Browsing Tag

pregnancy advice

New Source of Stress: Inaccuracies in Drugstore Test that tells how pregnant a woman is (VIDEO)

A new pregnancy test which promises to tell women how far along they are in their pregnancy is causing grief among some women in their first trimester.
According to CBS news, some women who have used the ClearBlue Advanced pregnancy test have reported that the tests are indicating they are farther along or not as far compared to what their doctors tell them.  The test, which is supposed to predict whether a woman is 1-2, 2-3 or over 3 weeks pregnant, is causing some to worry that their babies are not developing at a normal rate for their gestational age, or that they are too far along (perhaps an indicator of twins).
It’s causing stress although experts say that women should never take at-home tests like these too literally and to instead rely on their hcg levels until their babies reach the age of viability and when other doctor visit tests can accurately predict their pregnancy progress.

Watch a video about the story here:

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Trying to Conceive: Questions to Ask Your Doctor

Congratulations! You’ve decided to have a baby and that’s a very exciting time of your life. But remember, making a baby can take time. So be patient, especially when your friends seem to constantly be sharing their good news and the in-laws are asking, ‘Are you pregnant yet?’ every time they see you. Often, after years of painstaking birth control, it can be a tough realization that getting pregnant when you finally want to isn’t as easy as you thought it would be. Here are a few questions to ask your doctor when you are ready to conceive:           
1.      How long should it take for me to get pregnant? This depends on a great number of factors. But realize that making a baby takes time, often up to 12 months. If you’ve been trying for longer than a year, see your doctor to begin an infertility evaluation. If you’re older than 35, it can take longer because of aging impact on your eggs, so start your evaluation after 6 months if you have not conceived . Don’t panic, try to be patient and have fun in the process. After all, stress will only exacerbate the challenge.
2.      How much will my age really affect my chances? The chances of a woman naturally having a baby after age 35 decline by about 50 percent, and they decline by about 90 percent after age 40. So if having a baby is in your future plans, get started sooner rather than later. If you’re under 35, see an infertility expert after one year of trying without success. If you’re 35 or more, see an infertility expert if you don’t conceive naturally within six months. If you’re over 38, be seen after 3 months of unsuccessful trying. Though conceiving after 40 may be difficult, it’s not impossible, so ask your doctor what else you can do.
3.      Should I take prenatal vitamins? What kind? Yes. Eating healthy will raise your chances of conceiving and having a healthy pregnancy (that means cutting out the junk food and loading up on greens), and prenatal vitamins help fill in any holes in the mother’s diet. Ask your doctor to recommend a good prenatal vitamin with calcium and lots of B6 when you first start thinking about having a baby. Rainbow Light Complete Prenatal System is one of the few prenatals that has enough vitamin B6, which has been shown to increase fertility. Also, take an Omega-3 fish oil. Look for those with a higher mg of DHA and EPA.
4.      Does timing matter? You’re best bet is try to conceive just before and during ovulation, which happens anywhere from 13 to 20 days before your period. I recommend using an ovulation predictor kit to time intercourse. Then, have sex a few days leading up to and on the day of ovulation. Remember that sperm can live up to 6 days in your body, but your egg can only survive 12 to 24 hours. This timing gives you the best odds of the sperm and egg meeting. To be sure you’re getting the timing right, pick up a ClearBlue fertility monitor to help you map your fertility calendar. Use a digital thermometer, which is much faster and easier to use than a standard one, for basal temperature measurements. And to keep you on track, use a journal to keep track as a personal conception and pregnancy organizer. 

5. Can I use a lubricant? If having timed relations is affecting your ability to be intimate, a lubricant is a great option. But many lubricants may actually negatively affect sperm motility. Try Pre-Seed. It’s the only FDA-cleared, clinically shown ‘Fertility-Friendly’ Lubricant developed by doctors and used by fertility clinics. Use the applicator to apply it near the cervix. Its pH balanced to match fertile cervical mucus as well as the pH of sperm, so it won’t harm your chances of conceiving.
6. When should I take a pregnancy test? And which one should I use? Home pregnancy tests work by detecting levels of the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), that is produced during pregnancy. These tests can only detect hCG after implantation occurs, which is generally 10 days post-ovulation (dpo). But don’t freak out if a test comes up negative at 10 dpo, since it’s not an exact science and you may still get pregnant up to 15 dpo. 15 dpo is when a woman who is not pregnant will typically get her period, so it’s the ‘first day of a missed period.’


