Second Trimester

Time period extending from the 13th to the 27th week of gestation

Ask anything about second trimester

Sex during the second trimester: is its safe?

  It is largely safe to have sex in the second trimester, provided you have had an uncomplicated pregnancy till now. While a lot of people go off sex completely during their first trimester due to nausea, feeling like you have run a marathon and general lethargy, several mothers-to-be feel their libido returning in the second trimester. With more blood flowing to your pelvis area, your vagina would be naturally lubricated and the clitoris extra-sensitive, making sex interesting and pleasurable. In a lot of cases, the partners have accepted that they find their partners’ bodies even more beautiful during this time. However, do not fret if you are unable to match your husband’s sexual desire. It takes a while for your partner to understand your desire and the amount you can physically do to satisfy it and work accordingly. As the breasts and the genital area is sensitive during this period, talk to your partner to let them know the extent to which you would like to go, or the things that you would like them to do or not do. If they are not kept in the loop, they might hurt you unintentionally, putting you completely off the experience. Now that the baby is bigger, won’t sex harm it? No, you having sex with your partner would not harm the baby in any way. They are well-cushioned in the amniotic sac to feel any “probing” or pressure. Neither can they “see” what’s happening. So, if you have the desire to have sex, go on and indulge yourself. Best positions for sex Ideally, all positions should work during the second trimester. Experiment and find what works best for your partner and you. Here are a few suggestions: Being on top: This allows you to control the depth of the penetration and set the pace for the act itself. It also ensures that there is no pressure on your stomach. Sitting down: Settle yourself comfortably in your partners’ lap and allow them to penetrate from below. You can control the depth and there would be no pressure on your uterus. Side-to-side: Lie side by side facing your partner. Allow him to penetrate from the front. You can also try the same position with penetration from behind. Face away from your partner so that they can penetrate from behind. These positions are called spooning and reverse spooning respectively. All fours: Crouch on your fours with pillows propping you up. Allow your partner to penetrate you from behind. Sex Positions to Avoid Avoid sex positions that involve lying flat on the back and exert pressure to the belly, such as the missionary position. Try to minimise deep penetration acts as it is not safe to exert excessive pressure during the second trimester. Also, it is best to entirely avoid intercourse during the second trimester if you have any complications in your pregnancy. Conclusion: With an ever-increasing libido and the decrease of troublesome issues like nausea, the second trimester is undoubtedly the honeymoon period of pregnancy. Just keep in mind that while it is relatively safe to have sex, deep penetrations and extreme sex positions might not be the best option. Is It Safe to Have Sex During Pregnancy Second Trimester? Most couples often wonder if sex in the 2nd trimester is safe, given that during a pregnancy, anything can go wrong. Thankfully, the answer is a big yes. It is perfectly fine and safe to have sex during the second trimester of the pregnancy. Sex during the second trimester neither harms your foetus nor does it have any adverse impact on your health. When to Avoid Sex During the Second Trimester Unless one experiences complications during their first trimester, it is safe to have sex during the second trimester. If you are suffering from any complications, then it is a good idea to consult your gynaecologist before having sex during the second trimester. Some of the red flags that caution us on avoiding sex during the second trimester include: You have a history of repeated miscarriages If you have experienced heavy bleeding, sex could elevate the risk of additional bleeding, especially in such cases where the placenta is low If you have Leaked amniotic fluid   then sex will increase the risk of an infection If you are suffering from placenta previa, it is better to avoid sex. It is a condition where the placenta grows in the lowest part of the uterus and covers the opening of the cervix either partially or completely If you have  an incompetent cervix. This is a cervix which would dilate too quickly. It increases the risk of miscarriage or preterm labour If you notice bleeding or a foul-smelling discharge after having sex. The foul-smelling discharge can be the sign of an infection that is affecting the uterus. If you have painful sex during pregnancy in the second trimester If you have any of the conditions mentioned above, then your doctor is likely to advise you to abstain from having sex during the second trimester. Can Sex During Middle Pregnancy Harm You and Your Baby? The foetus remains safe inside the mother’s womb and is covered with a protective shield known as the amniotic fluid. This protects the foetus from shock and other injuries. Therefore, the baby does not feel any pain or pressure during sex. You and your baby are absolutely safe during sexual intercourse in the second trimester of pregnancy. In the case of such complications being present, discuss your options with your doctor before having sex.         Your baby stays safe in the amniotic sac of your uterus and does not feel any pain or pressure from your lovemaking. She is not a 'silent observer' to sex and will not understand what is happening. However, if your gynecologist has diagnosed a complication such as a history of cervical incompetence, it might be safe to stay away from sex for the time being So, having sex is not harmful for you or your baby. Happy pregnancy! content source

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Tips to improve sleep during second trimester

