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maternity advice

Attitude of The New Social Media Era of Expecting Moms (INFOGRAPHIC)

Believe it or not, December launched conception season! 
It’s the time of year that most babies are conceived given that 10 of the most common birthdays are in the month of September. 
In particular, December 17th thru 31st  are  the most common conception date with being December 24 being the most common. 
And we are in the era of the social media pregnancy as a recent survey by Wakefield research for Natera, a leader in non-invasive genetic screening, found that 83% of the 500 expecting moms surveyed planned to share all their baby moments with friends online. 
About 47% of them plan to post updates 2-3 times a week to keep their Facebook friends up-to-date on their baby-baking journey.
The survey also found that 3/4ths or 79% of those surveyed will find out in advance their baby’s gender. 
And for older moms like the 40 plus celebrities who gave birth after 40 (above), genetic testing is even more important given the increased risks for birth defects in their babies. Knowing as far in advance as possible can be essential 
Companies like the new Panorama™ NIPT, which sponsored the survey, have created genetic screenings that can test for abnormaliites as early as 9 weeks via a routing blood draw and without all the invasive screenings like with amniocentesis which carries a miscarriage risk. 
There is a bonus in that this new test can screen for gender at an accuracy rate of >99%! That is super early in the pregnancy! Amazing! Would you do use the screening? 

Learn more about the new new Panorama™ NIP from its Homepage: http://www.panoramatest.com; Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/PanoramaPrenatalTest or follow on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/PanoramaTest





And in the meantime, check out this great infographic:

*note: compensation was paid for sharing this post with you but my opinions on how awesome this option would be for new and expecting moms is the same.

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5 Steps to a Fresh, Updated and Chic Maternity Wardrobe

Pregnant women often face challenges in dressing their bump.  Some also have difficulty mixing up their

maternity basics so they are trendy or at least look like their putting in some

effort to not look frumpy.
Fortunately, the maternity wear fashion industry has come a

long way from just a few years ago when there weren’t that many fashionable

options available for moms-to-be.  These

days, many maternity-only wear designers exist and traditional women’s wear

designers and lines are expanding  to

accommodate “the preginistas” among us, and offering their looks in maternity

as well.
It’s not wise, especially if you are on a budget, to splurge

on an expansive maternity wear budget for 9 months. Most pregnant women will

only be pregnant for 3 seasons and it can get easy. There is a simple and less

costly alternative to going overboard and getting carried away.
 Here are 5 steps to keeping

your maternity wardrobe fresh, updated and chic:
Step 1: Start with a basic maternity wardrobe, which usually

should consist of: a. A white collared maternity shirt; b. A pair of yoga

pants; 3. A pair of maternity leggings; 4. A Belted cardigan; 5. Maternity Ts

in long and short sleeves variety and in an assortment of basic solid basic

colors (red, pink, black, blue, pink, yellow); A Black wrap dress (in a variety

of styles); and a pair of comfortable boots, Maryjanes  pumps, or low-heeled platforms ( in a half

size larger to accommodate any growth in shoe size due to swelling or bloat.)
Step 2: Add spunk by accessorizing the basic palette with

playful scarves in bright colors and with geometric patterns and shapes.  Scarves can brighten up your look and mood.
Step 3:  Get trendy by

wearing big chunky rings or statement necklaces to add some wow factor to the

look. Use a corded belt to tie loosely below the breastbone to create and easy

and carefree Empire waist look.  Don

bangles or other ornamental bracelets. Go bold with hoops or super long

double-strand pearls to accentuate the look.
 Wear some cool

aviators, Jackie-O or other fun shades in tortoise shells or another funky

color or design. Or if you are bold, go with a fedora, a newsboy cap, a floppy

hat or a Bohemian knitted cap.
Step 4: Carry a whimsical, structured or colorful tote or

shopper’s style bag that is big enough to hold all your stuff and is useful

when you don’t feel comfortable experimenting in color, patterns and designs. A

monogram clutch or a handbag with brass handles or zippers would work to take a

work look, after -5 or for date-night.
Step 5:  Do the Maryjanes

or comfortable pumps for work, but after five slip on some care-free gladiators

sandals, strappy -low heels with ankle wraps or colorful wedges or espadrilles

in warmer months or climates. In colder temps, go with booties, UGGs like or

wedged boots.
These style tips should last the entire 9 months and help you look fresh, updated and dazzling for the entire 40 weeks. 

