Tips for Natural Birth

birth naturallyA natural birth is defined as an un-medicated vaginal birth. This type of birth is possible for about 85 percent of pregnant women. The other 15 percent might have health issues or complications that would put them or their baby at risk if they tried to have a natural birth. While 85 percent of women would successfully be able to achieve a natural birth, only about 67 percent of women in the United States have vaginal births, while the other 32 percent have Cesarean sections, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

61 percent of women who have vaginal births also opt for an epidural. If you want to have a natural birth, without the aid of any medication, then here are some tips to help you achieve your goal.

Make sure you are educated

It’s important to have a prenatal education. Look into classes that can show you how to manage labor pain and techniques to implement in the delivery room. Your hospital might even offer classes, and they can help you better prepare.

Choose a healthcare provider who supports natural births

It will be easier for you to have a natural birth if those taking care of you are supportive. This means the hospital, your doctor, your nurses, and so on. You can request those who are also into natural births and they can better help guide you and not push you into taking any medication.

Watch your weight gain

While weight gain is unavoidable to an extent, natural births tend to be harder for women who are overweight.

Aim for a low-intervention pregnancy

This will set a precedent for when you go into labor. Unless you have any medical conditions or pregnancy complications, you can opt to have less tests and treatments during the course of your pregnancy. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t still make sure to get your important prenatal exams to make sure you and your baby are healthy and progressing properly.

Stay home during early labor

Wait until you are at least less than 5 minutes apart with your contractions before heading to the hospital. Until then, you can stay home and move around, go for a walk, get in the tub, eat and drink.

Use water

Baths, showers, and hot compresses are natural ways to ease your labor pains and help you stay relaxed.

Implement your prenatal education

Now is the time to utilize all that you learned during your pregnancy. Breathe, meditate, listen to music, whatever helps you the best.

Benefits of Breastfeeding

Benefits of BreastfeedingWhen a new mother makes the decision to breastfeed, it sometimes draws strong opinions from friends and family. Breastfeeding is a personal decision, and you should do whatever is best for you and your baby. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists highly recommend breastfeeding as it has benefits for both mom and baby.

The nutrients in breast milk has an ideal balance for infants. It has vitamins, protein, and fat in the perfect amounts. It is the most natural way to insure your baby gets what it needs to grow strong and healthy. Formula sometimes offers digestion problems for infants, but breast milk is very easy for infants to digest. Breast milk also has antibodies that boost your baby’s immune system and helps them to better fight off any viruses and bad bacteria. Because of the nutrients in breast milk, it can lower your baby’s risk of having allergies or asthma. Studies also show that babies who are breast-fed for their first 6 months of life, with no formula added at all, have fewer ear infections, respiratory illnesses, and less chance for diarrhea. Babies who are breastfed also have less trips to the doctor other than for usual check-ups.

Studies have also been conducted on children who were breastfed as babies, and they tend to have higher IQs. The act of breastfeeding; the physical and eye contact, help you and your baby bond and instills a sense of security. Children who are breastfed are more likely to have a healthier body mass as they get older, as opposed to being overweight. The American Academy of Pediatrics also says that breastfeeding can prevent SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.) Breastfeeding has also been linked to a lesser risk of diabetes, obesity, and even some cancers as the child gets older.

For the mom, breastfeeding also offers benefits. Breastfeeding burns extra calories, so you will lose your baby weight quicker. When you breastfeed, it releases a hormone called oxytocin, which can reduce bleeding after birth. Breastfeeding has been shown to lower your risk of breast or ovarian cancer, and maybe even osteoporosis.

Breastfeeding has monetary benefits as well. You would save money on formula (which you would need a lot of), bottles, and whatever else is needed for formula feeding. You would also save precious time from sterilizing nipples and warming up bottles, so you will have more time to spend bonding with your baby.

