Pregnancy Podcast

By Vanessa Merten

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Subscribers: 455
Reviews: 1

RinaDearing
 Jul 11, 2018
This podcast isn't about stories or experiences. It's about facts and research, which is extremely refreshing and balances out all the emotion-driven pregnancy podcasts out there. Seriously, this one is a must.

Description

A resource to support expecting moms (and partners, too!) with evidence-based information to navigate the awesome adventure of pregnancy, birth, and being a new parent. Vanessa Merten provides evidence based info that goes way beyond the typical “pregnancy instruction manual”. Every episode is designed to give you all of the evidence, research, pros, cons, risks, and benefits – all so you decide what the best option is for YOU and feel confident about your decisions during your pregnancy and beyond. The show covers everything from pregnancy to caring for a newborn. Topics include prenatal care, labor, natural birth, hospital birth, cesarean birth, preparing for your baby, breastfeeding, postpartum, and caring for a new baby. This is your​ evidence-based resource to help you make informed decisions about your pregnancy and your baby.

Episode Date
What to Expect Postpartum
44:28

Our focus is on our health, baby, and planning for birth during pregnancy. We often overlook what happens after birth and what we will experience postpartum. Your body needs time to recover after nine months of pregnancy, giving birth, and establishing breastfeeding. Many things happen after you have your baby that no one talks to you about ahead of time. Let’s normalize talking about the regular changes you go through after birth. Rather than wondering if what you are experiencing is normal, I want you to have a heads up on what to expect. Plus, give you some warning signs you can keep an eye out for to make sure you are recovering well after birth.

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

Join Pregnancy Podcast Premium to access the entire back catalog, listen to all episodes ad-free, and more.

 

For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

Jan 23, 2022
Your Guide to Prenatal Testing
53:23

Your pregnancy journey starts with a positive pregnancy test. That is the first of many tests offered throughout your prenatal care. Some tests diagnose conditions you may have during pregnancy, and others look for genetic abnormalities in your baby. Results from some tests may even impact your birth. Tests are valuable tools, but they can also create anxiety and stress during your pregnancy. This episode is a guide to your prenatal testing options with tips to understand and navigate tests for you and your baby during pregnancy.

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

Join Pregnancy Podcast Premium to access the entire back catalog, listen to all episodes ad-free, and more.

 

For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

Jan 16, 2022
The Evidence on Vitamin D
37:41

Vitamin D is sometimes referred to as a hormone because the activated forms are hormones. You utilize this essential vitamin in nearly all parts of your body. Vitamin D is crucial for absorbing other nutrients like calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphate, and zinc. Vitamin D also regulates immune function, cell growth, neuromuscular function and affects thousands of genes. Your baby relies on you to supply adequate vitamin D to support their growth and development during pregnancy. Despite the importance of vitamin D, data shows that most pregnant mothers do not get enough vitamin D. Deficiency is associated with elevated risks for preeclampsia, adverse health outcomes for your child later in life, and even a cesarean section. Most prenatal vitamins contain far less vitamin D than the evidence suggests during pregnancy. Find out what the current evidence says about vitamin D during pregnancy and how to ensure you have enough vitamin D to support you and your baby. 

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

Join Pregnancy Podcast Premium to access the entire back catalog, listen to all episodes ad-free, and more.

 

For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

Jan 09, 2022
Taking Care of Yourself as a Parent
33:17

This episode aims to get you to rethink taking care of yourself, especially after you have a baby. As parents, we put our children first. In many ways, this is our job, but we also need to take care of ourselves. Your identity as a parent does not mean that you should lose yourself as an individual. The healthier you are physically and mentally, the better parent you will be. Start making yourself a priority now, so you build on the practice throughout your parenting journey.

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

Join Pregnancy Podcast Premium to access the entire back catalog, listen to all episodes ad-free, and more.

 

For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

Jan 02, 2022
Stress in Pregnancy
47:17

We all deal with some level of stress daily. Pregnancy can be a time of additional stress as you are experiencing many physical changes and preparing for birth and a new baby. In a sense, everything you expose yourself to during pregnancy also can affect your baby, and stress is not an exception. Stress during pregnancy can affect your baby in many ways. Physiological changes can impact your developing baby. Stress that puts you at a higher risk for some complications can affect the health and development of your baby. How you and your baby are affected by stress, both in the short and long-term, is essentially a function of your stress response and your ability to turn it off. The good news is that understanding your stress response and learning about evidence-based tools to manage stress will minimize the adverse effects for both you and your baby and positively impact your mental health.

