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Babies For Parents Pregnant

Pregnancy week 41 – 42: Going past baby’s due date

At week 41, if your expected delivery date has come and gone and your bun is still nestling comfortably in your oven, don’t worry just yet!

Pregnancy Week 41 – 42: Large watermelon

Your baby is now the size of a large watermelon! He may be 55cmto 70cm long and may weigh about 3.5kg to 3.9kg.

As your body gears up for labour, your baby’s endocrine system, which is responsible for hormone production, gears upas well for him to send the necessary chemical signals to trigger the labor process.

During this time, your baby will produce more stress hormones than any other time in his life, but rest assure that this is good stress for your baby. These fetal stress hormones are the same ones our body produces in flight or fight response to a life-threatening situation or a stressful event. They help your baby to transition and adapt to their life outside of your uterus in the following ways by helping him breathe, increasing blood flow to your baby’s brain and kidneys, increasing your baby’s immunity and supplying energy to the baby after birth.

There may be changes in your baby’s movements in utero at this stage, because the space your uterus has become much smaller for your baby since he is at his full size and weight now. You should still feel his movements and do consult a doctor if there are any significant decreases in fetal activity.

Going past your estimated delivery date (EDD) – pregnant mum’s emotions

You can’t wait to have your baby and it can feel like the longest weeks of the pregnancy, although it seems like you have just entered the third trimester! On one hand, you may feel tense, restless, frustrated, apprehensive or anxious in one moment due to the uncertainty of labor, or the fear of impending labors pains. On the other hand, you may feel anxious, excitement and happiness on the impending arrival of your baby.

It’s normal to feel anxious when you’re baby is staying longer in your womb than it’s expected due date.

There are a whole lot of feelings going on inside you and you might find yourself having intense, realistic dreams about baby. Feeling tired even if you have had a lot of sleep, and, imagining all kinds of situations about the birth of your baby and your life afterwards is to be expected too.

During this time, telling yourself to relax and stop feeling or thinking is likely to be counterproductive. You are entitled to allow yourself to experience all of these feelings, so take time for it and give yourself the necessary space to do so. Often, acknowledging our own feelings leads to acceptance and even relaxation and better rest, after you’ve been taken care of emotionally.

Changes in your overdue pregnancy body

 From this week onwards, you may be asked to note down baby’s moments and any bodily discomforts or changes you notice. You could also be asked to check in with your gynae more often for assessments on how the baby and yourself are doing.

From week 41 to week 42, mums may be experiencing physical discomfort such as backache, strong pelvic pressure, cramps, frequent urination and the inability to rest well due to these discomforts.

The estimated delivery date, or EDD, given to you by your gynae is a working due date that has a five-day margin of error and is not necessarily the time nature decides to takes its course. In fact, fewer than 5 percent of babies arrive on their due date, and you are actually not considered overdue until 42 weeks gestation.

There are several signs that help you know when you are going into labor. One sign of impending labor is a bloody show, which is a pink or brown tinged mucus discharge from the rupturing of blood vessels in your cervix in preparation for labor. You may have hemorrhoids, more commonly known as piles, because there is increased blood flow to your pelvic area and the pressure rests on your rectum. You could experience diarrhea too because the internal muscles are loosening in preparation for childbirth. One of the most obvious signs is, when you experience a constant fluid leak that is probably your water bag breaking.

Tips to induce labour when baby is past his due date or over 40 weeks

There are several ways to help “quicken” your baby’s arrival, the most common one of which is a “Stretch and Sweep”, where medical practitioner will separate membranes attached to the amniotic sac with a finger or two during internal examinations. This method will feel uncomfortable, but it is an effective method that can trigger the hormone that stimulates your uterus to begin contractions.

Other ways to speed up labour include eating spicy food, getting an induction massage from a credible therapist, going for walks, squats and having sexual intercourse.

Kudos on the pregnancy journey, and now it’s time to welcome your new baby into the family.

