• Baby Safety Month

    Baby Safety Month is an annual campaign that raises awareness about the importance of child safety. The campaign runs throughout the month of September and offers parents and caregivers tips and resources on how to keep their children safe.

    Some of the topics that are covered during Baby Safety Month include: car safety, home safety, water safety, and general safety tips.

    The History of Baby Safety Month

    The history of Baby Safety Month actually dates back to the early 20th century. In 1913, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) held its first meeting in New York City. At this meeting, the AAP decided to create a committee on infant care. This committee was tasked with creating guidelines for the care of infants and young children.

    One of the first topics that the AAP addressed was infant mortality. In 1916, the AAP released a report that showed that over 6,000 infants died each year from crib death. This was a shocking number and the AAP realized that something needed to be done to prevent these deaths.

    To raise awareness about infant safety, the AAP decided to designate September as Baby Safety Month. During this month, the AAP would release information and tips on how to keep babies safe. The goal was to educate parents and caregivers about the dangers that infants faced and how to prevent them.

    Over the years, Baby Safety Month has continued to grow. Today, it is celebrated in countries all over the world. In the United States, many organizations participate in Baby Safety Month by sharing information and resources with parents and caregivers. These organizations include the AAP, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and many others.

    During Baby Safety Month, take time to think about how to keep your little one safe. Here are a few tips to get you started:

    Always Use a Safe Sleep Surface for Your Baby

    This means using a firm mattress in a crib or bassinet that meets current safety standards. Don’t use a pillow, quilt, or soft mattress, as these can increase the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

    Use a Proper Car Safety Seat

    Car safety seats are chosen based on your baby’s age, weight, and height. Make sure the seat is installed correctly and that your baby is buckled in properly.

    Keep Dangerous Items Out of Reach of Your Baby

    This includes items like medicines, cleaning products, and small objects that your baby could choke on.

    Supervise Your Baby at All Times

    Even if you’re just stepping away for a moment, never leave your baby unsupervised.

    Be Prepared for Emergencies

    Learn CPR and First Aid and keep the phone number of your local poison control center handy.

    Following these tips will help you keep your baby safe during Baby Safety Month and all year long. For more information on child safety, visit the website of the National Child Safety Council.

    As a parent, you play a vital role in keeping your child safe. Take this opportunity to learn more about how you can protect your little one from harm. And don’t forget to share what you’ve learned with other parents and caregivers! Together, we can help keep all kids safe.

    Get more tips and information by visiting our blog! The Center for Vasectomy Reversal in Florida is happy to answer any questions you have and help you make the best decision for your fertility. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

  • Healthy Baby Food to Make at Home

    There are many healthy baby food recipes that you can make at home, and they don’t have to be boring or bland. You can make nutrient-rich, flavorful, and fun foods for your little one to enjoy. Read on to learn more about the benefits of homemade baby food and to get some tips on how to get started.

    The Benefits of Homemade Baby Food

    The benefits of making your own baby food at home have prompted many parents to do so. Homemade baby food is:

    • More Nutritious: When you make your own baby food, you have complete control over what goes into it. This means that you can choose to use fresh, organic ingredients that are high in nutrients. Commercial baby foods often contain preservatives and other additives that can be harmful to your child’s health.

     

    • More Affordable: Making your own baby food is typically more affordable than purchasing commercial varieties. This is especially true if you purchase ingredients in bulk or grow your own fruits and vegetables.

     

    • Tailored Flavor and Texture: You can tailor the flavor and texture of homemade baby food to better suit your child’s preferences. For example, if your baby is still getting used to solid foods, you can make a puree that is easy to eat and digest. As your child gets older, you can start to add in more textured foods such as chunks of fruit or vegetables.

     

    • Quality bonding time: One of the best parts about making your own baby food is the quality bonding time it provides. During mealtimes, you can sit down with your little one and chat while they enjoy their food. This is a great way to create lasting memories together.

    Ensure that your baby is getting the nutrients they need by making your own baby food. That way, you can control what goes into it and how it is prepared. Plus, homemade baby food often tastes better than store-bought varieties.

    Ideas to Get You Started

    If you’re interested in trying your hand at making homemade baby food, there are a few things you’ll need to get started. First, invest in a good quality blender or food processor. You’ll also need some basic kitchen supplies like measuring cups and spoons, as well as storage containers for freezing any leftover baby food. Finally, it’s helpful to have a recipe book on hand for ideas and inspiration. With these tools in hand, you’re ready to start whipping up healthy, delicious meals for your little one!

