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pregnancy advice

Weird Pregnancy Facts (VIDEO)

A Woman’s foot can grow up to one size during pregnancy. It’s possible for twins to come from two separate fathers. Twin births are very common in Nigeria.

I knew most of the ‘weird’ facts in this BuzzFeed video.

If you have a minute and 38 seconds, you can see how many you already knew too.

Check it out.





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50 Foods every pregnant woman must eat

Carolyn Friedman has published the  50 Foods Every Pregnant Woman Should Eat
Here is a summary:
1. Iron Supplements According to the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, normal, healthy pregnancy diets do not usually supply enough iron for the blood of both fetus and mother. Mayo Clinic recommends 27 milligrams a day for pregnant women.
2. Kidney Beans Mayo Clinic states that 1 cup of boiled kidney beans a day provides pregnant women with 5.2 out of the suggested 27 milligrams of iron. Dry, as opposed to canned or fresh, legumes typically nurture more efficient absorption – a tip which comes straight from the National Medical Library at the National Institute of Health.
3. Beef Pregnant women should veer towards leaner cuts of beef, which provides valuable proteins and iron necessary for fetal development and healthy blood – among other benefits, of course. Mayo Clinic recommends 3 ounces of beef tenderloin (or equivalent a day, as it provides 3 milligrams of iron per serving.
4. Cereal Cereals, most especially those with added iron and calcium, provide pregnant women with a plethora of important nutrients. Based on statistics compiled by the USDA and expressed by the Mayo Clinic, ¾ of a cup of fortified cereal provides a whopping 18 milligrams of iron a day out of the recommended 27. One cup of cereal with extra calcium offers between 100 to 1,000 milligrams of the suggested 1,000 a day (1,300 for teenage pregnancies. In addition, ¾ of a cup also contains 400 micrograms of folic acid, and Mayo Clinic experts believe that 800 micrograms a day prior to conception, and 1,000 a day following it is the healthiest habit.
5. Dark Meat Turkey Consuming 3.5 ounces of dark meat turkey provides 2.3 out of the recommended 27 milligrams of iron a day, according to the Mayo Clinic. It is also an excellent source of protein as well.
Check out the rest of the list HERE!

Court-ordered Forced C-Section in London stir controversy

This week, London officials had their courts force an Italian woman living temporarily in that country to have a C-section delivery of her child even after she expressed fear of labor and delivery. 
The decision by a British Court of Protection declared the woman was suffering delusions and under Britain’s Mental Health Act was ordered to deliver her baby via C-Section at a Hospital in Essex, east of London.
News reports say the mom of 4 was deathly afraid of hospitals and surgically-assisted child birth and had her children’s father deliver her last child using barbecue tongs at home.  Officials are coming under fire for taking the baby away from the woman instead of leaving it in the custody of the grandmother. The father of the child is a Senagalese man living in London who has not been involved. 
Investigations continue as to why an Italian woman was forced to stay in London for 6 weeks and then forced to give birth, USA Today  reports.
Last month, a Daily Beast piece discussed the case of a New York woman and mother of three who was “forced” to have a C-Section delivery of her 4th child without prior consultation and over her objection.1  
It all leads to new questions about a woman’s right to control her body over the safety and rights of the fetus she is carrying. Also, there is new questioning, also under the light of new US Supreme Court cases about women’s access to employer-funded health insurance, about contraception.
What are your thoughts on these cases? 

