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忑珜 - 痔諦忑珜 - 襞妏惘探@埽擄毞挭 - 恅梒堐黍 [痔諦忑珜] [忑珜]
袧鎔鎔都獗恀枙摯茼勤(荎恅唳)
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Morning Sickness

Nausea and vomiting can be one of the first signs of pregnancy and usually begins around the 6th week of pregnancy. It can occur at any time of the day, and for most women it seems to stop around the 12th week of pregnancy.

Morning sickness is not harmful to you or your baby, but if you experience excessive vomiting and cannot keep your food down, you may have hyperemesis gravidarum挸嚝褉. Hyperemesis gravidarum can be harmful to you and your baby if severe and left untreated, due to the possible lack of nutrients and electrolyte imbalance. The most important thing is to inform your health care provider when these symptoms appear and discuss possible options for treatment.

← Morning Sickness

More than half of all pregnant women experience morning sickness. Morning sickness is the nauseated feeling you get during pregnancy. Morning sickness can be, but is not always, accompanied with vomiting. The nausea is often a result of the increased hormones in your body. Many health care providers think morning sickness is a good sign because it means the placenta is developing well.

← The Risk of Morning Sickness

The majority of pregnant women experience some degree of morning sickness at during their pregnancy. In some cases a woman will experience morning sickness symptoms of nausea and vomiting so severe that she may need to take prescription medication, or even be hospitalized, to treat the symptoms.

The greatest risk in morning sickness is dehydration and malnutrition. This is why moms are urged to drink water (or other beverages such as watered-down juices or herbal teas) as much as possible, and to eat. Remember - your baby needs YOU to eat and drink so that HE (or SHE or THEY) can develop properly.

If at all possible, you want to self-treat your morning sickness without medication to avoid exposing your baby to medications and chemicals. Visit our article on Morning Sickness Cures and Remedies for some suggestions on how to do this.

← Severe Morning Sickness
Sometimes, no matter what you do, you can't beat your morning sickness. No matter what cure, remedy, or prevention tactic you try, the result is the same: you heave back up anything you were able to get down over the past half hour.

Fortunately for most pregnant moms, severe morning sickness only lasts for a few hours. However, if the vomiting continues, morning sickness could become hyperemesis gravidarum - simply translated, it means that Mom is unable to keep down any foods or liquids over a period of time. About one in 250 pregnancies experience hyperemesis gravidarum. This serious condition needs to be treated as soon as possible for the safety of both mom and baby. The more serious sufferers of this condition may require hospitalization with intravenous fluids until Mom can start eating on her own again.

You should call your care provider if you experience any of the following symptoms during your pregnancy:
♂ If you have been vomiting for more than 24 hours
♂ If there is blood mixed in with the vomit
♂ If you are showing signs of dehydration, which can include any of the following:
﹛◦Severe thirst
﹛◦Dry lips and dry and coated tongue
﹛◦Pinched skin that "snaps back" slowly
﹛◦Flushed dry skin
﹛◦Decreased tearing or salivation
﹛◦Confusion or irritability
﹛◦Decreased urination or urine that is very dark in color.
﹛◦If you have a fever of 102 degrees or higher
﹛◦If you loose more than a few pounds
﹛◦If you feel faint, lightheaded or dizzy
﹛◦You are feeling increasingly tired

There are a number of do's and don'ts you can try to help alleviate your symptoms.

← Helpful Do's and Don'ts:

Do:
♂ Eat small meals often
♂ Drink fluids 1/2 hour before or after a meal, but not with meals
♂ Drink small amounts of fluids during the day to avoid dehydration
♂ Eat soda crackers 15 minutes before getting up in the morning
♂ Avoid foods and smells that increase nausea
♂ Ask someone else to cook for you and open the windows or turn on fans if the odor bothers you
♂ Get plenty of rest and nap during the day
♂ Avoid warm places (feeling hot adds to nausea)
♂ Sniff lemons or ginger, drink lemonade, or eat watermelon to relieve nausea
♂ Eat salty potato chips (they have been found to settle stomachs enough to eat a meal)
♂ Exercise

Don'ts:
♂ Do not lie down after eating
♂ Do not skip meals
♂ Do not cook or eat spicy food

← Hyperemesis Gravidarum:
Hyperemesis gravidarum is a condition characterized by severe nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and sometimes electrolyte disturbance. Mild cases are often treated with dietary measures, rest and antacids. Severe cases often require a stay in the hospital so that the mother can receive fluid and nutrition through an intravenous line. DO NOT take any medications to solve this problem without consulting your health care provider first.

← You should contact your health care provider:
♂ If you are experiencing excessive nausea and vomiting that prevents you from keeping any food down
♂ If vomiting is accompanied by pain or fever
♂ If nausea and vomiting persists well into the second trimester (after 13th week)

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Surviving Morning Sickness: Eating with Morning Sickness

Morning sickness is the nauseated feeling you experience in your first trimester. It usually starts out in the morning and wears off as you become active throughout your day. Not all morning sickness remedies will work for you, but these are just a few remedies and comforts that have helped other women get through their days.

← A Day in the Life of Morning Sickness:
In the Morning:
Allow yourself plenty of time to get out of bed. If you usually get up at 6:00 a.m. set your alarm for 5:00 a.m. It is a good idea to keep a stash of crackers or dry cereal by your bed, so you can put something in your stomach as soon as you wake up. Get out of bed slowly as you start your day.

During the Day:
Eat small meals throughout the day to avoid getting too full or too hungry. Progesterone slows the speed of food passing through your digestive tract. To further prevent your stomach from getting too full or too empty, you should drink fluids a 1/2 hour before or after a meal, but not with your meals. But DO drink fluids throughout the day to avoid dehydration.

Get plenty of rest when you can. This is especially important if you have to get up early in the morning. But DON'T take a nap right after a meal. This can cause nausea to be worse.

Avoid foods or smells that make your nausea worse, and avoid being in warm places, which can increase your nausea.

In the Evening:
For dinner avoid spicy, greasy foods. Prepare things that are bland and do not have a strong odor. You may have to avoid cooking for the first trimester.

Most importantly, go to bed early! You need your rest to have the energy to get up early and do it all over again. If you happen to wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, try to eat something from your bedside stash!

← Suggested Meals:
♂ Cold foods (sandwiches, raw vegetables, salad when properly prepared to prevent listeria)
♂ Bland foods (chicken soup, broth, plain baked potato)
♂ Plain vegetables or fruits
♂ Keep meals small, but eat as frequently as you need

← Suggested Snacks to Eat:
♂ Lemons (eat them, suck on them, sniff them)
♂ Ginger (ginger ale soda, ginger tea, ginger jam on toast, ginger snaps)
♂ Peppermint tea
♂ Crackers
♂ Jell-O
♂ Flavored popsicles
♂ Pretzels

Treatments & Supplements:
Preggie Pops: flavored lollipops in flavors known to reduce nausea. (Available flavors include: ginger, mint, lavender, sour raspberry, sour lemon, and sour tangerine)
♂ A natural way to ease nausea
♂ Drug free and doctor recommended
♂ Great for labor
♂ Alleviates dry mouth
♂ Quick energy boost

Sea Bands: wristbands that use acupressure pulse points to fight nausea.
♂ For all forms of nausea - including morning sickness
♂ No drugs, no side effects
♂ Used by doctors and hospitals
♂ The only clinically tested wristband
♂ One size fits all

Relief Band Device: device that can be worn continuously for relief of mild to moderate nausea and vomiting associated with pregnancy.

Vitamin B6: Taking Vitamin B6 (50 mg) daily has been shown to help with pregnancy-induced nausea.

Talk with your health care provider about any supplements and treatments for morning sickness. If morning sickness is so severe that you are constantly throwing up and not keeping anything down, consult with your health care provider about the possibility of having hyperemesis gravidarum.

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Swelling During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, the body produces approximately 50% more blood and body fluids to meet the needs of the developing baby. Swelling is a normal part of pregnancy that is caused by this additional blood and fluid. Normal swelling, which is also called edema, is experienced in the hands, face, legs, ankles, and feet.