 

Waiting for the arrival of your baby in the final stages is an experience in itself. Now that your hospital bag is packed, your birth plan is ready and you have read our guide to preparing for a new baby, do try to indulge in enjoying the couple and me time available now. You’ll be glad you did!

Did your baby arrive past his or her due date too? Let us know in the comments below!

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For Parents Pregnant Uncategorized

Pregnancy week 21 – 24: Tips for Pregnant Mums

Now that you are almost at the last leg of your second trimester of this pregnancy, the next few weeks are going to be exciting as a Fetal Anomaly scan is usually conducted on Week 22 of pregnancy.

This scan is done to check if your baby’s organs are developing normally. The sonographer will use an advanced ultrasound machine to scan your baby to detect anyanomalies. During this scan,you will also know the gender of your baby, if you haven’t already found out during prior chromosome tests.

Want to inject some fun during pregnancy? Hold a gender reveal party and have friends and family guess the gender of your baby!

Week 21: Carrot

At this stage, the length of your baby is almost as long as a carrot, as it gains fat to keep warm for life outside the womb. In these few weeks, they will be developing their organs. Buds for permanent teeth are forming. Your baby’s skin is transparent and turning from pink to red as blood vessels form underneath.

At 21 weeks, your bump will change your centre of gravity and could make you feel clumsy. Slowing down your pace may help with establishing balance.

It is essential that you continue with a nutritious diet suitable for pregnant women. If you are vegetarian, fret not, as we have vegetarian meal ideas for mothers-to-be too.

 Week 22: Coconut

In some hospitals, week 22 is when the Fetal Anomaly Scan is conducted. Your baby will be carefully scanned via ultrasound to see if its organs are intact and normal. The sonographer will be able to tell you your baby’s gender. Your baby’s eyes have formed but the irises are still devoid of pigment. If your baby is a girl, mammary glands will start forming from this week. If your baby is a boy, his testes will start lowering into the scrotum.

A gender reveal party can be a fun event where your families and friends gather to guess your baby’s gender!

Do you find that your skin is glowing and your hair is shining? This is due to the extra moisture that your body is absorbing. The increased blood that is pumping in your pregnant body contributes to making your skin glow too.

Pregnant mums need a healthy diet to ensure both mum and baby gets sufficient nutrients for healthy development.

Week 23: Grapefruit

Your baby’s hearing is becoming sharper. The sounds that were muffled are now becoming clearer. Apart from your heartbeat and voice, your baby will start to hear sounds that are further away, like the sound of construction or an ambulance siren. Your baby may respond to sounds in-utero, so continue talking, reading and even singing to your baby!

Constipation or lethargy may hit you due to progesterone, a pregnancy hormone. Bowel movement may become irregular as your baby places pressure on your rectum and slows your system down. Constipation is a symptom that affects about half of all pregnant women. Consuming more fibre can alleviate this problem. If you encounter bleeding from your bottom, let your gynaecologist know.

 Week 24: Cantaloupe

Your baby at 24 weeks is considered to be “viable”, which means that if he or she were to be born unexpectedly, his or her lungs may have developed sufficiently to allow her a chance at survival, with close treatment and monitoring in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Extreme prematurity is uncommon and if your pregnancy has been smooth, it is likely that your baby will be born at full term. Your baby’s brain is growing rapidly and he or she is practising various facial expressions in the womb.

If you’re intending to travel, it’s good to note that you will require a medical certificate from your gynaecologist approving travel between Week 29 and Week 36 (uncomplicated single pregnancy) and Week 29 and Week 32 (uncomplicated multiple pregnancy).

To accommodate your new body shape, did you also start buying maternity clothing or breastfeeding apparel during your second trimester?

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Babies For Parents Pregnant

Pregnancy week 17 – 20: the start of second trimester

Congratulations and welcome to the second trimester -you’re almost at the halfway mark!

