Thursday, May 22, 2008

How to Avoid Constipation During Pregnancy

It is Murphy's law that just when you are able to get food into your body without having it come back up, that you suddenly find you can not get the food out of your body. Nearly half of all the women who are pregnant suffer from constipation during pregnancy.

As with all symptoms of pregnancy there is a reason for constipation. When you are pregnant your body creates progesterone which in turns relaxes the muscles of the bowels and causes your digestive tracks to work much slower. Your digestive track works slower to make sure your body absorbs the nutrients from your food for your baby. This can create constipation, which if it not kept under control, can lead to hemorrhoids.

There are some ways you can help avoid constipation throughout your pregnancy. Make sure you included plenty of fiber in your diet. Fiber absorbs water and can help to soften your stools and speed their passage. Eat plenty of high fiber foods like whole grain cereal and oatmeal. Instead of eating white bread with your sandwiches, eat whole grain breads. Add some oat bran to your cereals or yogurt.

Fresh fruits are also an excellent way to get your fiber in. Melons and plums have a high amount of fiber in them as wells as dried fruits like figs, raisins, apricots and of course the well known favorite prunes. Prunes and prune juice have a like laxative effect and will help keep things moving properly in your body. Aim to eat at least 25 to 30 grams of fiber a day. You can tell you are getting enough fiber if your stools are large and soft and you aren't straining to pass them. Keep in mind though that too much fiber can lead to diarrhea which can lead to dehydration so do not over do the fiber in your diet.

Also, drinking plenty of fluid will help you combat constipation. Fluids help keep digestive products moving through your system so it is very important for you to drink at least six to eight glasses of water a day. Keeping up with your fluids is important especially if you are increasing your intake of fiber. Your body needs to water to soak up the fiber otherwise it can cause more constipation.

Also, make sure you are eating your yogurt if you can. Yogurt has a bacteria called acidophilus that helps stimulate the intestinal bacteria to break down food better. Look at your prenatal. Some of the prenatal that women take contain a lot of iron and iron can play a big part in constipation. Talk to your doctor to see if you can switch for a while to a different prenatal that contains less iron or at least stay off of the prenatal for a while until your constipation is under control.

Avoid foods that can lead to constipation. White bread and some cereals such as corn flakes can lead to constipation as well as white rice and bananas. If all this fails, give your doctor a call to see if there is something you can take to help keep you regulated. Most doctors will allow you to take Metamucil to help keep things moving.

Constipation is never pleasant but during pregnancy it can be even extra uncomfortable. Make sure you take the steps to avoid constipation. It will help make your pregnancy that much more enjoyable.

For more information visit my free website

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Healthy weight gain for pregnancy

Most doctors will tell you that you should gain anywhere between 25-30 pounds through out your pregnancy. You should aim to gain about 3.5 pounds during your first trimester, although more often than not most women find that they lose weight their first trimester. The culprit to this is morning sickness. Some women suffer from such a severe case of morning sickness they can not keep anything down. Chances are your doctor will not be too concerned if you lose a few pounds that first trimester as long as you gain steady throughout the next two trimesters.

Your second trimester is where you will probably put on most of your weight. Most women put on about a pound a week, so roughly four or five pounds a month which brings their second trimester weight gain to about 12-15 pounds. Some women put on more while others put on less. Do not be surprised if you put on a lot of weight one month and not so much your next.

For the 7th and 8th month you will should probably continue about a pound each week or so. Look to gain between 8 and 10 pounds those months. Most women find that their weight gain slows down in the 9th month. You might find your weight gain coming to a end as your due date draws nearer. This can be a sign that labor is on the horizon. Or, you may find that your weight gain continues especially if you are retaining a lot of water.

So where does all this weight go? It doesn't really make sense that you should gain between 25-30 pounds if your baby is only going to weigh between 7 and 8 pounds. Let's break down where the extra weight goes.

First, you have your baby. A average baby weights about 7 1/2 pounds. Some can weigh more and some weigh less. That amniotic fluid that your baby has been swimming in for the past nine months weighs about 2 pounds. Figure in about 2 pounds for your breast enlargement and 1 1/2 pounds for your placenta. Your uterus, which started off about the size of a golf ball has grown to weigh about 2 pounds. Your body should be producing about 4 pounds of extra blood by the end of your pregnancy and about 7 extra pounds of fat. Let's not forget the extra fluid of about 4 pounds that your body might be holding on to. All this equals to the grand total of about 30 pounds.

Now keep in mind this is just a estimate and not a guarantee of how your weight will fall. There are women who wind up having a 10 pound baby and others who have a 5 pound baby. The key is to maintain a healthy weight gain throughout your pregnancy. Your body needs extra calories and it is best for you and your baby if those extra calories come from food that has a lot of nutritional value such as fruits, vegetables or protein. Staying away from junk for will help you curb your weight gain.

When it comes to taking the weight off, do not be surprise if your body hangs on to it especially those first days after delivery. Once you are home keep this in mind that it took nine months to gain that weight so gives yourself at least a good nine months to take it off.

To learn more visit

Gestational Diabetes

You are twenty eight weeks pregnant! Congratulations, you have made it to your third trimester with a picture perfect pregnancy. You go in to see your obgyn for your appointment and the bomb drops. You have gestational diabetes.

Gestational diabetes is one of the most common pregnancy complications that women face. It is when pregnant women have high blood sugar levels during their pregnancy. It is not really known what can cause gestational diabetes. Some experts say that overweight women have a higher risk of developing gestational diabetes, but there is not much evidence to support this.

What is known about gestational diabetes is that one of the only cures is to deliver the baby. After delivery your blood sugar level will go back down to normal. The common treatment for gestational diabetes has been insulin shots. Just as if you had diabetes when you were not pregnant, you would have to take shots each day. Some women find though that by changing their diet, they are able to manage their gestational diabetes without having to give themselves a shot of insulin.

If you are looking to make dietary changes your doctor will probably refer you to a nutritionist. They will look at several factors when designing a meal plan for you. First they will look at your weight before you got pregnant and how much you have gained since them. Next they will look at your activity level and your blood level. Then they will work with you to design an eating plan that has just the right amount of carbohydrates.

Some of the guidelines you should follow are to spread your carbs out through out the day by eating three small meals and two to four snacks. Breakfast might be a meal where you will want to eat less carbs since they can cause your blood sugar to rise quickly. Instead eat a protein filled breakfast with eggs, or even meat. Giving up sweets is one of the best things you can do if you have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes and will make your meal plan easier to follow.

It is also important to that you do not skip meals or try going on a low carb diet. This is going to cause your blood levels to fall to low levels and can leave you exhausted and legatheric. Chances are you will have to test your blood sugar levels regularly to make sure you are at a safe level. Some women are so sensitive that they can tell when their levels are low and know what steps to take to correct it.

Not taking the steps to keep your gestational diabetes under control not only puts you at a risk of developing type 2 diabetes's later in life, but you are also putting the life of your baby at risk. Babies born from moms who were diagnosed with gestational diabetes tend to be larger than those who aren't. Most doctors will not let a women go past her due date if she has gestational diabetes and a few will not even let them go as far as their due date before inducting them. Larger babies could mean more delivery complications and increase your chance of a c- section.

Gestational diabetes is so common these days that no one bats an eye if you say you have it. By eating a healthy diet and watching your sugar level, you will be able to control your blood sugar level and continue with your perfect pregnancy.

To learn more visit

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Inducing Labor - When and Why This Might Be a Good Choice for You

There are several reasons why a doctor might choose to induce labor during a woman's pregnancy. This article will discuss safe methods of inducing labor and the reasons why it is practiced.

Inducing labor is fairly common. If it is more risky for the woman to stay pregnant than delivering the baby then the pregnancy may be induced. Approximately 450,000 births are induced. The reasons vary from overdue babies, chronic high blood pressure in the mother, pre-clampsia, gestational diabetes, intrauterine- growth restriction and Rh- isoimmonization.

If your doctor is considering inducing your labor at your next visit he will probably do a pelvic exam. This will include an evaluation of how ready you are for an induction. The Bishop score might be used to determine whether or not you are ready to be induced. The doctor will look at dilation, effacement, station, consistency and position of the cervix. This helps the doctor to decide if he should induce labor.

Sometimes doctors will ripen the cervix before labor is induced. This means that medication is used to help the cervix soften, thin and dilate.

The two most common ways doctors do this is by using Prepidil Gel and Cervidil. In most cases this is done the day before induction. This is done in the hospital so that the baby can be monitored.

If labor is induced first the cervix is ripened and then the doctor will give you oxytocin (Pitocin) intravenously. Oxytocin is a hormone that causes contractions. A pump connected to the IV controls the amount you are given. This medication is increased gradually until contractions begin. You will be monitored while receiving this so that you don't get too much of it. You will also be monitored for your baby's reaction to your labor.

