If you’re the type of mama that is bringing your bump to the beach this summer, be sure to practice sun safety.
While you’re not more likely to get sunburned due to pregnancy, you still want to use caution with sun exposure.
Pregnant women should be aware of hyperpigmentation, also known as melasma or mask of pregnancy, which can be caused by sun exposure and pregnancy hormones.
To help prevent melasma, avoid the sun when possible by wearing hats and other protective clothing. A combination of properly covering up with clothing and using sunscreen is more effective than just lathering up.
When it comes to sunscreen, all formulas are safe during pregnancy, however try to pick a sunscreen that uses zinc, rather than chemicals, to block the sun’s rays. Natural sunscreens have been known to cause less allergic reactions.
Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day (which you should be doing any way!).
Set a timer to remind yourself to take breaks from the sun if you’ll be outside for long periods of time. Spend a few minutes resting in a cool, shady place, listening to some tunes on your musical pregnancy belt, intermittently throughout the day.
If you do get sunburned, cool compresses can help. Try soaking a cloth in cold milk too!
Overall, my rule of thumb is to protect my skin as I would protect my baby’s skin – I don’t shortchange myself when it comes to sun safety. Plus, as a bonus, you’ll look younger longer because you’ll have less skin damage, which means you’ll be one hot mama for a long, long time!
With my first pregnancy, my water broke unexpectedly one week before my due date. I had no choice in the matter…my baby was coming. I never had the opportunity to try out all those silly ways to induce labor.
My second child was born exactly on her due date, but I started looking up every way to start labor beginning at 38 weeks. I was convinced the baby was coming early (since my first had), and I was done with being pregnant.
I ate pineapple, cooked up an eggplant parmesan recipe famous for making women go into labor, walked circles around my neighborhood, and of course to my husband’s delight, had a lot of sex.
While all of the sex was a nice distraction and certainly helped my husband and I connect before the chaos of a new baby, it did not bring on labor.
Researchers in Malaysia also agree. They studied 1200 women in late pregnancy, asking half to have sex frequently as a means of triggering labor. The others were told only that sex was safe during pregnancy.
While the first group had more sex (not a bad study to participate in), women in both groups still delivered around the same time – about 39 weeks.
Thus proving once again that a baby will come when it’s good and ready!
In the meantime, enjoy listening to the tunes on your Lullabelly musical pregnancy belt. Maybe all the dancing and grooving will induce labor – not proven – but fun to try no less!
Memorial Day marked the official opening of pool season across the country. That means it’s time to pull out the swimsuit – or perhaps go shopping for a cute new maternity suit (hint: Target has great maternity swim wear).
Of course baring it in a bathing suit means you probably need to do some all around mommy maintenance. But is your typical hair-removal routine safe to do while pregnant?
Here are some do’s and don’ts when it comes to removing unwanted body hair while pregnant:
Electrolysis – No research has shown yet that this hair removal technique is unsafe while pregnant.
Waxing – Is totally safe to do while pregnant. However, because you have more blood flowing to your skin in pregnancy – you’ll probably be more sensitive to the sting – especially in the pubic area.
Shaving – If the above methods sound a bit like torture – stick to the good old razor and shaving cream. But if you’re going to shave in the shower, ask your partner to help keep your balance. You may need to use a mirror too if your belly prevents you from seeing “down there.” Be sure someone helps you in and out of the tub, too!
Depilatories: You’ll want to avoid any chemicals when removing hair. There is a risk that the chemicals will be absorbed through your skin, which is no good for baby.
Don’t sweat it! If you miss a spot, or don’t feel up to the task of shaving or waxing – I assure you that people will be looking at your cute belly and not your hairy lady bits.
When I was pregnant with my first child, I was very anxious about giving birth. When my other preggo friends would pop, I would ask them to give me ALL the details on delivery. I think hearing the variety of birth stories my have upped my nerves more than soothed them.
Then I asked my mom about giving birth, and her reply was, “If it was that terrible, your sister wouldn’t be here.” Good ol’ mom and her ever-practical advice.
It turns out I was not alone in the scaredy-cat department. According to new research out of Finland, up to 10 percent of moms-to-be are afraid of childbirth. However, the research points out that group therapy can help frightened women overcome their fears and have successful vaginal deliveries – instead of opting for scheduled C-sections to avoid going through labor.
The scientists followed women pregnant for the first time that had strong fears about giving birth and wanted C-sections. Nearly half of the women were assigned to receive group-therapy sessions devised to calm their fears.
During the sessions, the women visualized calm, peaceful births. At the conclusion of the study, 88% of the mamas went on to have a vaginal delivery – compared with the 77% of those who didn’t participate in group therapy. The group also reported a positive birth experience!
There’s a lesson in this study. Instead of focusing on the scary details, try thinking about the positive things, like having gone through a mother’s rite of passage and having a great reward after giving birth – your brand new baby!
I loved my pregnancy hair. It was so thick, shiny and flowing. Honestly my hair had never looked better in all my life until I was pregnant.
