Archives for August 2015

The Recommended Shots for your Baby’s First Two Years

The Recommended Shots for your Baby’s First Two Years

Image courtesy of the CDC

Watching your baby get a shot is not fun, but vaccines are intended to protect your little bundle of joy from a host of infections that could creep their way into her precious body.  Keeping track of all of the recommended shots for your baby’s first two years may seem overwhelming.  The CDC, American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians put together a vaccination schedule to inform parents of the typical times when your baby should receive various vaccines, many of which are given multiple times in small doses over the first two years of your baby’s life.  If your baby is sick or has other complications, your pediatrician may recommend altering the schedule slightly.

Along with this handy chart, we’re breaking down each vaccine to help you keep it all straight:

Hepatitis B (HepB):  This vaccine is given shortly after birth in the hospital, again between one and two months and finally when your baby is six to 18 months old.  HepB prevents contracting Hepatitis B, a disease that is spread through blood and bodily fluids that attacks the liver.

Rotavirus (RV):  Given at two, four and six months of age, the RV vaccine protects your baby against the rotavirus that is spread by mouth and causes gastrointestinal problems and dehydration.

Diptheria / Tetanus / Pertussis (DTaP):  This three-in-one vaccine is given to your child five times early in life:  two months, four months, six months, between 15-18 months and again between 4-6 years old.  Diptheria is an air borne or direct contact disease that causes flu-like symptoms and can lead to heart failure and death.  Tetanus is contracted through open wounds on the skin that induces muscle tightness and spasms that can result in frailty, respiratory problems and death.  Pertussis, better known a whooping cough, causes respiratory distress, especially in babies, and pneumonia.

Haemophilus Influenza (Hib):  This airborne and direct contact illness often causes meningitis, which affects brain, respiratory and lung function.  Hib is given at two, four and six months, and then again between 12-15 months.

Pneumococcal (PCV):  PCV is a vaccine  that protects against pneumococcus, a potentially life-threatening disease that may result in meningitis, pneumonia or a blood infection.  PCV is given to babies at two, four and six months and between 12-15 months.

Polio (IPV):  Polio can be contracted from direct contact, orally or through the air.  It leads to paralysis and death, which is why IPV is recommended at two and four months, and again between six and 18 months.

Measles / Mumps / Rubella (MMR):  Another three-for-one vaccine, all three diseases covered by MMR are contracted through air or direct contact.  They cause severe flu-like symptoms including rash, fever, swollen glands, fatigue, a cough and congestion.  Measles, Mumps and Rubella are responsible for cases of meningitis, pneumonia and encephalitis, among other conditions.

Chickenpox (Varicella):  The Varicella vaccine helps reduce severe symptoms of chickenpox.  Children who get the vaccine between 12 and 15 months may still a mild case of chickenpox, but with the shot, children are less likely to have complications including pneumonia and encephalitis.

Hepatitis A (HepA):  Hepatitis A is contracted through direct contact or contaminated food and water.  It affects the liver, kidney and pancreas and can cause blood disorders.  HepA is recommended any time between age one and two.

Influenza:  The flu shot can be given to babies as young as six months of age and should be taken yearly throughout life.

Usually shots do not cause any serious side effects and your baby is back to her normal, bubbly self within hours of receiving her shots.  If your baby has a severe reaction after any shot, call your pediatrician immediately.

What to do When your Baby has Hiccups

What to do When your Baby has HiccupsWatching your baby hiccup can be pretty hilarious.  Often hiccups come after a big feeding when your baby is “milk drunk,” dazed and hiccupping like a drunk sailor.  Fortunately, hiccups are harmless for your baby, although they may be rather annoying at times.  Today we’re exploring why babies get hiccups and what to do when your baby has hiccups.

Why Babies get Hiccups

Many people believe hiccups are related to a lack of oxygen but that’s not true.  Hiccups are contractions or spasms in diaphragm.  Although the diaphragm is used for breathing, hiccups are not related to taking a breath.  This is why even babies in the womb can get hiccups, much to the alarm of many expectant moms.

