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Why is it that so many people forget their manners around pregnant women?  Whether it’s a well-meaning coworker or that friend from church, their remarks can really sting, no matter how good their intentions may have been. This is especially true when you’re a sensitive, hormone-addled mom-to-be!

To save everybody some discomfort, here’s a list of things you should never say to a pregnant woman.

Are you sure you’re not having twins?

This. Is. The. WORST. It’s a not-so-subtle way of saying, “You look enormous.” Why would you ever tell a woman she looks big? What is the matter with you?

 

“OMG, you’re so small! You barely look pregnant.”

For a good portion of my pregnancy, I was small and had a barely noticeable belly. I would always get comments about other pregnant bellies being bigger than my pregnant belly. So here is the thing – just as you shouldn’t comment on how big a woman is when she’s pregnant, don’t remark on how small she is either. You might not think this one is as insulting, but it can make a first-time mom worry about whether she is measuring too small for her baby’s gestational age. Rule of thumb: Don’t make any comments about a pregnant mama’s size – trust me 🙂

“Wait Until… The Sleepless Nights/The Birth/You Have A Toddler!”

This one ALWAYS gets me! Guys, pregnancy isn’t a competition. I’m sure sleepless nights and toddler years are tough, as well as sending kids off to University. But, I’m not doing that right now. I’m pregnant, and every so often I would like to be able to have a moan about my aching back/how tired I am/my clumsiness without being dismissed as naive.

You look like you’re really ready to be done.

This is another way of saying, “Gosh, you look terrible.” It’s right up there with telling someone they look tired. Unless a person has just finished a marathon, or hosted a junior high slumber party, you shouldn’t tell them they look tired. Same goes for telling a pregnant woman she looks ready to be done.

 

You look farther along than five/six/seven/eight months. I’m sure you’ll go early.

Yes, I’m sure my doctor, who went to medical school, totally got the estimated due date wrong. Thanks for the help – I’ll make sure we revise the chart to reflect your completely off-the-wall opinion on how big my belly is.

 

You look like you’re ready to pop!

… you in the nose… 😉

Being pregnant is one of the most special times in a woman’s life. Not sure what you should say the next you are ready to time you’re chatting with a pregnant woman?

Keep it simple:

You.

Look.

Great.

That’s it. Works for postpartum women, too. Oh, and pretty much everyone else.

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My final countdown is on!!! I have less than 5 weeks until my due date with my first baby, so, I thought I would share a few of the things that have helped me get through this pregnancy, well, almost! Now, let me say, every pregnancy and person is SO different.  Some mommies don’t swell while others don’t have pelvic pain. These have been two of my biggest issues.

Below are the three items that made a difference in my pregnancy and I would definitely recommend them to my amputee preggo mommies. (And, I have even included equivalents for my non-amputee mommies.) These are products from Knit-Rite, the parent company of Preggers.

  1. Soft Sock. Well, I actually needed this product before I even got pregnant. Soft socks are used like any other socks.

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You wear your socks under your shoes; I wear my soft socks under my socket. Soft Sock fibers wick moisture away from the skin and inhibit odor. The best part is that they feel soft and cuddly worn next to my skin. For me, this is very important, since my skin is much more sensitive now that I am pregnant.

And for my non-amputee mommies, SmartKnit socks are made from similar materials for all those same wonderful reasons.

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2. Shrinkers. Like most pregnant women, I’ve gained weight during this pregnancy. Duhh, this is the only time in my life where it is acceptable and expected!!! I am going to do it, guys. Happy Holidays! LOL! But more than anything, I swelled, a lot! I stopped wearing my wedding ring, and my limbs inside my prostheses were definitely more than snug. Unfortunately, I can’t just buy bigger clothes to fit or wear compression tights/socks to help with the swelling. After talking with my prosthetist, he suggested that I wear Knit-Rite shrinkers.

