Top Ten Best Things About Being Pregnant

The Top Ten Greatest Reasons Why It's Great Being Pregnant

My experiences have to be some of the most common, but some may not be so common. Being pregnant is tough, and by far one of the hardest 9 months for a women to go through. Here, we look at the positives of being pregnant. During my nine months of pregnancy, I never gained so much knowledge and truth on how a woman really feels to be pregnant. It's more than just having a baby, it's carrying another human inside yourself, it's a miracle. Here were my top ten favorite things about being pregnant.

1. The Belly

People can't resist - the belly. It's has a mind of its own, baby or no baby, the belly will attract people you never knew existed, even children. Heck, maybe cats and dogs. From my experience, it was more of an attention thing. I never had received so much attention from total (and sometimes unusual) strangers. People are definitely much more caring and considerate when they notice you have the "bump."

2. The Baby's Movements

To feel your creation move inside of you is a feeling like no other. I guarantee when you feel your baby move for the first time, it will be of great joy to both you and your partner. As the days go by and the baby gets bigger, the movements will eventually be normal to you, and nothing weird. Being able to see their little nubs of their hands and head roll around your stomach is the greatest and proudest thing to watch, for you are the one that has made the baby grow.

3. The Food

After the morning sickness (if any) settles down, everything edible will look good to you. I caught myself trying foods I never knew existed, my taste buds were running out of control, probably because nothing could satisfy my, or should I say, our, hunger.

4. The Gifts

Everyone gets so generous when baby's are about to be born. Not to mention the baby shower gifts, then the hospital gifts, then more gifts when they come to visit! They seemed like they didn't stop. You have overloads of clothes because the babies grow out of them so quickly, so when it comes to yard sale time, you will always have something to sell!

5. The Waiting

Although I must say waiting was the hardest part, it was the best part. I believe this because waiting made me have a chock full of thoughts of what my baby would feel like, look like, all the above. The best part was, I wouldn't know until she was born. When she was finally born and I got to see her for the first time, it made waiting worth every minute and second to me.

6. No Work

Need I say more?

7. Your Man

Your husband or boyfriend will be a whole other person with you being pregnant. You will see them do things for you that you never thought possible. (This is if you are with a winner here, folks.) He will pull a star out of a sky for you once he sees that belly start to pop. It was amazing to me how the attitude just changed over a thing that seemed so simple. It was great.

8. Your Hair, Skin and Nails

Those prenatal pills do more for just the baby; all the vitamins and nutrients in them make a couple parts of your body grow. I never had so many compliments on how shiny my hair looked, and also on my skin. The daily intake of the prenatal pills really did wonders for each, and also made my nails grow longer and stronger than ever before!

9. Getting Ready

Nothing made me happier than setting up my baby's room. The bassinet was the best part, the hardest part was waking up to nothing in it, and just having to wait. I would add a new stuffed animal to it every now and then, or sometimes take on away. It was weird, the nesting process really set in about a week before I had my baby. I wanted to clean everything - if I could have vacuumed my vacuum, I would have. For that simple fact, pregnancy was great for me because I am definitely an unorganized person as it is.

10. The Hospital

This may be an unusual part of the Ten Best Things about Being Pregnant article, but the hospital stay was my favorite. I love hospitals, and I have no idea why. Maybe it's the treatment, maybe it's just the huge facility. But staying on the labor floor made my day. Especially enjoying the fact that I was able to visit the other babies in the nursery (look at them through the window) and get waited on hand and foot, can you ask for more? I don't think so.

So, enjoy being pregnant, it doesn't last forever. It will be over before you know it! My baby's almost two and I can't even remember her weighing 6 pounds, it's unreal to me.

Thoughtful and Unique Baby Shower Gift Ideas

Unique baby shower gift ideas can be hard to think up. You want to give a baby shower gift that is thoughtful, useful and original. These six unique baby shower gifts are sure to delight any new mother-to-be.

