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Exercise and Nutrition During Pregnancy

Women who are pregnant naturally have increased concern over the right diet and exercise regimen that will keep both mom and baby as healthy as possible for the next nine months. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation about what food or exercise women should continue or avoid.

Generally, nutrition during pregnancy is very similar to the recommended guidelines throughout a woman’s life, and many exercises are also safe during pregnancy. But here are some common rules of thumb OBGYNs at Women's Health Associates provide pregnant women.

Nutrition guidelines include:
Eat a diet rich in lean proteins, fresh vegetables and some fresh fruit
Limit fish intake to twice a week
Limit caffeine intake to twice a day
Lunch meat or hot dogs should be hot or steaming when eaten.
Avoid unpasteurized cheeses such as feta cheese, but any cheese at the grocery store that is pasteurized is safe.

Exercise guidelines include:
If you had a regular exercise routine before pregnancy, you can continue with that routine as long as you feel comfortable doing it. The only exception is body contact sports.

Note that when pregnant, especially early in the pregnancy, your tolerance for exercise may decrease. Listen to your body and slow down if necessary. Take more frequent breaks during the exercise routine, and drink plenty of water.

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Pain During Intercourse: More Common than You Think

A very common yet difficult topic for many women to discuss with their doctor is painful sex. Some women don’t discuss it because they assume nothing can be done. Some women think it is normal for sex to hurt.
Most commonly, though, many women are embarrassed to discuss such a personal issue. What a lot of people don’t realize is that painful sex is very common for women. Three out of every four women at one time or another will have painful sex. For a majority of women, this discomfort subsides or is self treated with minimal effort by using lubricants. However, for women who have continued pain or lubricants don’t work, there may be hope.
Painful sex can have a tremendous affect on a couple’s relationship and cause a significant amount of stress for many women. When I see someone for painful intercourse, I try to differentiate between two different types of pain. Some women have pain at the opening of the vagina and the pain starts at penetration. The second type of pain is usually deep vaginal or pelvic pain. These people don’t have pain with initial penetration but instead will have progressively worsening pain with deeper penetration.
While some women have both, most people can identify as having one or the other. It is important to differentiate between the two because the cause of each is different and the treatment of each is different.

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