Will You Have a Boy or a Girl?

girl and baby boyOnce your egg has been fertilized by your partner’s sperm, you truthfully have a 50/50 chance of having a boy or a girl.  You probably already know that the determining factor is the chromosome carried by the sperm that fertilized the egg.  If it is an X chromosome, you will have a girl, and if it is a Y chromosome, you will have a boy.

Through the years, articles have been published on ways to increase your chances of having a baby of a specific gender, and many of them have to do with your pre-conception diet.  It is thought that these diets can change either the content of a woman’s uterine environment or the acidity in her body, making it more receptive to one type of sperm over another.

  • The Girl Diet– To have a girl, it is recommended women consume the following on a daily basis: 3 glasses of milk, 2 additional milk products, sodium-free cheese, plain eggs, mineral water, 1 weak cup of coffee or tea for the potassium, salt-free bread and crackers, brown or white rice, 8 to 10 eight ounce glasses of water, and semolina, tapioca, corn flour, or puffed rice cereals.  This diet can be used up to a few months prior to conception.
  • The Boy Diet– To have a boy, it is recommended women both avoid acidic foods, and consume red meat, eggs, fish, beans, peas, mushrooms, zucchini, sweet corn, raisins, bread, and salty foods.  This diet can be used for a few weeks prior to conception.

Lady-Comp Baby can potentially assist you through its unique gender prediction feature.  During your fertile days, the monitor will display a “boy” or “girl” light to let you know which gender you are likely to conceive over the next 24 hours. While no prediction is guaranteed, it is something fun to think about while you are on the road to conceiving.

A life changed by Lady Comp…what it feels like to be natural

“I just want to say how much Lady Comp has changed my life.  Approaching my wedding back in 2011 I spent months trying pill after pill, side effect after side effect with no luck.  I felt stuck, stuck with going to have to deal with the side effects.  Like a lot of girls I didn’t know much about natural birth control methods.  I had always been fed the “you have to go on the pill” line.

After trying pill after pill I ended up on the mini pill because I couldn’t take estrogen.  The mini pill wasn’t as bad but over time I continued with side effects and they seemed to get worse every month.  I was on the mini pill for almost 2 years and frankly tired of it.  My body couldn’t handle the hormones anymore.  I had so many side effects including spotting all the time, headaches, exhaustion, complete loss of libido, anxiety, and constant dizziness.  I even got to the point where I would get sick and feel completely weird if I ate too much sugar or salty foods.  I felt like I couldn’t eat anything anymore.  I also started having random reactions that got pretty scary and the doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong.  At that point I felt like this was going to be my life forever or until I decided to have kids.

So I started searching.  I knew there had to be something else.  I wasn’t about to try anything like the nuva ring or IUD’s.  I wanted a natural option.  That’s when a friend of mine recommended the Lady Comp.  She said one of her cousins used it and loved it.  At first I was pretty skeptical and thought how could that work…  I debated it for months trying to figure out if I wanted to chance it and pay the expense to try it.

After a lot of debate I broke down and decided to get one, and it was great to have the option of making payments to pay it off!   I have to say it was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life!  Going off the pill was like getting back to who I was.  I lost myself being on all those hormones and being so depressed from being sick all the time.  It took a few months to get back to a normal cycle and for the Lady Comp to start being able to tell me about my cycle but once it did it worked great!

My cycle isn’t a normal cycle like most girls.  I seem to have longer cycles like 35-40 days and ovulate later than most.  I was afraid the Lady Comp wasn’t going to work for me.  But boy was I wrong!  It has been amazing to know when I ovulate and I can almost pinpoint to the day when I’m going to get my period.  Which was a huge change from being on the mini pill, I never knew when I was going to get my period and sometimes didn’t get it for 3-4 months!

Taking my temperature at the same time every day isn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be.  I keep a chart along with the Lady Comp, which is optional, but for me it’s been a great learning process.  I’ve learned more about my cycle in the last 8 months then I ever knew.  I think so many girls are led to believe that you have to be taking hormones to prevent pregnancy, but it’s just not true.

This method isn’t for everyone understandably but for many like me it’s wonderful!  If you’re trying to find a natural method and learn more about your cycle Lady Comp is the way to go.  Even though the price is a bit high it’s worth every penny.  Lady Comp gave me my life back. I was never myself on the pill and I was so glad to be rid of it.

