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I’m Healthy, Why Can’t I Get Pregnant?

May 29, 2014

Dear Docs,
I eat a healthy diet and work out every day of the week. Why can’t I get  pregnant?
Answer from Dr. Ginny Weathers:
The process of conception takes so much coordination that it is hard to believe it happens so often, but the human body is capable of many miraculous things. First you should understand that even with an optimally healthy woman, the average time to conception is 6 to 9 months of trying perfectly every month. Other things that factor in are a woman’s menstrual cycles- is yours regular every month? Are you in fact ovulating with each cycle? Ovulation kits at the drugstore are a great way to confirm this. Also timed intercourse around the ovulation period is crucial.

Exercise is always great for the human body but too much of anything can be a bad thing. Strenuous daily exercise could actually be taking a toll on your body and stressing your system out too much. When women areover exercising or if a woman is too thin, it can interfere with ovulation and menstrual cycles.

Now ask the next question- what is healthy eating? Growing up we were taught that many foods are healthy, when in fact a lot of women’s bodies don’t tolerate these “healthy” foods very well at all. Foods like grains, dairy, soy, and complex carbs can cause inflammation in some women, which leads to massive dysregulation of hormones and nutrition, which can then lead to infertility. Also, making sure you have normal levels of all your vital vitamins and enzymes that keep your hormones normal is very important. A daily prenatal vitamin, omega 3 fatty acids (DHA) and Vitamin D is crucial.

Last of all, don’t forget sleep! Everyone should strive for 7-8 hours of sleep a night to keep their body functioning at healthy levels. A recent article showed how lack of sleep could alter your body’s hormones, metabolism and many other important functions.

Don’t get discouraged. Just get informed! Houston has a lot of great resources for you! 

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Labor or Postpartum Doula? What Is That?

March 26, 2014

Postpartum DoulaThe moments of pregnancy and birth are so special for the mother, baby and the entire family.  Everyone gets involved in the joy and excitement of expecting a new baby.  Unfortunately, it’s very easy in all of the excitement of waiting for the baby to come, to forget how much work it is and just how exhausting it can be those first few days after the baby is born!

In many cultures, women stay indoors and are expected to do nothing in the few weeks after having a baby, and they have plenty of helpers who come over and do their chores, take care of the other children and the house, and give the new mom a much needed rest.  However, in our culture, most people don’t have the time to drop everything and help the new mom!  Many new mothers are surprised, not only at how difficult it is to care for a baby directly after giving birth, but also at how their well-meaning loved ones don’t really know how to help them. Add to that the high expectations of modern-day mothers and it’s no wonder that so many new mothers are exhausted trying to keep up with it all and missing out on important moments with their baby.

A Houston postpartum or labor doula can help you with this.  After you have the baby, your labor doula will come to your home and take care of all of the little things while you relax and bond with your baby.  Your labor doula can be your baby nurse, your light duty housekeeper, and your breastfeeding support – offering all of the help that you need in those tender days after giving birth.  Because she isn’t there with a desire to see the baby, but rather to serve you, she’s the ideal baby nurse.  Unlike your family helpers, she’ll take the baby when he needs a diaper change and then let you hold him when he’s sleeping sweetly – most visitors will do the opposite…handing the baby back to you when he cries or needs a change!  This is why having a labor doula for postpartum support is the perfect option.  In addition, unlike most family helpers, a labor doula is trained and knowledgeable about the latest and best baby care techniques and she will leave you feeling empowered and well-prepared to care for your baby with the wisdom she shares.

A lack of social support has been linked to higher incidences of post-partum depression, which is not a good condition for the mother, baby or the entire family.  Invest in the health and happiness of your family by hiring a labor doula for your postpartum care.

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Preparing Your Body for Pregnancy

February 13, 2014

pregnancy, prenatal careOur post today is by guest blogger Dr. Ginny Weather, MD, who works with Women’s Specialty Healthcare. Dr. Weather’s interests include comprehensive obstetrics and gynecology, advanced gynecologic surgery and she is pursuing certification and proficiency for robotic surgery. In addition, she is focused on the special nutritional needs of adolescents, pre-natal and menopausal women as well as those with gluten sensitivities.

Preconceived Notions: Preparing Your Body for Pregnancy

So, you and your partner have finally decided: you are ready to have a baby! While the emotional and financial timing may be perfect, you also need to ask – is my body physically prepared for pregnancy?

Your OB/GYN has the answer. It is important to schedule an appointment as soon as you begin considering pregnancy especially if you are in your 30s or 40s. Your nutritional status, weight, chronic medical conditions and other lifestyle factors all influence your ability to conceive and carry a healthy child. Improving your health prior to conception helps ready your body for the challenges of pregnancy and optimizes fertility, fetal development and birth outcomes.

The first step is a healthy diet including nutrient dense fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats. In addition, it is vital to take a prenatal vitamin that contains folic acid, iron and DHA at least 1 month prior to conception. The baby’s neural tube develops during the first month of pregnancy, often before you are aware you are pregnant. Taking folic acid before conception helps prevent spinal and brain defects. Iron helps deliver oxygen to your organs and the baby while DHA can improve fetal brain and eye development.

We also encourage Micronutrient Testing to detect low levels of specific micronutrients. New research shows a link between certain vitamin deficiencies and the development of serious health issues including learning disabilities. Women’s Specialty Healthcare is engaged in a study comparing nutritional deficiencies in mothers and the cord blood of infants and how it relates to birth outcomes.

A woman’s pre-baby weight is also an important consideration when talking about diet and potential complications of pregnancy. Excess weight and obesity are associated with gestational diabetes, high blood pressure during pregnancy, preeclampsia, fetal abnormalities and a risk of having a large baby resulting in fetal injuries during delivery. Gestational diabetes is associated with many of the above-mentioned complications, and gaining too much weight early in pregnancy can increase your chances of having this condition. Your doctor can help you with a diet and exercise plan to address weight issues before they become a risk for you and your baby during pregnancy.

A crucial part of your initial visit with the doctor should focus on your medical history. Chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure, thyroid disease, eating disorders and depression should be under control before conceiving and may require special care during pregnancy. Age also carries certain complications and risks that should be discussed with your doctor.

Your lifestyle before conception plays a significant role in the success of your pregnancy. Lifestyle factors that affect conception and pregnancy may include stress, sleep habits, exercise, smoking and alcohol consumption.

If you find yourself pregnant before achieving these health goals, don’t panic. As physicians, our purpose is not to scold or frighten you, but to educate you.  We enjoy being part of your journey to motherhood, guiding you through your pregnancy and delivering your sweet child into the world.

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Pregnancy Weight Gain & Chart

January 27, 2014

Pregnancy Weight GainPregnancy can bring a lot of different emotions and one of them, for many pregnant women,  is concern over their weight gain
and how much to gain. You WILL gain weight when you’re pregnant, and that gets frustrating sometimes, especially when you’ve spent a lot of your life watching your weight! You want to gain enough weight to have a healthy baby, but no so much that it endangers you or the baby, or makes it really hard to lose once the baby’s here.

Eating for two is what you need to do, in moderation. You don’t want to eat twice as much – the baby is not that big yet! You do want to eat healthful and nutritious foods because that will make you AND the baby healthier.

There’s no “one size fits all” approach to gaining weight during pregnancy. Everyone is different, and everyone begins at a different weight. Various factors have to be determined, like BMI, pre-pregnancy weight, and your health. Work with your doctor to make sure you are on the right track. In the meantime, here are some general guidelines*:

Pre-pregnancy weight Recommended weight gain
Underweight (BMI less than 18.5) 28 to 40 pounds (about 13 to 18 kilograms)
Normal weight (BMI 18.5 to 24.9) 25 to 35 pounds (about 11 to 16 kilograms)
Overweight (BMI 25 to 29.9) 15 to 25 pounds (about 7 to 11 kilograms)
Obese (BMI 30 or more) 11 to 20 pounds (about 5 to 9 kilograms)

When you are carrying twins or multiple babies, some of these general recommendations will change.  Again, check with your doctor to make sure:

Pre-pregnancy weight Recommended weight gain
Normal weight (BMI 18.5 to 24.9) 37 to 54 pounds (about 17 to 25 kilograms)
Overweight (BMI 25 to 29.9) 31 to 50 pounds (about 14 to 23 kilograms)
Obese (BMI 30 or more) 25 to 42 pounds (about 11 to 19 kilograms)

Being overweight before pregnancy increases the complications of health problems, both in you and your baby.  If you’re planning on becoming pregnant, please check with your doctor for a healthy weight loss program to get you down to your “fighting” weight!   If you’re already pregnant, work with your doctor to determine the best course of action for you.

