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How Far Along Are You? Months, Lunar Months, Weeks, Days, Trimesters

Months? Lunar months? Weeks? Days? Trimesters?
How far along am I anyway?

If you are confused, you’re not alone. While most people talk about pregnancy being 9 months long (divided into three trimesters), most health care providers refer to a pregnancy as being 40 weeks long, starting with your last known menstrual period. You might like to know that this is also equal to 280 days, or 10 Lunar Months. Phew!

OK, so when is my due date?

The traditional way to calculate a due date is to add 9 months from the first day of the LNMP (last normal menstrual period) and then add seven days.

For example:

  1. Your LNMP was Feb 1
  2. Add nine months, bringing you to November 1.
  3. Add seven days, bringing you to your due date of November 8
  4. Thus, your due date becomes November 8!

Some people prefer to do it this way:

  1. Your LNMP was Feb 1
  2. Add 1 day
  3. On your calendar, count forward 40 weeks to determine your due date. Making matters even worse, many women do not have typical 28-day cycles. Practitioners may adjust the EDD to reflect the shorter or longer cycle length.

Remember, calculation of your due date is certainly not precise (after all, women get pregnant in all the months of the calendar, some of which have 28, 29, 30 and 31 days!). Also, all women do not have a ‘typical’ 28 day cycle! This is why your due date is usually referred to as your EDD or Estimated Due Date! Use our Due Date Calculator to estimate your due date.

As if it wasn’t already hard enough, some women may be unable to recall their LNMP or may have very irregular or infrequent cycles. When you visit your care provider, try to give as close an estimate as possible. The closer the estimate, the less likely both you and your practitioner will worry or experience stress if your baby does not come on the EDD. Only about five percent of expecting moms deliver on their EDD anyway!

An experienced practitioner may also rely on physical clues to determine the baby’s due date. Most of these clues are most evident within the first two months of pregnancy. They include:

  • Examination of uterine size
  • Identification of audible fetal heart tones by doppler
  • Ultrasound examination prior to 26 weeks from LNMP

This all sounds fine, but if you calculate the due date from LNMP, aren’t you counting weeks before conception?

Although it may be confusing at first, health care providers begin counting the pregnancy from day one of the LNMP. Yes, before you even conceived!

Months

Measured as nine months on the calendar — starting one week after your LNMP.

Trimesters

Three periods of three months each. Months 1 – 3 are the first trimester, months 4 – 6 are the second trimester, and months 7 – 9 are the third trimester.

Lunar Months

Prenatal development is often measured in lunar months. Each lunar month consists of 28 days, organized into four weeks of seven days each. That means a pregnancy is 10 lunar months long!

Weeks

40 weeks from the start of your LNMP. Gestation is 38 weeks from conception to birth.

Days

280 days from your LNMP. No matter what method is used to determine EDD.

No matter how you measure your pregnancy, even the best estimated due date can be inaccurate. Your baby will be born when he or she is ready!

pregnant-woman

Am I Really Pregnant?

Pregnancy is a time of big changes in your body – after all, you are growing an entirely new person! There are lots of things you can expect early on, however, not all women experience all the signs. Here are some of the typical early pregnancy symptoms:

No Period
This one is pretty obvious, but some women do experience a bit of bleeding from time to time. While it is not always cause for concern, it’s best to get any bleeding checked out. The lack of a period does not always mean pregnancy though! There are other things such as travel, fatigue, stress, illness, and hormonal changes that can also cause an absence of menstruation.

Morning Sickness
Morning sickness usually happens 2 – 8 weeks after conception and can really occur any time of the day. If your morning sickness is severe, you will want to check with your doctor.

Frequent Urination
At about 6 – 8 weeks after conception, you may find your trips to the bathroom are happening a lot more frequently.

Tender or Tingling Breasts
This can be a very early sign – as soon as a few days after conception.

Darkening of the Areola
Sometime in the first trimester, you may notice the area around your nipples darkening

Food Cravings
This is another sign that can start occurring in the first trimester. Some women crave things to eat that are not even food items!

Positive Home Pregnancy Test
These tests are pretty darn accurate. That said, it is possible to get a negative result and later find out that you are indeed pregnant. If you get a positive result, you should still visit your health care practitioner for another pregnancy test for confirmation and an examination.

As always, if you have any concerns, it’s best to call your medical practitioner just to be sure.

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Should We Have Another Baby?

Deciding whether to expand your family by one more — whether this would be your second child or your sixth — is one of the most significant decisions you will make in your lifetime. There is no crystal ball to show the consequences of your decision in the future. A great number of variables come into play here, and the answer to the question, “How many children?” is vastly different for every family.

