Babies Breastfeed for Many Reasons

"He's just feeding for comfort" is a comment breastfeeding supporters hear a lot. And why not? Anyone who has breastfed will soon come to realize that breastfeeding is about far more than just food. Yes it's handy that this act of liquid love is also optimally designed to grow and nourish our babies, but there is far more to it than that.

Of course babies ask to breastfeed when they're hungry. And they're hungry a lot! But they may also be thirsty and just want a quick drink, especially in hot weather. Or their bodies and brains may be in a fast period of growth which needs to be fueled. They may also ask to feed if they're feeling cold, if they want a cuddle, if they've missed you, if they're feeling lonely, or tired, or poorly, or scared. Or if they are in pain. All of these reasons are just as valid as hunger.

Breastfeeding your baby whenever they ask, ensures not only that they receive enough nutrition but that their physical and emotional needs are met as well.

-Kathryn Stagg IBCLC

More from Stagg at:

Find support, community, and research based answers in the Breastfeeding Group


What benefits are in ONE teaspoon of human milk?

What is in one amazing, powerful mere teaspoon of human milk?

Between 50,000-65,000,000 living cells that make up nutrients, antiviral, antibacterial, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, prebiotic, probiotic hormones and stem cells!! 

Breastfeeding is life-changing for a life time.

If you nurse your baby (for any amount of time):

The perfect book for moms looking ahead to breastfeeding - Breastfeeding Made Simple.

Snapshot of a natural weaning moment...
37 months of 'the good stuff!'


What my body needs...

Today I asked my body what she needed,
Which is a big deal
Considering my journey of
Not Really Asking That Much.

I thought she might need more water.
Or protein.
Or greens.
Or yoga.
Or supplements.
Or movement.

But as I stood in the shower
Reflecting on her stretch marks,
Her roundness where I would like flatness,
Her softness where I would like firmness,
All those conditioned wishes
That form a bundle of Never-Quite-Right-Ness,
She whispered very gently:

Can you just love me like this?


-Hollie Holden

More from Holden at:

Development in the Uses of CBD Oil

CBD oil is one of the most exciting medical innovations to come along in recent years. People have been using CBD oil for a while now, but new research is showing signs of tremendous new developments in the near future.

We’ve known for awhile that CBD has natural anti-inflammatory properties, making it effective in pain relief for any people. It’s especially useful for nerve pain and pain caused by stiffness and joint problems. We also know that CBD can help those suffering from anxiety, depression, or insomnia.

But it looks like there might be a lot more to CBD oil as we learn to apply these properties to various conditions. Read on to learn about a few of them.


In private, people have been using CBD oil to treat their own or their children’s epilepsy for years. But in 2018, the Food and Drug Administration officially approved CBD as a treatment for Dravet Syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome.

These are two conditions that cause epilepsy in children and both are very hard for current conventional medications to treat. CBD oil has the power to make a difference. Research into the effects of CBD oil for general epilepsy is ongoing.


Chronic inflammation can lead to all kinds of problems, including arthritis. Studies done in 2011, 2014, 2016, and 2017 have all shown that CBD oil has a positive effect on arthritis pain and stiffness.

More studies are needed, but research is developing quickly. CBD oil may soon take its place among orthopedic treatments, dietary changes, and conventional medications as an effective way of controlling arthritis.

Type 1 diabetes

Unlike Type 2 diabetes, which is typically related to diet and lifestyle, Type 1 diabetes develops when inflammation triggers a person’s immune system to attack the pancreas. Early research is showing that CBD can ease pancreatic inflammation.

There’s a lot more work to be done in this direction, but so far, things look promising. A study done in Lisbon in early 2017 demonstrated that CBD oil is capable of reducing inflammation in mice; and even stopping some mice from developing Type 1 diabetes at all. You can keep an eye on this sort of research at

Neural issues

Researchers are currently looking at how CBD oil can affect the many conditions caused by injuries or disorders to the neurological system. These include not only epilepsy, but also psychiatric diseases and damage or degeneration of the nerves.

So far, CBD oil shows promise in treating some types of schizophrenia as well as chronic nerve pain and neurodegeneration. Once again, research is ongoing, but there is every reason to believe that CBD oil may become an effective treatment for at least some of these conditions.


Everyone hopes for effective cancer treatments. Current cancer treatments, although effective, tend to be toxic and cause pain and discomfort for cancer sufferers. CBD oil has very low toxicity and few side effects.

Recent studies show that CBD oil may be an effective treatment for cancer. A lot of work still needs to be done, but some studies show that, in the lab at least, CBD oil suppresses cancer cells and tends to trigger them to self-destruct.


One of the hardest things about treating opioid addiction is the side effects of opioid withdrawal. These can be profound, and the suffering associated with withdrawal keeps some people from seeking the help they need.

In one study, smokers treated with CBD oil experienced no cravings. At this point, research is still in very early stages when it comes to using CBD oil to treat opioid addiction. But it has the potential to make withdrawal much easier and become a powerful tool in the war against the opioid epidemic.

How To Prepare For Your First Baby Shower

There’s nothing more exciting or rewarding than having a baby, and there’s plenty to plan and prepare, including a baby shower. It’s easy to be unsure about how to go about planning this, but don’t worry! We’re here to help you out – here is a step-by-step guide on how to prepare for your first baby shower.

Before The Big Day

Before the day, there are certain things you need to make sure you know. What date is your baby shower? What time are you planning on starting? Where’s it going to be? If your baby shower’s going to be in the summer, a garden party could be nice, as long as the weather’s good, that is! You also need to decide who you’re inviting, as well as how much you’re willing to spend. Once you’ve got all this information, put together some invitations – if this stumps you a little, and you want to make a statement, there are plenty of templates out there so you can get the perfect invite for your guests. Once you’ve got the simple stuff down, it’s time to get into a bit more detail; what menu are you having? Are you making sandwiches and cupcakes, or are you after a few entrees to add a bit of class? Of course, you need a cake, but are you making it yourself or investing in a bakery-made one? Add some comfort food in there – after all, it’s for the mom expecting too! You also need to invest in some décor to give your baby shower a little bit of style – we recommend sticking to 2 or 3 colors, so your shower looks fun without looking messy.

What To Do At The Shower

You also need to plan what you’re going to do at your baby shower – usually, there are some forms of games as well as gift opening. Plan about half an hour for guests to arrive, and then throw yourself straight into an activity or game. Our favorite is “Baby Sketch Artists”, where each guest draws a sketch of the baby and the best wins, but there are plenty more games to take part if that isn’t your style! Once you’ve played one or two games, set out the food and let your guests have a snack (and a bit of champagne, if you’re feeling cheeky) whilst they watch you unwrap some gifts, allowing people to take a seat back and relax without losing interest. Maybe slot in a few more games before letting your guests leave – don’t forget to invest in some favors for them to take away to remember. Try and get it to suit your theme – for example, if you’re going for an animal theme, a little stuffed toy is the perfect accompaniment, but if that’s a bit tricky, some chocolates or little soaps or candles always work a treat.

