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Conception and Food

Conception and Food: What to Eat and When

baby, baby, EAT, FAM, pregnancy By February 4, 2016 Tags: , , , , , 3 Comments

Eating a healthy, balanced diet rich in antioxidants and high in nutrients is important, but there is more to it than that – it can boost fertility. Surprisingly, it’s not just what you eat, but when you eat it. Our bodies have different nutritional needs over the course of the month, so it makes sense that there is a link between conception and food.


Inexpensive Maternity Clothes

Uncategorized By October 10, 2012 Tags: , , , , , , , 2 Comments

Inexpensive Maternity ClothesSeeing as the entirety of pregnancy lasts about 9 months, the need for maternity clothes lasts at most the same length of time.  Why should you buy a whole new wardrobe to wear for a maximum of nine months, none of which will fit you after?  The answer: You don’t have to!  Maternity clothes are for the most part, expensive and not very flattering—when let’s face it; you need to feel that you look as good as possible when you’re pregnant!  No matter your dedication level to the idea of having inexpensive maternity clothes, you do have options.

Make your own clothes.  There is a variety of levels you can make your clothes from but no matter the skill level, altering your clothes to fit your growing body parts is a skill that will save you tons of money.  Many women have problems with their shirts not fitting in length once their belly starts expanding even though the shirt seems to fit in all the other ways.  For this problem, you can take your shirt that you want to wear, cut it below your ribcage and piece in the midsection from another t-shirt and reattach the bottom from the first shirt.  If you pick fabrics and colors that will go well together, then you will have just made a unique shirt for yourself.  Instead of layering tanks underneath to hide your belly, you will be getting compliments on your cute and different shirt.  Plus, a band of contrasting color on a shirt is a cute way to accent your growing belly!  Another common problem for pregnant women is the waistband in jeans.  While the jeans may still be wearable for another few months everywhere else, the waistband doesn’t allow for any of the growth that is happening.  So, just make all your pants a belly band to fit in wherever there is a fly, button or zipper.  A belly band is simply an attachable piece of elastic you fasten onto bottoms wherever they do up.  You can wear your pants unbuttoned or unzipped and since you now have longer shirts, no one will know!  For more advanced seamstresses, you could make your own wrap skirts, and loose fitting tops out of your choice of fabric and prints.  The most important thing to keep in mind though, when making or altering your own maternity clothes,  is that you will be growing so make or alter things that will be adjustable for you so that you can continue to wear these pieces and be comfortable in them.

Shop New Stores.  While you may be used to shopping for clothes in a mall, that’s not where you’ll find the best priced maternity clothes.  Instead, shop your favorite vintage stores, thrift stores and consignment stores.  These places are where other women have taken the new maternity clothes they bought and didn’t want hanging around.  Most maternity clothes you find will be only gently used and some may even be basically brand new!  Shop at the vintage stores that you are close to or the ones you know to be a bit more stringent on their donations, you may pay a bit more here but you will find clothes that are cuter and in need of less repair.  Another good place to find maternity clothes is garage sales.  Search neighborhoods that are child friendly and prestigious to find the best steals on maternity clothes—you never know what else you may find for baby!

If you must shop, shop for both.  If you can’t fathom wearing someone else’s clothes even for only nine months, then there are a few things you can look for in the regular stores that can be worn during pregnancy and after.  Maxi dresses, or anything with an empire waist works perfectly.  There is no restriction of the belly and these are so in style right now!  These can even be dressed up for formal wear if you have to go to something fancy while you’re pregnant.  Tunic tops and leggings are always cute on anyone and are the perfect casual pregnancy outfit.

No matter what you choose, make sure you are comfortable in the clothes you’re wearing.

– Allie Samborn


What is Safe During Pregnancy?

Uncategorized By August 25, 2012 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , No Comments

Many a newly pregnant woman has several panic attacks when she realizes that pregnancy means changing some habits.  What is safe during pregnancy?  Can I dye my hair? Eat Sushi? What about nail polish fumes and second hand smoke?  And the stress that all of these questions are causing..

UrbanMommies has pulled together articles and advice from our medical experts to help you navigate the beautiful months while pregnant.  Breathe, relax, and remember that moderation and instinct should always remain in the equation.  As with anything, your doctor or midwife should be consulted if you are concerned about any issues you are having.