Many pregnant mums call this the “honeymoon period” as their energy levels seem to bounce back during this time. Also, your dresses from pre-pregnancy days might start to feel tighter, so you might want to swap them out for dresses with an elastic waistband or opt for maternity wearto accommodate your growing bump. Many maternity dresses double up as nursing dresses for convenient access when breastfeeding or pumping.

Your baby’s growth will be measured during gynae visits to ensure that your baby’s size is healthy during the second trimester.

Week 17: Pear

Your baby is now the size of a pear! His heart is now beating at a regulated pace of 140 to 150 beats per minute, twice the speed of an adult’s. What’s your week 17 baby doing in the womb? Certainly not slacking off, for sure. Your baby is practising essential movements to prepare for life outside the womb, such as sucking and swallowing.

Their identity will start to be more prominent as swirls and creases start to form on their fingers and toes – yes, those are fingerprints and toe prints!

 As your baby grows bigger and heavier, you’ll feel hungrier and hungrier, like you could really eat a cow! To prevent massive weight gain, try this instead of binging – have more frequent snacks of healthy food in smaller quantities. When planning your meals, make sure that your meals contain the essential nutrients for pregnancy and take note of the foods to avoid. You might also feel your back achingas the second trimester of pregnancy also marks more obvious weight gain. Get a cushion to support your back if your job is deskbound.

During the second trimester, pregnant mums should continue staying active, and consider prenatal exercises when given the green light by their doctors.

 Week 18: Sweet Potato

Your little one at week 18 is now big enough for you to feel most movements he makes. All those twists, rolls, kicks and punches could be strong enough to take you by surprise. You may even feel your baby’s hiccups. Other mummies have described baby hiccups as “bubbles” or a fluttering feeling.

Inside, your baby’s reproductive system is forming and the fallopian tubes and uterus are in proper position for girls and for boys, his genitals will be visible from the next visit.

Some pregnant mums’ feet and ankles start to swell during the second trimester. This is a sign of water retention as your body needs more fluid to support you and your growing baby. To alleviate the effects, keep your legs elevated and avoid standing or sitting for long periods of time.

Lines that start appearing on your belly are stretchmarks and while they are mostly genetic, you can use stretch mark creams to keep the skin moisturised as much as possible to minimise the effects.

 Week 19: Mango

Vernix caseosa, a protective covering that prevents your baby from coming out wrinkly at birth, starts to form. A mix of dead skin cells, lanugo and oil, it is your baby’s first anti-wrinkle cream. Your baby’s lungs are developing and the main airways are forming this week.

You could be suffering from constipation due to the pregnancy hormones and iron supplements. Increasing your intake of fluids and fibre may help your condition. Feeling dizzy at times? That’s due to the growing pressure on your blood vessels from your uterus that reduces blood flow and causes you to feel faint. Once you experience such symptoms, sit or lie down immediately to prevent yourself from getting hurt.

Week 20: Banana

Welcome to Month 5! One of the cute things your baby can now do in-utero is sucking her thumb. This sucking reflex is useful for her to self-soothe when she enters the world.

You may be feeling out of breath at times due to your uterus pushing up against your lungs. However, you can still attempt simple exercises at home to keep fit and stay healthy.

Is your husband feeling left out? He doesn’t have to be, as there are many ways that he can help you with the pregnancy.

Are you enjoying your second trimester too, mummies? Do share how different it was from your first trimester!

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Babies For Parents Toddlers

A ‘Thank you’ Letter to My Child’s Father

To the father of my children,

Mothers are often put in the spotlight as the ones who sacrifice their all for the family. While that’s not untrue, fathers are given a lot less credit for what they do. Fathers provide more than financial support but also emotionally. I want you to know that you’re an awesome dad to the children and that I appreciate you.

From the start when we discovered our pregnancy, you have put in effort to be involved in every step of the way. From taking time off work to be there with me during gynaecologist visits, attending prenatal classes together and massaging my aching feet. Oh, and that time when I was pregnant and requested for “pizza, sushi or McDonalds, I don’t know”, and you came back with pizza, sushi AND McDonalds? Perhaps you were satisfying the little baby’s cravings?