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No lies here – I wore the shrinker all night like I was told. The next day I was able to fit into my socket without forcing myself into it. I was sooo happy! It’s not pleasant when you can’t fit into your walking legs – trust me!!! The compression prosthetic shrinker is usually used for control or prevention of edema following amputation surgery, for limb volumetric maintenance, to minimize hypertrophic scarring and to give compressive support for pain relief. But in my case, it definitely helped with my pregnancy swelling and I hope it will continue for the last 5 weeks!

As for my non-amputee mommies, I recommend Preggers maternity support leggings and our Core-Spun socks! They will give you the same effect as the shrinkers while looking fabulous. Aren’t you lucky? 😉

 

3. Preggers Maternity Support Bands. This is one we can all use!

Since I didn’t gain THAT much weight during this pregnancy, I didn’t think I would have too many back or pelvis issues. Boy, was I wrong. When I was about 33 weeks pregnant, I woke up with so much pelvic pain that I could barely make it to work. I kept thinking something was wrong with me, and I ended up visiting my OB/GYN . She said that this is a normal pregnancy issue, and I just need to wear a belly band to support my belly and hips. There are many types of belly bands out there, but of course I wore a Preggers by Therafirm Maternity Support Band.

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This seamless garment is made from super stretchy fibers and expands during the varying stages of pregnancy. The supportive band helps ease back discomfort and provide active moms additional abdominal support. And yes, after wearing one of these maternity support bands for a few days, my pain started to go away! It’s amazing how a simple material that supports just a tiny bit of your belly can relieve pain from your back and pelvis.

I can’t imagine finishing the last 5 weeks of my pregnancy without all of these products. Like I said earlier, every pregnancy is different and not all of these products are right for everyone. But they are right for me, and they might be right for you too! Give them a try!

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We’ve had a baby boom in the office lately – and how convenient that we work for Preggers!  And as ladies tend to do, we’ve been talking a lot about the current pregnancies, as well as past ones.  It’s inevitably moved into the realm of old wives’ tales and how much truth there is to them.   And just for fun, we thought we’d explore this, because seriously, they’re wrong just as often as they’re right.  And everyone has a ton of fun predicting!  So, check out our old wives’ tales below and tell us your experiences.  Did your babies prove them right or wrong?

Here is a breakdown of our Mama test subjects. 😊

Mama #1 – This mama has had 4 babies – 2 boys and 2 girls.  She’ll be a great example when it comes to those gender predicting old wives’ tales!

Mama #2 – This mama has had 3 baby boys!  It will be interesting to see how they differ and how they’re the same!

Mama #3 – This mama has had 2 boys and a girl – including the most recent new baby in the office.  She kept the gender of each of her babies a surprise!

Mama #4 – This mama has had 1 baby boy and 1 baby girl!

Mama #5 – Our newest mama!  Her first baby is due this January!

Prediction #1: Heartburn means a lot of hair

Tradition states that when a pregnant mom has heartburn, her new baby will have a lot of hair.  Believe it or not, this one might actually have some truth to it.  Johns Hopkins did a study of 64 pregnant women ranking the severity of their heartburn and then rating the hair volume of their newborns using photographs.  The smart folks at JH actually had a complicated math formula and determined that there may actually be a correlation between the severity of heartburn and the amount of a newborn’s hair.  Who knew!?  We put this one to the test:

Mama #1 – She had heartburn with her first baby and he had no hair!!  And she had no heartburn with the other three.  All had hair – tons!

Mama #2 – This lucky mama had no heartburn with any of her babies . . . . and they all had hair!

Mama #3 – First pregnancy gave her a little bit of heartburn and baby definitely had hair.  The second and third gave her bad heartburn – and funny, one had hair, the other didn’t.

Mama #4 – This mama had no heartburn with her first baby and he had a lot of hair.  The second pregnancy gave her a lot of heartburn, and that baby also had a lot of hair, but slightly less than the first.

