Category Archives: Prenatal Nutrition

Prenatal Nutrition For Expectant Mothers

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Preparing for a Baby with Special Needs

Having a baby is such an exciting time, especially if it is your first baby. It is important to be prepared for anything when you are having a baby. This includes being ready for a baby with special needs. Most parents do not plan for a child with special needs. While it can be a challenge at times, a child with special needs can bring a lot of love and joy into any home. Here is what you need to know about preparing for a baby with special needs.

Remember you are not to blame

One of the first things many women may do when they find out their child is going to have a disability is to blame themselves. However, this is usually not the case. Many things can cause birth defects like alcohol, smoking, contaminated meat, and other harmful substances and activities. However, unless you have purposely chosen to use harmful substances, you are not to blame for their disability.

Gather information

A crib for a baby

Once you find out you will or have just had a baby with special needs, it is important to gather as much helpful information as you can. First, you should talk to your healthcare provider. Have someone come with you or bring a notepad for notes to make sure you find out everything you need to know. If a child with special needs is a new territory for you, you may feel overwhelmed or nervous about making a mistake. Having correct information, however, can help ease your mind. Try to find out more about their condition, how you can help, and what kind of support you need. You may even want to get a second test or opinion from another doctor.

Get help and support

One of the top recommendations for parents who have a baby with special needs is to get help. Having a strong support system can make your life and the life of your child better and easier. Your support system can consist of family, friends, and even other mothers who have a child with special needs. Talking with mothers who have experience can help you learn what works, what doesn’t, and can help you feel like you and your family are not alone.

Related: Coping with Stress and Anxiety While Pregnant

Your baby may need to stay in the hospital longer

Another thing to be prepared for is that your baby may need to stay in the hospital longer. You may even be sent home before they are. This is due to several reasons. However, you are encouraged to stay near your baby, even after your hospital stay is complete.

Preparing for a baby with special needs may feel overwhelming. However, it is important to remember that there are healthcare providers and other support groups who will be there to help.

Sources

https://www.parentcenterhub.org/journey/

https://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/having-a-baby-with-special-needs

featured image for getting pregnant at an older age

Getting Pregnant at An Older Age

Age plays a role in a woman’s fertility. When women are younger, they tend to have a higher chance of getting pregnant with fewer complications. However, as women get older, that changes. This does not mean you should not try to start a family if that is something you have wanted. Here is what you need to know about getting pregnant at an older age. Knowing what can accompany pregnancy after age 35 can help prepare you for anything.

It may take longer to become pregnant

One of the most common complications when trying to conceive after age 35 is that it could take a little longer. This is due to the decrease in healthy eggs that a woman has. This should not be something you need to worry about unless you have been trying for more than 6 months. At this point, you should consider speaking with your health care provider to see what your options are.

Higher chance for gestational diabetes

Many women develop this form of diabetes while they are pregnant. Luckily, it only occurs during pregnancy. However, it can cause risks for you and your baby if not given the care and treatment it needs. One risk is your baby growing too large. This can cause complications and injuries during delivery. It also increases your chances of having a premature birth and high blood pressure.

Higher chance of a multiple pregnancies

As a woman gets older, her chances of having multiple pregnancies can increase. This includes twins, triplets, or more. This is because a woman’s body begins to release more than one egg at a time. Not only that, but many women who receive fertility treatments have a higher chance of multiple pregnancies.

Related: What You Should Know About Having Twins

Higher risk of miscarriage

One of the most devastating risks when getting pregnant at an older age is a miscarriage. It can be difficult for women to lose a baby they have wanted so badly and have already started to love. Not only that but a woman’s chances of giving birth to a stillborn baby increase after a certain age. This can be due to several issues including pre-existing medical conditions and a low-quality of eggs.

A baby with Down Syndrome

The older a woman is, the higher her chances of giving birth to a baby with an extra chromosome. This is otherwise known as Down Syndrome. Being a parent of a child with Down Syndrome is quite an adventure. They can be a light for many people with their unconditional love. However, they also face many health complications throughout their lifetime.

Increased risk for a C-section

With the increase of complications during pregnancy at an older age, the need for a C-section increase as well.

High blood pressure

This is a common issue in older, pregnant women. To keep both you and your baby safe, you will need to meet with your health care provider more often to monitor how things are going. Many women with high blood pressure may even need to deliver their baby earlier than normal to avoid other health complications.
There is a lot to consider when getting pregnant at an older age. Most importantly, you should strive to live a healthy lifestyle for the safety of both you and your baby. Eating a balanced diet, exercising daily, taking a prenatal vitamin, and avoiding drugs and alcohol will give you a better chance of having a normal and healthy pregnancy.

