5 Common Pregnancy Fears And How To Get Over Them

Having a Miscarriage

One in four women is likely to have a miscarriage, and very often this can happen with the first pregnancy. Many women live in fear for the first 13 weeks of their pregnancy. When a miscarriage occurs, it is the body flushing out a fetus that might have been growing improperly. Unfortunately there is nothing anyone can do to stop it, and it can be devastating to lose a pregnancy. But there’s no reason not to remain optimistic. After all, three out of four pregnancies do not result in miscarriage.

Down’s Syndrome

There are many tests pregnant women can take today to check for Down’s syndrome while the baby is still in its very early stages of development. Many women also have to undergo several follow-up tests. Keep in mind that this is usually just a precaution and that most babies will be fine.

Premature Labour

Many women worry about going into premature labour and the implications that might have for their child. But the fact is that after 24 weeks, a fetus is viable outside the womb, with plenty of help, of course. It’s not ideal, but should your baby be born earlier than expected, don’t fear the worst. Many babies are born at 32 weeks (especially multiples, which are usually born quite early) and go on to grow big and strong and lead full and healthy lives.

Birth Defects

It might comfort you to know that nearly every mother-to-be fears or even dreams about her baby being born with some horrible birth defect. You’re not the only one, and this isn’t a sign of things to come. It’s a common fear because mothers obviously want so much for their children to be well. Just remember that Mother Nature works hard to ensure proper development and that most babies are born perfectly healthy.

Alcohol consumption in very early pregnancy

It’s not uncommon for women to find out they are pregnant as far as six weeks into their pregnancies — after a weekend of partying, perhaps. If you’ve consumed alcohol during the first six weeks, rest assured your baby is fine. The fetus is unaffected by toxins at this stage. To be safe, bring the subject up with your doctor, but don’t fret too much.

It’s only natural to worry a bit throughout your pregnancy — after all, this whole baby thing is new, nail-bitingly unpredictable, and you just want so badly for it to go perfectly. Relax! they’re not as scary as you think.

SIMPLE GUIDE TO SLEEPING WELL DURING PREGNANCY

During pregnancy, you may find yourself wrestling in bed trying to get comfortable before falling asleep. Unfortunately, your regular sleeping positions may no longer work for you during pregnancy. There are a number of reasons for this new discomfort, but there are some sleeping positions that you can try that may help you get your much-needed rest.

What Are The Best Sleep Positions During Pregnancy?

The best sleep position during pregnancy is “SOS” (sleep on side). Even better is to sleep on your left side. Sleeping on your left side will increase the amount of blood and nutrients that reach the placenta and your baby.

Keep your legs and knees bent, and put a pillow between your legs.

  • If you find that you are having problems with back pain, use the “SOS” position, and try placing a pillow under your abdomen as well.
  • If you are experiencing heartburn during the night, you may want to try propping your upper body with pillows.
  • In late pregnancy, you may experience shortness of breath.  Try lying on your side or propped up with pillows.

These suggestions may not sound completely comfortable, especially if you are used to sleeping on your back or stomach, but try them out.  You may find that they work. Keep in mind that you may not stay in one position all night, and rotating positions is fine.

What Sleep Positions During Pregnancy Should I Avoid?

Sleeping on Your Back. Throughout your pregnancy, you should avoid sleeping on your back. While it may be safe during your first trimester, the biggest no-no with resting this way is that it causes your increasingly heavy abdomen and uterus to press down on the major vein that works to return blood from your lower body to your heart. So lying on your back can make you feel lightheaded and dizzy, and also interfere with the delivery of blood and nutrients to the placenta and your growing baby. Other issues that can arise are backaches, difficulty breathing, digestive system problems, hemorrhoids, low blood pressure, and decreased circulation in you and the baby.

 

Sleeping on Your Stomach. After the fifth month of your pregnancy, it’s apparent that sleeping on your tummy isn’t the most comfortable way to fall asleep, and that’s because of your expanding uterus. It might feel like you’re trying to sleep on a huge watermelon! If you’re afraid that this position may end up hurting the baby, don’t be. Even at nine months, the uterine walls provide enough protection for the little one. In other words, medically speaking, it’s safe to sleep in this position, but it may not be the most comfortable posture for you.

Does Lack Sleep Harm Your Baby?

It will not harm your baby as sleep problems are common during pregnancy. But, you should listen to your body when it asks you to rest or slow down. Less sleep in early pregnancy can increase the risk of pre-eclampsia and high blood pressure in mothers.

Sleeping Aids During Pregnancy: 

Sleep aids help in offering you comfortable and sound sleep, especially during your first and third trimesters, which are tough times of pregnancy.

1. Pillows:

Pillows can help you avoid sleepless nights.

For back and belly support –Tuck one pillow between your bent knees to support your lower back. It will also make your side sleeping position comfortable. You can use a full-body pillow for your back or front. It gives you the right support while lying on your side.

You can try various pillows, either regularly used ones or those available specifically for pregnancy use. You may use body-length, U or C-shaped pillows, or wedge-shaped pillows to support your tummy or chest.

If you are suffering from heartburn – You can keep one extra pillow beneath your head to elevate it while you are sleeping. It helps in keeping the stomach acids in place due to gravity rather than letting them travel back to the esophagus.

If you have hip pain – If you experience body pains or hip pain while lying on the side, a firm mattress will help. An egg-crate foam mattress can be placed on your regular mattress. It will support your torso and limbs, and give you comfortable sleep devoid of aching hips.

2. Food And Drink:

What you eat and drink, and when you take them will also affect your sleep quality. Avoid caffeine and sugar, which are the common sleep snatchers. A glass of warm milk before bedtime is an age-old remedy for good sleep.

For low blood sugar – If headaches, bad dreams, or intense sweating disturb your sleep, you may be suffering from low blood sugar levels. You can take protein-packed snacks such as peanut butter, egg, or turkey, before bedtime to keep blood sugar levels high during sleep.

For Nausea – Nausea can develop because of an empty stomach. Therefore you should have a light snack containing carbohydrates and proteins before bedtime. Good options include a half sandwich with milk, high-protein cereal with milk, or a high protein smoothie. You can eat some bland, dry snacks like pretzels, rice cakes, and crackers if you happen to wake up feeling nauseous.

For heartburn and indigestion – Avoid taking large meals before bedtime or late in the day. Sleeping on a full stomach will worsen the condition.

3. Scheduled Sleep:

Planning your sleep time is also vital during pregnancy. You should try taking naps whenever possible. The best time is between two and four p.m. You can break them into two 30-minute naps rather than one long 2-hour sleep. Do not take excessive fluids after six p.m. as they reduce nocturnal bathroom visits.

Women who have a good night’s sleep early in their pregnancy have better health later on, according to new research. Sleep researchers have found pregnant women who have too little or too much sleep in the first three months of pregnancy have higher blood pressures in the third trimester.

 

The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Resources:

http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/sleeping-positions-during-pregnancy/ 

https://sleep.org/articles/best-pregnancy-sleep-position/ 

 

Tips for a Stylish Pregnancy

Being pregnant doesn’t mean you can’t keep up with the trends and feel fashionable.  The key to dressing modern and sexy during pregnancy is to pick out the trends you like and adapt them to your new body. Learn what styles look great with your growing baby bump and what pieces to invest in for a cute and comfortable pregnancy. You have a stylish nine months ahead!

Check Out Style Rules Every Pregnant Woman Should Know:

  • Show Some Skin

If you’re normally small-chested, pregnancy offers the best chance you’ll ever have to forego the padded bras and flaunt cleavage, so take advantage of this fortuitous occasion and wear scoop-neck T-shirts or sweaters.  If you’ve been blessed with a small frame while pregnant, then a shift dress is your evening wear savior. It skims your bump nicely, and the mini length remains sexy without feeling too exposed.

  • Go Skinny

If you enjoyed wearing skinny jeans before you were an expecting mama, don’t be afraid to do tight-fitting pants now just because you’re pregnant. Many maternity lines are now making stretchy, super-comfy (and chic!) skinny jeans and leather leggings that will fit and flaunt your new curves. This will give your body definition from under your bust and allow the fabric to drape loosely over your bump. Wrap dresses work too, just tie them a little higher up and be sure to choose a length that accommodates your growing belly.

  • Choose Snug over Bulky

Reaching for bigger clothes to hide your size sounds like a good idea, but it only contributes to a bulky look. Instead, slim down your silhouette and emphasize the features that aren’t expanding with snug-sleeved tops, skinnier pants, and button-down shirts or blazers left unbuttoned. Try knits that stretch to fit your form, they’re sexy and feminine. If all else fails, ever heard the phrase “borrowed from the boys” when it comes to styling? That’s your new mantra. Oversized shirting, cashmere sweaters, and quality T-shirts are a great way to avoid buying maternity wear because you’ll always love their loose fits for lazy days – long after you’ve had the baby.

  • Go for Color

Getting dressed when pregnant doesn’t have to mean losing all sense of your personal style. Don’t limit yourself to black and neutral tones, color is an essential part of the modern maternity closet. You’ll feel happier when you’re wearing clothes that aren’t drab. If you’re the type who loves color and print, roll with it.  All-over prints are a really nice option if you want to add some punch to a super simple silhouette, especially when worn with sneakers.

  • Get Decorative

Perk up a staid wardrobe with just a few decorative elements, such as ruffled trims or embroidered or beaded accents. Just be sure to stick with things that you’ll be able to wear more than once without feeling too conspicuous. Try wearing skirts or loose-fitting trousers higher than usual, and balance out the silhouette with fun details on your top half, like ruffles or an interesting neckline.

  • Try Some Trimmings

One of the easiest ways to add dimension and flare to an otherwise simple ensemble is to put on your favorite accessories and jewelry. Try long, dangling earrings and lariat necklaces to de-emphasize fullness in your face. Wear a patterned scarf in your hair, put a jeweled cuff on your wrist, or carry a chic handbag. Better yet, if you’re not going to be on your feet all day, throw on some fun open-toe sandals or sling-backs. Sexy shoes can instantly perk up practically any outfit. 

  • Be Comfortable

The simple slip dress is a great go-to for when you need to dress up. It’s lightweight, loose, and long, plus a sumptuous fabric like satin or velvet will give a luxury feel to your look. For daytime, this dress works layered over a white T-shirt or under a super chunky cardigan. Leggings, hoodies, and your husband’s T-shirts are now wardrobe staples. Give yourself a break, you’re growing a human, after all.

 

The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Pregnancy Stretch Marks

Many things change after you have a baby: schedules, sleep time, and a sense of freedom, to name a few. Along with a changing schedule, there are many physical changes you’ll see. Chief among them is stretch marks. For many women, stretch marks are as much a part of having a baby as diapers and feedings.

Anatomy of a Stretch Mark

Stretch marks happen when your body grows faster than your skin can keep up with. This causes the elastic fibers just under the surface of the skin to break, resulting in stretch marks. You gain about 30 pounds during the 9 months you are pregnant, says Heidi Waldorf, MD. She is an associate clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. Like scars, they’ll fade, but they won’t disappear completely. Stretch marks happen in pregnancy when your skin layers stretch over your fast-growing body. You may have them on your tummy, bottom, thighs, and breasts. Though it won’t get rid of the stretch marks, it will help to tone the area.

What causes stretch marks?

Stretch marks are a result of skin stretching and an increase of cortisone in your system. Cortisone is a hormone naturally produced by your adrenal glands. However, having too much of this hormone can make your skin lose its elasticity.

Stretch marks are common in certain circumstances:

  • Many women experience stretch marks during pregnancy as the skin stretches in numerous ways to make room for the developing baby. This continual tugging and stretching can cause stretch marks.
  • Stretch marks sometimes appear when you rapidly gain or lose weight. Teenagers may also notice stretch marks after a sudden growth spurt.
  • Corticosteroid creams, lotions, and pills can cause stretch marks by decreasing the skin’s ability to stretch.
  • Cushing’s Syndrome, Marfan’s syndrome, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, and other adrenal gland disorders can cause stretch marks by increasing the amount of cortisone in your body.

Who Gets Stretch Marks?

About 90% of women will get them sometime after their sixth or seventh month of pregnancy, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. If your mother had stretch marks, then you’re more likely to have them too, since genetics plays a role.

What medical treatments are available for stretch marks?

Stretch marks often fade with time. If you don’t want to wait, there are treatments that can improve their appearance. However, no treatment can make stretch marks disappear completely.

There are several ways to improve the appearance of stretch marks:

  • Tretinoin cream (Retin-A, Renova) works by restoring collagen, a fibrous protein that helps give your skin elasticity. It’s best to use this cream on recent stretch marks that are red or pink. This cream may cause skin irritation. If you’re pregnant, you shouldn’t use tretinoin cream.
  • Pulsed dye laser therapy encourages the growth of collagen and elastin. It’s best to use this therapy on newer stretch marks. Darker-skinned individuals may experience skin discoloration.
  • Fractional photothermolysis is similar to pulsed dye laser therapy in that it uses a laser. However, it works by targeting smaller areas of your skin, causing less skin damage.
  • Microdermabrasion involves polishing the skin with tiny crystals to reveal new skin that’s under the more elastic stretch marks. Microdermabrasion can improve the appearance of older stretch marks.
  • The excimer laser stimulates skin color (melanin) production so that stretch marks match the surrounding skin more closely.

Medical procedures and prescription medicines aren’t guaranteed to cure stretch marks, and they can be expensive.

Is it Possible to Prevent Stretch Marks?

Unfortunately, there’s no way to prevent stretch marks but It’s always a good idea to keep your skin hydrated with a rich lotion or cream. The only thing possible is making stretch marks fade.

The good news is that stretch marks may simply disappear on their own after weight loss or childbirth. Over time, stretch marks fade to whitish colored scar and become less noticeable with time. While some stretch marks naturally fade to faint, silvery lines, others remain darker and more showy. The condition is only skin deep and hence easily reversible. According to the University of Maryland medical center, they may disappear completely when the cause of skin stretching goes away.

The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Resources:

https://www.webmd.com/baby/features/stretch-marks#1

https://www.healthline.com/health/stretch-marks#medical-treatments

Things Every Partner Should Do for a Mom-To-Be

It’s fair to say that women do most of the work when it comes to pregnancy. After all, your baby has set up camp in your partner’s uterus, so she is the one who will be peeing every twenty minutes, struggling to get comfy at night, and giving birth. Your lack of uterus puts you on the bench, but you can still be a team player when it comes to pregnancy. You are charged with the vital role of providing support, being a shoulder to cry on and, of course, getting the snacks.

“Your partner may be doing the heavy lifting (or carrying) for the next nine months, but she’ll need a lot of support from her partner, too.”

While pregnancy and giving birth is Mom’s job, there are a number of ways that you, as her partner, can share the load, too. And guess what? It’s a lot more fun that way. After all, it took two to start this journey!

Here are some roles for dads these days during pregnancy: 

  • Take over some of the household chores.

As your partner’s bodies adapt to the rigors of pregnancy, some of the household chores get impossible for them. The fumes of cleaning solutions can be nauseating if not toxic, so cleaning toilets and tubs may need to fall to dad. Vacuuming and mopping can be really hard when mom’s body is already tired or the baby bump gets in the way. Offering to take this off our pregnant partner (especially before she has to ask) can help alleviate a lot of stress and anxiety.

  • Prioritize Her

The relationship a pregnant woman has with her partner is very important. A large study in Scandinavia recently identified that the single biggest factor in antenatal anxiety was a woman’s relationship with her partner, and there’s also a big link between mood disorders antenatally and postnatally. Life can get busy sometimes. There are only so many hours in each day, and yet so much to be packed in. There are work demands, social activities, family to see, and a relationship to nurture. It can be pretty exhausting, and you may at times wonder whether you are neglecting certain areas of your life. Make sure that you are prioritizing your relationship throughout the pregnancy. Make time for her, make the effort, and check in to find out how she’s doing.

  • Create Some Memories

You will soon be a family of three, and though you will find that life becomes more wonderful and rich than ever before, it’s true to say that it will never be the same again. The lazy mornings in bed, the carefree nights out, and the impromptu weekends away will be scarce, at least for a few years. Now is the perfect time to create some special memories together. Take a trip away, spend a weekend lounging in bed, and head off into the countryside for walks. Do whatever you want, just make sure you do it together.

  • Learn about the process with her

Many dads find themselves detaching from the pregnancy process, in part because they haven’t taken the time to learn about it. Go with your child’s mom to prenatal classes and doctor’s appointments. Read books or watch videos about the process of pregnancy. Learn about the labor and delivery process and talk with other fathers about their experiences. Getting more involved in becoming educated about the pregnancy process will help be a support to mom through her experience.

  • Support her emotionally.

Hormones you didn’t know existed will begin to manifest themselves in strange ways during pregnancy. Your partner may cry a lot ​or have moments of total exhilaration. Things that used to be simple and routine now are laden with emotions, both positive and negative. Recognize that these are all natural and to be expected, and that, for the most part, they will not last beyond labor and delivery. Patience, understanding, active listening and just holding her when she wants to be held are big things that will sustain her emotional needs during her pregnancy.

  • Listen and Talk

Pregnancy and childbirth can be a lot to handle especially for first-timers. So make sure your partner knows she can vent to you about all those little (and big!) changes going on now, nerves about an upcoming procedure, anxiety about what kind of mom she’ll be, annoyance at her puffy feet. Even if you think her concerns are outsized or illogical, keep the thought to yourself. Don’t tell her to “stop worrying” or “chill out.” Instead, listen to her, offer to help her find information, go to doctor appointments with her, or take an afternoon off to have some fun together. And since you’re a team, don’t hold back on sharing your fears, too. Remember, it’s totally normal if the ride doesn’t feel quite as carefree as usual: Speak up, and things will go a lot more smoothly for both of you.

  • Be There at all times possible

Tell Her She’s Beautiful, Run Her A Bath, Give Massages, Be Understanding. Many women find it difficult to cope with the changes to their body during pregnancy. She may be worried about stretch marks, concerned about weight gain, or just be feeling not much like her old self. Tell her when she looks great, compliment her on her bump, and make sure she knows just how much you love her. It’s important that you reaffirm her. Sometimes, pregnancy sucks. Give her a break. Pregnancy has its fair share of ups and downs, but you can make it much easier by cutting her a little slack.

Long gone are the days when fathers-to-be are left waiting in the wings to hear the announcement of their child’s birth by doctors and nurses. Instead, more men than ever are playing an active role in the birth of their child. They are keen to learn all they can, in order to help their partner during labour.

Here are some roles for dads these days during Labour: 

  • Before The Birth

Prior to your partner going into labour, it’s a good idea to discuss her birth preferences with her if you haven’t sat down and thought it through with her already. It’s important for you to know what she might like you to do for her in labour bearing in mind that her preferences may actually change when it actually happens! A massage, while she is in labour, might sound wonderful now, however during labour, she might not want to be touched at all. So it’s useful to keep this in mind. When your partner is in labour, you can reaffirm her requests with her then.

  • Share the Coaching

Labor can be a long, hard haul for both of you. You may want to have a friend or family member there to assist. This person can help with coaching and stay with your partner when you need to eat or take breaks. An extra person can provide emotional and physical support for both of you.

  • Cheer From the Sidelines

Many couples choose this option. You’re there to hold your partner’s hand and rub her back. You may snap pictures or take videos of your baby’s birth. You may even cut the umbilical cord. But you’re happy to let others do the hands-on work. Jeffrey Kuller, MD, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Duke University Medical Center, says that providing support is actually the most important thing dads can bring to the labor and delivery. “Dads don’t really need to be the coach,” Kuller says. “That’s what we’re supposed to do.”

  • Wait Outside

In some cases, a woman doesn’t want her baby’s father there. If you haven’t been involved in the pregnancy or are estranged from her, there’s a good chance she won’t. Whatever the reason, if your presence in the room makes it stressful for her, it can make labor and delivery more difficult. Then it’s better for you to be elsewhere.

For most dads, though, being with their partner is a good choice. In one study of how new fathers viewed the experience, 81% said it was rewarding and enjoyable. Regardless of how involved you choose to be, witnessing that final push that sends your child into the world can be an experience like no other.

  • Look After Her

After birth, your partner will need time to recover. She will be exhausted, sore and hormonal, and will be relying on you for support. Help with the baby, and do as many nappy changes as you can. If she’s breastfeeding, make sure that she feels supported, and seek help for her if she is struggling. Cook meals, help your partner get some sleep, and make sure she knows just how much you love her.

Pregnancy is challenging at best, but it brings with it a sense of awe and wonder if you work hard at making it a process where you can feel those things. Being supportive physically and emotionally, learning all you can about the process, covering the needed bases and focusing on preparation will help keep your relationship strong and help you have a sweeter experience together as you anticipate expanding your family circle.

 

The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Dental Care and Pregnancy

It’s important for you to take good care of your teeth and gums while pregnant. Pregnancy causes hormonal changes that increase the risk of developing gum disease which, in turn, can affect the health of your developing baby.  

Pregnancy and dental work questions are common for expecting moms. Preventive dental cleanings and annual exams during pregnancy are not only safe but are recommended. The rise in hormone levels during pregnancy causes the gums to swell, bleed, and trap food causing increased irritation to your gums.

Does regular dental work during pregnancy safe?

Dental work while pregnant, such as cavity fillings and crowns, should be treated to reduce the chance of infection. If dental work is done during pregnancy, the second trimester is ideal. Once you reach the third trimester, it may be very difficult to lie on your back for an extended period of time.

The safest course of action is to postpone all unnecessary dental work until after the birth.

However, sometimes emergency dental work, such as a root canal or tooth extraction, is necessary. Elective treatments, such as teeth whitening and other cosmetic procedures, should be postponed until after the birth. It is best to avoid this dental work while pregnant and avoid exposing the developing baby to any risks, even if they are minimal.