I’ve now been using the Lady Comp for about 8 months and I absolutely love it!  I also love knowing when I ovulate so one day when my husband and I do decide to have kids it can be a big help and we have the option of switching to the Baby Comp.  The Lady Comp customer service is some of the best out there!  They are so helpful and caring!

Thank you Lady Comp for letting me get back to a healthy natural life!”

~ Brittany

Facts instead of myths: Family planning in the 21st century

woman thinking Doctors in Europe and the United States are evidently skeptical as far as methods of natural family planning are concerned since only 6 to 10% of them would be willing to recommend such methods. At the same time however, it should be noted that only half of these experts are actually adequately informed as far as the underlying scientific facts are concerned. Isn’t it time that the awareness of this subject matter is raised?

The American, Richard J. Fehring, Director of the Institute for Natural Family Planning at the Marquette University recently reported in an American journal (JOGNN, 33, 34-43) that only 2 to 3% of women between the ages of 15 and 44 use natural family planning methods. Fehring gave two main reasons for this: Firstly, that doctors and/or nurses and midwives failed to inform women about this type of method of family planning and also, they didn’t explain to them how such a method works. This is due in part to the fact that the specialists themselves didn’t know enough about the modern versions of the various methods. On the other hand, the term natural family planning still carries the label of being “unsafe”. This is, however, a prejudice which has originated from myths and is not based on scientific data.

Reduce prejudices, expand knowledge

Fehring wants to permanently change this view and is committed to making professional education on natural family planning available, which (at last) uses modern pedagogical principles, in order to make such methods of family planning easier to understand. In the end, all of the methods of natural family planning are based on a basic knowledge of the processes occurring within the body of a woman of childbearing age every month. In the ovaries, an egg becomes ripe, while at the same time the lining of the womb thickens, so that in the event that fertilization takes place, the lining of the womb is prepared. An egg is released out of its protective covering in the ovary (this generally occurs alternatively from the right and left ovaries). This process is known as ovulation and marks the middle of the female cycle.

Knowing when ovulation occurs

Without sperm, the egg cannot be fertilized and will die after 24 hours at the latest, during its way through the fallopian tubes in the direction of the womb. Ovulation is accompanied by a slight increase in the body temperature, which can easily be measured in the early morning. At the same time there is an increase in the amount of vaginal discharge since the mucus plug which usually seals the entrance of the vagina into the womb moves away, allowing the discharge to partially drain away. If the egg does not become fertilized, the hormonal state within the body changes, so that the lining of the womb breaks down, bleeding occurs and the womb lining is shed, a process known as the monthly period or menstruation. The temperature then returns to its original value, and the cycle begins once again.

Work in harmony with nature, not against it

When the order of events just described is considered, it becomes clear that a woman is not continuously able to become pregnant. Instead this is only possible within one day after ovulation. If you also consider the fact that the sperm cells can only survive for a few days after sexual intercourse, then the fertile period – which starts about five days before ovulation and ends one day after ovulation – can be calculated. It is therefore important that the day of ovulation is identified. Whether the fertile days are being calculated purely mathematically, or the mucus secretion is being observed, or the temperature measured in order to determine the day of ovulation, all of these methods are based on the fact that there are a number of infertile days in the monthly cycle of a woman which a couple can use for contraception. Conversely, this basic knowledge is at the same time a perfect support for all those want to have a child and in this way can find out when the optimum time for conception occurs.
According to Fehring, natural family planning presents a way of working in accordance with nature, rather than against it. The latest surveys show however that, of those women who chose one or another of the family planning methods available, many did not have the necessary knowledge. A lack of the appropriate knowledge can lead to errors and – together with long-standing prejudices – this may result in an incorrect estimation of the reliability of the method.

