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Pregnancy Week 26
26 Weeks Pregnant: The 26th Week Of Pregnancy
This is the last week of the second trimester. Time may seem to drag, but just remember that you are one week closer to meeting your new baby.
What changes are occurring with your body?
The top of your uterus can now be felt about 2 ½ inches (6.3 cm) above your belly button. During the remainder of your pregnancy you will grow about a ½ inch (1.25 cm) per week. If you have been watching your weight throughout your pregnancy and have been sticking to a balanced diet, your weight gain should be between 16 and 22 pounds (7.25 To 10 kg).
How big is your baby?
Your baby is approximately 13.38 inches (34 cm) long and Weighs 2 pounds (0.9 kg).
What is happening with your baby?
The development that is occurring at this stage may seem small and insignificant, but it is very important as your baby prepares for delivery. The nerves in the ears are developing and allowing your baby to respond more consistently to sounds.
Your baby is also continuing to swallow amniotic fluid which is fostering lung development. If you are having a little boy, his testicles have begun their descent into his scrotum.
What should you plan for this week?
During your next prenatal appointment you should be prepared for The following tests and discussions:
Tips for making your pregnancy better
Despite the previous concern regarding mercury levels in fish, the FDA now recommends that women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or plan on becoming pregnant consume more fish. The FDA recommends eating 8 to 12 ounces of fish low in mercury per week, which amounts to about 2 to 3 servings of fish per week.
Aim to eat a variety of fish lower in mercury including salmon, tilapia, shrimp, tuna (canned light), cod, and catfish. Consumption of white (albacore) tuna should not exceed 6 ounces per week.
There are four types of fish that should not be eaten while pregnant or breastfeeding as they are high in mercury. These include tilefish from the Gulf of Mexico, shark, king mackerel, and swordfish.
Tips for mom’s partner
As your partner reaches the end of the second trimester, she may begin to feel less attractive. It is important for you to communicate how beautiful she truly is. Be intentional this week to make her feel special by taking her on a date or planning a special outing.
Last updated: September 2, 2016 at 19:06 pm
The Myths Regarding Nutrition During Pregnancy
This blog is about uncovering the nutrition myths during pregnancy
Exercising During Pregnancy
This is a great video describing exercise during pregnancy. If you are interested in exercising while pregnant (which I recommend), you should watch this.
Myth #10: The Baby Will Take What It Needs From You
It is up to you as the mother to make sure you are eating adequate calories for your baby’s growth. The fetus is not a parasite. I always remembered that phrase from nutrition 1010, and it always reminded me that the baby cannot take what it needs from you. You eat your nutrients first, and then the baby takes the extra available nutrients from you. If you are not consuming enough calories, the baby will not either.
When your nutrient intake falls below the optimal levels, the baby’s growth and development are compromised more than your health. Again, the nutrients that you intake will be used first for your health and physiological changes, and then for placental development.
Here are some examples:
- Underweight women who gain the same amount of weight as normal weight women tend to deliver smaller infants and retain more of the weight gained at the expense of fetal growth
- Fetal growth tends to be reduced in pregnant teens who gain height compared to fetal growth in teens who do not grow during pregnancy
- Vitamin and mineral deficiencies and toxicities in newborns have been observed in women who showed no signs of deficiency or toxicity diseases during pregnancy
It is important to know that the fetus is harmed more by poor maternal nutritional status than is the mother. Please make sure you eat enough calories during pregnancy, because the fetus will be harmed if you do not. Of course you have to make sure you do not consume too many calories to avoid unnecessary weight gain and health complications.
This is my last post on my blog. I hope everyone learned a lot and enjoyed my site. Thanks for your comments everyone 🙂
Myth #9: Exercise May Complicate Your Pregnancy
Back Pain Is A Major Problem In Pregnancy
Some women believe that exercising may complicate their pregnancy, and that pregnancy is a time to relax and take it easy. Physical exercise is beneficial no matter what age you are or what conditions you may be under. There is no evidence that moderate or vigorous exercise undertaken by healthy women consuming high-quality diets and gaining appropriate amounts of weight is harmful to the mother or the fetus.
