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If you’re a first time parent or you’re expecting your fourth child, the birth of a new baby is an exciting time. Parenthood is quite the journey-it’s beautiful and messy and exhausting. If you’re worried about wading through all the parenting advice or you’re anxious about your pregnancy, we can help. Read on, and know that you’re not alone in this parenting thing.
Everyone’s an Expert: How to Weed Through All the Advice for First-Time Moms
By Erin Marsh
My first pregnancy, I worried about everything. I read all of the parent magazines, spent hours researching online, and asked every mom I knew for advice.
Despite “doing everything right,” I had a miserable pregnancy. I suffered through pubic symphysis dysfunction, despite (or because of) regular exercise, and I ended up on bedrest with preeclampsia. Since I was at a high risk for having a stroke, which could have been devastating for both me and the baby, the doctors delivered my oldest three weeks early.
During my second pregnancy, I was too busy chasing around a toddler to worry about doing it all perfectly. I did make exercise a priority, but I focused on yoga and weight training instead of cardio, and I ate what I wanted and remained mostly worry-free.
My weight gain was minimal, my blood pressure stayed in the normal range, and I carried my second baby to full-term.
Moral of the story? It’s natural to want to start off motherhood flawlessly, but between social media and the internet, sometimes the pressure to be perfect can be overwhelming. Everyone has an opinion, and for every piece of advice you’re given, you’re likely to hear the opposite belief from someone else. It’s enough to drive anyone mad, but especially a hormonal pregnant woman!
Even though I basically just suggested that you ignore the overabundance of advice, I DO have one thing to offer: trust yourself. Your body was built to carry this baby; believe in that inner voice. Your body knows what’s best for it, and that baby knows what it needs. Parenting is a series of guessing games, so you may as well start practicing how to roll with the punches from the very beginning.
Yoga Time: Yoga During, and After, Pregnancy
By Erin Marsh
New moms may turn to yoga for the first time during pregnancy. Exercise is great for both mom and baby, and yoga’s documented stress relief is an added bonus. Doctors often recommend yoga, presumably because it can be a gentle, safe way to exercise during pregnancy but, as with any form of exercise, yoga can have risks if practiced incorrectly.
Prenatal classes are a safe bet, but they aren’t always offered at your local yoga studio. Many yoga classes can be adapted for pregnancy. In reality, a prenatal/postnatal yoga class looks very similar to a regular yoga class–just with more props.
If you are new to yoga, try looking for classes such as basic, beginner, gentle, restorative or yin. Those classes tend to be at a slower pace and stick to the fundamental poses. The last thing you want to do is walk into a class where you do 60 vinyasas and stand on your head! If you have been practicing yoga consistently, then you should be able to continue at the level where you feel comfortable.
Before you join a class for the first time, call to confirm that the instructor has prenatal yoga training or experience. Many instructors have taken additional prenatal training, and they can guide you as to what you should and shouldn’t do, but ultimately, it’s your body, so you have the final say. The instructor, after all, cannot feel what you’re feeling, and each body, and every pregnancy, is different.
Additionally, inform the instructor of your pregnancy. An experienced instructor will be able to provide you with modifications for poses you should avoid.
As a general rule of thumb, inversions should be avoided after the first trimester, and deep twists and lying on your back should be avoided after second trimester. During the first trimester of pregnancy, you should be able to do every pose in a typical yoga class without any adjustments.
Ready, set, relax. Check out these yoga studios.
Open Arms Wellness Center
2300 Navarre Ave, Ste 204 | openarmsmassagestudio.com
Essence Mind Body Studio
725 Ford Street, Maumee | essencembs.com
3145 Central Ave, Toledo | yogajayoga.com
Difficult Diagnosis: When the News Isn’t What You Expect While Expecting
By Kimberly Feldkamp
I remember where I was when I got the call. I was on the phone with my mom, discussing the shoe size of my kindergartner when the other line beeped.
It was 4:15 pm on Tuesday, January 2, and my doctor’s office was calling. I wasn’t expecting to hear from them. “Mom,” I said. “It’s my doctor. Let me take this and I’ll call you back.”
It was the receptionist from Maumee OB/GYN, telling me results from my bloodwork were back. I had blood drawn the week before, as a precaution, and I was told everything was normal before the New Year. “This is a different part of the blood test,” the receptionist explained. “Your bile acid levels came back incredibly high.”
My mind started racing. My heart sank. This was exactly what I didn’t want to hear. I heard my voice crack. “Can you put my doctor on?” I asked. My doctor was calm and confident as she explained what the results meant. Normal bile acids in your blood are usually 10 or below. My bile acids came back above 60. Severe. Highest numbers she’d ever seen. I did, in fact, have cholestasis of pregnancy.
What is cholestasis of pregnancy? If you’ve never heard of it, you’re not alone. In fact, this was my fourth pregnancy and I’d never heard of it before; never had come across it in a baby book, never had a doctor explain it, never had a friend or sister-in-law or relative that had it.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy commonly known as cholestasis of pregnancy, is a liver disease that only happens in pregnancy. It’s a condition in which the normal flow of bile acid is affected by increased pregnancy hormones. Pregnancy hormones affect liver function, resulting in the slowing or stopping the flow of bile. The gallbladder holds bile that is produced in the liver, which is necessary for the breakdown of fats in digestion. When the bile flow in the liver itself is stopped or slowed down, this causes a buildup of bile acids which can spill into the bloodstream. This condition increases the risk of fetal distress, preterm birth and stillbirth.
