pregnancy

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049: zero alcohol for nine months’ pregnancy for healthy babies

September is FASD Awareness Month. To mark this occasion, the Minnesota Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (MOFAS) is leading the way in increasing awareness and educating women on the importance of not drinking alcohol during pregnancy. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) can only be caused by a woman drinking alcohol while pregnant. Despite myths, there is no scientific evidence available that sets a “safe” amount of alcohol that will not affect the developing fetus. The U.S. Surgeon General, the Center for Disease Control, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists all advise pregnant women and women who could become pregnant to abstain completely from alcohol during pregnancy. Continue Reading →

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More surprising pregnancy facts: body changes beyond your tummy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conclusion  of a two-part column

 
Last week’s column described some changes during pregnancy besides your growing abdomen — and perhaps your breasts, too — that may take you by surprise. As with many pregnancy changes, hormones and genetics play a major role in most of these changes in your looks. Here are a few more such changes you may notice:
 

Skin discolorations 

Increased melanin can cause darks spots, especially on the cheeks, forehead, upper lip and arms. These pigment changes will become worse if you don’t protect yourself from the sun. The medical term for this discoloration is melasma. What to do: Protect your face by using a sunblock that offers both UVA and UVB protection with an SPF of 30 or higher, wearing a hat with a broad brim and sun-protective clothing (Coolibar Sun Protective Clothing). If melasma develops, there are several approaches to treating it including topical fade creams, skin peels and lasers. Continue Reading →

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Surprising pregnancy facts: body changes beyond your tummy

 

You expect your abdomen to grow during pregnancy — and perhaps your breasts, too — but the following physical changes may take you by surprise. As with many pregnancy changes, hormones and genetics play a major role in most of these changes in your looks.  

Thicker, more luxurious hair 

This is kind of an illusion. You’re not actually growing more hair, just losing less than you normally do. Everyone loses 100 or more hairs per day, but during pregnancy this rate slows down. Your body sheds hair much more slowly than it did before, causing a net gain and thicker, fuller looking hair. What to do: If thicker hair is desirable, enjoy it. If it’s making your mane more unruly than ever, ask your stylist to do some thinning at your next visit. Continue Reading →

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Why should I care about nail health?

 

 

Nail problems are very common and troubling. Nails often reflect our general state of health and can often be the first sign of serious general health issues.  

Nail facts

Fingernails grow out in four to six months. Toenails grow out in nine to 12 months. Individual rates depend on age, time of the year, activity levels and heredity. Continue Reading →

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State’s Black teens show health gains, including reduced pregnancies

However, wellness gap remains between White youth and youth of color
Collectively, Minnesota’s teens are doing better today on key health measures than they were in the 1990s, according to a recent analysis by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). Since the 1990s, students 12 to 19 years old from all racial and ethnic groups have experienced substantial declines in rates of smoking cigarettes, binge drinking, sexual activity, hitting or beating up another person, carrying a weapon on school property, drinking pop or soda, and riding in a car without a seat belt, according to The Health and Well-Being of Minnesota’s Adolescents of Color and American Indians: A Data Book (PDF: 3.62MB/86 pages) from the MDH. One exception is the level of emotional distress, which has remained basically the same since the mid-1990s. This marks the first time the MDH has systematically compared the health of teens from different ethnic and racial backgrounds — White, Latino, African American, Asian, and American Indian — and found a persistent wellness gap between Minnesota’s White adolescents and its adolescents of color and American Indians. “This teen fact book shows that efforts in some targeted areas have been working to protect adolescents of color and American Indians, but it also shows that much more needs to be done,” said Ed Ehlinger, Minnesota commissioner of health. Continue Reading →

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