Managing Your Weight Throughout Your Pregnancy

There is no other time in your life when it is perfectly acceptable and even highly recommended to gain weight. Most of the time we as women spend our lives trying to lose weight or keep slender, and then all of a sudden we are faced with the notion that we can and should gain weight. It can be a lot to get used to for some women. Others really embrace the concept of “eating for two” and enjoy eating foods that they normally wouldn’t.

Though eating during pregnancy can most certainly be fun, it is important to remember that it’s not a free for all. Eating too much or the wrong foods can be bad for our health, bad for the pregnancy, and ultimately bad for the baby. You want to ensure that you go about your weight gain in the proper manner so that you can maintain a healthy range throughout.

Managing How You Gain the Weight

Though you may be inclined to just eat as much as you want whenever you want, do your best to ignore that urge. As you can see from this chart that there is a lot that makes up the typical weight gain. You can usually expect to gain anywhere from 25-35 pounds in a typical pregnancy, though this can vary a bit. The growing uterus, the placenta, all of the fluids, and the baby itself make up much of this weight gain. The rest however is up to you and therefore it’s quite important to manage how exactly we gain the weight throughout our pregnancy.

Though you can give into your cravings here and there, do your best to ensure that you don’t do it each and every day. Try your best to eat a well balanced diet that is rich in nutrients that your baby needs and your body craves. Try to get in exercise throughout your pregnancy so long as you are cleared for this and feel up to it. The combination of exercise with healthy eating will help to ensure that you put on the pregnancy weight in the right way. It will also make the task of taking off the weight much easier at the end of it all.

Keep It In Check Throughout Your Pregnancy

Many women are astounded by just how they gain the weight, and this can vary quite significantly. If you were on the thin side before pregnancy, then you may find that you gain the weight quickly and keep it coming as your body prepares for the baby. If you were on the heavier side before pregnancy, then it may take you a little while to gain the weight and then it may hit all of a sudden towards the middle of your pregnancy.

Many women may make it through their first trimester gaining virtually no weight as they are sick all the time. Then when that magical second trimester hits, they find that the weight comes on rapidly. There’s no one set pattern for how the weight is gained, and therefore you need to manage your eating habits and healthy lifestyle throughout. This will always help you to ensure that the baby gets everything that it needs. It will also ensure that you stay in good shape, and that you ultimately deliver a healthy and happy baby.

Painting During Pregnancy

There are so many things that we do in our lives that we may not even think about. We go about our days, performing any number of tasks, never really giving though to them all the while. That’s the way life works, we do what we need to get done and that’s it, right? Well that’s true until we get pregnant! Once we find out that we’re pregnant, it feels as though everything in life comes to a screeching halt. We’re worried about what we can safely eat, drink, and even breathe in. We think about every single task that we perform because it’s no longer about us, but rather the good of our baby.

If you find that you are thinking through even the most seemingly easy task at times, you’re not alone. One such task that does warrant much attention and thought is painting and other common and related household chores. You want to know what you’re getting into and do your best to avoid any potential risks.

Much Different Than It Used to Be

There’s always the argument that women in the past did everything without having to stop and think about it. While this may be true, the reality is that there wasn’t as much education or awareness about the potential risks of such activities. Though you don’t have to live in a bubble, you do need to do your part to avoid potential risks. When it comes to painting, the fumes can be dangerous for you and your baby. The rule of thumb is to avoid heavy inhalation, that is to keep the room as ventilated as possible. Keep the windows open whenever possible, or at the very least keep a fan running to ensure that the fumes move about and are dispersed rather than right there in front of you.

We all know that lead paint is dangerous in many ways. Though it’s hard to even find anymore, it’s important that pregnant women stay away from it at all costs. The fumes of this can be dangerous, but the good news is that it hasn’t really been used in homes since the 1970’s. That being said, when it comes to removing paint that was put on years earlier in your home and you’re not sure of the type, you may want to leave this activity for somebody else to do. Though the chances may be slim, you do want to do your part to stay away from any potentially harmful fumes.

Protect Yourself at All Costs

Fortunately most of the paints used today are considered to be perfectly safe. It is however still important to avoid contact with the paint so as to avoid actual consumption. Don’t put food or drink near paint, and do your part to cover up any exposed body parts while painting. These measures can ensure that you don’t have unnecessary exposure to paint, as that can be a possible problem.

Use common sense and avoid painting or breathing in fumes for an extended period of time. Also do your part to avoid any cleaners or preparation methods that can provide fumes that you aren’t sure of. Though they may not pose a risk to the baby, they may be hard for you to breathe in and may even make you sick to the smell. So use common sense, do your painting in small bouts, and keep the air circulating to avoid excessive fumes.

Second Trimester of Pregnancy

Is it really possible? Are you feeling a bit better? Many women are cautious to express that they actually feel better as they enter that magical second trimester of pregnancy, but there is some merit to it.

Some women are lucky enough to feel great throughout their entire pregnancy. Others have a really rough first trimester and anxiously await that light at the end of the tunnel. Though the second trimester can bring about changes of its own, the reality is that can bring about some relief as well. If you have been suffering from common symptoms such as nausea for example, you may start to see that taper off.

Though every woman and every pregnancy is different, the second trimester is typically the most enjoyed time period for most. This is a welcome change and allows many women to enjoy their pregnancy! It is important to know what’s going on in your pregnancy, with your baby, and be aware of what is most common to expect during this precious time period.

Out With the Old and In With the New

So you can finally bid adieu to many of your first trimester symptoms. The reason that they came about was due in large part to the hormones that your body was inundated with. These hormones are all essential to a pregnancy and to your unborn child, so you should be happy for them. They are however nasty in the sense that they can create some unwanted and often awful symptoms. The most common first trimester symptoms often include nausea, vomiting, exhaustion, breast tenderness, and headaches. Most women can say goodbye to these symptoms as they enter the all important second trimester-and that’s welcome news!

What many people don’t tell you however is that you may accumulate some new symptoms. Though these all hit women differently and aren’t often that big of an issue, it is important to be prepared for them. Many women will have an increase in vaginal discharge, and they will also deal with a great deal of additional mucous as the membranes go into overdrive.

As you can see from a symptoms chart such as this http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/pregnancy/pr00018 there can be new and interesting indications that the baby is coming in the not so distant future. You are likely at the point where you simply don’t fit into your old clothes anymore as your waistline is growing and changing. Your breasts are bigger and you may very well experience Braxton Hicks contractions which are a preview of what’s to come.

You will likely experience movement as the trimester progresses-this is an exciting step and a welcome “symptom” of the second trimester for many women. So though the first trimester symptoms are gone and you may feel more energized and less exhausted, you may have them replaced with newer ones that take some getting used to.

Your Baby’s Progress

Your baby is really starting to make some major progress in terms of their development, and this is exciting! They have reflexes now and they can even smile, frown, suck in amniotic fluid, and excrete it as urine. If you have an ultrasound during this time, you may even find baby sucking their thumb which is simply amazing! The baby has developed a great deal and they are starting to look like an actual baby at this point. Baby has his own fingerprints and has very distinct features, including genitalia which will tell you what the gender is if you wish to know. The baby will really start to bulk up and gain some weight as this trimester continues on, and you will feel this through your own weight gain and of course movement. It’s an exciting time and likely the best trimester, so enjoy every second of it!

Additional Reference:
http://www.childbirthsolutions.com/articles/pregnancy/weeklypregcalendar/index2.php

Surviving the First Trimester of Pregnancy

You know that there’s something special going on inside of you the minute that you get the results of that pregnancy test. Though you may have gone several weeks without even knowing that you were pregnant, everything seems to change once you find out that you are. Your whole mindset may change, and you may have already been experiencing symptoms that you didn’t recognize as such.

