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Archive for June, 2007

Day to day life is challenging enough but when you add pregnancy to that mix, your body may undergo a major workout without visiting a gym. And you end up with a back ache, morning sickness (sometimes lasting all day), and exhaustion.

Before you end up exhausted and sore, here are some activities that should be avoided during your pregnancy.

Eliminate as much fatigue as much as possible
Don’t let fatigue overwhelm you. Instead, find out what part of the day is the best for you and do your job or activities that require the most energy or the most concentration. When you start to feel fatigue coming on, get up and walk around a little to reactivate your muscles and blood flow. Walking can also work for destressing yourself when you do take the time to relax.

Cut back on your commitments
Most of us have extra activities and commitments outside of our work place or home. This would normally be a good thing. But during your pregnancy this may be a good time to cut back and take that time to get some rest. Right now is when you need to make your commitment to yourself and your baby.

Don’t try to be wonder woman
Remember she was only a fictional character. If you are blessed with friends, relatives, or other co-workers that really care and want to help, don’t turn their offers of help away. Instead, consider yourself truly blessed and allow them to help you. You may think that you are burdening them, but it is probably quite the opposite. Most people do not volunteer unless they really want to help. It makes them feel good to do things for others. So if you have storm windows to put on, a lawn to be mowed or snow to be removed, a house that needs cleaning, or errands to run, for goodness sake, allow others to help. That’s what keeps us all in touch with one another.

Don’t let your job get you down
If you have a job that requires any of the following working conditions, you may need a little understanding from your boss, or a note from your doctor to get you through your pregnancy while still holding down employment.

  • If you have to do any constant heavy lifting
  • If you have to do any standing for long periods of time
  • If you have to deal with or be around any heavy duty machines that cause vibrations
  • If you are enduring lots of stress from commuting long distances to and from work
  • If you are afraid of being exposed to harmful chemicals
  • If you endure lots of heat while working
  • If your job requires a good sense of balance
  • If you have a job that requires different shift changes, you will not get proper rest.

All of these things in this report will cause fatigue, or add to your already aching body. You can’t fully escape certain conditions during pregnancy, but you can learn what types of activities need to be avoided to help maintain your health.

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Ingredients:
2 cups variety of fruit (strawberries, kiwi, berries, peaches, etc.)
1 seedless watermelon (or other seedless melon of your choice)
1/4 cup bottled sangria or sparkling white grape juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Directions:
Slice the melon of your choice into 4 pieces 1/2 inch thick and refrigerate. Cut fruit into small bite sized pieces. To make the salsa combine fruit pieces in a bowl with sangria or white grape juice. Toss together, cover and refrigerate for 2 to 5 hours. When ready to serve, sprinkle lemon juice over melon slices and top with salsa.

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Summer is a time for pool parties, beach parties, and sun bathing. However, with the suns rays growing ever stronger, you should take precautions to prevent overheating and dehydration.

Here are some summer safety tips as you spend your days in the sun and heat:

  • When sunbathing, always wear sunscreen, preferably SPF 15. Make sure to reapply it every two hours.
  • Try to stay in the shade during the hours between 10am and 4pm when the sun is at its strongest.
  • Wear sunglasses and a hat when sunbathing at the beach. If possible, bring or rent an umbrella. (This is especially important if you are bringing the kids along.)
  • Drink plenty of water on a hot day. You want to avoid any form of dehydration. Gatorade or Propel will also do the trick and lend some flavor to that water!
  • When exposing babies to the sun, ensure they are wearing lightweight clothing, including hats with brims. Be sure to apply sunscreen to all parts of the body, even the face, back of the neck and backs of hands.
  • For younger and older children, apply sunscreen thirty minutes before going out to the pool, beach, or engaging in any activities. Ensure you have plenty of fluids for them to drink, as well.
  • If you go to the supermarket, or engage in any outdoor activity on a very hot day, dress in light-colored cotton clothing, wear sunscreen, and sunglasses, and be sure to bring plenty of water with you. Unfortunately, the older we get, the more likely we may suffer from dehydration.
  • If you and your family are participating in any physical activity, make sure you are all well hydrated. Drink liquids every 20 minutes.
  • If it’s very, very hot, reduce your activity to fifteen minutes. The moment you become dizzy or flushed – stop. Go to a shaded area, and drink water until your body has a chance to cool down.
  • Take care of your pets. Ensure they have plenty of water to drink, and are kept in a shaded area in your backyard. Otherwise, keep them indoors, and limit their activity as well.
  • Carry wet washcloths in a plastic bag, if you are spending the day out. This is great to have if you are feeling faint, or are walking for a long period. Another idea…keep this plastic bag in the cooler for a REALLY cool treat!
  • When driving, especially in high temperatures, bring bottles of water and wet wash clothes, as well.

