Author: Connie Dunn

How I Told My Family That I Am Pregnant

Pregnancy is something that every woman dreamed of. It is the most special day in every woman’s life because they grow a beautiful creature inside them. Right now, I am one of them. I am seven months pregnant. Though I feel happy and contented these days, the first few months were not that great of an experience. I struggled a lot in keeping everything as a secret. I was having a baby, but I don’t know how to tell my family all about it. Until one day, I just couldn’t hide it anymore.

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How It All Started

I was 14 years old. So understandably, I assumed my parents would feel so devastated once they figured out my pregnancy. In the first month, I managed to hide it from everyone in the house. I never showed them reasons to suspect me of hiding anything. I just went on the usual things I do every day. I hung out with them all the time and even had a family discussion once in a while. It was a bit difficult in my second month because I had to avoid showing them pregnancy symptoms. I was able to deceive my whole family once again by pretending to have my period still. I would fake my cramps, as usual. I tried not to show physical ailments too. And when they asked me why I often sleep in broad daylight, I told them I wasn’t able to get enough sleep at night because I was watching a TV series on Netflix up till morning. Luckily, it was never an unusual activity for them.

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Before my 1st trimester ended, things were a little bit okay. I have not developed a baby bump yet, so I was entirely confident that things were all good. I would even wear fitting clothes and that created a valid alibi, so my family did not think of me being pregnant at all. There was no way they could determine that I was growing a baby in my tummy, just looking at my clothes. However, the fourth month was very challenging. I somehow felt that my body was changing already. My hips grew wider, and my boobs looked like they were going to pop out of my chest. So to hide those slightly noticeable physical changes, I went on a full pumped up eating habit. And since the whole country is on quarantine, I managed to hold up to that excuse. So when my family began noticing how crazy I went with food, they automatically assumed that my body enlargement was due to that eating habit. Again, I felt accomplished in trying to hide everything about my growing baby.

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The Revelation

Soon before my 6th month of pregnancy began, everything started to fall. Every lies I made and every covered up stories I told my family came to an end. It was an unexpected scenario because I was not prepared for that either. No one knows I was pregnant except my boyfriend. We talked about it, and we were still in the middle of figuring out how to tell our parents about the baby. We were both confused as to what decisions to make. Unfortunately, it was a very emotional revelation when I invited my boyfriend over for dinner. That was when he told everyone in the house that I was pregnant. Everyone could not hide their disbelief and disappointment. My mom and dad cried hysterically while shouting, “No,” a couple of times. My siblings just stared at me as if I killed someone. I couldn’t move, and all I can think of that moment was for the Earth to swallow me whole. Then everyone started crying as I said I was sorry.

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All Is Well

After I apologized in front of my parents and told me them the truth, my parents came close to me and hugged me. That was the minute I burst into tears like a baby. I was not expecting that to happen. But those hugs were the most important things at that time. It was as if they were telling me that things were going to be okay. I felt loved, and for the last 2 hours, we all sat there and cried together.

Honestly, teenage pregnancy is not something a kid like me should be proud of. There are a lot of things I know I don’t understand. I admit I am not yet prepared for the consequences of having a baby at a young age. But I don’t try to justify that. I am just so thankful that my family supports me. Despite everything I did wrong, I am happy that my family is more than willing to stand by my side. And right now, they are the best persons I have.

 

 

 

What New Mothers Should Know About COVID-19

Each day brings news on how COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc and how communities are fighting back. However, despite all the attention it receives, there’s still much that we don’t know.

While the illness targets the elderly and the sick, new mothers might wonder if they are at increased risk of being affected by the disease. You need to know how the virus can impact you and how you can protect your family.  

COVID-19 And Pregnancy

On the bright side, COVID-19 doesn’t seem to pose any particular dangers to pregnant women relative to other illnesses. Health authorities haven’t seen any significant rise in pregnancy complications  from COVID-19.

While preterm births might be more common for expectant mothers with other coronavirus infections, the evidence is minimal.

However, any infection, COVID-19 or otherwise, is still harmful. Your body needs to divert resources to stop and recover from illnesses. Given that you’re already supporting a human being growing inside of you, any infections can further increase your body’s strain.

Notably, there is no substantial evidence that the coronavirus can be transmitted directly from the mother to the child during pregnancy. However, the baby can catch the illness shortly after birth due to being near people who have the infection. You or the baby’s caregivers may harbor the virus and transmit the disease to newborns. 

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There is also evidence that pregnant women are at higher risk of catching respiratory diseases. Hence, it would be best if you still took extra precautions to prevent the transmission of the virus into your household.

COVID-19 And Children

There is also limited research on how COVID-19 specifically affects infants and children. Most of the documented complications of the illness manifest more commonly in older people.

However, infants younger than one year of age can suffer from more severe cases, given their immature immune systems. Children with preexisting medical conditions may also be at higher risk.

In general, children with COVID-19 show mild symptoms reminiscent of the flu. Common signs include fever, coughing, and runny nose.

Like in adults, children may also catch and spread the coronavirus even while displaying no symptoms. Given that children may be less aware of ways to stop disease transmission, they may be at higher risk of getting the infection if parents leave them unsupervised.

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Protecting Your Family

Regardless of whether COVID-19 poses a particular hazard for newborns and children, it’s essential to learn how to protect your family from it. 

One way is to be aware of the risks. Aside from the physical effects of COVID-19, it can also affect your mental health. Dr. Jason Rafferty, MD, writes that “we’re expecting to see a secondary outbreak of mental health issues related to ongoing stress that people are dealing with.”

Practice proper social distancing. You should avoid being near other people unless it’s for essential reasons. As much as you can, stay indoors and minimize outside trips. Never bring children outside of your home unless it’s for an emergency.

If you do need to go outside, make sure that everyone wears appropriate protective equipment. Note that while protective gear can help reduce your chances of inhaling the virus, its main objective is to prevent you from spreading the virus in case you’re already infected.

However, never give face masks to children younger than two years of age. The risk of accidental suffocation outweighs the risk of contracting COVID-19. Keep children indoors instead.

If you are breastfeeding, know that there is no conclusive evidence that breastmilk can carry the coronavirus. That said, consult with your doctor on whether you should continue breastfeeding. If so, wearing a cloth mask and washing your hands before feeding your baby should remove most of the transmission risk, even if you’re positive for the virus.

As for scheduled medical visits, consult with your physician regarding your plans. Many of these consultations are critical for ensuring the health of you and your baby.

In many cases, health facilities have concrete plans to enable you to visit while minimizing the risk of catching COVID-19. Telemedicine techniques are also suitable for many medical visits.

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To summarize, being pregnant or having young children does not mean that COVID-19 presents a unique hazard to your family. There are a lot of actions that you can take to ensure that your household remains a safe and COVID-free environment for your children.

Reducing The Anxiety Of Pregnant Women During The COVID-19 Pandemic

Every day confirmed cases and death tolls arising from Coronavirus Disease 2019 or COVID-19 increase. This current situation is not simple times; most people experience anxiety and panic attacks because of the drastic changes.

Pregnant women are one of those vulnerable to the virus. This fact can be a trigger to their anxieties. But because most establishments and clinics are closed, pregnant women must learn how to ease their stress at their homes. Here are some tips from BetterHelp that promise to help you cope up with anxiety during these trying times.

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Find A Support Group

Staying at home and doing nothing for pregnant women can be anxious. Release your woes by talking to someone willing to listen to you, such as your partner. Make the most of your time online by searching for online support groups. In this way, you will hear stories from other pregnant women, and you get enough strength and courage to share your story as well. You’ll realize through having a group that you’re not alone in this struggle. There are also support groups organized by medical professionals who provide emotional support to help ease anxiety. 

Engage In Physical Activities

Try to do some effective workouts to lower the risk of anxiety. Any physical activity tends to release endorphins, which are natural painkillers for the brain. While you cannot go to a gym or to the park to jog, you can improvise your workout routine at home. Several phone apps offer workout sessions for the day. Some activities you can do at home are yoga and aerobics.

Workout Your Mind

You can also do other activities that will keep you productive. Try playing mind games with your family members or read novels. Studies show that reading and playing mind games increases your memory and lowers stress levels. Not only will it keep you from wallowing in anxiety, but also you will train your mind to think and process information more quickly. So if you have the opportunity to work on physical activities, do it.

Eat A Healthy Diet

You are what you eat. Studies show that food affects the mood, ability to handle stress, and focus. During pregnancy, it is for the absolute best to eat healthy and nutritious meals. Too much sodium, carbohydrates, and caffeine can negatively affect your physical and mental health. Cut down processed and junk food and start incorporating healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables in your meal. You can make meal preparation and cooking more fun by finding recipes online and experimenting!

Meditate

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You can release endorphins without the need for physical activity. Take time to breathe once in a while and try deep breathing exercises or meditation. A 20-30 minute deep abdominal breathing per day will help reduce anxiety, according to the American Institute of Stress. Doing deep breathing exercises help stimulate the brain by providing more oxygen.

Meditation can help increase your focus and clears your mind to be able to cope up with your anxiety issues.

Get Enough Sleep

Resting is excellent for you and your baby. If you lack sleep, your mind will become restless, and it will be more difficult for you to handle stress and cope up with your anxiety. Brandon Peters, MD, adds, “The developing fetus needs a reliable supply of nutrients, including oxygen. When sleep is disrupted, especially when blood flow to the placenta is compromised, there can be significant consequences.” It is essential to see a consistent deep sleeping routine. Doctors recommend getting eight to ten hours of sleep every day so that your mind will be refreshed and energized the following day.

Take Your Medications

If your anxiety is severe and your doctor had prescribed you with medications before the pandemic happened, be sure to include it in your daily routine. Medicines have some advantages and disadvantages, so don’t stop your intake unless your doctor said so. While some medication may cause problems for your baby, stopping them may worsen the situation. 

Write Down Your Thoughts

Some pregnant women cannot compose their thoughts, and they don’t feel like talking. But it’s essential to release your negative thoughts, so try writing down everything you have in mind. Writing your feelings in a journal is one of the best ways to relieve your anxiety without the fear of being judged by other people. 

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If you are pregnant and experiencing anxiety in this unique time, know that you are not alone. You can follow the tips above to help alleviate the worry that’s weighing you down. Do it for your emotional and mental health.

The Best Foods For An Expectant Mother

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Pregnancy comes with various food misconceptions. Some assume that it makes you love weird combinations just like in the movies. Others think that it’s OK to eat as much as you want since you’re supposedly “eating for two.” In truth, it is the period in a woman’s life when you need to be very meticulous with everything you consume. The reason is that your immunity level isn’t as high now as when you’re not expecting. Thus, bacteria and viruses can easily mess up your system if you’re not careful. There are a lot of meals you shouldn’t have as well, especially the ones that use raw meat. If you’re curious about the best foods you can eat, keep on reading below.    

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  Greens Leafy vegetables have plenty of antioxidants, fiber, and other vitamins, apart from the chlorophyll that provides their green pigmentation. The main idea is that the darker the fresh produces are, the better they will be for your body.

  Salmon In case you are fond of seafood, you may want to concentrate more on fish like salmon. It contains omega-3 fatty acids, which is excellent for the development of the baby’s internal organs. However, make sure to cook it nicely and only eat fish a couple of times a week to avoid the possibility of ingesting hard metals.

  Cheese You may also put your trust on mozzarella or cheddar – the hard type of cheeses – to give you calcium and protein. An ounce of any of these dairy products on a regular basis will suffice, particularly if you can’t drink fresh milk on that day.  

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  Whole Grains Keep in mind that coarse grain can provide more nutrients in comparison with its refined version. Hence, choose whole-wheat over white bread, brown over white rice, and popcorn over chips whenever possible.

“Eating whole grains may help pregnant women meet their increased calorie requirements, especially during the second and third trimesters,” says Adda Bjarnadottir, MS, LN. She also aded that “whole grains are generally rich in B vitamins, fiber and magnesium.”

  Poultry Meat Your baby requires enough amount of zinc to grow well in your womb. A fantastic source of that mineral is the meat coming from either turkey or chicken. Poultry happens to have protein and iron too – substances that are essential for a healthy pregnancy.

  Oatmeal It’s effortless to avoid being hungry all the time when you make oatmeal for breakfast. The plain variety consists of different carbohydrates, including the oat bran, which can improve both your cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

  Citrus Fruits The best features of citrusy products, e.g., orange and pineapple, are fiber and vitamin C. You need to former to efficiently digest all the foods you eat, while the latter is necessary for iron absorption.

According to Natalie Olsen, RD, LD, ACSM EP-C, “the advice for pregnant women is to eat at least five portions of fresh fruit and vegetables each day and to vary these as much as possible. Fruit can be fresh, canned, frozen, or dried.”

  Berries Pulpy fruits like raspberries, currants, and strawberries are great for you. These goods contain a lot of water, so you won’t worry about dehydration when you’re snacking on them. They also have low caloric levels; that’s why you can still maintain your weight.

  Legumes Lastly, the legume is a food group that can offer great quantities of folic acid. The vitamin is responsible for ensuring your well-being while carrying the child. You may consume various forms of beans, nuts, and peas to receive this nutrient, along with iron, fiber, and protein. Dr. Gareth Forde says that “[potassium] helps to balance fluid levels, regulate blood pressure, and helps muscles perform well.” She also added that “pregnant mothers who experience leg cramps, especially at night, should consider whether or not their potassium intake is adequate.”

Safe Alternative Therapy For Pregnant Women 

Pregnancy can bring many changes not only in your life but also even into your body. Even if you exercise a lot of precautionary measures, it is still possible that you may suffer from bodily pains. Whenever you experience these things, the smart way to deal with it is to see your family doctor. As much as possible, consult your condition first with this professional before trying out other options such as alternative therapy. Remember that nothing could ever replace prescriptions from health doctors. 

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How To Surprise Your Husband With Pregnancy News

Finding out that you are pregnant is one of the happiest moments that you could experience in this lifetime. Take note that pregnancy can change a lot of things in your relationship with your husband. Now that you are expecting to have a newborn baby soon, it is essential that you plan ahead of time. Remember that when the baby comes, everything in your life will change. Fortunately, you do not need to do it alone because you have someone to share the journey with.  

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How To Handle Pregnancy And Infidelity

Pregnancy is meant to become the happiest and most fulfilling moment in your life. It is supposed to be an experience that you would want to remember over and over again. However, some things could ruin this opportunity for you, one of which is finding out that your partner has committed acts of infidelity. It hurts to discover that he cheated on you especially when both of you are expecting to have a baby soon. “Her partner’s loyalty is needed by her, and is required of him since he too is a partner in the creation of this child,” says Abe Kaas, MA.

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Pregnancy and Divorce: How To Handle Matters

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  Deciding to get a divorce is not an easy process. Every party to a failed marriage will always get hurt no matter how much they make an effort to avoid it. “Conflict is typically healthy within a relationship as it can be productive in getting your needs met by your partner,” says Maureen Werrbach, MA, LCPC. “It’s how you deal with conflict that can potentially be problematic.” Many things could complicate a separation, one of which is finding out that you are pregnant. Sometimes, you thought that ending the marriage is the best solution to the marital problem. However, your pregnancy will change the situation. In this article, we are going to discuss the top reasons why you have to re-think filing for divorce now that you are about to give birth: Read more

How To Survive Pregnancy After A Breakup

There are many kinds of life-changing events that can happen in women, one of which is getting pregnant. Finding out that you are about to give birth soon is probably one of the best feelings in this world. Take note that having a new baby to come in your life is a God-given gift. However, if you recently just went through a breakup with the father of your child, it may feel that your world is falling apart, that the weight of the world is on your shoulders. Having all these emotions is normal, but it does not mean that you have to stay that way forever. 

 

“So much attention is focused on the new life coming into the world that it’s easy for pregnant women to forget to check on their own psychological and emotional well-being,” said Kristen Scarlett, LMHC. “But pregnancy is an especially important time to stay on top of these issues, especially because so many unique challenges commonly arise.”

 

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