    Healthy Baby Food Recipes

    When it comes to healthy baby food recipes, there are endless possibilities. Here are some ideas to get you started:

     

    • Pureed fruits and vegetables: These are great for starting solids or for older babies who are ready for more textured foods. Try pureeing carrots, sweet potatoes, peas, apples, bananas, and other fruits and veggies. You can also mix and match different flavors to create new taste combinations.

     

    • Fruit and veggie pouches: These are convenient and easy to take on the go. Simply fill reusable pouches with your baby’s favorite pureed fruits or vegetables.

     

    • Homemade baby cereals: Start with a simple rice cereal and then add in pureed fruits or vegetables for additional nutrition and flavor. Oats and barley are other great options for homemade baby cereals.

     

    • Finger foods: As your baby starts to develop their pincer grasp, they will be ready for finger foods. Offer them soft fruits and vegetables that they can easily pick up and eat, such as ripe bananas, cooked sweet potatoes, and steamed broccoli florets.

     

    • Healthy snacks: There are plenty of healthy snack options for babies and toddlers. Try making your own fruit bars or energy bites using pureed fruits, oats, nuts, and seeds. You can also offer air-popped popcorn, whole grain crackers, and yogurt dips.

    Making your own baby food is a great way to ensure that your little one is getting the nutrients they need. And it’s also a fun way to get creative in the kitchen! Try out some of these healthy baby food recipes and see what your little one enjoys the most.

    Visit our blog to stay up-to-date with information and tips for healthy parenting and more! The Center for Vasectomy Reversal in Florida is helping families across the country reach their fertility goals. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

     

  • Why it’s Important for Men to Talk About Mental Health

    Mental health issues have become a common topic of discussion since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. What’s not always part of the discussion, though, is the risk mental health issues pose to men. Men are often reluctant to discuss depression and other mental health issues, yet research indicates that men are up to four times more likely than women to die from suicide. In fact, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, men make up about 70 percent of suicide deaths annually. What can be done to stem this tide? The first step is more open communication.

    While over 6 million men in the United States experience symptoms of depression each year, and more than 3 million suffer from anxiety, men are less likely than women to seek mental health support. The reason for this has to do with cultural stigmas. Outdated ideas about gender and mental health can discourage men from seeking treatment, and men are more likely than women to buy into some of these detrimental and destructive points of view. Ideas about men with depression being dangerous or unreliable are among these viewpoints, as is the perception that men should be able to “snap out of” depression and “man up.” It’s no wonder that men who have heard and internalized these thoughts would be reluctant or embarrassed to seek formal treatment for depression.

    Men are also less likely to talk to their peers about issues that are troubling them. While a man may be feeling financial pressure and the stress of supporting a family and balancing home and work life, he’s unlikely to talk about these stressors. This can lead to symptoms of depression that include bad moods, apathy, inability to sleep or sleeping too much, or feelings of anxiousness, restlessness, or racing thoughts. While women often seem sad or down when they’re depressed, men are more likely to display anger or aggression, or self-medicate through substance abuse. It’s important to notice these signs in the men in your life, so that you can encourage them to talk about what’s going on.

    Talking about mental health is important and beneficial. Opening up about stressors can bring a sense of relief and make a person feel less isolated. What’s more, the more people talk about their mental health, the more the topic is normalized, allowing other people to feel they can talk about it too. Talking about mental health can bring out compassion and understanding, not just for others but also for yourself. It also can make a person feel more in control of the situation, once it’s finally out in the open. By beginning to talk, first to close friends and loved ones, then to a health professional, a person can find strategies for coping with mental health issues like depression and anxiety, leading to a healthier life.

    At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we care about all aspects of men’s health. 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.

  • Children’s Health Symptoms You Should Be Concerned About

    Children often have aches, pains, and other minor symptoms that aren’t really a cause for concern. Parents don’t want to run to the doctor for ever sniffle or tummy ache, but which symptoms are really a cause for concern? It’s good to trust your gut as a parent and seek medical attention if something seems “off.” More specifically, if any of the following symptoms are present, call your pediatrician.

