Category Archives: PREGNANCY

4 WAYS TO STAY FIT DURING FREGNANCY

Pregnancy is rough on our bodies. New pains, stretch marks, swelling – often getting a workout in is the last thing on a pregnant mom’s mind. But there are many benefits to staying fit and healthy throughout pregnancy, including a healthier baby.

Evidence shows that physical activity can prevent gestational diabetes, diabetes that develops during pregnancy, relieve stress, and grow the stamina needed for labor and delivery. Now, this certainly doesn’t mean going out and immediately starting to train for your first marathon when you learn you’re pregnant. If you were physically active before you became pregnant, you should be able to continue exercising – albeit on a lower impact level. If you weren’t active, ask your doctor to help develop a low impact exercise routine for each phase of your pregnancy.

If your goal to stay in shape during your pregnancy, the following tips should help you do so in a healthy way for both you and baby.

1. It’s not just cardio!

One of the best ways to keep off extra pregnancy weight, and make postpartum weight loss easier, is to maintain muscle tone. Low-impact strength based programs using light weights works great for muscle tone but you can also do plenty of exercises using just your own body weight. Strength training also reduces muscle aches and pains that pregnancy can bring. Great low impact workouts that can help build and maintain muscle for pregnant women include barre classes, yoga or pilates.

2. Enjoy your exercise

Whatever you’re doing, make sure it is something you enjoy! Finding exercise and physical activities you have fun doing helps you stay motivated throughout pregnancy. Don’t start cycling classes if you don’t like it just because you read it was good for pregnant women – you likely won’t stick with it, particularly in the later months. Remember to find a workout program you can modify – and if you can find other pregnant women to workout with, even better!

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3. Hydrate

There are few things more important to pregnant women than staying hydrated. Drinking plenty of water helps to keep you energized and can reduce pregnancy-related nausea. Being hydrated can also keep your body feeling satisfied and prevent overeating. Oftentimes, we think we are hungry when we’re actually just thirsty. Pregnant women should drink around 12-13 8oz glasses of water a day – more if you are exercising.

4. Listen to your body

This is the most important tip on this list. We are all different and every pregnancy is different. Listening to what your body tells you is critical. Somedays, you’ll feel exhausted, some days, you’ll have the energy to take on the world! Take the rest when you need to and don’t push yourself too hard. Your body and your growing baby will tell you what you need!

If you’re interested in learning how BabyPlus can help your baby’s brain be fit, learn more here!

TOP 5 TIPS FOR YOUR FIRST TRIMESTER

The first trimester can be both an exciting and scary time for any newly pregnant woman. It’s an important time and critical time in the pregnancy when the mother’s job is to focus on her health and the health of her growing child.

Our list of tips will help new moms get through these first 3 months and pave the way for a smooth rest of the pregnancy.

1. Find your healthcare provider

Finding the right healthcare provider, be it an OB/Gyn or a midwife, is vital to ensure you and your growing baby are healthy throughout your entire pregnancy. It is recommended that pregnant mothers see a healthcare provider once a month the first six months of pregnancy for prenatal care, so make sure you trust your doctor and he or she makes you feel comfortable. If you don’t have an OB/Gyn or pregnancy health care provider, ask your primary care physician, family, friends, or colleagues to recommend one.

2. Eat healthy and stay hydrated

According to the American Pregnancy Association, pregnant mothers must keep their bodies well hydrated as your blood volume increases to support two bodies. Consuming quality fluids is essential for both you and your baby’s health. It also helps prevent fatigue, constipation, and preterm labor. Pregnant mothers should eat healthy, nutrient-rich food throughout pregnancy. That’s not to say you shouldn’t give in to the occasional ice cream craving, but keep the leafy greens close by as well.

3. Budget for baby

Buying each and every fun and new thing for baby sounds great…and those tiny clothes are definitely adorable and tempting. But it’s important to set a budget for your maternity and baby needs. Borrowing items such as strollers or cribs, or accepting the generosity of friends and family, is a wonderful option. Try to stick to a budget – there can be plenty of surprise costs down the road.

