When Are the Appropriate Times to Take Your Child to the Pediatrician’s Clinic? When Should My Child Use Urgent Care/Immediate Care? When Should My Child Use the Emergency Room?

Photo Credit The Bub Hub, the bub hub crew. (2013).

Does your kid have the sniffles? Does your kid need stitches? Does your kid have a high fever that won’t come down with medications? Does your kid have a possible broken bone? Does your kid have a nagging cough that won’t go away? What about if they have a sore throat? What if your child is coughing and can’t catch their breath?

Can you guess which scenarios belong in the pediatrician’s office, the urgent care/immediate care office, and the emergency room?

Sometimes it’s hard to differentiate when and where to take your child when they are sick or injured.

One of the most common things I see working in the medical field is parents feeling the need to take their child in to the urgent care/immediate care office for the sniffles. Did you know it’s always cheaper to take your child to see their PCP (primary care physician), or pediatrician. Your insurance is less likely to pay for something that could have waited for you to go to the Doctor’s office. Also, when you call the office it has built in empty time slots for sick visits. I am guessing there is a lot of people who did not know that.

When to Take Your Child to the Primary Care Physician/Pediatrician Office

Things that merit a visit to your primary care physician/pediatrician include the sniffles, colds, coughs, rashes, sore throats, and anything else that can wait until the morning or when the weekend is over to call and make an appointment. These are non-urgent medical complaints. If there is nothing else going on in a generally healthy child these things can wait until the morning, or merit an appointment to the doctor’s office.

Please do not take your child to the emergency room for a sore throat. I understand if it’s after hours or the weekend and you are desperate (like if it’s gotten worse over the weekend), then that is okay to merit a trip to the Urgent Care/Immediate Care Clinic. I am not talking a young babies. Young babies use your best judgement. Babies are more apt to die of something simple due to their lack of immune system.

When to Take Your Child to the Urgent Care/Immediate Care Clinic

Speaking of the Urgent Care/Immediate Care Clinic, what kind of things merit an urgent care/immediate care clinic visit? These include stitches, x-rays, broken bones, and anything else that needs immediate attention.

When to Take Your Child to the Emergency Room

Remember when you were a little kid and adults taught you about emergencies? Remember they told you to never call 9-1-1 unless there was an emergency? Take those lessons and apply them to what merits trips to the emergency room. When would you call 9-1-1? These are things like breathing problems, heart pain, severe injuries, etc. These are emergency situations. These are situations when you should take your child to the emergency room.

I hope this information helped you today. Please note that you should use your best judgement when deciding when and where to take your child.

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10 Sure Ways on How to Choose the Right Daycare

Choosing the right daycare can be tedious, scary, exhausting, nerve racking, sticker shock, a reality check, and terrifying all at the same time. I am going to tell you how to make searching for a daycare easy and rewarding.

Okay, so no one wants to go to work and leave their child with someone. Daycare facilities get a bad wrap. Home daycares get an even worse wrap. Let’s talk about some things to look for when it comes to picking out the right daycare for your sole reason for existence, your child.

1) First and Foremost

MAKE SURE THEY ARE A LICENSED FACILITY!

agree-1728448_960_720Okay, I know a lot of you are going to disagree with me about this one. YOU ARE WRONG! Let me just start that off right now. You are wrong….plain and simple. A place that is a licensed facility will be forced to follow safety laws. They will be forced to follow certain guidelines with food and nutrition. They will be forced to have certain academic standards. It makes it a much safer environment when the facility is licensed. If you knew what unlicensed places were doing when you aren’t there to check in on them you would freak out and never take your child back again. I promise! I don’t care that you know someone who isn’t licensed and you take your child there. The place may look spotless and you might think they are taking every safety precaution. I promise you they are NEVER following state guidelines because they don’t know how because they are NOT LICENSED.

NEVER TAKE YOUR CHILD TO AN UNLICENSED DAYCARE!

2) Check Inspection Records

businesswoman-571153_960_720The very next thing you will want to do is check inspection records. If they are a licensed facility you will be able to see any and all inspection records and visits. You will be able to see if they have any write ups, or have done major things that are total deal breakers. Keep in mind what they are getting written up for. The laws are very strict (as they should be) so look and see how severe the offense actually is.