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

Join Pregnancy Podcast Premium to access the entire back catalog, listen to all episodes ad-free, and more.

 

For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

Dec 19, 2021
Evidence on Placenta Encapsulation
32:59

Consumption of the placenta by a mother after birth has been taboo, but it has been gaining popularity in recent years. The thought of eating your placenta might gross you out at first, but once you hear about some of the fantastic benefits women claim it has, you might be willing to consider it. This is not another pregnancy podcast solely focused on all of the wonderful things placenta encapsulation does. This episode dives into this practice’s possible benefits and risks, examines the scientific evidence available to back up the claims, and addresses your options for consuming your placenta from raw placenta smoothies to placenta encapsulation. After listening to this episode, you will understand what placenta encapsulation is and have all of the pros, cons, evidence, and options so you can decide whether you want to encapsulate your placenta.

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

Join Pregnancy Podcast Premium to access the entire back catalog, listen to all episodes ad-free, and more.

 

For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

Dec 12, 2021
Five Questions You Should Be Asking
20:50

You will have many opportunities to opt-in or out of interventions in your pregnancy, birth, or with your newborn. In a perfect world, every procedure comes along with informed consent, and you have all of the information you need to make an informed decision confidently. In the real world, constraints like limited time available for appointments make proper informed consent a challenge. One of the most versatile tools that you can apply to anything is your brain. Not the three-pound organ in your head, the acronym BRAIN. This episode has five simple questions you can ask to help determine whether any procedure or intervention is right for you during pregnancy or birth.

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

Join Pregnancy Podcast Premium to access the entire back catalog, listen to all episodes ad-free, and more. 

 

For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

Dec 05, 2021
Using a Rebozo for Pregnancy and Birth
19:33

A rebozo is a long rectangular shawl that originated in Mexico. Like many non-western traditions, the art of rebozo is more than a tool. The use of a rebozo has grown in the midwife and doula communities because of the teachings from traditional Mexican midwives. This is a practice that has been passed through generations of midwives and birth workers over centuries. In addition to the cultural and traditional significance, a rebozo can be utilized during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. This episode covers the history of the rebozo, how it can be used for relaxation, support, and pain relief, and how to find a practitioner who is experienced in the art of rebozo.

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

Join Pregnancy Podcast Premium to access the entire back catalog, listen to all episodes ad-free, and more. 

 

For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

Nov 28, 2021
Placenta Variations and Abnormalities
26:26

The placenta is an organ with a highly specialized purpose, and that is to support the normal growth and development of your baby. Before the widespread use of ultrasounds, few expecting mothers knew what position their placenta was in or if it was considered “normal.” When you have your anatomy scan ultrasound, usually between weeks 18-22, the ultrasound technician will examine your placenta. There are many variations in size and placement. Some of these abnormalities are simply variations that have no impact on your baby, and others can signal potential complications your care provider will want to monitor. This episode includes information on low-lying placenta, placenta previa, placenta accreta spectrum, bilobed placenta, succenturiate placenta, circumvallate placenta, circummarginate placenta, placenta membranacea, ring-shaped placenta, placenta fenestrata, and abnormal cord insertion.

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

Join Pregnancy Podcast Premium to access the entire back catalog, listen to all episodes ad-free, and more.

 

For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

Nov 21, 2021
The Cost of Birth, Understanding Insurance, and Tax-Advantaged Accounts
36:12

In the United States, the average cost of vaginal birth is over $9,000, and the average price for a cesarean section is almost $13,000. There are tools and strategies you can use to save money on your medical bills. Insurance can help cover the cost of prenatal care and birth. Tax-advantaged accounts like a flexible spending account or a health savings account can save you money on the expenses you have to pay.

This episode will get you off on the right foot to minimize your costs and make sure you are covered. If you already have health insurance, this episode will help explain how health insurance works during your pregnancy and birth. If you do not have health insurance or are in the process of changing your insurance, this episode will help you figure out how to choose the right plan. Plus, get an overview of tax-advantaged accounts you can use to pay qualified medical expenses. If you are not in a financial position to obtain insurance or utilize tax-advantaged accounts, this episode also has tips for understanding the costs and how you can get assistance with coverage.

 

This episode is not intended to be used as tax advice. Please consult your CPA, accountant, or tax professional for questions and more information.

