Blog Posts by FitPregnancy

  • Got Herpes?

    If so, when you contracted it could make all the difference when it comes to your baby's health. Here's what else you must know.

    Most women think that having herpes during pregnancy is a fairly straightforward matter: If you have any sores when you go into labor, you'll simply deliver by Cesarean section to avoid infecting your baby. Yet the issue is much more complicated than is often perceived.

    For example, herpes is far more prevalent than is generally recognized, and many people don't know they're infected or that they can contract the virus from a partner who has no symptoms. What's more, few people realize that contracting herpes during pregnancy can be very dangerous to the baby. Here's what every pregnant woman needs to know about this very common virus.

    Your chances of having herpes may be greater than you think According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16.2 percent of U.S. adults-1 in 6-have genital herpes caused by herpes simplex virus 2, or

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  • Undress For Success

    And 5 more simple, surprising ways to become a lactation maven

    In case you haven't heard, breastfeeding is a pretty rockin' way to feed your baby. It's cheap (no need to buy formula); it's easy (no mixing or warming necessary); it's "green" (no formula containers in the landfill); and it's good for his body and mind (a lower incidence of short- and long-term health threats like diarrhea and leukemia, plus an IQ boost). It's even good for you, conferring a reduced risk of breast and ovarian cancers. But it can also be challenging. So how can you make it work, especially in those all-important first days? Read on for our experts' best tips.

    1. Get yourself-and your partner-educated If you haven't signed up for a breastfeeding class, do it now. "It's essential that you take a class while pregnant," says Shari Criso, a registered nurse, board-certified lactation consultant and certified nurse-midwife in Denville, N.J. "And make sure it's a class that includes partners."

    Not

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  • How early is too early for a pregnancy test?

    Here are nine 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. Of course, the earliest symptoms of pregnancy wax and wane and are different for each woman; in fact, some women may experience (or notice) none of them. But several can crop up well before you even miss a period. If you're the impatient type, here are the most common early-pregnancy clues to look for.

    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 Read More »from How early is too early for a pregnancy test?
  • (No) Sex With A Bump

    Advice on overcoming these hurdles
    Pregnant women have less sex than they're used to having, particularly in the last trimester, research suggests. Considering that sex is usually safe, free and a good way for partners to stay close during what can be a stressful time, why is this? "Women aren't having intercourse during pregnancy for many reasons," says Shannon Clark, M.D., an assistant professor in the department of OB-GYN at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. "They're experiencing physiological and hormonal changes that impact their desire, they don't have a lot of energy, they're carrying around more weight, and their growing belly may get in the way." They also often fear that having sex could be risky. Here's Clark's advice on overcoming these hurdles:


    PROBLEM: Low or mismatched desire

    SOLUTION:
    Communicate, especially during the first and third trimesters when many women are tired, nauseous or uncomfortable and feel insecure about their

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  • Oregon Plans Ban on C-Sections

    Some Oregon hospitals agree to take a stand against elective and early surgical deliveries.

    Starting next week, many hospitals in Oregon will be taking a stand against early and elective Cesarean sections, MSNBC.com reports. C-sections have become commonplace, and federal statistics now show that surgical deliveries account for more than 30 percent of all U.S. deliveries.

    However, Oregon officials are now working toward the goal of giving "babies more time for important development and to reduce costly complications after birth," MSNBC reports.

    Seventeen Oregon hospitals (including all nine birthing hospitals in the Portland area) are implementing a "hard stop" on these elective procedures, says the March of Dimes' Oregon chapter, as quoted in the MSNBC report. According to a 2009 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, about 1 in 3 C-sections is performed before 39 weeks (37 to 41 weeks is considered full term).

    "Thirty-nine to 40 weeks is the gold

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  • Tears at Playgroup: Mostly Mine

    I've mentioned in passing that Leo has been hard work lately. And I'm not the only one who has been mentioning this, either. "Leo had a hard day," his teachers have been saying-more often than not-when I pick him up. Or, "Leo was loose with his hands today." "Leo really tired us both out," Grandpa Ron will say when they get back from the park. "I did not quiet rest today," Leo will tell me, "I made noise. The teachers said SHHHH!" "I heard Leo was sent back to the two's room until he could be a big boy," a friend of another parent at his school mentioned recently.

    Right. I get it. We see it at home, so I'm not surprised to hear all this. Just…disheartened. And just about clueless. "We don't hit, we keep our hands to our bodies," Leo tells me. Which is nice except how many times has he had to be reminded of this at school if he's reciting it spontaneously in his stroller?

    Still, when I saw those "loose hands" in action at playgroup last week, I was caught off guard. It was so

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  • A Tax Tip for New Moms

    The IRS reverses stance, now says breastfeeding costs can be medical expenses.

    Good news for nursing mothers (and their wallets)! The cost of breast pumps will now be considered tax-deductible medical expenses under a reclassification issued by the Internal Revenue Service, according to a report on MSNBC.

    The new decision means women can use money set aside in pre-tax flexible spending accounts (FSAs) to buy the pumps and related equipment, MSNBC reports. For women without FSAs, breast pumps and supplies will be tax deductible if their total medical costs exceed 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income, MSNBC reports.

    Breastfeeding advocates have long pushed for this reclassification. Previously, the IRS considered breast pumps to be feeding equipment, not medical devices. As for the IRS's "breast milk is food" stance, advocates would argue: How many foods are produced by the human body and require an FDA-regulated medical device to be safely extracted?

    Breast pumps

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  • This Week's Blizzards: At Least You Weren't Giving Birth...

    From FitPregnancy.com's Crib Notes blog:

    Read More »from This Week's Blizzards: At Least You Weren't Giving Birth...
  • The Pregnant Woman's Guide to Winter

    How to keep your pregnancy glow during these long winter months.

    With the cold weather in full swing, we are sure most moms-to-be are struggling to stay happy and healthy during these long winter months.

    However there are special considerations for a winter pregnancy that most women never even think about (maternity coats, anyone? How about a warm cover for the stroller?). After all, it's hard to avoid the harshness of winter when at some point this month it was snowing in 49 of the 50 U.S. states on the same day.

    Being pregnant during the winter has its advantages and disadvantages. So check out our tips for braving the winter months:

    SAFETY

    • Flu shots for everyone-that includes you, mama (or mama-to-be)! They're not only safe but necessary when dealing with dropping temperatures and germs floating everywhere.
    Read More »from The Pregnant Woman's Guide to Winter
  • Plus-size Model Kate Dillon on Pregnancy and Motherhood

    A model mom at peace with her body.

    Fit Pregnancy cover model Kate Dillon (February/March 2011) said flexibility came in handy as she approached her due date (Dec. 14, 2010). "I'm going for as natural a delivery as possible," Dillon said in an interview during her 37th week. "My doctor and I have a pact that if my labor is progressing well, she won't give me an epidural, even if I ask for one. But if it's taking a long time, she will-and I'm thinking I'll be fine either way. I'm not emotionally invested in what happens."

    Dillon, 36, may be best known as a highly successful plus-size Ford Model; she appeared on an episode in season three of America's Next Top Model to talk to the contestants about body image. Did pregnancy have any effect-positive or negative-on her own body image? "It's funny, I feel really good. I've gained plenty of weight, 37 pounds, but I'm fine with it," she says. "I've kept very active, which I think has helped a lot.

    "And I've loved feeling

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