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Monday, May 23, 2016


Pregnancy Complications From Stress

We all know that stress can have a number of side effects on our bodies.  If you are trying to conceive, stress is considered one factor that can affect fertility.

See for more pregnancy over 40 articles 

The stress hormone, cortisol can rob the body of progesterone.  If you do become pregnant, stress can affect blood pressure.  In addition, I found an interesting article about how early pregnancy trauma (i.e. exreme stress) can possibly lead to schizophrenia in the child. Read more:

Evidence that maternal stress might be implicated in schizophrenia susceptibility has been mounting, but until now no one knew which part of the pregnancy was important.

Medical records spanning the short but violent Arab-Israeli conflict of 1967 enabled Dolores Malaspina of New York University School of Medicine and colleagues to pin down when the damage was done.

They analysed the medical records of over 88,000 people born in Jerusalem during the '60s and '70s. The researchers found that women whose mothers were in their second month of pregnancy during the war were 4.3 times more likely to develop schizophrenia later in life, and men 1.2 times more likely, than people born during more peaceful times.


Saturday, May 21, 2016


I wondered why I was wearing a larger shoe after my pregnancy.
My feet did swell a little, but even now, years later, I still wear a larger size. This article explains why:

From the article:

"There is a ligament in the foot called a yellow ligament that actually begins to dilate and stretch much like the pelvic ligament just before childbirth," Dr. Kaye says. "I have no idea why it's there. You certainly don't need your foot to dilate, but apparently it does because the hormonal activity affects both ligaments."



The pregnancy hormone, relaxin, loosens the joints around a woman's pelvis to prepare her for giving birth. Relaxing also loosens the ligaments in a woman's feet. So, when your foot bones spread, you may imagine your feet have grown.

Dr. Kaye does not recommend pain medication but advises women to wear supportive, comfortable shoes. Also, feel free to ask your partner or spouse to rub your feet or visit a professional massage therapist.

"You don't have to be pregnant or a woman," says Dr. Kaye. "Everybody loves having his or her foot rubbed."

Avoid wearing high heels or pointy shoes, Dr. Kaye adds. Some women may not need to wear a larger size but may simply loosely tie their shoelaces.

Whenever you have the chance, take off your shoes and elevate your legs. "With increased amount of weight, the foot tends to flatten out and increase in length and also the arch tends to decrease as well," Dr. Kaye says. He says a woman's foot swelling will subside within a few months after delivery.

Women can expect, however, the spread in their feet caused by looser ligaments to be permanent. You may permanently wear a half to whole size larger than before you had a baby. Don't try to squeeze into your old shoes after you have had your baby because you may develop problems ranging from calluses to ingrown toenails.


Wednesday, May 18, 2016


We've all heard about all the catastophic things that can happen when you're pregnant but what about those minor annoying things that can make you miserable?
Here is an article from the BBC News that discusses some of the discomforts of being pregnant:


From the article:

Pregnancy wreaks havoc on the female body.
As well as pluses such as thick hair and a 'blooming' complexion, it pushes organs out of place and floods the body with hormones.

Discomfort from having your stomach in your chest and other organs in unaccustomed places does not usually occur until the final stages of pregnancy when the baby is bigger, but hormonal changes may be evident from the first moment, causing sudden mood swings and making the victim feel as if she is on an emotional rollercoaster.

Many of the minor problems of pregnancy can be lessened through healthy eating - five portions of fruit and vegetables a day - and exercise and many are the first signs that a woman is pregnant.

They include:

feeling sick or going off food that the woman previously enjoyed
a metallic taste in the mouth
tender, larger breasts


Monday, May 16, 2016


Pregnancy Over 40, It Can Be Perfectly Normal!

I'm always looking for well rounded, honest information about Pregnancy Over 40. Much of the information out there focuses on complications and all of the things that could go wrong.
 I was scared out of my mind my entire pregnancy because of well-meaning healthcare professionals who wanted to make sure that I understood the risks.  Well, as it turned out, I had a normal pregnancy and normal delivery.  All of that worry was for nothing.  If I were to have any complications, it probably would have been from the stress of worrying!  Read more:


If you are planning to be pregnant at the age of 40 and up, chances are you already have an idea how to go about delivering a healthy pregnancy. Even if you are a first timer, you already have enough discipline to undergo a worry-free pregnancy by taking enough rest, eating a balanced diet and visiting the doctor on a regular basis. At this age, you are also most likely financially and emotionally stable, therefore the focus should stick on finding ways for you to have a normal and safe delivery.

