Friday, June 30, 2006

Hair Tips

Fuller, thicker hair is one benefit of pregnancy for some women and a myth for others. Pregnancy hormones can affect every woman's hair differently; for some, the increased estrogen causes their hair to grow thick and fast, while others find that their hair goes limp and even falls out. To encourage healthy hair, make sure you eat well and get all the essential nutrients. Your hair is part of your skin system, so the healthier you are, the healthier and more beautiful your hair will be. Even if you are one of the lucky ones who experiences increased hair growth, it may behave differently than your pre-pregnancy hair. Dry hair may become oilier, oily hair may become dry, curly hair may become straight or vice versa. Your hair will take perms and coloring differently, and may also grow in areas where you may wish it didn't, such as your face, abdomen, back, and legs. Hair loss during pregnancy may be the result of iron, iodine, or protein deficiencies, which can also cause your hair to become dry and brittle, and grow in lighter than your normal color. Many pregnant women don't get enough iron, especially women who are experiencing severe morning sickness and are not getting proper nutrition. Foods that are particularly good for your hair include yogurt; fresh fruit and vegetables; cold pressed oils; pumpkin, sunflower, and sesame seeds; whole grains like brown rice and oats; and almonds, figs, and dates. To combat undernourished hair, massage your scalp for five or ten minutes every day to stimulate circulation. Every few weeks, turn this into an aromatherapy massage by adding a few drops of essential oils (such as lavender, neroli, patchouli, sandalwood, or ylang ylang) to a half-cup of warm vegetable oil. Massage the oil onto your scalp and hair ends, then wrap your hair in a warm towel and relax for ten minutes. If your hair is dry, wash it less frequently; your natural oils are good for your hair and scalp and washing it twice or three times a week is more than enough. When you do shampoo, use a mild low-detergent shampoo and a moisturizing conditioner. Whenever possible, let your hair air dry since blow drying and curling irons increase dryness and damage. Many pregnant women want to try a new hairstyle that is easy to manage, which often means they decide to cut their hair short. But short hair may actually be harder and more time-consuming to style than long hair, which can be pulled back into a clip or ponytail. Also, a drastic change may not look as good with your face shape as you had imagined. Remember that your face shape may change as your pregnancy progresses and you put on weight. Long, straight hair can create the illusion of a slender face. If you usually color your hair, talk to your obstetrician about any color treatment you are planning during your pregnancy. Some animal studies have shown that a few of the chemical compounds in hair dyes can cause birth defects. However, in many of these studies the animals were exposed to extremely high doses of the chemicals, more than a woman would ever come in contact with while coloring her hair every month or two. The Organization of Teratology Information Services, which provides information on potential reproductive risks, says that coloring your hair during pregnancy is probably safe. Most experts agree, however, that it's best to wait to color your hair until after your first trimester - and you may not be able to stomach the smell of the chemicals during your first few weeks anyway. To limit the absorption of any chemicals into your bloodstream, avoid processes that touch the skin and scalp, such as single-process coloring. Highlights are a good alternative since they involve painting sections of your hair with permanent color, which does not come into contact with your scalp or skin. When styling your hair during pregnancy, make the most of however your hair has decided to behave. If it is straight and limp, work a volumizing product through hair at the roots and blow dry upside down to increase volume. If you have curls, tame any frizzies by working in a curl-defining product and letting it dry naturally. If you're not sure what to do, consult with your stylist on how to maximize your new pregnancy hair. Once you have given birth, don't be alarmed if your hair - be it limp or full - begins falling out in handfuls. Most women experience increased hair loss between 3 and 6 months after giving birth. Your hormones are simply returning to normal and it may take a couple of growth cycles (several years) before your hair completely returns to normal.

