Work & Career

Many things are needed to be considered when you conceive which may involve balancing your work and career and how to maintain your worklife balance after the baby is born

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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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Financial Preparation for a Baby

Preparing for a baby isn’t just tiny clothes and heartwarming ultrasound photos; it involves a lot of financial preparation. This guide will lay out the most important financial tasks on your plate from pregnancy to baby’s first years, including: Estimating your medical costs Planning leave from your job Budgeting for the new arrival Some parenting preparations are best learned on the fly — how to effortlessly and painlessly change the messiest diapers, for instance. But the list of things to do before baby arrives and within his or her first several weeks is lengthy, so tackling certain tasks now is a smart idea. Pre-delivery planning 1. Understand your health insurance and anticipate costs. Having a baby is expensive, even when you have health insurance. You should forecast your expected costs fairly early in the pregnancy. NerdWallet’s guide to making sense of your medical bills can help as you navigate prenatal care, labor and delivery, and the bills that will ultimately follow. 2. Plan for maternity/paternity leave. How much time you and your partner (if you have one) get off work and whether you’re paid during that period can significantly impact your household finances in the coming year. Understand your company’s policies and your state’s laws to get an accurate picture of how your maternity leave will affect your bottom line. 3. Draft your pre-baby budget. Once you know what you’ll be spending on out-of-pocket medical costs, understand how your income will be impacted in the coming months and have prepared a shopping list for your new addition, adjust your budget accordingly. Babies come with plenty of expenses, so set a limit on both necessary and optional buys (like that designer diaper bag or high-end stroller with the LCD control panel), and consider buying used to keep spending under control. 4. Plan your post-delivery budget. Recurring costs such as diapers, childcare, and extra food will change your household expenses for years to come. Plan for them now so you aren’t caught off guard. 5. Choose a pediatrician within your insurance network. Your baby’s first doctor appointment will come within her first week of life, so you’ll want to have a physician picked out. Talk to friends and family to get recommendations, call around to local clinics and ask to interview a pediatrician before you make your choice. In searching for the right doctor, don’t forget to double-check that he or she is within your insurance network. Ask the clinic, but verify by calling your insurance company so you’re not hit with unexpected out-of-network charges. 6. Start or check your emergency fund. If you don’t already have a “rainy day fund,” now’s the time to anticipate some emergencies. Kids are accident-prone, and with the cost of raising a child, there’s no telling if you’ll have the disposable income to pay for any unexpected expenses. Having at least three to six months’ worth of living expenses covered is a great place to start. While in the hospital The main focus while you’re in the hospital is having a healthy baby. But there are a few loose ends that will need to be taken care of. 7. Order a birth certificate. Hospital staffers should provide you with the necessary paperwork to get your new child’s birth certificate.  Within baby’s first 30 days 8. Add your child to your health insurance. In most cases, you have 30 days from your child’s birth date to add him to an existing health insurance policy. In some employer-based plans, you have 60 days. Regardless, do it sooner rather than later, as you don’t want to be caught with a sick baby and no coverage. 9. Consider a life insurance policy on your child. No one expects the tragedy of losing a child, so many parents don’t plan for it. The rates are generally low because a child’s life insurance policy is used to cover funeral costs and little else. When it comes to covering children, a “term” policy that lasts until they are self-sufficient is the most popular choice. 10. Begin planning for childcare. Finding the right daycare or nanny can take weeks. Get started long before your maternity leave is over. You’ll need time to visit day care centers or interview nannies, as well as complete an application and approval process if required. Beyond the first month You’ll be in this parenting role for years to come, so planning for the future is crucial. Estate planning is a big part of providing for your children, but it isn’t the only important forward-focused task to check off your list. 11. Adjust your beneficiaries. Assuming you already have life insurance for yourself or the main breadwinner in your household — and if you don’t, you should — you may want to add your child as a beneficiary. The same goes for your 401(k) and IRAs. However, keep in mind that you’ll need to make adjustments elsewhere to ensure when and how your child will have access to the money. A will and/or trust can accomplish this. 12. Disability insurance. You’re far more likely to need disability insurance than life insurance. Make sure you have the right amount of coverage — enough to meet your expenses if you’re out of work for several months. Remember, your monthly living expenses have gone up since the new addition. 13. Write or adjust your will. Tragic things happen and you want to ensure your child is taken care of in the event that one or both parents die. Designate a guardian so the courts don’t have to. Your will is only one part of estate planning, but it’s a good place to begin. 14. Keep funding your retirement. When a child arrives, it’s easy to forget your personal goals and long-term plans in light of this huge responsibility. Stay on top of your retirement plans so your child doesn’t have to support you in old age. 15. Save for his or her education. College is costly, but you can make it more manageable by starting to save early. Adding a new member to your family comes with a lengthy list of responsibilities, so don’t try to do them all at once. Prioritize and tackle the most important items on your financial to-do list first. Because medical bills and insurance claims will be some of the first financial obligations you’ll encounter while expecting, start there. Move on to budgeting for pregnancy and the first several months of your baby’s life. With 18 or more years until your little one leaves home, time would seem to be on your side. But — as the saying goes — blink and he’s grown. Now is the time to start taking the steps that will set your family up for financial success. content source Featured Image Source

