First Trimester

The time between fertilization of egg by the sperm and week 12 of pregnancy

Ask anything about first trimester

7 most embarrassing pregnancy Symptoms

You knew that your belly would expand, you'd feel more tired than usual, and you might throw up a few times as your pregnancy progressed. But you may not have expected some of the other physical changes. These aren't things that a woman usually talks about- so it's no wonder there's a bit of embarrassment. Despite the embarrassment, it’s most important to not be shy: Your ob-gyn needs to know what's going on with you to make sure your pregnancy is on track. 1. Excess Gas- Virtually every pregnant woman gets gassy. That's because pregnancy brings a hormonal surge that can slow down your gastrointestinal tract.You might not be able to keep it to yourself because you don't have the same control over your muscles during pregnancy. Though you can't erase the problem, you can reduce your tendency toward gassiness with exercise and changes to your diet. 2. Incontinence- Most pregnant women who experience stress incontinence -- involuntarily leaking urine because of a jarring cough, sneeze, or laugh -- only lose a few drops. Many doctors recommend that women wear panty liners to catch leaks during the last few months of pregnancy when stress incontinence is more likely. Regular trips to the bathroom can also help. 3. Facial Hair- During pregnancy, hormones are responsible for hair growing in unwanted places. Waxing or tweezing is the safest methods for hair removal during pregnancy. Professor Kim Hoover, MD, says. "During pregnancy, laser treatments on the face can affect skin pigment, and it may cause scarring." 4. Odors- Some women develop a stronger sense of smell during pregnancy. Many develop an aversion to strong food odors, such as poultry or seafood. Tell your doctor about any new noticeable vaginal odors to rule out a yeast infection, which can be safely treated with anti-fungals during pregnancy. 5. Hemorrhoids- They often occur with constipation and the straining that ensues in an attempt to have a bowel movement. Reduce your risk of developing hemorrhoids by avoiding constipation. Stay well-hydrated, eat more fiber, and use over-the-counter stool softeners. 6. Acne- Pimples and unsightly outbreaks are common especially during the first trimester, because of the additional hormones coursing through your system. "Most acne washes are safe since the product does not sit on your skin for long periods of time. But ask your doctor before using any acne product," Hakakha says. "Use topical acne medication sparingly, only on affected areas. Products containing salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and azelaic acid are safe to use in small amounts." 7. Intimacy Issues-Weight gain and other physical changes can make you feel unattractive around your partner. Don't let that lead to communication and intimacy problems. f you're having trouble broaching this topic with your partner, consider inviting your partner to an ob-gyn visit, particularly if you've discussed your intimacyissues with your doctor at a previous appointment. Content Source Feature Image Source

14 Lifesavers For Your First Trimester

The first trimester can be a brutal introduction. These tips will help you keep your sanity – Coconuts have a zillion beneficial properties, and some of those are really handy when you're pregnant. Coconut water has tons of potassium, prevents dehydration, and is loaded with electrolytes. All things you'll need while pregnant. And coconut oil can help with stretch marks and boost your baby's immune system. Ginger - They are insanely strong, and sometimes even just the smell when I opened the tin was enough to curb the nausea. Buy a case and keep them in your car, your purse, your nightstand, your work desk, on the coffee table Pregnancy dressing is a whole other art form, especially in the first trimester. Your body will start changing, but you'll be too small for "bump" clothes. You might not want the pressure of tight clothes against your body, though, and you may just not be ready for the world to know what's up. You may not grow a belly until the second trimester. But at some point you are going to want to unbutton those pants. Bellaband lets you keep your current jeans while also keeping you comfortable. Water - You will get sick and tired of hearing people tell you to drink plenty of water while pregnant. Dehydration is no joke, especially during the first trimester. But it can also be really hard to get excited about H2O for nine months straight, especially when morning sickness can leave your mouth tasting gross. Skin care - Most doctors will tell you to avoid putting salicylic acid and retinoids on your skin while pregnant: It can be absorbed right into the bloodstream, which is so annoying because one of the first visible signs of all those hormonal changes will be breaking out like a 15-year-old. Ask what ingredients are safe, and start reading labels. Pillow - It's not cheap, but the Comfort-U Maternity Pillow will help save your sanity during those inevitable sleepless nights. It takes up more than half the bed, though, so be warned that your spouse/significant other will not be happy about its arrival. But you are two people now, and the majority wins. Sleep tight! Your feet will get bigger while pregnant, there is no point in denial. And it might be permanent. While the need for comfy flats might not be urgent for a few more months, you may feel your feet changing already. Be prepared to invest in some flats that will support your new body and give you some flex room while your feet expand. Your boobs could definitely start to feel sore and achy in the first trimester. You might even need something comfortable to sleep in. Whip out that coconut oil for sore nipples, but also think about shopping for some comfy maternity bras Fact: You will have the weirdest dreams of your life while pregnant. There's definitely some science behind it. Curb your nighttime anxiety and vivid subconscious by writing it all down. You might just make yourself a hilarious memento of these nine months to enjoy for years to come. Massages are a great lifesaver for many pregnant women, however do consult with your doctor before getting it done! If you're going to be queasy for 12 weeks, you might as well be cute about it. The Barf Boutique makes these sealable, waterproof bags in five colors. Keep them everywhere. It's important to exercise during pregnancy, but even more important to do it safely. Lots of expectant moms talk about walking for exercise, but Tai Chi has a surprising number of pregnancy benefits. There will be a lot racing through your mind during these early stages, and it can be overwhelming. So many decisions, so many options for baby gear you didn't even know existed. Baby Bargains will help you identify all the gear and track it down without bankrupting you. Thus, it is necessary to think of the above and to follow the suggestion provided in this wholesome article! Feature Image Source    

