Category Archive: Pregnancy advice

Best 5 tips to ease heartburn

Heartburn in pregnancy is common – it’s usually harmless but can be painful nonetheless.

Heartburn is described as a burning sensation that often extends from your lower throat to the bottom of your breastbone. It happens when acid from your stomach is brought up into your gullet (oesophagus).

The acid may come up into your throat or mouth, leaving a sour and bitter taste. It’s thought to be caused by both hormonal and physical changes in your body.

There are ways to stop the effects of heartburn, here’s our best 5 tips to ease heartburn:

1. Eat little and often; small, frequent meals leave less time for acid to build up in your stomach. Also choose food and drink that is easy to digest (skip rich, high-fat or spicy dishes, chocolate, citrus fruits or juices, alcohol and coffee.)

2. Milk can sometimes settle heartburn.

3. Sitting up straight helps, particularly during and just after meals – slouching puts pressure on your stomach.

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Singing workshops for pregnant women

When I was pregnant with my daughter, I talked to her a whole lot. Singing… not so much.

Of course I’d sing along to my favourite songs but singing directly to my unborn child felt a little conspicuous.

And I am not the only one to feel a little self-conscious.

An innovative new programme of singing workshops for pregnant women—Womb Song—being run by Hospital Arts, part of Chelsea and Westminster Health Charity, is attracting wide interest.

The programme is testament to the fact that mums-to-be want to connect with their babies but need a little help overcoming their inhibitions.

As well as helping mothers develop a closer bond with their babies, the Womb Song classes are intended to boost language skills in infants.

Anna Matthams, arts assistant for Chelsea and Westminster’s health charity (where the programme was initiated), said: “The baby’s auditory system is one of the first things to develop and there’s a lot of physiological evidence that singing helps with language development.”

When I think about Womb Song I can’t help but have this ridiculous image of a group of mums standing in a circle cooing over their bulging bellies – like some sort of weird chanting circle that should take place in a forest on the night of summer solstice.

I just don’t know if I could take womb crooning seriously?

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Coffee cuts your chance of pregnancy

Coffee, coffee and more coffee… it makes the world go around.

And then scientists ruined the party by telling us that consuming too much coffee cuts your chance of pregnancy – it’s been known for years. Boo!

But why? The ‘too much coffee equals no baby’ link has been a mystery… until now!

The Daily Mail recently reported that new research involving 9,000 women found that drinking high levels of caffeine (more than four cups a day) decreases the chances of conceiving by 25 per cent due to it inhibiting contractions in the fallopian tubes which aid transport of eggs to the womb.

Published in the British Journal of Pharmacology, the research shows that the muscle contractions play a bigger part than the beating cilia in moving the eggs towards the womb.

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How many caesareans a year?

Are we too posh to push? The stats say we are.

How many caesareans a year? Current figures articulate that around 25 per cent of all births in the country are now Caesareans compared to around 11 per cent back in the 1980s (in 2000, 17.4 per cent of births were caesareans). That’s quite a massive leap.

So what’s changed?

Ruth Dundas from the University of Glasgow’s Social and Public Health Sciences Unit says that the growth is mainly driven by an increase in more affluent women, who can afford to pay for elected C-Sections.

Many women are becoming increasingly worried about natural birth and rising numbers are demanding C-Sections with their second children.

Another contributing factor is that women are also now giving birth well into their 30s, which increases the possibility of complications occurring during labour.

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Be pregnant and proud!

At the not-so-long-ago Film Festival in Cannes, French actress and singer Charlotte Gainsbourg took maternity wear to a whole new level by arriving for the premiere of her film Melancholia in a sheer black dress, clearly exposing a see-through bra.

The provocative gown, which boasted a plunging neckline that cut down to her burgeoning bump, stunned onlookers who stood agape as the actress strolled down the red carpet.

Gainsbourg’s attire begs the question: how much is too much? Modern society teaches women to be proud of their burgeoning baby bumps and yet, as an aesthetic expression of love, a baby bump is undeniably personal. Or is it?

Why should you not be pregnant and proud?!

When I was pregnant with my daughter, I didn’t think twice about strutting around in a string bikini on a holiday in Croatia; I loved my bump and wanted to show it off. And yet I look at Charlotte Gainsbourg’s get-up with judgmental horror etched across my face.

My attitude smacks of hypocrisy.

In my defense, there is a mitigating factor and it is called ‘context.’ A bikini on a beach might be considered perhaps a tad more appropriate than exposing all (or most) at a red-carpet event. Does the Gainsbourg dress cheapen pregnancy? And should the actress care what we think anyway?

In all likelihood, she doesn’t. Good on her!

When considering the issue of how much pregnant belly and body is okay to expose, I am reminded of Demi Moore’s seven-month-pregnant, naked body on the cover of Vanity Fair.

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