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Weigth Gain Post-Pregnancy: 5 Points Women Should Keep in Mind

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Putting on weight seems like a breeze while losing those kilos can really be a tough struggle, especially post pregnancy. During pregnancy, the mother needs to eat for two to ensure that the growing baby is getting all the required nutrients. After delivery, it's of course not just a day's work to make all that weight vanish. Exercise is a must and so is a healthy diet, away from junk and processed food. But taking up the responsibilities of the baby hardly leaves any time or energy behind, and this is one of the major reasons why women start ignoring their health and putting on weight. Then there are all those hormonal changes to deal with. More so with all the celebrations with friends and family, and being showered with love and good food, expanding becomes inevitable.

But don't let the pampering spoil you royally. As much as you may convince yourself that all those kilos that you are still continuing to gain is because of "post-pregnancy" it is actually far from the truth. Your post-delivery lifestyle choices are in play here.

1. Eating Habits

According to a new study done by University of Michigan in the US, new mothers keep the weight on by eating food off their child's plate.

2. Lack of Sleep
Sleep in another factor that plays a crucial role. Sleep deprivation is a common issue that new parents face due to constant monitoring of the baby.

3. Food Cravings

Lack of sleep is the instigator of unhealthy lifestyle choices because your mind is not fresh. In new mothers, it often leads to increased food cravings and appetite even if they want a healthy diet, leading to weight gain.

4. Sitting Down for Longer Periods of Time

"Mothers tend to put the needs of their children first, so they might not be exercising or taking care of themselves," said lead author Olga Yakusheva, Associate Professor at the University of Michigan in the US. Little things like spending more time sitting with their kids reading or watching a movie can result in weight gain.

5. Lack of Self-Motivation

In addition, many women really crank up their diet and exercise for a short time to get back to their pre-pregnancy weight and often get discouraged by the results. It is a tough struggle which takes time to help you get the desired body weight. As such they leave exercising all together.

However, if women want to lose the weight, they should cut the calories and work out more as well as take a holistic approach focused on a long-term healthy lifestyle, the researchers suggested.

For the study, the team looked at data for 30,000 women who had given birth between one and four times. Although all the women gained weight due to their age, there was a sharp difference between those who gave birth and those who did not. By the time their children were toddler age, mothers who had given birth had put on at least one pound more each year than those who were childless.

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Flu Medication for Pregnant Women Do Not Cause Harm to Unborn Babies

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It is a mother's responsibility to protect and nourish the fetus in her womb. A mother would go places for giving her baby a healthy life. The embryo growing inside the mother's womb gets its nourishment from her blood through the placenta. It is a cord which connects the embryo with the naval of the fetus, and as such whatever the mother consumes get passed on to the baby, including unhealthy and toxic substances. Women often avoid flu medications during pregnancy in order to prevent any possibility of harming the baby's health. However, a recent study conducted on 700,000 women found that unborn children suffer no harm when their mothers take flu medication during pregnancy.

Author of the research said that it was the largest study ever to assess the potential risks of taking oseltamivir or zanamivir - the two main drugs to combat serious flu infections during pregnancy. The team studied almost 6,000 pregnant women in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and France who were prescribed oseltamivir or zanamivir between 2008 and 2010, with nearly 700,000 who were not.

The team found "no increased risks of adverse outcomes" from one group to the next, taking into account factors such as age, smoking and the use of other medicines. These included low birth weight, preterm birth, stillbirth or birth defects. Surprisingly, the team found that children, whose mothers had been prescribed Tamiflu or Relenza, drugs known as neuraminidase inhibitors, were less likely to be underweight.


The research team said that influenza flares every winter, putting millions of pregnant women at risk of severe illness during seasons with an aggressive virus strain. "Despite limited knowledge on their safety and effectiveness during pregnancy," said pharmacists recommending the use of flu drugs.

he study was published in The BMJ medical journal. The team added that there were shortcomings in the study, including that they did not assess risks to the child before 22 weeks of pregnancy, and did not know whether women prescribed the drugs had actually taken them or not.

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Pre-Pregnancy Stress May Lead to Eczema in Infants

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Stress is the root cause of many health issues. We have heard it time and time again from health experts, yet we don't pay much heed and continue living our hectic lives carrying out errands and chasing deadlines. It's not okay to keep going non-stop without taking break and letting your mind and body relax. Stress can cause anxiety and lead to various other ailments such as depression, high blood pressure, insomnia, heart disease, etc. And it doesn't just stop there. According to a new study done by the Medical Research Council Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, University of Southampton, pre-pregnancy stress can lead to eczema in newborns.
Pregnancy is a beautiful phase but there are many precautions that the to-be-mother should take in order to ensure the healthy development of her child. The study is first of its kind to link preconception maternal stress to the risk of atopic eczema in the child. Eczema is a condition which is defined as inflammation of the skin, leading to rashes, itchiness and even blisters.

