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Pregnancy At Week 36

Pregnancy At Week 36

When you reach week 36, you will most likely only have a couple more weeks to go until you meet your newborn child. Before that happens, there are a few things you need to know about the stage of week 36 pregnancy.

Baby’s Growth by Week 36

Romaine Lettuce

    The 36th week is a big one in terms of your baby’s physical development. By this point, your daughter or son weighs approximately six pounds and is more than a foot-and-a-half in length. To help you better envision these dimensions, your baby is about as a tall as a head of romaine lettuce.

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    Your soon-to-be newborn is also undergoing some necessary changes to prepare to exit the womb. A waxy substance known as vernix caseosa has protected his or her skin up until now, but it is starting to shed away. Additionally, your baby’s body will start shedding the downy hair that has covered their entire body.

    Week 36 Pregnancy: The Mother’s Body

    By the time you enter the week 36 pregnancy stage, your baby will be taking up a lot of room inside your body! Because of this, it is common to have a difficult time eating large meals. Instead, focus on eating several smaller meals throughout the day in order to provide you and your almost newborn with enough nutrition.

    Some women experience a sensation known as lightening during the 36th week. This is most common with first-time mothers, and it can give you some much-needed relief from heartburn. On the other hand, it is not unusual for the baby to drop far enough this week that women begin feeling a lot more pressure in their lower abdomen. If this happens, you may need to urinate even more frequently. It is also possible that you will start having difficulty walking this week.

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    Common Symptoms During Week 36

    One of the most common issues that women deal with during the 36th week is an increase in Braxton Hicks contractions. These contractions can fool you into thinking that you have gone into labor, but there is one big thing that sets them apart: Braxton Hicks contractions do not become steadily more intense and closer together, unlike the real thing.

    Even though they will not lead to the birth of your child, Braxton Hicks contractions can still be painful and uncomfortable. If this happens to you, there are several techniques you can utilize to relieve the pain. For example, changing positions may make the pain stop. Please note that this method will not work if you are in true labor, so this is something to try if you are uncertain. You can also drink two glasses of water, take a warm bath, or do some deep breathing to relieve the pressure of false contractions.

    Week 36 Activities

    The vast majority of women give birth between the 38th and 40th week of their pregnancy, so it is definitely time to start preparing. You should not travel any long distances this week. Even if an emergency situation arises, you may find it difficult to find an airline that is willing to let you board this close to going into labor.

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    If you have not already built a phone tree for spreading information after you go into labor, now is the time to do so. Get people involved so that you or your partner only need to make one or two calls in order to let everyone know.

    You may also wish to start putting together an overnight bag for the hospital. After all, your baby could technically come at any point during the next four weeks. Right now, any birth would be considered early, but not pre-term. In fact, you are only about a week away from having a full-term baby.

    When Should I Go to the Hospital?

    Because it is possible to go into true labor this week, it is important to have a good understanding of when you should seek medical attention. Pay close attention to any contractions that you experience so that you can determine whether or not they are the real thing versus Braxton Hicks. If your contractions become closer together, longer, and more painful, you have entered the first stage of labor. You will be able to ride out most of this stage in the comfort of your own home, but you will know that you are officially in the transition between stage one and stage two when your contractions start lasting at least a minute and have gaps of only two to three minutes. When this happens, it is time to be at the hospital or in the presence of your midwife!

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    Now that you know more about what to expect throughout your 36th week of pregnancy, it is time to make sure your house is ready for its new occupant. Your baby will have many needs during the first year, including a crib, diapers, clothing, and a car seat. Acquiring these items in advance will make your life much easier when it is time to bring your newborn home.

    Romaine Lettuce Photo Credit: Forest and Kim Starr via flic.kr 

    Featured photo credit: David Veksler via flic.kr

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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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