Pregnant care quick tip: rearrange high shelving

As your pregnant partner becomes more circular, her mobility, balance and physical dexterity often suffer. Her center of balance is off, she is often fatigued, uncomfortable and sore.

Not only is this a danger to anything fragile in the near vicinity of a pregnant woman, it is often the root of some danger to her. One way to mitigate this risk is to rearrange higher shelved items that she uses frequently. This avoids situations where an expectant mother will have to stretch to reach overhead items, subsequently placing her balance in question and potentially risking a fall. Depending on how far along she is, placing difficult-to-reach items at a lower, more manageable level may also eliminate any 'belly problems', from the discomfort of stretching skin to knocking into/over items on lower shelves or surfaces.

It's a relatively easy fix, but just make sure it doesn't coincide with her nesting during pregnancy, or that she's completely unaware of what you're doing. She may be incredibly frustrated if you rearrange how she has everything set up. This will also come in handy after the little one arrives and either of you are reaching for things with a baby in one arm.

A pregnant woman is... 60 things about expectant mothers

Pregnant women are complex. Words almost fail when trying to accurately describe one of these mysterious creatures. Accordingly, I have assembled a list of sixty easily digestible terms which describe some of the many facets of expectant mothers.

Some of these adjectives are things they experience personally while some of these are traits they exhibit, but all are common in pregnant women.

I will try to delve into more detail as I go on, but until then....

A pregnant woman is...

1. adoring you
2. angry at you
3. awesome
4. beautiful
5. changing constantly
6. cleaning
7. clingy
8. clumsy
9. complex
10. confused
11. constantly peeing
12. crampy
13. cranky
14. craving something
15. crying
16. emotional
17. excited
18. exhausted
19. expensive
20. full
21. forgetful
22. forgetful
23. frustrating
24. gassy
25. goofy
26. happy
27. having strange dreams
28. head-achy
29. hormonal
30. hungry
31. impatient
32. irritable
33. itchy
34. laughing
35. loving you
36. moody
37. nauseous
38. needy
39. nervous
40. nesting
41. nostalgic
42. not in control of their own bodies (baby is)
43. not sleeping well
44. out of breath
45. protruding
46. sad
47. scared
48. self conscious
49. sentimental
50. serious
51. sexy
52. silly
53. slowing down
54. sore
55. stuffy
56. thirsty
57. tired
58. unable to touch her toes
59. unhappy with your name choices
60. volatile

The most common pregnancy craving

"Aren't you done yet?" [to fetus]

"Alright, already. Are you ever coming out?" [to fetus]

"I think he's tap dancing on my bladder."

"I'm so full of baby."

"Oh my gosh, I can't believe that I've started waddling!"

These are quotes from pregnant women in the late stages of the third trimester. They're indicative of the fact that expectant women get uncomfortable and impatient as they grow larger and just want the delivery date to hurry up and arrive. One quote that sums up all of these comes from Phyllis Diller:

By far the most common craving of pregnant women is not to be pregnant.

As pregnancy progresses, it's important to be conscious of just how uncomfortable pregnant women are. You should really begin to step up how much help you're giving her. Her feet hurt, she tires easily and has trouble standing up from couches or chairs. At this point you may have to wait on her hand and foot, and it's not because she's lazy, she's just plain unable.

So keep in mind that she's feeling physically limited and mentally frustrated if she yells at you or (or the refrigerator), or just asks for a little more help. She may not express them all, but there are many things that pregnant women wish men knew.

Prenatal purchases: cameras

A good digital camera is a must-have on the list of items to get before the arrival of your baby. A high quality digital camera is worth saving up for and spending a couple extra bucks on. If possible, try a digital SLR camera, the picture quality is exceptional and you can change lenses if you get involved with more advanced photography.

If spending money on a new camera is out of the question, buy a bunch of disposable cameras and throw them in her hospital bag in advance just to make sure you have pictures of your new bundle of joy on the big day. If you've already got a camera, make sure it's charged and got memory space so it's ready to travel quickly as the due date approaches.

