“With morning sickness, gassiness and managing the pain of swollen joints, feeling good during pregnancy can be a challenge for any woman,” says Elizabeth Somer, registered dietitian and Vitamin Packs Medical Advisor. “The good news is, there are lots of things you can do to maintain a healthy diet and feel as good as possible during your pregnancy.” In this article, Somer shares nutrition tips and the top nutrients to help you feel your best and support your health during pregnancy.
(BPT) - If you’re like most expecting moms, you’ve already heard that a healthy, whole foods diet is best for you and baby, one that features plenty of fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains and lean proteins.
However, many expecting moms are also battling nausea and indigestion, especially during the earliest stages. That can make the idea of eating nutrient-dense, high-fiber foods less appealing. All the while, it doesn’t make you worry any less about getting all the nourishment the two of you need.
“With morning sickness, gassiness and managing the pain of swollen joints, feeling good during pregnancy can be a challenge for any woman,” says Elizabeth Somer, registered dietitian and Vitamin Packs Medical Advisor. “The good news is, there are lots of things you can do to maintain a healthy diet and feel as good as possible during your pregnancy.”
Somer shares nutrition tips and the top nutrients to help you feel your best and support your health during pregnancy.
Manage through morning sickness
Not long after you celebrate your pregnancy, morning sickness may settle in while your energy levels really start to lag. You can thank the surge of new hormones going through your body. At the same time, you may be concerned about getting enough folic acid (vitamin B9), as this is an essential nutrient that supports the baby’s brain and spinal cord development.
While nausea can dampen anyone’s desire to eat, it’s important to make sure you’re still nourishing your body. Try eating smaller meals throughout the day, don’t lie down after eating, and always take your prenatal vitamins with food. Choosing the right vitamins can help, too. Prenatal vitamins from Vitamin Packs are made with organic ginger and a more absorbable form of vitamin B6, helping to ease your upset stomach and nausea.
Get the nourishment you and baby need
Somer recommends every expecting mother take a multivitamin during pregnancy, starting with a quick online assessment on VitaminPacks.com/prepostnatal/. Your medications, diet and health concerns will be factored into your personalized selection of supplements, so you can be assured that taking them will be safe and effective during this critical time. You also can pull from their online library to get more information about any of their supplements. And, if you have any further questions or concerns about getting your nutritional needs met, a consultation with a nutritionist is just a phone call away. You deserve the best foundation of nutritional support that’s personalized for you and baby.
Mind your portions
After you get past that challenging first trimester, you’ll most likely be more in the mood to eat. Remember, weight gain is perfectly normal and healthy. In fact, you will need to consume extra calories to support the changes and development taking place inside your body. By the time you’re ready to give birth, your blood volume can go up as much as 60 percent, according to the American Pregnancy Association. Even so, steer clear of the “eating for two” mindset. Too much weight can worsen your health, and keep you from feeling your best, especially if it leads to gestational diabetes and other serious health conditions. Talk to your doctor and take the advice on how many calories you should consume in a day.
Eat your fish
During pregnancy, your baby’s brain is undergoing rapid development. To support this, opt for foods that are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids, especially during the second trimester. Common foods that contain these good fats are fatty fish, such as mackerel, salmon and herring. If the idea of eating fish makes you queasy, there are vegetarian sources available in the form of algae DHA omega-3 supplements.
Choose plenty of fruits and veggies
There’s a bounty of nutrients and micronutrients found in produce that can help mother and baby in numerous ways. Antioxidants found in dark colored produce, such as blueberries, broccoli and carrots, support the baby’s brain health. Plus, eating fruits and veggies is one way to stay hydrated and relieve constipation (which is all too common during pregnancy).
Get ready for motherhood by taking on a healthy mindset and a nourishing diet. You and your baby will both reap the benefits!
(BPT) - Pregnancy is an exciting time in a woman’s life, filled with countless physical, emotional and lifestyle changes. Pregnant women often do research, read books or consult friends and family to determine what to expect during those nine months and how to best combat the symptoms that may arise. While issues like morning sickness and cravings are to be expected, there are several uncomfortable, but common, effects soon-to-be moms may be less likely to anticipate.
“A woman is going to experience numerous changes to her body during pregnancy,” says Dr. Alyssa Dweck, an OB-GYN, author and expert on women’s health. “Although there is abundant information about issues like backaches and morning sickness, there are a number of common symptoms women are less inclined to talk about because they either consider them taboo or embarrassing.”
While each woman’s pregnancy experience will be unique, Dr. Dweck shares some of the lesser-known, but common, health nuisances to expect when expecting:
Some common causes of constipation among pregnant women include increased progesterone levels, which influences intestinal motility, increased pressure from the growing uterus and the recommended supplementation of iron. To help diminish constipation, women can try increasing their fiber and fluid intake and limit iron supplements to three times a week.
