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New Report Reaffirms that No Amount of Alcohol is Safe during Pregnancy

pediatricsA new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics reaffirms that no amount of alcohol is safe during pregnancy.  While this has been the recommendation for many years, recent independent research challenged the standing advice and purports that small amounts of alcohol may be acceptable.  However, the AAP denies that any level of alcohol consumption is advisable during this period of growth and development for fetuses.

The report published in Pediatrics in mid-October indicates that 30 years of research proves that no amount of alcohol is safe during pregnancy due to the direct linkage to many birth defects.  All types of alcohol – beer, liquor and wine – are considered dangerous to a fetus because they may cause Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders.  Both of these pose serious immediate and long-term risks for babies.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is the most publicized result of prenatal alcohol consumption.  It is often marked by physical side-effects on a baby’s face, especially his eyes and mouth.  In addition to abnormal facial features, babies with fetal alcohol syndrome may have behavioral, developmental and growth problems.  Fetal alcohol syndrome is more easily detected by doctors following childbirth.

On the other hand, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders are less noticeable immediately after birth but may pose problems throughout a child’s life.  Some pediatricians never recognize a child’s symptoms as fetal alcohol spectrum disorder as this is a broad term that covers a variety of problems that stem from prenatal exposure to toxic alcohol.  Some typical side-effects encompassed in fetal alcohol spectrum disorders are physical disabilities, learning and developmental delays, and birth defects of the heart, kidneys, bones, ears and brain.  As a result, children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders may display challenges in school and with language development, hearing, memory and judgment.

The AAP recommends the elimination of alcohol in the diet of women who are trying to become pregnant or may suspect they are pregnant.  Some women do not realize they are pregnant until several weeks (or months) into their pregnancies.  As soon as a woman knows she is pregnant she should stop all alcohol use and visit her OBGYN for a consultation.

Despite years of recommendations, some women still continue to drink alcohol during pregnancy in small or large quantities.  The results can be devastating.  Women with alcohol addictions prior to pregnancy who are struggling to resist prenatal alcohol consumption are advised to seek help immediately for the health and safety of their babies.

Pregnancy Apps

It seems there’s an app for everything these days from games and photo developers to even games for your cat. There’s no surprise you can now find parenting apps and pregnancy apps right in your phone to make life either a little easier when you find out you have a new baby on the way. Today we are sharing four pregnancy apps every new mom should download and start using!

 

WebMD Pregnancy: WebMD is not only a great site for anyone to visit with a medical question, but they now have an app for pregnant women! This app allows women to track their pregnancy with fun features and tools wherever they are. With an easy and organized format you can find anything you need to know about babies, nursery and postpartum care, pregnancy symptoms, and so much more. They even have a calendar where you can track your appointments, a place to store your baby and bump photos, and there are easy guidelines to follow with their helpful checklists, diagrams, and photos!

I am Totally Pregnant: The “I am Totally Pregnant” app is like no other! Featuring 3D videos and photos of your fetus, you can watch way more than your bump grow. This app is great for new moms because there are lots of tools and features to help you get ready for delivery, such as emergency contact forms and a birth plan checklist. Furthermore the app provides a shop with all the baby products and accessories you’ll need, a due date calendar, advice videos and discussion groups with real moms, and a place to store your baby photos.

The Pregnancy Companion: This app is perfect for new and experienced moms looking for a little guidance. As the only app created by certified OB/GYNs you know you’re going to get quality help and advice from real professionals who know what they are talking about. This app offers daily pregnancy tips, it tracks your baby’s weekly development, and you can ask your doctor questions straight from the app! In addition the app also offers a weight and hydration tracker to keep you healthy.

The First Response Tracker: If you’re trying to get pregnant this is the app for you! The First Response Tracker tracks your cycle and your pregnancy. The app also provides weekly progress reports and gives you all the information you need about pregnancy and your body.

 

Tips for Eating Healthy During Halloween

Halloween marks the beginning of the sweetest time of year.  Between Halloween candy, Thanksgiving dinner, festive holiday parties and meals and Valentine’s Day, the fall and winter are jam packed with indulgences.  Start your family’s sweet season off on a good note by eating healthy during Halloween.  How is that supposed to happen with all of the treats and temptations around?  We’re here to help!

Follow these tips for eating healthy during Halloween:

Tip #1:  Set some ground rules in advance.

