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5 Ways To Teach Manners To Your Toddler

Mothers know best on how to tackle their children. However, some ages are probably too difficult to handle. Being the mother of a toddler, I can understand how difficult it is to tame these cute, little, mischievous bundles of joy. They are so active, joyful and full of energy that you really need to be on your toes to handle them. They are busy exploring new things, understanding new emotions and making new friends, so you have to almost become a kid like them to manage them.

Teaching good manners to your toddler can be a tedious task. But, the sooner you start, the better it is for their emotional growth and development. Once, they are out into good habits, they stay with them for the rest of their lives. It is also easy to learn, unlearn and re-learn at this stage, so make the most of this tender age to install good habits and manners.

5 easy ways to teach your toddler about good manners can be:

Start With The Basics:

Start with very simple things like saying Thank You, Sorry, Welcome, or gestures of smiling, etc. Teach them in simple terms using stories, their favourite characters or rhyme videos. Teach them with something to which they can relate to. Later, you can move on to dining etiquettes, greeting guests, etc.

Talk About Consequences:

After you explain to them the importance of good manners, talk about the consequences if they fail to follow. Do not get aggressive or directly talk about punishments. Rather, mention simple things like their favourite doll will get angry, and so on. You might take help from other family members, in case required.

Be A Role Model:

If you want them to follow a good manner, first do it yourself. So, follow proper gestures, good table habits, and so on. Kids learn a lot from what they see their parents doing, so set a good example for them to follow.

Make A Reward Model:

Make an incentive model for them. Give them a good sticker if they exhibit something good, and as they accumulate a few, give them something in reward, However, make sure, this is only for the teaching period and should not be made into a habit. And, use simple things like a lollipop, or a cupcake, as in don’t get expensive gifts, etc. as they might miss the underlying point.

Use Role Play:

You can use role play to teach your toddler the difference between good and bad manners. Show them how they should react and behave with others in a particular situation. Then, later notice whether they apply their learning in a similar situation. If they do, applaud them; if they deviate, talk to them and discuss the reasons. This way they will learn faster in a proper way, and remember most of the things.

While teaching manners and making them follow it, you have to very, very patient. They will irritate you, or you can get stressed, but all you have to do is keep calm and keep trying. The more persistent you are, the more they start following the rules and guidelines. The feeling of achievement when your child exhibits a good manner is wonderful, so don’t lose hope and you will get to it, pretty soon.

Reference:

5 Ways Dads Can Prepare Themselves For A New Baby

Becoming a mother is a wonderful experience, and so is becoming a father. A woman goes through a lot during those nine months of pregnancy, but a man is also her biggest support and companion, and very much involved in the process. Like a new mother, a would-be father also has a lot of responsibilities, apprehension and thus needs to prepare himself for the newborn baby.

A baby is as precious to a father as the mother, so he also has his own plans and ideas on how to welcome the little bundle of joy and care for them. So, never discourage a man from doing whatever he feels like for his new born baby. He also goes through a lot of emotions, and feels appreciated when they are acknowledged. So, as a pregnant wife or a family, you should always help a would-be father to prepare for fatherhood, as he is supporting you to prepare for motherhood.

5 ways in which dads can prepare for a new born baby can be:

Knowing Things Throughout The Pregnancy:

It is important to know the nuances throughout your wife’s pregnancy, when you get to know a lot about the baby during doctor’s visits. This way you can support your wife as well as know about baby care and related things.

Talking And Singing To Your Baby In The Womb:

A mother starts communicating with her baby, when he/she in the womb itself. This is a unique bond, which is very special. Similarly, you can also sing and talk to your baby. Babies can listen to your voice and relate to it when they are born. This is a beautiful way to connect with your child, even before he/she is born.

Preparing For The Welcoming The Baby Home:

Preparations for welcoming the baby home like baby proofing, decorating the room, stacking necessary stuff etc. can be a good way to prepare yourself for the new member. This way you will also be able to help and support your wife as she will have a lot to handle when the baby comes home.

Staying Informed About Important Things:

Knowing the basic things about baby care is also a great way to prepare yourself and help your wife later. So, you can either read books on baby care, highlighting different aspects or take pre-delivery classes, which tells you about different ways you can connect with your baby. This is helpful in handling the baby, but also in handling the physical and emotional changes that your wife goes through.

Talk And Discuss About Your Feelings:

Your feelings, aspirations, insecurities, etc. are equally important as they directly affect your baby. So, do not shy away from talking or discussing about these with your spouse or other family members. You can also discuss about your fears or emotional turmoil and get it sorted before the little bundle of joy comes into your life.

