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Pregnancy

6 Ways to Adapt Your Birth Plan During the Pandemic

Developing a birth plan is important for pregnant women to share their concerns, fears and get information about labor, birth and postpartum procedures. 

Here are 6 ways you can adapt your birth plan during the pandemic:

  1. Choosing Your Hospital

Look into a hospital’s birth protocol. Here are questions to ask before registering with them:

  • Are patients allowed birth partners?
  • Who can visit?
  • What happens if you test positive for COVID-19?
  • What happens if my baby and I get complications?
  • What has changed with regards to hospital operations?
  • Will I be discharged early? If so, what support is in place for follow-ups?
  • What should I pack in my hospital bag?

Inquire if your partner is allowed to stay with you through birth and during the postpartum process and what provisions they have for that.

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Build a Minimialist Feng Shui Nursery with These Tips

woman in nursery holding her baby, sitting on her ottoman with a white crib near by with carpet

I hate clutter.

I am also a minimalist.

My motto is to keep everything in its place.

I’ve followed some Feng Shui techniques in the past, but to keep it simple, I used to just try my hardest to keep the children’s toys in their rooms or their basement playroom.

I keep all books, papers and office materials in my home office; all clothes in closets, hampers or laundry room etc.  And if an item finds its way out of place, I put it back where it belongs, promptly. I am a firm believer that clutter creates disorder and chaos and an settled mind.

Ohdeedoh did a great post years about Feng shuing your baby’s nursery that seemed helpful to me. Essentially, it took all the most sensible, practical advice

and enumerated into a simple checklist I loved!

Check out these awesome tips which I know to non-believers in the ancient Chinese principles and techniques may seem a bit odd or different, but those who have some some basic rudimentary studying of it will get it.

WATER PURIFIER COLLEGE DORM ESSENTIALS PACKING LIST

I recommend starting with Feng Shui: Reference to Go: 50 Ways to Create a Healthy and Harmonious Home and go from there.

Common-sense things you’re probably already doing:

:: Use natural materials whenever possible for bedding, curtains, flooring, rugs, furniture, and toys.

:: Keep drawers and closets organized and pruned of too-small and out-of-season clothing.

:: Have different sources of light in the nursery, some for daytime and others for evening and nighttime.

:: Limit the electrical appliances near the crib. This includes various monitors, air filters, vaporizers, fans, etc.

:: Open windows daily for good ventilation.

:: Influse scents from essential oils like chamomile, rose, vanilla or lavender.

Some more interesting tips you might also want to try:

:: Invest in a mattress made of natural organic materials.

Photo of a natural crib in a room with natural light

:: Choose a soft shade of green, blue, pink, orange or beige for the walls.

:: No reds, yellows, grays, or blacks.

:: Bed sheets should be soothing colors.

:: Bright red is a no-no.

:: Soft blue is recommended.

Hope these tips are helpful.

Peek Inside Mandy Moore’s Nursery {GET THE LOOK}

black and brown Pottery barn nursery
nursery

If I were having a baby, I would definitely decorate his or her room in black and brown as opposed to traditional colors for babies like pastel pink and powder blue.

I love the natural earthtones of the nursery that designer Sarah Sherman Samuel created for actress Mandy Moore who is expecting her first child in coming weeks, a baby boy, with husband and Dawes frontman Taylor Goldsmith.

Samuel shared glimpse of the nursery in her Instagram stories as captured by E!

It included a black and white custom wall mural, natural materials, oak, wood and tan furnishings and decorations and a canopy!

Moore re-posted the story on her own story.

It is absolutely gorgeous!

It inspired me to create a mood board. (like Babylist’s below)

If you are expecting and haven’t yet settled on a theme for your baby’s nursery, I invite you to consider emulating the look of Moore’s.

You can start with a crib. I love the Larkin LARKIN BLACK METAL CRIB by CRATE AND BARREL
Outfit it with a black and white print fitted sheet like Pottery Barn’s COCO ORGANIC CRIB FITTED SHEET

Hang framed artwork featuring a brown animal. I like the fox in this white framed watercolor sketch.
Add seating like AllModern.com’s Mellinger Rocking Chair
Invest in a top quality dresser like Carson Carrington’s Gammelstaden Mid-century 6-drawer Dresser 

Make sure you add throw pillows covered in prints like 18 inch Birth Throw Pillow Shell
Carpet can be an allergen trap so hardwood floors are best for nursery and a nice rug in the color scheme would add flare and insulation. The Alfresco ALF rug is perfect.
Accent it with a brown table lamp like the Poldina PRO Rechargeable LED Table Lamp by Ai Lati Lights

W.H.O. Warns Pregnant Women Can get COVID-19 Vaccines

A pregnant woman being vaccinated in Tel Aviv. Credit…Jack Guez/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The World Health Organization on Friday changed its guidance for pregnant women considering a Covid-19 vaccine, abandoning opposition to immunization for most expectant mothers unless they were at high risk.

The change followed an outcry to the W.H.O.’s previous stance, which stated that the organization did “not recommend the vaccination of pregnant women” with the vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

Several experts had expressed disappointment on Thursday with the W.H.O.’s earlier position. The experts noted that it was inconsistent with guidance on the same issue from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and would confuse pregnant women looking for clear advice.

The vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, while they have not been tested in pregnant women, have not shown any harmful effects in animal studies. And the technology used in the vaccines is generally known to be safe, experts said.

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Pregnant Women Who Nailed Their Halloween Costume

Every year, Buzzfeed does a great round up of pregnant women who knocked it out the park with their Halloweed costume that included their bellies in their get-up.

This year, even though less people are attending Halloween Parties, they are still planning to dress up even if just to share the photo online and in social media.

Here is a few of the winning looks that made the site this year and year’s past. Head over to Buzzfeed to see the rest.

 

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Happy Halloween!! 🥔🥔 @seamusmullen did I nail it? #halloween #mrpotatohead #pregnancyperks

A post shared by Neha Jambhekar (@neha177) on

Get Pregnant This Year With This New Method {Seed Cycling Explained}

TTC pregnant

When you are trying to get pregnant, no matter if you just started or have been trying for months, timing out your cycle and ovulation dates can be difficult and often frustrating.

This is especially true if you are suffering from a hormone imbalance or infertility, as it can make getting pregnant even harder. Fortunately, there are a variety of practices you can get started on to help balance out your hormone levels and boost your fertility. And the best part is they are all-natural, so no prescription is required!

One of the top, all-natural ways to boost your hormones and increase fertility levels is seed cycling. By adding in specific seeds to your diet during each phase of your menstrual cycle, you are helping your body function at it’s very best, improving your chances of not only knowing exactly when you are ovulating, but also improving your chances of getting pregnant.

Below is a break down of what to do during each phase of your cycle.

Follicular phase:

This is the first phase of your cycle, lasting an average of 14 days, beginning the first day of your period and lasting until ovulation begins.

To help your bodies processes during the follicular phase, here are the seeds to consume and other things you can add into your lifestyle:

  • Eat 1 tbsp of ground pumpkin and flax seeds every day of your follicular phase for increase estrogen release and aiding in your bodies production of progesterone, which it needs for the next phase of your cycle.
  • Focus on foods rich in vitamin-E and omega-3 such as red bell pepper, fatty fish and avocado
  • High-energy workouts can help you detox

Luteal Phase:

During the second half of your cycle (average 12-14 days long), your body begins the luteal phase, directly after ovulation. The lining of your uterine wall begins to thicken, for fertilization or eventual shedding. To help your body perform at it’s best during this phase, it’s important to implement some of the following tips into your daily life:

  • 1 tbsp of ground sesame and sunflower seeds each day will help regulate mood swings ad fluctuating hormone levels, as well as aid in your bodies natural detoxification of leftover estrogen.
  • Root vegetables and calming, low-impact exercises will help to calm the body.
  • Avoiding high-sugar and high-carb foods during this phase is key to reducing hormone and mood swings.

The expert team at Snap Kitchen put together a helpful graphic so that you can easily get started seed cycling for improved hormonal health and reduced PMS. Check it out below and let us know how it goes!

 

How to Do Self Accupressure to Induce Labor

accupuncture for pregnant women

accupuncture for pregnant women

Acupressure and labor

Imagine this: You’re standing in your kitchen, ankles swollen to the size of a grapefruit, sharp pains shooting through your back, and you’re staring at the wall calendar in front of you. Your pregnant belly touches the wall gently as you look at your circled due date. You’re officially over the 40-week mark, but it seems your baby wants to stay put.

Due dates are, of course, just estimates. It’s common for most moms-to-be to go into labor one to two weeks before or after their projected due date. Doctors consider it routine.

But an overdue, or post-term, pregnancy can leave exhausted moms-to-be even more stressed out. An overdue expectant mom might try any and all home remedies possible (think pineapples and romance) to coax the baby into the world naturally.

Many post-term pregnant women will turn to alternative medicine to help induce labor if they want to avoid medical induction. And one popular method among moms is acupressure.

What is acupressure?

Acupressure is the lesser-known companion to acupuncture. Acupuncture is the traditional Chinese medicinal practice of sticking thin needles into areas of your body that are believed to control a specific organ or body part. The idea is to relieve pain and prevent illness.

But instead of needles, acupressure requires physical pressure to be applied to points that run along your body’s meridian system — or life-energy path.

Many people who try acupressure — usually through a vigorous massage — do it along with modern medical practices. But it’s not uncommon for acupressure to be used as a standalone treatment.

While both acupressure and acupuncture are considered controversial, a number of studies have shown the ancient medicine’s effectiveness for reducing labor pain and anxiety.

Pregnant women should check with their doctors before trying any acupressure treatments. Women during the first 10 to 12 weeks and final 4 weeks of pregnancy, are more susceptible to acupuncture treatments. Acupressure might increase blood flow to the uterus, influence hormonal responses, and stimulate uterine contractions, so it should only be used with your doctor’s approval.

There are six major acupressure points on the body that are believed to induce labor

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Epidural 101

Photo by Jonathan Borba from Pexels

What is an epidural?

An epidural is a procedure that injects a local anaesthetic in to the space around the spinal nerves in your lower back.

This anaesthetic usually blocks the pain from labour contractions and during the birth very effectively. With an epidural you can usually move and can push your baby out when you need to.

An epidural is usually done by an anaesthetist.

The procedure

Before an epidural, you will usually have a drip for fluids put into your arm.

You can sit up and bend forward over a pillow, or lie on your side curled up into a ball. This makes it easier for the needle to be inserted into the right place. You will be asked to stay still.

Your lower back will be washed with cold antiseptic. A small amount of local anaesthetic will be injected into the skin of your lower back. A needle will be inserted between the bones of your spine into the space around your spinal nerves. Your anaesthetist will insert the epidural needle when your contraction stops, so it is important that you tell them when you have a contraction.

A small soft plastic tube will be inserted and the needle will be removed. That tube delivers the anaesthetic that will numb your pain.

It usually takes between 5 and 30 minutes for your pain to be relieved by the epidural.

You usually only have an epidural during the first stage of labour — but it can be given at any stage of labour.

Advantages and disadvantages of an epidural

Epidurals are available at most hospitals but not in birth centres or for home births.

The advantages of an epidural are:

  • it is usually very effective
  • it is generally very safe
  • you can often still move around and push when you need to
  • if you have a long labour, it allows you to sleep and recover your strength
  • if you’re having a caesarean, you can stay awake and your partner can be there

The disadvantages of an epidural are:

  • for medical reasons, not everyone can have an epidural
  • you might need to have fluids given to you through a tube in your arm, and will need to have your blood pressure monitored
  • you might lose feeling in your bladder and need a catheter (tube) in your bladder to help you pass urine
  • you might lose feeling in your legs for a few hours
  • it might slow down the second stage of labour
  • you might not be able to push and need help to give birth
  • your baby will need to be closely monitored during your labour

Whether you have an epidural or not makes no difference to the chance of you having a caesarean section.

Risks and side effects

An epidural is effective and fairly safe. But there are some risks.

Some women feel cold or itchy.

A small number of women get little or no pain relief.

Some women get weakness in the legs; it wears off after a few hours.

There is an increased risk of needing forceps or a vacuum to help with the birth.

Some women develop a bad headache 24 to 48 hours after an epidural.

There is a small chance of developing a skin infection.

Very rarely a few women get permanent nerve damage.

What to discuss with your doctor or midwife

You can check:

  • if you can have an epidural at your chosen hospital or birth centre
  • what their epidural procedures are
  • the type of pain relief that might suit you best

reprinted

7 Possible Reasons Your Period Is Late

Photo by Polina Zimmerman from Pexels

Some women live with irregular periods, and so do not fret over late periods. For others, however, a missed period could be cause for alarm. If you’re one of those latter women, you may wonder if there are reasons, aside from the obvious, that your period is MIA.

The good news is, there are several possible reasons for a period that pulls a no-show.

