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A Study suggests that eating a high-fiber diet during pregnancy may cut the risk of celiac disease for the baby

224 Views 07,June 2019

If women eat a high-fiber diet during pregnancy, their child may be at lower risk of celiac disease, a new study suggests.

Celiac disease causes gluten intolerance, in which the immune system mis-identifies gluten from wheat, barley and rye as a pathogen and tries to fight the small intestine, causing diarrhea and other gastrointestinal problems.

About one percent of the population has the autoimmune disease - and it's seen a steep rise in recent years. But by eating plenty of broccoli, beans, fruits, potatoes and other high-fiber foods while carrying a baby, a woman may be able to help protect her child from developing celiac disease, a Norwegian study suggests. Researcher at the European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN) found that for every 10g more fiber women ate each day, their children's risks for celiac disease declined by eight percent. Not only does celiac disease mean those who develop it will have to spend the rest of their lives dodging bread, pasta and anything with wheat flour to prevent diarrhea and gas, they may e at higher risk of lymphoma or bowel cancer.There's no cure for celiac disease. It can be managed by eating a gluten free diet, but any bit of wheat or barley could trigger the symptoms of celiac. And it's become a more common phenomenon in recent years.

Researchers suspect the autoimmune disease is in part genetic and in part environmental.Most people that have celiac disease have at least one family member suffering from it too. But lifestyle and environment factors - including what happens while a baby is developing in its mothers womb - likely influence the odds of celiac disease, too. A pregnant mother's diet can have profound effects on their developing baby's health throughout his or her whole life. A poor diet, high in fatty and processed foods, may increase risks that the developing child will be obese and have high blood pressure and cholesterol.

Balanced diets with plenty of fruits vegetables and whole foods will help the baby's brain development along, improving cognition and memory. And one that's high in fiber appears to protect against celiac disease.

The ESPGHAN researchers analyzed data on 88,000 children born in the decade between 1999 and 2009. They found that women who reported eating more than 45 grams of fiber a day while they were pregnant were 34 percent less likely to have a child with celiac disease than women in the lowest category for fiber consumption. Interestingly, this protective effect was more dramatic for children whose who got their daily dose of fiber by eating whole fruits and vegetables. Those who ate cereal to stock up on fiber didn't garner the same benefit for their children. And eating a gluten-free diet did nothing to prevent women's babies from developing celiac disease later on.

In line with other recent research, the scientists suspect that celiac disease and other autoimmune conditions are closely linked to a person's gut microbiome.

In mother and developing baby, what the mother eats helps shapes the baby's gut flora. The more fiber someone eats, the more likely they are to have diverse gut flora. And the more diverse a person's gut flora is, the stronger their immune system will be, which may help to limit their risks of autoimmune disorders like celiac disease. And the new study could suggest that mothers can impart the same strength to their babies during the nine month gestation period.

'Currently, there is very limited data on the association between maternal fibre or gluten intake during pregnancy and the risk of celiac disease in children,' said Dr Ketil Størdal, lead study author. 'As this is the first study on maternal fiber intake, we cannot yet recommend any specific dietary measures during pregnancy to prevent celiac disease and this needs to be further studied but we are currently assessing whether maternal fiber intake could impact on children's gut flora. 'This is one of the potential ways in which these findings can be explained.'

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The 13 rules of safe pregnancy exercise

231 Views 04,June 2019

1. Check with your healthcare provider first
Always check with your healthcare provider before starting, continuing, or changing an exercise routine. If you exercised regularly before getting pregnant and your pregnancy is uncomplicated, you can probably continue working out as before, with a few modifications (noted below). However, in some cases it's not okay to exercise during pregnancy, so talk to your provider about your fitness routine to make sure your activities don't put you or your baby at risk.
If you didn't work out much before conceiving, see our pregnancy exercise guide for beginners, and talk to your healthcare provider about starting an exercise routine.

2. Get enough calories
Exercise burns calories, so be sure to eat well to nourish and strengthen your body. When you're pregnant, you naturally gain weight as your baby grows. The amount you need to gain varies based on your pre-pregnancy weight. If your body mass index (BMI) is in a healthy range (between 18.5 and 24.9), you'll need to eat about 340 more calories a day in the second trimester than before you were pregnant and about 450 more calories a day in the third trimester – and possibly more than that depending on your exercise routine. If you're underweight or overweight, you may need to gain a little more or less than someone with a healthy BMI and adjust your calorie intake accordingly.
Your doctor will monitor your weight as your pregnancy progresses and can help you keep your weight gain on track.