Parenting a Child with Autism

Parenting a Child with AutismFinding out your child has autism is life changing and emotional. New studies have shown that parents are better coping with an autism diagnosis and go on to have strong bonds with their children. If you have a child with autism, it’s important to learn how to adjust your everyday life and make sure you keep your bond strong and you and your child are happy and healthy.

Learn everything you can about autism

One in 68 children are diagnosed with autism or fall on the autism spectrum. These are a number of developmental disabilities that can affect your child’s social skills, communication skills, and behavior. Autism is usually detected before age 3, so early diagnosis and treatment are imperative to help your child reach their full developmental potential. Symptoms have often change as your child gets older, so treatments are tailored to each child’s needs. Programs will help your child, and help you learn how you can help your child when you are at home. You can also talk with your doctor about what treatments would benefit your child the most, and also discuss any medications that might aid in development.

Have strong social support

Raising a child with autism is emotional and can often take a toll on you in other ways, because of the lack of communication you experience with your child. Having a support system is a way to be able to communicate your struggles and get advice from other parents who are navigating through the same thing. Know who in your life will help you with certain aspects of support. Those who are emotional, those who are social, those who can give you information, and those who are practical.

Educate others around you

Moms of children with autism often feel isolated and experience their family members stop asking about their child, or their child is left out of gatherings. Those close to you might be lonely or angry because they aren’t getting as much of your attention as they are used to. Talking with your family and friends can help get feeling out in the open and manage everyone’s stress, including your child with autism. Meeting other families with children on the autism spectrum can help provide insight and give you a way to get out of the house in a less stressful way.

Continuously assess your child’s needs

Your child’s symptoms will continuously change, so make sure you are educated about other treatments or options so you can successfully help your child develop.

Pregnancy, Joyous yet Nerve-racking

pregnancyFinding out your pregnant is a joyous occasion that you will never forget. But after the initial glow of excitement, what usually follows is nervousness. After all, your body is now the home to a little human being, and you will nurture him or her for almost a year before he or she is born into the world, and then the parenting truly begins. Surely your doctor will gift you with armfuls of pamphlets of information, you’ll scour the web and even buy books. Pregnancy, parenting, and everything that entails. But there are a few things that will take new moms and dads by surprise.

If your doctor leaves some things out, it probably isn’t intentional. Pregnancy affects every woman differently so he might not think to focus on that. For example, some women experience morning sickness. Some women feel sick all day long, while some women don’t get morning sickness at all. Other things might be less of a medical focus. And sometimes you’re too shy to ask questions about hemorrhoids. If you do have any concerns regarding your health or your baby’s health, you should be able to talk to your doctor about it. If you don’t think you can, it might be time to seek a new one.

Yes, pregnancy changes your body. But it also changes a lot about you. You might feel the sudden urge to clean and prepare your home, and as your due date gets closer this nesting instinct could get stronger. You’ll clean out cabinets, and scrub floors, things you would have never done before pregnancy. Just be cautious not to overdo it.

You’ve probably heard the phrase “pregnancy brain,” and it isn’t a made up excuse for forgetfulness. Many pregnant women experience this because of the hormonal changes and all of the things they need to do and remember with the baby coming. Writing lists or setting alarms on your phone could help combat this.

Mood swings are a common occurrence in pregnant women. Unless the changes are severe, such as depression, lack of sleep or loss of appetite, you should have no worries. If you experience the latter, talk with your doctor immediately.

Sure your clothes won’t fit as your pregnancy goes on, but your shoes might not fit either. Swelling in the feet are very common and might result in you going up a shoe size for the course of your pregnancy.

During pregnancy, your body releases a hormone that relaxes your joints in preparation for birth, but this could be the catalyst for injury. You’re at a greater risk since your joint are looser, so use caution.

Because of the increase of blood volume, hemorrhoids are common during and after pregnancy. Constipation is also a common problem. You can help avoid these by eating a diet rich in fiber and drinking plenty of fluids.

