Friday, June 19, 2009

Tips For A Healthy Pregnancy

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The New Kid on the Block: 30 Years and Growing

When couples attend Pink Kit classes, they often ask, “Why should we be preparing for birth? We’ve made our birth plan and chosen our care provider.” What is important is that the women is driving the car, not just taking a journey by car, which can imply she is the passenger. What we’re trying to get people to understand is that developing birthing skills is a necessity just like learning to drive a car. These couples include people planning homebirths with independent midwives and people planning hospital births with continuity of care team midwives or a GP or obstetrical specialist. Common Knowledge Trust (CKT) has discovered that analogies may help answer this question.

The Journey
First, we tell them labour is like taking an unknown journey by car. Even if you’ve taken this road before, each journey is different and unknown. It can be very strenuous and demanding. It might be long. You might get tired. Someone or a few people might accompany you. Throughout this journey, others might try to help you out in order to safeguard you and make certain you reach the end safely. Some professionals might suggest that you skip the journey. Circumstances might actually require you to do that. Other professionals will encourage you to take the journey because it might become a highlight of your life.

Then we ask, what is the difference between that scenario and labour? After many responses, we tell them the real difference is that you have already learned to drive a car. If you had to take such a journey and didn’t know how to drive, would you be willing to spend eight to 12 weeks learning beforehand? Where is the birth professional in this analogy? Some are encouraging you to make the journey and others might think it’s too dangerous, or you might think you don’t need to do it, fly instead. The birth professional is usually the low or high tech mechanic.

Next, the couples talk about their relationships to the professional care provider. Their midwives are encouraging them to choose a birth plan. They have decided where to birth, and the doctors are often telling them what they need. So we present analogies to other common professional relationships. We are all passive when we go to the dentist, yet most of us take care of our teeth every day. If we took this approach to birth, we would prepare beforehand, but in the presence of the professional we would be passive. Not ideal.

Giving birth is more like learning to sing, dance, paint, throw pots or play an instrument. We probably seek a professional teacher. Yet we have to do the work to learn, as well as show the teacher our progress. If we took this approach to birth, then the birth professionals would be our musical instrument instructors, yet even midwives don’t often take that role. The Pink Kit is the driving lessons, so this analogy still doesn’t give us a clear understanding of what other similar professional relationship is like labour and being cared for.

By the time the class works through all the analogies, the couples begin to understand: only the woman is going to labour. The father, partner, friend or relative is there to help her on the journey, which will occur around and through whatever professional care they receive.

The Kit
Since The Pink Kit information developed in the U.S. in the late 1970s and 1980s, thousands of couples have used the preparation and then laboured in hospital. Having done the preparation ahead of time, the couples work together with directed breathing; they use positions that keep the woman open. There is been a great deal of ‘best positions’ that have been theoretical and not worked for women, because they didn’t know enough about their bony structure or how the muscles reacted to positions. They do hip lifts and sit-bone spreads and carry out sacral rocking so their sacrum is mobile. This developed instead of the counter pressure on the sacrum that closes the space the baby needs, although it relieves the back pain. Learning to keep the sacrum mobile, gives the baby room and the woman relieved regardless of assessments, monitoring or other procedures going on around them. They just go on working through the process of labour. Staff and doctors often comment on what a “good labour” they had. “Weren’t they lucky? One woman responded: “I wanted to grab that person by the neck and shout, 'You don’t know how hard We worked for that good birth!'”

The Skills
When we ask couples what their mothers and fathers taught them about managing labour, most say: “Nothing,” “Not much,” or “It hurts, you’ll get through it.” If they haven’t been taught by their mothers and fathers how to manage labour, where are they getting the information, and how useful is it?

Whenever people need to accomplish a new task, it’s vitally important that they learn appropriate skills and then apply them. Because so few people have been at births, they have no idea what appropriate skills are. If a woman perceives her contractions as manageable, she will use her breath sustainably, create self-relaxation responses, get into” labour and accept the process. If she perceives them as painful or very, very painful, she will respond with ragged breathing, tensing her body and using other struggling behaviours. What CKT is teaching expectant couples (lessons they will eventually teach their own children) are the sustainable behaviours they can put into place regardless of the woman’s perception, particularly when she does feel her labour to be “painful

The fact is that these are the universal skills that any woman can use, not just another ‘theory’ or ‘technique’. People are continually saying that what they learned in ‘childbirth education’ classes went out the window, which means, to date, those skills aren’t universal enough or not useable. Why would a woman want to respond to labour with frantic behaviour? It’s the lack of appropriately learned skills.

