Emotions and Pregnancy

If you’re pregnant you probably have already noticed you’re a bit more emotional than you were pre pregnancy. Or maybe A LOT more emotional would better describe you. This can be due to a variety of different factors including but not limited to rising levels of hormones or feeling the stress of adding the responsibility of a child into your life. Even though there are sometimes very logical explanations for what may seem like erratic emotions, it doesn’t make them any easier to manage.
First off it’s important to mention to your doctor these changes, just to be on the safe side. But how do you manage what seems
unmanageable? Now, I’ll admit that what I’m about to say is only from personal experience and from what other mommies have told me. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and keep in mind everyone is different!

Be honest. With those you love and trust, it’s OK to be honest. When they ask how you’re feeling, tell them you’re stremotional pregnancyuggling. Ask them to check in on you and pray for you. Many times people want to help, but they don’t know the best way. This is such a practical and important way to help expectant mommas!

Surround yourself with supportive people. We all know the freedom we feel when we can be ourselves, even when we may be a blubbering mess! Surrounding yourself with people you feel comfortable being emotional around can sometimes give you the freedom you need to just release all that’s pent up inside you. Oftentimes, they can speak words into your life that you need to hear. Other times, it’s just nice not to feel alone and feel listened to.


Talk about it. There really is something to putting words to your feelings. There’s probably a scientific term to it, but I don’t know it. It gets them out of your head, and sometimes just talking about them makes you realize they’re not reality! Remember to do this with a trusted and supportive person, however. A good listener is always a good choice.

So momma, take heart. You’re not in this alone and despite feeling crazy, more than likely it’s just those raging hormones. But again, remember to mention these to your doctor just to be sure there isn’t anything else to be concerned with.

The Physical Changes of Pregnancy

If you’ve never been pregnant before, all the changes and areas in which your body alters can be a little startling.  Often I feel as though the vast majority of people just believe these body changes are limited to the belly area.  But if you’re pregnant, you’ll soon find out this is definitely not the case!

Your body changes in a variety of ways to accommodate the life that’s growing inside of you.  And this requires not just a growing belly!  Sometimes these changes can be hard to handle, but rest assured that you’re body knows what it’s doing.  All these changes are necessary for that precious baby to grow and thrive within you.  If you’re interested in all the ways your body changes, ask your doctor to explain it to you.  Some of the more noticeable changes include (but are not limited to) larger breasts, expanding hips, and of course that baby belly.  But many more changes occur both inside and outside the body.  Don’t hesitate to bring a list of questions with you to your doctor’s appointments.  They are there to help you.

A big question when it comes to pregnancy is how much weight you should gain.  What’s healthy and what’s not?  The answer is that everyone is different.  Just as every woman’s body pre pregnancy is different, every women during pregnancy is different.  Your doctor will most likely tell you what he or she would like you to gain to remain healthy.  This often goes by your pre pregnancy BMI (Body Mass Index).  So be sure to ask your doctor what a good weight gain range for you should be, and try not to compare yourself to others!

The best thing you can do is make sure you’re taking your prenatal vitamins and eating a balanced diet.  Think lots of fruits and veggies!  And ask your doctor about what exercise you should be doing.

Oh and if you’re pregnant and reading this, congratulations!  That precious baby will be well worth it.

***Disclaimer:  None of the information above is medical, so do not treat it as such.  Any questions should be referred directly to your doctor.pregnancy changes sillowette

Her Response: Mary, the Mother of Jesus

Have you ever thought about what it might have been like to be Mary, the mother of Jesus, during this Advent season?  In her last few weeks of pregnancy, she was probably swollen, uncomfortable, and waddling her way to Bethlehem.  Sleep was probably hard to come by as she was tossing and turning trying to find a comfortable position with her ever expanding belly.

We often think about Jesus, the infant in the manger, the Savior of the world coming in human form to save his people from their sins.  But do we think about Mary carrying this child, our Savior?  Do we think about all the changes her body went through to carry and nourish God himself?  Do we think about the emotions that she was experiencing as she anticipated who she was about to birth?

She cared for him so he could save her. And us.

It seems strange to think about in those terms.  Did she ponder those truths?  Do you think her heart always responded in gladness and understanding? Or do you think she may have had times of doubt, insecurity, and questioning?

After all, this is not what Mary had planned for her life.  This isn’t at all what she expected.

