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What Happens When You’re 40 Weeks Pregnant

What Happens When You’re 40 Weeks Pregnant

You have officially reached the end of the road. Finally! You are 40 weeks pregnant and ready to go any day now.

Continue reading to find out how big the baby is, what developments you both are going through, and some additional information that would be good for you to know this week!

At 40 weeks pregnant your baby is the size of a pumpkin!

All babies vary in size, but the average is about 7 1/2 pounds and around 20 inches long. That’s the size of a small pumpkin! Although your child has been doing a lot of growing and developing, their skull is not completely fused yet to allow for some give during his journey down the birth canal. This could lead to their head being somewhat cone shaped (but don’t worry, it’s only temporary!)

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pumpkin

    What your appointments are looking like

    You still have a few weeks left before you’re officially “post-term”, as due dates aren’t always 100% accurate. At this point you are seeing your doctor each week. They will be keeping an eye on you and your little one to assure you are both healthy, and that everything is going according to plan. You may need to get a bio-physical profile done to monitor your baby’s breathing movements, muscle tone, and level of amniotic fluid in your uterus. They will also probably be doing some fetal heart rate monitoring (or non-stress test).

    Your doctor will also do vaginal exams to see what position your cervix is in, if it is ripening, softening, effacing, and if you are dilating. If anything seems to be abnormal, such as having too little or too much amniotic fluid, you may be induced. If there are any serious concerns you could also have an immediate C-section. If you have not gone into labor on your own by 41-42 weeks they will more than likely prepare to induce.

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    Inducing labor – what to expect

    There are 3 main points that you need to understand if induction is a possibility for you.

    What does inducing labor actually mean?

    Basically, if you have not started going in to labor on your own, there are certain techniques and medications that your doctor can administer to you to help bring on (or “induce”) your contractions. An induction is only done when the risk of staying pregnant is higher than the risk of inducing. Once you have gotten a week or two beyond your due date you are at a higher risk of more serious complications. The placenta can also become less effective at delivering the nutrients your baby needs.

    How is labor induced?

    There are multiple factors that determine how your practitioner decides to induce your labor. Every individual situation is different. It is usually based on the condition of your cervix and the urgency of your induction.

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    If you have not yet started dilating, more than likely you will be admitted to the hospital and your doctor will begin your induction process by vaginally inserting medicine that contains prostaglandins. This medicine is meant to start ripening your cervix and stimulate contractions so that your labor can begin.

    If this medicine does not start your labor, your practitioner will then try a medicine called Pitocin (or Oxytocin) that is administered through an IV. This particular medicine is used to start labor by increasing the contractions you were already having. If your cervix was already ripe before the induction began, they may skip the prostaglandins and just start with the Pitocin.

    Can I do anything to induce labor on my own?

    If you are getting frustrated and want to try to kick-start labor on your own, there are a few methods you can try. However, there are not any methods that are proven to be both safe and effective, so make sure to consult your practitioner before you try anything.

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    • Herbal remedies: There are a few different herbs that are considered to be effective for inducing labor. The safety and effectiveness of these herbs are unknown. There have been instances of certain herbs that cause contractions that are too strong and last too long. There are also some that may not be safe for you or your baby. Due to these instances, some herbs are risky, so be careful if you’re thinking of taking this route.
    • Sexual intercourse: Although at 40 weeks pregnant you may not be feeling all that up to it, semen contains prostaglandins and having an orgasm can stimulate contractions. This, like all of the at-home induction methods, are not 100% effective, but this one is probably the most fun!
    • Nipple stimulation: Stimulating your nipples releases Oxytocin. While it may start your labor, more studies need to be conducted to determine if this is a safe method. There is the possibility of over-stimulating your uterus, and if that were to happen you and your baby would need to be monitored – so this is not the greatest method to try at home.
    • Castor oil is a strong laxative, and bowel movements can help to stimulate contractions. There are quite a few women who stand behind this method, although there is no scientific proof that this helps to induce your labor.

    Rest!

