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Dreaming . . .

January 15, 2018 — Leave a comment

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal’.”
~Martin Luther King Jr

Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and with it comes a celebration of the man himself, as well as the great contributions he made to this country.  It’s tough to think about Dr. King without thinking of his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech. The word “dream” has so many meanings.  When Dr. King gave his famous speech in 1963, he was referring to an aspiration.  But, most of the meanings refer directly to dreaming while asleep.  This got us thinking about babies and when they start to dream.

A dream is actually a series of images, ideas, emotions and sensations that usually occur involuntarily during certain stages of sleep.  Scientists don’t really understand the purpose of dreams, though they are a much debated topic of interest in scientific, philosophical and religious circles.

Dreaming occurs in the rapid-eye movement (REM) stage of sleep.  Or the point in sleep when brain activity is high, resembling the point of being awake.  As the name indicates, REM sleep is accompanied by continuous movements of the eyes.  Although some dreams can occur during other stages of sleep, most dreams, including the vivid and memorable ones, occur during REM sleep.  Dreams can vary in length and are typically remembered if one wakes while still in REM sleep.  Most people have approximately three to five dreams per night.  That’s all fascinating information, right?  But, what about those littlest humans?  Do they dream?

Scientists know that infants experience REM sleep, which surely means they must dream.  No one really knows for sure since we can’t ask them.  Some scientists think that infants use the REM sleep stage to develop neural connections related to language, but don’t actually experience visual dreaming until they reach the age of four or five.  No one really knows.

And what about even tinier humans – babies in the womb?  Scientists can’t directly measure brain activity in fetuses, like they can even in newborn babies, but they can observe babies through ultrasound technologies.  They have been able to determine that fetuses are developed enough to begin experiencing REM sleep around 23 weeks.  So, by theory, they probably begin dreaming at that point, too.  Although, they don’t have a whole lot of information to populate their dreams, so it’s probably just sounds.  But, who really knows?

Since no one really knows for sure, it seems like this will likely remain a mystery for the near future.  But, I’d like to think that of course babies dream – both inside and outside the womb.  Who knows – maybe they’re just formulating another great American speech or perhaps the contributions they’ll each make to improve the world as we know it.  I can dream, right? 😉

 

Winter can really be treacherous in some parts of the country – even when you’re not pregnant, but especially so for those pregnant mamas.  There are three main areas that the pregnant mama will have to navigate – weather hazards, germ hazards, and well, wardrobe hazards.

Weather Hazards
Ice, snow – you know where this is going.  How many times do we hear about people falling on the ice and getting injured?  Pretty much every time there’s ice, right?  Your center of gravity changes when you’re pregnant, so you’ll need to take extra care in making sure you don’t fall.  The following are a few tips to help keep you on your feet.

  1. Footwear – You’ll need to make sure you have a good, stable pair of rubber-soled shoes or boots. This is particularly useful, even when there isn’t ice and snow as good traction will help you step with confidence.  If you have to trek through ice and snow pretty regularly, we may want to invest in some ice traction slip-ons that you can put over your shoes to help prevent slipping.  Above all, ditch the high heels.

If you do slip, try not to worry too much.  Typically baby is well protected in your womb.  Baby is probably just fine, but you can call your doctor if you need a little peace of mind.  But, if you sense decreased movement or other changes like bleeding or water breaking, definitely call your physician.

  1. Avoid the Ice and Snow to Begin With – When the weather is really bad, you should try to avoid going out altogether. It’s just best not to tempt fate and risk unnecessary injury.  Many local grocery stores have home delivery fees.  This is an excellent time to take advantage of this service.  You can also shop for your baby gear online.  In fact, this is a really good idea, because you can read reviews before you buy.
  2. Ensure You Have a Good Hospital Route – If you’re near the end of your pregnancy, or even if you’re not, you’ll want to make sure you have a good route planned out for getting to the hospital. When you make your plan, have a couple of backup plans in your back pocket, too, as you never know if a certain road is too icy or hazardous to navigate.
  3. Roadside Service Plan – If you really are not able to avoid driving this winter, you may want to have a roadside service plan that you can call in the event of a break down or other emergency.
  4. Don’t Shovel Snow! – Shoveling snow is really back breaking work and this is certainly not the time. You don’t want to risk getting hurt or going into premature labor.

