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Thoughtful baby shower gifts for that special new mom to be

Diapers and strollers and bottles, oh my! Preparing to welcome a new baby into the family can be one of the most exciting, joyous times in life. From choosing Baby’s name and deciding what color to paint the nursery, to doctor’s visits and prenatal vitamins there’s just so much to do! That’s where the baby shower comes in! Not only does it allow family and friends to oogle over that glorious growing belly, but it also helps to provide many of the items necessary to care for a newborn. We’ve put together a list of thoughtful baby shower items for the new mom-to-be including some things to make pregnancy easier and more comfortable for her and some items to help care for that new bundle of joy. While darling little onesies and soft cuddly blankets are always welcome gifts, these items are a little less conventional and things mom will reach for time and time again.

From the moment that pregnancy test reads positive, indescribable emotions come flooding in and remain until that precious bundle is safe in mom’s arms. Oh, who are we kidding? Those emotions last forever. There will always be worry about feeding and diaper changing and vaccinations and first words and … the list goes on and on. For now, though, these thoughtful items are sure to delight that expectant momma and make this special time feel a little less overwhelming.

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Fifty percent of postpartum patients notice a little stubborn pooch below the navel that sticks around long after the baby weight is gone. That's because this bulge isn't leftover pregnancy pounds, it's likely diastasis recti. Sometimes known as "mommy pooch" or "mummy tummy" condition is caused by the separation of the six-pack muscles (rectus abdominis) that meet at the center of the stomach and is incredibly common during and after pregnancy as the uterus stretches the abdominal muscles to make room for the baby. However, anyone can experience it, and can also occur from lifting weights improperly or any other trauma to the abdominal muscles.

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Diagnosing diastasis recti
A protruding stomach is the most common symptom of diastasis recti that may be especially noticeable when you strain or contract your abs. Other symptoms include poor posture, bloating, lower back pain, and constipation. According to Dr. Nichole Mahnert, an OBGYN at Banner University Medicine in Arizona, there is a self-test to determine if you have diastasis recti. Lie on your back with your legs bent and feet flat on the floor. Put your fingertips on your stomach right below your belly button. Raise your shoulders and head up as if you were doing a crunch or a sit-up. Move your hand up and down your stomach at the midpoint to feel for a separation. You may even see a bulge in the middle. If the separation measures two fingers or more, schedule an appointment with your primary care physician or an OBGYN.
When to see a doctor
If the gap is less than two fingers, it will begin to close on its own a few weeks postpartum as your ab muscles strengthen again. While your condition may improve with exercise, sometimes things like crunches can actually make it worse, straining the weak core muscles beyond their ability. If your condition is more severe, you should first talk to your doctor. Dr. Manhert says, “all women should see a pelvic floor physical therapist or specialist following delivery to evaluate the pelvic floor and abdominal wall muscles and to work on strengthening and aligning. Some women require surgical intervention, but this is less common.”

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Ashwagandha is a popular herb for any number of different applications. It’s a relative newcomer to mainstream America, but healers throughout the world have used ashwagandha for centuries.

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Diastasis recti may sound scary, no matter what name it goes by. Also known as abdominal separation, this condition affects the muscles that cover the middle of your stomach, often causing pain and weakness in the abdomen and lower back.

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