The benefits of prenatal yoga and how to get started

prenatal yogaWhen you are pregnant, it may feel like your body is not your own any more as your body changes in unexpected ways.

Being aware of your new body is just one of the many benefits of prenatal yoga, which is why I encourage pregnant women to try it.

I talk to all of my patients about the benefits of exercise and prenatal yoga, so if this is a conversation that you haven’t had yet with your healthcare provider, it is one you want to have. You should talk to your doctor or midwife before you start yoga or any type of exercise class during pregnancy.

Why prenatal yoga?
There are numerous studies about the benefits of prenatal yoga. Possible benefits include improving sleep, reducing stress and anxiety, and increasing the strength and flexibility of muscles.

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Breastfeeding Basics

Support and resources for moms who plan to breastfeed

breastfeeding ann arborEach woman’s breastfeeding experience is different (even from her first baby to her second), but the one constant is that there are a variety of supports in place to provide answers and encouragement. At no point should you feel like you have to do this alone, because there is a team of people and resources to support you.

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Trying to get pregnant with a second child

ttcWhether getting pregnant the first time was easy or required assistance, there are many factors that influence your ability to get pregnant a second time.

If you are planning a pregnancy, please remember the importance of prenatal vitamins, eating well, and regular activity.

It is difficult to predict from a prior experience how long it might take you to get pregnant.  Your increased age and changing medical history can be factors. Changes in a woman’s ovaries, uterus, and tubes can make it easier or harder to get pregnant for the second time.

Here are some factors that can impact your ability to conceive:

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Support for women with MRKH

MRKHWhen menstrual periods do not come as expected by age 15 or 16, some teens are diagnosed with MRKH (Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser syndrome), which is an uncommon disorder in which the uterus and the vagina fail to develop properly.

The diagnosis of MRKH, also known as vaginal agenesis, is often an unknown entity to the teenager and family and can cause them all to experience feelings of disbelief, grief and loss.

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Prenatal exercise: Listen to your body

prenatal exerciseOne of the questions I ask all of my patients during their first trimester is if they currently exercise and what their plans are for prenatal exercise.

Exercise is vital to the health of a pregnant woman, not only for her physical health, but also for her mental well-being. The numerous benefits of exercise include helping to maintain your body weight during pregnancy and helping to prevent and control gestational diabetes. Exercise is also powerful in preventing depression.

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If my mom or dad had infertility issues, will I?

The link between family history and fertility

family history blog photoMany patients are curious about whether fertility issues their parents might have struggled with may have a role in their own ability to get pregnant. My answer is always the same: your parents’ issues will not necessarily become yours.

In general, the more you know about your family’s health history, the more your medical team can start using those facts in evaluating your overall health and fertility picture.

There are many possible causes for decreased fertility, including endometriosis, fibroids, premature menopause, polycystic ovary syndrome, low sperm count, underlying conditions, and physical issues.  Some of these – hypothyroidism or polycystic ovary syndrome in particular – do tend to run in families.

Still, patterns of fertility in your family may not predict how easily you will conceive.

We know, for example, that fertility decreases with age. In general, older women have a lower chance of getting pregnant. By the time women are 30 years old, a quarter of them will have issues with fertility. If your mom or sister was trying to conceive around age 40 or later, that could have been the source of her difficulties.

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