Am I Pregnant? How to find out with Dollar General Pregnancy Test?

Have you missed your period? Have you been trying to conceive and anxiously waiting for the “good news”? Or did you have unprotected sex accidentally and fear you might be pregnant? Finding out if you are pregnant can be a life-changing event and you definitely do not want to get it wrong. Whether you are hoping for a positive or a negative result, the Dollar General Pregnancy Test can validate your hopes or allay your apprehensions.

Also Read: Probable Signs Of Pregnancy – All You Need To Know

What is the Dollar General Pregnancy Test?

The Dollar General Pregnancy Test is a pregnancy kit available at the Dollar General stores which are one of the most profitable chains of variety stores in the US, famous for providing a wide range of products at very low rates.

It is also known as the DG Health One Step Pregnancy Test Cassette or the Quick-Check Home Pregnancy Test. It is manufactured by the ACON Laboratories, INC.

How is it different from most of the other pregnancy tests?

Unlike most of the other pregnancy tests which can cost you 20 to 50 bucks, it costs only $1! So you are probably less likely to regret spending on it even if your pregnancy test results do not meet your expectations. It is a good combination of price and quality. Though it is not extremely sensitive, it is 99% accurate.

Also Read: Clear Blue Pregnancy Test – What Is It And How To Perform?

How does it work?

Similar to most other home pregnancy tests, the Dollar General Pregnancy Test is a qualitative test that detects the presence of pregnancy hormone hCG in urine.

What is hCG?

Human Chorionic Gonadotropin or hCG is a hormone secreted by the placenta of a pregnant female.

When does your body start secreting hCG?

During ovulation, the ovaries release an egg that can fuse with sperm. Once fertilization has occurred, the embryo travels to the uterus. It implants usually 8 to 10 days after ovulation in most successful pregnancies, according to research by A J Wilcox, D D Baird, and C R Weinberg.

This is the time when the cells surrounding the embryo start secreting hCG. Thus it is too soon to try to detect hCG before 8 days past ovulation (DPO). The levels start doubling every 72 hours and reach their peak in the 811 weeks of pregnancy. Then they decline and level off.

Also Read: Top 10 Homemade Pregnancy Tests That Will Sort Your Confusion Out!

When does hCG appear in urine?

The hormone first appears in the blood, so it can be detected earlier in the blood, about 11 days after conception. But this requires drawing blood and testing in the laboratory. So it may be painful and expensive.

Fortunately, only a few days later, hCG starts appearing in the urine. All you have to do is to pee on a pregnancy test strip 12 -14 days after conception.

Also Read: First Signal Pregnancy Test – What Is It And How To Perform?

Can you rely on the Dollar General Pregnancy Test?

Here comes the million-dollar question! The price tag can be enticing but you surely do not want to mess up the results. It might have crossed your mind that buying a cheap pregnancy test will compromise the accuracy.

Is the Dollar General Pregnancy Test accurate? Surprisingly, yes! While not all Dollar General stores’ products are recommended, the Dollar General Pregnancy Test certainly is. It is 99% accurate despite being so cheap. This may be because the only part that matters is the chemical-treated paper that will change color with hCG, and it is really cheap to produce. It is mostly the packaging and branding that increases the price of branded pregnancy tests.

If you are unsure about any pregnancy test, you can check it in the FDA Over the Counter Database of IVD Tests. The FDA regulates the pregnancy tests and ensures their accuracy and sensitivity. So you can confidently buy the Dollar General Pregnancy Test.

However, according to the FDA, the accuracy of a pregnancy test depends on how well the instructions are followed and results are interpreted. This is why getting wrong results has something to do with the user most of the time, rather than the product.

Also Read: What Are The Chances Of Getting Pregnant Before Period?

How sensitive is the Dollar General Pregnancy Test?

The sensitivity of a pregnancy test depends on the concentration of hCG it can detect. A more sensitive test can detect lower levels of hCG; and thus it can detect pregnancy earlier when hCG levels are quite low.

A Dollar General Pregnancy Test is quite sensitive, though it may not be as sensitive as some of the other expensive tests. It is able to detect 25 mIU/mL hCG in the urine.

How early can the Dollar General Pregnancy Test detect pregnancy?

The Dollar General Pregnancy Test can detect pregnancy as early as the first day of your missed period. However, the ideal time to check is 3-7 days after your missed period.

If you are anxious to take the test earlier than the day of your missed period, you can use other highly sensitive pregnancy tests which can even detect pregnancy even 5 days before your missed period; but not the Dollar General Pregnancy Test.

In case you do not have regular periods, you can take the test 2-3 weeks after having unprotected sex.

When to perform the test?

When you are pregnant, your body starts giving you signs. But many women get these signs before the menstrual period (PMS), so they overlook them. You should perform the Dollar General Pregnancy Test when:

  1. you have had unprotected sex
  2. your birth control method fails (e.g. you miss a pill or your condom breaks)
  3. you notice the signs of pregnancy. These include:
  • Missed Periods
  • Fatigue
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Breast tenderness
  • Nausea, headache
  • Swelling in the vaginal area
  • Frequent urination
  • Mood swings
  • Food aversion

Also Read: When Do Pregnancy Cravings Start?

