Did you know that supporting a woman during childbirth is an important job? Research indicates that women who have support during labor are more likely to have a positive outcome. If your partner is pregnant, you should be prepared to take on a supportive role when the big day arrives, providing her with comfort, strength and encouragement. In return, you’ll get to share in one of the most meaningful and powerful moments of your life together. Here are some tips to make sure you’re ready for what’s in store.
- Learn as much as you can before the baby arrives. Attend a childbirth class: in-person classes are preferable, but if that’s not possible, take an online course and watch videos so that you’ll be prepared. Read as much as you can, so you’ll feel confident when your child makes an appearance. Make a birth plan and discuss labor strategies with your partner.
- Expect to hurry up and wait. During the last trimester, many women experience Braxton Hicks contractions. This is a belly-tightening sensation that can feel like labor, but it’s just the body’s way of preparing for childbirth. Even when labor does begin, there will probably be several hours before it’s time to go to the hospital. It’s important to understand the stages of labor.
- The first stage consists of three phases.
- Early labor: During this time, the woman’s water may break, triggering labor. Contractions may feel like persistent low back pain, and will become longer, stronger, and closer together as labor progresses. It’s often more comfortable to spend the earliest part of labor at home, timing contractions so you’ll know when to head to the hospital. Generally, that time comes when the contractions are about five minutes apart.
- Active phase: By this time, you’ll be at the hospital, and the contractions will be more intense, spaced three to five minutes apart, lasting 40-60 seconds. Your partner will need your help with breathing exercises and relaxation techniques you learned in the childbirth class, and she may want to opt for pain relief. It can also be helpful for you to massage her temples or apply counterpressure to her back. On the other hand, she may not want to be touched. Every woman is different and it’s important to listen to your partner and find out what she needs.
- Transition phase: This is an intense phase, during which contractions will last 60-90 seconds and be about two to three minutes apart.
- Birth happens during the second stage. This stage can last minutes to hours and includes pushing and delivery.
- The third stage begins after the baby is born. The placenta is delivered five to ten minutes later, and it’s common for the mom to feel shaky or get chills. Now is a good time for you as the partner to offer a warm blanket. It’s also a great opportunity to hold your newborn child and let your partner rest.
- The first stage consists of three phases.
- Be prepared to be flexible. The strategies you have planned for labor may not pan out. The birth plan may have to change. You may feel faint or queasy, and labor may not go the way you expect. The important thing is that you’re bringing new life into the world and your partner has you as an advocate and a source of support.
If you’re ready to start a family, call the Center for Vasectomy Reversal. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.
Pregnancy changes every part of your body, from your scalp to your feet. It’s not surprising, then, that it changes your appetite and taste in food. When you’re pregnant, you’ll loathe some of the foods you usually love and crave things that will surprise you. Pickles and ice cream is the most cliched combination when it comes to pregnancy cravings, but it’s far from far-fetched.
What causes pregnancy cravings? No one really knows for sure, but it’s not a myth. Research indicates that somewhere between 50 and 90 percent of pregnant women in the United States experience cravings. Pregnancy cravings typically begin by the end of the first trimester, are at their strongest in the second trimester, and decline as the birth approaches. A woman who is breastfeeding may also experience cravings, though, and will continue to have an increased appetite because caloric needs are higher in both pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Even though experts haven’t determined the precise reason for cravings, there are some theories about why they happen.
- Hormonal fluctuations can affect the way you experience food. The hormonal shifts in pregnancy can affect the sense of smell, sensory experience of food, mood, and the types of food a person craves.
- A heightened sense of smell often accompanies pregnancy. This can have an impact on which food a woman wants to eat. Foods that smell strong or pungent may be overwhelming, while things that smell good can increase appetite.
- Nutritional needs change during pregnancy. Sometimes, a craving is just the body’s way of expressing what it needs. A craving for ice cream, for instance, can indicate a need for more calcium. If you’re pregnant and craving ice cream, go ahead and eat it! But be mindful of the need for calcium and make sure you’re getting enough from healthy sources like dark leafy greens and fish.
- Sometimes cravings are all about comfort. Pregnancy is uncomfortable and can increase cravings for comfort foods that bring back childhood memories of being loved and cared-for. The nausea of pregnancy can lead to a craving for foods that typically bring relief during illness.
- A woman’s culture impacts her cravings. Women in the United States often crave chocolate, for instance, while women in Japan may crave rice.
The most common pregnancy cravings in the United States include sweets, high-calorie, savory carbohydrates, animal protein, and fruit. Fast food, pickles, ice cream, fruit juices, chocolate, dairy, and vegetables also make the list. While it’s ok to give into these cravings from time to time, limit the unhealthy ones and make sure you’re loading your diet with the right nutrients. These include calcium, folic acid, iron, and protein.
