Saturday, October 30, 2010

Morning Sickness and the 411 on B6

--> One of the "not so joyous" parts of pregnancy is morning sickness.  The name is kind of deceiving since morning sickness isn't limited to just the morning.  About half of all pregnant women experience it  around week 6.  Many women start feeling relief at week 14 but there is a small percentage who experience nausea and vomiting throughout their entire pregnancy (big hug for those moms).  Of course, just because morning sickness is common and likely to last "only" a few months doesn't mean it's not a challenge. Even a mild case of nausea can wear you down and leave you exhausted and miserable.

So, here's some good news!  Women who experience morning sickness during pregnancy often find relief in taking a B6 supplement. No one knows for sure why this works, but the supplementation of B6 has stood the test of time for effectiveness. Doctors first started prescribing B6 as a morning sickness remedy in the 1940s. Numerous studies since then have shown that taking a higher dose of B6 does have a lessening effect on nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.

A study performed in China also proved that higher levels of B6 can increase the chance of conception and lower the risk of early term miscarriage. The results were published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.  The study found that women with B6 levels above 30 had a 40% greater chance of conception and lowered their early miscarriage rate by 30%. Women with lower levels of B6 were negatively impacted by their deficiency. Alayne Ronnenberg, author of the study explains, "We found that poor preconception vitamin B6 status was associated with increased risk of early pregnancy loss and reduced probabilities of conception and clinical pregnancy in a prospective cohort of young Chinese women."

Many prenatal vitamins contain B6. Look for a vitamin that contains a high dose of B6.  Also, talk with your doctor or midwife about your symptoms and the possibilities for relief.  

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Get Your Glow On!

What causes that “pregnancy glow” so many women have while pregnant? Poetically speaking, the glow is from the knowledge and anticipation of the life growing inside, as well as healthier eating and living. However, technically it can be linked to an increase in blood volume. Women typically see a gain of 40-50% in blood levels during pregnancy.

This increased blood volume boosts blood flow to the uterus and kidneys and compensates for the blood lost during delivery. Anemia (which is too few red blood cells) can develop during pregnancy from dilution of red blood cells  as a result of the increased volume. The fetus uses the mother’s red blood cells to aid in development, especially during the third trimester.  We moms are, of course, happy to share, but it's important that we take care of ourselves as well. 

How do you know if you have anemia? Some of the signs are: fatigue, dizziness, pale skin, rapid heartbeat, or difficulty breathing. Visit your OBGYN for blood testing to know for sure.

The best prevention for anemia is taking an iron supplement or a prenatal vitamin containing the correct Daily Recommended Intake (DRI) of iron (9mg ).  Sounds easy enough.  Another way to prevent anemia is to start storing iron before you become pregnant. Since iron is stored in bone marrow, a prenatal vitamin used during preconception is helpful.  Any iron stored up before pregnancy can be used during pregnancy to aid in fetal development.

Unfortunately, many women have a hard time tolerating iron during pregnancy, so it is important to try different products until you find one that works for you.  If you have a hard time tolerating the iron in your prenatal vitamin, try another brand that might be better tolerated. Look for a prenatal vitamin containing micro-encapsulated iron, which tends to be gentler on the stomach. The iron is released over time, which alleviates the number one cause of iron-related nausea, iron hitting the stomach all at once.

So get your glow on girls!  Your body and your baby will thank you.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thumbs Up or Down for Vitamin A

Is Vitamin A during pregnancy ok?  The answer is thumbs up AND down, making the acceptable dosage during pregnancy confusing to figure out.  Here is the scoop.  Vitamin A comes in two main forms: preformed (retinoid form- found in meats and fortified foods) and beta-carotene (which converts to the retinol form within the body- found in fruits and vegetables).  Multivitamins (including prenatal vitamins) may contain either form of Vitamin A.

Too much of the preformed Vitamin A can lead to birth defects and liver toxicity. This risk is highest during the first few weeks of pregnancy. You may consume as much beta-carotene as you wish at any stage of pregnancy. Beta-carotene only converts to the retinol form of Vitamin A when needed. Because of this built-in limiting mechanism, you cannot overdose on beta-carotene.