According to the survey by the American Pregnancy Association on the earliest sign of pregnancy, 29% of women reported missed periods, 25% nausea, and 17% change in the breast.

However these symptoms may be due to many other reasons, so it is very important to confirm pregnancy with any pregnancy test such as the Dollar General Pregnancy Test.

Also Read: Are You Using These Tablets Before Pregnancy? Best Prenatal Drug Guide

How to perform the Dollar General Pregnancy Test?

Follow all the instructions given on it to ensure accuracy. There is an expiration date on the packet. Do not forget to check it before buying one.

What do you need to perform the test?

You need:

  • The Dollar General Pregnancy Test
  • A clean dry cup
  • Stopwatch

What will you find when you open the packet?

Use the notches to tear it open. When you open the foil pouch, you will find:

  • A pregnancy test cassette which has a sample well (labeled S) and a testing window with two marked points C (control) and T (test)
  • A dropper
  • A moisture-absorbent that you can discard.

Specimen Requirement

No special patient preparation is needed. A random clean-catch specimen is collected in a clean dry container. However, rinse the cup with water before using it. Because a dirty cup or soap/detergent may interfere with your test results and invalidate them.

Also Read: Is Pregnancy Wheel Calculator Reliable? Know Facts And Figures

Best time to perform the test?

The Dollar General Pregnancy Test can be performed at any time of the day. But you can increase the accuracy of your results by using the First-Morning Urine (FMU). It has the highest concentration of hCG because it is not diluted.

If you cannot perform it in the morning, you can recreate your morning pee by not drinking for at least 4 hours and holding your urine. Drinking water can dilute your urine and affect your results.

 Instructions

  • Pee in a clean dry cup. You cannot hold the testing cassette in your urine stream, like some other pregnancy tests.
  • Place the test cassette horizontally on a flat surface.
  • Using the dropper, pour three drops into the sample well of the testing unit.
  • Start the timer. You can see the urine traveling up the testing window.
  • Wait for the time mentioned in the instructions for the appearance of red lines which is usually 1-3 minutes. You can wait one minute longer if no line appears.
  • Do not pay attention to any results that appear after 10 minutes.

Also Read: Best Funny Pregnancy Announcements You Will Ever Come Across

Storage and Handling

  • Store at room temperature between 2°C to 30°C, and do not freeze.
  • Keep it out of the reach of children.
  • Don’t attempt internal use.
  • Don’t use it after the expiration date printed on the foil pouch.
  • Open the test foil pouch only when you are ready to take the test.

Also Read: Is Toothpaste Pregnancy Test Reliable? Step By Step Guide

How to read and interpret the results?

A single line opposite the C i.e. the Control line must appear to validate your results. It indicates that your test has worked properly.

Positive Result

If two red lines appear, one opposite the C in the upper region (the Control line) and another opposite the T in the lower region (Test line), it indicates that you are most probably pregnant.

Faint Positive Result

If a very faint line appears opposite the C, it indicates that you might be pregnant but the hCG levels are low. It is called a faint positive result. You will need to perform the test again after a few days.

Negative Result

The appearance of the Control line only indicates that you may NOT be pregnant.

Invalid Result

If no line appears, it indicates that the testing kit may be expired or the test has not been performed correctly. Repeat the test but do not use the same kit. A pregnancy kit cannot be reused.

Also Read: Why Am I Having Sore Breasts After Ovulation?

Can you get false-positive results?

Can you not be pregnant despite getting a positive result? Unfortunately yes. You may get false-positive results due to the following reasons:

Incorrect testing

If you do not follow all the instructions accurately, you may get false-positive results.

Defective Pregnancy Test

Make sure you read the expiration date before using it.

Evaporation Line

The time you are required to wait for your test results is very important. If you wait longer, an evaporation line can appear, and you can interpret it as a positive result.

Chemical Pregnancy

It refers to a very early miscarriage that occurs at the fifth-week gestation. The fusion of egg and sperm occurs but the embryo never fully implants in the uterus. So you may have hCG in urine and you may get a positive result. There is bleeding around the time of your menstrual period as a result of miscarriage, which is perceived as menstrual bleeding.

Also Read: Spotting During Ovulation – Answers to All Queries!

Medication

Some medicines increase your hCG levels. So you can get false-positive results if you are taking them. They include:

  • Antiepileptics (barbiturates)
  • Anti-anxiety (diazepam/ alprazolam)
  • Diuretics
  • Anti-allergy (promethazine)
  • Antipsychotic (chlorpromazine, clozapine)
  • Medicines used in Parkinson’s Disease

However, medicines that do not contain hCG have no effect on the test results. Oral contraceptives, antibiotics, painkillers, and alcohol do NOT affect the results.

Fertility Treatment

You may be getting hCG shots as a part of your fertility treatment. So hCG levels can rise in urine 2 to 3 weeks after the shot. In this case, you should go for a blood test.

PCOS

Ovarian cysts also cause a rise in hCG.

Also Read: Things To Do Before Pregnancy – Important Checklist For Mothers-To-Be!

