Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Medicated vs. Un-Medicated Childbirth

A Word to the Wise

1) Women often feel like there are two types of birth. Medicated vs. Un-medicated. Also termed Interventions vs. No interventions. This is a cultural misunderstanding. Most modern hospitals offer a wide spectrum of comfort measures and medical support without requiring couples to choose one extreme over another.

Generally, the best way to differentiate between a negative and a positive birth experience lies more in how well the couple prepares for the birthing process than what options they choose prior to the onset of labor. Even if a woman plans to accept anesthesia there are great benefits to understanding the process and preparing for every possibility. If you want to narrow it down to two birth scenarios I would label them Prepared vs. Unprepared.

2) Remember the cliché, “Knowing is half the battle?” But still it is only half the battle. Many childbirth educators place too much emphasis on birth options and issues of consumerism and do not provide enough instruction on the actual preparation.

Knowing what choices are available is a good place to start but it’s sort of like picking a vacation destination. You can pick vacation destinations all day long, yet if you want to have a pleasant retreat you need to do your homework, scout out local attractions, schedule your accommodations in advance, (including a flight plan, itinerary), and then pack the appropriate gear. Writing a birth plan without actually executing an exercise, nutrition, and relaxation program is nothing more than a wish list.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Weight Stabilization

Pregnant women typically gain the most weight during the third trimester of Pregnancy. By the third trimester the anatomy of the fetus has formed and continues to grow and strengthen.

Here are a few reasons why weight gain may be more significant in those last few weeks of pregnancy:

- Increased Blood Volume
- Increased Amniotic Fluid
- Larger Placenta
- Larger Uterus
- Baby Gaining Weight
- Water Retention

Weight gain usually remains steady up to the 38th week of pregnancy. In the final weeks of pregnancy the number of pounds you gain on a weekly basis should lessen. Eventually, it should plateau. You may even lose weight during the last 2 to 3 weeks gestation. Halleluliah!

This is called Weight Stabilization. Weight Stabilization is a good thing, it means that your body is stabilizing. The baby's growth is nearly complete and labor is just around the corner. This is one of the more reliable signs that your body is preparing for birth.

It's important to note that weight stabilization may not occur until the 40th or 42nd week of pregnancy for some women. Which is okay, but often indicates that labor will mostly likely initiate a little later in the pregnancy.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Birthing Methods

There are so many birthing methods available it can be a challenge for expectant couples to choose the one that is right for them. I wish I could tell you that one is definitely superior over another. However, it's not that simple because the presentation of material is often a reflection of the instructor's opinions and not always an accurate representation of the association with whom they affiliate.

For instance, a Lamaze class today could hardly be recognized by a Lamaze class twenty years ago. If you were to walk into four different Lamaze classes in four different cities in the United States you'd receive similar class outlines but you'd receive four different sets of instructions with four varying opinions on how to handle pain and possibly four unique breathing recommendations. Although, I personally feel that the Lamaze approach to relaxation is weak; I admit that the best class instruction I've observed on the stages of labor was presented by a Labor & Delivery Nurse certified in Lamaze.

If you enrolled in Bradley Classes with the Academy of Husband Coached Childbirth, you'd receive 10-12 weeks of class instruction and a workbook to guide you through the curriculum on schedule. The breathing pattern and contents of the class would be more consistent. However, points of emphasis and opinions on interventions would range from moderate to radical depending on the philosophy of the instructor.

Some Bradley Method instructors spend a great deal of time teaching relaxation exercises each week. While others simply instruct you to do it on your own time and never teach you the basics through practicing during class time.

HypnoBirthing is another alternative that typically focuses on positive affirmations and developing strong relaxation skills in 4-6 weeks of class instruction. They do not claim to take a position on medical interventions. Once again, the actual delivery of your education will depend on the instructor you select.

If you know that it's unlikely that you and your husband will practice relaxation techniques at home on your own time. This may be the best option for you. The majority of the class time is devoted to strengthening your relaxation skills.

Finding an Instructor
A successful birth isn't determined by the method you choose. It's determined by how well you've prepared physically, mentally, emotionally. If you're looking for an instructor in your area you can learn a lot about what their class will offer in a small phone interview. You can locate childbirth instructors in every method using an online directory.

Find someone who emphasizes physical preparation prior to labor as well as emotional relaxation skills. Ensure that their views about medical intervention are flexible so that you don't feel like you're continually hearing that natural is good and medicated is evil.

If you're looking for a birth class that is flexible, convenient, and affordable try out our Birth Class in a Box. Perfectly Prepared is available on our website www.mybirthclass.com or you can find additional products on Amazon such as Labor 101 available for $36.95 for a limited time.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Preparing for Birth Emotionally

In order to effectively deal with pain in labor pregnant women should evaluate their emotions, fears, and perceptions of childbirth, starting with their earliest memories. Watching birth movies, reading real birth stories, or attending the birth of a family member are great ways to become familiar with labor mentally and emotionally. You tube is a great source for free birth footage with a whole gamet of variety.

It is healthy for women to accept that they cannot control all of the sensations they may experience during birth, but they can control how they perceive and react to those sensations.

Yes, labor is painful but it doesn’t have to be miserable. Once a woman acknowledges this premise she begins to develop a positive mental attitude. Gaining a positive mental attitude allows her to respond favorably to the real thing. It is a key element in mastering the ability to maintain calm controlled breathing.

Ideally, she should practice breathing and meditation exercises daily for several weeks in advance. If a woman can breathe calmly she can relax and her body will perform optimally. If she cannot relax she merely survives labor.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Delayed Cord Clamping

The umbilical cord is the connecting cord of the fetus to the placenta. This cord normally contains two arteries and one vein which are buried within a protective substance known as Wharton's jelly.

The umbilical cord enters the infant body at the abdomen with the vein continuing inward, joining at the liver. Here the vein splits into two with the left vein carrying blood to the liver and the right vein carrying blood to the heart.

The two arteries contained in the umbilical cord carry deoxygenated and nutrient depleted blood away from the infant.

Shortly after birth the Wharton's jelly that surrounds the two arteries and vein making up the cord initiate a natural clamping that takes place in response to temperature reduction. It begins with a swelling of the Wharton's jelly and then eventually the cord collapses and contracts the blood vessels.

If left alone without any medical intervention this process will take between 5-20 minutes to occur. General obstetric practice in most hospitals impose an artificial clamping as early as 1 minute after delivery.

Following the clamping the cord is cut. The actual separation of the cord is painless as there are no nerves present in the tissue. However, the cord is thick and sinewy and requires very sharp instruments to perform the task.

Current data shows no there are NO adverse affects of delaying cord clamping. Studies indicate that delaying cord blood clamping is beneficial to the newborn because it improves hematocrit, iron count, and reduces risk of anemia.

Reports consistently show that early cord clamping increases incidence of the over production of red blood cells as well as higher risks of neonatal jaundice, both of which are treated with phototherapy.

Most obstetricians are willing to delay the clamping of the cord upon request. If you decide you'd like to delay cord clamping, be sure to include your preference in a written birth plan.

Cord Blood Banking

The blood that remains in the placenta after the umbilical cord is clamped is referred to as cord blood. This blood is typically discarded after delivery along with the rest of the placenta unless you specifically request its donation to a blood bank or unless you contract a blood bank to store it for you.

Why store cord blood?

Your baby's cord blood is a valuable sources of stem cells with genetically unique DNA. These stem cells may be used to cure or treat serious and even terminal illness within your family. Keep in mind that even though cord blood is rich in hematopoietic stem cells, cord blood banking has become a controversial topic in prenatal medicine because doctors cannot guarantee that stem cell transplant treatments will cure all illness.

There is no denying that stem cell research offers great advancements in medicine and that by storing the cord blood of your infants, you open windows of opportunity for medical break throughs of the future. However, storing cord blood is very costly. If you're interested in cord blood banking you can find services near you through companies such as ViaCord or LifeBankUSA.

In 2007 the American Academy of Pediatrics stated "Physicians should be aware of the unsubstantiated claims of private cord blood banks made to future parents that promise to insure infants of family members against serious illness in the future by use of the stem cells contained in the cord blood."

Most blood banking companies do offer payment plans for their services. If you are considering cord blood banking visit http://aappolicy.aappublications.org/cgi/reprint/pediatrics;104/1/116.pdf for more objective information from the American Academ of Pediatrics.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Headaches in Pregnancy

Why are headaches so prevalent in pregnancy?

Headaches occur when the brain is not receiving enough oxygen. Your body makes use of 60% of all the oxygen intake and approximately 40% of oxygen intake is claimed by your brain. As the pregnant body grows it requires more oxygen and sometimes fails to send the necessary oxygen to your brain.

Tiny blood vessels and veins surrounding your brain begin to swell when they are deprived of adequate oxygen. The consequence is pain and in some cases blurred vision as different parts of your brain are pressured by the swollen veins and blood vessel. This pressure creates the throbbing or aching sensation within your head.

