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Help! I’m bleeding during pregnancy. Is it dangerous?

Dear Darla,

I am four months pregnant with my first baby and today, I had a couple of spots of blood in my underwear. This is scaring me pretty bad. Am I miscarrying? Is bleeding during pregnancy bad?  Should I go to the doctor?

Isabella in Mariposa, CA

Dear Isabella

Many women experience bleeding during pregnancy, so you are not alone. Bleeding during pregnancy can be worrisome, but it is not always a sure indication that there is a problem. However, it is important to monitor yourself in case bleeding persists and becomes heavier. Bleeding can potentially be a sign of a serious issue, so make sure to always disclose any concerns with your health care provider to make sure you and your baby are doing well.

If you see any more bleeding like this, (often called “spotting”) go to your doctor. Spotting during pregnancy is normal as the cervix gets used to being pregnant.

It is important to note there is a difference between spotting and heavier bleeding. Spotting is when you have light bleeding that is typically pink, red, or dark brown. Bleeding is heavier than spotting. You can tell you are bleeding rather than spotting if you require a pad or a tampon to feel secure to go about your day. If you are spotting you may just need a pantyliner to accommodate the bleeding.

         Specifically bleeding in early pregnancy is common. Around 20% of women experience bleeding in the first trimester of pregnancy. Bleeding in later pregnancy is considered more serious. Many women experience bleeding in the first few days of becoming pregnant and this is called implantation bleeding. This type of bleeding happens when a fertilized egg is implanted in the uterine wall and can often be mistaken as a period if women are not aware they are pregnant. Bleeding in early pregnancy can also be a result of an early miscarriage which happen in about every 10 out of 100 pregnancies. Other than bleeding, cramping may also be a symptom of an early miscarriage.

         Bleeding in late pregnancy can be caused by Placenta Previa. Placenta Previa can occur when the uterus is covering the birth canal. If this is the case, it requires immediate medical attention, so call your doctor right away if experiencing bleeding in late pregnancy. Another reason for bleeding during late pregnancy can be because of a Uterine Rupture. You should be aware of a  uterine rupture if you have previously experienced a c-section. A uterine rupture occurs when a c-section scar reopens during pregnancy and requires emergency medical attention as well.

         There could be a multitude of reasons you are experiencing bleeding or spotting during pregnancy, so the smartest thing to do is call your doctor immediately.

I have listed further resources below for your convenience.  Take care Isabella, and I will keep my fingers crossed for you.

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Top 5 Ways to Avoid Illness & Stress this Thanksgiving

The Stork Bag - Top 5 Ways to Avoid Illness & Stress this Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving, particularly after a year like the last one, is an important time to give thanks and enjoy family and friends. However, being pregnant during Thanksgiving can bring all sorts of stress and and even potentially illness to pregnant mums. So how do we enjoy Thanksgiving, see family, and avoid the pitfalls associated with large gatherings? Check out our list below to learn the top 5 ways to avoid illness and stress this Thanksgiving Holiday.

This coming weekend, many of us will be gathering with family and friends to enjoy the bounties of the season and give thanks. After a year filled with separation and isolation, we have much to be thankful for. Enjoying this time with family and friends is very important to maintaining our mental health. Humans (for the most part) are social creatures and crave regular social interaction. Yet, when we gather, there can be all sorts of risk that pregnant women have to contend with. Whether it is food concerns, illness or just holiday stress, everything seems more extreme when you are pregnant. So do we deal with the holidays, yet, protect ourselves.

We need to be thankful for all we have this year and all we are. Being able to gather with our friends and family is so important to our mental health.

We have identified the top 5 risks of pregnancy during Thanksgiving and how to avoid them to manage the risk.

