What Not to Say to Women with a High Risk Pregnancy

ITP Pregnancy, gestational thrombocytopenia, immune thrombocytopenia during pregnancy, breastfeeding with ITP, birth with ITP, ITP birth plan, low platelet pregnancy

Feature image from BARNESJEWISH

“Just relax OR If it’s meant to be then it’s meant to be OR The baby will decide when it’s ready to come.”

Telling someone to relax, not only does not help them relax, but it also trivialises their stress and worry. Instead of simply dismissing the stress of a high-risk pregnancy by distracting your friend or telling her to get over it. Instead, ask her if she would like to talk about it, tell her you understand how stressful it must be, and that she is justified to worry.

Tell her that you hear her concerns and think they are valid… Then try and help her relax by actually doing something relaxing with her, not just telling her to relax and then leaving.

“Oh, Yes, I know, pregnancy is such a worry.  I remember when we were having our last baby and we couldn’t get in to see the natural therapy hypnobirthing class for three months!  It was so stressful!”

Um, not the same thing… Continue reading

Bellies, Babies and Bruises

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For Women Living With ITP,

ITP Pregnancy, gestational thrombocytopenia, immune thrombocytopenia during pregnancy, breastfeeding with ITP, birth with ITP, ITP birth plan, low platelet pregnancy A Book About ITP and Pregnancy

In 2009, Meg Brewster was given a copy of her family tree. Looking back through the generations, she wondered if the family tree would stop with her or would she be able to have a baby while living with ITP and APS?

Meg had heard the risks of bleeding, bruising and infertility involved in ITP and Pregnancy. But were they real? Had she only heard the horror stories. She wondered what it would actually be like to have a baby with ITP, and if it was going to be as complicated as everyone had led her to believe.

Seven years in the making, this is the story of an ITP pregnancy; Including research and interviews with other women about their ITP pregnancies.

BELLIES BABIES AND BRUISES was inspired by Meg’s personal journey with ITP and APS while pregnant. ITP is an autoimmune disorder that causes bleeding and clotting problems in its patients. APS is a clotting disorder that is commonly associated with ITP and low platelet counts.

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About the Author, Meg Brewster

meghan brewster, author, how to heal a bruise, itp blood disorderMeg was diagnosed with immune thrombocytopenia when she was 22 years old. She struggled to read dense medical journals and scholarly articles to learn more about her ITP. What was missing from the ITP conversation was information from other patients about what immune thrombocytopenia was really like to live with. 

In 2012, Meg set up ITPANDME. It’s now one of the largest ITP blogs in the world. Meg loves writing about ITP, hearing other women’s stories and helping women with ITP connect.

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Praise for How to Heal a Bruise

The book includes lots of ITP information such as, the science, history, tips and guides, alongside strong emotional support. It is now my own ITP Bible! I could not recommend it more highly! FULL REVIEW HERE from Katie Meloy

Beyond being a book documenting scientific and medical information, is the personal experience of Megan Brewster after seven years of living with this blood disorder…I couldn’t stop reading.  FULL REVIEW HERE from Laura

‘My partner and I absolutely love your blog and find many of your post’s to be just what we are looking for.’ Andy USA

‘Thank you for your thoughts…they’ve helped me with finding perspective in our reality.’ Jenny Australia

‘Love the way you write…you made me chuckle.’ Bron Australia

‘Thank you for writing this, it will surely help the newbies.’ Padma, India

Features

  • Stories of pregnancy from women with ITP.
  • Meg’s personal journey with ITP and Pregnancy
  • Information about natural and caesarean births.
  • Information for breastfeeding mothers with ITP.

Bellies Babies and Bruises: An ITP Book for Women and Babies

Breastfeeding with ITP (Bleeding Nipples)

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Feature image from ITP&Me

Breastfeeding introduction – How it is hard and you need to feel confident and all that.  Strange new feeling like not everyone likes.

My story – I’ve been breastfeeding now (or not breastfeeding) for the last four months – what have I found.  How has the story gone…  What have I learnt and what problems have I faced?

When it gets hard…

Cracked and Bleeding Nipples?
What should I do with a low count?

Need to ask someone about this?

Lactation consultant.

What about women with bleeding disorders.

Taking care of your Nipples –

What could I do to prepare my nipples, take care of them while feeding?

Recipe from another blog about what to rub into your nipples – or perhaps just coconut oil…

So what Causes Blood in Breast Milk?

All of the breastfeeding problems listed below usually end quickly and are not considered serious…
– Cracked broken nipples and nipple blisters can cause blood in breast milk.
Read more on how to identify the cause of your cracked nipples.
– Vascular engorgement: Also called rusty pipe syndrome, due to the rusty color of the milk. This usually occurs immediately after giving birth, a first-time mommy may notice that her expressed milk is orange or pink in color. This is due to the increased blood flow to her breasts, which is needed during the development of the milk producing cells. The blood will usually disappear within a week or so after birth.

Look.  Here’s the thing.  I have breastfed a baby.  It’s a grueling if not some-what beautiful task.  I think there is a lot of romance surrounding breastfeeding to help encourage woman to continue to do it – but let me tell you it’s hard on your body, cuts into sleep time, can keep you awake for 23 hours at a stretch, saps your life and energy from your body, drains you of vitamins and minerals.

Breastfeeding is the important and special – but let’s be honest, it’s not 100% fun – not every single minute.

So when some crazy arsehole online is telling you to set aside time to soak your nipples in a saline solution – Then you’re probably going to tell them to go fuck them self.

Perhaps you might just end up doing nothing, and waiting for your nipples to heal on their own.

