Posts Tagged ‘Pregnancy’

Sex After Baby

Vaginal or c-section, sex after a baby will be different.  The doctor won’t let you have sex for 6-8 weeks after your baby’s birth, so you don’t have to think about it immediately anyway.  But when you do, it may be easier (or more difficult) than you imagined.

Your physical discomfort from your vaginal delivery may make it hurt for some time.  The achy-ness of your c-section incision may also be a physical hindrance.  What else?  Your boobs used to be just for fun – now they have a (very un-sexual) job.  Your baby is sleeping in the crib right next to you.  Your baby is crying in the crib right next to you.  When your partner talks dirty and says, “I want to *&^% you on the beach”, you think, “But who will take care of the baby??”  You may also have left over consequences of having a baby, like your hemorrhoids, vaginal discharge, and your hair is falling out.  These things make you feel terribly un-sexy.

And you’re so tired!  You’re so tired that the last thing you want to do is slip into sexy lingerie (like your husband asked you to) and act like you’re young and frisky again.   You may just have to go easy on yourself.  Maybe you won’t have sex for another month.  Or another month after that!  This won’t mean that your relationship has fallen in the pooper.  It means that you have other priorities (but you still love one another) and you’re tired (but you still love one another) and you’re thinking about the baby (but you still love one another) and you just want to go to bed.

And if you want to take a whack at it, remember these important things:

  1. Lube
  2. Patience
  3. Don’t wake the baby

Am I in Labor?

How will you know you’re in labor?  Much like life, labor isn’t usually what it looks like in the movies.  You already have plenty on you mind, and now you have to wait around, often beginning a whole two weeks before your due date, wondering, “Am I in labor??”

Here are things that may happen leading up to you going into labor:

  • Dilation (opening of the cervix)
  • Effacement (ripening of the cervix)
  • Bloody show (loss of mucous plug)
  • Nesting (suddenly wanting to paint the nursery)
  • You water breaks (rupture of membranes)
  • Contractions

In the movies, a woman will be walking through a department store, when suddenly a gallon of water falls from somewhere up her skirt, and onto the floor.  This is certainly not common.  For most of us boring folk, we first noticed we were in labor when we had contractions.  The confusing thing is, though, that you’ve probably been having contractions on and off for a while, so how do you know this is it?  Here are questions you can ask yourself:

  • Are the contractions regular?
  • Do they start to last longer, get stronger and closer together?
  • Does walking make them stronger?
  • Do they continue, despite moving or changing positions?
  • Did they start in the lower back and move to the front of your abdomen?

If you answered yes, then you’re in labor, friend.  If you answered no, then go take a walk through a department store and see if you can make a splash.

Top 10 Most Unpleasant Things About Pregnancy

Arguably one of the most beautiful things a human can accomplish, pregnancy can also be one of the most unpleasant.  While few women will experience all of the below, the majority of preggie ladies will certainly have the joy of experiencing some of these unpleasant, and sometimes gross, products of pregnancy.

  1. Varicose veins

Most commonly on the legs, they add color and radiance to your lovely stems.

The bright side? You were probably going to get them with age sooner or later anyway.

  1. Irritability

Uncomfortable for you, uncomfortable for your loved ones.

The bright side?  At least this time you have a valid excuse!

  1. Constipation

Prunes and more prunes.  And water.

The bright side?  Sometimes it’s better than the alternative…

  1. Incontinence

You have to pee so badly that – oops.  Adult diapers anyone?

The bright side?  You can relive that element of your life as a baby, so you’ll be more in tune with your little one when they arrive.

  1. Swelling

Everywhere.  Ankles, face, feet, fingers, etc.

The bright side?  It may make you feel fat, but you don’t have to diet to get rid of this weight!

  1. Vomiting

Usually in the 1st trimester, it can be uneventful to practically barbaric.

The bright side?  You enjoyed that bowl of Cheerios so much, that we’re gonna show it to you again!

  1. Night sweats

Like you woke up in the tub.  Only you’re still in bed.

The bright side?  You’ll sweat out some of the toxins from that fast food you had for dinner.

  1. Gas

As if you couldn’t button your pants already!

The bright side?  You’ll be able to introduce your man to a whole new side to you (if you haven’t been so frank already).

  1. Discharge

And you were planning on simply sneezing…

The bright side?  It’ll feel like the easiest (though longest) period you’ve ever had

  1. Hemorrhoids

Either causing pain, itchiness, or just make you feel like you’ve got a rock squeezed up there, they might make you dread going to the bathroom.

The bright side?  Are you crazy?  There is no bright side.  Go to the drug store.

And after all that… The bright side?  You get an awesome baby in the end, and all you had to do was walk around with bulging blue lines on your legs, yell at everyone who looked at you funny, not go poo for four days, while peeing your pants a few times, wear clunky orthopedic shoes for your big fat feet, hug the toilet like you were back in college, wash your sheets every morning, fart your way through breakfast, feel like you’re wearing a wet diaper, and apply cream to your you-know-what-in-the-rear multiple times a day.

Why Your Pregnant Thoughts Matter

Let’s face it; when you are pregnant, your thoughts can be all over the map.  Your hormones are in full swing and so are your moods and its hard to get any forewarning when they might go up or down.  But new research suggests that what you do concentrate on or about just might matter to that growing baby inside your belly.  A recent study has shown that what we as mothers do while we are pregnant will have life-long effects on our babies.  This  is not cause for moms to panic; in fact, this information should be used to empower moms into being conscious of what they do and think during their pregnancy.

Scientists now know that a pregnant woman’s moods (and the corresponding chemicals produced by those moods) can have profound impacts on her baby’s brain development while in the womb.   If a mother is chronically stressed during pregnancy, the hormones secreted during those elevated stress periods will send “messages” to the baby’s developing brain which will gradually adapt to being in a “stressed” environment.  This newly formed baby’s brain will be better suited to react quickly and a dampened ability to remain calm.  If a mother can consciously spend time focusing on the joy of her pregnancy, or in other words “think happy thoughts” then  the development of her baby’s brain will be reflective of serenity and calmness.

So what is a mom to do?  Even taking five minutes a day to bring awareness to your thoughts and streamline them into positive feelings will manifest positive outcomes in your baby’s brain development.  Having a rough go at it?  Not to worry; put on your favorite music, treat yourself to a favorite food or nourish yourself in a way that gives you those good feelings.   This conscious approach to caring for your baby in the womb will be just another gift you can give your baby.

Breast Pumps in the Work Place

Pumping at work is like being trapped in a candy store against your will: you’d rather not be held captive anywhere, but if it’s gotta happen, that’s a pretty great place to be.  There is not much in this world quite like having to strip half-naked, attach a plastic medieval-looking contraption to your bosom, while fearing that one of your bull-in-a-china-shop male coworkers could ignore your privacy sign and walk in at any moment.

Pumping at work is an opportunity to steal away for twenty (or so) minutes and be with Baby, even though you’re not actually with them.  Ideally, of course, you’d be nursing him or her yourself, but pumping in the back room, the office, or the ladies room, works as a lovely little reminder of the time you and Baby get to spend with one another.

So what do you tell your boss?  If they’re male, this is probably one of the last conversations they want to have with you.  Don’t ask them, like it’s an option.  Inform them that this is something you need to do and you have found the most convenient times of day in which to do it.  Pumping is a requirement for you, if you plan on continuing to breastfeed.  Don’t apologize for feeding your baby.  If your boss is female, they’ve either pumped before, know someone who has, or have no idea why you do it.  Regardless, don’t ask – inform – nicely.

How often should you pump?  As often as you want.  You may become uncomfortable for having a back-up of un-expressed milk and want to do it for that reason, or you may be worried that your supply will dwindle, so you’ll want to do it more.  To give you a general idea, some women in a 9-5 job will pump two to three times while at work.

It’s inconvenient and awkward, but it’s necessary and you’ll get the hang of it.  Think of it this way – it’s a perfect opportunity to sit and do nothing for a few minutes, and with a baby at home, that’s a rarity.

Top 10 Tips on Keeping the Love Alive (with a baby)

A lot of people say they stopped having sex as soon as they had a baby.  And it can be difficult maintaining romance when many of your conversations revolve around diapers and daycare.  So where does that leave you and your honey?  You can keep the love simmering during your newfound parenthood by putting in a little extra effort.  Here are ten tips to keeping the love alive when there’s a baby running the house (and your bedroom time).

  1. Wear sexy underwear.

    Having recently had a baby, you’re probably not feeling your sexiest.  So put on some flirty undergarments to wake up the sexy that’s sleeping somewhere inside you.  If you can make yourself feel sexy, you’re more likely to be able to make the deed get done.

  2. Say I love you.

    Tell your honey you love them when it comes to you (or even if it doesn’t).  Even though they already know you do… doesn’t it make you feel good to hear it out of the blue sometimes?

  3. Have sex, even when you don’t want to.

    You’re probably not going to be in the middle of doing dishes, with spit-up drying on your shoulder, and suddenly think, “I want to have sex!”  If you’re going to keep a little steam in the relationship, you’re going to have to make the choice to do something you may not be up to.  And don’t worry – once you’re in it, you won’t be thinking about the dishes or the spit-up (as much) anymore.