10 tips for going back to work after baby

1. Start Early The last thing you want is uncertainty about who will be watching your baby, so start figuring that out early. Before the baby is born is not too soon, especially if you want to use a specific daycare--they might have a waiting list! 2. Choose Care Carefully The transition back to work will be so much easier if you are confident in your choice of who’s taking care of your baby. If it’s a daycare, ask if you can stop by and visit with your baby before you go back, so you can both get comfortable with space and people. 3. Do Some Dry Runs In the weeks before you return to work, it’s helpful to practice your routine of getting up, getting you and baby ready, and getting out of the house by a certain time. You can use one of those dry runs to make a trip to your daycare, for a visitor to drop off the diapers and other necessities they might have asked you to provide. 4. Start Back Slowly If possible, work just part-time for the first week or two. That transition time will help you and your baby adjust to being apart, and also let you sort out any kinks in your schedule and systems. 5. Ask for Updates The hardest part about going back is sure to be leaving your baby. Ask your daycare to send you texts and pictures of your sweet pea throughout the day. And if you need to call every day to check-in, that’s your right as a mommy 6. Ask a Lactation Consultant If you plan to keep nursing after you go back, a lactation consultant can help with any questions you have about maintaining supply, pumping at work and storing expressed milk. 7. Have the Pumping Talk Before you return to work, make sure you speak to your boss about your plans for pumping, and how he or she can support you need to feed your baby. Your Human Resources department might also be helpful in finding you a private space to pump. Your belly has finally arrived. Your pants dig uncomfortably into your waist and you feel like you’re falling out of your shirts. You’re going to feel so much better once you get some stretchy-waist pants and a shirt that fits your new body. 8. Plan Ahead Nighttime is your new prep-time. Plan on choosing your clothes, packing your lunch and baby bag, and getting everything organized for the next day before you go to sleep. It will make your mornings so much smoother (and you might even have time for breakfast!). 9. Get Baby To Take a Bottle If you've been exclusively breastfeeding, start giving your little one a bottle of expressed milk on occasion, to make sure he’ll take it. If he won’t, step away and have a dad or someone else try. Keep offering it regularly until your baby agrees to drink from it. 10. Skip the Guilt Whether you are choosing to go back, or you have to, absolve yourself now of any mommy guilt. Returning to work doesn’t make you a bad parent, so don’t think for a moment that you are. Content Source    

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Super Boss: Four Women On Juggling Motherhood And Work

