Ever considered using a doula to help you through labor and delivery?
There are so many benefits of doulas, and it’s not just for moral support. Science has proven that having the support of a doula through labor, delivery and in the postpartum period can lead to better health for mom and baby. For most women, the process of giving birth can be extremely frightening and stressful and a doula can ease some of that stress. Having someone in your corner that will put your needs first is something all moms can benefit from.
Let’s be truthful here, giving birth is no easy task. It’s called labor for a reason. First-time mothers experience it on even another level due to the fear of the unknown. To the dismay of many moms-to-be, the medical community took a natural process and made it into a sterile procedure to be feared. The birthing mom was isolated in a stark, cold room to give birth in an unnatural position, separated from loved ones, and without support. Fortunately, the medical community has finally begun to come around to what works for a new mom and her baby.
The scientific community began to realize that perhaps the ways of modern medicine did not work well for the most natural process on our planet, and that is giving birth. After many compelling studies, scientists discovered that stress-free labor had many benefits to both the mother and infant. They found thatdoulas played a significant role in providing a stress-free environment, aiding in an uncomplicated birth.
Mothers who received doula support during labor and the birthing process experienced less pain as well as a shorter labor duration. This was a result of the confidence they felt in their abilities, knowing that they had the full emotional and physical support of a doula by their side. In addition to this, they also had fewer incidents of cesareans, epidurals, and the use of invasive birthing instruments.
A mother who experiences stress-free labor without invasive intervention due to the support of a doula will also have a stronger bonding connection with her newborn. Both mother and child come together in the world for the first time in a positive atmosphere. Studies have not only shown that this type of birth increases positive mother-infant interaction but also boosts early breastfeeding scores.
Scientific studies have forced the medical community to realize that there are so many benefits of doulas for a laboring mother that it can no longer be ignored.
Here are 17 evidence-based benefits, including infants with higher Apgar scores, reduced postpartum depression, and fewer birth complications.
Neve is a pragmatic and encouraging natural birth advocate. She loves science and hates dogma, and she tries hard to empower women with information while steering clear of criticism and judgment. A mother of three, Neve is also chief researcher and editor at WeTheParents. You can catch her on Twitter and Facebook.
While it’s great that science is able to prove the benefits of doulas, it’s also just plain common sense. Even if you have a supportive spouse or friend with you, it doesn’t often compare to the experience of a trained doula. Having someone who is completely devoted to your care and well being during one of the most intense moments of your life is a luxury that all mothers should have access to.
Have you used a doula for your labor and delivery? We’d love to hear more about your experience. Feel free to contact us or leave a comment!
Finding out that you’re pregnant is an incredibly exciting, but also terrifying moment, especially if it’s the first time. Your initial reaction is going to be one of joy, but then you’re going to start thinking about all of the things that you need to sort out before the baby arrives and all of the difficult pregnancy stuff that you have to deal with. It’s easy to start panicking here but that’s the worst thing that you can do.
There are some important things that you need to sort in the first few weeks and months of the pregnancy and the sooner you get it done, the sooner you can start preparing yourself. As soon as you find out that you are expecting, subscribe for monthly Bump Boxes to make your pregnancy go smoothly.
These are the things that you should do when you find out that you’re pregnant.
Calculate Your Due Date
The first thing that you need to know is when the baby is going to arrive, so you need to calculate your due date. You can use this calculator to work out roughly when your baby is due. The reading from the calculator isn’t going to be completely accurate but it will give you a rough idea of when the baby is likely to arrive, so you know how long you have to sort everything out. When you go in for a scan, you’ll get a more accurate due date, but this initial estimate is useful to have right away.
Next, you need to get in touch with your doctor and let them know that you are pregnant. They will set up a booking appointment which usually happens around 8 to 10 weeks into your pregnancy. They may want to see you right away but it differs depending on the doctor and your medical history, but they will tell you when you need to see them.
Consider Legal Issues
This isn’t something that people think about as much but when you have a baby on the way, there are certain legal issues to deal with, so it’s a good idea to hire a family lawyer right away. You will need to update your will to include your new baby and some couples like to put a parenting agreement in place to decide what happens should the relationship break down. It’s not a nice thought but you have to put the needs of your child first, so it’s worth considering.
Tell Family And Friends
Lastly, it’s time to tell your family and friends the good news. A lot of people prefer to wait until around 10 or 12 weeks because the chance of miscarriage drops drastically after that. This is one of the most exciting parts about the early pregnancy stages because you get to share your amazing news with those closest to you and they can get started with planning the baby shower. If you’re going to put an announcement on social media, make sure that you tell family and close friends in person beforehand, otherwise, they might feel that they were missed out.
You’ve got a long road ahead of you and there are so many other things to arrange, but these are some of the first things that you need to do when you first find out that you are pregnant. Once these things are taken care of, you can focus on some of the more fun stuff, like designing the nursery, and choosing baby clothes and equipment. Most importantly, educate yourself on what to expect after baby arrives, especially on maintaining your own mental health.
P.S. Thinking about the baby shower?
A baby is always a reason to celebrate and a fun time to gather all your loved ones together to take part in welcoming your bundle of joy. But, between baby shower invites, food, decor, gifts and preparing all the final details for your baby shower, you may be forgetting the most important part, baby shower games.
Keeping the guests entertained is not always an easy task, especially if they don’t all know each other. That’s why games are just the perfect ice breakers. To make life a little easier, feel free to assign the task to someone who will take care of handing out printables, reading the rules to your guests and choosing the prizes for the winners.
This list has plenty of games to enjoy: Baby’s First Book, Baby Bingo, Mommy Trivia, Nursery Rhyme lyrics and 20 additional family-friendly games for everyone. Keeping the party filled with joy and laughter is the perfect beginning to a baby’s life. Download some of these free printable games for your baby shower!
Practicing self care during pregnancy can benefit moms as well as their growing babies.
