The Awesome Pregnancy Perk a Start-Up Company Offers

If you’re pregnant and working in an office whose dress code isn’t stretchy yoga pants-friendly, your bank account will take a hit. Business maternity clothes aren’t cheap. One dress can cost hundreds of dollars, and that’s just one outfit.

 

To help pregnant women afford professional attire, Domo, a Utah-based computer software start-up, is offering expecting employees up to $2,000 to spend on maternity clothes. The mom will receive gift cards to Nordsroms, ASOS and A Pea in the Pod to basically go on a shopping spree to find new work-appropriate clothing that’s also comfortable.

 

This innovative policy started about a year ago when Domo CEO Josh James’ assistant became pregnant. James quickly realized the struggle she was facing to continue to dress professionally while dealing with a changing body.

 

The CEO tells People, “I’ve always believed that if you look good, you feel good, and if you feel good, you play good. We want our expectant employees to be able to treat themselves, and buy clothes that make them feel great.”

 

And while the stipend may just be a small gesture in the grand scheme of things, sometimes it’s the small things that make a big difference.

 

Domo employee and mother of two Erica Bartsch was one of the first women to take advantage of this benefit. She tells Fortune, “Pregnancy is an awkward time for your body. You’re doing this wonderful and amazing thing while going through so many changes … the image of what you have in your head is not reflected in the mirror. The benefit made me confident about what I was putting on.”

 

That’s not the only way this company is supporting working parents. They also have a paternity leave policy which gives new dads two weeks off fully paid (which may not seem much compared to the Netflix’s of the world, but keep in mind this is a very small start-up company,) and gives new parents a $1,000 “baby bonus.

 

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Pregnancy & Your Skin

Well, don’t despair over your skin. Acne, dry skin, varicose veins and darkened patches of skin around your eyes, nose and cheeks are common skin-related changes during pregnancy. A dark line may appear down the middle of your abdomen. It’s also a common, but harmless, pregnancy-related skin change. To keep your skin healthy follow these simple steps:

Wear sunscreen and a hat in the sun. Your skin is more sun-sensitive and may burn more easily during pregnancy.

Take your prenatal supplement every day, in addition to eating a well-balanced diet that includes whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

Ask your dermatologist or OB about skin care products to control or reduce pregnancy-related skin irritation. Soap substitutes and moisturizers may be recommended.

Put your feet up to reduce varicose veins. Report any unusual skin changes such as yellowing of the skin (jaundice), blistering, severe itching, rashes or moles that change in color or size to your health care team.

Schedule your healthy pregnancy checkup and childbirth classes.

Sorry to break it to you but, if you’ve gotten used to your regular Botox injections, glycolic peels and microdermabrasion, it’s time to get unused to them. Basically, you should avoid any medically unnecessary procedures or drugs during your pregnancy. And while you may feel those “lunchtime face-lifts” aesthetically necessary, they are definitely not medically necessary. The same goes for teeth whitening and hair coloring.

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No Alcohol During Pregnancy, Pediatricians Urge

While some studies have hinted that a little alcohol might be harmless during pregnancy, a leading U.S. pediatricians’ group has issued a new warning that no amount of

drinking is safe while pregnant.

“The only guarantee of having no effects from alcohol is no prenatal alcohol exposure,” said Dr. Janet Williams, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Texas

Health Science Center and coauthor of the new statement and report from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

It’s likely, she added, that future research will continue to show that “alcohol has subtle yet important lasting effects on academic performance, attention, behavior,

cognition, memory, language skills, and visual and motor development.”

Physicians and researchers have been warning about the hazards of alcohol use during pregnancy for decades. Yet almost half of all women of childbearing age in the

United States reported consuming alcohol within the past month, the researchers said, and nearly 8 percent of women continue to consume alcohol during pregnancy.

The AAP published its new statement in part to update health workers and the public, Williams said.

According to the new report, published online Oct. 19 in the journal Pediatrics, alcohol use during pregnancy can cause thinking and behavioral problems that last a

lifetime. “No amount of alcohol intake should be considered safe,” the report stated, and “there is no safe trimester to drink alcohol.”