Interest in natural family planning is apparent

Besides sustained education, intense scientific research on the measurement and calculation methods needs to be carried out so that women can be advised on the basis of reliable data. Specifically, this means that the modern methods of natural family planning should be tested in a standardized way so that, for example, they can be compared on the basis of their Pearl Index*.
Such a comparison has been undertaken in the NFP (Natural Family Planning) project being carried out at the University of Düsseldorf in Germany (see addresses). In a comparative study being carried out by the NFP team, the most reliable methods were found to be those involving some form of temperature measurement. The study was however, a preliminary trial run for further clinical observation studies, with the intention that it would enable more reliable statements to be made in the future. In Europe, the interest in natural methods of family planning in any case appears to be greater than in the United States. Here, it is estimated that between 10 and 15 percent of women of child-bearing age choose such a natural method. In reality, the need may possibly be even greater. It has been shown that approximately 40 percent of women are interested in a natural form of family planning once they have been comprehensively informed and favorably acquainted with the method. Surveys have additionally indicated that those women who use methods of natural family planning do so because they feel that it is safe, due to the fact that it provides them with information about their own body and because of this their sexual desire increases. In future, this information should not be withheld from women during a professional consultation.
*The Pearl-Index is a measure of the reliability of a contraceptive method and indicates the statistical probability that a woman will become pregnant in 100 women years (100 women used the method in question for one year).

Interview with Ms Burda Sanchez, 36 years old, from Lithuania

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VE: Ms Sanchez, you have been using the Lady-Comp system for 14 years now, and you wouldn’t want to be without it?

Ms Sanchez:
That’s right, I swear by it! Of course people smirk and shake their heads. “What? The woman uses a computer to avoid getting pregnant and she has nine children?” To many people that must sound like an absolute contradiction.

VE:
So what do you say to them?

Ms Sanchez:
Contraception is not just an issue for couples who don’t want to have any children or any more children. All of my children were planned, whereby, in my opinion, this in itself also needs to be planned! From the beginning, we talked to our children about whether they would like to have a sibling. Sometimes they came to us themselves and said that they thought it would be great if we had another baby. Whenever we wanted another child I was able to rely 100% on the Lady-Comp method. In addition, I never needed to take a pregnancy test. After having a raised temperature for 14 days, I could be sure that I was pregnant again.

VE:
What made you decide to buy a fertility monitor computer?

Ms Sanchez:
I have always wanted to get to know my body in more detail. As a young woman I also had a benign lump in my breast. The doctors advised me not to use hormones. Even my first child was naturally “naturally” planned! At that time I used a thermometer to pinpoint the temperature rise. After having our second child, I happened to be at a meeting on “Natural Family Planning” where I purchased a Lady-Comp. That was 14 years ago and since then I have never been without it. I find it simply ingenious, I use it every day, even when I am pregnant and breastfeeding. You might think that I wouldn’t need it now that I am pregnant, but now I need it even more. I feel different and I like to be in control of my body and to be able to judge what is going on in it. For example, in the meantime I know that one month after I have stopped breastfeeding my temperature curve will return to normal.

VE:
Have you recommended the use of the fertility computer to other women?

Frau Sanchez:
Yes, I have already recommended it a number of times, for example to a colleague who had already been trying to have a baby for a long time, but without success. Above all, I advised her to inform herself about her menstrual cycle and what is going on inside her body. About one and a half years ago an article on large families was published in the MIGROS supermarket magazine. At that time, many women saw our photo and phoned us to ask if they could give us any tips on getting pregnant. I recommended the Lady-comp to them so that they would be able to get to know exactly what is going on in their body. I must say that I am always surprised at how little women know about all the information that they can get from their own bodies. Without this information, women must feel quite helpless.

VE:
These days, having nine children is quite unusual. How do people react to it?

Frau Sanchez:
My husband is Spanish and he loves children, just as I do, and that is the most important thing. Obviously we get to hear some negative comments, but the most honest remarks are probably those we get from children belonging to other families. They find it “really cool” when our kids talk about their numerous brothers and sisters. They like to visit us because everything is “so relaxed” in our home and that is really true. The reason for this is that I stick to the children’s rhythms and as a result I don’t get stressed, even though it is difficult to imagine it with nine children around. Of course I sometimes have to ask a friend who has visited me to drink coffee if she wouldn’t mind going home because its five o’clock and I need to cook. This way I don’t feel as though I haven’t any time for the children or for myself. You have to manage your time wisely, just like a manager has to, don’t you agree? We can very well imagine having a tenth child.

VE:
Ms Sanchez, thank you very much for this very candid interview.

What Happens to Your Body After Conception?

 

Your pregnancy journey begins when a sperm has penetrated one of your eggs.  It takes somewhere between 10 and 30 hours for their respective nuclei to merge and combine genetic material. At this point, the egg is officially fertilized and will need three to four days to move from your Fallopian tube to your uterus, all the while dividing into 16 identical cells.  Once it reaches the uterus, your rapidly developing baby has evolved into a mass of cells that scientists refer to as a blastocyst.  The inside of the blastocyst will become the embryo and the outside will form the placenta.  The placenta protects the baby, delivers oxygen and nutrients, and carries waste products away.