The researchers believe the findings support the concept that eczema partly originates as a baby develops in the womb and could reveal ways of reducing the risk of the skin condition. They assessed the stress levels of women before pregnancy and around 3,000 babies at six and 12 months for eczema.

"We know that maternal stress can release certain hormones that can have an effect on the baby's immune response, leading to an increased risk in conditions like eczema," said Dr Sarah El-Heis, the study's lead researcher.

"More than one in six women of the mothers in the Southampton Women's Survey reported that stress affected their health quite a lot or extremely - our analyses showed that their infants had a 20 percent higher likelihood of developing atopic eczema at age 12 months when compared with the remainder of the study cohort," added Dr El-Heis.

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Anti-Anxiety Hormones Could Spark Post Pregnancy Depression

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The whole phase of pregnancy makes a woman witness various hormonal changes, and along with it different symptoms. Some of the common changes include hair fall, postpartum depression, hot flashes, etc. According to a new study done by Johns Hopkins University in Maryland in the US, pregnant women having lower levels of an anti-anxiety hormone in their second trimester had an increased chance of developing postpartum depression. The study published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology, a woman with an allopregnanolone hormone level of about 3.75 nanograms per milli-liter had a 33 per cent likelihood of developing the disorder.
While a woman having 7.5 nanograms per milli-liter had a 1.5 per cent chance of developing postpartum depression. For every additional nanogram per milli-liter increase in allopregnanolone, the risk of developing postpartum depression dropped by 63 per cent, the researchers said.

Further, the risk was particularly high in women already diagnosed with mood disorders, such as major depression or bipolar disorder.

"Many earlier studies haven't shown postpartum depression to be tied to actual levels of pregnancy hormones, but rather to an individual's vulnerability to fluctuations in these hormones and they didn't identify any concrete way to tell whether a woman would develop postpartum depression," said Lauren M. Osborne, Assistant Professor at the Johns Hopkins University in Maryland, US.

"Every woman has high levels of certain hormones, including allopregnanolone, at the end of pregnancy, so we decided to look earlier in the pregnancy to see if we could tease apart small differences in hormone levels that might more accurately predict postpartum depression later," Osborne added.

For the study, the team included 60 pregnant women between the ages of 18 and 45, all who had been previously diagnosed with a mood disorder.

Using the blood samples, the researchers measured the blood levels of progesterone and allopregnanolone, a by-product made from the breakdown of progesterone and known for its calming, anti-anxiety effects.

No relationship was found between progesterone levels in the second or third trimesters and the likelihood of developing postpartum depression. However, a link between postpartum depression and diminished levels of allopregnanolone levels in the second trimester was observed.

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Pregnant Women, Think Before Taking Antibiotics as It May Increase Risk of Miscarriage

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Antibiotics are commonly prescribed during pregnancy but it is very important to be aware of the possible dangers it has and also the side effects it can cause. The increasing use of antibiotics has become quite controversial. Antibiotics are powerful drugs that destroy or slow down the growth of bacteria. Therefore, they are also known as anti-bacterials and are often prescribed for minor infections like cold, flu, cough and sore throat. But, in the recent years, there has been a lot of talk about the side effects of popping antibiotics regularly, especially for children and pregnant women. According to a new study, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, taking certain antibiotic drugs may increase the risk of miscarriage by 60% to 100%.

The study that was conducted by researchers at the Universite de Montreal in Canada warns women who take antibiotics during the early stages of pregnancy. The team studies data from about 9000 cases miscarriage including women between the ages of 15 to 45. It was seen that many common antibiotics such as macrolides, quinolones, tetracyclines, sulfonamides and metronidazole had a strong link with the increased risk of miscarriage in early pregnancy. Interestingly, a certain class of antibiotic drugs that are commonly used during pregnancy were not found to be harmful. For instance, antibiotics like erythromycin and nitrofurantoin that are often used to treat urinary tract infections in pregnant women were not associated with the risk of miscarriage.

According to the researchers, the risk is small and only pertains to the consumption of antibiotics during early pregnancy. Infections are common during pregnancy and although, in some cases antibiotics can actually help decrease the risk of premature birth or low birth weight, certain antibiotics have been found to increase the risk of spontaneous abortion as per this new study. The study also took into consideration facts like women who miscarried were more likely to be older, living alone, and may have had multiple health issues and infections while analyzing the results. Therefore, you should always avoid self-medication and consult your doctor before you decide to take any pill.

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