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Genital Discomfort

Posted by | Symptoms & Remedies | No Comments

The clitoris and vagina both become more sensitive during pregnancy.  They are swollen by increased blood flow and fluid stored in the tissues surrounding the birth canal.  It is all part of the body’s preparation for delivery.  The swelling can also come with increased sensitivity to touch.  Sometimes this increased sensitivity is enjoyable, other times women may experience it as painful.  If it is uncomfortable, there’s really not much that can be done until the body reverts to normal after the delivery.  If sex becomes painful during pregnancy, find another way besides intercourse to satisfy your husband or partner, but don’t avoid sex altogether.  The intimacy keeps you bonded, and that bonding is part of the emotional support that you absolutely require during pregnancy.

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Why You Need Folic Acid in Your Pregnancy Diet

Posted by | Nutrition, Pregnancy Health | No Comments

What is Folic Acid? Folic acid is one of the B vitamins that occurs naturally in foods, like legumes, oranges, papayas, broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, asparagus, greens, dark lettuce and eggs. Foods high in folic acid are also high in other important vitamins and minerals. Folic acid is necessary for the growth of new cells. What Are the Benefits of Taking Folic Acid During Pregnancy? There are some important advantages that result from taking folic acid: It enhances fertility – In a study released in 2006,  American researchers reported their findings after having followed the progress of 18,500 nurses who planned to become pregnant over an eight-year period in the 1990s. The researchers evaluated the nurses’ diets including whether or not they took vitamin supplements. They found that the nurses taking multivitamins with folic acid six days a week or more had a 40 percent reduced risk of ovulation failure, a…

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What is the quad screen?

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

If you’re pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant, you are probably considering the various medical aspects of this exciting time. Ultrasounds give you an image you can hold as you imagine meeting your baby face to face. Monthly measurements of your expanding abdomen mark the growing anticipation as well. However, some medical procedures and visits with your doctor don’t always give you the reassurance for which you are looking. Tests like the quad screen are optional screening measures that some pregnant women choose to complete during pregnancy, based on risk factors that she and her physician decide might warrant the test. If you are considering the quad screen, there are many things you need to consider. Multiple Marker Screening – What does it look for during pregnancy? The quad screen is also referred to by several other names, including the quadruple marker test, multiple marker screening, AFP plus, Triple screen…

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I’m Always Tired. What Can I Do to Decrease My Fatigue During Pregnancy?

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

It’s not uncommon for pregnant mothers to feel tired during pregnancy. But no one ever wants to be tired all the time, which is why I regularly get the question of “What can I do to decrease my fatigue?” My answer is always, focus on good sleep, 40 minutes of exercise 4 to 5 days a week, leave the bedroom only for sleep and sex, and create a consistent routine (warm bath, mint tea for example). When Does Fatigue During Pregnancy Occur? You can suffer from fatigue throughout your entire pregnancy; but the majority of women experience fatigued during the first and third trimesters. Causes of fatigue during your first trimester include: A sharp increase in progesterone level, which makes bodily functions like metabolism and digestion slow down, increasing the feeling of tiredness Continued sleep interruptions because of an increased need to urinate Lack of nutrition and dehydration resulting from…

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Restless Legs

Posted by | Symptoms & Remedies | No Comments

Restless legs seem to bother a small number of women during pregnancy.  It is the sensation of always having to move your legs.  While you are sitting you may feel compelled to cross them, at night while you are trying to sleep, you may find it difficult to position your legs comfortably.  You feel you must keep moving them.  Restless leg is linked to iron deficiency in pregnancy. It is very important that you take your prenatal vitamins to help reduce the risk.  Also the tendency for restless legs seems to be genetically determined.  That is, you are more likely to suffer from restless leg syndrome if your father or mother had it.  Fortunately, it almost always goes away after your baby is delivered.

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How can I use my Microwave safely while Pregnant?

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

Pregnancy is a busy time for expectant mothers to care for themselves and to prepare for their developing baby. With their increased daily demands, often times pregnant women find themselves rushing to consume meals that are quickly prepared. Such “fast food” is typically cooked or heated in a microwave oven. Microwave ovens work by vibrating water molecules in food and producing heat that cooks the food. Foods with large amounts of water like fresh vegetables cook faster than other foods with less water. Microwave ovens change their energy into heat that is absorbed by the food. The molecular structure of food is not altered, thus microwave cooking does not make food “radioactive” or “contaminated.” As well, there is no evidence that microwave cooking reduces the nutritional value of foods any more than conventional cooking. Quite the contrary, microwave cooking may retain more vitamins and minerals in foods since microwave ovens…

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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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The Anti-Craving

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

Cravings seem to be a topic people are highly concerned about when talking with pregnant women. I think anyone who hasn’t been pregnant is curious to hear some crazy concoction, and those who have been pregnant want to compare crazy concoctions. As far as specific cravings go, the only thing I can remember that was “weird” was the grilled cheese sandwich I once made with raspberry jam on it; but I don’t even think it was that weird because fruit and cheese are a very common combination. Anyway, it was delicious and Jack liked it too. During my first pregnancy I had a change in preferred tastes. I used to have a huge sweet tooth, but as soon as I got pregnant with Jack, I didn’t care for desserts or sweets anymore. I wanted salty foods, mostly olives, constantly. Then, during my second pregnancy, I only wanted chocolate all day,…

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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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Vaginal Discharge

Posted by | Symptoms & Remedies | No Comments

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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What Should I Expect From My First Prenatal Checkup?

Posted by | Lifestyle, Pregnancy Medicine | No Comments

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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Can My Baby Hear?

Posted by | Lifestyle, Pregnancy Medicine | No Comments

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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caffeine

Caffeine during pregnancy- Is it safe and how much?

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

Whether it’s from coffee, soda, energy drinks, or chocolate, millions of Americans consume caffeine every day. There have long been concerns about the potential effects of caffeine on mothers and unborn children. Given these concerns, women are advised to avoid large amounts of caffeine when they are pregnant. Consuming a moderate amount of caffeine during pregnancy, however, is safe in most cases. Although conflicting information continues to emerge, this article provides some general information regarding pregnancy and caffeine. The (potential) Dangers of Caffeine Estimates suggest that between 75% and 93% of pregnant women consume caffeine on a daily basis (Kaiser & Allen, 2008). Given the prevalence of caffeine intake, it is no surprise that researchers have made a concerted effort to understand the potential effects of caffeine during pregnancy. The results of these studies have been mixed, but here are some potential dangers. Caffeine is a stimulant that increases your…

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How do we deal with unsolicited baby name advice?

Posted by | Because You Asked | No Comments

Your child’s name represents them as a person, and a poor choice may leave them resenting their name or, even worse, you as a parent. You’ll likely take into consideration what’s popular and how your son or daughter’s peers may turn that name into a hurtful insult. Unfortunately, everyone and their dog seems to have an opinion about baby names, so how do you avoid advice — that’s often unsolicited — without losing your cool? It might not be your style, but sometimes grinning and bearing naming advice is best. Flash your pearly whites and say “Great, thanks!” or “We’ll take it into consideration” when someone suggests “Aidan” for the tenth time. Thank the person for concern about your baby if you’re feeling grateful. Then, turn the subject to something a little less contentious. Of course, some parents aren’t afraid of a little confrontation. If you’re this type, you can…

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