Mama #5 – This mama has had some heartburn, but not too bad.  Only time will tell how much hair her baby has. 😉

Prediction #2: Dry vs. Oily Skin

The prediction on this one says that dry skin is an indicator that you’re having a boy, while oily skin signals a girl.

Mama #1 – This mama had dry skin with her first boy – score one for the old wives’ tale.  But, she had normal skin with her other three – another boy and 2 girls.

Mama #2 – Mama #2 says she had normal skin with all three of her boys.

Mama #3 – This mama said she had oily skin with her first boy, and normal skin with her other two – a girl and a boy.

Mama #4 – Here’s a mama that had dry skin with her baby boy and oily skin with her baby girl.

Mama #5 – Our expectant mama says that her skin has been oily.  Girl?

Prediction #3: Pregnancy Glow

Tradition states that a girl will steal her mama’s beauty, so the mama will get compliments on her “glow” with boys, but not with girls.

Mama #1 – Mama #1 got “glow” compliments with all four of her kids – 2 boys and 2 girls.

Mama #2 – This mama had the “glow” with her three boys.

Mama #3 – LOL!  This mama had the opposite.  She got “glow” compliments with her girl, but not as much with her two boys.

Mama #4 – This mama doesn’t remember “glowing” with either her boy or her girl.

Mama #5 – Sweet Mama #5 says she hasn’t gotten any “glowing” comments yet.  Girl?

Prediction #4: The dreaded acne

Girls are said to give their mamas acne (makes sense with all that oily skin).  Boys are kinder to their mamas in this regard.

Mama #1 – Poor Mama #1.  She had acne with all four of her kids – didn’t matter the gender!

Mama #2 – Mama #2 had acne with her first BOY, but her other two boys were kinder and gave her none.

Mama #3 – This mama had acne with her first boy, but none with her girl or her second boy.

Mama #4 – This mama had no acne with her baby boy, and only a little bit with her baby girl.

Mama #5 – Finally, our expectant mama says she is experiencing a little more acne than normal.  Girl?

Prediction #5: Hair – Thick and Glossy or Dull and Limp

Thick and glossy is said to indicate a boy, while dull and limp means you’re having a girl.  (Seriously, girls!)

Mama #1 – Gender didn’t matter here.  This mama found her hair thick and glossy every time.

Mama #2 – Three boys meant three times this mama had thick and glossy hair.

Mama #3 – Another instance of gender not being a factor.  Mama #3 had thick and glossy hair every time.

Mama #4 – Mama #4 never noticed any change to her hair with her son, but did have thick and glossy hair with her daughter.

Mama #5 – Mama #5 finds that her hair is dull and limp.  Girl?

Prediction #6: Cravings

Women can crave some crazy things when pregnant, but rumor has it that salty things foretell a boy, while sweet things predict a girl.

Mama #1 – This mama craved salty stuff with her youngest boy and sweet stuff with her girls.  Her curve ball oldest boy gave her cravings of jalapenos.  Spicy!

Mama #2 – This mama craved chicken sandwiches (salty) and whoppers candy (sweet) with her first.  The other two only gave her ice cravings.

Mama #3 – This mama’s craved ice cream with peanuts with her first (sweet and salty).  Her second gave her chocolate cravings, and her third it was fudgecicles.  Sweet kids regardless of gender!

Mama #4 – This mama craved spicy foods and anything lemon-flavored with her boy and sour sweet tarts and iced tea with her girl.

Mama #5 – Our current Preggers mama tells us that she craves salty things, but also fruit. Boy?

Prediction #7: Nausea

This Old Wives’ Tale says that the more pregnancy nausea you have, the more likely a girl and the less nausea, more likely a boy.

Mama #1 – What a lucky mama!  Four pregnancies and no nausea – with her boys or her girls!

Mama #2 – Another lucky mama!  Three pregnancies and no nausea!