Possible Causes of Reduced Oxygen to the Brain:
1) Tension in the Upper Back and Neck Musles
2) Lack of Sleep
3) Poor Nutrition
4) Anxiety/Stress
5) Shallow Breathing

Pregnant women ought to avoid pain medication for headaches in pregnancy whenever possible. The medication may reduce the symptoms temporarily, but will not treat the sources of the problem.


First, remove any obvious triggers from the above list.

-Take conscious measures to eat well and get adequate sleep. As difficult as it is to get uninterrupted sleep in the latter months of pregnancy, schedule time for short power naps.

-Request that your husband or partner give you short regular massages using a large ball like a volleyball or a small ball like a tennis ball in tense areas.

-Identify stress in your life and determine what can be removed or dealt with in a positive way.

-Practice deep abdominal breathing for at least 15 minutes each day. Inhale deeply, expanding the lungs through the back and all the way down the diaphram. Then realease the breath slowly. The more regularly you practice, the easier it will become to train your body to breathe deeply as a regular practice.

As you increase the fresh oxygen supply to your brain your headaches should subside.

Why Do Pregnant Women Get Swollen Feet?

Pregnant women often experience swelling of their appendages particularly their hands and feet. This condition is also known as edema which simply put is water retention.

The growing uterus restricts blood flow in some of the major veins responsible for carrying water throughout the body.

Prevention & Treatment:

Pelvic Rocks help get the uterus of your back and release the pressure on major veins and arteries.

Stay Hydrated. Drinking plenty of water helps your body move fluids more efficiently.

Manage your Salt Intake Wisely. Contrary to popular belief salt is not responsible water retention. A certain amount of sodium is necessary to stave off muscle cramps. Salt food to taste avoiding extremes. Choose Real or Sea Salt rather than refined iodized salts. The enhanced texture and tast will reduce the amount of salt you apply.

Stay Active. Regular activity increases circulation and blood flow to all parts of the body. The more sedentary you are the greater you can expect the edema in your ankles, feet, hands, and fingers.

Gentle massage may temporarily relieve the discomfort of edema.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Over Eating During Pregnancy

There are few things more important in pregnancy than a well balanced diet. It is critical that you provide high nutrition for you and your baby. In years past doctors were a lot more involved in monitoring weight gain in pregnancy. When pregnant women gained more than the averages recommended for gestational schedules they were often placed on restrictive diets and given guilt trips for their carelessness.

Today the opposite is true. Friends and family members can often be heard encouraging newly expectant moms to, "Dish up. You're eating for two now!" Carrying a pea sized fetus hardly merits eating for two! But this is often when eating behaviors change. Perhaps we have swung the pendulum a bit too far.

The challenge is finding balance between over indulgence and insatiable hunger. Which isn't an easy task to manage. Part of the battle is psychological. Pregnant women often behave the way they have been taught to behave and therefore give in to unhealthy cravings and irrational eating habits based on a subconscious idea that such behavior is justified in pregnancy.

Normally disciplined woman may find themselves reaching for snacks high in carbohydrates such as crackers, chips, or pastries. These are extremely poor food choices because they provide little to no nutrition with a maximum number of calories and consequences. Furthermore, they often are the culprit for nausea.

If you're concerned about your weight gain in pregnancy follow these tips when you're having a snack attack.

1. Drink at least 8 ounces of water.
2. Wait at least 10 minutes.
3. Occupy mind and body with an activity unrelated to food while you wait.
4. If you're still hungry at the end of 10 minutes choose a food high in protein or high in fiber.
5. Measure a predetermined amount of the snack food (9 almonds) and put the rest away.
6. Eat slowly and enjoy it.

Following these guidelines will allow you to respond rationally to your body's cravings and help you make wiser decisions related to food consumption.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Waking up with Wrist Pain in Pregnancy?

Carpal tunnel syndrome may bear it's nasty little head even in the early months of pregnancy. This is a result of increased pressure on the median nerve in your wrist. The increased pressure is a side effect of swollen tissue and increased blood volume that accompany pregnancy. Swelling causes compression of the median nerve and constricts the fibrous bands of the nerve tissue.

Many pregnant women report that the occurence of carpal tunnel syndrome is more prevalent in their left wrist than in their right wrist. This may be due to the fact that pregnant women are often advised to sleep on their left side and therefore some of the blood flow into the left arm is restricted.

The continual pressure builds and eventually inhibits the nerve from its normal expansion which causes some of the following symptoms:

-Wrists may tire or feel pain when using a keyboard
-Sleep interupted by numb tingling sensation in hand and fingers
-Hand may lose dexterity and strength or fumble when performing normal activities
-Sharp shooting sensation experienced in the top of hand or wrist


Sleep with your hands free to move, ensure that the weight of your body or head isn't resting upon them during the night. Even though you may sleep predominantly on your left slide shift with small rotations onto your right side.