I love to take pictures and I'm sure our child will be one of the most photographed people ever, so I decided to get an SLR. I saved up for months in advance and bought a Canon Digital Rebel XT 8MP Digital SLR with an 18-55mm lens and I am thrilled with the quality of the photos. It's on the less expensive end of the digital SLRs available on the market today and offers a great value for someone looking for high quality digital without spending a fortune. I got a 2 gigabyte flash card to go along with it so I can take hundreds of photos before ever having to download them to my computer, meaning I can snap tons of pics before the baby ever gets home from the hospital.

There are tons of cameras out there, in an incredibly wide price range. You can get great digital cameras for less than $100 these days. The Rebel XT is about $520 from Amazon, but if you're looking for something cheaper (or more expensive) check out the digital camera reviews at Livingroom's photolog to see what might be a good fit for you.

Regardless of how much you spend, you'll end up with priceless pictures of your newborn. Whatever you go with, make sure you have plenty of charged batteries and an empty memory card or rolls of film in anticipation of the big day.

Nesting during pregnancy.

Over the past several months I've heard repeated stories of the "nesting instinct" in the later stages of pregnancy. The behavior typically includes the pregnant woman obsessively cleaning and organizing the home before the arrival of the bundle of joy. The way it was labeled an "instinct" made me think of how my dog digs at the rug and circles before laying down, or how birds collect bits of straw and other materials to insulate a nest for winter. After experiencing nesting first hand, I would no longer be surprised to see my wife doing either of these things.

I never discounted the phenomenon, but when I heard about the "nesting" phenomenon in pregnant women I didn't think it would apply to my wife. My thinking was the she already cleans everything to a surgically appropriate level, so she couldn't possibly clean or organize any further.

I was wrong.

In the past couple of weeks she has been taking a very active approach towards cleaning and organizing our house. She he been throwing things out on a regular basis to make sure we have enough room for the baby. I'm not quite sure how large she expects the child to be, but we have sufficient space just in case she births a linebacker.

My wife now cleans things with greater frequency and gets increasingly agitated if I interact with the sterile environment she is trying to create. I am frequently seen as the source of things that need to be cleaned. I feel guilty moving pillows out of place to sit down.

She has washed clothes and reorganized the baby's dresser multiple times, apparently using some derivative of the Dewey Decimal System to classify every tiny piece of clothing . Each time she makes a change to the drawers she wants to show me what she's done, but it still looks the same to me. The difference is imperceptible without a micrometer, but she knows exactly in which part of which stack of fuzzy items the organic cotton onesies are located and where to find the towel with the duck head. Meanwhile, I have trouble matching two of my own socks, so there's no way I'm going to be able to maintain this level of smooth, cotton perfection.

My wife has also hinted at redecorating and moving major pieces of furniture, to which I say nothing but hope pregnancy fatigue overcomes her before she makes our house unrecognizable.

Nesting during pregnancy is actually somewhat endearing, the things that you expectant fathers should expect, plan for and participate in include

- Increased house cleaning
- Getting the nursery ready
- Reorganization of furniture, cabinets, shoes, your life
- Packing a hospital bag that has the contents for a 3 week stay
- Buying diapers

Just make sure she stays away from caustic cleaning substances that can be harmful to the baby or exposure to paint fumes which have harmful volatile organic chemicals (VOCs).

If any of you have any experiences with nesting during pregnancy, please leave them in a comment, I'd love to hear them.

Quick tip: How to ease foot pain in pregnant women.

The additional weight that expectant mothers carry begins to manifest itself clearly in the forms of aches and pains during the third trimester of pregnancy. Joints stiffen and ache and the feet in particular bear the brunt of the extra structural punishment.

