Top Tips For Expecting Dads, From A New Dad Who Knows...

Today I have a special treat, My husband is giving out some top tips for first time expecting dads.  Warning... my husband is a shameless Australian.  If you look through the laughs, the tips are actually really good....

OK soon-to-be first time Dads, listen up!  This post is for you guys who haven't had the pleasure of experiencing the most anticipated week of your life so far.  The dreaded 7 days before 'ole fat-guts' explodes and pops out your brand new son or daughter.

I reckon that most of you would agree that we tend to take a backseat to this whole pregnancy thing...we've silently dealt with 9 long months of strangers wanting to rub the wife's guts, quietly shuffled through miles of 'Babys R us' aisles buying crap, eaten the vilest of organic tofu dinners, taken time off work to sit in a doctors office while the wife does a $400 pee, slept lonely on the hardest of sofas and assembled the most ridiculously difficult cribs, toys and damn strollers. Geez!  But in the last 7 days or so, something primeval happens in the back of our minds and we realise that shit is becoming real - then we panic a bit.
"Crikeys...I'm actually gonna be a DAD!  What the Hell do I do now?"


6 simple steps to help expecting dads be better partners....

My “Pregnant and hate my husband” post is by far the most popular.  While I laugh when I see the multiple versions of the keywords that brouhgt the new visitors... “I'm Pregnant and Hate my husband” “I’m pregnant and my husband is an Asshole.” “How can I stop my husband from being a jerk while I’m pregnant.” “My wife is pregnant and Hates me.” “I’m Pregnant and my husband hates me.” Truthfully it’s all really unfortunate.

While I am not a relationship expert, I am definitely well versed in pregnancy and the strains that it puts on a relationship. I decided to share my knowledge in hopes that I can save a couple from the same pain and strife that my husband and I endured thanks to the wild and wonderful blessing of pregnancy!

Here's a few tips for the expecting dads...


Step 1: COMPASSION

This is not hard… for a woman! ; ) I have come to realize most guys see the word through “man feelings.” I know sometimes it seems like women are either just bitching for bitch sake, or just not being tough enough. Well, when it comes to pregnancy put all of those preconceived notions aside or pay the price! Please just try to listen, envision yourself feeling the exact pain or emotions she is complaining about, and then hopefully you will have a better understanding of her TRUE feelings.

For example when she says…. “Ugh, honey I feel so sick! This morning sickness is hell.” DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE SAY- “I feel sick too!” Oh my goodness that will get you killed! Try saying this instead-“Oh baby, I am so sorry to hear that, can I do anything?

See the difference? It’s simple- listen, be compassionate, offer support and stay in the running for man of the year!

Step 2: Random Acts of KINDNESS!

This is so simple! Out of nowhere clean the house, do the shopping, pick up some nice earrings, a nice scarf, something your mother-to-be likes, or even better do something for her you know she hates doing. Ideally you will do something once a week, not once a month. Really, you should do this for your her pregnant or not...

Step 3: Compliment! Compliment! COMPLIMENT!

Pregnancy is hell on the body and psyche. She needs reassurance that she is still beautiful and attractive to you. Most of all be smart and sincere about it. If she looks yuck but the outfit is nice, compliment the outfit. Some days I am so tired and run down, on those days my husband tells me how proud he is of me for being such a great mom already by giving up so much. Really he's learned to say anything to lift my spirits. Trust me it goes a VERY long way!

Step 4: BE GREATFUL!

She is carrying your Child! It is not easy, does not feel wonderful and sometimes feels like a very long process! She has to give up all kinds of stuff to provide a safe and healthy environment for the baby to grow in. You on the other hand do not! You get to smoke, drink, sleep on your belly, bungee jump, ride roller coasters, (real ones, not the psycho emotional one know as pregnancy.) Basically you get to continue on with your life the same way you did the day before you found out you were going to be a father. Imagine having to Google everything you want to put into your mouth to make sure it is safe to eat. Something as simple as a kiss on the cheek and a “thank you baby for carrying my baby!” will go so far you might be able to stay off that shitlist for a week!

Step 5: Shower her with LOVE and AFFECTION!