Germ Hazards
Ugh!  Germs and illnesses are rampant this time a year.  Most illnesses are just giant nucenses, but they become a bigger problem during pregnancy when many cold relief drugs are off limits.  But, there are lots of ways to navigate this hazard, too.

  1. Prevent – Almost all OB/GYNs recommend that pregnant women get a flu shot once in the second or third trimester. Remember that pregnant women have a somewhat suppressed immune system, making you more susceptible to getting sick.  Although it’s not a sure thing, a simple flu shot will go a long way to preventing the flu.
  2. Wash Your Hands Regularly – You should do this anyway, right? Yes!  But, pay careful attention to this right now.  It will help you stay healthy.  Wash up after each bathroom break, before eating, after grocery shopping or anytime you come into contact with sick people.  You can also carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer in your purse.
  3. Take Something – Yes! If you do get sick, don’t be afraid to take something to help relieve some of the symptoms.  Just make sure you follow your OB/GYN’s instructions.  My doctor always gave me a booklet in the beginning that listed all the safe drugs for every scenario.  There’s really no need to suffer when a little simple relief for you won’t hurt baby at all.
  4. Hydrate – Yep. That one again.  Water just makes everything better.  Drinking plenty of water while pregnant will help to keep your skin from getting too itchy, which tends to happen when it expands.  Winter makes that even worse.
  5. Moisturize – Water won’t do it alone, though. Have a good moisturizer on hand and lather up – often.  Cocoa butter works great for stretching skin, too.

Wardrobe Hazards
Okay this one isn’t as much of a “hazard”, but it can be a point of stress for expecting moms.  For me, it was hard to justify spending good money on an oh-so-temporary wardrobe.  With my first pregnancy, I didn’t worry quite so much because I was sure that I would be using all of these pieces again.  Little did I know that there would be nine years in between my first and second and trends tend to change a little bit in that span of time – and I felt like it was a lot!  But, when I was pregnant with my second, I knew she would be my last, so I tried to make do with what I had from the first go-around.

  1. Winter Coat – To buy a maternity winter coat or not to buy a maternity winter coat? They’re so expensive and used for such a short time – especially in warmer climes, so really should you buy one?  I think that all depends on your situation.  My first baby was born in December, so of course I was at my biggest when it was really starting to be coat weather.  I didn’t buy a coat for this pregnancy.  I really ended up only needing a coat for about 2 short weeks.  In the late part of the fall, I just layered up.  After that, I wore a looser fitting coat.  It just wasn’t worth it for that short time.  I was only in my first and early second trimester during the winter months of my second pregnancy, so I got away with not buying one again.  Phew!  Some people will just have to suck it up and buy one, though.  If you spend the better part of the winter waddling through your third trimester, it might be worth it to have a good maternity coat.  Or maybe just use an extra coat of your husband’s! 😉
  2. Layer Up – For the rest of your wardrobe, invest in a few pieces that are very versatile. A pair of leggings, a good pair of maternity jeans and some long shirts or tunics will get you through almost anything that you’ll need.
  3. Compression – A pair of compression tights or leggings will round out any good wardrobe. You can dress them up or down, but they also give you the awesome gradient compression qualities.  Gradient compression will help to energize your legs and promote good circulation.
  4. Support Band – A good Preggers Maternity Support Band is another great addition to any maternity wardrobe. The band helps to support your belly and ease back discomfort.

Remembering these few tips will help tremendously in navigating through these winter hazards.  Being pregnant during the winter months may sound dangerous and scary, but I think I’d honestly take that over suffering through the heat of summer at 9 months pregnant!

Are you weaning this Halloween?!  LOL!  See what we did there?  But, in all seriousness, weaning can be rough for both you and baby.  So, it never hurts to begin weaning with some helpful tips in your back pocket.  The suggestions below may help with your weaning strategy, but it’s important to remember that every mom, baby and breastfeeding relationship is different.  What worked for your friend, your sister or your mom, may not be what ultimately works for you.

When is the Best Time to Wean?
This is the age-old question.  And thankfully, there is no right answer.  Every mama must make a decision that works best for her, her baby and her situation.  Even the American Academy of Pediatrics is a little ambiguous on when the right time is.  Their recommendation is to breastfeed exclusively for the first 6 months of life and then to breastfeed along with solid foods for at least another 6 months.  The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding for 2 years.  Ultimately, breastfeeding itself, as well as weaning, is a personal decision.  Every mama should make the call on what feels right.

