Thursday, August 11, 2005

Sex and Pregnancy

Well, having sex is what got you here . . . being pregnant. There is a tendency for both expectant mothers and fathers to cut back on sex once they've achieved pregnancy (especially if getting pregnant has been work instead of a guess what surprise). T ake a good look at yourself; what could be sexier? You can bet your partner will agree, so now's a good time to take advantage of hassle-free, fun sex. You certainly don't have to worry about birth control, and in spite of your increasing size, it will be easier to get down to the business of having sex before your little one arrives. Just ask anyone who has already had their first baby! Sex is perfectly safe during most pregnancies. With a normal pregnancy, you can keep doing it right up until your water breaks. Make sure to check with your doctor or midwife first if you're having any problems with your pregnancy, such as placenta previa or bleeding, or if you have a history of miscarriages.Some women report that sex during pregnancy is the best they've ever had while for others it may not be so great. This heightened pleasure can probably be attributed to the increased blood flow to the pelvic area also known as engorgement of the genitals. If you find that sex has become particularly enjoyable during pregnancy it may be that you finally feel free from worries about conception and contraception, and are feeling sexier than ever. If you find yourself on the other end of the spectrum where sex is not as appealing during pregnancy, this can be due to several factors. The same engorgement that can push some women over the threshold of ecstasy can give other women an uncomfortable feeling of fullness after having sex and some women may feel abdominal cramping during or after sex. It may just be that you're tired or too nauseated to have sex or even care about it, especially in the first trimester. Things should pick up once you're past the first trimester. The second trimester is often marked by a resurging libido.Your desire may wane again in the third trimester, as impending labor and delivery, and your belly loom large. By this point, some women just simply feel unattractive. The sex drive of your partner may actually increase. Most men find their pregnant partner truly attractive. But your partner's desire may be dampened by his concern for your health and your baby's health, apprehension about the burdens of becoming a father, fear that sex can hurt the baby, or even self-consciousness about making love in the presence of their unborn child.Here are the most common myths about having sex during pregnancy: Myth #1 - Sex will hurt the baby. Sex is not harmful for your baby, in fact in most cases, the motion of having sex will rock your little one off to sleep. You won't hurt the baby by making love, even with your partner on top. The thick mucus plug that seals the cervix helps guard against infection. The amniotic sac and the strong muscles of the uterus also protect your baby. You may notice that your baby is very active after your orgasm. This is because of your pounding heart, not because your baby knows what is happening or feels pain. On the same note, you partner's penis will not be able to reach the baby, even if he is that well endowed, because the cervix is shut tight. (We hate to deflate dad's ego but it just isn't possible!) Myth #2 - Sex will hurt me You probably won't be up for exploring alternative forms of sex but playing with other positions (you on top, sitting in your partner's lap, or a side by side spoon position) may be just the thing to send you over the top during love making. As the old saying goes, "Where there's a will, there's a way." With a little experimenting, you and your partner are sure to find a position and technique that works for both of you. Be encouraged, some women experience their first orgasm while having sex during their pregnancy. This can be attributed to the engorgement of the genitals with more sensitive nerve endings. And oxytocin, the hormone that maintains your pregnancy, is known to spark the libido. Myth #3 - Having sex will cause premature labor. There is no medical evidence that the act of having sex causes labor. Stimulation of the breasts can speed up the production of oxytocin which can cause contractions when you are near your due date. As your pregnancy progresses, you will discover that you can and will have all sorts of contractions without going into labor. Your doctor or midwife may limit your sexual activity if your pregnancy is considered high risk with a history of premature labor, early cervical dilation, placenta previa, premature rupture of the membranes or vaginal bleeding. Myth #4 - Oral sex is a no-no. This is one of the biggest misconceptions about having sex during pregnancy. Normal oral sex will not harm you or your baby and many couples consider it a nice substitute if intercourse is deemed too risky. It can become a convenient option when you get too uncomfortable to have actual intercourse. Just make sure your partner avoids blowing air into your vagina. If this is the first time you've heard of such a practice, it's being mentioned because blowing hard could cause an air embolism (obstructing a blood vessel) and it could potentially kill you and your baby. Your pregnancy is a wonderful time for having close and loving sexual experiences with your partner. Take advantage of your down time and get creative with each other. You might just discover a side to you both that you didn't know existed before. Pregnancy is a time when many couples open doors and find new and exciting ways to be intimate with one another other than just the act of having sex.

