What To Expect Right After the Birth of Your Baby 

In the months of your pregnancy, most of your focus may lie with adjusting to your body’s changes and deciding how you want your doctor to carry out the birth procedure. But it’s also good to think about what to expect right after the birth of your baby to put your mind more at ease. These are some of the normal things you’ll probably see in the moments following delivery.

What to Expect Right After the Birth of Your Baby
*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 I only work with companies and individuals that I 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 to Expect Right After the Birth of Your Baby

Your Baby’s Initial Behavior 

You baby will initially need to make their adjustment to being in the open air by taking their first breath. Many newborns cry during this time, which can be helpful for getting out leftover fluid from their respiratory tract. Sometimes babies may have meconium, which is a thicker, green fecal substance mixed in their amniotic fluid. In those cases, your doctor will put a suction to your baby’s mouth to help remove this and allow them to breathe well. Don’t be surprised if your baby appears slightly blue at first, as it can take some time for their blood to circulate as they breathe. Besides crying, infants may soon fall asleep or want to feed after birth.  

Umbilical Cord Cutting 

As you probably know, cutting the umbilical cord is a necessary part of the procedure. Following birth, your doctor will immediately clamp the umbilical cord. However, they’ll usually wait thirty seconds to a full minute before cutting the cord. You can also request to hold your baby for a few minutes before proceeding. Following this, you could have either the doctor or your birth partner carefully cut the cord. If you elect to bank the cord blood, your doctor will collect it once the umbilical cord has been separated from your baby. Meanwhile, the delivery of the placenta will usually come within a few minutes after birth.  

How to Make a Postpartum Plan for a Smooth Recovery
.

The Apgar Test 

Doctors use the Apgar test to assess the health of your newborn, so it’s a normal part of what to expect right after the birth of your baby. The test consists of checking your child’s breathing, heart rate, skin hue, muscles, and reflexes. For each category, they’ll give your baby a score ranging from 0 to 2. The higher the score, the better you baby has performed according to the test. Most often, babies receive total scores between around seven to nine. If their score is lower than seven, this means that they may need additional attention in a newborn intensive care unit or from a nurse. Still, you shouldn’t worry if your baby scores below seven, as it’s common for healthy infants to score lower due to their bodies’ unfamiliarity with the new environment outside the womb. 


Most importantly, after the birth of your baby, take some time to get to know them and bond with them using skin to skin contact.  This is the beginning of your life together and you’ll want to remember every moment.  Don’t feel pressured or rushed to do anything else but hold your newborn and spend time together.


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.

How To Safely Decorate Your Nursery 

If you’re like a lot of expecting moms today, one of your favorite parts of pregnancy is getting to decorate the nursery. Inspiration abounds for creating an Instagram-worthy space. Will you go minimalist, traditional, modern, or a little bit of everything? Do you want to choose a theme of woodland animals, or do you want to emphasize layers of neutrals?

Whatever the case, planning the baby’s room offers a perfect nesting opportunity and lets you showcase your own personal style. The only problem? Decorating typically starts with paint, and paint fumes can be bothersome for pregnant women.   

If you’re itching to breathe new life into the nursery but hesitant about paint exposure, you’re not alone—but there’s good news. You can totally transform a former guest room or office into a nursery without any harsh chemicals involved. How? To find inspiration for safe possibilities to set up the perfect nursery space, keep reading.  

How to Safely Decorate Your Nursery
*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 I only work with companies and individuals that I 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 Safely Decorate Your Nursery

Alternative Ways To Create Beautiful Walls 

While paint transforms a room, so do lots of other decorating tools, including those without harmful ingredients. To beautify the walls of your baby’s room, consider these great alternatives: 

Large artwork

Find a print or painting large enough, and you can make a major decorating statement in the baby’s room. Oversized art is not only perfect for injecting your taste into a room, but it’s also natural way to cover walls you can’t paint. 

Removable wallpaper

Today’s modern wallpaper designs go far beyond your grandma’s vintage styleThey also can be removable, allowing for you to easily switch up the décor down the road as your baby grows.  

Moody Removable Wallpaper nursery wall decor Nursery image 0
RockyMountainDecals on Etsy
A hanging tapestry

Not only can a tapestry impart an elegant or bohemian vibe to a room, but also its woven quality adds to the layers of texture in your décor.  

Decals

Removable decals make it possible to accessorize walls with anything from star shapes to animal images to gold polka dots. 

A large gallery wall

Similar to the idea of large artwork, a collected gallery of pictures visually functions as a unified whole. It’s also a great way to turn your favorite images, from treasured family photos to meaningful art pieces, into a nursery focal point.  

Any of these ideas is a smart, paint-free way to decorate the nursery walls. That said, you can set a nursery’s style without having to hang anything. If you want to skip working the walls entirely, look for decorating options in other parts of the room.  