As women learn these appropriate skills and apply them to the task, there is more consistency in how women respond to the process of labour and how their partners can help them stay on a sustainable behaviour track. Because labours are so similar, we can define, hear, see, experience, practice, model, remind, encourage, remember and know appropriate responses to the experience. A woman who is struggling with labour may hold her breath or scream, groan and moan, whereas a woman who is managing her responses to the sensations will tend to breathe in through her nose and out through either her nose or mouth in a manner that sounds “right.” Because most people have no idea what sounds right, we have to show them so they can develop the skills.

We ask fathers or the support people to look at the woman’s face and forehead when she is relaxed during labour . Usually when relaxed, a person’s forehead is smooth. When a woman wrinkles her forehead in labour, the father understands that her internal sensations are intense, and he can observe whether she is responding to them with tension. He can then help her reduce the tension using “common body language” or “common body touch.” If she is breathing more raggedly, he can model directed breathing to remind her to use breath as a focus.

If the partner sees the woman standing on her toes, with shoulders around her ears and bum muscles tight, a father working with The Pink Kit is less likely to tell her to relax, drop her shoulders or come off her toes. Using his skills and knowledge, he’ll just tell her to relax inside the pelvic clock and minnie mouse muscles (her bum muscles). She’ll know what he is talking about. She would have done that herself, except the sensations were a bit too much at the time. She still might not like the experience, but she’ll love how she managed herself. She’ll love her partner for knowing specifically what she needed to do rather than giving her a general direction that could elicit: “I’m trying to relax!” “Shut up!” or “You try!”

One woman said after her birth: “Before each contraction, I set up my directed breathing. The contractions were fine. So I thought to myself, ‘maybe the breathing has nothing to do with it,’ and I just let the next contraction happen. It was off the planet in intensity. What scared me was that it took me four to five more contractions to get it back.”

What the statistics (on our website) don’t show is how empowered both mothers and fathers feel; that the woman knew she could turn to her partner for the coaching skills; that their partnering and parenting relationships are enriched.

There is no doubt that if we had all been at 100 births, we would see and hear which mannerisms are sustainable and which indicate that a woman is struggling with her perception of the experience. But the skills haven’t been passed on generation to generation. Common Knowledge Trust wants that to change. All the couples who use these resources tell us the same thing—they will pass the knowledge on to their sons and daughters. Women will labour, whether at home, in hospital, with a midwife, with a doctor, whether having a natural or a medical birth. Skills work well in all situations.

Knowledge is power. It reduces fears, increases confidence, builds skills and encourages conscious response rather than impulsive reaction to an intense experience. It develops a strong and deeply personal sense of accomplishment for both women and men. Most important, we’ll pass it on to our children.

The Whole Nine Months: Low Carb Diets and Pregnancy

It’s very important to watch what you eat. You are eating for two—which doesn’t mean that you eat more (so say goodbye to that second slice of cake), but that you eat smart. You are your baby’s only source of nutrients, and you need the proper balance of proteins, vitamins, minerals, fiber and carbohydrates.

That being said, most prenatal dieticians strongly advise against adhering to a strict no-carb diet. Without sufficient carbs, your body will produce a by-product called ketones during your blood stream, which can put your baby at risk for brain damage.

But what about low carb diets? Aside from the risk of mental retardation, there are some aspects of low carb diets that can worsen the discomforts of pregnancy. For example, low carb diets tend to have low levels of dietary fiber, which exacerbate the constipation that many pregnant moms suffer because of the required iron supplements. Also, most prenatal dieticians recommend taking a lot of fruit because of its rich vitamin content, but most of the items you’ll find in a typical shake are banned by Atkins and South Beach because of the sugars.

But some doctors may recommend taking modified low-carb diets, especially if you are obese, suffer from gestational diabetes or low blood sugar. All three conditions have been proven to have adverse affects on the baby (including prematurity, birth defects, and early rupture of the membranes) so losing weight or controlling intake may actually be the best thing for your baby.

