Friday, May 31, 2019

A Labor Of Love: Looking After Your Family During Childbirth

Going into labor is a stressful experience at the best of times. It involves extensive plans, whether it’s your first or fifth or pregnancy. The trouble is that the more children you have at home, the harder labor can be to manage.

For obvious reasons, taking your children to the hospital while you give birth is NEVER a good idea. As well as being traumatic for them, labor can be a long process. The last thing you want to be worrying about is your kids out in the waiting room. Not to mention that the midwives on your maternity warn won’t be best pleased if you turn birth into a family outing.

The question is, then, how exactly can you manage your family when labor finally comes? Too often, second or third-time parents fail to consider this. As well as adding stress, that fact can make your existing children feel forgotten even before the new baby arrives. Make sure it doesn’t happen by taking the following precautions for your family both before and after birth.

Put childcare plans in place ahead of time

When your contractions start, you’ll have a lot to think about. Calling around friends to ask who can care for your existing children is the last thing you’ll want to do. Not to mention that many women go into labor at night time. That means you may struggle to find anyone available at the last minute. But, that needn’t be a problem if you just put childcare plans in place ahead of time. This can, of course, be tricky considering that birth is unpredictable. It isn’t as though you can arrange childcare on your due date and be done with it. It’s more likely that you’ll need it at three in the morning a week sooner than you predict.

Your best bet for pre-arranging childcare, then, would be to turn to family members. Given their investment in your new baby, they’re more likely to take your entire due date week off work. Failing that, neighbors who you’re friendly with are a good bet as they’re close by. It may even be worth arranging at least two or three childcare possibilities. That way, you can rest easy that your children will have somewhere to go no matter when your contractions start.

Get your kids sorted as soon as your contractions start

It’s no secret to mothers that there’s rarely a need to rush to hospital the moment contractions start. If you try that, there’s a good chance the midwives will send you home to wait until you’re further along. This is why it’s vital that you learn how to time contractions beforehand, as well as learning the 5-1-1 rule. But, despite this extended labor process, it's vital to get your kids sorted as soon as you experience your first contraction.

Even if you don't need to rush to hospital straight away, getting your kids out of the house is vital. For one, your ability to consider childcare will decrease as your pain levels rise. Plus, it can be traumatic for children to see their mom in pain. If your kids are around for your contractions, they'll become unnecessarily worried about what's happening. Don't stress them out like that. Instead, be sure that they're in a safe and caring space straight away. You may not need to head to hospital straight off but sooner is better where labor and existing children are concerned.

Make sure your partner keeps in contact

As much as waiting to head to the hospital can take a while, so too can labor itself. In rare cases, women are in labor for a whole two days before actually giving birth. Even average labor rates come in at around eight hours. And, after childbirth both parents tend to hang around for days in the hospital. Undeniably, skin-to-skin contact with mom and dad is invaluable during these first days. But, it's also crucial you spare a thought for your existing children during this time. Suddenly being out of contact with their parents for extended periods will be distressing. In extreme cases, this absence can even damage future sibling relationships.

Make sure that doesn't happen by putting plans in place for your partner to keep contact throughout childbirth. This could mean them popping out to phone your kids every few hours, or even heading home if your labor is slow. It's also vital that your partner leaves to see the children for at least a few hours in the days following the birth. This can help ease your children's worries, as well as keeping them informed.

Think twice before bringing them to the hospital

It’s natural to want to introduce your newborn baby to their brothers and sisters. As much as it's vital for you and your partner to bond with the baby, it's also essential for your children to bond. That said, you may want to think twice before bringing children to the hospital. If you bring your children to meet the new baby in the aftermath of birth, you may cause inadvertent distress. You won't be in your best health, after all, and the baby may not even be cleaned up yet. Instead, you might find it best to save your children from the hospital environment and introduce them to the baby at home. That way they'll feel safe, and you'll look better.

If your hospital stay is extended for any reason, you will want to get your kids in. Even then, it's worth waiting until you feel strong enough to put on a brave face. It's also worth keeping visits short. That way, your children are more liable to enjoy the experience.

