The Secret To Being A Happy, Healthy Mom

What can be more pleasing than watching a happy mom who devotedly balances both a fulfilling career and family? Being a mom, a large part of the time is devoted to kids’ needs. Besides, a busy mom’s life never becomes less tense. You could get so absorbed with motherhood responsibilities that you ignore self-care.

We’ve all been there, and here’s a secret: mothers who indulge themselves take a more optimistic and healthier way of life. It’s a challenging task, but it’s possible! In this article, we’ll help you accomplish this with the most acceptable happy mom hacks, from fitness routines to beauty regimens.

The Secret To Being A Happy Healthy Mom
*This is a guest post and all opinions are those of the author. This post may also contain affiliate and/or paid links. Rest assured that we only work with companies and individuals that we trust. While some of those companies and individuals may work in the medical field, this post is not intended to be a substitution for medical advice. Always speak to your doctor if you have concerns about your mental or physical health.

Personal Time and Space for a Happy Mom

We can claim one irresistible rule on how to make any mom really happy: find time for yourself every day. Separate no less than 15 minutes a day all yours, and throughout this 15 minutes, do something that you need or something you love. It’s not selfish, our promises. Personal “me time” can be a brief but chilling warm bath, an energy-intensive workout to renew your inner batteries, a fast walk outside, or brief run meditation. Whatever that causes you to feel better! Since once you are cautious of yourself, you get more power to share with your beloved. 

Meet People

Several moms interviewed for this article approved that happy moms love night-outs with their friends that equip them with more optimistic feelings. And science proves this too. Investigations show that time spent meeting with friends increases a woman’s level of oxytocin, a natural hormone that lessens the stress level. Check out mothers’ groups in your area, visit free dating sites, just do something if you are struggling to build a support network.

Self-Care Tips for Stay-At-Home Moms
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Eat Healthy Food

When you’re constantly busy, you can hardly relish a nice homemade meal, even if you work at home or stay at home with kids. Food is probably the least of your preferences when your hands are tied all the time. Reasonable nourishment for your children is essential for a happy mom’s life as well. A healthy diet sustains your mind and body in top-notch condition. The proper food can stimulate your mental potential and performance.

Mothers have to stay optimistic and effective to get through the day, which is why you should eat good food. It’s incredibly complicated when kids prefer chips, sweets, and other types of junk food. You should stay off of these snacks. Or even more, get over with them for good. Rather, fall for whole fresh foods, vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. If doable, pick up organic. Likewise, keep a tab on processed food or those with extra sugar as they lead to maturing and many health problems. At times, it gets crazy solving your kids’ needs when working. So, take care of yourself first, and you will have more energy for little monsters.

Set Boundaries

One of the most favorite happy mom captions says: “Mom: A title just above queen.” So, when it comes to your family and friends, don’t be afraid to set boundaries. Moms who are happier make mindful decisions day after day about who and what is possible in their lives. Reversing this way of thinking is important for a happy mom. You don’t have to be rude or severe to achieve this goal. Politely decline invitations that don’t fit with your priorities and restrict communications with negative people. When you set clear but strong boundaries, some people will be offended. Usually, it happens with people who try to benefit from you most of the time. So, you are on the right path to happy well-being.

We hope that our working tips were helpful for you and you will successfully apply them to improve your work-life balance. And how do you balance routine life and numerous responsibilities? Maybe you have some special tricks to share with us?

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Author Bio:

Miranda is an experienced relationship writer. Miranda enjoys studying relationship counseling, education, and development that focuses on improving communication on free dating sites. Miranda is passionate about cooking and yoga. 

 

Oven Cleaning Hacks for Busy Moms

Are you looking for some easy oven cleaning hacks to take the misery out of this unpleasant task? It is a chore many of us dread. We can help, whether you want fast-acting oven cleaner detergents to natural products, we have some tips. 

*This is a guest post and all opinions are those of the author. This post may also contain affiliate and/or paid links. Rest assured that we only work with companies and individuals that we trust.

Why You Need to Clean Your Oven

Cleaning the oven can be the last thing on our minds because we forget about it as soon as we close the door. I’ve written about “hidden” household cleaning needs before like this article about cleaning your washing machine. And just like with washing machines, it’s essential to clean your oven regularly so as to reduce germs from food residues and stop contamination from spreading. Germs can spread and infect the food you are cooking and, ultimately, your family. Plus, when caked in grease and grime, the oven will not work as efficiently. Consequently, knowing how to clean an oven quickly and effectively is crucial.

Best Products To Use When Cleaning Your Oven

There is no doubt the best oven cleaning hacks are chemical cleaners simply because they work fast and strip away dirt, grease grime, and burnt-on residue. These specific products need to be used with care and proper ventilation, but they do take the hard work out of the oven cleaning process. There are a lot of different cleaners on the market, a massive choice claiming to be the “best oven cleaner” or “easy to use.” Some of our favorites include this Goo Gone for grill and rack cleaners or this Easy Off! spray. 

Oven Cleaning Hacks

Best natural products for oven cleaning

Obviously, many families prefer not to use  chemical-based oven cleaning products. Ultimately, more of us are turning to natural alternatives. This not only protects the planet, but they are also safer to use. Luckily many greener cleaning options are in our very own kitchen store cupboards. The typical natural-based oven cleaners in the home are baking soda and vinegar. Yes, these are just some of the simple, inexpensive ingredients that can be turned into excellent cleaning solutions.

