Have you ever left your OB-GYN’s office completely confused by all the genetic testing she has offered? You are not alone. Technology is advancing at a rapid pace, and there are many (often expensive) tests available to women during pregnancy. I hope to help you navigate through these options, to understand which tests may be of benefit to you and your unborn baby, and which … [Read more...] about What You Need to Know about Genetic Testing
You may be able to deduct a percentage of child care expenses based on your adjusted gross income. To qualify for this credit, the child care must have been provided to enable you or your spouse to work or actively look for work. Child care may be at home or at an outside facility, but the expenses claimed must be specifically for the care of the qualifying individual. You … [Read more...] about Helpful Hints on the Child Care Tax Credit
You have probably heard of a mosquito transmitted virus called Zika, which has been associated with severe birth defects when pregnant women have been affected, and you may wonder how much of a risk this poses to you and your unborn baby. Although infection with the virus has been associated with babies born with a small head and brain abnormalities (microcephaly) in some … [Read more...] about Should I Be Worried about a Zika Infection?
So, you are going to have a baby. As excited as you are, picturing your baby in your arms, you are likely somewhat anxious about what you will experience in order to get there! That is natural. It can be hard to picture how your baby will get from “in there” to “out here.” But don’t worry; your body was designed for this. You are tougher than you know! And the rewards at the … [Read more...] about Labor and Delivery Q&A
Childbirth support is becoming more commonplace in America. This is fantastic news for women. Having the right support during labor and delivery can make the difference between a labor experience that is peaceful and empowering and one that is tense and scary. Navigating what type of support to have and whom to hire can be almost as daunting as the approaching labor and … [Read more...] about Do You Need a Monitrice or a Doula?
Pregnancy is an exciting time, but it is also a time to be focused on staying healthy—not only for you, but also for the child who is growing within you. It is possible to take care of both yourself and your baby while also keeping the costs down. Before the baby comes—and if possible, before you become pregnant—talk to your doctor about your health status, and get … [Read more...] about Keeping Up with Your Prenatal Health
Morning sickness is a common negative effect of pregnancy. Here are some tips for dealing with morning sickness: Sleep Well, Eat Healthily, and Keep Up Your Fluids Give yourself plenty of time to get out of bed, eating something in the morning so that you have food in your stomach, drinking lots of fluids, avoiding spicy and greasy foods right before bed. Try … [Read more...] about 4 Tips for Dealing with Morning Sickness
Giving birth can be a gratifying, empowering, and affirming experience. It can also be a fearful, confusing, and difficult experience. Knowing what to expect, understanding what the female body is capable of, and having support make the difference between feeling empowered and feeling confused or scared. Pregnancy, labor, and delivery are unique experiences that require … [Read more...] about What to Expect During Labor? A Birth Doula Explains
One in three women will experience pregnancy loss. This is a staggering number. Sadly, most of these women will experience a miscarriage, late miscarriage (sometimes called a demise by doctors), or stillbirth without any support. They will be alone, emotionally and physically. But it doesn’t have to be this way. If this is your experience, we are sorry for your … [Read more...] about Whatever You Need Is OK When Dealing with Pregnancy Loss
Kids need fun. That’s just a fact of life. But finding cost-effective toys and games can seem pretty tough. Here are a few ideas to make it easier! Drawing, even on on scrap paper, can create great wall and refrigerator art. Keep those crayons that come with kids meals, and you won’t have to buy a thing. You can also find affordable crayons, pencils, markers, paper, and … [Read more...] about 10 Affordable Ways to Entertain Your Kids
Feeding your family can be stressful, especially if you find yourself without enough money. Fortunately, there is help! The federal government offers several major food assistance programs: Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Child Care Food Program, and the School Meals Program. The best way to find … [Read more...] about Getting Help Paying for Your Food