It isn't easy considering the family you have when you're about to extend it. Still, going about this in the right way could make all the difference to sibling relationships later. Not to mention that putting proper plans in place can ensure your children never see the more stressful aspects of your birth.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

4 Regular Habits That Are Damaging Your Health

Some habits are good - like brushing your teeth every night, going to bed at the same time each evening, etc. But some habits are bad. We’re all guilty of having a few bad habits that plague our lives regularly. The problem is, we don’t even think anything of them as they’re just a part of our life. So, we continue with these bad habits until we see the negative consequences.

Unfortunately, loads of us are doing things that will end up damaging our health. For all you know, your health could already be damaged! As such, you must quit these bad habits right away. Here’s a list of things a lot of us do that will cause harm to our health:

Image via pxhere

Brushing your teeth after eating

It’s a good idea to get into the habit of brushing your teeth when you wake up, and before you go to sleep. However, one bad habit many people are guilty of is brushing their teeth after eating. We’ve all done this before; you have something sweet, then brush your teeth almost straight after to make you feel less guilty.

Believe it or not, but you’re not cleaning your teeth at all. If you brush your teeth straight away, then you basically just rub the sugar into your teeth, making it more likely you’ll have oral health problems. When you develop issues with your oral health, it translates into general health problems too. Gum disease can cause heart problems, and tooth decay can cause bacteria to enter your bloodstream.

So, the golden rule is to wait an hour after you eat something. When the hour is up, then you can brush your teeth.

Image via Pexels

Listening to music too loudly

Most smartphones give you a warning when you’re turning the volume up too high on your device. How many of you actually heed this warning? I know I don’t! As a result, you end up listening to music at dangerously high volumes for extended periods.

How does this harm your health? Well, it causes damage to your ears. This can eventually lead to hearing loss, which impacts your life dramatically. But, on a lower level, it can cause a problem called tinnitus, which is a ringing in your ears. Some of you might have this already; do you regularly hear a ringing or whistling sound that no one else can hear? If so, then you have tinnitus.

This issue can impact your mental wellbeing as it makes you feel like you’re going crazy. It can also cause stress as the ringing plays on your mind and keeps you up at night. Thankfully, you can get comfort from tinnitus treatment. Not only will hearing aids help you have the freedom to enjoy a better life by treating hearing loss, but they can also treat tinnitus. There are also therapies to get rid of tinnitus or at least mask the effects. Obviously, the best thing to do to avoid hearing loss and tinnitus is to quit this bad habit. Listen to your smartphone - it’s smart for a reason! Turn down the volume and give your ears a break.
Image via Pexels

Staring at screens for hours on end

You’re staring at a screen right now, and I bet you’ve spent most of your day staring at one! It’s somewhat unavoidable, but staring at screens for hours on end can lead to health complications.

For starters, it will damage your eyesight, which can mean you need glasses. But, it can also cause persistent headaches or migraines. As if this wasn’t bad enough, the light emitted by these screens stops you from falling asleep. So, if you’ve been having sleep problems, it’s probably because you’re on your phone before you go to bed!

Like I said, it’s hard to avoid looking at screens - particularly if you have a desk job. However, you should make an effort to cut down on daily screen time, or at least reduce the brightness, so it’s not as damaging. Some phones and devices have ‘night modes’ that alter the screen and make it easier on your eyes. Every little helps; cut down on the number of screen hours you have every day.

Image via Max Pixel

Overeating sugar

Don’t try and deny this habit because I know you all eat too much sugar. How do I know this? Because everyone eats far more sugar than they’re supposed to. Why do you think some countries are imposing sugar taxes? People are consuming far too much, so they need to do something to restrict the amount of sugar in common foods.

That’s the main issue; your typical diet includes foods packed full of sugar. We might eat a few treats every day, but loads of other things are also high in sugar - like fitness bars, soft drinks, fruit juice, flavored yogurts, etc.

Consuming too much sugar will result in various health problems. As well as the obvious oral health issues, sugar can cause things like diabetes. This is a serious condition that impacts your life and changes the way you eat and drink. Eating too much sugar is said to increase your chances of obesity, which opens up a whole new can of health problem worms! It is also proven to boost your chances of getting heart disease. So, in short, cut down on the amount of sugar you consume every day. It’ll be hard, but I have two simple tips. Firstly, only drink water. This prevents you from drinking sugary drinks. Secondly, limit yourself to one or two treats per day. This cuts down on the sweets and chocolates you consume!

