Author Archive: Hannah


Pregnancy is different for every woman. During pregnancy, your body changes to protect you and your baby. These changes can be observed via different symptoms. Some of the symptoms of pregnancy last for several weeks or even months, and other discomforts are only temporary and don’t have the same effects on every woman.

A normal pregnancy last for almost 40 weeks, starting from the first day of the last menstrual period, which is also typically around two weeks before conception occurs. The duration of pregnancy is divided into stages and these stages of pregnancy are described in three month periods, known as trimesters. Each trimester lasts for about 12-13 weeks. During each of the trimesters, several changes take place in the body as well as in the development of the foetus.

During the first trimester (week 1 – week 12) the body undergoes several changes. Most importantly, hormonal changes that affect all the organ systems in your body. Extreme tiredness, morning sickness, tender or swollen breasts, mood swings, cravings, headache, need to urinate more often, heartburn are some of the symptoms of the first trimester. These symptoms or discomforts will gradually go away as your pregnancy progresses, or you might not feel any discomforts at all.

By second trimester (week 12 – week 28) some of the earlier symptoms lessen or disappear. Most women notice that the second trimester is easier than the first. In the second trimester symptoms such as nausea and fatigue will start to wither away but you will begin to notice other symptoms, since your baby starts to grow, the abdomen will expand. Your body changes to in a way to let the baby grow, during this trimester, therefore you are likely to have symptoms like body ache which includes back, abdomen, high pain and also groin pain. You will also notice the skin around your nipple grow darker and also patches of skin usually over the cheeks , forehead, nose, or upper lip grow darker. Stretch marks also begin to appear during this time. Numbing of hands and itching of hands, abdomen, palms and soles of feet are also common. You will also see a line running down from your belly button. And you will also feel your baby beginning to move before the trimester is over.

Lastly, there is the third trimester which includes the final few weeks until your due date. The third trimester starts from week 29 and last till the 40th week. During this trimester, some of the symptoms you had in your second trimester is likely to persisted even in this trimester. You can already feel your baby move and possibly kick in this trimester. Some of the new body changes that you are likely to experience are shortness of breath, swelling of ankle, fingers and face, tender breast(which may also leak a watery yellowish pre-milk called colostrum), heartburn, haemorrhoids, your belly button may stick out, you can experience trouble sleeping, you can feel the baby dropping or moving in your lower abdomen and lastly contractions, which can be a sign of real or false labour.


Sometimes, your toddler might begin to use swear words. Most toddlers, often, use swear words as a result of mimicry or picking up words through direct observation. Before you know it, they are endlessly repeating the word over and over again, almost as if it were a habit.

Some things that can be done to stop your child from using swear words are:

Make sure not to react when your toddler uses swear words; try your best not to laugh. Your child might take your laughing as reinforcement for doing it. Children like to receive attention from the adults. Therefore, paying too much attention when your toddler uses a bad word, makes them want to repeat themselves over and over again.

On the other hand, getting extremely angry and scolding your child might also not be the best alternative. When toddlers realise that they hold a lot of power over adults to get that reaction out of them, they are likely to do it again. Try to be calm and show no reaction.

When simply ignoring it does not seem to work, then the next thing to do is to set limits for your child. It is essential to be calm and gentle, make sure not to become irritated or get agitated, which will only remind your child the power they have to make you pay attention to them.

When your child uses a bad word or a phrase, just tell them you don’t understand what it means, or it doesn’t make sense to you. It is not necessary to explain the meanings of the words to your child. Just make it clear, in a disinterested voice and expression, which words or phrases are not to be used or are off-limits. Telling your kid “That is not a word you may use in the house or around other people” is a good example.

If your child is swearing because they want something, make sure not to get it for them. If you give your child whatever they want because they are cursing, it will only act as reinforcement for them. They will now know that they can get whatever they want by just swearing, and will to continue to do so.

It is often suggested to use alternatives that are fun and appropriate. If your child is using curse words because it fascinates them, then try to persuade them to use alternative words by suggesting it to them. They might find it interesting and start using the alternative words or rhymes to express themselves or get your attention.

Lastly, it is crucial to teach your child respect. It is essential that as parents you teach your child to be respectful towards other and not disrespect anyone. Just the way we don’t like to be disrespected, others don’t like it either. Teach your child to be respectful towards other children and elders; this will also make your child more empathetic. One way to do this is to drop using swear words around your child.  Young children pick up things that they see and hear around them, therefore it is best to refrain yourself from using any bad language around your child.


When you’re pregnant, you’re not just taking care of yourself but you’re precious baby as well. What you put into your body directly affects your baby; this is a time for you to be at your healthiest. Moreover, it helps inculcate some good habits that you can carry on to stay healthy!

  1. Talk to your doctor or midwife:Obviously, this goes without saying. Make sure to register yourself for prenatal care as soon as possible. Doing so will ensure that you receive advice for a healthy pregnancy from the very beginning. Though the visits are short and often seem pointless, they’re scheduled for a reason. These visits are important as the doctors need to make sure that you’re gaining enough weight, your pressure is okay, and that the baby’s measure is on track.
  2. Stay Hydrated:It’s important for both you and your baby that you drink enough water and stay hydrated. Your uterus is a muscle, and like any of the other ones, it needs water. During pregnancy your body requires some extra hydration; make sure to drink enough liquids to avoid cramps!
  3. Keep a healthy diet:This goes without saying. You will need to make sure you’re getting the important nutrients in your body to keep you and your baby healthy. It’s okay to give in to the junk food cravings every once in a while (being pregnant doesn’t have to be a punishment!) but make sure it is balanced by a healthy diet. You will only need an extra 200 calories a day during the last three months of your pregnancy; you can maintain your normal (healthy) diet for the first six months. Make sure to check with your daily required nutrient count and prepare a diet plan.
  4. Stay active: Your immune system will benefit from exercising regularly, and therefore, so does your baby. If you play sports, you can continue to do so if it doesn’t involve the risk of falling, being knocked down or put extra stress on your joints. Some exercises that are good for pregnancy are brisk walking, swimming, yoga, Pilates, and aquanatal classes. Make sure your instructor knows your pregnant or join classes that are tailored for pregnant women. Exercise may also help in relieving sleep problems (as long as you’re not exercising too close to bedtime) and backache.

Cut out alcohol, caffeine and smoking:Many experts’ advice on avoiding alcohol completely as there is no way to know how much alcohol is safe during pregnancy. During the first trimester, it is advised that you avoid alcohol completely, and stick to one or two (at most) units of alcohol once or twice a week at a later stage. Cola, tea, coffee, energy drinks and chocolate contain caffeine. According to current guidelines, up to 200mg of coffee a day won’t harm your developing baby, though it is best to avoid it altogether.  If you smoke it’s better to stop for your baby’s health as well as your own. It’s better to stop sooner rather than later, but it’s never too late.


It is a well-known fact that toddlers and long journeys usually don’t mix well. Toddlers love to move about and get restless if they know they have to sit still for too long. Running about in the backyard is all well and good, but if you’re travelling on a train (or any other vehicle) jumping about could have dangerous consequences. But who will explain that to them? A great way to ensure that they don’t create a lot of fuss is to provide them with a good distraction. Toddlers just want to be entertained! If you are able to plan a few games or activities ahead of time, your journey will be a breeze. Here are a few ideas to help you out:

  1. Carry books: Books provide a quick and efficient distraction to toddlers! Carry along a few board books or interactive books for your toddler to flip through when he is bored! Make sure that they are not ones which he has read before. However, it might be difficult for some kids to focus on the words on a moving train; you can carry along with you a few audiobooks (on your phone or iPod or mp3 player). Many sites which offer a wide range of children’s book, so you’ll have your pick of them.
  2. Go for a walk: A good thing about trains is that you can walk up and down the aisle. Taking a short walk around the train will not only help your toddler (and you!) to stretch out their legs but will also offer a nice change of pace.
  3. Bubbles:Blowing bubbles is a timeless activity; the adults love to do it too! Opt for a bubble wand or gun, so that the experience is mess-free and your toddler doesn’t end spilling bubble solution all over the train seat!
  4. Music:A good way to keep them entertained is to make a playlist of their favourite songs ahead of the trip and having them listen to it. Make sure to carry headphones and to not let them listen to the entire playlist at once! Listening to songs can be a fun little ‘break’ for them!
  5. Pack Snacks: Make sure that you have packed plenty of snacks (that they like) beforehand. Give them snacks that are light so that they don’t end up feeling queasy and pack plenty of drinks too!
  6. Pack Toys:Carry a separate tote bag or kiddie bag that are filled with some of their favourite toys (and that are not very noisy if you want to avoid dirty looks from other passengers). You don’t want to unpack and rifle through half of your luggage on the train to look for them.

Bring out the tablet:Don’t feel too guilty about taking out your tablet or iPad to keep your little one entertained. A little TV time or online games won’t hurt anyone, especially if it’s a long journey and you have exhausted all other ideas! Most online games meant for toddlers are quite educational, so don’t worry about ‘spoiling’ your kid.


Springtime means Easter which means celebrating with family, chocolates (so much chocolate) and if you have a kid, Easter egg hunts. Easter egg hunt is a fun tradition that children of all ages love. From our backyards to churches, pre-schools and even the city park, they are able to enjoy this hunt wherever they go! But, for a toddler, the hunt can be quite difficult. The Easter Bunny wants to include the tiny ones, but most of the time (even with the parents nudging them) they have no idea what they’re doing. But, there’s a solution for everything! Here are a few fun and interactive ways in which you can have your toddler join in on the fun:
1.Balloons: Balloons are a sure-fire way to make any event fun! Just grab a few balloons (maybe of spring colours?) and fill them with helium. Tie the balloons with a thin ribbon to plastic Easter eggs (with yummy candy treats). Just scatter the Easter eggs along your yard and watch as the little ones are drawn to the balloons like a moth to a flame. Just make sure the balloon strings are not too long and the toddlers are able to see it.
2.Trails:A great way to guide your tiny ones to their treasures is to lay out little trails that would lead to them. Try printing out little bunny paw prints, and lay them out leading to the different eggs or treasures! Your kids will love knowing that the Easter bunny left a special trail just for them!
3.Use Pictures: Draw or print pictures of the objects or the places where you’ve stored the goodies and give them to your toddler. This is especially great if you’re planning to have the hunt indoors. Watch as the scramble about and have a little picture scavenger hunt!
4.Easter Egg Garden: Make sure you’re kid finds all has goodies by making your own Easter egg garden! Placing Easter egg flowers randomly in your mini-garden will make them easier to find. Simply pull a pipe cleaner through the two holes at the bottom of the plastic Easter egg (most eggs come with them if not, it’s easy to poke holes in them) and twist them together to form a single stem. It’s easy and so pretty!
5.Easter egg Piñata: Easter egg hunts are fun, but breaking stuff is so much better. This idea even works for older kids. Buy an Easter piñata (or make your own) and sit back and enjoy. It not only keeps away the hassle of figuring out the logistics of a hunt but also gives your kid the unbridled joy that comes with smashing objects. You can even opt for mini piñatas (try the cute egg shaped ones) so that each kid can have a lovely goodie box (that they can smash). Fun for all!
Hopefully, with these ideas, the Easter bunny can include the little ones in on all the fun!


The thing about having a newborn in the house is that you don’t have enough time. There are not enough hours in the day to take care of your baby’s needs, housework and yourself. When it becomes apparent that you need to ‘budget’ your time, the first one to go out is you. But, as a new mom, it’s very important that you take care of yourself and your baby! Here are a few tips that will help you take care of yourself as you adjust to this new role in your life:
Everyone knows the benefits of massaging your little one but now, more than ever, you need the soothing, pampering and relaxing effects that a massage offer to you! Lifting, carrying, soothing, rocking and feeding your baby throughout the day have likely had an adverse effect on your muscles. Your muscles are no doubt tense from all the work that they have to put in.

Ask your partner for a massage which will help soothe and relax you. Firm strokes along your shoulders, arms, lower back, thighs, and calves will be very beneficial to you. Using massaging oil or a gentle lotion will help make the massage smoother and more comfortable.
Stay Hydrated
If you’re breastfeeding, you run a great risk of being dehydrated. Dehydration can wear you out, without you even realising it. Remember to drink plenty of water, and even consider omitting caffeinated beverages if you suspect that your baby is reacting to it.
Drinking plenty of water is the easiest way to make sure you stay hydrated. It is recommended that you drink about 6 to 8 glasses of water a day. A great trick to make sure you drink enough water is to drink a glass of water every time you sit down to feed your little one. Avoid eating heavy foods like burgers or pizza, instead, opt for lighter foods that not only give you a higher nourishment value but are also rich in moisture like fruits or certain vegetables and nuts.
Remember that your skin needs moisture too. Take care of your skin as well as relax with a bath or a shower. In addition to a relaxing shower or a bath, make sure to use a gentle and moisturizing cleanser to keep your skin feeling baby soft. Applying moisturizer to your damp skin after a shower or a bath helps seal in moisture better.

If you have had a caesarean section, ask your health care provider for proper instructions for baths and showers while you heal.
Waking up in the middle of the night to change or feed your baby can really take a toll on your sleeping schedule. While you may not be able to get a full night’s rest anytime soon, you can try and make the best of any opportunity that you do get, to take a little nap!
Try to avoid caffeinated beverages after lunch and make sure to keep you room as noise free as possible. Don’t treat your baby’s nap-time as chore time for you. Rather take a nap when you’re baby does. Not only will this help you catch up with your sleep, but it will make sure that you are well rested and not tired or drowsy when you are taking care of the little one.


When you’ve got a toddler in the house, tantrums become a fact of life. Though we have all heard of the ‘terrible twos’, temper tantrums can even last till your child s 4. Handling a temper tantrum is akin to handling a stubborn toddler; it requires a lot of patience.
Your toddler may throw a tantrum for a variety of reasons. It’s part of their development and often they act up because they’re tired or frustrated. But, it can still be a little embarrassing to be faced with a tantrum while you’re in public.

  1. Prevention is better than cure:While tantrums are inevitable, you can adopt a few strategies to prevent, or well, at least delay their arrival. Try cutting down on the need to say no and set clear boundaries. In toddler speak, ‘maybe’ translates to a yes, be clear about your answer or negotiate a compromise. Avoid the fearsome for (hunger, fatigue, boredom, and overstimulation) by always leaving the house with their favourite toy and their stomach full. Don’t plan on big excursions before their nap time to ensure they are well rested.
  2. Speak softly:Yelling or raising your voice in public will not accomplish anything. Rather, it will draw more attention to you, which may lead to your toddler getting more upset due to embarrassment. Speak in a quiet and calm voice so that whatever you say stays between you and your toddler. Speaking softly will force your toddler to calm down and listen to what you’re saying.
  3. Let them make a few decisions:If you’re out shopping for a long time, it is too much to expect your toddler to stay calm and quiet during the entire process if they do not have any activity to engage in. Try to include them in the decision-making process as often as you can, so that they feel like they are a part of the process. Ask them which flavour juice they want, or what kind of snack they would like to eat, they’ll be too busy thinking about the options to throw any kind of tantrums.
  4. Pay attention to good behaviour:Often kids throw tantrums as a way of seeking attention. They know that they will get a rise out of you by throwing a fit rather than calmly accepting what you’re telling them to do. Praise them whenever they behave and listen to you. Even if it is a small action don’t dismiss it, make sure to pay extra attention to good behaviour. This will encourage them to seek your attention in a more positive way.

Don’t give in:Perhaps the most important rule is to not give in no matter what. It is quite tempting to give in to your child’s demands, to appease them and save yourself from further embarrassment in public, it ultimately, won’t help. This will only teach your kid that throwing a tantrum is the way to get whatever they want. It will only be detrimental to any progress that you may have made and turn each and every public outing into a great debacle. Stay firm, and refuse to condone such behaviour.