Blog Posts by FitPregnancy

  • Labor Pain: How to Deal with Delivering Your Baby

    Here's a step-by-step plan for dealing with pain, one stage of labor at a time.

    One very special reader I'll call Katherine, is expecting her first baby this fall. She's creative, energetic and super smart. She has an eye for detail, a keen sense of style and just the teensiest tendency towards anxiety. She knows a lot about childbirth, has taken classes, studied everything Fit Pregnancy has to offer including everything I've written in the last few years. Katherine is about as prepared for parenthood as any reader I've ever had. And yet, she's worried labor will be so painful she'll lose her freakin' mind. And she wants to go natural if possible.

    Part of the challenge is, Katherine read the Facebook comments answering the question: What did labor feel like to you? Here are a few that put Katherine just a wee bit on edge:

    • I thought I was going to die.
    • Horrible
    • Felt like my body was about to break apart from the inside out
    • Like a migraine for my entire torso. .
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  • Home is Where the Heart-Healthy Diet Starts

    Only eating food at home is a great weight loss tip for new moms. Here are some suggestions. That was a vacation. We napped on the beach. We hung out with the family. We lounged in our PJs. We watched DVD's. We did a puzzle. We overate. And now, luckily for our waistlines, it's all over. Time to get real. I know. You've heard it before. But right now, we're a united front, and we're not monkeying around. On our first night home Aaron and I sat on the couch and admitted that we both feel fat and out of shape and we're both sick of it. This is a good thing. We rarely feel inspired to look after ourselves at the same time, and I hope that we'll be able to create a supportive environment together. No, we haven't discovered the Holy Grail: the Secret of how to cook healthy meals and exercise regularly while working and being parents. But we both feel motivated. And, in another silver lining, we're both concerned about the huge sums of our money that seem to go toward eating out, snacking

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  • Top 5 Tips for Breastfeeding Success

    Breastfeeding and baby feeding tipsWhile there are many important steps in creating a successful breastfeeding experience, here are five valuable tips from our lactation expert. The first 48 hours after birth are essential to successful breastfeeding, so read up early!

    Skin to skin
    As much as you can in the first few days, lay baby on your chest, tummy to tummy, undressed down to the diaper. When baby is skin to skin, he'll cue to breastfeed more often. Additionally, when your baby is close, you'll notice that he's cueing and be able to help him latch before he begins to cry. It's easier for both mom and baby to latch well, when baby is calm.

    Read more: Undress For Success

    It's a good thing if your baby wants to eat, "all of the time"
    A baby who nurses very frequently in the first few days (ie: more than 8 times in 24 hours) will do a great job of bringing in a copious milk supply, will not lose excessive amounts of weight, and is less likely to have issues with jaundice. Don't hesitate to

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  • 9 Subtle Clues that You Might Be Pregnant

    Before my first pregnancy, I enjoyed a glass of wine with dinner and an occasional big, juicy chili dog. But even in those very first days after I conceived, the wine tasted flat and the hot dog repulsed me. Fast-forward a few weeks. With a positive pregnancy test in hand, I realized that my body knew I was pregnant before my mind did. Here are some of the clues you may notice that tell you're pregnant - even before a test can.

    Clue 1} Breast tenderness
    Your breasts may be extra tender as early as a week or two after conception. "You're making so much estrogen and progesterone in early pregnancy that the glands in the breasts start growing," explains Jasbir Singh, M.D., an OB-GYN at Baylor Medical Center at Waxahachie in Texas. This hormone surge causes breasts to retain more fluids and feel heavy, sore or more sensitive than normal PMS tenderness.

    How Your Breasts Change During Pregnancy

    What to do
    Buy a very supportive bra.

    Clue 2} Implantation bleeding
    When the fertilized egg

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  • Is Breastfeeding the Original Feminism?

    What does it mean to be a feminist? It means kicking the can down the road so other women can live their best lives. Whether you identify as a feminist or not, you've absolutely benefited from the work other feminists have done on your behalf. If you're a pregnant mother who will return to work after your baby is born, you have a radical feminist opportunity coming your way - breastfeeding.

    How to Breastfeed: Our step-by-step video

    Strong women have made great strides in establishing women's equality in society and the work place, but we have a long way to go. The women's rights movement is far beyond proving women are just like men. We're not. We're women and we have unique and exceptional societal and familial roles. Having the same rights as men isn't anywhere near enough. Sure, we do the same jobs men do. We carry our own weight, earn our own living and stand on our own two feet, but we also do things men will never do. We have the babies and breasts.

