Folic Acid and Pregnancy: B-vitamin for Your Bump’s Protection

Watching your bump from the outside environment is quite easy. But watching it from the inside is a different story and it is certainly not that easy. You need something that can protect it inside and out and this is done by the foods that you consume. What you need is Folic Acid; a B-Vitamin for your Bump’s protection, thus this article is all about folic acid and pregnancy. The 3 Bs (vitamins) can provide bump protection and help prevent birth defects.


Folic Acid is a B vitamin that aids the body in getting or the making energy from the foods you ingest. It assists the body in generating new cells and facilitates the forming of red blood cells. So folic acid and pregnancy go hand in hand because of its importance during this period of rapid cell division and development. Here is the list of the foods that contain folic acid.

• Green leafy vegetables
• Citrus fruits
• Beans, breads, cereals, rice, pastas

Bump’s Protection and Birth Defect Prevention

Having this extra bump means extra attention as well as extra blood necessary for your body during pregnancy. This is the time when Folic Acid is in high demand with a minimum requirement of 400mcg or 4mg a day for the normal growth and development of fetus’ neural tube. Thus, it is very well known for helping to develop the neural tube that later will form into the brain and spinal cord. Without it, the neural tube might not accomplish its complete closure that may result to spina bifida or anencephaly. In the first trimester it is much needed because the neural tube begins to develop 3 weeks after conception. Hence, some recommend at least 600 mcg folic acid once you know you are pregnant. Below are some evidences, reports and studies about folic acid and pregnancy.

• According to CDC, about 70% of neural tube defects can be reduced with folic acid.
• Child bearers having a healthy diet which includes folic acid and multivitamins lowers their risk of bearing a child with a cleft palette.
• Folic acid taken in the second trimester reduces the risk of developing pregnancy-induced hypertension.
• A year of folic acid intake before pregnancy has a 50% or more chance of preventing premature birth.
• Other protections offered by taking folic acid: miscarriage, low birth weight, poor fetus growth

How to Relieve Back Pain During Pregnancy

It is very common to experience back pain during pregnancy. It makes sense that there would be some discomfort in this area with the weight gain causing you to walk differently. Hormones also work in the body to help relax muscles and ligaments and when they are changing while expecting, it can mean discomfort. However, there are some ways to alleviate back pain during pregnancy. Here are seven of ways you may find some relief.

The first way to help you get rid of this discomfort is to always practice good posture. As you are gaining weight, your body shifts by moving the center of gravity forward. This can cause a lot of strain on the lower portions of the back which can cause discomfort. Using good posture means that you will stand up tall, and straight. Keep your chest held high and hold your shoulders back, but keep them relaxed. Remember to not lock your knees in place while standing still. Good posture also includes sitting properly. Make sure to select a chair that will add some support to your back. Placing a small pillow behind you may also help. Try to keep your spine and neck comfortable, but straight. You may feel better if you prop your feet up on a small stool.

The second way to relieve this discomfort is to wear the right clothes. Shoes with real low heels are best as long as they also have a good arch support. Wearing maternity clothes are more comfortable but make sure that the waistband is low and supportive. If it is more comfortable, try wearing a maternity support belt.

The third way to help yourself out is to be careful how you lift objects. When you need to pick up a small object make sure to squat down and then lift yourself back up with your legs. Do not bend at the waist and do not lift with your torso. It is best to ask for help as you should have limits on what you can lift.

The fourth way to help alleviate discomfort is to sleep on your side. Do not try to sleep on your back. Sleep on your side and keep both of your knees bent. Some find it very comfortable to place a small pillow between the knees. You may opt to purchase a full length body pillow as well.

The number five way to help with discomfort is to try a massage. Heat – cold therapy may work as well. Use a heating pad on low to heat the painful area. You may try alternating heat and ice to alleviate discomfort too. Ask someone to rub the area for you and if you can afford it, got for a professional massage.

Tip six is to stay active. The torso area can be strengthened by regular activity. Walking or swimming can be very beneficial while you are pregnant. Ask your doctor for some stretches that can help relieve back pain during pregnancy.

And lastly, think about alternative therapies. Acupuncture and chiropractic treatments have long been thought to bring relief and comfort. Make sure you discuss these options with your physician before beginning any of these therapies.

