How Prepared Are You for a Healthy Pregnancy?

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Pregnancy Regrets

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

While I don’t live with many regrets (I love planning for the future; hate reminiscing about the past – mostly because I get depressed thinking about how quickly life goes), there are a few things I regret not doing while I was pregnant with Charlotte.  I always stress how different your first pregnancy is in comparison to the rest of your pregnancies because it’s all about you the first time around.  It’s so easy to plan your day/week/life when you have no other little human whose life depends on you.  While I was pregnant with Jack, I kept a journal of how I was feeling, had professional maternity photos taken*, and was religious about taking weekly bump pictures.  I didn’t do any of these things during my pregnancy with Charlotte.  It’s just so much harder to remember/schedule/be awake for those minor details. Minor details I really wish I had paid…

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101 Things My Kids Have Taught Me: Lesson 98

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98: Girls Love Shoes From The Moment They Can Walk Admittedly, I’m currently going through a huge purse obsession. Mainly because they are the only articles in my wardrobe that I know will fit come summertime. Purses don’t come in sizes; one size fits all and that’s what I need right now. However, what girl doesn’t love a great pair of shoes? Or in Charlie’s case, ANY pair of shoes? She doesn’t discriminate on size, gender, or color. She simply loves shoes. She ALWAYS has to be wearing them – even if we’re just lounging around the house…or at the beach. Usually it’s not a problem. Her feet don’t touch the ground much when we’re out, so her shoes stay in good shape for a while. Around the house, she’s content with slippers. She likes to sit in our mudroom and go through all of our shoes. When I tell…

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Is a photo lab a safe work place for a pregnant mom?

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A babyQ mom wrote: I work in a photo lab with lots of chemicals. Is it safe for a pregnant mom to work with them? The Kodak Company, who supplies a great deal of the chemicals used in photo labs, has specific recommendations about their chemicals and pregnancy. They say: Minimize skin, eye, and inhalation exposure by using good industrial hygiene practices. These include the use of gloves or tongs (for use in tray processing), goggles or other eye protection, rubber aprons or other suitable protective clothing, and working in a well-ventilated area. Neoprene rubber or nitrile gloves should be used whenever there is a potential for skin contact. I suspect the chemical pollution in the air from photo processing during your pregnancy could slightly increase the risk of childhood asthma as your baby grows up. We see that in big cities with similar high levels of air pollution from…

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Frequent Urination

Posted by | Symptoms & Remedies | No Comments

During delivery, your body will lose a lot of fluid.  This fluid is represented by your amniotic fluid and the placenta.  In preparation for this, you naturally hold on to more fluids.  Some of this is stored in your legs and when you lay down at night that fluid leaves the legs and comes back to your blood where it is processed by your kidneys.  This causes frequent urination at night.  You will also have increased thirst during the day.  Again, this is a way for your body to prepare for delivery.  Since you are thirsty and drink more water, you will typically urinate more.   Lastly, during the last trimester, the pregnant uterus is pressing on your bladder making it smaller so it holds less urine.  Fortunately, frequent urination resolves quickly, usually within a week after delivery.

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When Do Babies Start Kicking in the Womb?

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For so many expectant mothers, feeling the baby kick is one of the most anticipated experiences of pregnancy as it is one of those tangible pieces of evidence of the growing body within. If you are anxious to feel your baby start moving, you should be able to have this experience by the 4th or 5th month. Even though this might seem like a long time to wait, rest assured that your baby has already been practicing his kicks and jabs since the first trimester. Those tiny arms and legs might be able to twist, turn, and practice gymnastic moves with the best of them, but they are still too small for you to feel much. Soon, however, those movements will turn from questionable quakes to definite kicks. Why and When Do Babies Start Kicking in the Womb? Do My Baby’s Kicks Mean Anything? Somewhere during the 4th or 5th…

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Can I Still Be a Vegetarian During Pregnancy?

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

Dietary concerns are a natural part of pregnancy. It’s not uncommon for women to have specific dietary preferences before pregnancy and have them interrupted by the pregnancy. But it’s not impossible to maintain a diet, close to your pre-pregnancy diet. Specifically, many women ask, “Can I still be a vegetarian during pregnancy?” The short answer is yes, but an expecting mother must pay attention to specific nutrients that may be lacking in her diet due to be a vegetarian. Can a Pregnant Woman Deliver a Healthy Baby If She Is a Vegetarian? There are many good reasons to be a vegetarian.  Vegetarians have lower levels of the bad cholesterol linked to heart disease and tend to have a lower body mass index (BMI). Therefore they less likely to be overweight and develop diabetes.  Vegetarians also have a lower incidence of cancer and their dietary habits result in less pollution and…

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How Can I Keep My Baby Safe?

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Babies by nature are explorers.  They reach, grasp, “mouth”, sit, roll, crawl, and “cruise” along objects of interest.  Babies are curious about different textures and shapes and brightly colored objects easily attract babies’ attention. Unfortunately, many small, easily accessible objects pose a choking risk or may be poisonous if ingested.  Given such risk, often parents must take precautions to “babyproof” their homes. This is particularly true as an infant grows into toddlerhood and becomes more mobile, additional precautions are needed to childproof areas where little explorers “cruise”.  To babyproof your home, you’ll need to protect your nursery, kitchen, bathroom & any other place where your baby will be exploring. To protect a baby’s nursery—ensure that the mattress fits the crib or bassinet snugly.   According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), about 35 babies every year suffocate or strangle in cribs that don’t meet current safety standards or when…

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My boyfriend smokes – What are the risks?