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

Join Pregnancy Podcast Premium to access the entire back catalog, listen to all episodes ad-free, and more.

 

For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

Nov 14, 2021
Fever During Pregnancy
27:12

A fever is part of your body’s immune response as a natural defense to infection. The risks and benefits of fever during pregnancy are different than those of someone who is not pregnant. Running a fever during your pregnancy can be scary. Studies have linked maternal fevers to complications like autism, neural tube defects, oral clefts, and congenital heart defects. The best way to alleviate any fears or unknowns is to educate yourself about what temperature constitutes a fever, when to call your doctor or midwife, and what to do if you get a fever during your pregnancy. It is common to take over-the-counter medicine to reduce a fever. Over the years, attitudes towards the use of medications like acetaminophen have evolved. While doctors have long considered this safe, more recent research raises questions about taking this over-the-counter medication during pregnancy. 

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

Join Pregnancy Podcast Premium to access the entire back catalog, listen to all episodes ad-free, and more.

 

For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

Nov 07, 2021
COVID-19 Vaccine During Pregnancy
01:06:41

The severity and spread of COVID-19 drove demand to create vaccines and get them to the public in record time. In the United States, the FDA has approved three vaccines; two of them are still under an emergency use authorization. We know from real-world data that pregnancy can increase your risks for severe illness from COVID-19. Despite pregnancy increasing COVID-19 risks, clinical trials did not include pregnant participants. Studies are beginning to focus on these vaccines in pregnancy, and researchers are releasing more data on vaccinated pregnant women. While we lack long-term data, ACOG and the CDC recommend that pregnant women get vaccinated for COVID-19. This episode dives into the available evidence on the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines during pregnancy so you can make an informed decision on whether to get the vaccine.

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

Join Pregnancy Podcast Premium to access the entire back catalog, listen to all episodes ad-free, and more.

 

For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

Oct 24, 2021
Flu Vaccine During Pregnancy (2021-2022 Flu Season)
39:34

Flu is an infectious disease caused by the influenza virus. The flu typically isn't severe in healthy adults, and symptoms usually subside in about a week. When you are pregnant, your body's inflammatory response to the flu during pregnancy puts you at a higher risk for some complications. The medical community recommends that pregnant women get the flu vaccine to protect them and give their babies passive immunity. The COVID-19 pandemic is also bringing some additional changes and challenges to the current flu season. There are many flu vaccines available, and it can be challenging to weigh the risks and benefits to decide whether getting the flu vaccine during pregnancy is right for you. This episode dives into all of the evidence and considerations to make an informed decision on whether you should get the flu vaccine during your pregnancy.  

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

Join Pregnancy Podcast Premium to access the entire back catalog, listen to all episodes ad-free, and more.

 

For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

Oct 17, 2021
Tdap Vaccine During Pregnancy
32:48

A vaccine contains a weakened or killed form of a disease-causing micro-organism that causes your body to produce antibodies. This provides immunity without actually inducing the disease. Vaccines are a very controversial topic. This episode introduces what vaccines are and gets into specifics on the Tdap vaccine during pregnancy. In addition to different types of vaccines, they contain many ingredients. These ingredients serve a particular function like increasing your immune response or as a byproduct of the processing. Tdap provides immunity for tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough) and is recommended during pregnancy. Get the evidence-based risks and benefits of getting the Tdap vaccine during pregnancy so you can make an informed decision on whether it is right for you. 

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

Join Pregnancy Podcast Premium to access the entire back catalog, listen to all episodes ad-free, and more.

 

For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

Oct 10, 2021
Erythromycin Eye Ointment
19:38

Ophthalmia neonatorum is a newborn eye infection and in the United States occurs in 1-2% of newborns. This infection can be caused by sexually transmitted infections, viruses, and bacteria. Administering erythromycin eye ointment to newborns is standard procedure in the United States to prevent ophthalmia neonatorum. As with any intervention, there are pros and cons to consider. This article examines the evidence on the efficacy and safety of erythromycin eye ointment so you can make an informed choice for your baby.

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

Join Pregnancy Podcast Premium to access the entire back catalog, listen to all episodes ad-free, and more.

 

For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

Oct 03, 2021
Vitamin K Shot
25:45

At birth, babies naturally have low levels of vitamin K. The danger in having low levels of vitamin K is the risk of vitamin K deficiency bleeding. This is a rare but serious complication. You can decrease the risk for vitamin k deficiency bleeding with the vitamin K shot. Administering the vitamin K shot to newborns is standard procedure in the United States and many other countries. As with any intervention, there are pros and cons to consider. This episode examines the evidence on the efficacy and safety of the vitamin K shot so you can make an informed choice for your baby.

