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Monday, November 25th, 2013
Food is such a hot topic when it comes to pregnancy—what to eat, what not to eat, how much to eat, what’s a healthy amount of weight to gain while pregnant…the list is endless! The amount of information out there can be overwhelming! So I spoke to Elizabeth Ward, a registered dietician and author of Expect the Best, Your Guide to Healthy Eating Before, During, & After Pregnancy, to give you a quick and easy rundown of what to eat and what to steer clear of. Here are her recommendations.
The five best foods for fertility and pregnancies:
• Eggland’s Best Eggs: “EB eggs contain four times more vitamin D than ordinary eggs and they provide a lean source of protein,” says Ward. “In addition, they contain no trans fats and nearly all the fat in EB eggs is unsaturated. Eggs are also a source of choline. In observational studies, choline has helped reduce the risk for birth defects in the first month of life. During pregnancy a child’s brain is developing at a very rapid pace. It needs the omega-3 fats found in seafood and in Eggland’s Best Eggs, which provide twice the amount of omega-3s in ordinary eggs. Healthy women can have 2 EB eggs a day.”
• Canned light tuna and salmon: “They are excellent sources of vitamin D and lean protein. They are also relatively low-risk fish in terms of mercury. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends eating at least two fish meals a week.”
• Legumes: “Chickpeas, black beans, and other beans are free of trans fat, are low-glycemic carbohdyrate sources and are full of filling fiber. Start with 1/4 cup to your daily diet, and you can eat up to a cup of beans daily.”
• Fortified whole grains: “Whole grains have fiber and are low-glycemic carbohydrate sources. Women should eat at least three servings of whole grains daily.”
• Full-fat vitamin-D fortified milk: “According to the research, full-fat dairy is associated with fertility. A total of three servings from the dairy group daily is the goal.” Also, according to some research, drinking milk while pregnant can cause your children to be taller!
Trying to Conceive: 5 Ways to Get Pregnant Faster
Five things to steer clear of if you want to get pregnant or are pregnant:
• Alcohol: “Alcohol is of course bad for pregnancies, but what all women don’t know is that drinking can also put a damper on fertility.”
• Caffeine: “It may also be surprising to know that there is a lot of conflicting research about caffeine. Some studies say it causes miscarriage and small babies and others say no. I err on the side of caution and go with the March of Dimes suggestion to limit caffeine during pregnancy to 200 milligrams a day or less. When you’re trying to conceive, excess coffee may be crowding out other more nutritious beverages but may not actually be limiting fertility.”
• Red meats: Lean red meat is one of the best sources of iron, “but fatty meats should be avoided.”
• Trans fats: “Things like French fries, donuts and pastries, and margarine may sabotage fertility.”
• Refined carbs: “Excessive amounts of refined carbs (white bread, white rice, white pasta, etc) and added (not naturally occuring) sugar are also problematic.”
According to Ward, “Women should take their preconception diet and lifestyle very seriously.” Weighing too much delays time to conception (being underweight can, too) and starting your pregnancy overweight may mean a bigger baby who goes on to be overweight later in life. “The number one issue for women,” says Ward, “is achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight (based on BMI) on a balanced diet to encourage fertility and to help insure a healthy pregnancy for mom and baby.”
Always try to start pregnancy in the best shape possible. “Manage any underlying health conditions, including body weight, high blood pressure, and anemia before conception occurs,” advises Ward. “There’s no way to figure how much of a change women will see in their fertility based on healthy eating but it is known that they will begin pregnancy in a much healthier state that will reduce complications for them and their child.”
TELL US: Did you make any dietary changes before getting pregnant or during your pregnancy?
NEXT: Your personal pregnancy calendar (It’s free!)
Image of woman drinking milk courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Tuesday, November 5th, 2013
Now Kristen Bell is totally enamored with her 5-month-old daughter, Lincoln. But the House of Lies star would be the first to admit that her motherly instincts didn’t actually kick in until after her daughter was born. She told Flare that while she was pregnant she felt no connection with her baby bump—whatsoever.
“It could have been a water bottle in my belly, that’s how connected I felt to her during my pregnancy,” Kristen confesses. “I kept saying to [husband Dax Shepherd] in all sincerity during my pregnancy, ‘I just don’t know how I’m going to like her as much as I like the dogs [pugs Lola and Mr. Shakes].’”
While it may sound like another one of Kristen’s hilarious jokes, she’s actually very serious. “I love people the more I know them, and
I didn’t know [my baby].” While your initial reaction to that may be, How could you not feel an instant connection with your baby, he or she is inside you?!
I can somewhat relate. Of course I was thrilled to be pregnant, and I couldn’t wait for my little man to be born so I could get to know him, but I didn’t feel that mother-son bond at the moment of conception, like some moms-to-be seem to. I really didn’t feel that bond until I knew his sex. Then it got stronger when he started kicking (we were finally able to communicate, and I could feel he really was in there!), and then when he was born my total obsession with him really started.
So if you’re like Kristen (and me) and you’re not feeling majorly connected to your bump just yet, not to worry! No, you are not the worst mom-to-be in the world! Yes, you will still bond with your baby! Kristen now says that there’s no one on this planet she’d rather spend time with than her little girl. Aww!
