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What’s It Like To Be In College and Pregnant?

Pregnant college studentPicture getting ready for an 8 am class after being up most of the night with a crying baby. When you’re done with classes, you go to work for eight hours. Once you get off work, you rush to pick up your baby from daycare. Then, you go home and start this process all over again.
 
In the scenario described here, you’re not really raising your baby. The childcare provider is doing most of the nurturing and caring for your child.
 
There are few parenting situations more difficult than caring for a baby with no support while trying to finish college. Raising a child on your own is a full-time job, on top of your course load.
 
Statistics show that many women who get pregnant in college and decide to parent their child end up quitting school. Many of these mothers grow dependent on welfare programs to help raise their child. The cycle of poverty stays at her door because it’s hard to make much money without a college education.
 
If you’re pregnant and in college, this scenario may seem incredibly depressing. It can come as a big shock when only a short time ago you were living a life of freedom and had your future all planned out.
 
Of course, you’ll want to do what’s best for you and your baby. How can you provide the best life for your child while remaining in college?
 
You have choices that will empower you to set your world right and do the best thing you can do for your child. Maybe you haven’t thought about the choice of adoption yet, but now may be a good time to consider it.
 
With open adoption, you can select the adoptive parents who will raise your child. You’ll have the opportunity to choose the type of home your child will grow up in. You can even stay in touch with your child as he or she grows up. The adoptive parents will send you updates through letters, emails, photos, and even occasional visits.
 
By making an adoption plan, you’ll be able to finish your education and better your life. Plus, you can provide your child with a mom and dad who will provide a stable and loving home. You can live your life secure in the knowledge that your child is in the best possible home that you could provide.
 

You can learn more about adoption by calling or texting
Lifetime Adoption at 1-800-923-6784.

Visit their website at LifetimeAdoption.com to view hopeful adoptive family profiles, read women’s adoption stories, and more!

My Period Is Late! Could I Be Pregnant?!

Girl leaning against a tree, thinkingThere are a variety of signs that might mean you’re pregnant, the most common one being a late or missed period. With that said, some early pregnancy symptoms aren’t actually related to pregnancy at all. For example, if you’re throwing up everything you eat, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re pregnant. You could be battling a nasty flu!
 
If you think you’re pregnant, it’s very important to make an appointment with your doctor to confirm that you’re pregnant and to begin prenatal care. The information here isn’t meant to replace medical advice, but to give you info in simple, easy to understand terms.
 
Pregnancy symptoms can show up as soon as one week after conception. But some lucky women don’t have any pregnancy symptoms at all!

To help clear things up, we’re giving you a break-down on 8
of the most common signs of early pregnancy:

1. Fatigue
Feeling tired is a common symptom of early pregnancy. Other explanations for fatigue include stress, depression, a cold, or flu.
 
2. Spotting
You might experience cramping and light bleeding in the very beginning of your pregnancy, typically from six to 12 days after conception.
 
Other explanations for spotting might be that you’ve recently switched up your birth control, or your period is coming.
 
3. Missed Period or “Off” Period
If you missed your period, try taking an over-the-counter early pregnancy test. Know that many women get their period, even though they’re pregnant. And some women will continue to get their period several months into their pregnancy.
 
Light bleeding during your first period after becoming pregnant is common. So, visiting your doctor to confirm you’re truly pregnant is best.
 
But just because you missed a period doesn’t mean you’re pregnant. If you’re going through extreme stress, hormonal changes, or suddenly lose a lot of weight, you might also miss a period.
 
4. Vomiting and/or Nausea
Called “morning sickness” by many, nausea and vomiting usually happen between two and eight weeks after conception. Some women are blessed and never deal with morning sickness. Others face morning sickness early on in their pregnancy.
 

5. Tender Breasts
During early pregnancy, some women notice that their breasts feel sore or heavy. Another change to your breasts that can happen in the early stages of pregnancy is darker areolas (that’s the skin around the nipples).
 