The medication will help start contractions so you can go into labor. Each woman's labor is different. It might take longer for one woman to go through the process from the ripening of the cervix to the birth of her baby than another woman.

Inducing labor also does not guarantee a vaginal delivery. In some instances, the induction doesn't work. When that happens a C-section is usually necessary.

If your labor is induced I hope this information will help you understand the reasons why and how it is done.

For more information on pregnancy related issues visit my site

Choosing Where To Deliver - Pregnancy

In general, your choice of where you deliver will be linked to your care provider. The majority of physicians take care of women in a hospital setting, where most birth in the US take place. Midwives also take care of women in a hospital setting, although they also deliver babies in birthing center.

Hospital birth

There are three potential advantages to choosing deliver in a hospital. First, if you are among the 30-40 percent of women over 35 who require a cesarean delivery, there will be no need for you to be moved from home or the birthing center. Although most cesarean deliveries are not urgent, in which case the delay will not cause you or your baby any harm, in an obstetric emergencies, time can be of the essence. The second advantage is that you will have more pain control options. Although many first time mothers wish to avoid epidural analgesia, you may not know what type of pain relief you want until you are actually in labor. If you are highly motivate to avoid an epidural analgesia, freestanding birthing centers and home birth are geared toward supporting you with out pain medicine. A third advantage is that a hospital birth may be safer if you have significant medical problems such as diabetes or blood pressure problems, which may affect you or your baby. It is also safest to deliver in a hospital if you've' had a cesarean section previously, because of the small risk of the uterus rupturing.

Birthing center or home birth

If you are having a normal, healthy pregnancy, the risk to you and your baby of delivering in an alternative setting is low. For women who have strong preferences about the use of oxytocin or continuous fetal monitoring delivery at a birthing center may increase their chances of avoiding these interventions, In addition, because epidural analgesia is not usually available you are likely to receive more intensive labor support for your pain. While some believe that delivering in a frec standing birthing center will reduce your likelihood of a cesarean delivery or episiotomy, your care giver's practice style is probably a more important determinant than where you deliver.

Getting The Most From Your Prenatal Care

The most important principle in choosing a care provider is to find someone you feel comfortable with. Ask questions early on about things that are important to you for example, the rates of episiotomy, cesarean delivery, and forceps or vacuum delivery. When thinking about your care giver's cesarean delivery rate, be aware that interpreting cesarean delivery rates is very complicated, even for statistical experts. Physicians who care for higher risk patients are likely to have very high cesarean delivery rates, which are explained by the high· risk nature of their patient population. However, in low-risk patients, recent studies suggest that either too high or too low cesarean delivery rates may indicate a problem.

Your care provider's philosophy about pain control in labor is also important. Unless you share his or her view, avoid a care provider who has strong feelings about what type of pain control you should select in labor.

To learn more visit

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Tips to Overcome the Anxiety of Fertility Treatments

With fertility treatments come many side effects. Most couples are willing to undergo these side effects in order to realize their dreams of having a child. Nonetheless some of the side effects of infertility treatments are more challenging than others.

Infertility has side effects on both partners. The more you understand these side effects, the better prepared you will be to cope with them should they occur.

There are multiple side effects associated with the use of fertility drugs to enhance ovulation and IVF procedures. Among the more common side effects include:

• Enlarged ovaries or ovary hyper stimulation.

• Thinning of the uterine lining that may impede pregnancy or cause complications.

• Increased risk for multiple gestations.

• Various mood disorders associated with fluctuating hormone levels and infertility treatment.

• Possible link to infertility treatments and certain forms of cervical cancer, though some studies supporting this link are questionable.

There are of course other side effects associated with infertility treatment. Many of these are emotional side effects that come with attempting procedures that come with no guarantees. The financial burden and associated stress associated with infertility treatment for example can be devastating for some couples. It isn’t uncommon for couples to shell out thousands of dollars for infertility treatments, only to realize after several attempts they will not be able to conceive successfully.

The emotional ups and downs that come with fertility treatments are also daunting for some patients. There are no guarantees again when it comes to fertility treatments. Even if a woman does become pregnant in some cases she may still suffer a higher than average risk for pregnancy complications or miscarriage. There is also a very small body of research suggesting that children who are conceived through assisted reproductive technologies may have a slightly higher than average risk of succumbing to certain diseases, though more studies are necessary to confirm or disprove this.

Some couples get so caught up in the process of trying to conceive they forget to connect with one another. This can be harmful to an otherwise healthy and loving relationship.

Fortunately there are steps you can take to minimize to burden associated with infertility treatments. It is important that couples communicate frequently with one another during the procedures and process of fertility treatments. Couples should also seek supportive counseling or other support measures to help them cope with the ups and downs associated with fertility treatments. Connecting with other couples that have experienced similar circumstances can prove extremely beneficial and rewarding for couples undergoing infertility. Most times your healthcare provider can recommend local support groups for couples undergoing infertility. There is also a wealth of support and information services available online to help couples cope with infertility.

Again in this case couples best recourse is to seek out guidance and support from other couples that have experienced similar problems.

To learn more visit

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Gaining Weight Too Slowly During Pregnancy

Just as gaining too much weight can be harmful to you and your baby, not gaining enough weight can be harmful also. There are some women out there who are so terrified at gaining weight that they eat next to nothing during their pregnancy. Please do not do this, you could be depriving your baby of the vitamins and minerals it needs and you increase your chances of having a small baby. Babies who are underweight at delivery are at a greater risk for health problems than babies who are of average weight at delivery.

If you find that you have gained nothing during your first trimester, do not worry. Some women do not gain anything during those first three months and some even lose some weight thanks to morning sickness. Your baby's needs are relatively tiny at that point. It is when you are in your second and third trimesters that you should make sure you are gaining weight according.

If you find that you are not gaining as much weight as you should, you should try to fatten up your diet. Increase your fat intake by a serving or too. This will increase your calorie intake but won't decrease your appetite. Do not increase your fat by more than a serving or two. There are better and healthier ways to increase your weight gain.

If you are one of the lucky few women who do not gain weight easy, you might not want to foods with the lowest amount of calories. You can still eat healthy but you want to up your calorie intake. Try eating avocados and more cheeses along with some beans too. Indulge in some snacks also. Try to add at least three snacks into your schedule. Make sure you have a decent amount of calories but not so many calories that your ruin your appetite for your next meal. If you are not allergic to peanuts, try some apple slices with peanut butter or some whole wheat crackers which some low fat cheese slices.

Take some time out of your busy life to relax. Not gaining enough weight could be a sign that you are doing too much. You could be burning up the calories you eat instead of using them to nourish your baby. Try cutting back on your exercise if you have an exercise routine. You also want to make sure you eat after a workout to replace the calories you just lost. If you are working while you are pregnant and it is a stressful job, make sure you take the time out of your busy day for lunch and snacks.

Throughout all of this, check in with your doctor. Your doctor may want to run some tests to make sure that you do not have a thyroid condition or any other undiagnosed medical problem that might keep you from gaining weight. You may also want to keep track of what you eat so you can show your doctor and talk about any changes that might need to be made to your diet. You may not be eating enough and you may find that you need to eat more.

To learn more visit

Gaining Weight Too Fast During Pregnancy

Any obgyn will tell you that the recommended weight gain for pregnancy is 25-30 pounds. Some women will gain more, some will gain less. But how can you tell if you are gaining too fast during your pregnancy. Too much weight gain can increase your chances of a c section and put you at risk for being overweight after.

Some doctors say that if you put on more than 3 1/2 pounds in your first trimester and are of a normal weight you are putting weight on too fast. If you are overweight and put on more than 2 pounds, you are gaining too fast. Keep in mind though that even if you gain a lot in your first trimester, it doesn't necassararily mean you will gain a lot your whole pregnancy.

Some women gain a lot in the first trimester because morning sickness has them only able to eat carbs and nothing else and still end their pregnancy gaining no more than 25 pounds. If however you find that your weight gain is still not slowing down once you enter your second trimester, there are some tips you can try to help slow it down.

First, cut out the useless calories. It is never a good idea to diet while you are pregnant but if you are gaining too much you do need to slow down the rate at which you are gaining. Apply some basic calorie cutting strategies such as using skim milk instead of whole milk, taking skin off your chicken and grilling or broil instead of frying or sautéing. You will also want to cut out most of your sweets. These are empty calories that are providing no nutritional value to you or your baby.

Next, cut down on the fat you are taking in. Look at what you are eating and how it may have hidden fat in it. Some salad dressings can be loaded with fat, so you might want to try putting your dressing on the side. Watch how much oil you use when you are cooking or when you are going out to eat and stick to good oils such as extra virgin olive oil.

