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7 Safe Ways to Fight Pregnancy Exhaustion

Many pregnant women feel so tired that just getting up for work every day becomes difficult. The first trimester is usually when you’ll feel super-tired, and it may reappear during your third trimester. The good news is that there are some natural, safe ways to boost your energy:

  1. Keep up with a healthy diet and lifestyle. Try nutritious and satisfying foods with anti-inflammatory abilities, like organic fruits and vegetables.
  2. Avoid processed foods as much as possible
  3. Don’t eat simple carbs, such as white bread
  4. Keep well-hydrated by carrying water with you wherever you go
  5. Exercise every day, even when you feel tired. Cardio exercise like brisk walking will almost always make you feel more alert, and even more so if you walk outside.
  6. Go to bed at a time that’ll let you get eight to nine hours of sleep a night.
  7. Nap whenever you can! Even small “catnaps” of 15 to 20 minutes during your breaks at work can be energizing.

Talk to your doctor if you’re pregnant and suffering from persistent fatigue. They may want to run tests to make sure you don’t have anemia or hypothyroidism.

Working While Pregnant? 8 Tips That’ll Help!

Working when you’re pregnant isn’t always easy. Not to worry, we’ve got you covered! Here are 8 common pregnancy challenges along with tips on to help them at work:

  1. You’re exhausted, but scared to drink coffee

Most OB-GYNs will tell you it’s okay to have coffee in limited amounts when you’re pregnant. There are definitely things you need to avoid during pregnancy like drinking and smoking. A small amount of coffee is safe, though, especially if it helps you get through the day. Make sure to talk with your doctor about your exhaustion.

  1. You’re feeling really drained

The first trimester can really drain your energy and make work difficult.  You might be also hiding the news of your pregnancy from your boss until you’re farther along. In that case, talk to her about other ways you can work, such as working from home or working alternate hours.

  1. You’re nauseous all the time

If you travel to work using public transportation, it may be making you feel light-headed and faint. So, make sure to eat breakfast before you leave for work, and also eat a late afternoon snack. Also, stay hydrated by always having water handy. Having a small snack can help keep your blood sugar levels in check which will prevent fainting. We recommend asking someone to give up their seat. In the wintertime, take off your scarf and coat before getting on the train or bus to prevent overheating.

  1. You need to pee all the time

There’s pretty much no way to decrease your need for bathroom breaks. Try to cut down on trips to pee by drinking to only to quench your thirst. Also, make sure to empty your bladder completely. To help more pee to pass, you could change up your position on the toilet and try lifting your belly a bit.

  1. Your legs are totally swollen and hurting

Some pregnant women get lots of swelling during their pregnancy, especially near the end of the day and end of the pregnancy. If you have to be on your feet at work, it might make the swelling worse. Try wearing compression socks or stockings to help cut down on your swelling and pain. If you’re able to, put your feet up as you work…even a slight elevation can help.

  1. Your boobs hurt

Lots of pregnant ladies complain about breast pain during pregnancy. They’re painful because your body’s getting ready for breastfeeding. We recommend that you buy a few larger-sized bras with good support.

  1. You’re hungry all.the.time.

It’s important that you to manage how much food you eat so that you can prevent low blood sugar and afternoon cravings. Always keep healthy snacks with you…it’ll prevent unhealthy food choices. Try things like protein bars, yogurt, fruit, cheese or granola—these options are easy to pack in your purse.

  1. Your feet hurt

We suggest that you stop wearing heels. It’s best for your feet, your back, and your pelvic floor to wear shoes that are more comfortable. Heels tend to make your body pitch forward and cause you to lean back, which will lead to leg cramps, bad posture, and tight, short pelvic floor muscles (not what you want when you need to give birth!).

Get Relief from Your Pregnancy Back Pain

pregnancy back pain affects tons of women!Back pain is a very common pregnancy symptom! Drop by a physical therapist or masseuse, and you’ll probably see some pregnant women there. Back pain during pregnancy is caused by weight gain, hormones, and a shifting center of gravity.

Thankfully, back pain usually goes away within two weeks of delivery. But it may flare up again once you start lifting and carrying a seven to 10-pound baby so many times a day.

