When you get pregnant one of the most important things to take care is proper hydration for Mom. Drinking enough fluids, especially water is critical to baby’s` health as she grows during your pregnancy. When I was pregnant the first thing hubby got me was a Camelbak water bottle – you know, one of those fancy ones with a bite valve. However, even though the bottles are labeled as BPA free I did not want to take a risk and decided to look for stainless steel water bottles instead. [Read more...]
Constipation is a common symptom of pregnancy and it may even be one of the first signals that will let you know you’ll have a baby, since it normally appears in the first weeks after conception. The hormones of pregnancy are in part responsible for constipation. At first, it can be bearable, but as the load increases, this may worsen constipation. If you are one of the expectant moms who suffer from constipation, you should follow some tips that will make it easier for you. [Read more...]
Pregnancy and Pre-natal Vitamins
Pre-natal vitamins are important to the health of a growing baby. They are also important to pregnant mothers because their bodies are going through so many changes.
Our diets today are often deficient in key nutrients found in pre-natal vitamins that help a baby’s development in the womb. One deficiency that has been found is the lack of enough folic acid, one of the B vitamins.
Rectifying vitamin deficiency can be done by modifying your diet and by taking pre-natal vitamin supplements. It is easiest for your body to absorb nutrients from foods, but since it can be difficult to take in enough of those key vitamins and minerals during pregnancy, most doctors recommend that you also take pre-natal supplements.
The most important pre-natal vitamin is folic acid, which is the synthetic form of the naturally occurring folate. If folic acid is taken in the first four weeks of pregnancy, it can reduce the risk of the baby having an incomplete spinal column, or neural tube defect by up to 70%.
Because folic acid is most useful very early in the pregnancy, most doctors recommend that women trying to conceive begin supplementing their diet with 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid per day. In fact the U.S. Public Health Service recommends that all women of childbearing age take this supplement as a preventative measure, in the case of an unplanned pregnancy. Many once-daily multi-vitamin supplements include this in their product.
While folic acid is most important in the first trimester, most doctors recommend it throughout the pregnancy. Spinach and chicken liver are great natural sources of folate. Folate is often added to breakfast cereals and breads; this addition will be written on the nutrition label.
Calcium is another critical supplement for your baby for the same reasons that it is important for you; calcium helps the baby develop strong bones and teeth. One of the best sources of calcium is cheddar cheese (real cheese, not the plastic-like “cheese product” made from hydrogenated oil with orange color added). Calcium is also found in yogurt, milk, kale, etc.
In addition to dairy products, calcium citrate is often added to cereals and other non-dairy products like orange juice.
When taking calcium supplements it may be safest to take calcium citrate which is made from citrus fruit.
Small amounts of vitamin D are important for calcium absorption. The good news is that you can absorb this vitamin through exposure to the sun. Most prenatal supplements provide this vitamin.
Iron is important for the baby’s development of red blood cells, which deliver oxygen to the baby. Supplementing iron into your diet is mostly important for the mother’s health. Insufficient iron might lead to fatigue and anemia. On the other hand, too much iron can hurt both the mother and the baby. Be very careful with iron supplements!
The baby will generally get all of the iron he needs, even if that means leaving the mom anemic. By the end of the pregnancy a mother will have twice as much blood in her body as she did before. Therefore pregnant women may need more iron as non-pregnant women. Another important fact is that coffee and tea can decrease iron absorption.
The best and safest way to get the right amount of iron is to take the balance multi-vitamin and mineral pre-natal supplements that your doctor recommends. You might save money if you ask your doctor which over the counter pre-natal vitamins may contain the same ingredients as prescription versions.
Pre-natal vitamin supplements are even more important for women who have poor nutrition, women who are carrying twins, and women who have a closely spaced pregnancy.
For women that are healthy and eat a balanced diet, pre-natal supplements are still important to insure against the possibility that the women are not getting enough of any given nutrient. Many women who were careful to eat right were still found to be low in folic acid for example.
Vitamin supplements, in particular those with iron, can be tough to swallow for the expecting mother because of the infamous ‘morning sickness,’ that is far from relegated to the morning hours.
Many women have found that beginning to take pre-natal vitamins a month or more before conception can diminish morning sickness and therefore make taking the pre-natal vitamins during pregnancy an easier pill to swallow. Taking prenatal vitamins when you are not pregnant does not cause any problems. These vitamins are not that different than regular daily multi-vitamins, except that they do not contain any herbs or herbal supplements that could cause problems. Be very careful to avoid most herbal supplements when pregnant. Talk to your doctor.
Note: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Supplements are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, mitigate or prevent any disease. All information here is intended for general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues and always consult your doctor before starting any new supplement, diet or fitness regimen.
About the Author
Monica Nelson writes articles that offer helpful information on subjects such as women’s health, weightloss, pregnancy symptoms, exercise equipment and affordable health insurance.
