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First-time Pregnancy: Everyone Has An Opinion

First-time Pregnancy: Everyone Has An Opinion

As unbelievable as this may sound, no two words (aside from, “I do!”) will have as much of an impact on your life as, “I’m pregnant.” Your life is about to change in so many ways that you will quickly forget what life was like prior to having a child.

This especially holds true for women who are having their first child. Aside from the excitement, there are fears, concerns, questions, curiosities, and some life-changing decisions to be made. And, through no fault of your own, you will be bombarded with many questions, pieces of advice and opinions from everyone you know—and even from people you don’t know!

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Most women (and some men) cannot help but offer you their two cents’ worth when it comes to your pregnancy. So what should you do with all this unsolicited advice and opinions? Welcome to your first test as a mother—practicing patience and understanding.

Welcome to the sisterhood

Your mom, aunt, sister, cousin, best friend, client, customer and neighbor will no doubt have something to say when it comes to your first-time pregnancy. It could be as simple as where to get the best maternity tops, what are the best pregnancy skincare products to use, or the offer of their old maternity dresses. You will hear a lot about their cravings, their aches, their pains, their labor and delivery, and even some stories that fall under the heading of Too Much Information. Everyone has something to say and you will definitely hear about it, whether you like it or not.

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Understand that when a woman is pregnant—especially for the first time—it takes other women back and get them thinking about their own first pregnancy. Women remember what it was like for them and what they experienced, so their immediate instinct is to share what they know with you, and yes, that will include advice on what to wear, which are the best maternity dresses and pants, and where you can get them.

It’s as if you entered a secret society that is no longer secret to you. Now you get all the wisdom and knowledge that you didn’t need prior to becoming pregnant. And guess what? Even after you give birth, the wisdom, knowledge, opinions and advice will still be coming, but in even greater amounts as you enter the world of motherhood.

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How to deal with unsolicited advice

You have two choices when it comes to all of this unsolicited advice. You can either ignore it or take it for what it is—women sharing their experiences and trying to help you by letting you know that when it comes to pregnancy, almost nothing is as it usually is. That’s right: your senses change, your body changes, you feel different, look different, act differently and think differently. And while no two women ever go through pregnancy with the exact same symptoms and side effects, it is nice to be reminded that what you are going through is normal—something that most women probably wished they were told when they were pregnant for the first time. As many books and articles as you may read about pregnancy, they still will not cover everything, and that can make a first-timer feel scared or uncertain as to whether what you are experiencing is normal or not.

On occasion you will get an opinion or advice from someone that is completely misguided or inappropriate. Unfortunately, you cannot filter out those with nothing of importance to offer from those who have something useful to say. Yes, there will be women who will share their death-defying tale of how they delivered their baby, or how painful and long their labor was. You will hear stories of morning sickness that lasted through all three trimesters, or how the family dog had to stay with a relative because the smell of dog food was too much to bear. What you need to remember is that these are individual stories (some slightly exaggerated), but they are not an indication that you will suffer the same malady.

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When it comes to pregnancy and the advice you will receive—whether you ask for it or not—you don’t have to worry about following it, or that the same bad circumstances will happen to you. Your pregnancy will be your own, unique experience with good times and maybe some not-so-good times. However, the one common thread that all mothers have is bringing a new life into the world. And that is definitely something you will want to share with women who you one day encounter during their first pregnancy.

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Last Updated on March 25, 2020

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

1. Exercise

It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

2. Drink in Moderation

I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

4. Watch Less Television

A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

5. Eat Less Red Meat

Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

6. Don’t Smoke

This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

7. Socialize

Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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9. Be Optimistic

Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

10. Own a Pet

Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

11. Drink Coffee

Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

12. Eat Less

Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

13. Meditate

Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

15. Laugh Often

Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

17. Cook Your Own Food

When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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18. Eat Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

19. Floss

Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

21. Have Sex

Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

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Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

Reference

[1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
[2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
[3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
[4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
[5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
[6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
[7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
[8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
[9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
[10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
[11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
[12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
[15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
[16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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