3) Check Credibility

You will want to make sure your provider (center or home daycare) has proper credentials. Do they have a degree? What is their degree in? Do they have any other qualifications? What certifications have they gotten to expand their understanding of care? What extra steps have they taken to keep up on education. YOU WILL WANT TO ASK ALL OF THESE QUESTIONS!

240_F_141285320_18meGMKbKdi6Q63RKQOZRBHL1xmCbprSYou will want to make sure your provider has a degree in early childhood education. You will want to make sure they have taken the classes to get extra certifications and taken extra classes to keep up on their knowledge. This will also help them keep up on the latest research findings with growth and development. This will in turn make them better suited to caring for your child.

4) Drive Around the Neighborhood

female-driving-car-vintage-filter-260nw-282033554I promise you aren’t a stalker for checking out the neighborhood. Is the neighborhood safe? What is the activity going on around the home during the day? Is the provider outside with the kids? What are they doing with the kids? Are the kids in a gated play area that is safe? Are there random people showing up during the day that aren’t clients? There is so much you can learn about the environment if you just drive around the neighborhood a bit.

5) Cleanliness

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bacteria disease

Make sure the facility (center or home) is CLEAN. They should have a special bleach mix they are using that ensures killing germs and prevention of spreading infectious diseases. ASK THEM ABOUT IT! It’s a law. Is the place cluttered, or clean? There is a difference. Is the facility’s floors stained? Are they shampooed/mopped regularly? Are the walls clean? Go to the bathroom. Is the bathroom clean?

6) Academics

240_F_80397099_dQzBrguVSCponUdSxCxtnAarbt3p6RCZLike I mentioned earlier you will need to ask about academics/curriculum. What program does the facility use? What are the statistics and success rates on using that program? How do the children fare when they leave the daycare and enter in to an elementary school?

Do they use several pieces from several different accredited programs for their curriculum? That is what you would ultimately want by the way.

What kind of things will they be learning about? What kind of social skills will they be working on? What kind of large and small motor skills will they be working on throughout the school year as well? These are all very important questions to ask.

7) Ages

kids-learning-numbers-count-fingers-260nw-1006985776What ages does the facility accommodate? If it is a center they should be separated based on age. There should be an appropriate amount of teachers in the rooms as well. There should be individual rooms for the individual ages.

An at home daycare is different. They are only licensed to have a certain number of children, and not only that. They are only licensed to have a certain number of certain ages in the daycare as well.

MAKE SURE YOU ASK THEM WHAT AGES AND NUMBERS OF CHILDREN THEY CURRENTLY HAVE!

8) Center-Based Learning

kids-2293835_960_720When you walk in there should be a noticeable classroom. There should be centers, a table for school work, and chairs that are age appropriate. The centers should be child level with age appropriate activities for the children. It’s pretty simple. Just make sure you see an academic setting, and not a clutter of toys all over the room. There should be structure. This is what you are looking for.

9) Price Check!

credit-squeeze-522549_960_720If you think it might be a good fit so far you will want to find out how much they charge. Do you need full time daycare? Does your child only need preschool/pre-k? Do you just need to drop them off every now and again. Every licensed and legitimate daycare facility (center and home) will have 3 different rates. They are: 1) full time price/week, 2) part-time price/week, and 3) drop in rate/week. Figure out what you need. Figure out if you can afford it as well.

I want to also point out that you are NOT limited if you need government funding. You will be required to send your child to a licensed daycare, but they will also need to be CCDF certified. This means the daycare provider has had even more training to take on these clients. Do not think you are limited to standards just because you need extra help with funding.

 

10) Look Over the ENTIRE Contract

binding-contract-948442_960_720We are on the last step. You will be required to sign a contract. If you are not required to sign a contract with the facility (center and home) then RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN OUT THE DOOR!

Anyway, look over the entire contract. What are you responsible for paying per/week? What are you responsible for if you leave for vacation. Most facilities require you still pay for the weeks your child is not there (if they’re full time spots). The provider also may put in the contract that you are required to pay them while they are on vacation too for so many weeks. How many weeks is the provider allowed to take per their contract? Be sure to know this kind of information.

There should also be a list of holidays/special days that they are closed, or closed early.

There should be a discipline policy in place as well. Find out how they discipline the children. Do they do time outs? Do they want to spank your child. P.S. NO ONE SHOULD EVER SPANK YOUR CHILD EXCEPT YOU.

