How to Be Ready When It's Time to Bring Your Baby Home

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By Daisy Jones, Safest Baby

All sorts of wonderful emotions fill your heart when you’re becoming a mom or dad for the first time. It’s amazing, miraculous, exciting, jubilant, and sweet — and yet terrifying. A new little life is going to depend on you, and you want everything to be perfect, so there are moments when the prospect is entirely overwhelming. By making some preparations in your home and lifestyle, you can feel more at ease when you bring home that little bundle of joy.

Consider your comfort

Your own needs are probably not at the forefront of your mind, but by keeping yourself healthy and comfortable, you’ll have more energy to devote to your baby. Psychology Today notes new moms can be especially vulnerable to getting run down, so start relying on a strong self-care regimen ahead of your baby’s birth. By tending your need for relaxation, rest, exercise, and even time with friends, you will have the patience and energy your infant requires.

Mind over matter

An often overlooked tool for preparing new mothers is meditation. It’s a chance to settle your mind and let go of stress and anxiety. You can add a meditation app to your phone, which makes it easy to take a timeout whenever it’s convenient. By starting this practice before the baby comes, you’ll be better able to manage some of the stresses that come with newborns. More importantly, don’t underestimate the power of prayer. Your quiet time can be spent strengthening your relationship with God, which can help you overcome many of the worries and concerns you may have as a first time parent.

Comfortable and confident

When thinking through your comfort and wellness, consider wardrobe selections that will be beneficial when you’re pregnant and when you bring home your baby. Momtastic notes some styles can be particularly flattering as well as comfortable for your postpartum body, which is a time when many moms’ self-image is vulnerable. Stretchy leggings, boho tops, and tunics can have you looking and feeling your best.

Also remember your undergarments as your body recovers from delivery. For instance, supportive underwear will be a must, especially if you have a C-section. Nursing bras are also a must-have for breastfeeding moms, and you can even find attractive and supportive nursing sports bras that offer comfort and easy access.

Learn and grow

You might think parenting will come naturally, but many people benefit from parenting classes. Professional guidance can help you learn about things like the birthing process, how to bond with your little one, and how to deal with the toddler years. It’s a great confidence booster for new moms and dads. Living Hope Centers offers many programs, and you can sign up online.

Prep a soft landing

With your mind and body prepared for your little one, you’re ready to set up a soft spot for your baby to land at home. Give your house a thorough cleaning, ridding it of dirt, allergens, and toxins. You can use this checklist to ensure you don’t miss any critical points. You also might want to get a headstart on baby-proofing your home. Granted, you have some time before your baby is mobile, but those months will be here before you know it.

Free up your fridge

When it comes to baby prep, an often overlooked area of concern is the refrigerator. For your own convenience, clear some space right before your baby’s arrival. Clean and sanitize your refrigerator, making room for breast milk or formula, as well as casseroles and other goodies friends and family will drop off when they come to meet your bundle of joy.

Embrace tech tools

There is some gadgetry available that can make life for new parents far easier. You might want to consider adding some smart lights in your nursery to help your baby sleep. There are also some terrific apps that help streamline a variety of parenting duties, like staying on top of your baby’s schedule, singing your little one to sleep, tracking how much your baby is consuming, and monitoring your baby.

Having a baby is the beginning of an amazing journey, but it can also be pretty scary. There are several things you can do to set yourself up for success and put your mind at ease. Consider your health and comfort, and prepare your home for your little one’s arrival. As overwhelming as it may seem at times, with a few proactive measures, you’ll be ready when you bring your baby home.

S.T.U.C.K.

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By Mandy Hall, Board of Directors

Sometimes we get into those seasons in life when we feel stuck. There seems to be nowhere to turn, no support and least of all, no chance at making a huge, dramatic life change. Recently, I was speaking with a past Hope House resident that was in this exact situation before she came to us. She really felt like the only option was to keep living in the abused life that seemed to be her fate and her normal, day in and day out.

I was actually reaching out to ask for her help with a project for the upcoming Phoenix Gala. I was hoping to get her to participate and the response I received was, “I will do anything to help promote Living Hope Centers. If it wasn’t for you all, I would be homeless with my 3 children.” This past resident gave me more than what I had hoped for, she reaffirmed absolutely everything we are about.

I want to encourage you today that if you feel like you are in a situation that you have no control over, please reach out. If you or your family is experiencing abuse, please understand that you have a way out. There is hope for your situation and we would love to help you find that hope. You do not have to stay stuck. You deserve an enriched life of love and grace just as much as anyone else.

#youmatter

One Strong Mama

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by Mandy Hall, VP of Development

When is the last time you really had someone believe in you? I mean really believe in you? Sometimes that’s all you need to get started. I will never forget the Christmas my husband bought me my very first DSLR camera. It came with different lenses and filters, all the bells and whistles. He saw my passion for photography and fed it. He sees something in me, that with the right tools, I began to see in myself.

What is it that holds us back from what we want to strive for? Fear. It’s always fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of succeeding. We can be our own worst enemy. Half the battle is fighting ourselves.

We are here to believe in you and to help you see yourself for who you are. An amazing, strong, capable woman. At Living Hope Centers, we put the right tools in your hands and say, “You go, girl! We got you!” We want to help you unleash your full potential. Don’t let fear tell you what to do, breakthrough it! Kick fear in the face. #youmatter #yougotthis



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!