Get active! You could be gaining weight faster because you are not active. As long as your doctor gives you the go ahead, start a walking program. Walking is one of the best things you can do for your body and your baby. Not only does it help with your weight gain, but some women and doctors swear that walking through out most of your pregnancy could help ease the pains of childbirth. If you can not walk due to weather conditions you might want to look into joining a prenatal exercise class.

Lastly pay attention to what you are eating. So many people don't pay attention to what they eat and find that they are overeating without even realizing it. How many times have you sat on the couch watching a movie and decided to have some potato chips only to realize that you have eaten the whole bag? Try to keep all your meals at the table and take your time while eating.

Even though you are eating for two, gaining just enough weight will not only make delivery and recovery easier for you, it will also make getting the weight off after pregnancy come off that much faster.

To learn more visit

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Foods to Avoid While Pregnant

Almost every woman knows the basic of what they should and should not do during pregnancy. They know that caffeine should be cut back; they should not smoke, drink alcohol or spend time in any hot tubs. However more and more studies are being done to see if pregnant women should avoid certain foods for the duration of their pregnancy.

It is essential that pregnant women eat a well balanced meal at all times to provide their growing baby with the vitamins, nutrients and minerals that the baby needs to grow. There are some foods though that needs to be avoided due to the risk they pose to not just to the mother, but also to the growing baby.

For starters, raw meat needs to be avoided due to the risk of toxoplasmosis and salmonella. This means no more rare steaks, or rare burgers. Pregnant women should take caution and make sure that all of the meat they eat is cooked well done. Cold deli meat should also be avoided because of the risk of listeria. Listeria can cross the placenta and can cause an infection or blood poisoning to the baby. Keep in mind though that deli meat can be reheated until it is steaming and this will help reduce the risk.

Speaking of listeria there are other foods that can contain this bacteria. Some soft cheeses such as brie, feta, and gorgonzola. These cheeses are commonly made with unpasterized milk. Unpasterized milk often contains listeria, so pregnant women need to make sure that any soft cheeses they are going to eat are made with pasteurized milk.

Fish has always been a subject of debate for pregnant women. While some forms of fish contain essential nutrients that are needed by the baby, others contain a high level of mercury. Any fish with a high level of mercury such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel, tilefish and fish used in sushi should be avoided through out pregnancy. Studies have linked mercury to developmental delays and in some cases brain damage. Tuna also contains a lot of mercury but canned, chunk light tuna has a lower amount of mercury and can be eaten in moderation. Raw shellfish also should be avoided through out pregnancy.

Raw eggs or anything containing raw eggs is a no no during pregnancy. There is a potential exposure to salmonella. This means no raw cookie dough, no brownie mix, and some homemade sauces such as hollandaise, Caesar dressing and blue cheese dressing. When dining in a restaurant, it would be wise to ask any sauces or dressings contain any raw eggs. Most restaurants should be using pasteurized eggs in any raw egg recipe but one should still double check.

There has never been a more important time to be careful what a woman eats then when she is pregnant. Some of the above foods have been linked to miscarriages and other birth defects. If you are pregnant and you have already indulged in a few of the foods you should not have, do not panic. Chances are, you and your baby are fine but take extra care to avoid these foods in the future.

To learn more visit

Food Cravings During Pregnancy

Do pickles and ice cream sound good to you? How about red peppers and peanut butter? If these do, you are probably a pregnant woman who has just gone looking for that ice cream carton you know you have buried in your freezer. More than three quarters of all pregnant women experience cravings at some point. The most common cravings are for sweets, dairy products and salty foods although there are some weird cravings out there. Some women have been known to put black olives on cheesecake, while others have been known to dip fruit in salsa. As bizarre as some cravings can be, they are mainly perfectly safe.

There are old wives tales that believe what you crave could be a good indication of the sex of your baby. If you are craving sweets you are having a girl. If you crave meats or cheeses, it is believed you are having a boy. Cravings are something that most women love most about pregnancy. It is when a woman is craving dirt or clay that an alarm should go off. If you should find yourself craving dirt, soil, or chalk call your doctor right away. Not only could these be harmful if you do eat them, but chances are they are a sign of iron-deficiency anemia.

Most doctors believe that cravings can be nutritionally based. That is to say the cravings are a message from your body on what it needs to eat. If you are craving salts foods it could be because your body needs more sodium as your blood volume increases. If you are craving fruit, your body might need more vitamins C. The problem is sometimes the message gets lost on the way to our brain. You may find yourself craving something sweet and instead of getting berries or fruit, you find yourself gulping down snicker bars by the cart full. Cravings can be the downfall of your weight gain especially if the message is getting scrambled. There are some ways though you can help curb your cravings.

For starters, eat a good breakfast. Eating a good breakfast can prevent cravings later in the day. You also want to try and make wise choices by looking for healthier alternatives. If you are dying for potato chips try eating some soy crisps. Instead of ice cream, try frozen yogurt. If you feel like candy is calling your name, snack on some frozen grapes. If you want something salty try pretzels, or even rice cakes to satisfy that urge. A good substation for soda would be some fruit juice mixed with sparkling water.

Next, think small. If you are craving chocolate, you do no need to reach for a king size bar. The snack size bar will satisfy your craving just the same. If you want a brownie, have one; just do not eat the whole pan. There is nothing wrong with indulging in a few of your cravings as long as you know not to over do it.

Giving in to your cravings during pregnancy does not make you a bad person and it is not something you should beat yourself up about and feel guilty about. Cravings are a normal part of pregnancy and denying yourself all the time might make you resent being pregnant. Indulge when you want to, just make sure you make wise choices and do everything in moderation.

To learn more visit

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Exercise During Pregnancy

For some women the thought of exercise during pregnancy is as appealing as a root canal without novacane. In their minds they have a nine month pass to keeping up with their gym routine. The first three months they are battling morning sickness and exhaustion. The next three months they are beginning to show. The last three months are so uncomfortable that walking ten feet to the bathroom is pure torture, so there is no way they will be able to walk on a treadmill for ten minutes.

On the other side of the coin, there are some women who do not let something as little as creating a life stand in their way of exercise. These are the women we might see actually teaching a class at the gym, or speed walking throughout our neighborhood with their protruding bellies.

Most of us however fall somewhere in the middle and that is just how their doctors like it. Exercise comes highly recommended when pregnant. Not only does it help control weight gain, but some women swear it helps with delivery also. There are some things to keep in mind in order to protect yourself and your growing little one.

For starters you need to keep an eye on your heart rate as you are working out. Letting your heart rate rise to high could be dangerous to your little one especially in your first trimester. You want to maintain a steady heart rate and should do the talk test throughout your workout to make sure you are at a safe level. The talk test is when you talk during your workout. If you are having a hard time talking and wind up huffy and puffing more than getting out actual words, then you are working too hard and need to take it down. Most doctors recommend that you work at a pace where talking is challenging but still doable.

Pregnancy is not the time to try out new exercise routines. This means that you should not try the new spinning class that your gym offers. Stick with the routine you have already been doing and that your body is use to. You may find that you have to make some modifications to some of your exercises as your pregnancy progresses. If you are a runner, a modified low impact jog through out your first trimester is fine but once you enter your second trimester and begin to show, your jog has to be brought down to a walk. For those of you who love sit ups, crunches and floor pushups, you can continue to do these up until you hit about 14 weeks or so. After that time period no floor exercises are recommending.

If you do not have any sort of exercise routine in place before you get pregnant, this still does not give you a free pass. Almost every doctor will tell you that walking is a great exercise for any pregnant women who are not high risk. Walking at least thirty minutes, three times a week is a safe way for a pregnant woman to stay active.

Walking is something you can do through out all three trimesters though you might find yourself moving at a slower pace by your third trimester. Another great plus to walking, especially as you approach your due date, is that walking can actually bring on labor. Many doctors will advise their patients to walk, walk and walk some more in the weeks leading up to their due dates to get things rolling. Some women who have walked throughout their entire pregnancy have an easier delivery and recovery period.

The days of pregnant women kicking their feet up and not moving from the couch for nine months are days of the past. While strenuous exercise is a no no pregnancy is no longer a good excuse to stop moving.

To learn more visit

Eating Well While Dealing With Morning Sickness

There are a few women out there in this world who sail through their pregnancy without so much of glimpse of queasiness. The rest of us have no such luck. Chances are you are the type of women who the mere smell of what use to be your favorite food sends you running to the nearest toilet. The mere sight of steak can send you heaving and just thinking about eating that salad turns you greener than the romaine lettuce it contains. You probably curse the silly fool who named it "morning sickness" when all pregnant women know it is more like all day sickness.

There are different degrees of morning sickness. Each woman and each pregnancy is different. I spent the first three months of my first pregnancy over a toilet and unable to look at any sort of vegetable or meat. However I made it through my second pregnancy with only a few spurts to the bathroom and hardly any aversions. The good news is though, this is usually only temporary. Most women start feeling better between their 12th and 14th week of pregnancy. Even better news is that your baby is handling this much better than you are. As hard as it is to eat healthy during this period there are some things you can do to help ease your discomfort.

For starters, eat often. It has been shown that an empty stomach tends to make your morning sickness even worse. This is why so many of us feel so bad when we first wake up. We've had nothing in our system which means our stomach acids are going crazy since nothing is there to soak them up. The trick to this is to eat often. Try eating six mini meals a days and make sure you have plenty of snacks. Make sure you eat often in bed. Before you go to bed for the night have a snack that is high in protein and in carbs such as nuts and raisins, yogurt and bread stick or a cheese and crackers. Keep a stash of crackers or ginger cookies by your bed and make sure you have one before you even think about getting out of bed in the morning.

You will always want to eat mainly carbs and protein. Stick with crackers or fruit to give you some comfort during those first few months. Other good snacks are pretzels, saltines and whole grain toast. For fruits stick with melons and bananas. For your protein add a little cheese or some nuts to your snacks or any time you are feeling a little green. Yogurt is also an excellent choice when fighting morning sickness also.

Make sure you drink your water. If you are vomiting it is essential that you stay hydrated. Making sure you stay hydrated is probably more important that making sure you eat those first few months. Becoming dehydrated can cause a problem for you and your little one so make sure you drink at least 8 glasses of water or juice through out the day. You can also suck on ice chips or fruit juice popsicles if you are having problems keeping liquids down.

The most important thing to keep in mind those first three months is not to beat yourself up if you can not eat as healthy as you would like to. You will still have plenty of time to make up for it after you get through this storm. Just make smart choices when it comes to what you eat and snack on and that will pave the way for when you can eat as a normal person.

To learn more visit

Friday, April 25, 2008

Eating Well For Your Baby

Congratulations, you are pregnant! The next nine months are going to be an exciting time, not just for you but for your growing baby! Think of all the things a baby has to accomplish in only nine (ten) short months. They start as a single cell and then divide at an enormous rate. Their organs develop, the heart forms and starts beating and all five senses form.

Basically your baby goes from a little blob that can't be seen with the human eye into a seven, eight, nine or even ten pound adorable newborn baby. In order for your baby to develop as healthy as possible, your diet should play a big part. This is because your diet is how your baby is going to receive all the vitamins, minerals, protein and fluids that he or she needs to grow and develop. The best thing you and any other pregnant mother can do for your growing baby is to eat as healthy as you possibly can. Let us look at all the benefits eating well can do for your baby.

First, eating right is going to help your baby's organ development. Your baby only has a short time to develop vital organs such as their heart, liver, lungs, and kidneys. Eating a diet that lacks vitamin D or calcium can interfere with your baby's bone and tooth growth.

Next eating too lightly through out pregnancy might stop your baby from growing as it should in your uterus. You might find yourself measuring behind for where you should be in your pregnancy. Small babies are at a greater risk for healthy problems once they are born. On the other hand, eating to much can cause your baby to grow too big to fast. Babies who are measuring ahead are at a greater risk for delivery complications. Babies who are too big usually can not be delivered vaginally without the assistance of instruments such as forceps or a vacuum. Some women are forced to have a cesarean section because they can not deliver their baby vaginally.

Some research has been done that shows what you eat during pregnancy can affect your baby's eating habits down the line. Babies can taste and get use to the flavors from food that makes its way into the amniotic fluid. It is quiet possible that your baby will have a preference for certain foods before they even take that first spoonful of solids. By making sure your diet contains a lot of vegetables and fruit can help ensure that your baby will enjoy eating that went he time comes.

Also, as hard to believe as it is, some studies have shown that what you are eating can contribute to your baby's personality. Research has shown that babies born to mothers who were under-nourished tend to smile less and are drowsier compared to those who at healthy. Also, studies have shown that moms who consumed enough omega-3 acids during their final trimester have babies who showed healthier sleep patterns than other babies.

Lastly, your baby's brain needs you to eat healthy especially during the last trimester. Unlike the rest of your baby's organs, the brain has its greatest growth spurt during the third trimester. This is the best time to eat protein, calories and omega-3 fatty acids. These ensure optimum brain development.

There has never been a more important time to eat healthy than pregnancy. Eating healthy while pregnant is the best gift you can give your child to be.

To learn more visit

Eating Well For You During Your Pregnancy

Eating healthy throughout your pregnancy is the greatest gift you could give your unborn baby, but there are also a lot of rewards in it for you to. It's common for many moms to be to forget that they also benefit in eating healthy through out their pregnancy. What you eat has a direct effect as to how well your body copes and recovers from all the physical changes it goes through. It also helps with the physical and emotional challenge of carrying and delivering a baby.

The truth is, most pregnant women rarely walk around all nine months with that rosy glow everyone talks about. The first three months some of us walk around a nasty shade of green and in a hazy fog thanks to the tiredness we feel those first three months. The second three months are a little better, and we are no longer green but we deal with other issues such as varicose veins and leg cramps.

The third trimester, we are back to the hazy fog again and have other issues such as swelling and heartburn just to name a few. Some of these can be avoided with a good diet. Eating foods that have some complex carbs can help reduce your tiredness and staying away from fatty foods will help with the heartburn.

Research has shown that pregnant women who eat healthy throughout their pregnancy usually have a safe and uncomplicated pregnancy. Studies have shown that some pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia or high blood pressure can be directly related to deficiencies in a pregnant woman's diet. High amounts of sugar and polyunsaturated fats increase this risk as well as having a low intake of vitamin c, e and magnesium.

Perhaps for some women one of the biggest benefits of eating healthy during their pregnancy is that it could help you during labor and delivery. A well balanced pregnancy diet has been said to help prevent preterm labor, which is labor before 37 weeks. A good diet can also help you cope with labor and delivery better. Any woman who has given birth knows how much energy it takes to endure hours of contractions and sometimes hours of pushing. Eating healthy will ensure that you have the energy and the stamina to get through your little one's delivery.

Once you have delivered your little one, it is still important to continue your good habit of healthy eating especially in the postpartum period. Your body needs a lot of resources to recover from all the stretching, blood loss and not mention sleep deprivation and still take care of a newborn. It is just as important in the months following your delivery to continue to eat well. As my doctor put it, it is essential to eat as though you were pregnant for at least three months after delivery.

A final added bonus to eating healthy throughout your pregnancy is that you may never stop eating healthy. This is setting up the groundwork for a lifetime of eating healthy for not only you but for your children. If you continue to eat healthy you are setting a prime example for your children.

To learn more visit

Monday, April 21, 2008

Eating Well Even After Your Pregnancy

Congratulations and welcome to parenthood. Your body has gone through a lot these past nine months and it still has a while to go before it is back to normal. The next few months are going to give you and your body a whole new set of challenges especially if you are a first time parent. Recovering from childbirth is exhausting and when you throw a new baby who has no concept of time into the mix and you might find your head spinning. Eating well during this time is almost as important as eating well during your pregnancy.

Your body has just been through a traumatic ordeal. If you gave birth vaginally, you mind find yourself recovering from tears and what not. If you gave birth via c-section, you are recovering from major surgery. The first thing most hospitals and doctors like to make sure is that your plumbing and waste systems are working.

Eating high fiber food and drinking lots of water after your delivery will help make that first bowel movement a lot less painful. This can be a little hard for women who delivery via c-section because they are usually on a liquid diet for the first 24 hours. You may find you need a little help from either stool softeners or prune juice to make that first trip a little easier.

Once you are home from the hospital, you are going to need your energy to take care of the baby. Gone are the nights where you were able to get a full 8 hours of sleep. You might not see that again for at least three months, though ask any parent and they will tell you that getting 8 hours of sleep a night will not happen until your kids are grown and married. Sleep deprivation can wreak havoc on you and it is important that you eat healthy to maintain a decent amount of energy.

The postpartum period is usually where most women find themselves downing countless amounts of coffee or sugary foods to give them a quick fix. This is not healthy because once you come down from that high, you are going to be even more exhausted than you were before hand. Make sure all of your meals are balanced meals and stock up on quick and healthy snacks such as celery sticks, baby carrots and lots of fruit to get you through the day.

Eating healthy can also help you fight the baby blues those first few weeks. Nearly 80% of all women suffer from baby blues. These usually kick in between the 4th and 5th day after delivery and can last for 10 days to 2 weeks. You may find yourself emotional for no reason and you may start to cry for no reason.

Some women report a feeling of sadness that they are no longer pregnant and others report a feeling of helplessness when it comes to dealing with their new baby. The baby blues are caused by your hormone levels going back to normal. By maintaining your healthy habits that you practiced during your pregnancy could help you handle your changing emotions a little better.