  1. Undercooked Food. One of the biggest risks for a pregnant women, and in fact anyone, is undercooked food. This is especially risky during pregnancy because illnesses like salmonella can be especially dangerous to an expecting mother and her unborn child. Look for foods that look discolored, appear still raw, or a different consistency. Stuffing, traditionally cooked inside of the bird, can pose a threat for pregnant women as it has a higher chance of passing on food borne illness. So skip the stuffing, unless you can confirm it was cooked on a stove top.
  2. Food Borne Illness-one of the biggest things to look for is to watch for food borne illnesses. Certain foods are more likely than others to carry illness. Foods like Shellfish, certain cheeses and cold cuts are more likely to carry dangerous bacteria like Listeria, which can make pregnant women very ill. Soft cheeses are another food group that you have to have some caution with. Other items like lox, salmon and cold cuts can also carry significant amounts of bacteria. Some experts recommend heating them right before eating as one way to decrease the risk of exposure to certain bacteria. On a cold cut tray however, it is difficult to discern how long something has been sitting and or how it was prepared.
  3. Beverages– we all enjoy our beverages. We know during pregnancy we need to eliminate alcohols, but did you know that beverages such as apple ciders, eggnog and other drinks should be pasteurized before you drink them? When in doubt, bring something you know you can drink and share. Pregnancy doesn’t last forever, and there are many choices available on the market now, from non-alcoholic wines and sparkling ciders to yummy hot chocolates and other warm toasty drinks. On a side note, the other thing to watch in many of these drinks is the caffeine level. You want to minimize the amount of caffeine you are consuming to no more than the equivalent of 1-2 small coffees per day.
  4. Close & Cuddly– There is nothing like the holidays for seeing family and loved ones. However, it is in these close quarters that we can get sick. Whether it is COVID, the flu or a common cold, viruses spread faster in close quarters. So how do you avoid getting sick? Besides the typical washing hands and avoiding to touch your face, avoiding kissing, and not getting too close to others , are ways to avoid airborne illnesses. If you are really nervous about getting sick and want to see your family, just wear a mask.
  5. Managing Stress Levels– The holidays represent both a time of joy, but also can be a time of exceptional stress for most people. You have extra financial pressures, more to do and we place unrealistic expectations of perfection on ourselves. We have this idea that things have to be picture perfect. Let go of what you think should be and accept that when you are pregnant, you need to do less, in order to enjoy things more. Be present. Accept help, and offer to bring a side rather than the main course. There is no reason you have to do everything alone, nor are you responsible for everyone’s happiness. If you are hosting, pre-make some of the food, freeze and then thaw before the big day. Ask others to pitch in and help and give yourself permission to understand that not everything will be perfect and that is ok.

The holidays can be enjoyed and be a source of joy for us. As pregnant women, we just have to take a few more precautions and be organized. So go forth, see your family this holiday and be thankful for all we have and that we can all be together again this year.

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Internet Porn, Masterbation and Better Communication as a Solution Perhaps?

Dear Darla,

I am 7 months pregnant and concerned that my husband no longer finds me attractive. I see him looking at porn when he thinks I am not looking, and I am pretty sure he masturbates in the shower.  Is this TMI?  Sorry but I don’t know what to do!  I am just really worried about my marriage and I no longer feel as sexy as I once did.  Please Help Darla!

Amie 32, Berkley, CA

Dear Amie,

This is quite a loaded set of questions!  Back in my day, before the Internet, wives used to catch husbands looking at dirty magazines – the internet is much more subtle. 

Where to start with this post?

I would say as in all things, if there is something you want to know, ask.  Communication forms the base of any relationship.  Maybe your husband is feeling, shall we say “urges” and doesn’t want to bother you since he knows you are pregnant, and perhaps tired.  From your post I cannot determine how this pregnancy has progressed and your current state of health.  I would say that you should talk to your husband and have an open and honest conversation. 

I am not sure whether or not you are against the potential masterbation in the shower, but again, this is pretty natural, at least according to my research. Check WebMD

If you are against it for personal or religious reasons, again I would recommend having an honest discussion with your husband.  You could start by asking how he feels your sex life has been lately.  You could also tell him about your concerns and your feelings of doubt.  If you guys have a good relationship, he will welcome the feedback.  If you feel comfortable, join him in the shower one day.  One thing may lead to another… and well, I am sure that you get the idea.

If your relationship is suffering from problems (again I cannot determine from your question), I would really recommend that you guys go and see someone.  This is always best before a baby arrives and further complicates your relationship.

You two started this journey together dearie, but whether you want to finish it together, is a choice only you alone can make.  I would encourage you to reach out to a family member, friend or a specialist to answer your further questions, but most importantly, talk to your husband about your concerns.

Good luck Amie.

With love, Darla

Have a question for Darla? Send it to our team or send it to one of our social media channels.

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Are Pregnancy Tests Accurate? Or is it better to go to the Doctor?

Dear Darla,

My name is Emily and I am 23.  My boyfriend and I are sexually active, and my period is two weeks late.  My boyfriend keeps telling me to do a home pregnancy test but I am not convinced that they work!  Wouldn’t a test at the Doctor’s office be better?  My question is do home pregnancy tests work and how reliable are they?

Emily – Scranton, PA.

Dear Emily from Scranton,

So your period is now a few days late and either you are extremely excited or sick to your stomach – I couldn’t tell which from your email.  Either way, your boyfriend is 100% right that you should consider a home pregnancy test.  I can see your doubt, how does a pregnancy test, from the drug store or dollar store accurately tell you whether or not you are about to have the biggest change of your life?