Babies often get hiccups after eating because the diaphragm is very closely situated to the stomach.  Large feedings, drinking too fast or swallowing too much air can trigger hiccups.  Be vigilant about when your baby tends to get the hiccups.  If you noticed it is during or after nursing, you may need to make some adjustments.  One helpful trick is to allow your baby to breastfeed for less time but feed twice as often.  Smaller more frequent meals may work better.  Also, ensure your baby has proper latch to avoid swallowing too much air.  You may need to alternate breastfeeding positions to achieve the best latch.

Sometimes hiccups are a sign or symptom of gastroesophageal reflux.  Like acid reflux, this disease causes babies to spit up their food, in this case into the esophagus.  Babies with gastroesophageal reflux tend to hiccup more often and the reflux can be quite painful.

What to do when your Baby has the Hiccups

Unfortunately there is no tried and true cure for hiccups.  Usually they subside after a few minutes.  Some parents try to give their babies something to suck on or chew on, which may work or may distract your baby from the nuisance of the hiccups.  As already mentioned, if your baby tends to get hiccups at a certain time or after feedings, take note and make changes to avoid hiccups.  If your baby is spitting up a lot or coughing along with persist hiccups, talk to your pediatrician about the symptoms.  Otherwise, it is very common for babies to hiccup daily or even several times a day.

There are many myths about how to cure hiccups.  Be careful because you could really hurt your baby.  Startling your baby, applying pressure to certain areas or pulling her tongue will not cure hiccups and could cause more of a disruption than the hiccups themselves.

Back to School: Getting Yourself and the Kids Ready

It’s back to school time! The summer is almost over and your little ones have, or are about to embark on another school year. Depending on their age and personality some children may have a harder time grasping on to the reality of going back to school, or starting school for the first time. As parents it’s helpful to ease our children’s anxiety by preparing them for what’s to come. Getting yourself and your child ready ahead of time will diminish the stress and fear the first day of school can bring.

Today we are sharing helpful tips on how to prepare yourself and your child for school:

 

Preschool

Preschool is a big step for your little one. It means they are growing up and taking on new responsibilities. They will be interacting with other children on a daily basis and learning new things such as, sharing, reading, art, and learning how to be polite. Before your child begins school it’s important to be aware of their schools curriculum, and how you will prepare yourself and your child for what’s to come. Preschool will bring new, exciting, and also intimidating factors your little one might not be used to. They will be around other children their age more, and they will be taking orders from someone else besides their mommy. It’s important to make them aware of this before they begin school.

A great way to do this is by talking and reading books about school with them, teaching them the importance of patience and how to follow rules, planning play dates with other children during the summer, teaching them how to share with others, and most importantly, urging them to be creative and themselves. Giving your child a sense of what they will expect will make those first couple weeks a little easier for the both of you.

It’s also very important to think about how you’re going to say goodbye that first day. It’s more than likely your child, and even you, will become upset when it’s time for you to go and say goodbye. You’re little one will assume you’re leaving them to a room full of strangers, and may become frantic. It’s vital you stay calm and remind them you love them and will be back as soon as school is over. Think about creating a goodbye ritual before school starts to practice with your child. This way they will be a little less nervous when it’s time for you to go.

 

Kindergarten and Elementary School

The anxiety might have resided a little from preschool, but starting Kindergarten is still something to plan for. While preschool was only a half day, your child will have to sustain a full day away from mom, and Kindergarten will bring another new set of responsibilities and assignments for them to master. During the summer think about practicing simple guidelines your child will follow in school such as, following bathroom rules, spelling, reading, writing, remembering their address and phone number, and counting. It’s also fundamental to encourage them to be social at school. Get them involved with extracurricular activities during the summer where they are participating with kids in their classroom. If they are shy, talk to them about it. Inspire them to put themselves out there and always nurture their independence, even though it might seem hard.

Just like Preschool, it’s important to teach them the importance of patience and sharing. Go over the same things as mentioned above. A few weeks before school starts reestablish some of their school routines to get them ready, like waking up a littler earlier instead of sleeping in.