Mama #3 – Mama #3 had some nausea with her older son; very little nausea with her daughter; and the worst nausea with her youngest son.

Mama #4 – Mama #4 had a little bit of nausea with her son, but not too bad.  Her daughter gave her more trips to the bathroom, but still nothing too awful.

Mama #5 – Our pregnant mama says she’s definitely been feeling the nausea bug. Girl?

Prediction #8: Cold feet

Boys are said to give their mamas super cold feet, while girls don’t have the same affect.

Mama #1 – Might be true.  This mama says her boys gave her cold feet, while the girls did not.

Mama #2 – All three boys, all three cold feet!

Mama #3 – No cold feet for her girl or her oldest son, but cold feet for the younger son.

Mama #4 – Cold feet for her boy, but not for her girl.

Mama #5 – It’ll be hard to tell on this mama, as she’s a congenital double amputee!  She has no feet to determine if her baby makes her feet cold. 😉

We are all excited to find out if Mama #5 is having a boy or a girl!  Mama thinks a boy, but our Old Wives’ Tales lean toward girl!  Tell us about Old Wives’ Tales that you know and whether or not they were accurate predictors of gender or amount of hair, etc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you a first time Preggers Mama?  If so, we have some advice for you!  Enjoy it!  Seriously, enjoy this Mother’s Day, because it is the only one that will be like this.  Sleep in.  Maybe you awake to breakfast in bed prepared by a doting husband.  Or, maybe you dress in a cute maternity dress and go to brunch with your family.  An afternoon pedicure.  Quiet time reading a book in the sunshine.

These all sound glorious!  Don’t get me wrong, any Mother’s Day is wonderful because it celebrates our most important job – being a Mom!  But, let’s face it, you’ll never have another Mother’s Day like this one.

For example:

Early Morning Snoozing

1st Time Preggers Mama

Wake up gradually with the warm sun streaming through the window.  Hear the birds chirping and maybe the smell of breakfast cooking.

Veteran Preggers Mama

Wake up to your pregnant belly hanging off the bed because your other children are occupying the space.  Someone is probably screaming.  Someone might have wet the bed.

Breakfast

1st Time Preggers Mama

Your darling hubby has been up for an hour making you breakfast in bed.  You leisurely have breakfast together and talk about how wonderful it will be once the baby is here.

Veteran Preggers Mama

You turned your back for just a moment and breakfast became a scene from a disaster movie.

 Afternoon Activity

1st Time Preggers Mama

You spend the afternoon getting pampered at a salon.  Or maybe your husband even helps you with your pedicure.

Veteran Preggers Mama

Here you are on the sidelines watching soccer game number three for the day.  Only two more to go.

Evening Wind Down Time

1st Time Preggers Mama

You finish off the day with a relaxing bubble bath.  Candles burning.  Calming music in the background.  The scent of lavender floating in the air.

Veteran Preggers Mama

This time you’re preparing the bath and trying to bathe kids without getting your own clothes wet.  Don’t get soap in your child’s eyes.  And actually it’s a bubble bath because the other child dumped a whole bottle of shampoo in the water.

In all fairness, the 1st Time Preggers Mama scenario is probably a little too perfect.  And even though the Veteran Preggers Mama spent the whole day busy with her kids, she probably wouldn’t change a second of it.  It’s why we’re mamas, right?!

Happy Mother’s Day from all of us at Preggers!

 

It’s National Infertility Awareness Week.  We hope that none of our Preggers mamas have had to tackle this challenge, but since infertility affects more than 5 million people of childbearing age, statistically speaking I’m sure that some of you have.  If you are reading this, and you are one of the 5 million, then most likely you’ve overcome this hurdle.  This week, we recognize your struggles to build your family with some facts that perhaps many people don’t know or understand about infertility.

