Friday, June 17, 2005

Estrogen Issues

10 WAYS TO KNOW IF YOU HAVE "ESTROGEN ISSUES"

1. Everyone around you has an attitude problem.

2. You're adding chocolate chips to your cheese omelet

3. The dryer has shrunk every last pair of your jeans.

4. Your husband is suddenly agreeing to everything you say.

5. You're using your cellular phone to dial up every bumper sticker that says: "How's my driving-call 1- 800-"

6. Everyone's head looks like an invitation to batting practice.

7. Everyone seems to have just landed here from "outer space."

8. You can't believe they don't make a tampon bigger than Super Plus.

9. You're sure that everyone is scheming to drive you crazy.

10. The ibuprofen bottle is empty and you bought it yesterday.

TOP TEN THINGS ONLY WOMEN UNDERSTAND

10. Cats' facial expressions.

9. The need for the same style of shoes in different colors.

8. Why bean sprouts aren't just weeds.

7. Fat clothes.

6. Taking a car trip without trying to beat your best time.

5. The difference between beige, ecru, cream, off-white, and eggshell.

4. Cutting your hair to make it grow.

3. Eyelash curlers.

2. The inaccuracy of every bathroom scale ever made.

AND, the Number One Number One thing only women understand: 1. OTHER WOMEN

Someone Should Send This to Barbara Walters

I think we all need a Friday laugh. And an early Happy Fathers Day to those dad's out there. Have a good weekend! Posted by Hello

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Real or Fake? And I'm not talking about My Boobs

Tisha already beat me to posting this picture...but what do you think? Real or not? Posted by Hello

Frankly Pregnant

Let's be frank. No really, let's be frank about pregnancy. To add to your list of pregnancy online resources aside from PregnancyWeekly, check out Frankly Pregnant.

Healthy Cities

For those readers in the states, do you live in one of the below cities? Well congrats because your city is one of America's Healthiest cities. 1) San Jose, Calif. San Jose tops our ranking of America’s healthiest cities, thanks to outstanding scores in the major categories of health status, lifestyle choices and diet. In the separate categories, residents of San Jose reported the study’s best scores in mental wellness, rate of cigarette smoking and consumption of fruits and vegetables. In one of the few negative areas, residents here did report one of the study’s highest rates of asthma. 2) Washington, D.C. One of the big surprises was the second-place ranking of Washington, D.C. It scored well in all five major categories, including the top score in mental wellness. Washingtonians reported feeling well physically, mentally and emotionally and had high scores in dental care and BMI (or body mass index). However, Washington did record higher than average incidences of diabetes and hypertension. 3) San Francisco Like its neighbor San Jose to the south, San Francisco showed strong scores in all major categories except mental wellness. Its residents had the study’s highest scores in BMI and dental care, plus a strong showing in the physical activity category. San Franciscans reported problems with sleeping and stress, and had the study’s highest rate of diabetes. San Francisco also had the study’s highest number of physicians per capita. 4) Seattle-Bellevue-Everett The Seattle metro area had the study’s best scores in the areas of physical activity and lifestyle pursuits. Respondents here reported the highest level of vigorous exercise. Seattlites had high rates of diabetes, hypertension and, yes, sleeplessness. (Insert your own Sleepless in Seattle joke here.) 5) Salt Lake City-Ogden Salt Lake City had its highest scores in the mental wellness and physical activity categories, and all the major categories were above average. Despite getting a lot of exercise, its residents had high rates of diabetes, hypertension and asthma, and recorded the study’s highest rate of high cholesterol. 6) Oakland, Calif. Oakland is the third Bay Area city in the top 10 healthiest cities. Like the others, it earned above-average scores in all five major categories. Oakland was particularly strong in health status, with low smoking and good dental care. However, it did record high rates of diabetes and high cholesterol. 7) Sacramento, Calif. Sacramento was above average in four of the five major categories, stumbling only in mental wellness. Residents there recorded the study’s lowest asthma rate and also had one of the top scores for exercise. 8) Orange County, Calif. “The O.C.” was particularly strong in the categories of mental wellness, lifestyle pursuits and physical activity. Its health status scores were weak, with high rates of arthritis and hypertension. It also had the study’s highest rate of occasional smoking. On the positive side, it had the best score for getting restful sleep. 9) Denver Denver was strong in all major categories, with the exception of the health status category. Denver residents reported one of the best BMI scores. Not surprisingly, they also reported a high level of physical activity. However, they also reported a high rate of diabetes and hypertension. 10) Austin-San Marcos, Texas Austin earned one of the highest scores in the category of physical activity, but one of the lowest in health status. Residents had one of the highest scores for vigorous activity and in the number of gyms and health clubs per capita. But they also reported some of the highest rates of diabetes, hypertension and arthritis.

