Most women do a pretty good job of educating themselves about the importance of a healthy lifestyle when they are thinking about getting pregnant. It’s pretty well known that a healthy mom equals a healthy baby.
Good nutrition plays an important role in the health of your baby. New discoveries about the importance of getting the right nutrients are being reported all the time.
Just a few years ago, it was thought that if you simply ate a healthy diet, all the bases would be covered. But recent research has uncovered areas of nutritional deficiencies in the American diet and recommends additional vitamin supplements for all pregnant women.
The first of the vitamins you’ll want to increase in your diet is folic acid or folate. Folic acid has been linked to the prevention of spinal cord abnormalities like spina bifida and recent reports now claim there may be a link between folic acid deficiency and autism. You can find folic acid in foods such as orange juice, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, cauliflower, and fortified cereals.
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By the end of pregnancy almost all women can’t wait for labor to begin. Fear is tossed aside and the thought of enduring long hours of pain is welcomed with anticipation. Trust me, you’ll get there.
Until you experience labor for yourself it is hard to distinguish between false labor contractions, also known as Braxton- Hicks, and the real deal.
At the end of pregnancy contractions are common and expected. Many first time moms don’t realize what a contraction is or feels like.
The uterus is a big muscle. So, whenever it is irritated, it becomes stimulated and shortens its fibers, becoming hard to the touch. That’s a contraction.
During the last few weeks of pregnancy it is normal for your uterus to have regular contractions that you can time.
So how do you tell what is real labor and what is a Braxton-Hicks contraction? This can be difficult for even an experienced mom.
Generally a Braxton-Hicks contraction is not painful, it just feels tight.
But at the end of pregnancy, as the baby’s head presses on the cervix, it also causes a cramping sensation so it may feel like labor.
Remember there are 3 different phases of labor:
Early labor is pretty tough to distinguish true from false labor.
- Both bring contractions that you can time.
- Both can be uncomfortable and cause cramping.
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