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10 Ways to Sneak Whole Foods Into Your Family’s Diet

I struggle everyday to get my three kids to eat better and healthier whole non-processed foods.  It’s not only important for their nutrient needs but also key for they maintaining a healthy weight.

It was great to get these 10 tips Aupair.org asked us to share with you on ways to  incorporate more whole foods into your family’s diet and get on the path to healthier living.

1 Portion out fruits and veggies and keep them in the fridge for snacking. Kids and adults alike will readily grab a snack from the fridge if it’s convenient. The problem is that most of the time the most convenient options are chips and other unhealthy snack foods that come pre-portioned. Keeping pre-portioned baby carrots, apple slices, and other whole foods in individual containers in the fridge make them easier to grab, which makes them much more likely to be eaten. Eliminate the bad snack choices and offer only the healthy choices instead.

2. Add fruit to every meal. Most people like fruit because it’s a sweet snack option, but in a natural and healthy way.  The FDA recommends that half your plate be filled with fruits and veggies.  Fruit can also be mixed into a smoothie or consumed as a 100% juice.  However when you can, choose whole fruits, because the fiber content of whole fruits is very important to a healthy diet according to the American Dietetic Association.

3. Make a salad for lunch. Instead of filling the kids up with white bread sandwiches for lunch try fixing them a salad.  By adding things like dried and fresh fruit, nuts, hard-boiled eggs, and lots of different veggies to the lettuce base it becomes a tasty meal.  By incorporating some of the kids’ favorites they will be more likely to eat the salad.  If you are worried about protein feel free to add in some beans or lean meat.

4. Set aside one night a week to eat vegetarian. Call it Meatless Monday or Tofu Tuesday and make it a fun experience for your family.  Make vegetarian lasagna using thinly sliced eggplant instead of pasta, and top it with plenty of low-fat cheese. Your family will be pleasantly surprised at how much it tastes like their old favorite.  Soups are another easy way to go meatless, as are other pasta or casserole options.

5. Instead of a starch serve two vegetables. An easy way to get more vegetables into your family’s diet is by making two veggies with dinner.  Leave out the pasta or potato that you might normally fix and serve a green salad and asparagus with a proper portion of meat instead.

6. Sweeten food with pureed fruit instead of sugar or syrup. If the kids normally enjoy waffles with syrup for breakfast, change it up so that they are eating whole grain waffles and some pureed strawberries or blueberries in place of the syrup. The natural sweetness from the fruit will make a nice alternative to the regular syrup topping.

7. Eat fruit for dessert. Sliced fresh fruit in a bowl with a little honey drizzled over it will make a light and refreshing end to any meal.  To save money, try to look for fruits that are in season, or choose a good quality frozen fruit or fruit canned in its own juice.  During the summer try grilled fruit for dessert.

8. Serve smoothies to your family for an on-the-go breakfast choice. Start with frozen fruit and you won’t need to add ice to the blender.  If your kids don’t like veggies, you can easily hide them in a smoothie and they will never know, and for some extra protein blend in some Greek yogurt.  These sweet concoctions can be made for four people just as easily as they can be for one, and offer a healthy option that’s perfect for the most important meal of the day.

9. Whole foods aren’t limited to just fruits and veggies. Anything that is consumed as close to how it appears in nature is considered to be a whole food.  For instance, a baked or grilled chicken breast is unprocessed and unrefined, so it is a whole food and a very healthy protein choice, as are eggs and fish.

10. Add beans to everything. Okay, maybe not everything, but kidney beans can be added to sautéed ground turkey to make chili, and black beans can be added to some lettuce with some whole kernel corn, and fresh tomato salsa for a southwest salad. Beans are an easy, healthy way to bulk up nearly any savory meal.

8 Ways to Increase Your Chance of Having Twins

A lot of women secretly wish they are carrying twins when they find out they are expecting. Actually, there are several factors that can increase a woman’s chance of her having twins.