Although most women feel a lot better during the second trimester with the decrease in nausea and fatigue, you may suffer from a few minor sleep issues. These include cramps in the legs, sleep apnea, snoring, congestion, indigestion, heartburn, vivid dreams, and restless leg syndrome.   While it is not necessary that you may experience sleep problems during the second trimester, here are some tips to help you sleep better at this time. Have a set bedtime: Make sure that you go to bed at the same time each day. Not only will it help to rejuvenate your body but it will also help your baby to grow. Avoid Watching TV Right Before Sleep: Studies have found that such habits tend to interfere with sleep schedules and make you more likely to be affected by sleeping problems, especially insomnia. Avoid Spicy Foods: Eating spicy food at night can increase the chances of getting a heartburn. Heartburn and acidity can affect your sleep. You may sip a cup of herbal tea or warm milk before going to bed. Relax Before Sleeping: Relax yourself before you go to sleep. You can listen to some soothing music, try relaxation techniques or take a warm bath. This will help your body relax and get you a sound sleep. Eat a Light Dinner: Consuming a light meal at night is the key to a good night’s sleep. Pregnant women should always avoid fatty and fried foods at night and never overeat. Sleep on a Clean Bed: Research has shown that sleeping on a clean bed helps to improve the quality of one’s sleep and makes it easier to doze off. Ensure that your bed is neat and comfortable and your room is free of clutter.   Featured Image Source

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7 important things to do in the second trimester of pregnancy

The second trimester is a special period for to-be-moms.  During this period, the morning sickness fades, baby’s kicks are felt, an adorable baby bump emerges and the aches and pains are mostly delayed until the third trimester.  The second trimester is for fun period for most pregnant women. Here are some of the essential things that you may do during this phase: Find a prenatal exercise class: If you haven't already, now is a good time to start a regular, pregnancy-friendly workout. Joining a class can help motivate you to stick with it. Some good options include water exercise, prenatal yoga or Pilates, a walking group, or a prenatal dance class. Learn about second-trimester prenatal visits and tests: During the second trimester, you'll typically see your caregiver once every four weeks unless you have a condition or complications that call for more frequent checkups. You'll have blood tests, such as the glucose screening test to check for gestational diabetes, and you'll be offered screening testsor amniocentesis to test for Down syndrome as well as other chromosomal abnormalities, genetic disorders, and neural tube defects. Chances are that you may see your baby in an ultrasound! Start shopping for maternity clothes: Most moms-to-be start looking pregnant between 12 and 18 weeks. Even if you're not visibly preggers yet, you may find you're more comfortable in maternity clothes. Keep in mind that you'll probably need different types of maternity clothes for different stages of your pregnancy, so it may make sense to buy just a few key pieces at a time and more as you need them. Decide whether to hire a professional labour coach: A trained labour coach assists you during labour and delivery. She provides you with continuous emotional support, as well as assistance with other non-medical aspects of your care. If you're interested in hiring a doula, it's a good idea to start your search in the second trimester. Plan some adult time: Even though your excitement over having a baby is rising, take a moment to enjoy this baby-free time. It's not that you won't be able to do these things after you have a baby in your life, it's just a little less complicated now, so take advantage. Start moisturising your belly: Slathering on the lotion may not prevent stretch marks, but it will reduce itchiness! Narrow your baby names list: By now you probably have a list of baby names you like. Try this exercise to narrow your list and get on the same page with your partner.    Content source Featured image source

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Your second-trimester to-do list

