A worthwhile investment
Break open those piggy banks, parents! By the time a child turns 18, the United States Department of Agriculture estimates that middle-income parents will have spent an average of $241,000 to raise her. (That number doesn’t account for college tuition savings, by the way.) In the first year, major expenses include delivery, diapers and key items like car seats and strollers.
– Hey, little spender, January 2014
Time for two
Not feeling like a bombshell in the bedroom? If sex doesn’t seem too appealing in the weeks or months following childbirth, don’t panic. In addition to new-mom fatigue, changes in hormones like estrogen, prolactin and oxytocin can also lessen your libido. Know that what you’re going through is normal and temporary—and be sure to fill your partner in, too.
– Like a virgin, February 2014
Change of course
Sometimes even the best-laid plans fall flat. If you had hoped for a vaginal birth but ended up with a C-section, your recovery may be as difficult emotionally as it is physically. Take time to acknowledge your feelings, and confide in a close friend or professional for support. It’s OK to be disappointed at first.
– A cut above, March 2014
Young and old
Age is just a number—having a baby at any time comes with its own set of challenges and joys. In your 20s, you might have an easier go at pregnancy, but in your 40s, you’ll likely be more stable socially and professionally. No matter your decade, your journey will help shape you into the mother you’re meant to be.
– Motherhood at any age, April 2014
It’s never too soon to start tummy time! Baby can enjoy playing on his stomach from day one—there’s no need to wait for his umbilical cord to fall off. Try beginning with a few minutes a few times a day, and increase frequency and duration as your little one grows.
– Pencil it in, May 2014
Rub it in
Time for an at-home spa day, baby. Infant massage has been shown to improve physiological and neurological development, help soothe congestion and constipation and promote restful sleep. What’s more, it encourages healthy attachment and bonding between baby and caregiver.
– Healing touch, June 2014
Find those sea legs
Sick of feeling sick? To ward off nausea, try these age-old remedies: ginger in any form (think ale, tea and candies), plain crackers (nibble a couple before getting out of bed) and fresh air (simply step outside or open a window). Another effective option? Acupressure bands (aka seasickness bracelets)!
– Quell the queasiness, July 2014
Despite the discomfort prenatal swelling can bring, there’s a scientific reason for your extra water weight. Your body produces about 50 percent more blood and fluids during pregnancy to support your developing babe, and the extra fluid retention also helps soften your body, allowing it to expand and accommodate baby.
– Break the swell, August 2014
Top to bottom
Milestones occur at a mile a minute. To make sure you don’t miss them, remember the order of baby’s physical development by recalling the phrase “from head to toe.” Here’s the progression: head and eye control, use of hands, torso control to roll and sit, pushing up on hands and knees, crawling, pulling to stand up and first steps.
– Movin’ on up, September 2014
Plotting your labor and delivery to a T may be overkill, but writing up a general birth plan for the big event can be a helpful preparation. For both your benefit and your medical team’s, arrive at the hospital with a list of do’s and don’ts for pain management, labor intervention, newborn care and more. Just remember, flexibility is key.
– Make due, October 2014
Mamas, your bodies are amazing! Not only do you already have everything you need to feed that rooting babe, but also the composition of your milk changes as she grows. Whether you’re nursing a preemie or a 6-month-old, you’re giving her just what she needs—from colostrum to hindmilk.
– The lactation diet, November 2014
Fact or fiction
There’s no need to worry about your water breaking (and your face blushing) in the middle of a crowded restaurant. Only about 5 percent of moms-to-be say their water breaks in public, and there’s a chance yours might not break at all without a little help from the doc. So go ahead and make a Target run without fear of needing a cleanup in aisle five.
– Delivery room mythbuster, December 2014
A worthwhile investment