Preparing for your first baby shower can be a lot to do, but is also a lot of fun to put together. With these tips, you’re sure to put together a baby shower that neither you nor your guests will forget. Enjoy!

Practical Principals for Peaceful Parenting

By Vivian Hazzard, BSN,PHN, RN

How can we possibly accomplish all that is required of the mature, responsible adult who holds multiple titles of an employee, spouses/partner, individual, and parent?

This question is faced by the average parents daily. We are busy making a living to ensure our households have what is necessary and if we can, what is desired. Securing social and extracurricular activities to help expand the horizons, entertain and ensure well rounded experiences are had by our children. The effort and time required to raise children in this modern society can be overwhelming to say the least. The pressures of parenting often begin even before the birth of the child. Interviewing the right pediatrician, getting the unborn child the right care providers by getting placed on the waiting lists for the “best” child care centers and kindergartens. Scheduling play dates, organizing car pools, working on school assignments and projects, attending sports and music events, career day, book day costume creation, chaperone for school trips and events, the list goes on and on.

Many of us subscribe to the philosophy and social norms that more is better and “helicopter” parenting is the only way to ensure your children get what they deserve. There are in fact social-contextual forces shaping parental behavior and some parents are more susceptible to environmental factors than others. Research has shown that just as there are many individual characteristics and stages in which a child developments; there are various styles of parenting, not just one “perfect” way.

Our modern society with its many conveniences often serves to create additional distractions, chaos, feelings of depression, anxiety, inadequacy, strain, and superfluity. We PUSH (Put Unhealthy Strains on Us) trying to be the perfect rather than the joyful, harmony producing, peace filled parents. We even accept negative criticisms about our parenting styles and allow others to influence us instead of doing what we know is best for “ours.” This constant “pushing,” to press against with force in order to drive or impel or to try to move beyond or expand is not helpful to our children, ourselves, nor the communities we live and work.

Our bodies produce a natural hormone called cortisol in which many of us know in relationship to the “fight or flight” response. The body actually needs and uses this hormone every day to function normally. If we are constantly in the fight or flight mode, the cortisol levels stay elevated instead of in the cyclic pattern our bodies require for balance. This chronic condition along with other physical or mental health problems can impact the lives of our children. Persons who are exposed to chronic episodes of “stress” or trauma may feel overwhelmed to the point of depression or hopelessness referred to as “toxic stress” for which intervention is necessary.

The key to balancing multiple responsibilities is in remembering that you are also a person, an individual outside of these roles and find ways to focus on the joys of parenting by decreasing the “drama” and increase the “love.”

There are some basic principles and lessons that will help parents find peace in the midst of parenting no matter what style of parenting they choose.

Consider the developmental and emotional stage of each child. Increase the child's protective factors, help equip them to understand that they are not responsible for their parent's difficulties, accept responsibility for their own actions, and have the capacity to maneuver life's challenges by:

  • Finding ways to develop a warm and supportive relationship with each child 
  • Accepting help and support from family and friends 
  • Providing opportunities for children to articulate their feelings 
  • Fostering a sense of being loved by you 
  • Helping children feel positive about their individual characteristics 
  • Encouraging healthy peer relationships 
  • Placing value on interest and personal success in school 
  • Exhibiting and modeling positive, yet honest interactions at home

Give your children the best version of your “Healthy” self.

Adopting a healthy lifestyle to include caring for yourself mind, body and spirit is important in order to parent peacefully. It also models a healthy lifestyle for your children.

Practice relaxation.
Find ways to stay calm. Adopt meditation and relaxation techniques. Consider using the “Stop, Drop and Breathe” method when under parental duress.

Exercise daily. 
Develop scheduled time to be active. Talk with your health care provider about what activities are best for you and make it fun. Remember exercise naturally produces hormones called endorphins that help to improve your overall health.

Eat healthy. 
Consuming food that provides adequate nutrition, fluids, calories and nutrients help to maintain or improve overall health.

Get adequate sleep. 
Have a set sleep schedule for the family. Everyone is different, so this is not an exact science, but something to consider and adjust to your needs. Sleep time recommendations range for adults versus infants, toddlers, children and the elderly.

Avoid alcohol and drugs. 
These substances are often glamorized in social media as ways to reduce stress and blow off steam. The fact is they can often worsen stress. If you're struggling with disorders and substance abuse, get help.

Be yourself. 
Develop values and goals that are important to your individual family. Avoid the urge to imitate popular TV versions and/or faddish social styles of parenting. Know your child(ren), learn their individual emotional, physical and developmental needs.

Use support systems. 
Engage and interact with people who are like minded and/or understand your family values and goals: Consider friends, family, counselors and community parent training and support groups.

Laugh, Play and Love More. 
We live in a world of rush, rush, hurry up, get, get, give me, give me. Take time to let go by running, jumping, playing, laughing and loving your children. This simple advice goes a long way, does not have to be costly, and increases the flow of “happy” hormones for the entire family.

We have all heard the anecdotes of those who have lived long lives: “If I had life to live over again I would laugh and dream more, complain less, stomp in puddles, walk in the rain, stop and smell the flowers, play with my children more and find peace in the midst of chaos.”

What Dads Should Do After Childbirth

Fatherhood is something that many fathers long for. However, for many fathers, especially first-time fathers, fatherhood can be a difficult time. This mostly as a result of the fact that they do not really know what’s expected of them and what they should do in helping their wives. To help those who find themselves trapped in such unfortunate scenarios, this article is going to share with all fathers what they should do after childbirth.

Become the new cook and nutritionist

Labour drains women of most of their energy. As such, after childbirth, fathers should do most of the household chores as possible including cooking. It’s important however that in addition to assuming the role of the house cook, fathers should also become nutritionists as women soon after birth need to eat nutritious diets. Fathers should provide more proteins and vegetables. In the same vein, it's important that the wife also takes lots of water.

We know becoming a ‘house husband’ maybe a whole new experience for many but it's important to note that you can always engage in your favourite pastimes in the comfort of your own home, for instance, replacing your casino visits by simply opting to play at a casino online.

Massage her

The first few days after childbirth may be quite uncomfortable for the wife especially if she had to go through the caesarian section. As such, in order to ensure that your wife is always stress-free and comfortable,it’s advisable to become her new masseuse. Thanks to the power of the internet, fathers can easily learn all about massaging online.

Encourage her to seek support from other mothers

As alluded to above, the first few days after childbirth maybe uncomfortable for the wife, as such, one way of ensuring that your wife removes the ‘uncomfortable’ burden is to encourage her to seek support from other mothers. Through mixing, mingling and sharing stories with other mothers, she may learn a thing or two of how she can cope with the stress that comes with giving birth.

Regularly compliment her

Another great way of ensuring that your wife is stress-free during the immediate days after giving birth is to regularly complement her. Whenever she undertakes to do a task and she completes it, remember to tell her how immensely proud you are. This will only help to raise her confidence and to make her stress-free.