This extra retention of fluid is needed to soften the body, which enables it to expand as the baby develops. Extra fluid also helps prepare the pelvic joints and tissues to open to allow the baby to be born. The extra fluids account for approximately 25% of the weight women gain during pregnancy.

When does swelling occur during pregnancy?
Swelling may be experienced at any point during pregnancy, but it tends to be noticed around the fifth month and can increase while you are in the third trimester. The following factors may also affect swelling:
♂ Summertime heat
♂ Standing for long periods of time
♂ "Long" days of activity
♂ Diet low in potassium
♂ High level of caffeine consumption
♂ High level of sodium intake

Slight swelling is expected during pregnancy; however, if you experience sudden swelling in your hands and your face, it could be a sign of preeclampsia. It is important to contact your health care provider about any sudden swelling.

What can you do to treat swelling during pregnancy?
Swelling may be reduced by eating foods that are high in potassium, such as bananas, and by avoiding caffeine. Here are some other helpful hints to manage swelling during your pregnancy:
♂ Avoid standing for long periods
♂ Minimize outdoor time when it is hot
♂ Rest with your feet elevated
♂ Wear comfortable shoes, avoiding high heels if possible
♂ Wear supportive tights or stockings
♂ Avoid clothes that are tight around your wrists or ankles
♂ Rest or swim in a pool
♂ Use cold compresses on swollen areas
♂ Drink water, which helps flush the body and reduce water retention
♂ Minimize sodium (salt) intake and avoid adding additional salt to meals

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Pregnancy Nutrition

Without a doubt, a nutritious, well-balanced eating plan can be one of the greatest gifts you give to your soon-to-be-born baby. Adopting a healthy eating plan before pregnancy is ideal, but no matter how many weeks are left on your countdown calendar, it*s never too late to start! Supplying your own body with a tasty blend of nutritious foods can not only improve your fertility, keep you feeling healthy during pregnancy, and pave the way for an easier labor, but it can also help to establish essential building blocks of growth and overall health for your child.

The food we eat on a daily basis affects how our bodies work, how we heal and grow, and how we maintain energy and strength for years to come. It also determines the basic nutritional health that our children are born with, and provides a model for their eating habits during childhood and beyond. Pregnancy is the one time in your life when your eating habits directly affect another person. Your decision to incorporate delicious vegetables, whole grains and legumes, lean protein, and other wise food choices into your eating plan before and during pregnancy will give your baby a strong start in life.

Weight Change and Calories
It is a wonderful fact --your body will gain weight during your pregnancy! As you watch your weight begin to increase, take it as proof that your body is nurturing your growing baby. By the time you are ready to give birth, your total blood volume will have increased by as much as 60%. Your breasts will have filled with milk. Your uterus will have grown to accommodate your baby and has filled with amniotic fluid; your baby has grown to weigh 6 to 10 pounds (on average). To accomplish all of these productive changes, your body needs approximately 300 extra calories per day during your 2nd and 3rd trimester of pregnancy. Every woman should discuss her individual nutrient needs with her health care provider. Do not neglect your baby*s health by neglecting your own!

Myth: Now that you are pregnant, you should be eating for two (or twice as much!).
Fact: It is true that your nutrient needs increase, but energy requirements only increase about 300 calories per day for the second and third trimester of pregnancy.

Myth: Gaining less weight during pregnancy will make delivery easier.
Fact: Mothers who do not gain enough weight during pregnancy place their babies at risk for severe complications such as premature birth, which can cause lung and heart problems.

Myth: If you gain the right amount of weight during pregnancy, none of it will be fat gain.
Fact: A healthy pregnancy includes fat storage. Your body uses this excess fat as energy during labor and breastfeeding.

Myth: Pregnant women only crave the foods their bodies need.
Fact: Pregnant women can crave foods of any type. Cravings should not be the sole indicator of nutritional needs.

Myth : A pregnant woman who is healthy will not experience discomforts.
Fact: Nausea, heartburn, and constipation are not biased! They will afflict women regardless of healthy living. However, women who regularly eat healthy, wholesome foods, drink plenty of water, exercise regularly, and avoid excess sugar and fat may significantly reduce these uncomfortable symptoms.

Food Groups
It is helpful to pay attention to recommended daily servings from each food group. Most foods come with a nutrition label attached. This nutrition label will help you to know what amount constitutes one serving.

Protein
(Meats, Beans, Etc.)
Experts recommend 75 to 100 grams of protein per day. Protein in your foods positively affects the growth of fetal tissue, including the brain. It also helps your breast and uterine tissue to grow during pregnancy, and it plays a helping part in your increasing blood supply.

Examples of daily sources of protein:
2-3 servings of meat (1 serving = approximately 3 ounces/ size of a deck of cards)
♂ fully cooked fish or seafood
♂ liver
♂ chicken
♂ lean beef
♂ lamb
♂ pork
♂ nuts (1 serving = approximately ⅓ cup)
♂ tofu (1 serving = approximately ½ cup)

2-3 servings of legumes (1 serving = approximately ½ cup)
♂ split peas
♂ red and white kidney beans
♂ black beans
♂ navy beans
♂ black-eyed peas
♂ chick peas (garbanzo beans)

Calcium (Dairy, etc.)
Daily requirement of calcium is around 1000 milligrams during pregnancy. Calcium helps your body regulate fluids, and it helps build your baby*s bones and tooth buds.

Examples of daily sources of calcium:
3-4 servings of dairy
♂ milk (1 serving = 1 cup)
♂ eggs (1 serving = 1 large egg)
♂ yogurt (1 serving = 1cup)
♂ pasteurized cheese (1 serving = approximately 1.5 ounces/ or 4 playing dice stacked together)
♂ tofu (1 serving = ½ cup)
♂ white beans (1 serving = approximately ½ cup)
♂ almonds (1 serving = approximately ⅓ cup)
♂ salmon (1 serving = approximately 3 ounces)
♂ turnip greens (1 serving = approximately 1 cup)
♂ cabbage (1 serving = approximately 1 cup)

Iron (Vegetables, Grains, Meat, etc.)
In combination with sodium, potassium, and water, iron helps increase your blood volume and prevent anemia. A daily intake of 27 milligrams is ideal during pregnancy.

Examples of daily sources of iron:
2-3 servings of green leafy vegetables (1 serving = approximately 1 cup)
♂ collard
♂ turnip
♂ spinach
♂ lettuce
♂ cabbage

3 servings of whole grains (1 serving = approximately. ½ cup or one slice)
♂ bread
♂ cornmeal
♂ cereal
♂ oatmeal

2-3 servings of lean protein (1 serving = approximately 3 ounces/ size of a deck of cards)
♂ beef
♂ seafood
♂ poultry

Folate/Folic Acid (Legumes, etc.)
Folic acid plays a key role in reducing the risk of neural tube defects, including spina bifida. Experts recommend 600 to 800 micrograms (.6 to .8 milligrams) daily.

Examples of daily sources of folate:
2 servings of dark green leafy vegetables (1 serving = approximately 1 cup)
♂ collard
♂ turnip
♂ spinach
♂ lettuce
♂ cabbage

2-3 servings of fruit (1 serving = approximately ½ cup)
♂ orange
♂ strawberry
♂ lemon
♂ mango
♂ tomato
♂ grapefruit
♂ kiwi
♂ melon

3 serving of whole grain (1 serving = approximately ½ cup or 1 slice)
♂ bread
♂ cornmeal
♂ cereal
♂ oatmeal

2 servings of legumes (1 serving = approximately ½ cup)
♂ split peas
♂ red and white kidney beans
♂ black beans
♂ navy beans
♂ black-eyed peas
♂ chick peas (garbanzo beans)

Vitamin C (Fruit, etc.)
Fruits and vegetables rich in Vitamin C will help with wound healing, tooth and bone development, and promotes metabolic processes. Experts recommend at least 85 milligrams per day.

