When pregnant, think twice before reaching for the pickles and ice cream, according to The American Dietetic Association (ADA). The organization says cravings are an indication of a nutritional deficiency.
“Cravings are the result of the spike in your hormones,” Rachel Brandeis, spokesperson for the ADA says. “Much like the insatiable appetite many pre-menstrual women experience, cravings are usually driven by your hormones,” she adds.
Pregnancy often heightens the aversion or pull of certain food aromas, tastes and textures, but just giving into to what you “feel” like eating may not be the best course. Brandeis guides patients toward healthier substitutions during pregnancy. Feeding a craving for sweet treats can often be satisfied, she says, by replacing certain cravings with others that offer more vital nutritional benefits.
Out-of-control cravings can lead to uncomfortable indigestion during pregnancy and unhappy weight results postpartum.
“Anytime you can substitute some of the empty calories (found in sweet cravings) and blend them with nutritional foods, it can help,” Brandeis says.
Before your baby is born, plan ahead. Learn all you can about breastfeeding to help make it easier:
- Talk to your doctor. Schedule an exam early in your pregnancy. Before your first visit, write down any questions or concerns that you have about breastfeeding. This will help you remember to talk about them with your doctor. Make sure your doctor knows about any breast reductions, implants, biopsies or other types of breast surgery you have had.
- Learn how to breastfeed. The staff at hospitals and birthing centers can connect you with lactation specialists who can help you learn how to breastfeed. While you are pregnant, you can take a breast-feeding class. Also, get a breast-feeding book for quick reference. Ask your doctor for ideas.
- Plan ahead for times when you will need help. Think about who you could talk to or have come over to help you succeed with breastfeeding once your baby is born. Many women get help from friends and family. Before you have your baby, talk to friends and family members about your plans to breastfeed and how their support is important to you. Consider joining a breast-feeding support group. Once your baby is born, you may feel more “connected” if you talk with other breast-feeding mothers. You may also help each other answer questions about breast-feeding issues.
- Buy breast-feeding equipment. You will need breast-feeding supplies once your baby is born. For example, breast pads, nipple cream, breast-feeding pillows and burping pads are all helpful. You can buy these items ahead of time. It is also a good idea to buy or rent a breast pump to have on hand when you bring your baby home. Pumping can help relieve pain and pressure when your milk comes in.
learn cpr through the red cross
In case of an emergency with your baby, do you know how to perform CPR? Don’t be in the dark about it. Find an infant CPR class at a Middle Tennessee Red Cross chapter near you. Go to www.middletnredcross.org to find classes. You can also view an infant CPR video online at the American Academy of Pediatrics. Go to aap.org/family/infantcpranytime.htm.
cleaning up baby
Tub baths are off-limits for your little one until his umbilical-cord stump has healed and fallen off, so it’s sponge baths only until that time. Choose a warm, draft-free room (newborns can chill easily) and place your baby on a waterproof changing pad or towel. For warmth, cover him loosely with a towel. To prevent accidents, keep the diaper on until it’s time to wash his bottom. Have your supplies at-the-ready before you begin:
- Using a washcloth or cotton ball moistened with warm water, gently wipe Baby’s face and neck folds, nose and outer ears. Don’t clean inside Baby’s ears as you could damage the eardrum. Gently pat Baby dry.
- Use a moistened cotton ball to carefully wipe Baby’s eyes from the inner corner outward. Use a fresh cotton ball for each eye.
- 3 Wash Baby’s arms and hands, being sure to rinse all the soap off since his hands frequently go to his mouth. Gently wash his chest and back and clean the umbilical stump.
- To wash Baby’s hair (only needed once or twice a week) hold his head as he’s lying back on the towel. With your free hand, rub a tiny drop of shampoo to a light lather, then rinse with a wet washcloth; towel dry.
- For a girl, wash her genital area from front to back but refrain from using soap as it can cause irritation. Wash her bottom with soap, and clean in the creases of her thighs. For a baby boy who is circumcised, don’t wash his penis with soap until the wound heals. If he’s uncircumcised, use soap, but don’t attempt to pull back the foreskin – while moveable, it will remain attached for several more years.
- sterile cotton balls
- 2 washcloths
- 2 soft towels
- changing pad
- baby soap or wash
- baby shampoo
- rubbing alcohol
- cotton swabs
- bowl of warm water