My Best Day as a Mom/My Worst Day as a Mom

Photo Credit Clipart Panda, clipartpanda.com. (2018).

We’ve all had bad days and good days as a parent. More so true for at home moms I think. We are the sole providers for our children and as an at home mom it is our job to raise the children until our husbands come home from work. We cook, clean, pick up after everyone, raise the babies, and make sure the house runs smoothly.

I have days where I’m ready to rip the hair right out of my head, or put the kids on a  tether and tie them out back (not that I would actually do that). I also have days where I relish in the play and joy of being a mom and being there for my children.

My very best day as a mom were the days when my children were born. I think every mom would choose that answer though.

If I’m being completely honest the best days as a mom for me are the days when I feel like the day has been a complete success. The days where my daughter does something nice out of the kindness of her heart for another human being are the best days. The days when my daughter shows me how smart she really is by doing a 100 piece puzzle (she’s 5 years old by the way) by herself, or she spells out a really hard word while she’s writing are the best days. The days when we sit around and play games and she understands the concept of the game are the best days. The days when we can just “chill” and snuggle in front of the t.v. are the best days. The days when we get out of the house and do something one on one are the best days.

What are your best days as a mom?

Every parent is going to have a bad day too. We all have bad days. Days when I just can’t seem to get anything done because the baby is crying and my daughter needs my attention preventing me from putting food on the table is a bad day. The days when everyone is sick and has a fever with vomiting are bad days. I sit there feeling helpless as I watch my children sit there feeling helpless. I can’t help them except with medication and snuggles. The days when my house is a disaster from all the play time and “living” going on from being a family, and I can’t get it clean because of my children needing me every second are bad days. The days when I can’t get myself out the door on time because I feel the need to take care of everyone else first are bad days. The days when my daughter brings home a “negative square color” from school because of her making poor choices at school are bad days. I sit there and wonder what I am doing wrong as a parent and how can I help my child be a better person.

We all have good days and bad days.

What are your good days as a parent? What are you bad days as a parent?

Fun Valentine’s Day Ideas to do With Your Kids

We all love Valentine’s Day (or at least the thought behind it). It’s even more fun when you have children to share it with. Valentine’s Day is not solely about romantic love. It’s also about other types of love (no….not the “new” equal right that this country is so obsessed with right now). I am talking about love that a mother has for her kids, and vise versa.

1) Surprise them with a Valentine’s Day themed breakfast.

stack-breakfast-pancakes-topped-strawberry-260nw-140478487Find your favorite silicone shaped heart and make some heart pancakes. Use lots of red colors, like strawberries, strawberry syrup, red food coloring for things, etc. Find some grapefruit juice to go with breakfast as well.

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2) Put together a special gift box for them.

If you don’t have time in the morning for breakfast, don’t worry. I’ve got you covered too. Put together a box for them to open when everyone gets home in the afternoon or evening. Put together a box full of new jammies, a movie, and a bag of popcorn. Then everyone can

3) Make a special dessert to go with dinner.

cake-55922_960_720I love this one! I am at home, so I am able to bake throughout the day. Baking special heart shaped cookies, or baking a heart shaped cake is a great idea. If you are not that is okay too. You can always buy a yummy treat to go with dinner on your way home from work.

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4) Pick wild flowers and put them in a vase.

We used to live in the country, and one of our favorite things to do was to go wild flower pickin’. Okay, I know in February where I live there are probably NOT any flowers. However, if you live in a part of the world where it’s warm in February and there are flowers growing you should go wild flower pickin’ with your little one. It’s a lot of fun.

5) Write a bunch of “Why I love you” notes and leave them all around the house for them to find.

writing-3230708_960_720This one is a fun one too. Write as many little sticky notes as you can for your children and on each one write one thing about them that you love. Then leave them lying around the house for them to find. It’s a great self-esteem booster, and it takes little to NO effort on your part as a parent.

I Wish I Would Have Known This Before Turning 30!

I am over 30 years old. I have learned so much out of life already. I know I am not 50 or 60 where those people have learned SO MUCH more than myself. P.S. Listen to those people. They could teach you a thing or two.

On my 30th birthday I remember being very upset that I past my “prime” as it were in my eyes. I felt like I was really getting old. I was pregnant, moved to a new city, and facing financial crisis slowly. We still owed on our home that was in another city, and we were making payments on our new home. We had to keep utilities on at both houses. Life just did not seem to be going well for me or my family. My daughter was having issues at her old school to the point that I had to pull her out of school too. There was just so much going on in my life, and it was overwhelming (to say the least).

