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Pregnancy & Nutrition

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Pregnancy and Nutrition

You are besides yourself with joy as you see that your pregnancy test is
postive. You find yourself already caressing your stomach in hopes that your
little one can feel you. The next nine months are going to be an exciting time
for you and your baby. You are going to have a human life grow inside of you
and feel them move as they get bigger. Your baby is going to go from a single
sperm and egg into pounds of adorable flesh that you can't help but kiss over
and over again. It truly is a miracle.

In order to help this miracle along, it is essential for you to eat as good as
you can through out most of your pregnancy. The first three months might be a
little difficult to eat balanced meals when you are dealing with food aversions
and morning sickness. If you are one of the rare lucky ones whose stomach
doesn't so much as move during your first trimester, then you can take full
advantage of eating healthy right out of the gate.

Making sure you eat balanced nutritious meals is laying down the foundation for
your baby. A diet of junk food is not going to help your baby with bone
development and organ formation. Potato chips will not help with brain
development. Your baby and your body need calcium and vitamins to achieve all
of this.

Eating well during pregnancy is going to help your baby eat well after it is
born and on solid foods. As your pregnancy progresses, some of what you eat
will cross the placenta and the taste will be in your baby's amniotic fluid.
Babies swallow this fluid and their taste buds are so develop that even in the
womb they are able to taste the flavors. Doctors believe that babies who are
exposed to a wide variety of fruit and vegetables while in utero have less of a
chance of being a fussy eater later in life. They believe that these are the
babies who will eat their fruit and vegetables without putting up any fight.

Doctors also believe that moms who drink their milk through out their pregnancy
have an easier time weaning their babies from formula or breast milk to regular
milk. This however is only one benefit, the other benefit of drinking milk
throughout your pregnancy is all the calcium you will be giving your baby's
bones. Many doctors recommend that you drink at least one eight oz glass of
milk, usually fat free a day. Calcium is a must have your baby's bones and his
teeth, even though you won't see his teeth for at least a few months.

This isn't to say that you have to stay away from all sweets all the time. You
can indulge every now and then and thanks to cravings you may find yourself
wanting sweets more often than not. You do have to keep it in moderation. Being
pregnant should not be looked at as an excuse to eat whatever you want for nine
months. Both you and your baby could pay a dear price.

The Basics of Eating Well When Pregnant

It is hard to believe that women do have a hard time eating healthy when they
are expecting a visit from the stork. The sad truth is some women find it very
hard. There is a trick though to remember how to eat throughout your pregnancy
and it is as easy as ABC.

Assortment is the first key. It's been said that variety is the spice of life.
Keeping your diet filled with assortment of fruits, vegetables and protein will
help make sure that you and your baby don't get too much of one nutrient and not
enough of another. Eating a daily variety of healthy foods will give your
growing baby and daily assortment of necessary nutrients.

Balance is the next thing to keep in mind. We all know that balance and
moderation is the key to any diet. There is no reason to deny yourself a bowl
of ice cream but the whole container is over doing it. You want to keep all
your meals as balanced as possible and make sure you are getting enough
vitamins, whole grains and lean protein. Eating one and not the other is not
going to help you or your baby in any way shape or form. Indulging in cravings
is fine every now and then as long as you keep it in moderation, if you want a
cookie, have one. If potato chips are your craving, have a few. It is when you
eat the whole box of cookies and the whole bag of chips in one sitting that you
might have a problem.

The third key is color. You want to make your plate look as colorful as
possible. Look at fresh fruit and veggies to paint your plate. The more
colorful your plate is, the more appeasing it is going to look to your eyes.
Have you ever noticed in magazines and cooking shows the dishes always look so
tasty? This is because of the variety of color that are used in these dishes.
You can get red strawberries and tomatoes to yellow peppers and squash. Pick
your favorite colors and create your dishes based on that.

Forget about dieting while you are pregnant. You and your baby need a steady
supply of calories and nutrients through out the nine months of pregnancy and
beyond. Pregnancy is one of the only times where a woman is expected to gain
weight. Trying to prevent that weight gain can not only put you at risk, but
also your baby at risk. You will have all the time in the world after your baby
comes to lose the weight, but for nine months don't even think about the word
diet.

If you find you that you are getting sick of the food you have been eating,
then it's time to start experimenting with different foods. Pregnancy is a time
to expand your eating horizons as well as your waistbands. Plus with food
aversions, you might find yourself turning green at some of your favorite foods
and craving foods you never dreamed you would eat. You may find that the thought
of pizza can send you running for the toilet, but place a dish of brussel
sprouts in front of you and you are in heaven.

Lastly, have fun with your food. Eating should be fun. Nothing will ruin your
good habits faster than boredom. Add little touches like a dip for your
veggies. Enjoy your food and try not to gulp it down. This will help avoid
heartburn too! When you decide to treat yourself, leave the guilt at the door.
After all, you are growing a person inside of you and decide a treat now and
then for all your hard work.

How Eating Well Can Help During Pregnancy

There are a number of aches and pains that come with pregnancy. While back in
the day many doctors just brushed them aside and said that is part of
pregnancy, now a days more and more doctors are recommending a well balanced
diet to help. Here are just a few pregnancy aliments that a good diet can help.

A common complaint during pregnancy is tooth and gum problems. To help keep
your teeth healthy and your baby's teeth healthy, make sure you get enough
calcium and vitamin C. Always keep some sugarless gum near you or chew on some
nuts and cheese.

It is also not uncommon for many women to feel dizzy or lightheaded during
pregnancy especially if they have gone to long without eating. This is why it
is so important to eat through out the day and snack also. Keep your snacks as
healthy as you can and stay away from junk food whenever you can. These foods
will give you a quick rush of energy but ultimately leave you feeling worse
than you did before you ate them. Keep yourself hydrated also. Snacking and
drinking will help boost your blood sugar and keep you hydrated which can help
you fight dizziness.

Sometime during your second trimester, you may find yourself awakening in the
middle of the night to leg cramps. Leg cramps can come from not getting enough
calcium. Some say that the leg cramps implicate a shortage of magnesium while
some say that dehydration can be the cause. Either way makes sure you are
getting enough calcium and magnesium. If you suffer from leg cramps you might
find it helpful to drink a glass of milk, or have a piece of cheese before you
go to turn in to bed at night. Make sure you drink at least 8 glasses of water
throughout the day to keep yourself hydrated also.

Swelling is another pain in pregnancy. While severe swelling could be a sign of
preeclampsia, there is a certain amount of swelling that is normal and healthy
during pregnancy. In fact more than seventy five percent of all pregnant women 
experience some sort of swelling. The most common cause is too much water 
retention. Staying away from salty foods and drinking extra water will help you 
keep the swelling to a bare minimum.

Pregnancy is also a time where you skin might taken on the appearance of a
teenager getting ready to hit puberty. Some women suffer from dry skin, which
can be cured by making sure you drink plenty of fluids to increase moisture. If
you have flakey skin, eat more omega-3 rich foods or seeds and nuts. There are
some people who suffer from some skin discoloration and too much blotchiness
could be a folic-acid deficiency. This is another reason why it is so important
to make sure you are taking your prenatal vitamin.

Lastly, we have all heard about the great head of hair some women are blessed
with during pregnancy since hormones prevent hair from falling out at its
normal rate. There are some women though who find that their hair is less than
stellar during pregnancy. This could be due to the lack of vitamins that you
might be getting. Through out pregnancy it is important that you get enough
vitamin A, B and C. Vitamin A will keep your hair and scalp healthy. Vitamin B
will help with your hair growth and vitamin C is needed for strength. Make sure
you are getting enough of this in your diet.

Eating healthy throughout pregnancy does not only ensure your chances of a
healthy pregnancy but it will also help you avoid some of the more
uncomfortable aspects of pregnancy too.

Gaining Weight Too Fast During Pregnancy

Any obgyn will tell you that the recommended weight gain for pregnancy is 25-30
pounds. Some women will gain more, some will gain less. But how can you tell if
you are gaining too fast during your pregnancy. Too much weight gain can
increase your chances of a c section and put you at risk for being overweight
after.

