POSTS WITH TAG: baby prep

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    My sister, who happens to be my best friend, was the first person to find out I was pregnant -- after my husband, of course! She is an interior designer so we immediately started talking about what was most important -- the baby’s nursery. At the time, my husband and I were renting a one-bedroom apartment, but I was sure that in the course of nine months, we’d be living in the lap of luxury, and my baby would have her own room, if not her own wing in our new house.

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    More and more women are turning to birth coaches, and with good reason. Some studies show using a doula reduces the length of labor, pain levels, and C-section rates up to 50 percent. "Many mothers refer to them as the women who have made their birthing experience a 'dreamy' one," says Giuditta Tornetta, a birth coach at JoyinBirthing.com.

    A doula will give you the emotional support and information that most OB/GYNs -- and stressed-out husbands -- can't provide. "Basically a doula is there to help the mom get the birth she wants," says Stephanie Heintzeler, a doula at TheNewYorkDoula.com. But as with choosing your doctor, midwife, and pediatrician, it's important to choose a doula that's right for you.

    Here's how ...

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    Most moms hope their kids end up smart and might even buy those Baby Einstein videos to give their little geniuses the edge. Yet here's what many moms don't know: You can also make babies smart before they're even born. "There is research to suggest that unborn babies are able to process and learn information during pregnancy from the external world," says Christine Weber, a clinical neuropsychologist in Seaford, New York. "Stimulation of neurons in the brain are enhanced by prenatal activities."

    And it turns out that these brain-boosting activities are easy! Try these expert-approved tips to jump-start your child's cognitive development before he even arrives in the world.

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    Moms-to-be have major to-do lists, but one thing on the docket may serve as a welcome reprieve from the rest: The babymoon. "Babymoons are of the hottest trends in the travel industry right now," Destinations in Florida Travel travel agent Siera Duiser says. "These couples are looking for one last hurrah before they welcome their new child." The numbers prove it: Up to 53 percent of expectant parents invested in a pre-baby getaway last year, according to the American Express Spending and Saving Tracker.

    Although you may have reservations about traveling while pregnant, there are plenty of ways to plan a safe, relaxing getaway. Here, 7 things to know to plan your best babymoon ...

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    Congratulations, you're pregnant! Again. A second or third (or fourth) pregnancy brings about a whole new set of concerns, like: How do you prepare your kids for a new baby? One thing is for sure, you don't want to bring their new sibling home from the hospital and yell, "Surprise!"

    That said, "there's nothing you can do that can completely prepare your toddler for baby," says Dr. Tanya Altmann, M.D., and author of Mommy Calls: Dr. Tanya Answers Parents' Top 101 Questions About Babies and Toddlers. "But there are things you can do to make the experience as fun and positive as possible."

    Here's what she suggests.

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    After her latest Instagram, we are not sure that Jenelle Evans is quite ready for her second baby.

    The Teen Mom 2 star posted a pick of one eye, along with the caption: "Hoping our child has my eye color. #Hazel I think? Lol never really knew."

    While I think she does have beautiful eyes, Jenelle clearly has her priorities completely out of whack. But The Stir has the perfect advice for getting her -- and moms like her -- on the right track.

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    When I was pregnant with my first baby, I went through a period where I felt lonely and slightly depressed. My husband, who is usually wonderful and beyond supportive, became so obsessed with providing for us financially that he slacked for a while in the emotions department. I was frightened to death about becoming a mom and beyond terrified that something bad was going to happen to my baby -- that she wouldn't be healthy. Many of my friends still hadn't become moms yet, so my emotions were lost on them. 

    But one person totally "got me." He was always there for me and would listen to every one of my mom concerns AND have an answer -- an actual answer that wasn't "stop worrying." Yep, I kind of, sort of developed a crush on my gynecologist.

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    I've really enjoyed being pregnant. Up until month 7. That was when some really freaky and sometimes downright hellish things have begun happening to my body that are making me wish I could give birth tomorrow. When I became pregnant, I was well aware of what would take place during the first trimester -- morning sickness, fatigue, yada yada. And I knew the second trimester was going to be that glorious time when I resembled a goddess and could still run a marathon without breaking a sweat. But no one really told me about the third trimester. Back aches don't even begin to cover it. Here are 9 things that can happen any time between your seventh and ninth month -- don't say I didn't warn you. 

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    I would definitely label Kourtney Kardashian a "girly girl." From her perfect makeup and hair to her incredibly trendy outfits and the amazingly adorable get-ups we always see her kids Mason and Penelope rocking, it's evident she is hands-on when it comes to hers and her family's style. So it should come as no shock that her home is as fashion-forward as Ms. K -- who recently renovated her digs so that quite a few of the rooms feature a wacky, but somehow elegant Alice in Wonderland theme. And while she chose to go all Mad Hatter in her living area -- think black and white striped walls and ceilings -- she kept things relatively peaceful and sweet in her "favorite room" in the house -- her daughter's super-pretty nursery. But one feature might make you just a wee bit nervous. 

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    Emily Blunt's due date is fast approaching. You know what that means? Her need to nest is kicking in big time. The star is making sure she has everything her little one needs once she makes her debut into the world. And I do mean EVERYTHING. And the best of everything at that. The actress was recently spotted during a shopping spree at Petit Tresor in L.A. and spent a whopping $35,000. You won't believe the list of luxurious baby goods she picked up. Even Donald Trump might consider her choices a bit over-the-top.

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