Being a Parent

Being a parent is a role that can bring you great joy and happiness as well as challenges to deal with. Nurturing your child and watching them grow and develop into their own unique person can add meaning and purpose to your life

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Preparing for a baby: Getting your finances in order

Planning ahead for conception (as opposed to those oops! pregnancies) means you’ll also have time to plan for the financial changes you’ll experience once the baby makes three (or more). When you’re financially preparing for a baby, don’t stress out about tackling every line item at once (no need to worry just yet about how you’ll pay those college bills), but anything you can start taking stock of now will make money matters down the road easier on your wallet and your sanity. Next, make a list of your expenses and then add in the baby costs you’ll be calculating soon: diapers, bottles, formula (if you don’t plan on breastfeeding), baby clothes, baby gear, baby food, baby toys, etc., so you can get a clearer idea of what your expenses really will be once your family starts to grow. Before you panic about all the baby-preparing you’ll need to do, remember, you’ll be getting plenty of those mommy necessities and niceties as gifts; others you’ll be able to borrow from friends and family.  Finally, think of ways (big and small) to cut corners and generate extra cash for baby expenses. Some almost painless ways to save big when you’re preparing for your baby include: Cutting back on luxuries such as expensive restaurant meals and high-priced lattes (you don’t need all that caffeine now, anyway). Using the old “loose-change-in-a-jar” trick: Just be sure to move the money periodically into a savings account (preferably an interest-bearing one that you’ve both sworn not to dip into). Looking critically at monthly expenditures for home and cell phone services, cable, gym memberships, and the like. Not that you need to live without these conveniences, but you may be able to switch to cheaper ones. Often just calling to threaten a switch can snag you a better deal. After all, companies like to keep their customers. Reducing credit card debt by avoiding late fees, paying more than the minimum each month, and rolling balances onto low-interest cards. Diverting some of your current savings into a “baby fund” for your various baby expenses. content source Featured Image Source

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A working woman's guide to pregnancy hormonal changes

The hormonal and physiological changes that come with pregnancy are unique. Pregnant women experience sudden and dramatic increases in estrogen and progesterone. They also experience changes in the amount and function of a number of other hormones. These changes don’t just affect mood. They can also: create the “glow” of pregnancy significantly aid in the development of the fetus alter the physical impact of exercise and physical activity on the body Estrogen and progesterone changes Estrogen and progesterone are the chief pregnancy hormones. A woman will produce more estrogen during one pregnancy than throughout her entire life when not pregnant. Pregnancy hormones and exercise injuries While these hormones are absolutely critical for a successful pregnancy, they also can make exercise more difficult. Because the ligaments are looser, pregnant women may be at greater risk for sprains and strains of the ankle or knee. Weight gain, fluid retention, and physical activity Weight gain in pregnant women increases the workload on the body from any physical activity. This additional weight and gravity slow down the circulation of blood and bodily fluids, particularly in the lower limbs.  Sensory changes Pregnancy can dramatically alter how a woman experiences the world through sight, taste, and smell. Breast and cervical changes Hormonal changes, which begin in the first trimester, will lead to many physiological changes throughout the body. These changes help prepare the mother’s body for pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding. Hair and nail changes Many women experience changes in hair and nail growth during pregnancy. Hormone changes can sometimes cause excessive hair shedding or hair loss. This is especially true in women with a family history of female alopecia. Stretch marks Stretch marks (striae gravidarum) are perhaps the most well-known skin change of pregnancy. They’re caused by a combination of physical stretching of the skin and the effects of hormone changes on the skin’s elasticity.  Blood pressure and exercise There are two types of circulatory changes that may have an impact on exercise during pregnancy. Pregnancy hormones can suddenly affect the tone in blood vessels. A sudden loss of tone may result in the feeling of dizziness and perhaps even a brief loss of consciousness. This is because the loss of pressure sends less blood to the brain and central nervous system. Dizziness and fainting Another form of dizziness can result from lying flat on the back. This dizziness is more common after 24 weeks. However, it can happen earlier during multi-fetal pregnancies or with conditions that increase amniotic fluid Respiratory and metabolic changes Pregnant women experience increases in the amount of oxygen they transport in their blood. This is because of increased demand for blood and the dilation of blood vessels. This growth forces increases in metabolic rates during pregnancy, requiring women to up energy intake and use caution during periods of physical exertion. Body temperature changes An increase in basal body temperature is one of the first hints of pregnancy. A slightly higher core temperature will be maintained through the duration of pregnancy. Women also have a greater need of water during pregnancy. They can be at higher risk of hyperthermia and dehydration without caution to exercise safely and remain hydrated. Dehydration Most women who exercise for 20 to 30 minutes or who exercise during hot and humid weather will sweat. In pregnant women, loss of bodily fluids from sweat can decrease the blood flow to the uterus, the muscles, and some organs. The developing fetus needs a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients carried through the blood, so injury may result from a lack of fluid.

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How to cope with a toddler and a new baby?

Most parents prefer to wait until the first trimester is over. You'll probably want to let your child know about the same time you announce your pregnancy to the rest of the world. Once you've told your child, he/she will want to share the news (you can't expect a toddler to keep a secret). And once you've told all your friends and family, it'll be much harder to keep the information from your child because people will want to congratulate you and talk about the pregnancy and also mention to them that they are going to be a 'big bhaiya or big didi'. It's best if your child hears about a new sibling from you and not from other family members, friends or neighbours. The best way is to make the toddler understand and help him in adjusting with the new guest of the family and below are the following steps which will help your young toddler to cope with jealousy towards the new baby :-    1. Acknowledge your child’s feelings. Know that your little one may express negative feelings or act out, and don’t scold. Instead say, “Being a big sibling can be hard. Sometimes you will feel sad or mad or do things you don’t mean to do and that’s OK. We will always love you and want to help you feel better.”  2. Spend regular one-on-one time together. Try to give your toddler a bit of undivided attention, even if it’s just 10 to 20 minutes a day. One way to accomplish this more easily is to wear your newborn in a sling, which gives you two free hands to play a game with your older child. And have your older child cuddle while you’re nursing. Feeling frazzled? Enlist help from a relative, who can tend to your newborn as you spend time with your oldest. Or suggest your partner schedule special activities together with your child, like whipping up weekend waffles or heading out to the movies. 3. Offer a gift (or two). No doubt there’ll be awesome baby gifts arriving by the truckload, which can be pretty rough for a tot who’s sitting on the sidelines watching the loot accumulate. So once in a while, surprise your older child with a big-kid present you happen to have at the ready. Nothing fancy — just a little something that says “being a big sib rocks,” like a new set of markers and a giant pad, a coloring book, a book, a puzzle or even a sheet of stickers. When friends arrive with (yet another) giant box for the baby, let your tot unwrap it for him (what a good helper!). If it’s an item that your newborn is too little to use (like a doggie pull-toy or set of blocks) let your big kid (gently) break it in. 4. Praise often. Reward your child with hugs and compliments for showing patience (waiting without wailing while you change a diaper), cooperativeness (handing you that diaper instead of winging it at the wall) and empathy (“The baby’s crying, Mommy. Maybe he’s hungry”). Make a fuss, especially in front of others: “Thank you for handing me the diaper, sweetheart! What a great big sibling!” Content source

What to get when you are Expecting

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