Thursday, January 31, 2008

Pregnancy Tip- Your Hormones

I am planning on doing a series of posts on fertility and conception. Remember, this is all my basic understanding of it, and I am not a doctor. Unfortunately I cannot make you all pregnant, but I can maybe increase your understanding of your body and how to use this knowledge to help you get pregnant.

To start out I'm going to tell you about how the hormones in your body work. I will refer to these hormones in the later posts.

A brief overview of your hormones (as I understand it)

Pregnancy technically begins the day that your period starts. The reason being that your body cleans out the lining and prepares a fresh new lining for your baby to nestle in. So because this is the beginning of pregnancy, this is the first day of your “cycle,” and since it is a cycle I will get to why your period starts later. The first half of your cycle is estrogen driven. Meaning that everything occurs because of the estrogen your body is releasing. We’ve all heard of estrogen right? So I haven’t lost you yet. As estrogen is released it signals to the brain to release another very important hormone called the Follicle Stimulating Hormone or FSH. Inside your ovaries are “follicles” that have eggs inside them. Your body picks one of the many follicles and the FSH will nurture that follicle until it has grown to 18-30 mm. As this follicle grows it releases more estrogen which is going to trigger the next hormone, and a really important one- LH or lutenizing hormone. This lutenizing hormone comes in a big surge and it breaks down the follicle that surrounds the egg. About 12-36 hours after this surge the LH will break through the follicle and the egg bursts out. This is called ovulation.

The second half of your cycle is progesterone driven. Where does this progesterone come from? The follicle which the egg came from releases this progesterone. What does this progesterone do? Ahhh, it does a lot of things. One thing it does is raise your body temperature. This is important to know later. Progesterone keeps you from bleeding. Therefore if you are pregnant, the progesterone will keep you from bleeding so that the baby can get implanted and established. It’s very important in early pregnancy. But if you aren’t pregnant then the follicle shrivels up, stops releasing progesterone, and you will start to bleed.

Rule of Thumb- You can have periods without ovulating, but you can’t ovulate without having a period.

Explanation- You can bleed any time your body feels like it whether or not you are ovulating. Some people assume because they have periods they are fertile, but this isn’t always true- especially while breastfeeding. But the bleeding doesn’t necessarily mean ovulation/fertility. BUT, if you are ovulating, you WILL bleed 7-14 days later. The very act of ovulating, causing the increase and then drop in progesterone will make you bleed…. period. (no pun intended)

Breaking this all down to the basics in order- Estrogen/FSH, LH, ovulation, progesterone, bleeding, repeat.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Ready, set, go!

First person to comment wins! Stay blogged and get preggot.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Another Preggot Giveaway!

For the hip housewife. When you want to protect your cute designer clothes, but don't want to do so with a frumpy old apron. The lucky winner will receive one of my handmade aprons. I have a friend who makes "retro" hostess aprons, and since I just got a brand new sewing machine, I decided to make a little more practical halter apron with a cute wraparound sash (which makes a darling little criss-cross on your back). I have 3 color combinations right now for the winner to pick from. The pink and blue are pictured below.

Here is how the giveaway works. Some time between Monday and Thursday I will post asking for a comment. The first person to comment will win the prize! Check back daily to win the random giveaway. And if you don't win I'll be happy to sell you one. Good luck!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Pregnancy Tip- Make money by delivering a baby

I hope you have enjoyed the previous posts from Preggot. This has been fun to share with Mothers and future Mothers throughout the world

Okay, at last, the long awaited post. How do you make money by having a baby? I can only tell you my own personal experience. It is certainly something that has been fun for us.

*****You cannot be pregnant right now. If you are pregnant right now, you can bookmark this page until you are getting ready to have another. *****

If you meet that criteria, read on….

I’m not selling anything here, I promise. I’m just telling you, mother to mother, how I made money by having my second and third child. So take a deep breath and read on…

It started with a flier left on my door when I was pregnant with my first child. An insurance agent was selling a fairly new product called “Supplemental insurance.” Supplemental insurance is a policy bought alone or in addition to your current health insurance. Meaning you can purchase it whether or not you have your own health insurance already. Supplemental Insurance companies don’t contract with health care providers. When they pay insurance claims, they pay a set amount, directly to the insured person. They don’t care how much your primary insurance company pays, they just cut you a check for their designated amount. Even if your insurance company pays 100% of your medical bills, they will pay you the same amount they would pay an uninsured person.

