• Ep 260: Pregnancy & GBS (Group B Strep) - Updated!

    Group B strep, or GBS, is a relatively common bacterial infection found in the gastrointestinal and genitourinary tracts. Most people can be carriers and not have any symptoms. However, GBS can present problems for newborns and during pregnancy.

    I’m doing this episode because some changes have been made since I first covered this topic back in 2019. In 2022 the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) updated guidelines for testing and treating GBS. Staying informed and up-to-date is the best way to keep yourself and your baby safe.


    In this Episode, You’ll Learn About:

    • What group B strep–GBS–is and why it matters
    • How common it is and what the chances are that you may be a carrier
    • Which risk factors increase the likelihood of GBS colonization
    • How it can affect pregnancy and newborns
    • What methods are used to screen for and treat GBS
    • What the long-term implications can be
    • Whether probiotics have been proven to be effective


    --

    Full website notes: drnicolerankins.com/episode260

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    36m - May 28, 2024
  • Ep 259: Understanding the Link Between Feeding & Sleep with Hillary Sadler of Baby Settler

    So many parents feel like they have to choose between sleep and breastfeeding and today’s guest, Hillary Sadler, says that's not the case - and she knows what she’s talking about! A registered nurse, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, and mom of four, Hilary is a true expert in the art of balancing feeding and sleep.

    Getting enough sleep is going to be vital for your mental health. I’ve said it a hundred times and I’ll say it again: To have a healthy baby, you’ve gotta have a healthy parent. Do future-you a favor and understand the link between feeding and sleep before baby comes home.

    In this Episode, You’ll Learn About:

    • How “quality, effective, efficient” feeds can impact sleep
    • What the biological link is between feeding and sleep
    • Why you should think about your sleep goals
    • How to maximize your newborn’s wake time 
    • What makes an efficient feeding pattern
    • What the five S’s are
    • Why you should approach day feeding and night feeding differently


    --

    Full website notes: drnicolerankins.com/episode259

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    48m - May 21, 2024
  • Ep 258: Jodi’s Birth Story - Forceps With No Pain Medication

    For many parents, selecting where they’re going to give birth is an important part of the planning process. However, Jodi lives on a small island with only one hospital and didn’t have a choice in the matter.

    Though she and her baby are healthy, the birth was intensely challenging. Jodi’s pain went under-treated and many procedures were done without adequate communication. While I want to acknowledge that rural and remote medicine is complex, the pain Jodi suffered is unacceptable.

    In this Episode, You’ll Learn About:

    • How long it took to get from Jodi’s home to the hospital
    • How her “advanced maternal age” affected the care she received
    • Why she was unable to leave the bed during delivery
    • Why doctors were in a hurry to get the baby out
    • How doctors could’ve done a better job of communicating
    • Whether forceps are still commonly used
    • What it was like for Jodi to experience an episiotomy & forceps delivery without adequate pain management
    • What steps were taken to deliver/remove the placenta


    --

    Full website notes: drnicolerankins.com/episode258

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    55m - May 14, 2024
  • Listener Q&A: 2 vessel umbilical cord

    Normally the umbilical cord has 3 vessels - 2 arteries and one vein. What does it mean when your baby's umbilical cord has 2 vessels instead of 3? How do you know if this is a concern for your baby? I answer this listener question from Jessica in this episode!


    If you have a question you'd like me to answer, shoot me a DM on Instagram @drnicolerankins.



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    10m - May 9, 2024
  • Ep 257: Everything You Need To Know About The Prenatal Tests You’ll Get During Pregnancy

    In this episode, you'll learn all the tests that are recommended during pregnancy. I’ll break things down by trimester and talk about why the tests are done and what the results of the tests mean. You can use this information to prepare for upcoming tests or go back and ask questions about ones that were done in the past.

    The bulk of testing is done in the first trimester. Early screening is vital for the health of you and your baby. Healthcare doesn’t often focus on preventative care so use this opportunity to be proactive and plan ahead.

