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Pregnancy At Week 30

Pregnancy At Week 30

Now that you are in your third trimester, your baby is becoming more real to you every day. Your growing belly is a sign that your baby is developing swiftly and preparing to enter the bright and beautiful world.

Here are some of the things you can expect during week 30 of your pregnancy:

Your Baby during Pregnancy at Week 30

By now, your baby is almost fully developed! Your little one now probably weighs a hefty three pounds and is gaining weight steadily.

It is not just your baby’s body that is growing quickly now. Your baby’s brain is really beginning to develop. Before now, your baby’s brain had a smooth surface. But now that they are getting ready to leave the safety of the womb, the grooves that signal brain development is beginning to happen.

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These indentations and groves show that your baby is starting to produce more brain tissue. This brain tissue will allow your baby to really begin to develop all of the traits that they need to survive once they have left the comfort of their mother’s belly.

The baby is now regulating his own body temperature. Until now, your baby kept their temperature stable with downy hair that covered their body. But since the brain cells and new fat cells are developing, your baby does not need that extra hair anymore. Though, you may notice that there is a little bit left when your baby is born.

Although this is a change that you cannot see, your baby is now creating their own red blood cells. This is important because your baby needs these red blood cells to survive in the outside world. Until now, your baby’s spleen or other tissues were producing these cells. But at this stage in the pregnancy, your baby’s bone marrow is now taking care of this task. This is a real sign that your baby is getting ready to be born!

Even if your baby was born now, there is a great likelihood that your little one would be happy and healthy after time in a special care unit.

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Your Body during Pregnancy at Week 30

Your belly is probably feeling pretty large by now but take heart, this just means that your baby is doing well! Being unable to tie your shoes is pretty normal and you may have a bit of a pregnancy waddle.

You may or may not feel like it, but it is okay to keep having sex at this point. Unless your doctor has said otherwise it is safe to continue to have intercourse. But don’t be afraid if your sex life takes a hiatus. Sometimes it is less a case of a lack of desire and more about figuring out to have sex. If you’re not ready to quit, feel free to experiment.

Common Symptoms

Your growing belly might upset your skin. Stretch marks are common and itchy skin is not unheard of during this time.

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You may also find that your belly is having an impact on your breathing. This may feel uncomfortable but don’t worry. In most cases, your baby’s growth is causing your uterus to put pressure on your diaphragm. This should take care of itself in a few weeks when your baby begins to drop.

Tips

If you are having skin problems, you can try moisturizers or lotions to help relieve this. If nothing is working, ask your doctor about alternatives that a safe to use during pregnancy.

Things to Do in Week 30

Although you have a few more weeks, your baby could actually arrive at any time and you need to be ready. This is a great time to pack a hospital bag with everything that you need for the delivery. Keep it in a safe place where you can easily find it should your baby decide to make a surprise entrance. It’s certainly not a time to be planning a trip to Amsterdam or anywhere else!

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This is also the time to begin those childbirth classes. Ideally, you will have graduated from this course by the end of week 36. In these classes, you will learn about how to recognize labor and about the different stages of labor. You will also learn how to make yourself more comfortable and how to relieve pain.

If you do not already have a birth plan, this is the time to create one. You also need to make sure that you have everything you need to get yourself to and from a hospital or wherever you plan to give birth. This means having a carrier, a car seat and plenty of other gear to get your little one to his new home safely. But do not just buy a car seat! Make sure it is set up and ready to go.

As you prepare to meet your little one, do not worry about being nervous. At week 30, you are almost at the end of your pregnancy. Savor every moment, even the uncomfortable ones, and remember that your life is about to change for the better!

Featured photo credit: Big D2112 via flickr.com

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Published on December 14, 2018

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: Bruno Nascimento via unsplash.com

Reference

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