Pregnancy is tough and the post partum period is just as tough. Make sure you take the best care of yourself as possible during this time. Eat right and continue to take your prenatal vitamin to make sure your baby is going to get the best care you are capable of.

For more information visit my free website

Eating to Prevent Heartburn

Heartburn does not just affect those who are high stressed or love their spicy foods. Pregnant women suffer from heartburn too. You will find as your pregnancy progresses that antacids tend to become your best friend. Heartburn has nothing to do with your heart.

It is when the acid from your stomach leaks up into the esophagus. Heartburn is very common during pregnancy. In fact one in four women experience heartburn during their pregnancy usually during the third trimester. The reason is that your baby has grown a tremendous amount and your uterus has moved up and is now putting pressure on your stomach. This crowds the digestive tract and allows acids to travel back up the esophagus. There is an old wives tale that if you have bad heartburn, your baby will have a lot of hair. Of course there is no proof in this but it is a fun thing to believe in.

There are ways you can help prevent heartburn during pregnancy. You can start by taking your time while you eat. Not only will you enjoy your food better but your stomach will not have to work as hard to digest your food. You also want to try eating early and eat at least two hours before you go to bed that night so your body has plenty of time to digest your food.

Keep your meals small. Stick with eating six small meals through out the day. Large meals tend to stuff up your stomach which is already extra squashed thanks to your uterus. A stuffed stomach makes it that more likely that some of the food along with stomach acid will make its way back up the esophagus.

Also, make sure you keep your fluids and solids separate. Too much fluid mixed with too much food can distend the stomach which can aggravate heartburn. You also want to eat sitting up. Don't eat while lying down, and if you are having a bed time snack make sure you are propped up by pillows.

Your weight plays a part in how much heartburn you may experience. The heavier you are, the more pressure you are placing on your esophageal sphincter. This is another reason why you should not gain to much more than the recommended amount.

Find out what foods cause your heartburn. Once you figure out what foods cause heartburn, you can cut them out of your diet. Some foods you might want to steer clear of are highly seasoned spicy foods, soda, tomatoes sauce, chocolate, and some citrus. Greasy foods are also a big contributor to heartburn. Cutting out greasy, fried food is going to help with your heartburn prevention.

When all else fails, take something for your heartburn. Tums and Rolaids are perfectly safe to take during pregnancy. If you are not comfortable taking any over the counter medicines try some natural ways such as eating a handful of almonds. Almonds are a stomach settler and might help with your heartburn. Another natural remedy is a tablespoon of honey mixed with milk is a favorite for preventing heartburn.

Like with some pregnancy discomforts, heartburn is one that can be avoided as long as you take the steps and eat properly. Even without suffering from a lot of heartburn, your baby still could be born with a full head of hair.

For more information visit my free website

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Eating for Breastfeeding

In your third trimester, your baby was old enough to start getting a taste of the foods his or her mommy likes. Now that your baby is here and you're breast feeding, your baby will get an even better taste of your favorite food.

Typically if you are nursing your baby you should produce anywhere from 23 to 27 ounces of milk a day. In order to do this, you need to increase your calorie intake by about 500 more a day.

You also have to increase your water consumption to at least 2 1/2 to 3 quarts of water a day. You may notice that you are thirstier during nursing session. This is because the water you drink goes right to milk production. Try not to drink more than 3 quarts of water a day. Anything more than 3 quarts can reduce the amount of milk your body produces.

As stated earlier, you need to up your calorie intake. Plan to take in about 2500 calories a day or more if you are planning to nurse for longer than three months. These extra calories should not come from junk food. Junk food and sweets are just empty calories and offer no nutritional value to you or your baby. Eat more protein. A good rule of thumb is to eat 1 gram of protein each day for every pound you weigh. If you weigh 150, aim to eat 150grams of protein a day.

If you were not doing so during pregnancy, adopt the six meals a day program. Eat breakfast, a midday snack, lunch, a mid afternoon snack, dinner and a night time snack. Your body is going to be making milk continually so it is a good idea to keep it charged with calories through out the day.

There are some foods you might want to avoid during pregnancy. Pretty much everything passes through breast milk and to the baby. This is why the first thing pediatricians advise nursing moms to do when their baby has colic is to look at what they are eating. Chocolate has been blamed in many cases of colic and can cause an upset tummy for most babies. f you have a baby with a tummy ache think back to see if you had a candy bar or even a cookie in the hours before you nursed. The best advice is to stay away from chocolate while you are nursing.

Stay away from greasy and spicy foods while you are breastfeeding. Greasy foods sometimes upset adults stomachs, imagine what it would do to your baby's immature stomach? Wait until your baby is older and no longer nursing before you start making trips back to McDonalds.

You may also want to stay away from garlic and onions while you are breast feeding. Both of these can flavor the breast milk and you may find that your little one will not nurse if you have eaten these. Your little one may be just a tad too young to appreciate the taste of garlic and onions anyway. Remember it takes a few hours for the food you eat to make its way into your breast milk. You may have eaten one of these foods right before you nurse and see your baby is fine but by either the following nursing session or the one after you might find your baby having a reaction then.

Your breast milk does not only taste like what you eat, but also what you drink. Just as with pregnancy, you should stay away from a lot of caffeine while breastfeeding. You might need some coffee or caffeine filled soda to keep you functioning and a cup or two will not hurt you or your baby, but too much could have disastrous effects. Just as we experience the jitters and shakes from too much caffeine, your baby does also. Keep your caffeine down to a minimum.

You have made an excellent choice breastfeeding your baby. Keep it up by making good choices as to what you eat.

To learn more visit

Eating to Beat Pregnancy Fatigue

Ask any pregnant woman who is in her first or third trimester how they are feeling and the answer will almost always be "tired". One of the first clues that many women have that they may be expecting a visit from the stork is the fact that they find themselves droopy eyed in the middle of the day for no reason.

You may find that doing a simply task as walking around the block leaves your desperate for an afternoon nap. The energy you use to have is now faced with the challenge of growing a baby and your body is hard at work. You are also producing more blood, using more water and nutrients and have a higher heart rate and metabolism when you are pregnant. While the best defensive against the tiredness you will face is to get more sleep. There are also some healthy foods choices you can make that will help you get through your day if you do not have the opportunities to take naps.

First, adjust the size of your meals. Anyone who eats a large meal is going to feel tired afterwards regardless of if they are pregnant or not. Being pregnant is going to make the effect of a big meal that much worse. Most of your energy is going to be used towards digesting the meal so of course you will feel sluggish and drained. Eat smaller meals and eat more often. Eating six small meals a day will help you combat fatigue.

Eating a good breakfast is the best way to start your day. You are refueling your body after a long foodless night with a good breakfast. A good breakfast is not a cup of coffee and a piece of toast. You want to stick to complex carbs and protein. Whole grain cereal and a banana for example. These foods will stay with you and keep your blood sugar and energy level up for quiet a while.

Do not skip lunch. There are many people who skip lunch thinking they will make up for it by having a big dinner. This is bad when you are not pregnant but it's even worse when you are pregnant. You need that midday meal to help refuel your body. As with your breakfast, you should keep it filled with whole grains and protein. Have a whole grain pita and stuff it with chicken salad and add a side of grapes or an apple.

Plan to eat most of your calories during the day. A pregnant woman needs an extra 300 calories a day throughout their second and third trimester. The first trimester those are not needed yet. You should eat these extra calories through out the day in the form of healthy snacks such as nuts, cheese, veggies and dip. Do not save your biggest meal until the end of the day. Your body needs these calories to help you get through your day. Steer clear of the quick sugar fixes like candy and soda. In the end these will only make you more tired.

Lastly, make sure you are getting enough iron. Eat iron fortified food such as spinach and lean red meat to keep your energy up. There are times when extreme fatigue could be the symptom of an iron deficiency and you might need an iron supplement also.

Besides eating well, make sure you get plenty of rest even if this means pushing your bedtime up and giving up those late night TV talk shows. As any parents of newborns will tell you, get your rest while you still can.

To learn more visit

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Eating to Conceive

Almost every woman knows that it is important to eat well while you are pregnant. The benefit it provides you and your baby is invaluable. But, do you also know how important it is to eat well even before you get pregnant? If you are actively trying to get pregnant you have to make sure your body is prepared to accept the challenge. The first thing you should do before even beginning to try is to talk to your doctor to see how you measure up health wise. Does he think you need to lose a few pounds before getting pregnant or does he feel you need to gain a few? Your doctor may recommend that you change your eating habits and start exercising.

As soon as you decide you want a baby, you should begin to get in the habit of eating healthier. Slowly begin to cut out caffeine. If you smoke, now is a good time to quit rather than waiting until you have that positive test. Smoking can decrease your fertility and increase your risk of a miscarriage if you are still smoking when you are pregnant.

