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Ear piercings and shots!

This past Monday my baby got her 4 months shots as well as her ear piercings!! You can imagine all the crying, it was terrible I wanted to cry with her. My poor baby was so upset and cried for a good while but then on the way home she was able to fall asleep and stay asleep for a good while. It was such an experience and I’m learning as I go 🙂

It was strange to me that when I asked Amber’s pediatrician about piercing her ears she made a strange facial expression. It looked like she was thinking, “why would you get your babies ears pierced?” All my friends from back home got their daughters ears pierced at around 2 months and Ambers pedia. told me that it would be best to wait until she was four months, so I did. I think it’s a culteral thing because hispanics girls almost always get their ear pierced as babies and I have noticed that other cultures are not in a hurry to do so. Any time I’m paying attention to children around me, I notice that little girls here in Austin rarely have their ears pierced.

Regardless, Amber got her ears pierced and looks so beautiful!

Love,

April-Renee 🙂 ❤

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La beba necesita su tetera…

bottleSo my latest blog posts have been about my pregnancy and post-pregnancy. It’s already been one month since Baby Amber was born and let me tell you, it has been one crazy roller-coaster. Waking up every 2-3 hours to change her diaper and feed her it is very tiring but so worth it. My mom came from my home town Laredo, Texas to help me get started off with learning how to sterilize bottles, how to shower the baby, how to rock her to sleep and so much more. Today she left so now I am definately on my own. I am pretty confidant I can do this on my own 🙂 The point of this blog is to show people that there is so much more to caring for a baby than just feeding them and rocking them to sleep. I have learned so much so I would like to share.

sterlingbabybottlezYou can’t just wash a bottle and give it to your baby. You have to sterilize it. What my mom taught me to do was to take apart each bottle. You take off the tops and the nipples and wash them with the baby brush and soap. You can not use the scrub you use for your regular dishes this must be one for the babies bottles afterall we are trying to sterilize them. So then you wash each piece separately and let them air dry on a bottle rack. At the same time you want to boil a pot of water and let stand for about 5 minutes. With a pair of tongs you are then going to dip each separate piece  and let the piece soak in the hot water for about 20 seconds and place it back on the rack. After you have done this to every single piece they must all be completely dry and then you can store them in a container with a lid. It is very tedeous but it is for the good of your baby 🙂

Above is a video on how to properly clean your baby bottles! Enjoy 🙂

warmupDO NOT MICROWAVE!!!! you must never microwave milk whether it’s formula or breastmilk. The microwave will kill any nutrients in the milk. The proper way to warm up a bottle if  you don’t have a bottle warmer is to boil water in a pot. You will need a mug made of porcelain and you will put the hot water in the mug. Then you will place the bottle in the mug and let it get warm. To check if the milk is warm you must uncap the bottle and stick your pinky inside to touch the milk. Of course you must have washed your hands beforehand. When you take your pinky out there should not be a difference between the milk and the temperature of the air.

fussyThere are 3 main reasons why baby is fussy. First, baby is hungry. When your baby is hungry  they are fussy and begin to cry. It is important to distinguish their cries for each reason. It sounds crazy but it’s true they have distinct cries for each reason. Second, babies diaper needs to be changed. A wet diaper is never fun for a baby. I always change Amber’s diaper before feeding her. Sometimes when she’s sleeping she gets fussy and I change her diaper. Third, baby wants to go to sleep but needs help. You would think they can fall asleep whenever and wherever they wanted but the truth is they need help. So you have to rock them to sleep and singing a lullaby really helps. My mom told me that you can’t just rock them to sleep from your rocking chair, you have to walk around and make sure they feel the movement because it puts them to sleep. Also a good trick to put babies to sleep is to take them for a ride in the car while they are in their car seat. The movement of their carseat because of the road will rock them to sleep. It works really well.

