This is a question that can be both exciting and nervewracking, but however you’re feeling when you’re asking the question, you want to know the answer ASAP.
Most people go straight for the store-bought pregnancy test. Did you know that there are other signs that could clue you into whether you’re pregnant? There are also other ways to get an answer to that burning question besides that home test.
Remember that not everyone experiences the same symptoms, and the only way you can know for sure is going to your doctor and having a medical pregnancy test done.
Keep reading for seven ways to tell whether you’re pregnant as soon as possible!
1. Tender and/or Swollen Breasts
Around 17% of women say that they noticed changes in their breasts as their first symptom before they realized they were pregnant. When you become pregnant, many of your hormones change, which can lead to changes in the breasts.
The most common breast changes include tenderness, increased sensitivity, increased size, pain, and a feeling on “heaviness”. These symptoms can appear very early on in the pregnancy, often just days after conception!
They can persist throughout pregnancy, with many women noticing days to weeks after conception.
Some women also notice that their areolas and/or nipples become darker around 2 weeks post-conception.
2. Missed Period
By far the most common first symptom women notice when they’re pregnant is a missed period. However, periods often come a few days early or late because of the natural adjustments in a person’s cycle. You can also miss a period because of other hormonal changes, weight gain, weight loss, illness, medication, etc.
If you miss a period, there’s a good chance that you could be pregnant. But look for a missed period along with other symptoms in order to be surer of a potential pregnancy before you celebrate (or freak out).
If you experience some light bleeding or spotting around the time when you expect to get your period, this could be what’s called “implantation bleeding“. This occurs a few days before your expected period as the embryo implants on the lining of the uterus.
Nausea could be accompanied by vomiting or you could experience nausea with no vomiting. Often known as “morning sickness“, it can actually occur at any time of the day.
Nausea and potential vomiting can begin as early as a few days after conception, but it usually begins anytime between 2 and 8 weeks after conception. It’s the second most commonly cited first pregnancy symptom (right after a missed period).
This is likely caused by your increased levels of estrogen. This causes the contents of your stomach to digest and empty much more slowly, which can lead to queasiness.
4. Increased Temperature
Specifically, we mean an increased basal temperature. This is the oral temperature that you take right when you wake up in the morning.
In order to notice this symptom, you have to be in the habit of charting your basal temperature over time. Your basal temperature raises slightly while you’re ovulating and will stay elevated until you get your next period. So if you’re pregnant (aka never get that next period), your temperature should stay consistently elevated.
If you notice that elevated temperature for two weeks or more, then that could be a sign that you’re pregnant. Many people use basal temperature tracking as a way of natural birth control, ovulation tracking, and as an early pregnancy test.
5. Changes in Your Bathroom Routine
Besides morning sickness/nausea, many women report that they have other changes to their bathroom routine. Frequent urges to urinate along with constipation, diarrhea, bloating, gas, etc are all common during early pregnancy.
This can start days after conception and last throughout your pregnancy. However, most women notice this 2-4 weeks post-conception.
6. Change in Taste
Both cravings and food aversions can start quite early on in pregnancy. This is likely because pregnancy physically changes how things taste to you. Also, when you become pregnant you’ll experience a heightened sense of smell, which can make certain things smell worse (or better!) to you.
This is most dramatic early in pregnancy, especially during the first trimester, since that’s when huge hormonal surges and changes occur.
When you’re pregnant, your blood flow can increase by up to 50%. This increased circulation can trigger mild to moderate headaches. Headaches can also be triggered by the rapidly changing hormones in your body.
Period or Pregnancy?
Reading through those symptoms might remind you of symptoms that you experience before and during your period. And that’s true: many of these symptoms you’ll often experience as a result of a normal menstrual cycle.
That’s why it’s important to remind yourself that none of these are sure things. Many of these things could simply be a sign that you’re getting your period soon. Or they could be the result of illness, hormonal changes, stress, etc.
Look for a combination of these symptoms and compare them to your normal menstrual symptoms before you decide you’re pregnant.
Can You Answer the Question, “Am I Pregnant?” with These Signs and Symptoms?
These 7 signs can help you answer, “Am I pregnant?” But the key word there is “help”. The only sure way to know is to take a pregnancy test and have a pregnancy test done by your doctor.
Are you struggling to get pregnant? Or do you just want to get pregnant as fast as possible so you can start your family? Read our article on the secret of getting pregnant fast and easy.
Every woman can experience some level of anxiety during her pregnancy. Hormonal changes are usually to blame, however if you have suffered from anxiety bouts before becoming pregnant, chances are your anxiety level may rise during pregnancy. According to an ADAA (Anxiety and Depression Association of America) online poll, 52 percent of women experienced an increase in their anxiety during pregnancy while 32 percent saw a reduction.
Symptoms of Anxiety During Pregnancy
Feeling a little worried during your pregnancy is completely normal, however, if you’re finding that these worries are taking over and interfering with your everyday life, you could be experiencing anxiety. Symptoms include:
Lack of concentration
Excessive worry or fear
Feeling like you’re about to lose control
Some women might even experience panic attacks. Panic attacks are sudden and intense episodes of fear represented by a series of physical and mental reactions, despite a lack of actual danger. Symptoms can include:
Heart palpitations, fast or pounding heartbeat
Trembling or shaking
Hyperventilation or shortness of breath
Feeling like something bad is going to happen
Feeling out of control
Feeling like you’re going to die
Dealing with Anxiety Yourself
If your anxiety is more bothersome than severe you can try to manage this condition with self-care at home.
If you find it hard to relax, start with some deep breathing. Controlled breathing exercises not only slow down your heart rate and promote relaxation, but also release happy chemicals like dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin. Start your breathing practice off by sitting comfortably with your back supported by a firm pillow. You can also put another pillow under your knees. Close your eyes and breathe slowly through your nose. While inhaling, balloon out your belly slightly, then expand your middle ribcage and fill to the top of your lungs. Hold your breath to the count of “three.” Exhale slowly from top through the middle ribcage and your belly, contracting the abdominal muscles slightly. Repeat six times. You can start with three breaths and work your way up over time. Incorporating a daily breathing practice into your routine will help you get rid of the toxins, increase oxygen in your blood, slow down your heart beat and calm you down.
