Being a mom changes you. And your friendships.
I didn’t know how to be happy for her and mourn for me at the same time.
You have to sit there and just take each blow of grief and loss as it comes.
Contrary to popular opinion, women don’t use abortions as a form of last-minute birth control.
Human creation is a wonderful thing.
Since the temperature is already dropping and winter is just around the corner, now is the best time to invest in some skincare products for your baby.
From cradle cap to simply dry skin, sometimes it’s difficult to track down products which are safe for both mum and bub. Our selections, however, are gentle, perfect for all budgets and can be delivered right to your door!
Bambini Baby Massage Oil, $4.79
Keep skin soft and hydrated with a fragrance-free moisturising oil. Use generously on dry patches to heal the skin and bring back added moisture.
Gaia Baby Moisturiser, $10.99
One of the best moisturisers from the drugstore is this classic formula by Gaia. A light and non-greasy formula, which soaks quickly into the skin, and won’t cause any irritation.
Mustela Bebe Foam Shampoo for Newborns, $19.95
The perfect shampoo for newborns – and even toddlers – which helps to eliminate dry patches, without removing additional moisture from the skin. Use daily, or every few days for best results. Ideal for babies suffering from cradle cap.
L’Occitane Bonne Mere Rosemary Shower Gel, $22
A relaxing shower gel enriched with rosemary essential oils to calm your baby right before bed, and lead them into a peaceful, uninterrupted sleep. Dermatologically tested and ideal for both mum and baby.
Jurlique Baby’s Soothing Moisturising Cream, $35
A gentle moisturiser which keeps baby’s skin feeling hydrated for all seasons. Use after a bath, or on a nappy rash, to subside the side effects and soothe the skin.
What are some of your favourite baby-safe products?
Image via iStock
As we all know, life can be pretty ordinary at times and what a better way to destress, than a bit of comedy. We’re not talking fart jokes, either! Here at SHESAID we believe our readers are considerably more sophisticated than that. So our aim is to provide you will some good old fashioned, belly aching funnies, based on all the things which crop up on this adventure we call life. So, top up ya cuppa, throw the kids or pets outside and enjoy the ride!
Technology. Great invention, isn’t it? But what about when it doesn’t work for you? If you’re reading this, you’ve probably been there. If not… bugger off because you are either way too young or far too intelligent to find this funny anyway.
So, there you are, ready to surf the net or maybe you have something more important to do (what, I don’t know!) and the damn internet won’t co-operate.
First of all, you reached out for your favourite tech expert. Unfortunately, it’s nap time or they are at school and they can’t help you. Damn! Plan B is to turn the device off and restart it. You think to yourself, yep this will work. After waiting 5 minutes for this to happen, you realise you wasted 5 minutes of your precious life. Still no net on your device.
Lots of us would then do a google search on another device. Ahhh, at least that works! Or does it? You choose a site to head to, out of the 189, 006 that are available and start reading. Nope, nothing helpful here. So you head to the next and the next and the next. After opening 20 sites, you’ve struck gold! There it is – a step by step YouTube video on how to fix your problem.
You click on the video and wait while it’s buffering; which stops and starts like an old man with a poor prostate. After spending another 15 minutes of your life watching the demonstration, you are told this only works on a particular model, version or whatever else makes your device incompatible. Now, why the heck didn’t they tell you that at the start?
You continue to search by the model number, item and whatever else needs to be completely specific. An hour has gone by, as you’ve tried to fix the problem. Your bloody pressure is rising and your heart is pumping. Not to the point where you’re about to loose it though; that will come later.
You finally find something which looks might it might help you, but probably won’t, so you try the step by step instructions anyway. You know it won’t fix your problem, but you’re mighty determined. This sucka ain’t guna beat you! Seriously, how hard hard can it be? It’s a piece of plastic, people. Even though it’s clearly an inanimate object, it does have a brain of its own and at the moment, it’s winning!
So, you sit and ponder for a while. Contemplate throwing said item out of the closest window and decide instead, to get up and walk away. You’ve reached that point of no return. Right at that moment, the tech expert you wanted at the beginning, crawls or walks into the room. Ahhh, you breath a sigh of relief! Seeing the look on your face, they smile and sit down in front of the item. Within about half a split second, they turn to you and say, “I’ve fixed it.”
You give them an approving smile and a giant hug, while thinking of choking them, because you have no idea what the heck they did to fix the internet issue and the fact they have no intention of telling you their secret. You’ve been completely outsmarted, by a chunk of plastic and a snotty-nosed kid!
You look down at the screen and realise that you had forgotten to switch to the wireless setting! Seriously, could it have been that easy? Ah, yeah. You realise you have just wasted another hour and a half of your precious life, plus added several wrinkles and grey hairs to your evolving collection.
