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How can you prevent stretch marks?

Stretch Marks: What You Need to Know

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What causes stretch marks? You are thrilled to be growing a new life inside of you. Your body is accomplishing an amazing feat, but, unfortunately, growing a baby also comes with some not-so-pleasant by-products. One of these is stretch marks: the result of your body growing too fast for your skin to keep up. Essentially, stretch marks are the fibers of your skin breaking to accommodate your growing body. Since it is believed that 90% of women will get some stretch marks somewhere on their body during the pregnancy process, you may be relieved to know you are not alone. Most stretch marks usually appear on the stomach, but be prepared to also notice them on your breasts, buttocks, and thighs. Can I prevent stretch marks? The easy answer is no. There is no magic cream, lotion, or potion to prevent you from getting stretch marks, so don’t waste your…

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Help! I Don’t Feel Like I’m Bonding With My Baby!

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First of all, if you’re feeling like this, you’re not alone. Even though you may see on television an instant and almost magical connection between a mother and her infant, there are often many things that can interrupt this bonding. A mother’s bond with her baby is built on many things, and if you’re worried that your bond isn’t as strong as you envisioned it would be, there are lots of easy, small steps you can take to build a stronger bond. Why Can’t I Bond With My Baby? Pregnancy, labor, delivery, and those first weeks with your newborn (along with all of the time you even anticipated becoming a mother) all play a part in the mother baby bonding experience. Mothers who were not planning for a pregnancy can feel a turmoil of emotions at the new experience of motherhood. This doesn’t mean you love your baby any less;…

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10 Things I Wish People Would Have Told Me When I Was Pregnant: PART ONE

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There’s nothing like your first. Health wise, I had great pregnancies. However, no pregnancy is as enjoyable as your first. It’s all about you. If you’re tired, take a nap or go to bed right after work. I did. I would sleep from 5:15pm to 7:30am some nights. If you’re sick, call into work and stay in bed all day to watch a ‘Real Housewives’ marathon. If you don’t feel like making dinner, pick up something on your way home from work and call it a night. It’s heaven. Then you have the baby and decide ‘if I have one, I should probably have another’. Well guess what? It’s not like your first. Now you’re on either a baby’s/toddler’s/child’s schedule and that’s your first priority. I remember the first time I got a cold during my second pregnancy. I woke up feeling miserable and thought how am I going to…

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What should I Expect from a Baby Friendly Hospital?

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If you are in one of the 143 designated Baby Friendly hospitals in the United States, you may have a different type of experience immediately after birth. What is it? A hospital with the designation Baby Friendly is following the recommendations put forth by World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund UNICEF.  The goals of the hospital staff are to encourage and support breastfeeding in the hospital.  A secondary goal is to educate women on feeding formula safely. Why is it important? Breastmilk gives your infant important antibodies and nutrients that will help your baby reach optimal health.   It is estimated that millions of dollars are spent in the United States on preventable hospitalizations for infants and children.  The focus is on preventing disease through breastfeeding, which has been shown to decrease the number of infants and children that have complications from diarrhea, ear infections and other diseases. …

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How Many Fruit and Vegetable Servings are needed per day during Pregnancy?

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

Pregnancy is a time of great emphasis and concern for women about their health and the health of their unborn child. Often nutrition and other lifestyle decisions take “center stage”.  As such, women often wonder how do I eat right? How do I make smart food choices? Where do I find the best produce? How much will it cost? Will it taste good? Can I maintain these habits throughout pregnancy and beyond? To answer the question, “How many fruit and vegetable servings are needed per day during pregnancy?”, consider the following simple advice:  Do what comes natural. As a pregnant woman, you’re more likely to be hungry. Eat small snacks of fruit and vegetables several times per day to avoid getting hungry and consuming a lot at one time.  Choose fruits and vegetables that are in season avoiding canned or pre-sweetened options.  By eating often and in season, less effort…

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I don’t want my baby to be autistic—what can I do?

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You’re not alone if you worry about having a baby with autism. It is one of the leading and fastest growing developmental disabilities in the U.S., affecting 1 in every 110 children—three times as many little boys as little girls. As a babyQ member, you will discover ways to reduce your baby’s risk of neurocognitive problems, like autism and ADHD. This is our mission and we are here to help.

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

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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!

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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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