• Pregnancy Wardrobe Essentials

    Your pregnancy will bring in a lot of changes to your body features. Some of them you might just love to flaunt, like a shinier lock, a fresher look, more curves, and so on. Not every pregnant woman experiences these changes, however. A baby bump, swollen legs, and feet, body bent a little backward to support the weight of the baby, and so on. With these changes, looking good makes it easier to feel lighter each waking day. One of the things that you need to have in your wardrobe is one of the best maternity leggings. As you read on, you will see other maternity fashion essentials that you will need to have to flaunt your baby belly in style.

    When it comes to dressing up your baby belly, you can still have both comfort and style. Compromising one over the other is not necessary. You can look and feel good even with that growing bump. You also do not need to throw off all your fashion attires. Mixing and matching what you already have in your wardrobe will also allow you to stay within your budget while making sure that you keep yourself well-dressed and quite appealing. That means you can still be a head turner and keep a positive vibe even with all the seemingly unappealing signs of pregnancy.

    Keep in your closet these maternity essentials so you could always be ready to dress up for whatever occasion you may need to appear in even while you are carrying a baby in your belly. Shop smart and extend much of your wardrobe to allow the clothes in your closet to last your pregnancy. Doing so will allow you to keep a fabulous look no matter the occasion is or no matter what size you are.

    Maternity Leggings

    A pair or more of some good quality dark, stretchy leggings will always handy. Keep a few pairs in your closet. It’s a pair that can keep you comfortable even on your most bloated days. Complete the look with a pair of boots and you can still look sassy and trendy even after you have given birth. You have the option to choose from the many maternity leggings available in the market today or use your regular leggings that you already have in your closet. Both will just look good on you. You can put on a comfortable top and go from casual to formal. Leggings also give you more support for your baby bump, so you’ll feel safe as you wear a pair any time.

    Tunic

    This fabulous piece of clothing is another maternity essential that you will need to hide or flatter several body bumps, however, you may think it’s necessary. You can also find pieces that have stunning slimming details, such as bracelet-length sleeves, vented sides, as well as deep V-necklines. Pre-pregnancy will allow you to wear one of these tunics as a dress. As your pregnancy develops, you may put it on over a pair of leggings or over skinny jeans. Once you have given birth, the extra room will make you feel comfortable while nursing.

    Maxi dress

    A maxi dress is a must-have not only during pregnancy but any time you may feel you need to wear one. It’s a smart thing to always have a few pieces that you can wear whatever the occasion is. Those flowing skirts, empire waists, and other interesting details that give emphasis to the collarbone, shoulders, and other feminine parts make it a necessary element of every girl’s wardrobe. There is always endless options when it comes to maxi dresses, so choose one that will give you the most comfort as your pregnancy progresses.

    Long tank top

    When looking for a tank top with a staying power as well as the ability to enhance your figure, choosing the best option will always be the best thing to do. A top made of stretchy microfiber blends, ruching on the sides, as well as some thick straps that can conceal your brassiere, either a regular or nursing bra, and one that fits well and not too tight on your chest is one that you need to have. You can wear it on its own or under a tunic, a cardigan, or whatever you can match on top of it. Longer tops can accommodate your growing belly and also provide coverage to your rear, especially if you intend to pair it with a pair of leggings or skinny jeans.

    Unstructured cardigan

    An unstructured cardigan gives you more options when you are pregnant. Find one with an asymmetrical front and a simple one-button or toggle closure near the neckline as this allows you to wear it open or loosely closed. Whenever you wear it on its own or over a top, you will feel a casual elegance that will work well any time. One made with a thicker material can also be used as a light coat during the cold months.

    Shift dress

    A shift dress is usually structured with a body-skimming upper body and flares near the bottom. When worn, this piece of clothing creates a youthful, deconstructed silhouette that enhances the look of the wearer, especially that of an expecting mother. During pre-pregnancy, wearing a shift dress will provide a light enhancement to your curves but a lot of personality to your being. As your belly grows, the dress will just look better on you.

    Scarf

    This is one of the most versatile accessories that you need to have in your closet. It can add a flair to a rather boring outfit. Your scarf can also easily transform into a nursing cover or a blankie that you can use whenever necessary.

    Wrap dress

    Wearing a wrap dress makes a woman look elegant. Once your baby bump starts growing, then you can just adjust secure the tie of the dress right under your bust. Choose one that is made of stretchy or blended fabrics so that it will easily snap back into shape.

    Fold-over yoga pants

    A pair of fold-over yoga pants is another maternity essential you need to have. You can wear one anywhere and at any time of the day. Look for one with a fold-over waistband which you can either fold down beneath your tummy or extend over your baby bump when you feel like having a warm cover on your baby bump.

    Skinny Jeans

    To create an elongated look, wear skinny jeans. A dark denim makes a flattering look and matches well with flats, heels, or knee-high boots. Opt for a pair with at least 2 % Lycra or other stretchy material so the jeans can accommodate your growing bump and can also spring back when you’ve given birth. Pushing the waistband beneath your bump will make you feel comfortable during the latter part of your pregnancy when your bump will have reached its maximum size. Complete the look with a long stretchy tank and a tunic if you feel like putting on one.

    Which of these maternity essentials do you prefer to wear?

  • Guide For Safe Tea Drinking During Pregnancy

    For anyone who has loved drinking tea before getting pregnant, the thought of the possible effects of caffeine on any tea variant may always be a concern. This is due to the fact that pregnancy raises a woman’s sensitivity to everything that passes through her system. Thanks to the pregnancy hormone called the human chorionic gonadotropin or HCG, an expecting mom like you may experience nausea, vomiting, an aversion or craving for certain foods, among others. When it comes to fluid alternatives, you will need to know the best tea for pregnancy to ensure that the accompanying signs of your condition will not be triggered whenever you drink a tea variant that may put your and your baby’s health at risk.

    If you favor tea over other water alternatives, you may want to know if there is any tea variant that may not be good for you. What tea variant will be the most beneficial for both you and your baby’s health? Whether you are a casual tea drinker or one who loves to have a cup of tea each day, you will find the answer that you may be looking for here.

    Guide to Safe Drinking During Pregnancy

    Drinking tea, in general, is safe. In fact, it does not only keep you hydrated, but it also provides other health benefits that will make you want to have more of it. As long as you don’t exceed the recommended amount to consume, you should be content to note that your next cup of tea will nourish your body and calm your soul.

    As not all teas are made to be equal, you still need to be careful when drinking tea, however. Take note that there are also some tea variants that you need to avoid when you are expecting.

    Benefits of Drinking Tea During Pregnancy

    Drinking teas, especially herbal teas, as well as those specially formulated teas for pregnancy, is the better option than indulging in caffeinated beverages. Drinks that have high caffeine content have a diuretic effect. They can also reduce the nutrients absorbed by the body and easily deplete the adrenal glands.

    Herbal teas and other formulated pregnancy teas, on the other hand, provides a refreshing hydration alternative for you. Drinking these tea variants also makes it easy to assimilate nutrients that you get from the food and drinks that you consume, making it easy to provide nourishment for your body while you are still heavy with a baby.

    These tea variants also contain antioxidants and vitamin C that can help lower your anxiety and stress levels. That is why you may feel that your mood is lifted after drinking a cup of tea. You will feel relaxed and with just enough energy to go through the day without the jittery feeling that other caffeinated drinks may give.

    There are several tea variants that can also help ease your morning sickness as well as those that can prepare your uterus for labor.

    As promised, we now give to you our list of the best tea for pregnancy. If you find a specific brand or other healthy tea variants, please share the love by sharing your experience as well.

    Ginger Tea

    A cup of ginger tea will let you say goodbye to your morning sickness. It also promotes good digestion and helps relieve any tummy problems that you may be experiencing at the moment. A warm cup of ginger tea will help warm your tummy, stimulate absorption of nutrients, so feel revived after having a drink.

    If you have a cough and cold, drinking a cup of this tea variant can easily help loosen your phlegm and relax your airways. You’ll feel refreshed after having a cup of ginger tea.

    Nettle Tea

    Nettle tea has been used as a natural cure for several health concerns, including muscle and joint pains, allergies, urinary tract infection or inflammation, irritations in the skin, as well as some digestive problem. It can also help relieve hay fever as well as reduce the allergic symptoms accompanying the condition, such as sneezing and itching.

    A cup of nettle tea does not contain sugar, fat, sodium, or cholesterol, but it provides a good amount of carbohydrates and protein. It is also a rich source of water-soluble iron, silica, magnesium, potassium, and calcium. It is a great source of antioxidants that can help protect your body from free radicals.

    Raspberry Leaf Tea

    Raspberry leaf tea has several benefits, especially when used during the latter phase of the pregnancy. Drinking this tea variant can help prepare your uterus for labor as it contains a good amount of mineral. Raspberry leaf tea creates a gentle astringent effect to help prevent post-partum hemorrhage.

    Raspberry leaf is known to support breast milk production and is also high in calcium, magnesium, and iron. It is best to drink this tea variant from your second trimester onwards.

    Dandelion Leaf Tea

    Dandelion leaf has a high potassium content. Drinking this tea can help promote more frequent urination to support the health of the kidney. It has anti-cancer properties. This herbal tea also contains antioxidants that can help the body get rid of toxins easily.

    Dandelion leaf tea is considered generally safe for drinking. Consuming up to three cups a day will be good for your health, but if you experience any unpleasant effect after drinking a cup or two, you need to consult your doctor right away. Consumption of this tea variant may also interact with certain medication, so you will need to check with your primary health provider for a proper recommendation on the use of this tea variant.

    Peppermint and Spearmint tea

    These tea variants provide a soothing relief for the stomach muscles and will be a good remedy for an upset stomach. They are considered to be safe to be consumed during pregnancy as they may also help ease morning sickness.

    Teas That You Should Not Drink If You Are Pregnant

    Studies have found a link to reduced birth weights with caffeine consumption during pregnancy. Caffeine is absorbed and reaches the placenta easily. As caffeine has been proven to cause some uncomfortable symptoms, including an increased feeling of agitation, restlessness, irritability, muscle tremors, and more, you will need to be careful in choosing the tea variant that you may want to consume.

    This list will include Don Quai, ginseng, licorice root, rosemary, oregano, and marjoram. As always consult a health practitioner for a better recommendation if you are experiencing any unpleasant effects after drinking any tea variant or if you have any concerns about the teas that you are drinking.

  • How to Use a Home Pregnancy Test Kit

    There is nothing comparable to the excitement that a mother-to-be experiences. If you see the signs– your period gets delayed, unexplainable cravings or food aversion, nausea with or without vomiting, headache, mood swings, you’ll definitely want to know if you are really having a baby. Fortunately, you can easily find the right device to achieve an accurate result of the best pregnancy test available today.

    Advancement in science and technology makes it possible for the woman today to make some control over a lot of aspects of life, including pregnancy. Pregnancy control medications and forms make it easy for her to somehow manage her monthly period calendar to know when she can have a baby. This also makes it possible for a woman like you to verify whether you are really having a baby or not. You don’t need to go to a doctor to that, however.

    Home pregnancy tests can easily do the job for you should you need to know if you are on the way to becoming a new mom. These pregnancy test kits detect the presence of the hormone hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) or pregnancy hormone, which is only found in the urine of a pregnant woman. Most drug stores and online sellers offer several brands of home pregnancy tests that you may use when necessary.

    Using the device is also quite easy. Each pack of home pregnancy test kit that you will buy comes with an easy-to-follow guide on how to use the kit. To make sure that you will have an accurate and reliable result, however, we recommend following this step-by-step guide to using home pregnancy tests.

    Before Taking the Test

    Buy a home pregnancy test

    You can find different brands offering home pregnancy tests on the market, and it doesn’t really matter which you these you opt for. All of these home pregnancy tests work by detecting levels of the pregnancy hormone in your urine.

    When buying a pregnancy test, you will need to check the expiration date on the box. You also need to make sure that the box is fully intact or not showing any discrepancies in the printing on the box or signs that it has been in the shelf for some time, as this could affect the result of the test. Consider getting a pack that offers two test sticks in the box. This will be most beneficial if you are planning to do the test early. You can use the other stick a week after if you got a negative result in the first test.

    Buying a pregnancy test from a well-known pharmacy or store that has a high turnover. This ensures that you will more likely get a newer pregnancy test, instead of one that has been the shelf for months. Take note also that if you have a pregnancy test at home that remains unused for several months, you may need to get a new one, instead of as conditions such as shelf life and environmental temperature can affect the results of the test.

    Note that there are brands that claim that they can accurately detect pregnancy even on the day of your missed period or earlier. While the tests may be sensitive enough to pick up the higher hCG levels in your urine, testing when it’s quite early in the pregnancy may not yield a reliable result as your body may not be able to actually produce higher levels of hCG that early. You can only risk of getting a negative result, even when you are already pregnant.

    As for many generic brand pregnancy tests sold in drugstores, most are also manufactured in the same factories as other better-known brands. That gives you the assurance that even those generic brand pregnancy test kits will provide reliable results.

    Know when to take the test

    Experts advise waiting at least a day after a missed period before taking a home pregnancy test. A bit longer waiting, perhaps up to two weeks is the best, however. This will ensure better accuracy when taking the test, as hCG levels rise quickly in expecting women. Note that the pregnancy hormone develops only after a fertilized egg implants in the pregnant woman’s uterus. This happens on or around the 6th day after fertilization. This is why it is best to wait a little longer just to make sure that the result of the test will be more reliable. Experts do recommend taking the home pregnancy test first thing in the morning as this is the time when your urine is most concentrated and pregnancy hormone levels are highest.

    Always read the label

    To get the best result, make sure to follow the manufacturers’ instructions. Take note of specifics indicated in the label, including the method of collecting the urine, the length of time needed to soak the stick in your urine, as well as the symbols that will indicate a positive or negative result. Do not be ashamed to ask questions from pharmacy assistants if you are not sure how to use the pregnancy test kit.

    Be prepared

    The excitement builds up as you anticipate the result of a pregnancy test. You need to stay calm and focused to make sure that you’ll be able to follow the instructions to the dot and have an accurate result. Have someone (your partner or a close friend) to accompany you to the bathroom and ask him or her to help you be emotionally prepared. Wash your hands with soap and warm water before unwrapping the testing stick.

    Take the Test

    Based on the type of test, you will either urinate on the testing stick or into a small plastic cup included in the kit. Either way, it is best to use the midstream as a sample. That means you’ll pee a little before inserting the stick or collect the rest of the urine in the cup provided. Make sure to follow what is indicated in the product label. So, it requires you to use only 8 seconds of your pee, you have to stick with it. If you are to dip the test stick into a cup of urine, make sure that the display window faces upwards.

    For the plastic cup method, you will use the dropper that comes with the package. Some pregnancy test kit will require you to dip the absorbent end of the test stick into the collected urine. You will then need to dip it in the cup of urine for the amount of time indicated in the instructions.

    Once done, you will need to wait a few minutes while the stick analyzes your urine. As always, you’ll need to read the product instructions for the exact amount of time you’ll need to wait before the result is shown on the stick’s display window.

  • Keeping Hydrated for Exercise

    Staying hydrated while working out is key. Here’s some pro tips on how much water is necessary before, during, and after exercising.

    Before exercising

    Before exercising

    This is something most people don’t think about, but is super important. Staying hydrated before you exercise, especially in hot conditions, is key. If you go into your workout dehydrated, two things will happen:

    • You will cause your heart to work harder than normal and necessary
    • Your core temperature will increase quicker

    Those two symptoms will significantly impact your performance. This can even lead to a heat stroke. To make sure you go into your exercise the correct way, stay hydrated.

    If you are unsure if you are dehydrated, the quickest and easiest way to tell is check the color of your urine. The clearer your urine, the more hydrated you are and the darker your urine is, the more dehydrated you are.

    During exercising

    During exercising

    It is important to drink water while exercising in the best water bottles for gym. Not only does being dehydrated affect your energy levels, but also prevents you from reaching your goals. The amount of water you need to consume depends on the following factors:

    • Fitness: fit people sweat quicker and more than those who rarely exercise
    • Exercise intensity: the harder you work, the more you sweat
    • Size: a larger person sweats more than a smaller person
    • Environment: hot and humid conditions leads to more sweat

    The simplest way to tell how much water you drink is to listen to your body. Your body will tell you its thirsty which is a sign you need more fluids. Another way to calculate how much fluid you lose while exercising is by using this equation:

    Your weight before beginning work out – your weight after work out = the amount of kilogram of body weight lost from work out

    Now, you take that number and drink up to a liter and a half of fluid for every kilogram lost.

    After exercising

    After exercising

    That refreshing sip of water after an intense work out not only feels great, but also is great for your body. It will help restore your fluid levels while helping your muscles recover.

    Why is hydrating during exercise important?

    Your body consists of 60% water. You lose a lot of fluids when you exercise, so you need to replenish your body with fluids, so you do not become dehydrated. When you are dehydrated, you become tired quicker and your muscles may tend to cramp. Both your general health and your exercise abilities improve by staying hydrated.

  • Tips To Be In Top Shape When Running In The Heat

    For some, running can drive them to be more and do more. If you love running, exploring even unknown trails, you need to maximize your efforts while staying fit all the time. Bringing the best water bottle for running is one of the things that you should not forget. This can help you properly hydrated (that is if you get to sip smartly at regular intervals) and fuels your body.

    You can get the most benefits with your efforts even when you are running during warmer days if you keep in mind these tips. Remember that heat is one of the most challenging factors that runners have to face when training or competing. Heat and humidity can affect your training and racing results both in the short and long-term.

    Running in the heat affects performance

    When running in the heat, your performance output will be hampered first as your body temperature will easily increase as you sweat in the soaring temperature. As a result, you feel exhausted, and perhaps, even a bit ill.

    As soon as your body temperature rise, your blood is pushed to the skin and you sweat to allow your body temperature to cool down. In the process body fluids are released as you sweat, breathe, and as they evaporate from your body. As body fluids leave the body, the blood level in the body also goes down. This is due to the fact that even the blood has a high water content (92% water). If there is less blood available to transport oxygen to the working muscles and to the brain, the body will be forced to double its efforts to release an equivalent energy just as when it has an acceptable level of blood. With less oxygen, you won’t be able to run as fast or as much.

    Training in the heat can also easily lead to dehydration. This happens as your body’s cooling system (your ability to sweat) weakens, the fluid levels in your body also drop. As a result, controlling the body temperature will also be quite difficult. This leads to the core body temperature to rise quickly. In the end, the body system goes through the vicious cycle that results in the process and severely limits performance.

    Running in the heat affects recovery

    Heat and humidity do not only affect a runner’s performance by making a workout seem to be more difficult, but it can also hinder immediate muscle recovery. As a result, it will affect your ability to perform consecutive workouts.

    After working out or training in a hot and humid environment, your body will spend time and energy to cool off itself first instead of delivering the much-needed nutrients to your battered muscles. That means it will take more time before your body will be able to repair any damage caused by the activity since there the nutrients that will aid the healing process are still waiting for the body to deliver them.

    Tips To Remain In Top Shape When Running In The Heat

    Get your fill at regular intervals

    Even at the beginning of this post, we already emphasized the significance of proper hydration. Hydration is a critical element that can keep your body cool down faster when necessary. As water is an essential element of life, even if no one reminds you to drink, you will do so as soon as you feel thirsty. The problem, however, not getting safely hydrated will only cause dehydration, heat illnesses, or an overall health condition.

    Experts, particularly those at the American College of Sports and Medicine, remind us that pre-hydration is as important as post hydration and re-hydration throughout an intense workout or training. They particularly recommend to consuming enough fluid to keep a healthy balance between fluid lost and the replacement fluid. Two hours before engaging in an intense activity, drink 400–600 mL (14–22 oz) of fluid.

    Hydration should not stop after that, however. You will still need to drink 150–350 mL (6–12 oz) of fluid every 15–20 min (depending on tolerance). Once you are done with your training or workout, you will still need to consume adequate fluids to replace sweat losses during the activity. You will need to drink at least 16–24 oz (450–675 mL) of fluid for every pound (0.5 kg) of body weight that you lose during the entire activity.

    Adjust your workout time and pace

    As you may have already observed, your performance suffers in the heat and humidity. Even professional runners have suffered as a consequence of running in such undesirable temperatures. As such, it is crucial that you adjust your workout times and race paces to ensure that your body will be able to meet the demands of your immediate environment as you run.

    Keep watch of what you drink

    When you engage in high-intense workouts like running, you lose not only body fluids but also use up a lot of your energy in the form of electrolytes.  This only means that the water that you drink may not be enough to keep you properly hydrated. You also need drinks and foods that will help replace the electrolytes that you lose as you workout or train. Sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and chloride should be replaced as you replace the fluids that you released as you sweat. The ACSM also approves and recommends of drinking sports drink  for prolonged physical activity in hot weather.

    Bring your own water bottle

    You can plan your training route where water sources may be available or you can set up your car to a bend where you can stop and get your fill after one round or so. But if you have one of the best water bottles for running, you won’t have to worry where your thirst or the beep to take the next sip is heard. You can just sip as you go. With so many options to choose from, you’ll definitely find one with the most benefits so take your time when you still need to decide which water bottle to go with.

    Conclusion

    As you can see, the majority of your concern to be in top shape when running in the heat is to stay safely hydrated before, during, even after your training or workout. If you can do these simple recommendations, you can be certain that you will always benefit from your runs even if you do it in the heat.