Coronovirus 2020, Healthy Living, Parenting

Protect Your Pregnancy During the COVID-19 Pandemic With These 5 Tips

Protect Your Pregnancy During the COVID-19 Pandemic With These 5 Tips
Photo by Anastasiia Chepinska on Unsplash

There are so many unknowns about our health with this new virus. We hope masks work well enough and we distance as we wait to learn how airborne COVID-19 is. We are told to not touch our faces and sanitize but now we are told there are toxic sanitizers being sold.

I am just a Mom with a tween and 2 older boys trying to navigate through this, but I couldn’t imagine the extra element needing to protect your pregnancy or having a newborn on top of it all.

I have been searching to bring my readers tips and education with COVID-19 and these tips are for the Pregnant Mamas out there. Being prepared with the right tools and taking comfort in knowing that these tips are from a health expert may help you take all the necessary precautions to make it safely through your pregnancy during this virus.

Protect Your Pregnancy With These 5 Tips

  1.     Get a pulse oximeter: Hypoxemia (a below-normal level of oxygen in your blood) is one of the signs of serious illness with COVID-19. You can pick up a pulse oximeter for around $50 and take regular readings of your pulse and oxygen saturation. Get a baseline so that you know if something looks off. A baseline for healthy people is 90 or higher. When we see below 90, we start getting concerned.
  2.     Check for fever: Whether you have a fancy new thermometer that reads from the forehead or an old-school glass one where the mercury rises, take your temperature regularly to make sure you aren’t experiencing a fever.
  3.     Keep surfaces tidy for easy cleaning: Keeping tidy may not seem like a health tip for pregnancy, but in the days of COVID-19 it absolutely is. You want the surfaces in your home to be able to easily be wiped down and disinfected, frequently — at least once a day.
  4.     If you choose to travel, choose safely: For example, to further protect your pregnancy you might choose to visit a loved one in a remote rural town with few to no COVID-19 cases, but don’t travel somewhere that you’ll be interacting with a lot of people. 
  5.     Keep your distance: How close is too close? Can you smell the other person’s detergent, deodorant, or shampoo? That’s too close!And for some extra protection when you are going to be around other people, wear a mask. It’s an additional safety measure that can only help you and your baby. 

Here are some specific questions to ask your doctor if you are pregnant NOW, during the coronavirus outbreak:

  1.     Have you already been exposed? You have the right to know whether or not your doctor has already been exposed to COVID-19 or not, and what the implications are either way. Have they been tested recently? When was the last negative test? Don’t hesitate to gather information to put yourself more at ease.
  2.     What will happen if I’m positive for COVID-19 when I deliver? Make a plan with your doctor so that you have one less thing to stress about if this occurs. As much as you don’t want your baby whisked away after birth, the plan to protect and test your new baby for the illness will include isolating you from her/him initially after birth.
  3.     Will my baby be immune if I have/had COVID-19? One Chinese case study found that a mother who had COVID-19 and delivered her baby via C-section passed immunity onto her baby but not the illness. Other studies, however, have shown cases of mothers passing the virus on to their babies.
  4.     Will you be the one delivering my baby? Often, the O.B. you’re working with may not actually be the one to deliver your baby. Asking this question now gives you an opportunity to understand who will be there during delivery, and who else you need to talk to about their COVID-19 exposure and testing. 
  5.     Will I be allowed to have my support team in the birthing room with me? If you want your partner and/or a doula in the birthing room with you, this is a very important question to ask your doctor. The rules as we navigate the pandemic are constantly changing and under evaluation, so ask now, and ask again as birth gets closer.

These tips and questions to protect your pregnancy are provided by maternal health expert “Rural Doc” Alan Lindemann, M.D., former winner of the Rural Health Care Provider of the Year award and co-author of “Modern Medicine: What You’re Dying to Know.”

Coronovirus 2020, Education, Kids, Parenting, School, Summer, Tips and Tricks

5 Tips to Help Kids Overcome the COVID Learning Slump this Summer

5 Tips to Help Kids Overcome the COVID Learning Slump this Summer

I won’t forget the date, it was March 13 (Friday the 13th) when they announced that school will be closing due to Governor’s orders for at least 2 weeks and that we don’t know when they will re-open. Here it is July and they never went back. There was a spontaneous online learning set up, but they were not being graded so many kids struggled to stay motivated. It was a COVID learning slump. It looks like a mix of classroom and home learning again next year so this time it counts and they need to be ready to learn in a new way!

Many students lost much of the academic skills and knowledge they’d gained throughout the school year before the pandemic changed life as we knew it. The fact is, learning loss due to coronavirus school closures, dubbed the ‘COVID Slump’ by experts, is becoming a common phenomenon for many students across the nation– and one that’s actually preventable if the right measures are taken.