“Body size and gestational age, as well as other health parameters, were similar in the group of women who followed the exercise regime compared to those who did no form of physical activity during pregnancy, which indicates that exercise poses no threat to the health of the fetus,” co-author Jonathan R. Ruiz explains
There are many benefits to the mother and fetus concerning exercise during pregnancy and they include:
- Feeling healthier
- Improved sense of well-being
- Shorter labours
- Reduce the risk of developing gestational diabetes
- Reduce the risk of developing pregnancy-induced hypertension
- Reduced lower back pain
- Decreased chance of excessive weight gain
- Decreased chance of blood clots
However, in women who are malnourished, exercise may be a bad thing in that exercise may reduce fetal growth.
Drink Plenty of Water During Exercise
It is considered safe to begin an exercise program during pregnancy. Actually, it is recommended! Starting an exercise program may improve fetal growth. You just have to make sure that you stay hydrated and drink plenty of fluids. It is also important to make sure you don’t become overheated and exert yourself too much!
What Kind of Exercise? How Long For?
The types of exercise that pregnant women can engage in includes:
Walking Is A Great Form Of Exercise
The types of activities better saved for after pregnancy include:
- Water skiing
- Snow skiing and snowboarding
- Mountain climbing
- Scuba diving
- Horseback riding
It is advised that pregant women engage in exercise three to five times per week for about 30 minutes. Yes, you did read correctly. It is the same recommendation for the general public. Remember: exercising during pregnancy is recommended as well as eating a balanced diet from all food groups.
Brown, J. (2008). Nutrition through the lifecycle. Belmont, USA: Thomson Wadsworth
R Barakat, A Lucia, J R Ruiz, ‘Resistance exercise training during pregnancy and newborn’s birth size: a randomised controlled trial’, International Journal of Obesity, 2009, doi:10.1038/ijo.2009.150
Myth #8: All Herbal Remedies Are Safe During Pregnancy
The use of herbal remedies during pregnancy is becoming increasingly common. This is scary because there is little evidence on the safety and effectiveness of these herbal remedies. Natural herbs do not go through the same evaluation process by the FDA. The quality and strength of a herbal supplement may vary between two batches of the same product and between products from different manufacturers. There is no way of knowing how safe the product is. If you become pregnant, it is advised that you avoid herbs during pregnancy because they are rarely tested in pregnant women. There are concerns that testing may damage the fetus.
It is estimated that one third of herbal remedies are deemed unsafe for use by pregnant women. Blue cohosh was once thought to safely induce uterine contractions, but now it is learned that it may increase the risk of heart failure in the baby. It can also induce labour. Ginseng, which is the most commonly used herb in the world is now found to cause malformations in rat embryos. If it causes malformations in rat’s embryos, human embryos could be affected as well. Gingko may promote excessive bleeding. Other unsafe herbs during pregnancy include:
- Aloe vera
- Black cohosh
- Black haw
- Cotton root
- Dandelion leaf
- Dong Quai – uterine stimulant and relaxant effects
- Ephedra, ma huang
- Goldenseal – may cross the placenta
- Saw palmetto – has hormonal activity
Not all herbs are considered unsafe. Although the list is shorter, there are some herbs (if taken in small amounts) that can be taken during pregnancy without harm to you or your baby. Peppermint tea and ginger root are considered safe and are taken for nausea. One gram oral doses of ginger for four days was found to decrease the severity of nausea and vomiting in the majority of women. Rosemary is considered safe when taken is small amounts (eg. sprinkled on your tomato sauce). Other herbs considered safe in small amounts are:
- Red raspberry leaf – rich in iron, helped tone the uterus, increase milk production, decrease nausea, ease labour pains
- Slippery Elm Bark – help relieve nausea and heartburn
- Oats and Oat Straw – rich in calcium and magnesium; helps relieve anxiety, restlessness and irritated skin
Red Raspberry Leaf
As you can see, there are many different herbs available to pregnant women. It is advised that pregnant women stay away from them because they are not evaluated by the FDA. However, there are some herbs that are considered safe, but not many. You may end up taking some herbal supplements to decrease nausea and vomiting and become interested to take different ones, that may risk your baby’s health.
