What Men should expect when their spouse is expecting?

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Livestrong’s Blog featured this article a while back. It’s perfect for a Guy whose wife is expecting. Learn all about what you can expect in the next few months.

Mental Changes

The first thing to expect from a pregnant wife is a lot of extra emotions. While her body is busy creating a tiny life inside her, women often feel “instability comparable to premenstrual syndrome, which may include irritability, mood swings, irrationality and weepiness” according to “What to Expect When You’re Expecting.” Generally the more PMS affects a woman, the more pregnancy will too. Not only are her emotions on a roller coaster, but her body is quickly enlarging in all sorts of places and her confidence can either increase with the joy of pregnancy or decrease as she feels fat.

Physical Changes

During the nine months of pregnancy, your wife’s uterus will increase to five times its normal size, and she will experience many other physical changes. Most first-time moms begin to show around four to five months, but before then she will gain weight all over to help her body design her tiny child. According to Discovery Health, she has a 20 percent to 40 percent increase in blood supply volume. Her changing metabolism can cause her to crave certain foods and need more calories.

Sex Life Changes

Many spouses enjoy the fact that increased blood flow often causes women to want sex more, and her breasts will slowly enlarge to almost gigantic by the time her milk comes in after delivery. Sex is a tricky thing during pregnancy, though. Your wife might crave sex more at certain times and then lose interest due to hormonal changes and an overwhelming tiredness. Increase your physical and emotional affection to help her feel extra connected and appreciated at such a demanding time in her life. The more helpful and loving you are, the more intimate she will feel.

Abandonment

Trying to support a pregnant woman can sometimes feel very isolating; all the attention is on her, and you might feel constantly expected to cater to her every need. While it is extremely important for the health of your relationship to support her, it is also important for her to recognize your needs. If you begin to feel abandoned by her, remember she is going through a major change and her maternal instincts are beginning to form. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t speak up. She might be so focused on herself and her pregnancy that she truly doesn’t mean to be less attentive. Communicate your needs to her.

Anxiety of Childbirth

The anticipation of childbirth starts almost as soon as she is pregnant. Your wife might be simultaneously fearful and excited about childbirth. It’s important to listen to her emotions and be as empathetic as possible. Assure her that you’ll be right there with her. Offer to take her to the bookstore for childbirth books and be open to her request for childbirth classes. Author Pam England says “The profound mystery and spirituality of birth can never be understood with the mind; they are known through the heart.” Be excited to be on this journey with your wife.

Credit: Livestrong

My Multiple-Personality Pregnancy

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I found out I was pregnant while on a holiday with my husband in Simla. While our car journey up the hilly roads, I fell very very sick. I thought it might’ve been motion sickness or altitude change. I was sick through our journey up the hills and it was even worse later in the evening. I decided to take a pill and I slept it off. I woke up the next morning with that same feeling. My husband decided that we visit the doctor. During consultation it was narrowed down and eventually I found out from him that I was pregnant.

I was surprised; you see we had started trying just a few weeks back. My husband was silent and kept looking at me. He then took me in his arms and swirled me around, as he was elated.  The holiday now had a whole new meaning, the morning sickness was still there, but it didn’t make me feel sick anymore. We celebrated for the next 4 days in Simla.

The day went by, where I stayed back in the room and forced my husband to go enjoy the Holiday he really needed. At 5 that evening, we got a call from the doctor who confirmed that we were pregnant. I was surprised; you see we had started trying just a few weeks ago. My husband was silent and kept looking at me. He then took me in his arms and swirled me around, as he was elated. The holiday after that had a whole new meaning, the morning sickness was still there, but it didn’t make me feel sick anymore. We celebrated for the next 4 days in Simla.

When I got back, I realized that this is not going to be easy. I write a journal – just jot down stuff from what happened in the day. I started noticing a few changes in me during the pregnancy period. ‘Mood Swings’ as they call it. And trust me, it was as if I had multiple personalities. So I started keeping a note and finally gave ‘names’ to my personalities. Here is an introduction to my gals, see if you can spot your alter-ego on this list.

