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How to Pick the Right Pregnancy Footwear

When you’re pregnant, you’re not only growing a tiny human – your body will also undergo a range of amazing (and not-so-amazing) changes, as well. One common change experienced by expectant moms is weight gain, which tends to make your feet swell and ache. If you’re pregnant with sore feet, then you’ll know exactly how uncomfortable this can be. So, the best thing that you can do for yourself during pregnancy is to invest in some comfortable, supportive shoes. 

Why is the Right Footwear Important During Pregnancy?

Even if you haven’t gained much weight as a result of being pregnant, the additional weight from your growing baby bump can make your feet swell up. As your body grows and changes shape, your center of gravity will also change, which affects the way that you walk and impacts your back, ankles, and feet. The right footwear is crucial for getting the best support and avoiding symptoms such as feet and leg swelling, varicose veins, heel pain, ligament trauma and sprains, and back pain. 

What to Look For:

When your feet are comfortable and supported during pregnancy, you’ll also feel happier. So, take the time to choose the right pair of shoes for your needs. When shopping, it’s worth buying footwear that is a size or at least half a size bigger than the one that you would normally go for. This is because if your feet do swell up during pregnancy, your normal size may become uncomfortable or even painful for you, so give your feet some extra room. And, it’s a wise idea to opt for shoes that offer a good arch and ankle support. They will provide comfort along with helping to reduce joint pain and aches that you may experience during pregnancy. 

Wearing Heels During Pregnancy:

You’ve probably seen glamorous photographs of celebrities wearing heels whilst heavily pregnant, but bear in mind that wearing heels for too long or too often during pregnancy isn’t always a good idea. This is because the changing center of gravity of your body will mean that you walk less steadily when pregnant. In addition, loosened ligaments can make you more susceptible to muscle and joint instability. As a result, most pregnant women are at a higher risk of suffering a fall from wearing heels when pregnant. If you need to wear heels for an event, it’s a wise idea to opt for a more supportive style, such as block or wedge heels. 

Top Tips for Selecting the Right Shoes:

When shopping for shoes to wear during pregnancy, it can be easy to become overwhelmed by the sheer amount of choice, so keep these top tips in mind:

• It’s best to opt for flat shoes, but if you need to wear heels, wide and low ones are the best option.

• Avoid footwear with stiletto heels or more than two inches of heel.

• If you are unable to find footwear with the right kind of arch support, consider wearing additional insoles to offer extra support and comfort to your feet.

• Opt for footwear that allows your feet to breathe and does not make them sweat. Mesh and canvas are great options.

• Opt for footwear that has a wider toe area, rather than narrow or cinched.

• Loafers are usually a safe option; they are both smart and trendy along with being extremely. comfortable.

• For the summer, flat sandals are a great footwear choice.

Opt for High Quality:

You will be pregnant for nine months and if you expect to be on your feet a lot, you will want to get footwear that’s going to last you for the entire duration of your pregnancy and beyond. If you are in the early stages of pregnancy, choose shoes that you know are able to continue offering the support and comfort that you will need as your bump grows. High-end sneakers are a great choice as many designs can be paired with both smart and casual outfits, whilst offering superb comfort and support thanks to the quality of materials and craftsmanship used. Gucci sneakers are a popular choice; they are stylish, whilst very comfortable to wear.  You can look for sneakers on the SSENSE website; there’s a large range of sporty and trendy styles to choose from on this designer footwear site

Choosing Shoes for Work:

If you are working throughout most of your pregnancy, it’s a wise idea to avoid wearing heels for work. Unless your place of employment has a relaxed dress code, wearing comfortable sneakers may no longer be an option. In this case, you may want to consider supportive flat ankle boots, dolly shoes or smart loafers instead. 

It’s important to choose the right footwear to support you through your pregnancy and lessen the impact your growing bump will have on your feet. Do you have any shoe recommendations for expecting moms? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.

How to Tell If You’re Having a Boy Or Girl {Infographic}

boy or girl photo

Here is another Flashback Friday gem of a post from the past including a PregnancyZone inforgraphic about how to tell if you’re having a boy or girl that I’m resharing while the kids have me busy during Spring break:

Some old wife beliefs to know if it’s a girl or a boy are given in the following part of the article. If you are having a boy then some of the indications include having a heart beat of more than 140 per minute, an out front bulge, basketball looking belly, large and dark nipples, bright yellow color of the urine and having amazing looks.

