Natural Pregnancy


Hypothyroidism and Pregnancy 7

Author: Ryan The thyroid gland is located at middle part of the front of the neck. Hypothyroidism is underactive thyroid gland which means that the thyroid gland doesn't produce enough thyroid hormones. These hormones play an important role in body metabolism. Hypothyroidism and Pregnancy There are a number of ways that hypothyroidism can manifest during pregnancy. This includes; having Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, thyroid nodules or goiter, elevated TSH (Thyroid stimulating hormone) etc. If you have had radioactive iodine (RAI) or any kind of surgery of the thyroid or are now receiving any kind of thyroid hormone replacement then you probably have hypothyroidism. If you suffer from hypothyroidism then you are lucky to become pregnant in the first place as is prevents egg production. Once pregnant, hypothyroidism can affect your pregnancy in many ways. You have a higher risk of miscarriage. You are also more likely to develop high blood pressure and premature delivery if the hypothyroidism if left untreated through the pregnancy. There are certain "red flag" symptoms that you should be on the lookout for such as: dullness, droopy eyelids, abnormal weight gain, constipation, muscle cramps, thickening of skin, swelling around neck etc. These changes are usually spotted during pregnancy during the normal course of prenatal care. Babies born to mothers who had untreated or partially treated hypothyroidism prenatally, may never reach their full intellectual potential. The study was published in 1999, New England Journal of Medicine stating, "Women with untreated thyroid deficiency during pregnancy are four times more likely to have children with lower I.Q. scores". If you are pregnant and diagnosed with hypothyroidism, it does not need to take the joy out of your pregnancy. Once hypothyroidism is diagnosed, the thyroid hormone replacement therapy is started by doctor. The dosage is an important factor during pregnancy and is decided by your specialist. The treatment is safe and also essential to mother and fetus. One should not stop the medications by any means as this may have irreversible consequences. For the baby, it is quite rare that your baby will "inherit" your hypothyroidism. Congenital hypothyroidism appears in one of 4 to 5 thousand infants. But be sure to have your thyroid treatment started as early as possible (like in first trimester) because untreated thyroid will not only affect the mother but will also impair the child's physical and mental development. After pregnancy, your doctor will probably advise you to continue the pills. As far as breastfeeding is concerned, trace amount of thyroid hormone medication are excreted in breast milk but if your thyroid is not functioning properly then you might not be able to breastfeed at all.In fact, you must be having proper thyroid functioning and normal level of thyroid hormone to ensure enough breast milk to baby. If you are pregnant and diagnosed with hypothyroidism them make sure to receive a nutritionally balanced diet with adequate iodine salt, iron, vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Ryan is a publisher of Hypothyroidism causes, symptoms and treatment information Buy the book: The Thyroid Diet [affliate link] Image Source: Table Sale on Flickr

