What to Expect When You Work and Are Expecting: Understanding Your Rights

When you’re a pregnant working professional, life at work can be a little stressful. Pregnancy isn’t easy to begin with, and on top of that, you risk being discriminated against simply because you’re pregnant. Because of this, it’s important to understand your rights as a pregnant employee so you can defend yourself properly if such an incident occurs. So here’s what you need to know:

Discrimination is Illegal

Times have changed since an employer could ask a woman if she was pregnant and make his hiring determination because of her answer. Based on pregnancy status, it's illegal to deny someone a job, demote, decrease pay rate or terminate employment. If your exact job is not available to you after maternity leave, you must be offered an equal or better job with equal or greater pay.

You Are Entitled to Maternity Leave

State laws regarding maternity leave differ, but there are some situations that every state addresses. Regardless of your place in your company's organization, you are entitled to the amount of maternity leave specified in your state's guidelines. It is illegal to use bullying tactics to intimidate a woman who is contemplating maternity leave or discriminate against her when she returns. Causing your work environment to be hostile in any way due to your pregnancy can be grounds for the dismissal of the person who instigates the situation.

Sexual Harassment Can Still Happen

People generally want to be helpful to pregnant women. The more advanced your pregnancy, the more help you will probably be offered. Unfortunately, you might also get some offers that are somewhat creepy and illegal as well. Pregnancy does not put you out of harm's way when it comes to sexual predators. Whether you're pregnant or not, being hit on when you have not invited it is not allowed in the workplace. A coworker may be more helpful than necessary, let his eyes linger on your fuller body or touch your belly without your consent. If you feel uncomfortable with someone at work, discuss it with your superior or human resources.

In general, pregnancy puts you in a somewhat vulnerable space. You want to protect your child and you deserve to be treated with respect at all times. Just remember that you have rights and resources that can help you if an incident occurs. 

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Find Some Relief with Foods That Actually Help with Morning Sickness

No one likes feeling nauseous even for a little while. However, when it comes to pregnancy, an upset stomach is something that typically comes with the territory. While some women experience typical morning sickness that usually subsides after a few weeks, others are not as lucky. Some women can experience all-day nausea, and some even deal with this throughout their entire pregnancy. Doctors are writing countless prescriptions for anti-nausea medication; luckily, there are other, healthier options for battling debilitating morning sickness.

Ginger

Did you know that ginger can help make that queasy stomach subside quickly? You can consume ginger in a crystallized form or even sip a cup of ginger tea. Ginger ale has been commonly used as a way to reduce nausea and typically works for most people. Taking 1.1 to 1.5 grams of ginger may significantly reduce nausea symptoms for morning sickness.

Lemon

Lemon is another great way to relieve nausea symptoms rather quickly. The acid in the lemon juice can really help to ease a topsy-turvy stomach. If you want a double dose of goodness, you can add lemon to your ginger tea. This way, you will have the benefits of both ingredients in one. If you find the tea to be a little too strong for your liking, you can try adding a little honey to sweeten it without making it too sugary.

Carbonated Beverages

Beverages that are carbonated, like soda, can also help reduce that nauseous feeling. This can work great if you want relief on the go and aren't able to make a cup of tea or eat a lemon. If you are out and about when that queasy feeling hits you, pick up a soda, especially a ginger ale, if you want a quick relief that you can have with you throughout the day. 

There are a few other natural ways to help with nausea, like making sure to get enough sleep, staying away from greasy foods, and drinking enough water. Watching your diet is probably one of the best ways to combat morning sickness as foods that are too heavy in fats or spices may be triggering. Bland foods, such as crackers, and even acidic foods, like green apples, not only help to minimize morning sickness, but they are healthy food choices for you as well.


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Small Steps to Take When Your Child is Learning to Walk

As the old saying goes, your little one has to learn to walk before they can run. But what that old saying doesn't account for is the stress that goes into helping your child learn how to walk for the first time. When your child is getting ready to graduate from crawling to taking their first steps, there are a few steps that you can take to help them walk as well as you can.

Protection and Safety

You are a parent, so you cannot help but want to help protect your baby as they begin to walk for the first time. To avoid injury or other problems, it's important to keep your floors clean and free of common household hazards and other possible obstructions. Now is the time to put caps around any and all pieces of sharp-edged furniture. Cover your electrical outlets with clear plugs that will prevent any injuries. Keep the floors dry, and make sure that the carpets are cleared of toys and other possible obstacles that could trip your little one while they take their first steps.

