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Pregnancy Tips

  • What's the Best Pregnancy Calculator?

    If you’re performing mental gymnastics trying to make sense of your due date and your pregnancy timeline, you’re not alone. Due dates are not usually exact predictions, even when you’re calculating your pregnancy correctly. So how is it done? The official way of calculating your pregnancy due date is with Naegele’s Rule. With this formula, you can estimate the due date by adding one year, subtracting three months, and adding seven days to the first day of your last period. Or instead, you can check out one of these online pregnancy calculators that we found and loved.

    Best dressed: WebMD. This calculator puts its best foot forward. On the front page is a calendar for you to click the first date of your last period, making it easy to use by cutting right to the chase.

    Best sense of humor: The Bump. The Bump is generally known for throwing jokes and puns into its informative pieces on pregnancy, so if you’re looking for a lighter tone, visit here first.

    Most informative: Baby Med. Not only can you calculate your pregnancy timeline, but this website offers extensive info on ovulation, conception, and the science behind due date estimation.

    Most organized: Pampers. This one couldn’t be easier to navigate; it gives you everything you need without the fluff or distractions.

    Best personality: Belly Belly. Not only does this calculator do its job, it also offers insight into the virtue of patience when it comes to pregnancy and waiting for baby to arrive. Reading the articles linked to the calculator will help give you a relaxed perspective (if that’s possible!) on awaiting your due date.

    Biggest overachiever: American Pregnancy. Not only will this website give you an estimated due date, it will also tell you the estimated conception date, estimated gestational age, and your estimated fertility window.

    Most inspirational: Your Fertility. This calculator is for determining ovulation and your fertile days. The information it provides can be a huge help when you’re trying to get pregnant.

    Most school spirit: Babycenter. The Babycenter website is a major cheerleader for Team Pregnancy and it offers a long list of suggested articles, tailored to the trimester of pregnancy its calculator determines you to be in.  

    Most versatile: Your Due Date. How do you want to calculate your due date? This calculator has several different options to choose from, like first date of last period and IVF transfer date.

    Most likely to succeed: What To Expect. The “What To Expect” brand is such a mainstay, even women who’ve never been pregnant know the name. Their calculator is easy to use and is matched with an extensive FAQ section, along with the websites of every article on pregnancy that a person could imagine.

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  • 5 Skincare Tips for Pregnancy Travel

    What to pack in your carry-on to save your pregnancy glow from traveling.

    Article & Photo courtesy of Well Rounded NY

    I’m a firm believer in the importance of self-care. Pregnancy can be a difficult time to remember to take care of you, between all the preparation, the doctor’s appointments, the anxiety and fatigue. And when you travel, it’s easy to forget to be extra good to ourselves. But be careful, when you combine travel and pregnancy, you have a double-whammy of not great self-care waiting for you at your destination.

    Fear not, that’s pretty easy to fix. Here are 5 easy steps to take better care of your pregnant body while traveling.

    1. Start as you travel. As they say, it’s the journey, not the destination. Whether you are flying, driving, or taking the train, travel is hard on your body. So don’t wait till you arrive at the hotel or at your parents’ house to start taking care of yourself — your mode of transportation is where good self-care should begin. Since dehydration is common during travels, drink more water than you usually do. It’s not only good for your skin, it’s also good for your body and baby!

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  • Pregnancy Acne and How to Treat It

    We hear all about how pregnant women are supposed to “glow,” right? Sometimes, though, that infamous glow takes a backseat to another common side effect of pregnancy: acne. Acne is quite common during pregnancy and can affect women no matter their skin type. The most likely cause of pregnancy acne is—you guessed it—hormones. During the first trimester especially, your hormone levels increase, along with your skin’s production of natural oils. An increase in the hormones called androgens causes your skin to overproduce an oily substance called sebum. Sebum clogs pores and can also cause bacteria buildup and inflammation, which then leads to breakouts.

    Pregnancy acne is natural, and once hormone levels even out post-pregnancy, the acne usually disappears. It's safest for you, and your growing baby, to avoid heavy-duty acne medication, but that doesn’t mean you have to suffer through breakouts for nine months. Here are some safe, at-home solutions that can help you deal with pregnancy acne.

    Amend your cleansing routines. You want to be kinder to your skin, so stick to two gentle face washes a day. Washing more than two times a day can overstimulate your oil glands, which can lead to more breakouts. When you do wash (ideally at the end of the day or after a sweaty workout), choose calming cleansers free from alcohol and oils. It’s suggested you use lukewarm water to rinse and avoid harsh steaming water on the face. Since your hairline is close to where acne may form, you also want to be careful of the shampoo you’re using. Shampoo every day using a gentle, pregnancy-safe wash like Nine Naturals Citrus+Mint Nourishing Shampoo. If you find acne breakouts in other areas, follow the same guidelines and check out Nine Naturals Citrus+Geranium Soothing Body Wash.

    Be mindful of your diet. If you’re expecting, you’re probably already hyper-aware of the foods you’re eating. But if you find you’re dealing with problem skin all of a sudden, you might do a diet check-in. Are you focusing on eating whole foods and foods that have been minimally processed? Are you getting hefty daily doses of veggies and fruits? Are you doing your best to avoid sugar? Are you drinking enough water? The food you eat makes a difference in your skin, so be sure you’re being mindful of what you’re consuming. Some foods that make your skin happiest include avocados, salmon, and leafy greens.

    Go for straight-A’s. Speaking of food choices, upping your intake of vitamin A could help out with your pregnancy acne. Vitamin A is instrumental in keeping skin healthy. Avoid the supplements and go straight for the vitamin-rich foods like milk, fish, eggs, and carrots.

    Change how you wear makeup. During pregnancy, you may find it helpful to switch up your makeup routine. Ditch the makeup that are oil-based and opt for water-based products with the label noncomedogenic; this means that the makeup is not pore-clogging. You could also try an oil-free moisturizer or moisturizing product to help maintain balance in your skin.

    Notice the little ways you can take care of your skin. Acne is caused by bacteria, so the more you can avoid bacteria on your face (or wherever your breakouts occur), the better. Keep your hands away from your face, and try not to pick at the pimples. Change your pillowcases frequently as a defense against bacteria buildup. Keep your cellphone at a slight distance, and not pressed against your face. These small tricks can help you battle a massive amount of acne-causing bacteria.

    Talk with your doctor, because not all acne treatments are pregnancy safe. Pregnancy acne is a major pain, but it’s also usually temporary. With that said, it’s best to steer clear of chemically laden, and potentially dangerous, over-the-counter or prescription acne medications and treatments. If you want a natural at-home acne treatment, here’s a recipe we’ve tried: blend together raw honey, cooked (and cooled) oatmeal, and a touch of lemon juice. Apply to your skin and leave on for about 10 minutes. Wash off, then lightly moisturize. Save the intense acne treatments for postpartum, if you still find the need to restore balance in your skin.

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  • What I Learned on Pregnancy Bedrest

    How sitting still for 2 months helped prepare me for motherhood.

    Article & Photo courtesy of Well Rounded NY

    At 12 weeks pregnant I started bleeding. The doctors at the emergency room discovered a large oozing blood clot in my uterus and told me I was now a high-risk pregnancy. I went home and stayed there, on medically required bedrest, for the next two months.

    Life as I knew it screeched to a halt that day. Work, school and activities like grocery shopping and walking the dog all stopped. Rushing and busyness did too, as well as the importance of a clock, a calendar and all these props that have always kept me on track. I was off track now, uncomfortable. All that structure kept me humming and safe. With abundant tasks, a full schedule and a race for time, I felt purposeful, and my identity was all worked out: I was what I did.

    “You’re grounded!,” my baby stated resolutely. “If you want me, I need to be your priority. Figure it out”. He may have been less curt than that, but I admit to feeling conflicted and angry at him for abruptly inserting himself and his needs into my life in such a way that derailed everything I had going on. But anger soon gave way to fear, and fear entered as my primary companion. No one could tell me that my baby would be ok. Everyone just looked at me with upraised crinkled foreheads and could say nothing conclusive.

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  • Your Favorite Articles in 2016

    Happy 2017 to all! We've been thinking about the topics you want to read about in the next year, and it prompted us to take a look back at what you enjoyed in 2016. From pregnancy health and beauty to the environment to fabulous photoshoots for your little bebe, these were the articles you loved last year ... 

    7 Ab-Rehab Tips Following DeliveryWith the proper rehab, you can absolutely get your core back to its pre-pregnancy (or better!) state. The great news is you can begin your core rehabilitation process as soon as you feel comfortable following delivery, and it is most likely easier than you think. 

    Keep Your Diaper Bag Organized: Every January we have the best intentions to stick to our resolution to make our lives a little more organized. This year ensure your diaper bag will stay organized and fabulous year-round with these top 4 tips!

    4 Steps to Fight Morning SicknessWhile many suggest that morning sickness might be a good sign that the baby is growing and healthy, let’s face it–feeling pregnancy nausea is miserable. Here are Nine Naturals’ and healthy mama®’s top tips for avoiding and treating morning sickness.

    Why You Should Avoid MicrobeadsFor the past decade, “microbeads” have been ubiquitous in the world of personal care products; these round, plastic particles are an exfoliation ingredient in everything from toothpastes to facial scrubs. Unfortunately, microbeads are far from the friendly little scrubbers they’ve been made out to be.

    Smile For The Camera, Baby – Newborn Photoshoot Tips: Peaceful, sleepy grins. Gently closed hands. Pale, pinky feet. Who doesn’t love a good newborn pic…or two, or three…Follow these top tips from Photofaire on how to get the most out of your newborn photoshoot.

    Track Baby's VisionHave you ever wondered what the world would look like through your babys eyes? Now you can follow along, with this timeline of baby’s vision development, courtesy of our friends at Comotomo, baby bottle and teethers brand.

    Zika-Free Babymoon DestinationsYour baby is on the way, but before he (or she!) arrives, you and your partner are planning a celebratory babymoon to a dazzling tropical locale. There are plenty of gorgeously sunny and peaceful destinations for you to jet off to, pre-baby.

    Smile For The Camera Mama – Maternity Photoshoot TipsIf you’re expecting, the thought of a stranger documenting your growing body may be nerve-wracking. To bring your fantasy photoshoot to life and get the best bang for your buck, try these top maternity photoshoot tips from our friends at Photofaire.

    Top 5 Instagrams For #NuseryInspoHere are Nine Naturals’ top five fetching nurseries, bringing next-level nesting inspiration to your Instagram feed. Tag #NineNaturals to feature your creative nursery decor!

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  • Pregnancy and the Holidays: Stay Sane and Entertained

    It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Unless, of course, you’re suffering from morning sickness or late-pregnancy exhaustion. But no matter how you feel, you can still make the most of the holiday season, and even appreciate how special these pre-baby celebrations are. By next December, the holidays will take on a whole new meaning with your newborn baby in your arms. How can you stay festive and fuss-free this holiday season?  

    Give yourself permission to slow down. Maybe you have a list of to-do’s a mile long. Cut it in half. Cut it in half again, then cross several items out. You need to rest while your body is working overtime, so give yourself permission to take it easy this holiday season. Figure out what the most important things on your list are for you, and commit to those. Anything beyond those, you can give your apologies, but you aren’t going to overextend yourself this year. Maybe that means you don’t host the yearly cocktail party at your house, or you miss your friend’s gift exchange party. Don’t be afraid to tell people you aren’t feeling up to getting together. Who’s going to get mad at the pregnant woman, anyway? No one. So feel free to use it to your advantage, and take care of yourself!  

    Ask for help and delegate. No matter how much you pare down your commitments, there are always things to do during this time of year: shopping, decorating, baking, gift-giving. But you’re not alone, and you don’t need to do everything yourself. Ask others to help you decorate the house or prepare your share of the holiday meal this year. If there are holiday activities that you earnestly love and don’t want to miss, invite friends over while you do them so that your responsibilities are lessened. If you promise hot cocoa and holiday music, you can turn these seasonal tasks into your own, low-key festive party!

    Start a new tradition to share with your baby next year. There may be many obligations you don’t attend to this holiday season, and don’t feel guilty about that. But the holidays are also a time of family tradition and building ceremony around these special events. It can be very fulfilling to choose one or two things to commit to, knowing that you’ll continue them in years to come with your growing family. Be on the lookout for community events, holiday markets, or seasonal concerts that you can see integrating into your holiday schedule. Find one or two traditions that are for you, your baby-to-be, and your own family. Celebrating them next year, during your baby’s first holiday season, will be extra-special.

    Catalog the memories for your little one. If the holidays coincide with that optimal baby-bump phase of pregnancy, take advantage of the timing and take part in a holiday-themed maternity shoot. Include whomever you’d like, from your partner to your extended family, but those photos will definitely be cherished for years and years. Even if you don’t go for professional photos, be sure to take plenty of informal pictures of you and your family while you celebrate. As your child grows, it will be so meaningful for him or her to see what the holidays looked like before they arrived.

    It’s okay to indulge in a few favorites around the holidays. Chances are, you’re very aware of what and how much you’re eating while pregnant. During the holidays, good food and drink is everywhere, and it’s important to be mindful of what you’re consuming. You should absolutely treat yourself, especially when it comes to your favorite seasonal treats, but holiday food isn’t exempt from usual pregnancy rules. Be aware of what you’re eating while you’re at parties and at your office potluck, to be sure that it doesn’t contain raw food or hidden alcohol. And while you probably don’t need to catalog every cookie you eat, be sure that you’re not going overboard on sweets, when it’s available in such abundance. Fruits and veggies are still the healthiest bet, even if they’re harder to find amidst the holiday treats.

    Know the rules of the road before you go. If your holiday plans include travel, be sure that you’re prepared with the latest guidelines and “OK” from your doctor. Travel in cars and trains don’t usually require much accommodation, but flying can be a bit tricky late in pregnancy. Run your plans by your doctor first and be truthful about dates. If you’re driving, take a leisurely route and be sure your seatbelt is always properly fastened around your bump. And now matter how you’re logging mileage, be sure you take enough breaks to stand, stretch your body, stay hydrated and use the restroom.

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