First Signs That You Might Be Pregnant

Blog, Pregnancy

One frightening thing you may have heard about in the news are women who suddenly feel as if they ate something bad, head to the emergency room, and leave with a baby they didn’t know they were carrying.

This is highly unusual and in most cases, you’re going to have plenty of signs that tell you it’s time to go in for an official blood test to confirm that you’re pregnant.

The most common sign is a missed period. If you’re consistent with your menstrual cycle and you suddenly miss a month, you need to get an at home pregnancy test or come by the clinic and see if it confirms your suspicions.

Sometimes, it’s just an irregularity, so you may not be pregnant. And sometimes it’s too soon for an at home pregnancy test to confirm the diagnosis, so you may want to either wait one more month or go in for a blood test at this point.

Some women will have a very spotty period – or it might be very short compared to how their usual menstrual cycle works. Cramping is normal, too – and neither of these symptoms means you are miscarrying. It’s part of the implant process where the egg nestles into the lining of your uterus.

Initial symptoms may also include mood swings like crying or getting angry. Even extreme happiness can occur – because your hormones are all over the map. If you find yourself crying for no reason, it could be that you’re pregnant!

Some of the common symptoms of pregnancy mimic your menstrual cycle symptoms. Swollen, tender breasts are a good example of this. You probably experience this a week before your period as part of your PMS symptoms, but it happens when you become pregnant, too.

Think you might be pregnant? Come to our office on have a pregnancy test done to know for sure. Remember, we are BSideU For Life!

Common Issues That Occur During Birth

Blog, Pregnancy

Many women – especially first time moms – worry that they won’t recognize when they’re going into labor. They’re also concerned about what’s normal and what’s not while they’re giving birth.

You might start feeling consistent contractions. Unlike Braxton Hicks, these real labor pains last longer and don’t go away for good – they come back on a timed interval, getting closer and closer every hour.

Back pain can get a bit extreme. Some women think labor contractions are only located in the front, where their womb is – but you also feel it in your back, deep in the lower area.

You may notice a white discharge from your vagina known as the mucus plug. This is normal. Your doctor will be able to tell you if it’s passed or not. This may or may not be something you even notice.

Your water will break at some point. It might be when you’re at home or out somewhere. Or, it could be in the hospital after you’re feeling contractions and have been admitted.

Some doctors will go ahead and break your bag of water for you, helping move labor along so that you delivery your baby faster. It will feel like a warm gush of water and it can be clear – but sometimes it’s not if there is meconium (fecal stool) in the amniotic fluid.

Labor can last from a few hours to over a day. Every woman is different. It sometimes goes faster once a woman has already given birth to a previous child, but this isn’t set in stone.

This is a very tiring process. Many hospitals don’t want you to eat during this time, so they give you ice chips to chew on. You might feel nauseous all over again.

You’ll have pain relief options if you choose to use them, such as an epidural. Go over all of these with your health care specialist to determine which one is right for you.

Some women worry about having a bowel movement while pushing their baby out, but this does not always happen and if it does, you probably won’t know. The doctor and nurses are ready for it and will have it cleaned and gone before you even realize it happened.

After the baby is delivered, you’ll be so consumed with watching and listening to your baby that you may not even pay much attention to the process of delivering the placenta. And when all is said and done, you’ll need to relax and recover from an exhausting, yet satisfying nine-month journey to happiness.

Remember, we here at BSideU for Life! can answer your questions and guide you. Call us.

The Benefits of Breastfeeding

Baby Care, Blog

As a new mother, you may be battling between the choices of bottle-feeding and breastfeeding. While you’re weighing your options, you should know about all of the benefits that come from breastfeeding – from convenience to long-term health. You may be surprised by all of the advantages provided by Mother Nature.

Breast milk is more than just a form of food. It is actually made of living cells that can have huge benefits for your child’s health. One of the most crucial components of breast milk is colostrum. This substance is produced early in your baby’s life and is full of antibodies that help your baby’s immune system to develop in the first days of his life. By breastfeeding your baby, you provide this protection that can’t be matched by a commercial formula.

On top of the immune boost that breastfeeding provides, breast milk is also easier for your baby’s developing digestive system to process. Your baby will have fewer problems with constipation, diarrhea, and even have fewer food allergies.

Breastfeeding also helps your baby’s brain to develop because it’s rich in fatty acids that protect the cells of the brain. It also helps your baby to develop strong muscles because breast milk provides the perfect mix of proteins for building muscle tissue. Finally, in a time when obesity is a major health problem around the world, breastfeeding can be a great way to help your child maintain a healthy weight. Babies who are breast-fed have a smaller chance of becoming obese later in life.