Preparing for Pregnancy, from pre-conception health to implantation, trimesters and giving birth we don’t seem to ever run out of questions that need to be clarified – especially surrounding what is safe during pregnancy.  As always, you can email us if you have any other questions and we will find an answer for you.  Good luck and keep glowing!


What is it safe to do while pregnant?

Sushi During Pregnancy

Dying your Hair When Pregnant

Nail Polish Fumes and Pregnancy

What Foods Should I Avoid During Pregnancy?

Colds and Flu During Pregnancy

Drinking Alcohol while Planning to get Pregnant

Overheating During Pregnancy

How much Water should I consume While Pregnant?

How Much Weight Should I Gain During Pregnancy?

Can I Run During Pregnancy?

Is it Safe to Diet During Pregnancy?

Exercise During the 2nd Trimester

Lying on your Back while Pregnant

Dealing with Pregnancy Acne

Consitpation and Pregnancy

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

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Mom's thyroid hormone levels may affect baby's IQ

Uncategorized By January 10, 2012 Tags: , , , , No Comments

Miscarriage, premature delivery, stillbirth, brain abnormalities and low IQ are some of the complications that may affect an unborn infant if the mother has untreated thyroid disorder. So, are women at particular risk of developing thyroid disease when they are pregnant?

If certain known risk factors are present, the answer is: Yes. These include a family history of thyroid disease, signs and symptoms of thyroid disease, the presence of goitre, type 1 diabetes, or other autoimmune diseases.

Yet another risk factor is that the mother’s hormone levels may fluctuate during pregnancy. Thyroid disorders include the gland being under-active (hypothyroidism) or over-active (hyperthyroidism).

For the unborn infant, it is vitally important that the mother’s thyroid hormone levels be normal, especially during the first three months of pregnancy.

Here’s why: Thyroid hormones are critically important in the development of the infant’s brain. So thyroid hormones provided by the mother during the first three months of pregnancy are especially important. The infant’s thyroid becomes functional at approximately 12 weeks.

To be sure your thyroid gland is healthy, ask your doctor for a TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) test.  This simple quick blood test is the most accurate way to diagnose a thyroid disorder.

Thyroid disorders are among the most common medical conditions in Canada. It is estimated three million Canadians have a thyroid condition – and half may be unaware of it.   Hypothyroidism represents the most common thyroid disorder and affects women three times more often than it does men.

For more information: and

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

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Signs of Implantation – When Some Say Pregnancy Begins

Uncategorized By August 11, 2011 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 20 Comments

Signs of ImplantationSome scientists say that implantation is when and where pregnancy begins. What is implantation and are there any common signs of implantation? Implantation occurs when the egg that has been fertilized by the sperm attaches to the inner wall of the uterus about 7-9 days after conception. Having traveled down the fallopian tube and divided several times, the fertilized zygote has reached its final destination in the warm and nourishing uterine lining. Now it can receive the oxygen and nutrients from mom to begin to grow and develop into the beautiful baby it will become. Implantation must occur for pregnancy to continue.

Signs of Implantation are Rare

If the zygote does not implant into the uterine wall, it will pass during your next period and pregnancy will not occur. Signs of implantation are rare. In fact, only a very small percentage of women experience any symptoms of implantation.

Spotting as a Sign of Implantation

The most common—but still rare—sign of implantation is spotting a week before you expect your period to occur. Essentially, a very small amount of blood will appear in your panties or perhaps a bit of pink or brown discharge. Some women also experience some unusual cramping during implantation and even a change in their normal body temperature.

Every woman’s cycle is different but here is how your cycle approximately goes. It begins on the first day of your period. Approximately 2 weeks after your period begins, you ovulate (an egg is released from your ovary into your fallopian tube) and this is the time you are most likely to get pregnant. Then if conception occurs (a sperm cell has fused with your egg) implantation will occur about a week after ovulation, and a week before you would expect your next period. So if spotting occurs a week before you expect your period, and you had sex about a week prior to the spotting, then it is likely that implantation has occurred and you are pregnant. Congratulations!

Other Early Signs of Pregnancy

But don’t send out those baby announcements just yet! Spotting before your period does not guarantee that you are pregnant as spotting can be a normal part of the menstrual cycle. According to the Mayo Clinic, other symptoms of pregnancy include tender, swollen breasts, fatigue, nausea sometimes with vomiting, food aversions or cravings, headaches, constipation, mood swings and fainting or dizziness. Of course all of these are occasional symptoms of being a woman so it’s always best to check with a doctor if you think you might be pregnant or experience unusual symptoms.

