. When we find ourselves in high pressure situations the housework is the first thing to go flying out the window - there's more pressing things to deal with, right? And when you are housebound with a newborn baby there is nothing worse than that ever increasing pile of dishes growing at the sink.

Having some plastic cutlery and plates on hand for when you are having a lazy day (which might just be everyday) will save time by cutting down on the amount of time you spend at the sink and also help to relieve that sinking feeling new mothers get when they see the housework is getting the better of them. Using plastics for just one meal a day will save you five minutes worth of washing up and you can spend that time with your feet in the air and your bum on the sofa.

Give your sheets sheets
Now this one is just pure laziness and I debated whether or not to include it! There are few things more frustrating then putting new sheets on your bed to have baby bunk in with you and wet them. Using a folded bed sheet to put under baby's bum will spare you from having to change the whole bed in the event of diaper failure. Of course the sheet will need changing regularly and it won't cut down on the amount of washing that needs doing but it will save time by not having to strip down the whole bed and redress it.Towels are another more absorbent options but I find them uncomfortable to sleep on. You can also purchase plastic backed sheets if you have money to burn. Just make sure that one side is very absorbent otherwise you'll end up with puddles...ew.

Calling all near and dear...
Arranging with you friends and family before the birth to give you a hand after the birth is a sensible course of action. Family and friends can help you with all those regular chores like taking the older children to school or cooking a few meals for you to freeze and reheat. By making arrangements with people ahead of time you give them the opportunity to work their designated chore (the school drop, laundry duty etc) onto their own schedule.

We have a saying around here. It takes two people to make a child but a whole village to raise them. It's so true. In the first week alone baby meets Doctors, nurses, uncles, aunties, grandparents, who each play a different yet equally important role. Not to mention when baby grows - teachers, farmers, butchers, dressmaker, cobblers, and the list goes on and on - I don't think we could ever comprehend the fullest extent of this network of people that influence our lives. The point to all of this rambling is that you should never feel embarrassed to ask for help - it's perfectly expected by your friends and family who are happy to swoop in and rescue you as soon as you give the signal

So there you are folks. A few time saving, sanity saving tip to help you survive the first trialsome months of getting to know your baby

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Subutex vs Suboxone

I have in the past covered this topic of Subutex vs Suboxone during pregnancy but I think we need to go over it again. There have been only 21 published reports into Buprenorphine in pregnancy and those studies have involved the voluntary collection of information from expectant mother to be. Approximately 350 infants were observed in the studies.

One matter worth noting -- although Subutex and Suboxone are officially unreccommended during pregnancy, the initial observations have shown them to be not only safe but a better alternative than Methadone. Because Buprenorphine is such a new drug, there simply hasn't been enough time to accurately study the effects on the fetus.

Both Subutex and Suboxone are made from the same parent drug - Buprenorphine. The only difference is that Naloxone which is added to Suboxone in an effort to curb the blatant misuse of Subutex patients who were trying to inject it. Both Subutex and Suboxone are partial agonists which means that they work by coating the opiate receptors in the brain whilst stimulating it slightly at the same time.

Subutex and Suboxone are consumed sub-lingually meaning that the drug is absorbed into the bloodstream through the blood vessels under the tongue. When Subutex or Suboxone is swallowed it loses it's potency as the stomach acids break it down. Following this line of reasoning, many Doctors will now overlook the tiny amount of Buprenorphine that does make it's way into breast milk and unofficially support breastfeeding in lactating mothers on Subutex or Suboxone.

Most Doctors will switch a mother-to-be onto Subutex throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding because the Naloxone found in Suboxone has been linked to an increased chance of seizures in the baby once born.

Statistically, while as many as 95% of Methadone or Opiate babies will experience withdrawals known as  NAS -- Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome.

Compare that to around 60% of Subutex babies who experience NAS  or the 45% of babies who experience symptoms severe enough to require hospitalization and medicating. Treatment may involve environmental treatments such as

  • providing a low stimuli environment, 
  • swaddling,
  • lots of cuddles 
  • and tending to baby in a dark, temperate room
To more drastic measures that involve treating baby with very low volumes of Morphine. The dose is calculated by baby's birth weight and is administered four times per day. During this time baby is closely monitored in a special cares nursery for signs of cardio and/or respiratory distress.