Is it Best to Quit Cold Turkey or Gradual?
Most mamas find that it is easier to gradually quit rather than cold turkey.  It is gentler on the baby and avoids painful engorgement for mama.  Sometimes mamas do have to quit breastfeeding suddenly for various reasons – like a new medication that would pass through to breast milk – so of course, it can’t be done.  But, if you’re able to do a more gradual approach, you will probably have a more positive experience overall.

Is There a Time to Avoid When Weaning?
It’s definitely not a good time to begin weaning if there is anything out of the ordinary going on at home.  If you are moving or changing child care or anything that may add stress to a small child.  It’s also a good idea to postpone weaning if you or your child is ill.  It may be difficult for either of you to handle the transition if you’re not feeling up to par.

What are Some Effective Methods for Weaning?

Give Up One Feeding at a Time
Begin by eliminating only one feeding.  Choose a feeding in the middle of the day or a time not near napping or sleeping.  Avoiding times when your child seeks comfort will help the transition.  Follow your new breastfeeding schedule for a few days to a week or once your child has adequately adjusted to it.  Then eliminate another feeding and do this for the next week.  Continue doing this until you’ve eliminated all feedings and effectively transitioned your child to a bottle or cup.  The last feeding you give up should be the most important one to you and your child.

Don’t Offer, But Don’t Deny
As you’re eliminating feedings, the gentlest way to approach it is to just not offer a feeding.  If your child asks for it anyway, allow it.  This will definitely slow the process down, but will allow your child the desired comfort when needed.

Distraction
As you’re trying to eliminate feedings, you can offer your child a distraction to help.  Substituting a favorite snack is a great way to help in the transition.  A sippy cup of milk or something else nutritious will help them to get used to getting their nutrients from other sources.  You can also distract your child with a favorite activity – a trip to the park or time with a new toy.  Cuddling up with a new book might also be a good distraction, as well as provide a new source of closeness and comfort.

Shortened Nursing Sessions
If eliminating nursing sessions seems hard for you or your child, try instead to begin by shortening nursing sessions.  You can gradually cut the amount of time the child nurses until the session is eliminated.

What Can You Do to Ease Engorgement?
If you’re gradually weaning, you shouldn’t experience any engorgement.  But, sometimes moms do have to quit breastfeeding abruptly.  This can lead to engorgement.  The discomfort shouldn’t last very long, but if you do experience it, there are several things you can try to get relief.  Many mamas swear by putting cold or frozen cabbage leaves in their bra.  The cabbage leaves help to relieve the inflammation and decrease milk supply.  A bag of frozen vegetables also works well.

What Can You Do to Help Baby Cope?
There’s no doubt that abruptly stopping breastfeeding will be hard for your baby.  You may have to use a little trial and error for a method to best help your baby cope.  If your child is older, you can explain things on their level, for example “Mama’s milk is all gone.”  Try implementing other methods of comfort for your child like rocking, reading or snuggling.  It may help to help to have your partner handle some of the comforting or bedtime for a few days.

Not Quite Ready Yet?
Perhaps you’re not quite ready to wean yet, but only need some added comfort.  Preggers Nursing Bra, Sleep Nursing Bra and Nursing Tank are all seamless and super soft providing the ultimate in comfortable support during your breastfeeding.

 

Weaning can be hard, but try not to stress.  If you can, take it slow and make the best of it for everyone.  We wish you luck in your endeavors this Hallow-“Wean” or whenever you choose to wean your little one.

No need for compression, right?  If you have a good pair of support hose, that’s all you need?  Because compression and support hose are the same thing?

Wrong!

There are actually some very big differences between support hose and compression hose.   In fact, there is even a difference between compression and gradient compression.  Let’s break each one down.

Support Hose

In the world of hosiery, support and control mean the same thing.  An example of this would be like control top pantyhose.  Basically, you have a garment that smooths out abdominal bulges and bumps for a more flattering look.  But the difference is only cosmetic.  The garments don’t actually provide any of the health benefits of compression, nor do they provide support to the legs or feet.

What about items beyond hosiery – like support garments and shapewear.  There are some significant differences here, too.

