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Some Interesting and Bizarre Facts about Pregnancy

Some Interesting and Bizarre Facts about Pregnancy

Pregnancy can be incredibly exciting. Even in spite of the fact that you may be waddling like a duck due to your center of gravity changing, putting on weight as your uterus grows from the size of a peach to a medium sized watermelon – about 500 times its normal size. Edema (fluid retention) leading to swelling, stretch marks, going to the bathroom often, and soft bones and ligaments are all too common in pregnancy.

Labor and delivery can take its toll, as the force inside the uterus from pushing during a contraction can amount to 397 pounds/ sq. foot on the baby’s head; but women all over the world continue to have babies, as it is truly a rewarding and awe-inspiring experience.

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The secret to flawless, spotless skin

On the other hand, pregnancy can give your skin a natural glow, as the amount of blood increases by 50%, and also because of the increased estrogen levels, you can have softer, shinier skin, and lustrous hair.

Inexplicable organ adjustments

Your heart enlarges, not out of love for the growing baby, but to handle the increased blood flow. Your foot size may also increase, as bones and ligaments soften due to the hormone relaxing that aids in birth. Your sense of smell intensifies, a protective mechanism thought to be beneficial for the growing fetus.

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Yes! You can naturally grow an organ during pregnancy

You grow a new organ, the placenta, which nourishes and protects the developing fetus. Towards the end of pregnancy, the placenta produces estrogen daily in an amount that is equal to a non-pregnant woman producing it in three years.

Some women may develop a “pregnancy mask” across their nose and cheeks in the shape of a butterfly when pregnant, but it usually disappears afterwards. Also, the black line that’s visible on your womb is due to the changes in skin pigmentation during pregnancy; the line is always present and fades away post pregnancy.

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Nature’s way of caring for the baby

Have you ever wondered if you’ll have to stuff in more food to suffice for the two? No! You do not need to eat for two while pregnant, only an extra 300 calories per day will suffice for a healthy weight gain. Pregnancy hormones can cause constipation, and you need to take better oral healthcare to prevent bleeding gums.

A pregnancy that lasts for over a year! What?

The number of women giving birth via C-section has tripled. Only one in ten mothers’ waters break before labor begins. The only natural, scientifically proven method of induction is nipple stimulation. It’s possible to be pregnant for over a year; the longest recorded pregnancy was of 375 days. Also, multiple births are more common in tall or overweight mothers.

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When did the dad start experiencing pregnancy symptoms?

Dads have also been surprisingly known to experience pregnancy symptoms like weight gain, cramps, and morning sickness, termed as “Couvade Syndrome”.

What’s going on with the baby inside?

The unborn child in the womb gets the nutrients from food before the mother; its fingerprints are formed in the first trimester. In utero, babies cry, suck their thumbs, hold hands, masturbate, wave a hello, and even pee in the womb – and also drink it. In fact, the amniotic fluid is mostly sterile urine. It also starts making its first poo at 21 weeks, but doesn’t pass it until after birth. The unborn child is usually covered in hair all over the body, which is usually shed off before birth. One in 2,000 babies may be born with one or more teeth.

Your child needs the utmost care, and you need to know how to care for your child the right way, and sign up for the best health-care services in town.

Featured photo credit: Pixabay via cdn.pixabay.com

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Published on January 30, 2019

How to Support a Working Mother as a Working Father

How to Support a Working Mother as a Working Father

In roughly 60 percent of two-parent households with children under the age of 18, both parents work full time. But who takes time off work when the kids are sick in your house? And if you are a manager, how do you react when a man says he needs time to take his baby to the pediatrician?

The sad truth is, the default in many companies and families is to value the man’s work over the woman’s—even when there is no significant difference in their professional obligations or compensation. This translates into stereotypes in the workplace that women are the primary caregivers, which can negatively impact women’s success on the job and their upward mobility.

According to a Pew Research Center analysis of long-term time-use data (1965–2011), fathers in dual-income couples devote significantly less time than mothers do to child care.[1] Dads are doing more than twice as much housework as they used to (from an average of about four hours per week to about 10 hours), but there is still a significant imbalance.

This is not just an issue between spouses; it’s a workplace culture issue. In many offices, it is still taboo for dads to openly express that they have family obligations that need their attention. In contrast, the assumption that moms will be on the front lines of any family crisis is one that runs deep.

