All Articles Tagged "pregnancy"

So You Want To Have A Baby? Here Are 10 Things To Know Before Trying To Get Pregnant

August 26th, 2015 - By Kweli Wright
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For many women, getting pregnant can be a frustrating and anxiety-filled experience. That’s just how I felt, which is why I wrote “The Impatient Woman’s Guide to Getting Pregnant” offering tips for TTC women to feel more in control of their fertility.

You may see many women walking around pregnant, but unless you talk to them, you never really know what they had to do to get to that point. If you’re already a mom, or want to be a first-time mom, these following tips will help you get in the zone of trying to get pregnant. Of course, always consult your doctor with questions and concerns.

Try the following 10 tips:

1. Obviously, it’s time to throw away your once beloved birth control! A good rule of thumb is to get off of the pill three months before trying to conceive if you have been on it for less than a year, and six months prior if you have been on it for over a year.

2. Make friends with your ovulation cycle. Between a third and two-thirds of women under age 35 who are aware of their fertile time are able to conceive in their first month of trying.

3. Find your fertile time by using a fertility monitor, ovulation predictor kits (OPKs), charting, or (my personal favorite) all three. Sometimes this can be trickier than it sounds – for example, traditional “line” OPKs can be difficult to interpret. Consider a digital test with a clear “yes” or “no” like the First Response Digital Ovulation Test. Then you’ll know exactly when to get busy.

4. If you’ve been having ovulation-focused sex for over three months and still haven’t conceived- don’t freak out! Keep calm and consider convincing your partner to get a quick and easy sperm analysis. This “male factor” or sperm issue comprises nearly half of all fertility issues.

5. Adjust your diet for optimal fertility. Incorporate fertility-boosting foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fish, soy foods, and olive oil. Avoid trans-fats and partially hydrogenated oil, found in frosting and some baked goods. These are so bad that the FDA just outlawed them! Food companies have 3 years to comply, so for now you have to police it yourself.

6. Many studies show that taking prenatal vitamins, such as folate and vitamin B6 increases your chances of getting pregnant quickly. Omega 3 fatty acids (fish oil) have been linked to better embryos in IVF and smarter babies overall. There is also strong evidence that prenatal vitamins lower the chance of birth defects, so begin taking them immediately. FIRST RESPONSE™ Reproductive Health Multivitamin Gummies have a delicious, natural Berry Citrus flavor and are specially formulated to provide women with the essential nutrients they need when planning to get pregnant.

· 400 mcg of Folic Acid
· One serving is an excellent source of Vitamins A, C, D & E
· 100 mg of Calcium
· 50 mg of Omega-3 DHA
· Excellent source of Iodine per serving
· Gluten free
· No iron added, so they’re gentle on the stomach

7. Contrary to popular belief, having sex every day doesn’t lower sperm count, So feel free to have as much sex as you please, and enjoy it. But, if you are dry, use Pre-Seed, a sperm safe lubricant developed specifically for couples who are trying to conceive. Pre-Seed is properly pH balanced and isotonic to mimic a woman’s fertile fluids and optimize the journey for sperm. Mimicking natural fertile fluids, it allows swimming sperm to move freely and its pH balanced to match fertile cervical mucus and the pH of sperm.

8. Cut the caffeine. Non-smoking women who consume about 2-5 cups of coffee per day cut their fertility by 12 percent. Consuming caffeine has an even worse effect on male fertility, where having 5 cups of coffee a day will cut his fertility in half. An alternative to getting more energy? Try getting a full eight hours of sleep- it will enhance your mood and your health.

9. Soak up the sun! Sunlight causes your skin to generate Vitamin D, which has been linked to fertility. Sit outside for 15-30 minutes without sunscreen a few times a week in the afternoon. This will also help you sleep.

10. When you think you may be pregnant — the earlier you know, the better. Several scientific studies and a Consumer Reports study showed that the First Response™ Early Result Pregnancy Test detects the smallest amount of the pregnancy hormone – so it can tell you sooner than any other test. The sooner you know you’re pregnant, the sooner you can begin making healthy pregnancy choices for yourself and your baby that include: diet, nutrition and limiting your exposure to hazards.

