angel1234

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  1. M I pregnant

    Hi my partner and I have been trying for a baby for over a year now and although my hubby had a very low speem count we are not given up hope, I believe I had a possible very early miscarriage over a year back, and some pregnancy signs some month or so ago but then had my period .... Now I am experiencing abdomen cramping and been emotional wanting to cry and I had some brown discharge in my panties , any help would be appreciated thanks , ignore the name my hubby signed up but it was fore thanks to all in advance
  2. Different parenting styles As a parent, your approach to your child is as unique as you are. You can’t just wake up one day and be a different person because you read a book or watched a devilishly effective mother on the playground. Parenting isn’t only a collection of skills, rules, and tricks of the trade. It's who you are, what your family culture is, and how you transmit the most personal aspects of your values to your child. But here are the facts: nearly 50 years of research have found that some parenting styles are more effective than others and show far better outcomes for children. Studies have identified four major parenting styles: permissive, authoritarian, authoritative, and hands-off. Of these styles, child development experts have found that the authoritative parent is the most successful in raising children who are both academically strong and emotionally stable. But the truth is, most parents don't fall conveniently into this or any other single type; instead, we tend to be a combination of several styles. The trick is to be flexible enough so that you make adjustments to your basic type — adapting your style by adopting some best practices from other parenting styles. Check out the following four parenting types and to see how you can make the most of your style to help your child thrive in school and in life.
  3. New Baby Shopping List New Parent? Having a first Baby? This newborn baby checklist is a complete list of newborn needs - everything your baby needs! You'll be prepared for one of the most precious days of your life! Remember when buying clothing - only buy a few in one size as your baby will grow very fast! What the Baby Will Need at the Hospital 1. Undershirt 2. An infant outfit such as a stretch suit, nightgown, or sweater set 3. A pair of socks or booties 4. Baby receiving blanket, cap and a heavier baby blanket if the weather is cold 5. Diapers and wipes (some hospitals provide an initial supply of these) 6. Safety pins or velcro attaching strips, and rubber or nylon pants (if you are using cloth diapers) 7. Infant car seat 8. Diaper bag Nursery Essential: - Crib (no more than 2 ¼ inches between slats) - Fitted crib sheets (2-between spit-up and leaky diapers, you'll use both) - Waterproof crib mattress (tight enough so two fingers can't fit between the mattress and crib) - Storage for baby clothes and gear (closet, dresser, or armoire) - Receiving blankets (3 to 5, great for swaddling at first and then as blankies) - Baby monitor (not needed in small apartments where you can hear your baby everywhere) Nice-to-have: - Changing table (money-saving alternative: change your baby on your bed) - Cushy changing pad and cover (for your changing table or secured on top of a dresser) - Colorful mobile (the more engaging, the better) - Supportive rocker or chair for feedings Clothes for Year One Essential: Items needed for each stage: 0 to 3 months, 3 to 6 months, 6 to 9 months, and 9 to 12 months - Pajamas/sleepers-ideally, footed pjs during cooler seasons to minimize wrestling with baby socks that always pop off (3 to 6 per stage) - Onesies-to wear alone or layer for extra warmth, short-sleeved or long-sleeved depending on the season (3 to 6 per stage) - Soft tops and bottoms for daytime (4 to 6 per stage after the first few months- initially, pjs and/or onesies are fine all day) - Cotton hats (1 to 2 for stage one-birth to 3 months-and during cooler seasons) - Socks (3 to 6 pairs per stage) - Sleep sack-highly recommended once your infant outgrows swaddling, a sleeveless zip-front "sack" that's zipped over his pajamas or onesie to keep him cozy while sleeping without putting him at risk for SIDS (only 1 needed) For winter months, depending on your climate: - Sweaters (2 to 3) - Fleece bunting or snowsuit (a fleece, zip-up lining for the infant carrier is also handy) - Warm hat For summer months: - Bathing suit, baby sunglasses, and sun hat Nice-to-have: - So-cute-you-could-die baby outfits (but keep in mind, dresses get seriously tangled up in babies' knees during the squirming and crawling stage-usually between 7 and 11 months) Diapering Essential: - Disposable diapers (50 to 60+ per week-no, I'm not kidding) or cloth diapers (24 to 36+ depending on your tolerance for washing them) - Diaper wipes - Petroleum jelly or A+D ointment (to apply during each diaper change) - Diaper rash cream with zinc oxide (to use if your child gets a rash) - For cloth diapering, diaper covers to prevent soaking through to clothes Nice-to-have: - Odor-preventing diaper pail and refills Health and General Care Essential: - Thermometer - Infant pain reliever (don't use before 2 months without consulting your pediatrician) - Bulb syringe (for suctioning out stuffy noses) - Brush or comb (even if you have a baby baldie, you'll use these eventually) - Baby lotion (for dry skin after the first few months) - Prepackaged first-aid kit Nice-to-have: - Humidifier (to help with decongestion during colds) Bathing Essential: - Plastic infant tub with supportive sling or baby-sized sponge to prevent slipping (used until your baby can sit up) - Inflatable baby tub (provides support in the real tub when your baby first sits up) - Baby shampoo - Washcloths (2 to 4) Nice-to-have: - Bath toys (from about 6 months on) - Hooded towel (otherwise a regular towel will work) - Soft cover for bathtub spout (once your baby is in the big tub at about 7 to 8 months) Baby-on-the-Go Essential: - Car seat (to be secured facing backwards until your child is 1 year and 20 pounds) - Stroller (either a travel system, which works for all ages, or a universal frame stroller to use with your infant car seat and then a toddler stroller starting at about 6 months) Nice-to-have: - Front carrier, sling, or baby backpack (a carrier can be used when your infant is 8 pounds, and a backpack can be used at 6 months) - Portable crib (great for travel, and the removable bassinet is a perfect play space or bedside sleeping option for your infant those first few months at home) Nursing Moms Essential: - Nursing pillow (to keep your baby in position and save your back) - Breast pads (to prevent leakage) - Lanolin cream (to prevent chaffing) - Cloth diapers or burp cloths (4 to 6 for catching baby spit-up while burping after feedings) - Breast pump (electric or manual, only essential if you want to continue breastfeeding after maternity leave) - Pump carrying case, plastic bags for storing milk in the freezer, and supplies - Bottles (2 to 3 for serving pumped milk) Nice-to-have: - Bottle warmer (for warming refrigerated breast milk if your baby prefers the warm stuff) Bottle Feeding Essential: - Bottles (5 to 8 in the 9-ounce size only) - Nipples of different sizes as baby ages (stage 1 for infants, moving up to stage 4) - Dishwasher caddy (to wash the plastic nipples) - Cloth diapers or burp cloths (4 to 6) - Formula (ask your pediatrician for a personalized recommendation) Nice-to-have: - Bottle warmer Feeding Solids Essential: - Highchair or booster seat with an infant-appropriate seating position - Baby food (stage 1 at about 5 months, stage 2 at about 6 months, and stage 3 starting about 7 to 9 months-or you can make your own from the beginning) - Baby spoons (3 to 5) - Plastic baby bowls (4 to 6) - Sippy cups (starting at about 8 to 10 months, 4 to 6 needed)Childproofing Essential: - Safety gates (if you have stairs) - Toilet locks - Cabinet locks - Electric outlet plugs - Furniture fasteners (to secure bookshelves, dressers, and precarious items to the wall) - Mini-blind cord pulls (to wind up long cords, preventing the risk of strangulation) - Soft pads (for coffee table edges and fireplace hearths)Baby Playtime No, you don't need all these toys; pick your favorites. Birth to 3 Months - Colorful mobile - Bouncy seat - Swing - Play mat with dangling objects hanging from above 4 to 6 Months - Discovery cubes - Teethers - Hand and foot rattles - Stuffed animals or soft dolls - Exersaucer - Board books (read daily from now on) 7 to 9 Months - Stacking, sorting, and nesting toys or simple interactive playthings - Basic musical instruments like shakers or small drums - Puppets - Balls - Soft blocks 10 to 12 Months - Activity table - Action-and-response toys like a jack-in-the-box - More complex interactive toys like doll houses and toddler-size basketball hoops - Pull-along toys - Wooden blocks Preserving the Memories Nice-to have: - Digital camera (to snap tons of baby shots without worrying about film, and e- mailing family) - Video camera (the only way to really capture baby laughs, crawling, and early steps) - Albums and scrapbooking materialsDiaper Bag Contents Essential: - Diapers (2 to 3 in your bag at all times) - Diaper wipes (in small travel case) - Diaper rash ointment (travel size) - Thin, portable changing pad (just a little extra protection from the germfest in public restrooms and other on-the-run diaper changing spots) - Cloth diaper (for burping or runny noses) - Snacks (appropriate to age) - Bottle or sippy cup (unless exclusively breastfeeding) Nice-to-have: - Small toys (2 to 3, appropriate to age) - Board books - Change of clothes (in case of unexpected spit-up or leaky diaper)
  4. Confinement Lady FAQ

    Many Malaysian-Chinese women hire a pui yuet(literally "companion for the month" in Cantonese) to help out in the postnatal period immediately after birth. Also known as a confinement nanny or confinement lady, a pui yuet is usually an older woman experienced in caring for the special needs of a new mum and newborn baby according to the traditional confinement practices of the Chinese. Usually, a pui yuet is an acknowledged expert in Chinese postnatal practices. Although some women find confinement nannies or confinement ladies to be old-fashioned in their approach to the do's and dont's of the postnatal period, they can be particularly helpful to a first-time mum who may not be familiar with various aspects of caring for a newborn baby. How and where do I find a pui yuet?Word of mouth is your best bet. Ask a friend, colleague or family member who has employed a pui yuet if she would use her again. Also check if the pui yuet was attentive to the baby, if she could cook well and followed instructions. This kind of recommendation ensures you are getting someone with reasonable manner and habits. Once you're satisfied with the candidate, and she confirms that she will be available around your due date, pay the deposit and keep her contact details handy. You, your husband or a family member can contact her once you've given birth to check when she will be able to begin her stint with you. If you give birth earlier than anticipated, she may have yet to complete her stint with the client before you. You could also try going through a confinement nanny or confinement lady agency. There are several based in the Klang Valley and other big urban centres. They retain a roster of trained and experienced confinement ladies who will be assigned to you based on their availability during your postnatal period. The advantage of using an agency is that you are assured of getting a pui yuet when you need her; the disadvantage is that she is an unknown quantity, and may not live up to her billing! If, for various reasons, you find it impossible to observe your confinement period in your own home, you can still enjoy the services of a confinement lady at a confinement centre. What will the confinement lady or confinement nanny do?Traditionally, the pui yuet's duties include: Bathing baby daily. Feeding baby (once breastfeeding is well-established, you can express breastmilk so that she can take over one or more night feeds). Generally caring for the baby so that the new mother can rest. Cooking special confinement dishes such as traditional chicken soup which are considered extra-nutritious. In smaller households (especially if it is just you and your husband), it is not unreasonable to ask the pui yuet to cook all the regular meals. Washing the baby and the new mother's clothes (or you can just toss everything into the machine). Few confinement ladies or confinement nannies these days are expected to do other household chores, though they should always clean up the kitchen and dishes after meals. The older and more traditional ladies will be used to doing some light housework. How much will I have to pay the confinement lady?Payment usually consists of three parts: The deposit (usually a fifth or a quarter of her full fee) as you need to "book" her while you are still pregnant. The more experienced and in-demand the confinement nanny, the earlier you have to book her (many women do so in their first trimester). The fee which you will pay once the confinement period is up. It can vary depending on your area. Fees are probably highest in the Klang Valley and during the Lunar New Year. The ang pau (also called lai tse) is supposed to be a token sum given at the end of the month as a