5 Different Shots for Your Pregnancy Photos (Guest Post)

Whether this is your first born or your third, you want to capture that special time during your pregnancy. Instead of your typical mother and father shots, here are a few other ideas to consider before you get in front of that camera:

Silhouette: A pregnant woman’s silhouette can be one of the most beautiful images. It’s a soft image that evokes a lot of emotion. Wearing a solid, soft color and somewhat fitted outfit, stand in front of natural light, like the light coming from a bedroom window. Pull your hair back off of your face and neck for a more serene shot. Your photographer will know how to shoot this shot.

Cravings: A very cute and fun idea is to take a photograph with a white board or chalk board beside you. In fun handwriting and colors, write how far along you are and what your current food cravings are. This will be a great shot for when the years pass; you can look back and remember the little things like your love for pickles and ice cream.

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Gum Disease and Pregnancy (Guest Post)

As if pregnant mothers don't have enough to worry about, they can now add oral hygiene to the list of potential concerns. Periodontal disease can affect women at any stage of life, but the effects can be more pronounced during pregnancy. Pregnancy hormones themselves can cause additional swelling and bleeding of the gums in an otherwise healthy mouth. While annoying, this isn't a problem for most women as long as they continue regular dental care. However, for a woman with gum disease this additional swelling and bleeding can exacerbate symptoms. The potential risk is that ongoing and untreated gum infections can pose a risk to the developing foetus.

In a perfect world good oral hygiene would be taken care of before a woman becomes pregnant. But let's assume routine cleaning appointments have been missed. In that case, a trip to the dentist is in order once a pregnancy is confirmed. New research indicates that untreated periodontal disease can lead to premature birth and low birth weight in an otherwise healthy infant. A dentist can identify the signs of periodontal disease and devise a treatment plan for the mother.

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Morning Sickness: When Nausea Rears its Ugly Heave (Guest Post)

10 stomach-easing home remedies for expectant moms

Why is it that some women never have the slightest touch of morning sickness during pregnancy—while others are doomed to vomit the entire time? It doesn’t seem fair, does it? Well, you’re not alone. According to the March of Dimes you’re in the company of half of America’s pregnant women. That’s right, 50% of expectant moms suffer from morning sickness.

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Laser Eye Surgery During Pregnancy (Guest Article)

Is it safe to get laser eye surgery if I am pregnant?

Laser eye surgery is performed on approximately 100,000 people in the UK each year and its popularity continues to grow. There are 2 main types of laser eye surgery and they are Lasik and Lasek, both of which produce similar results but Lasik has a much quicker and more comfortable recovery period. There are many things that pregnant women have to avoid and is laser eye surgery another one to add to list?

Whilst there is no danger performing laser eye surgery on a pregnant woman, it is generally not advised to do so and the reasons are as follows:

Change in prescription: This is most important reason why you should not have laser eye surgery if you are pregnant. During pregnancy and in the first few months after giving birth, there are considerable changes to the hormones levels in your body. These hormonal changes can lead to a change in your prescription that could mean that your laser eye surgery is not long lasting. If you imagine that before you got pregnant your prescription in your glasses was -3.00 Dioptres and then during pregnancy your prescription changed to -2.00 Dioptres. If your eyes were lasered whilst pregnant, your laser eye surgeon would correct your -2.00 prescription. After your eyes had settled down following giving birth, your eyes normally revert back to what they were prior to being pregnant which would mean you were still -1.00 prescription and would therefore need glasses! It is for this reason that you should wait at least 3 months after giving birth before you consider laser eye surgery.

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5 Tips for Dealing with Unplanned Pregnancies (Guest Post)

When you think of pregnancy, you probably think of a vibrant young woman glowing with the anticipation of her first child. You probably imagine happy couples planning every last detail of their to-be infant’s new room, friends gathering for baby showers, and grandparents basking in their new-found titles in life. What you probably don’t think of are those couples who didn’t plan on having a child. You probably don’t think of those women that suddenly found themselves unprepared for their new role in life, unsure of what to do and how to act. Whether the unplanned pregnancy is a happy surprise or not, you still have to figure out what to do next. Here are five tips for dealing with unplanned pregnancies:

1. Get Educated

Since you weren’t planning on getting pregnant, it’s likely that you haven’t spent any time learning about pregnancy and what to expect. Now is the time to break out the baby books and soak in as much information as possible.

2. Start Saving

Having a child is an expensive adventure, so you will want to start saving some money to lessen the blow of all of the unforeseen costs you’ll soon be encountering. Any money you can put away in anticipation of the birth is better than no money!

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What is a Midwife? (Guest Post)

This post is written by Erica Moss. Erica is the social media outreach coordinator for the online Masters in Nursing program at Georgetown University, which has one of the nation’s leading nursing education programs. Outside of work, Erica is an avid dog lover who loves photography and meeting new people.