These supplemental insurance companies offer many different policies that pay for various different circumstances such as: hospitalization, ambulance rides, disability, etc. If you are planning on having a baby, and planning on having the baby in the hospital, one of these hospitalization policies could help you. Of course they don’t want to insure you if you are already pregnant because then they know that you will be hospitalized. So they are willing to take a chance on you if you appear to be a healthy person.

The hospitalization policies pay a set amount per day. So if you stay in the hospital for two days (like most women do), then they will pay you their allotted daily amount for each day. Like I said, this check comes in the mail, regardless of how much your hospital bill was, and regardless of how much your insurance paid.

Of course these insurances come with premiums, so you have to give some money upfront, but the payout in the end is worth it.

Does that make sense? I know it’s a strange idea, but it has worked for me twice now, and I’ve made a lot of money. I can’t tell you too many specifics as I’m not an insurance agent, but I can tell you that I got $8700 in checks after my third delivery. It varies for everybody, these policies are always changing. If you have further questions, feel free to email me, I can explain it more in depth over email. So here are my written instructions on how to make money by having a baby:

  1. Email your contact information to Your information will not be sold. You don’t need to worry about giving your contact information. This will simply get you in touch with the best supplemental insurance agent I know of in the state of Utah and surrounding states. He knows all the ins and outs, and is licensed with every supplemental insurance company of any worth.
  1. 10 months before your baby is born, you must sign up for all your policies. This means 10 calendar months, so if you sign up on October 5th, you can’t have your baby before August 5th if you want to be paid. If you have your babies early like me, you have to sign up at least 2 months before you try to get pregnant; I only have 8 month pregnancies.
  1. Pay your monthly premiums on all insurance policies until after you have your baby.

4. Stay 2 full days in the hospital after having your baby. Check with your hospital’s billing department to find out exactly how long you have to stay to be charged for 2 full days. It can be tricky. But depending on what time of the day you have your baby, you may be able to leave sooner than 48 hours. Remember you aren’t admitted to the hospital until after you have delivered, so the clock doesn’t start until then.

  1. Check the mail anxiously every day until your hospital bill comes.
  1. Make lots of copies of that itemized hospital bill.
  1. Fill out your forms and send them in with a copy of the itemized hospital bill
  1. Less than two weeks later, you will receive your checks in the mail. If you don’t, be sure to call and bug them about it, but you WILL get paid.
  1. Be grateful for supplemental insurance policies.

Some other random things:

These insurance companies will also pay SOME money for: ultrasounds, a few Dr. visits per year, and other random things. I went to the ER for a kidney infection once, and they paid part for my CT scan

If you have a miscarriage and you get a D&C, they will pay out for the D&C as a surgery. It’s enough to cover a few months of premiums.

Anyway, I hope this is helpful to all you future mothers out there. If you have any questions e-mail me and I will help you get the information you need. If any part of this is too vague, please comment and let me know. Of course it all makes perfect sense to me ;)

Oh, and by the way, “stay blogged and get preggot!”

Monday, January 21, 2008

Random Post- Free Toilet paper

Sorry! This ended on Tuesday. But hold on to your coupons, Albertson's will run this sale again.

This week at Albertson's the Scott Extra Soft toilet paper is on sale for $1.00 for a 4-pack. The Sunday paper had $1.00 coupons in the inserts making it free! If you don't take the paper, you can also print out $1.00 coupons from the following links. So go get some free toilet paper today!

Stay blogged and get Preggot!

Pregnancy Tip- Pregnancy tests

Which pregnancy tests are the best? I've been asked that question a lot. The very best tests that I know of are purchased at I honestly got a + test with my third child 8 days after conception! I've never tested + less than 11 days past conception with my other 3 pregnancies. No other test that I had (Yes, I know that I'm obsessed, but I treat my life like a science experiment) showed up + until 10 days, and it was very light even then.

