The Importance of Prenatal Care

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    Whether you are pregnant with your first or fifth child, your prenatal health is essential to the best birth and long term health for you and your baby. Prenatal care helps to reduce the risk of disease and promotes health and safety for the best possible outcome.

    With so many medical tests and information a mother receives during her pregnancy, it is hard to determine what tests are necessary. Blood pressure checks, urine tests, and blood tests are considered routine in most medical offices, where as, amniocentesis, glucose tolerance tests, and cordocentesis are more invasive and potentially harmful to the baby. The risks and benefits of these tests must be carefully considered. One of the best ways to assess your risks is to educated yourself about the procedure your doctor is wanting to perform. Read about it, ask questions to your health care provider, talk to others that have had the same procedure, become as informed as possible!

    The American Pregnancy Association has some great information on pregnancy and an entire section about prenatal tests that your doctor may want to perform, if he or she feels that there is cause for concern. Being informed is essential before proceeding with any medical tests or interventions during your pregnancy, labor, or birth!

     

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Staying Healthy During Pregnancy

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Please click on the links below for some great articles on staying healthy during pregnancy.

How to Stay Healthy While You Are Pregnant 

Planning Your Healthiest Pregnancy by Age

Stress During Pregnancy Affects Fetal Development

Extreme Morning Sickness

9 Tips to Prevent Flu During Pregnancy

Dental Care and Pregnancy Tips

Battling Pain During Pregnancy

Pregnancy Should Not Be an Excuse to Stop Exercising

Women Trying to Conceive or in First 3 Months of Pregnancy, Should Not Drink Alcohol; New Guidelines Recommend

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3 Benefits of Aqua Aerobics During Pregnancy–Guest Post

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Guest Blogger, Kaitlin Gardner from An Apple Per Day, has written an excellent article on exercise and aqua aerobics during pregnancy!  Enjoy!

3 Benefits of Aqua Aerobics During Pregnancy

I learned a lot with my first pregnancy, which is precisely why I handled my second pregnancy a little differently: namely, I moved. In fact, I kept moving for the entire pregnancy and guess what happened? I was able to shed the pregnancy weight significantly faster after my second baby than after my first one. Why? I exercised throughout my entire second pregnancy. Now, I didn’t run marathons (although some have done this!), and I didn’t lift weights. I simply had fun—in the pool!

Don’t get the wrong idea: aqua aerobics is not just for water babies, or people who have enjoyed a lifetime affinity for the water. It’s easy enough that anyone can do it, and you don’t even need to know how to swim! Staying in the shallow end gives you plenty of choices for engaging exercises that challenge muscles as much or as little as you would like to. Check out the many ways to approach aqua aerobics here:

My Ultimate Guide to Aqua Aerobics

Water Aerobics and Water Fitness Exercises

Water Aerobics During Pregnancy

Let me back up a little. During my first pregnancy, I probably behaved like many first-time moms: I was careful. I also didn’t ask enough questions. If I had, I would have found out that exercising during pregnancy is not only possible, it’s encouraged! I know the title of this article is “3 Benefits of Aqua Aerobics During Pregnancy,” but there are so many more! Here are just a few, and then I’ll expand on a few of them.

Studies show that regular exercise during pregnancy has multitude of benefits, including:

Keeping weight under control
● Reducing the chances of gestational diabetes
● Reducing tension and stress
● Reducing an expectant mom’s blood pressure
● Improving mood
● Improving sleep
Weight Control

Let’s face it: At the end of the day, pregnant or not, you must burn calories to maintain a healthy weight. A 130-lb. person will burn about 470 calories per hour aqua jogging. Make your calories count and give the baby what it needs by making healthy choices: lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, plenty of lean protein (beans, chicken, and turkey) and complex carbohydrates such as brown rice and whole grains. Keep processed foods and sugar to an absolute minimum in order to give your body the best reward it can receive from aqua aerobics.

