toxoplasmosis and pregnancy

Toxoplasmosis and pregnancy

What is toxoplasmosis?

Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by a tiny parasite called Toxoplasma gondii. It’s usually a mild disease, which often has no symptoms at all, but if you catch it for the first time in early pregnancy it can cause serious health problems for your baby. You can be infected with toxoplasmosis from eating meat that is either raw, cured, or undercooked.

The toxoplasmosis parasite is also found in:

  • unpasteurised goat’s milk or cheese
  • unwashed fruit or vegetables
  • cat poo (most animals can be infected with toxoplasmosis but cats are the only ones to pass it on through their poo)

You can only catch toxoplasmosis once, after that you’re immune to it. So if you’ve had it in the past there’s no risk to your pregnancy. The problem is, the symptoms are so mild you probably won’t know if you’ve had it or not. So it’s wise for everyone to take steps to avoid being infected. Fortunately there’s lots you can do.

Will toxoplasmosis harm my unborn baby?

It can do. The toxoplasmosis parasite can infect your placenta and your baby and cause a condition called congenital toxoplasmosis, but it’s very rare for this to happen. Of all babies born, between one in 10,000 and one in 30,000 are born with congenital toxoplasmosis.

The risk to your baby depends on when you were infected with toxoplasmosis. It’s more likely to spread to your baby in later pregnancy, although if you catch it in early pregnancy the effects on your baby are likely to be more severe. Sadly, congenital toxoplasmosis in early pregnancy can lead to misscarriage.

Most babies with congenital toxoplasmosis have no obvious problems at birth. However these babies may develop symptoms during the next few months or years. These may include:

  • damage to the eyes
  • hearing problems
  • learning difficulties as a result of brain damage

About one in 10 babies with congenital toxoplasmosis will have a severe infection with problems that affect them as soon as they are born. Signs of a serious infection include:

  • an eye infection
  • an enlarged liver and spleen
  • jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin)
  • pneumonia

Sadly, congenital toxoplasmosis can also cause a baby to be stillborn.

How can I prevent toxoplasmosis?

There are simple steps you can take to protect yourself from catching toxoplasmosis.

When it comes to food:

  • Thoroughly cook all meat and chilled or frozen ready meals before you eat them.
  • Avoid eating cured meat, such as jamón, parma ham and salami.
  • Follow good hygiene when handling or preparing meat. Keep kitchen utensils that you’ve used on raw meat away from food that you’re going to eat without cooking and wash the utensils thoroughly before you use them again.
  • Wash your hands before touching your food. After you’ve finished cooking, wash your hands and all cooking utensils and surfaces thoroughly.
  • Wash fruit and vegetables, particularly if you are eating them raw.
  • Don’t drink unpasteurised milk, cheese, or cream made from unpasteurised goat’s milk.

When you’re gardening or handling soil or sand, wear gloves. Then wash your hands afterwards in case you have come into contact with cat poo in the soil. If your child has an outdoor sand box, cover it up to prevent cats using it as a litter tray.

Some farm animals can also carry toxoplasmosis. If you’ve been in contact with sheep at farmsor been visiting outdoor play centres where there are animals, wash your hands thoroughly afterwards.

If you have a cat, it’s best if someone else can deal with the litter tray while you’re pregnant. If you have to clear the litter tray yourself use gloves and wash your hands afterwards. Also, make sure the litter tray is emptied daily and cleaned with hot, soapy water, as the toxoplasmosis parasite in cat poo becomes infectious after 24 hours.

stage of labour barcelona

Giving Birth: Stages (Part 2)

What happens in the second stage of labour?

This is the stage when your baby is born. During the second stage of labour, your baby will descend into your vagina (the birth canal) and you’ll push your baby down and out to meet you for the first time.

You’ll feel the pressure of your baby’s head low down in your pelvis, and with each contraction, you may feel strong urges to bear down. Listen to your body, and push in response to the urges. Take a few breaths between pushes if that’s what feels right.
With every push, your baby will move further through your pelvis, but at the end of the contraction, he’ll probably slip back a little again. This is normal and gives the muscles of your pelvic floor time to stretch gradually. As long as your baby keeps gradually moving down, you’re doing fine.