First Response Early Result is the only pregnancy test that can detect pregnancy up to 6 days before your missed period (9 dpo). That’s one day sooner than any other home pregnancy test in the market.
Gloria Richard-Davis, MD, from the University of Arkansas Medical Sciences (UAMS) Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, is an educator and Educator author of Planning Parenthood.
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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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How to prevent varicose veins during pregnancy

Guest Post
Whether it’s your first or your third, pregnancy is an

exciting time for you and your family. There are a lot of changes going on in

your body to prepare it for the delivery of new life. As part of this, your

body has an increased amount of blood flow, which is why you have a higher

chance of developing varicose veins during pregnancy.
However, there are a few things that you can do to prevent

varicose veins during pregnancy:
1. Create healthy

Healthy habits help to prevent varicose veins, and promote

good health all around for you and your baby. Make sure you are eating a

balanced diet with substantial vitamin C, as it helps promote good blood flow.
In addition, exercise each day. Cycling, swimming and

walking are low-impact exercises that help move blood through your veins.
2. Invest in

compression socks.
Compression socks provide constriction to your legs, where

varicose veins are most likely to develop. This tight fit can help to promote

blood flow to prevent blood from pooling in your veins, which causes varicose

veins to form.
3. Dress smart.
While compression socks are recommended, other tight-fitting

clothing is not. Instead, make sure you are wearing loose-fitting apparel.

Wearing high heels while you are pregnant is also not recommended, as it can

result in circulation issues. Avoiding both of these types of clothing will

make you and baby more comfortable during your nine months.
4. Pay attention to

your legs.
Whether you stand or sit for a long period of time, it can

have the same effect on your legs. A stagnant position can lead to blood

pooling in your veins. Make sure you are moving around throughout the day and

spending time elevating your legs as well. Propping your legs on a chair or

stool can help to promote good circulation. Add ankle flexes for extra blood

flow benefits.
5. Avoid heavy

Lifting heavy objects while you are pregnant can be

challenging, resulting in straining. This straining can increase vein

visibility and your chance of forming varicose veins.
After pregnancy, the appearance of varicose veins may

diminish. However, you may want to consider consulting a medical professional

for treatment. There are several treatment options available and a doctor can

help you determine what works best for you. If varicose veins are left

untreated, they can lead to health complications that can be life threatening.

Dr. Yan Katsnelson has more than 20 years of experience in

surgical treatment of cardiovascular diseases and currently practices at
USA Vein

. He specializes in non-surgical treatment of vein disease to

improve and enhance the lives of his patients.

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Sore Breasts Explained: Is it PMS or Are you Pregnant?

Breast tenderness is a painful symptom of both pregnancy and PMS. While some women do not experience painful breasts, many find that the tenderness that occurs during pregnancy is much worse than in PMS. Breast tenderness is primarily caused by hormonal changes that take place in the body, and during pregnancy there are heightened levels in hormones.
The breast tenderness that is experienced during pregnancy and PMS are very similar. The tenderness resulting from pregnancy is usually more intense than the tenderness resulting from PMS, and it is combined with visible changes to the breast. Typically, if breast tenderness does not go away after two weeks, it is likely the result of pregnancy or a serious condition.
Now you know. Take care.

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Are you losing the weight loss battle with fad diets? (INFOGRAPHIC)

So our  friends at Pritkin Longevity Center created a new infographic for me to share with you that is my story. *sigh*. The perpetual fad dieter.
It says that the months of February an March are common for people failing or cheating on their diets.
When trying to shed weight, many of us turn to fad diets and drastic calorie cutting and with the positive energy of new years resolutions in the past and the cold winter months still in full force, it is not surprising that February and March are the most common months for diet failure and “cheating” to occur.
Experts at nationally recognized Pritikin Longevity Center have found that fad diets leave us not only hungry and miserable but often lead to setbacks and cheating that cause additional weight gain. dang!
Check out the infographic below “Are You Losing the Diet Game?” which visually outlines ways that your weight loss journey can be effected by your dieting and lifestyle decisions and reveals the true impact that common dieting mistakes can have on your weight loss and overall health.

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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7 Natural Cures for Morning Sickness

There are some natural remedies and solutions for pregnant women who may not want to take prescription medicines to control vomiting, nausea and other symptoms of early pregnancy. Here are 7 stand out ones.

