Summer Pregnancy: Tips to Beat That Heat

Comfort in pregnancy can be hard to come by. Comfort in the summer while pregnant is even more of a challenge. This summer, don’t let that summer heat get you beat. Below you find several tips and tricks to stay cool (& hydrated) during some of the hottest months of the year.

  • Getting fresh air can be vital to your mental and emotional health when pregnant. But does the thought of that make you want to wilt? Try this. Do the outdoor tasks (such as walking or exercise) in the morning or early evening when the sun in lower and the temperatures aren’t as scorching. 
  • Your clothing can contribute to the heat your body feels. Try wearing light-colored clothes that are light and breathable. This alone can make a huge difference. 
  • Remember to stay hydrated. Sports drinks with electrolytes can help replace lost salt and retain fluid. Be mindful of sugar content though!
  • A spray bottle of water can help refresh your face and neck.
  • Quick showers throughout the day can drop your body temperature and help you to stay cool.
  • Take frequent naps, if you’re able. This is the time in life where sleep really is benefiting you and another little human you are nourishing. 
  • Ask for help if you’re too tired to cook or run errands!
  • Put feet up. This helps to alleviate swelling and also forces you to relax a bit. 

Being pregnant in the summer (or delivering your baby) means that you and baby are able to get outside a bit, which could be helpful in the postpartum healing process. Stay cool, mamas! 

Spring into Baltimore!

The long awaited winter has come to an end and Baltimore is gleaming in all its
beauty. This spring, make sure you take part in all that Charm City (and the
surrounding area) has to offer. Below you will find several outdoor, kid-friendly
events that are bound to entertain the entire family.

April 26 & 27: Charm City Bluegrass Festival

Charm City Bluegrass Festival, winner of the 2016 International Bluegrass
Music Association (IBMA) Momentum Award for Event of the Year and 2018
Best Festival by Baltimore Magazine, invites music lovers and foodies to
gather in Druid Hill Park on Friday, April 26 and Saturday, April 27 for the
seventh annual celebration of bluegrass, folk and Americana with three
stages, 20 bands and two days of family-friendly festivities including local
food, a limited release beer from Union Brewery, artists, a kids activity area
featuring animals from Irvine Nature Center, spontaneous jam sessions and
more.

General Admission varies but kids under 10 are FREE! Parking is free with
cost of admission.

April 27-30: Day with Thomas the Train at B&O Railroad Museum

Day Out With Thomas is a fun-filled event that provides children of all ages
the opportunity to climb aboard and take a ride with Thomas as well as
participate in Thomas & Friends™ themed activities. The tour, now in its 24th
year, will make 37 stops across the U.S. and Canada, and is expected to
welcome nearly one million passengers in 2019. For two back-to-back
weekends at the B&O Railroad Museum little engineers and their families are
invited to take a 25-minute train ride with their favorite engine, Thomas the
Tank Engine, meet Sir Topham Hatt, Controller of the Railway and enjoy a
day of Thomas & Friends fun with crafts, photo ops, and more.
Tickets are $22-$26 for ages 2 & up. Parking is free and available on site.

April 27: Dia Del Nino/ Kid’s Day

Back for its ninth year on Pagoda Hill (Patterson Park), Día del Niño is a free
day of fun celebrating our community youth! Get excited for the many
activities, including piñatas, Folkloric dance performances, face painting,
sports and games, paper rockets, arts and crafts, giveaways, nature activities
and much more. Most activities are geared towards children 2 – 12 years old.
Bringing over 2,000 people to the park, all activities, performances, and food
are free and nothing is bought or sold during the event so that families can
enjoy all it has to offer without having to think about price! Rain date: April
28th.

May 8: Bug’s Life Playgroup

We’re going BUGGY! Join (cool) progeny for a Cool Tot Time that’s all about
bugs at Brown Memorial Preschool. Dress to be outside as we search for
bugs, enjoy a story, make a bug craft, and have a snack. Tot times are
designed for children ages 1-5 and their caregiver. Babies under 12 months
of age are free!

May 11: Annual African American Book Fair

Enjoy a fun-filled day focused on kids’ literature about African Americans and
people of other ethnicities. Enjoy author readings, illustration workshops,
live performances, and art activities. Purchase hard-to-find titles in Book
Village. 7th year. Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland

May 19: Baltimore Birth Festival

Join vendors, care providers, local businesses, birth workers, and more for a
day of family fun and information on pregnancy, postpartum, and parenting
supports available in the Baltimore area. The event includes face painting,
food trucks, Kona Ice, a kid-friendly DJ, and over $4,000 in giveaways. Event
is held at Patterson Park and is free for the community.