The questions to ask yourself
The key to making this decision is to ask the right questions, and to take the time to search your soul and figure out the answers. There are no “right” answers here, because we are all very different human beings.

Why do I want another child?
Reasons may run the gamut from wanting a sibling for your child, to simply loving to raise children. Consider what you know of yourself, your view of family life, your own upbringing & the countless reasons of the heart. If it’s the amazing experiences of pregnancy and childbirth you miss, remember that your commitment only begins with these and continues long after the baby’s arrival. If you’re considering another child due to pressure from your parents, in-laws, other relations or friends, tune their voices out for a bit and listen only to those of yourself and your mate. This decision must come from the two people who know your situation best, and who will have to live the day-to-day realities of another child.

How will another baby change our economic position? Are we willing to make that change? You’ll note that the question is not, “Can we afford another baby?” The issue runs deeper than that, because many families are more than willing to make the necessary financial compromises. You need to be realistic: Adding a child does add expenses. But “economics” addresses resources beyond the strictly financial. You also need to consider your time, your patience, and your attention & all essentials that will have to be divvied up among more than one child. Most people find that there’s plenty to go around because of one related, easily renewable resource: love.

How will life change, and are we ready for that change?
Since you already have a baby, you know how much time a new baby demands in his first few years. A second (or third or ninth) is no different and will tug at your hours along with his siblings. While you shouldn’t base a major life decision on the next 24 months, you do need to remember that one year follows another: each year builds on the one previous. So make a realistic assessment of how this will change your lives both now and in the future that follows.

How will a new baby affect the lives of your other children?
Babies have an effect on the whole house, not just mom and dad. How a new sibling will affect the child you do have isn’t a reason to have (or not have) more children, but the unique characteristics of the child you already have should factor in to your decision.

Are you and your partner on the same page?
The two of you must discuss your thoughts about another baby and come to an agreement, one way or the other, that both can be happy with.

Is this a question of when? Perhaps you know that you want another child, but you’re not certain if now is the right time. Here are some points to consider:

  • The impact of pregnancy. Studies demonstrate that waiting at least 18 months between pregnancies gives you the best odds for a healthy pregnancy, delivery and baby. This isn’t a guarantee, of course, and many women who have babies 10 months apart have normal pregnancies and healthy babies. Generally speaking, however, ample time between pregnancies gives your body a chance to recover fully.
  • §The waiting time for adoption. Depending on the situation under which you adopt, a long period may elapse between when you first make your decision and when your new baby actually joins your family.
  • The age gap issue. How far apart in age should your children be? No perfect answer there either… I’ve experienced both sides of the issue: My first three children are all two years apart, and then there was an eight-year gap before my fourth child arrived. I can clearly see that both situations have advantages. The bottom line is that the personalities of your children and your family patterns will have more to do with their short- and long-term relationships than anything as simple as the number of months or years that separate their birthdays.
  • The biological clock and fertility issues. In today’s world, many couples are starting their families later in life. If pregnancy is your route to your next baby, you’ll certainly want to investigate the factors involved in conception. While women can have babies in their forties (my son Coleton arrived when I was 41), fertility rates drop dramatically after the age of 35. Achieving pregnancy (and finally meeting that new family addition) may take longer than you expect.

What’s in your heart?
If you’ve thoroughly examined all the issues involved in adding another baby to your family, and your heart and soul continue to have an empty spot that craves another child (or conversely, the doubt and fear are overwhelming), then perhaps you already have your answer.

 

This article is a copyrighted excerpt from Gentle Toddler Care by Elizabeth Pantley. (McGraw-Hill, 2006)

ice

Ice, Underwear, and Alcohol – The Do’s and Don’ts to Choosing Whether You Have a Baby Boy or Girl

Admit it. You like the idea of being in control of choosing whether you have a baby boy or girl. But you probably didn’t think it was possible. Well it is. And I’m going to share with you today a few thoughts on how to increase the chances of conceiving a baby boy.

Ice Ice Baby
You say ice. Huh? Surprisingly, ice does play a small factor in whether you conceive a baby boy or girl. Sperm is created in the testicles. The testicles need to be a few degrees colder than the rest of the body to produce high quality potent sperm that is mobile. Notice how the testicles hang away from the rest of the body- that’s so they can stay cooler.

So what does ice have to do with this? Well, if you use ice on your testicles you can help increase your sperm count. And by increasing your sperm count you increase your chances of having a baby boy. Why is that?

