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pregnancy tips

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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10 Things DINKS (Dual Income No Kids) give up when TTC (Trying to Conceive)

Updating a piece I did on the 5 Things you need to do before having your first baby for you DINKs (Dual Income No Kids) out there. DINKs are people who are childless or child free and have two incomes and all the time and money they earn to spend on themselves.  For the DINKs that want to have children, you will need to know what’s in store.

Recently, I’ve come in contact with and read stories about people who have children and seemingly were unaware or unprepared for how much having children disrupts and alters their way of life.

So, I assembled a list of TEN things you will have to give up when you have kids. 

Some of these are well known but because you never know what others’ know, here is a list:
  1. Sleep

    From the day you bring home a tiny person who doesn’t know of, neither respects

    the rule that says night is for sleeping, then you know you’re screwed.
  2. White or

    light colored carpet or furniture
    – Unless you don’t mind it ending up a

    new shade of tie-dye by the time junior learns how to eat with his fingers or little

    Esmeralda grows a fondness for crayons, sell, trade in or give away that post-modern fancy lily white Ethan Allen gallery sofa set you got when you purchased your first condo. 
  3.  Low

    threshold of Patience
    – The 5th time your preschooler melts down

    in the middle of the grocery store crying for candy and all eyes turn on you, you’ll realize you are

    more patient than you ever thought 
  4. Dignity

    Because one of these days you may have to insert a tiny peen into an empty water bottle and collect pee

    from your potty -trained son when a bathroom isn’t available.
  5. A clean

    car
    – Cheerios, toy cars, crumbs…it will be a smorgasbord of random pieces

    of crap in every crevice, nook and cranny of your minivan. Be forewarned and fire armed with a mini-vac. 
  6.  Weekends

    Sleeping in? What’s that? In between little League games, dance recitals and

    cries for breakfast, there’s no chance in heck you’ll be able to sleep til noon

    on a Saturday any longer.
  7.    Last

    minute Get-Away fares
    –Unless you have a live in nanny, then… say goodbye

    to those  $100 weekend deals to Arizona

    you spotted on Expedia.com.
  8. Arrogance – No more looking down on that woman

    with no make-up on, wearing pajama bottoms and a head scarf at the late-night pharmacy counter when that woman is YOU getting cough medicine for a sick kid.
  9.  A day

    without bending over
    – To pick up toys, de-clutter a messy kids’ room, a

    tantrum-throwing kid or a crawling baby going out of bounds.
  10. A piece of your heart that will forever hold

    love, affection, adoration and the interest of your little one or ones forever. 

Now you know for sure And knowing is half the battle!

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Working While Pregnant: 7 Things you need to do