Foot pain often leads to discomfort in other areas of the body, particularly the knees and back. This is one of the reasons why foot massage is at the top of many pregnant women's wish lists. It's a great way to help relieve the tension and pain that builds up in pregnant women's feet. I've detailed the pregnancy foot massage that I do for my wife and she hasn't stopped asking for one ever since.

While a massage is an effective cure, you know what they say about an ounce of prevention. On that note, an inexpensive and easy way to help mitigate sore feet for your pregnant partner is to buy her a pair of supportive shoe insoles. Shoe insoles help support the arch, increase stability and dissipate the shock to the heel and ball of the foot.

You can find a pair of comfort insoles online or at mostly any drugstore or supermarket for $10 - $25. Dr. Scholl's now makes insoles designed for open toed shoes. While insoles may not completely eliminate foot fatigue and soreness, combined with massage it will make the time a pregnant woman spends on her feet a little less painful.

Pregnancy quotes, right from the source

For a person who does not have first-hand experience with the hormonal shifts of a pregnant woman, it can be hard to believe that it will happen. Some pregnant women are irritable, some yell at their partners, while other expectant mothers are just surly. Some may not have any visible hormonal outbursts at all.

I have been lucky personally in that my wife has not had too extreme of an emotional roller coaster while pregnant. She swore at the refrigerator and had a few small hormonal episodes, but nothing too major. Sure, I've gone to bed a few nights and wondered if I would see the light of day, but overall nothing too bad.

That said, I would like to share some admissions from moms and pregnant women about their hormones during pregnancy and things they've said or done to their partners during a hormonally charged state. The answers are from a survey I posted on Yahoo! Answers.

1. Well, I suspected I was pregnant with baby number 2 when I threw a full out tantrum in the middle of the mall because Pretzel Time didn't accept credit cards.... my poor husband was so embarrassed. I've never wanted anything so badly in my life, sure enough, a week later, I got a positive pregnancy test.

2. I yell at him a lot and question everything he does.

3. I cry every time we argue. And sometimes I get mad at him and start an argument when its not necessary. Then I tell him he needs to not argue back so it doesn't upset me and that makes me cry more.

Poor guy! he's so confused...but he understands its my hormones. and when I've calmed down, i explain why.

4. I cant stand the smell of my husband! Every time he is near me I feel sick (he is very clean so it's not a hygiene thing) but he gets pis*ed of because I do everything to stay away from him when he gets home and I don't know how to tell him.

5. Even though he tons of things for me, I STILL yelled at him, and I feel really horrible about it now! I found that if I had problems with other people or just a bad day in general, I took it out on him even though he didn't deserve it.

6. I think that the weird thing that I did was to get absolutely furious at him for not buying a crib and mattress while we were shopping for the (very sane) reason that they would not fit in the car. I basically tearfully accused him of not caring about the baby and not wanting to be ready for the baby. I went on about having done all the planning and all he had to do was to carry the stupid thing out to the car.

He wisely said nothing, let me cry it out, and then said, "C'mon. We have been doing too much. You are tired out."

I then cried even harder while I apologized for being such a silly, selfish, unreasonable beast.

Everyone's experience is different, but expectant fathers should be fully aware that hormones may rear their ugly head at any time during pregnancy. Do keep in mind that pregnancy is a wonderful time and pregnant women are beautiful, so tell her.

More pregnancy quotes:
Quotes from pregnant women
Pregnant women are irritable, a quote
The most common pregnancy craving
Nibbling fetus, a quote

Quick tip: Use band aids to hide protruding belly buttons

If your pregnant partner is self conscious about a protruding belly button during the later stages of pregnancy, suggest she try a band aid on her stomach. Applying a band aid across her navel will make the little turkey timer belly button less visible to others through clothing.

It's a great way to help her feel better about herself, and just tell her all the Hollywood stars do it!

Pregnancy nutrition roundup - food tips and suggestions for pregnancy

I think that proper nutrition is elemental to a healthy pregnancy, but a myriad of changes in appetite and food safety restrictions present difficulties. Accordingly I've assembled some of the topics I've covered in relation to diet for pregnancy.

