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Health Corner

Family Friday: Pregnancy Later in Life

Family Friday 250

Pregnancy Later in Life: Does Age Matter?

Today many women are waiting longer to have children than any other time in history. It has now become common to see women in their mid-30s before they elect to start a family. Many of these women chose to establish a successful career before beginning a family.

While it is true that having babies at a later age is associated with some increased risks for both the mother and child, today it is considered safe for most healthy women to become pregnant in their mid-to-late 30s and even into their 40s.

Possible Problems with Conception

The most significant factor that may affect plans to start a family later in life have more to do with getting pregnant than with the pregnancy itself. A women’s ability to conceive decreases significantly by the age of 35. For women who begin trying to have a bay at this age, it may take a year of unsuccessful attempts before seeking assistance from a physician. With the battery of fertility tests that need to be administered to both the woman and her male counterpart, depending on the findings, that 35 year old woman may very well be 38 before a successful pregnancy is achieved. For women who want more than one child, this can become an issue.

In general, women begin to ovulate less once they reach their mid 30s. This results in less opportunities to get pregnant as there are less eggs available for the sperm to fertilize. Women over age 35 are also more likely than women in their 20s and early 30s to have conditions that could interfere with having babies, including endometriosis and uterine fibroids. If pregnancy is achieved, women in their 30s and 40s have an increased risk of miscarriage. While the miscarriage rate for women in their 20s is 10%, the number increases to 20% from 35-39 and 50% from 40-45. This is thought to be due to the chromosomal changes associated with advanced maternal age. Miscarriage is the body’s natural way of ending a pregnancy that may not have been viable.

In addition to difficulty conceiving, women over the age of 35 are at an increased risk of giving birth to a baby that has a chromosomal birth defect, the most common being Down Syndrome. A 35 year old woman has a 1 in 400 chance of giving birth to a baby with down syndrome. At 40, that chance goes up to 1 in 100 and at 49, 1 in 10. All are a significant jump from the 1 in 1,250 chance faced by a 25 year old woman. This is why the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologist issued a recommendation that all women at an age of 35 or greater when giving birth should be given the opportunity to screen for these chromosomal defects via prenatal testing.

In general, the majority of women that choose to wait until later in life to have babies will experience a normal pregnancy and delivery. To optimize health and increase the chances of getting pregnant, women should take a prenatal supplement with high levels of folic acid to decrease the chance of giving birth to a baby with neural tube defects. Women should quit smoking and refrain from drinking alcohol, in addition to getting adequate sleep, plenty of exercise and enjoying a health, well balanced diet.

Family Friday: Time to Share!

Family-Friday-125 Now it’s time for you to share your Family Friday post with the rest of us!  If you’re not sure how it works, read the directions and guidelines for Family Friday here.

Please add your family-related blog post below in the Mr. Linky. Remember, you MUST link your post back to HomeEverAfter.com. (If your link was deleted, email us.)

Back to School: Eye Problems and Vision Testing

The following guest post written by Nicole Marr, author of “Carrots Make You Blind?!?!” and GrudgeMom.  Nicole blogs about her daughter’s journey with congenital cataracts, and provides other resources on children’s vision problems.  Disclaimer: Nicole Marr is not a physician and the following post is for informational purposes only – always consult a medical professional for medical advice.

August is National Children’s Vision & Learning Month, and while your child may not be doing a lot of learning in August, he should be in a prime position to learn when the school doors open come September.

Vision Problems and Learning

Most schools do a cursory check of your child’s vision using the 20/20 type of test – the chart with the big E on it. This test only measures distance vision, and doesn’t look for coordination between the eyes or adjusting between near and far vision.

If a child has trouble with their vision, it can affect their schoolwork, most notably with their reading. Quite often, children who have trouble reading do not have any difficulties with comprehension or speech. They have difficulty seeing what is literally right in front of them – their textbooks or work books.

They need clear vision to differentiate between the letters. And if their eyes do not cooperate with each other, the lines of text on a page may jump around. They may also face trouble when having to switch between the work on their desk and what the teacher is writing on the blackboard. This adjustment should be seamless, but if your child has a vision problem it may take a few seconds.

When children have undetected vision problems, they learn to cope with them, and not necessarily in a good way. With a child who can’t switch between near and far vision, they may stop looking up at the blackboard. They may rely on what the teacher is saying and missing what is being written.

Undetected problems can also cause normally bright and cheerful children to become frustrated at school and even mimic behavioral problems like ADD or ADHD. Diagnoses of ADD/ADHD depend on a subjective set of characteristics, since there is no definitive test for them. But the characteristics are also symptomatic of problems children have with their eyes working together as a pair. They have trouble focusing up close – reading and writing, causing them to “lose focus” and look away from their schoolwork. Looking away is not a conscious decision. Their eyes know something is wrong, and it is automatic to look up to refocus. If your child is diagnosed with ADD/ADHD, you may consider getting their vision assessed before you start medication.

Other common misdiagnoses are dyslexia and learning disorders, usually mistaken for convergence insufficiency. This issue also affects close work and causes eyestrain, blurry vision, double vision and sometimes headaches. It is worth mentioning that you can still pass a 20/20 vision test and have convergence insufficiency. With any diagnosis, spend the extra time to have your child’s vision tested.

Signs of Vision Problems

Children should have their eyes tested as a newborn, during their first year, at 3.5 years and at 5 years. If you see any of the following symptoms make an appointment to get your child’s eyes tested:

  • rubbing their eyes often
  • red eyes
  • teary eyes
  • misalignment of the eyes
  • pupil is not purely black
  • squinting
  • double vision
  • light sensitive
  • trouble seeing objects far away, like text on a blackboard
  • trouble following an object without turning her head (tracking)
  • using a finger to keep his place when reading (after learning to read)
  • poor focusing
  • closing one eye to perform tasks
  • difficulty reading

Of course, if you have any other reason to believe there is a problem, they should see a doctor. Give them every advantage you can, but first of all, make sure they can see so they are able to learn.

