3 Tips for Running a Business While Pregnant

Being pregnant comes with lots of challenges: swollen feet, morning sickness, the inability to engage in certain physical activities, and the fact that you’re literally growing another human being. That’s no easy task, and running a business on top of that physical stress makes it even harder.

 

Thankfully, in today’s day and age, women can often do both throughout the term of their pregnancies. Here are a few ways that might help:

 

Bring pregnancy into the conversation.

Often, talking about pregnancy and maternity is considered a no-no in a corporate setting. Women who are pregnant are not acknowledged as such; it’s just not as important in comparison to team-building exercises or the latest numbers in a report. However, given how taxing a pregnancy often is, even at its best, make pregnancy and maternity talk part of the conversation. Introduce the topic and don’t look back.

 

This will also help make it easier for colleagues who become pregnant in the future. Pregnancy doesn’t have to be and, more to the point, shouldn’t be a taboo.

 

Review parental leave policies thoroughly.

Start-ups, in particular, are not known for their generous time off for new mothers, but they are often known for wanting to implement considerate policies for both new mothers and fathers alike. If your company doesn’t have a formal policy in place yet because it’s so young, get those details squared away now rather than waiting until your third trimester.

 

Keep in mind the transition back to work, too, as new parents move back into the workforce. It’s an adjustment going from full-time parent to a full-time employee, and allowing for that period of time will only be to your benefit and your employees’.

 

Remind yourself that you can’t do everything.

No one likes doing this. We all want to be the one who can do it all, but the truth is, we can’t, and it’s better to recognize that now. Being pregnant will require flexibility in your expectations of yourself and of your work routine. Working twelve hours a day is a lot to ask, so be upfront and honest with your team about your limitations. Doing so will keep you healthier in the process because you will be taking care of yourself and your baby, rather than stressing yourself out trying to finish one last report. Prioritizing your daily tasks will make your life so much easier.

 

The bottom line: your body is going to need certain things to successfully grow a baby, and your job is to listen to it, especially if you’re running a business at the same time.

 

Disclaimer: As always, make sure to speak with your medical practitioner about the best practices for you.

Top 3 Questions You’re Embarrassed to Ask Your OB-GYN

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For first-time and veteran mothers alike, pregnancy can bring up a variety of questions that might feel a little awkward asking out loud. The good news is that most women have had those same questions at some point and that there are answers from trained professionals.

 

Here are some questions about pregnancy you may have wanted to ask but felt too nervous to do so:

 

How Likely Is a Bowel Movement During Delivery?

This fear comes up frequently with new mothers, to the point where they can become so fixated on not having a bowel movement that it inhibits their ability to push.

 

It’s actually extremely common to have a bowel movement during labor, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. There’s a simple reason why it happens: the same muscles a woman uses to push a baby out of her uterus are the same ones she uses when having a bowel movement. With the added weight on her colon and rectum as the baby moves through the birth canal, it’s a very natural bodily reaction.

 

While it may seem embarrassing, keep in mind that childbirth is a very private affair. Doctors are not only undaunted by this, but generally expect it. They’re trained professionals and their primary concern is making sure the mother and baby are healthy throughout the entire pregnancy and delivery.

 

Will My Vagina Be Stretched After I Give Birth?

Not really. Believe it or not, vaginas have muscle memory. The vagina is also made to accommodate childbirth; in other words, it stretches during childbirth and then contracts to its normal size. If a woman wants to strengthen her pelvic floor muscles, there are Kegel exercises, though make sure to check with a doctor first before trying them.

 

Why Does Sex Hurt After Birth?

Having a baby is hard work! With childbirth comes natural trauma to the vaginal area, and it needs time to heal. It’s natural for the sex drive to decrease, given how exhausting caring for a newborn can be. On top of that, if mothers choose to breastfeed, that can change her hormone levels as well, particularly her estrogen levels. This can lead to problems with lubrication. One potential solution is to use a lubricant, as well as giving the body time to adjust postpartum.