If you are feeling anxious or overwhelmed about getting pregnant, more information lies within “The Impatient Woman’s Guide to Getting Pregnant.” Besides planning on incorporating these tips into your daily life, here are two things that you can do right now: take a supplement of 1,000 mg of fish oil a day and learn the relaxation technique of deep breathing and you will begin to feel better. You’re about to start your trying to conceive (TTC) journey. Enjoy the ride.

Let Me See You Tootsie Roll! You Must Watch This Pregnant Woman Dance Through Labor Pain

August 21st, 2015 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Pregnant Woman Dances


Many pregnant women fear painful contractions during labor as they prepare to give birth. Some seek an epidural or use meditation to ease the pain, but one woman chose to dance instead.

Mattapan resident Yuki Nishitzawa danced to the “Tootsie Roll” and “Cupid Shuffle” as she prepared to have a natural birth. With her supportive husband Connell playing the music in her hospital room, Yuki danced to the songs’ choreography as her water broke. “It’s a really good cardio exercise when you think about it. There is a lot of legs and squatting movement [when dancing to these songs]. I think this is what helps the baby to shift downward [through the vaginal canal],” Connell said about his wife’s dance moves. Yuki added her dance of choice was The 69 Boyz’ “Tootsie Roll.”

The couple told CBS Boston affiliate WBZ, Yuki initially used dance to help with her first pregnancy. A week before she gave birth to their daughter, Yuki danced seven times a week to the “Tootsie Roll.” Years later, the dance still keeps Yuki stress free, which is vital to any labor process.

In 2014, the couple lost their son in labor and Yuki vowed she would do whatever it takes to give life to another baby. Her commitment paid off when she birthed a healthy baby boy named Coji this year. The couple told WBZ reporter David Wade they hope Coji can dance as good as their entire family.

Check out the moves in the video below.


Want To Get Pregnant? 6 Things You Need To Know Before Trying To Conceive

August 19th, 2015 - By Kweli Wright
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Starting a family and getting pregnant can be a serious undertaking for couples who are having a bit of trouble. Couples who take every precaution to baby-making may lack some simple yet very critical steps that can elevate pregnancy stress. Alyssa Dweck, MD, OB/GYN at the Mount Kisco Medical Group in Westchester County, New York provides care to women of all ages and has delivered thousands of babies, gave us six tips to about getting pregnant that every couple might not know.

  1. You can’t get pregnant on just any day of the month. Teenagers might worry a lot less about pregnancy with a little out of the classroom SEXed regarding the menstrual cycle and fertility. Education about ovulation, peak fertility and “safe times” during the menstrual cycle whether it be from an phone app, a friend or a healthcare provider is key. This, of course, is not so easy if your cycles are irregular and doesn’t take the place of contraception and/or condoms, but sure is handy info nonetheless.
  1. Women can learn a lot by charting their monthly cycles. It’s amazing what your menstrual cycle can tell you whether you are trying to conceive or prevent pregnancy. Predicting ovulation doesn’t have to be complicated if you are in tune with your body. By simply tracking basal body temperature and cervical mucus changes women can have valuable information to plan or prevent pregnancy.
  1. Ovulation doesn’t always happen on Day 14… Newsflash! It’s not uncommon to assume that conception occurs specifically at the moment of ovulation. In fact, sperm can live up to five days in a woman’s body. The best time for intercourse is actually a few days before ovulation and a day or so afterward.
  1. Some lubricants can have a negative effect on sperm motility. Many common lubricants contain sperm-toxic ingredients, have the wrong pH or have high salt levels, all of which have may have a negative effect when trying to conceive. Even saliva and water can kill sperm and should be avoided when trying to conceive. Fertility friendly lubricants like Pre-Seed mimic cervical mucus to optimize fertility. Pre-Seed’s isotonic and pH balanced formula supports sperm on their journey through the cervix to meet the egg.
  1. A surprising number of women will experience infertility, miscarriage or both. At least 1 in every 10 women will have significant trouble getting pregnant, and 1 in 5 will experience miscarriage at least once. These are emotional rollercoasters to say the least. Good news, there are tests and treatments to help prevent and treat the many fertility problems that we face. Rest assured, if you are facing this challenge, you are not alone.
  1. Life is full of uncertainty, but the relationships you form will be your source of strength when things don’t go as planned. Coping with the anguish and emotion of miscarriage, no matter how early or infertility, is easier with support from your partner, friends, family, clergy and healthcare provider. Community is vital and all can serve as life lines when we face adversity.