In Scripture, we’re allowed a window into Mary’s response twice.  Once right after the angel Gabriel told her of the child she would carry and again after she traveled to see her relative Elizabeth.

When Gabriel appeared to Mary to tell her of what would soon happen, Mary’s response  (after she asks one quick question) is that of submission, trust, and faith.  She said,

Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38 ESV).

I don’t know about you, but that wouldn’t have been my initial response.  This pregnancy had the great potential to ruin her reputation, her impending marriage, and her life as she knew it.  She could lose everything she ever knew.

                But she trusted God.  The Holy Spirit gave her the grace to see beyond her circumstances to something much better.  Something much greater.

When she arrived at her relative Elizabeth’s house, she sang a song of praise.

And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked upon the humble state of his servant.  For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, holy is his name.  And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.  He has shown strength with his arm; he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate; he has filled the hungry with goodthe magnificat things, and the rich he has sent away empty.  He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever.” And Mary remained with her about three months and returned to her home.” (Luke 1:46-56).

Do you hear it in her voice? In her words?

God has done great things for her. 

He has shown her mercy.

He has exalted her in her humble estate.

He has filled her.

He has helped her.

Do we trust God and know his character enough to know these truths?  To see beyond our circumstances?  May we know our God like Mary knew God – regardless of whether you’re faced with an unplanned pregnancy this Christmas season or even if you’re just struggling to know what your next steps should be.

His plan is great.   He shows mercy.  He exults our humility.  He fills us. He helps us.

Merry Christmas from all of us at Cross Roads Pregnancy Care Center!

Baby Registries: Fun or Overwhelming?

Creating a baby registry can be overwhelming, especially when you’re a first-time mom. babyregistry

What do you need?

What are the best brands?

Is it necessary to have ALL that stuff?

Where should I even register?

Questions come soaring, and if you’re anything like me you’d rather give up before you even start.

Here are some practical tips I’ve learned along the way:

  1. Talk to other trusted moms. Everyone knows someone who’s had a baby recently – or at least within the past five or so years. They’ve been through this.  They know the best brands, what you need and what you don’t.  No need to reinvent the wheel.  I had some of my trusted momma friends graciously make me a list of the necessities.  Then, after I had created the “skeleton” of the registry, I had them look through it and tell me what I should add or take off.
  2. Register for those expensive, big-ticket items. Yes, they’re expensive and you may feel guilty for putting them on your registry.  But as one of my momma friends told me, people want to bless you and you’ll be surprised at their generosity.  Also, a few people may want to go in together to buy you a big ticket item.  And let’s face it, those larger items are usually the ones you need most!
  3. Gender neutral colors. I know, I know.  The pink stuff for girls and blue stuff for boys is so much cuter than the yellow and green.  But if you’re planning on having more than one baby, it’s smart to get the larger, more expensive items in gender neutral colors.  Then you won’t be stuck with two pack-n-plays when your little boy comes along after your little girl OR you won’t feel so guilty strolling your little guy around in a pink stroller/car seat combo.
  4. Check consignment sales and with other moms who have older kids. If you’re lucky, you may be able to score some of the necessities for free or really cheap from friends or family who aren’t using them anymore.  If you don’t know of anyone, check out consignment sales.  You can typically get great prices on more expensive items!

Holidays and Children: A Match Not Always Made in Heaven

As the holidays are really just around the corner (how did that happen?!), you may be looking forward to spending time with family or even introducing a new baby to extended family who just can’t wait to meet her.  But holiday gatherings and children don’t always mix as seamlessly as they seem to in the movies.  One moment everything can be as peaceful as snow slowly falling on the ground and the next you’ve got a toddler who’s vivaciously refusing to eat her sweet potatoes making a scene just as everyone is waiting to pray before the meal.

So what are some good ways to avoid chaos?

screaming childPrepare your children for that the day will look like

Children like predictability.  They like knowing that if they’re expected to sit down and eat a meal for 30 minutes with the family, they will also get ample play time later.  They like knowing who they’ll be seeing, and especially what other children will be there to play with.  It may be a good idea to have each child pick out one toy to bring to the gathering explaining they must share this toy with their cousins, friends, etc.

Make your expectations known

Children like boundaries.  They need to know what they can and can’t do, and sometimes that’s not as apparent when they’re in a different place and around different people.  Just like explaining to them what the day will be like, it’s just as important to explain to them what you expect from them.  This can and should be simple.  For example, we expect you to eat what is on your plate sitting at the table, and we expect you to share your toy with your cousins.

Know your child

As a parent, you know when your child is getting weary.  You know when she’s tired and if a meltdown occurs now, it’s out of pure exhaustion.  Keep tabs on your child and be willing to make the assessment that it’s time to go home.  Your family and friends will understand, especially if they have children of their own.

Fatigue in Pregnancy

Anyone who’s ever been pregnant knows that you just can’t ever get enough sleep!  You can sleep a full eight hours, take two naps, and still be ready to hit your pillow by 7:30 pm.   It’s like that tiny little bean-sized human is zapping every ounce of energy right out of you!

It can be frustrating when you can’t seem to manage what used to be normal life.  And rearranging your priorities and saying “no” to a few more things than normal can seem defeating.  But take heart new momma!  You’re not alone in this and you’re actually completely normal.fatigue

It’s important to remember that every woman is different, too.  I’ve had friends tell me they, “felt the best they’ve ever felt” while pregnant or during the second trimester they had “so much energy they felt invincible.”  But that’s not always the case and if you don’t get this Tigger-like energy, it doesn’t mean anything is wrong OR that you’re the only one spending more time with your couch than your partner or your best friend.

But you’re probably wondering how in the world that tiny human can actually zap all that energy.  Believe it or not, it’s more your changing body to blame that your actual sweet baby!

According to our nurse on staff here at Cross Roads, there are two probable culprits for your fatigue, however, your fatigue isn’t limited to only these two.  These include:

  1. Rising levels of a hormone called progesterone
  2. A hard working body that’s producing more blood in order to carry the essential nutrients to your baby

Think about it this way.  Your body is working overtime as it’s creating a new life inside you.  This is another reason why it’s so important to eat a balanced diet and take your prenatal vitamins. So make time for more rest, as your body just needs more of it right now!

If your fatigue is severe, we advise that you speak to your healthcare provider as the cause may be more severe than what is listed above.

A Few Words on Morning Sickness

Having a positive pregnancy test can be one of the most exciting (and also most frightening) experiences in the world.  A new little bundle of joy is growing inside of you!  Your emotions can go crazy and you may just want to celebrate (or faint out of shock).

But often times morning sickness can strike with a vengeance and doing anything other than laying on the couch (or hovering over the toilet) can seem daunting.

I’ve heard from many mommas-to-be that they weren’t expecting the magnitude of the sickness but yet others (those lucky ones) were surprised at how great they felt.  In reality, morning sickness doesn’t play favorites.  It doesn’t even follow many rules.  Sure, there are different things that “typically” happen.  For example, many women start to feel some relief as they approach their second trimester.  But take heart to those mommas who are still sick well into their second and even third trimester – you’re not alone!

But, what does cause that terrible feeling anyway?  Crazy enough, in my own research I’ve come to figure out that no one is completely certain!  The best educated guesses are the rising levels of a hormone called Human chorionic gonadotropin (morning-sicknesshCG) as well as rising levels of estrogen.

What we all want to know, however, is how to cope with it.  In my own experience and in talking to lots
of mommas-to-be, I came to realize one thing.

Everyone is different.

What worked for your sister may not work for you.  Or what worked for your best friend may make you feel worse!  Don’t get discouraged, just keep trying different things until you find something – and you will!  I found that what helped me one day may not help me the next.

Ask your doctor for some tips on treating your nausea or vomiting and be sure to let your provider know if your vomiting is severe because medical intervention may be necessary.

The First Year: What do you need?

You’re a new mom or planning to become one very soon.  Congratulations!  Planning, prepping, buying all the essentials is what we women do when we’re nesting.

But, what do you really need?

Here are things you can most definitely live WITHOUT:

  1. Crib bedding – you should put nothing more than a fitted sheet in your baby’s crib, so save yourself the money on those expensive crib sets!
  2. Lots of elaborate clothes – think practical.  Like onesies and sleepers.  Babies grow too fast to spend lots of money on clothes they’ll only wear once or twice!baby in onsie
  3. Shoes – your baby doesn’t need shoes until he or she is walking.  I know they’re super cute, but if you’re trying to save the extra dime you can just skip the shoes.
  4. Bassinet – Most bassinets have a 15 lbs. weight limit.  Get a pack-n-play with the bassinet insert instead and use the bassinet for much longer!
  5. A diaper genie – yes, they’re nice.  But a trash can with a lid works just as good.  Just remember to take your trash out regularly 😉
  6. Toys – babies less than a year old don’t need any toys.  It might be nice to have some teething toys when they start to cut teeth, but that’s it!
  7. Both a swing and a bouncer – one is just fine.  There’s no reason to have both unless you like clutter 😉
  8. Wipe warmer – if you get your baby used to a warm wipe at home, it’ll be quite a shock when a cold wipe hits their bottom at grandma’s house!  A great alternative is to just warm up the wipe between your hands.