Let her cry

After a difficult birth, it's only normal that she may go through some emotional trauma. When this happens, you should not force her to keep her emotions inside but rather, you should encourage her to let her emotions out. Keeping one’s emotions inside will only compound the situation.

No pressure for sexual acts

We all know that fathers love intimacy. However, it's advisable to postpone our quest for sexual acts to later dates when she is comfortable and ready. Pressurizing for sexual acts soon after childbirth may lead her to resent you and the relationship.

New baby visitor guide.

How To Handle A Car Accident That Isn’t Your Fault

You have likely stumbled on this article because you or someone you know has been in accident. No matter how careful you are - life doesn’t always go according to plan.

Do you know what to do if the collision wasn’t your fault? Your first reaction will be one of shock, and you may even start crying. No one wants to be in this type of situation, but you also need to be prepared for it.

Here is some advice that will help you survive a car accident.

Stay calm

When you are in a car accident, your pulse will quicken, your breath will feel fast and shallow and you will no doubt be sweating a lot. Some people may even become excessively nauseous, and you will feel anxious and stressed the entire time.

All of this will drain your energy, and staying calm is the best thing that you can do. Focus on taking a few deep breaths, in and out. Your body is likely very tense, and it’s equally important that you loosen up, whether you need to unclench your jaw or let your shoulders down.

Collect all necessary information

When you are still at the scene of the collision, you should collect all of the necessary information that you will need from the other party for your insurance claim.

This includes facts about what happened, the name and address of the other individual, their vehicle registration information and license plate number.

Notify the correct authorities

No matter how major or minor the car accident was, it’s critical that you contact the police. They will create a legal accident report, and this is important for your insurance claim.

Visit the doctor if needed 

If you incurred any type of injuries as a result of the accident, you need to visit the doctor as soon as possible so that they can do a thorough examination of you.

Contact a lawyer

If you were personally injured as a result of the collision, you need to receive the appropriate compensation from the other party.

A lawyer is the best person that can help you receive your settlement and get your life back on track. For instance, the personal injury attorney is always available for a consultation if you need them.

Talk about it with your family

There is nothing more important than feeling supported by your loved ones when something bad happens to you. It has been proven that spending quality time with family helps relieve your stress and makes you feel happier.

Your loved ones can help regulate your emotions after the car accident. It’s normal to feel anxious and scared about getting behind the wheel again, and talking about this helps.

A car accident is never a pleasant experience. Still, it’s not the end of the world, and life isn’t a straight line. So long as you are prepared for it, stay calm and collected and follow protocol, the accident will become nothing more than a distant memory.

Three Easy Ways to Keep Your Eyes Healthy

If you want to improve a certain aspect of your health, such as your weight, your skin or even your mind, there are certain practices and treatments you take to accomplish it. This also applies to your vision and the overall health of your eyes. When you embrace certain healthy actions, you can improve the condition of your eyes and even prevent certain diseases from affecting them. Consider following these tips to maintain your eyes and improve your vision.

Exercise and Stay Active

Keeping an active lifestyle improves your overall well-being. This also extends to your eyes. Daily exercise helps oxygen and blood flow throughout your body, including your eyes, keeping them healthy. Staying active also prevents a condition called diabetic retinopathy. It is common in Type 2 diabetes patients and occurs when an excess of sugar in the bloodstream affects the walls of the arteries in the retina, causing blood leakage and sight impairment.

Consume Vitamins and Minerals

Some eye conditions degenerate the eye over time and severely impact your vision. However, you do not need to be an experienced ophthalmologist like Kang Zhang to prevent them from emerging. By eating foods rich in certain vitamins and minerals, you can improve your chances. Primarily look for foods and drinks rich in vitamins A, C and E, as well as omega-3 fatty acids and zinc, to improve your sight and prevent eye diseases.

Take a Break from Screens 

It might be difficult in this technology-reliant time to let your eyes cool off from digital screens. Organizations like the American Optometric Organization recommend taking a 20-second break for every 20 minutes in front of a screen to look at something 20 feet away. This practice prevents digital eye strain, which irritates your eyes and can even harm your vision.
Your eyes are subject to a variety of hazards that can have long-term consequences. Take these simple tips to improve your chances at keeping your eyes healthy for a long time.

11 Rainy Day Activities for the Kids

Along with the rain coming down outside your heart might be sinking wondering what new activity you can dream up to do with your children. Luckily, this list contains 11 fun-filled activities that can be done rain or shine and will keep the whole house happy!

1. Have an Arts and Craft Day

Every kid loves an arts and crafts day, and it can keep them entertained for hours at a time. Some fun ideas that you could try are making a cardboard town, rock painting, making pictures with pasta and finger painting. Once you've decided what you’re going to do for the day head out to the store and pick up some supplies. Most of what you need will be fairly cheap and easy to find.

2. Create a Pillow Fort

This is a super fun activity that you can do on a rainy day that costs nothing at all! Raid the cupboards and find all the sheets and pillows you can in your house. Take them into your living room with a bunch of clothes pegs and some twine and create the most elaborate pillow fort you can. You can even set a little competition among your kids to see who can build the best fort. It will also give them somewhere to hide away for the rest of the day to read or play games.

3. Seek Out an Indoor Playground

There are loads of indoor playgrounds that you can go to in towns and cities, and they are the perfect way to spend a fun day when you can't get to an outdoor playground. An indoor playground is just as fun if not better and has many different obstacles such as trampolines, climbing courses, rope swings, and indoor slides. Most of these indoor play areas will have an adult area too where you can grab some food and a coffee which your little ones tire themselves out.

4. Teach Your Children to Swim

Taking a trip to your local swimming baths can be fun for the whole family and it’s a cheap way to spend a rainy day. Some pools might even put on special children's days where there are inflatable toys put in the pool for them to play with. If your children aren’t that confident in the water, it could be a good opportunity to give them a swimming lesson or book them in to have a swimming lesson with a coach at the pool.

5. Re-Decorate Your Childs Room

This one may take a bit more planning and isn’t something you can just do on an impromptu basis but it can be great fun if you’re prepared. If there is painting to be done then that may be best left to the adult but if you are picking out new furniture like curtains or a bed then it’s a great opportunity to head out to a store and let them pick what they want in their new room.

6. Create a Home Movie

Have you thought about tapping into your kids' creativity and getting them to star in their own home movie? Going through the whole process of writing a short script, choosing parts and choosing costumes is all part of the fun. You could even go as far as painting some cardboard to create different scenes. After that you can start filming. All you need is a cell phone or a camcorder and you will be creating your very own masterpiece. Then, at the end of the day you can all sit down with popcorn and attend your very own home movie premier.

7. Go and See a Movie

If you’re not finding the inspiration to write and film a shirt home move yourself then that’s okay because someone has already done it. There’s nothing quite like heading out to the movie theater to see the latest release. Soda, popcorn and sweets all add to the experience and it’s a great way to treat those well-behaved children!

