Postpartum Care

There’s not a whole lot of talk about taking care of yourself after having a baby.  Everything seems to be centered on taking care of your new baby.  But think about it.  Your body just went through an extreme change – some would even consider it a trauma.  If you had a C-section, you just had major surgery!  Then, you’re expected to bounce back almost immediately, sleep less, and take care of a person who is completely reliant on you.  Sounds exhausting to even someone who hasn’t just been through a trauma or a major surgery!

I’ve done a lot of my own research lately on conditions that can occur postnatally (after the birth of your baby).  One that seems to stick out in my mind is postnatal anemia.  According to LiveStrong.com, the beginning signs of anemia are decreased energy and reduced abilities to perform physical tasks.  Now, with the sleep deprivation that comes after having a baby how are you supposed to tell the difference between anemia and just plain exhaustion?  Our recommendation would be to talk to your healthcare provider.  Discuss your symptoms and concerns and see what he or she recommends.  But don’t wait.  If there is a problem, the quicker the treatment the better.

Another interesting fact I found was that postnatal anemia puts you at greater risk of postpartum depression (according to LiveStrong.com). As you can see, it’s best to be proactive when concerned about anything postnatally.

Don’t be afraid to call your doctor.

Ask questions.

Ask for help/support.

Rest when you can.

Remember, you don’t have to be supermom.  The first few months are hard work!

Postpartum Anemia

Growth Spurt?

As if the unpredictability of your infant isn’t already enough, let’s throw a few growth spurts in there to really shake things up.

You may feel like you’ve finally settled in on a routine.  You’re learning your baby, your baby is learning you, life seems to *finally* start to feel like you can actually do this parenting thing.  Then, one day, your smiley, happy-go-lucky baby turns into a complete bear.  Literally the thought, “What happened to my baby?” ran through my mind more times than I’d like to admit.  It seemed as though everything I had learned about her went completely out the window.  Nothing soothed her and she wanted to eat nonstop.  (Let’s just say – a few wailing sessions ended in this momma doing some wailing of her own.)

So, what did I do?  I did what every new mom does best – GOOGLE EVERYTHING.  Granted, I’ve learned that this isn’t always the best option and can often lead me down a path I never should have stepped foot on.  But sometimes other mommas have had similar problems and just reading their stories can be helpful.  After vigorous hours of contemplative research (insert laugh here), I realized that my baby girl was most likely going through a growth spurt.  Do keep in mind, however, that none of this information is medically proven and only based on my own observations and research.

According to TodaysParent.com, there are three simple ways to determine if your baby is going through a growth spurt.  These include (but aren’t limited to):

  1. Your baby will sleep more (or less) than normal
  2. Your baby will be hungry – hungrier than normal
  3. Your baby will be cranky (or in my own terms a “fuss bucket”)

Keep in mind, however, that these are often signs of other things as well such as sickness, so it’s best to call your pediatrician to discuss your observations.

How do I cope?

  1. Babies often take these growth spurts around the same times – although there’s no exact science. Knowing this timeline is helpful (ask your pediatrician).
  2. Know that this is temporary. The bear will disappear and your baby will come back.  She’s not gone forever.

Hang in there, momma.  You’re doing a fantastic job!

Signs of baby Growth Spurts

Those Who Care for Us

We’re right in the middle of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.  I don’t know about you, but this season always makes me think of not only my mother and father but all those mothers, fathers, and mother and father figures out there.  Not everyone is blessed with a great mother and father that raise them, however, we seem to all have someone in our lives that has played a similar role.  Someone who serves and loves us.  Someone who teaches us those valuable life skills.  Whether it’s a grandparent, a neighbor, a friend, a teacher, or anyone else, we encourage you to thank them.

Being a parent is the hardest and most thankless job.  However, it is the most rewarding.  What keeps a parent going are the little things.  The smiles, the laughs, the seeing your hard work pay off.  But there’s nothing like a thank you.  A big hug. A simple, “thanks for loving me.”

We encourage you here at Cross Roads to love those people well this season.  Celebrate those who have spent their lives celebrating you!

college_grad_parents

Water Safety

With school almost over and summer about to be in full swing, we thought it might be good to blog about water safety! What could be more fun than jumping into a cool pool or lake on a hot summer day? Here are a few tips to keep your little ones safe as they splash!

