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Pregnancy At Week 15

Pregnancy At Week 15

You and your unborn child will experience many changes throughout the entire nine month time period, and pregnancy week 15 is no exception. Here is what you can expect this week!

1. Week 15 Baby and Mother Growth Benchmarks

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    Your unborn baby will weigh approximately as much as an apple by the time you reach the 15th week. You might be surprised by how much your body has already changed when you consider that your child is only two-and-a-half ounces and about four inches long, but you should still have full mobility. Most women will not experience a lot of weight gain by this point either. However, your body is preparing to accommodate a much larger baby in the near future.

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    Meanwhile, the baby is beginning to be able to sense light. You can probably find out the baby’s gender at this stage, but it may still take a few more weeks to get a definitive answer. Either way, the lungs are beginning to develop air sacs, and taste buds are starting to form. Your child’s legs have outpaced their arms, and all of the limbs and joints can are now movable.

    2. Symptoms to Expect During Pregnancy Week 15

    The majority of women will stop dealing with morning sickness by pregnancy week 15, but do not be surprised if you still occasionally feel nauseated. At this stage, new symptoms may begin to develop that have nothing to do with your stomach. It’s relatively common for pregnancy hormones to cause dental issues such as gingivitis. This means that your gums may be swollen or red, and they could bleed or feel sensitive when you brush your teeth.

    Other symptoms that you can expect during the 15th week include varicose veins, a stuffy nose, headaches, round ligament pain, dizziness, faintness and the dreaded pregnancy brain. In most cases, none of these symptoms will lead to any serious issues. However, it is important to tell your doctor if you experience any severe round ligament pain. Additionally, you should sit, lie or kneel down immediately whenever you feel dizzy or lightheaded in order to protect yourself and your baby.

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    3. Pregnancy Week 15: Items of Concern

    Gingivitis is much more than just an irritant. If you fail to get this problem properly addressed, it could lead to issues such as preeclampsia and even premature labor. Although both of these potential complications are most likely to happen much later on, you need to take steps during the 15th week to protect your baby.

    4. Activities for Week 15

    As previously mentioned, your baby is beginning to sense light, even though their eyes are still fused shut. If you shine a flashlight toward your belly, you just might feel your baby move. This is also the perfect week to begin talking to your baby on a regular basis to initiate the bonding process. This can be anything from speaking directly to the child all the way to reading emails aloud.

    At this stage, it is normal for both soon-to-be parents to feel stressed out. Therefore, you should also set aside some time this week to do something relaxing as a couple. You could go on a date, take a candlelit bubble bath or even indulge in some adult coloring together. Ultimately, the activity itself does not matter as long as it is able to help both of you relax.

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    5. What to Expect When the Baby Moves

    You might not feel your baby move for a few more weeks even with the flashlight trick, but it is still a good idea to know what to expect. Be aware that he or she has been moving undetected by you for at least seven weeks already. Once you begin to feel it, you may initially assume that you are merely hungry or experiencing gas. Over time, though, the tapping or popcorn popping sensation will become more noticeable and distinguishable.

    6. Weight Gain Goals

    By pregnancy week 15, it is normal to have gained anywhere from nothing to 10 pounds. Most women have a difficult time putting on more than a few pounds by this stage because of the morning sickness that plagues them until the first trimester is over. However, now that you are able to keep food down, it is time to focus on gaining a healthy amount of weight for you and your baby.

    A good goal to shoot for is one pound per week from now until the baby is born. Do not be distressed if you gain a little less or more than this, though, as long as you average about four pounds a month.

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    7. Tips for a More Comfortable 15th Week

    Gas and bloating are very common by week 15, but you do not have to allow this to make you physically uncomfortable. Instead, avoid foods that are known to cause gas, including beans, broccoli, cabbage and anything that has been fried. You can also cut down on bloating and indigestion by eating several small meals per day. This may take more effort than making three larger meals, but your body will thank you for it.

    As you progress further into your second trimester, it will be time to tell everyone your big news if you have not shared this information yet. You will also want to read up on tips that will help you do everything from relieve lower back pain to continue having a pleasurable sex life throughout the rest of your pregnancy.