Raising the baby would not be an issue as well. You will be given enough support by your husband and your older kids as the whole family prepares to welcome another member of the household. On one way or another, you already know how the drill goes as you have been a responsible parent for all these years. Indeed, it is never too late to be pregnant at 40. For as long as you are armed with the right knowledge on how to go about delivering a safe pregnancy, then everything will turn out fine.

Friday, May 13, 2016


Music Enhances Intelligence in the Unborn?

Guest Post By Ricky Clarke

There are many myths in the world today, both proven and unproven. The most common of myths are generated by parents or grandparents to keep the children disciplined or in line. Myths tend to stem from make believe stories too, often believed by the youngest of children, or simply those who are too naive to see the truth. Music also holds different types of myth. There myths and legends about haunted guitars, or myths about famous music artists dying at roughly the same age, such as Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison, Jimmi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and the very latest artist to add to the list, Amy Winehouse. They all died at the same age of 27, and they were all famous for being hugely talented with lives cut tragically short. There are also other myths involving music, such as music will help you become smarter.
Music influences a lot of our emotions, especially the basic emotions of sadness, happiness and anger. Happiness can be increased through listening to upbeat and happier songs. While listening to slower sadder songs can often make you cry, or cry harder as the case may be. Anger is also an emotion that can be enhanced through music. One of the most common forms of music that enhances this is rock or metal music. Rock can be said to be the father of metal music, where metal was formed from rock itself. Metal is harder, but both metal and rock can ignite or add fuel to one's anger, or release it as the case may be. All these emotions however prove one thing about music, it is a great stress reliever. However, it is almost far fetched for some to believe that music can enhance one's intelligence. Or, is it?


The Mozart Effect is an activity done to increase human intelligence. It is called Mozart Effect because the music used for this test is Mozart's Sonata. Most of Mozart Effect research has been conducted on college undergraduates and has statistically been proven to increase their IQ levels to 8-9 points with the increase lasting for 10-15 minutes after listening for 10 minutes. Some news even claimed that Mozart's music improves a baby's intelligence. Although there are no tests conducted yet which prove that music influences an infant's intelligence. Studies have shown that music students received more academic honors and awards than non-music students. Another study reported that music lessons for kids help make their minds sharper as they grow and mature.
For the unborn, there are also studies showing the ability of a fetus to hear sounds while in utero. Babies respond with an increase in heart rate and other physiologic indicators. Many studies have reported that a positive sign the fetus has been stimulated by music is indicated by a change in heart rate. The exposure to music in the prenatal period increases attention of newborns, more sound imitation and earlier vocalization. The fetus hears its mother's voice mostly, as well as it's mother's breathing and her other internal sounds. This is why new born babies prefer to hear its mother's voice because a mother's voice is literally music to a child's ears. Thus, singing along with music while your child is yet unborn will have some positive benefits at birth.
Some scientist don't agree with the theory that an increase in heart rate signals a positive response in the fetus. It could be that the increase in heart rate of a fetus signals that a baby is not comfortable with the sound. Of course not all kinds of music can be played for an infant. The baby does respond to what he or she hears. Expectant mothers should carefully choose which music her baby should hear. Classical music and nature sounds could be soothing for the baby while loud ones may not be as pleasing.
Again, there is still no concrete proof that listening to music definitely enhances the fetuses intelligence. However, classical music stimulates different areas of the brain, which stimulates better connections in the brain. The hypothesis says that the increase in connectors will result in enhanced memory. Multiple studies have shown that babies recognize the sounds or music they hear during pregnancy. It is very important that the mother is relaxed and comfortable as the baby is affected by the mother's emotions. Soothing music helps the mother and the baby to relax, while loud music disturbs the mother and startles the baby.
What are some good musical choices for your unborn child? Choose soothing classical, light rock, blues or any other genera you truly enjoy. The choice is yours, but be aware that your unborn child very well may be listening!
To those interested in know more about classical music, light rock and other types of music, you can check out Willie and the Bandits [] or check it here for more reference.

Article Source:

Wednesday, May 11, 2016


How Your Sense Of Taste Is Affected By Pregnancy

Many women complain that they have a bitter taste or even a metallic taste in their mouth during pregnancy.
I don't recall having an odd taste in my mouth, but I was so nauseated the entire first trimester, I probably wouldn't have been able to tell anyway!

