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Prenatal Yoga

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When Should I Start Prenatal Yoga? Prenatal yoga is not only an effective way to maintain your flexibility and provide your body with the health benefits of this form of exercise, but it can also help to prepare your body for the demands of labor and delivery. The Benefits of Prenatal Yoga The benefits of prenatal yoga are many, including: Stress relief Sleep improvement An increase in overall body strength Increases in flexibility and endurance Improves balance Improves circulation Reduces blood pressure Teaches you breathing techniques you can use during labor and delivery Reduced symptoms from things such as nausea, back and hip pain, headaches, and other common complaints during pregnancy Preparation for the physical stamina you will need during labor and delivery Preparation for the physical stamina you will need for caring for your newborn Before you start any new exercise program, however, it is important to check in…

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Missed Period

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For many women, the first symptom that they are pregnant is that they miss their period.  Every month when you are not pregnant, your uterus sheds its lining so that there is a healthy surface for the embryo to become implanted when you become pregnant.  During pregnancy, this monthly cycle stops as the baby and placenta grow in your uterus.  This results in the missed period. Typically you will notice the missed period about two weeks after becoming pregnant.  It’s very important to keep track of your last menstrual period because this will help your OB predict when you are ready to deliver.   Of course, women can miss periods for a variety of reasons, only one of which is pregnancy.  Sometimes travel and stress, not eating enough, or exercising too much can make you miss a period.

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How can I use my Microwave safely while Pregnant?

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Pregnancy is a busy time for expectant mothers to care for themselves and to prepare for their developing baby. With their increased daily demands, often times pregnant women find themselves rushing to consume meals that are quickly prepared. Such “fast food” is typically cooked or heated in a microwave oven. Microwave ovens work by vibrating water molecules in food and producing heat that cooks the food. Foods with large amounts of water like fresh vegetables cook faster than other foods with less water. Microwave ovens change their energy into heat that is absorbed by the food. The molecular structure of food is not altered, thus microwave cooking does not make food “radioactive” or “contaminated.” As well, there is no evidence that microwave cooking reduces the nutritional value of foods any more than conventional cooking. Quite the contrary, microwave cooking may retain more vitamins and minerals in foods since microwave ovens…

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Sex Drive Changes

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Typically, women will experience a diminished sex drive during their first trimester.  In part they may feel a little bit ill with nausea.  Typically, the sex drive returns in the second trimester as you start to feel better.   Sex is certainly safe during pregnancy and it leads to increased feelings of self esteem and love.  Although the frequency of sex between partners may decrease between the second and third trimesters, it can still be enjoyed on a regular basis.  During the last trimester it is usually easier for the woman to be on top.

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What to expect while Teething?

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Most parents would agree, there’s not much cuter than the grin of a toothless baby.  Even so, the same parents often anxiously anticipate their baby’s first teeth.  When will they arrive? Will her smile look like her Mom’s or Dad’s?  Will he be fussy and irritated during the “teething” process?  Each of these questions is a legitimate concern for many parents. What we know about teething is it’s a very natural process in which teeth buds develop beneath the gums surface while the baby is still in the womb.  Around age 4 to 7 months, most babies get their first tooth, although teeth can arrive as early as 3 months and as late as 12-15 months of age.  Each one appears individually in a typical pattern of the bottom two middle teeth, then four to eight weeks later, the top two middle teeth.  The teeth along the sides and back…

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Why You Need Folic Acid in Your Pregnancy Diet

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What is Folic Acid? Folic acid is one of the B vitamins that occurs naturally in foods, like legumes, oranges, papayas, broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, asparagus, greens, dark lettuce and eggs. Foods high in folic acid are also high in other important vitamins and minerals. Folic acid is necessary for the growth of new cells. What Are the Benefits of Taking Folic Acid During Pregnancy? There are some important advantages that result from taking folic acid: It enhances fertility – In a study released in 2006,  American researchers reported their findings after having followed the progress of 18,500 nurses who planned to become pregnant over an eight-year period in the 1990s. The researchers evaluated the nurses’ diets including whether or not they took vitamin supplements. They found that the nurses taking multivitamins with folic acid six days a week or more had a 40 percent reduced risk of ovulation failure, a…

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My neighbors must think I’m crazy