How To Carry Out A Vegan Pregnancy

August 7th, 2015 - By Julia Austin
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

If you’ve always eaten a vegan diet and plan on being pregnant, you might go into a panic wondering, “Oh no! Do I have to go back to eating meat? Will I become sick if I do? Will my baby become sick if I don’t?” Relax: it is possible to carry out a healthy vegan pregnancy. You just need to know how.




Ab Rehab: Tips On Losing Pregnancy Belly Weight

August 4th, 2015 - By Rich
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Pregnancy is a beautiful life changing experience but it can wreak havoc on a woman’s body. From stretch marks, new moles, and stretched out stomach muscles, your body needs a lot of TLC to get back to normal. For many new mommies, the biggest challenge is that you’re still looking pregnant in the belly months and sometimes years after giving birth.

There is no quick fix or easy remedy for losing belly weight…you just have to take your time, work hard, and be disciplined. If you are the kind of mom that needs to do things step by step then try out these tips.

Phase One
The first step in a lifestyle change is your perspective and outlook. You want to get in a positive mindset because you have to be your biggest cheerleader. Cut out or print out positive quotes and stick them on the fridge, on the bathroom mirror, and in your car.

Phase Two
Your second step to getting the fab tummy you want is to look up the ingredients in the junk food you love. Take the time and find out how those ingredients affect your body in a negative way. Even though it may be time-consuming, it is worth it.  Eating healthy is a mind over matter process so getting turned off a little to some junk food you love is a start. Then, start eliminating one junk food item one month at a time. Start with what’s easier and work your way up to something like chocolate if that’s harder. Phase two is all about developing self-control and once you do that, you can allow yourself occasional cheat days down the road.

Phase Three
The next step is to start moving more. Find an activity you like that you can continue to do for a while. Sign up for a gym or a dance class. You could also take tennis or swimming or even sign up for mommy and baby workout aerobics. Work out at least two to three times a week. When you work out on stationary equipment like a bicycle or elliptical you may want to consider wearing a “sweat” suit but make sure you check with your doctor first.

Phase Four
Cut back on white carbs like pasta, white rice and bread. If you eat bread daily, try cutting down to just twice a week. These carbs turn into sugar in the body and help pack on the pounds when they aren’t eaten in a balanced way.

Phase Five
Now that you have cut out some junk food, cut back on too many white carbs, and started being more active, you are ready to incorporate even more healthier eating. Your daily diet should include lots of fruits, veggies, protein, and water. If you aren’t a big fruit eater, then try putting them in a morning smoothie. The bottom line is don’t make excuses, there are always creative ways to incorporate healthier eating habits. Also, try to steer clear of too many high calorie drinks. You would be surprised how fast you can be at 1000 calories just by drinking juice, soda, and other flavored drinks in one day. The safe low-calorie options are water and hot tea with lemon and honey.

Phase Six
If your muscles are stretched out from pregnancy then no matter how much weight you lose your tummy will still stick out a little. The body has the amazing ability to bounce back so you may want to try shapewear or go to a professional shop to buy a comfortable corset that you can wear a few hours a day. The key to waist training is to make sure it’s snug but not too tight. You shouldn’t be out of breath or feel faint just from wearing it.


Should Women Talk About Their Miscarriages?

July 22nd, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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In the first episode of her show, “Living Lozada,” Evelyn Lozada announced, much to our surprise, that she was expecting another child.