Hungry Henna
With her around, the kitchen cabinets – and growing belly were always full. She would eat anything – ice creams, chocolates, pizzas, pastas – nothing was off limits. Especially during the last few months of pregnancy. She fancied fish (something I never ate before, mind you) and had actual cravings for fried fish, grilled fish, fish cutlets and anything else fishy.

Mood Swing Mona
Talk about mixed emotions. She would go from ‘I love you’ to ‘I hate you’ while getting dressed for work. She hates the changes in her body and the impending modifications to her life. One minute she feels flabby, and the next she just glowing. Husbands love to hate dear Mona, as they just don’t know what to expect. For instance, fancy dinner at a restaurant could very well change to pizza at home 9in her fat pants) faster than they can say ‘Ready!’

Tension Tina
With a racing mind, she spend her days (and sleepless nights) wonder what if…I don’t make it to the hospital on time? My water bursts at work? There’s something wrong with the baby? I cant breastfeed, I cant get comply sleeping on my left side? I can’t change a diaper? My baby always cries when in my arms? (You get the picture, don’t you)

Psycho Shreya
Typically shows up to organize the closet or kitchen cabinet at 3 a.m. Stockpiles gifts, just in case. Stockpiles groceries, just in case. Has amassed enough provisions that her canned goods could sustain a village through a nuclear attack. Warning: She is prone to hormonal surges, known to be violent, and should be approached with caution.

Absent-Minded Anisha
She never remembers anything – Where she parked her. To turn off the geyser. Close the door when leaving the house. Not unlocked. Wide Open. Names of her neighbours, friend or coworkers. Her phone number or email id. Frequently finds herself in the storage room wondering why she went there. At the supermarket (for Henna, of course) with an overflowing cart, she once realized that her wallet was at home. On the upside, the door was wide open, which simplified one step in retrieving it.

Sentimental Sakshi
She definitely loves a good cry; her tear ducts swells up several times in a day at the most stupidest of things. Children play at the park. An elderly couple holding hands. A sappy commercial on TV. Husband bringing home ice cream. Ensure she avoids chick flicks at all costs.

Book-worm Bhavna
She doesn’t stop at books though. From articles to forums, to blogs, she reads anything and everything she can about pregnancy, childbirth, baby development and the works. And in the world of apps, she has downloaded each and every pregnancy related app she could find. Her favorite book – Baby Names. She bounces of the best name she found that day to my husband every night.

Rational Rashi
She takes the ups and downs of pregnancy in stride. She is nervous about motherhood but confident about herself and her marriage. She doesn’t complain about her backaches and sore ankles or the sleepless nights. But finds comfort in knowing its temporary. And awaits her bundle of joy. She was my favourite and still is. She makes her welcome visits to me sometimes and everything feels just right.

Did you find you alter ego’s in my list? What was your multiple personality like?

10 Baby Shower Gift Ideas

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In some countries, a baby shower is a way to celebrate the pending or recent birth of a child. The term “shower” is often assumed to mean that the expectant mother is “showered” with gifts and hence the motivation for a baby shower always is the same : Pregnant women deserve a chance to celebrate and some presents to help them get ready for parenthood.

Buying the perfect gift is always quite a task, hence we’ve made a list to help you.

1. Bouncy seatbaby shower gift

While the baby wiggles and jiggles to his heart’s content, the parents can squeeze in a chore or two knowing he’s safe and entertained. Keep a newborn and his parents happy with a bouncy seat. These seats are secure and very safe and come with simple instructions for safety.

2. Baby monitor

Nervous first-time moms and dads will appreciate the reassuring presence of a portable baby monitor receiver on their bedside table. These gadgets have become more and more sophisticated — some models can pick up a baby’s faintest breaths within a range of 600 feet or more. They’re particularly comforting for parents whose baby is sleeping in another room. Newer options include motion sensors that sound an alarm if the baby hasn’t moved in a certain period time, and video monitors, which let parents see as well as hear their baby.

baby shower gift

3. Bedding

Pastel sheets covered in teddy bears, lambs, ducks, and other friendly critters are a perfect addition to any nursery, and soft fuzzy throws will help keep the baby warm. (They should be saved for out-of-the-crib cuddling, though, as soft bedding is a potential SIDS risk.) And you can be sure that any new mom or mom-to-be will be grateful to have extra linens come laundry day!

