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Breastfeeding Tips To Help You Get Off To An Easy Start

 

When you breastfeed your baby for a few initial days or weeks, the fluid your breasts produce in the first few days after birth is called colostrum. Colostrum is the root of antibodies that protect your baby against disease. However, if you've never breastfed before, you may think of it coming naturally to you and your newborn baby. Nursing (breastfeeding) is a learned process. None of us, not even babies, know how to do it.

To increase your chance of success, have a look at the given breastfeeding tips:

Try breastfeeding your newborn within first few hours after birth. It helps in the contraction of your uterus and provides the valuable colostrum to your baby.

  • Have a lactation consultant or nurse while you're in the hospital to check how your baby latches on during breastfeeding. While it may get uncomfortable for you when Baby latches on but it won't be painful. Even if it gets painful and makes you grimace every time, then you may not have the right position.

  • Get ready for your milk to come in. It happens on about the third or fourth day after delivery. You'll get aware of it because your breasts will suddenly increase several cup sizes! Speaking of which, invest in several well-fitting nursing bras and do remember to pack one in your hospital bag.

  • After birth, plan to breastfeed your baby at least 8 to 12 times in every 24-hour period. Your baby knows how to give you hunger signals, such as he/she will be searching for your nipples; put hands in the mouth, and look increasingly alert. Thus, always feed on demand.

  • Try not to use a bottle or other nipples like pacifiers until the baby has established.

  • Breastfeed in a peaceful environment to help your milk let down. After a while, the process will get comfortable. All it will take for your milk to come is unhooking your bra for the baby, or even seeing any infant crying.

But, you should know that breastfeeding your baby not only benefits him/her but you, too.

  • It can help your uterus to take its pre-pregnancy shape and decreases post-delivery bleeding.

  • Breastfeeding helps you burn those extra pounds you've gained during pregnancy. You burn up to 500 calories when breastfeeding.

  • It can reduce the risk of postpartum depression, and breast and ovarian cancer.

  • It saves money!

Prevalent Breastfeeding challenges and tips to tackle them:

1. Sore and Cracked Nipples

Check the position of your baby when she latches on; smooth lanolin over your nipples after each breastfeeding session, and let your nipples dry first post each nursing session. Also, swap which breast you start on for every session.

Initially, try limiting nursing sessions to 5 to 10 minutes for each side until your nipples toughen up. If you hear any clicking or sucking sound, it might be possible that you aren't breastfeeding your baby in a right way. In addition to this, keep your baby close to you, and hold her head firmly so that her mouth conceal as much areola as possible.

2. Blocked milk duct

Letting warm water run over your breasts in the shower, warm compresses, or even laying cabbage leaves over breasts can for sure help release some of the pressure. Also, you can try pumping some milk between breastfeeds.

3. Breast infection or mastitis

If you have the symptoms of flu and one breast is red, sore, and hot, you may have mastitis. You'll likely need an antibiotic to diagnose the infection. Meanwhile, you need to breastfeed with the other side as much as you can. To help cure mastitis, make sure you empty your breasts. If you do want to take antibiotics, supplement with a probiotic, or consume a container of live culture yogurt every day, to prevent the next possible complication, thrush.

4. Increasing the supply of milk

Breastfeeding is a supply-and-demand process. The more you breastfeed, the more your body makes milk. So, when your baby is under a growth spurt and seems like breastfeeding all the time, it's baby's signals for your body to up the milk supply for her new nutritional requirements.

In Summary:

There are plenty of advertisements out there saying that to breastfeed your baby is the best, natural thing. They all lie! In fact, breastfeeding is an adjustment and can take a lot of time. The real beauty of breastfeeding is when you and your baby figure out how to latch, how to hold, what to drink, what to eat, and how to sit. So, make use of the mentioned breastfeeding tips in this article to realize you're doing something amazing.

Also Read: Pregnancy Checklist - Essentials Things To Do When Pregnant

 

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Best Home Remedies To Get A Flat Tummy After Pregnancy

 

Are you worried about the stubborn, big stomach you've got after your pregnancy? Then, there's good news for you! You may not be surprised to know that it's not impossible to bring your stomach in shape after birth. But it can be surprising for you to know that you don't need to undergo any surgery, medications, or join a gym, to get back into your pre-pregnancy shape. Here are 10 ways you can try at your home and get your flat tummy back.