When your baby’s head is visible at the entrance to your vagina and stays there when the contraction has ended, it’s called crowning.

Your midwife will tell you when she can see your baby’s head, and may ask you to stop pushing and blow or sigh out your breaths. This helps you to resist the urge to bear down for two contractions or three contractions, so that your baby is born gently and slowly.

Taking this approach may help to protect your perineum (the area between your vulva and your anus). You’ll probably feel a hot, stinging sensation, as the opening of your vagina starts to stretch around your baby’s head. Your midwife may use warm compresses to support your perineum as it stretches to help to prevent a tear.

Once your baby is born, he’ll be dried off with a clean towel and then placed onto your tummy or chest for skin to skin

What happens in the third stage of labour?

The third stage of labour begins once your baby is born, and ends when you deliver the placenta and the empty bag of waters that are attached to the placenta (membranes). These come away as your womb contracts down after the birth.

Your contractions will be noticeable but weaker when they begin again. The placenta will peel away from the wall of your womb and move down the birth canal into your vagina. You may get the urge to push as this happens.

It’s routine to be offered an injection for the third stage that helps your womb to contract down and the placenta to come away. This may cause side-effects such as nausea and vomiting, because of the drugs used. You won’t have to do any pushing, as once it’s detached, your midwife will gently pull out the placenta and membranes.

If all went well in your pregnancy and labour, you can choose to have a natural (physiological) third stage. This is when you deliver the placenta without an injection. Upright positions, skin to skin contact with your baby, and starting to breastfeed your baby may all help to stimulate contractions to help you deliver the placenta.

Whether you have a natural or a managed third stage, it’s recommended to wait at least a few minutes before clamping the cord, which will benefit your baby. While all this is going on, you’re likely to be cuddling and getting to know your newborn better.

 

 

giving birth barcelona

Giving Birth: Stages (Part I)

Every woman’s experience of labour is different. Nobody can predict what your labour will be like, or how long it will last. But there are plenty of things you can do to prepare yourself. What are the stages of labour?

Labour moves forward in three clear stages:

  • First stage: when contractions gradually open up the cervix, which is the neck of your womb (uterus).It consists of early labour, active labour, and the transitional phase.
  • Second stage: when you push your baby out into the world.
  • Third stage: when you deliver the placenta.

There is also a phase called pre-labour, which happens before the first stage of labour.

What happens in pre-labour?

During pregnancy, your cervix is closed and plugged with mucus, to keep out infection. Your cervix is long and firm, giving a strong base to your womb. It’s also in a position that points slightly towards your back (posterior position).

Before labour can start properly, your cervix has to go through some changes. It has to move forward (anterior position), soften and shorten. The softening of your cervix is often called ripening.

What happens in the first stage of labour?

In the first stage of labour, your cervix has to open (dilate), so your baby can be born. The muscles of your womb tighten with each contraction and then release, gradually drawing your cervix up into the lower section of your womb.

In the early phase of first stage labour, your cervix may open very gradually so that it may seem as if no changes are happening at all. Early labour can be slow and your contractions may not last for long and have lengthy gaps between them. They may even stop for a while before starting again.

As you enter the active phase of first stage labour, the contractions usually last longer, and become more frequent and powerful. Towards the end of the first stage, your labour may become much more intense. This phase of labour is called transition. By the end of the first stage your cervix will be fully dilated, and open to about 10cm (3.9in) in diameter.

If this is your first baby, your cervix will first soften and shorten, and then begin to dilate. If you’ve had a baby before, this tends to happen simultaneously, meaning your labour may be shorter.

Sleeping better during pregnancy

Sleeping better during pregnancy

Yes, sleeping and pregnancy can go together! It is true that during the lasts months of pregnancy going to sleep can be a hard because your body is changing rapidly, you have a lot of things on your mind, and it may get more difficult to find a comfortable sleep position. Sleeping better during pregnancy is possible if your know how!

 

Laugh!

