How Prepared Are You for a Healthy Pregnancy?

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Heartburn

Posted by | Symptoms & Remedies | No Comments

Heartburn can be a problem during pregnancy.  Your hormones relax the ring of muscle at the bottom of your esophagus that keeps the food in your stomach.  The food rises into the esophagus and gives you heartburn.  Once this ring of muscle, or sphincter, is relaxed, heartburn is more common.  Also as the baby and uterus enlarge during the last trimester, they will displace your stomach, leading to the food coming back up into your esophagus. You can temporarily neutralize the heartburn with antacid calcium carbonate pills. Just drinking any form of liquid will help reduce the acid coming out of your stomach.  Probiotics, the beneficial bacteria in yogurt, can help protect your stomach and esophagus from heartburn.  Avoid eating high fat foods that are difficult to digest.  Another solution is to avoid foods high in acid such as vinegar, soda pop and lemons.  Sleep on your left side with…

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© Teza Harinaivo Ramiandrisoa

Is Spotting Normal During Pregnancy?

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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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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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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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Preparing for Parenthood: How Can the Father of My Baby Prepare?

Posted by | Lifestyle, Pregnancy Medicine | No Comments

Pregnancy is a time of great changes for the mother-to-be, but there are also changes in store for dads, too. The most noticeable changes during pregnancy are the physical ones that can be seen in the mother as her body grows and changes as it works to sustain a healthy pregnancy. Dads often experience a very different form of change. For all of you somewhat hesitant fathers out there, try these methods for connecting with your baby, and ultimately preparing for fatherhood. Get Real – For expectant fathers pregnancy can be a time when parenthood doesn’t quite yet seem real. A mother feels so many physical changes that it is almost impossible for her to ignore the impending birth. If you are a father-to-be, find a way to connect with the pregnancy and your unborn child. Go to the Appointments – Your partner might be OK attending the appointments by…

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What Are Skin Tags?

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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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Can My Baby Hear?

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An unborn baby has many experiences in the womb based on the actions of the mother – the foods she eats, exercises she does, and medications she uses all impact her developing baby. The senses of an unborn baby are also developing and interacting with the environment. There is much research that shows that babies can feel, taste, dream, and react to stimuli such as sound long before birth. So – does this mean your baby can hear? Yes. An Unborn Baby’s Ears and Hearing In the first trimester, just around the 8th week, a baby’s ears are forming, and as early as 18 weeks they begin to perceive the sounds of the womb (blood pumping, fluid moving, etc.) as the tiny bones of the inner ear mature and the auditory portion of the brain more fully develops. Research shows that infants recognize their mothers’ voices long before birth and…

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Can I Dye My Hair During Pregnancy?

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Pregnancy brings about many changes in a woman’s body, but it doesn’t mean she has to stop doing everything she enjoys and prefers during this time. A woman’s physical appearance can influence how she feels about herself, and things like hairstyles and makeup can help lift a woman’s spirits about her outward changes if she is feeling stressed or questioning the new shape of her body. However, many women then ask: Can I dye my hair during pregnancy? Hair Dying During Pregnancy The short answer to the question Can I dye my hair during pregnancy? is yes. The long answer is yes, as long as you follow some basic safety guidelines and speak with your doctor about any of your concerns. There are several precautions you can take to minimize the risks that hair dye might pose to your developing baby. Wait Until After the First Trimester to Color Your…

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diabetes

Why am I being screened for gestational diabetes?

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

Pregnancy can take its toll on your body, and your health care provider may offer you many tests and screenings during the three trimesters of pregnancy. One of the most commonly used tests is the screening for gestational diabetes, which measures how your cells are using sugar supplies. Gestational diabetes that is left undiagnosed or untreated can be medically devastating on both you and your baby. Even if you have no prior history of diabetes, or even any signs or symptoms, your body might be reacting differently because of all of the changes and demands that pregnancy puts on it. A healthy pregnancy relies on the placenta to supply increased levels of certain hormones to help you and your developing baby. However, these hormones don’t always allow your body’s natural insulin levels to work, blocking them from doing their job (regulating your blood sugar). When the blood sugar levels are…

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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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Vaginal Discharge

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You may experience increased vaginal discharge during pregnancy.  This is your body’s way of keeping the vagina sterile and protecting you and the baby from infections.  Generally it is not a problem and you can wear a pad if you feel it is an issue.  If you have a strong odor associated with the vaginal discharge, it might be a sign of a vaginal infection and make sure to discuss this with your OB.

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How Much Does a Baby Cost?

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How Does the Cost for Hospital Delivery Compare with Delivery at a Birth Center? The US government organization, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Healthcare Utilization Project offers the following hospital cost statistics: Vaginal birth no complications – $9,617 to $10,657 Vaginal birth with complications – $12,532 to $13,749 C-section no complication – $15,799 to $17,859 C-section with complications – $21,495 – $23,923 The American Association of Birth Centers claims that the cost for a vaginal delivery at a birth center is $2,777. How much will it cost to raise my child? The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) 2012 Expenditures on Children by Families reports that parents with an annual household income between $59,410 and $102,870 can expect to spend $295,560 per child born in 2011 until the age of 17; while parents with an annual household income of less than $59,410 can expect to spend $169,080 per…

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What Should I Expect From My First Prenatal Checkup?

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Once you’ve taken a home pregnancy test or had a blood test to confirm that you are expecting a baby, it will be time to schedule your first prenatal appointment. Prenatal care is extremely important to the health and well-being of you and your baby, and should be a regular part of your pregnancy experience for the next months until you deliver. You and your partner should talk about whether or not both of you want to attend these appointments. Most obstetricians will schedule this appointment for 8-10 weeks after the first date of your last period. This can be an exciting time, but you also might have some questions and concerns about what to expect at this first prenatal checkup. Preparing for the Appointment Before you go in to your first prenatal appointment, take some time to gather some important information that your doctor will use to make a…

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