Posts Tagged ‘ symptoms of pregnancy ’

Why Cupcake Cravings Could Lead to Pregnancy Complications

Friday, July 19th, 2013

Weight gain leads to pregnancy complicationsPut down that bag of chips and step away from those cookies! Being pregnant means having constant food cravings that we can’t control. Some women need sweets (I sent my husband on plenty of ice cream and donut runs). Others hunger for spicy (I ate Mexican and Indian food all the time!) or tart (I suddenly wanted salt and vinegar potato chips after never eating them before in my life).

But no matter what your craving(s), all pregnant women like to feed into the old saying, “I’m eating for two”. But the truth is, if you’re a healthy weight you are only supposed to have an extra 300 calories a day while pregnant (or the equivalent of a turkey sandwich). While I fully believe hormones are the little devils on our shoulders who make us gorge ourselves on goodies, most of us use the excuse of being pregnant to indulge in every last culinary whim (guilty as charged!). Jennifer Love Hewitt is no different. She recently confessed that being knocked up has amplified her already large sweet tooth. So instead of savoring one delicious cupcake, she chows down on three at a time!

I’m sure that sounds like total bliss to you right about now! Not to steal the cherry off of your sundae, but new research out of the University of Alberta reveals that excessive weight gain during the first half of pregnancy means bigger, fatter, longer babies with more body fat. The simple translation: Ouch! Those babies are going to be a lot harder to get out, and can lead to lengthier labors and more medical interventions, like c-sections.

No one wants the food police knocking down their door, and this is not intended to make you feel guilty about any past or future snacking indiscretions (we’re all human!), but it is food for thought. What would you rather have: a mound of delicious homemade chocolate-chip cookies or a quicker, easier birth with less pain and less complications? For me the answer is a piece of cake (not literally!).

TELL US: Are you trying to curb your cravings? What are your favorite healthy snacks?

Image of woman eating cupcakes courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Pregnancy Sex Drive: Is Yours Normal?

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

sex life, sex drive, female viagraAll of this talk of women’s so-called low libidos, and the desperate need for a female Viagra (aka Sheagra) to save sexless marriages worldwide, got us thinking about the craziness that is the female sex drive. It’s all over the place: Everyone has a friend who’s a Samantha, a self-confessed panty-dropper (and proud of it!), and a Charlotte, a sexually-conservative girl that other friends call a prude behind her back. Of course there’s a huge spectrum of Carries and Mirandas in between.

Once you add pregnancy hormones into the mix, women’s sex drives go completely haywire and it’s a bit like spinning the big wheel on The Price is Right—you have no idea what you’re going to land on. With extra blood flow to your vajayjay and estrogen levels spiking, you may suddenly start thinking about sex every second of the day, and even during your sleep with super-charged erotic dreams (with guest stars like Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper!). Instead of waiting for your guy to initiate, your sex drive might be in such overdrive that you’re all over him as soon as he enters the door. For that, he will love you and want you to forever be pregnant!

Jessica Simpson told Elle magazine that when she was expecting her first child her sex drive was “unstoppable.” She couldn’t get enough, and the sex was amplified to an 11. “The Big O is, like, the biggest O ever!” she (over)shared.

On the flip side, Snooki, who clearly knows her way around the smush room, had her pregnancy sex drive take a total nosedive. While due with son Lorenzo, she told In Touch that she and fiancé Jionni’s sex life was “hardly there!” Fans everywhere worried that their beloved Snooki had changed forever when she explained, “I just feel too icky and gross. I’m not in the mood!”

How is it possible that you (or Snooki!) could easily go from having sex practically every day to dreading the mere thought of anything sexual? The scientific answer is that the progesterone in your body is telling it to just say no to sex, while the estrogen is making sure you’re ready and willing. So it just depends which you have more of at any given time.