Tummy Tuck Belt:

Whether it's a c-section or natural birth, you may be advised by your doctor to wear a tummy tuck belt shortly after birth. Wearing a belt for a few weeks until prescribed is a sure-way to flatten your tummy. You can also make a waistband at home. For that, wrap cotton bands around your waist and then roll another layer of soft cloth. It gives a cushioning effect while helping in to flatten your stomach.

Topical Lotions:

Although there are topical lotions available in the market, you may want to check before buying one. Most of them contain Collagen and Vitamins A, C,k, and E. Gently rubbing them on your stomach will not only increase the blood flow but will also tighten your flabby belly. However, you can make your homemade lotion for best results. To make one, blend 250 ml fresh grapes extracts in 750 ml of extra virgin olive oil. Remove the pulp before adding it to the olive oil. Leave the blend under the sun for a week in a bottle while shaking it twice a day. Topical applications of the mix can give you a flat tummy.

Water, honey, and lemon:

Pour fresh lemon juice and half a teaspoon of honey in a glass of lukewarm water and have it before meals and or on an empty stomach to burn stomach fat.

Green Tea:

A cup of green tea every day can help reduce your stomach fat as green tea carries antioxidative elements in it.

Apples:

Apples contain pectin. Pectin is a structural heteropolysaccharide, which is helpful in burning excessive fat gathered around the stomach.

Balanced, low-fat diet:

Try including two portions of vegetables, two portions of grains, fruits, seeds, nuts, poultry, and low-fat dairy products in your everyday diet. Also, reduce the intake of Sodium. Cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, collard greens, and kale, and cruciferous fruits like papaya, mangoes, grapefruit, oranges, and lemons are extremely helpful in losing abdominal fat.

Space out your meals:

Never skip your breakfast, and have at least two meals along with four lighter meals intermittently. As a breastfeeding mother, your body requires more energy. But being on a diet to lose weight can make you weaker. Plus, your metabolism will be high around this period, so eating healthy foods can encourage the rapid burning of extra calories as well.

Drink plenty of water:

Drinking water can eliminate the toxins in your body and help reduce belly fat. It can also help replenish the body fluids from the body.

Breastfeeding:

Breastfeeding is known to help burn 500 calories a day. It also assists in the contraction of the uterus to its pre-pregnancy size.

Exercise:

Initially, you need to gain some endurance by walking, jogging, cycling or swimming. After a few weeks, when you've shed some fat, you can begin focusing on your tummy by doing sit-ups and abdominal crunches in the morning.

Let us know what’s your secret weapon(s) to burn belly fat! Let the other mommies get some much-needed help.

 

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Intelligent Pregnant Women Avoid These Foods During Pregnancy!

 

When pregnant, you may want to make sure that you are on the best possible diet to give your unborn baby a nutritious and healthy start- right from the womb.

Your diet is the primary source of your baby's growth and development. But, you may find it surprising that there are some foods, or things in those foods, which may pose a risk, not only to your health but also to the little being in the womb.

Here we have outlined a list of foods that you should steer clear of during pregnancy, or take proper precautions before consuming them.

Meats And Fishes:

Make sure that the meat you eat is not undercooked. It needs to be served hot. If the meat is undercooked, it may contain bacteria and Toxoplasma that cause infections. You can use a food thermometer to make sure what you eat is safe and healthy.

Likewise, be careful when eating deli-meats like hot dogs, cold-cuts or sausages, and processed meat spreads as they contain the Listeria, precipitated by consuming foods contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes.

Thus, it's better to stay away from these type of foods. If you still want to eat such foods, reheat them until they're steaming. However, you need to re-cook them at very low. Doing so kills the bacteria in foods and makes them safe for consuming.

Freshly Squeezed Fruit Juices:

When you are out of your home, a glass of freshly squeezed fruit juice seems like a healthy, ideal option, but it's not. In fact, unpasteurized juices may contain bacteria like Salmonella and E. Coli.

Mostly, a preponderance of juices available commercially is pasteurized and therefore, they are considered safe for consumption for pregnant women. However, before buying, ensure that you check the label of the products. It's because a minority of them is available in pasteurized alternatives as well.

Alcohol:

Alcohol consumption during pregnancy isn't for sure a good option. It can cause health issues and birth complications like premature birth, miscarriage, low birth-weight of the baby, etc. Consuming alcohol during pregnancy is also known to give rise to the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome/Disorders.