These are essential when you have a newborn baby. Don’t think you can overlook the hygiene of the baby bottles. It is important to have clean bottles in order to have a happy baby. If you know of anyone who does not properly clean the bottles, please let them know the importance of clean bottles!

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Que llueva, que llueva, la virgen en la cueva!

Que llueva que llueva la virgen de la cueva los pajaritos cantan, las nubes se levantan, que si, que no, que caiga un chaparrón!

These days have been rainy and dark. The streaks of lightning have been very frightning. I have been up early each day since baby Amber was born and have witnessed the trembling of the house due to the thunder. Baby Amber doesn’t seem bothered by any of the noise as she is fast asleep in mommy’s arms or in her comfy crib. The reason why she sleeps so well is because mommy sings lullabies to her. From “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” to “Duermase mi niña,” my baby loves it when I sing to her. Growing up as a child I remember my parents would sing to me in spanish. Hopefully my baby catches on to the english and spanish language so she can grow up to be bilingual.

There are many things I didn’t know about life after delivery. Before I educated myself on breastfeeding I didn’t know a woman’s milk did not come in until 3 days after giving birth. The first 3 days your baby sucks on the nipple and gets what is called colustrum. Colostrum is the first secretion from the mammary glands that is rich in antibodies. Pediatritians highly recommend for mothers to breast feed for as long as they can until they have to go back to work or school. Some women choose not to breast feed and feed their baby formula instead. Formula is a manufactured milk powder designed to feed children under 12 months. Baby Amber is 3 weeks now and is breastfeeding but occasionally I will give her a bottle of formula to fill her up if she is not full. The doctor said it was fine,so it’s ok.

This government program is a wonderful one to be a part of for expecting mothers with low income households. Because I am a student and do not have a job I went to the local WIC office by my house and asked for information. When I first went the people there were very friendly and helped me out a lot. I started the program back in October of 2012 and qualified for some nutritional help. The WIC program gave me milk, cheese, eggs, cereal, bread and juice every month up until I delivered baby Amber. This was a tremendous help for me. Once I delivered I began breastfeeding because my mother and family members recommended it. When I went for my monthly appointment at the WIC office they measured and weighed baby Amber and put me in a room where they talked about the nutritional benefits for mommy and baby through breastfeeding. The highlight of my afternoon was when they offered me a FREE electric pump. I almost gave up on breastfeeding as it was hurting me and I didn’t think I was doing it right, but at the office they showed me how to properly latch on the baby and it worked very well. Now baby Amber and I are having a more successful feeding time. 🙂

The best advice I can give to any future mom is to sleep while your baby sleeps. You might want to do other things while you baby is asleep but it will catch up to you eventually. I learned the hard way. It was hard to stay awake while feeding the baby because I had not gotten my rest while she was asleep. It’s tiresome but I am thankful my mother came up to Austin to help me. So she has been cooking and cleaning for me. But not that many women have the help I have so I would recommend they catch their sleep when baby is asleep.

Here is a link to a video on advice for mommies to be.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pL_txEL17k

 

Until next time,

April Reinhardt 🙂 ❤

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Post-Partum Hispanic Beliefs and experiences

Hey everyone,

In case you didn’t know or haven’t followed my blog I had mentioned I was pregnant and expecting a little girl. Well she is here with me now and excited to be here. She was born on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 5:07 in the morning at the St. David’s North Austin hospital. She weighed 7 pounds 8 ounces and measured 19 1/2 inches long. Her name is Amber Rose Gonzalez and is the most beautiful baby girl in the world! 🙂

So I want to talk about several things that I encountered during my pregnancy, labor and post-partum experience. I am giving this from my point of view and am simply comparing hispanic beliefs to other beliefs. I have mentioned several instances in previous posts but want to reiterate and use them as examples.

  • Epidural and the long run….

