New Rules for Pregnancy Nutrition

A new must-read for expecting moms is Bridget Swimney's recent fourth edition of "Eating Expectantly." Although the primary focus of the book is pregnancy nutrition, it also offers healthy lifestyle advice for the whole season of pregnancy, including pre-conception, pregnancy, postpartum and breastfeeding. Lifestyle emphasis goes beyond diet to living in a cleaner, greener and safer environment for you and your baby. This includes discussion on exposure to cosmetic and household chemicals during pregnancy.

As to the subject of pre-natal vitamins and supplement, much new research has been published lately on the importance of Vitamin D during pregnancy. In the past stress was given primarily to Folic Acid, which is still an important supplement. However, Vitamin D is an underestimated important supplement that many pregnant and breastfeeding women to not get enough of. Inadequate Vitamin D has been linked to gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia and decreased bone mass in newborns. New research now suggests that most women start their pregnancies with deficient Vitamin D levels, so the recommended levels of 600 IUs in insufficient. Now researchers are recommending pregnant women supplementing at a minimum of 1000 IU. Now vitamin levels can be tested to find out what dose is best for a person's specific needs.

Another important diet component during pregnancy is iodine which controls metabolism and is important in brain development. It's important for pregnant women to get an adequate supply of iodine in their diet to protect from birth defects and impaired cognitive function. Most people get most of their sodium from sodium based preservatives and adding salt to their food. However, not all salt contains iodine, including sea salt. A good way to get iodine in your diet is to buy iodized salt and eat foods already rich in iodine such as milk, potatoes and cod.

Choline is another nutrient that has not been stressed much in the past for pregnancy but is important for the developing brain. Recent studies have shown mothers who did not get enough choline in their diet had higher occurrences of neural tube defects in early pregnancy. Good food sources for choline include eggs, cod, lean beef and Brussels sprouts.

Swimney also cautions against substituting artificial sweeteners for women with gestational diabetes or just trying to watch their sugar intake. Research from Denmark showed an increase in pre-term deliveries for pregnant women who consumed more than one beverage daily with aspartame sweetener. While the study is not conclusive, it does give pause to consuming too much of these sweeteners during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

As far as healthy pleasure foods, Swimney gives a thumbs up to dark chocolate and natural cocoa. New research shows that these chocolates improve blood vessel function which is linked to improved cardiovascular health. Regular chocolate consumption is also shown to reduce pre-eclampsia and hypertension. That's a good reason to indulge in chocolate milk, hot cocoa or a few chocolate chip cookies!

Swimney gives more details on these health recommendations and many more in her fourth edition, "Eatting Expectantly." It is definitely worth checking out to assure you are doing everything you can to ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy.

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Stay Healthy During Pregnancy to Prevent Cerebral Palsy

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), staying healthy during pregnancy can help to prevent developmental problems such as cerebral palsy in infants and toddlers. To maintain a healthy pregnancy, the CDC recommends getting early and regular prenatal care, washing hands often with soap and water to reduce the risk of infections, brushing your teeth at least twice and flossing once per day, getting a flu shot, and contacting a health care provider as soon as possible if you are sick.

The professionals at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development offer these additional recommendations:

• Begin or continue to get at least 400 micrograms of folic acid by taking vitamin supplements every day. Most prenatal vitamins contain that amount of folic acid.

• Avoid drinking alcohol and smoking tobacco.

• Avoid exposure to toxic substances, such as radiation, pesticides, some metals and certain chemicals. If you're not sure if something might be harmful, avoid contact with it until you check with your health care provider.

• Follow a healthy diet. Choose a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products to help ensure the developing fetus gets all of the nutrients it needs.

• Maintain a safe diet. Avoid certain foods such as raw fish, undercooked meat, deli meat and unpasteurized cheeses such as certain types of feta and bleu.

• Limit caffeine intake. Talk to your health care provider about the amount of caffeine you get from coffee, tea, soda and chocolate. They may limit your intake to 200 milligrams (the amount in about one 12-ounce cup of coffee) per day.