As we counted down the days where we would become a small family of three, we were nervous yet eager. Pregnancy hormones gave me mood swings that saw me burst out crying at the smallest things. You would hold me and tell the baby to behave. Prodding my belly made the baby move and you would spend minutes playing with the baby this way. You helped to massage my aching feet that were bloating up from water retention and even helped me to cut my toenails when my tummy was too large for me to reach my toes.

From being there from the start, thank you my dear husband.

In the delivery suite, from the moment we heard our baby cry, our lives changed entirely. I wanted to breastfeed from the start, and you were supportive of it, often bringing me water when I latched so that there would be enough milk for the baby.

You never once shied away from fatherly duties. You handle poopy diapers like a pro, and burp the baby after latching. Sometimes you get puked on, but you laugh it away. I haven’t told you this, but mealtimes are much easier because you take the effort to feed our child instead of being hands-off. Diapers, feeding, bathing, changing clothes, there’s nothing you can’t help with the kids.

Although you’re tired when you return home from work, your face lights up when you see our child running to greet you. You’re the light of her life, and it shows. It is your effort – you invested the time to sit down, play with her and understand her needs. There’s no one else who would be able to play with them the way you do. The kids love it when you carry them on your shoulders. That’s something I wouldn’t be able to do. In a way, carrying them on your shoulders is a symbol of how they can rely on you in their growing-up journey.

Sure, there have been arguments and disagreements on the way we parent our child but overall, I’m glad that we are in this life journey together.

For doing the best that you can, thank you my child’s father.

For loving the family, thank you.

For choosing to end work on time to be at home with the family, thank you.

For giving the children your best, thank you.

Thank you, my dear husband, my child’s father.

Loving you through the tiring days and more,

Your wife and child’s mother

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Family Fun For Parents Pregnant

Pregnancy Week 1-5: Preparing to Conceive

Are you and your partner planning for a baby?

If so, it is vital that ladies start on folic acid supplement ideally two months before conceiving to reduce baby’s risk of neural tube defects, congenital heart defects, cleft palate and cleft lip. The recommended dosage is 400mcg daily.

Prior to conceiving, here are some of the things which you can do to increase your rate of conception:

  • Schedule a visit to the gynaecologist
    A gynaecologist will review your medical history as well as any medications that may affect fertility.
  • Avoid smoking, drinking and excessive amounts of caffeine
    Cigarettes and alcohol have been shown to reduce fertility rates and it is wise to cut down on those as well as cut down on caffeine. Limit your daily intake of coffee to not more than two cups.
  • Aim for a healthy weight
    If you are overweight or underweight, it makes conception a little bit harder and could cause complications. Try to aim for a healthy weight range to increase your chances.

Folic acid can be found in green leafy vegetables and is an essential nutrient which supports a healthy pregnancy.

WEEKS 1 & 2:

At weeks 1 and 2, you’re not actually pregnant yet! That’s because the estimated due date (EDD) is calculated from the beginning of your last menstrual period. This means that the period before conception is also taken into consideration.

In order to get pregnant, you need to understand when you are ovulating. If your period generally lasts about 28 days, ovulation is about 14 days from the first day of your period. This is thus the best time to try conceiving, as an egg only lives about 12 to 24 hours after leaving the ovary. Each cycle sees about 20 eggs being released from the ovary.

WEEK 3:
If fertilisation is successful, the egg will move from the ovary into the uterus, where it will attach to the uterine lining. At this stage, it doesn’t resemble anything like a baby as it is a group of 100 rapidly multiplying cells and is about the size of a strawberry seed.

You won’t even notice that you’re pregnant at this stage as there are no noticeable signs and you wouldn’t have missed your period yet. This is because most early pregnancy symptoms are caused by pregnancy hormones and the level in your body is not high enough to cause a reaction yet.