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

Sep 26, 2021
Navigating Prenatal Care
39:37

Prenatal care is healthcare from a medical professional for you and your baby during pregnancy. It is well established that women who receive prenatal care are more likely to have healthy infants. Your doctor or midwife is your trusted partner and has education about all of the intricacies of pregnancy and birth. An important point to keep in mind is that you are in complete control over what happens and what procedures your doctor or midwife performs throughout your prenatal care. You can expect to have somewhere around 14 appointments throughout your entire pregnancy. The time you spend with your doctor or midwife will shape the tests you take, the procedures your care provider performs, and the preparation for your birth. Learn what to expect at each appointment and how to navigate prenatal care confidently.

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

Sep 19, 2021
Weaning from Breastfeeding
31:12

Some of the best breastfeeding resources lack great information on weaning. What you find instead is information on why you should keep breastfeeding and anxiety-inducing articles on all of the things that can go wrong when you stop nursing. Breastfeeding is important and thankfully there are many resources for this, but it can be stressful when you are ready to wean and have limited evidence of how to do it. This episode aims to take the anxiety out of weaning. Get actionable tips on how to stop breastfeeding and transition from being a breastfeeding mother to your next parenting adventure.

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

Sep 12, 2021
Bottle Feeding and Infant Formula
45:21

Even if you plan to breastfeed exclusively, there is value in learning about bottles and formula if you decide or need to incorporate them to feed your baby at some point. If you pump breast milk, you will be using a bottle to feed your baby. If you stop breastfeeding before your baby’s first birthday, you will need to supplement with formula. You have many options for bottles and formula, and choosing the best fit for you and your baby can be challenging. This episode is your comprehensive guide to bottle feeding your baby, from introducing a bottle to choosing the right infant formula.

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

Sep 05, 2021
Pumping Breastmilk and Building a Stash
48:29

Breast milk is liquid gold. It is so valuable and amazing that scientists cannot reproduce it in a lab, and only you can make it. Your body perfectly formulates your milk for your baby, and pumping allows you to provide milk for your baby even when you are not there. This episode covers the fundamentals of pumping breastmilk to meet your goals, whether an occasional pumping session or building a serious freezer stash. If you plan to return to work after maternity leave, this episode walks through navigating pumping at work. Plus, everything from cleaning and sterilizing your pump and accessories to safely storing your milk.

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

Aug 22, 2021
Breastfeeding Troubleshooting
39:43

Your newborn is hard-wired to breastfeed and is born with instincts to help them latch right after birth. Despite these instincts, breastfeeding doesn’t always come naturally or go perfectly right from the start. In reality, breastfeeding can take practice and patience as you and your baby navigate your nursing relationship. Many issues can come up during breastfeeding in the first few days and even months down the road. The more you know about the small speed bumps you could run into, the more likely you are to be able to get over those and correct minor issues before they become significant problems. Issues can include symptoms in your breasts like leaking, sore nipples, nipple shields, pain during breastfeeding or pumping, vasospasms, blebs, plugged ducts, mastitis, and engorgement. Or issues that affect your baby like jaundice, tongue-tie, yeast infection, thrush, food allergies or sensitivities, nursing strikes, sleepy babies, cluster feeding, growth spurts, and spitting up. This episode will help you identify common breastfeeding issues and have a basic understanding of how to correct them so you and your baby can enjoy the benefits of breastfeeding.

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

Aug 15, 2021
Breastfeeding Basics
41:43

The evidence in support of breastfeeding is overwhelming. There are decades of documentation on the positive effects of breastfeeding on immunity, health, and the connection between mother and baby. Despite all of the evidence supporting breastfeeding, most parents supplement or switch to infant formula within the first year. Many factors contribute to a lack of encouragement for exclusive breastfeeding. Educating yourself and finding support are the two key things you can do to get breastfeeding off to a great start. This episode covers the basics you should know about breastfeeding and the foundational principles educate yourself and find support to make breastfeeding easier.