The more a dad is involved in the process of welcoming a new baby, the more he will be able to involve himself and help you, when the baby is actually there. This also helps the father to strengthen the bond with the baby and understand his responsibilities too.

Reference:

5 Important Things No To Forget In Your Maternity Shopping

When you get to know about your pregnancy, that is probably the most precious moment for you. You prepare yourself for welcoming a bundle of joy in your life, and you get ready both physically and emotionally to embrace your pregnancy. Sometimes, the initial happiness gets overshadowed by anxiety, worry and fear of coping up with a pregnancy. However, every woman undergoes this natural process and motherhood is a blessing for them.

Apart from the preparing yourself for pregnancy and motherhood, both from the inside and outside. One of the main things is keeping your maternity checklist handy, and getting the necessary things for yourself. Much before you decide what stuff to get for the baby or list things for your hospital bag, you need to get things, which are a must-have for you during your pregnancy.

5 must-have things for you that you need during your pregnancy are:

Maternity Dresses:

Comfortable maternity dresses, stretchable pants, waistband extenders, etc. are a must buy once you know that you are pregnant. Your belly will grow, and you definitely need comfortable and breathable clothes to give you warmth and coziness. Loose fitting tees and long dresses are also a must have during pregnancy. Also, get necessary accessories when you are moving out of your house like proper shoes, in which you are less likely to fall or slip, etc.

Pregnancy Books:

Yeah, this is something, which all of you might not be interested in, but you cannot ignore that we tend to research and read a lot during our pregnancy. We are curious about each and everything. So, keep reading from books or over the Internet to gather information. However, do not get stressed about everything you read, but ask for expert help if you are confused.

Body Pillows:

Your body changes a lot during pregnancy, so you might start feeling un-comfortable in sleeping or sitting or you need to change your postures. Since, your body gets heavy; you will need all the support you want. Moreover, you tend to get tired and exhausted. So, keep a body pillow handy, which makes sleeping or sitting comfortable for you.

Body Care Stuff:

During pregnancy, your skin tends to get dry and rough, sometimes your mouth dried up and there a many more changes that can happen, and which varies from woman to woman. So, you need to get stock of lotions, creams, oils or dental care stuff or other things, which takes care of these problems. Take proper medical help and advice before using any of the things during pregnancy.

Comfortable Innerwear:

Finally, this is one of the most important things. Get yourself comfortable bras, panties and night wear, which are specially and specifically designed for pregnancy. Your breast size will be on the rise, so get bigger cup sizes. Use clean and comfy under garments of fabric, which is not irritable to the skin.

Apart from the necessary stuff, buy things you like or things that makes you happy. Because, it is very important to keep your body and mind happy during pregnancy, so that you are able to enjoy the phase. So, get yourself a book, or download your favourite music, get kids photos for decoration, or whatever, that makes you happy. You can also plan to make your own journal or scrapbook to write about your memories or post pictures, like a personal account of your pregnancy. However, do not buy too many things because you might hardly use them later, and might have to discard as you will need all the room for your baby’s stuff now.

Reference:

http://www.babycenter.com/0_pregnancy-shopping-checklist-first-trimester_5678.bc

5 Foods That You Should Avoid Giving Your Child

As a mother, you are always concerned about your child’s eating habits. The most important being whether they are eating properly or if they are getting the full nutrition, are always your major concerns. You also keep thinking whether you are making the right dishes for them or not. Most of us, try to give our children nutritious and healthy choice of home-made food, but sometimes we also give them certain unhealthy food too, consciously or unconsciously.

Sometimes, due to lack of time, many working moms might prefer pre-cooked food, but not all of them are good for your child. Sometimes, we are not even aware of certain food, which might be harmful for our kids, if used for a prolonged period of time. There are certain food items that should be avoided according to the age of your child too like soya milk and honey for infants in their first year.Though, these have beneficial effects, and they should be avoided due to infection at the early years.

5 types of foods that you should avoid for your child at any time should be:

Packaged Food, Especially Non-Vegetarian: 

Packaged and processed food always have fewer nutrients as they have already lost their nutritional values during the packaging process. And, there are high chances of staleness in such foods. There also risk of infection in such packaged meats and other non-vegetarian items. Though, they are easy to make and we get addicted to them, they should best be avoided for children in their growing and developing phase of life.

Kid’s Meals:

Now-a-days, there are many food joints or chains, which offer specialized kid’s menu, which they claim to customize for a kid. They are the same things that they offer for adults and may be more of fried options, which kids prefer. So, do not be fooled by the packaging or other things, rather you order something for your kid from the ala-carte menu.