Seema Patel, 36, mother of two Seema Patel, a lawyer and deputy director of San Francisco’s Office of Labor Standards Enforcement, was taking her first steps at a government job in Washington DC a few years ago when her then-boss sat her down with an unexpected piece of advice. “I don’t know anything about you,” her boss said. “But if you have any plans to have a family in the future, start saving your leave right now.” Patel’s employer was the federal government, and she didn’t get a day of paid maternity leave as part of her work arrangement. Get Society Weekly: our newsletter for public service professionals  Back then, Patel was unmarried and very career-focused, and a family was the last thing on her mind. But diligently, she took her boss’s word for it. She avoided using her sick days over the course of four years so that when she eventually did have her first child two years ago, she had accumulated enough to get three months paid time off. When she had her second baby six months ago, Patel could not pull the same trick. The four months she took off were entirely unpaid. Patel says she experienced no pushback from colleagues, but it is the work structure she has an issue with. “I find it extremely unsupportive for anyone trying to have family,” she says. “It sends a message: your country does not value you becoming a parent.” Karen Choi, 41, mother of four Karen Choi, a vice-president at asset management firm Capital Group, says that any working woman who is a mother should be applauded. Choi, who has four children including a six-month-old baby, describes juggling being a mother and a job “a constant struggle”. Secrets for keeping your head above water include having an “unbelievably supportive family” as well as a nanny and babysitter, accepting that there are some areas you are not going to be the best at (“Not everyone can be the Martha of home décor”), and simply getting through it. Advertisement Choi says she took more maternity leave with every child she had, starting with two and a half months with her first child, and taking six months off with her latest. This makes her an exception, especially within her industry. “When your child is sick, has a fever, is throwing up and you are up all night taking care of your child and knowing that the next morning you have to get your other kids to school and then you have to go to work ... That’s when it gets to be very challenging”, she says. Her firm was supportive, though, and she stresses her investment portfolio’s performance did not suffer at all. When she entered the finance industry after university, about 20 or so of her female college mates chose the same path, she says. Today about 90% of them have left. Women who exit jobs and then re-enter are likely to no longer be on track for peak earning positions, she says. Staying is tough: “A sacrifice in the short term, but it pays in the long term.” If nothing else, her children have helped provide meaning for this sacrifice, she says, because all four of her children are daughters. “One of the things that keep me going is the fact that I would like to be a role model for them.” Kelly Posner, 48, mother of four The notion of being a role model to her four children is also what drives 48-year-old research scientist and professor Kelly Posner. “They know that their mom is out there literally helping to save lives.” Posner, who is the founder and director of the Center for Suicide Risk Assessment at Columbia University, says it is important for women to know that they can have a “big goal” career-wise and achieve it. “It is very important for women to believe that they can have a vision. Most women do not allow themselves to think that” she says. She once gave a presentation to 200 people, including government officials in Italy over a webinar while eight months pregnant. Technology has also helped, she says, with the ability to stop the car and take a call after picking her kids up, or to answer an email on the go. Juggling motherhood with a demanding career has been helped by an optimistic, problem-solving disposition, she says – an ability to get through things even when they feel impossible. Jennifer Epps-Addison, 33, mother of two Jennifer Epps-Addison, 33, the executive director of Wisconsin Jobs Now and a mother of two, says that only being able to make career and motherhood work together thanks to private networks of help – like nannies – is wrong. “You shouldn’t have to get lucky or win the lottery to be able to succeed,” she says, describing the systemic failure to support women and families – citing oppressively low wages, a flawed health care system and a lack of mandated paid maternity leave. “As a society, we are not taking care of each other,” she says. “We cannot even guarantee mothers who have just birthed a child to recuperate.” Epps-Addison, who was pregnant while attending law school, gave birth to one of her children while she was on a fellowship. With a husband and offspring relying on the healthcare provided by the fellowship, the labor leader was only able to take two weeks' maternity leave, she says, before returning to work. Content Source

Transitioning back to work after the baby: Tips for working moms

Top Seven Tips for Moms Returning to Work (outside the home): 1) If at all possible, return to work on a Thursday (if you work full time) so that you have a short work week initially. Then you have the weekend to review how to make necessary adjustments for the following week. And you enter the new week knowing you can do this! It is empowering to get through the first week, even if it is a short one. 2) If pumping, find out ahead of time where you can have privacy. Is there a lactation room at your work? Or an office with a lock on it? You don’t want someone barging in on you while in a vulnerable position. If you try pumping, and you find you just don’t have the energy to continue, perhaps partial supplementation with a formula for your baby will be just fine. Then you can breast-feed when you are with your baby at night and on weekends.  3) Bring snacks and water. It is so important to stay hydrated and keep blood sugar even. It’s easy to forget to eat or drink water when multi-tasking. Remember that proper nutrition, including continuing with prenatal vitamins (if breastfeeding and doctor recommends), is essential to good mood health. Bring high-protein snacks (like almonds and string cheese) to graze on throughout the day and before/after lunch. What is good for your body is good for your mental state. 4) Allow yourself to cry. You will miss your baby. A lot. Initially, it will be very tough. Bring Kleenex. Give yourself the time and space to let the tears flow in the company of supportive people who understand your transition. Then distract yourself with tasks at hand to ground yourself back in the present. Reward yourself with some nice adult conversation and a cup of delicious coffee or herbal tea. Savor being able to enjoy a chat with your colleagues uninterrupted by baby’s needs. 5) It may be helpful to bring a transitional object that reminds you of your connection with your baby, like a picture of the baby, or a little bootie with his/her scent. Some women laugh that they have a “baby shrine” of baby photos at their desks so that they feel connected to their little one while away. Leave a photo of you with the baby and an item with your scent on it (a robe or article of clothing). You stay connected through your senses that way throughout the day. 6) Align yourself with other working moms. They are invaluable as support when you are having a tough day balancing it all. These mammas are doing what you are doing and more than likely have some emotional support and tricks up the sleeve that has helped them weather the storm of transitioning back to work.  Don’t reinvent the wheel. Go to the seasoned mammas for support and guidance. 7) If at all possible, work for a family-friendly company. All moms/families deserve to have the flexibility they need to make work/family life balance possible. Sadly, not all employers embrace this philosophy. Some employers also have generous family leave policies. Check Working Mother magazine for the top employers who are “family-friendly.” I especially love companies that have on-site daycare. Content Source    

