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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 April 30, 2021

    35 Easy And Healthy Dinner Ideas For Kids

    35 Easy And Healthy Dinner Ideas For Kids

    Parents jokingly say that the most challenging part about raising kids is deciding what’s for dinner. While it’s funny, there’s also a lot of truth to it. Kids can be picky. They love something one day and despise it the next. They also don’t care if something is healthy or not. And good luck ever getting dinner “right” if you have more than one kid. More kids equal more opinions.

    What can busy parents do to get their kids to eat healthy meals? How can mealtime be easier?

    First, you might be wondering if new recipes will even help. Picky eaters are good at refusing anything and everything. Kid-friendly meals won’t be beneficial if your child isn’t open to new things. Even kids that aren’t overly picky tend to shy away from new foods. Ironically, they also hate eating the same things over and over.

    So, what’s the best way to overcome meal-time frustration? Make it fun! Distract kids with a bit of creativity. They’ll be more likely to eat if everyone is relaxed and enjoying the meal.[1]

    Before I dive into the 35 dinner ideas for kids, here are some tips for getting young kids to eat and break out of that dinner rut.(Mayo Clinic: Children’s Nutrition: 10 Tips For Picky Eaters))

    1. Make Breakfast for Dinner – Switch things up by serving breakfast for dinner. Kids will love the surprise. Use fruit, bacon, and sausage to make it more filling. Some days can be exceedingly rough, so oatmeal and fruit can even be an option.
    2. Involve Them – Kids love to help and will be more excited to try the food they helped make. Touching and seeing the ingredients during the process can help your child become more familiar with them and ease their uncertainty. The biggest benefit is you’ll be spending time together, not to mention the value of learning to cook.
    3. Do Dinner Buffet-Style – Set food and toppings out on the table buffet-style and allow kids to dish up their plates. What works well for a buffet?[2] Tacos, pancakes, pizza, nachos, finger foods and chili are just a few of the many ideas out there. Don’t be afraid to come up with your own.
    4. Creative Presentation – Turning a meal into art is another way to get kids interested. Nothing makes food more interesting than when it looks like a face, flower, or boat. Get creative with how you present the food!
    5. Have Fun With Themes – The options here are endless. You could base it on your child’s favorite characters or focus on a different culture, region, or even history. This is a great way to introduce your child to how and what others around the world eat.
    6. Bribery – Sometimes, parents have to resort to shameless bribery to get kids to eat. It’s okay to use a little extra motivation to get kids to try something new.[3] We all need a boost now and then. Avoid using dessert as a motive to eat dinner, but what are some harmless bribes to try? For instance, stickers, temporary tattoos, extra screen time or bedtime book.

    Now, let’s get to the dinner ideas. Meal planning is just one more thing to do in an already busy day. This list of dinner recipes for kids can help. Remember, you can always make modifications to fit any dietary needs. These recipes are a good starting point and can give your tired brain a boost of creativity.

    1. Cheeseburger Pasta

      Children love pasta and cheeseburgers, so mix the two for an irresistible dinner for kids. Make it even better by using fun pasta shapes like shells or rotini twists.

      Get the recipe for this instant classic here.

      2. Tacos on a Stick

        Sticks make everything better when you’re a kid—so, why would dinner be any different? This meal doesn’t get any easier, either, scoring major points with parents. All you need are bamboo skewers and a few simple ingredients.

        Get the recipe here.

        3. Nacho Pizza

          This is another creative twist on two classic meals most kids will quickly devour. Go as crazy or as simple as you want with this quick dinner.

          Find the recipe here.

          4. Gnocchi Chicken Skillet

            Pasta with a unique twist makes for a meal that kids will be curious to try. This one is so good, it might become a favorite for parents, too.

            Check out the recipe here.

            5. Hamburger Pizza

              Another mashup and more burgers, the hamburger pizza is just too good to pass up—all the flavors of a burger in the form of a childhood favorite.

              Go here for the recipe.

              6. Chicken Noodle Soup

                No list would be complete without this classic. Cheat a little by using rotisserie chicken, and have this soup done in under 30 minutes. Say goodbye to the canned version.