During this time, your hormones are starting to change.  The developing placenta increases your levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG).  When this hormone reaches a high enough level, it can be detected in blood and urine tests to verify your pregnancy.  Typically, levels are high enough by two days after you have missed your period, but this can vary.

Hormonal changes will possibly cause you to experience the following symptoms as early as two weeks after fertilization:

  • Rising progesterone levels cause fatigue as well as constipation.
  • The increase in estrogen levels triggers nausea, which may be accompanied by vomiting.
  • Flooding hormones in general will cause breast tenderness, food aversions, food cravings, headaches, and mood swings.

You may also experience dizziness due to changes in your circulatory system brought on by the increased blood supply needed to sustain your baby in-utero.

If you desire to become pregnant, Lady-Comp Baby can help you turn your dream into reality.

With its integrated cycle and planning-statistics Lady-Comp Baby displays further
useful information necessary to successfully plan a child:

  • forecasts your most fertile days.
  • recognizes if you don’t ovulate or if you have a hormonal imbalance (CLI).
  • can be used by women with irregular cycles.
  • indicates monophasic cycles (cycles without ovulation) and ovulation fluctuation.
  • recognizes a Corpus Luteum Deficiency.
  • contains an Integrated Pregnancy Test.
  • keeps track of all your data. No graphs needed. You can access your own data easily at any time. A free Clinical Print-Out and Analysis can also be obtained upon request.

It does so much more

  • provides you with an accurate Expected Delivery Date.
  • can be used for safe natural pregnancy prevention after birth (99.3% reliability).

 

This easy-to use fertility computer can predict when you will ovulate with 99.3% accuracy, based on the information you provide it and its daily reading of your basal body temperature.  If you would like to learn more about how Lady-Comp can help you conceive, please call us at 1-877-925-LADY.

Fertility Treatments and Stress

In a previous article, “The Psychological Impact of Infertility,” we discussed the reasons why undergoing fertility treatment can cause someone stress.  In short, the synthetic estrogen prescribed to help boost ovulation has side effects that include anxiety, sleeplessness, mood swings, and irritability.  Additionally, the expense of infertility treatments, which run $8000 and up, are often not covered by health insurance.  Finally, waiting for the treatment to take hold, and dealing with the knowledge that the treatment did not take hold, are both anxiety producing.

There have been many studies in the medical community linking stress to infertility.  Therefore, doctors would like to mitigate stress in patients undergoing infertility treatment as much as possible.  Doctors on medicinenet.com offer the following tips to help these individuals manage their stress:

1)      Do not try to downplay or deny that you are going through a time of heightened stress.  While you are undergoing infertility treatment, you life may not be business as usual.  Consider cutting out nonessential activities to give yourself some time to decompress.

2)      Do not try to handle the stress on your own.  Find a trusted friend or family member who you can talk to about your feelings.  You can also check with your fertility clinic to see if they offer a support group for their patients.  Understand that your partner is likely going through his/her own stress regarding the situation, and therefore might not be able to provide you with all of the emotional support you need.

3)      Empower yourself with knowledge.  Make sure to read up on and understand the treatment you are experiencing, and do not be afraid to ask questions of the doctor when you need clarification.

4)      Discuss the possibility of treatment breaks with your doctor.  It may be viable for you to undergo treatment every other cycle if you feel breaks in between would be beneficial to your mental health.

Most of all, you should understand that you are not alone.  Feelings of sadness, depression, and frustration are common among women undergoing infertility treatment.  Do not hesitate during this time to make your physical and emotional needs top priority. If you are still thinking about taking fertility treatments and have not made up your mind as to what route to take, Lady-Comp Baby is a great natural alternative before going through the stress and turmoil fertility treatments can take you through.  The Lady-Comp and Lady-Comp Baby can pinpoint a woman’s fertile window to help her plan when to focus on intercourse. And if necessary, the Lady-Comp can give her detailed information about her cycle that her doctor may use if she still has difficulty conceiving and may negate the need for costly and stressful fertility treatments.

