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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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How Do I Tell My Child We’re Having Another Baby?

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

A new baby on the way is often a time of great joy and anticipation. For older siblings, however, it can be a time of jealousy, resentment, and even fear. If your only child is about to be joined by a new baby brother or sister and you are worried about how to share the news, there are a few tips and tricks you can use to make the announcement as joyful as possible. There are also many ways you can help your child feel important, valued, and excited about the adventure of being an older sibling. Tell Your Child He Is Going to Be a Big Brother or She a Big Sister Unless you are 100% certain, without a doubt confident, that your older child is more excited to bring home another baby than you are, don’t begin by asking your child what he or she thinks about the…

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What to expect while Teething?

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Most parents would agree, there’s not much cuter than the grin of a toothless baby.  Even so, the same parents often anxiously anticipate their baby’s first teeth.  When will they arrive? Will her smile look like her Mom’s or Dad’s?  Will he be fussy and irritated during the “teething” process?  Each of these questions is a legitimate concern for many parents. What we know about teething is it’s a very natural process in which teeth buds develop beneath the gums surface while the baby is still in the womb.  Around age 4 to 7 months, most babies get their first tooth, although teeth can arrive as early as 3 months and as late as 12-15 months of age.  Each one appears individually in a typical pattern of the bottom two middle teeth, then four to eight weeks later, the top two middle teeth.  The teeth along the sides and back…

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What Exercises Are Safe During Pregnancy?

Posted by | Exercise, Pregnancy Medicine | 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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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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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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Eviction Notice

Can I Induce Labor?

Posted by | Because You Asked | No Comments

What will make my body start labor? The factors that cause labor to begin naturally are numerous, delicate and mysterious. Even today, scientists don’t fully understand the mechanisms that cause natural labor to begin, but researchers at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center have found that one important trigger for labor is a protein that the baby’s lungs release when they are ready to begin functioning. Is there a natural way for me to induce labor? Over the centuries, many folklore-based methods of inducing labor have been handed down. The majority of these have not been scientifically proven effective, but if trying one of these tricks makes you feel like you’re being proactive, check with your doctor and then go ahead. Each of these methods has its proponents, who will swear that it works: Dancing: As long as your doctor hasn’t told you to restrict activity, you can dance all you want…

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I’m Afraid I’m Gaining Too Much Weight and Will Never Lose It!

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It is one of the shared experiences of pregnancy – weight gain. The healthy development of your growing baby requires that your body adds extra weight, not just for the weight of your baby, but for things such as increases in blood volume and other body fluids. While every woman’s experience and health needs will be different, there are some general weight gain guidelines (as described by the Mayo Clinic) for typical pregnancies of a single growing baby. Underweight pre-pregnancy weight = recommended gain of 28-40 pounds Normal pre-pregnancy weight = recommended gain of 25-35 pounds Overweight pre-pregnancy weight = recommended gain of 15-25 pounds Obese pre-pregnancy weight = recommended gain of 11-20 pounds As you can see, even women who are considered obese at the beginning of their pregnancy typically need to gain at least 11 pounds in order to support the pregnancy. For those women who are carrying…

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Don’t lose sleep over that.

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

“Don’t lose sleep over that”, is common advice for a good reason.  Sleep deprivation has emerged as a significant risk factor for many diseases, from diabetes to high blood pressure and heart attacks.  How about pregnancy?   What are the causes and consequences for mother and baby, and what are the solutions? There are many reasons for lack of sleep during pregnancy. The most common are: Discomfort and pain Snoring, more common in overweight women and over the age of 35 Excessive caffeine consumption in coffee, soda and energy drinks Fluid retention during daily activities causing excessive nighttime urination Restless legs syndrome (RLS) Rhinitis and sinusitis Physicians now realize that sleep loss is a significant risk factor for many diseases like high blood pressure and diabetes.  Poor sleep during pregnancy has been associated with: Pre-eclampsia and high blood pressure Gestational diabetes Excessive weight gain Mood disorders including postpartum depression How to…

