Checklist!

Most people think of TV’s Supernanny for her skill in bringing unruly fourth-graders into line. But Jo Frost has actually spent much of her career taking care of babies, starting with some families as early as “the waters breaking,” she says in her English lilt.Frost’s new book, Confident Baby Care, brings reassurance and a positive attitude to the topic of newborn care. “People are so eager to tell nightmare stories about the first four weeks. No sleep, no sex, so many …

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Building A Baby

By Stephanie StiavettiOf course the foods you choose impact your baby, but new research suggests that a mother’s diet during pregnancy can have lifelong effects. In fact, scientists are discovering that eating right when you’re expecting may drastically lower your child’s chances of developing serious illnesses such as asthma and type 2 diabetes.What They Know So Far Recent studies now connect the rise of these health concerns to the earliest moments of life. For example, …

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Let’s Get It On

By Amy Henry Say goodbye to the nausea and exhaustion that dimmed your desire during the first trimester—you’re heading into a time of renewed sexual energy. Research shows that expecting couples make love an average of 1.2 times per week in the second trimester. Your hormonal changes make arousal easier now, and excitement over the new life inside you lends an irresistible glow. Here’s how to rediscover your drive and reconnect with your partner. Embrace Your New Body Those extra pounds …

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Lip Service

By Eve O'NeillAs if being pregnant hasn’t already given your body a thorough workout, along comes the cold. Before you know it, last-minute shopping, social activities, and the chilly weather have done a number on your skin—especially your lips. Because they lack oil glands, your lips dry out faster than the rest of your face. Winter’s extremes—outdoor cold and dry heat indoors—can cause lips to crack painfully. Before that happens, ramp up your wintertime protection. First, …

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Checkup Smarts

Unlike some visits to a doctor’s office, a prenatal appointment is usually quick and pleasant. It is primarily designed for you and your health-care provider to receive updated information regarding you and your baby, listen to your baby’s heartbeat, and rule out any complications.To maximize the time you spend with your ob/gyn, take these suggestions from The Smart Mother’s Guide to a Better Pregnancy.• Make a list of your concerns and present them at the beginning of your …

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Good Eats!

By Lisa FieldsEating right during pregnancy can be daunting, especially when you have to master a restricted menu and battle morning sickness. Just ask Mara Palcisco of Loveland, OH.When she learned she was pregnant, the systems engineer happily gave up her Tuesday night wine-and-sushi dinners with the girls from work. But while Palcisco’s ob/gyn provided a list of forbidden foods, the doctor was vague about what she should eat. So Palcisco often doubted her choices. And during …

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Dress Rehearsal

By Heather Larson When Raelynn Glispin experienced contractions during the 36th week of her first pregnancy, they caught her by surprise; she wasn’t sure what they were. “When you’ve never had a contraction before, you aren’t positive if it’s Braxton Hicks or actual labor,” says Glispin, a mother of two in Oxford, MA. “With my second baby, I clearly knew the difference and wasn’t surprised.” Braxton Hicks, so named because an English doctor named John Braxton Hicks first …

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Go Ahead, Work Out!

By Sasha Brown-WorshamI found the postcard, written in 1945, in a dust-filled corner of my grandmother’s closet. It was a letter of encouragement—Bubby’s doctor urging my healthy, five months–pregnant grandmother to “keep your feet up, rest as much as possible.”In the 60 years since Bubby’s first pregnancy, that advice has gone from passé to downright absurd. More than ever, pregnant women in good health are encouraged to keep active during the full nine months, assured …

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Greener Pastures

By Linda ChildersThe color options for expectant moms used to be pretty simple: pink or blue. But many pregnant women, driven by concern for the health of their baby, themselves, and the planet, are now selecting a different shade: green.Pediatricians agree that pregnancy is a good time to adopt environmentally conscious habits because fetuses are more vulnerable to toxic substances. For example, 2005 study by the Environmental Working Group measured umbilical cord blood for …

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Banish That Blemish

You believed it back in high school: Chocolate and french fries cause zits. But one look at your pink and pimply skin now and you know the culprit is hormones, which run rampant in your body during adolescence and pregnancy, increasing the sebum your skin produces and thus creating a breeding ground for acne-causing bacteria.Unfortunately, the treatments teens rely on—Accutane, tetracycline—are off-limits to you now. And some doctors even recommend avoiding over-the-counter ingredients …

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