As I went into labor at the hospital my mom was convincing me to not go through with an epidural. She said it can harm your back for the rest of your life and will be very painful. It was not recommended by any of my family as they all believed this to be true. Lo and behold when my contractions were getting more painful the nurses convinced me to have it. My boyfriend also said that if I wanted to get it, that it was the right time to get it. When the anesthesiologist walked in to start the epidural he made sure that it would not hurt me or the baby and I mentioned what my family thought about it and the nurse and anesthesiologist looked at me like, ” I have never heard such a thing in my life!” The doctor reassured me that it could not harm you in the long run. The look on their faces was priceless!

  • Using a girdle after delivering the baby…FAGARSE!

Once I delivered the baby and was transferred to post-partum I looked so different compared to how I looked when

gurdleI was pregnant. My stomach was kind of hanging and I felt all sorts of pain, of course the nurses were giving me pain medications and taking the proper steps necessary to lead to me into a successful recovery.  My mother and aunts were asking me if the hospital had provided me with a girdle to start my recovery and the hospital did not, so they were worried. My mom and aunts were wondering why they didn’t provide me with one. They believe you must wear one in order to get back to how you were and for all your organs to go back into place. So you bet your bottom dollar I am wearing one right now! The belief is that you wear the girdle for 40 days and do not take it off for any reason other than showering. Everyone in my family does this and I’m sure it must be a hispanic belief as I have never heard woman of other ethnicities say anything about wearing a girdle after delivering.

  • Car Seat with the social worker

I don’t mean to sound like a free loader on this one, but I thought this was interesting. When Juan(my boyfriend) and I were about to leave the hospital we saw something missing on our car seat. The car seat we had was given to us by a friend who was no longer using it.

How_to_install_infant_car_seatsI had washed the covers and cleaned the apparatus before leaving to the hospital but didn’t know it was missing some vital parts. The nurses checked it out and said it was not safe to use and we needed to get another one. I called my mother-in-law and she advised me to ask if they gave car seats to the people who didn’t have one; unfortunately, they didn’t. She had mentioned to me when she had her first child she didn’t have a car seat and the hospital gave her one for free. So my point here is that in Laredo there is a high percentage of unemployed people and low-income families, so I believe that service is available in Laredo due to the statistics of poverty and need. Since I delivered at St. Davids North Austin I believe this is a main reason for them to not provide free car seats as north Austin is not a poverty-driven area. Nonetheless, Juan went to Babies R’Us and bought Amber a brand new car seat with the matching stroller.

I will leave you all with a video on how to properly install a car seat and hopefully it will come in handy some day. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJ09iMCpJso

Also I want to show you all my baby girl, she’s a doll! 🙂 Here is Amber Rose Gonzalez who will turn one week old tomorrow! 🙂

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Hi, I’m Amber Rose! Nice to meet you 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sincerely,

April Reinhardt 🙂

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¿Estas segura que es mujer? ….Are you sure it’s a girl? *Traditional Hispanic Beliefs*

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This is Juan, my boyfriend, and I at our maternity photo shoot! 🙂

So if you have been following along, I am pregnant with a beautiful baby girl and I’m due in March. Although my pregnancy has been a beautiful thing, I had been worried about one thing in particular, the baby’s gender. My doctor did tell me she was a girl at the very beginning, but whenever I went back home to visit my family, everyone judged my baby’s sex by the shape of my tummy. When anyone would ask me, “what are you having boy or girl?” and I responded, “A girl” everyone would make a confused face.So I started doubting my OB/GYN. Unfortunately, my health insurance only covered two ultrasounds and so I had to wait until my 35 weeks visit which was yesterday, February 21, 2012, to see the baby one more time. Luckily, I reassured my entire family after the visit with the doctor when she said it was definitely a girl. The thing that made me really sad was that even at my baby shower this past weekend, everyone kept asking or telling me that my tummy looked like I was having a boy, but I’m glad that the doctor was right.

**Here is how the conversation went about with the OB/GYN.**

Dr. – Here is her head…here are her eyes…her nose…her lips…

Me- and she is a girl, right?