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

Aug 08, 2021
How Pregnancy Changes Your Skin
30:52

All of the changes your body is going through during pregnancy may give you a beautiful glow. For many expecting moms, pregnancy can cause some challenging skin issues. The good news is the majority of these skin issues are temporary and will disappear after your baby is born. This episode examines common skin issues during pregnancy like skin sensitivity, stretch marks, acne, melasma, linea nigra, spider and varicose veins, skin tags, and conditions like PUPPP and ICP. We examine the symptoms, causes, if or how you can prevent them, and how you can safely treat each of these skin issues.

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

Aug 01, 2021
Pregnancy Safe Skincare
33:33

Think about everything you put on your skin and hair, from when you step in the shower to when you step out your front door. We use a ton of products every single day; shampoo, conditioner, body wash, shaving cream, lotions, face wash, toner, moisturizer, deodorant, sunscreen, makeup, hair products. All of those products you use add up to a very long list of chemicals you introduce to your body. Pregnancy is a period during which you want to be cautious about the chemicals you expose yourself to because some of those chemicals have the potential to cross the placenta and reach your baby. The idea that you could potentially expose your baby to something toxic is scary, and there is a lot of fear around using safe skincare and personal products when you are pregnant. You should avoid a few ingredients and be aware of other controversial ingredients with less clear evidence on the risks. This episode breaks down the evidence on what ingredients have risks that you should be mindful of, how to find safe skin and body care products, and how to understand marketing claims like “non-toxic”.

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

Jul 25, 2021
Troubleshooting Your Dog with a New Baby
01:01:41

There are many things you can do to prepare your dog for life with a new baby. From introducing new gadgets like breast pumps to making sure your dog is taken care of while giving birth at a hospital or birth center, many families experience issues acclimating their dog to a new baby. To troubleshoot these topics and more, I talk to John and Jaime Caponetta. They are experts in dog behavior and have many years of experience training dogs from all backgrounds for many different families. Their focus on positive training techniques will help you modify your dog’s behavior, not just suppress it. Read this article to learn how to prepare your dog for your baby and troubleshoot issues that can come up with your growing family and your dog.

 

Thank you to John and Jaime Caponetta of Pawsome University for sharing their expertise for this episode.

 

Jaime has her certification as a K9 trainer from the Animal Behavior College in California and earned the title of Associate Certified K9 Behavior Consultant by the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. John Caponetta has seven years of experience working in animal welfare and is a former humane law enforcement officer involved in animal cruelty investigations. He is planning to become a certified instructor in pet first aid & CPR. Both John and Jamie are on boards or support multiple non-profit organizations that provide dog training to families facing financial hardship or support fostering dogs and keeping them out of shelters or euthanized due to a lack of services. Together these two run Pawsome University, which offers one on one in-home professional dog training using only positive and fear-free training methods. Plus, they have a podcast called Pawsome University. John and Jamie are experts in dog behavior and they have worked with a lot of new parents. They are the perfect resource to troubleshoot some issues that can happen as you are preparing your dog for a new baby and once you bring your baby home to make sure everything goes smoothly.

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

For more information on John and Jamie, visit the Pawsome University website.

 

For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

Jul 18, 2021
Hydrotherapy and the Benefits of Water During Labor (Baths, Showers, and Waterbirth)
34:10

Hydrotherapy is a broad term that encompasses many different treatments around the physical properties of water like temperature and pressure. In this episode, we explore the use of water during labor. Proponents of water birth claim that it is beneficial in managing discomfort from contractions, that it promotes relaxation and eases stress for your baby during birth. Critics of the practice raise concerns about the safety of water births and risks associated with respiratory issues for the baby, and the risk of infection for both you and your baby. This episode examines the evidence and safety of waterbirth, as well as alternative ways to utilize water during labor at home or in a birth center or hospital.

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

Jul 11, 2021
Benefits of Water During Pregnancy (Swimming, Pools, Hot Tubs, Baths, and Float Tanks)
21:39

If you enjoy the water, you don’t have to give it up when you are pregnant. Pregnancy impacts your body by weight gain, increased blood flow, and many more changes that can exert pressure on your cardiovascular system, joints, and spine. Enjoying being in water can be a great workout, relaxing and therapeutic. This episode examines the evidence on the risks and benefits of swimming pools, hot tubs, baths, and float spas during pregnancy.

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

Jul 04, 2021
Do You Need a Doula?
27:49

A doula is a professional trained in childbirth who provides emotional, physical, and educational support to a mother and her birth partner during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. They do not have any formal medical training and do not perform any medical procedures. There are doulas that specialize in every type of birth, from home birth to a planned cesarean at a hospital. There is substantial growing evidence on how doulas positively impact births. But do you need a doula? With the benefits are downsides, like the additional cost. This episode examines the evidence on having a doula, how they advocate for you and work with your OB/GYN or midwife, and how they support your partner in being your primary support during labor. Plus, get tips on how to find a doula that is the right fit for your family.