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First Trimester Prenatal Fitness Tips

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First trimester shopping checklist

When it comes to the first trimester, you may be wondering if there’s anything you really need to purchase at this point. Your pregnancy is brand new and you may be deciding on waiting before announcing this exciting news with friends and family. As you focus on a successful and healthy pregnancy, here are five first trimester must-buys for you:  Pregnancy book: Sure, you can learn everything you need to about pregnancy online, but there’s something reassuring about a great pregnancy book on your bedside table. From in-depth pregnancy books to humorous takes on labor and delivery, you can find several books in the market which will cover your pregnancy from conception to delivery. Ginger treats: Ginger may not sound appetizing at the moment, but rest assured this is one treat which will curb your morning sickness. Carry some ginger lollipops or mints around in your purse and pop one in your mouth whenever you start to feel that bubbling nausea known as morning sickness. Waistband extender: Even though you won’t really put on baby weight during the first trimester, you are more prone to water retention and will want to invest in a waistband extender. Use the waistband extender or belly band to keep your pants up while your top button is unsnapped. This will give you a few extra inches of breathing room until you really need those maternity pants. Supportive body pillow: Your body is already shifting and changing throughout your first trimester and a supportive body pillow will help you make it through the nights to come. These pillows can be as simple as a long fluffy rectangle or they can be U-shaped pillows created to support your every inch. It’s recommended you invest in a good quality body pillow as you will use it throughout your entire pregnancy. Baby book: You might not think of purchasing a baby book as a first-trimester need, but a lot of these books tend to be pregnancy detail-oriented. In your baby book, you can record doctors’ appointments and all of the firsts of your pregnancy—the first time you hear your baby’s heartbeat, the first time you feel your baby move, etc.  Belly cream: Even before you see your first stretch marks, you should be treating your skin with a quality cream or lotion. While shea and cocoa butter are often the main ingredients in belly creams, with a little bit of research, you can definitely find the right product for you and your skin needs. The first trimester is an exciting and challenging time. Invest in a few of these products and ensure you get through these first 12 weeks as smoothly as possible. After all, there are two more trimesters to go! Content source Featured image source

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Look out for these 5 warning signs during your first trimester

The first trimester is crucial for you and your baby. It is of utmost importance that you look out for some warning signs that may be related to your pregnancy. In case you experience any of the above, drop everything and rush to your doctor. Vaginal Bleeding Early in pregnancy, spotting can indicate an implantation bleed, but any bleeding in pregnancy should be investigated.   First trimester bleeds may indicate an ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage. Later in your pregnancy bleeding can be due to miscarriage, placenta previa or abruption of the placenta. Infections may also cause bleeding. If you notice any bleeding then you should be examined by your doctor.  Headaches and or blurred vision This can indicate pre-eclampsia.  Diagnosed usually after 20 weeks gestation, your doctor will be on the lookout for high blood pressure and protein in your urine (indicating kidney involvement).  If left untreated, pre-eclampsia can lead to a serious pregnancy complication called eclampsia which presents with very elevated blood pressure and seizures. This is very dangerous for mother and baby. Little of no foetal movement It is a well known fact that babies do sleep while in uterus, but when your unborn baby suddenly move less or does not move at all, it should be reason for concern. It may indicate that your baby is in distress.  According to the American Congress of Gynaecologists and Obstetricians (ACOG) you should count how long it takes for your baby to do 10 kicks. This should be less than 2 hours. If you notice a dramatic decrease in the number of kicks, or it takes longer than two hours to perform 10 kicks, you should have your doctor examine you and your baby. Sudden discharge from the vagina Rupture of membranes before your due date is referred to as “premature rupture of membranes” and you should be examined by your doctor as this can indicate preterm labour and significantly increase the risk of getting an infection.  Occasionally urine leaking from your bladder can be confused with amnion fluid leaking out. Your doctor will do a test to determine the origin of the fluid. Persistent lower back pain Most women will relate to having lower back pain some stage during their pregnancy. When it becomes persistent, best to have your doctor examine you to exclude kidney or bladder infections. Preterm labour may also present with a persistent lower back pain.     Feature Image Source  

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First Trimester To-Do List

Use this list to keep track of all your first-trimester tasks, from confirming your pregnancy to taking belly photos and learning which foods to avoid. Make sure you're really pregnant Take your prenatal vitamin Investigate health insurance Choose a healthcare provider Make a prenatal appointment Consult your provider about medications you're taking If you smoke, quit Stop drinking alcohol Cut down on caffeine Make sure your activities are pregnancy-safe Start avoiding hazardous foods Do your best to eat well Stock your kitchen with healthy stuff Get relief from morning sickness Go to bed early Consider your options for prenatal testing Learn the signs of a pregnancy problem Think about when and how you'll announce your pregnancy Follow your baby's development Join your Birth Club Start taking belly photos Start a daily ritual to connect with your baby Buy some new bras and undies Have sex if you feel up to it Talk to your partner about parenting Make a baby budget Get ready to see or hear your baby Start a baby name list  

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Top 10 things you need to know about the first trimester

