Monday, 29 June 2009

You Can Do Exercise During Pregnancy, But Don’t Overdo It

by: Sara Jameson
Don’t get so lazy during your pregnancy. Move your body if you want to delivery your baby easily, do some exercise! Some studies show that women who exercise during pregnancy are more likely to have easy labor and deliveries and faster recoveries.

This is exactly you must do for the benefit of you and your child, but you must not overdo it and consult your healthcare on the best exercise you can do.

The benefit of exercise during pregnancy not only will make your baby delivery easy, but also can combat fatigue, minimize back pain because your back muscles will be stronger, stress relief, reducing fat, and recover more quickly after delivery. Exercise can help you strengthen your muscles, which makes labor easier. Further, exercise helps you get your stamina and energy levels up—which will be necessary once baby arrives.

There are some forms of activity that are better than others during pregnancy. Certain exercises can help promote physical fitness and are less likely to result in injury. Among the best exercises for pregnant moms include: walking, swimming, stretching, yoga, dancing, stationary cycling, and low impact prenatal aerobics.

Walking is great exercise that will not cause you to over exert yourself. You can take a brisk walk through a scenic park or even around a shopping mall. Of course, you should also drink plenty of water and stay well-hydrated, especially if you are walking outdoors or in humid areas. And never go into woods or desolate areas alone.

Swimming is also one of the favorite exercises for pregnant women. You might also enroll in a water aerobics class, which is relaxing and can also prepare you for labor. Just don’t get into any hot tubs—that’s not good for you or the baby.

It is essential, however, that you do not indulge in any contact sports or activities that could pose a risk to your or your baby. For example, if you belong to a soccer team, you may need to suspend your play until after the baby is born. You do not want to risk falling down or having someone else land on you by accident. The risks, in this case, are greater than the benefits.

Additionally, if you are used to exercising, it will make it all the easier to lose your baby weight after the birth of your child. You should not concern yourself with following a rigorous exercise plan or a strict diet during your pregnancy. Regular, mild exercise is sufficient. Plus, you need plenty of fruits, vegetables, grains, red meats and poultry in your daily diet during the pregnancy.

Still, there are plenty of fun, safe activities that will allow you to get some needed physical activity without all the risks. So, get moving!

About the author:
Sara Jameson writes her experiences in "The Very Happy Pregnancy: Avoiding Stress and Depression." Check this out and

Yoga For Pregnant Women

by: Amie Porter
Master your mind!
Gain control over your body!
Be relieved of your stress through the practice of gentle art of Yoga!

Pregnancy is a physical as well as mental experience. Women often becomes hyper aware of all the changes their bodies are going through. Yoga allows pregnant women to adapt to these changes more gracefully and to feel proud and a sense of appreciation for their bodies. Yoga exercises can increase flexibility, strength, circulation and balance. Many pregnant women find that regular yoga exercises help to reduce swelling, back and leg pain, and insomnia.

However, Yoga must be practised very carefully among pregnant women, as improper exercises will bring negative effect on both moms and babies. Here are some tips for pre-natal pregnancy Yoga practise:

1. The general yoga exercises are recommended for the first 2 months. You must consult your doctor and find very experienced Yoga teachers. With proper guidance, you can practice some yoga right into labor. If you new to yoga then you should start slowly.

2. Breathing exercises are beneficial if done twice a day. The breathing exercises provide more oxygen and energy both to the mother and the child.

3. Some yoga poses that can help a pregnant women dealing with the symptoms of pregnancy, ensuring smoother and easier delivery, and faster recovery after childbirth. Pregnant women should pay attention not to overstretch the body - the ligaments around the joints become loose and soft during pregnancy. The abdomen should stay relaxed at all times. Difficult and poses that put pressure on the abdomen and other should NOT be done during advance stages of Pregnancy. No any kind of pain or nausea should be felt during and/or after yoga. If this happens, you should stop yoga practise and contact your GP.

4. When carrying out standing poses with your heels to the wall or use a chair for support to avoid losing your balance and risking injury to both you and your baby.

5. Deep relaxation is crucial to give rest to body and mind, and you will benefit more from a good sleep. Deep relaxation helps the nerve system change from sympathetic to parasympathetic activity. Parasympathetic activity is associated with the restorative processes of the body, which is needed both by the pregnant woman and the child.

We also strongly recommend regular morning and evening walks. Yoga is very individual. For more great Yoga advice, and other pregnant women support services, e.g. domestic cleaning services, babysitter services, personal trainer, chef and many more great services just visit us at

About the author: is endeavouring to build an online emporium of staff service providers with online comparisons, bookings and ratings. Everything is designed to provide you with the best service, tailored exactly to your needs. visit

Monday, 22 June 2009

What Would I Do Without my Doula?

by: Suzanne Doyle-Ingram
By the time my husband and I finally got pregnant the first time, I had done a lot of reading about birth options and we had already decided to have a midwife instead of a doctor. We believe that pregnancy is a healthy state of being, and unless something came up, a midwife was the best way to go for us. Besides, where we live, a midwife can deliver babies at hospitals, so I felt that was the safest way to go. (Although, now, I feel I could have had my babies at home... but that is a whole other article!).

When I was a few weeks pregnant I came across an article on doulas, but I had never heard of a doula so I wasn't quite sure what to make of it. A doula is a woman who supports women through childbirth. "Doula" is an ancient Greek word meaning "servant to women". A doula provides a woman with continuous emotional support, aides in her physical comfort, and encourages the laboring woman. She also provides praise, reassurance, and explains what is going on during the labor. While some husbands and partners may feel that it’s their job to offer support to the laboring woman, and therefore initially feel that they would not want a doula, after the birth they are very pleased and relieved that they had one. A doula can help husbands and partners by suggesting ways they can help the laboring woman, and doulas actually assist the husband to feel like he is contributing.

Studies have shown that women supported by a doula during labor have:

50% reduction of cesarean rate
25% shorter labor
60% reduction in epidural requests
30% reduction in analgesia use
40% reduction in forceps delivery
From Mothering the Mother: How a Doula Can Help You Have a Shorter, Easier and Healthier Birth by Marshall H. Klaus (Perseus Press, 1993)

When I was about halfway through my pregnancy, we decided to interview some doulas and see if it would be right for us. We met with three doulas. The first one was Jan, who we ultimately picked. We liked her right away and I wanted to hire her on the spot, but my husband insisted that we meet the other doulas too because we might find someone we like even more. (How could that be possible?, I wondered.) Well, it turned out that the other two doulas were wonderful too, but our instincts told us to go with Jan. So we hired her.

We had to give her a deposit of $100 to confirm our commitment, and sign an agreement as well. How do I describe this fabulous woman? She is very tall and has a great presence. She is quiet, knowledgeable and thoughtful; she doesn’t speak a lot, but when she does it is carefully thought out. In other words, she is not “chatty” but not shy either. She has an engaging smile, she is discrete, and she is strong. I felt like she could sweep me up in her arms and take care of me!

Jan came over several weeks before my due date to do some one-on-one prenatal training with both James and I. She is a lactation consultant as well so she helped by answering my questions about breastfeeding in addition to my questions about what to expect during labor.

I went into labor three days before my due date, on August 13, 2001. It was about midnight and I was just getting into bed when I felt (or heard?) a loud POP! And then another one. And warm liquid dribbling down my legs. My water had broken. Yay! This was finally happening.

The contractions started immediately and James rubbed my thigh while I rested on the bed. The contractions got closer and closer together and James called Jan at about 5:00am when they were about 5 minutes apart. They got really intense after that and by the time Jan arrived, I was vomiting in a bucket on my bed.

Jan threw down the birth ball she was carrying, flew across the bed, grabbed my hand, looked me straight in the eye with her face close to mine and said, “I want you to breathe like this.” In an instant, she had me calmed down and breathing effectively. She was amazing. I went from being in a total panic to feeling like everything was going to be ok.

When my midwife arrived at 7:00am, she told me I was about 3 centimetres dilated. I was so disappointed! But Jan was my cheerleader, telling me that I was working so hard, and managing so well, and that my body was only going to give me what I could handle. She helped James help me by suggesting things he could do for me, and he felt taken care of by Jan as well.

