How Prepared Are You for a Healthy Pregnancy?

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What Are Symptoms I Might Be Pregnant?

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Even though on the outside it might seem like there are no signs or symptoms of pregnancy, on the inside your body is going through tremendous and significant changes. Many of these changes will trigger symptoms even in just those first few weeks that when all put together point to the same answer – you are pregnant. Early Signs of Pregnancy One of the very first signs of pregnancy a woman might notice is very light bleeding, which can happen 10-12 days after conception. This is known as implantation bleeding from the fertilized egg implanting in the uterine wall. For women who do have implantation bleeding, many think that it is just an early, light or slightly unusual menstruation period. Don’t assume you’re not pregnant if you don’t have this symptom – many women become pregnant and never experience noticeable implantation bleeding. There are many other signs and symptoms of…

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What is Round Ligament Pain?

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

Pregnancy can bring about several common discomforts, and round ligament pain is one of the most common complaints that pregnant women report. It is most common during the second trimester, and there are several things you can try to alleviate some of the pain and discomfort associated with it. Why Does the Round Ligament Cause Pain? There are several thick ligaments that support and help to carry your abdomen during pregnancy, and one of these is known as the round ligament. It connects your groin to the front part of the womb. During pregnancy this round ligament grows and stretches to accommodate your growing abdomen. This can cause strain on the ligament, resulting in several symptoms of round ligament pain. Sudden spasms of pain, usually on the right side of your lower abdomen, that only lasts for a few seconds Pain during or after exercise Pain in this lower abdominal…

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Hair Growth Changes

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Hormone changes during pregnancy can affect your hair.  It can also affect your developing baby’s hair.  Folklore has it that women who have lots of heartburn during pregnancy have babies with increased hair at birth. Indeed, this seems to be true.  The hormones that cause your esophagus to relax also cause heartburn.  These same hormones increase hair growth in your baby.  Your hair typically grows quicker during your pregnancy.  That’s because hormones influence the growth phase of your hair follicles, leading to increased hair growth.  After pregnancy, your hair growth will revert to normal and you may lose a little bit of hair as the hair follicles go back to a resting phase.  Breast feeding also seems to make your hair grow quicker.

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What Do I Need to Do to Prepare for Breastfeeding?

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Breastfeeding is the number one recommended way to feed infants and provide them with the nutrition their bodies need for healthy growth and development. Pregnant moms can take several steps in order to prepare themselves for breastfeeding their babies after birth. Prepare for Breastfeeding Long before your baby arrives, you are focusing on what to eat when you’re pregnant, which medications to use or avoid, and how to decorate the nursery. It is also a great time to prepare for breastfeeding. In fact, your body is already doing a bit of the preparation work for you. Your milk ducts are forming. Your breasts are growing in size. Blood flow is increased to the breasts. You might start to notice colostrum leaking from your nipples as labor nears. This is a highly nutritious and valuable milk for your baby. As your body is doing this work to prepare for feeding your…

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Hemorrhoids and Pregnancy: is it normal?

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Although few women would admit it, as many as 20-50% of pregnant women experience hemorrhoids.  Hemorrhoids are unsightly, pea or grape size swollen blood vessels in the rectal area. They are sometimes called piles. Hemorrhoids are actually varicose veins that arise inside the rectum or protrude out the anus; thus, they are classified as internal and external hemorrhoids and the external hemorrhoids are “graded” 1-4, based on severity and extent of protusion.  Pregnant women suffering from hemorrhoids experience itching, burning, uncomfortability, pain and less frequently rectal bleeding. Causes—increased pressure in the pelvic area, enlarging uterus, increased blood flow leading to swelling, bulging & dilating; constipation aggravates, straining to have a bowel movement Prevention—drink fluids, mostly water, increase fiber (fruits and veggies- 20 to 30 grams), Kegel exercise and incorporate over-the-counter stool softeners; sleep on your right side; move around—don’t sit or stand for hours; don’t strain; wipe clean; avoiding heavy…

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What are the best options for post-partum birth control?

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You’ve just welcomed your new baby and you’re already anticipating all of those memories you’re going to make as a family. Somewhere between deciding on stroller options and pediatricians, you also have another choice to make – post-partum birth control. Most new parents aren’t quite ready to jump into another pregnancy just weeks or months after giving birth, so choosing a birth control method after baby arrives is an important decision for new parents. Factors for Choosing a Post-Partum Birth Control There are many factors that will influence the type of birth control that you decide to use post-partum. The amount of time you plan to wait before having another child Whether or not you plan to breastfeed your newborn Convenience Cost Side effects Any reactions to previous birth control methods Health concerns or pre-existing conditions Birth Control Choices for New Mothers Intrauterine Devices (IUD) The IUD is a preferred…

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How Can I Tell if My Symptoms Are Normal?