Some doctors say that if you put on more than 3 1/2 pounds in your first
trimester and are of a normal weight you are putting weight on too fast. If you
are overweight and put on more than 2 pounds, you are gaining too fast. Keep in
mind though that even if you gain a lot in your first trimester, it doesn't
necassararily mean you will gain a lot your whole pregnancy.

Some women gain a lot in the first trimester because morning sickness has them
only able to eat carbs and nothing else and still end their pregnancy gaining
no more than 25 pounds. If however you find that your weight gain is still not
slowing down once you enter your second trimester, there are some tips you can
try to help slow it down.

First, cut out the useless calories. It is never a good idea to diet while you
are pregnant but if you are gaining too much you do need to slow down the rate
at which you are gaining. Apply some basic calorie cutting strategies such as
using skim milk instead of whole milk, taking skin off your chicken and
grilling or broil instead of frying or sauteing. You will also want to cut out
most of your sweets. These are empty calories that are providing no nutritional
value to you or your baby.

Next, cut down on the fat you are taking in. Look at what you are eating and
how it may have hidden fat in it. Some salad dressings can be loaded with fat,
so you might want to try putting your dressing on the side. Watch how much oil
you use when you are cooking or when you are going out to eat and stick to good
oils such as extra virgin olive oil.

Get active! You could be gaining weight faster because you are not active. As
long as your doctor gives you the go ahead, start a walking program. Walking is
one of the best things you can do for your body and your baby. Not only does it
help with your weight gain, but some women and doctors swear that walking
through out most of your pregnancy could help ease the pains of childbirth. If
you can not walk due to weather conditions you might want to look into joining
a prenatal exercise class.

Lastly pay attention to what you are eating. So many people don't pay attention
to what they eat and find that they are overeating without even realizing it.
How many times have you sat on the couch watching a movie and decided to have
some potato chips only to realize that you have eaten the whole bag? Try to
keep all your meals at the table and take your time while eating.

Even though you are eating for two, gaining just enough weight will not only
make delivery and recovery easier for you, it will also make getting the weight
off after pregnancy come off that much faster.

Gaining Weight Too Slowly During Pregnancy

Just as gaining too much weight can be harmful to you and your baby, not
gaining enough weight can be harmful also. There are some women out there who
are so terrified at gaining weight that they eat next to nothing during their
pregnancy. Please do not do this, you could be depriving your baby of the
vitamins and minerals it needs and you increase your chances of having a small
baby. Babies who are underweight at delivery are at a greater risk for health
problems than babies who are of average weight at delivery.

If you find that you have gained nothing during your first trimester, do not
worry. Some women do not gain anything during those first three months and some
even lose some weight thanks to morning sickness. Your baby's needs are
relatively tiny at that point. It is when you are in your second and third
trimesters that you should make sure you are gaining weight according.

If you find that you are not gaining as much weight as you should, you should
try to fatten up your diet. Increase your fat intake by a serving or too. This
will increase your calorie intake but won't decrease your appetite. Do not
increase your fat by more than a serving or two. There are better and healthier
ways to increase your weight gain.

If you are one of the lucky few women who do not gain weight easy, you might
not want to foods with the lowest amount of calories. You can still eat healthy
but you want to up your calorie intake. Try eating avocados and more cheeses
along with some beans too. Indulge in some snacks also. Try to add at least
three snacks into your schedule. Make sure you have a decent amount of calories
but not so many calories that your ruin your appetite for your next meal. If you
are not allergic to peanuts, try some apple slices with peanut butter or some
whole wheat crackers which some low fat cheese slices.

Take some time out of your busy life to relax. Not gaining enough weight could
be a sign that you are doing too much. You could be burning up the calories you
eat instead of using them to nourish your baby. Try cutting back on your
exercise if you have an exercise routine. You also want to make sure you eat
after a workout to replace the calories you just lost. If you are working while
you are pregnant and it is a stressful job, make sure you take the time out of
your busy day for lunch and snacks.

Throughout all of this, check in with your doctor. Your doctor may want to run
some tests to make sure that you do not have a thyroid condition or any other
undiagnosed medical problem that might keep you from gaining weight. You may
also want to keep track of what you eat so you can show your doctor and talk
about any changes that might need to be made to your diet. You may not be
eating enough and you may find that you need to eat more.

Eating Well For You During Your Pregnancy

Eating healthy throughout your pregnancy is the greatest gift you could give
your unborn baby, but there are also a lot of rewards in it for you to. It's
common for many moms to be to forget that they also benefit in eating healthy
through out their pregnancy. What you eat has a direct effect as to how well
your body copes and recovers from all the physical changes it goes through. It
also helps with the physical and emotional challenge of carrying and delivering
a baby.

The truth is, most pregnant women rarely walk around all nine months with that
rosy glow everyone talks about. The first three months some of us walk around a
nasty shade of green and in a hazy fog thanks to the tiredness we feel those
first three months. The second three months are a little better, and we are no
longer green but we deal with other issues such as varicose veins and leg
cramps.

The third trimester, we are back to the hazy fog again and have other issues
such as swelling and heartburn just to name a few. Some of these can be avoided
with a good diet. Eating foods that have some complex carbs can help reduce your
tiredness and staying away from fatty foods will help with the heartburn.

Research has shown that pregnant women who eat healthy throughout their
pregnancy usually have a safe and uncomplicated pregnancy. Studies have shown
that some pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia or high blood pressure
can be directly related to deficiencies in a pregnant woman's diet. High
amounts of sugar and polyunsaturated fats increase this risk as well as having
a low intake of vitamin c, e and magnesium.

Perhaps for some women one of the biggest benefits of eating healthy during
their pregnancy is that it could help you during labor and delivery. A well
balanced pregnancy diet has been said to help prevent preterm labor, which is
labor before 37 weeks. A good diet can also help you cope with labor and
delivery better. Any woman who has given birth knows how much energy it takes
to endure hours of contractions and sometimes hours of pushing. Eating healthy
will ensure that you have the energy and the stamina to get through your little
one's delivery.

Once you have delivered your little one, it is still important to continue your
good habit of healthy eating especially in the postpartum period. Your body
needs a lot of resources to recover from all the stretching, blood loss and not
mention sleep deprivation and still take care of a newborn. It is just as
important in the months following your delivery to continue to eat well. As my
doctor put it, it is essential to eat as though you were pregnant for at least
three months after delivery.

A final added bonus to eating healthy throughout your pregnancy is that you may
never stop eating healthy. This is setting up the groundwork for a lifetime of
eating healthy for not only you but for your children. If you continue to eat
healthy you are setting a prime example for your children.

Eating Well For Your Baby

Congratulations, you are pregnant! The next nine months are going to be an
exciting time, not just for you but for your growing baby! Think of all the
things a baby has to accomplish in only nine (ten) short months. They start as
a single cell and then divide at an enormous rate. Their organs develop, the
heart forms and starts beating and all five senses form.

Basically your baby goes from a little blob that can't be seen with the human
eye into a seven, eight, nine or even ten pound adorable newborn baby. In order
for your baby to develop as healthy as possible, your diet should play a big
part. This is because your diet is how your baby is going to receive all the
vitamins, minerals, protein and fluids that he or she needs to grow and
develop. The best thing you and any other pregnant mother can do for your
growing baby is to eat as healthy as you possibly can. Let us look at all the
benefits eating well can do for your baby.

First, eating right is going to help your baby's organ development. Your baby
only has a short time to develop vital organs such as their heart, liver,
lungs, and kidneys. Eating a diet that lacks vitamin D or calcium can interfere
with your baby's bone and tooth growth.

Next eating too lightly through out pregnancy might stop your baby from growing
as it should in your uterus. You might find yourself measuring behind for where
you should be in your pregnancy. Small babies are at a greater risk for healthy
problems once they are born. On the other hand, eating to much can cause your
baby to grow too big to fast. Babies who are measuring ahead are at a greater
risk for delivery complications. Babies who are too big usually can not be
delivered vaginally without the assistance of instruments such as forceps or a
vacuum. Some women are forced to have a cesarean section because they can not
deliver their baby vaginally.

