A Q&A About Your Pregnant Bully Button

Posted August 30th, 2011 by Lullabelly

 

Your body goes through a lot of changes during pregnancy. But one of the tiniest places on your body that changes the most is your belly button.  Think about it.  It’s right smack in the middle of your growing belly and therefore bound to stretch (and mutate) as your tummy gets bigger and bigger.

 

You might feel that your belly button gets flat and almost disappears during pregnancy.  Or, the exact opposite happens and your belly button goes from an “inie” to an “outie” overnight.  This is called a protruding navel.

 

Q. So what causes your belly button to protrude?

 

A. Your rapidly expanding uterus pushes your abdomen forward and causes your belly button to pop.


Q. When should I expect this change to occur?

A. A protruding navel usually starts poking its way out around the end of the second trimester (oh and your nipples might do the same thing too thanks to all of those hormones running through you). 

 

Q. Is there anything I can do about it?

 

A. Nope.  No matter what happens to your belly button during pregnancy, chances are it will be back to it’s normal position a few months after you give birth.  If you don’t like the way it looks under clothing, you can always try putting a piece of tape on it to strap it down.

 

Q. I have my belly button pierced.  Should I take the ring out during pregnancy?

 

A. Ask your medical practitioner what’s right for you.  Although it is likely you’ll want to take it out at some point as it may become uncomfortable.

 

Q. My belly button hurts.  Why?

 

A. This is typically caused by the stretching of the skin on your abdomen.  However, any pain should be reported to your medical practitioner.  Sometimes women develop umbilical hernias during pregnancy.  This is a congenital condition (meaning you’ve been this way since you were born).  The hernia may have been small or did not cause any symptoms, but now that you are growing and gaining weight stress has been put on the hernia making it more noticeable. 

 

Q. My belly button is itchy.  What’s up with that?

 

A. As your skin stretches it may become irritated and itchy. Keep it well hydrated with lotion for relief.

 

Remember that changes to your belly button during pregnancy are totally normal and just a few months post-partum, it will go back into place.  Although it might be a bit more stretched out than you remember.   It’s just one more sign you’re a mama now.

A Few Ideas to Better Bonding with Your Unborn Baby

Posted August 23rd, 2011 by Lullabelly

 

Just as you’ve had emotional needs during your pregnancy (hormonal roller coaster anyone?), your unborn baby has emotional needs too.  Your baby needs to be loved and acknowledged, even before birth. The nurturing starts the first day you find out you’re pregnant. 

But how can you begin forging those early pre-natal mother-child bonds while baby is still cooking in the womb? Here are some ideas from our team of mom experts:

1.)  Talk to Your Baby – As you move from one activity to another during your day, talk to your baby as if s/he was right there with you in a stroller or in your arms. A great way to “talk” to your baby is to start reading some of your favorite children’s books to your baby. It’s never too early to start! (Also, ask Dad to read stories to baby; he, too, can begin bonding while baby is in the womb!)

 

2.)  Touch Your Tummy –Touch and gently massage your tummy often.  You can do this while talking to baby, or just to let the little one know you are there. Even if baby doesn’t “feel” your touch, such activity can trigger maternal feelings before baby arrives.

 

3.)  Play Music – Playing gentle, soothing music will help you and baby relax and bond.  You can play music through your stereo, or you can strap on your Lullabelly musical pregnancy belt and dance to your favorite songs with baby.

 

4.)  Play Games – When your baby kicks, gently poke back. See if they will kick again in the same spot or kick in another spot. It’s like a game of hide-n-seek and another way to forge a special bond with baby before s/he is born.

 

5.)  Write Letters – Writing letters to your baby can be a great way to begin the nesting process and begin bonding with your baby. Write about your wishes for baby, how you’re feeling at any given time, etc. Keep those letters in an album and read them to baby while in the womb and as they grow up. You will have created a special keepsake to enjoy forever.

 

Remember, prenatal bonding is personal and you should do what you feel best connects you to your little one. For many women it is a process rather than a single moment.  Doing little things – such as talking to your baby, dancing together and reading stories – throughout the nine months will build and strengthen your already powerful mother-child relationship before birth and beyond. Happy bonding!