The Y-Sperm (boy sperm) is faster than the X-Sperm (girl sperm). So if you can safely increase your sperm count, you give a huge advantage to the boy Y-Sperm. With the extra “troops” they can rush in there and punch through the egg and fertilize it before the girl X-Sperm even arrive on the scene.

So how do you use ice to bring an advantage to having a baby boy? Simply grab an ice cube and rub it on your testicles twice a day for about a minute. This should sufficiently “wake up” your boys and increase your sperm count- thus favoring conception of a baby boy. Do this for a few weeks leading up to the planned conception.

Underwear
Want to instantly hurt your chances of conceiving a baby boy? Wear tight briefs. They smother your testicles and raise their temperature. Not good! This hurts the process of producing sperm. Not only do tight briefs hurt your chances of having a baby boy, they don’t help you in having a baby girl.

Why is that? It’s because having a lower sperm count doesn’t favor having either gender; it just hurts your ability to have a child. Less sperm equals less chance for pregnancy. Simple. And wearing tight briefs not only hurt your sperm count, they can and do decrease the quality of your sperm.

You’ll end up having a lot of sperm that swim in circles, swim the wrong way, and/or have 2 tails. These sperm are useless.

The better way to go. Wear boxers. Boxers allow your testicles to “breathe”. They allow them to stay away from the body and keep cooler. So be “cool”, wear boxers.

Alcohol
BEWARE! You obviously know alcohol isn’t good for having children. Right?! But I want to give you one good reason to stay away from it before and during a pregnancy- for both men and women.

Alcohol has been proven to FEMINIZE a baby boy. Scary! Before pregnancy, alcohol has been shown to alter a man’s sperm. It makes the sperm more androgynous- having female and male characteristics in one.

During pregnancy, a woman who consumes alcohol will alter the fetus in the same androgynous way. Now it’s not guaranteed you’ll have a girly boy, but you significantly increase the odds. You’ve been warned. Choose wisely.

So there you have it. Those are just a few small ways to increase the odds of having a baby boy and navigate around having a feminine boy. Good luck.

 

Richard Bryda is author of the ebook “The Ultimate Guide to Baby Gender Selection”. Find out more secrets on how to conceive a baby boy up to 98 times out of 100. Safe, natural, effective – free newsletter.http://ChooseTheGenderOfYourBaby.com

Start Growing Healthy Children Before Getting Pregnant

by Margaret Paul, Ph.D.

When I was in my early 20’s, I read Adele Davis’s book, “Let’s Eat Right To Keep fit.” I learned from her that “you are what you eat.” I also learned that our babies are what we eat while we are pregnant, and then are what they eat once they are born. If you nurse your babies, then they continue to be what you eat as long as you are nursing them. My bible during my first pregnancy over 38 years ago was “Let’s Have Healthy Children,” also by Adele Davis. I started to follow her guidelines way before getting pregnant, knowing that my health had a big effect on my baby’s health.

There is much more information about good nutrition available today, and I want to encourage anyone who wants to have healthy children to start early in learning about and implementing a healthy way of eating. Educating yourself regarding good nutrition is a major part of good parenting. However, a good rule of thumb is, if they didn’t eat it 200 years ago, don’t eat it now! This means no fast food, no packaged food – including sodas, cakes and candies – no preservatives, no fruits and vegetables grown with pesticides or artificial fertilizers, or animals grown with hormones and fed food grown with pesticides. It also means no smoking or drinking. It means no caffeine. If you want healthy children, you need to put pure, clean organic food into your body before you get pregnant and continue throughout your pregnancy. Of course, then you want to continue to feed yourself and your family clean food once your children are born.

If you are pregnant or thinking getting pregnant, you have a wonderful opportunity to lay a strong foundation of health for your child. Why not start now feeding yourself well and learning all you can about creating healthy children? You are going to be a parent the whole rest of your life. You can do so much to make your parenting experience a joyful one by taking responsibility for your own physical and emotional health before getting pregnant. If you have not been disciplined enough to eat well before getting pregnant, perhaps the idea of eating well for your child will be enough to motivate you.

It’s not as hard as you might think. It really doesn’t take much more time to eat well than to eat junk. And the payoff is huge. Not only were my three babies healthy, they were calm. They slept well and were happy children, who learned easily and did well in school. The only time they were hyperactive – actually bouncing off walls! – was after returning from birthday parties where they had ice cream, cake and sodas.

In my many years of counseling, I’ve often worked with parents who were struggling with their children’s behavior problems. Of course not all behavior problems are nutritional, but you might be surprised how many problems have their cause in poor nutrition. I’ve often wondered why so many people are careful to put the right octane in their gas tank but put the wrong fuel into their bodies – and then wonder why there is so much illness, learning disabilities, and so on.

Wow, what a lesson!

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is the best-selling author and co-author of eight books, including “Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By You?” She is the co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding healing process. Learn Inner Bonding now! Visit her web site for a FREE Inner Bonding course: http://www.innerbonding.com or mailto:margaret@innerbonding.com. Phone sessions available.

Psychological Impacts of Donor Insemination

by DI Mommy

The decision to use DI should not be taken lightly, and you should be prepared and have worked through any issues you have. This is truly a decision that will not only affect the rest of your life, but the life of a child as well.

Turning to Donor insemination is a big decision for any couple. Besides the biological implications, there are some psychological ones that also must be considered. Like any fertility treatment, DI may make you both feel as though your private life is being intruded upon. Many times, infertility can lead to separation when one of you is uncooperative or going along with treatment only because that is what they feel the other wants. Both of you must be totally honest about your feelings and it is advisable to seek help from support groups or professional counseling.

You will need to face your own feelings concerning infertility, donor insemination, and any other reservations you may have. It is normal to feel some guilt or anger towards each other for having fertility challenges. Many men may experience a of loss of self esteem, or fear the loss of his partner because of infertility. Others may feel threatened by the fact that the child will be genetically related to his partner and not to him. Some must mourn for the biological child they will never have — they will not ‘pass along their family genes’.

Make a list of all the reasons why you want to do DI, and a list of all the concerns you have. Have your partner do the same. Go over your lists together and discuss your concerns and difference from each others list. Many of the concerns may not seem as overwhelming as you thought — or your desire to have a child may be so great that you are both willing to work through any issues you may have. Perhaps DI is indeed the perfect choice for you!

For some couples, there may just be issues you can not resolve. Be open and honest with each other as this decision will affect you and your child for the rest of your lives. Perhaps DI is not the right choice for you.

There is also the issue of secrecy. Should you keep it secret from your child, friends and relatives? If knowledge of the procedure is concealed there is always the risk that the truth will eventually be disclosed, causing the child to feel betrayed. There are expert opinions in favor or against disclosing this fact to the child. In the end, you need to make the decision that you feel is best for your family.

Recommended Reading

Let Me Explain
A child’s DI origins may be difficult for a parent to discuss. How do you bring it up? What do you tell them? Well, this book will definately help! It is written as a story that you can read to your child at a young age. A must for any parent of a DI child.

 

Donor Insemination – How It Is Done

by DI Mommy

Ok, you’ve been thinking about donor insemination (DI), but are wondering what the procedure entails. You’ve likely heard all kinds of stories about complicated fertility treatments and drugs. Well, DI is the “low tech” fertility treatment and is not complicated. Many conceive successfully without any additional treatment or drugs.

Usually, the woman will be evaluated to rule out any obvious fertility problems. This can involve things such as routine blood tests, ultrasound, endometrial biopsy, and/or a hysterosalpinogram. More on those later.

Her menstrual cycles will often be monitored using temperature charting as well as charting other indicators. The time of ovulation is often then determined by checking your urine at mid cycle with ovulation predictor kits. When the monitoring indicates that ovulation is about to occur, the inseminations are typically done the next day. If there is uncertainty about the timing of ovulation, a second insemination may be performed.

If she does not ovulate regularly or if her cycles are very unpredictable, the doctor may prescribe a medication such as clomid to regulate ovulation.

That said, there are two types of inseminations; ICI (intracervical inseminations) and IUI (intrauterine insemination).

Some research and statistics show that the success rates for IUI are higher than with ICI due to the fact that the sperm is closer to where it needs to be after the procedure. Which method is used can depend on a number of factors, and the Doctor or clinic can help in this decision.

ICI
ICI usually takes a few minutes and should be simple and painless. It can be either done at home, or at a Doctor’s office or fertility clinic. The sperm is thawed and loaded into a syringe. The sperm is injected slowly into the vagina close to the cervix and the syringe is removed. The woman can then return to whatever activities she had planned for the day! Some say that you should lay down with your hips elevated for a while after the insemination, but others say it does not matter.

IUI
IUI is only slightly more complicated than having a pap test! IUI should be done in a Doctors office or fertility clinic. It typically takes less than five minutes and should be painless, although some women do experience some cramping afterwards. The sperm is thawed in a laboratory and loaded into a narrow tube (a catheter about one millimeter in diameter) which is attached to a syringe. A speculum (the same kind that is used in a PAP test) is placed into the vagina in order to visualize the cervix. The catheter is passed through the cervix and into the cavity of the uterus. The sperm is injected slowly into the uterus and the catheter is removed. The woman can then return to whatever activities she had planned for the day! Some say that you should lay down with your hips elevated for a while after the insemination, but others say it does not matter.