Expectant mothers have a lot on their minds, in addition to making it through the discomforts and excitement of pregnancy. These pregnancy self care tips are something all moms can try in order to ease symptoms of prenatal depression, anxiety, stress and to ensure a healthy 9 months for both mom and baby.
Pregnancy is a time of massive change in a woman’s life, and becoming a mom brings the most significant life transformation ever. Society tells us that pregnancy is a magical time, and while this is true, it is also a time of many other emotions too.
Many women can feel overwhelmed by the prospect of their impending arrival and may feel anxious about what they will experience as life as a parent. With such a life-changing moment just around the corner, it can help to put some self-care habits into place to help you feel as prepared as possible for your new baby’s arrival, and to make the rest of your pregnancy as relaxed as it can be. As soon as you find out that you are expecting, subscribe for monthly Bump Boxes to make your pregnancy go smoothly.
Eating a healthy, balanced diet is of course always important, but doing so in pregnancy can feel like a challenge if you are suffering from morning sickness, or worse still, hyperemesis gravidarum. Trying to eat a diet which is as healthy as it can be is not only a great way to keep yourself feeling good but could also keep your baby healthier in the future too.
According to the Early Life Nutrition Coalition, the First 1000 Days are a crucial time, where your diet can impact on the chances of your child becoming obese in the future, and can also affect them having allergies.
What you eat at the preconception stage and throughout pregnancy is worth considering carefully to get your child off to the best start in life.
Mindfulness is a powerful tool to use in life in general but can come in especially handy during pregnancy and your life as a parent. Mindfulness is all about bringing your attention to the present moment and letting your thoughts come and go. With regular practice, mindfulness becomes second nature for use at times of anxiety and stress.
Keeping calm, and practicing mindfulness should help you from worrying about future scenarios, and past events, enabling you to focus on the here and now, and yourself and your baby.
During pregnancy, you will probably need to change your existing exercise routine if it could be unsafe to follow during your pregnancy. Although you may have to put your usual routine on hold for a little while, you can try out some completely different activities instead, which will provide you with some gentle exercise.
Pregnancy yoga is a popular choice of exercise, which is no surprise as it offers many reputed benefits. Pregnancy yoga enables you to focus on your growing baby without all the interruptions of everyday life to disturb you. Your yoga session should fit well with your mindfulness practice, meaning that you can relax and exercise all at the same time, which should leave you feeling much calmer after the session. Joining a pregnancy yoga class is also great for making friends with other local expectant moms, and if you keep in touch, your baby will have a ready-made friendship group as soon as they are born!
All women experience pregnancy differently but one thing remains the same. It’s a time to prepare for the changes ahead. Once baby arrives, life will become significantly different. Taking the time to focus on yourself now, means that baby will also benefit from your peaceful state. Using some of these pregnancy self care tips will give you a head start for maintaining your self care routine once you’re juggling the demands of a newborn baby.
Nine months of pregnancy goes by faster than we think.
These maternity photo shoot ideas submitted by Madison fromMILK Booksare a great way to help document your pregnancy. Whether you had a glowing nine months or were burdened with complications, the miracle of birth will always be beautiful.
In the early postpartum days while you’re battling the baby blues, you can look back at the incredible feat you’ve accomplished and feel proud of yourself. And as your children grow older, they may be curious to see how your body changed while you carried them.
Check out these adorable and creative maternity photo shoot ideas for inspiration.
Pregnancy is probably one of the most beautiful chapters in a woman’s life. The nine months of struggles and excitement is surely a collection of memories worth documenting, hoping that you’ll forever encapsulate the story of carrying the greatest blessing of your life through photos.
To celebrate the beautiful changes in your life and body during the odyssey of your pregnancy, here are 20 adorable maternity photo shoot ideas you must try!
1. Take the ocean (or lake) as your aquatic backdrop
Seeing the waves of the ocean or the flow of clear river water brings us a tide of peace and good vibes. No explanation needed. So if you’re looking for a relaxed maternity shoot idea, and you have this undying love for the beauty of aquatic nature, grab your flowing dresses and flower crowns, head on the nearest beach, and get posin’ with a body of water in the background.
Or you could pose in a dock near you, stand in the center, and let the wind blow away your dress while looking at a distance. Plus aesthetic points if you’re shooting when the sun is setting down to its slumber! If you want to be a little more creative, you can dive and pose underwater, or jump into the water until your bump is submerged deep.
2. Bring out the best of your humorous and punny side
This maternity shoot idea is the perfect opportunity to show you and your husband’s funny side.
For instance, you can find a “Bump Ahead” sign on the streets, pose with your husband, and show off your belly, looking confused as to which bump the sign is referring to. You can make fun of your weird cravings by posing with your those strange food combinations you find satisfying. You can also huff and puff some balloons, with hands on your bump and gum on the mouth, and hold a chalkboard that says “About to pop!” Like this one:
3. Get your husband to pretend as the pregnant one
Ah, guys and other adorable beer bellies. If you’re feeling a bit camera shy, or if you want an extension of idea #2, this one’s a good and fun idea to do.
Have your husband pose as the pregnant one, expose his round belly, and let your camera lens capture his proud moment of being a dad and his drinking accomplishment.
Or you could hide in a tree or wall with your bump exposed halfway, and have your husband pretend it’s his baby bump. Take a look at how this couple did just that:
4. Include the whole family in the shot
Let your family show their excitement with the new addition in the gang! This maternity photo could double as a family portrait too. You and your family can do a simple pose in front of the camera, wearing your beautiful smiles and matching outfits.
The older sibling/s can also be the subject of the photo, holding a chalkboard with a sign saying “I’m going to be a big brother/sister!” or holding your bump while smiling at you or at the camera.
You can also ask the women in your family – mom, sister, grandma, your daughter – and do a timeline photo, showing the different generations of your family.
5. Soak in a milk bath
Add that pure and innocent aesthetic to your maternity photos by soaking into a tub full of flowing milk. Just fill your bathtub 1/4 all the way, add milk and corn starch (for that thick texture) and soak in with your all-white lace dress. If you’re feeling a little daring, go au naturel. To complete the look, sprinkle some petals from your favorite flowers in the tub. The colorful, the better!
