Round Two: Pregnant With Your Second Baby? Here’s What You Need To Know

Second Baby

Planning for a second baby

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Ok you have survived the labour and got through the sleepless nights, nappy changes are a breeze and you finally feel human again.  So, by choice or by chance you find yourself ready to take it all on again!

 

If you are thinking about baby number two then remember all the great rules you learnt from baby number one and throw them out the window! Unfortunately no two pregnancies are the same and just when you think you’ve got it nailed, you’ll realise you haven’t got a clue.  Don’t worry though, you were in the same boat with round one!

 

Don’t take it for granted that getting pregnant the second time round is going to be simple.  Changes can happen to our bodies at any point and this can make conception tougher or, if you are lucky, easier.  If you are really ready and having no luck then consider making an appointment with a fertility clinic.  The sooner you get a plan together the better.  Go through all your options and remember, you have done it before.  Patience and time are the key.

 

If you already are expecting then you may have noticed morning sickness earlier than with your first.  Some doctors suggest this is because our body notices the subtle changes more after the first pregnancy, perhaps you just understand your body more.  There are lots of gentle differences between the first trimester of your second and first pregnancy including the sensation of baby moving at a much earlier stage.  Just tiny butterflies tickling around.  You may have mistaken them for trapped wind or a nervous stomach in your first, but this time you know what they are.  It’s a great feeling and gives you more time to interact and bond with your unborn baby.

 

If you have a toddler at home then you will be a lot more tired during the first two trimesters.  Finding a moment to take naps in the day or sleep through the night can seem impossible but it is vital to ensure the health of you and baby.  Try to get as much help as you need to keep you healthy and get your body ready for labour.

 

You will notice some major differences in the final trimester.  Fake contractions can be more noticeable and, more painful.  Your cervix may also give you more signs it is beginning to get ready.  You need to stay active if you can and not let these changes catch you out.  Due to the muscles stretching and then contracting so much after your first birth, they have become stronger and as such may produce a higher level of discomfort whilst getting prepared for the next job.  Go with it, invest in a tens device or take lots of warm baths.  Try to move around as much as you can to keep your muscles from cramping up and make it easier for your baby to get into position.

 

You will notice that you feel a little more confident about giving birth, whilst you may have worries you also have the reassurance that you got through it before and you can again.  Make a list of things you noticed in your first labour, what helped, what didn’t and then use those in your new birthing plan.  Just bare in mind this isn’t the same set of circumstances.  We can have longer to prepare with labour one.  Labour two can sometimes be much quicker.  

 

After labour you will also notice changes to your general feeling.  Recovery time may be much quicker than the first however you can also be more aware of your body tightening up again.  You may find this uncomfortable and you should talk to your midwife about additional help for pain.  Back at home you need to remember that lifting and playing with your toddler may need to be put on hold for a week or two until your body has fully recovered and be aware of the baby blues.  Hormones seem stronger the second time round and a few days after your get back you may feel a huge rush of anxiety, fear or relief.  Prepare for tears and accept it is all part of the incredible process.

 

Most of all, enjoy this pregnancy with a confidence you didn’t have in the last.  You are an expert now and you’ve heard all the horror stories before and seen that they don’t hold much value.  Then get ready, two children is a whole different ball game! Keep your wits about you!!

BFFs And Pregnancy: Here’s What To Do When Your Best Friend Has A Baby

If you and your best friend have always been as thick as thieves, you will probably think that nothing can ever come between the two of you. However, there is one life event that might make the dynamics between you ever so slightly different – having a baby! Once one of you becomes a mother, things might change in your relationship. After all, mom won’t have quite as much time to hang out anymore! If your BFF is about to give birth, you might be worried that this will put a strain on your relationship. However, if you do all the following things, you will find that you will remain best friends and will also play an important role in the new baby’s life!

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Spoil Her

Once the baby arrives, your friend will feel far from glam. She will swap glamorous clothes for slacks, and will usually be covered in baby sick! So she won’t be feeling as stylish as she once did! So why not spoil her by treating her to some nice new clothes? This is an especially great idea if she doesn’t have the time to get out and go shopping herself. If you want, you might also like to buy your friend some special treats while you sort out some cute baby shower gifts before the baby even arrives!

