FAQ

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It's not true for identical twins, but it is true for fraternal twins.

Unlike identical twins, who both come from the same fertilized egg, fraternal twins develop from two different eggs released at the same time. The tendency to release more than one egg in a single cycle (hyperovulation) is a genetic trait that can be passed from mother to child.
By contrast, identical twins don't run in families. The splitting of a fertilized egg seems to happen at random. It is unrelated to age or race and a woman who is an identical twin is no more likely to give birth to twins than anyone else.

No, you can't have your menstrual period while you're pregnant.
Some women do have vaginal bleeding during pregnancy. Some even report intermittent bleeding that seems like a regular period to them. But vaginal bleeding during pregnancy is not the same thing as menstruation.

If you take a home pregnancy test very soon after you think you may have conceived, a negative result doesn't mean much.   
A home pregnancy test can only give you a positive result if it detects HCG.
So, even if you did conceive, if you test too soon, you'll receive a negative result because the fertilized egg wouldn't have had time to become implanted.   

No, having a yeast infection will not directly affect your chances of getting pregnant. But the itchiness and irritation a yeast infection causes probably won't put you in the mood for intercourse.

Yes. In general, you're less fertile, but not infertile, while breastfeeding. Although you may not menstruate for months after giving birth, your body usually releases its first postpartum egg before you get your first period. So you won't know you've ovulated until two weeks later — when you menstruate.

At least one study indicates that smoking lowers sperm counts.

When you are trying to have a baby it is important to be as healthy as you can be, so it is advisable to stop smoking before attempting a pregnancy. Not only will it optimize your chances of conceiving, it will also help protect your family. Secondhand smoke can be dangerous for your partner and baby.

Beliefs about the wondrous powers of so-called fertility foods such as shark's fin, camel's hump, ginseng, pine nuts, prunes, or even chocolate date to early civilizations. Unfortunately, most are pure fiction. Many are based on the simplistic notion that eating foods that look like sexual organs, such as figs or eggs, will help those organs function better. Also, no evidence proves the theory that eating spicy foods can increase sexual potency by raising your blood pressure and pulse rate.

There's some scientific proof that eating oysters can boost fertility. Oysters are packed with zinc, which plays a role in semen and testosterone production in men, and in ovulation and fertility in women. That doesn't mean you should down a plate of oysters on the half shell at every meal. Maintaining the recommended dietary allowance of zinc (9mg a day) can help keep your reproductive system working properly, but excessive amounts of zinc (or any nutrient for that matter) will not turn either of you into a baby making machine. In fact, super-high doses of vitamins and minerals may actually reduce your fertility.

Maybe you'd heard about how thick and lovely the hair on your head would be during pregnancy. But if the new growth on your chin, upper lip, and cheeks is throwing you for a loop, don't worry! It's completely normal and — even better — temporary.

Pregnancy-induced hair growth usually develops during the first trimester and is caused by an increase in sex hormones known as androgens. In addition to new facial hair, some women notice unusual growth (sometimes just a few stray hairs) on their breasts, belly, arms, legs, and back.

To get rid of the hair, you can safely tweeze, wax, and shave, but bleaches or depilatories are not recommended because they can be absorbed into the skin and we don't know what effect they might have on a developing baby.

Yes. As you're discovering, your belly isn't the only thing that gets bigger during pregnancy! This is partly due to pregnancy weight gain and swelling from the extra fluid your body retains while you're pregnant (called edema). To ease the swelling, soak your feet in cool water and prop them up as often as you can.
You may notice your shoes getting a little tight as early as the second trimester, and they may continue to increase in size until late in pregnancy. We estimate that half the moms out there wear shoes a half or a whole size bigger than they wore before having babies.

The bright side, if there is one, is that you get to buy new shoes! Buy a few pairs of comfortable, roomy shoes to wear during your pregnancy, but be aware that you may have to go back for more once the swelling settles down and your shoe size stabilizes about a month after delivery. Whatever you do, don't try to make do with your old shoes! Wearing tight shoes can aggravate bunions and cause a host of painful foot problems, ranging from ingrown toenails to corns and calluses.