Although a certain amount of swelling is unavoidable, follow practices that reduce edema as instructed in the article below on swollen feet and hands in pregnancy.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Pubic Bone Pain in Pregnancy

Pain in the front of your pelvis or in the center of your pubic bone is caused by a condition known as symphysis pubis dysfunction. This condition is brought on by the release of hormone called Relaxin that cause your ligaments to soften and loosen in preparation for birth.

What's Actually Happening

The ligaments loosen and widen the pelvic outlet to create space for the baby's head during delivery. Many ligaments exist in the pelvis but one in particular, the pubic symphysis is attached at the center of the pubic bone. This normally non pregnant, narrow midline cartilaginous joint can create a 2-3 mm gap between the two bones. As it becomes more flexible this connective tissue may widen up to 9 mm.

Think about that! Your little pubis symphysis may be stretched to 3 to 4 times it's pre-pregancy size. The stretching in conjunction with the added strain on the muscles of this area caused by the weight of the baby can create an extremely painful sensation in the front of the pelvis.

The ligament may stretch and widen so much that it eventually becomes unstable and less effective at bearing weight.


1. Pelvic floor exercises can help in relieving pelvic pain. These exercises are designed to strengthen the hammock-like muscles which support the pelvic organs. Better control over these muscles could help take some of the weight bearing responsibility away from the pelvic girdle and ligaments.

2. Elastic support belt or the pelvic girdle can help to support your pelvis during pregnancy. This acts just like an ankle or knee brace to keep the joints in place. I prefer wearing a velcro back brace under my belly and around my hips. These are relatively inexpensive at your local medical supply store.

3. Climbing stairs is very painful if you suffer from pelvic pain. It may be advisable to go up and down stairs using your bottom, and lifting yourself up or down each stair with your hands. Bear in mind that it is much easier going down than up!

4. Remember to sit on a chair when getting dressed rather than balancing on one leg.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Why Do Pregnant Women Get Swollen Feet & Hands?

Pregnant women often experience swelling of their appendages particularly their hands and feet. This condition is also known as edema which simply put is water retention.

The growing uterus restricts blood flow in some of the major veins responsible for carrying water throughout the body.

Prevention & Treatment:

Pelvic Rocks help get the uterus of your back and release the pressure on major veins and arteries.

Stay Hydrated. Drinking plenty of water helps your body move fluids more efficiently.

Manage your Salt Intake Wisely. Contrary to popular belief salt is not responsible water retention. A certain amount of sodium is necessary to stave off muscle cramps. Salt food to taste avoiding extremes. Choose Real or Sea Salt rather than refined iodized salts. The enhanced texture and tast will reduce the amount of salt you apply.

Stay Active. Regular activity increases circulation and blood flow to all parts of the body. The more sedentary you are the greater you can expect the edema in your ankles, feet, hands, and fingers.

Gentle massage may temporarily relieve the discomfort of edema.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

How to Cure Heartburn in Pregnancy

There are many over the counter and prescription medicines available for heartburn relief as well as prescription medicines for severe heartburn such as Pevacid, Potonix, and Prolisec. However there are also natural remedies for heartburn may be just as effective and cause fewer side effects.

Most women begin to experience heartburn by the second trimester of pregnancy, even those who have a healthy diet and stress-free lifestyle. Heartburn symptoms occur when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus causing a burning sensation in the chest, stomach or back of the throat.

Prescription medicines for heartburn are designed for those who experience symptoms several times per week. It is important to note that most prescription medicines for heartburn have some undesirable side effects including constipation and/or diarrhea due to high aluminum or calcium salt concentration.

Antacids are designed to neutralize the amount of acid in the stomach, by reducing the production of stomach acid. Some antacids even contain an chemical that coats the wall of the esophagus and reduces the burning feeling or symptom without actually treating it.

The body needs stomach acid to aid in digestion. So when pregnant women take antacids frequently they increase the problem. The stomach recognizes the reduced stomach acid and acid secretions increase to maintain the bodies optimal digestion performance. Thereby stimulating higher levels of acid production.

Natural remedies for heartburn may include fennel and peppermint. Fennel seeds can be seeped in water to create a soothing tea. Peppermint has been used for centuries to aid in digestion. Both Fennel seeds and peppermint have been used by Native Americans and Europeans as natural remedies for heartburn.

Rhubarb is another natural remedy for heartburn and indigestion used by Native Americans. Rhubarb grows wild and is available in some grocery stores. It is similar in appearance to celery, but is reddish in color. It is most effective when eaten raw, although it does a have a slight bitter taste.