GET MORE SLEEP
Getting enough sleep is essential for managing anxiety during pregnancy, however, between pregnancy hormones disrupting your sleep patterns, backaches, heartburn, and frequent trips to the bathroom, getting quality zzzs can seem nearly impossible. Making a few adjustments to your habits can set you up for sleep success. If you find yourself restless at night, consider cutting out sugary foods and coffee past lunchtime. Both of these can make you jittery. Try creating a relaxing bedtime routine. Drink a cup of tea, listen to sooting music, read a book or soak in a warm bath with a few drops of lavender essential oil before you go to sleep. Keep your bedroom as dark as possible at night and skip electronics at least an hour before bed to avoid melatonin suppression.
Exercise is not only a great way to keep you in shape and help you prepare for childbirth, it can also help with keeping your anxiety in check. Something as simple as going on a 20-minute walk can help you reduce your stress and anxiety levels. Swimming has also proven to be a beneficial form of gentle exercise that has the added benefit of helping soothe those pregnancy aches and pains.
Prenatal yoga is known for effectively being able to reduce anxiety and possibly prevent postpartum depression. It has been shown to be safe during pregnancy and have a host of benefits like increased flexibility, muscle strengthening, reduced back pain, better sleep, and possibly even less morning sickness. Make sure you talk to your doctor before starting any exercise program. (https://www.pregnancyhealth.net/safe-exercise-pregnant/)
EAT YOUR WAY TO CALM
Good nutrition has been shown to have a positive impact on your anxiety and your overall health. Eating a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids can not only have a positive impact on your baby’s visual and cognitive development, it can also help stabilize your mental wellbeing. This mood boosting nutrient can be found in foods like salmon, sardines, walnuts or chia seeds, all of which are safe to eat during pregnancy. Foods rich in magnesium such as leafy greens, legumes, nuts, whole grains can also help you feel calmer as well as loading up on vitamin B rich foods such as asparagus, avocado, chicken meat, eggs, and almonds. Tryptophan is yet another nutrient found in poultry and oats that has been shown to induce a state of relaxation.
On the other end of the spectrum, try to stay away from foods that can make your anxiety worse. Sugary foods and drinks like sodas and fruit juices can make your insulin levels yo-yo, resulting in fatigue and anxiety. The same goes for artificial sweeteners. Foods high in sodium can deplete your body’s potassium which helps your nervous system to function properly. In general, avoid highly processed foods all together as they often contain all off the above. You should also keep consumption of coffee and caffeinated beverages to a minimum and remember, if you’re opting for supplements be sure to consult your doctor, dietitian or a certified nutritionist first.
HAVE SOMEONE TO LEAN ON
Managing your anxiety during pregnancy may prove to be challenging, however, having someone to lean on and talk to such as your partner, friends or family members, can help you keep calm. In fact, research has shown that women who receive social support from the start of their pregnancy have a lower change of developing postpartum depression.
WHEN TO SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP If you start to feel overwhelmed by your anxiety or start to experience frequent panic attacks, consult your doctor. Untreated anxiety can bring on serious health conditions such as preeclampsia or even affect the future health of your unborn child. In cases of severe anxiety, your doctor may recommend treatments such as cognitive-behavioral therapy or prescribe medication.
Having a good support system in place, getting plenty of rest, eating whole, natural foods and sticking to an exercise routine can all have a positive impact on your anxiety. Just remember, soon enough you’ll be holding your baby for the first time in your arms and that will make everything worth it!
“Pregnancy and Medication.” Anxiety and Depression Association of America, ADAA, Anxiety and Depression Association of America, July 2015, adaa.org/living-with-anxiety/women/pregnancy-and-medication.
Having a baby is without a doubt one of the most exciting times for any family.
If you’re aiming for a new little one in your life, how do you know how to increase your chances of getting pregnant?
Approximately 10 percent or 6.1 million women in the United States deal with infertility. Read on to learn more about how you can increase your odds for having a baby.
Timing is Important
One of the best ways to increase your odds of conception is to know when you are ovulating. For most women, ovulation occurs around two weeks before you get your period.
Fortunately, there are tools available that can help you track your body’s unique ovulation times so you can time everything just right. An ovulation predictor test is similar to a pregnancy test. You’ll urinate on the test and it will tell you when you’re ovulating.
Another way to measure ovulation times is by taking your basal temperature. If you notice that your basal body temperature is rising for about three days in a row, you’re likely in ovulation.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
If you’re overweight, it can decrease your chances of getting pregnant. Now is the time to start practicing healthier eating habits so you can lose a few pounds.
The fat cells in your body are related to estrogen production, so if you have too many or too little, it can throw your hormonal balance off. Work on eating healthier foods and limit caffeine.
Being underweight can also affect your ability to conceive, so ultimately, the goal is to ensure that your weight is at a stable, healthy level overall. Plan your meals weekly in advance and avoid going out to eat to keep your diet in check.
When in doubt, talk with your doctor. They can help you come up with a target weight that will work best for women who are trying to conceive.
Keep Stress at Bay to Increase Chances of Getting Pregnant
Stress affects the body and mind in many ways, and one of those includes causing hormonal imbalance. Stress can also throw your periods off, causing your ovulation cycle to get out of whack.
When you’re under a period of heavy stress, you’ll also likely lose sleep, and getting proper sleep also helps keep your hormones at the right level. Luckily, there are lots of things you can do to keep that pesky stress at bay including:
Start practicing yoga or meditation to clear your mind.
Enjoy some “me” time with special friends or family.
Take warm bubble baths to soothe aching muscles and allow the stress to melt away.
