Baby

Why Motherhood Is A Far Greater Sacrifice Than Fatherhood

Parenting is hard for both genders. But it’s most grueling for women, in a number of areas.

I Don’t Want To Be A Parent, Except When I Hear You’re Having A Baby

Even though I know I have no business having a baby, it feels like a door closing on my fingers every time I see it happen to someone else.

Why I’ve Decided To Have Only One Baby

How would I sustain another human while failing to keep myself afloat?

I Can’t Be Your Friend Anymore, Now You’re A Mother

Being a mom changes you. And your friendships.

The Devastation Of Having A Miscarriage While Your Friend Has A Baby

I didn’t know how to be happy for her and mourn for me at the same time.

I’m Scared To Have A Baby

I peed on a stick… and the test came back positive.

Why We Need To Dispel The Myth Of Late-Term Abortions

Contrary to popular opinion, women don’t use abortions as a form of last-minute birth control.

Catholic School Did Nothing To Prepare Me For Sex

My male classmates learnt how to put on condoms while we learnt how to use tampons.

Trump Has Tantrum Over Crying Baby

“You can get the baby out of here.”

The Depressing Thing The Bullying Of Jennifer Aniston Says About Us

The world needs to get the message our bodies aren’t up for public commentary.

Why I Drank While I Was Pregnant

Cheers to having agency over your own damn body.

When Your Miscarriage Is A Relief

When I found out I was pregnant, I was shocked and scared.

My Friends Dumped Me When I Had A Baby

They showed their true colors, and I made new BFFs.

Robyn Lawley On Health, Happiness, And Motherhood

“In order to be the best you, you have to take time out. A healthy you is a healthy parent.”

5 Baby-Safe Skincare Products

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.

RELATED: Must-Have French Pharmacy Skincare Products

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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What are some of your favourite baby-safe products?

Image via iStock

Weekend Wit: Caught In The Interwebs (Or Not)

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

What To Do When Your Baby Won’t Stop Crying

You’ve done everything you could think of. You’ve fed your baby, you’ve changed her half a dozen times in the last hour, you gave her lots of cuddles, you even checked her temperature to make sure she doesn’t have a fever and she still won’t stop crying. What else could you do?

Common reasons why babies cry

You’ve probably already know most of these reasons, but I’ll mention them anyway because sometimes in the middle of sleepless haze we can forget the most obvious things. Babies cry because they’re hungry, tired, they need a nappy change, they’re overstimulated, they have gas, they’re suffering from pain or illness. Sometimes they seem to cry for a reason only known to them and unfortunately they can’t communicate it.

Even when you identify the reason, you may not be sure what to do about it. Take overtiredness or overstimulation, for example. It’s not as simple as putting your baby to bed or taking the stimuli away – by that time your baby have probably already worked herself into a state of uncontrollable crying that she can’t just snap out of.

Tricks to calm a crying baby

If you’re worried that your baby is sick or in pain, don’t hesitate to get a doctor’s advice, even if they already recognise your voice over the phone at the doctor’s practice. It’ll give you a peace of mind and a reassurance that you’re doing everything you can.

Once you’ve eliminated illness and most of the other reasons for crying, try some of these tricks:

  • Offer breastfeeds for comfort, even if your baby is not hungry. You cannot overfeed a breastfeeding baby.
  • Put the baby in a baby carrier or a pram and go for a walk. This worked so well for my own babies that eventually I got convinced that they were only crying because they wanted to go out. That was probably not the case, it’s more likely that the movement and the change of scenery calmed them and distracted them into finally falling asleep.
  • Use an exercise ball to bounce on while holding your baby. It’ll give you a break from the constant pacing around the room and still provide calming motion for your baby.
  • Use white noise like the vacuum cleaner or special white noise recordings. I haven’t found this effective, but I know other people who swear by this method, so it’s worth giving it a try.
  • Change the baby’s position onto her side or her stomach. Some experts say that it reminds the baby of her position in the uterus and it may also help release the gas, if that’s what’s bothering her.

Recognise your own limits

Spending hours trying to comfort a crying baby can be exhausting and can make you doubt your abilities as a mother. In truth, these crying episodes have happened to most of us and they have no reflection on your parenting skills. Not being able to cope with the constant crying is definitely not a sign that you’re a bad mum, either, and neither is reaching out for help. Ask your partner or a friend to take over while you’re having a break or call a helpline for emotional support.

Image by TanyaVdB via pixabay.com

By Tatiana Apostolova

Would You Keep A Down Syndrome Baby?

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.

Gammy, amniocentesis, Down syndrome, baby, nuchal test, genetic testing, prenatal testing,

How To Wean Your Baby Off The Pacifier

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.

Cold turkey

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.

Bedtime

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.

Read books

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

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