Girl browses phone outside6. Backaches
It’s normal to encounter back pain during pregnancy as your body adjusts to carrying and growing a baby. But, other explanations of back pain include PMS, stress, or physical strain.
 
7. Frequent Urination
Symptom #7 usually happens later on in pregnancy, typically around six to eight weeks along. Pregnant women need to pee more often because their expanding uterus is pushing on their bladder. Other explanations for frequent urination are urinary tract infections, or possibly other medical issues.
 
8. Strange Food Cravings
Many pregnant women crave a specific food, and not necessarily the stereotypical pickles and ice cream. It’s also normal and common to develop a sudden hatred for certain foods or certain smells. Then again, other reasons for craving strange foods include stress, depression, poor diet, or a diet lacking in a particular nutrient.
 
As you can see, typical pregnancy symptoms can be similar to other medical issues. If you think you’re pregnant, the first step to take is to get an over-the-counter test. Today’s modern pregnancy tests are very accurate, and so if it says you’re pregnant, you probably are. If the pregnancy test is negative and you still haven’t had a period after another five days, take another the test. It’s possible you took the test too early the first time. If you still haven’t gotten your period, it’s time to see your doctor because you may be pregnant or have another medical issue.
 
If you think you’re pregnant or have just discovered you’re pregnant, it’s crucial that you make an appointment to see your doctor. Prenatal care is essential for both you and your baby’s health.
 
There are many choices available if you’re facing an unplanned pregnancy. If you’re not ready to become a mom but at the same time don’t want to get an abortion, adoption is a third option.
 
With today’s modern adoptions, you can choose your baby’s adoptive parents and how you want the adoption to go. Open adoption puts you in the driver’s seat of your baby’s adoption: you decide how involved you want to be. Open adoption gives women a way to find a forever family for their baby while keeping in contact through emails, pictures, texts, phone calls, and/or visits. You can visit LifetimeAdoption.com to get information on how adoption works.

How to Cope With a Strong Sense of Smell During Pregnancy

Many women have a strong sense of smell during pregnancySo last week, we talked about the top 8 most horrible smells when you’re pregnant. When you read about these gag-inducing scents, you might have been able to relate, but wondered “Yeah, but how do I deal when the smell of meat cooking makes me gag?”
 
While it’s not practical to want to walk around with your nose plugged, there are some things you can do to avoid scents that ramp up your nausea.

Here are 6 simple tips for coping with a strong sense of smell during pregnancy:

1. Air Out Your Home
Whenever possible, leave your windows open. This will help banish any musty odors or cooking smells.
 
2. Eat Smart
Only cook the foods you can stand to smell. The old you might have loved steamed cauliflower and broccoli. But if the pregnant you hates the smell of these veggies, just avoid them until after you deliver.
 
3. Ditch the Perfume
Go easy on anything that’s scented, including body lotion, deodorant, and perfume. Or, you could switch to a fragrance that doesn’t make you sick. This goes for your man, too. You might have loved his Thierry Mugler cologne before, but now that you’re pregnant the scent makes you queasy.
 
4. Seek Nausea-Soothing Scents
Surround yourself with a scent like lemon, mint, ginger, and cinnamon. These scents can actually make you feel better and soothe your nausea rather than make it worse.
 
5. Do Laundry More Often
The fibers of your clothing tend to hang onto odors. So, we recommend washing your clothes more often than usual to help get rid of these odors.
 
6. Ask Others to be Considerate
Ask your partner, family, friends, and co-workers to be sensitive to your newly strong sense of smell. They could avoid microwaving fish for lunch or go easy on the perfume.
 
We hope that one (or a few!) of these tips give you some relief! Do you have a tip that didn’t make our list? Please share it in the comments!

The Top 8 Most Horrible Smells When You’re Pregnant

Garlic is one of the worst smells when you’re pregnant!Pregnancy brings so many side effects and symptoms, and many of them are unpleasant. The most unusual one might just be a hypersensitive sense of smell.
 