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

Jun 27, 2021
Preparing for Parenthood for Dads and Partners
35:53

There is so much attention on mom and baby during pregnancy. Even if you are not the pregnant person in your relationship, there is so much you can do to prepare for becoming a parent. Dads and partners play a huge role in pregnancy, birth, and parenting. This episode will bring you up to speed on everything you need to know about what changes mom is going through during pregnancy, the lowdown on sex, how to prepare for birth, how to be supportive in the postpartum period, and your role with a new baby at home. 

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

Jun 20, 2021
Get Parenting Right from the Start
01:00:52

You put a lot of time and energy into learning about pregnancy and preparing for birth. Once you cross that finish line and are holding your baby, a whole new adventure begins. Although being a parent is a lifelong journey, you can get started on the right track now. Learn about evidence-based parenting on some of the most important things for the first year. This episode covers topics like attachment, sleep, and play. Plus, some research-based tactics to make sure you are nurturing yourself as a parent and meeting your own needs as you build a relationship with your baby.

Thank you to Jen Lumanlan for sharing her expertise for this episode.

Jen Lumanlan is the host of the Your Parenting Mojo podcast. She interviews all the best experts in parenting and child development. Jen is so much more than a podcast host. She focuses on a rigorous research-based approach and has multiple master's degrees, including psychology and education. Jen is a pro at digging through research and applying principles of respectful parenting to help parents and kids thrive. You can learn more about Jen by visiting the Your Parenting Mojo website.

Jen Lumanlan is my #1 resource for all things parenting. She teamed up with Hannah and Kelty from Upbringing to create the Right from the Start course. This course walks you through everything you need to navigate the first year of your baby's life. It covers challenges with sleep, attachment, feeding, siblings, your own sense of self as a person - and so much more! You can click here to grab the free roadmap that walks you through the entire framework of this course. If you decide you need more support, take advantage of 15% off the Right from the Start course with the code PREGNANCYPODCAST. (The first open enrollment is from 6/19 to 6/30/21. It is only offered four times per year.)

 

You can see the full transcript and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

Jun 13, 2021
Pregnancy Diet
44:29

Factors like genetics and some health conditions can impact your body weight. Your weight is primarily a function of diet and lifestyle. By definition, diet is the kinds of food you habitually eat. We also know diet to mean a specific course of food you restrict yourself for medical reasons or lose weight. Diets restrict calories, limit certain foods or increase particular foods. There are many varying opinions on diet, and there is no definitive research to support one ideal diet for everyone. This episode provides an overview of popular diets and considerations for continuing or starting these diets during pregnancy. Learn about weight gain during pregnancy and the safety of diets like caloric restriction, low glycemic, keto, paleo, low fat, the Louwen diet for pregnancy, and intermittent fasting. Plus, what your diet goal should be and what to eat when you are pregnant.

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

Jun 06, 2021
Plant-Based Diets During Pregnancy
37:33

There are many reasons people choose to eat a plant-based diet, including environmental, ethical, or health reasons. Regardless of your reasons for eating a plant-based diet, there is no denying that many animal products are rich in vitamins and nutrients. If you avoid meats, seafood, eggs, or dairy, you need to get nutrients from other sources. While it is possible to eat a healthy diet that does not include animal products, you need to be mindful to make sure you are getting the nutrients you and your baby need. The foods you eat should be your primary source for all of the vitamins and nutrients you and your baby need. You should also be taking a prenatal vitamin to fill in any gaps of nutrients that can happen with any diet. This article is an overview of some specific nutrients to pay attention to if you are eating a primarily plant-based diet.

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

May 23, 2021
Sun Exposure and Tanning During Pregnancy
27:34

The sun emits UV radiation that comes with both risks and benefits. An estimated 90% of our vitamin D comes from the sun. Vitamin D is critical when you are pregnant for both you and your baby. During pregnancy, you may experience some changes to your skin that can make you more sensitive to the sun. Too much sun can damage your skin, increase your risks for skin cancers, and accelerate the effects of aging. Get tips for sun safety so you can maximize the benefits of sunshine while minimizing the damaging effects of the sun. Plus, this article covers how to choose the right sunscreen, sun exposure for your baby, tanning beds, and sunless tanners.

