How Prepared Are You for a Healthy Pregnancy?

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- Optimize Weight Gain
- Reduce Risks of Complications
- Manage Stress

Is a photo lab a safe work place for a pregnant mom?

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

A babyQ mom wrote: I work in a photo lab with lots of chemicals. Is it safe for a pregnant mom to work with them? The Kodak Company, who supplies a great deal of the chemicals used in photo labs, has specific recommendations about their chemicals and pregnancy. They say: Minimize skin, eye, and inhalation exposure by using good industrial hygiene practices. These include the use of gloves or tongs (for use in tray processing), goggles or other eye protection, rubber aprons or other suitable protective clothing, and working in a well-ventilated area. Neoprene rubber or nitrile gloves should be used whenever there is a potential for skin contact. I suspect the chemical pollution in the air from photo processing during your pregnancy could slightly increase the risk of childhood asthma as your baby grows up. We see that in big cities with similar high levels of air pollution from…

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Heartburn in pregnancy—Easing the pain!

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

Heartburn or acid indigestion is perhaps one of the most common pregnancy complications, as 40%-80% of all pregnant women will experience this discomfort.  Heartburn happens when stomach acids build up into the esophagus. In pregnancy, progesterone hormones relax the muscles in the uterus in preparation for delivery. These hormones may also relax the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), the valve that opens and closes to allow food to pass from the esophagus to the stomach. When the LES is relaxed, it can remain open allowing stomach contents to flow backward into the esophagus and throat.  Progesterone also slows the rhythmic contractions of the esophagus and intestines that aid in digestion of food.  As a pregnancy progresses, the growing baby may also put pressure on an expectant mother’s stomach and abdominal cavity, causing the stomach contents to be pushed against the LES and into the esophagus and throat, resulting in the characteristic…

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Can My Fetus Feel?

Posted by | Fetal Development | No Comments

Consider yourself a human rocking chair during pregnancy as your baby is lulled to sleep by your walking, or perhaps roused from sleep by your jostling exercise. Your growing baby experiences many of the same things you do – the foods you eat, the emotions you feel, and the things you hear – just in slightly different ways. Your baby can also feel certain things from outside your abdomen, but rest assured that your general everyday movements do not cause pain and discomfort to your baby as he is safely enclosed in the amniotic fluid. My Baby’s Senses You might ask, “So what can my fetus feel?” By the time your developing baby is 20 weeks of gestational age, many of his senses are developed to a point where he will react to stimuli. His hearing is strong enough to recognize and react to your voice and other auditory stimulation….

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How to Feed a Baby

Posted by | Nutrition | No Comments

Newborns and infants all require some of the basic needs of nutrition and sleep, but choosing a method of feeding your baby can seem anything but basic. The World Health Organization (WHO) and American Academy of Pediatrics recommend breastfeeding as the most optimal choice for feeding your baby, but that does not mean that infant formula is not a viable option for many mothers and babies. The decision between bottle and breastfeeding should weigh many factors, and should include discussions with your baby’s pediatrician. How Do You Choose Between a Bottle and Breastfeeding? Choosing between breastfeeding and bottle feeding is something that you should ideally begin considering long before your baby is born. There are many factors that will influence your decision, and the best way to ensure a successful plan for you and your baby is to consider the pros and cons of each, and how those fit into…

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Fish Oils and Pregnancy- What is all the buzz about?

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Omega-3 fatty acids, commonly found in fish oils, have been the source of considerable debate regarding their beneficial properties for pregnant women and babies.  Often pregnant moms must decide whether they will consume fish during pregnancy and if so, in what amount. Fish is known to contain essential protein, iron, vitamin A & omega-3 fatty acids. However, some fish also contain high levels of mercury that can cause harm to a baby’s developing brain and nervous system. To get the benefits without the possible harm, many pregnant women choose to consume fish oil supplements instead of fresh fish. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommendation for fish consumption is to choose fish that are low in mercury, such as salmon, catfish, cod and tilapia. Conversely, fish prone to have higher levels of mercury, such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish, should be avoided. Regarding whether the beneficial effects of…

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What is placenta previa?

What is Placenta Previa?

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

What is Placenta Previa? The placenta carries oxygen and nutrients to the baby and eliminates waste materials from the baby’s blood. It normally attaches to the top or side of the uterus’ wall, however, in women with Placenta Previa, the placenta attaches to the bottom portion of the uterus’ wall, either partially or completely covering the cervix where the baby will exit during birth. Placenta Previa causes extreme bleeding before or during delivery. What are some of the causes for Placenta Previa? Some of the most common causes include: Scar tissue in the wall of the uterus A larger than normal placenta resulting from the presence of more than one fetus A uterus that has an odd shape   Are there symptoms that indicate the presence of Placenta Previa? Yes. The most common one is bright red blood that passes from the vagina without the accompaniment of any pain. The…

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Nausea

Posted by | Symptoms & Remedies | No Comments

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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Why Does My Baby Move Around A Lot After I Eat?

Posted by | Nutrition, Pregnancy Medicine | No Comments

Does your baby seems a bit more active after you’ve eaten a large meal or suddenly start to kick after you’ve had a cold glass of lemonade? Developing babies react in the womb to the food and drinks that mothers consume by kicking, moving more rapidly, and in general being more active than just before the meal or snack. Not only do babies move more after you eat or drink something, but the things you eat and drink during pregnancy will contribute to your baby’s taste preferences for food later in life. Which Foods Will Encourage a Moving Baby? Kick Counts A kicking baby is often the sign that parents look to of a healthy baby. There are various times throughout your pregnancy when your doctor might recommend that you perform what are known as “kick counts”. Because there isn’t a window into which you can peek to check on…

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How can you prevent stretch marks?

Stretch Marks: What You Need to Know

Posted by | LENS, Lifestyle | No Comments

What causes stretch marks? You are thrilled to be growing a new life inside of you. Your body is accomplishing an amazing feat, but, unfortunately, growing a baby also comes with some not-so-pleasant by-products. One of these is stretch marks: the result of your body growing too fast for your skin to keep up. Essentially, stretch marks are the fibers of your skin breaking to accommodate your growing body. Since it is believed that 90% of women will get some stretch marks somewhere on their body during the pregnancy process, you may be relieved to know you are not alone. Most stretch marks usually appear on the stomach, but be prepared to also notice them on your breasts, buttocks, and thighs. Can I prevent stretch marks? The easy answer is no. There is no magic cream, lotion, or potion to prevent you from getting stretch marks, so don’t waste your…

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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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© 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

Posted by | Symptoms & Remedies | No Comments

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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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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