How to Be Ready for Pregnancy

If welcoming a baby into the family
could be on the horizon for you,
there are steps you should take now
to ensure the health of your baby -
and maybe an easier pregnancy for...

read more

Last Minute Halloween Costumes

While kids often spend weeks, if not
months, dreaming up the perfect
Halloween costume, we adults are
usually a little more last-minute. If
you find yourself with nothing to...

read more

How to Be Ready for Pregnancy

If welcoming a baby into the family could be on the horizon for you, there are steps you should take now to ensure the health of your baby - and maybe an easier pregnancy for yourself!

Why is early preparation important? You probably won't know you're pregnant for three to four weeks after conception. By that point, your baby is already forming major organs and structures. Some medicines illness or bad habits can affect your baby before you even see the positive sign on the pregnancy test. To be safe, take a few simple steps to ensure your body is ready for baby.

  1. See Your Doctor: Get a checkup from your doctor to ensure that you are healthy and your body is ready for the demands of pregnancy.
  2. Exercise Moderately: Regular, moderate exercise is good for you and should be continued during pregnancy. Do not get overheated, however, and avoid hot tubs in early pregnancy. And of course, make sure your doctor is ok with your exercise plan.
  3. Take Your Vitamin: Take 400mg of folic acid every day before and during your pregnancy. This important vitamin helps prevent birth defects of the brain and spinal cord. Multivitamins are also safe for pregnant women.
  4. Eat a Balanced Diet: A diet rich with fruits and vegetables, as well as low-fat dairy products, is highly recommended for all women. Foods containing iron and calcium (milk, fortified breads and juices and green, leafy vegetables) are especially important for pregnant women.
  5. Cut Back on Caffeine: If you are a big coffee or caffeinated soda drinker, now is the time to cut back. Pregnant women should not drink more than two cups of coffee or six glasses of tea or soda per day.
  6. Achieve a Healthy Weight: It is highly recommended that women reach the recommended weight for their height prior to getting pregnant. Women who are very overweight or underweight tend to have more complications during pregnancy. That said, once you see the positive pregnancy test, your focus should be on eating a healthy diet and NOT on losing weight.
  7. Avoid Toxins and Chemicals: It goes without saying that smoking is never good for you and is especially harmful to an unborn fetus. If you smoke, stop before getting pregnant. Smoking, like alcohol and illegal drugs, can cause birth defects in your baby. Pregnant women should also avoid exposure to toxic substances and chemicals both at work and at home.
  8. Know Your Family History: It can be helpful to know before pregnancy if you are genetically predisposed to certain syndromes or conditions. Your age, your heritage, and your family history can all help to determine whether your baby is at risk for certain illnesses, birth defects or genetic diseases. Talk to your doctor about your risk.
  9. Get Your Immunizations: All pregnant women should be up to date on their immunizations. Some, like the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) must be given one month prior to getting pregnant. Pregnant women are also considered a high-risk group for the flu, so be sure to talk to your doctor about getting a flu shot.
  10. Get Your Husband Ready: Your husband should also prepare for pregnancy. Some medications (including certain ulcer medications, steroids and chemotherapy treatments) are known to affect fertility and should be discontinued if possible. Men should also avoid exposure to toxic chemicals and substances. Men are also encouraged to eat a healthy diet and get plenty of rest.

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Last Minute Halloween Costumes

While kids often spend weeks, if not months, dreaming up the perfect Halloween costume, we adults are usually a little more last-minute. If you find yourself with nothing to wear and just minutes to go before your costume party this year, you are in luck! We've scoured the Internet for the best, cheapest, and easiest last minute costume ideas. Be warned, some of these ideas may earn you the "Most Cheesy Costume" award!

  1. Self-Absorbed: Wear all black and attach small sponges to yourself.
  2. "Cereal" Killer: Cover yourself with small, individual-sized cereal boxes, with a few drips of red (nail polish would work) for the "blood."
  3. Center of the Universe: Attach a few pictures of planets to yourself and let the costume speak for itself!
  4. Pin Up Girl: Take a couple dozen safety pins and attach them to a black t-shirt in the shape of an arrow pointing up at your face, thereby making a "pin" pointing "up" at the "girl!"
  5. Chick Magnet: Find several small stuffed animal chicks (think Beanie Baby size) and pin them to yourself.
  6. Gold Digger: Adorn yourself in gold everything - maybe even some glitter gold face paint? - and then carry a shovel. The ultimate gold digger!
  7. Deviled Egg: Dress in all white and attach a big yellow circle to your belly. Add some devil horns, a tail and maybe a staph and you are the "deviled" egg!
  8. Black Eyed Pea: Dress entirely in green and color the skin around your eyes black (face paint will work, but don't get it in your eye!).
  9. Rainbow: Start at your head with a red hat, then an orange wig, followed by a yellow shirt, a wide green belt, blue paints and purple shoes (purple galoshes or thick purple socks with flip flops will work too). Instant rainbow!
  10. A Cautionary Tale: Find some "caution" tape (available at party supply stores this time of year) and attach a strip of it to your back like a tail, while wearing all black clothing.

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