Do not ignore back pain during pregnancy, even though it is a common ailment. Always discuss it with your doctor to make sure there are no other underlying problems.

Depression and Pregnancy

Being a mother is the essence of being a woman. We are the only species on earth wherein pregnancy is something we can be proud of. Even the prominent belly is something that is a point of pride for the woman. But sometimes we do come to a point of confusion between pride and shame because of seeing others who are suffering depression during pregnancy. We then, ask ourselves how could this be possible – depression during pregnancy?

• Heredity – It is genetic so even if you have not experienced any major depression yet, you are a candidate for it.

• Complicated Relationship – Whatever the source of the pregnancy, you need to settle your relationship. Go for counseling and never assume that the baby can be a hero who saves the day and your relationship.

• Pregnancy status – Having a history of miscarriage, high-risk pregnancy or previous fertility problems can be a triggering factor giving you the fear of the unknown.

Depression at times can be mistakenly viewed as a normal change during pregnancy because of frequent mood swings or sudden emotional changes. But how can we exactly know if we are suffering depression; what are the early symptoms of depression?

• Not able to think clearly

• Numbness to fun and enjoyable events or feelings of emptiness, blue most of the day

• Altered sleep pattern

• Either craving for more food or nothing at all

• Unsuitable feelings of powerlessness, hopelessness or intense disturbance and anxiety

We can experience these symptoms of early pregnancy in our normal daily lives but we should take note of depression during pregnancy. Pregnancy is a very sensitive situation for most women, and even simple feelings of sadness can easily go to the next level of depression. So, how can we actually prevent this?

• Don’t take things too seriously – The feeling of a soon-to-be-mother is sometimes the reason why some will want to do many chores to prepare for the coming of the baby. If you think that you have to get it all done, do not worry about it. Just take it easy!

• Spend time with your partner – Lessen the times of being alone, you might end up thinking of things that you are troubling. Spend your time with other people as much as you can.

• Say it out loud – Hidden fears, guilt, anger and etc. if accumulated within us can just suddenly burst into depression. Don’t hold it in – let it out!

Alcohol and Pregnancy

We always heard “moderate drinking” mostly rather than quitting it since alcohol in minimal amounts has also its own way of helping our body. However, in the case of alcohol and pregnancy, the two are heterogeneous and just simply cannot be mixed and until now, no one still can tell as to the amount that is safe or too much for the baby. So might as well, pregnant women at least abstain from drinking alcohol completely. It is better to play safe than see the hard results in the end.

Here are some information from CDC (Center for Disease Control) about alcohol and pregnancy:

• No exact amount is known to be harmless and safe when drank during pregnancy.
• Any drink that has alcohol even the littlest percentage can damage the fetus.
• One drink of beer is the same as a 12 oz of beer, a 5 oz glass of wine and a 1 oz shot of liquor.
• There is no secure or safe point for both alcohol and pregnancy.
• Any time alcohol is harmful for the fetus in any way during pregnancy.
• Women should be cautious in drinking alcohol especially those who are planning to have a baby because she can’t tell whether she is pregnant or not during her first weeks of pregnancy.
• In the case of those who are already pregnant but is unaware of it and has drank alcohol is advised to discontinue immediately due to the fact that almost half of all pregnancies in the United States are unintentional or unplanned.
• A doctor’s visit is always important for women of childbearing age to know ways in preventing alcohol-exposed pregnancy.
• Women of childbearing age are the most vulnerable group who needs the help of Health professionals regarding alcohol and pregnancy, its risks if taken during pregnancy and the importance of abstinence the moment they are pregnant or still trying to be one.
• The most important point pregnant women should remember is that when a they drink alcohol, so does their unborn baby.

Alcohol and Pregnancy: the many risks

In addition, alcohol is considered as a teratogen which truly damages the fetus at all stages of pregnancy. The placenta, on the other hand is where the exchange of nutrients of the mother and fetus happens. Unfortunately, having no barrier at all allows alcohol to enter causing damage to the different organs structurally, organically and physically.

8 Weeks Pregnant

Many women have much discomfort throughout their pregnancy, and sometimes it is difficult to know how to handle it. But in reality there are a few simple things women can do. When you are 8 weeks pregnant, you will probably start to have some minor inconveniences. Here is a list of things you can do to help with the various annoyances that you may experience when you are 8 weeks pregnant.