    • A high fever warrants medical care. The definition of “high fever” varies with age, and in a baby younger than three months, anything 100.4°F or higher requires immediate medical care. However, in a child between three and six months old, the threshold for alarm rises to 101°F and in children six months to two years it’s 103° In a child over two years old, acting normal, and seems to be well-hydrated, it’s probably not an urgent matter, but it’s worth calling your pediatrician’s office for advice. Note: a fever that lasts more than five days or doesn’t respond to treatment always warrants a doctor’s appointment.
    • Sometimes a headache is more than “just a headache.” If your child has a headache and a fever, call the doctor. If he or she also has a stiff neck and a rash, seek immediate medical care, because these can be signs of meningitis. A headache in the morning or middle of the night, or a headache with vomiting, may be a migraine or something more serious, so see a doctor right away.
    • Pay attention to rashes and moles. A ring-shaped rash could be Lyme disease, and pinpoint-size spots under the skin could signal a serious condition. Widespread, unexplained bruising may indicate a blood disorder, and other rashes can be signs of allergies. Especially if the child is also having trouble breathing, has a swollen face, is itchy or vomiting, or is agitated or lethargic, see a doctor immediately. Keep an eye on moles, too, doing a monthly check at bath time. Irregularly shaped moles that are different colors, raised, or have ragged borders could be signs of skin cancer. A mole that’s been there since birth has a higher risk of becoming malignant than other moles.
    • Don’t dismiss a stomachache. While some tummy aches are minor complaints, a sudden pain on the lower right side could be a sign of appendicitis. Other symptoms include diarrhea, then abdominal pain, then vomiting, increasing pain, and fever. Another serious condition for children under four is intussusception, a disorder in which one part of the intestine slides into the other. This causes pain in 20 to 60 minute spells, and may be accompanied by fever, vomiting, blood in the stool, or bowel movements with a “currant jelly” appearance. Both illnesses require immediate medical care.
    • Address breathing issues immediately. Did you know that 8 percent of children in the U.S. have asthma? If your child has trouble breathing when exercising, whistles when exhaling, has shortness of breath, or has trouble recovering after a respiratory infection, talk to your pediatrician about asthma. On the other hand, if your child has blue lips or discoloration around the mouth, has trouble breathing and is sucking in the chest and abdomen, or has troublesome sounds coming from the chest and lungs, seek help right away or call 911.
    • Keep an eye on the eyes and ears. If your baby doesn’t respond to loud sounds, schedule a hearing test. With older children, take precautions about noise exposure, keeping devices at half volume or below and limiting time around loud noises, to prevent permanent hearing damage. As to the eyes, notice whether your baby doesn’t seem to focus on objects or your school-aged child is squinting, having trouble reading, or sitting too close to the TV. If you notice these things, schedule a vision screening.
    • Extreme fatigue can signal a problem. Talk to your pediatrician, because it could indicate anemia, malabsorption syndrome, or depression.
    • Urinating frequently or infrequently can each signal a problem. Decreased urination, especially with excessive vomiting or diarrhea, dry mouth and lips, or skin that’s dry or stays bunched when you pinch it, could signal serious dehydration. Increased urination, especially with excessive thirst, extreme hunger, weight loss, or fatigue, could signal type 1 diabetes.
    • Recognize serious injuries. Kids often fall and hurt themselves, but how do you know if an injury requires medical attention? If your child is less than 6 months old, always see a doctor. If there’s confusion, loss of consciousness, or other neurological changes, vomits after falling, or seems to have damage to the body, like a broken bone, it’s a medical emergency. The same holds true for a cut that gapes open as wide as a cotton swab or doesn’t stop bleeding when you apply pressure.

    A healthy life for your child begins in the womb, and 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.

  • Healthy Foods to Feed Growing Kids

    Kids between the ages of two and 12 grow very quickly. For them to stay healthy, they need the right diet, with foods that provide protein, calcium, iron, and vitamins to promote proper development. This can be challenging, because young children are often picky eaters. It’s important to be consistent, offering healthy options and setting a good example. To foster appropriate development of mental and motor skills, offer grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy, and protein, including these top picks from dieticians.

    • Berries: Strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries are delicious and packed with vitamin C, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. These nutrients help boost the immune system and protect cells from damage. They’re easy to incorporate in a child’s diet, too, whether on their own, in pancakes or muffins, or as toppings for yogurt, ice cream, or cereal.
    • Fruit: Apples, pears, oranges, banana, mango, and kiwi are all excellent choices, tasty and full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and plant polyphenols. Kids can snack on them, or you can incorporate them into baked goods and smoothies or use them to top oatmeal or yogurt.
    • Eggs: A great source of choline, protein, and vitamins, eggs are good for brain development. They’re easy to prepare, boiled, fried, or scrambled, or added to soup, oatmeal, gravy, rice, and noodles, or in desserts like custard.
    • Dairy: Cow’s milk and cheese contain calcium, phosphorous, vitamin D, and protein, for healthy bones and muscles. For children under two, full-fat milk is the best option, for extra energy. Milk is easy to drink at meals, have with cereal or cookies, or blend with fruit for smoothies. Cheese is a good snack, especially mild varieties like mozzarella or American cheese. Serve slices, cubes, or strings, or melt cheese on toast or pizza, or sprinkle grated cheese over noodles.
    • Colorful Vegetables: Make a game of seeing how many different colors your child can eat, because brightly colored fruits and vegetables have powerful antioxidants. Root vegetables like carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, purple potatoes, potatoes, and parsnips are loaded with potassium, magnesium, fiber, beta-carotene, iron, and vitamins A, B and C, among other nutrients. Green vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, and arugula, along with cauliflower, provide folate, fiber, phytonutrients, and vitamins A, C, and K. These nutrients strengthen the immune system, lower inflammation, and can even reduce the risk of cancer. Try different vegetables, prepared different ways, in stews, mashed, baked into goodies, baked into chips, or raw, with your child’s favorite dip.
    • Legumes: Legumes, including beans, peas, and lentils, provide fiber, vitamin B, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and protein. And guess what? Peanuts are also a legume, so your child’s favorite peanut butter is full of nutrition plus healthy monounsaturated fats. Make sure when you choose peanut butter, though, that you pick a brand with no added sugar, palm oil, or partially hydrogenated fats. You can probably think of several ways to feed your child peanut butter, but other legumes are versatile, too. Add them to soups, stews, chilis, casseroles, and salads, serve as side dishes, or blend them and use them as a base for baked goods and sauces.
    • Whole grains: Avoid processed white flour, opting for whole wheat flour instead, to reap the benefits of the naturally contained zinc, iron, copper, magnesium, vitamins E and B, phytonutrients, and antioxidants, as well as the fiber that can help maintain digestive health. Remember, whole grains include brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, bulgur wheat, barley, oats, millet, and corn, so you have a lot of options.
    • Meat and Fish: Great sources of protein, these foods provide other important nutrients, too. Beef and chicken contain important vitamins, like vitamins A, B, D, E, and K, as well as minerals like iron, zinc, magnesium, and phosphorus. Chicken is higher in vitamins, while beef has more minerals. Fish has omega-3 fatty acids, for eye, brain, and nerve development.
    • Seeds: Work sunflower, pumpkin, hemp, chia, and flaxseeds into your child’s diet for a healthy dose of vitamin E, minerals, fiber, protein, and healthy fats.

    A healthy life for your child begins in the womb, and 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.

  • Tips for Being in the Delivery Room for New Fathers

    So, you and your partner are expecting a baby. Congratulations! Are you planning to be in the delivery room with her? It’s a great way to be part of the experience, supporting your partner and getting the chance to meet your new baby immediately. However, there are a few things you should know before the big day arrives.

    • You need to be comfortable in the hospital. This means scheduling a tour ahead of time, so that you understand check-in procedures, hospital policies, accommodations for supporting players- (that’s you!), the hospital layout, your cell reception on the property, and so on. If the surroundings are somewhat familiar, you’ll be able to be more confident when labor begins, and more able to focus on supporting your partner.
    • Don’t get too comfortable while she’s in labor. Seriously, this is the time to make your partner’s needs the absolute center of your attention. Understand that you’re going to be there a long time, it’s going to get boring, and you may get sore, hungry, and sleepy while you’re waiting for the baby to arrive. Feel free to bring a snack, but don’t complain about anything at all, because we promise what your partner is dealing with is much worse than whatever you’ve got going on. Turn off your ringer, focus on what your partner needs, and whatever you do, don’t go to sleep. If you’ve ever pulled an all-nighter, this is the right time to do it again. If she’s awake, you’re awake, no matter how long it takes.
    • Be there to help, but stay out of the way. The delivery room is a busy place, and when you’re anxious, you may be clumsy and fumbling. Don’t get in the way of the professionals doing their job, and try not to freak out or faint. How do you prevent this? Preparation is key. Actually watch the birthing videos, pay attention during childbirth classes, and read everything you can get your hands on about birth.
    • It’s exciting to become a new dad, but this is not the time for dad jokes. The hospital staff may not appreciate your sense of humor and, to be honest, your partner may not at that moment, either. Try not to say anything at all that isn’t helpful.
    • Expect the process to be unpredictable and, frankly, gross. Labor can be going smoothly and then turn on a dime into an emergency situation. Stay calm and follow directions, because the medical staff is experienced and knows what they’re doing. And even in a perfectly normal birth, things can get ugly. There’s going to be blood, other bodily fluids may come into play, and the baby may look less than cute. Breathe through it, and know that it’s all going to be great once it’s over.
    • Discuss expectations ahead of time with your partner. If she wants you to stay at the head of the bed, that’s where you need to be. If she wants photos, make sure you understand which photos she wants. The most important thing you can do for your partner is to listen and be attentive, before, during, and after the birth.

    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.

     

  • Everything You Need to Know About Couvade Syndrome

    Have you ever heard of Couvade syndrome? If you haven’t, you may know it by its more familiar moniker, sympathetic pregnancy. First noted in 1865 by anthropologist Edward Burnett Tylor, this condition is actually much more common than you might think.

    Couvade syndrome comes from the French “couvee”, which means “to hatch.” It happens when fathers-to-be who are otherwise healthy begin experiencing pregnancy-related symptoms. The symptoms of Couvade are vague and varied, and can include nausea, heartburn, abdominal pain or bloating, leg cramps, backaches, breathing issues, weight gain or loss, and urinary or genital irritation. About 40 percent of men with Couvade syndrome can even experience tooth pain. Dads with Couvade may experience psychological symptoms like reduced libido, restlessness, anxiety, or depression as well. Sometimes, men with Couvade syndrome can experience such a high level of stress that they may even risk a mini-stroke.

    Interestingly, even though it’s been around a long time and affects a large number of people, Couvade syndrome is not an official diagnosis. It’s not considered a disease or even a psychological condition. So, why does it happen to so many men? And how many men does it actually affect?

    Estimates of how many men are affected are imprecise. Part of the reason for this is that this syndrome has been studied more by anthropologists and sociologists than the medical community. What we do know is that your likelihood of developing Couvade syndrome varies depending on your culture, how involved you are with your partner’s pregnancy, and how stressful the entire situation is for you. It’s also more likely to happen when a couple has experienced infertility or pregnancy loss. When it occurs, Couvade syndrome typically kicks in during the first trimester, eases during the second, and reoccurs during the third, much like a woman’s pregnancy symptoms. It doesn’t necessarily go away after childbirth, however. Many men with this syndrome experience postpartum depression, probably because they’re living through similar stressors to their partners, including lack of sleep, a massive sense of responsibility, and overall disruption to their lives.

    If you or your partner are experiencing Couvade syndrome, what can you do? The most important thing is to keep the communication flowing. While this syndrome is ill-defined, it is fairly common, and knowing that can alleviate some of the stress. If the symptoms are particularly concerning, seek medical care. Otherwise, just do your best to take care of each other and make sure both partners are getting plenty of rest, eating a nutritious diet, exercising regularly, and managing stress.

    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 Put a Crying Baby to Sleep

    It’s perfectly normal for babies to cry. After all, it’s the way they communicate! Babies cry because they’re hungry, thirsty, uncomfortable, overtired, excited, frightened, bored, or in need of comfort. For parents, a crying baby can feel stressful. However, with a little bit of patience you can learn to calm your crying baby and get him or her off to sleep.

    • First, try to determine why the baby is crying. Make sure your baby is not hungry and doesn’t have a dirty diaper. If you think boredom may be the issue, try singing, humming, or going for a walk.
    • Sometimes, the problem is colic. Colic typically starts around two weeks, hits its height at six weeks, and goes away by 16 weeks. It’s probably colic if there is unexplained crying for more than three hours a day, three or more days a week, for three weeks or longer.
    • Know the Five S’s of Soothing. The world outside the womb can be overwhelming, but these five tactics can help soothe your baby.
      • Swaddling: Swaddling keeps babies’ limbs from twitching and gives them the snug sensation they had in the womb.
      • Side lying: Before babies are born, they spend much of their time lying on their sides. Try carrying your baby in a side lying position and using the football hold when nursing.
      • Shushing: “Shhh” sounds like the whooshing heard in the womb. You can make this noise yourself or try a white noise machine or app.
      • Swinging: Rocking, jiggling, swinging, and swaying can help a baby calm down.
      • Sucking: For a baby, sucking on a finger or pacifier can be very relaxing.
    • Consider dietary modification. A change in formula may help. If you’re breastfeeding, consider eliminating some things from your diet, like dairy or spicy foods. It may be helpful to keep a journal, noting what your diet and your baby’s habits, in order to sleuth out any problems you may be able to easily fix.
    • Implement a good sleep routine. Establish calming bedtime habits now, perhaps with a warm bath and soothing music before bed. During nighttime feedings, keep the room quiet and dark and don’t interact with your baby beyond feeding and changing. This will help your little one to learn that night is different from day.
    • Give yourself a break. A baby who won’t stop crying can be overwhelming, so if you’re upset, put the baby in the crib and walk out for a few minutes to calm down. A walk outside with your baby can also sometimes help both of you to feel better. Don’t feel bad if you need to ask for help.

    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 Prepare for When Your Partner Goes into Labor

    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.
    • 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.

     

  • Why it’s Important to Teach your Children about other Holiday Celebrations from other Cultures

    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.