We’ve put together a handy list to help you keep track of what happens during your second trimester, from appointments you need to keep with your midwife to making sure you’re happy and healthy. You can tick off each item on the list, or just use it as a guide. Do whatever feels right for you. 1. Learn about this trimester’s antenatal appointments At your 16-week appointment, your midwife or doctor will tell you about the anomaly scan. This scan will be offered to you between 18 weeks and 21 weeks . The anomaly scan will check how your baby is growing. You’ll then have appointments at 25 weeks (if this is your first baby) and 28 weeks to check the size of your womb (uterus), measure your blood pressure, and test your wee for protein. Protein in your wee could be a sign of a minor infection, such as a urinary tract infection (UTI). But if you’re in the second half of your pregnancy, it can be a sign that you’re developing pre-eclampsia, so your midwife will check this at every appointment with you. 2. Decide whether you’ll find out the sex of your baby Boy, girl, or big surprise? By the time of your anomaly scan it’s fairly easy to tell the sex of your baby, as long as he isn’t hiding from the sonographer! 3. Feel your baby move for the first time At around 18 weeks to 20 weeks pregnant, you may start to feel your baby moving around in the womb. If this is your first pregnancy, it may take a little longer for you to recognise the gentle fluttering sensations . Check out how BabyCentre mums describe feeling their baby’s movements. 4. Choose a birth partner Your second trimester is a good time to think about who you want to be with you when you give birth. Having a supportive partner with you can make a real difference when you come to have your baby. Your birth partner doesn’t have to be the dad-to-be. It could be your best friend, your mum, or you could hire a specialist birth partner called a doula. You may want more than one birth partner. For example, you may want the support of your mum, or a friend as well as the dad-to-be. If you plan to give birth in hospital, it’s a good idea to ask your midwife how many people you can have in the room with you. 5. Check your weight gain It’s perfectly normal to put on some weight in pregnancy. Eating a good balance of foods every day will ensure you gain weight steadily as your baby grows. Check out our weight gain estimator to see how you’re doing. Relax your body and mind during pregnancy with some simple yoga stretches. You may want to join a pregnancy yoga class, now that you’re into your second trimester. See our yoga videos for inspiration. 7. Drink plenty of water During pregnancy it’s important to stay hydrated. It’s a good idea to drink at least eight glasses (about 1.5 litres) of fluid every day. Try carrying a bottle of water with you that you can sip from regularly. Water helps to carry nutrients through your blood to your baby. Drinking water also helps to prevent urinary tract infections, constipation and piles, all common during pregnancy. If you’re suffering with water retention (oedema), drink plenty of water. Surprisingly, keeping hydrated helps your body to hoard less water. 8. Arrange a last-minute holiday Arrange a last-minute holiday if you can spare the time and money. The second trimester is arguably the best time to make the most of a break. You are usually over nausea and exhaustion and you probably won’t be feeling the strain of being heavily pregnant yet. As long as your pregnancy is straightforward, it's safe to fly during pregnancy, right up to 36 weeks. Follow our tips for trouble-free travel while pregnant. 9. Narrow down your baby name choices By now you probably have a shortlist of baby names you like. Try this exercise to narrow down your list and get on the same page with your partner: Make a list of 10 names you like. Have your partner do the same. Swap lists and each cross out one name on the other’s list that you don’t love. Keep taking turns until you have a set of names that you both like. For inspiration, check out our baby names finder. 10. Start shopping for maternity clothes Even if you’re not showing yet, you may find you’re more comfortable in maternity clothes. It’s a good idea to buy a few items now, and then get more later on as your bump gets bigger. If you’re on a tight budget, check out nearly-new sales,charity shops and online auction sites for maternity wear bargains. Or learn how to extend your pre-pregnancy clothes, so you can wear them for longer. 11. Start your childcare search It’s useful to start thinking about your childcare options, even though it still seems a long way off. The waiting lists for good childcare can be long. Look out for leaflets and brochures of local childcare providers. Think about whether a nursery or a childminder is the right option for your family and ask around for childcare recommendations. Talk to other parents and parents-to-be, who may have first-hand experience of childcare in your area. 12. Prepare your toddler for a new sibling If you have a toddler, it will help to prepare her for her new brother or sister. If she asks about your bump, tell her there’s a new baby growing inside you. Let her pat your bump gently and encourage her to talk to the baby if she wants to. She may enjoy coming along to an antenatal appointment and listening to your baby’s heartbeat, too. 13. Visit the dentist You should try to visit the dentist when you’re pregnant. This is because the high levels of pregnancy hormones circulating in your body can affect your gums. Your gums are more likely to bleed and there is a greater chance of them becoming inflamed or infected. You’re also more likely to get a build-up of plaque (a type of bacteria) on your teeth. NHS dental care is free from the time your pregnancy is confirmed right through to your child’s first birthday. You will need to apply for your maternity exemption certificate, so ask your doctor or midwife for the right form. 14. Celebrate your halfway point At 20 weeks, you’re halfway through your pregnancy. Hooray! Why not celebrate booking yourself into a spa for a day of massage, facials, body-wraps and exfoliation? Or as a low-cost alternative, why not create your own mini spa at home? You deserve it! 15. Sleep on your side As your bump grows, it puts pressure on a major blood vessel when you lie on your back. This can affect the flow of blood and oxygen to your baby. In fact, by the third trimester, sleeping on your side actually reduces the risk of stillbirth compared to sleeping on your back. So if you’re not already in the habit of sleeping on your side, make the switch now. Use pillows to make yourself comfortable; try one under your bump, one between your knees, and one behind your back. 16. Write down your pregnancy dreams You may find that you’re remembering more of your dreams now. It’s probably because your sleep is more interrupted. Leg cramps, needing the loo or just trying to get comfortable can all disturb your sleep in the second trimester. Why not record your dreams and what you think they mean in a journal? Share your stories with your partner. Ask him what dad-to-be dreams he’s having, too. 17. Set up a safe place for your baby to sleep The safest place for your baby to sleep for the first six months is in the same room as you. Find out what safety tips you need to keep in mind for your new arrival. Of course, just because your baby will be sleeping in your room, that doesn’t mean you can’t start planning the perfect nursery. To be on the safe side, ask someone else to do the painting and check out our nursery safety guidelines. 18. Ask friends and family for any unwanted baby items Buying for your baby can be a major expense. Friends and family with children may have unwanted items they could give or lend to you. If you’ve been given a cot, read our tips on making sure it’s safe before you use it. You may want to invest in a new mattress too. 19. Think about your maternity leave If you’re working, start planning your maternity leave and find out how much you’re entitled to. You need to tell your employer that you’re pregnant at least 15 weeks before the week your baby’s due . Tell your employer in writing the date you propose to go on maternity leave, and enclose form Mat B1 (certificate of pregnancy) from your midwife. 20. Keep your cool If you find that you’re feeling hot and flustered, wearing natural fibres such as cotton may help to cool you down. If the weather’s chilly, wear layers that you can easily peel off when you start to overheat. 21. Choose safe sports and exercise Exercising throughout your pregnancy is good for you and your growing baby. Swimming is a great way to stay active as your bump gets bigger. The water supports your weight and your stretching ligaments, and swimming is a gentle and safe way to exercise. As your bump grows, any sports where you might have a hard fall or be thrown off-balance are out of bounds until after your baby’s born. These include horse-riding, skiing, gymnastics and waterskiing. And ball sports such as football, tennis and squash are risky, because you may be hit in the tummy. 22. Bond with your bump Your baby can hear sounds outside of your womb from about 23 weeks of pregnancy. One theory suggests that your baby’s hearing is well developed in the womb to help him start to bond with you before he’s born. Talking and singing to your baby, once you know he can hear you, is a lovely way to connect. You may feel a bit self-conscious at first but you’ll soon get used to it and enjoy having chats with your bump. 23. Spend time with your partner In the midst of all your baby preparations, you’ll want to spend some quality time with your partner. Have a date night at the cinema, a favourite restaurant, or somewhere you can appreciate each other’s company. If you have children already, try to find a babysitter so that you can enjoy some time alone together. The demands of a new baby may mean you won’t have the chance to go out together in the evenings for a while. 24. Follow your baby’s development Sign up for BabyCentre’s free newsletters to find out how your baby is developing, week by week. Or download our free app for a day-by-day guide to your pregnancy and your baby’s first year. My Pregnancy & Baby Today gives you all the expert advice you need, right at your fingertips. 25. Join your Birth Club No one understands what you’re going through as well as other mums-to-be at the same stage of pregnancy. Chat with other mums-to-be due in the same month as you in your BabyCentre Birth Club. It’s a great place to make new friends and share your experiences. Hope this list helps you! Happy pregnancy!     Featured Image Source  