Here are some tips that’ll relieve your back pain. All of them are safe to do while pregnant and may even help you avoid taking meds. As always, check with your doctor before starting anything new.

  1. Buy Some Pregnancy Gear

We’re talking about a band to support your growing belly, the correct shoes, and a pregnancy pillow. A belly support band lifts the weight off your baby bump, saving your back.

Supportive flats or sneakers are good for everyday wear. If you want to try something with heels, stick to rubber-soled wedges. They offer shock absorption and issue body weight across a larger surface area. Avoid wearing flip flops or ballet flats, unless you have insoles that offer arch support.

To sleep in a better position for your back, put a wedge under your belly. And, sleep on your side. Both these tips can lessen back pain by bracing your belly, so it doesn’t strain your back muscles.

  1. Hot and Cold Therapy

For really bad back pain, wrap an ice pack in a towel. Apply it to your back for about 15 minutes to ease swelling. If you don’t have an ice pack, a bag of frozen vegetables will do. Then, after the worst of the pain is over, apply heat to encourage healing. Heat will reduce any aches that are still there, and improve circulation. Try putting two cups of uncooked rice in a cotton sock. Make a knot on the open end of the sock, then throw it in the microwave for a minute. Put it onto the painful area for about 15 minutes.

  1. Exercise

Research has shown that pregnant women who exercise three times a week have less low-back pain. Try a pregnancy-safe exercise such as swimming or walking. You can get pointers on pregnancy exercise in these articles:

5 Easy Pregnancy Exercises You Can Totally Rock

Choosing the Type of Pregnancy Exercise That’s Right for You

Exercise in the Second Trimester

Morning Sickness? Here’s How to Deal

drinking plenty of water can help curb morning sicknessIf you’re experiencing morning sickness, keeping your pregnancy a secret can seem virtually impossible with morning sickness. Nausea and throwing up are tricky things to conquer when you’re just trying to go about your day!

The good news is that for most women, morning sickness starts to fade towards the end of the first trimester. Being disgusted by certain smells and tastes is common, even by foods that you loved before you got pregnant. Follow your intuition, because ignoring your newfound hatred of a certain food might just make you feel worse.

Although morning sickness is uncomfortable, it’s a sign that your baby is developing just as it should.

Here are some ways to deal with morning sickness:

Carbs and Protein
Foods like bread, saltine crackers, potatoes, and toast have been found to help fight nausea. To stop morning sickness before it starts, keep a few crackers by your bedside. When you wake up, slowly eat a few before you get out of bed.

Smaller Meals
If you’ve been feeling nauseous all day, food might be the last thing on your mind. However, an empty stomach can make your morning sickness worse. Eat smaller meals throughout the day, and make sure your foods have healthy nutrients.  Make sure to eat blander foods, because fatty, acidic, or fried foods will just bother your stomach more.

Ginger
This is a traditional remedy for upset stomachs and queasiness. Try a drink made with real ginger, or grate fresh ginger into hot tea. Ginger candy and gingersnap cookies can also help.

Water 
Drinking plenty of water during your pregnancy is important, but even more so if you’ve been throwing up. If you’re tired of the blandness of water, try flavoring it with lemon or lime. Drinking a sports drink like Gatorade has glucose, salt, and potassium, which will help return the electrolytes lost during vomiting (and they can help keep your energy up, too!)

Contact Your Doctor
If these remedies don’t work or if your morning sickness is getting worse, give your doctor a call. Don’t try to tough it out! Your doctor might prescribe a safe medication for morning sickness that’ll help it from getting any worse.

Here are some cases where you’ll need to contact your doc right away: if you’ve been unable to keep food or fluids down for days, if morning sickness continues past the fourth month, or if you’ve lost a lot of weight.

8 Unexpected Pregnancy Symptoms

  1. Sneezing

This sounds crazy, but it’s true: many pregnant women experience congestion, itching, and/or sneezing. As you get further along, you might find that your sneezing gets worse. Your entire body seems to be swelling, including your nose. This strange pregnancy side effect usually goes away after you deliver.