4. Prenatal health

Without effective prenatal care, mothers face higher risk of encountering prenatal, childbirth and postpartum complications. Mothers who receive late or no prenatal care are more likely to give birth to babies with health ailments. In addition, be sure to ask your doctor or healthcare provider about what the right prenatal vitamin is for you. This is also time to think about your baby’s cognitive development. A safe, simple curriculum like BabyPlus Prenatal Education System has been shown to help your baby’s chances of being self-soothing, attentive, curious, and of reaching important infant development milestones in the strongest way.

5. REST

It is normal for newly pregnant mothers to feel fatigued. Go to bed early, take naps when you need them. You need more rest and sleep as your body changes to accommodate your growing child. Your energy is being used elsewhere – let your partner, close friends and family pamper you! You won’t have much time for sleep, peace, and quiet later on.

If you have questions on how BabyPlus can be a wonderful prenatal tool to encourage healthy prenatal cognitive development, let us know!

​INSPIRING YOUR BABY TO LEARN (EVEN BEFORE BIRTH)

Written by BabyPlus mom Janine Snyder

Life is easier when you have a love for learning. You have the ability to succeed and achieve in school, at work and even athletically and socially. This is not a unique concept and that is why parents start thinking about how to inspire a love of learning in their children, sometimes even before birth. I am guilty of buying devices and spending time talking, reading and playing varying heartbeats to my first born in utero. As I am working on conceiving my second, I have thought about all of the ways that I have tried to foster this love of learning in my first and I wanted to share them as I am knee deep in heartbeats and hand me downs.

During my pregnancy

When I was a first-time mom, I wanted to be involved and give my baby every advantage. I thought I would have to wait until my little guy was born, but I was stoked to learn that I could start interacting with him in utero. One of the ways I helped to foster his love for learning was by using the BabyPlus Prenatal Education System. Your baby listens to varying heartbeats, beginning when you are 18 weeks pregnant, on a schedule. With all of the ways that BabyPlus is said to give your baby a head start, I can attest to the fact that my son was alert at birth, interactive, hits his milestones early and is a straight up genius (according to my mother).

Another thing I did for my baby in utero was to speak to him, softly and soothingly, into a microphone that was attached to a little speaker on my belly. I read to him, sang to him and played classical music. I’m not sure if any of this helped, but it made me feel involved and connected to him.

After birth

When my son was born, I continued reading, singing and listening to music with him. Sometimes we would listen to music in French and Spanish. I had heard that listening to music in another language would make it easier for him to learn languages as he got older. He was also exposed to a lot of young men and women from different countries. As an ambassador for cultural exchange through the Au Pair program, I spend time supporting Au Pairs that are caring for children in the US. A lot of them are bilingual and even trilingual and I had always encouraged them to speak to my son in another language. You could see that his eyes would get wider and he would move around a lot when they spoke to him. He enjoyed hearing these new languages and accents. I had seen Host Kids of the Au Pairs easily picking up a second language while in their care and I hoped that some of it would rub off on my little guy.

Another language that I was able to teach him myself was sign language. The benefit was that he could communicate a few words before he was even able to speak. I believe it also helped him learn to speak faster as he realized that he could make me understand his needs with a single word. He started speaking in full sentences at an early age and at two, he his constantly talking and is really very funny!

As he grows

Some ways that I have encouraged him to learn from very early in his life and continue to do so is by singing the same educational songs frequently. Right now, we sing the alphabet, the days of the week and the months in the year. I sang these songs to him at every bath and continue to do so. Most of the time, he sings them by himself now, but every so often, he lets me sing along with him. Next, we will be working on the 50 states and their capitals and the US presidents.

My son has also been exposed to older children that he plays with regularly. While he does have friends his own age, I see a lot of development when he plays with children that are a little older. The older children are able to help him work through social situations that he doesn’t know how to handle yet and they encourage him to use different words and play games. He has certainly picked up some the older kid attitude, but the benefits outweigh this humorous, sometimes frustrating, trait.

