How Prepared Are You for a Healthy Pregnancy?

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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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Hair Growth Changes

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Hormone changes during pregnancy can affect your hair.  It can also affect your developing baby’s hair.  Folklore has it that women who have lots of heartburn during pregnancy have babies with increased hair at birth. Indeed, this seems to be true.  The hormones that cause your esophagus to relax also cause heartburn.  These same hormones increase hair growth in your baby.  Your hair typically grows quicker during your pregnancy.  That’s because hormones influence the growth phase of your hair follicles, leading to increased hair growth.  After pregnancy, your hair growth will revert to normal and you may lose a little bit of hair as the hair follicles go back to a resting phase.  Breast feeding also seems to make your hair grow quicker.

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Juices that reduce inflammation

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

A babyQ mom recently wrote: I am 15 weeks pregnant. Is it safe to drink the Nopalea cactus juice drink to reduce inflammation? This is an important question because recent scientific literature shows a link between reducing inflammation and a healthier pregnancy. Looking into the Nopalea Cactus Juice on the company website the company provides scientific literature that supports their claims of reducing inflammation. However, almost all fruits, fruit juices, and vegetables reduce inflammation. Plus it is usually less expensive to buy seasonal fruits on sale. Right now citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits are in season from Florida and California, so orange juice and grapefruit juice are inexpensive compared to berries and apples and I suspect cactus juice. The citrus is fresh and loaded with antioxidants that reduce inflammation. So that is a good food choice. The citrus season in the United Sates is November through March. Pure grape…

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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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Incontinence

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All your internal muscle tissues relax a little bit during pregnancy, including the muscle around your bladder.  This is nature’s way of getting your body prepared for delivery.  Your ligaments and pelvis expand so that baby can pass easier through the birth canal.  The hormone progesterone is responsible for making your smooth muscles that line your bladder and intestines more relaxed.  You also drink a lot more liquid during pregnancy because both you and the baby need them. By the third trimester, you have a large uterus and baby sitting on your bladder.  You are now drinking more liquids; you have pressure on your bladder, and the bladder is relaxed.  This combination results in unintentional urination, or what we call incontinence.  It may happen when you sneeze or laugh.  The best thing to do is simply wear a pad if you are suffering from incontinence.  If you’re going out somewhere…

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What are the best options for post-partum birth control?

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

You’ve just welcomed your new baby and you’re already anticipating all of those memories you’re going to make as a family. Somewhere between deciding on stroller options and pediatricians, you also have another choice to make – post-partum birth control. Most new parents aren’t quite ready to jump into another pregnancy just weeks or months after giving birth, so choosing a birth control method after baby arrives is an important decision for new parents. Factors for Choosing a Post-Partum Birth Control There are many factors that will influence the type of birth control that you decide to use post-partum. The amount of time you plan to wait before having another child Whether or not you plan to breastfeed your newborn Convenience Cost Side effects Any reactions to previous birth control methods Health concerns or pre-existing conditions Birth Control Choices for New Mothers Intrauterine Devices (IUD) The IUD is a preferred…

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cat

Why Can’t I Clean the Litter Box When Pregnant?

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Caring for a pet is a common occurrence in the lives of many women. The same is true for women who are also pregnant. Unfortunately, among the list of precautions for pregnant moms is a warning to take special care when handling pets, specifically cats. Cat feces poses a threat to both pregnant women and their unborn children. The feces may contain parasites that cause Toxoplasmosis, an infection characterized by flu-like symptoms and is also associated with miscarriages in women and congenital defects and damage to the eyes and brain in babies. Alarmingly, symptoms such as sore throat, tiredness, fever and sore muscles may not be correlated with cat litter exposure or such symptoms may not occur in women; however the effects of Toxoplasmosis in babies are often more dramatic and more common. When caring for a cat, pregnant women should avoid changing the litter box, if possible. If a…

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birthplan

What is a birth plan? And Why Do I Need One?

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Pregnancy is a time of expectation and excitement, and you will undoubtedly be making plans for things such as the nursery, baby names, and 1st birthdays. However, it is also very important that you take the time during your pregnancy to develop a birth plan. This plan, while it needs to be flexible, will be your guide during labor and delivery. It will also help your birthing team – doctors, nurses, midwives, partners – understand your needs and preferences, especially during a time when you might have difficulty clearly expressing them. Developing a birth plan is a good way to prepare for labor and delivery, and the process of creating the birth plan can help you address issues you might not have otherwise thought of until you were already in the delivery room. What Should I Include in My Birth Plan? For some women a birth plan is an idea…

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Tips for Washing Fruits and Vegetables to Reduce Pesticide Exposure

