Category Archives for Mums

Planning for Pregnancy

Planning for Pregnancy

So you have decided to have a baby. Wow! How wonderful! It’s a big decision because it is going to change your life forever-but in the nicest possible way. Trying for a baby can be an anxious time, but most couples do not experience problems. Don’t expect to become pregnant immediately, but do consider the possibility that, within a few months, you will be expecting a child. In preparing to have a baby, there are a few things that need to be considered:

Life style

It is worth taking a lifestyle check before you start trying for a baby. You are not expected to change radically, but there may be some adjustments that you and your partner can make to ensure you are doing all you can to safeguard your health and that of your child. The more healthy and relaxed you are, the more easily you will be able to cope with the demands of pregnancy. A healthy lifestyle combines many factors: a balanced diet, regular exercise, and plenty of rest. All of these will give you more energy and could mean that you will avoid some of the associated discomforts associated with pregnancy. For instance, if you eat a balanced diet with plenty of fibre, you will be less likely to suffer from constipation, a common complaint during pregnancy.

Diet

You do not have to start eating for two as soon as you find out you are pregnant. If you ensure that your diet is balanced, you will be providing for both you and your baby’s nutritional health.

Healthy eating during pregnancy is not more complicated than any other time. Vegetarian diets can be just as healthy as diets that contain meat, and the extra vegetables will be beneficial.

Eating nutritiously: some tips about which foods to eat and those to avoid.

  • Eat plenty of food that is high in fibre and low in fat and sugar, such as wholegrain bread, pasta and rice.
  • Eat lean meat, fish eggs, nuts etc to provide protein.
  • Eat at least five servings of fresh fruit and vegetables a day.
  • Avoid processed food, biscuits and cakes
  • Avoid too much fats, undercooked meat and pates; unpasteurised foods and cheeses; pre-prepared meals, unless thoroughly heated; undercooked eggs and poultry; offal and offal based produce; unwashed vegetables and salads;

It is also recommended that you take a folic acid supplement as soon as you start trying for pregnancy as this has been shown to reduce the incidence of spina bifida and other neural tube defects.

The first step towards healthy eating is to look at foods in your daily diet. Early in pregnancy, some women find that their appetite comes and goes. Try to eat a variety of foods each day. An average non-pregnant woman needs about 2,200 calories per day. When you are pregnant, you need about 300 calories more.

Cravings

It is common to develop a taste for certain foods during pregnancy. If you do, listen to your body and indulge yourself, as long as you stick to the safety guidelines and don’t eat excessively. Eating between meals is normal. Keep healthy snacks, such as pieces of fruit, to hand so that you do not get too hungry throughout the day. Eating regular small meals keeps your blood sugar stable and can help prevent indigestion.

Smoking

When you decide to try for a baby, stop smoking at all cost and avoid resuming after birth of baby to stop the risking your health and that of your new born baby. Each puff of smoke you inhale, subjects you and the fetus to harmful chemicals such as nicotine, tar, and carbon monoxide. As a result, your baby receives a reduced amount of oxygen, and its heart beats faster; your baby is likely to have a low birth weight, to be miscarried, or to be born prematurely, and is at greater risk of Sudden Death Syndrome.  Children of smokers are also more likely to suffer from illnesses such as asthma. If you or anyone else smokes around the baby, he or she is exposed to the harmful effects of the smoke, so it is also vital that your partner and any other members of the household stop smoking.

Cigarette smoke makes many women feel queasy in the early weeks of pregnancy. If your partner smokes too, make a pact to give up together. Giving up smoking is the first positive thing that you and your partner can do for your new baby.

Alcohol, coffee and drugs

It is unknown how much alcohol is too much during pregnancy, but research shows that it may cause a serious condition called Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). Heavy drinking can also increase the risk of miscarriage. To be safe, don’t drink any alcohol during pregnancy.

Caffeine found in coffee, tea, carbonated drinks and chocolate, can have a detrimental effect on the digestive system, and inhibits the absorption of iron. There is no need to completely eliminate coffee from your diet during pregnancy, but beware coffee is a stimulant so it is wise to limit your intake of caffeine-in coffee, tea and fizzy drinks. Try keeping a supply of herbal tea, or drink hot water with a slice of lemon instead of those coffees. Camomile tea will also help you relax.