I think this may be one of the most important steps. Just like you eat three meals a day and two snacks… give three kisses a day and two loving, I love yous! When you wake up in the morning, when you get home from work and before bed, give kisses and I love yous. Love and hugs are all a pregnant woman needs to be reminded that she is so much more than a mobile incubator… it is your job to remind her daily that she is YOUR beautiful woman first, the mother of your child second.

Step 6: PATIENCE!

Please have patience with your mother-to-be. Understand that she has been possessed by pregnancy and will return to normal after birth… it may be a month or two after birth but it will happen. Pregnancy is process for both parents. It takes a lot of work and compromise to survive it together sanely. You absolutely, positively have to have patience and understanding or it is going to be a very long 10 months.

Here is a tip from me to you: This too shall pass… Look into her eyes and find the woman you love. I promise behind those sleepy raccoon eyes, filled with scary furry, tears and a twinkle of nuttiness, she is in there. Again, remember she has to give up so much during pregnancy, the least you can do is try to always be understanding of that. All the very best to you and your new family!


I promise if you follow this simple 6-step plan, your home life will be dramatically better.

10 Things I Wish I Knew About Breastfeeding...

Before becoming a mother, I had NO IDEA how huge the decision to breastfeed would be, and how everyone would have something to say about it... In honor of World Breastfeeding Week and Top 10 Tuesday I thought I would throw in an extra top ten for those who care about the ta-tas, here are 10 Things I Wish I Knew About Breastfeeding...

1. Nursing IS NOT Plug-and-Chug. It's still baffling to me how something so "natural" can be so damn hard! Between learning the proper latch and the best hold, it took lots of time, patience and pain to get the hang of it.

2. At first... Cheese Grater. Guys, want to know what a woman goes through in the first few weeks of nursing? Hook a vacuum hose up to your nipple for 45 minutes to an hour, then take a cheese grader to it for the same amount of time. Voila... nursing tits!

3. MY Nursing is apparently EVERYONE'S Business. Amazing, no one cared about my boobs before I had a baby... Who knew my newborn's nutrition and the daily goings on of my boobies would be on the radar of every woman I came in contact with?

4. It Takes A Village. Between doctors, lactation consultants, my husband's 24/7 support, a massive pump, and a bunch of creams, I FINALLY got the hang of it.

5. HELLO MASSIVE BOOBIES! By the time my milk fully came in, I was up THREE cup sizes! Those puppies got so big it looked like my armpits grew a set!


6. There Is No Rest For The Weary Nurser.  Nursing is 24/7. Every two hours without fail if I wasn't nursing, I was pumping. It took nearly 6-months to get everything to level out! Needless to say, I was one tired cranky big boobie bitch!

7. There Is NO Time-limit to nursing. The start of my nursing journey was so rough, I was sure I would never be able to make it to six-months.  Everyday I would tell myself, just one more day... When I made it to a year, I was sure that would be it... Not. Even. I nursed my son until he was two years and four months old. And I am proud of it, even if I did get some of the shittiest comments and rude looks. "You are STILL nursing?" Damn right I am. It's my kid and my choice. I nursed him until the time was right for BOTH of us to stop.

8. Breastfeeding is NOT always a choice. I NEVER thought I would nurse. Never. I honestly didn't know anyone who did, however, thanks to the small village and contraptions mentioned in #4, I did it, and I am SO thankful and blessed for it. That being said, my heart breaks for my girlfriends who were determined, and could not. My heart breaks for the mother's of premies who never got their milk. My heart breaks for the woman who found breastfeeding was not for her, and got chastised and shit on for not "making herself" nurse.   

9. Breastfeeding is one of the very hardest things I've ever done. Full stop. In my case, it took a lot of work, pain, time, loss of sleep and selflessness to nurse my son for nearly two and a half years. Even though nursing became easy enough by the sixth month, it was a very hard fought road to get there.

10. Breastfeeding is one of the very best things I've ever done. Full stop. Nursing my son will always be one of my greatest achievements in life. Hard work pays off, and I have one healthy, strong, incredibly smart, badass BOSS kid to show for it!

6 Things You Should Know Before You Pop That Baby Out...

(I love this post. If only I knew all of this, and followed it, when I was a new mom...)

I have no doubt that every mother will agree with me when I say, during pregnancy the only thing you get more of than stretch marks and bad gas, is parenting advice.  Between the always ready to share been-there-done-that mothers, parenting books and online resources, the information available today for new mothers is overwhelming. What's more, you never know what to believe since one book will contradict the next, and what one mother swears by, another mother will insist did not work for her baby. Weeding through all of the advice can be daunting, to say the least.

Looking back, I wish I was given more advice on how to deal with becoming a mother, and less on the three million different ways to rock a baby to sleep. I needed to know about the self-doubt and failures that came along with motherhood, or that having a baby would take a huge toll on my marriage and personal life if I let it. After talking with numerous other mothers, I realized we all struggled with the same issues; things it seemed no one bothered to warn us about in between lessons on feeding, changing and rocking our newborn to sleep.  I've put a list together of the top six things all new mothers to know.  Things we wish we didn't have to learn the hard way.

Tips for dealing with Morning Sickness.

The following is a excerpt of a report on Morning Sickness from the American Pregnancy Association.  The complete article can be read here- http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancyhealth/morningsickness.html


Morning Sickness:

More than half of all pregnant women experience morning sickness. Morning sickness is the nauseated feeling you get during pregnancy. Morning sickness can be, but is not always, accompanied with vomiting. The nausea is often a result of the increased hormones in your body. Many health care providers think morning sickness is a good sign because it means the placenta is developing well.
There are a number of do's and don'ts you can try to help alleviate your symptoms.

Helpful Do's and Don'ts:

Do:

How much weight should you gain while pregnant?

YAY! I have been told that over the next 9 months I am to gain at least 25 pounds, and if I gain 40 it will not be the end of the world!  This is way to good to be true, what’s the catch? So far I have found out that the catch is that my butt, thighs, feet, arms, back and well pretty much my whole body is subject to this weight gain, not just my belly. Oh, P.S. As a result, stretch marks are very possible. I knew this couldn’t be a free pass to the buffet line!




Below is an excerpt of an article on Pregnancy Weight Gain from The American Pregnancy Association website.

Tips for new Parents

No matter how much warning, preparation and natural instinct new parents have, nothing prepares them for parenthood quite like their own child.  NOTHING! Below are my top five of twenty, hard lessons learned, so far, as a new parent.




Tips for new Parents -Hard lessons learned by Moms and Dads


No matter how much warning, preparation and natural instinct new parents have, nothing prepares them for parenthood quite like their own child.  NOTHING! Below are my top five of twenty, hard lessons learned, so far, as a new parent.  

10 Morning Sickness Remedies For Princess Kate

First and foremost, I want to extend a HUGE congratulations to Prince William and Duchess Catherine of Cambridge, (and Prince George too!) on the exciting news that they are expecting royal baby number two! 




Such a beautiful family!
I personally suffered from severe "morning sickness", that required medical attention. At the time, I couldn't imagine how the sickness could have been any worse. Sadly, Princess Kate does know how it could be worse. Much Worse. She has hyperemesis gravidarum. A medical condition, that affects only 2% of pregnant women in the US, and is even more uncommon in women pregnant for the second time. The condition causes severe nausea and vomiting which leads to severe dehydration and malnutrition, resulting in hospitalization. Something she is very familiar with from her first pregnancy. Fingers crossed the Princess gets to ride out the storm in the comfort of her own home.

Thankfully, like with all crappy pregnancy systems, this too shall pass. And even though I know she needs much more than "home remedies" to help her though the hyperemesis gravidarum, the least I can do is offer some of my best tips for helping to fight off the morning sickness beast in conjunction with medical attention.




1. Sparkling water- I swear by it.  I would drink it all day, cold and warm.  Flavored or not, it helps. BIG time!

2. Crackers in bed.  I kept a bag of crackers next to my bed to snack on before I stepped one foot out of bed in the morning. I know when I first heard of the trick, I thought is was as stupid as morning sickness, but it really works!

