A strict balanced diet is of utmost importance to maintain a healthy lifestyle when pregnant or planning a pregnancy. This will ensure you always feel positive and that your baby gets all the essential nutrients.
During pregnancy, you will feel more hungry than usual. However, this does not mean that you need to eat for two, even if you expect triplets and twins.
It is better to focus on the quality of food you eat instead of the quantity. Here is a list of pregnancy foods you should eat to keep your diet varied while avoiding high fat and sugar.
13 Food You Need to Eat While Pregnant
When you are ready to welcome a new baby into the world, you will have to eat extra calcium and protein to meet the child’s needs.
The best dairy products to include in your diet are yogurt, milk, and cheese.
Dairy is necessary because it contains two types of high-quality protein, which are whey and casein. It is also the best dietary source of phosphorus, vitamins B, magnesium, zinc, and calcium.
This food group will have you eating lentils, beans, peas, soybeans, peanuts, and chickpeas.
Legumes are fantastic plant-based sources of protein, iron, fiber, calcium, and folate. All of these are essential for your body during pregnancy. Folate is significantly beneficial during your first trimester, so you should aim to ingest at least 600 micrograms each day.
Sweet potatoes are scrumptious and can be cooked in several ways.
They are rich in beta carotene, which is a natural compound derived from plants, and it converts into vitamin A.
By eating more sweet potatoes, you can also keep your fiber levels up to feel full much longer and avoid blood sugar spikes.
Your digestive health will improve, mainly to prevent pregnancy constipation.
Salmon is one of the yummiest sources of essential omega-3 fatty acids.
You can eat it for breakfast on whole wheat bagels or as a grilled or teriyaki ingredient in stir-fries.
Salmon can help develop your baby’s brain and eyes and even raise gestational length. It is also a very natural source of vitamin D that is essential for immune function and healthy bones.
Just make sure you get fresh, wild-caught Salmon that is cooked well. You should only eat fish twice a week while pregnant to avoid overloading your body and baby with heavy metals.
Eggs are a low-calorie breakfast favorite that you can get high-quality protein, several vitamins, minerals, and healthy fat from.
Eggs in meals are also an excellent source of choline, a critical nutrient for a baby’s brain development to prevent abnormalities.
It is no secret that broccoli or dark leafy green vegetables like spinach and kale pack tons of essential nutrients for you and the baby. Even if you do not enjoy eating greens, you can add a little to each meal without tasting them too much.
Some of the benefits you get include vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, folate, potassium, calcium, iron, and fiber. Leafy greens and broccoli will also fend off constipation.
Lean meats like pork, beef, and chicken are a high-quality source of protein.
Beef and pork are also packed with choline, iron, and vitamin B and very necessary during pregnancy. You should consume more iron to produce healthy red blood cells as part of your hemoglobin.
An iron deficiency can cause anemia.
Oranges and Bell Peppers
These are rich in vitamin C and go exceptionally well with iron-rich foods like beef or pork. This way, you can improve food absorption. Alternatively, you can also toss in some tomato slices on a chicken burger for more vitamin C.
Berries are famously known for holding a lot of healthy goodness like water, antioxidants, carbs, fiber, and vitamin C.
Berries also have a low glycemic index value that will prevent blood sugar spikes during pregnancy. If you love a great snack, nothing beats berries because they are flavorfully packed with nutrition and low calories.
Whole grains can be eaten in the form of delicious brown rice, quinoa, barley, and wheat berries instead of the usual bread or pasta.
You should also add some oats to your breakfast and get a lot of protein, fiber, magnesium, and vitamin B.
Avocados have monounsaturated fatty acids that add the perfect creaminess to any dish.
They are also the best for vitamin K, copper, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin E, folate, and fiber.
They have a high content of healthy fats that makes them the perfect choice for pregnancy meals.
Dried fruits like prunes and dates can give you sufficient fiber, potassium, and vitamin K.
They also act as natural laxatives to keep your digestive system running smooth to relieve pregnancy constipation.
Dates are also remarkably high in iron and have natural sugar, making them a better alternative to overly sweet candy.
