How Prepared Are You for a Healthy Pregnancy?

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5 Books Expectant Mothers Should Read

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Even though nothing can prepare you like experience, sometimes books are the best back-up teachers you can have. During your pregnancy you are likely to have questions, concerns, and just wonder if you’re the only woman who has experienced such symptoms. There are some amazing books that are there to reassure you, show you the humor in it all, teach you about your pregnancy, and prepare you for beyond the birth. If you’re pregnant there are 5 books (at least!) that you should find the time to read. While What to Expect When Your Expecting is a comprehensive guide on many moms’ shelves, there are a few other options worth noting. Comprehensive Books to Read about Pregnancy and Birth The Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy, by experts from the Mayo Clinic This is a comprehensive, medically sound and respected guide to pregnancy. Some of the highlights are week-by-week…

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What milestones should I expect after my baby is born?

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The first twelve months of a baby’s life are marked by many “firsts”, including their first smile and first steps. During this time babies typically experience significant mental and physical development. Every few months babies acquire new skills for eating, walking and eventually talking. A baby goes from a complete dependence on others to being very active and quite independent, exploring his/her surroundings without much assistance at all. Right before your eyes, your baby will transform in a few short months. Some of the physical changes that babies undergo include being able to control their head, then rolling over, until soon they begin sitting up unassisted. Beginning in the first two months, babies can lift their heads and  hold it up for short periods of time.  By three months, they can usually hold their heads steady and soon begin playing with their hands and feet.   By six months, babies usually…

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Don’t Blink

Posted by | LENS, Lifestyle, Ques and Views | No Comments

This past week my family took a vacation and it just so happened to be Charlotte’s first birthday.  My baby is 1! Whoa.  Her first year of life went by waaaaay faster than I remember Jack’s going.  I try to look back to when I first brought her home from the hospital, and it all seems to be a blur.  I still look at her and think she’s as little as when she was born.  For some reason when Jack turned 1, I thought he was 5.  He seems so much older and I just want Charlie to stay my baby forever.   I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve had with strangers that involve how fast their kids grew up and to just enjoy the moment.  When you bring home a new baby, it’s so easy to wish for restful nights, more independence, and “the next stage.”  The truth…

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Can My Fetus Feel?

Posted by | Fetal Development | No Comments

Consider yourself a human rocking chair during pregnancy as your baby is lulled to sleep by your walking, or perhaps roused from sleep by your jostling exercise. Your growing baby experiences many of the same things you do – the foods you eat, the emotions you feel, and the things you hear – just in slightly different ways. Your baby can also feel certain things from outside your abdomen, but rest assured that your general everyday movements do not cause pain and discomfort to your baby as he is safely enclosed in the amniotic fluid. My Baby’s Senses You might ask, “So what can my fetus feel?” By the time your developing baby is 20 weeks of gestational age, many of his senses are developed to a point where he will react to stimuli. His hearing is strong enough to recognize and react to your voice and other auditory stimulation….

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Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy

Posted by | Nutrition, Pregnancy Medicine | No Comments

Pregnancy can be a time of unusual cravings, but there are definitely several foods that women should avoid during these nine months. It is important to thoroughly discuss with your healthcare professional about your diet and nutritional needs during pregnancy, and be sure to also have a conversation about what not to eat when pregnant. Deli Meat – As easy as it can be to grab a deli sandwich for lunch on your break at work, it is also that easy to contract listeria. This poisoning is caused by a bacterium that sometimes exists on deli meat (among other places). In healthy people who are not pregnant this can cause painful and uncomfortable side effects, but in pregnant women it can result in miscarriage, premature birth, or stillbirth. Some physicians and dieticians recommend heating your meat until it steams in order to kill the listeria. Undercooked Meats and Eggs –…

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Mood Changes

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There is no escaping the fact that our emotions are definitely influenced by our hormones.  There is no condition more hormonal than pregnancy.  Your estrogen and progesterone levels are going up at rapid rates.  You have more worries and excitement.  There is the wonderful expectation of a little baby coming soon to your family, but there are also the concerns of another mouth to feed and how that child will grow up.  These are very real reasons to be happy and concerned at the same time.  In combination with your skyrocketing hormones this leads to frequent changes in your emotions during pregnancy. Talk out these emotional changes with your friends and family.  Anyone who truly cares for you will understand how you’re feeling.

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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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Asthma in pregnancy- Symptoms to discuss with your doctor

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Pregnancy is a time of great change for women, and it can also be a time of concern for those who live with asthma. Affecting approximately 4-8% of moms-to-be, asthma is a chronic lung condition that can impact the health of the mother and developing fetus. For most women with well-controlled and mild asthma, pregnancy poses little risk for complications. However, for those who have moderate to severe asthma or poorly monitored and controlled asthma, pregnancy can pose several risks for both the mother and baby.  Any pregnant woman who has asthma needs to be aware of several symptoms that might signal a larger problem. Asthma Complications – Symptoms and Conditions Complications for pregnant women with asthma often increase in severity of symptoms during the last trimester, especially after the 28th week. It is difficult to reliably determine which patients with asthma will go on to have pregnancy related complications,…