gesture of appreciation. Some may leave the amount up to your discretion; others state upfront how much they expect. What if I just want my confinement lady to take care of my baby?Some women retain your pui yuet's services for some months after the confinement period. If you feel you may want to do this, you will have to let her know when you book her so that she will not accept other bookings for that time. You will likely still have to pay her usual rate even if you don't need her to look after you or do anything else. Will my confinement lady also help take care of my older children?If you keep in mind the general theme, that the pui yuet is there to help you rest and recover, then it is reasonable that she should keep an eye out or keep older children occupied while you have a nap or simply spend time with your newborn. How can I live with this stranger for a whole month?There are various things you can do to help both you and her adjust to your expanded household. Some ideas: Many confinement nannies do not speak or are not literate in English. If you don't regularly buy Chinese newspapers, subscribe to one for the month so she won't feel so isolated. If you don't feel like going out, ask a few close friends to come and see the baby so youwon't feel so isolated. As long as baby is safe, warm and fed, it won't hurt to let her do a few things her way. What if I find the confinement practices too restrictive?If you do not wish to observe the traditional restrictions of the confinement period, then you don't have to. Even if your confinement nanny nags you, it is your choice whether to wash your hair, drink cold milk, go out and see your friends, have cold showers or indeed, run naked in your garden at midnight under the full moon! Remember she is there to help you through this stressful time. You are paying her and this makes you the boss! If you are not sure about some of the safety of some of the confinement practices, then check with your doctor. The postnatal period can be stressful, particularly if you have had a caesarean section or anepisiotomy, so concentrate on keeping yourself happy and comfortable. Her happiness is secondary.
  5. Father's Role in the Family

    We often hear so much about the importance of mothers in children's lives but surely fathers play a much more important role in the family too. We celebrate Father’s Day every year in June. This day, the same as Mother’s Day, is a day to celebrate and remember our fathers or father-figures in our lives. Through the way they live their lives and treat others, fathers influence the lives of the entire family. They are role models and set examples through their relationships with their children and the children's mother. A father’s role in the family is very important. His job is to provide for his family, by working, disciplining and nurturing them. It is a sin for the man of the household to become lazy, by not working. When the father works, he also teaches his children the importance of working and living a disciplined life. Disciplining children is an important role of a father. His job is to teach and instruct them in the ways of God. By teaching and showing them how God wants them to live, he will surely raise God-fearing, respectful children. If the father doesn’t train his children correctly, they will lead unhappy and dangerous lives. A father’s nurturing love is the most important role that he has. Children are born seeking love and acceptance from their parents. Because the father is the head of the household, they look to him as the primary caretaker. Usually the mother is responsible for primarily nurturing their children, but the father’s role as a loving caretaker, should resemble the same example God has for us. From providing, to disciplining and taking care of them, these traits can give the children of today more of a blessed future. He is responsible for loving and being loyal to his wife and through his respect, insuring that she has the respect of the children. This teaches his daughters through their father daughter relationships and his relationship with their mother how to respect themselves, how to expect to be treated by men as well as what makes a good husband and father. Daughters learn from their fathers what a man is, how to expect to be treated by them and what to look for in a husband. A father shows his sons through their father son relationships and his relationship with their mother how to be a man. From fathers, sons learn how to be men and how to treat women. He does this through how he handles different situations and circumstances, by setting the example of being honest and responsible as well as how he treats women with love and respect. Every time he shows his son how to get up, dust himself off and keep going, he is teaching him how to keep moving forward in life in spite of setbacks. He helps to raise sons that will exhibit the same character traits and that, through his positive influence, will be much more likely to have healthy relationships with others including women. His influence also increases the likelihood that his sons will be good fathers to their children as well. Unfortunately, a lot of children have grown up without a father present in the home, leaving single mothers to raise their children alone. Some mothers became the father, because the father chose to abandon his responsibility as a father. And some may have been pushed away by the mother, due to difficulties in the relationship. There are many reasons why and some truths are not easy to swallow, but we know that Satan’s role is to dissolve the family, by purposefully splitting it apart. It should be obvious that the absence of a father or father figure affects children and the adults that they become. Playing such important roles in the family means that fathers help determine the health of the relationships within and the happiness of the family. In so doing, it can also be argued that fathers have a strong influence on society as a whole. We all know that if the father isn’t present, the mother’s role in raising her children will be very difficult- financially, emotionally and physically. The absence of the father may result in his daughter looking for love and acceptance from men who will only use and abuse them. The absence of the father may also result in his son being angry and abusive towards women who seek to love them. As our society continues to become more and more dangerous, evil and love-less, a father’s role today is more desirable than ever. If today’s fathers would only strive to be like Jesus every day, then our children will be saved and lived a prosperous life. If they are raised respecting God and their parents, then it wouldn’t matter what today’s society tells them.