I remember thinking “If I knew what I know now what would I have done differently in my life? Why did we allow ourselves to put ourselves in this mess?!” I am not a big fan of “Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda”.

However, here are 5 things I wish I would have known before I turned 30 years old.

1) Go through Financial Peace University and make the changes you dummy!

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Financial Peace University By Dave Ramsey

I promise you I am not making this stuff up. I wish I would have started Financial Peace University a long time ago when my husband tried to get me on board. We would be sitting in a debt free home, with retirement already starting to build up, and being a millionaire would only be a few years away. We would have been able to say confidently that we can send our children to college debt free. We would have been able to say we are making more money in investments than we do yearly working our regular jobs.

I am telling you THIS IS NOT A SCAM. IT WORKS!

2) Choose the career path I wanted…not the one that fell in to my lap.

medical-sister-1780698_960_720I went to school for nursing. I graduated, and I was so proud of myself for doing this with a child at home. I couldn’t wait to start working. I was immediately offered a position in a pediatric clinic because that is where I did my clinicals. I knew going in to it that the department had issues. I never thought they would be as bad as they were. It was truly a hostile work environment that I had a little PTSD from working in it. I went to a different company and a different department all together after that. I worked Internal Medicine after that, and I loved it.

apartment-162212_960_720But my point really is was it really worth going to school for? I am an at home mom now. I work online teaching. Yes, I needed ANY degree to get hired to do this. I also only PRN for that company I switched to. I have only gotten called in about 5 times in the last 2 years, and I haven’t even been able to go in because of my children. It’s been a constant conflict in my life that I am sure I will soon give up.

Was it worth it for me to go to school and spend that much in student loans only to be an at home mom now? 

3) Having kids when I am older is so much easier than when I was younger.

pregnancy-2700659_960_720When we had our oldest child I was 25 years old. I thought for sure I was ready to take on those parenting responsibilities. I had seen other people be parents and screw up one way or another. I swore I would never be like those parents. I can honestly say I am still NOT like those parents. But I struggled with my daughter in other ways. I had postpartum depression and I was struggling every day. She was colic and not sleeping at night. I was also going to school and working part-time. I really struggled emotionally with being a new mother.

hourglass-2910948_960_720When I had my youngest I was 31 years old. I just had her, and being a parent to a newborn again has not been as bad as it was the first time around. I did not develop postpartum depression. The only time I found myself crying for no reason and feeling down was when I was in the hospital after I had her and my oldest daughter was at home with my husband. I was so sad to leave her for that week. It was a healthy sadness though. It was not depression.

I think the older I get the more calm and aware of things I am. I find that the things that upset me when my oldest was a baby doesn’t bother me as much with my youngest. I feel like I have a more calming mindset now. I wish we would have waited a couple years before conceiving our first baby.

P.S. I LOVE BOTH MY DAUGHTERS, AND I WOULDN’T CHANGE ANYTHING!

4) Be thankful to God every day for everything we have, and everything we don’t have.

bible-1149924_960_720A long while ago I was having serious doubts about a lot of things in my life. It was starting to affect my relationships around me. One day my husband and I decided enough was enough with our issues. It was time to let the good Lord guide our life again. We needed Jesus in our life again. We started going back to church. One day there was a sermon about being thankful. They discussed all the miracles that Jesus had performed and how thankful those people must have been. Some were not allowed to tell. Some were told to tell everyone.

woman-570883_960_720It got me thinking about my life and all that God has done for me and my family. I stopped and thought hard for several days. I opened up my Bible, and I studied. I prayed A LOT! It made me realize I needed to be thankful for everything that God has blessed us with. It made me more appreciative of our life and everything we have in it. It made me more secure in my relationships with my peers and my husband. It also helped our marriage become stronger. It felt as though there was a weight that was lifted off of me because I knew God was with me.

Go to church!

5) Do my personal best in everything I do, and don’t worry what others think or say to me.

This one is a loaded one. This has several meanings for me. My husband and I don’t have a fantastic support system. We have had to brave everything out on our own. We figure stuff out like adults. We have been told several times not to do something, or that we can’t do something because of various reasons. We like to prove people wrong. We like to work extra hard to make way for our life to get better.