Try out a new exercise. Exercise has been shown to reduce stress and keeps your body strong and healthy.
Use a journal and write down your feelings every day, noting times of high stress. This can also be helpful when trying to pinpoint any conception issues.
Start taking a prenatal vitamin, even if you’re not pregnant. These vitamins will give you the nutrients you need while getting your body prepared for pregnancy.
If the stress you’re dealing with is still too much to handle, it might be time to seek some professional help. Speak to your doctor and let them know about your pregnancy plans. They may be able to refer you to a therapist or offer some safe alternatives for stress management.
Stop Smoking Immediately
Not only is smoking terrible for you, but it’s also horrible for your odds of conception. If you or your partner smoke, now is the time to quit.
Smoking decreases your odds of getting pregnant and can also have an effect on your partner’s sperm count. There are also cases where smoking causes serious issues to unborn babies such as low birth weight, a higher risk of miscarriage, and ectopic pregnancy.
When you quit smoking, you’ll feel a lot better and your lungs will thank you, too. In addition, your home will start to smell better and you’re creating a happier, healthier environment for yourselves and your new baby.
Don’t be Afraid to Get Help
If you and your partner are doing everything right and are still struggling to conceive, it may be time to seek out professional help. Sometimes, couples need a full fertility assessment so they can get a better idea of why they are running into trouble.
There are a variety of fertility treatments available, and your doctor can help recommend one that will work best for you. In many cases, patience is the key and you’ll just need to keep trying until you finally get pregnant.
Seek out support groups geared toward couples who are having trouble conceiving. With the right emotional support, you’ll have the resources you need to stay positive and on track. It’s also an excellent way to vent your frustrations and worries with others who sympathize.
Keep the Faith
Most couples who want a baby do conceive within a year. If you can keep your stress and weight under control, stop smoking, and track your ovulation, your chances of getting pregnant are greatly increased.
Physical health is important, but so is your mental health, so don’t be afraid to express your doubts or frustrations with others who will understand. When all else fails, it’s imperative to talk with your doctor who may be able to help you achieve your new baby dreams.
For more information about getting pregnant, ovulation, and all things pregnancy, be sure to visit our website.
Giving birth can often induce anxiety, especially in first-time mothers. The best way to overcome this anxiety is to educate yourself and prepare.
You can never start too early. If you are in the process of trying to get pregnant or are already pregnant, start educating yourself now.
Every pregnancy is different. It’s important to thoroughly prepare yourself so that you can determine what is best for you and your baby.
Keep reading to learn about 10 preparations for birth that you should consider during your pregnancy.
1. Educate Yourself
Educating yourself could mean taking a class or reading books. Whatever you do, don’t try to put the thought of giving birth out of your mind until the day it comes.
The thought of giving birth can be scary, but the more you know, the less scary it will be. If you are prepared, you will be more present and aware.
Educate yourself on breathing techniques, pain management, the stages of labor, and even the medical equipment that will be used.
Research different methods of giving birth and consult your doctor on options that are best for you.
It’s important to remember that being prepared doesn’t mean everything will go to plan. Labor and delivery can often take unexpected turns. However, being prepared can give you confidence and peace of mind, even when things don’t go according to plan.
2. Talk to Other Moms
Talk to your mom friends or join a group on facebook. Other moms can be a great source of information.
It’s a great way to get different points of view. For some reason, there are parts of labor and delivery that are deemed taboo and don’t get talked about very often. Try to seek information from people who will give you the honest truth.
Although a little intimidating, being able to talk about these taboo subjects will help you mentally prepare and adjust your expectations.
However, it’s important to remember that everyone’s experience is different. Often times, other people’s delivery will be very different from yours. What may work for your friend, may not work for you.
And if your friend starts to ramble on about their friend’s cousin’s birthing horror story, take it with a grain of salt and ask for some diaper bag recommendations instead.
3. Voice Your Fears
It’s okay to have fears. This is a new and unknown experience. Talk to your physician about the fears you have.
Having a professional opinion can help reduce some stress and anxiety. They can give you tips to put your fears at ease. They can also direct you to good sources of information.
4. Talk with Your Partner
It’s important that you and your partner discuss your expectations before the baby comes.
The weeks and months after giving birth are amazing, but can be tolling. Talking about your expectations can be a huge help in the transition.
Talk about who will be in charge of what, and how you will split household and baby duties. This can help prevent a lot of conflict in the future.
5. Prepare Your Body
Labor is exhausting. It requires both strength and stamina. Staying active throughout your pregnancy will help you maintain the strength and stamina you need for labor. It can also help your recovery go faster.
However, working out while pregnant is very different than working out before pregnancy. There are certain precautions you need to take to ensure that you are not hurting yourself or the baby.
Before the baby comes, you need to be thinking about the baby essentials. You will need to find a car seat and maybe a bassinet. Stock up on diapers, wipes, and clothes.
Don’t forget nursing bras and pads if you are nursing. Include bottles for bottle feeding and formula for formula feeding.
Don’t feel pressured into getting every last thing your friends recommend, especially before the baby comes. Like mentioned earlier, some things that may have worked for them, may not work for you.
You may never feel the need to use some things, and others you may love. You can wait to buy the nonessentials after birth if you are unsure.
7. Pack a Bag
Have a bag ready to go before your due date. If you have other children that are going to stay somewhere else while you are at the hospital, make sure to have bags packed for them too.
Having everything ready to go will make things a lot easier when the time comes to head to the hospital.
Talk to your other mom friends about what they felt was useful to have with them. You can research hospital packing lists online and see what other moms found helpful.
8. Be Prepared for When Labor Starts
Make sure to make plans for labor before you even come close to your delivery day. These plans should include things like who will take you, who will stay with your other children, emergency contact numbers, where you will be going, and more.
Your doctor will give you a clear list of things to do when you start to go into labor. This list includes everything from who and when to call, when to start heading to the hospital, and more. Make sure to learn these guidelines, so that when the day comes, you’re not in a frantic frenzy.
