pregnancy

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.

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.

6 HEALTHY Tips For A Summer Pregnancy

Pregnancy is time during which your body undergoes a lot of changes. These changes have many outward symptoms, most of which are quite uncomfortable. Your hormone levels are going haywire as well; coping with these changes can be quite stressful. But, the added heat and discomfort of summer can really take a toll on your physical as well as mental health. Hence, it’s important for you to take a break every once in a while.

Summer heat is excruciating for each one of us, but a summer pregnancy can be extra taxing on you. Here are a few simple tips that you can employ to have a relatively more comfortable summer pregnancy:

Stay Hydrated

Of course, this seems pretty obvious. But, it is so easy to forget to drink enough water throughout the day. One glass of water in the morning won’t keep you sufficiently hydrated! Now that you are pregnant, your body needs more water than usual; make sure to provide your body with sufficient water. It’s a good idea to carry a bottle of water with you.

Loose fitting clothing

Wearing body-hugging clothes during the summer is a complete disaster even if you aren’t pregnant. It’s hot and makes you extremely sweaty. It adds another layer of discomfort which you definitely do not need. Loose fitting clothes that are breezy and light are super comfortable and summer friendly. In fact, loose-fitting maternity clothes are extremely easy to find so you won’t run into any problems there!

Cold compressors or Ice Packs

It is a good idea to keep ice packs or cold compressors in the fridge so you can use it whenever you please. Even plastic baggies filled with ice cubes work well for this. These are especially good, as you can use them in a more localized manner (like the back of your neck which, for me at least, gets really hot throughout the day) which is quite helpful. They are also pretty easy to procure.

Lukewarm Showers

Cold showers might be a little too much for your body right now, but lukewarm showers (or baths, if you can handle it) work wonders too cool you down as well as relax you. It’s good for the skin as well, as hot water generally dulls your skin over time; you will be relaxed and have extra glowing skin (wow!).

Avoid the sun during peak hours

Of course, most of us should already be employing this tip in general. If you must go out during these peak hours (usually noon/afternoon time), make sure you are heavily guarded against the sun. Wear floppy hats, sunglasses, and a lot of sunscreens to protect yourself, Even if you feel it’s silly, a little too much protection doesn’t hurt!

Cold Beverages

As you know our body needs plenty of liquid during the summer. Water is the best (and easiest) way to supplement our bodies, but there are other fun ways to drink it as well! This is a good time to experiment with other cool beverages that you’ve had your eyes on. They’re fun to make, look fancy and are, of course, delicious!

Stages Of Pregancy (EVERYTHING YOU WANT TO KNOW)

Pregnancy is different for every woman. During pregnancy, your body changes to protect you and your baby. These changes can be observed via different symptoms.

Some of the symptoms of pregnancy last for several weeks or even months, and other discomforts are only temporary and don’t have the same effects on every woman.

A normal pregnancy lasts for almost 40 weeks, starting from the first day of the last menstrual period, which is also typically around two weeks before conception occurs. The duration of pregnancy is divided into stages and these stages of pregnancy are described in three month periods, known as trimesters.

Each trimester lasts for about 12-13 weeks. During each of the trimesters, several changes take place in the body as well as in the development of the fetus.

During the first trimester (week 1 – week 12) the body undergoes several changes. Most importantly, hormonal changes that affect all the organ systems in your body.

Extreme tiredness, morning sickness, tender or swollen breasts, mood swings, cravings, headache, need to urinate more often, heartburn are some of the symptoms of the first trimester.

These symptoms or discomforts will gradually go away as your pregnancy progresses, or you might not feel any discomforts at all.

By second trimester (week 12 – week 28) some of the earlier symptoms lessen or disappear. Most women notice that the second trimester is easier than the first. In the second trimester symptoms such as nausea and fatigue will start to wither away but you will begin to notice other symptoms since your baby starts to grow, the abdomen will expand.

Your body changes to in a way to let the baby grow, during this trimester, therefore you are likely to have symptoms like body ache which includes back, abdomen, high pain and also groin pain.

You will also notice the skin around your nipple grow darker and also patches of skin usually over the cheeks, forehead, nose, or upper lip grow darker.

Stretch marks also begin to appear during this time. Numbing of hands and itching of hands, abdomen, palms, and soles of feet are also common. You will also see a line running down from your belly button. And you will also feel your baby beginning to move before the trimester is over.

Lastly, there is the third trimester which includes the final few weeks until your due date. The third trimester starts from week 29 and lasts until the 40th week. During this trimester, some of the symptoms you had in your second trimester are likely to persist even in this trimester.

You can already feel your baby move and possibly kick in this trimester.

Some of the new body changes that you are likely to experience are shortness of breath, swelling of ankle, fingers and face, tender breast(which may also leak a watery yellowish pre-milk called colostrum), heartburn, haemorrhoids, your belly button may stick out, you can experience trouble sleeping, you can feel the baby dropping or moving in your lower abdomen and lastly contractions, which can be a sign of real or false labour.

GUIDE TO A HEALTHY PREGNANCY

When you’re pregnant, you’re not just taking care of yourself but you’re precious baby as well. What you put into your body directly affects your baby; this is a time for you to be at your healthiest. Moreover, it helps inculcate some good habits that you can carry on to stay healthy!

  1. Talk to your doctor or midwife:Obviously, this goes without saying. Make sure to register yourself for prenatal care as soon as possible. Doing so will ensure that you receive advice for a healthy pregnancy from the very beginning. Though the visits are short and often seem pointless, they’re scheduled for a reason. These visits are important as the doctors need to make sure that you’re gaining enough weight, your pressure is okay, and that the baby’s measure is on track.
  2. Stay Hydrated:It’s important for both you and your baby that you drink enough water and stay hydrated. Your uterus is a muscle, and like any of the other ones, it needs water. During pregnancy your body requires some extra hydration; make sure to drink enough liquids to avoid cramps!
  3. Keep a healthy diet:This goes without saying. You will need to make sure you’re getting the important nutrients in your body to keep you and your baby healthy. It’s okay to give in to the junk food cravings every once in a while (being pregnant doesn’t have to be a punishment!) but make sure it is balanced by a healthy diet. You will only need an extra 200 calories a day during the last three months of your pregnancy; you can maintain your normal (healthy) diet for the first six months. Make sure to check with your daily required nutrient count and prepare a diet plan.
  4. Stay active: Your immune system will benefit from exercising regularly, and therefore, so does your baby. If you play sports, you can continue to do so if it doesn’t involve the risk of falling, being knocked down or put extra stress on your joints. Some exercises that are good for pregnancy are brisk walking, swimming, yoga, Pilates, and aquanatal classes. Make sure your instructor knows your pregnant or join classes that are tailored for pregnant women. Exercise may also help in relieving sleep problems (as long as you’re not exercising too close to bedtime) and backache.

Cut out alcohol, caffeine and smoking:Many experts’ advice on avoiding alcohol completely as there is no way to know how much alcohol is safe during pregnancy. During the first trimester, it is advised that you avoid alcohol completely, and stick to one or two (at most) units of alcohol once or twice a week at a later stage. Cola, tea, coffee, energy drinks and chocolate contain caffeine. According to current guidelines, up to 200mg of coffee a day won’t harm your developing baby, though it is best to avoid it altogether.  If you smoke it’s better to stop for your baby’s health as well as your own. It’s better to stop sooner rather than later, but it’s never too late.