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

May 16, 2021
Mentally Preparing for Motherhood
18:39

There are a lot of physical demands during pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding. Motherhood is also incredibly mentally and emotionally demanding. You can do so much to prepare for being a parent, like stocking up on supplies for your baby, planning for maternity leave, or learning about breastfeeding. A big part of mentally preparing for motherhood is setting your expectations. This episode covers tips to help you mentally prepare for motherhood.

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

May 09, 2021
Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) During Pregnancy
25:13

Physical and hormonal changes during pregnancy increase your risk for a urinary tract infection. UTIs are the most common bacterial infections during pregnancy. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that if you are pregnant and think you may have a UTI, call your OBGYN right away because severe infections can cause problems for both you and your baby. The good news is that when caught early, antibiotics can eliminate a urinary tract infection. Learn the symptoms of a UTI during pregnancy, testing, prevention, treatment, and the evidence on home remedies.

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

May 02, 2021
Hair Changes and Treatments During and After Pregnancy
21:47

You experience many physical changes during your pregnancy. Higher levels of hormones, like estrogen, can even change the texture, color, or amount of hair you have. Many expecting mothers enjoy fuller, thicker hair during pregnancy then experience some hair loss postpartum. Learn about how your hair can change during pregnancy and after having a baby and what you can do to keep your hair healthy. If you dye your hair, this episode also explores the evidence on the safety of chemical treatments, like coloring your hair during pregnancy.

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

Apr 25, 2021
Group B Strep
23:12

Group B streptococcus is a type of bacterial infection. This bacterium naturally lives in the gastrointestinal tract. GBS is common and is in 10%-30% of pregnant women. Once you have this bacterium, it does not mean you will always have it, and it can come and go. Most women with group B strep do not experience any symptoms, and usually, this is not a big deal. However, it can create some complications for you when you are pregnant and cause some severe complications if you pass it to your baby. In the United States, it is standard practice to test all expecting mothers in week 36 or 37 for group B strep. This episode covers what is involved in the testing, how to treat group B strep, and how you can reduce the risks to your baby. This episode also explores the evidence on whether you can decrease your risk for group b strep during pregnancy.

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

Apr 18, 2021
The Benefits of Pregnancy Brain
19:09

Pregnancy brain is a term used to describe forgetfulness during pregnancy, not being able to focus, or brain fog. This can also extend to after birth, and you may have heard people blame mommy brain or momnesia. Anecdotally, pregnancy brain and mom brain are very common. The standard answer to why this happens is that you are short on sleep, you have a lot going on, and you are dealing with additional stress. This is all true, but it may not fully explain why we get pregnancy brain from a scientific standpoint. What if we viewed pregnancy brain as a trade-off with a long-term benefit instead of viewing it as a loss? This episode examines the science behind pregnancy brain and explores some evidence that it may actually make you a better parent.

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

Apr 11, 2021
Unmedicated Birth
31:37

Unmedicated birth comes with many benefits but also has its challenges. If you plan to avoid interventions, including pain medications, you need to prepare more than someone comfortable utilizing interventions to assist with their labor. This article explains why some parents choose unmedicated birth, what a physiologic birth without interventions looks like, and how to prepare for an unmedicated birth. Even if you plan for an epidural or other intervention, this article has tips to prepare and get as close as possible to the birth experience you want.

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

Apr 04, 2021
COVID-19 Vaccine and Pregnancy
44:07

Historically vaccines have taken a decade or longer to develop and get to market. Due to the severity and spread of COVID-19, there was a massive demand to create vaccines as quickly as possible. We have three vaccines currently approved by the FDA under an emergency authorization use in just a year. Pregnancy can increase your risks for severe illness from COVID-19. Despite pregnancy increasing COVID-19 risks, clinical trials did not include pregnant participants. Although studies are beginning to focus on these vaccines and pregnancy, it will be months or even years before we have results. This episode dives into the available evidence on the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines during pregnancy so you can make an informed decision on whether to get the vaccine.

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

Mar 28, 2021
Reframing How You Think About Labor Pain
26:14

The simplest explanation of how we feel pain is that our bodies sense pain when nerves send messages to our spinal cord and our brain. Our brain then interprets those signals into the feeling of pain. Since each of our brains is different, pain is subjective, and people interpret pain differently. When you think about birth, pain is either the first thing that comes to mind or the last thing you want to think about. There is the occasional anecdote about a pain-free birth, but most expecting mothers experience some level of pain and discomfort. It seems counterintuitive that something necessary for our survival would be difficult and come at a high cost. In this episode, we reframe how you may think about labor pain so you are not terrified going into the experience, have a better idea of what to expect, and understand why birth can involve pain.