I have been told several times HOW to parent my child and that I am not a good mother. That hurts. I have been told I am a terrible nurse by my peers before. I have been told I am immature or ridiculous.

This is the reason I do everything with my personal best. I know people say these things to hurt me. I have learned that these statements are false and do not define me.

If I took everything too personal then the things people say about me would, in fact, define me. I wish I would have figured this out sooner. I wish I would have not let the hurtful things my family and friends have said to us get to me like they used to. We have learned to remove ourselves from other people’s lives. We have children now. It is important for them to see that we, as a team, do not allow people to say and treat us a certain way.

TO MY READERS: WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU KNEW BEFORE YOU TURNED 30? 40? 50? 60? MAYBE EVEN 70?

Parenting 101: Spending Time With Your Child

Photo Credit Sevenedges, sevenedges.com. (2015).

I want to start this off with letting all the parents out there know YOU ARE doing a great job. Don’t get discouraged with anything you read. Don’t hesitate to get help when needed. You are fantastic and beautiful and doing great!

Spending Time With Your Child:

excited sibblings
Photo Credit Unknown, Pinterest. (Unknown).

I think the one thing that is most important about parenting is spending time with your child(ren) whether you are an at home mom or a working mom.

I am an at home mom and for me our daughter has always came first before any job, any person, even my husband sometimes. I recommend being an at home parent for several reasons. You DO get to spend that one-on-one time with them. You DO get to not miss any big steps or anything adorable that comes out of the mouths of babes. We are religious, so this might be too personal, but there’s a lot to be said for the at home mom. You are raising another one of God’s people that can make a difference in the world.

I think a lot of people do not realize how important spending time with their children really is. I don’t think people realize that by spending time with your child you are encouraging high self-esteem. You can promote independence. You can also help mold your child in to a wonderful, caring human being. Let’s be honest, the world really needs more people like that in it right now. I also feel like being an at home mom for me personally has allowed me to build a better relationship with our daughter and be there for her when she really needs it. I can go to school functions. I can drive her back and forth to school. I can take her back and forth to her gymnastics or ballet classes. It’s amazing and I feel so blessed to be able to do that for her and for our family.

To Work or Not to Work?

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Photo Credit Laura Fuentes, laurafuentes.com. (Unknown).

However, if you are in a situation where you have to work that is okay too. There is no wrong answer when it comes to working and providing for your family. You should feel so proud that you are providing for your family and able to bring in that income to do so. You get to make a difference in the world outside of the home. I know tons of parents who work full time and are able to spend every moment off with their kids. Their kids do not suffer, and their kids do not go without. I only recommend for a situation like that is to make sure when you are off work please spend as much time as you can with them. Do not pawn them off on other people because you need “alone time.” I hear that phrase way too often. I heard it more working in preschool/daycare, naturally. It makes me upset for the children. It hurts the children. It may not seem like it, but working in pediatrics and having young kids and teens come in from depression or anxiety from things like that always breaks my heart. There was always a lot of teens and junior high school aged children that needed anti anxiety medications. They really needed their parents around, but where were the parents?

My mom does preschool/daycare to this day. It amazes me constantly how many parents take their kids to the daycare on their days off. Why on Earth would you not want to spend that extra time with your child? Why would you want to give the daycare provider the opportunity to bond with your child more than you? I think the nanny/daycare provider/baby sitter is a wonderful thing. How special that you trust someone to help raise your child. However, please please PLEASE spend time with your child on your time off. It is so critical. I cannot express how critical it truly is. I know this from experience.

Now let’s talk about actually being an at home mom. Being an at home mom is not for everyone. When I did it the first time with our first daughter I went through post-partum depression. It was terrible. I needed an outlet because I felt like I was stuck at home with the baby and could not escape my own mind. I remember my daughter crying from being colic and I could not help her. I cried and cried. I would just lay there in bed with her bassinet next to me and her crying, and I did not even have the will power to move to help her. I am not proud of that, but at that moment I knew I needed help. I then got a very part-time job working retail, so I could be flexible and still be able to spend time with our daughter. Please feel free to do the same and not feel like you are less of a person for not being able to do that. Some parents feel the need to work. That is perfectly fine. If you are fine working outside the home go for it. I commend parents like that as long as, again, they spend their time off with their child.

