June 2018 - BabyQ

How to Quit Smoking During Pregnancy

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Can I Use a Nicotine Patch to Help Me Quit Smoking While Pregnant? You’ve probably heard that smoking is bad for your health, but if you’re pregnant you might have even more reason to try to quit smoking – your growing baby. There are many health concerns for both you and your baby that come from smoking during pregnancy, but there are ways to quit that are safe. The nicotine patch is just one way people stop smoking, but quitting during pregnancy can be more challenging and certain methods are safer than others. What are the Effects of Smoking During Pregnancy? Smoking during pregnancy is not only harmful to a mother’s health, but to the health of her unborn child. The developing baby is exposed to carbon monoxide and extremely harsh chemicals, including nicotine. When carbon monoxide enters the mother’s bloodstream it narrows the blood vessels that in the umbilical…

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Pain with Sex

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As your body prepares for the baby’s passage through the birth canal, your vagina and pelvis become swollen with blood and fluid.  This cushions the baby’s passage through the birth canal and helps protect you as well.  However, genital and cervical swelling can make these areas more sensitive and some women experience pain with sex.  Other women find intercourse more enjoyable, and your partner or husband may as well.   In that case enjoy the pleasure and intimacy of sex.  If however, intercourse becomes painful, explore additional ways to satisfy each other, not only for your own physical pleasure, but for the intimacy and emotional support sex provides.  This will be a source of comfort for you and your baby during the nine months of pregnancy.

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How does stress affect my baby?

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How does stress affect my baby? Not all stress is created equal. Some stress is psychological and other stress is physical. Stress is a continuum as it can vary from everyday occurrences to life-threatening events. Many expectant mothers “stress out” about preparing for their new baby. Although, it is annoying, this stress is generally harmless.  Most physical stress, such as the enlarged abdomen of a pregnant woman is quite common and also generally harmless.  Still yet, if pain, depression or trouble sleeping accompanies stress, it should be monitored and reported to a doctor. Extreme stress is harmful as it can lead to high blood pressure and damage to major organs. Stress can be measured by elevations in the stress hormones, epinephrine and norepinephrine. As well, stress typically leads to increased cortisol production.  Prolonged exposure to these stress hormones affect the nervous system and immune system and have been implicated in…

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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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Caffeine during pregnancy- Is it safe and how much?

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Whether it’s from coffee, soda, energy drinks, or chocolate, millions of Americans consume caffeine every day. There have long been concerns about the potential effects of caffeine on mothers and unborn children. Given these concerns, women are advised to avoid large amounts of caffeine when they are pregnant. Consuming a moderate amount of caffeine during pregnancy, however, is safe in most cases. Although conflicting information continues to emerge, this article provides some general information regarding pregnancy and caffeine. The (potential) Dangers of Caffeine Estimates suggest that between 75% and 93% of pregnant women consume caffeine on a daily basis (Kaiser & Allen, 2008). Given the prevalence of caffeine intake, it is no surprise that researchers have made a concerted effort to understand the potential effects of caffeine during pregnancy. The results of these studies have been mixed, but here are some potential dangers. Caffeine is a stimulant that increases your…

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Manicures and pedicures during pregnancy— Are they safe?

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There are many beneficial effects associated with the growing body of a pregnant woman. Many women savor the nail and hair growth that often accompanies pregnancy.  These beauty “enhancements” are due to increased hormone production that supports the growing baby and expectant mother. Additionally, a healthy pregnancy diet and prenatal vitamins such as biotin, a B-complex vitamin has been associated with healthy, thick and firm nails.   Given the exponential growth of the pregnant woman’s nails, regularly she contemplates how to best care for her nails.  As such, many women wonder, “are manicures and pedicures safe during pregnancy?”  By most accounts, the answer to this question is “Yes”, with a few precautions.   Health and safety recommendations for nail care include maintaining nail hygiene, such as keeping nails clean and dry; avoiding biting or picking at nails; applying moisturizer to nails; and gently pushing cuticles back instead of cutting them. …

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Shortness of Breath

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Shortness of breath is not uncommon during pregnancy.  While walking up a flight of stair you suddenly feel like you ascended 10 flights instead of just one.  There are multiple reasons for this.   First, you will put on a significant amount of weight during your pregnancy, perhaps as much as 30-40 lbs.  Secondly, you become anemic.  Third, your legs may retain a lot of fluid.  This combination of anemia, extra weight and swollen legs makes it difficult just to move around.  You will find yourself panting doing what before had been a very easy task. Some things you can do to prevent shortness of breath are to stay in reasonable shape, exercise on a regular basis by walking 30 to 40 minutes a day. In your third trimester slow down and shorten your pace. Take your prenatal vitamins, as the iron will help prevent you from getting extremely anemic. …

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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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Depression

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About 10% of pregnant women will have symptoms of depression.  Diet can be a factor.  Diets low in Omega 3 fatty acids seems to make individuals more prone to depression.  Fortunately, most prenatal vitamins contain DHA also known as an omega 3 fatty acids.  Omega 3 fatty acids are also found in seafood.  Eating high quality seafoods that are low in mercury, such as farm-raised trout, or wild Alaskan Salmon, are also excellent sources of omega 3 fatty acids.  Vitamin D deficiency can make you feel more depressed.  Vitamin D is the sunshine vitamin.  It is formed in your skin from sun exposure.  Make sure you get reasonable sun exposure during pregnancy.  If you cannot get outside regularly during the day, take 2000 units of Vitamin D a day as a pill.  Also to alleviate depression, talk to your friends and family about any issues bothering you.  Get regular exercise…

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What Are the Benefits of Eating Vegetables During Pregnancy?

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

A healthy diet is an extremely important component to a healthy pregnancy and newborn baby. However, according to research published in the Nutrition & Dietetics Journal, only about half of pregnant women eat the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables that they should for a healthy pregnancy. There are two important reasons why eating healthy is important during pregnancy: the long-term health of the mother and the health of the unborn child. Vegetables During Pregnancy – Healthy Benefits for Baby The 9 months during which a fetus develops is a crucial time for healthy eating by the pregnant mother. Her baby relies completely on her ability to sustain a healthy diet, and vegetables are an integral part of that. There are several benefits for the baby of mothers eating vegetables while pregnant, including healthy birth weights of babies and reduced risks for long-term health complications and diseases. The following are…

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