How Prepared Are You for a Healthy Pregnancy?

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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?

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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?

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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

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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?

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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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Preparing for Parenthood: How Can the Father of My Baby Prepare?

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Pregnancy is a time of great changes for the mother-to-be, but there are also changes in store for dads, too. The most noticeable changes during pregnancy are the physical ones that can be seen in the mother as her body grows and changes as it works to sustain a healthy pregnancy. Dads often experience a very different form of change. For all of you somewhat hesitant fathers out there, try these methods for connecting with your baby, and ultimately preparing for fatherhood. Get Real – For expectant fathers pregnancy can be a time when parenthood doesn’t quite yet seem real. A mother feels so many physical changes that it is almost impossible for her to ignore the impending birth. If you are a father-to-be, find a way to connect with the pregnancy and your unborn child. Go to the Appointments – Your partner might be OK attending the appointments by…

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Breastfeeding

How To Tell If Your Baby Is Getting Enough Breast Milk?

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Why is breastfeeding so important for your baby? The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommends that infants be given breast milk exclusively for the first six months of their lives and then solid foods and/or formula should be combined with breast milk at least until the child reaches 12 months old. The reason for the emphasis on breastfeeding is because of the benefits it provides to the baby. Breast milk contains all of the vitamins, protein, and fat your infant needs for healthy growth in a form that baby can easily digest. It also provides some important health advantages: • Infants who are given only breast milk for the first four months of their lives have a 74 percent lower risk of being hospitalized for lower respiratory tract infections. • Giving an infant only breast milk for more than three months of their lives lowers their risk for middle ear…

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How can my body change after having a baby?

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Who knew having a baby could change your life in such dramatic ways?  Well, maybe you’ve heard of the emotional “life-changing” feeling of learning to love and care for a new baby, but what about learning to adjust to the physical changes in your own body?  Why are things out of place, drooping or “bigger but not better” than before?  Questions such as these are among those frequently asked at a six-week check-up.  Also, most importantly, women ask, “when will it return to normal?” Well, the good news is most bodily changes are temporary and reversible.  Even so, many postpartum body changes are annoying, frightening and oftentimes, embarrassing.  Some of the many changes women experience include incontinence, bleeding, looseness “down there,” and back and hip pain, amongst others unmentionables. Urinary incontinence is one’s inability to control her urine flow.  For many women, this incontinence begins during labor as their baby’s…

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BPA

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

When shopping for baby products you’ll start to notice a lot of packaging says “BPA Free”.  BPA is commonly found in plastics, the lining inside of can foods and formula, and receipt paper.  Pregnant or not, BPA is not safe to ingest. Recently the FDA’s National Toxicology Program reported “recent studies provide reason for some concern about the potential effects of BPA on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland of fetuses, infants and children”. New results from mouse studies show that prenatal exposure to BPA can result in low birth weight followed by overcompensating growth leading to obesity, which is indirectly related to early onset puberty.  Studies also show a link between BPA exposure and breast cancer in girls.  Even after these studies were presented, the FDA rejected a petition to ban BPA.  Bottom line, avoid plastic and canned food products. Ways to reduce BPA from your house while pregnant…

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