BabyBackups--The One Thing EVERY New Mother Should Have (#Giveaway)

Every once in a while I get to review a product that is so awesome it makes me want to cry because it was not around when I REALLY needed it. Today, my friends, BabyBackUps is that product. Had these suckers been around when Ollie was crapping all over the place, I would have not ended up in the shower at 4am after a particularly INSANE diaper blowout when he was only a month old. (The long time readers know what I am talking about.) I present, the best damn blowout controlling invention I have ever seen... BabyBackups!

Eepples Milk Charms- The new mother's timekeeper!

Have you ever come across a new baby product and thought, where the hell where you when my kid was a baby? Of course you have!   Well today’s product is that way for me.  In fact, I sent the owner and creator an email once my Milk Charms arrived saying just that!  These little wonders would have saved me a lot of time and guessing back in the days of my pumping and baby bottle use. I present Eepples Milk Charms, the new mother’s timekeeper…

 
  • Double sided dial: one side features the days of the week, the other time of day
  • Works with virtually any bottle
  • Made from food grade polypropylene and silicone, BPA and phthalate free materials
  • 100% recyclable and made with as much recycled material as the manufacturers can get their hands on!
  • Made in the USA in the San Francisco Bay Area
  • Dishwasher safe - top rack
  • UL tested
  • Patents pending
  • Works with formula too
  • Pack of 3 - features three attractive color combinations

Some of you will have to reminisce with me, while others will probably relate to this next story of the days of pumping and bottles. Don't worry it is not a crazy rant... OK maybe a little...

My Mommy Blog has been named a Top 10 of 2013!!

The pressure is on now...  Parenting.com just notified me that, First Time Mom & Dad, has been named as a Top 10 Mommy Blog of 2013! PARENTING. DOT. COM!!!!  They are THE Parenting site! I am absolutely blown away!  ME... US!  This Blog... WOW.
WOW! WOW! WOW! Sorry, I am just so incredibly stoked!  They... Me... Top 10!!!

You really are losing your mind when you are pregnant!

From the American Journal of Neuroradiology: Study of change in brain size during and after pregnancy. 

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Qualitative decreases in maternal brain size have been observed late in pregnancy. The aim of this study was to quantitatively evaluate changes to the maternal brain during and after healthy pregnancy and to compare these changes with those observed in cases of preeclampsia.

METHODS: Three-dimensional T1-weighted MR volume images were obtained in nine healthy participants before and after delivery. Additional images were obtained in some of these participants before pregnancy, during pregnancy, and within 52 weeks after delivery. Five women with preeclampsia were examined before delivery and 6 weeks after delivery. Three of these patients were examined within 52 weeks after delivery. Images were registered, and both brain and ventricular volumes were calculated by using a semi automated computer program.

RESULTS: Both the healthy and preeclamptic groups had a reduction in brain size during pregnancy that was maximal at term and that reversed by 6 months after delivery. The ventricular size showed a corresponding increase in size during pregnancy and a decrease in size after delivery. In the preeclamptic patients, brain size was significantly smaller (P = .05) than in healthy participants, both before and after delivery.

CONCLUSION: The brain decreases in size during pregnancy and increases in size after delivery. The changes follow a consistent time course in each woman. The mechanism and physiologic importance of these findings are speculative at the present time.
(Find the study in it's entirety at http://www.ajnr.org/cgi/content/full/23/1/19.  There are a few different studies available, I chose this one to cite because it is very thorough and is available in its entirety 

Unfortunately, there is complete speculation and conflicting opinion as to why the shrinkage happens and no study has even begun to say that this shrinkage leads to our daftness, or anything else for that matter. The research of the different studies show the shrinkage between 3-5% and 4-8%, so not to worry it is not something crazy like 50%. It's also important to mention this shrinkage is most visible late in pregnancy, well into the third trimester.

5 Tips for Summer Safety for the whole family!


YAY!  It's finally here... Summer! The warm beautiful weather, outdoor activities and family fun are plentiful this time of year.  Unfortunately, so are the opportunities for sunburns, heat rashes, bug bites, water dangers and many more summer activity hazards.  Below are five important summer safety tips to help make your family's summertime more enjoyable.