  • 1 in 6 couples struggles with infertility.
  • The clinical definition of infertility is a couple who has been having unprotected sex for one year and hasn’t conceived. This changes to six months if you are a woman over 35 years old.
  • Infertility is NOT an inconvenience; it is a disease of the reproductive system that impairs the body’s ability to perform the basic function of reproduction.
  • In about 40 percent of infertility cases, a medical issue with the woman is the cause. In 30 percent of cases it is the man. And in 20 per cent of cases, both the man and woman are the cause. Approximately 10 percent of infertility cases can’t be explained.
  • There are many different causes of infertility: lack of regular ovulation, a low sperm count, low sperm motility, premature ovarian insufficiency (early menopause) and anatomical problems, such as blocked Fallopian tubes and problems with the uterine cavity. In some couples, there is no obvious cause, which is called unexplained infertility.
  • A woman’s age often plays a role in infertility. According to Health Canada, a 30-year-old woman has a 90 percent chance of getting pregnant. That chance drops to 77 percent by age 35 and 55 percent if you are 40 or older.
  • Twelve percent of all infertility cases are a result of the woman either weighing too little or too much.
  • Men and women who smoke have decreased fertility.
  • Up to 13 percent of female infertility is caused by cigarette smoking.
  • Irregular or abnormal ovulation accounts for approximately 25 percent of all female infertility problems.
  • Investigation into potential causes of infertility can usually be completed over one menstrual cycle.
  • Most infertility cases — 85% to 90% — are treated with conventional medical therapies such as medication or surgery.
  • While vital for some patients, in vitro fertilization and similar treatments account for less than 3% of infertility services, and about (or approximately) seven hundredths of one percent (0.07%) of U.S. health care costs.
  • IUI has a 10 to 20 percent pregnancy rate per procedure—a healthy woman under 35 can expect a success rate of about 19 percent per procedure. Each insemination costs $300 to $500, plus the cost of medications.
  • IVF costs $6,000 and up per cycle, depending on add-ons chosen and whether eggs or embryos are frozen after the cycle.

Everyone’s journey toward motherhood is different.  If your experience included more than just you and your partner – more like a room full of doctors and scientists –  know that you’re not alone.

February 20 is National Love Your Pet Day!  And who among us doesn’t love your pet?  We chose today to dive into the question of whether your pets, namely dogs and cats, actually know that you’re pregnant . . . maybe even before you do.

Okay, let’s back up a little bit.  I don’t think that our pets actually know that you are pregnant or perhaps what that really even means, but they do know that something is different about you.

Most pet owners keep pets because they love the companionship that cats and dogs, or other animals, can give.  These animals become a treasured part of the family. We love them and they in turn love us back.  It starts out as dependence – they need us for food, water, shelter, etc. – but most of them come to love their humans deeply, as well.  Many of them are protective.

Cats and dogs are also very intuitive.  They can sense subtle changes that sometimes we don’t even know.  For instance, my cat seems to always know when I’m about to catch a cold or a virus.  She cuddles up right by me and won’t leave my side.  Sure enough, by the next day, I’m sneezing away, or worse yet, vomiting.  She knew.  They say that some animals can sense when their owner has cancer, specifically skin cancer.  It only makes sense that they would also sense when your body has changed due to pregnancy.

According to most animal behavior specialists, this ability actually comes from the animal’s excellent sense of smell.  The hormone levels of women change almost immediately once a woman becomes pregnant.  They begin producing elevated levels of estrogen, progesterone and chorionic gonadotropin.  Our senses, not as sensitive as dogs and cats, cannot sense or smell these hormone changes, but many people believe that our pets can.  Perhaps even before a pregnancy test would detect them.

Although it seems likely that dogs and cats really can sense a new pregnancy, they don’t all react in the same ways.  A dog may become protective and not let anyone near you.  Or, quite the opposite, a dog that has always been mild and good natured, may growl at you when you arrive home.  A highly independent cat, may become clingy.  They probably are confused and don’t understand why they feel differently about you, but they know there is something different.

