Mar 10, 2009

Pregnancy blahs: Bored with pregnancy

I'm sick of being pregnant! Is something wrong with me?

Nope, it's perfectly normal to feel that way. Many women get tired of being pregnant during the third trimester, and some even earlier. What's exciting and new during the first few weeks and months of pregnancy can become pretty tedious by the sixth or seventh month. Let's face it, there's nothing particularly thrilling about having to roll out of bed sideways, groan every time you stand up, and pee 20 times a day. Sure, you always get offered a seat on the train, but you also face little delights like hemorrhoids and heartburn. It's enough to wipe the rosy glow from even the most excited mom-to-be.

However, if your pregnancy ennui starts to feel more like persistent blues or anxiety that's affecting your ability to function, talk to your prenatal care practitioner. Although mood swings are common in pregnancy (especially among women who suffer from PMS), feeling chronically bored and listless could be a symptom of depression. Postpartum depression gets more attention in the press, but at least 10 percent of women have bouts of depression during pregnancy. Untreated depression isn't good for you or the health of your baby, so it's important to get treatment. Fortunately, most cases of pregnancy-related depression can be treated by a supportive therapist and with antidepressant medication if necessary.

Dealing with others

On top of your physical discomfort, you may find yourself enduring endless questions and comments from others about your pregnancy. "Once I started showing, no one at work ever talked to me about anything but being pregnant," recalls Susan Greer, an accountant and mother of one from New Hampshire. "By the sixth month, I wanted that baby out and my body and identity back."

And then there are the unsolicited comments — and hands — on your physique. "I'm always getting 'Wow, you are so big!' comments, advice I didn't ask for, and people touching my stomach," a mom-to-be writes on our bulletin boards. "As if I'm not already annoyed because of how uncomfortable I am!"

Many women get tired of conversation that focuses on their burgeoning physical state. Try steering conversation back to nonpregnancy topics — even if it's just the weather or the latest reality TV show. Feel free to tell your family and close friends that you need a reprieve from pregnancy talk, and you're back in the market for conversation that has nothing to do with food cravings and not seeing your feet.

Also, give yourself permission to vent when you feel the need. Although family and friends (and even life partners) can sometimes get worn down from a verbal catalogue of pregnancy woes, you can count on finding a sympathetic ear in other pregnant women. Commiserate and trade advice with other women due the same month as you or women on any of our many pregnancy-related bulletin boards.

What I wish I'd known not to stress about during pregnancy

"Don't stress if you can't get everything done that you had planned each day. The baby won't notice if the housework isn't done."

"It's okay to tell co-workers that you're not interested in their advice. Every pregnancy is different."

"Remember, every problem has a solution, and confiding in someone who is close to you or who you think can offer help or support is a step forward. Don't be afraid to talk to your partner or midwife."

"Don't stress about how you look. You are performing a miracle — growing a person inside of you — and that is a fantastic accomplishment."

"If you trust your OB, let her do her job and follow her recommendations; if you don't, find a new doctor whom you do trust. You should never be afraid to call your provider with big and small problems."

"Don't stress about tough times with your partner. A baby tests any couple's relationship."

"Don't stress about things like food or weight. Just be sensible. There's no need to give yourself an anxiety attack over the pint of Ben & Jerry's you just finished. Take it as your special reward for everything you've accomplished so far in your pregnancy, and move on."

"If you're doing everything in your power to make healthy choices, don't worry so much. Women have been having babies since well before we knew what to do and what not to do."

"Mothers-in-law don't know everything!"

"Don't stress too much about things in the environment you think might harm your baby, like standing too close to the microwave or pumping gas. Remember, the vast majority of babies are born healthy."

"Don't worry about labor. It is what it is. Just educate yourself on your options, and be ready to make informed decisions. Beyond that, just take a deep breath and go for it. It's not as bad as you think it'll be."

"Don't stress about how the baby is fending in the womb. It's quite the roll cage, and your baby is comfortable in there."

"Every little twinge doesn't mean something is wrong."

"Don't worry when your baby doesn't move. Your baby is just like you, and some days he just wants to sleep!"

"No matter what decisions you make, someone will always disagree. Try not to let the negative comments upset you, and if you're really worried about something, talk with your doctor or a nonjudgmental friend."

"It's okay if you don't have everything ready for baby. Newborns don't need a whole lot in the beginning."