Thinking Beyond Wall Decorating 

Another way to skip the paint problem is to focus your decorating attention elsewhere. Create a show-stopping nursery with a different kind of focal point or color feature, be it a showpiece crib or custom curtains. Here are some possibilities you might enjoy: 

 A large rug

Whether you want to go soothing neutral or bold color, a large rug offers potential for grounding all the rest of your design. Shop around for a style you’re crazy about, and let it dictate decisions for the rest of the room.  

Eye-catching window treatments

Few features elevate a room’s style like drapes. One way to decorate the nursery without paint is to focus on the window treatments.  Dress your windows with full and fashionable curtains and transform the space. 

Cloud and Stars Baby Girl Room Curtains Nursery Curtains image 0
CuteTinyTr on Etsy
Colorful furniture

Wall color isn’t the only way to define a nursery’s color scheme. Consider brightly colored furniture, such as a painted dresser, a color in a compelling hue, or a bookcase displaying rows of children’s books as if they’re artwork. 

Textiles

Throw pillows, blankets, crib sheets, or layered rugs all create coziness and comfort in a room, making them perfect for a baby’s space. In terms of style setting, they also come in all kinds of colors and patterns to suit every taste. 


Getting ready for a new baby involves all kinds of decisions, but when it comes time to decorate the nursery, it should be fun! If you’re looking to revive a room without painting, use the ideas above to create a room you’re jazzed to give your little one.


Author Bio

Excited to share her love of home design and décor with readers, Jaclyn Crawford started with ImproveNet in 2016. As a staff writer, she enjoys chronicling the latest trends and ways you can make your home the loveliest it can be. You may also find her in ImproveNet videos, sharing tips and trends for your home. 
 
 

Allergy Fatigue: How to Stop Allergies from Draining Your Energy

Being a parent comes with countless responsibilities. Juggling everything from work to relationships while focusing on your family’s needs takes a lot of energy, and it can leave you feeling drained at the end of the day.  If you suffer from allergies, your symptoms might make finding the energy to complete everyday tasks even more challenging.  It’s called allergy fatigue, and you’re not alone. A lot of allergy sufferers experience low energy levels and “brain fog” when regularly exposed to allergens. 

Allergy fatigue is a very real problem. Other allergy symptoms like itchiness, congestion and breathing problems can make it impossible to get a good night’s rest, and the histamine your body produces when exposed to allergens can make you even more tired. 

If you’re sick of allergies making you tired, keep reading to learn how you can prevent allergy fatigue.

Allergy Fatigue: How to Stop Allergies from Draining Your Energy
*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 I only work with companies and individuals that I 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.
Allergy Fatigue: How to Stop Allergies from Draining Your Energy

How to Manage Allergy Fatigue 

Find the Source of Your Symptoms

The first step to preventing allergy fatigue is finding the source of your symptoms. That can be pretty hard when you have a million things making you tired every day, so it can help to pay close attention to your other allergy symptoms and what triggers them. To do this, try starting an allergy log. Simply jot down your symptoms and the things you are exposed to throughout the day, and look for links between the two. 

If you’re having trouble finding the source of your symptoms on your own, you can take an at-home allergy test to help you get to the bottom of it. Visiting an allergist who specializes in diagnosing and treating allergies is also a good option, especially if your allergies are severe. You might discover that you’re allergic to something you never even thought of. 

Limit Exposure to Allergens

Once you find out which allergens are causing your fatigue, the next step is to find ways to limit exposure. For outdoor allergens, like pollen and mold, you can track daily allergen levels and see when they’re at their highest. You can find this information online or on most weather apps. Try to limit your time outdoors as much as possible on high exposure days, and move family activities indoors whenever you can during allergy season. 

16 Ways Ecotherapy is Good for Moms
.

Limiting your exposure to indoor allergens can be a little trickier, but it is possible to allergy-proof your home. For allergens like pet dander and dust mites, dusting furniture, vacuuming carpets and washing bedding regularly can all help keep allergen levels to a minimum. 

Consider Allergy Medication

Allergy medication can help relieve symptoms for both indoor and outdoor allergens, and there are plenty of affordable, over-the-counter options. However, you’ll want to make sure to choose one that doesn’t make you drowsy. Grab one that says non-drowsy on the label, or ask your doctor to help you find a medication that works best for you.


How to Improve Your Sleep

Trying to sleep with allergies can be a nightmare. Sneezing, coughing, itchiness and the general discomfort caused by allergies can prevent you from getting the quality sleep you need to feel energized during the day. Luckily, there are plenty of simple steps you can take to stop your symptoms from keeping you up at night. 

Elevate Your Head 

Propping your head up with an extra pillow or two can help relieve congestion and prevent mucus from building up in your sinuses while you sleep. This is also a good tip to pass on to your family during cold and flu season. 

Shower Before Bed

Hopping in the shower before bed can prevent allergens from hitching a ride in your hair or on your skin. Taking a shower or bath can also help you fall asleep and stay asleep by lowering your body temperature, and it’s a great way to unwind. 

.
Use an Air Purifier

Air purifiers improve air quality by filtering out airborne allergens. Adding one to your bedroom can be a great way to improve your sleep and keep you from coughing and sneezing throughout the night.