This article talks about the possible reasons and what you can do to deal with it:


Dysguesia is not to be confused with cravings that occur in pregnancy, commonly to foods like ice-cream, pickles or chocolate, or aversions which are new repulsions to previously liked foods. Sometimes a pregnant woman may sense a funny taste in her mouth even when not eating. Again different presentations with a related root cause -- elevated hormone levels and/or increased body edema and water retention. Some researchers feel a concomitant increase in the sense of smell may play a role. Others state that there is an evolutionary protection built into these changes: that is, they help a pregnant mother balance and replace needed nutrients in the body, such as sodium and calcium.

Suggestions for dealing with these changes include:

* Alter your diet to accommodate these new likes and dislikes
* Start your meal with dry crackers to attenuate strong tastes
* Chew a flavored gum, sugarless mint or ice chips
* Try spicy foods because the numbing effect they can have sometimes helps


Monday, May 09, 2016


I do recall having an itchy belly when my skin felt very stretched toward the end of my pregnancy.  I think my itchiness may have been related not only to the stretching, but also some very uncomfortable maternity clothing.

See Also: Pregnancy Over 40, Ringing In Ears (

 However some women actually have more severe itching related to rashes and hive like conditions. This article talks about what you can do:

From the article:


Some pregnant women find that their palms and the soles of their feet get red and sometimes itchy. This common condition may be caused by an increase in estrogen. It usually disappears right after delivery.

You may also find that things that normally make you itchy — dry skin, eczema, food allergies — make you even itchier when you're pregnant. Finally, there are certain conditions that occur during pregnancy that may cause you to feel itchy (see below).
How can I get relief from the itching?

Avoid hot showers and baths, which can dry out your skin and make the itching worse. Use mild soap and be sure to rinse it off well and towel off lightly. Then slather on an unscented moisturizer — some scents can cause irritation.

Try an occasional warm oatmeal bath. (You can buy oatmeal bath preparations in drugstores.) Wear loose cotton clothing and avoid going out in the heat of the day, since heat can intensify the itching.
Is it common to get itchy bumps on your abdomen?

Up to 1 percent of pregnant women develop a condition characterized by itchy, red bumps and larger patches of a hive-like rash on their bellies. This is called pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPPP) or polymorphic eruption of pregnancy.

PUPPP usually begins in the third trimester and is more common among women carrying twins and those having their first baby. The eruptions usually show up first on the abdomen around or in stretch marks (if you have any) and may spread to your thighs, buttocks, and arms. PUPPP is harmless for you and your baby, but it can itch like crazy!

Your doctor or midwife will want to see you for a diagnosis and will probably prescribe a topical ointment to give you some relief. She may also recommend an antihistamine. In severe cases, you may need a course of oral steroids.

PUPPP usually disappears within a few days after delivery, although it sometimes persists for several weeks. (In rare cases, it may even begin after you give birth.) Fortunately, it seldom appears again in subsequent pregnancies.

Even more rare than PUPPP is a skin condition called prurigo of pregnancy (or papular eruptions of pregnancy), which is characterized by many tiny bumps that may look like bug bites. These eruptions can occur anywhere on your body, but you're most likely to get them on your hands, feet, arms, and legs.

Friday, May 06, 2016


Mother's day after infertility and miscarriage

If you've previously struggled with infertility and miscarriage and then finally succeeded in becoming pregnant, mother's day should be all good, right? Well, yes and no.  It can be a reminder of babies lost and the pain and anguish of years of disappointment, grueling fertility treatments and the inevitable depression that follows.
Here is one woman's experience with the hardships that a "holiday" like mothers day can bring and how she dealt with it:


My family is now built and the Mother’s Day I always imagined will never be.  And while I feel gratitude to be part of the club that eluded me for years, I will always feel a sense of loss on this day.  The loss of the miscarriages, the reduction, and my dreams.
So here’s my ritual to try and stop the dread feeling I’ve associated with this day for so many years.  Each Mother’s Day I have some alone time and I garden.  This is my time with my lost ones.  Then, I put on a brave face and a smile and try to refocus my heart to what I have in the present.  Then I send out letters to my legislators the following day basically saying, “I hope you enjoyed your day with your family.  I would appreciate if you would help all individuals have a similar opportunity by supporting legislation that helps those with infertility.”  (I’m a little more detailed than that, but that’s for another blog.)
So why am I telling you all of this?  Because you need to understand, for those experiencing infertility, Mother’s Day can be tough now and may still be in the future.  So find a ritual that works for you.
from: fertility within reach

Wednesday, May 04, 2016


Most of us think of heart attacks being related to a blockage of a vessel, however, pregnant women may suffer from something called coronary dissection which is a tear in the vessel. If you think you may be prone to this condition, it may be something to get checked out before you conceive. Read more:

Heart attacks are usually triggered by atherosclerosis — a build-up of plaque that narrows the arteries and makes it harder for blood to flow. But only a third of heart attacks that occur during pregnancy are caused by atherosclerosis, Elkayam said. Rather the vast majority are caused by a tear of one of the three layers that make up a blood vessel known as a dissection.