Fish Liver Oil
Fish liver oil provides the healthiest dose of omega-3 fatty acids, DHA, and EPA that are crucial for a baby’s brain and eye development.
Fish oil can also protect you against unexpected early delivery. This is a great ingredient packed with vitamin D that many pregnant women do not get enough of, and a single tablespoon is more than plenty to give you your daily dose of nutrients.
You can also take this is an easy to swallow supplement specially made for pregnancy like this one right here. It is purified and safe for you and your baby.
In the end:
There are lots of food choices for you but during pregnancy, you should be especially conscious of the amount of nutrients you’re getting and where they’re coming from.
You should pick quality over quantity and do the best you can to eat the most balanced diet possible for both you and your growing baby.
Good Luck to you and your babe!!
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Stretch marks or “striae” occur when our skin changes shape quickly, especially from weight gain or unexpected growth like a pregnancy.
These are not negative signs of health, but women may feel self-conscious and let down seeing them wrap around their bodies. Although both men and women can get stretch marks, pregnancy is notoriously responsible.
You will notice the first signs of stretch marks when there is a thin purple or red line on your skin.
This can be different textures across your skin layer. Most of them will fade to appear lighter or translucent, or they can look shiny.
If you are worried about pregnancy stretch marks, here are some helpful tips to avoid them.
By the way, this post contains affiliate links at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Tips to Avoid Stretch Marks During Pregnancy
Take Your Vitamins
One of the best ways to avoid these marks during pregnancy is to get Vitamin A through dietary sources.
Once your pregnancy is over you can apply a Vitamin A cream or gel.
This is also called retinoid, which will make your skin look younger and smoother.
You can easily buy Vitamin A over the counter at your local pharmacy in the form of cosmetic creams. Alternatively, it can also be ingested orally using supplements or adding some sweet potatoes and carrots to your daily diet.
But a quick warning: Do not apply forms of retinol during pregnancy. These can be harmful to your unborn fetus.
It’s best to get plenty of Vitamin A through diet and then move on to supplements and creams after the baby is born.
Vitamin E is a fast-acting antioxidant popularly known to combat aging and will maximum skin regeneration benefits.
If you combine vitamin E with essential oils like lavender or olive oil for hydration, you will notice those scars and stretch marks disappear gradually.
Prenatal vitamins will also help support your skin, as well as you and the baby as you grow.
Eating tons of vitamin C-rich foods like citrus, strawberries, and peppers are also helpful to promote tissue and collagen production that will strengthen your skin.
Use Natural Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is a sensational remedy that can be a quick stretch mark cure. Pure aloe vera acts as a natural healing agent to make your skin look and feel softer and is readily available in most shops.
The best time to apply some aloe vera from plants to your stretch marks is right after having a shower. Make sure to do this daily to see a significant difference in no time.
Even though genetics is typically the strongest predictor of who gets stretch marks, pregnant women are more likely to get them.
This happens because you gain weight quickly as the baby grows, which alters your skin’s elasticity.
Without proper treatment and care, you may end up with prominent stretch marks that never go away even after birth.
There are lasers that can help with this if it does happen. You can contact your local Aesthetics spa or plastic surgeon for more help if needed.
Treating Stretch Marks During Pregnancy
From the moment your pregnancy test is positive, you should start moisturizing your skin immediately in the areas where the scars are most likely to develop.
During your first trimester, you should enthusiastically be moisturizing your lower break, breasts, hips, and belly.
This is where stretch marks occur when fibers under your skin’s surface split from the pressure of quick weight gain.
Continually monitor your weight to prevent packing on the extra pounds too fast. The usual weight gain during pregnancy should be 25 to 35 pounds to keep your skin from overstretching.
You will notice the most stretch marks on your stomach towards the end of your second trimester when you are up to 7 months pregnant.
Most women experience red, brown, purple, or pink streaks across their belly, thighs, hips, butt, and/or breasts during this time.
This is when you will also put on more weight, making you even more prone to this proud badge of pregnancy.
Ensure that you moisturize and get plenty of exercises daily with a balanced diet to prevent rapid weight gain.