  1. Always provide supervision while children play in the water. Never trust a flotation device or another child to provide a watchful eye.
  2. Make sure that children know how to swim. Consider a swim class at your local YMCA or community center.
  3. Install and use fences and barriers around pools to prevent an accidental fall into the water. Children are so curios and this is a common problem! Pool alarms are also a good idea. If something disturbs the water an alarm will alert you so that you can respond immediately.
  4. If your pool has a ladder for access move it away when it is not in use.
  5. Swimming is a great time for bonding with your child. Have fun, relax and get your swim on!! keep_kids_teeth_safe_swimming_pool little-boy-in-pool babyswimming-564x403

Mothers Day

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On Sunday, May 14th we will celebrate Mothers Day! Motherhood is a position that is held in such high regard, and for good reason! As mothers we are tasked with the formation and development of young minds and personalities! There is so much focus on caring for our children that sometimes we forget to care for ourselves as well! You are precious and loved by God. You were chosen by Him specifically for your child! So, as a daughter of the King you should take good care of yourself as well! Here are some tips on how you can practice some self care:

  1. Remember to be kind to yourself. Our thoughts are powerful! We must be confident in ourselves and model that for our children. Think for a moment about how much you accomplish in one day! You are a superwoman! the Bible says in Zephaniah 3:17 “The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” He rejoices over you! It is His delight to see what a wonderful mother you are!
  2.  Take time out to spend time with God. Do not overlook how powerful this time can be for you. God desires to restore us, to love us, to refresh us when we spend time only with Him. Give Him your attention and He will pour out His blessings upon you!  Matthew 6:6 saysBut when you pray, go into your private room and, after shutting your door, pray to your Father who is in secret. Then your Father who looks on in secret will repay you.”
  3. Once in awhile, sit back, relax and do something you enjoy just for yourself. We all need time for restoration and relaxation. We must decompress and allow time to reset. There are so many tasks and responsibilities that we are expected to perform as mothers, so don’t forget to recharge your batteries once in awhile. See if a friend or family member can take the kids for a time, or set up a play date with another mom. Recharging your batteries is one of the best things that you can do for yourself and your children! Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

We, at Cross Roads Pregnancy Care Center, wish each of you the most wonderful of mother’s days! We are here to help and it is our mission to support you in your most important role!

Cherish The Moment

cherish the moment

619-05644019 © Masterfile Royalty-Free Model Release: Yes Property Release: Yes Mixed race baby boy eating spaghetti

Screaming newborn

Children are the best blessing that we can receive from God. However, when you haven’t slept for what seems like an eternity, or your toddler is pushing the very limits of your patience, we can all get frustrated. These times are experienced by all parents at one time or another. It is an inevitability of parenthood!  Take comfort in knowing that you are not alone! The best thing that a parent can do is to take some time to regroup and regain your strength. Place your baby in a safe place or redirect your toddler to a different activity, and then go take a deep breath. Ask the Lord to help you regain your composure. Call a friend or family member to give you a break, or turn on some soothing music. Remember that although these times can be trying, they are temporary! When the stress of the moment is over, take the time to cherish the moment! Watch your precious miracle sleep sweetly, take a moment to embrace your busy toddler and don’t forget to witness the little miracles that God gifted you with!

Infant Bicycle Safety

Warm weather is approaching and with that comes some fun outdoor activities. Biking is a great way for you to get some exercise and also a different way for your baby to see the world around him. We have put together some great tips for you and your baby to be able to enjoy this activity together:

Babies younger than 12 months are too small to sit in a rear bike seat and should not be carried on a bicycle.

Never carry infants in a front carrier or backpack while on a bicycle.

Never let your infant sit in a slumped position for an extended period of time. Make sure they are sitting upright and comfortably.

The International Bicycle Fund recommends that helmets be round and not aero shaped for infants riding in bike seats and trailers and it should meet American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) safety standards.

Adjust the helmet strap so that it fits snugly and always sits over the forehead and does not slip to the back of the head.

Your baby’s ride will be rougher than yours since they are positioned differently so choose nice smooth surfaces to ride on when possible.

Riding can be a fun and memorable experience when enjoyed safely! Try a bike ride with your baby today!

baby on bike 2

Earn While You Learn

Are you a new mom?  An expectant mom? A mom of even a few children?  Are you struggling to provide for them?

We’re here to help!Earn While You Learn

Here at Cross Roads, we offer a program unlike any other!  It’s called “Earn While You Learn.”  How does it work?  It’s simple.

Call us to set up an appointment for your first class.  Appointments can be scheduled depending on your schedule and what’s convenient for you.  They usually last about 30-45 minutes, and we choose curriculum that’s pertinent to you.  For example, do you have a fussy newborn?  You may want to complete the “Happiest Baby on the Block” module.  Are you struggling to potty train your toddler?  Watch our toilet training DVD.  Is discipline an issue?  Try out our discipline curriculum!  You’ll complete each class with a trained volunteer or staff person who will be able to answer any questions you may have and talk through what you may be experiencing.  These classes are one-on-one so there’s no pressure to feel like you’re asking a stupid question!

