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Ready for a Baby? 4 Essential Projects for New Parents

Ready for a Baby? 4 Essential Projects for New Parents

Expecting your first baby is scary. No matter how much you read and learn about what you might expect, you might still feel like Alice in Wonderland. Well, experience is what counts here and there is not a thing than can replace it, so just take things slow and everything will fall into its place in time.

However, you can prep the environment around you by taking certain steps. Everyone believes that babies are expensive, but the truth is they really don’t have to be. New parents are guided with “only the best for my baby” and that is the only way to go, but the best doesn’t have to be the most expensive. So, go through the next projects and see what you can do without breaking the bank.

Bad Habits? Quit them

There are two reasons why new parents really need to focus on this little project. First of all, it’s not healthy for a child to be around people who have bad habits – it can damage them physically and mentally and your child’s health is a priority. Secondly, bad habits are a black hole that sucks in money and you will cut your costs in half by getting rid of them.

Finally, this is also the time to think about your own health – in order to take care of your baby, you need to be absolutely healthy and full of energy and bad habits won’t get your there.

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Unsafe Home? Start Babyproofing

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    There’s a mistake new parents often make when it comes to baby proofing – due to a lack of experience they go to the store, get confused by all the items and purchase everything because the nice lady in the store told them they needed it.

    You don’t. Most security measures can be applied using things you already have at home. For starters, you need to secure your appliances by tying them down to furniture and you need nothing more than a strong thread to do it. While you’re at it, fasten all cords and move them out of sight – once again, a piece of string and some tape will do.

    Probably the most important thing to do is moving dangerous substances like medications and cleaning products out of range – an hour or two of moving objects and making a new schedule around your home will do it.

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    It really is as simple as that – create a list of things you need to do and take your time doing it. Shops really do take advantage of new parents that are confused and that’s something you shouldn’t allow.

    No Money? Do the magic

    Parents really are magical – once the baby is born and until it grows up (and after that happens), you will need to come up with various solutions that will seem impossible to conduct at the present time, but you will do it anyway. These supernatural skills will develop in time and you should start working on them before the baby is born.

    There’s a really important secret I’d like to share with mothers to be who don’t have health insurance – you can cut your bill significantly. How, you ask? Just go down to the hospital and ask someone to give you a list of things that are usually included in the delivery bill and simply exclude the things you don’t need. If everything goes well, you can even leave the hospital a day earlier, which will really make a difference in pricing.

    Speaking of bills – having someone throw a baby shower for you will get you many things new parents need and people will be more than happy to help out.

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    There’s one important thing you really will be grateful for having and it be worth every penny you pay for it – a good stroller. So, make sure to do your research before purchasing one.

    Another magical rule is to stay away from branded items, because the fact is that you’re paying for the brand name as well, not just the product. The best friends of new parents are discounts, so dedicate some time every day (half an hour will do) to browsing through online stores.

    Ready for DIY? Roll Up Your Sleeves

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      The fact that a new baby will require some funding doesn’t mean you must or should neglect your home. The aesthetics of your surroundings can have a calming effect on your mind, and it’s up to you to welcome your newborn and enable it to grow up in a loving and beautiful home.

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      Other than developing supernatural skills, you can and should work on your DIY skills. You will be amazed with what you can do with items that most homes have and several useful tools. This inexpensive way to beautify your home can be very entertaining and perhaps even become a family activity in time. You know where to start – online browsing through simple yet gorgeous DIY projects and reading about various methods to complete them is the way to go.

      Nine months may seem like enough time to prepare for everything but they will fly by, trust me. Just stay positive, take your time with each task you set in front of you and you’ll be just fine. Congrats to new parents!

      Featured photo credit: https://www.pexels.com/u/josh-willink-11499/ via pexels.com

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      Published on March 13, 2019

      What Makes A Great Place to Work Whilst Pregnant

      What Makes A Great Place to Work Whilst Pregnant

      Among women who had their first child in the early 1960s, just 44% worked at all during pregnancy. The latest figures show that 66% of mothers who gave birth to their first child between 2006 and 2008 worked during their pregnancy.[1]  It also showed that about eight-in-ten pregnant workers (82%) continued in the workplace until within one month of their first birth which has vastly increased from 35%. It is clear to see form the statical trends that more women are choosing to continue working through, and late into, pregnancy.