Don’t be surprised when giving birth by the reaction your body has. It’s possible that during pushing, your bowels and bladder could evacuate. Some women even experience vomiting. Talk with your doctor beforehand about a birth plan to help keep your comfortable during these occurrences.

So now you have a baby, congrats! Of course the surprises never end, and you will experience them throughout your baby’s life. But here are just a few things to consider in the early days after your baby’s birth.

There are a few things to worry about when you bring home your new baby, aside from everything your mother and the parenting books told you.

Your baby is learning to eat, sleep, be around people, and is even adjusting to his or her new body (just like you are). How can you adjust to your baby so you can have a happy and comfortable relationship?

Wear your baby, to keep the both of you close and keep your baby happy. Some moms choose to breastfeed, but do whatever is most comfortable for both you and your baby. Sleep when you can. That might sound crazy since you’ve heard sleeping is scarce, and yes it might be. But you can’t be there for your baby fully if you’re not all there mentally or physically. You need to take care of yourself as well.

You should realize your schedule and priorities will change drastically. The ones things mom and dad should be focused on are the baby and each other. Spend as much time with your baby as humanly possible. The first year is when your baby bonds with you the most and needs that love and nurturing.

Enjoy your pregnancy, and post birth. You will soon have a beautiful child that you will love and care for and once you hold your baby, all of your worries will slip away and you’ll realize you’re more competent then you think.

Hold onto your sanity during the holidays

The holidays are a beautiful time of cheer, happiness, and love. You get to spend quality time with your families and truly enjoy one another. Leading up to the actual holiday can be stressful. Gifts, schedules, food, decorations, traveling, entertaining, and so on. It seems like the list gets longer every year. Before you pull your hair out and lock yourself in your room, here are a few tips to help make the craziness a little more manageable.

sanityMeditation or anything that soothes you is an activity you should make time for as often as you can. This can be classic yoga, or something as simple as taking a walk. Baking, knitting, and painting are also great stress relievers. Why? It’s an activity with a soothing repetitive action and that can reduce your stress and help you keep a clear mind.

Think positive thoughts. This might seem obvious, but often is not. Instead of going through the running list in your head, take time to think about something that makes you happy and relaxes you. It could be a dream getaway or even a memory that brings you ease.

Remember to breathe. Again, seems obvious since you do that every day without thinking about it, but when you are stressed your breathing can become shallow and forced. Take deep soothing breathes and even some yoga breathing exercises can reset your body.

Stop multitasking. Have you ever multitasked, and I mean more than two things at once, and not made a mistake? Doubtful. Take a moment each day to focus on one thing. Maybe your morning cup of coffee, or your favorite magazine. Doing so will help you focus when you need to later on.

Take time to chat with a friend, cuddle your dog, or even just hug your significant other. Doing so can help lower your blood pressure and release your stress hormones.

Give yourself a rub down. Release tension by rubbing your shoulders, neck, and stretching your arms. Even better if you have someone to give you a quick back massage.

Give yourself a time-out. Go to your happy place, whether it be a special spot in your home or on a bench in the park. Bring a book or listen to calming music. Everyone needs some time to themselves and this shouldn’t be an exception around the holidays.

Laughter really is the best medicine. Laughing and smiling bring all kinds of good things to your body and it’s something you probably do every day without realizing, so make it happen during the holidays too! Don’t take it all too seriously, and remember how joyful life is. That’s something sure to help you get through the holidays.

 

Things your child’s teacher wants you to know

teachersTeachers are an important part of your child’s life. They spend an entire day with them, teach them more than just math and social studies, and help shape their future. Remember that teachers work harder than you might realize, and before you’re ready to pick up the phone and give them a piece of your mind or march into the school to correct something they’ve done, there are a few things they might want you to keep in mind.

Teachers don’t have a 9 to 5 job. They’re often in the classroom way before the kids getting lessons ready for the day, and they spend hours on nights and weekends building their lessons. They tutor kids having trouble, they help with after school activities, they attend meetings with faculty and parents, and they stay up late into the night grading papers. They don’t have an easy job, in fact, they might have one of the hardest jobs there is, being responsible for shaping the future of the country.