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

Mar 21, 2021
Other Pain Management Options During Labor
27:23

You have several pain management options for labor and birth. The availability of specific methods may vary depending on where you give birth and your care provider. Plus, different methods are used during different stages of labor with varying levels of effectiveness. There are separate episodes on epidurals and nitrous oxide, the two most popular methods used during labor and birth. This episode covers transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation (TENS), intravenous pain medications, pudendal nerve blocks, local anesthetic injections, and touches on general anesthesia. If you are interested in utilizing any of these methods or have questions about them, please have a more in-depth conversation about the benefits and risks with your doctor or midwife.

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

Mar 14, 2021
Nitrous Oxide During Labor
22:05

Nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, was first used as a labor analgesic in 1881. Over 50% of births in Finland, Norway, England, Australia, and New Zealand, 60% of births in the United Kingdom, and 70% of births in Sweden involve nitrous oxide. It is less common in the United States, and this is changing as it is becoming more widely available in both hospitals and birth centers. Many mothers incorporate nitrous oxide in their plan for a natural or a low-intervention birth. Using nitrous oxide induces feelings of euphoria and creates a disassociation with the discomfort and pain of contractions. This episode explains everything you need to know about nitrous oxide and the risks and benefits of using it during labor and birth.

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

Mar 07, 2021
Epidural
26:09

In this episode, we are talking about epidurals. There are three separate procedures that can be done that are often lumped under the umbrella term, “epidural”. The three procedures are epidurals, spinals, and the combined spinal-epidural. These medications and methods of delivery are the best solutions we have to minimize pain during labor with the least risk. Like any intervention, there are risks and benefits. This article examines the evidence on epidurals so you have the information you need to decide whether this is something you want to include in your birth. Learn about your epidural options, benefits, risks, what is involved in the procedure, and how it may impact your labor and birth.

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

Feb 28, 2021
Birth Center
30:05

A birth center is a middle ground between home birth and a hospital. You get the benefit of natural or non-medicated birth in a home-like setting, with some of the safety nets that you would have in a hospital. Birth centers generally feature midwife-led care, focused on prenatal and postpartum care for low-risk women. The majority of birth centers are freestanding entities. More are popping up in hospitals with the same focus of natural birth with integration into the hospital system in the event resources or care from the hospital are needed. This episode covers what a birth center is, what you can expect during your prenatal care, labor, birth, and the evidence on birth centers' safety.

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

Feb 21, 2021
Hospital Birth
29:10

About 98% of all births in the United States are in hospitals. Even if you plan for a birth center or home birth, knowing about your backup option is smart. Birth is not an all or nothing decision where you are either having a baby in a hospital with tons of interventions or having a baby at home with no interventions and incense burning in the background. There is an infinite number of options available to you to prepare for and craft the birth you want. The key to getting the birth experience you want is education. Whether you plan a cesarean section or have a natural labor, you could do either in a hospital setting. This episode will help you get more familiar with what you expect in a hospital birth from the moment you arrive, through your labor and birth, until you are discharged and headed home with your new baby. 

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

Feb 14, 2021
Labor Signs and the Start of Labor
22:05

When you have made it through most of your pregnancy and are in the final stretch, you enter the waiting game of waiting to go into labor. This can be nerve-racking for two reasons. First, you do not know when you will go into labor, and second, you do not know how to tell that you genuinely have started labor and it isn’t just a false alarm. This episode explains the signs that labor will begin soon and the signs that you are in labor. You will not experience all of these signs, and some of these signs may happen to you but go unnoticed. After listening to this episode, you will have a better idea of what to look out to know when labor is starting, when to call your doctor or midwife, and when to go to the hospital or birth center.

 

You can read the full article and resources that accompany this episode by clicking here.

 

For more evidence-based information, visit the Pregnancy Podcast website.

Feb 07, 2021
Introduction to the Pregnancy Podcast
05:58

In this short episode you get a quick rundown of everything you can expect from Vanessa Merten and the Pregnancy Podcast. The Pregnancy Podcast is a resource to support expecting moms (and partners, too!) with evidence-based information to navigate the awesome adventure of pregnancy, birth, and being a new parent.

 

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