Elementary school is much like Kindergarten is many ways. You’ll want to prepare them for their school curriculum and remind them about their responsibilities as students. Establishing a routine on ways to study, organize themselves, and listen are major things to set in with your children. These skills will help them with the extra homework and other assignments they will be in charge of completing.

 

Middle School

Middle School is another big transition for your child. Instead of being part of one classroom they may now be part of a home-room, and will be switching rooms and engaging with new students. While their atmosphere is changing, so are their emotions. It’s important to be attentive to your child’s needs, but also give them the space they need. Always let them handle their own situations, unless you feel your presence is needed. By giving them their independence you are helping them grow and be responsible adults.

Begin the summer before school knowing what your child needs to know. Their levels of education will be expanded into broader and more complicated areas such as, the scientific method, nonfiction books, and current affairs. Start discussing these issues with your child to prepare them for the new school year. It could also be significant for you and your child to plan a visit to their new school where they can walk around and meet some of their teachers.

 

Transitioning for Parents

Parents, this will be an emotional roller coaster not only for your children, but for you as well. Every new school year brings a new and more mature child. It can be emotional watching your children grow and become their own person, but it’s also very exciting! As a parent it’s your job to be attentive to their needs, while encouraging them to succeed. Make it your mission to be there at the first day of school meeting, parent/teacher conferences, sports games, music recitals, etc. Make attendance a priority for both you and your child, and that tardy slips are a big deal.

Another important thing to remember is to be excited, but realistic when your child is beginning school. Talk to them about their concerns and their fears. Try to stay away from saying things like, “It will be the best time of your life!” or “There is nothing to be afraid of.” School can be an emotional time for some kids, and by giving unrealistic remarks can be a real let down.

 

 

No matter what grade your child is beginning, the best thing to do is encourage them to be themselves and be there for them as a parent, not a friend. Love them and cheer them on as they succeed and grow!

 

 

Explaining Pregnancy Symptoms to your Partner

Explaining Pregnancy Symptoms to your PartnerMoms-to-be often feel lonely during pregnancy.  Their once partner in everything can no longer share the same experience – carrying a child is left only to mothers.  That’s not to say men don’t have feelings and changes don’t occur in their lives during pregnancy.  However, their bodies are not biologically changing in the way that expectant moms are.  Explaining pregnancy symptoms to your partner may be a daunting task but its important to bring your partner into the inner circle of your pregnancy experience.  He may know it all too well already as the recipient of some hormonal behavior, but nonetheless, discussing pregnancy symptoms should be a healthy part of sharing this new adventure in your lives.

But how do you go about explaining pregnancy symptoms to your partner?  Break it down symptom-by-symptom and come up with relatable analogies.  Here are a few to get you started:

Pregnancy Nausea:  Although it is called “morning sickness,” pregnancy nausea can strike at any time of day and may not result in vomiting.  Nausea includes a range of feelings from an upset stomach to heartburn.  Many women compare pregnancy nausea to feeling hung-over or having a stomach bug.  Nausea can cause lethargy, change in appetite and a foul mood.  Not allowing the body to get hungry often helps new moms curb their nausea so partners can help by offering food and drink periodically.

Fatigue:  Especially during the first trimester, expectant moms tend to be extremely exhausted.  Her body is changing in many ways to prepare for pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding.  Simple tasks like making meals and grocery shopping can wear her out as if she just did strenuous exercise.  New moms and their partners should try to keep things simple to let her rest as much as possible.  Partners can offer to take on some of mom’s responsibilities until she has more energy.

Growing Breasts:  Sensitive breasts are often the first symptom of pregnancy a woman experiences.  With the onset of many extra hormones, breasts enlarge to prepare for pregnancy and eventually breastfeeding.  Breasts are tender and often sensitive to the touch as if they were bruised or sore.  Usually breast size increases in the first trimester, slows in the second trimester and may grow a little more towards the end of the third trimester.  Pregnancy is a great time to buy nursing bras.  Partners can surprise the new mom in their lives with a selection of comfortable and stylish nursing bras in her new size.