Teachers spend the school year getting to know your child. Their likes, weaknesses and strengths, and their own personalities. They spend more time with your kids than their own. They want your child to succeed. So when you get a phone call or are summoned for a meeting to discuss problems your child might be having, don’t brush it off and think the teacher is blowing smoke. They know your child and want to help them succeed. Work together to accomplish it.

Teachers spend a lot of their own money to make their classroom a happy and safe learning environment for your children. As budgets get cut, teacher spend money out of their pockets to make sure your child has everything they need to make their year not only successful, but pleasant and maybe even a little bit fun too.

Sure, teachers have holiday breaks and summers off. But they don’t exactly have the world by the horns. Most teachers work second jobs to make ends meet during breaks, and some all year long.

Teachers aren’t happy when your child fails. Whether it be a bad grade on a bad test or behavioral problems, teachers aren’t out to get you. They’re on your side and want your child to succeed.

Teachers don’t make the rules, the school district does. Don’t blame the teacher for standardized tests or school rules. Chances are, they don’t like it either. Their main concern is your child and their success in and out of school.

 

Extreme Parenting, are we to judge?

We have all done it. We judge other people. We try not to, we really do. But it seems to be something ingrained in our nature as humans. Is she really wearing that? Does he really like that dorky game? Of course it’s not right, but we’ve all done it. You don’t have to raise your hands and confess or anything, we’ll just nod in agreement.

extreme parentingJust the way we judge others in every other aspect of life, we judge other parents. We all have a technique or a method to raising our children that we think is the right way, even the best way in our eyes. Maybe it’s the same way your parents raised you, or maybe it’s the opposite of your parents’ methods for one reason or another. Maybe you believe putting your kids in a preverbal bubble is best, or maybe you let them walk down the street without you. We have our ways, and we judge others for being different.

What about extreme parenting? That’s certainly a topic we hear about a lot. Bravo even made a mini-series about it. Extreme Guide to Parenting. I’m sure some of you tuned in, I certainly was curious enough.

There was a couple who was training their infant to tell them with hand signals that she was hungry or needed to use the bathroom. She went diaper less. They let her crawl about, sit in her high chair, the whole nine yards, naked. They said they could pick up on her facial expressions and body language and determine when she needed what. Did it work? Sometimes. But then there were many times when she went potty all over the beautiful hardwood floors. Of course I sat there watching with my mouth gaping open. Are these people crazy?

How about the parents who made their children do karate for the better part of their day? They were discouraged from being individuals or showing emotions. Just, wow.

Yes, we judge other parents. It’s natural. But do we ever stop to think that others may be judging us for the decisions we’re making with our children? If I don’t let my kids go out with their friends unless I meet their parents, am I an extreme parent? Are others stick their noses up at me?

I guess we’re allowed to have our opinions, but who’s to say we know what’s best for another person’s child? I think we can all agree no matter what style of parenting is used, that someday that child will grow into a healthy and happy person who is capable of making their own choices, even for their own child one day.

Parenting Advice That You Shouldn’t Pass Up

pregnancy-parentingMany parents run in to trouble while trying to get their kids to behave. They try many different methods, only to meet with frustration or failure. The parenting tips found in the following article should help you if you are having trouble training your children.

What experts say is true– reading books to your child is very important. Children learn just about everything by reading, from colors and numbers, to shapes and letters. Experts believe that 30 minutes of book reading each night could have your child on the way to reading before they even reach kindergarten!

Getting into an argument with your child is never fun, and when emotions are flying high, it can be easy to lose your cool and say things that you regret. When you feel yourself getting very upset, give yourself permission to take a time out. Walk out of the room, take a short walk, read a book – give yourself a chance to calm down.

