Revolution Mother

Revolution Mother

Archive of ‘Parent Advice’ category

Pain Relief in Labour: The Ins and Outs

Labour can be an uncomfortable, painful experience for many women. Of course the end result is worth it – you have your own beautiful bundle of joy! However, pain relief can be necessary, as some women find it too much to bear. There are many different options out there, from natural methods of relief to more medical forms of relief. Ideally, you should construct a birthing plan to help you, but it’s important to keep an open mind – birthing plans never go fully to plan! Here are the different methods of pain relief available to you during labour, and more information about each:

Image Author: Flickr

Self Help

Self help is a great way to relax yourself in labour, which can help you cope better with the pain. Self help includes:

  • Learning as much as you can about labour to ease your worries. Go to antenatal classes, watch programs, speak to your nurse/midwife/doctor, and read books.
  • Learn how to stay calm during the process, breathing deeply.
  • Trying different positions that feel right for you.
  • Bringing a partner or relative to support you.
  • Having a bath.

Hydrotherapy

Hydrotherapy is basically being in water during labour, and this can make the whole process feel less painful for you. Ask if you can have a bath, or use a birthing pool to make things more bearable. The temperature will be comfortable but not above 37 degrees.

Gas and Air

Gas and air is a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide. It won’t remove all of the pain, but it can make things more bearable. Women usually like this method as it’s easy to use and they feel more in control of the situation. You’ll take slow deep breaths through a mouthpiece as a contraction begins.

Pethidine

Pethidine is usually injected into the thigh or buttock and can help you to relax, which will in turn help you to feel less pain. The effects last between 2-4 hours, and it takes about 20 minutes to work. There are some side effects to be aware of with this kind of injection, including:

  • Sickness and forgetfulness.
  • Can make it difficult to push if it hasn’t worn off by the end of labour.
  • Making it difficult for the baby to have it’s first feed.

TENS

Some hospitals allow you to use their TENS machines, or you’re free to rent one. They are most effective for pain relief during the early stages of labour, where pads are placed on to your back. Pulses are then sent from the machine, and these are thought to help your brain release more endorphins, lessening the pain. They are also thought to distract you from the pain you’re in and help you to feel more in control.

Epidural

An epidural is a local anesthetic, and numbs the nerves that carry pain impulses from the birth canal to the brain. An epidural can give complete pain relief for most women. It’s helpful in women who are having a very long labour, or those who are getting stressed. There are side effects, including:

  • Loss of feeling in your legs.
  • Dropped blood pressure.
  • Prolonged second stage of labour.
  • Finding it difficult to pass urine.
  • A sore back.
  • Headaches.

There are other methods of pain relief available during labour, but the methods above are the most popular. Discuss other methods with your midwife or doctor and decide what’s best for you!

3 Ways to Keep Your Family Safe

3 Ways to Keep Your Family SafeAfter watching the local news for a half hour, many parents will be afraid to let their kids leave the house. But even inside, there are plenty of dangers lurking. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a bodyguard or an IT professional to keep your family safe and be a great parent. Here are three key areas to focus on family security.

1. Keeping Intruders Out

There are lots of practical steps to secure your home front and protect against theft and criminals. Simple things like regularly checking your locks and bolts and making sure your house remains well lit can go a long way in deterring intruders. Small solar lights can light up walkways and steps to help light the house.

Today, most houses have armed security systems with burglar alarms. You can install a great surveillance system that allows you to check in on things from your mobile device when you are out. For finding more details about home security systems, click here.

2. Staying Safe Online

Perhaps the biggest threat comes from inside the home. The Internet is full of predators and hackers from around the world who want to get into your house to steal valuable information and do other malicious things through the web.

Regularly talking to kids and teens about computer use is one of the best ways to open up communication about safety on social networks, games and websites. A good rule is to place the computer in the living room or other high traffic area where parents can keep an eye on the screen. With mobile devices and laptops, it can become more difficult to monitor. Some families decide to rule out using devices in bedrooms. Others install browsing programs like Safe Eyes that protect against explicit content.

