• Push Present Ideas

    Happy man giving partner a push present.

    Have you heard the term “push present”? If you are soon to be a father, it’s a term worth learning. A push present is a gift the new father gives the new mother to thank her for all she’s done and congratulate her on their new little family member. While there is no greater gift than your precious newborn baby, a push present is a sentimental gift meant to show your partner your love, support, and appreciation. While the baby is a gift to the father, too, dads don’t generally receive push presents because they don’t carry and deliver the babies. If the mom wants to honor the dad with a gift, it’s a sweet idea, but for now, we will focus on dad gifting to mom. Need some ideas for the perfect push present? We’ve got you covered.

    If you don’t care for the term push present, it should be noted that this kind of gift can also be called a “baby bauble.” Don’t think, though, that that means it necessarily needs to be jewelry. The gift you give to the new mother can be whatever you know will be meaningful to her, and it doesn’t have to be extravagant or expensive.  Jewelry is traditional, but a keepsake, a splurge on something useful, a cool high-tech gift, or a subscription to a service that will benefit her.

    If you’re considering jewelry, think about the mom’s personality. Is she the sentimental type, who would want a piece of jewelry with her child’s birthstone, birthdate, or name on it? Consider stackable birthstone rings, that can be worn by themselves or with more rings when more children are born. Another option would be a necklace, bracelet, or ring with the child’s name inscribed, a necklace symbolic of motherhood, or a baby-focused charm for an existing bracelet. If she isn’t the type to wear “mommy” jewelry and would prefer something classic and timeless, consider diamond earrings or a beautiful bracelet.

    For moms who are not into jewelry, consider something that’s practical but still a bit of a luxury. It could be sateen sheets, a silk pillowcase, comfy pajamas or a soft robe, a high-quality espresso maker, or a designer handbag. Would she enjoy a special keepsake? A baby book, newborn photo shoot, or even a piece of art made from a tracing of your baby’s heartbeat in utero are all unique gifts. A tech-loving new mom might like a smart watch, an e-reader, or a hands-free smart device to control other devices in the house.  Or you might consider a subscription. Audible gives mom something to listen to while she’s feeding, rocking, or walking the floor, Bouqs or Bloomsy will flowers every month to remind her she’s loved and appreciated, Stitch Fix will help her build a post-baby wardrobe, and there are digital scrapbooks like Qeepsake to help new parents store memories they’ll treasure later. Of course, a spa gift certificate can also be a welcome gift.

    How will you present your gift? This can be a big part of the fun. One sweet idea is to wrap the gift and set it in the top of the overnight bag she’s packed for the hospital. Then you can encourage her to double check the bag to make sure she has everything, and enjoy her surprise when she finds the gift you’ve thoughtfully chosen. This moment can become something special between you as you grow your family.

    At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping people grow their families. 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.

  • Everything You Need to Know About Cervix Dilation Stages

    Happy man holding his pregnant partner’s hand.

    The body goes through many extraordinary changes during pregnancy, labor, and delivery, but one of the most amazing is cervical dilation. Do you understand this process? It starts a few weeks before the baby arrives, and the cervix becomes fully dilated during the final stage of labor. When a woman is labor, terms will be tossed around like cervical effacement and dilation, which are both terms referring to the cervix. Here’s a guide to help you understand the stages of cervical dilation.

    The three stages of labor are latent, active, and delivery. The cervix is the lowest part of the uterus, which opens to allow a baby to pass through. That opening is called dilation, and active labor doesn’t start until a woman is about five to six centimeters dilated. To deliver a baby, the cervix must be fully effaced, which means thin, and dilated- (opened) to 10 centimeters. The effacement begins before the dilation, as a cervix must be fully effaced to dilate. The healthcare provider will begin checking the dilation of the cervix during the final few office visits by doing a cervical exam and will check it several times during labor. Let’s examine the stages of labor and how the cervix progresses.

    • The first stage of labor has two phases: latent and active. Together, these two phases vary in duration, and last longer in first time mothers than in women who have already had a baby.
      • The latent stage is primarily waiting. In fact, for first time moms, it can last a long time before anything seems to happen. During this phase, contractions are not strong or regular, and the cervix is getting shorter and softer, beginning to open.
      • The active stage of labor once the cervix has dilated to about five or six centimeters. Contractions at this point are longer, stronger, and closer together than they were in the latent phase. The active stage ends when the cervix is 10 cm dilated. While one centimeter is about the size of a blueberry, 10 is about the size of a bagel. If the cervix isn’t dilating properly, the doctor may try some different tactics to speed the process.
    • The second stage of labor begins when the cervix is fully dilated. This doesn’t mean the baby is coming immediately, because the baby may not be in the right position yet. Once the baby has moved down the birth canal fully, it will be time to push. The pushing phase can last for minutes or hours, depending on whether or not the baby is delivered with just a few pushes. First time moms and women who have had epidurals may need to spend a longer time pushing. During this time, the mother will be encouraged to change positions, squat, and rest between contractions. If the baby is not progressing, the doctor may need to employ forceps, a vacuum, or a Caesarean delivery, depending on the health of the mom and baby, the hospital policy, and the doctor’s own discretion. The second stage is over when the baby has been delivered.
    • The third stage of labor happens when the baby has already been born. This may seem strange, but it’s an important stage. This is when the woman delivers the placenta, which is a completely separate organ formed during the pregnancy. Once the baby is born, the placenta must be expelled, since it is no longer needed. Contractions continue, and while they are not as strong as the ones in the second stage, they are enough to expel the placenta, usually with just one push. This stage lasts between five and 30 minutes, and is hastened if the mother begins breastfeeding the baby. After birth, it takes the cervix about six weeks to return to normal.