Image via visionapp.wordpress.com
Toddler night terrors are perplexing, upsetting and just plain frustrating. And while it’s highly unlikely that your little one will remember them the next day, you sure as hell will, in your traumatised, sleep-deprived state.
Our toddler started crying, whimpering and screaming out in her sleep with gusto shortly after her sister was born. And while my husband and I did everything we could to prepare our beloved, then 18-month-old firstborn daughter for her sister’s arrival, her look of utter shock and dismay upon first laying eyes on her sibling spoke volumes.
She had a face like a dropped pie and no amount of comforting or attention helped our green-eyed little monster for about the first month of her sister’s life. And so not only did we have a squawking, squirmy newborn to contend with (albeit an adorable one), but we also had one hell of an upset and cranky toddler during the day/night.
Child health experts say this is not uncommon – night terrors, sometimes referred to as confusional arousal – most commonly occur due to an erratic sleep schedule, change of routine (a new sibling, or starting school), stress, or anxiety about something in a child’s waking life.
So, what can you do with a night terror occurs? Not a hell of a lot, which is the really frustrating part. Our toddler’s night terrors seemed endless, but she did eventually calm down and grow out of them in time. Our GP advised us to comfort our child, where possible, but one of the really perplexing things about the weird and wonderful world of night terrors is that your child isn’t actually awake. Ours didn’t even know I was there, most times I rushed into her room, upon impulse, after hearing her distressed cries in her sleep of: “Mummy, mummy, mummy!”
Thankfully, her night terrors were brief – some children’s can last up to 20 minutes – but the emotional and physical toll on a parent can be very taxing. Nothing like a horrendous night terror-induced bout of sleep deprivation to make you wish you were that Tom Hanks character stranded on a deserted island in Cast Away (oh the quiet and the serenity).
If you’re not battling night terrors due to your poor first-born freaking out over a sibling, child health experts say to combat poor sleeping routines by ensuring your child gets enough sleep. It’s one of life’s cruellest ironies that the more overtired the child, the less likelihood he/she will sleep soundly.
Another thing to try, via our GP, which we had some success with, was ensuring our toddler’s calming bedtime ritual – bathtime, songs, stories, and lots of cuddles – was top priority in order to ground her.
It might also pay to keep a diary of when the night terrors occur – if you can stay awake long enough, that is.
Are you a toddler night terror survivor?
Images via www.pixabay.com
As the moral outrage continues over the plight of Gammy, the critically ill baby of a Thai surrogate mother allegedly abandoned by an Australian couple, an ugly question has emerged: would you keep a baby with Down syndrome?
This sad story has had many dramatic twists and turns, with the couple in question now claiming they didn’t know about Gammy before they took his healthy twin sister back to Australia.
Gammy’s impoverished Thai mother Pattaramon Chanbua has custody of the seven-month-old, who also has a hole in his heart and is now being treated in a hospital for infection in his lungs.
The case has prompted widespread fury and calls for reform of surrogacy services in Australia and a crackdown on surrogacy and gender selection in Thailand, a booming, multimillion-dollar industry.
But what about Down syndrome in Australia? Statistics show the far majority of couples across the western world with a positive diagnosis of Down syndrome – following a suspicious nuchal translucency (NT) test and subsequent invasive diagnostic test, such as an amniocentesis – terminate the pregnancy.
A recent Victorian study revealed in Australia only 5.3 per cent of pregnancies where there is a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome are continued – so just under 95 per cent of such pregnancies are terminated. In addition, about 90 per cent of foetuses with a diagnosis of Down syndrome are terminated in New Zealand, 92 per cent in the US and 93 per cent in the UK.
However, the current population of Australians with Down syndrome is over 13,000 and growing.
Nowadays, women also have more choice – non-invasive foetal prenatal testing became available last year – at a cost. The new blood tests, although prohibitive at a cost of up to $2000, do not pose a risk of miscarriage as per amniocentesis.
However, the decision to terminate a pregnancy is never an easy one. Too often, women are judged incredibly unfairly and harshly – I believe every woman has the right to choose and have access to a safe abortion. No one has the right to judge another’s very personal circumstances. And while the issue of child abandonment is totally abhorrent in itself, here’s where this Down syndrome story becomes incredibly personal for me.
My husband Marty and I fell pregnant with our second child when I was 38 and he was 42. We were already proud parents to a then nine-month-old baby girl, who was so angelic and such a good sleeper, we figured we’d act on our GP’s advice to go again quickly, given our “old age”.
We knew the increased risks associated with having a baby later in life, but nothing prepared us for the shock and upset of being told our 13-week baby girl was high risk of Down syndrome following an inconclusive combined (NT) test and blood test.
