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babyq- hormones

How to Deal With Changing Hormones

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

How do Hormones Change During Pregnancy? Levels of pregnancy hormones estrogen and progesterone dramatically increase. The production of estrogen is greater in pregnancy than during any other time in a woman’s life. This permits the uterus and placenta to develop blood vessels and transfer nutrients to the growing baby. Estrogen levels increase significantly during the first trimester and are believed to cause the nausea associated with pregnancy. During the second trimester, estrogen aids in the development of milk ducts. By the third trimester, estrogen level is at its highest. The increase in progesterone allows the ligaments and joints throughout the body to become more flexible preparing the birth canal for delivery. Progesterone is also responsible for enlarging the uterus from the size of a pear to an environment that can stretch to fit the needs of the growing baby. Keep in mind that these changes in hormone levels are typical…

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Intestinal Bloating

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We know hormones have a profound influence on the gastrointestinal tract.  Even women who are not pregnant notice changes in frequency of bowel disorders around the time of their periods.  Progesterone, the primary hormone in pregnancy relaxes the muscles lining the digestive tract.  This makes gas and bloating more common.  Also, as your uterus enlarges more pressure is placed on your intestines.  Drinking lots of water will help you have regular bowel movements and this can decrease gas and bloating.  Also, a higher fiber diet may be helpful.  This will also lead to increase bowel movement frequency.  Probiotics, the beneficial bacteria found in yogurt, have a very positive effect on your GI tract. They can help prevent diarrhea, constipation and heartburn.  We recommend eating yogurt regularly throughout your pregnancy.

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Pregnancy Mask

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Pregnancy hormones bring many changes to your body, including changes to skin appearance.  A combination of hormonal influences and changes in your body’s immune system can darken certain areas of your skin.  Your breast nipple and the aureola surrounding it become darker.  You can get a line of pigmented skin extending from your belly button to your pubic area that becomes dark.  This is called “linea nigra”.  You can also develop what is termed the “Pregnancy Mask”.   This is almost a butterfly darkening of the skin in your cheeks and across the nose.  We are not sure why this occurs, but some women also experience it on the birth control pill.  So it is clearly related to the hormones.  It is not unattractive, merely a sign of your fertility.  Enjoy your new appearance.

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Sleep Issues During Pregnancy

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As we continue to look at sleep issues during pregnancy we realize young moms-to-be are not sleeping well enough. The most common reasons women do not sleep well during pregnancy are: Snoring as their nasal passages become swollen from fluid retention Restless legs associated with iron deficiency General discomfort In the latest poll on “Sleep in America” the National Sleep Foundation reported: Exercisers report better sleep than self-described non-exercisers even though they say they sleep the same amount each night (6 hours and 51 minutes, average on weeknights). Vigorous, moderate and light exercisers are significantly more likely to say “I had a good night’s sleep” every night or almost every night on work nights than non-exercisers (67%-56% vs. 39%). Also, more than three-fourths of exercisers (76%-83%) say their sleep quality was very good or fairly good in the past two weeks, compared to slightly more than one-half of non-exercisers (56%)….

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Baby bipolar?

Can a Baby Be Bipolar?

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The classic signs of a bipolar disorder are extreme ups and downs.  If we think about infancy, all young babies are by definition bipolar.  They can go from crying one minute to smiling and laughing the next.  If we saw that type of behavior in an adult we would suspect they were bipolar.  In a young baby, these bipolar symptoms are normal.  That is why pediatric bipolar disorder is rarely diagnosed under the age of nine; but occasional reports indicate in it can present as young as six. Pediatric bipolar disorder is often diagnosed on the basis of behavior because a child may not always be able to express himself appropriately in words. They may lose weight secondary to a poor appetite, no longer enjoy their usual activities, and have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.  These are the usual characteristics of depression.  When children are in the manic phase…

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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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Bacterial Vaginosis and Yeast Infections- Why Are They So Common During Pregnancy?

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A woman’s body goes through tremendous changes during pregnancy, including the increased susceptibility to infections and heightened symptoms of other conditions. As many as 30% of women suffer from bacterial vaginosis during pregnancy, and even more from yeast infections. These two similar conditions should not be left undiagnosed or untreated. What is Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)? Bacterial vaginosis is caused when the normal balance of bacteria in a woman’s vagina is disrupted and too much of certain bacterium grows. During pregnancy there is a dramatic shift in hormones and pH levels, which is why pregnant women can be so susceptible to this condition. There is no one certain point of origin or cause as to why some women suffer from BV, but two of the most common underlying circumstances that could contribute are 1) having multiple sex partners, and 2) douching. Signs and Symptoms of BV Increases in the amount of…

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5 Foods You Should Be Eating During Pregnancy

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Why Is It Important To Maintain a Healthy Diet During Pregnancy? Pregnant women who don’t eat enough during early pregnancy may be jeopardizing their baby’s brain development.  In a 2011 study, a team of researchers from the University of Texas Health Science Center compared the diets of two groups of baboon mothers. One group was fed as much as they felt they needed during the first half of their pregnancy while the other group was given 30 percent less than the first group, which was equivalent to how much many pregnant women in this country eat. The researchers found that the babies of the pregnant women who ate less had impaired development of cell-to-cell connections and decreased amounts of growth factors in their brains as compared to the babies born to the mothers who ate as much as they felt they needed. What Are Some Pregnancy Super Foods? Eggs are an…

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My boyfriend smokes – What are the risks?

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Your boyfriend is the one who makes you laugh and the one who remembers your favorite movie snack. However, if your boyfriend also smokes tobacco products you could be at risk for more than you bargain for in this relationship. Not only is your boyfriend risking his own health, but you could be exposing yourself to toxins that can cause many health issues for you. Firsthand smoke – If your boyfriend smokes he is exposing himself to firsthand smoke, inhaling the carcinogens that are emitted from the cigarette every time he inhales on the end of the cigarette. Smoking has long been associated with health concerns, and in particular, young men are at risk for many diseases and conditions if they smoke cigarettes. Teenage boys who smoke can actually stunt their height growth as well as their BMI (body mass index). Young boys and men who smoke can damage the…

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101 Things My Kids Have Taught Me: Lesson 98

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98: Girls Love Shoes From The Moment They Can Walk Admittedly, I’m currently going through a huge purse obsession. Mainly because they are the only articles in my wardrobe that I know will fit come summertime. Purses don’t come in sizes; one size fits all and that’s what I need right now. However, what girl doesn’t love a great pair of shoes? Or in Charlie’s case, ANY pair of shoes? She doesn’t discriminate on size, gender, or color. She simply loves shoes. She ALWAYS has to be wearing them – even if we’re just lounging around the house…or at the beach. Usually it’s not a problem. Her feet don’t touch the ground much when we’re out, so her shoes stay in good shape for a while. Around the house, she’s content with slippers. She likes to sit in our mudroom and go through all of our shoes. When I tell…

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Juices that reduce inflammation

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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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Pain with Sex

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As your body prepares for the baby’s passage through the birth canal, your vagina and pelvis become swollen with blood and fluid.  This cushions the baby’s passage through the birth canal and helps protect you as well.  However, genital and cervical swelling can make these areas more sensitive and some women experience pain with sex.  Other women find intercourse more enjoyable, and your partner or husband may as well.   In that case enjoy the pleasure and intimacy of sex.  If however, intercourse becomes painful, explore additional ways to satisfy each other, not only for your own physical pleasure, but for the intimacy and emotional support sex provides.  This will be a source of comfort for you and your baby during the nine months of pregnancy.

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How to Feed a Baby

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Newborns and infants all require some of the basic needs of nutrition and sleep, but choosing a method of feeding your baby can seem anything but basic. The World Health Organization (WHO) and American Academy of Pediatrics recommend breastfeeding as the most optimal choice for feeding your baby, but that does not mean that infant formula is not a viable option for many mothers and babies. The decision between bottle and breastfeeding should weigh many factors, and should include discussions with your baby’s pediatrician. How Do You Choose Between a Bottle and Breastfeeding? Choosing between breastfeeding and bottle feeding is something that you should ideally begin considering long before your baby is born. There are many factors that will influence your decision, and the best way to ensure a successful plan for you and your baby is to consider the pros and cons of each, and how those fit into…

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Don’t lose sleep over that.

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“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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