If you have a medical condition that requires drug treatment, discuss the situation with your doctor-ideally before you get pregnant, and certainly once you are. Drugs for some conditions may be continued. It is a question of weighing up the risks to you if the drug is stopped, compared with the risk to the baby if the drug continues to be taken. Sometimes, a different drug is safer.

Recreational drugs aren’t a good idea at any time but there are additional hazards if you are having a baby-some consequences, such as birth defects, and placental bleeding, are very serious.

Conclusion

The healthier and happier you are the better for your baby’s development. Many things that you eat and drink during your pregnancy can affect your baby, so it is sensible to eat healthily and avoid anything that may be harmful to you or your baby. You may have to make a few adjustments to your lifestyle. Be positive about your new lifestyle-you are not only helping yourself and your baby, but you may also find that you actually enjoy being healthier.


Common ailments during pregnancy

Common ailments during pregnancy



Ailments during pregnancy are common. In fact, only few lucky women sail through pregnancy without so much as a stretch mark. Most of the common discomforts during pregnancy are not serious but none the less are uncomfortable and u unpleasant. However, it is not advisable to take drugs for every ailment and, fortunately, for most of the minor discomforts, there are different remedies or therapies that may help ease the symptoms.

Peer help

Seeking advice from other pregnant women or women who have been pregnant recently is usually a good starting point and can be enormously helpful. As you does this however, beware of the ‘alarmist’. Some women tend to exaggerate their pregnancy experiences. When in doubt, consult your midwife. If something is bothering you, act on it; do not wait for your next scheduled antenatal appointment.

Minor pregnancy ailments can be eased by a small adjustment to your diet or lifestyle. Complementary therapies are increasingly popular with mothers-to-be, and some women have reported great success in treating their ailments. However, just because something is natural does not necessarily make it safe to use in pregnancy. For example, many herbs and some aromatherapy oils should not be used during pregnancy. Always consult a qualified practitioner with experience of dealing with pregnant women, and tell your caregiver before beginning any treatments.

Vaginal infections

Vaginal secretions and infections are quiet common during pregnancy. Always consult your doctor or midwife if you have an unusual or heavy discharge, or if you are itching.  It is important to check if your symptoms are caused by a simple case of thrush or if you have another infection.

Anaemia

Anaemia is a possible, but uncommon, cause of tiredness. It is caused by a reduced amount of haemoglobin in your red blood cells. This is the result either of iron deficiency in your diet or the heavy demands of the pregnancy. If you think your tiredness could be caused by insufficient iron, ask your doctor or midwife for a blood test to check your haemoglobin levels. Beware that iron supplements can cause constipation, so if this is a problem, a different brand or prescription may be better for you.

Backache

Pregnancy causes considerable stress on your frame, which is why backache is common. The best way to avoid it is to be mindful of your posture. The classic pregnancy mistake is to arch your back and stick out your abdomen. This taxes your back, and it is far better for your spine if you can pull your tummy in. Balance your body weight between your heels and the balls of your feet, and sit, when you can, with both feet on the floor, rather than cross-legged.

Constipation

Your digestive system becomes more sluggish during pregnancy but you can counteract the effects by increasing your intake of water (at least eight glasses a day), and your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Heartburn

Heartburn is caused by pregnancy hormones relaxing the valve at the top of your stomach so that the acid contents are released upwards, combined with physical pressure due to the enlarging uterus pushing the gastrointestinal tract towards the upper abdomen. The condition is often worse in the evening. You feel bloated and have a burning sensation in your upper chest. Standing tall, with your arms raised above your head, can offer a bit of immediate relief, since it increases the amount of chest space. Eat small meals throughout the day rather than one or two large meals. Avoiding alcohol, spicy foods, fatty foods, and coffee can help. Some people find a glass of milk beneficial; for others, milk can actually bring on an attack. Eat slowly, and avoid eating just before you go to bed. Try sipping warm (not hot) mint or ginger tea after a meal.

