NCBDDD Celebrates Healthy Pregnancies
Kimberly here with her daughters Kierstyn , 8, and Keona, 5.
Kimberly Smith: “My advice for a healthy pregnancy is to listen to your body, get plenty of rest and don’t hesitate to contact your physician if you feel like something is not right. But most of all, enjoy every moment because pregnancy and child birth are truly miracles that we shouldn’t take for granted.
“My first pregnancy was pretty routine and I gave birth to a healthy baby girl at 39 weeks gestation. My second pregnancy was routine until my water broke while I was in labor at 38 ½ weeks gestation. When my water broke, there was an excessive amount of blood in the fluid. The doctors discovered that I had suffered a massive placental abruption and that my unborn daughter no longer had a heartbeat. During my third pregnancy, I had another placental abruption at 35 weeks, but thank God it was detected in time and my third daughter was born healthy.
“The stillbirth of my daughter, Kyndall, changed my life in so many ways. I have a better understanding of just how fragile life is and I am so much more grateful for the gift of motherhood. I think the experience has also made me a better mother, focusing more on the joys of motherhood than on how tiring and demanding it can be.
“Doctors have never been able to determine what caused my placental abruptions, which tells me that there is still a lot to learn about pregnancies and how to prevent some of the complications that can arise during pregnancy. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I have the opportunity to work in the CDC division that focuses on stillbirth, birth defects and developmental disabilities. Because of my experience, I am more dedicated to the work I do and I know that what we do can help save the lives of babies and give them a healthy start in life.”
For more information on healthy pregnancies: www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/pregnancy_gateway/index.html