It was only about an hour later that Jan noticed my breathing had changed and she called out to our midwife who was in another room doing paperwork. Our midwife didn’t think that I could have progressed that quickly but Jan stood her ground and said, “It really sounds like she is trying to push.” So the midwife checked me again (doulas do not perform medical tasks) and I was about 7 cm dilated! This was going fast. Suddenly everybody sprung into action and started gathering up all the bags and things we needed for the hospital. If it wasn’t for Jan, I really don’t think we would have made it on time. [Note: In British Columbia, Canada, midwives are allowed to deliver in hospitals, and that was our choice.]

While James drove, Jan sat with me in the backseat holding my hand, talking to me, encouraging me and calming me. She was so amazing! After we got to the hospital, she never left my side. James had to go fill out the paperwork and park the car, but Jan was there beside me constantly.

I felt such complete trust in Jan that I had to hold her right hand a particular way through each contraction. It was quite funny! A contraction would start and I’d yell, “Hand! Hand!” and Jan would come running and grab my hand. I don’t know why, but it was only Jan’s hand that comforted me. It had to be Jan’s hand.

She also helped by taking me to the bathroom and getting me water to drink, a cold cloth for my forehead (without being asked), and waving tissues with aromatherapy oil on them around the room. I found that I couldn’t communicate what I wanted or needed, but Jan always seemed to know, thank goodness. She suggested different laboring positions and she helped during the delivery by suggesting positions for pushing, too. I only pushed one hour and then our beautiful Hana was born. (Hana means "flower" in Japanese). Jan stayed with me while I delivered the placenta (James was on the other side of the room with Hana) and helped me attempt to breastfeed right away. She stayed for about 4 hours after Hana was born and helped me
take a shower and gave me lots of help with breastfeeding.

What more can I say about having a doula? She made my birth experience fantastic. I am one of those people who can honestly say that I enjoyed labor (twice!) and I want to do it again! When we found out we were pregnant for the second time, I could not imagine doing it without Jan. It was a much easier labor and birth, but I am still so grateful that Jan was there – she made it a great experience again. It is true that continuous support during labor has many, many benefits, and I am one of the "lucky" (or is it "well prepared" because I hired a doula?) women who was able to fully experience birth without drugs, or intervention. I had a healthy birth and a healthy baby. And a doula to help us through it all.

For more information, or to find a doula in your city, visit, the Doulas of North America website.

I wish you all the best during your labor and birth!

About the author:
Suzanne Doyle-Ingram is the mother of two daughters, Hana and Alexa, and married to her best friend James, who is a stay-at-home dad and educational game developer (and he makes a mean grilled chicken!).
Suzanne is also the creator of an informative site for pregnant women and new moms, which provides information on pregnancy, labor, and how to take care of your new baby.

What is Morning Sickness? Does it mean there's a problem?

by: Marc Hofkens
Whether you’re extremely sick or not sick at all is not a predictor of a pregnancy’s success or failure.

Morning sickness has become synonymous with pregnancy in our culture. But certainly not every pregnant woman experiences it. (A medical term used to refer to extreme forms is hyperemesis gravidarum.) Only a little more than half of pregnant women are afflicted with nausea.

Many people believe that pregnancy sickness is the body’s natural defense system at work, protecting your baby from harmful toxins. It’s easy to jump to the conclusion, then, that if you’re not sick, your body must not be protecting your child from harmful toxins. But it doesn’t work that way. The bottom line is that no conclusive evidence exists that not being sick is a bad sign.

Nausea is caused by a number of factors. The most popular theory about morning sickness is that it’s due to elevated hormones, primarily human chorionic gonadotropin and estrogen. Researchers believe nausea may have to do with the amount of hormones circulating and perhaps the structure of certain hormones or your particular sensitivity to them. Also, if you have a pre-pregnancy tendency toward motion sickness, it may mean the area of your brain that controls nausea and vomiting is more sensitive.

Environment can also play a role. Smells such as perfume, dog food, or coffee, as well as motion and the sight of certain foods (a friend of mine would almost instantly become nauseous at the sight of a can of tuna) can all trigger nausea. Also, stress, fatigue, and operating on an empty stomach can make you more prone to gastrointestinal upsets.

The bottom line is, nobody really knows why some women get sick and others don’t. What is important to know is that whether or not you experience morning sickness has nothing to do with how successful your pregnancy will be.

About the author:
You are just moments away from discovering all the Secrets and Tips about Pregnancy.
Marc Hofkens has created the *ultimate* guide - "The Pregnancy Secrets".

***Get full access to the "Bible of Pregnancy". These are the Pregnancy-secrets every
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Weight Gain During Pregnancy: Choosing The Right Foods

by: Beverley Brooke
So you need to gain weight but don’t want to gain too much weight during your pregnancy right?

There are many things that you can do to improve your diet and ensure that you gain a minimal but healthy amount of weight during pregnancy.

Choosing the right foods is important because you will be able to loose weight more quickly after delivery if you manage your diet during pregnancy.

So here is what you need to do during pregnancy to ensure weight loss success after:

Tip 1
Choose whole foods. Whole foods are foods that are dense in nutrients. Think wild rice, whole grains, and unprocessed foods. Whole foods don’t include waffles and pancakes!

Tip 2
Add calories during the second trimester. Eating for two doesn’t literally mean eating for two. In fact during your first trimester your baby is about the size of a small bean! Most women don’t actually need to start adding 300 calories a day to their diet until the second and third trimesters.

Tip 3
Be sure you get a serving of protein, carbohydrate and fat at every meal. It will help you if you break your meals into six mini meals per day. This will help rev up your metabolism. Next be sure that you eat some protein, carbohydrate and fat at each mini meal session. This will help nourish your body more completely and help prevent cravings later in the day.

Tip 4
Choose foods high in fiber. High fiber foods will help fill you up when you are ravenous during pregnancy, and they will also help relieve constipation and help you feel great! A high fiber diet is good for anyone, whether or not they are pregnant.

Tip 5
Drink extra water. You’ll be thirstier than normal anyway during pregnancy. Drinking water helps flush toxins from your system and helps prevent excessive edema. Believe it or not you can actually fight weight gain associated with edema if you drink more water!

Remember that pregnancy is a short period of time in the long journey that is your life. You should enjoy every moment of it. By following the tips above, you can gain the right amount of weight and feel great throughout your pregnancy.

About the author:

Article by Beverley Brooke, author of "Ensure a healthy safe pregnancy for you and your baby", visit for more on pregnancy weight gain

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Very Early Symptoms Of Pregnancy - Do You Know These Very Early Pregnancy Signs?

by: Olinda Rola
Very early symptoms of pregnancy - what are they? If asked, most women remember their very early pregnancy signs if they have been pregnant before. Some women can detect the moment they begin ovulating, while many women cannot tell when or if they have ovulated. Often, women can detect when the fertile days of their cycle has ended. Some can detect the moment they have become pregnant. And for others, one of the more accurate inexpensive home pregnancy tests is a reliable way to know that the very early symptoms of pregnancy you are having mean you really are pregnant.

Here are the earliest of the very early pregnancy signs:

• Missed Period - missing a menstrual period is an obvious very early pregnancy symptom. However, many women have missed periods for other reasons and conditions. These reasons include illness, stress, hormone imbalance, adverse reactions to foods and ingestion of substances that result in some level of adverse reaction. For a missed period to be one of the very early symptoms of pregnancy, it should be confirmed by other means.

• Morning Sickness - a feeling of nausea in the mornings can be another of the very early symptoms of pregnancy. But this very early pregnancy sign needs to be experienced for several days to be considered reliable. And nausea can have other causes that are not pregnancy related.

• Tender and Enlarged Breasts - very early in pregnancy, the body begins making a series of changes in the normal hormone levels. However, the body is unprepared for these changes when they first occur. There are several changes that will happen in the body in reaction to new hormone levels. One of the most noticable changes occur in the shape of and feelings of tenderness in the breasts. The good news is that these feelings of tenderness go away fairly quickly as the body becomes accustomed to the new hormone chemistry.