Cholestasis of pregnancy is more common in the third trimester, when hormones are at their peak, but it usually goes away within days of delivery. It happens to about 1 in 1,000 pregnant women and is diagnosed slightly more in the winter. The most common symptom is severe itching, usually on the palms of your hands and soles of your feet.
I remember hanging up the phone, feeling like I had done something wrong. This was all my fault. I felt my body had betrayed me this time around. Here I was in my fourth and final pregnancy and now this? How lucky I had been to have three healthy previous pregnancies and babies.
Thankfully, I didn’t have to deal with the intense itching that comes along with cholestasis for too long. Because mine was caught around 31 weeks, I started on medication to help lower the bile acids levels to keep me and baby safe and my itching went away. I actually felt really good, minus the normal aches and pains of the third trimester. I would be closely monitored, with weekly nonstress tests and ultrasounds, and my doctor wanted to deliver early at 37 weeks, which is considered full term.
I allowed myself a few days of incessant researching, some of which lead me down a dangerous rabbit hole, before I realized there was nothing I could do to change this. I finally realized I didn’t do anything to cause it. I trusted my doctor and our baby looked strong and healthy on all the tests and ultrasounds.
I was induced on Monday, February 12. Our fourth child, a boy (we didn’t find out the gender), was born at 6:29 that night, after eight hours of labor and just nine minutes of pushing. He came out screaming (and he still hasn’t stopped) and was perfectly pink and healthy. We took him home on Valentine’s Day, fitting for the little man who captured our hearts.
Savor it. Capture it.
We all know that time flies, but it seems to speed up once a child arrives. In the rush of life, you may forget to savor your growing baby or your crying newborn. That’s where a photographer can help. Whether you want to try the milkbath trend, schedule newborn photos before your new bundle arrives or get a new family portrait, you’re in luck. There are plenty of photographers in town to help.
Nicole Slovak Photography
419.214.8849 | nicoleslovak.wixsite.com/nicoleslovak
419.260.8611 | darkwingphotography.com
419-356-7554 | momentsbyjem.com
Car Naps: What To Do When Your Child Falls Asleep in the Car
By Erin Marsh
For many parents, cars are synonymous with naps. Whether we throw a colicky baby in the car to lull him to sleep or quietly curse the timing when a child accidentally conks out in the car, most parents have cruised around the city simply to enjoy the peace and quiet.
The next time you’re stuck in the car with a sleeping baby, act as a productive passenger and make sure the driver isn’t aimlessly wasting gas. We’ve compiled a list of places you can visit that either have drive-thru windows (and it’s not fast food) or you can order ahead from your phone for rapid pick-up. So grab a cup of coffee, eat your lunch, or get a couple errands done with our handy list.
Starbucks | Panera | Balance Pan Asian Grille | Tropical Smoothie | Car wash | King Road Library | Kroger Clicklist | Meijer Curbside | Walmart Grocery Pickup | Chipotle | CoreLife Eatery
5 Signs That Naptime Is Over
By Erin Marsh
Some days as a parent, it’s just about making it until nap time. Naps preserve the sanity of both child and parent, and neither is usually willing to let go of that sacred time easily. Naps are important, and children need to get the recommended amount of sleep specific to their age, but when naps begin to cause more issues than solace, it may be time to drop the practice.
While the loss of nap time often means the end of parent alone time, it also has some perks. No longer are parents tied to the tyranny of nap time; parents are free to schedule events throughout the day without interruption. If a child is ready to drop her nap, it also hopefully means she has the stamina to last through the day without resorting to overtired tantrums.
The tricky part is figuring out when your child is ready to end his nap. Here are some signs that parents have experienced.
1. Your child refuses to nap or starts skipping naps. While this may seem like the most obvious sign, sometimes it can be tricky discerning between a child simply fighting naptime and one who no longer needs the nap. If your child can skip his nap without being cranky and still goes to bed at a normal time, then she may be ready to quit. If your child is temperamental or conks out a couple hours before bedtime, then it may be a phase.
2. Your child can’t fall asleep at night. Oftentimes kids nap without a problem, but then they xcan’t fall asleep at night, and the bedtime hour gets pushed later and later. Children only need so much sleep at each age, so if they’re getting a few extra hours during nap time, then they will need less time at night. Sometimes waking your child up after an hour nap will do the trick; other times he will need to completely stop napping in order to return to a normal bedtime.
3. Your child wakes up earlier and earlier. Similar to the point above, children only need so much sleep in a day, so if they reach their quota between the nap and nighttime sleep, then they will wake up earlier than normal. If your toddler used to sleep until 8 in the morning, and then it was 6, and now it’s 5, it may be time to give up the nap. However, if your child is waking at 5 a.m., then there is no way she will make it until a normal bedtime. Try waking her up after an hour of napping to see if that pushes back her rising time. Once she wakes at a reasonable time in the morning, try skipping her nap that day to see how she does.
4. Your child’s behavior begins to change. You know your child best, and if his behavior is consistently off, then perhaps it’s due to an unneeded nap. You know how some adults wake from a nap in a worse mood than when they went to sleep? Some kids are the same way. The interruption of sleep can throw off their mood and they start acting out. It seems counterintuitive to stop a nap in this situation, but it’s worth trying to see if your child’s behavior improves. Sometimes a behavioral change also coincides with another sign, such as fighting bedtime.
5. When she doesn’t nap, she makes it to bedtime just fine. When your child skips a nap for whatever reason–maybe because of a busy day–and then is her typical, happy self and makes it to her normal bedtime, then she may be ready to skip the nap. Some kids can make it one day without a nap but not consecutive days, so you may need to play with alternating days or tuning into her general mood and energy level to determine when she needs to nap.