Tips For Staying Alert 

As a busy parent, allergy fatigue probably isn’t the only thing making you feel drained. Plenty of other things can make you tired throughout the day, and it’s important to address them whenever you can. These quick tips can help to feel more energized as you tackle your day. 

Stay Hydrated 

Dehydration can make you feel tired and sluggish. To prevent this, try to drink at least 6-8 glasses of water throughout the day. Keeping a water bottle with you can help you remember. If water isn’t really your thing, try infusing it with herbs or fruit to add some natural sweetness. Staying hydrated will help you to feel energized, and it could even boost your mood! 

Warning Signs Your Body is Screaming for a Detox
.
Get Some Exercise

Whether you are stuck at a desk all day or spend the day bustling around the house, squeezing in a few minutes of exercise can help to boost your energy levels. It doesn’t have to be a lot. Going for a quick walk around the block or doing some stretches at your desk can release endorphins that boost your energy levels. 

Take Short Breaks 

Taking breaks throughout the day can increase focus and reduce fatigue. If you find yourself wearing down while grinding away at a task, take a few minutes to make yourself a cup of tea or listen to a relaxing podcast. A break also provides a good opportunity to check in with your body. If you’re feeling drained, try eating a healthy snack or taking a quick nap. Focusing on your family’s needs is important, but don’t forget that yours are important too!


Author bio

Michaela Wong is a content creator and graduate of San Diego State University. She writes in a variety of industries ranging from health and wellness to interior design. 

The Importance of Having a To-Do List for Expecting Parents

Your entire life changes the moment you find out you’re pregnant. While the change can be exhilarating, it can also be overwhelming for first-time parents. When tasks at a job or school seem monumental, it helps to break them down into manageable steps. In the same way, although you can’t foresee all the twists and turns of your pregnancy, having to-do list for expecting parents can help you cut back on stress.

The Importance of Having a To-Do List for Expecting Parents
*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 I only work with companies and individuals that I 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.
The Importance of Having a To-Do List for Expecting Parents
.

Switch up Your Diet 

What you put into your body will impact your baby’s health, so it’s good to reconsider what you eat from the moment you find out you’re pregnant. For instance, you should start avoiding undercooked foods, unwashed vegetables, and alcohol and start stocking up on nutrient-rich foods. Some go-to pregnancy foods include: 

    • Dairy 
    • Lean meats 
    • Sweet potatoes 
    • Cooked Eggs 
    • Dark, leafy vegetables and other iron-rich foods 

Along with that, do your research to find alternatives to medications you shouldn’t take while pregnant. You’ll especially want to research medications that target morning sickness and other pregnancy symptoms.

8 Pregnancy Diet Tips for Growing a Healthy Baby
.

Start a Log 

Documenting your journey should be first on the to-do list for expecting parents. Your symptoms will change throughout your pregnancy, from morning sickness to body aches to swelling in your ankles or hands. While these are perfectly normal, it’s good to keep track of your symptoms throughout your pregnancy. This way, if something does occur that is out of the ordinary, you will be able to pinpoint exactly when the symptoms started. Along with that, writing them down helps relieve some of the mental stress of your physical symptoms. 

Prepare for Parental Leave 

As a parent, you are entitled to a parental leave of at least four weeks in the U.S.  For some, the idea of taking so much time off work can be stressful, so start planning your leave well in advance. Make sure to add this to the to-do list for expecting parents. Research your company’s policies, then talk to your employees or coworkers about what your leave will look like. If you delegate tasks for your absence, the transition will be smoother, and you will be able to focus more on your time with your baby. 

How to Make a Postpartum Plan for a Smooth Recovery
.

Set up the Nursery  

You don’t want to put off setting up your nursery for too long. The further into your pregnancy you get, the harder it will be to offer help with the design process, and paint VOCs can linger in the air for weeks. You don’t have to overthink the nursery’s design. Start practical by making sure your crib bedding is safe and babyproofing any cabinets. Then look at the decor. If you’re waiting to hear about the baby’s gender, you can focus on a gender-neutral theme or color scheme. 

Breathe 

Perhaps the most important item on the to-do list for expecting parents is to simply relax. As much as you want to make sure everything is perfect for your new baby, you also need to be intentional about taking time to rest. A well-rested parent is better for the baby, after all. And as you relax, remind yourself that ticking every box off new parent to-do list doesn’t determine whether you’re a good mother or father. You do. 


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.

5 Tips To Keep Your Relationship Strong During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a difficult time, even if you do not have to worry about anything else that is going on. Maintaining a healthy relationship during pregnancy also requires work and mutual effort. When trying to do both at the same time, it can be even more challenging to keep things going smoothly.

A stronger relationship not only makes you happier, but also provides a stable family environment for your child—before and after the birth. If you are wondering how to keep things happy between you and your partner while you are pregnant, these tips may well help you.