  1. Hatred of Smells

Some pregnant ladies report feeling sick by smelling certain items they used to enjoy. For example, one mom we know always found herself feeling queasy at the scent of coffee when she was pregnant! This newfound hatred of certain smells is caused by your hormone levels rising during pregnancy. And, it’s tied to the pregnancy nausea you may be experiencing.

  1. Drowsiness

Feeling sleepy is a classic first-trimester side effect. It’s because your levels of progesterone are going through the roof. Plus, your thoughts about being a mom may keep you awake at night. To get better sleep at night, make sure to get some exercise, keep with a regular bedtime, and lie on your left side.

  1. Burping

In the second and third trimesters, many pregnant ladies experience more heartburn (and burp a lot more!)  Your growing baby is making your uterus get bigger too, which limits the space that your stomach has to enlarge after meals. To cut down on heartburn and burping, make sure to eat smaller, more frequent meals.  Also, cut down on caffeine, chocolate, peppermint, tomato sauce, and citrus fruits.

  1. Extreme Cravings

None of the experts out there are really able to explain why pregnancy cravings occur. Many believe that cravings are your body’s way of telling you about what it needs. For example, craving pickles or ice cream might be a sign you need sodium and calcium.

  1. Constipation

This unpleasant pregnancy symptom is (once again) caused by higher levels of the hormone progesterone. Also, taking iron supplements can cause constipation. Try drinking more water, eating more foods that have fiber in them, and exercise.

  1. Tons of Saliva

Some pregnant women complain of too much saliva. You might find this condition popping up in the first weeks of pregnancy, then going away by the end of your first trimester. Drooling can even be an early sign of pregnancy that your dentist picks up on!

  1. Change in Hair Texture

Hormones change so much about a pregnant woman’s body, including her hair’s texture. Once you get pregnant, new hair might grow back oilier, drier, wavier, or straighter. Normally, hair will go back to its pre-pregnancy condition within six months after you have your baby.

Pregnancy Symptoms Before a Missed Period

Before a missed period you may feel nauseousEveryone knows that a missed period is the main symptom of pregnancy. But did you know that there are other pregnancy symptoms that happen before a missed period?

The symptoms we share below may not always mean that you’re pregnant. They’re just signs you may be. Make sure to see your doctor once you’ve gotten a positive pregnancy test kit.

Tender, Sore Heavy Breasts:

Changes in your breasts are an early sign of pregnancy. The second you conceive, your hormones send signals to the breasts to get ready for a baby in 40 weeks. Your breasts will get larger, and your areolas will become bigger and darker. Some women notice changes in their breasts in just a week or two after conceiving. Your breasts may also seem sore to the touch.

Exhaustion:

Feeling super tired without reason is also a sign of pregnancy before a missed period. Your progesterone levels will spike in early pregnancy which will make you tired all the time. If you’re pregnant, your body will start producing more blood to support the growing fetus. This will leave you feeling exhausted!

Nausea:

Morning sickness and nausea are classic pregnancy signs that you may notice right away. Nausea makes you feel weak, dizzy, and like you want to throw up. In the morning, you may feel even more nauseous than any other time of the day (hence the name ‘morning sickness’).

Bloating:

Your jeans may begin to fit more tightly, your tummy may protrude, and you may need to unbutton to breathe more easily. You may also embarrassingly find that you’re burping and farting more. A bloated or heavy feeling in your stomach is a common symptom before a missed period. To get relief from bloating, try eating small portions of food during the day, and avoid fatty and fried foods.

Hating Certain Foods:

You might not be in the mood for your favorite foods. Just smelling them might make you nauseous! It’s believed that this sudden hatred of certain foods is because of higher levels of progesterone.

Take a Pregnancy Test!

Don’t just assume that you’re pregnant by these symptoms alone! If you miss your period or it’s late after having unprotected sex, you should take a pregnancy test on the day your period is supposed to start.

If your test turns up negative and you feel that you may be a pregnant, wait for about a week and then try again. Make sure to communicate your concerns with your ob/gyn.

Pregnancy Dreams—What Do They Mean?

Even though most people have dreams every night, the dreams of pregnant women are typically full of emotion. We think this is an indication of the big life changes you’re about to have!