How to make Homemade Oven Cleaner

Now that we have discovered most of us have the ingredients on  hand to clean an oven, it’s time to get started! This method is just so easy and can be done at any time. To use baking soda and vinegar as an oven cleaner, simply make a paste. In a bowl, combine the two ingredients and add a little water if needed. This paste will fizz at first, but that is just the reaction and is not dangerous. The paste can be used on the oven parts with no danger or harmful aromas. Now you can have a clean oven all of the time.

Oven Cleaning Hacks

Overall, we have learned that it is vital to have a clean oven regardless of how we do it. The best suggestion is to clean the oven after each use, but this is not always possible. However, it really must be on the list to do at least weekly. Of course, it doesn’t just stop at the oven; there are other parts to take care of. Here are some top oven cleaning hacks to help with those awkward areas.

Oven Cleaning Hacks

Hacks to Clean Oven Racks

So do you want some tips on how to clean oven racks? First, invest in a rack and grill cleaner that literally dissolves the burnt-on grease and grime. These products are effective, but it is essential to read the instructions, as they contain hazardous chemicals. Alternatively, fill a big tub (or bath) with hot water, add a few cups of baking soda and immerse the racks, and leave for at least 8 hours.

Hacks to Clean the Oven Glass

To keep glass cooktops clean and shiny, make sure you keep on top of the grease and grime. A good tip is to wipe up any spillages as soon as they happen. Leaving them will make the job more challenging. But, for keeping your glass hob in good condition, there are safe formulas to buy that help remove the baked-on mess and ultimately save the surface looking brand new.

Oven Cleaning Hacks

Hacks to Clean the Bottom of Oven

A significant factor to a dirty oven floor is food spilling over when cooking. Therefore, not overfilling a dish is vital. But, if you have burnt food on the oven floor, here is our simple oven cleaning solution. Using soapy water and a steel sponge or oven cleaning pad and scrubbing hard will work. But, for tricky burnt-on bits, cover with baking soda and sprinkle vinegar, let it fizz, and then scrub again. An excellent way to prevent this is to use non-stick oven liners.

How to Clean an Oven Door

A dirty glass oven door is a giveaway that the entire oven is not clean. The best oven cleaner for baked on grease is hot water, baking soda, and tin foil scrunched in a ball. This method involves wetting the glass with hot water, coating baking soda, and scrubbing it with the foil ball. The dirt will strip away, so have an old cloth or paper towel to hand to clean off the excess. Alternatively, shop-bought glass and hob cleaner will do the trick.

Oven Cleaning Hacks

Oven Cleaning Hacks FAQs

Q: How do I get burnt stuff off the bottom of my oven?

A: The fastest solution to removing burnt foodstuff from the oven floor is a hand held scraper.  

Q: Can I steam clean an oven?

A: Steam cleaners are the answer to how to clean an oven quickly. They work fast but are expensive. Care needs to be taken using steam cleaners, but top the best cleaning hacks.

Q: How to remove baked-on grease from my oven?

A: Concentrated white vinegar in a spray bottle will cut through the tough grease in an oven. If hardened grease, revert to sprinkling with baking soda and scrub until clean.

Q: Can I replicate a steam appliance for oven cleaning?

A: You can use replica steam using hot water in a container at the bottom of the oven and leave for 30 minutes until the dirt softens and remove with an old cloth or paper towel.

Q: Can you purchase self-clean ovens?

A: Some ovens come with various self-cleaning actions, either in the form of self-cleaning or steam-cleaning. These work fast and effectively. But, the con is they are more expensive to buy and operate.

Is Decluttering the Secret to Less Stress and Better Mental Health?
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Conclusion

Regardless of chemical or natural oven cleaning hacks, it is crucial to have a clean oven for hygiene and safety. We all love to eat, but we don’t want reminders of the meal from the day before, so ensuring the oven and hob are pristine clean is of the utmost importance.


Author Bio

The NY Melrose Family is a lifestyle site full of healthy recipes, fun baking and craft projects, and cleaning tips all geared toward busy moms. We have been writing some of the best content on the web since 2011 and have expert writers from all over the country and the world. Be sure to follow us on social media!

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How To Watch Your Favourite Shows and Movies Whilst Saving Money

With the many conflicting demands and limitations of motherhood, taking time to watch your favourite TV shows and movies are often both one of the only and most useful ways many mothers have found to decompress and carve out some small amount of “me-time” throughout each day, or week.

How to Watch Your Favourite Shows and Movies Whilst Saving Money
*This is a guest post and all opinions are those of the author. This post may also contain affiliate and/or paid links. Rest assured that we only work with companies and individuals that we trust.

Cable vs. Streaming

The problem with that is often in adhering to the restrictions of a broadcasting schedule to watch the programming you seek when it’s available. Even with a DVR connected to your cable TV box, you can only record so much programming, and only shows which the cable stations are broadcasting during that period of time.

With streaming, however, you have access to the entire catalog of the given streaming service to which you subscribe at all times, any time, on demand, as you desire.   What’s more, streaming services cost a fraction of the rates for cable TV, and offer more services for the lower cost.

For instance, with cable TV, you can typically only watch different programming on a limited number of televisions hooked up to the cable box inside the household where the box is located. To watch on any device outside the household requires a separate, streaming subscription, at extra cost, if the cable provider even makes such a service available.

Self-Care Ideas You Can Enjoy on a Budget

By contrast, with streaming services, you can typically watch different programming on multiple internet-enabled devices, not just televisions, at once. You can watch from any location, not just rooms within a single household associated with the subscription, and no connection to a cable box beyond a digital connection, such as WiFi, is required.

