Trying to get pregnant? Make sure you know the bottom line on baby-making—what you don't understand can affect your bub-to-be's health.
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People joke that having kids is the best form of birth control, but if you don’t want another baby right away, you need a method that really works. Plus, research shows it’s optimal to wait at least 18 months before conceiving again in order to reduce the risk of having a preterm birth or a baby with low birthweight.
Few events in life are as unforgettable as having a baby. But there are plenty of other days after the Big Day that aren’t rosebuds and rainbows. Suddenly, you’re adjusting to less sleep, a changing body, and to being cooped up with a little bundle of … demands?
Related: The New Mom Survival Guide
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.