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Your solitary MUST HAVE postpartum wardrobe item

Right after you have a baby, you may be anxious about getting back to the gym and working on getting rid of the pregnancy weight gain. I know I couldn’t wait until after my six week postpartum visit to hit the gym. When you are breastfeeding, you can’t pop diet pills or take any diet aid supplements to help your weight loss effort. There is a risk they may negatively impact your baby’s development and nourishment as well. So true because while I was taking pain killers from the c-section, my first child was extremely lethargic because he was drugged up too. I had to make a conscious effort to ween myself off of the meds despite the fact I was still in a lot of pain.
Anyway, I digress.
The only way to do it is slow and steadily, monitor your eating, exercise sensibly and stay active. Breastfeeding is said to help you burn 500 calories a day from the act itself so there is an added benefit to nursing.
But in the meantime, you have to stay stylish and comfortable. My advice is get yourself some uber cute sweats in figure forgiving styles and scrumptious yummy colors.

The sweats will be comfy under your still swollen belly and recovering scars and tender areas. Jeans and other pants can be confining.

And get them in a mix of colors, styles and materials for cooler and warmer temps, indoors and outdoor wear. It’s all about comfort post-partum.

You can mix up colors for casual out and about. And if you want to go fancy sweats, try doing same color matching sets too. This is the equivalent of dressing up for your post-partum, “I plan to wear track suits for two months” self. People are forgiving when they heard you just squeezed a watermelon out of something the size of a lemon. Trust us. (wink)

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Review: Get in Pre-Pregnancy Shape and a Dancer’s Body with Ballet Body DVD series

As most people know, the abdominal area is the area of a woman’s body that is THE hardest to return to pre-pregnancy shape. A lot of women suffer from a condition called distastes recti when pregnant which involves a separation of the two segments of the abdominal muscle area as the uterus grows.

Ideally, the abdomnial wall would stay intact and the uterus would grow behind it. Women who have this effect have an even tougher time at getting their tummy back in tip top shape.

I had it and each time I was pregnant I was I could always rely on Pilates to help me get my body back into shape to counter the effects of this condition. Pilates and Ballet are great because they are low-impact yet focus on strengthening one’s core, which includes the abdominal muscles. 
I swear by these exercise formats to  help develop a strong core area, to tone the total body, but especially to help shape and tighten the hips, buttocks and arms (aka the problem areas).

After getting the okay from their doctors, new moms should make sure they include cardio in their post-pregnancy routine, but they should also definitely include strength and core conditioning. They are a must.

This winter, I was offered to test out the Ballet Body series: The Ballet Body Lower Body ($16.99); Ballet Body Upper Body ($16.99); and Ballet Body Core ($16.99) DVD, which is distributed by Acacia Media group, which sells other popular exercise DVDs. 
Oh my! The bomb! Do people still use that term? Amazon.com Widgets
I must say the exercises are rigorous though fitness professional Leah Sarago who designed and stars in each DVD shows viewers plenty of adjustments for their skill level: beginner or intermediate. I could ascertain from going through each of the 40-55 minute DVD in the series that they were well planned and designed to work and tone every muscle in the body. The Ballet Body series is a perfect blend of core and other exercises for the serious woman looking to get fit and toned this summer. 
I have reviewed several different exercise DVDs and programs from dozens of instructors over that past decade, starting from those that came on VHS tapes, and I do believe that Sarago’s is among the top and best in this genre.  
If you stick to it, combine it with a healthy eating regimen, and actually do the DVDs  periodically for a continuous period of time, you are almost guaranteed to see weight melt off, and inches disappear, with muscle replacing fat.

Buy the DVDs or series on Sarago’s website where you can also get digital downloads in lieu of a DVD.

If you do decide to test it out based on my recommendation, I am eager to learn how it works out for you and would appreciate getting a line back at JJ (at) bellyitchblog.com!
Good luck, new moms! Get that body in shape!