Aerated Drinks:

This is probably something, which most kids like, but the most harmful thing for them. So, avoid such drinks as much as possible. These soda based drinks can cause obesity and other health problems at a later stage in life. Try to give them alternatives like fresh juices, lemonades, etc.

Fried Fast Food:

This should be avoided at any cost. These are the most unhealthy food options that we can give to our children. They tend to get addicted to it and deny eating healthy fruits and vegetables. Try alternative of these foods or carry their innovative meal when you go out. Once in a while is fine, but do not make it a habit for them, which might be difficult to give up.

Canned Juices:

Like aerated drinks, canned juices should also be avoided as much as you can. Always try to give fresh juices because these canned ones might contain added sugar and preservatives to enhance their taste.

Many of these outside foods might seem to be delicious and appealing to their developing taste buds, but they do have harmful effects later. So, you might consider preparing an alternative of such foods, which is equally palatable to your child, yet provides them the nourishment and are nutritious. You also need to identify which foods might cause allergy and avoid those and any preparations out of them, compelely.

Reference:

5 Fanciful Ideas For Your Child’s First Birthday Party

The first birthday of their child is always a special affair for parents. Though, their kid is really young to understand the importance of the whole occasion, yet it holds a special place for his/her parents, family and relatives. Many of us like to celebrate our child’s first birthday in a simple manner with not too much of a pomp and pleasure, however many would like to have a grand celebration with themes, accessories and lavish decor.

If you have already decided that you are going to throw a gala party for your kid’s first birthday, then you will need to plan everything well in time so that you can have a party to your heart’s content. Finalizing the theme, guest list, decor, venue, return gifts is some of the most important things that top the checklist.

The theme is a very important thing for any party, especially the first birthday. Almost, everything else depends on it. If you are looking for fun and fanciful ideas for the first birthday party, here are some to ponder on.

Princess Theme:

If you have a cute little girl, then this is the most popular and apt theme. You can surely have fancy and royal party ‘look and feel’ with the proper decor and arrangements. Right from the invitations to decor and cakes looks cute and adorable. Party favours can also be customized according to the theme. And, of course your little darling will look the prettiest in her princess dress, if you decide to get one for her.

Nursery Rhymes Theme:

This is surely a fancy theme and suits both boys and girls. Everybody likes nursery rhymes and can associate with the characters. So, you can choose 2 or 3 different rhymes or select one single rhyme for the decor like Old McDonald’s Farm or Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. It is easy to get party decor and cakes or cupcakes can also be customized easily. You can even think of fun games related to rhymes and play rhymes as background music. You can give customized goodies or nursery rhymes colouring books as return gifts. You can also arrange for a fancy dress competition.

Cars Theme:

This is a popular theme among boys. You can select the cartoon themed decor or you can mix and match with other transport types like planes, ships, etc. The decor, cakes, and return gifts are easy to get or customize. You can arrange for a screening of the cartoon or even fun games with cars.

Animal Of Jungle Theme:

Little children really like animals and pets. So, they can identify animals with sounds, where they live or other ways. So, an animal or jungle theme will be fun. You can ask them to dress like animals. The decor can be made fun and exciting. Party games will probably be the best part to arrange and see those kids enjoy.

Music And Dance Theme:

Everybody loves to shake a leg at a party, especially kids. So, what better way to let them enjoy with a music and dance theme. The decor can be made with musical instruments cut-out and lights, etc. You can simply play some nice music for the kids and let them dance and enjoy the party. For return gifts, you can get theme-based calendars or musical instrument shapes party favours.

If there is any particular character or cartoon, your kid already likes, you can probably go with that theme, or choose something, that all the kids can relate to. You can also consider decoration feasibility and availability while deciding. You can also go with themes like Doraemon, Mickey Mouse, etc., that are easy to implement. You can either make your own arrangements if the things are easily available or hire an event planner for the event.

Reference:

http://www.parenting.com/gallery/fun-ideas-for-babys-first-birthday-party

5 Strategies You Can Adopt To End Mealtime Battles With Your Toddler

Have you ever met a mother who has been able to successfully feed her toddler? Well, if you have, then you must have noticed the pleasures of victory on their faces, just like after winning a battle. This is an age old battle (of course, not those bloody ones), between a mother and child (especially, toddler), and probably no one has still been able to conquer it, without a fight.

Feeding your toddler, and that too healthy fruits and vegetables, is like a mammoth task. Mothers try so many different things, but yet many of us are not satisfied with the eating habits of our toddler. They scream and yell, throw food, run around, throw tantrums and what not. However, a mother has to be persistent to make he toddler eat the right proportions of food so that he/she gets the proper nutrition for their growth and development.