Some families meet together to sign a contract about how they will help protect each other from the unfriendly presences on the Internet. The Family Online Safety Institute offer its own family contract to clearly outline how parents can help protect kids and how kids can be wise with their computer use.

3. Don’t Talk to Strangers and Other Rules

Finally, it is important to educate your children about safety when they leave home. A good guideline is to begin by fostering good channels of communication with your kids so that they talk to you about any questions they have or situations that make them feel uncomfortable.

Dr. Laura Markham recommends several rules for every family.

•Prioritize your child—one of the best ways to protect them from predators, bullies, drugs, etc.

•Teach kids how to swim

•Let your children know that their bodies belong to themselves only

•Help your kids develop healthy judgment about places and people

The world can be a scary place, but with these important guidelines to follow, you can help keep your family safe and happy.

Image from http://www.baystatehealth.com

Creating the dream bedroom for your child

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Image by MAZZALIARMADI.IT 

A child’s bedroom is a really important place for most children, and if you can decorate it in a way that they like, so much the better. Giving children their own personal space that they have some element of choice and control over can really encourage them to show their independence, in the way they use and look after that space.

Not every child can have their own room, but it’s still possible to personalise their space in a shared bedroom. There are so many beautiful items of furniture and accessories for children’s bedrooms that you could really go to town on decorating and furnishing the room just how they’d like it, but it’s also possible to achieve a lot through accessorising too.

How much input you allow your kids to have on how their bedrooms will look depends on how old they are. For babies and toddlers, you call the shots, obviously, but when kids get a little bit older, they might have quite strong views on how they’d like their bedroom to be. Of course, it’s up to you whether you allow them free rein in choices for their room, but you should always exercise the power of veto over any outlandish decisions that you don’t want in your house. Ideally you can strike a balance so that they have some freedom of choice which will make them feel important and know that their opinions are valued.

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Image by jingdianjiaju 

If you don’t know where to start, take a look at sites like http://www.gltc.co.uk where you’ll see a whole range of different room sets, with themes to suit children of all ages. You could choose bedroom furniture that will see a child from being a toddler through to their teenage years – opting for classic wooden beds and wardrobes, for example. But there are also sports car and princess beds, as well as high beds and bunks. If you go for the classic furniture choice, you can always change the accessories, fabrics and soft furnishings to change with your child’s taste over the years. It’s far easier to replace a rug and curtains than it is to buy a whole new set of furniture!

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Image by amy.gizienski 

Storage is always an important factor in a child’s bedroom –they accumulate a lot of stuff over the years. If you can provide them with good storage units, then there’s no excuse for a messy bedroom! The wooden shelving units that you can fill with canvas drawers are a really good idea, as some can be left empty and used as shelves for books or to display trophies and ornaments, while others can have coordinating canvas drawers in them to store clothes, toys, etc. These can also be replaced to match your child’s different tastes as they grow.

Whatever you decide to do to decorate a child’s bedroom, getting them involved in some way can make it a fun project that both you and they will enjoy.

The Truth About Labour: What to Expect

Nearly every mother to be will have doubts about what exactly is going to happen during labour. You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t! However, we’ve managed to get in touch with a load of new moms, and they’ve filled us in on what was most surprising to them during their labour. We’ve compiled a list of those surprises especially for you, so you know exactly what to expect when your little one is on the way! Here it is; the truth out labour…

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You Might Get Sent Home

First time moms who arrive at the hospital with contractions might be surprised and dismayed to find that they get sent home. The first part of labour where you’re waiting for cervical changes can take 2-3 days, so if you’re in this stage it’s likely you’ll spend the time at home. By staying active at home you can speed up the process!

You Might Not See Your Doctor

New moms can be surprised when they realise that their doctor doesn’t stay with them through the whole birthing process. Instead, you’re much more likely to see the midwife from beginning to end. Remember, you’re not the only one in labour, so your doctor could be with someone who is much closer to delivering than you.

