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15 Early Symptoms Of Pregnancy

Early physical symbols are an essential way of confirming whether you are pregnant or not. Are you not sure if you are pregnant? Ask your body and you will know!

Not all women become aware of the signs of pregnancy before several weeks have gone by when they realize that they have missed their first menstrual periods! Even more,  not all women experience the same symbols of pregnancy.

Here are the 15 most prominent symptoms which indicate that you are pregnant!

Increased Appetite

though one of the most common symptoms of pregnancy, it cannot confirm whether you are pregnant or not. A deficiency of a particular nutrient can also result in an increase in appetite. You can, however, consider it as a potent sign if you observe it with some other symptoms.

Darker Nipples

A Darker color tone of one’s nipples is considered to be one of the early symptoms of pregnancy. This change can very well ensure you that you have conceived! But it can also be a result of hormonal imbalance and an effect of past pregnancy!

Cramping and blood staining

Blood stains of pink or brown color, almost eight days after ovulation, is a well-trusted sign of pregnancy. This is called as “implantation” and takes place when the fertilized egg is implanted on endometrial lining.

Frequent urination

you are urinating much more frequently than usual. It is likely a symptom of pregnancy. Once the embryo is implanted,  it increases the Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin (HCG) which results in frequent urination.

Feeling of fatigue

Maybe you haven’t performed any physically strenuous activity, yet you would feel tired and fatigued. You would find everything weary and irritating as you would feel tired every now and then! Nonetheless, continued tiredness can also be due to low energy levels, so, this symptom along with any other symptom of pregnancy can be regarded as an indicator of pregnancy.

Swollen breasts

It is a definite indicator of pregnancy when your breasts are swollen. It is quite similar to the times before menstruation. Due to hormonal changes, the breasts become tender.

Nothing is tasty for you

if your favorite dishes and taste no more please you, then you can be quite sure that you have conceived. You have an altered preference for taste and have a metallic taste in our mouth.

Morning sickness

it is one of the most common symptoms of pregnancy. The last time you had sex and didn’t use any contraception, and you have this symptom of morning sickness, then you could be quite sure you have conceived! The situation gets more complicated, with the accompanying sense of nausea.

Missed Period

You have regular periods every month but you have skipped them this month. It is the most common symptom that you have conceived. In another case, you have irregular periods almost all time but you feel an increased rate of metabolism in your body now, you should head off to get a pregnancy test done!

Increased sensitivity to odors

The odor of some food items like coffee, fried onions or egg can make a pregnant woman feel nauseatic.  They prefer staying away from places with such odors. The changes in estrogen level in their body bring such effect.

High basal body temperature

if it is more than 18 days that you observe high basal body temperature without signs of any bacterial disease, you might quite be sure that you are expecting!

Unusual sensation

Due to the high surge and differences in hormonal changes in a woman’s body, she might be feeling unusual or distended. This is quite similar to the feeling you get before menstruation.

Abdominal bloating

if you are experiencing abdominal bloating (which you also experience during menstruation), but at a faster rate, then you should take caution. Abdominal bloating along with some other symptoms of pregnancy ensures that you have conceived.

Getting faint

Expecting mothers face this problem quite often in the early days of their pregnancy. Although this can also happen due to fatigue, low energy levels or anemia.

Constipation

pregnant mothers face problems of constipation which can be due to change in hormone levels. It can also be due to irregular eating habits. If this is accompanied by swollen breasts, nausea or any other symptom of pregnancy, you should go for a test!

If you are facing any of these symptoms, then you should go for a home pregnancy test as soon as possible. If not, consult a gynecologist to confirm your pregnancy!

8 Exercises Which Are Safe And Healthy For A Pregnant Women

Pregnancy doesn’t demand a woman to sit ideal, literally without any physical exercise. In fact, nowadays doctors even ask pregnant mothers to indulge in a safe physical exercise which will not only improve their physical strength but also increase their body flexibility. These exercises also have several positive physical impacts on the woman’s body as well as that for the baby as these exercises ensure better blood circulation and oxygen supply! So, these are the 9 exercises which are safe as well as healthy for a pregnant woman!

Kegel Exercises

Kegel exercises are recommended for every woman who is pregnant as these not only strengthen muscles but also help in controlling muscle pain during delivery.

