Heartburn in Pregnancy and the Nightshade Family

Heartburn in pregnancy is a real bane.  During the first 3 months, I felt a bit sick, pretty tired, but going into the 4th trimester brought terrible heartburn.  Apart from knocking back bottles of Gaviscon, what can you do to ease the pain of acid reflux?  I starting noting down when I would get a really bad bout of heartburn and looking at what I had eaten during the previous meal.  As a pattern started to form I looked into the Nightshades and it seems I’m not alone.  Many other people from arthritis sufferers to those with digestive problems also report problems with the following plants that belong to the Nightshade Family: tomatoes potatoes peppers paprika eggplant/aubergine tobacco I had usually experienced some kind of indigestion after eating tomatoes and green peppers, but potatoes were hit and miss, I didn’t tend to get heartburn when eating mash, but roast potatoes (a favourite) would give me chronic symptoms and even sickness.  I don’t eat enough aubergines to really note if they give me much of a problem, but since I tend to bake them in moussaka or vegetable lasagne, I think that the addition of fat in the form of cheese may serve to dampen the ill effects. So maybe that’s why mashed potato is generally better received, since it’s a lot tastier and creamier when eaten with butter or cheese stirred through (just so you know, I’m the potato fan in the house, Massimo prefers brown rice but is really getting into the Paleo Diet where it is largely meat, fish and vegetables of the non starchy kind.  I am actively looking into recipes that are as exciting to eat as they are good for you – I will leave out my experimental trout in carrot sauce though…). Celery for heartburn relief You may want to try celery to...

Down’s Syndrome Test

I thought I would quickly write this post as I went through a few weeks of unnecessary fear after my first “checking in” appointment with the midwife.  It is standard to have blood taken and checked for all sorts of diseases a couple of months into a pregnancy.  You can refuse to have them done so remember that you do have a choice.  But it might the Down’s syndrome test that can be the most frightening when described to you for the first time. This is because it is not a simple yes or no diagnosis.  At around week 12 you have another blood test at the hospital and a few days later you will be sent a percentage back from the blood screening results.  This determines whether or not you may be offered further screening, such as amniocentesis: (where a sample of amniotic fluid is taken).  I was told that if it is a high risk – maybe a one in 250 percent chance, then the amniocentesis can be offered. Some sources state this procedure as coming with a 1% chance of miscarriage, but others (according to this study in 2006) state that the risk is much lower, about 1 in 1,600. Maternal age related risks go up with the age of the mother.  Being 38 years old I was worried about this, since my risk factor was on average: 1: 175 compared to 1: 1,667 for a mother aged 20. This information can strike fear into anyone and you don’t get the Down’s screening blood test until week 12, when you go for the ultasound scan, so it’s a long wait.  (You will LOVE the ultrasound, it’s the most fascinating insight – take a look at our baby scan, you might just notice the little hand placed behind the head – the sonographer said the baby must...

Exercise During Pregnancy: Is It Really Safe?

Exercise during pregnancy.  This usually leads to heated debates from both sides of the fence, it is safe, but it is always advisable to check with your GP before starting or continuing any fitness routine. Exercise can help to maintain strength from top to toe and inside out and can also help to ease pregnancy related disorders from back pain to depression. It is also recognised that women who exercise during early to mid pregnancy have larger placentas than women who refrain from working out.  This in itself is good news as the placenta is the carrier of nutrients and oxygen to the growing fetus, having a larger one may help a healthier baby to develop. However, if you are an avid gym goer, then keeping up your routine throughout the whole of the pregnancy may affect the weight of the baby.  According to this study on women who exercise during pregnancy a number of women were studied, with those exercising in high frequency in mid to late pregnancy bore infants that were a lot lighter than the infants born to the mothers who were asked to reduce their workouts after the 20th week (3.39kg vs 3.81kg) and much thinner  (8.3% fat vs 12.1% fat). With this in mind, it seems that it may be wise to slow down a bit in the third trimester, to give yourself the best chance of bearing a healthy birth weight baby.  Low birth weight is not to be taken lightly since it can be related to problems with development and other health problems in later life.  But even so, the birth weights of the babies born to the moderate to high intensity exercise mothers were still classed as being normal. So what can we deduce from this? That exercise is beneficial during pregnancy.  Weight bearing exercise is good, unless you have a...