At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping people start families with healthy pregnancies. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.
During the holiday season, it’s exciting to share special traditions and celebrations with our families. It’s important for children to have that sense of ritual, creating memories each year that deepen family bonds and strengthen your shared beliefs. Have you ever considered incorporating the holidays of other cultures into your season? December is packed full of holidays and can be a great jumping off point for teaching your children about other cultures and religions.
Why should you be purposeful about introducing the traditions of other cultures to your children? When children learn about other cultures, they learn that even though people may look different, speak different languages, and have different traditions, we’re all the same at heart, with customs they hold dear, and an innate capacity to love. Instilling this concept in children when they’re young can nurture a deeper appreciation for other cultures.
The reason the holidays are such a great place to start is that it’s easy to find information on other cultures and interesting things to do to celebrate them. Educate yourself on major holidays beyond the ones your family observes and share that information with your kids. Check your local library for children’s books about holidays, take the time to learn a fun game or a song, or prepare foods traditionally used to celebrate an unfamiliar holiday. You may even end up incorporating some aspects of another culture’s holiday into your own family’s celebration each year. If your family celebrates Christmas, consider exploring these holidays:
- Hanukkah: This eight-day “festival of lights” is the Jewish celebration of the Maccabee’s fight for freedom. There’s a nightly menorah lighting, as well as special prayers and food.
- Nicholas Day: Mostly celebrated in Europe, this holiday falls on December 6th and honors St. Nicholas. One way to connect with the holiday is to read the legends of St. Nicholas. On St. Nicholas Day, children put shoes outside of their doors so St. Nicholas can leave gifts or treats.
- Lucia Day: In Sweden, on December 13th, young girls dress in white gowns with red sashes, a wreath of burning candles on their heads. They wake their families by singing songs and bringing them coffee and saffron buns. This festival of lights honors an early Christian martyr.
- Las Posadas: From December 16th through Christmas Eve, Las Posadas is celebrated in Mexico, Central America, and parts of the United States. The nine days represent the nine months of Mary’s pregnancy, and the holiday commemorates the journey Mary and Joseph took to Bethlehem. One important symbol of the holiday is the poinsettia.
- Kwanzaa: A holiday that honors African American heritage, Kwanzaa is celebrated from December 26th to January 1st. Kwanzaa means “first fruits” and it’s an opportunity to celebrate family life and unity while honoring ancient African traditions. It’s based on harvest festivals and ends with a large feast.
No matter what traditions you choose to raise your children with, the first step is to start a family. If you’re having trouble doing that, call the Center for Vasectomy Reversal. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.
The holiday season is upon us, and a big part of the joy of Christmas is choosing the perfect gift for everyone on your list. When you’re shopping for your kids, though, this can be a difficult task. How do you find the right gifts for your children without just adding to the clutter in their rooms? We’ve got some tips to help you with your holiday shopping this year.
- First, consider the children as individuals. Think about their ages and stages of development, as well as their interests. What do they enjoy doing? What topics really spark their interests? Taking some time to really think about what lights up each child’s face can help you find the perfect gifts.
- Set some limits for yourself. Kids don’t need every toy that hits the market, and they don’t even need every single item in a line of toys they love. In fact, too many toys on Christmas morning can be overwhelming for a child and decrease the enjoyment of the holiday. There’s a rhyme that’s sometimes used to help children make their wish lists, and it goes, “Something you want, something you need, something to wear and something to read.” This isn’t a bad guideline for parents to use while they’re choosing toys. Simplicity should be the goal and setting a budget and other constraints will help you achieve it.
- Think about a toy’s educational value. This doesn’t mean that every toy has to teach numbers or the alphabet. Toys that spark the imagination are wonderful for helping kids learn. Consider the fact that kids learn the most through playing and you’ll see why it’s so important to keep the learning potential of the toy in mind. Some types of toys that can be educational include:
- Building toys
- Play kitchens
- Art supplies
- Cars and trucks
- Musical toys
- Board games
- Choose toys with staying power. The trendiest toys are often the ones that get the least play once the initial excitement has passed. On the other hand, classic toys like blocks, board games, and puzzles can get years of use and encourage cooperative play. While you’re thinking about toys with long lifespans, consider the quality of the toys you’re seeing. Choose sturdy, well-made, high-quality toys, checking for safety issues like pieces that can come off and cause a choking hazard. Stop before you buy something cheap and plastic to consider that, while you can buy several inexpensive items that are cheaply made, spending that money on fewer things of lasting quality is a better use of funds and will provide more enjoyment for the children.
If you previously had a vasectomy but now, you’re ready to start a family, call the Center for Vasectomy Reversal. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.
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