1.    Stress

Given the current state of events, it’s understandable that you’re under a lot of stress. Excess stress is one of the most common reasons for a missed period. Cortisol, which is the primary stress hormone, can suppress a number of bodily systems, including the digestive system, the immune system, and yes, the reproductive system. Over time, uncontrolled stress can lead to sudden weight changes, which is another factor that also negatively affects the monthly cycle. If you think stress is the reason behind your late cycle, take up exercise and practice relaxation techniques to see if that helps to get things back on track.

2.     Birth Control

Many birth controls these days are designed to prevent your ovaries from releasing eggs, according to Healthline. Once you quit taking your birth control, it may take up to six months for your cycle to become consistent again. Other types of birth control, such as the IUD or patch, can stop your periods from coming altogether.

3.    Early Peri-Menopause

Though somewhat uncommon, some women begin to develop signs of menopause in their early 40s, as opposed to the standard 45-55 range. If you experience missed periods before you are 45, you could have this condition, which simply means your ovaries are beginning to slowly reduce your egg supply. This may lead to late periods, periods that never come, and, eventually, the end of menstruation entirely.

4.    Weight Gain or Loss

Both excessive weight gain and weight loss can cause hormonal changes. Women who weigh 10% or more below the normal range for their height may experience several missed periods. In fact, a woman’s menstrual cycle may not return to normal until after she obtains a healthy BMI.

On the flip side of the same coin, young women who are overweight can also experience hormonal changes. If your doctor determines your weight is the culprit, he or she may recommend a diet and fitness regime.

5.    Chronic Disease

Chronic conditions such as celiac disease and diabetes can cause a woman to live with irregular menstrual cycles. This is especially the case if the woman doesn’t get her condition under control quickly. Blood sugar levels that either too high or too low can cause hormonal changes that have been known to affect the menstrual cycle. Celiac disease, if left untreated, can damage the small intestine and hinder the body’s ability to absorb key nutrients necessary to menstruation.

6.    Thyroid Issues

A thyroid that is over- or underactive can impair the body’s ability to regulate metabolism. This may lead to changes in hormone production, which would account for a missed period. By taking certain medications, you can correct the condition and return to a normal cycle.

7.    Pregnancy

If you do not live with chronic stress, are of a healthy weight, do not take birth control, do not currently live with any health conditions, and are sexually active, there may be a very good chance that you are pregnant. If you suspect this is the reason behind your late period, take a test now and then again in another two weeks.

If you are missing one or several periods, the best thing you can do is to visit your primary care physician. Your doctor can run health screenings and possibly a few tests to determine the cause behind your missed period.

Quarantine and Holding It Together: Moms Really Deserve This Mother’s Day!



Happy Mother’s Day!

Today more than any other Mother’s Day, you moms out there deserve this day! In the age of COVID-19, moms have been put to the test and stressed to the max!

I shared an empathetic poster from a parenting group the other day to my personal Facebook Feed which a lot of moms could relate to and it got quite a bit of likes.

When I went to the original post’s comment section, I discovered it littered with commentary by dads and others who were lambasting the post for not including dads and for it not being inclusive of parenthood.

One said that the post perpetrated a stererotype that mothers were more responsible for parenting and that the message was wrong. I was upset. While parenting is indeed not a thing moms alone are responsible for and we, as a society, should not insenuate that moms alone should bear the burden of motherhood, I see nothing wrong with acknowleding the present day facts.

It is a true fact that during this pandemic when a lot of governments around the world, in states, provinces, counties and localities, have issued global “Stay Home” orders, mothers have been given the extra responsiblity of keeping their household together!

And it’s not like they haven’t always bore that burden, often times at the expense of their own self-care and sanity, but they’ve done it without complaint, and often times, without enough gratitude from those who they are dedicating their love, affection, and patience to.

So yes…let moms be recognized for their endearing devotion to being the champion, cheerleader, teacher, chef, entertainer, educator, and more.

I love Today Show’s special tribute to mom from their kids and so I am sharing it here for us all to view and appreciate! Happy Mother’s Day Quarantine Moms! You deserve an extra shower of appreciation today!

Whether you’re expecting, a new mom or a veteran mom, old, young, poor or rich you deserve a day to acknowledge your role as a mother!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Whether you’re an expecting, brand new, or veteran mom, rich, poor, old or young, you deserve acknowledgment today!