All of this amounts to saving money while increasing flexibility and freedom. Imagine being able to start a show or movie at home on your smart TV while your child is napping, continue it on a laptop at the Starbucks near your job during your lunch break at work, and finish it on your iPad while waiting for your child to finish dance class, all while paying less than you do now for cable!

If this promise of affordability, relaxation, convenience, flexibility and freedom appeals to you, read on to discover some of the top streaming services and deals, how to get free trials for key streaming channels and how to avoid streaming scam sites.

100 Self Care Ideas that are Social Distancing Approved

Top Streaming Services and Deals

In addition to the standalone services listed here, some of these services, like Disney+, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu, offer bundles that allow you to add additional streaming services or pay-cable services in streaming format, such as Paramount+, HBO Max and Showtime.

Netflix

 The preeminent and still dominant streaming service, Netflix now rivals major motion picture and TV studios for annual Oscar, Emmy and Grammy Award nods. It’s just as much the dizzying plethora of content Netflix licenses (Friends, The Office, American Horror Story) that makes it so popular as it is that of its original programming (You, Tiger King, Squid Game.)

Netflix offers no free trial. Netflix does, however, allow you to cancel or change plans at any time with no penalty.

Disney+ 

Disney may be associated predominantly with children’s programming, and rightly so, but the “plus” sign in this streaming service’s name is not to be discounted. Disney Plus, in addition to including major Disney titles released over the decades (Beauty and the Beast, Cruella, Cinderella) including in recent years in theaters and direct-to-streaming alike, also includes programming more suitable for adult tastes, like ESPN Sports, Marvel (Iron Man, WandaVision, Loki) and National Geographic. It also includes the content that crosses age barriers like the Star Wars pantheon, including those original to the service like the acclaimed The Mandalorian, and the ever-precocious Pixar (Luca, Soul.)

5 Reasons Why Self Care Does Not Make You Selfish
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Amazon Prime Video

Perhaps one of the greatest aspects of Amazon Prime Video is that it comes free with a subscription to Amazon Prime, which is Amazon’s frequent shopper membership service that offers its own impressive host of benefits. This isn’t the only reason, however, to either get Amazon Prime or watch Amazon Prime Video instead of one of the other streaming services. The other, equally big, reason to do so is the (dare we say?) Amazonian collection of quality programming you can only watch on Amazon Prime Video. Amazon Original movies, like Annette, The Map of Tiny, Perfect Things, Sound of Metal and Jolt, rival any that Netflix, Disney+ or Apple TV have put out, and the same goes for their TV shows, including Goliath, Hanna, The Man in the High Castle and The Expanse.

Amazon Prime Video Free Trial

Amazon Prime Video does not have its own subscription plan separate from an Amazon Prime membership, and so it doesn’t have its own free trial. Amazon Prime, however, does have a 30-day free trial. Note that you can also rent and purchase content from Amazon Prime Video without an Amazon Prime membership for an individual cost per item.

Hulu 

Hulu may have put itself on the map with The Handmaid’s Tale, but once it got there, it has managed to remain as an entertainment force to be reckoned with. Firstly, Hulu lets you watch shows from the major networks and basic cable stations like CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, FX, FOX News and CNN. Secondly, it continues to pump out one great series and movie after another, most recently with Nine Perfect Strangers, Y: The Last Man and Dopesick.

Hulu offers a 30-day free trial for both its ad-free and ad-supported plans. For its Hulu + Live TV plan, however, it only offers a 7-day free trial.

How To Practice Self Care By Doing Less
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How to Avoid Streaming Scam Sites

While these streaming sites let you watch your favourite shows and movies affordably, you must also beware of a common streaming scam currently circulating online. It offers free streaming services for anyone who signs up for a particular program, which unsurprisingly turns out to be a paid program. To further up the ante, the offer professes to be only available for a limited-time and open to only to a limited number of people who sign up on a first-come, first-served basis. Sometimes, the offer will even use the COVID pandemic as its rationale or motivation for making such a “generous” offer. Bottom line: if it looks too good to be true… you know the rest.

Recap

Armed with this knowledge and the understanding of all the benefits streaming can offer to your maternal mental wellness, you’re ready to get underway with cutting the cord on your cable box and starting your new life in streaming entertainment.  Now you can watch your favourite shows and movies guilt-free!


Author Bio

Joel Foster is a freelance writer and editor at KillTheCableBill. He writes on the topics of education, entertainment, film, business and technology.

5 Step Self Skincare Routine for Moms

Hey, Mommies! How’s your skincare journey?  A mother’s job is never-ending. You have so much to deal with that you can’t help but feel drained. You hardly have any energy left to pamper yourself. As it turns out, even your self skincare routine ends up taking a seat on the back burner.

Fret not, super mommies! You don’t need an elaborate or complicated beauty regimen to achieve a clear and glowing complexion. Tons of self skincare ideas are simpler and more flexible so that even moms with the most hectic schedules can still manage to maintain their skin and manage breakouts.

Self Skincare Routine
*This is a guest post and all opinions are those of the author. This post may also contain affiliate and/or paid links. Rest assured that we only work with companies and individuals that we trust. While some of those companies and individuals may work in the medical field, this post is not intended to be a substitution for medical advice. Always speak to your doctor if you have concerns about your mental or physical health.

How to pull off an effortless self skincare routine

It’s 2021, and prioritizing your well-being should be paramount. As always, the first thing you need to know before incorporating any kind of skincare ritual is to know your skin’s condition. Do you have dry, flaky skin? Are you prone to acne and crazy breakouts? Is controlling the oil on your skin a major struggle for you?