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Things to consider in your 17th week of pregnancy

By the time you’re 17 weeks pregnant, there will be many changes in your body and this is how your baby's growth will be progresssing: Your body in the 17th Week Your waist will start to disappear as your womb moves up out of your pelvis and your bump becomes more noticeable. If you've been pregnant before, your bump may start showing a bit sooner than for first-time mums.  You may start to feel happier and more confident as your bump becomes more noticeable and you start to feel baby move. Some women and men find that their pregnancy suddenly feels more real when they first see the baby at a scan. You may also have more energy to enjoy getting out and about more. However, pregnancy can make worries about money or relationships feel bigger. As many as 1 in 10 expectant mums feel stressed and anxious. Pregnancy hormones can often be to blame, not to mention coping with health issues, worrying about giving birth and the responsibilities of parenthood. You may feel stressed and anxious, or suffering from depression, don’t hesitate to ask for help.  You’ll have your second scan, known as the ‘fetal anomaly scan' between 18 and 21 weeks. The reason for this scan is to check the growth and development of your baby. The sonographer might also be able to tell the sex of your baby at this scan, though some hospitals have a policy of not revealing this. If you'd prefer not to know whether you're having a boy or a girl, let them know so they don't accidentally tell you the gender. Your Baby's Growth in the 17th Week Your baby is growing quickly and now weighs around 150g. The body grows bigger so that the head and body are more in proportion. The face begins to look much more human, and eyebrows and eyelashes are beginning to grow. Your baby’s eyes can move now, although the eyelids are still shut, and the mouth can open and close.  The lines on the skin of the fingers are now formed, so the baby already has his or her own individual fingerprints. Fingernails and toenails are growing and the baby has a firm hand grip. The baby moves around quite a bit, and may respond to loud noises from the outside world, such as music. You may not feel these movements yet, especially if this is your first pregnancy. If you do, they’ll probably feel like a soft fluttering or rolling sensation. Your baby is putting on a bit of weight but still doesn’t have much fat. If you could see your baby now, it would look a bit wrinkled, although it will continue to put on weight for the rest of the pregnancy and will ‘fill out’ by the last few weeks before birth. By 20 weeks your baby’s skin is covered in a white, greasy substance called vernix. It’s thought that this helps to protect the skin during the many weeks in the amniotic fluid. Feature 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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Fetal Movements: is your baby kicking?

Nothing reassures you more about the baby growing in your womb than the first kick. These tiny movements keep you guessing about what the baby would be doing at that time. Was what you felt actually a kick or just gas bubbles coursing through your body. Every pregnant woman waits for that moment when they would feel the first kick of their babies. When would I feel my baby kick? Most women feel their baby kick between week 18 and week 22, though some may report feeling it as early as week 13. Usually, second-timers feel it earlier as they know a kick when they feel a kick. Another reason why they might feel the kicks earlier is that their abdominal muscles are laxer. Further, thinner mothers also tend to feel a baby kick earlier as they lack the fat to cushion the movements. Actually, a first-time mother-to-be might have already felt the baby move but was unable to recognize the movement. Does this mean that the baby moves only at the time I feel the kick? No. The baby moves all the time in the amniotic fluid. But, because it is very small, one may not feel its movements. As the baby grows and becomes stronger, it is able to make more distinguishable movements and these are the ones you feel. What do the baby kicks feel like? Most mothers-to-be define the first movements of their babies as gas bubbles, butterflies flying or soft flutters. Medically, this is known as quickening. It would take some time for the quickening to graduate to firmer movements. Is it true that I would feel the baby moving less as my pregnancy progresses? Not exactly. There would definitely be down times when the baby is sleeping or resting and you might not feel any movements. However, the bigger the baby gets, the lesser the space it has to move and the more you should feel its movements. Once you have determined a pattern and understood their sleep cycle, you would be able to predict their movements and rest time. How often should I feel the baby kick? Before week 28, there is no need as such to record baby movement. At times, up to three days may pass between movements. Once you cross the 28th-week mark, you need to keep a watch on fetal movements. Your doctor would give you a rough estimate of how much movement you should feel. A healthy baby kicks around a lot. Apart from their sleep time, if you notice the baby’s activity levels reducing or weakened movements, talk to your doctor. Pregnancy is a beautiful time for any mother-to-be, therefore, sit back, relax and enjoy yours to the fullest. Featured Image Source  