Examples of daily sources of Vitamin C:
3 servings of fruit or vegetables (1 serving = approximately ½ cup)
♂ orange
♂ strawberry
♂ lemon
♂ mango
♂ tomato
♂ grapefruit
♂ kiwi
♂ melon
♂ potato
♂ peppers

Other Nutritional Concerns
During pregnancy, some foods can cause harm to a developing baby. Be sure that all meats are thoroughly cooked to avoid exposure to toxoplasmosis, salmonella, and other harmful bacteria. Eliminate tobacco smoke, drug use, and alcohol consumption from your diet. Reduce or eliminate caffeinated beverages (soda, coffee) from your daily intake, and maintain a reasonable exercise program throughout your pregnancy. Walking and swimming are considered healthy activities during pregnancy, but always consult with your health care provider before starting a new exercise program.

For self-study and further research, check out these resources:
Food Safety During Pregnancy
http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/FOODNUT/09372.html

Common Foods Nutritional Data
http://www.nutritiondata.com/

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Eating for Two When Over/ or Under Weight

Weight gain during pregnancy helps your baby grow. Gaining weight at a steady rate within recommended boundaries can also lower your chances of having hemorrhoids, varicose veins, stretch marks, backache, fatigue, indigestion, and shortness of breath during pregnancy.

Why is weight gain important during pregnancy?
The extra weight you gain during pregnancy provides nourishment to your developing baby and is also stored for breastfeeding your baby after delivery.

Where does all the extra weight go?
Here is an approximate breakdown of your weight gain:
♂ Baby: 7-8 pounds
♂ Placenta: 1-2 pounds
♂ Amniotic fluid: 2 pounds
♂ Uterus: 2 pounds
♂ Maternal breast tissue: 2 pounds
♂ Maternal blood : 4 pounds
♂ Fluids in maternal tissue: 4 pounds
♂ Maternal fat and nutrient stores: 7 pounds

How much total weight should I gain?
The amount of weight you should gain depends on your weight before pregnancy. You should gain:
♂ 25-37 pounds if you were a healthy weight before pregnancy.
♂ 28-40 pounds if you were underweight before pregnancy.
♂ 15-25 pounds if you were overweight before pregnancy.

At what rate should I gain weight during my pregnancy?
How much you should gain depends on your weight before you were pregnant and how far along you are in your pregnancy.

♂ Healthy weight before pregnancy:
ㄙ3-5 pounds during the first trimester
ㄙApproximately 1-2 pounds per week in the second trimester
ㄙApproximately 1-2 pounds per week in the third trimester

♂ Underweight before pregnancy:
ㄙ5-6 pounds or more in your first trimester; this also can depend on how underweight you were before pregnancy & your health care provider's recommendations
ㄙ1-2 pounds per week in the second and third trimesters

♂ Overweight before pregnancy:
ㄙApproximately 1-2 pounds in the first trimester
ㄙApproximately 1 pound per week during the last six months

Throughout your pregnancy the goal is to keep weight gain as steady as possible because your baby requires a daily supply of nutrients that comes from what you eat. It is ok for your weight gain to fluctuate a little from week to week. However, you should contact your health care provider if you suddenly gain or lose weight, especially in your third trimester. This could be a sign of preeclampsia.

What if I am carrying twins?
If you are pregnant with twins, your weight gain should be monitored by your health care provider. Weight gain should increase significantly (35-45 pounds) but will not double.

Does being underweight pose any risks to me or my baby?
Due to morning sickness, many women have trouble gaining weight in the first trimester and worry about what effects this has on their babies' development. Some women lose a little weight in the beginning of their pregnancies. Fortunately, at this time, the baby does not need as many calories and nutrients as later in pregnancy. It is important to gain weight at a steady pace throughout pregnancy. If a woman does not gain weight throughout pregnancy, complications such as a low-birth weight infant or premature delivery could occur. Babies who are born to mothers who do not gain more than 20 pounds are often considered small for gestational age (SGA), meaning they may have been malnourished during pregnancy.

Healthy Eating During Pregnancy:
A sensible meal plan that is rich in vitamins and minerals is essential for a developing baby. You may want to ask your health care provider for food recommendations, or seek the help of a nutritionist in your area.

Women who are underweight during pregnancy tend to eat low-calorie foods and not enough protein. The following are ways to get more calories:
♂ Eat breakfast every day. Peanut butter or a slice of cheese on toast can give you an extra protein boost.
♂ Snack between meals; yogurt and dried fruits can provide protein, calcium, and minerals.
♂ Try to eat more foods that are high in good fats such as nuts, fatty fish, avocados, and olive oil.
♂ Drink juices that are high in vitamin C or beta carotene, such as grapefruit juice, orange juice, papaya nectar, apricot nectar, and carrot juice.
♂ Avoid junk food.
♂ Consult your health care provider about taking prenatal vitamins.

Can gaining too much weight be harmful?
The following are potential problems with gaining too much weight:
♂ Gestational diabetes
♂ Backaches
♂ Leg pain
♂ Increased fatigue
♂ Varicose veins
♂ Increased risk of cesarean delivery
♂ High blood pressure

How does being obese affect my pregnancy?
Most overweight women have healthy pregnancies and deliver without complications.

However, it is important to be aware of the potential risks that extra weight can have. Pregnant women who are struggling with obesity may have:
♂ An increased risk for gestational diabetes and high blood pressure
♂ Difficulty with hearing the heartbeat and measuring the size of the uterus
♂ Difficulty with vaginal delivery if the fetus is much larger than average

Fortunately, appropriate medical and self-care can lower the risks of these complications. Your health care provider may suggest that more tests be done during pregnancy. These might include ultrasounds to measure your baby's size, a glucose tolerance test to screen for gestational diabetes, and other diagnostic tests later in pregnancy to monitor your baby's development.

The following self-care tips can help you make your pregnancy a healthy one for you and your baby:
♂ Avoid pregnancy risks such as alcohol and smoking.
♂ Try not to gain too much weight; your health care provider will provide recommended weight gain.
♂ Be selective about your food choices; choose food sources that contain vitamins, minerals, and protein.

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Pregnancy and Constipation

Constipation occurs when there is abdominal pain or discomfort, difficult and infrequent bowel movements, and the passage of hard stools. Unfortunately, constipation affects approximately half of all women at some point during their pregnancy.

What causes constipation during pregnancy?
In general, worry, anxiety, minimal physical exercise, and a low-fiber diet may cause constipation. Constipation in pregnant women is thought to occur due to hormones that relax the intestinal muscle and by the pressure of the expanding uterus on the intestines. Relaxation of the intestinal muscle causes food and waste to move slower through your system.

Sometimes iron tablets may contribute to constipation. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water if you are taking iron supplements. You may need to switch to a different type of iron tablet, but it is important to talk to your health care provider first.

How can I prevent or treat constipation during pregnancy?
Prevention and treatment of constipation involve much of the same thing. Here are a few things that you can do to help prevent constipation from occurring or treat it if you are already experiencing it:
♂ Eat a high fiber diet: Ideally, you will consume 25 to 30 grams per day of dietary fiber from fruits, vegetables, breakfast cereals, whole grain breads, prunes and bran.
♂ Drink a lot of fluids: Drinking plenty of fluids is important, particularly with your increase of fiber. Drink 10 to 12 cups of fluids each day. It is the combination of a high fiber diet and lots of liquid that best help you eliminate your waste. Sweat, hot/humid climates, and exercise may increase your need for additional fluids.
♂ Exercise routinely: If you are inactive, you have a greater chance of constipation.
♂ Walking, swimming and other moderate exercises help the intestines work by stimulating your bowels. Schedule exercise three times a week for 20-30 minutes each.
♂ Over-the-counter remedies: There are over-the-counter products such as Metamucil (Catergory B) which may help soften your bowel movements and reduce constipation. Always speak to your health care provider before using over-the-counter medications.
♂ Reduce or eliminate iron supplements: Iron supplements may contribute to constipation. Good nutrition can often meet your iron needs during pregnancy. Taking smaller doses of iron throught the day rather than taking it all at once can reduce constipation. Talk to your health care provider about checking your iron levels and recommendations to manage iron intake during pregnancy.

What remedies should not be used for constipation during pregnancy?
Laxative pills are NOT recommended for the treatment of constipation during pregnancy because they might stimulate uterine contractions and cause dehydration.

Mineral oils should NOT be used during pregnancy because there is an increased reduction in nutrient absorption.