 

If the pain continues to exist months after birth, however, it’s best to speak to a doctor to make sure there aren’t any lasting issues.

Study: Mashed Potatoes, Potato Chips Contribute to a Higher Risk of Gestational Diabetes Among Pregnant Women

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Enjoying a potato-rich diet, involving the consumption of potatoes and potato by-products (ex. scallop potatoes, au gratin potatoes, mashed potatoes, potato chips, tater tots, hash browns and french fries), could be bad for you if you’re pregnant, according to new research published by The National Institutes of Health. The report asserts that potato-rich diets contribute to a higher risk of gestational diabetes.

Gestational diabetes generally develops during the 24th week of pregnancy, and it’s associated with high blood sugar and high glycemic index food. The British Medical Journal published the study, and it concluded that consuming potatoes more than five times a week increased the likelihood of developing gestational diabetes by 50 percent. The 10-year study examined the health records of 15,632 women between 1991 and 2001. The researchers proceeded to track and evaluate the subject’s consumption of potatoes and other foods, checking in every four years. They tracked incidences of diabetes, verified by medical records and reported by patients. That lengthy study yielded interesting results.

The research authors found that pre-pregnancy consumption of potatoes fundamentally contributes to the increased risk of gestational diabetes, regardless of adjustments to other major risk factors (weight, age, and diet). When following up, it was discovered that 854 women developed pregnancy diabetes. Women who consumed two to four 3.5-ounce servings of potatoes per week were 27 percent more likely to develop pregnancy diabetes, and those who ate five servings of starchy vegetables each week were 50 percent more likely to face a greater risk of developing the condition.

Women who eat fewer potatoes, and consume legumes, whole grains, and other vegetables instead, are 12 percent less likely to develop gestational diabetes.  The study was the first to examine the impact of potatoes on pregnancy.

It’s important to recognize that correlation doesn’t not necessarily equal causation.  Eating potatoes in moderation is fine, but what’s most important is maintaining a balanced diet. It’s the absolute best way to have a happy and healthy pregnancy.

Controversy Over Necessity of Pelvic Exams

Pelvic exams may not be a necessary procedure during an annual gynecologist exam for women who are not pregnant.

Pelvic exams may not be a necessary procedure during an annual gynecologist exam for women who are not pregnant.

The yearly trip to the gynecologist can be a dreaded event for many females.  Pap smears are unpleasant and can often be only the tip of the iceberg, as many doctors also include pelvic and rectal exams as well.  However, according to an article completed by the Daily News that summarizes a new series of guidelines released by the American College of Physicians, the pelvic exams may no longer be a necessary procedure to inflict upon women who are not pregnant.

In the procedures involved in the yearly check up with a gynecologist, women are often subjected to pelvic exams under the pretense that the ordeal can help in finding possible signs of ovarian cysts, sexual transmitted infections, uterine fibroids and early detection of cancer.  However, according to findings published by the ACP in their journal Annals of Internal Medicine, the routine pelvic exam has not shown to benefit as it was previously thought to.  The exam is now believed to rarely detect important disease and doesn’t reduce mortality in the average risk woman who is not pregnant.  In fact, the examination is often associated with discomfort for many women, including a round of potential false positives and negative exams, along with additional unnecessary costs.  However, this finding does not apply to pap smears, which are believed to still be beneficial.

The researchers with the American College of Physicians are not the first to suggest that pelvic exams could be excluded from the routine trip to the OBGYN.  Carolyn Westhoff was the first to suggest eliminating the procedure, with an article published in 2011.  The article indicated that if the woman was experiencing none of the typical concerning symptoms—such as discharge, abnormal bleeding, pain, urinary problems or sexual dysfunction—the procedure was very unnecessary.  She, in turn, approves of the announcement made by the ACP.

However, Westhoff and the ACP are not without their opponents.  The guideline is expected to stir up quite a bit of controversy. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology remains in favor of the annual pelvic exam, as it allows doctors to fully explain a patient’s anatomy to them—including a reassurance of normality and an ability to answer any questions.