Gaining Weight:  Gaining the normal 25-35 lbs. during pregnancy can be scary for women.  In a weight conscious world, packing on this many pounds in just 9 months may not make her feel good about herself and she may fear she is unattractive to her partner.  Typically the baby is 6.5 to 7.5 lbs, water weight is around 3.5 lbs, extra blood is 3 lbs, the placenta is 1.5 lbs and breasts are around 1 lb each.  The rest of the pregnancy weight gain is a woman’s body storing fat and energy for pregnancy and beyond.  Partners should help moms-to-be eat healthy meals but also remind her that she’s always beautiful.

Baby’s Movements:  Around the 15th week of pregnancy, expectant moms begin to feel their baby’s movement.  It begins as a flutter and will progress to more distinctive punching, kicking and flipping movements.  Some moms may feel their baby’s hiccups as well.  All of this may feel like a circus inside her belly.  When the movements are larger, moms can share the experience with their partners by letting them feel the movement on her belly.  As the baby gets bigger you can often see ripples across the abdomen as well.

Contractions:  This one is the doozie that may be most difficult to explain to your partner.  Luckily, contractions are short-lived and the light at the end of the tunnel is your precious baby.  Contractions are more closely related to cramping, like stomach cramps, gas pains or a severe muscle spasm.  Unfortunately, it may take hours for relief to come as the baby may not be ready to make an appearance.  Partners can help during contractions by being supportive, keeping moms calm, performing breathing exercises with her and distracting her.  Once early labor signs begin, partners should jump in and be ready to take on all responsibilities, including childcare for other children, calling the OB and getting mom to the hospital.

Partners may not be able to empathize with pregnancy symptoms but they can certain sympathize and support you along the way if you keep an open dialogue about how you are feeling.  They may not know the exact right things to say or do, but with love and support, you can work through the journey together.

End of the Summer Family Vacation/Staycation

End of the Summer Family Vacation/StaycationThe end of the summer is the perfect time to plan a short family vacation before the kids head back to school. Before the hustle and bustle of homework and scheduling dinner around sports practices and clarinet recitals, make a plan to get in some much needed family time. While traveling long distances might not be in your budget, try searching for short distance destinations your family will enjoy. Local beaches, lakes, cities, and even your own backyard can offer an endless amount of family fun you’ve never even thought possible!

Today we have four ideas that will be fun for the whole family, and easy on your wallet:

 

City Trips

If you live by a major city you are right next to countless opportunities your whole family can enjoy. Urban life can be full of awesome places to take the kids, such as Art and History museums, parks, lakes, and amazing restaurants. If you’re able to take a whole weekend trip find fun things to do for free in your city. There are always fun things to do when you’re on a budget. Some other ideas to do are spend the day shopping around downtown, checkout local bakeries and tea shops, take a walk around the park playing catch or throwing a Frisbee, or take a history lesson at a museum. If you’re looking for something for you and your partner to enjoy, and your children are old enough to stay by themselves for a few hours, checkout your hotel to see if they have a spa! A city is a great place for everyone to have fun and enjoy themselves. A perfect idea, to get the kids feel involved, is to have them pick out where they want to go. Have them pick out their favorite shops and restaurants and plan to go there. A fun idea is to create a scavenger hunt! Make a list of things you want to see or find while in the city. The whole family will have a hoot, and it will be something you’ll remember for a long time!

 

Camping Trips

A camping trip is a great idea to spend some quality time with your family. It’s also fairly cheap! If you’re looking into local campsites or even destinations a little further from your home, most places only charge $30 or less for a lot. If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, and live close to a national park, you can always go off on your own, but be careful to make sure there aren’t any fees or restrictions before you set up camp. Spending time outdoors with the family is a great opportunity to bond with your kids, and get a little more in touch with nature and away from all electronics! Camping can involve many activities depending on where you set up camp. If you’re in a national park you can enjoy hiking, rock climbing, learning about different rocks and plants, and a number of other fun things! If you’re near a lake you have the option of swimming and laying out in the sun. A camping trip is the best excuse to lay back and relax while teaching your kids how to make the best s’mores around the campfire.

