How to Emotionally Recover from Childbirth

Giving birth is a herculean task that requires amazing strength from you as a mother. However, along with the effort of having a child, the recovery time afterward can be incredibly difficult, during the most crucial few days that your baby is alive. Here are some ways to emotionally recover from giving birth, and be the best version of yourself that you can be for your new baby.

Enlist Help of Family and Friends

The saying goes that it takes a village to raise a child, and that is never truer than the first few weeks after the child is born. Many women suffer from postpartum depression because they feel like they are alone, and they do not know how to take care of the baby without feeling inadequate. If you need help, do not fear asking your loved ones to occasionally pitch in with the newborn, whether it is doing a grocery run or giving you time to take a nap.

Stabilize Your Hormones

Hormones for new mothers are incredibly strong, and some of those hormones are needed to bond with your baby and to stimulate breastfeeding. However, hormones can also be detrimental and cause you to have mood swings and various other symptoms. In this case, you may benefit immensely from a hormone balance supplement, a natural way to regulate your hormones so that you are feeling stable and well enough to care for yourself and your baby.

Join a New Mother Support Group

With the advent of social media, it is easier than ever to connect with people who are going through the same struggles as yourself. Use Facebook or other sites such as Meetup to find new mothers in your area. You can share stories, take care of your infants, and swap tips for tackling common problems that arise during the first few months of your baby’s life. Because new mothers have such a unique experience, these types of bonds are crucial.

Spend Bonding Time Alone With Your Baby

Although having your friends and family there to assist you with your newborn is always helpful, there are many reasons that you should take some time every day to be alone with your baby. You can do some of the nighttime feedings by yourself, have skin to skin contact, or simply take your baby out for a walk. When you form the bond with your baby, it allows you to better sense what he or she needs.

Do Not Be Afraid to Ask For Help

Being a new mother can be overwhelming and isolating, but you do not have to go through it alone. If your mother is nearby or you have easy access to her, make sure to reach out if you are struggling. You should also try to get in touch with friends and family members who have had children. Often times, they will be much more understanding of how you are feeling than others. More often than not, they will be glad to take your infant off of your hands so you can take a shower or get some rest.

Get Outside the House

Newborn mothers often forget that it is still vital to ensure you get plenty of sunlight and outdoor time after your baby is born. If you are feeling up to the task, you can begin to take your baby outside as soon as you would like to. Be sure to have everything you need, such as a stroller, diaper bag, and other essentials so you do not fret or worry when you are away from home. You can gain great benefits from simply taking a short walk or spending time at the park.

You do not have to be afraid of what will happen to you after your baby is born. With these tips, you are sure to be able to build a support system and get back on your feet in no time.

Surviving the Holidays

It’s the most, wonderful time, of the year!

 For many of us, the holidays are a magical time that we look forward to all year. The food, the family time, the atmosphere, what’s not to love about that?

Unfortunately, for some, the holidays are a little bit of a nightmare.

Their to-do list just keeps piling up as they have to try to do countless jobs in one month. For those who are raising kids, working, AND trying to cross everything off of their Christmas chore list, it is all just really overwhelming.

When you’re spending the entire month running around like a chicken with your head cut off, how are you supposed to stop and enjoy the holiday season?

Well, it doesn’t have to be like that.

You don’t have to spend November counting down the days until hurricane “holidays” come to your house.

There are plenty of ways to cut down on the stress that the holidays bring.

To see our suggestions, keep reading!

 

Plan, Plan, Plan!

The holidays are not a time of year when you want to just “wing it.” For many of us, the holidays bring many gatherings, day trips, and shopping trips.

You’re going to want to keep track of all this stuff with a calendar and a budget book!

Keep a calendar in a high-traffic area so you will see it frequently. Add any Christmas parties, trips, concerts, or visitors to it. As things start to get really crazy really fast, you are going to want to know exactly what is going on every day.

Along with keeping a calendar, you’re going to want to keep track of everything you need when you go shopping, as well as a budget and a timeline for when you need these things.

Create a list of everyone you need to buy for, as well as the budget for each person. Make sure you have this guide on-hand every time you go out.

A phone notepad is a great place for this information, I mean, who knows when they’re going to see the perfect gift?

