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Archive for the ‘Pregnancy’ Category

Product Name:  Snoogle Pregnancy Pillow
Submitted by:  Sarah Grant; Rosamond, CA
Rating:  8
Where to buy:  Amazon.com

Description:   The Snoogle Pregnancy pillow is a pre-shaped pillow designed to support your back, neck, hips, and growing belly while in the 2nd-3rd trimesters of pregnancy.  The way it is designed makes it easy for an expectant mommy to sleep on her left side, like the Doctors recommend, and encourages proper circulation of the blood by reducing many of the pressure points you might feel while sleeping with just a pillow for your head and one between your hips.

Review:   I’ve seen pregnancy pillows that are just a straight tube that you can bend and fit to your own body and that kind of a shape might be more convenient for someone who is not of average size.  The benefit of having something against your back while sleeping on your side really shows up when you wake the next morning.  Just starting my second trimester, my hips were hurting so bad from working to keep me in a side position at night, but now that I have this Snoogle, my hips feel great, as well as my back and my neck.  I would buy one of these for every mother-to-be, because a good night’s sleep is totally worth the price.

Criticism:   The Snoogle’s pre-shaped U-shape is very comfy and easy to “snoogle” into, but I frequently had to re-adjust my position at night to get back into the shape because I’m smaller than the average lady.

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I’ve never met a shower hostess who didn’t run around like a crazy woman cleaning her house before the guest arrived. Sure there are those whose house always looks meticulous, but many houses get the deep clean only when company arrives.

It’s a given that the house will be clean, but the one thing that the guests will rave about is how cute the decorations look.  Then, you will know you’ve done a good job.

Decorating for a shower doesn’t need to be a big deal. If you know the baby’s gender then blue or pink will be the color du jour. If you don’t know, then pretty pastels work well too.

Take a trip to your favorite party supply store and you’ll have no problem coming up with decorations. Crepe paper, balloons cardboard cut-outs abound in these types of stores. You can never go wrong with streamers and balloons. You don’t even need to tape balloons to anything – just merely have them spread across the floor for a festive look.

If you decide on a particular theme, that will make decorating easy… just follow suit. If the theme is simply baby, then you have many choices. You can make or buy banners to hang either inside or outside. Hang balloons from the mailbox to make it easier for guests to find the party place.

Don’t’ forget party plates, napkins and cups. Cake tastes so much better on cute little baby themed plates rather than on your fine china or paper plates, don’t you agree? While you’re at it, don’t forget a table cloth. Not only does it tie the whole look together, it makes for easy clean up.

You may want to decorate a “throne” for mom. Take your biggest, most comfortable chair (but one that she can get out of relatively easily.) and decorate it with streamers and balloons. For an added touch give her a crown to wear.

Sure you want your guests to walk into a beautifully decorated room, but more importantly they will be walking into a room full of love and cheerfulness. It is HER special day…make her feel that way.

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You are probably fully aware of what kinds of food you SHOULD eat during your pregnancy. But did you also know that what you DON’T eat at this time can be just as important?

Fish

While it’s true that fish is an excellent source for iron, protein, and omega 3 fatty acids, there are some fish that may be dangerous to eat while pregnant because of their high content of mercury. These fish may contain a high amount of mercury:

  • Swordfish
  • Shark
  • King mackerel
  • Tilefish

The FDA says it is safe to eat 12 ounces a week of the following:

  • Shrimp
  • Canned tuna
  • Salmon
  • Pollock
  • Catfish
  • Albacore tuna and tuna steaks should be limited to 6 oz a
    week.

Avoid eating raw fish to avoid getting bacteria or viruses.

Meat and Poultry

Make sure all your meat and poultry is fully cooked in order to prevent ingesting bacteria like E coli. Cook the meat until the juices are clear, but also use a meat thermometer to make sure. Meat should be cooked to 160 degrees.

Dairy Foods

Eating unpasteurized dairy products is definitely not on your pregnancy diet. Before eating, check the labels on the following list of soft cheeses to make sure they are not made with unpasteurized milk.

  • Brie
  • Feta
  • Camembert
  • Roquefort
  • Mexican cheeses

Caffeine

Drinking too much caffeine daily can affect your baby’s heart rate and breathing, as well as the baby’s weight at birth and the measurement of the head. Your doctor may want to put a limit on your daily caffeine intake.

It has also been suggested that drinking too much herbal tea while pregnant my cause contractions and therefore cause an increase in the risk of miscarriages or premature labor.

Alcohol and Drugs

Because of the risk of fetal alcohol syndrome, miscarriage, and stillbirth, there is no tolerance for drinking alcohol while you are pregnant. And, of course, avoid illegal drugs. Even over-the-counter medications should be run by your doctor before you take them.

Remember, it is important to know what kinds of foods to avoid while being pregnant. It is just as important as knowing what kinds are good for you.