Smoking greatly reduces the chances of conception – women who smoke are 30% less likely to conceive than non-smokers

WEEK 4:
The outer layer of the ball of cells is now splitting into the placenta and the inner layer, into the embryo. Your baby’s neural tube which is the building block of the brain and spine, is already formed. This is when you will start to notice that you have missed your period and suspect that you might be pregnant. Over the counter pregnancy test kits should be able to detect pregnancy, though sometimes the pregnancy hormone (hCG) levels are not high enough to be detected. If so, try again after a few days.

WEEK 5:
Congratulations! You’re pregnant! Your baby is now the size of an apple seed, or about 3.3mm. You should have noticed some visible early pregnancy symptoms by now, such as nausea, vomiting, sore breasts and fatigue. This is termed as morning sickness, except that the symptoms last throughout the day for weeks.

Continue taking folic acid supplements and be aware of the foods to avoid during pregnancyand the necessary nutrients required for pregnant mumsto help your foetus develop healthily.

How did you discover your pregnancy? Let us know in the comments!

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Babies For Parents Health & Nutrition

5 Ways Fathers Can Support Breastfeeding Mums on Their Journey

Breastfeeding mums face huge challenges – from latching issues, engorgement, breastfeeding illnesses such as mastitis and difficulties expressing milk comfortably at work. Breastmilk has been shown to be beneficial to babies’ development and the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends to breastfeed exclusively for at least the first six months of a child’s life.

 

A breastfeeding mum requires loads of support. If you’re a new father, here’s how you can play a part to give your wife a morale boost to ensure that your baby receives the best form of nutrition.

 

  1. Lend a helping hand

 

Whether mum direct latches or exclusive pumps, dads can support mums in different ways. When mum is latching baby, you can place a cushion behind your wife’s back to make it more comfortable, or bring her a drink to help her stay hydrated.

If the baby is on the bottle, offer to take over the feeds. Not only does it give your wife some time for a power nap, you also get to bond with your baby! That’s a win-win situation! After your wife finishes expressing breastmilk, help her to wash her pump equipment, bottles and pop them into the steriliser.

 

Bottle feeding lets father and baby enjoy some close moments together.

 

  1. Read up more about breastfeeding

A mother new to breastfeeding may encounter sore or cracked nipples which may bleed. By reading up on the causes of painful nipples and correct latching methods, you can help to soothe your wife’s misery and make the breastfeeding journey a more pleasant one. Otherwise, search for recommended International Board Certified Lactation Consultants available in Singapore.

Breastfeeding Mothers’ Support Group and hospitals such as National University Hospital and Mount Alvernia have certified lactation consultants who will be able to ease engorgement, correct latching methods and assist in the use of breast pumps.

Lactation tea contains ingredients which are known to boost breastmilk supply.

 

  1. Feed her well

Did you know that breastfeeding mothers require an additional 500 calories daily? Stock up the refrigerator with wholesome, fresh foods such as vegetables, fruit, wholegrain, fish, poultry, seafood, beans and legumes to make sure that the calories taken in are nutritious as well.

There are certain ingredients which may help with the production of breast milk, such as oat, salmon, flaxseed, millet and barley. Take note that the milk-boosting effects may not be apparent for every woman and an ingredient which increases breastmilk production for one woman may cause a decrease in supply for another.

 

In addition, 88% of breastmilk is water. To prevent dehydration, it is essential that a minimum of 2L to 3L of fluids a day is consumed. Besides water, breastfeeding mums can consume soups, juices, water, lactation tea or even milk to make up the daily fluids needs.

A satisfied baby with a full tummy sleeps better!
  1. Support your wife against naysayers

During the breastfeeding journey, your wife may encounter unpleasant remarks from relatives, friends or strangers. Some may downplay your wife’s breastfeeding efforts and make her feel lousy by commenting on the amount of milk produced or the size of your baby.

Support your wife’s decision to breastfeed by fending off these remarks politely but firmly.

