Posts Tagged ‘gums and teeth’

Beware of ‘Pregorexia’

Friday, August 22nd, 2008

A lot of changes happen to moms during their nine months of pregnancy.   From changes in hair, to gums and teeth, to breasts and skin, Mother Nature uses this precious time to transform a woman’s body into a safe and healthy haven for her new baby.

But of all the changes taking place, many moms might find themselves most concerned with how much weight to gain during pregnancy.  The CBS Early Show recently did a segment on “pregorexia” and how some moms take extreme measures of limiting how much food they eat to lessen the amount of pounds they put on during pregnancy. This kind of behavior can cause severe harm to an unborn baby.  Fad diets can reduce the nutrients your baby needs for his growth and health. 

It’s important that pregnant moms eat a healthy, well-balanced diet.  On average, women need an extra 300 calories a day to support the growth and development of their baby. You can get these extra calories by adding a small snack between meals, so make healthy choices.  With your health provider’s OK, you should also do at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise on most, if not all, days.

As far as weight gain, women who are at a normal weight before pregnancy should gain between 25-35 pounds.  If you’re currently overweight, aim for a range of 15-25 pounds to avoid developing complications during pregnancy such as gestational diabetes or high blood pressure.

Remember – the healthier you are during your pregnancy, the healthier your baby will be.

ABC’s of a healthy pregnancy, R–Z

Thursday, July 24th, 2008

This is the final post in our series, the ABC’s of a healthy pregnancy.  Please read our previous posts on guidelines A–G and H–Q to help increase your chances of having a healthy baby.

R: Rodents, including pet hamsters, mice and guinea pigs, should be avoided during pregnancy.  These animals can spread diseases that can harm your baby.

S: Stressing out?  Pregnancy is a stressful time for many women.  Very high levels of stress may contribute to preterm birth or low birth weight in full-term babies. Recognize that you do indeed feel stressed and, when possible, avoid situations that cause you stress.

T: Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by a parasite and can pose serious risks to a woman’s unborn baby. Stay away from raw or undercooked meat, especially lamb or pork.  Wash hands frequently and avoid handling cat litter.

U: The urge to urinate often increases in pregnant women.  To help deal with frequent urination, avoid caffeine beverages such as coffee or tea that can make you urinate more frequently.

V: Vaccines can protect you and your baby against infections that can be harmful.  If you are pregnant or planning pregnancy, ask your health provider if your vaccinations are up to date.  Find out which vaccines you should consider taking before or during pregnancy.

W: How much weight a pregnant woman should gain depends on her health and body mass index (BMI).  Calculate your BMI using your height and weight before pregnancy.  Women with a normal BMI should expect to gain between 25-35 pounds during pregnancy.   Women who are overweight and have a high BMI should gain between 15-25 pounds.

X: X-rays should be avoided during pregnancy.  If you need to have dental work or medical tests done while pregnant, tell your provider so extra care can be taken.

Y:  Your body may experience several changes during pregnancy including your hair, gums and teeth, breasts and skin.  These changes are common and women can take steps to alleviate their symptoms to feel more comfortable.

Z:  Get your ZZZZZs. Most women are more tired than usual during pregnancy, especially during early and late pregnancy.  Get plenty of rest. If you’re having trouble sleeping, try taking a warm shower, napping during the day, going to bed earlier and using pillows to make you comfortable.