The greatest advantage of Kegel exercises are that they can be performed anytime anywhere. These exercises help in regulating muscle control which prevents bladder leaks and hemorrhoids. It also prevents several pregnancy-related complications like strengthening of pelvic muscles and bladder control.  They also help in regaining control after delivery.

Swimming

 It is a complete exercise for the whole body which keeps the mother’s body muscles toned without putting any stress on the body. It also helps pregnant women in performing cardiovascular activities which are healthy for them. It is a wholesome safe and healthy exercise for all expecting women.

Walking

 Walking is a healthy exercise for all as it improves our cardiovascular health, improves blood circulation and increases fresh air supply to the body. But one should always wear sports shoes before going for a walk.

Running and Jogging

 Jogging is a well-recommended pre-gestation exercise. Keep your body hydrated while you go for running as you should avoid overheating of your body. Having a proper jogging kit is absolutely necessary. It regulates blood circulation, oxygen supply and keeps our body flexible and active as well.

Bicycling or biking

Bicycling helps in regulating our body weight without putting any stress on it. Go for a stationary exercising bicycle as you won’t have the risk of falling down. Be careful to not over-exhaust your body and bicycle slowly and comfortably.

Yoga

The Indian art of YOGA has been proven to be extremely beneficial for pregnant women as they not only help in relieving mental stress but also release physical stress and tension. But expecting women should not indulge in any tough postures. Yoga has several benefits for would-be mothers:

  • Increases flexibility
  • Enhanced lubrication of body joints
  • Tones body and offers complete nourishment to the body
  • Offers peace of mind and can help in dealing with mood swings
  • Reduction of fat and can help in reducing the problem of indigestion

Aerobics

 Performing aerobics without proper support from one’s healthcare provider or fitness trainer can be harmful during pregnancy. Although when performed in the guidance of your trainer, it can be really good for your health and can keep you fit. Also, they can help you maintain balance while performing these activities. Trainers also prescribe routines which are easier and helpful for a pregnant woman.

Dancing

Dancing can also be helpful for pregnant woman as well. You can move your body to tunes at home or gym in presence of a fitness trainer.

 FOOTNOTE:

  • Do not perform tough muscle building activities.
  • If you are interested in adventure sports like horse riding and mountaineering, then you should stop such activities now.
  • Women who are into physical exercises have an easier delivery.

Ladies!! So start exercising today itself and have a healthy body as well as a healthy baby!

7 Tips For Having A Natural Childbirth

Pregnant Women mostly want to have a natural childbirth and not one with C-Section. It is so because vaginal childbirths are much easier and do not have any side effects on the health of the woman as can be seen in the case for C-Section. C-section also calls for many efforts and care even after the delivery. Natural childbirth is quite a reasonable decision but women do not know how to achieve it and what will be the best and healthy way to achieve it.

You can go through the following tips to have a healthy natural childbirth.

Get the best pre-natal education

Many child care centers and hospitals hold classes on pregnancy issues and provide ample knowledge to deal with labor pains. They also give tip and education on the vaginal delivery and how to encourage such methods of delivery of a child. You can join one of such classes.

Opt a doctor who is known for natural childbirth

There are many doctors who have a reputation for going for C-Sections whenever they go for the delivery of a baby. Many, on the other hand, are known to support natural childbirth. If you want to go for natural childbirths, its better you go to a doctor who has reputation for natural childbirth.

Do not gain too much weight

It’s a lot easier to go for natural childbirth if you don’t put up too much weight. Labors go much smoothly when you are not too heavy and increase the chances of having a natural childbirth.

Opt for a low intervention pregnancy

If you do not have any serious health complications, then just go for a low intervention pregnancy. You surely need to go through some major tests which are mandatory during pregnancy but it’s better to avoid any unnecessary tests during pregnancy.

Early labor at home

You can try spending the early labor phase at home. Walk around normally, eat, rest, drink lots of water and take baths until you start experiencing contractions at an interval of fewer than 5 minutes. This increases your chance of vaginal delivery. But be sure to go for this step, only if you are confident of yourself and can deal with the sudden labor pain and contractions.