Unique Baby Shower Gift Idea #1: Daddy Diaper Bag

A diaper bag for dad is a unique baby shower gift, that will put a smile on any mom-to-be's face. This baby shower gift takes away any possible excuses on how carrying a diaper bag is too "girlie". It also helps to reassure new mothers that diaper changing will be a shared chore. These daddy diaper bags feature simple designs, in masculine styles and colors. Daddy's MatterTM carries a line of camouflage baby overnight bags ($72.95,, that any new daddy can carry with confidence.

Unique Baby Shower Gift Idea #2: Pee Guards

Is it a boy? Then inject some humor into the baby shower by purchasing some pee guards. These are also practical, as they will protect the new mommy's clothes from any accidents. Beba Bean's Pee-pee TeepeeTM ($12.99,, is the perfect product for urine protection. The Pee-pee TeepeeTM is sold in packs of three. These cone-shaped cotton clothes are also washable.

Unique Baby Shower Gift Idea #3: Massaging Onesie

Another great unique baby shower gift is massage clothing for babies. This thoughtful gift allows for a deeper bond between mother and child. Touch of Love's Baby Massage Snuggie ($24.95,, provides specific instructions on how to massage your baby, using acupuncture points. This onesie is made of 100 percent cotton.

Unique Baby Shower Gift Idea #4: Mommy Massage

Speaking about massages, gift the new mom with a little pampering. This unique baby shower gift idea could be exactly what she needs. A lot of hospitals now have massages that are specifically designed to be safe for pregnant women. Find out which one she is getting her prenatal care from and purchase a massage to soothe her pregnancy aches and pains. Another way to go with this baby shower gift is to buy a massage gift certificate, for after the baby is born. Purchase her some quality alone time, at a local day spa.

Unique Baby Shower Gift idea #5: Extra Car Mirrors

When thinking of baby shower gifts, think infant safety. Additional car mirrors allow new mom's to see their babies, without the driving hazard of adjusting the rear-view mirror. Sunshine Kids' Easy View Mirror ($12.95,, allows mothers to safely view their new infants. The Easy View Mirror fits in the center of their passenger seat headrest, so the mirror does not have to dangle off of the baby. This mirror rotates 360 degrees, so moms can perfectly view their new bundles of joy.

Unique Baby Shower Gift Idea #6: Unusual Packaging

Baby shower gifts tend to be the same old thing, because those items are what the mother needs most. Turn common gifts into unique baby shower gifts, with snazzy packaging. has put a new spin on the diaper cake, with their unusual gift packing. They offer Baby Clothes Bouquets ($59.95), Cupcakes ($34.95), and Flower Buckets ($69.95). Like the diaper cake, these baby shower gifts use a traditional baby shower gift, the onesie, to create a decorative display.

With their originality and usefulness, these six unique baby shower gift ideas should give you a leg up on the gift-giving competition. Enjoy the new mommy's delight, as she opens these thoughtful gifts. Just remember to ohh and ahh appropriately, as she's opening baby shower gifts that are not as dazzling as your gift.

The Third Trimester of Pregnancy

The third trimester of pregnancy can be the most exhausting and feel like the longest trimester of pregnancy. The third trimester of pregnancy lasts from weeks twenty-eight to forty (or beyond) of the pregnancy. By this stage of pregnancy most women are feeling tired of being pregnant and possibly bored with the situation. As the pregnancy continues these feelings may grow until they are replaced by the excitement of nesting and preparation that the last few weeks of pregnancy bring.

Sometimes women are on bed rest at this point of the pregnancy which can be very isolating and uncomfortable. Even for the woman who does not have a high-risk pregnancy simply lying in bed at night during the third trimester of pregnancy can be difficult as the baby grows and makes it hard to find comfortable sleeping positions. Extra pillows, body pillows and special pregnancy pillows can help to keep a pregnant body in a comfortable position for sleeping.

Fatigue begins to set in once again during the third trimester of pregnancy and the glorious days of the second trimester are history. Still, in a healthy, non high-risk pregnancy, exercise can help increase energy and alleviate bad moods. The mother-to-be should be careful to listen to her body and not do too much, but even getting out for a walk on a sunny day can help tremendously.

