November 14th, 2012 by Administrator
You hurry all day, tackling your too-long to-do list. By mid-afternoon, you want to collapse on the couch or get a quick fix of caffeine and carbs. Don’t. We have expert advice on how to get – and sustain – the physical and emotional energy you need.
You’ll be tired and cranky if you’re low on fuel, says Rebecca Scritchfield, MA, RD, a health fitness specialist and registered dietician in Washington, DC. Decide when to eat by attending to your body’s hunger signals, not based on the clock or your moods, she says. Eating when you’re not hungry causes weight gain, and extra weight weighs you down. Manage energy levels by eating a balanced plate of high-quality foods at each meal. Make it simple: Aim for one third fruits and vegetables, one third starchy carbohydrates (like beans, brown rice, or pasta) and one third lean protein.
Don’t cut out fats and sugars, Scritchfield says, they’re important. Sugars give you energy and fats keep you fuller, longer. When you combine them, the fats slow the release of sugar into your bloodstream, so you don’t get a sugar rush and a subsequent drop in energy. The key is to choose the right sugars and fats, says Scritchfield. Fruit, whole grains, and dairy products are smart sugar sources for your diet. Eat omega-3 fats, too. Found in salmon and walnuts, omega-3 fats help repair damaged cells and protect against inflammation. Unsaturated fats in olive oil and avocados also protect your heart. Bottom line: If you want energy, focus on nutrition not restriction.
When you’re tired, exercise may feel like drudgery. “It’s counterintuitive,” says Kara Thom, an endurance athlete and co-author of Hot (Sweaty) Mamas: Five Secrets to Life as a Fit Mom. “Exercise helps frazzled moms save their sanity. It is both calming and energizing.” If you’re tired, get moving. You don’t have to run a 5K; commit to a 10-minute walk. When you put on your workout clothes and start walking, you’ll get some quiet time and a change of scenery. Bonus: You’ll feel so good that you’ll likely walk further than you planned.
Take the kids along for a ride or a run. “Me time” gets lost when you’re a mom, Thom says. If you feel like you have to hire a sitter to get a good workout, you’re wrong. “Once I opened myself up to exercising with my kids, being a mom didn’t restrict my workouts,” says Thom, “it gave me new options.” She rides her stationary bike in the driveway while her kids cycle around the cul-de-sac. In the winter, she pulls them on a sled while she snowshoes. The opportunities are endless if you think creatively. Commit to fitness. Soon the kids won’t be able to keep up with you.
As moms, we don’t just want energy, we want to feel focused. When you jump from task to task, productivity plummets, according to Dave Crenshaw, author of The Myth of Multitasking: How “Doing It All” Gets Nothing Done. What we call multitasking is really switching back and forth between two (or more) tasks that require our attention, notes Crenshaw. The costs of switchtasking are high. Constant stops and starts drain your mental and emotional energy and decrease your efficiency. When you’re unproductive, you feel frustrated. To preserve your positive outlook, do one thing at a time. Schedule time for each task and use a timer to stay focused. Turn off your cell phone or close your email to avoid distraction.
It is a myth that women are better at multitasking, Crenshaw says, juggling work and family is especially challenging. When you don’t give people your full attention, they notice. Be present, Crenshaw advises. Make sure you meet kids’ needs before moving on to other tasks. Giving minimal attention to people you love leaves everyone – including you – dissatisfied.
If you want to bounce out of bed in the morning, get 7 to 9 hours of sleep. Keep a consistent bedtime. Don’t work or clean house until you crash, says Janet Kinosian, author of The Well-Rested Woman, your body and your brain need time to unwind. Take advantage of your body’s natural circadian rhythm. A drop in body temperature signals it’s time to sleep. Mimic this natural occurrence by taking a warm bath or shower 90 minutes before bed, Kinosian suggests.
Bedtime routines are good for grownups, too. Enjoy a cup of herbal tea or warm milk. Snuggle with your partner or read a good book. These rituals help you switch gears before sleep. Even if you’re exhausted, you may have difficulty falling or staying asleep. Clock watching reminds you how little time you have left for sleep and how tired you’ll feel tomorrow, says Kinosian. Turn your clock away to keep from obsessing over the time.
