Helpful Exercises That Will Strengthen the Back During Pregnancy

It’s important to strengthen the back during pregnancy because backache is a common problem among pregnant women. According to the North American Spine Society, more than half of expecting mothers experience back pain at some point. There are several factors that cause this issue:

    • Women typically gain about 25-35 pounds during pregnancy and the spine has to support this. A growing fetus also puts pressure on the nerves and blood vessels in the pelvic and back. 
    • The ligaments naturally become softer and stretch to prepare for labor. It puts a strain on the joints of the lower back and pelvis, which leads to back pain.
    • Pregnancy shifts the center of gravity, and women begin to adjust their posture and the way they move, even without noticing it. This results in back strain.
    • As the uterus expands and the rectus abdominis muscles separate along the center seam, it can worsen back pain. 
    • Stress may lead to muscle tension in the back. Women often experience backache during stressful periods of pregnancy. 

Fortunately, there are several effective and safe exercises that can strengthen the back during pregnancy and help prevent and decrease unpleasant symptoms.   We’ve created this mom-to-be workout guide so that you can keep your back on track during pregnancy and beyond.

Helpful Exercises That Will Strengthen the Back During Pregnancy
*This is a guest post and all opinions are those of the author. This post may also contain affiliate and/or paid links. Rest assured that we only work with companies and individuals that we trust. While some of those companies and individuals may work in the medical field, this post is not intended to be a substitution for medical advice. Always speak to your doctor if you have concerns about your mental or physical health.
Helpful Exercises That Will Strengthen the Back During Pregnancy
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Why Do You Need To Strengthen The Back During Pregnancy?

Doctors or physical therapists often recommend exercises to pregnant women because regular, adequate physical loads strengthen back & abdominal muscles and boost flexibility. They ease the stress on the spine and this way, prevent or reduce pain. The safest exercises for moms-to-be are walking, swimming, stationary cycling, and other exercises that we’ll discuss below.  

Best Back Exercises without Equipment

Here are the most effective exercises to strengthen the back during pregnancy that you can perform at home. They all are low-impact and safe activities, but if you ever feel discomfort, stop immediately. In case you have a pre-existing back issue, do get your doctor’s approval for any exercises, including the below ones.  

(Before you start doing exercises, you should warm up by walking in place for a few minutes.) 

Pelvic Tilts

It’s one of the easiest, yet effective exercises for back and abdominal muscles. This exercise can be done lying on the back, sitting, or standing on the hands and knees. 

    • Lie on your back on the floor with your knees bent.
    • Flatten the lower part of the spine against the floor so that you can’t feel space between the back and floor.  
    • Relax your buttocks to isolate abdominal muscles.
    • Hold for up to 10 seconds.
Cat-Back Stretch

It’s one of the best exercises for the back core.

    • Stand on your hands and knees, palms are facing down below the shoulders, knees are under the hips, the back is flat.
    • Arch your back up and lower your head.
    • Hold this position for five seconds.
    • Lower your spine gradually, relax to the neutral position.
    • Make sure to lift and lower your back smoothly, without jerking. Repeat the exercise 5 times. 
Forward Bend

This category of exercises for the back is good for pain relief, stretching, and strengthening the spine. 

    • Sit down on the chair with a hard back and seat.
    • The arms are relaxed.
    • Lean forward slowly, allowing your arms to hang in front of you.
    • Hold this position for about 5 seconds.
    • Sit up slowly, don’t arch your back.
    • Repeat 5 times. 
Rocking Back Arch

This exercise helps stretch and strengthen the back, hips, and abdomen.

    • Stand on your hands and knees, your weight is evenly distributed between the hands and knees.
    • Your back is in a straight line.
    • Rock back and forth for five seconds.
    • Get back to the starting position, arch the back upwards as much as you feel comfortable. 
    • Repeat the exercise 5-10 times. 
Trunk Twist

This exercise is good for stretching the back and upper torso.

    • Sit down on the floor.
    • Legs are crossed.
    • The left hand is holding the left leg, the right hand is on the floor for support.
    • Twist your upper body slowly to the right.
    • Look over the right shoulder.
    • Switch the hands and repeat the exercise to the left side.
    • Repeat 5-10 times. 
Arm raises

If you want to strengthen your shoulders and upper back, do try this exercise.  You can add a dumbbell or wear wrist weights to make the exercise more challenging. 

    • Stand on your hands and knees, make sure your back is flat.
    • Raise the right arm in front of you to shoulder level.
    • Hold this position for 5 seconds.
    • Lower the arm and repeat the exercise 5-10 times.
    • Do the same with the left arm.
Overhead pulldowns

They are great for strengthening the middle and lower back.

    • Stand with your legs apart.
    • Raise your arms above your head.
    • Imagine holding a barbell in your hands.
    • Pull the arms down, bending the elbows to the sides until your hands reach shoulder level.
    • The “bar” must be behind your head.
    • Repeat the exercise 10-15 times, perform 3 sets.
    • If your fitness level allows, add a one- or two-pound dumbbell in each hand.

You can also choose to join prenatal yoga classes or aqua-natal classes (gentle stretching in water for expecting mothers) with a qualified instructor. Such classes offer specially designed exercises to strengthen the back during pregnancy while in a unique, relaxing atmosphere. 


