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Whether you’re a first-time mother-to-be or pregnant with your next child, you’re bound to have questions bubbling in your mind:  how will I know I’m in labor? Will it hurt? Will my baby know how to breastfeed? How do I care for a newborn? How do I be a good mother? Or even, how do I take care of myself better now? You might not even experience similar symptoms from the last pregnancy or experiencing an anything but textbook pregnancy! Throughout your pregnancy, your body, too, will morph and you might be having a difficult time taking in all the changes!

How can you help yourself during this overwhelming period? It’s not like life hands you a manual!

You can be assured that the necessary support can be found in the huge array of classes or seminars organized by hospitals and so on! Learning during pregnancy is crucial to equip yourself with the necessary skills and knowledge for what’s to come. What’s more is that during these sessions you can get to meet other expecting mothers who can be of great assistance Head on down to Learning to Love You this Friday, 15 September at Gleneagles from 12 to 4 PM is all about learning to nurture the little one growing inside of you.

Becoming a mother is a beautiful journey of learning and love. The Learning To Love You, pregnancy seminar will prepare you for parenthood. You’ll be treated to an afternoon of helpful sessions covering topics like breastfeeding, massage, cord blood banking and delivery. There’s something for you whether you’re an expecting mum or parent.

You can also look forward to a filling lunch, yummy desserts from Sweetest Moments during your tea break and even complimentary caricatures. Let Special Guest, Celebrity Mum and Singer-Songwriter Tay Kewei fill you in on her own pregnancy and parenting journey.  For the shopaholicas amongst us, you can quell your desire at shop at the mini-bazaar!

You’re going to have a fun and insightful time at Learning to Love You this Sat. It will be a great time and you’ll have a chance to prepare yourself for your baby and even, meet other mothers during this journey. Here’s more details: https://www.facebook.com/events/913410132193193/

Growing a human inside you is no easy feat. You don’t just deal with physical symptoms but mental and emotional ones too. The backaches, cramps and foot aches are coupled with emotional roller-coasters and brain drain. You’ll also experience more stress closer to the advent of your budding bub as you change you and your partner organize and prepare for a sea change of your carefree lifestyles! These moments can be overwhelming and stressful. Remember that the stress you feel can result in physical ailments like high blood pressure and impact your baby growing inside you. That’s why you need to make sure you create some Zen moment! Here are some suggestions for ways to Zen out during this period:
Knead the Stress Away!

Treat yourself to a prenatal massage. A massage therapist can tailor massage and pressure intensity to suit your pregnancy and health concerns. A prenatal massage can work wonders on body and mind. It will help to alleviate back pains, cramps and muscle aches and improves blood circulation. It could also help you get some rest.  Prior to going for the passage, keep the following in mind:

Walk It Off!

Even if you feel sluggish during this time, make sure to stick to a light exercise routine. Exercise lifts the spirits and creates endorphins to give you that Zen feeling! However, avoid any strenuous activity during this time. Check with your doctor prior to starting any sport. Walking is a great cardiovascular activity that you can stick to during this time. Get yourself a good pair of walking shoes as proper sole support can take you a long way during your pregnancy. Zen out during long weekends.

Give yourself some TLC

You might be thinking more of your baby and overlook your own health and appearance. Make sure to take some TO to pamper yourself with a much needed beauty treatment like mani/pedicures! Head on down to your favourite nail salon or hair dresser for some self-loving.

There are number of ways to Zen out during this time, make sure to do so as it can have a positive impact on your general wellness.

You’ve decided to plunge into pregnancy, but have you considered some of the lifestyle changes you need to undergo? How prepared are you for pregnancy? Remember having to prepare for examinations at school? Going through any major lifestyle change requires some preparation. Let’s consider some things you need to do during this preparation for pregnancy and parenthood:

  1. Give Up Smoking

If you’re a smoker or have a partner who smokes, consider quitting before becoming pregnant. Smoking can have a negative impact on both your fertility rates. For instance, men who smoke tend to have a lower sperm count, while women who smoke take a longer time to conceive. Smoking also can cause complications during pregnancy. Hence, it would be a great time to give up smoking before you start your parenting journey.