    At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping people grow their families. 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 is Parentification?

    Daughter consoling stressed father.

    The role of the parent and child are typically well-defined, right? The parent is the caretaker, with the child focusing all his or her energy on growing and developing. That’s the normal way of things, but sometimes, these roles are reversed, and the child becomes the caretaker. This phenomenon is called parentification, and it is detrimental to children, causing long-term negative effects on their emotional and mental wellbeing. Here, we discuss parentification, explaining what it is, why it’s not good, and how to spot the warning signs.

    • What are the types of parentification? In a healthy parent-child relationship, the parent cares for the child, but parentification happens when the parent relies inappropriately on the child. The two types of parentification are emotional and instrumental.
      • Emotional parentification is when the child provides excessive emotional support to the parent. Acting in the capacity of a therapist, the child listens to the parent’s troubles, reassures and soothes them, and gives advice. Children placed into this position by emotional parentification keep their parent’s secrets, comfort their siblings during conflicts, and try to diffuse negative situations. They stifle their own pain in the interest of taking care of their parents and siblings emotionally.
      • Instrumental parentification involves children taking on adult responsibilities. While it is appropriate for children to help around the house, instrumental parentification occurs when children must do the weekly grocery shopping, cook, clean, manage finances, or take responsibility for their siblings in a way that serves the parent more than the children. The tasks are often beyond the child’s level of ability and comprehension. Sometimes, this parentification is sibling-focused, particularly if a child is tasked with caring for a sibling with a disability or chronic illness. To determine whether the things being asked of a child amount to parentification, look at whose needs are being met and whether the demands are age-appropriate. Doing chores and helping with younger siblings can help build a child’s confidence and abilities, but parentification is harmful to children.
    • How does this happen? When the parent is experiencing physical or emotional impairment, whether it’s an addiction, a disability, or a physical or mental illness, it impedes the parent’s ability to be a reliable and predictable caretaker. Unexpected life events and financial hardship can also lead the parent to lean on a child too much, but sometimes, parentification is simply the result of neglect. Children step up to take responsibilities that are inappropriate for their age and level of development because they want to keep the family functioning.
    • How is this harmful to children? Children who are parentified often suppress their own needs and emotions, discerning that there is only room for one person’s needs in their relationship. They can grow up to have problems with relationships, choosing self-centered partners because they are more comfortable with this known dynamic. They experience fear of abandonment or rejection, and they may develop mental health issues, experiencing issues like anxiety, depression, substance abuse disorders, and so on. The silver lining in all this is that children who have experienced parentification are often extremely emotionally intelligent, responsible, organized, and empathetic.
    • What are the symptoms of parentification? When a child is relied upon too heavily by a parent, the child may show signs of self-doubt, difficulty being assertive, a strong desire to please other people, guilt, depression, stress, and anxiety. The child may have difficulties at school and show signs of a loss of childhood. Physical symptoms with no known source may manifest, like stomach aches or headaches, and the child may act out at school. Teenagers may use substances to self-medicate. In the long term, people who have experienced parentification may have trust issues, and they are at an increased risk of mental and physical health issues. Parentified children often become codependent adults.
    • How can one overcome parentification? It can help to see a mental health professional to overcome the negative effects of parentification. While recognizing parentification and treating the child early is best, adults who experienced this phenomenon in childhood can also benefit from the help of a mental health professional. Overcoming the negative effects of parentification is especially important in helping people establish new patterns so that they can build their own healthy, happy family.

    At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping people grow their families. 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 Most Common Illnesses Children Face

    Father taking care of sick child.

    Our children are such a gift to us! Precious and adorable, they light up our lives with their sweet little faces and loving hearts. Unfortunately, they are also unbelievably germy. Any parent of a young child has no doubt had that horrifying moment when their cute little sweetheart rolls on the floor in public, picks up something off the ground and pops it right into his or her mouth, or licks a handrail. They seem determined to touch everything, and while this is just a natural part of childish curiosity, it’s also a great way to pick up the viruses and bacteria that bring on childhood illnesses. Add to this the fact that children’s immune systems are not as strong as they will be later, because they have not yet built up immunity, throw in some interaction with other children at daycare or playgroups, and it’s no wonder that some kids seem to just stay sick. It helps to know the facts about some common illnesses, so that you will know how to manage them, and which ones warrant a trip to the pediatrician. Here, we discuss some of the most common illnesses children face.