Obviously, some terrible habits haven’t made this list. Smoking and drinking alcohol are the two worst habits for your health. But, I’m hoping you already know this! Instead, I want to open your eyes to some bad habits that most people are guilty of. You might not have known that they’re damaging your health, but now you do! Cut down on these bad habits if you want to live a life that’s free from many health problems.

How To Feel Healthier & More Energetic

It’s a wonderful feeling when you truly feel healthy in yourself, and especially when you have the energy to match. For many people, this is a feeling that only appears every now and then, and for that reason it feels especially unusual when it does. Of course, it is not the best sign if you are not feeling that way often, and if you are not then you will want to make sure that you are looking into what you can do to make yourself feel healthier and more energetic more often. In this article, we are going to take a look at some of the things you can do in order to make that a reality - and you might be pleasantly surprised at how easy it can prove to be.

Focus On Getting More Sleep

One of the first things you will want to pay attention to here is how much you sleep. As long as you sleep enough, you will find that you feel considerably more naturally energetic, and that you are genuinely healthier in many ways too. Sleep is the thing which ties all other aspects of health together. If you have a great diet and you exercise all the time, you still are not going to get the full benefits from that if you are not sleeping enough. Understanding the importance of sleep is the first step in ensuring that you get more of it, so this is valuable to consider. When you appreciate just how important it is, you will find yourself making a point of doing everything you can to sleep more.

But what does that involve? One of the best thing you can do is to make sure that you have a routine for bedtime. Having some kind of a routine is likely to mean that you nod off quicker, as well as sleep deeper. That routine can be anything you like that will help get you ready for bed, but you should try not to use any screens during that time, as they have a way of interrupting your melatonin. However, as long as you have some kind of schedule, perhaps including reading a book, you will be able to find that you sleep much more easily and deeply on the whole, so that is worth thinking about.

It’s also a good idea to take care of what you ingest, and in particular try to avoid things that obviously make sleep harder such as caffeine. A little caffeine in the morning is okay, but try to avoid drinking any after midday. Caffeine can affect your sleep even up to twelve hours afterwards, so clearly you should avoid it in the afternoon at all. As long as you get plenty of sleep, you will feel much healthier and more energetic, even before you have done anything else towards that end.

Get Moving

Of course, exercise is one of the most valuable things here too, and you need to make sure that you are going to exercise plenty if you want to feel healthy and energetic. This is one of those things that are hard to appreciate if you have not exercised much before or for a long time, but exercising more has a way of giving you more energy overall. This happens due to a number of reasons. Firstly, exercising helps you to sleep, which - as we have seen - is important in keeping your energy levels high. Exercise will also ensure that you are training your body so that it doesn’t get tired as easily, which effectively feels more like having higher energy than usual. What’s more, a good amount of exercise improves the circulation and the capacity of the lungs - two things that are bound to make you feel healthy and vibrant.

Most importantly, you need to exercise in a cardiovascular sense, so that you are getting your body moving fast and in a really powerful way. Going for a run every day is a pretty good goal to set, and you will find that it really does make a huge difference to how you feel in no time. But you should also consider doing a few muscle exercises, as they have a way of giving you energy too - and if you find some fitness apps for flexibility you will be able to ensure that you are finishing off your exercise properly. All of that will help hugely, and it is all worth thinking about.

Eat More Whole Foods

When you are mostly eating processed foods, it has a way of negatively affecting your energy levels for the entire day. There is a huge difference to be had, however, when you start making a point of eating more whole foods, and it is the kind of change that you should absolutely think about making for that reason alone. Whole foods should be the entirety of your diet, or at the very least almost all of it, so that you can make sure that you are eating as well as possible. If you are not sure what a whole food is, it is simply anything that you get in that form in its natural state. Fruit and vegetables are whole foods, as are animal products - although consuming too much meat and dairy might rob you of some of the energy that you are looking for, so you should aim to take care with that. Generally, however, a whole food based diet is what you should aim for to be healthy and energetic.

