Starting off your with a healthy well balanced diet is the best thing you do for yourself and your baby.  This way, you'll only need to make a few adjustments during your pregnancy.

Your first trimester

If you find it tough to maintain a balanced diet during your first trimester, you can rest assured that your not alone.  Due to queasiness, some women will eat all of the time and gain a lot of weight in the process.  Other women have trouble getting food down and subsequently lose weight.  

Preventing malnutrition and dehydration are your most important factors during first trimester.  

Calories

When you are pregnant, you need to consume around 300 calories more than usual every day.  The best way to go about doing this is listening to your body when you are hungry.  You should try to eat as many foods as possible from the bottom of the food pyramid.

If you gain weight too slow, try eating small meals and slightly increase the fat in your diet. You should always eat when you are hungry, as you are now eating for 2 instead of one.

Calcium

By the second trimester, you'll need around 1,500 milligrams of calcium each day for your bones and your baby', which is more than a quart of milk. Calcium is something that's missing from many diets.  Along with milk, other great sources for calcium include dairy products, calcium fortified juices, and even calcium tablets.

Fiber

Fiber can help to prevent constipation, which is a common pregnancy problem.  You can find fiber in whole grains, fruits, and even vegetables.  Fiber supplements such as Metamucil and Citrucel are safe to take during pregnancy.

Protein

Unless you happen to be a strict vegetarian, your protein intake is not normally a problem for women who eat a healthy diet.

Iron

A lot of women will start their pregnancy off with a bit of iron deficiency.  Good sources of iron include dark leafy green vegetables and meats.  Iron supplements should be avoided, as they can cause internal symptoms such as cramping, constipation, or diarrhea.  

Vitamins

Seeing as how you get a majority of the vitamins you need in your diet, you may want to discuss prenatal vitamins with your doctor.  Folate is one of the most important, and if you are getting enough of it, you may be able to avoid vitamins all together - just ask your doctor to make sure.

Prescribing a medication for pregnant women is a complex process.

Before obstetricians and gynecologists decide which dose of which drug can best treat a condition without putting any harmful side effects on the mother and the baby, they consider the patient’s age, general health, the number of months before delivery, tolerance for medications, and any other drugs the pregnant patient may be taking.

Prescribing exercise on pregnant women has to be just as scientific and precise. The type, intensity, frequency, and duration of a “dose” of exercise are all critical. One person’s healthy, vigorous workout could be hazardous to another. These dangers may be greater in pregnant women because they are more likely to have strains and other serious side effects for the would-be mother.

However, if exercise will be implemented and carried out in a normal, average range, exercise will not have an effect on the overall condition of the pregnancy and especially on labor or delivery.

Pregnancy

Quality prenatal care should be given to a mother during her pregnancy. She should be prepared for the normal delivery of a healthy baby. Complications should be prevented at all costs.

All of these things are boiled down to the fact that a pregnant woman should be cared in such a way that she will not be compelled to do vigorous work but should not also stay in bed and be inactive until she gives birth to her baby.

Consequently, a pregnant woman’s condition varies in relation to the growth and development of the baby in side her womb. Therefore, it is necessary that proper health guidance be provided by her physician during her visit.

Moreover, it is important to keep the pregnant woman’s life active in order to promote good health, not only for her but also for the baby most importantly.

Physical conditions like blood pressure, weight and health status is usually monitored during the pregnant woman’s visit to her doctor. For this reason, it is significant to note that exercise can be the number one factor in order to keep these aspects in good condition.

As the health experts contend, adequate physical and emotional information is needed by a pregnant woman to prepare herself for delivery. She needs practical health messages in keeping herself and the baby healthy.

Hence, for mothers or would-be mothers who are not yet aware why they should exert some effort in engaging into moderate, normal exercise, here is a list of some of its benefits so that you will be able to understand the reason why pregnant women have to exercise regularly:

1. Defiance against fatigue

As muscle becomes fatigued, it produces less force. To accomplish a task like climbing the stairs, for example, or shoveling snow, more units of muscle must be called into play to back up the wearied muscles.