If you experience any type of constipation, the simplest solution is to eat plenty of green leafy vegetables. Spinach, broccoli and sprouts all work perfectly. Green food is a better option rather than buying laxatives. This is because it it is much healthier and better for you and your baby in the long term. Not to mention the nutritional value of eating your vegetables!

It is important to exercise when you are pregnant, but make sure you use the correct form. It may not seem like much, but walking is a good way to get the endorphins going, your heart rate up and get some fresh air. Just a walk for about 15 or 20 minutes will do wonders. If you exercise at home, using the appropriate form is a must. Many exercises you would you do can hurt your back can be harmful for your child. Abdominals, for example, can be harmful if done incorrectly. Make sure you do your research or consult your doctor before doing any exercises of which you are not sure.

Excess sodium can increase inflammation during pregnancy. Reduce your sodium intake and help reduce swelling in your body when you are 8 weeks pregnant and beyond.

When you are 8 weeks pregnant you may begin to feel like you need to urinate more often. This is perfectly natural during pregnancy and should not raise concern. If you have a desire to use the bathroom, it is better to do so. If you try to ignore the demand, it can lead to a urinary tract infection (UTI). It is better to listen to your body!

Your body needs more sleep now that you’re growing a little body inside of you. You probably need more sleep now that you needed before getting pregnant. It is important to try to get more sleep, so that you’re not tired during the day. If you can do this, it will make a world of difference.

Well, I hope you enjoyed those 5 facts about being 8 weeks pregnant. The best thing you can do for you and your baby is to live a healthy lifestyle through healthy eating, exercise, getting adequate sleep and making good choices. Thank you for reading. You can check out more informative articles on being 8 weeks pregnant just visit: 8 weeks of pregnancy. 8 weeks of pregnancy gives you all the tips and advice you need for you and your baby to have the perfect pregnancy.

When Do You Get Ultrasounds During Pregnancy

A sonogram is one of the types of ultrasounds during pregnancy that may be ordered by your health care provider. A sonogram is a picture of the fetus as it resides in the uterus. The picture is produced using sound waves of a high frequency that are not audible to the human ear. Adults hear sounds up to 20 kilohertz. The ultrasound is much higher than that. Although the parents usually want the picture to identify the sex of the unborn child, most of the time the purpose of the ultrasound is because the health care provider needs to have information that only the test could provide. Not only can the technician see the movements of the baby in utero, but also the technician can tell the gestational age of the child and can monitor its growth by comparing pictures.

In this article we will discuss one of the ultrasounds during pregnancy that is called a Level 2 Ultrasound (L2U). This is a procedure that is done to measure the baby and to check is the baby is the appropriate size for the gestational age. The vital organs can be checked for proper development and function and the sex of the baby can be seen. The information gathered by the technician will be used to determine gestational age and development. The organs are surveyed, the umbilical cord is measured, the amniotic fluid level is noted and the measurements of the baby from head to rear will all be vital bits of data that will help the technician. You should tell the technician or your health care provider that you do or do not want to know the sex of the child before the test is run.

The L2U will be performed during the second trimester of the gestation sometime between 18 and 22 weeks. The health care provider wants to perform the test on the 20th week, but a lot of times the woman does not know her date of conception and the health care provider will use the test to help make that determination. This test has become a routine part of testing while the mother is carrying the baby. If the woman is high risk or is carrying multiples then the ultrasounds during pregnancy will be conducted on a more regular basis. The importance of these tests cannot be denied. They can detect genetic disorders, Down’s syndrome, trisomy 18 and 13 and other disorders in the developing fetus. If abnormalities are detected at any time during any of the tests then specialists can be on hand to help explain the results to the parents and to provide valuable information for their decision making. There are a lot of disorders that can be identified in the womb that can be treated in the womb and a healthy baby can be carried to full term.

Before we leave the discussion of these tests let’s look at how they are done. The woman will lie down on a table in a gown open to expose her abdominal area. The technician will apply a gel to the area that she will move an instrument over that is called a transducer. This instrument emits the sound waves that create the ultrasound picture by bouncing off solid matter in the womb. The solid matter is the structure of the baby to include the skeletal and the organ make up. The images are projected onto a screen much like a television set. As the transducer passes over each area a different image is projected. At several times during this process the technician will snap a picture that will freeze the image into a picture that can be reviewed by the health care provider. The purpose of ultrasounds during pregnancy is to provide a detailed picture of the baby for the health care provider to use for information that will be needed for directing care for the baby and the mother.

