How to Bond with Your Unborn Baby?

Pregnancy is just the beginning of a life-long love affair with your child. The easy weeks can be tiring and stressful, and it’s easy to feel a bit disconnected from your growing baby. But as your pregnancy progresses, and your bump grows, you’ll start to feel much more like a mom to be.

 

To help prepare for your new life, spend a little time bonding with your unborn baby when you can. We’ve got some great tips to help you get in touch with this new little person.

Here are 10 things you can try to help you bond with your bump:

  • Use Your Voice. When your baby is born, she will recognize your voice and turn towards you whenever she hears it. She will remember your voice because she has spent months listening to you give presentations at work. Spend some time each day talking to your baby, telling her about the things you will do together, touching your belly, reading your favorite childhood book to your baby. You can put headphones on your belly and play music for your baby. You can sing your favorite lullaby. All really great ways to connect with your baby during pregnancy. You may find that your baby responds to the sound of your voice, and begins kicking and nudging you as you talk. If you feel uncomfortable talking to your bump, trying singing instead.

 

  • Go Swimming. Swimming is a great way to take the weight off your feet, and it even gives you some idea of what life is like for your baby! Not only is swimming a safe way to exercise but since your baby’s floating in fluid too, it gives you a chance to relate to her. No matter how big your bump, the gentle support of the water will give you some welcome relief in the later stages of your pregnancy. You could also look out for aquanatal classes. These are an ideal opportunity to tone up and make new friends.

 

 

  • Massage your Bump. A soothing way to bond with your baby is to gently massage your belly. This is safe to do after the first three months of pregnancy, and it’s a great way to relax and wind down. An aromatherapy massage is a great way to pamper yourself. It gives you a wonderful chance to sit still and spend time thinking of and talking to your baby. Try adding one or two drops of lavender, frankincense or ylang-ylang to a carrier oil for massage. All of these oils are safe to use after the first trimester. Ask your partner if he’d like to give you a massage. It may help him to share in your pregnancy more easily.

 

  • Nudge Back. For now, your baby’s only method of communication is bumps, kicks, and nudges. You have probably noticed that your baby becomes particularly active when you sit down to rest. Play with your baby by responding to her movements, gently poke back when she nudges you, and see what she does. You can also rub your belly in the area you feel movements.

 

  • Take a Yoga, Classes. Prenatal Yoga classes give you a chance to escape the humdrum of daily life and focus on your pregnancy for a while. The yoga teacher will talk you through each pose, explaining how it is beneficial during pregnancy. You will also be given time to relax and focus on your developing baby. This is a great way to guarantee yourself time to focus, which can be difficult to find when you are tying up loose ends at work, packing a hospital bag and preparing the house for a new baby. Yoga has been proven to be beneficial for depression and anxiety during pregnancy.

 

Every pregnancy and every pregnant woman is unique.

 

  • Have a Bath. A nice long soak is a perfect way to get away from it all and enjoy some real “me time”. It’s also a great chance to devote some attention to your baby. Just make sure the water’s not too hot, as this can be bad for your baby. Run a warm bath and perhaps light some candles and play soft music in the background for a soothing ambiance. Then simply lie still, breathe deeply, relax completely and picture your baby. Try taking a few minutes to visualize yourself holding her when she finally arrives. Imagine what she might look like, what you might say to her and how that first cuddle might feel. If you’re well into your second trimester, you may have already felt your baby’s movements. However, these can be easy to miss when you’re busy during the day. A nice quiet bath is a perfect time to focus on your baby’s squirming and kicking. Get to know the pattern of your baby’s movements, and imagine how big and strong she’s getting!

 

 

  • Get Dad Involved. It’s not just you who wants to develop a lasting bond with your baby – dad-to-be will want a slice of the action too! When you feel the baby kick, place your partner’s hands over your tummy so that he can feel the movements too, and let him respond by rubbing your bump in the same spot. He could even read baby a book or two. You may find that you develop a stronger bond with both the baby and the dad-to-be simply by watching their relationship strengthen.

 

 

  • Take Bump Photos. Not only will your own photos make a lovely keepsake once the pregnancy is over, but will also help you to focus on your growing baby during pregnancy. Set a time each week to take a photograph of yourself sideways on. As you compare the bump photos from each week, you will be able to see how much your baby is changing and growing during the pregnancy. This visual reminder may help to make the pregnancy seem more real and will give you time to reflect upon the changes occurring. Booking a professional pregnancy photo shoot towards the end of your pregnancy can make you feel special too, where yourself and your partner (or yourself alone) can have some gorgeous moments captured by a professional, that you will no doubt treasure forever.

 

 

  • Respond to Baby’s Kicks. You may start to feel your baby’s movements from about 18 weeks to 20 weeks if this is your first baby. Feeling your baby move can be wonderfully reassuring after weeks of having no idea what she’s getting up to in there! Responding to your baby’s kicks is about as close as you will get to two-way communication before she’s born. And you can do it at any time, wherever you are. Rub your bump when your baby moves and you may find that she kicks back at you. There’s nothing quite as exciting as feeling your baby respond to your touch for the very first time.