To confuse yourself even more, you could be sleep-deprived, your breasts may be sore (“Don’t touch!”), you might still be nauseous even if you’re way past your first trimester, you might not know how to maneuver this new curvilicious body of yours, and your hormonally-challenged psyche may be sabotaging your usually high self-esteem. All of this can make you doubt whether your guy still sees you as sexy. (Trust me, he does!)

So, for those of you who are wondering whether your pregnancy sex drive is normal—it is. Whether you’re in the mood for non-stop sexy times, or you’d rather close down the shop for a trimester or two, you’re just dealing with the unpredictability of pregnancy hormones.

If you want to boost your sex drive, though, read this. It really could help. And if you’re having the best, most orgasmic sex of your life? Enjoy!

TELL US: Has your pregnancy sex drive increased, lowered, or stayed exactly the same?

Image of couple courtesy of Shutterstock. 

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Pregnancy Breasts: Pregnant Jamie-Lynn Sigler Hates Hers!

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

pregnancy breastsPregnancy breasts: a miracle or a curse? That’s the big question. Everyone knows that your chest gets huge when you’re pregnant and nursing. Bigger breasts sound great in theory, but you can’t really prepare for how you’re going to react to your new breasts until your fun bags fully inflate.

When former Entourage and Guys with Kids star Jamie-Lynn Sigler was recently on Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live, she confided in chatty talk show host Andy Cohen that all of the physical changes that come with pregnancy aren’t a breeze. “It’s hard being pregnant! Your body does change; my boobs have quadrupled in size!” Jamie-Lynn said. Sing it, sister!

Christina Aguilera reportedly went up to an E cup when she was pregnant with son Max, and Kim Kardashian has been estimated at a G (maybe by the time she gives birth she’ll be a K!). Most women will go up two cup sizes during a pregnancy—and your breasts alone account for two pounds (!) of your weight gain.

I was a B cup on a good day pre-pregnancy. I was never one of those people who secretly wished they had bigger breasts, though. I’m very introspective, so I had thought a lot about this. I was happy they weren’t overly bouncy, I knew I wouldn’t have to worry too much about sagging later in life. I was content.

Then, within just a few weeks of being pregnant, my cup size grew and I had real cleavage no matter what sort of bra I wore (no push-up required!). By early in my second trimester I was the proud owner of D cups. And I say proud, because I admit something changed in me. I’m a little ashamed to say it, but I noticed I was walking with more confidence and feeling more feminine with my pregnancy breasts. It felt good.

Of course, it might not have been because of some inner desire to have bigger boobs. It could have just been that I no longer felt like I had to live up to some beauty expectation, and I was free to let my belly hang out without the need for Spanx or sucking it in. I was pregnant; I had an excuse! Add to that the ever-so-wonderful burst of oxytocin—the natural feel good drug your body starts producing in your first trimester that increases as your pregnancy goes on (Oxytocin is also released when you’re not pregnant, and you get a hug, kiss or caress).

My husband is way too diplomatic to say whether he liked the change in my upper deck, but I soon realized that these new-found tatas were not all they were cracked up to be. They contributed to my growing back pain. They were constantly sore, sometimes throbbing. My areolae (the area around your nipples) had grown to the size of sand dollars, and they had turned into a dark mocha color. I was already sagging! I had to buy all new bras (BTW, why are they so expensive!). As I was getting closer and closer to labor day, my breasts even started leaking. I know it was my body getting ready to breastfeed, which is a beautiful thing, but at the time I was turning each shirt into a wet mess all I could think was, “Ew!” As a friend of mine put it, it was like having a gift that you couldn’t fully enjoy!

So I completely understand Jamie-Lynn’s frustration with her newfound pregnancy breasts. Just know that they will eventually go back down, and everything will return to normal. Though, they may be a slightly different normal!

Learn more about how your body changes week-to-week right here!

Tell us: Are you excited to have “pregnancy breasts”? Or are they just a hassle? Share your stories in the comment section below.

Image of Jamie-Lynn Sigler courtesy of Shutterstock.

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