Pregnancy is such a special time for a woman. The first trimester, however, can be not only a bit scary, but also full of all sorts of symptoms, emotions, and questions. If this is your first pregnancy, then you may feel like you are in completely unknown territory. Even if it’s not your first trimester, you may feel as though you are completely overwhelmed. You may feel like the symptoms are too much or you may feel as if you are in constant fear of a miscarriage. Whatever the case, you need to know what it takes to survive the first trimester of pregnancy.

Focus On and Take Care of Yourself

The first thing that comes as a bit of a surprise to many pregnant women is that they can’t necessarily get a doctor’s appointment right away. Though they may be itching to get in to see their doctor as soon as they take the pregnancy test, they may be diverted for a couple of weeks. Many doctors don’t even want to see a pregnant woman until she is around eight weeks pregnant. So while this may seem like an eternity, it’s a reality in many instances. If however you have any questions or concerns, you can always call in the meantime.

Many women are also surprised by just how quickly or intensely the symptoms may hit them. Some women skate through their first trimester without a care in the world, feeling great the whole time. Others may feel sick from the moment they find out that they are pregnant. Symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, headaches, tender breasts, and extreme fatigue are quite common in the first trimester. They can come out of nowhere and leave you feeling like you just got hit by a truck! This is a sign that the hormones are hard at work, and that your body is doing everything it needs to in order to provide for that little baby. The good news for many pregnant women is that these symptoms will subside in the second trimester, so there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Gaining Perspective on Things

Many women are concerned about the potential risk for miscarriage, and this can be a legitimate fear. If there is a history of miscarriage or if a woman has seen a friend or family member suffer through one, then it makes sense as to why they would be concerned. Though it is a real fear, it isn’t something that you should become obsessed with. All that you can do is take the very best care of yourself and your baby possible, and then leave the rest up to nature.

If you see any symptoms that are of concern such as bleeding or cramping, then call your doctor. However if you feel fine, then just keep going along and take good care of yourself. It’s always wise to get extra rest whenever possible, particularly in the first trimester. Don’t worry too much about what or how much you can eat, as that will even out as you enter the second trimester of pregnancy. Try to put perspective on things and know that there are better days ahead. In the meantime, enjoy the news of your pregnancy and know that taking care of yourself is the best thing you can do for that baby.

The Old Wives’ Tale of How You Carry and the Gender of Your Baby

If you are newly pregnant, then you will find that you are immediately met with all sorts of advice and information. Some of it may be helpful and some of it may be worth tuning out. As you progress through your pregnancy, you may be amazed to find out that the unsolicited and often unwanted advice continues. You want to be careful so as not to offend anybody that wishes to share their experiences or advice with you.

It can all get to be a bit overwhelming as you not only hear conflicting information, but also a lot that you know firsthand is wrong. One such instance is the old wives’ tale that seems to always rear its ugly head. There are people, particularly old timers, that truly believe some of these old myths that have traveled their way through time. If you have been told about any of them, such as how you carry your baby determining the gender of your baby, then it’s high time to stay tuned to the real meaning behind them.

Is It Really An Indication?

One of the biggest myths that have traveled through timeless pregnancies and number of years is that of how you carry your baby. If you have never heard of it, then you are likely to be hit up with it as you progress through your pregnancy. The old wives’ tale goes that if you are carrying your baby lower, then you are inevitably having a boy. If you are carrying your baby high, then you must be having a girl.

This may sound familiar and you will likely be told this myth at some point in your pregnancy if you haven’t already. It’s one of those myths that are so well traveled and so timeless that many people really and truly believe this. You may even find that you are told this by a nurse or a medical professional who should know better than to believe in these often silly myths. Go ahead and humor the storyteller by listening to their story, but avoid the temptation to buy into it and believe that it is real.

There is a Reason for Everything

If you look up any of these old wives’ tales including this one at a reputable source such as this, then you will quickly see that there is no real merit to this sort of myth. In fact you carrying high or low is simply an indication of the position of the baby and how your body responds to it. This has a lot to do with the placement and development of the uterine and pelvic muscles throughout pregnancy. This can be contributed to by your own build of your body before pregnancy, as well as how your body responds to the pregnancy along the way.