You’ll Probably See Lots of New People

It totally depends on how long you’re in labour, but you might see many different faces before your baby comes in to the world. Hospitals usually work in shifts, so if you’re in labour for 36 hours you could see 3 nurses and 3 doctors before your baby is born. More people will be in the room when you’re about to deliver.

Epidurals equal Catheters

You might not already know that epidurals require you to have a catheter inserted into the urethra. This is because the nerves in the lower half of your body will be blocked, making it too difficult for you to get up to go to the toilet. You’ll also be given the epidural with plenty of liquid in a drip, so you’ll no doubt need to go after you’ve had it. A catheter will be there until you have to start pushing, so you can go right where you are. A tens unit will be a more natural way of relieving pain, so discuss this with your doctor or midwife if that’s what you want.

You Won’t Be able to Control Your Bowel

Yes, it does sound gross and embarrassing, but 80% of women can’t control their bowel movements during childbirth. You shouldn’t worry though, as the hospital staff have seen it all before and clean it up so fast that you won’t even notice it’s happened.

Everyone Has a Different Labour

Every single woman has a different experience during labour. You can speak to as many people as you like, but your experience will be totally unique. You should prepare yourself for what to expect, but don’t stress too much over the fine details!

7 Car Shopping Tips For New Parents

Going out car shopping is always a fun time as you get to check out all sorts of different car models from different car dealers and private sellers until you end up choosing ‘that’ car!

Just because you are a parent, or you are expecting a newborn soon, doesn’t mean that you still can’t have fun when you go out shopping for suitable family cars!

Image via Flickr

If you are in the process of looking around for a family car, here are 7 helpful tips to ensure that you choose the right car for you and your family, rather than a car the salesperson wants you to buy!

1. Don’t buy a car until you buy a baby seat first

This might sound a bit odd, but let me explain! A large number of people tend to buy a family car first and then a baby seat later on, but the trouble with this is you have no guarantees that the car seat you want to buy will fit your car correctly!

Consider taking the baby seat with you when you go to view cars, so that you can see whether the car is suitable for your baby seat or not.

2. Let your baby test the car out

Should you have a newborn in tow, it is the perfect opportunity for you to fit a car seat into the car you want to buy and strap your baby in so that you can check out whether the car is right for you and your baby.

3. Check out Euro NCAP safety test results

Safety is the top priority when it comes to buying a family car, so before you even head out to look at a particular car you should do some research online first and find out how well it has done in Euro NCAP safety tests.

4. Sit in the back of the car

Rob from http://www.cardealwarehouse.co.uk/ recommends that any parent should sit in the back of a car that they are thinking of buying so that they can see whether there is enough space for parent and baby to sit in the back of the car.

5. Consider 4×4 cars

Most families will end up buying estate cars or people carriers, but you should also consider 4×4 cars such as the Land Rover Discovery and the BMW X5. Generally, taller cars are easier to get babies, children and cargo in and out of than ‘lower’ cars like estates, for example.

6. Try to fit your pram or stroller in the boot

Some people opt for buying smaller hatchbacks due to budget constraints or parking limitations where they live. It is important that you buy a car that you, your baby and children, and your pram or stroller can all fit into simultaneously!

7. Check out online reviews from the motoring press

Before you buy any car, you need to determine how reliable it is going to be. Websites such as Parkers are a great free resource for information pertaining to reliability and cost details on a number of popular car models.

Achieving A Happy And Healthy Family

Achieving A Happy And Healthy Family

A parent’s greatest wish is for their children to receive everything they have ever wanted. Even though it is a part of life, parents hate seeing their children hurt, be in pain, or suffer from sickness.

Creating a healthy family atmosphere can provide children with a happy, healthy life.