Exercises to Avoid When Pregnant

While moderate-intensity physical activities are safe and highly recommended for moms-to-be, there are some exercises that can impose a risk to woman and fetus’ health. So, make sure to avoid the following workouts:

    • Avoid heavy weight lifts since they put too much stress on the skeletal and cardiovascular systems.
    • While low-impact yoga exercises can be effective for back cramps, yoga poses where you hold your breath are a no-no for pregnant women. Actually, holding a breath is a clear indication that you have to stop the exercise immediately. 
    • After the first trimester, avoid exercises where you have to lie on the back since it affects the blood flow to the fetus. 
    • Do not exercise lying on your belly.
    • Do not stand still for long periods, it’ll only worsen issues with your back.
    • High-impact and contact sports like soccer, hockey, basketball, gymnastics, horseback riding, water skiing, etc. can lead to an abdominal injury, falls, and excessive joint stress.  
    • Avoid scuba diving since the pressure can lead to birth defects and fetus decompression sickness. 
    • Avoid sports at altitude since it can cause altitude sickness, which, in turn, decreases the oxygen supply to the fetus. 
How to Improve Your Pelvic Health During Pregnancy
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We hope our post was helpful for you! Remember that staying active is beneficial for both you and your future baby. Do include several exercises into your daily routine that will strengthen the back during pregnancy. They will help to maintain your spine, keep your muscles fit, and your cardiovascular system in good condition. Always listen to your body, and don’t do things that feel uncomfortable or painful for you. And, of course, consult your doctor if you have any questions or complaints. 


Author Bio

Thomas Nemel is a passionate writer and a fitness junkie. He’s been writing on topics related to parenthood, healthy lifestyles, and fitness for 2 years now. In his free time, Thomas enjoys riding his motorbike and being outdoors.  Connect with Thomas via Facebook or LinkedIn.

Moving To A New Home During Or Shortly After Pregnancy

Packing up everything you own and moving to a new home is stressful enough—but add to it the challenges of pregnancy or life with a newborn? Overwhelming. Nonetheless, expecting parents often consider moving for more space, to get in a certain school system, to be near family or for more opportunities. While taking on the stress of a big move while adjusting to pregnancy or newborn life may not be your first choice, it is definitely doable.

If you’re gearing up to move to a new home during or shortly after pregnancy, don’t panic. Even when you’ve got a new baby in the mix, here are a few tips to set you up for moving success.

Moving to A New Home During or Shortly After Pregnancy
*This is a guest post and all opinions are those of the author. This post may also contain affiliate and/or paid links. Rest assured that I only work with companies and individuals that I trust. While some of those companies and individuals may work in the medical field, this post is not intended to be a substitution for medical advice. Always speak to your doctor if you have concerns about your mental or physical health.
Moving to A New Home During or Shortly After Pregnancy
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Hire Experienced Movers

Perhaps the best moving gift you can give yourself as an expecting or new parent is to hire good movers. Professional movers can dramatically change the moving experience. You can hire them to simply load up and transport your possessions, or you can go full-service, letting them pack and unpack everything, too. Either way, having experienced movers on your side removes a lot of stress from the transition. Read reviews, compare prices and book in advance for the best service.

Accept Help

Now is not the time to grit your teeth and go it alone. In addition to hiring movers, take any and all help that is offered, from trusted family members who want to babysit older kids, to caring friends who want to drop off a meal while you’re getting ready to go. You have a lot to manage already, so let yourself receive help wherever you can!

4 Ways to Improve Sleep for New Moms
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Stay Healthy and Hydrated

From the initial days of packing to all of the tasks on your actual moving day, remember to take care of yourself and your little one by staying hydrated and well-nourished. Whether you’re pregnant, breastfeeding or dealing with sleep deprivation in the early baby days, getting enough water and nutrients is more important than ever, so keep water, fresh fruit and popsicles on hand. Likewise, have a range of healthy snacks available to fend off morning sickness or the munchies as needed.

Plan for Stress Relief

Moving during pregnancy or with a new baby demands a lot of you, so counteract the pressure by remembering to have fun and let off some stream. Amidst all the packing and planning, turn up some tunes and have a dance party in the kitchen, for example. It’s not only a stress release, but also a way to keep your body moving. Get together with friends. You could also stir up some warm feelings by making a scrapbook of memories from your old place and/or spending a day visiting all your favorite local spots. Love and laughter goes a long way towards mentally getting you through a stressful move.

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Pack an Overnight Bag

Before the movers come, make sure you have an overnight bag of any and all essentials to keep with you. It should include not only important toiletries, vitamins, clothes, snacks, etc., but also any documentation you could need to access right away. Do the same for your baby, packing diapers, bottles, blankets and clothes—any must-haves for your little one.

Change Your Address

If you’re expecting, it’s especially important to change your address, so important documents such as your baby’s birth certificate and social security card go to the right place. Processing an address change can take seven days or more, so do it early if possible.

Moving is stressful—but you can minimize the extra pressures that come from moving during pregnancy by following the steps above. Make your move less of a burden, and smoothly settle into your new home with these tips.

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Author Bio

Brian Slater is the founder and President of New City Moving, a moving company in Chicago. Slater has more than 10 years of experience in the industry and focuses on providing top-notch customer service as well as a stress-free moving environment.

Reasons for Nausea and Vomiting During Pregnancy 

Pregnancy is a marvelous experience. You’ve created a life, and in a couple of months, you’ll have your beautiful bundle of joy in your arms. But sometimes it’s not that lovely. Although many expectant mothers walk about with a glow of pregnancy and a big smile on their faces, the experience may be less than picturesque — particularly if, instead of a smile and a glow, you’re becoming best friends with your toilet because you can’t seem to stop throwing up. Identifying the underlying reason for nausea and vomiting during pregnancy may keep this issue within check, so keep reading to learn about likely reasons for vomiting and nausea during pregnancy.