Food safety questions
Is cottage cheese safe for pregnant women?
Is honey safe for pregnant women?

Nutrition and diet tips and suggestions
Quick nutrition for pregnant women
Top 10 pregnancy comfort foods
Pregnancy meals, eat often and eat early
How to make a healthier grilled cheese

Dietary changes
The diet of a pregnant woman may depart sharply from pre-pregnancy.
My wife's first hamburger in 21 years
Protein and iron craving and an increase in red meat consumption.

Nighttime snacking
More, nighttime snacking
Couvade syndrome and how dietary changes affect the father.

Avian flu can pass from mother to fetus

For those of you living in close proximity with lots of chickens (I'm looking at you, Key West) beware that scientists now say that avian flu can pass from mother to fetus.

The dangers of kitty litter

Many people pass off the notion that pregnant women should avoid changing kitty litter as an old wives' tale. However there is a real threat in living with cats during pregnancy.

Cats, while lovable pets, are the source of a serious infection that can be a hazard to the fetus. This infection is caused from a tiny parasite named Toxoplasma gondii that can be found almost everywhere.

Toxoplasmosis is a parasite which cats pick up from the stool of other infected cats or from eating raw meat. These parasites are then shed in the stool of the infected cat. Thus, a pregnant woman can pick up this infection from the litter box (or soil) in which the cat defecates.
- from iVillage

Making sure that pregnant women don't change kitty litter and wash their hands regularly will limit risk to the fetus and mother. has a list of 11 ways to prevent toxoplasmosis.

6 Questions to ask a potential pediatrician

The right pediatrician may have a major impact on your child, so taking a few minutes to interview potential doctors before the birth of your child is time well spent. It's a good idea to look for a doctor in advance because the good ones are often very busy and difficult to set up appointments with.

Below are a few questions that will give you good insight into a doctor and get a feel for how they will treat your baby.

1. How long have you been practicing medicine?
There is most definitely something to be said for experience.

2. What differentiates you from the other pediatricians in the area?
Frankly this one is particularly interesting because it is a great way to judge if a potential candidate is full of crap. If you feel like you're being sold something rather than informed, beware.

3. How many "well baby" visits do you typically have during the first six months? After that?
This will give you an idea of how often you will be in the doctor's office. There should be quite a few, but it may depend on doctor. Beware of a casual answer, there should be at least six in the first six months starting within days of the birth.

4. Who will normally see my child, you or a physician's assistant / nurse practitioner?
This will help you judge if your child will be seeing a different person each time you visit the pediatrician's office. It's preferable to stay with one set of single set of eyes over time so that visual changes can be easily assessed.

5. Do you have kids of your own?
This is a great way to see how vested they are in the subject matter.

6. Do you have Saturday and evening hours?
Colds and sickness don't follow a 9-5 schedule.

7. What is your philosophy on pediatrics?
They may not have a formal "philosophy", but they should be able to speak as to how they treat their patients.

Many of these questions are great for the sole purpose of facilitating conversation. During your interview, make note of whether or not you are interrupted, as is common with many doctors who gloss over patients. After discussing kids and pediatrics for a while, you should be able to tell whether or not you like that particular doctor. Beware of being sold on things, this is your child so trust your gut about whether or not this person is someone with whom you will trust your sick child.

To the angry woman at O & M in NYC

I want to address a comment from a female reader left on my recent post, Warning, the second trimester is a trap! This person was clearly upset with certain incorrect assumptions she made about my writing. Because this person left the comment anonymously, I am going by her IP address which indicates that she wrote from a company in New York which I will refer to as O & M; thus "angry woman at O & M in NYC."

