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7 Pregnancy Superfoods to Quench Your Hunger

learn about 7 pregnancy superfoods to help your health and your baby's, too!When you’re pregnant, you’re probably finding yourself hungry more than usual! Fill up on these 7 nutrient-packed superfoods to boost your baby’s development and to quench your hunger:
 
1. Lean Beef

A 3-ounce serving of lean beef contains almost half of your daily requirements for zinc, 8% of iron, and 30% of your protein. Try to buy a cut of beef that has less than 10 grams of fat per serving.  Try cooking sirloin or flank steak in a slow cooker for an easy “set it and forget it” dinner.
 
2. Quinoa

Quinoa is a great source of protein for vegetarians, or anyone trying to cut out meat. But unlike beef or chicken, it’s high in fiber, and it can be made quicker than whole grains. Pregnant women need 71 grams of protein a day, so adding quinoa to your diet really helps! Try making a bowl of quinoa and adding in chopped veggies and some black beans.
 
3. Oatmeal

One cup of oatmeal gives you more than 30 percent of your daily dose of magnesium, which is needed to build your baby’s teeth and bones. It’s suggested that during pregnancy, women get 350 to 360 milligrams of magnesium, which keeps your blood-sugar level and blood pressure in check, and reduces your risk of preterm labor.
 
4. Red Bell Peppers

One of these has almost three times more vitamin C than an orange! Vitamin C keeps your immune system healthy, which is especially handy in pregnancy. The antioxidants in Vitamin C can also help your baby’s brain development and assist your body in absorbing iron.
 
5. Salmon

Salmon has a great omega-3 fatty acid called DHA. Getting the 300 milligrams of DHA per day can help prevent postpartum depression, preterm labor, and preeclampsia. It also helps in the development of your baby’s brain, eyes, and central nervous system!
 
6. Sweet Potatoes

Whether you roast, bake, or mash sweet potatoes, they contain more than 400 percent of your day’s vitamin A! Vitamin A is really important during the first trimester when your baby’s body is forming. And, sweet potatoes with the skin left on are packed with fiber and energizing complex carbs so you can get filled up with few calories.
 
7. Yogurt

One cup of yogurt has 30% of your daily calcium requirement. This is so important because if your baby doesn’t get enough calcium from the foods you eat, she’ll take it from your bones instead. Plus, yogurt often has added probiotics, that can reduce your baby’s risk for getting allergies later in life.

All Day Morning Sickness?! All About Hyperemesis Gravidarum

Before a missed period you may feel nauseousFor many women, the first trimester of their pregnancy finds them hovering over a toilet in the middle of the night. But for an unlucky few, their heaving will turn into something worse, something called Hyperemesis Gravidarum (from here on out we’ll just call it “HG”).
 
With HG, pregnant women have extreme nausea and vomiting, so much so that they face dehydration and weight loss. Only around 3% of pregnant women face HG.  No one knows yet what exactly causes it, but many think it’s because of genes and pregnancy hormones.
 
If you think you may have HG, tell your OBGYN right away. It’s a serious medical condition, and we’re not able to give you medical advice.  We just want to help you get some relief!
 
Here are 5 tips for coping with HG:

  1. Find an OBGYN who has experience with HG:
    Many in the medical community do understand HG, but if your current doc doesn’t, it’s time to find a different one. You’ll need a medical team who’ll watch both your physical and mental health (depression and anxiety are common.) You need people on your side, finding solutions and celebrating small victories with you.
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  3. Don’t call it morning sickness:
    Calling it morning sickness is like comparing sadness to depression. They’re two very separate things. If you tell people you have Hyperemesis Gravidarum and explain what it is, you’re helping teach others that it’s a real illness that can be debilitating. Look up the HER Foundation: it’s a great place to share with others about the condition.
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  5. Accept whatever help you’re offered:
    When you’re growing a baby while dealing with HG, you’ll need help. Some women have found it helpful to tell close friends and family early on that they’re expecting. That way, you’re up front with those closest to you about what you’re dealing with. It’ll make requests easier later on, like when you ask a co-worker to cover a shift for you.
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  7. Rest:
    Don’t overdo it when you feel well. You’ll pay the price for overexerting yourself, and feel horrible for the next few days. It’s difficult that you’re not able to do the normal things, like cooking, cleaning, going to work, taking the dog for a walk, and hanging out with friends. But remember, you’re battling an illness. So, rest as much as you can!
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  9. Try different remedies:
    There are various remedies out there, from medical ones to nontraditional natural ones. Your doctor may prescribe you a medication called Zofran.  Some women find acupuncture to be helpful with HG. Every woman is different, and every pregnancy is different. If something doesn’t work for you, just try something else.

