Category Archives: Parenting & Families

Exercise During Pregnancy Exercise During Pregnancy


Exercises during pregnancy are designed to improve the muscle tone of specific in this case, those areas involved in childbirth—and to relieve tension. Doing all of the following exercises slowly and in jerky movements can overstretch tendons and ligaments, and possibly even joints. In the beginning, do each exercise only two to three times per…
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Effects of Cigarette Smoking During Pregnancy Effects of Cigarette Smoking During Pregnancy


Smoking during pregnancy is considered to be one of the leading preventable causes of low birth weight. Pregnant smokers give birth to smaller babies, greater chances of premature birth and placental malformations, and have premature rupture of the membranes and stillbirths. Their babies also have a higher incidence of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and…
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Emotional Symptoms During First Trimester Pregnancy Emotional Symptoms During First Trimester Pregnancy


Many expectant mothers spend the first trimester accepting the fact that they are pregnant and coming to terms with the implications. This is true for other family members as well. You may find yourself drawing inward and focusing on the changes in your body and on your fears and dreams. You may increasingly vulnerable to…
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Third Trimester Body Changes During Pregnancy Third Trimester Body Changes During Pregnancy


The major physical changes that women experience during the third trimester include the following: Uterus. Toward the end of pregnancy, the uterus reaches the breastbone, or sternum, and measures about 11 by 14 inches. Lightening occurs from 1 to 6 weeks before delivery. This means that the baby’s head settles downward into the pelvis and…
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Second Trimester Body Changes During Pregnancy Second Trimester Body Changes During Pregnancy


The major physical changes that women experience during the second trimester include the following: The Uterus. The uterus begins to expand out of the pelvis and into the abdominal cavity by the fourteenth week. By the twentieth week, which is midway through the second trimester, the uterus is usually at the level of the navel….
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Ultrasound Ultrasound


Ultrasound was developed during World War I when high frequency sound waves were used to detect enemy submarines. The form of ultrasound used in pregnancy testing uses intermittent sound waves. The sound waves are directed into the woman’s abdomen, with an outline of the placenta, and other structures involved in the pregnancy transmitted to a…
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Alpha Fetoprotein Screening Alpha Fetoprotein Screening


Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) screening is a blood test done on the woman between the fifteenth and eighteenth weeks of pregnancy to screen for feta abnormalities. AFP is a protein produced by the baby. A high level of AFP in the woman’s blood indicates a possible open neural tube defect, such as spina bifida or anencephaly. A…
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Sex During Early Pregnancy Sex During Early Pregnancy


During pregnancy, you undergo many changes, both physical and emotional. How you react to these changes, how openly you can talk with your partner and whether your caregiver makes you feel comfortable discussing love all play a role in your attitude as a couple toward sex during pregnancy. Your husband may find you more desirable…
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Fertilization Fertilization


A baby is created by the union of an egg cell from a woman’s body and a sperm cell from a man’s body. This union is called fertilization and marks the terming of pregnancy. Each egg and sperm cell contains half of the genetic material, or chromosomes, necessary to begin human life. These chromosomes contain…
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How to Choose a Caregiver How to Choose a Caregiver


Your caregiver is the person you select to provide your prenatal care and to deliver your baby. It is the doctor or midwife that you hire to be your health care provider. The choice of this important person may have a significant effect on the type of birth experience you have. You should consider how…
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Pregnancy and Diabetes Pregnancy and Diabetes


Diabetes is a condition characterized by a high level of sugar, or glucose the blood. Diabetes that occurs only in pregnancy is known as gestational betel. During pregnancy, hormones cause the woman’s insulin to be effective at metabolizing glucose. The resulting high blood sugar can lead complications in both the woman and baby. The condition…
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