6. Silhouette photos for that intimate tone
Silhouette photos are not that complicated to take. You and your husband can do this by yourselves! Just grab your DSLRs and tripod, or your smartphones with good cameras, and do your best pose in front of the windows at home.
If you want to achieve a darker silhouette, close the curtains and leave a little gap for the light to come through. Otherwise, open the curtains wide and let the sunshine flow through.
7. Embrace the beauty of nature
Are you living in an area with beautiful fields nearby? Or perhaps you and your husband are hardcore nature lovers who have visited different hiking trails, sanctuaries, and forests, and decided to take nature with your maternity photos?
In that case, get out there and find the best spots where you feel like one with nature. If you have a backyard with a few towering trees, lush greenery, and colorful flowers, you can do your photo shoot close to home! Or as mentioned, you can visit your favorite nature spot, a sanctuary for example, and pose and capture as many photos as you can.
8. Show the beauty of pregnancy with studio photos
Want to keep it simple and professional? Visit a photography studio near you and have your intimate black-and-white photos taken by a professional photographer. You can do simple poses with your husband here, like him hugging you and your baby bump, or an all-smile photo with both of you looking at the camera.
Or you can have a solo portrait-type photo where you’re clothed in a black dress that hugs your beautiful body and that precious bump. You can also pose with wearing only your underwear to showcase the natural, no-filter side of being a soon-to-be-mother.
9. Bring your pet friends along
Pets + babies = cuteness overload!
If you’re an animal lover, then it’s mandatory to include your fur babies or your favorite animals in your maternity photos. Play around with your pets and let your carefree side show naturally in the photo!
You can also have your dogs and/or cats play as the older siblings by dressing them up and have them carry a sign that says I’m waiting for my human brother/sister.
10. Make your hobbies as the focus theme
Got a passion for good melodies? Show them in your photos, with your beloved musical instruments as props. Are you a bookworm at heart? Pose with your favorite books. This is an easy photo idea to do, since you already have the props needed, and you can shoot whenever and wherever you like.
If your kid/s follow the same hobby in the future, you can bring out your photo books full of your maternity photos and share stories of how you pursue your passion.
11. Take the baby stuff out and use them as props
Have you shopped for the necessary items for your coming bundle of joy? Then you already have a perfect set of props to use for your maternity photos!
Borrow the new baby shoes for a while and use it as the main focus of your photos, with you and your husband sitting blurred in the background. Or get playful and have fun with the baby mobile.
12. Flaunt your sexy side
Don’t be afraid to flaunt your curves and show the world you’ve always had that alluring side to your personality.
Grab your sexy black dress and let it hug every inch of your curves in a high contrast photo! Or if you’re feeling a little bit daring, wear your sexiest underwear underneath a thin robe.
13. Channel your inner Audrey Hepburn and embrace your vintage soul
If you’re an old soul at heart with a thing for vintage fashion and throwback aesthetics, this your chance to channel your inner Audrey Hepburn. Bring out those vintage display items hanging out in your shelves and cupboards for your props, hang a vintage floral cloth, and voila – DIY vintage studio! You can also keep it simple and wear your cutesy vintage dresses with a flower in your ears and holding a balloon in the street.
14. Have fun with a season-themed photo shoot
One good thing about seasons – no matter the weather is, there’s always a location and mood perfect for your photo shoot. Take the summer season for example. You can catch the natural sunshine glow in your photos during this season, which strikes the ocean waves and beach glow better than the other seasons.
15. Bumps and sonograms
Sonogram maternity photos are the perfect way to announce that you’re expecting and the gender of your baby.
You can pose whichever way you want, whether solo or with your husband (or your older kids), but the general idea here is to hold the sonogram closer to the camera, with you in the background.
16. Turn your body into a canvas
Showcase your artistic side and use your body as a canvas for a beautiful painting. You can paint a nature-themed image in your baby bump, some cartoons for the childish vibes, a group of cute animals, or maybe a cartoon depiction of your coming baby.
17. A before-and-after photo
This one here is the perfect idea to showcase the joy of being a mother, the thrill of carrying your bundle of joy for nine months and the excitement of finally having your child in your arms.
You can do side view poses here, and during the editing process, you can simply set the before and after photos side by side. Some photographers offer this package, so be sure to ask your hired photographer if they do this kind of shoot.
18. Pretend you’re shooting for a movie poster
Show your love for movies in this maternity shoot idea! The idea is simple: you and your husband will copy your favorite movie’s poster.
To make it more creative, you can put the pun in and create a “pregnant” version of the poster.
Take these witty movie posters for inspiration:
19. Don’t forget the candids
Sometimes, the best maternity photos just come out naturally. Candid photos are great because they show the real struggles and beauty of pregnancy. Those stolen shots of your smiles while the baby takes his/her first kick, the constant checking in the mirror for your growing bump – you’re bound to produce an album of priceless maternity photos with just these ideas.
20. Go for the traditional look
Embrace the beauty of ethnic culture with ethnic-inspired outfits with popping colors, big hoop earrings, a turban-like headwrap, and some quirky bracelets. A beautiful landscape in the background would complete the breathtaking photos!
Madison is a content creator for MILK Books. If she’s not perusing pregnancy or maternal related blogs or writing for MILK, she spends her time making sure her 2 little “offsprings” don’t get into trouble.
Having a miscarriage can be one of the most heartbreaking and devastating moments in a mother’s life.
At the time, it’s hard to imagine ever being able to move on. It doesn’t matter how far along the pregnancy was, and it doesn’t matter if you were able to hold that baby or not – the loss of a life you didn’t even get a chance to know is what hurts the most. Years afterwards, you will wonder “what if” that baby had survived. But as with all things, only time will heal the pain.
Moving on after a miscarriage doesn’t mean forgetting about it.