 

  1. Pack breastfeeding essentials for outings

With a constant lack of sleep, your wife may be too tired to pack baby’s diaper bag when your family goes out. Other than packing items that baby needs, remember to throw in a nursing cover and/or pump equipment with milk bottles so that your wife can breastfeed comfortably even when she’s outside.

 

Congratulations on this brand new journey together as parents! The above tips should help daddies to make your wife’s breastfeeding journey more bearable and less stressful. Have more tips to add on for new dads? Add a comment to let us know!

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Babies For Parents

New Parents Guide to Preparing for a New Baby

Having a new baby is a huge milestone and it can cause jitters for many couples who have no idea what to do. If you’re one of them, don’t fret as we have compiled a short guide which you can refer to for help.

Have fun preparing for your new bundle of joy!

 

Baby Essentials
Should you get a cot, playpen or a co-sleeper bassinet? Which stroller should you get? When considering big-ticket purchases, it may be wise to brave the crowds at a baby fair where you can see the items in person and decide better. If you’re not particular, you can consider purchasing second-hand options to save money. Do check to ensure that they are in good working condition.

Some parents purchase only items that are absolutely necessary and buy the rest after the baby is born. Items that are necessary include newborn rompers, washcloths, toiletries, swaddle cloths, socks and diapers.

A baby bassinet can be placed right next to the bed for easy access to your baby in the first few months.

 

Feeding

Contrary to popular belief, babies should be fed on demand rather than according to schedule. A newborn generally drinks about 60ml to 90ml of milk every 3 or 4 hours if formula fed, and more frequently if breastfed. Rather than sticking strictly to a schedule and recording down all the details, it is better to look out for your baby’s hunger cues instead.

Hungry infants start off by licking their lips and making smacking sounds before rooting, fidgeting and squirming. If they are still not fed, this progresses into frantic crying.

If your baby is fully breastfed, nurse your baby the moment he or she exhibits hunger signs. It is rare for exclusively breastfed babies to be overfed so there is no danger in latching frequently. Breastfeeding also provides comfort and security to your newborn.


Umbilical Cord Care

The umbilical cord stump will take about a week to dry up and fall off. It is important to maintain the hygiene around the umbilical cord by keeping the cord stump clean and dry. Use a cotton bud dipped in warm water to gently clean around the base of dried blood and wipe the cord dry with a clean cloth. Keep the area airy to let the cord dry up faster.

 

Bathing a Newborn

Newborns can be given sponge baths until the umbilical cord has fallen off. Use a clean, warm towel to wipe your newborn’s face and body. When it has fallen off, you can use a bathtub with infant bath support to free up your hands to bathe your baby thoroughly.

Do ask the nurse at the nursery or an antenatal professional to demonstrate to you how to bathe a newborn if you are unsure. Both new daddy and mummy can learn and try – a little practice will help with growing your confidence!

Newborns require a lot of security from their parents since they’re new to this large and scary world.

 

Cuddling

It is perfectly alright to pick up and cuddle your newborn when he or she cries instead of letting him or her cry it out. Studies have shown that cuddling is not only perfectly safe, but it has long term effects on their health and development. Frequent skin-to-skin contact leads to improved neurodevelopment and lower rates of aggression.

Some experts believe it is impossible to spoil a newborn by carrying them “too much” as their needs are very much basic at this age – to be fed, cleaned, burped and comforted.

We hope this simple guide will be useful for you as you make preparations to welcome your very first baby. Feel free to share what you’re most anxious about when handling newborns!

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For Parents Pregnant

Dads-to-be, Here Are Ways You Can Be Involved During Pregnancy Too

Dads-to-be, are you feeling confused and left out? Being involved in the pregnancy strengthens your relationship and lets your wife know that she’s not alone in this journey. Read on to find out how you can support your wife during her pregnancy in 8 simple ways!