When looking for a prenatal vitamin, check both the source and amounts of Vitamin A to ensure that you do not exceed the recommended limitations (10,000 IU) during pregnancy. You must also keep in mind the amount of Vitamin A that you receive through your diet. Promise Prenatal vitamins (Stage 1) contain no Vitamin A for the pre-conception period through the first trimester. Stages 2 and 3 contain Vitamin A in the beta-carotene form to help nurture the baby’s growth and maintain the mother’s health.

Vitamin A helps maintain eye health and fight off infections and helps your body rebuild and recover after pregnancy. Your baby benefits from Vitamin A through cell growth, eye and health development, fat metabolism and bone growth.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Sharing the Big News

-->It's fun sharing the good news of being pregnant! Some of us want to shout it to the world (usually via Facebook, Tweet or blogging) and others are more private and only want a select few to know at first. Whichever category you fall under, it's fun to be creative in sharing the news. Here are a few fun ideas to help you spill the beans.

Creative ways to tell your partner that you’re pregnant:
  • Make a meal of baby corn, baby carrots, baby back ribs, a salad of baby greens, etc. and see if he understands the hint. If not, ask him what the common theme of the meal is and if he sees any significance.
  • Use a photo editing program like (free with registration online) to morph your face and your partner’s. Give him the photo and label it as “Our future-due in 9 months”
  • Wrap up a baby name book and give it to your partner saying that you bought him a great book about his future.
  • If you have a dog that runs to greet people who come to the door, tie a note around the dog’s collar saying “Heather’s pregnant” for your partner to find.

Creative ways to tell you family/friends that you’re pregnant:
  • Mail birth announcements with your due date and a question mark for the name, sex, and weight.
  • Give them a framed photo of your ultrasound.
  • Have your older child wear a shirt that says “I’m going to be a big sister(or brother)”
  • Gather everyone for an impromptu family photo. Have your partner take the photo and say “Ok everyone, say Lucy’s pregnant!” instead of “cheese.” You’ll get a great photo of everyone’s reaction.
  • Invite everyone over for a dinner and when your guests come to the door, answer it with a pillow stuffed under your shirt to look pregnant. It is best if you can do it with a straight face. When they ask what’s going on, just tell them you’re practicing for what’s coming up in the next few months.
  • Before your partner gets home from work, decorate the living room with balloons and streamers and a sign that says “Welcome home DADDY!”


Thursday, June 17, 2010

DHA Omega-3 Before, During and After Pregnancy

-->Don't you just love being ahead of the game when it comes to information? I love being the first to find a good deal or get the scoop on some new amazing, must have product. Here is some great information you will want to know. DHA before, during and after pregnancy, here’s why …
New research proves that prenatal DHA supplementation really does improve a child’s motor, visual, and cognitive development. The study of 109 infants was conducted in Quebec and the results were recently published in the Journal of Pediatrics.
DHA levels of the umbilical cord were tested to determine the amount of DHA the child received in utero. “DHA concentration in the umbilical cord is a good indicator of intra-uterine exposure to omega-3s during the last trimester of pregnancy, a crucial period for the development of retinal photoreceptors and neurons,” explained lead researcher Eric Dewailly.
The infants were subjected to visual and motor tests at age 6 months and 11 months. The level of DHA present in the umbilical cord at birth was very closely related to the child’s development speed and progress.
There are also studies that show omega-3 supplementation can influence breast milk composition and subsequently a child’s brain. Mothers who take DHA also have lower instances of postpartum depression and often recover from pregnancy more quickly.
DHA is just one of many important nutrients for a healthy pregnancy. It is highly recommended that women take a pregnancy vitamin before, during, and even after pregnancy. Many women do not get all of the essential nutrients needed through diet alone. Supplementing a balanced diet with a prenatal vitamin is always a good idea. Many women begin to take DHA and a prenatal vitamin before pregnancy to increase their chance of conception.
Find out more. Resources:

Maternal omega-3 again linked to children’s coordination
Omega-3 Intake During Last Months Of Pregnancy Boosts An Infant’s Cognitive And Motor Development

Monday, June 14, 2010

What to Avoid during Pregnancy


Most of us know the basic things to avoid during pregnancy- but the list has changed some over the years and more has been added (like some types of fish, soft cheeses and deli meats). Sorry sushi lovers, you'll need to put down the chopsticks for a bit.