Being a journalist by trade, numbers scare me at the best of times, and my head was spinning and my heart was breaking as we were told we had about a one in 600 chance of having a child with Down syndrome.
Already swollen with pregnancy, I wanted to scream, rant, rage and cry oceans of tears following the finding, and I did all of these things with gusto, while my ever-calm and patient husband supported me, after an unthinking and insensitive fertility specialist compared our “problem foetus” to a vintage car.
Do not ask me to explain that one – but I digress – this cold, so-called expert strongly advised my husband and I, amid my choking tears, to consider an amniocentesis as though it was a fun event. But we’d already suffered two miscarriages, one late and one early, and there was no way we were going to put ourselves at an increased risk of miscarriage posed by such an invasive diagnostic test.
And so the emotional rollercoaster really began: could we handle raising a child with Down syndrome? Would our marriage survive the added strain? Parenthood is no picnic, even with perfectly healthy children. We talked about it long and hard with each other, our friends and families and consulted one more medical expert before coming to the conclusion that we would love this baby with every fibre of our beings, just as we did her sister.
Our kindly GP floated the idea of adoption, again speaking as if our having a baby with Down syndrome was a certainty, but we were sure we were keeping our precious and much-wanted baby. As a best friend “tough loved” me just when I needed it: you wouldn’t abandon a child if they got hit by a car, she said, and you won’t love your child any less if they are so-called “disabled”.
So, the choice had been made. I got on with the business of growing a healthy baby, got some grief counselling to adjust to this new reality and took up mindful meditation to help me deal with the stress. Stoic and strong, my husband did the maths and constantly reassured me that the NT scan was not an actual Down syndrome diagnosis – just an estimate of the probability of having a baby with the genetic condition.
And while we’re talking numbers, just let me quickly explain that Down syndrome is caused when there is an extra chromosome. People with Down syndrome have 47 chromosomes in their cells instead of 46. They have an extra chromosome 21, which is why Down syndrome is also sometimes known as trisomy 21.
In addition, traditionally a risk greater than 1 in 300 has been considered “increased-risk” and lower than 1 in 300 “low-risk”. When our risk came down to one in 305 following our 20-week morphology scan, I finally started to calm down and enjoy the pregnancy.
Even writing about it now is very hard, very emotional. And it makes me more than a little ashamed to think about how negatively I viewed Down syndrome. Indeed, our medical experts spoke about it as though it were a dreaded deadly illness or disease – as if our beloved foetus, created in love, was something so easily expendable.
It made us feel physically and emotionally sick then, and still does now. In fact, this whole experience was so traumatic, that my husband and I have blocked most of it – the emotional cost was so high. Happily, our second baby girl (pictured) was born perfectly healthy and happy, screaming like a banshee, just as her equally beautiful sister had done. But I tell you now – we would have loved that baby fiercely, with all our hearts, no matter the outcome.
Would our second daughter have been any less of a person, less deserving of love and respect and any less gifted and amazing if she was born with Down syndrome? Hell, no. She would still have been our perfect, little person. And when I saw her, and first held her in my arms, I didn’t know how I had ever survived without her. She was the final missing piece of the puzzle that glued our family together.
Main image via pixabay.com.
As a first-time parent, you’ve become the baby gear galore’s marketing dream. There’s a huge list of ‘essential’ items and before you know it, money is just slipping away. There’s no denying how expensive babies are – and they cost more than enough without having to buy all this additional stuff too.
Soon you find yourself asking “how can one tiny baby possibly need all this stuff!?” No doubt you simply want to do what’s best for your newborn, but the reality is you don’t need to be stocked up with countless purchases to accommodate the arrival. Take the clutter out of your baby’s homecoming and make sure your nursery is only filled with the ‘must have’s’! Here’s a list of items your baby doesn’t need:
Until they start to stand and walk babies have no real need for shoes, and most of the time they barely stay on anyway. Before you know it, you’ll have all the time in the world to buy those adorable sets of kicks – but as for tiny newborns slip those little feet into socks for warmth instead or ugg-boot type booties. As your baby starts to experiment with toddling around your home, bare feet or socks is actually much healthier for their development.
2. Oodles of stuffed toys
Whilst every newborn baby defiantly needs a cuddly teddy bear or two, you don’t need to spend a fortune on making sure they have every soft toy on the market. The ultimate toy for a newborn is your company, face and voice which serve as a stimulating entertainment session they actually need. As your newborn gets older (around 6 months is good), stuffed toys become necessary – until then, save your money. An overload on cuddly animals and bears as a newborn can also pose as a SIDS risk, another important reason to consider.
3. Fancy designer clothes
Sure, you want your baby to look stylish and amazing but at such a young age, it’s best to resist the urge to go on an expensive shopping spree. Buying baby designer clothes may look extremely cute but it’s inevitable your newborn will outgrow them in the next week or two. Not to mention all the spills, drool and diaper blowouts that’ll get in the way.
4. A baby bath
A big spending mistake first-time parents make is buying a baby bath when in fact; your house already comes with one. Yes – a sink! Believe it not, your sink in your laundry is actually the perfect baby bath for your newborn. Whilst it may not come with cute little ducks printed on it, it’s not going to cost you any extra.
As with designer clothes, a newborn baby will undoubtedly grow out of a baby bath pretty quickly. Utilising sinks in your home and then upgrading to the bath tub is a much more ideal and cheaper option. If you want to ‘prettify’ the sink, you can use fun wall stickers above the area for your baby to coo at and throw a rubber duckie into the sink too.
5. Expensive baby bedding
Sure you want your newborn to be sleeping in super comfy bedding, but it doesn’t need to cost you and arm and a leg. Some baby bedding sets can cost hundreds and at the end of the day, they’re just going to be ruined and washed over and over again. Many parents are drawn to the cute fluffiness of baby bedding and will spend a fortune on adorable patterns. Few of these though are actually safe and appropriate though as they pose a risk to your sleeping baby with their fleecy texture and risk of overheating. Instead, opt for thinner receiving blankets or swaddling blankets that’ll wrap your baby like a safe little burrito.
6. Changing table
As with the baby bath, your home already comes complete with your very own changing table. If your home is lacking room as it is, there’s really no use in adding another piece of furniture you’re not going to need – save your money and space! A dresser, living room table or mat on the floor can be converted into the perfect changing table for your baby. Purchase an easy-to-clean changing pad that can effectively turn almost any nook in your home into an instant changing table. Depending on which one you choose, most changing pads come complete with a safety strap and nappy storage for convenience.
7. Bottle warmer
A bottle warmer may be convenient, but it’s definitely not an essential item you’re going to need for your newborn baby. With good reason too – many parents aren’t too keen on heating a bottle up in the microwave (and we wouldn’t recommend this) but you do have hot water that’s more than suitable. Instead, sit the bottle in a pot of warming water. After a few minutes test the contents of the bottle (usually on the wrist as this is a sensitive place) and once it’s at a good temperature you can feed it to your baby. As long as you have brought the real essentials (baby bottles!), you can safely warm up a bottle without using a pricey bottle warmer.
By Corina Mentink, director of Boxt.com.au, a leading online provider of hampers, balloons and gift delivery in Australia. Connect with Corina on LinkedIn
There is no right or wrong way to phase out the pacifier from your baby’s life. It has acted as a source of comfort for months or even years, but only you can decide when it’s time to cut the cord. Here are some tips which could make the transition a little easier to deal with – for parents and baby.
They’ll cry, beg and complain for hours on end, but some parents suggest that this method is the best way to go. Instead, spend an extra amount of time bonding with your child and even distracting them with various games and activities you could play together. The more they become fixated on the pacifier, the worse the withdrawal will become.
If your child has become dependant on the pacifier for both day and night, a good way to transition is to only use it for bedtime. By the time your child is 2-3 years of age, talk to them in a clear and concise manner, and help them understand that it can only be used at nighttime. Make it part of their bedtime routine, and they will slowly transition and will avoid asking for it when they don’t really need it.
Give it away
If your child is old enough, explain to them the concept of giving it away for other babies that might need it more. A fun little way my niece gave up her beloved pacifier, was by leaving it under the Christmas tree in exchange for her presents that year. There were certainly a few times she asked for it again, but only because she needed comfort and used it when she was upset. Giving the pacifier up to the ‘Tooth Fairy’ or ‘Santa Claus’ will help children to deal with the idea that they are no longer a baby, but rather growing up and entering a new stage in their life. It is also a far less traumatic way of phasing out the pacifier, instead of going cold turkey which can be frightening for a young child.
There are a variety of children’s books where the storyline is all about growing up and moving on from the pacifier. These books are easy for children to understand, and demonstrate the type of behaviour which is expected of a big girl, or a big boy as they grow older. Some effective books include:
– The Binky Ba-ba Fairy by Heather Knickerbocker-Silva
– Little Bunny’s Pacifier Plan by Maribeth Boelts
– I Want My Pacifier by Tony Ross
Do you have any tips on how to phase out the pacifier?
Image via 5 Real Moms
By Felicia Sapountzis
New mothers (and fathers for that matter) have often been heard to cry, ‘If only this light bundle of joy came with a manual”. Before the birth of your first baby you tend to read everything you can get your hands but you often don’t think about all the information you will need once the baby is actually born and the reality can be overwhelming no matter how prepared you feel you are.