  4. Do little favors for one another.

    If you’re on a boring errand at the supermarket, buy your special someone their favorite candy.  Or if you’re going to the kitchen, get them a glass of water without them needing to ask.  It’ll make you feel good, and make them feel loved and cared for.

  5. Don’t wait until the evening.

    While many of us prefer the romantic, dark room, and sultry feeling of night, your poor energy level may have no interest in such a task once the sun has gone down.  So if you’re both awake, both in the same geographical area, and the baby is busy doing its own thing, take advantage of it.

  6. Take naps.

    If you’re not going to be doing it during the day, take a nap so you’re able to tackle it that night.

  7. Get touchy feely.

    Instead of just walking by your partner while you’re both doing busy work in the kitchen, next time brush your hand across their back while you pass.  This will remind them that you haven’t forgotten how much you like touching them.

  8. Don’t lose the teenager in you.

    Remember when you used to make out on the couch in fear that parents were going to walk in?  Well, now you don’t have to worry about parents… So if you’re just watching TV, make it a little interesting next time and have yourself a make-out session.

  9. Go on a date.

    Go out with each other on something that’s more than just errands.  Even if it’s taking a walk around the neighborhood after dinner, if you’re holding hands, it’s bound to be a little romantic.

  10. Snuggle.

    When all else just wasn’t possible today, end the evening by snuggling up to them in bed.  Romance and intimacy can be just as alive without the sex.  Just be close to each other, even if you pass out while doing it.

Related Podcasts:

When Having a Baby Doesn’t Sound So Hot Anymore

No matter how much you wanted to get pregnant, no matter how much you felt like your life would never be complete if you never had a baby, you could very well be sitting there, pregnant, wondering if there’s anyway to just take it back.

There is nothing like listening to every parent (and their mother) tell you how you should get sleep now while you can, or how difficult labor will be for you, or how your life will never be the same, to make you question your initial intention. This is not to say that you’ve never thought of these things before. You’re no idiot. You’ve always known that a baby would mean a decreased social life, sex life, mental capabilities, etc. But now you’re in it. You’re pregnant. There’s no turning back. And suddenly you feel… scared.

If you express to someone that you’re afraid of the delivery the most calming thing they might be able to say to you is, “it’s coming out one way or another”. And that’s sort of a good motto for this whole shebang: you’re going to be a mother one way or another. It’s a done deal. And you know what? Most people would bet money that you’re gonna love it. You may even be lying there in the delivery room and when the doctor tells you to give one… last… push you might turn to her and say, “I’m scared to be a mother”, and she’ll probably just smile at you (knowing you have no choice in the matter now) and say, “You’ll be fine”. Because you will.

Many women have these feelings of “Wow, I wanted it so badly, but now that it’s actually coming, I don’t know if this is for me anymore” but they don’t really talk about it. It’s taboo, or irrational, or ungrateful, or immature, or… It’s normal. It probably just means you are one of the few women who truly understands what a big deal this is you’re getting yourself into. You’re no dreamer… you’re a realist. You’re one big, beautiful, hormonal realist.

Top 10 Tips For Liking Your Pre and Post Natal Body

No matter who you are, or how great your six-figure income personal trainer is, your body is going to change when you get pregnant. Being in the society we’re in, and being ladies who like to look our best, getting a thicker tush or squishier thighs is certainly something we like to avoid. But that’s one of the sacrifices, right? You wanted a baby, you gotta live with the consequences. (This attitude, of course, doesn’t make us feel the slightest bit better). Here are ten tips to help you be happy with that changing body of yours.

  1. Compliment the mirror.

    You may feel like Stuart Smalley doing it, but stand in front of the mirror (naked) and tell yourself you look great (even if you don’t believe it).

  2. Buy new clothes.

    If you’re short on cash, go to the local Wal-K-Tar-Mart and find the cheapie stuff. Just buy yourself something you like, so even if you don’t like what’s inside, you’ll like what’s outside.

  3. Don’t try on clothes you know won’t fit.

    Again, even Ms. Angelina Jolie had to leave a button or two undone when she was pregnant. You’re supposed to gain weight – so bump that size up a notch!

  4. Think about your baby and how it’s all worth it.

    Sappy, sappy, but feels good anyway. You may not look like you did before, but hold that baby or rub your tummy and know what a sweet deal you’re getting.

  5. Stop asking your partner if you look fat.

    Chances are, you just might. Most people are bad liars, and some even tell it like it is. So don’t ask the question if you can’t handle the truth.

  6. Embrace it all day long.

    “I just had a baby! Of course I look this way!” Anyone who looks at you and wonders how you could be pregnant or just had a baby and be a bit heavier is a big… dumb… idiot… completely.

