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Pregnancy Health

  • More Dangers To Smoking During Pregnancy

    If you were looking for new inspiration for better health habits during pregnancy, the latest research on smoking during pregnancy should give you plenty of motivation to quit that habit fast. A new study published by the American Journal of Psychiatry Oct 1st suggests there is an association between tobacco smoke exposure in the womb and bipolor disorder in those offspring once they are young adults.

    Researchers looked at 79 people with bipolor disorder and 654 people without the condition who were born between 1959 and 1966. People born to mothers who smoked while pregnant had twice the risk of developing bipolor disorder as young adults. Bipolor disorder is a mental illness which causes extreme mood swings. It’s symptoms are not usually noticeable until late teens to early adulthood.

    This is the first study to show this connection between smoking and mental illness. Earlier studies did show that smoking contributed to other health concerns in newborns and children including low birth weight and attention problems.

    We all know that smoking is bad for our health and bad for our babies health both inside and outside of the womb. We now know that it is also a concern for a child’s mental health as they mature into adulthood and beyond.

  • Sucking Your Child’s Pacifier Is Not A Bad Thing!

    Most parents have done this on the sly, but now you can do it openly, go ahead and suck that baby pacifier that fell to the ground before popping back into your baby’s mouth. Most feel guilty for not boiling the pacifer or trashing it. However, that parental instinct to just use your own spit is really the best thing you can do for your baby . A new study tells us that this practice will actually help reduce your baby’s chance of allergies later on.

    “It’s really an interesting study, because it supports the theory of the hygiene hypothesis,” said Dr. Samuel Friedlander, an allergy specialist at University Hospital in Cleveland. “It’s a theory that state that our world is too clean. The immune system is like an army, and if the army doesn’t have anything to fight – like germs – it fights allergens.”

    The study showed that toddlers were less likely to develop eczema and asthma if their parents were shared by their parent as the saliva on pacifiers appeared to help promote a bacterial diversity and stimulate the child’s immune system. In the same way, babies delivered vaginally benefitted from increased exposure to bacteria in the birth canal as newborns.

    Of course there are times when this practice can be detrimental to a child’s health, such as when a parent is sick, has a virus or cold sores. However for the healthy parent it appears sharing a little saliva on a pacifier or utensil may be helpful to your child’s immune system.

  • Breastfeeding Can Extend Your Life (New Research!)

    If you are wondering where to stand on the breastfeeding v. formula debate, some new research may make that decision a little clearer.

    A mass study published that past Wednesday in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition discovered that exclusively breastfeeding your baby for at least six months could cut your chance of dying from cancer and all other diseases by 17%. This includes an 8% reduction in dying by heart disease alone.

    Previous studies on breastfeeding have primarily looked at the affect on the baby or the short term health benefits to the mother, such as weight loss.

    "No previous study has investigated the association between breastfeeding and mortality in the mother," lead researcher Anne-Claire Vergnaud said. She added that "failure to breastfeed" related to an increase in premenopausal breast cancer, ovarian cancer and diabetes.

    The study also confirmed previous findings on health benefits to the baby from breastfeeding including less likelihood of adult obesity or even being overweight, which reduces risk for seven different types of cancer as well as diabetes.

    AICR Director of Research, Susan Higginbotham explains the connection between breastfeeding and longevity, "Physical changes in breast tissue that accompany milk production provide some protection as well." Since breast tissue cells are shed during lactation, the cancer risk is decreased. She adds, "Because cells have potential DNA damage get shed before they can spark the cancer process." Also, longer breastfeeding helps by reducing menstrual cycles and the lifetime exposure to hormones such as estrogen that can increase the risk of breast cancer.

    Only 16% of US women exclusively breastfeed their babies for six months and 36% breastfeed exclusively for three months, so many American women are clearly missing the health benefits for themselves and their babies that exclusive breastfeeding has to offer. 47% of women in the U.S. breastfeed the first six months while also supplementing with formula.

    Clearly the breast is best not only for your baby and for helping with your pregnancy weight loss, but also for your long-term health, reduced chance of cancer and overall longevity. That’s a powerful reason to breastfeed your baby!

  • Eat Your Protein When You Are Pregnant Or Nursing!

    We all know that foods Salmon that are packed with Omega 3s fatty Acids are a go-to for women of all ages. Salmon has the added benefit of mood stabilizing your hormones by boosting your serotonin levels in your brain which helps you to feel-good. Higher levels of this naturally occurring feel-good chemical can help ward off depression or baby blues. Salmon is easy to make and throw on a salad for a great and healthy left-over meal. Health experts recommend having salmon at least once a week for optimal benefits.