"When I accepted heartburn, back pain, lack of sleep, and moodiness as a normal part of pregnancy, they did not seem to bother me as much anymore."

"If you're worried about being a good mom, you have nothing to worry about. My husband keeps telling me that bad mothers don't worry about whether or not they will be good moms."

"I had never really been around children, and I made mistakes, but as long as you love your baby, you can't harm it with small mistakes. You'll soon get comfortable with the routine."

"Don't stress too much over all the "rules" pregnant women now have. A shower warmer than lukewarm won't lead to disaster. If you accidentally eat soft cheese, there's no use worrying after the fact. Our mothers had fewer restrictions than we do, and we turned out fine."

Feb 28, 2009

Choosing The Perfect Baby Name

Parents put a lot of thought into choosing the perfect name for their new baby. Sometimes it can take awhile for both parents to agree on something. Ultimately, you want to decide on something special that you and your child will love.

Here are some important things parents should consider when naming their baby.
  • Make sure the baby name you choose sounds good with your last name. Having the first name end in the same initial as the beginning of the last name can make pronunciation difficult. If you have other children, make sure it sounds good next to their name as well.
  • Make sure your baby's initials won't spell something inappropriate or your child will no doubt be picked on.
  • Having a unique name is important to some parents, but make sure your baby's name is not so unique that it might become a nuisance to your child as they grow older. People with unusual names can often be the brunt of jokes.
  • Think about what your baby's name will sound like when they get older. A 50 year old named Cloud may sound funny, so make sure the name you pick will be appropriate at any age.
  • For the sake of your baby, you should avoid choosing a baby name that will encourage mean nicknames. You want to love your baby's name, but you want your baby to be happy with their name too.
  • Choose a name that can be spelled and pronounced without too much difficulty. Having to correct everyone on the spelling or pronunciation of your name for your whole life can become annoying.
  • If your family has any naming traditions, you may want to consider following them. Naming your baby after a favorite family relative or in honor of a deceased relative can be special also.
  • Use a baby name book and read the meanings of each name. You may want to choose a name with a special meaning.

Most importantly, make sure you decide on a name that you love. You and your partner should be 100% satisfied that you have chosen the right name for your baby.

Coping With Morning Sickness

What causes morning sickness?

Nobody knows what exactly causes morning
sickness, but there are a number of factors
believed to be associated with it.
  • heightened sense of smell
  • excess stomach acid
  • increased stress and fatigue
  • genetic predisposition
  • physiological changes going on inside the body
  • higher levels of hormones like estrogen and progesterone.

The most widely accepted theory as to the cause of morning sickness is something called hCG (human chorionic gonadotopin). Once implantation occurs in your body, hCG starts to produce. The levels increase until around the 12th week of pregnancy, then the levels will start to decrease. At the time when the hCG levels drop is usually when the effects of morning sickness also subside.

Although it is called "morning sickness", it doesn't necessarily occur only in the morning. The effects of morning sickness can be felt anytime during the day - in some women all day long.

Morning sickness can last anywhere from a few days to a few months. In some unlucky cases, morning sickness can last almost the entire pregnancy.

Women who suffer from morning sickness will usually begin feeling the effects in the 4th to 6th week of pregnancy. By the 16th week, the symptoms normally subside - unless you are one of the few unlucky women who may suffer for weeks or even months to come. But don't be discouraged - many people agree that having morning sickness is a sign of a healthy pregnancy!

Tips for coping with morning sickness

If you suffer from morning sickness, the suggestions below may help alleviate the symptoms.
  • Get plenty of rest at night, and try to have a nap during the day.
  • Try to keep your body temperature cool. I found that being warmer heightened my sense of nausea.
  • An hour before getting out of bed, eat some dry soda crackers, then get out of bed slowly. An empty stomach can make nausea worse.
  • Eat smaller frequent meals throughout the day.
  • Plan meals that won't leave a smell in the house.
  • Don't drink a large amount of liquid on an empty stomach.
  • Ginger is known to help ease the effects of nausea.
  • Avoid dehydration, especially if you are vomiting. Make sure to drink plenty of fluids in small amounts throughout the day.
  • Take your prenatal vitamins before bed instead of in the morning.
  • If it's alright with your doctor, take a vitamin B6 supplement to help with nausea.

