When and How is Labor Induced?

Cropped shot of a very pregnant woman holding an alarm clockLabor induction involves using medications or other methods to bring on labor. The thought of being induced makes some ladies excited about no longer being pregnant. Other women prefer a more natural birth experience and are against being induced.
First, we will share some reasons why you might be induced, and then we’ll go through how labor induction is typically done.

Why Would I Need to Be Induced?

Diabetic women tend to have complicated pregnancies and grow larger babies. Doctors used to induce much earlier on diabetic patients, but they’re allowing these babies to head to term more recently.
Post your due date
Most hospitals will not induce a woman who’s past her due date until they are 41 weeks along. More and more medical studies are being released that show there are many benefits to allowing a baby to cook ’til they’re good and ready.
Low Amniotic fluid
Your doctor will conduct a test via ultrasound called an AFI (amniotic fluid index). They’re performing this test to measure the pockets of fluid in your uterus. If it’s low, your doctor may suggest inducing labor. That’s because if you don’t have enough amniotic fluid, there’s less cushioning for the umbilical cord. If it’s just a little low, your doctor may just watch you and have it re-measured.
Measuring big
Your healthcare professional will measure your baby’s size through an ultrasound. If your baby is too big, it can be a reason to end-up getting n a c-section. However, if they induce before your cervix is ready, you can also end-up a c-section. What a Catch-22 situation!
Measuring small
This one is even more important to keep an eye on than measuring big. If a baby measures small, it can mean they aren’t getting the nutrients they need. Your doctor will probably be looking at how your baby measures over time.
Something they’ll be watching for is a baby who was measuring normal and is now measuring small. This can usually be checked with an ultrasound, but your doctor would often find an indication for the ultrasound by measuring your belly at your appointments.
If you’re diagnosed with preeclampsia, your doctor may decide to induce your labor. Preeclampsia is when your blood pressure is high, you’re swollen, and a few other factors that are found through blood tests. You’ll probably deliver vaginally, though the earlier along you are in your pregnancy, the higher the chance you may need a C-section delivery instead because your cervix won’t quite be ready to dilate.
Other illness
This might mean anything from catching a serious flu to an infection in the uterus. On the other hand, if it’s something really major and your life is in danger, your doctor might consider a c-section instead. Being seriously ill while you’re pregnant is very hard on your body. So, getting that baby out will improve everyone’s diagnosis.
Water broke, but nothing’s happening
Most women go into labor after their water breaks, but sometimes your uterus just could care less that it just lost all that fluid. Usually, the doctors will give you a few hours to start contracting on your own. If you don’t, they will strongly encourage you to start some Pitocin.
Elective Induction
An “elective induction” just means it’s something you want to do; there’s no medical reason. Examples of why some women request an induction might be that their husband is set to leave town soon or if their Mom’s in town to help out. Elective inductions get last priority in the line of inductions for doctors to perform. That’s because if there’s no medical evidence that the induction should be done, they need to take care of women who have a reason first.

How Are Labor Inductions Performed?

Oxytocin is a synthetic version of what your body naturally produces to get you into labor. It’s also called Pitocin, but Oxytocin is generic. Your healthcare professional will put Oxytocin into your IV and start things out slowly. Every hospital has a policy to increase the amount carefully while watching your blood pressure and uterus. It’s typically increased until your cervix is opening or your contractions are two to three minutes apart.
Three common medications used to induce labor are Cytotec, Prepadil, and Cervidil. Your doctor may give it to you to ingest, crush it and ask you to hold it under your tongue or by your gums, or place it inside your vagina. These medications tend to “soften” the cervix and are usually given when the cervix is measuring less than two to three centimeters. If you’re past that point, your doctor may move on to a foley bulb induction.
Foley Bulb Induction
A Foley bulb induction is a procedure in which your doctor inserts a catheter into your cervix. Once inside, your doctor will use a saline solution to inflate the balloon.
This procedure puts pressure on your cervix and promotes dilation. The catheter will fall out once your cervix expands to three centimeters. Many doctors will follow this up with Oxytocin afterward, but sometimes women head into labor on their own.
Breaking your water
Your doctor may have you come in so that they can break your water. This works best on women who have already had a baby and are pretty well dilated. Once they break your water, there’s no going back. With the other methods we mention, you can just go home if the induction doesn’t work. So just keep in mind that if they break your water, you are in it for the long haul.
Strip your membranes
When your healthcare professional checks your cervix, they can “strip your membranes” by taking their finger between your bag of waters and your cervix. This action will release hormones to push you into labor. Stripping your membranes can get things going if you’re already going into labor soon. If not, it’s just a little pain with no gain. This procedure is uncomfortable but happens quickly and is a low-risk form of birth induction.
If all this information about labor induction has you freaked out, you’re not alone. But preparing yourself ahead of time by reading more information about labor helps you know what to expect. Check out these 10 simple ways to prepare for labor and delivery so you can start getting ready now.
Pregnancy can be hard. So pamper yourself now and let other people help you out if they offer. Soon enough, your baby will be screaming their lungs out in a car seat, and you will forget about all you went through to bring them into the world.
Stay tuned because next week, we’ll go into how to prepare yourself if you’re going to be induced!

