The early weeks of pregnancy are fragile—and confusing. Here, the answers to your questions.
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That may depend on your exercise intensity and workout goals. As long as you have a low-risk pregnancy with no contraindications, such as high blood pressure or symptoms of premature labor, exercise is good for you, and aiming for a target heart rate can help you work out at an appropriate level. While the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that pregnant women use the "talk test" when exercising (if you can talk normally, your heart rate is acceptable), in 2002 Canadian experts suggested utilizing target heart rates.
A recent Israeli study of more than 300,000 young adults showed that autism rates in the offspring of men who were 40 or older when their babies were conceived were almost six times that of the children of fathers 29 or younger. (The study found no link between autism and maternal age.) The researchers are now looking for reasons; there is speculation that sperm-producing cells spontaneously mutate as men age.
Much more study of paternal age is needed if we are to better understand its impact.
Perhaps it can, according to two recent studies. A British survey of more than 14,000 moms found that babies born to women who were deemed clinically anxious during pregnancy were 40 percent more likely to have such sleep problems as trouble falling asleep or waking too early at 6, 18 and 30 months of age.
Q: Is mineral makeup safe?
A: Mineral makeup is a good choice during pregnancy, when skin may react unexpectedly, says Joanna Schlip, a Los Angeles makeup artist. That's because it doesn't contain ingredients that can irritate skin, such as fragrance or preservatives. Mineral makeup also contains titanium and zinc, which act as a natural SPF to protect your skin from the sun's harmful rays.
Q: Now that I'm pregnant, should I switch to organic skin-care products?
You may think the healthy pregnancy to-do list is like a potato-chip craving: never-ending. But it's not. Aside from eating well and exercising—two topics that are so important we've covered them elsewhere in this issue—there are only about five things you really need to do to increase your chance of having an enjoyable pregnancy and a healthy baby.
Week 4 Four weeks from the start of your last period, a positive test shows you're pregnant.
Week 5 Measured from crown of head to rump, your baby is about 0.4 inch long—the size of a green pea.
Week 8 The baby is about 1 inch long—the size of a large olive. His features are already distinctly human.
Week 10 Your doctor will probably want to see you between eight and 10 weeks for your first appointment. That's when you'll get to view the heartbeat via ultrasound.
So you're going to be a mom. The first 13 weeks are all about adjustment: You're getting used to the idea of that little being developing inside you, while your body is adapting to the demands of building that baby. No wonder you're so tired!
It seems only fair that pregnancy should be accompanied by a nine-month reprieve from everyday pain and allergy symptoms, but as many an expectant hay-fever sufferer will tell you, that's just not the case. However, before reaching for your usual over-the-counter (OTC) medication or trying something new to help you feel better, consult our guide below and speak with your doctor.
Many women experience vivid dreams during pregnancy, and no wonder—they're dealing with huge changes in their physical, emotional and spiritual selves, says Raina Manuel-Paris, Ph.D., author of The Mother-to-Be's Dream Book (Warner Books). Common themes by trimester:
First Women tend to dream about their past: childhood experiences, ex-boyfriends and parents. These dreams are a subconscious way of coming to terms with their new identity and letting go of the old.
Indirectly, perhaps. Research suggests that birth outcomes can be influenced by whether a woman's pregnancy was wanted, unwanted or "mis-timed" or if she simply felt ambivalent about it. Women with unwanted pregnancies were more likely to deliver preterm, and ambivalence increased the odds of having a preterm or low-birth-weight baby. Women whose pregnancies were wanted but "mis-timed" were less likely to have a low-birth-weight baby. Expectant women should seek the emotional care and support they need, advises study author Anshu Mohllajee, M.P.H., of the Harvard School of Public Health.
It's best to discuss this with your doctor. Here's why: In the first trimester, the fetus is well protected within the uterus, which in turn is safely tucked behind the pelvic bones. As such, if you were to suffer a hard fall or a blow to the abdomen from an errant ski, your baby would very likely be protected. However, after 13 weeks, the uterus begins to expand beyond the pelvis; this could put your baby at risk if you were to take a fall or get hit in the belly.