 

Lake/Ocean Trips

If you’re lucky enough to live by the ocean or even by a major lake, your family weekend trip is as simple as when! Take your kids to the beach and relax before school starts and indulge in the nice weather, great food, and amazing atmosphere these two options have to offer. There are numerous fun things to do with the kids when you live close to water. Take them fishing, have a cookout on the beach with a fire, swim, parasailing is available everywhere by the ocean, and it’s always fun to do a little shopping at the endless beachy shops near the boardwalks. You can stay in a hotel, rent out an RV, camp, or simply do a day trip. Whatever you choose you and your family will have a blast!

 

Staycation at Home

If you don’t have time to get out of the house for the weekend, and you want to save your money for a longer vacation, there are plenty of fun things to do with the kids at home. Instead of going camping make your backyard a campground! Set up a tent, build a fire, cook hot dogs and pizzas, roast s’mores, and have a good time with the kids! They will have a blast staying up late with you and laying under the stars. If you want to do something a little more special, look up how to build a teepee and a movie projector on Pinterest. You will find hundreds of easy step by step instructions on how to do this, and it will be something you can pack away and bring out again! If you’re looking to do a little swimming and splashing around turn your yard into a water park. Grab yourself some water balloons, squirt guns, and a tarp and you will find yourself and the kids having the best time while cooling off in the summer sun.

 

 

What You May Not Know about Teething

 

What You May Not Know about TeethingTeething is an interesting time in the life of an infant.  Being a parent to that infant may be more challenging and confusing than you ever realized.  Some babies show very few signs of teething and parents don’t even realize a tooth has erupted until they see the white mountain cap in their baby’s adorable smile.  Other parents are all too aware of every painful moment of teething their infant experiences.

Today we’re sharing some fascinating and perhaps strange things you may not know about teething:

Did you know…most babies begin to get teeth between four and seven months of age.  However, some babies are born with teeth and some babies don’t start getting teeth until around age one.  This is a perfect example of a wide range of normal.

Did you know…usually the bottom two teeth emerge first, then the top two teeth erupt.  After that, teeth on the bottom and top start sprouting, sometimes individually and sometimes in pairs.  Baby teeth tend to fall out in the same order in which they came in.

Did you know…along with drooling, fussiness, restlessness at night and biting down on anything and everything in sight, your baby can actually break a fever from teething.  Before calling the doctor about a mild fever, check your baby’s mouth to see if a new tooth is the culprit.

Did you know…diarrhea is a symptom of teething too.  You may fret that your baby ate something bad when really it’s teething that is changing his bowel movements from regular to mushy or runny.

Did you know…rashes are also common during teething.  Drooling can cause splotchiness on the chin, cheeks, neck and hands.  Due to excess acidity in diarrhea, diaper rashes may also occur more often during teething.  These rashes look fierce but will eventually subside when teething slows.

Did you know…drool isn’t just a side-effect of teething, it is actually helping your baby manage his pain.  Extra saliva is a barrier for gums that become very sensitive and irritated during teething.

Did you know…your baby may pull on his ear during teething to help relieve pain causing many parents to mistake teething for an ear infection.  What’s really happening is the nerves in your baby’s gums are connected to the ear. Tugging on the ear may ease the pain caused by these nerve endings.

Did you know…your baby may form a blister along the gum line where a tooth is soon to erupt.  When the tooth breaks through, the blister will pop and may be bloody.  It can be alarming to parents but it is normal.

Did you know…there are natural ways to help your baby manage teething pain.  All-natural teething creams are available and you can give your baby cold teething toys or washcloths to gnaw on.  Amber teething necklaces can also help – they are made out of Baltic amber that releases trace oils containing succinic acid.  When absorbed, this acid can soothe tender gums.