It is not always about filling your arsenal with the most expensive brands. In the long run, you might end up splurging cash over face washes, toners, and creams that do more harm than good to your skin. 

Identify which products are ideal for daily application from those best used once or twice per week. An example of this is the use of exfoliating creams and masks. Exfoliation should be done once a week, depending on your skin condition. When done excessively, it can slough off the barrier on the outer layer of your epidermis. As a result, your pores open and become more susceptible to dirt and infection. If you have sensitive skin, it is best to skip this step. Meanwhile, if you need an extra intensive type of self-care during your period, you might want to look into using facial masks as an additional treatment for problematic skin and sudden breakouts.

Masks and serums are add-ons that are not an essential part of your regular self skincare routine. However, these products help enhance your glow and skin texture. They are meant to enhance and balance the effects of regular cleansing and toning.

That said, what basic products are a must-have in your personal beauty formula?

Cleanse

Cleansing the face is the first step to any kind of skin pampering routine. It replenishes your skin by washing away all the dirt and oil that have accumulated on your face. It preps your face for the succeeding treatments and products that will be applied to it later on. Washing your face becomes even more crucial if you like to wear makeup. No matter how hectic your schedule may be, never go to bed with your makeup on! It is one of the notorious causes of breakouts and skin infections.

When choosing a facial wash or cleanser, pick one that does not overdry your skin’s surface. Preferably, go for products with ingredients that help lock in moisture. Avoid cleansers with microbeads because these can leave small cuts and abrasions on your skin. The toughness of the texture might even peel off protective layers on your dermis, making you more prone to acne-causing bacteria. Not to mention, these tiny beads added to beauty products are made of plastic and pollute nearby bodies of water once you rinse it off of your face.

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Tone

Next to cleansing is toning. Using a toner on your face means triggering your skin’s inner layers to commence restoring its vitality and balance. Toners are akin to essential vitamins and minerals that reinvigorate the skin cells, protect your face from drying, and minimize your pores. If you have oily skin, then this step will benefit you greatly because it also aids in regulating sebum production and even your complexion.

Some skincare brands have toners with a thicker consistency, while others offer products that are more lightweight and are created with a water base. The key is to check the effect of your chosen toner. Does your skin feel a little tighter or dryer once the product is applied and absorbed on your face? If so, then you need to switch to a toner with a milder concentration of ingredients.

Sun Protection

Sunscreen is often an undermined part of caring for one’s skin. Mommies who spend time outdoors, either to run errands or work should not skip adding a trusty layer of protection against UVB and UVA rays. The constant exposure to the harsh rays of the sun speeds up your skin’s aging process and contradicts the positive effects of religious skin cleansing, toning, and moisturizing. Dermatologists recommend sunscreen with an SPF no lower than 30. You can also go higher if you want full protection from the sun. Anything lower than that SPF 30 will give you a more penetrable barrier against the skin-damaging UVA and UVB rays.

Moisturize

Moisturizing your skin religiously is the secret to retaining a youthful glow and an even complexion. Dry patches on your skin typically reveal fine lines, wrinkles, and even make acne scars more prominent. Applying moisturizer after cleansing and toning keep your face well-hydrated while reducing the appearance of fine lines. It retains the plump texture of your skin so that you retain your youthful glow.

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Night Cream

A night cream, preferably one with retinol, is the last but definitely not the least important part of your daily skincare routine. A popular type of night cream is one that contains retinol. Retinol is considered a holy grail for anti-aging products. It adds an extra layer of moisture to your skin,  enhances the texture of your face, reduces wrinkles and fine lines, and overall aids in achieving flawless skin.


Taking good care of your skin is the easiest and best way to pamper yourself. In this day and age, self-care and a self skincare routine especially for moms should be normalized and encouraged more. After all, it is not that easy to take on several roles and responsibilities. Don’t feel guilty about taking a step back and spoiling yourself first, mommy! You deserve it.


Author Bio

Kat Sarmiento writes articles with the hopes of reaching out to more people. Her writing is focused on lifestyle, science, and smart hacks, that will definitely (well, hopefully) be useful to her readers.

The Best Natural Ingredients for Baby Skin

Natural skin-care ingredients are always best for babies because babies have sensitive, delicate skin. However, some baby skin-care products contain harmful ingredients and artificial fragrances. Luckily, mothers can often find ingredients that are more suitable for their baby’s skin. Keep reading to find out what the best natural ingredients for baby skin are. 

natural ingredients for baby skin
*This is a guest post and all opinions are those of the author. This post may also contain affiliate and/or paid links. Rest assured that we only work with companies and individuals that we trust. While some of those companies and individuals may work in the medical field, this post is not intended to be a substitution for medical advice. Always speak to your doctor if you have concerns about your mental or physical health.

Shea Butter

Shea butter is a rich, creamy fat that will keep your baby’s skin soft and protected. It has antifungal properties, and it’s a natural anti-inflammatory ingredient. In addition, it’s high in vitamins A and E, which promote collagen production. You can use products that contain shea butter to soothe your baby’s sensitive skin. It’s a great choice to use in your baby’s daily routine to strengthen their skin’s natural barrier. 

Olive Oil

Olive oil is the main ingredient in many baby skin-care products because it contains healthy fats, vitamins, and antioxidants. In addition, it can fight off skin irritants and soothe your baby’s skin. You can also create homemade products for your baby using olive oil—for example, you can make homemade diaper cream with olive oil as a main ingredient. 