If your energy fizzles, be kind to yourself. Even high-energy moms have low-energy moments. Rest and regroup so you’re ready for the next life-challenge.
November 14th, 2012 by Administrator
The happiness and love that your first baby brought into your life is beyond measure, and now you’re thrilled to learn you are expecting another child. Although you’ve been through pregnancy and childbirth before, you now have added responsibilities and considerations in order to prepare for your second child.
Preparing for a second child can be as rewarding and special as the first time. Helping your older child understand what to expect can lessen anxiety for both of you, and being aware of the changes to come is the best way to prepare for this joyous event.
What Will Change?
Having a second child and handling two kids can be a bit overwhelming at first. Getting organized before the baby is born is your best bet, even though that might be a bit more challenging than it was the first time around.
Because your time will be restricted, you’ll be busier — your once organized schedule may be stretched to the limit. Sleeping and meal schedules will fluctuate and will depend on the age of your older child.
You also might tire more easily, even before the baby is born, since caring for your older child while pregnant takes a lot of energy. After the birth, the first 6 to 8 weeks can be particularly demanding, because your main job will be trying to get your infant on a feeding and sleeping schedule, while anticipating your older child’s needs and changing emotions.
One positive change that a second child brings is an increased confidence in your own abilities, knowledge, and experience. The things that seemed so difficult with your first child — breastfeeding, changing diapers, handling illness — will seem like second nature to you instead of a full-blown crisis.
How Will It Affect You?
Bringing home a new baby will affect you in many ways — some physically and others emotionally. Increased exhaustion and mild anxiety is a normal occurrence after having a child.
The “baby blues” can be frightening, but you don’t have to endure feelings of depression alone. Talk to your doctor about your symptoms. It’s important to differentiate between a simple case of the “baby blues,” which usually passes within a few weeks, and postpartum depression, a serious disorder that can lead to mood and sleep problems if untreated. If you begin to feel very depressed or anxious, or have thoughts about harming yourself or your baby, seek the help of your doctor immediately.
Physically, you are likely to be sore and very tired, particularly if you had a difficult birth or cesarean delivery. This makes late-night feeding sessions tough, especially if you have decided to breastfeed.
Seeking the help of a postpartum “doula” during the day can allow you to catch up on sorely needed rest and sleep. A postpartum doula is a specially trained woman who cares for mother and baby during the first couple of weeks after delivery.
If you work outside the home, you may be unsure about the future of your career. Making a decision about whether to return to your job is an important one; enlist the support of your family and friends when weighing all of your options.
Don’t be surprised if you feel concerned about bonding with your new child. It may be difficult to understand that you will have just as much love for your new arrival as you do for your older child — but you will. As moms and dads often report, a parent’s love somehow doubles when another child is born.
You will notice that you have little or no time for yourself during the first few months following delivery. Sleepless nights and everyday tensions can be overwhelming, so be sure to make “alone time” a priority for you.
Likewise, you and your partner will notice that you’re rarely spending time together, so be sure to have an occasional date once things settle down.
Helping Your First Child Adjust
Your first child may experience a range of emotions, from excitement to jealousy or even resentment. Younger toddlers are unable to verbalize their feelings, and their behaviors may regress after the new child is born. They might suck their thumb, drink from a bottle, forget their recent potty training skills, and communicate using baby talk in an effort to get your attention.
Older toddlers and kids might express their feelings by testing your patience, misbehaving, throwing tantrums, or refusing to eat. These problems are usually short-lived, and a little preparation can help an older child adjust to the idea of welcoming a new sibling.
Emphasize the important role an older sibling plays. Some tips to try:
Let your older child help pick out items for the new baby’s room. If your kids will be sharing a bedroom, this is particularly important.