1. Be part of the pregnancy
The most important step in supporting your wife is to ensure that she knows you’re there for her. When announcing the pregnancy to friends and relatives, say “We’re expecting a baby” instead of “My wife’s expecting a baby”. This small move acknowledges your involvement in the new chapter both of you have embarked on so your wife knows she’s not alone.

2. Do the house chores
It’s time to roll up your sleeves and make life as comfortable for her as possible. If you don’t have the energy for house chores, get a helper to maintain the house in a clean condition. Pregnant women have a nesting instinct which creates a desire for a place that is spick and span to welcome her offspring.

Dads, it’s time to work those muscles and help with the house chores, especially when your wife’s pregnancy bump gets bigger.

3. Help out with the baby shopping!
Part of the fun comes from shopping for the new little one! Rather than simply passing your credit card to your wife, take interest in the necessary preparations to show your support. If you’re up for it, visit a baby fair to get a feel of what’s needed and what’s not. Baby fairs often have cheaper deals too!

4. Accompany her to gynaecologist visits
Try to be there with her for visits to the gynaecologist. Your wife will definitely appreciate the emotional support, especially during the oral glucose tolerance test in the 2nd trimester. What’s more, you’ll get to see your little one moving in utero via ultrasound!

See your little one at the monthly gynaecologist visits – it helps daddy to bond and understand how the pregnancy has progressed too.

5. Attend antenatal classes together
Taking care of a newborn can be daunting for first-time parents. Prepare yourselves by learning how to handle newborns from the experts. Some classes offer practical sessions with a doll. Although it’s nothing close to the real thing, having some experience and knowledge is better than being cluesless when baby is here!

6. Talk to the belly
Foetuses in utero are able to hear sounds from their external environment. Start bonding with your baby by singing, reading or simply talking to your wife’s belly. From the second trimester onwards, you’ll be able to feel baby’s movements including some sharp kicks! You’d be surprised – when your baby is here, she’s also likely to respond to familiar song and voices too!

7. Capture the memories
Surprise your wife with a maternity photoshoot to capture this precious moment in her life. You can even do a before-and-after shot in the same spot and pose after your baby is born!

Capture your wife’s glowing moments with her baby bump – the pregnancy journey is precious and memorable for both husband and wife.

8. Have a babymoon
A babymoon is a vacation taken during pregnancy. It’s one of the last few times to fully enjoy each other’s company. Air travel is restricted for pregnant women over 32 weeks of pregnancy, and a medical certificate is required between weeks 28 to 32, so remember to plan your trip before week 28! Morning sickness usually goes away by the end of the first trimester, so consider travelling in the second trimester.

Women undergo huge emotional changes during pregnancy and it is important that you show your wife that you’re there for her. Try the above steps to see if it helps and leave a comment if you have other ideas on how to pamper your wife!

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For Parents Toddlers

Life with Kids – 10 Ways to Strengthen Your Marriage

Parenthood is a life-changing experience for a couple.

Before the kids came along, you probably spent most of your time on intimate conversations, planning holidays and date nights. Now that your hands are busy with diapers or an active toddler, when was the last time you even held hands?

Don’t forget to enjoy time together as a married couple even after becoming parents!

With little mini-me’s who are dependent on your care, and an avalanche of baby-related topics to talk about, the focus on each other as a couple may seem like a flickering flame. So, what can parents do to strengthen their marriage and keep romance alive? After all, you were a couple first before becoming parents, and connecting as individuals keeps the relationship glowing and going.

#1: Think of each other

This might sound easy, but when we are caught up in the busyness of our multiple roles and responsibilities, and focused on getting things done, we probably spend very little time thinking about our better half. Send her a text in the day to say, “I love you”, or, get your wife’s favourite cake to surprise her at the end of a long day. Think of your spouse and let her know that! Thoughts translate into actions towards filling our partner’s love tank, and it is a wonderful feeling to know that someone is thinking of you too, isn’t it?