• Frequent Trips to the Bathroom - having to urinate more often is one of the very early pregnancy signs. Many women experience more frequent urination even before a missed period. The reason, as with tender and enlarged breasts, is a change in hormone levels produced by implantation of the embryo. A hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is produced, which has the side effect of causing more frequent urination. This is another of the very early symptoms of pregnancy which can be mistaken for some other condition, or as a reaction to the consumption of various foods or other substances. Pregnancy needs to be confirmed by the results of a pregnancy test.

• Fatigue - the lack of energy as one of the very early pregnancy signs is sometimes hard to distinguish from other kinds of exhaustion. Again, health professionals attribute this fatigue to the change in hormones in the body, which usually disappears as the body adjusts to the new hormone levels.

These are the most common very early pregnancy signs that most women agree on. Some women will experience only one of these signs, and some will have several or all of these very early symptoms of pregnancy. Once the very early pregnancy signs are experienced, confirm pregnancy by using one of the better home pregnancy tests (there are major differences in the reliability of the home tests for pregnancy). And the health of the baby begins with the mothers health and habits before conception as well as during pregnancy. Becoming pregnant and enjoying a successful pregnancy is a complex but wonderful experience. Learn as much as you can about fertility, pregnancy and your health so the brand new person will have the very best beginning to life that is possible.

Copyright 2005 InfoSearch Publishing

About the author:
Olinda Rola is President of InfoSearch Publishing and webmaster of - visit the website for more information on pregnancy, ovulation and fertility, progesterone levels during pregnancy, prenatal vitamins and the reliability of early home pregnancy tests.

Very Early Signs Of Pregnancy - Do You Know The 10 Pregnancy Signs?

by: Olinda Rola
Very early signs of pregnancy - are there 10 pregnancy signs? Yes, there are signs that indicate very early that you are pregnant. Some women will experience one or two of them, others will have several of the very early signs of pregnancy.

Once you have conceived, it will take about a week for the fertilized egg to implant in the uterus. As implantation happens, it is now possible to experience one or more of the 10 pregnancy signs and begin to know you are pregnant. Around this time, hormone levels begin to change, and the body reacts to these new hormone levels.

Here are 10 pregnancy signs:

1. Light Spotting - if you have conceived, spotting can happen when implantation occurs before your menstrual period should begin. Pregnancy bleeding from implantation is pinkish or brownish and not heavy. A normal menstrual flow should begin light, become heavy, then taper off again before ending.

2. More Frequent Urination - urinating more often is one of the very early signs of pregnancy. Many women experience more frequent urination even before a missed period, usually from about 7-12 days after the temperature rise at ovulation. The changes in hormone levels produced by implantation of the embryo, especially the hormone "human chorionic gonadotropin" (hCG), cause more frequent urination.

3. Elevated Body Temperature - it is normal to have an increase in body temperature at ovulation. Your basal body temperature staying elevated after ovulation is completed and remaining elevated through when your period should begin can be one of the very early signs of pregnancy.

4. Missing a Menstrual Period - a missed period is one of the obvious 10 pregnancy signs. However, you can miss a period for other reasons including illness, stress, hormone imbalance and reactions to foods or medications. If your menstrual cycle normally occurs very regularly, missing a period can be a sign.

5. Fatigue - lack of energy as one of the very early signs of pregnancy may be hard to distinguish from other kinds of exhaustion. Feeling tired is related to the change in hormones in the body, which usually disappears as the body adjusts to the new hormone levels.

6. Cramping - the uterus can contract often and regularly. Moving around, exercise and orgasm all can trigger uterine cramping in early pregnancy.

7. Nausea - morning sickness is the name given to feeling nauseated when pregnant. Of the 10 pregnancy signs, only about half of pregnant women experience nasea, and feeling nauseated can happen any time of the day or night.

8. Tender Nipples and Breasts - one of the very early signs of pregnancy is a feeling of tenderness in the breasts and nipples. The good news is that these feelings of tenderness go away as the body becomes accustomed to the new hormone levels.

9. Darker Areolas - the area around the nipples becomes darker as early as one week after conception. The bumps on the areolas may look more prominent.

10. Constipation - you may notice a change in your bowels in early pregnancy. The intestines may relax and function less due to changing hormones and be one of the 10 pregnancy signs.

Once the very early signs of pregnancy are experienced, confirm pregnancy by using one of the better home pregnancy tests. There are major differences in the reliability of the home tests for pregnancy. A blood pregnancy test can be accurate as early as 8 to 10 days after conception, and a urine pregnancy test can be accurate as early as 10 to 14 days following conception. Pregnancy tests are not 100 accurate. If you feel you are pregnant but your pregnancy test result is negative, do the test again in a week or so and see your physician.

Remember to take good care of yourself and your body even before you become pregnant. Give up smoking and alcohol, eat healthy and begin exercising. Those first few weeks and your health are vitally important to help support healthy development of your new baby. Becoming pregnant and enjoying a successful pregnancy is a complex but wonderful experience. Besides knowing the 10 pregnancy signs, learn as much as you can about fertility, pregnancy and your health so your new baby will have the very best beginning to life that is possible.

Copyright 2005 InfoSearch Publishing

About the author:
Read more on the most accurate pregnancy test at and finding it. Olinda Rola is President of Info Search Publishing and webmaster of visit for more on ovulation, fertility, prenatal vitamins, pregnancy and caring for yourself.

Vacation Is One Way To Run Away From Stress During Pregnancy

by: Sara Jameson
What should you do to have a happy pregnancy? Many things you could do, but what most pregnant women rarely do is having a vacation. Get a life and try to relax a little bit. Or take an extended weekend just to refresh and recharge your batteries.

Downtime is very important, and in a world where nearly all of us are tied to cell phones and lap tops, even away from the office, it is good to get away from it all from time to time. Having time to walk along the beach or play golf or even to stay inside and read a great book without interruptions can help us recharge our batteries.

When the baby comes, your number one job is to be Mom. So, you will not have much time for yourself, at least not in the beginning when the baby depends on you for everything. Capitalize on those spare moments of highly valued free time now.

When you are refreshed, you are more effective and productive anyway. You will also be easier to get along with, and it will be easier for you to deal with others (even the difficult ones!).

You are not a slacker for needing time off. Enjoy spending time with your spouse, too, in these nine months, since the second the baby arrives, it will become the number one priority for both of you. Even so, do not let your relationship with your spouse become a low priority. Otherwise, you may look up five or ten years from now and realize you no longer know the man who fathered your baby.

Keep romance alive. Go on regular, standing dates, even it they are on Tuesday nights. Leave the baby with a sitter and enjoy some adult time away from Blue’s Clues and Dora the Explorer. It is important to realize that as much as you are a mother, you are also a wife. And you need to build a life for yourself so that when baby grows up, you still have meaningful things and people around you.

About the author:
Sara Jameson writes her experiences in The Very Happy Pregnancy: Avoiding Stress and Depression. Read her secrets and truths about having a happy, healthy pregnancy at and

Friday, 19 June 2009

Useful Tips for Sleep and Pregnancy

by: Marian Thompson
It is not uncommon to grapple with sleep restlessness during pregnancy. There could be many reasons for these sleep distur- bances. Along with heightened anticipation for your newborn baby,physical and hormonal changes may occur, which could be contribut- ing to your sleeplessness. As you progress into your pregnancy, comfortable sleep positions may become more difficult. You may also find that you will need to empty your bladder more frequently.

However, be encouraged. Help has arrived! Read these useful tips for improved sleep during pregnancy and for the important rest your body needs at this time in your life.

1. Mood Preparation- Set the proper mood through the use of soft lighting, a warm non-caffeinated beverage, warm bath or good book. Experiment to see what helps you relax.

2. Massage- A massage by your partner or friend is a good way to unwind and prepare for sleep. If you have older children, maybe they can get into the fun of a massage.

3. Surround Yourself In Water- Dr. Michael Foley, M.D.- Medical Director Phoenix Perinatal Associates, refers to this as sub- total immersion therapy. Here's what Dr. Foley has to say; "Being immersed into water up to your neck and just sitting there or performing exercise provides many physiologic advantages to a pregnant mom. The water acts to push fluid underneath the skin back into the intravascular space thereby reducing swelling and edema. This is a perfect way to help reduce the swollen feet and legs that often accompany late pregnancy! The aches and pains of the musculoskeletal system in late pregnancy often contribute to poor sleeping."