You could be pregnant and experience no spotting or other symptoms of implantation whatsoever. Spotting at implantation does not always occur or can be so minimal that it is not noticeable so don’t worry if you don’t experience any signs of implantation a week after ovulating. Essentially, implantation spotting is a normal but infrequent symptom of pregnancy. Therefore the best way to determine if you are pregnant is to see a doctor. If your periods are irregular, if you find more than just a bit of blood between periods, if you have unusually large amounts of pain or if spotting occurs and then your period follows days after, it would be good to see a doctor to make sure everything is OK with your menstrual cycle and fertility. It is always good to see a doctor to confirm pregnancy before you start decorating the nursery!

Sign up for our newsletter to get more exclusive pregnancy and parenting information!  And our Facebook Fan Page is pretty fun too.

For further reading, see our Spotting Before Your Period, Implantation Pain and Early Pregnancy Signs and Symptoms articles.

Our factual sources for this article include the following. You may visit them for further information.

Child Development (Canadian Edition) by Laura Berk

-Danica Longair

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

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Maternity Clothes in Canada

Uncategorized By July 21, 2011 Tags: , , , , , , , , 22 Comments

Maternity Clothes in CanadaRemember when maternity fashion was an oxymoron?  When insipid little rosebuds on a mu-mu were au courant?  Canadian designers are among the top in the world, and as our reputation grows as a world-class travel destination, our shopping options do as well – even for maternity clothes.  We are featuring stores that carry maternity clothes in Canada and the ones below are Canadian-based stores dedicated to the belly.  We’ve also got a section on nursing bras and nursing wear.  Let us know if you have any additions!

Maternity Stores in Ontario

Hatch Maternity

Kick Maternity
Belly Maternity
Seven Women
Room for 2
Rhonda Maternity
Ranghaman Designs

Maternity Stores in Quebec

Bloom Maternity
Mama Mia
Apso Bibi

Maternity Stores in New Brunswick

Ella Bella

Maternity Stores in British Columbia

Hazel & Co.
Room for 2
Indulge the Baby Bulge
La Mama

Maternity Stores in Alberta

Baby and Me Maternity
This one’s neat – maternity rentalsThe Maternity Closet
Yoyomama Maternity
AmyLou Boutique

Maternity Stores in Nova Scotia

Spoil Me Rotten Maternity

Breastfeeding/Nursing Wear

Edamame Kids
Bumblewee Nursing
Ample Mama

Best of luck with your pregnancy and also the dressing, and if you need more help, well, our Maternity Clothes on a Budget and our Pregnancy Fall and Winter Fashion Trends could also help.

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

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What Cleaning Products Are Safe to Use During Pregnancy and Beyond?

Uncategorized By May 6, 2011 Tags: , , , , , , 1 Comment

Sorry, moms-to-be, being pregnant doesn’t mean you can’t use cleaning products.  (i.e. You can’t use pregnancy as an excuse to hire a maid—unless you just want to..)  In years past, cleaning products were much harsher and more dangerous than they are now, but that doesn’t mean that everything is safe or recommended for use while pregnant. Luckily there are lots of options out there to choose from. Here are some helpful tips regarding cleaning products during pregnancy and beyond.


When Will I Feel the Baby Kick?

Uncategorized By April 29, 2011 Tags: , , , , No Comments

Every woman waits breathlessly for that moment when they finally, definitely, feel their baby kick or move within them. Being pregnant, especially for the first time, is full of scary and amazing experiences, and that is one of them. There is something magical about knowing that the new life you knew was percolating in there has finally expressed itself in a way you can’t doubt. Every mom to be will eventually ask – when will I feel the baby kick?


How Can I Tell if I have Miscarried?

Uncategorized By April 27, 2011 Tags: , , , , , , , 2 Comments

How Can I Tell if I have Miscarried?

There aren’t many scarier experiences in a woman’s life than when she is thinking she may be having a miscarriage. Statistics tell us that around 50% of pregnancies do end in miscarriages, but most of those women have no idea they were even pregnant in the first place. The majority of miscarriages happen in the first two weeks after conception, and the woman thinks she is just having a slightly heavier menstrual cycle than normal. However, when miscarriage happens further along in the pregnancy it can be truly devastating, especially to those parents who have planned and perhaps waited for years for their baby.  Many women will ask – how can I tell if I have miscarried?