My advice? Go take the pregnancy test. It is quite inexpensive and way cheaper than the doctor’s office.  Best of all, it is easy and it is fast.  You may ask how effective peeing on a 4 inch strip can be?

Well, home pregnancy tests are typically 98% effective at giving accurate results.  However, if you are looking to take a test before your missed period then you should expect less accurate results.  Once a fertilized egg has implanted on the uterine lining, your body will begin to produce human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG).  This hormone is what the pregnancy test is detecting and your body begins to produce it six days after fertilization.  The longer you wait to take a pregnancy test, the more HGC will be present in your urine because the hormone doubles every 2-3 days after fertilization.

Although at-home tests tend to be accurate, false negative results are positive if used very early in pregnancy.  However, you may be experiencing symptoms that are indicative of early pregnancy.  In that case, if you cannot wait to see the results, blood tests are the most accurate measure, but can be expensive.  Blood tests tend to be more accurate because they can detect extremely low levels of HCG in the body.  If you do get a positive result on your home pregnancy test, I would recommend that you call your healthcare provider and schedule an appointment for a more conclusive blood test.  Make sure you begin adopting healthy habits such as quitting smoking, drinking alcohol, and begin to take prenatal vitamins.

There are other things to consider when it comes to false positive results in at home pregnancy tests.  Sometimes certain medications such as fertility medications can cause you to get a false positive result.  Other medications should not cause a false positive, but specific medications to help fertility may.  Make sure to always consult with your healthcare provider and you can always do more than one test.  I’ve listed some resources below so you can do more research.  Best of luck!

 The Cleveland Clinic

Mayo Clinic


Dear Darla,

Please Help! I am testing positive on a pregnancy test, but I do not know how far along I am.  My husband and I have sex routinely, but I am concerned that it may not be my husband’s child. How do I determine how far along I am?

Questioning in St. Louis.

Dear Questioning,

This seems a bit loaded of a question, but in response, women typically do not start showing physical signs of pregnancy until months after conception, but this might leave you wondering when you conceived your baby and how many weeks or months along you are.  The most common method you can use to determine how far along you are in your pregnancy is to consider the date of your last period.  This method can be sufficient for a pregnant woman to use because it does not require any medical assistance.  To make this calculation you first need to determine the start date of your last period. Add 7 days to that date and subtract three months to estimate your delivery date.  If you are someone who has irregular periods, this method might not be the most effective for you because your last period may have been months ago. In this case, go to your doctor to try and get a more accurate estimate.

         Doctors and nurses can use different techniques to determine your date of conception and intern estimate your due date. Due dates are not always accurate because they are an estimation. However, most women deliver within 14 days of their due date… which seems carless to me. Doctors may use an ultrasound to determine how many weeks pregnant you are or measure your uterus. In addition, they may also ask you about the date of your last menstrual cycle. To measure your uterus your doctor can use estimate as to where your uterus should expand to at the particular week. For example, if you are 12 weeks, then your uterus should be above your pelvis. Once you are past 17 weeks, the number of centimeters between pubic bone and the uterus is the number of weeks you are pregnant.

         When doctors use ultrasounds there are looking at the fetus inside your uterus. Based on the fetus’s size and development, the doctor can determine how far along you are in your pregnancy. Ultrasound tests are most accurate at predicting due dates and dates of conception when you are less then 20 weeks along. Another method of determining how far along you are is using a urine sample. The urine sample will be examined for the level of a pregnancy hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). This hormone level will be low if you are earlier in pregnancy. This method is only effective in early pregnancy because soon HCG level will be high at a consistent level.

         Women can figure out how many weeks they are along in their pregnancy at any time! However, remember that only 4% of pregnant women deliver on the due date they were assigned so make sure to be prepared for a swift exist to the hospital at least 14 days before your assigned due date.

 I have provided you with more resources below but I think the first course of action, should be visiting your family medical provider for confirmation and some blood work.

Health Link


I would really recommend you chat with your husband about this.

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Welcome to the New Stork Bag!

The Stork Bag - pregnancy gift

Wow! Mid-September – where did Summer go? The kiddies have headed back to school, vacations are over and the cooler nights (at least in some parts of the country) make sleeping oh so much more comfortable. Everywhere signs of Fall are starting, representing a shifting of seasons and change. Best of all, there are big changes at The Stork Bag.

Fall has always represented a time of change for me. At the Stork Bag, fall is symbolic of a shift in some of our products, but also a change in management. We have a new team running the Stork Bag, a new direction and many new products.