Use water as much as possible

There is much need to use water to have a natural childbirth. You can go for a shower, bathtubs, bathing pools, and hot compresses to be in the water as much as possible. This increase the chances of natural childbirth to a great extent.

Implements pre-natal education

You should try and implement all the knowledge you gathered at the prenatal education classes, especially in the early and late labor stage. You need to breathe, relax, go for walks, listen to music or meditate or go for pregnancy yoga for as long as you are allowed. Literally, anything that makes you happy and keeps you calm is all you need at this point in time.

6 Ways to Avoid Unplanned Pregnancy

Pregnancy, when welcomed by both the partners in a relationship can be joyful and the happiest phase of one’s life. Pregnancy calls for great responsibilities, compromises, care, and patience.

So, when pregnancy is unplanned and unwanted, it can turn out to be one of the most disturbing phases of one’s life. Not only does it create tension between the two partners, but also is unhealthy for the child-bearer and the fetus itself.

It is best to avoid unplanned pregnancy. There are several ways to avoid unplanned pregnancy. Those are as follows:

Avoid sexual intercourse

Abstinence from any sexual intercourse or sexual relationship is logically the best to avoid any chance of becoming pregnant when you are not ready for it. The chance of becoming pregnant can be altogether removed by not indulging in any sexual intercourse.

You anyway should not indulge in any sexual relationship unless you are ready. Once you have decided to have a sexual relationship with someone, no matter which contraceptive method you use, there will always be a chance to get pregnant.

Condom

This is perhaps the most common and effective method to avoid pregnancy. This has been recorded to prevent 90% of unwanted pregnancies. This is a safe method not only to prevent pregnancy but also to prevent Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs).

IUD

IUD or Intra Uterine Devices are another effective method to prevent unwanted pregnancies. It is inserted into the uterus and can be carried around for 5 years.

It does not have any side-effect on the body and health of a woman and is safe for prevention of unwanted pregnancy.

Birth Control Pills

Another common yet effective method to prevent pregnancy is Birth Control Pills. Birth Control Pills work on the hormones that cause ovulation and delays or prevent it, hence, preventing pregnancy one is not ready for.

These pills are an effective method to avoid pregnancy but must be taken under medical prescription.

Female Sponge

Female Sponge is a safety device to prevent unwanted pregnancy and is free of hormones, unlike other methods.

It has to be inserted into the vagina. It is an easy yet effective method to use, which also prevents STDs.

The only disadvantage is that the idea of Female Sponge is not wide enough and is not readily available at local drug stores

Female Contraceptive Devices

There are several Female Contraceptive devices available now. For eg, Diaphragm.

The diaphragm is a flexible rubber disc which has to be inserted deep inside the cervix through the vagina, in a clinical setting.

It is customized in terms of the size of different individuals and is a common method to control and prevent pregnancy.

There are Female condoms as well which are equally safe and effective in preventing unwanted pregnancy.

 

All of these methods are effective but is very essential to take a proper decision when it comes to choosing a proper contraceptive method to avoid pregnancy as it is going to have a life-long impact on the sexual life and the relationship between you and your partner. Always go on to consult a doctor before you make any decision in this context.

Pampering Yourself

Pregnancy is a time during which you deserve to pamper yourself. Whether it be dealing with the sickness and tiredness of the first trimester, basking in the glow of the second trimester or to deal with the sadness over the fact that you cannot even see your toes anymore during the third trimester.

Of course, a spa can cost a pretty penny; we can’t all afford them whenever we wish. However, there are many different ways to pamper yourself from the convenience of your own home! Take a few hours of your day and follow some simple steps to give yourself a little treat and feel gorgeous and relaxed. The best part is that you can follow this routing even if you aren’t pregnant by swapping some of the products for items more suited to you.

We all know the best part about going to the spa is the nice and fluffy robe that you get to wear. Well, there are many stores where you might find them for cheap and get to have a spa feel at home.

The first step is to run a warm bath so that you can lounge and relax. Make sure it is not too hot, especially if you are in your first trimester. It should be warm enough to make you comfortable but not enough to make your skin go pink.

While running the bath, you can take this opportunity to remove any make that you might have had on your face.

You can even apply a face mask to nourish and pamper your skin, and to make sure it is clean.