Find a special gift that your older child might like to share with the baby, such as a favorite book or toy, or a photo of the sibling for the baby’s room. You might also want to pick out something for your older child too, such as a special chair for him or her sit in while you’re feeding the baby.
Arrange special time just for you and your older child. This might involve a trip to the library, grocery store, or simply reading a few extra stories at bedtime. Your partner can help you by caring for the baby during these times.
Role-play or read stories that will help your child understand what’s happening in the family. There are several books written especially for toddlers that can help. Check a local bookstore or ask your librarian for specific titles.
Talk about what to expect when the baby comes home. Explain that a new baby cries, sleeps, and needs diaper changes frequently. Assure your older child that although the new baby needs lots of attention, there will still be plenty of time and love for him or her.
Reinforce your older child’s role in the family, saying that he or she will be the “big brother/sister” to the new baby, and let your child revel in this new role.
Maybe your child could come to one of your prenatal visits or watch an ultrasound. If you’re giving birth in a hospital setting, ask about sibling visitation after the baby is born.
The arrival of a new baby brings big changes to older kids, so you might want to hold off on introducing other major changes. This is probably not the best time to start toilet teaching, to begin the transition from bottle to cup, or to enroll your child in a program that means separation from you for the first time. Consistency will help make your child’s adjustment easier.
Siblings play a very special role in a new baby’s life, so don’t leave your older child out of the decision-making. So much attention (new furniture, clothes, toys) is lavished on a new baby, making it easy for older kids to feel overlooked. Reassure yours by encouraging participation in the preparations.
Tips to Help You Cope
To help manage the added responsibilities of a second child, try these tips before the big day comes:
Stock the house with dry foods or quick, easy dinners. If you feel up to cooking, make double portions and freeze them, because finding energy will be harder once the baby is born. Keep some menus of take-out food restaurants handy, including a few that deliver.
Reorganize your laundry room, using one hamper per family member or a basket for each child so it’s easier to sort and fold clothing. Laundry is usually the biggest complaint of new parents — it seems to quadruple when another child arrives, so now is the time to prepare.
If possible, use items you already have (or that family members can share) rather than feeling obligated to buy all new things. Hand-me-downs such as cribs, bassinets, strollers, high chairs (as long as they meet current safety standards), and clothes can help save time and money.
Treat yourself to a few new DVDs, but don’t watch them until the baby is born. They’ll help get you through those late-night feedings.
Stock the car with a diaper bag filled with all the necessary extras so you’ll always be prepared. Many moms keep a toy bag in the car for older kids and a diaper bag with diapers, wipes, and an extra blanket for the baby.
Keep a book or toy bin handy in your bedroom, family room, and even the bathroom or laundry room, to keep kids busy for a few precious moments if an unexpected problem crops up.
Ask a family member to spend time with you right after the baby’s birth, if you feel comfortable doing so. Not only will he or she enjoy it, but you may be able to get some much-needed rest.
Use babysitting services or a housekeeper, if possible, who can come in once a week for a month or two to help you with chores that are too strenuous and exhausting.
Look to your community or place of worship for support. Countless programs and classes are available that offer activities and social support for families with young kids.
Don’t forget to take care of your own needs. Pamper yourself, even if it’s something as simple as a haircut or a bath with candles and music to help you relax after a trying day.
Once everyone gets used to the reality of another child, you can all enjoy the many positive aspects of a larger family.
© 1995- 2012 . The Nemours Foundation/KidsHealth®. Reprinted with permission.
November 14th, 2012 by Administrator
Choosing to breast feed or bottle feed (or to use a combination of both) is a personal decision which every mom and soon-to-be mom must face. There are numerous advantages and disadvantages to both. The method of feeding chosen should be one that incorporates personal views, health, emotional and physical well-being, and promotes a happy and healthy home for parents, infants, and siblings.
The Advantages of Breastfeeding
Breastmilk is the most ideal food for your baby and is cost-effective, readily available, and easy to digest. The composition of human breastmilk is unique to each individual and provides your growing baby with all the nutritional components needed during growth and development. Unlike formula, breastmilk provides your baby with immunoglobulins which help protect your baby against illnesses and potential allergies. Research suggests that breastfed infants are at lower risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), elevated blood pressure and cholesterol, obesity, diabetes, and cancer1 than their formula fed counterparts.
Breastfeeding is not only beneficial to your baby, but to you as well. Breastfeeding releases hormones which help the uterus shrink back to its pre-pregnancy state, provide protection against pregnancy, and enhance the mother-infant bonding experience. Most breastfeeding moms find that they lose weight easier and faster than non-breastfeeding moms. Research also indicates that breastfeeding can help decrease the risk of breast and ovarian cancer, diabetes, and postpartum depression1.
The Disadvantages of Breastfeeding
Initially, breastfeeding can be awkward, uncomfortable, and painful for some moms. With practice and
support, these feelings usually subside quickly and breastfeeding becomes second nature. Breastfeeding moms may feel overwhelmed and over-tired in the first couple of weeks. Once good breastfeeding has been established, other family members can help mom by feeding the baby expressed (pumped) breastmilk. Issues that may arise and cause a breastfeeding mom discomfort include mastitis (infection of the breast), sore nipples, cracked nipples, and engorgement. Proper latch and good breast care can avoid most of these issues.
Breastfeeding moms need to pay close attention to their diet. Nursing moms require an additional 500 calories per day, plenty of fluids, and lots of rest to ensure adequate breastmilk production. Nursing mothers of multiples require an additional 500 calories per day per child. Caffeine and alcohol should be limited since both of these can pass into the breastmilk. Nursing moms should also avoid fish high in mercury since high levels can be harmful to a baby’s developing brain.
Educate yourself on breastfeeding, analyze your (and your partner’s) personal beliefs, and discuss the issue with your healthcare provider to assist you in making the best decision for you, your baby, and your family.
July 12th, 2012 by Administrator
Get in SHAPE after birth while you train for the sport of new motherhood
Pregnancy, birth and motherhood bring many changes to how mothers breathe, move and event to their posture. Daily tasks such as carrying your newborn, diaper bag and car seat demand a new level of coordination, strength and endurance in certain muscle groups we may not be accustomed to. Post-natal exercises that pay attention to motherhood’s new physical demands and target key muscles that weakened during pregnancy offer the highest level of benefit for both mother and baby.
The following two exercises ensure a healthy start for the unique demands that motherhood brings:
-Diaphragm Muscle Training with Maximal Inhalation And Exhalation:
Lay down in a comfortable and supportive position where you may relax all muscles and align your spine in neutral. Place your right hand on your abdomen and your left hand on your chest. Inhale through the nose. Notice how your abdomen and rib cage expand on the inhalation. Exhale while simultaneously allowing your abdominal corset or waist muscles to shrink. Activate these muscles by creating a hollow inwards towards your spine.
-Sustained & Fun Aerobic Activity with focus on arm strengthening + endurance:
Engage in an aerobic activity of moderate intensity level for a least 30 minutes five times per week to jump start your fitness as recommended by the current Physical Activities Guidelines for Americans. Jeff Dolgan, Clinical Exercise Physiologist at Canyon Ranch Miami Beach, recommends interval training with three minutes of sustained exertion at a 8/10 (hard work) level followed by a one minute rest level where the exertion level is a 4/10 (easy work). Suggested sustained whole body activities are fast-paced walking with baby in carrier, dance, flow yoga, Tai Chi, Nurturing Moves, swimming, cycling and karate. Include time to carry your baby while teaching them about Up and Down to mix play time with exercise. An activity that brings you joy ensures maximal benefit and exercise compliance.
Take time daily to feel grateful for Being mom and “center” your whole self with the aforementioned exercises so you may feel more energized, peaceful and motivated to give your best to yourself and baby for a lifetime of benefits.
Children growing up today benefit from daily structured movement and creative play time for optimal health and well-being. Exercise that involves movement of the whole body, diaphragmatic breathing and a focus on the enhancement of flexibility, strength and endurance are most beneficial. Exercise perceived as being playful and fun guarantees maximum motivation. Benefits of exercise are a leaner body, increased energy levels, improved mood, quality of sleep, attention span, focus, concentration and decreased risk of the development of Type 2 Diabetes. Even our ability to fight a cold is enhanced if we exercise on a regular basis.
…………………………..exercise tips for kids
Exercise for kids must be fun for them to learn and grow at their best. Take time every day to nurture your health with playful exercise so you may reach your maximum potential.
Pick physical activities that are fun for you and your family. What are your favorite sports, hobbies or physical activities? Prioritize at least 30 minutes of fun movement time per day.
Choose exercise that moves the whole body. Karate, yoga, gymnastics, swimming, climbing, obstacle courses, dodge ball, running and dancing move every muscle in your body.
Add more movement time into your daily activities. Add an after dinner walk or g to the park right after school before you do your homework. Take the stairs instead of the elevator whenever possible. Walk backwards or walk on all fours to try a different perspective on an everyday activity, keep your mind creative.
July 12th, 2012 by Administrator
The umbilical cord is the baby’s source of oxygen and nutrition when in utero. The blood that passes through the umbilical cords contains many wonderfully precious cells, like ‘master’ stem cells, red blood
-Some providers believe there is little or no benefit to leaving the cord intact regardless of the numerous studies that have proven against this assumption.
- Some providers are in a rush to get the birth completed so they may clamp and cut the cord to make things progress quicker.
- Some providers are not educated enough about the benefits of delayed cord clamping to override the “time” issue.
Cord blood can be overwhelmingly beneficial to baby. There are numerous companies who are now collecting and storing babies cord blood (stem cells) in the event that the child needs the cord blood in his or her lifetime. Why would we cut off our babies supply to all of their vital nutrients, stem cells and oxygen by cutting the cord prematurely? Doing this deprives our babies of these super cells immediately after birth when they need it the most.
It has been proven that the baby whose cord is left intact for greater than 2 minutes after the birth will receive 32% more blood volume than the baby whose cord was cut before the 2 minutes. This increases fetal hemoglobin, blood volume and iron stores which their body will benefit from for years to come. There is no evidence to prove that delayed cord clamping is dangerous to the baby in any way. More benefits of delayed cord clamping include: Lower risk of anemia, fewer transfusions and fewer incidences of intraventricular hemorrhage. A two-minute delay in cord clamping increased the child’s iron reserve by 27-47 mg of iron, which is equivalent to 1-2 months of an infant’s iron requirements.
You may be told that delayed clamping causes jaundice in babies by your provider or hospital. This is not true. Babies are no more likely to become jaundiced by delaying cord clamping and there is no relation to jaundice and the time of the cord being clamped. In the studies, the bilirubin levels were within normal range no matter when the cord was clamped. You may also hear of concerns over the increase in blood volume and red blood cell volumes, overloading the heart and causing respiratory
Studies have suggested that delayed cord clamping greater than 2 minutes after birth should be implemented as standard of practice in every birth setting. Some parents may chose to leave the cord alone until it stop pulsating which means the baby is no longer receiving blood in ample amounts. This can take anywhere from 5 minutes to 25 minutes, in either scenario the baby is receiving the super blood.
If after reading this article you have decided to leave your baby’s umbilical cord intact for 2 minutes or more after birth make sure you make all involved parties aware of this ahead of time. Because this is not standard of practice you will want to make sure you discuss this before hand and make sure everyone is on the same page. Immediately after the birth you will be overwhelmed with many other things and the umbilical cord will be the last thing on your mind.
July 12th, 2012 by Administrator
Having to make the decision to circumcise your brand new son can be a difficult choice for some parents to make. For others, the decision is not so difficult due to cultural and/or religious beliefs.
What is circumcision? Circumcision is the surgical removal of foreskin, which is the fold of skin covering the penis that boys are born with. Once this foreskin is removed, the tip of the penis (also known as the glans) is exposed.