Family Physician

A key to maintaining a healthy family is to have a family physician. Because a child’s health is extremely important to their growth and health later on in life, having a personal family physician ensures parents that their children are being taken care of. Furthermore, concierge medicine doctors, because of the personal relationship, allow parents to feel at ease when the doctors are giving a check up to their children, for it feels like a family member is looking after them.

The Importance Of Nutrition

Kids can be picky making mealtimes difficult with their stubborn attitudes. With guidance and creativity from their parents, children will find healthy foods they absolutely love—and can’t get enough of.

First and foremost is breakfast. It truly is the most important meal of the day because it dictates the rest of the day. Children and adults need a high fiber breakfast in the morning to give them the energy and nutrients to complete the rest of the day. Even if it is a mad dash to be on time to school, it is essential to take the time to grab a healthy breakfast. Skip the Pop-Tarts and instead stock the kitchen with whole-grain waffles, bananas, yogurt, oatmeal, etc. All of these items can be quickly cooked and eaten on the go to school.

For dinner, involve children in the cooking process. Whether it is simply asking them to choose from a few healthy recipes to giving them tasks to complete in the cooking process, children will be more likely to eat something they have had a hand in.

When it comes to dessert, children should learn about moderation. Instead of allowing children free reign to sweets all of the time, create designated times when sweets are allowed. Whether it is a weekend special or a Wednesday after school treat, having a set time will teach children to choose sweets in moderation.

Being Active

With all of the technology available to kids today, natural outdoor activity is not so natural anymore. Whereas children used to spend hours outside playing and using their imagination, many times they stay inside to play video games.

Involve children in sports or plan family time to take evening walks, hikes, or bike rides. Go to the park and play baseball, soccer, or spend time on the swing set. Children learn by example, thus spending family time in activity together will teach children how much being active is and will carry on with them as they grow.

Time

Apart from physical health, children need to nurture their emotional health. Children adore their parents and need time with their parents. No matter how busy and hectic life gets, time with children should never be cut short.

Having a healthy environment will teach children how to have healthy, happy life.

Image Source: http://www.kidspot.com.au

A Guide to Making Childbirth as Stress-free as Possible

Pregnancy and labour can be a stressful time, although they can also be happy and joyful. Bringing a new life into the world is something very special, so you’ll probably want to make the labour as stress free as possible if you’re expecting the pitter patter of tiny feet sometime soon. It’s normal to feel scared and apprehensive, but by reading our guide on making your childbirth as stress free as possible, you’ll feel much better about the whole thing and it’ll be over before you know it! Here’s what to do when the big day comes:

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Use a TENS Machine

Obstetric Tens machines can be a massive help during childbirth. It’s a natural way of relieving pain, but it can help you a substantial amount when in the throes of labour. They are perfectly safe and can even be used with other pain relief methods! Make sure you get yours from a reputable supplier, and test the Tens machine as soon as you receive it so you don’t get any nasty surprises while in labour.

Do Your Research

The more prepared you are, the better. If you can research and find out everything there is to know about what to expect, you’ll feel much better about the whole process. You should be aware of all of your options, familiar with the environment you plan on giving birth in, and research what is going to happen. Speak to friends and family that have given birth, read books, and use the internet!

Create a Calming Environment

By creating a soothing environment, you’ll feel much calmer when you go into labour. Check to see if your hospital offers an alternative delivery room, as these are sometimes made to look more homely than a traditional delivery room. Take some pictures from home, a portable stereo, and anything else you think will calm you on the day.

Meditate

Many people are now trying something called hypnobirthing, which helps ladies in labour put themselves into a deep state of relaxation. You can take classes for this, or even try visualisation on your own. Picture happy places, picture a wonderful labour where you hold your baby in your arms, anything that keeps you calm and focused.

Use Water

Warm water can really offer relief as it eases discomfort and can loosen tense muscles. You can usually find a specially designed tub for labour, but make sure you arrange this kind of birth with your midwife first.