Here are things you’ll probably not want to live without at least for the first six months:

  1. Lots of sleepers and onesies. The simpler the better.  You’ll be doing lots of diaper changes on a squirmy baby so save yourself the hassle of lots of snaps, buttons, or outfits with lots of different pieces.
  2. Lots of burp cloths. Always have one handy or you’ll be changing your clothes as much as you change your baby’s!
  3. A high-backed chair. If you’re hunched over while feeding for week after week, your back will wish you made the investment. A firm nursing pillow might also come in handy.
  4. A baby carrier. Many babies cry a lot.  Having them close to you can really help soothe them.  Just make sure you have proper inserts if your baby is still very little.

Many moms may have differing opinions, and you may disagree yourself with these lists!  This is by no means meant to be an exhaustive list, but feel free to comment your favorite must-haves!

***Most of the information was taken from www.centsandorder.com and www.theminimalistmom.com

The First Year: What to Feed Your Baby and When

Dear New Mom,

Your new job can seem overwhelming.  You’ve got a brand new human being in your care.  You want to do what’s best for them, love them and protect them from any harm possible.  But sometimes all the new information can seem overwhelming, and where do you even start?

Today we’re going to make feeding your babies the appropriate foods at the right age easier for you.  The amounts below are general recommendations, and all the information comes from BabyCenter.com.


Birth to 4 Months

Infants age birth to 4 months should be eating breast milk or formula only.  The digestive tract of your baby is not quite developed fully making solid foods a no-no.


4 to 6 Months

There’s no rush to start your baby on solid foods, and in most cababy eatingses pediatricians recommend babies should be exclusively breast or bottle fed for about the first 6 months.  However, if you’d like to introduce solid foods earlier, look for a few of these readiness cues:

Can your baby hold his or her head up?

Can your baby sit well in a highchair?

Does your baby make chewing motions?

Has your baby doubled his or her birth weight (and weigh at least 13 lbs.)?

Does your baby show interest in food?

Can your baby close his or her mouth around a spoon?

Can your baby move his or her tongue and food back and forth?

All food you feed your baby at this point should be in combination with breastmilk or formula and should be pureed (such as vegetables, fruit, or meat).  You can also feed your baby cereal that’s fortified with iron and semi-liquid.


6 to 8 Months

At this age, babies should still be eating breastmilk or formula but solid food should be added in.  These include the foods listed under the 4 to 6 month category as well as small amounts of yogurt (not made with cow’s milk!) and pureed legumes.


8 to 10 Months

By this age, you may start adding in small amounts of:

Pasteurized cheese and cottage cheese (no cow’s milk!)

Mashed vegetables

Mashed fruits

Finger foods

Small bits of protein such as meat, fish, tofu, or well-cooked legumes


Age 10 to 12 Months

By this age, you may start adding in:

Fruit mashed or cut into cubes or strips

Bite-sized, soft-cooked vegetables

Foods like macaroni and cheese or casseroles


We hope this information has proven to be helpful to you and made your life as a new mom a little easier.  If you have questions or would like to speak with any of our nurses, please feel free to call us at 304-344-4511.

Back to School: Keeping Your Kids Healthy

It’s that time again.  New shoes, backpacks, notebooks, and pencils.  These items can mean nothing but back to school!  Your child may be overjoyed to start school or he or she may be dreading the end of summer break.
Either way back to school comes with back to GERMS!

Sure, your kids are excited to see their friends they’ve been away from for the past three months, but those beloved friends expose your kids to lots and lots of germs they’ve been away from all summer.

What can you do to protect them?

Kids getting sick is completely unavoidable, but there is something simple you can do to keep those sick days to a minimum.  What could it be?  Teach your kids to wash their hands regularly!  However, it’s important that they do this properly.

According to the CDC, one should:kids-washing-hands-kids-health

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

Try to make it a point to teach your children not only the importance of washing their hands but also the proper way to do it!  Teach by example as well.

Kids learn well from mimicking mom or dad.