3. Skip dangerous sports
Avoid sports that involve lots of contact (like basketball and soccer) as well as activities that might throw you off balance and cause a fall, such as horseback riding, surfing, water skiing, gymnastics, downhill skiing, or mountain biking. Cycling early in your pregnancy should be okay if you're already comfortable on a bike, but it's probably best to stick to stationary bikes later in pregnancy.
Avoid racquet sports if you never played them before getting pregnant because the rapid movements and sudden changes in direction could affect your balance and make you fall.
All pregnant women should avoid scuba diving – babies in the womb aren't protected from the effects of pressure changes and may not develop normally as a result.

4. Wear the right clothes
Wear loose-fitting, breathable clothing. Dress in layers so it's easy to peel off a layer or two after you've warmed up or if you get overheated. Make sure your maternity bra is supportive enough, and choose athletic shoes that fit properly.
If your shoe size has changed because of mild swelling, stash away your pre-pregnancy sneakers and buy a new pair. You may want to swap out the liners they came with for gel liners that provide better shock absorption.

5. Warm up
Warming up prepares your muscles and joints for exercise and increases your heart rate slowly. If you skip the warm-up and jump into strenuous activity before your body is ready, you could strain your muscles and ligaments and have more aches and pains after your workout.
A good way to warm up is to start your chosen activity at a low intensity and slowly increase it during the first five to eight minutes. This prepares the muscles you'll be using for more vigorous movement. For example, if your workout is walking, go slowly for the first few minutes and gradually pick up the pace.

6. Drink plenty of water
Drink water before, during, and after exercising. Otherwise you can become dehydrated, which can set off a chain of events that leads to a reduced of amount of blood reaching the placenta. Dehydration can also increase your risk of overheating or even trigger contractions.
There's no official recommendation for how much water pregnant women should drink while exercising, but many experts recommend a simple technique to gauge whether you're drinking enough: Check the color of your urine. Dark yellow urine is a sign of dehydration. If that's the case for you, have one or two glasses of water every hour until your urine is pale yellow or nearly clear.

7. Don't lie flat on your back
After the first trimester, avoid exercising while lying flat on your back. The weight of your uterus puts pressure on a major vein called the vena cava, which can reduce blood flow to your heart and may diminish blood flow to your brain and uterus. This can make you dizzy, short of breath, or nauseated.
Some women are comfortable in this position well into their pregnancies, but this isn't necessarily a good indication of whether blood flow to your uterus is affected. Putting pillows or a foam wedge behind your back to prop up your upper body while you exercise enables you to be almost flat on your back without compressing the vena cava.
8. Keep moving
Remaining motionless or standing in one place for prolonged periods – when you're lifting weights or doing yoga poses, for example – can reduce blood flow to your heart and uterus and cause blood to pool in your legs, lowering your blood pressure and making you dizzy. Keep moving by switching positions or walking in place.

9. Don't overdo it
Don't exercise until you're exhausted. Slow down if you can't carry on a conversation comfortably. In general, the best guideline is to listen to your body. Always stop if something hurts.
You should feel like you're working your body, not punishing it. If you feel completely drained instead of invigorated after a workout, you're probably overdoing it.
After exercising, try to rest for an equivalent amount of time before getting on with your day. For example, if you've just jogged for 30 minutes, rest quietly for 30 minutes.
To be extra safe, read our signs of danger during pregnancy exercise.

10. Don't exercise in high heat or humidity
Increased blood flow and a higher metabolic rate when you're pregnant mean you'll feel warmer than usual, especially when you exercise. As a result, you may get overheated much faster than you normally would, even before your belly is big. That's why it's especially important to avoid exercising in hot or humid conditions during pregnancy. When it's hot out, your body has a harder time regulating your body temperature.
Signs of being overheated are largely individual, but pay attention if you're sweating a lot or feel uncomfortably warm, nauseated, dizzy, or short of breath.
To cool off quickly, stop exercising, take off layers, and change your environment: Go someplace with air-conditioning or step into a cool shower. Hydrating is also key, so drink lots of water.
Note: Avoid activities such as doing Bikram yoga or "hot Pilates" and lounging in saunas or hot tubs. These activities can raise your core temperature to unsafe levels because your body can't disperse heat effectively in a hot environment.

11. Get up from the floor slowly
Your center of gravity shifts as your belly grows, so it's important to take extra care when you change positions. Getting up too quickly can make you dizzy and may cause you to lose your footing and fall.

12. Cool down
At the end of your workout, walk in place for five to 10 minutes and do some pregnancy-friendly stretching. This improves your flexibility while getting your heart rate back to normal. Stretching also prevents sore muscles.

