Thoughts on “Daily Mail” articles

My Google Alerts keep me more current on traditional news and weblog posts regarding childbirth, VBACs, and cesareans.  Two alerts from the same source, The Daily Mail (UK), piqued my interest today.

First, an article about pelvic floor surgery entitled “The pelvic prolapse operation that gives women their lives back after childbirth.”  I am sure that living with pelvic prolapse is quite challenging, and it seems as though this particular woman featured in the article dealt with pelvic floor dysfunction from an early age, so the title of this article is misleading.    The patient claimed that she sometimes wet herself as a child when sneezing, coughing, or laughing.  Clearly, in this case the woman suffered a degenerative problem that began in childhood and became more pronounced during the childbearing years.  Childbirth did not cause her incontinence.  She was “disappointed” that the physician’s first recommendation was to do pelvic strengthening exercises instead of offering surgery.  I just don’t understand why people are so quick to want surgery.  She now has pig parts sewed to her innards . . . (shudder)  I did post a comment on the article and hope that it will be published.

Another article brought my attention to a new study just published in the American Journal of Epidemiology: “Association of Fewer Hours of Sleep at 6 Months Postpartum with Substantial Weight Retention at 1 Year Postpartum” by Erica Gunderson et al.

Here is the study abstract:

Shorter sleep duration is linked to obesity, coronary artery disease, and diabetes. Whether sleep deprivation during the postpartum period affects maternal postpartum weight retention remains unknown. This study examined the association of sleep at 6 months postpartum with substantial postpartum weight retention (SPPWR), defined as 5 kg or more above pregravid weight at 1 year postpartum. The authors selected 940 participants in Project Viva who enrolled during early pregnancy from 1999 to 2002. Logistic regression models estimated odds ratios of SPPWR for sleep categories, controlling for sociodemographic, prenatal, and behavioral attributes. Of the 940 women, 124 (13%) developed SPPWR. Sleep distributions were as follows: 114 (12%) women slept 5 hours/day, 280 (30%) slept 6 hours/day, 321 (34%) slept 7 hours/day, and 225 (24%) slept 8 hours/day. Adjusted odds ratios of SPPWR were 3.13 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.42, 6.94) for 5 hours/day, 0.99 (95% CI: 0.50, 1.97) for 6 hours/day, and 0.94 (95% CI: 0.50, 1.78) for 8 hours/day versus 7 hours/day (p=0.012). The adjusted oddsratio for SPPWR of 2.05 (95% CI: 1.11, 3.78) was twofold greater f(p=0.02) for a decrease in versus no change in sleep at 1 year postpartum. Sleeping 5 hours/day at 6 months postpartum was strongly associated with retaining 5 kg at 1 year postpartum. Interventions to prevent postpartum obesity should consider strategies to attain optimal maternal sleep duration.

The only way I found more sleep was to cosleep.  My daughter did not sleep for long periods of time by herself.  We weren’t initially comfortable with the idea and fell into it out of necessity.  I am thankful that my daughter is now happily in her own bed, but I miss sleeping with her.  I am so glad that we had that special time together because it all goes by so fast.  I will say that I lost my pregnancy weight fairly quickly, so perhaps there is a relationship between sleep and weight retention/loss.  “Strategies to attain optimal maternal sleep duration”?!  Ha!!