Breastfeeding Multiples

Breastfeeding is a skill and a joy that you learn. When you are breastfeeding more than one baby at a time, it takes a little more learning and a little more commitment. Your body will learn to supply as much milk as your babies demand. All you have to figure out is how you and your babies can share and survive mealtimes together. Three popular positions for nursing two babies at once are:
  • The "double football" You tuck each baby under an arm, with their heads facing your breasts so that they can nurse comfortably without turning. Nursing pillows make this position very easy to maintain and very comfy for many mom.
  • The "double cradle" Each baby's head rests in the crook of your arm and their feet lie on each other's abdomens or legs as they nurse. This is a good way for your babies to get cozy with each other while they're cuddling up to you.
  • The "parallel position" In this position, your babies form a straight line, with lots of overlap and both of their feet pointing in the same direction. One baby's head rests on the other's tummy with their legs tucked under your elbow, while the other's legs extend beneath their fellow nurser and across your own tummy.

You may want to offer each baby a different breast every feeding, or an assigned breast each day. Whatever works for you and your babies is the best option. There are no rules, and different babies have different needs and preferences.

For more information, check out Pregnancyweekly

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Britney's Family Photos Stolen!

Pictures of Britney Spears, son, Sean Preston, and husband, Kevin Federline, were stolen! I really don't agree with posting stolen pictures on my blog, but I can definitely direct you to another site, Just Jared, to check them out! Us Weekly also published them too. Britney is all over the place! Dateline interview, OK! Magazine, Haper's Bazaar and now stolen pics! Just when she was trying to play it cool and redeem herself. Actually, these are pics of her family, nothing scandalous! The stolen pictures of Brit and fam were taken when they were and vacation. In the pics she still had her red Kabbalah string around her wrist and she doesn't look very pregnant with number two. I think Sean Preston looks really cute! Now that I've written another posting about Britney, I'm starting to think that I need to chill out on the Britney posts. But it's just too much fun. She's always doing something crazy. I just hope I can go the rest of the day without writing about her. I'm not speaking about tomorrow though! Ha! What do you guys think? Is this another publicity stunt or are we invading her privacy by looking at these pics?

Is Splenda Okay for the Pregnant Woman?

A new preservative or sugar substitute seems to appear on the market every week, guaranteed to cut calories or fat, improve taste, or make food last longer. The safety of these substances takes on new importance when you're pregnant. Here's the scoop on several of the most common food additives: MSG, Olean, Aspartame, Saccharin, and Splenda. MSGMSG (Monosodium Glutamate) is a sodium salt of glutamic acid, an amino acid. It is used in foods to intensify and enhance flavor, but it does not have any flavor of its own. Some people are highly sensitive to MSG and they may experience headache, dizziness, sleep disturbance, nausea, and vomiting after eating food containing MSG. There is no evidence that MSG has any toxic effect on adults or unborn babies; therefore, the Food and Drug Administration has classified MSG as GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe for consumption). However, MSG is very high in sodium and may contribute to water retention. If you are retaining a lot of water, or are usually sensitive to MSG, you may want to avoid foods that contain it. Olean, also known as Olestra, is a synthetic mixture of sugar and vegetable oil and is used as a fat substitute in some foods. Olean is passed through the body undigested, so it is not absorbed, does not enter the bloodstream, and will not reach your baby. However, Olean has been shown to deplete the body of vitamins A, D, E, and K. In addition, when eaten with any food containing carotenoids (such as beta-carotene in carrots or lycopene from tomatoes) these important nutrients are poorly absorbed. Olean may also cause diarrhea, greasy stools, and gastrointestinal discomfort. While Olean will not harm you or your baby directly, you need extra vitamins and minerals while you are pregnant, which Olean has been shown to deplete. In addition, pregnant women usually experience some digestive problems, and Olean may increase this discomfort. You also need extra calories and fat while pregnant, so reducing both by eating products made with Olean robs you and your baby of necessary nutrients. Aspartame, Saccharin, and Splenda Aspartame is an artificial sweetener found in most diet soft drinks and other sugar-free treats. It is approximately 200 times sweeter than sugar, so the quantity necessary to flavor foods is drastically reduced, thereby decreasing the total calories. Aspartame is composed of two amino acids: phenylalanine and aspartic acid. The Food and Drug Administration has judged aspartame safe for the general public and it is safe to eat while pregnant. However, moms-to-be who have a genetic disease called phenylketonuria, or PKU, should not consume aspartame. PKU prevents sufferers from breaking down phenylalanine. If these women consume products that contain aspartame, the phenylalanine builds up in their bodies, possibly causing their babies to be born with severe mental disabilities. Fortunately, the FDA requires all products containing aspartame to be labeled as such, making it relatively easy for pregnant women with PKU to avoid consuming the substance. Saccharin was one of the first artificial sweeteners on the market, but it is not used as frequently today. Saccharin can cross the placental barrier and enter the fetal blood stream. Although data from scientific studies is inconclusive, it is believed that a fetus is much slower to clear the saccharin from its blood and the accumulation may increase the risk for bladder problems or even bladder cancer. Many doctors advise their patients to avoid saccharin while pregnant. The American Dietetic Association and the American Diabetes Association recommend that women consume saccharin in moderation while pregnant. Splenda is the brand name for the low-calorie sweetener called sucralose. According to the Food and Drug Administration, sucralose is safe for the general public to consume. However, there have only been a limited number of scientific studies performed on the safety of sucralose and there have been no specific safety studies done on pregnant women and children. All three artificial sweeteners - aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose - were created to reduce the calorie content of the foods in which they are used, and Olean was created to reduce the fat and calorie content. However, pregnant women need additional calories - up to 300 a day - and up to 30 percent of those should come from fat. Pregnancy is not the time to diet. Therefore, while most of these additives are considered relatively safe, they are not recommended for pregnant women for the simple reason that they are counterproductive to the special nutritional needs of you and your baby.

