Single Parenting During Pregnancy and After

  

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No women want to ever go through pregnancy alone or even be a single parent for that matter. However, a lot of women have gone through the pregnancy, delivery and raised their child without the help of a partner. It’s understandable for women to feel unwanted and unloved during this time. Single parenting also leaves them feeling unappreciated. Whatever, the reason might have been for yours and your partners break up, you must move on and leave the past behind. You can live a happy life with your child and now is the time to start planning.

 

Tips on How to Handle Being a Single Parent During Pregnancy and After 

Source: netmums.com

You’re not alone in this. There has been a numerous number of women who have been abandoned by their partners after they had found out that was pregnant. At first, these women were terrified of being alone but they managed and are now raising their children successfully.

“Being a single parent is NOT easy—no one ever said that it was. But people often don’t take into account exactly how stressful it can be,” writes Barton Goldsmith Ph.D.

Celebrate Your Pregnancy:

 

Source: mommyish.com

 

You don’t need a partner to be able to this. Organize a baby shower and get professional photography done so that you can cherish the memory of your pregnancy.

Get Legal and Financial Help:

If you need financial help, consider claiming maintenance from the father. You will also need to seek legal help for visitation rights and custody etc. Legally, both parents are liable to support their child.

Plan Your Leave from Work:

If you are working, you will need to take maternity leave. You could even try asking your employee for some flexibility with your working hours, maybe allowing you to start a little later or letting you leave early. Or you could ask them if they’d allow you to work from home on some days.

Find a Birth Partner:

If the father is not going to be around on the day that you give birth, you should consider finding someone else to be there for you on the day that you give birth. You could ask your mother, a sister, or a close friend. You might find it difficult to ask them, but they will be honored to be a part of such an important event in your life.

Find Support from Others:

Even if it means that you move in with your parents for a little while after you have given birth. Accept support from others whether its family or friends. By having the support of these people, you won’t feel the absence of your partner and your child will also feel loved while growing up.

“A single man or woman deciding to become a parent is likely to have a strong, built-in support system,” writes Susan Newman Ph.D.

Meet Other Single Moms:

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There are lots of other single moms out there and you can connect with them. You can attend support groups in your community or search online for support groups for single mothers. You will get endless support from others who are also faced with the same issues as you.

Seek Therapy if You Need to:

If you have been severely depressed and unable to cope with your pregnancy and life. Or if you are really suffering from the heartbreak of losing your partner, then it might be time to seek professional help. A counselor can advise you on how to move forward and help you with working on your emotions.

“Inform yourself through research, therapy, or support groups about how psychological wounds might play out in your day-to-day feelings and interactions,” writes Marika Lindholm Ph.D.

Focus on Your Future:

It’s time to move forward. You can make decisions all by yourself for your baby. Meet new people, date other men. Live your life to the fullest. If you want to study further, you can even do it online. This will allow you to have time for your baby. Don’t despair, and don’t lose hope. Single parenting makes women stronger emotionally.

Reference: Belly Belly

How To Make Labor Pains Less Painful

       Source: scarymommy.com

Even moms that are expecting their first child already know what to expect and know that labor pains are indeed painful. Childbirth is one of the most physically painful experiences. However, there are some techniques and ways that can help with easing the pain a bit and also making it quicker. Most of the time, people hear horrific labor stories and bad experiences. Don’t let this scare you, some have had easy and quick childbirth experiences.

Here are some tips that can make labor pains less painful and quicker, as well as other tips to help you on your big day:

Educate Yourself About Labor:

Educate yourself about labor. You can do this by attending classes, reading magazines, visiting pregnancy, mommy magazines and blogs. You can also ask your doctor to provide you with all the necessary information. This way you can be well prepared and know exactly what to expect, so there are no surprises on that day.

“It has been shown that women who participate in some sort of prenatal education class have lower rates of complications and better pain control,” writes Shawn A. Tassone M.D.

Ask Your Doctor or Health Care Provider About Any Questions that You Might Have:

If you have any concerns or anything that you might be worried about, don’t feel afraid to ask. They can also provide you with the best advice.

Exercise:

    Source: assets.babycenter.com

 

Cardio exercises are great for pregnancy. Walking and biking are good cardio exercise. These exercises are also good for blood circulation. Your body also releases endorphins whilst exercising, even walking. These endorphins improve your mood. By walking during pregnancy, especially during the last semester will help with making labor pains less painful and it will also go much faster. Buy a pregnancy ball. You can also take up a Pilates and yoga class. These stretch based exercises are good for you during pregnancy, they will keep you fit and they will help you when you are in labor. Some squats are also good exercises to do during pregnancy.

Breathing exercises are also good to do not only during pregnancy but also when you go into labor. They help with relieving the pain. By practicing these exercises during pregnancy, it will also help with training your mind to concentrate to focus on the breathing rather than the pain that’s endured.

“[Exercise] produces inflammation and generates oxidative damage, causing micro-traumas in our muscles which our body then repairs during rest. While those might not sound like positive results (it certainly doesn’t read like it), all of these stresses and physical micro-traumas become small stimulants to healing that induce our whole system to repair itself and keep us in proper health,” writes Wayne Jonas M.D.

Epidurals:

Some women choose to have epidurals to reduce labor and childbirth pain. There’s absolutely nothing to be ashamed of if you decide to choose to have them. After all, labor pains are excruciating. Epidurals are chemical anesthesia that’s injected into the spinal cord. It numbs the body from the waist down, which makes it a painless experience.

Keep Active on the Day You Go into Labor:

Labor will go much faster if you keep moving. Walk around, this will help labor go much faster and it will also help with passing your time.

Have a Soak in the Tub:

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Having a nice soak in the tub when you are experiencing labor pains, that’s if your water didn’t break. The warm water will help a little with relieving the pain and warm water will also relax you. It can also help with speeding up labor.

Ask Your Partner to Massage You:

Not only will support from your partner make you feel better emotionally and mentally, but they can also help with massaging you. Whether it’s a head or back massage, either will make you feel better.

“Studies on the effects during pregnancy of the combination of yoga and tai chi, and yoga and massage therapy, have also revealed positive impacts on parents-to-be,” writes Ann Diamond Weinstein Ph.D.

What Foods Help and What You Should Avoid:

Stay away from greasy and oily foods during pregnancy and on you go into labor. You should also avoid sugary foods and drinks. Dates are good to consume during pregnancy and on the day, you go into labor, it helps with speeding up labor. Also, stay hydrated; drink lots of water. You can also try some tea and cinnamon and almond milk.

 

Natural Birth vs C-Section

 

Natural Birth vs C-Section

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After you have received the wonderful news that you are expecting a bundle of joy. You might be wondering how to bring your bundle into this world. It’s one of the things that you need to decide. In today’s times, we have a choice of giving birth naturally or having a C-section. Both births have pros and cons. Before deciding, you might want to have a closer look at both options. You should also plan ahead so that you can make the necessary hospital bookings etc.

The Pros of a Natural Birth:

  

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Natural birth was the only way of giving birth around 50 years ago. Besides that, you can recover much quicker from a natural birth than a C-section. You are also much more likely to spend less time in the hospital. Moms get a natural high after delivering her baby and it also strengthens the bond between mom and baby. The mom can also feed her baby after birth. Babies are also less likely to suffer from breathing problems at birth. All or most of the water and fluids get pushed out during delivery.

The Cons of a Natural Birth:

Apart from it being a painful experience, there’s a chance that women can suffer from vaginal tearing. The tissues and skin around the vaginal area can tear. If the mother has been in labor for a long period of time, the baby is at risk of being born with a bruised scalp.

The Pros of a C-Section:

 

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The risk of the mom being traumatized is much lower than giving birth naturally. The trauma risk is much lower than a natural birth, especially if something goes wrong. C-sections are also scheduled which makes it more convenient than waiting to into labor. If the mom has an STD or HIV, the chances to these infections passing onto the baby are reduced. With C-section births, you won’t suffer from vaginal tearing and episiotomy.