 

 

  • Go for a Walk. Try taking some time out to bond with your bump by going for a walk. It’s great exercise and easy to fit into your daily routine, even if you’re working. Going for a stroll gives you space to think about your baby without too many distractions or interruptions. You can even have a discreet chat with your bump as you go. If you didn’t do much exercise before you became pregnant, start with a gentle stroll at a pace that’s comfortable for you. Once you’ve got into the habit of walking regularly, you can build up to faster walks lasting between 20 minutes and 30 minutes. You could alternate a few minutes of brisk walking with a few minutes at a slower pace.

 

 

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.

Calcium During Pregnancy

When you’re pregnant, your developing baby needs calcium to build strong bones and teeth. Calcium also helps your baby grow a healthy heart, nerves, and muscles as well as develop a normal heart rhythm and blood-clotting abilities.

 

Your body will do whatever it needs to take care of your baby, including stealing. Your body actually takes calcium from your own bones or teeth to give it to your little one. So if you want your bones and teeth to stay strong, you need to get extra calcium while your baby’s growing inside you.

What Calcium Does for You

It’s common knowledge that calcium is crucial for proper fetal bone and teeth development. But were you aware that you and your baby need calcium to maintain a normal heartbeat? Besides building teeth and bones, calcium also keeps your blood and muscles moving and helps your nerves send messages from your brain to the rest of your body.

Calcium You Need During Pregnancy

Your body can’t make calcium, so you need to get it from food or supplements. While you’re pregnant, try to get at least 1,000 mg of calcium every day. If you’re 18 or younger, then you need at least 1,300 mg of calcium every day.

 

Dietary sources of calcium   

  • Yogurt, 8 oz, plain low-fat: 415 mg
  • Orange juice, 6 oz of calcium-fortified OJ: 375 mg
  • Sardines, 3 oz canned with bones in oil: 325 mg
  • Cheddar cheese, 1.5 oz: 307 mg
  • Milk, 8 oz nonfat: 299 mg
  • Tofu, 1/2 cup, firm, made with calcium sulfate: 253 mg
  • Salmon, 3 oz canned with bones: 181 mg
  • Cereal, 1 cup of calcium-fortified types : 100 to 1,000 mg
  • Kale, 1 cup, cooked: 94 mg
  • Soy beverage, 8 oz, calcium-fortified: 80 to 500 mg:
  • Bok choy, 1 cup, raw: 74 mg

Here are a few examples on how to reach that 1,000 mg goal: Drink 3 cups of milk or calcium-fortified orange juice or choose a cereal that has 1,000 mg of calcium.

Know About Calcium Supplements

Whether you were calcium deficient prior to pregnancy and if you’re having trouble meeting your RNI with food alone. Before popping calcium pills, make sure to talk to your GP first and have a dietitian review your current diet.

An excessive calcium intake (from supplements) can harm your baby: some babies fail to thrive, while others suffer from various symptoms ranging from mild constipation, muscle weakness to severe seizures. According to studies, excess calcium intake can also hinder the absorption of other minerals such as iron, magnesium, and zinc which are also essential for both mother and child.

 

 

Calcium supplements come in two forms: carbonate and citrate.

  • Calcium carbonate is less expensive and works best if you take it with food.
  • Calcium citrate works just as well with food or on an empty stomach.

Many calcium supplements also contain vitamins D, which helps your body absorb calcium.

Limit to 500 mg at a time. To make sure your body absorbs the most calcium possible, take only 500 mg of calcium at a time. For example, this might mean taking a 500 mg supplement with breakfast and another with dinner.

 

 

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/get-the-calcium-you-need-during-pregnancy#1

How to Have a Smart Baby

Living a healthy lifestyle while you’re expecting helps your baby grow big and strong, but did you know it can make her smarter too? In fact, simple choices that you make every day, from eating a leafy-green salad for lunch to hitting the treadmill for a workout, can help build her brain. What you do while you’re pregnant can have as much impact on your child’s brain development and future intelligence as what you do after you give birth and taking care of yourself now will help prepare your baby to be an active learner.

 

Lowered Autism Odds:

Pop Your Prenatal Vitamin Daily 

Taking it will help ensure that you get the balance of nutrients your baby needs, like folic acid and vitamin B12 to make red blood cells, vitamin C to produce collagen, vitamin D for bone building, and zinc for brain development. If your vitamin upsets your stomach, don’t just ditch it: Try taking it with a meal, or talk to your doctor about switching brands.

Get Omega-3s   

Fish, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, may boost your baby’s brain power. In a study from Harvard Medical School, the more fish women ate during the second trimester, the higher their babies scored on a mental-development test at 6 months of age. Omega-3s are found in brain-cell membranes, so there are plenty of ways they can influence brain function, says Lisa Eliot, Ph.D., assistant professor at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, in Chicago. If you don’t like fish, talk to your doctor about taking a fish-oil supplement.

Pump Up Iron  

Your iron intake needs to double during pregnancy since iron helps deliver life-sustaining oxygen to your baby. Iron helps promote the growth of healthy red blood cells, which carry oxygen to your baby’s brain. Trouble is, many women enter pregnancy already deficient, says Somer. If your baby’s deprived of oxygen in the womb, the risk of poor growth — and lower IQ — increases. Ask your doctor to test you for iron deficiency. Then make sure your diet includes iron-rich foods like lean beef, chicken, legumes, beans, spinach, tofu and as well as iron-enhanced cereals.