5 Tips To Keep Your Relationship Strong During Pregnancy
*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 I only work with companies and individuals that I 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.
5 Tips To Keep Your Relationship Strong During Pregnancy

Make sure your partner does their share

While you are the one who is pregnant and will experience the physical strain of pregnancy and birth, this doesn’t mean pregnancy should be seen as only your burden. After all, it takes two to make a baby! Your partner must play their part in supporting you throughout the pregnancy. This means being prepared to look after you when you are suffering from morning sickness, comforting you when you are feeling mood swings or anxiety, being on hand to deal with any emergencies, and generally keeping your spirits up.

It can also mean your partner taking on extra responsibilities in terms of household chores, as your pregnancy is likely to cause you some mental and physical strain. Suppose you feel exhaustion, sickness, abdominal pains, or any other effect. In that case, your partner should be willing to step in and take care of any tasks on your behalf.  Don’t let yourself feel guilty about letting your partner take on extra responsibilities; remember that carrying their baby is a huge responsibility itself.


Create a postpartum plan to help you communicate to your partner what you need after giving birth.

Postpartum Plan Printable Workbook
Click here to get the Postpartum Plan Workbook.

Be open as a couple for mental health challenges

Pregnancy can have significant effects on moods and mental health. As well as anxiety about becoming a parent, there are many hormonal changes in the body which are necessary to keep the body functioning. Unfortunately, these usually come with some emotional and mental side effects. It is uncommon to go through pregnancy without experiencing pretty significant mood swings at some point. This could manifest in many ways, from depression to mania to irritability.

While we are all still responsible for our actions regardless of our mental state, it is only realistic for you and your partner to prepare for some mental health struggles that are likely to affect both of you. Your relationship may be tested by an increase in irritability, for example. You may find yourself becoming very frustrated at seemingly minor things, and you are likely to take out this frustration on your partner at some point.

The best way to deal with this as a couple is to be prepared for this and aware of it. It is not just up to you to deal with your emotions, and it is not just up to your partner to ignore their needs in the relationship either. Overcoming the mental and emotional strain of pregnancy is a task that requires effort and mutual understanding from both partners.

A Mother's Guide to Postpartum Rage
.

Accept changes to your sex drive

With so many hormonal changes happening during pregnancy, it is no surprise that sex drive is an area that is likely to be affected. It is highly common for a pregnant person’s libido to decrease or even disappear altogether at times. This may be due to hormonal fluctuations, stress, fears about what your partner thinks of your changing body, or any combination of these factors. You may be unable to have sex at certain times, even if you want to, due to abdominal pain from your baby kicking!

Generally speaking, your partner is unlikely to be concerned by your body changing if they genuinely love and respect you. After all—every adult knows that pregnancy causes physical changes, many of which are only temporary. You may want to approach your libido in the same way you approach your mood; acknowledging that it will fluctuate and become more unpredictable. Making your partner aware of this fact can help you to keep your relationship passionate.

Practically speaking, some couples find that scheduling in nights for sex works, while others prefer to respond to the libido as and when it changes. Whatever you do, it is vital to communicate, and both expect changes to your sex life during pregnancy. Towards the end of the pregnancy, you may have to try different, more comfortable, and less strenuous positions if you have sex.

14 Ways to Help A Mother with Postpartum Depression
.

Discuss any money worries with each other

Although bringing a baby into the world is a beautiful thing, it is undeniable that having an extra mouth to feed is a significant financial expense. In addition to this, pregnancy and maternity can result in the need to take more time off work. When you are pregnant, it is to be expected that you will be working significantly reduced hours for the next couple of years at least. Suppose you are lucky enough to work for an employer that provides sufficient maternity pay. In that case, this factor may not weigh on your mind. However, if you are in less stable employment, pregnancy and maternity can affect your finances.

If you are in a serious, long-term relationship, you should be able to talk about money with each other. If you are worried about the financial implications of your pregnancy, there are a few measures that can be taken. Your partner may be able to work overtime. You may be able to cut back on luxuries (such as canceling subscriptions, etc.). You may even be able to sell items for some extra cash.

To The Husbands of the Women with Postpartum Depression
.

Don’t ignore non-pregnancy-related relationship issues

Of the luxuries that you may need to cut back on, one of the most likely is going on dates. This is not just for financial reasons; the physical and mental effects of pregnancy may make going out strenuous and challenging. However, it is still important to maintain the health of your relationship. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to spend quality time with your partner without breaking the bank. If the tightening of your budget has made fancy dinner dates impossible, don’t panic. There are plenty of ways that you can have a fun date night at home without spending much money at all!

Aside from having dates, it is as important to focus on your relationship during pregnancy as it is at any other time. Pregnancy is a heavy burden, and it can easily take up all of your time and mental energy. However, just because you and your partner have the pressures of pregnancy to deal with, that doesn’t mean that other potential relationship issues simply disappear. While your partner should be aware that things will be tricky and the pregnancy will be prioritized over other needs, you both still need to make an effort to keep your relationship healthy and enjoyable as you did before.

.