Reasons for Nausea and Vomiting During Pregnancy
*This is a guest post and all opinions are those of the author. This post may also contain affiliate and/or paid links. Rest assured that I only work with companies and individuals that I trust. While some of those companies and individuals may work in the medical field, this post is not intended to be a substitution for medical advice. Always speak to your doctor if you have concerns about your mental or physical health.
Reasons for Nausea and Vomiting During Pregnancy
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Morning Sickness 

Morning sickness is a frequent cause of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. But although it is labeled morning sickness, nausea and vomiting could also occur at any time of the day. The precise reason of morning sickness is unclear, although it is likely to be due to hormonal changes that have weakened your body. Morning sickness is estimated to occur in up to 80% of all pregnancies, with nausea and vomiting beginning around week 6.

The great news is that conditions normally improve in the second trimester, but some women get morning sickness throughout their entire pregnancy. Early signs and symptoms of morning sickness include nausea and vomiting. Intriguingly, some females don’t even assume conception until the first surge of morning sickness strikes them. After several days of feeling sick to their stomach, they take a test to determine or strike out pregnancy. 

11 Surprising Side Effects of Hyperemesis Gravidarum
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Hyperemesis Gravidarum 

Sadly, morning sickness is not the only factor to worry about during pregnancy, nor is it the only trigger of nausea throughout this “special phase of life.” Many women have experienced severe morning sickness called hyperemesis gravidarum throughout pregnancy. It’s possibly caused by an increase in hormone levels. If you already have morning sickness, you will only vomit once a day and could be able to deal with nausea and vomiting. If you experience hyperemesis gravidarum, you might vomit upwards of 3 – 4 times a day and suffer nearly persistent nausea.

Throwing up with hyperemesis gravidarum can get so severe that certain women who are pregnant lose weight and run the risk of dehydration due to failure to store food and fluids. And as if barfing the whole day isn’t terrible already, it can even induce dizzy spells and lightheadedness. Hyperemesis gravidarum symptoms typically worsen in weeks 9 to 13 and then get better. So the symptoms may improve when you progress further along during pregnancy. 

Foodborne Illnesses 

This is another trigger of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy that women often do not foresee. While it’s easy to relate some form of nausea to morning sickness, it may simply be attributed to consuming contaminated food while pregnant. Anybody really is at risk for food contamination, but expectant mothers are more in danger because pregnancy makes the immune system weak. As a result, it gets harder for the body to combat germs and bacteria. 

Signs include those that are similar to morning sicknesses, such as nausea and vomiting. Although, unlike morning sickness, food poisoning can cause other symptoms such as headaches, muscle aches, and fever. These signs occur quickly after consuming contaminated food within 24-48 hours. The easiest way to prevent this from happening is to fully cook meat.  Also, store food in the refrigerator immediately after cooking, rinse all fresh fruits and vegetables, and eliminate unpasteurized milk, juice, or eggs from your pregnancy diet. Consult the best gynecologist for diet advice. 

8 Pregnancy Diet Tips for Growing a Healthy Baby
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Causes and Risk Factors 

Although the hormones are most likely to blame for hyperemesis gravidarum and morning sickness, certain causes raise the likelihood of facing either or both complications during pregnancy. For instance: 

    • Expecting multiples (twins, triplets, or more).
    • During pregnancy, you have a family or personal history of vomiting.
    • You are susceptible to certain tastes or smells.
    • You’ve had a diagnosis of migraine.
    • You’ve had a history of motion sickness. 

The greatest chance of foodborne disease is consuming raw, uncooked/undercooked food or vegetables and fruits that have not been washed. Bear in mind that although the above are typical causes of vomiting during pregnancy, other conditions can also occur during pregnancy that may induce nausea and vomiting. 

Complications/Side-effects 

Ordinary morning sickness during pregnancy is unpleasant, but you are not expected to suffer from serious complications. However, if you experience hyperemesis gravidarum, extreme vomiting can cause dehydration or reduced urination. And if you are unable to restock your fluid level, you might have to be admitted to receive intravenous (IV) fluids. This syndrome can also damage the liver, cause deficiency of Vitamin B, and slower growth weight in your child’s development, so it is essential to evaluate your choices with the best gynaecologist

Foodborne illness should not be treated lightly. These conditions, which may include listeria and salmonella poisoning, may induce premature birth or even miscarriage. It is also important to remember that various forms of vomiting can trigger a number of problems. Thus, although morning sickness does not contribute to dehydration, foodborne illness or hyperemesis gravidarum may vary based on the severity of nausea. 

Complications That Can Occur During Birth
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Conclusion 

You wouldn’t need a gynecologist for morning sickness that isn’t extreme. Home remedies can be adequate to treat symptoms. However, if you vomit several times each day, and if you have any symptoms such as dizziness, rapid heart rate, or if you can’t hold fluids down, you should contact your doctor. Although the vomiting can be miserable during pregnancy, it is often normal and typically nothing that should worry you. It occurs in a lot of pregnancies, and it doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you or your child. But if you have any questions or need affirmation, please do not hesitate to contact your doctor for vomiting during pregnancy.


Author Bio:

Lesli is a Content Writer and loves to blog about health-related articles. She enjoys learning and specializes in guest blogging, blog publishing, and social media. She is an avid reader and loves writing impeccable content pertaining to health care. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Engineering.

What To Expect Right After the Birth of Your Baby 

In the months of your pregnancy, most of your focus may lie with adjusting to your body’s changes and deciding how you want your doctor to carry out the birth procedure. But it’s also good to think about what to expect right after the birth of your baby to put your mind more at ease. These are some of the normal things you’ll probably see in the moments following delivery.