    In this Episode, You’ll Learn About:

    • Which tests are recommended and done during pregnancy
    • Why you should register for access to your electronic medical records
    • Why we don’t want you to go into birth having low platelets
    • What happens in the case of an RH negative parent and an RH positive baby
    • Which conditions can be passed on from parent to baby
    • Why we screen for several STIs
    • What we can learn from analyzing a urine sample
    • Why genetic testing is done
    • What an anatomy scan looks for
    • Why it’s important to check for and address gestational diabetes


    --

    Full website notes: drnicolerankins.com/episode257

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    31m - May 7, 2024
  • You've been told you're "high risk". What exactly does that mean?

    The term high risks gets used a lot and can mean very different things depending on your unique circumstances. Learn what "high risk" actually means as well as questions you need to ask if you've been told you're "high risk".


    Join me in my free LIVE class Make A Birth Plan The Right Way! Grab your seat at drnicolerankins.com/birthplan



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    10m - May 2, 2024
  • Ep 256: Fed is Best with The Formula Mom, Mallory Whitmore

    Mallory Whitmore knows her stuff about formula! She’s a certified infant feeding tech, leader of education at Bobbie–the only mom-founded and mom-run U.S. formula brand–and she’s the face behind The Formula Mom, an online platform for infant feeding info and support.


    To be clear, she’s not against breastfeeding, quite the opposite in fact! Her mission is to help parents make informed, confident, and supported infant feeding decisions–without guilt or shame. If that means all breastmilk, all formula, or someplace in between, all that matters is that your baby gets the nutrition they need!

    In this Episode, You’ll Learn About:

    • How formula compares to breast milk
    • Which “bioactive components” are found in breast milk
    • What parents should look for in a formula - ignore the marketing hype!
    • What types of formula are available
    • How to figure out which formula is right for you
    • What signs can indicate a formula is not working for your baby
    • How long you should give it before you switch to a different formula
    • How to feed a combination of breastmilk and formula
    • What actually makes DIY formula risky
    • Why it’s so important to destigmatize formula feeding
    • What the difference is between absolute risk and relative risk


    --

    Full website notes: drnicolerankins.com/episode256

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    43m - Apr 30, 2024
  • Making a birth plan? Be sure to ask your doctor these 4 questions

    Making a birth plan is a really important part of helping you have the birth you want. A birth plan helps you think through the things that you want for your birth and communicate your wishes with your birth team. To make the most of your birth plan, be sure to ask your doctor the 4 key questions you'll learn in this short episode!

    And to learn 4 more questions to ask as well as how to approach the process, tips to get your doctor and nurses to pay attention and what to include, join me in my FREE LIVE class Make A Birth Plan The RIGHT Way. Register at drnicolerankins.com/birthplan





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    8m - Apr 25, 2024
  • Ep 255: Amy’s Birth Story - Bonding After a Critical Care Birth

    Amy had what she calls an "easy pregnancy". The birth was the difficult part. Her labor came on quickly and then stalled. While hospital staff nudged her along by breaking her water and administering Pitocin, it became clear that something was wrong.

    Amy was sick - she was showing symptoms of infection. As she faded in and out of consciousness, her family and care team discussed the options. Eventually it was decided that a C-section was the best choice.

    After birth, Amy didn't get her “TV moment" with her baby. Her son was taken to the NICU and she had to spend a week in the hospital. Once they were reunited, it was still difficult to feel connected. She wanted to share her story to help others feel less alone. I guarantee you, you are going to be on the edge of your seat and really learn a lot from Amy's birth story.

    In this Episode, You’ll Learn About:

    • How long Amy and her partner worked to get pregnant
    • What a “push prep” class is and why Amy recommends it
    • Why she describes the attending physician as “not friendly”
    • How infection symptoms can affect a pregnancy
    • Why she considers her breastfeeding experience “a miracle”
    • How therapy helped Amy cope with difficult postpartum feelings


    --

    Full website notes: drnicolerankins.com/episode255

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    47m - Apr 23, 2024
  • Intense negative emotions with breastfeeding? It might be D-MER

    Dysmorphic milk ejection reflex, also known as D-MER, is a condition experienced by lactating women and individuals where you feel a sudden, brief, and very intense negative emotional response just before milk letdown or release.

    Learn about this important and underrecognized condition in this short episode.