4. Nap During The Day- Gain some additional rest and relaxation by taking a nap.

5. Reduce Anxiety- Stress can be one of the biggest issues for obtaining a good night's sleep. If you have issues in your life that are causing you to worry, seek out a friend or a professional for help. Less stress will certainly bring more comfortable sleep nights.

6. Use Comfort Aids- Gentle Air has a port- able patented maternity air bed that is made just for expectant moms who are losing sleep or cannot get enough rest. This unique portable air bed allows a pregnant women to sleep either on her stomach or her side. It has an adjustable middle pillow section if you are a stomach sleeper. If you are having hip or lower back pains, you can sleep in a semi-seated posi- tion with or without an extra pillow between your legs or under your knee. There are also special pregnancy body pillows and maternity belts on the market that you can try to help support your body for extra comfort.

7. Seek Help-Visit your doctor for assistance if continued sleep problems occur. It is especially important during this time to get as much sleep or rest as possible.

8. Exercise- Always get your physician's approval first, but exercise will certainly help with improved circulation. This also helps to reduce night leg cramps, thus improving sleep. Exercise done earlier in the day is best so that you are not kept awake at night. Check out your local yoga studios. Many now offer pre-natal yoga classes.

About the author:

Marian Thompson-Owner of Be Here Soon- and a mother. No re-reprint permission granted without permission.Inquires should be directed Special Thanks to Dr. Michael Foley for Interview.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Things You Should Avoid During Pregnancy

by: Sara Jameson
Pregnancy is a time where you have to be careful with yourself. Many factors affect the development of a fetus into a healthy child. Whether you like it or not there some activities you should avoid for the sake of your healthy baby. There are pregnancy risks that you have to aware of.

To help you knowing what they are, here is some checklist you might want to consider:

• Don’t drink alcohol! You going to jeopardise your baby’s development. If you don’t want to have low birth weight baby, and having medical problems, better stop drinking once you know that you are pregnant.

• Don’t smoke! Chemical inhaled while smoking may cause premature birth, miscarriage, bleeding, etc. Also it reduced the amount of oxygen that baby receives. What ever you are, don’t smoke and avoid second hand smoke.

• Don’t drink coffee. Caffeine in the coffee has been shown to affect fetal heart rates. Caffeine can also increase risk of stretch marks. If you can’t stop immediately, try to stop gradually.

• Don’t do too much exercise! No doubt if moderate exercise is helpful for mother's mental state and can increase oxygen flow to the fetus. However, too much exercise can be dangerous. Better you do activities like walking, swimming, and yoga.

• Don’t get near to chemicals substance! Be careful with unnatural chemicals, such as pesticides. If you consume vegetables or fruits, don’t forget to wash them. Or remove the outer surface of vegetables or fruit so pesticides which rest on the outside of the vegetable or fruit will be thrown away.

• Don’t consume drugs or herbal remedies that are not prescribed by doctors. What you consume might affect your unborn baby.

• Don’t forget to eat nutritious foods. Good nutrition is crucial to a developing child. At least you consume 400-1000 micrograms of B vitamin (folic acid) which can be taken from leafy vegetables, orange juice, and beans.

• Don’t have multiple sex partners which may lead to birth and pregnancy complications cause by STD's risk. Once you infected by STD, you may have premature baby or low birth baby.

Preventing is better than curing. If you can prevent yourself by not doing those kinds of activities, hopefully you going to have a healthy and normal baby. Try to acknowledge this on your first month of pregnant.

About the author:
Sara Jameson writes her experiences in "The Very Happy Pregnancy: Avoiding Stress and Depression." Check this out http://www.stage-of-pregnancy.infoand

The Importance Of Prenatal Vitamins

by: Beverley Brooke
One of the most important things you can do if you are thinking about becoming pregnant is start taking a prenatal vitamin with at least 400mg of folic acid. Folic acid is an essential nutrient that can help prevent birth defects in newborns. If you start taking a prenatal supplement before you even try to become pregnant, you will have the best chance of ensuring a happy and healthy journey once you become pregnant.

Prenatal vitamins are packed full of nutrients that will help support and nourish your growing child and your body during pregnancy. Most women assume that they need a prescription to acquire prenatal vitamins. There are actually however many high quality prenatal vitamin supplements you can purchase over the counter. If you are not certain what your best choice is, be sure to consult with your healthcare provider who can point you in the right direction.

If you aren’t engaging in regular exercise prior to pregnancy, you’ll find it is more difficult though not impossible to start exercising during pregnancy when you are already feeling bulky and tired. Therefore one of the best things you can do to prepare for pregnancy is start exercising regularly. You don’t have to join the Boston Marathon, but even walking around the block a few times per week will help tone and condition your body and help you prepare for the journey ahead.

Women who regularly engage in some form of exercise before and during pregnancy are more likely to experience quicker and less problematic labors. That is a good enough reason in and of itself to start exercising as soon as you can.

About the author:
Article by Beverley Brooke, author of "Ensure a healthy safe pregnancy for you and your baby", visit for more on prenatal vitamins

The Case for Self Care

by: Jennifer Snyder
Self care has emerged as a hot topic for today’s women striving to balance the responsibilities of work and family. I define self-care as combinations of fulfilling activities or quiet moments that allow individuals to rejuvenate their energies and regain their joy for life.

Unfortunately, self-care is not generally supported by our culture, and some people equate self-care with abandoning responsibilities or being self-centered. Women often receive rave reviews for taking better care of others than they do themselves. For example, we might hear someone say, “Isn’t Sarah remarkable; she puts everyone’s needs above her own.” Or “That, Lisa, I don’t know how she operates on just five hours of sleep a night; isn’t she extraordinary?” As a result, many women are suffering near epidemic levels of physical, emotional, and spiritual fatigue.

I believe that taking time for yourself allows you to be a better wife, mother, friend, and businesswoman. Consider the following:

Self care is empowering. When you implement any healthy practice into your routine, you are taking charge of your life. You are the expert on your needs, and if you don’t acknowledge their importance who will?

We are not benefiting our families when we don’t take time for ourselves. Because we are emotionally depleted, loved ones recognize that we are worn out and frustrated. While we do our best to respond to their needs, they often feel guilty for needing us.

When we are overwhelmed, we lack the energy and focus to make the same clear decisions that we normally would. We are unable to problem solve in a purposeful manner. By practicing self-care regularly, we are better able to handle life’s challenges.

We serve as role models for our children. When we take care of ourselves, we show them an example of positive esteem and healthy behaviors.

I recently moved to a new area and have met several of my neighbors. Kerri lives near me and, like many of us, she and her husband are balancing career and family. As we introduced ourselves, I told Kerri that I am a life coach and workshop leader for women, immediately launching into the importance of self-care. Kerri already understood my philosophy and said, “I compare self care to a cup in the sink. As the cup sits there, little by little, it gathers droplets of water. No appreciable stream of water is ever needed to keep it full; there are just enough drops over time to fill it up. That’s the way it is with self care; if I take care of myself little by little, I can then give from my reserves and never become empty.” What a great analogy I learned from my new friend!

If we do just a few things regularly, to renew our energy and revitalize our spirit, we can continue providing for others from a place of abundance. We have, within us, additional resources to share with our family and friends.

I challenge you to try some activities (either calming and reflective, or exhilarating) for the next month. Arrange some time in your schedule for self-care, and notice how much better you feel. You and your loved ones are worth every precious moment you use to nurture yourself.

About the author:
Jennifer Snyder is the author of a self-discovery workbook, The Time of Your Life: A Creative Sourcebook for Women. The Sourcebook can be ordered at

The Best Postpartum Exercise

by: Beverley Brooke
Would you like to know the best exercises are after your delivery? When it comes to post pregnancy weight loss, no two exercises are alike!

In the time frame immediately after pregnancy, you will probably want to stick with light activities such as walking or flexibility training. Stretching will help keep your body limber and help the blood circulate through your body, causing you to feel more refreshed as the day goes by.

