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Month: July 2016

5 Tips for Staying Fit While Pregnant

As an expectant mother, carrying around a baby in the womb can be exhausting. All you want to do is kick up your swollen feet and relax, but the fact is that exercise and proper eating can help fight uncomfortable symptoms and make a better overall experience for you and your baby. A fitness routine can help fight fatigue, ensure a better night’s sleep and ease constipation. We’ve compiled several tips to keep in mind as you strive to stay fit while pregnant.

1. Avoid Sugar & Bad Carbs
Sugar and bad carbs will increase extra pregnancy weight and fluid gains. Too much blood sugar converts to body fat which builds up around your stomach, hips, breasts and arms. Try limiting the amount of processed carbs such as white bread, breakfast cereal, pasta and baked goods.

2. Increase Good Fat & Protein
The word “fat” in food automatically gets a bad reputation. However, eating healthy monounsaturated and saturated fats like olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil and quality butter provides you with vitamins A, D, E and K, which are crucial for not only your well-being but also your baby’s development. Quality meats, whole dairy and eggs are also good sources of protein for a complete diet. Protein will reduce your cravings, help you stop snacking on junk food and will help you stabilize your blood glucose level.

3. Drink Enough Water
Drinking plenty of water during your pregnancy will make sure you stay hydrated, which helps reduce fatigue and nausea. Being well-hydrated can also prevent you from overeating. Usually, when you’re hungry your body is really just saying it’s thirsty. We recommend drinking at least 68 ounces of water a day during your pregnancy and more if you’re physically active.

4. Get Plenty of Sleep
Even though it’s important to be physically active, it’s equally as important to get enough rest. Your body improves the most while you are sleeping, which is valuable during pregnancy. If you aren’t sleeping soundly, take steps to get your sleeping on track. Try to get at least eight hours of sleep each night. Your body is growing a baby and you need much more rest than normal.

5. Exercise
To stay motivated with your fitness routine, it helps if you find activities that you enjoy doing. Modify your exercise programs by reducing duration and intensity so you don’t danger your baby by overexerting your body. Choose specific pregnancy exercises that you will enjoy keeping up with during this journey to birth.

Listening to your body is the key to staying in shape during pregnancy. Consult with your doctor if you have any health concerns while carrying your new baby. Your doctor is happy to work with you to create a strategic plan that will ensure you have a safe and healthy delivery.

What You Need to Know About Zika and Pregnancy

Zika virus disease (Zika) is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week after being bitten by an infected mosquito. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika. For this reason, many people might not realize they have been infected.

Zika and Birth Defects

A pregnant woman can contract Zika through the bite of an infected mosquito and also through sexual intercourse with an infected person. A pregnant woman is able to pass the virus to her fetus during pregnancy or at delivery.  Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly. In addition to microcephaly, fetuses and infants infected with Zika virus before birth may experience eye defects, hearing loss and impaired growth.

The Future of Zika

There’s still more research being done to better understand the extent of the impact Zika virus has on mothers and their children. Based on the available evidence, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) think that Zika virus infection in a woman who is not pregnant would not pose a risk for birth defects in future pregnancies after the virus has cleared from her blood. From what the CDC knows about similar infections, once a person has been infected with Zika virus, he or she is likely to be protected from a future Zika infection.

Preventing Zika

Until the CDC knows more, it is recommended that special precautions are made for pregnant women. Women who are pregnant should not travel to any area where Zika virus is spreading. If you must travel to one of these areas, talk to your doctor or other healthcare provider first and strictly follow precautions during your trip.

Take steps to prevent mosquito bites by wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants while you’re outdoors. Stay in places with air conditioning and window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside. Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents as directed. Remove or stay away from mosquito breeding sites like containers with standing water.

Prevent yourself from getting Zika through sex by using a condom every time you have sex with a partner who has lived in or traveled to an area with Zika virus. To be effective, condoms must be used correctly from start to finish, every time during sex. Since Zika through sexual transmission is possible, both men and women should strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during their trip.

Contracting Zika

If you suspect you have Zika or you have traveled to an area with Zika, it’s important that you talk to your doctor even if you don’t feel sick. Your baby’s health is at risk, and it’s best to know whether or not you have Zika so you can take proper care.

Resource: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at cdc.gov