Introducing Glow Nurture

Since launching in August 2013, we’ve seen tremendous growth and have had the pleasure of hearing so many amazing accounts from women as they learn more about their reproductive health. In a mere ten months, Glow has already aided more than 20,000 pregnancies, and now, we’ve designed an app that will allow a woman to take full control of her pregnancy.

Today, we are thrilled to announce Glow’s long-awaited pregnancy app, Glow Nurture. It’s been our number one request from the moment that our first mom conceived using Glow, and we can’t wait to share it with you. It’s available today for free in the Apple App Store.  

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Uniquely Glow, Uniquely You

Built around a crafted experience - just like the Glow app - it will leverage data science and be about your pregnancy, fully customized to you.

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Partner Support

With Glow Nurture’s partner app, the most important people in your life can continue to play a pivotal role during this miraculous time.

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A Sense of Belonging

With Glow, we know the vibrant in-app community has become a place to connect, share, and find support. We’re excited to say that with Glow Nurture, you can seamlessly transition with your circle. You won’t lose touch with the women who were there for you every step of your fertility journey.

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The Next Nine Months for Glow

Glow Nurture will soon be adding support for the “next nine months” - features specifically designed for after you give birth.  The postpartum period is an often neglected part of a woman’s reproductive journey, and women should have more insight, support, and access to resources if needed. While you take care of your newborn, Glow Nurture will care for you.

A Bright Future

And we are just getting started. In the coming weeks and months, Glow Nurture will become the most comprehensive pregnancy app available. From features such as a kick-counter to medication logs to checklists…and a few more that we hope will surprise and delight, along with supporting our ultimate goal of ensuring that women worldwide have the resources they need to keep themselves and their babies healthy.

We are certain that together, we are going to create more miracles - we can’t wait to hear what you think.

- Your friends at Glow

Ask an Expert - Q&A with Anna Hsieh Gold, L.Ac, MTOM, FABORM

Anna Hsieh Gold is a licensed acupuncturist and an ABORM board-certified Oriental reproductive specialist. She specializes in women’s health and pain management.

Many of us have heard through the grapevine that acupuncture can boost fertility. Well, now is our chance to hear from an expert, Anna Hsieh Gold, about how acupuncture really works and how it can also treat a wide variety of women’s health issues.

Q: Is acupuncture only for women who are trying to get pregnant?

A: Acupuncture can help all women, not just those who are trying to conceive. Not only does it balance hormones, it regulates mood, decreases pain, and increases energy.

Traditional Chinese medicine, of which acupuncture is one component, has been very successful in helping women who struggle with infertility, because it regulates the function of hypothalamic pituitary-ovarian axis. Otherwise known as the HPOA, the hypothalamus and pituitary glands of the brain, along with the ovaries, create a biofeedback loop that regulates sex hormones, ie, estrogen, progesterone, FSH, LH, to name a few. Acupuncture normalizes the secretion of these hormones, which in turn, regulates ovulatory function, nourishes blood in the endometrium, and thus increases the chance of conception.

Once pregnant, acupuncture can help women with various issues throughout their pregnancy - recurrent miscarriage, nausea, back pain, indigestion, and hypertension. It can even turn a breech baby and promote smooth labor and delivery.

As women age, acupuncture can help ease their transition into menopause. It can reduce sleeplessness, anxiety, hot flashes and night sweats.

Acupuncture can support women during any stage in their lives. In addition to bringing homeostasis to their sex hormones, it also regulates other components of the endocrine system,  such as the thyroid and adrenal glands. When these glands are harmonized, women have more energy and sense of well being. They sleep better and feel happier. Acupuncture reminds the body to balance the sympathetic nervous system (feelings of fight or flight) with the  parasympathetic nervous system (feelings of relaxation).

So, really, which woman wouldn’t benefit from acupuncture?

Q: What kinds of issues do clients usually see you for?

A: I treat many women who lead busy lives that result in anxiety, headaches, cramps, insomnia, or infertility. Although their conditions vary, I give many of them the same advice because most of their complaints stem from all hormonal imbalances.

If you’re feeling sluggish, anxious, depressed, irritable or having difficulty with losing weight, painful periods, or constipation, then your hormones (most likely thyroid, estrogen or cortisol) may be out of whack.

Q: What can we do to keep our hormones balanced?

A: The simplest gift you can give yourself is time to sleep, relax, meditate, laugh and exercise. These are all ways to keep your hormones balances naturally.

1.  Prioritize sleep.   

Sleep - so simple yet so lacking in our busy schedules. Snoozing is like pressing the “reset” button for the body. It switches the nervous system from sympathetic (fight or flight) to parasympathetic (relaxed) mode. Studies show people who get less than 8 hours of sleep tend to gain weight and get sick more often. They are also irritable and lack short term memory.

2.  Take fish oil.

Supplementing your diet with 2,000 to 4,000 mg of omega 3 fish oil lowers cortisol levels that are increased with stress. It stabilizes mood so you’ll feel get fewer emotional ups and downs. Omegas are anti-inflammatory, which mean they slow down the body’s aging process, reducing chronic conditions like pain or cardiovascular disease. They also reducing cramps during painful periods. I recommend you purchase fish oil from a third party tested, mercury free source.

3.  Reduce stress.

When your life consists of running from work to home to play, maybe even squeezing some exercise in between, your body and mind don’t really get a chance to rest, and I mean really rest. “Working hard and playing hard” only puts you in sympathetic dominant mode, and after a while, unrelenting stress always catches up. It results in the form of a compromised immune system, irregular or painful periods, or anxiety. It’s an ugly cycle that can be detrimental.

Schedule some downtime. Take quiet walks. Meditate. Get an acupuncture treatment. Do something that forces your body and mind to slow down. You can thank yourself later.

For more information about acupuncture treatments and her practice, check out Anna’s website: http://www.annagoldacupuncture.com/

Let’s talk about sex, baby…

So how much sex is the Glow community having during their fertile window? And more importantly - is there a difference in the amount of sex that users who got pregnant are having vs those who did not get pregnant?

So we asked - and over 600 Glow users answered our survey yesterday. The results are as follows:

Both groups had sex often, as you might expect (either everyday or every other day) during their fertile window.

But the pregnant users tended to favor the extremes the month that they became pregnant. Meaning more of them had sex either EVERY SINGLE DAY (30.6%) or JUST ONCE (8.3%). Where as most  (54.5%) of the actively trying group simply had sex every other day.

This mildly suggests that there may be some merit in either going strong for a cycle (having sex every day) and/or if you have already been doing that, maybe taking it easy for one fertile window and having sex only once.

Hope this proves useful! 

Glow is on FIRE!

We are thrilled to announce that you can now access Glow with all its advanced algorithms on the Amazon Appstore. Download Glow onto your Kindle Fire today!

Create your first poll in the Glow Community now!

The Glow Community continues to flourish. And now, our users will be able to create and utilize polls to answer their pressing questions. (This feature will be available first in iOS, and shortly thereafter on Android.)

Better ways to NOT get pregnant

Glow has always been an exceptionally useful app for any couple trying to conceive. Now all of our users can say the same, whether or not they are trying to conceive. Glow has updated our ability to track your methods of birth control and contraceptive use, and we’ve written hundreds of new insights to guide you as you make your reproductive choices.

Connect to Jawbone with your Glow app - get access to a whole new world of data!
You will be able to find Glow in the Jawbone UP gallery and will also have the ability to see a few of your Glow updates in UP’s daily feed! (But don’t worry—we’ve kept most of those updates private so that only you will be able to view them.) 
We’ll keep you updated on more exciting innovations in the coming months. 

Thank you for choosing Glow and joining this unprecedented effort to improve the health and well-being of women the world over. 

- Your friends at Glow
Do you know an incredible father that you would like to celebrate? Enter Glow’s Father’s Day contest now. All details in app.

Do you know an incredible father that you would like to celebrate? Enter Glow’s Father’s Day contest now. All details in app.

Egg meets Sperm - A Love Story

The day after I ovulated, I would almost inevitably start feeling pregnancy symptoms. And even though I rationally knew that they were most likely in my head, they would still DRIVE ME CRAZY.

So in the interest of keeping a few of you saner than I ever was - I compiled a list of what happens during the first 14 days past ovulation - and what you can expect if you are pregnant:

Day 1 - Ovulation! Your newly released egg will only survive 24 hours, but hopefully in that time, it will meet a sperm and be fertilized. Only about 300 sperm (out of millions) reach the right tube at about the right time, but only one is needed.

Day 2 – Your fertilized egg is busy dividing.

Day 3 – Cell divisions continue taking place as the fertilized egg is traveling towards implantation.

Day 4 – The embryo is now at the 16 cell stage.

Day 5 – Five days after fertilization, the embryo is now at the blastocyst stage. It has still not implanted.

Day 6 – The blastocyst is now preparing to implant into your uterus lining. This is crucial. If this does not happen correctly, the fertilized egg will simply be flushed out with your next period. It is thought that as much as 50% of pregnancies miscarry before implantation even occurs.

Day 7 – It happened! Your fertilized egg has implanted. A placenta will now begin to develop. This is the earliest that you may experience a small amount of implantation bleeding.

Day 8 – Your fertilized egg will signal its existence to your pituitary gland and switch of your menstrual cycle. Click. Just like that – no periods for the next nine months.

Day 9 – Pregnancy hormones are now being produced, though they may be difficult to detect at this point. Your embryo is less that .5mm long.

Day 10 – More growth. More hormones. Now your breasts may start to hurt. You could have cramps or bloating. Although it is still VERY early to be feeling pregnancy symptoms – some women are just that in tune with their bodies.

Day 11 – Progesterone surges in your body and is helping your lining thicken. It’s also playing all sorts of mind-tricks on you and driving you crazy as you analyze every twinge. 

Day 12 – This is usually about the latest that you will experience any implantation bleeding. About 25 percent of women will experience some bleeding on early pregnancy.

Day 13 – The ball of cells is now firmly embedded in your uterus. Many pregnancy tests will pick up on the fact that you are pregnant by this point.

Day 14 – You might feel you have your usual PMS symptoms – but this time around they will actually be pregnancy symptoms in full force. Feel free to complain about them to your partner with full impunity. You’ve earned it!

Cinnamon

In one small study done by researchers from Columbia University Medical Center in New York City found that women with PCOS who took inexpensive daily cinnamon supplements experienced nearly twice the menstrual cycles over a six-month period as women with the syndrome given an inactive placebo.

Of the 16 patients who completed this small trial, 11 were given daily 1,500-milligram cinnamon supplements and five were given placebo pills. 

After six months, women receiving cinnamon had significant improvement in menstrual cycle regularity, having an average of nearly 4 menstrual periods over that time compared to an average of 2.2 periods among the placebo group. Two women even became pregnant without additional help during the study.

Cinnamon contains no calories nor does it have any carbohydrates in it, making it a great spice to use in foods. It can also be taken in a capsule form sold as cinnamon cassia extract to meet therapeutic dosages.  (Please speak to your doctor before you try anything.)