No one enjoys getting shots, but vaccines are extremely important when it comes to quality of life and disease prevention. This article is aimed to help you understand the why, how, and when of vaccines before you rush to schedule a doctor’s appointment. Why Vaccinate? The most basic reason to vaccinate your children is vaccines prevent deadly diseases, such as polio, … [Read more...] about Vaccines 101
When it comes to obtaining a new vehicle, there are two major routes a buyer can take. Either you can buy the car—with or without a loan—or you can lease it. While lessees don’t build equity, leasing is a good option for those who want to drive new cars at a lower price. So, what does it mean to lease a car? Unlike a loan, a lease enables you to pay for the car’s … [Read more...] about How to Lease a Car
The decision to buy a car is an important one and should not be taken lightly. In addition to the cost of the car itself, gas, maintenance, and insurance all add to the price of maintaining a vehicle. Once you have budgeted for these costs, you may begin the car-buying process. It may be useful to adhere to the following three steps to streamline the process and give you the … [Read more...] about 3 Simple Steps to Buy a New Car
Most parents need at least some form of child care. Unfortunately, child care can be quite expensive. However, the good news is it doesn’t have to be! It is possible to find good child care and still stay within your budget. From school and government programs to private arrangements with other parents, there are a number of ways to find quality child care. Visit … [Read more...] about 6 Types of Child Care Explained
Health insurance is essential, even if you feel healthy, accidents and sudden illnesses can happen. The first step has to be to check through your parents, employer, or school—wherever you can qualify for insurance now. See what they cover and don’t cover. Are your pregnancy costs covered? Which pregnancy costs? Is your child covered? What will insurance cover for your … [Read more...] about Health Insurance 101
Even while on a budget, traveling with your family can be very possible and fun! All that is required is a little research and planning ahead. Consider visiting a small town (as opposed to a big city) or national, state, and regional parks as affordable travel destinations. Camping can also be an inexpensive yet fun travel idea. To reduce the price of camping/hiking gear, check … [Read more...] about Vacationing on a Budget
You already know when birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, and other special dates are coming up, so plan and budget the celebrations in advance. Think about the important things: what are you celebrating? Where? Whom would you like to invite? What do you want to eat: snacks or a full meal? What activities or decorations will enhance the experience? Should there be gifts, and if … [Read more...] about Celebrating on a Budget
Thought it was impossible to go out with the family without spending a fortune? Think again. Local zoos, aquariums, and museums often have hours with discounted rates or free admission. Additionally, young children can often get in for free. Memberships are a great option for families that frequent a place and often offer extra perks when it comes to parking, food, or … [Read more...] about 6 Budget-Friendly Ideas for Family Fun
Many hobbies can actually save money while providing entertainment that can be shared with both friends and family. Cooking, needlework (knitting, cross-stitch embroidery, crocheting, sewing, etc.), carpentry and mechanics, and gardening are just a few examples of money-saving hobbies. Many of these require an investment to get started, such as ingredients for recipes, seeds … [Read more...] about How to Save Money with Hobbies
Nutrition is a hot topic that has everyone running to Pinterest and recipe books for cheap, easy, and kid-friendly recipes. Families with busy schedules often find themselves having to compromise healthy and inexpensive meals for a quick dinner so they have time to pick up a second shift at work or make those nightly basketball and soccer practices. While a quick stop at a fast … [Read more...] about 5 Tips for Planning and Budgeting for Meals
Newly diagnosed? In other words, has the baby you’re carrying been diagnosed with a medical condition in-utero? So many feelings swirl in reaction to such news. So, what now? What do you do when you receive such unexpected and challenging news? First, take time to grieve your loss — because it is a loss. The loss of the dreams and expectations you had for your child is an … [Read more...] about How to Care for a Child with Special Needs
Handling finances doesn’t require an MBA. There are basic skills that make you a savvy financial manager. This section contains a group of articles that cover money management topics everyone should know. Topic #1: Cash Flow – otherwise known as your BUDGET = Income vs. Expenses What is your income? Start with your take-home pay. If you get the same paycheck each period, … [Read more...] about Money Management 101