Did you know…your baby is not possessed when he becomes uncontrollable during teething.  Cutting new teeth is very painful for babies and they often let you know.  Be patient and spend lots of extra time loving and cuddling your baby.  You will both make it through and you’ll be stronger and pack a meaner bite (figuratively and literally, in the case of your baby) than ever before.

The Healthy Way to Gain Weight during Pregnancy

The Healthy Way to Gain Weight during PregnancyMost women have no problem at all gaining weight during their pregnancies. Yet, there are those who struggle to put on the pounds they need in order for their baby to be healthy and strong at delivery. On average, normal weight women need to gain 25-35 pounds, overweight women should only gain 15-25, and women who are underweight should gain around 28-40 pounds. Women who are not able to gain the appropriate weight are putting their babies at high risk of many problems, including being born prematurely or suffering growth restriction in the uterus. To keep moms on track during their pregnancy doctors say they should be consuming an extra 300 calories a day. However, this does not mean junk food and other processed foods are the way to go. Today we are going to discuss three ways to gain healthy weight during your pregnancy to secure yours and your baby’s wellbeing:

 

  1. Eat More and More Often

If you’re struggling to eat those extra 300 calories, a great way to help is by eating five to six small meals a day rather than 3 large meals. You might think you’re eating all the time, but in fact, eating more meals a day can actually help you eat more and help you gain the necessary weight you need for pregnancy. Pre-pack your meals once a week to help keep your organized and prepared. Make sure to keep snacks on hand, especially at work, or in the car. Eating six small meals a day will boost your calorie intake and keep you at a healthy weight.

  1. Eat High Calorie Foods

Eat foods that pack a punch. You want to find foods that are healthy and nutritional for your body, and if you’re underweight, look for foods high in calorie intake. Foods high in protein, such as cheese, nuts, and hard boiled eggs are great snack options, and easy to prepare. Protein shakes are another great option when you’d rather drink your food rather than eat. They are perfect in the morning when you’re getting ready for work or for a meal when you get home. They are quick and easy to make, and their effective. However, don’t put too much emphasis on liquid shakes because your body needs wholefoods to digest and process. Another idea, if approved by your doctor, is to try supplements. Adding protein powder or carb powder to your cereal or yogurt is tasty and will give you the calories you need.

  1. Find a Diet that Works for You

It’s always great to try new and healthy foods, but make sure you consult your doctor before trying something you’re unsure of, especially while you’re pregnant. Talk to your doctor if you’re having trouble gaining the appropriate weight. They will know just how you can put on the calories, and which foods to eat and stay away from.

 

 

World Breastfeeding Week Recap…and Beyond

We want to thank all of our customers and fans for celebrating World Breastfeeding Week with us this year.  All of your support, attention, and effort brought life to this year’s theme, Breastfeeding and Work, Let’s Make it Work.  Together, we can make it work with advocacy, encouragement and a whole lot of support.

Breastfeeding is not a two-player sport, but rather takes the entire village, including the government, employers and individuals to constantly support the cause.  We salute all those who do, like our partners, the Best for Babes Foundation.  We’re thrilled to team up with Best for Babes on many of their initiatives.  We hope you caught their series of important breastfeeding and work questions on Facebook, and that you left comments to share with fellow breastfeeding supporters.  If you missed any, we’re recapping them below with some of our favorite responses.  Thanks to all you who participated!

WBW_Meme 1“Make sure your care providers are knowledgeable about paced feedings, so that your pumping output continues to meet baby’s needs. And maximise direct breastfeeding time outside of work hours – for me, this meant sleeping in close proximity and night nursing.” – Julia Ross

“Schedule pumping time in, don’t just hope it will happen.” – Amanda Hinkle

“Have a photo of your child where you can see it while pumping.” – Elizabeth Young

 

WBW_Meme 3“At a haunted house, in the ticket booth. A woman let me hide in there and pump while she sold tickets outside of the booth. It was 30 degrees outside lol but it worked!” – Nicole Davis

