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Super Single Moms

Being a parent isn't easy; being a single parent is even harder. Without the support of a partner, all responsibilities rest on your shoulders, which can add pressure to an already very difficult role. Single mothers are the unsung heroes of the world, but they, most of all, need help too. If you're thinking of becoming a single mother or are one yourself, here are some tips to help you get through it in one piece.

  1. Build a support system. It's easy to feel overwhelmed with everything you need to do. Having a support system in place when you're feeling like you can't handle it alone can mean the difference between a happy home life and a nervous breakdown. Ask support from a friend or relative. Call them when things get too crazy or you feel like you're at wit's end. Having someone to talk to and vent to is invaluable when you're a single mom. 
  1. Don't be afraid to ask for help. We know you have your reputation as Wonder Woman to protect, but just because you might need help from time to time doesn't make you weak. Remember that. It just makes you human. Ask your friends or relatives for help when you need it, but be specific about what you need. Most people want to help, they just don't know how. If you're too shy (or proud) to ask help from relatives, trade services with fellow parents, or even neighbors.
  1. Be realistic. You know those women who find time to raise their kids, cook, clean, do the groceries, and work at the same time? Those women don't exist. And if they do, they're not the supermoms you think they are. Don't try to live up to the impossible idea of what a mother should be. Be realistic about what you can accomplish, and give yourself a break every once in a while.

 

  1. Don't get stuck on guilt. Feel like you're working too much? Too little? Hate that you don't have enough time to spend with your kids or that you don't have enough money? Stop feeling guilty about being a single parent and instead, focus on the good things about your situation. See to it that your child's basic needs are met, and that he's happy and healthy. Guilt won't get you anywhere.
  1. Nurture yourself. It's easy to forget about yourself when you're juggling work, chores, and raising a child. Sometimes, it feels like there aren't enough hours in the day for everything you need to do. Which is why it's important you find time for yourself. Set small, short, or long-term goals for yourself; whether it's something as simple as finding time to read a bit before you go to bed, or fitting into those pre-baby jeans. Having something to look forward to and work towards can do wonders for your self-esteem and overall well being.

Mom's Guide to Vitamins and Minerals

Shifting to a healthy balanced diet becomes even more vital when pregnant and breastfeeding. The best way to get your vitamins and minerals is from natural sources, but making sure you do so can be quite taxing – eminently with the increasing food cravings and aversions while pregnant or the demanding days with baby at home for breastfeeding moms. This is why doctors recommend that you take supplements or a prenatal vitamin during these stages of your life. Before you drive yourself bonkers understanding an array of vitamins and minerals, get to know the essential ones you will need, their easily obtainable natural sources, and how much your body needs for a healthy baby and you. 

Folic Acid

A pregnant woman should take in 400 micrograms of folic acid daily. This helps prevent the birth defect spina bifida. It’s advisable to take folic acid when you reach a childbearing age or start as soon as you conceive. Your doctor may advise you to take a folic acid supplement until you are 12 weeks pregnant.

Natural sources:

Brown rice, green leafy vegetables, and fortified products like margarine, cereals, and bread.

 

Vitamin D

Calcium and phosphate are needed in pregnancy to keep bones and teeth healthy, and vitamin D regulates these. Vitamin D also provides your baby with enough of it for his first few months of life, since lack of vitamin D in children may lead to rickets. Take 10 micrograms daily while pregnant and breastfeeding. 

Natural sources:

Sun exposure is the best source of vitamin D. You do not need to sunbathe to receive this vitamin since your body absorbs enough of it even before you tan. You may also get your dose of vitamin D in eggs, meat, and oily fish.

 

Iron

Iron deficiency leads to anemia. You may feel extra tired when low in iron, which may add to the exhaustion you already experience from being pregnant. If you’re breastfeeding, this is also a very important mineral to take. You’ll be losing blood from delivery and from menstruation, which can also cause fatigue. A daily dose of 27 milligrams is recommended during and after pregnancy.

Natural sources:

Nuts, dried fruit, lean meat, and green leafy vegetables.

Calcium

Your growing baby needs calcium for the development of bones and teeth, a healthy heart, muscles, and nerves. Lactating moms also need calcium. Studies show that women can lose up to 5% of their bone mass while breastfeeding. This may be from your child’s need for the mineral, drawing it from your bones. The recommended daily calcium intake is 1,000 milligrams.

Natural sources:

Dairy products, dried fruit, green leafy vegetables, and fish with edible bones.

 

Vitamin C

Your body needs to fight infection, particularly when you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, and vitamin C can help you do that. It also repairs tissue, heals wounds, contributes to healthy skin, and helps your body absorb iron. Your baby will also benefit from it as it’s necessary for collagen building. Just make sure you take no more than 2,000 milligrams a day. Some studies show that too much of it can lead to preterm birth. 

Natural sources:

Citrus fruits, broccoli, tomatoes, and bell peppers.

 

DHA & EPA

DHA and EPA are omega-3 fatty acids essential for the development of your baby’s brain, nerves, and eyes. A daily dose of 300 milligrams is recommended for pregnant and lactating women.

Natural sources:

Look for quality fish oil to avoid the possibility of ingesting mercury from fresh fish.

Frequently Asked Questions: Immunizations

What does it mean to be immune? According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, one of the definitions of immune is to be incapable of “being affected by a disease.”

What is immunization? Given the definition above, immunization is the act of preventing disease. This is achieved through the administration of vaccines (which is the most common form), oral drugs, or nasal sprays.

Why do we need it? Naturally occurring smallpox was officially declared eradicated by the World Health Organization in 1980 after years of immunizations through vaccination. Although cost issues may lead you to have second thoughts about the various vaccines your child will have to endure year after year, it is a necessary precaution. As the saying goes, “it is better to be safe, than sorry.” Arming your child with an arsenal to prevent serious, and sometimes fatal, diseases may be worth all the effort and pain it may cause your kid. It would be much simpler to plan for that immunization today than it will be to deal with the uncertainties that these diseases may bring.

Can anybody receive vaccines? There is a host of reasons why immunization may not be feasible. Age and health conditions are just two of the common reasons for this. Vaccines follow a certain schedule. It is therefore prudent to follow the timetable given by your pediatrician or medical practitioner. If in doubt, check out the website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). They have easy-to-read schedules for children from birth through six years old, preteens and teens, and adults. Pregnant women are strongly encouraged to consult their medical practitioners.

Who can administer it? It is strongly recommended that you look no further than your trusted pediatrician for this. This is especially true for young children. Board-certified doctors and nurses can also give vaccines, such as flu shots. However, your pediatrician would be in the best position to assess when shots should be given. 

What are the side effects? Minor effects often include low-grade fever, headaches, abdominal pain, and nausea. It is always helpful to ask your pediatrician about what side effects to watch out for. Oftentimes, they already recommend medicine, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, to prevent any of the effects to cause discomfort to your child. Major problems can include severe allergic reactions, blood in the urine or stool, and inflammation of the stomach. Should any of these occur, contact your pediatrician immediately. There has also been a wealth of literature about the supposed link between autism and vaccination. Although several major medical groups, such as the CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and World Health Organization, have agreed that the relationship does not exist, it is hard to dispel the lingering doubt.

Is it foolproof? There is no such thing as foolproof. The flu vaccine, for example, protects you from most of the seasonal strains. However, considering the fact that there are so many different strains out there, it is virtually impossible to create one single vaccine that can prevent them all. 

How much do they cost? The costs of vaccines vary. Major hospitals are often more expensive than government-run hospitals and centers. Vaccines can go as low as PhP900 per shot to more than PhP5,000.

ARCHIVE
2017
May