Haemorrhoids (pile)

These are varicose veins around the rectum and anus. They are made worse by straining (so constipation can cause or aggravate them), and they can make your life a misery with itching and pain. Avoiding constipation is vital if you are at a risk of piles. Be sure to eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Various creams are available for piles, but make sure any pharmacist you consult knows that you are pregnant. There are also some herbal and homeopathic remedies available.

Varicose veins

These can be the result of the extra strain on your legs. They usually appear as bulging, bluish veins under the skin. Support tights can help, as can lots of walking, since it helps the blood return to your heart. Sit with your legs higher than your head for at least half an hour a day or lie on the floor with your bottom against a wall and your legs up on the wall.
 



Can You Get Pregnant From Pre-Cum?

Can You Get Pregnant From Pre-CumThere are a lot of questions out there about pregnancy and sex, everybody from young teenagers to grandparents have questions they want and need answered. But, it is often a taboo subject that isn’t discussed in public or in private. Fortunately with the introduction of the internet, information is literally available at our fingertips. So, is misinformation!

The question of whether or not a pregnancy can result from pre-cum alone is a complex question that any simple answer would not do justice. There are a lot of complex process that go into human reproduction. So, we will start from the beginning, clearing up any grey areas as we go.

How Do You Get Pregnant?

In order to achieve a pregnancy, a female egg must be fertilized by a male sperm and then implant in the uterine wall. At least a single sperm cell must be present and come into contact with an egg, but that is easier said than done. The female reproductive system has many obstacles between the cervix and the fallopian tubes where fertilization happens. In normal circumstances, only one in every 1000 sperm cells will even come close. Fertilization does not always mean pregnancy though, several more processes must take place for there to be a pregnancy. Implantation must occur and that relies on several factor such as where in the cycle the female is and the health of both parents.

In fact, with no contraception during ovulation there is only about a 25 percent chance a woman will get pregnant from unprotected sex during ovulation. Outside of this small fertile period, chance dip to about 5 percent chance of impregnation with no other contraception.

So, What is Pre-Cum?

Pre-cum is any fluid a man produces during sex that is expelled before he reaches an ejaculating climax. It is produce in a different part of the body than sperm and presents as a clear fluid from the tip of the penis, typically in the early stages of arousal. It serves a couple of purposes, mainly to protect the sperm passing through the urethra and lubrication for sex.

The urethra of a penis is typically an acidic environment, therefore hostile to living sperm. To protect against the environment, a man’s body releases the alkaline pre-cum to neutralize the environment, increasing the sperm’s chances of success.

Pre-cum is not always present in sexual encounters, the amount produced can vary widely in individuals as well as in encounters. Some men produce none while other can produce up to 5 ml, and the same man can produce varying amounts for seemingly no reason. These variations are normal.

What is the Difference between Ejaculate and Pre-cum?

Though similar in many ways there are a few key difference between the fluids. Location, location, location. Sperm and seminal fluid is produced mainly in the testes while pre-cum is produced in Cowper’s gland, a completely different place in the reproductive tract. Another difference is that while seminal fluid can vary widely in color and consistency, pre-cum is typically viscous and clear. And the final difference is volume, while the typical ejaculation can be anywhere from one teaspoon to three tablespoons (5-45ml) there is typically only up to one teaspoon (5ml) of per-cum in any one occurrence.

 

Is There Sperm in Pre-Cum?

There have been studies showing that a certain percentage of men in the population do have low-sperm counts in their pre-cum. However, the sperm count on pre-cum is very low compared with the ejaculate itself and only a minority of men experience this, though for those that do it is shown they do so consistently. Of course, these studies are controversial and have always been small.

If a man does not urinate between ejaculations, it is possible for the second round of pre-cum to pick up left over sperm cells from the previous ejaculation(s). As pre-cum flush the ureteral line sperm cells that are left over from the last ejaculation get swept along with it. This situation is easily avoidable by simply urinating after every ejaculation.

The Pull-out Method

The pull-out method of birth control is whenever the male pulls out of the vaginal canal before he ejaculates. This is a difficult method to use as its success relies heavily on the man’s ability to correctly and effectively pull out each and every time there is sexual intercourse. When used correctly, the pull out method can be up to 96 percent effective, but unfortunately this is rarely the case.