If you’re underweight, there is a risk that you and your baby may not get the nutrition you need.  Check with your doctor to see if you need to eat more, or add supplements to your diet.


*These are just general guidelines. Motherhood Center is not a doctor. See your doctor for your tailored and customized weight gain information.

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5 Tips to Better Sleep During Pregnancy

December 9, 2013

By: Stephanie Duhon

I always knew I’d be sleep deprived once the baby arrived, as newborns require around the clock feeding and care, but I was surprised at how little sleep I was able to get during the pregnancy! And I’m not talking about the last couple of months where it’s hard to even move, much less get comfortable. I had trouble sleeping from the second month of pregnancy until my daughter was born! I was jealous of my mom-to-be friends who said they were sleeping great, including extra naps whenever they could. I could sympathize with others who were more like me, lucky to get 3 to 4 hour stretches at a time. Toward the end of the pregnancy, I would get so frustrated when a well-meaning person would remind me to get my sleep before the baby comes! But that’s the thing … I couldn’t!

It’s so important for expecting mamas to get their rest. Lucky for me, my friends at The Motherhood Center were full of good advice since they see moms and moms-to-be every day! They made great suggestions that helped me get a few extra hours of sleep here and there before the baby arrived. Here are five tips to help you sleep better during pregnancy.

pregnancy-wedge-pillow-41 – Prenatal Pillow Wedge: Support that bump with a pregnancy body pillow or wedge. These pillows are specially designed for use during pregnancy and not only make you feel more comfortable, but promote better spinal alignment and help you maintain a position of sleeping on your side, which is recommended, especially later in pregnancy, for optimal blood flow. You can find a prenatal pillow wedge in The Motherhood Center’s retail store.




2 – Light Exercise: Light exercise not only keeps a mom-to-be in shape, but it can relieve stress and release energy to help you sleep more quickly and deeply at night. Some moms are hesitant to head to the gym during pregnancy, but most doctors agree that for a healthy pregnancy, you can generally keep up a comparable workout to what you did before. Just be sure to modify it for your pregnancy and avoid any movements that affect your belly, such as crunches. If you are unsure of how to exercise safely during pregnancy, try a prenatal yoga class at Motherhood Center! Prenatal yoga offers a low-impact workout that improves flexibility and balance and helps relieve stress. Breathing exercises used in prenatal yoga also come in handy during labor! Since each pregnancy is different, you should always check with your doctor before starting an exercise program to make sure there are no special concerns.

3 – Prenatal Massage: A professional pregnancy massage reduces stress, encourages relaxation, increases circulation and soothes aches and pains commonly associated with pregnancy, all of which help you to sleep better too! Massage therapists at Motherhood Center are specifically trained in prenatal massage therapy.

No time for a full massage? Have your husband or significant other rub some Mama Mio tummy rub on your growing belly. Not only will it be relaxing, but it’ll give dad a chance for some bonding time with baby and help protect you against stretch marks!
4 – Get Comfy: Wear as much or as little as you need to be comfortable at night. Make sure nothing is tight fitting and offers plenty of room for your growing baby. Buy a sleep bra if you need extra support. Motherhood Center staff can help you find the right style and size for your needs.

5 – Embrace the Late Night Snack: Is your growing belly making your tummy rumble at night? You and the baby need the extra calories, so don’t worry about giving in to the occasional midnight snack. Just make sure to munch on something nutritious, such as a bowl of fruit, that won’t be too heavy and keep you awake.

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Holiday Gift Guide: Mommy-to-Be

November 29, 2013

Whether you’re looking for gift ideas for a friend who’s expecting, your expectant daughter or your pregnant wife, our top picks for the momma-to-be can make your shopping a snap. Everything on our list ensures the remainder of her pregnancy is as comfortable and enjoyable as possible!


miopregessentialkit8001. Mama Mio Pregnancy Essentials Collection

Mama Mio Pregnancy Essentials is the perfect gift for expectant moms this Christmas. Pregnancy is the biggest challenge a woman’s skin will ever face. These safe, award-winning products will protect against stretch marks and sagging so skin bounces back quicker after baby. Plus, they ease bloated legs and ankles.

Tummy Rub Butter is primarily designed for one thing: increasing skin elasticity through Omega 6, 3 and 9.

Boob Tube will moisturise and protect the delicate skin on your bust from cup size changes. With Omegas, antioxidants and Shea Butter, Boob Tube will be a mommy-t0-be’s new ‘bust’ friend.