Good Luck!

The Donor Insemination Decision

By DI Mommy

The decision to use Donor Insemination (DI) should not be taken lightly, and you should be prepared and have worked through any issues you have. This is truly a decision that will not only affect the rest of your life, but the life of a child as well.

Most couples*, when contemplating parenthood, figure all they have to do is “what comes naturally” and sooner or later they will be blessed with a little bundle of joy. Unfortunately, that is not the reality for about 7% of couples.

In the USA alone, according to the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), the number of women using infertility services was 9.3 million (1995). The reasons for a couple’s infertility varies. However, infertility is caused by a male factor in approximately 20%-30% of cases. In these instances, DI (Donor Insemination) is an options that many couples consider.

DI is widely practiced throughout the world. The pregnancy rate is high: 70 to 80% of couples who choose DI eventually have a child by this method. 30,000 to 50,000 babies are conceived each year in North America with the help of DI.

DI offers a range of benefits to couples:

  • The experience of pregnancy from the start to the birth, often seen as an important preparation for parenthood, is shared by the couple.
  • One parent has a biological and genetic link with the child.
  • By attending the inseminations the husband can share in the child’s conception.
  • DI is a relatively simple and usually painless procedure requiring neither surgery nor a stay in hospital.
  • Public opinion is showing a far greater acceptance of DI as a means of having a family.
  • Many couples find they receive support and reassurance from their family and friends when they tell them they are receiving the treatment.
  • The treatment is confidential. Couples decide for themselves who knows that they are being treated. The use of anonymous donors ensures against any legal, material or emotional claim by him on the couple or child and vice versa.

The dilemmas of DI

  • Some religious groups and others are still opposed to donor insemination.
  • The secrecy that sometimes surrounds a DI conception can perpetuate the notion that it is naturally and ethically wrong. This can, in some cases, lead to feelings of guilt and fear in relation to the child’s birth and nurture.
  • As with adoption, the husband has no genetic relationship with the child, and his procreative desires cannot be fulfilled.
  • Both partners need to reflect on their attitudes and feelings towards a child conceived by DI and its impact on their relationship. A mutual acceptance is of the utmost importance. If it cannot be reached, then other options must be considered.
  • The right of the child to know about the method of conception is a controversial question which some couples find hard to resolve.
  • Remarks about family likeness should be expected when the baby arrives. These are perfectly normal, but they can cause embarrassment if parents are not prepared for them.

We have a beautiful son who was conceived with the help of DI. As the parent of a child conceived through DI, I understand the challenges and choices couples turning to DI face. Many of the clinics that offer DI also offer counseling sessions prior to donor selection and the inseminations. If your doctor or clinic does not have this, it is a good idea to seek some counseling on your own.

My husband is every bit our sons father — we believe that biology does not make a family — love does. One of our favorite quotes is that “Almost anyone can be a father, but it takes a special man to be a daddy”.

It is our hope that society will become more accepting of this option to family building that has been in practice for over 100 years so that our son may be proud of his origins — he truly was conceived out of love.

More on DI
Psychological Considerations
How DI is done

 

* Although this article focusses on married couples since that is where my experience comes from, many of the issues are the same for single women or lesbians who turn to DI.

Chinese Gender Prediction Chart

This method of gender prediction is reputed to be based on a chart that was placed in a Royal tomb outside of Peking hundreds of years ago. The original copy of the chart is housed in Peking’s Institute of Science. In theory, the chart allows you not only to predict the gender of your unborn child, but to plan the timing of a pregnancy based on whether you want to have a boy or a girl.

This chart uses the mother’s age at time of conception along with the month the baby was conceived to come up with a prediction. To find your baby’s gender find the mother’s age at the time of conception and follow it across to the month the baby was conceived. We don’t guarantee the accuracy of this chart but it is fun to speculate!