Some research has been done that shows what you eat during pregnancy can affect
your baby's eating habits down the line. Babies can taste and get use to the
flavors from food that makes its way into the amniotic fluid. It is quiet
possible that your baby will have a preference for certain foods before they
even take that first spoonful of solids. By making sure your diet contains a
lot of vegetables and fruit can help ensure that your baby will enjoy eating
that went he time comes.

Also, as hard to believe as it is, some studies have shown that what you are
eating can contribute to your baby's personality. Research has shown that
babies born to mothers who were under-nourished tend to smile less and are
drowsier compared to those who at healthy. Also, studies have shown that moms
who consumed enough omega-3 acids during their final trimester have babies who
showed healthier sleep patterns than other babies.

Lastly, your baby's brain needs you to eat healthy especially during the last
trimester. Unlike the rest of your baby's organs, the brain has its greatest
growth spurt during the third trimester. This is the best time to eat protein,
calories and omega-3 fatty acids. These ensure optimum brain development.

There has never been a more important time to eat healthy than pregnancy.
Eating healthy while pregnant is the best gift you can give your child to be.

Eating Well While Dealing With Morning Sickness

There are a few women out there in this world who sail through their pregnancy
without so much of glimpse of queasiness. The rest of us have no such luck.
Chances are you are the type of women who the mere smell of what use to be your
favorite food sends you running to the nearest toilet. The mere sight of steak
can send you heaving and just thinking about eating that salad turns you
greener than the romaine lettuce it contains. You probably curse the silly fool
who named it "morning sickness" when all pregnant women know it is more like all
day sickness.

There are different degrees of morning sickness. Each woman and each pregnancy
is different. I spent the first three months of my first pregnancy over a
toilet and unable to look at any sort of vegetable or meat. However I made it
through my second pregnancy with only a few spurts to the bathroom and hardly
any aversions. The good news is though, this is usually only temporary. Most
women start feeling better between their 12th and 14th week of pregnancy. Even
better news is that your baby is handling this much better than you are. As
hard as it is to eat healthy during this period there are some things you can
do to help ease your discomfort.

For starters, eat often. It has been shown that an empty stomach tends to make
your morning sickness even worse. This is why so many of us feel so bad when we
first wake up. We've had nothing in our system which means our stomach acids are
going crazy since nothing is there to soak them up. The trick to this is to eat
often. Try eating six mini meals a days and make sure you have plenty of
snacks. Make sure you eat often in bed. Before you go to bed for the night have
a snack that is high in protein and in carbs such as nuts and raisins, yogurt
and bread stick or a cheese and crackers. Keep a stash of crackers or ginger
cookies by your bed and make sure you have one before you even think about
getting out of bed in the morning.

You will always want to eat mainly carbs and protein. Stick with crackers or
fruit to give you some comfort during those first few months. Other good snacks
are pretzels, saltines and whole grain toast. For fruits stick with melons and
bananas. For your protein add a little cheese or some nuts to your snacks or
any time you are feeling a little green. Yogurt is also an excellent choice
when fighting morning sickness also.

Make sure you drink your water. If you are vomiting it is essential that you
stay hydrated. Making sure you stay hydrated is probably more important that
making sure you eat those first few months. Becoming dehydrated can cause a
problem for you and your little one so make sure you drink at least 8 glasses
of water or juice through out the day. You can also suck on ice chips or fruit
juice popsicles if you are having problems keeping liquids down.

The most important thing to keep in mind those first three months is not to
beat yourself up if you can not eat as healthy as you would like to. You will
still have plenty of time to make up for it after you get through this storm.
Just make smart choices when it comes to what you eat and snack on and that
will pave the way for when you can eat as a normal person.

Eating Well Even After Your Pregnancy

Congratulations and welcome to parenthood. Your body has gone through a lot
these past nine months and it still has a while to go before it is back to
normal. The next few months are going to give you and your body a whole new set
of challenges especially if you are a first time parent. Recovering from
childbirth is exhausting and when you throw a new baby who has no concept of
time into the mix and you might find your head spinning. Eating well during
this time is almost as important as eating well during your pregnancy.

Your body has just been through a traumatic ordeal. If you gave birth
vaginally, you mind find yourself recovering from tears and what not. If you
gave birth via c-section, you are recovering from major surgery. The first
thing most hospitals and doctors like to make sure is that your plumbing and
waste systems are working.

Eating high fiber food and drinking lots of water after your delivery will help
make that first bowel movement a lot less painful. This can be a little hard for
women who delivery via c-section because they are usually on a liquid diet for
the first 24 hours. You may find you need a little help from either stool
softeners or prune juice to make that first trip a little easier.

Once you are home from the hospital, you are going to need your energy to take
care of the baby. Gone are the nights where you were able to get a full 8 hours
of sleep. You might not see that again for at least three months, though ask any
parent and they will tell you that getting 8 hours of sleep a night will not
happen until your kids are grown and married. Sleep deprivation can wreak havoc
on you and it is important that you eat healthy to maintain a decent amount of
energy.

The postpartum period is usually where most women find themselves downing
countless amounts of coffee or sugary foods to give them a quick fix. This is
not healthy because once you come down from that high, you are going to be even
more exhausted than you were before hand. Make sure all of your meals are
balanced meals and stock up on quick and healthy snacks such as celery sticks,
baby carrots and lots of fruit to get you through the day.

Eating healthy can also help you fight the baby blues those first few weeks.
Nearly 80% of all women suffer from baby blues. These usually kick in between
the 4th and 5th day after delivery and can last for 10 days to 2 weeks. You may
find yourself emotional for no reason and you may start to cry for no reason.

Some women report a feeling of sadness that they are no longer pregnant and
others report a feeling of helplessness when it comes to dealing with their new
baby. The baby blues are caused by your hormone levels going back to normal. By
maintaining your healthy habits that you practiced during your pregnancy could
help you handle your changing emotions a little better.

Pregnancy is tough and the post partum period is just as tough. Make sure you
take the best care of yourself as possible during this time. Eat right and
continue to take your prenatal vitamin to make sure your baby is going to get
the best care you are capable of.

Prenatal and Pregnancy

Prenatal vitamins are one of the most important vitamins that you take through
out your pregnancy. Ideally, you should start taking prenatal vitamins when you
are trying to conceive a baby. By taking prenatal while you are trying to
conceive, you are preparing your body for the challenging task that lies ahead.
Some experts believe that taking prenatal before you are pregnant might actually
reduce your risk of a miscarriage after you become pregnant.

Taking prenatal before pregnancy is not always possible for some people, but
taking them during pregnancy is essential. Prenatal vitamins contain one of the
most important nutrients that a new mother needs and that are folic acid or
folate. By taking in extra folic acid, you lower your chances of your baby
being born with an incomplete spinal column which is known as spina bifida. In
order for your baby to be protected, it is imperative that folic acid is taken
in the first four weeks of fetal development.

This can be a problem for women who do not take prenatals before they are
pregnant. Most of the time, most women do not know they are pregnant until
after they missed their period which is about two weeks after conception. This
is why if you are of child bearing age, you should make it a habit of taking
folic acid even if you are not planning to become pregnant and we all know that
not all pregnancies are planned.

You can still get your folic acid in food. Folic acid is added to many breads
and pastas and is found in dark green and orange fruits as well as vegetables.
Keep in mind though that taking a daily supplement of folic acid offers more
protection from spina bifida then eating the same amount of folic acid in food.

While you are pregnant you should aim to take at least 600mcg of folic acid a
day. If you have had a baby with a neural tube defect, you will have to take
4000 mcg or 4 milligrams of folic acid every day, starting at least a month
before you get pregnant.

Some women report that they can not take their prenatals especially in their
first trimester. Women who suffer from morning sickness and food aversions find
that they can not eat much food. Taking a prenatal on an empty stomach can leave
you feeling sick and queasy which is why so many women in the first trimester do
not take them. Another reason some women report upset stomachs is due to the
high iron level that some prenatals have. Not only could this cause an upset
stomach, this can also lead to constipation which can already be a problem for
some pregnant women.