One of the most common misconceptions about midwives is that they only handle childbirth. In fact, midwives are part of the entire birthing process, from pre-natal care and counseling, through the delivery to post partum care. Midwives work to identify the individual and family needs of each patient, and counsel and support mothers, not only physically, but also emotionally and socially. In addition to involvement with pregnancies, midwives also perform annual gynecological exams, care during menopause and other normal obstetrical functions.

Midwives come in different forms depending on education and practice. They fall into two larger groups: nurse-midwives and direct-entry midwives, and the differences between them are important.

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Fear of Childbirth Increases Likelihood of C-Section (Press Release)

A new study published in the international journal Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica (AOGS) reveals that fear of childbirth is a predisposing factor for emergency and elective cesarean sections, even after psychological counseling. This may mean a negative experience that lasts a lifetime among the approximately 3% of women who in this study were estimated to suffer from excessive fear of childbirth.

Led by Professor Gunilla Sydsjo of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University Hospital in Linköping, Central Sweden, researchers analyzed the antenatal and delivery records of 353 women who were referred to a unit for psychosocial obstetrics and gynecology because of fear of childbirth, and 579 women without fear of childbirth.

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Sonoline B Professional Pocket Fetal Doppler (Product Review)

Like many mums-to-be, I've always loved that moment when you first hear your baby's little heart beat. Then when I'm at home and it's still too soon to feel any movements, I begin to worry about whether or not the baby is still alive. So, this time around, I decided since I don't have to buy too many baby products, I'd buy a little foetal doppler so I could listen in myself when I was feeling worried.

I did a little research and chose the Sonoline B Professional Pocket Fetal Doppler (which can be used from as early as 10-12 weeks) due to the good reviews it gets and because it has a little LCD display which shows how many beats per minute your baby's heart is beating. It can be listened to via a built-in loud speaker or you can plug earphones into the headphone socket. It also has a volume control and if you want to you can use the headphone socket with a recording cable to record the noises onto your computer or a cd. I haven't yet tried this feature but hope to do so before baby arrives in order to have a permanent reminder of that lovely little beating heart!

It's a great little gadget, although I'm aware such devices need to be used with caution and should never be used instead of routine visits to the doctor or if you're seriously worried about your baby's movements.

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Medications in Pregnancy - Who to Ask... Pharmacist or GP?

I was told by my hospital after my first antenatal blood test that my iron levels were low and that they'd been in touch with my GP to get me started on an iron substitute. It wasn't really a big surprise to me as I don't eat red meat so I'd anticipated my iron might be an issue. What did surprise me though was that from 8 weeks pre-pregnancy up until the 12 week pregnancy blood test I'd been taking a very well known pregnancy vitamin and mineral supplement!

Well, since my so-called supplements contained iron, I knew I'd have to stop taking them as I didn't want to risk overdoing the iron with my prescription medicine.

However, at my last antenatal visit, I was given my maternity notes to take home with me. Reading through them I discovered that pregnant women are advised to take Vitamin D supplements and to increase their calcium intake. So, at 30 weeks pregnant I decided I'd better get started as apparently the baby's bones are strengthening in the third trimester and require more of both of these compounds.

I called into a local pharmacy to speak to a pharmacist to ask her to recommend a suitable supplement as I don't get a huge amount of calcium in my diet (since I don't eat a lot of dairy food) and the weather in Ireland in Autumn is not really conducive to adequate levels of Vitamin D!

I must admit to feeling a little let down when she appeared to ignore the fact I was taking prescription strength iron and headed straight to the pregnancy supplement I'd been taking before my blood results were given to me!

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Elle TENS Machine - Great Pain Relief During Early Labour (Product Review)

I've been starting to put together some bits and pieces for my labour bag and yes, I know it's a bit early since I still officially have ten and a half weeks to go, but considering each of my children came earlier than the last I'm telling myself I might only have 7 weeks before the big day.

Anyway, as I was sorting through what I may and may not need I came across my Elle TENS machine. In case you've not come across TENS machines before, the initials stand for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation and what they do is produce an mild electrical current  which stimulates the nerves in the body to react to pain in the form of natural painkillers, known as endorphins. The more endorphins, the less the pain - this explains why people can be seriously injured in accidents and not feel any pain until afterwards when the endorphins are no longer being produced. Thankfully, after a baby is born, the pain is gone so you don't have to worry about suffering any longer!Many women use TENS machines in the early stages of labour to help them cope before using other forms of pain relief during childbirth.

Before buying the one I currently own I actually hired one before the birth of my first child but, typically for me, she made an appearance the day before it arrived. I didn't bother with one the second time around because first time early labour hadn't been too painful. That was a mistake. With my second daughter I was sent home from hospital in absolute agony because I apparently wasn't in established labour!

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