Getting Back In Shape Post Pregnancy

During pregnancy, we're told to eat healthy, balanced, nutritional diets and gain 25 to 35 pounds. For some of us, limiting it to 35 pounds is hard to do, especially when our bodies are craving all kinds of odd things. A craving for chocolate milkshakes by one of our subscribers resulted in a weight gain of over 70 pounds. Her doctor finally told her "no more milkshakes, you're gaining too much weight." Though she planned on heeding her doctor's advice, the decision was made much easier since her blender had given out from running so hard. We all know how to put on weight, but how do we lose this excess weight after pregnancy? The process can be extremely difficult, even depressing at times. Our bodies may change so drastically - skin can stretch almost to the point of being transparent, and our hips can spread like we never knew they could. You have to have the initiative and willingness to exercise and change your eating habits in order to get back into shape! It can take a long time to lose unwanted pounds. Since it took 9 months for your body to gain all that weight, give yourself at least 9 months to lose it. It will not disappear overnight, unless you're one of the fortunate women who pops right back into their old body immediately after delivering. The first 20 pounds usually come right off after delivery. Shedding the rest will take a commitment by you to exercise and eat a sensible diet. Many women find it difficult to exercise because they're tired from caring for a new baby. Not liking the way you look, however, can serve as the best reminder that you'll have to overcome the fatigue and take action. Most doctors recommend waiting six weeks before you begin any exercising routine, especially if you had a cesarean birth, so get the OK from your doctor first. The extra weight tends to balance between your tummy and hips, therefore you may want to start with simple exercises that work these areas the most. Aerobic exercise increases your heart rate, and will have you huffing and puffing, burning off the pounds. Jogging, swimming, cycling, dancing, or a brisk walk are all great ways to shed those extra pounds. Always warm up before exercising with simple stretches. Remember to wear appropriate clothing and supportive shoes. Stretching Tips Shoulder Lifts - lift one shoulder up to your ear, let down, switch to the other shoulder, lift up to ear, let down. Repeat 5 times each side. Shoulder Rolls - lift right shoulder, roll forward, move back and down, switch to other shoulder, lift, roll forward, move back and down. Repeat 5 times each side. Neck Roll - standing straight, move right ear to right shoulder, return to center, repeat with left ear to left shoulder, return to center. Repeat 5 times. Arm Stretch - extend right arm over head, bending at the waist, reach left, repeat with left arm, reaching over right side, bending at the waist. Repeat 5 times each side. Hamstring Stretch - Lie on your back, knees bent. Lift one leg, bring it up towards you. Hold your calf, gently pulling closer towards your chest. Hold to the count of 10, release and switch to other leg. Leg Stretch - sitting on floor with legs apart, reach to right foot, switch to left foot. Repeat 5 times each side. Exercise Tips Tummy Crunches - Lie on the floor (on your back), bend knees, and look forward. Curl shoulders and head up off the floor, pulling in abdominal muscles, blowing air out as you come up, lower back down to floor, breathing in. Repeat 5 times, increasing as you get stronger. Tummy Crunch with twist - Lie on the floor (on your back), bend knees, blowing air out, lift head and shoulders up, stretch right hand across to left knee, switch to left side. Repeat 5 times each side, increasing as you get stronger. Leg Lifts - Standing nice and straight with a chair in front of you, knees slightly bent, extend one leg out behind you, lift and lower keeping tummy tucked in, switch to other side. Repeat 5 times each leg. Hips and Thighs - Lie on right your side, slightly bend leg, tuck in abdomen keeping toes facing forward. Raise left leg, then lower. Switch to other side, repeat 5 times each leg. Follow your exercise with a cool down, like the stretching tips mentioned before. Set realistic goals for yourself and gradually increase your repetitions as you get stronger. Remember, if you're unable to do these exercises, there are alternatives. But whatever you choose, be consistent with your exefcise and in keeping a healthy diet, and you'll be looking and feeling like your "old self" in no time. Be patient and committed to getting yourself back into shape and it will happen.