TELL US: Did you instantly bond with your bump, or did it take time to feel that mother-baby bond?
Are you maximizing your fertility? Take our quiz and find out! Then, browse through these 13 telltale signs that you could be pregnant.
Image of Kristen Bell courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Friday, October 18th, 2013
It’s been ingrained into women that you don’t drink while you’re pregnant (even though a recent book questions that theory). But now researchers say that even if you want to get pregnant, you’re better off not drinking alcohol—at all. Uh-oh!
That’s right, a new study presented at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine in Boston found that drinking just one or two glasses of wine a week could reduce a woman’s chances of getting pregnant by a third. Three or more glasses per week cuts the odds of conception by two-thirds, while even low levels of alcohol can disturb the development of unfertilized eggs—causing it to be more difficult, and sometimes impossible, to get pregnant.
In the relatively small study, Dr Dara Godfrey, of Reproductive Medicine Associates in New York, carried out research on 91 women undergoing IVF treatment. Those who did not drink were found to have a 90 percent chance of getting pregnant, while those who drank regularly during the week lowered their chances to 70 percent, and binge-drinking made the problem even worse.
It seems women aren’t alone—drinking can cause infertility issues in men too. Binge drinking reduces a man’s sperm count and the effect can be long-lasting, since it takes about two months for the sperm to fully mature in the testes. There goes the theory that most people conceive because they’ve been drinking!
TELL US: Will you stop drinking when you’re ready to try to get pregnant?
Pregnant already? Track your progress here!
Image of woman drinking wine courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Thursday, October 3rd, 2013
Politicos, rejoice! Former First Daughter, Chelsea Clinton, has declared 2014 “The Year of the Baby,” which means we could hear the pitter-patter of some politically-minded little feet very soon. Chelsea told Glamour that the loss of her maternal grandmother in late 2011 spurred her to have some deep discussions with her husband, Marc Mezvinsky—including when they would start a family (may we suggest starting this November?). The two, who have been married for three years now, have decided next year is their year. Woo-hoo!
No one could be happier about the baby news than former Secretary of State (and rumored frontrunner for the 2016 Democratic Presidential nominee), mom Hillary Rodham Clinton. She can’t wait to be a grandmother! “She asks about it every single day,” Chelsea tells the magazine. Who could blame her? Babies are so cute, and as a grandmother you get to reap all of the benefits of cuteness without all of the everyday responsibilities of parenthood.
Since leaving her job on Wall Street, Chelsea has been working along with her parents, Hillary and former President Bill Clinton on the family’s foundation, the Clinton Global Initiative, trying to make a real difference. “For when we do have children, I want to help make sure we’ve got a world I want them to live in,” she explains.
What a lucky baby to be brought into such a legal and political dynasty. I can’t help but wonder what sort of grandparents Bill and Hillary will make. I feel like Hillary will be the disciplinarian of the two (fair, but strong with a little wiggle room for all-out spoiling), where Bill will be sneaking Little Clinton an extra cookie when no one else is looking, and playing jazz, teaching him or her about “real music” in between family-wide chats around the dinner table on current events. The big question is, will Bill pass down his nickname of “Bubba” to the new bundle. I vote yes, but Chelsea may have something to say about that!
TELL US: Do you think Bill and Hillary will make good grandparents?
Image of Chelsea Clinton courtesy of Shutterstock.
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baby, Bill Clinton, celebrities, Chelsea Clinton, Conceive, Conception, Grandma, Grandmother, Hilary Rodham Clinton, pregnancy, pregnant | Categories:
Who Is Pregnant
Thursday, October 3rd, 2013
Apparently, November is one big love fest. At least that’s what research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention seems to point to, because more women conceive in November than in any other month. (Confession: I feed into that statistic. My son was conceived in early November, due in early August, but came a week early and ended up a July 28 baby).
While there’s no clear data on why everyone’s knocking boots in November, I have some theories of my own. First off, it’s cold out, and who wants to go outside in the cold and snow, when you can stay inside with your honey and keep yourselves warm (and busy!)? And if you do make your way out of the house to build that cute snowman or make snow angels, when you get back in, you’re going to want to dive right into bed and find some way to warm each other up.
And while November is the kick-off of the holiday season, it’s before the full-on December rush and stress hits you (don’t forget, people, stress hormones reduce your chances of getting pregnant!), so you’re still in good, happy spirits and open to both long, passionate romps or just a quickie. You’re also traveling a lot and so the many chances of forgetting to pack your birth control could be another reason for all of those babies.
Thanksgiving makes you feel all lovey-dovey and grateful for each and every amazing person in your life—and that of course includes the person you’re sleeping with! So to show your appreciation for each other, you—what else?—have sex. A lot.
In November, you also have your high school and college homecomings to attend, and nothing gets you more in the mood than reminiscing about the good ol’ wild days, right? Oh, and the tailgate parties! Let’s put it this way: for many women, booze = loss of inhibitions, which means all of those sexual fantasies you’ve had are about to come true (making tons of boyfriends and husbands very happy campers).
So now that you know November is the best time to conceive, you have exactly 29 days to plan every last sexscapade for the month. Here’s to getting lucky, ladies!
TELL US: Will you be trying to get pregnant in November?
Image of couple courtesy of Shutterstock.
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