A Primer on Packing in Proper Pregnancy Nutrition

Posted August 16th, 2011 by Lullabelly

 

Now that I’m a baby incubator again, I know it’s more important than ever to make sure I’m doing everything I can to maintain proper nutrition.  I try to eat well and exercise when I can.  But between exhaustion and a few unhealthy cravings, I know I need to fill in some of the nutritional gaps. 

Early on in my pregnancy, just the sight of a pre-natal vitamin sent me running for the toilet.  (Really, how do they expect nauseous mommas to choke down those horse pills?). After doing some homework, I learned just how important those pills can be, so I’m doing what I can to take a big gulp and send those important nutrients down the hatch.

Pregnancy asks a lot of a woman’s body, here are some helpful body boosters you might be missing:

Iron – Anemia is common during pregnancy.  Moms-to-be often require additional iron.  A supplement might just do the trick when spinach and steak don’t quite cut it.

DHA – Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the risk of pre-eclampsia, postpartum depression and preterm labor while building baby’s brain, retinas and nervous system.  Of the three fatty acids, DHA is the most beneficial in baby’s development.

Folic Acid – It’s wise to start taking a folic acid supplement even before you conceive; the vitamin plays a central role in building and preventing neural tube defects.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to swallow a lot of pills to pack a punch.  Most prescription and over-the-counter pre-natal vitamins come fully loaded with the vitamins you need, plus some extra perks like a stool softener to deal with pesky constipation. 

And if you really can't handle a big pill, pre-natal vitamins do come in gummy form, which are much easier to handle and makes you feel just like a kid again chewing your vitamins!

About the Contributor: Amy G. is the mom to a beautiful baby girl and pregnant with baby #2 (due January 2012). She is a regular contributor to The Belly Blog.

Old Pregnancy Wives’ Tales About Gender Prediction

Posted August 9th, 2011 by Lullabelly

 

When I was pregnant with my first child, I read into (and believed) every old wives' tale in the book to determine what I was having.  It seems that biology doesn’t hold a candle to pregnancy myths and stories.

Perfect strangers would analyze my belly and ask me about my cravings and then promptly declare that “I was definitely having a girl” (or boy).  I guess it all depended on which tales they believed in.

Of course the true test of what you are expecting is what appears on the ultrasound (if you are into finding out before the baby is born) or what the doctor announces after your little one makes his or her grand entrance.

But just for fun, here is a rundown of five (5) popular pregnancy wives tales about predicting gender:

1.)  How You CarryOne of the most common gender-predictors is the way you carry your baby when it's in the womb. Legend has it that if you’re carrying low, you’re carrying a boy; a higher bump means a little girl.

2.)  Heart Rate – This old wives’ tale claims that the fetal heart rate of a girl will exceed 140, while a boy will be slower. In reality, the fetal heart rate fluctuates with growth and movement.

3.)  Cravings – Cravings sweets? It’s a girl. Something salty?  It’s a boy.  While cravings might be a great opportunity to indulge guilt-free, don’t think that what you want to eat has anything to do with whose little mouth you’ll be feeding in the future.

4.)  Changing BodyIt’s certainly amusing to speculate what you are having based on the following observations: a girl steals her mother’s beauty; a girl causes acne; dry hands indicate a boy; cold feet point to a boy; a larger left breast indicates a girl; dark nipples are signs of a son.

5.)  Ring Swing Using a string to hang your wedding ring over your belly. If it swings back and forth, expect a girl; swinging in a circle promises a boy.

Do any of these old wives' tales ring true for you?  Please share what worked and what didn't!

This One is For the Dads: Look But Don’t Touch (Unless Granted Access)

Posted August 2nd, 2011 by Lullabelly

 
 
Okay daddy-to-be, we've caught you staring.  We know her boobs are huge (so much bigger than when you married her, right?).  They look and feel different and you are kind of obsessed.  Trust us, she loves the attention, especially when you tell her how hot she looks.  
 
But PLEASE, ask before you touch!  And if you are given permission to land, be gentle.  Pregnancy breasts (and nipples) can be tender to the touch, especially during the first trimester.
 
If you are looking or touching, enjoy them while you can – once your little one arrives you'll be sharing them with someone who wants them (and needs them) a lot more than you do.
 
And for mommy-to-be, to minimize breast tenderness hit the stores and purchase a few great supportive, cotton bras to accommodate your new size.  Also be sure to avoid tight bras with underwires. 
 

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