When you hear about all the things you experience while pregnant the focus is almost always on the second and third trimester. The first trimester gets skipped over and lots of women feel in the dark about what to really expect. A lot happens in those early weeks. So here are 10 things that no one tells you about the first trimester of pregnancy: Not much weight gain: As soon as you saw the positive sign on your pregnancy test, you perhaps imagined yourself with a pleasant and round bump. But, possibilities are you'll only gain slight weight during the first 12 weeks. Morning sickness is mostly to blame. It will be hard to up your calorie intake when you're having trouble keeping food down. It may seem short: For a lot of moms-to-be, time flies during pregnancy. And although your first trimester is technically 13 weeks long, it will feel like way less time has passed. Here's why: The pregnancy calendar counts your first week of pregnancy as the last day of your period (even though the egg and sperm haven't met yet). Your due date may be wrong: Figuring out your due date will require a little bit of math magic — and sometimes even doctor gets it wrong initially. Even if you're absolutely certain you know the day you conceived, tacking on 40 weeks won't add up to your due date. Instead, add 40 weeks to the day of your last period, or 38 weeks to when you did the deed. Some foods are off the menu: It's probably safe to say you know to avoid alcohol during pregnancy. Be cautious that you're not eating products made with unpasteurized dairy products, which can contain pregnancy-unfriendly bacteria like Listeria. Your baby is still tiny: Another reason you likely won't gain much weight in trimester one: Your little one is very little. When you're able to confirm your pregnancy in week 5, your sweetie will be as small as an orange seed. The world has a lot of smells: Since when did your mother-in-law wear such strong perfume, and did your hubby's aftershave always reek? In your first trimester, you may begin to notice you have a super sense of smell — and that could even start to rub you the wrong way. Your body may weird you out: Even sans belly, you may feel like a different person during the first three months of pregnancy. You may not look pregnant: Even if you do manage to pack on a few pounds, you likely won't start showing until trimester two. You may find your pants (and bras) feel a little snugger, but you should be able to hide it seamlessly with empire-waist tops and belly bands.     This too shall pass: If morning sickness is making you miserable, rest assured that there is some light at the end of the toilet — er, tunnel. Once you've reached the second trimester mark, you may find yourself feeling less nauseous. It's hard to know what to expect: While some things are common throughout every pregnancy, you'll soon find that these nine months are full of surprises.   Content source Featured image source  

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Are you having some strange dreams? Here's why?

Managing sleep during pregnancy can be extremely tough. You have to get up to pee, you’re tossing and turning on the bed, and you can' find a comfortable sleeping position.Now to add to all this, heart-pounding and vivid dreams make things even more difficult and stressful. But there are various reasons for this: Particularly in the third trimester women complain of vivid dreams. The medical reasons for this are: 1. Hormonal changes- When pregnant, your body produces more progesterone and estrogen. These hormonal changes impact how your brain processes information and emotions, which can disrupt sleep. Because of similar hormonal shifts, PMS has a similar affect on your ability to sleep. (source) 2. Changes in REM cycle- As your pregnancy progresses, the amount of deep sleep you get decreases and REM (rapid eye movement) sleep increases. According to Dr. Sears, REM cycle affects your dreams because: This state of sleep encourages more dreams, because your brain is more active. Since you’re more aware of your environment and arouse from sleep more easily during REM cycles, you’re more likely to remember your dreams. 3. Stress- You’ve got a lot on your mind, mama! Stress is a natural part of pregnancy as you adjust to so many new changes, but it can lead to insomnia and interrupted sleep. Studies show that daily stress can affect our ability to get a good night’s sleep and that people who feel stressed report more frequent dreams. 4. Heightened emotions of pregnancy- There are a lot of reasons your emotions are heightened during pregnancy—after all, you’re bringing a new life into this world! Even if you’re not stressed or fearful, excitement can send your mind spinning in a million different directions. And research proves that lack of sleep compromises our brain’s ability to regulate emotions. Since dreams help us work through our emotions, you’re more likely to have more dreams when you feel overwhelmed.  Pregnancy Dreams Decoded Now that you know why your pregnancy dreams are more vivid, you’re probably wondering what those dreams mean. Does a positive pregnancy test dream really mean you’re pregnant? If you dream you’re having a girl, is that really predictive of the baby’s sex? Is there any truth to common interpretations of pregnancy dreams? Dreams about conceiving If you’re dreaming about being pregnant or conceiving, but haven’t yet gotten your BFP, it could be your mind’s way of clueing you in. (Though there are no studies to support this theory!) A dream about conceiving could also symbolize a new project or phase in your life that you’re thinking of starting. Dreams about the sex of the baby In one study, women were more likely to correctly guess their baby’s gender if the prediction was based on psychological criteria (feelings or dreams), as opposed to old wives’ tales (lack of morning sickness or belly shape, for example). Dreams about the baby’s sex aren’t foolproof—they can be influenced by social and cultural factors—but there could be some accuracy to them. Dreams about labor Dreams about being in labor could mean you’re anxious or worried about giving birth. It could also mean that you’re ready for changes in your life, or are actually on the verge of giving birth. A dream about labor could also symbolize bringing a new project to fruition. Dreams about something happening to the baby Pregnancy dreams can be a result of heightened emotions, so it makes sense that you may dream about something happening to the baby, both in utero and after birth. Pregnant women’s nightmares often involved miscarriages or still births, Dr. Sheldon Roth, a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School and a dream expert, told NBC. “People use dreams as a way of problem solving and adapting to new circumstances. These parents are simply using their dreams to mentally sort out a huge life change.” Dreams about forgetting the baby The same sleep researcher found that expectant and new mothers commonly have dreams about forgetting or losing the baby, because new memories are organized and stored during sleep.These dreams don’t indicate anything about your ability to parent, they’re just a sign that your brain is still connecting all of the dots. Dreams about you or the baby as an animal “Animals almost invariably represent instincts when we meet them in dreams,” Jungian analyst Barbara Hannah told Psychology Today. Dreaming of your baby as an animal reflects your instinctual role as mama bear, and dreaming of yourself as an animal reflects your protective instincts. Dreams about love affairs with an ex or another partner These types of dreams don’t mean you have any desire or intention to be unfaithful. Much more likely, they’re a sign that you fear how your relationship with your partner may change once the baby is born. These dreams could also be about feeling uncomfortable with your expanding body during pregnancy and wanting to still feel desirable. So What Do These Dreams REALLY Mean? Dreams are our mind’s way of working through fears and anxiety. Some say bits and pieces of dreams can be attributed to intuition or can even feel transcendent, but that doesn’t mean the scarier dreams are foreboding premonitions.However, what you can take care of is listed here: You Should Avoid: Stimulants such as caffeine, chocolate, or tea too close to bedtime Violent movies and TV shows Exposure to any screens within two hours of bedtime (The blue light is too stimulating) Heated discussions close to bedtime Exercise within a few hours of going to sleep Eating a large meal within three hours of bedtime You should try: Taking a bath Spraying your pillow with lavender mist Meditating Light stretching Content Source Feature Image Source  