Maternity Swimsuits That Are Perfect for Your Baby Bump

get our trimester by trimester maternity swimsuits strategies!Dressing your pregnant body when it’s time to hit the beach is challenging! Depending on which trimester of pregnancy you’re in, you might be loving your boobs yet hating your expanding butt and cellulite. We’ve got maternity swimsuits and tips for you, trimester by trimester!

First Trimester
Especially if this is your first baby, you might not actually look pregnant right now. You may have gone up a cup size, but your middle section looks a little thicker. Fun times!

Here’s our swimwear strategy for the first trimester: try a cute tankini to cover your expanding middle section. Choose one that fits more loosely so you can wear it for a few more months, too. We also suggest buying a size up in bikini bottoms or getting ones with adjustable ties. That way, you won’t end up with the ever-dreaded muffin top situation.

Second Trimester
This trimester will vary a lot for a swimsuit fit for first-time moms. Some pregnant women aren’t showing yet, while others have a cute little baby bump. In either situation, you can follow our tips for the first trimester. If you have popped, the good news is that you’ll look better in all swimwear than you did just a few months ago!

There is a downside, though. Stretch marks often show up during the second trimester. The best predictor is if your mom had them when she was pregnant, so ask her. Many pregnant women have camouflaged stretch marks with a bit of self-tanner. Make sure to check with your doc first, though.

Third Trimester
Many women begin their third trimester looking adorably pregnant and end it growing to a substantial size. So our advice is, go easy on yourself. You’re achieving the small feat of growing another human being, and no one expects you to appear on the cover of Maxim anytime soon. You do have a gorgeous pregnancy glow going on, and the condition of your hair has never been better!

Our strategies for third-trimester swimwear? Surprisingly, one of them is to steer clear of one piece suits. Every pregnant woman’s belly is different and carry differently. One-size-fits-all one piece styles aren’t going to fit your unique belly properly. They’ll gap in some areas and fit too tightly in others, creating an unflattering look.

Instead, try out a maternity tankini or what’s called a “flutter-top” tankini. The flutter top has two sheer panels which hang down and give you more coverage than a normal bikini top. If your belly is getting pretty big, look for a tankini top that’s fitted at the bottom. This will create a more slenderizing look!

Nose Issues During Pregnancy

Learn about nose issues during pregnancyWe all anticipate morning sickness and funky cravings during pregnancy, but there are lots of other unusual pregnancy symptoms you might not know about. This article shares about a few nose issues during pregnancy.
 
Plenty of pregnant women complain of congestion and bloody noses, (and their partners complain about snoring!) These nose issues are caused by the swelling of the inside lining of your nose, due to hormones. Because of the swelling, there’s less area for air flow.
 
Your nose might also be bothered by dryness. To ease some of these discomforts, try placing a humidifier in your room. Or, you can take a steamy shower and enjoy inhaling the steam. A warm shower can also be very relaxing and help with muscle aches! Make sure to ask your doctor before spraying any form of saline drops in your nose, because they might not be safe for your growing baby.
 
Luckily, all of your nose issues will go away once you deliver!

Pregnancy Superfoods You’ll Want to Eat Right Now

Almonds are a tasty pregnancy superfood!OK, so all pregnant women want to eat healthily, but we know it’s hard not to give into your cravings! It’s not easy to chomp on veggies when you’d rather scarf down a pizza. The pregnancy superfoods we list below do (at least) one of these things: help with healthy fetal development, reduce the risk of birth defects, or prevent pregnancy complications!

Bananas

They have around 10% of your daily need for potassium, a mineral that may help prevent pregnancy-related hypertension. Studies have shown that keeping your blood pressure in check during pregnancy helps reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes 5 to 10 years in the future, too!

Almonds

Serve yourself 1/4 of a cup of almonds or two tablespoons of almond butter. This serving size gets you more than a third of your daily dose of vitamin E. These heart-healthy nuts will help your baby’s brain development. Another plus to almonds: they’re full of protein, so a handful can prevent your hunger pangs.

 

Egg Yolks

Yolks contain vitamin D, which may lower your risk of preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, and low birth weight. Although egg whites have more protein, the yolk has almost all of an egg’s choline, which is a mineral that helps your baby’s brain health. Along with folic acid, choline reduces the risk of neural-tube defects. Try and eat an egg each day: it’ll help you get closer to fulfilling your needs for important nutrients.