Caffeine:

Caffeine is a stimulant found in beverages like coffee, tea, cold drinks, soda, chocolate, etc. It's considered by many people a staple of their everyday routine.

However, pregnant women need to be precautious about how much caffeine they consume daily. For pregnant women, the preferred amount of caffeine consumption is about 200 mg per day.

Raw Milk:

Raw milk, even if is fresh but hasn't been pasteurized, may contain bacteria. And therefore, it should be avoided by expecting women.

Foods kept for longer than usual:

Pregnant women should avoid cooked food that has been stored for too long or beyond the permissible limit, two hours.

Staples and cooked food start to decay within maximum 2-3 hours if you don't refrigerate it. It's better to skip them than to risk falling sick.

Uncooked Shellfish:

Eating shellfish is okay if it has been thoroughly cooked. Undercooked or uncooked shellfish can have traces of bacteria, toxins, virus, and bacterial contaminations. Thus, you should avoid eating shellfish during pregnancy.

Uncooked Sprouts:

Uncooked sprouts like alfalfa, bean, radish, have high levels of bacterial content. That's why you need to avoid raw sprouts even if you're at home or eating out. Instead, go for cooked sprouts.

Fresh Vegetables And Fruits:

Eat fresh vegetables and fruits after washing them thoroughly and gently scrubbing them with running water. Also, separate the parts which have cuts or scars. Because those parts are a developing ground for parasites called Toxoplasma and other bacteria.

So these were some foods that you need to avoid during pregnancy as they can pose a risk to your health. Keep this list in your mind the next time you plan a meal, and keep yourself and your baby safe and healthy.

 

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Consuming Dates During Pregnancy: How Do They Help Ease Labor

Catherine Emily started eating six to seven dates every day as soon as she entered her nine months of pregnancy. The result- she had a smooth labor and delivery. But, what essential nutrients do they contain for pregnancy? If you are unsure if eating them during pregnancy is safe or not, this blog post by BabyFlix is a must read.

 

Is eating Dates during Pregnancy safe?

 

Yes, eating dates is safe and beneficial for pregnant women and their unborn babies. The fructose sugars in dates break down quickly, offering energy without making alterations in blood sugar levels in the body. Dates also contain laxative properties, which stimulate contractions in the uterus and help shorten labor.

 

What do studies say about eating Dates during pregnancy?

 

According to Pubmed Journal, consuming dates during pregnancy affects labor and delivery in a positive manner. And also, they don't pose any risk to the health of a mother and her baby.

 

Nutrients proportion in Dates:

 

Quantity of essential nutrients per 100g of dates are:

 

Benefits of eating dates during pregnancy:

Now we are aware of the fact that dates are extremely nutritious as they have high levels of proteins, vitamins, and fiber, which are known to provide aid in easy pregnancy. Here are a few specific advantages of consuming them during pregnancy:

 

Provide energy:

 

The demand for more energy increases in the body during pregnancy. Consuming six to seven dates every day will supply the required sugars in your body without adding extra calories.

 

Help with Constipation:

 

This fruit has rich sources of fiber and thus, keep the digestive system healthy and help aid constipation. A handful of dates can fill up your tummy, maintain a healthy weight, and reduce cholesterol levels.

 

Produce Amino Acids:

 

Dates have sufficient amount of proteins required for a pregnant woman's body to create amino acids, which are vital for body growth.

 

Prevent Birth Defects:

 

Babies take birth with low levels of Vitamin K. If you consume dates every day, you can fill up the need of the Vitamin K when you breastfeed your baby. Vitamin K is essential for providing aid in clotting and bone development.

 

Prevent anemia:

 

Dates can help you meet the required iron content during pregnancy to keep anemia aside. Iron helps sustain hemoglobin in the body. It can also strengthen both yours and your baby's immunity.

 

Maintain water-salt proportion:

 

Dates are full of potassium. And potassium is a chemical element which maintains water-salt balance, controls blood pressure, and prevents muscle cramps. Deficiency of this vital mineral in the body can lead to kidney-related complications.

 

Make teeth and bones stronger in the baby:

 

Another essential, vital mineral is magnesium. It helps in the formation of teeth and bones in the baby. Also, it helps in regulating blood pressure and blood sugar levels in the body.

 

How do dates provide help with labor?