Pregnancy Symptoms Throughout Each Trimester

There are many signs of pregnancy, but not all are
felt by every woman. Some women may experience
all of these symptoms, while others may never
experience some of them during the entire
pregnancy. Remember that every pregnancy is
different and every baby grows at a different rate.
This is only to be used as a guide. If you feel you
may be pregnant, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor for a pregnancy test.

1st Trimester
(Weeks 1 - 12)
  • Absense of your period (Amenorrhea)
  • Morning sickness (nausea and/or vomiting)
  • Feeling fatigued
  • Emptying your bladder frequently
  • Tingling, tender or swollen breasts
  • Increased vaginal discharge (leukorrhea)
  • The areola (area around your nipple) may get darker
  • The blue veins in the breasts may be more noticeable
  • Little bumps (elevated glands) around your nipple
  • Food cravings or aversions
  • Faintness or dizziness
  • Constipation, heartburn, indigestion, bloating and flatulence
  • Headaches
  • Emotional

Note: Many of these symptoms continue into the second and/or third trimesters.

2nd Trimester
(Weeks 13 - 26)
  • Morning sickness may start to subside
  • Weight gain
  • Nasal congestion or stuffiness
  • Bleeding gums while brushing teeth
  • Nosebleeds
  • Increase in appetite
  • Ankles, feet, hands and face may swell a little (edema)
  • Small amounts of colostrum coming from your nipples
  • Varicose veins and/or hemorrhoids
  • The first signs of fetal movement are felt
  • Aching abdomen along the sides and the lower area (due to stretching ligaments)
  • Leg cramps
  • Faster heart rate
  • Aching back
  • Linea nigra (dark line down the center of the abdomen)
  • "Pregnancy mask" (pigmentation changes on your face)
  • The skin of your abdomen may itch from stretching
  • Absentmindedness

Note: Many of these symptoms will continue into the third trimester.

3rd Trimester
(Weeks 27 - 42)
  • Strong fetal movement that can be felt and seen from outside the stomach
  • Increasing vaginal discharge (you may need to wear pantyliners)
  • Protruding navel
  • Shortness of breath
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Braxton Hicks contractions
  • Feeling awkward or clumsy
  • Pressure in the pelvic or hip area
  • Frequent urination
  • You may do the famous "pregnancy waddle".
  • A baby!

Feb 22, 2009

Back Pain in Pregnant Women--Causes and Solutions

Back pain in pregnant women is a frequent problem. As many as three quarters of expectant mothers experience back pain during some phase of their pregnancy. So, why does your low back hurt during pregnancy?

Pretty much, it can be reduced to changes in your body posture due to the stretching abdomen, and hormonal shifts.

Hormones cause the ligaments and tendons in the body to loosen in preparation for childbirth. Postural changes occur as your center of gravity changes. The muscles that surround your spine must work harder.

This article will explore the causes of back pain during pregnancy, discuss the different types of back pain that occur, and provide information about what can be done to prevent and relieve prenatal back pain.

There are two common types of low back pain in pregnancy, lumbar pain and posterior pelvic pain.

Lumbar pain is similar to the kind of back pain you may have experienced before you became pregnant. Lumbar discomfort is felt in the lower spine, at the level of, or slightly higher than, your waist. It can also result in pain that radiates to your legs.

Lumbar discomfort can be triggered by sitting or standing for extended periods of time or by repetitive lifting.

Posterior pelvic pain is low back ache that is experienced behind the pelvis, below the waist, and/or across the tailbone or sacrum. It can also be felt in the buttocks, on one or both sides, or in the back of the thighs. You may also have pubic pain. Posterior pelvic pain occurs four times more frequently than lumbar pain during pregnancy.

Posterior pelvic discomfort can be aggravated by bending, twisting, rolling, climbing stairs, and prolonged leaning forward such as occurs when you sit at a computer for extended periods of time.

Posterior pelvic pain is often mistaken as sciatica. When you have sciatica, it causes discomfort not only in the low back, hips, buttocks, and thighs, but also in the legs. With sciatica, the leg pain is generally more severe than the spinal pain, and is accompanied by numbness, tingling, or pin-pricking sensations. This aching and numbness generally radiates all the way into the toes. Numbness may also extend to the groin and genital areas.
Sciatica is generally caused by a herniated or bulging disk.