Important Info: Lysol Kills Swine Flu Virus

I’m sure you’ve already heard of the Swine Flu virus (Influenza A (H1N1)) that is spreading throughout the United States and other countries.  Read more about the Swine Flu from the CDC and Swine Flu info at World Health Organization (WHO).  I just received an email from Lysol with vital info about Swine Flu to protect your family that has to be passed on to our readers right away.

We need to know the facts and how to best protect ourselves and our families from this possibly deadly virus.  It’s

affected my family personally in that we have canceled trips over the concern of not wanting to fly on a possibly contaminated plane or into a state with confirmed cases of Swine Flu.

Lysol let us know:  “Many Lysol Disinfectant products are effective against strains of influenza A virus and specifically the H1N1 strain, including Lysol Disinfectant Spray, Lysol Disinfecting Wipes, Lysol All Purpose Cleaner Pourables and Lysol All Purpose Cleaner Triggers.”

One of the top suggestions for stopping the spread of Swine Flu is to disinfect surfaces, and I feel much better knowing now that Lysol sprays DO in fact kill the Swine Flu virus.  I’ll be carrying a can of the Lysol spray in my purse (I already carry one in my diaper bag) and the Lysol wipes to use on things in public.

It may be overly precautionary, but I advise all of our readers to take the same measures.  Wash your hands frequently with soap, disinfect germs on surfaces continuously, and don’t go around anyone you know to be sick.  We want you to stay safe and keep your families healthy; better safe than sorry.

You can also pick up $11 worth of Lysol coupons and more Swine Flu info right now at their website: Lysol.com.  Please pass on this info by linking to this post in your blog, emailing to your friends, tweeting about it, or bookmarking at your preferred social site. Thank you- stay safe!

Disclaimer:  The information in this post accurately presented the information provided to us by Lysol in May 2009 at the time of this article’s printing.  Lysol may have changed its information/claims since then and may change it in the future.  IS World Media has no control over the statements made by the Lysol company.Email is displayed below.

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The Ultramind Solution Book: Important for Parents

The UltraMind Solution: Fix Your Broken Brain by Healing Your Body First

I recently did a book review over at Product Reviews for Mom for a book called The Ultramind Solution by Dr. Mark Hyman.  I learned some very alarming facts that every other parent will want to know too.  This book will change your mind about at least two things:

  • Letting your dentist use metal fillings on your teeth or your children’s teeth.
  • Allowing anyone in your family to eat sugar anymore.

Let’s just say I am now terrified about the fillings, especially since both my daughter and I already have metal fillings in our teeth.  What I did NOT know was that metal fillings have been banned in most other countries, but not in the United States. 

The Ultramind Solution also talks about the side effects on your body and brain of using ibuprofen, which previously I had always thought of as very safe.

Trust me when I say this is one book every parent will want to read. 

You can read my full review of The Ultramind Solution here. 

Family Doctor: 7 Common Rashes in Kids

 

The following is an article written for HomeEverAfter.com by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H., publisher of James Hubbard’s My Family Doctor Magazine, the magazine written by health-care professionals.  Dr. Hubbard was recently awarded the Top Health Blogger distinction by WellSphere.


7 Common Rashes in Kids

Odds are your child will have a rash at some time and you’ll worry. Fortunately, most rashes are treatable or just go away without complications. Here are seven of the most common rashes, starting with three viral infections.

1.  Erythema Infectiosum, better known as fifth disease because it was number five of the “usual childhood diseases,” behind measles, mumps, rubella and chickenpox. Now we vaccinate against the others. This one occurs between ages 5 and 15. I like seeing this one because by the time the rash is evident, the child is over the virus, feeling well and not contagious. However it is very contagious when it starts (with a fever and cold symptoms) and tends to run amok through daycare centers. The fever and symptoms last about a week. The child feels fine, then the cheeks get bright red (it’s also called slapped cheek syndrome) and a lacy rash covers the body. For a couple of days it looks like someone has dropped red lace and stained the body. Stay away if pregnant.

2.  Roseola also starts with a fever for a few days followed by a rash. In fact, it’s sometimes called sixth disease. This rash starts on the trunk and migrates outward, consisting of small, flat or slightly raised pink lesions. Kids usually get roseola before age 2. It’s highly common and contagious.

3.  Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease.  When the coxsackie virus causes a rash, it’s known as hand, foot and mouth disease. The rash consists of painful blisters in the mouth, tongue, palms and soles. There’s usually a high fever, and eating or drinking may be a problem due to the mouth pain.

4.  Scarlet fever is strep throat with a rash. Usually there’s fever, sore throat and tiny red bumps over the body that feel like fine sandpaper. This one needs antibiotics.

5.  Allergic reactions may cause urticaria or whelps. They’re raised, slightly colored and various sizes. They need medical attention.

6.  Scabies is caused by a tiny mite you can’t see that burrows underneath the skin and causes much itching. The tiny red spots usually start on the hands, arms or in creases of skin. This is one of the few rashes that occur in between your knuckles. Scabies is contagious for all ages and requires treatment.

7.  Petichiae are not common but notable because they warrant emergency medical attention. The rash is tiny red splotches in a child usually already sick. They are leaky capillaries under the skin and require immediate medical attention since internal capillaries are leaking, also. The only time they’re benign is if someone has been vomiting or coughing really hard and develops some locally around the face.

If you found this edition of the Health Corner useful, get more great medical information, blogs, articles and tips from your friendly family doctor by signing up for the My Family Doctor RSS feed  or free email updates.

Rash photo by webchicken.