How to Cope With Constipation During Pregnancy

Pregnant woman outside bundled upPregnancy comes with a whole host of unpleasant side effects, but constipation might just be one of the worst. The gas, bloating, and constant pressure can make a mama-to-be quite miserable. We’re here to let you know about the causes of constipation during pregnancy, plus what you can do about it!


There are a lot of reasons why you may be finding yourself in this situation, but constipation during pregnancy is usually because of hormones, your expanding uterus, stress, and supplements.
Pregnancy hormones such as progesterone are important in keeping a healthy pregnancy. But these hormones can also bring some less-than-pleasant side effects, like slowing your digestive system. Plus, the bigger your baby gets, the more he or she pushes down on your bowels, making it challenging for business to happen as usual.
Supplements like calcium and iron are known to cause constipation and are both found in prenatal vitamins. However, calcium and iron are also important components for your growing baby. So, don’t stop taking your prenatal vitamins to move things along without first asking your doctor.
But fear not! There are a few simple steps you can take to get control of this unpleasant issue.

How to Fix It

Pregnant woman suffers from back ache

1. Fiber

Fiber is your best friend when it comes to treating constipation. Good sources of fiber include beans, leafy greens, and of course, prunes. Fiber can show up in unexpected places, like popcorn and even kiwis. But make sure to ease your body into a fiber-rich diet, so you don’t end up trading one miserable condition (constipation) for another (earth-rattling gas).

2. Keep Hydrated

So many pregnancy articles suggest uping your water intake, and so does this one. Drink. Water. The longer a stool hangs around in the colon, the more water is absorbed, and the harder it gets. So more water means softer stools.

3. Get Some Exercise

Getting moving, especially after you eat, is a great way to kick your digestion into high gear. You can do something simple like going for a walk after lunch.

4. Don’t Hold It

No one likes to use public bathrooms, but when you gotta go, you gotta go. Holding it in can make constipation worse, so go if you feel the urge.

What Not to Do

Don’t take any medications like laxatives or mineral oil while you’re pregnant unless your doctor prescribes them. That’s because they come with unwanted side effects, like dehydration and uterine contractions.

8 Reasons Why You Can’t Sleep At 8 Months Pregnant

Woman snuggles a pregnancy pillowWhoever said, “You better sleep now because you won’t get much sleep when the baby comes!” has clearly never been pregnant. If you’re getting near to the end of your pregnancy, then you know getting a good night sleep is virtually impossible right now. Here are 8 reasons why:

1. So many trips to the bathroom

Right now, your bladder capacity is at an all-time low because of your growing baby. Plus, it seems like the urge to pee is bigger at night than during the day.

2. Your baby likes to practice karate at 3 am

Maybe she is rehearsing for tryouts to the Rockettes, or maybe she really is trying to torture you. At eight months along, many women have shared that their baby seems to enjoy busting out leg workouts in the middle of the night.

3. Pregnancy insomnia

The inability to turn off your brain just might be the most frustrating sleep disruption. As if your daytime hours weren’t already focused on all the anxiety-inducing realities coming, night brings new strength to those looming concerns.

4. So many pillows

When you’re pregnant, experts recommend tucking one pillow under your bellow, another between your knees, and a third behind your lower back. Before you know it, you become so trapped by pillows that the idea of changing positions is just too much effort.

5. Heartburn

It’s like there’s a fire in your esophagus, which only gets worse when you lay down. Get our tips on coping with pregnancy heartburn here

6. Restless legs

Around a third of pregnant women have a condition called restless legs syndrome (RLS). It’s that itchy, pulling, burning, urge to move your legs. It’s like your legs are screaming to run a marathon even though you get winded walking up a flight of stairs.

7. Strange dreams

The final trimester brings with it some of the strangest, chilling dreams of your life. From the bizarre to the horrifying, you’ve never been so thankful for the morning.

8. Hunger

Yes, you had dinner, plus assorted snacks. But once 1 am rolls around, your stomach starts growling for more.

What to Read Next:

How to Get a Great Night’s Sleep in Your Third Trimester
10 Ways to Prep for Labor and Delivery
Why Feeling Your Baby’s Kicks is a Good Sign
10 Things to Do During Your Last Month of Pregnancy
Pregnancy Dreams-What Do They Mean?

