First Trimester Diet Guide

The first few weeks of your pregnancy is an exciting time for the entire family. Expect your relatives and family members to flood you with tips about how make the nine-month journey stress free and healthy, but they will also be giving you various tips of what you should and shouldn’t eat.

Balanced Meals

You do not just eat for two people, but you have to eat right; that means maintaining the right balance of essential vitamins and minerals that will keep you and your baby healthy. During the first trimester, you will have to increase your daily intake of certain food groups. For example, pregnant women will be advised to take more food rich in iron, calcium, zinc, folate, and fiber. Generally, you should have 3 to 5 servings daily of vegetables; 3 to 4 servings of fruits daily; 3 daily servings of dairy; 2 to 3 servings daily of protein; and 3 servings daily of whole grains.

Know Your Food

When it comes to fruit, always go for fresh although canned, frozen, and juices are also fine if there are no alternatives. You must, however, include at leas one citrus fruit in your diet. For vegetables, increase your intake of leafy greens and make sure they are always fresh from the market. Good dairy sources can come from milk, cheese, yogurt, and fortified soy milk. Get your daily dose of whole grains in the form of cereals, crackers, and bread, while healthy protein should come from lean meat, fish, poultry, seeds, nuts, and lentils.

Don’t Eat More

The point is to increase the essential vitamins and minerals, not increase the serving of each meal. You will not be needing the extra calories until later in your pregnancy, but you will need more folic acid, protein, and vitamins A and D on your first trimester. Supplements can help augment your diet but consult your doctor first before taking any vitamins or medications during pregnancy. Stay within the daily recommended allowance and use only the products recommended by your doctor.

Extra Calories

You will need a slight increase of your caloric intake, but you should be careful where you get it from. Ideally, pregnant women will need an extra 300 calories, but this can change depending on your current health condition. You should also look for food rich in complex carbohydrates along with fiber to avoid tummy issues. The best sources for carbohydrates are legumes, beans, pasta, whole wheat bread, and vegetables.

Colorful Diet

The best indication that you are eating healthy is by looking at the variety of colors on your plate. Have as many greens, yellows, and reds when it comes to vegetables. For fruits, pick citrus, avocado, banana, apple, watermelon, mango, and grapes. Most seafood are fine if you do not have allergies, but you need to cut down on deep sea fish like shrimp, king mackerel and sword fish. You should also avoid anything raw or undercooked, soft cheeses, raw sprouts, non-pasteurized milk, caffeine, and sweetened beverages. If you are feeling nauseous and don’t like the food set before you, pick tummy-friendly food that will not give you diarrhea.

STD and Pregnancy

Most first-time parents are unaware about the dangers of undiagnosed and untreated sexually-transmitted diseases during pregnancy. Complications can be life-threatening for both the mother and the baby, that is why you should be aware about what to do when you are diagnosed with STD while expecting a baby.

Think About Getting Tested

In Singapore, you can get STD screening using kits you can buy at clinics. This is a convenient way to get tested if you are uncertain about going to a clinic yourself. You and your partner should talk about both getting tested when planning for a baby, but if this was not possible, you can still get tested during your routine prenatal checkups.

You Can Still Get Infected

Even when you tested negative before the pregnancy, you can still get infected while carrying the baby. Being pregnant does not automatically shield you from STD if you are still sexually active with your partner. You can avoid this by getting tested with your partner during your first prenatal checkup. The earlier the detection of the infection, the better the chances for a successful treatment.

STD Affects Your Baby

Women can suffer from complication during pregnancy or go through a difficult childbirth because of STD. In worse cases, it may even end up in a miscarriage. Some problems will not be obvious until weeks later, so if you have tested positive, take all possible measures to protect your baby during childbirth. There are ways to prevent your baby from getting infected while you yourself are undergoing treatment.

STD Can Be Prevented

While it is still possible to enjoy intimate moments with your partner while pregnant, you must make sure that your partner uses latex condoms to protect yourself from diseases. It would also be safer if you both undergo STD testing.

It Can Be Treated

Some types of STDs can be treated during pregnancy such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, bacterial vaginosis, and trichomoniasis. Most of these can be cured, too, if treated early. Others like HIV, herpes, and hepatitis B cannot be cured but the doctors can take measure to prevent the virus from infecting the baby during childbirth.

STDs Affect You and the Baby Differently

Each type of STD affects you and your unborn child in many ways. Most of them also can only be transmitted during childbirth, not during the nine months you are carrying the fetus.