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Maternity fashion: How to dress for your trimester

When it comes to dressing during pregnancy, comfort and style are key. But what feels right in week 9 may feel downright wrong by week 14. And what perfectly flatters your curves during the second trimester may become rather indecent by the tail end of your pregnancy. First Trimester Mum's the word The challenge: Keeping your pregnancy under wraps. Many people don't want to divulge their growing secret until at least the second trimester. What to do: Go into your closet and put aside anything that's too tight or clingy. Stick with silhouettes that flow over belly, hips, and thighs that can camouflage the few pounds you may gain in the first months. Wear soft knits, A-line skirts, Empire-waisted tops and frocks, wrap shirts and dresses. Another great piece for the first trimester: a "blouson" style top – that is, one that has a fitted waistband at the bottom but some roominess above the band. The fabric falls loosely over your belly while the fitted waistband keeps the look more tailored, less muumuu. Throw on a pair of boot-cut stretch jeans for a comfortable, pulled-together look. Not ready for maternity wear The challenge: Most maternity clothes have too much fabric for your barely there bump, but you've grown enough in other places that your pre-pregnancy clothes just don't fit. What to do: Stretch your wardrobe with a couple of key additions. Buy one of those stretchy bands (i.e., a Belly Band) that you can place at the top of your jeans, over the waistband that will no longer button or zip. The band will keep your pants up, and no one will know they're unbuttoned. In a pinch, you can also use a rubber band looped over the button and through the buttonhole to do the same thing, minus the smoothing effect of the band. Stock up on layering tanks. Wear them under tops that no longer button all the way. Throw one or two on under an oversize cardigan or blazer. The dumpy dilemma The challenge: You're worried about looking like you've simply let yourself go. No cute bump yet, just an overall thickening. What to do: Steer clear of too tight, loaded-with-Lycra clothes. While these curve- hugging tops will show off your bump later, right now you'll feel too much like a sausage in a tight casing. Avoid tops that are too billowy and tent-like, as well. Look for ones that flow gracefully over the extra pounds beneath while still having a bit of shape. Tunics are a great choice.  While fitted across the shoulders and arms, a tunic flows gracefully across the middle, disguising extra weight. An exception to the anti-cling rule: tank tops and other garments with built-in shaping panels, which can help smooth out the sudden pooch or contain your growing breasts. Top these tanks with a body-skimming top or cardigan made of a smooth jersey fabric. Second Trimester On a budget The challenge: You feel like every few weeks you're a new size and don't want to blow your budget on new clothes every month. What to do: Invest in a few items that will grow with you. Look for pieces that have details like ruching, tie-backs, buttons or gathering at the sides, and wraps, which will all let you adjust your clothing as your body grows and changes. What's more, they will let you flatteringly flaunt your bump, which usually pops out during this time. Busting out The challenge: Your boobs are busting out all over. What to do: If you haven't already, now's the time to invest in a few great bras. While you may choose to go for bigger sizes of your favorite bra, you might want to consider the comfort and expandability of maternity or nursing bras. Most women find that not only do their cups runneth over, but their band size (the circumference around your back) will grow too. Besides moving up a band size (or two), you can also find inexpensive bra extenders at most lingerie stores. From work to weekend The challenge: You need a few workhorse items that will go from work to weekend without sacrificing comfort. What to do: Embrace the wrap dress. Or rather, let the wrap dress – in a sleek solid color or a color-blocked pattern – embrace your curves. You'll look perfectly pulled together for the office and be comfortable and stylish for running weekend errands.  As your bump gets bigger and higher, simply change where you place the tie, eventually making the frock into an Empire-waisted garment, giving much-needed definition between bosom and belly. Another faithful, versatile item to choose: a pair of dark denim maternity boot-cut jeans with the stretchy fabric built right into the waistband. The cut and color will flatter you throughout the entire pregnancy and work for almost any work or social situation. Third Trimester Laboring through the last months The challenge: You feel huge and uncomfortable. Buttons, zippers, and even waistbands are increasingly torturous. What to do: Try an Empire-waisted maxi dress – an ankle-length flowing knit dress that you can wear even after the baby has arrived. Added benefit: it's so easy – throw it on and you're good to go! Pair a tunic in a comfy knit fabric over maternity leggings. You'll feel comfy and stylish. A case of the doldrums The challenge: You've embraced the monochromatic look (blacks, grays, etc.) because it's slimming and easy – but you want to add a bit more oomph to your look. What to do: Match your accessories to the bravado of your bump! As your belly grows, swap out the demure studs for a bigger, bolder earring. Add a scarf that has a bold, funky pattern. Don't be afraid to add a little drama to your look – have fun dressing around your belly! Try an animal-print bag, a thick stack of skinny gold bracelets, or a bright chunky necklace and matching cocktail ring. The homestretch The challenge: You're getting bored with your clothes, but it's the last leg of your pregnancy and you don't want to buy more. What to do: Give your wardrobe a boost with something you can wear later and that will punch up any outfit you're currently sick of: shoes! Whether you choose a ballet-style flat or a mule with a sliver of a kitten heel, you'll slip in and step out in style and comfort. Plus, no laces or buckles mean no bending over your burgeoning belly. Look for a pair in a fabulous animal print or bold color to snap you out of your wardrobe woes. Choose shoes that have a slightly pointy toe instead of a rounded one, which can make your legs look shorter. Feature Image Source  

