• Signs Your Partner is Approaching Labor

    From start to finish, pregnancy is tricky. Whether you’re waiting to learn if you’re pregnant or waiting for labor, the signs and symptoms involved can be confusing. Just as all people are different, all women experience childbirth a little differently, so a sign of labor for one person might not be there for another person. What’s more, every pregnancy is different! Even if you’ve been through a pregnancy before, labor can be a different experience the next time. If your partner is pregnant, it can be frustrating to try to decipher the signs. The following symptoms are fairly universal, though, so pay attention if any of these things seem to be happening.

    • Labor hormones can cause shivering. If it’s not cold and your partner is layering up, she might be in labor.
    • A loss of appetite could mean labor. Just as early pregnancy often causes women to feel nauseous and disinterested in food, labor beginning can cause the same symptoms, along with increased thirst. Ginger chews and ice chips can be very helpful.
    • Back pain can be a sign of impending labor. It’s understandable that a pregnant woman’s back will hurt, because she’s carrying around the extra weight of pregnancy. In the early stages of labor, though, that lower back pain may become intense. If she can’t seem to get comfortable, is having menstrual-like cramps, and her back is aching, pay attention because it could mean it’s almost time to head to the hospital.
    • As the due date grows nearer, pay attention to contractions. Your partner may have been experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions for some time, but if the contractions start getting stronger and longer, it could be almost time for the baby to arrive. How do you know when contractions are actually labor? They’ll come close together, around five minutes or so apart, and your partner will not be able to walk or talk through them.
    • When labor is approaching, the baby may drop. This can give your partner a feeling of lightness and she may be able to breathe and speak more easily because there’s less pressure on her diaphragm. The flip side of this is that she may have to go to the bathroom more often because there’s more pressure on her bladder.
    • Her water may break, and it may not be like the movies. Sometimes it’s just like you’d expect, a gush of fluids rushing out suddenly. However, it’s not always that obvious. Some women experience trickling fluid for a while, and may not realize that this is what’s happening. Encourage her to call her doctor if this is happening, because it means the “seal” around the baby has broken.
    • In the end stages of pregnancy, her joints may feel loose. Pregnancy hormones work to relax the joints, muscles and ligaments, to allow the pelvis to open and give birth. Unfortunately for your partner, those same hormones may loosen her bowels as well. The good news is, it’s a sign that birth is near.
    • If she’s fatigued but still obsessed with organizing the nursery, she’s probably getting close. It’s hard to sleep in the third trimester, which can lead to fatigue. By the same token, many women feel an urgency to “nest” right at the end of the pregnancy.

    If you think your partner is in labor or close to it, encourage her to call her medical provider. They won’t mind an extra phone call or two, and it’s better to be safe than sorry. It’s imperative to call if there’s bleeding or bright red discharge, her water breaks, or she experiences blurred or double vision, a severe headache, or sudden swelling, which can be signs of a life-threatening condition known as preeclampsia.  If she’s experiencing the signs of labor before the 37th week, call the doctor: it could be preterm labor. It’s always better to give the medical practitioner a call in the interest keeping both mom and baby healthy and safe.

    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.

  • What are ovulation cycles and do you need to consider that when trying to conceive?

    When you’re trying to conceive, you’ll learn a lot of information that may feel confusing. One of the most important things to understand during this time, though, is the ovulation cycle. There’s a very small window within this cycle when it’s possible to conceive, so knowing when that window occurs is crucial to your success. While ovulation can seem mysterious, especially to a person who doesn’t menstruate, it’s actually fairly simple science. Here’s what you need to know.

    First, let’s talk about the amazing fact that women are born with one to two million eggs in their bodies. Of course, they only release 300 to 400 of those in a lifetime, but it’s still very interesting. Eggs are generally released one at a time, once a month, and each egg is available for fertilization for about 24 hours before it dissolves. That’s a pretty short window! Even when you consider the fact that sperm can hang around for about three to five days in order to meet up with the egg, it’s pretty miraculous that conception ever occurs at all. It’s easy to see, though, why timing is everything.

    Ovulation happens somewhere between day 11 and day 21 of a woman’s cycle, but how do you know when it’s happening? If a woman has a very regular, 28 day cycle, you can count 14 days back from when the next period is going to start, and plan to have sex every other day right around that time. It might seem counterintuitive to skip days, but the fact is that a man’s sperm count can be lowered by having daily sex.

    What if your partner doesn’t have a regular cycle? Cycles can vary widely, ranging from 23 to 35 days, and even within a cycle, the time of ovulation isn’t always the same. The best way to determine if ovulation is happening is by tracking it through a few different methods.

    • Pay attention to bodily clues. Cervical mucus starts resembling egg whites, the senses of smell and taste may be heightened, breasts may become tender, and she may experience mild abdominal pain. In some women, the sex drive may be heightened. Other women may feel nauseous or lightheaded.
    • Check temperature. When an egg is released, progesterone levels go up, and this raises the body temperature slightly. A basal thermometer can be used to track the temperature, every morning before your partner gets out of bed.
    • Use an ovulation kit. These convenient, highly accurate kits track hormone levels in the urine to determine when it’s the best time to try and start a family.

    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.

  • How to Set Good Examples for Your Children

    As any parent who has ever slipped and said a bad word in front of a toddler knows, children imitate what they witness. The challenge for parents, then, is to give their kids something really good to imitate. Do your little ones get a chance to see your good behavior? Here are some great ways to set good examples for your children.

    • Show kindness in big and small ways, in front of your kids. Send a card to a friend who is going through a difficult time, and let your kids sign their names. Pay for someone’s groceries or coffee or fast food meal. Hold the door for someone, or let someone go ahead of you in traffic or the parking lot. Offer to help an elderly neighbor, or just greet employees when you walk into a store. If you operate out of a spirit of kindness, your kids will notice.
    • Exhibit generosity, and give your kids a chance to participate in generous acts. Give your kids change to drop in a tip jar, or being them with you to volunteer in a community event. Let them help you make cookies for the school’s front-office staff or dinner for a family with a new baby. Make a habit of having them donate books and toys to those in need, whether it’s things they’ve outgrown or things they pick out to give at the holidays.
    • Give back to the helpers in your children’s world. Have your kids make cards or gifts for their teachers and the support staff at the school, in addition to whatever gift you’re giving. Give thank-you gifts to the postal worker, delivery people, and garbage collectors. Take cookies to the fire station. Let your children see and participate in expressions of appreciation.
    • Be genuinely interested in those around you. This includes your kids: sincerely pay attention to what they have to say. Really listen to other people too, and get to know the names of people you interact with regularly, like school staff, the mail carrier, and the cashier at your local grocery store. Notice when someone does something well, and be generous with your compliments.
    • Teach by example how to manage emotions and handle stress. It’s easy to react emotionally to stressful situations, but it’s not a good way to make decisions. Model calm to your children, and talk them through your decision-making process. Find healthy outlets for stress, and teach your children practices like mindfulness and deep breathing.
    • Cultivate a spirit of gratitude in your family. Regularly express gratitude for the blessings in your life, and encourage your kids to do the same. Value people and relationships over material possessions and wealth, and avoid complaining.
    • Demonstrate responsibility in all areas of your life. Take care of your body, live up to your commitments, and teach your kids how to use a calendar, a planner, and other organizational tools. Take pride in your work, and let your kids see that your work has meaning. Be a person of integrity, and do the things you say you’ll do.
    • Allow yourself to be vulnerable around your kids. Your kids need to know that flaws are normal, and failure is something everyone experiences. Tell them about obstacles you’ve overcome and show them what it means to be resilient. Model an attitude of continually striving toward self-improvement.
    • Don’t be afraid to admit when you’re wrong. Everyone slips up sometimes, and it’s good for your kids to know you’re not perfect. Treat your children like people, and apologize when you’re in the wrong. Being willing to admit mistakes is an important part of building a healthy, happy family.

    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.