Before you go to sleep, (about one hour before) find something that can make you laugh, real belly laughter can help release any tension left from the day. Watch a funny movie or YouTube video. Watch silly videos, read something that makes you smile. Stop worrying. I know — easier said than done. But it’s important not to worry about sleep.Don’t think about fulfilling a required number of hours; just assess how you feel. Don’t lie awake worrying that you’re not sleeping enough for your baby. Let your body do its natural work.

Move

A pregnancy aerobic workout, prenatal yoga, a walk, whatever it is you want to do — get up and move! Dance! Try to keep from exercising late in the day, because the increased adrenaline of an “exercise high” can linger and make it harder for you to fall asleep.

Careful with eating habits

Eat your meals, especially later ones, at a leisurely pace. Spend your dinnertime unwinding a bit. Avoid caffeine and alcohol — both are detrimental to the sleep cycle. If frequent trips to the bathroom keep you up at night, limit your fluid intake late in the day. Try hot milk and honey, or hot almond milk and honey, the combination is known to promote sleeping.

Make your bedroom a sleep sanctuary.

If you’re having bouts of insomnia, this may not be the best time to set up the home office in the bedroom. Surround yourself with pictures of happy babies, mothers breastfeeding their babies and any picture that will put a smile on your face. Be gentle with yourself, you have all the knowledge you need to bring this child into the world, it is written in your DNA. Let go, and let the Mother cuddle you in her arms for a full night of sleep.

pregnant barcelona

First trimester: What to do if you are pregnant in Barcelona

Having a baby is one of the most joyous times in many women’s lives. From anticipating the day you’ll bring your little one home, to picking a name and nursery colors, the excitement is palpable.

The first trimester begins on the first day of your last period and lasts until the end of week 12. This means that by the time you know for sure you’re pregnant, you might already be five or six weeks pregnant!

A lot happens during these first three months. The fertilised egg rapidly divides into layers of cells and implants in the wall of your womb where it carries on growing. These layers of cells become an embryo, which is what the baby is called at this stage.During this trimester, your baby grows faster than at any other time.

What you need to do if you are pregnant in Barcelona

  • Arrange your first appointment with your midwife: you can go for public health system, so first you will need to go to your CAP or for private clinics.
  • Take a daily folic acid supplement
  • Check before taking medicines
  • If you smoke, it’s time to quit
  • Cut out alcohol and cut down caffeine

 

By six weeks, a heartbeat can usually be heard and by the end of week 12, your baby’s bones, muscles and all the organs of the body have formed. At this point, your baby looks like a tiny human being and is now called a fetus. He or she will even be practising swallowing!

Pregnancy is different for every woman. Some women glow with good health and vitality during those first three months; others feel absolutely miserable. Here are some of the changes you might experience, what they mean, and which signs warrant a call to your doctor.

Bleeding. About 25% of pregnant women experience slight bleeding during their first trimester. Early in the pregnancy, light spotting may be a sign that the fertilized embryo has implanted in the uterus. However, if you have significant bleeding, cramping, or sharp pain in your abdomen, call your doctor. These could be signs of a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy in which the embryo implants outside of the uterus).

Breast tenderness. Sore breasts are one of the earliest signs of pregnancy. They’re triggered by hormonal changes, which are preparing your milk ducts to feed your baby, and will probably last through the first trimester. Going up a bra size (or more) and wearing a support bra can make you feel more comfortable; you can go back to the lacy bras after your baby is finished nursing.

pregnant barcelona

Pregnant in Barcelona: a shopping list

Congrats!

You are pregnant! Do you know everything you are going to need meanwhile you are expecting your baby?

 

New pants or a waistband extender

Your belly may not be visibly rounder yet, but your pants may not be fitting as well, even just a few weeks in. A new pair of pants with a bit of Lycra stretch might round out your wardrobe perfectly.

If you don’t want to start buying new clothes just yet, try a waistband extender such as the Belly Belt or Bella Band. Keeping comfy is your new mission, and it’s more important than you may think: Some women report that a looser waistband helps with morning sickness.

 

Body pillow

Some pregnant women say their number one favorite purchase is their body pillow. Even this early, you may get uncomfortable easily, and a body pillow may help you get a better night’s sleep.