Some refer to this as “pregnancy nose,” and it means that many pregnant women have a heightened sense of smell. And there are certain scents they can’t stand.
 

Here are the top 8 most gag-worthy smells when you’re pregnant:

 

8. Meat cooking

For some pregnant ladies, chicken cooking smells disgusting, and for others, hot dogs stink. But other times, these meats might smell good. The smell of meat cooking is totally random, but when it smells, it smells BAD.
 

7. Pets

Smells like kitty litter, wet dog, and dog breath are pretty awful even when you’re not pregnant. But once you get “pregnancy nose,” pet scents multiply in grossness.
 

6. Seafood

Many women can relate to an aversion to the smell of seafood. Says one mama-to-be: “I actually canceled a dinner with friends once because we were going to meet up at a seafood restaurant. I felt like a flake, but I knew I couldn’t handle the awful smell!”
 

5. Heavy Fragrances

Think colognes, laundry detergents, candles, cleaning products, perfumes, and perfumes.
 

4. Cigarette Breath, Seafood Breath, and Alcohol Breath

Being around someone with bad breath is gross enough, but any of the scents on this list are even worse on someone’s breath!
 

3. Grocery Stores

Chances are you know exactly what the #3 smell is about. “Grocery store smell” is the combo of all the different scents in a grocery store that issue in an odor that’s near impossible to stand when you’re pregnant.
 

2. Cigarettes

If you’re like most people, the smell of cigarette smoke gets to you even on a non-pregnant day. So it makes sense that cigarettes become unbearable during pregnancy. Luckily, not as many people smoke nowadays, so you probably won’t have to encounter this smell regularly.
 

1. Strong Foods

The odor of strong foods, like garlic and onion, are the worst offenders for many pregnant women!
 

Keep an eye on our pregnancy blog, because next time we’ll tell you how to cope when your sharp sense of smell during pregnancy sends you running for the bathroom!

When Is It Too Late To Do Adoption?

Mother holding one-year-old daughter“I’ve really been struggling to make ends meet for the last year. I work long hours so I can make enough to pay for daycare. All my bills are past due and I’m going to get kicked out of my apartment soon.
 
This isn’t how I pictured life to be for my daughter. I want better for her than being shuffled to and from daycare, and barely seeing her.
 
It’s so hard to even think of adopting her out, it’s also hard to think of what could happen if I don’t. Is it too late to do adoption?”

 
It’s never too late to make an adoption plan for your child. Many women have parented before choosing adoption. You can manage the whole adoption planning process, including when you’re ready to start. Adoption is always a choice that you can make, no matter if your child is weeks, months, or years old. Women choosing adoption later on for their child have the same rights and choices as a pregnant woman making an adoption plan, including:

  • Planning an adoption that fits your goals for your child’s future
  • Selecting the perfect adoptive parents for your child
  • Choosing how much contact you’d like to have with the adoptive family before and after the adoption
  • Receiving the resources, support, and services you need.
  • Remaining a part of your child’s life through open adoption visits, emails, photos, and updates
  • Deciding when you’re ready to sign the adoption paperwork.

 
You can move through the adoption process at your own speed. We can refer you to an adoption professional called Lifetime Adoption who works nationwide. They’ve helped hundreds of women who chose adoption for their older child. Know that Lifetime won’t try to pressure you into a decision you’re not OK with.
 

There’s no deadline to do what’s best your child, and no “wrong time”
to start thinking about adoption.
 
Contact Lifetime Adoption to learn more about your adoption choices and how to move forward. Give Lifetime a call or text them at 1-800-923-6784.

How to Cope With Constipation During Pregnancy

Pregnant woman outside bundled upPregnancy comes with a whole host of unpleasant side effects, but constipation might just be one of the worst. The gas, bloating, and constant pressure can make a mama-to-be quite miserable. We’re here to let you know about the causes of constipation during pregnancy, plus what you can do about it!
 