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10 Homemade pregnancy drinks to keep you healthy and hydrated throughout

Water- During pregnancy, your body needs more water to cope with the demands of your changing body. Water is essential for healthy blood cells and to keep your body hydrated. Water is also a key component of breastmilk, and essential for good lactation. Coconut water- A natural isotonic beverage, coconut water helps prevent dehydration. It also relieves exhaustion by replenishing the natural salts lost by the body when you sweat. It is an extremely healthy option for quenching your thirst when pregnant. Limeade (nimbu pani)- The eternal favourite! Nimbu pani keeps you hydrated and provides vitamin C that helps your body to absorb iron more effectively. You can sip nimbu pani during the day or with your meal. And, if you're struggling with morning sickness nimbu pani with some mint (pudina), crushed ginger (adrak) and even chaat masala can be a welcome alternatives. Fresh fruit juices- Fresh juices from sweet lime (musambi), oranges (santara), pineapple (ananas), musk melon (kharbuja), and watermelons (tarbooj) are great for hot weather. If you have them fresh, these juices are packed with all the nutrients that fruits bring. If you buy juices from a store, make sure they have the label ‘100 per cent juice’ on them. Otherwise the drink might contain more sugar and artificial flavours than real fruits. Milk based drinks- Milk products are high in calcium, protein and Vitamin B-12. During the summer, chilled skimmed milk, lassi and buttermilk (chhaach) are a great way to keep cool and stay hydrated. Milkshakes or fruit smoothies made with some milk, curd, ice and fruit are packed with minerals and nutrients. All these are great as a healthy snack in between meals.  Traditional home-made drinks- Jal jeera, aam panna and fruit sherbets have a special place in most homes. Apart from providing various nutrients, these healthy drinks are believed to cool, hydrate as well as help cope with morning sickness. Home-made vegetable juices- If you're having trouble getting enough veggies in your diet, try drinking your vegetables instead. In the heat of summer when you are looking for something other than water to quench your thirst, you can have cold vegetable juices. These will be refreshing and provide you with nutrients. Fruit mocktails- Fruit mocktails are a great alternative when you're at a party, holiday, pub or social gathering and looking for a non-alcoholic drink. Fruit mocktails help you get some of the nutrients you and your baby need. Plus, you save money, because non-alcoholic drinks cost less and there are no arguments about who's driving back home. Water with frozen fruits- Make a plain glass of water more refreshing by adding frozen fruit such as orange (santra), lemon (nimbu), kiwi, peach (aadu), apricot (khubani) and plum (aloo bukhara) instead of ice cubes. The frozen fruit looks colourful floating about in the clear water and it chills your drink, giving it a hint of fruity flavour. Do make sure you use filtered water and fruits washed with filtered water. Ice tea- In the heat, iced tea might be more welcome than a cup of hot chai. Slices of lemon added to iced tea can also provide some relief from morning sickness. But iced tea does contain caffeine so you will need to count it in your daily allowance. Find out more about how much caffeine is safe during pregnancy.

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Early Pregnancy Symptoms

The most definitive first sign of pregnancy is usually a missed period, and by then you are technically around 4 weeks pregnant. That’s because the doctors deem that your pregnancy starts from the first day of your last period. However, there are some symptoms that can come before you miss your period and give you a heads-up. When you’re 2 weeks pregnant This is when your body is preparing for ovulation so right about now there is no way you can experience any symptoms as you won’t technically be pregnant. When you’re 3 weeks pregnant Around this time the fertilized egg travels up the fallopian tube and gets implanted on the uterus. Although there may be no symptoms at this time, some women experience “implantation bleeding” which may seem like a light period but is actually a sign of the egg being implanted on the uterus. In some cases, there could be early symptoms like fatigue, nausea, tender breasts, and more frequent urination. When you’re 4 weeks pregnant By this time, since your period should be due by now, a missed period will be the most definitive symptom of your pregnancy. This would be the perfect time to get a pregnancy test done to confirm that you are in fact pregnant. More women will find other symptoms like sore breasts, fatigue, frequent urination, and nausea creep in at this juncture. Yet many others will continue to feel nothing at all. That’s why a missed period is the most definitive symptom of pregnancy. Common early symptoms Here’s a list of most common early symptoms of pregnancy; which can appear just before or together with a missed period. While they are not enough to indicate pregnancy by themselves when they appear together or in conjunction with a missed period, it’s probably time to take a pregnancy test. Sore breasts- These happen due to an increase in progesterone and estrogen and can seem similar to the soreness that some women feel just before their period. Nausea and food aversions- This typically happens first thing in the morning though it can also last through the day. While it takes up to 6-8 weeks to appear for most women, in some cases it can appear as early as Week 3. Frequent urination- Increased pressure on the bladder and the frequent urge to pee, especially at night, is one of the earliest pregnancy symptoms. Food cravings- Your body can start craving all kinds of rich and greasy foods, or even sour foods like tamarind and pickle, even before you miss your period. Cramps and backache- This may be confused for PMS by most women but it actually occurs when the egg is getting implanted on the uterus. Headaches- Many women get mild tension headaches during the first few weeks of pregnancy so if you have this symptom in conjunction with others, you might want to get a test. Nipple darkening- Pregnancy hormones actually affect the colour of the nipples and this may be one of the earliest indications that you’re pregnant. The easiest way to know either way is to take an at home pregnancy test. These home pregnancy tests use your urine to determine whether you’re pregnant in a matter of minutes. Although blood tests provide more accurate pregnancy results, they are generally avoided unless recommended by a doctor. However, the timing of taking a pregnancy test can be tricky to navigate. If taken too soon, there is a chance of getting a false negative. A positive result early on could also prove to be false as it may be a chemical pregnancy. Here’s what you should know about taking a pregnancy test in order to get the most accurate results. How can you avoid a false negative? Here are the common reasons why women test negative when they are actually pregnant. You test too early and your body has not started releasing HCG yet You test early and your levels of HCG are too low for your pregnancy test to detect. Pregnancy tests range in sensitivity from 10mIU/ml to 40 mlU/ml. If you are testing early make sure you use a more sensitive test. Drinking too much water or other fluids right before taking the test may dilute the HCG in the urine and result in a false negative. If you let the urine lie too long(more than 30 minutes) without taking the test, the results will not be accurate. How do you avoid a false positive? You may also get a positive result when you are not actually pregnant in some rare cases. Women who are getting fertility treatment may get a false positive result if they do a test within ten days of their last injection. Women who are perimenopausal, that is women who will soon reach menopause, can also get a false positive result as they have higher levels of circulating HCG. HCG may get released from your pituitary during your LH peak. This may result in a false positive. Sometimes, a miscarriage happens even before the date of the period. This is because pregnancy is not actually viable. Such a pregnancy is known as a chemical pregnancy. In such circumstances, taking an early test may show a positive result whereas the pregnancy was actually unviable. The fact is that most early pregnancy symptoms are often similar to PMS symptoms. Of course, you do know your body best and if you experience some of these symptoms in conjunction with a missed period then it’s best to get a pregnancy test as soon as you can. Featured Image Source