Here are 8:

1.You Use Fertility Drugs or Treatments Advancements in fertility drugs and treatments are probably the two reasons most responsible for the increase in twins, triplets, quads and higher multiple births. Fertility drugs and treatments such as invitro fertilization can bring a Mom’s chances of having twins (or more) as high as 1 in 38. Be careful of your fertility drug if you don’t want to risk having multiples! There is one study that shows using Chlomid may increase your chances of having twins (or more!) to as high as 1 in 5.

You should definitely be having long discussions with your doctor about the real chances of having twins as part of your infertility treatment options. As wonderful as life with twins is, don’t take a friend’s prescription of Chlomid to increase your chances of having twins (this has happened!) Fertility drugs cause other side effects, and should never be taken without the supervision of a medical doctor.

2.You are an Older Mom There are several reasons why older moms (those over 30) see an increase in odds of having twins: Theory on Older Moms Increased Chances of Having Fraternal Twins The chance of having unassisted twins increases once Mom turns 30, and peaks around the time Mom turns 35 – 39. Your chance of having “unassisted” twins increases to 5% if you’re between the ages of 35 – 39. Science is looking at the theory that older women are more likely to conceive twins because of a rise in the production of a follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). The theory is higher FSH levels can cause some ovaries to be over stimulated and release two – or more – eggs in a cycle.

Theory on Older Moms Increased Chances of Having Identical Twins Another theory on why older Moms have higher odds of having twins is that, as Mom becomes older, her eggs become more brittle, and instead of dividing during the initial phases of the baby’s development, they split into two separate babies.

Increased Use of Fertility Drugs Women face decreased fertility over the age of 30. As a result, women in this age range are more prone to use fertility drugs, or other treatments, which increase the chances of having twins. According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, about one-third of women between age 35 and 39 and two-thirds of women over 40 have fertility problems. If you are over 45, your chance of having twins is 17%. Who has the best odds of having twins or more using fertility drugs? If you’re brave enough to try having a baby when you’re over 50, your chance of having multiples is . . . 1 in 9.

3. Twins Run in Your Family “Do twins run in your family” is probably the second most common question asked to parents of multiples, right after “Are they twins????” The answer to the first question is, yes . . . and no.

If you, your mother, or your mother’s mother is a fraternal (dizygotic) twin your chances of having twins increases significantly. The main reason for this is an inherited a gene for “hyperovulation” – you release more than one egg during an ovulation cycle, which increases your ability to conceive fraternal twins.

Some experts also say that there is no correlation between Dad’s genetic background and the birth of twins. Other experts say that Dad may pass a ‘twin gene’ (the hyperovulation gene) from his side of the family to his daughter. Or the gene may be passed on to his son, who passes it on to HIS daughter – and so on.

Many experts also say identical (monozygotic) twins are not hereditary – identical twins are simply random by nature. Studies and research show that none of the ‘factors’ seen in increased twin births (fertility treatments, age, weight, hereditary, etc.) make any statistical difference in the chances of having identical twins. Many families with identical twins, however, beg to differ!

4.Your Track Record If you have given birth to one set of fraternal twins already, your chances of having twins again is about 1 in 12!

Even if you haven’t given birth to twins, the more children you have, the higher the odds of having twins are with your next pregnancy. By your fourth or fifth pregnancy, your likelihood of having twins is four times greater than it was during your first pregnancy.

5.Weight and Height The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recently released a study involving more than 50,000 pregnancies in the US that shows women with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or higher saw an increase in chances of having twins. The study also found that taller women, in the 75 percentile for height, were also more likely to have multiples.

6.You are Nigerian You have increased odds of having twins if you are Nigerian. It is reported that Nigeria has the highest twinning rate in the world, about 1 in 22. A study concluded that the mother’s diet was the cause, being high in cassava, a type of yam or sweet potato. The peelings of this vegetable are thought to contain a chemical that causes hyperovulation.

7.You eat a pre-pregnancy diet rich in dairy and animal protein.A study performed by Gary Steinman, MD of the Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New York, compared the twin birth rate of Vegan Moms (moms who eat no animal products, including milk) to those Moms that consumed dairy and other animal products. It turns out that the milk-drinking moms were five times more likely to have twins over the Vegan moms.

8.Best Way to Guaranty you Have Twins

Although there are some things you can do to increase your chances of having twins, the only sure way to have twins in your family is to adopt. One of my friends has adopted not one but two sets of twins in her full house.

Keep These 3 Things Secret When You’re Expecting

Bellyitch Rewind


Becoming pregnant can be a momentous occasion that new first time parents-to-be want to share with the entire world. However, there are many parents who have experienced miscarriage and pregnancy loss and have heard horror stories about people’s reactions to various aspects of a woman’s pregnancy when shared with well-meaning friends, family and colleagues.

As a result, some moms- and dads-to-be are cautious about sharing pregnancy and baby related news. When a woman is pregnant, she is particularly vulnerable and sensitive and frankly may not care or need to hear the various opinionated comments that will be hurled at her from all angles. One way to avoid comment, criticism and critique over a choice is to not tell anyone certain information.

1. That you are pregnant: Once the baby’s heartbeat can be seen AND heard, usually by the third month of a pregnancy, the likelihood that will be a viable pregnancy and that fetus growing to term increases exponentially. That is why most parents wait until after the third month to announce to friends. Many parents who do not know this rule make the mistake of announcing too soon and in the unfortunate case they miscarry are then left with the burden of having to tell dozens of people over and over again when they ask that they lost the baby. Therefore, the best rule is to not tell anyone, even the grandparents about the early pregnancy stages if you can help it. Yesterday, I was over a friend’s house and her mom inadvertently kept going on and on about her daughter being sick, not being able to eat shrimp or keep food down. Clearly, she was trying to let us know her daughter is pregnant and I’m certain this woman’s daughter does NOT want us to be among the first to know she and her husband are pregnant. France’s president Nicolas Sarkozy’s dad was the first to confirm accidentally that his daughter-in-law was pregnant before the couple wanted all to know.

2. The name of the baby: Often times, people have strong reactions favorable or unfavorable when you tell them the name you’ve selected for your soon-to-be-born child. Some people will try to talk you out of it or go on and on questioning why you chose that name. It can be annoying. To avoid this, simply don’t share the name. No one is entitled to know your name, not even close family members. Simply say we’re keeping the name private for now. Some will continue to prod. Most people, however, will get it and back off.

3. The gender: Well this may only apply if you are a celebrity and wanting to keep the gender a surprise for your spouse, other family or the public. Think Kelly Rowland to Beyonce’s baby gender news this weekend. Some parents who have two or more children of one gender may be better off just telling people it will be a surprise instead of revealing they’re going to be having yet another child of that same gender. Saves them all the pity looks and questions if they’re going to keep trying. At that point, they’re probably busy preparing for the arrival of the baby being gestated at the time.

Photo credit: CEBImagery.com via Visualhunt.com / CC BY-NC

The 4 Exercises to Do to Lose Weight Post-Pregnancy


Like most celebrities who get paid to be fit and trim, many moms are eager to get back into pre-pregnant shape and down to their pre-pregnancy size sometime too soon. It is not advisable to start with aerobics or other heavy exercises immediately. You must wait at least six weeks before starting to exert after pregnancy by vaginal way and eight weeks after pregnancy by Cesarean.

Here are the four best ways to get back into your pre-preggers shape:

1. Walking: This is probably the easiest way to carry out your weight loss early pregnancy plan. It is safe and easy; grab your partner and go for a stroll in the neighborhood. A nice walk in the open will surely make you feel better and uplift your mood. Keep in mind not to overexert yourself.

2. Running: If you are an habitual runner then there’s nothing to worry. Getting pregnant doesn’t mean the you will have to stop running . Just keep in mind not to overdo it; never run to the point of exhaustion. Regular burns extra calories and can help you in your weight loss early pregnancy plan.

3. Yoga: If you want to stay fit and lose weight during and after pregnancy then doing pre-natal yoga is the best thing for you. Yoga has many benefits, it is a great stress buster, helps in easing back and joint pains ( very common in pregnant women), and also helps in childbirth and post delivery stages. Overall regular Yoga can help you to go through your pregnancy with minimal worry.

