Postpartum Care: Tips From A Counselor

 

Source: canadian-nurse.com

 

In reality, nobody knows precisely how giving birth and recovering from it will be for you – because each birth differs, and each individual has his own path to follow from pregnancy, labor, and delivery, all the way up to postpartum recovery. However, you can strive to be as ready as you can be so that at least you can anticipate what’s coming your way.

What It’s Really Like

There are just so many details on pregnancy and even hundreds of advice on how to surpass labor challenges; we don’t know much about postpartum care. Perhaps it’s because each parent who experiences it is in a daze, and it could be not easy and, of course, not fun to discuss. Postpartum talks tend to occur in small, trusted circles.

But it would simply be unfair to ourselves if we decide to ignore these postpartum conversations. So we called and interviewed a few of our most reliable counselors in the area to share their pieces of advice with us so that moms – and dads – can go through their postpartum journey as smoothly as possible.

Coming home from the hospital, things can still be a bit of a haze, so remember these tips if you want to be resilient enough to overcome postpartum blues.

  • Energize Yourself. Nourish yourself by eating frequent yet small meals. Avoid too much sugar and drink a lot of water. Also, load up on vitamins to keep your immune system strong and healthy.
  • Do Not Ignore The Tears. Tearing is usually seen in mothers who have had vaginal births, about 90% of them, although the rate gets lower for successive births. This is entirely normal and common, and the recovery varies depending on the degree of the tears. Ensure your body is healing by monitoring for pain or fever, as this could mean that an infection is present. You can use cold packs, peri-bottles, pain relievers, and donut-shaped cushions, among others. These are simple yet very useful tools that can help heal your body after giving birth.
  • Get Sufficient Amounts Of Sleep. Mental and physical rest is what your body needs after you give birth. To augment your healing, allow other family members to take care of you. Perhaps your eldest daughter can do the cooking, and your teen son can do the cleaning. You’ll need them to do these things to get the rest you need to recover. This is especially important if you are breastfeeding. And since you’re the official baby feeder, maybe dad can do the diaper changing, the swaddling, and more.

Source: sheknows.com

  • Yes, you need to give your body and mind some rest, but it will also need to move. Start with walks around the neighborhood. This way, you get to see some view, talk to people, and forget about being tired for some time. You can do these two weeks after you’ve given birth. But remember to walk – not run. Listen to your body, and don’t overdo it. And Kegel exercises are always a recommendation.
  • Lubricate Down There. Of course, you can’t think about having sex so early after the delivery, but you will eventually want to do it again. Unfortunately, if you are breastfeeding, you will most likely experience vaginal dryness. To avoid this, buy mild lubricants and moisturizers. You can choose from a variety of brands and sizes, and they can be found in supermarkets as well as in pharmacies. Do this by inserting some lubricant in your vagina two to three times weekly. Most moms have tried this and will vouch for their effectiveness.
  • Listen To What Your Body Is Telling You. If you feel good, then don’t stop doing what you’re doing. If it doesn’t feel right, then stop it. The guidelines for postpartum exercise, bathing, weight lifting and more, are often subjective. Use your common sense. Walking, exposing yourself to the sun early in the morning, and striving to return to your previous activities are things that don’t guarantee complete recovery with a specific date. But if all these make you feel good about yourself, then it means that your body is benefiting from these activities.
  • Visit Your Doctor. Postpartum care ideally encompasses an initial evaluation, either through phone or face-to-face, within the first and third week postpartum to efficiently address severe postpartum problems. This evaluation must be followed through continuous care, ending with a thorough well-woman visit within 12 weeks after giving birth.

Source: everymum. ie

  • You Can Always Seek Early Intervention. If you have concerns about anything after just a few days following giving birth, then go ahead and consult your doctor. There is nothing wrong with seeking help early. Your body has just experienced a major change, and caring for it is quite challenging, but it won’t have to be.
  • Just Choose Sleep! This is not a joke. If you have an option to do what you need to do, always choose to sleep. It’s the best gift you can give to your body, mind, and spirit.

 

Postnatal Depression: Counseling And Other Treatments

 

Source: womensmentalhealth.org

 

Having a baby and bringing it into this world is commonly a time of joy. But as new parents, you may not feel this joy right away. Often, they experience a phase of fatigue, stress, and worry after giving birth to their baby and may gradually feel weepy and sensitive as they come to accept this major life change.

This phase, usually known as the baby blues, is not uncommon for new parents and typically lasts for one or more weeks. However, for others, baby blues progress into a much profound and longstanding type of depression called postnatal depression.

Let’s talk more elaborately about postnatal depression here.

