How Prepared Are You for a Healthy Pregnancy?

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Can I Dye My Hair During Pregnancy?

Posted by | Because You Asked, Lifestyle | No Comments

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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What to Avoid During Pregnancy

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

If you are pregnant or considering becoming pregnant you are probably thinking about the various dos and don’ts when it comes to eating, drinking, medications, and anything else that might affect your growing baby. Alcohol is definitely something that should be avoided during pregnancy as no level of alcohol has been shown to be safe for your baby’s development. Smoking cigarettes and exposure to secondhand smoke also pose dangers to your and your baby’s health, so take steps to quit if you do smoke and try to stay away from others who do. These aren’t the only health risks you have to worry about, though, and some of the following dangers might surprise you. What Else Besides Alcohol and Cigarettes? Heat – Whether it is from the hot tub at the gym or a sauna on vacation, excessive heat should be avoided during pregnancy. In fact, spending as little as…

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High Fructose Corn Syrup & Hydrogenated Oil

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

Two ingredients to look for on food packaging and AVOID: High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) and Hydrogenated Oil (sometimes listed as partially-hydrogenated oil). High fructose corn syrup (HFCS), simply put, is sugar processed from corn. It still has the same amount of sugar and calories as table sugar, but HFCS contains the molecule fructose in higher concentration than sugar derived from sugar cane. Fructose is more readily converted into energy than glucose. If you don’t burn that energy it is more easily turned into fat by the liver. The fat stored in the liver can cause “metabolic syndrome” a pre-diabetic condition. The rapid absorption of any sugar molecule like fructose or glucose generates a big spike of insulin in your body and can lead to health problems including weight gain, diabetes, and cancer. Why do companies use HFCS instead of cane sugar? It is cheaper to make because we grow…

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Can I visit my Dentist?

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

Caring for your teeth and gums is an essential part of a healthy routine.  Dental health is as important as eating a balanced, nutritious meal and participating in moderate exercise. Dental hygiene involves brushing your teeth at least twice a day with an American Dental Association (ADA) approved fluoride toothpaste and a good-quality, soft-bristled toothbrush as well as flossing once a day. In addition, the ADA recommends bi-annual, preventive dental cleanings and exams to safeguard against, readily identify, and establish treatment for any possible oral infections. Maintaining good oral health is particularly important for pregnant women as there is a surge of hormones in pregnancy that have been associated with an increased risk of gum disease. This “pregnancy gingivitis” should be monitored and treated effectively as it has been linked to preterm birth. Care should be taken to maintain good oral health before and during pregnancy to avoid problems of…

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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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Is One Glass of Wine OK for the Baby During Pregnancy?

Posted by | Lifestyle, Pregnancy Medicine | No Comments

There are many adjustments an expectant mother needs to make during the months she awaits the birth of her baby. She needs to pay attention to her diet, follow guidelines for exercising during pregnancy, and she might need to adjust her social activities as well. For some pregnant moms, giving up that glass of wine shared with girlfriends can seem like a hard adjustment to make, but there are many reasons why doctors strongly advise against drinking while pregnant. What Does Alcohol Do to a Developing Baby? When a pregnant mother drinks alcohol, the alcohol is passed on to her unborn baby through the blood and into the baby’s tissues and organs. Not only is the alcohol passed on to the baby, but then the baby’s organs have to process the chemicals in the alcohol, and this is done much more slowly in a baby than in an adult. This…

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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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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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I’m Pregnant and Exhausted, But I Still Can’t Sleep! What Do I Do?

Posted by | Stress, Symptoms & Remedies | No Comments

Image courtesy of Pinterest. Pregnancy is a time of many changes in a woman’s life. Her outward appearance changes as her body grows to support her developing baby, while inside her body is also undergoing many changes that can’t necessarily be seen by looking at her. One of those changes a pregnant woman faces is increased tiredness and even fatigue. To make it worse, however, this problem is compounded by the fact that sleep is not always as easy or as natural as it once was. At some point, you may be saying to yourself or anyone who will listen, “I’m pregnant and exhausted, but I still can’t sleep!” How Can Pregnant Women Sleep Better and Stay More Energized? The emotional changes your body endures during the first trimester often account for much of the fatigue you might be feeling. The energy it takes to create a life-sustaining placenta is…

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It Takes a Village

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

It’s funny to see how peoples’ roles change when kids come into the picture.  While my husband’s worries and priorities changed, his day-to-day life didn’t change that much.  He still worked the same hours, everyday.  He’s an amazing husband and father.  He changes diapers, he does nighttime bottles, and when my kids were newborns, he fed the first bottle in the morning before he went to work…which was heaven.  The difference of getting up at 5am and 7am is literally night and day.  Anyways, it’s been a blessing living in the same town as both my parents and my husband’s family. I always tell my mom how grateful I am for her company and help.  She remembers how exhausting this phase of life is and wished her mom didn’t live across the country when she had four kids in four years, and a husband who didn’t do any of the…

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

Posted by | Exercise, Nutrition | No Comments

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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Posted by | Symptoms & Remedies | No Comments

Many young women experience acne during pregnancy.  This is influenced by the hormonal changes taking place in your body.  Nonetheless, each woman’s tendency for acne may change during the pregnancy.  Most topical products for acne are safe during pregnancy with the exception of Retin-A also known as isotretinoin.  If you become pregnant on isotretinoin, stop immediately and tell your OB.

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What Changes Should I Expect During My Second Pregnancy?

Posted by | LENS, Stress, Tips | No Comments

Do Second Pregnancies Have Medical Differences? There are a few medical statistics about second pregnancies, and your doctor or midwife will talk with you about those. If you had certain complications such as pre-eclampsia in your first pregnancy, your doctor will be closely watching for those the second time around. However, if your first pregnancy was relatively uncomplicated, the risk of complications overall tends to be lower during a second pregnancy. Additionally, the risk of an early miscarriage falls significantly during second and subsequent pregnancies. If you had a C-section the first time, then you will be discussing with your doctor which type of delivery is advisable for the second birth. Will I Feel Different During My Second Pregnancy? Probably. Each pregnancy is unique, but the majority of women find that second pregnancies have the following characteristics: You may feel more tired. This is most likely due to the fact…

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Is it Normal to Have Cramping in the First 3 Weeks of Pregnancy?

Posted by | Lifestyle, Pregnancy Health | No Comments

What are implantation cramps? The cramping you experience during the first three weeks of pregnancy is known as implantation cramping. This is an indication that the fertilized egg is attaching itself to the wall of the uterus. These cramps are usually accompanied by light bleeding, which may make a woman mistake them for menstrual cramps and assume she isn’t pregnant. Is implantation cramping common? Approximately twenty to thirty percent of women will experience implantation cramps during early pregnancy. If you notice very light spotting before your menstrual cycle would typically begin, this may be a sign that you are pregnant. Implantation usually happens from six to12 days after ovulation. The majority of women have only a very few drops of bright red or brown spots to indicate that implantation is taking place. How do you describe what implantation cramps feel like? This kind of cramp is described as a dull…

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