Compression

Support garments, shapewear and athletic compression are all examples of what is known as all-over compression, or compression that has the same amount of “squeeze” throughout the whole garment.

Support Garments

Here’s where things get a little confusing.  Although support hose generally refer to hosiery like control top pantyhose, support garments are a little different still.  Support garments, or garments that typically cover the abdomen or torso area of the body, actually offer much-needed support for the wearer, as well as gentle shaping.  Preggers Maternity and Postpartum Support Garments are great examples of these.

 

 

Shapewear

You’ve surely seen these items from time to time.  Shapewear, like control-top pantyhose, are meant to slim and shape the waist and body by squeezing bulges and bumps.  They’re like the modern version of a corset or perhaps a bodysuit.

Athletic Compression

Athletic compression is another good example of all-over compression.  A popular trend among professional and amateur athletes alike, athletic compression helps to give athletes extra stability and support.  The types of garments can really be anything, including socks, pants, shirts or sleeves.

Gradient Compression

A gradient compression garment takes the cake, as these items provide the most health benefits – especially for pregnant mamas.  Gradient or graduated compression is tightest at the ankle and the pressure decreases gradually as it moves up the leg of the garment.  The graduated element is what makes gradient compression so healthy, because it promotes circulation, energizes tired, achy legs and helps to prevent and reduce swelling.  Pregnant mamas know how beneficial that can be!  All Preggers legwear products offer a level of gradient compression.

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Compression Levels

Our products are available in four different compression levels – known as mmHg or millimeters of mercury.  The levels are aptly named Light (10-15 mmHg), Mild (15-20 mmHg), Moderate (20-30 mmHg) and Firm (30-40 mmHg).  Most people, including pregnant women, can wear Light compression to promote better blood flow and to energize tired achy legs and feet, without the direction of a doctor.  Anything higher than that, however, should be at the advice and direction of a physician.  A physician who knows your individual condition and history can correctly diagnose issues that may benefit from higher compression levels.  Your doctor will also know best as to which compression level is right for you, as well as to ensure you are properly sized.

 

Disclaimer: This article is meant to be informational.  Always follow the advice and recommendations of your doctor.  Consult your doctor before doing anything that you feel might be risky.

 

picmonkey-collage2In a few days, March 8, 2017, women around the world will celebrate International Women’s Day.  According to their website, the day is a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.  And the day marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

In 2017, the achievements our gender has made in society are more visible than ever. We can vote, true, and we’re nearing on the 100th anniversary of suffrage. And the strides have been even greater than that. We’ve seen women holding high office.  Madeleine Albright became the first woman to hold the office of Secretary of State in 1997, and since then 3 of the last 6 have been women.  We’ve seen a female Attorney General, four different women on the U.S. Supreme Court, and many other cabinet positions.  The first woman elected to the U.S. House happened in 1917 and the first U.S. Senator a handful of years later in 1932.  And most recently, we’ve seen the first woman to run for President for a major political party.  We see women owning companies and heading corporations.  They are doctors, lawyers, scientists, astronauts.  Our gender has cracked the glass ceiling, but there is still work to do.

Attention for women’s achievements ebbs and flows in news cycles, but seems to be at the forefront of late.  Women, as a whole, are still not paid equally to their male counterparts.  Women are still not present in equal numbers in business and politics.  And globally, many improvements are still needed for women’s education and health, as well as the disproportionate numbers of violence against women.

The 2017 theme for International Women’s Day is #BeBoldForChange.  Change is still needed.  At our current rate of speed, the gender gap won’t close entirely until the year 2186, according to the World Economic Forum.  But, if we are bold for change, we can make that happen faster.

Change can be big or small.  What kinds of things can we, as women, change as individuals?  Below are 5 things we can work on to better ourselves and to help leave our mark on the world.

Perspective

Have you ever heard of the phrase “mind over matter”?  I’ll bet you have.  That’s what I mean by perspective.  The first step to making change in our lives is changing our perspective of things.  I hate getting groceries every week or doing laundry.  But, since they are necessary chores to the well-being of my family, I do them.  I can look at them with dread, or I can be thankful that I have the funds to buy food for my family.  I can clothe my children and keep their clothes clean.  Maybe, I have a family member or co-worker that is difficult to be around.  I can choose to avoid them or be unkind to them.  Or, I can change my perception and look at things from their perspective.  Looking at things from their perspective will give me a better understanding of why they are difficult, and possibly I can help them.  Changing perspective can apply to almost anything in our lives.

Career

I think this is area that is most reflective of the #BeBoldForChange theme. Most of us spend 8 – 10 of our waking hours per day at our jobs.  This is time not spent with family or friends or doing things we love.  With so many hours spent doing a job, it had better be something you enjoy doing.  If not, make a change.  Get a new job or go back to school.  But, be happy in your career.  Maybe you love your job, but feel that a raise or promotion is overdue.  It’s time to make a change.  Be bold and ask for what you feel you deserve.  You may not get it, but as long as you are courteous and professional, you’ll go a long way in making cracks in that glass ceiling.

Relationships

This is such a tough one for us women, but is an area of such importance.  Evaluate your relationships, including friendships and family relationships.  Nurture the good relationships – the ones that are good for your well-being; the ones that bring you joy; the ones you learn from and who show you kindness.  Repair the fragile ones that are worth saving.  And cut ties with the toxic ones.  Life is too short to let others bring you down.

Health

There are so many things we can do to change the state of our health.  The obvious one is diet and exercise, but be careful in that.  There are so many harmful ones out there.  If you diet, choose one that includes healthy foods and doesn’t make you feel bad or lacking.  Choose an active lifestyle, but know your limitations.  Don’t participate in exercise that is harmful to any condition you are living with. Chose exercise that makes you feel good and something you like to do.  You’re more apt to keep up with it if you do.  Other things you can do to become healthier or to maintain good health include brushing and flossing your teeth, getting plenty of good sleep and avoiding or limiting things like tobacco, caffeine or alcohol.  Drink plenty of water.  Most doctors and nutritionists recommend drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day.  Finally, follow your doctor’s suggestions to improve your health.  This includes wearing your compression! 😉

Legacy

Most people want to leave a legacy on this world, but your legacy can be whatever you want it to be.  Many women leave their legacy with meaningful careers – doctors, teachers, politicians, businesswomen, police officers, etc.  Or your legacy may be motherhood.  Parents are the first teachers of every child and raising well-adjusted and contributing members of society is such a huge legacy in itself.  Or perhaps your legacy is the mark you leave on the world in other ways – volunteering with veterans or the homeless, fostering a child, cleaning up a local park, or even just spreading simple kindnesses to strangers.

Whatever you do, don’t be afraid to make changes happen in your life.  Have faith and courage and be bold.  And from all of us at Knit-Rite/Therafirm, Happy International Women’s Day!

 

 

 

On November 7, 2015, 36-year-old Moninda Marube won the Santa Barbara Veteran’s Day Half Marathon in Santa Barbara, California for the fourth time with a time of one hour, eight minutes and 41 seconds.  The event was the culmination of Moninda’s 3,700-mile journey that began last July in Auburn, Maine.

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Moninda grew up in Kenya.  A lack of steady money and political violence contributed to a difficult life as a youth.  But, his talent for running allowed him a way out, and his journey landed him in the United States.

In the U.S., Moninda began training, but ran into financial difficulties.  To help out, he began training with other Kenyan runners under a manager.  It was with this manager that Moninda fell victim to human trafficking.  The manager would keep winnings from the races the Kenyans ran, leaving little for living expenses.  Moninda lived in a house infested with bedbugs with no air conditioning and very little food.  Finally in 2012, Moninda met Dan Campbell, the technical director of the Santa Barbara Half Marathon.  He ran the Marathon and broke the course record.  Campbell helped him get out of his situation and relocate to Auburn, Maine, where life is finally good.

Becoming involved with the Auburn, Maine Police Athletic/Activities League (PAL) and motivated to help others, he began The Moninda Movement to help bring awareness of human trafficking.  The Moninda Movement consisted of Moninda’s one-man goal of running 3,700 miles in four months and finishing with the Santa Barbara Veteran’s Day Half Marathon. This amounted to running roughly 30 miles per day, 6 days a week.

Early into his journey, The Moninda Movement gained two sponsors – Bedard Pharmacy and Medical Supplies located in central Maine, and Therafirm, a compression hosiery manufacturer based in Hamlet, North Carolina with corporate offices in Kansas City, Kansas.