Make rules for your family (that means for the parents too) and explain them prior to Halloween parties and trick-or-treating.  Some parents allow their kids to indulge on lots of treats the night of Halloween and then limit candy and sweets to one item each day afterwards.  Help your family savor the one treat by really enjoying it, not mindlessly eating it without embracing the moment.  Whatever your rules are, be a stickler for enforcing them on your kids, your spouse and yourself.

Tip #2:  Keep candy out of reach and out of sight.

Many kids, especially younger kids, forget about Halloween candy a few days after the holiday.  If you keep the candy jar out of their view, the “out of sight, out of mind” theory may work to your advantage.  And of course, if they don’t ask for candy, don’t offer it.

veggie trayTip #3:  With every sweet, there is a vegetable.

While sweets aren’t great for your family’s health, you can encourage some healthier habits by enforcing a tit-for-tat rule.  For every sweet eaten in your house, your family members must also eat a serving of a vegetable.  At least you will ensure everyone is getting their essential nutrients even if they consume a little extra sugar.

Tip #4:  Eat a healthy meal before entering a tempting situation.

Going to an indulgent event on an empty stomach makes resisting temptations much harder.  Knowing your family may consume extra calories doesn’t substitute a healthy meal.  In fact, your family will probably eat less sweets if they feel satisfied before they see their treat options.  Healthy eating often naturally curbs over-indulging.

Tip #5:  Call in the “switch witch.”

Some parents engage in a game of “switch witch,” which is when an imaginary witch visits your house after Halloween and takes away most of the candy in exchange for a prize.  You can let your kids pick out their own small prize or surprise them with an item you know they want.  Some schools offer this program in exchange for a book, pencil or other school supply.  Your switch witch can also send your candy to the troops.

Tip #6:  Buy candy you don’t love.

When your family’s favorite sweets are in the house, chances are they are going to want to eat them.  But if you buy candy that isn’t that exciting, your family probably won’t care about eating it.  Yes, you may not be the most popular house on the block but at least you will be healthier.

Tip #7:  Buy back candy from your kids.

Pay your kids for their candy and then get rid of it once and for all.  While some parents may view this as a bribe, you are acknowledging that the candy belongs to your children and they should be compensated for it.  But better for them to have a little spending money than a mouth full of cavities.

Tip #8:  Store candy in the refrigerator.

Cold candy does not taste as good and may become hard.  If your kids don’t like the texture of the candy, they probably won’t want to eat it anymore.  Win, win!

Tip #9:  Take an active break.

If your kids are relentless about asking for more candy, make them go outside for a walk, game of tag or a bike ride before you give in.  Hopefully the distraction makes them forget about the candy.  But even if not, you will all have burned off some calories before indulging.

Tip #10:  Don’t buy candy too early.

Buy your candy at the last minute before Halloween.  Otherwise, the candy may beckon you and your family to eat it before the holiday.  And don’t over-buy either. The goal is to have as little as possible left at the end of the night.

Happy and Healthy Halloween!

Hand Foot and Mouth

If your baby or toddler has peeling or blistering skin on their hands or feet, it may be caused by something far more serious than dry skin. While over the counter medications and creams may have caused the irritations to subside, your child may be at hidden threat called Hand Foot and Mouth Disease. While the occasional dry skin and blisters are normal occurrences for anyone, Hand Foot and Mouth Disease is something that covers larger areas, and can be quite painful at times. If your little one is experiencing these symptoms it is possible they have obtained this virus and you should seek medical attention.

Hand Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) is a virus that is caused by the viruses’ coxasackievirus a16 and extrerovirus 71, or often called coxsacki virus from professionals. The virus is more evident in children from the ages of five years and younger, but older adolescents and adults have been known to come in contact with the virus as well. Much like the common cold the early symptoms of HFMD are sore throat, fever, and loss of appetite. Children will then show signs of being irritable and obtain mild forms of a rash, blisters, or sores. Sometimes they can obtain all three. The rash and blisters can spread from the palms of their hands and feet to the knees, elbows, buttocks, and genitals. The sores have been known to be the most painful part, and they can be found in the mouth, on the tongue, and even on other parts of the body.
Although HFMD can be uncomfortable it usually lasts only 3 to 10 days; however, it is untreatable with prescription medications. If your child is having a hard time consuming certain foods and liquids you can try various over the counter drugs such as Advil or Tylenol. Cold snacks such as popsicles and yogurt can be used to numb the pain and make it easier to eat foods. Anti-itch creams can also help with the rash and the itchiness it brings.