Infants with cerebral palsy frequently have developmental delays and are slow to reach key developmental milestones. Mothers and fathers often become concerned about their infant's or toddler's development if the child is having troubles learning to roll over, sit, crawl or walk. Symptoms and effects, which range from mild to severe, also may include mental impairment and/or difficulty with speech, drooling, growth problems and/or failure to thrive. Other indicators include attention span problems, unusual tension and irritability, vision and hearing difficulties, seizures, lethargy, spasticity of muscles, use of one side of the body more than the other and poor feeding abilities.

Risk factors for developing cerebral palsy can include low birth weight, premature birth, multiple births, assisted reproductive technology, infections during pregnancy, jaundice and kernicterus and medical conditions of the mother. Mothers with thyroid problems, intellectual disability or seizures have a slightly higher risk of having a child with cerebral palsy.

Any trauma or damage done to the brain in the first few years of life can cause cerebral palsy. Some of the most common non-medical causes of the disorder include child abuse, blunt head trauma, car accidents and near drowning. In some cases, children develop cerebral palsy as a result of negligent medical practitioners or carelessness.

If your child has developed cerebral palsy as a result of negligent medical care or irresponsibility, it is prudent to contact a law firm with attorneys who specialize in cerebral palsy cases. Caring for a child affected with cerebral palsy can place a heavy financial and emotional burden on your family. A settlement, which can go a long way toward medical treatment and rehabilitation, may be obtainable.

The Medical Benefits of Wearing A Wrap After Pregnancy

Expecting a new child is one of the most exciting times in a woman's life. It is something that comes with much anticipation and most women prepare for this day well in advance of the arrival. There are also issues which may occur during pregnancy which most women would want to avoid. One of those issues is the additional weight gain that is often experienced, especially around the midsection.

In order to overcome this difficulty, many women look to natural forms of treatment which would allow them to get their shape back quickly after the delivery takes place. One of the options is available is an after pregnancy belly wrap. These offer the ability to get your shape back quickly and they also provide other health benefits, which should be considered. How does a belly wrap work during this time in a woman's life and what are the benefits of using one?

The most obvious benefit of using a post-pregnancy belly wrap is the effect that it can have on your figure. One of the reasons why it is able to affect your belly is because it compresses the area gently to allow the uterus to return to a normal size. This can have the effect of reducing the size of the abdomen, which sometimes still looks as if the woman is pregnant, even after the delivery takes place.

Another benefit of a post pregnancy wrap is that it can make you feel more comfortable. Many women who have gone through the pain associated with pregnancy may not feel much like being active. Because of the compression that is offered by the post pregnancy wrap, you may feel more comfortable and it can allow you to get back to your normal routine again. This may include exercising, which will also help you to achieve your pre-pregnancy figure quickly.

The comfort that is experienced when wearing a postpartum wrap may also be because of the support that it offers. Most women suffer from back pain during the time that they are pregnant and the additional support that is provided for your back can help to keep you comfortable. They can also tuck your belly in, which provides additional comfort as well.

Finally, you may find that you are saving money because you are wearing a wrap after you deliver. Clothing can be quite expensive and, you may find that you are not fitting into your maternity clothes or even your pre-pregnancy clothes once you deliver. Wearing an after pregnancy belly wrap can help you to regain your figure so that you can fit into your clothes again. This helps to save you money by reducing the possibility that new clothes will need to be purchased.

There is much evidence to support that post pregnancy wraps offer these benefits. If you can use them to feel better and to look better after you deliver your child, it will help you to enjoy this exciting time in your life to the full.

Pregnancy Dieting

The upkeep of your pregnancy diet plays an essential role in the phase of giving life to a baby. Numerous dietitians and knowledgeable doctors suggest that a pregnant woman should follow a strict diet. A truly healthy diet ensures the overall health of the mother and child.