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Abdominal pain during pregnancy

Abdominal pain during pregnancy can happen quite often and can become very uncomfortable at times. But how do you decide what pain is acceptable and when it indicates something more serious? Here’s everything you need to know about abdominal pain during pregnancy.   Is abdominal pain during pregnancy normal? Abdominal pain is a common occurrence during pregnancy and is normal in a healthy pregnancy. Carrying a baby puts pressure on your muscles, joints, veins. As your baby grows, the uterus tilts to the right which causes pain in the right side. The ligaments on both sides of your body grow to accommodate your growing baby so you may feel pain on both sides of the stomach. Having sex may sometimes trigger abdominal pain and cramping, especially during the third trimester. It might be a good idea to keep the sex soft at this time.   How to deal with normal abdominal pain during pregnancy? Getting some rest is the best way to deal with the cramps. Other methods include sitting down with your feet up, lying on the side opposite to the one which hurts, taking a warm bath, and using a hot water bottle or a heated wheat bag on the area which hurts. When can abdominal pain mean something more? Abdominal pain can be an indicator of something more under the following circumstances.   Abdominal pain unrelated to pregnancy This could be gas, bloating, UTI, kidney stones or even appendicitis. You should contact your doctor if the pain is accompanied by pain or burning when you pee, spotting or bleeding, vomiting, unusual vaginal discharge, tenderness and pain, chills and fever.   Abdominal pain during an early miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy If abdominal pain is accompanied by bleeding in your first trimester it could be an early miscarriage. You may also have painful cramping and dark, watery blood if you have an ectopic pregnancy in your first trimester. In either case, it’s best to go to the doctor immediately.   Abdominal pain during a late miscarriage Abdominal pain in the second trimester is usually nothing to worry about. In rare cases, it may indicate a late miscarriage only if it’s accompanied by bleeding. It usually occurs between 12 and 24 weeks.   Abdominal pain in the third trimester Severe abdominal pain in the third trimester could be an indicator of premature labour. In this case, you would feel pain in your pelvic or lower tummy area, backache, mild tummy cramps and diarrhoea. You may even have your water breaking, and regular contractions, or uterus tightening. This may happen between 24 weeks and 37 weeks of pregnancy and your doctor should be consulted immediately.    

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7 reasons why you can't get sleep at night

One of the best things you can do to manage insomnia while you’re pregnant is to have a good sleep routine. Begin by trying to go to bed at the same time every night. Start your routine with something relaxing to help you unwind.  Avoid screen time at least an hour before bed. Blue light from the TV, your mobile phone, or tablet can have an impact on your body’s circadian rhythm. Try reading a book instead. Taking a soothing bath might also make you sleepy. Just be careful that the temperature isn’t too hot — that can be dangerous for your developing baby. This is especially true during early pregnancy. Being pregnant is the best phase of your life, this is the common term everyone says, but no one tells you about the challenges. There are also a lot of sleepless nights that a woman has to face. As, the reasons can vary as per your body but the most common ones are discussed below: Frequent visit to the bathroom: Holding a life inside you is not easy. As you eat you eat for two, similarly as you drink your water intake also increases. The more you drink the more you want to pee. Your bathroom visits can make you stay up during nights. Indigestion: The hormones play a major role in here, increase in hormones can lead to indigestion. Avoid eating spicy food and opting for a healthy diet can be of help here. On the other hand, avoid eating two hours before going to bed can be of help. Baby’s movement: Baby’s like to move in the womb when mothers are lying still. Movement in the rib cage is uncomfortable for mothers and can make you stay up for all time.   Even if you are not able to sleep after adequate efforts, see your doctor and get help rightaway. Feature Image Source

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25 Foods to increase your breast milk: How your body produces nature's perfect baby food