Because the faster you put on weight, the more your skin stretches.
Coping With Persistent Stretch Marks
Some stretch marks may remain for a long time because your skin is continuing to change throughout the 9 months. If these stretch marks refuse to go away and bother you to no end, you can apply some darker-toned makeup to the affected areas.
However, this is a temporary fix to reduce visibility and will not prevent the scars.
Although there are clinical treatments like laser therapy, microdermabrasion, chemical peels, and micro-needling, these should be avoided until after the baby is born.
There are prescription tretinoin or retinol creams that effectively rebuild the collagen in the skin to treat stretch marks. This is the Vitamin A cream we were talking about above.
Consult your doctor before taking any to ensure these are safe if you choose to breastfeed post-pregnancy.
In the end……
Good diet and skincare will go a long way in helping to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy.
But sometimes it’s unavoidable. If that’s the case for you there are professional treatments that can make a huge difference in their depth and color.
We wish you all the luck in the world!
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Being pregnant during summer is no walk in the park, especially if you live in some of the hottest states. Besides the heat and humidity, an increase in the progesterone hormone during your first trimester also increases body temperature.
Here are all the must-haves, must-knows, and must-dos to help prevent overheating and mood swings.
By the way, this post contains affiliate links at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Summer Pregnancy Must-Haves
Think about a summer pregnancy like it is a camping trip. You need a well-planned kit to safely get through the experience. No matter how excited you are, there will be some rough parts that need preparation in advance.
The first item you need to add to your pregnancy kit to make those hot months a little more bearable is sunscreen.
Grab nothing less than SPF 30 off the shelf, and make sure it does not contain Oxybenzone.
Oxybenzone is a risky endocrine-disrupting chemical in sunscreens that can mimic hormones to cause endometriosis. It can also lead to a birth defect called Hirschsprung’s disease, which adversely affects an infant’s development, neurological, immune, and reproductive symptoms.
Always spring for sunscreen and sprays without Oxybenzone. Even 6% of this chemical during your first trimester can get absorbed into your bloodstream and harmfully reach the fetus. So this is very important!!
Another item you should buy is an all-natural bug spray. When you are pregnant, you need to protect yourself from all the itchy bites and keep your baby safe from any potential diseases like the Zika pregnancy scare.
You will also need a handheld fan ( for real, ladies you NEED that ), a sun
For better sleep, invest in inexpensive silk pillowcases to avoid waking up to flip your pillows during the night.
Finally, you will drink a lot more water during your pregnancy and always keep a water bottle close.
During summer, many pregnant women wonder whether it is safe to go for a swim. Unless your doctor has advised against swimming, it is perfectly safe for you and the baby.
Swimming is one of the healthiest exercises during pregnancy to maintain your usual fitness level. Assuming you do a few breaststrokes instead of competitive laps as though you are training for the Olympics. You never want to overdue it obviously.
Most women in their third trimester enjoy swimming because it helps them feel weightless.
Chlorine is safe during pregnancy but only in moderation. Avoid swimming or floating in a chlorinated pool for several hours, and spend more time lounging near the water or only dip your feet to feel refreshed.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists states that hot tubs are dangerous for pregnant women during summer ( or anytime while pregnant ) because it raises a mother’s body temperature to an unsafe level for unborn babies.
Unfortunately, during my very first pregnancy, I got in a hot tub before I knew I was expecting. I did have a miscarriage soon after I found out I was pregnant and it was devastating. So always be aware even if you’re trying and you’re not sure yet. It could mean everything.
Generally, steaming hot water should be shunned altogether, even while having a shower. If you want to take a sunset stroll down by the beach, make sure to take a friend or partner with you in case you become injured or ill.
There should always be someone by your side to respond quickly in an emergency.
Carry a fully charged phone with you to stay in touch with family members and your doctor, and do not exhaust yourself walking around with too many shopping bags during summer sales.
There will be plenty of time to do a lot of heavy lifting with diapers, milk, and snacks after the child is born if you are eager for a challenge.
No matter how restless you feel after getting out of bed, avoid physical activities in direct sunlight.