Another thing you can do is to start taking prenatals or at least a multivitamin supplement that contains at least 400 micrograms of folic acid. You can also begin to add food into your diet that is rich in folic acid such as spinach and other green vegetables, peanuts, and orange juice. You can also start by taking a prenatal vitamin also. These vitamins contain iron, folic acid, and calcium along with vitamin C, D, B and vitamins B6 and B12 also.

Reevaluated your diet. Start to eat foods that have plenty of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Lay off the fat and excess sugar. You want to eat foods that have a high nutrient density. Eat at least five portions a day of fruits and vegetables along with protein and iron rich foods like dried fruit, and green vegetables. Try to steer clear of raw fish like sushi, and steer clear of undercook shellfish, meat or chicken. You also want to try to avoid fish that has high mercury content like swordfish, shark, or king mackerel. Cut out any food that has unpasteurized milk in it including cheeses such as brie, camembert, and some Mexican cheese. Also cut out foods that have raw egg in it including homemade cookie dough.

Make sure you up your water intake. Water should always be your first beverage choice before, after and during your pregnancy. Water helps to flush your system of toxins. Once you've gotten your eight glasses in, you can drink fruit and vegetable juices also.

Perhaps the most important thing you can do before you get pregnant is to cut out all alcohol. The American College of Obstetricians and gynecologists have stated that women who drink might have a harder time getting pregnant than women who do not drink. Another reason why you should give up alcohol is that most birth defects that are caused by alcohol exposure usually occur in the first few weeks of pregnancy, usually before you even know you are pregnant.

Getting your body prepared for pregnancy is one of the best decisions you could make. Your body will be more prepared for the challenge of growing a baby and the experience will be a little easier on your body.

To learn more visit

Caffeine and Pregnancy: How much is too much

One of the first things most of us women prepare to say goodbye to once we see those two pink lines on our pregnancy tests is caffeine. Many women will stop their caffeine habit cold turkey out of the sheer fear of doing some sort of damage to the new life growing inside of them. These women will swear off anything that has caffeine in it from coffee, and soda to even chocolate. Then there are some of us who will still drink caffeine but cut back. Instead of drinking five cups of coffee a day, we might cut back to at least one cup of coffee to get us through the day.

Our mothers and grandmothers will probably tell us that they drank the same amount of caffeine pregnant as they did when they were not pregnant and their children turned out fine. However a lot more research has been done since their time and studies are showing that too much caffeine can cause some complications such as preterm labor and/or low birth weight.

So how much caffeine is too much caffeine? Doctors are telling their patients that a moderate amount of caffeine will not harm their babies. Even though caffeine does cross the placenta, anything less than 300 milligrams a day (an 8 ounce cup of strong coffee) will not do any harm. Anything over 300 milligrams puts your baby at risk and studies have also shown that women who drink more than 300 milligrams of caffeine a day during their first trimester have a slightly higher risk of a miscarriage.

Studies have also shown that women who had over 500 milligrams of caffeine a day had babies who had faster heart rates and faster breathing rates. These babies also spent more time awake in their first few days of life rather than peacefully sleeping after their long journey.

There are a number of other reasons why we women might want to cut back on the amount of caffeine we drink during pregnancy. For starters, it has no nutritional value. If there is ever a time for us to be aware of our nutritional needs it is when we are pregnant. Second, caffeine is a stimulant which will increase your heart rate and can cause insomnia and headaches which can put some stress on your growing little one. Third, caffeine can cause heartburn. If you have been pregnant before you know that heartburn can be a burden to begin with, and caffeine just makes it worse. Lastly it is a diuretic which means it can cause you to lose fluids which can put you at a risk of becoming dehydrated.

While it is not necessary for you to give up all caffeine through out the duration of your pregnancy, you should learn how to drink it in moderation or don't drink it at all. If you can not handle having only one cup of coffee a day, then you might be better off drinking no coffee at all. Stick with caffeine free sodas and even decaf coffee. Remember though that decaf coffee still contains small traces of caffeine so make sure you take that into consideration.

To learn more visit

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Common Obstacles in achieving Pregnancy – How to resolve them.

If you or your partner are trying to conceive than your biggest concern is with getting pregnant. For most couples getting pregnant is as ordinary a process as waking up and going to work in the morning. Unfortunately as with anything pregnancy is also filled with many unknowns. Some couples will have difficulty conceiving or getting pregnant.

There are many common problems that can delay successful conception. Up to 15 percent of couples experience problems when trying to conceive. Some of the problems associated with getting pregnant are more easily resolved than others. Most fertility problems or troubles couples experience getting pregnant are easily overcome. In fact nearly 90 percent of couples experiencing fertility problems will overcome them and achieve successful pregnancy.

Here is a list of some of the more common culprits when pregnancy is not achieved immediately:

Timing – Many times pregnancy is not achieved simply because a couples timing is not correct.

Minor Health Problems – Many times temporary infertility is experienced resulting from a minor illness. This may include for example a recent bout with the flu or common cold.

Odds – Most women have only a 25% chance or less of getting pregnant within the first month of trying. Those odds dramatically increase over the course of a year. . Many will defy the odds and get pregnant in the first month of trying. Still others will get pregnant accidentally!

Endometriosis – This is a more complicated condition that may result in infertility. Endometriosis is a condition where the uterine lining grows outside of a woman’s uterus

Hormonal Irregularities – If you suffer from irregular menstrual cycles there is a chance you are not ovulating regularly. Ovulation problems commonly result in infertility

Poor Egg Quality – This is more of a cause of infertility among older women. If women have poor egg quality their body may have more difficulty sustaining a pregnancy.

Stress _Sometimes the mere stress of trying to get pregnant overrides ones best efforts at successful conception. You may find the moment you throw up your hands or ‘give up’ you actually become pregnant. This actually happens often for many couples.

To learn more visit

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Are you ready to have a baby?

Maybe you’re thinking about starting a family. Maybe you’re trying to conceive. Or perhaps you already know that you’re pregnant. If so, congratulations! When you decide to have a child, your life will change. The choices you make now —even if you haven’t yet conceived — can have a lasting effect on your future child.

The changes pregnancy brings can be exhilarating and unsettling, blissful and exhausting. As you prepare for this sometimes unpredictable journey, helps you plan and prepare for pregnancy. When it comes to pregnancy, thinking ahead can give you and your baby the best possible beginning. Whatever point you’re at in planning a family, the decisions you make today can make a difference in your baby’s health as well as your own. Good nutrition isn’t only important during pregnancy. Even if you’re just planning to become pregnant, eating a healthy, well-balanced diet is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your future child.

Once you’re pregnant, you’ll be eating for two, but if you think this means eating twice as much, you may be disappointed. Eating for two (you and your baby) means that you need to focus on eating twice as well as in the past. If you already follow good eating habits, you have a head start in providing your baby with the nutrition he or she will need. Over the course of your pregnancy, you’ll want to increase your intake of iron, calcium, folic acid and other essential vitamins and nutrients, since these nutrients are important to your baby’s development.

You’ll also need to avoid certain foods that pose a safety risk so that neither you nor your baby gets sick. Yet, for the most part, you simply may have to do more of what you’re already doing. If your nutrition is poor or you often diet, skip meals or eat a limited variety of foods, start making changes now. In fact, it’s critical to make good eating habits a part of your pregnancy planning from the start. The reason: Most of your baby’s major organs form during the first few weeks of pregnancy — before you may even know you’re pregnant. With too few calories or nutrients, cell development can be less than ideal and your baby may be underweight at birth, which may increase his or her risk of short- and long- term health problems.

Eating right doesn’t mean that you have to follow a rigid diet. To get proper nourishment and gain the weight you need to have a healthy pregnancy, you’ll want to eat many different types of food. Just remember: What you eat and drink will have a direct effect on your developing baby

If you haven’t thought about any of these issues so far, it doesn’t mean you’ll have an unhealthy pregnancy. But the sooner you set the stage for a successful outcome, the better your odds. That’s true whether you are still in the planning stages, are trying to conceive or already have a baby on the way.

To learn more visit

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Healthy Diet - Eating Before and During Pregnancy

Eating healthy throughout your pregnancy is the greatest gift you could give your unborn baby, but there are also a lot of rewards in it for you to. It's common for many moms to be to forget that they also benefit in eating healthy through out their pregnancy. What you eat has a direct effect as to how well your body copes and recovers from all the physical changes it goes through. It also helps with the physical and emotional challenge of carrying and delivering a baby.