 

Tooth care

Your mouth may be drier, your gums more sensitive – and you’re more susceptible to gingivitis now. Preventing periodontal disease is vital for pregnant women, so buy yourself a nice new, soft-bristled toothbrush and some dental floss and use them every day to keep your mouth fresh and healthy.

 

A comfy cotton bra

Your breasts are probably feeling more tender now. And while you may not be ready for a maternity bra, a sports bra or comfortable cotton bra without underwire will give you gentle support and ease discomfort.

 

A good body lotion

Your skin may start feeling drier, especially on your belly as it grows and your skin stretches. Find a good all-over moisturizer that you can slather on now and throughout your pregnancy.
Pregnancy journal
You’ve just begun an incredible journey. How are you feeling? What are you thinking? Jot down your emotions, thoughts, or questions in a pregnancy journal. It can help you feel connected to the little person growing inside you and will be a one-of-a-kind keepsake after your baby is born.
IMG-20180208-WA0000

El bebé emocional de Enrique Blay

Hoy quiero compartir un encuentro que os puede ser de mucha ayuda si estáis embarazadas o tenéis un bebé, este sábado 10 de marzo por la mañana, con el psicoterapeuta Enrique Blay, con la charla “El bebé emocional” donde nos hablará de lo que sienten y perciben los bebés en las etapas de gestación, nacimiento y crianza hasta los 2 años. Enrique Play es psicólogo con amplia experiencia entorno a la maternidad respetada y respetuosa.
Esta charla está organizada por Amana Doula, dentro del ciclo “Charlas Abiertas alrededor de la Maternidad” a través de las cuáles se pretende llegar a familias.
Para reservar tu plaza debes escribir un email a info@amanadoula.com
Día: 10 de marzo
Lugar: LLUÏSOS DE GRÀCIA Plaça del Nord 7-10 Barcelona
Duración aproximada: 1 hora y 45 minutos
Aportación por persona: 12 € [Parejas: 16€]
ulrasound-sonogram

What happens if I go past my due date?

According to research, only about one in 25 (four per cent) of babies are born on their exact due date. About one in five babies are born at 41 weeks or after. So rest assured, you’re not alone in wondering when your baby will make an appearance!

If you’re only a few days past your due date, most doctors won’t offer to induce your labour for a while. Although most babies remain healthy, obstetricians do worry when pregnancy continues several weeks past their due date. That’s because, after 42 weeks of pregnancy, a small number of babies die unexpectedly while they are still inside the womb (uterus) or shortly after the birth. Most hospitals follow guidelines which recommend offering induction of labour when you’re 41-42 weeks pregnant. This is based on evidence that babies are healthier at birth and more likely to be born safe and well when hospitals induce labour at or beyond 41 weeks. This approach seems to reduce the number of caesareans that are needed too.

If your pregnancy has been straightforward, you’re likely to be offered induction at 41 weeks. The timing may vary according to your hospital’s policy. In some areas you may be offered an induction at between seven days and 10 days after your due date, in others it may be two weeks. This is because it’s still not known when the ideal time is to induce labour in overdue mums. You may prefer to have your labour induced at 42 weeks, by which time you may have had enough of being pregnant. Or you may prefer to wait and see what happens, particularly if you’ve had a baby before, as the risk of stillbirth is lower for women who’ve already had a baby.

If your obstetrician suggests an induction, ask if your hospital usually offers inductions at a certain date, or if it’s due to your individual circumstances, such as your age, your weight, or complications in your pregnancy, such as diabetes or high blood pressure. Your doctor will be able to answer any questions you have and she’ll take your wishes into consideration when an induction date is suggested. If your obstetrician suggests an induction, ask if your hospital usually offers inductions at a certain date, or if it’s due to your individual circumstances, such as your age, your weight, or complications in your pregnancy, such as diabetes or high blood pressure. Your doctor will be able to answer any questions you have and she’ll take your wishes into consideration when an induction date is suggested.
If you’ve spoken to your obstetrician but you’re not sure about having an induction, you could ask for a day or two to consider it. See what your midwife thinks, read our information on induction with your partner and talk to friends who’ve had an induction. Though keep in mind that every pregnancy is different.