Just because you will soon become a three, this does not mean that your relationship as a couple is no longer important—in fact, a healthy relationship is more important than ever before when you are raising a child together. If you can follow these steps and communicate effectively, openly, and honestly with each other, then pregnancy can strengthen—rather than weaken—your bond.


Author Bio

Brenda Adair is a relationships and lifestyle writer, coffee enthusiast, and a lover of new experiences. You’ll usually find her in a coffee shop with her laptop and a flat white scribbling down an article or a blog post. She is a contributing author at GoDates, and several other online publications.

Home Improvements That Will Help with Seasonal Depression 

The bleak sky, the harsh cold, the barren trees—it’s easy to see why so many people experience seasonal depression during the winter after the jovial atmosphere of the holidays has passed. This can be especially hard on mothers as they juggle their responsibilities, especially since many now feel trapped within their homes with nowhere to go and kids to care for. To help you preserve your mental health, here are some home improvements that help with seasonal depression.

Home Improvements That Will Help With Seasonal Depression
*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 I only work with companies and individuals that I 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.
Home Improvements That Will Help With Seasonal Depression

Adding a Fresh Coat of Paint 

Variety is the spice of life, and seeing the same thing every single day can be demoralizing. Color has a surprisingly powerful effect on our mood, so to give yourself a small project and to uplift the atmosphere of your home, why not give it a fresh coat of paint? Try something warm and bright to inject energy into the room or a nice green to invoke feelings of nature and harmony.  

Seasonal Affective Disorder
.

Starting an Indoor Garden 

Speaking of invoking nature, starting an indoor garden is not only one of the home improvements that help with seasonal depression but also a soothing hobby you can do with your kids. Being able to see your hard work grow into something so aesthetically pleasing will uplift your mood by filling you with a sense of pride and accomplishment. With an indoor garden, you also have complete control over the conditions of your garden, such as providing the right soil or installing the optimal light. This requires some extra effort, but it provides a bigger payoff as you grow some truly bountiful plants. 

Finding Your Zen with Exercise 

Exercise is recommended for healthier living, both physically and emotionally. When it’s still too cold to go out and exercise and the quarantine prevents you from going to public gyms, you can use a spare room or basement as your own little home gym space. Exercises such as yoga give you a chance to stretch and focus inward on yourself. If you want a more intense workout, cardio such as jogging on a treadmill is great for losing weight. Whatever exercise you decide on, your body will feel more limber and energized, which will in turn improve your mood and confidence.

Meditation Tips for People Who Hate to Meditate
.

Your home never has to feel like a prison. Take control of your surroundings, and give yourself a project that will not only fend off seasonal depression but also give you something on which to focus as we wait out this quarantine and the dreadful winter weather. 


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.

How to Bond with Your Baby During Pregnancy

It’s often assumed that bonding with a baby begins when you first hold them in your arms. However, a bond with a baby can be developed as early as when the baby bump appears. Many people would concentrate on how to bond with a baby while breastfeeding, forgetting that it can respond to different things while in the womb. The point of beginning the process earlier is to ensure that when you bring him/her into this world, they’ll already have known you and are familiar with several things about you.

How to Bond With Your Baby During Pregnancy
*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 I only work with companies and individuals that I 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 Bond With Your Baby During Pregnancy

To get to know how to bond with your baby in the womb, it’s best if you become attentive to what the baby is saying or doing. Many expectant moms fancy the evident kicks from babies in their bumps since it is something very significant to them. However, it goes beyond that as the bonding can be affected by a lot of things that cause different reactions to the baby.

What are Babies Responsive to During Pregnancy?

To begin with, it’s of importance to know what babies respond to while in the womb. A mother can’t bond with the baby if she does not pay attention to the response of the baby and what makes them react. Some of the things that babies experience while in the womb include:

Sound

From 18 weeks in the pregnancy, a baby can notice sounds such as your heartbeat and when your stomach rumbles. It is a process of growth that indicates that the baby has particular senses. At around week 26, a baby in the womb can begin to notice noises outside the body from the neighboring surrounding. It’s when the baby begins to notice the voice of the mother and at this stage moving forward in pregnancy, the baby can be soothed by particular voices and cry when there are uncomfortable noises.

Memory

Babies become receptive to particular sounds, and at particular moments they might remember these voices either from a conversation or certain music.

Sensation

In different stages of the pregnancy, babies may react to particular things. At week 18, the baby can be made to sleep while the mother is moving around since the swaying makes them comfortable. From week 22, they can feel pain, and 26 weeks onwards they can respond to hand movements done on the baby bump.

How to Prepare to Give Birth During Covid-19
.

Language development

At week 32, a baby may be familiar with particular sounds from the conversations that you have with people which includes vowels.

Sight

Eye development begins at week 20 and from the 22 weeks, a baby can see light. However, proper development of the baby’s eyes begins from birth.


Bonding Methods to Use

There are different approaches to take when bonding with a baby. It also depends on who wants to do so since it will affect when you bond with your baby. Different bonding techniques should be used at different times of the pregnancy since the baby can only respond to particular things at particular times. So how do different individuals bond with a baby?