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Work after baby: Making the successful transition

The decision to go back to work after spending some quality time with the newborn can be emotionally draining for a new mom. Most of the moms find it tough to resume their work and stay away from their babies for several hours. Becoming a working mother can cause several conflicting feelings in the mind: Guilt that you are leaving your baby in charge of a caretaker. Relief that you are making your baby learn to live away from you. Guilt that you are feeling relieved to be away from your newborn. Missing the baby at the workplace. These contradictory emotions are totally normal and expected from a new mother. Given below are some of the tips that will help you ease those back-work-jitters and make the transition successful. Have a backup childcare plan: If your baby gets sick (and she will) or your childcare facility is closed for a day or your babysitter is stuck in traffic, be prepared with alternative arrangements so you're not scrambling at the last minute. Manage your time well: You've got a pretty compelling reason to get your work done as your baby is waiting for you at home. Time management at work is very important for a successful career. Ask for support: This is a tough time, so lean on your spouse, friends, family, other working moms, and anyone else who's willing to help you make this transition. Don't forget about you: If you're completely exhausted and emotionally depleted, you won't do either of your "jobs" effectively. Try to get as much rest as possible, do some exercise for a healthy mind and body. Bring a little bit of baby to work: Arrange a couple of cute photos on your desk or in your workspace or locker. You can also create a virtual gallery. You may use your photos to create a slide show starring your little one on your computer screen. It's easy to do and easy to update as your baby grows. Call home for your "coo" fix: There's nothing like hearing the sound of your baby's gurgles to feel connected (hearing him crying is another matter altogether). It's fine to ring up your caregiver once or twice a day. Just don't get crazy and check in every hour. Try to time your calls so your baby is alert and happy. Content source Featured image source

Being a working parent: Tips to manage home and office, efficiently!

Going back to work after your maternity leave is a big change for you, your family, and especially your baby. Find childcare that fits your working hours. You can choose from a range of childcare options like daycare centers, part-time maids, nannies or live-in maids. It is best to have a trusted family member to look after when your baby is with the maid. Consider finances What’s best for you financially may also play a big part in your decision. Going to work may mean that you will have to pay for childcare for your baby. Childcare can be expensive and you may have to take into account other expenses such as keeping an additional maid for the cleaning or cooking. Covering all these costs may make you feel that staying at home with your baby is a better option. However, perhaps you don’t want too long a break in your career, even if you don’t save that much after bearing childcare costs. Or if it isn’t about the money, you may like to start off with flexible working, if it is an option. This may help you plan your work around your baby’s routine. In the end, it is important to be happy with what you choose. Your child will benefit much more from a content mum than one who is unhappy. How can I work at home? To tackle most work at home jobs you'll almost certainly need some regular childcare. So decide what time of day you would like to work, then organize childcare to fit in. For example, if your brain is sharpest in the mornings, book childcare for those hours. Then you have a set period of the day to get everything done. Set up your workspace, too. If your child makes a fuss when you see her at the end of the day or at weekends, try to be patient and don't blame yourself. Chances are she's just missed you and wants some hugs and attention. Content Source Featured Image Source

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Getting back to work: Here's how you can balance both career and housework

Create a schedule Write up a list of household work that needs to be done on a daily basis and the ones that can be done on a weekly basis. Create a schedule and tape it to your cupboard or refrigerator or your bathroom mirror, any place that you tend to come across every day. In your schedule, assign tasks to your husband and older children, too. Give everyone jobs and perhaps offer little rewards as an incentive. Each one of you can have pre-set tasks in this plan. Tidy up every day. Try cleaning up the house bit by bit. Even while you are talking on the phone, you can use the time to clean up the area around you. It helps because if the house looks reasonably neat, it doesn't matter if it hasn't been dusted for a while. Although some housework is essential, other tasks can wait. Try not to stress by struggling to get everything done at once. For instance, set a certain number of hours for cleaning. Then take a break, stop cleaning and concentrate on some other household chores. This way you will be able to tackle and track the number of household chores every day. Schedule a spring-cleaning every few months on a weekend to get rid of clutter in your house. Get help Consider hiring help to do chores like sweeping, mopping and the dishes once or twice a day, whenever you are home. If you have a maid who cooks, consider asking her to buy vegetables for the day’s meal as well, to save you some time. Invest in your tools Buy more than one set of cleaning tools, especially for the bathrooms. This will reduce the time you or the maid spends on carrying them from one bathroom to the other. Alternatively, create a cleaning basket that has everything you need, such as cleaning solutions, wipes, and brushes that your maid can carry from one bathroom to another. Plan your meals Plan meals ahead, make good use of your freezer and make it a point to cook enough for two meals. Opt for simple recipes that require minimum preparation and cooking time. These steps will help you cook more efficiently. Then you could also shop more efficiently. You could also create a shopping list based on your meal plans, so you don’t waste to much time at the market. If the service is good, try ordering your groceries and other shopping online and get them delivered at home. Content Source