Please note: Although bleeding looks scary and blood may sometimes show up in your baby’s bowel motions or vomit, it is not harmful to your baby. It is quite safe for her to keep breastfeeding.

BREASTFEEDING ASSOCIATION AUSTRALIA

ITP Pregnancy, The Birth

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 Feature image from ITP&ME

In the first few days after my son was born, I couldn’t shake this feeling that I had let him down in some way.  I kept thinking there must have been something I could have done better, some sign I could have noticed earlier, another hour bouncing on the fit ball, or another 20 minutes inverted off the couch, that might have made his entry into the world a little calmer, happier and healthier.  

In the first weeks, I slept terribly.  I was happy, don’t get me wrong.  I was having the most wonderful time during the day and into the night with him.  But just in those moments right before I drifted off to sleep, I would replay the birth in my mind, looking at all the little moments I should have done something differently.

Don’t worry.  My feelings about of the birth have changed a lot since then.  

The more information I have and the more I come to understand the events, the prouder I am about how everything happened.  As I learn about footling breech births, remember more and more, and as I speak to other women about their birth stories, I’m starting to consider the whole thing an incredible fucking success.  

I am glad I waited a little while before writing this.  Had I written this article earlier, it may have sounded like a completely different story.  So here it is… The story of our ITP Baby.  

(In saying that, I don’t believe it is possible to ever really tell your birthing story.  There is no way to sum it all up or convey everything that happened.  When I talk about the birth of our son with others, I find my words falling so short of the mark; such a blunt instrument to play such a complex sound.)

The birth of my son was a triumph over the medical profession’s interpretation of a high-risk pregnancy.  It is considered legendary among midwives and doctors.  It was beautiful.  But it was nothing like the sacred feminine worship, I was lead to believe birth was (could be).   Continue reading

The Third Trimester of an ITP Pregnancy

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Feature image from PREGART

Read about the 1st TRIMESTER and 2nd TRIMESTER here.

Yes, if you haven’t heard, we are having an ITP baby and are already in the third trimester.  Yay!  Our focus is finally turning towards labor and birth which is very exciting.

Doctors – ITP Pregnancy, gestational thrombocytopenia, immune thrombocytopenia during pregnancy, breastfeeding with ITP, birth with ITP, ITP birth plan, low platelet pregnancyI am seeing doctors at the hospital every two weeks (Every other week at my GP) at the moment with ultrasounds every third to check baby growth and wellbeing.

The baby doctors are very different to what I expected.  There seems to be a myth going around the obstetricians are evil old men who treat women like dairy cattle, but I have yet to see that.  Our baby doctors are both hilarious women and young positive men.

We have not come across any evil maniac OB’s who want to induce us at the drop of a hat and have scheduled c-sections so they can spend all weekend playing golf.  No one has rolled their eyes at us when we mention delayed cord cutting, minimal monitoring, calm birthing and setting the mood. Continue reading

Raspberry Leaf Tea during Pregnancy

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Feature image from HEAVENINAWILDFLOWER

There is not a lot that I can really say about the benefits of Raspberry leaf tea for women, especially during pregnancy.

It is an old wives tale, an untested herbal remedy, a myth, a story pregnant women tell each other, a common tonic discussed between midwives.  There is no scientific or medical research to claim that Raspberry leaf tea does anything for a pregnant woman’s uterus.

And yet…

Everybody raves about it… including me.

Everyone who has taken it mentioned positive birth experiences and quick healing after labor.

I’ve been drinking raspberry leaf tea since week 20 of this pregnancy.  A friend told me about it, and then a midwife, and then another friend mentioned it.  Yesterday a pregnant friend told me about raspberry leaf capsules.  When I walked into DR EARTH the other day they had run out of raspberry leaf tea, “Too many pregnant woman around at the moment,” the shop assistant remarked.  “They can’t get enough of it.”

My mum grows raspberries in her garden.  I’ve been lucky to have a free source of organic, locally grown fresh raspberry leaves at my fingertips.  I have just recently run out and have been wondering the streets looking for somewhere to buy it in Sydney.  Mum if you’re reading this… I need more!! X

So what is so great about these leaves?

Raspberry Leaves

Are naturally high in

  • magnesium,
  • potassium,
  • iron
  • b-vitamins which make it helpful for nausea, leg cramps, and improving sleep during pregnancy. The specific combination of nutrients in Raspberry Leaf makes it extremely beneficial for the female reproductive system.
  • vitamins E, A, and some B complex, as well as essential minerals such as
  • phosphorus,
  • zinc,
  • and an easily absorbable form of calcium, making it a wonderfully nutritive plant.

Many websites state that Raspberry leaf tea is high in Vitamin C also, however, I am pretty sure vitamin c is sensitive to heat and cooking, so I’m doubtful that boiling water is the best way to get vitamin c into your body.  Perhaps if you ate the leaves straight off the bush?

In a single STUDY I found, conducted at Westmead Hospital in 1998, raspberry leaf turned up some great results.  Of 108 pregnant women, those who took raspberry leaf during their pregnancy were more likely to have a shortened labour.

“An unexpected finding in this study seems to indicate that women who ingest raspberry leaf might be less likely to receive an artificial rupture of their membranes, or require a caesarean section, forceps or vacuum birth than the women in the control group.”

I will let you know how it works for me after the birth… At the moment I am opening to trying everything and anything to make sure this goes as well as I am imagining it can.

Try adding a little peppermint tea, fresh ginger and a hint of lemon to make sure you don’t get too bored with the taste.

If you are not lucky enough to have a mother that is an amateur raspberry farmer, check out Earth Mama Angel Baby ORGANIC THIRD TRIMESTER raspberry leaf tea or WOMAN’S RASPBERRY LEAF TEA by Yogi teas.