The word “miscarriage“ is used to describe an early pregnancy loss. This is the time frame during which a baby could not survive if delivered, usually anything less than 20 – 24 weeks.
If the baby dies in the womb after 20 weeks, it is referred to as a stillbirth.
If a baby is delivered after 20 – 24 weeks, but is alive, then it is a premature birth and doctors will do everything in their power to save that baby’s life. Premature babies as young as 22 weeks gestation have been known to survive outside the womb.
Miscarriage is more common than we think it is. The rates are around 10 – 15% of pregnancies and are higher in the first few weeks(less than 8 weeks) and continue to drop each week as the pregnancy progresses. It’s common for women to wait until the end of the first trimester to get their hopes up about a pregnancy, but miscarriage can still occur well into the second trimester.
There are several different causes of miscarriage. Whatever the cause is, it means that the pregnancy was just not viable. Often, there is no way to avoid it or stop it from happening. There are some things you can do to try to prevent another miscarriage from happening but these are not foolproof options.
My Miscarriage Story
Three months after my husband and I were married, I took a pregnancy test after having a late period. It was positive! I was thrilled, because I had gotten a negative test result the month before. I immediately made a doctor’s appointment for the next day and went to bed with my little secret. The next morning, I woke up to blood. If it wasn’t for the positive test, I would have assumed it was my normal monthly period. My doctor confirmed that it was a miscarriage caused by a chemical pregnancy.
I was pregnant for less than 24 hours but the news of this miscarriage still hit me hard.
Why was I so affected by this news? It was barely a baby – just a fertilized egg. I didn’t even have time to dream of the future or buy a tiny baby outfit. But despite all of that, I felt sad. I grieved the loss of this tiny baby that could have been. After that, we stopped trying so hard to have a baby. I wasn’t sure that I could handle another loss like that.
Four months later, another pregnancy test came back positive.
A small part of me felt terrified, but mostly, I was excited. I felt ready to try again. I had read about how common miscarriage was and it felt like I had gotten it over with and could now focus on moving forward.
This time, I insisted that we tell our family about it. If, by chance, the pregnancy did end in miscarriage again, I thought it would be better to have some more support. We wrapped up a tiny pair of baby shoes and presented them to each of our parents. Seeing the joy and excitement on their faces was 100% worth it.
As my pregnancy progressed, I experienced normal symptoms. I had cravings, tender breasts, gained weight and an occasional moment of morning sickness. When I made it to 12 weeks, I let out a huge sigh of relief. We excitedly announced the pregnancy to our friends, co-workers and all of social media.
One afternoon, at 14 weeks pregnant, I felt like something just wasn’t right.
I don’t know what it was exactly, but I had some pain in my lower back and just a bad feeling overall. Hoping that I was just paranoid, we went to the emergency room on a Sunday night, where we waited for several hours to see a doctor. As we waited there, the pain got significantly worse and was accompanied by cramping, as well as lower back pain.
We finally got in to see a doctor who reassured me that everything was fine. He performed an internal exam and confirmed that the cervix was still closed. He also listened to the baby’s heartbeat. (Now, if you’ve ever tried to listen to a fetal doppler, you realize how confusing it can be to an untrained ear. There are blood gushing sounds, static and you can also hear mom’s heartbeat. So when a trained doctor told me that he heard baby’s heartbeat, I trusted him.) They sent me home with an ultrasound appointment for the next morning. I slept well that night, knowing that my baby was safe and sound.
The morning of the ultrasound, I was excited to get my first look at our baby.
That first ultrasound is something every mother looks forward to – no matter what the situation is. My husband and I went in there with high hopes, certain that everything was perfectly fine. The ultrasound technician performed an external and an internal ultrasound. When he pulled out the wand they use for the internal ultrasound, it was covered in what looked like old, dried blood.
I didn’t think much of it. I didn’t even bat an eye when he said he would be right back and came back into the room with another technician, who looked at the ultrasound images, and then they both left again. But then a doctor came into the room and introduced herself.
“I’m sorry, but we weren’t able to detect a heartbeat.”
What she said after that was mostly a blur because I was in a state of shock. I felt completely blindsided by this news. After getting checked out the night before, I felt reassured that my baby was fine. In fact, I thought it was silly that I was worrying over nothing.
She recommended a D & C procedure since the miscarriage had not spontaneously happened on its own. I’m pretty sure I only nodded while trying to hold back tears, but as soon as she left the room I burst out crying and collapsed into my husband’s arms.
My husband took care of the arrangements for the procedure, helped me get dressed and led me out into the car. He called our parents with the news and asked them to let everyone know what had happened.
I just stared. I barely blinked. I didn’t say a word. He didn’t say a word either, but simply held my hand and drove. He drove and drove and before I knew it, we ended up at the lake. It was one of our favorite getaway spots. We sat side by side on a bench by the lake and he held me as I cried. It was our way of saying goodbye to the baby that would have been.
Moving On After Miscarriage
Two short months after that miscarriage I became pregnant with who is now our 8 year old son. My previous experience ruined the first few months of my pregnancy with him. I didn’t acknowledge the pregnancy and wasn’t excited or anxious to tell everyone this time. I was just waiting for the other shoe to drop. But life has a way of surprising us…
At 8 weeks along, I woke up in a pool of blood.
“Oh no, here we go again” I thought, but I wasn’t even sad this time. Part of me felt liberated for being right not to get my hopes up. We were living a real-life Groundhog day as we ended up in the emergency room that night. After explaining what we had just gone through, the doctor brought in a mobile ultrasound machine so that we could have some peace of mind.
I refused to look at the ultrasound screen. In my mind, I was mentally preparing myself for another round of bad news.
“Your baby looks perfectly healthy”
And there, on the screen, was a tiny little cashew, squirming and dancing around. It was one of the most beautiful things I had ever seen in my entire life.
Shortly after that incident, my baby gave me a constant reminder that he was thriving. It came in the form of hyperemesis gravidarum for 9 long months. No matter how sick and nauseated I felt, I knew it meant that my baby was still alive.
