How Prepared Are You for a Healthy Pregnancy?

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Can I visit my Dentist?

Posted by | LENS, Lifestyle, Pregnancy Medicine | No Comments

Caring for your teeth and gums is an essential part of a healthy routine.  Dental health is as important as eating a balanced, nutritious meal and participating in moderate exercise. Dental hygiene involves brushing your teeth at least twice a day with an American Dental Association (ADA) approved fluoride toothpaste and a good-quality, soft-bristled toothbrush as well as flossing once a day. In addition, the ADA recommends bi-annual, preventive dental cleanings and exams to safeguard against, readily identify, and establish treatment for any possible oral infections. Maintaining good oral health is particularly important for pregnant women as there is a surge of hormones in pregnancy that have been associated with an increased risk of gum disease. This “pregnancy gingivitis” should be monitored and treated effectively as it has been linked to preterm birth. Care should be taken to maintain good oral health before and during pregnancy to avoid problems of…

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What is the Best Sleep Position in Pregnancy?

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Pregnancy changes a young mother’s body dramatically for nine months.  These changes come as a result of elevated hormones, the placenta, and the baby growing rapidly within the womb. These changes in your body can make it difficult for an expecting mother to sleep. This leads many pregnant women to ask, “What is the best sleep position in pregnancy?” An example of your child’s growth affecting your sleep pattern is during your second trimester. At this time, your uterus is large enough to put pressure on other organs within your pelvis.  If the baby’s head rests on your sciatic nerve you can get pain down the leg called sciatica.  The baby’s body and uterus can also put pressure on the large blood vessel returning blood from your legs and pelvis.  This blood vessel is called the “venae cava”. Sleeping On Your Back Has Risks If your preferred sleep position during…

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What to look for in your ob-gyn?

3 Things You Should Do When You Learn You Are Pregnant

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What is the First Thing to do When You Find Out You Are Pregnant? You have to begin thinking about how to prepare your body so that your baby can properly grow and develop. If aren’t eating a healthy diet, now is the time to start. Here are some important pregnancy facts about your diet: Make sure you have a varied diet so that you will be able to give your baby all of the nutrients he or she needs to develop. Consume a minimum of three servings daily of foods rich in iron, like red meat. Pregnant women need 100 mg of vitamin C daily, so be sure to include orange or grapefruit juice, broccoli, cauliflower, green peppers and Brussel sprouts in your diet. Getting a minimum of 0.4 milligrams of folic acid daily will help prevent birth defects, so eat plenty of green leafy vegetables and legumes, like…

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Finding Out

Posted by | LENS, Lifestyle, Pregnancy Lifestyle | No Comments

You know that moment you find out you’re pregnant and you think, I can’t wait to tell everyone! That thought is soon interrupted by several more thoughts along the lines of Who do I tell first? How long do I wait to tell everyone? If I tell one person, I have to tell everyone. Do I have to tell my boss? I need to call a doctor. My doctor’s office isn’t even open right now. Those thoughts soon become overwhelming so you decide to pause and start thinking about what this means for yourself and most importantly…your baby. Now those thoughts start rushing through your brain. What can’t I eat? What am I supposed to eat? How much do I need to eat? When do I get to start eating a lot? Can I work out? Should I work out? What does this mean for my job? I need to…

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How to Feed a Baby

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Newborns and infants all require some of the basic needs of nutrition and sleep, but choosing a method of feeding your baby can seem anything but basic. The World Health Organization (WHO) and American Academy of Pediatrics recommend breastfeeding as the most optimal choice for feeding your baby, but that does not mean that infant formula is not a viable option for many mothers and babies. The decision between bottle and breastfeeding should weigh many factors, and should include discussions with your baby’s pediatrician. How Do You Choose Between a Bottle and Breastfeeding? Choosing between breastfeeding and bottle feeding is something that you should ideally begin considering long before your baby is born. There are many factors that will influence your decision, and the best way to ensure a successful plan for you and your baby is to consider the pros and cons of each, and how those fit into…

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Can I Do Anything To Avoid Postpartum Depression?

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What is Postpartum Depression? Postpartum depression is sometimes referred to as postnatal depression. It is a form of depression that affects approximately one in every seven mothers after their baby is born. It usually occurs about four to six weeks after the child’s birth. Typical symptoms of this condition include fatigue, a feeling of sadness, decreased sex drive, crying, irritability, anxiety, and inability to sleep. The cause of postpartum depression is unknown. If I am experiencing postpartum depression, does it mean I am a bad mother? Absolutely not. This is a clinical illness, and not an indication of how you feel about your child, or your ability to be a good parent. Because it is an illness, you need to talk to your doctor right away to seek treatment. Many women fail to get the help they need. A 2011 study conducted by 4Children, a British non-profit, found that half…

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Can I Dye My Hair During Pregnancy?

Posted by | Because You Asked, Lifestyle | No Comments

Pregnancy brings about many changes in a woman’s body, but it doesn’t mean she has to stop doing everything she enjoys and prefers during this time. A woman’s physical appearance can influence how she feels about herself, and things like hairstyles and makeup can help lift a woman’s spirits about her outward changes if she is feeling stressed or questioning the new shape of her body. However, many women then ask: Can I dye my hair during pregnancy? Hair Dying During Pregnancy The short answer to the question Can I dye my hair during pregnancy? is yes. The long answer is yes, as long as you follow some basic safety guidelines and speak with your doctor about any of your concerns. There are several precautions you can take to minimize the risks that hair dye might pose to your developing baby. Wait Until After the First Trimester to Color Your…

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How Can Partners Maintain Healthy Relationships During Pregnancy?

Posted by | LENS, Lifestyle, Pregnancy Medicine, Stress | No Comments

Pregnancy is a time of great change, not only physically, but for the relationships involved with the baby that will soon be born. One of the most important relationships a mother-to-be can have is the one with her partner, with whom she will share her worries and hopes for the future. Her significant other is the person who she wants by her side for the changes and challenges, and upon whom she wants to rely after the birth. While many of the concerns focus on the mom-to-be, there are also issues that the partner faces and experiences, which are just as valid and important to the relationship. Maintaining a healthy relationship between partners not only provides for a healthier and better pregnancy, but is essential for remaining committed partners after the labor and delivery. Tips for Keeping A Healthy Relationship There are many ways to nurture relationships between significant others…

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Should I Have My Vitamin D Levels Checked?

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If you are pregnant you have probably heard many times the value of making sure you take your prenatal vitamins and get enough nutrients in your diet. Vitamin D is an especially important vitamin to the health of your unborn baby. Why Do I Need Vitamin D? Vitamin D has many jobs for you and the health of your baby. It regulates the necessary levels of calcium and phosphorus, which in turn helps to build your baby’s bones and teeth. If you do not have enough vitamin D your baby is at risk for skeletal malformations and retarded growth, impacting the healthy birth weight needed to get your infant started on the right track. Pregnancy puts a lot of demands on your body, and if you lack vitamin D during this time you can be at an increased risk of developing preeclampsia – which is highlighted by high blood pressure,…

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Fatigue

Posted by | Symptoms & Remedies | No Comments

Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms in early pregnancy.  One in five women will suffer from fatigue.  Even in early pregnancy, your growing uterus and child require some of your body’s energy.   Also you are not feeling your best, you may have morning sickness and eating less, so you can become hypoglycemic.  Not to mention, nausea can certainly make you feel fatigued. Later in pregnancy, during your third trimester, you put on weight, your feet and ankles may swell and it is harder to move around.  You may develop more aches and pains and have difficulty sleeping.  All of this can lead to fatigue as well.  The best solution to fatigue is to listen to your body.  Get plenty of sleep and take an occasional nap. Make sure you eat properly, get a little bit of exercise each day, and walk 30 to 40 minutes five to…

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How to Quit Smoking During Pregnancy

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Can I Use a Nicotine Patch to Help Me Quit Smoking While Pregnant? You’ve probably heard that smoking is bad for your health, but if you’re pregnant you might have even more reason to try to quit smoking – your growing baby. There are many health concerns for both you and your baby that come from smoking during pregnancy, but there are ways to quit that are safe. The nicotine patch is just one way people stop smoking, but quitting during pregnancy can be more challenging and certain methods are safer than others. What are the Effects of Smoking During Pregnancy? Smoking during pregnancy is not only harmful to a mother’s health, but to the health of her unborn child. The developing baby is exposed to carbon monoxide and extremely harsh chemicals, including nicotine. When carbon monoxide enters the mother’s bloodstream it narrows the blood vessels that in the umbilical…

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Dieting and Pregnant—Is it safe?

Posted by | LENS, Nutrition, Pregnancy Medicine | No Comments

Proper nutrition is essential to a healthy pregnancy.  The diet of a pregnant woman should include recommended daily amounts of foods from each food group, including four or more servings of vegetables, two to four servings of fruits, four servings of dairy products, six to eleven servings of breads and grains, and three servings of protein sources, to ensure uptake of essential vitamins and minerals.  In addition, pregnant women are often encouraged to incorporate a prenatal vitamin and mineral supplement into their diet. The caloric intake of pregnant women should be greater than that of non-pregnant women with pregnant women consuming 2,500 calories a day. In general, this is 100 to 300 more calories for pregnant women. Thus, although pregnant women are not actually “eating for two”, an increased caloric intake is necessary to “fuel” the growing nutritional and developmental needs of expectant mothers and babies. Such food consumption sets…

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Prenatal Yoga: What You Need to Know

Posted by | Exercise, Tips | No Comments

What are the benefits of prenatal yoga? Advocates of prenatal yoga are adamant that the benefits of participating in this form of exercise are vast. First off, there are many yoga poses, such as Pigeon Pose or Cat-Cow Stretch, that can help you open up your hips to make more room for your child to descend through. Additionally, since yoga is a form of exercise, it helps build your endurance and can make the childbirth process easier for you. But more than its physical benefits, prenatal yoga can help you with your mood and your mind control as you go through the pregnancy process. How does it do this? The endorphins that are released as you participate in the poses actually help to balance out the crazy hormones rushing through your body when you are pregnant, making it easier to stay in a pleasant mood. More than that, a large…

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5 Foods You Should Be Eating During Pregnancy

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Why Is It Important To Maintain a Healthy Diet During Pregnancy? Pregnant women who don’t eat enough during early pregnancy may be jeopardizing their baby’s brain development.  In a 2011 study, a team of researchers from the University of Texas Health Science Center compared the diets of two groups of baboon mothers. One group was fed as much as they felt they needed during the first half of their pregnancy while the other group was given 30 percent less than the first group, which was equivalent to how much many pregnant women in this country eat. The researchers found that the babies of the pregnant women who ate less had impaired development of cell-to-cell connections and decreased amounts of growth factors in their brains as compared to the babies born to the mothers who ate as much as they felt they needed. What Are Some Pregnancy Super Foods? Eggs are an…

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What is the quad screen?

Posted by | LENS, Lifestyle, Pregnancy Medicine | No Comments

If you’re pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant, you are probably considering the various medical aspects of this exciting time. Ultrasounds give you an image you can hold as you imagine meeting your baby face to face. Monthly measurements of your expanding abdomen mark the growing anticipation as well. However, some medical procedures and visits with your doctor don’t always give you the reassurance for which you are looking. Tests like the quad screen are optional screening measures that some pregnant women choose to complete during pregnancy, based on risk factors that she and her physician decide might warrant the test. If you are considering the quad screen, there are many things you need to consider. Multiple Marker Screening – What does it look for during pregnancy? The quad screen is also referred to by several other names, including the quadruple marker test, multiple marker screening, AFP plus, Triple screen…

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