Early in pregnancy, a low fever is probably not a problem, but a high fever (over 103 degrees Fahrenheit) can be lethal for the baby.
The physiologic processes in early fetal development, such as protein activity, are temperature sensitive, and the entire fetal development process hinges on the right proteins getting turned on at the right time. If your body goes from 36.5°c to 39°c, it could keep the proteins from working properly and cause you to have a miscarriage.
Later in pregnancy, when your baby is fully formed and it's just a question of the baby getting bigger, fever isn't that much of a problem, unless caused by an intrauterine infection.
To be safe, give your doctor a call if you have a fever that doesn't seem to be related to an illness.

No, to be safe, it’s best for a pregnant woman to avoid contact with kids who have chicken pox.

It's fine, though it does become more difficult as your pregnancy progresses. In general, walking is good for you during pregnancy; it reduces your chance of blood clots and keeps you in shape.

One thing that can help when you're standing for long periods is support hose. These provide compression so your legs feel better — and they help hold the blood in so it doesn't pool around your feet and make them puffy and swollen. Wearing a maternity belt can also be helpful at the end of the second trimester and during the third; it supports the abdomen and helps redistribute some of the weight.

Yes, as long as you don't overdo the caffeine, which you'll want to limit to 200mg per day.
The non-nutritive sweeteners used in these drinks are considered safe, especially if you're drinking them in moderation. If you like these drinks, you can allow yourself a can or two a day, but make sure you're also drinking water, milk, and 100 percent fruit juice for hydration and nutrition.

It depends on how you define "a lot"! Chocolate is perfectly safe to eat during pregnancy, but you don't want to overdo it for two reasons:
Number one is that it can crowd out other healthy foods and provide too many extra calories, leading to excessive weight gain.
Number two is caffeine!

Cooked, yes. Raw, no.
Raw sushi may contain bacteria that can make you sick during pregnancy. Your immune system is suppressed during pregnancy so your body won't attack the growing fetus, but this means you're more susceptible to getting sick from food.
A food-borne illness could lead to symptoms as minor as a mild bout of the flu or severe enough to cause miscarriage or other fetal damage.

Too much salt in pregnancy may increase your blood pressure, which has health implications for you and your baby. Try to substitute other savory snacks, such as vegetable crudités or cheese for chips.

It varies for every mum-to-be, but you can expect to feel your first kick between 16 and 22 weeks.
It may feel like fluttering, or even trapped wind.
Monitor your baby's movements from 24 weeks so you know what's normal for him. Call your midwife or hospital if you're worried about a lack of movement. 

Pregnancy increases the risk of blood clots in the legs, and lungs.
Flying doesn't increase the risk any more for a pregnant woman than a non-pregnant woman, it is simply that the risk in pregnancy is higher whether you choose to fly or not.
If you do decide to fly, there are several things you can do to reduce the risk of clots. Move around the cabin or do the exercises shown in the in-flight magazine, drink plenty of water and wear travel socks.
We advice you discuss your situation with your gynecologist before planning for any trip.

This is common in the middle months and often gets worse as your pregnancy progresses, due to the extra weight you're carrying. The cramps tend to occur more at night and may be aggravated by the pressure your growing uterus puts on the blood vessels between your legs and your heart.
Try lying on your left side, which can help improve circulation in your legs and reduce cramp, and if you do get a cramp, stretch your calf muscles, flexing your toes towards your shins. Massaging the calf muscle can also help, as can applying a warm hot water bottle to the area. Leg cramps can be reduced by avoiding sitting cross-legged for long periods of time and ensuring you get enough exercise. There's a theory that too little calcium and potassium circulating in your blood can cause muscle spasms, so to boost your levels a good tip is to eat a banana and/or try drinking a glass of milk just before you go to bed.

Yes, this is normal. Pregnancy hormones make your breasts swell and become tender and tingly early in pregnancy. Yellow ‘colostrum' – your baby's first milk – may start to leak as early as 12 weeks, although everyone's different and some women have hardly any. The reason it happens is that your body is preparing your nipples for breastfeeding – the leaking milk acts as a lubricant and antibacterial. To avoid wet patches on your clothes, wear breast pads from the chemist. Changing them regularly will stop your nipples sticking to them.