  6. The bottom line is that we're just as good as mothers RECOMMENDED FOR YOU The Netherlands Tells Immigrants to Learn Dutch or Get Out Exclusive: Timelapse Satellite Videos Show Decades of Drastic Changes on Earth A Portrait of Domestic Violence by Taboola I think that woman just called me a pedophile. MORE Michelle Obama: I Love ‘Splurging’5 Amazing Runaway Kid StoriesMen Charged With Toppling Ancient Rock Formation Avoid Jail TimeHuffington PostHere's An Updated Tally Of All The People Who Have Ever Died From A Marijuana Overdose Huffington PostGet the Look: Whitney Port's Pretty Dinner Table People Let me explain. I was recently part of a panel on The Bethenny Show about stay-at-home dads. The theme of the show, which pitted stay-at-home dads vs. moms, missed the mark. The first audience question—which was more like an outlandish statement than a question—came from a mother who said she would never leave her daughter alone with a dad at a playdate. She was afraid that a man helping her child in the bathroom would not be able to control himself. You know, because we can’t be trusted around a prepubescent vagina. She had seen some bad stuff go down…on Law & Order: SVU. POPULAR AMONG SUBSCRIBERS Barbara Brown Taylor Faces the Darkness Subscribe Shinzo Abe: The Patriot The Blindness of Bigotry As crazy as this woman sounded, it made me think: She can’t be the only one who feels this way. Other issues raised by the audience were less controversial, but no less ridiculous, for instance, that a father’s bond cannot be as strong as a mother’s or that dads can not be nurturers. Based on my Bethenny experience, here are five misconceptions about stay-at-home dads: 1. You can’t trust us with your children. One of my fellow panelists, Doyin Richards, answered the pedophile implication with the retort, “That sounds like a you problem, not a dad problem.” A great line and fantastic for television, and the audience ate it up! We were not talking about dropping your child off with a stranger, or even with a father you had talked to only a couple times after school. I wouldn’t leave either of my children alone with someone I was not completely comfortable with, man or woman. Furthermore, I wouldn’t leave my children alone with someone they were not completely comfortable with. The audience member was right about kids sometimes needing the utmost level of trust. She was dead wrong in her belief that dads aren’t deserving of that trust. 2. We can’t have as special a bond with our children as mothers can. I don’t deny the hard work and heroic efforts women endure during pregnancy and childbirth. I sincerely thank them. They brought us dads the greatest gift in the world. (So stop with the ties; they’re ugly and we don’t like them.) But now those children are ours, just as much as they are yours. I felt a bond with my children the first time I laid eyes on them, and they knew who I was. My daughter was a daddy’s girl from day one, often to the exclusion of my wife—something that caused tears on more than one occasion. But these things ebb and flow, and mommy is the favorite these days. 3. We are not nurturers. I am physically unable to pick up my two-year-old son without kissing and hugging (and usually tickling) him. There are certainly times when he prefers his mommy, but bedtime is dad time. When he knows he’s tired, he crawls into my arms. And when he’s tired but does not know it, I calm his screams and get him to fall asleep far quicker than my wife. I think my scent soothes him. I know his scent soothes me. Nurturing, it should be said, goes beyond all the hugs and kisses I give my kids. I nurture their spirit, confidence, education, and sense of fun (and sometimes mischief). Anyone who doesn’t think stay-at-home dads nurture has not seen a stay-at-home dad in action. 4. We are trying to be better than moms. Are dads better stay-at-home parents than moms? What a dumb, meaningless question. But that is what the producers of Bethennywanted us to argue. Dads are not better than moms. And moms are not better than us. Parenting is not a competition! I don’t work against my wife to raise our children; I work with her. The fact that we parent differently is a benefit to our kids. They get the best of both worlds. 5. We are the only dads you should be paying attention to. Stay-at-home dads are so hot right now! But we are still in the minority—not only compared to stay-at-home moms but also compared to all the active and involved fathers that go to work (or work from home) every day and are co-parents every night. Why is the media ignoring them? Stay-at-home dads are at the forefront of the changing image of fathers, but working dads deserve our attention, too. Like working moms, they are trying to have it all and should be lauded for their efforts. It is not being done enough, so I’ll do it here. You guys are defeating the stereotype of the lazy, bumbling dad who doesn’t know his way around a diaper. Keep up the good work, at the office and at home.
  7. More moms than ever are in the workforce. According to AmericanProgress.org, "women now make up half of all workers in the United States, with nearly 4 in 10 homes having a mom that is also a working mother." Being a full-time working mother can lead to feelings of guilt and stress because of divided attention between work and family. The key is to focus on a plan, get organized, and find the right balance between profession and parenthood. Here are 10 ways to help make sure both your career and your family flourish. Let Go of the GuiltRather than dwell on how you're not with your child, think about how your role in the company is benefitting the family. Perhaps you can afford certain classes or educational opportunities for your children or you're able to put away savings for college. "The most successful career moms have found ways to be efficient in both worlds -- and that requires being able to come to terms with choices and focus on the priorities that are in the moment," says Lisa Pierson Weinberger, a lawyer and the founder of the website Mom, Esq. Accept that there will be good and bad days. Mothers should know they are not alone and they should discuss their feelings with partners or support groups. Local mom blogs, such as Working Moms Against Guilt, are a great way to reach out to others trying to find the same work-home balance. Working Moms Against Guilt Lisa Pierson Weinberger: Mom Esq.
