Perhaps before you even realized you were pregnant, people commented on your "glow". Pregnancy brings out a woman's natural beauty, and while the weight gain and growing belly may be frustrating, take this opportunity to enjoy the sexy and wonderful things that happen to your body. It's less work than ever to get some of the looks you have been working for anyway! That natural skin's glow is because your body is working overtime on blood production to have enough for two. To keep that glow looking great, it's important to keep your skin moisturized every day, and to exfoliate one or two times a week as well. This will enhance the natural glow and prevent splotchy spots from showing.
Make sure to keep wearing sunscreen as well. Your face (and the rest of your body) need protection from the sun's rays. Not just during pregnancy, but it's more important with your sensitive skin.
Now that your body is pregnant, it seems everything is growing, besides that belly. Your hair may be growing quickly too. Now is a time to practice with a new hairstyle (keep in mind once baby's born low maintenance is best, but now is time to have fun!). If your hair is long, go bold with a short cut. This will make your eyes and face the focus of attention. If your hair is short, it won't take long to let it grow out so you can have fun with the clips and braids.More on Pregnancy Beauty Tips
One of the most devastating things that can happen when you are pregnant is a miscarriage. A miscarriage is what happens when a mother loses a pregnancy in the first 20 weeks of gestation, if you lose the fetus after 20 weeks it is considered a preterm birth or a still born. All of which are terrible and can be devastating to any expecting mother. Note I say mother, not woman as many places will say. I decided to use mother based on my own experience with a miscarriage.
For those of you that have read my other pregnancy pieces know that last year I had a very long and sometimes difficult pregnancy which resulted in one of the most precious little girls I have ever known. What many may not know that it took my husband and I over a year to conceive and we had a miscarriage along the way.
The doctor that I had at the time completely dismissed it. He told me that I probably wasn’t pregnant at all, and that it was just a heavy period. However, my husband and I had been trying for a long time, and that time… we had taken 4 different pregnancy tests over a week…each of which were positive. Then I got influenza, had a temperature of 108 and was miserable. I felt cramping… and there was a lot of blood… but it wasn’t just blood. Now, with my first child I bled throughout the beginning of the pregnancy, but this was different and that is what I told the doctor. Who then proceeded to blow me off and we took a urine pregnancy test in the office and it was negative. I passed out on the way out of the office, my husband and I in tears… devastated.
It wasn’t until I was pregnant again, and going to a new doctor and a Geneticist telling them both what had happened that the doctor looked at me and said, “You were pregnant,” the geneticist explained what had probably happened and we looked at whether or not it would happen again. You have to know this, 90% of miscarriages are unavoidable. There is nothing you can do to prevent them. According to the Geneticists, more women probably have a miscarriage and don’t even realize it because it happens so soon after the egg is fertilized. They look at it and just think that they are having a heavier period than normal.More on The Truth about Miscarriages
A birth plan is a written document that helps a woman expresses her desires for labor and delivery. It does not guarantee that nothing unexpected will happen, but creates a plan for all involved to make this the experience that the mother feels will be the best for herself and the baby. You will share what you write with the birth team that helps in labor and delivery. When you write your birth plan let it reflect some of your personality, what your hopes and plans are, how you feel about the birth. Your birth plan strategy is not just a laundry list of what you want but is a way for everyone to work together.
Before you start writing your birth plan you will have probably read a lot about childbirth and the experiences others have had in delivery. You should put the things that are most important to you about the birth at the top of the list, or underline them or use a highlighter. Once you have a satisfactory list, type it or write it neatly. An example of things to include would be a wish to avoid drugs, and an epistemology or you may say that you wish to be able to walk during labor. Sometimes we do not get all we want, but if, for example your number one priority is to not be separated from your baby after birth, and that happens, you have had a successful birth.
Whether you are a first time parent, or this is a second or third pregnancy, you probably have some idea about what you want from the delivery experience. The birth plan strategy is the place that you can write that you want a natural birth, with minimal or no drugs. You may also specify that you do want medication, and which ones are acceptable. When you make these decisions before labor begins, you do so with a clear mind. The written birth plan speaks for you when you are too busy to speak during contractions. Always be aware that a delivery can go in unexpected directions, and make it clear that you understand this. The birth team is not your opponent, you will want to be certain that they understand that you know that they will do their best for you, but sometimes things are different than what you planned.More on Birth Plan Ideas and Strategies
Today’s purses are bright and cheerful. These large hold all, carry all bags are inexpensive and you can buy them anywhere. Stores like Target, and Kohl’s, Wal Mart and Macy’s have rainbows of pouches and purses. Their vinyl, PVC and faux leather surfaces wipe clean with soap and water, they resist spills, and you can have one to match every outfit, and every pair of shoes. These purses have great appeal to young and old. Unfortunately, they are slow killers.