Exercise may prevent pregnancy-related diabetes

Another reason to exercise while pregnant? In the news today, there was an article about how exercise can reduce the risk of gestational diabetes. Which is obviously a good thing. So get out a birth ball, talk a walk around the block, get to the gym and get active. NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Engaging in regular vigorous physical activity before pregnancy reduces the risk of developing pregnancy-induced diabetes (a.k.a. gestational diabetes), according to researchers. The Boston-based group led by Dr. Cuilin Zhang from the Harvard School of Public Health looked at the amount, type, and intensity of pre-conception physical activity in relation to gestational diabetes risk in the ongoing Nurses' Health Study II. Among nearly 20,000 women in the study who delivered at least one infant between 1990 and 1998, a diagnosis of gestational diabetes was reported in 1192 women. Analyzes adjusted for age, family history of diabetes and dietary factors showed that both total and vigorous activity were significantly related to a lower risk of gestational diabetes, the team reported at the American Diabetes Association's annual meeting in San Diego. "Compared with women who were sedentary both at an early age and before the index pregnancy, those who frequently engaged in vigorous activity in both periods had a 26% lower risk of gestational diabetes," Zhang and colleagues found. Among women who did not engage in vigorous physical activity, faster walking pace and more stair climbing also curbed the risk of gestational diabetes. All in all, "regular physical activity is associated with lower gestational diabetes risk," the team concludes.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

What's your Baby's Gender?

Thanks to the November 2005 board at PregnancyWeekly, a member found a neat link with a quiz to predict your baby's gender. Leave a comment and let us know if the quiz is true or not or what it says!

Baby Names Around the World

Want to know what everyone is naming their baby around the world? In the States, we hear a lot about Lolas and Emmas and Aidans but what about in Australia, England, Spain? Australia Girls' Names Emily Chloe Olivia Sophie Jessica Charlotte Ella Isabella Sarah Emma Boys' Names Jack Joshua Lachlan Thomas William James Ethan Samuel Daniel Ryan England and Wales Girls' Names Emily Ellie Jessica Sophie Chloƫ Lucy Olivia Charlotte Katie Megan Boys' Names Jack Joshua Thomas James Daniel Samuel Oliver William Benjamin Joseph Finland Girls' Names Maria Emilia Sofia Aurora Johanna Julia Katariina Olivia Elina Aino Boys' Names Juhani Johannes Matias Mikael Oskari Aleksi Olavi Elias Onni Valteri Ireland Girls' Names Emma Sarah Aoife Ciara Katie Sophie Rachel Chloe Amy Leah Boys' Names Sean Jack Adam Conor James Daniel Michael Cian David Dylan Spain Girls' Names Lucia Maria Paula Laura Marta Andrea Alba Sara Claudia Ana Boys' Names Alejandro Daniel Pablo David Javier Adrian Alvaro Sergion Carlos Hugo Tomorrow I'll have more names from other countries. But would you believe at the Emma trend going around the world??

Mood Affects Diet During Pregnancy.

I read this article today in my Google alerts on pregnancy. Mood Affects Diet During Pregnancy. No offense to this study, but I think most of us women know that our moods will affect our diet regardless if we're pregnant or not. When we are stressed out, we turn to comfort foods which aren't always going to be the best food choices. Chocolate, pasta, junk food, wine. And hey pregnancy is no riding on cloud nine for nine months either. It is stressful with anxiety and wracked nerves. Sometimes you need to indulge in a bowl of pasta or a chocolate bar. I know I need to every now and then. Mood Affects Diet During Pregnancy Women who are stressed out and tired during their pregnancy may eat more poorly, according to a new study. Because certain nutrients are important to fetal health, women should be aware that their mood affects their diet, the experts warn. The study of 134 women with normal, low-risk pregnancies found that those who were more fatigued during pregnancy reported higher consumption of energy foods and zinc and lower intake of folate, a micronutrient important to warding off birth defects. Women who reported feeling stressed ate more breads and snack foods with fats, proteins, iron and zinc, reported researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The study, published in the June issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, also found that anxious moms-to-be had a lower intake of vitamin C, while women who said they felt "hassled" by their pregnancy ate less meat. "Our findings suggest that women who are more fatigued, stressed and anxious eat more food, particularly carbohydrates," researcher Laura Caulfield, associate professor at Bloomberg's Center for Human Nutrition, said in a prepared statement. "While eating more food led to an increase in some important micronutrients, it also led to a decrease in others, like folate and vitamin C." She believes psychosocial factors need to be considered when counseling pregnant women about their diet. "Our research may provide fresh insights about factors related to dietary intake during pregnancy and open new avenues for increasing the effectiveness of nutrition programs," Caulfield said.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Toilet Paper and Belly Shots