    This is the only activity that you absolutely NEED to be engaging in this week. Watch a movie, read, color (adult coloring book, anyone?), or just take some naps! If you are not taking the time to let your body rest, going into labor will prove to be an exhausting task (even more than it already is).

    Featured photo credit: Phallnn Ooi via flickr.com

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    Published on August 8, 2018

    How Guided Meditation for Kids Can Boost Learning and Social Skills

    How Guided Meditation for Kids Can Boost Learning and Social Skills

    Do you want the best for your kid? Of course you do!

    Boosting your kid’s learning ability and social skills in less than 20 minutes a day? That’s where guided meditation for kids comes in.

    You have probably heard a lot about meditation the last couple years. As there’s more and more research in the area of meditation, a lot of people finally start to see the benefits.

    A subject that’s not talked about too much is that meditation can also help kids grow incredible learning and social skills.

    Meditation for kids is becoming more popular every day as parents want their kids to see the benefits too.

    What is guided meditation for kids?

    First things first, what exactly is the guided meditation for kids that is talked about in this article?

    We can define meditation with the help of Headspace:[1]

    Meditation is about training in awareness and getting a healthy sense of perspective. You’re not trying to turn off your thoughts or feelings. You’re learning to observe them without judgment. And eventually, you may start to better understand them as well.

    And according to GuidedMind, guided meditation is:[2]

    Guided meditation is when you are guided, by a narrator, to elicit a specific change in your life. You are first guided to relax your body and mind, to help you reach a deep meditative state before going on a journey, in your mind, to reach a specific goal.

    If you want to get into guided meditation, read this:

    The Guided Morning Meditation for Beginners (That Will Change Your Day)

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    As you may know, there are a lot of variations on meditation. This includes:

    • Mindfulness, focusing on the breath while accepting everything that’s happening (thoughts, sounds, etc.).
    • (Guided) Visualization, visualizing a particular event, environment, feeling, etc.
    • Heart Rhythm Meditation (HRM), focusing on the breath and the heart while feeling at one with everything. A focus on downward energy flow within the body.
    • Transcendental Meditation (TM), this technique is literally about transcending the negative through internal mantras.
    • Qi Gong, this is a form of meditation that is done through specific movement patterns while focusing on the breath.
    • Kundalini focuses on the upward flow of energy within the body. Focusing on that energy with your breath gives you a higher sense of consciousness.
    • Zazen, sitting with a back straight while focusing on deep breaths.

    You can find out more about different forms in this article:

    17 Types of Meditation (Techniques and Basics) to Practice Mindfulness

    All these forms of meditation can be done individually or guided. Guided meditation for kids is the best choice because it will make it easier for them to follow and understand.

    The benefits of meditation for kids

    There are a lot of benefits meditation has to offer, but the most important benefit is that it relieves stress. In this time and age, this becomes more important than ever.

    (Post-)millennials are dealing with a lot of stress due to the amount of work pressure, opportunities (decision making) and student loan debt (which results in wanting early financial success).[3]

    Making sure children are stress resistant is of high importance for the future of their lives.

    Of course, there are way more benefits to meditation. So, to convince you further; here follow more benefits to meditation.

    There are precisely 76 benefits to meditation which are scientifically proved.[4] But the main benefits of meditation are:

    • Improved concentration[5]
    • Increased happiness[6]
    • Slows down the aging process[7]
    • Increased immunity[8] and cardiovascular health[9]
    • Improved mood and brain power

    Here I’m going to look into some of meditation’s benefits that parents care about most:

    Boost learning ability

    The question is: ‘How does meditation for kids improve learning ability?’

    There are, of course, multiple answers but there’s one simple answer; concentration. As you read earlier on in this article, meditation improves the ability to concentrate.

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    If the ability to concentrate increases, it will lead to an increased attention span which is one of the factors that affect learning.

    By implementing guided meditation into your kids’ life; he/she will become a better learner.

    Another reason to increase the attention span of your child beside learning is that our average attention span per person is decreasing exponentially because of all the distractions that we have around us.