How to Survive the Last Two Weeks of Pregnancy

Woman in her third trimester reading a bookYou’re tired, you’re sore, and you might even pee a little bit when you laugh or cough. It takes forever to fall asleep. Welcome to the last two weeks of pregnancy!
We’re sharing five helpful tips to help you survive the longest stage of pregnancy! We hope that they’ll help you make the most of these last few days last two to four weeks without losing your mind.

1. Go to the spa or salon

Depending on your finances, this one might be easier said than done. But if you can, we recommend scheduling both a pedicure and a prenatal massage for this last leg of your pregnancy. Sit back and have someone else paint your toes. You’ve earned it!

2. Pig out

Now’s the home stretch. Whether or not you counted calories during your pregnancy, the damage is done. You won’t gain another 20 pounds these last couple of weeks, so go ahead and enjoy that candy bar, donut, or ice cream. Do you.

3. Let things go

Kick up your feet, watch Netflix, and let the laundry, vacuuming, and dishes go undone. Just, let it go. Better yet, you can use the time you would be doing housework to do something for yourself. Read a book you always wanted to read, watch funny videos online, or just do whatever you’d like to do.

4. Make plans

What’s something that you really want to do? Maybe it’s seeing that new movie everyone’s talking about. Maybe it’s getting dressed up and going out to your favorite restaurant. Just make sure it’s something you’re genuinely looking forward to.

5. Get yourself something nice

Go shopping and buy yourself something new. You could take a leisurely trip to your local Sephora, gathering free samples of high-end skin care. Or, you might shop for new mom gear, like cute nursing bras and flattering yoga pants. Treat. Your. Self. Plus, all the walking involved in your shopping trip will help get your body ready for labor!

“Should I Put My Baby Up for Adoption?”

Pregnant woman wonders, 'should I adopt out my baby?'If you’ve just started to research the process of adoption for your baby, you might feel overwhelmed by the amount of information out there. Luckily, you’re not alone. With some guidance, you’ll be able to decide what’s best for you and your baby.
Today, we’re describing the steps to take as you decide if adoption’s best for your baby:

1. Visit a Doctor

As soon as you think that you’re pregnant, visit your doctor or OB/GYN to make sure. They can also help you learn how your pregnancy is doing. Whether or not you choose adoption, you should start by caring for yourself and your baby.
The first few months of pregnancy are really important to your baby’s development. Since your body will be changing a lot, it’s essential that you start to take care of yourself as soon as possible. Your doctor will provide you with detailed instructions on how to care for yourself and your baby during your pregnancy.

2. Contact an Adoption Professional

Understanding how adoption works will be the first step in your decision-making process. An adoption professional will provide you with information, help you create a plan, and ask you what your needs are during your pregnancy. If you’re still on the fence about adoption, an adoption professional can provide you with all the information you need to make a decision. Call or text Lifetime Adoption at 1-800-923-6784 to learn more.

3. Create an Adoption Plan

Your Adoption Coordinator will explain all of your options, and help you decide how you’d like your adoption to go. They’ll help you plan your labor and delivery experience, your hospital stay, and direct you to programs if you need help with medical costs and living expenses. Your adoption professional will get your medical history, the medical history of your baby’s father, and ask you questions about what you’re hoping for in adoption. At Lifetime Adoption, you’re able to receive both third-party counseling and peer counseling.

4. Choose Your Style of Adoption

There are three different styles of relationships you can have with the adoptive family: open, semi-open and closed. You have the choice to decide the type and amount of contact you’d like to have with them after you place your baby in their home. Some women decide that updates through pictures and emails once a year is enough, but others choose more contact through annual in-person visits. The style of adoption relationship you’ll have with your child and his or her adoptive family is up to you.
Woman browses adoptive family profiles online

5. Select Your Baby’s Adoptive Parents

Many pregnant women making an adoption plan appreciate having the power to choose the couple who will raise their child. The adoption professional will send you information about adoptive families, including their careers, faith, hobbies, parenting style, and enthusiasm to become parents through adoption.
You can even start looking at potential adoptive parents online at any time! Visit to see hopeful adoptive parents’ profiles online.
Once you see an adoptive family that “clicks” with you, we encourage you to have a phone conversation with them. During the call, you can get to know the couple better and let them know your wishes for the adoption process. Feel free to discuss any questions, thoughts or concerns you may have.