By the third trimester of pregnancy most women will be seeing their obstetrician or midwife every two weeks and then weekly in the last month of pregnancy. If the pregnancy is a high-risk one the visits may be weekly much earlier on. Around week 27-28 a glucose tolerance test will be given to analyze the mother's ability to process sugar and rule out gestational diabetes. Those who do not "pass" the test will be given a special diet to follow to protect them and their baby from the problems associated with gestational diabetes. Another test routinely given around 37-38 weeks of pregnancy is the Group B Strep swab test. The vaginal and anal areas are swabbed to check for this dangerous strain of strep that, if not treated with antibiotics during labor, can cause death to newborns.

Around the beginning of the ninth month of pregnancy the mother-to-be may notice that her baby's movements have slowed a bit. This is because the baby is running out of room to perform the acrobatics that were so easily done months before. Sometimes the mother will be asked to do "kick counts". If there are any concerns about the baby's movement or if the pregnancy goes past 40 weeks, a non-stress test may be ordered to check the baby's movements.

As the pregnancy nears the last few months, Braxton Hicks contractions will get stronger and maybe cause a little pain. Knowing the difference between these practice contractions and preterm labor is important. Real labor contractions will start in the lower back and radiate into the uterus. Braxton Hicks contractions will usually only involve tightening in the uterus. If contractions are accompanied by bleeding or the leakage of fluid it is important to contact the midwife or obstetrician.

Women in the third trimester of pregnancy should take the time to pamper themselves. Warm bubble baths, pedicures for toes they can no longer see or reach and trips to the masseuse or chiropractor will go a long way toward making the third trimester an easier time.

What to Do Before You Get Pregnant

Each month, a healthy woman under the age of 35, has a 25% chance of getting pregnant each month if she has sex during her ovulation. However, certain women are considerably more fertile than others, and their chances of each month can increase to 30-40%.

Before a woman decides that she wants to get pregnant, she should seek her medical practitioner. There are certain medical conditions that should be treated before pregnancy, such as anemia. Also, if a woman has a mental health issue, before pregnancy is a good time to manage any issues. Many medications cannot be taken during pregnancy, such as anti-anxiety medications, certain antibiotics, etc.

Many dental problems can complicate a pregnancy, and x-rays can be dangerous to the fetus. It is a good idea to have a dental check-up before a woman decides that she wishes to conceive. To fill a cavity or to get a root canal, many harmful medications need to be taken, but conversely, and infection can be dangerous to the mother and child as well.

The medical practitioner should prescribe a prenatal vitamin in order to prevent certain congenital birth defects. If a medical practitioner does not prescribe a prenatal vitamin for whatever reason, or if the woman decides that the co-pay is too much, she can always go to a local store and buy a non-prescription one over the counter. Ask you medical professional if a prescription one would be more beneficial for you. At Walmart, the average cost is less than $10 for a month supply, which is not bad considering that a good prenatal vitamin can prevent so many birth defects. Make sure that you take it each single day, preferably at the same time each day.

The woman should also change her diet in order to have a safe and healthy pregnancy such as eating wheat toast, orange juice, lots of protein. When deciding to become pregnant, this is a good time to start clearing out all the junk food in the fridge and the cabinets. A certain amount of junk food is okay, but it should be limited; think the food pyramid, use sparingly!

The woman (and man) should stop drinking and smoking for the time being. Most women do not know their pregnant for the first 6 weeks, and this is one of the most important developmental times during the pregnancy, and any toxins during this point, can have dire consequences for both mother and child.

Symptoms of Pregnancy: Understand Early Signs and Conditions of Being Pregnant

Am I pregnant? Could I be pregnant?

These are often questions asked by women who may or may not be pregnant. While a blood test at the doctor's office is the one sure way to tell if you are pregnant, there are also signs and symptoms of early pregnancy for which you can watch. As a mother of three, my most recent family addition about to turn 1, I have experienced different signs that helped me to know that I was pregnant. If you think you may be pregnant, read about the early signs and symptoms that often indicate early pregnancy.