 If you’re hosting or attending a holiday party in which you need to bring food, keep track of that on your calendar. For the day before the party, attach a note to the calendar that lists all the ingredients, meals, or extras you will need.

Trust me, you will be so glad you did this when you don’t have to make a last-minute run to the grocery store at 8:00 at night.

Don’t Be Afraid to Accept Help from Others

We all know them; the hosts that want to do everything.

If you don’t know one, then that means you are one.

These people do the decorating, the planning, sending out invites, reminding the family of the event, the cooking, and the cleaning. While for some this is just how they’ve always handled holidays, how on earth is someone supposed to enjoy the holidays with that kind of pressure?

All too often these superstar hosts take on all these responsibilities because they feel

the need to. They don’t want to burden those around them by asking to help.

The truth is, the only one being burdened is the host!

It takes days or weeks for one person to do all this work, where it would only take probably less than an hour for each person if the work was divided.

So, if you’re the one-person-show host, ask for some help. Plan a potluck for Christmas dinner, or assign another family member the duty of planning the event.

If you know a host that takes all the responsibility, offer to bring a passing dish or clean up afterward.

The more we chip in and divide up the work, the more that everyone can enjoy the holiday.

Remember What the Holidays are All About

In the grand scheme of things, holidays aren’t about the gifts, money, or the food.

(How many Christmas movies have taught us this lesson?)

If you spend all your time worrying about these things, you won’t have time for what truly matters… Family!

So, don’t be afraid to ask for help, and don’t put off planning for the holidays.

You’ll thank yourself later!

Promote Gratitude with These Thanksgiving Activities

The holiday “Thanksgiving” is a time to do just that; give thanks. Thanksgiving is the perfect time to reflect on the people, things, and opportunities in your life that you’re thankful for and to encourage others to do the same

Adults are more than welcome to participate, but Thanksgiving activities that promote gratitude are super important for kids.

Teaching kids gratitude will cause them to be more appreciative of the small, everyday things in their lives as they grow older. How cool is that?

So, to kick off these Thanksgiving gratitude activities, we went ahead and created a list of ideas!

Here is what we came up with…

Create a Wall of Gratitude

To create a wall of gratitude all you need to do is get a whiteboard and hang it in a high-traffic location in your home. Have markers handy so your family members and guests can jot down something they are thankful for as they walk by. Before you know it, your wall of gratitude will be full of positive messages!

A wall of gratitude is a great way to celebrate Thanksgiving because it encourages everyone to acknowledge the positive things in their life. No matter how big or small, a wall of gratitude is a way to document those things that just make us happy.

Got an “A” on a test? Put it up there! Enjoyed a nice dinner? Put it up there! The fuller you can get your wall of positive and thankful thoughts, the more people will be inspired to contribute.

Write a Letter to Someone You Appreciate

While we often feel grateful for the things we have, we sometimes forget to tell the people in our lives that we are grateful for them. A letter of gratitude is the perfect way to let someone know that you appreciate them.

Sure, you can condense this down to family. If you want to write a letter to your kiddos to let them know how grateful you are for them, then great! Or, if your kiddos want to write their grandma a letter, that’s awesome too!

While appreciating family is always a positive thing, why limit our scope to only family? Encourage your kids to write letters to professionals that help them out regularly. For example, their teacher, the mail person, the garbage person, or anybody else that provides a service to your family.

Receiving recognition for the impact you have on someone else’s life will make anyone feel good about themselves, so spread the kindness outside of your home as well.

Thanksgiving Show and Tell

I think that all of us have that one thing in life that we are just so thankful for having. This item means more to us than many of the other things we have. For one person it may be a bicycle, while for another it may be a pet.

To give everyone the chance to share their gratitude, hold a Thanksgiving show and tell!

With a Thanksgiving show and tell everyone has the opportunity to present their item while describing what it is and what it means to them.

This activity reminds kids (and adults) that being grateful for the little things in life is important and that they may have more than they realize to be grateful for.

Make a Thanksgiving Scrapbook

What could make you happier than having a big book full of your favorite things? I can’t really think of anything! Creating a Thanksgiving scrapbook is a fun way to have all the things you are grateful for displayed in one place.