A few weeks after pregnancy and delivery however, you can engage in some more vigorous activities. Here are our top suggestions:

- Yoga/Tai Chi

- Aerobic Exercise

- Running/Jogging

- Swimming

- Walking

- Elliptical/Stair Climbing

- Hiking

- Strength training

Basically anything you do to keep your body moving will help you burn those pesky calories and thus lose your pregnancy weight. There are even some exercises that you can do with your baby. Get out the stroller for example and go for a walk with your newborn. You will appreciate the fresh air and the physical activity.

There are also many classes that are now available for moms with new babies. Check your local recreation center or gym for more details. You can also play running and jumping games with your baby as you grow together.

About the author:
Article by Beverley Brooke, author of "Ensure a healthy safe pregnancy for you and your baby", visit for more on postpartum exercise

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Ten Questions About Pregnancy You Might Not Want To Ask Your Doctor

Q1. Can I get pregnant following oral sex or heavy petting?

No. You can only get pregnant from full sexual intercourse.

Q2. How will I know if I am pregnant?

If you have had sexual intercourse since your last period and you are late for your current period, you may be pregnant. Following implantation of the fertilised egg menstruation should not occur, hence for women who have been sexually active and who have previously menstruated regularly, the absence of a period should be put down to pregnancy.

The most common way to confirm a pregnancy is to purchase and undertake a home test. These are relatively cheap and can be done in the privacy of your home. The manufacturers claim they are over 95% accurate.

If the home test has a positive result, you should make an appointment to see your doctor.

Q3. Is it safe to have sex during pregnancy?

For most couples it is normal for them to enjoy an active sex life throughout the pregnancy. Sexual intercourse will not harm the development of your baby as it is cushioned by a bag of fluid in your uterus.

Sex during your pregnancy may also help you both unwind and should help you maintain a strong bond with your partner, ready for the months ahead.

Q4. Does vaginal discharge increases during this time?

Yes, unfortunately it does. Vaginal discharge may well increase during all stages of your pregnancy and should be similar to the discharge you have previously had before a period. It is only if the discharge becomes very thick, smelly or blood stained that you need to seek medical assistance. If the cause is an infection, it can be easily treated with creams or tablets.

Q5. Will I get piles/haemorrhoids?

You may. Although people laugh and joke about piles, they are no laughing matter.

During pregnancy the walls and veins in your anus swell and blood flow becomes sluggish, causing the affected veins to throb and become painful.

There are precautions you can take to help reduce the chances of developing piles, such as:

„Ï Eat a high fibre diet and drink lots of fluid to avoid constipation.

„Ï Try to relax on the toilet and not strain.

„Ï Undertake regular exercise and pelvic floor exercises to help blood flow around your anus.

If you do get piles, your doctor, midwife or pharmacist will be able to suggest a suitable cream to ease the pain.

Q6. What is the best contraception to use after birth?

This will depend on how soon you wish to have another baby. If you want another baby soon (within one year), then short-term measures such as the cap or condom, ideally with the use of a spermicide, are probably the best contraception.

Long term, methods such as contraceptive injection, hormone implant and ¡¥the pill¡¦ may be your best options.

Q7. How soon can I have sex after birth?

It is advisable to wait a few weeks after a normal delivery, and up to three months after a caesarean, as healing may take this length of time. It is important however that both you and your partner agree: neither should feel pressured into it.

Be aware that you may feel dry; though by using water-based lubricants there is no reason why sex should not be as enjoyable as before.

Q8. How will the midwife measure cervical dilation?

The midwife will measure how dilated (or open) the cervix is by gently inserting two fingers into the vagina. She assesses how open the cervix is by opening her fingers and feeling around its perimeter. She will also be feeling the position of the cervix and how soft it is.

She will always try to be gentle but sometimes the process can be slightly uncomfortable. Try to stay as relaxed as possible: the tenser you are, the more uncomfortable the procedure will be. Hold your partner¡¦s hand while the midwife examines you and ask him to try and distract you.

Q9. How will the hospital staff break my waters if they need to?

The midwife will discuss with you why you might need your waters breaking. Remember though, if you are not comfortable with this you can decline. If you fully understand the need to have your waters broken, and are happy to go ahead, the midwife or doctor will perform a normal vaginal examination then insert a long thin plastic hook that is a little bit like a crochet hook. The hook will be brushed over the bag of waters, which will usually be enough pressure to break it. The cervix does, however, have to be sufficiently open for this to be carried out.

Q10. If I have an episiotomy or perineal tear, how will it be repaired?

It is not always the case that your perineum (the area between the vaginal entrance and the rectum) will tear or need to be cut. Moreover, if it is, there is no way of knowing if you will require stitches. Some studies have shown that perineal massage can help prevent trauma. Your midwife will be able to advise you on this. Sometimes if a small tear has been sustained, it will be left to heal naturally.

If the area does require stitches, the midwife who has been looking after you will usually do it. You will be given local anaesthetic to numb the area before the midwife starts and she will check that you are unable to feel any pain before commencing. These days, stitches are almost always dissolvable and will not need to be removed.

Want to know more?

If you do want to know more about pregnancy, from conception to labour, you should take a look at ¡¥Pregnancy for Beginners¡¦ ¡V a comprehensive guide for the new mother-to-Be. Written by a State Registered Midwife, it is a simple, easy-to-understand, yet comprehensive, book you can download to your computer in minutes. See for full details of this invaluable guide for the newly pregnant woman.

About the author:
Written by a practising midwife, this article gives a taster for her comprehensive, yet easy-to-read ebook, ¡¥Pregnancy for Beginners ¡V The Complete Guide for the First-Time Mother-to-Be¡¦, a unique source of advice for newly pregnant women. See

Successful Weight Loss After Pregnancy

by: Beverley Brooke
How fast you lose weight will depend on a number of factors, including the amount of weight you gained during your pregnancy.

Most women will lose anywhere from 10-14 pounds within the first 2 weeks of delivery. This weight may be attributed primarily to the loss of excess fluid in the body, the baby's weight, the placenta and amniotic fluid. Some women might lose a little bit less, and others might lose a little bit more.

As the uterus shrinks back down to its normal size and your hormone levels continue to fall, you will lose weight. Most women gain at least 7 pounds of fat during pregnancy. This fat is meant to help women store energy while breastfeeding. How fast this weight comes off will depend on a number of factors including: genetics, your overall health, diet and exercise.

You should expect that it will take a little bit of time to lose the weight you gained during pregnancy. It did after all take you nine months to put that weight on! Many women have successfully lost weight however, in just a few short months after a delivery.

Some women will hang on to the last few pounds they have to lose until they stop breastfeeding. Your body may want to cling to a few extra pounds to ensure you have enough energy to provide adequate milk for the baby. Every woman's experience is unique with respect to this.

The good news is that with a solid nutritional program and with moderate exercise, you can expect to lose the weight you gained during pregnancy within a reasonable time frame.

Most women will be back to their pre pregnancy weight within nine months of delivering IF they follow a regular exercise program and eat healthily after delivery. That said some women will lose their pregnancy weight in as little as six to twelve weeks!

About the author:
Article by Beverley Brooke, author of "Ensure a healthy safe pregnancy for you and your baby", visit for more on weight loss after pregnancy

Stretch Marks: Prevention And Treatment During Pregnancy

by: James Brann, MD
More than half of all pregnant women will develop stretch marks during their pregnancy. Otherwise known as striae gravidarum, stretch marks look like streaks on the surface of the skin, and may be vary in color depending on your natural skin color. Most lighter skinned women develop pinkish stretch marks, whereas darker skinned women tend to have stretch marks that are lighter than the surrounding skin.

Most women develop stretch marks on their abdomen during pregnancy, however it is also common to get stretch marks on the buttocks, hips, breasts and thighs. In some cases up to 90 percent of women have stretch marks on some part of their body as a result of pregnancy.

What Causes Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks form when your skin is stretched rapidly as happens during pregnancy. Most women develop stretch marks during the later trimesters of pregnancy though some women start to develop them as soon as their bellies start growing.

Stretch marks are actually small tears that form in the tissue that supports the skin and helps it stretch. Stretch marks represent the tearing or separation of collagen from the skin when tearing occurs. Stretch marks are not harmful or painful and usually fade over time.

Who Gets Stretch Marks
Many women believe that using lotions and creams help prevent stretch marks. Realistically speaking however, the number of stretch marks you get depends on how elastic your skin is. The elasticity of your skin usually relates to your genetic make up. The best thing you can do is find out if your mother got bad stretch marks during pregnancy. If she did, you are probably more prone to stretch marks than other women.