One sign of early pregnancy is nausea. Not all women however will have feelings of nausea when pregnant, that is the lucky ones. I only had the feelings of nausea early on with my second pregnancy which led me to take a home pregnancy test. I didn't have nausea when eating most foods, it actually came on when I tried to take a sip of beer. It appears that nausea, or "Morning Sickness", is different for most women. Some women are extremely sensitive to food while others only become nauseous with certain food types. At any rate, if you are feeling nauseous and you may possibly be pregnant I would recommend you take a home pregnancy test.

Another sign of early pregnancy to consider is food cravings. Many times we hear of women who have food cravings while pregnant. And while we may sometimes see them on TV with bulging bellies, the truth is that food cravings can strike during the early stages of pregnancy as well. With my third pregnancy I experienced strong cravings for something sweet. The funny thing is I never ate sweets that often before becoming pregnant. The craving for something sweet also hit me during the early stages of my first pregnancy.

The most telling sign of early pregnancy, for me personally, was that "gut feeling" I experienced. Call it a "mother's intuition" or whatever you want but when I was pregnant with each of my three babies I just KNEW I was pregnant. For example, my second pregnancy began with unending negative home pregnancy test results which had my husband doubting me when I told him I "knew" I was pregnant. However, a woman knows her body well and it appears that the "Mother's Intuition" starts early on. I was in indeed pregnant as my tenth, or maybe twentieth, pregnancy test told me so. If you feel like you may be pregnant but receive a negative result don't give up. Wait a few days and test again. It took me almost two weeks from the first pregnancy test to finally achieve a positive result.

I normally do not feel tired all of the time - well, at least before my baby came along. So another sign of early pregnancy that I experienced was the lack of energy and fatigue. This symptom can be a tricky one as it can be indicative of many different things such as low iron, the flu, or early pregnancy. If you do not typically have problems with low iron and are not experiencing symptoms of the flu within a few days then you may very well be experiencing an early sign of pregnancy.

When it comes to pregnancy every woman is different. There are other signs and symptoms besides the ones listed above which can indicate early pregnancy. While I never experienced these symptoms I know of other women, from a pregnancy support group, who have. Other signs and symptoms of early pregnancy include: swollen and/or tender breasts, headaches, and even moodiness. Of the symptoms above I found that experiencing swollen/tender breasts was the most common first sign of early pregnancy shared between the women in my pregnancy support group.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above for early pregnancy along with knowing you have a chance of being pregnant than I would recommend that you buy yourself a few home pregnancy tests, trust me you will need quite a few. If you receive a positive pregnancy test result then you will need to make an appointment to see your doctor for an official blood test.

Please note that the signs and symptoms of early pregnancy listed above are also common signs of illness, such as a cold or the flu.

Major Health Concerns for Women After Menopause

Menopause Increases Risk of Some Health Concerns

Unfortunately, I had to undergo a radical hysterectomy when I was in my mid-thirties. Because of the loss of my ovaries, I began to go through menopause almost immediately after surgery - - at least it seemed that way from the hot flashes and night sweats I started having the very next week. My doctor prescribed HRT (hormone replacement therapy) for the menopause symptoms. She also gave me pamphlets to educate myself on the health risks associated with menopause. I found that there are several major and, possibly life threatening, health concerns associated with menopause.

1. Heart Disease

As a woman reaches the age of menopause (about fifty years old), her risk of developing heart disease, also known as cardiovascular disease, increases. This is because a woman's risk of heart disease increases with age and coincides with the onset of menopause. Furthermore, women who have undergone surgical menopause and who do not take estrogen are also at a higher risk for developing heart disease. Although there have been reports that taking estrogen will reduce the risk of heart disease in young women who have undergone surgical menopause, recent studies find that this may not be as accurate as once thought.

2. Osteoporosis

Menopause is characterized by the reduction and eventual loss of estrogen production within the ovaries. On the other hand, in my cause, surgical removal of the ovaries stops estrogen production dead in its tracks. The loss of estrogen actually increases the rate of bone loss; however, hormone replacement therapy has been shown to help protect bone mass. As a woman ages, it is important to make sure that calcium intake and/or calcium supplements are monitored to help prevent the development of osteoporosis. There are some medications on the market now, such as Boniva, Fosamax or Actonel, that claim to help prevent osteoporosis.

