How to Support Someone Through Child Loss

There are times in life when the unthinkable happens. The loss of a child is such a tender, difficult experience, and sometimes it’s difficult to know how to help. One of the most important things you can do is not withdraw from the situation. Don’t be afraid you’ll say or do the wrong thing, but do think about how you can best help. Here are five ways to support someone through child loss:

Don’t offer. Act.  

Instead of asking, “What can I do to help you?” just help out where you know they need it. Whether it’s a call that says, “I’m bringing over dinner sometime this week, which day works best?” or telling your friend to make a list of things they need every day and calling them for the list at a specific time, actually doing shows you care.

Let the griever own their grief. 

This situation isn’t about you, so remember to be a support and not the center of attention. While this might seem obvious, sometimes it’s easy to start offering suggestions, advice, or platitudes that aren’t actually helpful. Stay away from terms like, “It’s God’s will,” or, “They’re in a better place,” because these phrases are hurtful and not constructive. And the grieving process is different for everyone; follow the lead of your friend.

Don’t withdraw… listen with compassion.

Sometimes, rather than engaging the person you know who has experienced a loss, it’s easier to withdraw in fear. The fear that you’ll say or do the wrong thing; the fear of being at a loss of what to do. One thing you can do is listen with compassion. This is a great way to acknowledge the loss and help your loved one work through their grief. Try to accept and acknowledge their feelings, be willing to sit in silence and be willing to talk about how their loved one died. As mentioned above, don’t minimize their loss through reductive statements; rather, be present and actively listen to their unique experience.

Advocate and educate. 

You may find yourself in a situation where other friends, family members, and acquaintances inquire about how your loved one is doing. This provides you with a great opportunity to advocate for your friend by not betraying confidences, and also to educate those who are asking by normalizing your loved one’s grief. Statements like, “They have good moments and bad moments, and will for awhile,” can be helpful to let people know that grief is an ongoing process and isn’t something that ever really goes away.

Remember. 

Sometimes it’s easier to be involved with your friend’s loss at the beginning when there are events to plan, and immediate needs to fill. But one of the most impactful things you can do is to remember. Remember anniversaries, and remember to help after the funeral or other memorial events are over. Remember to act, not offer, and to listen and engage. This loss is something that your loved one will always carry… and remembering that can be one of the most compassionate and helpful things you can do to provide support.

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Fall Maternity Style: How to Stay Comfy & Warm

Maternity clothing that is functional, comfy, and also stylish can sometimes be hard to find. Here is a round-up of some fall favorites that are sure to keep you comfortable while staying on-trend this fall season.

Leggings

Leggings are less likely to stretch out with wear compared to denim, so won’t have to constantly be pulling them up. They are soft, stretchy, and with a high waistband a pregnant woman’s dream.  These maternity leggings from H&M are the perfect, affordable pair of classic black leggings you’ve needed this pregnancy.

H&M Leggings

Cardigans

One of the few articles of clothing from a pregnant women closet that she can continue to wear as-is is the cardigan. Open-front cardigans mean your stomach isn’t meant to be covered, so keep all of your regular cardigans in your closet because you’ll love being able to fit into something non-maternity during your third trimester. Pair this cute cardigan from Target with some leggings, boots, and a scarf and you’ve got the perfect comfy, on-trend fall outfit.

Target Cardigan

Boots

Shoes are my personal favorite thing to shop for because no matter what size I am, my shoe size stays the same. It’s a beautiful sentiment, right? If you’re pregnant this season, you’re extra lucky because wide-calf boots are in. Swollen ankles and calves can be covered and actually fit into a shoe because of this trend, and BONUS! You can keep wearing them after baby comes! I’m loving these wide-calf boots from Maurices, and they come in 3 different colors!

Maurices Boots

Blanket scarves

Has anyone else noticed that Walmart has really stepped up their clothing game lately? And with Walmart’s prices, I’m thrilled to see some super cute and trendy products I’d actually wear. This blanket scarf, for example, is the perfect fall accessory for pregnant women. It will keep you warm and give you some coverage, and that plaid is on-point for the fall season.

Walmart Blanket Scarf

Puffer jackets

First of all, I love this jacket because it’s fun to say “quilted puffer.” Second of all, I would wear this pregnant or not.  Black is always the right color choice, and the lightweight, quilted texture with the long length makes it the perfect transitional piece from fall into winter. You can snag this winner from Kohl’s.

Kohl’s Puffer Jacket

Joggers

Arguably better than the leggings trend is the new joggers trend. The loose legs, elastic waistband, and cuffed ankles make it the perfect lounge pants. I really love these soft jersey joggers from H&M with the under belly band.