Shoes

It is perfectly acceptable for babies to be barefoot when learning how to walk indoors. In fact, it might actually be a good idea for your little one to forego the footwear while learning to take steps inside. When they're walking outside, though, it is important to protect your child's feet. Shoes with soft soles are best for babies as they learn to walk for the first time outdoors. It is crucial to ensure their feet are protected from rocks, stinging insects and other outdoor obstructions.

Engage in Exercise

If you are a parent who wants to help your little one along in their walking journey, you can encourage independent walking through exercise. Holding your baby's hand while they waddle around the house is one good way to foster a sense of independence in a safe environment. You can also help your baby refine their coordination by encouraging them to hold onto the wall or furniture while they try to stand and move around.

Walking is one of the most exciting milestones in your child's life. You can ensure that this significant moment in life is a happy one by preparing your baby as best as possible. A safe environment, proper footwear, and plenty of exercise will help to teach your child to walk.


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What to Do When Your Wedding Ring Doesn’t Fit Anymore

When you invest in your wedding ring set, you usually don’t think about life changes that could alter the fit of your ring. After all, you have to make a choice on the size. You don’t really want to leave any extra room that could result in the ring falling off. And when a woman gets pregnant or gains some weight later in life, this can change how well a ring fits. If you’re in the middle of this predicament, let’s take a look at what you can do to rectify the situation.

Get it Resized

There are jewelers that will resize your ring for you. If it is too small, they can actually add extra metal to the ring, so it fits better. Keep in mind, there are certain rings this won’t work well for. If you have a plain band that will rotate as the day goes on, you don’t want a portion of the ring to look like it has been pieced together. If you have something that has a diamond on top, which will hold the ring in place, this would be a more suitable situation for resizing. The resizing itself can cost nothing or it can cost a couple hundred dollars — according to Jeweler’s Mutual, it all depends on what the ring is made of, whether you have a warranty, and other factors.

Use an Alternative

If your ring isn’t fitting right now, you can go out and purchase another ring that will fit better if your budget allows. You could also buy something that isn’t a precious metal or that contains diamonds. Some people have an adverse reaction to these cheaper materials though. Their finger can develop a green mark on it or become red and itchy. Comfort is important. According to Enso Rings, high-quality, medical-grade silicone rings are safer than traditional wedding rings for those experiencing swelling.

Go Without One

If you and your spouse are comfortable with the idea, you can always ditch the wedding ring for the time being. After all, you both know that you’re married. You don’t necessarily need a ring to remind you of that. You’ll be able to put your ring back on when your swelling goes down or your fingers get smaller. Don’t sell that ring just yet! There are many ways that you can cope with your ring not fitting at this point in time. Chances are, your ring is going to fit again at some point. You just need to find a way to bridge the gap. If you’re looking to have your ring altered, make sure that you work with a reputable jeweler that will keep your ring safe.

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Developmental Issues to Watch for in Your Child's First Months of Life

Every parent wants the best for their baby. As the days turn into weeks and the weeks into months, you will be eagerly awaiting the milestones. Baby's first smile, baby's first laugh and baby's first time cooing are unlike anything else for parents. But there are certain developmental issues to keep an eye out for during your little one's first months of life to ensure everything is on track.

Muscle Stiffness or Softness

Babies' bodies tend to be soft and fragile at the beginning of their lives, and that isn't worrisome to start. As the baby grows older though, it is important that she is able to lift her head and later her shoulders. If you notice that your baby is having a difficult time lifting her head during tummy time or that her muscles seem rigid during the small moments of playtime you incorporate in the beginning, you'll want to let your pediatrician know as it could be a symptom of cerebral palsy.

Lack of Hearing

Normally, hearing problems are diagnosed in the hospital. However, sometimes hearing issues show up later in a baby's life. According to Black Hills ENT, hearing loss is the No. 1 birth defect in America and many studies have shown that early diagnosis of hearing loss is crucial to the development of speech, language, cognitive, and psychosocial abilities. It is important to talk to your baby regularly and be sure she is responding appropriately. If you notice something seems off, do not delay in contacting your baby's doctor.