    What you might not know is that high protein foods like eggs and spinach are really important for you if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. The Institute of Medicine recommends eating 425 mg of choline for all women, 450 mg if you are pregnant and 550 if you are breastfeeding. Both spinach and eggs with the yolk contain choline which is a nutrient that helps your baby’s brain develop.

    Spinach has the added nutritional benefit of folate which helps prevent birth defects. The National Institute of Health recommends women eat 600 mcg of folate when pregnant and 500 mcg when nursing. One half cup of spinach, or similar green, provides about 130 mcg of folate, so about one-third of what you need. You can make up the difference by taking a supplement recommended by your doctor. However, just cooking a daily spinach omelet can give you and your baby the nutritional boost you need each morning.

  • Looking For A Tasty Way To Add Vitamin D To Your Diet?

    New research has found that it is very important for pregnant women to get enough Vitamin D for their infant’s healthy development. When pregnant we need more than the recommended 200 milligrams supplement of Vitamin D.

    This quick and tasty omelet dish from Fit Pregnancy is an easy way to add both Vitamin D and protein to your healthy diet. Among the many great things that Vitamin D will do for your body it will also help your baby absorb bone building calcium and phosphorous.

    1⁄2 cup baby bok choy, washed and chopped into bite-sized pieces

    1⁄2 cup mushrooms (any variety), wiped clean and sliced

    1 teaspoon sesame or other cooking oil

    2 eggs

    2 ounces canned cooked baby shrimp

    1. In a small pan, sauté bok choy and mushrooms in 1 to 2 teaspoons of oil for 2 to 4 minutes.

    2. In a bowl, beat the eggs with a fork.

    3. Preheat an 8-inch nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Coat with a few spritzes of cooking spray.

    4. Add egg mixture and swirl around until pan is evenly coated.

    5. When eggs begin to set slightly, run spatula under cooked egg and tip pan to allow the uncooked egg to flow underneath. Keep doing this all the way around until center is set, about 2 minutes.

    6. Top half of the eggs with mushroom mixture and shrimp, then fold in half using the spatula. Cover and cook over low heat until omelet fluffs up, 30 to 40 seconds. Carefully slide omelet onto plate.

    Nutritional information per serving

    Per serving: 256 calories, 26 g protein, 3 g carbohydrate, 15.5 g fat (3.5 g saturated fat), 181 mg calcium, 3.6 mg iron, 88 mcg folate, 1 g fiber

  • Antidepressants Are Safe During Pregnancy, New Study Results

    We have all heard about the Baby Blues and the more serious Post Partum Depression, but many times depression during pregnancy goes untreated and under the radar. Depression anytime can be serious matter, but new research now shows that it is very important, and not harmful, for depressed expecting mothers to get treatment.

    Previous research showed that pregnant women who took SSRI antidepressants gave birth to smaller babies with hindered physical development. New research at Northwestern University showed that babies born to mothers who took SSRI antidepressants during pregnancy were the same height, weight and head circumference by the first year. The only different was infants were slightly shorter at birth, but the babies usually caught up to normal size in a few weeks.

    Untreated depressed mothers are at risk for their appetite, nutrition, prenatal care and increased alcohol and drug use. Depression in mothers is also associated with premature birth and low infant birth rate, which increases the baby’s risk of heart disease.

    The good news from this study is that pregnant women should not hesitate in seeking healthcare professionals to treat their depression and that antidepressants do not appear to pose the health risks once believed on developing infants.

  • 6 Tips For A Healthy Pregnancy

    1. Eat five or six well-balanced meals each day. This does not mean ice cream and chocolate all day, but healthy choices that don’t give you morning sickness. It’s actually recommended that you don’t let yourself go too long between meals to lesson morning sickness that can get worse on an empty stomach.

    2. Drink plenty of fluids -- at least eight to 10 glasses a day -- avoiding caffeine and artificial coloring.

    3. Don't drink alcohol or smoke (or expose yourself to second hand smoke)

    4. Exercise -- it's important to keep moving during pregnancy, just remember to use judgment in choosing your exercise and exertion level. Wear loose fitting comfortable clothing, avoid overheating, take plenty of breaks and stay hydrated. Exercise can help you sleep better and reduce stress.

    5. Wear comfortable, non-restricting shoes, particularly as you enter your third trimester and feet can accumulate fluid. Prop your feet up several times a day to reduce any swelling of the feet, legs, and ankles.

    6. Don't take over-the-counter medications or herbal remedies without first consulting your obstetrician or midwife.

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