How Prepared Are You for a Healthy Pregnancy?

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Is it ok for me to have a baby at age 35 or older?

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

So, you’re 35 or older, comfortable in your career, and getting the “itch” to have a baby? Well, there are a few things you need to consider.  Just as you have carefully planned your life thus far, particular consideration should be given to planning a baby. For the best pregnancy results, women should adopt a healthy lifestyle of eating a nutritious diet, exercising regularly and successfully managing any chronic health conditions.  Diabetes and high blood pressure are often exacerbated during pregnancy, so should be controlled as much as possible prior to and during pregnancy, by maintaining healthy habits and obtaining prenatal care. If you are overweight or obese, you should try to lose weight as excess weight is associated with a higher risk of pregnancy complications.  Additionally, women trying to get pregnant should incorporate folic acid supplements into their dietary routine. To increase the chances of having a baby, women…

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Breastfeeding Is a Healthy Option for You & Your Baby

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Many women want to breastfeed; however, disappointingly, often women find that what’s supposed to be natural and “second-nature” may not be so easy. Therefore, too often women don’t breastfeed or discontinue breastfeeding out of frustration or lack of “know-how”. To prevent this, pregnant women should educate themselves about breastfeeding by reading books and consulting a La Leche League mother’s support group to learn more about the process and resources for effective breastfeeding. Women who wish to breastfeed should alert their doctor, partner or spouse, friends and family so they can be aware and assist with breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is an emotional, intellectual, and physical experience that should be shared by all that will love and care for a new baby.   Within the first weeks of pregnancy, a woman’s body physically prepares for an expectant baby by releasing hormones such as estrogen and progesterone. These hormones cause the breasts to enlarge…

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How to get your baby to sleep

How Can I Get My Baby To Sleep Through The Night?

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Whoever coined the phrase “sleeps like a baby” as a way to describe a peaceful slumber probably didn’t actually ever spend one night with an infant. If it seems like your baby won’t sleep unless she’s being held in your arms or your newborn thinks sleeping is overrated, there are ways to encourage a better night’s sleep – for everyone. Keep in mind that until about six weeks of age your newborn won’t have a regulated sleep-wake cycle that is regulated (like for older children and adults) by light and dark. How Much Sleep Does My Baby Need? Although every child is different, according the National Sleep Foundation, the typical newborn needs anywhere between 10.5 and 18 hours of sleep each 24 hour day. Their sleeping patterns are regulated by their needs to be fed, changed, and cuddled or comforted. Usually their awake times last between 1 and 3 hours….

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What is an ectopic pregnancy?

What You Need to Know About an Ectopic Pregnancy

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What is an ectopic pregnancy? Simply put, an ectopic pregnancy is any pregnancy that occurs outside of your uterus. Once your egg is fertilized, it will find something to attach to. While it usually travels through your fallopian tubes into your uterus, it doesn’t always make it there. Most ectopic pregnancies are when the fertilized egg attached to the fallopian tube, but the egg may also attach to your ovaries, cervix, or another internal part of your abdomen. What are the symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy? An ectopic pregnancy will usually still give you traditional pregnancy symptoms, like a missed period, tender breasts, and nausea, early on, but you will find out shortly that something has gone awry. You will probably begin to feel severe pain on one side of your lower abdomen, vaginal bleeding, and even some shoulder pain. You may even have dizzy spells or fainting. Is an…

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Heartburn in pregnancy—Easing the pain!

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

Heartburn or acid indigestion is perhaps one of the most common pregnancy complications, as 40%-80% of all pregnant women will experience this discomfort.  Heartburn happens when stomach acids build up into the esophagus. In pregnancy, progesterone hormones relax the muscles in the uterus in preparation for delivery. These hormones may also relax the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), the valve that opens and closes to allow food to pass from the esophagus to the stomach. When the LES is relaxed, it can remain open allowing stomach contents to flow backward into the esophagus and throat.  Progesterone also slows the rhythmic contractions of the esophagus and intestines that aid in digestion of food.  As a pregnancy progresses, the growing baby may also put pressure on an expectant mother’s stomach and abdominal cavity, causing the stomach contents to be pushed against the LES and into the esophagus and throat, resulting in the characteristic…

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What should I feed my baby? Is he getting enough to eat? Why is she so picky?

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Often questions such as these plague mothers as they try to decide on what to buy, prepare and feed their baby, particularly as their baby grows and his/her eating habits change.  Luckily for adults, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designed a Food Guide Pyramid as a recommendation for the portions and variety of foods that should be consumed to obtain a healthy diet.  In 2010, the Pyramid became My Plate, with the same categories, except a stronger emphasis was placed on having fruits and vegetables make up at least half of the plate.  Although similar recommendations are not specific for babies or children under the age of 2 years, the general recommendations of food groups and portion control are applicable for everyone.  Babies’ and young children’s diets should be made up of a variety of foods from the 4 major food groups, including breast milk &/or formula…

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What Environmental Dangers Should Pregnant Women Watch Out For?