Can you get false-negative results?

False-negative results are quite common. They can cause stress and anxiety in women who are trying hard to conceive.

Testing too early

This test is not designed for early detection. You may have to wait for 2 to 3 days after your missed period.

Not using the test properly

You may be too excited to read the instructions carefully. But make sure you follow them to get accurate results.

Reading too early or late

You have to strictly follow the time mentioned on the pregnancy kit to read the results.

Diluted urine

Diluted urine can result in false-negative results. Avoid drinking too much water before taking the test.

Obesity

The hCG levels are lower in obese women. An inverse relation between BMI and hCG levels has been shown by research.

Ectopic Pregnancy

Ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy outside the uterus. Research has shown ectopic pregnancy to be associated with low hCG levels, which may not be detected by the General Dollar Pregnancy Test. Ectopic pregnancy is a life-threatening condition and must be detected.

Also Read: How Long Does It Take Birth Control To Work?

You took the test: Now what to do?

If you get a positive result

In case you get a positive result, repeat the test after a few days to be 100% sure. Now it is time to go to the gynecologist, confirm your pregnancy, and get prenatal care.

If you get mixed results

Mixed results may indicate pregnancy, ectopic pregnancy, or chemical pregnancy. In any case, go to a gynecologist for blood tests and Ultrasound exams. Get treated in case of ectopic pregnancy.

If you get a negative result

Repeat the test after a week. If you still get a negative result and no periods, consult a gynecologist. Performing blood tests and ultrasound exams will confirm pregnancy.

If you get continued negative result and no period

If your blood tests and ultrasound exams have confirmed that you are not pregnant but you are still not having your period, consult a gynecologist to find the cause of amenorrhea.

Why your period might be late if you are not pregnant?

Several other factors may contribute to amenorrhoea or delayed periods.

  • Stress
  • Low body weight/ obesity
  • Over-exertion/ too much exercise
  • PCOS
  • Birth control
  • Thyroid issues
  • Early peri-menopause
  • Chronic diseases such as diabetes or celiac disease

Also Read: What is Medical Abortion? Its Types and Precautions

Pros of the Dollar General Pregnancy Test

  • Easy to use with simple instructions
  • Can be performed without a doctor’s aid in the privacy of your home
  • 99 % accurate
  • Cheap
  • Built-in control window that helps you find out if you have performed the test correctly
  • Suitable for use at any time of the day
  • Does not require measuring or mixing anything

Also Read: How Old You Have To Be To Buy a Condom?

Cons of the Dollar General Pregnancy Test

  • It is not extremely sensitive; it can detect pregnancy on the day of the missed period or after it. Some other tests can detect pregnancy before this time.
  • Sometimes, it may take up to 3 minutes to display the result.
  • Its design is not as impressive or comfortable as some of the more expensive pregnancy tests which even come with a handle.
  • It cannot tell the week of pregnancy like some other pregnancy tests.

Also Read: All Newly Married Women Should Discuss This With Their Partners

Not having a digital display: A boon or a bane?

Most women find it difficult to interpret the lines. Undoubtedly, it is more convenient to read “pregnant” or “non-pregnant” on a digital display than interpreting the control and test lines. However, Christina Hernandez Sherwood says in her article “Why I’ll always use dollar store pregnancy tests” in the Chicago Tribune that she’ll prefer shades of gray rather than black and white.

She tells about her pregnancy which resulted in a miscarriage. She used a pregnancy test that displayed “pregnant”. A few days later, her pregnancy symptoms disappeared; so she retook the test and it again displayed “pregnant”. She argues that if she had used the dollar store pregnancy tests, the line would have got fainter the second time she performed the test. And this would have given her the idea that the levels of hCG in her body are decreasing.

Also Read: Why Is It Healthy To Become Pregnant Before 30?

Upshot

If you are looking for a reliable and cheap way to confirm your pregnancy, the Dollar General Pregnancy Test is definitely a good choice. However, make sure you follow the instructions properly and take the test at the right time. But whether you get a positive or a negative result, you should be mature enough to rule out the false-positive and false-negative results, by going to a doctor and having other confirmatory tests done!

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Why Do I Crave Spicy Food In Pregnancy? Is It Safe To Eat?

Why do I crave spicy food? Yup, you may have asked yourself this question many times throughout your pregnancy. Spicy food is definitely a go-to option when you feel like tantalizing your taste buds. But are these cravings okay? Or not?

Grab a bag of flaming hot Cheetos as we guide you and your spice cravings!

Also Read: Why Am I Craving Pickles During Pregnancy?

To Crave, or Not to Crave….

So, one day, you’re just sitting there, and suddenly, out of nowhere, you feel the intense desire to munch on a bowl of nachos with salsa and guacamole. Or have a whole large sized pizza with extra cheese and a double serving of French fries all to yourself!

And maybe it doesn’t even stop there. You may be wanting to top off your hunger with a decadent dessert! And what would satisfy your sweet tooth better than a tub of vanilla ice cream? Or a large slice of glazed caramel Bundt cake, or Irish scones with clotted cheese and strawberry jam!