8. Visit an Aquarium

If you head to one of the bigger aquariums then it could take you the whole day to go around so checking the size of the aquarium beforehand is important if you're on a timescale. Kids love aquariums and getting to see big and little fish up close and personal is really quite exciting. As well as fish they might also have reptiles and birds like penguins as well as furry little creatures like otters.

9. Play Some Board Games

Usually the instant reaction when suggesting board games is that they are boring but there are so many games out there that you are likely to find one that will keep them interested. Games like Operation are great because they are really simple but have different elements and noises. More recently there are board games that have come out that make use of an iPhone or tablet to give a traditional boardgame a digital twist.

10. Bake Some Cakes and Cookies

Cakes and cookies are really easy to make and taste delicious which is why kids love making them so much! To make cakes and cookies you only need some basic ingredients which you might even be able to buy as part of a baking kit at the local grocery store. If you’re making cookies or biscuits then you could also buy some cookie cutters and decorations so you can decorate them too. Sprinkles and colored icing are always a popular choice.

11. Make a Scrapbook of Your Day or Holidays

If your children are on their summer break then one great way to capture all the fun moments you’ve had is to create and keep your very own scrap book or picture diary. Taking lots of pictures and printing them out so they can be stuck into the scrap book is a great way to get your children writing about what they’ve done, what they created and the things they enjoyed most. It’s great fun for them and it will give you something to keep too!

Is CBD Safe to Use During Pregnancy?

With regards to questions regarding CBD and its efficacy for pregnant women, the safest answer is to talk with your doctor regarding any plans to use cannabidiol during pregnancy.

As of writing, there is no conclusive proof of the effect CBD has for the fetus or the mother’s health. This means that referring to your OB-GYNE is imperative to know whether taking CBD is safe for fetal growth and development, and also to your health.

CBD-containing products such as CBD oil has made rounds in the news and social media after the US 2018 Farm Bill has been passed. This removed industrial hemp from the list of controlled substances. Hemp being the source plant from which CBD is extracted. It’s also not just in the US; CBD has made quite an impression all over the world. In Europe and China, several CBD brands and shops have popped up, all aiming to cash in on this popular venture.

There are also many online stores that you can check out, all offering CBD oil and CBD-infused products that are beneficial for a number of medical conditions.

Why is CBD so popular? CBD or cannabidiol is lauded for being a miracle remedy for various ailments, including stress relief and pain management. It’s also pretty controversial for the fact that CBD is extracted from the same source plant as marijuana, a psychotropic substance. However, it does not produce the ‘high’ as cannabis does due to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content.

With users claiming that CBD is very effective and safe, it’s no wonder why everyone is clamoring to try one and see if it works better than over-the-counter drugs or prescribed medicines. Expecting mothers are part of the demographic that wishes to experience how CBD can help in the dilemmas of pregnancy, particularly in nausea and other physiological changes related to it.

Why are pregnant women taking CBD Oil?

Pregnancy causes a lot of bodily changes. While the famed “pregnancy glow” might make it seem like it’s easy to carry another life inside your womb, it’s harder than it looks. There are several undesirable symptoms that come with this significant life event, and it is thought that CBD oil can be the answer to many, if not all, of these dilemmas.

Here are some of the symptoms in pregnancy that CBD oil might just help alleviate, which makes it interesting for expecting moms to try out.


A growing belly to accommodate the development of the fetus inevitably causes general pain and discomfort. It causes back pain and muscle cramping, especially on the arms and legs.

The CBD oil has been noted to treat inflammation and extreme pain, which makes it a very attractive natural remedy to gestational discomfort.


Not every mother experiences morning sickness, but those who do know how taxing it is to wake up and feel drained every morning. A study from 2011 states that cannabinoids may indirectly activate serotonin receptors, which produces the anti-nausea effects of CBD.


More than half of pregnant women suffer from insomnia at different stages of their gestation. Pain and discomfort might cause sleepless nights for an expecting mother, but this can also be attributed to stress and other mental challenges during pregnancy. There are several studies that show how CBD can increase total sleeping time for a person and maybe therapeutic in people who have trouble sleeping. This evidence may be the answer to pregnancy-related insomnia, too.

Anxiety or Depression

The emotional effect of pregnancy in women is pronounced and can be quite problematic if not handled properly. Some commonly associated psychological changes with gestation are anxiety and depression. Such conditions may be caused by hormonal changes, but can also be due to the fact that child-bearing is a stressful event in anyone’s life.

CBD oil is known to reduce anxiety, and users are praising it for being a natural combatant to stress. This may prove useful to expecting mothers who want to be as stress-free as possible and make the pregnancy much easier to bear.

Is it Safe?

CBD oil is considered by many to be a therapeutic remedy and even a nutritional supplement. Although it is not addictive like marijuana, it also has its own setbacks, namely that not many clinical trials and studies are made around CBD.

Pregnancy is a delicate process, and introducing any new substances is generally frowned upon by medical practitioners. CBD might be decorated with a lot of therapeutic properties, but most of these claims aren’t proven.

Also, different researches are a very contradiction at the moment. A meta-analysis revealed that THC, which is also found in cannabidiol although in lower doses, may result in the baby’s low weight and complications after birth. On the other hand, one study showed that there are no noted significant changes in babies whose mothers have consumed THC during gestation.

It is very unfortunate that much research and clinical studies need to be done to establish CBD’s efficacy in pregnancy. Expecting mothers would greatly benefit when taking CBD oil to make child-bearing an easier and more enjoyable experience. For now, it is considered unsafe for pregnant women and lactating mothers to take any CBD-containing compounds until researches prove otherwise.

If you are pregnant but want to try CBD oil, arrange a meeting with your doctor to discuss whether it is the right course of treatment for you. You may also want to check out alternative remedies for the different symptoms of pregnancy.

Help Someone Get Help

If you suspect that a family member is abusing alcohol or drugs, it is normal to be worried and confused. You may feel hurt by their behavior. At the same time, you want to get your family member into professional treatment. Remember that addiction is a disease with psychological, social, and physical factors. It is difficult for an addict to get clean without professional help.

Recognizing the Signs of Addiction

The 2018 Monitoring the Future Survey from the National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that 37 percent of high school seniors have tried vaping. Teenagers report lower use of other drugs than in the past. According to this study, abuse of illegal drugs other than marijuana has dropped 30 percent. However, the consequences of drug addiction are so severe that you cannot let down your guard. Teenagers are prone to making impulsive decisions under peer pressure.

You may have noticed changes in your loved one's behavior that have led you to suspect excessive alcohol or drug use. Perhaps they have become withdrawn or moody. Sometimes people stop taking care of their bodies with regular baths and wear unclean clothes.

When your family member comes home at night, you may see red eyes and dilated pupils. Perhaps they use excessive air freshener in the car to cover up smells. A teen may take up a sudden new habit of chewing gum or using breath mints.

