Sunday, July 22, 2012

Tips for Surviving Summer Pregnancy

As your baby bump grows, you may be wondering how you're going to survive the hot summer months.  Here are a few tips to help keep you cool and comfy while you beat the heat this summer.

Tip #1
Drink lots and lots of water.  You want to be sure to drink at least 8-10 glasses a day.  Unfortunately, you're probably already making lots of trips to the little girls room, but sipping water all day will help reduce swelling, pregnancy aches and other heat related complications.

Tip #2
Dress for the occasion.  There are so many darling easy to wear dresses and prego shorts perfect for summer. A maternity tank top, light weight skirt and some comfy sandals are perfect for an outing in the heat.

Tip #3
Plan a "baby-moon" before your little one arrives.  Take a weekend trip to somewhere cooler or get away and relax at the beach for a few days.  Grab a good book, your bottled water and kick your feet up.  Oh, and don't forget to pack your prenatal vitamins.

Tip #4
Don't skimp on the sunscreen.  During pregnancy you have higher levels of estrogen , making you more susceptible to melasma (dark splotching of the skin).  You will need to wear an SPF of at least 50 since studies show most of us don't use enough of the lower SPF to provide sufficient protection.  A hat should also be worn for long stretches of sun exposure.

Tip #5
Give your bump a dunk.  Spend some time in the pool relieving the pressure off of your back and joints while cooling down your core.  Gentle swimming or wading can be a refreshing and relaxing way to spend an afternoon.  Don't forget to apply your water proof sunscreen.

Tip #6
Indulge yourself in some tasty cold treats.  Frozen yogurt, smoothies, fruit Popsicles and cold watermelon are just a few low calorie ways to help keep the heat away.  Shoot, even go for some real ice cream or a yummy snow cone when needed.  

Tip #7
Stay in the shade or indoors when possible.  Plan to stay in the air conditioning during the hottest times of the day (usually mid afternoon).  Your body temp is extra hot with that baby on board and you want to avoid soaring outdoor temperatures which may increase your risk of heat exhaustion and dehydration. 

Stay cool hot mamas and enjoy your summer!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Watch Your Back

You may have given yourself a pat on it, asked someone to scratch it (while you've scratched theirs), or covered your best friend's.  But most of us ignore a part of our bodies we really should be watching out for- our backs.

The pregnancy and post-partum stages of life bring about many challenges to your posterior, such as hormonal changes, altered gait and posture, low activity levels, new and difficult movements, and lack of rest. 

When it's time to deliver your baby, you'll be thankful for high levels of the hormone relaxin, which cause your joints to loosen.  But from the time you see two little blue lines until about 6 months after giving birth, relaxin creates an environment where it is easier to injure yourself.  You can't reduce the amount of relaxin in your body, nor would you want to, but you can take other steps to lessen your chances of hurting your back.

1. Sit up straight.  Couches, recliners and beds promote slouching.  Instead, sit on firm, straight-backed chairs, a exercise/birth ball, or the floor.  You'll be engaging the muscles that support your spine, and keeping your skeletal structure properly aligned.

2. Exercise gently.  Walking, swimming, and prenatal yoga will keep your blood circulating, muscles stretched, and core muscles working.  If you're fighting nausea or fatigue, short, low intensity exercise is better than total inactivity.

3. Retire the cape.  It may be tempting to help put together that new nursery furniture or pull gear out of the attic, but no task is greater than taking care of your body right now.  Hand off the to-do list to someone else, and relax.

4.  Once baby comes, skip carrying a heavy car seat and opt for babywearing.

5.  Our bodies conduct almost all repair operations while we're asleep.  And yet, sleep is notoriously scarce for most mothers.  As tempting as it may be to tackle some laundry or thank-you notes, you'll do the best for yourself and your baby if you make sleeping a priority, second only to water and food.  It's that essential to your health.

6. Finally, consider visiting a chiropractor.  Some are better trained and more experienced than others in caring for pregnant patients, as well as new mothers and their babies.  Chiropractic care has become an important part of my family's healthy lifestyle.

Motherhood is an adventure which keeps us on our toes, and requires a strong back.  Minding your spine will help you enjoy the journey with vigor.

This article was written by guest blogger Amanda Gilbreath.  Amanda, a customer of Promise Prenatal Vitamins and Promise DHA says, "as the richest woman in the world, my treasures include my faith in Jesus Christ, husband, 3 children, and thesaurus.  I write in the slivers of time wedged between chunks of a blessed life."