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Pregnancy At Week 32

Pregnancy At Week 32

What Size Is The Baby In Pregnancy Week 32?

By far the best part is finding out the size of that little baby in your belly, so without further adieu: Coconut. Get out!? You are doing fantastic! That means the baby is getting to be about 19 inches long and almost four pounds.

What Does Baby Look Like?

That little baby is starting to get a little bit of fat forming under the skin. That helps to give the skin less of a transparent look. In addition to giving those sweet baby rolls.

Hopefully the baby has settled into a head down position. If the baby is head up the doctor may refer to this as being breech. Less than 5 percent of babies will end up staying in breech position by the time the show is on the road for birth. That means that you should not worry, mama.

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Baby is in a curled position at this point as the space starts to get a little tight. Who knew in pregnancy week 32 room would start getting sparse?

What Else Is Happening To Baby This Week?

There is a lot of practicing going on this week. The baby is working on swallowing and sucking. There is some practice with breathing and kicking. Don’t ask me why he/she needs to practice kicking. You’re the parent. What are you teaching?

Baby’s sleep cycles are about 20 to 40 minutes long at this time.

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What is Going on With Mom?

Braxton Hicks contractions may have found their way into your life. This is your body flexing muscles in preparation for pushing that baby out. The feeling is like a hardening or bunching of your uterus. The frequency usually picks up as you get closer to the day of the birth. Think of these as a warm-up. Something to keep in mind if this isn’t your first birth, these contractions will usually start earlier and have more intensity in women that have had more babies.

If the contractions continue after changing position then they could be the real things. Additionally if they get stronger and more regular that is another sign that this could be a preterm labor situation. Call your provider for direction on how to proceed.

You may find that you are getting stretch marks. Try not to bet to upset. I read somewhere that up to 90% of women get them. That means that you have a lot of good company if you do. If you don’t … well keep that to yourself.

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Ultra Sound Photos

Are you aware that until recently ultrasound photos were not available in 3D or 4D options? That you had to go to the doctor to have them done? If you would have told me a couple years ago that you could get all these things done I would be shocked. This can be beneficial or it can be a less desirable thing as you will see in the following paragraph.

The ultrasound was traditionally a prenatal tool for quite a few years. This tool allowed doctors to do measurements and to see any problems prior to birth. The measurements include those of the baby, measurements in amniotic fluid, and where the placenta is located. Knowing this information can help plan for a safe birth.

Nowadays they are still used for that, but they are also available for a quick peak into the womb to see how things are. The FDA does warn against having the ultrasound done just for “fun.” There is greater power involved in a 3D machine than the regular one. Additionally when an untrained ultrasound tech does them, they are unable to give as much info. This can create some worry for the mother. Or if the mother sees something on the screen she can unduly worry over normal things. The best rule of thumb would be to check with your provider before getting one of these scans in order to verify that it is ok.

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Activities to Try

Dream Journal

This could be very entertaining later on. Your dreams are being affected by the hormones from pregnancy and you may find you have some pretty vivid dreams. This will be fun to review in the future.

Eat Regular Snacks

You might find that you aren’t hungry now that it’s so crowded in your belly. Snacking will keep your energy up while not overfilling you up. Big meals could make you uncomfortable.

Learn the Signs of Early Labor

Water breaking is going to be a big one. There are the period-like cramps, bleeding, diarrhea, and the tightening feeling in your uterus.

Belly Fun

Make a cast of that beautiful belly. Are there any holidays near by that you can paint a scene on your belly for?

For more detail information please go to the What To Expect website by clicking the link provided here.

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Published on May 7, 2021

20 Energizing Brain Breaks For Kids

20 Energizing Brain Breaks For Kids

From coaching martial arts to children as young as four years old, I very quickly came to the understanding that if I wanted to help kids progress their skills, I needed to find a way to help them focus more consistently in my class.

There are two key ways I found when it came to improving my students’ level of focus:

  1. Make what we’re doing more interesting. Nothing is off the table here—from having ninja clowns on the rampage in a lesson to including popular games with a martial arts theme, tapping into the student’s love of fun to help them focus.
  2. Introduce brain breaks.

Brain breaks are small mental breaks that help the kids stay more focused. Think of the brain as a fuel gauge that shows the information you can consciously hold in your mind at any given moment. When the kids are focused and working hard on their tasks, the meter is usually full. They can easily concentrate and pass experiences into their long-term memory.

But when the needle starts to drop, you may observe that your kids are feeling anxious or looking restless. New information, experiences, and knowledge are not getting processed from the staging area or working memory into the long-term memory.[1]

It’s here that brain breaks make the most difference, as they allow us to “top-up the tank” or reset the gauge so that we can continue to learn and focus and at a higher level.

If you’ve been home tutoring, you’ll appreciate that brain breaks can help kids in many ways. They can reduce stress and frustration. Think of those times when you’re helping your kids solve a difficult problem. It’s taxing for you both and when compounded with the energy loss after a day at school or watching TV. The stress effect can be compounded, and it’s here that brain breaks can be a lifesaver.[2]

The following is a selection of brain break ideas for kids. You’ll see that some are physical activities while others are more relaxing. It’s always great to test them out to see which ones connect the best with your children.

It’s okay to repeat the same brain breaks. Having a clear name and mission to a break can help keep your child excited, knowing that they’ll have the opportunity to take part in a future round of the activity.

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Active Brain Breaks

Here are some active brain breaks for kids that you can try out.

1. Swapsies

Have the participants stand behind a chair. Call out a character trait, like “everyone with brown eyes.” You then swap places with someone else who has the same characteristic. If you have nothing that matches, you stay put!

Examples: “Everyone with trainers on.” “Everyone who is left-handed.” “Everyone who is wearing yellow.”