Lucky Legs is safe to use throughout pregnancy, and all ingredients will  leave tired legs feeling feather-light, reducing discomfort and helping circulation.


belly_bandit_upsie_belly_2_12. Upsie Belly by Belly Bandit

Upsie Belly™ is an expecting mom’s dream! It provides immediate relief to pregnancy discomforts, making it easier to increase range of motion and daily activity. Featuring revolutionary SecureStretch™ materials that mold to the body with just the right amount of tension. This allows for strong support and a stable fit while the exclusive soft-front closure allows to free movement, without digging or discomfort. It also:

  • Minimizes stretch marks
  • Adds back and abdominal support
  • Helps relieve bladder discomfort
  • Increases circulation and blood flow
  • Eases sciatic, back and leg pain
  • Provides extra support to hips
  • Decreases varicose veins, hernias & hemorrhoids

Any expecting mama on your list will be extremely thankful for this thoughtful gift! Don’t worry about sizing–we can help you figure that out!


Woman massage3. Prenatal Massage 

This gift is sure to be any expecting mom’s favorite gift this year! Motherhood Center’s licensed prenatal massage therapists can help with swelling, lower back discomforts, as well as eliminating many of the toxins that commonly build up when pregnant. Prenatal massage also helps with body alignment and with loosening and realigning ligaments, and most importantly it provides time to relax and clear your mind throughout your pregnancy. Available for 1-hour or 90-minute massage. Call for gift certificates: 713-963-8880 or come by Motherhood Center, and we’ll help package it to make it a beautiful presentation for the expecting mom in your life!


Flexible pregnant woman.4. Prenatal Yoga Package

Motherhood Center offers the best prenatal yoga class for expecting moms in Houston. The relaxation-inducing practice has been shown to lower stress levels, fight depression, reduce inflammation, among other health benefits. And for mothers-to-be, a prenatal yoga practice can not only relieve stress but also contributes to a healthier pregnancy and prepare the body for labor. For expecting moms who enjoy being active or have mentioned interest in yoga, this is the perfect gift. MHC Yoga offers 3 different packages:

  • 5 Class Pack
  • 10 Class Pack
  • 20 Class Pack

Click here to purchase packages: Motherhood Center Yoga

Make the gift extra special: Add yoga accessories to go with her yoga package! Motherhood Center has a great line of brightly colored yoga mats and Lululemon yoga wear perfect for the stylish mommy-to-be! Let our team help you put together the perfect yoga holiday gift set!



pregnancy-wedge-pillow-45. Pregnancy Support Pillow

This is the pillow used by our massage therapists during prenatal massage sessions. It’s loved so much by our expecting clients that most have purchased their own. The wedge pillow is used to support the belly while in the side-lying position,  relieving back and abdominal stress and fatigue. The Support Pillow is made from a soft supportive foam with an eggcrate foam top to aid circulation while adding comfort for a restful night’s sleep. Our moms prefer this over other pregnancy support pillows! Bonus: It can also be used after baby’s arrival, for extra support and comfort for mom and baby while nursing.




6. Maternity Photography Shoot

If you are looking for a unique and thoughtful gift for the mother-to-be in your life, then a maternity shoot is the perfect gift. This is a gift that will truly be cherished for life. Maternity sessions at the Motherhood Center are completely reflective of the expecting mother. While some women choose a more conservative look, others desire more intimate photos. MHC Photography will provide a completely personalized experience for her. Whether she would like her photos taken at the Motherhood Center studio or in the privacy of her own home, this gift will be all about her. You just p urchase the package!

For more information: Motherhood Center Photography or call 713-963-8880 x 108 on gifting options.




Avoid the holiday hustle and bustle of busy, overcrowded shopping malls. At Motherhood Center, you’re always given the care and attentive help from our expert staff! Let us help you make your loved one’s holidays extra special!

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Managing Stress During Pregnancy

November 13, 2013

PregnancyPHFY_WEBWhile everyday pressure is a part of modern life, a high level of chronic stress can boost your odds of preterm labor or of delivering a low-birth weight baby. If you’re used to caring for others or giving 110 percent at work, making yourself a priority may seem unnatural or even selfish. But taking care of yourself is an essential part of taking care of your baby. Cutting down on stress — or learning how to manage it — makes for a healthier pregnancy.

How can I calm down?