Also consider the route you will take to the hospital, what entrance you need to go in and the best places to park. All of these things will make the process as smooth as possible.
9. Create a Birth Plan
After doing your research, you can compile everything into a birth plan. A birth plan includes everything from where you are giving birth, to what position you are using to give birth.
While you are creating this plan, keep in mind that not everything always goes to plan. While it’s important to have an idea of what you what, you also have to be flexible if something is not working for you or the baby.
10. Organize Help for After the Birth
The days after giving birth can be very exciting but exhausting. Lining up help will be a huge help.
If you are lucky enough to have the help of family members post-birth, talk with them beforehand about what exactly you will need help with.
Preparations for Birth: Start Now!
Making proper preparations for birth will help diminish stress and anxiety.
Use the resources around you to figure out what is best for you and your baby. Proper research will ensure that you are an active part of the birthing process.
For many people, pregnancy seems like a natural part of life. They don’t think much about the process of actually getting pregnant. But for the 6.1 million women in the United States who struggle with infertility, the process of getting pregnant is incredibly important.
If you’re one of these women, or if you’re just interested in the science behind pregnancy, you’ve come to the right place. There are many factors that go into getting pregnant, but they don’t have to be overwhelming.
Read on to learn about conception and implantation and more!
At What Age Can I Get Pregnant?
There are a lot of myths surround the ages at which a woman is most fertile.
Women can become pregnant from the time they begin menstruating — around ages 12-14. Fertility lasts through menopause, but that doesn’t mean you have an equal chance at becoming pregnant from the start of menstruation through menopause.
For most women, fertility is at its highest in their 20s. Fertility begins to decline when women are in their 30s, but the sharpest decline begins at age 35. So, while women in their 40s are still capable of becoming pregnant, their chances are significantly lower, and the eggs are of poorer quality.
Are There Any Hindrances to Getting Pregnant?
Apart from age, there are several conditions that can make getting pregnant difficult.
One of the major hindrances to pregnancy is polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is a condition in which women have irregular or no periods due to the ovaries’ failure to regularly release an egg. Women with PCOS have higher levels of testosterone, are at higher risk for diabetes and obesity, and may suffer from excess body hair or hair loss.
Other factors that contribute to infertility include: excess weight, high levels of stress, eating disorders, alcohol or drug use, and intense exercise. Fertility can also be hindered by damage to the fallopian tubes or uterus by things like endometriosis, uterine polyps, and pelvic inflammatory disease, among many other things.
The best thing to do if you’re struggling with fertility is to meet with your doctor to discuss your options.
What is Ovulation?
Ovulation is the process by which your body grows and releases eggs for fertilization. Every month, your body grows eggs in fluid-filled sacs within your ovaries called follicles. Approximately two weeks before you’re due to start your period, your body releases an egg from a follicle.
Once the egg is released, the follicle develops a corpus luteum which releases a hormone that causes your uterus to thicken its lining and prepare for the egg. The egg stays in the fallopian tube for about 24 hours. It is at this point when you are most likely to become pregnant.
How Does the Egg Become Fertilized?
When the egg is in the fallopian tubes, it is primed and ready to be fertilized. Fertilization occurs after sexual activity when sperm is released into the female sex organs.
Sperm travels from the vagina up through the cervix and into the uterus. Contractions within the uterus help propel the sperm up through into the fallopian tubes. The sperm must then burrow into the egg and fertilize it.
Once a sperm successfully enters the egg, the egg becomes impenetrable so no other sperm can get in. It is at this time that your future baby’s genes and sex are set. Sperm with Y chromosomes become boys, and sperm with X chromosomes become girls.
What is Implantation?
After fertilization, the egg remains in the fallopian tubes for a few days. In the first 24 hours after fertilization, it begins dividing into a lot of cells as it descends into the uterus. Once the egg reaches the uterus, it must then attach itself to the lining of the uterus.
After implantation, the lining of the uterus gets thicker and the cervix is sealed by a mucus plug. This is where it will stay until you give birth. Women may notice some spotting around this time for a couple of days.
What are Pregnancy Hormones?
Once your egg becomes fertilized, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) starts being produced in increasing quantities by the body.
hCG helps your body produce higher amounts of estrogen and progesterone and it suppresses your immune system to aid in the development of your baby. Pregnancy tests check for levels of hCG in order to produce a positive result. This is why it is more difficult to test for pregnancy during the first week of conception.
While hCG starts the boosted levels of estrogen and progesterone, it is the placenta that takes over once it develops. These increased levels of hormones are a major contributing factor to morning sickness.
What Do I Do When I Become Pregnant?
Once you become pregnant, you’ll want to take steps to keep your baby healthy. If you’re a smoker or drinker, you’ll need to stop immediately. And while you’ll no doubt have a myriad of pregnancy cravings, you’ll want to avoid certain foods like sushi and soft cheeses, among others.
If you have questions about what you can and can’t do during pregnancy, then you should talk to your doctor about what will work best for you.
Want to Learn More About Conception and Implantation?
Pregnancy is a scientific process that requires everything to fall into place in order for a woman to become pregnant.
It’s far more than just conception and implantation. It’s also timing, hormones, and more than a little bit of good luck. If you’re still struggling with becoming pregnant, you should speak with your doctor about your options.
Want more helpful information about conception, pregnancy, and childbirth? We’ve got you covered.
Check out the rest of our blog for tons of information that will make your life so much easier.
Pregnant? Congratulations! Though, for 70% of women, the first few months can be hard to celebrate because of symptoms of morning sickness. The worst thing about morning sickness is that it’s a total misnomer.
You can actually feel gross at any hour of the day in the first several weeks. We can’t promise to get rid of that feeling completely, but we’ve got some tips to help you ease morning sickness. If you’re ready to start celebrating, read on.
What Is Morning Sickness?