It is best to schedule all your workouts early in the morning or after sunset to prevent exposure to the scorching heat.
You should also stay hydrated all day with up to 10 glasses of water and more if you exercise.
If you need to spend most of your time outdoors, you should drink low-sugar electrolyte fluids. Or low sodium V8. That’s an even healthier choice and it’s delicious.
Many mothers feel restless while pregnant, but there are many fun activities you can do.
Take a relaxing stroll with your partner or best friend while choosing baby names and click some magnificent sunset selfies together.
Drink tons of smoothies because they are so refreshing and will replenish your daily fruit requirement.
The best ingredients to use are Greek yogurt and frozen fruits that you can blend perfectly. Minigolf is another exciting activity that does not need you to exert yourself.
There are also indoor minigolf courses with plenty of shade and air conditioning where you can treat yourself to a delicious non-alcoholic cold beverage after a game.
Finally, summer is a great time to wear a loose and stunning outfit for a date night to feel beautiful again.
This is necessary because women sometimes feel huge and forget that they can still look gorgeous while heavily pregnant.
A date with loved ones is an exceptional opportunity to get out of the house for a while when it is not too hot.
Splurge on a nice dinner and treat yourself if you are bored of sitting on the couch binging on Netflix.
This will be worthwhile because once the baby is born, you may not get much free time without a newborn always by your side crying into the night for many summers.
In the end…..
The point of all this is to stay safe and happy during the summer months while pregnant. If you follow the rules above you’ll have a lovely summer pregnancy.
We wish you all the best and good luck to you, mama!
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How to Pinpoint Ovulation for a Faster Pregnancy
Track Your Periods
Is your menstruation cycle regular? And how many days have gone by between each period?
This is the essential information and the first step that everything depends on. If you are unsure whether your periods are regular and how long each cycle is, you should start the tracking process.
The first day you begin bleeding should be recorded as “Day One” until you get your next period.
This should be done for approximately three or four months if you want to accurately measure how long and regular your cycle is.
The average menstrual cycle should be 28 days long, but even 23 and 35 days in length are standard.
The number of days varies each month, so there is no need to be alarmed if you do not consistently record the same.
A good way to keep a record of your cycle is through the Clue App. I’ve used it for years and it’s extremely useful. It has helped me learn so much about my cycles and body.
Calculate Your Ovulation Days
Successful conception depends on having sex within a small window of time.
During this short period (pun intended), a ripened egg gets released from one of the ovaries and moves into your fallopian tube.
A really good way to begin identifying these days is with an ovulation kit. These kits are a bit like a pregnancy test. You just pee on a stick and it will tell you when certain hormones are at their peak indicating ovulation.
They are very useful when you want to get pregnant as quickly as possible.
Below are some things you need to observe if you want to get an idea of when you ovulate and what’s going on with your cycle.
If your menstrual cycles are consistently regular, you can determine your ovulation days with simple mathematics. In the average cycle, your ovulation will occur 14 days before your period arrives. This can also be on day 14 of your 28-day cycle. Then you need to subtract 14 days from the length of your cycle. This should provide a brief guideline of when you are ovulating. For instance, if you have regular 30-day menstrual cycles, you will most likely ovulate around day 16. If your periods last for 26 days, you should be ovulating on day 12.
For those who experience irregular menstrual cycles, there are additional steps to determining an accurate ovulation picture. The most common technique is tracking your temperature. The best way to know if ovulation has occurred is when your regular or basal body temperature slightly increases. This thermal shift can be detected with daily temperature checks in the mornings and at night before going to bed. By doing this, you can witness a pattern to help predict when your exact ovulation days are. Usually, your temperature can increase up to half a degree around 24 to 48 hours after ovulation. A basal body temperature thermometer may be more effective than using a regular one. This way, you can see the time your basal body temperature rises to know how short your conception window is, especially when sperm is waiting in the fallopian tube for the egg’s release.
Another option is to use an ovulation prediction kit, as I mentioned before. This is more costly than doing temperature checks, but you can track your ovulation dates and times very accurately. You can find these in any regular drugstores, and they measure levels of luteinizing hormone in your urine. Therefore, you will need to take a urine test on a tester stick. When your luteinizing hormone levels go up, this is when your ovaries are ready to release the egg for a fast conception.