Consider an example from my company. A few years back, one of our team members joined us for an off-site meeting soon after returning from maternity leave. Not even two hours into her trip, her husband called to say that the baby had been crying nonstop. While there was little our colleague could practically do to help with the situation, this call was clearly unsettling, and the result was that her attention was divided for the rest of an important business dinner.

This was her first night away since the baby’s birth, and I know that her spouse had already been on several business trips before this event. Yet, I doubt she called him during his conferences to ask child-care questions. Like so many moms everywhere, she was expected to figure things out on her own.

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The numbers show that this story is far from the exception. In another Pew survey, 47 percent of dual-income parents agreed that the moms take on more of the work when a child gets sick.[2] In addition, 39 percent of working mothers said they had taken a significant amount of time off from work to care for their child compared to just 24 percent of working fathers. Mothers are also more likely than fathers (27 percent to 10 percent) to say they had quit their job at some point for family reasons.

Before any amazing stay-at-home-dads post an angry rebuttal comment, I want to be very clear that I am not judging how families choose to divide and conquer their personal and professional responsibilities; that’s 100 percent their prerogative. Rather, I am taking aim at the culture of inequity that persists even when spouses have similar or identical professional responsibilities. This is an important issue for all of us because we are leaving untapped business and human potential on the table.

What’s more, I think my fellow men can do a lot about this. For those out there who still privately think that being a good dad just means helping out mom, it’s time to man up. Stop expecting working partners—who have similar professional responsibilities—to bear the majority of the child-care responsibilities as well.

Consider these ways to support your working spouse:

1. Have higher expectations for yourself as a father; you are a parent, not a babysitter.

Know who your pediatrician is and how to reach him or her. Have a back-up plan for transportation and emergency coverage.

Don’t simply expect your partner to manage all these invisible tasks on her own. Parenting takes effort and preparation for the unexpected.

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As in other areas of life, the way to build confidence is to learn by doing. Moms aren’t born knowing how to do this stuff any more than dads are.

2. Treat your partner the way you’d want to be treated.

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard a man on a business trip say to his wife on a call something to the effect of, “I am in the middle of a meeting. What do you want me to do about it?”

However, when the tables are turned, men often make that same call at the first sign of trouble.

Distractions like this make it difficult to focus and engage with work, which perpetuates the stereotype that working moms aren’t sufficiently committed.

When you’re in charge of the kids, do what she would do: Figure it out.

3. When you need to take care of your kids, don’t make an excuse that revolves around your partner’s availability.

This implies that the children are her first priority and your second.

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I admit I have been guilty in the past of telling clients, “I have the kids today because my wife had something she could not move.” What I should have said was, “I’m taking care of my kids today.”

Why is it so hard for men to admit they have personal responsibilities? Remember that you are setting an example for your sons and daughters, and do the right thing.

4. As a manager, be supportive of both your male and female colleagues when unexpected situations arise at home.

No one likes or wants disruptions, but life happens, and everyone will face a day when the troubling phone call comes from his sitter, her school nurse, or even elderly parents.

Accommodating personal needs is not a sign of weakness as a leader. Employees will be more likely to do great work if they know that you care about their personal obligations and family—and show them that you care about your own.

5. Don’t keep score or track time.

At home, it’s juvenile to get into debates about who last changed a diaper or did the dishes; everyone needs to contribute, but the big picture is what matters. Is everyone healthy and getting enough sleep? Are you enjoying each other’s company?

In business, too, avoid the trap of punching a clock. The focus should be on outcomes and performance rather than effort and inputs. That’s the way to maintain momentum toward overall goals.

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The Bottom Line

To be clear, I recognize that a great many working dads are doing a terrific job both on the home front and in their professional lives. My concern is that these standouts often aren’t visible to their colleagues; they intentionally or inadvertently let their work as parents fly under the radar. Dads need to be open and honest about family responsibilities to change perceptions in the workplace.

The question “How do you balance it all?” should not be something that’s just asked of women. Frankly, no one can answer that question. Juggling a career and parental responsibilities is tough. At times, really tough.

But it’s something that more parents should be doing together, as a team. This can be a real bonus for the couple relationship as well, because nothing gets in the way of good partnership faster than feelings of inequity.

On the plus side, I can tell you that parenting skills really do get better with practice—and that’s great for people of both sexes. I think our cultural expectations that women are the “nurturers” and men are the “providers” needs to evolve. Expanding these definitions will open the doors to richer contributions from everyone, because women can and should be both—and so should men.

Featured photo credit: NeONBRAND via unsplash.com

Reference

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