Keep in mind the more weight you gain during pregnancy the more likely you are to have stretch marks. Normally the skin is elastic and capable of stretching quite a bit, however for some women the changes that occur during pregnancy are very drastic. These rapid fluctuations of weight and skin stretching can result in stretch marks.

Women with multiples are more likely to get stretch marks because their bellies usually grow much larger than women with single pregnancies. Other women likely to develop stretch marks include women who gain a lot of weight quickly during their pregnancy and women who carry big babies.

Here are some other factors that may contribute to your susceptibility to stretch marks:

* If you developed stretch marks before (like on your breasts during puberty) you are more likely to get stretch marks while pregnant.

* If you had stretch marks during another pregnancy you will usually get them again.

* If you are overweight or gain more weight than recommended you are more likely to get stretch marks.

* The better hydrated and well nourished you are the less likely you are to develop serious stretch marks.

Stretch Mark Prevention
Most women believe that they can prevent stretch marks by using creams and lotions. There are many formulations on the market today that claim to help prevent stretch marks. Some of these may help moisturize your skin and reduce itching. They may help reduce some stretch marks however there are no scientific studies that support this.

You probably know at least one parent however that swears by cocoa butter or some other formulation to prevent stretch marks. If nothing else rubbing these creams into your belly provides your unborn baby with a light and comforting massage. They may also give you peace of mind knowing you did everything possible to prevent stretch marks.

The best thing you can do to minimize stretch marks aside from using any creams or moisturizers you select is gaining the recommended amount of weight during pregnancy. Doctors recommend most women gain between 25 and 34 pounds. Gaining much more than this can cause you to develop more stretch marks.

Removing Stretch Marks
Most women worry about stretch marks after they have their baby. Fortunately most stretch marks do fade with time. Usually after 12 moths postpartum most stretch marks are light and less noticeable. Their texture may remain different from the surrounding skin however. Many women notice their stretch marks fading into whitish lines that are minimally noticeable.

Some women have very severe stretch marks that impact their self esteem after pregnancy. There are many treatments available for women that want to improve the appearance of their stretch marks.

If your stretch marks are particularly bad, you may consult with your doctor or a dermatologist. Some topical treatments such as tretinoin cream can help reduce stretch marks. These creams must be used after pregnancy however, because they can cause defects in your unborn baby.

Most of the topical treatments available should be used shortly after delivery, before they start to fade. The more time that passes between the delivery and use of cream, the less likely they are to be effective.

If you are breastfeeding it is important you consult with your doctor before using any stretch mark treatments. Some treatments may impact your milk supply or pass through the breast milk to your baby.

Most of the creams available to reduce stretch marks do not help relieve the sagging skin that also accompanies childbirth. There are some newer treatments including laser treatments however that may improve the skins elasticity and help reduce stretch marks. Some women also consider plastic surgery after they are done having children. A tummy tuck can help hide some stretch marks and reduce sagging skin.

Most women are able to joyfully overlook stretch marks when they consider the miracle of life they bring into the world. For the most the small annoyance even the worst stretch marks bring are well worth the joys of bringing a newborn baby into the world. Do what you can during pregnancy to maintain an appropriate weight and try not to worry too much about stretch marks. Many women wear them with pride, a ‘war wound’ or “badge of honor” related to their pregnancy. Why not wear them with pride?

About the author:
Dr. James Brann is a board certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist and a Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. He is also Editor of Women's Healthcare Topics. At Women's Healthcare Topics website you will find valuable and up-to-date information on numerous topics related to women's health including Signs of Pregnancy, Chlamydia, Hysterectomy, Early Pregnancy Symptoms and more.

Stress And Pregnancy

by: Beverley Brooke
Stress Relief During Pregnancy If you truly want to ensure a great pregnancy, you should work on keeping a healthy and positive physical, mental and spiritual state. There is substantial evidence which suggests that a mother’s physical and mental wellness during pregnancy can affect not only the outcome of their pregnancy but the well being of their child later in life. You relationship with your baby begins at the moment of conception.

There are many things aside from physical factors that can impact your pregnancy. Stress is one of the more common problems many pregnant mothers face at some point during their pregnancy. While stress in and of itself isn’t always bad, prolonged stress can be damaging to a pregnancy. Most people associate stress that is harmful during pregnancy with physical labor. However, emotional stress may be just as damaging. Stress actually causes certain hormones in the body to be produced, and some scientists have suggested that these hormones can promote miscarriage or even bring on pre-term labor.

The best thin you can to do to ensure the well being of your baby is to minimize both physical and emotional stress as much as possible. Here are some stress reducing tips you can engage in during your pregnancy to promote a happy and healthy outcome:

Accept the fact that you are pregnant. Some women stress because they thrive on working a very demanding schedule, and attempt to continue to do so throughout their pregnancy. At some point or another however your pregnancy will catch up with you, and you will need to slow down a little bit. Rather than see this is as a burden, consider this a great time to prepare yourself for the life you are about to bring into the world. Take some time to pamper yourself a bit and give yourself more time for rest and relaxation during the week. This can be time that you spend just with yourself and your baby, without having to share with the world around you.

Give up some control. Having a baby changes everything. If you are the type of person that likes to be in control, keep in mind that there are many things related to pregnancy and child raising that will be out of your control. You won’t for example be able to sail through pregnancy without any aches and pains (unless you are extraordinarily lucky) but you can work to minimize them. You may have other symptoms such as fatigue and nausea that don’t go away. Some women have to go on bed rest during pregnancy. Simply recognizing however that some things are not under your control will help you get a better grip on your pregnancy and arm you to face the challenges that lie ahead.

Expect the unexpected. You just never know what will happen when you are pregnant. Your baby for example, might decide to come a few weeks early. You may find that midway through your pregnancy your physician recommends bed rest. If you prepare for the unexpected ahead of time however, when it happens it won’t seem like such a challenge and you will be better prepared to handle it.

Maintain close ties with friends, family and loved ones. Pregnancy is an emotional time. The more people you have around you to lean on, the less likely you will be to feel stressed.

Accept help. Let people know when you can use a hand. You don’t have to manage everything alone during pregnancy. If people offer to help you out and relieve some of the burden you are facing, be glad that there are people around you that love you enough to help out.

Another important thing to consider during pregnancy is communication. It is particularly important that you keep the lines of communication open with your partner during pregnancy. Remember that pregnancy is a very emotional time, and many women act in ways they would not ordinarily during their pregnancy. Don’t assume that your partner is a mind reader. This assumption has negatively impacted many relationships. If you have concerns, anxiety, feel sad or are even angry, be sure you share your feelings with your loved ones. Let people know what you are experiencing physically and emotionally and how it is affecting you. This will help them understand where you are coming from, and will help them learn the best way to help you during your pregnancy.

If you haven’t considered a prenatal massage already, you should during your pregnancy. Prenatal massage can be particularly helpful during the third trimester when your body is feeling burdened by the heavy load it is carrying. There are many qualified practitioners that offer prenatal massage in medical offices, chiropractic offices and even in traditional spa settings.

About the author:
Article by Beverley Brooke, author of "Ensure a healthy safe pregnancy for you and your baby", visit for more on stress and pregnancy

So You Think You’re Pregnant? A Brief Discussion Of Common Pregnancy Symptoms

by: Charlene J. Nuble
A baby begins life even before he is born – from conception until the uterus finally pushes him out of his mother’s body. This is the phenomenon we call pregnancy. It starts when the male sperm unites with the female egg and develops into an embryo. While several women say they can already detect pregnancy from the moment of conception, some see the pregnancy symptoms much later.

As the woman’s body prepares itself for child-bearing, she will notice several changes. The telltale signs of pregnancy include the following:

Absence of menstruation

This is usually the first sign of pregnancy. Take note, though, that it should not always be linked with pregnancy symptoms, as missing your monthly period can also mean some other kind of hormonal imbalance or condition.