Using credit is a normal part of life. Financing a car or large household items, using student loans for your education, or taking out a mortgage to purchase a home are things people do every day. Good money management requires that you know when and how to use credit wisely. The article on “Your Credit Rating” can help you make the right decisions. But if you find yourself … [Read more...] about 8 Tricks to Handling Debt
Finding child care can be one of the most challenging tasks all parents take on. It’s not always easy to know where to find the highest quality care in your area. Even beginning the process can be a daunting task. There are, however, resources to help! Child Care Resource and Referral, known as CCR&R, are agencies that keep a database listing of child care centers, … [Read more...] about How to Find Child Care in Your Community
Learning to navigate confusing systems while also trying to cope with change can be hard, but asking for help is not only OK—it is a sign of strength. Our society often doesn’t make it easy and is quick to judge, but a lot of people need help and a lot of people want to help. You are not alone. Each new challenge you conquer will make you stronger and, in the long run, will … [Read more...] about Where to Find Help Paying for Housing
Your credit rating comes from many sources—for example, from companies that have rented or leased goods or services, your bank, your landlord, and most often from a credit report. The most important elements of your credit rating are your Credit Report and your Credit Score. We will briefly explain both of these to you and point you to sources where you can learn more. The most … [Read more...] about An Insider’s Guide to Your Credit Rating
Living in the 21st century, instant communication is easier than ever before. Yet with increased availability comes increased anxieties, especially with the cost of communication being so high. When weighing your cable, internet, and television options, the following tips may be useful. Cable The price of cable has been rising at four times the inflation rate, putting the … [Read more...] about What to Consider When Choosing Cable, Internet, and Phone
An affordable and helpful option to get from point A to point B is carpooling, also sometimes referred to as ride-sharing. This can be very helpful when traveling with children or traveling with lots of stuff. The best and safest way to find someone is through friends, the people you already know and trust, and their recommendations. Ways to find them online include … [Read more...] about Carpooling Tips and Tools
One thing to consider when planning for the future is transportation. If you live in a city, public transportation could be your best choice. The American Public Transportation Association has a very helpful website to show you what public transportation is available in your city. Just a few clicks on their site will lead you to the public transportation options in your … [Read more...] about Tips and Tricks for Using Public Transportation
The decision of whether to breastfeed your child or to use formula is a very personal one. Before your child is born, you may have a plan to breastfeed or not. When your child is born, that plan may totally change—and that’s OK, too! Here are some things to think about as you decide what is best for you and your baby. Reasons to breastfeed: Breastfeeding is an … [Read more...] about Should You Breastfeed?
Depending upon your child’s condition, regardless of your income or whether or not you have health insurance for your child, there is a way to get your child covered by Medicaid or SSI to help with medical costs that may not be covered by primary insurance. Even if you have decent insurance, there are plenty of medical costs that insurance won’t cover but are essential for … [Read more...] about How to Get Health Coverage for Your Child with Special Needs
How you choose to feed your baby is a very personal choice. If you do decide to choose formula feeding, either exclusively or to supplement breast feeding, there are some things to keep in mind. Things to know about baby formula Infant formula can be a safe and practical alternative to breast milk. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends iron-fortified infant … [Read more...] about 8 Tips for Formula-Feeding Your Baby
Adaptive Sports Foundation Be Not Afraid Center for Parent Information & Resources Katie Beckett Category of Eligibility for Medicaid KEEN USA L’Arche The Mighty Special Olympics Wright’s Law By Danica R. Vassigh The author wishes to acknowledge contributing writers and researchers Molly Pannell and Lauren Sumners. … [Read more...] about Best Resources for Kids with Special Needs