 

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
18 G B G B B B B B B B B B
19 B G B G G B B G B B G G
20 G B G B B B B B B G B B
21 B G G G G G G G G G G G
22 G B B G B G G B G G G G
23 B B B G B B G G G B B G
24 B G G B B G B G B B G B
25 G B G B G B G B G B B B
26 B B B B B G B G G B G G
27 G G B B G B G G B G B B
28 B B B G G B G B G G B G
29 G B G G B G G B G B G G
30 B B G B G B B B B B B B
31 B B B B G G B G B G G G
32 B G G B G B B G B B G B
33 G B B G G B G B G B B G
34 B B G G B G B B G B G G
35 B G B G B G B G B B G B
36 B G B B B G B B G G G G
37 G G B G G G B G G B B B
38 B B G G B G G B G G B G
39 G G B G G G B G B B G B
40 B B B G B G B G B G G B
41 G G B G B B G G B G B G
42 B G G B B B B B G B G B
43 G B G G B B B G G G B B
44 B G G G B G B B G B G B
45 G B G B G G B G B G B G

 

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Parenting Starts Before Pregnancy

While it may seem farfetched to some people, many of my clients remember what they felt and experienced while still in the womb. Comments such as these are not unusual:

“I knew even before I was born that my mother didn’t want me.”

“I could feel my mother’s fear and anxiety even before I was born.”

Parenting does not start once the child is born. Good parenting starts even before getting pregnant. It starts by caring about what you eat, how much exercise and sleep you get, and by making sure that you are taking responsibility for your feelings of anxiety and stress. Your baby will feel what you feel, so learning how to be in peace and joy before getting pregnant is part of good parenting.

I loved being pregnant. I had always wanted children so I was thrilled to be pregnant. I loved feeling the baby moving within me, awed by the very fact of creating new life. I loved feeling an elbow or a knee slide across my stomach. I loved that my body could be a receptacle for bringing through this soul, this angel from heaven. I could not think of anything more profound, more worth doing. Who was this unique little person growing in my body?

I read every book I could on parenting and thought endlessly how I wanted to be a different parent than my parents were.

The problem was that I have never thought about how much my relationship with myself and with my husband might affect this child.

My husband was angry, distant and withdrawn during my pregnancy and the first three months after giving birth to our son. He was a person who wanted control and he was not happy that I got pregnant six months before we had planned. He didn’t open his heart until our son smiled at him at three months of age.

Being young, I had no idea how to handle the loneliness I felt at not having my husband joyfully involved in the hugest event of my life. Had I known then what I know now, I would have done anything I could to get the help we needed to bring our relationship back into caring. We can’t go back, but I’m sure that my son felt the lack of joy that existed between my husband and me. I’m sure he felt the depth of my loneliness. I wish I knew then what I know now about taking responsibility for my own feelings.

Being pregnant and giving birth are enormous events in a woman’s life, especially the first child, which changes your life so dramatically. If you do not know how to take responsibility for your own feelings of anger, hurt, anxiety, depression and loneliness, things will only get worse after giving birth. A child does not solve problems for you.

It’s hard to imagine before having a child what it is like to be responsible for another life 24/7. If you have not learned how to lovingly parent yourself before giving birth, you might find yourself getting lost as parent your baby. Good parenting starts before getting pregnant, with learning how to take loving care of yourself.

If you have a desire to be a good parent, here are steps you can take before getting pregnant:

1. Physical health: make sure that you are in good physical shape by eliminating sugar and artificial sweeteners. Start to shop in health food stores and buy only organic products. Eliminating pesticides and food additives is essential for good health. Also be sure to get enough exercise and sleep.

2. Emotional health: instead of having your eyes on your partner, turn your eyes inward and begin to compassionately notice your own feelings. Start to treat your own feelings in the same way you are planning on treating your future child’s feelings – with caring and understanding. In addition, start to practice taking loving action in your own behalf – standing up for yourself, speaking your truth, taking time for yourself. Practice taking loving care of your own feelings instead of making your partner responsible for how you feel. Begin to notice what you think and do that may be causing you stress. Changing thoughts and behavior that cause your stress before getting pregnant is essential for good parenting.

3. Spiritual health: practice opening to a higher source of guidance, wisdom, strength and comfort. This can be your own highest, wisest self within you, or a Higher Power outside of you. You will find that being able to turn a source of wisdom and comfort within or without will go a long way in helping you stay loving and stress-free with yourself, your partner, and your baby. In addition, this will help you know what to do in different challenging situations with your baby.

If you are planning on having a baby, start today in becoming a good parent!

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is the best-selling author and co-author of eight books, including “Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By You?” She is the co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding healing process. Learn Inner Bonding now! Visit her web site for a FREE Inner Bonding course: http://www.innerbonding.com or mailto:margaret@innerbonding.com. Phone sessions available.

The Two Week Wait

14 Things To Do When 14 Days Seem Like Forever
by Lynn Steen

As any woman who is trying to get pregnant can tell you, the two weeks from ovulation to the due date for your next period are pure torture. You promise yourself you’ll just wait it out, distract yourself with other activities and you won’t even THINK about taking a pregnancy test until you’re at least a day overdue. Then something happens – your breasts start hurting in a slightly different way than they did before, you get slightly nauseous, you have some spotting …Or nothing happens, but you find yourself waking up wishing you could go to sleep again so that it would be another day closer to knowing. You can’t think, you can’t sleep, you can’t work, you start taking HPTs days before they are even possibly meaningful. You are deep in the abyss of THE TWO-WEEK WAIT!

In my opinion, it’s no use advising women to stop obsessing, it’s impossible. Instead, I give you a list of more productive ways to obsess. Please note, however, that there is a limit that each woman must define for herself, between indulging in some baby-daydreaming and going overboard. I’ve included some examples below:

1. Take a walk around your neighborhood and figure out what will be the best route for strolls with the baby. Find areas with nice sidewalks and easy curbs. Go ahead and daydream. But do NOT buy a stroller for the dog.

2. Clean out your closet to make room for the maternity stuff you’ll be buying soon. Try on anything you haven’t worn for six months. Yes, if you wish, you may put a pillow in your undies to see what will work as maternity wear. But taking a picture of yourself like that is going too far.

3. Start a journal. Write down everything you’re feeling. It will be a great opening chapter for your child’s baby book. If you can’t put your feelings into words draw something, try to create a symbol that expresses the frustration you’re feeling. Don’t get that symbol tattooed on your ankle.

4. Plant a hope garden. Or a hope rosebush. Or a hope citrus tree. You want to grow something inside of you, well start by growing something outside of you. Nurture it. Feed it. Give it water. Talk to it. But do not send out birth announcements.

5. Get better at photography. Really learn how to work all the buttons and settings on your camera. Experiment! If you have a digital camera, get all the downloading and editing stuff worked out. You will be well-prepared once you have a baby, and will be able to get some great shots and get them emailed to your family before the child’s graduation. Do not take photos of your cervical mucous, even if Toni Weschler begs you.

6. Make an appeal to the committee meeting going on inside you. Sperm, egg, uterus, corpus luteum, progesterone…they are in there either making a baby or not. Treat them like any other unruly committee you’ve ever addressed. Yes that’s right, go ahead and talk to them. Put your hands on your stomach and tell them how much you respect them. Make your best argument in favor of a baby, and then let them decide. It’s out of your hands. Addressing the committee within earshot of normal people is not recommended.

7. Paint your toenails. Imagine how difficult this will be when you are pregnant. Go shopping for the perfect pink and blue nailpolish in preparation for a celebration polish. Alternating colors on the day you find out you’re pregnant, or a single color for the day you find out the baby’s sex. Don’t be tempted to paint a cycle day countdown on your big toes.

8. Make a cup of herbal tea. It is a nice ritual: boiling the water, adding the tea leaves, pouring into a nice china cup, adding some milk or sugar, sipping peacefully. Ahhhh. There’s nothing that a nice cup of tea won’t help. Yeah right. Well it does kill a little bit of time.

9. Swim laps. Think about the sperm and how they need to swim to your egg. Imagine that you are a sperm, the end of the pool is the egg, then GO, GO, GO! Don’t wear a tail or anything. Just imagine it quietly.

10. Make lists. List who you will tell when you get pregnant and in what order. List all the chores you need to get done instead of obsessing about this. List all the healthy activities you intend to do this week. List all the girl and boy names you like. Lists are helpful for all sorts of things, most of all for passing time rather than actually doing something.

11. Create a fertility dance. Choose whatever music speaks to your soul and make up a dance routine as a prayer to the universe for the growth of an embryo. Move your hips, rotate your belly, let your arms flow… but close the curtains.

12. Prepare a folic acid feast. Cream of broccoli soup appetizer, followed by spinach lasagna, enriched whole grain garlic bread and frozen orange juice sorbet for dessert. Dedicate the meal to your baby-to-be. Just don’t set a highchair at the table in his or her honor.

13. Delegate the burden of the two-week wait. Clearly someone has to worry constantly during this time, but does it have to be you? Divide the days up among your best friends and closest family. On their assigned day they are required to think,wonder, and worry all day about whether you are pregnant or not. At the end of the day they have to call or send you email describing how agonizing it was. Also they have to report to you if they had any “symptoms,” such as sore breasts, excessive urination, nausea, bleeding, fatigue…You will be surprised how many people, male and female, have early pregnancy symptoms if they just look for them.

14. Write a list of 14 things to do during the Two-Week Wait and post it to the Bulletin Boards! For me, this killed nearly 3 hours. Now what? I’ve still got 9 days to go…aaaarrgrhhhh.