What It’s Like to Have Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG)

Woman with Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) late into her pregnancy sitting on her bed and trying not to throw upAre you pregnant and losing weight instead of gaining? Do you feel like food is no longer your friend? Do you find yourself making sure to stay nearby a bucket or toilet at all times? You could be one of the unlucky few women who suffer from Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG).
According to the American Pregnancy Association, Hyperemesis Gravidarum is a pregnancy condition identified by severe nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and dehydration.
Getting through HG is a struggle, but with the right help, you’ll emerge with a healthy baby. Today, we’re sharing strategies for you and your loved ones, along with some basic info about HG!

HG is a medically-recognized pregnancy disorder.

It is an awful, very real disease that requires medical intervention. However, the top complaint that women with HG have is that they’re not being taken seriously. If your doctor is making it out like your symptoms are not serious or you’re feeling unheard, find another doctor. If that’s not possible for you, we encourage you to advocate for yourself until you get the help you need.

It affects every woman differently

Since every woman’s body is different, HG will differ for everyone. Generally speaking though, HG will be the worst when you’re around 8-13 weeks along. It often comes back worse with subsequent pregnancies, and women carrying multiples are more likely to experience HG.
Most HG babies are born wonderfully healthy and strong, even though there was a war raging outside the placenta. Typically, women say that they feel instantly better once their baby has left the womb.

Everything stinks

When you have Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG), everything seems to smell “off.” Says one woman who battled HG, “My nose is so amped up that I know the moment the oven is turned on even if I’m down the hallway in another room with the door closed!”
If you have a very young child, changing their diaper becomes feels like unearthing a dead animal from a landfill. The smell of food is even worse. Some women pat a little dab of essential oil (or Vick’s VapoRub) under their nose to hide the smell. Others wear nose plugs. Whatever you decide to try, you’ll know it works if you don’t feel like throwing up.

Eat is difficult

Finding food you won’t throw up can feel impossible when you have HG. It can seem like nothing tastes right. Foods that were previously “safe” to eat can suddenly make you feel vomitous.
Many women with HG find that their tastes change by the week. One week, you might find that all you can eat are instant mashed potatoes. The next, bagels and cream cheese. Bland food and carbs are usually safer to eat than fruit or veggies. So eat what you think you can!

Drinking is difficult

Staying hydrated is a great way to keep nausea at bay. But many women with HG come to find that they’ll even vomit water, so this is a real challenge. To stay hydrated, women with HG report that sports drinks, ice cubes, or popsicles work. So if you can’t even keep water down, try one of these solutions. Because many women find themselves in the hospital with an IV before they even realize what’s happening.

So many things trigger nausea

When you have HG, lots of random things amp up your nausea. Even simple activities like brushing your teeth or riding in a car can make you feel nauseous. And who knew that bright lights, loud sounds, or turning your head too quickly could set off that sick-to-my-stomach feeling? Also on the nausea-triggering list are pictures of food, smelling food, talking about food, and seeing food.

Anti-nausea medicine is wonderful

Your doctor can prescribe you anti-nausea medication, and it will be glorious. The most common ones are Zofran, Phenergen, Reglan, Diglecis, Bonjesta, and Compazine. Some women just need one to feel relief, while others need two. And a few unlucky women need all and it’s still not enough. They do come with side effects (like constipation and drowsiness). However, the best side effect is taking the edge off your constant nausea. Ask your doctor which medicine might be right for you.

Support is crucial

Find those who can help you. If your partner is unavailable, get a family member. If you don’t live near family, get a neighbor or close friend. Make sure that your support team knows exactly what can trigger your nausea so everyone is on the same page.
Ask your doctor about local support that may be available in your area. Joining an online HG support group is a great way to learn all the tricks and tips. Plus, you can vent to people who absolutely understand what you’re going through. Don’t be shy about asking for help, because HG is a condition that requires support.

