• 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.

  • How to Pick the Right Babysitter

    Babysitters are a great resource for parents with activities outside the home, or just mom and dads who need a date night. Of course you want to find the best babysitter available. Here are a few tips for just how to do that.

    ASK LOCAL FRIENDS AND FAMILY

    If you have nearby friends and family with children, the first step for you is to ask them what babysitters they use. If they don’t know of a great babysitter to recommend to you, they may know someone who does. If you belong to a church you can also ask fellow churchgoers with children for their recommendations. You can also ask neighbors with children.

    JOIN A LOCAL FACEBOOK GROUP

    Today there’s a Facebook group for almost every interest or need. Most communities have a local facebook group where residents ask each other for advice about local resources. This often includes discussions about babysitters. Consider joining a Facebook group for parents near you. This could also help you make friends, learn more about your community, arrange playdates, etc.

    INVITE THEM OVER

    If you’re nervous about trying a new babysitter for your child, try inviting her to your home. This will give you the opportunity to ask her important questions and to introduce her to your child. Observe how they interact, and how the babysitter adapts to your child’s demeanor.

    ASK GOOD QUESTIONS

    Before talking to a prospective babysitter, develop some questions for her that pertain to your concerns. This allows you to gauge whether this person’s babysitting philosophy and attitude are compatible with yours. If your child has any special conditions, struggles or needs, write these down before the interview or screening process, and be sure to bring them up.

    CHECK THOSE REFERENCES

    Every good babysitter has several references available. Take the time to contact them and ask a few questions.

    KEEP GOOD NOTES

    It’s important to keep good notes on your quest to find a great babysitter, for all the obvious reasons. But even if you find the perfect one, it’s important to have a good backup or two. Keep those names and phone numbers. It’s also good to know a few sitters to share with other parents who may need their services.

    TRY MORE THAN ONE

    Even if you’re confident in the babysitter you’ve chosen, it usually doesn’t hurt to try out more than one. You can compare these experiences against each other. Ask your child about their experiences with these babysitters.

    Dr. Joshua Green of the Center for Vasectomy Reversal is a leader in helping men become parents. For more information about the vasectomy reversal procedure, please contact our Sarasota, FL clinic at 941-210-6649 or schedule a free consultation online.

     

     

  • How to Increase your Health

    Compared to women, men are more likely to die before reaching age 80, but less likely to seek medical care. Men are more likely to die by suicide, but less likely to see a therapist. Guys, we have to fix this. Here are a few points of advice.

    HAPPY, HEALTHY FOODS

    Americans are notoriously overweight. Obesity has been a deadly epidemic here for decades now. If you’re a bit over your ideal weight, make a list of all the foods you enjoy. Then rate them for their nutritional cost and benefit. You may be surprised by all the healthy foods that you do enjoy but have passed over for various reasons. If you’re worried about vegetables going bad before you eat them, buy them frozen or canned. They’re still healthy foods. If you think veggies are boring, add salsa or jalapenos. At the store, avoid sections containing unhealthy, tempting foods. Avoid fast food restaurants in favor of eating meals at home that you’ve taken care to plan.

    GET SOME EXERCISE

    The sedentary lifestyle common in modern America poses substantial health risks to men and women alike. Make the time to take daily walks. If there’s a sport you used to do, consider taking it back up. There may be groups online dedicated to men such as yourself wanting to get together for a tennis match, a round of golf, or a pickup game of soccer or basketball. Consider joining your church’s softball team, or forming one if one doesn’t exist. Plan hiking outings for yourself and your family. If you have arthritis or have suffered from injuries, check out your local municipal pool. Many have low-impact water aerobics. You can also just swim laps. If you have a bike, get it fixed up and take it out for a spin. If your neighborhood has too many hills or too much traffic, look online for the best places to bike nearby, and make it an adventure.

    BE MINDFUL OF YOUR EMOTIONS

    Everyone has emotions and emotional needs. Don’t keep them simmering below the surface. Talk to friends and family. You never know what pearls of wisdom are hiding there unless you engage. Be open about what you’re feeling. If you’re feeling a lot of stress, or feel that you may be depressed, see a therapist. They’re professionally trained to help you take stock of your emotional health in productive ways. They can also help you get any medications that may benefit you.