Sources

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/getting-pregnant/in-depth/pregnancy/art-20045756

Trying to Conceive After Age 35

A woman preventing dehydration during pregnancy

Preventing Dehydration During Pregnancy

Dehydration can be dangerous and unhealthy for anyone, but especially when you are pregnant. Most people need around 8 glasses of water a day, depending on the person and where they live. However, a pregnant woman needs even more than that. This can put women at a higher risk of becoming dehydrated. Here is what you need to know about preventing dehydration during pregnancy.

Why dehydration is dangerous

There are many dangers of dehydration during pregnancy. When the body is not properly hydrated, it can affect proper functions of the body and cause joint pain, cramps, constipation, headaches, sleepiness, and dizziness. Serious cases of dehydration can even cause you to pass out. When a woman who is pregnant becomes dehydrated, it can affect the health of her developing baby. This can lead to birth defects, preterm labor, and even affect breast milk production after birth. Some signs you are dehydrated and need to drink more water include feeling thirsty, dry mouth, fatigue, anger, dark urine, feeling hot, fever, cramps, and more. If you feel any of these signs, make sure to drink water immediately and relax until the symptoms subside.

Long-term dehydration can become even more serious for both a mother and her baby. Chronically dehydrated people can suffer from high blood pressure. This is very dangerous during pregnancy but can be treated. Left untreated, however, it can be potentially fatal. Dehydration can also damage the kidneys and form kidney stones and gallstones.

Related: How Iron Affects Pregnancy

How to stay hydrated

To protect both the health of a mother and her developing baby, staying hydrated should become a top priority. A woman needs to drink a lot more water than she did before she was pregnant. Here are some ways to help:

Keep track – Using an app or writing down how much water you drink can help you keep track to make sure you are getting as much water you need.

Set timers – To make sure you are drinking water consistently throughout the day, set timers to remind you when you need to drink. Drinking a cup first thing in the morning or right after you use the restroom are also important ways to help you remember. These are also times when your body needs more water most.

Keep a water bottle on hand – Having a full water bottle on you always is another great way to help you remember to drink throughout the day.

Add flavor – Another tip for preventing dehydration during pregnancy is to make drinking water more exciting by adding slices of fruit to your water. This is a healthy way to add some flavor. Flavor packets work as well but are not as healthy as using fresh fruit.

Sources

https://www.dignityhealth.org/articles/dehydration-during-pregnancy-what-expecting-mothers-should-know

https://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-complications/dehydration-pregnancy/

http://www.medicalwesthospital.org/the-dangers-of-dehydration.php

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Staying Safe Around Cats While Pregnant

Many pregnant women in the past have worried about the health of their unborn babies around cats. The disease responsible for their fear is known as toxoplasmosis. However, do pregnant women need to worry? Here is what you need to know about staying safe around cats while pregnant.  

Common misconceptions

One of the most common misconceptions women have is that they need to get rid of their cats when they are pregnant. They believe that being anywhere near a cat or a litter box will result in them contracting the disease toxoplasmosis. This could not be further from the truth. While toxoplasmosis is dangerous for a developing baby, it takes a lot more than just being near a cat to contract this dangerous disease.

Related: Common Pregnancy Myths

Ways to stay safe

You do not need to get rid of your family pet. However, there are some steps you may need to take to make sure you do not contract toxoplasmosis. The first thing you can do is know what exactly can cause toxoplasmosis. The disease is one of the most dangerous foodborne illnesses in the U.S. It is caused by a parasite found in infected raw meat. Cats contract the disease when they eat raw meat given by humans or from the mice and birds they catch outside. The parasite then leaves their system through their feces and develops after 24 hours. Women can become exposed to it when cleaning a litter box or even gardening outside. Some ways to help prevent exposure to the disease include:

  • Having someone else clean the litter box
  • Washing your hands immediately after cleaning the litter box
  • Only feed your cat commercial food
  • Keeping your cat indoors
  • Keeping any raw meat away from cats
  • Using gloves while gardening
  • Washing hands after gardening
  • Washing hands after preparing any raw meat
  • Making sure any raw meat is thoroughly cooked for you or your cat
  • Make sure litter boxes are cleaned daily

Staying safe around cats while pregnant will help reduce your risk of toxoplasmosis. Most importantly, ask your doctor about any health concerns you might have while pregnant and get second opinions when needed. Taking care of your health while pregnant is so vital for the development of your baby and even your own safety. 