 

Dates help increase the oxytocin effect (contraction of the womb), which causes an increase in the sensitivity of the uterus. This fruit contains saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, which supply energy and produce prostaglandins required for labor. Also, dates have the serotonin, tannin, and calcium, which can provide help in the contraction of uterine muscles.

 

Though dates are a storehouse of some of the vital nutrients and minerals, do consult with your doctor about how, when, and how much to eat.

 

 
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Early Pregnancy Ultrasound Scans: A Complete Guide

 

Having ultrasound scans in the first few weeks of pregnancy can be quite eventful. Because you can see the little blob with a heartbeat that will soon grow as your baby.

Early Pregnancy Scans:

Ultrasound scans make use of sound waves to create a picture of the baby in the womb. These pregnancy scans are completely safe and painless. They have no side effects on mothers and babies.

Usually, two scans are carried out during the first trimester of pregnancy. A dating and viability scan between weeks 6-9 and an early morphology scan or NT scan between weeks 11-13.

Although pregnancy ultrasound scans are eventful, be aware of the fact that they can also detect some severe abnormalities in you, so you need to be prepared for that information.

What does happen in the Ultrasound Scanning Room?

The scans are carried out by specially trained staff called sonographers. The sonographer puts gel on your stomach and tucks tissue papers around your clothes to protect them from the gel. The gel ensures that there is a proper contact between your skin and the machine.

The sonographer places a probe, a handheld device, over your skin. Then, the probe transmits ultrasounds waves and picks them up when they bounce back.

A black and white imagery of the baby appears on the ultrasound scan. However, there are now more options available to you. You can instead choose a 3D, 4D or HD live ultrasound scan as well. Not only that, with BabyFlix, your pregnancy ultrasound imagery can be turned into a short Hollywood movie.

How long does a scan take?

An ultrasound scan takes around 20 minutes. However, the sonographer won't be able to get a good view of the baby if he/she is lying in an awkward position or moving around.   

If you're an overweight woman or your body tissues are dense, it can reduce the quality of the picture as there are more tissues for the ultrasound waves to pass through before they reach the baby. If it gets difficult to get a good picture of the baby, the sonographer might repeat the process.

When are the scans offered?

Hospitals usually prefer all pregnant women to have at least two pregnancy ultrasound scans during pregnancy. The first scan, performed between weeks 6-13, is sometimes called the 'Dating Scan.' In this type of scan, the sonographer estimates your due date based on the measurements of your baby. The dating scan can also include an NT (Nuchal translucency) scan, a combined part of the screening test for Down's syndrome.

The second scan is called the 'Anomaly scan' or mid-pregnancy scan. It usually takes place between weeks 18-21 of pregnancy and is performed to detect structural abnormalities (anomalies) in the baby.

It is also possible that some women may be offered more than two scans, depending on their pregnancy and their health.

What information does an ultrasound scan give?

An ultrasound can be used to check your baby's size - at the dating scan. It gives a better idea of how many weeks pregnant you are and what's your due date. It can tell whether you are going to give birth to more than one baby, check for abnormalities, and show the position of the placenta.

Can a scan tell if it's a girl or a boy?

Although finding the gender of a baby during an ultrasound scan is not offered as a part of the National Screening Programme, but it can be possible if the hospital's policy allows doing so. If you want to determine the gender of your baby, tell the sonographer during your mid-pregnancy scan that you would like to know the sex of your baby. But, it may not be possible for the sonographer to be 100% sure about the sex of your baby. For instance, during the scan, if your baby is lying in an awkward situation, it may get difficult or impossible to tell.

Can I have a picture of the baby?

You can get a picture of your baby if the clinic has the facility of providing ultrasound pictures.

With BabyFlix, clinicians and imaging centers can provide their patients with more than DVDs and printed thermals. BabyFlix bridges the gap between mothers-to-be and ultrasound providers by offering them the share-ability of their ultrasound scan images. It can make a movie of your pregnancy test, stream it live, and send it to your phone directly.

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11 First and Early Signs of Pregnancy That Are Easy To Miss

 

While trying to conceive, even a subtle hint of any symptom gets your heart pounding. The only way to know for sure is by performing a pregnancy test though. However, there are some early signs of pregnancy as well that can indicate the possibility of you being pregnant. Here's what to look for:

1) Shortness of Breath:

Do you face difficulty going up the stairs all of sudden? It can be possible if you're pregnant. The growing fetus requires oxygen that may leave you a little short of breath. And this may go on throughout your pregnancy, especially as your baby in the womb starts to put pressure on your diaphragm and lungs.

