MONDAY MYTH ~ Exercise Is Harmful For Pregnant Moms To Be

Exercise must be stopped once you find out there is a bun in the oven. Say it isn’t so!

Reality: Exercise is good if it does not make you weary or overheated or extremely breathless. Generally, there must be sufficient oxygen to chat throughout the workout. Those not accustomed to heavy exercise can start brisk walking.

If you have been following a regular exercise program prior to your pregnancy, you should be able to maintain that program to some degree throughout your pregnancy. Exercise does not increase your risk for miscarriage.

If you are just starting an exercise program as a way of improving your health during your pregnancy, you should start very slowly and be careful not to over exert yourself.

Be sure to listen to your body. You know it best. Your body will naturally give you signals that it is time to reduce the level of exercise you are performing. Take frequent breaks, and drink plenty of fluids during exercise. It’s important to stay hydrated.

During the second and third trimesters, avoid exercise that involves lying flat on your back as this decreases blood flow to your womb. You should always include relaxation and stretching before and after your exercise program.

Before starting an exercise program, you should always talk with your healthcare provider first.

TOP TEN TUESDAY ~ Top 10 Signs You May Be In Labor

Probably every woman who tells you about her labor experience, tells you a different story. Am I right? Your delivery will be just as unique. Be prepared when your baby’s birthday is right around the corner.

1. Lightening: You can breathe again! This is an indication that the baby has dropped, settling deeper into your pelvis and relieving some of the pressure on your diaphragm, so you are not so short of breath.

2. Bloody show: Loss of mucus plug. Not all women notice this sign.

3. Rupture of membranes: Your water breaks! Only 1 in 10 woman experience a dramatic gush of the amniotic fluid and even then it usually happens at home, often in bed. If your membranes have ruptured and you are leaking amniotic fluid, it will be an odorless fluid.

4. Nesting: Recent spark of energy? For most of your pregnancy you have probably been fighting the urge to take a nap, so you’ll know when you experience this. One day you will wake up feeling full of energy!

5. Effacement: Thinning of the cervix. Usually in the last month the cervix begins to stretch and thin. This process means the lower segment of the uterus is getting ready for delivery. A thin cervix will also allow the cervix to dilate more easily.

6. Dilation: Opening of the cervix. Dilation is the process of the cervix opening in preparation for childbirth. Dilation is measured in centimeters or, less accurately, in “fingers” during an internal (manual) pelvic exam. “Fully dilated” means you’re at 10 centimeters and are ready to give birth.

7. Contractions: When you begin to experience regular uterine contractions, this is the strongest indication that you are in labor. This is a good time to get out your notebook to record the exact time each one begins and how long they last.

8. Loose stools: Loose stools are caused by the release of prostaglandins in early which causes cervical effacement, softening, etc. Prostaglandins also can cause soft stools or diarrhea. Time until labor? Usually only a matter of a day or a few hours.

9. Weight loss: Sometimes your appetite decreases a few days before going into labor. This is thought to be because your body is busy preparing for delivery. It doesn’t naturally trigger your desire to eat something. You may also be suffering from an upset stomach or diarrhea which can also be attributed to weight loss.

10. Slight increase in blood pressure: Your blood pressure may be on the rise. You might feel light-headed or off balance.

Thursdays Thoughts…Considering A Water Birth?

Water birth is the process of giving birth in a tub of warm water. Some women choose to labor in the water and get out for delivery. But, other women decide to stay in the water for the delivery as well. The theory behind water birth is that the baby has been in the amniotic sac for 9 months and birthing into a similar environment is gentler for the baby and less stressful for the mother.

It is the belief of midwives, birthing centers and a growing number of obstetricians, that reducing the stress during labor and delivery also reduces fetal complications. It is also less stressful for mom, and often reduces the anxiety of giving birth as a whole. Water birth should always occur under the supervision of a health care provider.

What are the potential benefits of water birth for mom?

  • Water is soothing, comforting, relaxing while contractions increase in frequency.
  • In the later stages of labor, the water seems to increase mom’s energy.
  • The buoyancy lessens her body weight. This allows free movement and new positioning easier than giving birth in a hospital bed.
  • Buoyancy promotes more efficient uterine contractions and better blood circulation, resulting in better oxygenation of the uterine muscles, less pain for the mother, and more oxygen for the baby.
  • Water seems to alleviate stress-related hormones, allowing the mother’s body to produce endorphins, which are pain-inhibitors.
  • Water causes the perineum to become more elastic and relaxed, which reduces the incidence and severity of tearing and the need for an episiotomy and stitches.
  • The water provides a sense of privacy, which releases inhibitions, anxiety, and fears.

What are the potential benefits of water birth for baby?

  • Provides a similar environment as the amniotic sac.
  • Eases the stress of the birth, providing reassurance and security.
If you are considering a water birth, please discuss this with your healthcare provider before doing so. It is important that you fully understand the benefits and the risk associated with it.

Showering Mom-To-Be (Not Just Baby)

One of the most popular trends that is really beginning to pick up steam as we head into 2011, is focusing more on mommy at the baby shower. This doesn’t mean that the gifts and focus of the party isn’t for the new little one. It simply means including mom a little more.
For example if baby gets a sweet little receiving blanket or a new set of onsies, maybe mom can get a nice pajama set or relaxing scented candles. At “mommy” parties, the focus is taken away from the baby games typically played and instead replaced with games that everyone enjoys, gourmet food and a variety of virgin cocktails.
Who doesn’t love that! We are lovin’ this new trend. Any new mom or new mom to be deserves to be pampered and lavished too. Don’t you agree?

MONDAY MYTH ~ Baby’s Postion Can Reveal Gender

When you first discover that you are expecting, one of the first things a mom to be wants to know is the gender of her child. Will it be a precious little boy or a beautiful baby girl?

The baby’s position in the womb can tell you its sex. True or False?
False…there is no scientific evidence that how baby is being carried or the way he or she is lying in your womb is gender specific. There are many myths concerning how you can determine your baby’s sex such as carrying the baby low in the abdomen indicates a boy or carrying high indicates baby must be a girl. 
Also, the line on the skin stretching below the navel is no clue as to whether baby will be a girl or a boy either. But sometimes, it’s still interesting to see if these myths truly add up once you are holding your new little one in your arms. 
Were any of the gender myths right for you, mom?

Thursdays Thoughts…Mother Knows Best!

Do you remember seeing your precious little one on the ultrasound machine screen for the very first time? I sure do.
I’ve heard so many moms mention or say “I just knew I was pregnant with a boy”. Or, “I just knew this baby was a girl from the very beginning.”
Do you think there is really something to a mom’s intuition and the gender she is carrying? Some believe so.
The following brief article appeared in the Lifeline column of USA Today (October 20, 1998):
MOTHER KNOWS BEST: Expectant mothers can use the power of intuition to learn the sex of their unborn babies, says a University of Arizona study. Women who claimed to have an intuition about the gender of their child made the right choice 70% of the time. A survey of college students also found 80% believe their mothers are more intuitive than their fathers.
Others choose to believe that there is no way to really know baby’s gender until they are safely in your arms after birth. However you came to know your child’s gender, every precious child is a gift. Boy or girl.