The early weeks of pregnancy are fragile—and confusing. Here, the answers to your questions.
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Looser ligaments, a shifting center of gravity and other physical changes that occur with pregnancy will change the way your body responds to exercise. Such changes may cause back pain and other issues if you immediately return to your prior workouts.
When I gave birth to my first child, nobody asked what I planned to do with the placenta. If they had, I would have answered, “Why, do you want it for something?” It wouldn’t have occurred to me that someone might sauté her afterbirth with lemon and ginger, blend it into a smoothie or make a blood-on-paper print of it for posterity.
Q: I’ve heard that eating my placenta after having my baby can be beneficial. Should I consider it?
A: Thanks to recent media buzz and the release of a 2012 study, interest in placentophagia—the eating of any or all of the components of the afterbirth, including the placenta—is growing.
Q: I'm five months along and have noticed a strange dark line on my belly? Is it dangerous?
A: Nope. While the linea nigra, or “black line,” may be disconcerting, it’s perfectly harmless—and perfectly normal. In fact, up to 75 percent of women will experience this hormone-induced darkening of the skin during pregnancy.
They say nature gives you nine months, but between filling out your registry and decorating the nursery, who has time to think about what you’ll need to care for yourself postpartum? Plus, with so much information out there (some of those checklists are REALLY long) it’s hard to know what you’ll actually need — and what’s a waste of money.
Nearly every basic mommy move, from diaper changing to car seat wrangling, pulls your shoulders forward. As a result, the muscles in your back react as if you are falling and work extra hard to pull you upright, straining your back even further. Knowing the best way to carry, lift and push your baby can help keep your back in its best shape.
Here’s how to:
The average newborn weighs approximately 7.5 pounds. But how many pounds will YOU weigh when you walk out of the delivery room? And how long will it take for you to get your pre-baby body back? While the timeline is different for every woman and is based on a number of factors—how much weight you gained while pregnant, whether or not you’re breastfeeding, your diet and exercise habits—there are certain weight-loss milestones you can mark on your calendar.
After your newborn arrives, you’ll soon realize that seemingly small details in your baby’s room, such as the height of the changing table, can make a massive difference in preventing an aching back.
“Many new mothers are so focused on their little one’s needs, they don’t realize just how frequently they’re lifting or bending in a way that’s not safest for their back,” says industrial designer Carla Jaspers.
Pain-proof your nursery with these ergonomic tips:
Life with a newborn has likely left you feeling less than amorous, with sex a distant memory between nighttime feedings and exhaustion. Eventually, however, your thoughts will turn to re-establishing physical intimacy with your partner. And when that happens, you’ll need to think about something you haven’t had to in a while: birth control.
Almost any woman has probably had a moment at some time in her life when she laughed too hard, or perhaps drank a little too much alcohol and really, really had to go to the bathroom. But as Fit Pregnancy readers know, that baby pressing against your bladder makes you have to go to the bathroom often, and it’s quite common to have leaking or incontinence issues after your baby is born as well. And while we know it’s not a sexy topic, it’s a big (often embarrassing) problem for many women.