You may suspect that your loved one lies to you about their activities. Families report spotting substance abuse addiction on social media when they see pictures from raves. Alternatively, a post may report being in a location or doing an activity other than what you expect.

Getting Someone Into a Program

In the long run, additions lead to legal, career, and health problems. Drug use increases the risk of cancer, heart problems, breathing issues, hepatitis, and HIV. Liver and kidney damage occurs over time. Brain changes due to drug use could lead to depression, anxiety, and paranoia. If the person is pregnant, she is putting the unborn child at great risk.

The challenges of addiction impact not just the person who uses drugs, but also family members. Children experience inconsistent, neglectful, or abusive parenting. Spouses manage finances and household chores abandoned by the person with the addiction.

The longer that the problem is allowed to continue, the worse the spiral of dysfunction becomes. Therefore, it is important to help someone get into rehab sooner rather than later. It will be much more difficult to undo the damage down the road.

As a first step, contact a doctor for recommendations of treatment programs. Call the programs and determine whether they participate in your health insurance plan. Estimate, to the best of your ability, the costs and how you will pay for it. Identify the best program for your loved one which has an open bed. If you have the program chosen in advance, you will make it easier for your family member to make the choice to get help.

Next, confront your family member with the problems you have observed and ask them to accept treatment. A trained interventionist is helpful to guide and facilitate these conversations. If your loved one refuses to acknowledge a problem, you can ask the person's primary care doctor to discuss addiction during a routine check-up appointment.

Once your family member has entered the program, remember that successful treatment requires family support. Attend all meetings offered to you, and seek counseling for yourself to help you relearn healthy patterns of relating to your family member.

Addiction takes a toll on people and their families. Helping someone get into treatment is a gift to them, their family, and their community.

The Roles of Palliative and Hospice Care in Healthcare

When we hear palliative care and hospice care, most of us think they mean the same thing. Palliative and hospice care may seem like two peas in a pod, but they have their own differences.

Patients often panic when doctors suggest they get palliative care—they think this means that they are dying. But palliative care is not the same as hospice care.

Read on to know how they differ once and for all.

Palliative versus Hospice Care: Essential Aspects of Health Care

What Is Palliative Care?

Doctors usually suggest palliative and hospice care to people who suffer from a terminal illness. But unlike hospice care, palliative care is not just for the terminally ill.

Palliative care is a must when creating a treatment plan for a patient from the time he or she is diagnosed with an illness. People with chronic conditions, such as COPD, Parkinson’s, or cancer, may receive palliative care in conjunction with their treatment.

A chronic illness usually brings symptoms and distress to the patient, affecting his or her daily living. Ultimately, it decreases one’s quality of life.

By delivering palliative care, chronically ill patients receive medications that relieve their symptoms while they are continuously monitored and treated. For example, a doctor performs chemotherapy and monitors oxygen saturation for a patient with lung cancer. Meanwhile, a nurse administers pain meds to the same patient to relieve any pain and discomfort.

What Is Hospice Care?

While palliative care is different from hospice care, hospice care is actually a form of palliative care.

Like palliative care, hospice care also aims to provide comfort and quality of life throughout a patient’s dying days. Doctors will usually suggest hospice care if the patient only has six months to live or less, if the illness was to follow its usual course.

Another thing to note is that during hospice care, patients stop receiving treatment for their disease. Instead, they receive treatment that can help relieve any pain and discomfort that come with it. As an example, a bone cancer patient will no longer anymore receive chemotherapy but will be treated for the pain.

The final days can instill fear and grief to a person. During such time, the hospice care team will also provide unwavering emotional and spiritual support through coaching and counseling. In fact, even simply listening to the patient’s thoughts and feelings may help them feel better.

The good thing about palliative and hospice care is that both also extend support to the patient’s family. Having a sick member can take its toll on the entire family. When the morale of caregivers are deeply affected, this negative emotion can pass on to the patient himself and affect their quality of care.

How Palliative and Hospice Care Enhance Healthcare

In order to achieve overall health, healthcare providers need to extend their care beyond the physical aspect. This means tapping into the psychological, emotional, social, and spiritual aspects as well. By providing comfort and support through palliative and hospice care, the healthcare team is able to boost a patient’s morale, keep his dignity, and enhance his quality of life.

Keeping In Touch With Your Kids When They’re Old Enough for a Smartphone

Photo by Brett Sayles

Choosing when to give your child access to a smartphone is a big decision. Some kids might be more mature than others, and there are also special situations to consider. For instance, if you and your child’s other parent are divorced, a smartphone might be the best way to keep in touch with them when they’re at their other parent’s home.

There is no right answer to when the best time is for kids to have a smartphone. However, you should make sure you know how to actually keep in touch with kids who have reached that age. There’s a common misconception that smartphones get in the way of communication. While that certainly can be true, it doesn’t have to be for your family.

How do you keep in touch with kids when they’re finally at that infamous smartphone age? What tools are at your disposal for keeping kids close and safe? In this guide, we’ll discuss the importance of knowing when your kids are ready for a smartphone as well as how to best keep them close.

When Are Kids Ready for a Smartphone?

As we mentioned earlier, there is no magic age where kids are suddenly ready for a smartphone. It’s a much better idea to consider the child’s maturity level. Some kids mature faster than others, and some might need more time to adjust to the responsibility of a smartphone.

It’s important to think critically and rationally about this. Just about every kid today wants a smartphone but most don’t need a smartphone. Here are some questions to guide this process:

  • Are your kids showing signs of responsibility? 
  • How are your kids at protecting their belongings? 
  • Do your kids need to be available quickly for safety reasons? 
  • Will your children use their cell phones responsibly? 
  • Do they understand the social responsibilities of a smartphone (i.e. not using it to bully others digitally)? 
  • Can they adhere to your smartphone limits?

Answering these questions will help you understand if it’s time to make this change. If you’re not entirely sure, there are still some options for testing your child’s ability to have a smartphone responsibly without the same large risk. You might choose a prepaid phone or a child-locked phone with limited features. Both of these are a good option for a smartphone “test run.”

Smartphone Guidelines for Setting Rules

Rules and smartphones generally go hand in hand, but where do you start? How do you set rational yet realistic rules for both yourself and your children around smartphone usage? Creating clear rules upfront will help you establish boundaries and communication expectations. Here are some suggestions for creating smartphone guidelines for the entire family:

Practice what you preach.
First, you need to make sure you’re following any guidelines you set around phones. For example, if there’s a “no phones at the dinner table” rule, you’ll need to make sure all adults and parents follow this rule as well. If you’re not practicing what you preach, it’s hard to expect kids to do the same.

Look for balance.
In today’s society, smartphones are used more than ever, even with younger kids. Tech-savvy kids actually have a lot of advantages in life, such as more interest in STEM fields, adaptability, and so on. Promoting healthy, positive technology usage can actually be a good thing.