Purses have joined the ranks of toxic consumer products, along with painted toys from China and play jewelry for children. A recent report from the not for profit Center for Environmental Health states that these bags, when tested, have levels of lead up to ninety times higher than the federal limit for lead in paint. This is a frightening finding for women, and their children. The lead is used to preserve colors and softness in purses and wallets that are sold in many national chain stores. Out of twenty one outlets in California, sixteen had contamination that exceeded the level required for labeling under Proposition 65. The colors that showed the highest levels of lead are yellow, and yellow tinted colors, such as green and orange. ABC News reports that H&M and New York stores are working to address this problem and pull contaminated purses from their shelves in California.More on Lead Found in Purses Risk for Pregnant Women
When you are pregnant and preparing for baby, there are several things most parents do to get ready. Expectant parents spend a lot of time preparing baby’s room, dealing with insurance, increasing or getting life insurance and taking parenting classes. However, many don’t spend any time at all preparing their marriage for the arrival of the baby.
Countless parents (if not all parents) will tell you their marriage changed dramatically after the birth of the baby. Many of these changes are good, but some are not. In some cases, the relationship gets neglected or there is not consensus in parenting decisions and responsibilities. This often breeds resentment.
In fact, for many couples, children aren’t cited high on the list in terms of marital fulfillment. A survey conducted by the Pew Center and reported in The Washington Post showed that children aren’t at the top of the list in terms of a successful marriage. Factors such as faithfulness, sex, household chore distribution and economic issues were listed ahead of having kids as a feature of a successful marriage.
There are a few things you can do to prepare your relationship for children and to avoid the pitfalls of adding parenthood to the dynamics of your relationship. One important step to take is to pay attention to each other. It is unbelievably easy to neglect each other once your day becomes about breastfeeding, diaper changes and getting baby to sleep. It takes concentrated effort to stay connected to each other.
One way many couples deal with this is to set regular date nights. The frequency can vary from once a week to once a month, but it’s important to spend time away from the baby and focused on each other. While you are still pregnant and don’t have to line up a babysitter, start the tradition of regular date nights. It will be easier to continue it after the baby is born.
Since issues such as chore distribution and economic factors rank high on the list of marital satisfaction, pay attention to these areas. In terms of chore distribution, it is common for mom and dad to be at odds. In some cases, the husband feels that since his wife is home all day, it is her job. This isn’t entirely realistic with a newborn in the house.More on Post Pregnancy: Preparing Your Marriage for Baby
Pollutants in the air are something many people worry about, and in some areas of the country this information is reported on the evening news. It turns out, this fear is not unfounded. There is mounting evidence from studies conducted around the country that exposure to air pollutants during pregnancy is associated with increased risk of complications, negative outcomes at birth and problems throughout infancy and early childhood.
Several studies have looked at particulate and nitrous oxide emissions from vehicle exhaust and the effect of this exposure on the developing fetus. Most pregnant women are exposed to some level of fumes from vehicles, but the level varies throughout the country.
A new study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health suggests that fetal growth may be slowed by exposure to air pollution, resulting in low birth weight and smaller head circumference. The study gathered data on over 400,000 pregnant women in the state of New Jersey from 1999 through 2003.
Data on the air pollution levels was gathered from EPA monitoring sites located near the homes of pregnant women. This information was used to determine the level of air pollution exposure during pregnancy. Based on this information, average pollution levels were assigned to study participants.
The results showed an increased risk of low birth weight baby with higher levels of nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter. The study showed a higher risk among low income women, who were more likely to live in congested areas with heavy traffic congestion and the related air pollution. Researchers found a higher correlation between air pollution and birth weight when an increase in exposure to pollution occurred in early and late pregnancy.
A separate study showed negative effects on the IQ in children with exposure to air pollution in the womb. This study was conducted by the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health at Columbia University and published in the journal Pediatrics.More on Fetal Growth and Air Pollution
Many people experience night sweats. This is a symptom associated with menopause, thyroid conditions, obesity and pregnancy. Genetics plays a role in the tendency to sweat at night. If you experienced night sweats prior to pregnancy, you may be more likely to have problems when you are pregnant. Make sure you consult with your health care professional.
How and when night sweats are experienced during pregnancy varies widely. Some women have an occasional episode and wake up soaked with sweat, but sleep uninterrupted most of the time. Others have problems frequently, particularly in the first and third trimesters when hormone fluctuations are most common. For some, the problem is resolved when the baby is born. For others, night sweats may continue in the weeks after the baby is born until the hormone levels gradually return to normal.
Causes of Night Sweats
Hormones are to blame for most of the discomforts and changes in pregnancy and sweating at night is no exception. Lower estrogen levels cause the hypothalamus to function improperly. The hypothalamus is a section of the brain that is responsible for regulating the body’s temperature. Normally, it responds to changes in temperature and releases excess heat in the body through sweat on a hot day.
During pregnancy, changes in estrogen levels can mistakenly be read by the hypothalamus, causing more heat to be produced by the body. This results in sweating to release the heat. The physiological process is similar to what is experienced by women in peri-menopause and menopause.More on Night Sweats During Pregnancy