Changes in your cervical mucus are another low-tech method to monitor fertility.
Although these will not pinpoint your ovulation period as accurately as a prediction kit, you can still get a general indication of whether you are fertile or not.
When your body prepares to ovulate, you will produce excessive thin and clear mucus, paving a smoother path for sperm to link with the egg.
You will notice that your vaginal mucus looks and feels slippery like raw egg whites on your most fertile days that are right before ovulation.
After ovulating, the mucus will go back to become thicker before it slowly dries up.
The best way to do a mucus check is by collecting a sample gently on toilet paper by wiping the vaginal opening. If you do this numerous times a day and do not see enough mucus, you are probably not in the fertile period.
When to Have Sex
Most medical professionals recommend having regular sex approximately 1 to 5 days before ovulating.
If you start having sex during the ovulation period, it may already be too late.
Then you should also continue getting down to business the day after ovulation. This is because sperm can easily survive up to five days inside your body, while an egg’s lifespan is only a maximum of 24 hours.
Therefore, having intercourse before ovulating and doing it again the day after will skyrocket your chances of getting pregnant.
Even though several articles suggest the best sex positions for fast pregnancies, there is no guarantee.
When you pinpoint ovulation correctly, your chances are high no matter which sexual position you use.
It is best to do what comes naturally without stressing about getting pregnant if you have successfully tracked your ovulation window.
If you are under the age of 35 and cannot get pregnant despite having timed your ovulation and intercourse windows after trying for six months, you should visit your doctor for a fertility evaluation.
We wish you luck and joy on your TTC journey!!
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From the moment you get pregnant, you know that your life will suddenly be all about the little bundle of joy you are bringing into the world.
However, aside from all the celebrations, you may also wake up in a panic at times, wondering about the kind of parent you will be.
Will you be calm or strict? Will you prefer breastfeeding over using formula?
Although news of a pregnancy is one of the most exciting moments in a person’s life, here are 15 critical decisions that you need to think about carefully and discuss with your partner to help make parenting a little less stressful.
15 Decisions to Make For Your Baby During Their First Year
Posting Baby Photos
Some parents cannot wait to tell all their loved ones about how their newborn baby is doing.
You may want to suddenly share every aspect of the baby’s life.
After all, why shouldn’t the rest of your family see how cute your child looks while sleeping? However, posting photos and videos of your baby can be harmful.
Not only will your baby resent you on their 18th birthday for that awkward bathtub picture you posted, but it is also a security concern.
If you post pictures, always make sure to tweak the privacy settings to ensure that only the most trustworthy people in your social circle have access.
Thinking About Siblings
If you have grown up in a large family with a healthy dose of sibling rivalry that kept you on your toes throughout childhood, you may be wondering when the right time is to try for another baby.
This is common if couples do not want their children to have a massive age gap between them.
However, make sure you are prepared to get pregnant again after giving birth. There may be reasons you want to wait, such as not feeling ready, money problems, and career goals.
If you decide against getting pregnant within your baby’s first year of life, you may need to consider birth control to buy more time.
Many parents prefer to co-sleep with their babies instead of getting a crib.
If you do get a crib, you will also need to decide where to put it.
You may want to have the crib next to your bed or have a separate baby’s room.
I personally co-slept with all of mine and since I breastfed it made things much easier and everyone got the rest they needed.
But because co-sleeping poses some risks you need to do research and be very safe.
Parents often get maternity and paternity leave from work to care for a new baby.
This is where your feelings may change about returning to the office, especially if you want to spend more time with the baby during infancy.
Talk to your partner about the roles and responsibilities you’ll both have with your baby.
Will you both go back to work? Or will one of you be a stay-at-home parent? Who will take the baby to all their doctor’s appointments and prepare baths?
There are tons of things to be done, and dividing up the work can make it easier for everyone involved.
However, this is challenging because television is a great form of entertainment to keep babies occupied while exhausted parents catch a break.