Eating a small wedge of raw potato may help treat heartburn by absorbing some of the troublesome stomach acid.

Eating small frequent meals helps the pregnant stomach perform the task of digestion more easily.

Walking each night after your meal will also speed up digestion with minimal acid production.

Overeating, spicy foods, caffeinated beverages, alcohol and even stress can lead to symptoms of heartburn. Some women report increased incidence of heartburn related to tomato based foods, miracle whip, sugar, and complex proteins.

Monday, May 9, 2011

How To Avoid Stretch Marks in Pregnancy?

Stretch marks are scars in the tissue starting on the inside of the dermis and eventually manifest on the outter layer of the epidermis. Prevention tactics should start below the surface.

As weight increases our body size also expands requiring stretching of the skin. Our skin can take up the expansion to a certain limit owing to the elasticity. After that it starts showing pinkish lines. Once these lines are formed on the surface of the body, it is very hard to get rid of them. There are some simple home remedies that can help you prevent these unwanted lines. Given below are the top 5 tips for preventing stretch marks.

How to avoid stretch marks during pregnancy?

Secret 1 : Take hot water bath. It opens the pores of the skin. It also helps in strengthening the epidermis which further diminishes the appearance of stretch marks.

Secret 2: Massage the vulnerable areas at least once each day. The skin responds best immediatly after hydrotherapy (shower or bath). It's easy to work a quick gentle massage into your daily routine immediately after showering and prior to getting dressed. Pregnancy stretch marks are mainly formed on the breast, lower belly, hips and thighs. You should massage all these areas at least once a day during the second and third trimester to increase circulation to the skin and give it opportunities to stretch and mold regularly. Massaging with an inexpensive oil such as almond oil, grapeseed oil, or olive oil enhances the experience and moisturizes the skin while you're getting ready for the day.

Secret 3: Drink lots of water. Drink at least 72 ounces of water every day. It keeps your skin hydrated & glowing.

Secret 4: Have lots of zinc and vitamin A, C & E in your food. Eat foods rich in Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Add Vitamin E or Grape Seed Oil capsules as a nutritional supplement. These oils restore the collagen of the skin and make it more elastic.

Secret 5 : Use high quality moisturizers. You can choose to apply natural & organic creams. These are a fine blend of natural products that prove fruitful in curing & preventing these scars caused due to pregnancy. Fennel is one of the best supplements available to maximize elasticity.

Avoid any lotion or cream that contains mineral oil!!! If you prefer use natural and organic oils such as tea tree oil, castor oil, vitamin E oil, aloe vera gel, olive oil, almond oil, apricot kernel oil, or shea butter. I personally prefer to slather a generous portion of pure cocoa butter on belly each day after I shower. It only takes 2-5 minutes of moisturizing massage to check Secret 2 and Secret 5 off my list in one step.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

How Do You Know It's Twins?

Does your intuition tell you you're carrying more than one baby? Do you think it might be twins? There are various methods used to help you figure it out. Some of these signs may confirm if you have twins or not.

HcG Testing
The best way to detect if you have twins or not is to test the level of your HcG. HcG stands for human chorionic gonadotropin, it's a hormone that is present in the piss or blood of the ladies 10 days after conception. This hormone is alleged to reach a top in Ten weeks of pregnancy.

Abnormally Rapid Weight Gain
Increased weight gain could also indicate multiple pregnancy. All pregnant women add weight, but ladies bearing twins are bound to deal with increased weight gain. So, if you think that you are putting on more weight than the common, do not retort to weight management supplements. Even the very best of products like Caralluma Burn Appetite Suppressant are not suggested for pregnant women.

Frequent Fetal Movement Early
Another sign of multiple pregnancy is early or frequent fetal movement. Mummies of multiples tend to feel fetal movement more frequently or at a much earlier stage. But several medical experts tend to disagree on the subject.

Doppler Heartbeat Count
Have you learned about the Doppler Heartbeat Count? It is a test that's done to get a confirmation about the presence of twins in the mother's womb. The simple basic is a ladies bearing more than one child will have more than one heart beat. This system is called the Doppler system; it bolsters the sound of a weak heart beat. And, this heartbeat is discernible only after the 1st trimester. In some cases this test can be deceiving as the 2nd heart beat could be a result of raised blood pressure or it might be some back ground noise too.

An ultrasound test is probably the most effective way to confirm whether you're having twins. This test provides you with images from inside your cervix and thus, leaves you with a decisive confirmation of the number of fetuses you are carrying. Hence if you believe you are carrying twins, ask your obstetrician to conduct an ultrasound test. It will give you the answers you seek. However, do remember that there have been instances of concealed twins as well and so you might be on your way to turning into the ma of two youngsters without realizing it.