**These are only a few of the many events held this spring in the Baltimore area. For
more events, visit www.baltimoreschild.com.**

Placenta Print Art

placenta prints

The placenta is an amazing organ that gave your baby life for the 9 or so months that s/he lived inside of your body. Most often this organ is discarded as medical waste with a total disregard for it’s important work. Instead of tossing it, how can you honor the birth of your baby and maximize the use of the “tree of life?” Placenta art may be one of the last things that pop into your head, but there are a number of reasons why to consider having your baby’s placenta printed:

  • These unique works of art commemorate one of life’s most treasured moments.
  • It restores the ancient tradition of honoring and having gratitude toward the placenta’s purpose. For hundreds of years, some cultures have buried the placenta as a way to honor the life and connect the baby back to the earth.
  • It is a lasting depiction of the conduit between mother and baby and holds a memory of the pregnancy.
  • It can serve the purpose of nursery décor and also be a fantastic conversation piece.
  • It is a relatively easy and inexpensive add-on service to encapsulation or as a stand alone service.

These prints can be displayed on a wall or kept with baby’s other precious mementos. Whatever you choose to do with your prints, know that it is a lasting way to celebrate the birth of your baby.

Contact us to discuss whether placenta prints are right for you!

 

 

A Memorable (and cheap) Baltimore Winter

Winter days are frigid and short but children still seem to find the energy to
bounce off the wall. They don’t quite understand the beauty of a slow and relaxing
morning with a good book and big cup of coffee! Dreamy, right?
Ever wondered how to make the most of those blustery, winter months without
feeling those claustrophobic blues? This winter, let Baltimore (and the surrounding
area) surprise you with events and places to explore!

The Miracle of 34 th Street
If you don’t already know about Baltimore’s best kept Christmas secret, then
it truly is a best kept secret. Peruse the quirky neighborhood of Hampden while
sipping some of the Charmery’s hot cocoa. A crowd pleaser, for sure. Pop into Trovh
for some local gift ideas. Make your way to 34 th Street as the Christmas block truly
does shine for miles. The lights are on from November 29-January 1. It is free to the
public and makes for a great photo op.

Highlandtown’s Train Garden
Take a trip to Baltimore’s very own little neighborhood of Highlandtown this
holiday season. An impressive toy train set geared to awe any child. You will be
surprised at the attention to detail and Baltimore charm this little train garden
holds. The train runs from November 24- January 1 and is located at #41 Engine
House on Conkling Ave. Wrap up your event with dinner at the century-old Italian
kitchen and market, Di Pasquales. You will not be disappointed.
This is a free event but does accept and appreciate donations.

Holiday Festival of Trains
Got a train lover on your hands? Here’s another event promising to please.
While not in Baltimore city, this event claims to be the largest train display in the
area. Held in Ellicott City’s B&O Railroad museum, this set up includes a multilevel
Lego layout with interactive elements. This toy train is in operation November 28-
January 25 and costs $6-8 for admission.

12 Days of Science
The Maryland Science Center has incorporated activities this winter that go
far beyond checking the weather. Solstice-themed planetarium show, toy-making
workshops, “Christmas Bulb Drop Challenge” are bound to please all ages. Drop in
December 20-31 to have some interactive hands-on learning experiences. All extra,
holiday themed exhibits are free with paid admission.

It’s a Waterfront Life
This December, visit Baltimore’s very own Inner Harbor for an array of
festivities. Ice-skating (open until January 21), Christmas Village and photos with
Santa (both open until December 24) make every child excited for the upcoming holiday. Pop into Barnes and Noble for some hot chocolate and a cozy spot to read
and warm your toes. Events range in cost.

Baltimore Museum of Art
Free of charge and open all year round, this museum is an attraction worth
exploring. Browse colorful art and roam through rooms of talent. The sculpture
garden outside is interesting as well. Children will love to visualize, detect, and
discover through an artist’s eyes. Also, every Sunday from 2-5, the BMA hosts a craft
making event for children that is FREE. All materials provided. A family event that
guarantees to encourage a creative mind.

Babywearing: The Holiday Helper

babywearing

With the holiday season in full-tilt, those of you with new babies may be feeling a bit hesitant about taking your little ones to holiday gatherings or to community events. Concerns range from not wanting Aunt Susan to sneak your baby a taste of that pumpkin pie to trying to avoid kisses from every well-meaning friend and family member.

Prevent the Pass-Around
Of course you want to show off your little bundle, but you want to do it on your terms. It feels uncomfortable to have baby being passed around from person-to-person. Cue babywearing! People are far less likely to reach out for baby when baby is snugly wrapped or strapped to Mom or Dad. It offers an unspoken barrier stopping people from requesting a chance to hold baby since it’s clear that baby is very comfortable and secure. This gives the caregiver the ability to offer baby up for a snuggle if one so desires rather than having to refuse the request or even worse, oblige the request even though it’s not what you want to do.