Some of the signs indicating a baby girl includes heart rate of less than 140 per minute, bulges in the back and the hips, watermelon looking belly, dull yellow urine color, breasts that are blossom and appearance less than normal.

If your wedding ring movement on belly is in circular motion then it is considered to be a boy whereas the sideways movement indicates baby girl. Craving for salty and sour foods are known to be there in case of baby boy whereas sweets and orange juice cravings indicate baby girl.

Another way to find out is by adding your current age to the month of perception and if the number comes in even then it is a boy and if it comes an odd number then it is considered to be a girl.

If you wish to conceive a baby girl then prescribed diet includes food items like corn, eggs, yogurt, coffee, beans, plums, fish, meat and liver. The restricted food items should be oranges, watermelon, alkaline foods and potatoes.

If you wish to conceive a boy then you should include lentils, pine nuts, sprouts, almonds, avocado and royal jelly in your diet.

Dairy products and foods having calcium and magnesium should be avoided.

12 Ways To Get Yourself Back After Having a Baby

When you are trying for a baby and you get those all-important positive results when doing a test, you life changes right then. You become so much more aware of your body and the amazing things that it is doing. You read every book or subscribe to every application about pregnancy, and you track things week by week. Those scans are exciting, the preparation is all part of the fun, and then when your baby does arrive it changes you once more.

Those first few weeks and months can often feel like a blur. One day merging into the next as you soak up that newborn bubble. Family visit, friends text, but once the initial excitement has calmed down, you are left with the baby and trying to create this whole new life and routine based around having someone else’s needs to cater for. It can be overwhelming. This is why it is so important to raise awareness of your mental health during this time. Being a new mum, or even being a second or third timer, it is still isolating, and every baby is different. Becoming a mum changes you beyond what words can describe, but there are some major benefits that you can take advantage of. Here are some of them. Hopefully it will inspire you to make some great changes in your life and to bring your family along for the ride.

1 Change your career

One of the big questions that you may be faced with now that you are a mom is wondering whether or not your career was all it was cracked up to be. Some women only have a certain amount of maternity leave before they need to head back into the workplace. Is this right for you and your baby? Of course, some people don’t have a choice, but often being a mom changes the way you see things and you decide that perhaps now might be the time to do something different. Here are some of the things that you could consider to change your career and how being a mom may help you do it.

2 Work from home and start your own business

Not everyone has the desire to leave the home after they have had a baby, work long hours and then subsequently not get to spend anytime with their little ones. It can often be the case for successful professionals when they return to work. However, why not use the skills that you have developed in your current job to start your own business? Maybe you have had an idea for some time, or perhaps since becoming a mom you have spotted a gap in the market for a product or service. So many mothers use their maternity leave to start up something from home, and have it become a real possibility that they don’t have to return back to work as it becomes their jobs. Working from home can give you greater flexibility around your family, and can often be the dream position for many mothers. You could make it your reality.

3 Use your empathy skills to help

When you become a mom you develop empathy and caring feelings like no other, and so it might be great to use this to your advantage in terms of a career. Counselling or helping people through traumatic times could now become a career option for you as you learn to listen more and empathize with certain situations, especially with things like postnatal depression. This is when getting skills and knowledge such as taking on a bs psychology online degrees could work in your favor. This could definitely be a rewarding career change, and it may work around your family such as taking on part time hours, or even looking into things such as starting your own business in this field.

4 Help other women go through pregnancy and giving birth

Lastly, you may have absolutely loved giving birth and your whole pregnancy and might want to help others have a positive experience as well. So a career change could see you doing things such as training to be a nurse or midwife, or perhaps just being a doula who is present at the birth and becomes a birthing partner for a mother to be. It could be a very rewarding role and while it can be demanding, and often requires you to work shifts, it could certainly change your life and enable you to share in the positive experiences with others.

5 You learn to prioritize

Now that you are a new mom you certainly learn how to prioritize in different ways, and so it may be worth thinking about how this could be effective when it comes to your life day to day. Not only do you ensure that your child has a schedule and routine in place, but this can also work for you as a mom as well. So here are some of the ways that you can learn to prioritize and make some changes along the way.