Is There Such a Thing as Spending Too Much Time Together?

teaching toddler
Photo Credit Unknown.

Okay at this point I know what you’re thinking. “She’s a hover mom.” Or you’re thinking “She’s one of those religious nuts who homeschools.” I am the opposite of a hover mom and my child goes to public school. Trust me. I am a full believer of I told my child not to do something and they want to do it anyway. Well when they get hurt that’s how they learn. I think public school is important for the social aspect as well as the opportunities given.

Is there such a thing as spending too much time with your children? How do you separate the difference between the helicopter mom and the mom that has the right amount of balance? I’ll tell you. You don’t! One of my very best friends is a helicopter mom and she is a fantastic mom. There is no right or wrong answer about your style of parenting. According to Baltrotsky’s article in the Huffington Post there is a fine line between constantly needing to entertain your child and just including them in every day life. I think that is the line that parents sometimes have a hard time defining.

Get Them Involved.

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Photo Credit shawacademy.com. (Unknown).

Let’s talk about that line. I love when my 5 year old has days off. I feel so excited to get her and I out of the house to go do something fun. Make some memories. I love taking her to the museum, or the park, or another form of the museum. I do a lot of hands on things with her. You may be asking yourself “Well I have no idea what to do with my child because of their age.” You can do a lot of age appropriate things at home. Even just playing a game or playing with characters (Barbie, Ninja Turtles, dolls, etc) at home is something that makes a difference. Honestly, We do not go do something fun EVERY time she has a day off. If we spend the day at home I do find something fun, like an activity, to do at home together. On days where I really need to get house work done she is so eager to help mommy. You may be pleasantly surprised to find out that your little one feels the same way. They just want to feel included and involved. Positive praise and encouragement go a long way. When my daughter was a lot younger just her helping me made her feel like a big girl. I have her help me with age appropriate tasks. You can do the same. If you get on Pinterest there are a ton of ideas for age appropriate chores/tasks you and your little one can do.

Now, if you have a baby where they’re not even walking let’s talk about that. Babies need to feel included and involved with what you’re doing just as much as an older child. Spending tummy time with baby is so important not only for developmental reasons, but for bonding between mother and baby. I would strap my baby to my body with one of those baby carrier things and walk around the house and do chores. It kept her feeling like she was not just left in the other room by herself. That is another way you can easily spend time with baby and get done what you need to get done depending on the age of the child.

If you have any other great ideas for age appropriate activities to get your child involved please leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you about this topic.

T.V.?

child at computer
Photo Credit Unknown.

I want to touch on television and putting your child in front of the t.v. without it being controversial. We are ALL guilty of this, myself included. Sometimes it is so much easier to just turn on the t.v. for every age group and have the t.v. “baby sit” your child. I am not saying don’t ever do this, but I am saying it should be limited and monitored. They say no more than 2 hours/day of electronics (t.v., tablet, cell phone games, etc.). Please be conscientious of this. We have our days where we are not great about this, but I do monitor it and make my daughter take breaks to go play in her toy room.

Working in daycare/preschool and in pediatrics I have seen the psychological damage of putting your child in front of the t.v. constantly does. I know this is going to sound cliche, but trust me when I say it does promote violence, and hinders growth and development. Regardless of whether or not your child plays “violent” games it does not stimulate the brain in a proper manner. Several clients from the preschool had children that spent a vass majority of time in front of the t.v. The child only focused on games they played with their video game console and pretend played video games when interacting with other children. It is always really sad. They always had a hard time making friends and keeping them. I could go on and on about this topic and things I saw and witnessed.

In pediatrics we would have children come in that it was the same situation. Then when we had the parents fill out a developmental questionnaire their child was always delayed for one reason: video games and spending too much time in front of the t.v. I just want to reiterate that I am not saying to never have your child watch t.v. or play video games. I love electronics. I love that you CAN use them for educational purposes. I am saying though it should be monitored and not be a daily activity your child engages in.

You Are Doing a Great Job!

I want to close this with reinforcing to everyone that whether you work or you are the at home parent make sure you spend an ample amount of time with your child(ren). They need you no matter what the age may be. They need the love and support of the people that love them the most in this world.

Pregnancy Diets, Breastfeeding diets, and Post Baby Diets. OH MY!