Brown, J. (2008). Nutrition through the lifecycle. Belmont, USA: Thomson Wadsworth
Women’s Health Series: Herbs of Special Interest to Women. J Am Pharm Assoc 40(2):234-242, 2000.
Myth #7: Salt Will Make You Swell and Cause Hypertension
Sodium is an essential nutrient and should never be removed from your diet, especially during pregnancy! Sodium plays a role in maintaining your body’s water balance. The requirements for sodium actually increase during pregnancy due to plasma volume expansion.
Around 30 years ago, it was thought that sodium increased water retention and blood pressure, and limiting sodium would prevent edema (swelling) and high blood pressure. We now know that this is not the case, and if you decide to restrict your sodium intake, you could complicate the course and outcome of your pregnancy. Restriction may exhaust sodium conservation mechanisms and lead to excessive sodium loss.
Thirty years later, we know that sodium restriction is not recommended during pregnancy for the control of high blood pressure or edema. You can be given no advice concerning your sodium intake during pregnancy, and just remember to salt to taste. Make sure you check your blood pressure when you visit your doctor just in case, and eat a balanced diet.
Check Your Blood Pressure When Visiting The Doctor
The causes of most cases of hypertension during pregnancy remains unknown. Chronic hypertension is diagnosed prior to pregnancy or before 20 weeks after conception. It is more likely to occur in African Americans, obese women, women over 35 years of age, and women who experienced high blood pressure in a previous pregnancy. To avoid hypertension during pregnancy, consume an adequate and balanced diet before and during pregnancy. If you are worried about consuming too much salt and want to restrict it, remember that limiting salt may impair fetal growth.
Edema is a normal physiological change during pregnancy and occurs in 60-75% of women. Edema is swelling (usually in the legs and feet, but can extend throughout the body) due to the accumulation of extracellular fluid. High gains of water is associated with increasing degress of edema and weight gain. Edema generally reflects a healthy expansion of plasma volume. The greater the expansion of plasma volume, the greater the newborn size. Edema is normal and do not try to prevent edema because it may impair the growth of your newborn.
Brown, J. (2008). Nutrition through the lifecycle. Belmont, USA: Thomson Wadsworth
11 Impressive Health Benefits of Salmon
Salmon is one of the most nutritious foods on the planet.
This popular fatty fish is loaded with nutrients and may reduce risk factors for several diseases. It's also tasty, versatile and widely available.
Here are 11 amazing health benefits of salmon.
Salmon is one of the best sources of the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA.
A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) portion of farmed salmon has 2.3 grams of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, while the same portion of wild salmon contains 2.6 grams (1, 2).
Unlike most other fats, omega-3 fats are considered "essential," meaning you must get them from your diet since your body can't create them.
Although there is no recommended daily intake (RDI) of omega-3 fatty acids, many health organizations recommend that healthy adults get a minimum of 250–500 mg of combined EPA and DHA per day (3).
EPA and DHA have been credited with several health benefits, such as decreasing inflammation, lowering blood pressure, reducing the risk of cancer and improving the function of the cells that line your arteries (4, 5, 6, 7, 8).
A 2012 analysis of 16 controlled studies found that taking 0.45–4.5 grams of omega-3 fatty acids per day led to significant improvements in arterial function (8).
What's more, studies have shown that getting these omega-3 fats from fish increases levels in your body just as effectively as supplementing with fish oil capsules (9, 10).
As for how much fish to eat, consuming at least two servings of salmon per week can help meet your omega-3 fatty acid needs.
Bottom Line: Salmon is rich in long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure and decrease risk factors for disease.
Salmon is rich in high-quality protein.
Like omega-3 fats, protein is an essential nutrient that you must get from your diet.
Protein plays a number of important roles in the body, including helping your body heal after injury, protecting bone health and maintaining muscle mass during weight loss and the aging process (11, 12, 13, 14, 15).
Recent research has found that for optimal health, each meal should provide at least 20–30 grams of high-quality protein (16).
A 3.5-ounce serving of salmon contains 22–25 grams of protein (1, 2).