Eye Problems

Some eye problems are detectable at birth, such as eye shape deformities. Other eye problems develop later, though. These eye problems can range from visual impairment to total blindness. According to All About Vision, your baby should be able to track movements by two to three months old. If they aren’t tracking movements, you should get that checked out. Catching visual impairments early leads to earlier intervention, which can help prevent an array of problems from arising later in the future, such as chronic headaches.

You are already vigilant about your baby's health. Being aware of these developmental issues will add another layer of protection to your bundle of joy. Many developmental disorders and complications can be treated or even cured if caught at an early age, so be sure to keep your doctor informed about any potential problems you are noticing.

More Developmental Delay Facts

Believe it or not, most developmental delays do not have a known cause. Most people are aware of the dangers of smoking or drinking alcohol while pregnant. But infections during pregnancy tend to increase the risk of developmental issues in babies. While you are expecting, pay close attention to changes that seem “not quite right” and, of course, check in with your doctor immediately.

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3 Things New Moms Don't Talk About (But Really Should)

Having a new baby is a dream for so many women. You couldn’t be happier after giving birth to your bundle of joy. You’ve spent nine months preparing for that precious baby, and you deserve nothing but quality time with your child. 

While new babies are a joyous time in a new mom’s life, there are some changes that come along with the package. Many moms would prefer to not talk about any negativity surrounding post-delivery, but motherhood comes with its own set of challenges.

Not Recognizing Your Body

Another topic that women would rather not discuss is how different your body may look after giving birth. There’s so much pressure in this world to look perfect all the time, and it’s tough to feel like you measure up even without becoming a mom. Add pregnancy and birth into the equation, and frankly all those articles about celebrities getting their beach bods back within a month of giving birth or Olympic athletes competing shortly after getting a Caesarean are really unrealistic. 

Sure, you have stretch marks, lopsided boobs, extra weight, and ill-fitting clothes. But you know what? All those changes were necessary for the incredible biological feat of growing a baby. It not only made a baby — it did a beautiful job of doing it, and that makes everything about those changes beautiful. It’s more important to focus on your health instead of obsessing over getting back to your “pre-baby” body. You should never feel bad about how you look. Your baby loves your body. Your husband loves your body. So be proud of your body!

The Pressure to Be Super-Mom

Due to the proliferation of mom blogs and forums, every new mom is worried that she’s not raising her baby right, and every experienced mom seems determined to offer her opinion on the subject. The conflict? Every other mom has a different opinion, and they can clash quite violently. This is terrifying to new moms, making them afraid to ask for help in case they get attacked by other moms.

If this is you, take a deep breath and get off Facebook. Mom forums can be crazy, and the fact is that those faceless women aren’t parenting experts. Regardless of what they tell you, as long as you’re doing your best and listening to your baby’s doctors, you’re doing fine. If you want advice (which is definitely a good idea when you’re on your first time around the motherhood block), get it from women you actually know and trust, not strangers on the internet.

It’s also important to pay attention to your own self-care during this time, too. You don’t have to sacrifice your own wellbeing to be a great mom, and frankly, you shouldn’t even consider it, because sacrificing your own wellbeing can have the opposite effect. For example, sleep-deprived new moms are three times more likely to be in a car accident than other drivers on the road. Sacrificing self-care can also put you on the fast track to postpartum depression or worsen current symptoms.

Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression is another struggle for many new moms. Mental illness has an incredible stigma surrounding it, and while many people are working to lift that stigma, they’re no getting around the fact that it’s still there. The fact of the matter though is that due to the crazy hormones surrounding pregnancy and birth, postpartum depression is a fact of life for many, many women. You are not alone, but that shouldn’t make you feel like you need to just “tough it out”. 

If you feel the symptoms of postpartum depression, reach out to your doctor for help. Talk to your friends, family, and spouse about your struggles. Do not feel ashamed! You’re a new mother, and you must take care of yourself so you can care for the baby. You don’t ever have to feel like living in silence as so many new moms do. There are treatments available to make you feel like yourself again.

In conclusion, having a new baby is such an amazing time for any new mother. You’re sure to have many moments of snuggling and immense happiness along with some struggles; it’s just part of life. If you’re experiencing any depression symptoms after giving birth, reach out to your doctor to get some help. You deserve to be happy, and your baby deserves to have a happy and healthy mommy!