13. Make it a habit
Make a commitment to exercise regularly. Keeping up a routine is easier on your body than long periods of inertia interrupted by spurts of activity. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, you can safely do at least 20 to 30 minutes of moderate exercise on most or all days of the week as long as you have the go-ahead from your healthcare provider.
One of the best ways to stick to a workout routine is to invite a buddy to meet you for walks, runs, exercise classes, or gym time. You'll be more motivated to show up, and you'll get quality time with your friend while doing something important for your health and pregnancy.

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5 Stretches for Tailbone Pain During Pregnancy

265 Views 04,June 2019

1. Cat-Cow
This stretch gently strengthens your lower back and pelvis. It also increases spine mobility and takes pressure off your tailbone.
Muscles worked: This pelvic tilt moves your spine by using your arm, abdominal, and back muscles.
Begin on all fours, with your feet flat (toes not tucked). Keep your shoulders directly over your wrists and hips directly over your knees. As you inhale, drop your belly, letting your back arch but keeping your shoulders rolled back and down. This is Cow.
As you exhale, press into your hands and round your upper back. This is Cat. Continue moving on your inhales and exhales. Repeat 10 times.

2. Standing Cat-Cow
This is basically the above stretch, but it’s done standing. This moves the spine differently and provides you with a bit more mobility in the stretch itself. This can really help you find what you need for your body.
Equipment needed: sturdy wall
Muscles worked: all the same muscles as Cat-Cow, plus the glutes and leg muscles
Begin standing with your feet a little wider than hip-width apart, about 2 feet from the wall.
Press your hands into the wall at shoulder height, and as you begin to walk your hands down the wall, walk your feet backward. You want to create an “L” with your body. If it feels better to stay a bit higher up, it’s fine to stay there, as long as you feel stable.
As you inhale, drop your belly. Let your back arch, just like in Cow (above). As you exhale, press against the wall and round your upper back. Alternate arching and rounding your back 10 times.

3. Downward-Facing Dog
This pose will help stretch and strengthen your lower back, the backs of your legs, and help lengthen your spine.
Muscles worked: foot muscles, triceps, quads, lats
Starting on all fours on the mat, tuck your toes under. Inhale and gently lift your hips as you push into your hands.
Exhale. You can walk your hands or feet out a little if it feels more comfortable. When you’re in a comfortable stance, push evenly into all 10 fingers. Pedal your feet out here if you like, or simply extend your heels toward the ground.
Keep your shoulders plugged into their joints, your upper back broadening, and your spine extending. Keep your awareness here on not letting your back bow. Note: This is an inversion pose. Avoid it late in the third trimester (after week 33) unless you’ve talked to your doctor and had an active yoga practice before pregnancy.

4. Bridge
This is a gentle stretch for your hip flexors. It also strengthens your lower back, abdominals, and glutes. This can help relieve hip and lower back aches.
Muscles worked: gluteus maximus, hamstrings, quadriceps, rectus abdominis, hip flexors
Lie flat on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor, approximately hip-width apart. Your feet can be a little farther apart if it’s more comfortable. Keep your arms straight alongside your body. As you inhale, curl your pelvis until your lower back is gently pressing against the floor and the movement flows into you, lifting your hips. Hold here, with your hips above chest level for a few counts. As you exhale, gently roll your spine back onto the ground, one vertebra at a time.
As you relax preparing for the next lift, be sure your spine is neutral (meaning your lower back will be slightly off the ground, respecting the natural curve of your lumbar spine).
Repeat 10 times.

5. Child’s Pose
This pose is a great back and hip stretch. It eases pain in all parts of the spine, including the lower back and pelvis.
Equipment needed: a pillow to support your abdomen (optional)
Muscles worked: glutes, hip rotators, hamstrings, spinal extensors
Begin on all fours on the mat with your knees directly under your hips. Your big toes should be touching. This will give your belly room to slide between your knees and avoid putting strain on your hips.
Inhale and feel your spine grow longer.
As you exhale, lower your butt to your heels. Tuck your chin to your chest. Rest here, forehead on the ground, keeping your arms outstretched. You can also fold a blanket and let your head rest on it.
Hold this for at least 5 deep, even breaths.
Note: You can also widen your toes if having them touching puts any pressure on your knees or doesn’t provide enough room for your belly. A pillow placed lengthwise between your knees will support your abdomen.