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Your boyfriend is the one who makes you laugh and the one who remembers your favorite movie snack. However, if your boyfriend also smokes tobacco products you could be at risk for more than you bargain for in this relationship. Not only is your boyfriend risking his own health, but you could be exposing yourself to toxins that can cause many health issues for you. Firsthand smoke – If your boyfriend smokes he is exposing himself to firsthand smoke, inhaling the carcinogens that are emitted from the cigarette every time he inhales on the end of the cigarette. Smoking has long been associated with health concerns, and in particular, young men are at risk for many diseases and conditions if they smoke cigarettes. Teenage boys who smoke can actually stunt their height growth as well as their BMI (body mass index). Young boys and men who smoke can damage the…

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Can I Dye My Hair During Pregnancy?

Posted by | Lifestyle, Pregnancy Medicine | 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 to Deal With Changing Hormones

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

How do Hormones Change During Pregnancy? Levels of pregnancy hormones estrogen and progesterone dramatically increase. The production of estrogen is greater in pregnancy than during any other time in a woman’s life. This permits the uterus and placenta to develop blood vessels and transfer nutrients to the growing baby. Estrogen levels increase significantly during the first trimester and are believed to cause the nausea associated with pregnancy. During the second trimester, estrogen aids in the development of milk ducts. By the third trimester, estrogen level is at its highest. The increase in progesterone allows the ligaments and joints throughout the body to become more flexible preparing the birth canal for delivery. Progesterone is also responsible for enlarging the uterus from the size of a pear to an environment that can stretch to fit the needs of the growing baby. Keep in mind that these changes in hormone levels are typical…

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What does your baby's birth weight mean?

What Does My Baby’s Birth Weight Mean?

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How much should my baby weigh at birth? On average, a full-term baby weighs between 6 pounds 2 ounces and 9 pounds 2 ounces. The majority of babies lose a little weight right after birth. This is actually a loss of excess fluid, and it isn’t an indication of a health problem. However, if your baby loses a lot of weight, that might be a sign of a health issue. It is important that your baby doesn’t weight too much or too little at birth because both conditions are linked to metabolic disorders like obesity and diabetes. When a baby is considered a low birth weight baby? A full term infant weighing less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces at birth is considered a low birth weight baby or small for gestational age of 39 weeks. Statistically speaking, approximately eight percent of all babies are this small at birth. What are…

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What Is An Ovarian Cyst?

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Cysts are often benign growths of fluid-filled sacs in various locations of the body. Ovarian cysts occur either inside or on the surface of a woman’s ovary. These cysts are common and many women experience them at some point in life, with little or no symptoms. In fact, many women only find out they have ovarian cysts when they are found incidentally during a medical exam for other symptoms. These ovarian cysts usually go away on their own without any kind of intervention or treatments, although it may take several months or longer. Even though most ovarian cysts do not cause severe pain or symptoms, some women do experience more significant side effects. Should I Be Worried About My Ovarian Cyst? If you are concerned that you may have an ovarian cyst, pay attention to the following possible symptoms of this condition, especially significant pain. Irregular menstrual cycles Pain in…

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What is Gestational Diabetes?

Posted by | Nutrition, Pregnancy Medicine | No Comments

Should I Be Worried? Once concern facing expectant mothers is whether or not they will develop gestational diabetes. This condition affects how well the cells in your body use glucose (sugar) that is responsible for giving your body energy. When the energy isn’t effectively used, there is an increase in blood sugar levels and causing dangerous symptoms for you and your unborn child. What Are the Associated Risks with Gestational Diabetes? Increased levels of hormones are thought to be partially responsible for a woman’s risk of developing gestational diabetes. A family history of diabetes in general, being over the age of 25 years, being overweight and underactive also increase the potential that women will develop this condition. When your body’s cells become inefficient at how they are reacting to the insulin, several consequences can occur. Often gestational diabetes occurs without noticeable symptoms for the mother other than possibly increased urination…

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Breastfeeding Is a Healthy Option for You & Your Baby

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Many women want to breastfeed; however, disappointingly, often women find that what’s supposed to be natural and “second-nature” may not be so easy. Therefore, too often women don’t breastfeed or discontinue breastfeeding out of frustration or lack of “know-how”. To prevent this, pregnant women should educate themselves about breastfeeding by reading books and consulting a La Leche League mother’s support group to learn more about the process and resources for effective breastfeeding. Women who wish to breastfeed should alert their doctor, partner or spouse, friends and family so they can be aware and assist with breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is an emotional, intellectual, and physical experience that should be shared by all that will love and care for a new baby.   Within the first weeks of pregnancy, a woman’s body physically prepares for an expectant baby by releasing hormones such as estrogen and progesterone. These hormones cause the breasts to enlarge…

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Smoking in pregnancy—I can’t quit, should I slow down?

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

Cigarette smoke is harmful to the health of pregnant women as well as their unborn babies.  Cigarettes contain thousands of chemicals including nicotine, carbon monoxide, lead, cyanide and tar.  These chemicals enter the bloodstream, causing constriction of blood vessels and restriction of oxygen and nutrients.  Cigarette smoking involves the inhalation of toxins that damage the gums, throat, and lungs of pregnant women as well as the developing heart, lungs and brain of babies.  Smoking also causes asthma and other breathing conditions as well as eye problems and learning disorders. Cigarette smoking can lead to cancer, heart disease, stroke and gum disease in expectant mothers and birth defects in babies.   Pregnant women who smoke are at increased risk of complications such as vaginal bleeding, problems with the placenta, ectopic pregnancy, and stillbirth.  In conditions of oxygen shortage, babies do not grow and develop properly. Babies of smokers are more susceptible…

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