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Breastfeeding While Pregnant

Being pregnant doesn’t mean you have to stop breastfeeding your child. Long ago doctors believed it actually took nutrients away from the baby inside you, however that is not the case. Even today we have people that believe this and they will argue with you the entire time. Only you can decide if you should stop breastfeeding your toddler or not. Don’t let someone else make that decision for you.

Reasons to Stop
A few reasons you might want to stop breastfeeding may be if you are feeling constantly drained of energy. Or maybe your child has started to bite. Sometimes your milk will just dry up, this is your body’s way of telling you that it has had enough and to take a break. Mastitis could play a big role in making you stop immediately as well. Mastitis is an infection in the breast when it isn’t expressed enough and gets engorged.

Stopping or Weaning
If you do plan on stopping because you are pregnant, make sure it is for the right reasons. If your child has reached a certain age, it might be best. But never just yank it away from them. Your child could wonder why it is being taken away. Wonder if they had done something or become discouraged about the new baby coming. Some children decide to wean themselves, which is a big help to you and you won’t feel so guilty about it. You can choose to do it cold turkey, or slowly wean him/her off. Cold turkey can have some bad results. Try limiting his/her feeding times to certain hours and gradually as time passes take away more. Your child will quickly stop on his/her own and it won’t be a traumatic event.

Continuing to Feed
If you do plan on continuing to breastfeed while you are pregnant, talk with your doctor about it. Not all the time will the doctor agree with your decision. Sometimes he/she may see something in your health that you don’t. Listen carefully and find out if it is a health reason or simply his/her own belief. If it is the doctors belief, you can always seek out one that agrees with you. Being pregnant is hard enough at times, knowing you have someone in your corner will only relieve the stress. Don’t be surprised if your family and friends want to say something about it and they will probably give you all kind of advice on how to stop and what they’ve read. Nicely explain to them it is your decision and you’ll do what you think is best for your children. Try finding a support group in your area so you have someone to vent to or talk about these issues. Check out if there is a La Leche League near you or online that you can join.

Remember that as long as you take proper care of yourself and your body, you’ll be able to safely breastfeed while pregnant.

Fun Ways to Announce Your Pregnancy

Whether you just found out you’re pregnant or you’ve known for a few months, announcing your pregnancy to family and friends can be a lot of fun. Some may want to wait until a certain time during their pregnancy, while others want to call everyone immediately after finding out themselves.

Telling The Father
Have a romantic dinner for two with candle lights, it may be your last time for a while, between morning sickness and raising your little one. Serve up baby carrots, baby back ribs and anything else you can think as baby. At the end, pour apple juice instead of wine and hand him a present. Inside you can have a tiny baby bib that says, “I heart My Daddy”
or a pair of baby booties. If you can’t tell the father right away because he’s away on business, or deployed try sending him a care package. Inside the box place a few baby items, everything in blue and pink and a baby naming book in the center. Place a note on top of the book with, “I need a name soon, I’ll be here by June.” Or whenever the baby is due. You can also see how long it takes him to figure it out. Go to the dollar store and pick up a bunch of small baby items, a bib, rattle, bottle, booties, etc. For a week, leave an item laying around the house where he is bound to find them. At the end of the week if he hasn’t figured it out yet, prepare the big gift. Have a large teddy bear sitting at the dinner table in the seat beside him, make sure there is a bib wrapped around him and maybe a sign that says Hi Daddy.

Telling Family and Friends
Show up to a family gathering wearing a shirt that announces your state. These days there are a ton of shirts out there with clever sayings, “Baby on Board,” “A Bun in the Oven,” or something related to the pregnancy. The moment you walk in or take off your jacket everyone will figure it out without you ever having to say a word. Now, get ready for the tears and excitement. You’ll be answering a ton of questions. If you already have children you may want to call the grandparents up and tell them that the next Christmas they may want to add one more to the list. If this is the first grandchild, you may want to get a bracelet link for your mom that reads, “#1 Grandma” or grandparent t-shirts. This will not only be a great present for them but something they will cherish and love forever. No matter when you spread the news it can be a lot of fun, just think creative and let the pieces fall. You may even want to try catching all of it on video, so think ahead and prepare for the BIG moment, and I’m not meaning the birth.