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How to deal with Severe Morning Sickness

12 Benefits Of Drinking Coconut Water During Pregnancy

Coconut water is a natural source of electrolytes, prevents dehydration, lowers the acidity of the body, and is simply loaded with nutrition as well. It’s no wonder that many doctors encourage their patients and pregnant women to drink coconut water. There is some evidence that coconut water may help build up immunity, improve kidney function, prevent urinary tract infections (UTI) and lower high blood pressure, but more research is needed before we can say for certain.  Here are some more benefits of the humble Coconut that will interest you: 1. Healthy Breast Milk Drinking coconut water (and eating fresh coconut meat) will help you to produce plenty of healthy breast milk for your baby. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that a single meal containing coconut oil will affect the fatty acid makeup of a woman’s breast milk for as long as 3 days, with the maximum concentration occurring within the first 10 hours. 2. Improves Immunity Coconut water is naturally sterile since it is kept safe from contaminants inside the shell. Coconut water contains anti-viral, antibacterial, and antifungal compounds that can help to prevent you from becoming ill or catching the flu while you are pregnant. 3. Natural Relaxant One of the great things about coconut water is that it naturally relaxes the muscles and nervous system because it contains magnesium. Coconut water can help to relieve joint pains and the itching sensations that often come with pregnancy. 4. Zippo Cholesterol Coconut water contains absolutely no cholesterol, which makes it a heart-healthy drink. Yes, plain water also has no cholesterol, but it also has no magnesium or other nutritious compounds. Consumed regularly, coconut water can even increase the good (HDL) type of cholesterol in the body. 5. Improves Energy Levels Carrying around the extra weight of pregnancy can leave you feeling tired a great deal of the time. Coconut water can help to restore energy levels by increasing the metabolism and stimulating thyroid function. 6. Improves Amniotic Fluid If you would like to improve the overall environment and health of your baby, coconut water can help to improve, and boost the levels of, amniotic fluid. 7. Stops Heartburn Many pregnant women complain about indigestion and heartburn. Drinking coconut water lowers the acid level of the stomach, preventing heartburn, indigestion, and sour stomach before they start. Enjoy half a cup of coconut water before meals. 8. Prevents Constipation You can’t beat coconut water while looking for what to take for constipation. This delicious drink is a natural but mild laxative that can help to prevent the constipation that tends to plague pregnant women. 9. Great Nutrition Coconut water improves blood circulation and is a great source of fiber and vitamin C. Vitamin C improves the immune system and fiber is important for the prevention of constipation. Coconut water has potassium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. Both potassium and electrolytes are important for pregnant women. Coconut water and other coconut products are a great source of lauric acid, which can help to protect your body from disease and viruses. 10. Natural Diuretic For treating and preventing urinary tract infections, coconut water can come to your rescue. Since it is a mild diuretic, coconut water can help to prevent these painful types of infections. Coconut water also has antibacterial compounds that can stop urinary tract infections when they are caught early. Drinking coconut water on a regular basis can also help to prevent kidney stones. 11. Low Calorie Drink Packed with healthy electrolytes that the body needs, coconut water is a great low-calorie drink as well! Since this refreshing drink has healthy amino acids and other enzymes, coconut water can help to fight the dehydration and exhaustion that are common problems for pregnant women. 12. Can Lower Blood Pressure Consuming coconut water on a regular basis can help to lower blood pressure levels due to its high level of potassium. Potassium binds with salt and helps to remove it from the body. Lower sodium levels in the blood mean lower blood pressure. Always remember that moderation is the key. Clean, filtered water should always be your main drink. Don't substitute it with coconut water or other drinks at all times. Always pick fresh, clean, green coconuts and make sure they are cut in front of you. Drink the coconut water as soon as the coconut is cut so that it is fresh and nutrient rich. Use a clean straw or pour the coconut water into a clean glass. Skip drinking coconut water if you feel you don't like the taste or if it doesn't agree with you.   Content Source  