Nope, we’re not going over the top. Believe it or not, this actually does happen. And guess what, it’s normal and okay!

You may be asking yourself,” What are these cravings actually?”. “Why do I crave spicy food?”.

Cravings are the intense desire or the urge you develop to have a particular food item. And these urges are not restricted to pregnancy. You may develop them normally too.

Also Read: When Do Pregnancy Cravings Start?

Is it Normal to Crave in Pregnancy?

Pregnancy is one hell of a ride. And it certainly affects almost every aspect of your life. This includes your eating habits too. You can develop cravings anytime during those 9 months. Though these urges are most strong during the second trimester.

Why do I crave spicy food? That is because during pregnancy, your hormone levels are altered. And this causes you to have a heightened sense of smell and taste.

So, due to these hormonal changes and an increased sense of smell and taste, you develop the intense desire to devour anything. Even things you may have never eaten before. Obviously, who prefers jalapenos over Nutella? But yup, pregnancy can make you do that!

Also Read: Can You Have Pregnancy Cravings at 4 Weeks Pregnant?

Sugar, Spice, and Everything Nice!

These are the ingredients chosen to, well, obviously quench your pregnancy cravings.  Different people develop cravings for different types of food. According to the Baby Centers’ recent survey report, 17% of women crave spicy foods while pregnant. Another 40% craved sweet foods, whereas around 33% and 10% mums-to-be longed for salty and sour foods, respectively.

So, for some women, tacos with potato wedges and tartar sauce may satiate their hunger. Whereas for others, Belgian waffles with maple syrup and whipped cream may do the trick.

But if you are a member of the spice club, jalapenos, Mexican food, a jar of pickled veggies or beef steak with a side of mushrooms and bell peppers may be the ultimate solution to those cravings.

Also Read: Hunger During Pregnancy First Trimester

Speak to the Spice!

Why do I crave spicy things? Is my body trying to tell me something? Guess what? Maybe yes.

Cravings are a way your body is telling that you’re low on some nutrient. Like when you are running low on your energy levels, you would prefer grabbing carbs. For that instant energy effect.

Likewise, a deficiency of magnesium may cause you to stock up on those chocolate bars. Or eat that cookie dough or cake mix, straight out of the bowl!

Low sodium levels may have you sprinkling salt on fish, avocados, that yummy Greek salad, or even on yogurts and bread puddings!

But what are those spice yearnings conveying to you?

Spicy food is a way of the body to cool down. Surprising, right? Hot and spicy foods such as curry, or those tasty peri-peri chicken bites not only set your mouth on fire. They also cause you to sweat. Thereby cooling off your body.

Also Read: Can You Eat Chinese Food During Pregnancy? Is It Safe?

Spice-The Gender Predictor?

Why do I crave spicy food? Yeah, that spicy chicken tikka seems like a Holy grail to your tummy. But ever wonder if those urges to gulp down the hot sauce meant more than just a way to satisfy your spice desires?

You may have heard the old wives’ tale that if you are craving more spicy foods throughout your pregnancy, it’s likely you will have a boy. And those extra helpings of blueberry and banana pancakes with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches may mean there is a sweet girl on the way.

However, there is no scientific evidence, obviously, to back up these claims. You can have a girl despite enjoying barbecue honey wings with spicy ranch and garlic mayo dips.

Also Read: Mushrooms While Pregnant – Are They Safe?

When to Stop the Spices?

Sure, that spicy food may seem like a gourmet serving during this time. But when does spicy become too spicy? And needs to be discontinued?

Complications

Too much spicy food may cause heartburn, indigestion, an irritable gut, and even hemorrhoids. So, to avoid all these complications, you may want to tone down those spice cravings.

Alternatives

Seems a bit tough? Yes. But there are always healthier alternatives. Rather than rummaging your kitchen cabinets next time for a jar of jalapenos or pickles, you can go for simpler stuff.

This includes garlic, cloves, all-spice, ginger, turmeric, wasabi peas, and even simple pepper.

Also Read: Is Eating Hot Dogs Safe In Pregnancy?

Spice or No Spice?

Its 3 am in the morning and suddenly you have found yourself in the driveway of McDonald’s. And yup, nothing tastes better than a double patty, extra spicy, crispy chicken deluxe burger with a large serving of fries!

Nope, no judgment here. Because pregnancy cravings are for real. And yes, you can be craving for anything. I repeat. Anything!

So next time you ask yourself, “Why do I crave spicy food?”. Grab a bowl of salsa and tell yourself, it’s perfectly fine.

However, as long as those spicy peri-peri chicken bites, smoky enchiladas, stuffed peppers or chipotle don’t start interfering with yours and your baby’s health. There is no problem enjoying these miraculous savories.

But anytime you feel its too spicy for your tummy, wait no more. Check-in with your doctor. You can always catch up on that fajita pizza later!

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Why Am I Craving Pickles in Pregnancy? | Is It Safe To Eat?

As you grab the fourth bottle of pickles from Walmart, you may be wondering, “Why am I craving pickles?” “Is it me or do other women also experience these tangy cravings?” “Do pickles go well with peanut butter or whipped cream?”.