Toxoplasmosis is the main concern when it comes to pregnancy and cats. The infection can lead to birth defects and miscarriage in pregnant women. Cats can get the infection by eating contaminated raw meat, birds, soil, or mice. Cats then pass the contagious stage of the infection through their feces. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommends pregnant women take the following precautions:

  • Avoid having the pregnant woman change, clean, or come in contact with the litter box. If there is nobody else to do the job then she should be sure to wear gloves and a mask, and wash hands thoroughly when finished.
  • Keep cats indoors to avoid them possibly eating contaminates.
  • Avoid handling or adopting stray cats.
  • Feed cats only canned or dried commercial cat food. Never give them undercooked or raw meat.
  • Do not bring a new cat into your house that might have been an outdoor cat or might have eaten raw meat.

Having twins is exciting; it doubles the pleasure and also doubles the work and effort that you have to exert as a mother. No matter how tempting it is, try not to dress them the same way, call them rhyming names and treat them as a pair. Rather, treat your babies as individuals, emphasize the things that make them unique, help them to develop their own identities. Make the effort of spending time alone with each of them. Do not worry about this separation; they will still be close and love each other but they will appreciate how unique they are as human beings.

We have all experienced moments like that! You have to talk about your feelings to your partner, express your emotions, and do not keep them bottled up. Do not be afraid; just be nice and polite about it and learn to say no in a sweet way. You do not have to comply with what people tell you to do, if you are not convinced.

Yes, fathers are vulnerable to similar emotions.
Many factors can contribute to these feelings. The most common are: fear of fatherhood or worries related to new responsibilities and loss of freedom, financial concerns or stress over added expenses and worries about whether his current salary will be sufficient, and role anxieties such as asking, "Will I be a good father? Will I father like my father did?"

What compounds the stress is that men are encouraged notto share their fears. Instead, they're often told to "take it like a man" and just deal with it. Unfortunately, keeping silent about your emotions can actually increase stress. Men should be encouraged to talk to their partner or to a professional about what's worrying them. By expressing their anxieties, new dads are more likely to get a clearer perspective and the support they need to feel better.

Try some of the following suggestions for adding these nutrient-packed foods to your daily diet. You may find options that make fruits and vegetables more palatable for you.
At meals:

  • Add diced vegetables to soups, casseroles, spaghetti sauce, and scrambled eggs. Make the dices very small and they may be easier for you to enjoy. Try sliced veggies on sandwiches.
  • Roast vegetables (for example, carrots, sweet potatoes, peppers, zucchini) along with whatever entrée is in the oven. Roasting sweetens the taste of vegetables and changes their consistency, too.
  • Prepare quick meals like veggie wraps, stir-fries, and pita pockets loaded with colorful vegetables.
  • Make it a goal to have salad with dinner most days. Vary your greens (you may discover one you love), and add a few in-season fresh veggies. Fruit is delicious tossed into salads, too!
  • Choose fruit – fresh or frozen, perhaps stewed or baked, or stirred into a cup of yogurt – for dessert.

As snacks:

  • Pick your favorite vegetables (for example, baby carrots, or broccoli and cauliflower florets) and dip them in hummus, black bean dip, salsa, or dressing.
  • Dunk sliced fruit (for example, apple, banana, pear, strawberries) in yogurt or smear with almond or peanut butter.
  • Eat a piece of fruit with cheese or nuts such as walnuts, almonds, pecans, or cashews.
  • Make a smoothie or parfait with yogurt and frozen fruit.
  • Try to get 2 cups of fruit every day, and at least 2.5 cups of vegetables, aiming for a variety of dark green vegetables, orange vegetables, beans and peas, and starchy vegetables.

First, you should keep in mind that your stretch marks will gradually become much less noticeable in the months after you give birth. But if they continue to bother you, consider making an appointment with a dermatologist to discuss treatment. Most approaches have proven to be only modestly effective, but there are some things he/she may be able to do to improve their appearance.

Generally you can start exercising six to eight weeks after a cesarean section. However, you should talk to your doctor before beginning any type of exercise program.