Bring Her Lots Of Food

 

It may not seem like a huge gesture, but I’m sure your new mommy friend will love it if you pop round one day with a lasagne or casserole. Right now she won’t have much spare time what with all the breastfeeding, diaper changes, and endless sleepless nights!I’m sure she will really appreciate someone bringing her a healthy, home cooked meal. This way, she won’t have to rely on terrible ready meals and takeouts!

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Be No. 1 Babysitter

Your friend will be absolutely inundated with lots of messages and phone calls in the first couple of weeks after giving birth. But once everyone has sent their best wishes, she might start to feel a bit lonely. This is when you need to step in and provide her with plenty of company. You should also offer to babysit the baby whenever she needs an extra pair of helping hands. If you can be there as often as possible, you can help her with minor tasks. For example, she will be able to have a stress-free shower without having to worry about the baby!

Plan A Girl’s Day Out

Once the baby is here, your friend won’t have much time to make herself presentable for a girl’s night or day out. So that’s why it’s important to plan these things in advance so she can find someone to look after the baby. If you leave planning something like this to your mommy BFF, it will never get sorted. So it’s a good idea for you to take hold of the reigns and organize a day when you can go out, have some fun, and she can forget about being a mom for a short time!

 

The Key To Having A Healthy Pregnancy

Having a healthy pregnancy is essential, whether you’re carrying your own baby or helping somebody by being their surrogate. Making sure the baby is born in optimal health is a must, as some complications can occur if you don’t.

You should be getting plenty of rest, and making sure you avoid things like smoking and drinking. Taking a pregnancy vitamin can ensure the baby is getting all of the right things, like calcium and folic acid. Some people think that exercise is bad for the baby, but you can and should continue to exercise throughout the pregnancy for the best results. You’ll find the baby is healthier and you give birth easier! Plus, you’ll bounce back faster as a bonus.

Practicing kegel exercises will help you when giving birth, and prevent you from becoming incontinent later on, which can be very embarrassing. Wearing comfortable clothing is a must, so make sure you treat yourself to some nice maternity wear. Your shoes are especially important, as feet can get swollen and sore during pregnancy!

Finally, make sure you track your weight gain to ensure you’re on track is important. The ‘eating for two’ rule is actually a myth, and can lead to way too much weight gain during pregnancy. You actually only need to up your calories by around 200 towards the end of the pregnancy. Check with your doctor to be sure, though!

The following infographic contains some valuable information for those who are surrogates!


Infographic Created By surrogate mother process

Fertility Boosting Tips: How To Increase Your Chances Of Conceiving Naturally

Many of us go through life with an assumption that we’ll find love, settle down, and have a baby. But life isn’t always so simple. It can take time to fall pregnant, and sometimes, it’s not possible to conceive naturally. If you’ve decided you’re ready for a baby, or you’ve already started trying, here are some fertility boosting tips.

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Lifestyle choices

You’re more likely to conceive naturally if you and your partner are fit and healthy. If you’ve decided you’d like to expand your family, now is the time to get in shape and focus on your health. If you’re overweight or obese, this can reduce fertility. Smoking and drinking excessively can also affect your chances of conceiving a baby. If your BMI is too high, take steps to reduce it. Stick to a healthy eating plan, and increase the amount of exercise you do. Avoid fatty, sugary foods, and use an app or a food diary to monitor your calorie intake. If you’re trying to cut down on drinking, pour smaller measures and switch up your social activities. Swap nights out at a bar for a trip to the movies or a date at a restaurant. Quitting smoking is tough. But it will provide you with important health benefits, including improved fertility. If you do fall pregnant, giving up will also be incredibly beneficial for your baby.

Stress can also have a negative impact on fertility. Sometimes, when it’s taking a little longer than you’d hoped to conceive, you can put pressure on yourselves. Try to relax, and stay calm. This is easier said than done. But so many couples enjoy success when they stop panicking and let nature take its course.

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Fertility tracking

If you’re having trouble getting pregnant, it may boil down to not having intercourse frequently enough, or having sex at the wrong time. Fertility tracking enables you to identify your most fertile days. At this point, your chances of conceiving are highest. Using an ovulation calendar can increase your chances significantly. All you need is the date of your last period.

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Seek advice

If you’re having troubles, don’t plod on with the weight of the world on your shoulders. Seek advice from your doctor. Most doctors recommend getting help if you’ve been trying for a year without success. Just because you haven’t had any joy in that 12-month period doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to have children. Sometimes, these things take a little longer than expected. When you see your doctor, they will carry out tests to determine if there is an underlying cause, which may be affecting your fertility. If there is, this will be treated as a priority. If there is no obvious problem, it may be a case of trying for longer. If there are problems, which can’t be remedied, you don’t have to give up your dreams of parenthood. There are other options out there. Fertility treatments, such as IVF and medication may be recommended. You could also consider surrogacy or adoption.

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Many of us hope to conceive naturally without any problems at all. But sadly, this is not always possible. Use these tips to boost our chances of conceiving naturally. If you don’t have any luck, seek advice from your doctor. There may be treatments out there than can help. Good luck!

The Challenges of Pregnancy You’ll Need to Know About

Pregnancy is challenging for everyone; there are lots of things to take care of and worry about. If you have never been pregnant before, it can all seem a little daunting. But don’t worry, it probably won’t be half as bad as you imagine.

 

But what are the most challenging aspects of being pregnant? If you want to find out, read on. It’s always best to be aware of these challenges ahead of time if you want to be as prepared as you can be.

Staying Active

It’s even more important than usual to stay active when you’re pregnant. It helps to keep your weight under control; it improves your circulation, and it can make it easier for you to sleep at night. These things are all important. Doing some light jogging is a good idea. Or even simply walking a little each day is very positive for your health, body and baby.

It’s something that you should keep up from the start to the finish of your pregnancy. But make sure you discuss the exercise you want to do with your doctor beforehand. They will be able to give you tips and point you in the right direction. Obviously, it becomes a little more difficult to find the time to exercise after the baby is born.

Pregnancy excercise

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Eating Healthily

We all know that cravings for weird and wonderful foods are a big part of pregnancy. And the temptation is to throw healthy eating out of the window and focus on what you want to eat. That’s not the best way to go about it though. Sure, you can eat the foods you crave in moderation. But your main focus should be on eating healthy food. It will help you and the baby.

The other thing to remember is that the idea of eating for two is a complete myth. You don’t have to eat more than you usually do just because you are pregnant. Eating the same amount of food as usual is fine, and it won’t be bad for your baby. Many people eat too much because they think they need to, but that’s not the case.

 

Dealing with Mood Swings

Being pregnant is like being on an emotional rollercoaster. Sometimes you’ll feel alive and no top of the world, and other times you won’t want to get up off the sofa. The extent of the mood swings will depend on the individual. Everyone experiences these kinds of things differently. But most people find that pregnancy has some form of impact on their emotions.

It’s all about the change of hormones in your body. Unfortunately, there is not much you can do to change this, as much as you might want to. It’s just a case of enjoying the good times and doing what you can to move through the times when you’re feeling down. Indulging in some of those foods you crave might help you through your lowest moments as well.

Travel Logistics

Getting around suddenly becomes a lot more difficult when you’re pregnant. For example, some expectant mothers simply don’t like the idea of driving when they’re pregnant. But the alternative of using public transport is pretty unappealing too. Therefore, getting from A to B becomes a struggle in a way that it never was before.

The ideal solution to this problem is to get your partner to become your own personal chauffeur. You should be able to pressure them into doing this for you if you get your approach right. You’re the one doing the hard work, so it’s only fair that they do what they can to help you out in any way they can. And if you are going to fly, make sure you let the airline know beforehand. You will also need to talk to your doctor before flying. Visit http://www.virgin-atlantic.com/gb/en/travel-information to find out more about this.

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Getting Enough Sleep

Sleeping the right number of hours during your pregnancy is very important. You should be getting seven to nine hours each night. This will help you to stay healthy for the length of the pregnancy. If you don’t manage to get a good night’s sleep, you will find getting through each day becomes even more of a struggle. And that’s not what you want.

You should think about ways in which you can improve how well you sleep. For example, a new mattress might help you to sleep a little better. And you can exercise in the afternoon and avoid caffeine to make you fall asleep more quickly when you climb into bed. You can read more at iZoneBed.com/sleep-during-pregnancy.

Learning Everything You Need to Know

Educating yourself is something many women choose to do. There are a million and one books that tell you everything you could ever want to know about pregnancy, babies and motherhood. Reading these things can help you in some ways. But you probably shouldn’t put too much importance on them because most of them only exist to make money.

An alternative to this is simply talking to your doctor and midwife about the challenges you will face as a parent. They will be able to give you the advice that you really need. And they will give it to you in a much more concise way than a pile of books ever could. Sometimes, asking questions and getting answers from someone who really knows is the best option.