If you are asked to go on a low-carb diet during pregnancy, you will probably be told to go on the maintenance phase of the Atkins Diet, or the second phase of the South Beach Diet. Here, you are allowed a controlled number of carbohydrates, usually from whole grains and fruits, while minimizing white bread, white rice, and pasta. That is fine, as you are still giving your baby the adequate nutrients, while removing processed foods.

If you are not allowed to go low-carb, but still need to control your weight, there are some options open to you. First of all, eat small but frequent meals. If you want a snack, instead of taking junk food or processed meats (which have a lot of calories, but significantly less nutrients), take salads, fruits, nuts and crackers. Choose lean cuts of meat, and minimize salt and rich sauces during cooking. And while you do need carbohydrates, take in moderation. One plate of pasta is good, three servings of it smothered in white sauce is not.

But the most important thing to remember is that before you go on any diet during pregnancy consult your obstetrician-gynaecologist. She or he can properly determine the best course of action given your particular medical history and the condition of your baby. Do not go on any weight management program without the advice and the approval of your doctor. Whether it’s low carb or Zone or the Mediterranean Diet, the point is that there is a proven link between prenatal nutrition and the baby’s health. Complications can include low birth weight, birth defects, and early delivery.

Tips For A Healthy Pregnancy

Giving birth will no doubt be one of the most magical moments of your life and to ensure that your child is strong and happy, it is important you do all you can to have a healthy pregnancy. To help you and your baby on your way, this article has compiled a number of tips that are guaranteed to make those nine pregnancy months the best they can be!

The first thing you must do when you find you are pregnant is to visit an obstetrician/gynecologist (OBGYN). They will give you an ultrasound to see how far along you are and whether your pregnancy appears to be normal. This stage is crucial and it is important not to leave this too late.

After this, you must begin to change your lifestyle. Remember, you are no longer eating and exercising for yourself but for two! Firstly, if you are a smoker or a drinker, you must quit. Cigarette smoke can lead to low birth weight in babies as well as miscarriages and tubal pregnancies so try to avoid second hand smoke as it is not conducive to a healthy pregnancy. The same can be said for alcohol and other toxic chemicals and substances such as paint fumes. These items are both damaging to the mother and to the pregnancy.

Another part of changing your lifestyle is your diet during pregnancy. Make sure to drink plenty of water – about 6 to 8 glasses a day. It is not healthy to be overweight or underweight during a pregnancy but do remember that you shouldn’t diet during pregnancy. Pregnancy is not a time to be worrying about your weight! Don’t skip meals as you and your baby need as much nutrition and calories as possible, although not the fattening kind so make sure you get a balance. Junk food is great to satisfy those crazy pregnancy cravings but try not to go overboard!

If you are worried about weight gain during pregnancy, a great alternative to dieting is light exercise. You may not have loved it before your pregnancy, but learn to love it now as it will definitely pay off in the long run by keeping your baby healthy and your body fit. Light exercises will not harm your pregnancy so try swimming, yoga and walking.

An additional healthy pregnancy tip that those with busy schedules tend to forget is the importance of sleep. Make sure to get plenty of rest so that you and your baby can recuperate and to ensure that your immune system is as strong as possible. It is advised that you rest on your side to reduce swelling and generate the best circulation to your baby.

To recap: avoid damaging substances such as nicotine and alcohol, don’t diet during pregnancy, drink plenty of water, practice as much exercise as safely possible, and get plenty of sleep! Following these pregnancy tips will make certain that you have a healthy pregnancy and have a happy and fit child.

Tips for a Smooth Start to Breast Feeding

Many different sources were used while writing this article; I hope you find it informative and helpful.

There are many ways to plan to be a mother and to breast feed for the first time.

First find out as much as you can, this can involve reading about breastfeeding during your pregnancy, check out our web site there is a mass of information on it, so you will know what to do once your baby is in your arms, attending antenatal lessons and learning `about breast feeding there, or you can even join a support group and enjoy mingling with other mothers who can give you lots of tips and guidance.

During pregnancy, it is very important you take good care of yourself. This ensures when it comes to the time to have your baby, it is as stress free and healthy a birth as it can possibly be.