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Chamomile 

Chamomile is a hypoallergenic skin healer that can benefit your baby’s skin. Most people use chamomile for its soothing, healing, and anti-inflammatory properties, which are thanks to natural compounds found in the chamomile flower bud. As a result, you’ll find chamomile in many baby products, such as wipes, lotions, and body washes. If your baby has dry, sensitive, or itchy skin, chamomile is a fantastic healing option. It soothes skin irritations while having a calming effect. 

Avocado Oil 

Many people enjoy the health benefits of avocados, but you can also use avocado oil on your baby’s skin. It’s a great skin-softener, and it has antioxidant properties. It locks in moisture and protects your baby’s skin barrier. In addition, it’s a fast-absorbing oil, meaning your baby won’t be greasy after you apply the oil. 

Aloe Vera 

The aloe vera plant contains a natural gel that can treat medical conditions as well as your baby’s skin. Aloe vera is effective in fighting rashes, minor cuts, and insect bites. If you notice red or itchy patches on your baby’s skin, you can apply aloe vera gel as a soothing and natural treatment. 


Babies have sensitive, delicate skin. Therefore, it’s essential to use natural skin ingredients that are healthy for your baby. We hope our list of the best natural ingredients for baby skin was beneficial to you. We also encourage you to try some of these natural ingredients yourself!

The Pregnancy and Postpartum Skin Care Guide for Glowing Skin
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Author Bio

Christina Duron is a writer living in the Chicagoland area. Her passion for writing and mental health help create thought provoking and engaging pieces and hopes to use them to empower mothers and women to embrace the beauty of motherhood.
 

IVF Surrogacy: What Is It and How Does It Work? 

IVF surrogacy is becoming a common option for people who cannot carry a pregnancy but wish to share a genetic connection with their babies. Every year, thousands of children are born in the US through the surrogacy process. But what exactly is IVF surrogacy, how and how does it work, and who needs it? Let’s find the answers to these questions.

IVF Surrogacy
*This is a guest post and all opinions are those of the author. This post may also contain affiliate and/or paid links. Rest assured that we only work with companies and individuals that we trust. While some of those companies and individuals may work in the medical field, this post is not intended to be a substitution for medical advice. Always speak to your doctor if you have concerns about your mental or physical health.

What is IVF surrogacy?

IVF surrogacy is an arrangement in which the surrogate mother agrees to carry and deliver a pregnancy for a couple or individual who cannot do so on their own. The process is an inseparable part of gestational surrogacy. In the IVF process, eggs and sperm from the intended parents or donors are “mixed” in the lab to create the embryo. The embryo is then transferred into the womb of the gestational surrogate, who carries the baby to term. 

Who uses IVF surrogacy?

People who often take this rewarding path to parenthood include:

    • Heterosexual couples who are struggling to get pregnant
    • LGBTQ+ couples and individuals
    • Single parents
    • Intended mothers who cannot carry a pregnancy
    • Intended parents who don’t want to pass a hereditary condition to their babies 

Miscarriage: Moving on Doesn't Mean Forgetting


Steps involved in IVF surrogacy 

Step I: Meet with your physician

The first step in the IVF surrogacy process is to schedule a consultation with a fertility specialist. This will allow you to discuss your surrogacy goals, preferences, as well as your personal and family medical history.   

Step II: Look for an egg or sperm donor

The next step is to find someone who will provide the egg or sperm for IVF (if you are not using your own genetic materials). 

Step III: Embryo Creation

The IVF egg retrieval and fertilization are performed in the lab to create embryos. The embryo is frozen until the surrogate is ready for the transfer procedure. 

Step IV: Find a surrogate mother

You will look for a surrogate mother that suits your needs and circumstances and according to surrogate mother cost. Once you have found the right surrogate, your surrogacy agency will complete all the necessary paperwork to ensure the rights of both parties are protected during the process. 

Step V: Complete embryo transfer

The embryo will be placed in the surrogate mother’s womb to achieve a pregnancy. Two weeks after the embryo transfer, a blood test is conducted to check if conception has occurred successfully. 

Step VI: Take the baby home

Once the gestational carrier gives birth to the baby, she will hand him/her to the intended parents, who would finalize the legal paperwork for parenthood and go home with the new baby

Newborn Sleep Training
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IVF surrogacy costs 

Couples and individuals pursuing IVF surrogacy can expect to pay between $100,000 and $150,000. However, the cost may vary based on certain factors, such as the surrogate’s state, the fertility clinic you choose to work with, services required during the surrogacy, etc. 

The costs of IVF surrogacy can be divided into surrogate compensation, fertility clinic fees, legal fees, and agency fees. The agency fees usually cover all the services needed to ensure a successful surrogacy journey, including background checks, screenings, advertising, matching, support, and counseling. 

Conclusion 

IVF surrogacy is an exciting way to build a family. It gives intended parents the chance to have biological children, regardless of their age, sexual orientation, or background. People who may consider IVF surrogacy include infertile couples, single individuals, LGBTQ people, etc.


Author Bio

Natalie Bowes, B.A. (Integrative Physiology with focus on Endocrinology, Immunology, and Microbiology) Intended Parents Coordinator and Educator at fertile.com.

Natalie looks after the hopeful parents walking through the doors of RSMC and makes sure their parenthood journey progresses smoothly and successfully. Her past patient care experience and academic feats allow her to help intended parents understand every aspect of IVF journey. She loves staying active and enjoys hiking, yoga, and reading. 

 

The Surrogacy Process Isn’t Right For Everyone, But Is It Right For You?