Focus On Happiness

Something that also helps you to feel healthy and energetic is if you are happy - and this is kind of cycle which you might want to try and begin. You can do that by focusing on your own internal happiness, which is something that not many people do but which is likely to help you get to a happier state on the whole. When you are happy, you are almost always more energetic, and you certainly feel healthier in body and mind.

How Does An Injury Impact You As A Parent?

As a parent, you want the best for your kids. You want to be there for them as often as you can be, and you want to give them everything they need and want and deserve. You want to give them a good start in life, and to be the kind of parent every single little boy and girl out there dreams of. All in all, you want to be a good parent, and you’re not about to let anything stand in your way of being one!

But there’s always our health to look out for. It can change suddenly, it can change over time, and you can never quite be sure if you’ve protected yourself well enough against the co worker in the cubicle next to yours who’s coughing and spluttering with the flu.

But more than that, you’re a human being with a normal body, which can also easily get injured. And that’s something we’re going to focus on today. A sprained ankle here or a broken wrist there, or even a broken leg and shattered knee that you need to spend a good period of time in hospital for, can seriously affect you as a parent.

An Injury Can Lose You Lots of Time

Put simply, an injury you’ve sustained can affect the amount of time you have in the day. It’s said we all have the same 24 hours, day in and day out, but that statement is seriously misguided. Because if you’re someone who can’t get out of bed until your partner has gotten themselves ready and can finally help you sit and stand up, or you need to go to bed earlier in the evening because you need the extra resting time, you’re not going to have the same kind of command over your time.

And when it comes to your kids, that can cost you. You might not be able to make them breakfast in the morning, you might not be able to take them to school, you might not be able to pick them up afterwards, and you won’t have the same energy to be with them in the evening. An injury, and healing from one, zaps your energy (and if you’re in pain too, there goes your patience!), and that costs you a lot of quality time with the people you love most in the world.

You might not even have the same amount of time to sleep well at night either. Maybe because you’re tossing and turning, or maybe because you can’t sleep because of the stress and frustration over losing some of your ‘capability’ as a parent, you’re not getting as much sleep as you used to. That can just slow your recovery time down even more, which just doesn't help anyone!

In the morning, you might just be a bit more frustrated, and not have the energy to get out of bed as soon as you might be able to. That means you don’t see your kids before they’re out the door, and on and on the cycle can go until you’re feeling physically better. It can be a vicious time in your life, but if you’re aware of the possibility of it, you can better prepare yourself for it.

An Injury Can Lose You a Lot of Money

If you live in a country where healthcare can cost you a lot of money, and you’re not sure whether the insurance you have can cover it (if you have insurance at all!), it can cost to get yourself fixed up after an injury. You might be out of pocket for an ambulance ride alone, which depending on the severity of the injury, could cost upwards of $1000. If you require surgery as well, the fees are only going to rapidly increase.

There’s also the fact that you’re going to have to take some time off work. Of course, if it’s only a couple broken fingers or toes, you can very easily grin and bear until you’re healed up again. But if you struggle to walk because of your injury, or you can’t even stand up at all, it might be a good month or so before you’re back at your desk.

All in all, you can lose out on the money that helps to feed, clothe, and keep your children warm. These often seem like the basics in life that a parent has to provide, and you can end up feeling like a pretty bad one if this is a moment in time where you struggle to.

But if you were injured in an accident whilst out and about, and it wasn’t your fault and there’s some clear evidence to prove that, you can turn to a lawyer at a time like this. Someone who can prove you’re owed money to help you through this difficult period in your life, and to help make some of the income back that you might have lost from your current inability to work.

It’s often quite a good idea to see if you’re eligible for a lawsuit after being injured, seeing as if you don’t ask, you don’t get! Companies such as Van Sant Law could prove very helpful, as it’s best to get in contact with a law service that specializes in personal injuries.

But even if you’re successful in your claim, and you look to be owed quite a substantial settlement, the attorney bills can be steep. Of course, personal injury lawyers often don’t ask for initial consultation fees, and often enough, only successful settlements are ones you have to fork out for. But some companies can ask for upwards of 25% of what you won from the judge’s settlement, and you should always check for any hidden fees in the contract before you sign one.

Remember, being injured doesn’t make you a bad parent, even in those low moments where the bills not get paid for another couple days and you’re so stressed you only want to sleep.


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