Top 10 Questions of Moms to be
Becoming a mom can be one of the most exciting times of a woman’s life. Many women will tell you that they have always dreamed of being a mom. They can tell you how they spent all of their youth mothering dolls, other children, and pets. On the other hand, some women never dreamed that they would be mothers. They may have had no idea what the future held, or they may have planned for careers and education.
No matter what type of planning (or lack of planning) has gone into you becoming a mother, we all have many similarities and, of course, many differences. In trying to answer some questions that seem to be pretty consistent and similar from expecting moms and new moms we’ve created the list below. If there is something you are curious about and don’t see the answer, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
1. What should I and shouldn’t I be eating?
Now's the time to really start thinking about food as medicine (if you don't already). Everything you eat will be broken down into smaller molecules that will be transported from your blood to your baby's via the placenta. So, would you rather your child's blood be made of the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients found in whole foods, or the toxins, fat, and artificial junk that's masquerading as food and committing some of the worst health crimes the world's ever seen? We thought so. It's smart to be aware of what your basic nutritional goals should be (though not to feel guilty if you don't hit them every day). You should strive for the following:
Nine or more servings (fistfuls) of fruits and vegetables:
Three or more servings of whole-grain products
Three or more servings of lean protein
Three or four servings of calcium-rich foods
Other bad choices:
While it is your job to provide a good nutritional environment for your growing baby, you don't have to feel bad if you occasionally stray from our recommendations. Forty weeks is a mighty long time, and if on some days you stray from the ideal, that's perfectly normal -- and perfectly okay. The important thing is to eat well most of the time.
2. Which Pre-natal Vitamins should I be taking?
Here is a rundown of the key nutrients to help support a healthy pregnancy. Just because you take the below vitamins, does not mean you can eat poorly, so always make a good effort to eat healthy foods.
Vitamin A: Aids in cell development and brain growth, but in LIMITED AMOUNTS. It has been suggested that excessive amounts of vitamin A can increase risk of birth defects. (Be careful not to eat too many protein, breakfast, or meal-replacement bars). Get into the habit of checking the FDA nutrition labels on everything you eat.
Vitamin B6: Low levels of B6 have been associated with a delay in the development of the nervous system. Also, inadequate amounts are also linked to problems for you (Mom), like morning sickness, preeclampsia, and complications during delivery. 3mg, two times/day is good.
Vitamin B9: Adequate amounts of this extremely important prenatal nutrient (also known as Folate) help reduce the risk of specific birth defects, like spina bifida. It also reduces your infant's cancer risk for the first 6 years of life. At least 400mcg from supplements like pre-natal folic acid, and another 400mcg from foods.
Calcium: Most healthy babies accumulate about 30 grams of calcium in bone mass. As a result, mom needs to make sure she gets adequate amounts of Calcium so she can maintain her own bone strength while also getting baby the amount s/he needs to grow. 600 milligrams of calcium citrate (twice/day), plus 200mg of Magnesium (twice/day). Calcium without magnesium has a tendency to lead to constipation. Also, try to eat 2-4 servings of calcium/day.
Iron: An adequate amount of iron every day is a must. 20mg/day should do the job.
DHA: The omega-3 fatty acid DHA is of utmost importance to both your child's brain and your own. A growing fetus is very demanding on your omega-3 fatty acid reserves (brain development), as a result its important that you are getting them through diet and/or supplements. DHA is helpful in repairing damaged brain cells. A minimum of 250mg/day of DHA from fish or supplements is recommended, though upwards of 900mg/day. Check with your doctor to figure out what’s appropriate for you.
Zinc: Low levels of zinc have been linked to increased chance of birth defects, low birth weight, miscarriage, and even some behavior problems down the road. 10mg two times/day is recommended.
Other recommended vitamins:
3. What can I do to relieve morning sickness?
Truth is that a lot of things can help you feel better and the honest truth is that, you don’t know which ones will help until you experiment a bit and see what your body likes best. Here is a list of things that seems to help most woman:
4. Can my baby hear from inside my womb?
Fetuses hear a lot like how we hear a conversation through a thin wall or closed door (lots of low muffled tones, not a lot of high frequencies). They are able to hear voices filtered through tissues, bones, and fluid. So by about week 24, they recognize and are calmed by their mothers' voice. Now, they can't distinguish one word from another; rather, the rhythm and melody of voices they hear serve as their foundation for language. That's why so many moms read aloud to their children, even before that first night out of the womb. It is encouraged that you make it a practice to read aloud to your growing baby. Not just for brain development but also so your baby can hear your voice so s/he can create an auditory bond at an early age. Listening to music is also recommended during and after pregnancy as it is helpful to brain development.