The surrogacy process can be life changing.  If you are struggling with conceiving a baby on your own, this could be an option worth considering.  Or, you may be interested in helping someone else begin a family of their own. 

Whether you are a hopeful intended parent, or a prospective surrogate considering this journey, you probably have many questions about how this process works. Let’s look at the surrogacy process in chronological order.

The Surrogacy Process
*This is a guest post and all opinions are those of the author. This post may also contain affiliate and/or paid links. Rest assured that we only work with companies and individuals that we trust. While some of those companies and individuals may work in the medical field, this post is not intended to be a substitution for medical advice. Always speak to your doctor if you have concerns about your mental or physical health.

Prepare for surrogacy

Before embarking on the surrogacy process, it’s important to understand how does surrogacy work?  That way, you can decide if it’s the right option for you and your family. You need to learn about the different surrogacy agreements available. Here is a brief overview: 

Gestational Surrogacy: In this process, the eggs will be provided by the intended mother (or a donor) and fertilized with sperm from the intended father (or a donor). The surrogate’s eggs are not involved in any way, so the surrogate will not have a genetic link with the baby.

Traditional Surrogacy: Is when the surrogate uses her eggs and is artificially inseminated with sperm from the intended father or a donor. Because her eggs are used, she will be genetically connected to the baby. There are several legal and emotional concerns with this form of surrogacy, therefore, it is not commonly pursued. 

Compensated Surrogacy: This is a surrogacy arrangement in which the surrogate is paid an agreed-upon amount for her services. 

Altruistic Surrogacy: Is when the surrogate is only compensated for surrogacy-related expenses. 

It’s also recommended that you think about your goals and start drafting your surrogacy plan. When working on your plan, you will need to think about the kind of intended parents or surrogate you would like to work with, the type of relationship would you like to have once the baby is born, and much more. 

How to Make a Postpartum Plan for a Smooth Recovery
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Find a Match

Once ready, it’s time to find your ideal match. This phase is probably one of the most exciting parts of the whole journey.  It’s important not to rush, to make sure you find your surrogacy soul mate, because you will have a very close relationship with your surrogate/intended parents for at least twelve months. 

When looking for intended parents or a surrogate, it’s vital that you define your expectations for the journey, and make sure that the other party has the same expectations. A good surrogacy plan will be a boon during this phase. 

Medical and Psychological Screening 

After the matching, one of the less pleasant phases begins. The surrogate will need to undergo a medical screening and psychological evaluation to confirm that she is in good shape and is psychologically ready to pursue a surrogacy journey. 

Complete the Surrogacy Contract 

While surrogacy is an exciting journey, there are always ups and downs to navigate; the surrogacy contract will help to protect all parties. 
This legal document sets out the rights and obligations of, both, the surrogate, and the intended parents. The agreement also outlines the parentage to be assigned to the child once it is born.  Each party should have individual legal representation, so that they can receive personalized advice and protection of their rights. Once both parties agree, the contract is signed. 

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Fertility Treatment and Pregnancy 

Once the surrogate has been cleared by the fertility doctor, and the contract has been drafted and signed, a nurse at the IVF clinic will schedule the various phases of the IVF cycle.  The treatment will vary depending on whether a fresh or frozen embryo transfer will be done. 

Fresh Embryo Transfer 

For a fresh embryo transfer, the egg donor and surrogate will have to synchronize their cycles. After the egg retrieval, the eggs will be fertilized, and then an embryo will be transferred to the surrogate. 

Frozen Embryo Transfer

In a frozen embryo transfer, frozen fertilized eggs from a previous IVF are thawed and transferred to the surrogate. About ten days after the embryo transfer, the surrogate will be tested (via blood test) to confirm pregnancy. 

If pregnancy is confirmed, an ultrasound will be done about six weeks later to confirm the heartbeat. Normally, after this ultrasound, the surrogate will be released to her OBGYN to continue with the typical prenatal care, checkups, and ultrasounds. However, if there are complications, a different approach might be recommended. 

Welcoming the New Baby 

The most exciting moment of the surrogacy journey, the birth is truly a life-changing experience for, both, the prospective parents, and the surrogate. Typically, the parents will accompany the surrogate to the hospital or meet her there, per their arrangement.


Author Bio

David Bull is the founder of MySurrogateMom, an online surrogacy community dedicated to everyone considering pursuing a surrogacy process in the US and Canada. He is a passionate advocate of surrogacy education and access for all seeking their third-party path to parenthood.

Website: MySurrogateMom.com is an independent surrogacy community designed to connect intended parents, surrogates, and egg donors. Finding the right match is an extremely personal process. We have created this space to help people connect with their surrogacy soulmate. Everything we do is meant to bring members together and help them in their search for this special person.  

Social Media Handles: FacebookTwitter | Instagram

  
 

What is a Medical Binder & Why Do I Need One?

Have you ever left a medical appointment with advice from your doctor, only to forget exactly what they said a few days later?  Having a medical binder can help you avoid forgetting important information like this. When kept updated, it can also help keep you safe during an emergency and provide some organization during important life events, such as pregnancy or big moves.   

What is a Medical Binder
*This is a guest post and all opinions are those of the author. This post may also contain affiliate and/or paid links. Rest assured that we only work with companies and individuals that we trust. While some of those companies and individuals may work in the medical field, this post is not intended to be a substitution for medical advice. Always speak to your doctor if you have concerns about your mental or physical health.

What is a Medical Binder?

A medical binder lists all of your health information and can house important medical documents. During an emergency, it can act as the single source of truth for those trying to care for you. This is especially important if you’re unable to communicate for any reason.  