Most cases you will find pregnant mothers working, many private companies also have special provisions for women who are pregnant. Nobody wants to sacrifice their career at the altar of motherhood, especially today’s women. Those women who have uncomplicated pregnancy can continue their work and take a break before childbirth. Doctor will advise rest or work depending on your health and the kind of work you do. The highest priority is protecting your baby from harm.
Research on Pregnant Mothers
If you have normal pregnancy then you can talk to your doctor about taking a break before labor. If you work with hazardous chemicals you have to inform your doctor, he might ask to stop work till you give birth. Research shows that pregnant women who work for more than 25 hours a day tend to have smaller babies who weigh less than 200g at birth. Pregnant mothers who are teachers and saleswomen have to stand on their feet for longer hours have small children. Small children develop breathing and digestion problems and even learning difficulties later in life.
University Medical Centre in Rotterdam, Netherlands, conducted a survey on 4,680 expectant working mothers who were 30 weeks pregnant. It was found that those who devoted more than 25 hours to work had babies which weighed only 148-198 grams, which is less than average and the circumference of the baby’s head was a centimeter shorter. 
Many argue that pregnant women should take complete rest, while some say that remaining active will ensure smooth delivery. This is debatable.Some say that stress and physically demanding work reduces the blood flow to the placenta thus reducing the amount of oxygen supply to your womb. This is really harmful.The journal Occupational and Environment Medicine says that employers should make the work environment conducive for their women employees who are pregnant, recently women during pregnancy don’t take long break as they use to do earlier.
You can always refer to the guidelines of what to do and avoid during pregnancy to ensure the safety of the baby in your womb. It is very challenging for pregnant women to work during the nine months, but it is a great way to keep boredom away. Here are some tips to show them the correct way to ‘juggle’ responsibilities without affecting your health.
1.       Inform Your Employer About Your Pregnancy: Many pregnant mothers like to take a break after giving birth. It is better to let your employer know that you will be quitting your job or taking a long break during or after pregnancy. This will allow them to find a replacement and give you enough time to finish your important tasks.
2.       Keep Your Options Open before asking for leave: Many offices get confused how to deal with pregnant women, not all are sympathetic. In this case, you have to take charge.  Keep your options open if you are asking for maternity leave, especially if you want to rejoin the same job, this will help to protect your position at work.
3.       Inform At The Earliest:  Pregnant women do not like to reveal their pregnancy in first three months, but what if somebody at office suspects you are pregnant and informs the higher management. It is best to inform your boss at the earliest that you are expecting, otherwise they might think your hiding information and you are not serious about work.
4.       Talk to your employer about working hours: Interact with your employer about making your working hours more flexible. You can also search for work from home options.
5.       Review your company’s maternity policy before asking for leave: If you study the maternity leave policy before talking to your manager or boss, this will help you work out a best deal on your maternity package. Sometimes, there are amazing facilities for young mothers and pregnant women that will enable you to enjoy your job and motherhood.
6.       Talk to your colleague: With maternity, there are many bodily changes and you tend to feel fatigued, often you have to take leaves and breaks to give yourself rest. You adjust your work schedule, time with coworkers who are women and are likely to understand your problem. You can always return favors when they need help.
7.       Stay Away From Hazardous chemicals and radiation: If you are into research and have to work in a laboratory or work in factory, you need to talk to both the doctor and supervisor. Often exposure to radiation and toxic substances due to pregnancy causes miscarriage, prematurely delivery or birth defects in the child.
If you have to travel for work during pregnancy, talk to the doctor and management. It is best to travel during second trimester when all the nausea is over. Also you need to talk to the airlines regarding pregnancy regulations since many restrict travel. Also, you shouldn’t complain too much about pregnancy at office, this can create complications. You can take a powernap when fatigued. Also use a footrest if you need to stand for longer hours. Do some stretching exercise for your back, take breaks and wear comfortable clothes and shoes. Do not feel shy about your bodily changes it is normal.
If you are going to deliver twins or triplets it is best, you go for complete rest. If you have high blood pressure, if you had miscarriage previously and if your baby is not growing properly it is better to take an early break. Your family comes first now so does your health. Morning sickness usually ends at the end of third month but if it is prolonged you have to inform your supervisor for an early Leave. If you are asking for flexible work hours, you have to keep your commitment and do finish your task. Mayo Clinic gives great ideas to tackle with bodily changes during pregnancy at work; since this is the time, you end up in a mess.
The best thing is to ask any of your colleagues who have given birth recently, how they took maternity leave. You can confide, share your fears and ask your queries to get information from the horse’s mouth so to say. Stay positive, take no stress and have a happy and safe pregnancy.

Author Bio: Ananya – Being a voracious reader and harboring a special love for the language, it was quite natural for me to don the writer’s hat. I love demystifying and simplifying different concepts and making them interesting reads for others.

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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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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.

Report: UK moves closer to making it illegal to drink alcohol while pregnant

Campaigners hoping to make it a crime to drink excessively during pregnancy may be a step closer with a landmark case on the issue due to be heard by the Court of Appeal.
If heard, the legal test case will argue that a six-year-old girl who suffered brain damage due to alcohol exposure in the womb is the victim of a crime because her mother was warned of the risks of her drinking.
Figures from the Department of Health show in total around one in 100 babies are now born with alcohol-related disorders.
In the past three years there has been a 50% rise in Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), with 313 babies found to be damaged from being exposed to alcohol in the womb in 2012/13.
Experts believe the numbers could in fact be much higher, with thousands more foetuses damaged.
Consultant psychiatrist Dr Raja Mukherjee warned mother-to-be do not have to binge-drink to be at risk.
Continue reading 

The 7 Type of people you will encounter in the Labor and Delivery Waiting room

Getting down to the wire to have your baby?
You and your partner, mom, siblings or friends who may be hanging in the labor and delivery waiting room as you give birth to your baby may be curious of what to expect. 

Doula Robin Elise Weiss from About.com‘s pregnancy page has broken down the 7 types of people you can expect to encounter in the labor & delivery waiting room:

The Extremely Proud Grandma
The Oversharer
The Know-it-All
The Chatterer
The Sleeper
The Snacker
The Pessimist
They are funny but true. Check it out HERE