Now that life is consumed with my three healthy children, my two lost babies don’t often come up in conversation.
I think about them when I hear of someone else’s loss.
I think about them every time I see a pregnancy announcement.
I think about them whenever I am in an emergency room or getting an ultrasound.
I think about them when I am sitting by the lake.
But mostly, I don’t think about them at all.
Thankfully, I’ve been able to move on from the loss and grief and sadness and find happiness in my other children. But just because I don’t talk about it, or even think about it, doesn’t mean those babies didn’t mean the world to me. Moving after after miscarriage is a normal part of the grieving process and no one should ever feel guilty for doing it.
October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.
Light a candle at 7 pm to remember all the tiny lives we never had the chance to get to know.
There is a lot of information available about what is safe and unsafe to do while pregnant. The conflicting information can often cause a lot of anxiety for new mothers-to-be. While it’s always best to follow your doctor’s advice, there are some common pregnancy misconceptions and mistakes that moms should try to avoid doing.
This guest post by JOJO from Check Pregnancy highlights some information that is important for pregnant women to focus on.
*This post may contain affiliate links. This is a guest post and all advice and opinions are those of the author.*
The subject of pregnancy is one that is surrounded by misconceptions and mistakes. From questions about the effects of pre-cum pregnancy, STDs, feeding and medication during pregnancy, to antenatal visits – lots of confusion exists. In addition to the top 4 questions about pre-cum pregnancy, here are some other helps to common mistakes surrounding pregnancy.
Eating For Two
The daily calorie requirement of women is between 1800 and 2000 calories;however, babies only need about 300 calories. So, taking in double the adult calorie requirement is not needed for the baby to grow and develop.
On the contrary, what the baby needs is proper nutrition. Taking in too much calories will lead to excess weight which can increase the risk of gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia and the probability of needing a C-section.
Women who eat too much food during pregnancy are encouraged to check their diet and stick to fruits, green and raw vegetables, nuts and eggs. Be hydrated and eat balanced meals during the day.
Pregnant women are advised to stay away from paracetamol, antacids and acne creams. Self-medication and over-the-counter medicines can be harmful to the health of the mother and the baby. The baby may develop congenital abnormalities.Only take pills and medicine recommended by your doctor.
Sacrificing sleep during pregnancy to achieve work-life balance is detrimental to the health of you and your baby. The changes that the body undergoes (physical and hormonal) usually require that the you get more sleep.
The less you sleep, the more fatigued you get during pregnancy. Losing sleep also has a cumulative effect on the ability of the body to handle the strain of labor and delivery. Additionally, exercise helps prepare the body for the labor and delivery process.
Endeavor to get enough sleep, while also avoiding oversleeping. The effect of oversleeping is that it makes the body desire more sleep, which can cause problems post-delivery when the baby’s sleep cycle is erratic.
Waiting to Talk to Baby
Experts recommend that mothers bond with their babies by talking to the baby-bump. Do no wait for the baby to kick till you place your hands on your belly and speak to it while gently caressing it. The activity stimulates the baby’s senses. As soon as you find out that you are expecting, subscribe for monthly Bump Boxes to make your pregnancy go smoothly.
Indulging in Comfort foods
Avoiding sweet intake and sugary treats reduces your chance of gestational diabetes and other related problems. Sugary foods can increase anxiety levels and affect the well-being of the baby. Those extra bars of chocolate and spicy fried foods are harmful. Stay away from them.
Failing to Exercise
There will always be a million reasons not to exercise, especially when you are pregnant. After all, it’s nice to just sit back and relax. Some would say that activities such as taking the stairs, daily commute, doing household chores already constitute enough exercises.
However, engaging in more deliberate exercise (especially when they are routine) helps boost circulation, combat stress, help in fetal growth, and prepare the body for labor and pregnancy.
It is recommended that you start exercising in the early days of pregnancy and discuss your exercise plan with your doctor so that they can recommend how best to go about it. Avoid drastic exercise routines or new challenges during pregnancy as they could be counterproductive.
JOJO Yang is a writer from Check Pregnancy, her passion is providing helpful information for mommy and baby’s health. More than just focus on basic knowledge about health, this website also focuses on how to establish a good parent-child relationship. You can also find some fun reviews and topics, just visit Check Pregnancy to see more. You can check the new posts on Facebook: @Checkpregnancy.com
Snoring during pregnancy is something that many women experience, even if they’ve never had a problem with snoring before. It often goes away afterwards, but sometimes it can become a permanent and chronic problem.
In this guest post from Robert J. Hudson of SnoreNation.com, learn about the different ways to battle snoring during pregnancy.
*This post may contain affiliate links* *This is a guest post and all opinions are those of the author and not necessarily those of runningintriangles.com.
Pregnant women undergo tremendous physical changes during as well as after their pregnancy’s tenure. Snoring is something that is commonly noticed in all pregnant women. Although harmless in nature, snoring during pregnancy can get a little annoying after sometime, especially for the partner. In this detailed article, we will take you through some effective remedial measures you can take to get over this irritating problem!
When you’re fast asleep, your mouth’s soft palate, which is situated on the mouth’s roof gets relaxed. Passage of air through this relaxed palate causes it to vibrate and produce the snoring sound. Such snoring is quite commonly found in both women and men. However, when it comes to pregnant women, they are bound to snore more aggressively and often, compared to normal women and men. It must be noted that snoring during pregnancy can become quite embarrassing and may turn out to be a major problem for the partner. Hence, it is essential to tackle it at its root and do away with it as soon as possible.
The rate and intensity of snoring may increase dramatically in pregnant women as their term progresses. It may also indicate that the person is receiving reduced supply of oxygen.
Let’s now get to the well-known causes and remedies of snoring problem in pregnant women.
Pregnant women need to be very careful about what they eat, including the medications and food. It is not advisable to start consuming just about any OTC (over the counter) medicines and/or supplements without consulting a qualified gynecologist. If not addressed in time, the snoring problem can turn chronic and in some cases may even hamper the proper growth of the fetus.