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Everywhere you look, it seems like everyone has a baby. Maybe it’s your neighbors, friends, or just famous people on T.V. This can make the fact that you can’t seem to get pregnant even more disconcerting.

Before you get frustrated or upset, remember that your chances of having a child are better than they’ve ever been. Not only are there new technologies to help you have a child, there’s also more extensive research on what helps and hurts your chances of conception.

Here are a few tips to help start you on the track to having your own child.

Consult a Professional
If you’re having problems conceiving, you should start by seeing health care professional. While many people’s fertility problems can be solved without medical intervention, it’s best to make sure you don’t require treatment in order to have a child. The man should be tested first because fertility testing is much easier for males.

Cut Back on Your Bad Habits
Consuming alcohol and caffeine, and smoking can all decrease fertility factors in men and women. In the case of smoking, these effects may be permanent; so start quitting today.

Possible Medical Conditions?
When people think of fertility and doctors, they often think of in vitro fertilization and other artificial forms of conception, but that’s not all they can do. For instance, the most common cause of infertility in men is a varicose vein blocking the passage of sperm which can be corrected with a minor surgery. There are other problems that also require simple treatments to fix.

Cut Back on the Sex
It may seem contradictive, but many couples don’t get pregnant because they’re having sex too often. Frequent ejaculation causes the sperm count to be lower because men can only produce sperm so fast. For the highest sperm count, you should wait three days to have sex again. Because of this, a fertility monitor can come in handy so you know when the best time to conceive is. By taking three day breaks, it is very easy to miss your window of opportunity if you’re not careful.

Cut Back on the Stress
Another common cause of infertility is high stress levels. This creates a cyclical problem because the longer it takes you to conceive, the more stressed you get that something might be wrong. You and your spouse should both take time to relax and unwind. You might consider doing yoga together or just giving each other massages at the end of the day.

Watch Your Diet
Eat a healthy, well balanced diet. While most women know they should eat right once they get pregnant, many don’t think about eating good foods while trying to conceive. Your reproductive organs work best when the rest of your body is healthy too. This means eating the foods to stay at your best. Your diets should include organic and natural food products. Eating traditionally grown products can severely inhibit fertility rates. Many foods contain hormones and other chemicals that can throw your natural levels out of whack, decreasing your chances of conceiving.

If your doctor says you’re both fertile, the best method to conceive is to just keep trying. While it may be frustrating, the natural method is usually the best.

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So you have decided NOT to find out the sex of your baby. That’s cool – I decided not to find out with my first 2 and then opted to know with the last one. Although it is a great decision, it can be a challenge when it comes to decorating the nursery. Thankfully we have a lot more choices available to us today than our parents and grandparents had when they were having babies. They worked with the two basic baby colors; blue and pink. We have the entire rainbow and our imagination is the only limit.

Before you put anything into your nursery, it’s a great idea to tackle the walls. You’re going to want something gentle and soothing that will work with all kinds of ideas you come up with later. Without being girlish or boyish, you could go for a simple blue sky scene using a few shades of light blue. Add in some fluffy clouds and you have a great backdrop for anything. Carry this same theme over into curtains with some fabric paints. Just about any fabric color you choose for the windows will look complimentary.

Most nurseries have four basic elements of furniture. The baby’s crib and changing table usually match. Then you have a dresser and a rocking chair for Mom. You may also have a cradle, but that’s more likely to be in your own bedroom. Since you won’t know the gender of the baby until you bring him home, and you certainly won’t feel like shopping for furniture then – you will probably want to go with natural wood tones. If you pick up some unfinished pieces, you can add color and design elements later when you have more time.

The next step in decorating your baby’s nursery might be all about the functions of the nursery. If you’ll be spending time in the nursery late at night, a little side nightstand with a lamp next to the rocker will be nice. Find a plain white lamp and lamp shade and you’ll be able to modify it later to match the theme you choose.

Look for two or three large shelves, two or three feet wide, at least eight inches deep and hang these up strategically around the room. Choose a natural wood tone to match the furniture or stick with white until later. These shelves will be a blessing to you for things like a small stereo, some books to read your baby, or a few favorite décor items. These basic elements are so versatile and can flow with any ideas you come up with later when the baby is settled in. Whether you end up adding butterflies or frogs to the room later, the blue sky and neutral additions will fit perfectly.

This is a room with a really nice canvas of sky and all of the basics in place. You can wait for baby to reveal his or her gender to really dig into a decorating theme, or just choose to go with something that isn’t girl or boy specific to get everything done in advance. Whichever you choose, don’t be afraid to be daring – remember, the nursery gets redecorated in just a few short years and you get to have the fun all over again.

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Reasons for having an emergency C-section

There are times when a woman needs help during labor and delivery, and inducing labor is not an option. The only other solution is to do a Caesarean delivery, or C-section.

These times include the following:

  • If your baby stops moving down the birth canal and your cervix is no longer dilating.
  • If your doctor feels that your baby’s heartbeat can’t safely handle any more labor.
  • If your umbilical cord comes through the cervix, with concern that the baby’s oxygen supply will be cut off.
  • If your placenta is starting to tear away from your uterine wall, making it imperative that your baby be delivered immediately.
  • If you have genital herpes and your water breaks.

If there is time, your doctor will explain to you why a C-section is necessary and you will be asked to sign a consent form. Your partner will be allowed to be with you in most cases. The anesthesiologist will tell you about your different choices for pain control.

The most common type of pain control is the epidural or spinal block. The lower part of the body is numbed, but you will remain conscious to view the birth of your baby.

The process of the C-section

The doctor will cover your belly with antiseptic and cut through the layers of tissue from just above the pubic bone to the uterus. Once the doctor reaches the uterus, a horizontal cut is made and the doctor then reaches in and delivers your baby. After the baby has been examined and your placenta is removed, you will be given the baby to hold while you are being stitched up, layer by layer. After the surgery is done, then you are taken in to a recovery room where you will continue to be monitored for a few hours.

Once the anesthesia has worn off you may get either pain shots every 3-4 hours or an IV that will allow you to give yourself a safe dosage of pain reliever whenever you feel the need. With a C-section, you may expect to stay in the hospital for about 3-4 days, depending on the situation.
The first few days after your C-section

You will probably feel somewhat groggy and nauseous after your C-section. Your incision will probably feel numb and sore. The incision itself will look puffy and darker than the rest of your skin color. When you sneeze, cough, or laugh, the area around the abdomen will be sore for a few days. You may experience a gas buildup at first, but once you are able to get up and walk a little, your system will start working again. Your stitches will be removed in 3-4 days before you are sent home.

What happens when you leave the hospital?

Remember that you have had major surgery and you will not be able to do a lot of things for a while. So plan on accepting help from others.

Keep taking your medication as prescribed, drink plenty of liquids and walk, slowly at first. Your vaginal bleeding will take up to six weeks to go away.

What kind of emotions will you feel?

If you were planning on having a vaginal delivery and ended up with a C-section birth, you may feel disappointed and cheated. You may feel like an incomplete person because you did not get your magical birth moment. All these feelings are normal. Visit with your doctor about any feelings you have so you don’t have to feel like you have to suffer these feelings on your own. Also, try talking to others that have experienced the same thing, and get some perspective on what others have felt after their C-section.

You will still be likely to feel the same kinds of emotions that most mothers go through, whether they had a vaginal birth or a Caesarean birth.

The point is that you are not alone with your different feelings and emotions. So please share them with someone, if you need to. You will have enough stress with your hormones adjusting and settling in to a new life with baby around. The less stress you have, the more you will be able to relax and enjoy the precious moments with your little miracle.

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As an expectant mother, your top priority should be healthy eating. Many women use their pregnancy as an excuse to “eat for two.” This is the worst possible thing you could do to yourself and your baby.

Here are a few healthy eating during pregnancy tips:

Healthy Eating Tips for Expecting Moms – The American Dietetic Association says that a pregnant woman needs only 300 calories a day more than she did before she became pregnant. This means, on average, you should consume about 2,500 to 2,700 calories per day.

The best foods for healthy eating are of course fruits, vegetables, whole grains, proteins and dairy products. You should try to include something from each of these food groups in every meal.

Caffeine should be avoided at all costs, as it may have an effect on your unborn child. Junk food like chips and chocolate that will affect your weight gain should be eaten in moderation as well. Some pregnant women keep fresh fruit, like red seedless grapes, on hand. They claim these fruits that are naturally sweet help to curb their sweet-tooth cravings for things like chocolate.

Why Healthy Eating is Important for You – Your body is adjusting to carrying this new life inside you. While you will need extra nutrients, you don’t need to eat double. The best thing you can do is incorporate a pre-natal vitamin regimine into your daily life. Taking vitamins will help precisely feed your body the extra nutrients you need.

All too often, pregnant women pack on pounds unnecessarily. They eat in excess, thinking that after they have their baby, all the weight will magically disappear, too. It doesn’t work that way. If you wouldn’t ordinarily eat fast food five times per week, then don’t assume that kind of lifestyle just because you’re pregnant. Adopt well-rounded and balanced meals instead and treat yourself once a week to that craving you’ve had.

This way you’ll be able to keep your weight gain to a healthy level and also provide your baby with all the nutrients he or she needs for the best start in life.

Want more tips on eating healthy during your pregnancy? The Pregnancy Without Pounds ebook is a great resource to help you gain only the weight you should…the healthy way.

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