7 Ways to Include Your Partner in Your Pregnancy

Pregnancy is one of those inimitable experiences that can’t really be explained. There are so many miraculous elements to it that are wholly unique to your body and your baby. Thus, sometimes it’s difficult to know how to help your partner feel a part of your pregnancy. But just because your significant other isn’t experiencing the direct physical and emotional elements of carrying a child, doesn’t mean they can’t feel included and actively participate in the experience. Below are seven ways to include your partner in your pregnancy.

An ultrasound of a human fetus during the 17th week.

1. Invite your partner to all doctor’s appointments.
Attending all baby-related doctor’s/midwife appointments together is a great way to incorporate your significant other into the birthing process and experience. Listening to your child’s heartbeat, participating in ultrasounds and consulting with your doctor are all events that can bond the two of you together, and create a sense of mutual excitement for your new addition. It also gives your partner the opportunity to consult with your healthcare professional about questions they may have, and also provide a unique perspective on your experience.

2. Take a parenting/birthing class together.
Enrolling in a parenting and/or birthing class together is another great way to create a shared pregnancy experience. Find a class that teaches a method that you both agree on, and go from there. A birthing class is especially important if you are planning on having your partner assist you when you’re laboring. The class will empower both of you and help you feel more prepared for the excitement to come.

Choosing baby name for a boy or a girl written on a note, around wooden letters

3. Collaborate on baby names.
As soon as my husband and I found out we were expecting a baby, the “baby name game” began. (Which game, if we’re being totally honest, isn’t really a game, but just go with me on this one.) Basically, one of us would suggest a name, and that name could either be vetoed outright, or placed on our “maybes” list. If we found a name that either of us liked better than our top “maybes” list name, we’d ask the other if they liked it enough for it to become the new “top” name. So we’d constantly collaborate and listen to each other about different names we’d come across. It was fun to get texts from him or to send him an email with new names, and it was a great way to build a list of options that were ready once we went to the hospital.

4. Write your birth plan together.
Whether you’re planning an un-medicated home birth or a scheduled C-section, creating a birth plan is always a good idea. Though things might not turn out exactly as you plan, it’s always nice to have a framework in place. Creating this birth plan together allows your spouse or significant other to have input on the plan, and also helps them know what is important to you, so they can advocate for you throughout the laboring process.

5. Contemplate a couple’s shower.
One of the most fun parts about expecting a baby for the first time is participating in fun and thoughtful baby showers. If possible, suggest having a couple’s shower that involves your partner. Whether it’s a family shower or a friend shower, it’s a fun way to incorporate them in the celebration. Plus, opening presents is always fun!

Lovely trendy nursery room with white minimalist furniture

6. Work on a project for the nursery together.
I love the idea of picking a unique element of your nursery, and turning it into a project. For my husband and I, it was my daughter’s dresser. We customized it with glass blown knobs that we both picked out, and transformed it to be the perfect dresser/changing table combo. If you like building things, try creating a special shelf or other natural element that would be unique to your nursery. Maybe it’s as simple as painting baby’s room a new color. Regardless, your gesture will be meaningful to the two of you and to your child.

7. Meal-plan ahead of baby’s arrival, and make some meals together.
I don’t know about you, but my spouse is a much better chef than I am. It’s not even close. I wish we had thought of this idea for either of my pregnancies because it’s so smart! By the end of my third trimester, I felt so tired and rotund, that cooking freezer meals did not seem remotely appealing. However, I think that if my husband and I had done it together, it would have been really enjoyable, swollen feet notwithstanding. Plus, it’s another great way to bond before the baby’s arrival.

What are some ways that you included your partner in your pregnancy?

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Pregnancy Myth Busters – Myth vs Fact

 

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Pregnancy myths: they’ve been around for decades, maybe longer, yet always seem to keep circulating and confusing women. You’d think by now the truth would be obvious, but there always seems to be a new spin on an old wives’ tale or someone whose pregnancy confirmed one, usually coincidentally. Until someone comes up with some news ones, we’ll help debunk some of the ones still going around to hopefully put your mind at ease about some misconceptions you may have.

Myth: Going through the airport scanner is dangerous

FALSE

From the TSA website’s blog you can read all about this myth, but basically it says, “According to research conducted by the Center for Devices and radiological Health of the Food and Drug Administration, it is safe for everyone, including pregnant women, to go through these machines.”

The scanner is not an x-ray machine, but rather uses non-ionizing electromagnetic waves that reflect off the body. So take that trip and don’t worry about the scanner. Or if you still worry about the scanner for some reason, you can opt for a pat-down. From personal experience, I prefer the scanner.