I like Pilates which did a great job for me.

4. Swimming: Swimming is a very good way to exercise and can help in weight loss early pregnancy. It can significantly lower your weight as swimming exercises the whole body. Join any water aerobics class or pre-natal swimming to stay fit and healthy during your pregnancy.

Safety considerations for exercise during pregnancy

To ensure that our exercise program provides us with all of the wonderful benefits outlined above, we also need to do whatever we can to ensure our safety and that of our baby, so below is a list of safety considerations to be aware of; and remember to always speak to your Doctor or Obstetrician if you are unsure.

  1. Avoid becoming overheated.
  2. Avoid high intensity exercise.
  3. Avoid frequent and prolonged exercise after week 28 of your pregnancy.
  4. Limit the amount of exercise that you do lying on your back.
  5. This is of particular concern from your second trimester on.
  6. Avoid the use of hand weights over0.5kgin weight during aerobic classes.
  7. Perform Pelvic Floor (Kegel) Exercises.
  8. Wear a good supportive bra.
  9. Avoid rapid changes in direction and be very cautious if you are doing Step exercise classes.
  10. Stretch gently.
  11. Have a light snack approximately 2 hours before exercise and carry a small carton of fruit juice to your workout.
  12. If at any time during your exercise session you feel very hot, faint, dizzy, short of breath, experience vaginal bleeding, have palpitations, blurred vision, or severe or continuous headaches – STOP EXERCISING IMMEDIATELY.
  13. It is also important to stop if you experience lower abdominal pain, tightness or cramping, back pain or pubic pain. If you experience any of these symptoms, consult your obstetrician as soon as possible.

The 7 Tips You Need to Read Before Going Back to School After Having a Baby


You don’t have to let the fact that you had a baby before or in the middle of college deter you from returning or starting. Despite all the obstacles and challenges associated with returning to school after a baby, if you put in a plan, you certainly can do it and findAnanny.com wants you to use these beneficial suggestions to get it done.

1. Build a Support System – The most important thing for a student mom to have in place is a strong and reliable support system. Not only will you need help with childcare and managing the needs of your new baby while keeping up with your studies, you’ll also need a shoulder or two you can cry on when things get difficult. Finishing school as a parent will be a challenge, and having a few people in your corner can make all the difference.

2. Create a Routine That Works For Your Family – There is no hard-and-fast rule about how you have to structure your household routine, especially when your little one is still an infant. Find a schedule that works for you and build around it. If online classes are more conducive to learning and completing assignments than a traditional classroom setting, that’s the best solution for you. On the other hand, getting out of the house and interacting with your classmates may help you manage the demands of parenthood more easily. Whatever works for you is the best solution, regardless of how well it would work for someone else

3. Set Realistic Goals -You may have planned to take on a full course load before your pregnancy, but that may not be realistic after the birth of a child. Rather than setting goals that aren’t feasible and being disappointed when they prove to be a bit more than you’re ready to handle, take your time and make a plan that you can actually adhere to. Celebrate each milestone along the way and stay focused on each smaller goal as they approach

4. Work Out a Reasonable Timeline- Finishing school on the standard time table may be out of the cards for you as a new mom, and that’s okay. The goal is to finish, so take the time to figure out when you can realistically complete your studies. You may have to shoulder a lighter burden in terms of classes and finish later than some of your peers, but you’ll still leave with a diploma, which is better than trying to take on too much only to end up burned out and frustrated enough to quit school altogether. You may also have ideas of returning to school days after the birth of your child, however, that may not be possible. Finding the right time to return to school after you recover from delivery and have bonded with your new baby may be a bit more complicated than simply returning as soon as you’re discharged from the hospital.

5. Find a Caregiver You Trust – Your child will have to be cared for while you’re at school since you won’t be able to take her to class with you. To make the transition into school after becoming a new parent, you’ll need to make sure that you’ve found a childcare provider you absolutely trust and have no qualms about leaving her with. If you’re distracted and worried about your child’s safety while you’re in class, your academic performance probably won’t reflect your actual abilities.