 

 

 

Increased Intelligence:

Working out will give you the stamina you need for labor and delivery, and it can also strengthen your baby’s brain. According to a study in the Journal of the American College of Sports Medicine, children of moms who exercised during pregnancy scored higher on tests of language skills and intelligence at age 5 compared with the kids of sedentary moms. Why? Moderate levels of cortisol — a stress hormone that’s also secreted when you exercise — promote the growth and development of your baby’s brain, as well as his other major organs. Experts recommend 30 minutes of moderate exercise for pregnant women on all or most days of the week.

 

Maximum Brainpower:

Fetal Brain Development

The fetal brain goes through several stages of development. During the first trimester, the nerve cells form but are not actually developed as a brain. Impulses begin to fire without pattern or direction. Sensory organs and nerves are not developed at this point, so the fetus does not feel pain. During this time, it’s especially important to avoid chemicals and dangerous substances. The first trimester is a time of exponential growth.

During the second trimester, nerve functions start to synchronize and differentiate. The sensory organ begins development, as do the nerves. About the 5th month, the baby can now start to feel, although the sensations they feel are very limited and erratic. Those healthy fats provide faster development and healthier nerve connections.

During the last trimester, the brain is forming learning abilities and beginning memories. This is a time where exposure to classical music and soothing sounds will affect the child’s disposition later in life.

Be Mindful of Mercury

Fish is good for your baby’s brain, but you do need to take a few precautions. Mercury contamination in some fish may be harmful. The Food and Drug Administration advises all pregnant women to avoid shark, tilefish, king mackerel, and swordfish completely since they contain the highest levels. Some lower-mercury options: salmon, catfish, pollack, whitefish, tilapia, and shrimp. Even with these varieties, you should limit all fish to 12 ounces (about two meals) per week. And opt for canned light tuna over canned white albacore, which has more mercury.

Munch on Fruits and Veggies   

Produce contains antioxidants, which are good for your baby. “Antioxidants protect the baby’s brain tissue from damage,” says nutritionist Elizabeth Somer, RD, author of Nutrition for a Healthy Pregnancy. Choose deep-colored produce — like dark leafy greens, papaya, blueberries, and tomatoes — for the biggest antioxidant punch. Regular consumption of fruit is known to reduce a variety of health complications such as Alzheimer’s or preventing weight gain but now new research has suggested that we may benefit from a diet high in fruit earlier than we thought.

Child development experts in Canada found that women who eat fruit during their pregnancy are more likely to give birth to smarter children than those who do not or eat very little fruit.

Avoid Alcohol

Though fetal alcohol syndrome is associated with heavy alcohol abuse during pregnancy, even moderate amounts of beer, wine, or liquor can harm a baby’s brain, according to the March of Dimes. Light to moderate drinking can lead to problems with learning, attention, memory, and social skills down the road.

Don’t Gain Too Much

You’re eating for two now, but packing on too many pounds during pregnancy ups your chances of a premature delivery — and babies born early may be at a disadvantage when it comes to learning. “Premature delivery is one of the greatest risk factors for mental impairment,” says Dr. Lise Eliot. “There’s a strong link between birth weight, IQ score, and school achievement.” What’s the connection? Babies born early miss out on the unique nourishment that the placenta provides, are exposed to stimuli they’re normally protected from in the womb and are more vulnerable to infection. To keep your weight healthy, follow these guidelines:

  • If you’re currently a normal weight, gain 25-35 pounds.
  • f you’re currently overweight, gain 15-25 pounds.
  • If you’re currently underweight, gain 28-40 pounds.

Your baby’s brain will develop through various experiences and exercises. Senses of touch, smell, sight, sound, and taste will also aid this development process. You need to start giving your baby different sensory experiences from an early age, to help him identify and differentiate things. Development of his cognitive and motor skills will help you know how to raise a smart baby.

 

 

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.parents.com/pregnancy/my-baby/how-to-have-a-smart-baby-pregnancy-brain-power-boosters/

Benefits of Drinking Water During Pregnancy

Whether you’re pregnant or not, your body needs water to function properly. However, drinking water during pregnancy is twice as important and critical to the health of you and your new bundle of joy.

Water is responsible for carrying oxygen and nutrients to our cells, tissues, and organs, staying hydrated ensures that essential nutrients are being transported to meet the developmental needs of your growing baby. Drinking water also helps preserve an adequate level of amniotic fluid and even aids fetal kidney function by facilitating the amount of waste your baby’s kidneys filter.

 

Hydration: 

Water can also help keep the aches and growing pains associated with being pregnant at bay, as it helps prevent dehydration —a main contributor to the headaches, cramping, and dizziness you may experience during pregnancy.

Some women even claim that drinking water helps alleviate morning sickness, heartburn, and indigestion. Hydration becomes especially important during the third trimester because dehydration can trigger contractions that can lead to preterm labor.

A common sign of dehydration is “maternal overheating.” Having adequate water in your system will help you regulate your body heat; however, if you are not drinking enough water during pregnancy, you can be prone to overheating. A sign of being well-hydrated is having a clear urine color, as opposed to dark yellow.

A pregnant woman needs, on average, approximately 10 cups (2.3 liters) of fluid per day.