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Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy

Eating well balanced meals is important at all times, but it is even more essential when you are pregnant. There are essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that your developing baby needs. Most foods are safe; however, there are some foods that you should avoid during pregnancy.

What are the foods I should avoid during pregnancy?
Raw Meat: Uncooked seafood and rare or undercooked beef or poultry should be avoided because of the risk of contamination with coliform bacteria, toxoplasmosis, and salmonella.

Deli Meat: Deli meats have been known to be contaminated with listeria, which can cause miscarriage. Listeria has the ability to cross the placenta and may infect the baby leading to infection or blood poisoning, which may be life-threatening. If you are pregnant and you are considering eating deli meats, make certain that you reheat the meat until it is steaming.

Fish with Mercury: Fish that contain high levels of mercury should be avoided. Mercury consumed during pregnancy has been linked to developmental delays and brain damage. A sample of these types of fish include: shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish. Canned, chunk light tuna generally has a lower amount of mercury than other tuna, but still should only be eaten in moderation. Certain types of fish used in sushi should also be avoided due to high levels of mercury. Please see Mercury in Fish for specific types of fish and further information on how to calculate mercury levels.

Smoked Seafood -Refrigerated, smoked seafood often labeled as lox, nova style, kippered, or jerky should be avoided because it could be contaminated with Listeria. (These are safe to eat when they are in an ingredient in a meal that has been cooked, like a casserole.) This type of fish is often found in the deli section of your grocery store. Canned or shelf-safe smoked seafood is usually OK to eat.

Fish Exposed to Industrial Pollutants: Avoid fish from contaminated lakes and rivers that may be exposed to high levels of polychlorinated biphenyls. This is primarily for those who fish in local lakes and streams. These fish include: bluefish, striped bass, salmon, pike, trout, and walleye. Contact the local health department or Environmental Protection Agency to determine which fish are safe to eat in your area. Remember, this is regarding fish caught in local waters and not fish from your local grocery store.

Raw Shellfish: The majority of seafood-borne illness is caused by undercooked shellfish, which include oysters, clams, and mussels. Cooking helps prevent some types of infection, but it does not prevent the algae-related infections that are associated with red tides. Raw shellfish pose a concern for everybody, and they should be avoided altogether during pregnancy.

Raw Eggs: Raw eggs or any foods that contain raw eggs should be avoided because of the potential exposure to salmonella. Some homemade Caesar dressings, mayonnaise, homemade ice cream or custards, and Hollandaise sauces may be made with raw eggs.

If the recipe is cooked at some point, this will reduce the exposure to salmonella. Commercially manufactured ice cream, dressings, and eggnog are made with pasteurized eggs and do not increase the risk of salmonella. Restaurants should be using pasteurized eggs in any recipe that is made with raw eggs, such as Hollandaise sauce or dressings.

Soft Cheeses: Imported soft cheeses may contain bacteria called Listeria, which can cause miscarriage. Listeria has the ability to cross the placenta and may infect the baby leading to infection or blood poisoning, which can be life-threatening. You would need to avoid soft cheeses such as: Brie, Camembert, Roquefort, Feta, Gorgonzola and Mexican style cheeses that include queso blanco and queso fresco, unless they clearly state that they are made from pasteurized milk. All soft non-imported cheeses made with pasteurized milk are safe to eat.

Unpasteurized Milk: Unpasteurized milk may contain bacteria called listeria, which can cause miscarriage. Listeria has the ability to cross the placenta and may infect the baby leading to infection or blood poisoning, which can be life-threatening. Make sure that any milk you drink is pasteurized.

Pate: Refrigerated pate or meat spreads should be avoided because they may contain the bacteria listeria. Canned pate, or shelf-safe meat spreads can be eaten.

Caffeine: Although most studies show that caffeine intake in moderation is OK, there are others that show that caffeine intake may be related to miscarriages. Avoid caffeine during the first trimester to reduce the likelihood of a miscarriage. As a general rule, caffeine should be limited to fewer than 300 mg per day during pregnancy. Caffeine is a diuretic, which means it helps eliminate fluids from the body. This can result in water and calcium loss. It is important that you are drinking plenty of water, juice, and milk rather than caffeinated beverages. Some research shows that large amounts of caffeine are associated with miscarriage, premature birth, low birth weight, and withdrawal symptoms in infants. The safest thing is to refrain from consuming caffeine.

Alcohol: There is NO amount of alcohol that is known to be safe during pregnancy, and therefore alcohol should be avoided during pregnancy. Prenatal exposure to alcohol can interfere with the healthy development of the baby. Depending on the amount, timing, and pattern of use, alcohol consumption during pregnancy can lead to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or other developmental disorders. If you consumed alcohol before you knew you were pregnant, stop drinking now. You should continue to avoid alcohol during breastfeeding. Exposure of alcohol to an infant poses harmful risks, and alcohol does reach the baby during breastfeeding.

Unwashed Vegetables: Yes, vegetables are safe to eat, so you still need to eat them. However, it is essential to make sure they are washed to avoid potential exposure to toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasmosis may contaminate the soil where the vegetables were grown.

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What's the Real Scoop on Caffeine During Pregnancy

Caffeine is one of the most loved stimulants in America! But now that you are pregnant, you may need to lighten up on the daily intake of your favorite drinks and treats.

Facts About Caffeine:
Caffeine is a stimulant and a diuretic. Because caffeine is a stimulant, it increases your blood pressure and heart rate, both of which are not recommended during pregnancy. Caffeine also increases the frequency of urination. This causes reduction in your body fluid levels and can lead to dehydration.

Caffeine crosses the placenta to your baby. Although you may be able to handle the amounts of caffeine you feed your body, your baby cannot. Your baby's metabolism is still maturing and cannot fully metabolize the caffeine. Any amount of caffeine can also cause changes in your baby's sleep pattern or normal movement pattern in the later stages of pregnancy. Remember, caffeine is a stimulant and can keep both you and your baby awake.

Caffeine is found in more than just coffee. Caffeine is not only found in coffee but also in tea, soda, chocolate, and even some over-the-counter medications that relieve headaches. Be aware of what you consume.

Fact or Myth?
Statement: Caffeine causes birth defects in humans.

Facts: Numerous studies on animals have shown that caffeine can cause birth defects, preterm delivery, reduced fertility, and increase the risk of low-birth weight offspring and other reproductive problems. There have not been any conclusive studies done on humans though. It is still better to play it safe when it comes to inconclusive studies.

Statement: Caffeine causes infertility.

Facts: Some studies have shown a link between high levels of caffeine consumption and delayed conception.

Statement: Caffeine causes miscarriages.

Facts: A few studies have shown that there may be an increase in miscarriages among women who consume more than 300 mg (three 5 oz. cups of coffee) a day. Other outcomes include preterm labor and low-birth weight babies. Again, it is safer to avoid caffeine as much as possible.

Statement: A pregnant woman should not consume ANY caffeine.

Facts: Experts have stated that moderate levels of caffeine have not been found to have a negative effect on pregnancy. The definition of moderate varies anywhere from 150 mg - 300 mg a day.

How much caffeine is in your favorite drinks & snacks?
♂ Starbucks Grande Coffee (16 oz) 400 mg
♂ Starbucks House Blend Coffee (16 oz) 259 mg
♂ Dr. Pepper (12 oz) 37 mg
♂ 7 Eleven Big Gulp Diet Coke (32 oz) 124 mg
♂ 7 Eleven Big Gulp Coca-Cola (32 oz) 92 mg
♂ Ben & Jerry's Coffee Buzz Ice Cream (8 oz) 72 mg
♂ Baker's chocolate (1 oz) 26 mg
♂ Green tea (6 oz) 40 mg
♂ Black tea (6 oz) 45 mg
♂ Excedrin (per capsule) 65mg

How much caffeine is too much?
The less caffeine you consume, the better. Some experts say more than 150 mg of caffeine a day is too much, while others say more than 300 mg a day is too much. Avoiding caffeine as much as possible is your safest course of action. If you must get your fix, it is best to discuss this with your health care provider to make the healthiest choice for you and your baby.