6. Prepare for a Bit of Separation Anxiety -Regardless of how excited you are to get back into school after your maternity leave ends, you will feel at least a little bit of separation anxiety until you adjust to the idea of no longer spending the entirety of each day with the fascinating little person you’ve created. If you’re prepared for the stress of leaving your child in someone else’s care and understand that it’s just temporary, it can lessen the sting and help to make that pain a bit more manageable.

7. Don’t Be Scared to Adjust Your Schedule – As a new mom and a student, your schedule may have to be adjusted a few times until you find the one that works for you. Making adjustments is not the same as admitting defeat, so don’t be afraid to finagle things until you find the methods that work best for you and your new family.

Don’t Walk Down that Aisle Before you do These 9 Things as a Couple (TIPS)

marriage couple

Obviously, you want to have many conversations about marriage and children before you even consider it. You have to know where both of you stand in your views toward marriage and children. Your views have to be aligned and compatible in this area for a proposal to make sense. It’s important that you know how he or she views marriage and whether or not he or she wants children one day.

Here are 8 other things Couples Should Do Together BEFORE getting Married:


Check out 9 Things Couples Should Do Together Before Getting Married

by Jamie Rea at Mode


9 Things to Do to Avoid Hair Loss After Pregnancy

Bellyitch Rewind

hair loss graphic

Hair loss is a normal occurrence for a woman after a pregnancy. Telogen effluvium is the medical term for post-pregnancy hair loss, which happens to nearly 50 percent of women after they give birth. A temporary condition, this hair loss should not cause a woman to become bald or experience visibly thin spots. Use these tips to reduce or prevent hair loss after pregnancy.


  1. Avoid hairstyles that pull or stretch your hair. Braids, cornrows, weaves or tight rollers can pull hair and cause stress and trauma to your scalp. Hair that is excessively pulled is more likely to fall out naturally, without the extra issue of telogen effluvium affecting your hair growth cycle.
  2. Maintain a healthy diet that includes fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are not only naturally health, but they also contain flavonoids and antioxidants that protect hair follicles. Additionally, these foods encourage increased hair growth, which can offset any hair lost after pregnancy.
  3. Add vitamins and nutrients to your diet. Vitamin B complex, vitamins E and C, zinc and biotin help increase hair strength and health. Take extra supplements or eat foods rich in these nutrients and vitamins to help retain pre-pregnancy locks.
  4. Select a shampoo with quality ingredients. Shampoos that contain biotin or silica improve hair health and stimulate follicle growth. Use this shampoo regularly and rinse with cold water.
  5. Comb your wet hair with a wide-toothed comb. A wide-toothed comb reduces the amount of pulling and stress you apply to your hair as you attempt to remove tangles after washing it. Excessive pulling of your hair can increase the chances of it falling out.
  6. Reduce the use of heated styling tools. Heated styling tools like curling irons, hot rollers, flat irons and blow dryers dry hair out and may increase hair loss. Allow your hair to air dry and style it naturally. If you must use heated styling tools, use the coolest settings possible or give your hair a cool shot of air afterward with your hair dryer.
  7. Trim split ends. Split ends cause your hair to be less healthy. Unhealthy hair is shed in larger amounts than healthy hair.
  1. Avoid stress. Having a new baby to take care of can create more stress in your life, but try to avoid additional stressful situations or feelings. Stress can cause your hair to fall out or decrease in thickness. Avoid stress to increase your chances of retaining more of your pre-pregnancy hair
  2. Get a shorter haircut. Long hair weighs more and pulls from your scalp with its constant downward pull. Shorter haircuts cause less pressure to your hair follicles, which will decrease chances of increased shedding. A shorter hairstyle may cause your hair to look fuller and healthier, in addition to being easier to take care of than longer styles.

Take it easy and good luck new moms!

The 15 Rules to Adhere to When You Bring your Baby Home from the Hospital

Bellyitch Rewind

new baby rules

When you bring your newborn home there are a lots of things in the environment that can easily get him or her sick. But there are things you can do to minimize the risk of your new baby getting ill.

