If you've received a positive on a pregnancy test, congratulations! False positives are incredibly rare, though many people still mistake a negative with a positive on an analog home pregnancy test. Always make sure you read the instructions on your pregnancy test carefully! Pregnancy tests, whether taken at home or at the doctor's office, test for a hormone called hCG in the blood or urine. HCG is a very good indicator of pregnancy; the chemical is released by placental tissues as part of placental implantation, and remains critical throughout pregnancy. That means that, for the most part, if you get [...]
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According to the CDC, gestational diabetes is a problem for approximately 9% of pregnancies. This condition can have serious and lasting side effects for both mother and baby, but many women do not know what it is. A pregnant woman is said to have gestaitonal diabetes if she has high blood sugar levels during pregnancy, but did not have diabetes before. That means gestational diabetes is a problem for women who may never had to think about diabetes and blood sugar levels before! Unfortunately, hormones released during pregnancy can raise insulin resistance and cause temporary problems with blood sugar levels. [...]
Many women believe that exercising while pregnant is too dangerous -- and then there are women who take the other extreme. One woman proudly told me about how she had kept up her habit of high-exertion hiking throughout her pregnancy, even doing a ten-mile hike the weekend before she gave birth! As is usually the case, neither extreme is correct. Exercise may, in fact, be quite beneficial to both you and your baby during pregnancy. However, discussing your exercise routine with your doctor is especially important when you are pregnant. Some exercises can be quite dangerous, especially nearing the end [...]
A lot of women ask when they should start taking prenatal vitamins. Our answer? Immediately. If you're a woman of child bearing age, it's especially important that you get enough folic acid. Folic acid is required for proper development of the neural tube of a baby in the first few weeks after conception. That means that your baby may suffer from the effects of folic acid deficiency before you even know you're pregnant. Neural tube defects may be mild, like in the case of spina bifida occulta, or may be fatal, as is often the case with anencephaly. 400 mcg [...]
Yesterday, the FDA took yet another step toward updating their fish consumption advice for pregnant women. They are closing their draft update to comments to begin further review. Last year, the FDA came out with a draft update to their advice regarding fish consumption. The proposed new advice comes following an FDA analysis that found very low levels of fish consumption in pregnant women in the United States: 75% of surveyed women consumed less than half of the USDA's recommended minimum for seafood consumption, while 20% had reported no seafood consumption at all in the last month. The current official [...]