Consuming certain foods that are full of vitamins and proteins is an imperative element of the pregnancy regimen. Plenty of pure water, healthy juices, and nourishing milk is important as well. It helps the unborn child grow. If there is any type of food in which you have difficulty digesting it should be avoided during pregnancy. Fats should be limited also. Certain dry fruits such as raisins, coconut, and almonds are excellent in providing energy to lethargic mothers.

Do not starve yourself. Adding special amounts of proteins and vitamins is important but try not to deprave yourself of too much. It's important for a pregnant mother to gain a specific amount of additional weight. Some women can gain more weight than others during pregnancy. Too much weight gain tend to increase risks of complications during child birth. Your goal is to stay a healthy as possible for you fetus to develop correctly. It is wise to consult your doctor if you feel you are gaining or losing abnormal amounts of weight while with child. A woman's diet habits can be altered easily to accommodate a medical doctor's recommendations. They can even prescribe particular exercises that aid in balancing weight gain and strength.

Having a good mix of carbohydrates can be beneficial also. Your pregnancy regimen might exclude vital carbohydrates. It is crucial not to skip out on any essential nutrients for the healthy of your baby. Leafy green colored veggies can be eaten as snacks in salads throughout the day. Also try to stay physically active. Walk or do a low impact workout designed for mothers-to-be. Many women overlook the importance of staying active during pregnancy. It can help ease child birth along with a myriad of other health benefits. Stick to a diet and learn as much as you can about pregnancy so you can face it without fear.

If you'd like to learn more about the proper diets of pregnancy all the way through breast feeding, you can find excellent tips and other resources for a great pregnancy by clicking here or visit

Alternative Therapies in Pregnancy

Changes during pregnancy occur because of changes in your hormone levels and when these hormones play havoc within you, there is little that can be done medically. Luckily, there are many natural solutions to ease pain, anxiety and discomfort in pregnancy and delivery as well as to help keep both mind and body healthy and whole. Complementary and Alternative therapies are not meant to override or overtake the importance of a good Gynecologist or Obstetrician guiding you through your pregnancy - they are meant to work side by side with your regular checkups and treatment to further benefit you during these months of dramatic change.

Much research all over the world has established that the womb is where life experience begins and the experience in the womb is what sets the tone of life thereafter. It is not just that the baby is affected by what the mother eats and drinks (e.g. chocolates leads to lots of kicks and gassy foods lead to a colicky baby) but the baby is also affected by the mother's feelings and the atmosphere around her. This is why it is so important to remain calm, happy and positive during your pregnancy in order to have a calm and happy baby.

There has been much speculation about alternative treatment during pregnancy - some say it is harmful and others talk about the difference it has made to their own and their baby's lives. It is important to understand first and foremost that if undertaken by professional and experienced practitioners, no alternative therapy or treatment should be harmful to a pregnant mother or the baby inside her womb.

Miscarriage and other problems that occur during pregnancy are not because of any outside handling of the body but because of internal complications. As long as the mother is healthy, willing and sure that what she is doing is good for her and her baby and of course as long as the doctor has not specifically advised otherwise due to particular issues, alternative and complementary therapies during pregnancy are only beneficial to both mother and child.

Alternative Therapies are also great for helping to deal with specific troubles in pregnancy like nausea, high blood pressure, constipation, pain caused due to stretching of ligaments in pelvic areas and so on. This is because allopathically, there is not much that can be done about these problems whereas through any of the above treatments, you are positively dealing with the problem at hand with no side effects going through to your baby. Just the fact that you can do something makes you feel better and even if you don't all of the above make you feel more relaxed and more pampered which is always a plus during pregnancy anyway!

Using any of these alternative methods during pregnancy can be a great way to complement the care you are getting from your doctor and also may enhance that care as they not only takes care of the physical aspects of your pregnancy but also tend to all the emotional and hormonal changes you are going through. However, before indulging in any of these therapies, it is important to look at your pregnancy individually and do only what suits your particular situation. Remember, not everything works for everyone.