The report said that all forms of alcohol—beer, wine and liquor—pose similar risks. Getting quickly drunk, known as binge drinking, poses a higher risk in line

with the extra amount of alcohol consumed, the report noted. According to Williams, binge drinking in women is defined as four or more standard drinks, typically

within two hours.

Some studies published over the last few years have hinted that a small number of drinks during pregnancy could be safe. For example, research published in 2010 in the

Journal of Epidemiology and Community Healthfound no extra behavioral or thinking risks from having one or two drinks a week.

However, “studies do not conclude that alcohol use is safe,” Williams said. Instead, they only show “that in certain study populations under certain conditions, there

is or is not sufficient evidence of effect that can be attributable to alcohol exposure.”

Indeed, according to Janni Niclasen, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Copenhagen who has studied alcohol and pregnancy, “With our current

research methods, we will never be able to conclude from human studies whether there is a safe lower level below which drinking is not associated with any harm to the

developing fetus.”

Of course, many women inadvertently drink alcohol without realizing that they’re pregnant. And alcohol often plays a role in sexual encounters aimed at producing a

baby, including those that may occur when a woman doesn’t know she’s pregnant. So, should women of childbearing age always avoid alcohol?

Williams isn’t willing to go that far and would only say that alcohol and pregnancy don’t go together. She added that some women, despite the findings of research,

“continue to rationalize that their own alcohol use during pregnancy is sufficiently low or infrequent to be safe.”

Niclasen, the Denmark researcher, said women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant should avoid all alcohol. “I am often called a moralist for having this

perspective, but I think we need to focus on the development and future life of the unborn children,” she said.

Christina Chambers, a professor of pediatrics at the Center for Better Beginnings at the University of California, San Diego, offers this advice: “Women of

childbearing age who drink alcohol should consider their pattern of drinking. For example, avoid binge drinking and avoid pregnancy as long as they are drinking. If

pregnancy is planned, then alcohol can be discontinued.”

There may be no risk “if a woman has consumed small amounts of alcohol prior to knowing she is pregnant,” she said, but “the best advice is to avoid pregnancy if

drinking and to avoid drinking if pregnant.”

According to both Williams and Chambers, alcohol use poses risks in all stages of pregnancy, and neither would say the risk is higher in certain stages.

Overall, Chambers said, the AAP’s statement “is an important stand to take, and hopefully it will lead to less stigma associated with (fetal alcohol spectrum

disorders) and to more access to and uptake of prevention and treatment services.”

Related Links : No Alcohol During Pregnancy

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5 Weeks Pregnant: Preparing for a Healthy Pregnancy

Your baby is still pretty small—about the size of a beauty mark. He resembles a small tadpole as the beginnings of a spinal  develop and form a tail. His umbilical cord has formed, and your placenta is hard at work helping to deliver nutrients and keeping the bad stuff away from his fragile body.

Perhaps you are wondering if you should tell your family and friends the good news. It’s important to examine the pros and cons and make this choice with the help of your partner. You may need time to adjust to the news and to discuss options with your partner for your pregnancy and beyond (Keep working? Work part-time? Quit your job?). If you’re employed, you may want time to consider how to discuss your pregnancy with your employer.

Plus, the first three months are the most common time for miscarriage. Some women prefer to keep the news quiet until the baby has had time to get settled, while others prefer to share their pregnancy with close friends and family so they’ll have support, if needed.

In the meantime, if you haven’t already, now is a great time to begin forming habits that will contribute to a healthy pregnancy. This includes regular exercise and getting ample nutrients to support your growing baby. You’ll gradually want to work up to 300 more calories a day in your second trimester.

Your diet should ideally consist of whole grains, fruits, vegetables and lean protein. Go light on the saturated fat (for example, red meat and whole-milk dairy products) and aim for as few processed foods as possible. Don’t eat raw or undercooked seafood or meats or unpasteurized milk, cheese and juices. For more on nutrition dos and don’ts during pregnancy