Nursery Needs

Have all of these yet? Crib Mattress Dresser Rocking Chair or glider Changing Table Lamp Hamper Diaper Pail Wastebasket Nightlight Monitor Optional: Cradle Bassinet or Portable crib Matress Pads Diaper Genie Wiipe Wamer Closet Organizer Am I forgetting anything? Some people have creative ways of decorating or furnishing their nursery. For example, many I know don't buy a changing table but put a changing pad on top of a dresser. This allows for more storage and you don't have to spend the extra money on a changing table. Another creative friend I know, made her own mobile out of fishing wire, long sticks and colorful shapes she cut out of thick cardstock. If you are on a budget, pull out that address book and call or email those friends and relatives who have children and might have some baby furniture in their garage and attic. You don't need to buy the fancy expensive things. Places like Target have great looking items that won't be huge expense. Or try secondhand stores. Garage sales are great too - many will advertise if they have baby items. Anyone have good ideas?

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Britney To Give Birth on TV?

One of my favorite websites is iVillage - they have a great Parenting and Pregnancy section. I happened to see an article about the possibility for Britney to film the labor and delivery and to have it air. It is her hubby's idea and she is not completely sold on it. While we have TLC's A Baby Story, I'm not sure if this is the best thing for this celeb to do. Remember when Carney Wilson had her surgery available to watch on the Internet? A lot of people tuned in - but personally when it comes to things like that, I say turn off the TV and turn off the computer! Some things are better left to the privacy of the room. What do you think?

Pandas Again!

I think it's the season of panda babies. I myself am just fascinated by the creature. This week in China, two giant pandas gave birth. One gave birth to twins at one center, while another gave birth at a different center. Those along the panda births in San Diego means they are just popping out! You can see more great pictures here. I can't believe how small the babies are!

Surprise! You're Pregnant! Surprise! You're Going to Have a Baby!

This is a fascinating story. I'm going to copy it , but you can also read it here. Thanks to RedNova.com. A belated congrats to Annice, Jimmy and baby Jimice! Lottery Ticket Foretells Future for 37-Year-Old Long Beach Woman, Who Discovers Pregnancy and Delivers Baby at Miller Children's Hospital in Long Beach - All Within 3 Hours LONG BEACH, Calif., Aug. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- When 37-year-old Long Beach resident Annice Allen bought a lottery ticket on April 20, she picked the numbers 4, 22 and 5. Little did she know that she would be selecting the birthday of a baby girl she didn't even know she was carrying. After 12 years of marriage and two prior miscarriages, Annice and her husband Jimmy gave up trying for children. Then on April 22, following a really bad day of what Annice thought were menstrual cramps, she found out she was pregnant -- and in labor -- when an ultrasound conducted in the emergency room of a local hospital revealed a 23-24 week old fetus. The ultrasound also revealed that there was a problem with the umbilical cord -- the baby's lifeline. Annice was immediately transferred to the Women's Pavilion at Miller Children's Hospital, where within moments physicians who specialize in high-risk deliveries delivered a 1 pound, 4 ounce baby girl named Jimice. In just three hours, Annice went from thinking she had menstrual cramps to proud mother. "Jimice was born detached from her umbilical cord and she was not breathing on her own," says neonatologist Steve Cho. "CPR was initiated, a breathing tube was placed in her throat and she was admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit." Jimice was in good hands. The Miller Children's Hospital NICU is one of the largest in California, treating more than 60 high-risk infants daily, many of whom, like Jimice, are extremely premature. "With today's technology and advanced clinical practices, we can now help even the most fragile infants like Jimice," says Dr. Cho. "Each year we treat more than 1,100 infants in our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit." Now, almost four months later, Jimice weighs more than 5 pounds, 2 ounces and will be going home from Miller Children's Hospital -- much to the delight of her parents.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Hand Crafted Baby Announcements

I receive Daily Candy newsletters every day in my inbox and they had an email today about these beautiful handcrafted greeting cards. I love the new baby ones! And talk about fancy! Made from hand-carved linoleum blocks. Printed on italian mould-made paper. And embellished with austrian crystal rhinestones. What's not to love! If you are interested, check out: Spotbear Productions

Monday, August 08, 2005

Google and Yahoo Pregnancy Searches

There is an invisible counter on the blog that tells me things like what people are searching under to access the blog. Or what the popular pages are. The top 2 popular pages? This post on Exercising During Pregnancy. And this post about Babies on Ebay. And what are you putting into those search engines? Some interesting keywords: pregnancy gender myth pregnancy sleeping back weekly growth of unborn child weekly pregnancy emails - visit www.pregnancyweekly.com for this one. ultrasound weekly pictures - Visit here. pregnant goldfish cheese and pregnancy eating sushi while pregnant are twins carried high or low in the womb? heart hurt during pregnancy playing mozart while pregnant pregnancy hair dyeing how much does it cost to have a baby? perms before conceiving did demi moore lose the baby? fashion pregnancy fall 2006 orgasms causing preterm labor These are just a few of terms that have all brought you to the Pregnancy Weekly blog! Funny isn't it?