5. Is it safe to have sex during pregnancy?
As with all things pregnancy related, your mood swings will define how interested you are in sex. And if you want to have sex, go ahead – as long as your pregnancy is proceeding normally, you can have sex as often as you like. If your uterus is in the typical spot, there is no risk of hurting your baby from impact. Keep in mind that the standard missionary position is likely to get uncomfortable as your belly gets larger. There are cases in which you shouldn’t have sex, and your doctor will let you know about that. S/he may recommend that you refrain if you have any risk of pre-term labor, or if your cervix begins to open early, have placenta previa, or if you’re leaking amniotic fluid. And of course, if you don’t feel like... then just don’t, it is ok to not want to. Be sure to let your husband read this ;-)
6. How do I sleep in a position that is good for my baby (and stay asleep)?
Here are some suggestions to help you get a comfortable night’s sleep when your body is just not listening to your mind:
7. What should I absolutely stay away from?
8. Will my body ever be what it was before I got pregnant?
After nine months of your body being kicked, torn, & stretched, you might think—What the heck happened to my body?? Here are some guidelines to help you get fitting back into your old clothes:
Weight: You see a few moms who can fit into their size 2 jeans just hours after pregnancy… well, those cases are extremely rare cases. The best approach is to be patient. Remember that it took nine months to add the weight, and a good goal is to take nine months to drop it. Breastfeeding will speed it up. Most women hang on to the last few pounds until they wean their babies. The key is to make sure that you have sound nutrition. You should also create a workout routine. Any good weight loss program is not only about the tools but also about your expectations and attitude. Be realistic and make smart choices and those old comfy jeans will be hugging your hips in no time. Remember-- No jogging while carrying a baby because you want to avoid any shaking of his/her little brain.
Abs: The prospect of trying to eliminate your post-pregnancy belly and find your toned abs is a tough one. There are a number of ab workouts you can build into a routine, as well as yoga poses like modified cat, which is done while you're standing in the shower. It helps the abs without putting a whole lot of pressure on the muscles. Keep in mind, a flat stomach is not only about core strength but also eating right. This means avoiding the simple carbs that set up camp on your hips or waist unless you are running marathons to burn the sugar.
9. How do I help my baby adjust to life outside my body?
As wonderful an experience as parenthood is, the bleep hits the fan pretty much the moment baby enters the outside world. S/He needs to eat, you need to sleep; your nipples are sore, and your brain is numb; s/he gets gassy on a 24/7 basis, which of course leads to crying. About 1 to 2 hours a day on average, crying is his main means of communication. While it tests our nerves, it is totally normal, and soon you'll learn to decipher what s/he is trying to tell you. Here are some techniques that can help you keep your little one calm and comfy in those first weeks and months:
Skin-to-skin contact. Rest the baby's front on your chest for a few hours a day. Called "kangaroo care," it's been linked to calmer babies, improved breathing, fewer infections, and better sleep sync between mom and child. Many cultures follow this practice. In the early days, it was found to increase the survival rates for low-birth-weight infants. It's now being used as an adjunct to help treat preemies, but still is recommended for fostering a good parent-child relationship in normal babies.
Kangaroo carry. Hold your baby in front of you, like a kangaroo, well as much as you can anyway. It's a perfect way to carry your newborn. In this position, s/ he can smell you, hear your heart and lungs, and feel the warmth of your body. All together creating an even greater bond.
Swaddle. Some people think this seemingly mathematical formula for wrapping a blanket around a baby is done for warmth, and some think it's for comfort. (Still others think that the full-body swaddle seems more like a straitjacket than anything else.) But the major reason swaddling is so important is because it helps limit the startle reflex, so babies don't wake themselves up.
Daily massages. In a few years, you'll bond with your baby on car rides, shopping trips, and Sunday morning snuggles. In the first few months, one of the best ways to bond is a daily massage routine that will help relax him (and you). It's especially nice for dads who feel out of the loop with breastfeeding moms -- and it's also been shown to have innumerable other benefits, such as teaching a baby to deal with stress, calming colicky babies, stimulating nerves in the brain that facilitate food absorption, improving immune function, and helping babies fall asleep more easily. Do it when he's quiet, yet not ready to fall asleep. Here's how. And pick the same soft music each time; he will connect the sound of the music with the relaxation of the massage.
10. What my husband do to be more involved during my pregnancy?
Seven simple things he can do to show his love during your pregnancy: