We’ve rounded up some of the most salient lessons worth remembering from the past 12 issues of P&N.
Heed the knead
For the do-it-yourselfers out there, infant massage is worth a go. In addition to nurturing the parent-child bond, it improves circulation, respiration and digestion; regulates hormones; decreases discomfort; and promotes healthy sleep habits.
—A powerful touch, January 2012
Learn the organ
Think twice before discarding your placenta after delivery. The pancake-shaped organ is chock-full of nutrients and vitamins that can ward off depression, speed postpartum recovery, increase milk production, replenish depleted iron, and return your system to a balanced state.
—The postdelivery party favor, February 2012
Start to save
The money stuff may be monotonous, but it’s smart to organize all things financial sooner rather than later. Create a will before baby’s born, set up a college savings plan, and add your tot to your insurance policy within a week of her debut.
—The funds stuff, March 2012
Watch your mouth
If you have swollen gums that sometimes bleed, rest assured you aren’t alone. A common complaint among the expectant crowd, this type of inflammation known as pregnancy gingivitis is caused by hormonal changes that increase blood flow to the gum tissue.
—Mad chops, April 2012
Newborns typically lose weight before they gain it, so don’t panic if your baby is down a few ounces from his birth weight when you leave the hospital. Your doctor will check at his newborn follow-up visit to make sure he has begun to gain it back (about one ounce per day is ideal).
—The new mom’s guide to well-baby visits, May 2012
Give it a shot
Your physician may recommend inoculations for the flu, hepatitis B and tetanus—especially if you’re at risk—but live-virus vaccines and those for measles, mumps and varicella (chicken pox) may be harmful during pregnancy. Speak up to ensure you’re safe.
—Mom-to-be inquiries, June 2012
Shun the sun
A newborn’s skin possesses minimal melanin, making babes especially susceptible to the UVA and UVB rays. Protect your tot by staying in the shade, covering in lightweight clothing, and
using broad spectrum sunblock on little ones 6 months and older. Infancy is a good time not to feel the burn.
—Under the sun, July 2012
Postdelivery, dad’s testosterone level will typically fall and remain low for several months, giving him a chance to show off his sensitive side. How sweet is that?
—Blame the hormones, August 2012
Travel through time
To make time pass more quickly during labor, avoid giving birth in an environment that imposes strict rules regarding how quickly you should progress. The hours and minutes will creep by when you feel like you’re on the clock.
—A watched bump never grows, September 2012
Dare to compare.
While you’ll certainly feel more pain delivering drug-free, many moms claim that following your body’s natural cues rather than suppressing them can make the experience somewhat easier.
—Natural beauty, October 2012
Don’t blow it
It’s better to dodge a cold than have to suffer from one. Avoid allergens like smoke, pollen and dust mites, get plenty of physical exercise, and practice good nasal hygiene using a natural Dead Sea salt nasal spray or nasal wash, which can reduce swelling and congestion.
—Baby, it’s cold outside, November 2012
Rebel a little
Some rules are meant to be broken! As long as your baby is healthy and you’re comfortable with the idea, there’s no need to keep your new addition under wraps. Go ahead and introduce your newbie to the world. (Just bring your common sense along for the ride!)
—Breaking the rules, December 2012