Body Image and Pregnancy

How a woman sees her body is an important part of her physical and psychological well-being. A healthy body image is especially important during pregnancy. It’s during that time that your baby is developing and growing, and when it’s essential that you get the right types and amounts of nutrients you need. In addition, the way you see your pregnant body will dramatically impact your mood during pregnancy.

It’s important to see your pregnant body not only as functional (that is, providing a safe place for your baby to grow until he’s ready to meet the world) but beautiful.

Part of body image and feeling beautiful is really psychological. If you want to feel better about your body, here are some things you can do during pregnancy:

  • Get some exercise. Exercise can help you feel both fit and sexy. Pregnant women are encouraged to get at least 30 minutes of exercise at least three times a week. Unless your doctor instructs you otherwise because of a specific health reason, exercise will benefit your body, your mind, and your baby.
  • Get some pampering. Get a body massage. Go with some girlfriends to have your nails done. Maybe get a whole makeover. Get out and go shopping for some sophisticated and elegant new maternity clothes. Make the most of your pregnancy, and go easy on yourself.
  • Get some support. Surround yourself with people that believe in you, and that will help you when you’re struggling. While you’re pregnant, you are often more vulnerable to negative self-talk, and it can really bring you down. Identify positive friends and family that you can rely on when you’re having body image issues.
  • Get ready for postpartum. Understand that it’s going to take a while for your body to snap back into place. Your body has been through quite a bit over the past nine months, not to mention the trauma of labor and delivery. Start looking now for some family and friends to help with baby from time to time so you can get some all-important rest.

So, what do you think? What has helped you with body image during pregnancy?



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Assessing the Risks in an Older Pregnancy

The latest trends show that couples are waiting longer to get married and even longer to start a family. Couples today are interested in becoming financially stable and for both the husband and the wife to be established in their careers before becoming pregnant. This means more babies are being born to older couples, and there’s no sign this trend will stop anytime soon.

On top of that, for couples over the age of 35, there are certain risks that pregnancy presents.

Here are some facts that you need to know when it comes to having children later in life:

  • The rate of births for women that are over the age of 35 has gradually risen, to where around 15% of babies are born to mothers over the age of 35.
  • Conception itself can be more difficult after the age of 35. Fertility tends to decline slowly between the ages of 32 and 37, and then the rate of decline increases much faster from 38 to 45.
  • Women over the age of 35 may have a history of pelvic infections, irregular cycles and chronic pelvic pain. Before trying to get pregnant, you should talk to your doctor about these issues.
  • The risk of certain chromosomal disorders, birth defects and developmental delays increases gradually as you get older. About 0.05% of babies born to women at the age of 35 will be born with Down syndrome; by the age of 40, it’s closer to 2%. When a woman has a baby at the age of 45, the rate of Down syndrome is closer to 10%
  • Those chronic medical issues you’ve developed over the years, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, can be aggravated by childbirth. You also have a higher risk over the age of 35 of developing preeclampsia, which is high blood pressure due to pregnancy, or gestational diabetes.

Waiting longer to start your family isn’t always a bad thing. The key is to go into it knowing what kinds of risks to expect, and being willing to talk to your health care providers about doing what you can to make sure your pregnancy is a happy and healthy one.

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Your Sex Drive during Pregnancy

While the fact of the matter is that every woman is different, many women will find that, during pregnancy, their sex drive changes. Some women find that they want to have sex less during pregnancy, while others have an increased desire to get it on.

On average, however, a woman’s sex drive will go through some changes during the course of pregnancy:

  • During the early part of pregnancy, a woman may find that she’s much more tired than normal. This often leads to a decreased libido. Add to that the fact that many women experience almost around the clock morning sickness, and it’s no wonder that some women have a decreased sex drive during these early days of pregnancy. That said, some women feel a newfound freedom after becoming pregnant, especially if they’ve been trying to conceive for some time. This may actually increase their sex drive.
  • The middle part of pregnancy is a common time for a woman’s sex drive to return. At this point, the woman is free from morning sickness and much of the fatigue or tiredness of early pregnancy. She’s not yet facing an expanding uterus, and there is an increased blood flow to the woman’s genital area. This stage of pregnancy also has higher degrees of vaginal moisture and nipple sensitivity for some women due to hormone changes.
  • The final trimester can be downright uncomfortable. Forget for a moment the logistics of having sex with a growing belly, the fact is that many women face self-esteem and body image issues during the third trimester. This can lead to decreased libido, as well.