6. Welcome Your Baby

Before you give birth, your Adoption Coordinator will encourage you to think about how you want your birth plan to go. Once you go into labor, notify your adoption professional right away. They’ll contact the adoptive family you’ve chosen.
After you deliver, you have the right to spend as much time as you need to with your baby. You’ll likely be allowed to leave the hospital within 72 hours. Depending on your state, you might even sign relinquishment papers before you go.

7. Preparing for Life After Placement

Most women find that they need counseling after placement since adoption is a lifelong choice. Your Adoption Coordinator at Lifetime will help you work through your feelings and prepare you for the many emotions you’ll face.
Getting in touch with other mothers who chose adoption for their baby has helped many women. Your Adoption Coordinator at Lifetime will put you in contact with other women who have been in your shoes. Since they’ve also placed, a peer counselor can let you know what to expect and provide you with helpful tips.
If you chose an open adoption relationship, you’ll also have the adoptive family’s support and be able to see your child grow up. With open adoption, placement isn’t a “good-bye” forever, but the start of a beautiful relationship between you, your child, and the family you chose.
Are you thinking about adoption for your baby? Call or text Lifetime at 1-800-923-6784. Requesting info on adoption or browsing profiles doesn’t mean you have to complete the adoption process.

Get Our Advice on Telling Your Parents of Your Pregnancy

Need advice on telling your parents you're pregnant?“I really need some advice. I am 16 and pregnant. My boyfriend is 17 and he’s the only person who knows about it.
I’m 8 weeks along and haven’t gone to a doctor yet. I am so scared to tell anyone, especially my parents.
I’m dreading the idea of telling them because I come from a well-educated family of ­doctors and teachers. I’m an honor student and plan on becoming a doctor myself. Everyone’s expectations of me are high and having a baby would disappoint everyone.
I thought about getting an abortion, but my parents are totally against that and very religious.
I am scared and in a huge state of denial. I need some advice. Please help. Thanks for listening to my problem.”

We know you’re probably so frightened. You might have even rehearsed what to say over and over again. Remember, you and your boyfriend are both pregnant. This is not just your problem.
In our experience, telling is one of the hardest parts, but the sooner, the better. Once the news is out, a lot of pressure and fear lessens. Families begin to accept the reality of the pregnancy. They look at the options and make new plans. Early, good prenatal care is an essential part.
Breaking the news can be done in several ways. It’s better to choose some time that would allow them to digest this news. You can tell them alone or together with your boyfriend.
Your parents are not the only parents to be informed. Your boyfriend may ask you to go with him to tell his folks. You must decide which parents to tell first.
I don’t know your exact age difference, but that could prove to be a legal problem for your boyfriend. The more responsibly he acts, the better off all of you will be. I assume your parents know this guy’s age and have allowed you to date him.
You don’t have to give up your dreams, but they will take a back seat for a while. Both of your lives will change. Take some time to explore your options, including becoming a parent, getting an abortion, or making an adoption plan.

What Will My Period Be Like After I Have My Baby?

shopping for pads and tamponsDuring pregnancy, your menstrual cycle goes on hiatus. When it resumes, it’s good to be prepared for some changes.
The biggest reward of pregnancy is going to be your adorable newborn baby. But if you’re like many moms-to-be, another huge bonus is that you no longer get your period. Wondering when will it return, and how will it be different?
Keep reading to learn more about your post-baby period!

When Will I Get My Period Again?

Whether or not you breastfeed will be the most significant factor affecting when you’ll get your period again. Prolactin, the hormone that produces breast milk, suppresses ovulation. If you don’t plan on breastfeeding, you can expect your period to return around 4 to 8 weeks after post-birth. For women who breast-and formula-feed, it could take anywhere from a few weeks to months for their period to return. If you’re breastfeeding exclusively, it’s normal not to menstruate for six months or longer. Many new moms have found that they don’t get their first period until after they stop breastfeeding.

Can I Get Pregnant Without It?

Just because you’re not having your period doesn’t mean there’s no risk of pregnancy. Some women find this out the hard way and are already pregnant again at their six-week postpartum visit!
Ovulation happens before menstruation. Once you ovulate, you’re fertile, so you could get pregnant even if you haven’t had a period yet. This is true for nursing moms too, so it’s not wise to rely on breastfeeding as a form of contraception.
Make sure to use another method of birth control. Ask your doctor about which form of birth control would work best for you because some aren’t recommended for nursing moms. For example, birth control pills that have estrogen might interfere with breast-milk production. So, the estrogen-free “mini-pill” may be a better choice.