This is why it’s essential that you balance both tech and non-tech time. Showing kids how to responsibly use their own smartphones is a great first step, but it doesn’t have to end there. Allow ample time for exploring these smartphones, but also leave time for family.

Be involved.
Finally, include yourself in your children’s smartphone usage. A lot of parents make the mistake of pushing kids away by putting too much control over how they use their devices. While you should set ground rules, it’s much easier to simply be involved by showing interest.

If your kids are playing games online, ask to learn more about the game. If they’re on social media websites, add them on these platforms. Be involved will help you make smarter choices about their smartphones.

Photo by Anastasiya Gepp 

Use Safe Connectivity Tools

Finally, you can use the right smartphone tools to keep in touch with your kids. A lot of modern messaging and video chat services are easy to use or affordable, but do you really know how they use your data? In addition, are their advertisements safe for kids of all ages?

The best option is to use a secure, family-friendly tool like Say: Share Together! a Group Video Chat Network. This type of platform is designed for keeping families close, and it's distraction and ad-free so you can trust kids of all ages on this app. It’s important to know you can reach your children quickly, and Say makes it simple.

Be Confident About Smartphones

Smartphones aren’t the negative, harmful tool they’re often made out to be. While it’s true you need to be proactive about guidelines around these devices, you also shouldn’t be too worried. As long as you’re involved in the process, you should feel confident that your kids will be safe and secure online.

Most kids get a cell phone at age 10, but it will depend on your own child’s needs and maturity level. If you feel like it’s time for this next step, be confident in your decision. It isn’t as scary as it sounds, and you can help them use these tools responsibly.


A Simple Guide to SSRI Antidepressants

Your brain is essentially a biological supercomputer. It runs your entire body, your senses, and your thoughts with an impressively tiny amount of electricity. Sometimes, it doesn't function correctly, and you experience disorders like depression, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia, to name a few. Luckily, doctors have long been studying ways to alleviate the symptoms of such disorders to help their patients get back to living life in a healthy manner. Of particular success and interest is depression and its response to SSRIs, or serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

What Is Serotonin?

Serotonin is what is called a neurotransmitter. Think of it like a message that controls the operations in the brain, and the brain is what controls you. The message of serotonin, in extremely simplified terms, is likely just "be happy". It has also been linked to many aspects of a person's overall health, including appetite, sleep pattern, and more. Its various connections to overall well-being are why serotonin is a big focus for psychiatrists like Jack J Wu when treating depression. This is why serotonin re-uptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, are the most commonly prescribed (at least initially) medication type for depressed patients.

What Are SSRIs Inhibiting?

While their full name sounds like SSRIs are tying serotonin down or hurting its function, they are doing just the opposite. The "R" for re-uptake is referring to when your body places serotonin back into storage, which reduces the amount of "be happy" messages floating around in your brain. This means that what SSRIs are actually doing, is ensuring that serotonin does not get put away, and you have more of it in your system, leading to elevated mood. The name is regrettably counter-intuitive, but it does accurately describe the base function of the medicine. You just need to have the understanding that inhibiting re-uptake means more serotonin, rather than less.

Why Are SSRIs so Common?

SSRIs tend to have less and not so dangerous side effects compared to the other classes of antidepressants: SNRIs, MAOIs, tricyclic antidepressants, and atypical antidepressants. They also often have fewer drug interactions, which makes them safer to use in patients with other health issues which require medications that may interact negatively with other antidepressant types. SSRIs also often have less serious side effects as their dosage is increased.

While SSRIs are certainly the most common, they may not be right for you. Always consult with an expert about what medications may be right for you. The brain is delicate, so don't be discouraged if your first few tries don't work out.

Healthy Easy-to-Make Snacks for the Evening

When feeling low and sleepy in office, we grab some of our favorite snacks and get instant energy and ready for work again. It doesn't matter if you're in the office, or back home in the evening, tasty treats that are good for you too are the way to go. Snacks are not only incredibly powerful, but give you energy at the exact time it is needed, when mealtime isn't yet here.

There are millions of snacks in the world, and all countries have their own variety of snacks. Some are healthy, some are unhealthy. In this article, I am going to provide a list of healthy snacks which you could try as your evening snack. Also, I will add some cool quick snack-healthy recipes.

Ultimate Quick Snacks That Are Nutritious and Mouth-Watering

If you're a health-conscious person, you've got a craving for healthy foods, whether it is snack or meal. Choose any snack from the list below. These all are quick and ready to serve.

  • Raw Nuts 
  • Dried Fruits 
  • Avocado 
  • Nut Butter 
  • Healthy crackers 
  • Pasta 
  • Granola bars 
  • Dark Chocolate 
  • Roasted Chickpeas 
  • Dried Cereal 
  • Healthy Chips 
  • Energy balls 
  • Tart cherries 
  • Kiwis 
  • Pistachios 
  • Pita chips 
  • Apple slices 
  • Veggie chips 
  • Berries 
  • Greek yogurt 
  • Cottage cheese 
  • Celery sticks 
  • Kale chips 
  • Cucumber slices 
  • Chia pudding 
  • Boiled eggs 
  • Piece of cheese 
  • Whey protein smoothie 
  • Canned salmon 
  • Edamame 
  • Turkey roll

If you want to skip the raw bites, below are some blissful recipes to try out instead:

Avocado deep-fries

Calories: 330
Cooking time: 15 min
Servings: 6

1/3 cup oil
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
2 eggs beaten
2 tsp salt
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 large avocados, sliced

Cooking directions:
1. Peel and sliced the avocado into 1/2 inch slice.
2. Take a bowl, add flour, chili powder, and salt. Mix properly.
3. Take another bowl for the egg mixture.
4. Dip each avocado slice in the flour mixture then into egg mixture and roll in bread crumbs.
5. Heat up the oil in a saucepan at very high temperature.
6. Deep frying the avocados for 2-3 min till it becomes golden brown.

Note: You can use some appliances for kitchen use to achieve restaurant-style and taste like Hamilton deep fryer or presto multi-function saucepan.

Pasta with delicious cherry tomatoes 

Pasta is the most common snack people love to eat all over the world. As a child, my mom served some sort of pasta to us 4 out of 7 days a week, as a snack for breakfast, or in the evening.

Cooking time:
10 min Servings: 4 to 6

1 lbs dry pasta
1 1/2 lbs cherry tomatoes
Black pepper
Kosher salt
4 cloves garlic, minced.
6 tsp oil
Parmesan cheese
1 oz chopped basil leaves.


1. Take a skillet or saucepan and start boiling pasta.
2. Take 2nd skillet to add oil and garlic and fry a bit on a medium flame for 3 minutes.
3. Add tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes
4. Continue cooking until the sauce is creamy.
5. Add and stir basil, salt, and pepper.
6. Pour boiled pasta into the sauce and cook at a medium flame.
7. When done, take out from the burner and Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

Note: If you prep pasta often, I would suggest that you to buy a pasta machine which is really handy and saves money in the process. Note: You can get Imperia pasta machine in just $47 on Amazon. It's a one-time expense for life long unlimited serving pasta.