There are plenty of things you can do to prepare yourself for feeding your baby whilst you are still pregnant; these include ensuring your breasts are prepared for the feeding experience. It's always a good idea to tell your midwife or obstetrician of any breast surgery you may have had as this might influence your abilities to feed your baby. Also check your nipples to see if they have become inverted, this can present difficulties when the time comes for the baby to latch on,

Speak to your friends and family about their breastfeeding experiences, or go to a breastfeeding support group so you can meet and chat to other breastfeeding mothers.

Once your baby has been born, its important that the baby is put to the breast immediately. This is because the suckling instinct in a baby is very strong when they are first born. If you can get your baby to latch on inside those first few minutes of life, it is imprinted on them and subsequent breast-feeding experiences should become a lot easier.

Most maternity hospitals give you the opportunity to let your baby stay in the same room as you overnight. This is a good idea, so make certain you take advantage of it. It will give you that added time to both get to know one another and create the mother and baby bond that is so important.

If your baby does sleep in the nursery it's important that the nursery staff don't feed your baby formula whilst you are sleeping. Insist that when he awakens he is brought to you for feeding from your breast even if it is the middle of the night.

Don't be concerned that you are not producing much milk to start off with, this is normal. The thin liquid that is created just after your baby is born is rich in nutrients and antibodies. It is enough to keep your baby happy until your milk "comes in" a few of days after your baby is born.

I hope you found the above helpful and you have a good experience breastfeeding your baby.

Tips for Healthy Eating During Pregnancy

You probably already know how important it is to eat a well-balanced diet, but it is even more important when you are pregnant. Keep in mind now you are eating for two. Whatever you eat, the baby eats as well. In fact the baby actually takes your nourishments so you must eat enough for both of you. The healthier you eat the better it is for the pregnancy and you.

Never miss a meal while you are pregnant, especially breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and your baby has probably been waiting since he/she woke up in the middle of the night. You may learn that if you wait so long before eating you start to feel sick, this is your body telling you to eat. Do it!

Make sure you are getting enough of the food you need daily. It takes 4-6 servings of dairy produce a day for a healthy pregnancy, this can include some cheeses, milk, yogurt. This provides the baby with calcium which it’ll need to develop healthy growing bones. Adding extra calcium to your diet wouldn’t hurt you either, especially your teeth and bones.

Don’t forget about your fruit and vegetable servings. Lots of green is always a good choice, so are sweet potatoes. Not only will you be giving your body what it needs but you’ll start to have more energy. Try laying off the sweets for a week and replace them with healthier items and see how alive you feel.

Foods to Avoid
Not all foods are safe during your pregnancy, there are a few things you should avoid eating:

- unpasteurized products- brie and other soft cheeses if unpateurized.

- Certain fish- exotic, shark, swordfish, anything potentially high in mercury

- Raw eggs

- Undercooked meats- lunch meats. If you are buying a deli sandwich you can ask for them to heat the meat up a little.

- Caffeine- soda, chocolate. If you find this difficult you can wean yourself off, but the less caffeine in your system the better it is for the baby.

If you are ever unsure of the foods you can eat, you can ask your doctor for a list of items to avoid during pregnancy. They’ll be more than happy to share this with you.

You may also learn that your stomach won’t handle certain foods that it would before. Some of those foods may include foods that contain grease, fast foods, meat, and certain foods that have a strong odor.

Eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to cut out all the fun in your life, you can still treat yourself from time to time. Go out and get a frozen yogurt or a smoothie.

While you are making sure you get enough to eat throughout the day, that doesn’t mean neglecting your fluid intake. You’ll need lots of water and juices from here on out. The baby will thank you later. Who knows, you may discover that you really enjoy eating healthier meals and continue it even after the pregnancy.

Two New Series Show The Stylish Side Of Motherhood. Mothers' lives are profiled in a new series. Pregnant models are tearing up the runways.

Moms have long had a special day once a year. Now one TV channel is featuring them every day of the week. Two brand-new series give viewers a perspective on the modern-day mom and her secrets to a healthy, balanced life-juggling career, family and personal time.

The shows feature women who mix motherhood with exciting and busy lives outside the home. They help bring attention to fun, hip and busy moms who know the secret to the healthy balance of work and family life.