Well, grab a jar of pickles with some barbecue Lays as we go full pickle mode in this article!

Also Read: When Do Pregnancy Cravings Start?

Pickle Passion!

Pickle with curry and flatbread, deep-fried pickles, pastrami roll-ups with pickles and cream cheese, or just pickles topped on your favorite pizza or stuffed inside that juicy chicken burger. Pickles, inevitably, can go with anything. You name it, you got it!

No doubt it becomes a quintessential craving in pregnant women. You may munch in dill pickles with salted crisps and sour cream every time you rummage through those kitchen cabinets.

Which makes you wonder, “Why am I craving pickles?” Let’s sort this out for you.

Also Read: Can You Have Pregnancy Cravings at 4 Weeks Pregnant?

Cravings and Pregnancy- What’s the Link?

There may be times, several times in pregnancy, when you feel like devouring every edible item in your kitchen! And these urges can pop up anytime. So, it may be 4 am in the morning. And your tummy will be leading you back to the fridge!

So, what are these cravings? Cravings are the sudden desire or urge you have to eat a certain food item. And are these normal? Absolutely!

Pregnancy gets you craving for all sorts of things. You may desire a snack you normally would never tale. Or even make you hate your most favorite ice cream flavor!

Also Read: Early Signs of Pregnancy

Expecting a baby or cravings?

With all these trips to the kitchen, you may be thinking, “Why am I craving pickles?” The changing hormone levels in pregnancy may explain this.

During pregnancy, your sense of smell and taste are heightened. As your hormone levels fluctuate. That means, your senses become sharper. Hence you are quicker to appreciate the smell of anything nearby. Which causes these cravings to appear.

This may also cause you to develop food aversions. And even nausea and vomiting. Known infamously as morning sickness. This is the body’s way of protecting the mummy to bee from any harmful food.

Also Read: Hunger During Pregnancy First Trimester

Running Low on Nutrients?

Cravings can also be taken as a ‘stress signal’. A way of your body making you summon foods containing nutrients that you are deficient in.

So, when you feel like having Nutella dipped strawberries or chocolate-coated cookies. It is actually your body asking you to store up on magnesium.

The same is the case with wanting those lamb kebabs. Craving red meat signals an underlying iron deficiency.

‘’Why am I craving pickles?”. That is cause pickles, along with olives, the snack pack of plain salted pringles, or the Ritz cheese crackers may be a way of telling you. You are low on sodium. Hence these salt cravings.

Also Read: Are You Taking These Tablets Before Pregnancy?

Nutritional Content of Pickles

“Why am I craving pickles?”. You asked yourself as you reached out for your fourth helping of dill pickles of the day. So, is it okay to eat pickles?

Pickles may not be the healthiest snack. Their nutritional value is comparatively low. They have very low levels of cholesterol, protein, and fat. However, they are a good source of sodium and iron. They may also provide some, but not that much, calcium, as well as Vitamin C and fiber.

Different types of pickles have different levels of nutrients. Based on their ingredients. So, a quick check at the label mentioning nutritional facts may help.

Pickles themselves aren’t that nutritious. But coupled with another meal such as some flatbread or chicken tikka masala curry. They increase the probiotic content of the meal as a whole.

Also Read: Can You Eat Chinese Food During Pregnancy? Is It Safe?

Health Benefits of Picking Pickles in Pregnancy

Pickles when consumed in small amounts may actually provide some health benefits.

Electrolyte Balance

As we saw above, the salty taste that makes you crave pickles is because of the sodium content in pickles. They also contain potassium. Hence, they can help regulate the electrolyte levels in your body. This is very important in pregnancy.

As any derangement in the levels of salts in your body can be harmful to both you and your baby.

Also Read: Mushrooms While Pregnant – Are They Safe?

Tackling Your Tummy?

That jar of dill pickles you reach every time you order a beef burger. It doesn’t only serve the purpose of satisfying your taste buds.

Pickles don’t spoil owing to the good bacteria present in them. Which when consumed, can cause these good bacteria to multiply in your tummy. And hence aid in the digestion.

Immune Boosters-The Pickle Edition?

Pickled fruits and vegetables aren’t cooked. Hence the antioxidants in them are preserved. Which may strengthen your immune system by fighting against bad free radicals.

Pickles are also a rich source of vitamins C, A, and K. As well as contain minerals such as iron, calcium, potassium, and sodium. These essential nutrients may boost immune responses. And help you from falling sick in pregnancy.

Also Read: Is Eating Hot Dogs Safe In Pregnancy?

Pickle Problems?

Why am I craving pickles? That is because pickles are, no doubt, a convenient and tasty go-to snack. Sure, you may be craving pickles with peanut butter and salami sandwiches. Or may want to casually drop in some pickles on your chilidog pizza. Or incorporate them in your chipotle or cheeseburgers.

But too many pickles can actually be harmful. And for a lot of reasons too!

Well first and foremost, too many pickles mean too much added salt. This in turn puts you at risk for developing gestational hypertension. It can also lead to dehydration.

