Emergency Contraception, The Morning-After Pill

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Taken from OptionLine
https://optionline.org/emergency-contraception

“Emergency contraception is a type of birth control you can take after you have unprotected sex. Sometimes it’s referred to as the morning-after pill. There are two types commonly available: Plan B One-Step® (and others like it) and ella®.

Both kinds of emergency contraception can be used up to five days after unprotected sex, but Plan B One-Step becomes less effective over time. You can buy some types of emergency contraception without a prescription, but other types do require a prescription.

If you think you might be pregnant, you may want to take a pregnancy test before taking emergency contraception. Both types of morning-after pills can cause an abortion, depending on when you take them and when you had unprotected sex.

Plan B One-Step, ella, and other forms of emergency contraception are not recommended if you are pregnant, and can actually hurt you if you take them while you are pregnant.”

For a free pregnancy test, or to talk to someone about your concerns, click here to contact us.

Having a Healthy Pregnancy

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Taken from The First Things First Parent Kit
https://www.firstthingsfirst.org/parent-kit/having-a-healthy-pregnancy

When you are pregnant, your body will change, and you will have many new feelings. Taking good care of yourself becomes more important than ever. Start getting health care as soon as you can. Research shows that the more you are cared for during pregnancy, the better you can care for your newborn.

Get Prenatal Care as Soon as You Can

As soon as you think you are pregnant, you should start getting regular medical check-ups. This is known as prenatal (before birth) care. Prenatal care is for both you and your baby. You can see a family practice doctor, or a doctor who specializes in pregnancy and childbirth (obstetrician-gynecologist). Or you can see a nurse midwife or nurse practitioner. For free and low-cost prenatal care, contact AHCCCS (Access).

Prenatal Health Care Visits

At each visit, your doctor or other health care provider will check your health and your baby’s heartbeat and growth.

She will test your blood for low iron, hepatitis B, diabetes and other problems. She can also test for HIV, tuberculosis and certain rare birth defects. Many of these problems can be treated.

Ask about getting flu and Tdap vaccines. Tdap guards against whooping cough. These vaccines are safe during pregnancy.

Tell your provider all the medicines, vitamins and herbs you take. Ask if they are safe to take during pregnancy.

Say if you have back strain or are exposed to any chemicals or radiation at work.

If you want to learn more about nutrition, how your body is changing, what to expect during and after birth and more, set up an appointment for our Earn-While-You-Learn classes. The classes are free!

Preventing a Toddler Tantrum

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First Things First Article by Ofelia Gonzalez
https://www.firstthingsfirst.org/first-things/preventing-toddler-tantrums

We’ve all seen it. A toddler in the middle of the cereal aisle at the grocery store. On the floor, screaming that they want a certain cereal and a parent trying their best to calm them down. If you’re a parent, you’ve probably been there.  Young kids can get overwhelmed. Research shows that a toddler tantrum is a normal response to anger and frustration. The part of a toddler’s brain that regulates emotion is still developing.

Those public meltdowns may seem unavoidable. And sometimes they are. But there are things you can do to limit the chances of a tantrum.

One approach is to give your toddler clear choices. For example, go back to the cereal aisle. You probably have some preapproved options in your head, the cereals that you’re willing to purchase. Present your options right away. “Corn flakes or Cheerios?” Show your toddler the two boxes and have them choose. This way they feel a part of the decision-making process, but aren’t overwhelmed. And you’ve limited the choices to two or three options that you approve of.

This approach can apply to many potentially-frustrating situations. “Do you want to color or do a puzzle?” “Do you want to wear the blue or the red shirt?” By calmly offering choices that you control, you’re empowering your toddler while avoiding the power struggle and hopefully a tantrum. It’s part of setting limits, which young kids need to develop self-control.

It won’t always work, of course. But keeping calm and being consistent in your approach should, over time, help make tantrums less likely.

Too Excited

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By Mandy L. Hall, VP of Operations, Phoenix

Recently I saw a TV commercial that stood as a friendly reminder to get tested for STD’s and STI’s.  While I agree with the importance of getting tested, the way the writers went about it was nothing short of heartbreaking.  They chose several people to be the face of this commercial, including all demographics.  One part that stood out to me was a couple lying in bed and they said something along the lines of, “We meant to use a condom, we just got too excited”.  Whoever cleared this commercial is either completely ignorant on what was being spoken about, or they are callused enough to trick the American population, including our youth, that condoms make it safe to have sex with someone and not get a sexually transmitted disease or infection.  Let alone the fact that those infected support our medical community with over 14 BILLION dollars a year (and that was over a decade ago).  Here is an FAQ off the Food and Drug Administration’s website that I found particularly interesting.

“When used consistently and correctly, condoms are highly effective in preventing HIV. They are also effective at preventing sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) that are transmitted through bodily fluids, such as gonorrhea and chlamydia. However, they provide less protection against STDs spread through skin-to-skin contact like human papillomavirus (genital warts), genital herpes, and syphilis.
Although highly effective when used consistently and correctly, there is still a chance of getting HIV if you only use condoms, so adding other prevention methods can further reduce your risk.”

At what point do we get to in order to think, “Ya know, this person is just worth the risk.”, instead of, “I’m worth the wait!”?  Now, I’ve known people that have gotten married, knowing their future spouse had an incurable STD, and they were willing to take that on because of the lifelong commitment they were agreeing to.  They are a perfectly happy, healthy couple that I adore, but they both suffer the repercussions of one choice, made by only one of them, one night, years before they were married.  Even though they were never able to conceive, they have a beautiful family that only the Lord could have put together so perfectly.  

The problem is, our society as a whole lacks commitment on so many levels.  Vows mean very little these days and a pledge is merely words.  Kids are thrown out with the trash and sold off for parts.  There is a reason why today there are more than 35 STD’s and STI’s and in the 60’s there were only 2 major ones that were seen.  Coincidentally that is when the “Free Love” Movement took place and now our society is paying the ultimate price.  I can only imagine where we might be 10 years from now….. 

The mistake isn’t when you are too excited to use a condom, but when you get too excited, don’t use discretion or self control, and give a permanent piece of who you are away so earnestly or nonchalantly.  A piece that should belong to your future spouse and may, in fact, affect the rest of their lives if you choose unwisely.  News flash: It’s not just about you.  If you want to land a relationship where your counterpart thinks about you, considers how decisions will impact you, and chooses what is best in regards to you, don’t you need to do the same for them?  It’s time to raise your relational expectations.  YOU ARE WORTH THE WAIT!

If you would like to have an honest conversation on what healthy relationships look like and what sexual integrity means for you, we would love to meet you right where you are at in life and walk the journey with you.

NOTE: This article is not intended for those who are in abusive relationships, or being forced to participate in sexual acts against their will.  That is a different topic for another time, but to you I say, “GET OUT”!  Please contact us immediately if you need help.

When reading to toddlers, books with pictures are ‘just right’

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First Things First Article by Ofelia Gonzalez
https://www.firstthingsfirst.org/first-things/when-reading-to-toddlers-books-with-pictures-are-just-right/

Researchers call it the Goldilocks effect.

They set out to see what is happening in a young child’s brain—in this case, 4-year-olds—when they were read the same story with pictures, without pictures or when they watched an animated cartoon. Just like “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” the study found that one method was too cold, one was too hot and one just right.

According to a recent article from National Public Radio, as the children heard the story, an MRI machine scanned their brains to see which regions of the brain appeared more active and connected.

Story without pictures = “Too cold”

For the children hearing the story without pictures, the brain networks were active, but there was less connectivity, which researchers believe is evidence that they “were straining to understand.”

Animated story = “Too hot”

For the children who watched the cartoon of the same story, there was lots of activity in the audio and visual perception parts of their brain, but not connecting elsewhere. Researchers believe that “the animation was doing all the work for the child.” The kids watching the cartoon also had the worst understanding of the story.

Story with pictures = “Just right”

The children’s understanding of the story was highest when the book was read aloud and they had illustrations to go along with it. Researchers also saw increased connectivity between and among all brain networks they were looking at, including visual perception and language.

This type of information can help parents and caregivers make the seemingly small but important decisions when it comes to reading to toddlers.

“When we read to our children, they are doing more work than meets the eye,” lead author Dr. John Hutton told NPR. “It’s that muscle they’re developing bringing the images to life in their minds.”