Blog Posts by FitPregnancy

  • Diet Prevents Birth Defects

    Study re-emphasizes that a mom-to-be's nutrition affects the future of her baby.

    Eating a diverse healthy diet during pregnancy may be more important in preventing birth defects than previously imagined, according to findings from a recent study published in the journal Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

    Adding the B vitamin folic acid to the U.S. food supply cut neural-tube defects (NTD) by 40 percent, but experts note that no single nutrient can carry the prevention load alone.

    10 (surprising!) Prenatal Power Foods

    A large study of mothers who had babies with or without NTDs or other malformations found that those who reported having the best-quality prenatal diets overall were only half as likely to have a baby with a fatal brain defect than moms with low-quality diets. They were up to 20 percent less likely to give birth to a baby with spina bifida and up to 30 percent less likely to deliver one with cleft lip or palate.

    A best-quality diet emphasizes

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  • Health Experts Warn Against Using Crib Bumpers

    Parents need to know possible dangers before buying or registering for crib bedding and sleep accessories.

    A new report from MSNBC and the Today Show reveals that retail stores across the United States are continuing to actively promote soft and cushy baby bedding and sleep products despite repeated warnings from health officials against using anything in cribs except a flat sheet.

    "Experts say it's hard to know what's best with the kind of confusing message you get at many stores," according to the article and Today show video clip.

    Safe Sleep: the latest advice on safe sleep for your baby

    An NBC reporter and crew went undercover to three popular stores for baby items to see what the sales clerks would say about these items. At one store, a saleswoman in the Today show clip was asked about crib bumpers and was filmed responding: "You want soft for your baby. ... Especially the newborns." Clerks at the other two stores offered a warning but with conflicting information.

    Crib

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  • 5 Common Breastfeeding Issues (and How to Overcome Them)

    Common breastfeeding obstaclesFrom caving in to bad advice to trying to force a schedule, the top five nursing pitfalls-and how to avoid them.

    Though you and your husband may be thrilled at your breasts' morphing form, their fundamental, most basic purpose is to provide sustenance to your offspring. Alas, the irony is that while nursing may be the most natural act in the world, it isn't always easy.

    1) Giving in to bad advice As well-meaning as your relatives undoubtedly are, they may have different ideas about how a baby-your baby-should be fed.

    So educate your postpartum posse. Invite them to attend a breastfeeding class with you, or ask them to be present when you meet with a lactation consultant. Explain how important nursing is to you and that you need their support. "Once everyone understands what 'normal' is, they can relax," says Huml.

    Our step-by-step guide, with photos, on how to breastfeed.

    2) Assuming you can't do it You may be convinced that your barely-A cups couldn't produce

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  • Two in the Oven: Facts About Twin Pregnancies

    Twin PregnanciesThe twin birth rate today in the United States is 1 in 31, a 36 percent increase since the early 1980s. That's because there are growing numbers of older moms (hormonal changes are believed to be responsible for the release of more than one egg at ovulation) and more successful fertility treatments.

    Through the Ages: Pregnancy and motherhood at 20 30 & 40

    Here are some other facts about twin pregnancies that you might not know:


    Pregnant With Twins

    > Research shows that 10 percent to 15 percent of all singleton births may have started off as twins; often one is lost early in pregnancy in a phenomenon known as "vanishing twin syndrome."

    > The odds of having identical twins (the result when a single fertilized egg splits in two) are about 3 1⁄2 in 1,000.

    > If you've had nonidentical, or fraternal, twins (the result when two eggs are released at ovulation and both are fertilized) without having taken fertility drugs, your chance of having a second set is about 1 in

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  • It’s Not Birth Rape; It’s Birth Trauma

    Coming to terms with traumatic birth experiences

    There's a term being batted about right now that I find very disturbing: birth rape. It's describing some truly traumatic birth experiences where women felt disempowered, bullied and abused by their healthcare providers. They felt they had no choice, but to submit to medical procedures done entirely against their will. They felt violated, betrayed, shamed and terrified. They experienced their births as violence perpetrated on their bodies by people they'd trusted.

    How to Avoid Intervention

    These birth experiences were horrible, but were these women raped? No. They may have been abused, manipulated and victims of malpractice, but they were not victims of sexual violence. That's what rape means and in deep respect for women who have been raped, I think the term "birth rape" is inappropriate. Instead, I'd use the term "birth trauma." The rage, despair and feelings of violation some women experience after a traumatic,

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  • 8 Tips for Birth Partners

    Dads during laborHave your husband or partner follow these eight easy guidelines.