Sadly, the exuberant feelings didn’t last too long, in the promo clip for the next episode, her doctor told her that her hormone levels were so low, they seemed to suggest that the pregnancy wouldn’t come to term.

Later, in an interview with People, Lozada confirmed that she did indeed have a miscarriage.

“When I went to my first appointment, everything looked great. My progesterone levels were good.

My hormone levels were dropping. My doctor said, ‘Let’s just see what happens and if anything changes.’ ”

 “At my next appointment, my ultrasound went from looking really perfect and beautiful to looking pear-shaped,” says Lozada. “You could just tell, it didn’t look normal.”

Sadly, the process wasn’t a smooth one.

“for me the most heartbreaking thing was knowing that it could take up to a day to maybe a week for it to happen,” says Lozada. “I became so obsessed with it. I kept taking pregnancy tests and one would come out positive, then one would come out negative. It was so hard not knowing when I’d lose the baby.”

The miscarriage finally happened during a photo shoot her family had scheduled to help her feel better.

“I had to stop the photo shoot and just lay down. It was hard.”

Though Evelyn had the love and support of her family, she said it was mostly an experience  she endured alone.

“You have a million and one questions in your mind as to what happened. You just feel responsible. It’s your body. It’s a loss that only you can relate to.”

Evelyn questioned everything, from the things she ate during her pregnancy to her age.

“It’s nothing that you ate, or did; it’s not your age. One out of all four to five pregnancies end in miscarriage,” she explains. “I have three girlfriends and it’s literally happened to each and every one of them.”

I responded to the news that Evelyn was pregnant with joy. Yet, others thought she was too old to be having more children. As someone who comes from a family where women have babies into their forties, I didn’t see an issue with it. Particularly, at a time in her life when Evelyn is not only in a seemingly more stable relationship but she’s in a better emotional and psychological space. A better adjusted mother is an asset to a child.

Plus, I thorough enjoy women over thirty giving birth to children, defying the notion that we all need to rush to have children before we’re all “dried”and”shriveled.” We all have a different story. And they don’t have to include a husband and baby before 30. There is life after 35. You can even produce it.

And like the news that she was pregnant, people are equally disappointed with Evelyn’s decision to share her miscarriage story, claiming that she was using the tragic event to further promote her show.

That’s a given. All reality stars are profiting off the stories of the lives, good, bad and ugly. While many are tripped up over the method, I think the message is a pretty necessary one.

Like Evelyn said,  many women have suffered from miscarriage and many of them needlessly blame themselves for the loss. There’s a certain level of shame many women feel about having lost a child, so they keep the traumatic nature of their experiences to themselves.

My mother who had at least two, possibly three miscarriages, before I, her first child was born, describes that own period in her life as rather dark. She spoke about hearing a ripping sound and realizing she’d lost a child, trying to collect and save one of the embryos and feeling like everyone around her had a baby.

I don’t say that to be morbid, though it is. I say that because it’s such a common occurrence and women need to know that there is hope after this.

And that’s the message Evelyn was trying to spread in sharing her story.

She concluded her story with People saying, “This was just another tragic incident in my life that I had to deal with. But I say God doesn’t make mistakes. Women just need to hold out hope.”

Evelyn is taking her own advice and is still optimistic about the prospect of having a child. “I’m not checking for when I’m ovulating or anything. I’m like look, I’m pushing 40. I’m going to be 50 with a 10-year-old! If it happens again, that will probably be my last.” 

Will Evelyn gain further exposure from this story. Of course. You’re reading about her right now. But I’m also sure her words will help someone who believes their suffering through this alone.

Tami Roman Talks Suffering Heart Attack, Concerns About Possible Pregnancy Complications

July 22nd, 2015 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Tami Roman


Three years ago, reality television star Tami Roman revealed that she suffered a mild heart attack, which she says was partially due to poor dieting. The expectant mom recently opened up about the frightening experience, as well as other health issues she’s facing, to Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club.

“There are levels to heart attacks,” she explained to host Charlamagne. “I had a mini heart attack, and it was due to diet and smoking. I’m also diabetic.”