Following are some important reasons why pregnant women snore all the more, along with the remedies.
The posture in which you sleep has a lot of effect on the snoring habit. It is advisable that you sleep in a comfortable posture to avoid putting any pressure on your normal breathing. Try sleeping on your side, instead of back and keep an additional pillow under your head to improve air passage. Furthermore, doctors suggest that you must avoid use of any sleeping pills or sedatives while trying to treat the snoring habit.
Disturbed sleeping patterns are also one of the most often noticed causes of snoring during pregnancy. Insufficient sleep can cause an expecting mother to experience major hormonal and emotional changes. Consumption of caffeinated drinks or alcohol can also disturb the sleep patterns. If possible, avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks at all cost, apart from the smoking habit during your pregnancy. These can be very harmful for the child. Instead, opt for cold milk just before you go to sleep. Having a tablespoonful of olive oil each day is also known to have positive effect on snoring.
Experienced gynecologists throughout the world encourage pregnant women to indulge in short morning and evening walks. Going on such walks can have a positive impact on your breathing and improve the oxygen supply to your body. Performing certain breathing exercise on a daily basis can also prove to be quite effective in overcoming the snoring during pregnancy.
Weight gain is something that all women go through when they are pregnant, and it is one of the most significant causes of snoring during pregnancy. As their body mass increases with each passing day, pregnant women undergo expansion in their muscles. The muscles located in their throat and nose also undergo expansion, which can contribute to the snoring habit. Although this is something that is inevitable, you can definitely manage it better to prevent it from becoming a hassle in your everyday life. Please keep in mind that if you follow any weight management routine during pregnancy, it should not interfere with your body’s nutritional requirements. It’ll be better if you consult your gynecologist and perform some mild exercise on a daily basis to address the weight gain problem in a safe manner.
Sleep apnea is another important health condition that causes the snoring problem in pregnant women. This condition can develop if the woman is experiencing some kind of obstruction inside her nasal passage and doesn’t take timely medical care for its treatment. Such obstruction can reduce the oxygen supply to the brain, possibly resulting in many undesirable complications. In worst cases, sleep apnea can retard or delay the development and growth of fetus, also resulting in death.
Many women who develop snoring during pregnancy are found to be also suffering from pre-eclampsia.Pre-eclampsia is a medical condition in which the pregnant woman’s blood pressure may shoot up every now and then. Its other physical symptoms are liver malfunction, severe headaches, swelling in the extremities, excessive protein in urine etc. If left untreated, pre-eclampsia can lead to complications for both the child and the mother, even putting their lives at risk in some cases. If diagnosed and treated in time, this condition can be controlled effectively and snoring can also be stopped as a result.
Apart from using the treatment methods detailed above, you can also obtain relief from the snoring problem by opting for an anti-snoring mouthpiece, pillows, or nasal strips. Please remember that snoring during pregnancy can be problematic both for your baby and you. If you have tried and tested every method under the sun and are yet experiencing recurring episodes of snoring, contact your obstetrician or gynecologist immediately. And as soon as you find out that you are expecting, subscribe for monthly Bump Boxes to make your pregnancy go smoothly. Here’s wishing you a snoring-free, safe and healthy motherhood!
Chief editor at Snore Nation and a proud father of two cool boys. I am a reformed snorer, a reformed smoker, a reformed overeater, a reformed city dweller and a reformed workaholic stress monster on the mission to share my insider tips to restore that quality sleep for you and your partner!
A postpartum doula is a newer trend in postpartum care but offers many benefits for new mothers.
The term doula seems to be synonymous with labor and childbirth. But what many mothers don’t realize is that the first few months in the postpartum period can be even tougher than childbirth itself. These are the times when mothers need the most support. A postpartum doula is not just for first time mothers either. Those with other children at home often need even MORE support to get the rest they so desperately need.
Having help in the first few months after having a baby can greatly reduce the risk of mothers developing postpartum depression.
In an effort to learn more about what a postpartum doula does, I interviewed Lenamarie Gorski, a birth and postpartum doula from Birth With a Voice Doula Service and fellow postpartum depression survivor.
1. What is a doula?
A doula is a person that assists a woman in labor. We support the women emotionally, spiritually and through the pain. A doula also assists women in the postpartum period because “it takes a village” to care for a newborn.
2. What is the difference between a birth doula and a postpartum doula?
A birth doula usually ends after the birth. There is typically one follow up appointment but then the contract ends. The focus is on the birth, pain management and supporting the birthing mom and her partner.
A postpartum doula is strictly for the period after the birth. The focus is on helping with caring for the infant AND mom! I personally try to keep life as normal as possible during my time with a client.
3. What kind of training do postpartum doulas have?
We typically do workshops. You also are trained in infant CPR as well as breastfeeding for help with the new mom. Certification follows up after the training with work to complete from the accrediting company.
4. What tasks does a postpartum doula do?
A postpartum doula typically does light housework, laundry, preps meals and helps with the infant care as well as breastfeeding. Sometimes we go shopping for the client, anything to keep life moving while the new mom is recovering and adjusting to life with a newborn.
5. What type of shifts does a postpartum doula work?
It really depends on the client. The typical shift is nighttime form 7pm-7am. I have had clients change me from night to day as the baby grew/slept longer at night. I sometimes help them until they can find a nanny (I also have trained nannies to the everyday happenings in the home) or it is time for the baby to start daycare.
6. How many months after birth does a postpartum doula provide service for?
Its typically 12 weeks but we can be there up to 6 months with a client depending on the baby’s sleep patterns. The four month sleep regression can sometimes have clients call us back since it can be rough, especially for two parents expected to be at work or when there are older children in the home.
7. Approximately how much does a postpartum doula cost?
It varies. It can be anywhere from $20.00 an hour to $45.00 an hour. You just need to shop around.