It’s important to know even after the symptoms have diminished, the virus is still in your child’s system. Before you send them back to school or out into the world there are still precautions you should make to stop the spread of HFMD. Hand Foot and Mouth can only be spread from someone who is infected, which means anything they touch can possible infect someone else. The virus can even be spread through the air from a cough or a sneeze. To stop the spread from your child to someone else you will need to make sure to wash your hands with soap and water after every diaper change and after using the bathroom, make sure your toddler does the same and washes their hands throughout the day, clean and disinfect frequently, which means all surfaces, toys, etc., and avoid close contact.

If the conditions worsen it’s important to seek medical attention right away because when not taken care of the virus can turn into viral meningitis or encephalitis, which causes brain inflammation.

 

Breastfeeding Support and “Baby-Friendly” Hospitals

inside_201101_babyA report released earlier this month from the Centers for Disease Control indicates that more hospitals than ever are providing breastfeeding support for new mothers.  Yet still, only 14% of approximately 4 million babies per year are born in “baby-friendly” hospitals.  With the help of World Breastfeeding Week, National Breastfeeding month, governmental programs and support, countless breastfeeding advocacy groups and general breastfeeding awareness, improvements are being made in hospitals and beyond, but there is still much work to be done.

To be deemed “baby-friendly,” hospitals must meet the following 10 requirements:

  1. Have a written breastfeeding policy that is distributed to health care staff members.
  2. Ensure all health care professionals are skilled in implementing the hospital’s breastfeeding policy.
  3. Teach new mothers the benefits of breastfeeding.
  4. Encourage breastfeeding within the first hour after childbirth.
  5. Help mothers by offering breastfeeding demonstrations and hands-on support, or help mothers maintain lactation if they are separated from their newborns.
  6. Unless there is a medical need, allow mothers to exclusively breastfeed without supplemental intervention.
  7. Promote rooming-in where the mother and baby are rarely separated.
  8. Support breastfeeding when the baby shows signs of interest, readiness and hunger.
  9. Offer no bottles, artificial nipples or pacifiers to breastfed babies.
  10. Give mothers referrals for breastfeeding support from the hospital or elsewhere after discharge.

There are currently 289 hospitals covering 47 U.S. states that are considered “baby-friendly.”  A list can be found on the Baby Friendly USA website.   In all, 3,300 hospitals were reviewed as part of the “baby-friendly” report.

Happy mother breast feeding her sonThe positive news is that major improvements have been made between 2007 and 2013, according to the CDC.  While most hospitals still do not practice all 10 “baby-friendly” steps, many of them, 54%, implement most of these steps.  That is up from 29% in 2007.  National breastfeeding statistics show that 80% of babies begin life breastfeeding, which means hospitals and mothers are getting the message.  But 60% of mothers terminate their breastfeeding experience before their original goal and only 22% of babies are still exclusively breastfed by six months of age.  Twenty-nine percent of babies are breastfed through one year.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding for at least one year of a baby’s life and the CDC promotes “baby-friendly” hospitals due to the numerous benefits of breastfeeding for babies.  Breastfeeding lowers the risk of illnesses including ear and respiratory infections, diabetes, cancer and other major health concerns.  Babies that are breastfed are less likely to die of SIDS and less likely to be obese later in life.  Plus, breastfeeding is good for cognitive and emotional development, as well as developing a strong bond with mothers.

There are some barriers that prevent hospitals from being more supportive of breastfeeding.  New policies take time, commitment and resources that hospital administrators find expensive and burdening.  Formula feeding makes it easier for nurses to help mothers recover and rest after childbirth.  Some even feel that being a “baby-friendly” hospital strips mothers of choices and shames them into breastfeeding when that would not otherwise be their preference.

On a global level, UNICEF and the World Health Organization support the “baby-friendly” hospital initiative and the CDC continues to promote it as well.  The next “baby-friendly” report will be available in 2016.

Family Halloween Costumes

When your kids are young, Halloween is one of the most fun holidays of the year.  It offers something for everyone because really, who doesn’t like dressing up in a nifty costume and eating treats?  Halloween is a time when families can indulge in their kids’ fantasies and let imaginations run wild.

Dressing in family Halloween costumes is a great way to work together as a family to create a unified look.  If you have older children, family Halloween costumes can help your family stay together on Halloween night, which is a safety concern for many families.  After all, the costume only makes sense when you travel as a group.

Here are some fabulous ideas for your family Halloween costumes:

flintstones Classic TV Families

You’re a family so why not dress like a classic television family this Halloween?  There are many possibilities from cartoon families like The Flintstones, Popeye and The Simpsons, to live action families like The Adams Family and The Brady Bunch.  And, although they are not a true family, the gang from Scooby Doo also makes a great group Halloween costume.