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Normal Pregnancy Symptoms and Symptoms that Might Indicate a Problem If you’re pregnant, especially for the first time, you might be experiencing an entirely new set of symptoms that you never expected. You might even be wondering if they are normal, or if there is something you should worry about for your own health or that of your unborn child. If you’re just not sure if that is normal or cause for concern, learn more about these 8 common pregnancy symptoms. 8 Normal Symptoms of Pregnancy 1. Abnormal menstruation – While many women have a missed period as their first sign of pregnancy, some women have a lighter period than typical that first month. Either one of these is generally a normal symptom of pregnancy. Cause for concern – Repeated bleeding or spotting during pregnancy might indicate a problem with the health of the pregnancy and you should consult your…

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Why Does My Baby Move Around A Lot After I Eat?

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Does your baby seems a bit more active after you’ve eaten a large meal or suddenly start to kick after you’ve had a cold glass of lemonade? Developing babies react in the womb to the food and drinks that mothers consume by kicking, moving more rapidly, and in general being more active than just before the meal or snack. Not only do babies move more after you eat or drink something, but the things you eat and drink during pregnancy will contribute to your baby’s taste preferences for food later in life. Which Foods Will Encourage a Moving Baby? Kick Counts A kicking baby is often the sign that parents look to of a healthy baby. There are various times throughout your pregnancy when your doctor might recommend that you perform what are known as “kick counts”. Because there isn’t a window into which you can peek to check on…

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What should I expect from an amnio?

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If your doctor has told you that you should consider an amniocentesis during your pregnancy, you probably have many concerns and questions about what to expect from this procedure. There are many different reasons why your physician might be suggesting this test, and understanding the basics of the procedure will help you to make an informed decision. The more you understand about what to expect, the calmer you will probably feel about your amniocentesis. What is an Amniocentesis? This procedure consists of drawing amniotic fluid from the uterus during pregnancy using a fine needle, and under the guidance of ultrasound images. The amniotic fluid, which has a consistency similar to water, is what surrounds the baby during pregnancy. It contains cells from your baby, as well as chemicals produced by your baby that indicate many things about his or her health. The fluid sample is then examined under a microscope….

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Are Antidepressants Safe for My Unborn Baby?

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

If you are being treated for depression with the use of antidepressants and you are also pregnant, you have many factors to consider for the health of your unborn baby as well as yourself. The antidepressants you have been prescribed are aimed at alleviating your symptoms and keeping you as mentally healthy as possible, which also positively affects your physical health. However, there are many issues you need to address when it comes to your pregnancy and treating your depression with antidepressants. Should I Treat My Depression During Pregnancy? Pregnancy means that an entirely new surge of hormones is taking place in your body, and this can have significant effects on your mental health. While some women feel elated and enthusiastic during pregnancy, many, especially those who already deal with depression, find it more difficult to cope with everyday life. Left untreated during pregnancy, depression can cause you to stop…

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Sciatica or Leg Pain

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Sciatica is irritation of the sciatic nerve.  This is the major nerve that comes out of the back and runs through your pelvis and down your leg.  It allows you to move and supplies sensation to your leg.  With all the changes taking place with your body, especially in the pelvis, it is easy for the sciatic nerve to get irritated during pregnancy.  This is called sciatica. There are many ways to treat sciatica when you are not pregnant.  These include medications, injections and sometimes surgery.  However, none of these options are appropriate during pregnancy.  Physical therapy can sometimes be helpful, sitting in an easy chair with your back flexed and your feet up can also make it feel better temporarily.  Walking on a regular basis can ease sciatica, but not always.  Tylenol is felt to be safe during pregnancy for an occasional episode of sciatica, but is not a…

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101 Things My Kids Have Taught Me: Lesson 100

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100: If Toddlers Could Vote, Mickey Would Be President. And Toodles would be VP.  I’ve been a pretty strict mom when it comes to TV viewing, but somehow Mickey entered my son’s life and there’s been no turning back.  I can’t pinpoint the exact time when Jack discovered Mickey, because I’m not even sure how he discovered Mickey.  I’m thinking it had to be about six months ago, because that’s when I remember this obsession beginning.  The marketing geniuses at Disney somehow got to my son and now Mickey is everywhere.  How do I get Jack to eat all of his peas? I tell him, “Mickey eats peas.” All of the sudden it’s “MMMMM peas! I like peas!”  On the flip side, if we’re shopping and Mickey is on the packaging, Jack screams says, “I need this!” He’s two.  He doesn’t “need” anything – besides love and affection, and the…

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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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Spotting During Implantation

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Spotting during early pregnancy is not uncommon.  It may occur when the fertilized egg implants in your uterus.  There is rarely heavy bleeding.  The vast majority of women do not spot or bleed however, a little spotting is not an indicator of any sort of problem.  Bleeding can be however, and if you find you are bleeding early in pregnancy, please consult your OB.

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