Foot Problems

When you’re pregnant, you will probably face problems with your feet at one time or another. Getting pregnant means getting heavier in a relatively short period of time. This acts as a shock to your body, and you probably won’t be able to carry the weight very easily to begin with. It is something you will get used to, but it does take its toll on your feet.

The best thing you can do to combat these foot problems is change your footwear options. The high heels will have to go. Replace them with shoes that are as comfortable as possible. They should also support your body weight correctly at all times. It might even be necessary to buy a slightly larger size than you currently wear.

Maintaining Your Career

Juggling the pregnancy and your career is always difficult. Many women feel that they shouldn’t have to choose between one and the other. And that’s absolutely true. But it is important not to overestimate what you’re capable of. If you’re struggling to maintain your old work schedule, discuss things with your boss.

The action you take might not have to be as drastic as quitting your job. But a small reduction in work hours might be able to help you get that balance between work and life just right. There are lots of pressure and stresses you will face when pregnant. And you don’t want your job piling on even more of those kinds of pressures.

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Staying Calm

Simply staying calm and in control of the situation is one of the biggest challenges you’ll face. Becoming a parent is a massive life change, there’s no doubt about that. Your life is never going to be the same again, but that doesn’t mean you have to panic. It’s important to stay calm and think things through rationally.

When you feel that you don’t have a handle on the situation, it’s easy to lose your cool. But this doesn’t help anyone. If you are finding it difficult to stay calm and adjust to the changes coming your way, it might be a good idea to speak to a counsellor or someone in the family. They might be able to help you develop methods to deal with the problems you are having.

Preparing Financially

Raising a child is expensive, and when you’re pregnant, you need to start preparing for this. You will already start incurring big costs. For example, you will be buying the cot, decorating the spare room for the baby and buying its first clothes for it. These things all cost money, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg as far as spending goes. As the years pass by, you will have to spend even more money.

You also need to think about how you are going to pay for all the other things when the baby arrives. It helps to get your finances in order as quickly as you can. This can be a challenge, but it’s one of those things that just has to be done. If you have your finances in order, you will be able to see how much you can afford to spend on each item that needs to be bought.

Now that you know all you need to know about the challenges that you will face, you can start to prepare for them. And don’t forget to enjoy the pregnancy as much as you can. Being pregnant might seem difficult, but there are plenty of positive aspects as well. Plus it will all be worth it when the baby arrives.

Baby Blocks – A New Mobile Interactive Incentive Program For Expectant Mothers Is Now Available To Help Pregnant Women And New Parents With Prenatal And Well-Baby Care

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Women who enroll in Baby Blocks can earn rewards for completing prenatal, postpartum and healthy-baby appointments. Users access interactive “baby blocks” via the mobile web app on their iPhones and Android smartphones that shows their prenatal visits, and opportunities to earn rewards for following a prenatal and postnatal visit schedule. Users receive email appointment alerts and wellness-related text messages, connect directly with maternity nurses and earn rewards for keeping the appointments, including rewards such as gift cards to retail outlets and maternity-related items such as teething rings, diaper bags, and thermometers.

 

More than 11 percent of the babies born nationwide last year were considered premature, earning the nation a “C” grade according to a new March of Dimes report. Full-term deliveries are important for the health of babies and mothers, considering births before 37 weeks of pregnancy account for 35 percent of all infant deaths, according to the CDC.

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New tools, including myriad mobile apps, are helping pregnant women and new parents with prenatal and postnatal care. For instance, UnitedHealthcare’s Baby BlocksTM is a  mobile incentive program now available to Medicaid beneficiaries in 14 states and people enrolled in employer-sponsored health plans. Users access interactive “baby blocks” via the app on their iPhones and Android smartphones that show their prenatal visit. Users can then earn rewards for following a prenatal- and postnatal-visit schedule, including gift cards, toys and diapers.

Encouraging a healthy and full-term pregnancy is the responsibility of parents and health professionals, and technology is helping make that possible. The last few weeks of pregnancy for many mothers can seem endless and often uncomfortable. But expectant parents should take the opportunity to learn just how important the last few remaining weeks are for their baby’s development and health.