The tired muscles are both less efficient and less effective. Hence, this will just put more strain on the pregnant woman because of the weight that is continuously adding up each day. That is why tired muscles will usually result to leg cramps or sore muscles.

What every pregnant woman must know is that exercise improves the condition of the muscles and their ability to work longer without fatigue.

2. Reduce backaches

Even when you sit or stand, some muscles are working, and such relatively easy postures can tax some muscles and cause fatigue. The muscles of the lower back, for example, can be exhausted and worn out by the effort of keeping erect when a pregnant woman stand still for several hours.

With exercise, a pregnant woman can correct this error by developing her posture.

3. Increase the amount of oxygen

Work and exercise rely on glycogen, a substance produced by the body from complex carbohydrates and stored muscles and liver. The supply of glycogen in the muscles determines and limits the duration of activity. Exercise depletes the glycogen in the muscles and leads to tiredness.

However, when glycogen is depleted by strenuous activity, it is replaced in quantities greater than before, as if the body recognized the need to lay in a larger supply of fuel.

Hence, oxidation is essential for converting glycogen to the energy that pregnant women need to wiggle a finger, flex a muscle, or practice the lungs and heart for some blowing action during normal delivery.

These are just some of the many benefits exercise can bring to pregnant women. Besides, nothing is completely wrong for a pregnant woman doing some moderate exercises. The only important thing to remember is that before starting an exercise program, whether pregnant or not, it is best to consult your doctor. As they say, doctors know best!

We all have them. We all hate them. I'm talking about stretchmarks. Every woman I know groans at hearing the word. Although they are inevitable, women all over the world spend a lot of time, effort, and especially money trying to ward off those evil stretchmarks. Even though stretchmarks happen to the best of us there are many women out there who put up a long and disappointing fight against them. Millions and millions of dollars are spent every year on products that claim to treat stretchmarks even though they have little to no effect.

As a society we have commented on the unrealistic images of women that are seen in all forms of media. We rally against these images of perfection that are impossible to attain. There are very few supermodels in the world and yet the average woman feels the pressure to look like one herself. American women spend millions of dollars every year in the pursuit of perfect beauty. Whether it is cosmetic plastic surgery, makeup, hair extensions or over-exercising, many women work very hard at trying to look perfect. No matter how hard they work many of these women will have stretchmarks and all of them will hate it.

There is a plethora of creams and pills out there that claim to treat stretchmarks. Although I have never met a woman who has benefited from these products, they continue to saturate the market and rack up huge profits. I believe that most women know that these treatments are practically futile but for some reason they still buy into them. The quest for beauty and perpetual youth has a stronghold on many women in this country and the world over.

I first noticed stretchmarks on my body when I was about 14 years old. I had a growth spurt in which I grew an inch every month for six months. My clothes didn't fit, my shoes didn't fit, and I felt a bit alien. Neither my wardrobe nor my skin appeared to be ready for such growth. I noticed stretchmarks on my arms, torso, and legs. There wasn't much I could do about it then and there isn't much I can do about it now. At some point I just accepted that the stretchmarks were a permanent feature on the map of my body.

Although stretchmarks can be caused by weight gain, pregnancy, and general growth, we women feel as though we are responsible for them. None of us like having them but almost all of us do. Perhaps we should start to view them as a mark of growth like the rings of a tree. If we were able to put some sort of romantic connotation on the word we may be able to accept them and let go of worrying about them.

Many women tend to experience heartburn symptoms when they are still carrying their babies, and this happens for several reasons.

One of these is the increase of hormones in the women’s body while they are pregnant. The occurrence of this will result in softening the ligaments which function is to keep the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) firmly closed. When the LES rests at unsuitable periods, tendency is, this will let the gastric acid and food to reflux back to the esophagus and throat.

One more reason of experiencing heartburn during pregnancy is because the changes in the body and the development of the baby creates more pressure in the women’s stomach. Therefore, the stomach contents are forced right into the LES, and then to the esophagus.

