Pregnancy Pregnancy Health

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    Few sensations in a pregnant mom's life are as thrilling as feeling her unborn baby kick, roll, or otherwise bop around inside her body. Fetal movement generally begins at around 18 to 22 weeks, and it's considered a sign that a baby is likely in good health.

    But a mom who is used to her baby moving frequently can be in for a big shock when suddenly baby just isn't moving around as much as she's used to. Before you start worrying, know this: an ebb and flow in movement by your unborn baby is normal and usually nothing to worry about.

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    I had a perfect pregnancy. I gained less than 20 pounds. My baby passed all the pre-natal tests with flying colors. I exercised often, ate well, got plenty of sleep, drank lots of water, and loved the feeling of my baby boy rolling around in my belly. I had but a fleeting moment of morning sickness and had no indigestion and very little discomfort up until the very last days.

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    Here's a newsflash: moms can't win. No matter what parenting style you adhere to, what you choose to name your child, or where you decide to live, it seems like each and every decision just makes you look like a bad parent. And here's further proof! A new study, completed by Bristol University in Australia, just revealed that one single night of binge drinking while pregnant can basically ruin your kid for life.

    According to researchers who tracked over 4,000 participants over a decade, even one night of heavy drinking (which is defined as having four or more drinks) can make children more hyper and lead to a poorer academic performance. And it seems to include that one drunken night a week after sperm met egg. So basically, you're already a bad parent even before you find out you're pregnant.

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    More and more women are turning to birth coaches, and with good reason. Some studies show using a doula reduces the length of labor, pain levels, and C-section rates up to 50 percent. "Many mothers refer to them as the women who have made their birthing experience a 'dreamy' one," says Giuditta Tornetta, a birth coach at JoyinBirthing.com.

    A doula will give you the emotional support and information that most OB/GYNs -- and stressed-out husbands -- can't provide. "Basically a doula is there to help the mom get the birth she wants," says Stephanie Heintzeler, a doula at TheNewYorkDoula.com. But as with choosing your doctor, midwife, and pediatrician, it's important to choose a doula that's right for you.

    Here's how ...

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    What would you do if you woke up one morning, peered in the mirror, and saw that your face was covered in dark splotches that couldn't be washed off? Don't freak out yet! If you're pregnant, there's actually a name for this surprising side effect: "mask of pregnancy," better known in the medical community as melasma or chloasma.

    Now the good news: it's absolutely normal ... and very common.

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    When I found out I was pregnant with my first child, I think I was most excited for my feeding frenzy. I’d be able to eat whatever I wanted without worrying about getting fat. Or rather, when I did get fat, I’d have a pretty good excuse for it.

    I dreamed of nights filled with mint chocolate chip ice cream, days of chips and dip, dinners of thick juicy steaks and lots and lots of mashed potatoes. I’d start out eating for three, just in case I had twins in there. And once I found out for sure I didn’t, maybe I’d cut down just a wee bit.

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    Before you've even given birth, chances are you've seen your baby plenty of times. All those scheduled pregnancy ultrasounds gave you a chance to catch a sneak peek of that little nugget long before the due date. And sometimes, you might get to see something incredible. Just take one dad who found his baby giving a thumbs up in the sonogram.

    This is not a joke. And you have to see the actual shot dear old Dad uploaded to Reddit to believe it. Take a look at the one-of-a-kind pic:

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    Pregnant moms battling depression ... take a deep breath. According to a new Massachusetts General Hospital study, the increased autism risk associated with antidepressant use is likely due to the depression, not the drugs. Hopefully, that will give you a sigh of relief. 

    That said, the same study found that exposure to antidepressants in the womb is linked with much higher rates of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in kids. We're talking an 80 percent increased risk of ADHD if mom takes antidepressants while pregnant.

    Those findings are jarring, yes. Definitely worth filing it away in your mind. But don't panic just yet. 

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    A celeb mom debuted quite the accessory on the red carpet at the Emmys: Amanda Peet has another baby bump! At 42, Peet is expecting her third child with husband David Benioff. Her age is no big deal by Hollywood standards ... except she made it one a few years ago.

    Back in 2010, after the birth of her second child, Amanda publicly declared she was "too old" to have a third child. She was 38 years old at the time. Of course, her comment didn't sit well with some moms, but she held her own and seemed pretty sure of her decision. What a difference a few years make!

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    Zoe Saldana is catching some heat for her ALS ice bucket challenge video. Instead of doing it herself, she enlisted her husband ... and turned to the side to reveal the reason why: Zoe Saldana has a baby bump.

    The Guardians of the Galaxy actress finally acknowledged she's preggers after months of speculation. Great delivery using the ALS ice bucket challenge video to announce her big news, but her message may confuse some pregnant women.

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