Pregnancy Week By Week 4

There are three stages of pregnancy. These are the first, second and third trimesters. The first trimester runs from week one to week fourteen, the second covers weeks 15 - 26, then the third is weeks 27 - 40. Week 1 and 2: This is actually before you get pregnant. It's the stage where your body prepares itself by ovulating. It is right around day 14 that the egg is fertilized by the sperm Week 3: The fertilized egg now moves down the fallopian tubes, fluid passes into the ball of cells, dividing them into two. The inner cells will form your baby and the outer cells will form the placenta. Your body, at this stage, is still unaware that it is pregnant. The implantation begins as the cell ball reaches the wall of the uterus. In this process the cells actually bury into the uterus wall, which can sometimes lead to you having spotting. The implanted cell ball now becomes an embryo. Week 4: This is a week of rapid development, and your body now realizes it is pregnant. The amniotic sac and cavity begin to develop and also the Yoke sac appears (this will later form the baby's digestive system). The placenta now starts to form where implantation took place and blood from you will now go into the placenta. It is usually about day 27 that you start to feel morning sickness. Week 5: The primitive streak (the fore runner of the brain and spinal cord) is now developing. Through this primitive streak the cells will develop into three layers: * The endoderm: the bottom layer - develops the glands, lung linings, tongue, bladder, digestive tract, tonsils, urethra and associated glands. * The mesoderm: the middle layer - forms the muscles, bones, heart, lungs, spleen, blood cells, and the reproductive and excretory systems. * The ectoderm: the top layer - forming the skin, nails, hair, eye lens, nose, mouth, anus, tooth enamel, pituitary gland, mammary glands, and all parts of the nervous system. Other cells will be starting to develop the spine (called the notochord). The first steps towards forming the embryos head, and the first formation of the babies blood cells happen this week. Week 6: The first few days of this week is when your baby's heart starts beating. The aorta (the largest artery in the whole body) will be starting to form at around day 40. By mid week many organs are starting to form: eyes, arm buds, liver, gall bladder, stomach and intestines, lungs and pancreas. Week 7: This is a busy week for your growing baby. During this week your baby will double in size. The lenses of the eyes are developing and there is also a recognizable tongue. The legs and arms are developing into paddles, the jaws are now visible. Week 8: The cerebellum starts to form this week. That's the part of the brain responsible for the movement of muscles. Also hand and foot plates, elbow and wrist areas are forming. Towards the end of the eight week the hand plate has formed ridges where the fingers will be. There is further development of the eye; pigment is now appearing on the retina. Teeth buds are now forming within the gums, along with the wind pipe, bronchi, and voice box. The heart is now starting to develop the four chambers. Week 9: Your baby is now starting to form cartilage and bones. During this week the ovaries will develop into the sex organ determining whether you're having a boy or a girl. The fingers and thumbs are now taking shape. Also the baby is now becoming more active. Week 10: It's now that your embryo has become a baby, all be it on a rather small scale. There is a fully formed upper lip. The development of the heart now slows as it is past the critical stage. By mid week the earlobes are fully formed. Toes start to develop on the foot plate. As the bones of the palate (roof of the mouth) start to fuse together, the tongue starts to develop taste buds. Week 11: As the morning sickness starts to subside, you may feel your appetite increase. Your baby's body starts to straighten. In males the penis is now distinguishable and in females the vagina is beginning to develop. This stage is where the baby starts to show individuality, as the muscle structure varies in each baby. Week 12: Your baby will start to develop fingernails over the next three weeks. The brain is now the same structure as it will be at birth. By the end of the week, the gall bladder and pancreas will be fully developed. Also the baby will now be opening and closing its mouth. Week 13: This week vocal chords will form in the larynx. Also the intestines will move from the umbilical cord into the abdomen, and will start to form folds and become lined with villi. Week 14: You may have noticed some changes to the areola (the area around your nipple); it may be getting larger and darker. Your baby's heart beat will now be able to be heard using a Doppler. Breathing, sucking and swallowing motions will be being practiced. The breathing practices will take the amniotic fluid in and out of the lungs. Baby's hand also becomes more functional. Week 15: The baby's neck is now defined, with the head now resting on the neck rather than the shoulders. The hair pattern of the baby will be defined by the 102nd day of the pregnancy your baby will now be able to turn its head, open its mouth, kick, press its lips together and turn its feet. Week 16: This week the baby's toe nails will start to grow. The muscles will be growing stronger and the neck and head are growing straighter. As the uterus starts moving upwards you may start showing more, but this does mean less pressure on your bladder, making you feel like urinating less. Week 17: Your baby will be working on more reflexes this week; blinking, sucking, and swallowing. Development is carrying on with all the existing structures. Through the course of this month your baby's weight will increase 6 times. Week 18: By mid week your baby's eyes and ears will now be in the right places. The finger