Definition

Postnatal depression is a state that typically progresses within the initial year after having a baby, either abruptly or slowly. The NHS reports that it affects one in ten women and one in ten men. Postnatal depression tends to be caused by a mix of factors that are brought about following childbearing. Symptoms are somewhat similar to those that are seen in general depression but might differ in intensity.

Sadly, many moms, or dads, are not aware that they do have postnatal depression, and they cannot get the support required to heal and recover. Other people find it hard to seek support, but management for postnatal depression is vital for enhancing life quality and regaining the fun of being parents.

Postnatal depression impacts each individual differently. Like generalized depression, postnatal depression differs from minor to major. Some individuals may feel several signs, while others may merely feel very few. In most situations, signs of postnatal depression will begin right after giving birth, and it’s because of this, they go unnoticed. Nevertheless, there are blatant distinctions between feeling anxious, miserable, depressed, and overly emotional after giving birth.

Source: globalwomenconnected.com

Here are some relevant symptoms to watch out for if you think you have postnatal depression.

  • Lack of interest in the things previously loved doing.
  • A constant feeling of low mood and misery. You may experience extremely low moods when you wake up or before going to bed.
  • Feeling fatigued and exhausted all the time.
  • Getting weepy for no valid reason.
  • Inability to cope with your feelings.
  • Always annoyed and irritable.
  • Feeling indifferent to your baby and your partner.

Changes In Function

  • Trouble focusing and making sound decisions.
  • Trouble sleeping, feeling sleeping the whole day, or difficulty sleeping at night.
  • Decreased sex drive.
  • Decreased self-esteem.
  • Suicidal thoughts or thoughts of self-harm.
  • Withdrawal from family and friends.

Postnatal Depression Management

There are numerous methods to managing postnatal depression, and your doctor should provide you with the information you require to make the right choice. Counseling and medication are common treatment regimens and are given to individuals based on the degree of postnatal depression.

Medication. For individuals with major cases of postnatal depression, doctors prescribe antidepressants to help alleviate their symptoms and gradually allow them to surpass the condition. There are many forms of antidepressants, and all of them work sufficiently well and take at least two weeks to begin working. Side effects will also differ, and some are formulated especially for breastfeeding mothers.

Counseling. Postnatal depression counseling offers a respite for those who want to talk about their feelings and ideas with the help of a qualified counselor or therapist. Specific therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy are utilized to work clients through their issues, allowing them to decipher the kind of depression they have and how they can change their thought and behavioral patterns to achieve their optimum potential and live the life of being a parent.

Other counseling methods can assist clients in understanding their depression with regard to their relationships and past events. Ultimately, counseling for PND enables people suffering from PND to feel safe enough to talk about their condition without feeling criticized or humiliated.

What To Look For In A Counselor

Source: smartparenting.com.ph

There are presently no rules written about specific qualifications or training a counselor must acquire so that he could officially treat postnatal depression. But according to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has created a set of rules that offer counsel about suggested treatments.

If you experience depression while you are pregnant or after delivering a baby:

  • If you are diagnosed with mild depression but have had a major bout of depression before, you might be prescribed an antidepressant if you do not want to go through counseling or psychological management.
  • If you are experiencing minor or moderate depression, your doctor may offer an exercise regimen, counseling, and self-help strategies.
  • If you are experiencing a moderate type of depression and you have suffered from depression in the past, or you have had extreme depression, you may be provided psychological management or perhaps an antidepressant if you wish. If, however, all these do not work independently, you might need to try both simultaneously.

These interventions typically help. However, if they do not, you may be prescribed electroconvulsive therapy or a different drug.

 

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Frequently Asked Questions About The Relationship of Intelligence And Depression

In the different life stages, you will undoubtedly encounter countless struggles. These problems will likely test your mental and psychological capacities. Life problems can result from social environment and experiences. Facing these challenging situations might also bring changes in your physical health. 

Both women and men will undergo a lot of emotional and mental breakdown related to their age and mental aptitude. Women, specifically, may have an increased tendency to experience anxiety either during the pregnancy or menopausal stage.

In these situations, it is crucial to determine how anxiety relates to the body’s physical changes.

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During the menopause period, which usually lasts for 12 months, women may feel unusually troubled or sad. It happens due to the changes occurring in their bodies. Symptoms of menopausal anxiety attribute to hormonal changes, particularly in levels of estrogen and progesterone.

Other factors may also include significant life stressors, problems in the sleeping cycle, effects of infertility, and aging. Moreover, irrational worries about the body image can be observable in a woman experiencing menopausal anxiety.

Recent studies reveal that intelligence and depression might have an existing correlation. It is likely to have a relationship similar to the connection between menopause and anxiety. It is particularly evident in people who are in higher professions and those who are more successful in their respective careers. 

There is an existing theory behind the correlation between intelligence and depression. It lies in heightened psychological and physiological “overexcitabilities.”

People who have a higher intelligence quotient tend to ruminate and worry more than people of average intelligence. Consequentially, they are more vulnerable to acquiring mood disorders.

However, there should be an emphasis that there is no current evidence suggesting that high intelligence causes mental health disorders. If you want to know more about the relationship between intelligence and depression, we’ve listed frequently asked questions below.

Is anxiety a sign of intelligence?

A lot of factors can trigger anxiety. Although a new study had provided a link between anxiety and intelligence, it does not prove causality. Psychologically, this means that intelligent people have a higher tendency to excessively worry. Also, evolution explains that anxiety is a sign of intelligence. Smarter animals exhibit more intelligence as a result of overthinking their survival.

Is Intelligence linked to depression?

There is no current and substantial evidence of a relationship between high intelligence and major depressive disorder. However, there is existing proof revealing how higher intelligence can significantly improve neurotic and depressive tendencies. Additionally, experts believe that intelligence can be inversely correlated to acquiring prolonged psychological distress.

Can depression make you less intelligent?

Experiencing depression can influence your mental function and actively decrease your intelligence. Specifically, it can damage your frontal cortex. It is responsible for the development of your overall intelligence. An individual who has chronic depression may be too depressed to be able to perform cognitive functions.

What is the IQ of the smartest person alive?

The highest IQ ever recorded in history is from Christopher Michael Langan, an American born in 1952. His IQ is estimated to be between 195 and 210. Langan is dubbed as the “smartest person in the world” after acing his IQ tests.

What is a genius IQ?

Intelligence quotient exceeding the score of 140 indicates genius characteristics. A score of 120 to 140 means having very superior intelligence. Additionally, a score of 110 to 119 presents superior intelligence. Meanwhile, someone who has a 90 to 109 has normal or average intelligence.

Are geniuses born or made?

Scientifically, the intelligent quotient is something people are born with. However, history suggests how geniuses are constantly made and not born. Through extensive endurance in developing their talents, even the most ordinary person can be a genius in their own fields. All it takes is great patience and commitment.

How are high IQ brain different?

A high IQ brain has significantly higher neuronal connections and specialized developed areas. For instance, a more developed brain can have considerably reduced regions with lower activities and may increase the development of cognitively relevant areas. People with high intelligence can easily tap into these connections for the retrieval of information.

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What is the IQ of a child?

The standard IQ of a child depends on the type of test and its validity. However, on a universal scale measuring performance, verbal, and total intelligence, the average score is 90 to 110. Scores of children with high intelligence range from an IQ score of 120 and above. On the other hand, children who scored significantly lower than 70 mean mental retardations.

Is intelligence inherited?

Research has revealed how human intelligence is a result of heritability and genetics. Examined families show how IQ can be inherited as low as 57% and as high as 80%. Besides, peak manifestation of genetic intelligence happens during teenage and young adult years.

What are the signs of low intelligence?

Having low intelligence can manifest in multiple cognitive and emotional forms. Some of the signs of low intelligence include behaving insensitively and always wanting to be right. When situated under challenging events, they have below-average coping mechanisms. People with low intelligence also consistently blame others for their mistakes. As a result, they may have a poor ability to create and stabilize relationships.

How can you tell if someone is intelligent?

Intelligence manifests on various platforms and in different areas. For instance, a person can be kinesthetically intelligent while the other is better with math. However, there are also apparent signs telling you how someone is smart. Some smartness indicators include noticing small, irrelevant details, being aware of any opportunity, openness to new experiences, and those who are somewhat socially withdrawn.

Do you inherit your personality?

Similar to intelligence, mental cognition, and emotional state, personality is a result of environmental influences. Experts believe that personality traits are the result of both hereditary and social impacts. Since personality changes, it can also develop as a person ages.

Does meditation increase IQ?

Meditation has not only been proven to reduce psychological and physiological stress and helps regulate your mood. A study also revealed that people engaging in meditating activities regularly has significantly increased their average intelligence quotient by around 23%. It can improve your overall mental cognition and function.

What are the disadvantages of meditation?

Although minimal and can vary for different people, there are existing disadvantages of meditation. These include experiencing a disturbance in your sensory perception and other physical side effects. Mediation can also change your outlook in life from positive to negative. It can remind you of unpleasant memories. And you can isolate yourself from other people.

Conclusion

Anxiety linked with the menopausal stage for women is common when hormonal changes occur in the body. Generally, after these hormone levels stabilized, low mood symptoms may disappear. It may even drastically decrease. These physical changes are remarkably normal for women. 

However, their responses to these changes may differ. Mental and emotional issues can be overwhelming. It is especially true when you are aware of your body’s current changes. Some women may cope appropriately. Meanwhile, others may succumb to negative thoughts, feelings, and emotions.

Source: pexels.com

And this can be truer to people who experience depression. It does not choose and does not discriminate. We discovered the bad news for people who have a higher intelligence quotient than others. However, it is also essential to consider the social environment of individuals suffering from depressive symptoms.

This link between intelligence and depression comes from several factors. For example, genetics and other social influences may play significant parts.

For the high IQ society, it can mean numerous things. For instance, childhood trauma and unresolved personality and identity problems can all lead to depression. Also, hormonal imbalances and even everyday normal circumstances may be factors to look out for.

There are also a lot of contradicting studies regarding the relationship between depression and high intelligence. As mentioned in one of the questions, frequent depressive episodes can damage your frontal cortex. This part of the brain is responsible for the formation of your cognitive processes.

The continuous study on these existing variables brings ample caution on correlating intelligence with depression. It does not mean that the first causes the latter. 

Depression will always leave you mentally and emotionally exhausted for a certain period. Smarter people tend to do exceptionally well in their chosen fields. But they have a higher tendency to resort to extreme mental rumination.

Prolonging the symptoms may not only impair your social function. But these can affect your physical health as well. In this light, make sure to seek help from professionals, regardless of gender or intelligence quotient. The first step is to always ask for help. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Menopause And Anxiety

A woman struggling with life issues is often prone to a mental and emotional breakdown. Sometimes, despite their hard work and persistence, they still fall short when it comes to taking care of themselves. These women often lose all their energy over things they cannot control as they attempt to work past them. These include financial strain, death of a loved one, work-related pressure, marital problems, family relationship conflicts, and so on. But with all the stressors around, most women can’t notice that hormonal changes can also lead to the buildup of mental health issues, particularly anxiety and depression.

As women age, they get close to the menopausal stage. With that, they experience a series of emotional, physical, and mental imbalances. Usually, it gets out of control as it affects their lives daily. Let us dive into the topic and talk more about the link between menopause and anxiety.

Source: pixabay.com

What helps anxiety during menopause? 

There are things you can do to address menopause-related anxiety. Some possible treatments can include psychotherapy, antidepressants, hormone therapy, or supplements for a better mood. You can also try cognitive behavior therapy since CBT is effective in treating most mental health conditions.

Note that some women might develop a panic disorder during the menopausal stage. Thus, they need to be extra careful. As much as possible, they should learn to determine their menopause-related anxiety as soon as it hits.

 Why does menopause cause anxiety? 

Menopause can drive anxiety due to hormonal changes or imbalance, particularly in the estrogen and progesterone. Fortunately, these symptoms can go away when hormones become more balanced right after perimenopause ends.

In some instances, specific symptoms such as restlessness, mood changes, and general feelings of nervousness can be even more undermining than just feeling weird and hot. And with respect to anxiety, women in the perimenopausal period become more likely to deal with panic attacks associated with the symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, excessive sweating, dizziness, and heart palpitations.

 Does menopause make anxiety worse? 

Though no evidence can back up the claim, research says that women suffer more from anxiety than men. That is especially at their menopausal stage due to the peak of hormonal fluctuation levels. But in some frequent cases, troubling high anxiety and even panic attacks are not a normal part of menopause. But some women develop a panic disorder during menopause.

It is safe to acknowledge that menopause can also contribute to the sudden development of anxiety and sometimes even worsens the existing mental health condition. Thus, seeking help is a must as it can make an already difficult time of your life a little bit comfortable and easier to handle. But of course, going to the doctor is not the end of it. A woman still needs to work hard on her responsibilities in keeping her mental and emotional health intact.

 How long does post-menopause anxiety last? 

It is not entirely unusual for anxiety and depression symptoms to last for 1 to 2 years after menopause in most women. Unfortunately, mental health problems may continue for up to 10 years and can even stay longer in others.

One should be aware that menopause is not exclusive to anxiety only, as it can trigger depression in most cases. That is due to the unpredictable hormone fluctuations that usually get accompanied by stress, body image insecurities, sexuality issues, infertility, and aging. The connection of these symptoms can greatly affect a woman’s emotional and mental health as she struggles with sudden adjustments in her life. When there is a serious depression, one should immediately pay attention to the risk factors and consult a healthcare provider.

Source: pixabay.com

 What are the worst menopause symptoms? 

Some of the worst menopausal symptoms include difficulty sleeping, had hot flashes, experienced irritability, had night sweats, and often experience forgetfulness. There are also cases of vaginal dryness and breakthrough bleeding near or in the private area. Other symptoms include chills, mood changes, thinning hair, dry skin, weight gain, and slowed metabolism.

But be mindful that not all women are the same. Therefore, some may experience things that are not on the list, while others deal with the common symptoms all at once.

 What is the last stage of menopause? 

Menopause is where the woman’s reproductive years end. It is when a woman’s ovaries stop producing estrogen and are no longer ovulating. The earliest stage of menopause is known as perimenopause. It can start eight to 10 years before menopause. Postmenopause is the stage after that.

 At what age does a woman stop being sexually active? 

Most women are still sexually active, even when they are 40 to 50 years of age. Most of them still get aroused. They can still maintain lubrication and can achieve orgasm during sexual intercourse. Therefore, the importance of sex for them is more likely to stay as they age.

In closed-doors conversation, more women in their 40 to 50 years of age continue to engage in sexual activity, either with their partner or in the course of self-stimulation. Though not all, some women who get to their 60s and somehow lose interest in sexual stuff.

 Will I feel better after menopause?

Yes. After menopause, hormone levels stabilize. That is either naturally or through Hormone Replacement Therapy. The symptoms disappear, and many women feel emotionally and physically better than during their menopausal stage. Both depressive symptoms and negative mood decreased drastically over that time. However, though that can be good news, some women may experience an increased risk of developing conditions like osteoporosis.

Source: pixabay.com

Takeaway

Physical changes are normal, and most of us experience them slowly and differently. But with all the uncertainties that go along the process, the emotional and mental issues are no exemption. Some of us may feel welcoming towards the changes, while others can feel a little too overwhelmed. With that in mind, women should always take care of our overall balance. And with the right coping methods, we will surely manage our mental health condition.

 

Pregnancy And Its Mental Health Repercussions

Pregnancy is a life-changing journey for women. It is often seen as a joyous occasion because it marks the beginning of motherhood. Pregnancy also brings many challenges and uncertainties, not only to the soon-to-be mother but also to the new baby and the significant other. 

Aside from their physical well-being, pregnant women should also be mindful of their mental state, as both are affected by the pregnancy’s various hormonal changes.

Source: pixabay.com

During Pregnancy

Women usually experience different symptoms while pregnant. These symptoms may physically show, such as morning sickness, nausea, and other pregnancy complications. At the same time, pregnant women become incredibly vulnerable and are highly susceptible to mental health problems.

According to recent studies, one in five women is affected by mental illnesses during pregnancy. Having a baby, especially for the first time, can bring worries to the new parents. Coping can be difficult. Stress and fear levels can be at an all-time high.

Among the most common mental disorders experienced during pregnancy are depression and anxiety. The occurrence of these psychological disorders is significantly associated with personal experiences and life events.

Depression may develop when women are not happy to receive the news of being expectant. They may also develop this mood disorder if their pregnancy restricts them from doing what they love, like working, traveling, or other physical activities.

On the other hand, anxiety can stem from unplanned pregnancies, financial incapacities, or worries about not being a good mother. These are all stressors that can severely impact a pregnant’s mental well-being.

After Pregnancy

Mental health risks may continuously increase even after pregnancy. Research studies conclude that 85% of women undergo mood disturbance and changes after giving birth. These may include postpartum blues, postpartum depression, and postpartum psychosis.

The severity of psychological illnesses after childbirth is not only limited to depression and anxiety anymore. Bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, eating disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder are all possible for women succeeding labor.

These mental illnesses may completely turn a new family’s life over. The situation can become rigid and taxing as the mother may detach her life from the current situation. Therefore, creating a series of problems such as refusing to breastfeed, refusing to hold the newborn, or any other complications. The relationship of the parents may also see a downfall.

Source: pixabay.com

Suffering From Mental Disorder While Expecting

It is common knowledge that when bearing a child, the mother should take precautions or discontinue any medication that may affect the developing infant.

The question now is, what happens to women who have been struggling with psychological disorders and are now expecting a child?

Pregnancies of women with mental illnesses are often unplanned, as they already know they may be putting another life at risk or in danger with their history. If the pregnancy does happen, decisions regarding treatments and medications can be a bit tricky.

Fetal exposure to medications, drugs, and other medical care indeed imposes peril. Congenital malformations, neonatal toxicity, and neurodevelopmental disorders may affect the newborn for a long time. Some may even be incurable.

Not only are the women going to suffer through mental illness, but it is likely to affect the fetus. One should go through preconception counseling to plan a healthy start for the mother and the baby.

How To Take Care Of Your Mental Health During Pregnancy

Motherhood indeed brings mixed emotions, but we now know that they are not often great. Like in daily life or occurrences, taking care of a pregnant mother’s physical, emotional, and mental state is most likely the same.

Exercise, enough sleep, and a healthy diet are crucial to the developing infant and the mother’s physical health. Prenatal vitamins are the only recommended medications. Otherwise, one must consult with a physician first, especially for long-term prescriptions.

Therapy should also be undertaken, especially if the parents think their relationship is on the rocks. Talk therapy may also ease the minds of soon-to-be parents about their worries over raising a child. There are plenty of support groups available, where other mothers or parents in general, with similar concerns or have gone through the same thing, are sharing their valuable insights regarding childbirth.

While your pregnancy is still early, spend time doing what you love the most and surround yourself with people who will support you through it. 

Source: pickpik.com

A Baby On The Way

Having a baby can be a very fulfilling event in the life of a woman. But like many things and stages in life, it is a challenging one. Pregnancy can bring out many changes, including some that may affect the mother and infant’s mental health.

Don’t expect too much of yourself. While the worries of motherhood can wash over you, take a deep breath, and remind yourself that you are not alone. You have your partner with you, and both of you will get through this. Take a rest if you must.

How The Family Can Prepare The Home For The Newborn Baby

You must be excited about this significant change – a new addition to your family. And we know that you are stressed out too. You’re probably worrying about whether you’ve done enough to prepare all that they will need when they come out. We understand your stress, and that’s why we’ve got you! Here is how you and your family can ease into this significant change and prepare your home for the newborn baby.

Do A General House Cleaning

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A baby is a bundle of joy in the home. But having a newborn can also be taxing as they need your constant attention and care, making it difficult for you to perform regular tasks – such as cleaning the house.

So before the baby comes, have a general cleaning day with the rest of the family. Doing this reduces the stress and the time needed to dust and vacuum your home. Organizing your house will help you prepare it for the new baby and make it easier to live in it when the baby comes.

Inspect Your Home

Prevention is always better than a cure is what the adage says. So before the baby comes, you must do a safety check of every room and corner of your home. These are what you must tick off during the home inspection:

  • Store and lock breakables in a high storage
  • Cover all exposed outlets and hide wires
  • Fence off unsafe parts of the home (e.g., stairs, kitchen)
  • Put sharp cover protectors on sharp edges of furniture
  • Put locks on doors and cabinets
  • Put away tiny objects that can be easily swallowed by babies

Your newborn may not start crawling after six to eight months. But you will be using most of your time taking care of them in those months in between that you may begin to forget baby-proofing your house. So better do it before you even bring them home.

Restock Home Necessities And Baby Essentials

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Taking care of a newborn may take all your time, attention, and energy, especially when you do not have somebody else to assist you. Because of this, you may not be available to shop for essentials for some time. So before you give birth, restock your home necessities. The essentials include easy-to-cook food, condiments, disposable dinnerware, laundry stuff, cleaning materials, and bathroom supplies.

You must also prepare for your baby’s basic needs. Some of those include baby soap, diapers, wipes, diaper cream, formula, and clothes. Doing this will lessen your stress and anxiety when those sleepless nights come along with the baby.

Arrange The Baby’s And The Parents’ Room

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Ask yourself, “where will the baby sleep when it comes home? Will it have its own room or will stay in the parents’ room?” Understanding the sleeping arrangements will define where the beddings, clothes, and diapers will stay.

Knowing where the baby will rest will also help you make that room the optimal sleeping environment for you and your newborn. Sleeping as much as you can is needed in the first few months of living with the tiny human. So sleeping essentials may include pacifiers, white noise machines, humidifiers, blackout curtains, and cribs.

If you have a separate room for your baby, you will need baby monitors, a nursing station, and a changing station. If you can afford to go extra, having a comfortable rocking chair is a luxury that you deserve.

Prepare A Bathroom Setup

Your newborn will need not only a change of diapers but also baths. So another must prepare for them is a proper bath setup. Some bathing essentials include a baby bathtub, washcloths, baby soap, and bath towels.

A tip for choosing baby tubs: find one that you can easily stow away when not in use. Then also remember to buy soaps that are suitable for the baby’s skin as the regular soap we use is too harsh for their delicate skin.

Prepare The Family

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Your home does not only include your house but also your family. So if you have other children, you must also prepare them for the new addition to your household. When to break the news to them will depend on how young your other children are. Toddlers have a limited sense of time, so telling them about the new baby months before they come out will only bring them anxiety.

Tovah P Klein Ph.D. further shares, “I recommend waiting as long as you can, and then tell your little one with concrete details.” She adds, ”Waiting until the last month to tell your child will keep the whole family happier.”

Younger kids may take a longer time to process this information and to adjust to the new setup. So it is also essential to prepare yourself and your partner for tantrums, jealousy, and regression. An unlimited understanding is what your other children need when the baby comes home.

An additional member of the family can always spark joy and happiness. But it can also cause stress and lots of sleepless nights. So we hope our guide can help prepare your home and your family before the newborn comes and help save you from a lot of unnecessary anxiety in the future.