6 Get a cleaning schedule going

When it comes to cleaning, it can often be put on the back burner when you become a mom, and for good reason. You have other things that you want to be doing instead. However, cleaning is something that you will still need to do, so it might be worth ensuring that you do all that you can to get yourself a schedule going on. Often little by little you can come up with a plan that enables you to stay on top of things, without it being a big deal to you. There are so many different methods you can follow online that could help you get something together yourself. Whether that is tackling a different room each day, or just doing specific jobs daily to keep on top of things. You will feel better for getting things in order.

7 Meal plan and batch cook

It might be time to start thinking about a meal plan and batch cooking. This can really help you out on those days where you feel lethargic, are running on low energy and need to concentrate on your little one. Having a home cooked meal already cooked and frozen makes things so much simple, and you know you are getting a nutritious meal. It might be worth ensuring that you can meal plan which helps you to be more aware of what it is you and the family are going to eat. It helps to avoid the temptation of convenience food or take away, and also enables you to save some money on your food shop. It makes it easier to do things such as online shopping, which frees up your time for other things.

8 Become strict with the finances

Of course, part of being on maternity means that you may not be bringing in as much money as you normally do, and while this can cause you a bit of stress and worry, there are also things you can do to help you take advantage and make things a bit easier. You can prioritize and become a little stricter with the finances. Meal planning is one of the ways but you can also do things such as ensure that work on things like electricity usage and shop around for the best deals within your budget.

9 You are still you

Finally, as a new mom you are still the same person as you were before you got pregnant. While things may have changed for you, and while you may be thinking about some of the other things that have become more important in life, it is still important to take care of yourself. Here are some of the things that you can do.

10 Give yourself time for self-care

Self-care is so important as a new mom and there are many ways that you can do it. It might be as simple as a hot bath or a chance to read a book, or it could be something like getting your hair done or your nails. It might seem like a small thing, but it can make the world of difference to your mindset and how you feel.

11 Work on your mindset

On the subject of your mindset, it is also very important for you to ensure that you work on your thought process and your outlook on life. It can be easy to feel negative and down in the dumps when you have just had a baby, and this is when you can be at your most vulnerable. So take some time to be more aware of your thoughts and try and actively be more positive.

12 Make your lifestyle a focus

Finally, make your lifestyle more of a focus for you. It can all be part of your self care, but if you can, be aware of your diet and the food that you eat, how much exercise you take and also ensuring that you drink plenty of water. These may be the basics, but combined they can help you to feel so much better in yourself.

Let’s hope these tips help you when it comes to the changes you feel as a new mom.

Creative Holistic Ways to Fight Pregnancy Blues

Getting confirmation that you’re pregnant is usually a moment filled with absolute euphoria. Unfortunately the same can’t be said for each day that follows. Being pregnant and being a parent later on will be filled with amazing moments but also challenges, crises and even a few tears.

What you need is an arsenal of remedies to fight the onslaught of ‘feeling blue’ that’s bound to come your way. Whether it’s momentary feelings or long bouts of depression, knowing there are methods to counter those feelings may get you through the day a little easier.

The good news: Even your favorite topic—fashion—can help with that.

We listed five tips that you can try the next time the day seems darker than usual.

 Watch What Colors You Put On

It’s common knowledge in marketing that colors communicate certain messages. Businesses use this approach to influence customers, partners and even their employees. Red is a popular business color because it communicates power.

You can use this approach by putting on certain colors to spark emotions in your mind:

  • Blue can calm you down
  • Black is all about feeling stylish
  • Green represents growth and could remind you of the wonderful journey of life you’re part of
  • Grey does bring some calm but can also completely dampen your mood, so put those dull pants at the bottom of the cupboard
  • Yellow can spark a feeling of warmth and comfort

A good idea is stocking up on the right colored pregnancy wear as soon as you find out you’re pregnant, so you’re ready for whatever comes.