We have all felt the affects of the weather over the past couple of years. With temperatures in the 100’s, or above in most states, it’s important to follow these tips, as well as listening to the radio or news channels. Remember: Safety first, summer fun later!

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Your recovery from vaginal birth will depend a lot on what kind of pregnancy you experienced.

For example, was your pregnancy and delivery a fairly normal one, or were you blessed with one or more of these nagging problems: back pain; hemorrhoids; constipation; or varicose veins? At least 50% of all new mothers have some sort of health problem to recover from after childbirth.

Recovering from lack of sleep

One big concern is sleep, or lack thereof. A major cause of depression is fatigue.

Some suggestions for overcoming fatigue are the following:
* Find someone who will be available to help with the work around the house — such as helping with the other children, cooking the meals, or watching the baby so you can rest. Tell your friends and family that helping you would make an excellent baby gift.
* Take your naps when the baby does for a few weeks.
* Get away for some adult time when you can, even if it is for a short period.

Getting your body back to normal

Remember it will take the first 6 weeks for your body to heal itself from the strain of giving birth. It will take your genital organs anywhere from six to eight weeks to start to function at their normal size.

The pregnancy hormone called relaxin will stay in your body for about 5 months. This hormone is what causes your ligaments and muscles to increase in both size and elasticity. Because of this, it is important to realize that your joints are fragile and any high impact activity should be put off for a while.

When you have completely stopped bleeding, you can try things like walking and swimming. Other exercises such as tennis or biking or low impact aerobics should wait until 4-5 months after birth.

Losing weight

Normally, if you were thin before you became pregnant and only gained about 25-30 pounds, you may have your shape back in about 3 months. Moms who have given birth before may take up to 3-6 months to lose the extra weight. Women who are overweight my take from 6-9 months to recover their shape.

Health problems such hemorrhoids, varicose veins, bleeding gums, and skin pigmentation, may last for months after your baby is born.

Post-partum depression or ‘baby blues’

It is very common for woman to go through a depression after the birth of their baby. If you feel you are having this problem, please let your doctor know. He is there for your support both before and after your baby is born. Here are some of the symptoms you may feel when going through post-partum depression.

* You have a hard time keeping your concentration.
* You find yourself crying more frequently.
* You are worried about harming your baby.
* You find yourself feeling an overwhelming sense of your world crashing in.
* You find yourself having trouble with sleep.
* You feel helpless or have been contemplating suicide.
* You can’t seem to recover from your sadness.

Remember, that there are lots of women who have gone or are going through this same thing. Talk to your doctor. He or she will know what to do.

Just remember, don’t get discouraged. It will take time for you and your body to get back to normal. In the meantime, take the time to rest, and hold, and welcome your newest little angel to the family.

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It is well-known that over-exposure to the sun’s UV rays can cause skin cancer. It is also a known fact that tanning beds emit more UV rays than the sun, and are more likely to cause skin cancer, as well. In order to avoid developing skin cancer via sunbathing or tanning beds, here are five reasons sunless tanning is better for you.

1. According to the American Cancer Society, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer during their lifetime. Ultraviolet rays and tanning beds can all cause skin cancer. In fact, they estimate that five or more sunburns more than doubles your risk of developing skin cancer.