I thought it was because of the prenatal vitamins, but I just learned this is not the case. The improvement in your luscious locks is because of the change in your hormone levels and not the vitamins.
What other changes can you expect with pregnancy hair?
Although it’s extremely rare, some preggos who had straight hair before getting pregnant may notice their hair becomes wavier or curlier during pregnancy.
Pregnant women may also see more hair growth around the temples (and some other places too – not just your head!).
What should you do if you see a change in growth or texture in your hair when you’re pregnant?
“Don’t fight it; embrace it,” says celebrity stylist and dad, Kristoff Ball.
Try experimenting with new ways to style and wear your hair. Ask your hair stylist what products and techniques you should use to work with your new “pregnancy do.”
Your stylist should be able to give you some helpful pointers on how to work with your new mane. They may even suggest a new haircut or style to accentuate or enhance your changing hair.
The tossing and turning, the getting up to pee every hour, the Charlie horses! Let’s face it…pregnancy sleep is the pits.
If you hear someone tell you one more time that your lack of sleep during pregnancy is preparing you for the sleepless nights when baby comes, you just might kick them in the shins. You’re tired and is it too much to ask for a restful night now?!
My friend, who is 33 weeks pregnant, asked if I had any tips for getting a little shut-eye during the late stages of pregnancy. I did a little research and here’s what I found:
Lie on Your Left Side – We all have heard that back is best when it comes to putting a baby down for sleep, but when you’re still growing that baby, avoid sleeping on your back. Instead opt for your left side, which allows more blood to flow to your uterus.
Invest in a Good Pregnancy Pillow – A good pregnancy pillow will offer support and raise your upper body. This will cause your baby belly to drop down, away from your diaphragm and lungs. You’ll breathe easier and hopefully sleep more soundly.
Elevate Your Bed –If heartburn is your number one enemy come nighttime, try elevating your bed. You can put blocks under the legs of your bed, which will raise your head and chest up and keep stomach acid at bay.
Limit Liquids – When 6 P.M. rolls around, shut the faucet down. Eliminating liquids after dinner will help curb your midnight trips to the potty.
Cool Down – Do you wake-up with your pajamas and sheets soaked through with sweat. Get a cooler night’s sleep by dressing in breathable, short sleeve fabrics for bed. Also, crack open a window or run a fan at night to keep cooler without running up your AC bill.
What are your tips for better sleep during pregnancy? Share your tips in the comments below.
One of my favorite things to do as a preggo woman is veg out and watch movies. What better movies to watch when you are expecting than a movie where the main character is expecting.
I love how pregnancy is portrayed on the silver screen – stereotypical, totally unrealistic at times, yet great for a few good (belly) laughs.
Here’s a few suggestions on what to pop in the Blu-Ray while you’re waiting to pop:
Knocked Up – A raunchy and over-the-top take on an “oops” pregnancy that results from a one-night stand between strangers Ben and Alison, played by Katherine Heigl and Seth Rogen. Check out Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann as bickering married couple Pete and Debbie.
Bonus: Stay tuned for a sequel due out December 2012 that follows the story of Pete and Debbie.
Baby Mama – A single woman (Tina Fey) uses a surrogate (Amy Poehler) to have a baby and the laughs ensue.
Classic scene: Tina and Amy’s characters attend a birthing class.
Juno – Charming high schooler, Juno (Ellen Page), finds herself expecting and decides to give the baby up to a “perfect couple” (Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman). Although she is young and knows she can’t keep the baby, she handles pregnancy with wit and warmth.
Hint: This movie’s soundtrack is perfect for playing on your Lullabelly pregnancy music belt.
Nine Months – This movie is about the male pregnancy experience. Hugh Grant’s character is a complete nut when he finds his lifestyle might have to change once baby arrives.
Perfect for: Any father-to-be that is experiencing baby jitters.
Look Who’s Talking – A cute comedy told from the baby’s perspective about an unwed mama (Kirstie Alley) and her relationship with a cute, sweet taxi driver (John Travolta).
What Happens After Pregnancy: While we see baby in-utero for a bit, expect more laughs as Alley deals with the post-partum period.
Junior – What would happen if men got pregnant? This screwball comedy starring Arnold Schwarzenegger answers that question.
Result: It wouldn’t be pretty.
The best part is you don’t have to be pregnant to enjoy these “baby” flicks – snuggle up with your husband or partner and enjoy.
With my first child it was very obvious when we needed to call the doctor and head to the hospital to have our baby. My water broke (more like popped) when we were sitting on the sofa watching TV. There was no mistaking that a baby was coming right away.
My second child was a bit different. I had contractions all day long (on my due date) and was insisting on brushing my teeth and going to bed even though my contractions were five minutes a part (and pretty strong). I was in denial, but my husband knew it was time to call the doctor and get to the hospital.
Because he understood the signs of labor and knew what to look for, I credit my husband for getting me to the delivery room before we had a baby at our house.
While Mom will be the one enduring the labor, it’s very important for Dad (or any partner) to understand the labor and delivery process so he can help the mama-to-be. Because I’m a living testament to the fact that sometimes moms don’t realize when they are experiencing labor, here are some tips of what to look for when mom is going into labor:
– Backache – Is Mom complaining about back pain?
– Mucous Plug – Did Mom come out of the bathroom and inform you that there was something brown or pink and mucous-y floating in the toilet?
– Contractions – Is Mom feeling stronger than usual contractions or cramps that come at regular intervals? Does she keep repeating that these feel different from the Braxton Hicks pains she had been experiencing prior? Are the contractions getting stronger and closer together?
– Water Break – Is mom leaking (or gushing) water that isn’t urine? (Not all women experience a water break – don’t let the movies fool you!)
If you suspect that Mom is in labor, call your doctor or midwife right away. Explain the symptoms or signs she is experiencing and they can confirm if it is labor and tell you what to do. And remember, make sure that hospital bag is packed a few weeks before your little one’s due date. You don’t want to be caught without one when it’s time to scurry to the hospital!
PS: Make sure you grab your Lullabelly musical belt on the way to the hospital. For me, I enjoyed listening to the playlist I created just for baby and me – it relaxed me during a stressful time, that’s for sure!
From the moment you share the good news about your upcoming arrival, the pregnancy and parenting advice begins. From family and friends, to the grocery store clerk, everyone has something to say about your growing belly and how you should raise your child. Oh and don’t forget the weirdos who want to rub your belly – yuck!
At first, you may welcome the advice. Especially if you are a first time mama and new to the whole pregnancy and baby world. But by the end of the second trimester, you may be over the unsolicited comments and suggestions.
Here are a few tips on how to politely tell others to mind their own beeswax:
The Belly Rubbers: You know those grandma-types at the mall – they can’t resist a good belly grope. You could wear a t-shirt that says “off limits,” but that’s not very fashionable. When someone reaches out to touch the bump, stop them and ask if you can rub their belly too. That will freeze them in their tracks and cause them to think about the inappropriate behavior they were about to engage in. And what’s cool about that is they will probably never do it again! You just paid it forward to every pregnant woman they will cross paths with in the future.
Let Me Tell You About My Horrific Labor Experience: Mamas love to tell the story of their child’s birth (this Lullabelly mom is totally guilty of it). While a nice labor story is always reassuring to hear, a scary delivery story can cause a mom-to-be a lot of stress and worry. When a mom wants to share her terrifying labor story, believe it or not, it’s coming from a good place. She is trying to educate. But go ahead and interrupt her and politely tell her that you appreciate what she went through, but you are already so anxious about labor.
How Much Weight Have you Gained?: All’s fair in weight gain and pregnancy right? Wrong. If someone asks you how much weight you have gained, or asks if you are sure you’re not having twins – go ahead and say nothing. Your silence will speak volumes and they’ll get the hint their question was rude.
Everyone turns into Dr. Spock around a pregnant woman. If you are offered unwanted advice, feel free to kindly tell the know-it-all thanks, but you have done a lot of research and have your own plans. That will hopefully get them to give it a rest.
I love how pregnant woman are portrayed in movies and on TV. They are happy glowing, blissful ladies who breeze in with the most stunning and chic maternity wardrobe looking fresh-faced and dewy.
In real life, I’m a waddling, sweaty person who threw on the nearest thing that was comfortable (and maybe clean). Oh and I may have farted once or twice when I was entering the room. These, my lady friends, are the realities of pregnancy.
Other realities of pregnancy are the symptoms – common ones like nausea, dizziness, extreme hunger and frequent trips to the bathroom. There are a few other “fun” pregnancy symptoms you might not know about.
I’m here to break down some of the less talked about symptoms for you.
Tinkling While Laughing – Yes, frequent peeing is part of being pregnant due to your baby planting itself firmly on your bladder, but usually you have time to make it to the bathroom once you feel the urge to pee. But if something strikes you funny – watch out because that baby on your bladder might make you wet your pants. Spontaneous peeing may happen when you sneeze as well.
Sweating’s Not Just For Armpits – When you are pregnant, sweating is an equal opportunity experience. The back of your knees sweat, in-between your legs sweat, and even the back of your ears sweat. I can attest to sweating underneath my enlarged breasts too – oh man!
Spitting Like a Baseball Player – Some pregnant women produce excess saliva. This might be something like three or four quarts a day! Spitting out the saliva may be the only option to treat this issue, but some say you can try limiting starch or drinking water with lemon juice to lessen the saliva flow.
UFOS Have Landed on My Boobs – No, those dark, giant disks on your boobs do not signal an alien invasion. They are just your nipples that have gotten really big and turned much darker and sometimes lumpier (milk ducts, here you come!). Do not mistake them for flying saucers.
Some nasty stuff happens to your body when you are pregnant, but have no fear, it’s very normal and will probably go away shortly after your baby is born and life returns to the “new” normal!