Do The Things That Make You Feel Better

You may have attended birthing classes that taught you ways to calm yourself and help you to feel better, but at the end of the day you need to go with the flow to have a stress free labour. If squeezing a pillow makes you feel better, do it. Some women even find that lying on a cold floor helped!

Women’s bodies are built for childbirth, so you shouldn’t be afraid. Try some of the methods above and you’ll have your newborn baby in your arms before you know it!

The Healthy Way to Lose Your Baby Weight

All new mums seem to have issues with losing weight after giving birth to their little baby. Those who don’t could be considered not human! Muscles and skin are stretched during pregnancy, and that’s why it can be so hard to snap back into shape after giving birth. But don’t worry – all hope is not lost! There are plenty of ways you can lose your baby weight, the healthy way:

Image Credit: Flickr

It’s so important that you try to lose your baby weight the healthy way. You should never deprive yourself, and make sure that you’re giving your body everything it needs to function – especially if you’re breastfeeding your baby. Obviously being a mum will be your top priority right now, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to get back to your healthy self. You’ll feel much more confident, have more energy for your baby, reduce the risk of anxiety and depression, and feel much better in general.

Exercising

Obviously, exercise is one big way to lose weight after having your baby. Where you start totally depends on how fit you were before the pregnancy, but you’ll need to be careful and get the go ahead from your doctor before doing so. You’ll then want to build up your exercise program slowly until you’ve improved your endurance and stamina. You could try yoga for exercise that will strengthen your core, and walking is great too.

Stay Hydrated

It’s very important to stay hydrated, especially if you’re breastfeeding. You should be drinking around 2 litres of fluid per day, and this could include tea, coffee, fruit juice, milk, and water. Water is probably the best option however, as it doesn’t have any calories or added ingredients!

Eat a Healthy, Balanced Diet

It’s important you eat a healthy, balanced diet. Starving yourself will do your body no good – your metabolism will slow down as your body goes into starvation mode, you’ll be more likely to binge later on, and you won’t have the energy to properly care for your baby. Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, lean meat like chicken and turkey, fish, nuts, eggs, sweet potatoes, Greek yogurt, and whole grain bread to watch the baby weight drop off. There are some diet shakes out there that could assist you to burn fat, but stay away from the likes of Slim Fast and Weight watchers as they have rubbish ingredients. Eat healthy, whole, natural food!

Get as Much Sleep As You Can

Sleep plays a big factor in weight loss and how our bodies work, although it’s not always easy to get a quality sleep when you have a new baby. Sleep deprivation has been linked to eating more calories, so try to get 8 hours of sleep per night. Sleep when your baby is sleeping for the best results!

To lose your baby weight the healthy way, it should help you to remember that this isn’t a short term plan. You should be looking at this as a change of lifestyle in order to see great results. Consistency will help you spring back into shape!

I Want My Baby Back…RIGHT NOW!

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Aired by BBC1 on Monday 13th January, ‘I Want My Baby Back – A panorama Special’, may give us all pause for thought.

As a father and grandfather, I have seen many times, children in my care to become over excited or playing roughly and bouncing off the floor and walls. It is part of everyday play, whether they are cowboys fighting indians, or saving the universe from intergalactic robots, they will sometimes hurt themselves. Only when they get changed, are the bruises revealed. How many of you out there have felt people will think you are abusing your child if they see the bruises? I was a tree climber, a good one. My legs were always black and blue and my mother, on occasion, wondered if people would ponder what went on in our house.

Here in the United Kingdom we have a comprehensive social services system, essential it is too! It is a fact that some children are abused, and they desperately need protection. Our Social Services department though seem to hit the headlines in a big way when they get it wrong.

If any of you out there are going through this dreadful process, it is essential that you consult expert child custody solicitors. You cannot defend yourself in these circumstances.

Panorama addressed several specific cases where children were removed from their families for, what may be considered, as dubious circumstances. At a glance, these cases seem outrageous. ‘There but for the grace of god go I’ is the thought that many parents must feel when learning of these cases.