Most circumcisions are performed before discharge from the hospital. Jewish circumcisions, also known as a bris, are performed on the eighth day of life.The average healing time is 7-10 days. Circumcisions performed after the first month of life usually require general anesthesia (putting the child to sleep) and take longer to heal.
There are several documented benefits of circumcision, however, these benefits are not sufficient enough for theAmericanAcademy of Pediatrics to recommend routine circumcisions. These potential benefits include:
Circumcision is a surgery and although the risks are minimal, it is important to review them and discuss your concerns with your physician. These risks include:
Circumcision has been (and probably always will be) a controversial topic. If you are on the fence about circumcision, be sure to evaluate both the risk and the benefits and discuss these issues with your doctor. Being informed of these key issues can help you to make the best decision for your son.
For more info go to: www.babies411.com
July 11th, 2012 by Administrator
Look carefully at the high chairs you’re considering to make sure that the one you choose will suit your needs.
Whichever your choice, there are many high chairs that are suitable for children from 6 months to 3 years and easy to adjust to your growing child.
July 11th, 2012 by Administrator
Add Romance to any room…..
When revamping your bedroom and interior design, there are certain elements that are very important. You don’t have to spend a lot of money either; vintage furniture can look even better than new chairs and dressers, and subtle accents and details can do a lot for the overall image of a room.
When it comes to furniture and choosing furniture for your master bedroom, it is all about preference and your style. Remember, you don’t have to have a matching set! Furnish your master bedroom for comfort and style. Look for furniture pieces that offer flexibility and function. Add a mirror somewhere. It doesn’t have to be attached to the ceiling, but a clverly positioned mirror, or even a mirrored piece of furniture, can really spice things up.
Get rid of all the junk that accumulates in your bedroom. Don’t use it as a dumping ground for kids’ art projects, laundry, newspapers and magazines. No one feels sexy going to bed in a warehouse. Clear off the surfaces of chests and tables and only replace what is meaningful or pretty.
The master bedroom is the first thing we see in the morning, and the last thing we see when we close our eyes at night. It is a place where we take a deep breath and relax.
July 11th, 2012 by Administrator
-Considering the pros and cons when deciding on whether to use a pacifier or not-
Infant babies are soothed by the natural act of sucking, this is why most babies are soothed by pacifiers or thumb-sucking during their first weeks of life. If your baby has trouble settling down, a pacifier may help them fall asleep. The American Academy of Pediatrics even advocates its use with newborns because it may decrease the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. However, if you decide to use a pacifier, talk to your pediatrician in order to find the right pacifier for your baby.
My toddler loves it, now what?
Toddlers seem to do best giving up their pacifier sometime between the ages of 2 and . Like with any habit, getting rid of the pacifier cold turkey would be distressing to any child. Parents will have more success helping their kids give up their pacifiers by plotting out a process that decreases the urge to use one.
It is easier to adapt a baby to stop using the pacifier than it is to adapt a toddler. If your child is reaching 3 years of age and still uses one, then start taking steps to wean him off the habit. Encourage him to leave the pacifier on the bed when he gets up and reward him with cheering and clapping. Never be overly forceful as this will counteract any process and make the toddler want the pacifier more often.
July 11th, 2012 by Administrator
Some children may have more temper tantrums than other children
Things that might make a tantrum more likely are:
A parent’s behavior also matters. A child may be more likely to have temper tantrums if parents react too strongly to poor behavior or give in to the child’s demands.
Tantrums are common during the second year of life, a time when children are acquiring language. Toddlers generally understand more than they can express. Imagine not bein able to communicate your needs to someone-a frustrating experience that may precipitate a tantrum. As language skills improve, tantrums tend to decrease.
The most important thing to keep in mind when you’re faced with a child in the throes of a tantrum, no matter what the cause, is simple and crucial: Keep Cool.
Don’t complicate the problem with your own frustration. Kids can sense when parents are becoming frustrated. This can just make their frustration worse, and you may have an escalated tantrum on your hands. Instead, take deep breaths and try to think clearly.
TIPS FOR HANDLING TANTRUMS
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