  7. Don’t look at magazines

    You know those magazines that show off how preggie celebs look better now than they did before? Just ignore them. Stop comparing yourself. Speaking of Ms. Jolie, she has her own personal chef, trainer, masseuse, acupuncturist, Photoshop editor, liposuction doctor (not known as fact, just speculation, please don’t sue), and nutritionist –don’t compare your ability to keep your body in great shape with someone in her workout shoes.

  8. Don’t spend time inspecting the fat.

    While you’re looking in the mirror complimenting yourself, do not (again, do not) start tugging at the rolls to see if they’ve gotten bigger. Cut it out. Seriously.

  9. Dress like you think you look great.

    Fake it till you make it. Dress like the woman who’s got it all, and you just might start to feel like her.

  10. Just think about how fat you could have gotten!

    You can always be fatter. Congratulate yourself for doing as well as you have.

What No One Told You About Pregnancy: Part 1 The Other Varicose Vein

Just when you were getting used to wearing compression stockings for varicose veins on your legs, the pregnancy police blindsides you with yet another secret;  hemorrhoids. Yes ladies, the hemorrhoid is actually a varicose vein that makes its lovely appearance on your rectum. And, you thought your belly would be the only place to grow a bump. You may be asking what causes these painful little guys to appear and why are they so darn itchy?

  • Your Getting Bigger: Sorry to state the obvious, but itʼs true. Your growing uterus is putting pressure on your lower body, including your rectum.
  • Your Hormonal: Your pregnant hormones are causing the walls of your veins to to take a vacation and relax, thus allowing them to swell more easily.
  • Prenatal Horse Pills: The extra iron you are getting from these gigantic, yet very important pills, is hardening your bowels which can lead to constipation.
  • Burn Baby, Burn: Hemorrhoids can be painful, especially when irritated by the daily use of toilet paper. The possibility of the area not being able to kept as clean as usual, plus this irritation, can cause an uncomfortable itch.

By now you are wondering how you can treat and prevent these horrible buggers from ever occurring again. Below is a list of ways to comfort your symptoms as well as tips for changing your lifestyle so that they never come back.

  • Hot & Cold Treatments: Alternate with a cold compress to reduce swelling and a warm bath to soothe and comfort.
  • Witch Hazel: Your grandmother most likely used this method. Saturate a cotton ball with witch hazel and apply to the affected area to cool, clean and soothe all at the same time.
  • Pre-moistened Wipes: You will prefer these to rough, dry toilet paper any day. If you do use toilet paper, make sure it is does not contain color or fragrance to lessen the chance of irritation.
  • OTC Ointment: Ask your healthcare practitioner to recommend a safe topical cream (such as Preparation-H or Earth Mama Angel Baby Bottom Balm) to help shrink the hemorrhoid. Most of these products should be used for a week or less as to prevent even more inflammation or thinning of the skin tissue.
  • Eat Your Fruits & Vegetables: A diet high in fiber will help keep your bowels regular thus preventing constipation and strain. If you canʼt stomach the raw stuff, try a fiber supplement that you can mix with water or juice. Be sure to talk to your healthcare practitioner beforehand to get his/her approval.
  • Drink, Drink, Drink: Fluids will help wash that fiber down and will keep your system hydrated.
  • Exercise: It keeps your blood flowing so that it doesnʼt pool to the lower half of your body causing varicose veins in your legs, rectum and vulva. Yes; they can appear there, too.

Hemorrhoids usually get better with the methods above, but if not you may need to seek out a specialist for treatment. Although rare, minor surgery may be required to correct the problem.

Related Podcasts:

How Will The Health Care Bill Affect My Pregnancy?

The recent passing of the health care bill has been big news this week. While there are those who are thrilled with the news and those who are less than excited, one thing remains true – in form or another, this bill will have an affect on every person in some form or another. However, it can be hard to cut through all of the excess and figure out the hard facts.

A question many pregnant women are facing today is:

How will the health care bill affect my pregnancy?

Nancy Pelosi, House Speaker, has been quoted saying that the bill features help for women’s health care issues: “It’s personal for women. After we pass this bill, being a woman will no longer be a pre-existing medical condition.”

Immediate Effects For Women:

  • Insurance companies will no longer be able to charge higher premiums on the basis of gender.
  • All health plans will also now be required to cover maternity and newborn care, as well as pediatric services expanded to include dental and vision care.
  • Medicaid will expand services to pregnant women and new mothers, offering more family planning services, home visiting programs and postpartum education and support.
  • Working moms will also get a boost, as employers will be required to offer breaks and space for nursing mothers to pump breast milk.

Read more about how the health care bill affects women at Forbes.com.

Check out The Washington Post for a calculator to find out how the health bill will affect your health care costs.