National Prematurity Awareness Month: A Time to Talk About the Risks Associated with Delivering Babies Before 39 Weeks

By: Sam Ho, M.D., chief medical officer, UnitedHealthcare

November is National Prematurity Awareness Month, an ideal time for families nationwide to think about the health of expectant mothers and babies, and to raise awareness of and increase safe and healthy pregnancies and deliveries.

One out of eight babies nationwide each year is born premature, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. Premature births represent a small percentage of all births; however, these infants comprise a large proportion of all infant deaths.

 

Appropriate prenatal and postnatal care is critically important for mothers’ and babies’ health. It is also important for mothers and families to understand the risks associated with elective deliveries before 39 weeks of gestation and their potential impact on infant health. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) defines full-term as 39 weeks and advises against elective deliveries before that.

 

The potential complications involved with elective childbirth before 39 weeks are very real, yet some first-time mothers may be unaware of the risks. Babies born before 39 weeks are more likely to have respiratory problems and developmental delays, according to numerous published studies.

 

A review of claims data by UnitedHealthcare showed that 48 percent of newborns admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at select hospitals were from scheduled admissions for delivery – many before 39 weeks of gestation. By being scheduled, or electively induced, these deliveries were prevented from progressing to full term. After sharing these findings, physicians and hospitals altered practice patterns and realized a 46-percent decrease in NICU admissions in the first three months.

 

The U.S. has the highest rate of preterm birth of any industrialized country. In 2013 more than 11 percent of births occurred before 37 week of gestation, earning the nation a “C” grade from the March of Dimes. Preterm birth and infant mortality rates have been improving in recent years, in part because of an effort to eliminate unnecessary deliveries before 39 weeks.

 

However, we need to do more. More than 1.3 million babies were delivered by cesarean section in 2011, with wide variation in C-section rates at hospitals nationwide, according to a new study from the University of Minnesota. The overall C-section rate was 33 percent, but the rate ranged between 19 and 48 percent at hospitals across the nation; the researchers could not identify evidence-based factors to explain the variation. C-section deliveries can carry a variety of risks, including infection, blood clots and problems in future pregnancies.

 

New tools, including myriad mobile apps, are helping pregnant women and new parents with prenatal and postnatal care. For instance, UnitedHealthcare’s Baby BlocksTM is a  mobile incentive program now available to Medicaid beneficiaries in 14 states and people enrolled in employer-sponsored health plans. Users access interactive “baby blocks” via the app on their iPhones and Android smartphones that show their prenatal visit. Users can then earn rewards for following a prenatal- and postnatal-visit schedule, including gift cards, toys and diapers.

Encouraging a healthy and full-term pregnancy is the responsibility of parents and health professionals, and technology is helping make that possible. The last few weeks of pregnancy for many mothers can seem endless and often uncomfortable. But expectant parents should take the opportunity to learn just how important the last few remaining weeks are for their baby’s development and health.

 

Waiting and waiting and waiting

When I went to the doctor last Friday, she didn’t give me anything new. She just told me to monitor the baby’s movement, she said I should feel him move every after meal at least 4 times. I was a bit disappointed because I thought maybe she would tell me that I am already going to go on labor that day or the next day.

Yesterday I think I finally could distinguish contractions versus normal baby movement. I monitored my contractions the the day before which was Sunday and then yesterday the whole day. The intervals on Sunday evening was about 30 minutes apart and it got closer on Monday. The interval of the contractions was not regular yet but I called my doctor just to be sure.

She told me, I better get closer to the city (we live 2 hours away from where I plan to give birth) because I might be going on labor real soon. So we grabbed our stuff ( good thing we were already packed) and head to the city. On the way, I had some pains on my lower abdomen so I called my doctor again. She told me to go to her clinic so she could check me.

She checked me and I was at that time 1-2 cm dilated and my cervix is soft. It’s not that far yet so I guess we keep on waiting. The waiting is actually killing me! I just wanna have my baby in my arms like NOW NA! 🙂

Anyway, I’ll keep you posted my dearies!

I have a kickboxer in the making

Nope, I haven’t gone into labor yet. I am still waiting for it to happen, but I don’t think it’s going to happen this week . It seems like Sean loves to be in my womb so much he’s gonna stay there as long as he can or until the doctor decides it’s time for him and me to meet in person.

The last couple of days my baby kicks me hard. It hurts most when he hits me near my belly button. It’s even worse during the night when I sleep, it seems like the time for him to wake up.

It’s very cute and funny, but painful sometimes.

Did you also got beat up by your baby when you were pregnant?