As you set out to flatten your tummy, keep in mind that there's no such thing as "spot reduction." The only way to meet your goal is through a combination of aerobic exercise and toning. Walking, jogging, swimming, and biking are all great choices. Sit-ups and other abdominal exercises are important, too, but if you perform them alone you'll only strengthen the muscles below the extra fat, and you probably won't see much outward improvement.

For most new mothers who have had few if any complications and are recuperating well, not-too-strenuous travel one to two weeks after a vaginal delivery and three to four weeks after a c-section is fine. But it's also important during this time to listen carefully to the signals your body is sending.
Remember that recovery from childbirth takes time, rest, and assistance. Travel can be stressful, and jet lag can compound the fatigue you're already experiencing.
The first several weeks after delivery can be emotionally difficult as well. Breast milk often takes a week to come in, and it may also take time for breastfeeding moms (especially first-timers) and their babies to settle into a routine.
Regardless of your mode of travel, take it as easy as possible and stick to the same healthy habits you observed during pregnancy.
Discuss your travel plans with your healthcare provider before you go, and always know where you can obtain medical care on the road if needed. During the trip, drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. Wear comfortable clothes and get up regularly to stretch your legs and walk around a bit (every hour or so is ideal) to prevent blood clotting, for which you're at an increased risk in the weeks after childbirth. If your pregnancy was complicated, carry a copy of your medical records.

You're so right. The birth of a baby challenges you in many ways: hormonally, physically, emotionally, psychologically, and chemically. You're likely to feel exhausted, excited, frustrated, worried, and elated — all at the same time. No wonder you feel stressed out.

That is why it's important to take care of yourself, especially during the early months of your baby's life. Keep these tips in mind:

  • Get some shut-eye. Sleep as much and as often as you can, because sleep deprivation will make everything seem worse. If your baby is keeping you up at night, rest when he or she is napping. Even if you can't actually sleep, it's helpful to close your eyes and take deep breaths to relax.
  • Eat nutritiously. Avoid junk food, which can cause rapid swings in your blood sugar, increase your anxiety level and lead to a "crash," as well as caffeine, a stimulant that can trigger anxiety and interfere with sleep.
  • Exercise moderately. Taking a brisk 20- to 30-minute walk a few days a week is perfect. If you can't fit this into your schedule, walk or take the stairs whenever you can.
  • Make time for yourself. Private time isn't a luxury — it's vital to your emotional well-being. Take a hot bath in the evening, steal away for an hour to read a good book, rent a movie in the middle of the day, or get your nails done. Whatever you do, make yourself a priority. Create a list of things you miss or things that make you feel good. Follow through on one or more of these ideas on days when you need a lift.
  • Create couple time. After the birth of your baby, your focus shifts, understandably, to your little one. But reclaim lost moments with your partner by making time for the two of you. Take a walk. Get a babysitter and go out for dinner or a movie. Find something to laugh about. Spending time together is an essential ingredient to maintaining the health of your relationship. Sometimes the strongest partnerships are those that are tested in the early months after a baby arrives. Reward yourselves regularly by spending as much time together as possible.
  • Be prepared for the unpredictable. Realize that there will be days when you feel overwhelmed, and days when it feels like you're not getting anything done besides caring for your baby. And that's just fine. Some new parents find that it helps to try and set a daily schedule or "to-do" list, but know that it's okay if you have to let a lot of it go.
  • Get some help. New parents used to be able to count on an extended network of family members to help out after a baby's birth. That's not as true anymore, so you may have to find help in other places. Don't hesitate to call on friends or any member of your family.

  • Can I drink orange juice if I am breastfeeding?

Orange and other citrus fruits are great for a new mom to eat and drink, but some mothers find that if they drink several large glasses a day, especially during a nursing session, the juice may bother the baby. For the first few months of your baby's life, his or her intestinal tract is immature and can be sensitive to large amounts of certain foods, including citrus. If you notice that he or she's unusually fussy or gassy, or is spitting up within a couple of hours of breastfeeding, try cutting back on citrus to a glass at breakfast, and drink water while you're nursing until your baby's intestinal tract is more developed, usually around 3 to 4 months of age.