2. Yeast infections
The hormonal changes that come with pregnancy often increase the chance of developing a vaginal yeast infection. However, according to a 2016 Danish nationwide cohort study, even a single, low dose of fluconazole (the leading prescription pill to treat yeast infections) may increase miscarriage risk. Instead, Dr. Dweck recommends MONISTAT 7 for vaginal yeast infections, as it relieves symptoms four times faster and works on more of the most common strains of yeast than the prescription oral pill. Nevertheless, women should always check with their own healthcare provider before using any treatment during pregnancy.
Heartburn and indigestion are most frequent during the third trimester, as the growing uterus places pressure on the stomach and the muscle tone of the esophagus relaxes. To help minimize heartburn, eat smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day, sit or stand after a meal and avoid spicy, greasy and fatty foods. OTC antacids are typically safe, but it is important to speak to an OB-GYN before taking.
4. Varicose veins
Many women develop varicose veins during pregnancy. As blood volume increases and the uterus enlarges, additional pressure is put on the veins in the pelvis, lower extremities and the rectal area. Elevate the legs to improve circulation, avoid sitting or standing in the same position for extended lengths of time and try to exercise regularly, if possible.
5. Body and facial hair growth
Hair is likely to grow faster and thicker during pregnancy on places other than just the head. Higher levels of estrogen extend the growth phase of hair, leading to less shedding and denser locks. Safe ways to get rid of these unwanted hairs during pregnancy include tweezing, waxing and shaving.
Regardless of whether a result of pregnancy is considered normal, pregnant women should readily consult their OB-GYN if they experience any changes or if they are looking for treatment solutions. Though health nuisances are bound to pop up during pregnancy, there are simple solutions to combat them so women can make the most of this wonderful time and prep for the arrival of baby. For more information, visit Monistat.com.
(BPT) - The family trip. For most kids it’s a chance to relax, visit a new destination, collect souvenirs, and create stories and memories to share with their friends throughout the year.
For 14-year-old Maanasa Mendu, however, the family trip provided her with a vision of how she needed to change the world.
Mendu’s spur for innovation came during a family trip to India where she witnessed firsthand the energy scarcity experienced in regions of the world far from her native Ohio. The family makes the visit every summer, and during this particular visit, as she experienced persistent blackouts, Mendu knew she had to do something about it.
So she got to work.
With an idea in her head, she found her opportunity to grow and develop it through the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge. The competition challenges students to create an innovation that solves a real-world problem affecting their global, national or local communities.
Nature inspired Mendu to solve the problem of unreliable power. By harnessing wind, solar and rain energy, she created a device that could provide energy in any rural or urban environment. Her early prototypes used recycled soda bottles hanging from a tree. She then attached solar panels like leaves and while these prototypes looked simple, they actually captured energy — as much as 9 volts with her third prototype.
Mendu used this discovery and her work thus far to enter the Young Scientist Challenge by recording a two-minute video describing the science behind her innovation. Judges evaluated her video based on her creativity, scientific knowledge, persuasiveness and overall presentation, and liked what they saw. Mendu was named a competition finalist and paired with a mentor, 3M senior product development engineer Margaux Mitera, to further develop her project.
For Mendu, the partnership with her 3M mentor ignited myriad new possibilities. “My mentor, Margaux was amazing and I learned so much about the process of innovation working with her. She truly exemplified how collaboration is key to success!” she remembers.
Mitera’s sentiments were mutual. “Maanasa is such a bright, enthusiastic young woman. It was really a pleasure to work with her and help her project grow. I can’t wait to see what she will do in the future.”
With Mitera’s help, Mendu learned the four C’s of science: collaboration, communication, creativity and critical thinking. She was also able to meet with Mitera at the 3M Innovation Center in St. Paul, Minnesota, where each of the finalists arrived on October 16, 2016. Mendu and her fellow finalists all had the opportunity to present their projects before a panel of judges, including 3M scientists. When the competition was over, Mendu’s idea to deliver electricity to impoverished regions earned her the title of America’s Top Young Scientist.
The victory also awarded her $25,000, but Mendu isn’t looking toward the future just yet. She’s still busy in the present, perfecting her design, so she can help impoverished people around the world as soon as possible. “Along the way I have learned so much about the process of innovation,” she says of the project. “Innovation is more than just a lightbulb moment, it’s about being creative, trying new approaches and learning from your mistakes. I’ve began to realize the truth in the saying, “Genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.”
Mendu is dedicated to continuing her process of innovation for those who live every day without energy.
The Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge
Mendu won the 2016 Young Scientist Challenge with an idea and a dream. Nominations for the 2017, challenge are still open. To enter, students in grades 5-8 must submit a one- to two-minute video no later than April 19, 2017, describing the science behind their new innovation or solution to solve an everyday problem. The problem could be one experienced half a world away, as was the case with Mendu's, or it could be one you encounter every day. The only limit to your scientific solution is your own imagination. To learn more about the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge, visit www.youngscientistlab.com/challenge.
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