However, you can adopt a few of the 5 strategies mentioned below to end your mealtime battles with your toddler.

Show Who Is In Control:

You need to not get angry or frustrated and scream at them. Rather tell them that you are not going to nag or run after them to finish their food. Rather, you will give them, what others are eating and it is up to them to finish their food. Tell them why these foods are important for them and what can happen if they don’t  eat their veggies. Explain to them in their simple language or through stories and cartoons.

Involve Them In Their Food Preparation:

When you involve your child in preparing their meals in simple ways, they feel important and like to eat what they have made. So, you can start by letting them spread the butter or mix chocolate in the milk and so on. It makes them feel responsible and they feel good about it.

Do Not Force Them:

Never force your child to complete the entire thing on their plate. Though, you want to give them the maximum nutrition, but getting aggressive with them only makes them more stubborn and arrogant. So, give them smaller portions and let them finish their bite before you give more. Give a break in between, so that they can digest the earlier one.

Keep Only Healthy Options:

If you want your child to eat healthy, keep only healthy options. This way they can have a variety, but only with nutritious food. Make healthy food, fun and exciting, so that even if they choose one over the other, all they eat is healthy food.

Try To Find Out What They Want:

To come to a compatible consensus, try to find out what food they like to have. This way you can also make a healthier version of the food. Gradually, they will start liking it more and you will have a peaceful time, feeding your baby.

A mother will never be satisfied with what her child is eating, but you have to understand their temperament too. Initially, they will resist you, but gradually when they start understanding the importance of healthy food, they will oblige. So, all you need to a lot of patience with your toddler and an effort to make mealtime fun and exciting for them.

Reference:

http://www.parenting.com/toddler/feeding-nutrition/end-mealtime-battles-your-toddler

http://www.kidsrkids.com/expert-parent-advice/5-strategies-to-avoid-mealtime-battles/

5 Reasons To Believe That You Need To Put Your Child On A Diet

Your child’s food habits and diet are one of your biggest responsibilities, and his/her growth depends on how much proper nutrition he/she is getting from the food they eat. Many a times, we have seen mothers are concerned about their child’s eating habit because either they might not be growing or gaining weight properly or gaining excessive weight due to improper diet.

Not every child is the same, so their diet is also different. So, what suits one child might not be right for another. Moreover, your child might need a change in diet with growing age. So, if you feel that there are certain changes in your child, which calls for a change in his/her diet, don’t hesitate to do so. However, it might be a good idea to consult a dietician or the doctor for the right diet chart.

5 common reasons to believe that you should put your child on a diet are as follows:

You See Signs Of Obesity.

Obesity is one of the growing epidemic in the modern world, especially among children. So, if you feel that your child is gaining excessive weight and that too rapidly, then you might consider putting him/her on a diet. Because, if proper care if not taken at this stage, it might lead to other life-threatening health complications in the future.

Your Child Gets Excessively Tired Or Lazy.

If you see that your child gets tired all the time or not able to actively participate in physical activities. Or, if he/she is lazy in doing work, then they might not be getting the right amount of energy due to lack of proper nutrition. In this case too, you need to change the diet to ensure proper intake of necessary nutrients.

Your Child Is Addicted To Junk Food.

If your child is addicted to junk food and prefers it over a normal diet of healthy food, then you need to change his/her diet to include more of fruits and vegetables, which provide important vitamins, etc. Junk food also leads to obesity and other health problems. So, to keep your child away from junk food, you need to put them on a diet.

Your Child Is Not Eating Properly.

You might want to put your child on a diet, if he/she is not eating properly. This might mean that your child might not be liking the food he/she is having, so you want to make a balanced diet for them, which had all the necessary ingredients in the right proportions. So, putting your child on a diet might be a motivating factor for them to eat properly.

You Notice Changes In Health Tests.

Regular health checkups are very important for children. So, if you notice any irregularity in these tests of your child, then you should consult the doctor for advice to change your child’s diet for the better.

As mentioned earlier, do not follow the same diet that others are following. If you really need to out your child on diet, consult an expert. This is because every child’s physical nutrition requirements are different and a proper diet needs to be formulated according to that. Young children need a fulfilling diet for their sustained growth in their developing years, so make sure that if you are not overfeeding them, you are also not underfeeding too.

Reference:

5 Ways To Deal With Rude Behaviour In Tweens

Tweens is a very difficult time for the parents, rather the transition to teens is a very sensitive phase. So, parents need to be extra cautious in handling tween behaviour, power struggles and emotional upsurge during this time period. Wrong or aggressive parenting ways to handle tweens can cause damage to relationships, your child’s mental stability and their ability to move forward in life.

During the tweens, as much as your child is still trying to understand things, emotions and ways of life, they want to explore everything within a very short period of time. So, they also exhibit a wide variety of positive and negative emotions within that time span. Negative emotions like anger, anxiety, possessiveness, and others lead to rude behaviour from tweens. They feel that they have the right to take decisions and make choices, based on the existing circumstances and any hindrance to that makes them angry and rude. However, they lack in the most important thing, and that is experience. So, as adults, you have to handle their emotions properly, as well as see to it that they understand the real truth.

5 simple ways in how you can deal with the rude behaviour of your tween are as follows:

Show Them Who Is The Authority:

Do not lose your parental stature. If your child gets excessively rude, you need a bit of strictness and discipline to make them understand their fault and apologize. If not controlled at the right time, this behaviour can aggravate and take a wrong turn in the future.

Do Not Get Aggressive:

However, in the process, you should not get aggressive and counter their behaviour a with scolding or beating. This will make them feel that they can also exhibit the same kind of behaviour and get more aggressive. You need to keep your cool and think of ways to calm them down.

Get The Rules And Punishments Right:

Set the rules right, which they need to follow and also the appropriate punishment, if they are broken. Do not make them too stringent that they have to be broken or too lenient that your child will not care. Punishments should be such that it tries to reinforce a positive behaviour rather than having a negative impact on their minds.

Reciprocate Good Behaviour:

If it is important to correct rude behaviour, it is also important to appreciate the good ones. This way they know what is wrong and what is right. You can remind them of their good behaviour and the good consequences. These can be given as examples when they get rude or tries to justify a wrong thing.

Get To The Root Cause:

Before jumping to conclusions, try to understand the root cause of such behaviour. Getting to know about the triggers to such behaviour will help you to eliminate them and regulate the consequences. Sometimes, it might be a very trivial thing, but at times, it can be an emotional trauma, which you need to discuss with your child and resolve.

Rude behaviour needs to be rectified at home as much as possible, before your child gets a negative tag in the society. So, make sure you talk to your child calmly and let them understand the negative impact and the aftermath, which their behaviour might cause. Talk to them about respecting others and their emotions, ask them how they would feel if someone else spoke to them rudely. Spending quality time with family is one more way to understand your tween and regulate their behaviour. Your tween son/daughter is still young to understand the twists and turns of life, so help them handle their emotions effectively, which will automatically change their behavioural traits for good.

Reference:

http://www.parenting.com/article/7-ways-to-fix-rude-tween-behavior

Why Do Kids Lie – An Age-By-Age Guide For Parents To Understand Better

Lying is one of those habits that can make or break your future relationships. All of us lie at some instances in life and it is said, that lying for a good cause is acceptable. But, sometimes we tend to cross the limits and take it to the next level. Lying, probably starts from the childhood days, which is nothing uncommon. But, as parents, we need to teach our kids, when to stop and when not to lie at all.

Lying in kids, generally starts involuntarily, sometimes consciously and sometimes unconsciously. And, since every child is different, parents also need to deal with them differently. To be able to handle a child, when he or she is lying, parents need to understand their personality and behavioural traits, interpersonal skills and the triggers for lying. To do so, they first need to understand why kids lie and that too at different age segments.

Toddler And Preschool:

At this age, they are still not exposed to the bigger world, but probably they have seen people lying in their own small social circle. They might have seen you lie once in a while or their elder sibling or others. Since, they cannot judge the intensity of the lie, they feel it is okay for them to lie too in a simple way, imitating the elders. They do not unintentionally to avoid a scolding, or escape from doing something or getting away from a situation or blaming another child or other simple things.

School Kids:

When they start going to school, they interact with other kids, then they develop a different mindset. It can be lying due to peer pressure or to be part of a group. Now, they understand that they can get something by lying and they start exercising it. The previous reasons also hold true. They might lie for hiding something like their bad scores or poor performance, etc. They can also be making up stories, based on their surroundings, the people they interact with or their own imagination.

Tweens:

At this stage, they can understand things much better and they can start lying for monetary gains. While the earlier reasons, also hold good, they can start lying to hide relationships. Tweens will lie to avoid punishments, or for stretching the truth till an extent, where they can get away. By this time, they will very well know how to handle parents. This is also the time, when they get exposed to different new things in life like the Internet, dating, gadgets and a lot more. Lying to get access to these is one of the most common practices in this age group.

Teens:

In this age group, kids are almost in their adult phase. They want to take decisions and make choices. They have their own world around them, so they lie to fulfil their wishes or satisfy their addiction. They can also lie when they know that you will not approve of something. They want to get easy success and prove their worth. In this process, they can also get fooled by people and they can lie to hide their wrong deeds or emotions.

As a parent, you will know when your kid is lying, and should rectify it immediately. If it goes un-noticed and never corrected, it can become a bigger evil in their lives and might turn into an addictive behaviour, which becomes difficult to cure. So, do not ignore, if your child is lying for simple things. Make them understand that you know the reason and that they should not lie in the future. Do not get aggressive as this will have a bad impact on them and they will keep doing it, secretly, which is worse.

Reference:

http://www.parenting.com/article/why-kids-lie-age-by-age

http://www.parents.com/kids/development/behavioral/age-by-age-guide-to-lying/

The Final Stretch Is Here: 40 Weeks Of Pregnancy

You have finally reached the 10th month of pregnancy and you can only hope that your baby makes her arrival soon enough. You are at what is known as the official end of your pregnancy. You can expect your doctor to suggest induction of labor this week if you still don’t have enough contractions. You may or may not choose to take induction, especially if your pregnancy is not complicated and if both you and your baby are doing fine. However, if your doctor feels that the risks of keeping your baby tucked inside are higher than the benefits, you might need to take a decision. While labor is something that will happen one day or the other, you could be putting yourself or your baby at risk if situations are not favorable for either one of you.

Your Baby At 40 Weeks

Weighing around 9 pounds and measuring around 20-22 inches in length, your baby is almost the size of a small pumpkin. These are average figures and a lot of healthy babies weigh lesser or more. If you feel that your baby’s head looks slightly conical after birth that is because your baby’s skull bones are not fused at birth and they tend to become slightly overlapped while being pushed through the birth canal. This is nothing to worry about and the shape of her head will be back to normal in a couple of months.

You continue to provide precious antibodies to your baby via your placenta. These will form your baby’s basic germ-fighting weapons after birth. Additionally, your baby will also receive antibodies from the colostrum that you will be feeding your baby after she is born. Colostrum is the precursor to more mature breast milk and should be compulsorily offered to all newborns so that they can ward off common and graver illnesses that they could contract.

What Will You See At Birth?

Once your baby is born and you hear the legendary ‘first cry’ you will anxiously wait to see him or her up and close to you. You will be able to make out his or her gender by the help of the genitalia. The next thing that you would notice is the skin of your baby that is likely to be covered in blood, lanugo and quite a bit of amniotic fluid that stay on till he or she is washed and cleaned by the attending nurses or staff.

Your baby might not be able to focus on you because a newborn can only focus on objects or people that are an inch or so away. He or she will only see a blurred version of you. However, she might recognize your voice so you could simply whisper to her when she is laid on your chest so that she is aware of being close to her mother.

Being Held

Expect your newborn to love being held and moved around for a couple of months or more. A baby spends 9 whole months in the womb and gets used to being swayed and moved about. After birth, they begin to miss the movement and prefer being lulled to sleep while also being held or swayed. The feeling of being held together in the womb takes time to get over with.

You might come across a lot of relatives who would advise you against holding your baby because they will get used to your lap and shoulder and would not want to sleep by themselves. This is a misconception. A baby needs to be held because of sensory reasons. They need to feel close to their primary caregivers since it gives them a sense of security. Hold your baby as much as you want to because they are tiny only for a limited amount of time.

Your Body This Week

Is the day really here or are you simply imagining it? Your doctor might have penned down the 40th week as the time when you could expect your waters to break or start having contractions but your body knows best. While some women deliver just as they touch the 40th week, some others deliver not before the 41st or the 42nd week of pregnancy.

When Your Sac Ruptures

Your amniotic sac will rupture before your contractions begin unless you are artificially induced. However, when and where your sac decides to break is a question that hovers on every pregnant woman’s mind that has crossed her 40 weeks. You could have all sorts of expectations like they show in the movies; of water breaking in between a show, in the midst of a journey or any other inconvenient place.

Unlike what you have seen in movies, even if your water does break in public, all you will feel is a trickle of fluid running down your legs instead of a gush that you have been expecting. If your water breaks before you start having contractions, you are likely to be in labor in the next 24 hours. If you do not start having contractions by then, your doctor will induce labor pains artificially.

Getting to know the difference between sac rupture and urine leakage is important because it helps to make the diagnosis early. Amniotic fluid is a clear and odorless liquid. It will look like a trickle of water when it leaks. If you are leaking yellowish fluid that has an ammonia-like odor, you could have urine incontinence.

Yet another way of understanding the difference is to try and stall the flow by squeezing your pelvic muscles. If the flow stops, you were leaking urine. If it does not stop, it is clearly amniotic fluid. Your leakage could also look greenish or brownish in color. This needs to be reported at the earliest because it means that your baby has already had a bowel movement inside the uterus. You will need an immediate C-section to avoid the baby from ingesting any part of the excreted stool.

Size Does Not Matter

If you have heard all your life that you have a small hip and might not be able to deliver vaginally, it is time to get your facts right. It is not about how broad your hips are that ensure a convenient delivery. It is all about the size of your pelvis. Every body structure is designed in a way to assist in delivery and babies are also structured as per the maternal frame. Unless the baby is bigger in size, has a bigger head or has any other complication, a normal vaginal delivery is what you can expect. Even if you are small-bones, your vagina will open up as much as it needs to for the baby to emerge and will close up back again. The only things you need to remember to keep doing are Kegels. Kegels are pelvic floor exercises to strengthen your pelvis and adjoining areas so that you don’t have problems after you deliver and your vagina comes back to its original position and tightness as earlier. However, you cannot do Kegels after you deliver and expect miraculous results. You will need to start doing Kegels from the very beginning so that there are long-lasting impacts.

Tests To Be Conducted

Your doctor will either wait it out or want to perform some examinations to ensure that the pregnancy and the baby are healthy. You are not really “post term” yet but if you do have a prolonged pregnancy with no apparent reason, you might want to keep an eye on your baby’s well-being.

Doctors generally conduct a test termed as a Biophysical Profile. It involves an ultrasound examination to check whether your baby’s breathing movements are normal. This is important to check so that both his lungs and diaphragm can be tested for efficiency. Your baby’s muscle tone will also need to be checked by the doctor to ensure that all his limbs and adjoining muscles are working properly. Apart from the baby’s anatomy and functioning, your doctor will also need to take a look at the amount of amniotic fluid that surrounds the baby and if it is enough for your placenta to be able to support your baby.

A nonstress test will also be performed by your doctor which is also known as fetal heart rate monitoring. This test along with the NST is performed additionally, to assess the amount of amniotic fluid surrounding the baby. Why is the amount of amniotic fluid such a big deal? This is because if you don’t have contractions and your fluid starts diminishing, your baby will need to be delivered as soon as possible.

If the test results reveal that the fluid levels are not enough, your doctor will induce labor as soon as possible. If there is an emergency where the fluid levels are way below normal, you will be immediately operated upon to safely deliver your baby.

You will probably have another internal examination. This time the doctor will check your cervix to see if it is soft and ripe enough for a vaginal delivery. He will also check the degree of dilation and how effective an induction would be if he plans to do one.

Body Changes After Birth

It is very important to understand how your body will change after birth. Pregnancy and childbirth are significant events in your life that might take a few privileges away but are sure to give back more than you had ever imagined. However, even if pregnancy is the most rewarding experience of a lifetime, there are changes in your body that could be difficult to accept. While you are already sulking about losing that bikini body of yours, remember that while it took 9 months for your body to change, it will take 9 more for it to get back to shape.

It might even take more time and you might never go back to what you used to be. Instead of mourning over what is lost, try and accept the changes that come your way and cherish them as tokens of motherhood. What is important at this point is to hold yourself together, physically and emotionally during this phase.

Lochia

Lochia is a medical term for the cells of your uterine lining shedding off after your baby is born. Lochia is generally bright-red in color initially and can be quite heavy for the first couple of weeks. It tends to change color to a pinkish red and then a lighter pink as days pass and also decrease in amount.

Body Weight

You will start losing weight immediately after your delivery. Your baby is delivered and so is the placenta, the amniotic fluid and sac is gone and you have lost a good amount of blood and fluids. That alone could bring down your weight by 12 pounds. However, you will continue to have an additional weight for some time because that is your body’s way of helping you to breastfeed. Breastfeeding burns off a lot of calories and you will need to fat stores in the initial months to keep up your stamina.

Your Belly

If you have had a C-section, you can expect your belly to be sore and painful in the initial days. You have a scar that will last a lifetime. Your belly will continue to look 6 months pregnant for a couple of months. You also have innumerable stretch marks that will never fade away completely. All these are markers of a pregnancy well-lived. Learn to accept and love your body as it is because there are reminders that you had once nourished a baby in your womb.

Baby Blues

You will probably be dealing with a whole network of emotions right after your baby is born. You will be euphoric, sad, disappointed, confused and exhausted, all at the same time. Caring for a newborn can be challenging and there is no denying the fact that you will tire out through half the day. However, this emotional phase will be over in a few weeks when you and your baby settle down in a routine of sorts.