Here are 15 simple tips you can try to follow compliments of Newborn care:

  1. Be Firm With Friends and Relatives – It’s natural to want to show your newborn off to your nearest and dearest, but they can present a health risk for her. It’s important to keep in mind that not only is it okay to be firm in regard to your child’s health, it’s imperative. Don’t let a cousin with a case of the sniffles handle your new baby or allow loved ones to pick her up before washing their hands.
  2. Insist on Good Hand Washing Habits – One of the most effective ways of protecting your newborn’s health is to insist that everyone who touches her wash their hands thoroughly before doing so. Hands come into contact with so many germ-laden surfaces and objects throughout the day that it’s just not a good idea to skip a thorough scrubbing before cuddling.
  3. Keep the Kisses Away from Baby’s Face – Newborns are so cute and cuddly, they seem to be just begging for affection. No matter how much you want to cover her little face with kisses, it’s smart to keep in mind just how many germs are carried by your saliva.
  4. Don’t Skip the Vaccinations – There’s a battle raging amongst parents about the efficacy of vaccinations versus their perceived risks, but vaccinations do prevent many illnesses. Not only should your infant be immunized according to doctors’ recommendations, but so should older siblings and adults that will be caring for her.
  5. Remember that Breast is Best – Breastfeeding isn’t always an option, but it’s one that should be carefully considered if there’s any feasibility at all. In cases of adoption, low milk production or a mother’s need to be on medications that can be excreted through breast milk, formula is a perfectly adequate nutritional substance. It doesn’t, however, contain the antibodies that boost a baby’s new immune system.
  6. Avoid Crowded Places – Shopping malls, restaurants or even dinner parties can be crowded areas with high concentrations of people who are carrying communicable illnesses. In the interest of keeping your baby healthy, it’s wise to save his big debut for a time when his immune system is a bit more developed.
  7. Pay Special Attention to Older Siblings – Older siblings who attend preschool, daycare or elementary school are exposed to illness-spreading germs all day long, and they may have developed a resistance that allows them to still carry those germs without exhibiting symptoms of illness themselves. Make sure that your older children understand the importance of good hygiene, especially when it comes to spending time with a new baby.
  8. Keep Your Doctor’s Appointments – Time is a commodity that new parents seldom have an adequate supply of, but it’s important to remember that appointments with your pediatrician should be kept if at all possible.
  9. Hire an Experienced Caregiver – The rookie nanny you’re considering might be enthusiastic, but she may also lack the experience or training that will allow her to confidently care for a newborn without spreading illnesses. While it’s perfectly acceptable to hire a nanny with little to no practical work experience, you should make sure that she’s well-versed in the care of newborns and minimizing the spread of germs.
  10. Keep the Nursery Clean – When you’re sleep deprived and living on the quick snacks you can fit in during Baby’s naps, the idea of house cleaning probably isn’t an appealing one. Making sure that your newborn’s nursery is clean, however, is one of the best ways to prevent her from becoming sick.
  11. Practice Good Crib Safety Habits – Guarding your newborn’s health doesn’t just mean keeping her clear of illness-causing germs; it also requires you to be focused on her safety. Fluffy pillows, snuggly blankets and soft crib bumpers may seem like great tools for keeping her comfortable, but they can actually increase her risk of SIDS. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants’ cribs contain no pillows, plush toys or thick blankets.
  12. Minimize Play Dates – If your older children are accustomed to hosting play dates, it may be a smart move to consider putting them on hold for a few months or working with other parents in your playgroup to find alternate hosting solutions until your newborn is a bit older.
  13.  Keep Pets Clear of the Nursery – Fido might be man’s best friend, but he doesn’t need to be licking your newborn’s face or spreading dander throughout her nursery. Making the baby’s room a pet-free zone for a while can reduce the number of germs and contaminants that she’s exposed to during the earliest days of her life.
  14. Sterilize Bottles and Nipples – It simply isn’t possible to keep every germ away from your newborn, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t make an effort to protect her from them when you’re able. Sterilizing the bottles and nipples that she puts into her mouth during feeding time is one of the measures that you shouldn’t neglect.
  15. Take Care of Yourself! – An exhausted, overworked parent’s immune system might not be the most effective, so it’s important that you make every effort to take care of yourself, too. When you’re sick, it’s difficult to avoid passing those illnesses on to your baby. Guarding your own health and well-being isn’t self-indulgent; it’s a necessary step of preventing the spread of illnesses to your child.

