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7 Things I Wish I Had Known As a First-Time Mom

Sherry Rucherman

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Ten years ago, I was a first-time mom to a beautiful baby girl. I had become an aunt at the age of 12 and had several nieces and nephews, but having a baby and caring for a baby are completely separate entities. I met with a lot of challenges that could have been avoided or prepared for.

Here are the 7 things I wish I had known as a first-time mom.

1. Self-induced labor does NOT always work and can be dangerous. My due date came and went. I was told to do things that I had been doing the entire pregnancy: walk a lot, eat spicy foods, have sex, etc. The one method that I avoided completely was drinking castor oil to induce labor. I was a castor oil baby and my mom almost lost me. Please never try that method.

2. Women should STOP making a big deal out of the birthing process. It’s NEVER going to be pleasant. Some moms are able to do vaginal birth with their first, while others need to have a C-section. I was terrified that I would have to have a C-section with my oldest… But… why was I more terrified of having a C-section versus having a human rip apart my vagina? It was honestly a silly concern. My oldest ended up being a vaginal birth after 18 and a half hours of labor. The rest of my children were C-sections. BOTH processes are difficult. Do whatever is best for the baby and STOP trying to control the situation.

3. You will NOT always make enough breastmilk for your baby. Period. I knew from the beginning that I wanted to breastfeed my daughter. However, a combination of factors caused me to have a low milk supply. It was so low that if I hadn’t supplemented with Similac, I firmly believe that she would have starved to death. 

I can also tell you that no nipple confusion ever took place. Fed is best. Just feed your baby.

4. Sleep training is silly. This one should get a rise out of a few people. Your baby will start to get accustomed to a proper sleep schedule. Allow them to do it on their own. And NEVER wake a sleeping baby.

5. There is no such thing as spoiling a newborn. Hold that baby. Cuddle that baby. Especially when it’s your first, you can hold them the entire time they nap… Why not? This is your bonding time. Take full advantage of it.

6. No, doctors and nurses DO NOT always know best. This can also go back to the breastfeeding thing. I kept hearing that it was supply and demand, but I knew that that was not the case. Some medical professionals seem to want you to breastfeed so badly that they will push it. Thanks to the pressure from them, I started pumping and kept pumping until my nipples bled. Never again.

7. Trust your motherly instinct, ALWAYS. This one pretty much sums it all up; if you hear advice that you know isn’t right, don’t follow it. You will always know what is best for your baby.

Bottom line: Everyone will have their opinions and advice on your parenting, ESPECIALLY when you are a first-timer. It is important to take everything with a grain of salt. Everyone’s birthing and parenting experiences are different. Just go with the flow, meet your baby’s needs, and everything will eventually work out for the best.

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Couple Gives Birth to Beautiful Twins, Can You BELIEVE How They Turned Out?!

Lea Lomas

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When Jaqi and Kevin Clements rushed to the hospital to deliver their twins a month and change early, they had no idea how the situation would turn out. Already a father to one beautiful little boy, Jaqi and Kevin were blown away by the arrival of their adorable twin daughters in July of 2010. Now, less than a decade later, you will not BELIEVE what these beautiful twins have turned into!

Keep on reading to see how Ava Marie and Leah Rose Clements are taking over the internet!

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Could There Be Answers to the Famed Peanut Allergy on the Horizon?

Mackenzie Freeman

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Peanuts are incredibly delicious as they permeate candy, condiments, snacks, and numerous other parts of the food industry. At the same time, peanuts also contribute to one of the most common food allergies on the face of the Earth. Those who are allergic to peanuts often have deadly allergies, known as anaphylaxis. This reaction can cause someone to stop breathing if they even simply inhale some of the dust associated with peanuts. As a result, many kids have to carry around an EpiPen that might be needed to save their life. Therefore, peanuts, peanut oil, peanut butter, peanut chocolate, and more can pose a serious health risk. Indeed, some kids will never know the delicious taste of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Some people might even be shocked to hear that peanuts can be found in potato chips, icing, and more! It is hard for people who have severe food allergies to have a normal life. Furthermore, peanut allergies have actually been becoming more common. Many schools have even banned peanuts to protect their students from harm. This is a drastic, but necessary, measure in the eyes of many people.

Now, there might be an answer for those who have been waiting for what seems like forever. Scientists from Australia have recently announced that they might have found an answer to this common problem. A team of researchers have been using a novel treatment method called immunotherapy to help children get over their allergies to peanuts. In this treatment option, patients are intentionally exposed to something that they have a serious reaction to. In this case, that item would be peanuts. Of course, this exposure takes place in a controlled setting to minimize the potential health risks that might come with an intentional allergic reaction.

When children in this experiment are exposed to peanuts, the immune system reacts. After all, this is the basis of an allergic reaction. Over time, the body is exposed to doses in higher and higher amounts. With the right treatment, the body learns to handle the reaction and the allergic reaction gradually subsides. This is called tolerance. Essentially, the body “gets used” to the peanuts. In this clinical trial, which lasted for 18 months, about four out of every five children who were involved in the trial had developed a tolerance to peanuts. Now, five years later, most of the kids who devleoped a tolerance are still eating peanuts to this day. This represents a breakthrough in the field of medicine that has the potential to help children all over the world who suffer from severe peanut allergies.

It can be exhausting for parents and children to go around constantly wondering if they are going to be exposed to peanuts that might lead to an allergic reaction. It can be hard to carry around an EpiPen every day. Now, there might be a way to get around this problem. At the same time, this is only one study. There is still a long way to go and parents should not go around giving their peanut-allergic children allergens to force a reaction. The next step is to try to replicate the results of this study on a larger scale. Then, this therapy needs to reach the open market to be distributed. At the same time, this study still represents a tremendous hope for those who suffer from allergies. If the results of this study can be replicated on a larger scale, it might provide a way to help people who suffer from food allergies.

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Happiness Is: When the Kids Grow Up and Move Out of the House

Leslie Tander

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Research tells us that people with children are happier overall than single adults. Why? For a number of reasons, including:

  • Parents don’t have to worry about being alone.
  • Children are evidence of a legacy in this world, and they give parents a sense of purpose and fulfillment.
  • Parents are happier knowing that they have someone to take care of and provide for them in their old age.

However, according to Fartherly.com, the parent’s happiness that exceeds the happiness of single people won’t be realized until these parents become empty nesters, and the kids actually move out of the house. Parents have to daily practice delayed gratification and wait decades before their ultimate happiness blossoms.

But still, is it all worth it? Is sacrificing your youth for decades worth any measure of happiness you might experience later in life?

Yes, according to a study from The Daily Positive, where questions were asked of patients in a terminal palliative care unit. One of the top ten regrets that dying patients had was that of not having children. The research stated:

“With today’s modern thinking, kids may be viewed as inconveniences or hindrances to pursuing your goals. But keep in mind that your children will be the ones to show you love when you are old. They will also be the ones to whom you will entrust everything you’ve worked hard for after you’re gone.” (Top 10 Regrets When You’re Dying, Dale Partridge)

Geraldine had a difficult time raising six children as a single mom in Texas. She often worked multiple jobs while sewing on the side to make extra money. Life was difficult, but with a mind made up, every one of Geraldine’s children grew up, finished school, and made a life for themselves.

When all the children were out of the house, Geraldine began enjoying her life by traveling, modeling, and sewing for fun. On her 65th birthday, her three daughters took her to Hawaii. At the airport, Geraldine ran into Mrs. Phelps, an upstanding career woman in the community who had all the trapping of success, but no family.

Geraldine worked for Mrs. Phelps for over 15 years as her cleaning lady. Mrs. Phelps was in her late 60s, but the onset of Parkinson’s disease made her look 15 years older. When she saw Geraldine, Mrs. Phelps gave a convenient hello, but Geraldine’s energy and bubbly personality took over the conversation as she introduced her daughters and enthusiastically told Mrs. Phelps about going to Hawaii for her birthday.

“Wow, sounds like you’re going to have a great time,” Mrs. Phelps said longingly. “I don’t have any family. I never had kids.”

“While you were busy working, I was busy having babies,” Geraldine said. “Now my children are taking me on vacation for the time of my life. I thank God that I made the better choice.”

Geraldine’s story illustrates what researchers have told us: having children makes parents happier than singles later on in life when the kids move out of the house. The time invested in parenting makes the post empty nester season in life all worth it.

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