                Find the recipe here.

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                7. Hot Dog Roll-Ups

                  Refrigerated crescent rolls, hot dogs, cheese, and bacon come together for a dinner for kids that can’t get much quicker.

                  Find out how to make this fun hot dog dinner here.

                  8. Tater Tot Nachos

                    Not your every day nachos, this recipe uses tater tots as a base. You can use whatever toppings you know that your kid loves to improve it.

                    Check the recipe out here.

                    9. Muffin Tin Lasagna

                      Muffin tin lasagna is just like lasagna but smaller. It’s perfect for little fingers and faster to make than the original.

                      Get the recipe here.

                      10. Frito Pie Casserole

                        Frito chips add crunch to this quick Tex-Mex meal. To make it extra special, turn it into Tacos in a Bag by mixing everything into individual bags of chips.

                        Find the recipe for this delicious meal here.

                        11. Cheeseburger and Fries Casserole

                          Cheeseburger and rise casserole—two fast-food favorites combined into one flavorful casserole. Why eat out when you can have a quick, hot meal at home?

                          The recipe can be found here.

                          12. Meatball Submarine Casserole

                            This dinner for kids may be a little less messy than the sandwich, but they will still love the meatballs, melted cheese, and warm bread.

                            For a quick midweek meal, check out the recipe here.

                            13. White Cheddar Mac and Cheese

                              The best of comfort foods gets a quick upgrade. Kids will still enjoy this favorite while parents can appreciate the grown-up flavor of white cheddar.

                              Get the recipe here.

                              14. Turkey Ranch Wraps

                                Easy, delicious, fun, and fast—what could be better? This meal is also easy to pack, making it great for those hectic nights when you’re on the go.

                                Find the recipe here, and give it a try.

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                                15. Big Mac Pizza

                                  Just saying the words “Big Mac” will get little ears to perk up. A pre-made crust makes this dinner a fast answer to those mealtime frustrations.

                                  Go here to find out how to make it.

                                  16. Buttermilk Chicken Tenders

                                    Homemade yet easy to make chicken tenders—what gets better than that? Add a side of vegetables and fruit and you have a complete meal that kids will happily gobble up.

                                    Get this easy recipe here.

                                    17. Meatball Sliders

                                      Sliders are a great snack or dinner for kids—small hands, small sandwiches. Plus, the tiny size makes them more fun than the original.

                                      Try this recipe here.

                                      18. Ham and Cheese Pockets

                                        Don’t let the idea of making homemade dough keep you from trying this recipe. You’ll be glad you did when you see how simple it is. Everyone will love biting into a ham and cheese pocket made with fresh bread.

                                        The recipe can be found here.

                                        19. Dorito Taco Salad

                                          Swap out tortilla chips for Doritos and watch kids find a new interest in taco salad. Use single-serving bags as the bowl, add the toppings inside, and enjoy having to do fewer dishes.

                                          Get the recipe here.

                                          20. Spaghetti Nests

                                            Kids love spaghetti, but they’ll be surprised to see it as little “nests” they can eat with their fingers.

                                            Find out how to make them here.

                                            21. Mini Chicken Pot Pies

                                              With only four ingredients and done in half an hour, what’s not to love about this dinner idea for kids? Homemade doesn’t have to mean difficult.

                                              Get the recipe for this comfort food favorite here.

                                              22. Sandwich on a Stick

                                                Save the time slicing, spreading, and piling and instead, put everything onto a stick. Kids will love pulling each item off, and you’ll love the easy clean-up.

                                                Find the recipe here.

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                                                23. Tornado Dogs

                                                  The name alone might be enough to make kids eat these. Hot dogs on a skewer are wrapped in a swirl of bread dough, making this a fun new way to eat an old favorite.

                                                  The recipe can be found here.

                                                  24. Homemade Spaghettios

                                                   

                                                    Make your own healthy version of Spaghettios at home with this simple recipe. It’s cheap, simple, and you have control over the ingredients. You might never buy the canned version again.

                                                    Find the recipe for this childhood classic here.