 

 

At-Home Activities For Pregnant Women

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The pandemic has technically been kind for my family. We have been staying at home for a few months now; my husband only goes out to fill the car with gas or get our medicine at the nearby pharmacy. None of us contracted the coronavirus, and we thank the heavens for that.

However, I am admittedly the most bummed by this situation. I am six months pregnant, you see. I have not gotten out of the house in what feels like forever; I can’t even pick up the groceries that the deliverymen leave next to the front door. I am aware that if I get COVID-19, it will not only be me who gets affected but also my unborn child. But when you are used to being in the outside world your entire adult life, the stay-at-home order will undoubtedly be a pain in the you-know-what for you.

The only activities that have kept me sane throughout the quarantine are the following:

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Source: pexels.com

Embroidering Baby Clothes

The first hobby that I loved from the beginning of the pandemic is embroidery. My best friend gave me a starter kit a year ago, even though she knew that I neither had time nor patience for crafts. Despite that, while I was going through my storage boxes, I found it and thought that it would be cute to embroider my baby’s name in his clothes.

Was it as challenging as I expected? Yes! I pricked my fingers on accident and tangled the threads one too many times; I honestly doubted my skills to follow the online tutorials I watched. Once I finished the first letter of my child’s name, it made me want to keep going. Now, I have embroidered 30 little pieces of baby clothing.

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Source: pexels.com

Baking Goods

Ever since my husband and I moved to a condo in the metro, I had been walking every morning to the Starbucks branch that’s only two blocks away. I loved their chai latte and pastries, and I would have them for breakfast in most days. Unfortunately, the shop closed soon after the stay-at-home order got released, and I had nowhere to get the goodies I craved for.

This dilemma led me straight to my kitchen. I already had flour, sugar, butter, and other baking ingredients there; however, like with embroidery, I never thought of at least making cookies. Nevertheless, baking is one of those activities that you never know you like until you try it, and now I enjoy it so much that I do it several times a week.

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Building A Garden Wall

As mentioned above, we live in a condominium. It entails that I don’t have a backyard where I can lounge at or plant stuff, which should have made my isolation more bearable. Thus, the next best activity is to build a garden wall on our balcony.

It was easy to order a hanging planter on Amazon with more than 40 pockets. I also added some succulents in the cart. When they all arrived, I only needed to transfer the plants to the planter and water them every other day. Despite the lack of fresh air in the city, sitting near my garden wall has been refreshing for me.

Final Thoughts

Most people have gone back to work at the time of this writing, but I am still stuck in the house. I have almost reached the third trimester of my pregnancy, so my doctor has advised me to stay put and avoid catching the coronavirus. I feel bored at times, for sure, but I have learned to jump from one hobby to another so that I won’t ever get tempted to go out.

Stay safe, everyone!

Early Childhood Learning Environments That Work For Children

 

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The 2019 Child Birth Development Conference was an interesting and memorable event for community leaders and school district administrators. The conference provided an opportunity to learn and explore birthing practices, childbirth development, and strategies to help better serve children from zero to eight years old of age. The participants had the opportunity to connect with other community leaders across the state that were also focused on sharing and learning child-rearing, childbirth development, and early childhood learning environments.

Early Childhood Environments

Nurturing and safe environments are vital in supporting the development and learning of babies and preschoolers. These environments help avoid challenging attitudes and function as a primary component of interventions for babies and young children, including those with disabilities. The Division for Early Childhood Recommended Practices states that environmental practices refer to parts of the materials, space, routines, activities, and equipment that families and practitioners can deliberately modify to support children’s learning and development. Sadly, a lot of practitioners are uncertain about how to create an environment that reinforces their children’s learning at all age levels. A nurturing and well-designed classroom environment:

  • Drives staff efficiency
  • Reinforces responsive caregiving
  • Cultivates independence in the young
  • Reduces challenging behavior
  • Drives children’s engagement
  • Encourages positive social interactions among the young

To establish an environment that is appropriate to the development and learning of babies and preschoolers, these three components – physical, social, and temporal environments – should be meticulously structured and administered. Of course, the design of the classroom must depict its program’s goals, philosophy, and mission. For instance, a program that focuses on enhancing children’s math skills is most probably to highlight the availability of learning materials associated with numbers, shapes, and patterns.

In addition, if international schools inspired this program’s mission and goals, students will learn appropriately through hands-on work with the proper materials, instead of learning traditionally through face-to-face instructions.

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Children With Disabilities

A safe, responsive, and well-structured learning environment is an important first step in embracing children with disabilities in childcare and preschool settings. If it does not have the inclusions necessary for disabled children to succeed, administrators and teachers should make modifications to augment their participation in daily routines, interactions, and school activities. These modifications may be small and easy to implement, but they may also lead to quick improvements.