As one of the managers at the Stork Bag, it is my job to make sure customers are looked after. This was a job where I had to hit the ground running, learn about the sector, the needs of customers and the products they need – and quick!

Being a mom myself helps – especially since my own pregnancies were far from easy. I hated being pregnant, but fortunately I have two healthy kids (after having a miscarriage along the way). Pregnancy is this unique time in a woman’s life where they are literally two people. We are responsible for both the past and present and which we carry within us.

Pregnancy literally changed me, and for the better. While the experience was tough, it was worth it, and I want to help create a better experience for expectant moms. I want to normalize discussions of pregnancy and pregnancy issues. Finally, I want to create a place where a mom, her loved ones and friends can pamper her through great products, an awesome customer experience and above all else, to make sure that each package is mailed with love.

We want to create a company that fosters and encourages mothers, empowers them to live their best life and invests in their enterprises. We have a series of new and exciting announcements that are sure to appeal to moms all over the world. The Stork Bag will be a company that invests in, works with and empowers motherhood in all its forms. This means that there will be a lot of change coming in the next few weeks, so we encourage you to check back often, and be sure to follow us on your favorite social media.

If you have questions, want to learn more about what we do or about how we can partner or work together, do not hesitate to reach out to our team.

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Four Reasons To Drop The Mom-Guilt NOW!

A new mom that can’t breastfeed, a young mother of two who will miss her son’s first soccer game, and an older mother who can’t be with her sick daughter who lives across the country.  What do all these things have in common? MOM GUILT!!  I’ve been told that no matter how old children get, their mothers never stop worrying about them and I’m of the opinion that the same goes for the dreaded mom guilt. It never goes away. The truth of the matter is being a mom is hard and we need to give ourselves a break and here’s why:

  1. You aren’t perfect: No mom is!  You shouldn’t feel let down if you aren’t able to be in ten places at once and anticipate everyone’s needs and every sickness your child is going to have.  You are not a robot with endless energy. You are human and are doing your best.  And your best is good enough. In fact, it’s perfect. Trust us.
  2. Your guilt doesn’t help: If you are beating yourself up about coming up short all the time, you are never going to be able to enjoy the moment and what you do have.  Sure, guilt from coming up short might motivate you temporarily, but carrying guilt for too long will only make you feel worse in the long run  Let it go and move on.
  3. Your kids love you: It’s true, they really do!  They will be fine even if you forgot to dress them in pajamas for pajama day.  I promise, your child will survive. And chances are, if you are beating yourself up about something, they will feed off that energy and make you feel worse than your already do.  Are all their basic needs met? If the answer is yes, your kids love you.  If the answer is no, your kids love you. Twenty years from now your kids will not even remember.
  4. You can give yourself a break: True story time. I’m missing my daughter’s first softball game of the season this week because I have concert tickets with my best friend who I haven’t seen in 6 months.  When I told my daughter, she gave me a little grief and for a brief minute I thought about cancelling plans (sorry Amy!) I made 7 months before my daughter even decided she wanted to play softball.  Then, I told her that her daddy and brother would be there and I would make it to the next one.  She gave a whiney “OK” and then moved on to talking about something else.  The point is that I gave myself a break and you can too.  Your life does not have to be all about the kids, all the time.  Just be sure to cheer extra loud at the next game. Do your best, be present and remember you are human too.

What is your best reason for letting go of the dreaded Mom-Guilt?  Let us know in the comments below!

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Spoil An Amazing Mom-To-Be: The Best Way To Make Any Pregnant Woman Feel Loved!

The Stork bag - Spoiling Your Favorite Mama-To-Be: Our Favorite Ways To Make Any Pregnant Woman Feel Good!

 Pregnancy is tough, like really tough. As if growing human life isn’t hard enough, it also makes you feel nauseous, tired and really huge, just to name a few things. And let’s be honest, the baby showers are fun but they are mostly about the baby and all the things the baby needs. So today, we want to talk about how to spoil the new mom-to-be! If you know a pregnant woman in your life, now is the time to pamper her. Here are our favourite ways to accomplish this task!

Pamper her with a Spa Day: What’s better than having someone else paint your toenails when you can’t reach them anymore?  A trip to the spa would be a wonderful way to make her feel like a queen!  Manicures, pedicures, and massages- oh my! If you can’t join her, grab a gift card to her favorite place and send her there or some much-needed pampering. If you are still what to do, check out our Goddess spa line, by the Barefoot Venus–sure to excite any mom to be.