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Coping with Stress and Anxiety While Pregnant

Anxiety is a common occurrence in women who are pregnant. About 1 in 10 women experience this mental health illness while pregnant. What many people do not realize is that anxiety is a real illness and it can even affect the development of a growing baby in the womb. Luckily, it is treatable. Here is what you need to know about coping with stress and anxiety while pregnant.

What are signs of anxiety?

Everyone worries and deals with stress from time to time. This is a part of life. However, those with anxiety deal with these feelings of stress and worry daily. Sometimes these feelings can even affect daily routines and responsibilities. Some common symptoms of anxiety include:

  • Not being able to control anxious feelings or stress
  • Extreme worry
  • Restlessness
  • A feeling of dread
  • Constantly feeling irritable
  • Always on edge
  • Difficulty with concentration
  • Difficulty sleeping or staying asleep

What causes anxiety?

There are many reasons why women may develop anxiety while pregnant. Sometimes the illness already existed and has grown exponentially during pregnancy. Other common causes may not even be linked to pregnancy like a family history of mental health illness, a traumatic event, abuse, drugs, other health conditions, or extra stress. Another mental health illness that is commonly linked to anxiety is depression. Although not the same, they are frequently experienced together. Another common cause of anxiety during pregnancy is phobias. Many women have a strong fear of giving birth or other medical treatments like needles. The feelings of anxiety that come with these phobias can become debilitating.

Related: Dealing with Postpartum Depression

Ways to cope

A woman awake at night with anxiety

There is no one right way to coping with stress and anxiety while pregnant. Every woman is different and should be treated accordingly. One of the most important things to do, however, is to talk to someone about it. This should be someone you trust will listen and take the real feelings you have seriously. You should also speak to your healthcare provider. They will be able to help you find ways to cope and deal with your feelings of anxiety.

Finding natural ways to treat anxiety is a great place to start. Changing your daily habits to make sure you are eating healthy, exercising, and getting plenty of sleep can make a big difference. Without the proper amount of nutrients, our bodies and minds have a hard time functioning properly. Be sure that you are also taking an approved prenatal vitamin on top of your healthy diet. Exercise has been proven to lower cortisol levels, which cause stress. Exercise can also make it easier to sleep at night. Getting limited amounts of sleep can cause negative impacts on our bodies, especially on our minds. Meditation between exercise and sleep can also be a great way to cool down and clear your mind for a peaceful rest. If none of these changes help or you are unable to do them, therapy is always available for you.

Sometimes anxiety can persist even after all the many healthy changes you have made. If this is the case, speak with your healthcare provider. There are certain medications they can prescribe that are safe to take during pregnancy. The most important thing is that you and your baby are healthy, both physically and mentally.

Sources

https://www.tommys.org/pregnancy-information/im-pregnant/mental-wellbeing/specific-mental-health-conditions/anxiety-and-panic-attacks-pregnancy

How to Treat Stress During Pregnancy

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Dealing with Round Ligament Pain

Women deal with a lot of pain and health issues throughout pregnancy, some of which may seem kind of obscure. One of the most common is round ligament pain. If you are pregnant and have experienced sharp pain on either side of your abdomen or hip area, you could be experiencing round ligament pain. Here is what you need to know about dealing with round ligament pain.

Why does it happen?

Round ligament pain occurs as a natural result of your body’s changes during pregnancy. The pain is most felt during the second trimester when your baby starts growing large. Although, many women may not feel it until they are in their third trimester or sometimes not at all. The pain comes from the stretching of your uterus. Some things that can trigger the pain are coughing, sneezing, laughing, or sudden movements. Even your baby can push against ligaments and cause shooting pain when they are in a weird position.

Natural ways to help

Warm bath – This is one of the best ways to help with round ligament pain. The warm water can help to soothe your muscles and relieve the tension. You can also throw in some Epsom salts to help.

Stretch it out – Some gentle stretching can help to strengthen your muscles in the abdomen and help with alignment. This can then help ease some of the pain. Some ideas to help you stretch things out are yoga, swimming, and other mild stretches.

Heating pad – Heating pads are great for helping with muscle tension. However, it is important to be careful with these. They should never be used on a high setting and should only be used for 10 or 15 minutes. Any longer or hotter than that could become dangerous.

Take a break – If you are dealing with round ligament pain you may just need to take it easy. You could be doing more than your body can handle. Slow down for a few days. You can even try laying on your left side with a pillow between your knees. This can help reduce any pressure you may be feeling.

Massage the area – Lay down and have someone passage the area. This is another great way to help relieve some of the tension while also being able to relax and take a break.