Reduced Tension/Stress

Aqua aerobics feels good. Whether it’s winter and you are easing yourself into a heated outdoor or indoor pool, or it’s summer, and the cool water is a welcome relief from the heat, aqua aerobics takes place in a soothing environment. With water’s natural buoyancy properties, you’ll feel the weight literally lifted away. And who wouldn’t like to feel “light as a feather” when she is pregnant?

Improved Sleep

Next to proper nutrition, or perhaps even more important when you are pregnant, is getting enough sleep. According to the Sleep Foundation, as little as 150 minutes per week of moderate to vigorous activity can provide a 65% increase in sleep quality. When you exercise during the day, and give yourself the whole-body workout that aqua aerobics provides, your muscles will have been challenged from head to toe—which means they will need sleep as much as you do.

Not only did I feel better during my second pregnancy, according to my friends and family, I looked better! More sleep at night helped me have a refreshed look in the morning. The outdoor activity kept my skin color glowing. My blood pressure remained normal and my weight gain stayed right within the range that my doctor wanted me to target.

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Kaitlin Gardner started An Apple Per Day to explore her passion for a green living lifestyle, and healthy family living. She and her husband have just moved to rural Pennsylvania, where they enjoy exploring the countryside and discovering interesting and out of the way places. She is also learning how to paint with watercolors.

Postpartum Depression, Health, and Wellbeing

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Can Having a Baby Give You Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

Paternal Postpartum Depression: The Daddy Blues

Weight Risks of Depression Meds During Pregnancy

Postpartum Depression

City Women and Postpartum Depression

Why Are America’s Postpartum Practices So Rough on New Mothers?

Zoloft And Breastfeeding: Is It Right For You And Your Baby?

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Postpartum Depression Hurts Families, But it Doesn’t Have To

Skin-to-Skin Contact Helps Alleviate The Baby Blues

Exercise Holds Key To Physical and Emotional Well-Being Of Pregnant Women

Postnatal Depression Blood Test Breakthrough” or Churnalism?

Neuronetics, Inc., Announces First Patients Enrolled in Clinical Trial to Evaluate NeuroStar TMS Therapy in Women with Postpartum Depression

Growing Number of Resources for Postpartum Depression Sufferers

5 Tips for Battling Postpartum Depression

Perinatal Depression: Self-Care for Moms of School-Aged Children

Hormones, Sleep, and The Unexpected Side of Pregnancy

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Pregnancy Hormone For Traumatic Brain Injury

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Pregnancy and Abuse –

How to Stay Safe for Your 9 Months

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Couple Makes Creative Stop Motion Time-Lapse Pregnancy Video

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Anything But Bliss – The Unexpected Side of Pregnancy

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Poor Sleep in Pregnancy Can Disrupt Immune System

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Crisis Pregnancy Centers Should Level With Women

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Screening for Postpartum Depression, Family Relationships, and Treatment

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The Problems with the Screening Process for Postpartum Depression

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Sarah’s Journey Through Postpartum Depression

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Is it Baby Blues or Postpartum Depression?

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Mother Cuddling Newborn Baby In Bed At Home

Family Relationships: Postpartum Depression Impacts Everyone

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The Efficacy of Postpartum Depression Screening

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Postpartum Depression Still Stigmatized

“Programs give new moms help with struggles”

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Postpartum Depression Deserves Greater Public Awareness

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Who Will Screen for Postpartum Depression?

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Dealing with Postpartum Depression

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Postpartum Depression Cheat Sheet

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Postpartum Depression After One Year

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Book Review: Nobody Told Me…My Battle with Postpartum Depression & OCD

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Pregnancy and Midwifery

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Eating Fish During Pregnancy Tied to Lower Anxiety

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Taking Texas-Sized Steps to End Teen Pregnancy

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Improved Pregnancy Test Exposes Birth Defect Much Earlier

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Pregnancy Date May Influence Baby’s Health

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Women Who Smoke During Pregnancy Are More Likely to Have Sons With a Low Sperm Count

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7 Facts About Delivering With a Midwife

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Things Your Midwife Wants You to Know – The OB Edition

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California Midwives Push to Scrap Doctor-Supervision Requirement for Home Births

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