October 29, 2016

Truly Pawsome Giveaway

Truly Pawsome Giveaway

Sponsor: Truly Pawsome

Prize: Truly Pawsome Doggie Box RV $40

Truly Pawsome is inspired by their senior pug, Pork Chop.  Wanting to give him the best of everything led them to create specially curated boxes that everyone will love.  Pork Chop and his little brother Murray are chief taste testers and approve all treats and toys before they send them out.  They both demand the very best and they wouldn't offer them (or anyone else) any less!  The Truly Pawsome team is also dedicated to making all dogs happy and they pledge to donate 10% of all purchased subscriptions to rescues and shelters as they want to help all dogs find their forever home.

Dates: 10/29-11/12
Open to: US Residents 18+

Enter to win using the widget below. Good luck!

 
Disclosure: Before and After Baby did not receive compensation for this post and is not responsible for prize fulfillment.

Scattergories Categories & BRAINSPIN Giveaway

Scattergories Categories & BRAINSPIN Giveaway

Sponsor: Winning Moves

Prize: Scattergories Categories & BRAINSPIN RV$28

If you love The Game of SCATTERGORIES, then SCATTERGORIES CATEGORIES is the next game you will want to play! It's a great twist on your favorite. Keep the fun coming with this fast-thinking categories game.

BRAINSPIN - A great ice-breaker and creativity game. Players open up their minds and write down everything they see based on the card in play. No answer is too crazy as long as you can convince your opponents of what you see. Let your creativity explode!

Dates: 10/29-11/12
Open to: US Residents 18+

Enter to win using the widget below. Good luck!


Disclosure: Before and After Baby did not receive compensation for this post and is not responsible for prize fulfillment.

October 28, 2016

Spanking Is Abuse

I have always felt that spanking is abusive and recently a study came out revealing that physical punishment is not an effective form of discipline, and can cause more behavior problems in the long run:
"The odds of a child being more aggressive at age 5 increased by 50% if he had been spanked more than twice in the month before the study began," says Taylor. (source)
Of the nearly 2,500 youngsters in the study, those who were spanked more frequently at age 3 were much more likely to be aggressive by age 5. (source

In the study they even found that spanking can cause the same problems as physical abuse:
Gershoff and Grogan-Kaylor also compared the negative effects of spanking with those of "physical abuse" against children. Both were associated with the same harmful outcomes, according to the news release. (source

So why isn't spanking considered a form of child abuse by society? It is most likely because it is ingrained in our culture. Our grandparents spanked our parents, so our parents spank us, and then we spank our kids. It is an endless cycle:
The reason for this may be that spanking sets up a loop of bad behavior. Corporal punishment instills fear rather than understanding. Even if children stop tantrums when spanked, that doesn't mean they get why they shouldn't have been acting up in the first place. What's more, spanking sets a bad example, teaching children that aggressive behavior is a solution to their parents' problems. (source)

Rather than solving a problem, spanking creates a chain of more issues. Spanking shows that physical punishment solves problems, and children learn from that, continuing the cycle of abuse. However, I believe we know enough now that we can stop this vicious cycle.

I was spanked as a child and I do not ever intend to hit my child. I will not let anyone hit my child. I personally fear, because of how I was raised, that I might slip up and break this oath on a bad day. It is the one thing I am most worried about becoming a parent because I do not want my child to ever fear me like I feared my mother growing up. I want a closer and better relationship with my child than I had with my mother.
It undermines trust. Children trust their parents just a little less. They are more likely to step back from the relationship and build a self-protective shield around themselves in terms of relationships generally.  (source)

Even now that I have grown up and of course, no longer get spanked, I find it hard to forget about certain events growing up. I have forgiven my mother. I know she only did what she thought was right and just at the time. It was what she was taught and so it was the method she used. Not much about spanking was known back then, but in this modern world, I believe there is no reason to do as our parents taught us, but to instead strive for better. There are more resources out there and better ways to discipline children, like timeouts:
Instead of spanking, the AAP recommends time-outs, which typically involve denying the child any interaction, positive or negative, for a specified period of time. These quiet moments force children to calm down and think about their emotions rather than acting on them reflexively. After all, the goal of punishment is to get children to understand not just that they did something wrong but also what motivated them to do it. (source)

Yes, many parents will say spanking works, but it is only a temporary solution with long-term side effects:
Physical punishment can work momentarily to stop problematic behavior because children are afraid of being hit, but it doesn’t work in the long term and can make children more aggressive, Graham-Bermann says. (source)

This is because you show hitting to be an okay way to stop a behavior, so for example: if your sister was doing something you didn't like, you would hit her because that is what your parents showed you as an okay method to stop her behavior. Children follow and learn from their parents, so if you do not want your child to ever think it is okay to hit someone, then you have to show them that by never hitting them or anyone else around them.

Time outs have even proven to be a more effective and better method of discipline:
In one set of analyses with young children in the laboratory, time outs worked just as well as spanking for (immediate) subsequent compliance on 30 tasks assigned by the mother. Long-term compliance is decreased after spanking (Gershoff, 2002; Gershoff & Grogan-Kaylor, 2013). (source

So there is no need to result to spanking because a timeout has the same response with no long term side effects, and the child is more likely to understand what they did wrong, so they will less likely do it again.

Another thing I would like to suggest is that once your child has calmed down, to ask them if they knew what they did wrong and if not, to explain it to them. This is how a child learns. If you hit them, they aren't going to learn anything, they are just going to fear you.
Spanking does not convey positive guidance on how to behave in a particular situation, only how not to behave if a threat of punishment is at hand. (source)

Some countries have even banned physical discipline:
Around the world, 30 countries have banned physical punishment of children in all settings, including the home. (source)

It is sad to think that that the United States is not one of these countries despite how advanced we are as a country. It seems we still lag behind in crucial areas.
On the international front, physical discipline is increasingly being viewed as a violation of children’s human rights. The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child issued a directive in 2006 calling physical punishment “legalized violence against children” that should be eliminated in all settings through “legislative, administrative, social and educational measures.” The treaty that established the committee has been supported by 192 countries, with only the United States and Somalia failing to ratify it. (source)

Even The American Academy of Pediatrics is against spanking:
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) does not endorse spanking under any circumstance. It's a form of punishment that becomes less effective with repeated use, according to the AAP; it also makes discipline more difficult as the child outgrows it. (source

I think the problem with banning physical punishment in the United States is because it is a freedom issue. Parents want the freedom to raise their kids as they see fit and do not want the government involved in their parenting. It is also an issue because many kids were spanked when younger:
As many as 80 percent of parents around the world spank their children, according to a 2014 UNICEF report. (source

Thus that is the only method they know when it comes to raising their kids. The only way to end the cycle is for you to decide not to spank, and to instead look for better ways to discipline your children. A great resource for this is stopspanking.org.

In the end, as a parent, you get to decide whether or not you want to continue the chain of spanking or if you want to stop it and use different and better techniques. No matter what anyone says though, you can never convince me that spanking is not abusive.

SOURCES

APA - The case against spanking
Times - The Long-Term Effects of Spanking
Psychology Today - Research on Spanking: It’s Bad For ALL Kids
MIC - Here's What Getting Spanked as a Kid Did to Your Personality, According to Science
UT News - Risks of Harm from Spanking Confirmed by Analysis of Five Decades of Research

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October 14, 2016

What is the Glucose Test?

The glucose test is usually given in the 3rd Trimester. This test is heavily encouraged as it tests for gestational diabetes, but you have the right to refuse. However, if gestational diabetes isn't diagnosed during pregnancy (because you didn't do the test), you could end up with type 2 diabetes after pregnancy. In cases where pregnant women refuse the test, the women often follow the recommended diet for gestational diabetes as a precaution.

I did the test because I have PCOS and knew going in that it would put me at a higher risk, and I would hate to have to follow a certain diet if it turned out I didn't need to! (Plus it was highly recommended by my doctor).

Usually, your doctor will have you take what is known as the glucose challenge first. This is where you drink a sugary drink, there are different flavors apparently, but my hospital only ever offers the orange flavor. It tastes like Fanta that has gone flat and is pretty sour in my opinion. You have to sit for one hour without drinking or eating, and then your blood is drawn at the end. If you pass this test, you are good to go. If you fail, then you will have to take the 3-hour glucose test. 

For the 3-hour glucose test, you will have to fast 12 hours before your scheduled appointment (you don't have to fast at all for the 1-hour challenge). This is dreadful for a pregnant woman. I, unfortunately, failed my 1 hour, so I had to do the 3-hour test. I stuffed my face before bed, but still woke up hungry. Luckily, after drinking the orange stuff again, I no longer felt hungry, but definitely a little nauseous. The thing that sucks is if you throw up, you will have to repeat the whole process again, so do your best to keep it down! I was allowed to take little sips of water during the 3 hour period so that helped a lot. 

But before they give you the sugary drink for the 3-hour test, they will do a blood draw. Then you will have to chug the sugar drink within 5 minutes. After 1 hour, they will draw your blood, then they will draw it again at the 2-hour mark, and draw one last time at the end of the test. They went every other arm for me so one arm wasn't constantly being poked with a needle. Why so many blood draws? It is because they are checking to see how your body processes the sugar, so they need to see the change over time.

The thing that bites about this test is that you can't leave the building, so you are often stuck bored in a waiting area, so plan to bring entertainment in advance such as a book to read or maybe your hospital is nice and has a TV like mine did. 

The reassuring thing is if you fail the 1-hour test, it doesn't necessarily mean you have gestational diabetes, you still have a chance to pass the 3-hour test. I failed the 1-hour, but I passed the 3-hour test, thankfully, and do not have gestational diabetes. I did have one high number that was outside the normal range, but my doctor said you need 2 to be diagnosed with gestational diabetes, so don't fret if you see your test results and notice 1 number is outside the normal range! Now if you see 2 above normal numbers, then that is a cause for concern and your doctor will most likely contact you about it as soon as possible.

If you do have gestational diabetes, it doesn't necessarily mean you will end up with type 2 diabetes after birth. It just increases your risks. You can lower those risks by following certain diet restrictions and your doctor will talk you through that if you happen to have gestational diabetes.

Attribution: Image used in blog post photo does not belong to me and was found on Canva.

October 3, 2016

Ovia Pregnancy - A Review

Image Source
I previously did a review for Ovia Fertility which you can checkout here, but have obviously switched over to Ovia Pregnancy once I found out I was pregnant 6 months ago.

Ovia Pregnancy is a great little app for any pregnant woman because not only does it give little tidbits as your pregnancy progresses, but you can record so much information, such as your sleep patterns and exercise. There is also an anonymous community forum where you can talk to other moms and ask for advice.

However, I find the community feature to be quite shocking at times, which is probably due to the fact that it is anonymous so people feel free to share the craziest stories or it is possible they are just trolling. In any case, if you have a serious question, always consult your doctor, but if you just want to know which diaper brand is best or what to pack in your hospital bag, feel free to ask away (Although you can get the same answers just by googling).

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I didn't make much use of the recording/calendar feature. I just didn't care to keep track of milestones on there, such as first kick, or to have it keep track of doctor appointments and what not. I just used my google reminder app for that. I didn't feel a need to count calories and record symptoms, but you might and if that's the case this app is for you! I, personally, just chose to go with the flow!

Overall I like this app and haven't felt a need to try another one. I like the daily tidbits about baby's progress and seeing what strange animal or vegetable/fruit baby is the size of from week to week. The growing hand is kind of neat too.

I also like reading the community questions and responding to others questions, sometimes the drama on there is just entertaining, but other times I learn something new and find myself googling for answers or to learn more about it.

I highly recommend this app if you are a first time mom, but even if you already have kids, this app can still be useful as every pregnancy is different.

To learn more about Ovia Pregnancy and to download the app, click here!

This review is my honest opinion and I was not compensated in any way.