Knowing if you are miscarrying can be tricky sometimes, most notably in the first trimester, because just like every woman is different, every pregnant is different. Some women even have their periods during their entire pregnancy—ew! If you are in the first trimester you’re probably hyper-sensitive about every little splotch or twinge, but it’s not necessary to rushing to the emergency room every day. There are some symptoms that are harder to rule out as normal, though. Let’s break things down a bit.

Possible Miscarriage Symptoms

  • Cramping and discharge. A bit of spotting, cramping, or even a little outright bleeding isn’t necessarily an indication of a miscarriage. Many, many women have these symptoms and carry through with a normal pregnancy and have healthy babies. Some darker, brownish or clotted discharge and a bit of mild cramping is just your body expelling old material and basically “feathering the nest” for your developing baby.
  • Extreme nausea and vomiting. Although “morning sickness” often turns out to be “all-day sickness,” something could be wrong if you can’t hold anything down at all, especially if you aren’t able to keep fluids in your system. Dehydration comes very fast for pregnant women, as your body needs those extra fluids to function properly. Although this isn’t necessarily a sign of a miscarriage, it could lead to electrolyte imbalance, which is dangerous, and very powerful vomiting could cause an esophageal rupture or a hernia, or even be sign of a serious infection. Early on in a pregnancy becoming dehydrated or getting a serious infection could bring on a miscarriage.

Stronger Symptoms of Miscarriage

  • Copious, bright blood. A lot of blood, especially if it is bright red, needs to be checked out. If you’re soaking through a pad in less than two hours, especially in conjunction with heavy cramping (see below), it’s an almost definite sign a miscarriage is taking place. Call your doctor while you’re on the way to the emergency room or clinic. It’s best not to wait. Although there’s not much that can be done if you are indeed miscarrying, it’s better to be somewhere with support and medical help available.
  • Strong, gripping cramps. Severe cramps, so strong they take your breath away suddenly or make you double over in pain, when accompanied with gushes of blood, are almost always a symptom you could be miscarrying. These are most likely the contractions which are expelling the fetus from the womb.
  • Passage of tissue. If you begin passing tissue, ranging from bloody, clotted matter in the early weeks to greyish or pinkish solid tissue in later weeks, you have likely miscarried. The passage of this tissue will usually be accompanied by cramps, although they will vary in degree of painfulness.

If you are past the first trimester miscarriage is much less likely to happen. The symptoms of later-pregnancy miscarriage are pretty much identical to the ones listed above. Your doctor or midwife will ask you questions about these issues at your normal visits, but if you have any questions at all, always ask. It’s better to be safe than sorry.


What is a Glucose Tolerance Test?

Uncategorized By April 22, 2011 Tags: , , , No Comments

So there you are, staring at that glass of painfully-sweet, ultra-sugary orange liquid and wondering, “What on earth is that? Isn’t this something the doctors normally say not to drink?” Don’t freak out, it’s a normal test that all mums-to-be have to go through, sometimes multiple times per pregnancy.  What is a glucose tolerance test?  It is how your doctor or midwife can determine whether you have pregnancy-induced diabetes. Diabetes is a disorder in the way your body metabolizes sugar, and pregnant women are susceptible to developing it due to the way that baby is wreaking havoc with your hormones. No, it’s not just sudden tears and bizarre cravings for mango that come with the territory: you could get very sick if you don’t keep your blood sugar in check.


Is it Safe to Dye Your Hair While Pregnant?

Uncategorized By April 22, 2011 Tags: , , , , 1 Comment

According to all the information we have at hand, yes, it’s perfectly safe for you to get your roots touched up with hair dye while you’re expecting. Please! No one should look like a skunk in their post-birthing pictures!  Based on the data which OTIS (Organization for Teratology Information Services) has gathered over years of research, modern hair treatments, including dyes and bleaches, are low in harmful chemicals. So go get thyself pretty: this includes perms, chemical relaxers, highlights, etc., although to be ultra-safe you might want to wait until after the first trimester to do full-head treatments, to minimize absorption of any chemicals through the scalp. Scientists and stylists alike agree, the chance of any of these processes actually hurting you or your baby are extremely minimal.