    Dr. Joshua Green of the Center for Vasectomy Reversal is a leader in helping men become parents. For more information about the vasectomy reversal procedure, please contact our Sarasota, FL clinic at 941-210-6649 or schedule a free consultation online

  • Preparing Your Kids for School

    The first week of kindergarten or preschool is very exciting. But if your child is unprepared, it can also be stressful. Here are a few things you and your child can do to prepare for school.

    ATTEND ORIENTATION DAY

    Orientation day is a great opportunity for you and your child to become familiar with his or her new school. At orientation, you talk to the new teacher and headmaster or director, see the classroom, and have a look around the school. It’s also a great chance to ask questions.

    READ BOOKS TOGETHER

    One central aspect of kindergarten or preschool is learning to read. This can be a great joy for a child or a great hurdle. One great thing you can do for your child is to have a good variety of books on hand — books you read to them and books they can enjoy on their own. This will help instill a love of reading in them, and ease the process into a more formal education setting that is largely centered on reading and writing.

    HELP DEVELOP FINE MOTOR SKILLS

    Writing and drawing are crucial activities in any preschool or kindergarten. To help this go smoothly, you want your child to have developed some fine motor skills. Have plenty of paper available, as well as crayons and pencils, so your child can work on this ability. Help your child draw basic shapes and figures. Teach her to spell her name. Continue with some basic words such as Mom, Dad, cat and dog. Encourage your child to draw.

    ARRANGE PLAYDATES

    If your child hasn’t been attending a preschool, it may be overwhelming for him or her to be surrounded by so many other children. This is especially true if your child is an only child or just has a sibling or two. To help home or her develop social skills to successfully interact with other children, it can be helpful to arrange playdates with other children around the same age.

    PART-TIME PRESCHOOL

    It’s easier for a new kindergartener to ease into full-time school if she’s spent some time at a preschool. Preschools allow students to attend as regular full-time students or as part-time students. This familiarizes them with the school environment and how to properly interact with teachers and other students.

    POTTY TRAINING

    Attending kindergarten or preschool will be so much easier for your child and his teacher if your child is fully potty-trained. And of course, this makes life easier for parents as well. Potty-training can be quite a challenging activity but it’s always worth the trouble. Fortunately there are many resources online to help you train your child to successfully use the toilet.

    Do you have a child about to begin school, or do you dream of having one? Dr. Joshua Green of the Center for Vasectomy Reversal is a leader in helping men become parents. For more information about the vasectomy reversal procedure, please contact our Sarasota, FL clinic at 941-210-6649 or schedule a free consultation online.

  • How to Emotionally Prepare for a New Baby

    Preparing for a new baby can be overwhelming. You’re not only preparing your home and adjusting your life’s schedule for a needy new family member. You’re also, if you know it or not, anticipating the emotions that this life change will bring. Don’t keep this emotional aspect of your life below the surface and unexamined. If you want to fully prepare for your new baby, take stock of your own emotions, and take a look at ways that you can manage them.

    THERE ARE NO PERFECT PARENTS

    There may be a creeping feeling that you won’t have your house, your life and your self in perfect order for your new baby. Fear not! No one achieves perfection before or after a child arrives. Every parent makes mistakes. Take deep breaths and focus on what is achievable.

    TALK TO YOUR PARTNER

    Your partner is going through the same stress you are. Ask him or her how they’re doing, and share your own emotions. This is a grand adventure you’re embarking upon together, and communication is crucial.

    ASK A PARENT FOR WISDOM

    You surely know a lot of other parents, including your own mom and dad. Ask them about the emotions of bringing home a new baby. They won’t remember everything, but they’ll remember what really mattered to them. It couldn’t hurt to take some notes from these chats. You’ve got a lot on your plate right now, so it’s easy to forget things.

    NO SHAME IN THERAPY

    If your stress is significant, and talking to your partner or other parents hasn’t allayed it, consider seeing a therapist. They’re professionally trained to discuss these stresses with you in ways that should help you along a healthy path.

    GET SOME R&R

    Getting some rest and relaxation is always important, but especially in times of stress. Set apart some time to do the things make you happy and relaxed. Make sure your partner does the same. And spend some time together in ways that strengthen your bond. You’ll have less time for this with a new baby in the house. Make the best of it.

    CONQUER YOUR LISTS

    A bunch of to-do lists can add stress to your life, but crossing things off of them always feels nice, doesn’t it? Online live lists in programs such as Google Keep are helpful in that you can share them in real time with your partner through your devices, and see the changes that you both make. You can also drag items up or down on the list according to their priority. The best thing is: you can’t misplace these lists.