“Pumping at work as a newborn nursery nurse was kinda awkward when you’re with 6 babies that aren’t your own! Lined them up end to end in their little bassinets and pumped away! No trouble with let down though.” – Jacole Johnson

“Hand pumped my engorged breasts into medical gauze (not at all absorbent) in a first aid tent at a rock CONCERT.” – Victoria Leigh Honea

 

WBW_Meme 4

“Talk to then right away. I work in construction and brought it up to my formen and general formen and they both made me great about wanting to still work and nurse. They even offered the trailer for me to pump in and they would stand gaurd so the men didn’t walk in. I couldn’t have asked for better men. I told them at 3 months prego so they had time to prepare. They were great” – Seraph Millar

“To not be afraid. Have the pumping/nursing talk before hand so you both are on the same page. Make sure you both know the laws and are able to communicate with each other if needed” – Amanda Zwally

 

WBW_Meme 5

“My hubby was so amazing! He supported me and encouraged me the whole time. When I felt like giving up he was there convincing me to keep going.” – Cassie Healy

“My Facebook group grand junction breastfeeding” – Andromeda Marin Fouts

Thanks Angela Pennino for agreeing to help me get donated milk to a mommy in need!” – Danielle Louque Yenuganti

My wife was truly one of the best supporters during our breastfeeding journey. She helped and encouraged me when I was suffering from double breast mastitis and a completely clogged nipple. Thanks Kristen Ritter! I love you and couldn’t have done this without you.” – Lana Hendrickson-Ritter

 

World Breastfeeding Week 2015 may have officially come to an end, but the truth is, at Loving Moments we celebrate all year long.  Join us here on our blog and social media channels for a wealth of information about pregnancy, baby care and breastfeeding.  Cheers to the health of babies, mothers and communities everywhere!

 

 

 

Life as a Single Parent

Life as a Single ParentFor whatever reason, you find yourself taking on the roles of being both mom and dad to your child. It can be a challenging position to overtake, especially if you are your only support system. Being a single parent, nonetheless, married and having the support of the other parent, means you must put your needs aside, and put all your efforts towards giving your child the best possible life you can offer them. We are in no way saying spend every penny you have to make them happy, but instead shower them with love and compassion as those are two very important qualities to instill on their cute little brains.

Life is notorious for throwing us curve-balls, and if you find yourself being the only outlet and means to your child’s future, the feeling can be extremely overwhelming. Although your responsibilities may have doubled, and the journey that awaits you will have its bumps, remember that when life gives us a curve-ball there is always a possibility of a grand slam. Today we are going to share some helpful tips to overcome some of the obstacles single parents may face:

Tip #1: “A Bad Attitude Won’t Get You Anyway!”

Being a single parent won’t be easy. It’s a constant emotional roller coaster that will have you at times so exhausted you might not know what to do. Take a breath, count to ten, and know everything is going to be okay! Even though you’re the head of the house and the one making all the decisions just remember that even though you might be alone raising your child, it’s still an awesome experience teaching and watching them grow up. Keeping a good attitude will not only keep you from feeling stressed, but it will also help improve your child’s attitude as well. When they see mommy happy, they will be happy.

A huge helpful hint is to never talk about your ex in a negative manner. A positive attitude is a healthy attitude, and something you should model for your child. If they occasionally bring up the missing parent try and keep it short and simple. Don’t dwell on the past and crush your child’s persona of their parents. Even though it might hurt you, you’re child had nothing to do with the past and whatever decision was made. Talking bad about your ex in front of your child is irresponsible and nothing good will come out of it.

Tip #2: Learn to Multi-task

You’ll become a pro at multitasking in no time. Learning how to make dinner, pack school lunches, and settle a meltdown will be so much easier to tackle in time. The key to this is practice. Learn how to practice patience and find the best ways to handle certain situations, like your child not wanting to eat what you made for breakfast when you have to get ready for work and ironing to get done. Make a schedule and a routine for them to follow daily. This way you’re always prepared and they always know what to expect.

Don’t burn yourself out with a million projects. Get done what you need to get done and then move onto another. Things will be a little difficult at first when your child is a baby and a toddler, but once they get a little older, and can take care of themselves things will get better. A fun thing to do when you have a bunch on your plate, and your child is having a meltdown, is to try and come up with a game to keep them preoccupied. For instance, if you’re folding laundry or making dinner try involving them into the process. Talk about shapes and colors and different foods. This will make things go a little smoother.

Tip #3: Find a Work Schedule that Works for You and Your Family

If you have a family member or friend who is able to pick up your child from daycare, school, sports practices, etc. that’s awesome! But if you’re not so lucky, try talking to your boss about a different work schedule. If you’re able to come in an hour earlier, work on your lunch break, or maybe take some of your work home with you, don’t be afraid to ask. Your child is your main priority and nine times out of ten your boss will understand.

Tip #4: Somethings You Can’t Control

Although you’ve mastered to ease the meltdowns and have finally found a schedule that works for everyone, realize not everything can be controlled with effort. Extra expenses are going to come up when your child is in school and they need field trip forms signed, sports registration payed for, camps, etc. Child support will help with the basic necessities, but much will come from you. Don’t stress yourself out over the little things. Learn to live within your means. Life will be a lot more comfortable and happy that way.

If your ex neglects your child remember it is their loss, not yours! Again, don’t stress over things you cannot change. Giving your child with love and stability is the best thing you can do for them. One day they will recognize your efforts and what is really right in the end.

Tip #5: Be Proud of Yourself!

Last but not least, don’t forget to be proud of all your accomplishments. While it can be a stressful road raising your child all by yourself, trust that you are giving it your all as a parent. Being a single parent isn’t an easy task, and at times you may be the only one there to give yourself a high-five when you’ve mastered a milestone with your child. Be proud when you reach limits you didn’t think possible because you will get there. When you believe you can achieve.

 

 

Excess Saliva during Pregnancy

Of all the amazing and bizarre changes that occur when you’re expecting, you may be surprised to know that it is common to have excess saliva during pregnancy.  This condition of having more saliva than usual is known as ptyalism or sialorrhea.  While having excess saliva during pregnancy may feel uncomfortable, it does not pose a medical threat to expectant moms or their babies.

Saliva is necessary for several important purposes, which may be even more helpful during pregnancy.  We typically produce 1.5 quarts of saliva daily, which has essential enzymes that help us digest our food and neutralize acidity in the body.  Moreover, saliva has antibacterial and antiviral properties that help fight of infections, especially those of the teeth and gums that are more prevalent during pregnancy.  And saliva helps lubricate the mouth, of course.

Ptylaism is usually worse in the first trimester and often subsides as moms-to-be enter their second trimester.  But for some, excess saliva persists throughout pregnancy.  There may be several causes for this condition, including hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy, and is commonly associated with an upset stomach, nausea, vomiting and heartburn.

Excess Saliva during PregnancyNausea can contribute to excess saliva during pregnancy because it tends to decrease the urge to swallow.  This results in extra saliva production.  Vomiting often leads to extra saliva too as the body attempts to compensate for dehydration.  Also, heartburn caused by the rise of gastric acid from the stomach through the esophagus may trigger excess saliva during pregnancy as a mechanism to try to counterbalance the acidity.

If you suffer from excess saliva during pregnancy, there are a few tricks to dealing with the problem:

  • First, try to swallow the saliva if possible.
  • If you feel it is too much to swallow, spit it out.  Drink plenty of fluids to maintain hydration.
  • Eating water-based fruits, vegetables and foods can help as well, and try sucking on ice cubes if drinking is difficult.
  • Suck on mints or other hard candies or chew sugar-free gum.
  • Brush teeth often and rinse with mouthwash.
  • Avoid eating foods that will cause you to salivate, such as spicy or sour foods.

Excess saliva during pregnancy can be uncomfortable but it is manageable.  Hang in there and know that this, and all of your other pregnancy symptoms, will eventually subside.