Reducing Mom Stress

dealing with mom stress

Let’s just go ahead and say it: Mom-ing is stressful. Everyone has stress, but mom stress is on a whole other level. Being a mother is possibly the most amazing, fulfilling thing you’ll ever experience, but it’s also likely the most stressful. Here you are, suddenly in charge of another human’s life; in charge of caring for them around the clock as you shape them into a productive member of society.

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Kids Clothes : Save Money

Children's clothes

A great way to save money on your kids clothes is to shop in the off season. So at the end of Spring and Summer when you would usually be buying for Fall and Winter, you go ahead and stock up on clothes for next year. By purchasing off season, you can save 40-75% off of retail prices.  That adds up to huge savings when you are trying to support a family.

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Save Money on Your Grocery Bill with these Apps

rebate and coupon apps

At Pregnant Pauses, we love to save money.  If you are like us and you’re a deal-seeker, you’ve probably spent many-a-Sunday clipping coupons from the paper, and weekdays perusing the grocery ads to see where the best deals on your favorite products are. Most of us have access to multiple grocery stores so the research was sometimes exhausting.  However, as technology has grown, there are even better ways to save money on your grocery bill and your gas bill.

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Spring Break Planning

Spring Break Planning

If you haven’t already, it’s time to begin thinking about Spring Break travel plans! Spring Break is always a cherished time of year and this year is no different, even if we have to adjust our plans a little due to virus concerns.

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Your Guide to Packing a Hospital Bag 

hospital bag

By Josh Moore of diaperdads.org

The third trimester is chock full of prep work and to-do lists in order to get ready for your new arrival. Packing your hospital bag is one of the most important tasks ahead of you — and it’s also one of the most frazzling. Here’s a look at a few ways to make this process easier and more effective:

What Should I Pack?

When you’re packing your hospital bag, you’re prepping for two distinct events: labor and the hospital stay that comes with it. Your first step should be thinking about what kind of labor you want to have. Coming up with a birth plan empowers you to go in mentally prepared for the process, but try to stay flexible. Pregnancy and birth are unpredictable things, so be sure to read about what to expect in any scenario.

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5 Pregnancy Musts

pregnancy must haves

A positive pregnancy test is an exciting moment in any woman’s life! But, pregnancy can be an overwhelming experience for some moms to be. There seem to be so many “rules” to follow in regard to what you can eat, as well as supplements to take. But, there are many additional musts that you should consider. Read on to find out a few of them!

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What to Expect the Second Trimester

Second Trimester Blog

As someone who recently had a baby, I feel like no one ever really talks about the second trimester. Think about it. There’s lots of emphasis put on the first trimester. From morning sickness, to fatigue, and lots of strange cravings; the first trimester is a hot topic. And then, the third trimester is all about getting ready to prepare for your birth, nesting, and labor signs. So what is the second trimester all about? Read on to find out!

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Second Pregnancy – How This Pregnancy is Different from Your First

2nd Pregnancy

This pregnancy may start out being similar to your previous one – the excitement of finding out the joyous news, the early nausea, that familiar fullness in your womb. But as your pregnancy progresses, you may be surprised at just how much has changed this time around. Here are 6 ways your second pregnancy is different from your first.

Your body is different this time

During your first pregnancy, your body changed in a myriad of ways, some permanent like lingering stretch marks or widened hips, and some not so permanent like a heightened sense of smell or extra body hair (thankfully). Your body remembers that it has been through this before, so you may find that you notice certain pregnancy markers earlier. As first-timers, most women start showing in the fifth month or so; in subsequent pregnancies women generally start showing much earlier, being unable to fit into their pants pretty much as soon as the stick turns blue. You are also more in tune with your body this time, so you may feel the flutters and baby kicks earlier and can easily distinguish between movement and Braxton Hicks contractions. Morning sickness may not be the same – you may feel less nauseous or even sicker than before. Aches and pains may be worse since this baby rests lower in your abdomen, and your body releases a hormone to relax your joints earlier this time. Each pregnancy changes your body in different ways, so your next one could be nothing like the first two.

Less fanfare

The first time around, everyone fawned over you, asked how you were feeling, held doors open for you and showered you with gifts and attention. Everyone was so excited for you and your upcoming bundle – you were treated like a princess! Cue the second pregnancy, and the reactions are much more muted. There isn’t as much interest in your condition and how you’re feeling. No one offers to carry anything heavy for you now that you’re hard-core into mommyhood, toting a toddler on your hip and a bursting diaper bag on your shoulder. Having a baby is old news. You might be slightly disappointed that Baby #2 isn’t as celebrated as the first.  However, it to be a relief to have a quieter second pregnancy without strangers touching your belly all the time.

Tired…so tired

You were tired during your first pregnancy. Ha! This version of you, the experienced one, the one who has been through sleep deprivation hell with a newborn and chasing a toddler around all day, laughs at how naïve you once were. When you were tired or had aches and pains during your first pregnancy, you could sleep in on the weekends, go out to dinner, or stay in bed and watch movies all day if you needed a time out. Fast forward to Pregnancy #2 – you are way too busy raising your first child to take much time to rest. You are constantly on the go, shuttling your eldest to activities, making snacks, potty training or helping with homework – taking a break is rarely an option. Exhaustion reaches a new level.

Less research and less planning

During your first pregnancy you researched everything. The best stroller, safest car seat, the most educational toys for your little one. You created an iron-clad birth plan that you insisted had to be followed down to the last detail and were packed for the hospital weeks in advance. This time, you’re not up on the latest dos and don’ts and baby must-haves – if it was good enough last time, then why change it? Your birth plan, if you have one, is much shorter because you now know childbirth never goes according to plan. In parenthood, flexibility is a necessity; you’ve realized you can’t plan everything and have learned the ability to go with the flow and take life as it comes.