Dental problems that commonly arise during pregnancy include:

  • Gingivitis. Thanks to hormonal changes that exaggerate your body’s response to bacteria in your mouth, pregnant women are more likely to develop this mild form of gum disease, which can cause irritation, redness, swelling, bad breath and possible bleeding.
  • Cavities. Between the need to up your caloric intake and those intense food cravings, you’re probably doing more snacking these days—which can lead to cavities. If you’re suffering from nausea and vomiting, the increased acidity in your mouth can also lead to tooth decay.
  • Gum tumors. If you develop round, red lumps along your gum line, you can chalk them up to hormonal changes and possibly a buildup of plaque. These pregnancy tumors, as they’re known, are rare, but tend to develop during your second trimester and are completely benign, usually fading away after the baby is born.
  • Enamel erosion. If your morning sickness is causing you to vomit frequently, the acids can begin to erode your tooth enamel, increasing your risk of tooth decay.

Dental Care While Pregnant

  • Tell your dentist (and doctor) if you are pregnant. Routine dental care can be done at any time during pregnancy.  Any urgent procedure can be done, as well. All elective dental procedures, however, should be postponed until after the delivery. Before you have your dental appointment, check with your obstetrician to see if she has any special precautions/instructions for you.
  • Tell your dentist the names and dosages of all drugs you are taking – including medications and prenatal vitamins prescribed by your doctor – as well as any specific medical advice your doctor has given you. Your dentist may need to alter your dental treatment plan based on this information.
  • Dental X-rays can be done during pregnancy. Your dentist will use extreme caution to safeguard you and your babies, such as shielding your abdomen and thyroid.  Advances in technology have made X-rays much safer today than in past decades.
  • Don’t skip your dental checkup appointment simply because you are pregnant. Now more than any other time, regular periodontal (gum) exams are very important because pregnancy causes hormonal changes that put you at increased risk for periodontal disease and for tender gums that bleed easily – a condition called pregnancy gingivitis. Pay particular attention to any changes in your gums during pregnancy. If tenderness, bleeding or gum swelling occurs at any time during your pregnancy, talk with your dentist or periodontist as soon as possible.
  • Follow good oral hygiene practices to prevent and/or reduce oral health problems.

After You’ve Had Your Baby

If you experienced any gum problems during your pregnancy, see your dentist soon after delivery to have your entire mouth examined and periodontal health evaluated.

 

The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Resources:

http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/dental-work-and-pregnancy/

 

THE IMPORTANCE OF READING WHILE PREGNANT

Many studies show that reading (particularly from the mother’s relaxing voice) causes a baby’s fetal heart rate to drop. Also, the bond that is experienced between parent and child, later on, can start to occur while Mama or Papa read to the baby prenatally. Participation in reading is also a great way for other family members to connect with the baby.

Reading is one of the most vital talents a child needs in order to be successful in life. Books are one’s best friend and the early we inculcate this habit, it is excellent for the child.  Reading while pregnancy not only increases the knowledge but also helps in making the bond between the mother and the baby stronger. It also triggers better concentration, a good attention span, distressing the mother of her tensions, resulting in a smarter baby.

How Does Reading During Pregnancy Increase Baby’s Intelligence?

A baby’s nerve pathways in the ears and neural system in the brain start developing as early as the twenty-sixth week, which is when the baby will begin responding to sounds and voices regularly. Introducing music and words while your baby is still growing inside of you may increase your baby’s intelligence; many expectant parents can start talking to their babies in the womb, reading to them and playing soothing music to generate a response from their developing brains. Reading provides auditory stimulation for babies’ growing brains and can acclimate children to the sounds of their parents’ voices.

Why is it important to read to your baby?

As stated earlier reading comes with its own pack of benefits for a baby when stories, rhymes, and lullabies are read to her. However, a few points can be taken to notice which help in illustrating the importance of reading to a baby. Given below are few of them:

  • Reading to a baby helps in grasping the rare words thus increasing vocabulary.
  • Reading helps foster good attention span and also in memorizing.
  • Babies can easily understand the meanings of the word.
  • With reading, the closeness between the mother and the baby increases.
  • Babies already get used to reading and this love helps them with their learnings in the future.
  • Reading at an early age helps in brain development and speech improvement.
  • When rhymes and stories are read to a baby in a repetitive manner, it makes the process interactive and full of fun, making it easy for the baby to remember.

When should I start reading to my baby in the womb?

About six months along, a baby is already quite familiar with the sounds of the womb, from the mother’s heartbeat to digestive sounds. From outside the womb, sounds are extremely clear, although about 10 decibels lower. From week 25 forward, a baby’s primary connection and information to the outside world come in the form of sound. By this point, the soothing, rhythmic sounds of a simple story should be quite audible, although the tones and cadences of the voice are more important than enunciation of the actual words.  

Benefits of Reading to a Baby in the Womb?

As per researches, reading to your unborn is loaded with benefits for the mother-child duo. Some of the benefits are discussed as under:

  • Reduction of Maternal Stress and Anxiety- Reading to the baby helps in reducing prenatal stress and worries. A study shows that when a mother reads to a baby in the womb, the heart rate of the baby seems to drop and she calms down and shows less movement stating she is enjoying the read.
  • Improves Bonding Behaviour –The bond between mother and the baby becomes stronger by reading to the unborn baby as the baby starts getting familiar with the mother’s voice and can identify soft and loud tones of music. She feels more relaxed when soft music is played as it helps in resting due to its comforting quality just like a lullaby, whereas if the baby is sleepy and loud music is played, it in turns kicks as it dislikes it. Even the father by just participating in a reading activity, singing or talking to the baby will help in making the bond stronger.
  • Enhanced Concentration and Attention Span- Once the mother starts reading to the baby, they pick up the melody of the song, even though the words do not mean anything to them but they start identifying the voice of the mother. The child also tends to listen to it for a longer time resulting in increased attention span and concentration levels. Repetitive words also get stored in the memory of the unborn and this helps them further when they start their schooling.

Best Types of Books to Read During Pregnancy

Even though your baby can’t understand the real meaning behind the words he hears, he can pick up the rhythm and tone of the sentences and will respond to how the mother responds to whatever she reads. Reading thrillers or horror stories can raise stress levels in the pregnant mother, which can trigger an anxiety response in the baby. Selecting soothing, lighthearted and fun reading material is the best way to entertain your baby during pregnancy, and children’s books are a good resource for short stories that may benefit both the mother and the infant. Since babies typically have short attention spans, dividing reading sessions into small segments hold their attention long enough to derive the full benefit from this experience.

Thus, it can be seen that with an early start of reading to the baby far-reaching results are achieved. So it is best to kick start early for making the mother-baby bond stronger and helping the mother destress from maternal worries and stress. Finally to let the mother enjoy gradually along with the baby, relax, be calm and enjoy the enjoyable moments of parenting leading to strong and firm relationships and a happy, secure and comfortable future that beckons.

The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Resources:

https://www.beingtheparent.com/does-reading-books-during-pregnancy-make-the-child-smart/

https://www.modernmom.com/617de90a-48c3-11e3-87f1-bc764e04a41e.html

https://www.greenchildmagazine.com/reading-to-unborn-baby/

Maintaining a Healthy Pregnancy

A woman’s health is essential to the good health of her baby. Now that you know you’re pregnant, it’s more important than ever to take care of yourself both physically and emotionally. You can boost your chances of having a problem-free pregnancy and a healthy baby.

Women who eat well and exercise regularly along with regular prenatal care are less likely to have complications during pregnancy. They’re also more likely to successfully give birth to a healthy baby.

 

Nutrition  

Now that you’re eating for two, you may be surprised to learn that you only need about 300 additional calories per day. Make sure you get plenty of protein. You now need 70 grams a day compared to 45 grams before you got pregnant. And while your calcium requirement remains the same, it’s more important than ever that you meet it, which is a challenge for many women.

Eating a nutritious diet during pregnancy is linked to good fetal brain development, a healthy birth weight, and it reduces the risk of many birth defects.

A balanced diet will also reduce the risks of anemia, as well as other unpleasant pregnancy symptoms such as fatigue and morning sickness. Good nutrition is thought to help balance mood swings and it may improve labor and delivery as well.

  • At least five portions of fruit and vegetables daily. Fresh, frozen, canned, dried or juice all count.
  • Starchy foods (carbohydrates), such as bread, pasta, and rice. Carbohydrates need to make up just over a third of what you eat. Choose whole grain varieties rather than white, so you get plenty of fiber.
  • Daily servings of protein, such as fish, lean meat, eggs, beans, nuts or pulses.
  • Dairy foods, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt.
  • Two portions of fish a week, at least one of which should be oily, such as salmon, sardines or mackerel.

Fish is full of protein, vitamin D, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for the development of your baby’s nervous system.  If you don’t like fish, you can get omega-3 fatty acids from other foods, such as nuts, seeds, soya products and green leafy vegetables.

Stay well hydrated too. The amount of water in your body increases during pregnancy to help you maintain healthy blood pressure levels.

Weight gain

A simple way to satisfy your nutritional needs during pregnancy is to eat a variety of foods from each of the food groups every day.

Many women are concerned about how much weight they will gain during pregnancy. If your weight was in the normal range before you got pregnant, a weight gain of 25 to 35 pounds is recommended. It’s important to discuss and monitor your weight and nutritional needs with your doctor throughout the pregnancy. Weight gain recommendations will vary for women who are underweight before conceiving, for those who are obese, and for those with multiple pregnancies, such as twins.

What not to eat  

To protect mom and baby from bacteria or parasitic infection, such as Listeriosis, make sure that all milk, cheese, and juice are pasteurized. Don’t eat meat from the deli counter or hot dogs unless they are thoroughly heated. Also avoid refrigerated, smoked seafood and undercooked meat, poultry, and seafood. If you or someone in your family has had a history of allergies, speak to your doctor about any foods to avoid.

Prenatal vitamins  

Most nutrients needed during pregnancy should come from food, but prenatal vitamin supplements play an important role. Pregnant women are often too busy to plan three nutrient-filled meals every day, and a vitamin supplement can provide the extra nutrition that the developing fetus needs.

Folic acid (folate) is a B vitamin that is very important for pregnant women. Folic acid supplements are taken several weeks prior to pregnancy and for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy have been found to lower the risk of having a child with a neural tube defect such as spina bifida.

Most prenatal vitamins contain 1 milligram of folic acid. Talk to your doctor before you start taking prenatal vitamins. They can help you decide which type is best for you.

You also need a daily supplement of 10mcg of vitamin D. Vitamin D is important for the development of your baby’s skeleton and future bone health.

If you’re worried you’re not eating well, or you’re too sick to eat much, you may want to take your folic acid and vitamin D in a multivitamin.

Exercise

Moderate exercise is not only considered safe for pregnant women, it’s encouraged and thought to benefit both mom and growing baby. Exercising 30 minutes a day is proven to help circulation, strengthen muscles, and decrease stress. However, it’s important to talk to your doctor before starting any exercise regime, particularly if you are in a high-risk category. If you were not physically active before getting pregnant, talk with your doctor about what exercise you can do during your pregnancy.  

For the majority of normal pregnancies, exercise can:

  • increase energy levels
  • improve sleep
  • strengthen muscles and endurance
  • reduce backaches
  • relieve constipation

Aerobic exercises, such as walking, jogging, and swimming, stimulate the heart and lungs as well as muscle and joint activity, which help to process and utilize oxygen. Aerobic activity also improves circulation and increases muscle tone and strength.

There are many exercise classes designed specifically for pregnant women that help to build strength, improve posture and alignment, and promote better circulation and respiration.

Squatting and Kegel exercises should be added to the exercise routine. Kegel exercises focus on the vaginal and perineal muscles. The exercise is done in the same way a woman stops and starts the flow of urine. The perineal muscle is tightened for a count of three and then the muscle is slowly relaxed. The period of time the muscle is contracted can be increased over time as muscle control becomes easier. Relaxing the perineal muscles can help during the birth of the baby. Kegel exercises are thought to help women maintain good muscle tone and control in the perineal area, which can aid in delivery and recovery after birth.

A good exercise program can give you the strength and endurance you’ll need to carry the weight you gain during pregnancy, help prevent or ease aches and pains, improve sluggish circulation in your legs, and help you handle the physical stress of labor. It will also make getting back into shape after your baby’s born much easier.

Get some Rest 

The fatigue you feel in the first and third trimesters is your body’s way of telling you to slow down. So listen up and take it easy as much as you can. If you can’t swing a nap in the middle of the day, give yourself a break and let your other responsibilities slide a little. If you can’t sleep, at least put your feet up and read a book or leaf through a magazine.

Relaxation techniques such as yoga, stretching, deep breathing, and massage are all great ways to combat stress and get a better night’s sleep.

Cutting out BAD habits

  • Say no to alcohol:  Don’t drink while you’re pregnant: Any alcohol you drink reaches your baby rapidly through your bloodstream, crossing the placenta, and your baby can end up with higher levels of blood alcohol than you have. Drinking also increases your risk for miscarriage and stillbirth. So play it safe — avoid alcohol completely 
  • Swear off all illicit drugs:  Any drug you use gets into your baby’s bloodstream as well. Some studies suggest that marijuana may restrict your baby’s growth and cause withdrawal symptoms (like tremors) in your newborn. Using cocaine is extremely dangerous. It restricts the flow of blood to the uterus and may lead to miscarriage, growth problems, placental abruption, or premature delivery.  Your baby could be stillborn or have birth defects or developmental and behavioral problems.
  • Stop smoking:  Some research has even linked smoking to an increased risk of having a baby with a cleft lip or palate. Not convinced yet? Smoking during pregnancy increases the chance that a baby will be stillborn or die in infancy.
  • Cut back on caffeine:  caffeine has no nutritive value and makes it harder for your body to absorb iron,  something pregnant women are already low on. It’s also a stimulant, so it can make it even harder for you to get a good night’s sleep, give you headaches, and contribute to heartburn. Limit your coffee drinking or consider switching to decaf.
  • Eliminate environmental dangers:  Some jobs can be hazardous to you and your developing baby. If you’re routinely exposed to chemicals, heavy metals (like lead or mercury), certain biologic agents, or radiation, you’ll need to make some changes as soon as possible.

Take care of your emotional health

Many women feel like they’re on an emotional roller coaster at one time or another during pregnancy. But if your mood swings are extreme or interfering with your daily life, you may be suffering from depression, a relatively common condition. Share your feelings with your caregiver so you can get a referral for professional help.

 

The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Resources: https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/healthy-pregnancy#prenatal-care

 

When to Stop Working During Pregnancy

Working during pregnancy is a choice. Till the time you are okay to work, you can. Many women prefer to work during pregnancy. In fact, making your mind engaged in something can be a good exercise for your mind which is much needed. But you have to be careful about the work pressure. Do not lean your brain too much into the work. But, apart from all, you have to be careful about your condition. If you can not work anymore you should stop working as your baby’s health is much important than any other things.

 

Deciding when to stop working before baby makes her appearance is a choice that’s determined by a variety of factors. For many women, pregnancy health and personal comfort are the only reason to stop. We watch our bodies change by the week. We watch our energy level shift. Going to work is more challenging sometimes because growing a baby is using a lot of energy.

 

Some moms choose to work up until the very last minute in order to save up their maternity leave days for after baby arrives. Others choose a “last day” in advance in order to have a break before their due date, or make arrangements to work from home in the final days.

These two factors usually influence how you decide the right time to stop working:

Your Work Type: Is your job very physical?

As your pregnancy progresses, the many changes your body goes through often creates a strain on your back and legs. Nerves may get pinched. Core muscles weaken and don’t support your back like they did. Swelling may make your legs or feet ache or have shooting pains. Your energy level may not be as robust as it was.

Does your job put you or your baby at risk?      

Are you exposed to toxic chemicals, fumes, machinery, radiation or other workplace factors?

These factors can affect the development of your baby as well as your own health. Pregnancy changes your biology in so many invisible ways.

Pregnancy Health Status:

Has your health or your baby’s health changed?

Whether you’re low risk or high, regular prenatal checkups matter. They are your best bet to discover if you or baby need a change in routine or more rest. If your normal pregnancy health status changes into a more stressed state your work schedule or job may have to change to keep you and baby safe.

3 Signs It’s Time to Stop Working   

  1. You’re losing steam in the middle of the day. Sleepless nights are affecting your daytime performance and causing you to be sluggish, grouchy or forgetful. Plus, you find yourself stressing about all the neglected preparations waiting for you at home.
  2. Sitting and standing are uncomfortable. If seating at your office chair becomes quite stressful for you, then please take this as an alarm to stop your work. If your baby bump is growing and you are feeling heavy day by day there is no point in stressing yourself. Moreover, office work means climbing stairs, carrying files etc. Gradually you may feel that you are having an immense number of problems in standing because you were seating on the chair for a long time. Your body needs rest and your mind too.
  3. You’re having symptoms of early labor. During the later stages of pregnancy, you may notice that you are having early labor symptoms. These symptoms include lower back aches, cramping or spotting. These symptoms immediately need doctor’s attention. That is why you should stop working at that time and meet your doctor as soon as possible.

 

 

The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

 

 

 

The Benefits of Eating Healthy during Pregnancy

A healthy diet is an important part of a healthy lifestyle at any time, but especially vital if you’re pregnant or planning a pregnancy. Healthy eating keeps you feeling good and gives your baby the essential nutrients they need in utero.

 

You know that it’s important to eat healthy to reduce the incidence of disease and to promote longevity. In pregnancy, it is even more important to eat healthy as you are now eating for two. Your growing baby is vulnerable to toxins, and he or she needs all the nutrients you can provide to grow into a strong and healthy baby.

 

Dieting During Your Pregnancy

What does diet during pregnancy mean? When we refer to diet during pregnancy, we are not speaking about restricting calories or trying to lose weight. Dieting to lose weight during pregnancy can be hazardous to you and your baby, especially since a weight loss regimen may restrict important nutrients such as iron, folic acid, and other important vitamins and minerals.

Therefore, we recommend avoiding popular diets such as Atkins, South Beach, The Zone, Raw Food Diet, and so on.

The type of diet we encourage during pregnancy refers to fine-tuning your eating habits to ensure you are receiving adequate nutrition for the health of you and your baby. Healthy eating during pregnancy is critical to your baby’s growth and development.

Overall, aim for a balanced diet, with an appropriate blend of all the five food groups:

  1. vegetables and legumes
  2. bread and cereals
  3. milk, yogurt and cheese
  4. meat, poultry, fish, and alternatives
  5. fruit.

Avoid alcohol during pregnancy as there is no safe level in regards harm to yourself or baby.

 

Foods containing protein help the baby grow. Meat, fish, chicken, eggs, milk, cheeses, nuts, beans and peas are all good sources of protein. Aim to drink 6-8 glasses of water every day – most town water contains fluoride, which helps your growing baby’s teeth develop strong enamel. Some water supplies say from a tank do not have fluoride. You will probably find that you are more hungry than usual, but you don’t need to ‘eat for two’ – even if you are expecting twins or triplets.

Have a healthy breakfast every day because this can help you to avoid snacking on foods that are high in fat and sugar.

Eating healthily often means just changing the amounts of different foods you eat so that your diet is varied, rather than cutting out all your favorites.

 

Benefits for both you and your baby to eating healthy during pregnancy. Here are just a few of them:

Reduces Pregnancy Complications

Women are vulnerable to a number of complications during pregnancy, including high blood pressure and gestational diabetes. Eating well can keep your blood pressure, blood sugar levels and weight at healthy levels to reduce the incidence of such complications. Eating healthy foods can also help prevent or treat common pregnancy maladies, such as morning sickness and leg cramps. Ensuring that your diet is full of lean proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates can help lessen or prevent these symptoms.

Reduces Incidence of Birth Defects

Exposure to certain chemicals or a deficit in certain nutrients can lead to birth defects in your baby. The lack of key nutrients such as folic acid has been linked to higher rates of birth defects such as spina bifida. It is important to eat natural, unprocessed foods as much as possible during pregnancy to avoid harmful substances. It is also critical to take a good prenatal vitamin to ensure adequate intake of key nutrients such as folic acid and iron.

Ensures a Healthy Weight for Your Baby

Babies with a low birth weight suffer more health problems and potentially serious complications than babies born at a healthy weight. A low birth weight can set babies up for a lifetime of health complications or disabilities. Ensure that you are eating nutritious foods and adequate calories to promote healthy weight gain in your baby. You should be eating at least 300 more calories per day during pregnancy, most or all of which should come from nutritious foods like vegetables and whole grains.

Sets the Stage for Good Health

What you eat while you’re pregnant can influence your baby’s development and what he or she eats later in life. If you eat poorly, not only will your baby develop a taste for foods that are low in nutrition, but he or she will also have a greater risk for developing obesity and serious diseases like diabetes. However, if you eat a nutritious diet during pregnancy, you promote healthy development in your baby that will stay with him or her throughout life. You will also be encouraging your baby’s own healthy eating habits.

Helps You Lose Weight Faster

Most women are keen to lose their extra pregnancy weight as quickly as possible. Eating nutritiously throughout your pregnancy not only makes it more likely that you will gain a healthy amount of weight but also makes it easier for you to shed that weight after pregnancy. Eating well during pregnancy sets up healthy habits that you can continue after your baby is born, making it easier for you to eat well and to maintain a healthy weight. You’ll also be a positive role model for your baby to teach healthy habits!

Eating a healthy diet is especially important during pregnancy. Everything you eat has an impact on your baby’s growth and development, as well as your own health. Eating well can ensure that your baby grows and develops properly and that you experience fewer complications from pregnancy.

 

 

The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Resources:  https://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/healthy-diet-during-pregnancy