Causes

There are a lot of reasons why you may be finding yourself in this situation, but constipation during pregnancy is usually because of hormones, your expanding uterus, stress, and supplements.
 
Pregnancy hormones such as progesterone are important in keeping a healthy pregnancy. But these hormones can also bring some less-than-pleasant side effects, like slowing your digestive system. Plus, the bigger your baby gets, the more he or she pushes down on your bowels, making it challenging for business to happen as usual.
 
Supplements like calcium and iron are known to cause constipation and are both found in prenatal vitamins. However, calcium and iron are also important components for your growing baby. So, don’t stop taking your prenatal vitamins to move things along without first asking your doctor.
 
But fear not! There are a few simple steps you can take to get control of this unpleasant issue.
 

How to Fix It

Pregnant woman suffers from back ache

1. Fiber

Fiber is your best friend when it comes to treating constipation. Good sources of fiber include beans, leafy greens, and of course, prunes. Fiber can show up in unexpected places, like popcorn and even kiwis. But make sure to ease your body into a fiber-rich diet, so you don’t end up trading one miserable condition (constipation) for another (earth-rattling gas).
 

2. Keep Hydrated

So many pregnancy articles suggest uping your water intake, and so does this one. Drink. Water. The longer a stool hangs around in the colon, the more water is absorbed, and the harder it gets. So more water means softer stools.
 

3. Get Some Exercise

Getting moving, especially after you eat, is a great way to kick your digestion into high gear. You can do something simple like going for a walk after lunch.
 

4. Don’t Hold It

No one likes to use public bathrooms, but when you gotta go, you gotta go. Holding it in can make constipation worse, so go if you feel the urge.
 

What Not to Do

Don’t take any medications like laxatives or mineral oil while you’re pregnant unless your doctor prescribes them. That’s because they come with unwanted side effects, like dehydration and uterine contractions.

8 Reasons Why You Can’t Sleep At 8 Months Pregnant

Woman snuggles a pregnancy pillowWhoever said, “You better sleep now because you won’t get much sleep when the baby comes!” has clearly never been pregnant. If you’re getting near to the end of your pregnancy, then you know getting a good night sleep is virtually impossible right now. Here are 8 reasons why:
 

1. So many trips to the bathroom

Right now, your bladder capacity is at an all-time low because of your growing baby. Plus, it seems like the urge to pee is bigger at night than during the day.
 

2. Your baby likes to practice karate at 3 am

Maybe she is rehearsing for tryouts to the Rockettes, or maybe she really is trying to torture you. At eight months along, many women have shared that their baby seems to enjoy busting out leg workouts in the middle of the night.
 

3. Pregnancy insomnia

The inability to turn off your brain just might be the most frustrating sleep disruption. As if your daytime hours weren’t already focused on all the anxiety-inducing realities coming, night brings new strength to those looming concerns.
 

4. So many pillows

When you’re pregnant, experts recommend tucking one pillow under your bellow, another between your knees, and a third behind your lower back. Before you know it, you become so trapped by pillows that the idea of changing positions is just too much effort.
 

5. Heartburn

It’s like there’s a fire in your esophagus, which only gets worse when you lay down. Get our tips on coping with pregnancy heartburn here https://pregnancyhelponline.com/how-to-deal-with-heartburn-during-pregnancy/
 

6. Restless legs

Around a third of pregnant women have a condition called restless legs syndrome (RLS). It’s that itchy, pulling, burning, urge to move your legs. It’s like your legs are screaming to run a marathon even though you get winded walking up a flight of stairs.
 

7. Strange dreams

The final trimester brings with it some of the strangest, chilling dreams of your life. From the bizarre to the horrifying, you’ve never been so thankful for the morning.
 

8. Hunger

Yes, you had dinner, plus assorted snacks. But once 1 am rolls around, your stomach starts growling for more.
 