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Sciatica or Leg Pain

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Sciatica is irritation of the sciatic nerve.  This is the major nerve that comes out of the back and runs through your pelvis and down your leg.  It allows you to move and supplies sensation to your leg.  With all the changes taking place with your body, especially in the pelvis, it is easy for the sciatic nerve to get irritated during pregnancy.  This is called sciatica. There are many ways to treat sciatica when you are not pregnant.  These include medications, injections and sometimes surgery.  However, none of these options are appropriate during pregnancy.  Physical therapy can sometimes be helpful, sitting in an easy chair with your back flexed and your feet up can also make it feel better temporarily.  Walking on a regular basis can ease sciatica, but not always.  Tylenol is felt to be safe during pregnancy for an occasional episode of sciatica, but is not a…

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10 Things I Wish People Would Have Told Me When I Was Pregnant: PART TWO

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6. It’s a different kind of love.  People used to tell me “Just wait. When you have that baby, you’ll love it more than your husband.”  It scared me, honestly.  I didn’t want to love anyone more than my husband.  What they were saying is false.  I don’t love my kids more than my husband, but I also don’t love my husband more than my kids.  It’s a completely different kind of love.  You love your kids no matter what.  That’s why it’s called “unconditional love”; however, you love your husband more than you loved him before you had kids because you see what the two of you are capable of…bringing life into the world.  It’s an unbelievable thing.  You’ll love both your kids and your husband an extreme amount, but in different ways. 7.  Everyone loves giving pregnant women advice; don’t listen to most of it. I once had a…

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What is Round Ligament Pain?

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

Pregnancy can bring about several common discomforts, and round ligament pain is one of the most common complaints that pregnant women report. It is most common during the second trimester, and there are several things you can try to alleviate some of the pain and discomfort associated with it. Why Does the Round Ligament Cause Pain? There are several thick ligaments that support and help to carry your abdomen during pregnancy, and one of these is known as the round ligament. It connects your groin to the front part of the womb. During pregnancy this round ligament grows and stretches to accommodate your growing abdomen. This can cause strain on the ligament, resulting in several symptoms of round ligament pain. Sudden spasms of pain, usually on the right side of your lower abdomen, that only lasts for a few seconds Pain during or after exercise Pain in this lower abdominal…

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What If I’m Measuring Small for My Dates?

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

Measuring Development During Pregnancy Your outward sign of pregnancy is your growing abdomen, and everyone seems to have their own opinions about whether or not you’re measuring too large or too small. Perfect strangers might offer you opinions on how you are “showing” and what that means for you and your baby. However, the opinion and measurements that matter most will come from your doctor. Typically during the 16th to 20th weeks of gestation your healthcare provider will begin to measure what is called the fundal height. Your fundal height is obtained when your doctor measures the distance from your pubic bone up and over to the top of your uterus (also known as the fundas) when you are lying down on your back. The size of this measurement in centimeters is roughly equal to the number of weeks along you are in your pregnancy. For example, if your fundal…

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smoking

Smoking in pregnancy—I can’t quit, should I slow down?

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

Cigarette smoke is harmful to the health of pregnant women as well as their unborn babies.  Cigarettes contain thousands of chemicals including nicotine, carbon monoxide, lead, cyanide and tar.  These chemicals enter the bloodstream, causing constriction of blood vessels and restriction of oxygen and nutrients.  Cigarette smoking involves the inhalation of toxins that damage the gums, throat, and lungs of pregnant women as well as the developing heart, lungs and brain of babies.  Smoking also causes asthma and other breathing conditions as well as eye problems and learning disorders. Cigarette smoking can lead to cancer, heart disease, stroke and gum disease in expectant mothers and birth defects in babies.   Pregnant women who smoke are at increased risk of complications such as vaginal bleeding, problems with the placenta, ectopic pregnancy, and stillbirth.  In conditions of oxygen shortage, babies do not grow and develop properly. Babies of smokers are more susceptible…

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