After you become a mother, all you are worried about is your baby's food. That is, breast milk. Some women are lucky, while some struggle to produce the right amount of breast milk. But thankfully, there are certain foods that increase breast milk and enhance lactation. Breast milk contains all the prime nutrients required for an overall growth and brain development of a newborn. Here is a list of the top 25 foods that you must include in your diet to increase breast milk and also keep you healthy. 1. Oatmeal: Oats are easy to prepare as a meal. 2. Fennel Seeds: Fennel seeds boost the quantity of your breast milk. 3. Fenugreek Seeds: Fenugreek seeds are known for boosting breast milk supply. 4. Unripe Papayas: Unripe Papayas are part of the South Asian cuisine. 5. Spinach And Beet Leaves: Spinach and beet leaves contain iron, calcium and folic acid. 6. Garlic: Garlic is considered the best food to increase breast milk, as it is well-known for boosting lactation in nursing mothers. 7. Black Sesame Seeds: Black Sesame seeds are a rich source of calcium and believed to increase milk supply. 8. Carrots: A glass of carrot juice with breakfast or lunch will work wonders in lactation. 9. Water And Juices: Drinking water and juices is supposed to boost lactation. It increases the total milk volume per feed. 10. Barley: Barley not only boosts lactation, it also keeps you hydrated. 11. Asparagus: Asparagus is considered a must-have food for nursing mothers. 12. Brown Rice: Brown rice enhances breast milk production. It has hormone stimulants which boost lactation. It also gives nursing moms the extra energy that is required post delivery.  It also helps increase the appetite so as to enable the mother to eat nutritious food. 13. Apricots: During and post pregnancy, there are hormonal imbalance that takes place in your body. Dried apricots have certain chemicals which balance out the hormone levels in your body. 14. Salmon: Salmon is a great source of EFA (Essential Fatty acids) and Omega-3. 15. Cumin Seeds: Cumin seeds boost milk supply. Make sure you have them in moderation though. 16. Basil Leaves: Basil leaves are a great source of anti-oxidants.   17. Dill Leaves: Dill leaves look like a bunch of fine, dark green, silky hair. They have a distinct odor. 18. Bottle Gourd: Bottle gourd is generally not a preferred vegetable, but is high on nutrition. 19. Sweet Potato: Sweet potato is a major source of potassium. It has energy producing carbohydrate which is needed to fight the fatigue. 20. Almonds: Almonds are rich in Omega-3 and Vitamin E. 21. Chickpea: Chickpea is a protein snack and lactation booster for nursing mommies. 22. Drumstick: Drumstick has high iron and calcium content. 23. Poppy Seeds (Khuskhus): It is very important for nursing mothers to relax completely during lactation. Poppy seeds have sedative properties that help you relax and calm down. 24. Cow Milk: Cow milk has calcium and EFA. It promotes lactation. In fact, by consuming cow milk during lactation, you will help your child avoid developing an allergy to cow milk. 25. Oils And Fats: It is recommended to keep fats and oils in your diet to a minimum, post pregnancy. All the above foods have been traditionally used to improve milk flow in new moms. However, while some have scientific backing the others don’t. Consume the foods in limited quantities, and note the side-effects, if any. Also, go for organic products as the pesticide residue in the foods and herbs can increase the lead content in your milk. 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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Second Trimester Anomaly Scan

The anomaly scan or ultrasound level II scan is the most common scan of the second trimester. This scan can show – ·  how your baby is growing and check the fetal movements ·  make sure your baby's internal organs are developing well ·  detect certain birth defects in your baby ·  estimate the amount of amniotic fluid ·  check the umbilical cord and position of the placenta ·  check for markers of chromosomal abnormalities. ·  check your cervix and measure the birth canal All pregnant women have a scan at this point because if a problem is detected, the necessary precautions need to be taken. The anomaly scan is done between 18 and 20 weeks. Your doctor may ask you to have more scans during your second trimester if: You are carrying twins or more. Your anomaly scan showed a low lying placenta. You've had spotting or bleeding from the vagina. The anomaly scan revealed problems in your pregnancy that need to be monitored. You have a medical condition such as diabetes or hypertension. You have a history of premature labour or late miscarriage. You do not need a full bladder for this scan. At this stage, your baby is big enough and high enough in your abdomen to be seen very clearly.You will need to expose your tummy, so it is a good idea to wear loose or two-piece clothing such as a salwar kameez or maternity pants and a top. This will allow the ultrasound doctor to access your tummy easily. You may be more comfortable too as you will not have to bother about removing your clothing. Nearly all second trimester scans are done abdominally. The ultrasound doctor applies (usually very cold) gel to your tummy and moves the probe or transducer over it to obtain images of your baby. As sound waves from the transducer bounce off your baby's features or organs, images are formed on a computer screen. The doctor will try his best to get as many angles of the baby in your tummy. When the doctor is able to get a clear picture of the baby, she/he will take measurements. Most hospitals or diagnostic centers allow you to watch the scan being done. It may be hard for you to make out your baby's organs, because the doctor will look at them in cross-section. Your baby's bones will appear white on the scan and soft tissues look grey and speckled. The amniotic fluid surrounding your baby will look black. The doctor will look at: The number of babies you are carrying. Twins are sometimes not found until 20 weeks. The shape and structure of your baby's head. It is possible to detect severe brain problems at this stage, but fortunately these are very rare. Your baby's face to check for a cleft lip. Cleft palates inside a baby's mouth are hard to see and are rarely picked up. Your baby's spine, both along its length and in cross-section. This is done to make sure all the bones align and that the skin covers the spine at the back. Your baby's abdominal wall, to make sure it covers all the internal organs at the front. Your baby's heart. The top two chambers (atria) and the bottom two chambers (ventricles) should be equal in size. The valves should open and close with each heartbeat. The doctor will also examine the major veins and arteries which carry blood to and from your baby's heart. Your baby's stomach. Your baby swallows some of the amniotic fluid that he lies in, which is seen in his stomach as a black bubble. Your baby's kidneys. The doctor will check that your baby has two kidneys, and that urine flows freely into his bladder. If your baby's bladder is empty, it should fill up during the scan and be easy to see. Your baby has been passing urine every half an hour or so for some months now! Your baby's arms, legs, hands and feet. The doctor will look at your baby's fingers and toes. In addition to this detailed look at how your baby is growing, the doctor will check: the placenta the umbilical cord the amniotic fluid The placenta will be described as low if it reaches down to or covers the neck of your uterus (cervix). If the placenta is lying low in your uterus, you'll have another scan in the third trimester to check its position. By then, it's likely the placenta will have moved away from your cervix. About 15 per cent of scans will need to be repeated for one reason or another. But this does not necessarily mean there is something wrong with your baby. Try not to panic in case something out of the normal routine shows up. Discuss it in detail with your doctor. Usually, your doctor will be able to reassure you.   Feature Image Scan            