See Also: Stress, Infertility, and Miscarriage (

Seventy percent of spontaneous coronary dissections occur in women and 30 percent of those occur during pregnancy or immediately after, according to Dr. Sharonne Hayes, a cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. who was not involved in the study. ”We have known for decades that young women with heart attack have higher mortality than men at the same age and also have very different cardiovascular disease risk factors,” she said.

Heart attacks are usually treated with clot-busting drugs and balloons or stents that open up the narrowed artery. But for pregnant women with dissections, typical treatments can make the situation significantly worse


Monday, May 02, 2016


One of the biggest mysteries out there are allergies in children and adults.
 There doesn't seem to be any way to cure them, but there are many ways to manage them. Many pregnant women wonder if there is anything they can do to prevent them in their children. This article talks about some of the research. Read more:

Here is what the American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended In the past.

Pregnant women avoid allergenic foods in their diet such as peanuts, eggs, and cows milk. However, recent evidence has NOT felt that dietary manipulations or restrictions make any difference. A large Cochrane review study done in 2006, involving 334 women, concluded that avoidance diets during pregnancy are UNLIKELY to substantially affect the child’s risk of atopic disease. In fact, such diets might adversely effect maternal or fetal nutrition which can cause lower gestational weight gain, slightly higher risk of preterm birth, and a reduction in birthweight of the infants. However, future trials with a larger sample size were recommended.




Another researcher, Muraro in 2004 after reviewing all the literature concluded that there is NO evidence that maternal diet during pregnancy or lactation prevents the development of atopic disease.

However, a study concludes…

A recent study by Soutter at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology in 2010, involving 274 high risk pregnant women, each with a previous documented child with food allergies, showed that children whose mothers avoided certain allergenic foods during late pregnancy and lactation had a lower chance of developing asthma and allergic sensitization when avoiding peanuts, tree nuts, milk and eggs when examined at 18 months and 3 years of age.

By age 3, there was no significant difference between the groups for eczema symptoms and dust mite sensitization but the differences in rates of peanut and egg sensitization as well as asthma was large and significant. It is felt that avoidance behavior may work for certain people and not for others.


Thursday, April 28, 2016


I recall getting very lightheaded when I got up from a chair when I was pregnant.
 Although that was probably just from getting up too fast, there are other reasons why pregnant women feel dizzy. This article explains what you can do to minimize this problem:

Not enough food and drink When you don't eat enough, you can end up with low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), which can make you feel dizzy or faint. This can happen much more easily when you're pregnant.

Dehydration can have a similar affect. Make sure you stay well hydrated by drinking eight to ten glasses of water a day — more if you're exercising or if it's hot.

Try to keep your blood sugar from getting too low by eating small, frequent meals during the day instead of three large ones. Carry healthy snacks so you can eat when you get hungry.
Anemia If you're anemic, you have fewer red blood cells to carry oxygen to your brain and other organs, which can leave you feeling lightheaded. Iron deficiency is the most common cause of anemia, so be sure to eat an iron-rich diet and take a prenatal vitamin with iron, especially in your second and third trimesters. If you become anemic, your caregiver will probably prescribe a separate iron supplement as well.
Getting overheated Spending time in a very hot room or taking a hot bath or shower can cause your blood vessels to dilate, lowering your blood pressure and making you woozy.



If you feel dizzy when you get too hot, avoid stuffy crowded places and dress in layers so you can shed clothes as necessary. Take warm showers or baths instead of hot ones, and try to keep the bathroom cool.
Hyperventilation Excessive exercise or anxiety can sometimes cause you to hyperventilate and feel faint. Although exercise can help your circulation, be careful not to overdo it if you're feeling tired or not well. Start out slowly. If you start to feel lightheaded or dizzy while exercising, stop and lie down.
Vasovagal syncope Some people get dizzy when they strain to cough, pee, or have a bowel movement. These actions can prompt a vasovagal response (that is, an effect on your circulatory system by your vagus nerve) — a decrease in blood pressure and heart rate, leading to dizziness and fainting. (The word syncope means fainting.)