You Have the Right to Buy Something New

Of course, stocking up doesn’t mean you can’t do some shopping later on. Fatigue often leads to pregnant women and young parents not taking much care with their personal appearance:

  • Wearing worn clothes
  • Not washing their hair
  • Putting on ill-fitting outfits

Unfortunately this often leads to feeling even worse as you’re embarrassed about not looking as good as those around you.

So, why not take yourself on a shopping spree? A new outfit that fits well and is comfortable is just the ticket to get you feeling better. Also, if you’re anything like most people you’ll look forward to putting on that new item. The excitement and the new look may boost your emotions.

Keep it Comfortable but Balanced

Being pregnant often leads to physical discomfort. While you’re on a shopping spree, picking clothes that are more comfortable could solve some of your frustrations. Just be careful: Dressing in baggy clothes that don’t compliment your look all the time could make you feel less positive about yourself.

Manage Others’ Perception of You

Let’s face it: We all want to look good in our own but also other people’s eyes. Putting on weight could be a huge factor in losing faith in your own appearance.

So why not use fashion to your benefit:

  • Use bold jewelry on your wrist and neck to draw attention away from your stomach and hips.
  • Wearing black is always slimming
  • Put makeup on even if you don’t feel like it so people focus on your face.

That’s the power of fashion!

Last Tip: Use the Power of Favorites

If all else fails and the blues really hit you, don’t underestimate the power of a favorite piece of clothing. It can provide the comfort you need or even make you smile when you remember memories associated with other times you wore it.

Use fashion and come to your own rescue. You’ve got this!

Forgotten: 4 Percent of Imprisoned Women in US are Pregnant


For the first time recently, effort was made to count the number of women who are pregnant when they enter prison.

A new study released last Thursday states that about 4 percent of women incarcerated in state prisons across the U.S. were pregnant when they were jailed.

And sadly because this population and women’s needs, in general, are not always given a high priority, there had been little data on women’s health and no system for tracking how frequently incarcerated women were pregnant, or what happened to the pregnancies.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics, for example, collects data on deaths in custody but not on births and this is true despite the fact that the number of imprisoned women has risen dramatically over the past decades, growing even as the overall prison rates decline.

That changed recently when Dr. Carolyn Sufrin of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and her team attempted to fill the void by collecting data from 22 state prison systems and 26 federal prisons during a yearlong period in 2016 and 2017.

They released the results in the American Journal of Public Health .

“The fact that nobody had collected this data before signals just how much this population is neglected,” Sufrin said.

This comes at the helm of controversy with Maine lawmaker State Rep Richard Pickett (R) calling a bill to provide free pads and tampons to imprisoned women make jail like “a country club”.

The audacity of someone who has never experience menstruation to consider such products a luxury akin to what one would experience in a rich country club is more than absurd!

h/t San Francisco Chronicle

All the BAD Advice They’ve Given Pregnant Women Over the Years {INFOGRAPHIC}

There are a lot of opinions out there on the best pregnancy tips. Pregnant women are often bombarded with pregnancy tips from friends and family, websites, clickbait articles, and books. With all this information, how can pregnant women know what to believe?

Women often turn to trial and error, taking the time to discover the practices that work best for them and their bodies.

And of course, a doctor’s medical advice is important above all other opinions.

In general, pregnancy has changed for women around the world.

There are some basic pregnancy tips regarded as tried and true—like rubbing lotion on your belly to prevent stretch marks; taking prenatal vitamins; getting plenty of exercise; limiting caffeine; and eating as healthy as possible.

But it might surprise you to learn that over the centuries, women have resorted to downright grossness and discomfort to boost fertility, stay thin, and birth healthy babies.

To find out more about these startling pregnancy myths, Maeband decided to delve into the past. (Continue reading)

Breastfeeding with Breast Implants {What to Know}

By Stephanie Canale, MD, Founder, Lactation Lab

One topic of concern to some mothers with breast implants is whether they present any health risk to their baby through possible contamination of their breast milk. In particular, they ask about whether silicon, silicone gel or platinum used in implants can leak into their breast milk.

Silicon and Silicone

Moms should know that silicon occurs naturally. It is the second most abundant element in the earth’s crust. It is thought to be essential for connective tissues and is found in tendons, bone, skin, hair and nails.  Silicon is used as an anti-foaming agent in fruit juice and is found in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and proshtheses. The only known health hazard results from inhaling crystalline silica dust into the lungs causing silicosis. Silica dust is never used in implants.