  1. Maintaining A Healthy Diet

As you prepare for pregnancy, you might like to consider cutting out foods that aren’t healthy. Limit your intake of alcohol and add lots of fresh foods into your diet. Make sure you have a varied diet rich in necessary nutrients and take supplements if required.

  1. Maintain A Healthy Weight

Your weight can affect your changes of conceiving and impact your pregnancy. Make sure to maintain the ideal weight for your height. Avoid sugary foods with low nutrition.

  1. Start Exercising

Being fit will help you in your pregnancy and your journey during parenthood. You’re going to need those extra muscles to be toting around your baby, stroller and the accompanying changing bags! Start with just 30 minutes a day!

  1. Stock up on Folate

Make sure to eat food high in folic acid to prevent birth defects in baby’s head and spine. Consider adding folate enriched foods in your diet prior to conceiving.

Of course, there are things than the above points to consider as you embark on your parenting journey. Make sure to read widely and talk to your own parents as you move forward.

Have you ever been warned about or are experiencing bouts of “momnesia” as an expectant mother? These bouts of forgetfulness or “pregnancy brain drain” supposedly afflict all expecting mothers. But, is it really a thing? A 2010 study in Australia suggests otherwise! The study concluded that the brain capacity is unchanged in pregnancy and that this supposed cognitive decline might just be a societal stereotype.

Even then, you might be experiencing “momnesia,” if you seem to struggle with short-term memory loss. You might enter a room and forget what you had to do or get. You might also find it overwhelming to remember appointments. This is a normal symptom as your life and priorities undergo an overhaul! Studies on this phenomenon have yet to yield conclusive evidence, but you have every reason to feel scattered or absentminded during this time.

Pregnancy doesn’t alter your brain, but you might feel less astute during this time! You’re still as you were and have always been. Forgetting things during this time is perfectly normal considering you might be dealing with changes in your body and overall lifestyle. In addition, your changing hormones and brand new responsibilities might result in some “momnesia!” There’s more progesterone and estrogen in you during this time that can affect the neurons in the brain. Things can become overwhelming as priorities change and impact your memory. “Momnesia” can feel debilitating, but is a normal symptom during this period.

Try to counter “momnesia” in these ways:

Sleep deprivation can have a negative impact on the brain. Try using these tips to have a good rest.

The simple way of keeping a To-Do list might be extremely useful during this period. Make sure to make note of the things you need to get done. Use that planner or useful Calender Apps on your phone.

Make sure to do some light exercise to stay active in body and in turn, mind during this period. However, remember to stay safe while at it.

 

Getting that essential shut-eye can be a challenge during pregnancy! Sleep disturbances during this time can be attributed to:

Pregnancy sees you though dramatic hormonal changes that can affect sleep. For instance, changes in estrogen can affect sleep if it makes blood vessels larger, resulting in swelling in the feet, nasal congestion which can make sleep uncomfortable.

The roller-coaster of emotions you might be feeling as you become accustomed to your changing body and other environmental stresses!

It’s harder to sleep as your body is changing and some sleep positions are uncomfortable!

Nevertheless, getting that snooze is important and here’s some tips to help with that:

Make sure to drink enough fluids during the day, but avoid them before bedtime.

Make sure to stick to a simple exercise routine. This will help to relieve cramping and improve blood circulation. Try to exercise during the day.

Stress and anxiety can steal sleep! Make sure to talk to a loved one about the issues you are facing. Try to worry less or speak to a professional if needed.

Make sure to indulge in one of those special body pillows to give you body or back the support it needs. Use as many pillows as required to support your body.

You might like to avoid caffeine during this time as it can muck up your energy levels!

Hope these tips will help you get that critical shut-eye!

 

 

Pregnancy changes your body, but it can also bring about more concerns for your skin! Do you find that people praise your glow? That pregnancy glow is due to the increased blood volume in your body that causes your skin to swell.  This effect lasts until the second or third trimester during which you might need to battle pigmentation and stretch marks!

