On December 14, 2019, four months before the due date of her twin girls, Laura Freedland went to the hospital with what she thought were Braxton-Hicks contractions. Though only 22 weeks pregnant, she quickly realized she was in active labor. After 16 hours, little Vivienne entered the world 17 weeks early, weighing only 1 pound, 4 ounces. Her sister, Margot, remained in utero … [Read more...] about Tiny Babies, Big Miracles: A NICU Wonder in a Time of Coronavirus
In the midst of the Black Lives Matter uprising, the disparity between my light skin tone and my son’s dark skin tone has never been more pronounced. I first noticed our difference when in the year of his birth, Trayvon Martin, an unarmed youth, was shot and killed. As I was reading the horrific news, my older boy walked in wearing a hoodie, as he often does, and the hood was … [Read more...] about Teaching About Race — from the Inside Out
If you are a caretaker of an elderly person, help is here. Learn where help is available:The Administration on Aging offers many services such as fall prevention, aging and disability programs, brain, oral, and behavioral health programs, elder abuse prevention, legal assistance, and retirement planning, and has chapters in most of the U.S. Find AoA services in your area.The … [Read more...] about Practical Tips When Caring for Our Elders
How and what you want to feed your baby is a personal decision. You, as a mother, deserve to know all the facts of the various options without feeling ashamed or guilty about your decision. Nutritional possibilities for your baby’s first few months include breastfeeding (temporarily or long term) and formula feeding. Breastfeeding Breastfeeding is often considered … [Read more...] about Postpartum Options: Breastfeeding, Formula, and Weaning
Cicely Saunders, the founder of the first hospice facility, St. Christopher’s Hospice in London, said to her patients, “You matter because you are you, and you matter to the end of your life. We will do all we can not only to help you die peacefully, but also to live until you die.” Is your loved one a candidate for hospice? Just because the hospital recommended hospice for … [Read more...] about What You Need to Know About Hospice
Shelter-in-place measurements to prevent the spread of COVID-19 can also increase the likelihood of women and men being trapped in domestic and/or sexual abuse situations at home. Despite the threat of the virus itself, stay-at-home orders and the suspension of community rituals and events have been attributed to a rise in domestic and sexual abuse in both rural Native … [Read more...] about American Indian Women and Men: Know Where to Seek Help in a Crisis
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 Find the Best Health Care (When You Can’t Afford It)
What’s the difference between guardianship and kinship care? Guardianship is a legal process that allows a designated person to have responsibility for a child and the authority to make decisions on her or his behalf. Kinship is when the guardian is a relative or, in some cases, a close family friend. The guardian in both of these options is responsible for the well-being … [Read more...] about Your Guide to Guardianship and Kinship Care
Workers across industries know this proverb to be true: “It’s not what you know, it’s whom you know.” The key to building a great career is networking, or growing the circle of people in your field of work who can help you find a job. Although your skills and qualifications do matter, here is why networking may matter even more: Recommendations. Words on paper … [Read more...] about How to Network and Build Your Personal Support System
During a time of isolation, feelings of rejection heighten. If you’ve dealt with a messy breakup, been abandoned, or experienced major death loss, this covid chaos might bring you full circle to Stage 1 of grief, which you thought had passed. Add to that children in your face, fingers under the bathroom door, and tweenage attitudes about school assignments, and these feelings … [Read more...] about Dealing with Dejection During COVID-19
The coronavirus pandemic hit home for Giana Mylan. Literally. That’s because Mylan, 28, lives in Queens, New York, the county with the most confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States. One of the most serious logistical crises facing those on the front lines of the effort to slow, stop, and defeat the virus is the shortage of personal protective equipment, or PPE for … [Read more...] about Doing Her Part: A Seamstress Joins the COVID-19 Effort
The Mayo Clinic defines abuse as “any intentional harm or mistreatment to a child under 18 years old.” Abuse takes many forms: emotional, physical, sexual, medical and neglect. All community members are responsible for protecting the most defenseless among them. Children may not speak up and they certainly cannot protect themselves, but you can be their voice and you can … [Read more...] about What Do You Do When You Suspect Child Abuse?