Consider this: About 84% of U.S. parents are worried that this COVID learning slump changed their child’s education schedule and routine and negatively impacted their learning, and 61% are worried their child’s college and career prospects will be negatively impacted, according to a recent Brainly survey of 1,600 moms and dads.

So how can parents prevent their children from backsliding during school closures?  Eric Oldfield, Chief Business Officer of Brainly, the world’s largest online learning community, and father of two school-age daughters, is well aware of the risks of two months out of the classroom can have on students, and he has tips aimed at combating it. 

Here are Oldfield’s 5 tips to help prevent COVID learning slump

1. CREATE HAND-BUILT PROJECTS. With all the screen time kids are getting from online learning (not to mention their non-educational screen time), sometimes the best thing you can do to get kids flexing their brain muscles is to have them physically design and create something with their own two hands like a 3D puzzle, creative board game, pop-up storybook, or time capsule, to name a few examples. 

2. TAKE UP AN EDUCATIONAL HOBBY. Now is the perfect opportunity for students to take up a new hobby. Learning a musical instrument, taking a coding class, or joining an online trivia league can help students of any age stay sharp through the pandemic days to help avoid the COVID slump.  

3. MOVE THE LEARNING OUTDOORS. It may seem basic, but a little sunshine and fresh air are excellent for everyone’s mental health and can help bored students reinvigorate their learning by helping them escape the monotony of their home learning space. Physical activity can also help memory recall and increases mental dexterity. Try passing around a soccer ball in the backyard while learning the state capitals, or playing hopscotch while reciting new vocab terms.  

4. ENROLL THEM IN AN ONLINE EDUCATIONAL COURSE. Think of it as a virtual summer camp. But before you blindly sign up for some online program, look for some specialized programs designed to keep children learning with engaging activities and personalized instruction, and take advantage of these slower months boost problem areas.

5. ENCOURAGE THEM TO KEEP THEIR CURIOSITY PIQUED. Even inquisitive children can use some coaxing to keep learning over the summer. There are many services, like Brainly, where children can ask questions, learn new things, and keep stimulated to prevent the COVID slump.

Regardless of what you choose, staying mentally active during school closures (and throughout summer) can give your child a leg up come September. For more information and ideas on how to prevent the COVID learning Slump, visit www.brainly.com

Coronovirus 2020, Healthy Living

Coping With Stress During the Pandemic – 6 Tips

Coping With Stress During the Pandemic

The 2020 pandemic threw a curveball in everyone’s lives. Businesses shut down, families went into self-quarantine and masks became a normal and important accessory to wear in public. Coping with stress during the pandemic can challenging, especially with the risk of Coronavirus everywhere.

Too much stress can affect our productivity and happiness. It can also lead to health risks and weight gain. If you feel that the stress of the pandemic is too much, seek help from professionals who can help you. However, there are many things you can do on your own to lower your stress levels. Here are six ways you can destress and manage emotions during this time of uncertainty. Summer is a great season to destress within.

1. Confide in Others

Although social gatherings are limited, you can still reach out to loved ones to help reduce stress during the pandemic. If you have close friends, family members or colleagues you trust, reach out to them and share your struggles. Chances are, they too have felt the effect of isolation fatigue. You can connect through video chat, text or phone calls.

2. Find a New Hobby

This is the perfect time to find something new to do to relieve stress during the pandemic. Take a deep breath and find something new to learn. Whether that’s baking or welding, the excitement of learning a new talent can take the stress away. If you don’t want to do something new, consider spending more time doing something you love but haven’t done for a while.

3. Exercise

Physical exercise can do a lot for your body and your mind by regulating sleep, boosting the production of endorphins and improving your energy. Spend some time each day to take care of your body. There are many ways to exercise, and it can easily fit into your schedule.

4. Get Fresh Air

Sunlight can also help your mind and body. When you need a break, go outside for a short walk. The views, smells and sounds can calm your anxieties and give you a chance to breathe. Consider spending more time outside during this time of self-quarantine.

5. Keep a Routine

A steady schedule can help your body to feel capable of handling stress during the pandemic. Humans are habit people, and we can benefit from routines that give us consistency. Try to get up at the same time every day and find a few bedtime rituals that invite your body to relax.

Find habits that help you release tension, such as a certain candle smell or your favorite song. Don’t forget to take care of yourself. Take breaks when needed, get support when you are feeling extra down and be mindful.

6. Avoid Vices

Some people turn to their vices in times of crisis, such as drinking and smoking. While this can give a small release, it can ultimately harm you and increase your stress. Try your best to avoid creating habits that will only hurt you. Instead, find healthy foods or drinks that can replace your harmful vices.

Stress during the pandemic is a normal thing, and it’s completely normal to feel stressed during this time. Remember that you don’t have to do this alone, there are many ways to connect with people and cope with your stress. Try your best to take care of yourself during the pandemic.