    • The common cold can strike kids about five times a year. The mild fever, congestion, sore throat, and cough that come along with it should be treated with fluids and rest, and if your child is uncomfortable, you can give children’s ibuprofen or acetaminophen if your pediatrician approves. It is best not to give a child cough and cold medicines, because it’s easy to give a child too much.
    • Little ones are most vulnerable to RSV. Respiratory syncytial virus is a common childhood illness that affects the lungs. Most of the time, it’s just a minor respiratory illness with cold-like symptoms like coughing, sneezing, runny nose, and fever. However, it can be extremely serious for young infants, preemies, children with compromised immune systems, chronic lung disease, or a congenital heart condition, as well as elderly adults. About 150,000 children are hospitalized each year because of RSV, so it is vital to call your pediatrician immediately if you notice your child wheezing, breathing quickly or with difficulty, refusing to drink, appearing lethargic, or starting to develop a bluish color on the lips and in the mouth.
    • Roseola also impacts the smallest kids. Sometimes, this illness is so minor that it is completely overlooked. For some children, though, it leads to a high fever, congestion, coughing, and a patchy rash that starts on the chest and spreads. Fortunately, it almost always ends quickly, and usually only occurs in those younger than two years old. If your child’s fever spikes or last longer than three days, seek medical attention. Otherwise, you can treat roseola at home with children’s ibuprofen. Roseola is contagious, so keep a child with this illness home until the rash is completely gone.
    • Gastroenteritis is commonly known as a stomach bug. Many different viruses can cause this illness, including norovirus, and it comes with vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Generally, there’s not much you can do except give some TLC and encourage the child to rest until it subsides, usually within a few days to a week. Give plenty of fluids because gastroenteritis can easily lead to dehydration.
    • The Coxsackievirus is also called Hand-Foot-Mouth disease. This virus, which occurs mainly during summer and fall, is extremely contagious, spread through touch, coughing, sneezing, and fecal matter. It is not particularly serious, but it is very uncomfortable, causing skin rash, fever, mouth sores, flu-like symptoms, and sometimes blisters on the hands and feet. There’s not much to do for a child with Coxsackievirus except to make him or her comfortable with ibuprofen or acetaminophen, with ice pops and non-acidic juice to ease the sore throat. Pay close attention, though, because kids often don’t want to drink due to the sore throat, and this can lead to dehydration.
    • Fifth disease is also called Slapped Cheek syndrome. Most common in children three and under, it causes a bright-red rash on the cheeks, and sometimes a mild fever, runny nose, and secondary rash on the torso. It’s very contagious until the rash erupts. It subsides on its own, but if your child develops joint pain, let the doctor know, and if you are pregnant and your child develops fifth disease, talk to your ob-gyn about the risks of complications.
    • Strep rarely affects small children. If a baby or toddler contracts strep throat, it’s typically because an older sibling has it. However, your child can also get strep throat through interaction with a child who has it, or even by playing with a toy an infected child has been using. Caused by the bacteria streptococcus pyogenes, strep can cause sore throat, fever, swollen tonsils, and stomach pain. Your pediatrician can run a strep test and provide your child with antibiotics.
    • Influenza is the official name of the flu. Having the flu is miserable, with symptoms like headache, sore throat, high fever, cough, and sometimes even vomiting or having diarrhea. Fortunately, you can greatly decrease your child’s risk of contracting influenza through the use of flu vaccines.
    • Conjunctivitis is commonly known as pink eye. It is extremely contagious, and spread through your entire household very quickly, causing redness, yellowish discharge, crusty eyes, and blurry vision. It’s very uncomfortable as well as contagious, and in young kids, almost always caused by a bacterial infection. Your pediatrician can prescribe antibiotic eye drops, and the child should be careful to wash hands and avoid sharing hand towels, wash cloths, pillows and blankets to avoid infecting others in your home.
    • Pinworms are the result of poor hygiene. If you’re unfamiliar with these parasites, and they sound disgusting to you because of the word “worms,” you are on to something. Unlike ringworm, which is a fungus, pinworms are actual worms that get into kids’ digestive systems when they don’t wash their hands. These nasty little bugs move down the digestive system and lay eggs around the anus, which causes itching. If you notice your child scratching his or her bottom, talk to your pediatrician. The doctor can give you a special tape to put on the area at night and bring back in to be analyzed for pinworms and their eggs. They can be treated with a dose or two of prescription medication, but you will have to wash the towels and bedding in hot water to completely eradicate them from your home.
    • Kids get more ear infections than adults do. In fact, an ear infection is one of the most common childhood illnesses. Caused by bacterial or viral infections, they cause ear pain, irritability, trouble sleeping, tugging on the ear, and a fever.
    • Bronchitis often follows an upper respiratory infection. Occurring when the airways in the lungs swell and produce mucus, bronchitis causes soreness in the chest, body aches, a sore throat, headaches, and fatigue. It’s typically caused by a virus, and the best treatment is rest, fluids, and sleeping with a humidifier in the room.
    • Sinusitis means a sinus infection. It’s caused when fluid builds up in the sinuses and allows viruses and bacteria to grow. It can be very uncomfortable, with runny or stuffy nose, headache, pressure or pain in the face, sore throat, cough, bad breath, and post nasal drip, but should resolve on its own.

    At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping people grow their families. 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.