The elderly, especially those with pre-existing conditions (heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, respiratory issues including asthma and COPD, etc.) are at highest risk of dying from COVID-19. Right now, many are isolated and need contact from their family and friends. Here are ideas to keep up their spirits while you are separated. You benefit too from communicating … [Read more...] about 8 Ways to Keep in Touch with Elderly Loved Ones When You Can’t See Them in Person
Leaving the house and being social is often suggested as a way to stay mentally healthy, but sometimes, that is not possible. What is someone with depression or anxiety to do when she has to take social distancing measures? Here are 14 tips to help you get through these challenging times: Go outside. If the weather is nice, take a walk around the block or to a park. Just … [Read more...] about 14 Tips to Take Care of Your Own Mental Health
You can’t watch the news without hearing about scary news. If we can’t get away from the news, neither can our kids. It can be worrisome to talk to your kids about things like this when you are anxious yourself and don’t have all the answers. Here is the best advice we could find from the CDC and experts: Take care of yourself. Do what you need to do to be calm for your … [Read more...] about 7 Tips on How to Talk to Your Child About Scary News
Watch a movie with a new snack. Pick up some weird flavor of popcorn or some other new snack and pop in a movie.Candlelight dinner for two under your own roof. Buy something special at the grocery store and put the kids to bed early. Cook it together for some extra fun.Have a game night! Break out your favorite board game or just a deck of cards and look up the instructions for … [Read more...] about 16 Ideas for Stay-at-Home Dates
Dates don’t have to be expensive. No rule says it has to be at a fancy restaurant or pricey theater. Any quality time spent with the one you love can be a date. Here are 50 ideas for dates that won’t break the bank: Hang out someplace that is cheap or free, like the library or a high school sports game.Watch a movie with a new snack. Pick up some weird flavor of popcorn or … [Read more...] about 50 Cheap Date Night Ideas
Bathing your baby is an important part of keeping him or her happy and healthy. It might seem scary at first, but with the right preparation and a little practice, you’ll have this routine down. Until his or her umbilical cord falls off, it’s best to give Baby sponge baths. Gather everything you need. Once you start, you can’t leave Baby alone, even for a second: -dry … [Read more...] about 18 Tips for Bathing Baby
It’s always easier to say goodbye when you know your child is well cared for and you are choosing the separation for one reason or another. When Mom is going to do something fun or at least distracting, the separation seems less sharp. It’s much harder when you are forced into that separation. The divorce culture certainly understands well how traumatic court-mandated … [Read more...] about 7 Tips to Ease Painful Goodbyes
In all situations, there comes a time when separation is inevitable. Whether a death across the country or a business trip in another state mandates it, there will come a time when you have to pull the tiny fingers off of your own and step away from the leg hug so familiar to you. Some mothers have expressed to me the trauma experienced from the first morning of day care … [Read more...] about 10 Tips for Dealing with Typical Separation Anxiety
Massages aren’t just for adults anymore — just like you, your baby might enjoy a relaxing massage. Baby/infant massage consists of specific techniques and patterns for touching your baby, not too differently from adult massages. Research suggests many benefits of baby massage. Massages can lower your baby’s levels of stress hormones like cortisol, reducing fussiness, … [Read more...] about How Can Infant Massage Help You Better Bond with Your Baby?
You’ve heard it said, “Communication is key,” and that certainly applies to getting your parents plugged in as grandparents. Talking to your parents about your needs and how they might be able to help can open opportunities for them to engage as grandparents. Some don’t mind the occasional babysitting, whereas others might prefer to send you money to cover a child care … [Read more...] about Customize Your Relationships with Grandparents
As a white mother raising a multiracial child, I can assure you, the racial experiences for my son and me are not the same—that is the first lesson I learned. We are living in ever-changing times right now that have challenged us as adults and especially as parents. A spotlight has been cast on racism that is bringing to light a much-needed conversation. In the school of … [Read more...] about What to Expect When Raising a Multiracial Child
The majority of people who are abused by their significant others are also victims of financial abuse. Three signs of financial abuse are: Limiting access to money and controlling spending. Even purchasing groceries is impossible. The abuser will limit the abused partner’s access to money so she cannot afford to live on her own. Interfering with work. The abuser … [Read more...] about Have You Heard About Financial Abuse?
Bullying has become a huge problem in schools, and every day we see its terrible consequences all over the news. Children are often reluctant to talk about it. Here are some warning signs to look for: Unexplained cuts and bruisesMissing or destroyed itemsA child being particularly unwilling to go to schoolFrequent headaches or stomach troublesChanges in eating habitsSudden … [Read more...] about What to Do If Your Child Is Bullied
It has become more and more common for children from a previous relationship or from the couple pre-marriage to be included in weddings. On your big day, it’s completely understandable that you want children who mean so much to you to be involved. They are part of your life, too! When planning your wedding day, you will need to keep your kids in mind and how much they can … [Read more...] about 17 Ways to Include Your Child in Your Wedding
Maybe meeting your friends at the movies on a Friday night helps you relax after a tough week at work. Perhaps calling a friend after receiving difficult news provides you with the support you need to complete a semester at school. Or maybe hearing a friend’s excitement about the fact that you got into the graduate program of your choice makes you feel loved and encouraged as … [Read more...] about Why Friendship Matters (and How That Changes As a Parent!)