Here are a few ways to manage your stress and reduce anxiety at work and at home:

  • Practice saying “no.” Now’s as good a time as any to get rid of the notion that you can do it all. You can’t, so learn to let your superwoman ideals go. Make slowing down a priority, and get used to the idea of asking your friends and loved ones for help.
  • Cut back on chores — and use that time to put your feet up, nap, or read a book.
  • Take advantage of sick days or vacation whenever possible. Spending a day — or even an afternoon — resting at home will help you get through a tough week.
  • Try deep-breathing exercises, yoga, or stretching.
  • Get regular exercise such as swimming or walking.
  • Do your best to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet so you have the physical and emotional energy you need.
  • Go to bed early. Your body is working overtime to nourish your growing baby and needs all the sleep it can get.
  • Limit “information overload.” Reading pregnancy books, surfing pregnancy Web sites, and listening to your friends’ pregnancy stories are fine — but don’t delve into all the scary things that might (but probably won’t) happen during your pregnancy. Focus instead on how you’re feeling and what’s happening to you now.
  • Join a support group. If you’re coping with a difficult situation, spending time with others in the same boat can ease your burden.
  • If you’re under unusual stress or feel like you’re at your breaking point, ask your healthcare provider to refer you to a therapist, who can better assess how strong your anxiety has become and what you may need to do to feel better. Listen openly to what she has to say. Getting help during pregnancy will protect you and your baby from unnecessary risks and reduce your chances of postpartum anxiety and depression.


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Q&A with Motherhood Center Photographer- Jessica Matos

October 18, 2013

jessicaWe sat down with MHC photographer, Jess to discuss everything from how she manages fussy children during photo sessions to shooting live births.

Upon meeting Jess, you instantly get the feeling you’ve known her your entire life. Her big smile and warm, bubbly personality puts you at ease instantly. Being photographed is a rather intimate and personal experience, one that requires trust and a strong level of comfort. Mom to 20-month old Brody and one baby girl on the way, no one can relate and understand Motherhood Center moms better than Jess. With the ability to make any woman feel like her best friend, it’s easy to see that the majority of her photography clients have remained loyal over the years. She brings her expertise, experience and gregarious personality to the Motherhood Center family.


How did you get into photography?

I’ve always taken pictures. I got my first camera from my grandfather as a graduation present. It was a Cannon 35mm film, which I still use today. I like to shoot in film and digital.

In college, I was a pre-med Biology major up until my junior year. Even then, I was always taking pictures! I was the Historian for my sorority, so I shot all of our events. I was also the “go-to” person in my family to take pictures for every holiday gathering or birthday party.

How did you go from pre-med to photography as a career?

I had taken some time away from school and began nannying for a family, still taking classes here and there. When I finally went back to school full-time, I took a Black & White Film photography course as an elective, and my passion for photography grew even more! That next semester, I changed my major to Photography and Art and never looked back!

What do you love about Photography?

 It makes me happy! Sometimes I feel like when I’m shooting a session, I am enjoying it more than they are! I love the connection that photography allows with families and especially children. Maybe it is because I came from a big family or my time as a nanny, but my whole life has revolved around family and children.

It’s all about connection! I need to have a connection with the people I’m shooting because it reflects in the photographs. It’s apparent in a photo when there is no connection with the photographer.

What’s your favorite kind of shoot to do?

I can’t decide which I like more, maternity or newborn! Both are such a wonderful, exciting, happy time in your life. It’s so nice to be invited into that moment of their life, when everything is new and full of love! It’s nice being able to experience that with so many people.

What makes a session ‘great’?

It’s a good session if they are having fun. If they are relaxed and are truly enjoying the moment, it creates the best photos.

Photography Philosophy.

Capture the moments they can’t see. The way your husband stares at you when you aren’t looking. The way his hand softly sweeps the hair out of your face or lovingly grazes your belly. That’s why I love shooting in people’s natural environment—their home or favorite location. I want to give you what you cannot see. I want to capture those emotions and feelings in a photo, and give you the beautiful moments that are often overlooked.

When is the best time to have your maternity photographs taken?

32 to 36 weeks! This insures you have a great looking belly. It’s right before the time during pregnancy when bloating becomes common, and you’re still feeling good enough to be photographed. Then we can get the photos edited and printed before baby’s arrival! We can also get the ball rolling and secure priority scheduling for the newborn session.

How do your clients approach a pregnancy shoot?