  • Hepatitis B can be transmitted during the delivery, so doctors have to treat the child right after birth.
  • Hepatitis C can be passed on during pregnancy and might lead to premature birth or low birth weight.
  • HIV can be passed during pregnancy, labor, vaginal delivery, and breastfeeding. You can reduce the transmission during the early part of your pregnancy if you are given early treatment.
  • Syphilis can cause stillbirth, premature birth, or even death after birth. Babies will also have several organ complications.
  • Chlamydia can lead to preterm labor, low birth weight, and premature membrane rupture. If not treated, the baby might get infected during vaginal delivery.
  • Gonorrhea can lead to low birth weight, premature birth, and premature membrane rupture. It can only be passed to the baby during vaginal birth.

5 Important Things to Know about PCOS

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, or commonly known as PCOS, is a common hormone disorder among women, affecting an estimated of one in every five women. Surprisingly, despite of how common it is, many women don’t know its existence and there’s a lack of information about the condition.

Here are five important things about PCOS that every woman should know.

1. One test may not be enough to detect PCOS

As of the moment, there’s no single test that can diagnose PCOS. Evidently, this is one of the reasons so many women are suffering without realizing they have it. However, according to experts, doctors should confirm the condition if you show two or more of these signs: high androgen levels, ovarian cysts and/or disrupted ovulation. The best you can do is to get an ultrasound and a blood test. If you have any of the mentioned indicators, the more you need further examinations.

2. It affects not only your skin

If left untreated, PCOS can cause more health problems, from diabetes to heart disease and even cancer. We’re not saying this to worry you if you’re diagnosed; we’re saying this so that you’ll seek medical support as early as possible. Go to your gynaecologist and get checked. If PCOS is confirmed, know your treatment options and follow your doctor’s advice.

3. You can still get pregnant

Many patients with PCOS think that it’s impossible for them to get pregnant, but that’s not true. In fact, researches about fertility and health issues associated with PCOS unlock more and more solutions to help PCOS-diagnosed women to conceive. Just remember that having this condition doesn’t mean you cannot get pregnant.

4. Keeping a healthy weight is imperative

The most effective treatment for PCOS is not clomid, birth control pills, metformin or spironolactone, but attaining and keeping a normal weight through regular exercise and healthy low-glycemic diet. Maintaining a healthy weight will lower the risk for cancer and make your body more responsive to treatments.

5. The symptoms are varied

Signs and symptoms of PCOS vary significantly from person to person. Some of the most common signs include recurring acne, very oily skin, irregular periods, weight gain and excessive facial and body hair growth. But there are also other signs and symptoms that are more surprising than those mentioned, such as higher levels of depression, skin tags especially around the armpits and neck, getting dandruff more frequently and even deeper voice—all of which will clearly give you an idea of how much human body is regulated by hormones.

Considering the limited information of PCOS, it’s important to know as much as you can about the condition. If you exhibit any of these symptoms, make sure to get yourself checked. Up to 10% of women in the world have PCOS, so you are definitely not alone.

The Bad Side of Muscle Relaxants  

 

Muscle relaxants are helpful – if used appropriately. Muscle relaxants help in easing muscular pain. Many Singaporeans employ the use of muscle relaxants but we have to be wary because there are a number of side effects linked with them. Unless we consult our doctors first, we should not take one at all for our safety.

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When we have sprains, strains and muscle spasms, muscle relaxants are our quick solution. We need to keep in mind that muscle relaxants do not heal our injuries but it provides temporary relief from muscle pain. Examples of muscle relaxants include chlorzoxazone, carisoprol, metaxalone, cyclobenzaprine and methocarbamol.

As mentioned earlier, these drugs are without side effects. The use of relaxants is only for a short period because long periods will lead to dependency and health abuse therefore discouraged by many physicians. Muscle relaxants focus on our central nervous system. If ingested, a person may experience:

  • Alertness: Muscle relaxants can affect the alertness of a person. A person may experience dizziness, drowsiness, blurred vision, steadiness and clumsiness. These can affect the alertness of a person and if experienced, certain activities should be avoided like driving.

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  • Potential heart and liver problems: There are particular relaxants called chlorzoxazone and quinine sulphate that can potentially develop heart and liver problems.
  • Urine color changes: Another side effect is the change in urine color. Patients should not worry because the change in color is harmless and the color will return once the medication is discontinued.
  • Other mild side effects: The side effects vary depending on the person. Some persons may experience dry mouth, muscle fatigue, fainting, hiccups, nausea, committing, diarrhoea, constipation, sleep disorders, weakness and trembling.

If the side effects persist, we have to go see our physician right away. It is important that we notice the side effects and do not ignore it because it might lead to more serious ones like potential and liver problems.