However, a medical binder doesn’t need to — and shouldn’t — only be used in times of emergency. It can come in handy for organizational purposes as well. If you keep it up-to-date, you could end up helping yourself and your healthcare providers a great deal.

If you visit multiple different providers or take numerous medications, you should use a medical binder to keep the information straight. This can help your providers keep track of overlapping prescriptions, and avoid the dangerous effects that multiple prescriptions can cause. Keeping a medical binder for as long as you are able is also useful for your loved ones.

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What to Include in Your Medical Binder? 

You can include any health information you feel is necessary in your medical binder, including insurance details, written advice or research from providers, and specific health trackers. You could also include: 

    • Basic health information like allergies or your blood type
    • Medicine chart
    • Appointment history
    • Important contact information

Basic Health Information Sheet

A basic health information sheet should have the standard information that you would usually need to receive medical treatment. In case of emergency, a healthcare clinic, hospital, or emergency responders would benefit from information such as: 

    • Your full name
    • Emergency contact information
    • Allergies
    • Date of birth
    • Blood type
    • Immunization records

This information can help healthcare professionals give you the best possible care as quickly as possible. You may also want to make a copy of this form in a smaller size and laminate it to keep in your purse at all times. 

Basic Health Information Printable
Click to Download a Free Printable!

Medication Log

According to WebMD, more than 50% of Americans take an average of four prescription pills. However, taking multiple medications can be dangerous. Some types of medication overlap may even have deadly consequences. Keeping track of exactly what medications you take is especially important when you’re pregnant, as some medications may affect the development of your baby. 

Likewise, documenting your medications can also help you and your doctor figure out which ones have worked in the past, and which haven’t. If you’ve switched doctors and are in a prescription experimentation phase, supplying your own records can help you avoid repeating medications. 

Medication Tracker Printable
Click to Download a Free Printable!

Blood Pressure Log

Many are unaware that they have hypertension (or high blood pressure), but it has damaging—and even deadly—effects over time. According to the CDC, 1 in every 12 to 17 pregnancies experiences high blood pressure. 

One way to avoid problems from high blood pressure is to keep track. Purchase a home blood pressure monitor to record your own blood pressure. Remember, home monitoring isn’t an adequate substitute for doctor’s visits, but it can still be helpful for healthcare professionals to gauge the effectiveness of treatments. 

Blood Pressure Log Printable
Click to Download a Free Printable!

Being aware of your medical conditions and treatments before a big life transition — like moving homes, having a child, or planning for retirement — can help alleviate stress and worry. These changes may influence your healthcare providers or the amount of healthcare you receive. Tracking doctors visits for current conditions and logging your present healthcare needs in your medical binder can keep you on top of your health — no matter what phase of life you’re in.  


Author Bio

Abby Christensen is a digital marketer who helps RetireGuide create helpful pieces of content worth sharing. When she’s not soaking up the latest digital marketing news, you can find her reading, playing with her pooch, or organizing.

Creative DIY Projects To Decorate Your Home With

Let’s face it; being a new mom is hard. It’s so important to participate in fun activities to keep postpartum issues at bay. Motherhood is all-encompassing, and some women find it challenging to know themselves outside of this role.  Making home décor is an excellent way for new mothers to engage in something outside of being moms. Try out these creative DIY projects to decorate your home with when you’re feeling an artistic itch.

diy projects to decorate your home with (1)
*This is a guest post and all opinions are those of the author. This post may also contain affiliate and/or paid links. Rest assured that we only work with companies and individuals that we trust. While some of those companies and individuals may work in the medical field, this post is not intended to be a substitution for medical advice. Always speak to your doctor if you have concerns about your mental or physical health.

Floating Shelves 

Every room needs a good shelf to house knickknacks and other decorative items. Making a unique shelf is an easy way for beginners to add character to any space. All you need are some brackets, nails, a stud-finder, and a drill. Using unconventional items, like wood stumps and brightly colored planks, leaves a special touch on all your designs. 

Gallery Wall 

Blank walls are an eyesore. Liven up any area with a gallery wall that expresses your unique taste and style. This doesn’t have to be an expensive project, either. Find cool art prints at your local thrift store or make art with a cheap canvas and any craft supplies you have at home. 

Baby Mobile 

While taking your mind off motherhood is our main goal, it’s always easier said than done. If you want to include the little one in the mix, a baby mobile is a creative DIY project to decorate your home with. Materials like ribbons, pom-poms, and reflective plastic provide your child with stimulation while also acting as a fun activity for you. 

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Floral Arrangements 

Flowers brighten up any room they occupy. Now is the perfect time to sift through your garden or pick up some fresh, local blossoms to include in your arrangements. You can even use dried flowers in your vases to add texture and dimension to an already beautiful display. 


Becoming a new mom is a rewarding experience. Even so, it’s essential to care for yourself and continue to partake in activities that bring you joy. Creative DIY projects are beautiful ways to incorporate creativity into your home décor  and your life. Now when you feel like adding something new to your home, you can make it yourself!


Author Bio

Christina Duron is a writer living in the Chicagoland area. Her passion for writing and mental health help create thought provoking and engaging pieces and hopes to use them to empower mothers and women to embrace the beauty of motherhood.

7 Mom-Approved Apps That Kids Love

Responsible parents choose everything wisely for their kids because they know the effect of their choices on their kid’s future. The digital world requires more limitations such as dad and mom-approved apps. Although it has some cool impacts on many aspects of life, it is highly recommended to keep a close eye on children’s use of mobile phones.