Exercise in Pregnancy: Workout Demonstrations And Tips

Exercise in pregnancy is something that most women feel anxious about, but it is safe if you exercised regularly up to the pregnancy and if you wish to begin a regime during your pregnancy, then you just have to be a bit more careful and use easy options.  The video above shows a lady in her 26th week demonstrating some safe exercises but always go with caution when trying out anything new. Kegel exercises are a must to help support the pelvic floor, to find the correct muscles to contract imagine you are trying not to pee, but do not ever stop the flow of urine when you are relieving yourself as this can lead to inflammation or urinary tract infections.  For more information check this Kegel Exercises post. Exercise in Pregnancy Guidelines: Always check with your doctor or midwife first if they think it is safe for you to begin or continue your exercise routine. If you feel sick or dizzy, stop immediately and rest. Try to keep your heart rate between 130 to 140 beats per minute, you do not want to be unable to speak easily during your workout. Keep your temperature down too, it isn’t good for your baby if you become overheated because temperatures greater than 102.6° F (39° C) can cause issues with your baby especially during the first trimester.  Be especially watchful if swimming as the water will make it harder for you to detect if you are overheating. Avoid jumping, bouncing, any sudden stop/start movements that jar the body and anything that may cause a risk of injury to the abdomen (contact sports such as Boxercise, Kobo, Body Combat, Skiing, Skating, Rollerblading…) There are mixed views on Step aerobics, some say that the constant shift in position can cause instability, others say that you can take the step lower and work...

Foods To Avoid During Pregnancy

There are lots of theories out there regarding foods to avoid during pregnancy, but looking on the Web MD site there is some good logical advice for mums to be. Soft Cheeses Cheeses made with unpasteurized milk may harbour Listeria bacteria.  These include Camembert, Panela, Blue cheeses such as Stilton or Gorgonzola, Brie and Feta.  The reason is that Listeria has been linked to premature delivery, death and miscarriage.  Hard cheeses such as Cheddar tend to be okay, but check the label if in any doubt. Rare/Undercooked Meat or Shellfish/Smoked Fish There is nothing like a Fillet Steak cooked in a flash in a knob of butter, but if you are pregnant, you need to ensure that the meat you eat is well cooked.  Undercooked meat can contain variety of bacteria and even toxoplasma – a parasite that can cause toxoplasmosis – that can lead to malformation or miscarriage of the fetus.  Smoked fish carries a risk of harbouring Listeria so please cook it well before eating.  Raw shellfish such as oysters should be cooked first since they can carry a huge amount of bacteria and parasites. According to Web MD, the temperatures of meat should be as follows: Whole cuts – 145°F Ground/minced meat – 160°F Chicken breast – 165°F Be careful when shopping at the deli section too as salami, pate, hotdogs and other precooked meats such as ham/turkey/beef can harbour Listeria.  If you want to eat them, make sure you heat them until steaming hot and avoid getting any of the fluids in the packaging onto any plates or cutlery. Canned or shelf safe food is safe to eat. Freshly Squeezed Fruit Juice Unless you squeeze it yourself, you cannot be sure that the juice is free from harmful bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella.  This is particularly with regard to the juice bars and...

Kegel Exercises – Strengthen Your Inner Muscle Tone With Pelvic Floor Exercises

Kegel exercises were developed by a top gynecologist in the 1940s, Arnol Kegel.  With regular practice, you can strengthen your pelvic floor muscles which can weaken after childbirth, leading to reduced bladder control and less sensitivity during lovemaking. Begin the practice of Kegel exercises as soon as you can and continue to do them throughout life to lower the chances of age related urinary incontinence. The increased blood circulation to your nether regions will help to speed up the healing process of any tear or cut made during the birth of your child.  It is also helpful to keeping hemmoroids at bay. They are very easy to do if you imagine that you are trying to stop the flow of urine and breaking wind at the same time.  Squeeze and life the areas of the front and back passages.  You can do them anywhere, on the train, waiting in a queue, sitting in a restaurant.  Nobody will ever know that you are doing them! Try to isolate these areas, as it is common to tighten up the buttocks and inner thighs to assist the exercises.  The best way to find out if you are doing them right is to ask your partner during lovemaking as he should be able to feel you doing your exercises. There are gadgets that can help you make your exercises more efficient too.  Try the Aquaflex – Pelvic Floor Exercise System (consumer reviews below): CERTAIN CONTENT THAT APPEARS ON THIS SITE COMES FROM AMAZON SERVICES LLC. THIS CONTENT IS PROVIDED 'AS IS' AND IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE OR REMOVAL AT ANY TIME. Practice makes perfect You can build up to a ten second hold and release gradually, with a hold of a few seconds each time. There are other uses too for knowing how to isolate these muscles.  If you anticipate a sneeze, laugh...
Page 1 of 212