How Prepared Are You for a Healthy Pregnancy?

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Mood Changes

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There is no escaping the fact that our emotions are definitely influenced by our hormones.  There is no condition more hormonal than pregnancy.  Your estrogen and progesterone levels are going up at rapid rates.  You have more worries and excitement.  There is the wonderful expectation of a little baby coming soon to your family, but there are also the concerns of another mouth to feed and how that child will grow up.  These are very real reasons to be happy and concerned at the same time.  In combination with your skyrocketing hormones this leads to frequent changes in your emotions during pregnancy. Talk out these emotional changes with your friends and family.  Anyone who truly cares for you will understand how you’re feeling.

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What to look for in your ob-gyn?

3 Things You Should Do When You Learn You Are Pregnant

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What is the First Thing to do When You Find Out You Are Pregnant? You have to begin thinking about how to prepare your body so that your baby can properly grow and develop. If aren’t eating a healthy diet, now is the time to start. Here are some important pregnancy facts about your diet: Make sure you have a varied diet so that you will be able to give your baby all of the nutrients he or she needs to develop. Consume a minimum of three servings daily of foods rich in iron, like red meat. Pregnant women need 100 mg of vitamin C daily, so be sure to include orange or grapefruit juice, broccoli, cauliflower, green peppers and Brussel sprouts in your diet. Getting a minimum of 0.4 milligrams of folic acid daily will help prevent birth defects, so eat plenty of green leafy vegetables and legumes, like…

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Pregnancy Mask

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Pregnancy hormones bring many changes to your body, including changes to skin appearance.  A combination of hormonal influences and changes in your body’s immune system can darken certain areas of your skin.  Your breast nipple and the aureola surrounding it become darker.  You can get a line of pigmented skin extending from your belly button to your pubic area that becomes dark.  This is called “linea nigra”.  You can also develop what is termed the “Pregnancy Mask”.   This is almost a butterfly darkening of the skin in your cheeks and across the nose.  We are not sure why this occurs, but some women also experience it on the birth control pill.  So it is clearly related to the hormones.  It is not unattractive, merely a sign of your fertility.  Enjoy your new appearance.

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The Feeling Better Rut

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13 weeks seems to be the magic number for me! Last night was the first night IN WEEKS that I stayed up later than 7:30. I was getting so sick in the evening that instead of fighting it, I just gave in, went to bed, and slept through the nausea. Nighttime, AKA when my kids are sleeping, is the time when I’m most productive. It’s the only time of the day that I can catch up on cleaning, laundry, and cooking. I’ve given up on all of it the past few weeks; my husband has been doing ALL of the laundry (I know, he’s amazing.) and my kids have been eating a lot of pasta (not that they’re complaining). Today, since I’m finally feeling better, I’ve been catching up on all of those things by doing what else? Why going through my Pinterest boards for motivation and inspiration of course….

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Darkened Areola

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One of the changes to your skin during pregnancy is that the tissue around your nipple, called the areola, will darken.  This is absolutely secondary to the hormonal and metabolic changes that occur during pregnancy.  While the areola lightens up after pregnancy, they never go back to the color they were before you became pregnant.

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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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What Exercises Are Safe During Pregnancy?

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Expecting mothers can typically stay healthy by following a nutritious diet, accompanied by safe exercise during pregnancy. A woman’s body experiences many changes during these nine months and while exercise is a valuable part of staying healthy, there are some precautions to take and restrictions to make during this time. The questions many expectant mothers have during this time include: Is exercise safe during pregnancy? What type of exercise is best during pregnancy? What types of exercise should I avoid during pregnancy? Safe Exercise During Pregnancy Because every woman’s body is different, especially during pregnancy, it is important that the first step you take is to consult with your healthcare provider about the safety of exercising during your pregnancy. Some women with certain health issues, medical histories, and complications during this time might be advised against aspects of physical activity. If you were already a jogger, a swimmer, or an…

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What’s Happening When My Body Has Weird Cravings?

Posted by | Nutrition, Pregnancy Medicine | No Comments

Are you craving pickles and ice cream? This seems to be the most talked about craving that women might have during pregnancy, but there are certainly many more food options and combinations that might be appealing to your taste buds during these 9 months. Cravings during pregnancy appear to be part cultural expectations about pregnancy, part changes in hormones, and part nutritional needs. If you have cravings during pregnancy they are also likely to change as you move from one semester to the next. Food Cravings and Aversions During the First Trimester The first trimester of pregnancy is loaded with changes in hormones. These hormonal changes have many roles, and one of the side effects of these hormone surges are changes to the taste buds. Your taste buds are responsible for interpreting the food you taste and eat, and higher hormone levels can change how food tastes to you, as…

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I’m Always Tired. What Can I Do to Decrease My Fatigue During Pregnancy?

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It’s not uncommon for pregnant mothers to feel tired during pregnancy. But no one ever wants to be tired all the time, which is why I regularly get the question of “What can I do to decrease my fatigue?” My answer is always, focus on good sleep, 40 minutes of exercise 4 to 5 days a week, leave the bedroom only for sleep and sex, and create a consistent routine (warm bath, mint tea for example). When Does Fatigue During Pregnancy Occur? You can suffer from fatigue throughout your entire pregnancy; but the majority of women experience fatigued during the first and third trimesters. Causes of fatigue during your first trimester include: A sharp increase in progesterone level, which makes bodily functions like metabolism and digestion slow down, increasing the feeling of tiredness Continued sleep interruptions because of an increased need to urinate Lack of nutrition and dehydration resulting from…

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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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Is One Glass of Wine OK for the Baby During Pregnancy?

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There are many adjustments an expectant mother needs to make during the months she awaits the birth of her baby. She needs to pay attention to her diet, follow guidelines for exercising during pregnancy, and she might need to adjust her social activities as well. For some pregnant moms, giving up that glass of wine shared with girlfriends can seem like a hard adjustment to make, but there are many reasons why doctors strongly advise against drinking while pregnant. What Does Alcohol Do to a Developing Baby? When a pregnant mother drinks alcohol, the alcohol is passed on to her unborn baby through the blood and into the baby’s tissues and organs. Not only is the alcohol passed on to the baby, but then the baby’s organs have to process the chemicals in the alcohol, and this is done much more slowly in a baby than in an adult. This…

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Fluid Retention

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Fluid retention typically comes late in pregnancy.  It is the way your body prepares for delivery.  A lot of fluid will leave your body at the time of delivery between the amniotic fluid, and the placenta separating from your uterus.  The body stores extra fluid in preparation for this.  After you deliver, your body gets rid of the fluid and you will experience frequent urination at that time.  It’s important to stay hydrated during pregnancy.  Drink extra water between meals, have a glass of milk with every meal.  Fluid retention may make you feel sluggish and you’ll notice that your ankles will swell.  This swelling will go down at night when your feet are up while you’re sleeping.  This leads to frequent night time urination.

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I Heart Ginger.

Posted by | Nutrition, Pregnancy Lifestyle, Symptoms & Remedies | No Comments

12 weeks along and I still feel like I could throw up at any second. While I have to admit, I don’t really care for the taste of ginger (I’d prefer it more if it tasted like cherry. Or chocolate. Or maybe both…on top of ice cream. I digress), I do appreciate how much better it makes me feel. Lately, I’ve been eating anything that has real ginger in it. Ginger chews, ginger hard candies, natural ginger ale, and ginger tea are staples in my daily diet. I keep it in my purse, in my car, in my bedside table, everywhere. While ginger has been proven to help aide morning sickness and nausea in general, it also has many other health benefits including: preventing cancer, boosting your immune system, and acting as an anti-inflammatory. Ginger is a natural remedy for morning sickness and completely safe to consume during pregnancy. What’s…

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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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