Morning sickness is that nauseous feeling that comes and goes throughout the day starting at around week 5 or 6 of pregnancy. It might come with an urge to vomit, or might just stop you from wanting to smell – much less eat – any food. Around 70 to 85 percent of women report experiencing it in early pregnancy.
Symptoms can get worse before they get better, often peaking at 9 weeks and dropping off by week 18. An unlucky 15% or so of women have it until the third trimester and 5% say they feel it right up until the birth.
When Should I See My Doctor?
Regular feelings of nausea, soetimes wanting to vomit, and feeling apathy to smelly food is pretty normal. If you feel signs of dehydration, vomit repeatedly throughout the day (especially if you see blood), and if you lose weight or get painful cramping, it’s time to see your doctor.
10 Tips to Ease Morning Sickness
Morning sickness is a gross way to start the day and a rough start to your pregnancy. Luckily, you’re by far the first women to experience it. Which means there are lots of tried-and-tested tips to reduce it: let’s take a look at them.
1. Do Gentle Exercise
We know it’s the last thing you feel like, but adding some gentle activity can help get your blood moving and ease the nausea
2. Reduce Meals & Time Between Meals
Reduce the size of meal portions and reduce the time between eating. While you might not really feel like eating at all, an empty stomach can make morning sickness worse. Plus, you’re creating a small human so your body will need the energy!
Try something bland like nuts and dried fruit or plain yogurt.
3. Have a Snack in Bed Before Rising
This stops you from moving about on an empty stomach, a real trigger for nausea. Have your partner bring you a cup of tea and something basic like toast with butter or a dry biscuit, and take some bites before you move anywhere. It’s part of getting used to being pregnant, which often means having to take things easier than you normally would.
4. Increase Protein and Vitamin B
High protein and foods rich in Vitamin B seem to calm morning sickness. Avoid foods with lots of spice, fat, or anythingrich or acidic as these tend to make symptoms worse
5. Eat Cold Food
Cold food has less of an aroma. Which is great if strong sells trigger you. If you are eating smelly food, you can have a cut lemon at hand to distract your nose – try it, it really works!
6. Get Lots of Sleep
Your body is undergoing so many changes, it needs rest like never before. Being well-rested and relaxed is a good way to stave off morning sickness.
7. Try Ginger or Cinnamon Tea
Ginger tea and cinnamon tea are both good at calming queasiness. You can make them from the root/plant and put it to boil. Or just pour boiling water on tea bags and leave it to brew.
The great benefit of tea is it can not only calm nausea but keep you hydrated. That, in turn, helps with morning sickness. Win-win!
8. Stay Hydrated
Try to sip on water throughout the day. That way you can avoid feeling like you’ve got a full belly, and a run to the bathroom to empty it! If water is hard to take, add some lemon juice to it, or try plain icy poles or frozen yoghurt.
Avoid orange juice and other acidic drinksbecause they can irritate the stomach and make it worse.
9. Vitamin B6 and Ginger tablets
Some women swear by herbal remedies such as Vitamin B and ginger tablets, first thing in the morning before getting out of bed. You can find these in a local health store or pharmacy.
10. Holistic Medicine
While pregnant you want to be extra careful about what goes in your body, making natural remedies an easier and safer option. You could talk to an acupuncturist about treatment to help your morning sickness. An acupuncturist can treat a lot of pregnancy symptoms, from morning sickness and swelling to helping get the baby in the right position in the later stages.
Look for bracelets for car sickness that work by putting pressure on a pressure point at the wrist that can stop feelings of nausea such as morning sickness. Hypnosis even works for some!
Whatever You Do, Don’t Do It Alone
Pregnancy is a time for celebration and preparation – especially if this is a first baby, or if you’ve been trying for a long time. But, it can also be a really tough stage of your life. Your body is full of hormones, you’re preparing for changes at work, and might be feeling the stress in your relationship.
It’s normal to find it difficult sometimes, and it’s more important than ever that you have a support network around you. You’ll need them to help you once the baby is here, no matter how independent you normally like to be. Becoming a parent can mean learning you’re not always so in control.
Sometimes you just need to gather close friends about you and get through just as well as you can!
Stop Suffering and Start Enjoying This Special Time!
There you have it; our tried-and-tested ten tips to ease morning sickness. Work your way through the list and see which work best for you. Consider making a note each day in your diary about what you tried and how you felt, so you can link more easily between what you tried and what the result was.
Once you’ve got morning sickness under control, it’s time to start enjoying this time. Would you like some advice on great ways to exercise while pregnant, how to prepare the nursery, and more? You’ll find it all at our blog – check it out today!
Across the globe, about 353,000 beautiful little babies are born each and every day. If your own bundle of joy is about to join the ranks, you may be wondering what exactly your first day home will be like.
The truth is, many moms are still figuring things out during the first night home with a newborn. In fact, it can take quite a while before you get into the swing of things.
Of course, the right information can help you prepare for that first day when you don’t have the nurses and hospital staff to lean on.
Do you want to know what you can expect when you first bring your newborn home? Keep reading to find out!
Everyone Will Want to Visit
It doesn’t matter if they already visited you in the hospital, your loved ones will likely want to visit you and your new baby as soon as you get home.
However, you’ll want to limit the number of guests that visit within those first few days, both for your sake and for your baby’s.
Your body just went through A LOT. You’ll be experiencing some belly or vaginal pain (depending on if you had a c-section or vaginal birth) along with a sore body and a lot of bleeding. On top of it, your emotions will likely be running high and you may already be sleep deprived.
Although newborns aren’t shy around strangers, they can get overstimulated quickly. If there are too many people around, your baby may become tired and fussy.
The bottom line is that neither you nor your baby will likely be in the mood for tons of visitors on your first day home. It’s okay to invite your parents or a close loved one who can help you out as you adjust and heal, but don’t be afraid to tell everyone else to visit at a later time.
Falling Asleep Isn’t Always Easy
You’ve likely heard the popular advice: “when your baby is sleeping, you should be too.” But for many new moms, this is easier said than done.
