How Prepared Are You for a Healthy Pregnancy?

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I am Rh-negative – What is RhoGAM?

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

As part of your routine prenatal care during pregnancy your doctor will order a blood test to determine which type of blood you have – A, B, AB, or O. Part of this prenatal screening is to determine whether or not you carry the Rh factor, a type of protein that exists on the surface of red blood cells and that can cause your immune system to respond in certain ways. Most people (more than 85%) are Rh-positive, but for the smaller population who are Rh-negative, pregnancy can cause added concern. If you are Rh-negative and your partner is Rh-positive, your child can inherit the Rh-negative component or the Rh-positive component. If you have discovered that you are Rh-negative, that means that your body may develop antibodies to in essence fight off your developing baby, should that baby be Rh-positive. All that it would take is for a small amount…

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How Should I Interpret New Pregnancy Studies?

Posted by | Because You Asked | No Comments

Are New Pregnancy Research Studies Reliable? Possibly, but don’t believe everything you read. Pregnant women should never take action based on pregnancy studies they may read about online. After all, the online world is filled with misinformation which, unfortunately, may sound just as authoritative as truly reliable advice found on the Web. (Other media such as print publications or TV can be just as unreliable.) It’s wise to take everything with a grain of salt, except the information and advice you get from your physician. As your instinct likely tells you, only a trained medical professional, familiar with the specifics of your health history and overall condition, should advise you. If you should still have doubts after a discussion your doctor, get a second (informed and in-person) medical opinion. How Should a Pregnant Woman to React When Reading Studies Done on Animals (or humans) That Seem to Contradict Common Consensus? It can be scary out there in…

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Is Sushi Safe to Eat During Pregnancy?

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Safe Guidelines when Eating for Two If you are either pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant, chances are you’ve heard your fair share of warnings and guidelines about what to eat and what not to eat for the health of your baby. Pregnancy is a time in your life when you might have to make changes in your diet and lifestyle in order to support the development of a healthy baby. Fish offers pregnant women a healthy way to add protein and Omega-3 fatty acids – essential for the strong development of your baby’s brain. A healthy diet during pregnancy can include fish, even sushi, as long as you follow safe guidelines for selection and preparation, just as with most protein sources. Is There Such a Thing as Safe Sushi? When it comes to eating sushi during pregnancy, the most important concern is not that the fish is served raw….

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How Do I Know If I’m Having Contractions?

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

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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Tips for Washing Fruits and Vegetables to Reduce Pesticide Exposure

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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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The Feeling Better Rut

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

13 weeks seems to be the magic number for me! Last night was the first night IN WEEKS that I stayed up later than 7:30. I was getting so sick in the evening that instead of fighting it, I just gave in, went to bed, and slept through the nausea. Nighttime, AKA when my kids are sleeping, is the time when I’m most productive. It’s the only time of the day that I can catch up on cleaning, laundry, and cooking. I’ve given up on all of it the past few weeks; my husband has been doing ALL of the laundry (I know, he’s amazing.) and my kids have been eating a lot of pasta (not that they’re complaining). Today, since I’m finally feeling better, I’ve been catching up on all of those things by doing what else? Why going through my Pinterest boards for motivation and inspiration of course….

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What Are Symptoms I Might Be Pregnant?

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Even though on the outside it might seem like there are no signs or symptoms of pregnancy, on the inside your body is going through tremendous and significant changes. Many of these changes will trigger symptoms even in just those first few weeks that when all put together point to the same answer – you are pregnant. Early Signs of Pregnancy One of the very first signs of pregnancy a woman might notice is very light bleeding, which can happen 10-12 days after conception. This is known as implantation bleeding from the fertilized egg implanting in the uterine wall. For women who do have implantation bleeding, many think that it is just an early, light or slightly unusual menstruation period. Don’t assume you’re not pregnant if you don’t have this symptom – many women become pregnant and never experience noticeable implantation bleeding. There are many other signs and symptoms of…

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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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What are Probiotics and Are They Safe during Pregnancy?

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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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Nasal Congestion

Posted by | Symptoms & Remedies | No Comments

Many women suffer from nasal congestion during pregnancy.  This is because your body is producing more blood and holding on to fluids in preparation for delivery.  During delivery you will lose a lot of fluid, including the baby that is 90% water, the amniotic fluid and the placenta.  Your body will want to balance this sudden loss of fluid by storing extra fluid.  This makes your tissue swell, including your nasal passageways, leading to snoring during sleep and occasional difficulty breathing through your nose. To help reduce snoring, you can wear support hose during the day.  During the day, while you are up and around, extra fluid is stored in your legs.  Then it enters your blood stream at night when you lay flat.  It causes your nasal passageways to become congested and you may snore. The support hose prevent the extra fluid from being retained in your legs.  Hence,…

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

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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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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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What Do I Do For My Sore Breasts?

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

There are many joys of pregnancy – the first kicks, seeing your baby on the ultrasound, listening to the heartbeat, etc… However, pregnancy can also bring some unpleasant side effects, including sore and engorged breasts. There are two hormones, estrogen and progesterone, that claim much of the responsibility for this painful effect of pregnancy. Some other culprits include the fat that is gathering and blood flow that is increasing in your breasts in preparation for breastfeeding. There are actually different parts of your breasts that may experience soreness in different ways for different reasons. The breast tissue itself is accumulating in size as a response to pregnancy hormones that are telling them to prepare to nourish your baby. This increase in fullness might remind you of PMS, but it isn’t necessarily going to go away in a few days (although it usually subsides during the 2nd trimester). The areolas, those…

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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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Oh, How I Have Missed These.

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

Happy 2013! Big news in our household: Baby number three is due in July! Life was feeling too routine and easy as soon as Charlotte started walking, talking, and being more independent so my husband and I thought, what better way to add a little chaos to our family than to add another baby. After the initial thoughts of feeling so blessed to get pregnant so easily and quickly (as was also the case with our first two), the dreaded first trimester symptoms hit – CONSTANT nausea, vomiting, exhaustion, light headedness, shortness of breath, and did I mention exhaustion? I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again, ENJOY YOUR FIRST PREGNANCY. The kids have been spending a lot of quality time with Daddy at work, potty training at Grandma’s, and holiday baking with Aunt Anna, and I’m eternally grateful for all of that. I have to admit, my babyQ…

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