For those who take muscle relaxants, doctors usually recommend it together with exercise, healthy diet, rest, physical therapy and other treatments. The important thing here is not to develop dependency. It is always highly recommended that we take the right doses prescribed to us and if it does not relieve the pain anymore, we still need to see our doctors.

It is easy to take relaxants especially if we feel pain but it should not be taken lightly and without careful consideration. As much as possible, we should not consider relaxants and if the pain is unbearable, we still need to take it slow.

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3 Things That Are Filthier Than Toilets  

 

We want our child to live healthy and clean but there will come a time that they will encounter germs. Germs thrive in dirty places and it is inconspicuous to the naked eye. This is why germs are more dangerous than ever. How can we fight something that we do not see? Well, for starters, we should identify places that they thrive in and try to kill them.

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When we hear germs, we think of the toilet. It does not need any more explanation but we will be surprised that there are filthier places than our toilets. It is important that we identify places (aside from our toilets) where germs thrive so we can avoid if not eliminate it. This article will tell us where germs reside (well, aside from our toilets).

Here’s the list:

  • Smartphone: Smartphones or tablets became a personal item for every Singaporean. Not all people know that smartphones and tablets are filthier than toilets. This is horrifying to know because we spend most of our time holding our smartphones or tablets. In fact, there are times that we eat with our bare hands while holding our phones. Let this be our warning. We have to clean it regularly and avoid bringing it in the toilet.

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  • Keyboard: If we do not hold our smartphones, we hold the keyboard most of the time especially if our job requires it. We have to be wary because keyboards contain more germs than our toilet seat. According to experts, germs in keyboards can cause food poisoning. To keep our keyboards clean, we have to disinfect it before and after using it. We also have to avoid eating at our desk.
  • Kitchen sponge: Most mothers know this – kitchen sponge is dirtier than our toilet seat. This is alarming because we use sponges to clean our utensils and other eating implements. It is imperative that we microwave our sponges for a minute or two before using it.

Now that we know where germs reside, it is time that we do some actions for the health and safety of our kids at home. Our kids do not know where germs settle so we can start by orienting them where dirt reside and what it can cause to the body.

We can fight germs through our knowledge. The good thing is that there are many cleaning items and solutions available here in Singapore. We can grab this opportunity and live healthy and clean.13-toss-the-sponge

Beat the Bloat: 6 Bad Habits You Need to Stop Doing to Avoid Belly Bloat  

 

Food plays a vital role in our life as it provides the needed nutrients of the body. However, eating the wrong way and the wrong kind of food can cause some consequences, including uncomfortable stomach bloat. If you’ve ever experienced feeling heavy and bloated after a meal, it’s probably because of these eating habits you need to stop doing now.

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  1. Sipping Through a Straw

Belly bloats are usually caused by taking in too much air. While drinking through a straw saves your teeth from stains, doing so also lets you swallow more air especially if you use one too often. The solution: use straw only when badly needed.

  1. Eating Too Fast

No matter how delicious that steak is, be sure to chew it nice and slow to avoid feeling bloated afterwards. Chewing is the first step to food digestion and taking your time to grind your food well prevents air pockets from building up in your belly.

  1. Too Much Soda

You see that tiny bubbles in your soda? That’s the reason why you’re bloated up. And before you convert to a diet-soda fan, know that the ‘diet” ones make you bloat even more because of artificial sweeteners, which can’t be digested.

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  1. Chewing Gum

Same with drinking through a straw, chewing gum makes you swallow more air. If your gum is a sugar-free one, expect more bloating. According to researches, sugar-free versions are worse as they contain xylitol and sorbitol, which are bacteria-fermented ingredients and can cause belly bloat—double trouble!

  1. Eating Fatty Foods

While there are good fats, such as the polysaturated and monosaturated fats found in olives and nuts; there are also bad fats, such as transfat and saturated fat found in red meat and standard dairy products. However, consuming any type of fat can slow down digestion, giving you a heavy bloated feeling.

  1. Taking Less Water During Workout

Not hydrating yourself while exercising can cause bloating, and worse dehydration. While working out, you sweat; thus losing body water. Continuous activity without regular sips will drain the vital organs, particularly the liver and the kidneys, which can result to tummy pain and gas.

Belly bloat is a health condition that isn’t too serious. However, feeling bloated throughout the day can make you feel sluggish and uncomfortable and can cause unproductiveness at work. By knowing what food and eating habits to avoid, there should be lesser chances for bloating to happen.

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Save Your BACK: Preventing Workplace Injuries

We work in different industries here in Singapore and in every industry, there entails workplace hazard. With that, it is important that we know what we are up against so we can rise above it. If we do not know the level of hazard we are putting ourselves into, we are putting our lives on the line.