  8. Pumping at work "Don't be afraid to ask for special treatment: Expect to use a room that locks; don't use a bathroom stall. You wouldn't make your lunch in the bathroom, so don't make your baby's there, either." — Veronica Editor's note: By law, companies must provide unpaid time to pump and a private space that is not a bathroom. "I found the most important thing while pumping and working is to make pumping a priority. Once you decide to pump 'When I have time,' you're sunk. You're at work — there isno time. You have to make the time." — Kathy "I'm a full-time working mom. Along with pumping a couple times during the day, I also pump once a day on the weekends. That way, I can go into the week a little ahead of the game. On Mondays, I take my oldest frozen milk to daycare. During the rest of the week, I use the fresh stuff pumped the previous day. On Friday, I freeze what I pumped that day and any leftover milk from the week." — Pam " If you try to make phone calls while pumping, be warned that the person on the other end will likely hear the pump in action. I didn't mind if my husband or a friend heard, but I wishmy co-workers had told me what they heard when I called. (Well, they did tell me many months into it!)." — Gretchen "I work in very close quarters (cubicles) in a predominantly male environment. Before I came back to work, I sat my boss down and told him about my desire to continue breastfeeding. Luckily his wife had breastfed and he was supportive. I bought a cheap vinyl shower curtain and spring-loaded shower rod and would put those up in the 'doorway' of my cubicle when I pumped. I informed everyone in my office that when the shower curtain was up, they were not to come in. After a while, people would stand outside my cubicle while I pumped and carry on work discussions. It worked beautifully for me — because I was not ashamed or embarrassed by what I was doing." — Wendy "These are the essentials for pumping at work: a picture of your child, a good book, a fridge to store the milk in, breast pads, and a private space." — Anonymous "While pumping at work, I keep a clean cloth diaper with me. It smells like my daughter (in a good way) and also helps to dry my breasts after pumping. When I occasionally have trouble letting down, I close my eyes and think about my daughter breastfeeding ... works like a charm!" — Caroline "Get extra sets of pump equipment so you don't have to spend time washing at work." — Camille "Have two plastic bags for pump parts: one for clean parts and one for holding the milk-covered parts before you rinse them." — Jennie "I found that the refreeze-able rectangle blocks used for lunch containers work very well to chill my breast milk pumped at work. Also, the insulated lunch bags are a good size to store 4-ounce bottles." — Cade's mom "Keep a stash of extra pumping bottles at work. I learned my lesson one day when I discovered I didn't have any. By the end of the day, I was completely engorged. Now I keep more than I need in my drawer, just in case I've rushed off to work and left the clean bottles at home." — Sarah
  9. Setting the stage "Find the time of day that's best for you. For a friend of mine, it was in the evenings when her baby was asleep; she was relaxed and could pump easily. For me, I could never get anything at night. Pumping in the morning worked best." — Julie Breastfeeding Problem SolverFind solutions to a variety ofbreastfeeding challenges, including nipple pain, low milk supply, and more. "I've heard many women say that pumping in the morning yields lots of milk. I was never able to manage this because my daughter always woke me up to eat right away, and then it was a mad scramble to get to work. So I always pumped one last time at night right before I went to bed. I did this even when I was really tired. Plus, it helped keep my milk supply up after I went back to work." — Linda "Start pumping early. I wish I had pumped once a day from the beginning to build up a stockpile. That way, if something happened at work and I was only able to pump once instead of twice, or if I didn't get much milk during a session, I still had plenty of milk." — Elizabeth "I find it helpful to pump after I get out of the shower. The warm water seems to help get things flowing, even after my son has already had his morning nursing." — Karoline "A great tip that helped me when I pumped at work was to look at pictures of my daughterwhile pumping. This relaxed me and made me feel that I was doing something worthwhile and very beneficial for my daughter." — Roma "I would sometimes let the baby nurse on one side and then pump on the other side. The flow was remarkable and I still had enough to feed the baby." — Cathey "I would usually pump and go online to check my email. It helped me relax. I wouldn't be uncomfortable while doing it and before I knew it, I would be finished. So I suggest reading, watching TV, or performing some other activity to make the time pass more quickly. Because if you're waiting to finish, it just seems like it takes forever." — Jennifer The right equipment"If you work and pump, get the best pump you can. It's worth it. If not, you may find your milk decreasing and having to give formula, which is expensive. Go with the pump!" — Anonymous, mom of twins "If you're pumping for quite some time or to establish your milk, you need a big industrial-size pump. (These are available to rent at most hospitals.) Hand pumps and cheap drugstore electric pumps won't establish your milk." — Leah "I'd highly recommend investing in a good electric pump if you're planning to work and continue breastfeeding your child. I purchased the Medela Pump 'N' Style. I'm very pleased with the product. Friends told me a good pump would make a huge difference." — Carolyn "I have a small, effective, easy-to-use pump that can be manual, battery, or plugged in. It's nice to know that if the batteries die on me while I'm away from home I can always use the manual extension. And since it can operate on batteries, I just slip into a stall in the restroom at work." — Kjersten "Use a double pump — it takes half the time." — Karen "Get a pumping bra. It allows for hands-free pumping by holding the bottles for you. You can pump while working, typing, and talking on the phone. It made my year-long pumping journey tolerable." — Heather "Always keep an extra hand towel with you to wipe up any dripping milk. It's saved me a lot in dry-cleaning bills." — Irene "I put together ann on-the-road pump kit to take with me. Along with all the usual pumping accessories (tubes, pump heads, etc.), I have a frozen ice pack to put in the cooling storage pocket of the breast pump, a plastic bag to hold any extra storage bottles, and a little bottle of liquid soap to clean everything after pumping." — Anonymous "Keep a hand pump in the car just in case you forget your electric pump or all the parts you need to make it work. Having this emergency back up has saved the day more than a few times and saved me from uncomfortable fullness." —Sabrina