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Best time to announce the good news to your family

As with most pregnancy-related decisions, different approaches work best for different people. So give it some thought, discuss it with your partner, and in the end, go with what you think will work best for both of you. For some, the idea of keeping the pregnancy a secret is simply unrealistic. There is an advantage of telling early: Your friends and family can share in that wonderful initial exhilaration. If you prefer to keep things private in the event of a loss, you'll want to keep your news under wraps until the risk of miscarriage  drops dramatically, which happens at the end of the first trimester, around 10 to 12 weeks.  Some expectant moms choose to wait until they're firmly in the second trimester before telling. Women with previous losses or those who are more at risk for complications may be more likely to choose this option. Waiting until the final trimester to let the cat out of the bag isn't a very common choice, but it's not unheard of. It's more doable if you're keeping the news from people you aren't seeing in person.

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Nutrition During First Trimester of Pregnancy

Congratulations! We are joyful to know that you have recently conceived and are all set to ensure that you have a safe and healthy pregnancy. As soon as you get to know that you are pregnant, a mix of thoughts are what you start playing with all day long. Excitement, worries, enthusiasm, fear all come in together. Excitement about the future, worry about how everything will turn out to be, enthusiasm to be mommy and fear of the unknown. All these feelings are normal and must be embraced positively since these are the pillars which guide you throughout your pregnancy if acted upon in the right manner. One of the biggest dilemmas of pregnancy is what to eat, how much to eat, what to avoid, why to avoid, how to control and so on. Don’t worry, we are here to guide you and make things simpler for you so that you can completely focus on enjoying your smooth pregnancy ride. Let us take it one by one. In this section, we will talk about what you should eat and how during the first trimester of pregnancy. First trimester of pregnancy covers your pregnancy right from the time you conceive up to the end of week 12. It’s an important trimester in terms of your baby’s development – organs take shape, your baby starts moving and muscles form. Baby enters the second trimester as a fully formed fetus who is a size of a peach. This little peach requires all the quality nutrients that make it what it is by week 12. In fact, there is no recommendation for extra calorie intake during your first trimester. But certain nutrients are needed more than others, and these include: Folate (or Folic Acid), Iron, Zinc, Iodine, and DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) - a type of omega-3 fatty acid (healthy fat). Folic acid is one of the most crucial of all nutrients and is required in recommended quantity daily for the baby to develop a strong brain and spine. Deficiency of folic acid at this stage often leads to congenital disorders in babies like spina bifida. Most cases of neural tube defects can be prevented if you eat enough folate before and during your early pregnancy. Do not worry if you have already passed 2-8 weeks of your pregnancy before getting to know that you are pregnant since most women get to know about their healthy pregnancy at this stage itself. Your doctor must have or will put you on 400 mcg of folic acid supplement soon. Most women need 400 mcg of folic acid every day, as well as eating foods that are rich in folic acid. Some women who have an increased risk of having a pregnancy affected by a neural tube defect are advised to take a higher dose of 5 milligrams of folic acid per day during the first trimester. Women have an increased risk if: they have had a previous pregnancy affected by a neural tube defect they have diabetes they or their partner have a neural tube defect they or their partner have a family history of neural tube defects Also, women on anti-epileptic drugs should consult their doctor for advice on folic acid supplement intake because they may also need to take a higher dose of folic acid during first trimester of their pregnancy. If you have any of the above-mentioned conditions, tell your doctor immediately so they can prescribe a higher dose of folic acid. Folic acid is readily available to you in diet. Rich sources of folate include vegetables like spinach, broccoli, mushrooms, cabbage, lettuce, sweet corn etc, all citrus fruits especially orange, breakfast cereals like whole wheat bread, oats, nuts and eggs. Incorporate them in your diet on a regular basis to never fall short of folic acid in diet. Iron is a vital nutrient for every girl and women on this planet. India is a hub for iron deficiency anemia in the world reason being women in India give least preference to their own diet over others in the family. Irony is that they are the ones who cook food, feed all, conceive, give birth, lose blood during delivery, lose blood during periods and require to replenish their iron stores each day but they don’t! You may be one of those many women suffering from iron deficiency. Doctor gets all these relevant tests done as soon as s/he knows you are pregnant to ensure that any nutrient gap that needs to be bridged is bridged in time before it is too late. Your needs for iron increase as you enter second trimester to provide proper nutrients and oxygen to baby’s blood supply through yours. It is important for you to maintain good iron stores from the beginning as and when you know you are pregnant. Doctor usually starts iron supplements when you are starting with your second trimester since first trimester is already over loaded with anxiety, nausea and vomiting which can worsen with iron supplements. So, go natural on iron during first trimester. Egg yolk, mutton, green leafy vegetables like amaranth, cauliflower greens, colocasia leaves (arbi leaves) and garden cress seeds (halim/aliv), til seeds, bengal gram etc are some of the rich sources of iron. Make sure that while consuming vegetarian sources of iron, always take vitamin C (lemon juice, amla, orange juice etc) with them for better absorption of iron. Zinc during pregnancy is required for proper development of the placenta, keeps intra-uterine infections at bay, keeps your immune system strong, promotes proper growth of baby’s cells and boosts baby’s DNA production and functioning. Zinc can be made available to the body from sources like nuts and seeds- til seeds, sunflower seeds, cashew nuts, mutton, curd, pulses and lentils like rajma and chana. Iodine is another essential nutrient that is required for proper brain development of the fetus. If you use iodized salt, you are not likely to develop iodine deficiency. If you use senda namak or rock salt, like in many traditional Indian families, you need to shift to iodized salt immediately. DHA is the most abundant fatty acid in the brain.  It is found in the cell membranes of neurons and it is involved in forming the chemicals that neurons in the brain use to send messages.  And since a baby’s brain starts to form between 6 and 7 weeks of pregnancy, DHA is needed from the first trimester itself.  DHA intake is crucial for this period to ensure adequate levels for you and your baby. Most pregnant women do not get enough omega-3 fatty acids because the major dietary source, seafood, is restricted to 2 servings a week. For you to gain enough omega-3 fatty acids, a variety of sources should be consumed: vegetable oils, 2 low-mercury fish servings a week, and supplements (fish oil or algae-based docosahexaenoic acid). Morning sickness and Vomiting are very common during first trimester of pregnancy and experiences may vary from one woman to another. Some may feel nauseated during morning hours and others may vomit throughout the day. You may be having a different experience altogether. Almost 70% women face nausea during pregnancy. It is important to stay hydrated during this time since vomiting may diminish your fluid stores. So, it is advisable to keep drinking water, fresh soups, coconut water, fruit juices throughout the day. Also, morning sickness can be relieved by taking rusk, crackers, roasted murmura, dry roasted makhana or other dry roasted cereals early in the morning.   Content Source Featured image source