If you find that you can not take your prenatal, talk to your doctor to see if
he can give you a prenatal with less iron or give you a folic acid supplement
also. The worst thing you could do is not take anything, especially during
those first few weeks.

Plus Size and Pregnant

A majority of plus sized women who are pregnant will experience a healthy
pregnancy, but they are at a risk of having a more bumpy ride than someone who
is not overweight.

Women who are overweight, or have a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or more are at
a greater risk of certain pregnancy complications like gestational diabetes and
preeclampsia. No knows for sure why weight matters so much, as far as most
doctors are concerned it is just one piece of the puzzle. The truth is most
plus size women go on to have completely uneventful pregnancies and deliver
perfect healthy babies as long as they eat well, exercise and watch their
weight throughout pregnancy. The biggest problem with being plus sized and
pregnant is that you are at a greater for some of the following.

Studies have shown that overweight women have a higher rate of neural tube
defects which are problems with how your baby's brain and spinal cord develop.
These studies are unable to pin point exactly why overweight women are at a
higher risk and have a higher rate. Some studies have shown that overweight
women have lower blood folate levels than a woman who is of normal weight.
Folate is needed especially in the early stages of pregnancy to help avoid
neaural tube defects. Because of this, if you are overweight your doctor may
prescribe you a prenatal vitamin with 1000 micrograms of folic acid. In fact,
if you are overweight and planning on becoming pregnant, you may want to start
taking folic acid before you even conceive.

Gestational diabetes is another complication that overweight women are at a
greater risk of developing. Gestational diabetes is elevated blood-sugar level
during pregnancy. The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
estimate that women with normal BMI which is between 19 and 24 have a 2% chance
of developing gestational diabetes. Overweight women have a 6% chance of
developing this condition and obese women or women who have a BMI of 30 or more
have a 9% chance of being diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Remember though
that if you are diagnosed with this, you can still go on and have a healthy
pregnancy with a modified eating plan.

Almost 10% of obese and overweight women develop a condition called gestational
hypertension. This is when your blood pressure becomes high with a reading of
140 over 90 or higher after your 20th week of pregnancy but you do not have any
protein in your urine.

Gestational hypertension is usually a small concern but can put you at a higher
risk for preeclampsia (which is indicated by high blood pressure AND protein in
your urine), intrauterine growth restriction, preterm birth, placental
abruption and still birth. If you do go on to develop preeclampsia, your weight
is probably not that big of a factor. In fact if you are under 35 and overweight
you have LESS of a chance of developing preeclampsia that a woman over 35 and a
healthy weight.

Perhaps the most common complication for overweight women is longer labors and
the possible risk of a cesarean section. Nearly 26-35% of deliveries are
cesarean delivery. You are at a bigger risk if you have been diagnosed with
preeclampsia or gestational hypertension or have a large baby.

Eating healthy throughout your pregnancy and working with your doctor to manage
your weight will help reduce these risks and increase your already high chances
of having a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.

Planning Ahead While Pregnant

Planning ahead when it comes to food could mean the difference between making
wise choices and making irrational choices. It helps us learn how to undo our
bad habits and being pregnant is a great time to try and change any bad habits
you may have. The best way to break bad habits and to form new ones is to
constantly plan ahead.

You want to plan for snack attacks especially if you are not going to be home.
You want to make sure you take some healthy food with you, so that you can
resist the temptation of going to the vending machine and taking out that candy
bar. Throw some nuts into your pocketbook or some cheese sticks in case of any
hunger that might hit you through out the day.

Plan your food shopping list. Some people find that when they go to the
supermarket with just a rough idea of what they need they usually wind up
forgetting something important or they wind up buying half of the food store.
Take a few minutes to plan your meals for the week and buy what you need to go
with it.

Speaking of planning meals, that is a excellent idea. Plan for meals you can
realistically prepare. Do not plan for meals that you do not have the time to
prepare. You are only going to stress yourself out. Look for recipes that are
easy and quick to make. Do not try to make something where you can't pronounce
half of the ingredients and need to shop at a gourmet cooking store. Chances
are you are still working and the last thing you want to do is come home after
a long day and then slave over a complicated recipe.

Also, planning your meals out for the week tends to help you be a little more
organized for the week. It is no secret that pregnant women tend to forget
things and this is due to their changing hormone level. By taking out the time
to sit and plan your meals for the week will help you stay a little organized
and save you a lot of time. If you already know what you are making for dinner,
you do not have to worry about coming home after a long day and standing in
front of the fridge trying to decide what to make.

You also want to make sure that get yourself in the habit of using vegetables
are your main dish. Instead of doing chicken breast with a side salad, make
your salad your main dish and the chicken breast a side one. You also want to
buy your vegetables as fresh as possible, even if that means making two trips
to the grocery store through out the week. The fresher the vegetable, the
better they are for you and your baby. The same holds true for fruit also. Keep
plenty of fruit on hand, especially if you tend to crave sweet stuff through out
your pregnancy. Instead of reaching for a candy bar, you can reach for a piece
of fruit dipped in cool whip

By planning ahead for the week or even month to come will help you stay on
track with your eating and decrease the risk of you making the wrong choice if
a craving should hit you.

Peanuts and Pregnancy

Ask any parent who has a child who is allegeric to peanuts how difficult their
live has become. Food shopping can take hours because every food label must be
read it and studied to make sure it contains no traces of peanuts. Arrangements
for peanut free foods must be made with the child's school ahead of time and
other children's birthdays parties can be a parent's worse nightmare. Peanut
allergies although common can be one of the most fatal allergies a child could
suffer from. Some children are so sensitive to their peanut allergy that if
they come into contact with peanuts just from someone else's skin, their life
can be at risk. Peanut allergies can lead to anaphylactic shock which is a
sever allergic reaction that can be fatal.

Peanut allergies are usually not diagnosed until a child reaches the age of 2
or even three years old. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that parents
who have a peanut allergy in the family should wait until their child is at
least three years old before giving them peanuts or anything containing
peanuts. There are even some conservative obgyns who advise their pregnant
patients not to eat peanuts especially if when they are in their third
trimester regardless of if there is a history of peanut allergy in the family
or not.

The reason for this is because in order for a peanut allergy to develop, the
child has to come into contact with small traces of a peanut. This contact
sensitizes the child so that they later have a severe allergic reaction. Some
experts believe that this first sensitization can occur during pregnancy. It is
believed that a tiny amount of peanut protein can cross the placenta. In fact a
recent study showed that if a women ate peanuts or peanut butter while pregnant
their baby could be four times more likely to develop a peanut allergy than a
child whose mother didn't eat any peanuts during her pregnancy.

This isn't to say though that if you have a no history of nut allergies you
should avoid peanuts at all costs. In fact, peanuts and peanut butter are very
beneficial to you and your baby. Peanuts are a useful source of folic acid and
protein, both which are very important to your and your growing baby. Peanuts
and peanut butter has been said to help some women get through the first
trimester morning sickness. Keep in mind however that there have been some
instances when women who had no history of peanut allegeries in their family
and ate a over whelming amount of peanuts or even peanut butter through out
their pregnancies wound up with children who had a peanut allergy.

Before you decide to throw out all your peanuts and say good bye to peanut
butter and jelly sandwiches, talk to your doctor. Give your doctor a detailed
family history and let him know if there are any peanut allergies in your
family. With your doctors help you will be able to create a healthy peanut
eating plan for your pregnancy. If you do not feel comfortable at all eating
peanuts due to the risk do not let anyone change your mind. It is your body and
your child and you have the right to make that decision.




How to Eat for A Healthy Pregnancy

You found out you are pregnant. Never has it been more crucial to eat well. Not
eating well during your pregnancy can increase your risk of complications.
Eating well has never been easier during pregnancy than it is now.

First, remember that once you hit the second trimester, you should be eating
about 300 more calories a day. Calories provide you with the extra energy that
your body needs to grow your baby. Now these extra calories should not give you
the right to chow down on every food in your line of site. After all, it is only
300 calories that your are getting. A glass of milk or one banana equals 100
calories and a slice of whole wheat bread, and ounce of cheese and a half of
cup of grapes equal 200 calories. See how much more you are eating than if you
decide to eat a donut instead.