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Does Air Pollution in the Environment Affect My Baby’s Development In Utero? Being pregnant can be a wonderful time of contentment as your fetus develops and grows–mixed with excited anticipation thinking of the day you’ll finally “meet” your newborn next generation. Pregnancy can also bring worries about whether you’re doing all you can to help your baby become healthy, strong and ready to greet the world. Happily, statistics are on your side, with excellent odds that you’ll have a healthy baby, undamaged by environmental factors. What Are the Chances of Birth Defects from Environmental Causes? What About Household Chemical Exposure? Although potential “dangers” may seem to lurk everywhere, many are sensationalized in the press and magnified by your concern for having a healthy child. Only 4 percent (or less) of infants are born with birth defects, and of these, only a tiny percentage is due to known environmental causes, according…

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Preeclampsia – What is it and should I be concerned?

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You’re young, maybe even a little scared, but overall you are excited about this new addition but something just doesn’t seem right?  Maybe you’re gaining weight too quickly or your feet and legs appear to be swelling much more than you had expected.  Or, maybe your vision is blurry and you’re experiencing more headaches than before.  Any one of these symptoms could be a sign of Preeclampsia.  Preeclampsia occurs in 5% – 8% of all pregnancies.  This rapidly progressive condition typically occurs after your 20th week and has been known to occur up to 6 weeks after birth.  In cases where the disease has advanced rapidly, you may experience very few symptoms or may not notice anything at all.  This is why early and proper prenatal care is crucial in diagnosing and managing this disease.  You and your doctor will work together to ensure a safe and healthy delivery for…

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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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Keeping Clear Skin: How to Deal With Acne During Pregnancy

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Acne during pregnancy is more common than one might think. Acne tends to flare up during pregnancy because of the body’s ever-changing hormones, as well as stress, diet and sleep problems. Controlling acne during pregnancy is different than during the teenage years. Using doctor-recommended or prescribed acne medications and natural methods to keep skin clear keeps both mother and baby safe. What Causes Pregnancy Acne? Pregnancy acne is caused by the same issues as normal acne: hormones and oils. Hormones go into overdrive during pregnancy and cause the production of pore-clogging oils that lead to breakouts. Pregnancy acne is no different from teenage acne, although a woman may breakout in different places than she did when she was younger. How Can I Prevent Pregnancy Acne? Preventing pregnancy acne is the best way to keep skin healthy and clear before and after the baby is born. Cleanse your face twice each…

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Asthma in pregnancy- Symptoms to discuss with your doctor

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Pregnancy is a time of great change for women, and it can also be a time of concern for those who live with asthma. Affecting approximately 4-8% of moms-to-be, asthma is a chronic lung condition that can impact the health of the mother and developing fetus. For most women with well-controlled and mild asthma, pregnancy poses little risk for complications. However, for those who have moderate to severe asthma or poorly monitored and controlled asthma, pregnancy can pose several risks for both the mother and baby.  Any pregnant woman who has asthma needs to be aware of several symptoms that might signal a larger problem. Asthma Complications – Symptoms and Conditions Complications for pregnant women with asthma often increase in severity of symptoms during the last trimester, especially after the 28th week. It is difficult to reliably determine which patients with asthma will go on to have pregnancy related complications,…

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What Changes Should I Expect During My Second Pregnancy?

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Do Second Pregnancies Have Medical Differences? There are a few medical statistics about second pregnancies, and your doctor or midwife will talk with you about those. If you had certain complications such as pre-eclampsia in your first pregnancy, your doctor will be closely watching for those the second time around. However, if your first pregnancy was relatively uncomplicated, the risk of complications overall tends to be lower during a second pregnancy. Additionally, the risk of an early miscarriage falls significantly during second and subsequent pregnancies. If you had a C-section the first time, then you will be discussing with your doctor which type of delivery is advisable for the second birth. Will I Feel Different During My Second Pregnancy? Probably. Each pregnancy is unique, but the majority of women find that second pregnancies have the following characteristics: You may feel more tired. This is most likely due to the fact…

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I’m Having Twins! What Do I Need to Know?

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If you are preparing for the joy of a new arrival – times two – then you might be wondering if there are differences you will experience during your pregnancy because of this. Multiple pregnancies are increasing in occurrence and there are certain things you need to know about having twins that will help you have the most enjoyable, healthy pregnancy possible. Facts About Twins Pregnancies with twins have their own unique challenges as well as unique ways the mother’s body responds to this extra demand. Weight Gain in a Twin Pregnancy You’re going to need at least 2,700 calories every day, but you’re not going to want to overeat or get those calories from treats and desserts. The typical twin pregnancy will mean that a pregnant mom gains between 35 and 45 pounds. Because you’re carrying two babies and adding more weight, you’re probably going to be more uncomfortable…

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Don’t Blink

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

This past week my family took a vacation and it just so happened to be Charlotte’s first birthday.  My baby is 1! Whoa.  Her first year of life went by waaaaay faster than I remember Jack’s going.  I try to look back to when I first brought her home from the hospital, and it all seems to be a blur.  I still look at her and think she’s as little as when she was born.  For some reason when Jack turned 1, I thought he was 5.  He seems so much older and I just want Charlie to stay my baby forever.   I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve had with strangers that involve how fast their kids grew up and to just enjoy the moment.  When you bring home a new baby, it’s so easy to wish for restful nights, more independence, and “the next stage.”  The truth…

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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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