What's on Your Wish List?

Ah, pregnancy! Your mind wanders to thoughts of cute little booties, baby coos and warm, soft days nestled with your cherished bundle of joy. Then reality hits, and you realize motherhood may not be as rosy as you wish it would be. But hey, it's okay to wish a little. Here are a few things to wish for, be it fantasy or reality: Fantasy -An effortless pregnancy, labor and delivery. -Lose all your baby weight the day after delivery. -24-hour "technical" support for your new arrival. -Built-in feeding instructions. -Baby Crying Decoder System so you know exactly what your baby needs every time. -Baby sleeping through the night the day you come home from the hospital. -A year or more of paid maternity leave. -A 100 percent safe and pain free "world" for your little one. -All the time in the world to spend with your baby. Reality -A healthy pregnancy that results in the delivery of a healthy baby. -Reasonable weight gain during pregnancy so that weight can be lost easily and sensibly. -A network of friends, family or assistance during the first few weeks at home. -Lactation/Feeding specialists, new parent classes, reliable consultants/doulas. -The love, patience and inner wisdom to guide you in learning how to care, comfort and console your newborn baby. -To use books, videos and the advice of friends to help you and your baby develop good eating and sleeping routines. -Your legal right to maternity leave (check with your company's policy or contact your local Employment Development Department for more information). -A relatively safe and healthy start for your baby: choosing a reliable, accredited pediatrician; purchasing safe equipment, insurance for your home and health; good hygiene habits for you and your baby; and making the decision to immunize your child or not. -A realistic expectation of parenting, realizing the time you spend should be quality time, and that your love (not necessarily your time) is the most important thing your baby needs.

What's in Your First Aid Kit?

Many mothers may not realize that along with taking on the name of Mommy, they will also earn the title Dr. Mom. Yes, at some point in your mothering career you will heal the sick and bandage the wounded with lots of tender loving care. To make the job of Dr. Mom easier in the coming months, you can create a baby friendly first-aid kit. The time to assemble your kit is before your baby arrives. You'll be ready for those first boo-boos and ouchies without having to make a trip to the drug store. Assembling a first-aid kit geared specifically for your baby will give you the peace of mind knowing you have anything you could possibly need for an emergency together in one place and at your fingertips. Prepackaged first-aid kits are widely available. They're economical and contain many of the essential items, but no one commercial product will contain everything you need for your baby. One easy way to build a first-aid kit is to start with the pre-packaged kit and add the extra items you will require for your baby.You may want to have a large kit assembled for your home and then create mini-kits for your purse, a backpack, the diaper bag, and one for the car for when you travel with your baby. All kits need to be stored in a box that latches (lunch or tackle box) or a zippered bag, and out of baby's reach. Well, the most important items in your baby's first-aid kit may actually be names and numbers to use in case of an emergency. Securely tape, glue, or sew the following contact information inside your kit: Emergency Information Your doctor's name and information including any after-hours or emergency numbers Hospital name and address List of any special health alerts (diabetic, high blood pressure, medical allergies, etc.) The number for the Poison Control Center The number for the local police, fire station and rescue squad Phone numbers of your partner, family members or friends The numbers of your two closest neighbors in case you need immediate assistance, such as help to care for an older child or a ride to the hospital Here are the must-haves for your baby's first-aid kit: Infant/child thermometer (digital, ear or rectal) Children and infants non-aspirin liquid pain reliever (Children's Tylenol or Advil), as recommended by your pediatrician Calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream for insect bites and rashes Rubbing alcohol to clean thermometers, tweezers, and scissors Petroleum jelly to lubricate rectal thermometers Hydrogen peroxide to clean cuts and scrapes Antibacterial cream (Neosporin) for cuts and for scrapes Tweezers for splinters and ticks; you can buy long very-pointy tweezers made specifically for removing splinters A pair of sharp scissors Child safe insect repellent Children's strength liquid decongestant Nasal aspirator bulb (not the long, pointy ear syringe) An assortment of band-aids in various sizes and shapes (cartoon characters can really help take the sting out of a boo-boo) Gauze rolls (1/2 to 2 inches wide) Gauze pads (2x2 and 4x4 inches) Adhesive tape Sterilized cotton balls Cotton tipped swabs Mild liquid soap An oral syringe or calibrated cup or spoon for administering medicines A package of tongue depressors to check sore throats A heating pad A hot water bottle and ice pack A small flashlight to check ears, nose, throat, and eyes First-Aid manual: Pick one that's easy to read with step by step instructions and gives advice for handling a wide range of emergencies Syrup of Ipecac and Activated Charcoal: Keep each of these on hand in case of accidental poisoning, but do not use either one without first calling the local poison control center or your baby's pediatrician