According to a study from UCLA, women may not respond to stress with the popularly referred to “fight-or-flight” mechanism, but rather, with a “tend-and-befriend” mechanism. In other words, women typically rely on friend networks to cope with difficult situations and times of change. Finding out that you’re pregnant means that you’re about to go through a lot of changes, and … [Read more...] about Why Friendship Matters (and How That Changes While Pregnant!)
Being a father is one of the greatest things a man can do in this life. But in America, almost one in every four households is lacking a father. This has a huge negative impact on these children who are growing up without a father to look up to. One of the biggest roles for a dad is to provide for his children. Yet, this is one of the most intimidating roles to give … [Read more...] about 7 Reasons Why Dads Are So Important
Fatherhood is a powerful thing. There is nothing quite like knowing that there is a tiny human being who is counting on you for his or her safety, security, example, and love. We spoke to a few seasoned dads about what they wish they had known about fatherhood before becoming fathers, and what they wished their wives knew about the awesome (and sometimes daunting!) … [Read more...] about Fathers Talk About Becoming a Dad
There are over 428,000 children, on any given day, in the foster care system here in America. There is also an increasing disparity between the number of children needing foster care and the number of foster parents who are able to care for them. Fostering a child can be one of the most rewarding and beautiful decisions a person or couple will make, but it can also be one of … [Read more...] about Should YOU Become a Foster Parent?
Bringing a new child into your home, perhaps from less than ideal circumstances, is a serious decision. The rewards of becoming a foster parent are great: You are given the chance to unconditionally love a child who needs your care; you witness the power of love and how being in a healthy and stable family environment can change a child’s life forever. If you are considering … [Read more...] about 4 Considerations for Prospective Foster Parents
Domestic violence affects every social class, race, and ethnicity worldwide. As a law enforcement officer, responding to domestic violence calls can be extremely challenging, due to their unpredictable nature. But there are steps a victim can take during a domestic violence situation that can help the officers responding protect and help her in the best way possible. The … [Read more...] about When You Need to Call for Help: Domestic Violence
Many dads can sometimes feel left out of the relationship when they see how close Mom and Baby are. It takes time and effort for dads to find ways to bond with their new baby in the early months, especially when Mom is breastfeeding well. Here are 8 tips suggested for bonding—without using a bottle or feeding the baby: Wear the baby (sling, carrier, wrap), which allows the … [Read more...] about 8 Tips to Help Dad Be a Dad to a Newborn
While there are many options in adoption—domestic, newborn, foster care, relative, etc.—perhaps the scariest can be bringing a new child into your home from a foreign country. The costs, the language barrier, the paperwork, the cultural differences, oh my! Despite the unique obstacles, people are still drawn to international adoption. Many Americans and Canadians trace … [Read more...] about 8 Tips When Choosing International Adoption
Let Yourself Adjust to the News, Then Make a Plan Sometimes pregnancy can come as a surprise. Sometimes it is something you have been trying for, and when it actually happens, it is shocking! Whatever your personal reaction to your pregnancy, allow yourself the time you need to adjust to your new reality. There is a brand new little human being in your life now—that is … [Read more...] about How to Tell Him He’s Going to Be a Dad
Beginnings: Cobbling the Path The spring of 2012 marked the beginning of a journey down a new and uncharted path to become a mom. The path to motherhood already proving to be much more difficult than originally anticipated, I apprehensively asked a colleague who recently adopted her daughter about her experience. Looking back, that conversation now represents the first stone … [Read more...] about An Adoption Journey of Openness and Authenticity
You have probably heard the phrase, “It takes a village.” Usually, this phrase refers to child-rearing and birth, and while it may not take a literal village to successfully give birth and raise children, it does take a metaphorical one. That is why we encourage you to find your village. Women have very powerful instincts. When a baby is conceived, a mother is born. This … [Read more...] about Find Your Village
A Father Is Born When a baby is on the way, everyone talks about the mother. Motherhood is a powerful force. The changes that happen in a woman’s body and brain all prepare her for motherhood as her baby is growing and preparing for birth. But what about fathers? What makes a father? Are they merely bystanders in the drama of birth and baby? Are they expendable? … [Read more...] about Fatherhood on the Brain
Children develop self-esteem and feel secure about the world through the love they receive by the adults around them. Grandparents can be wonderful assets. Not only can they be occasional caretakers, but they might also offer knowledge and comfort to you and to your baby. No matter what kind of relationship you may have with your parents, children will change the … [Read more...] about How to Work with Grandparents
If you are experiencing physical, emotional, financial, and sexual abuse from an intimate partner—or even threats—know that you deserve to be safe and free from it. Domestic violence, also known as intimate partner violence, is unfortunately common, affecting up to one in three women nationally. Here are some questions to consider from The National Coalition Against Domestic … [Read more...] about Do You Know the Signs of Intimate Partner Violence?
