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.
Probably, but check with your doctor or another expert first. “The data suggest that the ingredients in the majority of cold medications are safe during pregnancy,” says Myla Moretti, M.Sc., president of the Organization of Teratology Information Specialists (OTIS). “Still, people sometimes take the wrong medications or the wrong amount for their symptoms.”
Most women experience hair changes during pregnancy because estrogen levels are higher. “Increased estrogen during pregnancy extends the growth cycle of your hair so that fewer strands fall out, leaving hair fuller and thicker,” says trichologist Philip Kingsley, owner of the Philip Kingsley Clinic in New York. Additionally, when estrogen is high, androgen (the male hormone that causes oil production) is low, so hair feels drier. Hydrate your locks with a deep moisturizing conditioner twice a week.
According to the Organization of Teratology Information Specialists, the one small study done on its use during pregnancy did not find an increased risk of miscarriage or birth defects. Still, check with your doctor before taking it or any herb.
As long as your feta is made from pasteurized milk, feel free to eat as many Greek salads as you like. The concern is a condition called listeriosis, a bacterial infection that’s typically contracted through eating certain foods, including unpasteurized milk and cheeses, says Kelly Jackson, M.P.H., an epidemiologist with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Q: I’ve felt so tired during my pregnancy that even getting up for work every day is becoming difficult. Are there any safe, natural ways to boost my energy?
It seems counterintuitive, but researchers keep finding reasons to give morning sickness a high-five. The nausea and vomiting of pregnancy correlate with lower risks for miscarriage and, later in life, breast cancer. And in one recent study, the offspring of moms who had morning sickness scored higher on IQ tests. “Morning sickness indicates that proper hormones are being made by mom and baby, that the baby’s growing and developing,” says Laura Riley, M.D., a fetal/maternal medicine specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. “I see it as a good sign.”
Your co-worker’s habit of talking too loud on the phone has always annoyed you; now it makes you want to throttle him. “What’s that all about?” you may wonder. The answer is simple: Hormone levels fluctuate throughout pregnancy, sometimes causing wild mood swings.
It’s very unlikely, says Portland, Ore., OB-GYN Desiree Bley, M.D. To avoid risking miscarriage, we delay nonemergency surgeries until the second trimester. Although preterm labor is a risk then and later, it’s a treatable one. We prefer regional or local anesthesia to
general, but even the latter won’t harm the fetus.