While most new parents wish their little ones came with instruction manuals, the plain truth is: they just don’t.
That’s why two OB-GYNs from Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City collaborated to offer parents the next best thing with their book “The New Pregnancy Bible: The Experts Guide to Pregnancy and Early Parenthood.”
Dr. Manny Alvarez, senior managing health editor at FoxNews.com recently sat down with the book’s authors, Dr. Joanne Stone and Dr. Keith A. Eddleman to talk about what parents can expect.
MA: Talk to me about the new book. What does it have? How is it different? Why did you do it?
JS: One of the things that’s great about this book is that it has gorgeous photography, and I think that seeing visuals really helps people understand what we’re talking about. So little things, like how you hold a baby, how you bathe a baby - when you see actual pictures, it really, really helps a lot.
KE: A lot of books are written from opinion, and we approached the book by really using evidence-based medicine, and tried to distill it down so the average person can understand it.
MA: There’s so much information today when it comes to prenatal care or obstetrical care and even afterwards that has changed. What are some of the common questions?
JS: I think some of the common questions that women have are related to lifestyle. Can you dye your hair? Can you have facial treatments? Can I have coffee? We address all those issues. I mean, yes you can dye your hair, it’s not true that you can’t. You can have a cup of coffee or a cup and a half of coffee every day. I mean these are important lifestyle issues.
MA: Aside from lifestyle, there are other questions, for instance the safety of vaccines during pregnancy. What kind of current guidelines are in the book for parents?
KE: The book has the most up-to-date information about vaccines. Vaccines are safe during pregnancy – most of them are – there are a few that you should avoid, and your doctor can help you sort out which ones not to take. But most of them, like the flu vaccine is actually recommended. The flu in a pregnant woman is really worse than it is in a non-pregnant woman. So those types of vaccines are recommended, completely safe and patients should be very comfortable taking those.
MA: There is a lot of new testing that is available for women today. How do you break them down in your new book?
JS: Well we talk about screening and diagnostic tests. So there’s screening for a whole bunch of different disorders. There’s screening for things like cystic fibrosis, and some conditions that both parents have to be at risk for for a child to be affected. Then there’s Down syndrome screening which has changed very much over the past several years. It used to just be a blood test done in the second trimester. Now we do a measurement of fluid from a region behind the neck, we combine it with the blood test, and we give a more accurate risk for Down syndrome. On top of it, there are other tests that are now available, testing the maternal blood, we’re looking at fetal DNA to screen for Down syndrome. So it’s changed. Genetics has changed so much, and so we try to keep that up to date.
KE: There are some things that no matter what, you need to talk to your doctor. Any time you have bleeding during a pregnancy, that’s significant, and it’s significant is anything more than a period usually. If you don’t feel the baby moving normally talk to your doctor immediately. Many times, and most of the time, when you talk to your doctor, everything’s fine, but he or she needs to know about that so that they can assure that they are.