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Myth: Weight-lifting is bad

FALSE

Exercise during pregnancy is not only safe, but recommended by the ACOG (The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists). The only caveat is extreme exercise that can affect your balance or impact sports that could cause trauma to your abdomen. As far as weight-lifting is concerned, doctors generally say you can continue what you were doing before you were pregnant, but to pay attention to your body and consider using lighter weight with more reps. Again, check with your doctor as soon as you find out you’re pregnant to get specific advice about the right exercise regimen for you. But keep in mind that research has found that women who exercised consistently throughout their pregnancy had less unplanned cesarean sections, a smaller likelihood of developing gestational diabetes and were less susceptible to depression.

Myth: You can’t get a flu shot

FALSE

Not only is it safe to get the flu shot during pregnancy, but failing to do so and then coming down with the flu could be dangerous for you and your baby, according to a recent report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Pregnant women who get the flu are more likely to be hospitalized and even die than non-pregnant women. The risks of the vaccine are miniscule in comparison to the risks of not getting it, so do yourself and your baby a favor and get the flu shot.

Myth: Your baby will be hairy if you have heartburn

MAYBE

This myth was finally put to the test by researchers from Johns Hopkins Medical Institution and, surprisingly, they confirmed it. They found that the hormone that relaxes the esophageal sphincter causing your heartburn may also regulate your baby’s hair growth. However, there have been plenty of women who have experienced excruciating heartburn only to bear blatantly bald babies. So while there are other factors at play that affect hair growth, maybe the idea of a luscious head of hair on your new baby can give you hope as you deal with that horrible heartburn.

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You shouldn’t take hot baths when pregnant

TRUE

Everyone who’s warned you against hot-tubbing or taking hot baths is actually right! Research conducted by the Organization of Teratology Information Services found that pregnant women with high body temperatures are at an increased risk of having babies with birth defects including congenital heart defects, cleft lift and spina bifida. Because hot tubs are programmed to maintain a hot temperature usually around 104 degrees and it only takes your body 10-20 minutes to raise your body temperature to a dangerous 102 degrees (during pregnancy), the ACOG warns against using hot tubs, saunas, or anything else that can raise your body temperature above 102.2 degrees. Hot baths can be okay because your upper body is usually not completely submerged and the temperature cools off with time, unlike a hot tub that maintains a hot temperature. Follow the ACOG’s advice and talk to your doctor if you have any concerns.

Myth: You should only start taking prenatal vitamins when you find out you’re pregnant

FALSE

To reduce the risk of birth defects, taking a prenatal vitamin before you become pregnant is recommended by the ACOG. This is because a lot of these defects, like Spina Bifida, occur early in pregnancy and if your body’s vitamin stores, especially folate stores, are low, it could affect the growing fetus. It is recommended to begin taking prenatal vitamins a month before you get pregnant or, as my doctor recommended, to just always take one even if I’m not planning on getting pregnant, just in case.

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Don’t eat fish during pregnancy

FALSE

The blanket statement “you can’t eat fish during pregnancy,” is false. In fact, eating fish during pregnancy can be healthy for you and your growing baby, especially Coldwater fish that has lots of omega-3 fatty acids. Fish that are high in mercury, like swordfish, shark, tilefish, and king mackerel should be avoided and raw fish that is likely to contain parasites and bacteria should also be avoided, according to ACOG. But cooked sushi and other fish is just fine.

Craving salt means boy, sweets mean girl

FALSE

Hate to break it to you if you had your hopes up, but there is no research out there that confirms that your cravings determine the sex of your baby. Sweet, salty, savory, spicy – the odds are 50/50 all around.

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You have to get rid of your cat

FALSE

If you have a beloved kitty, people may taunt you about the dangers of cat ownership while pregnant, especially the cat-haters. The misconception lies with origin of the infection of concern, toxoplasmosis. It isn’t your cat itself that carries the disease, but its feces, that can be potentially infectious with the parasite Toxoplasma gondii. If infected, your baby is at risk for developing birth defects such as hearing loss, vision problems, and intellectual disabilities, according to the ACOG. But you don’t have to get rid of your cat, just have someone else change the kitty litter. Keep in mind that eating raw or undercooked meats or unwashed vegetables also puts you at risk because it is a parasite that lives in soil. So take that, cat-haters!

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Bath Must-Haves For Fun in the Tub

Bath time with baby will soon become one of your favorite activities to do together. We want to give you a list of bath must-haves to invest in so you can enjoy this time all the more.

  1. Bath tubs

When your baby is still tiny, bathing your baby in a sink is great so you can have better control over the splashing and bathtime fun. Here are some of our favorite bathtub options:

Puj Tub

I used this tub with all three of my babies and loved it. It is easy to use and especially easy to store. It snaps together easily and unsnaps flat for easy storage.

4moms Tub

Not only does this tub include a thermometer so you’ll know how warm the water is, it also keeps a steady flow of clean water into the tub.

Blooming Bath Baby Bath

Now, doesn’t this bathtub look comfy! If you are looking for a soft bathtub that you can lay inside a sink, this is the one to use.