2) Exhaustion:

You couldn't even read one page of your book last night before dozing off. If you feel sudden exhaustion, it might be a response to the increase of hormones in your body. For many women, fatigue lasts through the third trimester, then ebbs in seconds though.

3) Nausea:

Most women start getting a feeling of nervousness, uneasiness, or anxiety when they're six weeks along. However, some women can experience nausea earlier. It will likely subside as you enter your second trimester. Meanwhile, try consuming foods which can help settle the stomach, such as ginger ale or crackers.

4) Excessive Urination:

If you find yourself unable to sleep without a trip to the washroom, it might be a sign. When pregnant, your body produces extra fluid which causes your bladder work overtime- and you go for a lot of pee breaks.

5) Sore Breasts:

Putting on your bra this morning was a little uncomfortable. Delicate and heavy-feeling breasts, darkening of the areolas and even more open veins on your chest can be the signs of pregnancy.

6) Headaches:

Early signs of pregnancy include an aching head and variations in hormones. Just in case if you have got pregnant, take pg-safe acetaminophen instead of taking ibuprofen to help ease the pain.

7) Backaches:

If your lower back is a little uncomfortable, it could mean your ligaments are loosening. Unfortunately, you may have to bear backaches throughout the entire pregnancy. It happens because your weight gain and shifting center of gravity throw your body posture out of whack.

8) Cramps:

Cramp can occur because of PMS or Pregnancy. It's hard to identify, but if you're dealing with cramps, it can be your uterus on the stretch to accommodate the baby.

9) Food aversions:

Food aversions, like cravings, are known to be caused by the hormonal changes of pregnancy. Human chorionic gonadotrophin (or hCG), the hormone that precipitates positive pregnancy test, grows every few day during the first trimester. It levels off around week 11 of pregnancy. Up to that point, the quickly rising levels may be the reasons for nausea, food aversions, and cravings.

10) Bloating:

A boost in estrogen and progesterone is one of the symptoms of pregnancy. It causes many women to swell up early in pregnancy. Bloating, abdominal pain or tightening, belching and passing gas may accompany you for the entire pregnancy. So, it can be that extra progesterone due to pregnancy, which causes your digestive system to slow down.

11) Mood Swings:

WWIII erupted when your husband failed to put his socks in the hamper. If you're feeling a little moody, it might be because your body is trying to adjust new hormones. Tell your husband that roller coaster of emotions will soon pass.  

Summary:

You may not be able to know for sure whether you’re a mother-to-be until you don’t perform the pee-stick test. If you get your result negative and yet don’t get your period, it might be because it’s too early for the test to detect. In the meantime, go through these weird signs of pregnancy that may appear upon conception.

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10 Unbelievable Things That Happen In The Womb During Pregnancy

 

You don't have to become a medical expert to know the little being in your womb can suck his thumb and hiccup. Delightful baby-sucks-his-thumb ultrasounds seem to be prevailing, and the sensation of hiccuping in the womb is undeniable. But what else your baby is up to in the womb the whole day?

Any pregnancy blog or book can provide you with a detailed answer to how your baby's fingers form in the womb but, can it answer the most pertinent questions like,"do babies fart in the womb?" Well, breeze through the article and get answers to your most bizarre pregnancy-related questions.

1) Do babies breathe in the womb?

Yes, they do breathe in the womb, but not like we do. It's quite complicated. Since there is a lot of fluid in the form of amniotic sac, they receive their oxygen from their mothers via the umbilical cord.

2) Do babies urinate in the womb?

They do pee in the womb. In fact, you might be aware of what's amniotic fluid. That's the baby's pee. By the time a baby is at term, around 100% of the amniotic fluid encompassing him is his urine. When a baby's kidneys entirely form, he begins swallowing amniotic fluid, excreting in the form of urination and swallowing it again.

3) Do babies weep in the womb?

According to a study conducted in 2005, they do cry. In the study, a noise stimulus placed on a pregnant belly showed the signs of the fetus's distinctive crying behavior. In addition to this, by 20 weeks gestation, the fetus holds the complete motor repertoire required for crying behavior: jaw opening, coordinated breathing efforts, mouthing, chin quiver, swallowing, and tongue extensions.

4) Can they open their eyes in the womb?