Everyone is different. Every woman has a different image in their head of what they want. Some know exactly what they want, and others don’t have a clue. Both approaches work. For women who have a vision for their maternity shoot, it gives me a starting point. The ones who don’t know what they want are usually pretty open. That allows me to be creative and try new ideas.

I have women who come in here and strip down, and others who are dressed head to toe in boots, scarves and sweaters. Both can be equally beautiful and desirable!

How do you approach capturing flattering shots for pregnant women?

It’s all about angles—angles, hand placement, and lighting.

What brought you to Motherhood Center versus another studio?

I love the hands-on approach and being able to interact with new moms every day—taking prenatal yoga with them, taking my 20-month year old son to Motherhood Music class, and developing real relationships and friendships with women in the same walk of life as myself.  I am a mom (with one on the way!). I relate to everything they are going through!

Favorite part of your job.

My favorite part of my job is being able to watch your family grow, and capturing all of those special moments and memories along the way. I love becoming a part of families, and witnessing the evolution from baby bump to a growing family and everything in between. That’s special.

How do you handle cranky or fussy children that aren’t thrilled with having their picture taken?

I don’t like to push anything. If the baby is fussy or hungry, we take a break. The session is on their terms, and should accommodate them. Take a break. Revisit it.

If a toddler is cranky and doesn’t want to take pictures, it always works to tell them, “Okay. You don’t have to take any more pictures. I’m going to shoot mommy and daddy for a little while now.” 9 times out of 10, the toddler wants back in the shot if they feel left out.

What are you tackling next?

I am most excited about shooting live births! Some women are totally opposed to the idea, and others welcome it openly. Again, it goes back to capturing the priceless moments that you might miss.

That would make you on-call.

I don’t care at all! That’s exciting to me! I would be thrilled to be awoken in the night to drive to the hospital and shoot a live birth. That is one of life’s most beautiful moments, bringing a new life into the world. Those are moments that deserve to be captured.



Motherhood Center Photography Studio

MHC Photography services are offered at our in-house studio, at your home or on-location. Jess is available for maternity, newborn, family and live-birth. For more information or to book your next session: (713) 963-8880 x 108.

Now taking appointments for: Halloween Mini Sessions & Holiday Family Portrait Sessions. Book now!

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Exercising during pregnancy reduces the risk of high birth weight newborns

October 16, 2013

Taking moderate-intensity exercise three times a week during the second and third trimester of pregnancy halves the risk of having a high birth weight newborn (babies with macrosomia, that is, weighing over 4 kilos) and, therefore, the risk of needing a caesarean delivery.

These findings come from research led by Rubén Barakat of the Polytechnic University of Madrid, Alejandro Lucía of the European University of Madrid, and Jonatan Ruiz of the University of Granada. Together with Sports Science graduates, they ran a series of programmed training sessions for a sample of 510 sedentary pregnant women. The results of their study have been published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

The researchers contacted a total of 780 Spanish pregnant women attending two primary health care centres in Leganés (Madrid). Finally, 510 gave their consent to participate in the study. They all recognized they were sedentary—that is, that they exercised for less than 20 minutes on fewer than 3 days a week.

55 minutes exercise

The intervention group followed a training program that consisted of 55 minute sessions of aerobic, muscle strength and flexibility exercises on three days a week from weeks 10-12 to weeks 38-39 of pregnancy, while the control group received standard recommendations and care.

The results showed the training sessions did not reduce the appearance of gestational diabetes mellitus but did diminish the incidence of two major associated risks: macrosomia (down by 58%) and caesarean delivery (which fell by 34%).

These findings “reinforce the need to encourage more supervised exercise interventions during pregnancy to combat the negative effects of gestational diabetes mellitus”, says Jonatan Ruiz, researcher in the University of Granada Department of Physical and Sports Education and corresponding author of the study.

Source: University of Granada


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Top 10 Things Not to Worry About When Pregnant

April 14, 2013

some pregnancy fears aren't worth worrying about

Between all the stress of planning, the crazy new body changes, and the laundry list of dos and don’ts that come along with pregnancy, it’s no wonder why having a baby can bring along a ton of new worries. But while some fears may be totally warranted, let’s be honest; we’re all probably guilty of letting at least a few irrational ones freak us out more than they should. Read on as real mamas (and some of our favorite bloggers) spill their biggest pregnancy fears — and we weigh in on just how likely they really are, after all.