Know that your strange pregnancy dreams don’t mean that the things in them will happen in real life! And, it’s normal to have mixed feelings about your changing life and new responsibilities. Recognizing your feelings and doubts can help you work through them productively. We encourage you to get your fears out in the open so that you can overcome them.

Below, we’ve listed six of the most common pregnancy dreams and what they might mean:

  1. Birthing an animal. The closest you may have come to motherhood is having a pet. Caring for a kitten or puppy is pretty simple compared to nurturing a baby. Giving birth to an animal or pet means that you’re practicing for delivery. It’s your brain’s way of training for the real thing, but on an easier level. If you dream you’ve given birth to an animal, it may also mean you’re uneasy about being responsible for a helpless being.
  2. Taking the baby out, then putting it back. Having a dream like this usually means you want to be able to see if your baby is healthy and developing normally. This dream seems to be more common in women who’ve had a miscarriage or high-risk pregnancy before. It may also mean that you’re questioning “Will I love this baby?”
  3. Standing by water, swimming, drowning. A dream where you’re swimming might mean you’re trying to connect with your baby, who is living in water. Water dreams also get you more connected to nature, since you’re a part of nature when you’re nurturing your developing baby. Drowning in a dream may mean you feel overwhelmed (or that you’re nervous that your water will break in public!) Oceans and waves could signify the nearness of childbirth.
  4. Birthing an alien. While disturbing, this dream is pretty normal. Just think of it this way: it sometimes feels like an alien has taken over your body. The only idea you have of what your baby will look like comes from the ultrasound image, which resembles an alien. This one is like the dream of birthing an animal: you don’t know who your baby is going to be, or how you’ll take care of it.
  5. Cheating. Dreams where your boyfriend or husband is cheating on you are usually a sign that you’re feeling insecure. Many women don’t feel attractive as their body changes during pregnancy. They worry that their man won’t want them anymore, and if they’ll ever get their body back. Keep in mind: just because you dream something, doesn’t mean it’s going to happen.
  6. Old flames. If you dream of getting back together with an old boyfriend, it doesn’t mean that you secretly want that to happen. What it can mean, though, is that you’re feeling uncertain about your upcoming responsibilities. Maybe you’re feeling trapped, and are romanticizing the past in which you were carefree.

10 Ways to Prep for Labor and Delivery

Being pregnant and having no idea when your baby is coming might be making you crazy!  So, we want to share a few great ways to get ready for labor.

  1. Get Some Exercise
  2. Physical activity, even if it’s really light, will get your body ready for labor. Great forms of exercise for pregnant women are prenatal yoga, walking, stretching, swimming, and bouncing on a ball.  Bouncing on a huge yoga ball is really helpful with opening up your hips.

  3. Meditate
  4. Meditating during pregnancy allows you to take a quiet moment just to let your mind rest.  It can also train your mind to get focused, which will help you during labor.  Learning how to meditate will give you tons of benefits after giving birth, too!

  5. Create a Birth Plan
  6. You don’t have to be really specific a birth plan; just putting your wishes and hopes to paper will ease your mind.  Items to include might be who’s allowed in the room and your pain management wishes.

  7. Rest Up
  8. Getting plenty of rest is necessary when you’re prepping for labor and delivery.  It allows your body to store the energy you’ll need to deliver your baby.

  9. Read Positive Birth Stories
  10. Now’s the time to surround yourself with positivity. Don’t be shy about interrupting someone in the middle of their birth horror story. Two great spots to find positive childbirth stories are the blog Birth Without Fear and Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth.

  11. Get a Massage
  12. Getting a massage, chiropractic adjustment, or acupuncture can help loosen your body to prep it for labor.  Just make sure that you check with your doctor before getting any of these relaxing treatments!

What are your favorite ways to get ready for labor?

Is It Just Gas or Is Labor Starting?

Pregnant woman having belly ache and cramps , spasmsTummy issues are very common in pregnancy. So how will you know if it’s just gas pains or if it’s time for your baby to arrive? Read on to find out!

Being pregnant comes with tons of side effects for your digestive system. During the first trimester, there’s nausea and morning sickness. Then, your baby grows, everything in your abdomen becomes compacted. That can lead to gas, indigestion, and other unpleasant (and embarrassing!) tummy issues.