According to Roman, who experienced the cardiovascular attack at her home in Houston, Texas, the prior health conditions have her on high alert regarding her current pregnancy.

“These are all of the things that I’m worried about with this pregnancy; [I’m] just trying to do the right things.”

Despite her initial resistance to the idea of having a child with boyfriend Reggie Youngblood, 28, Roman says that the counseling offered by therapists Jim and Elizabeth Caroll during “Marriage Bootcamp: Reality Stars” taught her the importance of compromise.

“I never thought that I would have children again,” the 45-year-old explained. “But because he is 17 years younger, he’s never been married and never had children. What I learned on ‘Marriage Bootcamp’ was how to compromise in the relationship. So I decided to give him what he doesn’t have.”

We’re wishing this beauty a happy, healthy pregnancy.

Watch Tami’s full interview below.

Follow Jazmine on Twitter @JazmineDenise

Republicans Create Bill That Would Allow Employers To Fire Single Mothers

July 17th, 2015 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Republican lawmakers are lobbying for a bill,the  First Amendment Defense Act, that “prohibits the federal government from taking discriminatory action against a person — which is defined to include for-profit corporations — acting in accordance with a religious belief that favors so-called traditional marriage. This means the feds can’t revoke a nonprofit’s tax-exempt status or end a company’s federal contract over this issue. The bill specifically protects those who believe that marriage is between “one man and one woman” or that “sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage.” The legislation comes on the heels of the United States Supreme Court deciding to lift its ban against same-sex marriage.

This bill sanctions employers to fire employees who are from the LGBTQ community, along with women who become pregnant out of wedlock. Though these cases seem extreme, there have been recent incidents that prove otherwise. A Montana Catholic school teacher was fired for having a baby out of wedlock. She filed a discrimination charge last year with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

According to Jezebel, this bill will also allow government-funded religious organizations (homeless shelters and drug treatment programs, for example) to turn away LGBTQ people from their facilities, refusing them the help they need.

During an interview with Senator Mike Lee from Utah, NPR asked him about religious universities firing unmarried female employees if they conceived but were not married. Senator Lee responded, “There are colleges and universities that have a religious belief that sexual relations are to be reserved for marriage…they ought to be protected in their religious freedom.”

The Hill reports thta the number of GOP co-sponsors for the bill is 115. Unfortunately, the legislation is gaining support and GOP leaders plan to vote on it this month.

How To Prepare Down There For Baby

July 14th, 2015 - By Kweli Wright
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There are several things expecting moms can do to prepare down there for baby, and while most are exciting, there is one exercise that’s boring yet crucial. Kegel exercises.

But they don’t have to be.

Minna Life, makers of kGoal, a smart Kegel exerciser + app just released a new game on the app. Shape Shift will challenge women to trace shapes as they move across the screen so that they stay engaged while practicing Kegel exercises. While the app helps women keep track of their progress and endurance, the insertable device provides valuable biofeedback so mom knows if and when she is fully contracting and releasing her pelvic floor muscles.

According to Minna Life’s pelvic floor specialist Liz Miracle, MSPT, WCS, most women can contract their muscles, but they don’t release them all the way. Just like doing bicep curls you want to fully contract and extend your forearm so you get the most of the exercise.

How To Prepare Down There For Baby

The Gift of Life: Did You Get A “Push Present” After Having A Baby?

July 11th, 2015 - By Toya Sharee
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"pregnancy myths"

The first time I ever heard of a “push present” was when Tamar Braxton was shading hubby Vincent Herbert on “The Real” after he neglected to give her one after birthing baby Logan. He later made up for his oversight by gifting her with a huge diamond ring. Then there’s the rumored $770,000 tiger-striped diamond ring Kanye blew on wife, Kim after delivering North West in addition to sparing no expense on a birthing suite complete with leather sofas, mani/pedis and blow outs at Kim’s command in between breastfeeding and burping (which I am going to assume she did herself).

After I gave birth to my daughter last fall, I barely got an Edible Arrangement let alone a tiger diamond, but the idea of getting a “push present” after having a lavish baby shower and having the world wait on you hand and foot for nine months just screams excessive greed to me. It makes a sad statement on a culture I feel is no longer appreciating moments for that sentimental value and using them as mere opportunities to “turn up and get stuff”.