Mother

The mother has the upper hand in forming a strong bond with the baby since she can notice several reactions that the baby makes. It is also because the baby will learn a lot from the mother than it ever will from anyone else during pregnancy. For mothers seeking such a connection, you need to first take good care of yourself and have products such as the best alkaline water pitcher at mykitchenadvisor.com to help you with that.

Here are more tips on how to bond with baby in pregnancy:
    • Talking to and singing for your baby to make the baby familiar with your voice.
    • Massaging or gently rubbing your belly bump for the baby to know your touch.
    • Play calming or relaxing music to your baby that will be similar to your heartbeats and play as lullabies.
    • Get an ultrasound so that you can see your baby which will give you a greater connection such that when you are doing anything to get their attention you have a picture of how the baby might respond.
    • Do things such as enjoying a walk or getting a warm long bath so that you can calm yourself as you think and connect with the baby.
    • Responding to kicks is a significant way of bonding with your baby. By either massaging the point of kicks or rubbing the place smoothly can cause the baby to do multiple ones.
.

Father and Siblings

Other than the mother, a father and siblings also have ways on how to bond with the baby in the first trimester. Some of the approaches that they can make to develop the bond include;


You never have to wait until you bond with a newborn since the process can begin earlier. Some of the other things to do are to also consider your health by drinking pure water which helps with preventing health issues such as preventing urinary infections, relieving indigestion and acidity issues. Bonding with your baby during pregnancy is important since when they are born you will begin from somewhere and it is also important since they will be familiar with you.

How old is your pregnancy? Are you seeking ways of bonding with your baby? What do you do towards that? Leave a comment.


Author Bio

Lora is a blogger, mother, and housewife who shares her vast experience on all the aspects of pregnancy and parenting. She writes articles on the difficulties and challenges all mothers face every day. Motherhood is her source of inspiration. 

Complications That Can Occur During Birth 

It’s not an easy thing to talk about, let alone something we want to mull over on our own—childbirth problems. We often live under the deeply ingrained impression that bad things can only happen to other people. It’s uncomfortable to accept risk, especially with one of the most meaningful and precious moments in your life. However, the more proactive and prepared you are now, the less you will worry later. By educating yourself and talking with your doctors about the complications that can occur during birth, you can rest assured that you’re ready for every possibility.

Complications That Can Occur During Birth
*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 I only work with companies and individuals that I 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.
Complications That Can Occur During Birth

Failure To Progress 

When you give birth, the process begins with the all-important labor. This signal alerts you to your child’s imminent entry into our world. However, labor takes time. If you have a failure to progress, this means that you have prolonged labor of 20 or more hours accompanied by a slow dilation. There are many reasons for this extra time, including your baby’s size and your physical state. When mothers fail to progress, it’s best to take a short walk, try to sleep, or draw a bath. Each of these activities helps your muscles to relax and dilate more quickly. 

Low Birth Weight 

You begin feeding your child at the moment of conception, and it’s critical to handle your baby’s nutrition throughout your pregnancy. If you don’t nourish your body during each trimester, your child could have a low birth weight. Ask your doctor to monitor your baby’s size and actively care for your health, too, in order to avoid this complication.

How to Prepare to Give Birth During Covid-19
.

Shoulder Dystocia 

Your baby’s positioning as they exit the womb is essential to a seamless delivery. If you have the first step down—rotating the baby, so it’s head-first—you can still have issues with their shoulders. Shoulder dystocia refers to this situation where your baby’s head is free, but their shoulders are stuck inside. The solution for this may be uncomfortable for you as the mother, but it will likely involve changing your delivery position and even having doctors manually turn the baby. If the shoulders become too much of a problem, your OB may perform a cesarean to deliver your child safely. 

Umbilical Cord Problems 

Your umbilical cord is the lifeline between you and your baby. During delivery, you want the umbilical cord to emerge with your child, not before. If the umbilical cord exits early or wraps around your child’s body, your doctor must address this quickly before complications arise.


Talk about the complications that can occur during birth today to find peace tomorrow. Most births transpire without a hitch, but you should prepare yourself for even the smallest hiccups. Consider learning more about the various kinds of birth injuries and be ready to handle all of your newborn’s needs. 


As a disclaimer, this advice is purely informational, and you should consult your doctor for all medical recommendations and birth-related treatment. 

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.

14 Day Kindness Calendar for the Month of Love

Let’s start February off with this kindness calendar, because there’s no denying that we could all use more love in our lives. After the chaotic year that was 2020, the intentions we’ve set for 2021 are likely more grounded in self-care and appreciating the little things. These types of intentions are rooted in love. 

While February is typically known as the month of love, there are many ways to show it. You may choose to surprise someone with roses or maybe you’d rather spend time making a nice dinner with a loved one.  If you’re looking for a unique way to show love this Valentine’s season, you might want to consider random acts of kindness. Random acts of kindness are small acts that can make a big difference in someone’s day.