    At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping people build their families. That’s why we pride ourselves on providing state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides optimal surgical results and uncompromising, concierge-level patient care.  To learn more, call 941-313-7749 or contact us through our website.

  • What the Fourth Trimester Really Looks Like

    Have you heard of the 4th trimester? This is a term that pediatrician Dr. Harvey Karp is believed to have coined, meaning that the first three months of a baby’s life after birth. It goes with a theory that babies are born after nine months because their brains are so big that if they stayed in the womb much longer, they wouldn’t fit through the birth canal. They are still not quite ready, though, for life on the outside. In fact, according to this theory, it takes them about three more months to adjust.

    Those first 12 weeks are a time of major changes, as you become a parent and your sleepy, often fussy newborn becomes a calmer, happier, more alert baby. During the 4th trimester, babies experience significant physical, mental, and emotional development. It can help to think of your baby as still being a fetus for these first few months because your baby may be overwhelmed by the outside world and just want cuddles from you.

    It’s important to understand what life was like for your baby inside the womb. Inside your body, it was warm, but not especially dark, because a fetus can see the rays of the sun pass through your skin and muscle. Your baby is used to the sound of your voice, the whooshing of the blood in the uterine arteries, and plenty of soft, jiggly motion.

    During this 4th trimester, you can expect your baby to cry and be fussy. Babies will scream a lot, sleep a little, and essentially wear you out. To comfort a baby in this stage of life, keep your little one snugly wrapped or swaddled, and try swaying and shushing with the baby in the side/stomach position. Give your baby plenty of opportunities to suck, too. In fact, you can look at snug, shushing, swaging, side/stomach, and suck as the five S’s of the 4th trimester. They’re calming because they make the baby feel back at home.

    Those first three months may seem like a blur, but by the time your newborn hits the 3-month mark, everything will have changed. Suddenly your baby will be a little person with a curious mind, the beginnings of a personality, and some motor skills. Interacting with your newborn during the first few months can help foster all of this development. By holding, rocking, and talking to your baby, you’ll actually be nurturing a growing brain. Be prepared to feel worn out, but know that it’s all worth it, as you grow into a parent and form a deep connection with your new little one.

    If you’re ready to start a family, you can trust Center for Vasectomy Reversal to help. 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 Keep the Romance Alive After Having Children

    In the early days of a relationship, it often seems like the two of you are the only people in the world. Once you have a baby, though, things can change. Sharing your home with a new little person while navigating learning to parent together can take a toll on your relationship. Your lives are forever changed, but we’ve got tips for keeping things romantic.

    • Keep dating. Put it on the calendar: quality time together. Maybe you’ll hire a sitter and head out for dinner or a coffee date. Maybe you’ll schedule a special dinner for two after the baby is asleep. The type of date doesn’t matter, the important part is spending time alone together.
    • Find little moments to steal for each other. Have coffee together in the morning or enjoy a stroll while the baby naps in the stroller. Cuddle in front of a tv show you both enjoy. Don’t wait for date night to find ways to connect. Shift out of parenting mode and remember why you’re together.
    • Be affectionate. Bring back the PDA to help keep your marriage fresh. Kiss goodbye every morning and goodnight before bed. Hug frequently. Hold hands, snuggle, and find little ways to stay close.
    • Spoil each other. Sometimes the best things are the little things. Bring your partner flowers, or a favorite snack. Make a cup of tea for him or her in the evening or offer coffee in bed in the morning.
    • Don’t compete. Parenting is not a competition, it’s a cooperative process. Being a new parent is hard, whether you’re the mom or the dad, so work together to ease each other’s burdens. Be generous with compliments and hold back on criticism if you want a strong and healthy marriage.
    • Ditch the screens. Make a commitment to each other to spend some screen-free time together every day. Stop scrolling and put the focus on your partner for at least a little while.
    • Schedule sex. This may seem counterproductive to romance, but veteran parents will tell you, it’s necessary. You put everything else important on your calendars, so why not pencil in some time to remember the passion of the pre-baby days?
    • Keep the communication flowing. Talk about the things that matter and the things that don’t. Call each other when you’re apart, write love notes on the bathroom mirror, and send little texts during the day. The mode of communication doesn’t matter ask long as you continue the conversation.
    • Never give up. To keep your marriage romantic, choose each other every day. Commit to learning and growing together, and don’t accept failure as an option.

    At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping to create 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.