AFP Testing
The abnormal AFP ( alphafetoprotein ) test can also detect the presence of twins. It is basically a test done to test birth problems or incapacity in the to-be-born. This test yields high AFP in case of twins.

If you suspect the presences of multiples discuss it with your doctor at your upcoming appointment.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Grisel_Blazek Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/5956708

Friday, May 6, 2011

Curing Hemorrhoids in Pregnancy

Hemorrhoids during pregnancy can be an annoying, painful and uncomfortable experience, and if not treated correctly the hemorrhoid is more likely to return.

The good news is that there are ways to cure hemorrhoids during pregnancy.

How do Hemorrhoids develop?

Women are more likely to get hemorrhoids during pregnancy, due to constipation and high blood pressure. High blood pressure on the lower half of the body causes the veins to expand and create hemorrhoids.

An increase in the hormone progesterone during pregnancy is another reason women are more likely to get hemorrhoids. Hormone progesterone causes the walls of your veins to relax, allowing them to swell and bulge more easily.


Over the counter medications such as creams and pills may not be the best treatment, as they can have real side effects and don't have lasting results. Using herbal remedies as an alternative approach, is proven to be a good way to cure hemorrhoids during pregnancy. This is because it is 100% natural, safe and attacks the root cause of the problem.

Some of the more common herbs you can use to help cure hemorrhoids during pregnancy are aloe, birch sap, canlendula, centella, pilewort, horsetail, marshmallow, olive leaf extract, soy, rosehip, tea tree oil and white lily.

These herbs can either be digested or applied using the extracts from the leaf or stem of the herb. Herbs are a great way to help stop inflammation, speed up the recovery and soothe the damaged skin. Many of these herbs will also increase blood flow, strengthen veins and create a better digestive system. This is ideal for treating constipation and promoting better blood flow.
Many medical researchers and natural health specialists encourage an alternative approach to cure hemorrhoids. If herbal remedies are used the right way it can be much less expensive than creams and other medications.

Get in the habit of exercising each day. This will help things move in the bowels and help you avoid getting plugged which worsens the inflammation.

Eat high fiber foods

Use a small stool to imitate the squatting position when you move bowels. This will reduce the pressure on the veins.

Did you know that hemorrhoids are almost identical to varicose veins?? Both can absolutely be treated naturally, using appropriate herbal remedies and short easy exercises. No need for surgery!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=S.P._Flynn Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/2114553

Thursday, May 5, 2011

How to Induce Labor Naturally?

If you're on a quest to initiate labor and take matters into your own hands, you're most likely full-term or pretty close to it. I know what it's like to fear the eternal pregancy.

By now pregnancy has lost its novelty- especially if your baby has reached - and passed - his estimated delivery date (EDD). You might also feel exhausted due to the day-to-day aches and complaints regarding pregnancy. I am happy to tell you that there is good news! As long as your professional pregnancy care provider agrees, you can induce your labor naturally and help things along without medical labor induction.

Inducing your labor naturally is a great alternative to using other forms of induction. Most of the natural labor induction remedies don't cause side effects to worry about, your baby's health won't be placed in unnecessary jeopardy, and you won't suffer any ill consequences. Some of the best ways to naturally induce labor are also safe and simple.

Two common ways that you can induce labor naturally are by walking, and sexual intercourse. Some women may feel more pressure when they walk. This is due to the force of gravity and the baby's head descending into the pelvic region. In fact, when many women are in labor, their midwife or health care provider will have them walk to increase or speed up labor. You can do this on your own, before labor even begins.

That doesn't mean that labor will begin the first time you go walking. It means that the baby will continue to descend and engage earlier the more frequently you walk during those last days of pregnancy.

Sexual intercourse is also known for inducing labor naturally. When a woman experience orgasms, the body releases hormones involved in childbirth, among other functions. A group of hormones that stimulate labor to start by ripening the cervix is Prostaglandins. These may be in synthetic form through a medical prescription, but you can bypass the medical alternative and access Prostaglandins naturally. Semen contains Prostaglandins and when you partner ejaculates during sexual intercourse, the Prostaglandins in the semen will help soften and ripen the cervix.

Once again, don't expect an immediate onset of labor after intercourse. Do expect Braxton Hick's contractions and know that each dose of semen is thinning your cervix in preparation for labor. In other words, it acts as a gradual induction.