Breast implants contain silicone gel, a synthetic polymer made up of silicon, oxygen and other elements, most typically carbon and hydrogen.

Research has reported cases of esophageal dysmotility (slow movement through the esophagus) in infants that were nursing from mothers with silicone implant). Another study reported “rheumatoid-like symptoms” transferred to a child from a breastfeeding mother with silicone implants). However, this study examined only two children.

A larger study did not show any adverse outcomes in infants of breastfeeding mothers with silicone implants. Another study found that there were actually higher levels of silicon in cow’s milk infant formulas than in human milk. (It should be noted that this study was funded by the plastic surgery industry.)

The silicon-containing anti-colic agent simethicone has been widely used for decades and there have not been shown to have any toxic side effects to infants.The American Academy of Pediatrics therefore recommends that mothers with silicone breast implants should breastfeed if they choose to.

The American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Drugs does not feel that the evidence currently justifies classifying silicone implants as a contraindication to breastfeeding.

Bottom line: There is very little reliable data about breastfeeding with implants. Given that silicon is so abundant in our environment, and that there are overwhelming advantages of breastfeeding we strongly encourage women with breast implants to breastfeed if they wish to.


While the limited evidence available suggests there is little risk from silicon, this may not be the case with platinum, which is used in silicone and saline implants. Platinum is a toxic metal that is especially damaging to early development.

There have been some studies showing significant levels of platinum in silicone breast implant gel and envelopes. Platinum has also been shown to leak out of the implant and accumulate in the tissues of women exposed to silicone breast implants . The question then becomes should women with saline or silicone breast implants be concerned about platinum?

Our research has found only one study to date that looked at platinum in breast milk in mothers that had silicone breast implants. It included 18 women with silicone breast implants and 5 women without ( the control group). The authors examined blood, urine, hair, nails, sweat and the breast milk of these women.

The concentration of platinum in blood did not differ between mothers with exposure to silicone through implants and those without. Both groups did have detectable levels of platinum thought to be related to environmental exposure. Similarly the concentration of platinum in urine did not differ between mothers with exposure to silicone through implants and those without.

However, there was a significant difference in platinum concentration in the hair, nails, sweat and breast milk in the implant group versus the control group, where no platinum was detected.

The study concluded that women with silicone breast implants had much higher levels of platinum than women without implants whereas saline implants did not contain any platinum. However, the methodology of the study has been questioned.

Bottom Line: Due to the small sample size, more research needs to be done to replicate these findings. However, it does raise some questions about platinum in breast milk. If mothers are concerned about platinum or silicone in their breast milk, Lactation Lab offer custom test kits to measure the levels of the components of their milk, along with recommendations for how to address any concerns.

Prenatal Vitamins Can Boost Fertility, Studies Say

For couples who are trying to have a baby, you may have read and heard about ways on how to boost fertility. If you have just decided to have a baby, there should be no cause for concern, especially when the woman is below the age of forty. However, when you have given it a year or two and the pregnancy result is still negative, it may be time to think about why and what could be done about it.

Does regular intake of prenatal vitamins help boost fertility?

There have been many studies done to determine whether prenatal vitamins could boost a woman’s fertility. Everybody knows that multivitamins for prenatals are crucial to pregnant women and their baby. But do prenatal vitamins really boost a woman’s fertility? Unfortunately, there have been no clear and definite conclusions on this subject.

There have been studies that show 48% of women who take prenatal vitamins got pregnant after two or three months. However, there are also studies that show 58% of women got pregnant within two to three  months without taking prenatal vitamins.

In a prospective survey done on more than 100,000 nurses, data was analyzed and the conclusion was that taking vitamins at least three times per week decreases the risk of ovulatory infertility.

While there are no concrete answers to this question, one thing is, however, more evident. There are far more important benefits that prenatal vitamins can give to expecting mothers.

Prenatal vitamins and its benefits

  1. Contains more folic acid.

    When you are planning a pregnancy, it is highly recommended that you take prenatal vitamins because it has higher folic acid content. Taking 0.4 up to 0.8 of folic acid daily reduces the risk of neural tube defects in babies. Neural tube defects are found in a baby’s brain, spine, and spinal cord. This usually occurs in the first month of pregnancy.

