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1: Invest in a belly band
Special pregnancy belly bands can help with lower back pain and pelvic pressure.
The prenatal cradle pregnancy support band
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2: Pillows are your new friends
Full-body pillows can make the difference between endless tossing and turning and a decent (if not entirely uninterrupted) nights sleep. You can also try putting pillows between your legs at night.
9 more pregnancy comforts
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3: Sit up straight
Sit up straight when youre at the computer. Its hard with all that weight pulling your shoulders forward but itll ultimately help prevent or reduce back pain.
If youre working at the office, you may actually find it enjoyable!
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4: Circumcision — it's your call
In America, about 60% of baby boys are circumcised. The American Academy of Pediatrics is neutral on the subject, stating that it is neither medically necessary nor harmful. In the end, this is a very personal choice, do what feels right to you.
Why this mom refused to circumcise her son
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5: Little things help relieve heartburn
Elevate your head at night if you're having lots of heartburn. Also drink small amounts of water frequently, take papaya enzyme, and avoid big meals before bedtime.
10 ways to relieve pregnancy heartburn
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6: Get creative with keepsakes
Soon youll be a good candidate for a plaster belly cast. This elegant sculpture, made from a take-home kit, can be a nice keepsake, always reminding you of a very special time.
Host a belly cast party
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7: Try to avoid high heels
Women often find they get more and more clumsy later in pregnancy. Avoid wearing high heels if you arent already.
Tips to help your swollen feet
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8: Take advantage of the registry
Dont be shy about using a registry for a baby shower or baby gifts — this is historically a time when the community comes together to help launch a new family. Plus, it can help you organize your shopping list.
The best baby shower gifts
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9: Baby slings are great
Baby slings and carriers are fantastically practical and comfortable for parents and generally appreciated by babies. They are a nice alternative, or supplement, to strollers when it comes to getting mobile with your baby.
The best baby carriers
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10: Find out your maternity-leave options
Talk to your employers or human resources staff about all possible maternity-leave options. You may qualify for some disability benefits.
Wheres the best place to be a mother?
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11: You may actually see baby's kicks
The babys movements are now going to get bigger and possibly visible on the surface of your belly. Get out the video camera.
Find out how to take cute photos of your newborn too!
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12: You don't need every gadget
A wise mother once said, Babies are cheap — I mean priceless. You don't have to buy every single gadget made for babies. Really, you dont.
10 baby gadgets youll actually use
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13: Who'll keep you company in the delivery room?
Think about whom you want with you for the birth. Choose people you trust and feel comfortable with. Feeling safe is important in labor, as its a vulnerable time.
Would you let your kids watch you give birth?
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14: Learn the difference between early and active labor
Braxton-Hicks contractions go away when you change position or drink water; labor contractions dont. Real labor contractions become stronger, longer, and closer together over time.
The difference between early and active labor
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15: Keep a water bottle on hand
Dehydration is the leading cause of premature labor, so even if it means constant trips to the bathroom, make sure to drink lots of water. If youre thirsty, youre already a little dehydrated.
Carry one of these reusable water bottles with you
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16: A little incontinence is normal
Right now, the babys head (or foot or butt) is literally pressing down on your bladder. Frequent runs to the bathroom and a little incontinence is normal. Itll most likely resolve post-pregnancy.
10 fun things about peeing yourself
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17: Keep up those Kegels!
Kegels — pelvic-floor exercises — are great for women to do at all phases of life. In late pregnancy they help tighten the pelvic-floor muscles and may help prevent incontinence postpartum and even the risk of tearing.
10 facts about your pelvic floor
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18: It's ok to tune some people out
Somehow people think its acceptable to suggest to a pregnant woman that she must be carrying twins. Maybe they are just amazed by how awesomely pregnant you are? Feel free to ignore them.
10 things you should never say to a pregnant woman
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19: Enjoy some chocolate
Eating (real) chocolate during pregnancy can reduce the risk of the pregnancy complication preeclampsia and improve your mood. Could this explain this very common pregnancy craving? Who cares? Have some chocolate.
A good enough reason for you to eat some chocolate
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20: Think about breastfeeding
Though not every woman is able to do it, breastfeeding has lots of health benefits for both mothers and babies: It has been associated with reduced rates of obesity, asthma, allergies, and infections in babies. In moms it helps the uterus shrink back to shape and may even prevent some cancers.
Breastfeeding can benefit you after just one month
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Nesting can be intense: Women are hardwired to make sure the home is ready for the baby. Go for it. All the physical activity is good for you. Just get someone else to carry actual furniture.
Guys nest, too
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22: "Pregnancy brain" is real
You may be a little forgetful and spaced out these days, but this is not because youve become dumb! In fact, in some ways, youve become smarter. Its just that now youre more focused on other things (the baby).
... Or is pregnancy brain a myth?
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23: Shop around
When buying a stroller, think about where you are and when you'll use it. City parents have different needs than suburban or country parents.
The best strollers for every lifestyle
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24: Stay connected
Being at home with your newborn can be unbelievably fulfilling and wonderful, but it can also feel isolating sometimes. Look now for ways to connect with other new moms — both online and in real life!
Top 30 parent listserv networks
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25: Install the car seat soon
Hospitals and birth centers require that you have an infant car seat in order to be released. If you own a car, have it installed before the babys born. If not, bring a portable one to the hospital.
Our picks for the best car seats
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26: You will learn as you go
Are you getting a little freaked out about taking care of a baby? Its perfectly normal; theres a lot of new information to absorb. But rest assured, you will learn really fast, and the best teacher will be your own baby.
How to combat new mom fears
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27: Baby may be fuzzy at birth ... literally
Babies are sometimes born covered in a soft, downy fuzz called lanugo. It can be startling to see a baby so furry, but itll shed over the first few months.
Other weird but natural conditions with your newborns skin
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28: Avoid scary birth stories
If you are watching dramatic reality shows about birth, its now time to turn them off. They can be exciting but very worrisome. Read some normal birth stories instead. Now is the time to build confidence not fear.
Real women share their birth stories
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29: Bonding is almost immediate
Right after birth is a great time to hold and talk to and feed your baby. Skin-to-skin contact is especially comforting. Though this will be your first official meeting, your baby already knows your smell, sound and touch.
The real key to bonding with your baby
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30: The amount of breast milk you produce depends on the demand
Breastfeeding works via supply and demand. The more the baby feeds, the more milk your body will make. Breastfeeding experts and pediatricians recommend feeding on demand: whenever the baby wants, or about 8-12 times a day.
Babbles breastfeeding guide
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31: Consider a doula
Consider a labor support doula. Many studies show good labor support reduces the chances of a C-section and shortens the length of labor.
5 common myths about doulas
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