The most important thing to remember is that, no matter what’s happening to your sex drive during pregnancy, it’s normal. There is no hard and fast rule about what you should feel during pregnancy, and the key is to be accepting of yourself and to be honest and open with your partner about your changing sex drive.

Talk to your partner about your sex drive, and about the other changes your body is going through during pregnancy. Open, honest communication is the key to maintaining a healthy, happy sex life while pregnant.

So, what about you? What has your experience of sex during pregnancy been like?


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Guidelines on how to NOT Name Your Baby

So, you’re about to have a baby and haven’t yet chosen a name. This process can be relatively painless if you and your partner agree on a name quickly. Now, let’s say you’re unable to compromise and need to resort to online name generators, fictional characters or celebrities themselves. The name you choose is going to be your child’s identity for the rest of his life. That being said, you’ll want to keep the following guidelines in mind.

  1. Don’t invent names.  Names like “Joseph” and “Jane” have withstood the test of time. They consistently place in “Top Baby Name” lists. Kaydiss, however, not so much. Invention also goes for classic names you purposely misspell. Nobody will be impressed when you change Jacob into Jaykebb.
  2. “Cool” names probably aren’t. Think long and hard before picking a name like Ace, Rocky or Duke. Your child will have his name his entire life. Names you might think are sweet will become old hat as he gets older. In most cases, you’ll also want to avoid mythological names like Apollo, Thor and Hermes. Those are names better suited for a dog.
  3. Ease up on the less common letters. Letters like “q”, “z” and “x” are uncommon in the English language, and should be so when used in names. For example, Xavier (which contains both “x” AND “v”) is really only a good name in the comic books. Let’s also not forget the letter “y”. It’s not a real vowel, and can’t be easily substituted for its more common kin. Little Haryld shouldn’t grow up thinking his name is inspired by unknown Eastern European countries.
  4. Avoid unnecessary double letters. Brinlee is a real name. People use it, as well as Sandee, Kylee and countless other home-brew names that employ double ns and double e’s just because they can. If this phenomenon keeps its pace, we’ll soon be seeing Greggg, Briann and Dannnee hanging around the mall.
  5. Don’t name your kids after these things:
    • Television networks
    • Items in Fingerhut catalogs
    • Characters in this year’s blockbuster movies
    • Motor vehicles
    • Yoga positions
    • Your favorite meal
    • Any celebrity baby. There’s already a Pilot Inspektor Lee; any more would be overkill.
  6. About those apostrophes. Under no circumstances should apostrophes be used.
  7. Think of the future. It can’t be said enough; your child’s name is the name he’s going to have his entire life. Your child is the one who has to bear the burden of a highly unusual name. Of course, as a parent who decides to think outside the box for baby names, this will also affect you to some degree. Guess who’s going to have to leave work to pick up your little boy from school for fighting…fighting because he was being bullied over a name YOU gave him. Later on, your offspring will need to find a job. When times get tough, it’s hard enough to get work for those with traditional monikers, let alone unique names.




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Pregnancy and Dental Care Difficulties

Dentist Visit

Pregnancy can do crazy things to your body. Many of the nutrients you rely on to help keep your body strong are being shared with your baby. That’s why pregnancy nutrition is so important: not only to keep your baby growing and healthy, but to keep you healthy, too.

Many women find that they experience dental problems during pregnancy, probably because of the calcium needed to help build their baby’s bones. This creates an additional concern, of course, because there are certain things you simply can’t or shouldn’t do while pregnant in terms of dental care.

Here are some of the things that can cause difficulties with dental care and pregnancy:

  • Ignorance on the part of the dentist. Many dentists were taught in dental school that they should not treat pregnant women. While there was no evidence that dental treatment could cause harm, many simply err on the side of caution, which leaves many pregnant women out in the dust.
  • Concern about X-rays. A key component of dental treatment is the X-ray. Some women, and some dentists, may be concerned that diagnostic X-rays could be harmful to the pregnant woman or to her baby. However, studies show that diagnostic x-rays pose no threat to either.
  • Self-medication by the patient. In the case of a painful dental emergency where a dentist is reluctant to see a pregnant woman, the consequences can be even more devastating. The patient may choose to self-medicate with over the counter medications that could be harmful to her baby, or even with narcotics.
  • A lack of communication between professionals. If a dentist has concerns about seeing a pregnant woman, the safest procedure is always to speak with the woman’s obstetrician. Together, they and the patient can make an informed decision about what the best course of treatment will be for her.\

So, what about you? One study showed that nearly 77% of pregnant women had been denied dental care during pregnancy. Have you experienced this kind of trouble? What did you do in order to resolve the problem?


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