How Prepared Are You for a Healthy Pregnancy?

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- Optimize Weight Gain
- Reduce Risks of Complications
- Manage Stress

How can I use my Microwave safely while Pregnant?

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

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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Sleep Issues During Pregnancy

Posted by | LENS, Lifestyle, Pregnancy Health, Symptoms & Remedies | No Comments

As we continue to look at sleep issues during pregnancy we realize young moms-to-be are not sleeping well enough. The most common reasons women do not sleep well during pregnancy are: Snoring as their nasal passages become swollen from fluid retention Restless legs associated with iron deficiency General discomfort In the latest poll on “Sleep in America” the National Sleep Foundation reported: Exercisers report better sleep than self-described non-exercisers even though they say they sleep the same amount each night (6 hours and 51 minutes, average on weeknights). Vigorous, moderate and light exercisers are significantly more likely to say “I had a good night’s sleep” every night or almost every night on work nights than non-exercisers (67%-56% vs. 39%). Also, more than three-fourths of exercisers (76%-83%) say their sleep quality was very good or fairly good in the past two weeks, compared to slightly more than one-half of non-exercisers (56%)….

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101 Things My Kids Have Taught Me: Lesson 98

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98: Girls Love Shoes From The Moment They Can Walk Admittedly, I’m currently going through a huge purse obsession. Mainly because they are the only articles in my wardrobe that I know will fit come summertime. Purses don’t come in sizes; one size fits all and that’s what I need right now. However, what girl doesn’t love a great pair of shoes? Or in Charlie’s case, ANY pair of shoes? She doesn’t discriminate on size, gender, or color. She simply loves shoes. She ALWAYS has to be wearing them – even if we’re just lounging around the house…or at the beach. Usually it’s not a problem. Her feet don’t touch the ground much when we’re out, so her shoes stay in good shape for a while. Around the house, she’s content with slippers. She likes to sit in our mudroom and go through all of our shoes. When I tell…

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The Anti-Craving

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Cravings seem to be a topic people are highly concerned about when talking with pregnant women. I think anyone who hasn’t been pregnant is curious to hear some crazy concoction, and those who have been pregnant want to compare crazy concoctions. As far as specific cravings go, the only thing I can remember that was “weird” was the grilled cheese sandwich I once made with raspberry jam on it; but I don’t even think it was that weird because fruit and cheese are a very common combination. Anyway, it was delicious and Jack liked it too. During my first pregnancy I had a change in preferred tastes. I used to have a huge sweet tooth, but as soon as I got pregnant with Jack, I didn’t care for desserts or sweets anymore. I wanted salty foods, mostly olives, constantly. Then, during my second pregnancy, I only wanted chocolate all day,…

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What Should I Weigh During My Pregnancy?

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Weight is a sensitive topic for many Americans, and causes everyone embarrassment.  You have a portion of the population that is grossly overweight and another half that is obsessed with their body image. Somewhere in the middle is the healthy road to travel when it comes to your weight. When you’re pregnant, you’re going to gain weight. But it’s important to know what a healthy weight is during pregnancy, to ensure that your health isn’t harmed. Why is Obesity Harmful During Pregnancy? Americans have steadily gained weight over the years and unfortunately  so have women entering into pregnancy.  Twenty percent of all pregnant women are now considered obese with a body mass index (BMI) of greater than 25.  The body mass index is a ratio of your weight to height.  A woman who is 5 foot 5 inches would be classified as obese at 150 pounds.  Gaining too much weight either during or…

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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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Breastfeeding in Public? Returning to Work and Pumping Milk? You are Protected!

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With ongoing headlines about celebrities being “caught” breastfeeding in public, military moms being fired because of breastfeeding in public, or the occasional news story covering a mom who was asked to leave a store for breastfeeding, making the choice to breastfeed can seem very intimidating. Some of you will contend with outrage from your family, friends or a random person in public who shoots you a look of disdain. However, your baby needs to nurse constantly, and for many breastfeeding moms that is a scheduled time every 2-4 hours. Beyond those first 6 weeks, you are bound to breastfeed in “gasp” public. This may include your car, a restaurant in the mall or grocery store aisle if you can’t get away immediately. Here are some tips for new moms to make the experience less awkward for you or those around you. Become familiar with your local mall, church, or other…

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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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Smoking in pregnancy—I can’t quit, should I slow down?

