How Prepared Are You for a Healthy Pregnancy?

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High Fructose Corn Syrup & Hydrogenated Oil

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Two ingredients to look for on food packaging and AVOID: High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) and Hydrogenated Oil (sometimes listed as partially-hydrogenated oil). High fructose corn syrup (HFCS), simply put, is sugar processed from corn. It still has the same amount of sugar and calories as table sugar, but HFCS contains the molecule fructose in higher concentration than sugar derived from sugar cane. Fructose is more readily converted into energy than glucose. If you don’t burn that energy it is more easily turned into fat by the liver. The fat stored in the liver can cause “metabolic syndrome” a pre-diabetic condition. The rapid absorption of any sugar molecule like fructose or glucose generates a big spike of insulin in your body and can lead to health problems including weight gain, diabetes, and cancer. Why do companies use HFCS instead of cane sugar? It is cheaper to make because we grow…

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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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Correlation between flu vaccines and increases in miscarriage

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Question: Has babyQ reviewed any of the information reported by V.A.E.R.S. about any correlation between the flu vaccine that contains H1N1 and increases in miscarriage? Is there validity to this? Answer: Here is the summary statement from the Journal of Human and Experimental Toxicology dated  September 27, 2012: The unadjusted fetal-loss report rates for the three consecutive influenza seasons beginning 2008/2009 were 6.8 (95% CI: 0.1–13.1), 77.8 (95% CI: 66.3–89.4), and 12.6 (95% CI: 7.2–18.0) cases per million pregnant women vaccinated, respectively. . Thus, a synergistic fetal toxicity likely resulted from the administration of both the pandemic (A-H1N1) and seasonal influenza vaccines during the 2009/2010 season. It appears the multifold rise in miscarriages was primarily in women who received both vaccines, not specifically H1N1, according to the conclusion in the abstract on the web site.  We do know that women who suffer the flu during pregnancy have a slight increase in autism…

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When Should A Mother Start Feeding Her Baby Solid Food?

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Watching your infant move from one milestone to the next is an exciting adventure. Whether they are the first babbling sounds, the first smile, or the first steps, milestones are often reached when your baby is ready. But how do you know when your baby is ready for solid foods? It isn’t as easy as offering your baby foods and seeing if she will take them or not. In fact, many healthcare professionals agree that parents can offer solid foods too early, which can eventually lead to food sensitivities, eczema, diabetes, and even other more serious health problems. When to Feed Baby Solid Food According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, infants should not be fed anything other than formula or breast milk, and preferably breast milk, until they are at least 4 months of age. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found in recent studies…

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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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Pregnancy Regrets

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While I don’t live with many regrets (I love planning for the future; hate reminiscing about the past – mostly because I get depressed thinking about how quickly life goes), there are a few things I regret not doing while I was pregnant with Charlotte.  I always stress how different your first pregnancy is in comparison to the rest of your pregnancies because it’s all about you the first time around.  It’s so easy to plan your day/week/life when you have no other little human whose life depends on you.  While I was pregnant with Jack, I kept a journal of how I was feeling, had professional maternity photos taken*, and was religious about taking weekly bump pictures.  I didn’t do any of these things during my pregnancy with Charlotte.  It’s just so much harder to remember/schedule/be awake for those minor details. Minor details I really wish I had paid…

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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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What if you drink during pregnancy?

I Drank Alcohol Before I Knew I Was Pregnant. Should I Be Worried?

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Should I Be Worried About My Baby’s Development Because I Drank Alcohol Before I Knew I Was Pregnant? This issue has caused a lot debate in the medical community. The position of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has been and continues to remain that “no amount of alcohol consumption can be considered safe during pregnancy” in spite of any research to the contrary. That’s because drinking while pregnant is a well known cause of mental retardation and birth defects. In addition, using alcohol during pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage, low birth weight, and stillbirth. “The bottom line according to ACOG: Women should avoid alcohol entirely while pregnant or trying to conceive because damage can occur in the earliest weeks of pregnancy, even before a woman knows that she is pregnant.” Is There Any Medical Association That Believes That Having Used Alcohol Before Knowing You Were Pregnant…

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How Do I Know If I’m Having Contractions?

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What are the different types of contractions? The first type of contraction you will experience during your pregnancy is Braxton-Hicks, or what is known as false labor. This type of contraction causes the cervix to become softer and thinner, making it easier for the baby to pass through during delivery. Braxton-Hicks contractions become more frequent in the weeks before your delivery date. You can tell if you are experiencing a Braxton-Hicks contraction if: You feel your uterus muscles becoming tightened at odd times or you get a squeezing feeling in your lower abdomen. The contractions range from a painless tightening to extremely painful. The contractions don’t follow a pattern. They come and go unexpectedly in the afternoon or evening. On the other hand, true labor contractions, which indicate that the birth process had begun, follow a regular pattern, start at the back and move to the lower abdomen, are from…

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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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Can I Dye My Hair During Pregnancy?

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Pregnancy brings about many changes in a woman’s body, but it doesn’t mean she has to stop doing everything she enjoys and prefers during this time. A woman’s physical appearance can influence how she feels about herself, and things like hairstyles and makeup can help lift a woman’s spirits about her outward changes if she is feeling stressed or questioning the new shape of her body. However, many women then ask: Can I dye my hair during pregnancy? Hair Dying During Pregnancy The short answer to the question Can I dye my hair during pregnancy? is yes. The long answer is yes, as long as you follow some basic safety guidelines and speak with your doctor about any of your concerns. There are several precautions you can take to minimize the risks that hair dye might pose to your developing baby. Wait Until After the First Trimester to Color Your…

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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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Tips for Washing Fruits and Vegetables to Reduce Pesticide Exposure

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For pregnant women, in their first trimester, particularly in the first eight weeks of pregnancy, considerable effort should be taken to avoid and/or limit exposure to pesticides.  During this early stage of pregnancy, a baby’s major organs are developing and thus are susceptible to chemicals and exposures that can lead to permanent defects. Specifically, pesticide exposure has been linked to birth defects and low birth weight. Fruits and vegetables are common sources of pesticide exposure given the widespread use of chemicals to kill insects and preserve produce.  Tips for reducing pesticide exposure include shopping at farmer’s markets to purchase certified organic fruits and vegetables. As well, care should be taken to avoid household exposure to pesticides commonly found in insect repellants, pet litter, and home gardens. According to the Huffington Post, the Environmental Working Group, a non-profit research and advocacy organization, designated 12 fruits and vegetables as having the most…

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