These limitations can include the time spent on mobile to which apps kids engage with.  So a mom can build her child’s life based on some good choices. 

This article contains mom-approved apps which are both fun and educational for kids. But before we jump into these games you might be a mom and also a developer so here you can find a good article talking about designing amazing apps for kids.

7 Mom-Approved Apps that Kids Love
*This is a guest post and all opinions are those of the author. This post may also contain affiliate and/or paid links. Rest assured that we only work with companies and individuals that we trust. While some of those companies and individuals may work in the medical field, this post is not intended to be a substitution for medical advice. Always speak to your doctor if you have concerns about your mental or physical health.

Endless Alphabet

Download: iOS | Android

Endless Alphabet is an engaging vocabulary and spelling application. Each phrase is an engaging puzzle with audible letters, and there are hundreds of words to pick from.

Pick a word, and it will appear in simple letters on a notebook sheet. Adorable tiny monsters rush across the screen, spreading a second set of brightly colored creature letters over the page. When you tap a letter creature, it makes the letter sound. 

Drop the letter to its corresponding position in the original word. You’ll hear an “uh-uh” sound if you put it in the wrong position. After you’ve correctly spelled the term, you’ll be given an animated definition. There are no time limitations or high scores in this program, so your kids may study at their own speed.

Kids are still engaged and laughing after months of playing because of the visuals and goofy letter sounds. This software is available in a free version with advertising and a limited quantity of words.

Roll the Ball

Download: iOS | Android

Roll the Ball is a sliding puzzle game that teaches key problem solving skills to older children. The idea is simple: slide the blocks together to provide a route for your ball to go down to the finish line.

The riddles begin simple and become more challenging as you go. On each stage, strive for a flawless 3-star rating. There are no fines or time limits, so take your time with each problem.

Roll the Ball is a free game with advertising that appears when each task is solved. For $1.99, you can buy in-app extras like Ad-Free and suggestions.
Knowing top platforms for building a mobile app is a huge necessary subject for every kind of developer.

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HOMER Learn & Grow

Download: iOS | Android

Mom-approved apps like HOMER offer a wide variety of different learning modules that kids will always find engaging. To create a user profile for each child, enter their age and complete a series of questions about their hobbies and current reading degree.  Mathematics, stories, creativity, songs, reading, games, and practice are among the seven categories from which children can pick. 

The reading section places children on a tailored reading route that offers skills and activities to teach letters, phonics, and other concepts in a progressive manner.

For instance, children can acquire phonics skills and then record themselves pronouncing the words. Kids can choose from a variety of activities in the other zones, such as music video content, coloring chapters, and alphabet writing exercise, puzzles, and storybooks.

HOMER Learn & Grow is an evidence-based reading method that enables up to four children to customize their learning degrees and preferences.
Narratives, pronunciation lessons, songs, their own recorded conversations, drawing, and other activities can help children develop skills.

Although reading is the concentration of HOMER Learn & Grow, there are games that cover other early learning topics such as fundamental mathematics principles and creativity. With the app’s vocal instructions and visual tutorial, after a while, pre-readers can easily use it individually.

Stack the States 2

Download: iOS | Android

As you learn about US geography, Stack the States 2 delivers the 50 states to live. This app’s initial phase consists of a 50-state roleplaying game.

Earn a state by answering the questions properly. The objective is to gather as many states as possible and build them on top of one another while avoiding tipping the stack over.

You’ve finished the level when your stack hits the checkered line. You get a new state on your customized geography of the United States with each level you finish. The free extra games become available as you win more states.

Tiny Hands Sorting 3

Download: iOS 

Tiny Hands Sorting 3 is a collection of sorting activities for small hands. There are 12 levels in the playing area, ranging from beginner to challenging.

Just a few of the exciting activities included in these mom-approved apps involve: sorting shapes by size, sorting monkeys, flying animals, and hedgehogs into like groups, counting to three, and sorting cute little beetles.

Your kids might become so pleased with themselves when they perfectly organize everything that they exclaim “I did it” and clap enthusiastically whenever they use this app. This game’s free edition only covers the first 3 levels.

You can test this game with these 3 levels and find out whether your kid is happy with it or not. Once they accomplish those levels, you can pay $4.99 for the other nine levels.

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Hay Day

Download: iOS | Android | PC

Hay Day appears to be a basic farm simulator in which kids grow crops, care for animals, and earn money while keeping their farm operating smoothly.
The app’s difficulty, on the other hand, makes it ideal for learning time management and organizing skills for kids with executive function issues.

If your child wishes to earn a profit, they’ll need to combine their production with their development, keep track of different crop timetables, and learn to prioritize specific items to maximize income. In a compelling game that will keep their interest, they’ll learn fundamental money management abilities while also boosting executive functions.

Balloon Pop

Download: iOS | Android | Amazon Apps

The concept is quick and easy: balloons gently float up the display, and you may explode them by touching them.

There are four different game modes to choose from: regular, ABCs, figures 1-20, and color combinations. To hear the letters, numbers, and hues, explode the balloons.  Decide how big and quickly (or slow) the balloons float past to keep the children engaged and the game interesting.

There are no ads in the free version of these mom-approved apps. For $2.99, you can have the complete version. In the balloons, there are additional details.


Author Bio:

Ayla Anderson is an enthusiastic blogger and marketing expert whose current interest is website and app development, digital marketing, mostly SEO. Therefore, she works part-time as a consultant for 10 top web design companies, a digital marketing agency from Ukraine. She spends her spare time reading books and traveling. You can follow her on Twitter