A series for moms of today's fast-paced generation, "Yummy Mummy" celebrates and commiserates with the joys, challenges, payoffs and perils of being a modern-day parent, wife, professional and friend. Combining animated vignettes with live action, the show invites experts, celebrities and parents to share their knowledge and experiences. Host Erica Ehm is committed to uncovering the truth about parenting. She gives viewers a true understanding of a balanced, healthy and exciting life. The show can be seen Monday through Friday at noon and at 3 PM on Discovery Health.

"Runway Moms" is a vérité-style daytime series strutting its stuff on Discovery Health Channel weekdays at 8 AM with repeats at 2 PM and 4 PM. Liza Elliott-Ramirez runs Expecting Models, the only professional agency dedicated to providing work for pregnant professional models in the fashion and commercial world. The series follows Liza's New York City-based modeling agency, capturing moments on the catwalk and providing important information about healthy pregnancy, labor and delivery. Each episode profiles expecting models as they balance their career with the dramatic changes they experience throughout pregnancy.

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What Are The Early Signs Of Pregnancy?

Pregnancy is the carrying of one or more embryos or fetuses by female mammals, including humans, inside their bodies. In a pregnancy, there can be multiple gestations (for example, in the case of twins, or triplets). Human pregnancy is the most studied of all mammalian pregnancies.

Human pregnancy lasts approximately 9 months between the time of the last menstrual cycle and childbirth (38 weeks from fertilisation). The medical term for a pregnant woman is genetalian, just as the medical term for the potential baby is embryo (early weeks) and then fetus (until birth).

A woman who is pregnant for the first time is known as a primigravida or gravida 1: a woman who has never been pregnant is known as a gravida 0; similarly, the terms para 0, para 1 and so on are used for the number of times a woman has given birth.

In many societies medical and legal definitions, human pregnancy is somewhat arbitrarily divided into three trimester periods, as a means to simplify reference to the different stages of fetal development.

The first trimester period carries the highest risk of miscarriage (natural death of embryo or fetus). During the second trimester the development of the fetus can start to be monitored and diagnosed. The third trimester marks the beginning of viability, which means the fetus might survive if an early birth occurs.

Before pregnancy begins, a female oocyte (egg) must join, by male spermatozoon in a process referred to in medicine as "fertilisation", or commonly (though perhaps inaccurately) as "conception."

In most cases, this occurs through the act of sexual intercourse, in which a man ejaculates inside a woman, thus releasing his sperm. Though pregnancy begins at implantation, it is often convenient to date from the first day of a woman's last menstrual period. This is used to calculate the Estimated Date of Delivery (EDD).

Traditionally (according to Naegele's rule, which is used to calculate the estimated date of delivery, or EDD), a human pregnancy is considered to last approximately 40 weeks (280 days) from the last menstrual period (LMP), or 37 weeks (259 days) from the date of fertilization. However, a pregnancy is considered to have reached term between 37 and 43 weeks from the beginning of the last menstruation. Babies born before the 37 week mark are considered premature, while babies born after the 43 week mark are considered postmature.

According to Merck, the norm for human pregnancy is that it lasts 266 days from the date of fertilization. This is 38 weeks, or approximately 8 Gregorian months and 22.5 days, or 9.0 lunar months). Counting from the beginning of the woman's last menstrual cycle, the norm is 40 weeks (the basis for Naegele's rule).

According to the same reference, less than 10% of births occur on the due date, 50% of births are within a week of the due date, and almost 90% within two weeks. But it is not clear whether this refers to the due date calculated from an early sonograph or from the last menstruation (see further down).

Though these are the averages, the actual length pregnancy depends on various factors. For example, the first pregnancy tends to last longer than subsequent pregnancies.

An accurate date of fertilization is important, because it is used in calculating the results of various prenatal tests (for example, in the triple test). A decision may be made to induce labour if a baby is perceived to be overdue. Due dates are only a rough estimate, and the process of accurately dating a pregnancy is complicated by the fact that not all women have 28 day menstrual cycles, or ovulate on the 14th day following their last menstrual period. Approximately 3.6% of all women deliver on the due date predicted by LMP, and 4.7% give birth on the day predicted by ultrasound.