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Cigarette smoke is harmful to the health of pregnant women as well as their unborn babies.  Cigarettes contain thousands of chemicals including nicotine, carbon monoxide, lead, cyanide and tar.  These chemicals enter the bloodstream, causing constriction of blood vessels and restriction of oxygen and nutrients.  Cigarette smoking involves the inhalation of toxins that damage the gums, throat, and lungs of pregnant women as well as the developing heart, lungs and brain of babies.  Smoking also causes asthma and other breathing conditions as well as eye problems and learning disorders. Cigarette smoking can lead to cancer, heart disease, stroke and gum disease in expectant mothers and birth defects in babies.   Pregnant women who smoke are at increased risk of complications such as vaginal bleeding, problems with the placenta, ectopic pregnancy, and stillbirth.  In conditions of oxygen shortage, babies do not grow and develop properly. Babies of smokers are more susceptible…

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Should I Be Worried That I Was Diagnosed with Subchorionic Hemorrhage?

Posted by | Lifestyle, Pregnancy Health, Stress | No Comments

What is Subchorionic Hemorrhage? This condition is also referred to as subchorionic hematoma. There is excessive bleeding and a collection of blood or hematoma that forms between the chorionic membrane surrounding the embryo, and the wall of the uterus. Subchorionic hemorrhage is caused because the membrane surrounding the embryo separates from the inner lining of the uterus. It is the most common cause of bleeding in the first trimester. How Does a Subchorionic Hemorrhage Affect My Baby? There are a number of factors that determine how this condition affects the baby including how large the hematoma is, the mother’s age and how far along the fetus is in its development. Older pregnant women with large amounts of bleeding have higher rates for miscarriage. Women who experience subchorionic hemorrhage in late first trimester or in second trimester also have an increased chance for miscarriage. Subchorionic hemorrhage also increase the risk for…

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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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babyQ Fish Scale

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It’s that time of year again – when fish and seafood are incorporated into many diets. Whether it’s for religious reasons or not, eating more fish can be very beneficial for pregnant women; however, there is a lot of contradicting information regarding the consumption of fish during pregnancy. Seafood gets a bad reputation because of the rising levels of mercury in larger fish. This is due to water pollution. Heavy metals (like mercury) pollute the oceans from various sources. Fish that are bigger and have a long life span (sharks, albacore tuna, swordfish, mahi-mahi) consume more little fish (salmon, sardines, shrimp), which leads to higher mercury levels in the bigger fish. On the other hand, the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish are crucial for baby’s brain development and can help raise your babyQ score. So what’s a mama to do? Avoid fish? Load up on fish? No and no….

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Join The Club

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My husband has always joked that his loving, patient, “put-together” wife has an 8pm curfew. The joke started when I was pregnant with our first baby. A few months into my pregnancy, he came to realize that I was “on” until 8:00pm then, I flipped like a switch. I’m not like this all of the time, but when I’m pregnant, it’s as though I have dual personalities.* I don’t want to be bothered WITH ANYTHING. It’s become a long-running joke with my entire family; “You need to talk to Emily? Better call her by 8!” My sister even described a person she met recently to me saying, “You know how you get at 8pm? She’s an ‘8 o’clock’ all day long.” Any mom or expectant mom knows the level of mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion that goes into working, taking care of a family and house, and trying to have…

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What is a birth plan? And Why Do I Need One?

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Pregnancy is a time of expectation and excitement, and you will undoubtedly be making plans for things such as the nursery, baby names, and 1st birthdays. However, it is also very important that you take the time during your pregnancy to develop a birth plan. This plan, while it needs to be flexible, will be your guide during labor and delivery. It will also help your birthing team – doctors, nurses, midwives, partners – understand your needs and preferences, especially during a time when you might have difficulty clearly expressing them. Developing a birth plan is a good way to prepare for labor and delivery, and the process of creating the birth plan can help you address issues you might not have otherwise thought of until you were already in the delivery room. What Should I Include in My Birth Plan? For some women a birth plan is an idea…

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