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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.

Cholestasis?! What It Is and How to Deal

Pregnancy comes with a lot of aches, pains, and minor complications. Typically they’re just annoyances that go away, and rarely become something serious.

Most of you have probably heard of preeclampsia. But you probably haven’t heard of Cholestasis. It’s a liver disorder that might show up during pregnancy. Usually, it’ll show up in the third trimester, and no one knows yet exactly why it happens. It causes a backlog of bile acids in the bloodstream when your liver all of a sudden stops moving the bile acid out of its cells.

So how do you know if you have Cholestasis? You’ll feel itchy, starting on the soles of your feet and palms of your hands. Other symptoms can include dark urine, pale poop, and sometimes jaundice.

As one woman shares, “I remember that one day my feet were just bit itchy. But by that night, I wished I could scratch them right off! The itching spread to my hands and then my arms and legs. I tried lotion and antihistamines, but they didn’t help.”

If you think you have Cholestasis, tell your doctor. They’ll ask you to come in for some bloodwork. If you do have it, they’ll probably prescribe you a medication called Ursodeoxycholic Acid. It’ll likely reduce (or even get rid of!) the itching. Your doctor will also give some tips and monitor your pregnancy more closely because having this disease puts your baby at a higher risk.

If you’d like to learn more info, try visiting www.icpcare.org. They also have a great Facebook page and support group. The good news is that everything should go back to normal pretty quickly after you deliver!

 

Why Is Water So Important During Pregnancy?

When you’re pregnant, you’ll need to drink lots of water and other fluids. Fluid helps your body grow new cells, process nutrients, and regulate body temp. You’ll probably feel better during your pregnancy if you drink more water than usual!

Studies have shown that for every 15 calories your body burns, you need around one tablespoon of water. So if you burn 2,000 calories each day, you’ll need to drink about two quarts of water! Your calorie needs will increase when you’re pregnant, so that also means drinking more water. A good goal is six to eight glasses a day. Make sure you sip water throughout the day and decrease how much you drink later on in the day. That will save you a few bathroom trips in the middle of the night!

Water is your best source of fluid. But, you can also try milk, vegetable juice, fruit juice, and certain teas. We say “certain teas” because some aren’t safe for pregnant women. Share the type of tea you’d like to drink your doctor, and he or she can let you know if it’s safe. Other ways to reach your goal of fluid consumption are by eating fruits and veggies, milk products, and meat.

Avoid drinking coffee and cola, which may have sodium and caffeine in them. Sodium and caffeine are diuretics, which will actually increase your water needs!

Common pregnancy complaints such as uterine cramping, headaches, and bladder infections may be helped by drinking water.

You can check the color of your pee to find out if you’re getting enough water. If it’s clear to light yellow, you’re getting enough. If it’s dark yellow, definitely up your fluid intake. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink water because by that point you’ve already lost around 1% of your body’s fluids.

10 Fun Ideas of What to Do During Your Last Trimester

When you’re in the home stretch of your pregnancy, it might feel like it’s taking forever for your baby to arrive! Here are some fun activities you can do to pass the time:

1. Get a pregnancy massage.
2. Sleep, rest, and watch Netflix
3. Follow whatever whim you have, whether it’s a relaxing bath or a pedicure.
4. Go to a movie by yourself
5. Go out to dinner with some friends
6. Learn how all the baby gear you have (like strollers and car seats) work
7. Make double the food you’d usually make for every meal, and freeze the leftovers.
8. Eat ice cream
9. Get a haircut, color, and salon blowout
10. Enjoy a nice, long hot shower

How to Cope With Your Pregnancy Exhaustion

Pregnancy exhaustion at its finest!Are you totally exhausted and feel tired all the time now that you’re pregnant? In this article, we’re going to share the causes behind your pregnancy exhaustion, plus tips on how to feel better!

What causes pregnancy exhaustion?

Total fatigue! Your body’s working so hard at keeping you going while supporting the new life inside you. You’re using up more water and nutrients, producing more blood, and your heart rate is up. A hormone called progesterone might also increase your fatigue since more of it is circulating through your system nowadays. AND, you’re experiencing so many more emotions in your mind, which can make you feel overwhelmed.

How can you find relief from pregnancy exhaustion?

Rest, rest, and more rest! Go to bed earlier at night, take breaks during your day, and nap whenever possible. On your breaks, get yourself a nice drink of water or juice and put your feet up. It’s OK to stop doing additional activities for now. That means not attempting to do it all: rush to parties, renovate your house, and learn how to play guitar all at once! Allow yourself and your body plenty of rest time.

It’s still smart to exercise, provided you feel up to it. You can really get an energy boost by going to prenatal yoga or taking a brisk walk outside. Make sure to eat foods with protein, as well as veggies and fruits. It’ll help fuel your body!