Once you’re pregnant, you’ll be eating for two, but if you think this means eating twice as much, you may be disappointed. Eating for two (you and your baby) means that you need to focus on eating twice as well as in the past. If you already follow good eating habits, you have a head start in providing your baby with the nutrition he or she will need. Over the course of your pregnancy, you’ll want to increase your intake of iron, calcium, folic acid and other essential vitamins and nutrients, since these nutrients are important to your baby’s development. You’ll also need to avoid certain foods that pose safety risk so that neither you nor your baby gets sick. Yet, for the most part, you simply may have to do more of what you’re already doing.

If your nutrition is poor or you often diet, skip meals or eat a limited variety of foods, start making changes now. In fact, it’s critical to make good eating habits a part of your pregnancy planning from the start. The reason: Most of your baby’s major organs form during the first few weeks of pregnancy — before you may even know you’re pregnant. With too few calories or nutrients, cell development can be less than ideal and your baby may be underweight at birth, which may increase his or her risk of short- and long- term health problems.

Research has shown that pregnant women who eat healthy throughout their pregnancy usually have a safe and uncomplicated pregnancy. Studies have shown that some pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia or high blood pressure can be directly related to deficiencies in a pregnant woman's diet. High amounts of sugar and polyunsaturated fats increase this risk as well as having a low intake of vitamin c, e and magnesium.

Eating right doesn’t mean that you have to follow a rigid diet. To get proper nourishment and gain the weight you need to have a healthy pregnancy, you’ll want to eat many different types of food. Just remember: What you eat and drink will have a direct effect on your developing baby. Perhaps for some women one of the biggest benefits of eating healthy during their pregnancy is that it could help you during labor and delivery. A well balanced pregnancy diet has been said to help prevent preterm labor, which is labor before 37 weeks. A good diet can also help you cope with labor and delivery better. Any woman who has given birth knows how much energy it takes to endure hours of contractions and sometimes hours of pushing. Eating healthy will ensure that you have the energy and the stamina to get through your little one's delivery.

Once you have delivered your little one, it is still important to continue your good habit of healthy eating especially in the postpartum period. Your body needs a lot of resources to recover from all the stretching, blood loss and not mention sleep deprivation and still take care of a newborn. It is just as important in the months following your delivery to continue to eat well. It is essential to eat as though you were pregnant for at least three months after delivery.

A final added bonus to eating healthy throughout your pregnancy is that you may never stop eating healthy. This is setting up the groundwork for a lifetime of eating healthy for not only you but for your children. If you continue to eat healthy you are setting a prime example for your children

To learn more visit

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Cesarean Delivery - Another Way Out

There are a growing number of cesarean deliveries nowadays. Some parents opt for an elective cesarean delivery instead of a vaginal delivery in order to avoid severe labor pains. Though people are divided about the pros and cons, no one can deny that cesarean deliveries have helped save many babies and their mothers!

Why Cesarean Or C-Section?

If not planned, this birthing process is undertaken if:

  • Baby is too big for the mother's pelvis
  • The position of the baby is not convenient- breech position
  • Fetal distress- the heartbeat of the baby is falling or presence of meconium is detected
  • The mother is no longer in a situation to bear the stress of vaginal delivery
  • Infectious vaginal disease which can be transferred to the baby during delivery is detected

  • Barring cases of fetal distress, C-sections can be predicted during the third trimester of the pregnancy.

    The Process

    In USA, epidural is used on patients during a cesarean. With epidurals, the mother is awake while the surgery takes place but is numb waist down. This allows the mother and the father to see the baby immediately after birth. Yes, your husband is allowed enter the operation theater to support you. You need not worry about feeling pain during surgery. Epidurals or Spinals as they are also called are used in more than 95% of the cesareans and very few have actually complained of discomfort, let alone pain. If you are still worried, you can ask the doctor to give you some light medication, which will keep you in a daze while the surgery is on.

    Cesarean deliveries with epidural somewhat reduces the disappointment some mothers feel for not being able to delivery vaginally. The entire process usually takes 30 to 45 minutes. General anesthesia is used only in emergencies where is there is no time for an epidural or when the patient has a previous record of back injury, heart or lung ailments.

    Types Of Incisions

    There are two types of Cesarean incisions- skin incision and uterine incision. The abdomen muscles are not cut in any of the incision types. However, the style of the cut, vertical or traverse is based on circumstances. Both, the skin and uterine incision, are quite low in the patient's abdomen around the bikini line.

    Recovery Time

    The recovery time is around 4 days. It is seen that within 4 weeks of a c-section delivery, the mother regains full mobility. Yes, this recovery time is definitely more than a vaginal delivery. But it spares the patient an uncomfortable episiotomy or a torn muscle which is common in vaginal deliveries. Besides, you are spared from severe labor pains and long waiting hours in the cold hospital ward.

    Nevertheless, you as parents have to decide on the delivery procedure early during pregnancy. Discuss your preference with your OB. He may be able to show you a very different perspective!

    To learn more visit

    How To Manage Labor Pains?

    Having a baby is a joyful experience. Many of us mothers-to-be, however, are apprehensive of the delivery process.

    Yes, there is some stress and pain involved in delivery.

    Over the years medical science has come up with methods to reduce labor pain. Unfortunately the side effects of these methods can be unwelcome. Anesthetics used during labor leave your baby and you in a drugged state, during and after childbirth. An epidural anesthetic is known to increase the chances of having a Cesarean operation, or the need for the vacuum and forceps. Statistics show that half the deliveries with an epidural results in resorting to such medical interventions.

    A Cesarean delivery is sometimes necessary in order to save the life of the baby or the mother. A Cesarean, however, is a major operation involving severe risks. These risks include higher maternal mortality rates compared with normal births, risks of blood clots and infections, not to speak of a longer recovery time. Additionally, if you deliver by Cesarean, you might find it difficult to breast-feed your baby. This could lead to less closer bonding between your tiny tot and you. It can also result in reduced immunity to illnesses for him or her.

    You can avoid the need for an epidural and the risks connected with one, by using labor acupressure. Acupressure is a holistic method that targets the same acupoints used in acupuncture. The difference is that, in acupressure fingers are used to put pressure on the specific pressure points instead of piercing the skin with needles.

    Acupressure is a completely safe method, without any side effects. It is impossible to over-stimulate the body while administering acupressure, because the body naturally regulates and accepts only the required stimulation. Labor acupressure is also a very simple, ‘thumbs-on’ method. It can be administered by anyone receiving basic instruction in its application. This means that you don’t need any great skill to administer acupressure. Because the method is so safe, and incredibly effective, even the World Health Organization recommends it for pain relief.

    Giving birth to a baby is a unique and wonderful experience. With the help of acupressure, both you and your partner can actively participate in it… And you can soon have your baby with you, alert and not doped by unnecessary medication, ready to breastfeed and bond with you and the family. A wonderful memory for your later years!

    Discover safe and effective labor acupressure techniques that help you to induce your labor naturally by encouraging your baby to descend, helping your cervix to dilate and stimulating your contractions.

    For more information on pain free deliveries visit

    Friday, March 14, 2008

    Top Five Exercises for Pregnancy

    Pregnancy often comes with the worry of gaining too much weight. This seems to be the number one fear of women, other than having a healthy baby. One of the ways you can assure yourself of staying in great shape during your pregnancy is to get in some form of exercise daily.

    You can avoid gaining pregnancy weight and be in great shape so that you have an easy labor experience. The last thing you need is excess and unnecessary weight during the delivery. Staying in shape during your pregnancy will also help stretch marks, nausea, fatigue and discomfort.

    You do not have to be a woman who ignores her weight during pregnancy. You do not have to tell yourself that you have free reign over ice cream and other sweet treats. If you do indulge in these things, you do not want to stop exercising as this is probably the worse thing that you can do for yourself and your baby.

    Sure there is huge discomfort when you are walking around with a pregnant belly and may not always be in the mood to exercise. But remember, this is the reason why most women gain excess weight during pregnancy and find it very difficult to lose the pounds afterwards.

    Here are a the top five exercises to get you up and moving during your pregnancy:
    Low Impact Aerobics

    When doing these exercises, they do not and should not be anything strenuous. You do not want your heart rate up to its maximum capacity the same as women who are not pregnant. Make sure to focus on the core strengthening exercises as this will help with labor.

    To learn more visit

    Exercise During Pregnancy

    One of the best things you can do for yourself and your unborn child during pregnancy is exercise. There are numerous studies that show that women who exercise during pregnancy are more likely to have easy labor and deliveries and faster recoveries.

    Before you start any exercise program during pregnancy it is essential that you consult with your healthcare provider. For some women it may be more dangerous than beneficial to exercise during pregnancy.

    Once you get the go ahead from your doctor, you can embark on an exercise program that is suitable to your stage in pregnancy.

    Here are just a few of the benefits associated with exercise during pregnancy:

    - Exercise helps combat fatigue.

    - Exercise helps minimize back pain because it helps strengthen back muscles.

    - Exercise can help promote a smaller amount of fat gain during pregnancy.