When women climax their bodies release the hormone Oxytocin. Oxytocin helps the uterus to contract and will strengthen the intensity of your contractions. Therefore, you can see that sexual intercourse helps stimulate or induce labor from hormones released in both the man and the woman. In fact, the medication known as Pitocin is used to induce labor and strengthen contractions and it is a synthetic form of Oxytocin.

Another method of inducing labor naturally is nipple stimulation. Nipple stimulation also releases Oxytocin. Please remember, however, to apply nipple stimulation according to instructions from your midwife or doctor because vigorous nipple stimulation could cause to very strong labor contractions.

Additionally, there are many herbs that have been used for centuries to help induce labor. Before using any herbs, you should consult with your health care practitioner or midwife. Evening Primrose Oil, Blue and Black Cohosh, False Unicorn Root, and Red Raspberry Leaf are some of the most popular herbs that are used to naturally induce labor. Before using any herbs, be sure to let your health care provider know.

Evening Primrose Oil can be very helpful in ripening the cervix due to the Prostaglandins it contains. Evening Primrose Oil is applied by inserting an oil capsule into the vagina. It is extremely important not to use any herbs for inducing labor naturally during the early part of pregnancy, as these can have serious consequences. (Always consult your medical provider prior to following such recommendations)

Finally, one of the safest natural labor inducing remedy is acupressure. Acupressure for labor is among the most studies ones and proven to be safe and effective. Because the technique is simple, this labor acupressure could easily be used at home. Maternity Acupressure is a safe way to get labor progressing.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Lena_Leino Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/707207

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Second Trimester Discomforts

Now that you are through with the first trimester of your pregnancy, you may experience some new discomforts. Although you might find that your nausea is decreasing and your energy is returning on this stage, do not be surprised however if you will experience new discomforts.

Here are some second trimester discomforts and solutions that you need to learn:

Lower Back Pain

During the second trimester of pregnancy, you are likely to experience back pain since the joints in between the pelvic bones start to loosen and soften in order to prepare for the baby to pass through the pelvis during delivery. As your uterus starts to become heavier, you also need to make some adjustments to your posture in order to compensate for that change in your center of gravity. This, therefore, results to back pain which can really be very uncomfortable.

To get relief from this discomfort, try these solutions.

Be conscious of your posture - how you sit, stand, and move. Make sure that your pelvis is tucked in and that your shoulders back when you stand. If your work requires you to sit for longer periods, be sure to take breaks at least every 30 minutes and if possible, slightly elevate your feet when sitting and avoid crossing your legs.

Lift properly. You can do this by placing your feet apart, at least one shoulder's width, and then slowly lower your body with your knees bent, not your waist. As you lift the object, push up not with the back but with the thighs.

When resting or sleeping, lie on the side, with the hips and knees bent. You can place your pillow in between the knees and under the abdomen in order to take some of the pressure off the lower back.

Perform exercises which can help strengthen your abdominal muscles.

Leg Cramps

Most pregnant women experience leg cramps on the second trimester of pregnancy. These occur at night or early in the morning and may interrupt your sleep. Leg cramps may be attributed to inadequate potassium, fatigue, and pressure of your uterus on your legs' nerves. To help you prevent or get relief from this second trimester discomfort, do these solutions.

Perform exercises which can stretch your calf muscles.

If you stand for longer periods during the day, try wearing support hose.

Take regular breaks when your work requires standing or sitting for longer periods. Walk to and fro the office for a couple of minutes before going back to your work station.

When leg cramps occur, try to straighten your knee and gently flex your foot upward. You can also try flexing the toes of your affected leg to relieve the discomfort.

Skin Changes

Skin changes are common second trimester discomforts. These are results of the hormones which are at work in your body during pregnancy. When you enter this second stage, you may begin to notice skin darkening. Although the exact cause is uncertain, this skin change may be associated to increase in the levels of estrogen. You may notice this skin darkening in that area between the anus and the vulva, armpits, neck, inner thighs, around the navel, and even around the nipples. Some pregnant women even experience skin darkening on the face which can get worse because of sunlight exposure. If you experience this problem, avoid getting yourself exposed to too much sunlight. And if possible, wear sunblock with SPF when you go outdoors. Use also an umbrella or a wide-brimmed hat to shield your face from sun exposure. After delivery, your skin may become lighter so there is no need to worry.


Constipation is another second trimester discomfort. This occurs due to added pressure and changes in the intestines. If you experience this, you should try eating more high-fiber fruits, vegetables, and grains. Drink also plenty of water and allot some time brisk walking every morning. If you want to take any laxative, be sure to check with your doctor first because some laxatives are not suitable for pregnant woman.