                                                    25. Kitchen BBQ Chicken

                                                      You don’t need anything fancy for this meal, though it will taste like you put a lot of effort into it.

                                                      Find out how to make this quick version here.

                                                      26. Puka Dogs

                                                        Polish sausages or hot dogs are used in this Hawaiian recipe. Pineapple relish and mango mustard add tropical flavors, and Hawaiian rolls are used for the bread.

                                                        Get the recipe here.

                                                        27. Instant Pot Chicken and Dumplings

                                                          Almost everyone loves dumplings, and it’s a nice side dish or dinner for your kids. Add chunks of chicken and creamy gravy—what’s there to complain about?

                                                          Get the quick version of this all-time favorite here.

                                                          28. Chicken Alfredo Casserole

                                                            Casseroles make for an easy dinner for kids, and this is one you might find making over and over. Pair it with a salad and you have a delicious Italian meal without the fuss.

                                                            Get the recipe here.

                                                            29. Pizza on a Stick

                                                              Bamboo skewers switch up yet another meal. This time, pizza gets a makeover in this creative twist.

                                                              Find out how to make these here.

                                                              30. Pita Tacos

                                                                Instead of taco shells, this recipe uses pita bread. Kids will have fun filling the “pockets” with taco ingredients.

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                                                                Go here for this delicious recipe.

                                                                31. Copycat Instant Pot Hamburger Helper

                                                                  There’s something classic about Hamburger Helper, but now you can make it just as quickly from scratch. Noodles, ground beef, and sauce come together in this delicious instant pot meal.

                                                                  Get the recipe here.

                                                                  32. Cheese Fondue

                                                                    Fondues open up the door for creativity. Children might even have a few ideas for foods to dip into the cheese sauce. Pretzel bites, bread, vegetables, and meat make good options.

                                                                    Find more ideas and the recipe here.

                                                                    33. Egg in the Hole

                                                                      This recipe is one of those quick breakfasts that would make a great dinner for kids when you’re in a rush. Make it even better by using a cookie cutter to make a fun shape in the bread.

                                                                      The recipe can be found here.

                                                                      34. Instant Pot Egg Casserole Bites

                                                                        These casserole bites are filling and quick. The small size makes them easy to eat and their clean-up a breeze. Kids can add their favorite toppings, too. Cheese, peppers, sausage, and bacon are just a few options.

                                                                        Find out how to make this recipe here.

                                                                        35. French Toast Roll-Ups

                                                                          Sometimes, it’s the simple things that grab a kid’s attention. This french toast recipe is sure to be a dinner they love and one you don’t have to feel bad about making.

                                                                          Find the recipe here.

                                                                          My Kid Still Won’t Eat—Is This Normal?

                                                                          Remember that kids go through stages. There will be days when your child barely eats, and there will be days when the hunger seems nonstop.

                                                                          Focus on the big picture and ask yourself these questions:[4]

                                                                          • Is my child eating a variety of healthy foods over the course of the week?
                                                                          • Is my child undernourished or growing normally?
                                                                          • Is food (or lack of) interfering with my child’s quality of life?

                                                                          It might be time to see a doctor if you see signs of health problems due to pickiness or lack of eating. The problem may go beyond stubbornness and be a symptom of a medical issue.[5]

                                                                          Keeping Family Mealtime Stress-free

                                                                          The less stressed you are, the less stressed your child will be. Forcing food will make the experience negative, leaving kids less likely to experiment.

                                                                          Here are a few final tips on how to encourage positive eating habits that will follow your child through life:

                                                                          • Keep meals stress-free
                                                                          • Offer a wide variety of foods
                                                                          • Don’t force eating
                                                                          • Encourage older children to try new food at least three times
                                                                          • Set a good example by eating healthy, and being open to new foods yourself

                                                                          With a positive attitude, fun ideas, and new recipes, you can help your child learn to love new foods. You can start with these 35 dinner ideas for kids to help you out.

                                                                          More Kids’ Meals Ideas

                                                                          Featured photo credit: Karo Kujanpaa via unsplash.com

                                                                          Reference

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