You’re probably thinking, seriously? There’s a Folic Acid Awareness Week? Yes, yes there is – January 8-14, the first full week of January, marks Folic Acid Awareness Week. Although January is Birth Defects Awareness Month, folic acid is especially important, as it can prevent up to 70% of neural tube defects (NTDs), according to the National Birth Defects Prevention Network. Neural tube defects are defects of the brain and spine, like spina bifida and anencephaly. Although most women take a prenatal vitamin once they find out they’re pregnant, neural tube defects generally occur before a woman even knows… Read More

After months of trying, I finally saw those two pink lines on my pregnancy test. That rush of excitement, adrenaline, joy, and more than a little trepidation is unlike anything I’ve experienced. I immediately wanted to share it with someone – my husband, of course, and my mother and father and sisters, and my neighbor who is also pregnant, and Facebook, and pretty much everyone I bumped into. But most advice I’ve read says to wait until you’re past the first trimester (the “danger zone” for miscarriages) before you start sharing the news. What’s a joyful pregnant woman to… Read More

The body goes through a ton of changes during pregnancy, and the skin is no different. The skin is an organ system, and like all the other organ systems, it’s affected by the changing hormone levels during these 40 weeks. While not every woman will experience the same skin changes in pregnancy, here are some things you might notice. Stretch Marks You knew this one was coming, right? This is probably the one most women think of when thinking about skin changes in pregnancy. Stretch marks may not be limited to your belly, though – they can also occur on the… Read More

Pregnancy brings endless changes – new symptoms and feelings crop up, physical side effects abound, and it can be overwhelming, both physically and mentally. Even though you might be busy with work, preparing for baby, running errands, and dealing with everyday life, it’s important to take time for yourself to make sure you’re healthy for you and your baby. Here are some ways to practice self-care during this time. Rest Pregnancy can be exhausting – after all, you’re growing a person. Your body is working overtime, which means fatigue is a common byproduct. Take time each day to… Read More

Everyone knows you need protein during pregnancy (and always) as part of a healthy, balanced diet, but what does it actually do? Protein is an important part of every cell in your body – it helps build and repair tissue, helps the body make hormones, and is a critical component of things like blood, skin, bones, and muscles. Read More

Prior to my pregnancy, I was a bit of an exercise nut. Before you start to hate me, let me reassure you that I do not, for the most part, enjoy exercise. I will not be telling you about how incredible you’ll feel when you can bust out fifty push-ups, or the elusive endorphin rush you’ll get from running ten miles. (I’m pretty sure that’s a myth propagated by Nike, anyway.) Read More

I have a love/hate relationship with coffee. Usually, the cycle goes something like this: Day 1: I will have one cup of coffee today. God, coffee is delicious. Day 3: I could have a cup and a half. If I just top off this cup, it’s basically like one “bottomless” cup, right? Day 5: I will have one bottomless cup! As long as I refill it before I reach the bottom, it only counts as one cup. Day 6: My head is killing me. It must be the caffeine. I better get out the giant mug. Day 14: I’ve had… Read More

I was utterly terrified of having a miscarriage during my first pregnancy. I was also pretty uninformed. The only statistic I could focus on was that 10-20% of pregnancies end in a miscarriage. I cut out all caffeine, even abstaining from chocolate and green tea. I stopped exercising, except for a few short walks once in a while. I literally worried myself sick over it (although that could have been morning sickness, too). All’s well that ends well, though, and everything was fine. But it still seems like every other woman I meet has a story about how she… Read More

I’ve been amazed at how different my second pregnancy is from my first pregnancy. It’s not just the actual symptoms that change; I’m also emotional about things that I never would have considered the first time around. So, whether you’re already pregnant with your second (or third or fourth, etc.) or you’re thinking about expanding your family, here are five things that might change for you during your later pregnancies. Read More

A diner. My friend’s house. Toys ‘R’ Us. What do these places have in common? They have the dubious distinction of all containing bathrooms in which I have thrown up at some point this week. Morning sickness is the worst. Okay, hyperemesis gravidarum (more commonly known as “what Duchess Kate had”) is actually the worst. But morning sickness is also terrible, not the least because its name is such a lie. Read More

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