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20 Last Minute Things to do before Baby Arrives

Are you in your last month of pregnancy and flustered about what you need to do and worry if you have the time? No fret, cousin JJ is here to give you a checklist of crap you need to haul ass and get done. 
A list should ease the stress: 
What to Pack in the Baby Bag:
1. A warm and comfortable blanket but one you don’t mind getting ruined with all the juices, balms and secretions that accompany labor. It won’t be the same after. errrr.
2.  Mint or lollipops – You may be restricted from eating. The sugar in the lollipop can help curb hunger pangs and keep you from stink breath. Stink breath is no bueno.
3. Lip balm – You may get dehydrated. Keep your lips moisturized. I like ESOS!
4. Moisturizer – Get a very thick tube of moisturizer. I recommend Aquaphor because you don’t need a lot to do the trick.
5. Smart phone camera or digital camera – No explanation necessary
6. A couple pair of granny undies – But no more because you will get the mesh disposable undies plenty at the hospital. You can even take home extras the nurses bring in your room. They’re the best!
7. Baby going home outfit – This is the outfit you dress baby in when the hospital photography company comes by.
8. Gifts for the nurses – Some go above and beyond to make your short stay pleasant. Purchase a box of candy, or a mini spa kit or a journal or cards. I love Steep Seep’s Grapefruit Bergamot gift set which costs under $20!
9. Music – have a playlist of soothing music on a CD or on your phone’s portable speaker that you can plug in and help you calm down and get through a long labor. 
10. Breast pad – You may leak so breast-pads and some Lansinoh Nipple Cream may come in handy for cracked or sore nipples from nursing.
LAST MINUTE NESTING
11. Get the carpets cleaned and get rid of any cat or dog hair and other allergens.
12. Create a music playlist for labor and delivery.
13. Buy all the creams, lotions, medicines, and miscellaneous  items you need for yourself and baby.
14. Buy clear plastic containers to organize baby clothing, accessories, toys and a label maker
15. Organize baby’s clothes and label the bins: newborn, 0 to 3 months, 3 to 6months, 6 to 12 months. 
16. Create a “call list” on your smart phone so your hubby, spouse or partner knows who to contact after you give birth.


LAST MINUTE GROOMING
You have to make sure you are presentable for labor and delivery, photos after baby arrives and just for feeling good about yourself and the end of the 40 week journey. Don’t know who said letting yourself go was okay during pregnancy, but they lied. If you feel fresh, clean, primmed and prepped, you will feel energetic and ready for pushing out that baby. 
17. Get your nether regions waxed. You really don’t want doctors and nurses seeing your business looking like the Brazilian rain forest. Opt for a Brazilian wax instead. If it’s out of the budget, consider going with Nair Bikini removal gel which will not require you to use a razor and nick yourself, but be careful. 
18. Wax your eyebrows. You’ll feel better and look great in the post birth pics. But if you’re going for the Anastasia the Russian Gladiator look, then no.
19. Get a Mani and Pedi – A mani because your hands will be in pics and you don’t want to cut baby with your hang nail. Not good.  A pedi because your toes may be in the air and/or in stirrups during the pushing stage and you don’t want to be embarrassed by crusty and ashy hammer toes in people’s faces. 
20. Get a hair appointment and get your hair in braids and/or cornrows. You need a low maintenance style bc you will not have time to do your hair after baby arrives and braided styles look great in pics.

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TTC: Have your man ditch the Skinny Jeans if you want to become pregnant (VIDEO)

If you are currently trying to conceive a child with a spouse or male partner who wears skinny jeans, you may want to tell him to hang up his tight Levis until you become prego.

Skinnys have been found to raise the risk of nerve compression, which can lead to numb thighs and suppressing his sperm count, says Dr. Drai, a top Board-Certified OBGYN and President of the National Osteopathic Medical Association. 

In one of his entertaining YouTube instructional video series, the practicing physician and Magee-Womens Hospital of the University of Pittsburgh teaching faculty member advises women to buy their man a larger slim fit pair of jeans to replace the skinny fit that have been suppressing their boys and causing them not to swim.
Check out a quick vid with the Doc addressing the problem with men and skinny jeans:

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REVIEW: Knocked Up Fitness Guide gets you from knocked up to knock out

As we’ve seen from the criticism that currently pregnant starts like Kelly Rowland has gotten over her Instagram pics of her workouts while pregnant, there is a common misconception among many that pregnancy limits a woman’s physical activity. But in actuality, doctors recommend women who are pregnant get regular exercise in as it helps with their pregnancy progression and can help them during labor and delivery. It helps them keep their weight gain within moderate levels as excessive weight gain can lead to complications, gestational diabetes and other problems. Also, staying fit while pregnant can help a woman regain her pre-pregnancy figure quicker after she delivers her baby.
We were sent and got a chance to review Fitness professional Erica Ziel‘s newly released Knocked Up Fitness Prenatal and After Baby Guide to Pregnancy DVD and accompanying book Book. We must say it is a must have fitness bible for anyone who is expecting. 
The DVD covers a very comprehensive menu of exercises for each trimester of pregnancy and the 4th trimester when a woman is trying to regain her pre-pregnancy weight and shape. 
Ziel, a mom of three and native of Iowa who now resides in Southern California, offers a Push Prep method that prepares a woman for pushing during labor and delivery and she focuses on exercises that help women relieve some common pregnancy-related pain and discomfort in the back, hips, neck and sciatic nerve along the leg. 
For after pregnancy, there is a section that helps those women who experience Diastasis, the separation of the abdominal muscles, and offers moves to get those muscles back into shape without needing surgery. 
The book is a step-by-step resource guide and is packed with photos, diagrams, Q&As and other tidbits and nuggets of information throughout. It is easy to read and follow and is divided into simple stages and  focus area (glutes, arms, back etc). Our favorite section was the back quick guides which provide images and cards of all the work outs. You can just flip to them and after using the DVD to learn how to do each exercise, you can easily go through a routine and take as little as 20 minutes a day to complete each exercise.  These are great if you are a pregnant woman who travels for work or who may not have the time to watch a complete DVD. You can just squeeze some of the exercises in to make sure you’re at least getting some physical fitness for the day.
There are modifications given for women who may have discomfort or other physical limitations so no one should feel discouraged if they cannot do a particular move. And also, for women not comfortable with going to the gym while pregnant, this guide offers that perfect alternative.
It’s a very useful book that we recommend you get today if you are pregnant and want to be fit or pick up for a friend who is expecting. She will thank you for it!  Go from “Knocked up to Knock out”! Get it at Amazon.com for $29.95!
Also, check out some of Ziel’s preview Videos on YouTube Channel HERE!  Here is a sample from the channel:

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7 Facts About Stress and Infertility

While stress is not a cause of infertility, research has shown that high levels of longstanding stress can significantly impact the ability to conceive during infertility treatment. The positive news is that by decreasing stress, couples can experience higher fertility potential as well as healthier and happier well being.
 “Many couples don’t realize how much stress impacts health and fertility potential,” explains Dr. Jennifer Hirshfeld-Cytron of Fertility Centers of Illinois. “Stress is one of the fastest variables to change in the body, and taking proactive action through yoga, psychotherapy, meditation and potentially acupunture is not only beneficial, but enjoyable.”
Hirshfeld-Cytron and Beth Heller (M.S., R.Y.T.) of Pulling Down the Moon will be discussing the controversial link between stress and infertility and how to take control of your well-being in the free webinar Yoga, Meditation, and Conception on June 11th at 7 p.m. CDT (register here).  The duo offers seven facts about stress and infertility.
1.    Stress does not cause infertility. Unfortunately, infertility can cause stress. A study in the journal, Human Reproduction, found that 30 percent of women seeking infertility treatment have depression and anxiety.
2.    High levels of stress can double the risk of infertility. A recent scientific study found that women whose enzyme alpha-amylase levels, a stress-related substance, were in the highest third had more than double the risk of infertility
3.    Stress affects the reproductive potential of the male and female body. Stress can lengthen the amount of time required to become pregnant, negatively impact semen quality, decrease the success of fertility treatment, and cause depression and anxiety.
4.    Reducing stress is good for the body and mind. Taking positive action to reduce stress through mindfulness-based activities has been shown to reduce blood pressure, decrease anxiety, lower depression, enhance a positive mindset, calm the mind, improve sleep, and help overall wellbeing.
5.    Consistent stress-reducing activities can aid in pregnancy. A study from Fertility and Sterility found that women who underwent a 10-week stress management program while undergoing IVF treatment had a 52 percent pregnancy rate compared to a 20 percent pregnancy rate in the control group.