What to Read Next:

How to Get a Great Night’s Sleep in Your Third Trimester
10 Ways to Prep for Labor and Delivery
Why Feeling Your Baby’s Kicks is a Good Sign
10 Things to Do During Your Last Month of Pregnancy
Pregnancy Dreams-What Do They Mean?

How to Survive the Last Two Weeks of Pregnancy

Woman in her third trimester reading a bookYou’re tired, you’re sore, and you might even pee a little bit when you laugh or cough. It takes forever to fall asleep. Welcome to the last two weeks of pregnancy!
 
We’re sharing five helpful tips to help you survive the longest stage of pregnancy! We hope that they’ll help you make the most of these last few days last two to four weeks without losing your mind.
 

1. Go to the spa or salon

Depending on your finances, this one might be easier said than done. But if you can, we recommend scheduling both a pedicure and a prenatal massage for this last leg of your pregnancy. Sit back and have someone else paint your toes. You’ve earned it!
 

2. Pig out

Now’s the home stretch. Whether or not you counted calories during your pregnancy, the damage is done. You won’t gain another 20 pounds these last couple of weeks, so go ahead and enjoy that candy bar, donut, or ice cream. Do you.
 

3. Let things go

Kick up your feet, watch Netflix, and let the laundry, vacuuming, and dishes go undone. Just, let it go. Better yet, you can use the time you would be doing housework to do something for yourself. Read a book you always wanted to read, watch funny videos online, or just do whatever you’d like to do.
 

4. Make plans

What’s something that you really want to do? Maybe it’s seeing that new movie everyone’s talking about. Maybe it’s getting dressed up and going out to your favorite restaurant. Just make sure it’s something you’re genuinely looking forward to.
 

5. Get yourself something nice

Go shopping and buy yourself something new. You could take a leisurely trip to your local Sephora, gathering free samples of high-end skin care. Or, you might shop for new mom gear, like cute nursing bras and flattering yoga pants. Treat. Your. Self. Plus, all the walking involved in your shopping trip will help get your body ready for labor!

“Should I Put My Baby Up for Adoption?”

Pregnant woman wonders, 'should I adopt out my baby?'If you’ve just started to research the process of adoption for your baby, you might feel overwhelmed by the amount of information out there. Luckily, you’re not alone. With some guidance, you’ll be able to decide what’s best for you and your baby.
 
Today, we’re describing the steps to take as you decide if adoption’s best for your baby:
 

1. Visit a Doctor

As soon as you think that you’re pregnant, visit your doctor or OB/GYN to make sure. They can also help you learn how your pregnancy is doing. Whether or not you choose adoption, you should start by caring for yourself and your baby.
 
The first few months of pregnancy are really important to your baby’s development. Since your body will be changing a lot, it’s essential that you start to take care of yourself as soon as possible. Your doctor will provide you with detailed instructions on how to care for yourself and your baby during your pregnancy.
 

2. Contact an Adoption Professional

Understanding how adoption works will be the first step in your decision-making process. An adoption professional will provide you with information, help you create a plan, and ask you what your needs are during your pregnancy. If you’re still on the fence about adoption, an adoption professional can provide you with all the information you need to make a decision. Call or text Lifetime Adoption at 1-800-923-6784 to learn more.
 

3. Create an Adoption Plan

Your Adoption Coordinator will explain all of your options, and help you decide how you’d like your adoption to go. They’ll help you plan your labor and delivery experience, your hospital stay, and direct you to programs if you need help with medical costs and living expenses. Your adoption professional will get your medical history, the medical history of your baby’s father, and ask you questions about what you’re hoping for in adoption. At Lifetime Adoption, you’re able to receive both third-party counseling and peer counseling.
 

4. Choose Your Style of Adoption

There are three different styles of relationships you can have with the adoptive family: open, semi-open and closed. You have the choice to decide the type and amount of contact you’d like to have with them after you place your baby in their home. Some women decide that updates through pictures and emails once a year is enough, but others choose more contact through annual in-person visits. The style of adoption relationship you’ll have with your child and his or her adoptive family is up to you.
 