    Featured photo credit: Vladimir Pustovit via flic.kr

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    Holly Chavez

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    Last Updated on August 22, 2019

    14 Helpful Tips for Single Parents: How to Stay Sane While Doing it All

    14 Helpful Tips for Single Parents: How to Stay Sane While Doing it All

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, over 27% of children under the age of 18 are living with a single parent.[1] That’s over 1/4th of the U.S. population.There is a common misconception that children who grow up in single parent homes are not as successful as children living in two-parent homes.

    One crucial detail that was often left out of studies when comparing single and two-parent homes was the stability of the household. There is a correlation between family structure and family stability, but this study shows that children who grow up in stable single-parent homes do as well as those in married households in terms of academic abilities and behavior.

    But providing stability is easier said than done. With only one adult to act as a parent, some tasks are inherently more challenging. However, there are a few helpful things you can do to make the parenting journey a little easier for yourself and stay sane while doing it.

    1. Don’t Neglect Self-Care

    Before anything else can be done, you must be caring for your own needs adequately. Only when you are feeling well-rested and healthy can you be at your best for your children.

    Many parents tend to put their kids’ needs first and their owns last, but that will result in a never-ending cycle of exhaustion and feelings of inadequacy. Make time to eat regularly and healthfully, get plenty of rest, and squeeze in exercise whenever you can. Even a short walk around the neighborhood will help your body get much-needed movement and fresh air.

    Your children depend on you, and it’s up to you to make sure that you are well-equipped and ready to take on that responsibility.

    2. Join Forces with Other Single Parents

    At times, it may seem like you’re the only person who knows what it’s like to be a single parent. However, the statistics say that there are many others who know exactly what you’re going through.

    Find single parents locally, through your kid’s school, extracurricular activities, or even an app. There are also numerous online communities that can offer support and advice, through Facebook or sites like Single Mom Nation.

    Although single moms make up the majority of single parents, there are more than 2.6 million single dads in the U.S. A great way to connect is through Meetup. Other single parents will more than happy to arrange babysitting swaps, playdates, and carpools.

    Join forces in order to form mutually beneficial relationships.

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    3. Build a Community

    In addition to finding support with other single parents, also build a community comprised of families of all different types. Rather than focus solely on the single parent aspect of your identity, look for parents and kids who share other things in common.

    Join a playgroup, get plugged in at a church, or get to know the parents of the kids involved in the same extracurricular activities. Having a community of a variety of people and families will bring diversity and excitement into your and your kids’ lives.

    4. Accept Help

    Don’t try to be a superhero and do it all yourself. There are probably people in your life who care about you and your kids and want to help you. Let them know what types of things would be most appreciated, whether it’s bringing meals once a week, helping with rides to school, or giving you time to yourself.

    There is no shame in asking for help and accepting assistance from loved ones. You will not be perceived as weak or incompetent. You are being a good parent by being resourceful and allowing others to give you a much-needed break.

    5. Get Creative with Childcare

    Raising a child on a single income is a challenge, with the high cost of daycares, nannies, and other conventional childcare services. More affordable options are possible if you go a less traditional route.

    If you have space and live in a college town, offer a college student housing in exchange for regular childcare. Or swap kids with other single parents so that your kids have friends to play with while the parents get time to themselves.

    When I was younger, my parents had a group of five family friends, and all of the children would rotate to a different house each day of the week, during the summer months. The kids would have a great time playing with each other, and the parents’ job becomes a lot easier. That’s what you would call a win-win situation.

    6. Plan Ahead for Emergencies

    As a single parent, a backup plan or two is a must in emergency situations. Make a list of people you know you can call in a moment’s notice. There will be times in which you need help, and it’s important to know ahead of time who you can rely on.

    Look into whether or not your area offers emergency babysitting services or a drop-in daycare. Knowing who will be able to care for your child in the event of an emergency can relieve one potential source of anxiety in stressful situations.

    7. Create a Routine

    Routines are crucial for young children because knowing what to expect gives them a semblance of control. This is even more important when in a single parent home.

