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probiotics

What are Probiotics and Are They Safe during Pregnancy?

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

Pregnancy is a time when moms-to-be are full of questions about how to make the safest and best choices for their growing babies. One of the nutritional topics that can be confusing for pregnant moms is regarding probiotics and their role in a healthy diet. If you are pregnant, you should know that probiotics are generally healthy and safe “good” bacteria that offer many benefits. What are Probiotics? Probiotics are actually live bacteria and yeasts that aid in the digestive system. They are considered “good” microorganisms because they exist naturally in many foods and help to reduce the number of “bad” bacteria in your digestive system. It is important to have an appropriate balance of the bacteria within your body in order to avoid and treat conditions including: Diarrhea – especially after treatment with antibiotics which can destroy the “good” bacteria in your digestive system because it doesn’t differentiate between…

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© Teza Harinaivo Ramiandrisoa

Is Spotting Normal During Pregnancy?

Posted by | Symptoms & Remedies | No Comments

Photo © Teza Harinaivo Ramiandrisoa Even though finding that you are spotting during pregnancy can cause panic and alarm, it does not necessarily signal a problem with your pregnancy. There are many causes for spotting during pregnancy, and each situation needs to be considered individually, taking into account the mother’s health, the trimester, and any previous problems. Should I Be Worried About Spotting? Spotting during the early weeks of the first trimester can be something as benign as what is known as implantation bleeding or implantation spotting. This means that the fertilized egg implants in the wall of the uterus and can cause mild spotting for a few days. Some women even experience this before they know they are pregnant. This type of spotting can range in color from brown to light pink or red, and it usually much lighter than a typical menstrual period. Sometimes a cervical growth known…

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Lightheadedness

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You may experience lightheadedness, dizziness, or just feeling out of sorts while you’re pregnant.  When you stand up from a chair you feel as though you are going to pass out.  If this occurs, please sit back down and ease out of the chair.  Sit on the edge, and then cautiously stand.  The reasons for lightheadedness are multiple.  You may be dehydrated and your blood pressure could be low because your hormones are making your blood vessels relax.  If you have low blood pressure, try eating more salty foods or simply add salt to your foods when appropriate.  Make sure you drink plenty of liquids so you don’t get dehydrated. Not getting enough sleep will result in lightheadedness and dizziness.  Get 8 hours of solid sleep every night, and don’t be afraid to rest in the afternoon.  Do not become a couch potato either, walking helps maintain the tone to…

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What Are Skin Tags?

Posted by | Symptoms & Remedies | No Comments

Your hormones, estrogen and progesterone, increase greatly during pregnancy.  These hormones help the baby grow and help your body change in ways that will nourish the baby and prepare for delivery. Progesterone and estrogen are in effect, growth hormones.  Other things will grow, your breasts, your abdomen, your hair, but unfortunately if you have a small skin tag it will also then grow as well and become a medium size skin tag.  This is because of your skyrocketing levels of progesterone.  You can have skin tags surgically removed at a dermatology office if you like, but most of them will shrink in size after the delivery, so that is probably not necessary.  If they are getting caught underneath a bra strap and making you uncomfortable, consider having it removed.  Short of that, wait until delivery and let it shrink on its own.

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girl_with_mask

My neighbors must think I’m crazy

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

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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What Do I Need To Know About Maternity Leave?

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

The first few weeks/months of a child’s life are a wonderful time. The mother and father finally get to know the baby that the mother has been carrying around for 9 months. You want to spend all the time with your newborn. In order to do so, it’s necessary to understand the rules surrounding maternity leave. How long can you take off? Do you get paid? Can you be fired from you job? These are all questions that someone has asked at some point. Let’s take a look at maternity leave considerations. Maternity leave rules and laws are largely a patchwork of state regulation.  Before 1993 and passage of The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) there were essentially no national rules governing maternity leave.  At that time, during the Clinton Administration, the FMLA finally guaranteed women the right to 12 weeks off of unpaid leave after delivery.   However in order to…

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How to Quit Smoking During Pregnancy

Posted by | Lifestyle, Pregnancy Medicine | No Comments

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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babyQ-Pollution

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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Pregnancy Mask

Posted by | Symptoms & Remedies | No Comments

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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I Am Having Very Unhealthy Pregnancy Cravings

Posted by | Nutrition, Pregnancy Medicine | No Comments

What Do I Do? You’ve probably heard that when you become pregnant you suddenly become hungry for pickles and ice cream – a combination of sweet and salty foods that would typically not be associated as being appetizing together. It is not necessarily that you now love the thought of these foods being paired together, but a combination of hormonal, physical, and emotional changes that might make you crave even unhealthy foods during pregnancy. Some women also experience food aversion, where foods you previously enjoyed eating now become nauseating at the thought of them. If you’re pregnant and concerned about your cravings, take stock of what might be missing from your diet and take steps to improve those eating habits. Why Do I Have Cravings During Pregnancy? There are several theories as to why women experience cravings during pregnancy, and there is probably some truth to most of them. The…

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holding_hands

What are the best options for post-partum birth control?

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

You’ve just welcomed your new baby and you’re already anticipating all of those memories you’re going to make as a family. Somewhere between deciding on stroller options and pediatricians, you also have another choice to make – post-partum birth control. Most new parents aren’t quite ready to jump into another pregnancy just weeks or months after giving birth, so choosing a birth control method after baby arrives is an important decision for new parents. Factors for Choosing a Post-Partum Birth Control There are many factors that will influence the type of birth control that you decide to use post-partum. The amount of time you plan to wait before having another child Whether or not you plan to breastfeed your newborn Convenience Cost Side effects Any reactions to previous birth control methods Health concerns or pre-existing conditions Birth Control Choices for New Mothers Intrauterine Devices (IUD) The IUD is a preferred…

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Image Courtesy of Maggie Smith / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What’s Happening When My Body Has Weird Cravings?

Posted by | Nutrition, Pregnancy Medicine | No Comments

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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Sleep Issues During Pregnancy

Posted by | LENS, Lifestyle, Pregnancy Health, Symptoms & Remedies | No Comments

As we continue to look at sleep issues during pregnancy we realize young moms-to-be are not sleeping well enough. The most common reasons women do not sleep well during pregnancy are: Snoring as their nasal passages become swollen from fluid retention Restless legs associated with iron deficiency General discomfort In the latest poll on “Sleep in America” the National Sleep Foundation reported: Exercisers report better sleep than self-described non-exercisers even though they say they sleep the same amount each night (6 hours and 51 minutes, average on weeknights). Vigorous, moderate and light exercisers are significantly more likely to say “I had a good night’s sleep” every night or almost every night on work nights than non-exercisers (67%-56% vs. 39%). Also, more than three-fourths of exercisers (76%-83%) say their sleep quality was very good or fairly good in the past two weeks, compared to slightly more than one-half of non-exercisers (56%)….

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amnio

What should I expect from an amnio?

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If your doctor has told you that you should consider an amniocentesis during your pregnancy, you probably have many concerns and questions about what to expect from this procedure. There are many different reasons why your physician might be suggesting this test, and understanding the basics of the procedure will help you to make an informed decision. The more you understand about what to expect, the calmer you will probably feel about your amniocentesis. What is an Amniocentesis? This procedure consists of drawing amniotic fluid from the uterus during pregnancy using a fine needle, and under the guidance of ultrasound images. The amniotic fluid, which has a consistency similar to water, is what surrounds the baby during pregnancy. It contains cells from your baby, as well as chemicals produced by your baby that indicate many things about his or her health. The fluid sample is then examined under a microscope….

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