Feeling frenzied all the time can take a toll on your fertility. Here’s how you can chillax and boost your odds of baby-making success.
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Prenatal testing can be a multi-edged sword. Usually, test results are reassuring, which puts expectant parents’ minds at ease. But some people argue that because birth defects are rare, these tests in most cases cause undue stress; others argue that they allow people to create “designer” children. Then there are the parents who discover very real, sometimes dire, problems with their babies and face the decision of whether to keep or terminate a pregnancy.
The benefits of moving more during pregnancy begin immediately and last your whole life. Your baby will start reaping the benefits in utero, too. Here’s a laundry list of reasons to start exercising today, along with excuse-busting ways to overcome some common obstacles.
1. You’re likely to gain less weight. Research shows you might put on 7 pounds less than pregnant women who don’t work out, while still staying within the healthy weight-gain range.
In combination with healthy eating, supplements are essential while you're pregnant. Here’s expert advice on how to choose prenatal vitamins to get the nutrients your body may lack. Plus, why getting the vitamins you need now benefits you but also your growing baby for the rest of her life.
Prenatal Vitamins Made Easy
When to start and what are the important vitamins and minerals.
Miraculous changes happen to your body in each trimester of your pregnancy —but each phase presents new challenges, too.
Aversions (and Cravings)
Being repelled by certain tastes and smells is common. “Your digestion is slowing down, so some formerly appealing foods become intolerable,” explains certified nurse-midwife Lisa Kane Low, Ph.D., R.N., a faculty member at the University of Michigan School of Medicine. Ignoring an aversion may only make you feel sicker, so don’t feel you have to eat something just because you think it’s good for you.
Midwives are being “rediscovered” by growing numbers of pregnant women today. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, in 2006 (the most recent figures available), they attended a record-busting 317,168 births—7.4 percent of all U.S. births; 96.7 percent of them took place in hospitals, 2 percent in birth centers and 1.3 percent in homes. To help you decide whether to go the midwife route, here are answers to some of the most common questions.
What advantages do midwives offer?
Many pregnant women fret too much about the wrong things, and pay too little attention to issues that can genuinely harm their pregnancy and baby. See how your concerns compare to other women’s, then learn whether or not your fears are well-founded and—the bottom line—what you can do to have a healthy and happy pregnancy.
Maybe you think sleep deprivation won't be an issue until after your baby is born. Hah! Depending on how pregnant you are, everything from "morning" sickness to scary dreams to restless leg can take their toll on your nightly shut-eye. Our trimester-by-trimester guide will help you get the rest you need now and even in the the "fourth trimester," when you'll face a brand-new sleep challenge: your baby!
As you know, folate, fiber and iron are essential nutrients for you and your growing baby. What you may not know is that you can get all three by eating chives. Or, how about adding figs to your diet to boost your calcium intake?
Walking is the one workout that suits pregnant women of all different fitness levels. It’s as gentle or as challenging as you need it to be. It requires no investment (all you really need is a good pair of shoes and a water bottle). Plus, you can do it nearly anywhere, anytime. Excuses like “I hate the gym” or “I’ve never exercised before” just won’t fly.
As a mom-to-be, you have some experience carrying around extra weight. Your expanding baby bump is proof of that. But you’ll soon be faced with the daily task of toting your growing newborn—and all her gear. To help prepare your body for the constant lifting and holding to come, now is the time to strengthen the muscles you’ll use most as a new mom.
Professional whitening is not recommended during pregnancy, and any over-the-counter products should also be avoided, says New York-based cosmetic and reconstructive dentist Elisa Mello, D.D.S. “The chemicals created during the procedure are caustic to cells, and we can’t know for certain what damage they may do to a developing baby,” she explains. To safely remove stains, make a paste of equal parts strawberries and baking soda and brush onto teeth. Let it sit for five minutes before rinsing.