  10. Although you may not feel like running a marathon, most women benefit greatly from exercising throughout their pregnancies. But during that time, you'll need to discuss your exercise plans with your doctor or other health care provider early on and make a few adjustments to your normal exercise routine. The level of exercise recommended will depend, in part, on your level of pre-pregnancy fitness. Benefits of Exercising During Pregnancy No doubt about it, exercise is a big plus for both you and your baby (if complications don't limit your ability to exercise throughout your pregnancy). It can help you: feel better. At a time when you wonder how this strange body can possibly be yours, exercise can increase your sense of control and boost your energy level. Not only does it make you feel better by releasing endorphins (naturally occurring chemicals in the brain), appropriate exercise can: relieve backaches and improve your posture by strengthening and toning muscles in your back, butt, and thighs reduce constipation by accelerating movement in your intestines prevent wear and tear on your joints (which become loosened during pregnancy due to normal hormonal changes) by activating the lubricating fluid in your joints help you sleep better by relieving the stress and anxiety that might make you restless at night look better. Exercise increases the blood flow to your skin, giving you a healthy glow. prepare you and your body for birth. Strong muscles and a fit heart can greatly ease labor and delivery. Gaining control over your breathing can help you manage pain. And in the event of a lengthy labor, increased endurance can be a real help. regain your pre-pregnancy body more quickly. You'll gain less fat weight during your pregnancy if you continue to exercise (assuming you exercised before becoming pregnant). But don't expect or try to lose weight by exercising while you're pregnant. For most women, the goal is to maintain their fitness level throughout pregnancy. While the jury's still out on the additional benefits of exercise during pregnancy, some studies have shown that exercise may even lower a woman's risk of complications, like preeclampsia and gestational diabetes. What's Safe During Pregnancy? It depends on when you start and whether your pregnancy is complicated. If you exercised regularly before becoming pregnant, continue your program, with modifications as you need them. If you weren't fit before you became pregnant, don't give up! Begin slowly and build gradually as you become stronger. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 150 minutes (that's 2½ hours) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week for healthy women who are not already highly active or doing vigorous-intensity activity. If you're healthy, the risks of moderate-intensity activity during pregnancy are very low, and do not increase risk of low birth weight, pre-term delivery, or early pregnancy loss. Before you continue your old exercise routine or begin a new one, you should talk to your doctor about exercising while you're pregnant. Discuss any concerns you have and know that you might need to limit your exercise if you have: pregnancy-induced high blood pressure (hypertension) early contractions vaginal bleeding premature rupture of your membranes, also known as your water (the fluid in the amniotic sac around the fetus) breaking early
  11. 3. You Will Lose Your Sexy A good friend and I were having cocktails one evening last year (one of the perks of single-motherhood) when he said to me, "You know, I never realized you were so attractive. I always saw you as a mom in sweats, but now you're really hot!" When his wife arrived at the bar a bit later, shocked, she said the same thing. I had really lost my mojo in all the puke and poop, not to mention the cruddy marriage to the man who hadn't touched my body in more than three years (but that's another story). I'd always felt sexy inside, but apparently that had been lost to the outside world for a long, long time and I was totally blind to it for way too long. More from YourTango:Why I'm Finally Divorcing My Ex-Husband…5 Years Later If you feel like you're losing your sexy, here are some things you can do: Excercise. Any kind of exercise will make you feel more connected to your body and in turn will make you feel sexier. The more in shape you are, the more confident you are. When you feel your tight muscles, you want to show them off. You hold yourself differently, you walk differently. You exude confidence. And that is sexy! Slow down. Only very slightly, otherwise you'll feel like there's something wrong with you. But when you want your husband to notice you, start to move just a little more deliberately. When you're in heels, walk slowly enough that you aren't teetering, but rather swishing your hips just ever so slightly and crossing one foot over the other ever so slightly. If you're at a restaurant and get up to go to the bathroom, hold your head a little higher, shoulders back, chin up and slow your pace just a hair. Trust me: he'll notice. Take pole-dancing classes. Sheila Kelly's S-Factor is a great place for that. No mirrors, no bright lights, just closed, private rooms where you and a bunch of other women can begin to feel sensual and get back in touch with your inner sex-goddess. It's two hours of just you and your body, which let's face it, you need to reclaim after it's been invaded by little baby aliens! After some time, you can even bring your husband in and wow him with a private lap dance! 4. If You Do Get Divorced, You Will Have Nothing Oh sure, you'll have spousal support for a little while and child support, but you will have nothing to call your own for a great long time. When I got divorced, I had two years of spousal support. Two years! I was under 40 and had been married less than 10 years, so California law allows for 50 percent of the marriage duration in spousal support. Seems fair enough, except that for most of those two years I was just trying to get my head screwed back on straight. I spent most of my support on therapy, which was the best investment I could ever make, but in the end, two years' support was nowhere near enough. I gave up my house in the divorce. I knew that once my two years of support was up I'd have a hard time paying the mortgage, so I moved into a rental not too far away. Soon after, my mother offered to help me buy a house, something to call 'mine' that would be less expensive than the house I'd given up. I was overjoyed and we promptly began the process, only to be cut short almost immediately. You see, as I had zero income to claim as my own for the previous four years, I was unable to qualify for my own loan, and while my mother has a good amount of savings from a pretty hefty real-estate investment return, it's all tied up in retirement funds, which cannot be used as collateral on a mortgage. I went to my ex-husband with this information and asked if he'd cosign a loan for me, given that his income could more than support it. My dear friend who is a real estate mogul refers to a cosigner as "an idiot with a pen," but in this case I thought it was a reasonable request, since I'd given up everything to raise our child. On the back end, perhaps he could cosign a loan, so I could invest in my own future, and our son's. Nope. No such luck. He didn't want to be financially tethered to me in such a way, (which I actually respect and think is likely wiser in the end), and to this day, I have nothing to call my own, except two pretty awesome dogs and my healthy psyche (both of which are debatable most days). A post-nup can be a good way to combat this last one, and while no one wants to think about such things in the midst of a happy marriage, since over 50 percent of marriages end in divorce, having this conversation now could save you a lot of headaches and money down the line. In the end, becoming a SAHM is an extremely personal choice and one which thousands of women make every year. My best advice, however, is to go into it with as much foresight as possible. Discuss all aspects with your spouse and don't go into it blindly.