The science behind pregnancy tests is that there is a strip on them that binds with the hormone hcg. Your body starts releasing hcg as soon as the little baby implants into your uterus. In a healthy, progressing pregnancy, the hcg in your bloodstream will double every 48-72 hours. Most people will test positive (using a decent pregnancy test) by 12 dpo (days past ovulation). This hcg in your blood is measured in mIU/mL as a number such as 15, 20, 25. Your average grocery store pregnancy test has a sensitivity of around 25 mIU/mL. Have you ever seen the commercial for the First Response Early Results test where they claim that you can test 5 days earlier than other pregnancy tests? The First Response test has a sensitivity around 20 mIU/mL. The tests are 15 mIU/mL-- The most sensitive tests I know of.

So my best recommendation for pregnancy tests is If you aren't prepared enough to wait for them to come in the mail, my second choice is the generic brand at Walmart (Equate). My third choice is the DollarTree pregnancy tests, and if you have the patience, you can't beat the price! The DollarTree tests are still pretty sensitive, but their lines are a little bit lighter, which makes it a little harder to believe.

There are the new digital tests, which actually work really well, but will cost you a lot of money. But I bet it's fun to have a little device actually test you that you're pregnant.

The rule with pregnancy tests is "A line, is a line, is a line." If there are two lines on your pregnancy test, you are pregnant! The stories of false positives are few and far between.

One of my favorite resources when I was initially searching for the best pregnancy test was this website: Check out this website, it makes me look a little less obsessed with pregnancy comparatively, this woman actually has bought thousands of tests and taken them over the years.

While we're talking about pregnancy tests, let me put in a plug for ovulation tests. I think these are ESSENTIAL in the conception process, and I'll do a more in depth post about this another time. But if you're wondering what ovulation tests are best, let me tell you my observation. Spend as little as possible on ovulation tests, they all work. I personally buy my ovulation tests in bulk at I DO NOT recommend their pregnancy tests, but their ovulation tests are the cheapest, and they work great.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Coming Soon!

The long awaited post on how I made money by having a baby. I'm going to type it up and have it posted soon! Check back.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Motherhood Tip- Weaning/ Engorgement

How do you stop engorgement? I was asked this question today. First lets talk about engorgement in general.

Engorgement is caused by having too much milk in the breasts. This is obviously very uncomfortable. I mean really, when you are engorged your breasts are at least double or triple their normal size. It's amazing how completely consumed your body becomes when this area is affected. I personally can't even lift my arms up to get dressed when I'm engorged. Engorgement is not only caused by the milk in your breasts, but swelling as well. Ibprofin can help reduce this swelling. Many people will tell you to put cabbage leaves in your bra to help with the pain. I disagree with this remedy. HEAT is what encourages your body to release the milk, so I believe that cooling the breasts contributes to the engorgement. I have a friend who was engorged for a whole week, and went through a lot of heads of cabbage. When she switched to heat and Ibprofin, it went away quickly. Lots of hot showers and baths, and frequent pumping to release some of the pressure is my best advice. Do not completely empty breasts with a pump, that will encourage more milk production, but just expessing a little bit of milk will help relieve the pressure.

So for the new mother who is engorged here is my plan of action- Heat, showers, frequent nursing/pumping, and Ibprofin. You don't want to do anything more than this if you want to continue nursing.

For the weaning mother I have some additional ideas to help engorgement. (Still use all of the above ideas too) When you are weaning, you are not only looking for relief from engorgement, but to stop milk production all together. Here are two things you can do to encourage your body to stop producing milk:

Sage- The herb "Sage" contains a natural estrogen, and therefore will decrease milk supply. Tinctures are the best and can be purchased at a local health food store. For instructions on using Sage to decrease milk click here. This website is a great resource for all breastfeeding questions.

Birth Control Pills- The majority of Birth Control pills contain estrogen, and estrogen suppresses milk supply. When I weaned my second baby I dried up in ONE DAY, with the assistance of a Birth Control Pill. It only took one pill for me, and I was dry as a bone. Birth control pills can now be purchased for $9 in their generic form at Walmart pharmacies. (Click here to see the list of their super cheap generic medications)

Benadryl or Sudafed- As an antihistamine, these drugs are designed to dry up bodily secretions. Milk included. Take a few of these, and it should really help you dry up.