Pets and baby

Kitty and Rover, Meet Our New Baby!

Congratulations, you are going to have a baby! You have told all of your family and friends, even going so far as to tell the joyful news to your "furry, four-legged kids," Kitty and Rover. The months progress, when you notice Kitty, who is perched on your lap, is now closely guarding her position, as Rover, appearing needy, moves in to be close to you. You may find yourself wondering if your pets understand what is happening and if they will accept the new baby as a member of the family. Although there is no one thing that you can do to guarantee that the transition will be easy for your pets, there are a few things you can do to make the change a little easier on all concerned.

The first thing you may want to do is make an appointment with your veterinarian to make sure that Kitty and Rover are in tip-top health and all their vaccinations are up-to-date. While visiting your veterinarian, be sure to mention that you're expecting, and ask for advice on preparing the pets for a new baby. Most veterinarians will be happy to offer tips that will help both Kitty and Rover adjust to the new arrival.

One of the easiest but often forgotten facts is that Rover and Kitty are members of your family. They have become accustomed to your attention and their lifestyle. The closer you can maintain the same routines for them after the baby is born, the easier the transition will be. This means that whenever possible, keep up the daily walks, petting rituals, and evening snuggles. If you know that your routine is going to change after your baby is born, it's best to adjust it now with your pets, before your baby enters the scene.

You will need to establish some boundaries for Kitty, who may be used to going where she pleases in the house. Blowing up some balloons and placing them in areas where you want to discourage her from going can help. The squeaking and loud popping sounds the balloons make, as well as the occasional balloon sticking to her static fur should be enough to convince her to avoid these areas at all costs. Filling the bassinet or crib with balloons and allowing Kitty to jump in will quickly teach her that she does not want to be there.

Washing Rover's blanket in the same laundry soap you plan to wash the babies bedding and clothing with will help the adjustment before hand. The most helpful thing for Rover would be to have dad bring home a receiving blanket from the hospital that was used by the baby. This will help Rover adjust to the new scent of your baby far more quickly. Also, taking the time to pat Rover and play in his food dish while he eats, though it may annoy him, will in time help him get over his protective instinct about his food dish. Crawling babies are naturally attracted to pets, food dishes, and water bowls that are all at their level. Working on this before your baby reaches the crawling stage will help head off territorial problems in the future.

Once baby is born, it's important to pay special attention to both Kitty and Rover, especially in those first few days when your baby comes home. If possible, have Dad pay attention to them while you feed the baby. Then have Dad burp the baby while you take your turn paying attention to Kitty and Rover.

Don't be afraid to allow Kitty and Rover to come over and give baby a "hello sniff," while you have the baby safely cuddled in your arms. It helps them get adjusted to the source of this new scent and become more familiar with the baby's movements. Remember, even the most faithful family pet can be startled by a baby's sudden actions or cries, so it will be important for you to take the time to assure Kitty and Rover that these movements and noises are okay. By the time your baby is on the move, both Kitty and Rover should be well accustomed to having a new member of the family. It will be important for you to establish boundaries by letting your baby know not to play with Rover's dinner, nor pull Kitty's tail.

The bonds that will be established between Kitty, Rover, and your baby will be strong, and you'll be able to sit back and watch proudly as your entire family plays together.

Pregnancy Countdown

WebMD - a great website and resource - has a knew section called Pregnancy Countdown. I took a look and it covers a variety of topics and is like a mini checklist about all the things you should have. What to Buy for Baby? Keeping Baby Safe. Preparing Siblings for Baby. Choosing a Pediatrician. Choosing Childcare. Getting Insurance and more. These are all important topics to cover in the months counting down. Take a look!