Bedard Pharmacy and Medical Supplies has a long history of serving its local community.  As a small, family-owned and operated business headquartered in Auburn, Maine, they are a company that cares about their customers like family. Providing the community with the best quality medical supplies and equipment available is how they strive to inspire and empower individuals to take life’s challenges as they come, and to live life on their terms. They are also proud to be one of the last independent pharmacies in the state of Maine.

Moninda’s mission was a perfect fit for Therafirm.  The U.S. manufacturer produces true gradient compression socks and hosiery including a line of athletic compression socks and leg and arm sleeves.  Gradient compression in athletic socks and sleeves feature compression that is greatest at the ankle and gradually decreases toward the top of the stocking to help increase energy for endurance, better performance and reduces muscle fatigue and recovery times.  But, equally important, Therafirm, as well as parent company Knit-Rite, Inc., holds improving lives as its mission, not only in the products it makes, but also in the many causes it supports locally and beyond.

The co-sponsorship included Therafirm-branded compression socks and sleeves and Moninda’s athletic apparel.  Custom screen printing on Moninda’s apparel advertised The Moninda Movement’s message.  Bedard and Therafirm also donated a portion of the proceeds from retail sales of Therafirm’s athletic compression products over an eight-month period to Moninda’s foundation in support of ending human trafficking.

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Originally, The Moninda Movement’s 3,700 miles was to be a cross-country journey where Moninda would run from Auburn, Maine to Santa Barbara, California stopping in several cities along the way.  Unfortunately, the logistics of getting his team of supporters through each leg of the journey proved difficult and the cross-country run had to be scrapped.  Moninda did not let the setback discourage him from his goals, however.  He continued to run his 30 miles each day from his home in Auburn, Maine making sure he reached the 3,700 miles it would have taken him to run from Maine to California.

Moninda finished his 3,700 mile run in time to catch a flight to Santa Barbara to run in the Santa Barbara Veteran’s Day Half Marathon – a race that he won for the record-breaking 4th straight year.

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Myths About Things to Avoid While Pregnant

Myth: You Should Not Get a Flu Shot
Fact: Quite the opposite, actually.  The flu shot is very important for pregnant women because if one was to become infected with the flu, they have a much higher risk of becoming very ill and a higher risk of dying from the flu than those who are not pregnant.  The immunities are also transferred to the baby which will help protect its delicate immune system during the first months after birth.  Some pregnant women worry that preservatives in the flu vaccine will hurt their unborn child, but studies show there is no evidence that the flu vaccine harms fetuses.

Myth: You Can’t Have Your Hair Colored While Pregnant
Fact: Chemicals from hair dyes are absorbed through the skin, but only in very minimal amounts, which are not harmful.  Play it safe by making sure you are having any chemical hair treatments done in a well-ventilated space with a fan.  And for those that are really worried, you can save all your hair treatments for the second and third trimesters.

Myth: You Shouldn’t Fly While Pregnant
Fact: Many pregnant women worry that radiation from airport body scanners and x-ray machines will harm their unborn babies.  But, have no fear.  The amount of radiation is very small will not harm unborn babies.  We are actually exposed to small amounts of radiation on the ground all the time.  So, go ahead and plan that babymoon.  Just make sure that you are safe and sound at home by 34 weeks, as that is usually when most doctors advice you cease travel.  Many airlines will also not allow you to board without a doctor’s note after 34 weeks.  You may run into some leg/ankle swelling while in-flight so make sure to pack some super-comfortable compression socks.

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Myth: Skip the Gym While Pregnant
Fact: If you’ve been a gym regular, there’s no reason to give it up.  It can actually be quite healthy for you and baby.  Just be sure to keep your workouts low-impact and avoid contact sports or any exercises done on your back.  Be sure to check with your doctor to make sure your routine is still safe.  You can help support your belly with the help of support garments or legwear.

Myth: Avoid Sleeping On Your Back
Fact: Doctor’s suggest that it is best to sleep on your left side since this sleep position is known to help increase blood flow to the uterus.  But, if sleeping on your back is more comfortable, there is no harm for your baby.