  12. 2. You Will Wake Up One Morning Wondering Who The Heck You Are I remember the moment when I sat on my couch while my two-and-a-half-year-old son was napping and said out loud, "Now I know why they drink and pop pills." The mind-numbing boredom of it all was suffocating the life out of me. I was not born to do this, as I had always imagined. I didn't want to bake cookies and make my own baby food and create elaborate recipes for dinner for two after all. Frankly I didn't care. I had fantasies of getting in the car and just driving away into the sunset. I had given up everything that I was and had in order to do the greatest job in the world and the truth was that I hated it. Hated it! I had no idea who I was anymore, not that I'd had such a keen sense of it in the first place, but now I was really lost. This had nothing to do with my deep and desperate love for my son, just the deep and desperate loathing of being an empty shell of a human. And suddenly I got it. That episode ofDesperate Housewives where one of the moms started popping pills on the soccer field? Totally got it. I had become a desperate housewife. There are many women who feel a deep sense of fulfillment in the role of a stay-at-home-mom, homemaker and housewife and more power to them. I only wish I had felt that. Here are some things that can help if you find you're losing your mind: More from YourTango:5 Ways To Be An Amazing Friend To The Single Moms In Your Life Join a gym with a good daycare and take classes with all the other moms. It's a great community to be a part of and exercise will boost your endorphins, which in turn will produce more serotonin (happy hormone!) in your brain. It's a win-win. Community, exercise, happiness! Lather, rinse, and repeat every day. You'll look and feel great! Keep up with projects that feed your soul. Whether they're solo hobbies you can do while the kids nap or a regular girl's night out—do it, even if you think you're too tired. I have a dear friend who has a severely autistic son who is usually awake for the day by around 1 or 2 a.m. But every week we meet for wine and trivia, come hell or high water, because, while she's more sleep-deprived than anyone I know, she'd go insane if she didn't take at least some time out for herself.
  13. When I decided to be a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM), my mother, ever pragmatic and financially prudent, sat me down, very concerned, and said, "Can you put some money away? Just for you? If something goes wrong, what will you have?" I blew her off. Nothing was going to go wrong, and since our money was our money, squirreling some away was basically stealing it. Besides, my marriage was totally solid and this is what I'd always wanted. Always. Three years later I was getting divorced, and as my wise mother had predicted, I had nothing of my own. Let me be clear—I gained a lot by being a SAHM. My son gained a lot and that is most important. In the end, we do it for our children and I deeply respect the choice. Were I given the choice again, I may not do it differently. More from YourTango:3 Truths: Why Men Should Pay For Dinner However, many of us, most of us I think, go into this somewhat blindly or at least idealistically. There is a level of dependence on another that has some romantic undertones, but which is far deeper than we can see up front. There are some real-life ramifications, financial and emotional, that should be addressed before going into it. Use this as a guide and talk it through with your spouse. Perhaps some 20/20 hindsight from someone who has been there can shed some light on a partnership usually entered into in utter darkness. Here are four ugly truths about being a SAHM: 1. The Relationship With Your Husband Will Likely Suffer When you got married, you were likely a woman with a career and goals and...a life. You and your husband talked about politics, philosophy, work, whatever it was that made you guys click — that thing that had you both say, "I can talk to him/her forever, about anything!" When you become a SAHM you give that all up to become a mom. When your husband comes home from work, you are likely desperate for grown-up interaction and conversation yet what you're contributing is likely to revolve around poop, feeding and nap schedules and cute things your child did that day, all of which are important to share with your spouse. But eventually he may wonder what happened to his bright, vibrant, intelligent wife who used to turn him on by spewing statistics about the annual revenues of the company she was VP of, or, well, just about anything other than babies. You may wonder the exact same thing about yourself. Your husband may start to look at you like you're an alien and really crave some conversation that's not baby-centric and so will you, but you'll be at a loss as to how to produce it. Worse, your husband may begin to find that intellectual connection and stimulation somewhere else. While you're home raising this amazing being you created together and will bond you and your husband for life, you've begun to lose all the things you had in common to begin with. So what can you do to offset this? Do anything. Keep up with the things you and your husband used to love to do and talk about together. Sit down together and make lists of the things that inspire you about each other and make a conscious, designed effort to keep yourself up to speed on the things that intellectually and emotionally inspire each other. It has been said many times that marriages that work are ones that have an interest in something bigger than the marriage. For example, couples who share a deep faith, or who do spiritual work together, or volunteer for an organization together, are more likely to have successful marriages because the success of their marriage isn't solely dependent on the other person fulfilling their emotional needs. So talk with your spouse about what that could be for you and make a commitment to that thing together.