14 Day Kindness Calendar for the Month of 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 I only work with companies and individuals that I 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.
14 Day Kindness Calendar for the Month of Love

To help you spread the love this February, we have 14 kindness ideas, one for each day leading up to Valentine’s Day. Either follow along day-by-day or pick your own order. Each time you complete an act of kindness, check off the heart on the calendar.

Photo of love and kindness ideas calendar on pink table

button to download love and kindness calendar

Day 1: Send a letter of encouragement

Photo of a mandala coloring page insert next to an envelope
printable mandala coloring page

Send a letter of encouragement to someone who could use a smile. Print out mandala coloring pages to put in the letter so the recipient has a fun activity to entertain them and keep them calm. If you have young kids, have them color the designs and send the artwork in the letter instead.  

Day 2: Bake a treat for your neighbor

What’s your favorite item to bake? Bake your favorite treat or a treat you think your neighbor will like and package it up with a printable treat tag

Photo of printable treat tags on table with baking supplies
printable treat tags

Day 3: Leave a positive review at a local spot

Many small businesses have been struggling this past year. Lift them up by writing a positive review or sharing their posts on social media.

Day 4: Give someone a compliment

Whether it’s from six feet away or on Zoom, brighten someone’s day by complimenting them. 

Day 5: Create a pick-me-up kit 

Do you know someone who’s in a rut? Create a pick me up kit with printable notes and leave it on their doorstep. 

Photo of pick-me-up notes next to a gift bag
printable kindness notes

Day 6:  Bring flowers to an essential worker

There are many selfless heroes who are working overtime to keep us safe. Brighten their day with some brightly colored flowers. 

Day 7: Send someone a candid photo

Go through your camera roll and find photos you have with the special people in your life. Send them the photo and a nice note. 

Day 8: Leave a note in a loved one’s lunch

Show your appreciation for your family members by including a surprise printable note in their lunch. 

photo of cute lunch notes next to a homemade lunch
printable lunch box notes

Day 9: Pay for someone behind you in line

When you’re out getting lunch or coffee, pay for the person behind you. If you don’t have the financial means, you can offer your time by letting them cut you in the check-out line. 

Day 10: Start a gratitude journal

When you start recognizing the positives, you become more positive. Start a gratitude journal to document all the things you’re grateful for. 

Day 11: Clean up your community

Make your neighborhood a cleaner and prettier place to live. Pick up trash for an hour or plant flowers in a community garden. 

Day 12: Give yourself a break

photo of fun bookmarks next to a stack of books
printable bookmarks

Spreading love and kindness includes practicing self-care. If you’re not at your best, you can’t be there for the people you love. Take a break and practice self-care in a moment you’d normally fill with other to-dos. 

Day 13: Give a friend your favorite book

Raise your hand if you have a bookshelf of books you probably won’t read again. Rather than letting them gather dust, give them to a friend with a personalized printable bookmark. 

Day 14: Leave a love note in a stranger’s mailbox

Some are saddened by Valentine’s Day and could be feeling especially alone. Be sure to spread the love by leaving love notes in stranger’s mailboxes. 


What other random acts of kindness would you add to this kindness calendar? Remember, you can do these things all year round and not just in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day.  Spreading kindness offers a mood boost for both the giver and the receiver, so do as much as you can to be kind to others this year. 

Photo of love and kindness ideas calendar on pink table

button to download love and kindness calendar


Author Bio

Elsie is a content marketing specialist who enjoys writing about a variety of topics, from lifestyle to technology to wellness. When she’s not putting pen to paper, she’s planning her next trip abroad or hiking local trails. 

Ways for Parents of Autistic Children to Cope

Being the parent of any child, while exhilarating, can also be very difficult. But when you’re the parent of an autistic child (autism spectrum disorder -ASD), it can feel overwhelming. There’s a whole world of autism knowledge to learn, not to mention the special needs your child will have. 

The bright side is that you’re far from alone. Millions of people have been through it before, and we know more about autism than ever. And when you need a little help, you can refer to this list of tips for coping when you’re parenting an autistic child.

Ways for Parents of Autistic Children to Cope
*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 I only work with companies and individuals that I 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.
Ways for Parents of Autistic Children to Cope

We’ve divided them up into two sections. The first is a set of tips focused on your child and helping them cope with the world.  The second focuses on things that can be good for your knowledge base and personal mental health. 

For Your Autistic Child

Being the parent of an autistic child is hard, but so is being someone who is autistic in a world designed for people who aren’t. As a parent, part of your job is helping your child learn how to deal with that. What we’ve put together are some tricks and tools you can use to make it happen — when you find what works for your child, it makes everyday life easier for you as well! 

Behavior and Communication Therapy 

A major part of ASD is issues with personal interaction. But, especially if you get an early diagnosis, therapy can work wonders. Ultimately, behavior and communication are skills that can be improved, even if you have a different starting point. Working with a professional is almost always the best way to do that. 

Therapy is the most recommended treatment for autism because it meets your child where they’re at and helps them improve. There are several other kinds of therapies that are also available, like educational or family therapy, and as a parent, you can decide if you think they would be beneficial for your child’s situation. 

8 Creative Ways to Deal With Bedtime Excuses
.
Tools To Prevent Sensory Overload 

Sensory Processing Disorder doesn’t always go along with ASD, but they often go hand-in-hand. The bright side is that there are plenty of tools out there to cope with it. Learning what throws your child into sensory overload and then working with them to find ways around it can be a huge help in everyday life. 

Whether that just involves looking for certain kinds of products while shopping, like extra soft clothes that don’t have tags, or buying specific tools, like headphones to muffle sound for loud events, managing sensory processing disorder at home will make everyone feel better. 

Set A Routine 

Autistic children thrive on structure and routine, so it’s important that you establish one at home that you can stick to every single day. Make it clear exactly what you’ll be doing, when, and what’s next and refer to it regularly so your child feels more in control and knows what to do after finishing each task instead of filling the downtime with problem behavior. 

Don’t feel confined to a text schedule or calendar app, either. Many parents have found that visual schedules, with pictures of what your child should be doing, are helpful for kids with communication problems because images are always clear. You can also consider using videos, or something else entirely. Whatever works for your family is what’s best. 

Clearly Communicate Changes 

Unfortunately, life doesn’t always run on schedule. Sometimes emergencies happen and you have to alter your schedule or make different decisions on the fly. But whenever you can prepare your autistic child for upcoming changes in anything from their schedule to getting new furniture for your home, it’s a good idea. 

Start by explaining to your child that something is going to change, and tell them exactly what it is, ideally starting a few days to weeks beforehand. Then work on reminding them about the change into their routine, like bringing it up every day when giving them lunch. They might still get anxious when the change happens, but preparing them for it still makes it easier.


For You 

When you become a parent, it takes over a significant amount of your life. But you still have needs that are important, and you can’t pour from an empty cup. So here are some tips for helping you as a parent cope with the everyday realities of having an autistic child. 

Find and Accept Help 

They say it takes a village to raise a child. When it comes to having a child with autism, between your regular support system and their therapists, doctors, and teachers, that village can feel more like a sizable town. This is a good thing! Your child has special needs, but there are more people who care and want to help. 

Accept the help when it is offered, particularly if it comes from someone where it’s free of charge (after all, having a child with autism can be expensive). Whether it’s family or therapists, in the form of expertise, or just a desire to make your life easier, take it. It’s not a failure on your end if you can’t do everything on your own. In fact, it’s impossible to do it alone, so embrace it. 

Join Support Groups 

No one will ever have your back like your partner, family, and friends. But if they don’t have experience with parenting a child with ASD, then they won’t always understand what it’s like. That’s why it’s invaluable to join communities of people who are going through the exact same thing you are, including a few people who have been there before and can give you advice. 

Whether you need a place to vent with parents who get it, suggestions on products to help with sensory processing, or you have questions and you’re not sure where to turn, support groups can give you the backup you need. Go to one in person or join one online, just so long as you make sure you have that resource. 

I tried Online Therapy for 30 Days and this is what happened
.
Take Advice With a Grain Of Salt 

No one should give a new mom unsolicited advice, but this often happens. Even if you seek out help, other parents still only know what worked for their kids. Dr. Stephen Shore famously said: “If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism.” If someone gives you advice that doesn’t work, know that you might not be the one who is wrong. 

Expert advice holds more weight since they look at things objectively and are highly educated on the subject, but there’s still so much about ASD that nobody understands. Never be afraid to get a second opinion or disregard advice that isn’t working. Your primary source of information is never someone outside the family, it’s your child and whatever is working for them. 

Take Time For Yourself 

Being a parent is one of the most wonderful and fulfilling things you’ll ever do, but it’s also exhausting and constant. If you need to have someone else look after your kid and take a day for yourself to relax and unwind, that’s okay. You’re not a bad parent for needing time away from your child. 

Use your village (or town) of support and take the day that you need when you need it. Instead of burning out, getting exhausted, and having limited patience, you’ll be rested so that when you’re back to spending time with your child, you’re energized and present. 

.
Don’t Be Too Hard On Yourself 

There are so many things to do and be aware of when you’re the parent of a child with autism that it can feel like you’re always behind and you’re never doing enough. That feeling gets compounded if you’re also working an 8-5 job, even if you know that you need the job to make ends meet. Accept that you’re doing the best you can, and let go of everything else. 

Whether you do that with religion and trusting in a higher power, giving yourself a mental health day, or leaning on your friends, when you give yourself a break and acknowledge that you’re not perfect, doing the best you can not only become easier, it becomes a true joy.


Parenting an autistic child won’t be anything like what you expected parenthood to be before. But with some help and a few coping mechanisms, you’ll find that no matter what your child is like, being a parent is one of the best parts of the human experience. 


Author Bio:

Aaron Smith is an LA-based content strategist and consultant in support of STEM firms and medical practices. He covers industry developments and helps companies connect with clients. In his free time, Aaron enjoys swimming, swing dancing, and sci-fi novels.