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5 tips for a healthy pregnancy

241 Views 04,June 2019

Take prenatal vitamins
Most prenatal supplements contain more folic acid and iron than you'll find in a standard multivitamin. It's important to get enough folic acid before conception and during early pregnancy. Folic acid greatly reduces your baby's risk of developing neural tube birth defects such as spina bifida. Ideally, you should start taking 400 micrograms of folic acid at least one month before becoming pregnant. Once your pregnancy is confirmed, up your daily dose to 600 mcg. You also need to make sure you're getting enough iron. Your iron requirement increases significantly during pregnancy, especially during the second and third trimesters. But more is not necessarily better — taking too much of certain things can actually be harmful. Avoid megadoses of any vitamin, and don't take any additional supplements or herbal preparations without your caregiver's okay.

Exercise regularly
A good exercise program can give you the strength and endurance you'll need to carry the weight you gain during pregnancy, help prevent or ease aches and pains, improve sluggish circulation in your legs, and help you handle the physical stress of labor. It will also make getting back into shape after your baby's born much easier. What's more, exercise is a great way to reduce stress, and some research suggests that staying active can boost your level of serotonin, a brain chemical linked to mood. Just remember not to push yourself too hard or let yourself get overheated or dehydrated. (You'll also need to avoid hot tubs and saunas while you're pregnant.)

Get some rest
The fatigue you feel in the first and third trimesters is your body's way of telling you to slow down. So listen up and take it easy as much as you can. If you can't swing a nap in the middle of the day, give yourself a break and let your other responsibilities slide a little. If you can't sleep, at least put your feet up and read a book or leaf through a magazine. Relaxation techniques such as yoga, stretching, deep breathing, and massage are all great ways to combat stress and get a better night's sleep.

Just say no to alcohol
Don't drink while you're pregnant: Any alcohol you drink reaches your baby rapidly through your bloodstream, crossing the placenta, and your baby can end up with higher levels of blood alcohol than you have. As little as one drink a day can increase your odds of having a low-birthweight baby and increase your child's risk for problems with learning, speech, attention span, language, and hyperactivity. And some research has shown that expectant moms who have as little as one drink a week are more likely than nondrinkers to have children who later exhibit aggressive and delinquent behavior. Women who have more than two drinks a day are at greater risk for giving birth to a baby with fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). Children born with this condition suffer from mental and growth retardation, behavioral problems, and facial and heart defects. Drinking also increases your risk for miscarriage and stillbirth. So play it safe — avoid alcohol completely and have a nonalcoholic drink instead. Let your caregiver know if you're having trouble giving up alcohol, so you can get help.

Swear off all illicit drugs
Any drug you use gets into your baby's bloodstream as well. Some studies suggest that marijuana may restrict your baby's growth and cause withdrawal symptoms (like tremors) in your newborn. Using cocaine is extremely dangerous. It restricts the flow of blood to the uterus and may lead to miscarriage, growth problems, placental abruption, or premature delivery. Your baby could be stillborn or have birth defects or developmental and behavioral problems.

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Vegan Pregnancy Nutrition: 5 Food Groups to Work Into Your Diet

224 Views 04,June 2019

Vegan Food Guide for Pregnancy
Many food guides don’t work for vegans. Food guides often include a meat group and a dairy group. Even if you replace meat with vegetable protein sources, you’re still left with a food group that recommends eating cheese and drinking cow’s milk.
This Vegan Food Guide for Pregnancy is based on five food groups. All servings listed are the minimum number of servings from each food group. If you are not gaining weight at the recommended rate, you’ll need to eat a larger number of servings from the food groups. Be sure to choose a variety of foods from each food group.

Food Group and Daily Servings
Daily servings: 6
Dried Beans, Nuts, Milks, and Other Protein-Rich Foods
Daily servings: 7
Daily servings: 4
Daily servings: 2
Daily servings: 2

In addition to making food choices based on this food guide, you should also be taking a prenatal supplement that supplies vitamins and minerals, including iron, zinc, iodine, vitamin B12, and vitamin D. Supplemental DHA is also recommended in pregnancy.
In addition to making food choices based on this food guide, you should also be taking a prenatal supplement that supplies vitamins and minerals, including iron, zinc, iodine, vitamin B12, and vitamin D. Supplemental DHA is also recommended in pregnancy.

Grains Group
This group includes breads, tortillas, crackers, bagels, rolls, pastas, rices, cereals, quinoa, and other foods made from grains. Choose whole grains as often as possible. A serving from this group is a slice of bread; a tortilla or roll; 1⁄2 cup of cooked cereal, grain, or pasta; or 1 ounce of ready-to-eat cereal. This food group provides carbohydrates, calories, fiber, B vitamins, iron, and some protein. Fortified cereals can supply other vitamins and minerals.