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Are you a working parent? Here are some tips

You can choose from a range of childcare options that are available nowadays. Most of them can accommodate any kind of working hours, so you should be able to find one that suits you: 1. Daycare centers or crèches: These are more common in cities and are usually open between 7 am and 7 pm on weekdays. In some metros, daycare centers may offer extended hours and some may even be open for 24 hours to cater to the growing number of parents working night shifts. 2. Part-time maids, ayahs or nannies: These work well for those mums who need a child carer for a few hours during the day and don’t want live-in help. 3. Live-in maids: These work well for parents with long working hours, travel often for business and have unpredictable work schedules. 4. A trusted family member: Usually, people living in joint families find it easier to rely on some family members to look after their child. Usually one finds grandparents are flexible and happy enough to look after your child, whenever it is required. It's a good idea to see different people and places before making a decision. This will give you an idea about types of childcare available, and the variety in quality and cost. Base your decision on what feels right for you and your child. If you really want to get back to work after having your baby, then do so. However, if you’d rather care for your baby instead of putting him in childcare, then stay at home. Looking after your child is a full-time job. How can I cope with going back to work in an office? Show that you are committed to your job, but make it clear you need to keep to strict working hours. This should give you time to get your work done and allow you to leave promptly to collect your child from childcare. Ask to be given as much notice as possible if you're required to work longer hours or take a business trip. This means you can be prepared to inform your childcare in advance or sort out back-up care. If you find yourself overloaded with work, you may be able to find a way to prioritize or delegate to a colleague. Also try to keep your mind off how your child is coping at childcare while you're working, so you stay focused on your job. Only contact your carer during the day if you really need to. Likewise, they can contact you if they really must. Otherwise, you are bound to pick the time when your child is crying, which will worry you for the rest of the day. If you want to stay in contact when you first return to work, ask your carer to call or text you when your child is napping or quietly playing. How can I work at home? To tackle most work at home jobs you'll almost certainly need some regular childcare. So decide what time of day you would like to work, then organize childcare to fit in. For example, if your brain is sharpest in the mornings, book childcare for those hours. Then you have a set period of the day to get everything done. Set up your workspace, too. If it isn't anywhere obvious in your house, think whether you could set up in the store, guest bedroom or dining room. Ideally, find a place where work can be left out, so you don't have to clear away each time. If necessary, store work items where your child can't get at them, such as on high shelves or in lockable cupboards. How can I fit in quality time with my child as a working parent? First of all, don't feel guilty and don't try to cram in too much to make up for a lost time. There are some simple ways to fit in quality time with your child, even if you're working full-time: Have a routine so your child will know when he will see you. So on weekdays, be there to wake up your child, give him breakfast, and if possible, take him to childcare. And try to collect him at the end of the day and hear all about what he's been doing. When you're with your child, be focused completely on him. So turn off your phone, the television and computer, so you're free to play games and have a cuddle. Make mealtimes special. Get your child to help you with the cooking or preparing, such as rolling Rotis or shelling peas for matar paneer. Then sit down at the table as a family and take your time eating so you can chat about your day. Even if your child isn't talking yet, he will enjoy seeing you and sharing food together. If you work particularly long hours, at least try to be there for his dinner, bath, and bedtime. Make the most of the weekends by doing something fun. Give your maid a leave and even joint family try to spend alone time with your baby. Go on a trip to the playground, do some artwork together, or watch his favorite movie. If your child makes a fuss when you see her at the end of the day or at weekends, try to be patient and don't blame yourself. Chances are she's just missed you and wants some hugs and attention. Content Source  

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Spend some quality time with your baby after work