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Prenatal Vitamins

Prenatal supplements consist of a variety of vitamins and minerals. During pregnancy, a woman*s daily intake requirements for certain nutrients, such as folic acid (folate), calcium, and iron will increase. Vitamins and minerals such as iron, calcium, and folic acid are vital for proper fetal growth, development, and healthy adult living.

To help increase your chances of creating a healthy and nutritious environment in which your baby can develop, it is important that you establish a well-balanced diet and exercise routine before you get pregnant. If you choose to supplement your diet with synthetic nutrients, be sure to keep track of daily amounts that you take and let your health care provider know.

Choose Wisely

Multivitamin combinations can vary depending on the nutritional focus. For example, some manufacturers will create multivitamins that have a higher amount of iron than usual, targeting women who are prone to iron-deficiency anemia. While certain prenatal multivitamins are only available by a doctor*s prescription, many of them are available over the counter. Keep in mind that it is possible to jeopardize your baby*s (or your own) health by taking inappropriate amounts of synthetic vitamins, so be sure your health care provider is aware of any supplements you are taking.


Talk to Your Health Care Provider

Avoid taking several different supplements unless under a health care provider*s supervision; instead take one multivitamin that includes a variety of needed nutrients in one dose. Combining supplements (such as taking a folic acid supplement along with your multivitamin, etc.) can raise concerns because you run the risk of overdosing on a particular nutrient. Taking more than 100% the RDA of any nutrient should be avoided during pregnancy unless under the direction of your health care provider.


If your typical daily diet consists of unprocessed foods, fruits, a colorful variety of vegetables, whole grains, lentils, and plenty of water, then you will likely have sufficient vitamins and minerals already in your body. As long as you are eating a well balanced diet, you need not fear overdosing on nutrients found naturally in foods (although some studies have shown symptoms of toxicity after large consumption of animal organs, like liver). However, supplements (synthetic vitamins and minerals) are a different story. They contain higher doses in concentrated form, which can be dangerous if taken in improper amounts. Always let your health care provider know what nutritional supplements you are taking. Consider taking your supplement bottles with you to your first prenatal visit.

Synthetic vitamin supplements can be helpful ways of including vital nutrients in your daily meals. Vitamins and minerals are essential to healthy development of your baby, as well as your own physical health. Be sure to speak with your health care provider about nutrition before you conceive if you are planning to get pregnant in the near future, or as soon as you know you are pregnant.

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Taking Medications during Pregnancy

Some of the most common questions women have during pregnancy are related to the safety of medications that were taken prior to getting pregnant, or the safety of medications that they might need to take during their pregnancy.

The American Pregnancy Association is working with the Reproductive Toxicology Center, another Non-Profit organization, for the purpose of delivering vital information related to medication interactions during pregnancy. REPROTOX® is a database used by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in their evaluation and communication regarding medication use during pregnancy.

It is important to remember that the information provided by REPROTOX® is only reference material and should not replace the guidance and direction provided directly by your health care provider.

The list below is a list of ingredients used in common over-the-counter medications. The problem with evaluating specific medications is that many over-the-counter medications contain two or more ingredients. It is important to evaluate each ingredient separately. These medications should be available in the REPROTOX® database for you to evaluate potentially using during your pregnancy. It is always beneficial to discuss any questions with your health care provider.

Acetaminophen
Aluminum Hydroxide
Aspirin
Bisacodyl USP
Bismuth Subsalicylate
Caffeine
Calcium
Calcium Carbonate
Chlorpheniramine Maleate
Cimetidine
Dextromethorphan
Doxylamine Succinate
Famotidine
Guaifenesin
Ibuprofen
Loperamide
Loratadine
Magnesium Hydroxide
Magnesium Trisilicate
Methylcellulose
Miconazole
Naproxen
Omeprazole
Phenylephrine
Pseudoephedrine
Ranitidine
Simethicone

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Sleeping Positions During Pregnancy

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

Why am I so uncomfortable in my normal positions?
When you are pregnant your body goes through a variety of changes. These changes tend to disrupt your usual peaceful slumber. Reasons may include:
♂ Increased size of abdomen
♂ Back pain
♂ Heartburn
♂ Shortness of breath
♂ Insomnia

What are the best sleep positions?
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 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 and 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 positions should I avoid?
Sleeping on your back: This can cause problems with backaches, breathing, digestive system, hemorrhoids, low blood pressure and decrease in circulation to your heart and your baby. This is a result of your abdomen resting on your intestines and major blood vessels (the aorta and vena cava).

Sleeping on your stomach: When you are farther along in your pregnancy, your abdomen undergoes physical changes and makes it more difficult for you to lay on your stomach.

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Pregnancy and Travel

There are few concerns associated with traveling while you are pregnant; however, the information below is provided to help make your trip the safest and most comfortable it can be.

Is it okay to travel during your entire pregnancy?
As long as there are no identified complications or concerns with your pregnancy, it is generally safe to travel at all times during your pregnancy.

The ideal time to travel during pregnancy is the second trimester. In most cases, you are past the morning sickness of the first trimester and several weeks from the third stage of pregnancy when you are more easily fatigued.

What about travel on land while you are pregnant?
Whether you are going by car, bus, or train, it is generally safe to travel while you are pregnant; however, there are some things to consider that could make your trip safer and more comfortable.
♂ It is essential to buckle-up every time you ride in a car. Make sure that you use both the lap and shoulder belts for the best protection of you and your baby.
♂ Keep the air bags turned on. The safety benefits of the air bag outweigh any potential risk to you and your baby.
♂ Buses tend to have narrow aisles and small restrooms. This mode of transportation can be more challenging. The safest thing is to remain seated while the bus is moving. If you must use the restroom, make sure to hold on to the rail or seats to keep your balance.
♂ Trains usually have more room to navigate and walk. The restrooms are usually small. It is essential to hold on to rails or seat backs while the train is moving.
♂ Try to limit the amount of time you are cooped up in the car, bus, or train. Keep travel time around five to six hours.
♂ Use rest stops to take short walks and to do stretches to keep the blood circulating.

What about travel by air while you are pregnant?
Traveling by air is considered safe for women while they are pregnant; however, the following ideas might make your trip safer and more comfortable.
♂ Most airlines allow pregnant women to travel through their eighth month. Traveling during the ninth month is usually allowed if there is permission from your health care provider.
♂ Most airlines have narrow aisles and smaller bathrooms, which makes it more challenging to walk and more uncomfortable when using the restroom. Because of potential turbulence that could shake the plane, make sure you are holding on to the seat backs while navigating the aisle.
♂ You may want to choose an aisle seat which will allow you to get up more easily to reach the restroom or just to stretch your legs and back.
♂ Travel on major airlines with pressurized cabins and avoid smaller private planes. If you must ride in smaller planes, avoid altitudes above 7,000 feet.

What about travel by sea while you are pregnant?
Traveling by sea is generally safe for women while they are pregnant; the motion of the boat may accentuate any morning sickness or make you feel nauseous all over again. There are a few considerations to make your trip safer and more comfortable.
♂ Check with the cruise line to ensure that there is a health care provider on board in case there are any complications.
♂ Review the route and port-of-calls to identify if there is access to any medical facilities if needed.
♂ Make sure any medications for seasickness are approved for women who are pregnant and that there is no risk to the developing baby.
♂ Seasickness bands use acupressure to help prevent upset stomach and may be a good alternative to medication.

What about foreign travel while you are pregnant?
Traveling overseas has the same considerations that local or domestic travel has, but it also has additional concerns that you need to know about before making an international trip. The information below is provided to help you assess whether an international trip is good for you at this time.
♂ It is important to talk with your health care provider before you take a trip internationally to discuss safety factors for you and your baby.
♂ Discuss immunizations with your health care provider and carry a copy of your health records with you.
♂ With international travel, you may be exposed to a disease that is rare here in the United States, but is common in the country you visit.
♂ Contact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at (800) 311-3435 or visit their website at www.cdc.gov to receive safety information along with immunization facts related to your travels.
♂ Diarrhea is a common concern when traveling overseas because you may not be used to the germs and organisms found in the food and water of other countries. This can lead to a problem of dehydration. Here are some tips to avoid diarrhea and help keep you safe:
ㄙDrink plenty of bottled water
ㄙUsed canned juices or soft drinks as alternatives
ㄙMake sure the milk is pasteurized
ㄙAvoid fresh fruits and vegetables unless they have been cooked or can be peeled (such as an orange or a banana)
ㄙMake certain that all meat and fish has been cooked completely; if you are unsure, do not eat it

How to make the best of your travels during pregnancy?
♂ Dress comfortably in loose cotton clothing and wear comfortable shoes.
♂ Take your favorite pillow.
♂ Plan for plenty of rest stops, restroom breaks and stretches.
♂ Carry snack foods with you.
♂ If you are traveling any distance, make sure to carry a copy of your prenatal records.
♂ Wear your seatbelt and take other safety measures.
♂ Enjoy the trip.