If your emotional issues continue to make life difficult for you, you could consult your doctor about it. A lot of women go through postpartum depression that needs immediate diagnosis and treatment.

What To Do If:

  • You have unexplained fever

If you have fever or abnormal vaginal bleeding after you have gone home, you could be showing signs of postpartum hemorrhage. Other associated symptoms are rapid heartbeat, palpitation, dizziness, weakness and restlessness. Let your doctor know about it right away and you might also need hospitalization to get yourself treated for it.

  • If you have signs of urinary tract infection like foul smelling urine, burning sensation while passing urine, fever, chills, etc, you will need to be diagnosed at the earliest. You will be given breastfeeding friendly medication. You could also have signs of other infections like mastitis, infection at the site of the surgery etc.

What To Do For A Faster Recovery?

As mentioned before, newborn care is tough and you will need to find enough time to rest and eat well. Unless and until you are taking good care of yourself, you can’t really care efficiently for your newborn. Listed below are simple ways of getting enough rest and care:

  • Eat healthy. A well-balanced diet will not only help you to breastfeed properly but also help you to recover faster.
  • Drink plenty of water. Your body will need more fluids to replenish all that is lost and to keep up your hydration levels after cluster feeds.
  • Make an effort to take naps when your baby sleeps. This is easier said than done but it really helps with newborns.
  • Restrict the number of visitors coming over to meet your baby. Newborns need rest and quieter surroundings. Too much of noise and uproar can set them off and you will tire yourself out soothing a cranky baby.
  • Avoid caffeine, sugary drinks, and juices etc that tend to slow down your recovery.
  • Let people help you if they want to. There is nothing like resting at home while your chores are being taken care of by reliable people.
  • Keep yourself connected with people. If you end up in isolation, your chances of postpartum depression are greatly enhanced.

Understanding Induction Of Labor 

If your labor does not come along after 40 weeks, your doctor will opt for induction of labor. This is because in between 41 and 42 weeks, your placenta becomes less effective at delivering nutrients to your baby. If you prolong your pregnancy beyond this time frame, you and your baby could both be at risk.

Doctors have a number of ways of inducing labor but he will use the method in which your cervix will respond in the most effective manner. The commonest way to induce labor is to give medications that send prostaglandins into the vagina. This in turn ripens your vagina and the stimulations bring on labor.

The other way out is to start an IV with oxytocin in it. This almost always works to ripen the cervix and bring on labor. However, you should always be aware of what your doctor is doing to your body. Your consent is highly important in all the stages of childbirth. If you are not in a position to be able to decide for yourself, your doctor should let your partner know about it before going ahead. 

Natural Ways To Being On Labor 

Although there seem to be too many controversies around them, the natural ways of bringing on labor seem to be working for many women. While most disbelieve in them, a lot many swear by their efficacy. Some of them are listed below:

  • Having sex

Sperms seem to contain prostaglandins that can help bring on labor. It is also believed that the contractions after an orgasm definitely help. While some studies support this, some others don’t.

  • Stimulating nipples

Stimulating your nipples could release the hormone oxytocin that is a natural trigger for labor pains. However, the safety of this method is still under research because if you are not aware of how much you should be stimulating, you could end up messing up things.

  • Castor oil

The usage of castor oil to stimulate your bowel movement so that labor pains closely follow is not a safe method. It can unnecessarily lead to stomach upsets and diarrhea because castor oil is a very strong laxative.

Helping Your Pregnant Spouse

This is probably the last week of pregnancy for both of you. Both euphoria and apprehension seem to occupy your mind these days but all you two need to do is cherish these last few days of pregnancy. You can kick back and relax with your spouse because you have nothing else to do but wait for your baby to make an exit. However, keep an eye on your partner’s health. If she seems to be in any discomfort, let the doctor know about it.

Once the baby is here, you will have a number of things on your mind. Instead of confusing yourself unnecessarily, just remind yourself of the basics. Your baby needs to be comforted, breastfed, your partner needs your presence and rest, you need rest and both of you need to eat well. If these basic requirements are taken care of, you are more than sorted.

40 weeks of pregnancy is nothing less than a journey and you should congratulate yourself for covering this journey along with your spouse gracefully. Parenting is a challenge that needs a number of compromises and adjustments but once you have your little one in your arms, you will simply want to give up everything for her. You and your partner are in the final stretch and to ensure that nothing goes wrong, you will need to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. Always keep an eye on your partner’s health after delivery so that she recovers soon. She will need constant support and might even make you a punching bag on certain occasions. Remind yourself of what she has gone through and you will find it easier to comfort her whenever she needs you.