Fix your posture – Your poor posture could also be a problem. You may need to work on sitting up straight with your back aligned. Many women try sitting on yoga balls, especially when sitting at a desk.

Take supplements – Sometimes women experience round ligament pain because their bodies are not getting all the nutrients needed while pregnant. Be sure to make sure you are taking a prenatal supplement and any other supplements your prenatal does not contain.

Meet with a Chiropractor – If nothing else seems to help your round ligament pain, you can try making an appointment with a Chiropractor. They aren’t just for people with back pain but can help women dealing with round ligament pain as well. They can help realign your back which is what may be causing the pain.

Sources

https://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-complications/round-ligament-pain-during-pregnancy/

https://www.mamanatural.com/round-ligament-pain/

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What You Should Know About Having Twins

Twins are a rare occurrence. Only about 32.6 out of 1,000 births are twins. As most people know, there are also two different types of twins: identical and fraternal. To some people, twins may be a bit of a mystery. Here is what you should know about having twins.

Who is most likely to have twins?

The chances of having twins vary from woman to woman. Fraternal twins are created when two eggs are released at the same. Fraternal twins sometimes occur because of a gene that is passed down through the family. Couples can only have fraternal twins if the gene runs on the woman’s side of the family. Men can carry the gene. However, they cannot determine whether they have twins. Instead, they could pass the gene down to their daughters who then have a chance of birthing twins. Even then, a woman’s chances are higher if twins run on her mother’s side. Identical twins, on the other hand, do not necessarily run in families. This occurrence is simply a coincidence. Scientists do not even know what causes the cell to split.

Another factor that can increase a woman’s chance of having twins is her age. The older a woman is, the higher her chances of giving birth to fraternal twins are. While age plays a huge role, the biggest contributor to the increasing number of twins is fertility treatments. With the increase in technology, more women can get fertility treatments to help them get pregnant.

Things you should know

Twins at the beach

Figuring out what you should know about having twins may feel a little overwhelming. If you do happen to get pregnant with twins, just know that you are now considered a high-risk patient. Many issues can occur when a woman is pregnant with twins. For example, women having twins are more likely to have a preterm birth. This is when the baby is born too early. Preterm birth can lead to a baby with health issues, although not always the case. Women expecting twins are also more likely to need a cesarean section when giving birth. Part of this is because both babies may not be in the right position for a natural birth.  Carrying twins makes it all the more necessary to be proactive in your prenatal health.

Related: Great Products to Use While Pregnant

Sources

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/multiple.htm

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324455#what-increases-the-chance

https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/ConditionsAndTreatments/twins-identical-and-fraternal

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Why Having a Baby Can Be Rewarding

Many people focus so much on what can go wrong and what is difficult about having a baby. However, not enough people focus on why having a baby can be rewarding. Here are some of the most rewarding things about having a baby according to veteran moms out there.

Seeing the world through their eyes

Babies are seeing the world for the first time. Everything is new and exciting for them. Watching a baby witness the world for the first time can help remind you how amazing this world is. Babies and toddlers also have such huge imaginations. It can be so fun to see the world through their eyes again like you once did as a kid. Taking a child to a fun museum or an aquarium can become a lot more exciting just to see their eyes light up in amazement.

Unconditional love

A new baby can be hard. They cry, scream, poop, and throw up all day long. Sometimes mothers struggle with postpartum depression after having their baby. Even after these difficult moments, just about any mother knows the feeling of unconditional love for their baby. Not only that, but babies also tend to have unconditional love for their mothers. This means that no matter how messy the house is or how distant your friends have become; your baby will love and adore you.

Higher expectations for yourself

Something many new mothers may feel are higher expectations for themselves. While no mother should ever feel inadequate, it may be a great wake-up call to those who need it. Whether you have been wanting to take better care of your health, quit a bad habit, or look for a better paying job, now is the time! Once your baby is born, they will rely on you for everything and you will need to be there for them physically and mentally. While this can be difficult, it can feel so rewarding.

New mom friends

A mother playing with her baby

For those who love to socialize, having a baby can open a new world of friends with babies just like yourself. This does not mean you should ditch the great friends you currently have. It just means you now have a new group of women you can relate with. They are probably more willing to hang out at a park or a zoo with you all day than your single friends from college who spend their free time at parties.

It is important to remember that all parents experience things differently. Some mothers may have other opinions on why having a baby can be rewarding. Taking care of the health of you and your baby are also important. Learn more about Liquid Health’s Prenatal Multi and if a liquid vitamin is a good option for you.