In practice, the pull-out or withdrawal method is the birth control method that is the least effective, coming in after condom usage and ovulation tracking, at only 73 percent effectiveness against pregnancy and no protection against STI’s at all. Condoms are the only available protection against STI’s.

Another issue with this method of birth control is it puts all the responsibility on the male involved and young women in particular need all the empowerment they can find in this area of life. Using some other form of primary birth control such as the pill, shot or IUD can give woman a level of control and confidence that they have not previously experienced.

The easiest answer is yes. In certain situations and with certain partners, a pregnancy can absolutely occur from pre-cum, though the chances are very slim. In these cases sperm is always present for some reason, whether the male produces it as a regular component of his pre-cum, he did not urinate between ejaculations or some other strange circumstance.

If you are trying to get pregnant, you should not be relying on pre-cum to achieve your goals. More certain and easier ways to achieve pregnancy goals. If you are trying to keep from getting pregnant any other method of birth control gives you better protection and more control than relying on your partner to pull out and hoping that there are no sperm cells present.

There is a lot of misinformation available on the subject of pregnancy, just like everything else in the computer age. Make sure to make yourself and your health a priority. Don’t take chance with your future and don’t put your future in someone else’s hands.

Sex While Pregnant? Your Questions Answered

LikSex While Pregnante many mums to be, you may be having questions about sex whilst pregnant such as what is normal and safe for you and the unborn. Most couples avoid sex during this time partly due to the cultural tendencies not to associate pregnant mothers with sexuality and because of insufficient information. So, can you have sex while pregnant? Is it safe? Will it be as good as usual? The article answers the questions that you might have.

Can You Have Sex?
If you lead a healthy pregnancy you can make love during the early stages. There is absolutely no reason why you should alter your sexual life as there is no medical evidence linking sex during pregnancy to any damage. If you have a history of miscarriages or you are encountering problems during pregnancy such as a bleeding placenta, you are advised to talk to your gynaecologist first. You may be advised to avoid intercourse during late stages of pregnancy.

Can it Hurt the Unborn?
Penetration won’t hurt the baby even if the partner is on top of you. The uterus is enclosed with a thick mucus plug that prevents the risk of infection. Amniotic fluid and the powerful muscles of the uterus also protects the unborn. Orgasm contractions are different from labour contractions. So, there is no risk. The unborn may, however, move a little bit after orgasm not because it is aware of the ongoings but due to increased pulse rate.

What is Normal?
Sexual desires change during pregnancy which is perfectly healthy and okay. Now that your hormones are changing and you have fuller breasts, you may experience an increased sex drive. Blood flowing to the pelvic area may cause engorgement of the pelvic area and cause an increased sensation. But to others, this bottleneck may leave an unpleasant lump sensation after sex.To some women, sexual desire will remain the same or become less during pregnancy.

You may have less sexual desires during the first trimester because of overly self-consciousness of the changing body and due to the fact that you feel more tired and nauseated than ever before. The second trimester is often marked by a resurgence of libido. Your desire may fade away during the third quarter: you start thinking about childbirth or you don’t really feel that you are any more attractive. This is quite normal.

What Will Your Partner take it?
Most men find their partners very attractive during pregnancy. Your spouse’s desires may be marred by concerns about your health and that of the unborn, fear that sex will hurt the fetus or moral restraint to make love in the presence of the unborn. Good communication is the key to maintaining intimacy during pregnancy. Be open with your feelings and encourage your partner to share his, particularly if you notice a change in responsiveness.

Will Oral Sex be Safe?
Sex during pregnancy could also be risky when you are expecting multiples or triplets, when you cervix has opened too early, when amniotic fluid is leaking or when your placenta lies too low. In such instances, you may try oral sex (if you are okay with it) since neither you nor the unborn will be at risk.

How Can You Have Sex Comfortably?
Changing positions may be imperative for your comfort when having sex while pregnant. You might consider using water-based lubricants during the intercourse. If you feel any pain or irregular contractions, consult your doctor immediately. No penetration should take place in case your vagina bleeds heavily or when the water breaks. Make sure you are promptly seeking medical concern in such instances.