4. Baby sling or front carrier

One of the handiest ways a new mother can tote her baby around is in a sling or front carrier. Babies love the feeling of being snuggled up close to a parent’s warmth, and the ingeniously simple design leaves a mom’s arms free to do housework or errands while her little one sits protected in a makeshift pouch. As a bonus, some experts, including pediatrician William Sears, swear that the close contact encouraged by slings and front carriers helps strengthen the parent-child bond.

baby shower gift

5. Activity gym

Babies are enthralled by their environment in general, but you can make it even more fascinating with an activity gym — a contraption that typically includes a cloth mat and toys suspended from soft bars or arches. Colorful mirrors, noisemakers, and other objects of different shapes, sizes, and colors dangle within the baby’s grasp, encouraging his developing eyesight and growing physical skills. Portable and lightweight, activity gyms are travel-friendly, whether you’re shuttling between rooms or across the country.

 

baby shower gift

6. Bath Kit

For a gift that’s both fun and practical, grab a baby tub and fill it with all the essentials a new mother will need to keep her child squeaky clean. Be sure to include baby shampoo, a mild soap that won’t irritate a newborn’s sensitive skin, a soft washcloth (or sponge) and hooded towel, and a bright yellow rubber ducky for good measure. A baby comb and brush are nice additions, as are a couple of simple bath toys, even though infants won’t be able to really play with them for several more months. Toss in a bottle of bubble bath for Mom to use when her baby’s asleep, and you’re done.

7. Starter library

A shelf full of classic children’s books is a gift sure to win any mom-to-be’s heart. Reading them to her child will strengthen their bond, and the baby will begin to learn to appreciate the beauty of the written word. If you love the idea of giving books, consider making it the theme of the shower: Have everyone bring their favorite with a note to the baby tucked inside. Be sure to mix some baby-friendly board books in with the traditional hardcover variety — that way newborns will be able to truly appreciate the sound and the taste of your gift.

8. Out-and-about

If you’re a parent — or even if you aren’t — you know it’s virtually impossible to get out of the house without leaving something essential behind. Help the happy new parents avoid mishaps with an assembled out-and-about kit. Start with a diaper bag; add a couple of diapers, some wipes, an extra outfit (or two) for the baby, a bottle of ready-to-feed formula (if she’s formula feeding), a couple of small toys (rattles and chew toys are perfect), and a pacifier; toss in an extra T-shirt for mom; and finish it off with a pencil, a pad of paper, an extra set of keys (if you can get her originals to make copies), and a packet of safety pins. Now she’ll be prepared for anything.

9. Sleep kit

Why do newborns cry at night? This question may be unanswerable, but a basket full of things that make the nursery more soothing after dark can help a new parent survive those first few sleep-deprived months. Fill your sleep kit with a comforting nightlight, a soft blanket (for out-of-the-crib cuddling only, as soft bedding is a potential SIDS risk), and some soothing music made just for babies. If you want to splurge, include a white noise sound machine or a special mobile that plays music and projects dancing light pictures on nursery walls. The baby will be enthralled, and his parents may look a little perkier in the morning.

 

.baby shower gift

10. Nappytimes Babybook

Last but not the least. Our Nappytimes babybook works like a charm! It’s thoughtful, unique, differnt and it lasts forever. The babybook helps save important milestones and memories in one secure place. Once complete we will print the babybook and have it delivered to your friend.

Essential Nutrients During Pregnancy

The one thing that majorly gets affected with our jam-packed schedule is our meals and that leads to a shortage in critical nutrients. Even though the nutrients are all present in a well-balanced home-cooked meal, our hasty meals and fast food habits ensure we do not get all the necessary nutrients.

During your pregnancy it is of utmost importance to have a balanced meal that not only makes you healthy but also helps the baby grow. Revamp your diet to include the following nutrients in your diet and you will see the difference it makes to your health and energy levels.

Omega-3s

omega 3 during pregnancyA diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids reduce the risk of heart disease. Research shows that Omega-3s DHA and EPA help in preventing irregular heartbeats, reducing plaque buildup, keeping blood sugar in check and inflammation in the arteries.

A study has proven that infants born to mothers with higher blood levels of the omega-3 fatty acid and DHA at delivery have advanced levels of attention spans well into their 2nd year.

Where to find them:

Fish like salmon, trout, and sardines. Eating just one or two servings of fatty fish a week can improve your babies behavioural performance. Not into fish? Take a supplement.

 Vitamin D

vitamin d supplements

Vitamin D’s role to enhance the absorption of calcium from food is well known, though it also helps in reducing chronic pains, easing PMS, guarding against heart disease and even warding off cancer. The trouble is our body doesn’t get enough Vitamin D to protect against these problems. 

Sunlight is the main source of Vitamin D, but nowadays we protect ourselves from the sun and therefore the level of Vitamin D has declined. Blood tests can determine the amount of Vitamin D present in the body and during pregnancy, doctors’ recommend Vitamin D supplement. The supplements can be taken through pregnancy and after, as they have no side effects. If there is lack of Vitamin D during breast-feeding, vitamin D supplements can also be given to babies. Vitamin D is essential to keep issues such as osteoporosis (brittle bones) at bay.

Where to find it:

Salmon, fortified milk and cereal contain Vitamin D.

To get the recommended 1,000 IU, look for supplements that contain vitamin D (cholecalciferol), an active form that’s more effective than its vitamin D2 counterpart.

 

fiber rich food during pregnancy

 

Fiber

Important nutrients are supplied by a high-fiber diet and it helps prevent constipation in pregnant women. Pregnant women require 25 to 30 grams of dietary fiber daily along with proper hydration to avoid bloating, constipation and other stomach problems.

Where to find it:

Fiber is found in oatmeal, beans, barley, and most fruits and vegetables (especially apples, berries, and broccoli) but remember to keep yourself hydrated with a high-fiber diet.

 

calcium rich food during pregnancy

Calcium

We are all aware that calcium is essential for our bones, but calcium-rich foods also prevent diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and cancer and heart problems. Calcium is essential not only for bone and teeth development, but also for muscle and nerve functioning. The baby growing inside you needs a significant amount of calcium to develop. If enough calcium is not consumed your body will take the calcium from your bones thereby decreasing your bone mass and putting you at risk for osteoporosis.

Where to find it:

Two to three servings of dairy (and diary products) every day should meet your needs. Orange juice and calcium enriched cereals can also be consumer. There are calcium supplements available to meet the needs (or for those who are lactose intolerant).

Your Baby’s Snooze Time Routine

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A sleep routine is essential for your baby, ensuring that you baby is relaxed. When the baby gets accustomed to the routine, she will go to bed on time and fall asleep quickly.

At about the 6th week, a time should be set for her to follow. Soon enough your baby will appreciate the consistency and predictability of her bedtime. This sleep habit will be beneficial to you as parents.

Just before bedtime, include a calming activity like a bath, reading a story, playing a quiet game or cuddling. Also set the tone for your baby’s sleep by turning off the TV and dimming the lights 30 minutes before bedtime. Ensure a quiet environment, which means even the older children should play a quiet game. It is difficult for a baby who has already sleepy to move from a lively and noisy environment into a quiet room.

Which bedtime routines can I try?brushing baby teeth

Here are a few routines that have been carried out by my children when they are putting their babies to bed:

– Release pent up energy by playing a game with her or letting her dance it out. This basically tires the baby. Follow it up with a bath or a massage so she is calm just before she sleeps.

– Wash her hands and face, brush her teeth, change her nappy and put on her pyjamas just before bedtime. Start brushing her teeth, so she gets into the habit.

– Just before bed cuddle with your baby and chat with her – your baby will soon start responding. Your voice will soothe and comfort her.

– Carry the baby around to say goodnight to the family members (and pets). Keep it simple and quiet, its important not her over-stimulate her.

reading to baby

– Cuddle with you baby and read her a bedtime story. Slowly it will help her to recognize new words – it helps stimulating the baby’s language skills too.

– Sing a song or a lullaby. It is tried and tested way of helping the baby drift off. The soft, soothing melody will calm her down. Don’t know any lullaby’s – get onto youtube now.

– Cannot sing – create a playlist of lullabies, classical music and play it while you settle your baby to sleep. You can also leave it on after to help ease her stay asleep as it drowns out the other noises in the house.