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Exercise During Pregnancy

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

How much you need to exercise during pregnancy depends on many factors, including: Your pre-pregnancy weight The amount of time you are on your feet during the day If you have diabetes or develop gestational diabetes Your age Your gestational age Let’s examine each factor. If you are near ideal weight at the time you become pregnant exercise will be less of an issue. If you are overweight exercise can reduce excessive weight gain. Too much weight gain can increase your risk of gestational diabetes. This can actually program the child in your womb for diabetes as an adult or adolescent. However, too much exercise is not good either. Studies have shown that if you are on your feet during pregnancy more than 5 hours a day, you do not need additional exercise. You can actually overdo it and deliver less nutrition to your baby. Keep that in mind so…

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Leg Cramps

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Leg cramps can occur during pregnancy, especially while you sleep.  They may be a signal that your body is lacking potassium or calcium.  Drink plenty of milk, eat dairy products like yogurt and cheese, and enjoy multiple fruits and vegetables.   Also, leg cramps at night are common because of sleep position.  If you sleep on your back, the covers may pull your toes down and in this position your calves will cramp.  Make sure you sleep on your left side.  If your legs cramp during the day, try some gentle stretching exercises.  Also, walking 30 to 40 minutes a day helps strengthen your legs.  As your muscles get stronger, they will cramp less readily.

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How Can I Have a Smarter Baby?

Posted by | Fetal Development | No Comments

While you can’t create a smart baby with a recipe, there are things you can do starting in pregnancy that can give your baby the best opportunities for a healthy (and possibly smart) future. So how can I have a smarter baby? How Can I Help My Baby Reach Her Full Potential? Helping your child reach his or her full potential starts before pregnancy and continues from there. Starting with a healthy body for mom is the building block for a healthy baby. Make sure that you avoid alcohol, tobacco and drugs, and maintain a healthy diet and exercise program. Once you become pregnant, it is valuable to consider these other aspects. Prenatal vitamins and nutrients need to contain iodine, found in iodized salt, milk, yogurt, cheeses, and eggs, along with seafood (be careful about consuming seafood because of mercury exposure). Iodine deficiency is linked to much lower IQs in…

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What Do I Need to Do to Prepare for Breastfeeding?

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Breastfeeding is the number one recommended way to feed infants and provide them with the nutrition their bodies need for healthy growth and development. Pregnant moms can take several steps in order to prepare themselves for breastfeeding their babies after birth. Prepare for Breastfeeding Long before your baby arrives, you are focusing on what to eat when you’re pregnant, which medications to use or avoid, and how to decorate the nursery. It is also a great time to prepare for breastfeeding. In fact, your body is already doing a bit of the preparation work for you. Your milk ducts are forming. Your breasts are growing in size. Blood flow is increased to the breasts. You might start to notice colostrum leaking from your nipples as labor nears. This is a highly nutritious and valuable milk for your baby. As your body is doing this work to prepare for feeding your…

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Prenatal Yoga: What You Need to Know

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What are the benefits of prenatal yoga? Advocates of prenatal yoga are adamant that the benefits of participating in this form of exercise are vast. First off, there are many yoga poses, such as Pigeon Pose or Cat-Cow Stretch, that can help you open up your hips to make more room for your child to descend through. Additionally, since yoga is a form of exercise, it helps build your endurance and can make the childbirth process easier for you. But more than its physical benefits, prenatal yoga can help you with your mood and your mind control as you go through the pregnancy process. How does it do this? The endorphins that are released as you participate in the poses actually help to balance out the crazy hormones rushing through your body when you are pregnant, making it easier to stay in a pleasant mood. More than that, a large…

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What to look for in your ob-gyn?

3 Things You Should Do When You Learn You Are Pregnant

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What is the First Thing to do When You Find Out You Are Pregnant? You have to begin thinking about how to prepare your body so that your baby can properly grow and develop. If aren’t eating a healthy diet, now is the time to start. Here are some important pregnancy facts about your diet: Make sure you have a varied diet so that you will be able to give your baby all of the nutrients he or she needs to develop. Consume a minimum of three servings daily of foods rich in iron, like red meat. Pregnant women need 100 mg of vitamin C daily, so be sure to include orange or grapefruit juice, broccoli, cauliflower, green peppers and Brussel sprouts in your diet. Getting a minimum of 0.4 milligrams of folic acid daily will help prevent birth defects, so eat plenty of green leafy vegetables and legumes, like…

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Can I Still Be a Vegetarian During Pregnancy?

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

Dietary concerns are a natural part of pregnancy. It’s not uncommon for women to have specific dietary preferences before pregnancy and have them interrupted by the pregnancy. But it’s not impossible to maintain a diet, close to your pre-pregnancy diet. Specifically, many women ask, “Can I still be a vegetarian during pregnancy?” The short answer is yes, but an expecting mother must pay attention to specific nutrients that may be lacking in her diet due to be a vegetarian. Can a Pregnant Woman Deliver a Healthy Baby If She Is a Vegetarian? There are many good reasons to be a vegetarian.  Vegetarians have lower levels of the bad cholesterol linked to heart disease and tend to have a lower body mass index (BMI). Therefore they less likely to be overweight and develop diabetes.  Vegetarians also have a lower incidence of cancer and their dietary habits result in less pollution and…

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