The beginning of pregnancy may be detected in a number of ways, including various pregnancy tests which detect hormones generated by the newly-formed placenta. Clinical blood and urine tests can detect pregnancy soon after implantation, which is as early as 6-8 days after fertilization. Home pregnancy tests are personal urine tests, which normally cannot detect a pregnancy until at least 12-15 days after fertilization. Both clinical and home tests can only detect the state of pregnancy, and cannot detect its age.

In the post-implantation phase, the blastocyst secretes a hormone named human chorionic gonadotropin which in turn, stimulates the corpus luteum in the woman's ovary to continue producing progesterone. This acts to maintain the lining of the uterus so that the embryo will continue to be nourished. The glands in the lining of the uterus will swell in response to the blastocyst, and capillaries will be stimulated to grow in that region. This allows the blastocyst to receive vital nutrients from the woman. Pregnancy tests detect the presence of human chorionic gonadotropin.
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What is so special about maternity clothes?

Maternity clothes are designed to make a women look and feel more comfortable when they are pregnant. It is important for women to wear clothes that will fit them well and not be too restrictive when they are pregnant as well as making them look and feel good about their body. This is going to be the difficult part for most of the women today. No matter what they find, it never seems to be good enough for them.

Pregnant women will find that over a time period of nine months, her body can make so many different changes. This is going to be easily noticed by others and hard to deal with by the mother to be. It is difficult watching their bellies expand as well as their bottoms and thighs. This is all part of being pregnant. Women will have to find clothes to fit them in all the right places when they are pregnant. It is important for the clothes to be loose fitting in the waist and flattering in all the other parts of the body.

Not only does a woman have to choose maternity clothes for their exterior appearances, they also have to wear under garments that are made especially for women. It is important for women to wear underwear that are made to stretch. Women may also find it necessary to buy special bras to fit their newly formed body.

Not only will a women’s belly grow when pregnant, their bust line will sometimes get bigger too. It may be a necessity for the pregnant lady to fit a bra that fits them more comfortably as well as give them the support that they must have in order to avoid the dreaded stretch marks on their chest.

There are so many different designer and creators of maternity clothes now that women will be able to find an outfit for just about any occasion and for any budget. You may not want to spend a lot of money on these clothes because they are only going to be used for a few months. However, these clothes are going to be a very important thing in this women’s life. They will determine how these ladies feel while their bodies are changing.

There are fun and flirty maternity clothes as well as clothes made for causal everyday. There are also many clothing options for a woman to wear to the office or to work. Women will have the chance to wear fabulous clothes that will allow them to still be comfortable too.

Feeling special is one of the main things that maternity clothes designers try to achieve. Their goal is to design clothes to flatter and enhance the figures of the mothers to be. When a woman feels special in their maternity clothes, they will feel better inside too. The months of being pregnant will fly by when women has better options for what they wear.

What To Do About Hair Loss After Pregnancy

After the baby is born, though, the extra hair is gradually released, and hair loss after pregnancy is much more pronounced than it was before or during pregnancy.

This is normal, so do not worry about it. It could take up to a year for the hair to return to its normal rate of falling out, a few strands at a time.

So, do not worry if you notice hair loss after pregnancy. It is normal, and a result of your hormones gradually readjusting to their normal pre-pregnancy state.

Hormones affect many parts of the body, including hair, nails, milk production, ovulation, moods, and menstruation.

During pregnancy, nails become notably harder. Just as there is a normal amount of hair loss after pregnancy, the fingernails will also return gradually to the way a woman had normally experienced them.

Pregnancy is a whole body experience. After the baby is born, the mother’s body has a lot of things to do in order to return to its usual non-pregnant state.

A mother who is nursing will have a longer period of readjustment than one who is not. Still, always remember, nine and a half months up, at least the same amount of time down!

Besides hair loss after pregnancy, a woman might notice changes in her nails. Besides hair loss after pregnancy, you may have noted other changes in your hair during pregnancy. Hormones affect the whole body, including the hair.

Hair that was normally straight might suddenly begin to grow in curlier than ever during pregnancy. Or, hair that was curly may get straighter and straighter as a pregnancy progresses.