So many questions revolve around pregnancy and dieting (What am I supposed to be eating?), breastfeeding diets (What diet should I be following while breastfeeding my baby to ensure they get the right nutrition?), and then there’s the mom that can’t wait to start losing weight after the baby is born (that’s completely me).

I want to start this article out by stating you should not try to lose weight during pregnancy. This is extremely dangerous for you and for your unborn child. When I say pregnancy diet I mean your overall consumption of food you ingest. You should not count calories and lose weight while pregnant.

The Pregnancy Diet

So what are you supposed to be eating while pregnant? What nutrients are you in dyer need of while pregnant? What does baby need to grow and maintain a healthy “diet” while in the womb?

I am so glad you asked!

folate rich foods
Photo Credit exhibithealth.com. (Unknown).

During your pregnancy make sure you increase your fiber intake. I can not tell you how important this is. Constipation during pregnancy is so common…and very painful. Make sure you are eating good sources of calcium and protein. According to WebMD “Choose at least one good source of folate every day, like dark green leafy vegetables, veal, and legumes (lima beans, black beans, black-eyed peas and chickpeas). Every pregnant woman needs at least 0.64 mg of folate per day to help prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida” (WebMD., 2018).

 

pregnancy food pyramid
Photo Credit Shweta, healthworry.com. (2016).

You should already be taking your prenatal vitamins. In fact,  you should start these as soon as you find out you are pregnant. These are rich in nutrients that baby needs to grow and develop. Your diet is the single most important thing for your baby at this stage of the game. You should be consuming something from every food group in the food pyramid. This helps ensure that baby is getting a well rounded amount of nutrients they need to grow and develop. Naturally, you will need to have a bigger calorie intake. This does not mean indulging in a chocolate cake or a whole pint of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream. This means about 300-500 extra calories per day. This is about a peanut butter sandwich and a glass of milk. Depending on your weight before pregnancy determines how many extra calories you really should be consuming. Make sure you talk to your doctor about this.

The Breastfeeding Diet

mom-breastfeeding-baby
Photo Credit Parents, parents.com. (Unknown).

For breastfeeding you still need to follow a copious diet from every group of the food pyramid. You should continue to take your prenatal vitamins as those are still the nutrients being received from mommy to baby. You should continue to consume about 500 extra calories per a day for breastfeeding.

Everyone wants to lose weight after baby is born. Hold off on losing weight and focus on a healthy breastfeeding diet instead. You will want to increase your fish intake. Remember fish was banned while pregnant? Now you need to consume fish to help with baby’s eye sight development.

 

breastfeeding diet
Photo Credit Unknown.

Continue to consume lots of rich proteins and calcium foods. This helps with growth and development still. Don’t forget to increase your fiber intake as well. Again, constipation seems to still be an issue not only for you, but for baby as well. Anything you consume baby consumes. That also means avoid alcohol and caffeine.

The Post-Baby Diet

This is the part of the article I am most eager to talk about. For me counting calories after breastfeeding was over was the key to losing weight and keeping it off.

my fitness pal
Photo Credit My Fitness Pal. (Unknown).

First, set a goal. How much do you want to lose? Be realistic! Start keeping track of your calorie intake. You can use an app that I love so much. It helps you keep track of your calorie intake. It also helps you figure out what is the right amount of daily calorie intake for you to lose weight, maintain weight, or gain weight. It’s called My Fitness Pal. This app helped me lose weight and keep it off. You can also keep track of your exercise and how many calories you burned doing it. It’s the best app that I’ve tried so far.

Make sure to incorporate lots of exercise. You should exercise for 45 minutes per day roughly 3-5 days per week. I am not going to lie it can get addictive counting calories. It’s like a challenge when using the app. “How many calories do I have left? How many can I gain if I do this exercise?” I think that’s why it worked so well for me.

I also wrote an article about several different exercises you can do to help you lose that baby weight. You can find it here: https://themedicalmamac.wordpress.com/2018/03/07/losing-weight-after-baby-is-born/

What are your favorite ways to lose weight?

 

Resources:

American Pregnancy Association. (2015). Diet During Pregnancy. Retrieved from http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/diet-during-pregnancy/

WebMD. (2018). Eating Right When Pregnant. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/eating-right-when-pregnant#2-2

Murkoff, Heidi, What to Expect. (2018). The Pregnancy Diet. Retrieved from https://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/eating-well/pregnancy-diet.aspx