 

toy-story-costumeMovie Costumes

Movies offer countless family Halloween costume possibilities including the characters from The Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, 101 Dalmatians, Despicable Me, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (or as many dwarfs as you have), Star Wars, Toy Story and Peter Pan.  Movie-themed costumes offer something for everyone in your family.

 

sesame streetKid-Themes

The Muppets, Sesame Street, Winnie the Pooh and Mickey Mouse and his friends make excellent, familiar costumes for families with younger kids.  These may be the characters your kids want to be anyways and finding befitting costumes for mom and dad isn’t too difficult.  Or, if your child selects a train conductor or firefighter costume, parents can dress as the train or fire truck as an easy accessory.  If your kids are into video games, the classic Mario Brothers characters make nice family Halloween costumes in addition to Mr. & Mrs. Pac-man with a few ghosts.

 

curious georgeFavorite Books

If your family includes avid readers, encourage your kids to pick literary characters for your family Halloween costumes.  The Bernstein Bears, Curious George or The Cat in the Hat are examples of fun family-favorite literary costumes.

 

super-family-homemade-halloween-costumesSuperheroes

The Incredibles are a natural fit for a family Halloween costume if your family is into superheroes.  The Avengers, The Fantastic Four, Power Rangers and Paw Patrol are additional examples of group superhero costumes.  Alternatively your family can each dress as their favorite superhero that reflects their own personal ambitions.

 

smores-3Food

You can get super creative with your family Halloween costumes by inventing your own combo food costumes.  How about a BBQ theme with your little ones dressed as hot dogs and hamburgers while mom and dad are the mustard and ketchup.  Smores is an adorable costume with graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallow costumes.  M&Ms, cookies & milk, and a BLT sandwich are additional food family Halloween costume ideas.

 

crayonzOther Fun Ideas

There are so many choices for family Halloween costumes, the list seems endless.  If you are stuck, keep it simple and go for something familiar like dressing as the rainbow, crayons or legos.  These are quick, do-it-yourself costumes that are easy to identify.  Or you can pick a theme – say, the wild west, vegetables or the farm – and let your family select costumes within the genre.

 

Remember, the family that dresses together, stays together.  Have fun, stay safe and Happy Halloween!

How to Support a Friend with Breast Cancer

There are many ways you can support women who are diagnosed with breast cancer. Your support can be provided in a range of options such as breast cancer education, mammograms, and other health services. Although you may feel generous and positive about donating to women across the world, it feels completely different when a close loved one is the one who needs your support.

In honor of breast cancer awareness month, today we are sharing 10 ways on how to support a friend who has breast cancer:

  1. Listen: It’s important to listen to your friend. Instead of saying things such as, “You’re a fighter,” or “My Aunt had breast cancer and now she is fine!” learn to hear what they have to say and listen.
  2. Keep it Reasonable: Gifts are great, but at times like this it’s important not to go overboard. Instead do something a little more thoughtful. The whole point is to make them feel loved and supported.
  3. Ask Before Bringing Food: Bringing over a dish is everyone’s go to. Not that there is anything wrong with a home cooked meal, but many might go to waste because of the abundance. A better way to be more thoughtful is to ask your friend if they need any help around the house or offer to buy them groceries instead.
  4. Don’t Expect a Ray of Sunshine: If you’ve never gone through chemo than you don’t know how much it can take out of a person. Many will be tired, cranky, or even sick after their treatments. Your friend might not be themselves the following days after chemo and it’s important to give them a break. If you’ve sent a gift or gone out of your way to do something for them just know they appreciate it even if they don’t say thank you. This time is not about you, it is about being a friend.
  5. Never Tell Her to Look at the Bright Side: Never tell her how she should feel about her breast cancer. Instead ask how she is feeling.
  6. Don’t Bombard: Give them their space. It’s significant they feel normal and believe their lives are still intact. Ask when they would like to have company and let them know you’re there whenever they want to just hang out. Also, don’t bombard them with a million questions about their treatments, medications, symptoms, or the cost. Let her decide what she wants to tell you.
  7. Be There: If you’re going to be there in the beginning, be there until the end. Show that you care and that you are a true friend who loves and supports them. It’s important she knows she has good people surrounding her.
  8. Take Her Out: Get her out of the house! When she is feeling up to it take her out for a girl’s day. Go shopping and go to one of your favorite lunch spots!
  9. Remember the Caregiver: Remember while your friend may be going through a tough period so is her partner. They need someone to talk to just as much as your friend so be sure to be supportive towards their caregiver as well.
  10. Walk. Run.: Do what you can to support on a bigger level. It’s great to share precious moments with a close friend when it’s supporting a cause they know very much about.