6 Tests to Consider if You Can’t Get Pregnant

Lady-Comp provides you with a highly effective and all natural way to determine the days of the month when you are most likely to conceive.  It is a personal fertility monitor which learns and adjusts to your individual cycle regardless of irregularities or cycle length.  It is programmed with a database of more than 900,000 cycles and uses bio-mathematical forecasting calculations, as well as the very latest computer techniques to predict your fertile days, primarily based on your morning body temperature.   Research shows that Lady-Comp is 99.3% effective.

But what if, after using Lady-Comp and following all instructions, you find you are still unable to get pregnant?  Doctors assert that women under 35 should actively try to become pregnant for 12 months before considering alternatives.  Women between 35 and 40 years old should try for 6 months.  If that period has passed, it is time to see your doctor.  Here are six blood tests you may want to discuss with your physician when you visit.

1)      Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH)- This hormone acts as a communicator between the pituitary gland in your brain and your ovaries.  It causes the ovary to recruit and stimulate follicles, leading to a main follicle that releases an egg when you ovulate.  The higher the FSH, the lower the potential for follicle growth and stimulation because of decreased ability of the ovary to produce eggs.  This test is best done on day 3, 4, or 5 of your menstrual cycle.

2)      Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH)- The anti-mullerian hormone is also a marker of ovarian reserve.  Low levels mean low follicle count, and high levels are a strong indicator of polycystic ovarian syndrome.  This test is best done on day 3 or 4 of your menstrual cycle.

3)      Progesterone- Progesterone is critical to prepping the uterus for implantation, and holding the pregnancy for the first several weeks, until the placenta takes over.  Lower levels may indicate lack of or weak ovulation, which can be aided by progesterone treatment.  This test it best taken on day 19, 20, or 21 of your cycle.

4)      Full Thyroid Panel- A balanced thyroid is critical for fertility.  Even suboptimal levels can present problems with becoming pregnant.

5)      Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome- For this, the doctor must check your free testosterone levels, total testosterone levels, Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate (DHEA-S) levels, and fasting insulin and glucose levels.

6)      Prolactin- Prolactin is the hormone of milk production in the breasts.  Results that are elevated even slightly, or are at the high end of normal, can trick your body into thinking you are already pregnant.  High prolactin levels can be caused by stress or by prolactinoma (typically a benign tumor) in the brain.

As you are going through these tests, please keep in mind that the health of the father-to-be is a factor as well.  Make sure he also visits a physician for appropriate testing.

Natural Ways for Men to Increase Their Fertility

If you are trying for a baby, you already know that Lady-Comp can help you pinpoint precisely the 6 days in your cycle when you are most likely to get pregnant.  To increase the overall likelihood of pregnancy, you will want to make sure your partner is at his highest fertility levels as well.  Below are some ways your partner can increase his fertility naturally, without the use of medical intervention.

Things to add to his diet:                                        

Vitamin C: Fertility is decreased in men who are deficient in vitamin C. Men who get less than 60 milligrams of vitamin C daily have been found to have high levels of damaged sperm. In one study, sperm counts increased by almost 60 percent in men who took 1000 milligrams of vitamin C daily for two months.

Zinc: Studies have shown that zinc improves overall sperm quality in terms of both density and motility. The recommended daily allowance for men is 11 milligrams.

Vitamin E: Vitamin E may protect sperm-cell membranes. In one study, men who took 200mg of vitamin E daily increased their fertility by about 30 percent in one month.

Things to limit in his diet:

Caffeine- Any more than the equivalent of two cups of coffee per day can decrease sperm count.

High-Mercury Fish- The highest-mercury fish- swordfish, king mackerel, tilefish, tuna steak, and shark- have been linked to infertility in both men and women.

Junk food- Fatty, fried, and sugary foods impair male fertility. Additionally, studies have confirmed that the more overweight the individual, the lower his total sperm count, sperm motility, and semen volume.

Fun fact- A couple’s most fertile time of day is between 5 and 7 p.m.  Women are most likely to ovulate between 3 and 7 p.m., and for men, sperm count peaks in the late afternoon, when it is 35% higher than in the morning.  After work is the perfect time to put all of your physical preparation to good use



Pregnancy Cravings

One of the most common things known about a pregnant woman are their cravings.  Not everyone has the same craving and not many people know what the cravings indicate but don’t worry.  There is plenty of help and with some guidance even a picky eater can find something she enjoys.