However, there are several methods that a pregnant woman can observe to lessen the discomfort brought by heartburn. The following are good advices, although this may not remove the heartburn totally:

• Avoid the food that triggers heartburn. Examples of this are chocolates, spicy foods, citrus fruits and juices, mustard, tomatoes and tomato based products, fatty foods, fried foods, and highly seasoned dishes. Try to refer to medical specialists to know the complete list of foods to avoid Acid Reflux. Also, for foods that you may take which contains little danger of causing heartburn.

• Get rid of drinks that have caffeine, like tea, coffee, and soda. Too much of these will cause the LES to relax and let the acid to return into the esophagus.

• Stay away from alcohol beverages. This, like caffeine tends to relax the LES thus, creating the same effect—triggering heartburn.

• Avoid eating large meals. It is suggested that taking numerous small meals throughout the day will be better.

• Avoid rush in eating your meals. Chewing food thoroughly will really help in avoidance of heartburn, so better take your time in eating.

• Rest for at least three hours after having your last meal before taking your sleep.

• A pregnant woman is advised to take more glasses of water a day, at least 8 to 10 glasses, though this must be taken not just during meals. Through this, the stomach will expand, and then the LES will be given more pressure, obliging it to open inappropriately. Hence, it is really recommended to drink more water and other fluids in between meals.

•    When sleeping elevate the head of the bed for at least six to eight inches. Try to sleep with an elevated head and shoulders through a wedge pillow. Through this, the gravity will work as much that it will keep the acids in your stomach in their place—in the stomach, not in the esophagus. Try to consult physicians to gain additional knowledge on how to relieve nighttime heartburn.

• Don’t wear tight fitting clothes. Tightness around the waist and stomach will trigger heartburn as it causes uneasiness.

• When bending, do it at the knees, not at the waist. This will avoid in creating too much pressure in the stomach.

• Don’t slouch; rather sit erect in a relaxing chair.

• Maintain a sensible amount of weight, too much weight and fatness will give more stress in your stomach. As a result, this will force stomach contents throughout the LES and to the esophagus. Stay with your doctors guidelines.

• Avoid smoking. Doctors stated that smoking could cause several effects to a pregnant woman, much that it can add to the possibility of experiencing heartburn.

So you're feeling queasy, worn out, and you wish this pregnancy would finally be over. Yeah, I can pretty much imagine what carrying a baby for nine months would be like. Hey, I said I could imagine it; I didn't say I knew the exact specifics. Anyway, I watched my wife carry our little girl for nine months. I was the one who catered to her every need and babied her day-in and day-out. That's got to count for something. So, when is your little one due? Are you ready for a whole lot of work? Do you have plenty of great nursery decorating ideas? These are everywhere I go now days. From the department stores, to the television, to the internet. Heck, folks are always on the topic of babies and nursery decorating ideas. I guess it's just a never-ending jovial subject that always deserves attention. Well, it's time to discover the absolute best new ideas around.

Your baby means everything to you, whether he/she has entered the world yet or not. Babies always have that effect on soon-to-be parents. I know that my daughter had that exact effect on me. Who am I kidding? She still controls most of my life. Oh well, what can you do? So, since your baby's arrival is drawing nearer and nearer by the moment, you'd better have that nursery all set and ready to go.

The last thing you need to deal with is a place to put the baby each night. What you need is some new-age nursery decorating ideas to get the room arranged and decorated perfectly before the little bundle of joy shows up. For example, what kind of theme are you interested in? Of course this depends on the baby's gender. If you're having a little girl, maybe you wish to douse the room in pink. Or if a boy is on the way, it may be a good plan to deck the nursery out in cowboys and Indians. It pretty much just comes down to where your interests lie. What colors, pictures, scenes and motifs catch your attention?

Some new parents have difficulty with nursery decorating ideas. They aren't sure where to begin this process. This can especially be the case if you don't know what gender your child will be. Well, there are common sex themes to consider as well. Or maybe you just want to save your best nursery decorating ideas until the baby is born.