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Tips for a Happy, Safe Bath Time

Bath time can be the ideal way to help your child relax before bed. Most kids enjoy their baths, especially if you have some fun toys for them to play with. To keep bath time safe and happy for everyone involved, parents and children alike, be sure to always check the water temperature before each bath, and take some basic safety precautions.

Bath Toys

There are plenty of different bath toys available. You may wish to choose toys that feature a favorite character or animal. Some bath toys are interactive, so you can play with your young child during bath time. There are waterproof books, bath-friendly art supplies, and stacking toys that will keep your child entertained during bath time. One thing to remember when it comes to bath toys is that they need to be cleaned regularly. Some are even dishwasher safe. If the toys you have start to smell or look moldy, be sure to replace them to prevent your child from getting sick. 

Water Temperature

Checking the water temperature is especially important when you have infants and toddlers. The temperature of the bathwater being used by children should be carefully and frequently monitored. While most parents are always cautious about the water being too hot, it's also important to prevent the water from getting too cold. This will make your child chilly and can cause him or her to not enjoy his or her bath. There are several different styles of thermometers on the market that are specifically designed for use in the bathtub. It may be a good idea to adjust the maximum water temperature of your hot water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit to help prevent scalding

Safety First

When you have small children in the bathtub, safety should be paramount. Parents can often get busy or distracted with other tasks, which can mean leaving your child alone for a few moments. However, bath time is not the time for multitasking. It's important to always supervise your kids in the bathtub to prevent any accidents. For especially young babies, you may want to invest in a soft bath mat or a small baby tub to use as these can be more comfortable for infants. It's also important to be selective when choosing the products you use on your kids when it comes to soaps and shampoos. Be sure to find options that are tear-free and gentle enough to use on sensitive skin, especially if you have an infant.

Bath time doesn't have to be stressful for kids or parents. Having a fun bath time routine is a great way to spend time with your children at the end of the day and prepare them for bed. One of the best ways to help your child enjoy his or her bath is by having a variety of bath toys available. It's also important to stay safe when your young child is in the water by checking the water temperature and following basic safety precautions.

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What Should I Know About Common Morning Sickness Medications?

Morning sickness can severely impact your life during the first trimester of your pregnancy. For some women, persistent nausea, vomiting, headaches and general malaise are enough to prevent them from even leaving the house. If you’re on the hunt for morning sickness solutions that can help you function normally during your first trimester, the following medications may be of use.

Phenergan

Phenergan, also known as promethazine, is commonly prescribed for nausea associated with motion sickness and morning sickness. The drug also works well for sleep difficulties and allergic reactions because it blocks the release of endogenous inflammatory chemicals known as histamines. Its nausea-reducing capabilities stem from its ability to block the action of another endogenous chemical, acetylcholine. As Phenergan blocks acetylcholine, it reduces your body’s parasympathetic nerve impulses. Because nausea and vomiting are both regulated by your parasympathetic nervous system, promethazine works to calm the vomiting impulse. While the drug is certainly effective against morning sickness, it does carry side effects. They include:

  • Confusion

  • Altered heart rate

  • Photosensitivity

  • Sedation

  • Blurred vision

Keep in mind the above side effects are not an exhaustive list. Always do your research before ingesting any drug, even if it is prescribed by your physician. You’ll also need to inform your doctor of any other medications you are currently taking as Phenergan has certain drug interactions that may be dangerous for pregnant women. There is also a possibility that Phenergan use during late pregnancy may increase your baby’s risk of developing respiratory depression.

Zofran

Zofran, also known as ondansetron, is commonly prescribed for the treatment of post-surgical nausea and vomiting as well as for similar symptoms associated with pregnancy. The drug works by blocking one of the body’s endogenous chemicals known as serotonin. Serotonin regulates your parasympathetic nerve impulses; because Zofran is a serotonin inhibitor, the drug works to prevent nausea and vomiting. Common side effects from the use of Zofran include:

  • Drowsiness

  • Dizziness

  • Headaches

  • Constipation

  • Lightheadedness


Uncommon, yet severe, Zofran side effects include muscle spasms, blurred vision, stomach discomfort and chest pain. If you experience any potentially severe side effects, contact your doctor immediately. Before using this drug, keep in mind that some fetuses have had in their own blood 50% of the levels of Zofran found in the mother, which has caused concerning problems in some cases. While using this drug, speak with your doctor about any worries you may have regarding your own health or that of your baby.

