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How’s Mama-To-Be Really Like: 10 Pregnancy Advice For The First Time Moms

How’s Mama-To-Be Really Like: 10 Pregnancy Advice For The First Time Moms

For every first time mom, there are those rules and regulations, that advice of oh-so-many do’s and don’ts; the list just goes endless, that you have to abide to. On one hand, you are experiencing pregnancy for the first time, your body is going through major changes, you are emotionally fluctuated: excited, tensed, anxious, happy, blessed, impatient, so on and on. And on the other hand, you have been advised to do this, not to do that, to eat this, not to eat that, don’t go there, please go there! Driving you nuts? Well, here is an article that might come to your aid. From my very own first hand experiences, I would like to chime in your life for a bit. Hope I can help you!

1. No diet for you, first time mom!

Always remember, you have to eat for the two (or three, maybe?) of you. Whatever you eat, whether it’s a slice of cake, or a buffet dinner, make sure you eat two slices of cake, and adequate amount of meal that will leave you full and super satisfied. In simple words: eat food to your heart’s content. But of course, always, and always maintain a healthy balanced diet. It doesn’t mean you can’t have KFC or Burger King. You can. But keep one to maximum two junks per month. It really won’t affect your baby’s development. I have had my shares of junk food, and my babies turned out amazing! Another important advice: you can have sea food. Have plenty of fish. But make sure you avoid sushi, or any fish that is raw or half raw. Frozen fish are better. And cook them thoroughly. Fish in a curry is the best option.  Also, bear in mind that these extra food will go to your baby, and even if you grow fat, you will eventually shed them down. Or I hope you will shed them down!

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2. Don’t forget your exercises, though.

Don’t go overboard on your exercises. Minimum, appropriate exercises are what you require throughout your pregnancy. Here are 5 simple steps of exercises that you can do in your special nine months. Exercises, from the very beginning, will make you flexible, and will make your labor a tiny bit easier (please read “tiny bit”)! More importantly, make sure you are gaining weight at a steady pace. Exercises are not to keep your weight in check. It is to make you feel good.

3. Sex is a brilliant exercise too.

As long as you are going through a normal pregnancy, you can have sex till your water breaks. You are only exempted if you have some sort of complications. Don’t let your weight gain bug your desire to have sex. And don’t worry about your partner. They find us sexy regardless of how fat we grow. There are some who find it quite difficult to make love in their last trimester, because of the big balloon in front of them. Ease back, and relax. You should enjoy your sex, rather than panicking. Remember, sex is a brilliant exercise too.

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4. Losing hair or having luscious locks? Don’t fret if things go opposite after delivery.

During my first pregnancy, I had beautiful, thicker, luscious locks that I ab-so-lutely enjoyed. But couple of weeks after my delivery, my hair started to decline. Man, was I upset! It’s a normal thing, or so science says. If you are lucky, your hormones will play the good cop role, and allow your hair to grow. Once your hormones settle down back to normal, the excess hair that grew will shed off. And it will get back to your normal shedding routine. 100 per day. They grow back too. And during my second pregnancy, I started to lose my hair. This time, I was told, that the hormones played the bad cop role. But during my second trimester, my hair was back to normal, or maybe I was used to the thinning hair. Do not fret. All these are temporary. Once your baby pops out, give your hormones some time. They will settle down themselves (my hair is back to normal, Thank God!).

5. No hair coloring at home.

Really? I heard the same thing too. Apparently the chemical fumes that is released from the hair color is extremely bad for your fetus. Let me tell you one thing. It is bad. Very bad. But if you have enough fresh air flowing in and out of your room, then coloring won’t be a factor at all. I have colored my hair, during my second pregnancy, not once, but twice! But I made sure the door and the window were wide open, the fan at its fullest speed. And don’t inhale the smell deeply. While coloring, make sure you face the other way when you need to breathe deeply.

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6. Wear fitted, yet comfy clothes.

This is another factor we have to face a lot. There are people who would tell you to wear loose fitting clothes so that you can move freely, and there are some who would advice you to wear fitted clothes. You wanna know the truth? Wear fitted but comfy clothes. Example, you can choose maternity lines, and you can also opt for 2 to 3 sizes larger your regular size. My favorites were my partner’s ones. A cotton leggings and a cotton shirt. Or a skirt with a cotton tank top. Just make sure the garbs you pick are pure cotton, and soft.

7. High heels much?

Yes, you can wear high heels (you read it right, women!) but make sure you are one hundred percent comfortable in them. Doctors usually don’t allow heels in case you lose your balance and fall. But if you are a pro, and have a clear history of never falling down while dancing, running, cat walking in your stilettos, then go for it! But one thing I would advice, the safest shoes are flats, without a doubt, but if you have to wear heels, then go for wedges. They’ll keep your balance, and make you tall.

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8. No perfume? No deodorant?

Seriously? Well, you can’t stay stinky all day now, can you? Especially during the hot summer days, you are all sweaty… okay, I’ll stop. You can use deo, and please use perfume. I know they contain alcohol. The thing is you are not drinking your perfume, are you? No? Then it is absolutely safe to use it. The alcohol containing in a perfume evaporates into the air. It is exactly the same as using ethanol after drawing your blood for various medical tests.