You might be scared – but for different reasons

When you were expecting your first baby, you had a lot of fears about becoming a mom, about what childbirth was going to be like – there were a lot of unknown variables. Now, during your second pregnancy, you have been through this before, and although you know what to expect, you may have different fears of your own.  You may be worried that you have forgotten what to do with a newborn or how you’re going to handle the sleep deprivation this time around. You will probably wonder how to handle two children instead of one and how your older one is going to adjust.  Also, you may be afraid that you’re going to develop post-partum depression again. And if your first childbirth experience was traumatic, you might be afraid of a repeat this time. These are all common and legitimate fears – but fortunately you can do something to help alleviate them. Speak to your doctor, midwife, or doula about your concerns so they will be able to address them and find solutions. Arrange help for the first few weeks as you recover and adjust to your new bigger family – people will be happy to pitch in and help out.

You actually forget you’re pregnant sometimes

First pregnancy: You know how far along you are to the day and practically to the minute. You know what fruit you can compare your baby’s size to every week and what organ is developing at each stage. Second pregnancy: At your appointment, the nurse asks how far along you are and you have to rack your brain to remember. Your growing baby is safe and sound in your belly, so your focus is on the well-being of your first child. Since you’re so busy taking care of someone else’s needs, you just don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it until – ouch – something hurts.

The second pregnancy is a lot different than it was the first go-round, in many ways for the better! This time you have experience under your belt and the knowledge that you are a tough mama who can get through anything. You can have faith and confidence that you can handle any changes that come your way, and enjoy this exciting new chapter as you focus on bringing another new little life into the world.

A Smart Start : The Health Benefits of Breastfeeding

breastfeeding

A Smart Start! : The Health Benefits of Breastfeeding (for Mommy and Baby)

The way you choose to nourish your newborn is a personal preference. But, if you’ve chosen to breastfeed your baby, you have made a great decision. There are numerous health benefits for not only babies, but moms as well. Read on to learn all about how you can get off to a smart start from the very moment you bring your baby into the world!  Many experts agree, that breastfeeding is one of the healthiest things you can do for your baby if you are able to.

Health Benefits for Baby

Most pediatricians recommend nursing your baby for about a full year. But, even if that’s not on your agenda, they feel that breastfeeding for even a short amount of time can be beneficial. How? The health benefits for your baby include:

  • Long Term Protection from Illness-A baby who is breastfed tends to be healthier overall. This is because your breastmilk is designed primarily for them, and it’s filled with everything your baby can possibly need. The milk’s enzymes and proteins help protect babies from respiratory infections, ear infections, and other illnesses a baby can develop later in life like Type 1 Diabetes, Celiac’s Disease, and even Crohn’s Disease.
  • Higher IQ-A controversial topic; many studies actually do show that babies who were breastfed have a higher intelligence level compared to babies who were formula fed. Studies also have shown that breastfed babies are more verbally proficient.
  • Promotes a Healthy Weight-Breastfed babies tend to be of a healthier weight, and are less likely to become obese throughout their life, but especially during toddlerhood and childhood.
  • SIDS Prevention-Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is a concern of all parents. But, breastfeeding protects against RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus). This virus has been known to cause the lungs to inflame and contribute to SIDS, especially during the first few months of your baby’s life. Nursing combats this concern.
  • Helps Nourish Preemies-Since your breastmilk is specifically made and designed for your child, it can aid a premature baby in areas that they need to get stronger or more stable in. The milk adapts to your baby’s needs, making it richer and higher in necessary nutrients. Formula cannot do this!

Health Benefits for Moms

Moms can reap benefits from breastfeeding too! Among the most vital and valuable are:

  • Post-Partum Relief-When you breastfeed, your body releases special hormones (Oxytocin) that are known to aid in the process of shrinking the uterus. The uterus shrinks much quicker than a mom who formula feeds. In addition, moms who nurse also experience significantly less post-partum bleeding.
  • Rapid Weight Loss-Breastfeeding burns up a lot of calories. While your body is constantly working so hard to produce milk, nursing tends to speed up your metabolism; helping you get back to a healthy, pre-pregnancy weight. Contrary to popular belief, you are more likely to lose weight quicker, despite the fact that you are consuming extra calories to nurse.
  • Combats Cancer-In the long run, moms that choose to breastfeed are less likely to get pre-menopausal ovarian cancer, or even breast cancer. While you may not be thinking that far down the road, it is never too late to start!
  • Stronger Bones-Also relating to later in life; some studies report that women who nursed have a lower risk of post-menopausal osteoporosis. Nursing helps your bones absorb calcium more effectively, thus making them much denser.
  • Mentally Satisfying-Post-partum depression is real, and it affects many moms. Nursing helps combat the baby blues, thanks to all of the hormones your body releases. Some of them make your body feel euphoric, giving off a natural high. Breastfeeding makes you feel confident, powerful, and happier overall.

You have to make many choices as a parent. But, one choice you should consider is breastfeeding. It has a wide variety of health benefits for both you and your baby, and it is a true, bonding experience.

References

https://www.womenshealth.gov/breastfeeding/making-decision-breastfeed

 

Eating for Two! A Nutrition Guide to Pregnancy

nutrition for two

Nutrition is key when eating for two.  When you first find out you are carrying an itty-bitty baby inside of you, you become very protective. One way to really make sure you nourish your fetus is by feeding it the healthiest foods that contain the proper vitamins and nutrients it needs in order to flourish! If you’ve just gotten a positive pregnancy test, read on to learn the best foods for both of you to eat during each trimester.

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