Morning sickness

It would be prudent to note that the pregnancy symptom called “morning sickness” does not happen only in the mornings. This feeling of dizziness can happen at any time of the day. The hormonal changes occurring during pregnancy generally trigger bouts of nausea and vomiting. Another related symptom would be constant tiredness, which a possibly pregnant woman experiences even if no physical activity had been performed (but, then, again, it could also be due to improper nutrition).

Strong craving for certain foods

The cause of this pregnancy symptom is still undetermined. But pregnant women have been infamous for requesting/demanding different kinds of food, owing to uncontrollable appetite urges. On some cases, “strong craving” is an understatement.

Mood swings and headaches

A woman’s emotions sometimes become slave to the hormonal changes linked with pregnancy. Quite common are bouts of depression, vagueness, listlessness and irritability.


This symptom is not due to fatigue. Women who are pregnant usually long for sleep early in the evening. Again, blame the hormones.

Frequent urination

As the womb expands to make room for the growing fetus, it bears down on the urinary bladder, causing constant urges to pass urine. Some women have also been observed to develop white, creamy vaginal discharge during pregnancy, while the breasts tend to swell and grow tender (as the mammary glands brace themselves for breastfeeding).

Not all signs of pregnancy are obvious. But when the above mentioned symptoms present themselves to you, and you have enough reason to suspect that you are pregnant, you must consult your doctor at once, preferably an obstetrician. (An obstetrician specializes in caring for women while they are pregnant and even after pregnancy.) The doctor will then run tests to find out whether you ARE pregnant and in which pregnancy level you are already in. If your doctor bears good news, that, indeed, a miracle has formed in your womb, congratulations! You will soon be holding in your arms the greatest gift you will ever receive.

About the author:
Charlene J. Nuble 2005. For up to date links and information about pregnancy, please go to: or for updated links and information on all health related topics, go to:

Monday, 15 June 2009

Smoking During Pregnancy

by: Beverley Brooke
If you have been drinking up until the point when you become pregnant or smoking it is also vital that you stop doing so immediately. Many women worry that they consumed a few alcoholic drinks prior to learning they were pregnant. If you are concerned you should talk with your healthcare provider. Chances are that everything will be just fine as long as you stop immediately. At this time there are no recommended safe limits of alcohol to consume during pregnancy, thus it is best that you avoid alcohol all together.

Smoking is equally as harmful for a mother during pregnancy. Smoking can also affect your unborn fetus, potentially contributing to birth defects or respiratory problems later in life. Did you know that when you smoke your baby is receiving less oxygen than they normally would? This can cause your baby to grow less rapidly than they might normally, and may also contribute to preterm labor, which can be potentially life threatening for your infant.

If you are a smoker when you find out you are pregnant, be sure to consult with your healthcare provider immediately about your condition. Your healthcare provider can work with you to develop a plan for quitting that is manageable and something you can learn to live with during your pregnancy. There are also numerous support groups available for mothers who are trying to quit during and even after pregnancy. Remember that the sooner you quit smoking, the sooner you start providing your unborn child with the best possible outcome for a healthy and safe delivery and later life.

Here are some avenues of support if you are trying to quite smoking during pregnancy:

National Partnership to Help Pregnant Smokers Quit

The American Legacy Foundation

About the author:
Article by Beverley Brooke, author of "Ensure a healthy safe pregnancy for you and your baby", visit for more on smoking during pregnancy

Sex During Pregnancy

by: Beverley Brooke
It is important that you nourish your relationship as much as your nourish your unborn child during pregnancy. Most women find that their bodies grow large and unwieldy during pregnancy. Many women are surprised to find that their sex drive actually increases during pregnancy, particularly during the second trimester. This is due to the increased amount of blood that is coursing through your pelvis and vagina.

Is Sex Safe During Pregnancy?

Sex is safe during pregnancy provided you have a low risk pregnancy with few complications. Your doctor will let you know if you should avoid sex for any reason at all. Most women can enjoy a healthy and fulfilling intimate relationship throughout their pregnancy, right up until their delivery date.

Will I Enjoy Sex During Pregnancy?

Surprisingly, many women find that they are more sexually aroused during their second trimester than they were prior to pregnancy. The increased blood flow to the vaginal and a woman’s growing bosom often results in a heightened sense of self and sexual arousal.

Most women will shy away from sexual relations during their first trimester when morning sickness and fatigue often get in the way of love making. During the third trimester, some women find themselves uncomfortably large and prefer not to be intimate, whereas others continue having intercourse right up until they go into labor.

Will Sex Hurt the Baby?

One of the most common concerns of fathers to be is that sex will hurt the baby. Some men are afraid that they will bump into the baby when they have sex. By and large however this concern is unfounded. If your husband is overly concerned about having sex during pregnancy, have him join you at your prenatal visits. A little reassurance from your physician that he will not hurt or bump into the baby may be all your husband needs.

Partners often react very individually when it comes to sex and pregnancy. While some men find the site of their wife’s blossoming body a true turn on, others are ambivalent or even a little turned off by pregnancy. It is important that you are open, honest and communicative with your partner about your needs during pregnancy, and try not to take any emotions your partner may be feeling personally.

Remember that pregnancy is often an emotional roller coaster, and your husband or partner may be more concerned that you might react differently, or may be scared of the idea of having a family in general. Some men have a difficult time being intimate with their wives even when they recognize that they will not harm the baby, because they feel another presence is in the room.

That said, many men and women have remarkable sexual relationships throughout their pregnancy. Even if you do not engage in intercourse with your husband, it is important that the two of you work on nurturing your relationship throughout your pregnancy. Foot rubs, kissing, back rubs and holding hands are all excellent ways to share some intimacy without actually engaging in intercourse.

The best way you can ensure that you and your partner remain close during your pregnancy is to check in with your partner on occasion. Inform them of your needs, let them know where you are coming from and what you need or want from them.


If you and your partner are interested in maintaining a healthy sexual relationship during pregnancy, then undoubtedly you must be wondering what positions will work best for you as your belly grows and expands. The best thing you can do during your pregnancy is keep an open mind and be creative. Most women will find that it is uncomfortable to enjoy sex in a missionary position after about the first or mid second trimester. Try flipping over, woman on top and even lying next to one another during your pregnancy.

About the author:
Article by Beverley Brooke, author of "Ensure a healthy safe pregnancy for you and your baby", visit for more on sex during pregnancy

Rawsome Beauty: Luck of the Draw or Within Reach of All?

by: Tonya Zavasta
Excerpted from the book “Your Right to Be Beautiful: How to Halt the Train of Aging and Meet the Most Beautiful You” by Tonya Zavasta. The book is available at:

All of my life, I wanted to be beautiful. In today’s society, it is more acceptable to insist that you are “beautiful on the inside”, unfortunately, those of us on the outside are not seeing your insides. Wanting to be beautiful is now criticized as being shallow. I’m sorry but I would rather be perceived as shallow than hypocritical because I find it impossible to believe than any women is content to be less than she can be.

Personal initiative is a powerful force in achieving goals and attaining wealth. What about beauty? Are we desperately helpless here, or is there a way to bring it under personal control? I believe we have as much leverage in becoming beautiful as we have in accomplishing anything else we set our minds to. But we have not been looking in the right places for beauty.

The most inspiring books about becoming wealthy are written by people who have made it from rags to riches. However, advice on becoming beautiful often comes from those blessed with exceptional beauty to begin with. For a woman born beautiful to teach others how to become beautiful is like a sweepstakes winner teaching people how to earn a fortune through hard work. Is there a means for achieving beauty for those of us who are not big winners in the gene lottery?

Good news! It is biologically possible to look beautiful at any age. If you do not see yourself as beautiful, it is because your beauty is unclaimed. Your body has never been given a chance to reveal how it can look when provided with the best possible nourishment and care.

Some of our physical characteristics we cannot change—they are determined by our lineage, food choices our mothers made during pregnancy, and our environment. Oriental diagnosis has noted that small eyes are caused by consumption of cooked vegetables and animal products during pregnancy and early childhood. Large eyes, on the other hand, are caused by intake of raw vegetables, fruits, and fruit juices. Long eyelashes in a child indicate the intake of substantial amounts of liquids, raw vegetables, and fruits by the pregnant mother.

These things we cannot change. We can change much, however, by the consumption of a raw plant diet as an adult. This diet will make a difference in weight, complexion, and the texture of skin, hair, and nails. All of these traits and more are determined by our daily choices, with food being one of the most important—and one we have full control of.