Remedies for Morning Sickness

Morning sickness getting the best of you? Try these to help calm your stomach.

-Eat small, frequent meals high in protein and fiber (takes longer to digest) -Get plenty of rest (take naps during the day or when you feel most nauseated) -Keep bag of snack foods (unsalted pretzels, nuts, granola bars, dried fruit, breadsticks, crackers) with you at all times to keep your stomach comfortable -Chew Tums or other safe antacids when nauseated or after vomiting -Drink lots of non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated beverages throughout the day -Keep a small snack and beverage by your bedside to consume before you get out of bed -Take your time getting out of bed in the morning; slowly change positions when lying down -Keep moist, unscented towelettes nearby to refresh your face after nausea or vomiting -Exercise (brisk walk, swimming, bicycle riding, yoga, stretching) -Get fresh air by either going outside or opening windows -Identify triggers and avoid them as much as possible

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Britney's Bazaar Photo Shoot- Classy? Or Trashy?

Britney Spears is all cleaned for another magazine, Bazaar. This time around the pregnant mother took her clothes off. It seems that Britney is trying really hard to change the negative reaction that people had about her in the TV interview with Matt Lauer a few weeks ago. She is making an attempt to show that she is not that bubble gum chewing, ratty-haired, trailer park girl that people thought she was after Lauer's interview. I don't know if these new pics help with damage control. It just seems that people are getting more and more sick of her. How sad. I think she looks great in these new pics, so maybe her damage control is working... at least for me! Their is a buzz of comments floating around on how she looks. What do you guys think? Does she look classy or trashy?

Don't Feed Baby From Jar

Feeding your baby directly from the food jar can introduce bacteria from your baby's mouth to the spoon and into the food. If you save and use leftover baby food, bacteria in leftovers can grow and may cause diarrhea, vomiting and other symptoms of foodborne illness. To avoid problems, spoon small amounts of baby food from the jar into a dish and feed your child from there. If your baby is still hungry, take more from the jar with a clean spoon. When you are finished feeding your child, close any open jars of baby food that haven't come in contact with your baby's saliva. They can stay safely refrigerated for up to three days.

It's a Boy...It's a Girl...