Remember that you need at least three servings of protein each day. Protein
contains amino acid which is one of the most important building block for your
baby's tissue. Protein is very easy to come by and your options are endless.
You can drink 3 glasses of milk, and you can have 2 cups of yogurt along with 3
ounces of cheese.

Next, you need at least four servings of calcium every day. Calcium is going to
help grow your baby's bones and help protect yours. Milk is the best way to get
your fill of calcium, but you can also get your fill of calcium from cheeses,
yogurt and even ice cream.

Aim for at least three servings of vitamin C. Your body does not store vitamin
C so you need a fresh supply of it every day. You can eat fruit or almost any
vegetable to get your vitamin C in. You also want to make sure you get three to
four servings of green leafy and yellow vegetables and fruits. Most of these
veggies and fruits will also count toward your vitamin C intake, so that is
double the benefit.

You should get in one to two servings of all other fruit and vegetables that
are not known for their vitamin A and C value, but are still good for you all
the same. Apples, banana, and onions are just a few that are in this category.
Eat six or more servings of whole grains and legumes. These are filled with
vitamins E and B and they help you battle constipation. Try eating brown rice,
whole wheat breads and even air popped corn to get your servings of whole
grains and legumes in.

Perhaps one of the most important nutrients you and your body need is iron.
Your body's demand for iron will never be greater than it is while you are
pregnant. You want to make sure you are able to keep up with it. Not enough
iron could lead to anemia so you want to make sure you are getting enough iron.
If you feel that you are not, talk to your doctor and he might be able to
prescribe you a iron supplement.

It is always a good idea to eat well every day. However when you are pregnant
it is essential that you eat well every day.

How to Cope With Food Aversions

Do you find yourself suddenly feeling queasy at the thought of the left over
pasta that you could not get enough of the other night? Food aversions are a
normal part of pregnancy and the flip side to food cravings. Nearly eighty five
percent of all pregnant women suffer from food aversions. Food aversion is when
food your normally are able to look at, smell and even taste suddenly send you
running in the opposite direction. They appear in the first trimester and
usually trigger that fun part of pregnancy we call morning sickness. Some women
find that they disappear by the start of their second trimester right around the
same time morning sickness disappears. Other women find that their food
aversions stay with them their whole pregnancy and a few women find that foods
they developed aversions to through out the pregnancy stay with them even after
they deliver.

Just like with food cravings, your hormones are more than likely to blame for
your food aversions. Some experts believe that just as food cravings are your
body's way of telling you that you need a certain food, food aversions are your
body's way of protecting you from eating anything that can harm your baby. This
might be why a lot of women report that they experience aversions to alcohol
and coffee. The theory is still under debate though because so many pregnant
women are turned off by food that is healthy for them and their babies.

Try not to fight a healthy aversion. Consider it a blessing if the mere thought
of your normal morning cup of joe turns your stomach upside down. Cutting back
caffeine will be a walk in the park for you. The same goes for cigarette smoke.
Many women have said that the first clue they had that they were pregnant was
the fact that the smell of smoke sent them running. Others say that their first
clue they were pregnant was when they had actually felt sick when thinking about
having a glass of wine with dinner.

If you find that you have aversions to healthy food, try to work around it as
best as possible. Do not force yourself to eat food that you have aversions
too. It is not a pleasant experience; instead try to look for alternatives.
Some women find the thought of salad or anything green revolting. If you are
one of them, you might be wondering how you are going to get the nutrients and
vitamins you need. One alternative is to try and drink some vegetable juice.

While drinking vegetable juice is not the same as eating vegetables it has its
benefits when you can't look at your veggies. You should also try eating
different color veggies like peppers or carrots. If it is protein like fish and
chicken that make you sick, get your protein in other forms. Cheese, yogurt,
eggs and nuts are fantastic protein alternatives. Or you can try and hide your
meat in dishes. Stir chicken into a casserole or mix some seafood into a pasta
dish. This way you can still get your protein in, and with less of a risk of
getting sick.

Just like with morning sickness, do not beat yourself up if you can not eat as
healthy as you would like while you are dealing with food aversions. Chances
are once you enter your second trimester, they will disappear and you can eat
more of a variety of foods.

How to Avoid Constipation During Pregnancy

It is Murphy's law that just when you are able to get food into your body
without having it come back up, that you suddenly find you can not get the food
out of your body. Nearly half of all the women who are pregnant suffer from
constipation during pregnancy.

As with all symptoms of pregnancy there is a reason for constipation. When you
are pregnant your body creates progesterone which in turns relaxes the muscles
of the bowels and causes your digestive tracks to work much slower. Your
digestive track works slower to make sure your body absorbs the nutrients from
your food for your baby. This can create constipation, which if it not kept
under control, can lead to hemorrhoids.

There are some ways you can help avoid constipation throughout your pregnancy.
Make sure you included plenty of fiber in your diet. Fiber absorbs water and
can help to soften your stools and speed their passage. Eat plenty of high
fiber foods like whole grain cereal and oatmeal. Instead of eating white bread
with your sandwiches, eat whole grain breads. Add some oat bran to your cereals
or yogurt.

Fresh fruits are also an excellent way to get your fiber in. Melons and plums
have a high amount of fiber in them as wells as dried fruits like figs,
raisins, apricots and of course the well known favorite prunes. Prunes and
prune juice have a like laxative effect and will help keep things moving
properly in your body. Aim to eat at least 25 to 30 grams of fiber a day. You
can tell you are getting enough fiber if your stools are large and soft and you
aren't straining to pass them. Keep in mind though that too much fiber can lead
to diarrhea which can lead to dehydration so do not over do the fiber in your
diet.

Also, drinking plenty of fluid will help you combat constipation. Fluids help
keep digestive products moving through your system so it is very important for
you to drink at least six to eight glasses of water a day. Keeping up with your
fluids is important especially if you are increasing your intake of fiber. Your
body needs to water to soak up the fiber otherwise it can cause more
constipation.

Also, make sure you are eating your yogurt if you can. Yogurt has a bacteria
called acidophilus that helps stimulate the intestinal bacteria to break down
food better. Look at your prenatal. Some of the prenatal that women take
contain a lot of iron and iron can play a big part in constipation. Talk to
your doctor to see if you can switch for a while to a different prenatal that
contains less iron or at least stay off of the prenatal for a while until your
constipation is under control.

Avoid foods that can lead to constipation. White bread and some cereals such as
corn flakes can lead to constipation as well as white rice and bananas. If all
this fails, give your doctor a call to see if there is something you can take
to help keep you regulated. Most doctors will allow you to take Metamucil to
help keep things moving.

Constipation is never pleasant but during pregnancy it can be even extra
uncomfortable. Make sure you take the steps to avoid constipation. It will help
make your pregnancy that much more enjoyable.

Healthy weight gain for pregnancy

Most doctors will tell you that you should gain anywhere between 25-30 pounds
through out your pregnancy. You should aim to gain about 3.5 pounds during your
first trimester, although more often than not most women find that they lose
weight their first trimester. The culprit to this is morning sickness. Some
women suffer from such a severe case of morning sickness they can not keep
anything down. Chances are your doctor will not be too concerned if you lose a
few pounds that first trimester as long as you gain steady throughout the next
two trimesters.

Your second trimester is where you will probably put on most of your weight.
Most women put on about a pound a week, so roughly four or five pounds a month
which brings their second trimester weight gain to about 12-15 pounds. Some
women put on more while others put on less. Do not be surprised if you put on a
lot of weight one month and not so much your next.

For the 7th and 8th month you will should probably continue about a pound each
week or so. Look to gain between 8 and 10 pounds those months. Most women find
that their weight gain slows down in the 9th month. You might find your weight
gain coming to a end as your due date draws nearer. This can be a sign that
labor is on the horizon. Or, you may find that your weight gain continues
especially if you are retaining a lot of water.

So where does all this weight go? It doesn't really make sense that you should
gain between 25-30 pounds if your baby is only going to weigh between 7 and 8
pounds. Let's break down where the extra weight goes.