    Join me LIVE on April 30th for my FREE class - Make A Birth Plan The RIGHT Way! Grab your spot at drnicolerankins.com/birthplan



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    12m - Apr 18, 2024
  • Ep 254: Maternal Disparities, How You Can Stay Safe, and How You Can Help

    This episode is being released during Black Maternal Health Week (April 11-17). Black Maternal Health Week was created by The Black Mamas Matter Alliance, a national coalition created to ensure all Black Mamas have the rights, respect, and resources to thrive before, during, and after pregnancy. 

    In this episode you’re going to learn about pregnancy-related morbidity and mortality. Specifically, you’ll learn about the racial disparities in obstetric care as well as causes and solutions. You'll also learn how to keep yourself safe and how to help other pregnant people, too.


    In this Episode, You’ll Learn About:

    • How maternal morbidity and mortality are defined
    • How many people die from pregnancy-related causes each year
    • How morbidity and mortality rates vary by race
    • Why focusing on Black Mamas is essential
    • How to interpret maternal data correctly
    • What the most common causes are of pregnancy-related death
    • What you can do to help


    --

    Full website notes: drnicolerankins.com/episode254

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    36m - Apr 16, 2024
  • Fast Facts About Black Maternal Health

    Black Maternal Health week is April 11-17th!

    In this short episode I'm sharing some facts about Black Maternal Health.

    As I've done before, during Black Maternal Health week I'm collecting donations to giveaway spots in my online childbirth education class, The Birth Preparation Course. I'd love for my community to come together and donate enough to give away 10 spots! Please donate whatever you can at drnicolerankins.com/help.



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    9m - Apr 11, 2024
  • Ep 253: The Fourth Trimester with Pediatrician Dr. Jess Daigle

    I love connecting you with other physicians who have a real heart and passion for caring for people and that’s exactly what you’re going to get in this episode with Dr. Jess. 

    Since she was 10 years old, Dr. Jess Daigle (@momandme_md) knew she wanted to be a pediatrician and neonatologist. Now a board-certified pediatrician and CEO of Mom & Me MD, a concierge practice that focuses on providing in-home care and support for moms and babies after a NICU stay, she has made that dream a reality and then some.

    Dr Jess’s dedication to NICU care is rooted in her own challenging experiences with pregnancy and birth including a loss at 19 weeks and bedrest for 65 days followed by a preterm birth with her second pregnancy. Her passion and commitment for her work really shines through in this episode and you can’t help but listen to her and think “Man, I would love for her to be my doctor!”. 

    We have a great conversation about 5 areas to prepare for when you’re having a baby (mom, baby, relationships, household, and career) as well as the importance of advocating for oneself and asking questions.


    In this Episode, You’ll Learn About:

    • How Dr. Jess’s personal experience shapes the kind of physician she is
    • Why she wishes she would’ve done things differently after pregnancy loss
    • What makes Mom & Me MD different from other postpartum care services
    • Which unique emotional struggles affect families with babies in critical care
    • What “fourth trimester” refers to and how this period can be more challenging for NICU parents
    • How to create a postpartum “9-1-1 Crew”
    • Why you should prepare for postpartum while you’re still pregnant


    --

    Full website notes: drnicolerankins.com/episode253

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    44m - Apr 9, 2024
  • Listener Q&A - Partial Molar Pregnancy

    In this short episode I answer this question from Bailey:

    I was wondering if you could speak on partial-molar pregnancy in your podcast? My husband and I recently lost our baby due to this and I had to go through with a d&c, and this was something I hadn’t heard of until it happened to us. Thank you.


    If you have a question you want me to answer in the podcast shoot me a DM on Instagram @drnicolerankins!




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    12m - Apr 4, 2024
  • Ep 252: Andrea’s Birth Story - Joy and Grief After a Traumatic Birth

    Andrea planned an induction at 39 weeks, but things didn't go as anticipated. She thought that her water broke just after 38 weeks and went to the hospital. It turned out that it didn't, but her blood pressure was high and her baby had turned to a transverse position - which is basically going across the uterus - and no matter how hard we try, a baby is not going to fit through the vagina that way. So she ended up having to have a C-section.