If you are carrying high, then that means that the baby is located in the upper part of the uterus. If you are carrying high, then it means that your baby is located closer to the pelvis. The only thing to be concerned with if you are carrying low is that if you happen to be carrying the baby too low, it can cause things such as premature labor. Though this isn’t a certainty, it is something to ask your healthcare provider about to ensure that proper tests are run. It doesn’t however determine the gender of your baby, so avoid the temptation to listen to such talk!

Weight Gain in First Trimester

You’ll hear it a million times throughout your pregnancy, but it’s true. Everybody is different! Though it’s an old adage and you will likely get sick of hearing it, it does bear repeating. Many women feel that they have to be like their friends or family when it comes to their pregnancies. They may also feel that just because they’ve been pregnant before that they will know what it’s like and have full and set expectations the next time around.

Even with the exact same woman, one may find that each and every pregnancy is completely and totally different. One of the biggest ways that you notice the differences is how a woman gains her weight. Some women may seem to put on virtually no weight at all, losing it as soon as they give birth. Other women however may feel as though they put on a ton of weight at the beginning and continue to do so as the pregnancy progresses. It can be helpful to understand weight gain throughout each trimester.

Consider Your Pre-Baby Body Shape

Though many women stress out about gaining too much or too little weight during their pregnancy, it really depends heavily on the shape that a woman was in before she got pregnant. If she was bigger boned or even overweight, then chances are that she may not gain as much. It is actually recommended that those women who start out overweight don’t gain as much overall. A woman who is underweight however may gain a great deal of weight up front as her body prepares for the pregnancy.

As you can see by looking at this guidelines it is not only uncommon but actually recommended that an underweight woman gain up to six pounds in her first trimester. It may be even more than that depending on just how underweight she was to begin with. So while this may seem like a shock to the system or something that you should be concerned with, the weight gain will be different in every single case. It depends greatly on the shape your body was in before you got pregnant.

Pace Yourself But Let Your Body Dictate

Though one woman may panic because she’s gained eight pounds in her first trimester, another woman may hope for that type of response. Women who are sick throughout their entire first trimester may not gain any weight, and as a matter of fact may even lose weight. This isn’t uncommon but can worry some moms. The truth is that your body will catch up to where it needs to be in order to provide for your baby. If you’re concerned then you should always talk to your doctor. However in most cases, there is absolutely nothing to worry about. You should know that your body will dictate and that it will put the needs of your baby first.

Though the average suggested weight gain is around 25-35 pounds, it’s important to remember that is just the typical range. Every woman is different and though one woman may gain more in her first trimester, that will likely even out as she progresses through her pregnancy. The exact opposite situation can prove true too. So try hard not to compare yourself to others and know that your body will gain what it needs to for your baby. So long as you eat right and take good care of yourself, you are doing everything you need to for your baby and your pregnancy.

Taking the Stress Out of the Last Days of Your Pregnancy

Early on in your pregnancy you may feel as though you can’t wait for your due date to arrive. You are inundated with symptoms of all varieties, and you may feel as though nine months is an eternity away. You make it through your pregnancy, your series of doctor’s appointments, tests, and ultrasounds to arrive at the big day. You had such high hopes and anticipations for what it would be like to get to the end, and you initially feel excited.

Once the reality that your due date is near hits you, it’s likely that you are feeling a whole host of other things. Many women feel a great deal of stress as they approach the final days of their pregnancy. It’s not that they’re not excited to meet their little babies, it’s just that they know their lives are about to change. Additionally they may feel as if they aren’t quite ready for labor, and so it’s important to take the stress out of this final stage of pregnancy.

Getting Your Head on Straight at the End

The problem for most women is that they feel as though they have so much to do. They feel like they are grossly unprepared for the birth and arrival of their little baby. Though you’ve likely been planning for the birth for nine months now, it can still feel like it comes at you rather quickly. One of the most important things you can do to take the stress out of your final days of pregnancy is to relax. This means that you should try to get in all of the naps and restful nights of sleep that you possibly can. There is nothing wrong with putting your feet up and closing your eyes for a few minutes – as a matter of fact that may be a good recommendation. This can help you to get your head on straight and to decompress as your due date approaches.