 

 

“Fall” in Love with your Nursing Bras

With the changing of seasons comes a change in your wardrobe.  When you are pregnant or nursing, adjusting to a new season may seem a little more complicated than pulling out last years pants and cardigans.  But we’re here to tell you that you can still love your fall wardrobe even if it requires a few adjustments.  Plus, a new season is the perfect time to reevaluate your nursing bras to make sure they meet your needs, still fit comfortably and complement your wardrobe.

shirred_front_comfort_nursing_bra_4048_First, let’s talk color.  Fall is a good time to retire some of your more vibrant hues like hot pink and lavender for muted tones and basics.  Nude, black and white bras are classic and work for every season and every top in your closet.  Gray is a hot color for fall too.  You can also select subtle patterns like a soft stripe or a sexy lace style.

nursing_top_4049_Another amazing piece for your fall nursing bra wardrobe is nursing tank tops.  These versatile tops are easy to layer and can be worn alone in the midday sun as well.  Leading Lady offers a variety of trendy nursing tank tops that range from simple to snazzy.  Our classic nursing cami comes in shorter and longer lengths, as well as an organic cotton style.  We also have polka dotted and striped nursing camis that fit snuggly on top for breast support and lay smoothly over your stomach and back for a chic, tailored look.  Plus, our elegant nursing top featuring a lace racer back is beautiful and elegant for day or night wear.

Fall should be all about comfort so be sure your nursing bras make you feel warm and cozy.  Keep in mind that your breasts change throughout your breastfeeding journey.  As wirefree_front_closure_sleep_leisure_bra_440_your milk comes in shortly after birth, your breasts may feel full and tight all the time.  As your milk production settles and adjusts to your baby’s needs, you may notice your breast size decreasing or fluctuating at certain times of day.  Be sure you are dressing appropriately for these changes.  Bras made of stretchy fabrics may be most comfortable.  Also, padded bras help some women maintain shape and a feminine silhouette throughout the day.

Leisure bras and sports nursing bras are also essential for fall.  Leisure bras are ideal for those chilly weekend days when you’re cuddling up with your baby, and even for overnight comfort and ease of breastfeeding.  Sports nursing bras are terrific for starting your new exercise routine as the weather cools and you can get out and enjoy nature with your baby in tow.

maternity_leggings_4200_If you are pregnant this fall, you’ll want to keep things as easy and breezy as the changing weather.  Our lightweight super stretchy expandable maternity leggings are fabulous for fall and will grow with you throughout pregnancy and as your body returns to its original size postpartum.  These uber comfortable black leggings pair nicely with casual t-shirts and tops, trendy blouses, dresses and skirts.  Although not technically a nursing bra, they are on our list of “must have” pieces for your fall wardrobe.

Fall in love with your nursing bras this season.  Find the comfort, fit and style you crave right here at LeadingLady.com!

Activities for Kids this Fall

Autumn is such a wonderful time of the year, but with the beautiful leaves and pumpkin lattes it’s also the start of chilly weather. While the days of swimsuits and shorts might be over there are still lots of fun activities for kids to do this season!

Fall Treats: Every season there is a signature dish or seasoning. Fall is no doubt the pumpkin franchise! This fall play a game with the kids and have them write down all of their favorite must-have pumpkin dishes. This can be anything from pumpkin seeds, pumpkin pie or pumpkin rolls, etc. If you get tired of the pumpkin explosion, you can always try something a little different. Apples are in season, and there are tons of fun treats to make with the many different flavors such as ciders and crumbles.

Homemade Halloween Masks: Getting crafty with the kids is perfect for a lazy Sunday. Talk about what they want to be for Halloween, and if they are unsure let them use their imagination and make a creative mask. Make sure you have all your materials in hand for when you want to plan a crafty day. We suggest magic markers, colored pencils, colorful fabric, construction paper, decorative scissors, and glue!

Decorating Pumpkins: Carving pumpkins is an awesome way to celebrate the Fall season. If you want to try decorating your pumpkin in other ways checkout our previous blog about no carve pumpkin ideas. There we show some great ways to decorate your pumpkin without the mess.

Leaf Pile: Nothing is better than jumping in a huge pile of leaves in the Fall. While you might be annoyed with the abundance of leaves around your yard, they are the perfect excuse to have some fun with the kids. Make it a family activity and racking up the leaves won’t seem like such a chore. Build the biggest pile you can, and when finished jump in the pile all together!

Leaf Crafts: Fall is the perfect time to do some creative rubbings with leaves! After you’re done jumping around in your pile, grab a few and make some pretty rubbings. Make sure the leaves are dry or you’ll ruin your paper!

Halloween Candy Bag: Pumpkin carriers are fun, and pillow cases are convenient, but what would be even better is making your very own candy bag for Halloween! The next time you’re in your local craft store grab a couple canvas bags to bring home for the kids. They will have fun decorating their own bags to carry their candy in during Halloween night!

Family Hike: Autumn is such a beautiful time of year. With the changing leaves and the gorgeous colors, it’s the perfect time to spend outdoors. The next time the weather is fair grab the family and head outside and go for a hike.

Apple Picking: Fall is the season where apples are at their peak. Besides pumpkin everything, the crisp apple flavor has been way ahead of the game for years and apple picking is always a top favorite. Take the family to an apple orchard where you can go on a hayride, pick apples, and drink hot cider.

Paint Pinecones: Painting pinecones is another great thing to do on a lazy Sunday. Whether you choose to do a rubbing or paint the pinecones themselves, you and the kids will have a fun time getting crafty this Fall!

Corn Maze: Just like apple picking, going to a corn maze is definitely a Fall favorite!

Build a Fort: When the weather is yucky there is no better thing to do than build a pillow castle. Build a fort in the living room and cuddle up with the kids and watch a movie inside your very own tower!

Make a Scarecrow: Whether you want a classic scarecrow, or something a little different, building your own creation with the kids sounds like a good time.

 

How Parenting is Good for your Body

parents-playing-tag-with-sonParenting is rewarding in countless ways including being good for your body.  Even if you work outside the home at a desk job, the demands of being a parent have great physical benefits.  Not only are you reaping the mental and emotional advantages of the enrichment and fulfillment of having a family, which in turn is great for your body, you are directly challenging your physical aptitude in many ways by being a parent.  Today we’re exploring some of the many ways that parenting is good for your body.

Sitting still all day at a desk can take its toll on your body.  In fact, there are many studies about how sitting is terrible for your health.  But coming home to children after a long day in the office or staying home with them if you don’t work elsewhere is quite good for your physical health.  Parents tend to be more active as they are meeting the needs of their kids and trying to keep up with their seemingly endless energy levels.  Really, who needs the gym when you are chasing around your kids?  Hopefully you also actively engage your kids in physical activities, which you can and should partake in yourself.  Kids should have at least one hour of physical activity a day.  If you participate, you’ve probably hit your own workout goal for that day as well.

Parenting also encourages healthier behaviors.  First, we all want to stay healthy so we can take care of our families for many years to come.  That requires eating a wholesome diet and making good lifestyle choices.  In doing so, you are being an excellent role model for your children and teaching them healthy habits.

As parents, we also reap many emotional benefits that are in the best interest of our wellbeing.  Parenting sometimes requires acting young at heart, which can be quite uplifting to the spirit.  We have the opportunity to play and use our imaginations with our kids, a thrill we don’t often get to seek in our adult lives.  Parents tend to laugh more and spending time with our families is a great stress reliever.  That isn’t to say that parenting is not stressful.  It certainly can be.  But looking at the world through the eyes of your child can help keep life in perspective and reduce much self-induced stress and anxiety.  Plus, kids are great “bosses” as they are usually very affectionate, not harsh critics and forgive easily.

Additionally, when you act young, your mind and your body actually feel younger.  You cannot change your chronological age but you can effect your biological age by keeping yourself physically active and your mind nimble.  Parenting definitely works on both of these aspects.  Your immune system gets a boost because kids introduce a ton of germs that your body learns to fight off.  And you get to do it all wearing comfortable clothes!

Parenting is good for your body in so many ways – mentally, emotionally and physically.  We hope you take advantage of all of these wonderful benefits as you raise your children.

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How to Donate Breast Milk
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How to Keep Your Babysitter Happy
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How to Select a Pediatrician
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Storing Breaskmilk
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Teach babies about heart health
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The Cost of Breastfeeding
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the Milky Way: every mother has a story
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therapy in early childhood
Things to do on Christmas Eve
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What to do with kids on New Years
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