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    If the child travels between homes or has multiple caretakers, life can seem extremely chaotic and unpredictable. Establish a routine and schedule for your child as much as possible. This can include bedtime, before/after school, chores, meal times, and even a weekend routine.

    Having a routine does not mean things cannot change. It is merely a default schedule to fall back on when no additional events or activities are going on. When your children know what to expect, they will be less resistant because they know what to expect, and days will run much more smoothly.

    8. Be Consistent with Rules and Discipline

    If your child has multiple caretakers, such as another parent, grandparent, or babysitter, communicate clearly on how discipline will be handled. Talk to your ex, if you are sharing custody, as well as any other caretakers about the rules and the agreed-upon approach to discipline.

    When a child realizes that certain rules can be bent with certain people, he/she will use it to their advantage, causing additional issues with limits, behavior, and discipline down the road.

    This article may help you to discipline your child better:

    How to Discipline a Child (The Complete Guide for Different Ages)

    9. Stay Positive

    Everyone has heard the saying, “Mind over matter.” But there really is so much power behind your mentality. It can change your perspective and make a difficult situation so much better.

    Your kids will be able to detect even the smallest shift in your attitude. When the responsibilities of motherhood are overwhelming, stay focused on the positive things in your life, such as your friends and family. This will produce a much more stable home environment.

    Maintain your sense of humor and don’t be afraid to be silly. Look towards the future and the great things that are still to come for you and your family. Rediscover and redefine your family values.

    10. Move Past the Guilt

    In a single parent home, it is impossible to act as both parents, regardless of how hard you try. Let go of the things that you cannot do as a single parent, and instead, think of the great things you ARE able to provide for your children.

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    Leave behind the notion that life would be easier or better with two parents. This is simply not true. There is a multitude of pros and cons to all family dynamics, and the one you are providing for your kids now is the one that they need.

    Don’t get bogged down by guilt or regret. Take control of your life and be the best parent you can by being present and engaged with them on a daily basis.

    11. Answer Questions Honestly

    Your kids may have questions about why their home situation is different from many of their friends. When asked, don’t sugarcoat the situation or give them an answer that is not accurate.

    Depending on their age, take this opportunity to explain the truth of what happened and how the current circumstances came about. Not all families have two parents, whether that is due to divorce, death, or whatever else life brings.

    Don’t give more detail than necessary or talk badly about the other parent. But strive to be truthful and honest. Your children will benefit more from your candor than a made-up story.

    12. Treat Kids Like Kids

    In the absence of a partner, it can be tempting to rely on your children for comfort, companionship, or sympathy. But your kids are not equipped to play this role for you.

    There are many details within an adult relationship that children are not able to understand or process, and it will only cause confusion and resentment.

    Do not take out your anger on your kids. Separate your emotional needs from your role as a mother. If you find yourself depending on your kids too much, look for adult friends or family members that you can talk to about your issues.

    13. Find Role Models

    Find positive role models of the opposite sex for your child. It’s crucial that your child does not form negative associations with an entire gender of people.

    Find close friends or family members that would be willing to spend one-on-one time with your kids. Encourage them to form meaningful relationships with people that you trust and that they can look up to.

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    Role models can make a huge difference in the path that a child decides to take, so be intentional about the ones that you put in your kids’ lives.

    14. Be Affectionate and Give Praise

    Your children need your affection and praise on a daily basis. Engage with your kids as often as possible by playing with them, going on outings, and encouraging open dialogue.

    Affirm them in the things that they are doing well, no matter how small. Praise their efforts, rather than their achievements. This will inspire them to continue to put forth hard work and not give up when success is not achieved.

    Rather than spending money on gifts, spend time and effort in making lasting memories.

    Final Thoughts

    Being a single parent is a challenging responsibility to take on. Without the help of a partner to fall back on, single parents have a lot more to take on.

    However, studies show that growing up in a single parent home does not have a negative effect on achievement in school. As long as the family is a stable and safe environment, kids are able to excel and do well in life.

    Use these tips in order to be a reliable and capable parent for your kids, while maintaining your own well-being and sanity.

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    Featured photo credit: Eye for Ebony via unsplash.com

    Reference

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