1. Laying on my belly (and squashing baby)

Real mom fear: “I was always afraid I was going to somehow roll onto my stomach while I was sleeping and crush the baby! It makes me laugh now – it was almost impossible for me to move, I was so big; so the idea of rolling onto my stomach while I slept is pretty hilarious.” — Heather of The Spohrs Are Multiplying

Reality check: Boy do we hear this one a lot. And it makes sense – with all that’s going on in there, it’s easy to wonder how baby will be protected if you accidentally roll onto your belly in the night. But the truth is, you can relax – your body was made to make plenty of room for baby in there. And according to New York OBGYN Dr. Ashley Roman, in the early stages of pregnancy, it’s perfectly safe to sleep on your stomach. Once your belly does start to grow, though, it won’t be comfy (or even possible) to lay for long periods on your stomach anyway; so you’ll probably change positions on your own in your sleep long before you could do any harm to baby.

2. My face changing

Real mom fear: “My number one fear was that my nose would spread. What I mean is, I remember an older friend that got pregnant while I was in college, and her nose nearly doubled in size. It grew in width and depth. As her pregnancy progressed her nose seemed to swell in proportion to her belly!” — Jolawn of Spelhouse Love

Reality check: Okay, yes, this one’s true. (Well… sorta.) During pregnancy, Dr. Roman admits that some women do seem to notice significant facial changes. But a lot of this has to do with the weight gain, water retention, and hormonal shifts that are going on in your bod. The good news is though, they should subside after delivery once the hormones calm down, or as soon as you shed the baby weight. But even in cases where people claim the changes don’t subside, they aren’t usually that dramatic. So if you’re freaking out that you’ll one day look in the mirror and find a different person staring back, don’t. It’s most likely all in your head.

3. Eating something that would harm baby

Real mom fear: “I was worried I’d inadvertently eat something or do something that would harm the baby. I was constantly reading pregnancy books and checking labels to make sure I wasn’t eating natural cheese or nitrates or consuming too much caffeine. I lived much of the pregnancy in fear and I attribute that to over researching everything. I Googled every symptom and twitch and had my doctor’s office on speed dial.” – Shannon of Potamus Prefers

Reality check: With all the “eat this, not that” advice you get during pregnancy, it’s easy to sometimes over-obsess about every little thing you come into contact with. But aside from the biggies like raw meat, seafood, unpasteurized milk or cheese, and of course booze, there aren’t too many things that are way off-limits. Even caffeine – commonly touted as unsafe during pregnancy – is still allowed in moderate doses. So don’t stress too much about food dos and don’ts. As long as you keep a generally balanced and healthy diet, and are aware of what’s in your food before eating, baby should be A-okay.


4. Losing the baby

Real mom fear: “My biggest fear was miscarriage. And it was a choking, constant fear — because at the end of the day, there was nothing I could do past eating healthy and resting to keep my baby safe and healthy.  Every moment that I stayed pregnant, I felt like getting on my knees and kissing everyone in thanks.” — Beth Anne of The Heir to Blair

Reality check: It can definitely be hard to get over those all-too-real fears of losing baby. And when it comes to the possibility of pregnancy loss, your fears are definitely warranted. But it’s also important not to let these fears rule all of your thoughts – and to know the stats. Most miscarriages happen within the first trimester and occur within about 15-25 percent of all pregnancies; but from about twelve weeks onward, Dr. Roman assures that the risk is dramatically reduced. So if you’ve made it past the 14 week mark, your risk of miscarrying is actually somewhere around one percent.

5. Baby will be deformed

Real mom fear: “During my first pregnancy I was afraid of everything and my biggest fear was that I would have a hermaphrodite baby. I saw this program on the Discovery Channel about kids who were born with both male and female genitalia and for the rest of my pregnancy I was like ‘I’m definitely going to have a hermaphrodite baby.’” – Heather Armstrong of Dooce

Reality check: Luckily, the odds are on your side on this one. Hermaphrodites (or intersex babies, as they’re now called) make up a measly one percent of all live births. As for the chance that baby will be born with other physical deformities, recent stats say only three percent of all babies born in the U.S. wind up with significant physical birth defects each year (though this number reflects a very wide range of defects, big and small). While the rates are pretty slim, it’s definitely still possible. But until you know for sure, try to curb some of your anxiety. (And lay off any documentaries on delivery mishaps, pregnancy phenomenons, or any other crazy-making programs that may lead you to freak out — it won’t do you or baby any good to worry.)