Your risk of low back pain during pregnancy increases if you have had back aches before becoming pregnant or during a previous pregnancy. You also have an increased risk of prenatal back pain if you are carrying twins or are overweight.

In order to maintain a healthy back during pregnancy, it is essential to engage in a regular exercise regimen. Exercise is essential for controlling and avoiding back pain. When your muscles are weak and inflexible, you are more likely to hurt. Regular exercise will stretch and strengthen your muscles and ligaments to better support your spine and prevent pregnancy back ache from occurring.

Specific exercises to alleviate low back pain during pregnancy include pelvic tilt exercises, Kegel exercises, back stretches, hamstring stretches, chest stretches, and wall squats. For detailed information on how to do these stretches and exercises, you can visit

Take extra care to be aware of how you bend and move. That alone can help prevent discomfort before it begins.

Back pain in pregnant women can be frustrating, for sure, but you can find relief. Be sure you are getting adequate rest, nutrition, and exercise, and you will be on the way to eliminating backaches for good.

If your back pain if very intense, is rhythmic and feels like menstrual cramps, or is causing numbness, you should contact your health care provider.

Pregnant Women: What Should You Do or Avoid For a Healthy Baby.

In the lifetime of a woman, the best moments are when she becomes a mother. It’s a feeling that only a mother can explain. When women conceive and are due to deliver in 9 months there are a number of worries and anticipations along with excitement and delight cropping in one’s mind and heart. Every pregnant woman would want to have a healthy baby first and then would desire for either of the sex, colour, or appearance. Health comes first and should be the most primary concern of any expecting mother. Taking care of yourself and for your expected child during pregnancy is the most important focus during that period.

Pregnant women must follow a certain diet and lifestyle and avoid a few things to have a healthy baby. She must first and foremost stay healthy by eating the right food items. She must not only eat for herself but should eat for her baby as well. A good nutritious diet consisting of bread, vegetables, fruits, milk and milk products, meat and protein food should be consumed on a daily basis. Pregnant women must also drink lots of water and have lots of calcium content food items. Some of the good sources of calcium are almonds, dried beans; vegetable those are dark green in colour, like spinach and broccoli, milk and milk products, sardines, peas and brussel sprouts.

Around 30 mg’s of iron is required for pregnant women to build up their haemoglobin level. Iron can be found in food products of red meat, eggs, dry fruits, salmon, dried beans and peas among others. Pregnant women should have a healthy diet and along with this must also have a healthy lifestyle to have a safe delivery and a healthy baby. They must sleep well, be in good spirits, should be surrounded with bliss and a stress free environment. They should further exercise regularly, and have a daily routine walk to flex their muscles and bones. This helps pregnant women have a smooth and easy delivery.

Pregnant women must also avoid a few things in order to have a health baby. They must first let go of all their bad habits, if any, of abuse, namely, alcohol or drug abuse. They should avoid taking any stress upon themselves mentally or physically. OTC or over the counter medicines must also be avoided. Consuming a lot of hot or spicy food items, tea, caffeine, and vitamin a supplements, effect the proper development of the foetus.

Women who are pregnant tend to feel over heated because of hormonal changes and thus must avoid any additional heating from outside. By this we mean Jacuzzi’s, Sauna or sun bathing must be avoided, as it has been found that women with over heated bodes tend to deliver baby’s with neural defects.

Thus all the above points must be kept in mind by a pregnant woman. Things that need to be avoided must be taken seriously as they have a direct or indirect effect at the normal growth and development of the baby in the womb.

To Your Health!

Exercises for Pregnant Women

For many women, pregnancy is a time to make healthy lifestyle choices such as getting fit and quitting smoking. Whether you are a fitness fanatic or have never exercised regularly, safe exercise during pregnancy is recommended to improve the health of you and your baby. The benefits of exercise during pregnancy include increased body awareness, enhanced endurance and improved posture.

Exercise is healthy and even more so for women, they will have safe pregnancy if apply exercise. They should start at the early stages of their pregnant to prepare the body physically for the added work of it, labor and delivery.

Exercise has been shown to lower your risk of developing gestational diabetes and to reduce the physical discomfort associated with pregnancy. Through exercise, you can achieve an increased sense of wellbeing and feel less fatigue and more satisfaction with your changing body. In fit women, the active phase of labor tends to be shorter and there is less likelihood that a forceps delivery or caesarean section will be required.