Don’t Miss Feedings
With the hustle and bustle of holiday events, it’s far easier to accidentally skip a feeding. As babies get a bit older and more easily distracted, all the noise and goings-on of a holiday celebration could result in baby bypassing her typical feeding cues. While baby might not even fuss at the missed feeding, a nursing mom may experience engorged breasts and even risk mastitis. With baby held closely in a wrap, sling, or carrier, the physical proximity helps keep caregiver and baby attuned to feeding needs.

Do Miss Unwanted Feedings
There’s always that one relative who feels it necessary to give baby “just a little taste” of the whipped cream or “just a pinch” of Grandma’s beloved holiday cookie. It’s frustrating to find out, after-the-fact, that your baby has been given something that his sensitive gut might not be ready for yet. Thankfully, with baby comfortably enjoying the party secured to your chest, no one can sneak an unwanted taste to your baby.

Avoid Overstimulation
Babywearing provides a grounding experience for baby: the rhythmic sound of the wearer’s breathing, the steady heartbeat, and the gentle movement. All these things offer baby a familiar, safe, and comfortable environment even when the surroundings may be totally unfamiliar. It even allows baby to snuggle in for a much-needed nap with music and laughter and chatting in the background.

Babywearing is the ultimate holiday helper. You can attend your holiday event with the peace of mind knowing baby is cozy, comfortable, and insulated from unwelcomed circumstances. Even better, you can keep baby close with your hands totally free. That means more trips through the buffet line for you. That alone is a reason to celebrate! Happy holidays!

Spanking: What’s the Research Say?

spanking

The age-old debate has recently surfaced yet again. The hot topic issue of spanking as a means of discipline continues to divide parents across our country. While most Americans think that spanking is simultaneous with parenting, The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) points to insurmountable evidence that spanking may actually be harmful for a child’s brain development and may in fact lead to aggression and mental health disorders. This loud cry from the AAP may be just what it takes to shift the tides and decline the spanking era.

A recent study asked 758 children between the ages of 19-20 years old how often they had been spanked, slapped or hit with an object as a form of punishment as a child. The author of the study, Jeff Temple, connected children that admitted to experiencing corporal punishment were more likely to have recently committed dating violence.
“For children, their parents are the most important people in the world, and they learn from them what are social norms and how people should behave towards one another. Corporal punishment confuses the boundaries between love and violence for children while they are learning how to treat others,” claims Dr. Bob Sege, a spokesman for the AAP who specializes in the prevention of childhood violence.

An expert in partner violence, Emily Rothman, also claims that being hit by a parent can elevate stress and can reduce a child’s ability to cope. This, in turn, leads them to lash out when they are angry or upset. The UN Committee of the Rights of the Child defines corporal punishment as “any punishment in which physical force is used and intended to cause some degree of pain or discomfort, however light.”

The latest data shows that 73.6% of parents strongly agree that spanking is sometimes necessary to discipline a child. Most of these parents argue “they turned out just fine” and continue with the behavior. AAP spokesman contradicts that our goal in parenting is not to have children that “turn out just fine” but that are “healthier and happier” than the previous generation. “There’s no benefit to spanking,” Dr. Sege said. “We know that children grow and develop better with positive role modeling and by setting healthy limits. We can do better.”

We’ve asked Baltimore parenting educator, Sheena Hill of Parenting Works for an alternative to physical punishment for poor behavior. “We’re beyond thrilled that the AAP has strengthened it’s position on spanking. But the new recommendations fall short of helping parents understand their most important tool for gaining cooperation: your relationship with your child. As social creatures, the limbic system of humans is literally built with responsive interactions with other brains (and the people they belong to). This means that your child’s top need when behavior is off-track is connection with you! Remember that all behavior is communication and children are attachment-seeking (not attention-seeking), so focus on providing authentic connection prior to any type of correction and lesson-teaching. This ensures that your child’s brain feels calm and secure enough to be receptive to learning and thinking more clearly (because you can’t learn when you’re in distress). In my experience as a responsive parent coach, I’ve found that most parents don’t want to spank, but they struggle to know what what to do when kids just aren’t listening. How can you focus on connection in the heat of the moment?

1. Take 3 slow breaths, so you are ready and open to connection with them.

2. Put your phone down (or whatever else is in your hand) and get close to them, if possible. Soften your body (if you’re still feeling tense) and make eye contact as you offer a loving touch or gently say the child’s name.

3. Don’t worry about stopping their feelings or fixing the situation. Instead, just offer your presence, touch, and voice to confidently validate their experience and emotions. Your only job is to help your child feel understood enough that the body naturally resets.

4. Once the child is calm and back to the thinking part of the brain, you can restate your limit and follow through, by empowering the child with choices (“it’s bath time–would you like to walk up the stairs or be carried?”) Or by using play to build a bridge and keep them calm and ready for cooperation (“it’s time to get in the car. Let’s walk like robots out the door!” Or “it’s time to clean up. What toy would you like to bring to the car with you?”).

5. If you notice a pattern of repeated not listening, use connection as a proactive tool to help them feel more regulated as a baseline.”

 

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