If there are no risks to your pregnancy and you don’t want to be induced, you could ask to be monitored every two to three days, to check that your baby is well. This should be offered to you if your pregnancy continues beyond 42 weeks.

 

pregnant barcelona

Having a Baby in Barcelona

If you are having a baby in Barcelona there are some things you need for you postpartum and the legal/professional life.

How to register your baby’s birth in Barcelona?

During 2017 some hospital offer to register your baby directly in the hospital, so you don’t need to go to the “Registro Civil”. They will give you a document call Cuestionario para la Declaración de Nacimiento en el Registro Civil. Make your baby’s name is correct!! This document is signed by the doctor or the midwife that was with you during the delivery.

In case your hospital doesn’t offer this service you must register your baby at the local Civil Registry Office (Registro Civil) within eight days of the birth. You can go directly to Plaça del Duc de Medinaceli, 3. If your married only one of the parents needs to go, but if you are not married then both parents must attend the registry office

If you intend to apply for a non-Spanish passport for your baby, remember to ask for a full birth certificate (certificación literal). In addition to the documentation provided by the hospital, you must also bring any national insurance documents belonging to the parents and a marriage certificate, which must be officially translated into Spanish. Don’t forget to bring your passports and identity cards (and copies), in case they are required to verify your identity.

Maternity and paternity Leave: do you qualify?

Maternity benefits are paid by Seguridad Social, the Spanish Social Security System. To qualify have a maternity/paternity leave you must have paid contributions for at least 180 days in the last seven years if you are 26 or older with certain exceptions, for example, those aged 21–25 qualify in fewer days and women under 21 have no contribution period. Maternity benefits are also available to self-employed women, provided they are registered in the Spanish social security system for the self-employed. You apply through your local social security office, they will let you know which documents you need to fill, basically you need to bring the Birth Certificate, el “Libro de familia” (they will give it to you at el Registro)

Maternity and paternity leave can be taken part-time if an arrangement has been made with the employer ahead of the birth. In the case of patenity leave, a part-time day must be no less than 50 percent of the full-time workday. In the case of a birth (versus an adoption), the mother cannot avail of part-time maternity leave until after the mandatory six-week, full-time maternity leave period after the delivery.

Extended maternity leave is also available for women who cannot perform their job because it puts their pregnancy at risk. Extended benefits are also offered to breastfeeding mothers if their job prevents them to nurse.

prueba de la rana

La prueba de la rana – Doula Barcelona

Existen algunas manera curiosas para detectar si una mujer está o no embarazada, de hecho muchas habréis oído sobre “la prueba de la rana” y es que antes, para saber si una mujer estaba embarazada, se usaba una rana o sapo hembra.La prueba de la rana era una prueba de embarazo que se utilizó comunmente hasta los años 60 del pasado siglo, cuando se desarrollaron los métodos inmunológicos, es decir, los típicos test de embarazos actuales. La prueba de la rana es una prueba efectiva y de hecho se continúa usándo en zonas rurales de muchos países latinoamericanos por su simplicidad y bajo coste. Consiste a inyectar a una rana o sapo hembra, bajo la piel, la orina de la mujer que se cree que puede estar embarazada. La orina de una mujer embarazada contiene la hormona GCHque estimula la ovulación del animal. Si la rana desovava en 24 horas, el test se consideraba positivo. El animal sobrevivía y podía ser utilizado para otro test, a pesar de que con demoras de unos 40 días. Este test se desarrolló en Sudáfrca en los años 30 del siglo XX por los investigadores LancelotHogben, Zwarenstein y Shapiro.
De hecho existe otro método muy similar y que se suele llamar igual pero que está basado en otro fenómeno biológico que requiere machos en vez de hembras, fue desarrollado por Galli Mainini en Argentina (1947), con el sapo Rhinella arenarum . Si se inyecta orina de una mujer embarazada en el saco linfático dorsal del sapo esto provoca la eyaculación del animal dentro de las tres horas siguientes y confirmaría que la mujer está embarazada.

¡Curioso! ¿No? ¿Conocéis algunas otras pruebas de embarazo tradicionales?