Get Ready and Then Wait

The final few days of a pregnancy are almost a game of “hurry up and wait” so just be prepared for this. The best thing that you can do is to be prepared in every sense of the word. Take your preparation time very seriously and take your time with it. Avoid the temptation to pack everything in at the last minute, as the baby may arrive faster than you thought. Take your time along the way to get baby’s room ready for their arrival. Also be careful to get your overnight bag packed well in advance of your due date as this can always work to your advantage. There is no such thing as too prepared when it comes to your due date, and this really helps to take a lot of the stress out of your final days.

Once you have learned to embrace relaxation and done everything you possibly can to get prepared, then it’s time to sit back and wait for that little baby. Try not to let your mind wander and let all the bad or scary thoughts in. You will be just fine and you will give birth as millions of women have done before you. Doing your part in advance and learning to embrace relaxation can do wonders for your final days of pregnancy, and of course for your labor and delivery as well.

Uterine Contractions In The Third Trimester

There’s just so much to think about during pregnancy. You want to ensure that you are doing the very best to take care of your baby. You want to ensure that you are in good health and that you care for yourself in the proper way. There is so much to think about and just as you get used to one phase or symptom of pregnancy, an entirely different type comes about.

You may feel as though you know what you are doing, particularly if you are beyond your first pregnancy. However, there are so many things to think about and many elements of pregnancy that can literally take you off guard. One such thing that tends to cause a woman to lose her breath is uterine contractions. If you have never experienced these before, they can be a little intimidating. They can be scary as you prepare for the upcoming birth of your child. It is good to know though that these are not only common, but very normal.

So What Exactly is Going On?

You can be going about your business, not have a care in the world, when all of a sudden one of those uterine contractions may strike you. Some women will go an entire pregnancy without feeling them, and some will start experiencing them somewhere around the 20th week. As you can see here there are many different symptoms as you move about your pregnancy, and this is just one of them. If you feel uterine contractions, know that they are normal.

What usually happens at this point of the pregnancy is that the uterus contracts, but not in a painful way. Though contractions will be painful and rhythmic as you enter the final days before delivery, this is totally different. Uterine contractions, or Braxton Hicks contractions as they are called, are felt earlier on are often more of a tightening than anything else. They are shorter in nature, usually around 15 to 30 seconds, and then go away. There is often no rhythm nor rhyme or reason to these contractions because they come on and go away just as quickly. If there is any pain associated with them, it is often very minor as the focus is usually more on the tightening of the entire area.

Preparation for the Big Day

The uterus has gone through a lot to prepare your body for pregnancy. It has also grown exponentially to house your baby and ensure that everything goes as smoothly as possible. The uterine contractions felt are very normal as the uterus contracts along the way as a result of all of these changes. Consider this to be a bit of preparation for the big day, but in a much more minor way than you will consider.

Some women will feel these uterine contractions as early as the 20th week, and they may actually get used to them as they stay for the remainder of the pregnancy. As the due date nears and the baby prepares for birth, these Braxton Hicks contractions may come faster and furiously. You will know when it’s actual labor as there will be much more pain and regularity to them, but know that the Braxton Hicks contractions may very well stay with you up until the big day.

Developing Varicose Veins During Pregnancy

Your legs have always been one of your best physical attributes. All of a sudden during pregnancy they feel achy and heavy and just not quite right. What in the world could it be? You know that it’s not always easy to be on your feet for an extended period of time, but can it possibly be contributing to an actual health problem.

Though we may not wish to admit it, pregnancy changes our bodies in many different ways. Some for the better and some for the worse. Some of the changes will only exist during pregnancy, and some will linger on well after the baby is born. So the reality is that we need to understand what these changes are and learn how to properly cope with them and eliminate the possibility of an everlasting health issue. When it comes to varicose veins, many women don’t even realize that they are developing them. However pregnancy is such a prime time that it’s become all too common.

So What Is That Feeling?