Too many spices in the pickles can cause heartburn and acid reflux. Especially if you already have trouble with gastritis. And other tummy issues.

Also, pickles that use oils as preservatives means too much cholesterol. And this means, further risk of pregnancy-related complications.

Also Read: Healthy Snacks During Pregnancy

Pickles or No Pickles?

Whether it is peanut butter and pickle sandwiches with barbecue and mustard sauce. Or pickle with potato and tuna salad.  Or maybe just a delectable dill pickle dip to accompany those crackers and tortillas!

You may want to give in to those cravings. But, in moderation. You will have plenty of time to catch up with those pickles later!

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Mushrooms While Pregnant – Are They Safe to Eat? | The Right Parenting

‘Mushrooms while pregnant’ is a thought that often passes the minds of people who are expecting. It’s important to know what foods are healthy for you and what not; such as mushrooms while pregnant.

Even though mushrooms have low calories and almost no cholesterol or fat, they grow in soil or on top of plants, making them not safe for consumption without being properly cooked. Here are some facts that can help you out if you want to know whether mushrooms while pregnant are beneficial.

Harmful mushrooms while pregnant

Following is a list of mushrooms that you shouldn’t take while pregnant.

Raw mushrooms

Raw mushrooms contain carcinogens, which means that they can cause cancer in the mother and the fetus. Hence, raw mushrooms while pregnant can be very dangerous for mothers and should be avoided. Always cook the mushrooms before consumption.

Inedible mushrooms

Most of the mushrooms are inedible, which means that they should not be eaten. They can be poisonous in nature and can bring harm to mothers and their babies. Hence avoid unknown mushrooms while pregnant.

Magic mushrooms

These are the mushrooms that contain a chemical called psilocybin that alters brain chemical activity. They can gravely affect the mother and the fetus. Hence avoid magic mushrooms while pregnant.

Also Read: Is Eating Hot Dogs Safe In Pregnancy?

Beneficial mushrooms while pregnant

Following are some beneficial mushrooms that are safe to take during pregnancy:

  • White button mushrooms
  • Shiitake mushrooms
  • Maitake mushrooms
  • Porcini mushrooms
  • Chestnut mushrooms

Processed/Frozen mushrooms

These mushrooms are safe to take as long as they are under the expiry date.

Also Read: Can You Eat Chinese Food During Pregnancy? Is It Safe?

Benefits of consuming mushrooms while pregnant

Taking the right, well-cooked mushrooms can be very healthy for you and your developing baby. Following is a list of minerals and nutrients that mushrooms have, that can be beneficial for your health:

Vitamin B

Mushrooms have a great amount of Vitamin B in them, that improves skin, digestion, and the nervous system. Moreover, they can help the body take energy from the food we consume.

The Vitamin B components in mushrooms contain Riboflavin, which helps the bones and muscles of your baby to strengthen up.

It also reduces the Fatigue that often happens during pregnancy.

Pantothenic acid in Shiitake mushrooms can help prevent digestive disorders.

Thiamine and Niacin in mushrooms strengthen the nervous system.

Also Read: Are You Taking These Tablets Before Pregnancy?

Vitamin D

They are rich in Vitamin D, making mushrooms while pregnant a good source of nutrition.

It aids the absorption of calcium and promotes strong bones and teeth in your growing baby. 1 cup of Shiitake mushrooms contains 12.9 units of Vitamin D, which is rare in other foods.

Also Read: Hunger During Pregnancy First Trimester

Iron

Iron is the main component of hemoglobin of blood, and mushrooms are rich in iron. During pregnancy, women should consume foods that are rich in iron.

1 cup of morel mushroom has 8 milligrams of iron, so you can prevent anemia while taking healthy mushrooms.

Also Read: 10 Things To Avoid During Pregnancy

Protein and Fiber

Protein is overall essential for your body. Fiber helps ease the digestive system. Mushrooms are rich in both these sources, making them even beneficial for you and your baby.

Antioxidants

Antioxidants like selenium and ergothioneine protect your body from free radicals, thus boosting your immune system, protecting you from illnesses. It also helps in the growth of your baby.

Also Read: Can You Have Pregnancy Cravings at 4 Weeks Pregnant?

You’re good to go!

Now that you know the mushrooms which are healthy and the ones who are harmful, you can improve your diet.

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Hunger During Pregnancy First Trimester – Should I Eat for Two Too Soon?

Are you concerned about extreme hunger during pregnancy first trimester? Do you feel an irresistible urge to eat all the time? Did you just have your breakfast and you are already hungry for lunch? Does your stomach feel like a bottomless pit? Is it making you worry about your weight?

Do not worry. Hunger during pregnancy first trimester is a normal and expected occurrence. However, there are ways that can help you reduce excessive hunger and appetite.

What is the first trimester of pregnancy?

A normal full-term pregnancy lasts for about 9 months or 40 weeks. For convenience, we divide it into three trimesters. Each trimester has its own specific hormonal and physiological changes taking place. The first trimester is between conception (when embryo implants in the uterus) and 12 weeks of pregnancy. It is a very crucial period. It is the period of formation of major organs of your baby.