Don’t be hard on yourself

If you’re living with HG, you’re in survival mode. So if you have to let some things go (like chores, errands, and basic hygiene), please take it easy on yourself. Your body is responding to pregnancy in a way that’s still being researched. HG is intense! So don’t feel guilty if you find yourself unable to cook dinners, and you let your partner do all the cleaning.
Keep your support team close because it’s going to be a battle. At the end of the journey, you get the best prize of all—a squishy, adorable life.
Have you ever had Hyperemesis Gravidarum? Leave us a comment to let us know what worked (and what didn’t!)

How to Make the Most of the Holidays When You’re Pregnant

Young pregnant woman in her apartment, checking her phone in the middle of gift wrappingIf you’re pregnant this holiday season, you might be wondering how you can make the most of it. To savor the holidays while you’re expecting, start by slowing down. Let everyone else speed through the season, with all its to-do’s and errands. Your top priority is growing a healthy baby.
Here are 5 easy, mellow ways to celebrate the season and make the most of the holidays when you’re pregnant:

1. Ask for some help

Since your loved ones want you to take care of yourself, allow them to help you do just that. This year, take it easy on the cleaning and chores. Try to avoid feeling guilty if your family clears the table or washes the dishes more often than you do.
If you don’t feel comfortable sitting it out, help out a bit, but take frequent feet-up breaks. You might volunteer to keep the kids entertained by playing a quiet game or reading them a story. It’ll be great practice for later! You won’t do anyone any good by running yourself ragged over the holidays. So take it easy — you deserve it.

2. Make the holidays about you

This tip especially applies if this will be your first baby. After you become a mom, your child will become your primary focus. So while you’re expecting, spend the holidays doing whatever makes you happy. That might be treating yourself to a luxurious pre-natal massage, or it may be just cuddling on the couch with your honey. Treat yourself now, before you have a little one who’ll need your constant attention.

3. Sleep

Getting the sleep you need isn’t always easy when you’re pregnant, with frequent bathroom trips, heartburn, and leg cramps. So sleep when you can, on weekends and holidays. Sleep in late, take naps, and go to bed early when you want to. There’s no need to feel guilty about sleeping more when you’re pregnant. After all, you’re growing a tiny human being, and that’s a pretty physically intense job!

4. Pace yourself

Even if you get help on most of your holiday to-dos, you’ll still need to purchase gifts, wrap them, decorate a little, and maybe bake some treats. To avoid wearing yourself out when you’re pregnant, focus on one or two manageable tasks at a time. By doing so, you will accomplish your goals without getting burnt out.

5. Go ahead and indulge

If you’re pregnant during the holidays, moderation is the key to enjoying the treats of the season. While you’ll be skipping the champagne and spiked eggnog, there are still ways to indulge in holiday goodies without overdoing it.
Enjoy a mug of mulled cider or a mock-tail, and don’t deny yourself your mom’s handmade rolls or your Grandma’s famous cookies. But try to keep a balance. Make room for eating healthy food too, which you and your growing baby need right now.

Happy Holidays!

“Why Should I Make a Birth Plan?”

Young woman about to give birth, grateful to make a birth planA birth plan can help guide how your labor goes. This plan communicates your wishes and goals for before, during, and after labor and delivery. In it, you’re able to tell your best-case birthing scenario: how you’d like your labor and delivery to happen if all goes to “plan.”
Besides listing your preferences, most birth plans take into account what’s feasible and what’s available at the hospital or birthing center. But as we’ve all heard, births rarely go how you planned.
So, knowing that births rarely go as planned, you may hesitate to create a birth plan. If your labor and delivery experience isn’t in your control, then what’s the point in planning for it?
Here are five reasons to make a birth plan, even if your baby’s birth doesn’t go as you’d hoped:

1. Creating one starts the conversation with your partner.

No matter who your birth partner is, it’s smart to discuss your plans and priorities before you go into labor. Sharing your birth plan is a great opportunity to be honest about your hopes and dreams for your baby’s birth.
Being honest is important not only for your mental health but the mental health of your partner, too. This isn’t the time to be shy: if they’re going to spend hours helping you in the delivery room, it’s probably fine if they get some harsh honesty.

2. It gives you the chance to research.

There is a ton of information out there about birthing! Books, blogs, stories from your friends, message boards, stories from your mom, and of course, your doctor. All of this information can be helpful if you’re ready for it. So pick your sources and dive in!