Dr.-If I said so last time yes, but let’s check that out………….yes, she is most definitely a girl 🙂

Me- Ok, just wondering because my family was judging based on the shape of my tummy and they ALL said it looked like I was having a boy.

Dr. – No! you can’t tell the sex by the shape of the tummy that’s just an old wife’s tale.

So that brings me to the point of this blog entry. There are many Old Wife’s Tales and I fell victim to one of them. Expectant Hispanic mothers tend to become anxious when they hear advice from their older family members about pregnancy based on traditional beliefs. These beliefs are not based on fact, but are taken very seriously.

  • boy_girl_symbols1The Guessing Game

Hispanic families still use their eyes to determine the sex of the baby and say that if you gain weight around your rear end you will have a boy and if your face gets rounder you will have a girl. Also one can tie a hair to the wedding band of the expectant mother and if the ring spins around in circles it’s a girl and if it moves in a straight back-and-forth motion it is a boy. There is no proven fact that there is a correlation between the movement of the ring and the sex, but many people still do this for entertainment.

  • Body Movement

The traditional belief is that the way in which the mother moves or stretches may affect the umbilical cord being wrapped around the baby’s neck, but that is not true. According to doctors they say the way the umbilical cord is positioned is because of the movements the baby makes inside the tummy. This is just a myth and even if you stand on your head, not that anyone recommends it, during pregnancy it will not affect the position of the umbilical cord.

From the baby books I have been reading they recommend to drink a lot of water and to drink a lot of milk. I personally have been craving milk my entire pregnancy as I was lactose intolerant before pregnancy and woul rarely drink milk. The doctors also say to stay away from caffeinated drinks like empy-calorie drink such as sodas, teas and coffee.

  • Your baby eats what you eat
funny

Thought this was a cute picture I had seen the other day 🙂

According to myth if you eat a lot of fruit your baby will be “dirty”. Eating fruits is good for the baby as they contain a lot of vitamins. So this doesn’t really make sense. According to doctors there is no way of preventing your baby from being born dirty. Babies are covered in a white cheesy substance called vernix caseosa, which protects the babies while they are floating around in the amniotic sack. Thus, when they are born they are covered in this white substance.

So while a lot of Hispanic soon-to-be mommies wait around wondering if all of these myths are true, I think it’s safe to say that they are not. Doctors did go to medical school for a reason and should know what they are talking about so I’m sure these myths are just something to keep us entertained.

Hopefully you all learned something about the myths that hispanic people believe in. Luckily, for all the woman in doubt due to these myths there is professional medical evidence to disprove all these myths. Here is an informational video based on myths vs. facts about prenatal care during pregnancy.

http:/http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BK6z6i-VErM

On a side note, the doctor said I already started dilating so let’s see when baby Amber gets here! 🙂

Sincerely,

April Reinhardt 🙂

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Teen Pregnancy: A problem amongst Hispanics

I’m sure many of you know the statistic that Hispanics account for the majority of teenage pregancies, if not, here are some statistics.

  1. While teen pregnancy rates are dropping across the country, they remain stable among hispanic teens.
  2. The birth rate among hispanics ranks highest compared to other industrialized nations.
  3. Living in poverty increases the risk of teenagers becoming pregnant before the age of 19.
  4.  States with the highest economic inequality have the highest incidence of teen pregnancies reported.
  5. States with abstinance only programs have the highest incidence of teen pregnancies reported.

*Statistics

As shocking as these statistics may seem, they are true. I believe it is true that living in poverty affects teenage pregnancies. I am from Laredo, Texas which is 95% hispanic. It was also named the #1 least diverse city in the United States. In Laredo, you see a lot of teenage pregnancies in high school, sometimes even in middle school. I lived in the south central side of Laredo and went to United South Middle and High school.  In middle school there were a couple of girls who turned up pregnant, but high school proved the statistic. Some girls even had multiple children during their high school career.

teenpregnancy_datastats_150x172I believe it was easier for a single mother to stay in school if she was able to recieve help from the government for her baby and childcare. Unfortunately, I know of some male students who had to drop-out of high school in order to get a job to support the mother of his child and the upcoming baby.  Accordingly, I know of some girls who were kicked out of their homes and were forced to move in with their boyfriends families. Usually it was not so bad because there is government support for pregnant woman out there.