Will My Periods Be the Same?

Every woman is different; your period may change a little, a lot, or stay the same. Your post-baby period could be longer or shorter, heavier or lighter, and even how long it lasts could be different.
You might also experience increased or decreased cramping since your uterus grows during pregnancy, then it shrinks after you deliver. Your endometrial lining (which sheds during a period) has to remodel itself as it goes through these changes. This process happens with each pregnancy, so you might notice changes in your period after each baby.
If you’d been on hormonal birth control before you got pregnant, your period might be heavier after childbirth. This is because of hormonal contraceptives thinning the endometrial lining. If you give birth via a vaginal delivery, a tampon might sit differently or feel different. But typically, most women don’t need to size up their tampons. As time passes, using a tampon should feel as natural as it did before.

How Will I Know if Something’s Wrong?

With your first post-baby period, you can expect some heavier bleeding and increased cramping. But alert your doctor if you need to change your tampon or pad every hour or more. It might be a sign of an infection, fibroids, or polyps.
Also, contact your doctor if you skip a period after menstruation has restarted; have a period that lasts longer than seven days or contain clots larger than a quarter; spotting between periods; or if you haven’t gotten a period three months after childbirth or three months after you stop breastfeeding.

Try These 10 Essential Life Hacks for Your Pregnancy

Discover 10 life hacks for your pregnancyWhen you’re pregnant, your body and needs will change quickly. Same goes for the urge to buy every remedy that promises sweet relief. To help you save some money, we’re sharing 10 of our favorite life hacks for your pregnancy. Once your baby is born it’ll be nice not to have a box full of pregnancy gear gathering dust!

1. Try Kinesio Tape for Back Pain

Kinesiology tape can serve the same role as a supportive belly band, but it’s much cheaper. Make sure to have a chiropractor or physical therapist tape you the first time, so you know how. You can wear the tape for up to 5 days!

2. Cooking Oils for Itching Skin

If you run out of your favorite baby belly oil, just raid your kitchen! Coconut oil, olive oil, or grapeseed oil can do the trick. Smear on whatever oil you have after your shower for that pregnancy glow.

3. Turn Your Sneakers Into Slip-Ons

Your workout shoes provide you with lots of cushioned support during your pregnancy! Get more use out of them by swapping out your laces for elastic ones, so you can avoid having to bend over to tie your laces.

4. Ask Alexa What Meds are Safe for You

When you’re pregnant, Siri and Alexa can become your new BFFs. One simple spot to check what meds are safe for you to use during pregnancy is the MommyMeds app. It was developed by the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and has a doctor-approved database.

5. Make an Everyday ‘Emergency’ Bag

Sure, your focus might be on packing your hospital bag, but there are everyday necessities you’ll need before then. You can make a simple kit for your purse, so you’re always prepared. You might fill it with snacks, antacids, ginger candies, and anything else you need to get through a rough day.

6. Schedule Your Prenatal Appointments Now

It’s easy to forget to make appointments for your glucose screening or 34-week appointment because of pregnancy brain. Schedule them all at once so you can plan ahead for asking time off work. Plus, you’ll know exactly when the next ones are scheduled. And here’s a pro hack: try to book each appointment on the same day of the week at the same time.

7. Stock Up on Your Cravings

Fill your cupboards and fridge with pregnancy craving staples like ice cream, pickles, ginger beer, and french fries. That way when you get an urge, your partner doesn’t have to schlep to the gas station at 11 pm.

8. Trick Yourself into Getting Hydrated

Many women get to a point where peeing so frequently makes them want to stop drinking water entirely! Instead, get hydrated without even knowing it by eating foods that have a high water content like watermelon, strawberries, or cucumbers.

9. Tend to Swollen Feet With Salt

Giving your feet a good soak in Epsom salt does wonders to tame pregnancy bloat. Get a bucket or large bowl, fill it with salt and warm water and voila! Your feet will feel so much better.

10. Keep Snacks on your Nightstand

This is our favorite hack for pregnancy nausea! Keep crackers, granola bars or another non-perishable snack in your nightstand drawer. When you first wake up, chomp on some crackers to stave away that barfy, nauseous feeling.

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.