Eating Right During Your Pregnancy

You already know it is important to eat a well-balanced diet, but it is even more important when you are pregnant. Keep in mind now you are eating for two. Whatever you eat, the baby eats as well. In fact the baby actually takes your nourishments so you must eat enough for both of you. The healthier you eat the better it is for the pregnancy and you. Never miss a meal while you are pregnant, especially breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and your baby has probably been waiting since he/she woke up in the middle of the night. You may learn that if you wait so long before eating you start to feel sick, this is your body telling you to eat. Do it! Make sure you are getting enough of the food you need daily. It takes 4-6 servings of dairy a day for a healthy pregnancy, this can include some cheeses, milk, yogurt. This provides the baby with calcium which it’ll need to develop healthy growing bones. Adding extra calcium to your diet wouldn’t hurt you either, especially your teeth and bones. Don’t forget about your fruit and vegetable servings. Lots of green is always a good choice, so are sweet potatoes. Not only will you be giving your body what it needs but you’ll start to have more energy. Try laying off the sweets for a week and replace them with healthier items and see how alive you feel.

Foods to Avoid
Not all foods are safe during your pregnancy, there are a few things you should avoid eating:

- unpasteurized products- brie
- Certain fish- exotic, shark, swordfish, anything high in mercury
- Raw eggs
- Undercooked meats- lunch meats. If you are buying a deli sandwich you can ask for them to eat the meat up a little.
- Caffeine- soda, chocolate. If you find this difficult you can wean yourself off, but the less caffeine in your system the better it is for the baby.

If you are ever unsure of the foods you can eat you can ask your doctor for a list of items to avoid during pregnancy. They’ll be more than happy to share this with you. You may also learn that your stomach won’t handle certain foods that it would before. Some of those foods may include foods that contain grease, fast foods, meat, and certain foods that have a strong odor. Eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to cut out all the fun in your life, you can still treat yourself from time to time. Go out and get a frozen yogurt or a smoothie. While you are making sure you get enough to eat throughout the day, that doesn’t mean neglect your fluid intake. You’ll need lots of water and juices from here on out. The baby will thank you later. Who knows, you may discover that you really enjoy eating healthier and continue it even after the pregnancy.

A Guide To Your Pregnancy

The first step of your pregnancy, after seeing the little positive stick should to have it confirmed. Call immediately to have a pregnancy test done with your local doctor, you may be in luck and get in that same day or have to wait about a week or two. Patience will become your best friend during this time or your worst enemy, waiting can become a very hard thing when you want to know for sure whether you are or aren't pregnant. More than likely you'll get a phone call a few days later to confirm it.

Set up an appointment to see your OB/GYN or midwife as soon as possible, chances are you'll be meeting his/her staff before you ever meet them. This is the first appointment where your doctor/midwife will want to know all your medical history. If you’ve been pregnant, what types of sicknesses run in your family, etc. If you can, try making sure you know all of this ahead of time, maybe even have it all down on paper so when he/she asks you are prepared. During the days or weeks leading up to this meeting you may have concerns, write them down and ask them. Believe it or not doctors are there to help you, and they’ve been asked every question you can possibly think of. Before leaving your doctor may even give you a bag full of goodies all about being pregnant. Read these, they may prove beneficial and not to mention they’ve got coupons. Your doctor will either give you another appointment or have you set one up before leaving. There are some great books out there if you are really worried about what will happen next or how birth is going to be, check them out at your local library.

Make sure that you get your prenatal vitamins, they are very important during pregnancy. If for some reason you can’t take them, talk with your doctor he/she may be able to prescribe a lower dosage or something else. You’ll get your first ultrasound, also known as US around week 20, this is normally when you find out what sex the baby is. However some doctors like to call it safe and give you an ultrasound around 10-12 weeks just to make sure the baby is in the proper location and all is going well. You will also be asked to take an orange drink that you must drink in five minutes. You’ll wait around for an hour to three hours, at which point your blood gets drawn and you can go home. The test determines if you have or have a chance of getting gestational diabetes.

At first your appointments will be about 4 weeks apart until you hit the 36 week and at that point it’ll be two weeks later and a week later after that until the baby is born. By now you should be preparing to have the baby. Yes, I’m sure you’ll have some anxiety towards the end of your pregnancy. You’ve went this far, it’s time you see your reward.

Stress Free Holidays During Your Pregnancy

Holidays can already be a stressful time, and mix that with pregnancy and hormones and you can be asking for trouble. I’m not meaning for just the pregnant woman either, anyone and everyone in her path. Women already feel the pressure of having that perfect holiday for her family, which is probably why she decides to do 100 things at a time...stressing herself out in the end. However, she doesn’t have to have a stressful holiday. There are five ways to make your holidays something to remember.

Mark the Dates
Go out and buy yourself a calendar for the holidays. Post it up on the wall and start marking dates. You won’t need to stress out because you won’t be double booking yourself. This can also help you in preplanning, mark the day you should send out the holiday cards or buy certain items.

Choosing Your Activities
During the holiday season you are sure to be invited to a couple of parties. It isn’t necessary to attend every one of them. Decide which ones you’ll enjoy the most, maybe two or three and explain to the rest you’ll miss going but need some rest.

Choose Where You’ll Go
Whether you want to stay home for the holidays with your own family or go across country to be with the entire family the decision should be yours. Don’t feel guilty telling them you won’t be making it this year, explain you need rest and traveling isn’t very helpful. You may even want to extend an invitation for the family to come to your house instead.

Designating Jobs
If you’ve decided to have the holidays at your house you can still have a good time. Don’t forget that asking for help is okay. No one expects you to do it all on your own. Do you really have to cook the ham, bake the potatoes, make a cake, clean the house and set up the tree all by yourself? Designate others to help, they'll feel happy you’ve given them something to do instead of sit around waiting while they watch you do it all.

Shopping Time
Shopping during the holiday season can be a nightmare that you don’t need to attempt while pregnant. It’s safer to just stay home during some of those sales. Instead you may want to try shopping online, not only will you be home but you can relax. The only thing you’ll need is a credit card and let your fingers do the work. You can even do all your holiday shopping early and have it delivered right to your front door. All you need to do is wrap it up and hide it in the closet.

Remember the holiday season is all about making memories that’ll last. You may be pregnant but you don’t have to sit at home the whole time stressed out, instead you can actually enjoy yourself with these helpful tips. Don’t forget to take a little time off to do something just for you, after all you deserve it.

Morning Sickness During Pregnancy

Morning sickness can be one of your first signs that you are pregnant. This doesn’t always mean that you’ll get sick only in the morning. This can happen, morning, noon or night. It will normally occur in the first trimester or your pregnancy and end by the second, this isn’t the case in all pregnancies though. Some women will continue with it until the very end of term.

Nausea can happen immediately or you may get lucky and have no morning sickness at all. No one is for certain what causes morning sickness, it is a change in the body that happens during pregnancy. Many women seem to get sick after taking the prenatal pill, try taking it later in the day. Your doctor may even advise you to take some other form of vitamin instead of the pill. Always find out first with your doctor before taking anything new or taking yourself off medication, even prenatal pills.

There are a few ways to minimize the sickness, but they don’t work for everyone. Try keeping crackers on hand, I prefer saltines for some reason. Try drinking some ginger ale, it calms the stomach down. Dry cereal is another good thing to eat, your stomach may just be a little bit hungry and trying to tell you. Remember to take small portions, this way you know if it is all going to come up or not. Sleeping is another good way to avoid it, however it will wake you up. Keep yourself hydrated, not only can this make your sickness come but you can become dehydrated and need to go to the emergency room if you aren’t careful.

Smells is another thing that seems to cause morning sickness. Imagine walking into a restaurant and the first thing you smell is grease. Yes, this can easily set it off. Bad smells and even certain tastes, get the feel for your body during the pregnancy and figure out just what sets it off. Knowing how to avoid it, can make a world of difference.

A few reasons you should go to your doctor would be if you begin losing weight because you are constantly sick. If you become dehydrated, faint, look pale, confused or throw up more than four times in a day. Your doctor may be able to prescribe something that will stop it.

Try slowing down a bit, sometimes your body is just exhausted from all the errands you are running and it tries to give you a break. Listen to your body, take a nap, relax and watch a television show…take some time off. If you are looking for remedies for your morning sickness, you may try buying some pregnancy pops. Or if you’d prefer to stay away from the sweets you can wear a bracelet designed to stop morning sickness, they are just like the motion sickness bracelets. They don’t work for everyone but they could work for you.

Staying Fit During Your Pregnancy

Keeping fit during your pregnancy is great for you, not only will it help you keep your body toned but it also can help when it comes time to push that baby out. Every pregnant woman wants to be able to go back to her pre-pregnancy weight after the baby is born, but the only way to do that is to make sure you can. By excising or working out every day you are making sure you don’t add fat to your body. During labor it’ll be much easier to push the baby if you’ve been strengthening your leg and stomach muscles. Who knows, it may even make labor a little bit shorter. Isn’t that what we all want? Plus when you are tired and just feeling a little blue, just by exercising you actually increase your energy.

Here are a few quick things you can do to stay fit during pregnancy, without really having to break out a sweat. I’m sure by now you’ve heard of yoga, this is a very good thing for you to practice, especially if you haven’t always been in the best of shape. Not to worry, there are beginning levels here, you don’t have to jump into the human pretzel right away. Try purchasing a set of small weights that you can use throughout the house, like hand weights or wrist weights that can use while walking. Instead of just laying on the couch while you rest you can be lifting small weights. Get a chair and try doing a couple crunches, 5 to 10 in the beginning to make sure you don’t pull anything. Don’t worry you can always add to it as the weeks go on.

Try running, walking or jogging outside. Not only will this boost up your energy but it’ll also help get your spirits up, especially if you’ve been inside all day. Remember, if you are going for a walk to always bring a drink with you. You don’t want to dehydrate out there. Always make sure that you are wearing comfortable shoes, before you leave the house. If you didn’t always run, ask your doctor if you can. Sometimes a doctor may suggest you walk around the block at first and increase it from there, if you didn’t always do it before you were pregnant.

If you can you may want to try going for a swim or try bicycling. However, if you find that you are accident prone you may want to stay away from the bike. A bike accident is something that can easily happen, even when you’ve always road a bike. Swimming can help you relax and stay cool. Take a dip in the pool near you, they may even have a swim class for pregnant women in your area. This would be a great way to meet other moms. Whenever you are doing exercises, make sure you aren’t overdoing it. If you believe you could be stop immediately and take a break. You never want to do anything that’ll harm the pregnancy.

Pregnancy’s Beautiful Stretch Marks

The minute you find out you are pregnant you know things are going to be changing, from your waist size to those little stretch marks that pop up. Stretch marks are exactly that, red or purple marks left in your skin because it has stretched. The most common areas for it to appear is the buttocks, thighs, stomach, breasts and even arms. 90 percent of all pregnant women will get them, whether they get a lot or a few depends on the body and how they are preventing them.

There are a ton of lotions out there that claim to help prevent stretch marks, such as scar serum, cocoa butter or Maderma. Make sure your skin is always moist, this helps in stretching the skin and not tearing it. There are new discoveries every day, ask your doctor what he/she recommends. Try them out yourself first and see if they work for you. This isn’t something you just put on one time during your pregnancy, you’ll have to make this a daily effort in order for it to work. That’s where most women fail, they just stop doing it.

During your pregnancy try to eat healthy and stay in shape. This can help to keep off any access weight. The recommended weight gain for the average, 25-35 healthy pregnancy is 25-35 pounds. Make sure you drink plenty of water, staying hydrated helps keep the skin healthy. The moment your skin dries out you can begin getting stretch marks.

If you’ve had one or more children your chances of getting more stretch marks will increase. Your skin has already been stretched out and you are about to do it again. Large babies and multiple babies can increase your chances of getting stretch marks too. Begin using preventing creams and lotions with vitamins A and E in them, as soon as you find out your are pregnant and try to lessen your chances of getting them.

After the pregnancy if you have any stretch marks you may still have a few stretch marks, even after all the care you took. These do fade over time, so don’t worry about the way you look. If they are unbearable to you and you’ve waited a while, you can choose to have a tummy tuck or laser removal. Make an appointment with a dermatologist to see what he/she has to tell you. You may discover that you can live with them after all.

Besides caring for your skin daily and eating right, there isn’t much you can do to prevent these beautiful pregnancy marks, however this doesn’t mean you don’t have to try. Take comfort in knowing that half the woman you know that have been pregnant probably have a mark or two, they may even have a little road map. Think about it as you’ve just been initiated into the gang of motherhood. No woman should ever feel ashamed of her stretch marks, they may not be the prettiest thing in the world but they do represent one thing…your child. Remember that the next time you are getting disgusted by them.