Peanut Butter Balls 

Cooking time: 5+35 min (Freeze)
Yields: 24

2 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup honey
3/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp flax seeds
2 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 cup of shredded unsweetened coconut
1 1/4 cup of oats

Cooking directions
1. Take a big glass bowl mix all the ingredients.
2. Roll balls of the mixture from hands and place on a baking sheet.
3. Refrigerate for about 30-35 minutes.

Black Pepper Chickpeas 

Cooking time: 5+30 min
Yields: 6 servings

15 oz canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tbsp black pepper
1 cup cilantro chutney


1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
2. Dry chickpeas very well with paper towels.
3. Spread chickpeas on a baking sheet.
4. Bake for 30 minutes for crispy chickpeas.
5. Take out from the oven and pour out in the bowl.
6. Pour black pepper and chutney over it.
7. Stir well and serve.

Note: You can also make this recipe in other appliances for kitchen use like an Air Fryer. Tip: I also recommend this snack to eat when you're drinking wine or beer. It tastes amazing!

Honey Toast Topped with Berries

Cooking time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1

2 slices multigrain bread
1/3 cup ricotta
1/2 tsp honey, plus more for sprinkling
1/4 cup of berries

Cooking directions:

1. Toast bread (oven/toaster oven/toaster)
2. Meanwhile, take a bowl mix of ricotta and honey together.
3. Spread the ricotta mixture on bread and topped with berries.
4. Sprinkle some salt and honey (optional)


Experiment with all healthy snacks and make cool recipes with them. You can found millions of snacky recipes on the internet. But there is one thing you need to know or aware of unhealthiest snacks which you may be consuming for years. But now it's time to stop and move forward to healthy snacks.

Stay away from these snacks:
  • Lays potato chips 
  • Ruffles 
  • Pringles 
  • Cheetos 
  • Cousin Willie's Buttery explosion 
  • Pop secret homestyle 
  • Act II 
  • Keebler Club crackers 
  • Ritz roasted crackers 
  • Keebler town flatbread 
  • Balance bar chocolate peanut butter 
  • Clif bar chocolate brownie

Healthy Bread Recipes for Breakfast

When we hear the term 'breakfast' the first thoughts popping into many heads are eggs and toast. As a working parent, I am always in a rush in the morning. Most commonly I served bread and jam, or bread and butter, or toasted bread with eggs to kids. The following are recipes you can prepare in less than 2 minutes.

One day my 10-year-old girl shouted to me saying, "Mom, I am fed up with these pieces of bread you give us daily..." Yeah, I felt bad, but she was not wrong. I mean, it's annoying to eat the same dishes again and again. So I decided to find some cool recipes made with bread that are delicious and make everyone happier. I consulted with friends, read magazines, and found some recipes we all enjoy.

In this article, I am going to share with you some blissful bread recipes that you love to eat and serves to your kids as well.

Here we go.

Quinoa Apple Bread

Nutrition intake: 153 calories
Cooking time: 50 minutes (25 prep+25 cook)
Method: Toaster oven

1 tsp sage, minced.
3/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg (large)
1-1/2 cups of milk
2/3 cup water
1/3 cup quinoa, rinsed
1-1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp celery seed
1 small peeled and diced parsnip
1 small onion chopped
1 small apple diced
1 tsp oil

Cooking directions:
1. Preheat your toaster oven to 375 F.
2. Meanwhile, take a saucepan to bring some water and add quinoa.
3. Boil at medium flame for 12-15 minutes.
4. Take another skillet to pour some oil and add apple, onion, celery seed, and 1/2 tbsp salt. Saute for 4-5 min. Then remove from heat
5. Take a big large bowl, add cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking soda, and remaining salt and whisk them properly.
6. In another bowl, whisk egg and 1 cup milk. Mix to cornmeal mixture, stirring around.
7. Pour out the quinoa and apple mixture into the main bowl. Mix well.
8. Transfer to baking pan and then to the toaster oven.
9. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
10. Let stand for 2-3 minutes just before serving.

Cauliflower cheesy bread tubes

Calories intakes: 66 per bread tube
Cooking time: 20 minutes (20 prep + 20 bake)
Method: Toaster oven

1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup parsley chopped
1 large egg
1/2 cheese, shredded
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup skim mozzarella cheese
6 cups cauliflower
Marinara sauce (optional)

Cooking Instructions:
1. Preheat the toaster oven to 425 F
2. Chopped cauliflower using a food processor and boil in microwave for 8 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, take another bowl to add cheese along with all remaining ingredients. Stir well.
4. Transfer the mixer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
5. Bake for 20-25 minutes the toaster oven for baking.
6. Bake until the mixture becomes bubbly.
7. Cut into 12 bread tubes.
8. Served with marinara sauce (optional)

Yogurt Bread

Calories intake: 163 per piece.
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Method: Toaster oven

1 large egg
1 cup plain yogurt
1/4 oil
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp honey
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal (yellow)

Cooking Directions
1. Preheat toaster oven to 425 F.
2. Take a bowl and add cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, 1/4 tsp baking soda.
3. In another bowl, combine remaining ingredients.
4. Pour 2nd bowl into 1st bowl and stir well.
5. Transfer all material into baking pan and bake for 15-20 minutes.

Cornmeal Bread

If you want to make your own healthy bread rather than buy from the market then this recipe for you

Calories: 150
Cooking time: 2 hrs 10 min (10 + 2 hours)
Method: Bread maker

2 1/2 tsp yeast
2 3/4 cups flour (bread)
3/4 cups of wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp salt.
2 tsp butter
1 large beaten egg
2 tsp brown or dark sugar
1 1/3 normal room temperature water

Cooking Method (Bread maker) Add all ingredients to the bread maker according to the manual of the bread machine. Bake on basic cycle and medium crust.

Conventional Oven Method
1. In a large bowl combine the brown sugar and yeast with water. Boil for 10 minutes about 105 F
2. Add egg, butter, salt, wheat flour, bread flour, cornmeal in the same bowl. Whisk by hand or an immersion blender.
3. Turn the dough onto the floured surface and knead for about 8 to 10 minutes.
4. Add butter or oil in another bowl place the dough down and shape into a loaf.
5. Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and leave for about 45 minutes.
6. Heat the oven to 350 F
7. Bake the bread for about 30 to 40 minutes.

Flaxseed bread (Loaf) 

This is another recipe to bake your own nutritious bread.

Calories intake:
169 per slice (Total 16 slices)
Cooking time: 75 minutes (40 prep + 35 baking)
Method: Toaster oven

1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp honey
1-1/2 cups of wheat flour
1-2 to cups of all purpose flour.
1/4 oz dry yeast.
1 tsp salt
1-1/2 cups milk
3 tsp butter
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 whole flaxseed

Cooking directions
In an enormous bowl, join the entire wheat flour, 1 cup all-purpose flour, yeast, and salt.
 In a huge pan, heat the milk, dark colored sugar, nectar and 2 butter margarine to 120°-130°.
Add to dry ingredients; beat until smooth.
Mix in the ground and entire flaxseed until mixed.
Mix in enough staying generally useful flour to shape a firm mixture.
Turn onto a softly floured surface; massage until smooth and flexible, around 6-8 minutes.
Spot in an enormous bowl covered with cooking splash, going once to coat top.
Spread and let ascend in a warm place until multiplied, around 60 minutes.
Punch batter down.
Turn onto a daintily floured surface.
Shape into a portion; place in a 9x5-in. portion skillet covered with cooking spray.
Spread and let ascend until multiplied, around 30 minutes.
Bake at 375° for 35-40 minutes or until brilliant dark-colored.

Note: This bread can also bake in the bread maker.


By having a machine like a bread maker you are allowed the freedom to bake your own nutritious bread which is much better than bread available in the market. Try these above recipes and convert your normal bread into something delicious!

Tips for Making a Mattress Last Longer

The following are tips for making a mattress last longer. A mattress is a significant investment for many people, and they will want it to last as long as possible. The average lifetime of a mattress is around 5 - 10 years. By using our advice on making a mattress last longer you can extend this.

If your mattress is delivered in compressed form, unwrap it and leave it in a ventilated room to expand to its correct size. Do not leave it in a garage or shed where it may get damp and make sure you have removed all plastic packaging that can lead to mildew if left attached to your mattress. Here are some ways of extending the life of a mattress once you have it on the bed.

1. Protect the Mattress with a Mattress Protector

Mattress protectors generally come with elasticated sides that can stretch over the mattress. A waterproof or water-resistant protector will help keep your mattress dry in the event of spillages or 'accidents.' Such waterproof covers tend to be made of plastic or vinyl, and ordinary covers/protectors can be made from such fibers as bamboo, polyester and cotton to keep the mattress clean.

2. Use a Mattress Pad

One of the best tips for making a mattress last longer is to use a mattress pad. This is a thin pad that lies on top of the mattress providing a better barrier to perspiration and other bodily fluids than a cover. The pad can also be used to modify your sleeping surface. They are available in a range of thicknesses from less than inch upwards.

The thinner pads are used for protection and can be machine washed. Try to buy a mattress pad with a high thread count in its cover. The higher the thread count, the more resistant it will be to liquids, dust and dust mites. The same is true of a mattress protector: you can use that with the pad! A protector and mattress pad can be very important in making a mattress last longer.

3. Clean Your Bedding Regularly

Your body produces perspiration and body oils 24/7. These are soaked up by your bedding which can then transfer the contamination to your mattress. Try to clean your bedding regularly – once a week is good! Most mattress protectors and pads are machine washable.

4. Don't Forget to Clean Your Mattress

Many people clean their bedding regularly but do not clean their mattress. You should clean your mattress on a regular basis and clean crib mattresses at least once a month.

Human adults shed over half a million skin cells every hour. If you spend about a third of each day in bed, you shed around 4 million skin cells every night. That's a lot of dust! Not only that, but dust mites feed on these skin cells. Some estimates reckon that there could be well over 5 million dust mites in an old mattress – even up to 10 million.

Dust mites don't bite you, but many people are allergic to them, particularly those suffering from hay fever. But what has this to do with the life of your mattress? Dust can cut into the fibers of your mattress – even dried up skin cells have sharp edges! So apart from the health issues, dust can reduce the effective life of a mattress.

Vacuum your mattress at least monthly. A regular vacuum can prevent all these skin cells penetrating deep into your mattress. Use the upholstery attachments for this in order to avoid damaging the mattress cover. Also wash any mattress protectors or mattress pads at least monthly.

5. Rotate and Flip Every 3 – 4 Months

Rotate your mattress around 4 times a year. Rotating means turning it so the foot of the mattress becomes the head. Irrespective of manufacturers' claims, rotation can definitely extend the life of a mattress. Some mattresses can also be flipped, where you turn it over so that the side in contact with the foundation becomes the sleeping surface.

You cannot flip all mattresses because some are designed and constructed to be used on one side only. For example, a memory foam top with an innerspring base cannot be flipped. However, a 100% foam mattress often can be. Turning, and flipping where this is possible, changes the distribution of your weight on the mattress, so it is less likely to sag or form indentations due to the pressure of your body.

6. Your Bed is For Sleeping In!

Your bed is for sleeping in, not for eating in. If you must eat in bed then clear away any dropped food, crumbs or debris immediately. These are magnets for tiny insects, molds and other microorganisms. Once these get into your mattress, they are difficult to remove.

The same goes for pets. Human skin is bad enough, but do you really want cat or dog skin cells to contaminate your mattress – along with what else might be on their paws? Give your pets their own bed, and keep them off your mattress. Their claws can damage the mattress surface, particularly any mattress protector you use.

Tips for Making a Mattress Last Longer: Summary

Making a mattress last longer is a simple matter of keeping it clean, rotating and flipping to spread the wear more evenly and remembering that a bed is for sleeping in – not for eating or for pets. Protection from fluid spillages, regular cleaning and proper care can add years to the life of any mattress.

New Year's Resolution Reality for Moms

Momstrocity on Facebook writes:

Here we are again, friends. The brink of a New Year. My newsfeed is full of positive manifestations for the next trip around the sun. Resolutions to run that half-marathon. Cook dinner more often. Hit the gym with regularity. Read.

Most years, I’m right there with them. In my mind, I’ve conjured a list 5 miles long — of all the things I hope to accomplish in the next year. Versions of my best self. Habits to make me a better mother, a better wife, a better friend, and a better fit for these snug jeans. But this year, I’m laying it all down.

I can’t.

The truth is, I’m in the weeds. I’m in the when-will-my-kids-sleep-again weeds. I’m in the lots-of-little-kids-with-lots-of-big-needs weeds.

I am knee-deep in picky eaters, dirty diapers, temper tantrums, health issues, and repetitive dinners. 

This is not my year to run a marathon. This is not my year to drink two gallons of water a day, or to make healthy, home-cooked meal every night, or serve on all of those committees.

It is my year to survive.

This is my year to sleep when I can. To give myself grace, always. To embrace the mess.

I think, as mothers, we put a great deal of pressure on ourselves, whether we realize it or not. Small imperfections during the day equate to our shortcomings in our own mind. Messy house? I should clean more. No clean socks? I’m way behind on laundry. Kid acts out in school? I let him watch Frozen too often.

We need to stop. I need to stop.

The reality is this: my kids don’t need a mom who looks great in leggings right now. Or a mom who makes individualized quiches for all the kids in class. They need a mom who does her best to love them well — imperfections and all.

So this year, if you need it (spoiler alert: you almost definitely do)— give yourself grace. Some years aren’t meant to be record-breaking. Some years are meant to survive.


Read more from Stephanie and Eliza at

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