Lastly, I let him watch TV. I know that some people feel that this would have the opposite effect, it has actually encouraged him to learn about things neither of us knew he would be interested in and has taught him a lot about math, language and social skills.

As I think back on the past few years and the years to come, I wonder if any of these things will have a great impact on him when he gets into the school-aged years and into adulthood. I’m not sure there is a way to know for sure, but I do know that being involved and connecting with my kid will always be beneficial for him and for me too.

Janine Snyder is a wife, mom, stepmom and ambassador for the cultural exchange program. She supports parents and nannies from all over the world and enjoys writing about their experiences as well as her own. She lives with her family in New Jersey and enjoys moving around her furniture.

NOW I UNDERSTAND

 

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I’ve always known people have used BabyPlus and have believed faithfully in this product. But, it wasn’t until I actually had one of my own that I could really understand how amazing it really is. Of course, I saw my fellow BabyPlus mammas and their little ones and the difference it made. I heard the rave reviews about how their children learned to walk, talk and read much earlier than other babies their age. But, then I had Avalyn and actually got to see it for myself!

I was recently on the BabyPlus testimony page of the website and noticed that one mom had written this:

Over the weeks and months to come everywhere we went people always commented on how alert and attentive she was – parents, doctors, nurses – everyone. Our daughter began “cruising” as they call it at 7 1/2 months and by 8 1/2 months was completely walking. She has reached all of her developmental and motor milestones on an average of 3 months earlier than expected and always a lot sooner than her peers.

I have seen the exact same results from my daughter and am looking forward to her walking (although I know it means constant running around for me). I can’t even imagine her being able to read but know that will be here before I know it. If you haven’t purchased your BabyPlus system, do it! I can promise that you won’t regret it!

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AN EASY BABY THANKS TO BABYPLUS

I feel bad even admitting this to most moms, but I truly do have the easiest baby in the world. And, I credit that to

BabyPlus. Sure, my husband and I are both really laid back, but I don’t believe I’d have such a good, calm, happy and alert baby without BabyPlus!

She is currently 14 weeks old (I can’t believe how the time flies) and she’s been a breeze so far! Not only is she incredibly adorable, but she is one of the most easy going babies I have ever been around. For those of you who aren’t familiar with BabyPlus, it is a patented learning system shown to strengthen your baby’s cognitive development in many ways. With BabyPlus, your baby simply learns to differentiate between two natural sounds. It’s tailored to the prenatal developmental stages, leading to so many lifelong benefits!

Here are a few benefits of BabyPlus:

  •     More relaxed & alert at birth
  •     More readily nurse
  •     Display increased ability to self-soothe
  •     Are more interactive & responsive

Did I also mention that she could take a pacifier at 2 weeks old and keep it in. Plus, it didn’t affect her nursing at all. Thank you, BabyPlus!

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Sleepy Avalyn

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Alert Avalyn

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A GREAT SLEEPER

ow I know that I’ve commented on this a few times, but I really cannot say it enough…thanks to BabyPlus, I have the best sleeper. My husband and I are pretty laid back people (although I do have my moments), but our daughter is a better sleeper than we could have ever imagined.

I used BabyPlus up until my due date. My daughter was 3 1/2 weeks early, so I was a little worried about not getting in the last two lessons of BabyPlus. However, that didn’t seem to have any negative effect. At 8 weeks, she started sleeping through the night (8-13 hours depending) and she’s still doing it at 13 weeks! I have friends that have 2-year-olds that don’t even sleep that long. Additionally, she will sleep anywhere and everywhere and doesn’t seem bothered by surroundings or noise.

From our first night at home, we put her in her crib in her own room. She didn’t seem to phased by it, so we kept that pattern. BabyPlus along with a book we read, Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child: A Step-by-Step Program for a Good Night’s Sleepby Marc Weissbluth, we feel that we’ve given our daughter the best start possible.

To see what else BabyPlus can do for you, visit babyplus.com.

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FIRST PHOTO SHOOT

Okay, so there really isn’t much to share here except the cuteness of my child. Now I know every mom thinks their baby is the cutest thing in the world, and I’m no exception. I will say that I am already so proud of my little girl in so many ways. She brings such happiness to so many people and it’s incredible to see! Here’s a few pictures from her first photo shoot, I hope they make you smile too! I’m one happy BabyPlus momma!

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SHE’S HERE!

This post is long over due. 11 weeks to be exact. But, I took the last two months off of blogging so I could spend time with my wonderfully, perfectly made daughter! Her arrival was a huge surprise to us all and I’m excited to finally share her birth story with all of you.

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I had gone to my 36 week check-up on Thursday morning on September 4. They did an ultrasound to ensure she was not still breach like she had been at my 20 week appointment. I remember being so excited to go into that ultrasound to get a glimpse of this little peanut that was taking up more and more room in my ever expanding belly. Well, we went in for the ultrasound and the tech told us everything looked great, but she couldn’t get a single picture because she was so tightly squeezed in there. We did see a tiny peak of her huge cheeks, which was satisfying enough. She was healthy and cozy in there, so that’s all we cared about.

Next, I went to see my DR for the 36 week check. We talked about hospital plans and everything that goes along with that. She told me she wasn’t going to check me since I was only 36 weeks along and that I had quite a bit of time (basically, that baby wasn’t going anywhere). So, my husband and I left for work and went about our days like we still had 4 weeks left. I should have known something was up though. There were little signs throughout the entire week that I noticed, but just shrugged off. For instance, I was sick and I never get sick. Also, I had a ton of work that I had to get done before maternity leave and I finished my biggest project way early (or so I thought) so that way I could have 4 weeks to train people on my team to do my job while I was away.

Anyway, we headed home from work that Thursday, hung out with some friends and then got into bed around 12:30 a.m. As usual, I got up around 2:30 a.m. to pee. This had become my typical routine over the past few months. So, I staggered out of bed, went to the bathroom and staggered back into bed. Right as I got into bed, I heard and felt a weird pop that I had never experienced before. Then, water started coming out in large quantities. I knew my water had broken, but I didn’t want to admit it for some reason. I actually contemplated just going back to bed. However, the steady stream of fluid didn’t allow for that. So, I Googled “what to do when water breaks” because I had completely blanked on everything I learned in my birthing class. After 20 minutes of that, and more fluid, I finally decided to wake my husband up. I gently shook him for about 5 minutes until he finally woke up and muttered the words, “Babe, I don’t want to make you panic, but I think my water broke.” He had the exact reaction I thought he would. He shot out of bed and said, “Ok, let’s do this. What do we do? Are you ok? Do you need anything?” I said, “I’m fine, but I don’t remember what we are supposed to do.” After deliberating for a few minutes, we decided to call the DR.

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I then called the hospital to let them know my water broke and they told that they would have my DR call me back, but to also get to the hospital as soon as I could. My favorite part of the story (besides having Avalyn comes in now). My DR called me back within 5 minutes and when her weary, tired voice called, she said, “Are you just testing to see if my number works?” It made me laugh out loud and I gave her kudos for joking when I woke her up out of a dead sleep at 2:30 in the morning. She asked how I was and I filled her in. Then she told me she’d meet me at the hospital in an hour. So, it was time!

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LESSONS FROM NINE MONTHS INSIDE THE WOMB

When does learning begin? Some people say they remember their first day at a daycare center, or have flashes of moments as a baby. However, research on fetal origins suggest that a child do start to distinguish impressions, particularly sound, while still in the mothers’ womb.