What to Expect Right After the Birth of Your Baby
*This is a guest post and all opinions are those of the author. This post may also contain affiliate and/or paid links. Rest assured that I only work with companies and individuals that I trust. While some of those companies and individuals may work in the medical field, this post is not intended to be a substitution for medical advice. Always speak to your doctor if you have concerns about your mental or physical health.
What to Expect Right After the Birth of Your Baby

Your Baby’s Initial Behavior 

You baby will initially need to make their adjustment to being in the open air by taking their first breath. Many newborns cry during this time, which can be helpful for getting out leftover fluid from their respiratory tract. Sometimes babies may have meconium, which is a thicker, green fecal substance mixed in their amniotic fluid. In those cases, your doctor will put a suction to your baby’s mouth to help remove this and allow them to breathe well. Don’t be surprised if your baby appears slightly blue at first, as it can take some time for their blood to circulate as they breathe. Besides crying, infants may soon fall asleep or want to feed after birth.  

Umbilical Cord Cutting 

As you probably know, cutting the umbilical cord is a necessary part of the procedure. Following birth, your doctor will immediately clamp the umbilical cord. However, they’ll usually wait thirty seconds to a full minute before cutting the cord. You can also request to hold your baby for a few minutes before proceeding. Following this, you could have either the doctor or your birth partner carefully cut the cord. If you elect to bank the cord blood, your doctor will collect it once the umbilical cord has been separated from your baby. Meanwhile, the delivery of the placenta will usually come within a few minutes after birth.  

How to Make a Postpartum Plan for a Smooth Recovery
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The Apgar Test 

Doctors use the Apgar test to assess the health of your newborn, so it’s a normal part of what to expect right after the birth of your baby. The test consists of checking your child’s breathing, heart rate, skin hue, muscles, and reflexes. For each category, they’ll give your baby a score ranging from 0 to 2. The higher the score, the better you baby has performed according to the test. Most often, babies receive total scores between around seven to nine. If their score is lower than seven, this means that they may need additional attention in a newborn intensive care unit or from a nurse. Still, you shouldn’t worry if your baby scores below seven, as it’s common for healthy infants to score lower due to their bodies’ unfamiliarity with the new environment outside the womb. 


Most importantly, after the birth of your baby, take some time to get to know them and bond with them using skin to skin contact.  This is the beginning of your life together and you’ll want to remember every moment.  Don’t feel pressured or rushed to do anything else but hold your newborn and spend time together.


Author Bio

Christina Duron is a writer living in the Chicagoland area. Her passion for writing and mental health help create thought provoking and engaging pieces and hopes to use them to empower mothers and women to embrace the beauty of motherhood.

How To Safely Decorate Your Nursery 

If you’re like a lot of expecting moms today, one of your favorite parts of pregnancy is getting to decorate the nursery. Inspiration abounds for creating an Instagram-worthy space. Will you go minimalist, traditional, modern, or a little bit of everything? Do you want to choose a theme of woodland animals, or do you want to emphasize layers of neutrals?

Whatever the case, planning the baby’s room offers a perfect nesting opportunity and lets you showcase your own personal style. The only problem? Decorating typically starts with paint, and paint fumes can be bothersome for pregnant women.   

If you’re itching to breathe new life into the nursery but hesitant about paint exposure, you’re not alone—but there’s good news. You can totally transform a former guest room or office into a nursery without any harsh chemicals involved. How? To find inspiration for safe possibilities to set up the perfect nursery space, keep reading.  

How to Safely Decorate Your Nursery
*This is a guest post and all opinions are those of the author. This post may also contain affiliate and/or paid links. Rest assured that I only work with companies and individuals that I trust. While some of those companies and individuals may work in the medical field, this post is not intended to be a substitution for medical advice. Always speak to your doctor if you have concerns about your mental or physical health.
How to Safely Decorate Your Nursery

Alternative Ways To Create Beautiful Walls 

While paint transforms a room, so do lots of other decorating tools, including those without harmful ingredients. To beautify the walls of your baby’s room, consider these great alternatives: 

Large artwork

Find a print or painting large enough, and you can make a major decorating statement in the baby’s room. Oversized art is not only perfect for injecting your taste into a room, but it’s also natural way to cover walls you can’t paint. 

Removable wallpaper

Today’s modern wallpaper designs go far beyond your grandma’s vintage styleThey also can be removable, allowing for you to easily switch up the décor down the road as your baby grows.  

Moody Removable Wallpaper nursery wall decor Nursery image 0
RockyMountainDecals on Etsy
A hanging tapestry

Not only can a tapestry impart an elegant or bohemian vibe to a room, but also its woven quality adds to the layers of texture in your décor.  

Decals

Removable decals make it possible to accessorize walls with anything from star shapes to animal images to gold polka dots. 

A large gallery wall

Similar to the idea of large artwork, a collected gallery of pictures visually functions as a unified whole. It’s also a great way to turn your favorite images, from treasured family photos to meaningful art pieces, into a nursery focal point.  

Any of these ideas is a smart, paint-free way to decorate the nursery walls. That said, you can set a nursery’s style without having to hang anything. If you want to skip working the walls entirely, look for decorating options in other parts of the room.  


Thinking Beyond Wall Decorating 

Another way to skip the paint problem is to focus your decorating attention elsewhere. Create a show-stopping nursery with a different kind of focal point or color feature, be it a showpiece crib or custom curtains. Here are some possibilities you might enjoy: 

 A large rug

Whether you want to go soothing neutral or bold color, a large rug offers potential for grounding all the rest of your design. Shop around for a style you’re crazy about, and let it dictate decisions for the rest of the room.  

Eye-catching window treatments

Few features elevate a room’s style like drapes. One way to decorate the nursery without paint is to focus on the window treatments.  Dress your windows with full and fashionable curtains and transform the space. 

Cloud and Stars Baby Girl Room Curtains Nursery Curtains image 0
CuteTinyTr on Etsy
Colorful furniture

Wall color isn’t the only way to define a nursery’s color scheme. Consider brightly colored furniture, such as a painted dresser, a color in a compelling hue, or a bookcase displaying rows of children’s books as if they’re artwork. 

Textiles

Throw pillows, blankets, crib sheets, or layered rugs all create coziness and comfort in a room, making them perfect for a baby’s space. In terms of style setting, they also come in all kinds of colors and patterns to suit every taste. 


Getting ready for a new baby involves all kinds of decisions, but when it comes time to decorate the nursery, it should be fun! If you’re looking to revive a room without painting, use the ideas above to create a room you’re jazzed to give your little one.


Author Bio

Excited to share her love of home design and décor with readers, Jaclyn Crawford started with ImproveNet in 2016. As a staff writer, she enjoys chronicling the latest trends and ways you can make your home the loveliest it can be. You may also find her in ImproveNet videos, sharing tips and trends for your home. 
 
 

The Importance of Having a To-Do List for Expecting Parents

Your entire life changes the moment you find out you’re pregnant. While the change can be exhilarating, it can also be overwhelming for first-time parents. When tasks at a job or school seem monumental, it helps to break them down into manageable steps. In the same way, although you can’t foresee all the twists and turns of your pregnancy, having to-do list for expecting parents can help you cut back on stress.

The Importance of Having a To-Do List for Expecting Parents
*This is a guest post and all opinions are those of the author. This post may also contain affiliate and/or paid links. Rest assured that I only work with companies and individuals that I trust. While some of those companies and individuals may work in the medical field, this post is not intended to be a substitution for medical advice. Always speak to your doctor if you have concerns about your mental or physical health.
The Importance of Having a To-Do List for Expecting Parents
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Switch up Your Diet 

What you put into your body will impact your baby’s health, so it’s good to reconsider what you eat from the moment you find out you’re pregnant. For instance, you should start avoiding undercooked foods, unwashed vegetables, and alcohol and start stocking up on nutrient-rich foods. Some go-to pregnancy foods include: 

    • Dairy 
    • Lean meats 
    • Sweet potatoes 
    • Cooked Eggs 
    • Dark, leafy vegetables and other iron-rich foods 

Along with that, do your research to find alternatives to medications you shouldn’t take while pregnant. You’ll especially want to research medications that target morning sickness and other pregnancy symptoms.

8 Pregnancy Diet Tips for Growing a Healthy Baby
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Start a Log 

Documenting your journey should be first on the to-do list for expecting parents. Your symptoms will change throughout your pregnancy, from morning sickness to body aches to swelling in your ankles or hands. While these are perfectly normal, it’s good to keep track of your symptoms throughout your pregnancy. This way, if something does occur that is out of the ordinary, you will be able to pinpoint exactly when the symptoms started. Along with that, writing them down helps relieve some of the mental stress of your physical symptoms. 

Prepare for Parental Leave 

As a parent, you are entitled to a parental leave of at least four weeks in the U.S.  For some, the idea of taking so much time off work can be stressful, so start planning your leave well in advance. Make sure to add this to the to-do list for expecting parents. Research your company’s policies, then talk to your employees or coworkers about what your leave will look like. If you delegate tasks for your absence, the transition will be smoother, and you will be able to focus more on your time with your baby. 

How to Make a Postpartum Plan for a Smooth Recovery
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Set up the Nursery  

You don’t want to put off setting up your nursery for too long. The further into your pregnancy you get, the harder it will be to offer help with the design process, and paint VOCs can linger in the air for weeks. You don’t have to overthink the nursery’s design. Start practical by making sure your crib bedding is safe and babyproofing any cabinets. Then look at the decor. If you’re waiting to hear about the baby’s gender, you can focus on a gender-neutral theme or color scheme. 

Pro Tip: Stock up on diapers!  On the fence about whether to use cloth or disposables? Consider using eco-friendly bamboo diapers and wipes from EcoPea.  They’re the best of both worlds. 
Eco-Friendly Bamboo Diapers and Wipes by EcoPeaCo

Breathe 

Perhaps the most important item on the to-do list for expecting parents is to simply relax. As much as you want to make sure everything is perfect for your new baby, you also need to be intentional about taking time to rest. A well-rested parent is better for the baby, after all. And as you relax, remind yourself that ticking every box off new parent to-do list doesn’t determine whether you’re a good mother or father. You do. 


Author Bio

Christina Duron is a writer living in the Chicagoland area. Her passion for writing and mental health help create thought provoking and engaging pieces and hopes to use them to empower mothers and women to embrace the beauty of motherhood.

5 Tips To Keep Your Relationship Strong During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a difficult time, even if you do not have to worry about anything else that is going on. Maintaining a healthy relationship during pregnancy also requires work and mutual effort. When trying to do both at the same time, it can be even more challenging to keep things going smoothly.

A stronger relationship not only makes you happier, but also provides a stable family environment for your child—before and after the birth. If you are wondering how to keep things happy between you and your partner while you are pregnant, these tips may well help you.

5 Tips To Keep Your Relationship Strong During Pregnancy
*This is a guest post and all opinions are those of the author. This post may also contain affiliate and/or paid links. Rest assured that I only work with companies and individuals that I trust. While some of those companies and individuals may work in the medical field, this post is not intended to be a substitution for medical advice. Always speak to your doctor if you have concerns about your mental or physical health.
5 Tips To Keep Your Relationship Strong During Pregnancy

Make sure your partner does their share

While you are the one who is pregnant and will experience the physical strain of pregnancy and birth, this doesn’t mean pregnancy should be seen as only your burden. After all, it takes two to make a baby! Your partner must play their part in supporting you throughout the pregnancy. This means being prepared to look after you when you are suffering from morning sickness, comforting you when you are feeling mood swings or anxiety, being on hand to deal with any emergencies, and generally keeping your spirits up.

It can also mean your partner taking on extra responsibilities in terms of household chores, as your pregnancy is likely to cause you some mental and physical strain. Suppose you feel exhaustion, sickness, abdominal pains, or any other effect. In that case, your partner should be willing to step in and take care of any tasks on your behalf.  Don’t let yourself feel guilty about letting your partner take on extra responsibilities; remember that carrying their baby is a huge responsibility itself.


Create a postpartum plan to help you communicate to your partner what you need after giving birth.

Postpartum Plan Printable Workbook
Click here to get the Postpartum Plan Workbook.

Be open as a couple for mental health challenges

Pregnancy can have significant effects on moods and mental health. As well as anxiety about becoming a parent, there are many hormonal changes in the body which are necessary to keep the body functioning. Unfortunately, these usually come with some emotional and mental side effects. It is uncommon to go through pregnancy without experiencing pretty significant mood swings at some point. This could manifest in many ways, from depression to mania to irritability.

While we are all still responsible for our actions regardless of our mental state, it is only realistic for you and your partner to prepare for some mental health struggles that are likely to affect both of you. Your relationship may be tested by an increase in irritability, for example. You may find yourself becoming very frustrated at seemingly minor things, and you are likely to take out this frustration on your partner at some point.

The best way to deal with this as a couple is to be prepared for this and aware of it. It is not just up to you to deal with your emotions, and it is not just up to your partner to ignore their needs in the relationship either. Overcoming the mental and emotional strain of pregnancy is a task that requires effort and mutual understanding from both partners.

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Accept changes to your sex drive

With so many hormonal changes happening during pregnancy, it is no surprise that sex drive is an area that is likely to be affected. It is highly common for a pregnant person’s libido to decrease or even disappear altogether at times. This may be due to hormonal fluctuations, stress, fears about what your partner thinks of your changing body, or any combination of these factors. You may be unable to have sex at certain times, even if you want to, due to abdominal pain from your baby kicking!

Generally speaking, your partner is unlikely to be concerned by your body changing if they genuinely love and respect you. After all—every adult knows that pregnancy causes physical changes, many of which are only temporary. You may want to approach your libido in the same way you approach your mood; acknowledging that it will fluctuate and become more unpredictable. Making your partner aware of this fact can help you to keep your relationship passionate.

Practically speaking, some couples find that scheduling in nights for sex works, while others prefer to respond to the libido as and when it changes. Whatever you do, it is vital to communicate, and both expect changes to your sex life during pregnancy. Towards the end of the pregnancy, you may have to try different, more comfortable, and less strenuous positions if you have sex.

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Discuss any money worries with each other

Although bringing a baby into the world is a beautiful thing, it is undeniable that having an extra mouth to feed is a significant financial expense. In addition to this, pregnancy and maternity can result in the need to take more time off work. When you are pregnant, it is to be expected that you will be working significantly reduced hours for the next couple of years at least. Suppose you are lucky enough to work for an employer that provides sufficient maternity pay. In that case, this factor may not weigh on your mind. However, if you are in less stable employment, pregnancy and maternity can affect your finances.

If you are in a serious, long-term relationship, you should be able to talk about money with each other. If you are worried about the financial implications of your pregnancy, there are a few measures that can be taken. Your partner may be able to work overtime. You may be able to cut back on luxuries (such as canceling subscriptions, etc.). You may even be able to sell items for some extra cash.

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Don’t ignore non-pregnancy-related relationship issues

Of the luxuries that you may need to cut back on, one of the most likely is going on dates. This is not just for financial reasons; the physical and mental effects of pregnancy may make going out strenuous and challenging. However, it is still important to maintain the health of your relationship. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to spend quality time with your partner without breaking the bank. If the tightening of your budget has made fancy dinner dates impossible, don’t panic. There are plenty of ways that you can have a fun date night at home without spending much money at all!

Aside from having dates, it is as important to focus on your relationship during pregnancy as it is at any other time. Pregnancy is a heavy burden, and it can easily take up all of your time and mental energy. However, just because you and your partner have the pressures of pregnancy to deal with, that doesn’t mean that other potential relationship issues simply disappear. While your partner should be aware that things will be tricky and the pregnancy will be prioritized over other needs, you both still need to make an effort to keep your relationship healthy and enjoyable as you did before.

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Just because you will soon become a three, this does not mean that your relationship as a couple is no longer important—in fact, a healthy relationship is more important than ever before when you are raising a child together. If you can follow these steps and communicate effectively, openly, and honestly with each other, then pregnancy can strengthen—rather than weaken—your bond.


Author Bio

Brenda Adair is a relationships and lifestyle writer, coffee enthusiast, and a lover of new experiences. You’ll usually find her in a coffee shop with her laptop and a flat white scribbling down an article or a blog post. She is a contributing author at GoDates, and several other online publications.