8. Are doula services ever covered by private health insurance?
Currently, no. Unfortunately, this has not yet caught on. In NYC they are going to be covering birth doulas with insurance so I’m hoping this is the beginning of an important trend. However, you can always try! You can submit the bill of the doula to your insurance company and see if they will reimburse.
9. What is the best way to find a postpartum doula where I live?
DoulaMatch.net is a great way! Also, word of mouth! Postpartum, birth groups of your area on Facebook or going to a local birth center. Also, Facebook! You can search “doulas” and Facebook pages of local doulas should come up.
10. How can a postpartum doula help a mother with postpartum depression?
Doulas are not medical professionals but we have resources for moms with PPD. We also help them by listening and supporting them through that time to tell them that they are not alone! Whenever I start with a client I always share my story of PPD, to tell them that I am a safe place and I am not here to judge the. Motherhood is hard, sometimes you just need a safe and understanding place to go to and often times doulas provide that safe place.
Any additional information you would like to provide about postpartum doulas?
A postpartum doula is not a nanny, we often get confused by that. We are infant specialists; this covers swaddling, sleeping, nursing, bottle feeding, etc. We are a valuable resource for moms and I really encourage everyone to spread the word and get some help in the postpartum period.
Lenamarie Gorski is a birth/postpartum doula and mother of five from Philadelphia, PA. Before finding her passion as a doula, she finished her degree in biology with a minor in chemistry, while raising her first two children. Feeling like she was pushed into c-sections, as well as her struggle with postpartum depression, encouraged her to begin her training to help other women.
“When you have a baby you need support, love and guidance no matter if it is your first or your fifth child. Never be ashamed to ask for help, it is a sign of strength not weakness.”
If you’re not familiar with the term precipitous labor, it basically means a labor that lasts less than 3 hours from the start of the first contraction until the baby is born.
It is sometimes referred to as a precipitate birth or delivery, rapid labor, fast labor or a plain, old speedy delivery. While many women who have NOT experienced a precipitous labor might think this sounds like a blessing, it’s not all it’s chalked up to be. For more information on that, you can read my post Precipitous Labor: The Traumatic Truth About a Speedy Delivery.
It’s common to experience a precipitous labor for a second or subsequent delivery, but having one with a first child is pretty rare (like 3% rare). The time frame for recovering from a precipitous labor, however, isn’t different from any other postpartum recovery.
Here’s some important information that moms need to know about recovering from a precipitous labor.
Recovering from a precipitous labor is…
That’s right, a fast labor usually means a fast recovery as well. But don’t start hating on us precipitous laborers just yet…
While laboring quickly generally means less physical trauma and fatigue, it’s not without it’s own set of dangers as well.
Example 1: Tearing
The whole point of moving slowly through the different phases of labor is to help our bodies stretch and prepare for the giant watermelon we’re about to push out of it.
But with a precipitous labor, our body has less time to warm up for the big push and can result in some pretty bad tearing. Usually there isn’t time for an episiotomy, so the degree and direction of tearing can be unpredictable.
Recovering from a precipitous labor can often mean stitches down below. This makes for a very uncomfortable postpartum recovery period (speaking from experience). There are several different home remedies available, but ice will become your best friend.
We’re all supermoms and the faster we can get out of bed after giving birth and back to our regular routine – the stronger we are, right?
We may feel GREAT immediately after a short labor, but that doesn’t mean that our bodies have completely healed. Recovering from a precipitous labor takes just as long as recovering from a non-precipitous labor. The first few hours, days, even weeks after giving birth are essential to the healing process and should never be rushed.
There are several parts of the postpartum recovery period that do NOT occur precipitously.
The uterus needs to shrink back down to it’s normal size and that process can take up to 6 weeks or more. As the uterus contracts back to it’s normal size, some women experience cramping (similar to menstrual cramps), especially while breastfeeding. However, some women do not feel any cramping or discomfort at all.
Everyone experiences it differently, but for me, it was severely worse than the labor pains, and got more intense after each delivery. I was given drugs for the pain, but since I was breastfeeding, I turned to essential oils and heat (both heat bags and stick-on heat pads) to help me get through it instead.
Whether you feel it or not, the uterus is still contracting and will need plenty of time to shrink back down.
Skin to Skin Contact
Stay in bed with that baby! It might be tempting to get up and do things because you feel great but the skin to skin contact in the first 24-48 hours is essential to bonding, breastfeeding success and can help ease symptoms of the baby blues and postpartum depression.
Regardless of where you spend those first few hours after birth, whether it’s a hospital, birth center or in your own home, just stay in the bed and hold that baby for as long as you can. Skin to skin bonding is an important, but often skipped part, of recovering from a precipitous labor.
Don’t underestimate the benefits of skin to skin contact for both mom and baby.
Just like during pregnancy, a postpartum spike in blood pressure can be dangerous. Roughly 24 hours after giving birth to my second child, I experienced something I had NEVER experienced before in my entire life – high blood pressure. I had resumed all my normal activities less than 12 hours after giving birth to her and because of that, my body didn’t have time to heal. In addition to the high blood pressure, I developed a fever, severe headache, nausea, swollen hands and feet, blurred vision and dizzy spells.
It’s called postpartum preeclampsia and it’s rare for women who did not experience preeclampsia while pregnant. Thankfully, some rest helped my blood pressure regulate and I didn’t develop any further complications or need medication but it can become quite serious if left untreated.
Those hormones will be in full swing after giving birth. Recovering from a precipitous labor needs to occur mentally and hormonally as well. For months your body has been working hard to maintain two humans and now it has to adjust back down to one. The baby blues affect nearly 80% of all mothers postpartum, so it’s something to prepare for after giving birth, whether or not you’ve had a precipitous labor.
Hormonal imbalances, unfortunately, don’t often work themselves out precipitously…
Let me be clear when I say that there is no known link between precipitous labor and postpartum depression. Many believe that a traumatic labor can lead to postpartum depression but precipitous labor is not always a traumatic experience. In fact, many women who have one really DO feel lucky and blessed that they were spared a long labor and delivery.
