Tips for Washing Fruits and Vegetables to Reduce Pesticide Exposure

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

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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Sex Drive Changes

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Typically, women will experience a diminished sex drive during their first trimester.  In part they may feel a little bit ill with nausea.  Typically, the sex drive returns in the second trimester as you start to feel better.   Sex is certainly safe during pregnancy and it leads to increased feelings of self esteem and love.  Although the frequency of sex between partners may decrease between the second and third trimesters, it can still be enjoyed on a regular basis.  During the last trimester it is usually easier for the woman to be on top.

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Can I visit my Dentist?

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Caring for your teeth and gums is an essential part of a healthy routine.  Dental health is as important as eating a balanced, nutritious meal and participating in moderate exercise. Dental hygiene involves brushing your teeth at least twice a day with an American Dental Association (ADA) approved fluoride toothpaste and a good-quality, soft-bristled toothbrush as well as flossing once a day. In addition, the ADA recommends bi-annual, preventive dental cleanings and exams to safeguard against, readily identify, and establish treatment for any possible oral infections. Maintaining good oral health is particularly important for pregnant women as there is a surge of hormones in pregnancy that have been associated with an increased risk of gum disease. This “pregnancy gingivitis” should be monitored and treated effectively as it has been linked to preterm birth. Care should be taken to maintain good oral health before and during pregnancy to avoid problems of…

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Breastfeeding in Public? Returning to Work and Pumping Milk? You are Protected!

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With ongoing headlines about celebrities being “caught” breastfeeding in public, military moms being fired because of breastfeeding in public, or the occasional news story covering a mom who was asked to leave a store for breastfeeding, making the choice to breastfeed can seem very intimidating. Some of you will contend with outrage from your family, friends or a random person in public who shoots you a look of disdain. However, your baby needs to nurse constantly, and for many breastfeeding moms that is a scheduled time every 2-4 hours. Beyond those first 6 weeks, you are bound to breastfeed in “gasp” public. This may include your car, a restaurant in the mall or grocery store aisle if you can’t get away immediately. Here are some tips for new moms to make the experience less awkward for you or those around you. Become familiar with your local mall, church, or other…

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Spend the money on yourself

Posted by | LENS, Lifestyle, Pregnancy Lifestyle | No Comments

In the weeks that followed and I calmed down a bit, I was able to start thinking about the “fun” things that go along with being newly pregnant. Planning the nursery, trying every old wives’ tale to determine my baby’s gender, thinking of what I wanted to add to my imaginary shower registry, and compiling a long list of possible names were constantly on my mind. I found that it was really easy to get wrapped up in all of the accessories just for my baby’s crib. My advice to you? Don’t! The bumpers, the crib blankets, the crib skirt – it’s not worth it.  Here’s why:   Studies show that bumpers are not safe for young babies…no matter how cute they look.  Babies can get tangled or caught in the plush fabric causing suffocation. Also, once older, babies can use the bumper for leverage to climb out of the…

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I Feel Like a Solo Parent!

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How Can I Get My Partner More Involved in Childcare? Parenting is hard work, and single parents are often challenged with filling dual roles of Mom and Dad. However, for some parents the challenge is not being the only parent in the home. The challenge is being the only parent in the home who is parenting. The roles of moms and dads have definitely changed over the years and each family is left to find a way that works best for them to provide involved fathers and mothers. Do you ever feel like you are doing most of the childcare? That you change the diapers, attend to the basics needs, and spend the most time with your child? Do you wish that your partner was more involved in parenting? You’re not alone – and you don’t have to continue feeling this way. 5 Ways to Encourage a More Involved Father…

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My Husband and I Are Having Trouble Conceiving

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What Can We Do? If you find yourself wondering, ‘My husband and I are having trouble conceiving, what can we do?’ and it is more than a timing issue, several options exist for you to consider. Fertility drugs that increase egg production and encourage implantation and intrauterine insemination where the sperm is directly introduced into your uterus during ovulation are considered two of the less invasive and intricate processes to treat fertility problems. In vitro fertilization, also known as IVF, involves a more complicated process your physician or an IVF specialist uses to treat fertility issues. IVF is used for various reasons, and is considered to be the most effective method of assisted reproductive technology (ART). What Is IVF? In vitro fertilization is used by couples who use their own eggs and sperm and by couples who use one or more donors for either eggs, sperm, or both. Gestational carriers,…

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Nesting

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We’ve reached our boiling point. We all officially have cabin fever and “activities” are now “organizing.” IE, cleaning out the pantry, disinfecting the fridge, folding the linen closet, and sorting out the junk drawer (and by that I mean four junk drawers.) I never felt like I really “nested” when I was pregnant with Jack because I didn’t have a nest to nest in! We moved into our house 12 days before Jack was born. I spent my whole nesting phase literally looking for our nest. Now that we’ve lived here almost three years, I have a lot of nesting to do before this babe arrives and it’s hit me; the nesting phase has hit me big time…and I’m only 15 weeks! Most recently, I’ve been going crazy cleaning out old baby clothes. Anything stained or ruined, or that frankly I’m sick of looking at, has been tossed. Then there…

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Can My Baby Hear?