While breastfeeding has a huge impact on your baby’s development, it can also have a dramatic effect on your body. If you choose to breast feed, you’ll open up a world of benefits for now and for the long-term. The immediate benefits of breastfeeding can be very powerful. After you give birth, breastfeeding actually stimulates the contractions that help you expel the placenta. It can help your body to recover more quickly and painlessly.

Breastfeeding also burns major calories! What better way to burn off the baby weight without having to hit the gym? It will also prevent your body from having a period for several months if you feed your baby exclusively breast milk. In addition, breastfeeding provides a natural method of contraception. In the long-term, breastfeeding can provide disease prevention power. Women who breastfeed their babies have a lower risk of developing breast and other cancers throughout their lives. They’re also less likely to have problems related to osteoporosis.

One of the best reasons for breastfeeding is a benefit for both mom and baby. When you breastfeed your baby, you help to develop the bond between the two of you. This provides comfort and improved mental health for both of you. When you’re weighing the decision of whether to bottle feed or breastfeed, make sure to consider the overall well being that comes from this natural process.

As always, we are BSideU for Life! Have questions? Concerned that something is working right? Call us. We can help.

Reduce Your Stress as a New Parent

Baby Care, Blog

When you’re a new mom or dad, you want do everything right. However, the pressure to be perfect can cause you to feel anxious and upset. It’s important to take steps to reduce your stress as a new parent. You will be healthier and happier – and so will your baby!

A new baby brings a lot of joy – but also brings a lot of new experiences that can cause stress. You’re not sleeping as much, you don’t have the independence you’re used to, and you’re still getting to know how to meet the needs of your little one. At this time it’s critical to reduce your stress in any way you can.

When you’re in a stressful situation surrounding your new baby, you may feel guilty for your emotions. You may feel like you shouldn’t have any unhappy feelings about your baby.

However, it’s natural and normal to feel stressed out. In fact, you should be more worried if you have no stress. In order to reduce your stress you must let go of the guilt and deal with the problems that are causing those feelings.

When you’re trying to reduce your stress, it really helps to have a plan of action. The first thing you can do is make a list of all the things that are actually causing the stress.

For example, it could be that you’re only getting two hours of sleep at a time, that you haven’t been able to get out of the house as much as you’d like, or that you’re spending too much time trying to please friends and relatives.

Once you’ve identified the things that are triggering your stress, you can create a plan to reduce your stress. Take just one situation on the list and think of as many ways as possible to reduce the problem.

For example, if you’re not getting out of the house enough, you may be able to enlist the help of a friend or relative to baby sit or go with you so you can have an extra helping hand on an outing. This way you can have your needs met and reduce your stress.

Asking for help may be very difficult – especially if you’re used to being independent and taking care of everything on your own. However, to reduce your stress it’s critical that you allow others to help you whenever possible.

Prepare Your Baby to Walk with Ease

Baby Care, Blog

One concern many parents have is teaching their baby to walk. It may seem like it just comes naturally – and to an extent it does! However, there are things you can do to prepare your baby to walk.

Babies don’t just wake up one day and start walking. There’s a natural progression from rolling over, to sitting up, to scooting, to crawling, to pulling up to walking. Teaching your baby to walk easily depends on mastering those first steps.

When your baby starts to become mobile, it’s important to make sure that your home is a safe environment. Inspect your home to prevent your child from getting hurt on sharp corners, ledges, and stairs while your teaching your baby to walk.

You may also be tempted to head to the store and purchase a walker. However, when you’re teaching your baby to walk it’s important not to use a walker. They can be dangerous and can cause accidents and injuries.

When you’re teaching your baby to walk, you may want to rush out and buy the perfect pair of shoes. However, recent research suggests that babies actually learn to walk better when they’re not wearing shoes.

So save your money and teach your baby to walk without the cute sandals or little tennis shoes. If you want your child to wear shoes, that’s okay, too. Just be aware that they won’t make it easier for your baby to walk.

If you’re going to buy shoes, follow a few simple rules of thumb. When you teach your baby to walk, you must make sure that his shoes are going to help instead of hurt. Look for shoes with flexible soles and flat bottoms. Pass up the high-tops and go for a shoe that allows your baby’s ankle to move. Also check your baby’s shoe size frequently to make sure he hasn’t outgrown them.

One of the most important things you can do to teach your baby to walk is encourage her to get a lot of exercise. Help her to develop coordination and balance by playing physical games and toys that promote dexterity.

