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Why Epsom Salt Baths During Pregnancy Are So Great

Pregnant woman blissed out in the bathEpsom salt baths feel divine when you’re pregnant! This natural remedy for aches and pains is completely safe for pregnant women. You use Epsom salt by putting it into your bathwater and then taking a long, luxurious bath. Many athletes swear by Epsom salt baths for soothing tired muscles after a hard workout. Keep reading to find out why Epsom salt baths during pregnancy are so great!

To reap the benefits, put around 2 cups of Epsom salt into a warm bath. Soak in the bath for 12 to 15 minutes. You need to make sure that the water temp is comfortable but not hot. That’s because it’s dangerous to raise your body temperature too much when you’re pregnant. This is why you should also avoid hot tubs during pregnancy.

There are lots of benefits of taking Epsom salt baths during pregnancy. These are the top five reasons why it’s so great!

1. Diminish stress
Magnesium is a natural stress reducer. Many pregnant women feel that Epsom salt helps them relax and get calm.

2. Relaxes muscles
An Epsom salt bath does wonders at easing sore muscles and back pain! And it’s also recommended for treat leg cramps, a common issue during pregnancy.

3. Soothes skin
Epsom salt also soothes your skin as it stretches to accommodate your growing baby. It’s also great to speed up the healing process for cuts and minor sunburns.

4. Is anti-inflammatory
Taking an Epsom salt bath while you’re pregnant is one of the best ways to reduce inflammation. When you take an Epsom salt bath, magnesium is absorbed into your skin. This magnesium will get in the way of your pain receptors in the brain, decreasing any pain you’re feeling. Epsom salts are a natural, anti-inflammatory pain reliever.

5. Helps with hemorrhoids
OK, so no one wants to talk about it, but pregnant women are more likely to get hemorrhoids. Take a soak in a warm bath with Epsom salts, and its anti-inflammatory nature can help decrease your hemorrhoids.

5 Tips for Surviving a Summer Pregnancy

Swimming is a great way to survive a summer pregnancyAs the weather starts to warm up, we’re all starting to make plans for the summer. If you are pregnant this summer, you’ll want to start prepping for that too.

Being pregnant when it’s super-hot out is its own special variety of hell. Carrying an extra human around with you is a big job. And on those days when everyone is sweating and fanning themselves, it’s pretty torturous.

But you’ve got this! With these tips for surviving the hotter months, you could even enjoy yourself outside.

Here are 5 helpful tips for surviving a summer pregnancy:

1. Remove your rings

Everyone’s fingers swell during the summer heat, and being pregnant will make them swell even more. Make sure to put your rings in a safe place that you won’t forget about! Or, try putting them on a chain and wearing them as a necklace during the summer months.

2. Pamper your feet

If you take care of your feet, keeping them rested and cool, the rest of your body will feel better too. Try putting your feet up, or getting them resting in nice, cool water. Also, get some comfortable shoes that have arch support.

3. Drink tons of water

Even though it means more trips to the bathroom, drinking plenty of water will help you avoid dehydration and reduce swelling. Get one of those huge Nalgene-type water bottles and carry it with you everywhere. In the morning, fill it with water, ice, and a lemon slice. Then, continue to refill it throughout the day. Just make sure to find out where the closest bathroom is wherever you go because you’ll need it.

4. Swim

Being in the water when you’re pregnant feels amazing! Swimming will cool you down and take all the weight off your aching feet and back. So, take advantage of any chance you get to go for a swim.

5. Wear sunscreen and a hat

Many pregnant women’s skin tends to get more sensitive, so make sure to protect it well from the sun. Wear plenty of sunscreen everywhere, and make sure to wear a hat when you’re outside.

8 Great Shoes Every Pregnant Woman Needs

get tips on the best shoes to wear during pregnancy!Some pregnant women can rock heels far into their third trimester. But if being comfortable is more important to you right now, then this post is for you!

Learn about the 8 most comfortable shoes for pregnancy. Some of these shoes are cute, and some aren’t so cute. But let’s be honest: it might be more important to you to feel comfortable right now!