The most important thing to do, regardless of how your pet reacts, is to just keep loving them and keep as much of your regular activities with them as you can.  You’ll reassure your pets that they’re still part of the family and that they’re not going to be abandoned or go hungry.  But, if you’re like me, I won’t really need to tell you that.  You’ll have no problem loving on your pets no matter what!  And most likely, you’ll have a fierce protector for the new little life that will soon be joining your family.

Happy National Love Your Pet Day!

My fur babies keep a watchful eye on my human babies!  Love them all!

Is anyone else excited for the Olympics?  The 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea will begin on February 9.  I pretty much become an Olympic-aholic during this time – summer and winter alike, so I am looking forward to a few weeks of Olympic watching.

Did you know that there have been several athletes that have competed in the Olympics while pregnant?  This is amazing to me, because I certainly wasn’t in Olympic shape during either of my pregnancies.  Okay, I’ll be honest, I’ve never even been close to Olympic shape, but especially not then.  But, that’s just me.  I know that lots of super mamas are still able to be super athletes while carrying a little extra special cargo.  Here are a few of these super Olympic mamas.

Magda Julin – The First Pregnant Olympian
Magda Julin was a Swedish figure skater who competed in the 1920 Olympics and won the gold medal.  At the time of the 1920 Olympics, Julin had only participated in one world championship – 7 years earlier in 1913!  Just before Julin began her Free Skate, she had to change her music.  The world at that time was still reeling from World War I and there was widespread anti-German feelings.  Since Julin was planning on skating to Blue Danube by German composer Johann Strauss, she had to make a last minute change.  She won the gold anyway – all the while being four months pregnant.

Juno Stover-Irwin – The Pregnant Diving Olympian
Juno Stover-Irwin was an American diver active in the 1950s winning medals at both the 1952 and 1956 games.  Her first medal, a bronze, in 1952 was won while she was 3 ½ months pregnant.

Anita Spring and Kerri Walsh Jennings – The Pregnant Olympian Beach Volleyball Players
Everyone remembers American Kerri Walsh Jennings and her 2012 Olympic Partner Misty May winning gold on the beach in London.  Jennings would later learn that she competed while in the very early stages of pregnancy.  Jennings also won gold in 2004 in Athens, and 2008 in Beijing, as well as a bronze in 2016 in Rio, albeit not while pregnant.  Before Jennings, there was Anita Spring, an Australian beach volleyball player.  She competed in the 1996 games in Atlanta while four months pregnant.

Amelie Kober – The Pregnant Snowboarder Olympian
Amelie Kober, a German snowboarder competed in the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver while 2 months pregnant.  Although Kober didn’t medal in 2010, she did bring home a silver in 2006 and a bronze in 2014.

Diana Sartor and Kerstin Szymkowiak – The Pregnant Skeleton Olympians
German skeleton athletes Diana Sartor and Kerstin Szymkowiak both competed while two months pregnant – Sartor in 2006 and Szymkowiak in 2010.  Szymkowiak won a silver medal.

Cornelia Pfohl – The Twice Pregnant Olympian
German archer, Cornelia Pfohl has competed in four separate Olympic games (1992 in Barcelona, 1996 in Atlanta, 2000 in Sydney and 2004 in Athens).  She competed while pregnant in the latter two.  In 2000, she won a bronze medal while in the early stages of pregnancy with daughter Mara.  Her daughter Roselinda was born only 57 days after Pfohl last competed in an Olympic games in 2004.

Martina Valcepina – The Pregnant with Twins Olympian
Martina Valcepina, an Italian short track speed skater competed at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, while pregnant with twins!!  And she won the bronze medal, too!

Athletes of all kinds are amazing people, and Olympians especially.  But, hands down, I’m going to say that these ladies take the cake.  And honestly, they put me to shame.  What an amazing story they can share with the special children they were carrying, while competing in the greatest sporting competition the world knows.