I fear that the featured family’s stories though, are just a drop in the ocean. For all of the good work they do, Social Services may be making mistakes every day and destroying families. Taking away from parents, their entire reason for living and permanently damaging the child’s feeling of security at home.

Take the case of Amy’s son who had multiple fractures. Taken into care along with his elder sister only to be returned home after several weeks. Were it not for expert representation, Amy’s children would never have been returned to her. She was powerless and railroaded by the system.

Now we need Social Services; they do an essential job. The do help and protect abused children. They are, however, only human, and if they suspect harm even without evidence then they must investigate. Sometimes this can lead to overzealous mistakes.

Then comes what, seems to me, to be a horrible flaw in the system; time. From an outsider’s point of view, it makes my blood boil. The time it takes to get a simple decision. Waiting another week to speak to someone. Another assessment that can’t be carried out until next month. All the time more harm is being done. It is quite shameful. All the stops should be pulled to find out whether that child is genuinely at risk as quickly as is humanly possible, not so it fits in with the directors diary. If mistakes have been made by the social worker, or abuse disproved, get that child home where they belong without delay.

Maybe it is time that the whole system is looked at again. Yes, remove a child if abuse is suspected, of course it is the right thing to do. Then, in that child’s interests, keep the parents informed and represented from day one. Set the machine swiftly in motion and give these cases the urgency that the children need. Provide the parents with a valid avenue of appeal to go down when they know they are innocent.

Panorama has shown that for some of us, the citizens of this country, the system is faulty. Thank heavens for the people who go to court in defense of such miscarriages.

This may be a simplistic view as I am an outsider but then again, most of us in this country are outsiders. So the director of Social Services would do well to cut short that business lunch and get back to work, before the British people hold him/her to account. This simply cannot go on any longer.

The Secret Motoring Tips That All Parents Should Know About

Driving on and around Britain’s roads can be challenging and stressful at times, especially during rush hour traffic. So imagine how much more compounded this motoring mayhem can be if you are a parent driving around with your kids in the back of your car!

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One of the most stressful time in any parent’s motoring career is the inevitable “school run”. But despite all this depressing motoring, there are some practical hints and tips that all parents can take advantage of in order to make their driving experience a much easier affair.

Here are the secrets to family motoring that all parents in the United Kingdom need to know:

The early parent gets the parking space

As I mentioned a moment ago, one thing that many parents get really stressed out about is the daily school run; dropping their kids off to school and then picking them up again later that same day.

This process has to be repeated Monday to Friday, and believe me; it never gets any easier! Normally parents end up arriving at their children’s school at a time when everyone else has also arrived, so it can be an absolute nightmare trying to find somewhere to park!

Sometimes you will even find parents double-parking because they can’t find a space close to the school; this can be an extremely dangerous thing to do and should be avoided at all costs.

Now here’s the thing: by arriving at your child’s school early enough, you will be able to get your pick of the parking spaces! Of course, this can sometimes be difficult to do if your child gets out of bed late in the morning, but it’s still achievable nonetheless.

Don’t smoke in the car

If you or your partner are smokers, then you should avoid smoking in the car regardless of whether your kids are in there or not. Just last night I parked my car outside of a shop and noticed that the occupants of the car next to me had a baby and a small child in the car with them, and the parents were both smoking with the windows closed!

You might think this is such a stupid and selfish thing to do considering second-hand smoke can affect the development of a growing baby or child’s internal organs, yet according to a newspaper article a few months ago, nearly 200,000 kids between 11 and 15 in England are exposed to high levels of these toxic fumes in their parents’ cars every day!

Buy a suitable car

Ferrying babies and children around in a car can sometimes be a bit of a nightmare, but the situation could be made worse simply because you don’t have the best car for the job!

So if you’re driving around in a small hatchback, you should consider trading it in for a more family-oriented car like an estate or people carrier from car dealers such as Junction17cars.co.uk

You will easily find a car to suit your requirements and budget, regardless of whether you are looking for a brand new or used car.