      Unlike other developed world countries, the USA does not mandate any paid leave for new mothers under federal law,[2] though some individual employers make that accommodation and it is mandated by a handful of individual states. Finding what makes a great workplace whilst pregnant can alleviate stress and provide more stability for you and your family. 

      In this article, you will discover exactly the best places to work whilst pregnant.

      How Difficult Is It to Work Whilst Pregnant?

      Many people strive to find and attain good jobs. For pregnant women, however, that process is often especially challenging. After all, you’ll face extra obstacles that are unique to expectant mothers.

      If you are pregnant and need a job, then you’re definitely not alone. You are also not alone if you’re already employed and want to find a new job that is more family-friendly. Changing jobs while pregnant is something that many women consider, especially when they realise that their current positions may not be suitable for pregnancy or offer the benefits or flexibility that they’ll soon need. 

      Getting a job while pregnant may not be the easiest thing in the world to do, but it is possible.

      You can look for employment opportunities that don’t require too much physical exertion and that won’t cause you much emotional stress. Also, look for jobs that come with the chance to work flexible hours, offer good medical benefits, allow you to take time off as needed, and don’t require a long commute. In addition, it’s obviously wise to consider avoiding jobs that may expose you to toxins, people with communicable illnesses, or other physical hazards.

      The Pre-Natal Mamma’s Needs

      During pregnancy, there are many mental and physiological changes that a woman will go through. In understanding those changes, it is more clear which types of jobs and workplaces are more suited to you as a pregnant woman. 

      During pregnancy, the birth of your baby and the postnatal period, changes in the hormones in your body can have an effect on your emotions during pregnancy. These hormones and the changes can cause joy, fear, surprise and anxiety all of which can be assisted with necessary support and talking. 

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      The physiological changes are more varied according to each trimester:

      1st Trimester (0-13 weeks)

      In the first few weeks following conception, your hormone levels change significantly. Your uterus begins to support the growth of the placenta and the fetus, your body adds to its blood supply to carry oxygen and nutrients to the developing baby, and your heart rate increases.

      These changes accompany many of the pregnancy symptoms, such as fatigue, morning sickness, headaches, and constipation. During the first trimester, the risk of miscarriage is significant.

      2nd Trimester (13 – 27 weeks)

      While the discomforts of early pregnancy should ease off, there are a few new symptoms to get used to. Common complaints include leg cramps and heartburn. You might find yourself growing more of an appetite, and your weight gain will accelerate. 

      3rd Trimester (28 weeks – birth)

      Travel restrictions take effect during the third trimester. It’s advised that you stay in relatively close proximity to your doctor or midwife in case you go into labor early. The baby is growing bigger and stronger; the kicks can be quite powerful and your abdomen is becoming larger and heavier.

      Stretch marks may develop if they haven’t earlier in the pregnancy. Braxton-Hicks contractions- which are usually perceived as painless tightening can be felt. Lower back pain is very common and there may be more pelvic pressure and with this more frequent urination. 

      Swollen legs and feet are very common as are increased fatigue, interrupted sleep and a reduced ability to eat a full meal at one sitting.

      4th Trimester (Post birth onwards)

      Your baby’s fourth trimester starts from the moment she’s born and lasts until she is three months old. The term is used to describe a period of great change and development in your newborn, as she adjusts to her new world outside your womb. There are many adaptations, recovery and rest that you and your baby need through this trimester whether you have a natural or c-section birth.

      All of these considerations need to be in mind when looking to find a great workplace whilst pregnant — whether you’re looking to ask for more support from your current workplace, find a new job or enter employment. 

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      Next, let’s look at the factors that would define the opposite; somewhere you shouldn’t look to work whilst pregnant.

      How to Spot The Worst Workplaces to Work Whilst Pregnant

      1. Non-Negotiable Heavy Lifting

      Do you have to lift, push, bend, shove, and load materials all day? If you do, many experts believe you should ask for a job reassignment or quit by the 20th week of pregnancy.

      2. Toxic Environments

      The list of jobs that involve dangerous substances is miles long. Consider the artist who works with paint and solvents all day, the dry cleaner who breathes in cleaning fumes, the agricultural or horticultural worker who works with pesticides, the photographer who uses toxic chemicals to develop pictures, the tollbooth attendant who breathes in car and truck exhaust, or the printer who works with lead substances.