Dehydration, anxiety, and pain can also trigger this type of reaction, and pregnant women are more vulnerable to it. Lightheadedness and warning signs such as a feeling of warmth, paleness, sweating, nausea, yawning, and hyperventilation often precede vasovagal syncope. Pay attention to these signs and lie down immediately to help keep yourself from fainting.


Tuesday, April 26, 2016


My website has a complete page on Feng Shui for fertility and getting pregnant (,  but what about after your baby is born.  What are the principles of feng shui for babies?  This guest post explains some do's and don'ts to create the right environment according to the principles of feng shui design.

Creating Good Feng Shui in Baby's Room

Guest Post By Kathryn Weber

Getting ready for a new baby requires a lot of thought and planning from what diapers the baby will wear down to the decoration and arrangement of baby's room. Today's parents want to create a haven for their little one that will help the baby feel comforted and nurtured, as well as stimulated enough so that they thrive. Increasingly, parents are going beyond the traditional coordinated "theme" rooms to ensure baby has a healthy environment by incorporating feng shui.
Feng shui, the Chinese system for arrangement and placement, so often used in businesses and homes is now making its way into the nursery, and for good reason, too. Feng Shui proposes that by arranging and aligning the room correctly, energy will flow better in the room and that all who reside in the room will thrive and prosper better than if the energy is the room was incorrect or did not flow smoothly. Understandably, no one needs to thrive and prosper more than a baby.
To maximize the energy in baby's room, there are several important factors to consider, such as room location, safety, colors, and furniture arrangement. Using feng shui in the nursery will help to make babies less fussy, who will feel more comfortable in their surroundings, and who will be healthy and flourish. What does it take to accomplish this? Following some basic considerations will help both baby and parents create a room that makes them both happy.
Select a good location for the baby's bedroom. A new baby should have a bedroom that is not over a garage or has an empty space below. The bedroom also shouldn't be located where there is excessive noise that might keep the baby from sleeping, such as close to a living room where the TV is on, or close to a noisy street or neighbor.
Bed placement is important. The bed should not be against a window or be directly in line with the door. Put the baby on a solid wall with the head of the crib against the wall, rather than lengthwise. Make sure the baby does not sleep or is placed against a slanted wall. These press on the baby. Avoid placing the baby against a wall that is shared with a bathroom, toilet, storage, or utility-type room.
Opt for soothing colors. Children benefit from bright colors in play areas, but if these are used in a baby's room, infants can be over stimulated to the point that they do not rest well. Because deep sleep in babies is necessary for healthy growth, be sure to select restful, muted colors. Whites are excellent for children, but avoid black and white color scheme because there is too much contrast. Select color palettes that are close to one another and harmonious, such as green and blue, white and beige, or pink and yellow.
Create soft movement in the room. A room that is too still becomes stagnant and this is not beneficial for the growth of the child. To create good, but soft energy and movement, hang mobiles close to a window to move gently in the breeze and keep soft music playing in the room. You can also place a small fan on a dresser turned on low to keep air moving in the room. Avoid placing the baby under a ceiling fan as these disrupt their body energy.
Watch for pointed objects. Make sure there are no hard corners from dressers or changing tables pointed at the baby's head or body. Move these to another part of the room where they are not pointed in the direction of the bed.
Select design motifs with care. Make sure that designs do not have harsh points, such as arrows, crosses, diamonds, or triangles. Nature designs are excellent and promote growth. Animal designs should also be chosen carefully. Ferocious or aggressive animals, even when they are made for a baby's room, should not be chosen. Some of these are found in jungle motif designs and include lions, tigers, bears, and reptiles. Motifs with fish are fine as long as the watery theme is not overly dominant. Otherwise, respiratory, lung, nasal, or kidney problems could develop.
Keep lighting balanced. During the day, the light in the baby's room should neither be too bright or too dark. Install blinds that can be lowered or raised as needed to keep the room at a pleasant level of lighting. If the room is too bright, the baby won't rest deeply. If too dim, the room would be too "yin" and the baby could fail to thrive or have respiratory problems.
Kathryn Weber is the publisher of the Red Lotus Letter Feng Shui E-zine and certified feng shui consultant in classical Chinese feng shui. Kathryn helps her readers improve their lives and generate more wealth with feng shui. For more information visit and learn the fast and fun way how feng shui can make your life more prosperous and abundant! To subscribe and receive the FREE Ebook, "Easy Money - 3 Steps to Building Massive Wealth with Feng Shui,"logon to

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