2. According to the Academy of Dermatology, the sun’s rays are more damaging today than in recent years. One doctor related that most people associate bronzed skin with good health. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

3. Sunless tanning can be done in the privacy of your own home. It is important to test the product first. The last thing you want to do is to reveal an “orange” tan. Apply the sunless tanning lotion you’re going to use to a small area on your skin and wait 24 hours to see how it works.

4. Sunless tanners are perfectly safe. Before applying the tanner, use exfoliates to remove dead skin. Experts say it will remove any scaly patches and make the application of the tanning lotion more effective.

5. Sunless tanning can be accomplished over a period of time, no matter what time of year. Don’t go full out for the bronzed look, but a little over time will give you the desired results.

Sunless tanning lotions are in. Whether lotions, gels, foams, creams, sprays, or the many varieties available today, there is no need to risk getting skin cancer anymore.

*Please remember your new bronzed skin is still susceptible to the sun’s rays – always use sunscreen whenever outside and exposed to the sun!

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Heading to the beach this summer? If you’re like me, you always forget something. Use this checklist when packing:

  • Large beach bag.
  • Sunscreen Lotion, preferably SPF 15. (higher for the little ones – and your husband’s bald head!)
  • Lip balm.
  • Lotion – the sun and salt water really dry out that skin.
  • A beach umbrella if you have one.
  • Adequate changes of clothing for the family, including shoes.
  • Towels.
  • Wash cloths in plastic bags or wipes in containers.
  • A good book or two!
  • Beach blankets.
  • Pails and shovels.
  • Frisbee and beach ball for the kids.
  • Sunglasses.
  • Brimmed hats for everyone.
  • A cooler to store lunch, snacks, juices, water, and sodas.
  • Your iPod.
  • Beach chairs.
  • Plastic bags (don’t forget to save one for the kids to store their collected sea shells.)
  • Cell phone.
  • Camera (disposable).
  • First Aid Kit.
  • Life jackets and flotation devices.
  • Put cell phone and money pouch in plastic bag and keep in cooler. This way, you don’t have to bring a purse or worry about it being stolen.

Have a great time…and be safe!

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The further into your pregnancy you go, the more your doctor will need to monitor your blood pressure and weight. It will also remain very important to monitor the baby’s heartbeat and movements. You will also have weekly checkups during your last month of pregnancy.

1. Being tested for group B strep
One of the things you will be tested for in your third trimester is a bacterium called group B streptococcus, or GBS. It is harmless in adults, but can cause the baby to become critically ill. If GBS shows up on the swab from your vagina or rectum, you will be administered an intravenous antibiotic during your labor to help protect the baby.

2. Resumption of vaginal exams
During the pelvic exams in your third trimester, you doctor will check to see of your baby is positioned head first or butt first, also known as breech. Your doctor may want to try to apply pressure to your abdomen to try to turn the baby. If the baby will not turn to the head-first position, you may need to have a Caesarean delivery, or C-section.

As you become closer to delivery, your cervix will begin to soften and dilate.

3. Physical changes to your body in your third trimester

  • Backaches and sore hips are common as your baby gains weight. Try sitting on chairs with a good back support, using a heating pad, or find someone who can give you a massage.
  • Swelling of the feet and ankles is normal. Retaining fluids and blood vessels becoming dilated will leave your face and eyelids puffy in the morning.
  • Shortness of breath is also normal as your uterus becomes bigger under your diaphragm.
  • Heartburn may occur.
  • Spider veins, varicose veins and hemorrhoids may occur. Try elevating your legs and drinking lots of liquids.
  • You may notice more stretch marks that become itchy.
  • Your breasts are still growing.
  • You may feel an increased pressure on your bladder.
  • A continuation of the Braxton Hicks contractions.
  • A total weight gain of about 25-35 pounds.

During your last trimester, as your baby grows, so will your level of discomfort. The best thing to do is keep in mind that you are almost there. Try doing positive things that will help pass the time. Pamper yourself as much as possible.

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