Diclegis

Diclegis contains a combination of pyridoxine (vitamin B6), and the antihistamine, doxylamine. The medication works by affecting the release of two endogenous chemicals, serotonin and acetylcholine. Because these chemicals regulate your body’s vomiting impulse, Diclegis works to calm nausea and reduce the urge to vomit. Common side effects when using Diclegis include:

  • Diarrhea

  • Constipation

  • Headache

  • Drowsiness

  • Difficulty sleeping


Serious, yet uncommon, side effects include irritability, confusion, anxiety, rapid heartbeat and urinary trouble. If you experience any alarming side effects, inform your doctor immediately. Diclegis does have several drug interactions, so be sure to inform your physician of any other medications you are currently taking. Keep in mind that Diclegis, formerly known as Bendectin, was pulled from the market in 1983 following reports of alleged birth defects. The medication was reapproved by the FDA in 2013 following numerous safety studies which confirmed no risk of fetal side effects.

Morning sickness can be a tough pill to swallow, but thankfully, there are several prescription pills designed to help you overcome it. Before taking any medication, always speak with your doctor regarding your own health concerns and those of your developing fetus. Anything you ingest can affect your baby, so always be cautious when it comes to medications!


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3 Tips for Surviving a Day at the Pool with Your Little Ones

Summer is a fun time for your family to spend many hours together by the pool. Give yourself peace of mind while hanging out at the pool by taking proper safety precautions. Read on to learn three tips for surviving a day at the pool with your little ones. 

Have Shade

Ensuring there is shade near the pool is very important. You can bring your own shade with a sunshade umbrella that you take from home. Or, try finding a covered rest area in a pool park or a tree to sit under. Wearing hats also provides a form of shade.  Every child and adult who is spending the day in the sun should wear a hat at all times. Shade also prevents some materials from becoming too hot. Whenever possible, have your child play in shaded areas. Shade can also help prevent dehydration and heatstroke. The best time to hydrate is while resting in the shade. 

Teach Your Little Ones About Pool Dangers

You should also teach your little ones about the dangers of running around the pool and the consequences of breaking that rule. Most parents know about the risks, but toddlers and children need to hear rules repeated many times. With toddlers, it is best to keep things simple. Let them know they may fall and get hurt or fall into the pool and be unable to swim. Also, always have toddlers wear floaties. These floatation devices save many lives every year. If your toddler resists, then bring them to the store and let them choose the floaties that have their favorite Disney character on them. This will make the rule more fun, and toddlers and children will follow rules when they feel like it was their decision.  

Sunscreen

When playing in the sun, wearing sunscreen is important. When swimming is involved, be sure to reapply sunscreen every 45 minutes. Sunscreen takes about 15 minutes to sink into the skin and become active. Be sure to use waterproof sunscreen, and be sure to follow through with application even if your child finds it uncomfortable. There are also more natural physical sunscreen options, such as ones that are titanium and zinc-based. Those are called mineral sunscreens as opposed to chemical sunscreens.

Summer pool safety is important, and there are certainly some hazards of pool time that you need to look out for. That being said, don't let it take away from your fun. Teach your child a few safety rules, reapply sunblock, and enjoy your summer.

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How Medical Advances Are Empowering Parents During Pregnancy

Pregnancy and childbirth can be some of the most exciting times for parents, but the whole process can also be very daunting. Although we've made great strides at making the birthing process safer and easier for women, there's still a long way to go. Thankfully, advancements in science and medicine continue to help empower parents to take charge of their pregnancies with the tools and information necessary to do what's best for their families. Below, we explore three ways in which modern medical developments are doing just that.

Earlier Detection of Pregnancy

Wanting to know if you're pregnant as soon as possible is nothing new. The ancient Egyptians recorded a way of detecting a pregnancy and even the gender of the child that involved peeing on wheat and barley seeds. Although only about 70% accurate, modern researchers showed that the high levels of estrogen found in the urine of a pregnant womsn can indeed speed seed germination. Fortunately, pregnancy detection has advanced greatly since then. Today, pregnancy tests measure a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin or hCG, which is found only in pregnant women. For a few dollars and from the comfort of home, women can check if they're pregnant with over 99% accuracy. 

In-Utero Examinations

Many parents are interested in knowing the health of their baby before they're born, and thanks to modern technology, this is now possible. Advancements in technology are allowing physicians to detect developmental complications or signs that are indicative of them while the baby is still in utero. Originally, prenatal testing involved a process known as amniocentesis, in which amniotic fluid was removed from the uterus through a syringe and tested for genetic abnormalities, lung development, infections and more. However, amniocentesis can be a risky procedure and carries the risk of miscarriage. A new method, noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT), allows for similar tests, including for chromosomal abnormalities, to be done with a simple maternal blood test and no risk to the baby.

3D and 4D Ultrasounds

A prenatal ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of the fetus, placenta and amniotic sac, allowing doctors to make sure the fetus is developing normally. The technology has been around since the 1950s and used to only allow for 2D black and white images, but new advancements can create three-dimensional real-time images. Not only does this allow parents to see the actual face of their baby and observe their behavior, like laughing and thumb-sucking, but it also allows for a clearer analysis of the fetus and a greater ability to diagnose abnormalities.

As science and medicine continue to progress in the field of family planning and prenatal care, parents are becoming even more empowered to make the best decisions for their families and better prepare for their new arrival.

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3 Guidelines for Using a Car Seat Correctly

A car seat is the best way to make sure your child is protected during car rides. In fact, it is illegal for small toddlers and infants to be in a vehicle without a car seat. These seats save lives, protect a baby from being banged up, and protect kids from whiplash. However, a car seat is useless if it isn't properly installed. 

Proper Installation

The two main types of car sets are rear-facing and front-facing. No matter which type of car seat you are using, you should not put the car seat in the front. Car seats should always be used in the back. A car seat can be secured in a vehicle either using a seat belt or with anchors. 

The best way to make sure your car seat is properly installed is to refer to the owner's manual of the seat. All car seats are different, but the manual will explain how to properly install your particular model. 

The Right Seat for the Child

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children use booster seats until they are at least 4'9". However, laws vary depending on the state. Choosing a car seat for your child is all about knowing your kid. You will have to select one that is perfect for his or her size, and this means you will be buying new car seats frequently until the child is tall enough to ride without one. 

The good news is that there are only two pieces of data to take into account: height and weight. It shouldn't be too difficult to find a decent car seat and the right seat belt fit if you spend a day shopping around. 

The Right Car 

A car seat isn't the only thing you need to protect your child. You also need to make sure your car is in proper working order. Some vehicles are more car seat friendly than others. For example, it is recommended to put a car seat in the center back of the vehicle; however, not all cars have attachments for a car seat to be placed in this spot. 

Once you have the right size car seat and have the car seat properly installed, it is time to make sure it is secure. You can just test it with your own strength, but you can also take it for a test drive without your child.


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3 Tips for Keeping Your Child Safe While They Play

With summer in full swing, accidents involving children are inevitably on the rise. Attentive parents understand the importance of keeping their children safe as they play. Here are three proven tips to help you to keep your children protected from a host of potential dangers.

Supervise Them

The cardinal rule in keeping your child safe is to always provide them with adequate supervision. Having a designated adult in charge of each child will reduce the risk of injury or other mishaps. Once your child reaches the later elementary school years, you can ease up on supervising him or her when he or she is playing outside. It is important to balance proper supervision with the encouragement that your child needs to become more independent. You can also ease up on the supervision in more controlled environments, such as your home, but be more vigilant in areas that are unfamiliar.

Use Protective Equipment

The proper use of protective equipment can protect against a host of injuries and accidents. It is critical that you make wearing a helmet while riding a bike a nonnegotiable issue. According to Hughey Law Firm, bicycle helmets should meet minimum safety standards in order to adequately protect from head injuries. A bike store professional can help ensure that the helmet is sized properly. If your children participate in youth athletics, it is imperative that they are outfitted with the right protective gear and equipment. This will guard against injuries and give you peace of mind as you send your kids out to compete.

Educate and Empower Them

At the end of the day, the most important thing that you can do is educate and empower your kids to protect themselves from potential danger, according to Educate Empower Kids. Talking openly to your children about issues such as stranger danger, the importance of wearing a bike helmet and what adults they can trust can help them understand how to protect themselves. Engaging in age-appropriate discussions will help your child take responsibility for his or her own personal safety as he or she ages. This is an invaluable tool that will serve your child well in life.

Any parent wants to be able to make sure that their child is safe while they are playing. Equipping yourself and your child with the right tools and knowledge will ensure that he or she is as protected as possible from potential accidents and dangers. As a parent, you can never be too cautious when it comes to the well-being of your children.

How to Tell That You're Ready for Another Child

After having your first child, you may assume that you will have another one and that you will know when the timing is right. The problem is that having one child doesn't always make it easier to decide when to add to the family. There are many factors to consider, and you need access to your health in multiple areas of your life before adding to your family.

You’re Financially Ready

Having kids is expensive. From childbirth to daycare, there are always out-of-pocket costs when adding to the family. You will either be doubling day care expenses or opting to lose one income so someone can stay home with the baby. All sick days from work may be used for the first child when he needs someone to stay home with him, so leave after giving birth to the second child could be pulled from your check. Plus, if your older child was out of diapers and finished with formula, you will be adding those costs back in with the birth of the second child. Having a second child may also mean moving to a bigger home so that everyone has plenty of room. Consider all of the expenses and run a mock budget to see where that leaves you assuming you go ahead and have another baby. Do this before committing to a final decision.

You’re Medically Ready

Just because you can get pregnant again doesn't mean you should. A short time between pregnancies is a common cause of premature birth. Pregnancy and birth are beautiful, natural processes, but they still take a toll on the body. You can endanger yourself and the baby you are carrying if you rush into a second pregnancy too soon. Your physical health matters. Not giving the body time to recover can make you feel exhausted before the second baby even arrives. There's also an increased risk of premature birth when children are born less than a year apart, with many experts saying don't even try to get pregnant again until your first child is 18 months old. Premature birth can result in life-long health problems for the baby, and parents of preemies also experience high levels of stress as their child tries to survive in the outside world before he's ready.

Your Relationship is Ready

It is possible to be a single parent, but if you're in a relationship, you need to make sure both you and your partner are ready to have another child before moving forward. Becoming parents can bring couples closer together, but it also puts a strain on the relationship since so much energy is put into raising kids instead of just being a couple. Moving forward with having a child if both partners are not on board can cause problems, such as resentment and blame, and this isn't the kind of environment in which to welcome a second child.

Having kids can be a wonderful thing. However, it’s important to assess your mental, financial and physical health before growing your family. Knowing that you're ready in these areas of life will create less stress as you add more children to your life.

Once you have another child, you’ll want to preserve memories of them as a baby. Take a look at our photography packages!

3 Pieces of Advice New Moms Should Take to Heart

Becoming a mom for the first time is both exciting and scary. You will soon realize that everybody has some advice to share about this phase in your life, making it challenging to sort through all of the words of wisdom to figure out what works for you. Here are three of the best pieces of advice that new moms should take to heart.

Always Keep Your Eye on Your Child

Despite your best intentions to make your home a safe place for your new little one, it is important to remember that nothing is ever truly childproof. The fact that thousands of children are poisoned each year by laundry pods should be warning enough that you can never plan on what kids will get in. Because of this, it is imperative that you always keep a vigilant watch over your young children. Especially in large groups, it is important to make sure that every child has a designated adult watching over them to keep them out of danger.

Stick to a Schedule

New babies thrive on the regularity of a routine. The first thing to establish is a sleeping schedule. While this may be hit or miss in the first few months, a baby will naturally begin to regulate its sleep patterns by the third month of life. Encouraging a regular schedule will make it easier for your infant to fall asleep and stay asleep. It is also important to regulate eating schedules. Establishing a routine will make life flow easier for everyone.

Enjoy Every Moment

Although it may sound cliché, it is true that the time definitely does fly. Do not be so consumed with keeping a perfect house or being the best mom that you neglect to savor this special time with your new baby. You can never hold a baby too much so be sure to snuggle away. There will come a time when you long for those sleepless nights holding your newborn in your arms. Make these moments count by being conscious about living in the moment. So put the laundry to the side and enjoy watching your infant sleep.

 

The period of those first few months with your baby can be one of the most special times in your life as a mother. While you might get lots of advice from people as a new mother, the tips above are some of the most helpful. In the end, the most important thing to remember is to listen to your gut and let your natural mothering instincts take over.

Having professional photos taken of your baby is a great way to remember this special time in your life. Book a session today!