 

PROBLEMS WITH TEEN PREGNANCY

  • Lack of Prenatal Care

The problem with teen pregnancy is that some girls are not educated enough to take the necessary steps to maintain a healthy pregnancy. Prenatal care is such an important aspect of developing well for your baby. The majority of teens need someone by their side guiding them with information about prenatal vitamins, monthly OB/GYN appointments and all there is to know about giving birth, but some teens don’t have this guidance.

Recently a close friend of mine told me her 17-year-old sister had just given birth to a beautiful baby boy but she didn’t tell her parents until she was 8 months into her pregnancy.  As soon as she told them they rushed her to the doctor and was prescribed all sorts of vitamins in order to nourish the baby before it was born. I am no one to judge but the thought of telling your parents is tough and it makes teens avoid the situation. An adult would know the necessary steps towards prenatal care; on the other hand, teens need the help.

  • Premature birth and low birth weight

According to information from the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin webpage, one factor that contributes to low birth weight is teen pregnancy. Low birth weight can cause complications with breathing and cognitive development for the baby as their body is not developed enought to handle all of this.

  • Depression/Isolation/Lonliness

Many hispanic teens don’t have the financial or emotional support from their families and the thought of having to tell them about an unplanned pregnancy scares them; thus, leading to depression. Being pregnant also puts your life on pause for a short 9 months and if a teen is used to being active in sports or enjoying their weekends by partying, it is hard for them to put this life aside and can lead to isolation and lonliness from their friends.

Speaking from experience I know how difficult it is to tell parents about an unplanned pregnancy. I cried the first few weeks before telling my parents because I thought my family would react negatively to the news. I was having to mentally prepare for the worst. Fortunately, my brothers were very happy that they were going to be uncles to my daughter and my mother was happy she was going to be a grandma. On the other hand, my father was not so happy at the beginning. Eventually he came around and said he was happy that our family was growing. 🙂 Unfortunately, this is not the case for most teens. Especially if they are still in high school.

  • Post Partum Depression

Depression-support-groups_364x200Although teenagers are capable of becoming pregnant, they are not done growing up themselves. If a teen does not have the support of their family they will have a difficult time carrying their baby to full term. Once their baby is born and they are not ready to care the child they can fall into post partum depression. Fortunately, there are programs out there incase teens don’t have support at home.  Signs of postpartum depression are fatigue, guilt, lonliness, sleeplessness, restlessness, mood swings and excess worry.

One last thought…

A baby is a beautiful gift, but if one is not mentally prepared or does not have the support from their family this journey in life can be a tough one. Hopefully, schools can implement the importance of abstinance or the importance of prenatal care to teens in order to have a healthy and successful pregnancy, but until then Hispanics are still the statistic of teen pregnancy. If being a teen mom is hard enough I hope teens learn from their experience and find a way to be successful and wonderful mothers despite their hardships in life.

Sincerely,

April-Renee Reinhardt 🙂

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UNICEF Ambassador Shakira hosts virtual baby shower for less fortunate children

Incase you have never heard of Shakira ,the singer, she is a wonderful singer and song-writer from Colombia. The 35 year-old recently gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. Enjoy the video, it’s fun watching Shakira dance while pregnant! 🙂

The most amazing thing about the world’s most famous latin artist’s pregnancy is that she hosted a virtual baby shower not for her own child but for less privileged children. Shakira and her boyfriend Gerard Piqué invited family, friends and the public to purchase gifts for less fortunate children through a UNICEF sponsored site. Gifts could be purchased for as little as $5. Gifts listed were sleeping nets to help prevent malaria, polio vaccines for $10 that can cover 17 children or a baby scale for $37. Guests were welcomed to their living room via the internet and used social media to get the word out there. Of course Shakira’s son does not need anything for himself, so this was a very kind gesture on behalf of his mom to help other babies who are not fortunate enough to have everything they need in life.  I hope God blesses her with much more success and health to continue doing what she is doing.