After completing each class you’ll be awarded “Mommy Bucks.”  These can be used at our onsite baby boutique, Sarah’s Promise.  Sarah’s Promise is full of anything you could possibly need for your child from diapers and wipes to clothes to pack-n-plays to car seats and strollers.  We’ve had mothers completely stock their nurseries from items they have earned in our store!

A frequently asked question is how many “Mommy Bucks” do I earn every time I come in to take a class?

Completing the class: 5 “Mommy Bucks”

Keeping your appointment time:  5 “Mommy Bucks”

Dad completing the class with you: 5 “Mommy Bucks”

Completing the short homework assignment: 1 “Mommy Buck”

That’s a grand total of a possible 16 “Mommy Bucks” every time you come!  To put things in perspective a bit if you earn 16 “Mommy Bucks” per week, you can earn one of our larger items like a pack-n-play or car seat in as little as a month!

Call to schedule an appointment today.  We’d love to help!

Call: 304-344-4511

Text: 304-508-2911

E-mail: contactus@crossroadspcc.com

Combating Discouragement

This post isn’t like most of our others.  It’s not completely pregnancy related but can most definitely be applied to anyone who’s pregnant – no doubt about it!  But it’s a topic that’s been on our hearts the past week or so here at Cross Roads.

Discouragement.  We’ve all felt it.  There are seasons when it’s all too familiar.  Times when we can’t seem to get away from it.  Why?  I’m not sure.  Sometimes it seems to follow us like a black cloud from home life, to work life, to social life and beyond.  You haven’t changed what you’re doing, so why have your circumstances and feelings changed?  Why are we faced with hardship after hardship?  What is God doing?  Where is He?

I know we’ve all asked these questions at one point or another.  We’ve all had seasons of discouragement.  But how do we combat it?

Here are a few things that have been helpful to us:

Pray.  Our first response should be to go to our Heavenly Father.  He knows our hearts, and he holds the keys to encouraging us.  He longs for us to come to him.  To sit in his lap and rest.  Our first line of defense should be going to our Father in heaven with vulnerable hearts.  It’s OK.  He can take the truth 😉

Recognize your neediness.  We’re not people who can do life alone, and we’re not made to.  We’re not built to carry large loads and “pull ourselves up by our bootstraps.”  The American culture has it all wrong.  We must recognize our need, and we have a great need for God.  That’s how he created us.  Submit to him that you don’t have all the answers, and ask for help.  He delights in that.

Remember His faithfulness.  So often in the midst of trial or discouragement, we forget God’s faithfulness to us.  We see him in many areas of our lives, but it’s like we have amnesia.  We are thankful for a moment and then forget.  Then a trial comes, and we can’t recount the numerous times he has shown Himself to us in magnificent ways.  Take some time to remember.  Write down His past faithfulness and those things you’re thankful for.  You’ll be amazed at what this does to your discouragement!

Again, I know this isn’t your typical “pregnancy” post.  But sometimes it’s best to write what God has put on your heart.  We pray this will be helpful and encouraging to even just one person.discouragement

You’re Invited!

We can’t believe this will be the 5th year Cross Roads has been in operation.  God has provided for and sustained this ministry over and over again.  Seeing his provision has been humbling, and we’re blessed beyond measure to be a part of it.

On Tuesday, April 25th we will be hosting our 5th Annual Fundraising Banquet.  This is always such a sweet time for everyone as we (the staff and volunteers) get to share with you exactly what God has been doing in and through this ministry for the past year.

You will get a chance to hear from our clients, executive director, board president, and our featured speaker this year is our former executive director and founder, Jenny Entsminger.  We are excited to hear what she has to say about speaking up for and serving those who can’t yet speak for themselves.

Please consider joining us this year.  We’d love to have you.  Come celebrate what the Lord has done and will continue to do.  You won’t be disappointed!

What:  Cross Roads Pregnancy Care Center 5th Annual Fundraising Banquet

When: Tuesday, April 25th

Time:  Seating begins at 6:00 p.m.  Dinner and program 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Location:  Bible Center Church

Address: 100 Bible Center Dr. Charleston, WV 25309

Special Guest Speaker: Jenny Entsminger, former Executive Director and founder of Cross Roads

Dinner is complimentary.  Business casual attire.

Please RSVP by March 31, 2017 as seating is limited

RSVP to Kristen by calling 304-344-4511 oremailing Kristen@crossroadspcc.com

We can’t wait to see you there!2017 banquet invitation