Here are 51 Ways to Save Money on Having a Baby

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Having children can be expensive. A recent study found that the average American will spend over $245,000 to raise a child from infancy to adult…and that’s not including the cost of psychotherapy bills when they mess them up.  That is a high enough price tag to deter some from starting a family altogether.  But it can be done if one does research, skip on the extra stuff and move wisely. A little while ago, TheBump.com compiled a list of 51 different things couples can do to save money before and after having their baby. We shared some on the blog with a link to check out the rest. Here it is again because the list if awesome and worth re-sharing!

1. Buy secondhand gear and clothes. – Consignment shops are often full of great maternity and baby clothes as well as gear and furniture.


2. Borrow a bassinet (or skip it altogether). – Most bassinets can only be used until baby starts rolling over, so try to find one that you can borrow for those few weeks.

3. Hold off.- If you aren’t sure which products will work best for baby (especially with bottles, pacifiers, even diapers), buy the minimum to start with, then stock up once you know baby’s preferences.

4. Limit the tests. -Not pregnant yet? Buy three (and no more than three) pregnancy tests to keep on hand. If you have a larger supply, you’re likely to wind up with a trash can full of them. (Believe us. We’ve been there.)

5. Go easy on the starter diapers. – Start with only one pack of newborn diapers. Baby may not even fit into them at the start, and he’ll grow fast.

6. Breastfeed as long as possible. -The cost of formula adds up. (And breast milk is great for baby!)

7. Pump.– Again, formula can get expensive.

8. Formula feeding? Ask for samples.– Be sure to head home from the hospital with samples (some now only give them upon request), and ask for samples at each visit to the pediatrician. Don’t be shy — it never hurts to ask.

9. Buy a convertible crib. – A crib that converts into a toddler bed will definitely save you some cash over the years.

10. Do your homework! – Research is essential to make sure you know which products give you the most bang for your buck.

11. Get mom (or aunt, or MIL…) to babysit. – Family can quickly turn into your most valuable childcare resource.

12. Buy in bulk. -You know you’ll need lots of some things (like diapers and formula). If you have the storage space, stock up to save cash.

13. Make your own baby food. – When baby starts to eat solids, toss cooked veggies into the blender with a bit of liquid, and save the meals in ice trays — the money you’ll save makes it worth the extra effort.

14. Forget the comforter. – Since baby won’t actually USE it, it isn’t really necessary.

15. Get crafty. – DIY projects take time, but they save cash (and add fun personal touches).

16. Forget the fancy toys. Baby will be content with smaller price tags (or spoons, pans, and cardboard boxes, for that matter).

17. Go without a changing table. – Instead, top the dresser with a changing pad and add a few wall shelves for storage.

18. Cook. – Eating out, ordering in, and frozen meals can eat up a lot of cash.
Read the rest at The Bump.com

The 7 Superfoods That Every Pregnant Should Eat

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When you are expecting, you get tons of advice from everyone, including doctors, books, friends and well-meaning strangers. At times, it will appear that everyone will have something to say about what you put in your mouth and may give you unsolicited advice on what you should be eating.

Here is one more piece of advice about what you should be eating. Definitely eat 5 to 6 small meals per day to stay satiated and keep your energy level up. And when possible, try to pack in as many “superfoods” as you can because these foods provide a boost of extra nutrients, vitamins and minerals that you and your baby need at this time.


The folks at Superfoodsliving.com put together an informative Infographic that breaks down simply and visually, the 7 superfoods that you should try to eat when you’re pregnant. Check it out:

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Here’s How to Boost Your Baby’s Brain with A Healthy Prenatal Lifestyle

Pregnant woman exercising at home

Pregnant woman exercising at home

Prenatal care is incredibly important to establish, when you are expecting– certain measures can either harm or help the development of your baby. Studies have shown that prenatal exercise is healthy for both you and the baby, as it boosts the fetal brain development. There are certain exercises and diets you should implement into your lifestyle, while pregnant, so you can enhance your child’s cognitive potential. Here is some information about fetal brain development and tips on how you can establish a healthy lifestyle that’s beneficial for your baby:

Brain Development Process

Fetal brain development is incremental over the nine months of pregnancy. Synapses activity begins and nerve cells form within the first trimester — healthy development of the brain could be impeded if the mother is exposed to chemicals like alcohol, tobacco, mercury, dioxin, pesticides and lead. Sensory organs and nerve development occurs in the second trimester, which requires a high intake of healthy fats from natural sources. Basic cognitive development comes into play in the third trimester.

Exercise

Exercise seems difficult when you’re carrying the extra weight, feel achy and are constantly tired. However, safe physical activity will help you gain more energy, improve your mood, reduce muscle pain and strengthen all parts of your body. The change in blood flow, stimulated by exercise, will have a positive effect on your child’s growth. The best exercises for expectant mothers are yoga and swimming, as they are low impact but still target important muscles and will increase the heart rate. For more information about exercise guidelines for pregnant and postpartum women, visit 24 Hour Fitness’ exercise guidelines on their website. About 30 minutes of moderate exercise is recommended for most pregnant women. But, make sure you have a conversation with your doctor before you implement any new exercise routines.

What To Eat


Nutrients are very important for a healthy pregnancy — you should have ample sources of vitamins and minerals that will support the growth of your baby. Choose natural food sources, like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and non-hormonal, grass-fed meat. Make sure you include into your daily diet 27 milligrams of iron rich food, .4 mg of folic acid, 1200 mg of calcium rich food, 70 mg of Vitamin C, 250 micrograms of iodine and a healthy dose of Vitamin A. Foods that will provide you with these super-nutrients include avocados, citrus fruits, broccoli, figs, tomatoes, kiwis, beans, grapes, yams and carrots. You should also drink at least 12 glasses of water each day, as it is a major carrier between the nutrients you eat and the baby. Water also sustains the amniotic sack.

What Not To Eat

Stay away from processed foods, as many pre-packaged foods will contain difficult to interpret ingredients. You may accidentally ingest chemicals that are harmful for the baby through processed foods. Also make sure you steer clear of foods are likely to be contaminated, like tuna that could have been exposed to mercury and produce that has been treated with pesticides. It is best that you shop organic, so you know that your foods haven’t been chemically treated — make sure everything you purchase has a USDA Organic certification label, as many producers will label their items as organic, when they’re not.

Pregnant American Women Are Smoking Weed to Cure Morning Sickness

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U.S. women are increasingly using marijuana during pregnancy, sometimes to treat morning sickness, new reports suggest. Though the actual numbers are small, the trend raises concerns because of evidence linking the drug with low birth weights and other problems.

In 2014, almost 4 percent of pregnant women said they’d recently used marijuana, up from 2.4 percent in 2002, according to an analysis of annual drug use surveys.

Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, said the results raise concerns and urged doctors and other health care providers to avoid recommending the drug for pregnant women. Volkow commented in an editorial published online Monday with the study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

A separate study in the same journal found that almost 10 percent of adult marijuana users in the United States — 3 million people — have used it at least partly for medical reasons; 20 percent of these users live in states where medical marijuana isn’t legal.

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After Baby, this App helps Extended Families Schedule Casserole Delivery

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A relatively new desktop app is on the market for brand new moms who may need support from family and friends after having her baby. One of our blogger reviewers and blog friends just had her baby and she had a very difficult delivery.

A lot of people have generously offered to make her family meals while she spends an extended time in recovery. But, as you can imagine, that is a set up for more food than one can eat and a lot of spoilage and thrown out casseroles.


Enter Meal Train. Family, friends and colleagues can organize and schedule meals for a new mom, or anyone who is dealing with surgery recovery or an illness. It’s relatively simple to set up an account and sign up.

The company estimates that 2 million people from 40 different countries use the service each month. Plans start at free. There is a $10 plan for those that want to make arrangements for more than meals: childcare, housework, visitors, meals, lawncare, rides. Finally, there is an option for those organizing potlucks as well that is free!

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Here is a NBC Nightly News report about the service:

Moms-to-be, Zika-Repellent Clothing is Now Available (REVIEW)

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Texas is the second state in America to experience a Zika-infection based on a home-grown mosquito. Florida was the first though Miami has  recently been cleared of all Zika-carrying mosquitos.

Now although mosquito season has sunsetted for now, the scary outcome of local virus-carrying insects could mean that the rest of the US is susceptible for its mosquitoes to start carrying the dangerous virus which causes deformity in babies being incubated if their mom is bitten and become infected.


While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continue to study the epidemic, and issue warnings and advice based on its findings, everyday folks must remain vigilante and be sure to wear mosquito repellent. This precaution is especially necessary for pregnant women, including those that live in warmer climates where mosquitoes exist or are flying around.

In addition to repellent, some clothing manufacturers are beginning to produce clothes that have an added repellent effect. For example, Nobitech is a Los Angeles, California-based athletic apparel company that sells garments treated with Skintex MR III, which is the only apparel treatment approved by the Environment Protection Agency to repel mosquitoes using microencapsulated technology.

Some of the garments in apparel 2016 Rio Summer Games athletes wore had Skintex technology which repels ants, flies, chiggers and midges, and is touted as a supplement to repel mosquitoes that may carry the West Nile Virus, Zika and Lyme disease-carrying ticks.

As an avid runner, serial charity race participant and outdoor trainer and exerciser, I was quite excited to receive a complimentary  long sleeve pull over top with a zipper (retails: $32.85) and running pants (retails: $55.75) to review. They both are made 100% of  microfiber polyester pk maX and fit ultra comfortably while  looking quite stylish. You wouldn’t even know they had a dual purpose because they resemble any other athletic clothing on the market, complete with the inherent moisture wicking quality.

For running and biking in the late evenings, there is reflective tape in the front and back. I also think I looked super cute in it and had to take a selfie for the Gram. (smile)

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The clothing has a shorter shelf life than some because they are only effective for 25 washes. Afterwards, it loses its repellent effectiveness and that is because the durable carrier used to bind permethrin to the garment dilutes over time. Also, to maintain effectiveness, the clothing should be washed separate form other clothing or washables. After worn out, the makers suggest that the clothing not be re purposed but instead disposed of in the trash so it does not contaminate water, food, or feed for storage or disposal.

But there should be no fear over the treatment because it is that technology that makes it work. Chamber tests have shown a significantly lower number of bites through a shirt containing  microencapsulated permethrin versus one that has non-encapsulated permethrin.

The price point starting at just $19.95 is pretty decent and very competitive given that, when combined with wearing mosquito repellent on the skin, you’re getting extra protection from life-altering viruses when wearing Nobitech clothing.

There are no maternity sizes but they go up to XXL and the material has plenty of stretch to accommodate a growing tummy for those who are expecting and love exercising outdoors or who simply want the extra protection of mosquito repellent clothing when out and about.

It’s a good choice for those who may just want to stay holed up at home while expecting. This clothing should provide some extra level of comfort if anything because it’s just an additional step of precaution. Get yours on their website at Nobitech!

 

Study: Gestational Diabetes Becoming More Common among Expectant Women


Gestational diabetes is a lot more common among pregnant women than years before but the upside is that more is being done to ensure moms-to-be manage it better.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the prevalence may be as high as 9.2 percent of pregnancies, and is higher in women of minority groups, women of Hispanic, African, Asian, Native American, and Pacific Island ancestry.

The good news is that most women with gestational diabetes go on to have a successful pregnancy and to deliver a healthy baby. Remember if ever there is a time to be informed about and follow a healthy diet this is that time. The mother’s health and the baby’s normal development depend on it!


So what is gestational diabetes? According to the NIH – National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, it is a type of diabetes that develops only during pregnancy and usually disappears after delivery. Screening for occurrence for women without known risk is recommended between 24-28 weeks of pregnancy. Where there is clear risk, screening should be at the first prenatal doctor visit.

Focus for mother and baby when gestational diabetes is diagnosed is consistent, carefully management of blood sugars. Uncontrolled blood sugar levels heighten problems during the gestation term for mother and baby. Increased probability of a C-section delivery and even fetal death either before or shortly after birth are extreme complications of gestational diabetes.

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STUDY: Smoking During Pregnancy Linked to Obese Babies

Leanne Rimes Halloween costume as smoking shotgun wedding bride

Leanne Rimes Halloween costume as smoking shotgun wedding bride

At least one in five women continue to smoke during pregnancy according to a Scottish study that links the unhealthy habit with excessive weight gain in children.

The finding has renewed calls for greater efforts to wean mothers off cigarettes once they become pregnant amid concern that rates in Scotland are among the worst in the world.

Scientists at the University of Edinburgh found that of 2,278 mothers, about 419 (18%) smoked while pregnant. The real number is likely to be much higher as the reported figure represents only those who admitted to smoking during pregnancy.


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STUDY: Men too Get Insomnia, Depression During Spouse’s Pregnancy

During pregnancy, women and their male partners sometimes report insomnia or insufficient sleep, which may be tied to depression, according to a new study.

Almost half of women reported that they slept more than usual during pregnancy, but did not have better quality sleep, said senior author Tiina Paunio of Helsinki University Hospital in Finland.

Overall, 12 percent of women and 15 percent of men had either insomnia or too little sleep, researchers found.


“The results are well in line with those obtained from previous studies for pregnant women: symptoms of insomnia and, in particular, frequent nocturnal awakenings were very common, and a majority of the women (over 80 percent) also reported that their sleep quality had worsened during pregnancy,” Paunio said.

The researchers studied a population of 1,667 mothers and 1,498 fathers in Finland who were part of a long-term study. Participants were recruited during pregnancy when almost half were expecting their first child. They provided data before their child’s birth and several more times in the baby’s first 24 months of life.

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13 Brides Breastfeeding In Their Wedding Dresses

mom-breastfeedingLast summer, Canadian mom Christina Torino-Benton became a viral star when a professional  photo of her  breastfeeding her baby in her wedding dress spread widely on the Internet.

Before heading down the aisle to marry the  love of her life Danny Benton in Montreal on June 18, 2016, the couple’s exclusively breastfed 9 month-old daughter, Gemma, served as one of the flower girls.

Torino-Benton told SELF that Gemma had a quick feeding while she was getting ready for the big day.


But because of the noon wedding, Gemma missed her 12 o’clock nap. “Which was a bad choice,” Torino-Benton says.

When the bride got to the Resurrection of Our Lord Church for the ceremony, Gemma seemed fine.

“She went down the aisle with my other daughter Olivia—they were both flower girls,” Torino-Benton says. “My mom took Gemma in her lap and she was OK.”

But then she started fussing 15 minutes into the hour-long Catholic ceremony, Gemma started crying.

“I couldn’t really concentrate and I was just looking back at her, because I don’t let her cry ever, so it was painful,” she said. “I looked at my mom kind of saying, ‘Give her to me’ and she did.”

And then, without hesitation, Torino-Benton started to breastfeed Gemma during the ceremony.

“I look over at Danny, and he just smiled and I fed her,” she said. “It was really discreet. My dress was strapless so I was able to pull it down without anyone really noticing. [Gemma] fell asleep probably within five or 10 minutes, and I passed her back to my father-in law and she slept through the remainder of the ceremony.”

While the motherly moment might have been discreet to the other guests, Torino-Benton’s wedding photographer, Lana Nimmons, caught the touching event on camera.

The Tuesday after the wedding, Torino-Benton posted the photo of her breastfeeding at the altar to a breastfeeding support group onFacebook, captioning the pic, “That moment when you’re getting married and your baby gets hungry.” Now, the photo’s gone viral, with more than 7,000 likes.

“It got way more response than I thought,” Torino-Benton remarked. “It’s really cool. I’m really proud of my photo.”

The feedback from the image was mainly positive.

“If I could breastfeed in a Catholic church during a wedding, maybe other women will feel more comfortable to do the same just about anywhere,” she added. “You should be able to feed your baby no matter where you are, I don’t think anywhere should be considered inappropriate.”

And that image on that page empowered at least 12 other women to share publicly on the page their photoblog themselves breastfeeding in their  wedding dresses.

Image Credit: Lana Nimmons Photography