Knowing all these second trimester discomforts and solutions during pregnancy can help you cope with the changes more easily. Keep them in mind and be sure to consider the solutions when you start experiencing any of these discomforts.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/731857

Monday, May 2, 2011

How Can you tell if you are Pregnant?

There are a number of signs and symptoms to watch for. Chances are you will only experience a portion of the symptoms. Each pregnancy is different, and the same mom to be can experience different pregnancy signs each time she gets pregnant.
Pregnancy symptoms can begin for some mothers immediately after conception. Some pregnancy signs require that you chart your cycle, noting your daily basal body temperature.


While a rare minority will experience pregnancy symptoms sooner, typically the first pregnancy signs occur when your baby implants around 8-10 days after ovulation. Implantation causes an increase in progesterone levels, which can lead to higher temperatures giving you a tri-phasic chart. If you temperature remains high for fifteen or more days after ovulation, you may be pregnant. Some women will see a slight temperature drop at implantation. Implantation bleeding sometimes occurs and can be pink, red, or brown in color. You may also have lower abdominal cramps.

Positive Pregnancy Test

The next and best sign that you are pregnant is a positive pregnancy test. Home pregnancy tests measure the pregnancy hormone hCG in your urine. The most sensitive home pregnancy tests will show a positive result when the hCG levels reach 20, which can happen as early as four days before your period is due, or approximately 10 days after ovulation.
False negatives are common when testing early with a home pregnancy test, so I recommend you wait to use one until eighteen days after ovulation to avoid false negatives. The usual recommendation is to wait until 14 days after ovulation before testing. Blood serum pregnancy tests performed by your doctor are much more sensitive. They can detect hCG levels as low as five. If you continue to experience pregnancy symptoms, but your home pregnancy test continues to show negative, you can make an appointment with your doctor to confirm your pregnancy.

Missed Period

One of the most common pregnancy signs is a missed period. For women with a standard 28-day cycle, their period is late if it has not arrived fifteen days after ovulation, or twenty-nine days after the first day of their cycle. Elevated basal body temperatures for 15 or more days will typically accompany the missed period.
Frequent Urination
Frequent urination is a very common early symptom of pregnancy. You may find yourself unable to be away from a bathroom for more than hour at a time, or waking up in the middle of the night to urinate.

Morning Sickness

Morning sickness can begin as early as 2 to 4 weeks after conception. The term morning sickness is something of a misnomer, as you can experience the nausea and vomiting throughout the day. Morning sickness typically is worst during the first trimester, and most pregnant women will have their morning sickness symptoms lessen or subside completely during the second or third trimester.

Breast Changes

Breast tenderness usually begins around 3 to 4 weeks after conception. This can also be a sign of your impending period. Usually the degree of breast tenderness is much stronger with pregnancy than with your period. You may also notice a slight tingling sensation.
Another change to your breasts early in pregnancy is the appearance. Your areolas can become larger and darker.


Fatigue can be an early sign of pregnancy. This symptom is not just being a little tired; it is more like feeling totally wiped out. Your normal daily activities can send you to complete exhaustion.

Body Discomforts

The physical and hormonal changes you experience with pregnancy can cause a long list of body changes that are annoying and uncomfortable. You may experience headaches, backaches, acne, constipation, heartburn, mood swings, constipation, diarrhea, bloating, indigestion, and abdominal cramps.

Food Cravings

Food cravings are a very common pregnancy symptom. Approximately 85% of women will experience some type of food craving during their pregnancy.

Food Aversions

The other side of food cravings is food aversions. They are also a very common sign of early pregnancy. You may find that a favorite food suddenly makes you feel nauseated just thinking about it.

Smell Aversions

A heightened sense of smell may cause some odors to seem stronger than normal when you are pregnant. Some smell aversions can cause food aversions.

Baby Movement

You can feel your baby moving as early as 16 weeks, but for first-time mothers may not feel the baby moving until 20 weeks or more.


For some women, they just "feel" pregnant, even though they have had no other signs or symptoms. A mother's intuition is frequently accurate.

It is possible to experience some of the signs and symptoms of pregnancy, yet still not be pregnant. It is important that both you and your baby get under a doctor's care as early as possible. If you think you might be pregnant, treat your body as if you are pregnant until you know for sure. Take a home pregnancy test if you miss your period. If the test shows positive, then you are pregnant. Congratulations!

Elleth Faewen is a wife who has lost three pregnancies, one to stillbirth, one to miscarriage, and one to an ectopic pregnancy. She founded Baby Talk Zone as a friendly online resource for those pregnant, trying to conceive, and adopting. Elleth is currently on the waiting list for IVF. Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/70487