How to Bond with Your Baby During Pregnancy

It’s often assumed that bonding with a baby begins when you first hold them in your arms. However, a bond with a baby can be developed as early as when the baby bump appears. Many people would concentrate on how to bond with a baby while breastfeeding, forgetting that it can respond to different things while in the womb. The point of beginning the process earlier is to ensure that when you bring him/her into this world, they’ll already have known you and are familiar with several things about you.

How to Bond With Your Baby During Pregnancy
*This is a guest post and all opinions are those of the author. This post may also contain affiliate and/or paid links. Rest assured that I only work with companies and individuals that I trust. While some of those companies and individuals may work in the medical field, this post is not intended to be a substitution for medical advice. Always speak to your doctor if you have concerns about your mental or physical health.
How to Bond With Your Baby During Pregnancy

To get to know how to bond with your baby in the womb, it’s best if you become attentive to what the baby is saying or doing. Many expectant moms fancy the evident kicks from babies in their bumps since it is something very significant to them. However, it goes beyond that as the bonding can be affected by a lot of things that cause different reactions to the baby.

What are Babies Responsive to During Pregnancy?

To begin with, it’s of importance to know what babies respond to while in the womb. A mother can’t bond with the baby if she does not pay attention to the response of the baby and what makes them react. Some of the things that babies experience while in the womb include:

Sound

From 18 weeks in the pregnancy, a baby can notice sounds such as your heartbeat and when your stomach rumbles. It is a process of growth that indicates that the baby has particular senses. At around week 26, a baby in the womb can begin to notice noises outside the body from the neighboring surrounding. It’s when the baby begins to notice the voice of the mother and at this stage moving forward in pregnancy, the baby can be soothed by particular voices and cry when there are uncomfortable noises.

Memory

Babies become receptive to particular sounds, and at particular moments they might remember these voices either from a conversation or certain music.

Sensation

In different stages of the pregnancy, babies may react to particular things. At week 18, the baby can be made to sleep while the mother is moving around since the swaying makes them comfortable. From week 22, they can feel pain, and 26 weeks onwards they can respond to hand movements done on the baby bump.

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Language development

At week 32, a baby may be familiar with particular sounds from the conversations that you have with people which includes vowels.

Sight

Eye development begins at week 20 and from the 22 weeks, a baby can see light. However, proper development of the baby’s eyes begins from birth.


Bonding Methods to Use

There are different approaches to take when bonding with a baby. It also depends on who wants to do so since it will affect when you bond with your baby. Different bonding techniques should be used at different times of the pregnancy since the baby can only respond to particular things at particular times. So how do different individuals bond with a baby?

Mother

The mother has the upper hand in forming a strong bond with the baby since she can notice several reactions that the baby makes. It is also because the baby will learn a lot from the mother than it ever will from anyone else during pregnancy. For mothers seeking such a connection, you need to first take good care of yourself and have products such as the best alkaline water pitcher at mykitchenadvisor.com to help you with that.

Here are more tips on how to bond with baby in pregnancy:
    • Talking to and singing for your baby to make the baby familiar with your voice.
    • Massaging or gently rubbing your belly bump for the baby to know your touch.
    • Play calming or relaxing music to your baby that will be similar to your heartbeats and play as lullabies.
    • Get an ultrasound so that you can see your baby which will give you a greater connection such that when you are doing anything to get their attention you have a picture of how the baby might respond.
    • Do things such as enjoying a walk or getting a warm long bath so that you can calm yourself as you think and connect with the baby.
    • Responding to kicks is a significant way of bonding with your baby. By either massaging the point of kicks or rubbing the place smoothly can cause the baby to do multiple ones.
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Father and Siblings

Other than the mother, a father and siblings also have ways on how to bond with the baby in the first trimester. Some of the approaches that they can make to develop the bond include;


You never have to wait until you bond with a newborn since the process can begin earlier. Some of the other things to do are to also consider your health by drinking pure water which helps with preventing health issues such as preventing urinary infections, relieving indigestion and acidity issues. Bonding with your baby during pregnancy is important since when they are born you will begin from somewhere and it is also important since they will be familiar with you.

How old is your pregnancy? Are you seeking ways of bonding with your baby? What do you do towards that? Leave a comment.


Author Bio

Lora is a blogger, mother, and housewife who shares her vast experience on all the aspects of pregnancy and parenting. She writes articles on the difficulties and challenges all mothers face every day. Motherhood is her source of inspiration. 

Complications That Can Occur During Birth 

It’s not an easy thing to talk about, let alone something we want to mull over on our own—childbirth problems. We often live under the deeply ingrained impression that bad things can only happen to other people. It’s uncomfortable to accept risk, especially with one of the most meaningful and precious moments in your life. However, the more proactive and prepared you are now, the less you will worry later. By educating yourself and talking with your doctors about the complications that can occur during birth, you can rest assured that you’re ready for every possibility.

Complications That Can Occur During Birth
*This is a guest post and all opinions are those of the author. This post may also contain affiliate and/or paid links. Rest assured that I only work with companies and individuals that I trust. While some of those companies and individuals may work in the medical field, this post is not intended to be a substitution for medical advice. Always speak to your doctor if you have concerns about your mental or physical health.
Complications That Can Occur During Birth

Failure To Progress 

When you give birth, the process begins with the all-important labor. This signal alerts you to your child’s imminent entry into our world. However, labor takes time. If you have a failure to progress, this means that you have prolonged labor of 20 or more hours accompanied by a slow dilation. There are many reasons for this extra time, including your baby’s size and your physical state. When mothers fail to progress, it’s best to take a short walk, try to sleep, or draw a bath. Each of these activities helps your muscles to relax and dilate more quickly. 