    A lot of things did not go great with her experience. Quite honestly, some of the things she experienced were just plain awful. Most of the nurses were great but one in particular made her feel like she was failing as a mom. Plus there were some other not ideal experiences which she’ll explain in the episode. These experiences resulted in postpartum depression and anxiety.

    Now, despite those challenges, she's also going to share how she’s taking care of herself now. Working with a postpartum coach and a pelvic floor physical therapist have helped her grieve the vaginal birth she wanted but didn't have.

    In this Episode, You’ll Learn About:

    • Why she referred to her prenatal doctor’s visits as “conveyer belt care”
    • How insurance limited what services she had access to
    • How connecting with other expectant parents, both online and in person, helped her through a difficult pregnancy
    • Which symptoms she experienced (basically every one you can imagine)
    • How she felt when she realized she wasn’t going to have a vaginal birth
    • What her c-section felt like
    • What made her unhappy with her lactation support
    • How medication has helped with her postpartum depression


    --

    Full website notes: drnicolerankins.com/episode252

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    58m - Apr 2, 2024
  • Stop fighting and listen to your body!

    Stop fighting and listen to your body! This doesn't mean what you think.....


    Make A Birth Plan The RIGHT Way - Free Class!

    Check out The Birth Preparation Course and get calm, confident, and empowered for your birth.

    If you like this podcast please support it at drnicolerankins.com/support.



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    11m - Mar 28, 2024
  • Ep 251: Low Amniotic Fluid? High Amniotic Fluid? What Do Amniotic Fluid Levels Mean for Your Baby?

    Amniotic fluid (AF) is the liquid that surrounds your baby after the first few weeks of pregnancy. An adequate amount of amniotic fluid is absolutely, positively critical for fetal health. If it’s too low, there can be a risk of severe fetal deformations, umbilical cord compression, and in extreme cases, fetal death. On the other side, if it’s too high, there’s a range of other fetal disorders that can occur affecting both you and your baby. Neither extreme is very common, but they both require monitoring and special care.

    In this Episode, You’ll Learn About:

    • What the purpose of amniotic fluid is
    • What it is made up of
    • Where it comes from
    • How it is measured
    • How low and high AF can affect development


    --

    Full website notes: drnicolerankins.com/episode251

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    28m - Mar 26, 2024
  • All the things you DON'T have to do just because you're having a baby

    Social media will have you believing you have to do SO MUCH when you are having a baby. I'm here to tell you that you don't! Learn exactly that things you don't have to do just because you're having a baby.


    Make A Birth Plan The Right Way - FREE Class!

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    10m - Mar 21, 2024
  • Ep 250: Breastfeeding Advice From Board Certified Breastfeeding Medicine Specialist Dr. Andrea Wadley

    This week’s guest is Dr. Andrea Wadley. She is board certified in both pediatrics AND breastfeeding medicine. In fact she’s one of only 100 physicians in the country who is board certified in breastfeeding medicine. With all of the unreliable information out there, it’s so important to seek out authorities like her.

    It would be great if your doctor was an expert in breastfeeding but the fact is, whether it’s your OB/GYN or pediatrician, that’s rarely the case. That’s where you’re going to have to take some initiative. Educate yourself, seek out a lactation consultant, and of course listen to this episode with Dr. Wadley! Even if you can’t visit her in person, you can find all kinds of resources and ways to connect with her through the links below!


    In this Episode, You’ll Learn About:

    • What makes Dr. Wadley’s model of care unique
    • Which factors can affect milk production
    • What to expect with breastfeeding in the first 24 hours
    • What is colostrum and how much is normal to produce
    • When to consider using formula
    • What the average timeline is for milk coming in
    • Why having a proper latch is crucial
    • Whether you should try hand expression

    --

    Full website notes: drnicolerankins.com/episode250

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    48m - Mar 19, 2024
  • How to deal with those seasonal allergies while pregnant

    I have a terrible time with seasonal allergies! And I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if you have a hard time too, they might get worse in pregnancy. Get info on medication-free techniques (where I recommend you start) and medications to help with those turrrrible seasonal allergies!


    Also, please do me a big favor and leave a review of the podcast in Apple podcasts. It's SUCH a huge help!



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    10m - Mar 14, 2024
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