  14. As you learn what milestones your toddler is likely to master this year, keep in mind that this is only a guideline. Each child is unique and develops at his own pace. There's a wide range of what's considered normal, and you probably don't need to be concerned unless you notice one of the red flags described below. 13 to 24 monthsMilestones In his second year, your toddler will grow confident on his feet: Those first wobbly steps set him on course to walk by himself, go up and down stairs, stand on his tiptoes, kick a ball, and maybe even run by the time he turns 2. He'll also become quite the climber, scrambling onto sofas and chairs. His language skills are growing, though he understands more than he can express. By 18 months, he can say at least several single words, and by 24 months he uses words in short phrases and sentences. He quickly picks up new words from the books you read aloud to him and from hearing everyday conversations. He can follow two-step directions, such as "Pick up your book and bring it to me." Your toddler is starting to identify shapes and colors. He scribbles with a crayon, builds towers of four or more blocks, throws a ball, and enjoys filling and emptying containers. You might notice the first signs that indicate whether he'll be left- or right-handed. Your toddler wants to do everything himself: Get his clothes on and off, feed himself with a cup and utensils, and wash his hands. "I do it!" may even be your toddler's first phrase. He might start to show interest in learning how to use a toilet. He'll have fun imitating you by talking on a play phone, "feeding" a doll, or pretending to drive a car. Separation anxiety peaks midyear, and by 24 months he'll be more comfortable playing alongside other children and spending time with other caregivers. Meanwhile, he'll grow increasingly independent – and possibly defiant. Your role Foster his verbal skills by putting feelings into words, posing questions, talking about the books you read together, asking his opinion, and answering his questions about the world around him. Start teaching him letters and numbers. Be careful not to scold him for using words incorrectly – just correctly rephrase what he said. When he points to something he wants, prompt him to ask for it instead. Practice identifying the parts of his body and naming familiar objects. Encourage pretend play with dolls and play food. Ask him to help sort toys by putting them in similar categories, such as red toys or soft toys. Let him practice feeding himself with a cup and utensils. Make sure he gets plenty of time outside. Take him the park, playground, or zoo to walk, run, and freely explore. Continue to reinforce good behavior with praise and attention. Set simple and clear limits and follow through with consequences calmly and consistently. Give your toddler this or that options and allow him to make choices. Be patient and positive, and remember that he's only just beginning to learn how to control and express himself. As he gains new skills, take a fresh look around your home and adjust your childproofing strategy so he can explore freely and safely. Red flags Each child develops at his own pace, but talk to your child's doctor if your toddler: Can't walk by 18 months Doesn't understand the use of everyday objects Doesn't speak at least six words by 18 months or two-word sentences by 24 months Doesn't imitate words and actions Doesn't follow simple instructions Loses skills he previously had
  15. 4 to 7 months Milestones Your baby is fully engaged with the world now: She smiles, laughs, and has babbling "conversations" with you. And she's on the move – by 7 months she can probably roll to her tummy and back again, sit without your help, and support her weight with her legs well enough to bounce when you hold her. She uses a raking grasp to pull objects closer and can hold toys and move them from one hand to another. Your baby is more sensitive to your tone of voice and may heed your warning when you tell her "no." She also knows her name now and turns to look at you when you call her. Peekaboo is a favorite game and she enjoys finding partially hidden objects. She views the world in full color now and can see farther. If you move a toy in front of her, she'll follow it closely with her eyes. Watching herself in a mirror is sure to delight her. Your role Your baby thrives on the interactions she has with you, so integrate play into everything you do with her. Shower her with smiles and cuddles, and reply when she babbles to encourage her communication skills. Read together every day, naming the objects you see in books and around you. Give her lots of opportunities to strengthen her new physical skills by helping her sit and positioning her to play on both her stomach and back. Before she can crawl, be sure tochildproof your home and keep her environment safe for exploring. Provide a variety of age-appropriate toys and household objects (like wooden spoons or cartons) to explore. Work on establishing a routine for sleeping, feeding, and playtime. By 6 months, she may be ready to start solid food. Red flags Each child develops at her own pace, but talk to your child's doctor if your baby: Seems very stiff or floppy Can't hold her head steady Can't sit on her own Doesn't respond to noises or smiles Isn't affectionate with those closest to her Doesn't reach for objects 8 to 12 monthsMilestones Look at your baby go! He's become an eager explorer, and it might surprise you how quickly he can get around when he crawls or scoots. He can sit on his own now and grabs anything he can to pull himself up to standing and "cruise." He might even take some solo steps before his first birthday. His babbling sounds more like real conversation, and you'll hear his first words – often "mama" or "dada." Soon he'll talk in simple phrases, but in the meantime he uses gestures to indicate what he wants – or doesn't want! – and pays close attention to your words. His hands are increasingly nimble: He amuses himself putting things in containers and taking them out again. He can use his thumb and finger in a pincer grasp to eat finger food. Your baby loves to be just like you by combing his own hair, drinking from a cup, and pretending to talk on the phone. While he may seem outgoing, he's probably reserved around strangers. And when you leave him, he may become distraught – separation anxiety is normal at this age. Your role Keep talking to your baby: This is a critical time for his language development. Describe your routine, what you're doing now and what you're going to do next, and what you see. Describing how you think your baby is feeling helps him learn emotions. Keep readingtogether and play peekaboo, hide-and-seek, and turn-taking games. As he gets more active, it's important to provide a safe space to explore. He may not bewalking quite yet, but you can help him get ready by holding him in a way that puts weight on his legs or by propping him up against the sofa. Pay attention to what he enjoys, and give him the freedom to use all his senses to play and discover. Offer him crayons and paper, stacking blocks, empty food containers, and pots and pans to play with. Praise and reward good behavior. If he gets into mischief, a brief "no" and redirection is usually enough. Although he's too young to understand and obey rules, you can start showing him which behaviors aren't allowed and helping him find more appropriate activities. Be respectful of his separation anxiety: Build trust by giving him time to get used to new caregivers and always saying goodbye before you leave. Red flags Each child develops at his own pace, but talk to your child's doctor if your baby: Doesn't crawl Seems to drag one side while he's crawling for a month or more Can't stand with support Doesn't try to find objects you've hidden in front of him Doesn't say any words Doesn't use gestures, such as shaking his head "no" and pointing