Cereal 

Fortified cereal can contain more iron than a serving of spinach! Iron is believed to help with a healthy birthweight, and it also helps keep your energy up. Look at the nutrition facts on fortified cereal: aim for one that has 50% of the daily iron requirement, at least 6 grams of fiber, and no more than 10 grams of sugar.

Lean Beef

Just a three-ounce serving of lean beef has half of your daily requirement for zinc! Zinc can help reduce the risk of an early delivery and other pregnancy complications. Also, it helps you get closer to your daily iron and protein needs. Look for a cut of beef that has less than 10 grams of fat per serving. Pull out your crock pot or slow cooker to prep a flank steak or sirloin. If you’re ordering a burger, just get one patty, so you’re not eating too much saturated fat.

Kale

Some people really dislike the taste of kale, but it’s packed with nutritional benefits! If you hate kale, try sautéing it along with olive oil, garlic, and raisins. Kale provides your day’s share of vitamins A and C. This leafy green also contains folic acid (which helps prevent birth defects), and calcium (to building your baby’s bones.) It also has potassium, which helps diminish water retention. You’ll really get to appreciate this benefit as you get closer to full term!

6 Fresh Ways to Dress Your Bump This Spring

maternity fashion: learn fresh ways to dress your bump this Spring

  1. Ruching
    Side ruching can be very a flattering way to dress your bump! Ruching means that the fabric is gathered and sewn with lines of elastic which creates a stretchy, gathered look.
  2. A Cold Shoulder Top
    This style is very popular right now. Just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean you can’t rock a cold shoulder top! Dress your bump with a light and airy off-the-shoulder top; it’s a great way to keep cool as temps heat up. Plus, this style is perfect for a casual, lazy Saturday. Try pairing a cold shoulder top with light-wash denim and some sneakers. This comfy top is a must-have for your closet this spring!
  3. Empire-Waist Tops
    An ever-popular shape for maternity wear is the empire waistline. It accentuates and flatters your bump! For comfort, look for shirts and tops that are cotton-blend.  A tie-front that sits right above your belly will flatter your growing bump.
  4. Skinny Maternity Jeans
    Look for easy-fitting skinny jeans that include elastic insets. That way, they can accommodate your growing baby bump throughout your pregnancy. They’ll quickly become your go-to choice of denim for each trimester. As with anything denim, skinny jeans are versatile and can be dressed up or down easily. And, skinnies are a great way to show off your shoes!
  5. Stretch Demin Shorts
    We think every mama-to-be has to have a good pair of shorts to keep her cool and comfortable in the spring and summer months. Look for medium-wash shorts in soft, stretch denim. Try styling them differently by rolling up the hems. For casual occasions, try the boyfriend silhouette and top it off with a colorful shirt, sandals, and sunglasses.
  6. Button Up Shirt
    Comfortable clothes become your BFF when you’re pregnant. The same is true after your baby arrives! Move easily from pregnancy to motherhood in a casual button-up. Look for a relaxed, “boyfriend” fit that’s looser; it’ll become a staple in your wardrobe. Pair it with leggings or jeans and sandals. When temps warm up, you can just roll up the shirt’s sleeves and style it with shorts.

8 Genuine Reasons Your Third Trimester Is the Best

Pregnancy is a pretty amazing event if you stop to think about it. Yes, there are plenty of aches and pains that come with pregnancy, but today we’re focusing on the positive!

Here are our 8 reasons your third trimester is the best one:

  1. You can totally pull the “I’m not feeling up to it” card to get out of pretty much anything—chores, grocery store trips, taking the car in for an oil change, etc.
  2. You can switch between the same two outfits for a few months, and nobody notices.
  3. Lines to use the bathroom magically part for you and restaurant employees let you use their bathroom even if you walked in off the street and have no intention buying anything.
  4. No one expects you to help carry anything.
  5. You might feel like a beached whale, but you’re a whale with GORGEOUS hair!
  6. Strangers smile at you in public, and you don’t even feel that creeped out. You even kind of like it, just so they don’t try to touch your belly.
  7. Many women spent their whole life trying to hide their stomach flab. But now, you’re totally comfortable having your belly on full display.
  8. When going out for food with friends, everyone always submits to your wishes on which dish to order.

Why You Shouldn’t Do These 7 Things If You’re Pregnant

Being pregnant can be both magical and scary. A fetus develops into a full-fledged, kicking, wiggling baby. But at the same time, everyone from your great aunt to the stranger at the grocery store is giving you their unsolicited advice.