tips and toes will develop pads, and toe and finger prints will start to develop later in the week. Myelinization, a process of coating the nerves with a fatty substance called myelin which speeds up nerve cell transmission and insulates nerves, will start happening this week. Also by the second day of this week meconium (faecal waste) will start developing in the baby's bowels. Week 19: A creamy looking substance that covers the baby's body, vernix coseosa, will start to form. This protects the baby and its developing glands and sensory cells. If you're having a baby girl primitive egg cells are now developed in the ovaries, in fact females are born with all the eggs their ovaries will ever have. Week 20: Most of the major development has now taken place, and the danger zone of the first three months is now over. Your baby will be waking and sleeping, just as newborns do. Also the formation of fine scalp hair and eyebrows will begin. Week 21: Your body is replacing the amniotic fluid very three hours at this stage of your pregnancy. Baby's leg and arm movements increase as the muscles and bones become stronger. By the end of the week a stethoscope will be able to detect the baby's heart beat. Week 22: If the baby is a boy, the testes will start to move from the pelvic area into the scrotum. The hair on the head and eyebrows is now visible as white and short. Week 23: The bones in the middle ear start hardening making the conduction of sound possible. The baby will start to gain some considerable weight between now and next month. The size of the baby's body will start to get into proportion though the head will remain larger than the rest of the body. Week 24: The skin of your baby is wrinkled, but will smooth out as fat is deposited. Also by the end of this week the baby's heart beat is so strong it is some times possible to hear it by placing an ear on your stomach. Week 25: Baby's skin is now turning a reddish/pink as capillaries start to develop. The nostrils will now start to open, as they have been plugged unto now. The lungs will start developing blood vessels and the finger and toe nails will now be covering half the nail bed. Week 26: With the nostrils now open, muscular breathing will start. By the end of the week the lungs will be secreting surfactant, a substance which prevents the lung tissue sticking together. Also with the formation of blood vessels in the lungs, they will now also be developing air sacks. Brain wave activity starts this week for auditory and visual activity. Week 27: Bumping and thumping is becoming stronger as your baby grows stronger, you should be feeling around 10 kicks in a two hour period. Baby's lungs are growing rapidly and there is continual development with brain patterns. Week 28: This is when the eyelids un-fuse and open up. Muscle tone is improving, and the lungs are capable of breathing air. The chances of a baby being born premature from now on, has a greatly improved chance of surviving. Week 29: Eye lashes have now grown, and although still unable to focus, baby's eyes are now sensitive to dark and light. At this stage of pregnancy the senses of sound, smell and taste are developing. By the end of the week your baby will be able to move its eyes in their sockets. Week 30: Baby is now storing up nutrients taken in by you. Calcium for skeletal development, protein for growth and iron for blood cells. By the end of the week the languno (the small hairs that covered the baby's body), is nearly all gone apart from some patches on the shoulders and back. Week 31: As the actual growth starts to slow down, the internal organs are still maturing, so make sure your still getting enough folic acid, iron and calcium. Should your baby be born this week they would have the ability to breath, see, listen learn and remember. Week 32: The baby's iris is now reacting to light. All five senses are now registering with your baby, although smell is limited as baby can't breathe air in the uterus. Week 33: Your baby may now be sucking its fingers. Constipation could be starting for you as your uterus puts more and more pressure on your bowels. Week 34: The pigment of the eyes is not quite fully developed yet, this leaves the eyes looking blue regardless of final colour. And this week your baby will start to develop its own immune system. Week 35: In baby boys the decent of the testes will complete any time now. Your baby may now shift into your pelvis in a head down position, but not all babies do this before birth. Week 36: Dimples on the elbows and knees will be forming as well as creases in the neck area due to continual deposits of fat. Also this fat will help baby maintain its body temperature. Week 37: Around 85% of babies are born within two weeks of their actual due date (either before or after), so as you enter this stage be aware for signs of labour. The baby is practicing being more aware of its surroundings; this is the 'orientating response'. This is where the baby will turn towards any source of light. The end of this week marks the end of development, growth will now slow down. Week 38: Meconium is accumulating in the intestines. Meconium is a dark green mass of waste product and cells from the gall bladder, liver and pancreas. Although shortly after birth this will all come out. Week 39: As the baby is settling into your pelvis, you maybe feeling clumsy and off balance. This is because your center of gravity shifts. Make sure you're prepared for your trip to the hospital. Week 40: Welcome to the final week, that's if you have not given birth already. Your body will be giving the baby antibodies so it can protect its self from many diseases. The baby will finish dropping into its resting place before birth. Congratulations and welcome to your newborn child. Author: Alien. About the author: Alien writes for pregnancy tests, eye stye, and women health blog Image Source:

Ten Skin Problems of Pregnancy 3

skin problems of pregnancyAuthor: Ally McNeal Pregnancy brings with it many changes, emotionally, physically, and mentally. From a mental and emotional standpoint, you're preparing to adopt a new role of parent, with all its accompanying responsibilities. Physically, of course, you're dealing with changes in the shape, function, and movement of your body. While we have a society-wide belief that pregnant women are always glowing, that, unfortunately, is not always the case. No where is this more evident than when you experience skin problems while you should be enjoying your pregnancy. You've probably heard the phrase, "the eyes are the window to the soul". If this is true, your skin is the window to your current state of health and the changes taking place on the inside. During pregnancy, aside from all the other issues, you may also have to deal with a variety of skin changes, including rashes, acne, stretch marks, breaking nails, hair growth or loss, and dark blotches on the skin. Most of these changes are directly linked to the enormous amount of hormonal fluctuations women experience during pregnancy. During pregnancy, there are all kinds of changes which can have impact on your skin, leading to new skin problems or worsening of existing ones. In some cases, pregnancy may actually help improve existing skin conditions. Let's look at various skin conditions in more detail, defining the main ten skin problems of pregnancy. 1) Rashes. Rashes appear due to irritation of the skin. One common pregnancy rash is called pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPPP). This is the most frequently seen condition specific to pregnancy. Women with PUPPP demonstrate a rash which starts on the abdomen and can spread to the breasts, arms, thighs, and buttocks. 2) Acne. Acne is another skin condition that may get better or worse during pregnancy. Acne is, at least in part, driven by hormones, so the hormones of pregnancy can lead to more breakouts for some women, and clearer skin for others. 3) Oily skin. Oily skin is third skin condition which may arise during pregnancy. This is related to increased levels of androgen, the male sex hormone, which causes an increase in sebum production. The more sebum produced, the oilier the skin. Many women report that their skin and hair becomes oilier during pregnancy. Most of the time, these issues can be addressed with over the counter oil controlling cleansers and products. 4) Stretch marks. The fourth skin problem of pregnancy, stretch marks arise when the under layers of the skin is stretched, resulting in visible striations on the surface of the skin. Stretch marks can be treated after the fact, but the best treatment is always prevention. Keeping your skin well moisturized, especially on your tummy, breasts, thighs, can help reduce the appearance of stretch marks. 5) Spider angiomas. These are another possible skin problem of pregnancy. Spider angiomas are groups of very tiny blood vessels which gather around a central point and radiate out like the legs of a spider. Pregnant women are likely to develop these on their chest, faces, arms, and sometimes on other places on the body. Most of these spider angiomas clear up after pregnancy. 6) Chloasma. Chloasma, also called melasma, or the "mask of pregnancy" is another skin condition which is diagnosed when certain areas of the skin turn darker because of excess pigmentation. Most often, this condition affects places of the skin which are most often exposed to sun, like the upper lip, forehead, cheeks. This condition is likely to clear up after pregnancy. Again, you can lessen your chances of chloasma by using a good (baby safe) doctor recommended sunscreen throughout the course of your pregnancy. 7) Excess hair. Changes in the hair are also common during pregnancy. Some women lose a lot of hair within a few months after delivery, while many are troubled with excess hair growth during pregnancy. Excess hair growth is most often seen on the lip and chin, and is triggered by an increase in androgen and other male hormones during pregnancy. 8) Brittle nails. Many women experience breaking, splitting, or brittleness to their nails during pregnancy. Physicians aren't quite sure why this occurs, but it may be managed with an over the counter nail hardening polish. Check with your doctor. 9) Skin tags. Skin tags are little pieces of skin which over-grow and hang from the neck. These can increase in number during pregnancy. If you have skin tags before pregnancy, then pregnancy may cause them to increase. 10) Atopic dermatitis. Also known as eczema, this skin condition may appear or worsen during pregnancy. Marked by extreme skin itchiness, too much scratching can lead to the skin become red, swollen, or cracked. If you are pregnant, be sure to watch for these ten skin problems of pregnancy. If you begin to develop any of these conditions, seek appropriate medical advice; you don't have to suffer through these conditions for the whole nine months. Chances are that your doctor will have recommendations which can address your skin problems so you can have healthy, beautiful skin, even while you're pregnant. About the author: Ally McNeal loves learning and teaching about skin care. Image Source:

Caring for Your Teeth and Gums While Pregnant 24

If you are pregnant, it is vital to pay close attention to your oral hygiene. Due to increases in pregnancy hormones, the likelihood of gum disease also increases. When a woman is pregnant, hormonal changes occur pretty rapidly in a woman's body. And since hormones travel throughout a woman's body through the bloodstream, it only makes sense that the jaws and the oral structures also receive a healthy dose of hormones. This can result in an increase incidence of gum disease, especially if the pregnant woman does not take the necessary precautions to prevent the bacteria from building up. If you have gum disease before you became pregnant, it is more likely it can get more severe if you become pregnant. The reason for this is multi-factorial. One reason for this is that the pregnant mother easily neglect their oral hygiene. With all the excitement of expecting a new child, thoroughly cleaning their teeth and gums is not a priority. These women neglect their flossing and brushing when it is more important to pay more attention to them. In addition to the distractions, pregnant women also fail to realize that their hormones affect their gums. In fact, in one study, they found that more severe periodontal disease poses additional threat to pregnant diabetics. Finally, poor nutrition can play a significant role during pregnancy especially during the first trimester when you feel sick and not likely eating the most nutritious foods. Eating the right foods and maintaining a proper nutrition is not only good for your baby but also good to maintain healthy gums. If you are pregnant, here are some tips for caring for your teeth and gums while pregnant that you can use today to help prevent gum disease from sneaking up on you and your baby.
  • Brush and Floss. Just because you are pregnant does not mean you can neglect your smile. Be sure to brush and floss your teeth at least once daily.
  • Make sure to include in your diet foods that are rich in proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and fats.
  • It is also important for you to drink lots of water.
  • Consume or supplement with Folic Acid. Folic acid is also very important in your diet. Folic acid is usually found in green leafy vegetables, beans, peas, bell peppers, and nuts.
  • You also need to take plenty of diary products because these food groups are rich in calcium. Pregnant women need more calcium intake because their baby usually takes their calcium nutrients, which leaves them to lack calcium for their own body nutrients.
So, if you are pregnant you should not only think of your growing baby inside you, you should also take care of yourself. Maintaining a balanced diet, proper nutrition, and excellent oral hygiene will save you from any surprises and damaging gum diseases. Auhor: Dr. Marvin Pantangco About the author: Marvin Pantangco, DDS, the Leading Internet Dental Advisor, invites you to visit the high-traffic dental advice website and learn all you need to know about your smile. Sign up for our Free Newsletter where you will receive valuable tips on keeping your smile healthy and naturally beautiful. Also visit for more information on cosmetic dentistry. Image Source:

Vitamins During Pregnancy 1

vitamins during pregnancyPregnancy is a time of very unique nutritional needs: Begetting and nurturing of and giving birth to a new life is one of the most beautiful and meaningful experiences in the life of a woman. While pregnant a woman has to take care of her own body as well as she has to eat responsible so that the growing baby gets what it needs. There is just no alternative to a diet of healthy natural food, but even the best diet might need some support in form of specific vitamins during pregnancy. The prenatal care must include a balanced diet that has all the needed vitamins and minerals. Pregnancy Nutrition Fruits, vegetables, milk products and whole grain staples are extremely important to eat during a pregnancy. Craving for junk and fast food should be controlled for the sake of both the mother and the baby. For protein requirements one could look for lean red meat, poultry, fish and beans which are of low-fat content or if vegetarian consume eggs and tofu. Just make sure to keep all meat and dairy organic. Vitamin A Vitamin A is one of the more important vitamins needed during gestation and lactation. Vitamin A helps the process of cell differentiation and immunity building. Severe vitamin A deficiency can cause fetal death, night blindness, and congenital defects. Overdose of synthetic vitamin A intake can also result in serious health problems so its best to get your Vitamin A from food sources. A weekly supplementation of 2500 IU is safe during gestation. Beta carotene is safer as it is converted into vitamin A as much is needed. Vitamin A rich food like animal liver can be ingested occasionally and safely during pregnancy and lactation. Folic Acid Make sure that your supplement contains at least 800 to 1000 mcg of folic acid. Most breads and cereals are fortified with this essential acid which prevents neural tube defects such a spina bifida. If you were not taking a supplement while trying to conceive then please make sure to get adequate folic acid the second you suspect you may be pregnant. Vitamin D Vitamin D is important for strengthening of the bones of the fetus. Vitamin D helps absorb calcium from food. The great thing about Vitamin D is that you do not have to eat special food. Just get 10-15 minutes of sunshine a day (without sunglasses or sunscreen). You can also take a teaspoon of Cod Liver Oil a day during the winter months if you live in a northern region. Vitamin C A deficiency in Vitamin C can lead to osteoporosis in adults or fractures in the children.Vitamin C also helps absorb iron which is needed for the production of red blood cells in the blood. It is the dream of every mother is to give birth to a healthy child. The health of the child depends largely on the prenatal and postnatal care. During gestation the foundation of the child's future is laid in the mother's womb. The child's immunity, proper formation of vital organs like brain and heart depends on the health condition of the expectant mother. Deficiency or over dose of vitamins can cause serious congenital complications. Proper guidance from the family health provider or a specialized doctor is of great importance for a fetus to form in to a healthy baby. Author: Christoph Puetz About the author: Chris Puetz is a parent since April 2005. The experience of raising a little child is incredible. Chris is sharing the parenting knowledge and pregnancy advice. Image Source: