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Month: May 2016

Popular Myths About Pregnancy

Forming a baby in the womb is the most complicated thing a woman can do without really having to think about it. But that doesn’t mean women don’t worry over it.

Cutting-edge fetal research is challenging some of the conventional wisdom about pregnancy, producing findings that may surprise you. Read on to find out more about what science can tell us about how pregnancy really works.

Myth #1: Cocoa butter prevents stretch marks. False. In fact using cocoa butter makes women’s skin more sensitive, and some women have allergic reactions to it./p>

Myth #2: You can’t fly during your first or last trimester. False. You can fly whenever you want. Some airlines won’t let you on the plane in your last trimester, but that has more to do with fears that you’ll go into labor and force the plane to land or spoil the upholstery.

Myth #3: You can’t pet your cat during pregnancy. False. However, you shouldn’t change your cat’s litter box during pregnancy because of the risk of toxoplasmosis from the feces.

Myth #4: You shouldn’t eat smoked salmon while pregnant. False. Salmon is good for mothers-to-be; it’s high in omega-3 fatty acids like DHA, which studies show have a variety of benefits for pregnant women and their fetuses, and salmon is a fresh water fish, so the likelihood of mercury poisoning is low.

Myth #5: You can’t eat hot dogs either. False. Hot dogs are also fine to eat, as long as they’re well-cooked.

Myth #6: Pregnant women should keep away from polished furniture. False.

Myth #7: Dying your hair is harmful for your baby. False.

Myths #8, 9, and 10: You shouldn’t have sex, lift your hands over your head or touch your toes while pregnant: All false, unless you have a specific medical condition and your doctor warns you against it.

Myth #11: You shouldn’t take hot baths while pregnant. True. You should avoid saunas, jacuzzis or anything that raises your body temperature over 102 degrees.

Myth #12: You shouldn’t drink coffee while pregnant. False. Don’t go overboard, but a cup a day won’t hurt.

Myth #13: You should abstain from alcohol during pregnancy. True. The American College of Obstetricians, along with all other American health authorities, advise women to refrain from drinking alcohol.

Myth #14: Pregnant women should sleep on their left side. False. Get whatever sleep you can.

Myth #15: The baby’s position in the womb can tell you its gender. False. Also, the line on the skin stretching below the navel is no clue to whether your baby’s a boy or girl. You just can’t tell from outside the womb.

Myth #16: Walking makes labor go faster. False. It might make you feel better but there’s no activity that’s going to bring on labor.

Myth #17: Pregnant women should eat for two. False. Carrying a baby actually only requires 300 extra calories a day. So technically you should be eating for about one and a fifth.

Myth #18: A bigger baby is a better baby. False. The average baby weighs about 7.5 pounds. Babies that are much bigger than that are more likely to suffer from diabetes and obesity in later life.

Myth #19: Drinking dark beer helps the milk come in. False. It might help the mother relax though, which does help with milk letdown, but it has nothing to do with the barley in the beer.

Do this. Don’t do that. With all the pregnancy “advice” out there, it’s hard to know what to believe — or whom to believe. But remember, every pregnancy is different, so follow your doctor’s orders above anything else.


Why I Became a Nurse

At the age of 4, according to my mother, I decided I wanted to be a nurse.  With 5 siblings, I kept myself busy taking care of everyone when they were sick or injured or taking care of the sick dogs, chickens, or cows.  Being a softie at heart, it was difficult to see anyone or anything suffer.  When I got to be a little older, my diabetic grandmother would let me give her insulin injections and I found that to be quite exciting.  At the age of 13 my brother was born and had a cleft lip and cleft palate.  He was quite sickly and required 10 surgeries.  I spent many hours helping take care of him and this was the “decision maker” for me. 

I attended ECU School of Nursing graduating in 1979.  Immediately after graduating, I started working at Pitt County Memorial Hospital in Labor and Delivery.  I have participated in many deliveries and have delivered quite a few myself.  It was an awesome job and I loved almost every minute of it.  It was adrenaline pumping, exciting, sometimes sad but rarely boring.  I retired in 2012 after 33 years in L&D to come to Greenville Women’s Clinic.  Being very passionate about women’s health, it has truly been a learning experience because GYN was something I knew very little about.  I have learned so much in the short three years I have been here about many different things.  Coming from a tertiary care center to an office setting has also been quite an adjustment.  The stressors are of a  different  magnitude but are as equally critical in the office setting as in the hospital setting.

Nursing continues to be an ever changing and challenging career.  My career has been wrought with many demands, victories, trials and tribulations but I would not trade any part of it.  I cannot imagine spending my life doing anything else!  I have met some awesome people and have had experiences I will never forget.  I could write a book about some of the things I have seen and heard and I imagine it could make the best seller list for a week or two.

Happy Nurses’ Week to all the nurses out there and to those that are toying with the idea of nursing as a career.  It is an awesome profession with many rewards – you won’t regret it!

Dawn Arnold, RN
Clinical Supervisor
Greenville Women’s Clinic