Our bodies’ natural ability to renew cells means that your body is capable of improving your looks. After all, we were designed to bloom continuously as old cells are replaced by new ones. The raw food diet makes the most of that rejuvenating ability. Rawsome beauty is not manufactured from the outside; it is cultivated from the inside by nutritionally charged food. The body responds with alacrity to an improved diet. As the body strengthens and heals your insides, you will see your beauty starting to surface on your face and re-structuring your body.

The artistic ability of your body will surprise you. It will seem as though a sculptor is chiseling your face and body. Fat deposits will disappear from the right spots. Everything bumpy or lumpy will be smoothed or straightened. Everything dull will be illuminated. The features will be refined until a lovely face surfaces, and the skin will be polished until it glows. By revealing and intensifying what is good, the raw food lifestyle will make the best of whatever goodness you have and will open every avenue for more. This lifestyle bestows upon you an identity of your own and makes you beautiful.

Only the body sustained on raw food demonstrates natural beauty or, shall we say, “rawsome beauty.” The landscape of the body will change. Fat that has accumulated in pockets under the eyes and at the jaw will melt away. The lumpy potato look of one‘s face will give way to sleek, smooth contours. Pockets of fat and retained water will disappear. The surface of the skin will become soft and smooth yet firm and supple. Visible pores will diminish. Sallow, yellowish skin will turn into a porcelain-like complexion. The whites of the eyes, once red, will become bright with a bluish tinge.

The body becomes transformed and will unfold from the inside out. While your non-raw-eating peers discover new blemishes, blotches, and moles on a nearly daily basis, you will see your own skin irregularities gradually fade or disappear. Feeding your body raw food will make your eyes, once sunken in bulbous flesh, look larger and rounder by eliminating the surrounding puffiness and by firming the eyelids. Eyebrows that were beginning to form an awning over the eyes will regain their youthful arch. As natural collagen production improves, it will fill in the places where it is needed, as in hollow cheeks. It will not just patch your face, but it will improve every one of your 3,000 square inches of skin.

Raw food eating will clarify and refine your features and bring delicacy to your face. This diet will give the impression of high cheekbones. In fact, it will give the effect of a cheek implant, by providing a subtle contour to the cheek area. The blurred chin-to-neck curve will become sharper and more pronounced. Broad jaws and square jowls will slowly give way to a more desirable oval shape. Sagging cheeks will gradually become tauter and tighter. Incidentally, an oval-shaped face, high cheekbones, thin jaws, and large eyes are universally considered to be the major characteristics of a beautiful face.

As the cleansing is completed, you will see how you were meant to look. You will become satisfied, even fascinated, with your appearance. When you look your very best, you look perfect, in a sense that you are as close to the divine image for yourself as you could ever be. You accept yourself completely. Natural beauty is above conformity; it doesn’t demand to be accepted by the dictates of the beauty norm.

People who have been on the raw food lifestyle for several years begin to have an emerging radiance. The glow is hard to fake because it is basically internal. It comes from an abundance of clear pink, almost transparent, cells that light up the face. Only superior blood circulation can bring this transfiguring glow. Several years on the raw diet will give you a translucent radiance.

There are beautiful people who are not on the diet, but even they have never been as beautiful as they could be because they have not been cleansed of all toxins. Our frustration with our looks is a subconscious reaction to our innate knowledge that we have not achieved our best look. The Rawsome Diet gives us confidence that we look the way we were meant to look when we are at our most beautiful.

The best proof that raw plant eating is optimal for the body is that it makes you beautiful. Slim face, slender waist, and clear skin with smooth coloration—these subtle changes will convince you that the raw plant diet is the best for good health and graceful beauty. No woman knows her true beauty until she cleanses her body completely of all waste.

I like to study each woman’s face. I see not just how she does look, but how much better she could look. What I now see is just how far her looks fall short of her potential. I see her beauty as it would be if her body had been cleansed from all toxins and excesses. On the Rawsome Diet, you will be stunned by how the Master Artist makes the most of your individual features and brings balance to the face. Texture, hues, and shape will be re-arranged into a harmonious whole. Perfection and imperfection will be joined into a unique personal beauty.

But our imagination is limited. The perfect face is an invention of our culture. It shows human preference in particular time and place, and it is severely limited in its variety. While eye bags, puffiness, and sallow skin make faces look similarly unattractive, the variety of beauty versions, supplied by God Himself, is endless.

When your peer group is going through a stage where they think: “I am losing my looks,” you will be finding yours. At 47, I enjoy looking in the mirror, while in my youth and young adult life I detested my reflection. People who have not seen me for years often tell me that they hardly recognize me. Even my mother recently said I looked like a different person.

Adopting the raw food diet actually brings the beauty equation full circle. Finally, beauty is for everyone! We can drop the pretence. Ugly Ducklings of the world, this is your chance! It is forgivable to be born ugly, but there is no more excuse for staying ugly. Healthy foods create healthy organs. Strive to become beautiful on the inside—you will be beautiful on the outside.

About the author:
Tonya Zavasta is the raw food lifestyle expert, the author of the books Beautiful On Raw: UnCooked Creations and Your Right to Be Beautiful: How to Halt the Train of Aging and Meet the Most Beautiful You, named a 2004 Health Book of the Year Award finalist by ForeWord Magazine. In these books Tonya makes a stand as an ambassador for plain looking women in their quest for physical beauty. Firmly believing that the roots of under-performing and under-achieving lie in feeling and looking less than your personal best, she is on a mission: she wants every woman to look and feel beautiful. To learn more about how you can reveal your Rawsome beauty, visit: or call 866-STAY-RAW


by: Mary Helen Sanders
Most people do not notice what a purse says about one’s personality. If you start to analyze the different aspects of the purse, you would find that it tells much about that person. So you can check one’s personality by looking at their purseonality. Some examples to illustrate my point are what you would find inside the purse as well as the purse itself. You might look inside for different hints to one’s organization or items of importance to the individual. The style, shape, and color also reflect much about a person.

If you look inside someone’s purse, you could tell if that person is organized or not. You could also tell if they are conscious about looks or more about other things. Think about what you have in your purse. Do you have only the essentials such as identification, money, and keys? Most likely you have some personal items that identify you. You might have pictures of your family, you might have makeup, you might have candy or toys for small children—you might even have all of these and more. Whatever you carry in your purse defines which things that are important to you to have with you at all times. You may not have given it much thought—but think about the things you move from one purse to another and you will understand my point. There are always things that you feel you must have in your purse. You also look for purses that allow you to carry the things that you need or want with you.

There are many purses on the market and new ones are designed daily. Why would their need to be so many different purses just to carry basic essentials? Most women carry them for more reasons than just to carry their things.

Another reason for buying a particular purse is to match their own personal taste. This allows people to express their personality by color, style and perhaps even designer. In a survey performed on college students, it was found that 86 percent of the students felt that one purse was not enough. In fact, 62 percent have five or more purses. The reason for different purses was generally for different occasions. Some change purses as often as they change outfits. However, there were some students that felt that one purse was sufficient for their needs.

When talking to one student, she said that when she looks for a purse, she looks for something small with a lot of compartments to hold money. "Without a purse, change would get lost at the bottom of my backpack and you just need somewhere to put your change," she said. "I bought my purse because it's small, like a wallet on a string."

We talked to another student that told us that she only carried specific designer purses such as Dooney & Bourke, Louis Vuitton, and Gucci. She said, “I just feel more glamours when I have one of my designer purses with me.”

Several students expressed that color was the most important aspect of the purse. They wanted purses to match their favorite color or their outfit. Some chose colors because it reminded them of other things. One student said "I have a bright green one that says I am fun and outgoing.” Another said, “I have a blue purse because I love the ocean.” Yet another said, “I change purses daily depending on my mood.”

Whether you have basic tastes in purses and carry only your essential belongings or if you prefer to make extravagant statements with your purse and carry everything possible, purses will always be a fun and easy way to express yourself.

About the author:
Ernie and Mary Helen Sanders are current retailers of purses for the last 3 years. They spend numerous hours researching trends and styles for women. You can find the perfect purse for you at their website: