Feeling frenzied all the time can take a toll on your fertility. Here’s how you can chillax and boost your odds of baby-making success.
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Looking at Gina Grant’s tight, toned body, it’s hard to believe that she’s ever had a baby. In fact, the 36-year-old has given birth to four (now ages 8, 9, 13 and 15), with the youngest two born just a year and a day apart. Good genes? Perhaps, but she still had to work hard to get back in shape and lose the pooch after each pregnancy. And it wasn’t until after the arrival of her third child that Grant discovered her secret weapon: Zumba classes.
Having a dog or cat in the house during pregnancy may help protect your baby against allergies. Researchers in a study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology examined babies from birth to age 2 and found that those whose moms had lived with indoor pets during pregnancy had lower levels of an antibody linked to asthma and allergies.
Just because you’re a parent (or will be soon) doesn’t mean you should toss out the lingerie, slinky dress and plans for a romantic dinner. In fact, even though you’ll soon be shopping for boxes of 28 mini-Valentines with cartoon characters, princesses and puppies on them, sticking to the original sentiment of Valentine’s Day is even more important than ever. Valentine’s Day is for lovers.
You can make these ahead for eating on the run, or savor them at the table with all the toppings of your choice. Either way, they make a great morning fuel choice, thanks to whole grains, yogurt, and nut butter. This recipe was originally inspired by a whole wheat peanut butter waffle recipe from the waffle iron of the excellent Melissa Clark.
You have a free pass to be a terrible hostess for the first few months after your baby is born. Have your husband firmly explain to his parents that you are exhausted from staying up all night; they’re welcome to visit from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., or whenever your patience is at its peak, but after that, you’re going to crash. At 5:01, yawn, mumble something about leaky breasts (that usually gets the men to skedaddle) and head off to your bedroom with the baby. If they insist on staying, your hubby can say, “Great! We haven’t had a chance to do a thing around the house.
For the first time in 3 ½ years, we have started setting an alarm every morning. No, we don’t have a 6 am plane to catch. And no, Leo hasn’t started sleeping until 9 when left undisturbed. If he sleeps till 7:15 it’s a luxuriously late morning. And while I wish I could say we’ve turned over a new leaf at the 24-hour gym, it’s definitely not that. We are allowing a clock to blast us out of bed at 6:45 every morning in hopes of kick-starting better mornings. It seems you have to get up early to get the upper hand with a 3 ½ year old.
Everyone is fussing over your new baby, but you need some TLC, too—especially in your tender nether regions. Amy Murtha, M.D., of Duke University Hospital in Durham, N.C., offers these post-delivery self-care tips:
Taking pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help; so may the following:
It could be yeast (aka thrush), a fungus that grows in warm, moist areas such as a baby’s mouth
or diaper area, or on a breastfeeding mother’s nipples. To diagnose it, try gently scraping it off with your fingernail. Leftover milk will come off fairly easily; yeast won’t.
My first-line treatment for yeast is to mix 10 drops of grapefruit-seed extract per ounce of water. Apply this to your baby’s tongue (and, if you’re breastfeeding, to your nipples) every two to three hours for at least a week. If this doesn’t work, see your pediatrician.
The key to hydration at any age is to keep the quantities of liquid very small. Don’t allow your child to take sips (or gulps) of water or an electrolyte drink; rather, give only a teaspoon every five to 10 minutes or so. When he is able to hold this much down, increase his intake to two teaspoons. Yes, he will be thirsty and unhappy, but if you allow him to take sips, he’ll get tablespoons of the fluid and throw up again.
Too much fluoride can permanently stain a child’s teeth, so before you supplement, determine how much your baby is getting from all sources (including your local water supply and infant formula), then talk with your pediatrician.