So, it’s difficult to decide if the discomfort in your tummy is just routine, or if your baby is saying she’s ready to arrive into the world.

Here are 5 questions to answer that’ll help you figure out if it’s gas or labor:

  1. Are you having other issues? With labor, there will be a lot more going on down there. Change in discharge or bloody mucus increases the chance that it’s labor and not a false alarm.
  2.  

  3. Are the pains happening on a schedule? The contractions that labor involves usually develop a rhythm. With labor contractions, a pattern develops. Women in labor will feel the contractions every four to five minutes, and the pains get increasingly stronger. On the other hand, gas comes and goes on an uneven schedule. Plus, gas pains are usually sharper, while early labor contractions feel more like harsh period cramps. Our tip? Get out a stopwatch and see if your pain happens at regular intervals.
  4.  

  5. What have you eaten lately? Since your baby is squeezing your digestive system, any food can cause gas. Beans, cauliflower, and broccoli are prime culprits for filling your belly with gas. If you find that your gas pains continue, think about removing gas-inducing foods from your diet until after you deliver.
  6.  

  7. Does your belly feel tight? Labor pains include a big muscle contraction all down your abdomen. But gas pains just cause a bloated feeling in your stomach. Does your stomach feel harder every time you’re experiencing pain? Then, it’s probably the start of labor contractions, not gas.
  8.  

  9. Can you get relief? Usually, gas pains get much better quickly once you go to the bathroom. So if a trip to the lady’s room helps, your baby is staying inside for a little bit longer.

Our pregnancy articles are for information only and shouldn’t be used to diagnose or create a treatment plan. Always ask your doctor for their advice about any questions or issues you may have during your pregnancy.

5 Easy Pregnancy Exercises You Can Totally Rock

Woman doing pregnancy exercisesExperts agree that when you’re pregnant, it’s crucial to keep moving. Pregnant women who work out have more energy, less back pain, a more positive body image and return faster to their pre-pregnancy shape post-delivery. In this article, we share some simple workout moves you can do at home to strengthen your body during pregnancy. You don’t need to spend tons of time working out or buy fancy workout machines. These workouts can be done in any trimester of your pregnancy. Make sure to check with your doctor before starting any exercise routine during your pregnancy.

  1. Plank—strengthens arms, abs, and back
    Get on your hands and knees, making sure that your wrists are directly under your shoulders. Lift your knees up and unbend your legs behind you until your body forms a line. Don’t let your back arch or your belly sag. Hold this position for 1 to 2 breaths, then work your way up to 5 breaths.
     
  2. Plié—improves balance and strengthens hamstrings, quads, and butt
  3. Stand beside the back of a sturdy chair. Rest the hand that’s closer to the chair on it. Keep your feet parallel and spaced apart about the width of your hips. Turn your toes and knees out 45 degrees. Bend your knees and lower down while making sure to keep your back straight.

  4. Side-Lying Leg Moves—strengthen your inner thighs and core
  5. Lie on your left side and support your head with your forearm. Bend your left leg at a 45-degree angle and keep your right leg straight. You can put your right arm on the floor to steady yourself. Lift right leg to about hip height and repeat. Bend your left knee and rest it on top of something soft for support. Straighten your top leg and lift it as high as you can. Switch sides and repeat.

  6. Curl and Lift—strengthens shoulders and arms
  7. Get a five to eight-pound weight for each hand. Keep your palms facing towards your body. Then bend your elbows, so they form a 90-degree angle. Keep your elbows bent, then lift the weights up to shoulder height. Lower your arms down and straighten them to return to starting position.

  8. Row—strengthens triceps, biceps, and back
  9. Put your right knee on the seat of a sturdy chair and keep your left foot on the floor. Bend forwards, keeping your back parallel to the floor. Put your right hand on the chair’s seat. Hold your one of your five to eight-pound weights in your left hand, arm in line with your shoulder with your palm facing in. Bend your left elbow so your arm forms a 90-degree angle. Straighten arm then return to the bent arm position. Repeat a few times, then switch sides.