– Help her sleep with a soothing massage, start with the legs until she gets used to it.

Stick to this routine even if you are away from home. It will be easier to settle her down in an unfamiliar surrounding.

Baby’s Room Décor and Baby Proofing

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With a baby on the way, the family goes through various changes when it comes to the lifestyle, habits, budgets and especially the home. The home is revamped to create a stimulating environment for the child. The décor goes through changes such as introducing plenty of colours, different textures and various visual elements around the home.

Colours and textures

Bright colours replace the light colour scheme. Protective covers are used around the home to protect the light coloured fabrics. Or an entire revamp to use easy to clean fabrics and materials. Less stress for you then?

baby room ideas and decor

The use of primary colours (Red, Blue, Yellow) are great for stimulating your baby’s senses and should be used in areas where your baby will spend most of their time. The baby’s (or toddlers) room is one place where such colours should be used. Bedtimes and sleep gets easier if the child is happy in his room.

The sense of touch is heightened with the use of textures. The materials used should be baby-friendly – washable and durable (e.g. plastic). Durable and child-friendly products will make life less stressful for you. Remember, babies just love exploring the surroundings with their senses and its essential to use such stimulators in their immediate environment.

Baby’s Room

The baby’s room should be painted with non-volatile organic compound; they emit fewer fumes. Fumes can be harmful for your baby and causes headache, nausea and sometimes respiratory problems.

The location of the nursery should be close to your own room so that it is easier when feeding at night. The room should be clutter free with the baby’s cot, your cot (if you are sharing the room with him), cupboard and diaper-changing table which can also hold all the baby essential products such as feeding bottle, milk, diapers, baby lotions and creams etc.
Keep the bed away form the window and air conditioner to protect them from drafts. The cot should be away from the cupboard so as to avoid anything falling into the cot. Add a rocking chair – its perfect for feeding and putting baby to sleep.

baby proofing

Baby Proofing

One of the most important things to change in your home décor is baby proofing the house. Once the baby starts moving around he will explore the environment through his sense of touch. Assess every item before it is brought into your harm – that mans no sharp edges, dangerous paints or chemical treatments to be keep in the reach of your child.

There are many gadgets available that can help in baby-proofing your home. Here are a few essential things to take care of:

– Child-proof locks for cupboard and doors where unsafe products are stored
– Baby Gates to block the doorways into rooms where the baby could be in danger

baby proofing the house

– Appliance cables and tablecloths can be pulled by the baby which can make the appliance or items on the table fall
– Plug point holes where the baby will insert their fingers should be covered
– Sharp edges on tables need to be covered
– Keep small items such as coins, marbles etc. which could choke a baby if he puts it into his mouth
– Safety Door Stop around the edge to prevent slams on fingers
– Toilet lid lock, many accidents take place in the toilet
– Keep medication off limits
– If you have stairs in the house, a gate is essential

It is advised that the parent’s crawl around the house and look at the things from a babies point of view, Its better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to your baby’s safeguarding.

Say No To Alcohol When Breast-feeding

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Mothers have often been advised not to drink alcohol while they are still breast feeding because no level of alcohol present in breast milk is considered to be safe for the baby. The alcohol consumed passes into the breast milk just like it does in your bloodstream. Although the alcohol exposed to the baby is just a fraction of what the mother consumes, the elimination of the alcohol from the baby’s system is at half the rate of an adult.

The exposure to alcohol in a breast-fed baby leads to changes in sleep patterns and impaired motor development.

It is advised by doctors that breast-feeding should be avoided completely till the alcohol has been cleared out of the breast milk. This can take approximately two to three hours or more depending on amount consumed and body weight. The speed of elimination of alcohol from your breast milk will not be reduced by ‘pumping and dumping’, so it should be avoided.

According to Folklore, alcohol improves the production of milk, but this has been proven wrong in various studies. Studies have actually shown that alcohol consumption decreases milk production and that the presence of alcohol in breast-milk reduces consumption by about 20%.

Breastfeeding is essential for a newborn and recommended until the baby turns one. So if you do plan on drinking, plan carefully to avoid exposing your baby to the effects of alcohol.