Shakira was not embarrassed to get on stage and show off her baby bump like other artists are afraid to do so. She embraced every day and even performed on stage with her baby bump in full effect. She performed at Baku’s Crystal Hall in Baku, Azerbaijan at the closing ceremony for the FIFA U-17 Woman’s World Cup and  posted the photo below in a tweet along with: ” I felt awesome on stage! We really enjoyed tonight.”

shakira

In some ways I can relate with Shakira. First of all I’m expecting a child of my own 🙂 I am 5′ 0″, which is short like Shakira and I won’t mention my weight, I don’t want to scare anyone. Just kidding I am pregnant and have gained a lot of baby weight. I’m not rich and famous for musical talent, but we are both very short hispanic ladies. I am due on March 24, so I am cutting it close. I have decided to name my baby girl Amber-Marie Gonzalez Reinhardt. If you all have any suggestion let me know, I kind of need help on this 😛

Shakira recently gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. He was born on January 22, 2013 in Barcelona, Spain at 9:36 p.m.  His name is Milan Piqué Mebarak. The name Milan is pronounced MEE-Lahn. It means dear, loving and gracious in Slavic.  She announced the birth of her son on her official page in english, spanish and Catalán.

shakirababy

As the baby was preparing to come Shakira sent out a tweet to all her followers asking to keep her and her baby in their prayers. Her delivery was planned out to the smallest detail as the team of doctors who assisted her OB/GYN had to sign a confidentiality waver in order to prevent leakage of any photos or information to the public about her delivery. A source close to the couple told the HuffPost that although Shakira wanted to delivery naturally, the size of the baby was too big and they had to have a plastic surgeon on board to do a c-section.

To the left is a photo of Gerard Piqué and Shakira in their car leaving the hospital with their newborn son. I bet it must have been overwhelming having paparazzi following them around as they were trying to get home with your newborn, but in this photo it seems that Shakira is not too bothered with their presence.

shakira coupleThere are many pictures of Shakira and her boyfriend circulating in the english and spanish news.  Shakira looks like she maintained a healthy diet throughout her pregnancy. Aside from that she was still singing and dancing which is healthy during pregnancy.  I think Shakira and Gerard Piqué make a great couple. They met while on set of Shakira’s “Waka Waka” video. Shakira confirmed that they were dating through a tweet back in 2011. Many bloggers have claimed that this semi-nude photo to the right is following in the footsteps of Britney Spears, Demi Moore and Jessica Simpson, except Shakira didn’t pose nude for a magazine cover.  I personally think this photo is a cute one and they both pull it off very well as they are both good-looking and don’t make it look tacky.

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Nonetheless, I’m happy for Shakira and her boyfriend! 🙂 I will be in her shoes in a couple of weeks and I hope everything goes well.  I won’t have the fame and fortune that Shakira has, but I’m sure I will make a great mommy too! 🙂 Baby Amber will be famous on my Facebook, twitter and WordPress account 🙂 My dad is a photographer and he took a maternity photo shoot of my boyfriend and myself. It was so cute. I loved the pictures, I think they are appropriate, well at least because I wouldn’t dare pose semi-nude like Shakira.  In this photo to the left, Juan, who is my boyfriend and I didn’t know what to do, but this pose came natural to us and it came out great. There are plenty more photos where this one came from. 🙂 I will make sure to post up pictures of Baby Amber when she is born. For the mean time I ask that you all keep me in your prayers. 🙂

Love, April-Renee ❤