In my own, personal postpartum depression story, I talk about how I rushed through my recovery with my second child and eventually wound up getting postpartum depression. I can’t say for certain that it had anything at all to do with my mental state, but I DO regret rushing my postpartum recovery period.
Whether your precipitous labor experience was traumatic or not, make sure to know the warning signs of postpartum depression in order to be prepared.
Everything happens so quickly when it comes to having kids.
There are moments and memories that we can hold onto and savor each second of – and there are some that we have no control over. While we may not be able to choose whether or not we have a precipitous labor, we CAN choose not to rush our recovery. Just like anything with motherhood, remember to take care of yourself and give yourself enough space and time to heal. A mother’s physical and mental wellness should always be high on the list of priorities.
Is it even possible to eat while suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum?
The answer is… SORT OF
With persistent nausea and vomiting, eating is likely the last but also the only thing on a pregnant woman’s mind. She wants to eat – she wants to eat SO badly! But she also doesn’t want to eat because eating would mean vomiting and she really… REALLY… doesn’t want to vomit anymore.
The following tips may sound very extreme, but that’s what hyperemesis gravidarum is. It’s not just a bit of nausea – it’s an actual inability to eat food without vomiting it back up again… for months on end. Eating sounds impossible, but with a few strategic tips – it’s entirely possible to avoid being fed through a tube.
Here are a few tips for how to stay nourished during those nine long months.
Tip #1: Accept thy curse
The trick to eating while suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum is to accept the fact that nothing you eat will stay down. But you will need to find ways to get nutrients into your body anyway, in order for you and your baby to survive, and to reduce the need to be hospitalized and fed through a tube. The sooner you can accept the fact that you’re in this for the entire pregnancy, the less chance you have of risking a hospital stay.
ACCEPTthat you will feel like crap every single day of your pregnancy until the day that baby pops out of you and not one second before.
DON’Texpect to feel better after vomiting as if you just ate some bad shrimp.
ACCEPTthat no home remedy for morning sickness will help you.
DON’Tcount down the days until the end of the first trimester, expecting it to go away.
ACCEPTthat you are strong enough to do this and that the benefits will greatly outweigh the struggle in the end.
Don’t avoid eating altogether, just because you know that it’s going to come back up again. If you can keep something in your stomach for just 5 minutes, then it’s better than nothing at all.
There are some characteristics to look for when choosing a food for this purpose:
Fast absorption:Liquids absorb faster than solids.Electrolyte drinks can help battle dehydration or you can try making your own if you find them too sugary. Fresh made juices, smoothies or clear broth are another good option. Try to avoid drinking plain water (see Tip #3).
High in vitamins and nutrients:Try to go as healthy as possible.Meal replacement drinks, fresh made juices or vegetable soup have all the good stuff without the junk, because you don’t have any time to waste.
Smooth texture:If it goes down easy – it will come up easy. It may seem disturbing to have to choose a food based on what it will be like coming back up, but that is exactly what you will need to do to survive HG. Contrary to popular belief, things like sweet, juicy fruit like apples, berries and melons (which you WILL crave while dehydrated and nauseous) may not be the best option. The natural fruit juices get absorbed very quickly leaving the pulp behind which is extremely unpleasant coming back up. If you absolutely must have fruit, then blend it into a juice or smoothie first.
Curdle Factor: Yet another disturbing characteristic, consider which foods will curdle in your stomach before they make a re-appearance. I craved milk (and cereal) during my pregnancies and it was extremely unpleasant coming back up in chunks. Most dairy-based items will be the same and can cause even more disturbances on an upset stomach. Clear fluids are the better option.
Tip #3: Avoid Water
I know this sounds counter-productive for someone who is battling dehydration but plain old-fashioned water is one of the hardest things to drink with HG.
Water can often induce vomiting when you have an extra sensitive stomach, especially after eating something. It seems to stir everything up in the stomach and cause more damage than good.
Staying hydrated is essential and some alternatives to water include:
Natural mineral water: the fizziness sometimes helps, sometimes makes it worse. Try a flavored water (like citrus) to see if it appeals to you.
Coconut water: try it both cold and at room temperature to see which you prefer, as this can change the flavor.
Popsicles (or anything frozen): they melt slowly which can sit better than having liquid go straight into your stomach. Those made with fresh fruit are also a great option, but avoid added sugar as it can irritate the stomach. Beware of flavors that are too sweet or sour as the taste buds will be in overdrive.
Ice chips: if all else fails and you’re not able to keep down any liquids at all, then sucking on ice chips is one way to stay hydrated.
It sounds extreme but it’s not at all unusual for a woman with hyperemesis gravidarum to be unable to keep down even a sip of water to take her prenatal vitamins or prescription anti-emetics (I speak from experience).
Tip #4: Tiny Portions
I’m not exaggerating when I say tiny.
Small portions are usually recommended for nausea and vomiting but I’m not just talking about “small.” When I say “tiny” I mean, “itty-bitty-not-enough-food-for-a-mouse”…
Try one tablespoon of food or liquid every 10-15 minutes.
If it stays down, have another and so on.
If it doesn’t stay down, try half a tablespoon.
You can also try experimenting with different ways to eat or drink. Try drinking through a straw vs. no straw, a spoon vs. sipping, hot vs. cold. You may have to think outside the box and even try using syringes or shot glasses to take tiny sips of liquid.
Keep experimenting with tiny portions. It may seem tedious and pointless but one spoonful of food is better than none at all.
I know the pain of hyperemesis gravidarum all too well having battled it with all three of my pregnancies.
It’s easy to avoid eating all together in an effort to avoid vomiting when that’s all you’ve been doing for weeks. But starvation, dehydration and malnutrition are far worse things to struggle with than vomiting.
Chances are – you will never be able to eat properly throughout an HG pregnancy, instead you will spend the entire 9 months simply “trying to eat.”