 

Lynn Steen is a busy professional working in the Silicon Valley. When she turned 38, she decided to become a single mother by choice and, at the time of writing, was trying to conceive via donor insemination. In addition to taking her temperature and checking her cervical mucous, Lynn enjoys writing (sitcom and feature screenplays) and being an aunt to three wonderful nephews.

Pregnancy Week 1

Did you know that a pregnancy is typically 280 days long, starting from the day after the first day of your menstrual period? The first day of your last menstrual period starts ‘lunar month one’ of your pregnancy. It also starts the first of the fourty weeks of pregnancy! Confused about lunar months, calendar months and weeks? Your not alone! Click here to learn more.

Prenatal Care

Your very first — and perhaps most important — job in your new role as mom-to-be is to take excellent care of yourself. Your little one is counting on you!

Stay away from alcohol, cigarettes (even second-hand), drugs, and medications (including herbal ones).

If you aren’t already, start taking prenatal vitamins regularly. They’re chock full of just the nutrition pregnant women need, including folic acid, a vitamin that helps prevent birth defects. Folic acid is also found in green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits and juices, enriched breads and cereals, and more. Eat well to ensure 39 more weeks of growing anticipation and great health!

If you haven’t already done so, now is a good time to visit with your doctor or midwife so you can plan and begin your healthy journey through pregnancy.

How You Might Be Feeling

You haven’t yet ovulated this month, but you may be pregnant (well, technically speaking anyways)! The typical pregnancy lasts for 280 days, or 40 weeks (also known as 10 lunar months). Your doctor starts counting that time from the day after the first day of your last known menstrual period. That means you can be considered officially pregnant right now, even though you haven’t yet conceived! Confused? You’re not alone!

Choosing the Sex of your Baby

Most people at one time or another wished for it. I’ll even bet you secretly wish you had this power either now or in the past. What power is that? The power to choose the sex of your kids.

You can be certain most men wish to conceive at least one boy. And if you don’t conceive the child of the sex you desire… lots of problems can and usually do develop between couples.

Look around. It’s sad but true. Couples end up producing more and more kids until they finally do have the child of their preferred sex. You see this a lot in the third world.

In the USA, each extra child a couple conceives will cost them a minimum of $50,000. A lot of times upwards of $170,000 over the child’s first 18 years of life.

There’s a better way. A more efficient and cheaper way to have the child of your dreams.

Western research has poured over $1 billion into research of this kind. But the odd thing is, Taoists thousands of years ago learned some simple techniques to help increase the odds of conceiving the baby of your choosing.

One of their methods is called the Chinese Calendar Method. Basically, if the couple has sex on a certain day and the mother is a certain age, they can predict with about 66.5% accuracy what sex your child will be.

This method all but disappeared because of an ambitious Chinese Warlord King named Cao Cao (pronounced cow cow). He basically stole it from the Taoists and kept it for himself and his closest relatives so they could conceive as many male heirs as possible.

It was not until the Chinese Communists took over China after World War II that a fleeing Chinese Nationalist diplomat passed this information on to a few Western reporters he had befriended.

Back to more modern times.

Modern research has been able to add to that and increase the accuracy up to 98% with more powerful and less esoteric techniques and methods. Let’s put that into simpler terms. If you want a baby boy and follow the techniques and methods, you will have a baby boy 98 times out of 100. Better than the old 50-50 odds, huh?

So you are thinking… fascinating. Give me a method. Thought you’d never ask.

One of the modern methods is based on timing a woman’s ovulation cycle. Now this method alone won’t guarantee you a 98% chance of having the baby gender of your choice, but it drastically increases the odds.

The ovulation cycle method is simply this. The woman needs to pinpoint her ovulation day. From there, depending on what gender baby you want, you will have sex 5 days before ovulation up until ovulation.

Now here is the key. If you want a baby girl, you should have sex 4-5 days before ovulation and then stop having sex. The reason is because the female X-Sperm is more resilient and can survive inside the woman’s tract for that long.

The male Y-Sperm can’t survive that long. So they will die off and nothing but female X-Sperm will be left to fertilize the egg for when the woman ovulates.

So in conclusion, if you plan on having children within the next few years and desire a certain gender, give this method a try. Just remember, this is only one method of many.

Richard Bryda is author of the ebook “The Ultimate Guide to Baby Gender Selection”. Find out more secrets on how to conceive a baby boy up to 98 times out of 100. Safe, natural, effective – free newsletter. http://ChooseTheGenderOfYourBaby.com