Avoid pressuring your eighteen year old child regarding college choices. It might be your dream for them to attend your Alma mater, but you shouldn’t focus solely on that school. It can sometimes have the opposite effect if teens are coerced into making decisions that they do not desire.

If your baby or young child has diarrhea, make sure to give them Pedialyte and lots of fluids. Just like adults, babies and young children get dehydrated after they have had excessive diarrhea, which can cause severe health problems. If your child has diarrhea for more than a few days, bring him or her to the doctor.

Be sure to start teaching children that they can count on you from an early age. when they are young they will naturally trust you, but as they grow into teenagers you want them to think of you as a respected ally, not a feared dictator. It is better to get them to understand things than to demand their obedience.

If you are taking a trip that will require a plane trip, keep this handy tip in mind. You can easily strap your child’s car seat into the plane seat by getting a lap belt extender from your flight attendant. It will keep you from having to struggle with the buckle when it is time to remove the car seat.

Make your kitchen baby-friendly to help you during the tough time of dinner preparation. Having an area in your kitchen set up for a baby or small toddler to play safely while still interacting with you makes them less clingy and allows you to finish meal preparation without worrying about safety.

Give your children a big hug as often as possible, and remind them that you love them. No matter how angry they make you, or how badly they mess up your home, they’re still your kids, and they will be forever. They will grow up to be well-adjusted adults as long as they know they’ve been loved.

Remember what is happening today will be over with tomorrow. If your kids messed up your clean living room, know that it won’t stay that way, it will be clean again tomorrow. Having this viewpoint will help you to move on.

Use charts to show your child how they’re growing, both physically and mentally. A chore chart is an awesome tool to get your child to take care of their own domain. It will give them a sense of accomplishment as they add a new star sticker to show they completed their work, and you can remind them of how awesome they’ve been at taking care of their own stuff lately!

As a parent it’s your job to encourage character growth. Children are often inexperienced and need someone to guide them through new tasks and experiences. All you need to do is set the ball rolling and people along their way will help guide them through the rest. It’s a small investment to advise your kid, but a more profitable one to physically set them on the path.

Pregnancy

Although the schools today are attempting to play a larger role in a child’s life in terms of sexual education, you should still be the one as a parent teaching this topic in detail via the home. It might be embarrassing to talk about, but your kid needs to know about safe sex and how to avoid STDs and pregnancy. If you don’t teach them…somebody else will, and that “somebody” may not be a responsible person.

As stated before, many people have trouble raising their children. More often than not, parents are met with disappointment when they try different parenting methods. If you remember the parenting tips found in the article above, you may be able to turn this around. Diligent application of some of these hints will help you to have success when raising your kids.

Raising Kids Without Losing Your Marbles

marblesDoes your child constantly push boundaries and break the rules, close him/herself off when it comes to sharing emotions and feelings? Are you frustrated with having the same conversations or fights with your child over and over again? Below are experienced parenting tips to help you create better communication and a stronger relationship!

If you’re wrong or you’ve made a mistake, make sure your admit it. Everyone makes mistakes and it’s important that your child knows this. If you don’t admit to your mistakes, why should you expect you child to admit to theirs? Children learn by example, so make sure you’re setting a good example for them.

The most important thing to remember while disciplining your children is consistency. Parenting during the terrible-two’s can be challenging, for both little one and adult. At this stage children like to push the limits of what is and is not allowed. Make sure that you set clear boundaries and are consistent with your time-outs so children know what is expected of them.

To become a better parent, give yourself a break from time to time. Everyone needs a little adult only time and allowing yourself to enjoy it will make you a better parent. This time just for yourself will help to alleviate stress, and make you feel like a more well rounded individual.

Take advantage of carpools when sending your children to school. A carpool allows you to not have to shuttle your children back and forth to school every day. It also gives your children some extra socialization time with the neighbors. You save time, and save on gas as well.

For parents who have children that like to sleep in your bed, it is important that you get them to sleep in their own bed. This is because the older a child gets, the harder it will be to stop the habit. When they come into your bed, immediately put them back into theirs.

