You’re probably thinking, seriously? There’s a Folic Acid Awareness Week? Yes, yes there is – January 8-14, the first full week of January, marks Folic Acid Awareness Week. Although January is Birth Defects Awareness Month, folic acid is especially important, as it can prevent up to 70% of neural tube defects (NTDs), according to the National Birth Defects Prevention Network. Neural tube defects are defects of the brain and spine, like spina bifida and anencephaly. Although most women take a prenatal vitamin once they find out they’re pregnant, neural tube defects generally occur before a woman even knows… Read More

The first time I heard about someone eating her placenta (Mayim Bialik, who played the title character on Blossom and now stars on The Big Bang Theory), I was totally grossed out. “What? Why?!” I screeched at my friend after she shared this bit of celebrity gossip. She shrugged, and I forgot all about it. But over the next couple of years, I began to hear more and more about this burgeoning health trend. Celebrities and noncelebs alike were touting the benefits of placentophagy, or ingesting one’s placenta after birth. Among the supposed benefits were increased energy and milk production,… Read More

January provides that natural nudge to reflect on our health, contemplate our bucket lists, and anticipate big life changes ahead. If this New Year you’re resolving to start or grow your family (or even just considering it), a few other resolutions can help you enter pregnancy as healthy and prepared as possible. Get a check-up. See a midwife, nurse-practitioner, or doctor for a preconception visit. This is a special kind of well woman visit, covered under most insurance plans, that focuses on getting you ready for pregnancy from a health perspective. A preconception visit… Read More

After months of trying, I finally saw those two pink lines on my pregnancy test. That rush of excitement, adrenaline, joy, and more than a little trepidation is unlike anything I’ve experienced. I immediately wanted to share it with someone – my husband, of course, and my mother and father and sisters, and my neighbor who is also pregnant, and Facebook, and pretty much everyone I bumped into. But most advice I’ve read says to wait until you’re past the first trimester (the “danger zone” for miscarriages) before you start sharing the news. What’s a joyful pregnant woman to… Read More

Many pet owners treasure the relationships they have with their “fur babies” and look forward to introducing them to their newly born human loved ones. But before you race to take that adorable photo of your tiny baby snuggled up against your giant German shepherd, read these tips. Despite what the internet might have you think, perching your newborn atop your (usually) sweet and loving pets is not exactly a safe practice. Here are some guidelines for introducing your baby to your cats and dogs. Prepare Your Pets Your pet may be used to having free rein in your… Read More

This month, during Thanksgiving, many of us find ourselves expressing extra gratitude. We are looking back over a trench we have crossed, the trench of new motherhood. For some of us, that trench was deep and treacherous because we experienced Postpartum Depression or other Perinatal Mood Disorders. For some of us, we crossed it with more ease, but it was still a struggle, and we had our moments feeling stuck, lonely, thankless. However deep in the trench you are, we want to say that we see you, and we are here to stand with you, behind you, before… Read More

Having a new baby comes with all kinds of emotions. New parents can be overcome with joy, wrought with worry, filled with relief, or all of the above. The truth is, there is no “right” way to feel when you enter into the new role of becoming a mom or dad. But, after a few weeks of adapting your daily lives to include your new little miracle, sometimes things still don’t feel quite right. For nearly 20% of new moms, in fact, things can feel very wrong. Postpartum Depression (PPD) affects up to 1 in 5 new mothers, stealing joy… Read More

I knew something was wrong with me on the day that I looked at my beaming, bouncing six-month-old daughter and thought, We never should have had her. It was about 2 weeks after September 11, 2001. I was sitting on the couch, staring at a cable news broadcast, something I had been doing non-stop since the World Trade Center had been hit. I hadn’t eaten in days, and I barely slept. I woke several times a night to turn the television on and check the news to see if anything new had happened, as if the continual checking might… Read More

Having worked for a baby/family magazine in the past, I was no stranger to the world of baby and nursery items. I was probably more well-versed than the average person, when it came to stroller, crib, clothing, and toy brands. That being said, when I became pregnant last fall, I still found myself wandering Babies R Us and Buy Buy Baby in a state of overwhelmed anxiety, confused as to why there was so much stuff for such a little person.  Read More

There’s no doubt about it: being a mom is hard, hard work – which is why it’s so important that you take care of yourself, as well. You need to make sure your cup is full, before giving or sharing with others – including your kids and/or partner. The fourth trimester, or the first 12 weeks postpartum, can be overwhelming. You’re coping with sleep deprivation, the explosion of your typical routine, (possibly) colic, healing physically from birth, dealing with what feels like near-constant feeds, and adjusting to your new role as a mother. And somewhere in all of… Read More

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