Four Great Moves for a Flat Belly

Regaining your pre-pregnancy fitness is a gradual process that requires patience and consistency, and this is particularly true when it comes to working towards a flat stomach. The following progressive exercise program starts with a simple move and works up towards more strenuous exercises to get you back in shape. Once you've mastered the first move, add the next exercise until you've completed the entire series, and make sure you workout every other day for optimal results. It should take you an average of three months or longer to master all four moves, but be patient; the end result is well worth it. As with all exercise programs, check with your doctor before you start this routine. You will need an exercise ball for the first two workouts.

 

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Exercising During Pregnancy

Prenatal exercise is great for boosting energy levels, alleviating stress and tension, reducing pregnancy aches, and contributing to overall good health for both you and your baby, but sometimes the daily pregnancy discomforts can leave you feeling less than enthusiastic about getting up and starting your workout routine. Here are a few tips on how to adjust your exercise activities around your daily symptoms.

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Prevention of Premature Labor

One of the things that new mothers worry about is the possibility of premature labor, also known as preterm labor or delivery, where the baby is born before the 37th week of pregnancy and does not complete the pregnancy term. Premature labor is not a very common occurrence, and in most cases steps can be taken to reduce the risk. To allay unfounded fears and help you determine whether you have real cause for concern, we've compiled a list of some of the more common causes of preterm labor.

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Six Elements of a Healthy Diet

Pregnant women have different nutritional needs, which is why things like which foods to start eating and avoiding will come to the forefront of the list of things you need to pay attention to. But following a healthy diet doesn't necessarily have to involve the adoption of a strict regimen, it simply means that you should pay more attention to your food choices. The following six guidelines adapted from The Whole Pregnancy Handbook by Joel M. Evans and Robin Aronson (Gotham Books, 2005), will help you detoxify your diet and develop healthy eating habits.

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Working Mommy-to-Be

If you're a full-time working woman that is busy building her career, you'll probably be wondering when the right time to announce your pregnancy is. Chances are you won't have much to worry about the first few months if your job doesn't involve strenuous work or long hours on your feet, but as your pregnancy progresses and your baby bump begins to show, you're going to have to begin thinking about how to break the news.

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Which Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy

Everyone talks about "eating healthy" now that you're pregnant, but eating healthy is as much about which foods to add to your daily diet as it is about which foods to avoid for the sake of both you and your baby's health. The reason behind this is that during pregnancy, your body's metabolism and circulation undergo some basic changes that leave you more susceptible than usual to food poisoning and food-borne illness, which in extreme cases can be life-threatening to your fetus.  Below is a basic outline of some of the common foods that you should avoid, however it would be a good idea to consult with your doctor on which foods and ingredients might be best avoided based on your own medical history and profile.

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Dealing with Sleep Deprivation during Pregnancy

One of the most frustrating things that new mothers must put up with is not being able to get a good night's sleep after a long day on their feet and experiencing the pangs and pains of daily pregnancy symptoms. However, understanding why your sleep gets interrupted and what to do to improve your situation will help you get the rest that your body needs.

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How Your Body Changes during Pregnancy

Your belly isn’t the only part of you that will be changing during the course of your pregnancy; the rest of your body will also be affected, some parts radically so. Each woman experiences pregnancy differently, but there are certain common alterations that you can expect to experience throughout your 9 months. The important thing is not to focus too much on your changing body and instead focus on your growing baby; accept these changes and remember that they’re only temporary. Here’s what you can expect:

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Natural Labor Positions

If you’re opting for a natural birth, then you’ll probably want to learn more about some of the different birthing positions you can use to speed up and facilitate your labor. Choosing the right positions at the right time can have a huge impact on your delivery progress as well as your level of comfort during contractions. The two most common birthing positions used in hospitals are the C-position, where mothers are made to rest on their tailbone and curl their bodies into a C shape, and the lithotomy position, where women are made to lie flat on their back. The reason doctors have expectant mothers assume these positions is merely because they are more convenient for the doctors themselves, not the mothers or their babies. Below are more beneficial positions that you can employ, and even though they might not be glamorous, they are certainly more conducive to your overall comfort.

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Labor Breathing Techniques

Having a baby for the first time can be a stressful and frightening prospect, particularly if you allow yourself to overdramatize labor in your mind beforehand, which most new moms unintentionally tend to do. Being stressed when you go into labor can leave your body tensed, your muscles rigid, and your breathing shallow, all of which are not conducive to easy labor. One great relaxation and pain relief technique during labor is breathing rhythmically, which can help release the tension in your body and optimize the amount of oxygen that you and your baby get, both of which are paramount for your baby’s and your own wellbeing.

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Massage Techniques for Labor

An often-practiced method of natural pain relief during labor, massage can work wonders by relaxing an expectant mother’s tense muscles and easing discomfort. It is also a known technique for triggering the release of endorphins, which act as natural pain relievers and mood boosters. While not all women enjoy being massaged during contractions, most find it extremely helpful and comforting. If you suspect that you belong to the latter group, have your birth partner try the following massage techniques:

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Stages of Labor

Knowing what to expect before you go into labor can really help settle unnecessary fears associated with vaginal birth. It will also leave you feeling more in control and aware of what’s happening around you when you’re in labor. The following article will shed light on what happens during each of the three stages of labor and how you can ease your discomfort during initial stages.

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Sick and Pregnant - Other Illnesses

In Sick and Pregnant: Most Common Illnesses, we discussed the symptoms and threats of some of the most common diseases that expecting mothers might face during their pregnancy. This time we’re looking at other diseases and infections that you might come across, as your immune system will be suppressed during pregnancy and contracting illnesses and infections will be more of a risk. Read on to learn what symptoms you should watch out for and whether or not they can affect your baby.

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Sick & Pregnant - Most Common Illnesses

Think all you’ve got to contend with are a few cramps, general morning sickness and overall pregnancy discomforts? Think again. Your normal immune system is suppressed during pregnancy, which can leave you susceptible to illnesses and infections if you’re not careful. Your best bet is taking measures to avoid getting sick, but if you do fall ill, don’t fret; we’ve compiled a list of the most common illnesses you’re likely to come up against, what you can expect in terms of symptoms, and how harmful they can be to your pregnancy, which will help you be better equipped to deal with whatever comes your way.

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