Why yes, that is Oliver and Professor "The Bloody Cat" playing at the beach!

Baby Trend Sit N' Stand Stroller Review & #Giveaway!


(Baby Trend provided FTM&D with a Sit N' Stand® Ultra Stroller- Reseda Item #: SS66436. free of charge in hopes that we would publish our honest review.  All opinions expressed below are our own.)
FTM & FTD Review!


I am so excited to bring you today’s review of the Baby Trend Sit N' Stand stroller.  I am positively in love with it.  When the opportunity was presented to us to review a stroller from Baby Trend, FTD declared we needed a Sit n’ Stand stroller.  I was not so sure since I use the hell out of our lightweight one.  Then FTD started talking about the features of a Sit N' Stand, Oliver’s needs and what kind of stroller would be the best long term for our family. I started to see things his way…


  • Ollie is growing up and getting restless in his stroller.  The Sit N stand allows him to have options,   and it makes it easier on us not having to get him in and out repeatedly on walks through the zoo or park.
  • In the event that we have a baby 2 (Don’t get any ideas just yet you all!)  The sit n stand is made for just that. We can put a newborn carrier in one section (Front or Back!!) until the baby is big enough to sit upright, while Ollie sits (or stands) in the other.
  • For traveling across the world, or just through the airport, the sit n stand holds our luggage.
  • The stroller is perfect for our family now and later.


3 Easy Steps for a Healthier Pregnancy


3 Easy Steps for a Healthier Pregnancy

My first pregnancy was a textbook journey through the worst associated symptoms. My life felt like it was being turned upside down, and my body was along for the ride with recurring nausea, fatigue, swelling in the worst places, lower back pain, depression and frequent headaches. Despite eating well, doctor-approved weight gain and daily supplements, the symptoms were in control every day.

With my second pregnancy, I knew things had to be different. After all, I could suffer through the symptoms and survive, but I didn't want my child to suffer along with me. My solution was to identify and adopt ten healthy habits. The doctor was supportive and even gave me some advice to get started.  I made sure to check with my doctor about everything pregnancy related: cord blood banking, breast-feeding, nutrition and more! I'm not sure which was most effective, but these three steps together helped me have a more enjoyable pregnancy free from any severe symptoms.

Stay Hydrated
Dehydration can lead to recurring headaches. In fact, other symptoms of dehydration may not even be noticeable until the condition becomes severe. If you're drinking the same amount of water after pregnancy, you aren't getting enough. Blood volume increases to support baby's needs, and that means mom needs more water.

Sleep
A huge number of people are sleep deprived, and this problem increases the risk of infection and many types of disease. Add a pregnancy into this equation, and the lack of sleep becomes dangerous. I have difficulty quieting my mind at night, so I started using a form of guided meditation. Other possible solutions include yoga, making a to-do list for the next day before lying down and eating foods with a sedative effect for dinner, such as turkey and tea made from rose hips and hibiscus.

Eating Natural
What is often called healthy eating is often a poor substitute for what I call eating naturally. Most foods at the grocery store contain chemical preservatives, artificial flavors and colors, and even known carcinogens. Contrary to popular belief, very few of these ingredients have been tested for safety during pregnancy. Unfortunately, even raw produce often has traces of pesticides on the skin.

The remedy is to pick items with the shortest ingredient lists and always wash vegetables before cutting. Also check out the Environmental Working Group's lists of most safe and most dirty vegetables and fruits.

Taking time to identify and adopt healthy habits that aren’t already a part of your life will help any woman have a chance at a more comfortable pregnancy.

Katie Moore has written and submitted this article. Katie is an active blogger who discusses the topics of, motherhood, children, fitness, health and all other things Mommy. She enjoys writing, blogging, and meeting new people! To connect with Katie contact her via her blog, Moore From Katie or her twitter,@moorekm26

A Sunday Blessing for mothers and daughters...

I came across this and absolutely loved it.  I usually avoid bringing religion into my blogs, becuse to each their own, but this message is beautiful.  Take or leave the God part... (Personally, I NEED the God part, because I need hope on yucky days...)





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