Workplace-Injuries

Regardless of what industry we belong to here in Singapore, we use our backs all the time to get things done. Others ignore their backs because they find it insignificant. There are also others that it is okay to sustain workplace injury because the company will pay. This kind of thinking will lead us to injuries. It is high time that we give our backs the importance it deserves because injuries are imminent.

Here are some things that you can do to save your back:

  • B: Be sure to plan the lift. When we are about to lift something, it is imperative that we plan and organize things so when we will walk that path, we will not encounter anything. The best thing that we should do is clear the path of any obstruction no matter how irrelevant we think it is.
  • A: Assess if the load is heavy. Sometimes, when we try to carry something, we just lift it without thinking of its weight. If it is too heavy and we think we can do it, we do not ask for help and just push through. That is not recommended. It will not do us harm if we ask for help. If the load is too heavy, we need to ask for help or assistance.

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  • C: Carry the load close to the body. Notice that when we carry something, we keep it as far to our body as possible. That is not correct because there is the tendency that our back might get hurt especially if we twist whilst lifting.
  • K: Keep your back straight. We have to be reminded that when lifting, we should use our leg muscles not our back when lifting. When it is already lifted, we have to make sure that our back is straight. Slouching might tense our back and in the long run it will hurt.

If we do not consider our backs, we will surely suffer the repercussions in time. Working in a safe environment is ideal but accidents happen. In fact, even if you are in an office environment, you are prone to injuries. Let this be our guide to prevent the simplest injuries.

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Rest is Equivalent to Happiness

Many people don’t have time to take care to themselves because they are so many things that hinder them. One is work. Most people concentrate on their work and ignore the times that they have to rest. They choose to get busy for the reason that they need to earn more for a living. Lots of people say that choosing to work rather than rest is a very practical deed.

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However, it will give complications to your physique and in the relationship between your friends and most importantly the most valuable and treasured people in your life – your family. Rest is very important to achieve happiness and happiness can be obtained when you perform the things accurately and properly. Rest doesn’t only occur in the physical body as it also targets your emotional mind.

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Learn how to meditate and practice meditation. One reason to deter you from being happy is stress. One way to prevent stress is to look at the positive side of everything and always delete negative things so that you can move on or move well. However, there are times that you still need to accept negativity so that you will learn what the correct things to do are.

Stress is an emotional problem that cannot be cured by medicines. It needs rest and sleep. Meditation is also one way to stay happy. If you do meditation every day, you will be more focused with your life, you will have a clear mind and you are calmer. It literally clears your mind and gives a soothing experience to your body.

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Relief for Itchy Scalps

It is bothering and annoying if the scalp is itchy. If you have itchy scalps, it is also distracting. You tried all the shampoos and treatments available in the market but to no avail. You should not look further because remedies for itchy scalps are in your home. You only need to look more closely.

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The trick is to find a remedy that can help soothe and calm the scalp. If you are looking for ways to relieve your scalps from the itch, you should read more. At the end of the article, you will discover many remedies that you can try in your home. These remedies are not that expensive unlike commercial ones.

What are you waiting for? Here are some remedies you can try:

  • Apple cider vinegar: Apple cider vinegar can also do the trick. You only need to mix one-fourth cup of apple cider vinegar and one-fourth cup of water. Use a spray bottle and just spritz it to your hair then massage it. After few minutes, you can rinse it.
  • Lemon juice: If you are looking for domestic products that are really not expensive, you should consider lemon juice. You only need to massage fresh lemon juice unto the scalp. After few minutes, you can rinse it.lemon-juice
  • Tea tree oil: Tee tree oil is known to be a universal ingredient for flaky and dry scalps. You only need to mix tea tree oil in your shampoo and use it. If you want to relieve the itch, you can massage the tea tree oil (combined with vegetable oil).
  • Jojoba oil: Jojoba oil is a great reliever. It can relieve an itchy and dry scalp. Jojoba is natural oil that can rejuvenate and hydrate your scalps. You only need to massage your scalp using jojoba oil. After that, you can rinse it. Make sure to repeat the procedure at least once a week.
  • Aloe vera: If you have aloe vera plant in your backyard, this is the time that you utilize it. Cut open the leaf, you will see a gel-like substance. You can apply it directly to your scalp and rinse it after thirty minutes.

That’s it. If you tried everything but the itchiness is still there, it is time that you consult your dermatologist. Sometimes, you need professional help. If your problem continues to persist, maybe there is something wrong with your skin. Your doctors will surely recommend things that might work for you.

There are many dermatologists here in Singapore. If you need one, you can easily find one and consult. Singaporeans should not let itchy scalp be the reason for their uncomfortable feelings.

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