9. Visit the movie hall while you can.

Many will refrain you from visiting the movie hall while you are pregnant. The reason being the surround systems, and the amount of loud sound the movie theaters will produce. They say it is bad for your baby’s hearing development. To be honest, I did watch Avengers in the theater. And my baby can hear better than me. Just make sure you sit in the middle of the hall, not on the sides where the speakers are the loudest. And you can watch movies as much as you want to. It is a great way to unwind your anxious you!

10. Stop reading too much pregnancy blogs!

These will drive you nuts. Just stick to one website that you think has enough information, and follow the updates every week. Not every day. Please! And don’t compare the weekly development of your baby and the website’s baby too seriously. Every baby is unique and has their own pace of development. What the websites provide are based on an average study. If your baby weighs less than the website’s given weight (or more), don’t panic. These are just to give you an idea of your weekly development. They are fun to read, and look at. Do this with your partner. Keep him in loop as well. And besides reading weekly development, why don’t you sit with a nice novel and read it? This is a great therapy to keep your mind off any anxiousness.

Pregnancy is an experience of a lifetime. We all should enjoy it as much as we can. Because when we’ll look back, even the little thing will make a wonderful memory. So, don’t let the silly advice blog your path of enjoyment. This is your first pregnancy, an experience to be a first time mom. So do what you like, see what you like, eat what you like. Doing a little research on certain topics isn’t harmful. But doing a lot of researches might put mountainous pressure on yourself. Relax, get enough sleep, get out, shop, hang out, eat, pamper yourself. These nine months are your months. You are on the limelight. Make use of it before the tiny human being(s) steals your show!

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Published on October 18, 2018

Reading for Kids: 17 Reasons Why It’s Important and Where to Start

Reading for Kids: 17 Reasons Why It’s Important and Where to Start

Reading is one of the most important activities that you can encourage your children to do. It’s entertaining, thought provoking, and absolutely critical to success later in life.

Being a proficient reader by the third grade is an integral factor in a child’s future success. Reading for kids is not just a fun pastime. It is the gateway to learning about other people, places, and ideas, with limitless possibilities.

Why Reading for Kids Is Important?

Develops Vocabulary and Language Skills

Before your kids are able to read on their own, it’s important to nurture a love for books early on. Reading aloud to them at a young age is a great way to promote verbal communication skills between parent and child.

As kids get older, we speak to them on a daily basis, but the vocabulary and topics that they are exposed to are limited and often repetitive. Reading books will improve your child’s vocabulary and expose them to different types of sentence structure, writing styles, and ways to express themselves.

Not only will your children’s reading comprehension improve over time, this will also have a positive effect on their writing and communication skills. For children who are bilingual or learning a second language, reading is an important component of attaining or maintaining fluency.

Encourages a Thirst for Knowledge

There are books written about any topic imaginable, many in a wide variety of reading levels.

When reading books, your kids will be introduced to a wide variety of topics, cultures, and ideas. They will realize how much knowledge is out there to be discovered and delve further into the subjects that interest them the most.

In many cases, they will be enjoying the content of the book so much that they won’t even realize they are gaining so much knowledge about a particular topic.

Increases Empathy

Children have a very narrow understanding of the world around them. This is due to the limited number of experiences that they have encountered, based on the circumstances in which they grew up.

Reading books about different types of people who have had a wide range of experiences allow kids to not only appreciate diversity but also to understand what it may be like being in someone else’s shoes.

Doing so will help them appreciate and empathize with people who have very little in common with them and help them develop into more well-rounded individuals.

The Best Form of Entertainment

In the current age, technology has become the go-to for entertainment for adults and kids. Although TV shows and kids apps like these can be a great resource for learning, books are a better choice every time.

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Rather than spending hours in front of a screen, encourage your kids to consider books as the default source of entertainment. Studies show that in families where reading was emphasized, the children are more likely to read independently and develop a passion for books in the long run.

Creates a Bond

There are multiple ways that reading creates a bond between parent and child. Starting from infancy, reading aloud promotes closeness and intimacy through spending time together and being physically close.

As your child gets older, you can continue to read aloud or read the same book separately and talk about the parts that you enjoyed the most.

Use reading as an opportunity engage and interact with your child, asking them about their thoughts on topics covered in the book or connecting the story to everyday life.

Exercises Their Brain

Reading requires more brain power than watching TV. When our kids read books, they utilize the part of their brain that deals with multi-sensory integrations, making connections between words and visual thinking.

For beginner readers, illustrations can be a useful tool to help them grasp the narrative and gain better comprehension. In the case of more advanced readers, they use their brain when gathering context clues to help them figure out words or phrases that are unfamiliar.

Reading also stimulates critical thinking, spurring kids to make connections between the book and real life and to form opinions about the story.

Improves Concentration

Reading a book requires focus and concentration, which are essential skills to work on, even for toddlers who have trouble sitting still.

Consistently reading books will help your kids practice quieting their minds and their bodies to focus on a task for a set period of time.

By taking away distractions and giving them space to read and understand, their attention spans and ability to concentration will greatly improve over time.

Sets Them up for Success in School and Life

There have been numerous studies that indicate reading books to children at an early age has a lasting effect on their success in school, which often directly correlates with success in the workplace.[1] But the benefits are not just limited to academic success.

Reading is a long-term learning experience that promotes growth, which will result in your children becoming more effective people overall – better spouses, bosses, and friends.

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Promotes Creativity and Imagination

When reading a story, our children create an image of how they perceive the story to look in their minds, using creativity and imagination. Every person sees a different image in their mind, and it may change each time the same book is read.

Reading also introduces new worlds, whether real or fictional, that we have never been a part of before. Immersing in the book allows your kids to imagine new experiences and scenarios that they never thought possible.

They will be able to bring these ideas into their play time and use their creativity to go beyond the limits brought on by their everyday lives.

Where To Start

Now that you are aware of the multitude of benefits that reading can provide for your kids, what’s the next step?

If your child has not yet developed a love for reading, it’s not too late to start.

1. Make Reading a Choice, Not a Chore

Don’t make reading a mandatory task or assigned chore. Encourage and remind your kids to read, but let them make the ultimate decision on when to read and for how long. Feeling like they are being compelled to read will inevitably take the joy out of the experience.

If you have a reluctant reader, try to figure out what the root cause of the reluctance is. If your kids are struggling with words, find a few books below their reading level to instill confidence in recognizing the words they DO know. Gradually transition to harder books until they are more eager to read voluntarily.

Another alternative is to try audiobooks. Hearing another person reading confidently is a great way to experience fluency, and they will be able to enjoy the book without having to stumble through it.

If the content is the issue, and they find reading to be boring, introduce them to different types of reading material (see below).

2. Suggest a Variety of Reading Material

Reading can come in so many forms and every type has something unique to offer the reader. If your kids are having trouble finding joy in reading, it may be because they haven’t found a genre that fits their interests.

Traditional books come in many genres, including mystery, history, biographies, fantasy, science fiction, and more. Some books are written in unique and fun styles, such as choose your own adventure books, diary novel, or epistolary novel.

If you are looking for reading material that is more visually stimulating, try a graphic novel, a magazine, or a travel book. Books are also great resources for learning a new skill. Joke books, magic books, and cook books are great examples of these.

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Don’t forget to show your kids the practical side of reading as well. Enlist their help in reading out the grocery list at the store or ask them to read recipe instructions when cooking in the kitchen together. All types of reading counts:

    3. Experience Books Firsthand

    As your kids read more books, they may start to imagine what it would be like if they were characters in the books. A great way to support their love for reading would be to help them depict their favorite parts of their book.

    Look up a recipe for butter beer (Harry Potter) or Turkish Delight (The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe) and make it together. Start planting a garden together after reading The Secret Garden.

    Another fun way to celebrate finishing a book is watching the movie interpretation of it. Seeing beloved characters come to life on screen is an easy way to enhance the enjoyment of reading.

    4. Be an Example

    You are the main person that your kids look up to. Kids love copying their parents and doing the things they observe their parents doing on a daily basis.

    Don’t just tell your kids to read often; show them by doing it yourself.[2] Actions speak louder than words.

    When you model your own love of reading and books and show them the joy it brings to your life, they will be inclined to feel the same way.

    5. Set Aside Time

    For a child with a busy schedule and so many other fun screen-filled activities to choose from, it can be difficult to purposely reserve time for reading.

    Make this decision a little easier by creating dedicated time that is just for reading. This can be just before bed, right after homework, or whatever time works best for your family’s busy schedule. This time can be used for read aloud time with your child or independent reading.

    6. Bring Books to Life

    Finding real life connections to the books that your kids are reading will extend the joy of the reading experience.

    Did your children just finish a book about life on the farm? Take them to visit a local farm and experience what they read about firsthand. Reading a book about planets and space can turn into a trip to the planetarium.

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    For a more memorable excursion, take a family trip out of the country, like visiting London after finishing the Harry Potter series.

    7. Make Books Accessible

    One of my favorite activities to do as a child was to go to the library. The vast number of books that were at my disposal made me so excited to read.

    Find a great library in your area to take your children and let them experience the magic of limitless possibility. Sign your kids up for their own library card and encourage them to take ownership of their reading adventure.

    Start a small collection of books at home so that your kids will always have books at their fingertips. Visit a bookstore, browse online, or sign up for a monthly book subscription. Getting access to new books on a regular basis will keep reading exciting and fun.

    8. Start a Book Club

    Having other people help you stay accountable is a great motivation to read more and to discover new books you may not have otherwise.

    Encourage your kids to start a book club, either with their peers or with you. Choose a book everyone would enjoy and set a deadline for getting together and discussing what each person thought of the book. The tangible due date is a great incentive to stay on track and read on a regular basis.

    The Bottom Line

    Fostering a love for reading in your kids is one of the greatest gifts you can give them.

    Reading books can transport them anywhere they could imagine, and the benefits that it provides for them in the short and long term are innumerable.

    Use these tips to actively encourage reading to be an enjoyable part of their lives, and it will be worth the effort.

    Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com

    Reference

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