Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

Whether you just found out you’re pregnant or you’ve known for a few months, announcing your pregnancy to family and friends can be a lot of fun. Some may want to wait until a certain time during their pregnancy, while others want to call everyone immediately after finding out themselves.

Telling The Father

Have a romantic dinner for two with candle lights, it may be your last time for a while, between morning sickness and raising your little one. Serve up baby carrots, baby back ribs and anything else you can think as baby. At the end, pour apple juice instead of wine and hand him a present. Inside you can have a tiny baby bib that says, “I heart My Daddy” or a pair of baby booties.

If you can’t tell the father right away because he’s away on business, or deployed try sending him a care package. Inside the box place a few baby items, everything in blue and pink and a baby naming book in the center. Place a note on top of the book with, “I need a name soon, I’ll be here by June.” Or whenever the baby is due.

You can also see how long it takes him to figure it out. Go to the dollar store and pick up a bunch of small baby items, a bib, rattle, bottle, booties, etc. For a week, leave an item laying around the house where he is bound to find them. At the end of the week if he hasn’t figured it out yet, prepare the big gift. Have a large teddy bear sitting at the dinner table in the seat beside him, make sure there is a bib wrapped around him and maybe a sign that says Hi Daddy.

Telling Family and Friends

Show up to a family gathering wearing a shirt that announces your state. These days there are a ton of shirts out there with clever sayings, “Baby on Board,” “A Bun in the Oven,” or something related to the pregnancy. The moment you walk in or take off your jacket everyone will figure it out without you ever having to say a word. Now, get ready for the tears and excitement. You’ll be answering a ton of questions.

If you already have children you may want to call the grandparents up and tell them that the next Christmas they may want to add one more to the list.

If this is the first grandchild, you may want to get a bracelet link for your mom that reads, “#1 Grandma” or grandparent t-shirts. This will not only be a great present for them but something they will cherish and love forever.

No matter when you spread the news it can be a lot of fun, just think creative and let the pieces fall. You may even want to try catching all of it on video, so think ahead and prepare for the BIG moment, and I’m not meaning the birth.

Choosing a name is one of the most important things you’ll have to decide on during your pregnancy. Pick a name that your child is going to love, not something he/she will hate or be made fun of. There are a lot of things to consider when naming your child.

Origin
The origin of a name can help you pick out what name you like best, this also adds a piece of history to your child. Giving your son/daughter an Italian name because their great grandfather originally came over from Sicily will mean a lot to the family. Not to mention your child will always know they’re Italian. This doesn’t mean you can only choose names that go with your heritage, there may be a name out there that belongs to your child that isn’t.

The Sound of the Name:
Names can be hard to pronounce sometimes, not just for other people but for your child as well. Don’t choose a name you have a hard enough time saying, imagine how hard it’ll be for your own child to learn. The spelling can also be a cause for concern. Your child must learn how to spell his/her name, you don’t want a name that has over 20 letters long. Do you think you’d be able to learn to spell that in kindergarten? Think about your child first, sure the name might sound great but make sure it isn’t something that is going to be really hard. This doesn’t mean don’t choose a name that is unique, that is what makes your child stand out. But make sure that is what you really want.

Meaning
Meaning can be another factor when choosing a name, learn what that name means before you pick it. You might want something that means something dear to you. My daughter’s name means pure hope, I thought it was a lovely gesture and it sounded beautiful. Think about choosing a positive meaning for your child, this is the first thing that will be associated with him/her the moment he/she is born.

Gender names
Gender naming is another important issue. Think about if the name sounds like a boy’s name or a girl’s name. There are names that can go either way such as Sam, Erin or Angel.

Nicknames
When picking out a name, don’t forget that your child may end up being called by a nickname because of the name you have chosen. If this is something you don’t want, try picking a name that can’t be shortened. But don’t be surprised if it happens anyways. If you don’t mind, try picking out a name that’ll have a nickname you enjoy.

Last but certainly not least, remember children can be cruel think about the initials your child will have. You don’t want something that it’s initials mean something else. You want your child to be proud of his/her name. Not everyone is going to like the name you have chosen for your child, but as long as it is something you like, your child will like it too.

There is nothing more stressful than to have something go wrong during pregnancy. It doesn’t matter if it is your first time being pregnant or your fourth. There are many things to be concerned about during your pregnancy and it is easier when you know what they are.

Vaginal bleeding- This may also known as spotting, but make sure that is what is going on. There is a difference between actively bleeding and spotting. Spotting is lightly bleeding kind of like your period, the blood can be red, pink or even brown. If you are bleeding actively with any pain call your doctor, if you can’t get a hold of him go immediately to the emergency room. Bleeding can be a number of things from implantation, ectopic pregnancy, labor, infection or even miscarriage. Always let your doctor know, so everything can be ruled out, you’ll feel better too.

Stomach pain or cramping- During the pregnancy it may be hard to decipher the difference between a growing pain and an actual stomach pain/cramping. However, if you do get a pain of any sort rest. After a few minutes if it doesn’t subside, call your doctor and describe the pain to him. Don’t worry about it if you find out you only had gas or were having Braxton hicks contractions, at least you know everything is okay with pregnancy.

Gush of liquid- This could mean you are in labor and that your water broke, however if it isn’t close to the time of birth it can be something else. Call your doctor immediately and head for the emergency room.

Dehydration- While you are pregnant it is easy to become dehydrated, especially if you have morning sickness or just don’t drink those 8 glasses of water. If you find yourself pale, dry mouth or dizzy, you could be dehydrated and should be seen by a doctor. Dehydration can cause premature labor and/or distress on the pregnancy.

Painful urination – Could be a urinary tract infection, also known as UTI. This can be easily treated with medication or by drinking lots of fluids and cranberry juice. A urinary tract infection isn’t something to be embarrassed about, it is very common amongst pregnant women. The growing belly pushes against your ureters and makes it harder for it to flow through. Which of course can cause infection. Another way to find out if you have it is if you have a foul odor when you pee.

Pregnancies can be scary enough, there’s no reason to add to it. If you are ever in doubt or have a concern talk with your doctor. It is common that first time moms are worried about many pains that they feel. Never fear calling because you are afraid of waking the doctor up or because you feel silly. Being silly might just save the baby. While you are worrying, you are only causing stress on you and the baby, find out what’s wrong and relieve your anxiety.

The first step of your pregnancy, after seeing the little positive stick should to have it confirmed. Call immediately to have a pregnancy test done with your local doctor, you may be in luck and get in that same day or have to wait about a week or two. Patience will become your best friend during this time or your worst enemy, waiting can become a very hard thing when you want to know for sure whether you are or aren’t pregnant. More than likely you’ll get a phone call a few days later to confirm it.

Set up an appointment to see your OB/GYN or midwife as soon as possible, chances are you’ll be meeting his/her staff before you ever meet them. This is the first appointment where your doctor/midwife will want to know all your medical history. If you’ve been pregnant, what types of sicknesses run in your family, etc. If you can, try making sure you know all of this ahead of time, maybe even have it all down on paper so when he/she asks you are prepared. During the days or weeks leading up to this meeting you may have concerns, write them down and ask them. Believe it or not doctors are there to help you, and they’ve been asked every question you can possibly think of. Before leaving your doctor may even give you a bag full of goodies all about being pregnant. Read these, they may prove beneficial and not to mention they’ve got coupons. Your doctor will either give you another appointment or have you set one up before leaving. There are some great books out there if you are really worried about what will happen next or how birth is going to be, check them out at your local library.

Make sure that you get your prenatal vitamins, they are very important during pregnancy. If for some reason you can’t take them, talk with your doctor he/she may be able to prescribe a lower dosage or something else. You’ll get your first ultrasound, also known as US around week 20, this is normally when you find out what sex the baby is. However some doctors like to call it safe and give you an ultrasound around 10-12 weeks just to make sure the baby is in the proper location and all is going well. You will also be asked to take an orange drink that you must drink in five minutes. You’ll wait around for an hour to three hours, at which point your blood gets drawn and you can go home. The test determines if you have or have a chance of getting gestational diabetes.

At first your appointments will be about 4 weeks apart until you hit the 36 week and at that point it’ll be two weeks later and a week later after that until the baby is born. By now you should be preparing to have the baby. Yes, I’m sure you’ll have some anxiety towards the end of your pregnancy. You’ve went this far, it’s time you see your reward.

You already know it is important to eat a well-balanced diet, but it is even more important when you are pregnant. Keep in mind now you are eating for two. Whatever you eat, the baby eats as well. In fact the baby actually takes your nourishments so you must eat enough for both of you. The healthier you eat the better it is for the pregnancy and you.

Never miss a meal while you are pregnant, especially breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and your baby has probably been waiting since he/she woke up in the middle of the night. You may learn that if you wait so long before eating you start to feel sick, this is your body telling you to eat. Do it!

Make sure you are getting enough of the food you need daily. It takes 4-6 servings of dairy a day for a healthy pregnancy, this can include some cheeses, milk, yogurt. This provides the baby with calcium which it’ll need to develop healthy growing bones. Adding extra calcium to your diet wouldn’t hurt you either, especially your teeth and bones.

Don’t forget about your fruit and vegetable servings. Lots of green is always a good choice, so are sweet potatoes. Not only will you be giving your body what it needs but you’ll start to have more energy. Try laying off the sweets for a week and replace them with healthier items and see how alive you feel.

Foods to Avoid
Not all foods are safe during your pregnancy, there are a few things you should avoid eating:

- unpasteurized products- brie

- Certain fish- exotic, shark, swordfish, anything high in mercury
- Raw eggs

– Undercooked meats- lunch meats. If you are buying a deli sandwich you can ask for them to eat the meat up a little.

- Caffeine- soda, chocolate. If you find this difficult you can wean yourself off, but the less caffeine in your system the better it is for the baby.

If you are ever unsure of the foods you can eat you can ask your doctor for a list of items to avoid during pregnancy. They’ll be more than happy to share this with you.

You may also learn that your stomach won’t handle certain foods that it would before. Some of those foods may include foods that contain grease, fast foods, meat, and certain foods that have a strong odor.

Eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to cut out all the fun in your life, you can still treat yourself from time to time. Go out and get a frozen yogurt or a smoothie.

While you are making sure you get enough to eat throughout the day, that doesn’t mean neglect your fluid intake. You’ll need lots of water and juices from here on out. The baby will thank you later. Who knows, you may discover that you really enjoy eating healthier and continue it even after the pregnancy.