Help I am Pregnant and an Addict
There are a lot of resources on the internet, in books, and from the medical community on the dangers of drug and alcohol use during pregnancy. However, there is not very much quality information on what you should do if you have a problem with alcohol or drugs and are pregnant. The simple answer is you need to quit. With all the treatment programs availabele; AA, treatment facilities, therapy, self-control, etc., why wouldn’t a women be able to get help. Why would anyone use drugs or alcohol while they are pregnant. Most pregnant moms know or have read that using drugs or alcohol can cause numerous problems for their unborn baby. But there are many reasons women avoid treatment.
Some do not believe they are really an addict or alcoholic. They may convince themselves that they don’t drink or use very much or that often. The truth, if you are not capable of quitting during a time in your life when it is most essential that you do not drink or use, you are an addict. If you were not addicted quitting during pregnancy would not be difficult.
Many women falsely believe that an occasional drink or drug use is not really harmful. They may minimize their problem and rationalize what they are doing. They may say things like well when my mother was pregnant she drank/smoke and I turned out fine.
Sometimes a woman may convince herself that she is done and it won’t happen again. Perhaps she has used during the first month but she will tell herself, I will get help if I do this again. With the next time it happening repeating the same rational in her mind, each time thinking it is the last.
Addiction is a shameful disease. Addicts come in all forms. People with addiction can hide their disease very well. Their friends and family may not even realize that they have a problem. Talking to a health professional about this may be something they are too afraid to do.
They may be afraid to talk to a professional for fear of having an investigation by Child Protective services.
Marijuana supporters put out a lot of false information about the risks to an unborn child. Minimizing the dangers, even going as far as to say babies born to marijuana users are less fussy and more content. They may choose to believe this misinformation in order to avoid facing their addiction.
Risks of using drugs and alcohol during pregnancy
Babies are more likely to be born preterm and with low birth weight.
Can cause Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Babies born with FAS may have symptoms of alcohol withdrawal shortly after birth. They often have a small head, small eyes, a wide flat nose, and a small jaw. Children with FAS may have growth problems, diminished mental capacity, and emotional problems.
Can cause preterm birth, low birth weight and some studies say it can cause attention problems in children.
Babies born to cocaine users often go through withdrawal symptoms after birth. Fetal growth may be retarded, there is a greater risk of premature labor and abruption of the placenta. Babies often have low birth weight, may have feeding problems, and are at greater risk of sids. Children of cocaine addicted mothers may have emotional problems, short attention span, and learning disabilities.
Heroin and other narcotics:
Mother is at a greater risk of having preterm labor and having a baby with low birth weight. Babies of heroin addicted moms may have breathing difficulties, hypoglycemia, and intracranial hemorrhage. They also will go through withdrawal after birth.
If you need help
If you think that you have a problem there are places to get help. Please do not wait.
One of the best places to get help is at
Or you can look in your phone book under alcoholic anonymous. Someone there will gladly help you find meeting locations and someone to talk to.
March of Dimes
American Council for Drug Education
About The Author
Patty Hone is a wife and mommy to three kids. She is also the owner of Justmommies.com. Justmommies is an online community for mommies to make friends and find support. Please visit Justmommies at http://www.justmommies.com .
Should you use lotion on baby’s dry skin?
Often young babies experience very dry skin. Many parents are concerned about using lotion to ease the dry skin problem. Can you use lotion on a very young baby’s skin at all is the big question. Guess what – you will be ok using lotion on your baby’s skill as long as you use perfume-free and dye-free lotion. Most babies have dry skin resulting from being amniotic fluid for nine months. This change in environment just takes a toll on baby’s skin = dry skin. We personaly recommend Aveno products for your baby. You’ll find a great selection at your local Baby store, Wal-Mart or your drugstore.
Common Sense Approach To Weight Loss After A Pregnancy
Every woman gains weight while she is pregnant. This is the way how it is and always has been. And it is as it is: It is also perfectly normal for a woman to want to lose weight after pregnancy. There is absolutely nothing wrong with aspiring to get yourself back into shape right after having giving birth to a baby. In fact – weight loss to a certain degree is certainly encouraged. Overweight just causes different health issues in the mid to long term.
However – it is very important that the woman takes a common sense approach when she is attempting to lose weight after a pregnancy. Keep in mind, the weight will not come off overnight, but it will come off if you “attack” it in the right way.
One of the biggest mistakes made by women is to try on clothes from before pregnancy. It is very important that you don’t try to fit back into your pre-pregnancy clothes right after birth. Accept the fact that you will still be carrying around most of the fat you gained to help keep your baby safe and sound during pregnancy.
Usually it is recommended and acceptable that most women can safely lose between one and two pounds per week after giving birth. This “burn rate” will help ensure a safe, healthy and steady weight loss without compromising mom’s health or the health of the new baby.
Do avoid becoming obsessed of how fast the weight has to come off your body. Having a goal is great and keeps you motivated. However – over-doing it will not bring the results expected. In fact, it might may things even worse. Pregnancy depressions are already common enough. There is no need to become depressed because the weight loss is not fast enough.
Low Muscle Tone – Hypotonia
The clinical name for this form is benign congenital hypotonia. Interestingly, many children with benign congenital hypotonia will have a parent or sibling who likewise had low muscle tone during their childhood, suggesting a genetic connection.