 

#2: Speak the right love language

Remember those days when it was just the two of you, and how all that fuzzy lovey feeling was like? Your partner’s love languages are most likely to be the same as before, even with the kids who are vying for your love. According to Gary Chapman who coined The 5 Love Languages, men and women have diverse ways of “feeling” loved, so take a minute to remember what makes your spouse tick. Was it: words of affirmation, acts of service, physical touch, receiving gifts or quality time? These little steps go a long way in helping to keep the marriage going.

 

#3: Creative communication techniques

Parents often spend most of the day apart from each other, but that should not be a reason for the lack of communication. With technology and some creativity, it is easy to stay connected with your spouse and keep things fresh. No time to meet during the day? Have a quick 5-minute chat, or, send a text via WhatsApp, WeChat, Viber and add a cute emoji, or a funny selfie. It is always nice to feel appreciated for our roles in the family, just like how these mums are sharing their heartfelt thoughts about their husbands for being together as a team. That would help brighten up your husband’s dreary day at work, knowing that his partner for life is always there.

Children are like our pillars in a marriage, where our love is built upon and grows from.

 

#4: Be more patient with your spouse

Caring for the kids may be a priority, and it is easy to neglect an adult since he or she is not as dependent on you like the kids. Make effort to pay attention to your partner’s needs, even those non-verbal cues, as this little action helps show that you care. Being more patient with your husband or wife when they help with the kids would help affirm their actions positively, and reduces arguments over the children too.

 

#5: Encourage your kids’ independence

Sneak in pockets of time together when the kids are on their own. Letting the kids develop independence, and enjoy activities on their own allows them to appreciate their own personal space and time too. It is a double win, and both adults get to raise wine glasses and catch up with each other at the end of the work day, or over the weekends, while the kids establish life skills over time. Sounds like a winner!

 

#6: Plan couple time and don’t feel guilty

Scheduling in couple time sounds easy, but many parents may feel guilty for being away from the children. Parents need time away whether for individual growth or as a couple, and being a parent is only one of the multiple hats they wear. Deliberately planned time together gives both of you something exciting to look forward to (think: endorphins, happy hormones and dates!), and precious quality moments like these are better cherished too. That certainly makes for two happy lovebirds in the marriage.

 

#7: Get help with the kids

Planning for couple time sounds like the easy part, so, what do you do with the kids? Enlist support from trusted adults who can help care for your little ones when both of you are spending time together. Knowing that the children are in good hands helps make the quality couple time a better one. The last thing you need is to start an argument over the idea of “outsourcing” the childcaring to get more time together.

Are you nurturing your marriage even after having kids?

 

#8: Understand that there are stages in a marriage

Just like our children’s developmental milestones, there are stages in a marriage too. Post-honeymoon period during the initial wave of all-things-romantic, things may have gotten a little routine until your first child came along. With the new role to grow into, the spouse in you may have taken a back seat for a while, but remember that children are part of the love equation. Pretty sure that the children added some spice to your marriage too!

 

#9: Don’t be shy about hugging and kissing in front of your kids

Whoever said that public display of affections are reserved for secondary school kids? Married couples hugging and kissing in front of their kids are simply reinforcing that physical affection of love is valued in the family. The human touch is important in healthy relationships, and just as physical affection with our children is completely acceptable, it is surely normal between daddy and mummy – just keep it child-friendly!

 

#10: Fall in love all over again

It is time to bring back romance and fall in love again with the very person whom you pledged your vows to. With children in the family, it is easy to neglect working on the marriage. Take time to celebrate the both of you, and enjoy the company and love of your better half on both journeys as husband-and-wife, and mum-and-dad during this lifetime.

Like parenting, marriage is a lifelong path which takes effort and commitment to nurture and protect. Marriage is a sacred union that needs just as much love, as we set ourselves as healthy examples to our little ones about marriage and relationships. Raising happy, world-ready children in a marriage of abundance allows children to thrive and learn about from their role models too.

How do you fuel your marriage even after having children? Do share your tips too!