H&M Joggers

Maxi dress

Another staple to dress up or down, a maxi dress (or several maxi dresses, why not?) is perfect for your fall maternity wardrobe. I am in love with the floral print on this long-sleeved maxi from Pink Blush Maternity. This navy vintage floral maxi from Pink Blush maternity can also be worn as a nursing dress, so it’s basically like buying two dresses for one.

Pink Blush Maternity Floral Dress

Pink Blush Maternity Navy Floral Dress

Cargo vests

The return of the cargo vest and jacket make fashion easily attainable for pregnant women.  I love the cinched waist on this olive cargo maternity vest from Pink Blush Maternity, but honestly, I usually wear my vests open so you could easily wear your regular cargo vests throughout your pregnancy and pull it off.

Pink Blush Maternity Cargo Vest

What are your must-have fall maternity pieces?

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5 Fun Fall Pregnancy Announcements

Pregnancy announcements are always fun, and with all of the various social media outlets at your disposal, the possibilities are limitless. Since it’s fall, we’re sharing five fun fall pregnancy announcements for your enjoyment. Maybe you’ll see a little inspiration for your own autumnal announcement.

Adding a Pumpkin to Our Patch

This is a fun idea that can be styled in various ways. You can go to an actual pumpkin patch for a photo shoot, or display carved pumpkins on your porch. If you have other kids, this is a great way to involve them in the process, by letting them design their own pumpkins.

Expecting a Little Pumpkin

Carving a pumpkin, and then placing a tiny one inside is another pumpkin-themed way to announce you’re expecting. This creative twins version makes the idea even cuter.

No Tricks, Just a Treat…

Try using this little saying for an online and/or mailed announcement: “No tricks, just a treat! Our family is growing by two little feet.” You can create your own version, or buy and customize the announcement pictured.

Apple-Themed Announcement

Using apples is another unique way to announce your pregnancy. You can take a picture of you and your partner holding apples displaying your baby’s due date. Or you can stage a photo shoot featuring your family in an apple orchard. This apple lineup is also a great idea.

Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice

If you happen to love yourself some pumpkin spice goodness from Starbucks, this might be for you. Add a little ditty about your favorite fall beverage, and you’re good to go.

What are some of your favorite fall pregnancy announcement ideas?

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What’s in Your Baby’s Crib?

Decorating the nursery is part of the fun of being pregnant and preparing for a new baby. The crib is often the focal point of the whole room, but it’s important to set up and decorate your crib with safety in mind. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises parents that a baby’s crib should only have a firm mattress and a fitted crib sheet for at least the baby’s first year of life. Accidental suffocations from loose items in a baby’s crib can be prevented by following a few safety precautions. Here are some common items parents place in their baby’s crib, and some alternatives that safely serve the same purpose.

Blankets

Many assume that sleeping with a blanket is always a part of life, but not for babies. Loose blankets can easily cover a baby’s face or become wrapped around the head and neck, and should not be used. Instead of using loose blankets to keep baby warm at night, use wearable blankets, warm sleepers, or sleep sacks that allow baby’s feet and legs to move around.

Crib tents

Once babies are old enough to pull themselves to standing, many parents panic that now they can climb out of the crib. Some parents have purchased crib tents with the intention of keeping baby in the crib, but these are also a hazard and should not be used. Be sure to adjust the height of the mattress as your baby grows. Once your baby is old enough to climb out of the crib, it is time to transition to a toddler bed or mattress on the floor.

Bumpers

Padded bumpers should be avoided to prevent suffocation from rolling face-first into them, and later to prevent baby from climbing out of the crib.

Cords

Of course, cords are never intentionally placed in baby’s crib, but they often find their way there from baby monitors, mobiles, or lamps. Be sure that a corded baby monitor is placed a safe distance away from the crib so baby can’t grab it. A mobile can be used safely while baby is little, but once baby can sit and stand, a mobile should be removed out of reach. Similarly, lamps should be out of baby’s reach, and baby’s crib should also be placed a safe distance from windows so the cords from the blinds are not accessible.

Stuffed animals

A comforting, soft stuffed animal may be a tempting addition to add to the crib, but resist. They pose the same hazard as loose pillows and blankets and often have small parts that could be loosened and become a choking hazard. Stuffed animals should be kept with the toys or used to snuggle as you rock together, read books, or have tummy time, but then placed safely away while baby sleeps.

Sleep positioners and special pillows

Sleep positioners, wedges, and other special pillows have been deemed unsafe to use in babies’ cribs, and the CPSC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have issued firm warnings to parents against the use of them.  Sometimes it is necessary to elevate the head of the baby’s mattress as advised by a doctor, but this must be done according to their instructions and as safely as possible.

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