3. Depression

Women who have never experienced depression before are still at an increased risk of developing depression right before or during menopause. Of course, changes in hormones do play a role in this risk; however, the other dramatic changes that women experience during menopause also play a role in depression. Women are struggling with physical and emotional changes during perimenopause and menopause that can be difficult to handle thereby contributing to depression. Women should be aware of the symptoms of depression and report any of these to their physicians immediately.

4. Stoke

Some current studies have shown that women, who experience early menopause, before the age of 42, are at a greater risk of stroke. This would lead one to the assumption that the loss of estrogen could be linked to an increase risk of stroke. Although, some experts disagree with the findings it is still prudent for women entering menopause early to seek the advice of a physician specializing in this area.

5. Breast and uterine cancer

Older age is a risk factor for developing uterine cancer; therefore, women who have undergone menopause should be aware of their risk and be vigilant in taking steps to prevent uterine cancer such as yearly screenings and knowing the symptoms of uterine cancer. The average age of a uterine cancer patient is 60 years old with only 10% of uterine cancer patients being under the age of 40 at the time of diagnosis. Breast cancer risks also rise with age and there are studies that suggest that HRT (hormone replacement therapy) can affect the risks of breast cancer. Women who are near or past menopause should discuss all of their options with their physicians, including other risk factors for breast cancer, to determine what steps they should take to prevent or detect breast cancer.

Reasons for False Pregnancy Test Results

When you follow the instructions, pregnancy tests are known to be incredibly accurate. That being said, there is a chance that a woman may get either a false negative or a false positive any time that she takes a home pregnancy test. Why would this happen? Here are some of the most common reasons for false pregnancy test results.

Not Reading the Pregnancy Test Directions

The first and foremost thing that you should do prior to taking a pregnancy test is read the directions. Even if you have taken one in the past, you may need to refresh your memory on what exactly you need to do. Also, never assume that one pregnancy test brand has the same exact instructions as another pregnancy test brand. Some pregnancy tests may require you to pee on the stick or dip it in a cup of urine, while others may require you to use a dropper for the urine.

Taking the Pregnancy Test on the Wrong Day

A very common reason for getting false negative pregnancy test results is taking it at the wrong time. The best time to take a pregnancy test is on or after the day of your first missed period. There are some pregnancy tests which can provide you with early results, but it is important to take a close look at the instructions. Pregnancy test results may not be entirely accurate days prior to your first missed period. If you do not know when your period regularly occurs, it's ideal to wait until you're sure it would have came.

Taking the Pregnancy Test at the Wrong Time of Day

Also keep in mind that your pregnancy test results will be the most accurate if you take the test when you first wake up in the morning because your H-hCG hormone levels will be the highest at this time. The reason that the hormone levels will be the highest then is because your urine will be much more concentrated because it is assumed that you have not urinated for several hours. You should always avoid drinking a lot of water prior to taking the pregnancy test because you may dilute the levels of this hormone.

Reading the Pregnancy Test Results Too Early or Late

One of the main reasons that women get false pregnancy test results is because they do not time it accurately. If the directions for the pregnancy test box say that the results will appear within one to three minutes, this means that they will appear during this time frame. Setting a timer for two and a half minutes is ideal in this scenario. Once the three minutes are up, the pregnancy test may show a false result.

Medications or Medical Conditions Cause False Pregnancy Results

It is possible for medications or medical conditions to cause false pregnancy test results. Women who are taking fertility medications, for example, may experience a false reading. There are also certain types of cancer which can lead you to experience a false pregnancy test result. The reason that medications and medical conditions cause false results is because they can cause an increase or decrease in your H-hCG hormone levels.

The most important thing that you can do is ensure that you are following the instructions when taking a pregnancy test. If you don't, your chances of getting a false negative or positive pregnancy test are greatly increased. Also keep in mind that the best way to find out whether or not you are really pregnant is to have your doctor give you a blood test. There is always a chance that you have purchased a defective pregnancy test.