Staying active during pregnancy can be challenging: you may be dealing with fatigue, nausea, balance issues, and discomfort. Staying active can be doubly challenging when you’re pregnant in the summer and already tend to run hot! Here are some ways to be active and keep fit while you’re pregnant in the summer. Remember, ask your midwife before starting any sort of exercise program, and make sure your activity is okay before starting it. If you’re not feeling well during the activity, stop and rest, and call your midwife if you are concerned. As always, stay hydrated and… Read More

When you find out you’re pregnant, one of the first decisions to make is who will be your pregnancy care provider. While you’re probably anxious and excited to make sure that everything is going well with your little one, you shouldn’t rush into choosing a provider. You want someone who has an attitude about pregnancy and birth that aligns with your own. How can you narrow down your options when it sometimes seems like you’re just picking someone from a hat? The vast majority of women are attended to by obstetricians (OB-GYNs), but the number of midwife-attended births has… Read More

I’ve been contemplating writing on this subject for some time now. As I near the end of my pregnancy, I have been gifted many more great examples to include on this topic. No, I won’t necessarily be doling out my own advice. Instead, I’ll discuss the deluge of “advice” (typically unsolicited) that friends, family, and strangers alike start to share with women as soon as they announce their pregnancies. I will preface this by saying that I know most of the comments and suggestions are well-intended. Pregnancy & Body Image There is something about seeing a pregnant woman… Read More

No, it’s not your imagination: you really are losing your mind. Well…maybe not THAT, but during pregnancy (especially the third trimester), many women really do experience “placenta brain,” “baby brain,” or “pregnancy brain.” This typically manifests as forgetfulness or feeling “spacey,” and like so many other things in pregnancy, it’s due to hormones. Lack of sleep (hello constant bathroom trips) can also impact memory and focus, too – as can stress or anxiety. During the last trimester of pregnancy, brain cell volume actually decreases temporarily, further affecting cognition. Although it’s frustrating, the good news is that this is all situational,… Read More

We’ve all done it: when you have a baby, it’s totally normal to frantically search and keep tabs on the general milestones, to help reassure yourself and give you an idea of what’s “within normal range,” as well as to see what’s in the near future. The key words, though, are within normal range. There is a broad spectrum of typical development, and what’s “normal” can be different for each baby. After all, each baby is unique, with individual characteristics and different environments and social interactions. Yes, there are some instances where not meeting milestones can signal something bigger, but in… Read More

You’re home with the baby – the hard part is over…right? Well, yes and no. Welcome now to the world of feeding schedules, night waking, and finding your way through this jungle called parenthood. But the good news is, you don’t have to do it alone. If you have a partner, they are there alongside you, and if you’re lucky, you have friends or family who are part of your parenting team. As with so many other daunting tasks, it helps if, right from the start, you have a plan and work together with your “teammate,” i.e., your partner. Communication… Read More

Watching your baby grow and develop new skills is one of the joys of being a parent. Your baby’s first 6 months are especially jam-packed with milestones and exciting transitions. If you’re a first-time parent, you might not know what to expect during this busy season of babyhood. Seasoned moms tend to compare new babies with older siblings, and we’re all guilty of looking at other babies and wondering, “Why isn’t my baby doing that yet?” We’ve researched a few stats and facts on the average baby for an unbiased look at what to anticipate in those first few months. Size… Read More

It came out of nowhere, 11 months into my nursing journey. I picked my son up from his morning nap, and when he snuggled against my chest, the side of my breast was sore, like a bruise. I felt it and it was tender and hard; when he nursed, I could feel that the side of my breast was like it had a rock inside it. Sure enough: it was a clogged milk duct. Clogged or blocked ducts can occur when the breast isn’t being emptied of milk regularly. This could be from sudden weaning, a breast pump that is too… Read More

The birth of your baby is one of the most exciting, memorable days of your life. In a perfect world, every woman would remember her baby’s birth with a sense of profound joy and accomplishment. You should leave the hospital or birth center feeling as though you are stronger than you ever knew – regardless of how or where you deliver. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. One study found that 33% of women identified their birthing event as “traumatic,” and over 5% actually experienced acute posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Studies have found that… Read More

  It’s early on in your pregnancy, but already your pants are tight and your belly feels big – no, it’s not your imagination! Bloating is a common symptom of pregnancy, usually showing up in the first trimester, around week 10 or 11. Like so many other bodily changes during pregnancy, hormones are to blame – namely, progesterone. Progesterone is the hormone that is responsible for maintaining a healthy pregnancy (“pro-gestation”). When progesterone levels rise, it can also cause things like bloating and gas, because it relaxes smooth muscle (like the uterus). The intestines are also smooth muscle, and an… Read More

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