Woman browses adoptive family profiles online

5. Select Your Baby’s Adoptive Parents

Many pregnant women making an adoption plan appreciate having the power to choose the couple who will raise their child. The adoption professional will send you information about adoptive families, including their careers, faith, hobbies, parenting style, and enthusiasm to become parents through adoption.
 
You can even start looking at potential adoptive parents online at any time! Visit LifetimeAdoption.com/find-a-family to see hopeful adoptive parents’ profiles online.
 
Once you see an adoptive family that “clicks” with you, we encourage you to have a phone conversation with them. During the call, you can get to know the couple better and let them know your wishes for the adoption process. Feel free to discuss any questions, thoughts or concerns you may have.
 

6. Welcome Your Baby

Before you give birth, your Adoption Coordinator will encourage you to think about how you want your birth plan to go. Once you go into labor, notify your adoption professional right away. They’ll contact the adoptive family you’ve chosen.
 
After you deliver, you have the right to spend as much time as you need to with your baby. You’ll likely be allowed to leave the hospital within 72 hours. Depending on your state, you might even sign relinquishment papers before you go.
 

7. Preparing for Life After Placement

Most women find that they need counseling after placement since adoption is a lifelong choice. Your Adoption Coordinator at Lifetime will help you work through your feelings and prepare you for the many emotions you’ll face.
 
Getting in touch with other mothers who chose adoption for their baby has helped many women. Your Adoption Coordinator at Lifetime will put you in contact with other women who have been in your shoes. Since they’ve also placed, a peer counselor can let you know what to expect and provide you with helpful tips.
 
If you chose an open adoption relationship, you’ll also have the adoptive family’s support and be able to see your child grow up. With open adoption, placement isn’t a “good-bye” forever, but the start of a beautiful relationship between you, your child, and the family you chose.
 
 
Are you thinking about adoption for your baby? Call or text Lifetime at 1-800-923-6784. Requesting info on adoption or browsing profiles doesn’t mean you have to complete the adoption process.

Get Our Advice on Telling Your Parents of Your Pregnancy

Need advice on telling your parents you're pregnant?“I really need some advice. I am 16 and pregnant. My boyfriend is 17 and he’s the only person who knows about it.
 
I’m 8 weeks along and haven’t gone to a doctor yet. I am so scared to tell anyone, especially my parents.
 
I’m dreading the idea of telling them because I come from a well-educated family of ­doctors and teachers. I’m an honor student and plan on becoming a doctor myself. Everyone’s expectations of me are high and having a baby would disappoint everyone.
 
I thought about getting an abortion, but my parents are totally against that and very religious.
 
I am scared and in a huge state of denial. I need some advice. Please help. Thanks for listening to my problem.”

 
 
We know you’re probably so frightened. You might have even rehearsed what to say over and over again. Remember, you and your boyfriend are both pregnant. This is not just your problem.
 
In our experience, telling is one of the hardest parts, but the sooner, the better. Once the news is out, a lot of pressure and fear lessens. Families begin to accept the reality of the pregnancy. They look at the options and make new plans. Early, good prenatal care is an essential part.
 
Breaking the news can be done in several ways. It’s better to choose some time that would allow them to digest this news. You can tell them alone or together with your boyfriend.
 
Your parents are not the only parents to be informed. Your boyfriend may ask you to go with him to tell his folks. You must decide which parents to tell first.
 
I don’t know your exact age difference, but that could prove to be a legal problem for your boyfriend. The more responsibly he acts, the better off all of you will be. I assume your parents know this guy’s age and have allowed you to date him.
 
You don’t have to give up your dreams, but they will take a back seat for a while. Both of your lives will change. Take some time to explore your options, including becoming a parent, getting an abortion, or making an adoption plan.