When making love during pregnancy, side position may be effective. Making love while your partner is above you will require more than imagination with your swollen belly. But if you lie on your side, your partner will not weigh on your uterus. While lying on your side, spoon position will feel comfortable and allow for shallow penetration. Deeper penetration may become impossible as months progress.

You can also use the bed for support. Your belly won’t interfere if you lie on your back against the edge of the bed or the foot, with your butt and feet on the mattress. Your partner then stands on the floor or kneels in front facing you. The after pregnancy is not easy to cross. Not with the fatigues, sleepless nights, drop in hormones et.c.

Love contact can indeed help couples survive this period easily and welcome the child in best emotional condition. However, make sure you are communicating feelings with your partner. The essence of intimacy is open communication and understanding each other’s feelings.



Clogged Milk Ducts

Clogged Milk DuctsIf your breast happens to produce milk faster than it is been expressed, this could be a sign that its duct is backed up. When that happens, the tissues around the breast-duct may become inflamed, swollen and pressed on the breast duct, thus resulting to blockage. This condition is what brings about milk duct clogging.

Signs that you might have a clogged breast duct

  •  Breast reddening
  • Having a small, hard lump which is sore to touch, or a very tender spot on your breast
  •  Feeling a hot, swelling sensational that only feels better after nursing
  •  You may feel feverish, achy, and rundown

If you experience some of these signs and symptoms it might be an indication of a clogged breast duct, which might be end up being infected and you ought to make a point of consulting your doctor. If you leave it undiagnosed, the clogged duct may develop into mastitis, so please don’t take it for assume it and decide to move on with life.

Causes of a blocked milk duct 

Clogged ducts may be as a result from your breast being not completely emptied off the milk on frequent basis. Circumstances that may bring about clogging of the breast ducts include;

  • If you are using a pump that is not powerful enough
  • If you have a cold. Such illness may make you not to pump milk, or even breast your baby frequently, thus resulting to clogging
  •  If you have abruptly weaned your child
  •  If your baby has feeding problems as result of improper latch, or is not feeding often enough
  • If you have undergone breast surgery, e.g. breast biopsy. The operated area may hinder milk drainage hence resulting to blocking of the duct
  • Also a duct may be damaged or compressed because of the pressure from sleeping on your stomach or a nursing bra that does not fit you. This may entrap milk causing duct blockage
  • If you are under stress. Stress inhibits production of oxytocin which is the hormone that enables you breast to produce milk.

For you to prevent clogging of the ducts, evade long period between feeding your baby. Ensure your nursing bra fits you well and does not have the underwire, which can compress your milk ducts.

How to Treat a Clogged Duct

Nurse your baby as much as it wants! It may be hurting to nurse on the affected breast but it is crucial to ensure that you breast is completely drained hence leaving you being more comfortable as the inflammation will reduce. Once the duct is unblocked, the breast may still be red or have the tender feeling for almost a week or more. It’s important to have in mind that the lump will disappear. Here are some tips that may help:

  • Begin with the sore breast: If it is not very painful, nurse it on the sides clogged duct first. This is because your little one sucks strongest at the start and that might be help dislodge the blockage. If the baby does not want to nurse enough in order to empty the breast on the affected side, use your hand or a pump to express the milk.
  • Massage: Health experts also advice that you massage the sore part firmly and frequently, starting on the outside of your breast and working out your way towards the nipple. Applying warm compresses prior to nursing may help open up the duct and relieve swelling and pain.
  •  Change your nursing position: E.g, if you are using the cradle hold, try nursing lying down or the football hold. This helps to ensure that all ducts are well-drained. Position your little one at your breast with his/her chin pointed towards the sore spot, and then have him/her latch on and start nursing. This will direct suction at the blocked duct.
  •  Drink water and eat well: Put more focus on your body’s immune system, and drink as much water as possible in order to stay hydrated.
  •  Consider medication. Ibuprofen can help relieve inflammation and pain. Ask your lactation consultant or doctor before taking any medicine when you are breastfeeding, even if it is an “over-the-counter” drug.
  •  Cold and hot: Some mums rely on hot packs while others prefer a cooling pad to ease discomfort and pain. See which offer you with the ideal relief.