The Cons of a C-Section Birth:

More blood is lost during a C-section birth than a natural delivery. The babies are more likely to have respiratory problems such as asthma. It also takes much longer for the mom to recover from a C-section birth than a natural delivery. You also must stay in the hospital a little longer. At times, the baby is premature and the C-section is performed too early. Breastfeeding is also more difficult, because of the pain and discomfort. The risks of post-partum infections are also much greater. Babies that have been delivered by C-section may still have water in their lungs, during a normal delivery the water usually gets squeezed and pushed out. Children that are born by C-section are also more likely to suffer from obesity. The babies that are born by C-section are also exposed to a more sterile environment, whereas with babies that are born by a natural delivery are exposed to gut bacteria. This gut bacteria helps them with fighting off allergies. C-sections are also more costly than natural births. In some complicated cases, there’s a risk of the surgeon cutting your bladder and bowels accidently. There’s also a risk of blood clotting in the veins for the mom.

When Are Emergency C-Sections Performed:

In some cases, an emergency C-section might be required. This can happen for a number of reasons such as:

  • Issues with either the umbilical cord or placenta.
  • The baby’s heart rate decreases or their movement decreases.
  • Labor is taking too long or not progressing.
  • Some babies might be too big to fit through the birth canal.
  • When the baby breached.

Conclusion:

 

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Weigh all the pros and cons accordingly. You should also consult your doctor or gynecologist for further advice on which birthing option is most suitable for you. It’s also recommended that you have skin to skin contact with your baby directly after birth. Wish you the best of luck on your birthing journey!

Understanding Prenatal Depression

Source: scarymommy.com

A pregnant woman is expected to be jolly and in “cloud 9” while waiting for her baby to arrive. She should be happy always since a little angel is inside her blessed body and will be ready to come out in 9 months. Catherine Monk, PhD  highlighted that “The womb is an influential first home, as important as the one a child is raised in, if not more so.” It is also anticipated that after giving birth, the hormones are in disarray and a bit of Post-Partum Depression can be suffered by the mother. But with love and some help, it can be managed easily.

What others don’t know is that depression can commence at any time and not just post-partum. This means that a pregnant woman can get depressed anytime from the first trimester up to her 9th month. This condition is referred to as Prenatal Depression or Antenatal Depression. “Anxiety, depression, and stress in pregnancy are risk factors for adverse outcomes for mothers and children. Anxiety in pregnancy is associated with shorter gestation and has adverse implications for fetal neurodevelopment and child outcomes,” wrote Christine Schetter, PhD.

A study revealed that up to 20% of pregnant mothers experience this type of clinical depression and most of them fail to get treatment. At least 7% of the women who are with a child has this mental health issue. In simple math, for every 100 pregnant women, at least 7 have this disorder and most of them are unconscious about it. This depression can go on for months and even years, and the only way to make it stop is through treatment and therapy. Medication is rarely prescribed, but if absolutely needed during extreme cases, it is being advised.

Signs and Symptoms of Prenatal Depression

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The reason why Prenatal Depression is often left untreated is that women feel that the change in their moods and emotions are due to their pregnancy hormones. There is truth to that, but if this change in behavior becomes severe or the pregnant mother fails to function normally, then, it can be this mental health problem.

  • Failure to focus or concentrate
  • Can’t remember things
  • Feelings of numbness
  • Always agitated
  • Can’t sleep well or sleeps for extended hours
  • Overly fatigued
  • Overeating or not eating at all
  • No interest in sex
  • Dreadful of giving birth in an extreme way
  • Feeling guilty, helpless and hopeless all the time
  • Intense sadness
  • A disconnect reaction with the baby
  • Not happy about giving birth
  • Wanting to die or often thinking about dying and death
Factors that Trigger Prenatal Depression
.                                Source: img.huffingtonpost.com

 

A pregnant woman can get clinically depressed for a variety of reasons. Some of the most common factors:

  • Failed or bad and abusive personal relationships
  • Family problems
  • History of depression in the family
  • Previous miscarriages
  • Pregnancy complications
  • Rape, abuse or other traumatic events

Treatments for Prenatal Depression

It is not usually recommended for pregnant women to drink anti-depressants because there is a baby inside of them and the meds may have an effect on the unborn child. But there are instances when medication is necessary for a pregnant mother and that’s due to the severity of their depression. This prescription is carefully provided for the mother – TCA’s and SSRI’s are the topical medication. When used as prescribed, the pregnant mother’s mood will be lifted in as short as two weeks. Energy will also be elevated and bad feelings are suppressed, as well.

In a study conducted by Angela Bowen, PhD, and co-authors, it was discovered that “depressive symptoms improve over the course of the pregnancy into the postpartum period, particularly for women who receive treatment.” Therapy is the go-to treatment for this type of clinical depression. It is a very effective way of letting out their ill feelings so that they can sort it out and work on it.

5 Practical Tips For First Time Moms

Source: baby-pedia.com

Having five kids is a gift from the Almighty. Why? I’ve been given the ultimate reward of life. Five children in 16 years! Some don’t have the ability to become a mother and I have been given that gift for five times. Others don’t have the capability to take care of their children after they give birth to them. But then again, I have been given that gift as well and I consider myself very blessed.

The essence of being a mother, I have it and if you are pregnant, you have it too – which is why you need to recognize this as a wonderful reward and live your days filling it with love for your child. Like many other young people, I got pregnant early as I was only 19 years old at that time. I didn’t know anything about being a mother and I had to learn all about it by hard experience.

I can’t say I am the perfect mother since no one was built by the Almighty in that way, but I can safely say that I do have practical tips for first-time moms to get rid of all the fears and worries. After all, I have five kids and I think I may know what I am doing.

Tip # 1 – Don’t get stuck on reading baby and parenting books.

 

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You might be letting go of the most important fact – learning about the little things your baby does – if you focus too much on reading these “how to take care of your baby” books. Not everything is written down on a piece of paper. There are some things better left experienced than reading.

“It’s the combination of ‘must, can’t, won’t, should, could’ kinds of thoughts with the high level of emotion that can send moms down into the pit of depression or anxiety. Black and white thinking is a setup for disappointment, despair, lack of satisfaction and meaning, and low self-
worth,” says Erika Krull, MS.

For example, baby books will tell you to turn off the TV or radio so that your baby can sleep sound at night. That’s not entirely true. My firstborn would cry if the TV was off and my only son (my fourth child) would open his eyes if the lights were turned off.

Tip # 2 – There’s no need for you to worry.

The fact that you endured nine months for your child before he or she came out, suffered agony and physical pain for one to two days for labor and birth and then, taking care of your baby after all that – there is no better mom for your baby than you. So, don’t you worry? You have to believe that you are the best mom ever and that you will never fail your child.

“Friends and family can help by bringing some dinners, offering to take over with the baby for an hour or so that the parents can get a nap, or by babysitting siblings to give the parents time to focus on the infant without feeling guilty or pulled in multiple directions,” Marie Hartwell-Walker, Ed.D., recommends.

I had a very challenging time after my third child was born. The baby was premature at 8 months and she was choking inside of me literally – the condition was called “cord coil”. I was so scared because I thought we would both die. My mental health was dwindling that time due to stress and depression and so, I turned to online therapy and my therapist has greatly helped me in dealing with my stress and depression. Postpartum depression is real and if you need mental health wellness assistance, don’t hesitate to find help.

Tip # 3 – Staying active is golden.

I have always been athletic and played soccer since middle school, but a pregnant soccer player CANNOT BE. And so, I diverted my energy to pregnancy yoga. Good thing there was one studio in our city that offered the class and I took it. Why stay active? Believe me when I say that it will help you give birth naturally.

“In contrast to what many people think, exercise is as good for our emotional health as it is for our physical health,” says Raphailia Michael, MA. “It increases serotonin levels, leading to improved mood and energy.”

Tip # 4 – Slow down.

If you are super active, it’s not advisable, as well. A little activity is good, but a lot might jeopardize your baby’s health. That’s what happened to me with my third child. I was so wrapped up on opening a salon business of mine and I’ve been working nonstop that I almost miscarried her at month 4. Even then, I didn’t stop. I was required bed rest for the remaining months but NO, I was relentless.

The result was an emergency C-section at month 8 and my baby was in the incubator for weeks. That’s how I got so stressed and depressed. So, slow down a bit and enjoy the pace. There is no other thing more important than you and your baby’s health.

Tip # 5 – Let it unfold gracefully.

Each mother-child pregnancy and the birth situation is unique. Just let it unfold and savor every little detail. I had to wait 24 hours before my firstborn came out while my sister labored for 2 hours and her eldest child popped. She said she didn’t even feel a thing while I was cringing.

You know, it’s useless to anticipate and be nervous or apprehensive. Just be healthy all throughout your pregnancy by eating nutritious meals and exercise a bit, as well. Your OB will know what to do and keep you safe. The pediatrician is also there to monitor your baby.

Times are modern

now and everything can be viewed through a TV screen. There is nothing for you to be anxious about giving birth. Ask for an Epidural as I have done it for 4 of my 5 kids. It will lessen the cramping. (The Epidural was late on my second-born because she came so fast and I felt EVERYTHING. Was it good or bad? I’d say, it was a whole different experience which I won’t trade for anything.)

Is giving birth painful?

Source: mentalhealth.com

And the million-dollar question – is giving birth painful? I won’t lie. It is painful, but THE PAIN IS TOLERABLE. It’s like you want to take a dump (excuse my French) that won’t come out. So naturally, your stomach will hurt and there will be cramping.

The pain will extend to your lower back and hips which will come and go. When the cramping gets closer together, say every minute, you’re ready to push the baby. But if you have the Epidural, you won’t bear the cramping that much.

It is a beautiful experience – I have no words for it.

Advantages of Having a Midwife During Pregnancy

Most women mainly seek for the health services of a physician or obstetrician during their journey to pregnancy. But there are a growing number of pregnant women now who also seek for the care and service of a midwife.

“Women assisted by midwives have had a more positive attitude about their birth experience and are more satisfied with the care they received,” writes Darcia F. Narvaez Ph.D.

Women should know that there are benefits in getting a midwife’s services during their pregnancy. In fact, there is a much better outcome both for the mother and the baby.

Below are some of the advantages that you should consider in deciding if you should get the service of a midwife:

midwife during pregnancy

Source: kidsinthehouse.com

Pre Conception

 Midwives do not only provide care for you during pregnancy and post labor, but they can also provide guidance and help you on your pre pregnancy period. The period of pre conception is also a critical part in pregnancy because it will prepare you and your body on what to expect.

“People will tell you that the best thing you can do to increase your odds of conceiving is to relax. This leads to getting what’s called meta-cognitive anxiety, or anxiety about your anxiety,” writes Alice Boyes Ph.D.

They can help you with the proper and healthy nutrition your body needs prior to pregnancy. They can also provide you a routine exercises that you can do for health purposes. Midwives may also advise you on halting your bad habits prior to pregnancy such as smoking. They can guide you on how to quit those bad habits.

You and your midwife can also talk about your preferred birthing plans so that they can assist you with all the preparations you need.

 

During Pregnancy

For first time moms to be, they have a lot of questions and concerns regarding the pregnancy and birthing plan so it is helpful that they have a midwife at their side during this period. Most of their fears and queries will be answered and explained thoroughly by a midwife.

Having a midwife can give you the guidance and support you need to make your pregnancy less stressful. They can personally talk to you about pregnancy education. Everything you need to know on what will happen during pregnancy, labor and post labor care they can assist you as well.

“Bad stress is a major risk factor for anxiety and depression. Almost every study that has examined stress in pregnancy shows that high stress increases the chance of a pregnant woman developing depression and anxiety,” writes Dawn Kingston Ph.D.

If you are going through physical and emotional stress, you can also talk to them about it.  They will also help you with your preferred options in birthing by explaining the processes involve in each option and by educating you the preparations you need.

Labor and Delivery

Birthing experience is a scary and stressful situation for any first moms to be. However, having a midwife during delivery can lessen your anxiety by providing you information and assistance you need during this time. Having someone who is there for you all throughout your pregnancy until labor and delivery is truly helpful and important. They have that personal touch because you have been with them for a long time.

They will be with you and assist you during your entire labor processes. They are trained to give you techniques to get through this phase. They can also offer you pain relief methods during labor.  Throughout the labor process they can monitor your overall wellness which includes your physical and psychological aspect. They can also be hands on during the birthing process.

having midwife during pregnancy

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Post Birth

After delivering a wonderful baby in this world, your midwife will still be there for you to assist you on further mother and baby education. They can give you information about breastfeeding should it be your choice for your child. They can also refer you to lactation consultants should you need to.

Post-partum care for the mother and assistance in newborn care concern will also be provided.

midewife in pregnancy

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