      3. Proximity to People with Communicable Illnesses

      Working with or exposure to certain bacteria, viruses, or other infectious agents could increase your chances of having a miscarriage, a baby with a birth defect, or other reproductive problems.  Some infections can pass to an unborn baby during pregnancy and cause a miscarriage or birth defect. Infections like seasonal influenza (the flu) and pneumonia can cause more serious illness in pregnant women.

      4. Extended Hours of Standing

      Cooks, nurses, salesclerks, waiters, police officers, and others, have jobs that keep them on their feet all day. This can be difficult for a pregnant woman, but it might be downright dangerous for her unborn baby. Studies have found that long hours of standing during the last half of pregnancy disrupt the flow of blood.[3]

      Key Factors Creating a Great Workplace whilst Pregnant

      1. Flexibility

      You might feel tired as your body works overtime to support your pregnancy — and resting during the workday can be tough. Having an employer or job that provide care and is understanding to your needs is hugely beneficial.

      A compassionate and empathetic employer will understand morning sickness; they will facilitate changes in working hours to accommodate your energy and assist with the smells from the work kitchen. 

      They will also enable you to remain flexible to snack as and when you want to – crackers and other bland foods can be lifesavers when you feel nauseated. Nad eating small frequent meals are similarly saving you as your meal quantity decreases.

      2. Compassion

      More employers are learning that the idea that pregnant women are willing and necessary contributors to the economy and are capable of adding long-term value to their organizations. 

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      Employers that follow good practice in maternity can improve the experience of pregnant employees and new mothers and encourage them to return to work following maternity leave.

      A good relationship between a pregnant employee and her line manager is essential to the successful reintegration of the employee following maternity leave.

      3. Stress Reduced

      Stress on the job can sap the energy you need to care for yourself and your baby.

      To minimize workplace stress, take control. Make daily to-do lists and prioritise your tasks. Consider what you can delegate to someone else — or eliminate. 

      Talk it out. Share frustrations with a supportive co-worker, friend or loved one. 

      Practice relaxation techniques, such as breathing slowly or imagining yourself in a calm place. Try a prenatal yoga class, as long as your health care provider says it’s OK.

      4. Adaptable

      As your pregnancy progresses, everyday activities such as sitting and standing can become uncomfortable. Remember those short, frequent breaks to combat fatigue? Moving around every few hours also can ease muscle tension and help prevent fluid buildup in your legs and feet. 

      Using an adjustable chair with good lower back support can make long hours of sitting much easier — especially as your weight and posture change. If your chair isn’t adjustable, use a small pillow or cushion to provide extra support for your back.

      Elevate your legs to decrease swelling. If you must stand for long periods of time, put one of your feet up on a footrest, low stool or box. Switch feet every so often and take frequent breaks.

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      Wear comfortable shoes with good arch support. Consider wearing support or compression hose, too.

      5. Financial Support

      Financial strain is one of the leading causes of peri & post natal depression. Employers can support employees by offering them benefits beyond the statutory minimum, for example training mechanisms to help them cope with balancing work and family commitments. 

      The employer should conduct a performance review with the employee prior to her maternity leave to boost her confidence and encourage her to consider how parenthood and work will fit together.

      Key Take-Aways

      If you’re working while you’re pregnant, you need to know your rights to antenatal care, maternity leave and benefits. 

      If you have any worries about your health while at work, talk to your doctor, midwife or occupational health nurse. You can also talk to your employer, union representative, or someone in the personnel department (HR) where you work. 

      Once you tell your employer that you’re pregnant, they should do a risk assessment with you to see if your job poses any risks to you or your baby. If there are any risks, they have to make reasonable adjustments to remove them. This can include changing your working hours. 

      If you work with chemicals, lead or X-rays, or in a job with a lot of lifting, it may be illegal for you to continue to work. In this case, your employer must offer you alternative work on the same terms and conditions as your original job. If there’s no safe alternative, your employer should suspend you on full pay (give you paid leave) for as long as necessary to avoid the risk.

      Look for employment opportunities that don’t require too much physical exertion and that won’t cause you much emotional stress. Also, look for jobs that come with the chance to work flexible hours, offer good medical benefits, allow you to take time off as needed, and don’t require a long commute. 

      Your current employer may need to offer you different types of work or a change to your working hours. If your employer can’t get rid of the risks (for example by finding other suitable work without any reduction in pay for you), they should offer you suspension on full pay.

      Featured photo credit: Alicia Petresc via unsplash.com

      Reference

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