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Fetal Heartbeat: When will you first hear it?

The best feeling in the world is hearing your baby’s heartbeat for the first time. As exciting as it can be, this is also a time that makes new parents most anxious. Here is everything that you need to know about your baby’s heartbeat and the different options that you have to monitor it. When will I first hear the baby’s heartbeat? Your baby’s heart begins to beat at about 6 weeks of age. It is when you go for your first ultrasound that you actually hear and even see your baby’s heartbeat for the first time. That happens at about 8 weeks into your pregnancy if you choose to have the ultrasound test early. The best way to hear your baby’sheartbeat is to get a Doppler ultrasound which is recommended when you are 10 to 12 weeks into your pregnancy. Factors that affect when you will hear the baby’s heartbeat There are several factors that affect when you will be able to hear the baby’s heartbeat clearly such as: The position of the baby- in case your baby is positioned with the back against the back of the mother, the heartbeat will be harder to hear and may be heard clearly after the fetus develops a little more. The amount of amniotic fluid:  if the amniotic fluid in the womb is more, then chances are that the heartbeat will be fainter in the first few sessions. The weight of the mother: In case the mother is overweight, chances are that the heartbeat is harder to hear. How to hear the baby’s heartbeat? The best option to hear the baby’s heartbeat is to have a Doppler ultrasound performed by an expert. This machine uses sound waves that are passed into the skin and the tissues. When there is any movement, they bounce back and give replay the recording along with an image so that you can not only hear but also see your baby’s heartbeat. There are at-home Doppler devices available that moms may choose. However, these machines are not accurate and can cause unwanted anxiety in mothers about the baby’s heartbeat. It can also make you miss some important warning signs about your baby’s health. The unmonitored exposure to these sound waves can also be extremely harmful for the mother and the baby. So, make sure you take an appointment with your caregiver to monitor your baby’s heartbeat.  

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Don't even think of missing the First Trimester Scans if you care for your baby!

First Trimester Scans The first trimester scans are important as they offer a lot of early information about how the baby is developing, their health and if they are suffering from any congenital or chromosomal deficits. Typically, a mother-to-be has two scans in the first trimester. The first scan is ideally done between week 6 and week 9 and the second is done between week 11 and week 13. While the first scan is called the dating and viability scan, the second is called a nuchal translucency scan. First scan The dating and viability scan confirms the pregnancy. It also helps determine if the baby has Down syndrome or Trisomy 18. Down syndrome is a congenital disorder that causes lifelong impairment in social and physical development of the child. On the other hand, Trisomy 18 causes severe delays in developmental growth and often proves to be fatal by age 1. This is caused by the presence of an extra chromosome called Chromosome 18. The first scan also checks for the following: Presence of heartbeat: Heartbeat is one of the first signs that confirms the viability of a pregnancy. It can usually be heard from around week 6 and the first scan can help you hear this. Position of baby: This scan helps check the position of the baby in the uterus. It ensures that the fetus has not implanted itself in the tubes or anywhere else except for the uterus. Due date: As it is not possible to ascertain the due date basis the menstrual cycle (some women may have irregular periods or may not remember the exact date of their last period), this scan helps determine the time elapsed since the pregnancy and the likely due date. Number of babies: The first scan also determines the number of babies you are carrying. The date and viability scan might either be a transvaginal scan (TVS) or an abdominal scan. If the scan is performed before you complete 10 weeks, then a TVS would be performed, as the baby is too small and too low for the abdominal ultrasound to detect. Second scan A lot of mothers-to-be may miss the first scan if they realize that they are pregnant at a later date or because they have irregular periods. In this case, the nuchal translucency scan is performed. This is an abdominal scan and measures the clear space in the tissue at the child’s nape. This particular scan also checks for the following: Placenta position Presence and length of nasal bone Fetal spine and limbs Fetal stomach and any defects in the abdominal wall Urinary bladder Blood circulation Cervix of the mother-to-be Crown to rump length of the baby Why are first scans important? The first scans are important in the following cases: Irregular periods Previous miscarriage Spotting or bleeding Two or more pregnancies Maternal age more than 35 years Any other pregnancy complications First scans in the pregnancy are necessary to help you prepare for the course of your pregnancy, further tests, medical treatment and how to manage a child with special needs, if you have one. It prepares you mentally and physically for the upcoming challenges of a pregnancy. Featured Image Source

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