This is the first time since conception that your precious baby isn’t safe and sound inside your belly. So, it’s not uncommon to worry, even if your baby is sleeping right next to you. Don’t expect to be able to fall asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow during your first few days, even if you are sleep deprived.
Babies Don’t Always Breath “Normally”
As if you weren’t already feeling worried enough, not all babies breath “normally” at first. It’s not uncommon for newborns to breath rapidly and pause between breaths.
While this is okay, don’t be afraid to call your pediatrician if you’re worried.
They Get Hungry Often
While children and adults have three large meals a day, the same cannot be said for babies. A newborn’s stomach is very small, so they can only eat about 1 to 3 ounces per feeding. This means they need to eat more often to get all the nutrients they need.
So, expect to breastfeed every 1.5 to 3 hours or formula-feed every 2 to 3 hours.
The most common sign of hunger is crying. But not all babies communicate in the same way. If your baby smacks their lips, sucks on their hands, or purses their lips and turns their head toward your breast, they may be hungry.
You’ve probably seen those precious Instagram shots where the mother is breastfeeding her baby in peace and comfort. However, this isn’t typically how breastfeeding goes.
Many new moms find that nursing is actually painful, especially at night. Your nipples can become sore and cracked, so be sure to apply lanolin cream after nursing or ice your breasts to relieve pain.
You’ll Be Up to Your Ears in Dirty Diapers
What goes in must come out. And boy, will your baby use up a lot of those diapers in your stockpile.
If you spent your time in the hospital resting, you probably didn’t notice just how many times your baby needed to be changed. But breastfeed newborns will wet about 5 diapers a day while formula-fed babies will wet upwards of 10 diapers per day!
And that’s only when your baby pees. You can also expect 1 to 2 poopy diapers per day for the first few days. Unfortunately, this number shoots up around the 1-week mark, where you can see 5 to 10 dirty diapers a day.
Your Baby’s Poop Will Look Odd
When changing those dirty diapers, you’ll notice that your baby’s poop looks a bit odd.
A newborn’s poop has a very loose consistency, so every dirty diaper will look like diarrhea at first. Depending on if they’re breastfed or formula-fed, it can range in appearance from a mustard to a greenish brown color. It may even look like it contains small seeds.
All this is totally normal! But still, expect to have plenty of poop-related conversations with your husband during the first few days.
The Crying Isn’t at Its Worst
It’s no secret that babies cry. But many parents think that the first few days will be the loudest and then the crying will slowly taper off throughout the next few weeks and months.
But many newborns are actually fairly quiet during the first couple of days. They’ve gone through a lot, too, so you can expect that your baby will want to spend a lot of time sleeping. Some parents even have to wake their newborn up for feedings if they sleep longer than 4 hours.
Whether you have a loud or a quiet baby during that first day home, don’t expect it to stay that way. Crying increases from 2 to 8 weeks old, and they’ll cry for several hours each day during this time. Thankfully, by the 8-week mark crying should start to taper off.
Surviving Your First Night Home with a Newborn
You’ll experience a lot of ups and downs during your first night home with a newborn. You’ll likely encounter some pain, tears, and confusion along with some laughs and a whole lot of love. Just follow the guide above so you know what to expect on that first day home with your new bundle of joy.
Are you considering a natural birth? Check out this article to learn everything you need to know about giving birth without painkillers.
Are you wondering what types of foods you should eat and avoid during breastfeeding? Not to worry! In this article, we’ll go over what you should include in your breastfeeding diet.
Want to learn more? Keep reading to find out!
Breastfeeding Diet: A Guide
When you’re breastfeeding, you want to get the proper nutrients for both you and your newborn. We’ll look at how much water you’ll need, nutrient-rich foods, and what items to avoid.
Eat a Variety of Nutritious Food
While nursing, you want to make sure you’re eating a wide range of food. A varied diet will change the smell and taste of your milk. Your baby will get to try many flavors of food.
Avocados are filling and give you healthy fats. They are a reliable source of folate, vitamin C, and potassium. Nursing mothers often complain about being hungry. Sliced avocado with bread is a perfect snack between meals.
Eating a mixture of fruits will provide you with vitamins like B6, B2, and C. Apples, bananas, and oranges have antioxidants that rid your body of free radicals. The fiber in fruits helps your body absorb minerals and vitamins.
Try and eat a mixture of protein, iron-rich foods, and green leafy vegetables. Vegetables like broccoli, spinach, or kale give you nutrients that other foods don’t have. Eat low-mercury fish like sardines or salmon, so you get omega-3.
Complex carbohydrates and whole grains will supply you with energy. Try and add brown rice to your supper or have oatmeal for breakfast. Include whole-grain pasta or pita with your meals.
Drink Water Often
Try and drink up to eight cups a day. This will help your body recover weeks after birth.
Drink a cup at every nursing session. Your milk supply can become affected if you’re dehydrated. You will also feel tired if you’re not getting enough water.
Have Snack Food Ready
Try and keep up your energy by snacking throughout the day. These little snacks are as important as your regular meals.
Fill up your pantry with healthy and prepared foods. High-fiber cereal, bananas, and low-fat yogurt are nutritious snacks.
Consider having smoothie ingredients so you can make a mini meal. Keep some snacks in your baby’s nursery like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. They are easy to eat while breastfeeding.
Oatmeal is high in iron and fiber, helping to ward off anemia. If you’re dieting, oatmeal will keep you full for a long while after breakfast. Steer clear of the packaged oats because they have a lot of sugar and salt.
Almonds are a wonderful source of protein and calcium. This is an excellent snack to have nearby while breastfeeding. You can throw them in a bowl of yogurt as well for a change.
What Foods Should I Avoid?
Try not to consume too much caffeine. If you drink over three cups of soda, tea, or coffee, you could affect your baby. You both will feel irritable and jittery, and it could disrupt your baby’s sleep.