It’s hard to separate old wives’ tales from fact. So, here are 7 things you definitely shouldn’t do when you’re pregnant, and why:

  1. Don’t travel
    There’s the packing, then the mad scramble to get everything you forgot to pack. You’re either cooped up in a plane or a car, and you’ll have to get up to pee every 10 minutes, bothering everyone who isn’t pregnant. When you get to your destination, chances are there won’t be nearly enough pillows (see #3), and new smells everywhere may make you nauseous. Your best bet is to stay home if you can, with your own safe pillow nest.
  2. Don’t move furniture
    Since there aren’t any safe limits which can be medically recommended for moving furniture while you’re pregnant, your best bet is to avoid it.
  3. Don’t hold back on the pillows
    You’ll probably come to find that it’s difficult to get comfy enough to sleep while you’re pregnant. A good idea is to use lots of pillows! You could use two up at your head, one at your side, and one between your legs to help with lower back pain. Or, you can get one of those sweet C-shaped pillows custom-designed for moms-to-be. Here’s a link to a great one:  Leachco Snoogle Total Body Pillow.
  4. Don’t worry about stretch marks
    You’ll probably get them, and then have a good cry about them. Your body is stretching to make room for your baby, so there will be stretch marks. They will fade, or they’ll look like tiger stripes. So, don’t stress!
  5. Don’t bring home a new pet
    When you’re pregnant, you don’t have the ability or the time to potty train a puppy. If you do, the dog’s first few weeks in the house will be full of upheaval which isn’t fair to him, to you, or to your new baby.
  6. Don’t skip having a baby shower
    You’ll discover that there are baby products out there that you need, but you never knew existed (this goes especially to first-time moms!) Plus, it’s an opportunity for those who love you to gift you these products. Baby stuff is expensive, and every present means something you won’t have to buy.
  7. Don’t be too attached to your birth plan
    It’s important to be flexible with your birth plan because it’s impossible to predict what will happen. Also, staying flexible will make your labor less stressful for you.

10 More Fun Ideas on What to Do During Your Last Trimester!

go on a fun shopping trip during your last trimester!This list is a follow-up to “10 Fun Ideas of What to Do During Your Last Trimester!”

Today, we’re sharing 10 more fun activities you can do to pass the time when you’re waiting for labor to start:

1. Treat yourself to a pedicure
2. Squeeze in as many date nights as possible
3. Do you plan to breastfeed? Learn as much about it as you can so if something goes wrong, you’ll be prepared
4. Get maternity photos taken
5. Go shopping with your mom, because once you deliver, she may be your main babysitter! (Plus you can help induce labor by walking around all day)
6. Get a massage
7. Stock up on essentials like toilet paper and laundry detergent
8. Prep meals and stuff them in the freezer, so you’ll have easy meals after you deliver
9. Sleep!
9. Drink tea that’s specifically designed for the last trimester. This tea preps your body for labor and helps with leg cramps: Earth Mama Angel Baby Organic Third Trimester Tea
10. Spend lots of time with your friends who don’t have kids yet

The 6 Best Books to Read When You’re Pregnant

pregnant woman reading in her kitchenWhen you’re expecting and educating yourself about pregnancy, labor, and delivery, books are great at giving you the big picture. These books remind you that women have been giving birth for a long time and our bodies are equipped to deliver a baby. Whether you have a birth plan or not, they’re a good read!

  1. The Panic-Free Pregnancy
    Written by a doctor, this book talks about the lifestyle issues and questions that every pregnant woman has. You’ll discover what’s an old wives’ tale and what’s really true!
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  3. Debunking the Bump
    Packed with practical, easy-to-follow guidance and clear explanations of pregnancy risks and trade-offs. The author breaks down what’s really a danger during pregnancy and what the risk is.
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  5. The Girlfriends’ Guide to Pregnancy
    Very informative book, without being too scary. This fun book tells it like it is and gives you info on pregnancy in a non-scary, friendly, way.
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  7. Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy
    Many pregnant women actually like this book better than the popular “What to Expect” series, so that’s saying something! It’s written by reliable professionals in a clear yet professional way, and it gives info pregnancy, childbirth and your newborn.
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  9. Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth
    The author is an expert in the field of midwifery and has been bringing babies into the world for more than 30 years. Many women have felt more confident about their body’s ability to give birth after reading this book!
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  11. Birthing from Within
    This book is designed to give you a feeling of real control and empowerment about your birthing experience. It will help you get in touch with yourself and make your delivery a more positive experience.