There's no denying, that the birth of a baby is one of the most cherished moments in a family and in some ways an opportunity for relatives, especially grandparents, to relive the joy of being a parent once again. Your baby is bound to be the center of everyone's attention. However, your worries are understandable too and you would need to find a way to ensure you and your baby get to spend as much time as possible with each other. You may feel your extended family's constant presence annoying at times, but if they are caring for your baby while you are at work you may hesitate a bit about how to let your feelings be known. Be open and give them the benefit of doubt. Often what you perceive, may not be how another person views the situation. It's possible they may be keeping your baby away from you for a while because they want to relax when you get back from work. Or, they may suggest your baby sleeps in their room so that you and your husband get the rest you need or some time together. One thing you can be sure of is that they love your baby as much as you do too! If you still believe that your family members are trying to keep your baby away from you, speak to them individually. Tell them how you feel and how they can help you by allowing you to spend more time with your baby. You may want to try out the following options: 1. Thank your family members for their support but also let them know gently that you would like to spend some more time with your baby alone. 2. Work out an arrangement whereby you can keep the baby with you in the evenings and your in-laws can take care of him in the mornings. 3. Take turns massaging, bathing your baby and putting him to sleep. 4. Make it a point to take your baby out to the park or for walks with you alone so you get time together. Try these simple ways to connect with your baby! 5. Speak to your husband as well for suggestions and solutions. Maybe you could both work out a plan to spend more time with your baby alone. 6. Most importantly, consider flexible working options until both you and your baby are comfortable with you working full time. Be tactful and sensitive to their feelings when you talk to them. Do not forget to tell them how important your baby and your work are to you, as well as the relationship you share with your family members. It may not be easy at first, but with some patience and understanding, you'll soon find a routine that works for both of you. Content Source

10 Pros and Cons of Being a Stay-at-Home Mom

Being a stay-at-home mom gets a bad rap. Most people think you're living the life of luxury with no job, no boss, and no workplace stress. Know the top 10 benefits and downsides of being a stay-at-home mom before you make the transition from working mom to stay-at-home mom.   1. You're Always There Being at home with your kids is often the primary reason you have chosen this path. Pro: As a stay-at-home mom, the chances are good that you will always be there when your child needs you as opposed to being stuck in a cubicle at work. Con: Always being there can sometimes feel like you're trapped. You may love being a stay-at-home mom, but there will be times when you wish you could steal some moments for yourself. Balance Tip: Me-time is important to any parent. Your mental and physical health depends on getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, exercising, and just plain relaxing.   2. You're Never Alone You and your child won't have the daily pangs of separation. Pro: Your kids are with you almost every hour of the day. You're there for everything—first steps, first words, first skinned knees. Con: You're never alone—most of the time you can't even go to the bathroom by yourself. Balance Tip: Even with your kids, you need to set some personal boundaries. It is okay to establish limits.   3. You Don't Work Outside of the Home Now, your job is taking care of your kids and home. Pro: You can focus 100 percent of your time and energy on your children because you're not worried about work deadlines, what your boss will say or workplace stress. Con: You may miss the interaction you had with your co-workers, the satisfaction of doing a good job, bringing in a paycheck, and even getting dressed up for work. Balance Tip: You can get satisfaction and connect with other adults by volunteering at your kids' school or with community organizations. You may also be able to earn an income through a part-time work-at-home or freelance job. If you have a crafting hobby, you may be able to sell your work.   4. You Are Raising Your Child You are intimately connected with your child's development. Pro: Your children are with you a majority of the time so you won't feel like a daycare worker is raising them. You determine what they eat, their schedule, and the values they are taught. You also are fully responsible for their safety. Con: It's easy to create a bubble and isolate yourself as well as your kids from the outside world. Balance Tip: Get together with your mom friends and schedule play dates to make sure you are exposing all of you to social environments as you raise your family.   5. You Are Master of Your House Household management is the at-home part of being a stay-at-home mom. Pro: You run the house. Paying the bills, cooking, cleaning, getting the kids everywhere they need to be, and keeping the family schedule is all under your control. Con: You may feel like it all falls on you. Even if your spouse is the world's best teammate, there will be times you feel super-stressed trying to keep up with it all while raising kids. Balance Tip: You can still be in control and delegate some of the tasks to your kids. You will be teaching them important life skills and responsibility if they help with laundry, cleaning, and cooking. Form carpools and trade babysitting with other parents, or accept help from relatives. Even a stay-at-home parent can benefit from hiring out some chores such as lawn care or a thorough housecleaning every couple of weeks.   6. You Have an Employment Gap Your resume will no longer show that you have been continuously employed. Pro: When you want to go back to work, employers now seem more open to stay-at-home moms re-entering the workforce than ever before. Con: You will still run into employers who see you as someone who quit her job and put a halt on climbing up the corporate ladder. Another drawback is that you will now be competing with people much younger than you with more recent experience for the same position. Balance Tip: Review your resume every few months. Cover your employment gap by listing volunteer work and any freelance work you have done while at home.   7. Your Piggy Bank Has Mixed Feelings Your contribution to the family income is now greatly reduced. Pro: Staying home can be a more economical choice for some families than having to pay for childcare, gas, car maintenance, dry cleaning, wardrobe, lunch out, and salon costs. Con: That two-person income just got cut down to one paycheck. The economics of coupons, budgets, and cutting costs may no longer be optional. Balance Tip: Writing and sticking to a family budget can help keep you on track, reduce your stress, and make economic choices easier. You can involve your kids in couponing and find deals, giving them valuable skills for when they leave home.   8. You Experience Different Stress Levels Workplace stress may be gone, but life always brings some amount of stress. Pro: If you love every aspect of parenting your child and can even smile on the inside when your toddler is in full meltdown mode, then your stress level will probably be much lower than if you were having to raise your family while working outside the home. Con: Kids can be more than a handful with whining, fighting, and misbehavior. You can have additional stresses due to reduced finances. Balance Tip: When you are feeling stressed, use stress-management practices such as breathing exercises, quiet time, or meditation. You can also teach these to your children so they learn to manage their stress.   9. You Have a Different View of Life Outside of Kids Your social life will see a big change as you have a new focus. Pro: You'll meet a lot of other stay-at-home mom friends who you can arrange girls' nights with, giving yourself a little break while sharing common experiences. Con: You'll probably notice a drop off in activities you take part in that you used to when you worked. You may miss engaging in social activities like office parties, business meetings, and corporate outings that tend to talk shop more than family life. Your social circle might shrink to only those other moms. Balance Tip: Build and maintain connections both with other parents and with people who share your hobbies, professional, and community interests.   10. You Have a More Consistent Routine Your family time will be more predictable. Pro: You'll have more control over your family's routine as a stay-at-home mom. You won't have to worry about getting called in early to work or having to stay late for a meeting. Your routine will tend to be the same from week to week as a stay-at-home mom. Con: Routine can often be equated with boredom. Your days will be planned out so well that you can easily feel like you're in a rut. Balance Tip: You and your kids can benefit by adding variety, such as visits to parks or museums or spending time with relatives. If you don't know where you can fit it in, look into streamlining your schedule. content source