The following was her comment:

I think that your generalizations of pregnancy is ridiculous. Your wife is letting you believe that pregnancy is a torture when it truly is not. Uncomfortable, maybe, but in no way conspicuously so that she would turn against the world. During my pregnancy I never felt the need nor the desire to frustrate, yell at or demand my partner. Nor did I ever require any special treatment or attention. If a woman is uncomfortable, there is no reason she should spread the discomfort around. In fact, the more relaxed my partner is, the more relaxed and comfortable I am in my pregnancy. Simple as that. What kind of sissy,spoiled universe were you sucked into beliving is the norm...

A few points, if I may.

First, "generalizations of pregnancy is ridiculous" is not proper subject-verb agreement. It should be "generalizations of pregnancy are". You work for a marketing company, I hope you don't write for them.

Second, it's a blog, not a scientific journal. I try and make things as factual as possible, such as dietary or medical information, but feel that's only part of the picture. The purpose of my anecdotes is to provide information outside the realm of the strictly analytical and demonstrate a point of view that is not that of the pregnant woman. I clearly employ hyperbole, I thought suggesting that my wife ate a domesticated cat would have been clear enough indication. I guess I was wrong.

Your opinion, while well understood, is completely irrelevant to why I am writing. It does however illustrate that the expectant father's voice is neither well documented or often appreciated. I will make a very solid bet that the father of your child felt things very similar to what I express in my blog. I'm glad you think that you never frustrated your partner, but I find it highly unlikely. You sound rather domineering so he probably didn't bother because it wasn't worth his headache. I think this reinforces that the expectant father is often unheard. If this was your reaction to a complete stranger's opinion, I can only imagine how you would treat him.

Third, my wife isn't "letting me believe" anything. She's a very tough individual, and has actually been very agreeable during pregnancy. She's a trooper and I love and respect her. She is also not a sissy; she once spent six weeks stranded in the rockies after surviving a plane crash with nothing more than a spork and two match heads. She emerged a month and a half later looking fabulous and sporting a pair of capri pants she fashioned from the hide of a bear she beat to death because it "wuz eyin' me wrong." <*hyperbole*>

She has at no point led me to believe it was a "torture", and I don't consider a few moments here and there over a period of nine months to be sissy and or spoiled on my part or hers. However, I use specific points in time to illustrate particular points, and are not indicative of a pervasive attitude. They are simply points in time.

From the manner in which you wear your emotional "fortitude" on your sleeve, it sounds as though you felt unable to be emotionally available to your partner. Frankly, I find that sad and only hope you don't maintain that posture with your child. I don't think any individual, man or woman, should have to go through major life events without feeling like they can't express or share with their partner. If they can't, that relationship should be reexamined. I honestly don't believe that a woman should have to go through pregnancy bottling everything up and pretending like discomfort is a weakness.

Please keep in mind that I get much of my information from many pregnant women themselves, not just from my own experience. I love women and think pregnancy and pregnant women are beautiful. The purpose of my writing is not to trash women, and if you think so you've clearly missed the point. It is about the experience of pregnancy from different vantage points.

Thank you for writing. I appreciate your opinion and it provided an opportunity to clarify certain points.

Why morning sickness is often a misnomer

Commonly known as morning sickness, the collection of first trimester pregnancy symptoms including nausea, fatigue, irritability and saying terrible things to the father of the child can actually occur at any point during the day.

My wife felt better during the morning hours of her first trimester, while her 'morning sickness' didn't set in until after noon. For many women it may start early and extend well beyond morning. Some expectant mothers are alarmed when they don't feel better as the day progresses, but it is perfectly natural and unique to each woman. Some pregnant women never experience morning sickness while others have it for the duration of the pregnancy, though not the norm.

Morning sickness has an indirect effect on the expectant dad as well, both physically and emotionally. You'll need to tend to your partner more and excuse anything crazy she does or says. Fathers should expect a change in diet, and will need to stock up on comfort foods like ginger ale and crackers.

Related articles:
Why pregnant women yell at you
Top 10 pregnancy comfort foods
8 Reasons why pregnancy makes fathers tired
Quotes from pregnant women