Starting your baby on solid foods is an exciting time and an important step in his or her growth. Once your baby is 4 to 6 months old, it is usually time to start introducing solid foods into his or her diet. But all children are different and are ready for solid foods at different ages, so it is helpful to know what to look for when deciding if your baby is ready for solid … [Read more...] about When and How to Start Your Baby on Solid Foods
Children with disabilities want the same things as any other child their age. They desire to feel included and exercise their independence. And like most children, their activity interests are diverse: playing sports, visiting parks and playgrounds, attending summer camps, hanging out with friends, and so on. But routine childhood activities can be both physically and mentally … [Read more...] about How to Find Activities for Kids with Special Needs
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was passed in 1975 to ensure that children with disabilities have access to a free, appropriate public education. Amended many times since then, the law regulates special education services both for school-age children as well as for babies and toddlers. Early intervention, sometimes called Part C of the IDEA, … [Read more...] about How to Navigate Special Education
School meal programs provide low-income families with free or low-cost meals for children both throughout the school year and during the summer. The programs include breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and summer meals for children all over the United States. These programs allow parents the option to feed their children healthy, affordable meals, regardless of their socioeconomic … [Read more...] about How to Apply and Qualify for School Meal Programs
What do you do when the time comes to start repaying your student loans? What do you do when you are having difficulty paying student loans? Are there any programs to help you pay your loans, defer your payments, or get forgiveness from these payments? These are big questions, and as you know, there are many students and former students struggling to pay student loans. There … [Read more...] about Where to Find Help with Student Loans
Parents today have several options when it comes to hiring child care, such as nannies, day cares, or babysitters. An additional lesser-known alternative, hiring an au pair, can be a wonderful and very cost-effective solution for families with an extra bedroom. Au pairs are young adults from another country who live with a host family and provide up to 45 hours per week of … [Read more...] about What Are Au Pairs, and How Do They Save You Money?
Here are some of the basics when breastfeeding is just getting started, those things that almost all new mothers have questions about: How do I make enough milk? Milk production is not based on how much water you drink, how much protein you eat, whether or not you are pumping in addition to nursing (in normal situations), on what you eat or drink, or on whether you are … [Read more...] about Breastfeeding 101
CAN I… Take medication while breastfeeding? During pregnancy, you may have been told to be wary of any medication use since it will go through to the baby. This is true, in most incidences. However, the breast actually filters more of the medications than the placenta does, allowing more medications to be used during breastfeeding. Have you been prescribed a medication or … [Read more...] about 6 Common Breastfeeding Questions Answered
Finding a home and making it your own can be one of the most rewarding—or stressful!—accomplishments. When you have young children, keep in mind that sturdier, more durable items will withstand some wear and tear. While there are many places to buy new furniture for your home or baby’s use, there are also some great places to take advantage of gently used … [Read more...] about Tips for Furnishing Your Home
Here are just a few tips from the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant at Breastfeeding Perspectives: Breastfeeding is supported for at least 12 months, with nothing other than breast milk for the first six months, by these organizations: Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine American Academy of Family Physicians American Academy of Pediatrics … [Read more...] about Breastfeeding Pro Tips and Advice
OUCH!! We’ve all heard it… breastfeeding is painful, right? All those terrific friends, family, neighbors, and even total strangers who tell you they had pain or cracked or bleeding nipples for six days, six weeks, or six months. Yikes! What, exactly, is normal then? The research and extensive experience of mothers, lactation consultants, and health care professionals show … [Read more...] about Will Breastfeeding Hurt?
