Thursday, November 28th, 2013
On Thanksgiving, when it’s natural to overeat (and eat and eat!), it seems only fitting to talk about wanting to look slimmer. I get it—pregnancy and ill-fitting maternity clothes can cause your self-esteem to take a major nosedive. Your butt is bigger than it’s ever been (and not in a good Kim Kardashian sort of way), your thighs are jigglier than Grandma’s Jell-O Surprise, and stretch marks are starting to pop up in places you never even imagined possible. What to do? Many women are turning to pregnancy shapewear to smooth, enhance and reshape their bodies to give them sexy hourglass figures (with a bump, of course).
But a piece in the Daily Mail has me questioning just how safe control underwear can be. While OB-GYN Dr. Mike Bowen says the nylon and Lycra shapers would likely have no effect on your unborn little one since he or she is “safely cocooned in your womb,” other experts brought up good points I never would have thought of: like how you could be constricting the blood flow to your baby, according to National Childbirth Trust adviser Elizabeth Duff, which can of course be dangerous because babies depend on their mom’s blood flow to bring oxygen to them.
If you’ve ever worn Spanx (and I will admit I have, and that I hated every single second of it), you know what a pain they are to get on and off. Well, that annoyance—according to Gail Johnson, a midwife and education advisor at England’s Royal College of Midwives—could deter you from going to the bathroom when you need to, which in turn could cause painful Urinary Tract Infections (something pregnant women are already prone to).
And like the old adage says, “Use it or lose it,” the built-in support from the shapers, when worn daily, can actually weaken muscles in the stomach and lower back, says London-based physiotheropist Sammy Margo, causing injuries to you once the baby is born and you’re constantly having to pick up your bundle of joy.
My few experiences with body shapers were miserable enough for me to never go back to them—and that was when I wasn’t pregnant. I can’t even imagine trying to hold it all in when your body is naturally trying to spread out and make room for your growing baby. I know the cliché is, “no pain, no gain,” but I’d take my comfy Adidas sweatpants over a tight-fitting body shaper any day! It’s important to feel beautiful, especially when you’re pregnant, but like my latest pregnancy muse, Drew Barrymore, said, “You’re not supposed to look perfect while you’re making babies—making babies is the perfection.” Wiser words were never spoken! Embrace those newfound curves, ladies. Don’t hide them!
Image of pregnant woman courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Monday, September 2nd, 2013
Of course coconut is yummy—macaroons, Pina Coladas, delicious cream pies, oh my! But did you know that coconut oil and coconut milk are also terrific for pregnant women (and not just to fill their sweets cravings)? Cue an image of yourself lying on an exotic beach somewhere with a fresh coconut in hand.
According to the Western A Price Foundation, a nutrition research charity, pregnant women should consume two tablespoons of unprocessed coconut oil per day, either in a smoothie or in place of other oils or butters. Rich in anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, coconut oil can help prevent colds, flu and other viruses—which is especially helpful when you don’t want to be taking over-the-counter remedies—and strengthens the immune system of both the pregnant mom and unborn baby.
Coconut oil also helps relieve morning sickness, heartburn and constipation (three icky side effects of pregnancy). Other women swear the super-moisturizing oil even prevents stretch marks when it’s rubbed on the belly on a regular basis. And for those of you planning to breast feed, coconut oil is high in lauric acid, which is supposed to stimulate milk production during pregnancy and after birth.
Coconut oil isn’t the only part of the coconut that can help with pregnancy, either. Coconut water has lots of benefits as well. Coconut water is fat-free and one of the richest sources of electrolytes (think: natural sports drink that’s going to keep you well-hydrated). It is high in potassium, magnesium and protein and is a good source of dietary fiber, calcium and Vitamin C.
It also helps with circulation, which is especially important when you’re pregnant because your blood volume increases by 50 percent. Poor circulation leads to foot and leg pain for mom, and in extreme cases can lead to lack of oxygen to the baby. Another persistent problem many pregnant women suffer from is urinary tract infections. Since coconut water is a natural diuretic, it flushes you out faster and can help to prevent infections.
It sounds like a pregnant woman’s miracle to me! I heard about the morning sickness benefits of coconut water when I was pregnant, but I had no idea how good coconut oil would have been for me as well. As with all things when you’re pregnant, though, consult your doctor before jumping into a high coconut oil or coconut water diet because it’s still possible to overdue a good thing.
TELL US: Have you incorporated coconut oil and coconut milk into your pregnancy diet? Have you felt any positive changes?
Image of woman with coconut courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Breast Feeding, Circulation, Coconut, Coconut Oil, Coconut Water, Constipation, Dehydration, Heartburn, Hydration, morning sickness, pregnancy, pregnant, Pregnant Superfood, Stretch Marks, Superfood, Urinary Tract Infection, UTI | Categories: