3 Excellent Online Pregnancy Calculators

One of the first things that a woman does when she suspects she might be pregnant is try to calculate the baby’s due date. The easiest way to determine your due date is by using a pregnancy week calculator. These can be found for free online on pregnancy and parenting websites.  Because you can find so many calculators online it’s noteworthy to point out they may yield different results.  With these thoughts in mind I put together 3 pregnancy calculators you can check out from the following reputable sites.

About.com has an excellent pregnancy and childbirth guide on their website. That guide includes a pregnancy week calculator. The calculator will provide you your due date based on the date of your last menstrual cycle and it also has a well-organized week by week pregnancy calendar. It outlines the entire 42 weeks of pregnancy, with clickable links to get images, illustrations, and in-depth information for that week.

Babycenter.com is an excellent website for expecting mothers or women who are trying to conceive. The website is filled with useful information and resources. They also have an excellent pregnancy week calculator that will give you your child’s due date, a free weekly planner, and regular e-mails with updates regarding your child’s development. It also has a number of other tools like an ovulation calculator and a baby name finder among many others.

Babiesonline.com is a really fun site for expecting moms. It has a really unique pregnancy week calculator that is easy to use and provides lots of fun information. The pregnancy calculator on this site tells you the basic info you are looking for like your conception date, due date and age of your baby. However, it also tells you some fun birthday facts about your baby like their birthstone, flower and astrological sign. Plus, it calculates the year your baby will start kindergarten, graduate high school and when they will likely finish college.

Pregnancy week calculators are a dime a dozen online, but not all of them are accurate. The three listed above provide accurate information about your pregnancy based on the date of your last menstrual cycle. In addition to that, they are attached to useful websites that you can frequent for information, support and pregnancy resources.

There are a few other websites of note that have pregnancy week calculators along with useful information. Those would include  pregnancyweektoweek.com, babyzone.com, mayoclinic.com, justmommies.com and healthatoz.com.

I hope you find these resources useful throughout your pregnancy.

Third Trimester Pregnancy Tips: What to Take in Your Hospital Bag

Getting Ready for Baby
Getting Ready for Baby

As your third trimester rolls around and your due date gets closer and closer, you need to start thinking about packing your hospital bag for the birth of your baby. It is important that you do this early enough as it is possible that you may go into labor a few weeks before your actual due date. Here is a list of items that I came up with that you should pack in your hospital bag so that you are prepared to welcome your little one into the world.

Camera – You don’t want to miss having pictures of the big event. Also be sure to pack an extra set of batteries for your camera as they always seem to go dead at the most convenient times.

Clothes For You – Some hospitals allow you to wear your own clothing while others will only have you wear the gowns with a robe. Be sure to bring along comfortable clothing such as pajama pants, sweatpants, t-shirts, and sweatshirts, as you are not going to be wanting to wear any tight or restricting clothing. Don’t forget plenty of undergarments and socks as well. You will also need clothes to wear home when you are discharged from the hospital. You will still be in maternity clothes, so don’t try to bring your regular clothes as they may not fit and leave you frustrated.

Going Home Outfit For Baby – Choose a cute outfit or sleeper for baby to go home from the hospital in. It is a good idea to have a newborn size as well as 0-3 months size to choose from. If it cold outside, be sure to include a coat or blanket to cover baby up with.

Toiletries – After giving birth most women like to be able to shower to freshen up and get a little rejuvenated. Remember to bring shower supplies and other toiletries as well.

Snacks – You don’t want to have to rely on the hospital to provide you with food, especially since you get quite hungry after giving birth. Pack a few healthy snacks for you and your partner.

Car Seat – Although you can’t pack this in your bag it should be installed in the car and ready to go as a hospital will not release a baby unless you have a car seat.

Some other items to include in your bag are:

  • address book
  • cell phone
  • insurance paperwork and cards
  • change for vending machines
  • slippers
  • hat for baby (if not provided by hospital)
  • baby blanket
  • cord blood kit

If you follow these tips you should be all set when it’s time to leave for the hospital.  Maybe you have some other ideas to share.  Feel free to leave your comments so that others readers can benefit .

9 Months Pregnant: The Home Stretch

Youre Almost There
You're Almost There

The 9th Month!

There are a few ways to look at the ninth month of pregnancy. First, just think…you’re almost done! This is, by far, one of the most comforting thoughts of childbirth, so celebrate knowing that you have made it this far. Another way to look at the ninth month is through the eyes of a new parent. Pretty soon, you will have the most euphoric feeling of joy that may ever have in your life when you see and hold your baby for the first time. Positively magical is the best way to explain that feeling. Having gone through this with my two boys I can say it is like no other experience in life.

Finally, there is the…”Oh my gosh, what have I done, what am I going to do, and what in the world is going on with my body” feeling that you are almost sure to experience…especially if this is your first child. But, stay positive, stay focused, and stay calm. You will make it through this. Here are some things that you can expect during this third, and final, trimester.

You doctor will most likely want you to start making weekly visits for your prenatal check-ups. This is a great time to ask any questions or share any concerns that you may have. Your doctor will check your abdomen, as more attention is going to be paid to how the baby is presenting (whether head up or head down) and the baby’s position (whether facing front or back). These could be significant factors in determining whether you will be able to have a vaginal birth or whether you should consider having a Cesarean section. Either way, your doctor will be instrumental in helping you to make a decision that will work best for you and your baby. He will also check the baby’s heart rate. Of course, your urine, blood pressure, blood (for low iron/anemia), and steadily climbing weight, will be checked also. Expect for him or her to examine you for signs of vaginal infection, also. Your practitioner should be a key supporter for you. In these final days before baby, your doctor will also check for any pre-labor symptoms, such as a thinning cervix, that could require you to go on bed rest or, even, get admitted to prepare to have the baby. Do your best not to get alarmed or stressed out as you go through these final exams. Many are simply routine and will give your practitioner the information that they need to be handle your pregnancy.

You may have also been wondering what those infamous contractions would feel like. Now’s your chance to find out. You should be getting your fair share of the pre-labor kind called Braxton Hicks contractions. This is a tightening of the uterus similar to the contractions of labor. However, truth be told, these are just the “prep” contractions. The real ones will be much more intense and will last longer. They will also be instrumental in the movement of your baby. While they will most likely be painful, take some comfort in knowing your body knows what it is doing. It needs those contractions to bring forth your little darling. So, don’t fret. Despite the discomfort, they are a very good thing!

Your weight may increase a bit in these last few weeks. (I know you are probably tired of this part of your pregnancy as well. I know I was) When it is all said and done, your baby bump will typically increase your weight by twenty to thirty-five pounds. After your delivery, much of that extra weight will be gone, as the baby and amniotic sack are significant contributors to that weight gain.

As the time nears, you may experience edginess, moodiness, disturbed sleep (just your body getting your ready for what is to come), back pains, and, of course, fatigue. Try to keep moving. Prenatal exercise, even if you do just a little walking, can help your body to better handle the changes of labor and delivery. Since we are in the middle of the summer here is a link for some tips to help with summer time pregnancy.

By the end of this period, your baby will be fully developed. Things are bit cramped in your uterus at this point, so your baby may move a little less than before. Baby will have times when he or she is sleeping like a little angel, and other times when you will feel lots of thumps and bumps. I remember laying in bed at night marveling at the movement of my boys. It’s really amazing.

Most likely, your baby is starting to have his own sleep pattern now. Baby is just as ready as you are (actually it is usually the other way around when you are late!), and will slip into position in your lower abdominal area. So, you should expect to feel an additional heaviness in your pelvic area. Just think, your baby will be as happy to see you as you are to see him or her. The instant connection that will happen is absolutely magical when you first meet. If you plan to nurse your baby you may be given the opportunity to start nursing shortly after the baby is born. You will be completely amazed at how fast your baby learns to nurse.

The home stretch is here. Relax. Believe that you can do it and let your body do the rest. Whether natural or cesarean, your baby will be here before you know it. Be confident. Your child knows nothing about anyone else, but you. You will be the best mom!  You have so much to offer a baby, and now is the time to accept, celebrate, and marvel at this beautiful new life!

Prepare as best you can for your little one. Pack for the hospital visit for both of you. This will be the first of the thousands of times that you will pack for your child! Your baby will need clothing, blankets, and a car safety seat for the trip home. Also, make the finishing touches in the nursery. But, if you can’t get to everything, don’t worry. Your baby will not really notice that there are only two shelves instead of three or that the lamp is two shades darker than the paint. As long as your baby has a safe bassinet and crib, love and attention, your child will feel right at home.

You’re almost there. Before you know it you’ll be a new mom. Let me be one of the first to congratulate you on the upcoming birth of your baby.

5 Must Read Books During Pregnancy

5 Great Pregnancy BooksOne of the first things many women do when they find out they are expecting is read about pregnancy. Likewise, it is not uncommon for female friends and family members to start handing over their favorite pregnancy book for their enjoyment. (Oh, in case you haven’t noticed, your friends and family will probably have lots of advice for “your” pregnancy).  Anyhow, expecting moms have so many choices when it comes to reference literature. However, there are some books that standout among the stacks of books available, each for its own unique reason.  With these thoughts in mind, I wanted to share my list of 5 must read books during pregnancy.

Free Stuff for Baby
There is so much to buy when you are pregnant and money can be a huge stress factor, that is why Free Stuff for Baby by Sue M. Hannah makes the list. This book is updated on a regular basis and it contains all the information you need to find and take advantage of freebies you can get on the web, in stores and by mail. It also has a comprehensive list of web resources and support groups for parents.

Pregnancy Do’s and Don’ts
Often when a woman gets pregnant, she has a ton of questions she needs answers for. For this reason, Pregnancy Do’s and Don’ts by Elisabeth Aron M.D. makes the list. This book is the ultimate pregnancy related FAQ. It covers every question imaginable in an easy to use guide. From questions about the third trimester to questions about labor and delivery this book has it all.

Healthy Eating During Pregnancy
This book, written by W. Allan Walker, M.D. and Courtney Humphries, is one of the best when it comes to pregnancy and nutrition. This book helps you prepare your body for pregnancy, nourish it during and replenish it afterwards. It also covers healthy recipes and dietary supplements. Whether you pick this one up when you are trying to conceive or when you are in your third trimester it is filled with useful advice.

The Girlfriends Guide to Pregnancy
A funny and eye opening read for expecting mothers. This book, written by Vicki Iovine, is candid, honest and reassuring. It covers what you doctor won’t discuss and your friends are embarrassed to reveal. What’s more, is that it does it in terms that the average women can understand. This book will get you from morning sickness to the third trimester and having you laughing all the way.

What to Expect When You’re Expecting
By far, one of the most popular books written about pregnancy.  Authored by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel,  this is the pregnant woman’s bible. This comprehensive book is read by an astounding 90% of pregnant women in the United States alone. This book takes you month by month and even week by week through your pregnancy. From the first to third trimester, this book is filled with useful tips, hints and explanations to get you from conception to delivery.

You can find these through your favorite local bookstore or online.  I hope you find these enjoyable reads and a welcome addition to your library.

Experiencing Nausea during Pregnancy? Try these 5 Tips

The joy of finding out your pregnant is often dampened by the morning sickness that quickly follows. Unfortunately for pregnant women, nausea during pregnancy is par for the course, and contrary to popular belief it is not restricted to just the morning hours. Knowing how to effectively relieve nausea during pregnancy will help make the experience more enjoyable so you can focus on the excitement and plan for the big day.

Knowing what you can and cannot do is very important when it comes to handling nausea during pregnancy. Obviously there are many restrictions to follow in order to protect your baby when it comes to treating illness and even the side effects of pregnancy. For this reason, it is best to try natural methods when you are trying to tame pregnancy nausea. If natural methods don’t suffice, it is best for you to consult your doctor for a solution. The following natural methods are the most popular and effective when it comes to relieving pregnancy nausea.

Change Eating Habits
The first thing you should do when you are dealing with nausea during pregnancy is increase the amount of times you eat each day. When you eat smaller meals more frequently it ensures that your stomach is never empty. Often that in itself can relieve pregnancy nausea.

Snack
When you experience a bout of nausea nibble some crackers. After you eat a few crackers, rest for about twenty minutes. The combination of the crackers and the rest will help quell the nausea.

Stay Hydrated

It is essential that you stay hydrated during pregnancy. If you drink plenty of fluids between eating meals you will keep your stomach full and avoid nausea. Keep a bottle of water with you at all times and sip frequently throughout the day.

Avoid Trigger Foods

It is important to pay attention to your body and know what foods are causing your nausea during pregnancy so you can avoid them. This may include food that offend your heightened sense of smell as well. In addition to this, stay away from foods that are fatty, fried, spicy or acidic because they may irritate your digestive system.

Enjoy a Cup of Tea
Ginger has long been known to help quell nausea, which is why many people drink ginger ale when they are sick. However, most varieties of ginger ale are not made with actual ginger. For this reason, ginger tea is a better choice for helping relieve nausea during pregnancy.

Do you have some other tips to add? Feel free to leave a comment if found another natural method that helps with nausea.