Morning Sickness

Around 80 percent of expectant mothers experience some form of morning sickness during pregnancy. Some women feel sick all day, while others merely feel queasy before eating breakfast. Certain symptoms, including vomiting, increase your risk of dehydration. Because dehydration can aggravate nausea, proper hydration may help relieve some symptoms of morning sickness. Signs of dehydration include dry mouth, urinating less frequently, dizziness and cracked lips. Consult your physician if you experience signs of dehydration or are unable to keep fluids down.

 

If you make it a priority to stay adequately hydrated over the next nine months, you’ll be setting your little one up for a healthy life outside the womb. So here’s to you and your little one cheers to a healthy pregnancy!

 

Foods to Keep You Hydrated during Pregnancy  

Watermelon  Water content: 92%

With “water” in its name, of course, this fruit makes the list! Watermelon is a great way to add more fluid to your day. Enjoy watermelon slices or dice and toss with fresh mint, crumbled feta cheese, and a splash of balsamic vinegar for a refreshing snack.

 

 

 

Strawberries Water content: 91% 

These little berries provide bountiful nutrition but also supply a solid amount of water too. At 91 percent water, it’s smart to add this naturally hydrating food to salads, yogurt parfaits, smoothies, cereal, and more.

 

Cucumbers Water content: 95%

Looking for a little crunch with your hydration? Try cucumbers! They supply plenty of water and taste great in your Greek salad, as a dipper for hummus, or as an addition to your taco.

 

Yogurt

Water content: 85%

How about a little protein to go with your water? Yogurt supplies a healthy dose of non-meat protein, along with bone-building calcium and water. Top it with fresh berries for even more nutritious hydration.

 

Lettuce Water content: 95%

Speaking of crunch, did you know that bowl of lettuce you’re eating is loaded with water too? Fill up your salad plate once or even twice to get a refreshing boost of water.

 

If staying hydrated is a struggle for you, get in the habit of bringing a water bottle with you everywhere you go. Having a water bottle handy throughout the day will remind you to stay hydrated and challenge you to drink the recommended amount of water each day.

 

 

 

 

Third Trimester Must-Haves

The final trimester of pregnancy is an exhausting but exciting time!

 

You’re in your third trimester! Can you believe it? Hopefully, everything has been going smoothly and now you’re finally at the point where you’re preparing for the last few months and getting ready for labor. So exciting! I will say, a lot of women describe the third trimester as the longest trimester since you are getting more uncomfortable by the day and you are so ready to have your body back and meet your baby. You’re almost there though!

Listed below are my must-haves that every woman should have to help her have the best and most enjoyable third trimester.

  • Comfy Shoes

With each passing day, your baby is getting bigger. Before you know it, it will feel like you are carrying a bowling ball with you everywhere you go. At this point, the extra weight is getting harder on your feet so getting some comfortable shoes are an absolute MUST! You’ll want to get a pair of flats, sandals, or comfortable sneakers (or all of them) that you can easily slip on and off to make standing and walking throughout the day a bit more bearable.

  • Birth Ball

A birth ball is wonderful to have because it strengthens your legs, back, and core muscles — which can condition the abdominal area involved in childbirth — and it can aid in relaxation, comfort, and physical relief. A birth ball is good for exercising the deep, supportive muscles in the lower back and surrounding spine so you’ll have better posture and be less prone to a backache and sciatica. What’s also great is that you can use it during labor and even after when you have your baby. Being able to bounce on it to soothe your crying baby and save your joints at the same time is awesome.

  • Heating Pad

Your back and hips will be a lot more aches and sore towards the end of your pregnancy. When you can’t get a Massage or see a chiropractor, remember that heat is your friend. You can heat a rice bag or use a heating pad before you go to bed to help give you relief and relax your muscles.

NOTE: Make sure that you turn off the heating pad before you go to sleep to avoid overheating and burning your skin. Also, heat is a wonderful thing to help you during labor, too. Bring these things in your hospital bag.

  • Maternity Leggings

The clothing gods heard our prayers and miraculously made comfy, stretchy leggings a chic wardrobe choice you can practically wear anytime, anywhere. If pregnancy has led to varicose veins and swollen ankles, these maternity compression leggings may be just the thing to offer some relief.

  • Loose Tops

Nothing more comfortable than a loose top. A stretchy tee shirt is long enough to cover not only the bump but also the bum- which is tres important when you live in leggings!

  • Body Pillow

C-shape pillow cradles you from head to toe, even taking the place of your regular pillow. One end is for your head and neck; the other tucks between your legs to realign your hips as you sleep. A body pillow is a great help in getting best sleep during the 3rd trimester.

  • Water Bottle

It’s important to keep hydrated during this stage of pregnancy. Staying hydrated is paramount to your comfort and health. Invest in a giant bottle/cup so that you don’t have to keep getting up and refilling your water bottle. If plain water is getting too boring, switch it up with coconut water, sparkling water, or add a bit of juice.

  • Raspberry Leaf Tea

Raspberry Leaf Tea is highly recommended to start drinking during your third trimester every day to help prepare your body for labor and delivery. It’s great for uterine health and helps prevent post-delivery hemorrhaging.

  • Books and Resources

It’s time to move on from the pregnancy/delivery books and start looking at resources on actually taking care of a newborn baby. There are lots of great books that have good tips and advice for baby’s feeding, sleeping, and overall scheduling. Watch TV shows and get new ways on how to soothe your baby – every new parent needs to know those tricks. They really talk about the science behind it all.

  • Postpartum Doula

So many expecting couples are focusing on the labor and birth of their baby (and rightfully so, it’s very important), but they forget to think about what happens after giving birth – taking care of a baby. Start looking into postpartum doulas in your area. They can help you with breastfeeding, pumping, bottle-feeding, showing you had to soothe, swaddle, all types of newborn care, and so much more. Whether you want help during the day or at night, a postpartum doula is an amazing support person and resource.

 

 

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.

 

3 Important Exercises during 3rd Trimester

Even though you may not feel like doing much at all as your belly grows week after week, it’s important to keep moving throughout pregnancy, including in the awkward and uncomfortable last weeks. Third-trimester exercises are some of the most important, helping to alleviate aches and pains while also preparing your body for labor. These exercises will open up the hips and pelvis, strengthening the muscles you’ll be using during childbirth.

“Don’t let fatigue rule the end of your pregnancy. Keep up your exercise schedule with this easy-to-follow plan for months 8-9 of your pregnancy.”

 

Pelvic Floor Exercises  

Pelvic floor exercises help to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor. These muscles come under great strain during pregnancy and childbirth.

The pelvic floor muscles are overstretched and weakened underneath that weight so it is important to do pelvic floor exercises to maintain muscle tone. If your pelvic floor muscles are weakened, you may find that you leak urine when you cough, sneeze or strain. This is quite common and you needn’t feel embarrassed. It’s known as stress incontinence and it can continue after pregnancy.

Squats

The full squat position is a passive position that allows gravity to open the pelvis, causing the pelvic floor muscles to engage. Use a prop if you need to, placing a rolled-up towel or yoga mat under your heels if they don’t reach the ground.

Squatting can open your pelvic outlet by 10 percent. When you squat to induce labor, it creates more room for the baby to move down into the birth canal. Squatting during the third trimester helps strengthen your leg muscles. Strong legs are a must when it comes to labor and the final push to give birth. It eases constipation and pressure on the pelvic floor – a blessing during the last few weeks of your pregnancy.

Caution:

Though squatting to induce labor is harmless in most cases, but you need to keep some points in mind. If your baby is in breach position, squatting can prove to be harmful. This is because squatting will force her to descend the birth canal without giving her the chance to move into proper position. So talk to your doctor to make sure your baby is head down before you try squatting.

Gentle Abs  

Given all the stretching that your ab muscles go through during pregnancy to accommodate your growing baby, you wouldn’t be the first woman to wonder if there must be something you can do to keep them in shape and speed recovery after birth. And while pregnancy isn’t the time to strive for the chiseled core you’ve always dreamed of, you can certainly take a few safe steps, with the guidance of your practitioner, to maintain your fitness and keep your core strong during pregnancy. In fact, exercising your abs during pregnancy has lots of benefits, including reduced risk for back pain and potentially even a speedier labor.

You can do abdominal exercise in the late stages of pregnancy, as long as they are gentle exercises that don’t over-strain the abdominal muscles. A basic pelvic tilt is a great place to start and is safe at all stages. For more of a challenge, you can add movement to the pelvic tilt by incorporating knee lifts and toe taps.

 

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://www.momjunction.com/articles/benefits-of-doing-squats-to-induce-labor_00113886/#gref

https://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/pelvic-floor-exercises

8 Natural Ways to Induce Labor

As you’re approaching your due date, you’re becoming more and more ready and anxious to meet your little one. Your back is aching, your feet are sore, you can’t sleep comfortably, and most of all you’re so excited to finally see the sweet little face you’ve been dreaming about in person.

 

Your due date is an educated guess for when your baby might make its arrival. While many women deliver perfectly healthy babies two weeks before or after this presumed due date, it’s recommended that women wait until 40 weeks for delivery. It’s best to let mother nature decide when your baby comes.  

Be aware: Any type of labor induction increases the risk of cesarean delivery and other emergency interventions. Always talk to your doctor before trying to induce labor on your own.

8 things that you can do yourself to naturally induce labor

  1. Nipple Stimulation

 

Nipple stimulation is one of the most reliable options. It helps release the hormone called oxytocin which is the hormone that causes your uterus to contract. (Oxytocin is also called the love hormone since it’s released when you feel in love.) Oxytocin is the hormone that causes the uterus to contract and milk to be ejected from the breast. In fact, if you choose to breastfeed your baby right after delivery, this same stimulation is what will help your uterus shrink back to its original size. You or your partner may manually stimulate your nipples, or you can try using a breast pump.

 

  1. Exercise/ Cardio/ Stair Climbing / Squats

Use gravity to your advantage. Get up and start moving! Physical activity helps move your baby’s head down lower in your pelvis and that allows your baby’s head to put pressure on your cervix which helps it dilate. Try walking for 30 minutes every day. If you can walk up a steep hill, even better! This causes you to lean forward at an angle helping the baby move in the right direction. Walking stairs and doing squats have also been said to be very helpful. So go ahead and get that heart pumping!

  1. Sex 

Theoretically, there are multiple reasons why having sex could induce labor. For example, sex can release oxytocin, which may help jumpstart uterine contractions. Having sex is safe at full term, but you shouldn’t have sex after your water has broken. Doing so can increase your risk of infection. Pretty much everyone knows or has been told that having sex is the way to start labor. The reason for that is the act of sex can cause contractions. Not only that, semen contains a substance called prostaglandins which helps the cervix to ripen and efface so it’s best that he also orgasms. This prepares your body for labor.

  1. Acupuncture & Acupressure

Acupuncture stimulates the release of oxytocin in the body. Acupuncture and acupressure is another natural method for inducing labor. With acupuncture, a practitioner places fine needles at various points along the body to balance your energy flow. Acupressure is the same concept, but instead, fingers are used to apply pressure to pressure points. These are also pressed during labor induction massages. A couple of pressure points are thought to cause contractions. One is located in the webbing between your thumb and forefinger. The other is located just above your ankle. Applying pressure to either of these two pressure points may help bring on contractions.

  1. Red Raspberry Leaf Tea

Drinking this tea regularly can strengthen and tone your uterus and help those muscles in your uterus start to contract. Midwives often recommend drinking red raspberry leaf tea as your due date nears. Tea may tone and strengthen the uterus in preparation for labor. Even if it doesn’t work, you’ll stay hydrated.

 

 

  1. Warm Baths  

Soaking in a warm bath may help to get labor going. The reason why? Soaking in the tub helps to relax you. There is evidence that stress and being uptight may keep you from going into labor. This is why massage is also beneficial. Almost anything that gets your mind off of the fact that you are still pregnant that can get you to relax can help.

 

  1. Membrane Stripping  

Some providers will offer to strip your membranes to encourage labor. Though the procedure is done in the office, there are no medications involved. Your doctor will use a gloved finger to separate the amniotic sac from the area around the cervix. This action releases hormones called prostaglandins, which help the body go into labor. This one can be quite uncomfortable. It hasn’t been proven to be one of the most effective forms of induction, but it is an option. If you have any vaginal infections, membrane stripping is not an option.

 

  1. Labor Induction Massages  

Getting a labor induction massage is a great way to get contractions going. This massage doesn’t always work immediately and may require two or three appointments to help stimulate labor. It allows you to relax your muscles around the baby and it sends signals to your body to start the labor process.

 

The Waiting Game

Before trying anything that might induce labor, you’ll want to speak with your doctor to go over any risks or possible complications. Though some of these methods are popular folklore among pregnant women, little scientific evidence supports their efficacy. In most cases, it’s best to let baby set their own birth date, even if it means waiting another week or two.

As the due date approaches, many couples are eager for labor to begin so they can finally meet their little one.

And though that’s the most exciting moment of your life, you might want to slow down and not rush through things. Saving your energy, rather than wearing yourself out with schemes for starting labor sooner. In other words, get some sleep while you can!

 

 

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/natural-ways-to-induce-labor#takeaway 

Importance of Genetic Testing Before & During Pregnancy

All soon-to-be parents want their children to be healthy and to have a pregnancy free of major complications. Unfortunately, complications can occur during pregnancy, either with the mother’s health or the child’s. Sometimes, the mother and child are at risk for certain complications throughout the pregnancy because of their family history and genetics.

 

All pregnant women are offered some form of testing for genetic problems. Now, deciding whether you want to have it done is completely personal. You will want to weigh different factors, including baby’s risk for genetic problems.

 

 

What is genetic testing (carrier screening)?

Carrier testing is a type of genetic testing that is used to determine if a person is a carrier for a specific autosomal recessive disease. This kind of testing is used most often by couples who are considering becoming pregnant to determine the risks of their child inheriting one of these genetic disorders. In other words, if you screen positive for a genetic abnormality but your partner does not, your child will not inherit the condition. And even if you both screen positive, there’s only a 25 percent chance your baby will have the disease.

 

When should you get genetic testing?

Getting screened before you try to get pregnant can give you reassurance (if you or your partner is not a carrier, it’s one less thing to worry about when do you get pregnant) or can help you make an informed game plan for pregnancy. If it turns out that you are both carriers, you can be prepared for and bone up on what it means to have a baby with the genetic condition, choose to learn about certain prenatal tests to check whether your baby’s healthy, or you can consider other options like egg or sperm donation or adoption.

Getting tested once you become pregnant (if you hadn’t done so ahead of time) can help you and your doctor decides the right prenatal tests for your baby, and what to look for if you choose to have them. If you know that your baby’s at an increased risk for having cystic fibrosis or sickle cell disease, for instance, your doctor can look for those conditions specifically through either a CVS (chorionic villi sampling) or amniocentesis.

Who are genetic carriers?

If both partners in a couple carry the same recessive disease, then the couple have a one in four chance of a child with that disease. Carrier couples may, therefore, have multiple affected children. Some recessive diseases are relatively mild but others are severe, including many that cause death at or shortly after birth.

 

What are some of the most common genetic diseases? 

  • Cystic fibrosis is a life-threatening condition that causes lung damage and digestive problems. It is a progressive, genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and limits the ability to breathe over time. In people with CF, a defective gene causes a thick, sticky buildup of mucus in the lungs, pancreas, and other organs.
  • Sickle cell disease is a disorder of the blood caused by an inherited abnormal hemoglobin (the oxygen-carrying protein within the red blood cells). The abnormal hemoglobin causes distorted (sickled) red blood cells. The sickled red blood cells are fragile and prone to rupture, most common in people of African and Mediterranean backgrounds, cause a blood disorder that leads to anemia, a weakened immune system, and other health complications.
  • Thalassemia is another blood disorder common to people of African and Mediterranean descent. It is an inherited blood disorder in which the body makes an abnormal form of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the protein molecule in red blood cells that carries oxygen. The disorder results in excessive destruction of red blood cells, which leads to anemia and bone growth and liver problems; in severe cases, some babies born with the condition may not survive.
  • Tay-Sachs Disease, which mainly affects people of French Canadian and Eastern European Jewish descent, is a disorder of the central nervous system that’s usually fatal in early childhood. Eastern European Jews also face an increased risk for another nervous system disorder called Canavan disease as well as a number of other conditions including familial dysautonomia, familial hyperinsulinism, and Gaucher disease. Your doctor can screen for all of these conditions at the same time.
  • Fragile X Syndrome is a genetic condition that causes a range of developmental problems including learning disabilities and cognitive impairment and mental retardation. Usually, males are more severely affected by this disorder than females. Affected individuals usually have delayed development of speech and language by age 2. It is not linked to a specific ethnic background. Reviewing your family’s health history with a doctor or genetic counselor may help you decide whether you should be screened for Fragile X.

 

Benefits  

When pre-pregnancy carrier screening programs are introduced, they reduce death and disease associated with screened diseases. They can save families from experiencing the tragedy of a child affected by a significant genetic disease. They also reduce the burden of recessive disease with the population as a whole. Each recessive disease is rare but there are hundreds of recessive diseases and so collectively they have wide-ranging social and economic impacts.

So pre-pregnancy carrier screening programs that include many genetic diseases, as now recommended by the American College, would maximize knowledge of genetic risk for couples.

Limitations

When testing genes, some identified variations are definitely harmful while most are definitely harmless. But for some variations, we can’t be sure if they are harmful, and whether or not they will cause disease in any children. There is no guarantee that pre-pregnancy screening will result in a healthy baby, but it will allow couples options to reduce the burden of disease associated with known disease-causing mutations.

Counseling is required before and after the test to explain the risks to couples.

 

 

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.parents.com/getting-pregnant/genetics/tests/health-101-genetic-testing-before-during-pregnancy/

 

What Causes Pregnancy Cravings

Pregnancy and food cravings go hand in hand: Food cravings are sudden urges to eat a particular type of food. They are a real phenomenon and affect many women during pregnancy.Many of these cravings seem to come out of nowhere, and they can feel overpowering. What causes them? Hormones, right?

 

There’s no scientific explanation for food cravings. There’s no data saying that what a woman craves is related to something her body or her baby needs, and there’s no data to support that typical pregnancy food cravings are harmful, either.

 

There are three facts about the wonderful world of pregnancy that we all know to be true 

  1. A woman can have one or more tiny humans floating around in her belly.
  2. After nine-ish months said tiny human will emerge from the woman’s body — naked, bloody, and possibly crying.
  3. During the nine-ish months, the woman is allowed to eat EVERYTHING she wants. No matter how weird it might be.

Why do cravings develop?

No one really knows why food cravings develop. It seems logical that cravings might be due to something lacking in the diet, or an increased need for certain vitamins and minerals. However, there is no evidence of a link between cravings and nutrient deficiency.

 

Ways to Stop Cravings

  • Get enough sleep. Loss of sleep increases hunger during the day, which leads to cravings. Getting the right amount of shut-eye could stop cravings.
  • Eat a healthy breakfast. For some people, cravings are part of a cycle of blood sugar highs and lows that can be kicked off almost the moment their feet hit the floor in the morning. A breakfast featuring fiber and protein is more likely to control this cycle. Consider a scrambled egg on whole-wheat bread or a turkey sandwich instead of sugary cereal or a Danish.
  • Eat meals at scheduled times. The secret to stopping cravings is to manage hunger and “only eating at set times — no casual eating.
  • Make the foods you crave difficult or impossible to get to. No matter how much you love brownies, if you don’t keep any at home or at work, chances are your craving will pass unsatisfied. Instead, make healthy alternatives easy to access in your eating plan and prepare ahead for those times when you’ll need a healthy snack within easy reaches, like when you’re on the road.
  • Keep a food journal. This may not totally stop cravings, but it could keep you from acting on them if the thought of writing down the calorie and fat content of a steak is more painful than going without it. A food journal will also help you identify the times of day when your cravings are the strongest.
  • Identify your craving triggers. Emotional eating is a real phenomenon. If you pay attention, you may find that your cravings are worse when you are stressed or depressed. Managing those situations will help stop cravings.
  • Eat a varied diet. Sticking to the tried-and-true may help you count calories, but it could also leave you feeling unfulfilled. People need variety in their diets, so try new dishes or combinations of foods to stop cravings. Just because you’re on a diet doesn’t mean it can’t be satisfying.

Foods to avoid  

When you are pregnant, there are a number of foods that should avoid. Things like soft cheeses, sushi, raw eggs and undercooked meat can contain harmful bacteria, including salmonella and E. coli. and lead to harmful illnesses such as listeria or toxoplasmosis.

 

 

Pregnancy facts aren’t so scientific, but it summarizes what many of us know about pregnancy, especially when it comes to eating. Food cravings are a common occurrence during 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/food-cravings-during-pregnancy

 

Pregnancy Kit must haves for First Trimester

Congratulations – you’re having a baby! When you are pregnant, thinking of all the stuff you may need for the baby can be mind blowing. First trimester is always a DOOZY. Any way you slice it. It’s just hard!  But don’t jump the gun – they’re not even born yet so concentrate on the pregnancy must haves that will make YOU feel better along the way.

 

New Pants or a Waistband extender 

Your belly may not be visibly rounder yet, but your pants may not be fitting as well, even just a few weeks in. A new pair of pants with a bit of Lycra stretch might round out your wardrobe perfectly.If you don’t want to start buying new clothes just yet, try a waistband extender such as the Belly Belt or Bella Band. Keeping comfy is your new mission, and it’s more important than you may think: Some women report that a looser waistband helps with morning sickness.

 

Folic Acid

If you’re pregnant or might become pregnant, it’s critically important to get enough folic acid, the synthetic form of vitamin B9, also known as folate. Folic acid helps prevent neural tube defects (NTDs) – serious birth defects of the spinal cord (such as spina bifida) and the brain (such as anencephaly).Taking a folic acid supplement, ideally before you conceive, and then every day for the entire first trimester will help prevent neural tube defects. A daily 400 mcg (microgram) supplement is recommended for most women. Some women need a 5mg (milligram) daily dose so check with your doctor if this applies to you.

 

Vitamin D 

The study confirmed vitamin D at this level is not only safe for you, but for your baby, and the researchers from this study now recommend this daily dosage of vitamin D for all pregnant women. The average prenatal vitamin only contains 400 IU of vitamin D, so additional supplementation should be taken daily. The Department of Health advice is to consider taking a 10 mcg (microgram) daily supplement. Vitamin D helps keep bones, muscles, and teeth healthy and it can be hard when pregnant to get the amount you need from food and sunlight alone.

 

Sickness Bands

The first 12 weeks of pregnancy is the time when morning sickness can often make you feel wretched. Morning sickness acupressure bands that you wear around your wrist may help alleviate that nauseous feeling that affects around 80% of women.

 

Body Pillow

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. Pillows can help you avoid sleepless nights. 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.

Read more: https://sonoline.ca/simple-guide-to-sleeping-well-during-pregnancy/  

 

Tooth Care

Oral health care – including teeth cleaning, X-rays, pain medication, and local anesthesia – is safe throughout pregnancy. In fact, it’s especially important to have a dental checkup, dental cleaning, and any necessary treatment during pregnancy. Pregnant women are susceptible to gingivitis (inflammation of the gums).

 

A comfy cotton Bra

The Dual-Use Maternity and Nursing Bra. Later in pregnancy, you have a feel for how things are going with your body. A multi-use bra can be key after the baby comes, for nursing, pumping, and overall comfort.This can double as a nursing and sleep bra because of the wide, comfy cotton that surrounds your breasts.

 

A good body lotion

Your skin is extra-sensitive now that you’re pregnant. Body scrubs and exfoliants can actually cause micro-tears on your skin, which isn’t just irritating, it can also make it easier for chemicals to be absorbed into it. You’re better off using a loofah or soft washcloth to scrub away dead skin cells.Cocoa Butter for stretch mark. Containing cocoa butter, vitamin E, collagen, elastin and shea butter, this cream is safe to use during pregnancy.

 

Baby Heartbeat Monitor (Fetal Doppler) 

A Doppler fetal monitor is a hand-held ultrasound transducer used to detect the fetal heartbeat for prenatal care. sometimes referred to as a pocket fetal Doppler. It uses the Doppler effect to provide an audible simulation of the heartbeat. The device sends sound waves through your skin and tissue in search of any movement. When movement is detected, the waves bounce back, creating a pattern, which the fetal Doppler records and plays back for you.You may be able to hear – and see – your baby’s heartbeat for the first time when you’re about 8 weeks pregnant if you have an early ultrasound exam. Otherwise, you’ll probably first hear baby’s heartbeat with a fetal doppler until 10 to 12 weeks.However,  baby’s heart starts to beat at around 6 weeks. Fetal Doppler is highly recommended to ease anxiety and feel reassure throughout pregnancy.

Read more: http://torontek.com/pregnancy/what-is-fetal-doppler/

 

Pregnancy Journal 

Collecting your thoughts and putting pen to paper is especially rewarding during pregnancy. Not only will you have a personal record of your life during this time, you’ll create a special gift for your child years later. Few experiences are more magical than creating a new life in your own body and then watching it grow. Pregnancy is also a time of transformation and deep questioning for you. A pregnant woman’s inner life is powerful, private, and often disturbing. After pregnancy, nothing is ever the same.By keeping a diary or journal, a woman chooses to confront rather than ignore the issues that come up for her during pregnancy. Her quiet time of introspection and writing will be among the most important moments she spends on her journey into motherhood.

 

 

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.boots.com/pregnancy/features/pregnancy-kit-essentials
https://www.babycenter.com/0_write-your-own-pregnancy-diary_5827.bc