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Foot Swelling: How to Manage Discomfort at Home

Prenatal yoga can help with foot swellingPregnancy is an incredibly rewarding experience with more than its fair share of difficulties. Edema, or swollen feet, is one of the most well-known. This is among the most common experiences of pregnancy, but it can be painful, and, in rare cases, a sign of a more serious problem.
 
While swelling in your feet is undoubtedly inconvenient, it can usually be fixed using simple natural remedies to address your symptoms. It’s also helpful to wear women’s boots or sandals that allow for swelling.
 
This article will discuss a few time-tested methods of reducing swelling and pain. If your swelling persists or worsens, however, it may be best to talk to your doctor.
 

What Causes Edema?

As many as 75% of pregnant women experience swelling at some point during their pregnancy (typically in the third trimester), so don’t worry—this is rarely a serious condition. Edema simply occurs due to excess fluids in your body as a result of your pregnancy. Swelling isn’t always limited to the feet, and some women experience it in their hands, ankles, face, and calves.
 

How to Reduce Swelling

Swelling can be uncomfortable, but you can often manage the discomfort with some simple, at-home solutions. While your swelling may not go away immediately, you’d be surprised at the effects small adjustments to your lifestyle and diet can have on your symptoms.
 

Stay Active

It can be especially difficult to keep up an exercise routine while pregnant, but simply staying active and getting your heart rate up will give your physical and mental health a massive boost. Exercise has a significant impact on your circulation, which in turn will reduce the degree to which fluids pool in certain areas of your body.
 
If you’re nervous about exercising while pregnant, you can contact your doctor or a physical therapist to design a program that suits with your changing needs.
 

Keep Moving

Devoting time to exercise is a great first step toward improving your symptoms and overall health. Unfortunately, it can be counteracted if you spent a substantial portion of your time at a desk or anywhere else that doesn’t keep your body moving.
 
Even small changes, like switching to a treadmill desk, can give you the circulation you need to stay balanced. As an added bonus, it may even help you be more productive.
 

When Could Swelling Be More Serious?

It’s important to remember that the vast majority of these cases are very minor, but you should also be aware of the times at which they may be signs of something more. Swelling is sometimes an indicator of preeclampsia, which may also present with a combination of these symptoms:
 

  • High blood pressure
  • Sudden appearance or increase of swelling, especially in the face
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Intense headaches
  • Fatigue

Always tell your doctor about any unexpected symptoms you’re experiencing, including swelling, so that they have a complete understanding of your overall health. While the treatments covered here may help with preeclampsia, your doctor may determine that more intervention is necessary.
 
Preeclampsia is a potentially serious condition, but most cases of swollen feet during pregnancy are nothing more than uncomfortable. Taking these steps to reduce your swelling and pain will help you maintain your lifestyle throughout pregnancy while improving your overall well-being.
 
This article was provided by Clarissa Rivera, Marketing Coordinator at Taos Footwear.

How to Find Cute Plus-Size Maternity Clothing

shopping for plus-size maternity clothing can be fun!Right now, you have enough to deal with without being stressed about finding clothes to fit your expanding belly. Trying to find stores with cute plus size clothing is an issue that curvy ladies are used to.

Lots of clothing stores are letting down plus-size moms-to-be by not offering inclusive maternity clothing. Stores that have maternity clothing in extended sizes usually don’t have a super stylish collection. It seems like fashionable maternity clothing stores don’t carry very many styles in plus sizes.

So we went hunting for plus-size maternity clothing stores carrying clothes you’d actually want to wear. (Because who likes to wear those unflattering tunic tops, anyway?)

Some of the stores we list below actually have plus-size maternity sections, and others have created clothes from their plus-size collections that are meant to grow with you. Either way, you’re sure to find curvy-friendly styles to dress your bump.

Today, we’re sharing 7 stores where you can buy plus-size maternity clothes that are actually stylish:

1. Macy’s

You can find some very chic maternity clothing to get you through post-baby at this popular nationwide retailer.