    Unlike women

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  • Eating Tips for New Moms

    Especially if you're breastfeeding, you'll need to eat healthy and stay hydrated to make it through the first few weeks of parenthood.

    If you think that having delivered your little peanut means you can hop off the good-nutrition bandwagon, think again. Even if you aren't breastfeeding, you need a healthy diet to help repair your battered body-and if you are, it's even more important to eat right. Here's a look at the latest nutrition guidelines for nursing moms from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Family and Consumer Sciences division of The Ohio State University:

    Though weight loss may be rapid in the first few weeks as your body sheds the fluids and other artifacts of pregnancy, it's important that you not continue to lose too rapidly. Aim for 2 to 4 pounds per month after the first month; anything more may put your milk supply at risk.

    Try our Recipe Finder for healthy and nutritious meals.


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  • The Pregnancy Orgasm

    The "Big O" during pregnancy.

    When you're expecting, the "Big O" can be so intense you might find it unnerving. Orgasm, and sometimes also intercourse, should be avoided if you have any risk factors for preterm labor or certain other pregnancy complications. And you shouldn't have sex if your water has broken. Otherwise, going at it poses no dangers to you or your baby, says Stacey Rees, a certified nurse-midwife at Clementine Midwifery in Brooklyn, N.Y.

    Read More: Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll

    Pregnancy coach and fitness trainer Danielle Cavallucci, co-author with sex educator Yvonne K. Fulbright, Ph.D., of 2008's Your Orgasmic Pregnancy: Little Sex Secrets Every Hot Mama Should Know, explains below why some women experience their first-ever or even multiple orgasms during pregnancy.

    Read More: The Close-To-Home Babymoon

    Q: Why are orgasms often more intense during pregnancy?

    A : Your entire genital and pelvic regions, including your uterus, are more

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  • Get on the Sleep Train

    baby sleep trainingTeaching your baby to fall asleep on his own can be challenging at first, but the payoff is big for both of you.

    If getting your baby to sleep is a singing, rocking and jiggling process that's exhausting the whole family, you may want to consider sleep training. "The process involves teaching your baby a new way of going to sleep, usually from being rocked or fed to sleep to falling asleep in her crib," says Jodi Mindell, Ph.D. Make sure you Wrap Your Baby Right.

    Experts suggest sleep training when your baby is older than 4 months and is not sick, attempting a major developmental milestone or going through separation anxiety. Training methods differ, but the crucial thing is to pick one and stick to it for at least a week.

    Read more: Safe Sleep

    Most training methods suggest you put your baby down drowsy but awake, then check in with him at regular intervals until he falls asleep. The hardest part, warns sleep coach Jill Spivak, LCSW, will be fighting your natural

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  • Why Pregnant Women Can Rule the World

    Supermom!Last year when I wrote about my secret gym buddy, readers from all over the world were inspired that a hugely pregnant woman continued exercising, even though her pace was slow and lumbering. This week, another super athlete who is pregnant-as-can-be is making headlines.

    A Malaysian athlete will be eight months pregnant when she competes in the 2012 London Olympics. Nur Suryani Mohamed Taibi is competing in the women's 10-meter air rifle event, the first female Malaysian shooter to ever compete in the Olympics and the only pregnant woman competing in this year's games. Some people say she should drop out in concern for her baby, but I say, "What better place could there be than surrounded by the healthiest, most athletic, talented and impressive men and women in the world of sports? Pregnant or not, she's an inspiration about the power of dedication and perseverance. Go girl!"

    Become your own fitness inspiration with our pregnancy and post-baby workouts.

    In other

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  • Get Schooled: How to Choose the Right Childbirth Education Class

    You may be surprised to discover the variations in childbirth classes-some are months long while others last a day; some take place in a hospital and others are conducted in the educator's home. Regardless, topics generally include labor signs, pain-relief options, stages of labor and comfort measures. Here are a few options that may be available in your area:

    Lamaze classes educate women about practices that have been shown to maximize your chances of having a safer birth, such as allowing labor to start on its own, walking and moving around during labor and following your body's urges to push.

    The Bradley Method is a 12-week class for women and their partners who desire to have a medication-free birth.

    Hypnobirthing is a five-week course that emphasizes natural childbirth and teaches self-hypnosis techniques to combat fear and pain during labor.

    The International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA) trains and

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