Dr. Mark Gostine, Author at BabyQ

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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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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How Much Does a Baby Cost?

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How Does the Cost for Hospital Delivery Compare with Delivery at a Birth Center? The US government organization, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Healthcare Utilization Project offers the following hospital cost statistics: Vaginal birth no complications – $9,617 to $10,657 Vaginal birth with complications – $12,532 to $13,749 C-section no complication – $15,799 to $17,859 C-section with complications – $21,495 – $23,923 The American Association of Birth Centers claims that the cost for a vaginal delivery at a birth center is $2,777. How much will it cost to raise my child? The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) 2012 Expenditures on Children by Families reports that parents with an annual household income between $59,410 and $102,870 can expect to spend $295,560 per child born in 2011 until the age of 17; while parents with an annual household income of less than $59,410 can expect to spend $169,080 per…

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Food Cravings

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Over 60% of women during pregnancy experience food cravings.  Some of this can be explained by what you need or the baby needs.  For instance, the baby really needs a lot of glucose so sweets taste especially good and in proper amounts can help nourish your child.  You need increased amounts of sodium and potassium, so salty foods and fruits and vegetables all taste good.  You may also be making up from deficits in food following significant morning sickness and nausea.  Food cravings are rarely harmful as long as you don’t skip eating a regular balanced diet or eat too much.  Satisfying food cravings should be enjoyed.

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Nausea

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Two thirds of women will experience morning sickness during their first trimester, and almost half may have morning sickness even as late as the third trimester.   Morning sickness is clearly related to your hormones.  There is limited safety information on prescription medications during pregnancy to treat this.  You can take pyridoxine or Vitamin B-6.  This is presumed safe and can be effective.  Ginger seems to settle the stomach and is also presumed safe in pregnancy.  You can get crystallized ginger at the grocery store in the spice aisle. If you feel nauseous and do not feel like eating, make sure you stay well hydrated and drink plenty of fluids.  It is not uncommon for women to lose weight during their first trimester.   It is much more important to eat adequate amounts of healthy foods during the second and third trimester.  Do not let yourself get worried if you…

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How to Deal With Changing Hormones

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How do Hormones Change During Pregnancy? Levels of pregnancy hormones estrogen and progesterone dramatically increase. The production of estrogen is greater in pregnancy than during any other time in a woman’s life. This permits the uterus and placenta to develop blood vessels and transfer nutrients to the growing baby. Estrogen levels increase significantly during the first trimester and are believed to cause the nausea associated with pregnancy. During the second trimester, estrogen aids in the development of milk ducts. By the third trimester, estrogen level is at its highest. The increase in progesterone allows the ligaments and joints throughout the body to become more flexible preparing the birth canal for delivery. Progesterone is also responsible for enlarging the uterus from the size of a pear to an environment that can stretch to fit the needs of the growing baby. Keep in mind that these changes in hormone levels are typical…

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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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Breast Changes – Enlargement, Tenderness and Sensitivity

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Breast changes are virtually universal during pregnancy.  These include, breast enlargement, increased heaviness, tenderness and sensitivity.  These prepare you for breast feeding.  Studies suggest breast feeding your baby for six months after delivery will reduce your risk of breast cancer.  Following pregnancy and breastfeeding, your breasts will change once more as they return to a resting phase when breast milk is no longer being produced.

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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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