    The more we let distractions in, the less easy it becomes to really focus on something. This is because it takes us 23 minutes to get into something after being distracted.[10]

    Improve social skills

    The way meditation for kids improves the social skills of the meditator is through the sense of presence it creates.[11] Being present in a conversation is more important than you may think.

    Do you know those people who are just way up in their head which makes it hard to have an in-depth conversation with?

    They probably don’t meditate.

    By being present in a conversation, you can better understand the person you’re talking to. Not being carried away by your thoughts makes it easier to process the information the other is providing. Including non-verbal signs, you may never have noticed if you weren’t present.

    Meditation for kids also improves charisma because of the loving nature that grows from meditating. Especially the kindness and gratitude focused forms of meditation for kids. By being more kind and grateful; your kid will increase in charisma and feeling of interconnectedness which will improve social skills.

    Last but not least, implementing guided meditation for kids in the form of guided meditation by you (the parent) will likely improve the relationship between you and your child.

    This creates the opportunity to educate your child on specific social skills you’ve picked up and the other way around. Also, a child is very dependent on its environment.

    By increasing social skills yourself, you will improve the social skills of your child.

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    How to get started with guided meditation for kids

    Below follows a step-by-step process on how to implement guided meditation for kids into your kids’ life.

    Step 1: Do it yourself first

    Have you ever tried learning Spanish from someone who doesn’t speak Spanish? No, because it doesn’t make sense!

    This is the same for meditation for kids. If you want to teach your kid how to meditate, you will first have to do it yourself.

    Pick a form of meditation for kids you think would work best and get the hang of it. Follow guided meditation via YouTube or any platform you like.

    Suggestions: Visualization meditation, body scan meditation or simple mindfulness.

    There’s an easy guide on meditation you can do anywhere at any time:

    The 5-Minute Guide to Meditation: Anywhere, Anytime

    Step 2: Expose your kid to the practice

    By exposing your kid to the practice without him/her knowing, its intention will raise their curiosity. This makes it easier to convince them afterward.

    Meditate in the presence of them; put your earplugs in and start meditating while they are around. When they talk to you or touch you while you’re meditating, keep meditating until they walk away.

    When you’re done, you can explain what you were doing and why you were doing and ask to do it together. Explain it in a way, so they understand it.

    Here’s an article that will help you explain mindfulness to your kid:

    Mindfulness: What it is and How to Explain it to Kids and Adults

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    Tip: Make it sound like it’s very special (which it is) so that they’ll grow their curiosity and excitement even more.

    Step 3: Do it together

    Now that you have the interest of your child and know the essence of meditation you can finally do it together. Guide them through the meditation or put on the meditation you followed before.

    Make it a fun and enjoyable experience for your child at first while keeping the essence of meditation in mind.

    As you and your child progress you may want to make it more serious.

    Step 4: Let your child express himself/Herself entirely

    You will get a lot of insights about your feelings and thoughts through meditation. Your child will also experience these things and may want to express it.

    Ask your child after the meditation what he/she experienced or felt. Let them get rid of everything that’s bothering them.

    Step 5: Be consistent

    As you do it more frequently; you will build a habit for you and your kid that will benefit you both. Reward them after each meditation.

    Make it a fun experience instead of something they must do. Don’t push it.

    Step 6: Be calm and let it be

    Again, don’t push it and don’t expect anything. You want to get your child into meditation for kids so he/she can benefit from it in the long run. But you can’t decide for your kid if he/she wants it or not.

    You will have to educate yourself first before you can train your child. Read books or articles about meditation for kids and try your best.

    Conclusion

    Here’s a summary of the key points you have learned by reading this article:

    • You now know what (guided) meditation for kids is.
    • You know why it’s so important to include (guided) meditation into your and your kids’ life.
    • You know how (guided) meditation for kids helps improve the learning ability of your kid.
    • You know how (guided) meditation for kids helps improve the social skills of your kid.
    • You have the steps you can follow to implement meditation for kids into your kids’ life.

    Good luck and start meditating with your kids!

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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