Medical tests to learn your baby's gender

Medical tests to learn your baby's gender All in all, it’s no wonder that many people believe in these myths. After all, they always have a 50% chance of being right. But how can you determine your baby’s gender without any doubts? These are some of the tests that your doctor can use to determine your baby’s gender: Blood tests Special blood tests can determine your baby’s gender. These tests are usually only carried out on women over the age of 35, or those with an increased risk of chromosomal disorders. Amniocentesis This tests is also carried out mostly on high-risk pregnancies. Using a sample of amniotic fluid, it can detect genetic abnormalities and your baby’s gender. Chorionic villus sampling (CVS) This test uses a sample of placenta to diagnose Down syndrome or another chromosomal abnormality. It can also determine the baby’s gender as early as week 10 of pregnancy. Ultrasound This is the most common way to determine your baby’s gender. And it’s what most women carrying low-risk pregnancies will experience. An ultrasound technician could see your baby’s gender as early as 15-16 weeks, but most women will find out during their second trimester ultrasound. Final note It’s normal to want to know your baby’s sex, but having a healthy mom and a healthy baby are always more important. Maintain a healthy nutrition during pregnancy, keep an eye out for the fluids you consume during pregnancy, keep your water intake high, stay active, and pretty soon you’ll find out whether you’re pregnant with a boy or a girl!

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Baby Hearing Screening

Is it safe to travel during early pregnancy?