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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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Baby Moon: What to expect from your second trimester

The second trimester offers a much-needed break from the tough first trimester, which is generally associated with periods of morning sickness, fatigue, and aversion to food. Therefore, it’s not surprising that the second trimester is also called the ‘babymoon’ phase. The second-trimester bids goodbye to the unpleasant symptoms you encountered in the first trimester. You’ll breathe a sigh of relief as the morning sickness fades away. This also means you’ll be back to consuming nutritious meals that will help nourish your baby in the weeks to come. While there’s an upside to the second trimester, there’s a downside too, although it’s much less pronounced than the effects you see in the first trimester. During this stage, you’re prone to anemia, bleeding gums, and swelling. While you may instantaneously want to ask your doctor for healing in a pill; trust us, at this stage food, should be your primary medicine. While supplements like folic acid, calcium, and iron are essential, you should rely on them only as complementary additions, to battle deficiencies. It’s not just your baby growing and making space for himself, your body is adjusting just as efficiently to accommodate the little one. Here’s what happens — As your uterus expands, the lungs get compressed, which often leaves you short of breath at times The uterine ligaments stretch to make space, thus leading to low-intensity abdominal aches, cramps, and back pain Pigmentation may occur at the mid-line of the tummy; stretch marks too are not uncommon around the thighs, buttocks, and stomach. In some cases, women may suffer from melasma (skin discolouration), which is not a serious cause for concern as it usually subsides after delivery. During this trimester, there are chances of developing increased blood pressure, gestational diabetes, or thyroid level fluctuations. Therefore, it’s important that you consult your doctor frequently to monitor your health and prevent further complications. Reaching the ideal weight during your pregnancy is important. Seeking a doctor’s guidance will make things easier. Generally, if you have a normal Body Mass Index (BMI), you would be recommended a consistent weight gain of 2 kilos every month. However, if you are overweight, you would be required to consistently increase only 1 kilo monthly. Content Source    

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Folic acid: Why you need it before and during pregnancy

Folic acid is the synthetic form of the Vitamin B9 and is critical to the proper development of your baby. Why do you need folic acid? Folic acid helps to prevent Neural Tube Defects (NTDs). The neural tube is the part of the embryo from which your baby's spine and brain will develop. NTDs include serious birth defects of the spinal cord (such as spina bifida) and the brain (such as anencephaly). Folic acid may help lower your baby's risk of cleft lip, cleft palate, and certain types of heart issues. It may also reduce the mother’s risk of preeclampsia which affects 5 per cent of pregnant women. Folic acid is needed by the body to make red blood cells and prevent a type of anaemia. It's also essential for the production, repair, and functioning of DNA, and our genetic map. When and how much folic acid should you consume? It is recommended that you start consuming Folic acid regularly a month before you even start trying to conceive a child and should definitely continue through the entire first trimester. The reason is that Neural Tube Defects happen very early on, sometimes even before you know you’re pregnant. That’s why it’s desirable to consume folic acid before conception. Research shows that women who have the daily recommended dose of folic acid a month before conception and through the first trimester reduce the chances of NTDs by as much as 70%. The minimum recommended dose of folic acid is 400 micrograms(mcg) every day starting a month before you start trying to conceive. Some experts recommend that the dosage is increased to 600mcg after you’re pregnant. The dosage should not be more than 1000mcg in any case unless it’s as per your doctor’s advice. When can you need extra folic acid? You may need an added supplement of folic acid in the following circumstances. The doctor may recommend a higher dose if you’re expecting twins. If you’re obese your chance of having a baby with a NTD increases significantly so you may have to get a higher dose. You may also need higher dose if you’ve had a baby with a NTD in the past. You may have an MTHFR mutation which makes it harder for you to process folic acid in which case you will need a higher dose. Diabetic women and women taking anti-seizure medication are at higher risk and may need more folic acid. Can’t I get folic acid from natural foods? Strangely enough, the body finds it harder to process folate occurring naturally in food sources than it does synthetic folic acid. That’s why before and during pregnancy, having the daily recommended dose of folic acid is a must. Food sources rich in folate include lentils(daal), avocado, dried beans, peas, and nuts, dark green vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, collard or turnip greens, okra(lady’s finger), Brussels sprouts, and asparagus, citrus fruit and juice. These foods can only be a supplement to and not a substitute for folic acid tablets.  