3. Making one helps you process your feelings.

A birth plan is more than just a detailed list of your wishes. The process of creatine one will help you get in touch with your feelings and allow you to determine why you want the things you want them. Are you afraid to even think about a medication-free experience? Or are you determined to have a natural water birth? The simple act of recognizing those facts can help you being exploring your more deep-rooted feelings about the birth experience.
And if you’re choosing to place your baby for adoption once he or she is born, you can include your preferences for how things will be handled in the hospital in what’s known as an “adoption hospital plan.” This type of plan includes whether you’re OK with the adoptive parents being a part of delivery, if you want to recover away from the maternity ward, whether you’d like to leave the hospital before the adoptive family, and more.

4. Having a birth plan helps your doctor, nurse, partner, or doula make an informed decision when you are unable to.

The birth process can be chaotic, and many women find that they can’t answer a question during intense contractions. If you created your plan with your partner, they’ll know how to stick to your wishes. Or, simply prop the sheet of paper that contains your birth plan on the nursing station.

5. It can help you find something to be proud of.

If your birth doesn’t go to plan or was traumatic, you may be more predisposed to mental health issues like PTSD or postpartum depression. In that case, we recommend that you seek something in your birth plan that you did do. Be proud of yourself for achieving that goal in the middle of total chaos.
Did you have a C-section but managed to delay cord clamping and have your partner cut the cord? Awesome! Did you achieve the vaginal delivery you wanted, even after 4 hours of pushing? Good for you! Did every single thing on your birth plan go wrong, but somehow you managed to have a baby in the end? Congratulations, you just survived something so wildly chaotic up that you couldn’t even plan for it!
As you can see, creating a birth plan can still be a good use of your time, even if nothing goes to plan!

What Should I Do If I’m Pregnant and Alone?

How to Cope When Your Baby’s Father Has Ghosted You

Young woman looks out her window, pregnant and alone“I’m 22 weeks pregnant and just found out I’m having a girl! But my baby’s father wants nothing to do with me and our daughter. He wants me to get an abortion. After telling me that, he ghosted me and has blocked me on everything. So I can’t contact him. What should I do? Is there I way I can get financial support from him? I feel so alone and I’m not sure what to do right now.”
No matter if your pregnancy was planned or not, it takes two people to make a baby. The two of you were supposed to be in this together, so it’s normal to feel betrayed and rejected when you don’t have support from the one person you need it from the most. Even though it’s totally unfair that the weight of this situation falls on your shoulders only, you’re not alone. You still have control of your future.

Give Him Some Time

People’s first reactions to stressful news aren’t always their finest moments, so try to give your baby’s father some time to come around. He might have just had a knee-jerk reaction to the life-changing news of your pregnancy. He could be thinking about any variety of things, like:
I never planned to have kids.
I’m not ready to be a father.
What will people think of me?
After taking the time to process and imagine a different life path, he may come around and give you support. Pressuring him won’t do any good right now. For now, try to keep your mind on what’s best for you and your baby.

Don’t Let Anyone Pressure You

This is your life, your body, and your choice.
Don’t let your baby’s father pressure you into having an abortion. The decision to get an abortion is a permanent one, and you might regret it for the rest of your life if it’s not what you truly want. Only you can decide what will be best for you and your baby. This is your future, and you do have choices!

Becoming a Single Parent

While thinking about becoming a parent, try to envision what being a single parent would be like Maybe your baby’s father will come around, but right now, you can’t make plans based on him. Is the life of a single mom something you can take on both emotionally and financially?
Support through services like WIC and Medicaid can help relieve the financial stress of being a single parent.
A court cannot force your baby’s father to have a relationship with his child, but they can require he provide financial assistance. Your baby’s father will be required to pay child support.
You’ll need your baby’s father to agree to a paternity test to collect child support from him. If he refuses to cooperate, you can file a civil lawsuit to determine paternity. The paternity test can even be done before the baby is born in some cases. As paternity laws differ depending on your state, you should consult with a family law attorney.

Exploring Adoption

If you can’t raise your child on your own, adoption may be the right choice for you. You have complete control over the whole process in today’s open adoptions.
Lifetime Adoption is a nationwide adoption agency that provides expectant mothers with caring support and guidance during every step of the process. You’re in charge of your adoption plans. With Lifetime’s proven expertise in open adoption, they can help you find the perfect family for your child.
The compassionate adoption professionals at Lifetime Adoption will help you every step of the way. You will be able to:

  • Browse online profiles of adoptive families
  • Get counseling and support
  • Get to know the adoptive family before decide if they’re the right parents for your baby
  • Decide how much contact you’d like to keep with your child throughout his life.
  • Get updates about your child as he or she grows up

Can I Do Adoption if My Baby’s Father Isn’t Involved?