2. Dance Party

Put five or six different types of songs on Spotify, including a classic like “baby shark or the hamster dance.” Dim the lights if possible and have the kids dance to the tunes. Then, change the tunes and change the dance style. It’s silly and fun.

3. Freeze Dance

Similar to Dance Party except that when the music stops, students have to stay perfectly still until the music restarts. You can make this even more fun by trying to make the students smile. If they smile, they are out and have to sit down.

4. Keep It Up

Students must keep a balloon from touching the floor. You can add multiple balloons. You can make it more competitive by having different balloons of two different colors and split people into teams. Whoever keeps the balloons up the longest or the team with the most balloons in the air with a timer of 60 seconds wins.

5. Simon Says

This brain break for kids is an old favorite. You can also mix it up with martial arts moves, Fortnite dances, superhero moves, etc.

6. Animal Movement

Move like different animals. It’s fun for younger children. We use Flamingo where you stand on one leg, crawl like a bear, stand like a meerkat, run like a cheetah, and walk like a penguin.

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7. Find It Fast

“Find It Fast” is a scavenger hunt variation. Call an item out in the room and kids have to stand by it. For example, find a clock, find something with a face, find something smelly, find some money, find a phone, etc.

8. The Frog

Physical Challenges can be excellent fun. We have one in the martial arts class called “The Frog” where you squat like a frog, then lean forward so your head and feet are off the floor. These are all old yoga poses, so have a look through a booklet or website for some safe ideas. Other examples are grabbing your nose with your left hand and touching your knee with your right elbow.

9. Pizza Delivery Time

Give the students paper plates and tell them to hold the plates above their head on a flat hand. They then run around the room and try to keep the plate in their hand. You can make it more challenging by having other students try to knock others’ plates off. There’s usually a 3-star jump penalty if your plate touches the floor.

10. Limbo

We use martial arts belts and the students take turns going underneath the belts. Fun music creates an awesome atmosphere here.

11. Human Knot

Split the group of people and have everyone link hands under and over. That’s making knots between everyone in the group. Have the other students try to untangle them and return everyone back into a circle.

12. Feather Balance

This brain break for kids works well with gentle music, and you can use a balloon or a straw if you don’t have a feather handy.

13. Stack them high

The students should have plastic cups and paper squares. The goal is to make a tower as high as possible, or it could be to make a triangle or even a pyramid.

Relaxing Brain Breaks

We talked about brain breaks for kids that are being used to energize the students. But they can also be used to calm and relax them. We’re more familiar with the term mindfulness, but it’s the same idea. These are brain breaks for kids that reduce stress and anxiety.

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14. Meditation

Meditation

is a popular way to reduce anxiety. There are lots of great examples already pre-recorded on YouTube that you can follow along with. Below is a useful classroom meditation example.

15. Kaleidoscope

Kaleidoscopes are fun ways to relax. They are mesmerizing and like a peaceful vortex that sucks you into them. Below is a great example of a visual online one you can use.

16. Reading/Listening to a Story

When I surveyed the members of our martial arts club about how their kids employ brain breaks at home, there was a clear winner among the families—listening to a story or reading a story. The feedback was that the process of daydreaming a little helps the kids to recharge. But it goes without saying that the story needs to be engaging.

17. Doodling

My personal favorite way to brain break as a kid was to doodle. Doodling gives your child a few minutes to draw anything they want. It can be calming for them, and it’s a lot more fun if you have different types of pens or crayons available to use. Add some soft music, and you have a simple way to take some time to relax.

18. Coloring Sheets

Coloring sheets are another way to relax the mind. There’s lots of great coloring in pads available, but here are some links to public resources shared on the internet that are great examples.

19. Deep Breathing

Deep breathing

is an epic way to help your child slow down. It is a quick way to relieve anxiety so that they feel more ready for the next task ahead.

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Try this: put your hands on your tummy, breathe in through the nose, and feel your belly expand like a balloon. Hold it here, then slowly breathe out through the mouth while feeling your stomach get smaller. Repeat this 10 times. Use the following counts: breath in for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, and breath out for 4 seconds.

20. Going Outside

Go outside was the second most popular response from our parent’s survey about brain breaks for kids at home. Fresh air always feels nice. You can combine this with a treasure hunt, looking for different colored cars, types of birds, or even types of trees, if you’re familiar with these.

My personal favorite is using a mushroom spotting app on our phones and finding a mushroom or toadstool, then using the app to identify its name. This is surprisingly engaging for children. But a few safety rules about not touching them is important. It gives kids a change of scenery and helps revitalize the senses, providing a welcome break from their homework.

How Often Should You Introduce Brain Breaks?

The key to brain breaks is their timing. If you can introduce them before you notice that your kids are entering deep fatigue or their loss of focus has set in. You’ll find a great balance between breaks and effort.

I’ve observed from my martial arts coaching that younger students have a smaller amount of working memory than older kids. My formula is for five minutes of technical training, we provide five minutes of brain breaks for students under seven years old. Plus, we coach to 15 minutes of training to five minutes of brain breaks for children under 12 years.

Final Thoughts

Implementing calming brain breaks for kids is a really efficient way of introducing brain breaks. You have a quick way to allow your students to learn about regulating themselves. Balancing their mind and energy is a useful skill, and you can take this with you everywhere you go.

Our martial arts center revolutionized our approach to coaching by using brain breaks for kids. We found that although we were teaching less technical skills, there was now consistent progress from the students. Plus, everyone was less anxious, happier, and are having more fun. This is a win overall.

If you’ve been having challenges with your kids focusing at home, maybe try a mixture of the calming and active breaks to see which types work best for your kids.

Featured photo credit: Robert Collins via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] SimplyPsychology: Working Memory Model
[2] BrainFacts.org: Kids Need Brain Breaks — And So Do Adults

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