6.    Yoga can reduce stress and boost pregnancy. Yoga has been shown to be effective in the treatment of depression as well as decrease inflammatory response to stress events. During a six-week Yoga for Fertility class at Pulling Down the Moon where participants learned yoga poses specific to reproductive function, breathing and medication instruction and group discussion, participants experienced significantly decreased anxiety as measured by the State-Trait inventory.


7.    Psychological treatment can improve emotional symptoms and lower stress. Receiving support, whether in a group or individual setting with a psychologist, has been shown to be important and effective stress management. Treatment can improve mood, decrease anxiety and depression, and positively impact pregnancy rates during fertility treatment. Mindfulness training programs also give helpful tools for relaxation and increased peace of mind, which can ease the stress of fertility treatment and prove a valuable life skill.

Stay stress-free!

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Tips for a Fuzz-Free Pregnancy

So we feel your pain, Ms. Preggers. You want, correction need, to excavate the growing wilderness that has amassed since you no longer could see your legs, let alone shave them.
You heard them say that the hormones in your body will help you grow a luscious and more fuller body of hair. They never told you that this thicker hair was limited to your head. 
Adding to the stress of shaving being more difficult because of your changing body size that includes a protruding tummy, many of the chemicals found in hair removal products can cause or trigger an allergic reaction. This problem is more likely to happen during pregnancy because your skin is more sensitive. 
Ouch! Additionally, there is no proof as to how the absorption of these chemicals can affect your pregnancy.
So, it sum, you’ve got to be careful. Natashah Torki, Beauty Director at Beauty by Dolly, a premiere hair removal studio, offers a the following tips for moms-to-be:

  • Use a product specifically formulated for sensitive skin.
  • Research products such as threading or sugaring (made from only water, sugar, glycerin and lemon) that eliminate the skin’s contact with chemicals.
  • Avoid products with suspect ingredients, including: dyes, chemicals and parabens.
  • Always ask your hair removal specialist to do a patch test to prevent any unwanted reactions.

Good luck mamas! Go brave!

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Get out of my Uterus: More offensive things people say to pregnant women

Most people are well-intentioned when they make rude and off-putting remarks to pregnant women. Sometimes, it simply takes enough regular people  to read the “foot-in-mouth” comments others have made and included as a subject to a blog post for word to eventually spread to the world.
Some commentary is just unnecessary and/or should be kept inside your head.
In a recent blog entry at MyBrownBaby, writer Tai Gooden shares some of the super rude things people told her when they learned she and her husband would be welcoming their second child, another girl.

Here is an excerpt of a couple such comments and Gooden’s humorous rhetorical reply:

“Oh man, you are having another girl? You can always try again.”
Oh man, you have no idea how disappointed we are to have a completely healthy baby girl. Girls are so useless. But it’s okay because you helped me realize that I can try again! Obviously, I had no idea that I am allowed to have another baby with my husband. Also, since I am the second girl in my family, I am not offended at ALL. Next time, we will “tweak our technique and get it right” because our life mission is to pop out a little boy. 
“You need to give your husband a boy. Every man needs a boy.”
What happens if I never have a boy? I guess I’ll be stoned to death if I don’t birth the necessary male heir to the Gooden throne. Every time someone says this to me, I wait for the TV cameras to come out. I truly believe MTV brought Boiling Points back and I have been on the show for an entire season. 

I also wonder what it means to “give” my husband a boy. I did not go through nine months of a hellacious pregnancy (twice) and push out something the size of a giant pumpkin from my vagina with no epidural (twice) to say “Here, my husband, I give you this small human. Thank you for allowing me to birth your offspring.” They are my kids too and they are not holiday presents.

Read the rest at MyBrownBaby.com

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