Despite the fact that sight is the last sense a baby develops in the womb, it can and does open his eyes. Commonly, around the 26th week is the time when a baby opens his eyes.

5) Do babies poop in the womb?

A baby's first poop called 'meconium,' generally comes the first day of birth. Pooping isn't impossible though, especially, if the baby is under immoderate stress, or is overdue.

6) Do they fart in the womb?

Don't be surprised if your husband skips this question since he is about to welcome a potty-talk partner in crime.

At term, a baby can pass his poop in the amniotic fluid. So, you cannot hear him farting, but theoretically, he is farting in the womb.

7) Do they sleep in the womb?

According to the Science20, around the 28th week of the development of a fetus, the first rapid eye movements can be detected. After that, the baby will spend his life in the womb cycling between REM and non-REM sleep as well as quiet-awake and alert-awake cycles. Alert-awake is the time when the baby kicks you!

8) Can they dream in the womb?

Understandably, it's a tough question to answer. Although science has made some exceptional advancements in studying a fetus's states of sleep, there are a few things that need more thorough research.

Since our dreams occur during REM sleep, possibly, he can also dream in the womb. However, what he dreams about may stay a mystery.

9) Do babies bond?

Those nine months a baby spent listening to you croon while wrapped in your warmth has prepared him to develop the warm fuzzies for you. It is the reason that from birth, he/she starts recognizing your voice and is comforted by your touch.

10) Do they smile in the womb?

You might not have felt great after knowing that your baby can cry in the womb. However, take hope in the fact that he can smile as well.

Around 26 weeks, babies in the womb show a variety of facial expression in the uterus, and one of them is most certainly a smile.

Luckily, if in your ultrasound test images you see a smile, take a mental picture of it (or technologies can capture it for you, and apps like BabyFlix can enable you to share your ultrasound images and videos with your family and friends.) because you may not b able to see your smile again until next 8-10 weeks after birth.

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Pregnancy Checklist - Essentials Things To Do When Pregnant

 

Here's a list of the essential things you need to do before you give birth to your baby, we have broken down them by trimesters and weeks.

First Trimester

  1. Week 1: If you haven't begun already, you should start taking a prenatal multivitamin along with folic acid every day. You can increase the intake of it up to 600 micrograms if you know for sure that you've got pregnant.
  2. Week 2: For a healthy birth and pregnancy, you should be resorting to a healthy diet possible for the next nine months.
  3. Week 3: You may need to organize a visit to a genetic counselor in case if you're at a risk of having a baby with an inherited disorder.
  4. Week 4: Positive test: You've now become a pregnant woman! Invest in an extra supportive bra if you think your breasts are expanding.
  5. Week 5: Call your doctor to arrange an appointment with him as soon as you find out you're pregnant. While some may prefer seeing you immediately, others may not until you are eight weeks pregnant.
  6. Week 6: While some women don't want to reveal about their pregnancy until the danger of miscarriage drops markedly, around 14 weeks, others spill the beans straightaway. You can tell your boss or coworkers about your pregnancy when you've reached your maternity leave claims. Also, read here how to manage professional and personal life together during pregnancy.
  7. Week 7: By the time your first trimester is about to get over, visit your company's human resources and ask how much maternity leave you can have, whether it will be unpaid, paid, or a unification of both.
  8. Week 8: Most obstetricians perform an ultrasound at the first prenatal visit to determine your pregnancy and give it a date if you aren't aware of the time you conceived. Additionally, thanks to the technological advancements that even let you see how your baby looks inside you and share your first ultrasound images with your friends and family.
  9. Week 9: Generally, pregnant women start attending childbirth-prep courses during their second trimester, and classes fill up quickly. So, find more options in your area and sign up early.
  10. Week 10: Research breastfeeding and newborn-care classes, hospital tours, and if required, big-sibling classes.
  11. Week 11: Between weeks 10 to 12, you may need to undergo Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS), it's the diagnostic test performed for chromosomal disorders like Down Syndrome.
  12. Week 12: Between weeks 11-13, a nuchal translucency exam can be done to screen for chromosomal abnormalities and Down Syndrome.
  13. Week 13:  Now that you'll be entering your second trimester, you may want to make the most of your mobility, renewed energy, and good mood to prepare for birth and make your home ready for a new member of the family.