Mercury occurs throughout the environment. The mother’s diet is the primary source for infants exposure to mercury. When a mother eats fish, the mercury in the fish passes through the breast milk.
Avoid high-mercury fish such as tilefish, mackerel, or shark. Try and limit tuna to one can a week.
Consider opting for lower-fat varieties of meat and dairy. If you do choose a higher-fat product, consider picking up organic. Organic farmers aren’t allowed to use growth hormones, antibiotics, or pesticides.
Non-organic foods have a higher amount of pesticides and additives in them. When you can, choose organic meat, dairy, and produce. This will lower the number of chemicals your baby’s exposed to through your breast milk.
Make sure you read the labels on your food. Avoid items that contain a list of additives. You don’t want to eat processed foods because they’re high in sodium.
If you have been taking herbal supplements, make sure you ask your doctor what they recommend.
Watch for Reactions to Food
Most babies will slurp up breast milk when detecting the smallest hint of strong spices. You’ll soon discover what category fits your baby and change your diet in that way.
Broccoli, cabbage, onions, and beans can produce gas. This could unsettle your baby’s tummy and temperament. A diet heavy in fruits can cause diarrhea in some babies. Red peppers can cause rashes in others.
It takes up to six hours from when you’ve eaten to affect the taste of your breast milk. If your baby spits up a lot, rejects the milk, or is gassy, drop that food for a few days.
Cow’s milk, soy, wheat, and nuts are foods that some babies struggle with. They might display extreme crying or fussing. Other symptoms include frequent vomiting, loose stool, lack of weight gain, and hives.
Do you think your baby has a food allergy? Make sure you go see your doctor.
They will recommend what food to cut. If you’ve found out your pregnant, check out what foods to eat at the beginning of your pregnancy.
Want to Learn More?
We hope you learned a lot about what to eat on a breastfeeding diet. Make sure you keep an eye on your baby’s reactions during and after breastfeeding. Talk to your doctor if you think they have an allergy.
Weight gain during pregnancy is inevitable. After all, a little human is growing inside! But that doesn’t mean expecting mothers can’t stay fit, either.
If you’re pregnant, you may not be able to exercise the same way you normally do. But there are plenty of safe and fun pregnancy exercises you can still enjoy.
Here’s how you can stay fit for two and exercise safely during pregnancy!
Is It Safe to Exercise While Pregnant?
When a woman discovers she is pregnant, all sorts of questions will run rampant in her mind. “What types of physical activities can I no longer do?” is often one of the first ones.
Contrary to popular belief, exercise during pregnancy is not a danger or a risk to the baby. In fact, exercising while pregnant is one of the best things new mothers can do.
Exercise will not only keep pregnancy weight gain within a healthy and normal range. It will help you stay stimulated and stress-free, as well.
As the life inside you grows, your body is going to go through all sorts of changes. Your hormones are going to fluctuate and you’ll find yourself having good days and bad. Exercising can help you cope with the emotional ups and downs of pregnancy – and so much more.
You’ll maintain healthy blood pressure and soothe back pain. You can even bond with other expecting mothers, too.
Low-impact exercise is key. The less stress you put on your knees, ankles, and joints, the better. You may need to put away the heavyweights for the next 9 months… but there’s still plenty of pregnancy exercises you can do!
Aerobic exercise is crucial during pregnancy. It’s important to get your blood flowing to better deliver nutrients and oxygen to your baby. Aerobic exercise will even prepare you for labor.
Early in your pregnancy, you may be able to continue jogging as you normally do. But as you move along into the second and third trimesters, running may become harder to do.
Brisk walking is a sure way to get your cardiovascular exercise while pregnant. It’s beneficial to your heart, lungs, and overall circulation. But it can strengthen your ankles and core muscles, too.
Aim to speed walk anywhere from 20-30 minutes per day. Listening to your body is key, so if you need to slow down or stop, by all means, do so. Don’t walk to the point of exhaustion.
As your baby grows, the weight will begin to put more stress on your body. During the third trimester especially, your body may feel too fatigued most days. So, what exercises can you do while pregnant that will help you cope with aches and pains?
Swimming is one of the best pregnancy exercises out there – and for a handful of reasons. For one thing, swimming will help you get your aerobic exercise in. But more importantly, it can relieve you of the stress pregnancy puts on your body.
You’ll feel weightless while floating and swimming in the water. You’ll improve your circulation and relieve foot and ankle swelling in the process.
Hot flashes are common during pregnancy. Exercise is a good way to cope with hot flashes, and swimming adds the extra benefit of cool water.
Swimming also promotes muscle growth, which can help you prepare for labor. Aim to swim for 30 minutes at a time and stick to basic breast and back strokes at moderate paces.
What are some other exercises that can help you cope with the stress of pregnancy?
Prenatal yoga is popular for a reason. During prenatal yoga, you’ll practice engaging your muscles that you’ll use during childbirth. You’ll also practice mindful, deep breathing, which will come in handy during labor.
Prenatal yoga can also reduce stress, anxiety, and help you sleep better. Plus, the stretches you’ll do will work to relieve nausea and back pain.
Exercises to Avoid During Pregnancy
High impact, contact sports are the main thing to avoid while pregnant. If you run the risk of getting hit or falling, you shouldn’t do it. This includes (but is not limited to):
You should avoid heavy weight lifting that requires you to engage your knees and joints. You can perform light weight lifting with small dumbbells. Be sure to talk to your doctor about weight lifting exercises before performing them on your own.
You should avoid jumping, skipping, bouncing, and waist-twisting movements, as well. You should never do any sport or activity that requires you to hold your breath. While swimming, you should stick to the surface of the water and avoid jumping in.
The important thing is to keep a steady exercise regimen. You can throw your body off kilter by engaging in heavy exercise followed by stagnancy.
Stay Safe While Exercising
Before exercising while pregnant, talk to your doctor. Your doctor can advise you about which activities are best for you and baby. If you run the risk of complications, they can point you to exercises that won’t exacerbate these.