Here’s what happens during pregnancy that contributes to the likelihood of varicose veins developing. As you can see from varicose vein during pregancy, when you are pregnant the uterus puts extra pressure on a great deal of things. One such part that is affected is the vein running down the right side of your body. This is responsible for moving blood and happens to be what puts pressure on the veins in the leg. This is nothing that you can prevent, but something that happens as you move throughout your pregnancy. The problem with this is that the additional pressure happens to create the likelihood for varicose veins to develop. This is especially true if you have a family history of them or if you happen to be on your feet a lot.

You’ll know that they’re coming by the achy feeling in your legs. You will also often feel that your legs are really heavy. At times, there can be an itchiness or even a burning sensation around the area that may be affected. You can sometimes see the varicose vein starting to develop beneath the surface. As progesterone builds up within your body during pregnancy, it slows everything down and this contributes to the development of varicose veins as well as the symptoms that you may feel.

Can They Be Avoided?

For many women, the development of varicose veins happens to be short lived. They may very well clear up on their own once you deliver the baby. If you didn’t have them before, then they may go away on their own and you will be back to normal in no time. If however you were overweight before your pregnancy, if you happen to gain a great deal of weight during your pregnancy, are carrying multiples, or had them before then they may be there to stay.

The best thing you can do is try to stay off your feet for long periods of time. If you must be on your feet, then do your part by taking rests whenever possible. This will help to ensure that they don’t develop and that they subside a lot faster. When you start to feel that achiness or that burning or itching sensation, this is usually a good indication that you want to get off of your feet and rest up. All of these measures will help you to avoid them or at least ensure that they go away shortly after delivery.

Managing Your Exhaustion During Pregnancy

There are many aspects of pregnancy that you can’t even explain to others. The way that you feel, that first kick from the baby, so many things are just miraculous and difficult to put into words. One such aspect of pregnancy that is rather difficult to put into words is the absolute exhaustion that you feel.

For many women, exhaustion during pregnancy is a tired feeling that you’ve never quite felt before and it just beats you down. You can barely keep your eyes open during normal and rather routine activities, leaving you feeling drained so very easily. This is very common at the very beginning of a pregnancy and in the first trimester. Usually you feel much better by second trimester, though you’re certainly not up as late as you used to be. Then by the time that third trimester comes around, you feel that exhaustion again. There are many factors that contribute to it, and learning how to properly manage it is always a good idea.

It Seems to Come Out of Nowhere

One of the first indicators to many women that they are pregnant is that absolute exhaustion that you feel. It’s hard to describe, but as you have difficulty getting up in the morning or keeping your eyes open through dinner; you somehow know what’s going on. Though it is a very common symptom of pregnancy, it can be very frustrating for many women. If you have other children to care for, have a full time job, or simply have responsibilities that you must maintain then it can be very trying.

It may seem that the exhaustion comes out of nowhere, but it does make sense if you think about it. In the first trimester, the exhaustion is often attributed to the major change in hormones. As it often is, progesterone is usually the culprit and contributes to everything slowing down and you feeling like you’ve been hit by a truck. You are likely experiencing other symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, and these can take a lot out of you as well. You are also building another person and as you work through the process of building another human being and the placenta, it’s only natural that you feel tired. You will feel this again towards the end of your pregnancy as you are carrying around a lot of extra weight and your body gets ready for delivery.

So How Do You Manage Pregnancy Exhaustion?

Since the exhaustion can be so debilitating and frustrating, many women want to know how to properly manage it. As you can see from these ideas, there are some rather simple but effective measures one can take which will help the exhaustion to subside a bit. Though it may sound counterintuitive, getting in a bit of exercise can be a real lifesaver when it comes to restoring some of that lost energy.

Along the same lines, eating the right foods that are loaded with nutrients and natural energy boosters can help you to feel more like yourself again. You can also rely on short little naps to help you get back to a normal state. Shutting your eyes for just twenty minutes when you feel tired can be a real energy booster. Getting more sleep at night and taking it easy throughout the day will always help you to feel more energized and ready to take on the world.

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