It is as safe to travel during early pregnancy as it is when you’re not pregnant. Of course, you should take all the necessary travel precautions that you would otherwise, and be especially careful during pregnancy. The major risk during early pregnancy is, of course, travel sickness. You don’t develop travel sickness if you’ve never had it before just because you’re pregnant. However, travelling during pregnancy can still be an unpleasant experience. This is because travelling often makes morning sickness symptoms like nausea and vomiting worse.   Safety Tips For Travelling During Pregnancy Travel Safe Wear seat-belts properly, fastening it under your lower lap and fitting it above your pregnancy bump and between your breasts Checkup: Get a thorough medical checkup done, before going for travel. Do not plan any travel unless your obstetrician gives you a green signal Take your prenatal records: Make it a pint to carry all your prenatal records and ultrasonography records. You never know when the need arises Carry medicines: Do not forget to carry your vitamins and other medicines prescribed by the obstetrician and keep it in a separate small bag Contact number: Another important safety precaution is to take your doctor’s personal number and give it to your spouse as well. This is very helpful if you experience any problem and want to seek doctor’s advice. Your doctor will be just a call away from you Keep moving: Walking around every half hourly is important as travelling can cause development of fatal blood clot and moving frequently cut down this potential risk Maintain hygiene: Keeping proper toilet hygiene is very important while travelling. Use a squat toilet instead of western toilet seat. Always ask your spouse or a friend to accompany you till the washroom door to be on the safer side Carry munchies: Carry ample amount of dry snacks, drinking water bottles and fruits as you might feel hungry every now and then. Pregnant women should not step down to buy eatables on short stoppages as it can prove risky Be slow and patient: When your destination arrives move towards the exit door 10 minutes prior to evade the last minute scuttle. Be slow and steady when you jiggle stairways or passages, and if you need to wait, wait patiently. There is no rush   The expecting mother should know about the ins and outs of safe traveling. No matter whether you are traveling by road or by train, pregnant women should keep some important points in mind as useful guidelines. Make sure you wear comfortable flat footwear so you can maintain your balance while walking – be it airport, road or in the train or at the station. Be careful about the stray shoes or pieces of luggage lying here and there while walking. Wearing loose cotton clothing should be worn while traveling. You can carry a light shawl for night   How to Prepare for the Trip Prepare a flask of peppermint or ginger tea and take it with you on the journey. It helps alleviate nausea. Get your car suspension checked and tyres bumped up to make sure that the ride isn’t any bumpier than it needs to be. Schedule for lots of breaks in your journey and leave accordingly. Make sure you stop immediately if you start feeling restless or dizzy. Make sure you visit the doctor if you are in an accident, even if it is a minor one and you feel completely fine. Your doctor will check and make sure the baby is okay. Things to Do During Trips If you’re not too unwell, try driving. The person who is driving the car rarely feels sick. Sit in the front passenger seat in the car. If you’re taking a bus, try to sit towards the front of the bus rather than at the back. The front experiences a lot less jerky movements. Take deep breaths if you start to feel sick. Good distractions include listening to music or chatting with a co-passenger. Keep your head as still as you possibly can. Look at a single point in the distance and keep staring out of the window. If you feel stuffy inside the car open a window and let some fresh air inside. If you’re travelling on a boat or a plane, choose a seat closer to the middle as this is where you will feel the least movement when the weather is rough.  

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8 ways to manage morning sickness at work

Pregnancy comes with many side effects and dealing with them gets especially troublesome when you’re at the office. They affect your work and productivity, leaving you fatigued by the end of the day. Morning sickness is common among mothers-to-be with nearly 80 percent of them suffering from it. During pregnancy, the circulating estrogen level may increase a 100 fold. This is one of the reasons for nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. Other factors include a decrease in blood sugar level and an increase in stomach acids. How do I manage morning sickness at work? These simple home remedies for nausea and vomiting will aid in managing the symptoms & help you ease out in office: Embrace bland and salty foods. Keep plain biscuits and crackers handy. Munching these snacks helps maintain your blood sugar level. Always stay hydrated. Keep a bottle of water at your desk ready and sip small quantities every now and then. Say no to caffeine. Ditch your daily dose of coffee. During pregnancy, your sense of smell is enhanced, which will serve to nauseate you. You may want to avoid strong food smells and consequently group lunches. Stay away from the microwave. Eat cold food. Carry foods rich in folic acid like spinach, cauliflower, avocado, and orange. Consult your doctor to determine the intake of folic acid during pregnancy. Dab a few drops of rosemary or peppermint oil on your handkerchief and sniff it to combat nausea. Stay away from flickering screens. Reduce eye strain by softening the brightness and enlarging the font. Avoid heat. Request for your desk to be positioned near the fan or A/C. Cover your head with a stole while travelling. Try the above-mentioned remedies to combat nausea and vomiting and ensure a healthy pregnancy while you are working. What are the other pregnancy symptoms that may affect my work? Fatigue, lack of attention, cramps, backache, and swollen legs are some of the other pregnancy symptoms that you may have to endure.  content source