Here are 8 great shoes every pregnant woman needs:

1. Sanuk Sandals
These Sanuk sandals are very easy to slip on, which is perfect for that stage of pregnancy when it’s hard to reach your feet! Plus, they’re wonderfully light and let you have a laid-back look without looking too grubby: Sanuk Yoga Sling 2 Prints Flip Flop

2. Sketchers
Lots of Sketchers’ sneakers have stretchy laces, which come in handy if your feet are swelling! Sketchers sneakers are super-comfy, and they give your feet some support. Skechers Sport Good Life Sneaker

3. Crocs
OK, so Crocs aren’t the prettiest or most fashion-forward shoes, but they’re comfortable and easy to slip on. These ballet flats are a Crocs style with some femininity, plus they’ll fit even the puffiest of pregnant feet.

4. Converse
We love Converse for their classic, fun, and light style. They’ll always look cool with jeans. Since they don’t give you much support though, we suggest putting in some shoe insoles. Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Ox Low Tops

5. Bobs
You’ve probably heard of Toms: the company that donates a pair of shoes to a child in need for each pair they sell. Sketchers has created a knockoff called “Bobs” that are way cheaper! When you buy a pair of Bobs, Sketchers makes a donation to a non-profit called Soles4Souls, which provides shoes to needy children. These are just as comfy as the name brand: BOBS from Skechers Plush Peace and Love Flat

6. Imitation Uggs
Ugg boots are super-popular, due to their warm, cushiony goodness. But with the average pair costing around $130, they aren’t cheap! Here’s a link to a decent knock-off: Journee Collection Boots

7. Birkenstock
Birkenstock began making shoes in 1774, so you can be sure they know what they’re doing! The shoe company is known for their comfort. Birkenstock Mayari Sandal

8. Reef
Not only are Reef flip flops and sandals are incredibly comfy, but they also give you a bit of support. Here’s an affordable pair that are perfect to pack in your hospital bag: Reef Ginger Flip Flop

Take a Peek Inside Khloe Kardashian’s Hospital Bag

What's in Khloe Kardashian’s hospital bagKhloe Kardashian is well-known for many things, among them her mad organizational skills. So it’s no surprise that she was super-organized when packing her hospital bag to give birth to her baby girl. Khloe is now the proud new parent of a baby girl, True, with her boyfriend, Tristan Thompson. Before giving birth, her app “Khloe With a K” shared with fans what was packed in Khloe Kardashian’s hospital bag.
 
Khloe packed her hospital bag way ahead of time. “I knew exactly what I wanted to put in my hospital bag—lots of comfy things for me and for her!” the Keeping Up With the Kardashians star posted in her app.
 

Today, we’re giving you a small peek inside Khloe Kardashian’s hospital bag!

 
Here are a few of the things she packed:

  • Pajamas that button up in the front
  • Nursing bras
  • Computer
  • Chargers
  • Bag of toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, etc.)
  • A cute outfit to go home in
  • Her own pillow
  • Blanket
  • Undies
  • Comfy socks
  • Multiple cameras

 
For her baby, the famous mama packed:

  • Two adorable baby outfits
  • Hats to match the two outfits
  • Swaddles
  • Receiving blankets
  • Socks

Are you aiming to pack the perfect labor bag like Khloe? Here are 3 tips to help you get started:
 
1. Determine what you’ll need
Every hospital bag should have these essentials: comfortable clothes to wear while you’re at the hospital, an outfit to go home in, toiletries, insurance info, and a camera. If you’re making an adoption plan, you can get a labor bag that’s already packed with the essentials for FREE! Call Lifetime at 1-800-923-6784 to request yours. If you’re going to parent, also pack your baby’s coming home outfit, and a well-fitting nursing bra if you’re planning to breastfeed. You can bring ready-to-serve formula if you’re not going to breastfeed.
 
Other items to pack include flip flops, a nice robe, and an extra-long phone charger. You can make a checklist in your phone of items you may want or need for your bag. Then, just keep adding to it when you think of other stuff to pack.
 
2. Pack as soon as you can
Once you have a list, start packing! If you wait until the last minute, you may forget to put in important items. Start gathering everything you’ll need and place it all in your bag or tote.
 
You might want to stash your hospital bag away with other items you’re bringing with you when you go into labor, such as a yoga ball.
 
3. Double-check your bag
A few days before you’re due, look at what’s in your bag and check your lists to make sure you didn’t forget anything. When you review the stuff in your hospital bag, you’ll have less chance of having to grab stuff at the last minute.
 
If you’re not sure of what to pack or have been putting this off, you’re not alone. While Khloe is known for her organization skills, lots of us aren’t. Packing your perfect hospital bag might be a challenge, but it will totally take some stress out of your last days of pregnancy.
 