Don’t get me wrong, milestones in life such as weddings, births, graduations should be celebrated. The problem for me is when people think these times are an excuse to have their hand out, especially when a side-eye is given to any gift that someone didn’t have to invest a whole year’s salary into. People are expecting more and more for less and less energy and effort. Don’t get me wrong, I feel like any woman who can endure pregnancy and birth deserves all the respect and love in the world, but at the end of the day you aren’t doing anything your body wasn’t already designed to do. You didn’t colonize another planet for humans to live on or invent an alternative energy source, you gave birth and women have been doing it for millions of years without a “push present” to look forward to.

I won’t feed you some Hallmark BS about how a beautiful, healthy baby should be all the gift you need after giving birth. After having a c-section I was nursing a mean set of staples and hadn’t bathed for at least two days. Not only was I being harassed by a nurse about if I had passed gas yet, but also by an annoying photographer that wanted to take pics of me and my newborn while I sat in a satin bonnet looking anything but “glowing”. Trust me, a push present may have took my self-esteem up a few notches (but I didn’t actually have to “push” so I guess that’s why my present wasn’t in sight). So I totally understand how a woman wants to feel appreciated and rewarded for getting that mini human into the world safely after a labor that might make you feel like you’re going to meet your maker. But if what Tiffany locket you’re going to get to makes or breaks your priorities as a new mom, I’m going to need you to get it together. And it’s one thing if you’re child’s father is Vincent Herbert who is worth a reported $10 million, but if you are parading a flashy push present and wondering how you are going to afford formula: Get your priorities straight, ASAP. This also applies if you’re hype about a getting a Birkin diaper bag from a guy who also impregnated his side chick at the same time.

The Today Show recently asked viewers how they felt about push presents with 45% saying they weren’t fans, 28% responding that they were great and the remaining 27% who were clueless about the whole process like me thinking, “Does you partner pop up with a Tiffany bracelet before or after cutting the cord?”.

Look, I’m not hard to please. After 8 months of motherhood , I’ll take a good six hours of sleep and a bottle of Yellowtail Big Bold Red as push presents. But in all honesty I must say there are sweet simple moments in motherhood that money just can’t buy. And if your partner wants to get you a little something for harboring another human being over your bladder for almost a whole year, that’s awesome. But it matters not if that same person is pulling a no show during every 3 AM feeding. At the same time if he blanks on the push present, but spends the next year covered in spit up and swaddling mid REM, you’ve probably got a winner even if you don’t have a new piece of jewelry to show for it.

Most importantly, giving birth should your first and most important lesson in motherhood: It’s no longer only about you. If you’re more concerned about flossing your gifts for the ‘Gram and getting a pat on the back, you might need to nip that narcissism in the bud before baby takes his first steps.

How do you feel about “push presents”? Here’s how other women felt about the business of getting gifts for giving life:

“I have no idea what that is. I’ve never heard of it. But in regards to presents, I think that American culture is constantly inventing new reason to receive presents and it’s shallow and unnecessary.”

“I never heard about ‘push presents’ until a friend asked was my child’s father getting me one when I was pregnant earlier this year. I knew he wasn’t, so she ended up getting him one to give it to me. Apparently, I definitely deserved one.”

“It’s cute.  Like a ‘thank you for sacrificing your abs to bring my baby into the world.'”

“People hype about a ‘push gift’ and got a trifling behind baby’s dad.  Explain how that makes sense?”

“I thought gifts were just for the baby. Damn, the mom gets a gift too?  Does dad get anything? I mean he showed up at least once for this whole process.”


Toya Sharee is a community health educator and parenting education coordinator who has a  passion for helping  young women build their self-esteem and make well-informed choices about their sexual health.  She also advocates for women’s reproductive rights and blogs about  everything from beauty to love and relationships. Follow her on Twitter @TheTrueTSharee or visit her blog, Bullets and Blessings.