How Prepared Are You for a Healthy Pregnancy?

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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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Are there Foods to Avoid in Pregnancy?

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If you are expecting a baby, chances are you are taking vitamins, adding an extra glass of water or two to your daily intake, and choosing fresh foods that will provide your baby with the most nutrients possible. However, do you know which foods you should not consume while pregnant for the health of your baby? The advice from your friends and well-meaning family can be confusing, but the guidelines that have been established by years of medical research don’t have to be overwhelming. Whether you have allergies, sensitivities, or special health concerns there are basic pregnancy nutrition choices you should consider during pregnancy. Seafood Consumption Seafood can give you and your baby the omega-3 fatty acids that are important to both of you, but if you’re not careful you might be exposing your baby to elevated levels of mercury. This mercury poses a danger to your unborn child’s nervous…

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Exercise During Pregnancy

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How much you need to exercise during pregnancy depends on many factors, including: Your pre-pregnancy weight The amount of time you are on your feet during the day If you have diabetes or develop gestational diabetes Your age Your gestational age Let’s examine each factor. If you are near ideal weight at the time you become pregnant exercise will be less of an issue. If you are overweight exercise can reduce excessive weight gain. Too much weight gain can increase your risk of gestational diabetes. This can actually program the child in your womb for diabetes as an adult or adolescent. However, too much exercise is not good either. Studies have shown that if you are on your feet during pregnancy more than 5 hours a day, you do not need additional exercise. You can actually overdo it and deliver less nutrition to your baby. Keep that in mind so…

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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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Is It OK for Pregnant Moms to Watch Television?

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Pregnancy can be tiring for moms-to-be, and when they are on bed rest or their doctors recommend reduced activity levels, it can be hard to remain occupied for several months. It is not uncommon for women to turn to television viewing to either use as a way to relax and rest or as a boredom buster for weeks of prescribed rest. Pregnant moms often have two concerns about television viewing: Is it safe to be close to a television or computer screen while pregnant? and, How much television viewing is too much while pregnant? Safety Issues for Television Watching During Pregnancy Several agencies and studies have all reached the same conclusion: There is no radiation risk associated with watching television or using a computer monitor to watch programming while pregnant. Laptops, however, do tend to emit heat, and it is important to not place the computer on the abdomen (such…

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My neighbors must think I’m crazy

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Growing up with very curly hair, I learned at a young age how to prevent frizz with chemicals products.  I’ve since come to cherish the extra volume that comes with textured hair and use almost no product – except for the occasional spritz of hairspray on humid days.  Hairspray contains many different chemicals and it is not safe to inhale constantly.  My solution? I wear a mask, only use non-aerosol products, and I do not use it in my house.  Yes, I stand in my front yard with a dentist-like mask on and spray my hair.  I firmly believe that there has to be balance between doing everything said to be “right/healthy/perfect” and doing what makes you feel good and look good.  Other ways to cut down on chemicals in your beauty routine: Try using grape seed oil instead of lotion to prevent stretch marks. It’s all- natural, inexpensive, odorless,…

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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?

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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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