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For pregnant women, in their first trimester, particularly in the first eight weeks of pregnancy, considerable effort should be taken to avoid and/or limit exposure to pesticides.  During this early stage of pregnancy, a baby’s major organs are developing and thus are susceptible to chemicals and exposures that can lead to permanent defects. Specifically, pesticide exposure has been linked to birth defects and low birth weight. Fruits and vegetables are common sources of pesticide exposure given the widespread use of chemicals to kill insects and preserve produce.  Tips for reducing pesticide exposure include shopping at farmer’s markets to purchase certified organic fruits and vegetables. As well, care should be taken to avoid household exposure to pesticides commonly found in insect repellants, pet litter, and home gardens. According to the Huffington Post, the Environmental Working Group, a non-profit research and advocacy organization, designated 12 fruits and vegetables as having the most…

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the_pill

What are the medical options for post-partum birth control?

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

You’ve just welcomed your new baby and you’re already anticipating all of those memories you’re going to make as a family. Somewhere between deciding on stroller options and pediatricians, you also have another choice to make – post-partum birth control. Most new parents aren’t quite ready to jump into another pregnancy just weeks or months after giving birth, so choosing a birth control method after baby arrives is an important decision for new parents. Factors for Choosing a Post-Partum Birth Control There are many factors that will influence the type of birth control that you decide to use post-partum. The amount of time you plan to wait before having another child Whether or not you plan to breastfeed your newborn Convenience Cost Side effects Any reactions to previous birth control methods Health concerns or pre-existing conditions Birth Control Choices for New Mothers Intrauterine Devices (IUD) The IUD is a preferred…

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sleep

How much sleep do I need in pregnancy?

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The value of sleep is best realized by the lack thereof.  Ask anyone who has ever been sleep deprived and they will be able to clearly articulate how tired, jittery, and confused they felt.  Thus, although sleep is an automatic, semi-conscious physiological state that most people participate in on a daily basis, often it is not appreciated until it is withheld.  The average adult needs between seven and nine hours of sleep per day. Sleep is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle. Varying theories exist as to what happens while we sleep. The most widely accepted theory suggests that sleep is an essential time for the body to “power down”, rest and rejuvenate.  Sleep allows the body time to repair damaged tissue and replenish neurotransmitters in the brain.  As well, much of our long-term memory is solidified while we sleep. Pregnant women often need more sleep depending on the…

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Autism Apple Series

Autism Prevention and babyQ

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Central to the idea of babyQ is that mothers have a great deal of control over which genes are turned on in their babies during pregnancy.  This concept of gene control is called epigenetics.  At babyQ we want to help pregnant moms turn on their child’s best genes.  Now in a scientific report we see evidence that this really works and may help autism prevention. Autism is spreading like wild fire in America.  While it was barely heard of back in the 70’s and 80’s, it is now estimated that autism or autism spectrum disorders like Asperger’s, affects 1 in 65 children born in the United States.  How did this happen?  Are genes involved?  How could so many mutations happen in 30 years to go from a rare disorder to one so common? In the March 27 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers from the San Diego…

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How Many Fruit and Vegetable Servings are needed per day during Pregnancy?

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

Pregnancy is a time of great emphasis and concern for women about their health and the health of their unborn child. Often nutrition and other lifestyle decisions take “center stage”.  As such, women often wonder how do I eat right? How do I make smart food choices? Where do I find the best produce? How much will it cost? Will it taste good? Can I maintain these habits throughout pregnancy and beyond? To answer the question, “How many fruit and vegetable servings are needed per day during pregnancy?”, consider the following simple advice:  Do what comes natural. As a pregnant woman, you’re more likely to be hungry. Eat small snacks of fruit and vegetables several times per day to avoid getting hungry and consuming a lot at one time.  Choose fruits and vegetables that are in season avoiding canned or pre-sweetened options.  By eating often and in season, less effort…

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Eviction Notice

Can I Induce Labor?

Posted by | Because You Asked | No Comments

What will make my body start labor? The factors that cause labor to begin naturally are numerous, delicate and mysterious. Even today, scientists don’t fully understand the mechanisms that cause natural labor to begin, but researchers at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center have found that one important trigger for labor is a protein that the baby’s lungs release when they are ready to begin functioning. Is there a natural way for me to induce labor? Over the centuries, many folklore-based methods of inducing labor have been handed down. The majority of these have not been scientifically proven effective, but if trying one of these tricks makes you feel like you’re being proactive, check with your doctor and then go ahead. Each of these methods has its proponents, who will swear that it works: Dancing: As long as your doctor hasn’t told you to restrict activity, you can dance all you want…

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