2. Stitch Fix

Maternity-friendly tops for sizes 16 and up can be found on Stitch Fix.

3. Motherhood Maternity

Shop for flattering styles for the full-figured mom-to-be. This nationwide chain carries sizes 1X to 3X and up to size 24.

4. Destination Maternity

Whether you’re searching for plus size maternity tops or the perfect pair of jeans, Destination Maternity has it!

5. Target

Target doesn’t have a particular line of plus-size maternity wear, but they have lots of belly-friendly styles which will grow with your bump.

6. JCPenney

Here, you’ll find basics like maxi skirts at very affordable prices.

7. Pink Blush Maternity

Check out this website for some super-cute (and affordable) maternity outfits!

Who Will Be in the Delivery Room When You’re In Labor?

Wondering who will be in the delivery room during labor?When you’re in the last few weeks of your pregnancy, questions about labor and delivery start to crop up in your mind. You might be feeling nervous about your baby’s wellbeing, the pain of labor, and what kind of embarrassing things might happen when you’re pushing. You might also be a little worried about who will be in the delivery room, or how many people will be around you as you give birth.
 
To help ease some of your anxieties, we’re going to detail who is usually present in the delivery room! Depending on your medical needs, you may be allowed to have a roomful of people. Or, there may just be a doula or birth partner allowed. For your labor to flow well, it’s a good idea to have fewer people in the room. But if there’s a medical need, there can be several doctors, obstetricians, and pediatricians present.
 
Some women choose their husband or significant other to be a birth partner, while others also request that their doula, a friend, or a family member be present. It is all about getting the amount of support that’s right for you, and having who you feel safe and comfortable with.
 

Hospital Policy

The final determination on who gets to be in the delivery room is made by doctors and hospital policies. Most birthing centers and hospitals have policies in place. Many policies will allow up to three people, but it also depends on the amount of space in the room. Birthing centers might even allow children in the delivery room, as long as there’s another adult there to take care of the child.
 
Since every hospital’s policies and procedures will vary, get acquainted with the policies of your specific facility and ask about any extra needs you might have. Also, each delivery can vary, even with the same woman. “When I gave birth to my first child, I had a team of nurses and doctors around me during delivery, but with my second, I had just one doctor and one nurse working with me,” shares one mom.
 

What If I Have a C-Section?

If you get a C-section, your hospital may allow just one person in the room. That’s because your healthcare team needs quiet and a spacious room to work in during surgery. With all the doctors, nurses, assistants, and anesthesiologists needed to work on you; you don’t want people to get in their way.
 

Choosing Your Delivery Room Company

You want to pick people who are supportive, hardy, and tireless, so that they can give you strength and encouragement through the process. You might also choose backups, in case someone can’t be there.
 

Take a Hospital Tour

If you know where you’ll be delivering, make sure to take some time to talk to their staff about delivery room policies and procedures. Many hospitals will offer a tour for expecting parents. A hospital tour is a great way to get acquainted with the medical staff and space! Ask them how many people are allowed in the room when you deliver. Visiting your hospital or birthing center should ease your worries a bit, as well as talking to other moms who delivered there.

What You Need to Know About Giving Birth by C-Section

Learn what you need to know about giving birth by C-section!Even though a C-Section is major surgery and may seem scary, it doesn’t have to be if you’ve got a better understanding of what it entails. So, we made a list of 6 things you should know about giving birth by C-Section to put your pregnant mind at ease.
 

1. What is a Caesarean Section?

With a C-Section, the baby is surgically removed from the mother’s uterus through a small incision. The incision is usually horizontal and low enough that it can be covered up by your bikini bottoms. Sometimes C-Sections are done in the event of an emergency, and other times a mother chooses to have a C-Section.
 

2. Why would I need to have a C-Section?

Giving birth by C-Section may be planned for a variety of reasons, like:

  • Your baby has settled in a breech or transverse position.
  • You’re carrying more than one baby.
  • You have placenta previa.
  • You had a C-Section previously and don’t want to (or can’t) have a vaginal birth (known as VBAC).
  • You have a health issue that might make traditional childbirth difficult or dangerous.

An emergency C-Section might happen for reasons such as:

  • The umbilical cord exits the cervix before the baby.
  • The baby’s heart rate is dropping
  • The baby is in distress.
  • Labor isn’t progressing.

3. How can I get ready for a C-Section?

C-Sections make up about 30% of all births in the U.S. This means you have about a 1 in 3 chance of having one. So the best way to prepare yourself for giving birth by C-Section is to recognize that you might need to have one. Ask your doctor any questions you have about the process, and talk to them about what this might look like for you. If you create a birth plan, don’t get very attached to the idea of everything happening exactly as you want it to. Trying to be chill about your birth plan will help you avoid feelings of guilt, anger, or sadness if it doesn’t.
 

4. What happens during a C-Section?

You’ll be given an epidural or spinal block, and remain awake during the surgery. After it takes effect, you’ll be numb from the waist down. While you might feel some tugging, you’ll have no feeling during and for a few hours after. Hospital staff will also insert a catheter. Your support person will sit near your head and hold your hand during the C-section. Barring any complications, you’ll see your baby raised overhead, Simba-style in about 30 to 45 minutes.
 

5. What’s recovery from a C-Section like? How long does it take?

Shortly after the C-section, you might feel cold and to get the shakes. You’ll receive pain medication and stool softeners to help with constipation. Soon, a nurse will come by to get you up and walking. Doctors will have closed your incision with either stitches or staples. If you have staples, they’ll be removed within a few days.
 
If you feel the need to cough, sneeze, or laugh, apply gentle counter pressure to your incision with a pillow to help with the pain. To avoid rubbing on your incision, wear maternity pants or other loose-fitting clothing.
 
Most women recover from giving birth by C-Section in 6-8 weeks. But, but of course, everyone’s different.
 

6. What should I avoid doing as I recover from a C-Section?

For at least 6 weeks, avoid:

  • Driving (this one is tricky)
  • Vacuuming (this one’s the easiest to avoid!)
  • Lifting anything heavier than your baby
  • Strenuous exercise
  • Swimming or baths
  • Sex (you’re healing from major surgery and more likely to get an infection, so you’ll have to Netflix without the chill for a few weeks).

Eating for TWO!? Tips for Staying Healthy!

what's safe to take for a pregnancy headache?There’s a common belief that when you’re pregnant, you’re eating for two. But even though you might be tempted to eat twice as much, it’s not what the doctor ordered. Eating twice as much doesn’t double your chances of having a healthy baby. What it will do is make you gain more weight during pregnancy than you need to, putting you at risk for pregnancy complications.

A big part of staying at a healthy weight during your pregnancy is just being aware of what you’re eating. So what we wanted to do is walk you through just a few tips that can help you stay healthy and avoid unnecessary weight gain.

How Much Do You Need to Eat?
So, first of all, how many calories do actually need in pregnancy? There’s kind of a misconception about eating for two. You’re not eating for two adults here; you’re eating for another very very small human being.

If you’re pregnant, please talk to your doctor about this before following any of this advice. So with very generic terms, how many calories you need will differ depending on if you’re overweight to begin with or underweight to begin with. In your first trimester, you actually don’t really need any extra calories than what you’re currently consuming because your baby is so small. In your second trimester, you need about three hundred extra calories and then about four hundred extra calories for the third trimester. To put that in perspective that’s roughly equivalent to an extra sandwich not like a gallon of ice cream!

Heartburn Help
If you get really bad acid reflux, try to eat more frequently and much smaller meals. You might feel like making tons of meals is too much work. So, try finding all of your favorite healthy options and have them at the ready so that you can kind of snack on them throughout the day.

Break up your lunch into two separate meals and have one at noon and another one at 2:00 or something like that. It just makes it a lot easier instead of waiting until you’re like starving.

The 80/20 Rule
Try to follow the 80/20 rule: try and eat really healthy 80% of the time and 20% of the time be easy on yourself. Don’t let yourself get too hungry because this is when you reach for all the candies, chocolates, chips and soda and whatever else.

Stock up on food that’s quick and easy to grab instead. Try to maintain your blood sugar level as much as you possibly can, by making sure that you have snacks that are ready to eat. Bring them to work with you and have them at your desk, ready for when you do get really hungry. Try packing veggies, an apple, almonds, or another quick and easy snack.

The Lucky Iron Fish for iron deficiency during pregnancyHydrate!
It’s really important to make sure to drink lots of water. Sometimes our bodies get confused, and we think that our thirst is actually our hunger. But actually we’re just really thirsty. So having a glass of water before you eat is smart, whether it’s lemon water or throwing a cucumber or orange slice in.

Drink water, then wait about 10 minutes or so and then if you’re still hungry, having something really helps. Plus, as a pregnant woman, you need to be extremely hydrated at all times. It helps your body, and it’s also really important for your baby’s health.

Can You Be in Labor and Not Even Know It?

Is it true that you could be in labor and not even know it?Is it true that you could be in labor and not even know it? The short answer is yes. Many checklists to determine if you’re in “real labor” say that if it’s real, you shouldn’t be able to talk during your contractions. But this isn’t an exact science: it’s uncommon but possible to have painless labor. Here’s what to watch for if you’re wondering whether you’re really in labor:

Painless Contractions With a Rhythm

Just like with a normal labor, contractions are rhythmic, so you can time them. If you’re able to time your contractions and see a pattern, you may be in real labor.

Painless Contractions Increasing in Force

One woman who went through a relatively painless labor for the first stages says, “My contractions started right after dinner and grew in intensity and frequency as the night passed. I wasn’t in pain, but the squeezing sensation they gave me was super-intense. I quickly went from being able to walk through the contraction, to literally having to stop walking every few steps.”

Know that if you need to stop doing what you’re doing during a contraction, you might be in real labor.

Contractions are Painless, but Grow More Uncomfortable

As your contractions get stronger and happen more frequently, you’ll get even more uncomfortable. Some women who have experienced a “painless labor” feel as if they’re going to pee each time a wave of contractions arrived. If this happens to you, then you might actually be in labor.

The truth is this: “real labor” can be different for every woman.

If you’re feeling any of the symptoms listed above and aren’t sure whether or not you’re in labor, call your doctor! The last thing you want to happen is to start crowning in the middle traffic!

And don’t worry about being a nuisance to the hospital staff and being sent home. If you have even the smallest hint that something could be going on, call your doctor or healthcare provider! The info in this article isn’t meant to replace medical advice, and we’re not medical professionals.

Abortion vs. Adoption, Which is Right for You?

Woman weighs her choices of abortion vs. adoptionIf you’re experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and aren’t sure whether you’re ready to become a parent, you’re probably struggling with the next step. We believe that it’s important for you to be well-informed about your choices so that you can make the best decision for you. So in this article, we’re going over abortion vs. adoption as your pregnancy choices.

It can be challenging to decide what to do after you find out you’re pregnant. Both adoption and abortion are options for women who aren’t ready to become a mom, and they both come with different challenges.

What About Adoption?
In today’s adoptions, most women choose to have contact with their child and the adoptive family, and they get updates regularly. There’s no cost for you to choose adoption, and you may have access to free counseling and help with your living expenses.

It’s never too late in your pregnancy to decide on adoption, no matter if you’re just a few weeks along or are in the delivery room. You can begin creating an adoption plan that works for you, whatever your time frame is.

You can choose the adoptive family based on the kind of life you want for your baby. By working with a professional like Lifetime Adoption, you’re able to view adoptive family profiles online until you find a good fit. Once you choose to “match” with an adoptive family, you can begin getting to know them and decide on the details of your adoption plan.

Your adoption decision isn’t final until you legally consent to the adoption, which usually happens 24-72 hours after the birth of your baby. Read about the options you have with modern adoption.

What About Abortion?
Most of the time, abortions are done during the first trimester. The costs of abortion can range from $500-$2000, depending on several factors.

You might have to inform your parents or get counseling before having the procedure done, and might also have a waiting period. It’s recommended to make this decision early in your pregnancy since the procedure can become more complicated if you’re further along than 14 weeks.

The procedure can be done through surgery or medication, depending on your health and how far you are. With either surgery or medication, your risk of having medical complications is pretty low. However, it increases for later abortions. A few of the medical complications of abortion include inflammation, bleeding, infection, and damage to your cervix or surrounding organs. Take some time to learn the facts of abortion.

By learning more about your pregnancy choices, you’ll be able to make an educated decision.

Should I get an epidural?

the decision whether or not to get an epidural is a personal oneChances are, you’ve already been asked if you’re going to get an epidural. Around 60% of women in the US choose to get an epidural, but there are risks to be aware of.

If you’re wondering if you should get an epidural or not, keep reading!

What’s an epidural?

It’s a carefully created mix of pain medications that are injected into a precise location in your lower back. The result is less to no pain during labor.

An anesthesiologist will decide which drugs to include, but an epidural typically has a combination of a numbing agent and an opioid or narcotic. This combination of drugs provides pain control right away and gives you long-lasting relief. It can be given as needed or continuously through a pump.

How do epidurals work?

It provides medication that numbs and provides pain relief to the region of your spinal cord that manages the lower half of your body. The medication can be increased or decreased depending on your needs.

Standard epidural:

An anesthesiologist will insert a needle into the epidural space and threads a catheter through the needle before they remove it. Medication is given through the catheter, as needed or continuously through a pump. With a standard epidural, you can’t leave your bed and will have little to no feeling in your lower half.

“Walking” epidural:

An anesthesiologist will insert the needle into the intrathecal area and give you a dose of medication which has a limited timeline. How much time a walking epidural lasts depends on what drugs are used. The drugs aren’t given continuously, unlike with a standard epidural.

Not all moms-to-be who receive a “walking” epidural can actually walk around, but it will allow for more feeling and movement.

What are the benefits of getting an epidural?

The most obvious benefit is pain-free labor and delivery. With an epidural, you can still effectively push but won’t feel every contraction. You can even participate and be present for your labor and delivery.

Labor can last a long time, and be super-draining. So, an epidural can give you some time to rest before you have to push. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, getting an epidural can help you cope. Removing the pain may help you focus.

What are the risks to getting an epidural?

The medications used will make their way into your baby’s bloodstream, which might make it harder for them to get into proper birthing position. An epidural might slow labor down, resulting in more interventions.

The medications in an epidural might make you feel dizzy or nauseous because they’re causing your blood pressure to drop. Around 25% of women who get an epidural will develop a fever. Also, some women feel like they had trouble pushing after getting an epidural.

At the end of the day, the decision whether or not to get an epidural is extremely personal. It’s just fine if you’re not sure you’ll get one until you have started to experience the pains of labor.

15 Weird Yet Totally Normal Facts About Your Pregnancy

Surprised pregnant womanPregnancy is one of the most amazing things you’ll experience. There’s nothing quite like growing a human inside your own body!

There are lots of pregnancy symptoms and side effects that are weird, but totally normal. Here are 15 strange facts about pregnancy that you might not know…

1. At around four months pregnant, your baby starts to urinate in the womb. And can you guess that pee goes? They drink it. Pretty disgusting, right?!

2. At the beginning of your pregnancy, your uterus is the size of a small peach. It stretches to the size of a watermelon by the end of pregnancy. That’s about 500 times its original size!

3. If you’re overweight or tall, you have a higher possibility of carrying multiples.

4. At around 9 to 12 weeks, your baby has all of his or her unique fingerprints!

5. At the very end of your pregnancy, your placenta is producing the same amount of estrogen that a non-pregnant woman does in three years!

6. Babies have been recorded doing a number of activities while inside the womb. From sucking their thumbs to waving “hi,” you might even be able to see in an ultrasound!

7. Nine out of 10 women undergo a shift in their skin tone during pregnancy.

8. Did you know that your heart grows during pregnancy? It’s because your heart is working hard to pumps more blood for your growing baby!

9. A few pregnant women lactate in their third trimester when they hear someone else’s baby crying.

10. Pregnant women have a sharper sense of smell. Wonder why? It’s to help them avoid foods they shouldn’t eat because of their growing baby.

11. Three out of 4 women form a “linea nigra” during pregnancy. The linea nigra is a dark, vertical line that runs down the stomach. For some women, this fades after giving birth. But, for some, it doesn’t.

12. Is your baby’s father gaining weight? Sharing pregnancy symptoms with your man is scientifically documented!

13. “Pregnancy brain” or forgetfulness is caused by the fact that pregnant women have less oxygen in their blood.

14. It’s actually true that pregnant women who suffer from heartburn are more likely to have a baby born with a full head of hair.

15. One in 2,000 babies is born with teeth! Typically, doctors will pull them out shortly after birth.

10 Genius Pregnancy Items You’ll Want to Buy

Pregnant woman shopping onlineYou might have heard the second trimester referred to as the “honeymoon” stage of pregnancy. By now, you’ve probably survived the worst of nausea, and will soon feel your baby kick!

The second trimester is also when your pregnancy starts to show. As your baby grows and your belly expands, you’ll need a few essential products to help relieve your discomfort. The 10 products we’re sharing today are beloved for assisting mamas-to-be all the way to delivery!

1. Maternity Leggings

When you’re in that awkward stage of pregnancy where your belly looks like you just ate a huge meal, leggings are your friend! Invest in a comfortable pair of leggings, like this pair. Leggings are perfect for pregnancy because they grow with you as your baby bump grows!

2. Pregnancy Pillow

As you transition to snoozing on your side, a pregnancy pillow is a lifesaver! It makes you so much more comfortable and helps you fall asleep quickly. This one from Leachco is the perfect sleeping buddy and has tons of positive reviews. It supports a growing belly and aligns your hips, so you’ll wake up a lot less achy.

3. Maternity Belly Support Band

Are you putting off buying maternity jeans? Stay in your favorite pair of jeans longer by getting a seamless belly band. It’ll let you get more mileage from your current wardrobe before you go into full maternity-mode. Here’s a nice support band from Labor of Love.

4. Heat Wrap for Your Back

When you’re preggo, even simple tasks like walking from your desk to fill your water bottle takes a toll on your back. This heat wrap for your back will give you relief!

5. Tummy Rub Oil

Prep your skin now, before it starts to stretch by using this oil. It’ll prevent stretch marks and the nagging itch that comes along with them! Apply it to your chest, thighs, and anywhere else that needs attention.

6. Red Raspberry Leaf Tea

Red Raspberry Leaf Tea is recommended for women in their second and third trimesters because it promotes uterine health. It’s iron-rich too! Earth Mama Organic Raspberry Leaf Tea Bags

7. Muscle Salve

It’s so unfair that when you feel so achy, you’re banned from taking most painkillers. This organic muscle salve will help all that ails you with ingredients like beeswax and arnica.

8. Audio Books

Are you having trouble falling asleep? Try listening to an audiobook at bedtime. Audible has a sleep timer option, so your book won’t keep reading once you’re sleeping.

9. Nursing Bra

Many women outgrow their standard cup size in the second trimester. These seamless nursing bras are so comfortable you can sleep in them!

10. Maternity T-Shirt Dress

This dress is perfect for those times you need a work outfit that’s both comfortable and chic. Are your old dresses no longer cutting it? Try a T-Shirt Dress; you wear it throughout your pregnancy and even after giving birth.