Staying hydrated is one of the most important things you can do. Pregnant women should drink a minimum of 10 glasses of water each day. If you’re working up a sweat every day, you should aim to drink more.
Wear comfortable, supportive shoes at all times – especially when brisk walking. Even when you’re doing chores around the house, make sure you’re supporting your feet.
Paying attention to the weather is important, as well. You should avoid exercise in sweltering heat or freezing cold weather. You can always exercise indoors on a treadmill, an elliptical, or on a yoga mat.
Keep Mom & Baby Healthy with Pregnancy Exercises
Pregnancy can pose many new physical challenges to expecting mothers. Exercise will not only help you stay fit but can even help you cope with these challenges.
Most importantly, pregnancy exercises will ensure you and your baby stay healthy… and that’s what truly matters!
As you begin exercising while pregnant, make sure you’re staying nourished. Check out our pregnancy nutrition blog to stay on top of the latest tips and information!
It can be a stressful and overwhelming time for a new mom. As you learn the ropes of your babies eating, sleeping, and pooping habits. Support is only a phone call away, where all your nursing questions or concerns can get answered.
Read on for how a lactation consultant can help you learn the ins and outs of breastfeeding.
The Benefits of Breastfeeding
77% of moms choose to breastfeed their babies. It’s a personal choice that offers a natural source of nourishment for their children.
It provides newborns with the essential vitamins and nutrients needed for development. It can also help protect the baby from infections and diseases.
Breastfeeding also benefits the mom, by burning extra calories. This helps new moms get back to their ideal pre-baby weight quicker. Nursing also releases happy hormones that can ward off post-partum depression.
Breastmilk gets recommended by pediatricians for the first 6 months. Yet, many mothers choose to go beyond this, once they get the hang of it.
It can be tough for new mothers to tackle and troubleshoot breastfeeding concerns. Issues like nipple confusion, low milk supply, and breast infection can occur.
Without proper support, many women give up on their desire to breastfeed. This is why it’s helpful to turn to a lactation group or specialist for professional help.
How a Lactation Consultant Can Help
First, you may be wondering what is a lactation consultant? They are a board-certified professional that is an expert in all things lactation.
They help moms solve a variety of breastfeeding problems. They often work with new mothers but can also provide advice for any lactating mom. As your first child may take the breast well, while the second does not.
Here is how a lactation consultant can help mothers who struggle with breastfeeding.
Poor Latching and Positioning
Breastfeeding your baby should never feel painful. A poor latch may cause pain or discomfort around the nipple and breast.
It can also lead to blisters or cracking nipples. If the baby’s latch does not get corrected early on, these issues can get worse with time.
A consultant can work with you on proper latching and breastfeeding positions. They may recommend nursing pillows or nipple shields to help the problem. Lanolin ointment can also provide relief during the first few weeks.
Problems with Milk Supply
Many moms experience supply issues in the first couple of months. This can involve an overproduction or underproduction of milk.
With a low milk supply, the baby may not be getting enough milk. This can lead to trouble with growth or possible dehydration. So, always pay attention to the baby’s diaper output while learning to breastfeed.
Overproduction can make breastfeeding uncomfortable for the baby. As they often get too much milk too fast. This can cause them to pull off the breast and cry.
Breast Infections and Discomfort
Thrush and mastitis are common breast infections. They can occur in the early stages of breastfeeding. A lactation specialist can help identify these conditions and provide treatment options.
Thrush gets caused by the growth of yeast in the baby’s mouth and mother’s breast. It can cause extreme or stabbing pain when breastfeeding.
Mastitis gets caused by bacteria in the breast or not draining your milk ducts enough. The infected breast may become tender, red, or develop lumps. The mother may also experience flu-like symptoms.
Extreme engorgement can also make it difficult for the baby to latch on the breast. It often helps to use a breast pump for a few seconds before feeding. This will relieve the pressure so the baby can latch better.
Feeding Schedules and the Mother’s Diet
Breastfeeding may not follow a strict schedule, as bottle feeding does. Since you never know how much milk your baby is getting. This leads many mothers to nurse on demand instead.
Nursing on demand can be tricky at first. As you’ll need to pay close attention to hunger cues. This includes the baby putting their first in their mouth or sticking out their tongue.
Cluster feeding is another overwhelming part of breastfeeding. The baby may feed for hours at a time. This is a sign of a growth spurt as they are trying to pump up your milk supply.
Like the foods you should eat when pregnant, your diet can also affect breastfeeding. Certain foods can cause the baby to become gassy or throw up often. A special diet can help prevent a colicky baby.
Other Breastfeeding Dilemmas
Waiting for your milk to come in can also be stressful for a new mom. As you will only be producing colostrum for the first few days. Be sure to seek out support if you’re worried the baby is not getting enough milk.
Teething can also make it a hassle to breastfeed. Babies will nurse more often as it comforts them. They may also bite or scrape their teeth on the nipple.
Lactation specialists can also offer pumping techniques for mothers going back to work. They can provide the best times to pump to maintain your supply.
What to Expect During a Lactation Consultant Home Visit?
In-home visits with a lactation specialist often get recommended for new moms. This is ideal as the baby and mom get to stay at home, in a comfortable environment.
So, what happens at a lactation consultant appointment?
The specialist will plan to stop by at a convenient time. The best time is between a newborn’s many naps. This is so that they can experience one of the baby’s feedings.
They will look to see how the baby latches. As well as your position and the nursing environment. They can show you massage techniques to relieve symptoms of engorgement or mastitis.
A lactation consultant will also check for signs of tongue-tie. As this can cause a baby to have issues with breastfeeding. Your own nipple shape may also be interfering with the baby’s latch.
Navigating the Many Wonders of Motherhood
New moms have many resources available to tackle the ever-evolving roles of motherhood. Seek support from the hospital you gave birth in or new mom groups. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when needed, from friends, family, or a lactation consultant.