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Menopause is often regarded in the broader culture as a mysterious condition that afflicts all middle aged women with mood swings and dramatic hot flashes. But that is a simplistic caricature of an important and normal biological process in every woman’s life.

The word “menopause” is often used as an umbrella term for a natural condition that is comprised of several distinct stages which commonly take place over the course of a few years. In its simplest terms, menopause describes the permanent cessation of a woman’s menstrual cycle, but the entire process of menopause is about more than just the end of periods. It is helpful to think of menopause as the inverse of puberty. If puberty marks the beginning of a woman’s reproductive years, menopause marks its end.

Mature Woman Experiencing Menopause Symptoms

Weight gain is a sensitive subject for everyone. And it can feel even more sensitive and complicated in the context of pregnancy when your body is changing quickly, and in ways that are beyond your control. It is perfectly normal and even healthy to gain weight in pregnancy, but how much weight should you expect to put on, and at what rate?

Eating for Two? 

Pregnancy is the one time in a woman’s life when she might feel like she is finally able to stop watching her weight and indulge in every late night craving. On the other hand, it may be a time of anxiety for other women as they watch their bodies change and the number on the scale rise.

The overall goal for any pregnancy should not be about a particular number on a scale or comparing your baby bump to anyone else’s baby bump. It should be about achieving or maintaining your personal level of optimum health. This is best for you and for your baby.

Pregnancy Weight Gain Over Time

Zika Virus and Your PregnancyBy now you’ve heard the news about the Zika virus and if you’re pregnant, you may be worrying for two (or more!). We’ve been getting a lot of questions from expecting mothers about the nasty-sounding bug, and we wanted to address your concerns and give you some tips to avoid the dangerous Zika virus.

What is Zika virus?

The Zika virus is contracted from Aedus -- the mosquitos that also carry yellow fever and dengue mosquito bites. In 1947, scientists found monkeys that carried the disease in the Zika Forest of Uganda. For most people the symptoms of the Zika virus are relatively mild.  It should be noted that severe illness or death from the Zika virus is extremely rare, but the potential complications for pregnancies and babies is quite serious.

Every day, there seems to be some new gimmick that emphasizes weight loss and “high-school skinny.” There are thousands of advertisements, drinks, supplements and programs that prey on women’s insecurities.

While having a fit body does have its perks, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have achieved balanced well-being. A healthy lifestyle comes from feeding both the mind and the body through positive and sustainable habits and experiences.

Get At Least 7 Hours of Sleep Per Night

While this may seem like a no-brainer, seven hours of deep, restful sleep can be difficult for a lot of women to get. According to Women’s Day, 35 percent of Americans get less than seven hours of sleep every night. You already know that lack of sleep can lead to exhaustion, but did you know that it can increase your risk of heart disease and Type 2 Diabetes?