As your pregnant belly grows, it's fun to capture its changes both from the inside and the outside. Many women I know take "belly shots" with their cameras to show the growth through each month. Taken from the side, it can show you how much you are really growing! It's fun to document this as well to look back upon and reflect. I took belly shots with kiddo#1 and when I look at them, I always think how amazing it was to see how the body grows and expands and accomodates a new little person inside. The toilet paper game is also a fun way to see how big your belly is getting. Take a roll of toilet paper and wrap it around the largest part of your belly. Then count how many squares it takes to go around your belly. Doing this every week or every month is a fun way to keep track. Do YOU know of any other fun ways of documenting your belly growth?

Maternity Parking Spots

A good friend of mine lives in New Jersey and sent me this story. To sum it up: New Jersey may grant pregnant women and new moms temporary permission to park in "handicapped" parking spots, even though lawmakers acknowledge the system is open to abuse and the National Organization for Women opposes the idea. My friend isn't pregnant but wrote in her email, "How great would this be? Swollen ankles and a big belly to carry - I would love to park close to the entrance." I agree. I know of a grocery store which not only has handicapped parking but it also has parking spots with big white storks spraypainted on the ground and an "expectant mother" sign. How nice for a pregnant lady to have this kind of perk. What do YOU think? Would you like to see expectant mother parking spots where you shop?

Diapers, Diapers Everywhere

There are a few things to consider before you decide on the kind of diapers you will use for your baby. Here are some things to think about and a checklist for when you decide. Which one do you feel more comfortable using? Which one fits more conveniently in your lifestyle? Which do you think your baby will be more comfortable in? What is the cost for disposable diapers, cloth diapers, diaper service? Do you have a washer/dryer? Will you have time to wash the diapers? Can you afford a diaper service?

Monday, June 13, 2005

Not Your Basic Pink or Blue Onesie

Baby clothes have evolved from your basic onesie with bows, hearts, smiling bears and rainbows on them. They've gotten funky, hip, retro and sweet. Here are a few for some fun online shopping. Are you a fan of those tshirts with screen prints of old tv shows or those tshirts with funny and clever sayings? Try RetroBaby. They have some great infant clothing and be sure to check out the Confucius Baby onesies. Uncommon goods has some super cute onesies. I'm a big fan of the "I'm a Miracle" onesie and hat. For unique clothing on the higher end try Tutti Bella which has lots of clothing from many designers. Want to make a statement? Neighborhoodies allows you to create your own bib, tanktop, tee or onesie for the little one. What's your baby's fortune? Try Bella Blu which carries very cute fortune onesies along with other cute baby items. Any shoppers out there have other great links to share?

The "I am a miracle" onesie from Uncommon Goods.
Posted by Hello

Sharing With Other Mothers

I got an email in my inbox today that thanked me for the PregnancyWeekly blog (well you are welcome!) and talked about how amazing it is to have blogs and chatrooms and message boards. And it's true. As mothers, we are in a unique situation and talking to others about what is going on is helpful. So find mothers, share with them, share your feelings and your concerns. Don't isolate yourself, but open up.

Cheese, Cheese and More Cheese

Did you ever see the movie, French Kiss with Meg Ryan and Kevin Kline? There's a scene where Meg Ryan is on the train eating a whole plate of cheese. Yum. This would be me. I love cheese too. And as a pregnant woman, cheese is always a topic of concern. Be glad though that you live in the States where all cheese is pasteurized. As a pregnant woman, eating for two, you should be aware that certain soft cheeses can become contaminated with bacteria called Listeria. If you become sick from Listeria, the baby you're carrying could get sick or die. To protect your unborn baby, eat hard cheeses instead of soft cheeses while you are pregnant. Soft cheeses that can easily become contaminated include: Mexican-Style Soft Cheeses queso blanco queso fresco queso de hoja queso de crema asadero Other Soft Cheeses feta (goat cheese) brie Camembert blue-veined cheeses, like Roquefort Listeria can also contaminate other foods. Contaminated food may not look, smell or taste different from uncontaminated food. Symptoms of infection can develop from 2 to 30 days after you eat contaminated food. If the infection spreads to your unborn baby, you could start early labor. Tell your doctor right away if you get any of these symptoms: fever and chills, or other flu-like symptoms headache nausea vomiting Although Listeria bacteria are killed with thorough cooking, these "tough bugs" can grow in the refrigerator and survive in the freezer. To prevent infection, take these precautions: Use hard cheeses, like cheddar, instead of soft cheeses during pregnancy. If you do use soft cheeses during pregnancy, cook them until they are boiling (bubbling). Use only pasteurized dairy products. It will state "pasteurized" on the label. If you do use hard cheeses made from unpasteurized milk, use only those marked "aged 60 days" (or longer). Eat only thoroughly cooked meat, poultry or seafood. Thoroughly reheat all meats purchased at deli counters, including cured meats like salami, before eating them. Wash all fruits and vegetables with water. Follow label instructions on products that must be refrigerated or that have a "use by" date. Keep the inside of the refrigerator, counter tops, and utensils clean. After handling raw foods, wash your hands with warm soapy water, and wash the utensil you used with hot soapy water before using them again. Do you have any questions about Listeria? Call (1-800) FDA-4010.

Ossification

Ossification is the gradual transition of your baby's skeletal bones from a fibrous or cartilage template to hard bone. This process takes place at different rates and is completed at different stages depending on what part of the body is developing and growing.

By week 12 of pregnancy the development of your baby's bones is complete, and now the baby's main task is to grow strong and healthy during the next six months. Almost all ossification takes place before your baby is born, however, there are two areas that will not complete ossification until the time of your child's second birthday. These areas are the fontanels of the skull.

The fontanels are the two soft spots on a baby's head that, during birth, enable the soft-bony plates of the baby's skull to flex allowing the head to pass through the birth canal with relative ease in most cases. The rear fontanel takes about four months to close, while the front one takes between nine and 18 months.To help your baby develop and grow strong bones, make sure your pregnancy diet is rich in a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, and meats with high levels of the following vitamins and minerals:

  • Vitamin D - Vitamin A - Vitamin C
  • Riboflavin
  • Phosphorus
  • Magnesium
  • Iron
  • Calcium
All of these are essential to provide optimum health for you and your baby during pregnancy. Getting these nutrients will help ensure the proper bone development and bone growth of your baby.

Cocca Butter and those Scars

Does Cocca Butter prevent scars? was the question in my inbox this morning. I know you're not going to like this answer. But nope. Genes from your parents and some work by your surgeon can prevent scars. Topical creams can shrink them (steroid creams) as well as tight compression bandages and massage. Pressure from tight bandages or massage can reorganize the bundles of collagen that make scar tissue and the pressure will push them into straighter lines. Cocca butter is fine to massage your skin with, but it is most likely the massage taht will improve your scar, not the lotion. Maybe that's why my Dad told me (and he's a doctor) to wear spandex when I complained of stretch marks. I opted for lots of pregnancy massages!

The Funky Stork

Thanks to a comment by Jenn, I checked out a website she mentioned, The Funky Stork. Major topics on this website include: Pregnancy basics, Baby Costs, Get it on: Sex & Pregnancy, Blimpy: Pregnancy Weight Gain, Problems and Warning Signs, Labor and Delivery, Circumcision: Making the Cut, Life After Birth: The First 6 Weeks, Glossary of Terms. The website does a good job of providing the basics of pregnancy but goes no where in depth when you compare it to other pregnancy websites such as PregnancyWeekly, BabyCenter or AmericanBaby. And I doubt you'd find the topic, "Get it On: Sex & Pregnancy" named as such on a woman's pregnancy website. But should your male partner need some guidance in the course of pregnancy, point him over to the Funky Stork. Take a visit yourself and let me know what YOU think.