23 Weeks Pregnant

Having any strange and wonderful dreams? You are now 23 weeks pregnant. Having some pretty amazing and vivid dreams is common in the second quarter of pregnancy. It is like finding yourself dreaming of being in situations that resemble your everyday life. The baby can even be in the dreams but not look like exactly what you are expecting. Try not to take any of these as a sign or warning of things to come. Dreams are simply one way for us to sort out the excessive brain activity we are exposed to in our waking hours. And in some sense, they are just the waste products of our subconscious and a way for us to make more room in our brains for the new information that will come in the days ahead.

At 23 weeks of pregnancy the length of your baby is from crown to rump is approximately 8 inches. Your baby now weighs just over one pound or 500 grams and measures about approximately 11.4 inches or 29 centimetres from head to heel. The baby’s hearing is well established and it can hear a distorted version of your voice, the beating of your heart and your stomach when it growls. Noises are often heard in uterus. In addition to the progress of your baby’s hearing, her lungs are developing in preparation for breathing. The baby can swallow, but usually the baby won’t pass her first stool, called the meconium, until after birth. The mother’s uterus is about 1.5 inches above her navel. Her total weight gain should be about 15 pounds to date. She may notice some Braxton-Hicks contractions at this time. A Braxton Hicks contraction is defined as an intermittent, painless contraction that may occur every 10 to 20 minutes after the first trimester of pregnancy. Sometimes these contractions are also called pre-labor contractions or Hicks sign. It is important to note that this type of contraction is not regular and should not be painful. Braxton Hicks contraction prepares your body for upcoming labor and will get stronger as your pregnancy progresses. The mother may be able to feel the contractions if she puts her hand on her belly and her baby can probably feel the uterus gripping and massaging her. It will not harm the baby, so there is no need to worry.

There are still some physical changes occurring to the developing baby. Even though you are tired at 23 weeks pregnant, try to remember to do stretching exercises before getting in the bed. Don’t miss any monthly ante-natal check up. And mark these on your calendar or diary as an event that you should not miss. Many clinics or hospitals will have a series of appointments at a time, so you should be careful to plan ahead.

9 Weeks Pregnant

When you are 9 weeks pregnant the child is almost one inch long and weighs only a fraction of an ounce. Most of the structures of the main body, like the head, hands and feet are in place. Now the smaller details will begin to develop over the next few weeks. If you see an ultrasound of the baby at this time, you will find an amazingly well developed beating heart. In fact, all four chambers of the heart valves of the child will be divided as it continues to develop this week! You will see his eyelids but your child’s eyes will remain closed until about 26 weeks along. Other features of the face such as nose, mouth and ears are also distinguishable and additional features, such as the nostrils are well-formed. Perhaps the most surprising thing of all is that all the major organs of the child are in place already, and they all really work.

The mother will most likely be more anxious about now. And those who are watching her life can begin to see that she is expecting. It will only be a couple of weeks before she will have to apply for a maternity store credit card! Certainly it might be a feeling of the clothes a little tighter every week. There is no cause to. Before long, the baby that fits nicely in her belly will begin to be the long awaited bump on full display!

When you decide to announce your pregnancy to your family and colleagues remains a personal choice. Many women choose to wait until their second trimester because the risk of miscarriage is much lower. Depending on where you live, it may even be parents and support groups that can help you prepare for your new role.

There are also many online forums for women who are9 weeks pregnant. There are communities and support groups right at your fingertips. But depending on your symptoms, this time period can be difficult; especially when you’re still going through morning sickness, fatigue and a number of other physical effects of pregnancy. If this is your first pregnancy, you may also feel worried about being a parent. You are simply required to take care of yourself. Many new interests will also begin to develop. You will find this series to be related to babies and parenting.

Every new parent who is 9 weeks pregnant goes through this to some extent and it is helpful to talk with other parents around you so you can learn from their experiences and make new friends who can help support you in your new exciting adventure.