Enjoy this sample of the work out for a segment Sarago starred in:

 NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather

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11 Tips for Working while Pregnant

Pregnancy is an exciting time, but it can also be a confusing one, especially as you try to strike a balance between your job and all of the physical, mental and emotional changes you’re going through. Achieving that balance can be difficult, but with these tips you can navigate your way through pregnancy and work with relative ease.
1. Keep safe snacks at your desk
Arguably one of the most difficult parts of pregnancy is the first trimester. Many women aren’t yet ready to spill the news about their pregnancy to their employers or coworkers, but morning sickness (that often is more aptly “all day sickness”) can tip off coworkers long before you actually break the news. To keep morning sickness at bay, keep bland snacks at your desk that you can snack on throughout the day. You can usually quell nausea with crackers and pretzels, and many women find that continual snacking helps relieve nausea.
2. Tell your employer
Before you break the news to your coworkers make sure to tell your employer, especially if you work in a small company. The last thing you want is for your employer to find out that you’re pregnant through the work gossip grapevine instead of directly from you. Your employer is also likely to be a little more understanding about frequent trips to the bathroom and a slight decrease in productivity if you’re up front and honest about your pregnancy and how your body is responding to it.
3. Be flexible
In today’s fast-paced society, many women feel the need to keep up the same frenetic pace that they maintained pre-pregnancy. Sometimes, however, you need to just slow down a little bit. Don’t be afraid to take a personal day if you’re really struggling one morning and you’re going to spend more time running back and forth to the bathroom than actually working. Try to juggle around your meetings if you know there’s a certain time of the day that’s particularly rough for you. Be flexible as your body adapts to pregnancy.


4. Learn when you need to say no
As much as you may want to, you’re not going to be able to do everything. You’re going to find you have less and less time outside of work to take on extra tasks as you prepare for the arrival of your baby. Learn when you need to say no instead of trying to take on extra projects even though you truly don’t have the time to fully dedicate yourself to them. This is not the time to be continually stressed over projects that you didn’t actually need to agree to do.
5. Listen to your body
Your body is going through a myriad of changes throughout your entire pregnancy. Listen to your body during this time! If you find yourself getting sleepy during the work day, take a short break and walk around. If you’re getting dizzy because you haven’t eaten enough, get a small snack. Hydrate throughout the day. Take mini mental breaks. Cut yourself some slack from time to time.
6. Find ways to stay comfortable throughout the day
As your body changes you’re going to find that you’re less and less comfortable throughout the day, especially if your job requires you to sit or stand a lot. Find ways to make yourself more comfortable. Ditch the four-inch heels in favor of flats, buy maternity clothes that fit instead of trying to squeeze into your pre-pregnancy pants, invest in a seat cushion – anything that can help increase your comfort levels while helping you continue to maintain your work professionalism will be well worth the investment.
7. Plan your doctor’s appointments wisely
Doctor’s appointments are an inevitable part of pregnancy. From regular appointments with your OB to different blood tests, you’re going to find yourself in quite a few waiting rooms during the next nine months. Try to plan your appointments so that they fit into your work day, not detract from them. If possible, locate a doctor close to your workplace. Schedule appointments for early in the morning, after you leave work for the day or over your lunch break, and avoid scheduling them on days that you know are stacked with meetings or conference calls.
8. Review your company’s maternity leave policy and plan accordingly
Every company is different when it comes to maternity leave. Depending on your company’s policy, you could be looking at fully paid leave, unpaid leave, or something in between. You could have six weeks, or you could have 12. Since there is no hard rule regarding maternity leave, it’s important to find out well in advance what your company’s policy is so that you are able to plan accordingly.
9. Figure out what your work plan is post-pregnancy
Are you planning on going back to work full-time after you have your baby, or are you going to stay at home? Will your employer let you work part-time, or even remotely? There is no right or wrong answer for how you handle employment post-pregnancy, only what’s right for you and your family. Once you do figure out what your post-pregnancy employment plans are, discuss them with your employer. Be up front about what you want to do, that way they have time to find a suitable replacement if you aren’t’t planning on coming back, or you can iron out the logistics of working from home, working part-time or easing back into full-time work.
10. Come up with a game plan for when you go on maternity leave
Before you leave the office to go on maternity leave you need to make sure that you have everything in order so that whoever is filling in for you knows exactly what to do. Tie up as many loose ends as possible, delegate work as needed and create detailed lists so that anyone is able to easily pick up where you’ve left off. This will not only make it easier for anyone filling in for you, it will also make it easier once you re-enter the workplace.
11. Start thinking about childcare
For many expecting moms, the thought of securing childcare is very stressful. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be. Start doing your research early, including evaluating your options and your budget, and you’ll be well on your way to making the right childcare choice for your family. If you’re considering a nanny, give yourself at least four weeks to conduct your nanny search.

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