The second trimester lasts from 12 to 24 weeks. While the third trimester is from the 24th week to the time your baby is born.

Is hunger during pregnancy first trimester normal?

The first trimester of your pregnancy does not cause any considerable change in your outward appearance usually and your pregnancy doesn’t get noticed. However, the foundation for the growth of your baby is being laid within your body. Your baby’s major organs are developing already. And the tiny being inside you needs nutrition. So it is completely normal to feel hungry.

Also Read: Can You Have Pregnancy Cravings at 4 Weeks Pregnant?

Is constant hunger a sign of pregnancy?

Most women do not feel start feeling hungry at a very early stage. Constant hunger is not a sign that you are pregnant unless it is coupled with other important parameters such as missed period, abdominal cramps, breast tenderness, and mood swings.

According to a survey by the American Pregnancy Association on the earliest signs of pregnancy, 29% of women reported missed period, 25% nausea, and 17% changes in the breast. Constant hunger is not one of the earliest signs of pregnancy. It peaks in the second trimester.

Also Read: When Do Pregnancy Cravings Start?

Why do many women not feel hungry during the first trimester?

Though hunger during pregnancy first trimester is completely normal, many women do not feel hungry in early pregnancy. The first trimester of your pregnancy is mainly characterized by morning sickness. This is caused by the excess of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and progesterone rushing in your body. The hCG is the pregnancy hormone secreted by your placenta and is also the basis of most pregnancy tests (also read about 10 Homemade Pregnancy Tests). Its levels keep rising during the first trimester.

Therefore, it causes loss of appetite in 70% to 85% of women battling morning sickness in the first trimester of pregnancy.  According to some people, it is your body’s natural way of protecting the fetus from harmful food items that the mother might have taken. In any case, there is nothing to worry about if you do not feel like eating a lot. Most women don’t.

Also Read: Should You Eat Chinese Food During Pregnancy?

What is the cause of hunger during pregnancy first trimester?

However, some women experience a voracious appetite. They feel like eating all the time. For them, the first trimester becomes an odd combination of feeling nauseated and ravenous at the same time!

Nutritional demands of the fetus

One of the reasons for the hunger during pregnancy first trimester is that the tiny living thing growing in your body is demanding nutrition. It needs nutrients to grow its various organs. And it’s definitely making sure that you get the message loud and clear!

Compensation for food lost in vomiting

A major reason for hunger during pregnancy first trimester is that most women experience vomiting during pregnancy. The food you eat is not being absorbed by the body. Thus you do need more food to make up for it. This is why you experience hunger pangs.

Also Read: 10 Things To Avoid During Pregnancy

What are hunger pangs?

Does your stomach rumble? Do you feel contractions and pain in the upper abdomen? Well, these are hunger pangs; your body’s way of telling you that your stomach is empty.

What causes hunger pangs?

When your stomach is empty, the inner linings of the stomach become irritated and exposed. This causes them to rub together and create this sensation of pain.

In early pregnancy, morning sickness often causes vomiting. When you throw up, your stomach becomes empty. This is the reason for hunger hangs experienced by pregnant women, and they consume large amounts of food.

How to avoid hunger pangs?

To avoid hunger pangs, make sure your stomach is never hungry.

  • Do not stay hungry for more than 2-3 hours.
  • Eat small meals frequently rather than large meals at a time.
  • Stay hydrated but do not drink so much water that stretches your stomach lining.
  • Carry healthy snacks everywhere you go.
  • Ensure that you always have a stock of healthy food options in your fridge so that you don’t have to stay hungry for longer durations of time.
  • Eat slowly and take extra time for chewing.
  • Accept cravings but make them constructive.
  • Keep yourself busy.

Also Read: Is It Safe To Eat Hot Dogs During Pregnancy?

Does your hunger have anything to do with your pre-pregnancy weight?

Do you feel hungrier if you have greater weight before pregnancy? How does your pre-pregnancy weight affect your hunger and eating habits in pregnancy?

A 2020 research on changes in eating behavior throughout pregnancy investigated the relationship between eating behaviors and gestational weight gain. It concluded that the changes in eating behavior during pregnancy are not associated with pre-pregnancy Body Mass Index (BMI).

Although having a high BMI can cause other complications, so it is best to conceive at an ideal weight. The healthy BMI range is between 18.5 and 24.9.

Also Read: Why is it Healthy to Become Pregnant Before 30?

Does increasing hunger during pregnancy first trimester indicate a twin pregnancy?

Can you tell if you are pregnant with twins by your appetite? Well, even if you are conceiving twins, you may not experience hunger during the first trimester of pregnancy. This is because of the hCG being released in your body that makes you feel nauseated. You may have little or no appetite. The pregnancy hormones lower your digestive tract motility, creating a feeling of fullness for a longer time.

As your pregnancy progresses to the next trimester, obviously two babies require more nutrition than a single baby, and you’ll feel intense hunger pangs. They will just remind you to eat more. However, by this time, you’ll already know that you are pregnant with twins by an ultrasound exam.

Also Read: Why Am I Craving Spicy Food During Pregnancy?

Hunger during Pregnancy First Trimester and Dangers of Being Obese

Hunger during pregnancy first trimester can cause you to consume very large quantities of food which increases the risk of obesity. While it is important to consume enough for your baby to survive, you need to be aware of the extra calories you really need. Otherwise, too much food intake increases BMI and causes obesity. It can cause many complications:

  • Risk of miscarriage
  • Difficult vaginal delivery and need for a C-section
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Sleep apnea
  • Preeclampsia (Severe high blood pressure and damage to vital organs)
  • Cardiac dysfunction
  • Deep Venous Thrombosis (blood clots in legs)
  • Birth defects in babies (Also Read about Premature Baby Complications)
  • Asthma and obesity in the baby

Also Read: Health Risks in First Pregnancy

How to combat hunger and control your weight gain?

Pregnancy is probably the only time in your life when nobody tells you to eat less and stay fit. You feel free to satisfy your hunger and eat large amounts of food without any guilt. But you need to control your weight.

Bust the Myth of Eating For Two

Many women believe that now that they are pregnant, they need to eat for two individuals. And their families also keep pressurizing them to consume large quantities of food. Do you really need those calories? Elizabeth Ward, dietician and author of “Pregnancy Nutrition: Good Health for You and Your Baby” says, “Do not worry about getting enough nutrition during the first trimester if you do not have much of an appetite either, because nutritional needs of the fetus are still minimal.”

Thus you really need to be sensible about portions. “One for me, one for the baby” rule doesn’t apply. Come on, your baby is much smaller than you. You need extra nutrition, but that does not mean doubling your calorie intake.

Also Read: Is Pregnancy Wheel Calculator Reliable?

Always stay hydrated

You are likely to confuse dehydration with hunger. Drink 12 to 13 cups of water per day. Drink more water if it is too hot or you are sweating a lot. However, very large quantities of water stretch your stomach lining and increase hunger pangs.

Avoid soda drinks that have high calories and sugar content.

Address weight dilemmas early

It is important to keep a check on your weight gain as early as possible. Typically weight gain is 6-11 pounds in the first trimester.

A 2014 study supported by the Institute of Child Health and Human Development found that women who sought advice between weeks 7 and 21 were less likely to gain excess weight during the third trimester.

Eat a low-calorie, nutritious diet

Eat a healthy pregnancy diet. Make sure you eat nutritious food with all the essential nutrients i.e. folate, calcium, iron, zinc, and fiber. Focus on food that contains a high amount of protein and fiber that makes you feel full for longer times. Take fresh food items instead of processed ones.

  • Whole grains have lots of fiber and vitamins.
  • Dairy products provide you with sufficient protein and calcium. However, eat low-fat dairy products. Yogurt in particular has high amounts of Calcium and supports digestive health.
  • Legumes are great for both the mother and the child, especially during the first trimester.
  • Salmon is very rich in omega 3 fatty acids. Consuming 2-3 fish meals per week is recommended.
  • Add fruit to your diet especially a citrus fruit which is a source of Vitamin C. Berries are also recommended.
  • Consume a variety of vegetables. Your plate should be a rainbow of dark green (spinach, broccoli, kale), orange (carrots, pumpkins), yellow (corn), and red (tomatoes). Sweet potatoes contain fibers that increase fullness and reduce blood sugar spikes.

Also Read: Are You Taking These Tablets Before Pregnancy?

Avoid the temptation of high-calorie intake

You do not need any new calories during the first trimester according to the official guidelines of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

However, during the second trimester, you may need 350 extra calories daily. The calorie requirement increases to 500 extra calories daily during the third trimester.

Indulge reasonably

To avoid temptations, you can treat yourself with a high-calorie meal that you crave once in a while. But strictly stick to nutritious food afterward.

Eat small but infrequent meals

Rather than eating 3 heavy meals, it is better to have 6 or even smaller meals. You won’t reach your starvation point. And you are less likely to overeat.

Also Read: How Do Babies Get Hiccups in the Womb?

The hungrier you are, the greater the chances of having a boy?

You must have heard the old wives’ tale that your appetite can tell if it is a boy or a girl. In this modern era of science, when many such theories of predicting the gender of the baby by the heartbeat have been discarded by the scientists, this theory of the relationship between appetite and gender is backed up by modern studies. The hungrier the mother, the more chances of the baby being a boy.

Harvard researchers led by Rulla M. Tamimi have found that pregnant women carrying boys eat 10% more than women carrying girls. This study was performed on 244 pregnant women published in the British Medical Journal. However, the extra food intake did not have much impact on the weight gain of expecting mothers.

When will the hunger go away?

You may or may not feel hungry in early pregnancy. However, the appetite increases and reaches its peak in the second trimester. But do not worry, it will subside in the third trimester. Because the baby becomes very big and your stomach does not have enough capacity to hold food.

Final Word

Hunger during pregnancy first trimester is completely normal. After all, you are growing a new human being inside you. You will navigate the bumpy road of cravings and aversions, and you do not need a lot of extra calories during the first trimester. Do NOT eat for two. Eat healthy food but keep a check on your weight!

Also Read: Why Do I Crave Pickles During Pregnancy?

 

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