12 Weeks Pregnant

Most new mothers who are 12 weeks pregnant are really worried and unsure about what to expect during pregnancy. Adolescents who are faced with an unwanted pregnancy are particularly perplexed and have no idea what to expect on their long journey to motherhood. However, the anxiety is not limited to teenage pregnancy alone.

Most young adults who are pregnant for the first time experience some anxiety too. Adults have at least collected some information about pregnancy from friends, talk shows and the Internet. However, some of this information is not correct and a mother needs to know everything about what is really going on during the last week of her first quarter.

There are a series of exciting events that occur in the last week of the first quarter. At present, the fetus begins to look more human, as we know it. The facial features are visible. Eyes, which previously sat still with no movement at all, begin to move back and forth. Ears, fingernails and feet are currently under development. And the baby’s sex organs begin to take shape, so that you can now tell if the baby is a boy or a girl.

At the end of the first trimester, the fetus weighs about half an ounce and measures about 2.4 inches in length. The child is able to make small movements such as rotations or twists although the mother may not be able to distinguish this time. The nervous system also begins to operate. Other organs such as the intestines start to form and kidneys are now able to run the urine to the bladder.

Soon, the mother experiences many changes in her body. The uterus begins to expand and grow in weight each week. The uterus is raised to life and begins to balloon significantly. The pregnancy begins to become apparent to others. Many women experience mood swings at this time. Morning sickness and nausea are also common among many. Some also experience heartburn while they are 12 weeks pregnant. Doctors can prescribe medications that will help combat the discomfort of heartburn.

Currently, the ballooning belly balloons begin to wear you down. You will not be able to wear jeans and a sexy top for some time. You will need a whole new wardrobe. We recommend that you buy maternity clothes around that can be used for a long time, perhaps even for multiple pregnancies. You also need to buy a pair of shoes or two to facilitate walking to avoid hurting your back. These shoes will also be convenient for those who may develop any swelling of the legs later in the pregnancy.

When you are 12 weeks pregnant nutrition and exercise are vital to the development of a healthy baby. Your diet should include foods rich in vitamins and minerals. This will give your baby a healthy start in life. You also need to do light exercises to strengthen your body and improve circulation in your body and the baby growing in her womb.

16 Weeks Pregnant

By the time a mother is 16 weeks pregnant she probably has already had a series of prenatal visits with her doctor. One of the standard parts of medical examinations in early pregnancy will include blood tests. Just in case mothers have not done any of these exams or for some reason she have been missed, she should check it with her midwife or obstetrician. They are important so that she can check her blood type, blood counts and immunity to certain diseases as well as check her baby’s health.

At this stage, the baby is approximately 4.3-4.6 centimeters long and weighs 2.8 ounces. Nevertheless, when the mother is 16 weeks pregnant it is not only the baby that will grow, but also the uterus and the placenta continue to grow to accommodate the growing baby inside her womb. It is only in the first six weeks that the uterus weighs about 5 ounces, now it already weighs about 8.75 ounces. The amniotic fluid the surrounds the baby is also increasing and now weighs about 7.5 ounces. The mother can now feel her uterus about 3 inches below the navel. In this week it is important for the mother to have blood testing and will most likely to have an AFP (Alpha-fetoprotein) test. Alpha-fetoprotein is a harmless blood test done to detect abnormalities of the baby such as spina bifida or Down syndrome. And also, this test is non-invasive and does not present any risk to the developing baby. Most doctors offer the test, but most importantly it is entirely voluntary on the part of the mother to have this test.

The mammary glands of a mother begin to produce at this time. This can cause pain and swelling in these early stages of pregnancy. Her veins will become more visible due to the increase amount of blood flowing to the breasts.

A pregnant mother will have some check lists of things to do during this stage of pregnancy. For instance, she will probably talk to her doctor about the AFP test that should be done around 16 to 18 weeks of pregnancy. She will also consider attending an infant CPR class. And if she felt any movements of her baby inside her womb, she will keep a diary about her baby’s first movements. It will also be included in her check list to see about Nursery decorating ideas. For instance, she may be looking for a few tips to make a creative nursery for her baby, thus, this may be the most enjoyable experience a pregnant mother could have in her entire pregnancy. She may also think of having an evening out with her partner or look for ideas of items to cook and put in the freezer so she will not have to cook later in her pregnancy.