 

 

 

 

What Pregnant Women Can’t Do Due To COVID-19

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Source: rawpixel.com

My husband and I can barely contain our excitement about the fact that I am already in the sixth month of my pregnancy. We are closer than ever to meeting our first child, you see. We have been waiting for this baby for almost seven years. We tried every possible method to conceive and almost gave up one too many times. Perhaps everything was meant to happen when it’s supposed to happen, though, so we now have this miracle.

You can say that we are prepared to take care of our firstborn. If you talk to my mom, she may say that we are too ready for it. After all, we had already bought everything a newborn might need as soon as we learned about the child’s gender (It’s a boy!). Crib, changing table, clothes, diapers—we got it all.

The only thorn that I can see in our path to happiness is the coronavirus. It has caused a pandemic throughout the globe in the last few months. Some countries are still on lockdown as we speak. Many others are trying to get back on their feet as they remember the people they lost due to COVID-19.

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Source: rawpixel.com

In the United States, government officials are considering easing the quarantine regulations. More stores should be able to return to business soon. People do not need to stay cooped up in their residence 24/7, either.

Despite all that, a pregnant woman like me needs a total lockdown to keep my baby safe from the viral disease. Here are a few things that I have been unable to do, no thanks to coronavirus.

Get Some Groceries

Going to the supermarket had become a far-fetched dream ever since the first case of COVID-19 was reported in the city. Even my husband was not allowed to do it because he might bring the virus home. All we could do instead was order groceries from Target.

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Source: rawpixel.com

Whenever the deliveryman would come, we would always ask him to bring the bags in the garage. My husband would only collect them after 24 hours to ensure that any virus sticking to the items had already died.

Go To Work

As an ER doctor, I should be exempted from quarantine. I need to go to work now more than ever, considering thousands of individuals require testing for COVID-19. Unfortunately, it is impractical for a pregnant woman to be in any hospital right now. All I can do is call my colleagues from time to time and pray for their safety.

Order Food From Restaurants

During my first trimester, I often craved the amatriciana from a nearby Italian restaurant. I used to order that pasta every single day until the owner had to close the restaurant at the beginning of quarantine. Although they eventually reopened, it did not seem smart to resume this little habit of mine.

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Source: rawpixel.com

Book A Prenatal Appointment

Yes, I cannot even go to my prenatal appointment these days. My OB-GYN tested positive for COVID-19 two weeks, so she could not see her patients at the moment. We had no choice but to wait for our city to be free from coronavirus before setting a new appointment.

Final Thoughts

This year may not be an ideal time to birth a baby—I get that. The world is facing an invisible and deadly enemy, and we can only do so much to avoid getting hurt because of it.

I will never want to turn back time and be in my non-pregnant self again during a pandemic. Nonetheless, there is no harm in hoping that this nightmare will end way before my due date.

May God bless all of us!

The Midwife: Her Role In Pregnancy

 

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Source: pixnio.com

The purpose of the 2017 Midwife Conference was to help those who were aspiring to become midwives to learn about the field in the comfort of their own communities while still being able to take care of their families. The organizers of the program believe that midwifery is for anyone motivated and eager to learn. Just as there are birthing women, the midwife is often called to do what she needs to. Through experience, they know that students and others who have the will to study midwifery in their communities play a significant part in the local birth network, especially when they are prepared to practice independently. The organizers also further believe that women have the right to know what they need and choose for themselves whether or not they should give birth in a birthing home or a hospital.

The Role Of The Midwife In Pregnancy

The midwife provides most of a pregnant woman’s care and needs before giving birth. If a pregnant woman plans to give birth in a maternity unit, it would be good for her to see a midwife in conjunction with her appointments with her obstetrician. If she plans to have a home birth, then she will have to see the midwife throughout the span of her pregnancy.

The midwife typically checks the health status and position of the baby inside the woman’s womb. She is available to provide advice and support and prepare the pregnant woman for her upcoming delivery.

Labor And Delivery

The midwife is present for the pregnant woman throughout her labor and delivery. She provides details about her delivery, emotional support, and encouragement. She also monitors the baby’s heartbeat and other vitals and can offer pain relief through the help of a doctor. Finally, she can teach you some strategies that can help you reduce labor pain and other issues you may have.

 

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If your birth is uncomplicated and you are giving birth in a public hospital, the midwife plays a part in assisting you both in labor and during the delivery of your baby. Often, you will not have the same person taking care of you for the labor and delivery time, but perhaps you can suggest doing so. The midwife can also call the obstetrician in case you experience complications while delivering your baby.

If a pregnant woman chooses to give birth in her home, it is the midwife’s responsibility to care for her in her home throughout labor and delivery. Perhaps she can contact an ambulance in case of emergencies.