The Finnegan Scoring System is implemented to monitor baby's comfort and progress - high scores may require the Paediatrician
 to increase the dose, low scores indicate that baby is ready to begin a slow process of weaning.

Given the choice, Subutex should always be preferred over Suboxone during pregnancy. 

Once again, I would like to invite mothers (or families) or healthcare providers to contact me in regards to a support network for families during this time of uncertainty. Leave your details below or contact me at

Visit the

Some useful references include:
==> Finnegan Scoring Chart (print it out if you're expecting...congrat's btw)
==> Printable NAS Brochure - provided by King Edward Memorial Hospital (Maternal health hospital in Western Australia which is responsible for the gathering of much info)

My other posts on this matter can be found at:
==> Opiates in Pregnacy Subutax, Suboxone Methadone (This is a great one to start with...very detailed , lots of facts and info)

Secondary Infertility? Vent Here (For The Mum's TTC <#2)

For all the Mum's TTC again, you are going to love this! Need to scream at the world? Want to confess all those feelings  and thoughts that you can't tell your hubby? Your best friend? Then welcome home are in the right place.

After answering a question about caesareans in a forum I belong to, I  realized that the problem of Secondary Infertility needs addressing (btw, that's the last time I'm spelling that with capital letters).  Feel free to vent. Blow off some steam and know that you will not be judged by the mothers who are yet to have their first (though we wish them all the luck in the world) or the friends that tell you to be grateful for one.

TTC = Trying To Conceive
DH = Darling hubby
DD = Darling daughter
DS = Darling son

Should I start? Great. Hi, My name is Elizabeth and I spent years TTC with number two.

I hated the circle of fertile's that I was surrounded by at the DS's school.
I hated the Mum carrying her new baby out to the car without socks's the middle of winter, what the hell is she thinking!!
I hated that woman in the shops screaming at her 3 year old.
I hated the fact that "At least I had one DS"
I felt like a failure
I daydreamed about just pulling over the car and grabbing that baby out of the pram - her Mum was to busy talking to notice
I hated just about everyone and everything.

Right gal's, now it's your turn. Completely judgment free and anonymous

Blow the vent sky high!

Friday, 3 June 2011

Getting Pregnant After A Miscarriage - The Statistics

There's a huge question that faces women after a miscarriage. It's a question that effects the entire duration of the following pregnancy and prevents Mom's (and Dad's) from enjoying the new miracle that is growing within. While there is no way of telling if the next pregnancy will be more successful than the last, the odds are in your favor.

If you are a glass half empty can go ahead and leave right now. Thanks for coming. Come back soon.

If there are any health or environmental concerns that were present in the past pregnancy then you should take whatever action necessary to ensure that they are either a) they are no longer present in this pregnancy (ie. infections) or b) if they cannot be avoided (such as mis-shaped uterus, weak cervix etc) then every effort should  be made to ensure that the problem is minimized and closely managed with the help of your Doctor or OB.

If you have a history of miscarriage, the odds are slightly higher that you may suffer another...but...the odds are still in your favor. I thought we could go through some numbers today and I hope that you will find them comforting. 

If yours was one of the vast majority of miscarriages that cannot be explained then the odds also favor you.

As a basis to compare against, women with no history of miscarriage have approximately 80% chance of having a successful pregnancy.

One miscarriage - The statistics show that this number drops to 80%
Two miscarriages - The odds drop even more to around 70%
Three or more - May drop to as little as 50%

On the other hand, even women who have experienced a series of miscarriages can still go on to have a healthy & pregnancy and an uneventful birth.

Are you really ready?

It really doesn't matter if you were six weeks or sixteen weeks when you miscarried you have just lost a child, along with all the hopes and dreams that you had for that child. When you are thinking about getting pregnant after a miscarriage, you really need to take your time and ensure that you have given yourself enough time to heal.

By rushing into the next pregnancy to soon you are setting yourself up for additional stress and worry that you really don't need. Be patient, forgive yourself and give yourself the gift of time to ensure that you can enjoy the next pregnancy for what it is.