Dried Beans, Nuts, Milks, and Other Protein-Rich Foods Group
This food group includes a variety of foods that are good sources of protein for vegans. Many foods in this group also supply iron and zinc, and some foods are fortified with calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin B12. A serving from this group is 1⁄2 cup of cooked dried beans or peas; 1⁄2 cup of tofu, TVP, or tempeh; 1 ounce of veggie “meat”; 2 tablespoons of nut or seed butters; 1⁄4 cup of nuts or soy nuts; or 1 cup of fortified soy milk.
The Vegan Food Guide for Pregnancy can also be used when you are breastfeeding. For most food groups, eat the same amounts as you did when you were pregnant. Choose one more serving of protein-rich foods, continue to use prenatal vitamins, and add foods as needed to prevent excess weight loss.

Vegetables Group
This food group includes all vegetables, from asparagus to zucchini. Vegetables can be eaten raw or cooked. A serving from this group is 1⁄2 cup of cooked vegetables or 1 cup of raw vegetables. Be sure to include some nutrient-rich dark-green vegetables and deep-orange vegetables often. This food group is an especially good source of fiber and vitamins A and C; it supplies some iron and zinc.

Fruits Group
Fruits are especially good sources of vitamins C and A; they also provide fiber and B vitamins. This group includes fresh, frozen, canned, and dried fruits and fruit juices. A serving from this group is a piece of medium fruit; 1⁄2 cup of cut-up or canned fruit; 1⁄4 cup of dried fruit; or 1⁄2 cup of fruit juice.

Fats Group
This group provides calories, vitamin E, and essential fatty acids. Foods in this group include oils, vegan salad dressings and mayonnaise, vegan margarine, and vegan cream cheese. A serving of any of these foods is 1 teaspoon.

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5 Ways to Reduce Heartburn During Pregnancy

227 Views 04,June 2019

1. Eat Less, More Often
Overeating exacerbates heartburn, says Rachel Brandeis, M.S., a registered dietitian in Atlanta who specializes in prenatal nutrition. "When you're pregnant, there's less room for your stomach to expand," she explains. Maintaining a sensible diet will not only stave off heartburn in the short term, but throughout your pregnancy as well, because gaining more than the recommended weight puts more pressure on your abdomen, which can trigger the condition. Instead of three meals a day, aim for six mini-meals (See "Meal Plan" below) of no more than 1½ cups of food each, Brandeis recommends. Smaller meals are easier for your body to digest, helping to relieve the symptoms of heartburn during pregnancy.

2. Eliminate Trigger Foods
Identify the foods that intensify your heartburn and banish them from your diet. While there are no universally "banned" foods, common heartburn triggers include acidic foods, such as citrus fruits and tomatoes, greasy or fried foods, spicy foods, chocolate, coffee and carbonated beverages and alcohol (which, as you well know, you should eliminate anyway!).

3. Focus on Fluids
"Liquid-y foods are less likely to cause problems than solids, since they move through the stomach more quickly," Brandeis says. Soups, smoothies, yogurt, milkshakes, protein shakes, and puddings are good choices. Look for liquids that offer plenty of protein, such as milk and drinkable yogurt. and aim to make solids a little less so: "chew solid foods slowly and extremely well, until they're almost liquefied," Brandeis adds. Keep in mind, however, that drinking large quantities of fluids with meals can aggravate heartburn, because drinking can cause you to swallow more air. If you feel thirsty during a meal, take small sips between bites of food.

4. Sleep Smart
To avoid nighttime heartburn during pregnancy, don't eat anything for at least three hours before bedtime. Elevate the head of your bed by placing books under the legs, and if you're not already sleeping on your left side, start now; stomach acids will have to travel uphill to reach the esophagus—no easy feat! Pregnant women also shouldn’t lie down or bend over right after eating.

5. Time for Tums
It's fine to find relief in a bottle of Tums or Rolaids or other calcium-containing antacids. However, "too much calcium can block iron absorption, so don't take Tums at the same time you take your prenatal vitamin," Brandeis advises. Also, avoid antacids that list aluminum (such as aluminum hydroxide or aluminum carbonate) as an ingredient; it can cause constipation and can even be toxic in large doses. Remedies containing aspirin (such as Alka-Seltzer) should also be avoided during pregnancy; look for salicylate or acetylsalicylic acid in ingredients lists. You don't want an antacid containing sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) or sodium citrate, either. Both are high in sodium, which causes water retention.

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Stress Early in Pregnancy Tied to Lower Sperm Counts in Adult Sons

220 Views 03,June 2019

Stress early in pregnancy is associated with reduced sperm counts and lower testosterone levels in adult sons, a new study has found.

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