Hold your breast with your fingers underneath and holding your thumb on the top when breastfeeding. Use the hand you use the most to support the head and the other hand for holding your breast. Place the nipple near his nose and he will open wide to take it in. This will provide the best latch for success.

If your children are playing with toys and sets that have dozens of tiny pieces or parts, use a cookie sheet as a sort of place mat. The raised edges will prevent small pieces from being scattered around and lost forever. And clean-up is simple: just tilt the cookie sheet and pour everything back into its box or container.

If you cannot seem to get your child to take his medicine when he is sick, try adding the medicine to a spoonful of chocolate syrup. It will be like they are eating a bit of candy instead of the medicine that will make them feel better. Everyone will feel better.

A great parenting tip is to restrict how much time your child can watch television or play video games. Watching too much television or playing video games too much can promote laziness and can possibly lead to an attention disorder. It’s best to limit how much time they spend with these activities.

Don’t do your childrens’ homework for them! It’s so tempting to take over a project and complete it, both so your child will get a good grade and so YOU can get it over with! It’s not worth it, you are only teaching your child to rely on others to do their work for them.

Do not believe that you have to give your children everything they want in order to make them love you. Most children crave limits and boundaries and they want to have someone that can be in charge and tell them what to do. They will push these boundaries so be prepared for that.

Why You Should Breastfeed Your Newborn Baby

breastfeedingMany people feel inadequate when they first become parents. This is a natural feeling, but you should also realize that continuing to prepare yourself as a parent is a vital part of the process. This article gives you tips about parenting and it explains what you should focus on and attempt to accomplish as a parent.

Show physical affection for your child. Human beings naturally crave touch. Whether it’s a hug or a kiss or just a simple pat on the head, touch can be a great way to connect with and show affection for your child. Touch is especially important when they’re sick or feeling sad, since it will comfort them.

Parenting is one of the hardest jobs there is. You will want to remain firm with your children, but it is just as important to be fair, honest and, most importantly, consistent. Once you have a good handle on these concepts, then you have a good foundation for effective parenting techniques.

If you have more than one child, it is important that you pay the same amount of attention to all of them, no matter what their ages are. You do not want one child to be neglected– this could cause them to show resentment toward you when they get older.

Limit the amount of television your child watches each day. Too much television is bad for your child, mentally and physically. It is one cause of childhood obesity, can lead to poor eyesight, and contributes to feelings of anxiety. Have your child play with toys or go outside instead.

Be sure to take some time away from your children. This is good for you but also for them. It allows you to have some grownup time but also teaches your children how to be more independent. If you are going to leave for more than an hour be sure they know when you will return.

A great parenting tip is to help your child with their homework as often as they can. Don’t just do their homework for them. Try to teach them how to solve problems. By showing genuine interest in your child’s studies, your child will be much more invested in his or her own education.

Program some cool ringtones into your cell phone. If you can find some different ring tones that catch your child’s attention, you may find that you can use those ring tones to get your child to calm down during a break down. It will catch their attention and make them forget about the fit they were throwing.

A great parenting tip is to not try and fill your child’s head with your own opinions and beliefs all the time. It is understandable that you want the best for your child, but you have no right to tell them how they should think or feel about everything.

Adapt your parenting style to your child’s age and needs. One form of discipline might be very effective for a two year old, but not for a five year old. One teaching style might work well for your oldest son, but not your youngest. Adapting your style offers a child the individual and changing approach they need. It will help you to see parenting success for a longer period of time.

I know life is hectic, but take time to play with your children. You don’t have to play their favorite games every time you play, but make sure to balance what you like to do with what they like to do. It will show them compromise, which is an important thing for them to learn.

Get your child to do chores as soon as they’re able to understand what you’re saying. From an early age your toddler should be cleaning up their own toys. There is no harm in making it a game, and you can continue turning chores into competitions until your child is old enough to move out!