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Emily

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To breastfeed or not to breastfeed? New mothers often struggle with this decision. Experts agree that breastfeeding offers significant benefits to your little one. You may not know, however, that mothers reap some benefits from breastfeeding, too. Benefits for your baby Breastfeeding provides a skin-to-skin contact that helps your baby bond with you and feels secure. In addition, your breast milk provides your baby with many health benefits. For full effects of these health benefits, babies should be breastfed exclusively for six months (no solids or liquids other than breast milk), but experts agree that even a short period of breastfeeding is better than none at all. Nutrition Breast milk is complete nutrition. It’s the perfect mix of vitamins, fat, and protein, and it changes over time to adjust to your baby’s nutritional needs as he grows. Immune defense The antibodies in breast milk help your baby fight off bacteria…

One of the most exciting moments in a pregnancy is when you feel your baby kicking for the first time.  However, many mothers, especially those who are experiencing their first pregnancy, aren’t always aware of the first kicks.  They often mistake them for gas or nerves.  Nevertheless, somewhere in the second trimester (sometimes as early as the 13th week for women who have had previous pregnancies and as late as the 26th week for first-timers), you will feel that first kick – something akin to a flutter or tickle deep in your belly.  Make no mistake about it, it will be one of the best and happiest moments of your pregnancy.  Those little kicks, which will become more frequent and more powerful as your baby grows, are often your baby’s way of communicating with you.  It’s important to pay attention to them so that you can learn what your baby…

If you’re a pregnant college student, you may be feeling like the odds are stacked against you. How can you possibly meet all of your school’s expectations while still taking care of yourself and your baby? It’s true that going to college or university while pregnant is a challenging experience. With some advance planning and collaboration with your professors and school administration, you can continue to be successful at school while pregnant. Self-Care You have a new boss – your baby! It’s up to you to take good care of yourself, for your own sake and for the sake of your child. Each woman’s body is different, and you’ll discover what you need to do for yourself as you proceed through your pregnancy. Some self-care tips that have proven useful for other pregnant students include: Invest in a wheeled backpack If you’re carrying books and notebooks around campus, it may…

Are you ready to introduce your baby to the outside world? Your diaper bag is about to become your new best friend – it’s your changing table on the go. In addition to holding the items that your baby needs, your diaper bag should be something that you will feel comfortable carrying. Once you’ve found the right bag, backpack, or tote, you’ll need to figure out what to put in it. Read on to learn how to pack the perfect diaper bag. Choosing Your Diaper Bag Find a diaper bag that’s comfortable when you pick it up and sling it over your shoulder. Today’s diaper bags come in every shape and style, from bulky tote to stylish backpack. You’ll be spending a lot of time with your diaper bag, so make sure you like how it looks and feels. Pick a bag with a plastic liner for easy cleaning. It’s…

If you’re pregnant, you’ve probably already realized that your body is capable of playing all kinds of mischievous tricks on you.  Perhaps you’ve been battling morning sickness, or your skin has broken out and resembles a photo of yourself from eighth grade, or maybe it has you waking up three or four or even five times during the night to use the bathroom.  There are all kinds of surprises in store for pregnant women.  One not to be overlooked is the dreaded hot flash. Hot Flashes:  Not Just for Menopause We’ve all heard about hot flashes – those uncomfortable episodes that leave middle-aged women flushed and sweating as they navigate menopause.  Well, here’s a little tidbit:  they can happen during pregnancy, too.  The reason they accompany so many of us during our pregnancies is due to fluctuating hormonal levels.  Just like menopause, pregnancy wreaks havoc with our hormones.  As our…

As in any medical procedure, there are risks and benefits to be considered when choosing which option is best for you.  It’s likely that, if you haven’t already, you will soon find yourself discussing labor delivery options with your physician and, most likely, friends and family, as well.  You will probably hear all kinds of information regarding the best delivery option for you.  As in most situations, the more research and knowledge you can stockpile for yourself, the easier it will be to feel comfortable with your decision, whatever it may be.  Let’s begin at the beginning. Important First Steps in Choosing the Best Delivery Option for You and Your Baby Create a birthing plan that clearly states your wishes and expectations during delivery. Include a Plan A option that reflects your most ideal scenario and also include a Plan B that would be referred to only if your Plan…

Has your baby become extra fussy when you change her diaper? Diaper rash may be the culprit! Diaper rash is extremely uncomfortable for your little one. Fortunately, it’s also fairly easy to treat. Many parents choose a natural treatment, like coconut oil. There are also several commercial products available at your local drugstore that can be effective. In extreme cases, a visit to your doctor may be necessary. You’ll have a happier baby if you learn how to prevent diaper rash (an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure). Even with the best prevention, however, most babies develop a diaper rash at some point in their first year. Use these prevention and treatment tips to help your baby avoid or recover from diaper rash. Tips for Preventing Diaper Rash Diaper rash is most often caused by a wet diaper that’s been left on too long. A diaper that’s…

Changing diapers isn’t difficult, but it does take up a surprising amount of time.  Infants require an average of 10 daily diaper changes. As they mature, the number decreases to about 5 or 6. However, since the average child doesn’t potty train until they’re two years old, it’s safe to assume that you will spend over 400 hours changing nearly 5000 diapers in those first few years. But, don’t look at those hours spent as a burden.  Moments spent diapering your child can be special bonding times, as long as you’re properly prepared so that you can focus on the positives instead of the inevitable messiness that is part and parcel of diapering. Three Basic Rules of Safe Diapering There are three concrete rules that all caretakers must abide by.  They are not up for debate. Always wash your hands before changing your baby’s diaper. I know, it sounds counter-intuitive……

If you’re a first-time mom wondering how to potty train your baby, you may be feeling overwhelmed. Sometimes the most challenging part is figuring out when your child is ready. Although each child’s development is different, most babies are ready to start potty training when they are between 20 and 30 months old. You can look for some behavioral and physical signs to figure out when your child is ready. Physical readiness Your child should be able to walk and run easily, with minimal falling. He should also have enough fine motor skills to be able to do things like remove clothing and tear a piece of toilet paper from the roll. His bladder and bowel muscles also need to be developed enough that he can control them. Signs that he can control these muscles include staying dry for at least two hours, and well-formed bowel movements that happen at…

Diaper bags are essential items for new parents.  They come in all shapes, colors, and sizes.  You can find inexpensive vinyl ones, moderately priced printed fabric ones, or even top-of-the-line Italian leather ones. But, regardless of what you pay or what it’s made out of, the dirty truth is, diaper bags get messy. Really messy. Since it’s not always an option to toss our diaper bags in the trash when they become too soiled, it’s best to concede to the idea that you will need to spend some time caring for your trusty sidekick. For the most part, diaper bags can be cleaned and cared for with just a few simple non-toxic household items. If you put a little time and effort in every now and again, your bag shouldn’t have any trouble going the distance and staying with you for the long haul.  While there are several cleaning agents…