6. That the baby weight will never. Go. Away.

Real mom fear: “Should I admit this? My biggest fear with my pregnancies has been that I was going to gain 50 pounds and hang onto half of it for the rest of my life. When the second trimester hit during my first pregnancy, I was as hungry as a horse and it seemed like everything I ate stayed right on me. It felt like if I ate a carrot, I’d gain a pound. The numbers I saw on the scales scared me to no end.” – Crystal of Money Saving Mom

Reality check: Sure, maybe not everything will look exactly how it used to after you give birth (unless you’re Gisele); but you can’t psyche yourself out about losing the baby weight before baby even arrives! You’ve probably heard this one a million times, but it bears repeating: If it took nine months to put the weight on you can’t expect it to disappear overnight. Make that your mantra. Plus, remember that everyone loses weight at different paces, so resist the urge to compare yourself to other mamas who are jumping back into their skinny jeans right away. And whatever you do, definitely don’t compare yourself to all those celeb mamas who seem to regain their beach bodies five seconds after being wheeled out of delivery.

7. My water breaking in public

Real mom fear: “I was afraid to go anywhere for fear the dam would break. What in the world would I do if I was driving, grocery shopping, or eating at a restaurant and my water broke? How could I explain the wet seat or my wet pants? And would I be able to run fast enough out of wherever I was before anyone noticed? These concerns kept me home-bound.” – Erica of Sweet Leigh Mama

Reality check: Okay, this one could definitely happen. (Sorry.) While your water could break at any time, it’s usually preceded by some warning contractions, which will give you a heads-up that baby’s almost ready. And even if it comes with no warning, there probably won’t be as much fluid as you think. Some women say it’s only a trickle, though there are many women who remember it as a “gush.” But hey, either way, YOU’RE NINE MONTHS PREGNANT! It’s not like you don’t have a good excuse for why your pants may be inexplicably wet.

8. Going into preterm labor

Real mom fear: “I was so afraid I was going to have my twins prematurely. At first I thought I was being paranoid, but I actually did end up almost losing my twins around 21 weeks. I required an emergency cerclage for a shortened cervix, and my water around Baby A was punctured. I spent five months on bed rest before delivering healthy, albeit small, twin girls at almost 37 weeks.” – Jennifer of The Foster Family

Reality check: According to Dr. Roman, preterm labor does affect about 12 percent of all pregnancies in the U.S., but most of these cases pertain to moms who are already at risk of it and have been forewarned by their docs. This happens mostly in cases where there’s a history of preterm birth, the pregnancy is with multiples, or Mom’s uterus isn’t fully formed. But even so, there are many moms who do actually deliver preterm without any warning or any of these symptoms. So if you’ve been nervous your water will break early, don’t worry – you’re not completely crazy. Just calm yourself with the realization that the odds of this happening are actually pretty small and keep in constant contact with your doc if you’re high-risk.

9. Peeing my pants in public

Real mom fear: “All I can say is hello, incontinence! Every time I would laugh, sneeze, cough –or God forbid do any of the above while walking or moving around — my bladder would let me down. I wore very long shirts in case it ever soaked though.” – Erica of Sweet Leigh Mama

Reality check: Yep, we’re not going to lie here, it’s pretty much a given that you’ll have a few leakage scenarios at some point during your pregnancy. When you’re creeping into the latter stages of pregnancy, sudden laughter, sneezing, or coughing are basically sure-fire ways to bring on a little surprise dribble or two. But will it turn into a full-on pants-wetting situation? Probably not. A little snissing here and there happens. And hey, that’s why they invented panty liners. So our advice: Stock up and learn to laugh about it.

10.  Being able to care for a newborn

Real mom fear: “I worried that I wouldn’t be able to take care of a baby. I’d never even changed a diaper before my daughter was born!” – Suzanne (Duff), from My Mom Genes

Reality check: The good news is, while the newborn stage is definitely hectic and exhausting at times, it probably won’t take you long to realize that just like pregnancy, you can survive this too. Looking back, even Duff admits that as soon as she brought her baby home, she figured it all out pretty fast, despite it being “a comedy of errors” at first. So even if you’ve never laid eyes on a diaper, haven’t a clue about swaddling, or aren’t yet adept at snapping a squealing baby into a onesie, don’t worry – it’s not rocket science. You’ll get there soon enough.

Originally appeared at

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