  1. Ginger  -is well-known for its nausea reducing qualities, and many women have had success with ginger tea for relieving their morning sickness. The crystallized packets that are made in Asian countries and sold in international food stores are yummy because they are pungent and already sweetened.
  2. Peppermint – You can drink it in the tea or take it in tablet of sugar-free candy form.
  3. Fennel seeds – These natural seeds, sold in health food stores, are great for easing queasiness. Just shake a few in your hand and chew. You can also add a few dashes to your tea.
  4. Slippery Elm – You can take this natural herb, sold at health food stores, to calm your tummy.
  5. Almonds  – Eating a few of these at a time has been known to ease morning sickness. Almonds give you protein and are also one of the Superfoods. They’ve been linked to diabetes, cholesterol and inflammation control.
  6. Papaya -This fruit can help you deal with nausea.
  7. Pineapple – The tartnesss of this fruit may assist in dealing with morning sickness, but be careful the acidity in this fruit could have an averse affect with the food already in your tummy. 

Good luck to staving off that morning sickness.
Your #1 Fitness Source! Click Here!

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New Book: Celebrities having babies in 40s fool average women on pregnancy odds

Don’t let all these celebrities having babies in their 40s fool you into thinking you’ll be able to easily get pregnant.
That is the message author Tanya Selvaratham relays in her new book “The Big Lie: Motherhood, Feminism and the Reality of the Biological Clock” 
In a recent CNN review of her book, Selvaratham says older celeb moms like Halle Berry, Tina Fey, Nia Long, Julianne Moore, Kelly Preston,  Uma Thurman  and others have average women thinking having babies in their mid to late 40s may be easy.
“We see celebrities having kids seemingly without any problems and we have no idea what they went through,” Selvaratham says. “We see the end result, but not the struggle.”
Forty may be the new 30, but our ovaries have not gotten the same makeover, CNN notes. Even with all the advances in reproductive technology, our eggs have a finite shelf life and the odds of having a child over 40 years old are shockingly slim.
Yet, because of women delaying the start of their families and other reasons, there are more childless women in the US than in year’s past. In 1976, one in 10 woman between ages 40 and 44 was childless. By 2006, that numbered doubled to one in 5, according to the U.S. Census.
The book may also have been driven by the author’s own fertility struggles which took a toll on her marriage. 
It seems Selvaratham’s doctor may be part to blame for her troubles. After suffering her first miscarriage at 37, Selvaratham’s doc told her she still had time to conceive, influencing her decision to delay trying again until later. She learned later the delay in time probably made it harder.
According to the Southern California Center for Reproductive Medicine, a woman in her 20s has a 20-25% chance of conceiving naturally per menstrual cycle. In her early 30s, the chance of pregnancy is 15% per cycle. After 35, the odds of pregnancy without medical intervention are at 10%. After 40, that number falls to 5%, and women over 45 have a 1% chance of conception. 
Interesting. Your thoughts?

New Year New You: 4 Health Tips for Moms-to-be

While many people are dieting and changing their exercise and eating habits for the New Year, pregnant woman too can adjust theirs as well, not for losing weight, but for maintaining and elevating their health while carrying their babies.

Below are 4 tips from Veria.com, an online extension of the national health and wellness TV network Veria Living, to ensure a happy and healthy pregnancy.

Stay hydrated
Drink 8-10 cups of water each day. Even slight dehydration can dramatically reduce energy level. Avoid reaching for caffeinated beverages – anything more than two cups of tea or coffee a day can reduce your body’s levels of the feel-good hormone serotonin
Think of lean proteins, including eggs and poultry,
 as your friend
Remember to include some in each meal. Lean protein is super rich in B vitamins, which help convert food into energy.

Eat every 3-4 hours,  3 meals and 2 snacks
Not going more than 3-4 hours without food helps to stabilize your blood sugar. When blood sugar drops from lack of food you feel tired and cranky.
Take fish oil supplements

2,000 mg fish oil daily during pregnancy was found to reduce the incidence of Postpartum depression following delivery. If you didn’t take fish oil while pregnant, it is never too late to start. Other studies have found a higher intake of Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil will decrease depressive symptoms in non-pregnant individuals as well.
It’s Important to differentiate between the typical “new mom blues” and Postpartum depression. Some common symptoms of Postpartum depression are depressed mood, sleep problems, loss of appetite and trouble caring for your infant.
If you suspect you have Postpartum depression contact your healthcare provider to discuss treatment options.
Be well!

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