Sources

https://www.parents.com/baby/new-parent/emotions/9-ways-life-is-better-with-baby/

 

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How Babies Get Their Eye Color

One thing many new parents wonder about is what eye color their babies are going to have. Genetics is what determines eye color. However, there are many different types of genetics involved. This can make it difficult to know exactly what color a baby’s eyes will be. Here are how babies get their eye color.

How Babies Get Their Eye Color

A baby staring with wide eyes

One thing many people may not realize is that eye color is not final when a baby is just born. It may take months for a baby’s eyes to change and even a year until the eyes have finished changing. When a baby is born, their eyes will most likely be either dark gray or blue. However, there are some babies born with their eyes already brown or hazel. A baby’s eyes could stay that color, but most will not. They are usually born with eyes lighter because of a lack of melanin from being in the dark for so long. Melanin is what determines skin color as well. The more melanin a person has, the darker their skin or eyes will be. Melanin develops over time in the eyes. This means it may take a baby with brown eyes almost a year until their eyes have finished changing color.

Although not always the case, a baby’s eye color usually depends on the eye colors of their parents. Parents who both have brown or blue eyes have a very high chance of having a baby with the same eye color. In the past, it was believed that parents who both had brown eyes could not have a baby with blue eyes. However, this is not the case. There is not a single gene that determines eye color, but many different genes. This means that babies can be born with just about any eye color ranging from blue to brown.

Different Eye Colors

Brown eyes are also a dominant gene. This means that more people in the world have brown eyes than blue or green, amber, or hazel. Almost 80% of the world has brown eyes. One rare eye condition is called heterochromia. This is when the eyes are more than one color. This can occur in both pupils, but usually just in one. However, the rarest eye colors are red and violet. These eye colors are only present in babies with severe forms of albinism. Although you will not be able to predict the color of your baby’s eyes until they are born, preparation for a newborn is important. Follow the link for some tips for preparing for your newborn.

Sources

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/Pages/Newborn-Eye-Color.aspx

https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/primer/traits/eyecolor

https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/which-eye-color-is-the-most-common-in-the-world.html

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Important Things to do Before Pregnancy

Many people consumed by thoughts of everything they need to get done once they find out they are pregnant. However, not everyone thinks too much about what you need to do before getting pregnant. For a healthier pregnancy, women should start preparing before hand. Here are some important things to do before pregnancy.

Start taking a prenatal vitamin

All women are told by their doctors to take prenatal vitamins throughout their pregnancy. However, you should begin to take them months ahead of time if possible. Taking a prenatal with all of the vital vitamins and minerals is very important. One of the main things women need while pregnant is folic acid.

Stop drinking alcohol

Alcohol is one of the worst things for a developing baby. That is why avoiding alcohol is one of the most important things to do before pregnancy. Drinking alcohol while pregnant can lead to serious health problems for a baby. These can include poor growth, problems with learning, thinking, and speech, behavior problems, and even heart problems.

Stop smoking/taking drugs

Smoking and drugs are also extremely dangerous for a developing baby. Smoking increases your chance of having a miscarriage, premature baby, or even giving birth to a baby with a low weight. Keep in mind that drugs can linger in the body even after quitting. That is why quitting before trying to conceive is ideal.

Limit caffeine

While trying to conceive, doctors recommend either limiting or cutting off caffeine intake. While less than 200 milligrams of caffeine is not dangerous, large amounts can potentially cause miscarriage.

Get in Shape

Getting in shape before becoming pregnant will help you have a healthier pregnancy. Women who exercise regularly should aim to exercise at least 30 minutes a day while pregnant. Those who do not and are out of shape should take it slow around 10-15 minutes and work their way up. Getting in shape before pregnancy and continuing to work out while pregnant will also help you have an easier recovery after the baby is born.

Have a check-up with your doctor

Once you are pregnant, you will spend a lot of time in and out of your doctor’s office for check-ups to make sure you and the baby are healthy. However, having a check-up with your doctor before trying to conceive is not a bad idea either.

Visit your dentist

What many people also do not know is that your chances of gum disease increase when you are pregnant. To avoid this, visit your dentist and get those pearly whites cleaned up and ready to go.

Save your money

It’s no secret that having a baby is expensive. That is why couples should try to save up as much as they can before trying to conceive. Even with insurance, most couples could pay at least a couple thousand dollars.

Sources

https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007454.htm

https://www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/publications/features/pregnancy-and-oral-health.html

https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/basic_information/health_effects/pregnancy/index.htm

https://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Exercise-During-Pregnancy?IsMobileSet=false