· Alcohol

Can lead to mental retardation, low birth weight, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). Alcohol also hinders the body’s ability to absorb folic acid, an essential nutrient during pregnancy.

· Caffeine

Can result in miscarriage, low birth weight, and premature birth. Keep caffeine intake under 300 milligrams a day (2-3 cups of coffee).

· Cigarettes

Can result in pre-term births, low birth weight, and miscarriage. Infants born to mothers who smoked during pregnancy are three times as likely to die from SIDs as are those born to non-smokers (1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking: A Report of the Surgeon General—2004. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Office on Smoking and Health, Atlanta Georgia, May 2004.).

· OTC or prescription drugs without doctor’s advice

Bodies react differently to drugs (prescription and OTC) and you should always consult with your doctor to verify the safety of any medication for you and your baby.

· Fish with mercury and raw sushi

Mercury can cause brain damage, including developmental delays. Avoid shellfish, swordfish, shark, and king mackerel. Shrimp, catfish, and light canned tuna are acceptable choices. Avoid raw sushi.

· Raw eggs and reptiles

Both pose a risk of exposure to salmonella, which can result in severe illness.

· Saunas and hot tubs

When your body temperature rises above 102 degrees Fahrenheit, there is an increased risk of birth defects for your baby.

· Soft cheeses

Brie, feta, camembert, and Mexican-style cheeses are often made with un-pasteurized milk and can contain bacteria called Listeria. This can cause infection in the fetus, or in worst-case-scenario lead to death if untreated.

· Certain types of herbal tea

Some types, such as raspberry leaf, can cause contractions.

· Hot dogs and deli meat

Both can contain Listeria (see soft cheeses).

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Too funny!

Well, I must admit, when I first saw this advertisement I thought maybe it was a Saturday Night Live skit- or maybe that's just where Huggies got the idea. :) Here is the latest campaign for Huggies diapers!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Showered with Love

As the end of your pregnancy draws near one of the exciting things to look forward to is the baby shower. It's a time for close friends and family to come together to celebrate you and your new baby (not to mention, shower you with useful gifts). Baby showers are always best when well organized and the host stays within the comfort levels of the mom-to-be.
There are so many wonderful colors, themes and designs for this summer! A shower theme, if one is desired, is chosen by the host after consulting with the honored guest- you. Themes may make it easier for the guests to bring gifts and also make it easier for planning when there is a group effort (a group of hosts- not just one). Location is also key in picking a theme (indoor or outdoor, formal or informal location etc.).
First, decide which foods will complement the location of the event. If you are planning to have the shower in a park on a hot summer day, raw vegetable trays, sweet rolls or slices of sourdough bread will stand the heat. Anything that may spoil should be packed well in ice. Also, be sure to bring plenty of water for the guests. Almost anything works for an indoor shower, providing you have the refrigeration. Host should always consider you when planning the food- is spicy food giving you heartburn lately or is there something you are craving!
Games are a great icebreaker but they must be done tastefully and within your comfort level. With out spoiling the elements of surprise you may want to ask your host and make sure the games are something that won't embarrass you or her.

Enjoy your shower to the fullest! It's all about you and your baby. Let your friends pamper you and make you feel special.


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

As We Grow

As Biotegrity Corporation continues to grow we are purposeful about maintaining the small business culture we have become accustomed to. Our customers are still customers, not a number on a pie chart. Our employees still contribute to the big picture and know they are a part of an team of people who shares the same values of giving women only the best! Those of us who have the privilege of communicating directly with our customers know how rewarding it is! We are able to celebrate with new moms, give our own personal stories and sometimes share in the heartaches of women who are faced with loss. We love being able to tell our customers about the products many of us (and our friends) used while pregnant, nursing and in between and know with all of our hearts they are the best a women can take. So, thank you to all of the amazing people who spend their work days with us at Biotegrity and the wonderful customers who believe in what we believe in- only the best for OUR body and the sweet babies inside!