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This is how your breast will change during pregnancy

Early Signs Many women find that their breasts feel sensitive very early in pregnancy. (For some women, this is the first hint that they're pregnant.) If your breasts tingle or feel tender to the touch, that’s normal. It’s a common side effect from all of the extra hormones running through your body. If you notice any lumps at any point, though, tell your doctor, so you can find out what it is. Color Changes The hormones in your system may change the way your breasts look while you’re pregnant. Many women find that the areola -- the area around the nipple -- gets darker during pregnancy. This is normal. The color may or may not lighten after you give birth. You may notice new blue veins just beneath the surface of your breast skin. This, too, is normal. It happens because the body boosts its blood supply to your breasts when you’re pregnant. New Size You’ll probably want to buy some new bras, because your breasts may go up a size or two while you’re pregnant. Stretch Marks Your growing belly isn’t the only place where you may get stretch marks. They may appear on your breasts as they grow larger. The growing may make your skin itch, too. Moisturizer or lotion may soothe the itching, but there’s no product that can make stretch marks disappear. They should fade, though, after your baby is born.  

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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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Tips for 6th month pregnancy diet and nutrition

As you move into your 6th month of pregnancy, you will notice that your developing baby grows more used to a routine of activity and rest. Meanwhile, you yourself will experience a host of bodily symptoms from hands and feet swelling to lower back pain, gastric issues, increased vaginal discharge and even bleeding gums. You will have begun experiencing hunger like you haven’t felt it before – both frequently and intensely. Here is a list of what to eat in 6th month of pregnancy 1. Vitamin C Due to the high volume of blood in your body at this stage of pregnancy, you may begin experiencing bleeding from your gums. If the condition worsens, it could lead to gingivitis. Consume a high amount of Vitamin C during this month as it is essential in repairing and maintaining connective tissue all over the body including tissue that binds teeth to the gums and the jaw bone. Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons and tangerines are rich in Vitamin C. Other sources are strawberries, grapes, cabbage and sweet potato. 2. Vegetables  The further your pregnancy progresses, the more you are vulnerable to constipation and indigestion. In certain studies, it has been seen that about 85% of women could experience haemorrhoids during the course of pregnancy. Fibre, found in vegetables is always an essential part of 6th month of pregnancy food chart as it provides roughage which aids regular, healthy bowel movements. Along with providing good amounts of fibre, different vegetables are rich in various types of vitamins and minerals. 3. Fluids  Remember that as a pregnant mommy, you are not just eating for two but also drinking for two. Staying hydrated requires a minimum of 8 glasses of water a day. In addition, you should also get some smoothies and juices into the mix for your overall wellness. Staying hydrated is one of the underrated elements discussed when talking about food for 6 month pregnant woman. Fighting constipation is essential, so drink up! 4. Folic Acid Folic Acid is a complex vitamin. It is necessary for the building of new cells. It is especially important to incorporate sources of folic acid into foods to eat during the second trimester as your foetus’ brain undergoes rapid development towards the end of 24 weeks. Foods rich in folic acid are whole grain bread and cereals, green vegetables (broccoli, spinach and lettuce), flax seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin and sesame seeds, peanuts and almonds. It is also found in certain fruits and vegetables such as okra, peas, grapes and bananas. 5. Protein  Being the building blocks of cells, protein is always welcome. Also, unlike carbohydrates proteins do not readily convert into fats to be stored for later use. Foods rich in protein are dairy products, eggs and lean, white meat. Other sources of protein that are popular in Indian cuisine are legumes and pulses. 6. Carbohydrates Like proteins, carbohydrates are an essential nutrient for daily life. Carbohydrates are burnt by the body for energy. Excess carbohydrates are converted to fat and stored in cells. Refined carbohydrates like polished rice (without the husk) and white bread quickly break down into sugars, leading to spikes in blood glucose level. Hence it is wise to stick to whole grain bread and brown rice. Wheat, oatmeal and cereals are also good sources of carbohydrates. 7. Fruits  Fruits provide a variety of vitamins, minerals and essential roughage to help digestion. Also, since water is a major constituent of most fruits, it helps you stay hydrated. Consuming a large variety of fruits can help ensure you are getting all the micronutrients you require. For example, Pears contain phosphate, vitamin C, potassium and copper; Apples contain antioxidants, B-complex, iron and phytonutrients; Bananas contain potassium, B-6 vitamin and vitamin C, etc While there are the foods that you should consume, there are also the ones that you should not – seafood, caffeine, soy, fast food, undercooked meat, alcohol and spicy food!    

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