Second Trimester

  1. Week 14: It's time to sign up for prenatal yoga classes. Yoga helps build strength for labor along with improving your agility, flexibility, balance, and posture. You can also begin your shopping for maternity clothes.
  2. Week 15: Your doctor may ask you to take multiple tests to find any abnormalities such as screens for chromosomal abnormalities, neural-tube, and other defects, this is done between weeks 15-20.
  3. Week 16: After week 16, you can think about how you want your labor and birth to happen. To begin, and create a birth plan, visit our guide to a perfect birth plan.
  4. Week 17: Now you can let your employer know that you're pregnant if you did not do so. Prepare a plan for your maternity leave, and ideas about who will be looking after your work during your absence.
  5. Week 18: Between weeks 14-20, your doctor may suggest you an amniocentesis to screen for genetic disorders/chromosomal disorders, if your age is more than 35.
  6. Week 19: Decide whether or not you and your partner would like to know about the gender of the baby.
  7. Week 20: You are halfway your pregnancy!
  8. Week 21: Even though your due date is quite far away, begin reading up on baby care. You won't get the time after your newborn comes home.
  9. Week 22: Write down the names of people you want present at your baby's birth, and discuss it with your family.
  10. Week 23: Join childbirth-education classes, not childbirth prep classes. They also fill up quickly. Try choosing a session that you can complete before the weeks 36-37.
  11. Week 24: Go out on shopping to buy baby furniture and nursery accessories. Though, leave painting and furniture refinishing; fumes pose a hazard to the health of pregnant women.
  12. Week 25: Want to plan a babymoon, do it now!
  13. Week 26: Between weeks 26-28, doctors advise glucose screening for all pregnant women for gestational diabetes.
  14. Week 27: Look into childcare if you have planned to return to work. Daycare centers and nannies aren't easy to find.
  15. Week 28: Around this time, your doctor or midwife will want to see you every two to three weeks. At this week, you can think about getting a life insurance policy.

Third Trimester

  1. Week 29: Go for shopping for the things that'll come in use in the hospital (nursing bras, baby clothes, nightgown, and car seat) and at home (wipes, diapers, etc.). 
  2. Week 30: Call your health insurance company and inform them of your due date. Ask, if they have any requirement for adding a baby to your policy.'
  3. Week 31: Interview labor coaches or doulas.
  4. Week 32: Celebrate your baby shower about one month before your due date. This way, you'll have enough time to buy items you didn't get as gifts. Register your baby shower if you're still planning.
  5. Week 33: Begin locating a lactation specialist; baby nurses or postpartum doulas, in case you need one later.
  6. Week 34: Time to wash, fold, and put away all your baby clothes and install an infant seat in your car.
  7. Week 35: Indulge in some general safeguarding in your home. Fit smoke and carbon monoxide alarms throughout the house. Keep your water heater at low, 120° F maximum.
  8. Week 36: Fix meetings with several pediatricians and select one. Your baby needs to be checked immediately after birth. Contemplate whether you want your baby circumcised if there's is a chance of having a boy. Besides, analyze cord-banking options.   
  9. Week 37: Keep your bag ready for the hospital as a baby is considered at term three weeks before the due date. Your doctor will want you to see every week starting at week 38. Also, he will order a culture of Group B Strep, a type of bacterial infection found in a pregnant woman's vagina or rectum, that can adversely affect the baby.    
  10. Week 38: Invest in nursing bras and pads. If you want to breastfeed the baby immediately after birth, read up on techniques and keep resources at your fingertips when you come home back. Attend a local La Leche League group and meet the leader and other moms; you may not want to feel like a stranger when you call them up for help.   
  11. Week 39: Many women prefer taking their maternity leave weeks before their due date. If you want to work until the end, do leave an "if I go into labor tonight" memo at work.
  12. Week 40: Relish these last days of your pregnancy. Savor the moment that a little being is moving and grooving inside your womb because, after a while, he/she will be in front of your eyes. You won't believe how much you're going to miss these days.
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Stress During Pregnancy? How it Affects the Baby

 

Science has long educated us that everything we eat and drink affects unborn babies, but what about the emotions. Pregnancy brings every type of emotions and moments in lives of people around it.

According to a study conducted by the Association for Psychological Sciences in the US, your emotions during pregnancy can put adverse effects on your six-month embryo. Not only that, during pregnancy, your emotional condition can also possibly form the foundation for the attitudes of the fetus about his or her own life.

