Chocolate, wine, caffeine; it seems like every couple of days a new report on the benefits of one of these substances comes out. Unfortunately, a lot of those pro-wine and pro-caffeine arguments go out the window when you're pregnant. But I have good news; if you're pregnant, you may want to consider eating more chocolate. A number of research studies have shown that chocolate, especially dark chocolate, benefits pregnancy. A study in 2008 found that theobromine (a key chemical in chocolate) concentrations in the umbilical cord were inversely associated with preeclampsia.1 A study in 2010 found that pregnant women with [...]
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With the increased weight of the baby bump pulling your center of gravity off and the increased stress as you try to prepare for your baby, it's no wonder mothers so often complain of back pain. But it's not just the baby's weight or your tense muscles contributing to back pains -- it's your hormones, too. The hormones that physically prepare you for giving birth affect joints and ligaments throughout your body, leaving you more prone to injury -- and back aches. This pain may be localized in the lower back, or it may radiate down through the buttocks and [...]
Everyone's heard the phrase "eating for two." Many women enjoy their ability to eat however much they want while pregnant, no longer having to worry about developing a belly. But a pregnant woman should not be eating for two, at least not if she wants to stay healthy and have the safest pregnancy. In fact, during the first trimester, there should be virtually no increase in caloric intake, and only a very small weight gain. Being underweight or overweight during pregnancy can increase the risk of of complications including preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, preterm delivery, miscarriage, and more. Gaining more weight [...]
The dietary supplement industry made headline news last February, and it wasn't good news. Unfortunately, the story was part of a much larger problem. Let me explain. The State of Dietary Supplements Dietary supplements sold within the United States are not evaluated by the FDA before sale. Examples of products that fall under the dietary supplement umbrella include: capsules of a powdered botanical, multivitamin gummies, bottles of fish oil, over-the-counter weight loss pills, and more. If you're wondering if a product is classified as a dietary supplement or not, check the label. Dietary supplements are required to use the "Supplemental [...]
You may have heard (or read) about your baby's mental and especially auditory development. If you haven't asked specifically about the baby's development in the womb, you may only have heard about hearing milestones after birth. Language -- not just the ability to talk, but the ability to recognize speech patterns and try to join in -- is one of the developmental milestones that people care the most about, but we don't tend to see significant signs of it till months after birth. The thing is, this development begins before birth. Your baby's inner ear becomes fully developed somewhere around [...]