What could be more fun than trying to guess the sex of your baby-to-be? Everyone wants to get in the game. Don't be surprised if someone you've never met stops you at the grocery store, offering a prediction of your baby's gender. For hundreds of years, expecting moms have relied on time-tested methods of guessing their baby's sex. Even though these old wives' tales are far from foolproof, they are certainly more fun than their more reliable successors, amniocentesis and ultrasound. Enjoy guessing your baby's sex! It's a boy if: You didn't experience morning sickness in early pregnancy Your baby's heart rate is less than 140 beats per minute You are carrying the extra weight out front Your belly looks like a basketball Your areolas have darkened considerably You are carrying low You are craving salty or sour foods You are craving protein -- meats and cheese Your feet are colder than they were before pregnancy The hair on your legs has grown faster during pregnancy Your hands are very dry Your pillow faces north when you sleep Dad-to-be is gaining weight, right along with you Pregnancy has you looking better than ever Your urine is bright yellow in color Your nose is spreading You hang your wedding ring over your belly and it moves in circles You are having headaches You add your age at the time of conception and the number for the month you conceived and the sum is an even number It's a girl if: You had morning sickness early in pregnancy Your baby's heart rate is at least 140 beats per minute You are carrying the weight in your hips and rear Your left breast is larger than your right breast Your hair develops red highlights You are carrying high Your belly looks like a watermelon You are craving sweets You are craving fruit You crave orange juice You don't look quite as good as normal during pregnancy You are moodier than usual during pregnancy Your face breaks out more than usual You refuse to eat the heel of a loaf of bread Your breasts have really blossomed! Your pillow faces south when you sleep Your urine is a dull yellow color You hang your wedding ring over your belly and it moves from side to side You add your age at the time of conception and the number for the month you conceived and the sum is an odd number Source: iVillage.com

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Prenatal Water Workouts

If you are searching for a safe, low-impact exercise program you can follow all nine months, you might try heading to your local swimming pool. Swimming, water jogging, and aqua aerobics are some of the best exercises to perform while pregnant, and many gyms and pools now offer a variety of classes such as basic aerobics, water boxing, and aqua step.

Exercising in water is ideal for pregnant women because the water's buoyancy requires you to support only 50 percent of your body weight, it reduces the risk of stress-related injuries, and the compression of the water is soothing on joints and muscles that are stressed by the added bulk of your pregnancy. The water's temperature also keeps you from overheating during your workout.

You don't need to be able to swim to participate in water workouts - many moves are performed in waist or chest-high water, and you don't even need to join a special organized class; simply swimming laps, or walking, jogging, or running in water will strengthen your core trunk muscles, legs and hips, and increase your cardio-respiratory fitness. While water workouts don't require any special equipment, there are flippers, foam tubes, webbed gloves, and water weights available that can enhance the moves.

Water workouts generally fall into two categories: aqua aerobics and aqua exercise. Aqua aerobics has most of the fat-burning and endurance-building qualities of land-based aerobics, without the high-impact pounding that can be dangerous while pregnant. Aqua exercise focuses on improving muscle tone, strength and mobility. Water naturally lends itself to strength training, as it provides resistance in all directions, as opposed to land exercises which can be limited by gravity. If you aren't sure which type of class is right for you, ask your gym or community pool if you can watch a class first.

For a great 30-minute workout, alternate aerobic activity with strengthening moves. Warm up for five minutes or so by swimming a few laps or walking back and forth across the pool. Then alternate high-intensity walking or jogging with low-intensity recovery periods. The length of each interval will depend on your fitness level - start with 15 seconds and see how you feel. Repeat this high-low interval for 3 minutes, then perform one of the following strengthening moves. Follow this with another aerobic set and then another strengthening move, continuing this way for 30 minutes. Cool down for five minutes by swimming some laps or walking around the pool, and be sure to do some gentle stretching.

Strengthening Moves Stand in the shallow end of the pool facing the stairs. Step up onto the lowest step, and then back down. Repeat 10 times, slowly, leading with your right leg; then 10 times leading with your left leg. Turn sideways so the steps are on your right and step up, leading with your right leg, 10 times. Turn so the steps are on your left and repeat with your left leg. Finally, turn so the steps are behind you and step up backwards 10 times, leading with the right leg and 10 times leading with your left leg. Hold on to the bar or side of the pool for balance if necessary, but don't pull yourself up with your arms.

Hold a kick board in front of you with both hands so it's up on one end and immersed halfway in the water. Walk from one side of the pool to the other while pushing the kickboard in front of you and concentrate on keeping the board straight. Turn around and walk back to the starting position, zig-zagging the board in front of you.

Stand with your back to the side of the pool, holding onto the rim with your elbows. Keeping your knees straight, slowly bring both legs up to a 90-degree angle in front of you and hold it for ten seconds while exhaling slowly. Then bend at the knee to bring your legs down, and repeat as many times as your fitness level allows. Be careful to keep your back straight throughout this exercise.

Be sure to drink plenty of water while you are exercising in the water, even though you may not feel like you are sweating, and never jump or dive into the pool. If you are in an outside pool, be sure to apply plenty of sunscreen and avoid the hottest times of the day (between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.).

As with all forms of exercise during pregnancy, be sure to check with your doctor before you start, and remember to take it easy. Don't expect to keep your pre-pregnancy pace, and stop immediately if you experience fatigue or dizziness, headache or cramping. Call your doctor if you notice any vaginal bleeding, contractions, unusual absence of fetal movements (although your baby is naturally quieter when you are most active), blurred vision, or difficulty walking.

Fun Old Wives Tales - Is it a Boy or Girl?

Are you having a boy or girl? Try these and see how accurate they are! - Pick up a single key. Did you pick it up by the round part? You're having a boy. Did you pick it up by the narrow part? You're having a girl. And if you picked it up on the middle - well you're having twins! - After you get out of the shower, take a look and see. Is your left breast bigger? Then you're having a girl. If the right is bigger, then it's a boy! - Where do you carry your baby? Do you carry it in front? Then it'll be a boy. If others can tell you are pregnant from behind you, then it's a girl. - Feeling cranky? You're probably having a girl. - Hang or necklace with a pendant or ring on it over your hand. If it moves in a circular motion, that means a girl. If it goes back and forth, you'll be having a boy. - Is your skin breaking out? Blame the acne on that girl you are carrying. - Which side do you like to rest on? Left or the right? Left = boy. Right = girl. - If you dream of girls, you're probably going to have boy and if you dream of boys, you're probably going to have a girl.

Body Pillows - A Must Have!

At some point in your second trimester, you'll probably notice that sleep doesn't come to you as easily as it used to. Popping in and out of bed to go to the bathroom doesn't help. Neither does the fact that it's somewhere between difficult and impossible to get comfortable at night. There is very little you can do about the reduced capacity of your bladder that doesn't involve dehydration and suffering of another sort, but there is one simple thing you can do to help yourself get comfortable in bed, and it will cost you relatively little. Go to a bed and bath store, or pick up a catalog that sells bedding, and you'll probably find a body pillow. Body pillows are long, skinny pillows filled with down, or cotton, or any number of less expensive synthetics. When you get into bed at night, position your body pillow in between your breasts, around your stomach, and in between your thighs. This will give your body the support it needs, and will finally allow all of your muscles to relax. When looking for a body pillow, know that there should be one within every price range, and that you will regret anything but a washable cover. Know too, that with your body pillow in place, your significant other may become lonely and jealous, so make sure to pay attention! Source: PregnancyWeekly.com

Monday, June 26, 2006

What's Going on at The Scene?

Have you checked out The Scene yet? It's the perfect blog for the stylish and pregnant fashionistas out there. Be sure to add it to your bookmarks and check back daily for the newest and hippest items in the pregnancy fashion world plus the latest news in celebrity pregnancy.

Newest Celeb Photos with their Children

Gwen Stefani and her newborn Kingston Britney with her new black hair and Sean Preston
Madonna and Lourdes

Nesting

Around the fifth month of pregnancy, the "nesting" instinct can set in. This is an uncontrollable urge to clean one's house brought on by a desire to prepare a nest for the new baby, to tie up loose ends of old projects and to organize your world. Females of the animal kingdom are all equipped with this same need. It is a primal instinct. Just as you see birds making their nests, mothers-to-be do exactly the same thing. The act of nesting puts you in control and gives a sense of accomplishment toward birth. You may become a homebody and want to retreat into the comfort of home and familiar company, like a brooding hen. The nesting urge can also be seen as a sign of the onset of labor when it occurs close to 40 weeks of pregnancy. Nesting brings about some unique and seemingly irrational behaviors in pregnant women and all of them experience it differently. Women have reported throwing away perfectly good sheets and towels because they felt the strong need to have "brand new, clean" sheets and towels in their home. They have also reported doing things like taking apart the knobs on kitchen cupboards, just so they could disinfect the screws attached to the knobs. Women have discussed taking on cleaning their entire house, armed with a toothbrush. There seems to be no end to the lengths a nesting mother will go to prepare for her upcoming arrival. This unusual burst of energy is responsible for women ironing anything in the house that couldn't out run them. Being preoccupied with ant killing, squishing them one at a time for weeks on end. Packing and unpacking the labor bag 50 times. Cleaning the kitchen cupboards and organizing everything by size to the point that you make sure the silverware patterns match when it's stacked in the cutlery drawer. Sorting the baby's clothes over and over again is a favorite theme. Taking them out of the drawers and re-folding them, putting them away and doing it over and over again. Nesting will provide interesting stories for years to come.When your "nesting" urge hits, try to follow these precautions: When painting: In the final weeks of pregnancy suppress the overwhelming urge to paint the baby's nursery. Perhaps you could do the planning and designing of the room and let someone else do the actual painting. Paint is a substance to avoid for pregnant women. Pregnant women should avoid exposure to oil based paints, old paint that may contain lead and some latex paints that contain mercury. Most water-based paints can be used but always check the label for contents that could be harmful. Painting should always be done in a large, well-ventilated area to minimize breathing fumes. Wear protective clothing and gloves and never eat or drink in the painting work area. When cleaning: There are no real issues with disinfecting your house as long as you know the safety of the chemicals you're using. There is no evidence to suggest that there is any link between the use of household cleaners and birth defects. It's a good idea to avoid oven cleaners and dry cleaning products and be careful never to mix ammonia with chlorine-based products, like bleach or cleanser, as the combination produces toxic fumes. Wear rubber gloves when cleaning and try not to breathe strong fumes. If you have a cat or know that cats are present in your garden: Cat feces can contain a parasite that causes toxoplasmosis, a rare but serious blood infection. If this infection is passed on to your baby, it can cause birth defects such as blindness, deafness or mental retardation. Always wear rubber gloves when cleaning the litter box or assign this chore to another family member until after the baby comes. Avoid all yard work or gardening in areas where cats may have contaminated the soil with feces. It's better to avoid these activities than run the risk of infection. Nesting can be one of the more humorous aspects of pregnancy. One that you and your partner are sure to laugh about in the years to come...if he ever forgives you for sending him off to work and ripping down all the wallpaper in the hall! You may laugh about it now but you probably won't laugh when you're in the middle of it. No one can pull you out of it no matter how silly your behavior may seem. It simply becomes something that you must do!

Linea Negra

You have probably never noticed the pale line, called the linea alba, that runs from your belly button to the top of your pubic bone. It is usually the same color as your skin, but during pregnancy this line may darken (usually during your second trimester) and is then called a linea negra (Latin for "black line”). This darkening is caused by increases in estrogen and progesterone, which in turn step up production of the pigment melanin, a condition known as hyperpigmentation. Fair skinned women show linea negra less often than women with darker pigmentation. And some research suggests there may be a link between linea negra and insulin. An old wives' tale claims that if your linea negra runs only to your navel, you are carrying a girl; but if it goes all the way up to the xiphoid (bottom-most part of the center of your ribcage), it's a boy.There is no way to prevent or erase the linea negra. However, if it bothers you, here's what you can do: Reduce pigment changes by protecting yourself from the sun and avoiding bleaching products. Get enough folic acid. Folic acid deficiency may increase skin discoloration. If the line bothers you, try covering it up with some concealing makeup. Your linea negra will lighten within several months of your baby's birth, but for some women, it never completely disappears.