However, getting back to the point that possibly got you hooked, what effects can your tears put on your unborn child. Well, it mainly depends on the sort of woman you are. The following categories will give you a good idea of how your feelings can add up as a factor in transforming your baby and making choices for him/her forever.   

If you overthink or take too much stress:

It's undeniable that pregnancy isn't a spa trip. A woman goes through a lot of things that sometimes are painful and uncomfortable, sometimes are a moment of happiness. Although every mother has her bouts of occasional stress, there is no need to take stress about being stressed during pregnancy. In fact, taking a little bit of stress is fine and won't have any lasting impact on a newborn baby.  

However, if you have been dealing with long-term stress and anxiety during your pregnancy, it increases your chances of having an anxious, colicky baby. When you suffer the blues, your body produces a stress hormone, and though you think that your feelings and emotions won't be able to get through the placenta, those pesky, disturbing hormones do.

If your baby gets exposed to those stress hormones, he/she can get used to being depressed chronically.  

If you're fighting with Depression:

According to a study published in Healthline, it's common for women to suffer from depression during pregnancy, the same way they suffer from a phenomenon known as postpartum depression. According to the report, almost 10% of mother-to-be suffer from depression. At that time, the prognosis doesn't seem to be a feasible option.      

If a baby borns to a clinically depressed mother, he is roughly 1.5 times more likely of developing depression as well as emotional difficulties such as aggression, by the time he grows 18 years old.   

If this doesn't seem to be alarming, depression can impact the life growing inside your womb. However, this more depends on the proportion of your depressed feelings rather than having depression itself. According to a study, if a pregnant woman is emotionally healthy during the nine months and remains so post-pregnancy, then the baby will develop normally. If a woman has suffered from depression during her pregnancy and even after the birth she was depressed, the baby will grow normal. Though, if there is a change in the consistency of emotions, for instance, if a mother is healthy when pregnant but suffered postpartum depression or vice versa, it can compromise the development of the baby.    

What if you resent your pregnancy?

If you're facing resentment for the baby developing inside your womb, this will only complicate the matter. According to studies, moms who have failed to form any bond or attachment with their unborn child had a baby who grew up with emotional setbacks.

Now, what's next?

If you have been facing more than those occasional bouts of blues, don't worry. No one will be expecting you to pull a climatic cold turkey for all the stress in your life.

Though, try to recognize the symptoms of depression and consult your doctor about taking antidepressants during pregnancy.

 

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Gender Determination Through Your First Ultrasound

 

Did you know that you don't have to wait for the 'gender ultrasound' to find out whether the unborn life inside you is a girl or a boy? Doesn't it sound amazing? It is because the advancements in technology have made it possible.

How is it possible?

Guessing whether the new member of the family will be a boy or a girl is always a matter of conversation that you'd hear a million times during the initial months of pregnancy. And trust us, the excitement of guessing soon wears off! However, the good news is that you don't have to wait for the gender determination test, usually scheduled at the 20the week of pregnancy, to find out whether a boy is living inside you or a girl.

Whatever the preferences are, to learn whether you will become a mother to a girl or a boy is something that always excites you.

Typically, an average pregnant woman in the United States needs to undergo one ultrasound test at the end of the first trimester (weeks 6-13), and another towards the end of the second (15-22). The third test during the 18-22 weeks of pregnancy happens to be the gender determination session or gender ultrasound.

However, if science were to be held accountable, you can learn of the gender of your baby much before the gender determination test.  

Amazingly, a recent study argues that you can foretell your baby's gender during the first ultrasound with an astonishing 97 % accuracy!  

Now you must be probably thinking how does it work, well here's how:

According to the study, the location of the placenta inside the womb is the only way to measure whether the baby-to-be will be a boy or a girl. The study was conducted during the first trimester (6-13), and the results have shown that for 9 out of 10 boys, the placenta almost rests on the left side of the uterus. The same study also found that for 9 out of 10 girls, the placenta sets on the right side of the uterus.

The researchers involved in the study validate their claim by saying that the method is a "highly accurate" and "remarkable" way to determine the sex of your baby.

Note:

The accuracy of this test for boys is 97.8 %, and 97.5% for girls. Obviously, in the case of boys, it does get rather clear on your later visits. So, don't panic if your doctor is not able to determine the gender of your baby. Go out and buy some neutral colors like green and yellow and prepare to welcome a new member of the family.

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