It can take a year for hair to readjust to its normal thickness and straight or wavy state after the baby is born.

It can be startling to see such an increase in hair loss after pregnancy. You may find clumps of hair on the drain, or in your brush. You won’t see thin patches on your head, so don’t worry about that. You are simply releasing hair that was extra during your pregnancy. This can take a year to return to normal.

One of the most interesting things about pregnancy is the way it affects a woman’s hair. During pregnancy, the hair becomes fuller. That is because the follicles don’t release hair at the same rate as when the body is not pregnant.

So, hair loss during pregnancy is not very common, and hair will usually fall out less than when a woman is not pregnant.

What To Expect From A Twin Pregnancy: ABC’s Of Multiple Birth

Imagine wishing and trying for one baby and ending up with two! Statistics show that there has been an increase in twin pregnancy the past few years and this short guide should answer any questions you have to giving birth to multiples!

How do twins begin?
There are two kinds of twins: identical twins and fraternal twins. In the case of identical twins, the egg is fertilized and then splits into two cells. Each cell carries identical DNA and so both children will look exactly the same with only slight differences such as height or birthmarks. Fraternal twins are not identical. Instead of having one egg that splits into two, there are two eggs that are fertilized by two different sperm at the same time so they could be of two different sexes with different physical characteristics.

Early signs of twin pregnancy
An early sign of twin pregnancy is excessive morning sickness and extreme fatigue. Morning sickness is common with all pregnant mothers but those who are giving birth to multiples tend to experience more morning sickness than usual. Exhaustion is another early sign of twin pregnancy. Again, it is not uncommon for pregnant women to be more tired than usual but those who are having twins tend to undergo enhanced exhaustion. Twins are hereditary and so if you are feeling excessively tired, are often nauseous and twins run in your family, you very well could be giving birth to multiples!

Twin pregnancy facts
With twins, you’ll have to prepare for double the trouble! This means you will probably be gaining more weight than with a single pregnancy. Due to this extra weight, a pregnancy with twins can often be more uncomfortable – severe exhaustion, stronger backaches and headaches, etc. So get plenty of sleep and rest. Try a pregnancy massage, a great stress reliever to those giving birth to multiples. Also be prepared for a possible c-section, as with multiples this is the more common way of giving birth. Because a twin pregnancy is considered a high risk pregnancy, you will probably need to consult your obstetrician more often than if you were having a regular pregnancy. Do not be fazed as this is quite common with twins.

Having a twin pregnancy is most certainly a mixed blessing. Whilst having two children is an amazing experience, the pregnancy itself can be tough so make sure to take care of yourself.

When To Take A Pregnancy Test

Knowing when to take a pregnancy test will help you know whether or not you're pregnant. If you're wanting to know when to take a pregnancy test, the timing depends on the type of test.

There are two basic types of pregnancy tests - the urine test and the blood test. Both tests look for the hormone that is only present if a woman is pregnant. This hormone is called 'human chorionic gonadotropin', also referred to as 'hCG'. Blood tests can detect hCG about 6 to 8 days after you have ovulated. In general, urine tests can detect hCG about 14 days after ovulation.

When to take a pregnancy test at home is done by many women using a pregnancy test that will test the urine to determine if they are pregnant. Home pregnancy tests are convenient, inexpensive and are private. The urine test should be done using your first urine when you awake in the morning. When you have a positive home pregnancy test result, you should then see your health care provider soon. Your health care provider will confirm your home test result with a blood test plus a pelvic exam.

When to take a pregnancy test is important, because if you test too early in your pregnancy, there may not yet be enough of the pregnancy hormone in the urine to provide a positive test result. Most of the home pregnancy tests will be 90% accurate if you wait and test yourself one day after your missed period is due. If you feel you are pregnant but the home pregnancy test is negative, repeat the test again in a week if you still have not had your period. And if you are still getting negative test results and think you are pregnant, be sure and see your health care provider right away.

Pregnancy is a wonderful event that is complex, frustrating, satisfying and exciting. Your desire to become pregnant and having a child will have even more significance to you if it means you'll be taking better care of yourself and your partner. Besides knowing when to take a pregnancy test, learn as much as you can about improving your own health so you'll be providing that special little one the very best start to life that is possible.


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