    1. Support is a key element to a woman having a positive birth and postpartum experience. As a birth partner, identify the resources you have for informational, emotional and physical backup early on.

    Read More: Epidurals: fact vs. fiction

    2. As you learn more about the process of birth, you will discover your strengths in offering support, and you can decide how you want to contribute to the birth of this child. Will you be the primary support, work more with the other team members or be by the mother's side with your full love and support while others do the hands-on work? A birth partner can serve in any manner that helps the laboring woman, so be comfortable, even joyful, in whatever role you both agree upon.

    Read More: How To Choose A Midwife

    3. Whether you decide to actively work with the mother or just shower her with love, simply being present makes a difference. The birth partner is usually the

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  • On-demand Feeding Makes Babies Smarter

    Breastfeeding and baby feeding tipsNew study says eating habits as newborns are linked to IQ

    Do you live by a feeding schedule as a new mom? It might be time to unchain yourself from that clock when it comes to baby's chow time for the benefit of your little one, British researchers say.

    A new study finds that feeding an infant on demand may increase his or her IQ, Time magazine reports. Using assessments from more than 10,000 children, British researchers found that those who were fed on demand as 4-week-old babies scored four to five points higher on IQ tests at age 8, according to the study's findings. The study cites that their results held up regardless of the baby being breastfed or bottle-fed.

    First Foods: Breast milk or formula? Which solids and when?


    The article suggests that it comes down to a matter of whose priorities are more important - mom vs. baby. "Mothers who feed their babies on a schedule indicate that they feel better and more confident about themselves than moms who feed on demand."

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  • Your First Check-up After Baby

    A postpartum doctor's visit is essentialIt's vital that every women has a postpartum checkup

    You're existing on a few hours of sleep, trying to figure out how to soothe your incessantly fussy baby and adjusting to the fact that this tiny being rules the roost. Chances are, the last thing on your mind is your post-delivery doctor visit. But if you're thinking of ditching it, don't. "It's vital that every woman has a postpartum checkup," says Dane Shipp, M.D., an obstetrician-gynecologist at Pacific Coast Women's Health in Encinitas, Calif. Here's what you need to know:

    When it happens: According to Shipp, you'll likely need to see your obstetrician about six weeks post-delivery, whether you had a vaginal or Cesarean delivery. "But if you have any problems such as excessive bleeding or problems with your breasts, or any other physical complaint, we'll want to see you sooner," he says. Also call your doctor if you're experiencing extreme moodiness, depression or disinterest in your baby.


    Why it's important: In

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  • Invitation Only: Who Will Attend Your Birth?

    Giving birth to babyWhen considering who to allow in your birthing room, it's OK to be selfish.

    Some women envision their birth-day as a time to invite anyone who is close and dear to them into the birthing room-mother, sisters, partner/husband, children, in-laws, next-door neighbor-and yet other moms feel most comfortable with only their husband/partner in the room. Ultimately, there is no one right way, but rather, the way that is best for you.

    Create a birth plan

    Choosing who may attend your birth can be a challenging task for moms who receive pressure from friends and family. This is a time when you have permission to be selfish! While your mother may assume that she has a front row seat during your birth, you may not feel comfortable birthing in the same room with a woman who has a long history of nagging and criticizing.

    When considering who to allow in your birthing room, explore your relationship with the person.

    Ask yourself some questions:

    > How do I feel about this

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  • Why Women Quit Breastfeeding

    Common breastfeeding obstaclesIf "breast is best," why don't we do it?

    The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends women exclusively breastfeed for the first six months and continue breastfeeding (while introducing solid foods) for a full year. Hands down, breastfeeding provides the best nutrition and immunity support for babies and endless health benefits for mothers. Breast is best and most women start out strongly committed to doing their best. And yet, the majority won't make it to six months.

    Read More: The latest expert advice on five common breastfeeding issues

    Why do so many well-intentioned women quit breastfeeding? The top reasons relate to pain, work, low milk volume, illness and lack of support. When it hurts, you have to work, your baby is screaming for more milk than you're making, you get the flu and people keep saying "just give that kid a bottle;" eventually, giving that kid a bottle seems like a good idea.

    Read More: The best ways to prevent and treat sore nipples

    In other

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