Apply this all over your face and relax in your bubble bath as you wait for it to dry. You’ll be relaxed and have clear skin with the help of this routine.

Personally, I don’t think a luxury bubble bath is complete without some candles! I love the ones with soft and mellow scents, and love to light them up while I relax in my bath for a full-blown luxurious spa feel.

Once you’ve rinsed off your face mask and had a relaxing soak you can start exfoliating and cleanse your body. Make sure to use scrubs that are more suited to sensitive skin. Scrub your arms and legs (be careful to avoid the delicate stretched skin of your bump) to remove dead cells and help make your skin feel softer and smoother.

After you’re done exfoliating and cleansing your skin it’s time for some shower cream. Apply your favorite option liberally and thoroughly. Once you’re done, it’s time to leave your warm bath. It’s a good idea to keep your towels or robe on the radiator for when you get out of the bath so that you don’t get too chilly.

Once you have dried off, spare some time to take care of your bump. You can use oil and creams especially designed for pregnant women to take care of the stretched skin around your bump if you wish to avoid stretch marks.

4 Ways For Preschool Prep

If your little one is starting preschool soon, then you’re in the same boat as I am.

It’s a big roller-coaster of emotions, isn’t it? While on the one hand, you are excited for your child to make new friends, enjoy the experience of preschool and of course, reach such a major milestone in his or her life, you may be a little apprehensive about letting them go out into the world all alone.

Don’t worry; it’s a pretty normal reaction that all parents feel. Your child, likely, is going through a number of emotions themselves!

One minute they are excited about their new school, and to finally be a big boy or a big girl, the next, they’re sticking to you everywhere you go because they don’t want to leave you behind. At least, that’s what my kid is doing.

First-time jitters are common for every kid (and their parents!), but it doesn’t have to be so stressful, make it fun instead! Here are a few things that you can do to make sure your child is ready and excited for the big day

Visit their new preschool

Letting your child get used to their new environment while you are with them will go a long way in putting your child at ease when you are not with them.

Ask the school authorities if and when you can visit with your child for a tour. Play with them on the playground and let them roam around with you as much as possible and for as long as possible. These visits will help your child become more confident and comfortable n his or her new surroundings.

Explore the idea of preschool through games

Play pretend to let your child get used to the idea of preschool. Act out saying goodbye to mommy and daddy, greeting the teacher and answer all their questions patiently.

In this way, your child will be more confident in performing these tasks when the big day arrives.

Learn what you can about preschool, together

Another excellent way to explore the idea of preschool is to learn more about them. There are several informative books that are available at most public libraries that talk about preparing yourself to go to preschool and other helpful resources. Make the most of these resources and share them with your child.

Practice self-help games

When they are at preschool they will have to do certain things or activities by themselves. Make sure that they are prepared for them by practicing them at home.

You can make this fun by making games out of them, like who can tie their shoes the fastest, or who can unzip their coat and hang them first. In this way, you can be assured that they will be able to handle themselves in class and won’t need a lot of help.

Children often shy away from asking for help in new environments, so if they are already equipped with the knowledge of how to do what, they won’t be uncomfortable and be more confident.

How To Naturally Manage Stress

Stress is something that everyone deals with, and more often than not it becomes quite hard to cope with the stress. Not all stress is negative and sometimes stress might motivate to complete a task or get the work done, but it undeniably also has a lot of adverse effects on the quality of life. It is quite hard to overcome stress overnight, it is best to just accept that and try to look for more holistic options that will eventually and gradually help manage stress. In this post, we’ll be talking about ways to naturally manage stress instead of using medications. These natural ways of managing stress will ensure a healthier way of living and of course, will have other benefits for a healthier mind and body.

Exercise

Exercise helps in getting your blood moving, which helps in toxin elimination. Our body often has toxin build-up, which affects the circulation in our body and digestion. Therefore, exercise would help in releasing these toxins from your body and at the same time, it would also help in strengthening muscles and moving the joints. Exercise will also minimize weight gain from stress.

Meditate

Meditation helps relax the body and increases focus. Meditation has often helped reduce stress and the best part about it is that it does not involve any medication and it also provides time for you to focus on yourself and have time to yourself to clear out thoughts and have a peace of mind. There are various types of meditation to try which you could do for a few minutes before you start your day.

Stretching

Stretching helps ease the tension out of the body and it might prove to be beneficial to combine stretching with meditation. Stretching is known to relax tight muscles and help move joints. Stretching along with meditation might be a great option as it targets both the body and the mind at the same time, therefore it will help manage stress and help you to relax even better.

Herbal Teas

Herbal teas are one of the easiest ways to kick-start your stress-free lifestyle. Herbal teas are easily available and they are also quite cheap. Because of their accessibility, they are a great option to at least start with. You can have herbal teas throughout the day, for instance, you could start your day with a cup of herbal tea or even have a cup before bedtime. There are various different types and blends to select from, you might want to try out various types of or different blends of herbs to find one or a few that you like and which work for you the best.

Eating Well

Eating well and providing your body with enough nutrition is an absolute essential when dealing with stress. Vitamin C, Vitamin D, calcium, potassium, and magnesium are essential and helpful in helping the body cope with stress. Vitamin c is known to boost the immune system, Calcium, Vitamin D, and potassium are extremely vital for bone health and muscle function. And magnesium is helpful in muscle relaxation and nerve function. In addition to eating food that is rich in vitamins, you might also consider taking good-quality vitamin supplements. Do remember to eat fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains as much is possible.

5 Post-Partum Body Surprises You Cannot Prepare For!

When you’re expecting your first baby, you have no idea what you’re in for. It is an unchartered territory and you couldn’t be more scared. So, to prepare for it, you dive deep into the depths of the internet and read up on every health blog, mom blogs, parenting blogs and what not.

Or at least that’s what I did. I read innumerable blog posts about pregnancy, what was normal, what wasn’t, how to help morning sickness, how to eat better, what to buy in order to prepare for the baby and what not. Naively, I really did not read much about what to do after the baby was here.

I mean, sure I read up on how to deal with colic, spit-up diaper rashes and all the common stuff. But I just ignored everything that was related to a mum’s body after post-partum. Hence, I wasn’t adequately prepared for it. I mean, my body should just bounce back to its good old self, right?

Wrong, so wrong.

Post-partum Belly

Look, obviously, it’s not expected that your belly will go back to its smooth and flawless self, right after delivery. That’s absurd. But what I did not expect is to look as if I was still eight months pregnant. My belly button was beyond disfigured looking. The belly was sagging and even after seven to eight weeks, it still looked bloated. Lovely.

Nausea

This was honestly the worst part. If you thought your “morning” sickness was over, you are so wrong. At first, I thought it was because of some horrible bug. But, one Google session later, I was enlightened with the knowledge that it was due to hormonal reasons related to milk let down.

Forceful milk eruptions

I know that breasts produce milk. Who is not aware of that? But the fact that they could squirt milk completely unprompted?! No idea. Nada. I was so surprised the first time it happened. If you don’t have your breast pads on or forget about them, be prepared. You will wake up to completely soaked sheets. It’s crazy.

Crazy amounts of blood

If you think, like I did, that you won’t have any bleeding because you had a C-section, you would be wrong. The first three weeks were horrendous. I felt like I went through a thousand pads a day and that still wasn’t enough. I do not know how the doctor’s expected me to air my C-section scar, or how they expect mommies too keep perineal stitches dry, honestly. I was massively annoying as well as inconvenient.

Hair loss

This is the one which bummed me out the most. I am told that a lot of mothers don’t experience this (well, lucky you, if you’re one of them) but I was losing hair like crazy. It is normal though as, the full luscious volume of hair you were sporting during pregnancy, well that was because of some hormonal changes which temporarily stopped hair fall. Now that you have your wailing baby with you, you can enjoy the perks of your body crazily trying to make up for it. You can never have nice things.

5 (SIMPLE) Ways Of Dealing With Colic

Colic is not fun for the baby or the parents. Seeing your baby wail without being able to do much of anything is not a fun parent experience. You want to do everything that you can to take away the pain, but sometimes it seems next to impossible.

Although the following remedies may not work for you, as each baby is different, I think this is a good place to start. I have curated a list of remedies that have successfully helped me, and even some of my close ones to deal effectively with colic in babies. Here are a few ways to comfort and ease a baby with colic:

Adjust your baby’s milk

No matter if you are breastfeeding or formula feeding, adjusting your baby’s milk can help bring about a huge change. Consult your pediatrician about which milk option is the best if you are formula feeding. If you are breastfeeding it is important to take a step back and analyze your own diet. Try removing caffeine, onions, spicy foods or any other such items which can be irritating to the stomach. Adding something like chamomile to your diet can be beneficial to you as well as your baby. Thus, it is quite important for you to take care of your own diet and not to slack off too much (though it can be tempting when you’re sleep deprived).

Use anti-colic bottles

Anti-colic bottles help minimize the amount of air that the baby takes in during each feeding, as air ingestion leads to the tummy being upset. These bottles are designed to help prevent spit-up, gas, and fussiness. For babies with acid reflux, there are even special formulas that can be paired up with these bottles to help minimize their discomfort. Give these a try if you are at a loss for what to do when your baby keeps on crying nonstop.

Swaddling

Babies are comforted when they are swaddled. Soft blankets can be used for swaddling or you can use ones with Velcro that are specifically made for swaddling babies. They are easy to use on the go and babies won’t be able to get out of it easily. You will have a cute baby burrito and a wailing free home in no time!

Changing the diaper more frequently

Some babies cannot handle being wet even for a few seconds and start wailing immediately. Changing their diaper more frequently brings about quite a bit of improvement. However, diapers can be quite expensive. You can opt for cloth ones as they can be used and re-used many times and will save quite a bit of your money.

Try baby wearing

This remedy also comes with the added bonus of keeping your hands free to use! Babies love to be held close to your chest, it’s warm and comforting to them. Baby wraps keep them snug and tight around your chest and keep your hands free. Now, you can complete most of your housework while cuddling with your soothed and content baby.

 

Activities to do this Summer with your Kids!

When you have a toddler, summer days can be very long. Toddlers love running, dumping, pouring and generally creating havoc.

The only way to keep them still and in one place is to engage them in fun and creative activities.

Coming up with new and inventive ideas every day of Summer is not an easy task (even more so than the cleaning up afterward!).

But fear not, curated here, are five activities that are fun and easy (and require very little work, phew!) to keep your toddler happy and entertained this summer:

MAKE PRINTS FROM BUBBLE WRAP 

This is a fun activity which only requires some paint (something that will stick to the plastic bubble wrap) and a paper!

Just roll some color onto the bubble wrap and press a piece of paper on top of it. The result will be splotches of vibrant and beautiful color.

A masterpiece waiting to be stuck on the fridge! Create rainbow, sunset sunrise patterns or just random splotches!

PAINT WITH ROLLING PINS

This is another fun (and easy!) activity that you can enjoy with your kids.

Simply wrap the bubble wrap around the pin, and with the help of some paint and paper, you can create works of art!

The paint, as well as the rolling motion, will definitely keep your toddlers entertained.

POOL NOODLE RACE TRACK

Kids will love this activity. For this activity take a pool noodle and cut it in half (vertically).

Then pin the two halve of the noodle together with as many toothpicks as you want (don’t forget to use pliers to pull the toothpicks flush against the sides of the noodle so the car can move easily) and prop it up on a chair or a table and voila! You have your very own racetrack!

This activity will not only keep kids engaged while playing with their cars but they will also enjoy decorating their own side of the racetrack.

MAKE ICE-CREAM

 You scream, I scream…you know how the saying goes.

Well, this fun idea will definitely have your kids screaming with joy.

A fun way to beat the heat of the summer and keep your kids interested, ice-cream recipes are so easy to come by and most of them don’t even require an ice cream maker! The mess that your kitchen will be in is so worth the yummy results.

BUILD A SECRET FORT

The best thing about having a toddler is that no one judges you for activities like these.

When you’re tired from all the running around and noises, you can wind down with this perfect and versatile idea! Build a fort in your living room and enjoy snacking on delicious fruits (or candies, yay!) and watching your favorite Disney films (you know you love them secretly).

Or hangover sheets in your backyard over low-lying branches or strategically place tables and chairs and enjoy a fun picnic and enjoy the beautiful summer day!

So go ahead and enjoy this summer without the fear of “What do we do?!” with these activities!

Read: Activities to do this Summer with your Kids!