A Thanksgiving scrapbook is not only a blast to make, but it is great to look back on when you’re feeling down. There is truly no better way to cheer yourself back up than looking at a compilation of all of the best things in your life!

So, sit down as a family and have a scrapbook session. Print out some pictures, grab some empty scrapbooks to transform, and decorate with some Thanksgiving stickers and phrases to keep things festive.

The Thanksgiving scrapbooks are also a great decoration to display around the holiday for all of your guests to see!

5 Child Summer Safety Tips

Kids have a great time during the summer. The favorable weather allows them to spend more time outside. However, outdoor activities can expose them to risks. They may also sustain injuries while enjoying indoor activities. Parents need to be extra careful during this season to avoid accidents.

Since your children are on vacation during this much loved season, they will have time for fun. You have to keep your kids safe, while they enjoy themselves during the summer. The following summer safety tips will help you to protect your kids and allow them to enjoy the nice weather.

  1. Prevent falls

Statistics show that the emergency units in health facilities treat more kids for injuries resulting from falls during summer. Falls can lead to concussion, a traumatic brain injury that disrupts its functioning. Kids may fall indoors or while at the playground. Monitor your children’s activities. Make sure that likely fall hazards, such playground equipment and stairs are safe.

Ensure that the ground beneath the playground equipment is safe. Soft surfaces are preferable for playgrounds. A 9-inch layer of wood chips on the surface of playgrounds will help absorb the impact of falls.

    2. Water safety

Children may die from accidental drowning or sustain serious injuries from near-drowning incidents. Carefully watch your children when they are near or in the water as drowning can occur silently and in a twinkle of an eye. Make sure they wear well fitted and comfortable life jackets while swimming or playing near water. Allow them to swim only under the supervision of an experienced swimmer or lifeguard. Also, avoid distractions while watching kids in the water.

You can improve child safety by restricting access to the pool. A fence not less than four feet high around the pool with a self-latch will prevent kids from getting to the water unnoticed. Besides, knowledge of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is crucial.

   3. Protection against sun and heat

Kids may experience heat stroke if they stay under direct sunlight for prolonged periods. Such a situation can increase their body temperature and lead to dehydration. Prevention of heat-related illness is an important summer safety tip. Dress your kids in light-colored wears that cover their skin, wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses to protect them from the harmful rays of the sun. Besides, never leave them in locked cars.

It is better to engage in outdoor activities in the mornings and evenings. Allow your kids to cool showers during periods of extreme heat waves. Also, make sure your children increase their water intake to avoid dehydration.

   4. Be wary of strangers

An essential baby safety tip during summer is to prevent infants from getting lost. Besides, kids may wander off during outdoor activities especially if they meet other children or want to explore an object or activity out of interest. Never leave them or allow them to go anywhere with strangers.

   5. Bites and Stings

The hot weather favors bugs. However, bites and stings of other insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, bees, and wasps or even snakes may lead to health issues. You can use insecticides and repellents to prevent kids from their bites and stings. Also, make sure that your children wear long clothing that covers their bodies when outdoors.

Summer is a great fun time. However, keeping your kids safe will allow you to fully enjoy the season. Make sure their foods are hygienically prepared and served to avoid food poison and observe other child safety tips.

Tips and Tricks (or-Treats) for this Halloween Season

Halloween is almost here and that means two things: your kids will want all the candy in the world, and they will want to get all this candy while dressed up as their favorite character. While Halloween is an enjoyable holiday for people of all ages, it can also be a scary one if proper precautions aren’t taken. Here are some things to keep in mind during this spooky season.

1. Make sure costumes are safe.

Since it will be dark outside, costumes should be bright and reflective. They should also be short enough, so your child won’t trip or get their costume caught in any hazards like debris, jack-o-lantern flames, etc. Any body paint should be tested on a small section of skin before the big day so allergic reactions can be avoided. Also, double check that your child can see through their eye mask if they have one!

trick-or-treating children on Halloween
Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

2. Use flashlights to see what’s around you.

Sure, there are some street lamps and porch lights, but a flashlight with fresh batteries is the best way to ensure a lit pathway while trick-or-treating. Phone flashlights work too!