Hire a little “help”: The only thing worse than cleaning your house at any given time, is cleaning the house when you are pregnant. Feeling exhausted and not being as agile as you once were, makes cleaning a bigger chore than ever before.  Help a pregnant mama out by hiring her some help to clean! There are many verified, local cleaning companies in your area, or indepdent cleaners.  Or better yet, send her to the spa while the work is being done!

Meal Train has arrived early: We have all heard about the meal help that new parents truly need once the baby has come, but what about meals before? Help out a new mom, particularly if she already has other kids, by offering to come over and cook her dinner! Or better yet, just bring over dinner. Let her put her feet up and enjoy some down time!  Be sure to make extra so there are leftovers for another time she is too tired to cook.

Pre-Baby Getaway: Hitting the road with a few friends might be just the thing a pregnant woman needs to get some major rest and relaxation! Plan a fun trip before baby comes for a couple of days: head to the beach, hit the mountains or just rent a cabin to for the girls for a few days! Serve some mocktails and create wonderful memories for her, before baby arrives!

Order her The Stork Bag: We definitely saved the best for last.  In our eyes, there is no better way to spoil any pregnant mama than by getting her one (or more) of our gift boxes from The Stork Bag!  These bags will take the guess work out of gifting because each bag is tailored to fit her exact needs based on her trimester of pregnancy. From teas to belly butters- we have everything she could possibly need, and more!  And don’t forget to continue the spoiling with the Post Bump Bag for after the baby’s arrival!

What are your favorite ways to spoil a pregnant mama-to-be? Let us know in the comments below! Reach out to us at with your comments.

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Want To Help Hurricane Harvey Victims? Here’s How You Can Make a Difference

the Stork Bag - Want To Help Hurricane Harvey Victims? Here’s How You Can

Many families have been impacted by Hurricane Harvey in Houston,TX and surrounding areas. We’ve located a few fundraisers to make it easier for you to donate.

The Stork Bag has has pledged to assist families in need and we encourage you to give as you see fit. We stand behind our Houston friends and want you all to know that we’re here to help! 

There are many other organizations and families that you can donate to as well. If you would like to share those on our website, please feel free to do so in the comments section. 

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Our Top 5 Most Exciting Activities to Make the Most of Your Summer!

The Stork Bag - End Of Summer Fun: Our Top Five Favorite Activities To Get In With The Kids Before Summer Ends!

 Schools are starting back up and the leaves on the trees are starting to gently turn to the lush colors of autumn. Fall will officially begin in one month which means you have a little bit of time left to get the most out of every minute of summer.  We are all about memory making, and these are our top five, can’t miss activities that if you haven’t done yet, you should go out and do them before the temperatures start to drop! You will be making memories with your kids, and most of these activities are low-cost or no cost, which makes it easy on the wallet.

  1. Splash Pads: All kids love splash pads, even babies. It’s a great chance to cool off without the worry of keeping an eye on multiple children in a pool.  Make sure to visit one near you before they get shut off for the season, which usually happens around Labor Day! Better yet, make it a date and meet up with a friend, pack a lunch and make it a half day trip. The kids will love having a playmate and you will love having some company.
  1. Local Parks: Make a list of all the parks in your area that you haven’t visited yet this summer and hit a new one every couple of days. Pick a new favorite and come back with a few friends and a picnic lunch or dinner! Let the kids roam and play with their friends on the equipment, play some ball or frisbee on the grass, while you sit and re-connect with friends. It is a total win-win.
  1. Zoos: This is a must do if you haven’t been yet! It’s such a fun way to learn about animals while keeping the kids entertained! Keep in mind that many zoos begin to shorten the hours that they are open during colder months, so summer might be your last chance to make a full day of it!
  1. Fruit Picking: This is a fun one, especially for the fruit lovers in your family! Find a local berry farm, apple farm and take everyone out for a fun day of picking fresh fruit. The older ones will have fun finding the perfect fruit and the younger ones will enjoy all the free samples! Now is a wonderful time for blueberries, nectarines and of course, apples!
  1. Backyard fun: Summer got you drained and don’t feel like leaving the house? Never underestimate the “end of summer” fun kids can have in their own backyard. Throw a themed party, put out a kiddie pool and invite over some of the neighborhood kids. My kids can spend hours playing with thing like bubbles, sidewalk chalk, kites and water guns. 

What have we forgotten? What are your must do activities you still want to do? Let us know by leaving a comment!

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Last Month Of Pregnancy Checklist

This article originally appeared on Pregnant Chicken.

We know that pregnancy isn’t easy, as you near the end of your journey, you might need some additional tips and info.

There is a great list here ,and let us know in the comments what your last month of pregnancy checklist includes!  And don’t forget to order yourself a Post Partum Box from The Stork Bag!