My only other advice for weaning is to do it slowly if you can. Start dropping one feeding a week until you are done. Of course everyone is different, and this just isn't possible for everyone.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Motherhood Tip- Getting the baby weight off

You know how exciting it is to finally get back into your old jeans after you have a baby? For me, I try them on once a week until they fit. For a few weeks I can squeeze into them, but I can barely breathe. So my advice is to put them on when they are really tight, along with a tight shirt. Then walk past every mirror in your house as many times as possible. You'll be so disgusted with yourself you'll never want to eat again.

I DO think that is good advice, but here is some more sound advice. Have you ever stood at the finish line of a marathon? Have you ever seen the people who are running those marathons? Sure, many of them are great runners, and are in great shape. Others, many others, are not in good shape, in fact I would dare call them overweight or even fat! How can these people run so many miles, and train for so long and still be fat?

Running is great. It is good in assisting you to lose weight, and it is very good for your health. But your body gets used to running pretty easily. And for a new mother, just burning calories isn't enough. There are certain areas that just suffer from pregnancy. After my second baby, I was having a hard time losing the baby weight. I was at the gym every day, but the weight around my mid section wasn't coming off. I started taking the body-sculpting classes at my gym, and within two weeks I was starting to feel like I had a waist again. Until I added a killer weight resistance hour at least 3 times a week, I couldn't get rid of my muffin-top figure. You have to work those core muscles to lose that core fat.

I'm not saying running isn't good, and it may even be enough for you, but I think that in order to have a more perfect mid section, you need to target-tone that area with weight resistance.

I am 2.5 months post partum right now, and I only have 5 pounds left to lose! But if you saw me you would think it was 35. I think all 5 pounds are hanging over my pants right now. So I need to get to work, myself.

P.s. I just squeezed into my jeans today, and all I ate for lunch was a grapefruit and some oatmeal. I think this may work for me. ;)

Saturday, January 5, 2008

And the winner is......

Wow! Thanks to all for helping get the word out for Preggot. If you keep the Preggot! link on your blog, you'll be entered into the future contests as well. We'll do another one next month, so stay blogged and get Preggot!

I promise I was totally honest on all this, I mixed them up really well, and the first name I drew out was.........

Congrats- You'll have your digital picture frame keychain next week!

Tidbit- Miscarriages

UGGGGGH! I hate miscarriages. I have a friend who has had two identical miscarriages in a row. They have both been on the same day, before her period is even late. Very early, but very frustrating none-the-less. So what do you do if you have multiple miscarriages? Unfortunately very few people get an answer to that question. Your doctor will definitely try to get to the bottom of it after two miscarriages. I can tell you one thing you can try though: Progesterone Supplements.

It's kind of a chicken and egg thing. Is your progesterone low because you are going to miscarry, or do you miscarry because your progesterone is low? It hasn't really been proven either way, but there is no harm in trying progesterone supplements if you have had more than one miscarriage. Many women have been able to keep pregnancies with progesterone supplements after they have had multiple miscarriages without.

Progesterone supplements can't harm your baby, so if you are concerned about multiple miscarriages, or suspect you might have low progesterone, BEG YOUR DOCTOR FOR PROGESTERONE SUPPLEMENTS! Begging always works for me :).

One more thought on progesterone- if you are having trouble getting pregnant, and have short cycles, you may need progesterone supplements to even get pregnant.

If you have any questions feel free to comment or email me.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Tidbit- Linea Negra

Okay, I am 2 months post-partum right now. I still have that stupid line down my belly. As if a post-partum belly isn't ugly enough, you have to add this nasty brown line. So does anyone know how to get rid of it? I used to think if I rubbed it enough I could get it to fade. Unfortunately, this line isn't on the outer layer of skin, so you can rub and rub, but it won't come off. The only thing you can do is wait. Don't worry, it almost always fades within a few months, and not longer than a year. *Sigh*