The most common causes of injuries and death for children younger than 18 are preventable accidents: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention created a comprehensive website about common safety issues with kids. Eliminating the serious risks from your home will allow you to relax and let your kids roam more freely. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has … [Read more...] about How to Make Your Home Safe for Baby
What are my rights? Housing discrimination does occur, which is why it is good to know your rights. Under the Fair Housing Act, there are things that are illegal for landlords and realtors to do. You cannot be discriminated against based on the following: Race or color National origin Religion Sex Familial status (families with children) … [Read more...] about Your Housing Rights: Leases, Landlords, and Children
Dressing Your Growing Belly: With a multitude of online resources, dressing baby can seem like a breeze. But what about dressing a pregnant belly? Expectant mothers often face the challenge of finding clothing for their ever-changing bodies that are appropriate for the workplace. Where to Buy Maternity Clothes without Breaking the Bank: Thrift Stores: Yes, you … [Read more...] about 6 Tips to Save on Maternity Clothing
Thinking about buying your first home? Here are some information and good sources to look to when preparing to purchase a home. Owning a home may or may not be the right choice for you, but if it is a goal, with careful planning, a lot of patience, and good advisers, it’s a very achievable dream! When Planning to Buy Your First Home: Figure out how much you can … [Read more...] about Tips for Buying Your First Home
There are many different options for bringing your child into this world. Obstetricians have completed four years of medical school, and then have trained an additional four years specifically to deliver babies and provide women’s care. Family practice physicians have also completed medical or osteopathic school, but their training in delivering babies may be more … [Read more...] about 6 Options to Consider When Preparing for Childbirth
While rent or a mortgage payment is often the biggest expense a household may have, utilities can be a significant expense as well. These can include gas, electric, water, and trash removal. Some of these costs may be included in rent, so check with your landlord. While trash removal is usually a set monthly cost, other utilities are based on your usage. Utility companies … [Read more...] about 10 Ways to Save on Monthly Expenses
Before the baby comes—and if possible, before you become pregnant—talk to your doctor about your health status, and get information on how to stay healthy during your pregnancy. Your health care provider may suggest vaccines: Some of the common vaccines for pregnant women are pertussis (whooping cough) and the flu shot. You may also need to get a vaccine for … [Read more...] about What Is Prenatal Care?
When you don’t feel safe at home, there are people and organizations available to help. You are not alone. First, this information will take you to online sources that can give you valuable information about seeking refuge from a domestic abuse situation. This article will also provide numbers for you to call, if you don’t want to risk having your searches cached on the … [Read more...] about When You Don’t Feel Safe at Home
Everyone needs a place to call home, and on a tight budget, housing costs can seem staggering. However, with some creativity and flexibility, you can find affordable housing and create a home of your very own. The first thing to consider when deciding where to live is the location. Ask yourself these questions: Do I feel safe in this home and this neighborhood? … [Read more...] about 7 Questions to Ask When Considering Where to Live
Emotions You May Feel: It’s normal to feel an array of emotions after a pregnancy loss. These emotions can range from but are not limited to: sadness, numbness, shock, depression, anger, disbelief, a sense of failure, and vulnerability. The first thing to remember during this time is that it’s OK to feel these emotions. Second, the loss of pregnancy isn’t your fault; … [Read more...] about 8 Tools for Coping with Miscarriage
Cheap doesn’t have to mean shabby! Cutting costs on clothing for your children doesn't mean that your kids can’t enjoy nice, clean, and up-to-date clothes. It just means that you’re not paying full price store tags for clothing that your child will grow out of in a blink of an eye! Here are some tips and tricks from a few savvy shoppers: Check out Thrift Stores and … [Read more...] about 5 Tips to Get Kids’ Clothes for Less
Whether you are a new or experienced parent, having a pediatrician that you know and trust is incredibly valuable as you welcome a new baby to your family. When making this important decision, it’s important to think about both the doctor(s) in the practice as well as the nurses and the office staff. Often, you will find that the other people at your pediatrician's office are … [Read more...] about 8 Tips for Choosing a Pediatrician
Baby carriers, baby slings, breast pumps, nipple shields, nursing bras, hands-free bras, nursing clothing, nursing covers, nipple creams and lotions… so much to think about and make decisions about! New mothers are not expected to be the experts on all of these various items that can come up in everyday conversations about parenting and breastfeeding, or that you see in all the … [Read more...] about What Do Need to Breastfeed?