The types of exercise that pregnant women should do are:

Do prenatal exercises which will help strengthen the body structure providing physical comfort, support and good posture.

A brisk walk every day in the fresh air helps to keep muscles in tone. Wear sensible shoes and keep abreast of the distance walked and the weather conditions.

Kegels exercises (Pelvic floor exercises). These exercises are very important because they decrease risk of tearing of the perineum during birth and help to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, which tend to loosen after labor. All the pregnant women need to do is squeeze their pelvic muscles for a few minutes everyday.

Flexibility exercise such as yoga that is a good way to improve the flexibility and this type of exercise is very popular in pregnant women. However, not all Yoga exercises are safe for pregnant women. Look for a prenatal yoga class that is tailored to pregnant moms.

Take extra care when exercising in hot weather as when doing strenuous exercises your core body temperature can be rise. Excessive heat is unhealthy for you and the baby.
For a more strenuous pregnancy workout than a brisk walk, try activities like running, bike riding and playing tennis. These may be continued after being guided by good judgment.

A few guidelines exist for exercising when pregnant. It is important to exercise at a comfortable intensity and not to undertaken anaerobic exercise. Try to avoid overheating, particularly in the first trimester when your baby is more sensitive to high temperatures. Exercise wearing light, comfortable clothing and drink plenty of water. You should avoid lying flat on your back once you are more than 16 weeks pregnant; doing so may compress the important blood vessels to your heart and therefore restrict the amount of blood your baby receives. It’s the best to avoid sports where there is a risk of abdominal trauma, such as contact sports, horse riding or skiing.

I hope if pregnant women can do these exercises, they will get better condition for their body and baby.
You can also read about Safe Pregnancy on which can give more information for women

How to Keep Love Alive During Pregnancy

It's never easy to understand women when it comes to sex and they often experience changes in their sexual drives when they're pregnant: some pregnant wives claim to feel sexier than ever while others feel nauseated just thinking about the act. That said, you should know what to do with the desire when it arrives.

Sex opens up many pathways of communication between couples. And don't forget: women love to be reassured and seduced, especially when they are feeling bloated and uneasy about their bodies. It's the fact that you love her in spite of the facts of her appearance which is truly touching for a woman.

Here are a few strategies to make your pregnant wife fall in love with you again:

* Dinner with flowers: Nothing says you love your woman more than an average pizza and apple pie served by a waiter. If you can order out from your pregnant wife's favorite restaurant, that will be bliss itself. Consider this a major part of the foreplay. On the other hand, if eating out is a constant thing for you, actually making her dinner yourself may be the required angle here. Romance is done around the dinner table, so figure out what will be the big mood changer for your pregnant wife.

* Spice it up: In case you're wondering, here's what you do with the flowers. The idea is to lay out your bedroom with petals and flowers, put on some Marvin Gaye, and do a little dance-who knows? Your pregnant wife might appreciate the comical element.

* The main course: Presuming that you have already allayed her fears about sex, you may now proceed with the main course. Lay your pregnant wife on her back gently and caress her with the tip of your fingers. A massage is not a bad idea provided it doesn't put her to sleep.

* The right stuff: Use a love-making position that is comfortable, one that doesn't put pressure on her abdomen. Be gentle and loving.

* Plan B: If your pregnant wife is uncomfortable with regular intercourse (because of fears for the baby or other discomfort), you might hint at oral sex (for her, not you, dummy. You just have to hope an even trade might be part of the bargain.)

Things to avoid

* Don't get hasty. Work up to things slowly. Don't be inconsistent with your responses to her body. This will be a sure turn off for your wife, pregnant or not.

* Don't try too hard. If she's been suffering from cramps and aches, it's best to just give her a massage and tuck her into bed. Believe us when we say you will get no points for being whiny with a pregnant wife about your rotten sex life.

* Don't force her to do anything she doesn't want to do. It's always your pregnant wife's prerogative to say "no."

* Avoid the missionary position when you make love since this can put too much pressure on your pregnant wife's stomach.

Valentine's Day celebrates romance. It is only natural that you celebrate the occasion by giving your spouse a Romantic Valentine's Day gift.

Paul Banas is a founder of As a dad, you want to make sure you do everything to make Valentines Day a memorable day to your kids and family.