First, you have your baby. A average baby weights about 7 1/2 pounds. Some can
weigh more and some weigh less. That amniotic fluid that your baby has been
swimming in for the past nine months weighs about 2 pounds. Figure in about 2
pounds for your breast enlargement and 1 1/2 pounds for your placenta. Your
uterus, which started off about the size of a golf ball has grown to weigh
about 2 pounds. Your body should be producing about 4 pounds of extra blood by
the end of your pregnancy and about 7 extra pounds of fat. Let's not forget the
extra fluid of about 4 pounds that your body might be holding on to. All this
equals to the grand total of about 30 pounds.

Now keep in mind this is just a estimate and not a guarantee of how your weight
will fall. There are women who wind up having a 10 pound baby and others who
have a 5 pound baby. The key is to maintain a healthy weight gain throughout
your pregnancy. Your body needs extra calories and it is best for you and your
baby if those extra calories come from food that has a lot of nutritional value
such as fruits, vegetables or protein. Staying away from junk for will help you
curb your weight gain.

When it comes to taking the weight off, do not be surprise if your body hangs
on to it especially those first days after delivery. Once you are home keep
this in mind that it took nine months to gain that weight so gives yourself at
least a good nine months to take it off.

Gestational Diabetes

You are twenty eight weeks pregnant! Congratulations, you have made it to your
third trimester with a picture perfect pregnancy. You go in to see your obgyn
for your appointment and the bomb drops. You have gestational diabetes.

Gestational diabetes is one of the most common pregnancy complications that
women face. It is when pregnant women have high blood sugar levels during their
pregnancy. It is not really known what can cause gestational diabetes. Some
experts say that overweight women have a higher risk of developing gestational
diabetes, but there is not much evidence to support this.

What is known about gestational diabetes is that one of the only cures is to
deliver the baby. After delivery your blood sugar level will go back down to
normal. The common treatment for gestational diabetes has been insulin shots.
Just as if you had diabetes when you were not pregnant, you would have to take
shots each day. Some women find though that by changing their diet, they are
able to manage their gestational diabetes without having to give themselves a
shot of insulin.

If you are looking to make dietary changes your doctor will probably refer you
to a nutritionist. They will look at several factors when designing a meal plan
for you. First they will look at your weight before you got pregnant and how
much you have gained since them. Next they will look at your activity level and
your blood level. Then they will work with you to design an eating plan that has
just the right amount of carbohydrates.

Some of the guidelines you should follow are to spread your carbs out through
out the day by eating three small meals and two to four snacks. Breakfast might
be a meal where you will want to eat less carbs since they can cause your blood
sugar to rise quickly. Instead eat a protein filled breakfast with eggs, or
even meat. Giving up sweets is one of the best things you can do if you have
been diagnosed with gestational diabetes and will make your meal plan easier to
follow.

It is also important to that you do not skip meals or try going on a low carb
diet. This is going to cause your blood levels to fall to low levels and can
leave you exhausted and legatheric. Chances are you will have to test your
blood sugar levels regularly to make sure you are at a safe level. Some women
are so sensitive that they can tell when their levels are low and know what
steps to take to correct it.

Not taking the steps to keep your gestational diabetes under control not only
puts you at a risk of developing type 2 diabetes's later in life, but you are
also putting the life of your baby at risk. Babies born from moms who were
diagnosed with gestational diabetes tend to be larger than those who aren't.
Most doctors will not let a women go past her due date if she has gestational
diabetes and a few will not even let them go as far as their due date before
inducting them. Larger babies could mean more delivery complications and
increase your chance of a c- section.

Gestational diabetes is so common these days that no one bats an eye if you say
you have it. By eating a healthy diet and watching your sugar level, you will be
able to control your blood sugar level and continue with your perfect pregnancy.

Foods to Avoid While Pregnant

Almost every woman knows the basic of what they should and should not do during
pregnancy. They know that caffeine should be cut back; they should not smoke,
drink alcohol or spend time in any hot tubs. However more and more studies are
being done to see if pregnant women should avoid certain foods for the duration
of their pregnancy.

It is essential that pregnant women eat a well balanced meal at all times to
provide their growing baby with the vitamins, nutrients and minerals that the
baby needs to grow. There are some foods though that needs to be avoided due to
the risk they pose to not just to the mother, but also to the growing baby.

For starters, raw meat needs to be avoided due to the risk of toxoplasmosis and
salmonella. This means no more rare steaks, or rare burgers. Pregnant women
should take caution and make sure that all of the meat they eat is cooked well
done. Cold deli meat should also be avoided because of the risk of listeria.
Listeria can cross the placenta and can cause an infection or blood poisoning
to the baby. Keep in mind though that deli meat can be reheated until it is
steaming and this will help reduce the risk.

Speaking of listeria there are other foods that can contain this bacteria. Some
soft cheeses such as brie, feta, and gorgonzola. These cheeses are commonly made
with unpasterized milk. Unpasterized milk often contains listeria, so pregnant
women need to make sure that any soft cheeses they are going to eat are made
with pasteurized milk.

Fish has always been a subject of debate for pregnant women. While some forms
of fish contain essential nutrients that are needed by the baby, others contain
a high level of mercury. Any fish with a high level of mercury such as shark,
swordfish, king mackerel, tilefish and fish used in sushi should be avoided
through out pregnancy. Studies have linked mercury to developmental delays and
in some cases brain damage. Tuna also contains a lot of mercury but canned,
chunk light tuna has a lower amount of mercury and can be eaten in moderation.
Raw shellfish also should be avoided through out pregnancy.

Raw eggs or anything containing raw eggs is a no no during pregnancy. There is
a potential exposure to salmonella. This means no raw cookie dough, no brownie
mix, and some homemade sauces such as hollandaise, Caesar dressing and blue
cheese dressing. When dining in a restaurant, it would be wise to ask any
sauces or dressings contain any raw eggs. Most restaurants should be using
pasteurized eggs in any raw egg recipe but one should still double check.

There has never been a more important time to be careful what a woman eats then
when she is pregnant. Some of the above foods have been linked to miscarriages
and other birth defects. If you are pregnant and you have already indulged in a
few of the foods you should not have, do not panic. Chances are, you and your
baby are fine but take extra care to avoid these foods in the future.

Food Cravings During Pregnancy

Do pickles and ice cream sound good to you? How about red peppers and peanut
butter? If these do, you are probably a pregnant woman who has just gone
looking for that ice cream carton you know you have buried in your freezer.
More than three quarters of all pregnant women experience cravings at some
point. The most common cravings are for sweets, dairy products and salty foods
although there are some weird cravings out there. Some women have been known to
put black olives on cheesecake, while others have been known to dip fruit in
salsa. As bizarre as some cravings can be, they are mainly perfectly safe.

There are old wives tales that believe what you crave could be a good
indication of the sex of your baby. If you are craving sweets you are having a
girl. If you crave meats or cheeses, it is believed you are having a boy.
Cravings are something that most women love most about pregnancy. It is when a
woman is craving dirt or clay that an alarm should go off. If you should find
yourself craving dirt, soil, or chalk call your doctor right away. Not only
could these be harmful if you do eat them, but chances are they are a sign of
iron-deficiency anemia.

Most doctors believe that cravings can be nutritionally based. That is to say
the cravings are a message from your body on what it needs to eat. If you are
craving salts foods it could be because your body needs more sodium as your
blood volume increases. If you are craving fruit, your body might need more
vitamins C. The problem is sometimes the message gets lost on the way to our
brain. You may find yourself craving something sweet and instead of getting
berries or fruit, you find yourself gulping down snicker bars by the cart full.
Cravings can be the downfall of your weight gain especially if the message is
getting scrambled. There are some ways though you can help curb your cravings.

For starters, eat a good breakfast. Eating a good breakfast can prevent
cravings later in the day. You also want to try and make wise choices by
looking for healthier alternatives. If you are dying for potato chips try
eating some soy crisps. Instead of ice cream, try frozen yogurt. If you feel
like candy is calling your name, snack on some frozen grapes. If you want
something salty try pretzels, or even rice cakes to satisfy that urge. A good
substation for soda would be some fruit juice mixed with sparkling water.

Next, think small. If you are craving chocolate, you do no need to reach for a
king size bar. The snack size bar will satisfy your craving just the same. If
you want a brownie, have one; just do not eat the whole pan. There is nothing
wrong with indulging in a few of your cravings as long as you know not to over
do it.

Giving in to your cravings during pregnancy does not make you a bad person and
it is not something you should beat yourself up about and feel guilty about.
Cravings are a normal part of pregnancy and denying yourself all the time might
make you resent being pregnant. Indulge when you want to, just make sure you
make wise choices and do everything in moderation.

Exercise During Pregnancy

For some women the thought of exercise during pregnancy is as appealing as a
root canal without novacane. In their minds they have a nine month pass to
keeping up with their gym routine. The first three months they are battling
morning sickness and exhaustion. The next three months they are beginning to
show. The last three months are so uncomfortable that walking ten feet to the
bathroom is pure torture, so there is no way they will be able to walk on a
treadmill for ten minutes.

On the other side of the coin, there are some women who do not let something as
little as creating a life stand in their way of exercise. These are the women we
might see actually teaching a class at the gym, or speed walking throughout our
neighborhood with their protruding bellies.

Most of us however fall somewhere in the middle and that is just how their
doctors like it. Exercise comes highly recommended when pregnant. Not only does
it help control weight gain, but some women swear it helps with delivery also.
There are some things to keep in mind in order to protect yourself and your
growing little one.

For starters you need to keep an eye on your heart rate as you are working out.
Letting your heart rate rise to high could be dangerous to your little one
especially in your first trimester. You want to maintain a steady heart rate
and should do the talk test throughout your workout to make sure you are at a
safe level. The talk test is when you talk during your workout. If you are
having a hard time talking and wind up huffy and puffing more than getting out
actual words, then you are working too hard and need to take it down. Most
doctors recommend that you work at a pace where talking is challenging but
still doable.

Pregnancy is not the time to try out new exercise routines. This means that you
should not try the new spinning class that your gym offers. Stick with the
routine you have already been doing and that your body is use to. You may find
that you have to make some modifications to some of your exercises as your
pregnancy progresses. If you are a runner, a modified low impact jog through
out your first trimester is fine but once you enter your second trimester and
begin to show, your jog has to be brought down to a walk. For those of you who
love sit ups, crunches and floor pushups, you can continue to do these up until
you hit about 14 weeks or so. After that time period no floor exercises are
recommending.

If you do not have any sort of exercise routine in place before you get
pregnant, this still does not give you a free pass. Almost every doctor will
tell you that walking is a great exercise for any pregnant women who are not
high risk. Walking at least thirty minutes, three times a week is a safe way
for a pregnant woman to stay active.

Walking is something you can do through out all three trimesters though you
might find yourself moving at a slower pace by your third trimester. Another
great plus to walking, especially as you approach your due date, is that
walking can actually bring on labor. Many doctors will advise their patients to
walk, walk and walk some more in the weeks leading up to their due dates to get
things rolling. Some women who have walked throughout their entire pregnancy
have an easier delivery and recovery period.

The days of pregnant women kicking their feet up and not moving from the couch
for nine months are days of the past. While strenuous exercise is a no no
pregnancy is no longer a good excuse to stop moving.

Eating to Prevent Heartburn

Heartburn does not just affect those who are high stressed or love their spicy
foods. Pregnant women suffer from heartburn too. You will find as your
pregnancy progresses that antacids tend to become your best friend. Heartburn
has nothing to do with your heart.

It is when the acid from your stomach leaks up into the esophagus. Heartburn is
very common during pregnancy. In fact one in four women experience heartburn
during their pregnancy usually during the third trimester. The reason is that
your baby has grown a tremendous amount and your uterus has moved up and is now
putting pressure on your stomach. This crowds the digestive tract and allows
acids to travel back up the esophagus. There is an old wives tale that if you
have bad heartburn, your baby will have a lot of hair. Of course there is no
proof in this but it is a fun thing to believe in.

There are ways you can help prevent heartburn during pregnancy. You can start
by taking your time while you eat. Not only will you enjoy your food better but
your stomach will not have to work as hard to digest your food. You also want to
try eating early and eat at least two hours before you go to bed that night so
your body has plenty of time to digest your food.

Keep your meals small. Stick with eating six small meals through out the day.
Large meals tend to stuff up your stomach which is already extra squashed
thanks to your uterus. A stuffed stomach makes it that more likely that some of
the food along with stomach acid will make its way back up the esophagus.

Also, make sure you keep your fluids and solids separate. Too much fluid mixed
with too much food can distend the stomach which can aggravate heartburn. You
also want to eat sitting up. Don't eat while lying down, and if you are having
a bed time snack make sure you are propped up by pillows.

Your weight plays a part in how much heartburn you may experience. The heavier
you are, the more pressure you are placing on your esophageal sphincter. This
is another reason why you should not gain to much more than the recommended
amount.

Find out what foods cause your heartburn. Once you figure out what foods cause
heartburn, you can cut them out of your diet. Some foods you might want to
steer clear of are highly seasoned spicy foods, soda, tomatoes sauce,
chocolate, and some citrus. Greasy foods are also a big contributor to
heartburn. Cutting out greasy, fried food is going to help with your heartburn
prevention.

When all else fails, take something for your heartburn. Tums and Rolaids are
perfectly safe to take during pregnancy. If you are not comfortable taking any
over the counter medicines try some natural ways such as eating a handful of
almonds. Almonds are a stomach settler and might help with your heartburn.
Another natural remedy is a tablespoon of honey mixed with milk is a favorite
for preventing heartburn.

Like with some pregnancy discomforts, heartburn is one that can be avoided as
long as you take the steps and eat properly. Even without suffering from a lot
of heartburn, your baby still could be born with a full head of hair.

Eating to Conceive

Almost every woman knows that it is important to eat well while you are
pregnant. The benefit it provides you and your baby is invaluable. But, do you
also know how important it is to eat well even before you get pregnant? If you
are actively trying to get pregnant you have to make sure your body is prepared
to accept the challenge. The first thing you should do before even beginning to
try is to talk to your doctor to see how you measure up health wise. Does he
think you need to lose a few pounds before getting pregnant or does he feel you
need to gain a few? Your doctor may recommend that you change your eating habits
and start exercising.

As soon as you decide you want a baby, you should begin to get in the habit of
eating healthier. Slowly begin to cut out caffeine. If you smoke, now is a good
time to quit rather than waiting until you have that positive test. Smoking can
decrease your fertility and increase your risk of a miscarriage if you are
still smoking when you are pregnant.

Another thing you can do is to start taking prenatals or at least a
multivitamin supplement that contains at least 400 micrograms of folic acid.
You can also begin to add food into your diet that is rich in folic acid such
as spinach and other green vegetables, peanuts, and orange juice. You can also
start by taking a prenatal vitamin also. These vitamins contain iron, folic
acid, and calcium along with vitamin C, D, B and vitamins B6 and B12 also.

Reevaluated your diet. Start to eat foods that have plenty of vitamins,
minerals and fiber. Lay off the fat and excess sugar. You want to eat foods
that have a high nutrient density. Eat at least five portions a day of fruits
and vegetables along with protein and iron rich foods like dried fruit, and
green vegetables. Try to steer clear of raw fish like sushi, and steer clear of
undercook shellfish, meat or chicken. You also want to try to avoid fish that
has high mercury content like swordfish, shark, or king mackerel. Cut out any
food that has unpasteurized milk in it including cheeses such as brie,
camembert, and some Mexican cheese. Also cut out foods that have raw egg in it
including homemade cookie dough.

Make sure you up your water intake. Water should always be your first beverage
choice before, after and during your pregnancy. Water helps to flush your
system of toxins. Once you've gotten your eight glasses in, you can drink fruit
and vegetable juices also.

Perhaps the most important thing you can do before you get pregnant is to cut
out all alcohol. The American College of Obstetricians and gynecologists have
stated that women who drink might have a harder time getting pregnant than
women who do not drink. Another reason why you should give up alcohol is that
most birth defects that are caused by alcohol exposure usually occur in the
first few weeks of pregnancy, usually before you even know you are pregnant.

Getting your body prepared for pregnancy is one of the best decisions you could
make. Your body will be more prepared for the challenge of growing a baby and
the experience will be a little easier on your body.

Eating to Beat Pregnancy Fatigue

Ask any pregnant woman who is in her first or third trimester how they are
feeling and the answer will almost always be "tired". One of the first clues
that many women have that they may be expecting a visit from the stork is the
fact that they find themselves droopy eyed in the middle of the day for no
reason.

You may find that doing a simply task as walking around the block leaves your
desperate for an afternoon nap. The energy you use to have is now faced with
the challenge of growing a baby and your body is hard at work. You are also
producing more blood, using more water and nutrients and have a higher heart
rate and metabolism when you are pregnant. While the best defensive against the
tiredness you will face is to get more sleep. There are also some healthy foods
choices you can make that will help you get through your day if you do not have
the opportunities
to take naps.

First, adjust the size of your meals. Anyone who eats a large meal is going to
feel tired afterwards regardless of if they are pregnant or not. Being pregnant
is going to make the effect of a big meal that much worse. Most of your energy
is going to be used towards digesting the meal so of course you will feel
sluggish and drained. Eat smaller meals and eat more often. Eating six small
meals a day will help you combat fatigue.

Eating a good breakfast is the best way to start your day. You are refueling
your body after a long foodless night with a good breakfast. A good breakfast
is not a cup of coffee and a piece of toast. You want to stick to complex carbs
and protein. Whole grain cereal and a banana for example. These foods will stay
with you and keep your blood sugar and energy level up for quiet a while.

Do not skip lunch. There are many people who skip lunch thinking they will make
up for it by having a big dinner. This is bad when you are not pregnant but it's
even worse when you are pregnant. You need that midday meal to help refuel your
body. As with your breakfast, you should keep it filled with whole grains and
protein. Have a whole grain pita and stuff it with chicken salad and add a side
of grapes or an apple.

Plan to eat most of your calories during the day. A pregnant woman needs an
extra 300 calories a day throughout their second and third trimester. The first
trimester those are not needed yet. You should eat these extra calories through
out the day in the form of healthy snacks such as nuts, cheese, veggies and
dip. Do not save your biggest meal until the end of the day. Your body needs
these calories to help you get through your day. Steer clear of the quick sugar
fixes like candy and soda. In the end these will only make you more tired.

Lastly, make sure you are getting enough iron. Eat iron fortified food such as
spinach and lean red meat to keep your energy up. There are times when extreme
fatigue could be the symptom of an iron deficiency and you might need an iron
supplement also.

Besides eating well, make sure you get plenty of rest even if this means
pushing your bedtime up and giving up those late night TV talk shows. As any
parents of newborns will tell you, get your rest while you still can.

Eating for Breastfeeding

In your third trimester, your baby was old enough to start getting a taste of
the foods his or her mommy likes. Now that your baby is here and you're breast
feeding, your baby will get an even better taste of your favorite food.

Typically if you are nursing your baby you should produce anywhere from 23 to
27 ounces of milk a day. In order to do this, you need to increase your calorie
intake by about 500 more a day.

You also have to increase your water consumption to at least 2 1/2 to 3 quarts
of water a day. You may notice that you are thirstier during nursing session.
This is because the water you drink goes right to milk production. Try not to
drink more than 3 quarts of water a day. Anything more than 3 quarts can reduce
the amount of milk your body produces.

As stated earlier, you need to up your calorie intake. Plan to take in about
2500 calories a day or more if you are planning to nurse for longer than three
months. These extra calories should not come from junk food. Junk food and
sweets are just empty calories and offer no nutritional value to you or your
baby. Eat more protein. A good rule of thumb is to eat 1 gram of protein each
day for every pound you weigh. If you weigh 150, aim to eat 150grams of protein
a day.

If you were not doing so during pregnancy, adopt the six meals a day program.
Eat breakfast, a midday snack, lunch, a mid afternoon snack, dinner and a night
time snack. Your body is going to be making milk continually so it is a good
idea to keep it charged with calories through out the day.

There are some foods you might want to avoid during pregnancy. Pretty much
everything passes through breast milk and to the baby. This is why the first
thing pediatricians advise nursing moms to do when their baby has colic is to
look at what they are eating. Chocolate has been blamed in many cases of colic
and can cause an upset tummy for most babies. f you have a baby with a tummy
ache think back to see if you had a candy bar or even a cookie in the hours
before you nursed. The best advice is to stay away from chocolate while you are
nursing.

Stay away from greasy and spicy foods while you are breastfeeding. Greasy foods
sometimes upset adults stomachs, imagine what it would do to your baby's
immature stomach? Wait until your baby is older and no longer nursing before
you start making trips back to McDonalds.

You may also want to stay away from garlic and onions while you are breast
feeding. Both of these can flavor the breast milk and you may find that your
little one will not nurse if you have eaten these. Your little one may be just
a tad too young to appreciate the taste of garlic and onions anyway. Remember
it takes a few hours for the food you eat to make its way into your breast
milk. You may have eaten one of these foods right before you nurse and see your
baby is fine but by either the following nursing session or the one after you
might find your baby having a reaction then.

Your breast milk does not only taste like what you eat, but also what you
drink. Just as with pregnancy, you should stay away from a lot of caffeine
while breastfeeding. You might need some coffee or caffeine filled soda to keep
you functioning and a cup or two will not hurt you or your baby, but too much
could have disastrous effects. Just as we experience the jitters and shakes
from too much caffeine, your baby does also. Keep your caffeine down to a
minimum.

You have made an excellent choice breastfeeding your baby. Keep it up by making
good choices as to what you eat.

Caffeine and Pregnancy: How much is too much

One of the first things most of us women prepare to say goodbye to once we see
those two pink lines on our pregnancy tests is caffeine. Many women will stop
their caffeine habit cold turkey out of the sheer fear of doing some sort of
damage to the new life growing inside of them. These women will swear off
anything that has caffeine in it from coffee, and soda to even chocolate. Then
there are some of us who will still drink caffeine but cut back. Instead of
drinking five cups of coffee a day, we might cut back to at least one cup of
coffee to get us through the day.

Our mothers and grandmothers will probably tell us that they drank the same
amount of caffeine pregnant as they did when they were not pregnant and their
children turned out fine. However a lot more research has been done since their
time and studies are showing that too much caffeine can cause some complications
such as preterm labor and/or low birth weight.

So how much caffeine is too much caffeine? Doctors are telling their patients
that a moderate amount of caffeine will not harm their babies. Even though
caffeine does cross the placenta, anything less than 300 milligrams a day (an 8
ounce cup of strong coffee) will not do any harm. Anything over 300 milligrams
puts your baby at risk and studies have also shown that women who drink more
than 300 milligrams of caffeine a day during their first trimester have a
slightly higher risk of a miscarriage.

Studies have also shown that women who had over 500 milligrams of caffeine a
day had babies who had faster heart rates and faster breathing rates. These
babies also spent more time awake in their first few days of life rather than
peacefully sleeping after their long journey.

There are a number of other reasons why we women might want to cut back on the
amount of caffeine we drink during pregnancy. For starters, it has no
nutritional value. If there is ever a time for us to be aware of our
nutritional needs it is when we are pregnant. Second, caffeine is a stimulant
which will increase your heart rate and can cause insomnia and headaches which
can put some stress on your growing little one. Third, caffeine can cause
heartburn. If you have been pregnant before you know that heartburn can be a
burden to begin with, and caffeine just makes it worse. Lastly it is a diuretic
which means it can cause you to lose fluids which can put you at a risk of
becoming dehydrated.

While it is not necessary for you to give up all caffeine through out the
duration of your pregnancy, you should learn how to drink it in moderation or
don't drink it at all. If you can not handle having only one cup of coffee a
day, then you might be better off drinking no coffee at all. Stick with
caffeine free sodas and even decaf coffee. Remember though that decaf coffee
still contains small traces of caffeine so make sure you take that into
consideration.





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