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Dental Work during Pregnancy

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. Preventive dental work is essential to avoid oral infections such as gum disease, which has been linked to preterm birth.

What about other regular dental work during pregnancy?
Dental work 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 exposing the developing baby to any risks, even if they are minimal.

What about medications used in dental work during pregnancy?
Currently, there are conflicting studies about possible adverse effects on the developing baby from medications used during dental work. Lidocaine is the most commonly used drug for dental work. Lidocaine (Category B) does cross the placenta after administration.

If dental work is needed, the amount of anesthesia administered should be as little as possible, but still enough to make you comfortable. If you are experiencing pain, request additional numbing. When you are comfortable, the amount of stress on you and the baby is reduced. Also, the more comfortable you are, the easier it is for the anesthesia to work.

Dental work often requires antibiotics to prevent or treat infections. Antibiotics such as penicillin, amoxicillin, and clindamycin, which are labeled category B for safety in pregnancy, may be prescribed after your procedure.

What about x-rays used in dental work during pregnancy?
Routine x-rays, usually taken during annual exams, can usually be postponed until after the birth. X-rays are necessary to perform many dental procedures, especially emergencies. According to the American College of Radiology, no single diagnostic x-ray has a radiation dose significant enough to cause adverse effects in a developing embryo or fetus.

Fetal organ development occurs during the first trimester; it is best to avoid all potential risks at this time if possible. If non-emergency dental work is needed during the third trimester, it is usually postponed until after the birth. This is to avoid the risk of premature labor and prolonged time lying on your back.

Suggestions for addressing your dental needs during pregnancy:
♂The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that pregnant women eat a balanced diet, brush their teeth thoroughly with an ADA-approved fluoride toothpaste twice a day, and floss daily
♂ Have preventive exams and cleanings during your pregnancy
♂ Let your dentist know you are pregnant
♂ Postpone non-emergency dental work until the second trimester or until after delivery, if possible
♂ Elective procedures should be postponed until after the delivery
♂ Maintain healthy circulation by keeping your legs uncrossed while you sit in the dentist's chair
♂ Take a pillow to help keep you and the baby more comfortable
♂ Bring headphones and some favorite music

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Hair Treatment during Pregnancy

Questions related to hair treatments during pregnancy are common. Most treatments involve chemicals and dyes which leave women wondering if they are safe.

The different types of hair treatments include:
♂ Coloring 每 this includes temporary dyes, semi-permanent dyes and permanent dyes.
♂ Curling 每 permanent waves are created by placing two solutions on the hair. The first solution is a waving solution and the second is a neutralization/fixation solution.
♂ Bleaching 每 involves the use of hydrogen peroxide
♂ Relaxers 每 are also known as hair straighteners and involve a variety of chemicals.

Are hair treatment chemicals dangerous during pregnancy?
Manufacturers frequently change formulas and many different chemicals are used in these processes. These chemicals are not generally evaluated for effects on pregnancy so limited data on use during pregnancy is available.

It is likely that only a small amount of any hair treatment chemicals are actually absorbed into a woman*s system through her skin. This minimal amount is not thought to be enough to create a problem for the baby. The fixation solution used during permanents may irritate the scalp but not affect other areas of the body and a minimal amount would be absorbed. The same would be true of chemicals used in the straightening process.

Are hair dyes safe during pregnancy?
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), hair dyes are probably safe to use during pregnancy because so little dye is absorbed through the skin. However, it is still important to be cautious, therefore many health care providers recommend that pregnant women not use permanent hair dyes during the first three months.

While the absorption through the skin is minimal, the concern is that breathing fumes during the process could be harmful to the developing baby. Permanent hair dyes contain ammonia which has a strong chemical fume. The recommendation is to avoid hair dyes that contain ammonia. The chemical fume warning also applies to straightening products as well.

Semi-permanent dyes or a highlighting process may be considered safer for pregnant women. With highlights, the dye is enclosed in foil and won*t be absorbed into the skin. Vegetable dyes such as henna are also considered likely to be safe for coloring hair during pregnancy.

What precautions should I take when chemically treating my hair?
The following safety tips should be followed when chemically treating your hair:
♂ Consider waiting until the second trimester for hair dye, bleaching, permanents or straightening.
♂ Have the treatment completed in a well-ventilated area.
♂ Don*t leave the chemicals on your head any longer than necessary.
♂ Rinse your scalp thoroughly with water after treatment.
♂ Wear gloves when applying chemicals.
♂ Carefully follow directions on the product package.
♂ Do a patch test for allergic reactions before completing the process
♂ Never dye or bleach eyebrows or eyelashes. This could cause swelling or increase risk of infection in the eye area.

What if I work as a cosmetologist and am pregnant?
The risks during pregnancy come from working conditions, number of hours worked and exposure to the chemicals used in treating hair. Studies show that because of improved dye formulas and better working conditions, fewer risks are associated with this type of work.

Proper working conditions are important. These include working in a well-ventilated area, wearing protective gloves and not eating or drinking in the work area. These precautions reduce the exposure to hair treatment chemicals.

Is it safe to have hair treatments while I breastfeed?
It is unlikely that any chemicals would enter the breast milk because so little is absorbed through the skin.

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Pregnancy and Sex

It is common for couples to wonder whether sex is safe when they discover they are pregnant. Unless your health care provider advises you otherwise, sex during pregnancy is safe for both you and your baby. The baby is protected by the amniotic fluid in the womb, by your abdomen, and by the mucus plug which seals your cervix and helps guard against infections.

When is sex during pregnancy NOT safe?
Sex is safe during pregnancy unless your health care provider has indicated that you have a high risk pregnancy. Although there are few reasons to avoid sex during pregnancy, there are some situations when your health care provider may indicate that sex should be avoided. These situations include:
♂ History of premature birth or labor
♂ History of miscarriage
♂ If your water has broken
♂ If you experience unexplained vaginal bleeding or discharge
♂ If you have placenta previa, or a very low-lying placenta
♂ If you have an incompetent cervix or if it has dilated
♂ If you or your partner has a sexually transmitted disease

What changes are expected with sexual activity during pregnancy?
Sexual practices may not have to change during pregnancy. However, because of the different changes that occur in your body, you may want to make some changes to make things more comfortable. Here is some information to consider when thinking about sex during pregnancy:
♂ Exhaustion, hormonal fluctuations, tender breasts and self-consciousness about weight gain can bring your sex drive to a halt. Sometimes you may need rest to regain energy - give yourself a break.
♂ The common missionary position may become uncomfortable and warrant considering other positions such as side by side or with you on top.
♂ As your breasts increase in size, they may become more tender or sore. Encourage your partner to explore other parts of your body and to find other ways to caress you. With the changes in your breast it is best to avoid direct nipple stimulation.
♂ There is increased blood flow to the pelvic area that can lead to engorgement of the genitals and heighten the sensation; however, for some women this can be more uncomfortable.

Unless your health care provider tells you otherwise, you and your partner should be able to enjoy sex during your pregnancy. Pay attention to your body and make adjustments so that you can enjoy the experience to the fullest.

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Hot Tubs during Pregnancy

For many pregnant women, sitting in a hot tub sounds like a great way to ease muscle aches related to pregnancy. It is important to use caution when choosing a hot tub for relaxation and pain relief. Hot tubs can cause hyperthermia, which is an abnormally high body temperature.

What is the concern with hot tubs during pregnancy?
According to the Organization of Teratology Information Services (OTIS), a body temperature of 101º F and above can raise concerns during pregnancy. Some studies have shown an increased risk of birth defects in babies of women who had an increased body temperature during the first trimester of pregnancy.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) states that becoming overheated in a hot tub is not recommended during pregnancy. ACOG also recommends that pregnant women never let their core body temperature rise above 102.2º F.

Although the specific degree differs, both OTIS and ACOG attest to the concern related to hot tub use during pregnancy.

Hot tubs are often factory programmed to maintain a water temperature of approximately 104º F. It takes only 10-20 minutes in a hot tub to raise your body temperature to 102º F or higher. To maintain a steady temperature, water is circulated and re-circulated through the hot tub to pump out cold water and pump in hot water.

So, is a hot bath safer than using a hot tub?
A hot bath, which is not uncomfortable or scalding, is a safer way to relax. In a bath much of your upper body will remain out of the water, making you less likely to overheat. Additionally, the water in a bath begins to cool off, as opposed to a hot tub, further reducing any risk of overheating.

How to reduce the risk if you choose to use a hot tub:
Although the Association does not recommend using hot tubs during pregnancy, here are some steps you can take to reduce any risk:
♂ Re-program your hot tub to maintain a lower temperature.
♂ Limit time in a hot tub to 10 minutes or less.
♂ Monitor the temperature of the water by dipping a thermometer in the hot tub.
♂ Monitor your body temperature to avoid overheating.
♂ Pay attention to warning signs such as becoming uncomfortable or if you stop sweating.

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Exercise Guidelines During Pregnancy

If you have been following a regular exercise program prior to your pregnancy, you should be able to maintain that program to some degree throughout your pregnancy. Exercise does not increase your risk for miscarriage.
♂ If you are just starting an exercise program as a way of improving your health during your pregnancy, you should start very slowly and be careful not to over exert yourself.
♂ Listen to your body. Your body will naturally give you signals that it is time to reduce the level of exercise you are performing.
♂ Never exercise to the point of exhaustion or breathlessness. This is a sign that your baby and your body cannot get the oxygen supply they need.
♂ Wear comfortable exercise footwear that gives strong ankle and arch support.
♂ Take frequent breaks, and drink plenty of fluids during exercise.
♂ Avoid exercise in extremely hot weather.
♂ Avoid rocky terrain or unstable ground when running or cycling. Your joints are more lax in pregnancy, and ankle sprains and other injuries may occur.
♂ Contact sports should be avoided during pregnancy.
♂ Weight training should emphasize improving tone, especially in the upper body and abdominal area. Avoid lifting weights above your head and using weights that strain the lower back muscles.
♂ During the second and third trimesters, avoid exercise that involves lying flat on your back as this decreases blood flow to your womb.
♂ Include relaxation and stretching before and after your exercise program.
♂ Eat a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables and complex carbohydrates.

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Top Recommended Exercises

Before you begin exercising, remember that it is important to talk to your health care provider. If you are already exercising, you may be able to keep up with your routine and adapt it as you grow. Keep your heart rate under 140 beats per minute and avoid overheating, especially in your first trimester.

Recommended Exercises:
Kegel Exercises:
Pregnant women who perform Kegel exercises often find they have an easier birth. Strengthening these muscles during pregnancy can help you develop the ability to control your muscles during labor and delivery. Toning all of these muscles will also minimize two common problems during pregnancy: bladder leaks and hemorrhoids.

Kegel exercises are also recommended after pregnancy to promote perineal healing, regain bladder control, and strengthen pelvic floor muscles. The best thing about Kegel exercises is that they can be done anywhere, and no one knows you*re doing them.

Swimming:
Many health care providers and fitness professionals say swimming is the safest exercise for pregnant women. Swimming keeps your body toned without adding weight and stress to your joints. When swimming you are raising your heart rate and enjoying a safe cardiovascular exercise that is not likely to cause overheating. Avoid scuba diving or water skiing.

Walking:
Walking is very beneficial because it is safe for your body. It is easier on your knees than running and can be easily worked into your schedule. Start slowly and be sure you stretch well before you begin. Set realistic goals and wear good shoes to decrease the risk of falling or pressure on your feet.

Running & Jogging:
Usually if you are in a habit of running, you can continue running. However, if you did not run before pregnancy, you may want to speak to your health care provider before you begin a running program. If you run, make sure you're well hydrated, avoid over-heating , and wear good shoes.

Bicycling:
The best thing about biking is that the bike supports your weight, so there is less stress on your body. A stationary bike is great exercise because you have less of a chance of falling. As you grow, your center of gravity is shifting so your are at an increased risk of falling. As your abdomen grows, it can put a lot of stress on your back. Start slowly and do not over-exert yourself.

Stair Climbing Machines:
These machines pose a small risk of falling. However, side rails provide balance support. Stair climbing is an excellent way to raise your heart rate.

Yoga:
Yoga has a long standing reputation for relieving stress and pressure on your body. Most forms of yoga will be safe for you and your baby, as long as they are not excessively rigorous. Some yoga instructors offer special classes for pregnant women. Avoid lying flat on your back for extended periods of time and try not to overstretch.

Aerobics:
If you already participate in aerobics, you will most likely be able to continue; however, you should speak to your health care provider before beginning a new program. Keeping your balance can sometimes be difficult, so you'll want to be careful as you grow. Taking a class specially designed for pregnant women is a good idea. Most health clubs offer them. Do not exercise lying flat on your back for extended periods of time.

Dance:
Dancing can be done in your home or at a gym that offers special classes for pregnant women. Avoid a lot of spinning, leaping, and jumping.

Exercises to Avoid:
Skiing:
Although cross-country skiing is a fairly safe sport for pregnant women, there is a risk of falling. Downhill skiing has a greater risk of falling and is not recommended while pregnant.

Water Skiing:
Water skiing could result in abdominal trauma, especially in the second and third trimesters.

Horseback Riding:
Riding a horse can involve a lot of jolts and quick movements, which can really hurt you and your baby. There is also a risk of falling.

When you Exercise:
Don't wear tight clothes, but do wear a good sports bra that will give you good support. Wear shoes that have good support and are not slippery, so you won't fall. Breathe deeply, drink a lot of water, and remember to keep your heart rate under 140 beats per minute. Avoid jerking motions and lying on your back for extended periods of time.

Stop exercising if you have any vaginal bleeding, dizziness, faintness, shortness of breath, contractions, or nauseous feelings.

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Best Pregnancy Exercises

Exercise is Good For Both of You

Whether this is your first pregnancy, second 每 or sixth - exercising during pregnancy is extremely important. While all the same benefits of exercising hold true for when you are pregnant or not pregnant, there are many reasons why exercising when pregnant should be a top priority for you:
♂ Regular exercise helps you keep in shape as well as increases your stamina and flexibility. The more in shape and flexible you are during labor the easier your labor and delivery will be. The whole labor process and delivering a baby is hard work. The better shape you are in when you go into labor the faster and easier the delivery will go in all but the rarest cases. Less complications, and an easy delivery, are as important to baby as they are to you. Having strength, stamina and flexibility during labor and delivery is an obvious benefit, and a great motivator to get moving and exercising.
♂ Exercising while pregnant helps your baby grow and develop. Exercise increases your heart rate, blood circulation (which helps process toxins out of your body), increases your oxygen intake, and also increases your metabolism. Exercise does the same thing for your baby, and in addition to increasing blood circulation, more of the important nutrients are being absorbed by your baby since your body is processing the foods more efficiently while you are exercising.
♂ Additional benefits to prenatal exercising include a reduction of water retention, reduction in the chances of stretch marks, and more energy. Exercise also helps with the mood swings that occur while pregnant. You will sleep better, have less back pain, and hormones will be more level with regular exercise while pregnant.
♂ Exercise helps maintain your weight if you are pregnant or not. Regular exercise will keep your body and muscle tones, your cardiovascular system healthy, and give you a head start on loosing your baby weight.
♂ The better in shape your body is at the time of delivery, the faster and smoother your recovery will be after the baby is born. Regular prenatal exercise has also been found to reduce the episodes and frequency of post-partum depression, especially if mom continues to exercise once baby is here.