Prepare Your Home: Baby Proofing Basics

Baby Care, Blog

One of the first things that goes through a new parent’s mind is the need for safety. Baby proofing your home is a major concern – and rightfully so. Many accidents that happen in the home can be prevented with a few safety precautions.

Before you spend a penny on baby proofing accessories, take an inventory throughout your home to look for trouble spots. Some examples of baby dangers are:

  • chemicals
  • open toilets
  • bathtub faucets
  • sharp edges on tables and other furniture
  • staircases
  • unprotected electrical outlets
  • heavy furniture such as bookcases and entertainment centers that could fall on baby
  • window blind cords
  • electrical appliances
  • sharp utensils
  • doors that lock on the inside
  • choking

As you’re going through your home making a baby-proofing inventory, make sure that you don’t stay on your feet. Don’t forget to get on your hands and knees and get a baby’s eye level view of your home.

When you look at the above list, you may begin to feel overwhelmed – but don’t panic! Baby proofing doesn’t have to be done all in one day – especially if you start early in your pregnancy and baby’s life.

You should begin thinking about baby proofing as soon as you decide to become a parent. However, even after your baby is born you have a little time to get the job done. At first, your baby won’t be able to move around the house at will and this gives you time to get your baby proofing done if you haven’t already completed it. Certainly, before your baby is crawling, you should have your baby proofing completed.

Many parents work hard at baby-proofing their home, but don’t take care of the hidden choking hazards that are lurking. An easy test to determine whether or not an object is a choking hazard is to see if it will fit through the hole in a toilet paper roll. If an object can easily slide through, it can easily be picked up by small hands and put in the mouth. Make sure that you don’t make a baby-proofing mistake by overlooking common objects in your home that could spell big danger.

Once you know what areas of your home need baby proofing, you can make some simple modifications to improve safety. Childproof latches, socket covers, and simply picking up dangerous objects can help make your home safer for your baby and improve your peace of mind.

As always, we are BsideU for Life! and encourage you to ask us questions every time you visit.

Pregnancy Symptoms During the First Trimester

Blog, Pregnancy

The first three months can be the most challenging. Your body is changing and your hormones are all over the place.

Initially, you won’t look pregnant. For many women a “baby bump” appears at the end of the 2nd month and maybe at the end of the 3rd month. It really depends on your body. Whether or not you have a bump, be prepared for the symptoms of being pregnant.

Initial symptoms may include mood swings like crying or getting angry. Even extreme happiness can occur – remember…your hormones are all over the map. If you find yourself crying for no reason, it could be that you’re pregnant!

Some of the common symptoms of pregnancy mimic your menstrual cycle symptoms. Swollen, tender breasts are a good example of this. You probably experience this a week before your period as part of your PMS symptoms, but it happens when you become pregnant, too.

Morning sickness may or may not happen to you. You might initially think you’re coming down with the flu, or you have food poisoning. In reality, it’s the beginning of a wonderful 9-month journey that makes you nauseous.

Some women experience morning sickness only in the morning. Others have it all day long. There are different ways you can alleviate this symptom. Keep oyster crackers or saltine crackers by your bed to eat before you get up. Use the “seasick bands” you can wear on your wrists. If those don’t work, ask us here at the center for advice on what medications and other treatments are suitable during pregnancy.

Certain smells and foods may make you sick to your stomach. This includes items you previously craved and thought were delicious! At the same time, you might suddenly start craving things you never would have eaten before. This is very normal, so just feed your body what it wants.

You might notice that you have to go to the restroom more often. Your bladder will start to produce more urine and you’ll have to empty it frequently – during the day and throughout the night.

You might experience extreme fatigue during the initial stages of pregnancy. You won’t have as much energy and because you’re also feeling some morning sickness, it might make you confirm your feeling of having the flu. If it doesn’t end, like the flu would, then it could be due to pregnancy.

Dizziness and lightheadedness are common during the first trimester. Fainting is fairly common, so you want to be careful when you start to feel this way and prepare for this by sitting down and not forcing yourself to try to stand until the feeling passes.

Headaches are also common during the first trimester. You may have never experienced frequent headaches before, and suddenly they’re cropping up on a regular basis.

You want to check with your doctor to see what headache remedy he or she advises you to take because anything you take is also going to get to your baby, so you have to be careful not to take too much of anything – or the wrong kind of medication.

The first trimester can be draining. You might be very emotional and your body is undergoing changes. But once this part is over, you’ll start to feel much better. Remember, we at the center are here for you so talk to us!

How Do I Know If I’m Pregnant?

Blog, Pregnancy