Myths About Eating While Pregnant

Myth: Double Up On Your Servings Because You’re Eating For Two
Fact: Not so fast!  Even though you are eating for two, you are not eating for two adults!  The average pregnant woman only needs an additional 300 calories per day to adequately nourish both mom and baby.  Normal weight gain should average around 25 to 35 pounds during the whole pregnancy.  Gaining too much can have lasting negative effects on the baby.

Myth: Don’t Eat Fish or Seafood While Pregnant
Fact: Fish is actually very healthy for both mom and baby, as fish contains high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which help with baby’s brain development.  Just make sure to stick with coldwater fish, salmon, shrimp or canned tuna, and avoid fish that are high in mercury, such as swordfish, shark, tilefish and king mackerel.

Myth: Eat Three Healthy Meals A Day
Fact: It is actually better for a pregnant woman to eat 6 or 7 small meals per day.  Eating small amounts of healthy food frequently will help keep your blood sugar in normal ranges.

Myth: It’s Okay To Have a Small Drink
Fact: Nope!  Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend that pregnant women completely avoid drinking alcohol.  There is no amount of alcohol that is safe during pregnancy.

Myth: Avoid Caffeine While Pregnant
Fact: Just say no to alcohol, but a little bit of caffeine is okay.  You will definitely want to limit the amount of caffeine that you consume, but most doctors say that 200 milligrams or less a day is perfectly safe.  This amounts to roughly one 12-ounce cup of coffee.

Myth: Avoid Cheese While Pregnant
Fact: No need to cut out all cheeses, but do avoid the soft, unpasteurized cheeses like Brie, feta and goat cheese, as these can carry food-borne illnesses.  Other cheeses are perfectly safe.

Myths About Baby’s Gender or Appearance

Myth: How High or Low You Are Carrying Determines the Baby’s Gender
Fact: There is no scientific fact behind gender playing a role in the shape and position of a pregnant belly.  The look of your bump is determined by the woman’s muscle structure and abdominal fat, as well as the baby’s position and size.

Myth: Craving Certain Foods Reveals What Gender You Are Carrying
Fact: Scientific fact is lacking in this one, too.  Every woman, baby and pregnancy is different.  Different food cravings have no bearing on the baby’s gender.

Myth: Heartburn Means Baby Will Have a Lot of Hair
Fact: This one is certainly one of the more common myths, but heartburn and hair do not actually go hand in hand.  Many women who had heartburn have bald babies, while those who sailed through pregnancy without the hand on the Tums bottle have had babies with a full head of hair.

Myths About Labor and Delivery

Myth: Your Water Breaks When You Are In Labor
Fact: Sometimes a woman’s water breaks at that start of labor, but more than likely it is a further point through labor before it breaks.  Some doctors will even break your water to help labor progress further.  The bottom line is don’t wait for your water to break.  If your contractions are strong, regular and frequent, don’t wait.  Make your way to your hospital or birthing center.

Myth: Having an Epidural Increases Your Chances of Needing a C-Section
Fact: Studies show that getting an epidural to help relieve some of the pain of labor does not actually increase the risk of a c-section.  Every labor, childbirth, woman and baby is different.  Some may even find that the epidural help move things along.

Myth: First Babies Always Arrive Late
Fact: While there is a greater percentage of first time moms that deliver late, this is certainly not the rule.  Your menstrual cycle is actually a more accurate way to determine when your baby will arrive.  If your cycles are shorter, you’re more likely to deliver early.  Longer cycles might indicate a later baby.  But, even this is not an exact science.

Myth: Your Second Childbirth Will Be Easier
Fact: Although your first childbirth experience is usually the longest, it isn’t always.  And the second and subsequent births may not always be easier.  Everything will depend on the baby’s position and condition, as well as anything that might be affecting your health.

Myth: You Will Feel An Instant Bond With Your Baby
Fact: Although many moms do feel the bond right away, others may be feeling too exhausted or overwhelmed.  If you don’t feel that bond right away, don’t worry because your bond will grow stronger before you know it.

Myth: Your Delivery Will Be Like Your Mother’s
Fact: Although you may have a similar body structure as your mother, this is not the only factor in determining what type of labor and delivery you will have.  The size and position of the baby is the main contributing factor, as well as your health, lifestyle and any number of complications that you may be experiencing.

Disclaimer: This article is meant to be informational.  Always follow the advice and recommendations of your doctor.  Consult your doctor before doing anything that you feel might be risky.