Best Prenatal Exercises

There is no doubt that exercise is good for both you and your baby, but it*s imperative to remember that safety comes first. Exercising does not have to be heavy lifting, strenuous exercise, or things of that nature. You will want to watch your heart rate, and be careful not to over-heat. You*ll want to avoid exercises where there is a concern of slipping, falling, becoming off-balance or is hard on your joints, especially as your pregnancy enters its second and third trimester.

1. Walking: Taking walks at a brisk or leisurely pace will ensure you do not hurt your knees and ankles. This is a great cardiovascular exercise to do while pregnant, especially because it can be done anytime, anywhere. Walks through a mall, art show, around the block, whenever it is convenient. Always wear comfortable and supportive shoes, same as you would even when you are not pregnant. Since balance is (or will be) an issue, you*ll want to save running and marathon training until after the baby gets here.

2. Swimming and Water Aerobics: Getting into the water is a wonderful exercise to do while pregnant. There is very little chance of strain or pulled muscles, and staying balanced isn*t nearly the issue it is when you are on &dry land*. The buoyancy of the water helps support your growing tummy, reducing the chance of back strain and aching legs. You are able to do water aerobics or swim, and get a full work out, without over-doing it. Swimming is also wonderful for sore muscles and swollen feet and legs.

3. Light Aerobics: Light aerobics, such as stretching, lunges, floor exercises, wall push-ups, and toe touches, to name a few, are all great ways to increase your flexibility and improve your strength and stamina. The stretching will help cure muscle aches and pains while pregnant. Save the stair-step and high intensity work outs for after the baby gets here. Many hospitals offer yoga and light aerobics especially for pregnant women. Sit-ups probably won*t be in your routine, but there are many pelvic and leg lifts that you can do. Just make sure that your back is fully supported by a pillow, a rolled towel, etc. to reduce strain.

4. Exercise Machines: Treadmills, elliptical machines, stationary recumbent bikes, and stair steppers let you get a pregnancy-friendly aerobic workout in safely. Watch your posture to limit back strain (which is why the recumbent bikes are great; leaning against the backrest all but eliminates the chances of back strain), and use the handrails.
Always check with your doctor first before doing any exercises, especially when pregnant, to find out dos, don*ts, and what parameters you should follow for your heart rate, etc. If you were involved in a regular exercise routine prior to getting pregnant, you*ll probably find that you can do most everything you did before you were pregnant if you are creative and limit the intensity of your exercises. If you were not involved in regular exercise before your pregnancy, be careful not to overdo it! Consult with your doctor before starting exercise, and use common sense. If you didn*t work out before you were pregnant, you shouldn*t jump into an hour a day, seven days a week 每 your muscles, back, and stamina won*t react too positively to the change. Don*t let any pre-pregnancy non-existent exercise routine discourage you though; a little common sense and regular exercise goes a long way to a healthy pregnancy, an easier delivery, and a faster recovery time.

Exercise Warning Signs

Check with your health care provider if you experience any of the following warning signs during exercise:
♂ Vaginal bleeding
♂ Unusual pain
♂ Dizziness or lightheadedness
♂ Unusual shortness of breath
♂ Racing heartbeat or chest pain
♂ Fluid leaking from your vagina
♂ Uterine contractions
♂ Muscle cramps

Stop if you feel tired, too hot, cramped, light headed, or dizzy.

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Mood Swings During Pregnancy

If you are pregnant or are supporting someone through pregnancy, you probably have had some experience with mood swings. You are not alone; mood swings are common during pregnancy. You may be excited about being pregnant, but you can also be stressed or overwhelmed.

You may have constant worries that contribute to your mood swings, such as: Will I be a good parent? How am I going to manage financially? Will my baby be healthy? Am I doing the right things to prepare for my baby? Pregnancy is a life-changing event full of physical and emotional changes. Understanding these changes will help you have a positive experience.

What causes mood swings during pregnancy?
Mood changes during pregnancy can be caused by physical stresses, fatigue, changes in your metabolism, or by the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Significant changes in your hormone levels can affect your level of neurotransmitters, which are brain chemicals that regulate mood. Mood swings are mostly experienced during the first trimester between 6 to 10 weeks and then again in the third trimester as your body prepares for birth.

What should I do about my mood swings?
It is important to understand you are not alone; mood swings are just another aspect of the pregnancy experience. Knowing that what you are experiencing is normal and somewhat expected may help you cope. The following list includes ways to manage your stress level:
♂ Get plenty of sleep.
♂ Take a break during the day to relax.
♂ Get regular physical activity.
♂ Eat well.
♂ Spend time with your partner.
♂ Take a nap.
♂ Go for a walk.
♂ See a movie with a friend.
♂ Don*t be so hard on yourself.
♂ Try pregnancy yoga class or meditation.
♂ Get a massage.

When should I seek professional help?
If your mood swings last more than two weeks and do not seem to get better, you may want to ask your health care provider for a referral to a counselor. More than 11 million American women are affected by depression each year. Depression is most prevalent in women during childbearing years but can occur at any age.

Some symptoms of depression include:
♂ Recurrent anxiety and increased irritability
♂ Sleep disturbances
♂ Change in eating habits
♂ Inability to concentrate on anything for very long
♂ Short-term memory loss

If your mood swings become more frequent and intense, it is crucial that you speak with your health care provider about options for dealing with severe mood swings, anxiety or depression.

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Depression During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is supposed to be one of the happiest times of a woman's life, but for many women this is a time of confusion, fear, sadness, stress, and even depression. About 10-20% of women will struggle with some symptoms of depression during pregnancy, and a quarter to half of these will suffer from major depression.

Depression is a mood disorder that affects 1 in 4 women at some point during their lifetime, so it should be no surprise that this illness would also touch women who are pregnant. But all too often, depression is not diagnosed properly during pregnancy because people think it is just another type of hormonal imbalance. This assumption can be dangerous for the mother and the unborn baby.

Depression is an illness that can be treated and managed during pregnancy, but the first step, seeking out help and support, is the most important.

What is depression during pregnancy?
Depression during pregnancy, or antepartum depression, is a mood disorder just like clinical depression. Mood disorders are biological illnesses that involve changes in brain chemistry. During pregnancy, hormone changes can affect brain chemicals, which are directly related to depression and anxiety. These can be exacerbated by difficult life situations, which can result in depression during pregnancy.

What are the signs of depression during pregnancy?
Women with depression usually experience some of the following symptoms for 2 weeks or more:
♂ Persistent sadness
♂ Difficulty concentrating
♂ Sleeping too little or too much
♂ Loss of interest in activities that you usually enjoy
♂ Recurring thoughts of death, suicide, or hopelessness
♂ Anxiety
♂ Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
♂ Change in eating habits

What are possible triggers of depression during pregnancy?
♂ Relationship problems
♂ Family or personal history of depression
♂ Infertility treatments
♂ Previous pregnancy loss
♂ Stressful life events
♂ Complications in pregnancy
♂ History of abuse or trauma

Can depression during pregnancy cause harm to my baby?
Depression that is not treated can have potential dangerous risks to the mother and baby. Untreated depression can lead to poor nutrition, drinking, smoking, and suicidal behavior, which can then cause premature birth, low birth weight, and developmental problems. A woman who is depressed often does not have the strength or desire to adequately care for herself or her developing baby.

What is the treatment for depression during pregnancy?
If you feel you may be struggling with depression, the most important thing is to seek help. Talk with your health care provider about your symptoms and struggles. Your health care provider wants the healthiest choice for you and your baby and may discuss options with you for treatment. Treatment options for women who are pregnant can include:
♂ Support groups
♂ Private psychotherapy
♂ Medication
♂ Light therapy

If your symptoms are severe, your health care provider may want to prescribe medication immediately. There are medications that have been used during pregnancy without adverse affects. Discuss with your health care provider what he/she feels is safest for your baby but still beneficial to you.

If you do not feel comfortable talking with your health care provider about your feelings of depression, find someone else to talk with. The most important thing is that someone knows what you are dealing with and can try to help you. Never try to face depression alone. Your baby needs you to seek help and get treatment.

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