Or, if you’d prefer to bathe them in the bathtub, try these extra sturdy models:

Summer Infant 1-2-3 Taking a Bath

With a canopy back, and a holder for you to place baby’s body wash, this is a good, inexpensive alternative.

Fisher-Price® Baby Bath Tub

This is a bathtub that you can use up until your baby is a toddler and includes a soft slingback for a newborn use that can eventually be removed.

  1. Bath soap

Babyganics Bubble Bath

This brand’s line of products are as natural as you can get with an over-the-counter product. This wash is free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates, mineral oil, petrolatum, artificial fragrances or dyes. You’ll feel good bathing your baby in these bubbles.

Tubby Todd

This is another great option if you are looking for something that is safe for the tiniest newborn and toddler and extra-gentle for sensitive skin. It also smells yummy – it’s a blend of Lavender and Rosemary (slightly sweet and tropical with hints of coconut and lavender).

Aveeno Baby Soothing Relief Creamy Wash

This product contains oatmeal to moisturize and relieves dry skin and moisturizes it for up to 24 hours. Clean and simple.

  1. Bathtime Accessories

You don’t want to forget to add more bathtime accessories to make it extra enjoyable for baby. Of course, you’ll want some washcloths, bath towels and body lotion to help round out bath time. We like body lotion that comes in a pump, so you can keep one hand on baby at all times.

Bath toys are also a good idea to keep baby distracted so you can give them a good cleaning. Squishy bath toys that float are entertaining for them to look at, stacking bath toys are fun when they can sit up, and these foam alphabet letters are easy for babies to hold and stick to the tub when they get wet.

With these bath tips, we know you will love this special time with your baby at bath time! What are your favorite bathtime routines and products?

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4 Sleeping Tips For Pregnant Women

Woman Asleep In Bed As Sunlight Comes Through Curtains

Getting good sleep while pregnant is almost like the beginning to a bad joke, and sometimes seems impossible. But it doesn’t have to be. Here are 4 Sleeping Tips for Pregnant Women.

Tip #1: Check your surroundings

Where you actually lay down and sleep should be a place that feels like a sanctuary: calming, clean, and peaceful. So, prior to falling asleep, throw any clothes on the floor into the closet, take your laptop into the den, and pick up any garbage (food wrappers, anyone?) that is on your night stand. Then, when you are ready to shut off the lights, do just that, don’t have any unnecessary lights on, as this can be a distraction once you’ve fallen asleep.

Do you wake up at the slightest sound in your house? If you are a soft sleeper, try turning on white noise to keep you asleep, so that the heater turning on at 2:31 am doesn’t wake you from a deep slumber.

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Tip #2: Pillows

 For pregnant women, pillows will become your new best friend when it comes to sleep. You honestly cannot have enough, but let’s make sure you have the right ones.

Do you suffer from heartburn while pregnant? If so, invest in medium to heavy-firm pillows. Prop them behind your shoulders and try to sleep upright, not directly on your back, so the heartburn isn’t so intense at night.

Do you toss from side to side because your hips hurt when sleeping? Time to get a body pillow that you can wrap in between your legs to even out your hips while sleeping. If you can’t afford a body pillow, try using one extra firm pillow propped in between your knees. You can also try and use an egg-crate foam mattress pad on top of your mattress for extra support while sleeping on your side.

Tip #3: Diet

You probably realized that what you consume before bed can either keep you wide awake or help you fall asleep a bit faster.

Don’t eat lots of sugar before bed (I know; ice cream cravings are a thing), or if you suffer from heartburn, steer clear of chocolate, citrus fruits, citrus juice, and peppermint before turning in for the night.

Some say that drinking a warm cup of milk before bed can help you snooze a bit faster. There is an amino acid found in milk that experts say make the eyelids heavy by raising levels of serotonin in your brain. May seem far-fetched, but if it helps you fall asleep faster, we’re all for it.

On the other hand, if you find you wake up feeling starved in the middle of the night, eat a protein-rich snack before bed. A hard-boiled egg, a scoop of peanut butter, or a handful of almonds can keep you feeling full at night.

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Tip #4: Bedtime routine

 If you are in a habit of scrolling through Instagram or Pinterest before you fall asleep, stop. This somewhat mindless activity can keep you wide awake because you are staring at a bright screen trying to process a lot of information quickly. Instead, curl up with a good book, or turn on Classical music softly and allow yourself to give into sleep.

Additionally, lavender is supposed to be a calming and relaxing scent, so put on some lavender-infused lotion on your hands and feet to help you relax before crawling into bed.

Once you start feeling sleepy at night, allow yourself to get into bed. Your body needs all the rest it can get right now.

Here’s to happy dreams and nights full of sleep before that bundle of joy gets here!

 

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