Low Birth Weight 

You begin feeding your child at the moment of conception, and it’s critical to handle your baby’s nutrition throughout your pregnancy. If you don’t nourish your body during each trimester, your child could have a low birth weight. Ask your doctor to monitor your baby’s size and actively care for your health, too, in order to avoid this complication.

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Shoulder Dystocia 

Your baby’s positioning as they exit the womb is essential to a seamless delivery. If you have the first step down—rotating the baby, so it’s head-first—you can still have issues with their shoulders. Shoulder dystocia refers to this situation where your baby’s head is free, but their shoulders are stuck inside. The solution for this may be uncomfortable for you as the mother, but it will likely involve changing your delivery position and even having doctors manually turn the baby. If the shoulders become too much of a problem, your OB may perform a cesarean to deliver your child safely. 

Umbilical Cord Problems 

Your umbilical cord is the lifeline between you and your baby. During delivery, you want the umbilical cord to emerge with your child, not before. If the umbilical cord exits early or wraps around your child’s body, your doctor must address this quickly before complications arise.


Talk about the complications that can occur during birth today to find peace tomorrow. Most births transpire without a hitch, but you should prepare yourself for even the smallest hiccups. Consider learning more about the various kinds of birth injuries and be ready to handle all of your newborn’s needs. 


As a disclaimer, this advice is purely informational, and you should consult your doctor for all medical recommendations and birth-related treatment. 

Author Bio

Christina Duron is a writer living in the Chicagoland area. Her passion for writing and mental health help create thought provoking and engaging pieces and hopes to use them to empower mothers and women to embrace the beauty of motherhood.

8 Pregnancy Diet Tips for Growing a Healthy Baby

When you are pregnant, what you eat is the main source of nutrients for your baby. The pregnancy diet should always be a well balanced and healthy diet. A pregnant woman needs to eat a wide range of healthy foods in order to provide the baby with all the nutrients needed for its development.  Check out some of these pregnancy diet tips that will help both mom and baby to stay healthy. 

8 Pregnancy Diet Tips for Growing a Healthy Baby
*This is a guest post and all opinions are those of the author. This post may also contain affiliate and/or paid links. Rest assured that I only work with companies and individuals that I trust. While some of those companies and individuals may work in the medical field, this post is not intended to be a substitution for medical advice. Always speak to your doctor if you have concerns about your mental or physical health.
8 Pregnancy Diet Tips for Growing a Healthy Baby

Legumes Are Your Best Friends 

Legumes include foods like chickpeas, beans, peas, peanuts and all of those. Legumes are one of the best plant-based sources of protein, iron, calcium and fiber, which are all the nutrients that your body needs while pregnant. They also have folate, that is one of the essentials for women who are in the first trimester.  

Don’t Forget About Omega-3 

One of the best ways that you can provide your baby and body with enough omega-3 fatty acids is by eating fish like salmon. It is rich in essential omega-3 fatty acids, and it has so many other different benefits. Omega-3s are found in a lot of seafood, and they are of great help when it comes to building your baby’s brain and eyes.  

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Eat A Lot Of Greens 

No surprise here that we have been told to eat a lot of greens like broccoli, spinach and kale. That is because they include so many amazing things like calcium, iron, folate, potassium and vitamin C, K and A.   Greens should also be a big part of your pregnancy diet because they detoxify your body and prepare it for growing a baby. 

Sweet Potatoes Are Good For You 

Sweet potatoes are not only super delicious, they are also rich in beta carotene. You can also cook potatoes in so many ways. What people don’t know is that beta carotene is a plant compound that is transformed into vitamin A. This vitamin is essential to your baby’s development.  

Snack On Some Berries 

Barriers are a great way to get water, healthy carbs, vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants into your body. Another thing about berries is that they have low glycemic index value which means that it won’t cause any spikes in blood sugar. And that is why it makes them such great snacks. But the most important thing when you are eating fruits is to ensure that they are organic. That is why organic fruits delivery will save your day as you can order all kinds of fruit from the comfort of your home.  

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Eat A lot Of Avocados 

What a lot of people don’t know is that avocados contain a log of monounsaturated fatty acids. These fats are what it makes avocados so rich. They are also high in vitamins K, E, C and B as well as fiber. Because they are a great source of healthy fats and potassium, they are one of the best food choices for the pregnancy diet.  

Drink Plenty Of Water 

We all have to make sure we are hydrated, especially when you are pregnant. During your pregnancy, the blood volume will increase by about 45 per cent. Your body will keep your baby hydrated, and if you don’t watch your hydration, you can make both yourself and your baby dehydrated.  Morning sickness can cause an excess of dehydration, so drinking extra water is an important part of the pregnancy diet. 

Make Sure That You Eat Enough Whole Grains 

Whole grains are full of vitamins, fiber and different plant components. There are so many different ones you can eat from wheat berries, oats, brown rice etc. They are so much better than eating white rice and pasta. Another thing that makes them amazing is that some things like oats and quinoa contain protein.  

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Because your baby is growing, it needs to get all those good nutrients, which is why you need to have a well-rounded pregnancy diet. There is a whole world of delicious yet healthy foods that will help you and your baby stay super healthy.  


Author bio: 

Alison Pearson is an interior design student. She is a writer and designer, but her ultimate passion is fitness and health. She is also a bibliophile and her favorite book is “The Sound and the Fury” by William Faulkner. 

Follow her on Twitter