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

Growing up with very curly hair, I learned at a young age how to prevent frizz with chemicals products.  I’ve since come to cherish the extra volume that comes with textured hair and use almost no product – except for the occasional spritz of hairspray on humid days.  Hairspray contains many different chemicals and it is not safe to inhale constantly.  My solution? I wear a mask, only use non-aerosol products, and I do not use it in my house.  Yes, I stand in my front yard with a dentist-like mask on and spray my hair.  I firmly believe that there has to be balance between doing everything said to be “right/healthy/perfect” and doing what makes you feel good and look good.  Other ways to cut down on chemicals in your beauty routine: Try using grape seed oil instead of lotion to prevent stretch marks. It’s all- natural, inexpensive, odorless,…

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Keeping CRP levels low

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Recently, some well-designed studies have pointed out a link between increased maternal inflammation and a negative impact on infant brain development during pregnancy.  We can track inflammation with a blood test called CRP and in Finland a very large study indicated that high CRP blood levels during pregnancy could impair emotional development later in childhood.  How do mothers keep CRP levels low?  The answer is straight forward: Don’t smoke Keep your teeth in good shape, floss and brush regularly Eat lots of fruits and veggies Exercise 40 minutes 5 days a week Avoid deep fried foods These simple good habits will give your child a “head” start.

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Why am I being screened for gestational diabetes?

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Pregnancy can take its toll on your body, and your health care provider may offer you many tests and screenings during the three trimesters of pregnancy. One of the most commonly used tests is the screening for gestational diabetes, which measures how your cells are using sugar supplies. Gestational diabetes that is left undiagnosed or untreated can be medically devastating on both you and your baby. Even if you have no prior history of diabetes, or even any signs or symptoms, your body might be reacting differently because of all of the changes and demands that pregnancy puts on it. A healthy pregnancy relies on the placenta to supply increased levels of certain hormones to help you and your developing baby. However, these hormones don’t always allow your body’s natural insulin levels to work, blocking them from doing their job (regulating your blood sugar). When the blood sugar levels are…

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How Much Does a Baby Cost?

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How Does the Cost for Hospital Delivery Compare with Delivery at a Birth Center? The US government organization, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Healthcare Utilization Project offers the following hospital cost statistics: Vaginal birth no complications – $9,617 to $10,657 Vaginal birth with complications – $12,532 to $13,749 C-section no complication – $15,799 to $17,859 C-section with complications – $21,495 – $23,923 The American Association of Birth Centers claims that the cost for a vaginal delivery at a birth center is $2,777. How much will it cost to raise my child? The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) 2012 Expenditures on Children by Families reports that parents with an annual household income between $59,410 and $102,870 can expect to spend $295,560 per child born in 2011 until the age of 17; while parents with an annual household income of less than $59,410 can expect to spend $169,080 per…

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Food Cravings

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Over 60% of women during pregnancy experience food cravings.  Some of this can be explained by what you need or the baby needs.  For instance, the baby really needs a lot of glucose so sweets taste especially good and in proper amounts can help nourish your child.  You need increased amounts of sodium and potassium, so salty foods and fruits and vegetables all taste good.  You may also be making up from deficits in food following significant morning sickness and nausea.  Food cravings are rarely harmful as long as you don’t skip eating a regular balanced diet or eat too much.  Satisfying food cravings should be enjoyed.

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Nausea

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Two thirds of women will experience morning sickness during their first trimester, and almost half may have morning sickness even as late as the third trimester.   Morning sickness is clearly related to your hormones.  There is limited safety information on prescription medications during pregnancy to treat this.  You can take pyridoxine or Vitamin B-6.  This is presumed safe and can be effective.  Ginger seems to settle the stomach and is also presumed safe in pregnancy.  You can get crystallized ginger at the grocery store in the spice aisle. If you feel nauseous and do not feel like eating, make sure you stay well hydrated and drink plenty of fluids.  It is not uncommon for women to lose weight during their first trimester.   It is much more important to eat adequate amounts of healthy foods during the second and third trimester.  Do not let yourself get worried if you…

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Choose safe toys for your child.

How Do I Choose the Right Toys for My Child?

Posted by | Lifestyle, Pregnancy Medicine | No Comments

It seems that several times each year there are reports in the news about baby toys that are no longer considered safe and are removed from the market. It can leave parents concerned and confused about how to find safe baby toys, and how to make sure that the toy investment will continue to be safe. There are several factors that you should consider when choosing toys for your baby. They include age guidelines, construction, electronic components, warranties, and educational and developmental value. Age Guidelines Look at the recommended ages on the packaging. These age recommendations, such as Ages 6 Months+, indicate to you the safety level as well. It tells you whether or not this toy is appropriate in skill level and safety for your baby. In general toys for ages birth to 5 months are limited as far as the interaction your child will get from it. During…

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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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