What can a fetus learn in a span of nine months while inside the womb? British physician David Baker hypothesized that mothers are already teaching their babies important lessons on survival during this critical stage, and these include:
1.Food. Experiments performed suggest that babies at weaning take easily to the food that they have been exposed to from what their mothers liked to eat while pregnant, or from the flavors familiar to them through their mother’s breastmilk.
2. Trust. Since the mother’s voice is the most audible sound that the fetus can hear, it is not surprising that, upon birth, it is the only sound that could calm the child, or the sound to which it would respond in a trusting way.
3.Expectations. Mothers expose themselves to many different impressions during pregnancy—the air she breathes, the food and drink she consumes, the impact of thought and emotions—all these are somehow passed on to the fetus in their womb; these impressions may form the matrix upon which the child growing up will build to form his or her own survival tools.

These are some of the crucial ideas that babies are said to absorb even before they are born. Some studies even suggest that that these early impressions may hold the answers as to why people become who they are as adults.

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HOW MUCH SHOULD WE SLEEP?

In my household, with the start of the school year we begin adjusting to new schedules all over again. This year is particularly difficult because my daughters no longer attend the same school and the start times of their two buildings differ by 1 hour and 5 minutes.  We have the obvious issues of having to get to bed earlier for school and waking to an alarm in the morning, and our district is investigating is a bigger issue of the push to move school to a later start time for older students. It seemed like a good time to investigate the sleep needs of children in general.

The Sleep Aid Resource site posts the following table on the sleep needs of children and adults. Keep in mind that each child is different. I like this chart in particular because it outlines the sleep needs if you are pregnant as well. You are growing a little person after all. It is okay to feel that you might need a little more rest than before.

One of my daughters is a night owl who has no trouble waking in the morning. My other daughter has always and continues to need and want more sleep. As an infant she adapted to a sleep schedule with no difficulty (thanks BabyPlus!) and as a toddler and beyond she would sense her bedtime was passing and would ask or put herself to bed. She is still always the first asleep at a slumber party.

 

 

SLEEP CHART BY AGE

Age Total Sleep Needed Additional Notes
1-4 Weeks 15-16 Hours Newborns are developing their internal biological clocks
1-4 Months 14-15 Hours Regular sleeping patterns begin and longer night sleeping
4-12 Months 14-15 Hours Important to establish regular sleeping patterns at this time
1-3 Years 12-14 Hours Naps remain important to sleep health
3-6 Years 10-12 Hours Naps will become shorter
7-12 Years 10-11 Hours Bedtime gets later
12-18 Years 8-10 Hours Teens may need more sleep
Adults 7-8 Hours Times will greatly vary
Pregnant 8+ More sleep and naps may be needed

 

Young children (infant and toddlers)likely spend a large portion of their day asleep. If you have ever skipped naptime, you may believe that this plentiful sleep is greatly needed. You might find that with decreased sleep you have increased irritability in your little one. Once over tired it may take a little more work to get them calmed down to a point where they can fall asleep. I remember so many times thinking that something was wrong with my daughter as her behavior deteriorated, only to look minutes later and find her fast asleep.

Older children on the other hand have different issues to factor in. By this age they have more obligations to juggle such as school, extra-curricular activities, jobs and homework to name a few. The American Association of Pediatrics explains that the shift in the circadian rhythms of teenagers make it extremely difficult for them to fall asleep before 11 pm. This paired with early school start times makes it nearly impossible for a teen to achieve 8-10 hours of sleep per night. This is the basis for why on August 25, 2014 the AAP issued a policy statement encouraging middle and high schools to delay the start of classes until 8:30am or later.  If your local schools are currently considering changing their start times this just might have something to do with it.

Before you shrug off the issue of getting enough sleep, please note that according to the AAP chronic sleep deprivation can contribute to added risks of: becoming overweight, suffering depression, increased automobile accidents, lower grades, lower standardized test scores and lower quality of life.

If you would like to read more from the sources I sited, the links are below.

http://www.sleepaidresource.com/sleep-chart.html

http://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/Pages/Let-Them-Sleep-AAP-Recommends-Delaying-Start-Times-of-Middle-and-High-Schools-to-Combat-Teen-Sleep-Deprivation.aspx

 

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