Ordinarily, adoption requires both parents’ consent. There are some situations where adoption can be done without the father’s consent. Adoption laws vary in every state. So depending on where you live, you may not need his permission if:

  • He is a convicted felon.
  • He is abusive.
  • He is currently in jail.
  • He is coping with drug addiction.
  • He can’t be located.

The best scenario for an adoption process is to get the father’s written consent. An adoption professional or an adoption attorney can assist you with this.
Your baby’s father could object to the adoption, but that usually happens when he wants custody of his child. If your baby’s father can’t show that he’ll be able to support the child properly or doesn’t provide support during your pregnancy, he can be denied the right to object to the adoption.

Making a Decision That’s Right for You

In the event that your baby’s father changes his mind about being a part of his child’s life, you can begin making these plans together. But for the time being, concentrate on what’s best for you and your baby.
Your baby has created a connection between the both of you that could last for the next 18 years. However, you’re still in control of what that relationship will look like. You must make the best choices for your health and happiness and your baby’s future too. Let the adoption professionals at Lifetime Adoption provide you with support and non-judgmental guidance.

Call or text Lifetime Adoption at 1-800-923-6784, anytime. You can also contact Lifetime for free adoption information.

7 Awesome Online Pregnancy Tools

Pregnant woman in her kitchen looking at online pregnancy toolsFrom due date calculators to customized pregnancy calendars, today’s pregnant woman has many online tools to choose from. These tools allow you to get a better understanding of everything from gender to baby names to delivery.
We’ve crawled the web and picked the top 7 online pregnancy tools for all you mamas-to-be. Whether you want to get ideas for your baby’s name or find out the color of their eyes, we’ve got you covered with these awesome online pregnancy tools.

1. Baby Eye Color Predictor

Isn’t it surreal to think that you’re creating a human who will have 50% of your DNA? It’s fun to guess what your baby might look like as they grow up.
If you’re wondering whether your baby will have blue eyes or brown, this eye color predictor is the tool for you. Just plug in the eye colors of you, your partner, and each of your parents to find out the likelihood of your kiddo having blue, green, or brown eyes. Check it out.

2. The Chinese Gender Calendar

There are so many ways to try and find out the gender of your baby before the official scan. Some of these methods include peeing into cups filled with baking soda or checking if a fast fetal heart rate means you’ll have a girl or a boy. All you need to provide to let this Chinese Gender Predictor do its job is your birthday and the approximate date of conception. Try it here!

3. Due Date Calculator

Are you looking for a simple and inexpensive way to find out when you’re due? You can find it quickly and easily by using this handy online calculator.
Enter the first date of your last period and how long your cycle usually is, and this tool will provide an estimated conception date, due date, and current fetal age. Click here to find out your due date!

4. Babysizer

The Babysizer tool measures your baby’s growth week-by-week using comparisons that men are familiar with. Instead of telling him that the baby is the size of a kumquat, for example, Babysizer relates that the baby is the size of a poker chip!
The Babysizer tool also provides fun and useful information about what’s going on during each stage of pregnancy. Check it out.

5. Open Adoption App

For some women, becoming a mom isn’t something they’re ready for when they find out they’re pregnant. This free phone app for Android and Apple devices allows anyone to learn about making an adoption plan for their baby. It has adoption profiles of hopeful adoptive parents, answers to the most frequently asked questions about adoption, and the short eBook, “So I Was Thinking About Adoption…”
This adoption app is free to download and contains all you need to know about open adoption and how to find confidential services. Find out more here.

6. Baby’s First Test

Did you know that your baby’s screening test he or she will receive after birth screens for about 29 different disorders? This test helps to recognize any conditions that may require follow-up testing.
If you want to know the testing available in your state, this tool has tons of information to answer your questions. You can also join discussions about newborn screening, learn what to expect from the screening process, and get links to resources from organizations across the U.S. Check it out.

7. Baby Name Genie

This website brings some humor and fun to the process of coming up with baby names. To use is, you type in your last name and choose whether you would like a boy or girl name. The Baby Name Genie then goes to work and randomly creates a name for your little one. You might get something straight out of a baby name book, but you might just get some ideas too. Baby Name Genie can be a great source of inspiration. Try it out here.

Is It Safe To Dye My Hair While Pregnant?

Woman applying hair color in her bathroomDuring pregnancy, you’re already dealing with so many changes in your life. It starts with morning sickness and develops into swollen feet and a body that feels foreign to you.
It’s pretty safe to say that you don’t want to take any unnecessary chances right now, so sushi, alcohol, and unpasteurized cheeses are off the menu. But do you have to surrender your beauty routine? Will you really have to spend 40 weeks with your roots showing? No, you don’t.

Can you dye your hair when you’re pregnant?

Research has found that chemicals in hair dyes are not very toxic, so they’re safe to use during pregnancy. Only a small amount of hair dye is absorbed into your skin. So, it wouldn’t reach your baby and is not considered harmful. According to the American Pregnancy Association, “…the chemicals found in both semi-permanent and permanent dyes are not highly toxic and are safe to use during pregnancy. In addition, only small amounts of hair dye may be absorbed by the skin, leaving little that would be able to reach the fetus.”

How to safely dye your hair while pregnant

Yes, you can dye your hair while you’re pregnant. It’s smart to take these precautions and let your stylist know you’re pregnant.
Make sure the room where you’re getting your hair dyed is well-ventilated. Ventilation is necessary if you want to dye your hair safely.
Wait until the second trimester
Thanks to those pregnancy hormones, your hair and nails will grow crazy fast when you are pregnant. So you might feel like you have to dye your hair in the first trimester.
But it’s best to hold off until your second trimester. During those first twelve weeks, your baby is going through a lot of growth and development. His or her muscles are forming, organs are growing, vocal cords are forming, and hair follicles are beginning to develop. Why take a chance?
Carefully follow the directions on the package
Don’t leave the dye on your hair any longer than the directions indicate.
Rinse hair thoroughly after dyeing hair
Use a gentler dye
Consider a semi-permanent color that doesn’t contain as many harsh chemicals as dyes that contain bleach.

Other Options Besides Traditional Hair Dye

If you don’t feel comfortable using hair dye while pregnant, there are other, safer options. You might ask your stylist to give you highlights instead of dying all of your head. Since highlights are carefully placed on only certain parts of your hair, there’s little possibility or risk of the dye ever reaching your scalp. This eliminates any chance of dye chemicals being absorbed into your bloodstream or affecting your baby in any way.
Other alternatives to consider while you’re pregnant are vegetable dyes like henna, or organic hair dyes.
If these options don’t work for you, ask your doctor for recommendations. Pregnancy can cause natural changes in your hair’s texture and how your hair reacts to dyeing. It may be less challenging to wait until after your baby is born.
Being pregnant is wonderful and scary and exciting at the same time: you deserve to feel and look your best! So indulge, but be safe with safe by following our tips on dyeing your hair without the risk of harming your baby.

10 Genius Pregnancy Hacks You’ll Be Happy to Have

Pregnant woman in her third trimesterEven if you might not feel like it, your pregnancy will go by in a flash. You can save money and spare yourself the cost of temporary fixes with our favorite pregnancy life hacks. Once your baby arrives, you’ll be happy you don’t have a box full of pregnancy gear gathering dust!
These the life hacks will help you survive pregnancy: the nausea, the aches and pains, and the difficulty bending: all made easier with just a few simple little tricks.

1. Try Kinesio Tape for Back Pain

Did you know that basic Kinesiology tape can do the same job as a supportive belly band? Plus, it’s much cheaper. We recommend having a physical therapist, chiropractor, or athletic trainer tape you the first time. You can wear Kinesio tape for up to 5 days, then remove and re-tape as necessary.

2. Turn Your Sneakers Into Slip-Ons

Wearing your workout shoes during pregnancy comes with a lot of benefits (we love the cushioned support!). Avoid having to bend over to tie your shoelaces by using Xpand laces instead. These laces allow you to adjust them to your desired tension, so you can slip-on your sneakers with no hassles every day!

3. Apply a Cooking Oil for Itchy Skin

If you run out of your favorite baby belly oil (or decide to skip it altogether), coconut oil, olive oil, or grapeseed oil will do the same thing. To achieve that pregnancy glow, raid your kitchen pantry and smear on whichever oil you have on hand after you shower.

4. Create an Everyday Bag

So, you’re probably focused on packing your hospital bag. But there are plenty of essentials you’ll need during your pregnancy too. This is especially true if you’re experiencing morning sickness, heartburn, or indigestion.
Load up your everyday bag with snacks, chewable antacids, ginger candies, and anything else you need to get you through a rough day. To stay prepared, keep this bag in your purse.

5. Prolong the Life of Your Bra

You don’t need to buy all new bras right away or invest in expensive maternity bras. Try these affordable bra extenders instead to account for your expanding bust line.

6. Schedule All Your Prenatal Appointments Now

“Pregnancy brain” is definitely a thing, and it happens. It’s easy to forget to book your glucose screening or second-trimester ultrasound. Avoid this by scheduling them all at once so you know exactly when the next few are scheduled. Plus, booking all your appointments now allows you to make a plan with your employer for time off.

7. Stock Up on Snacks You’ll Crave

Fill your kitchen with pregnancy craving staples like ginger ale, pickles, french fries, and ice cream. That way, when the urge for a certain food pops up, you (or your partner) won’t have to race to the gas station at 3 a.m. You’ll thank yourself later!

8. Make Showers Hassle-Free With Kitchen Tongs

When you’re pregnant, your center of balance will shift as your belly grows. This means you’re more prone to dropping your soap or shampoo bottle in the shower than ever before. Bringing a pair of kitchen tongs with you into the shower will make the grab much easier!

9. Treat Yourself to a Silk Pillowcase

Getting up and out of bed becomes quite a feat by your third trimester. Sleeping on a silk pillowcase will help you move more easily (and get up in the middle of the night multiple times to pee!)

10. Keep Snacks by Your Bedside

There may be nights when you need to eat in bed and mornings when a few saltine crackers make all the difference for your morning sickness. Keep granola bars, nuts, crackers, or other non-perishable snacks on your nightstand.

Do you have any favorite pregnancy life hacks that didn’t make it to our list? Please share them by leaving us a comment!

8 of the Most Ridiculously Rude Comments People Make to Pregnant Women

Young women talking together at the parkPeople sure love talking to pregnant women, don’t they? Or, more accurately, they love saying obnoxious things to pregnant women. Why? It’s a mystery. I’m sure plenty of people who say rude things didn’t mean them to come out that way. But their comments can come out offensive, and they really should have known better.
Today, we’re sharing some of the most ridiculously rude comments we’ve heard of (or experienced firsthand!) Keep reading to see whether you’ve heard any of these obnoxious comments. If so, plenty of women can sympathize!

1. “You look like you’re ready to pop at any time!”

Alternate versions of this rude comment include, “Wow, you’re huge!” or “Are you carrying twins? You’re so big.” Nearly every woman has heard this one in some form or another when she’s expecting. It’s always a bad idea to say stuff like this. Just don’t go there.

2. “You look tired.”

Um, thank you? This comment can really take the pep out of your step. Yes, obviously you’re tired, you’re carrying around and growing another little person for 9+ months. Pretty much every mom we know heard this one. Why people would ever think this is OK to say to anyone, pregnant or not, is beyond us. It’s insulting and doesn’t serve any purpose. But it’s especially offensive to a woman who’s pregnant since she’s probably already feeling rundown and self-conscious, to begin with.

3. “You look like you’re carrying a (boy/girl)!”

Practically since the beginning of time, people have come up with ways to try to figure out whether that bun in the oven is a boy or a girl. There are so many old wives’ tales related to pregnancy. Those gossipy ladies of yesteryear seemed primarily focused on predicting the gender of that baby bump. Either way, it’s hard to tell whether it’s a compliment or not.

4. “Your body will never be the same again.”

Sure, a woman may lose the pregnancy pounds and miraculously avoid getting stretch marks, but her body will always have some reminder of the baby she once carried. But, it’s insulting to say things like this; they seem to dishonor the miracle of pregnancy and childbirth.

5. “You’re brave to be wearing tight-fitting clothes when you’re pregnant!”

We’re not ones to be left speechless very often, but this one did the trick. “I just smiled and then walked away before I embarrassed myself and started sobbing in front of the lady who paid me this sweet, sweet compliment,” says one of our staff writers who experienced this herself. Sensitivity is so crucial around pregnant moms!

6. “Your life will never be the same!”

Yes, we know. Thanks for the tip. We’re sure that some people who say this are just trying to make conversation and mean well. But it has an ominous ring to it, so we suspect others get a thrill out of terrifying expectant women. Plus, it’s pretty much stating the obvious. A little advice: Don’t scare a pregnant woman any more than she already is.

7. “How do you even have the energy to _____?” (fill in the blank)

Just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean you have to remain motionless for 40 weeks. Some expecting moms actually have energy on occasion to DO things! Real-people things like exercise, go to work, take a walk, go out to dinner, and even travel. Extraordinary!

8. “Rest up now, because you won’t get any sleep once your baby arrives!”

This comment is said so often to pregnant women, that it almost doesn’t need any explanation. Ask most mothers-to-be, and she’ll tell you she’s already accepted that her sleep will be interrupted.
Lines like this seem to be said almost as a scare-tactic. Plus, it’s stating the obvious!
Have you ever had someone say one of these rude comments to you? Or have you experienced a different remark? Please share it with us in the comments!

Pregnant and Want to Keep Exercising? Don’t Sweat It

Pregnant woman stretches before her morning jogWhen you’re preggo, it can seem like everyone has something to say about what you can or can’t, should or shouldn’t do when it comes to exercise during pregnancy. The truth is, exercising while pregnant is not very complicated. Doing physical activities are SO healthy during pregnancy.
Exercising while you’re pregnant is both safe and very beneficial. Most of what we hear about limiting physical activity during pregnancy comes from the Victorian era when women were seen as dainty and fragile. Even in the 1950s, the most widely-approved form of “exercise” for expecting moms was housework!

What Do the Experts Say?

In 1985, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) issued guidelines for exercising during pregnancy for the first time ever. Part of their recommendations included that women should keep their heart rate under 140 beats per minute, and only work out for 15 minutes max. But only a decade later, ACOG already canceled those guidelines altogether. At the start of the new millennium, ACOG declared that “Pregnant women are now encouraged to follow general adult recommendations for PA [physical activity].”
The most recent ACOG Committee Opinion on exercise during pregnancy reemphasizes that exercise carries important health benefits for all women throughout their entire lives. Just a few of these benefits include physical fitness, weight management, mental well-being, and a decreased risk of diabetes. Plus, there are benefits specific to pregnancy, such as fewer issues with varicose veins, incontinence, and heartburn, and a reduced risk of gestational diabetes and hypertension.
ACOG recommends that pregnant women with no complications strive for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week (that’s just over 20 minutes every day). Here are some examples of perfect ways to exercise during pregnancy:

  • Walking
  • Jogging
  • Swimming
  • Yoga, Pilates, barre, aerobics
  • Strength training

Anything I Should Avoid?

Friends pose for a photo after their prenatal yoga classThere are still some types of activities you need to avoid during your pregnancy, but they’re pretty common-sense. Physical activities and workouts to avoid include:

  • Water polo
  • Contact sports
  • Anything with a big “fall risk” or risk of impact (like surfing, downhill skiing, horseback riding, or ice skating)
  • Skydiving
  • Scuba diving
  • Hot yoga, or any exercise in a super-hot room

There have been no documented risks for exercising during a normal pregnancy, nor are there any documented links between exercise and preterm labor or miscarriage.
That’s well and good, but what if you’re completely exhausted, suffering from morning sickness, or just plain having a crappy day? Don’t be too hard on yourself, and keep in mind that any form of movement (even taking a walk) might actually improve your symptoms.
However, a word of caution if you have any complications such as anemia, placenta previa, ruptured membranes, preeclampsia, suffer from a pre-existing health condition, or have a high-risk pregnancy. Make sure to talk to your doctor about what and how to exercise throughout your pregnancy.

Your Changing Body

Don’t expect your body to work like its non-pregnant self when you work out. That growing belly is real, and you’re waking up in a new body every single day. So, we encourage you to be patient with your body and get to know it.
Your strength, balance, and endurance will be different, and your exercise preferences will change. The biggest tip we have for you is to listen to your body. If something makes you uncomfortable, you don’t have to do it.
If there’s a certain kind of exercise you loved pre-pregnancy and are still loving, stick with it! Also, if you have a gym membership, get your fill of classes now. After you have your baby, you and your body will be on lockdown for a little while as you care for a newborn 24/7.

Adjusting Exercise Moves for Your Pregnant Body

Practically any exercise technique can be adjusted to accommodate the pregnant body. For example, instead of push-ups do wall push-ups; instead of jump squats, just do some stationary squats—transition to lifting less heavy hand weights. Many women have practiced yoga, ran, did CrossFit, and Pilates right up until their delivery day. This isn’t to say you HAVE to, just that you CAN.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a comprehensive resource for modifying fitness types and moves across exercise formats. Some modifications are totally obvious (for example, you’re not going to be lying on your stomach after a certain point in time). If you attend a fitness studio, ask your instructor for help. If at-home exercise is your thing, try searching the Internet for “pregnancy modifications for (fill in the blank with CrossFit, yoga, or whatever type of workout you like). Trust your intuition about your limits.

Should I Switch to a Prenatal Fitness Program?

We’re going to let you in on a big secret: you don’t NEED to start a special prenatal program for exercise. With that said, it can really help to exercise using a specific prenatal fitness program. It will probably be more convenient, and it can also be supportive and empowering.
Today, many gyms and fitness websites are starting to offer prenatal class variations. So if you already know what type of workout you like, keep an eye out for those. Even if your gym or studio doesn’t have designated prenatal classes, you can just ask your instructor what modifications you should make to the regular moves.