    - Exercise provides an exceptional form of stress relief.

    - Women who exercising during pregnancy are less likely to experience difficult labors.

    - Women who exercise during pregnancy are more likely to return to their pre-pregnancy weight faster and recover more quickly after delivery.

    There are some forms of activity that are better than others during pregnancy. Certain exercises can help promote physical fitness and are less likely to result in injury. Among the best exercises for pregnant moms include:

    - Walking

    - Swimming

    - Stretching

    - Yoga

    - Pilates

    - Dancing

    - Stationary Cycling

    - Low Impact Prenatal Aerobics

    For more info visit

    Wednesday, March 12, 2008

    Ab Exercises During Pregnancy

    If you are expecting then you should be thinking about doing ab exercises during pregnancy because these exercises will help you tone up your abs while strengthening your back. The strengthening of the back is very important because as the fetus grows in the uterus, it exerts more strain and pressure on the back.

    Doing ab exercises during pregnancy will also prevent the diastasis recti effect which occurs in most women during delivery. Diastasis recti is the separation of abdominal muscles and this is something you can avoid by doing regular ab exercise during your pregnancy.

    Another benefit of during ab exercises during pregnancy is that they will help you with your labor and delivery. Ab exercises are especially important during the third trimester because that is the time when the fetus increases the most in size and weight and you need to be fit enough to carry that weight along with yours.

    One of simplest ab exercise during pregnancy that is recommended is pulling your belly button towards your spine. As you do it, you should breathe out the air. Hold your breath for a few seconds and then relax your body. It is recommended that you do 8 to 10 reps a day. The other ab exercise during pregnancy is lying down on the floor and exhaling. While you exhale, you should lower your back vertebra by vertebra. This exercise you should do this 5 to 6 times in one go. However, you should note that around the 4th month of your pregnancy, you should avoid doing ab exercises that involve lying on your back as the weight of the baby might end up compressing the main artery in your body leading to falling of blood pressure.

    For more information visit

    Easy Pregnancy Exercises

    You are overjoyed, glowing, excited, fat, unattractive, and uncomfortable. Yes, you are pregnant and all of a sudden, an area that you have been trying to make flat for your entire life is as round as a basketball and there is nothing you can do about it, or is there?

    Is it possible to feel fit and attractive during your pregnancy? The answer is yes! You can go through pregnancy feeling fit and strong. Follow these easy pregnancy exercises to help you survive pregnancy and even feel like a hot mama while doing it!

    First of all, when you are pregnant it is still important to get in some cardiovascular exercise. If there was an activity that you enjoyed before you were pregnant, chances are you can still enjoy it during pregnancy.

    Check with your doctor first, but during pregnancy you should still be able to walk, run, jog, cycle, and even participate in aerobics classes. If you want a low-impact activity, swimming is great because it offers cardio and resistance training.

    Some other great exercises for pregnancy are Pilates and yoga. These are both low-impact exercises that can still be high in intensity. Pilates is great because it focuses on strengthening your muscles. This will be very helpful while going through labor.

    Yoga is also an excellent choice for expectant mothers because it teaches balance and focus. These two things are very important for having a stress free labor experience.

    Weight lifting and resistance training are also an excellent pregnancy exercises. Again, check with your doctor before starting a routine. Weight lifting and resistance training will build and strengthen your muscles which makes the whole process of having your baby less stressful.

    Focus on exercises that target your core, the 29 muscles surrounding your lower lumbar, including your abs and obliques. By strengthening your core, caring your baby during pregnancy will be easier and labor and delivery will also go more smoothly.

    For more information visit

    Tuesday, March 11, 2008

    Depression and Pregnancy

    When considering both depression and pregnancy, it is important to separate science from mythology. One pervasive parcel of mythology extant today is that women who have depression can negate it by getting pregnant. Popular myth dictates that the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy will somehow alter brain chemistry, lifting pregnant women out of depression. In the past, doctors even espoused this link between depression and pregnancy as true. Today, science has largely disproved this.

    A number of tests conducted in Massachusetts about the link between depression and pregnancy concluded that pregnancy actually has no effect on clinical depression whatsoever: getting pregnant does not alter brain chemistry in any way that might alleviate depression – and even worse, getting pregnant often has the opposite effect: it can actually worsen depression.

    What make the depression worse are the restrictions pregnancy imposes. This link between depression and pregnancy is clear. For instance, being pregnant often imposes limited mobility and limited eating choices. Additionally, being pregnant often restricts medicinal choices.

    Many antidepressants have been flagged by the FDA – and, as such, are no longer available to pregnant women, as they have the potential to cause birth defects. This link between depression and pregnancy means that a woman could go through a serious bout of depression during pregnancy without any medicinal form of recourse.

    Another potential problem that pregnancy brings is postpartum depression. Even for those who aren't depressed, this can still be a problem, as approximately 10% of all pregnant women experience it. Postpartum depression doesn't occur during the pregnancy, but after it, as the name suggests; and is usually triggered by hormonal changes that occur during and after birth. Most who suffer from it also have the same symptoms of those with clinical depression. Additionally, postpartum depression is generally treated in the same manner as standard forms of depression. Effective methods generally focus on behavioral restructuring, antidepressant medication, and counseling.

    For more information visit

    Vaginal Birth in a C-Section World

    Giving birth, for a staggering 29.1% of all women nationally happened by cesarean section in 2004. These latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control showed the rate of vaginal birth and vaginal birth after cesarean declining and c-sections increasing by 40% since 1996. In certain regions of the U.S., we are seeing that 1 out of 3 women is giving birth surgically, by c-section. Though a cesarean section can be a life saving operation, common sense would tell us that giving birth through a surgical incision isn’t ordinarily preferable to the normal design of vaginal birth! So, are there ways to avoid c-section and achieve vaginal birth? Absolutely!

    The first key to avoiding a c-section when giving birth is to understand what the real risks of cesarean delivery are. It is easier to decline unnecessary surgery if you have all of the facts ahead of time. The recent landmark survey, reflected that women did not feel fully informed of the risks of c-section by their doctors and that, despite claims of “maternal choice” by physicians, only one woman in the survey chose giving birth surgically with no medical reason. Some of the risks of c-section for the mother include infection, injury to surrounding organs, chronic pain from scar tissue, hysterectomy and in rare cases death. Some of the risks of c-section for the infant include respiratory distress, prematurity, surgical injuries and early breastfeeding difficulties. Perhaps one category of risk not often talked about is the risk to future pregnancies including placental problems, unexplained stillbirth and uterine rupture.

    The second key to achieving a vaginal birth and avoiding a c-section is to choose the proper labor support, care provider and care setting. Klaus, Kennell and Klaus document in “Mothering the Mother: How a Doula Can Help You Have a Shorter, Easier and Healthier Birth” (1993), that hiring a doula can decrease your chances of having a cesarean by 50%. Hiring a doula is particularly important if you will be giving birth in a hospital. Choosing a midwife as your care provider will not only give you the benefit of a personal, emotionally connected relationship with your birth attendant, but your chances of experiencing the cascading effects of technological interventions, including c-section, will be significantly reduced. Having a midwife attend your birth out-of-hospital, in a birth center or in your home, should be an option that all women with low risk pregnancies consider.

    Giving birth is an intensely personal and life changing experience in a woman’s life. Become educated about normal vaginal birth and c-section. In the unusual circumstance that a cesarean section becomes medically necessary, you can feel confident in making the decisions that are in the best interest of you and your baby. Have confidence in your body’s ability to do it’s job and surround yourself with people who support and affirm a philosophy of giving birth in the manner it was designed to be.

    To learn more visit

    Monday, March 10, 2008

    Common Myths About Pregnancy

    Although we are living in a high tech world, and modern science has come up with a lot of results about pregnancy, still there are some myths that continue to exist and get transferred from one generation to other. We shall explain some common myths about pregnancy.

    Some people believe that you can actually know the sex of your baby by knowing the way you carry your baby. The sex of a baby can not be determined by this. You will need an ultrasound to be done to know it.

    According to another myth, you should not raise your hands above your head or else the umbilical cord can be wrapped around baby’s neck.

    Some couple fear of having sex during pregnancy time. Normally a woman can have sex as usual during pregnancy until she has a high risk. For more information, you can consult with your doctor.

    The morning sickness level nowhere is related to the sex of your baby. Neither taking bath nor submerging in water is harmful for baby and the mother.

    Baby does not get hurt in case mother sleeps on her back. Pregnant woman, however, can sleep on her left side.

    A funny myth says that a baby is likely to be born with head full of hair if the mother has heartburn.

    Having pimples during the pregnancy does not mean that a mother will give birth to a girl.

    These myths may sound funny to you but a lot of people in society actually get frightened due to these. So it’s always better that you should consult with your doctor if confused.

    For more information visit