How Prepared Are You for a Healthy Pregnancy?

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Heartburn

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Heartburn can be a problem during pregnancy.  Your hormones relax the ring of muscle at the bottom of your esophagus that keeps the food in your stomach.  The food rises into the esophagus and gives you heartburn.  Once this ring of muscle, or sphincter, is relaxed, heartburn is more common.  Also as the baby and uterus enlarge during the last trimester, they will displace your stomach, leading to the food coming back up into your esophagus. You can temporarily neutralize the heartburn with antacid calcium carbonate pills. Just drinking any form of liquid will help reduce the acid coming out of your stomach.  Probiotics, the beneficial bacteria in yogurt, can help protect your stomach and esophagus from heartburn.  Avoid eating high fat foods that are difficult to digest.  Another solution is to avoid foods high in acid such as vinegar, soda pop and lemons.  Sleep on your left side with…

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I Feel Like a Solo Parent!

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How Can I Get My Partner More Involved in Childcare? Parenting is hard work, and single parents are often challenged with filling dual roles of Mom and Dad. However, for some parents the challenge is not being the only parent in the home. The challenge is being the only parent in the home who is parenting. The roles of moms and dads have definitely changed over the years and each family is left to find a way that works best for them to provide involved fathers and mothers. Do you ever feel like you are doing most of the childcare? That you change the diapers, attend to the basics needs, and spend the most time with your child? Do you wish that your partner was more involved in parenting? You’re not alone – and you don’t have to continue feeling this way. 5 Ways to Encourage a More Involved Father…

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Can My Baby Hear?

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An unborn baby has many experiences in the womb based on the actions of the mother – the foods she eats, exercises she does, and medications she uses all impact her developing baby. The senses of an unborn baby are also developing and interacting with the environment. There is much research that shows that babies can feel, taste, dream, and react to stimuli such as sound long before birth. So – does this mean your baby can hear? Yes. An Unborn Baby’s Ears and Hearing In the first trimester, just around the 8th week, a baby’s ears are forming, and as early as 18 weeks they begin to perceive the sounds of the womb (blood pumping, fluid moving, etc.) as the tiny bones of the inner ear mature and the auditory portion of the brain more fully develops. Research shows that infants recognize their mothers’ voices long before birth and…

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When Does Menstruation Return After Birth?

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Does the menstrual cycle return soon after giving birth? Menstruation does not continue immediately post partum. As your body slowly goes through natural changes and stages, preparing to give birth, it may seem as though it will never get back to “pre-pregnancy normal.” Many mothers-to-be find some pregnancy patterns enjoyable and rather convenient, such as not menstruating during pregnancy. Of course, the menstrual cycle will return soon after giving birth—but how should you define “soon”? How long does it take before my period resumes, after giving birth? Many women begin menstruating between three and ten weeks after giving birth and the average is 45 days after. However, it’s important to realize that the normal timetable for the return to menstruation differs greatly from woman to woman. The range considered normal may extend from one month up to a year or more, before you’ll need to put tampons on your shopping list once…

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Restless Legs

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Restless legs seem to bother a small number of women during pregnancy.  It is the sensation of always having to move your legs.  While you are sitting you may feel compelled to cross them, at night while you are trying to sleep, you may find it difficult to position your legs comfortably.  You feel you must keep moving them.  Restless leg is linked to iron deficiency in pregnancy. It is very important that you take your prenatal vitamins to help reduce the risk.  Also the tendency for restless legs seems to be genetically determined.  That is, you are more likely to suffer from restless leg syndrome if your father or mother had it.  Fortunately, it almost always goes away after your baby is delivered.

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Juices that reduce inflammation

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A babyQ mom recently wrote: I am 15 weeks pregnant. Is it safe to drink the Nopalea cactus juice drink to reduce inflammation? This is an important question because recent scientific literature shows a link between reducing inflammation and a healthier pregnancy. Looking into the Nopalea Cactus Juice on the company website the company provides scientific literature that supports their claims of reducing inflammation. However, almost all fruits, fruit juices, and vegetables reduce inflammation. Plus it is usually less expensive to buy seasonal fruits on sale. Right now citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits are in season from Florida and California, so orange juice and grapefruit juice are inexpensive compared to berries and apples and I suspect cactus juice. The citrus is fresh and loaded with antioxidants that reduce inflammation. So that is a good food choice. The citrus season in the United Sates is November through March. Pure grape…

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What is Round Ligament Pain?

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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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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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Acne

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Many young women experience acne during pregnancy.  This is influenced by the hormonal changes taking place in your body.  Nonetheless, each woman’s tendency for acne may change during the pregnancy.  Most topical products for acne are safe during pregnancy with the exception of Retin-A also known as isotretinoin.  If you become pregnant on isotretinoin, stop immediately and tell your OB.

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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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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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How do I lose the baby weight?

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If you’re like most women, you haven’t shed all the “baby weight” you thought you would have after delivery or even six weeks after welcoming your new bundle of joy.  Well, don’t fret, there are a few simple things you can incorporate into your daily routine that will help you shed those unwanted pounds.  The key is to take it slow, realizing that it took approximately 9 months to acquire this extra weight, and it will likely take several weeks to return to a “new normal”. The first step in this process is to accept that the changes your body has undergone served a very special purpose to prepare for a new baby.  Now that this purpose has been fulfilled, your body can redirect energy and resources toward re-establishing your healthy weight and body size. To lose the “baby weight”, new mothers should increase their physical activity and only limit…

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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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Hemorrhoids

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Hemorrhoids are common in pregnancy.  First, in preparation for delivery your whole pelvic area is being engorged with blood and tissue fluid.  This makes gentler passage for the baby, and also protects your birth canal during delivery.  Secondly, constipation is common in pregnancy, causing you to strain more while having a bowel movement.  The combination of increased blood supply to your pelvic area and straining leads to hemorrhoids. You can reduce your odds of contracting hemorrhoids by relieving the constipation.  Make sure you drink plenty of fluids, 5 glasses of water and 3 glasses of milk a day. Eat a diet relatively high in fiber.  Look for cereals that have 6 grams of fiber or more per serving.  Consider taking a fiber supplement; eat lots of fruits and vegetables.  All this will make elimination of your stool easier and reduce your risk of hemorrhoids.

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Frequent Urination

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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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