How Prepared Are You for a Healthy Pregnancy?

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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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Kicking

When Do Babies Start Kicking in the Womb?

Posted by | Fetal Development | No Comments

For so many expectant mothers, feeling the baby kick is one of the most anticipated experiences of pregnancy as it is one of those tangible pieces of evidence of the growing body within. If you are anxious to feel your baby start moving, you should be able to have this experience by the 4th or 5th month. Even though this might seem like a long time to wait, rest assured that your baby has already been practicing his kicks and jabs since the first trimester. Those tiny arms and legs might be able to twist, turn, and practice gymnastic moves with the best of them, but they are still too small for you to feel much. Soon, however, those movements will turn from questionable quakes to definite kicks. Why and When Do Babies Start Kicking in the Womb? Do My Baby’s Kicks Mean Anything? Somewhere during the 4th or 5th…

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How Can I Tell if My Symptoms Are Normal?

Posted by | Because You Asked, Lifestyle | No Comments

Normal Pregnancy Symptoms and Symptoms that Might Indicate a Problem If you’re pregnant, especially for the first time, you might be experiencing an entirely new set of symptoms that you never expected. You might even be wondering if they are normal, or if there is something you should worry about for your own health or that of your unborn child. If you’re just not sure if that is normal or cause for concern, learn more about these 8 common pregnancy symptoms. 8 Normal Symptoms of Pregnancy 1. Abnormal menstruation – While many women have a missed period as their first sign of pregnancy, some women have a lighter period than typical that first month. Either one of these is generally a normal symptom of pregnancy. Cause for concern – Repeated bleeding or spotting during pregnancy might indicate a problem with the health of the pregnancy and you should consult your…

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Missed Period

Posted by | Symptoms & Remedies | No Comments

For many women, the first symptom that they are pregnant is that they miss their period.  Every month when you are not pregnant, your uterus sheds its lining so that there is a healthy surface for the embryo to become implanted when you become pregnant.  During pregnancy, this monthly cycle stops as the baby and placenta grow in your uterus.  This results in the missed period. Typically you will notice the missed period about two weeks after becoming pregnant.  It’s very important to keep track of your last menstrual period because this will help your OB predict when you are ready to deliver.   Of course, women can miss periods for a variety of reasons, only one of which is pregnancy.  Sometimes travel and stress, not eating enough, or exercising too much can make you miss a period.

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What to pack for hospital

What Do I Need to Pack for the Hospital?

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

As the big day for labor and delivery approaches you’ll want to pack your bag with a few essential items. Waiting until your water breaks or your contractions are 3 minutes apart won’t give you the time you need (or the peace of mind) to make sure you have what you’ll need for one of the most physically demanding, emotionally charged, and memorable moments of your life. Start by checking with your healthcare provider to see what the average stay in the hospital is for patients. Each hospital has its own policy and set of procedures, but it is common that moms who have vaginal births remain in the hospital for 1-2 nights. If you have a cesarean you’ll likely be in the hospital for 5 days with your baby while you recover from the procedure. Of course there are certain unforeseen circumstances that might result in longer stays, but…

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happy_couple

How Can Partners Maintain Healthy Relationships During Pregnancy?

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

Pregnancy is a time of great change, not only physically, but for the relationships involved with the baby that will soon be born. One of the most important relationships a mother-to-be can have is the one with her partner, with whom she will share her worries and hopes for the future. Her significant other is the person who she wants by her side for the changes and challenges, and upon whom she wants to rely after the birth. While many of the concerns focus on the mom-to-be, there are also issues that the partner faces and experiences, which are just as valid and important to the relationship. Maintaining a healthy relationship between partners not only provides for a healthier and better pregnancy, but is essential for remaining committed partners after the labor and delivery. Tips for Keeping A Healthy Relationship There are many ways to nurture relationships between significant others…

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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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stress

How does stress affect my baby?

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

How does stress affect my baby? Not all stress is created equal. Some stress is psychological and other stress is physical. Stress is a continuum as it can vary from everyday occurrences to life-threatening events. Many expectant mothers “stress out” about preparing for their new baby. Although, it is annoying, this stress is generally harmless.  Most physical stress, such as the enlarged abdomen of a pregnant woman is quite common and also generally harmless.  Still yet, if pain, depression or trouble sleeping accompanies stress, it should be monitored and reported to a doctor. Extreme stress is harmful as it can lead to high blood pressure and damage to major organs. Stress can be measured by elevations in the stress hormones, epinephrine and norepinephrine. As well, stress typically leads to increased cortisol production.  Prolonged exposure to these stress hormones affect the nervous system and immune system and have been implicated in…

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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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Constipation

Posted by | Symptoms & Remedies | No Comments

Constipation during pregnancy is common.  Your hormones cause the muscles in your small and large intestines to relax and this slows down passage of food and stool.  Many women who before pregnancy had a daily bowel movement report a reduced frequency with only 3 to 4 bowel movements per week.  There is some evidence that probiotics, beneficial bacteria in yogurt, can increase the frequency of bowel movements during pregnancy.  Look for yogurt with Bifidobacterium, this is seen in the Greek yogurts and some probiotic supplements.  You can also reduce constipation by increasing the fiber in your diet.  Start the morning with a high fiber cereal containing at least 6 grams of fiber per serving.  Be sure to check the cereal box and read the label.

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Darkened Areola

Posted by | Symptoms & Remedies | No Comments

One of the changes to your skin during pregnancy is that the tissue around your nipple, called the areola, will darken.  This is absolutely secondary to the hormonal and metabolic changes that occur during pregnancy.  While the areola lightens up after pregnancy, they never go back to the color they were before you became pregnant.

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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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Controlling Estrogen Dominance

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

A recent study out of Georgetown University found that a pregnancy diet high in fat or an overabundance of estrogen may result in higher risk of breast cancer in daughters, granddaughters and great granddaughters.  The theory that excess amounts of estrogen leads to cancer is not a new one; however, the theory that an overabundance of estrogen and fatty foods during pregnancy can heighten the risk of cancer in multiple generations is gaining more support.  Epigenetic signaling – the process of turning good genes on and bad genes off during pregnancy – is affected by a mother’s hormonal situation.  Hormones and pregnancy are words often associated with each other.  While some hormonal changes during pregnancy are unavoidable and natural, others are not and can easily be controlled through a proper diet.   Here are foods (and recipes!) that naturally suppress estrogen and are babyQ approved: –       Fruits and Vegetables: Fruits and…

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amnio

What should I expect from an amnio?

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

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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