Bottom Line: Your body requires protein to heal, protect bone health and prevent muscle loss, among other things. Salmon provides 22–25 grams of protein per 3.5-ounce serving.
Salmon is an excellent source of B vitamins.
Below is the B vitamin content in 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of wild salmon (2):
These vitamins are involved in several important processes in your body, including turning the food you eat into energy, creating and repairing DNA and reducing the inflammation that can lead to heart disease (17).
Studies have shown that all of the B vitamins work together to maintain optimal functioning of your brain and nervous system. Unfortunately, even people in developed countries may become deficient in one or more of these vitamins (18).
Bottom Line: Salmon is an excellent source of several B vitamins, which are needed for energy production, controlling inflammation and protecting heart and brain health.
Salmon is quite high in potassium.
This is especially true of wild salmon, which provides 18% of the RDI per 3.5 ounces, versus 11% for farmed (1, 2).
In fact, salmon contains more potassium than an equivalent amount of banana, which provides 10% of the RDI (19).
Potassium helps control your blood pressure. It also reduces your risk of stroke (20, 21, 22).
A large analysis of 31 studies found that supplementing with potassium significantly reduced blood pressure, especially when added to a high-sodium diet (22).
One of the ways in which potassium lowers blood pressure is by preventing excess water retention.
One study found that restricting potassium led to an increase in water retention and blood pressure in healthy people with normal blood pressure (23).
Bottom Line: 100 grams of salmon provide 11–18% of the RDI of potassium, which helps control blood pressure and prevent excess fluid retention.
Selenium is a mineral found in soil and certain foods.
It's considered a trace mineral, meaning your body only needs tiny amounts of it. Nevertheless, getting enough selenium in your diet is important.
Studies have shown that selenium helps protect bone health, decreases thyroid antibodies in people with autoimmune thyroid disease and may reduce the risk of cancer (24, 25, 26, 27).
3.5 ounces of salmon provide 59–67% of the RDI of selenium (1, 2).
Consuming salmon and other high-selenium seafood has been shown to improve blood levels of selenium in people whose diets are low in this mineral (28, 29).
One study found that blood levels of selenium increased significantly more in people who consumed two servings of salmon per week than those who consumed fish oil capsules containing less selenium (29).
Bottom Line: A 100-gram serving of salmon provides 59–67% of the RDI of selenium, a mineral involved in protecting bone health, improving thyroid function and reducing the risk of cancer.
Astaxanthin is a compound linked to several powerful health effects. As a member of the carotenoid family of antioxidants, astaxanthin gives salmon its red pigment.
Astaxanthin appears to lower the risk of heart disease by reducing oxidation of LDL (the "bad") cholesterol and increasing HDL (the "good") cholesterol (30, 31).
One study found that 3.6 mg of astaxanthin daily was enough to reduce oxidation of LDL cholesterol, which could potentially reduce the risk of heart disease (30).
In addition, astaxanthin is believed to work with salmon's omega-3 fatty acids to protect the brain and nervous system from inflammation (32).
What's more, astaxanthin may even help prevent skin damage and help you look younger.
In one study, 44 people with sun-damaged skin who were given a combination of 2 mg of astaxanthin and 3 grams of collagen for 12 weeks experienced significant improvements in skin elasticity and hydration (33).
Salmon contains between 0.4–3.8 mg of astaxanthin per 3.5 ounces, with sockeye salmon providing the highest amount (34).
Bottom Line: Astaxanthin is an antioxidant found in salmon that may benefit heart, brain, nervous system and skin health.
Eating salmon on a regular basis may help protect against heart disease (35, 36).
This is due, in large part, to salmon's ability to boost omega-3s in the blood. Many people have too many omega-6 fatty acids in their blood, in relation to omega-3s.
Research suggests that when the balance of these two fatty acids is off, the risk of heart disease increases (37, 38).
In a four-week study of healthy men and women, consuming two servings of farmed salmon per week increased omega-3 blood levels by 8–9% and decreased omega-6 levels (39).
Also, consuming salmon and other fatty fish has been found to lower triglycerides and raise levels of omega-3 fats more than fish oil supplements do (40, 41).
Bottom Line: Consuming salmon can help protect against heart disease by increasing levels of omega-3 fats, decreasing levels of omega-6 fats and lowering triglycerides.
Consuming salmon frequently can help you lose weight and keep it off.
Like other high-protein foods, it helps regulate the hormones that control appetite and make you feel full (42).
In addition, your metabolic rate increases more after eating protein-rich foods like salmon, compared to other foods (43).
Research suggests that the omega-3 fats in salmon and other fatty fish may promote weight loss and decrease belly fat in overweight individuals (44, 45, 46).
One study in children with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease found that supplementing with DHA, the main omega-3 found in salmon, led to significantly greater reductions in liver fat and belly fat, compared to a placebo (46).
In addition, salmon is fairly low in calories. A 3.5-ounce serving of farmed salmon has only 206 calories, and wild salmon has even fewer at 182 calories (1, 2).
Bottom Line: Consuming salmon may help you control your weight by reducing appetite, boosting metabolic rate, increasing insulin sensitivity and decreasing belly fat.
Salmon can be a powerful weapon against inflammation.
Many experts believe that inflammation is the root cause of most chronic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes and cancer (47, 48, 49).
Several studies have found that eating more salmon helps reduce markers of inflammation in people at risk for these and other diseases (35, 36, 50, 51).
In an eight-week study of middle-aged and elderly Chinese women, consuming 3 ounces (80 grams) of salmon and other fatty fish daily led to reductions in the inflammatory markers TNF-a and IL-6 (35).
In another eight-week study, 12 men with ulcerative colitis who consumed 21 ounces (600 grams) of salmon per week experienced a decrease in inflammatory markers in their blood and colon, along with self-reported improvements in symptoms (51).
Bottom Line: Salmon and other fatty fish can help lower inflammation, which may reduce risk factors for several diseases and improve symptoms in people with inflammatory conditions.
A growing number of studies suggest that including salmon in your diet might improve brain function.
Both fatty fish and fish oil have been found to reduce depressive symptoms, protect fetal brain health during pregnancy, decrease anxiety, slow age-related memory loss and lower the risk of dementia (52, 53, 54, 55, 56).
In one study of people aged 65 and older, consuming fatty fish at least twice a week was linked to a 13% slower decline in age-related memory issues than consuming fatty fish less than once a week (55).
In another study, people with normal brain function who consumed fatty fish on a regular basis were found to have more grey matter in their brains. Researchers noted that this could reduce their risk of memory problems later in life (57).
Bottom Line: Frequent salmon consumption may help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, protect fetal brain health in pregnancy and decrease the risk of age-related memory problems.
Salmon is undeniably delicious. It has a unique, delicate flavor with a less "fishy" taste than many other fatty fish, such as sardines and mackerel.
It is also extremely versatile. It can be steamed, sautéed, smoked, grilled, baked or poached. It can also be served raw in sushi and sashimi.
Additionally, canned salmon is a quick and inexpensive option that provides the same impressive health benefits as fresh fish. In fact, almost all canned salmon is wild rather than farmed, and its nutrition profile is excellent.
Look for it in BPA-free cans to avoid the potential health risks that have been linked to this chemical.
Here are some healthy recipes for incorporating this fish into your diet:
- Use canned salmon in place of tuna when making tuna salad with healthy mayo.
- Cobb salad with canned salmon, hard-boiled egg, avocado, lettuce and tomatoes.
- Smoked salmon and cream cheese on sprouted-grain bread, with cucumber or tomato slices.
- Grilled salmon with avocado sauce.
- Simple herb-crusted salmon.
- Crab-stuffed salmon with lemon butter.
Bottom Line: Salmon has a delicious flavor and can be prepared in many different ways. Canned salmon is a convenient and inexpensive option.
Salmon is a nutritional powerhouse that provides several impressive health benefits.
Consuming at least two servings per week can help you meet your nutrient needs and reduce the risk of several diseases.
In addition, salmon is tasty, satisfying and versatile. Including this fatty fish as a regular part of your diet may very well improve your quality of life.
An evidence-based nutrition article from our experts at Authority Nutrition.
Http://www. healthline. com/nutrition/11-benefits-of-salmon