Are you pregnant and thinking about adoption? Lifetime Adoption provides help nationwide to women who are choosing adoption for their babies. Learn more by calling them at 1-800-923-6784. They will also help you a fully-packed labor bag for free!
 
Call Lifetime for a free labor bag!

I Love Chinese Food! But Can I Eat it During Pregnancy?

eating chinese food during pregnancyWondering about eating Chinese food during pregnancy? Is it safe? The answer is YES, but within reason. Chinese food that’s well-prepared features fish, meats, poultry, and vegetables. They are prepared through a quick stir fry and at the peak of nutrition. However, Chinese food tends to be high in sodium (due to all that soy sauce), high in fat (due to a generous use of oils), and may have MSG.

Most Chinese restaurants will follow a request to prepare your food with no MSG, little to no oil, and with “light” soy sauce. It’s also a good idea to request brown rice, instead of white. Soups and steamed dumplings are good appetizer choices. Dishes that are safe to order have plenty of fish, shellfish, poultry, meat, or tofu, and aren’t just garnished with these high-protein foods.

Try steamed dishes, and don’t add soy sauce. Avoid fried (“crispy”) foods, including egg rolls, sweet and sour dishes, and spareribs. Try to limit how much white rice and white noodles you eat. If you’ve noticed that spicy food gives you heartburn, order your dish “not spicy.”

If you’re a vegetarian, choose tofu or a “mock” meat as both are available and nutritiously prepared. Nutritious vegetables such as broccoli are smart choices.

5 Things To Avoid When You Need Relief from a Pregnancy Headache

what's safe to take for a pregnancy headache?If you get a headache and you’re pregnant, you might need to avoid a few of your tried-and-true means for finding relief. Below, we help you learn what to avoid when you’re trying to cure a pregnancy headache. As always, make sure to speak directly to your doctor to find possible solutions.

Here are 5 methods of relief you’ll need to avoid for your pregnancy headache:

1. Ibuprofen or Aspirin

According to the American Pregnancy Association (APA), you need to avoid popping aspirin, naproxen, or ibuprofen for pain relief. Try acetaminophen instead (brand name: Tylenol.) But ask your healthcare provider before you take Tylenol, to make sure it’s really the best choice.

2. Migraine Medication

If you experienced migraines before getting pregnant, then your changing hormones might make them better (or worse). Just make sure to avoid taking your migraine meds during pregnancy. Anti-migraine medications have been linked to miscarriage, birth defects, bleeding, and poor growth of the developing baby. So you can see why you need to avoid anti-migraine meds!

3. Ignore Strange Symptoms

If your headache gets worse or comes with symptoms like a fever, blurred vision, or slurred speech, call your doctor right away. Sharp headaches that come on all of a sudden are a red flag. So is head pain that happens for the first time in your second or third trimester. Both might be a sign of preeclampsia or another issue.

4. Give Up

Just because you have to avoid lots of medications when you’re pregnant doesn’t mean that you have to live with painful headaches. Ask your doctor if it’s safe for you to try acupuncture. It can be a really useful natural tool for treating not only pregnancy headaches but also back pain and morning sickness. If your doctor gives you the go-ahead to get acupuncture, make sure you’re going to an acupuncturist who is licensed by the state and certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). This will make sure they have enough knowledge to treat a pregnant client safely.

5. Get a Massage

This one isn’t totally off limits, but it comes with some warnings. Prenatal massage is a wonderful tool to help back pain and cut down on stress. But avoid getting a massage in your first trimester, because of the increased risk for miscarriage during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

What Does It Mean to Have a Bad Taste in Your Mouth During Pregnancy?

do you have a bad taste in your mouth during pregnancy?Do you have a taste in your mouth like there’s a handful of coins in there, no matter what you do? Or does your mouth taste like it does when you let a pill sit in your mouth for too long? You might be worried if this is normal, or a sign that something’s wrong.

Actually, having a bad taste in your mouth a pretty common pregnancy side effect. It’s known as “dysgeusia” and is caused by your changing hormone levels. Experts don’t know for sure why dysgeusia happens, but they suspect that the food aversions it creates are to prevent expectant mothers from eating things that could be harmful to their baby.

Fortunately, this should last only through your first trimester, and disappear once you begin your second trimester. It does remain for some women throughout their whole pregnancy. Having dysgeusia later on in your pregnancy doesn’t mean anything’s wrong; it’s just bum luck. Your estrogen levels should calm a bit in the second trimester, causing the taste of pennies in your mouth to decrease as the weeks pass.

You’re more likely to endure dysgeusia if you’re also dealing with serious morning sickness. Like you didn’t have it bad enough already trying not to puke your guts out. Both morning sickness and dysgeusia are caused by hormonal fluctuations, so it makes sense that if you have one, you’ll probably have the other.

But what if your first trimester is moving way too slowly and you can’t handle the taste anymore? Lots of women have found vitamin C drops and sour foods to help a lot. You might also try rinsing out your mouth with orange juice or sucking on some lemons.

Even though this icky taste is really unpleasant, it isn’t dangerous. The fact is, dysgeusia is common in most pregnancies — particularly in the first trimester. We hope that dysgeusia ends quickly for you, so you aren’t stuck dealing with this metallic taste for all nine months of your pregnancy.

5 Useful Ways to Survive Bed Rest

woman on bed rest reading a bookThere are a variety of reasons why your doctor might put you on bed rest. Some women go on bed rest because they’re showing signs of premature labor. Others are facing an issue like pre-eclampsia. Laying around for weeks or months on end might seem like a dreadful task, but it’ll pass by faster than you think. You will survive bed rest, with some help and some surrendering!

Here 5 tips for surviving bed rest while still keeping your sanity:

1. Get the details

Your doctor should have given you instructions and guidelines for your bed rest. For example, can you do everything but lift things that weight more than five pounds? Or did your doctor say you’re not allowed to leave the bed for anything but bathroom trips?

Be sure to get clear instructions and a list of do’s and don’ts. For example, some pregnant women on bed rest have to use a wheelchair when they’re visiting the doctor. Take notes, because “pregnancy brain” is a real thing.

2. Set up a meal train

If you’re the main cook in your house, going on bed rest might be difficult for your family. Ask for help: you might ask a family member or a close friend to organize meals for your family.

Try using the site MealTrain.com. The site allows people to sign up for meals simply and easily. It’ll let you know who’s coming, when they’re coming, and even what kind of meal they’re making!

3. Invite visitors

Ask your friends and family over to visit, because bed rest can get SO boring. Scheduling visits will give you some social time and help ease your boredom. Play a game, have tea, talk, but just don’t feel like you have to be the perfect hostess.

You’ll probably need extra help with chores since the laundry and dishes don’t just stop for bed rest. Some women on bed rest have chosen to have a helper come over once a day for an hour at a time. LotsaHelpingHands.com allows you to share what your needs are and the times of day you need help or visitors. People can then just sign up to help you.

4. Binge watch your fave show

OK, so tip #4 is probably something you already planned to do on best rest. But it’s worth mentioning that entertainment can make the time go quicker. Ask friends for their suggestions on their favorite movies or show. Binge-watching a fabulous show helps hours of bed rest go by pronto.

You could also ask a friend to check out some books from the library for you or borrow some great books from them. Write letters to relatives who live far away, do a crossword puzzle or color in an adult coloring book. Learn how to knit or crochet, or something else crafty.

5. Let it go

Realize that you can’t do it all from your bed. Your home might get messy and chaotic: surrender to the chaos. Your house can be messy for a little while.

Your bed rest is only a short period of your life. Right now, delivering a healthy baby is more important than household chores.

Bed rest isn’t going to be the end of the world. It’s a short-term fix for a long-term goal. Be honest, reach out, relax and let things go. You totally deserve the rest you’re getting!

10 Tips for New Dads-to-Be

follow these labor and post-partum tips for a happy wife!Today, Pregnancy Help Online is writing a post for all the dads-to-be out there. So you’ll want to make sure to share this info with your boyfriend or husband! If he follows these simple rules, you should leave the labor and post-partum experience feeling respected, honored, loved, and cared for.

Here are 10 tips for your man to follow when you’re at the hospital to deliver your baby:

1. Be Brave

Be as strong as she needs to be. You can only be as afraid and grossed out as the person giving birth. Even though this might be terrifying for both of you, you’re in this together for every amazing, gory, and beautiful part of it. In any way you can, be “in it” with her and help her.

2. Be Present

Follow her cues about where you should be during labor and delivery. The key here is to give her encouragement and comfort, NOT to complain. Are you starving? So is she. Need to go to the bathroom? Would you like a catheter or a bedpan? She doesn’t have a way out, so you shouldn’t leave either. After delivery, she’s going to need help to recover. At the hospital and once you get home, you should be there to help.

3. Be Attentive

Be kind, attentive, and show her that you have the same goals as she does. Many new moms feel like they’re responsible for the whole world. You can help her see that she isn’t alone in all this. Don’t give up if she seems to be criticizing your effort. Try to understand all that she’s going through and check your ego.

4. Anticipate Needs

Try to anticipate what she and your baby might need, and just do it. Even though she’s exhausted after delivery, she’ll still waddle her bloody, bruised self to take care of anything that needs to be done. So, beat her to it. What you want to avoid doing is asking if she needs help, because she’ll probably say, “I got it.” If she has to say ‘got it’ too often, it’s not fair.

5. Care for Other Children

Do the huge majority of the parenting for your older kids, because they still have needs, too. Take the older kids with you on errands, so your lady can take care of herself and the newborn.

6. No Whining

It’s not a secret that the hospital-provided chairs and cots aren’t that comfy. The mother and baby are their priority, so you’ll need to find a way to make your accommodations work. Don’t whine or complain, because then you’re forcing her to take care of you. Right now, her attention needs to be on herself and the baby.

7. Stay Involved

Men aren’t taught how to prepare for a baby entering their lives and marriages. Many of us still think that women should be able to handle motherhood naturally and easily and that men don’t have any nurturing instincts. This viewpoint says that men should stay away because they’ll probably mess things up. That’s a myth, and it’s not fair to everyone. Help each other out!

8. Breast Milk is “Liquid Gold”

If you handle breast milk and spill even one drop of it or leave it out too long, complete remorse is the appropriate reaction. Whatever you do, don’t act like it’s no big deal or argue with her. Breastfeeding and pumping are challenging, so you need to treat it with the proper respect. Just think of the money you’re saving by not needing to buy formula, not to mention the enormous health benefits your baby’s getting.

9. Listen to the Doctor

Get involved in her health care. Before you’re allowed to go home, her doctor will go through care instructions. Pay attention! Take the baby if she needs to focus on what the doctor’s saying. Don’t be shy to ask questions if you need to because you’re going to be the one taking care of your baby and wife while she heals. Listen when they talk about the signs of postpartum depression.

10. Acknowledge What She Just Did

Her body is going to change from having a baby, so it’s important to remember what she did for your family. So, appreciate her body because she’s probably feeling 30 kinds of weird about what she looks like. You’re in this thing together, but it required a tremendous sacrifice from her, so try and honor that.

“I’m Not Thrilled To Be Pregnant…”

I'm not thrilled to be pregnant...what should i do?!“Ten days ago, I found out I’m pregnant. It had been five weeks since I’d had my period. I had this nagging feeling when I bought that test that it’d come up positive. But, I’m not thrilled to be pregnant…

I walked into the living room, and my boyfriend paused the video game he was playing. I announced that the pregnancy test turned out positive. We then just sat in silence on the sofa together, not knowing what to say. To say this wasn’t the right time would be an understatement. I’m still going to school full-time, and my boyfriend is between jobs.

We didn’t mention the pregnancy until a couple of days later. We were both acting like the test was wrong. I told myself that since I didn’t take it first thing in the morning when my hormones were high, maybe it didn’t count.

Days went by, and the realization started to sink in: we were going to be parents. Since having that realization, I’ve been crying every day. Crying during everyday moments, like brushing my teeth or getting on the bus to work. And not happy tears either; ugly crocodile tears, that I couldn’t wipe away fast enough before more came.

I needed to talk to someone about this. I wanted someone to reassure me that everything would be okay. So I called my best friend, who always seems to know what to say. She asked me, ‘Are you so excited?’ I broke down in tears, and let her know that no, I’m not excited. I’m angry. I’m scared. Basically everything but excited.

‘I’m not thrilled to be pregnant. I don’t know if I want this baby. I should get it taken care of. How can I bring a child into the world when I feel this way?’

And then, when I felt so low, my friend offered another option besides abortion. Her loving and compassionate suggestion was adoption. OK, so my boyfriend and I totally weren’t ready to become a dad and mom. But there were thousands of couples that were, couples who couldn’t have a baby of their own. They wanted desperately to adopt so that they could become parents. That’s when I started to explore adoption…”

If you’re not ready to be a mom and don’t want to get an abortion either, there is a third choice: adoption. We encourage you to check out LifetimeAdoption.com if you’d like to learn more about this pregnancy choice.