You may have to decide whether you want to entertain your child on your own without any cartoons and if you can muster the time and effort to consistently do so.
Most parents don’t want to use screens but end up doing it anyway. If you do, don’t feel bad. We are all just doing the best we can.
Your babe will turn out just fine.
Using Formula or Nursing
Many health experts believe that breastmilk is the most nutritional choice for infants.
This can be tough for some mothers who cannot breastfeed or do not want to.
Baby formula is an excellent alternative, but some fear their children are not getting enough nutrients because it’s artificial.
The choice between nursing or using formula is very personal, so you should always weigh the pros and cons of both methods before deciding what is best for your baby.
Obviously, fed is best so don’t agonize over your decision.
Medicating Your Baby
Some parents favor medicines while others are against them. This decision hits new parents the moment their baby needs teething medication or cough syrup.
FDA strictly advises against using topical medication for teething, including homeopathic tablets.
You should also be careful of giving too much Tylenol depending on the baby’s height and weight. It is always best to speak to a pediatrician before giving your baby any medicines.
Cutting Their Hair
If you are not a parent who gets too sentimental about a little lock of hair, you may wonder when to give your babe his/her first haircut.
This is an important decision because you may want to give your child a trim during summer to avoid itchiness.
The first haircut is a memorable moment, so you should think about how much you want to cut without endangering the baby’s adorableness.
Your baby will need good childcare whether from you or a provider if you go back to work.
If you are busy juggling several errands or working full-time, you may need to budget for childcare.
This can be expensive for many parents, which is why you should start saving money for this even before your baby is born.
Alternatively, you can hire a temporary babysitter if you want to have a date night once a week.
Vaccinating Your Child
Vaccinations are a controversial subject even though they prevent chickenpox and whooping cough.
Unless you are a single parent, you need to discuss vaccinations with your partner to ensure that you are on the same page.
Some parents avoid vaccinations because of side effects and unnatural ingredients.
Research children’s vaccines and speak to your pediatrician before making this significant decision.
I’m not going to preach about vaccines because it’s a very personal choice. You do what you think is best!
Which Toys to Buy?
There is an abundance of baby toys on the market, and those brands never shy from advertising to new parents like yourself.
Most toys you can find are either made of plastic or wood.
Some parents prefer wooden toys because they are less toxic and do not harm the environment.
You may also want to get toys that teach your baby skills, such as toys with letters or numbers. Some toys are perfect for a 3-month-old baby but would be dull for a child that is nearly 12-months.
Etsy is a great place to find fun and interesting handmade toys for your babe! You should check it out.
No matter how much grandparents are itching to spend alone time with the baby, it is your decision to let them without feeling guilty.
This is essential if your baby is nursing and cannot take a bottle or if you are not close to your parents and do not trust them entirely.
Family members will always want to get to know your little one, but you get to decide who can have that privilege.
They can always visit later after you’ve settled in a bit.
Meeting Other Babies
If your year-old baby does not have any siblings, they may feel entertained by spending time with other children.
However, many parents struggle to pinpoint the right time to start socializing. When kids are older, it is easier to enroll them in music, art, or gymnastics classes to make friends.
This is tricky for an incredibly young baby, especially if you fear that they may catch a sickness or be negatively impacted by other children’s behavior.
This is especially important now that Covid is going around. Make your decisions wisely for you and your whole family.
Weaning From Bottles
If you’ve chosen not to breastfeed babies should start weaning from bottles when they are aged between 9 and 12 months.
This is when you can start introducing a sippy cup or let them stick to the bottle a little longer. Keep in mind that the sooner your baby gives up the bottle, the less chance they have of developing tooth decay.
Many parents worry about the decision to use pacifiers because they can cause dental problems and ear infections.
Even though pacifiers or “binkies” are an excellent way to soothe babies so that everyone can sleep soundly at night, not every baby prefers one.
There are also several types of pacifiers on the market, and your child can be extremely picky.
It is best to buy a few different ones to see which one your baby loves most and be careful not to let them have it all day.
In the end….
There are lots of decisions to make for your baby in the first year and these are just a few you should think about beforehand.
We wish you all the luck in the world with your little one!
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