3. Always use sidewalks and crosswalks and avoid walking through lawns.

It’s late at night and it might be difficult to spot trick-or-treaters. Play it safe and stick to the side. As for lawns, there might be tripping hazards like a garden hose or other miscellaneous items that the homeowner forgot to remove.

family walking on crosswalk

Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

4. Always read the ingredient label.

If your child or someone in your family has a food allergy, be sure to separate treats containing
the ingredient and let the rest of your family know why. Some candies are made in places where
contamination could have occurred. Err on the side of caution to protect your family this year.

5. Check for tampered treats.

If a treat is unwrapped, homemade, or otherwise suspicious, throw it away. Although it’s rare to
find tampered treats, it’s not worth the risk. Most likely, your children won’t miss one or two
treats. Worst case scenario: head to the stores on November 1st to pick up all of the discounted
Halloween candy.

candy

Photo by Carl Raw on Unsplash

5 Ways to Let Your Little One Help Decorate This Halloween

Pumpkins are a must-have decoration during the fall, but unless your child is patient enough to watch you carve the pumpkin, it can be hard to include the little ones in the fun. Your child can express their creativity by decorating the outside of a pumpkin. Here are five ideas for pumpkin decorating with young children:

1. Use Paint

Toddlers love finger painting (and making a mess), but this way, they can paint as many layers with as many colors as they want. Make sure to use washable paint so the mess is easier to clean! If using tempera paint, mix it equal parts with washable glue to prevent flaking after the paint dries.

paint covered hands
Photo by Bernard Hermant on Unsplash

2. Use Stencils

Whether it’s a shape or an animal stencil, you can hold it onto the pumpkin while your child fills it in. This offers some guidance, while also letting them have at it. Switch it up with different colors and different stencils for a unique design!

3. Decorate with Stickers

The great part about this method is that you can use old stickers that have been laying in your craft supplies for a while or buy stickers from the dollar store! Your little one can decorate while also working on their motor skills.

child holding pumpkin
Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

4. Use Glitter

While glitter is the messiest way to decorate a pumpkin, it can also be the most fun! Will your
child dump the glitter over the whole thing? Will they strategically pour the glitter? Or will they
simply toss it up in the air and let it fall where it may? Pick a nice day and decorate outside with
your child if you choose this route.

5. Make it a Costume Party

If you really want a mess-free decorating experience, opt for dress-up! Your child can dress the
pumpkin in hats and scarves and call it a day. You could even have a pumpkin fashion show!

pumpkin with witch hat

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Preparing for Flu Season – Useful Information You Need to Know

hot beverage on bedside table

Flu season is fast approaching. Take preventative measures and know what to do before you or your child falls ill. Flu season is suspected to come early this year.

How do I prevent the flu?

1. Get a flu shot

2. Eat healthy, exercise, and maintain healthy practices

3. Boost your immune system

However, getting the flu shot is not a guarantee that you will not catch the flu but getting the vaccine could help lessen the symptoms of the flu. The flu shot takes about two weeks to become effective, so a good time to get the flu shot is by the end of October. Healthy children 6 months or older can get the flu shot.

Obviously, taking care of your body and overall health should be a priority regardless of if it is flu season or not. Proper nutrition, drinking plenty of water, and exercise does wonder for your body and immune system. Maintaining healthy practices includes washing hands, disinfecting surfaces, washing clothes and bedclothes regularly, using separate cups and utensils, and sneezing or coughing into the inside of your elbow. To get a leg up over flu season and boost your immune system, try implementing a multivitamin to your daily routine.

What can I do if I or my children get the flu or another virus?

If you or your child has the flu, make sure to drink plenty of fluids, rest, and manage fever and pain. Check with your health care physician or pediatrician first, but acetaminophen or ibuprofen can be used to alleviate pain and fever symptoms.

In addition to pain medications such as ibuprofen, applying heat using a heating pad or other methods to areas that are painful and sore can help reduce pain. Taking a warm bath can help break a fever.

If you or your child has a stuffy nose and cannot breathe properly, try using a humidifier or the CLEARinse Nasal Aspirator to clear the nose. Interestingly, this nasal aspirator was developed by an ER Doctor and made with young children and babies in mind. As always, wash your hands and disinfect surfaces and other areas in your home.

Photo by David Mao on Unsplash