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An unborn baby has many experiences in the womb based on the actions of the mother – the foods she eats, exercises she does, and medications she uses all impact her developing baby. The senses of an unborn baby are also developing and interacting with the environment. There is much research that shows that babies can feel, taste, dream, and react to stimuli such as sound long before birth. So – does this mean your baby can hear? Yes. An Unborn Baby’s Ears and Hearing In the first trimester, just around the 8th week, a baby’s ears are forming, and as early as 18 weeks they begin to perceive the sounds of the womb (blood pumping, fluid moving, etc.) as the tiny bones of the inner ear mature and the auditory portion of the brain more fully develops. Research shows that infants recognize their mothers’ voices long before birth and…

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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 can my body change after having a baby?

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Who knew having a baby could change your life in such dramatic ways?  Well, maybe you’ve heard of the emotional “life-changing” feeling of learning to love and care for a new baby, but what about learning to adjust to the physical changes in your own body?  Why are things out of place, drooping or “bigger but not better” than before?  Questions such as these are among those frequently asked at a six-week check-up.  Also, most importantly, women ask, “when will it return to normal?” Well, the good news is most bodily changes are temporary and reversible.  Even so, many postpartum body changes are annoying, frightening and oftentimes, embarrassing.  Some of the many changes women experience include incontinence, bleeding, looseness “down there,” and back and hip pain, amongst others unmentionables. Urinary incontinence is one’s inability to control her urine flow.  For many women, this incontinence begins during labor as their baby’s…

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Moods Changes

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There are a variety of reasons for your mood to become more fragile during pregnancy.  First, there are always the hormones.  They have a profound influence on your brain and can affect how you feel emotionally.  There is also the very real concern about having another mouth to feed and caring for a young child.  It’s obviously very joyful, but it can also be stressful.  The combination of hormones and real everyday worries can result in both depression and anxiety.  There are very good ways to treat this.  Your prenatal vitamins help stabilize moods, so does exercise.  Talking to friends and loved ones is key.   Counseling is very beneficial and effective. Prescription medications are rarely needed.  Getting outside during the day and letting the sun shine on your face can help with seasonal affective disorders and lift your spirits.  Support groups and exercise classes are also very helpful.

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What is the Best Sleep Position in Pregnancy?

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Pregnancy changes a young mother’s body dramatically for nine months.  These changes come as a result of elevated hormones, the placenta, and the baby growing rapidly within the womb. These changes in your body can make it difficult for an expecting mother to sleep. This leads many pregnant women to ask, “What is the best sleep position in pregnancy?” An example of your child’s growth affecting your sleep pattern is during your second trimester. At this time, your uterus is large enough to put pressure on other organs within your pelvis.  If the baby’s head rests on your sciatic nerve you can get pain down the leg called sciatica.  The baby’s body and uterus can also put pressure on the large blood vessel returning blood from your legs and pelvis.  This blood vessel is called the “venae cava”. Sleeping On Your Back Has Risks If your preferred sleep position during…

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Heartburn

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Heartburn can be a problem during pregnancy.  Your hormones relax the ring of muscle at the bottom of your esophagus that keeps the food in your stomach.  The food rises into the esophagus and gives you heartburn.  Once this ring of muscle, or sphincter, is relaxed, heartburn is more common.  Also as the baby and uterus enlarge during the last trimester, they will displace your stomach, leading to the food coming back up into your esophagus. You can temporarily neutralize the heartburn with antacid calcium carbonate pills. Just drinking any form of liquid will help reduce the acid coming out of your stomach.  Probiotics, the beneficial bacteria in yogurt, can help protect your stomach and esophagus from heartburn.  Avoid eating high fat foods that are difficult to digest.  Another solution is to avoid foods high in acid such as vinegar, soda pop and lemons.  Sleep on your left side with…

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What Exercises Are Safe During Pregnancy?

Posted by | Because You Asked, Exercise | No Comments

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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