Don’t Tell Your Boss You’re Pregant Until You Do These 2 Things!

woman pregnant

For many women, especially those who work in high pressure, productivity-related jobs, telling their boss and department heads they are pregnant can be stressful.  It doesn’t have to be if you prepare. American Pregnancy put up a great post sharing excellent tips on how to prepare to do just that.

Of the tips that stood out, as an attorney, I highly endorse the following two:

  1. Read your company’s maternity leave policy in their handbook and do some online research as well to get to know your state’s laws concerning pregnancy, maternity leave, and pay for when you’re on leave.
  2. Put a plan into place that you can present to your boss. Think of who can cover on short notice if nausea sets in unexpectedly or you need to schedule a doctor’s visit during lunch.

Also, as the post notes, you don’t have to wait until you are 12 weeks to make  your announcement, but since your chances of miscarrying reduce by 80% by then, it would be a good time to wait until you are at least that far along.

Certainly, you are free to wait longer but you may start to show at 20 weeks and you want to make sure you give your job adequate time to plan for your maternity leave and departure.

I know that some women elect to put it off as long as possible because they fear they will lose out on plum projects and opportunities if their office realizes they will be away from the job in the coming months. It’s a fragile thing, but planning is the best remedy to alleviate some of that anxiety.

Once an employer realizes you know your rights, they may be less likely to do something stupid like try to fire you or take away key responsibilities that you can handle perfectly fine until you deliver!



5 Things to Purchase with Your Christmas Gift Cards that will Help You Get Back in Shape

Bellyitch Rewind

The day after Christmas is also a busy shopping day as people return gifts that didn’t fit or they don’t like and others use the gift cards they got from family and friends.  This is also the time of the year that people pledge to change their lifestyles and become more healthy and to eat better and work out.


1. A Powerful Blender or Juicer: A major part of the high holiday season and winter is eating high calorie foods, drinks and desserts. It’s certainly a time to be packing on the pounds. Many people usually pledge to change their eating habits for the New Year.  Healthy shakes and juices are common ways people transition out of their bad heating. I cannot wait to purchase my first Vitamix  and I’ve heard great things about the Magic Bullet.



2. A Workout DVD – Because not everyone’s schedule can accommodate a gym, having a DVD at home that can be popped in and done in the comfort of the home is ideal. After having my first baby, I lost a ton of weight, about 1-2 pounds weekly from breastfeeding and

Pilates for Weightloss

3. WorkOut Clothes – If you have brand new fancy work out clothes in your drawers or hanging in your closet, you may feel obligated to wear it to a gym, maybe. I love how good quality pieces feel on my skin and when I can, try to go with a powerful label that is native to Maryland where I live, Under Armour. But if you cannot get a LuLu Lemon level of price point, there are many other options sold online and in specialty stores at the mall.



4. A steps counter – Because some people walk a lot to and from or as a part of their job, it’s great that steps counters like the Fitbit Flex are now trending and being used by more people. If you can see how taking the steps or getting out one stop before the closest one to your job can encourage you to rack up more steps, and burn more calories you will. That’s part of the appeal to steps counters. They are on sale these days and can be found as low as $35.


5. A food scale – If you will be starting one of those programs that require you to watch your portions and weigh your food so you have precise amount of protein, you should invest in a food scale. They are modestly price and are sold at big box stores like Target and Walmart or specialty stores like Williams-Sonoma and the like. Consider the Ozeri Digital food Scale which runs about $15 and can be ordered from our affiliates Amazon.com
Good luck and be healthy!