You can’t control the arrival of stretch marks as you will find your body gains weight to support another being! You can try to use creams and natural oils that can reduce their appearance. They are more common on your stomach.

You might find that you are getting more freckles and age spots during your pregnancy. This is due to hormones! Estrogen stimulates pigment production resulting in the advent of spots! To cope with these changes, use a sun screen when out in the sun. Make sure to use a mineral based one that’s natural and lead free.

Hormones can cause havoc during this time and some pregnant ladies find that they have more acnes during this time. If you have more acne during pregnancy, this might be due to an increase in oil production. You might like to use products suited for oily skin.

That said, make sure to check with your doctor or a dermatologist to see if you might need to stop using certain skincare products during this critical time! Products with Vitamin A or retinols have been reported to cause fetal deformities and should be avoided during pregnancy. Botox treatments should be avoided during pregnancy as it can cause paralysis in the baby.

Keep it simple with your skincare during pregnancy. Use natural cleansers that are water based and are made from natural ingredient. Supplement your skin routine with a healthy diet and make sure to stay hydrated! You might also like to check on the ingredients in your make up products.

 

Being pregnant isn’t easy and you might find that you’re more conscious of your diet and lifestyle. Eating right might be difficult when you’re faced with raging hormones. You might find yourself craving for foods you didn’t exactly fancy before your pregnancy. In order to curb cravings or maintain a balanced diet, you might choose to include artificial sweeteners in your diet. Are they healthy? There is some controversy on whether or not artificial sweeteners are safe during pregnancy. Even then, if you’ve added some artificial sweetener in your morning cup of tea/coffee, fret not! Remember, moderation is key as with all things.

Artificial sweeteners help to curb cravings for sugary foods. These low-calorie sugar substitutes are great for those looking to take less sugar due to health ailments. Only a small amount of artificial sweeteners are needed in your drink or food as they are a hundred times sweeter than normal sugar. Artificial sugars are usually found in a number of products that are advertised as “sugar-free.” More recently, aspartame has been found to have harmful effects on the body. Hence, if taking artificial sugar, you might like to consider avoiding aspartame, not just during pregnancy either.

Majority of the supermarket brands of artificial sweeteners are safe. However, it’s important to take them in moderation as there have been very little human studies on their impacts. Equal and Splenda are known to be safe. However, avoid sweeteners containing Saccharin or Sweet ‘N Low. Studies have reported that it can cross the placenta and stay in the fetal tissue!

You could also try some natural alternatives to sugar in your diet. There can be found easily in health food stores. Replace sugar with agave nectar. When added to iced drinks, agave nectar adds a lovely hint of sweetness. Also, try added honey or molasses to replace sugar in recipes. Make sure to check with your doctor when trying out something new in your diet during pregnancy.

 

 

 

 

It’s difficult to tell if you’ve got a fever during your pregnancy! You might just be experiencing hot flushes from hormonal changes. Being pregnant can impact your immunity. You need to ensure you’re supplementing your diet with proper nutrients and stay hydrated.  Even then, sometimes we can take ill because of other factors. Fever can indicate other underlying concerns when pregnant. There are some symptoms that accompany a fever. These may include shortness of breath, back aches, chills, stiffness or abdominal pain. Research shows that about a third of pregnant women come down with a fever at some stage and still deliver healthy babies. It is important to observe your own symptoms and consult your doctor.

When Do You Have A Fever?

Use your thermometer to assess your temperature. You might be running a fever when your body temperature exceeds 38.5 deg C. Observe your symptoms as a persistent high fever can affect your unborn child. If you find that your temperature isn’t going down after one to two days, see your doctor.

What Are The Causes of Fever?

Take note that a fever might be caused by viral or bacterial infections. Some underlying causes of fever might be a common cold or Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). Some common causes of fever during pregnancy can range from influenza, tonsillitis or pneumonia.

What Kind of Medication Can I Take?

You might be more conscious of your body during pregnancy and prefer to refrain from certain medications. Make sure not to self-medicate during this period and share your symptoms with your doctor. Some kinds of fever might require you to take antibiotics. So make sure to check with your doctor about the kind of medication you need for your symptoms.

Will It Affect My Baby?

Depending on the severity, a fever can indicate that your baby is fending off an infection. Your baby may suffer from complications if you don’t get your persistent high fever treated. Research has linked untreated high fevers during pregnancy to an increased risk of autism in babies. Hence, making that trip to your doctor can help to uncover the underlying cause of the fever. Seek prompt medical treatment and prevent these occurrences by caring for your health.

Take of your body as you nurse that fever. Take warm baths and drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. It is possible to get a fever any time of your pregnancy. Keep a close eye on your temperature when you’re feeling unwell.

 

 

In the aftermath of delivery, you’re bound to encounter a string of sleepless nights as you dutifully attend to your newborn! You’ll be up doing the graveyard shifts more often than not and find yourself completely shattered at the break of day! Do you have to shoulder the sole responsibility or having the hubby chip in? Should dads do night feeds?

Sleep deprivation can be a huge challenge! It might cause various stresses on your body and mind. If you need a hand with handling night feeds, make sure to let your hubby know! He could help out in other ways to burp or change the baby. Don’t let the feelings of envy fester, rather just request your hubby’s help as needed! He might be more than happy to chip in as he might miss being around the baby and you when he’s working.

Getting your hubby to shoulder some of the responsibility can also help to deepen your bond especially in the aftermath of the newborn. You are establishing yourselves as a team and are looking out each other.

Also, seeing as you wouldn’t want to tire him out completely, make sure to work out a suitable schedule. Make sure to keep night feeds as team. It’s a great way to make him feel more involved and also he can begin nurturing a deeper bond with the little one. He’ll learn how to hold and swaddle the little one accordingly.

Besides, wouldn’t it be great to have someone up with you in the wee hours trying to figure out why the little one is all vexed? Make sure you find way for your hubby to support you on this journey and take an active role in the first few months of your child’s birth.

 

 

 

Dental visits, a treat for the teeth? Maybe, but are you held back by dentophobia? Fear of dentists is a widely prevalent symptom and might be stopping you from getting those pearly whites checked out!

 

Even then, it might be good to build a positive relationship with your dentist during pregnancy (if you haven’t already done so!) You will need to couple your oral care with regular visits to the dentist. Don’t let anything get in the way of seeing your dentist during pregnancy. It’s just as important as a regular check-up. Maintaining oral health is directly linked to good overall health.

 

Did you know that getting a dental check-up during your pregnancy is essential? This is because the changes in your body’s composition during pregnancy can make you susceptible to oral issues Some of the common causes of dental health problems during pregnancy can include:

 

Here are three common oral hygiene problems for pregnant moms:

  1. Pregnancy Gingivitis

Hormonal changes may impact your gums and cause inflammation. Pregnancy gingivitis can cause swelling and tenderness of the gums. You might find that your gums are bleeding when cleaning. If left untreated, the condition could lead to more serious forms of gum disease, hence make sure to see your dentist for regular cleanings.

 

  1. Increased Risk of Tooth Decay

Morning sickness can increase the amount of acidity your mouth is exposed to. This can eat away at the enamel, resulting in risk of tooth decay. Hence, it is crucial to keep up with good oral hygiene and regular visits to the dentist.

 

  1. Calcium

You might need to supplement your diet with sources of calcium as your body will lose calcium during pregnancy. Insufficient calcium can impact your teeth negatively. Hence, make sure to take use calcium-enriched dental products and foods. This can protect your teeth and help with your bone mass.

 

While you might be tempted to forgo good oral hygiene due to increased fatigue, try your best to keep to the routine of brushing and flossing twice a day. Oral health can also impact a developing baby. According to research, there is a link between gum disease in pregnant women and premature births. In 1996, The New York Times ran a report that revealed gum disease in pregnancy was linked to premature low-weight babies. Appropriate dental treatment for the expectant mother may reduce the risk of premature birth. Hence, maintaining good oral care Is an important aspect of health that moms-to-be should look after.