 

Cravings happen for a reason.  The stereotypical pickles and ice cream craving means that the woman’s body is craving calcium and the vinegar/sourness in the pickles gets the calcium from the ice cream into the body faster.  That’s why many women crave them together.  Craving chocolate?  Your body is craving magnesium and you can get that from oatmeal.  Not the instant kind but the kind that takes several minutes to cook.  Eating the oatmeal with some honey is also a great way to fend off depression during and after pregnancy.  So when faced with a craving, try to think about what it is you want.  Something sweet?  Go after the fruit.  Vary the colors because different colors of fruits have different vitamins and nutrients.

 

Minerals that pregnant woman need include calcium, iron and zinc.  Vitamins B1 (Thiamine), B2 (Riboflavin), B3 (Niacin), B6 (Pyridoxine), and C are all water-soluble, meaning they dissolve in water.  Vitamins E, D and A are all fat-soluble, meaning they are stored in the fatty tissues and liver.

 

In the United States, an excellent resource for dietary suggestions is the Healthy Food Group Choices page through the USDA.  It has many delicious suggestions and the best part is that the food can be fresh, frozen or cooked.  All forms deliver the same vitamins and minerals for that food.

 

The eating guidelines may seem very daunting.  Many people look at them and think “How in the world am I ever going to eat all that and keep a healthy weight?” First, cut out the sugars.  In modern society it’s very hard to do but the end result is so worth it.  Cutting out the sugars, also known as empty calories, cuts back on weight gain which lessens the risk of diabetes developing.  Also, many of the sugars go straight to the baby, which adds to the child’s weight gain. Not allowing your baby too become too heavy in the womb will make for an easier labor, delivery and healthier baby overall.

 

Second, do what is called “doubling up”.  For example, yogurt is a doubled up food because it provides the calcium as well as protein in one shot.  An excellent recipe for dinner is the Extra-Easy Spinach Lasagna Recipe; this delicious meal has tomato sauce, spinach, mozzarella cheese and ricotta cheese.  Looking at those ingredients alone, this meal has protein, calcium, iron, zinc and several of the B vitamins as well.  It doesn’t take that much time at all and it makes enough for some to be leftover to be used the next day.

 

If you are still finding it hard to know what the best choices to make for your health during pregnancy, speak to your doctor. Your doctor is the best resource for questions concerning health during pregnancy, like nutrition and exercise, as well as for questions concerning after delivery, like banking your baby’s cord blood and immunizations. By following your doctor’s directions and other health tips, you and your baby will both be healthy and happy after delivery.

 

 

“Katie Moore has written and submitted this article. Katie is an active blogger who discusses the topics of, motherhood, children, fitness, health and all other things Mommy. She enjoys writing, blogging, and meeting new people! To connect with Katie contact her via her blog, Moore From Katie or her twitter, @moorekm26.”

Getting Fit After Giving Birth

The idea of getting fit while juggling the responsibilities of parenting a newborn can seem overwhelming.  Thankfully, the process of taking off the extra weight should be a gradual one.  You can expect to lose four to seven pounds of water weight after returning home as your uterus returns to normal size.  From there, it is recommended you give yourself 6 months to return to your fighting weight.

According to WebMD, it’s very important you not rush into cutting calories or extreme exercise immediately.   They liken pregnancy to running a marathon daily for nine months.  Even if you took extremely good care of yourself during that time, your body will still need to replenish energy and nutrients sapped by the experience.   Therefore, it is advised you not start to restrict calorie intake until at least 6 weeks after the baby is born.  During the first six weeks, you should eat 1800-2000 calories per day.  After 6 weeks, you will still need to maintain your calorie intake at that level if you are breastfeeding. If you are not breastfeeding, you can cut back roughly 500 calories per day, aiming to lose no more than one pound per week.

While dieting is discouraged, exercising should most definitely be on your to-do list.  Research has shown that exercise can not only help you regain your pre-pregnancy shape, but increase your energy level and decrease your risk of post-partum depression.  WebMD encourages you to check with your doctor before beginning your exercise program.  Once medically cleared, you don’t want to push the difficulty level up too quickly.  Doctors warn that you should not perform any exercise that puts major strain on your joints within the first 6-8 weeks.  Therefore, a good way to get started is simply by taking daily walks while pushing your baby in the stroller.  Once you feel stronger, start to add back in exercises you did during your third trimester, and then slowly work backward until you have returned to your pre-pregnancy routine.  At any point, if you experience pain or discomfort as a result of exercise, stop and check in with your doctor.  You can work together to find a routine that is right for you.