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
If you have been sexually assaulted, or suspect that you have been drugged without your consent and suspect that you have been assaulted, you need to know that help is available. What has happened to you is a crime. It is NOT your fault. You are NOT to blame. No matter what you were wearing or doing, no one has a right to your body without your consent. Whatever you feel is … [Read more...] about What to Do If You Have Been Sexually Assaulted
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
If someone is forcing you, coercing you, or manipulating you to perform sex acts in exchange for money, food, a place to stay, or because you “owe them,” please know this is illegal and is a crime! It could be a pimp/madam (trafficker) or anyone. If you have run away or are homeless, please know you do not have to do engage in prostitution. You CAN get help! Your safety is … [Read more...] about How to Get Help If You Are Being Trafficked
Adoption is a choice that must be considered in depth, with regard to what is best for birthparents, adoptive parents, and children. Whether closed, semi-open, or open adoption is the best choice for your family, contact a qualified adoption agency. For further support, please look at these links: For birthmothers: On Your Feet Foundation is a group dedicated to … [Read more...] about Best Resources Regarding Adoption
There are several good options when it comes to adoption. If you are not comfortable with either a closed or an open adoption, you may consider choosing a semi-open adoption. Semi-open adoptions allow birthparents to maintain contact with their child through a mediator, thus maintaining the privacy of both the birthparents and the adoptive family. This relationship allows for … [Read more...] about What is Semi-Open Adoption?
When it comes to adoption, you have options. While in the past, closed adoptions were a popular method, today, open and semi-open adoptions are more and more common. For birthmothers or birthfathers who do not want the complete separation a closed adoption would bring, open adoption might be the best path. Open adoptions allow birthparents to maintain contact with their child’s … [Read more...] about Pros and Cons of Open Adoption
Adoption is a choice often offered if a mother cannot care for her baby in the way she desires to. Many adoptions are open or semi-open and those are good and legitimate choices. But if a mother decides that the best thing for her child would be complete separation, closed adoption might be the best option. This is a difficult decision, with many facets, and there can be no … [Read more...] about What You Need to Know About Closed Adoption
Preparation for Delivering the News First, allow yourself to feel your own reaction to your pregnancy. It is common to have a range of emotions, and for feelings to evolve during a pregnancy. Second, think about good—not perfect—timing, like after dinner, not when your dad’s team is losing on TV, when your mom just had a super bad day at work, or they are having a … [Read more...] about How Do I Tell My Parents I’m Pregnant?
Domestic adoption rates have increased over the last few decades. According to the National Council for Adoption, there are now over 20,000 domestic adoptions per year. While the annual number of domestic adoptions has been increasing, the annual number of international adoptions has been decreasing. Adoption is a journey for all involved in the process with the hope of the … [Read more...] about What Is Domestic Adoption?
The decision to bring a child into your home through adoption is an admirable one, but unfortunately, the adoption process can be long and confusing. This is especially true when it comes to adopting from abroad. Before you jump headfirst into the international adoption/intercountry adoption process, it is useful to keep the following things in mind. Knowing the … [Read more...] about How to Adopt Internationally
Adoption can be an expensive option outside of the foster care system. For individuals or families who choose private adoption of a child—domestically or internationally—there are some tax benefits that can help offset expenses. The two most useful benefits are the Adoption Tax Credit and the Adoption Tax Exclusion. Tax Deductions Under the Federal Adoption Tax Credit, … [Read more...] about How Can Tax Benefits Help When Adopting
A father can be incredibly important to the mother of the child as well as their child. His active participation in their lives can enrich everyone’s on many levels—including his own. In many cases, without his financial support, women and children are more likely to live in poverty. Of course, every situation and relationship is different, and there may be circumstances in … [Read more...] about What You Need to Know about Paternal Support
Unexpected pregnancies can bring about a lot of emotions. Besides navigating all your own feelings, we often have to deal with the expectations of others, which can place a lot of pressure on you. Even though there are all kinds of families in our society, there is still a common stereotype that all children must have a biological mother and biological father in their lives … [Read more...] about When Paternal Involvement Isn’t an Option
Being a birthmother can be difficult, and one part of that difficulty can be navigating the minefield at work. How to discuss it with your co-workers? How to discuss it with your boss? Are you entitled to the same benefits as your co-workers who do not place their child for adoption? A mother who places her child for adoption is still entitled to the same benefits at work as … [Read more...] about Your Rights As a Birthmother in the Workplace