    The reason why women who are planning to get pregnant are advised to take folic acid before pregnancy is because they usually find out they are pregnant at six to seven weeks. Neural tube defects usually develop in the first four weeks of pregnancy. If expectant mothers are already taking prenatal vitamins, this risk is significantly reduced.

  2. Has a higher dose of vitamin D.

    Vitamin D helps in the absorption of phosphorus and calcium which are essential in the development of tissue and bones of the baby. Simply eating healthy is not sufficient because a pregnant woman needs to take 600 IU of vitamin D each day. It can be as high as 1000 IU if the mother has vitamin D deficiency.

  3. Higher iron content.

    When you are pregnant, it naturally follows that more blood is needed to circulate the body in order to support the baby. Which also means that more oxygen in the blood is needed to be transported to the mother and to the baby. Transporting oxygen is the job of the iron in the body. The lack of iron results in less oxygen being transported.

  4. Calcium.

    A pregnant woman needs at least 1,200 mg of calcium each day since the baby is developing a fetal skeleton. It will not stop just because the mother has calcium deficiency. It will go on sucking all the calcium it needs from the mother. Prenatal vitamins are high in calcium and vitamin D which helps absorb calcium.

  5. Vitamin C

    Vitamin C helps boost the immune system and it prevents you from having oxidative stress. It can help stabilize your blood pressure and it is a great source of antioxidant. Pregnancy can take a toll on a woman’s body, hence, the need for higher doses of vitamins. Remember that you are not the only one absorbing all these vitamins. Some of it also goes to the baby.

  6. Omega-3.

    Omega-3 is good for brain development. There have also been studies that show Omega-3 helps in reducing risks of fetal growth restriction and gestational diabetes. It also helps in preventing preeclampsia, which is a complication during pregnancy that indicates high blood pressure and organ system damage.

Taking prenatal vitamins the moment you decide to have a baby may not be a hundred percent guarantee to get you pregnant, but it will certainly give you all the healthy benefits that a pregnant mother needs. There are some health risks involved for pregnant women and the baby, especially in the first trimester and if prenatal vitamins could help lower some of those risks, there is absolutely no reason why pregnant mothers shouldn’t take them.

Picking the Right Bras During and After Pregnancy

Women’s bodies go through many physical changes during a pregnancy. These changes will affect many of the normal habits and comforts that their used to. One of the main changes will be how much your breasts grow and the level of sensitivity you experience on a daily basis.

As a result, it’s important to find the right fitting clothes to provide optimal comfort. A well-fitting bra is one of those things that many take for granted until they’ve experienced a pregnancy.

The right bra can make all the difference in you comfort but also the long term look of your breasts. Below you can find tips on how to select the perfect bras throughout your pregnancy term as well as your postpartum nursing needs to help you breeze through this process.

1. When to Purchase a New Bra During Pregnancy or Postpartum

In the beginning stages of pregnancy, many women opt to continue using their pre-pregnancy bras. However, as time goes on and hormones begin to kick in the breast may begin to swell causing old bras to become too tight. If the band is too tight around your midsection, the straps are digging into the skin or the breasts can no longer be contained by the cups, it’s time to start looking for a pregnancy bra.

2. Which Bra Type To Purchase

There are some key differences in pre-pregnancy, maternity and nursing bras and it’s important to know which one to buy to meet each transitioning stage. Maternity bras differ from regular bras in that they are designed to provide comfort and support to accommodate the breast during pregnancy by having wider straps, softer materials such as cotton and wider back enclosures.

Each woman is different and experiences breast changes differently so, it is possible to continue with regular bras if you naturally have smaller breasts so long as you find one that is comfortable and offers appropriate support.

In the postpartum stages, if you choose to breastfeed your child then a nursing bra is a must. Nursing bras are different from maternity and regular bras because they include a removable panel in the front, which covers the nipple, making it easier and more efficient for your baby to access the breast during feedings.

No matter the bra type purchased it is important to remember that the body will continue to change throughout and after pregnancy and therefore, new sizes may be needed down the line.

3. Picking the Right Size Bra

To ensure the correct fit, it is important to use a measuring tape to measure around the bottom and across the breast in order to determine the correct band and cup size. When measuring the band size, make sure that measuring tape is comfortable and exact to avoid ending up with a band size that is too loose or too tight.

For cup sizing, the measuring tape should be wrapped loosely around the breast at the tips. If the measure is between numbers it is best to round up to the next number. Make sure to fiddle around with the adjustable straps when you’re trying on bras.

Sometimes it’s as simple as elongating the straps to find that perfect level of comfort. If they’re fully elongated and you still feel pressure on your shoulders then you’ll need to size up.

Hormonal changes often create a new level of sensitivity in the breasts for many women. Because of this, it’s important to find a bra made from light and soft fabric. While lace and other synthetic fabrics are very pretty to look at, they can increase the risk of irritation and discomfort during pregnancy and postpartum.

Opt for natural fabrics such as cotton. Also, avoid bras that have underwire during and after pregnancy. While underwire will not cause health risks, they risk becoming a constant annoyance. Most maternity and nursing bras do not come equipped with underwire, but if a regular bra is being purchased it may be best to opt for one that is underwire-free and full coverage.

Bra shopping during pregnancy and postpartum is very similar to regular bra shopping. Shoppers should be hyper aware of the fit, making sure that the bra is neither too tight or too loose and comfort should be the key factor.

Bra shopping can be overwhelming with all the different type of bras on the market, but don’t let this discourage you from finding the one that meets your needs. If shopping is irritating for you during pregnancy, bring a friend along who can help size you properly and explore the store on your behalf.

What To Know If You’re Considering Getting a Surrogate

Lately, in the media, we hear a lot about celebrity women using surrogacy as an option for becoming a parent. Despite the news stories, the concept of surrogacy and the medical acronyms associated with it are still unknown t to most.

Furthermore, the procedures themselves might seem unfamiliar to a person who hasn’t studied reproductive technology.

Although every situation is unique and customized to the individuals involved, for those who have ever considered getting a surrogate or becoming one, these are the medically significant milestones that occur during the process.

Medical and psychological testing

Women who express interest in being a surrogate are tested rigorously to ensure they have the best chance of carrying a healthy pregnancy and can withstand the rigors of IVF. Standard screenings include checking for any physical conditions which could endanger their ability to be a surrogate, and psychological screenings to ensure they can withstand the powerful emotions and situations surrounding the process. 

Trial with a mock cycle

After successfully passing all tests, the medical team will test their body’s reaction to the medications and process of IVF by performing a mock cycle. Surrogate candidates receive all medications necessary to prepare for conception and help the embryo develop while hormone levels, blood work, and ultrasounds are monitored. Medical professionals will customize the tests to their particular program priorities and the women’s unique medical profile.

A fertility specialist will develop an individualized medication plan to coordinate and control the surrogate’s cycle based on your body and the circumstances of your surrogacy.

Embryo transfer

If all conditions are favorable for successful implantation, their reproductive endocrinologist will prepare her body for the transfer. Most women take progesterone before the embryo transfer and continue through the twelfth week of pregnancy to maintain an appropriate and stable level of hormones for successful implantation. The oral steroid Medrol suppresses the surrogate’s autoimmune system to increase the chance of successful implantation. The embryos are placed directly into the uterus through a thin, flexible catheter which is inserted through the cervix. After that, she is sent home to rest for a few days.

Confirmation of pregnancy

The reproductive team will perform a non-invasive pregnancy test after nine days and repeated two days later. Pregnancy is confirmed after the results of the second test show an increase in pregnancy hormones. Many surrogates require more than one embryo transfer to become pregnant successfully.

If you’re considering using a surrogate or egg donor, you need to know if it’s right for you. Although there may be unfamiliar medical procedures during the process, every test and medication helps ensure your surrogate’s safety and boost your chances of success at having a family.

The medical professionals on your team will monitor and advise you at every step of the process.

It’s important to seek out a reputable and professional surrogacy medical team to help you determine your goals and preferences. Individuals are unique, so the process is different for each person and situation. Your medical team can give you a more detailed idea of what your journey to becoming a parent through surrogacy and will look like before you commit to a contract.