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What to know about ‘Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)

When a child is sick, it can be a slightly terrifying and anxious experience for a mother, particularly if your child is very young. A common and very contagious virus that infects the respiratory tract of most children before the age of two, is ‘Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)”.

 

Usually this virus presents itself as nothing more than a cold. Unfortunately for some children, particularly babies, the cold can be more severe and can lead to serious problems such as pneumonia or bronchiolitis. Key indicators of this virus are fevers, nasal discharge, coughing and difficulty breathing.

 

RSV is highly contagious as it spreads through air (couching and sneezing) and touch. Adults with RSV will only experience flu-like symptoms, as the virus is much milder.  In order to overcome the battle of spreading the virus, it is important to keep everyone’s hands clean and to keep your child at home, if they have the virus.

 

The treatment of RSV is manageable. As RSV is a virus, your doctor will not subscribe antibiotics. However, medicine can be given to help clear your child’s breathing passages and to alleviate the other symptoms. It is important to keep your child well hydrated when they are sick.

 

I think when it comes to your child’s health, there is no such thing as ‘being over cautious”. I have definitely experienced my kids protesting to going to the doctor, as it is often a scary place for them to visit. But if you truly feel your child is not well, don’t let them sleep it off at home, load them up in the car and take them to your general practitioner or family doctor.

Let's go swimming!

Infant swimming

As a mother, I have always been cautious of introducing my kids to water. Even when I was a child, my mother always told me to ‘treat the ocean with respect’.

 

A topic that seems to be trending at the moment is ‘infant swimming’. Traditionally, parents used to wait until their children had reached the age of three of four years old, before enrolling them into swimming lessons or classes.

 

Today, infant swimming is very popular. Parents are choosing to embrace the wonders of water, and introduce their toddlers to water at only a few months of age. There are many suggested reasons for doing this.

 

The first and most obvious of reasons is that a child spends nine months of gestation, submerged in water. Therefore, swimming and being in a pool should be a comforting and fun experience for them.

 

Another positive of infant swimming is that it helps your child improve their motor skills. Often during lessons, each child is taught to swim (or wriggle in most cases), flip over and then swim again. This also encourages each child to listen carefully and to then move in response.

 

A big reason for many parents taking their little ones swimming is that it teaches them to be water conscious and water ‘safe’ from a young age.

 

In my opinion, the main benefit of infant swimming is that it is an amazing opportunity for parents to bond with their little ones (especially for the dad’s wanting some alone time with their children, this is a great chance for them to get involved).

 

I truly believe that infant swimming is an activity more parents should embrace. After all - what could be cuter than seeing your little one in a bathing suit, splashing around?

The Back-to-School Rush

We have all experienced that “Back-to-School rush”! Getting your kids ready for school and slipping back into your normal weekly routine, can be a stressful time. It’s not easy to get back into the swing of things, and not feel completely overwhelmed. Here are some pointers to help you and your family embrace the new term – or at least show up on time!

 

  1. The easiest thing to do to feel prepared and organized, is help your kids lay out their clothing the night before. Before doing so – check your weather app! Sometimes its fun to get your kids involved in this – help them feel enthusiastic about returning to school and beat the ‘holiday-ending blues’!

 

  1. The next step is to ensure that your kids schoolbags are packed – stationary, books and all! This will help ensure that they have everything they need to start the term off on the right track.

 

  1. Prepping lunchboxes is a great way for you, as the parent, to feel organized for the morning rush. Set out all of your kids’ lunchboxes, juice bottles and maybe even grab the jar of peanut butter too.

 

  1. It is so important that “you” are organized too. Have a think about your day tomorrow – what you need, where you’re going, who you’re meeting. Maybe even go so far as to laying out your outfit for the next day. This will ensure that you are dressed and ready to tackle that all important and rather stressful morning (and maybe even that client meeting later on).

 

  1. Lastly, an extra few minutes in the morning can go a long way. Set your alarm 5 or 10 minutes earlier – to ensure everyone is up on time and heads out the door early enough!

 

Remember, heading back to school can be an exciting time for some kids, but also a nerve-wracking one for others. Help your kids be excited about returning to school – a special snack in their lunchbox could do the trick!

Suffering from Mastitis?

Many new-time moms are unaware of Mastitis and often think that they’re experiencing normal breastfeeding discomfort or flu-like symptoms. Mastitis is the painful inflammation of the breast tissue, and in the more severe cases, an infection of the milk gland/duct. Mastitis is caused by the obstruction of milk flow by blocked milk ducts.

 

If you are experiencing any severe discomfort whilst nursing, be sure to read the below. The first step in recognizing and understanding Mastitis, is to identify the symptoms.

 

The best indicators of Mastitis are the following:

-       Redness of an area or red streaks on the breast flesh

-       Swollenness of an area on the breast flesh

-       Abnormal heat of an area on the breast flesh

-       Pain or discomfort when touching the area

-       Hardness – like an overfull milk duct

-       Feeling fluey and running a temperature (this is a sure sign of infection and you should contact your doctor immediately)

 

To reduce the severity of the above symptoms, the following treatment measures can be followed:

-       Ensure that you are well rested and hydrated, to allow your body to recuperate

-       Breastfeed on a regular basis and always start with the breast that is infected – this will help ensure constant milk supply/flow and sufficient emptying of that breast.

-       Warm the breast before nursing with a warm face cloth – this will help open the milk ducts and stimulate the flow of milk

-       Cool down the inflammation with a cold-pack after breastfeeding – frozen cabbage leaves are great!

-       Gently massage the breast from the outer breast flesh towards the nipple

 

Alternatively, if you feel that an infection is present, consult your doctor immediately. He/she will be able to supply you with antibiotics, suitable for breastfeeding mothers.

 

No mother wants to experience pain when nursing their baby. Breastfeeding should be a special time with your child, to bond and relax together. In order to avoid Mastitis, ensure that you maintain regular feeding times, wear comfortable bras and eat a balanced diet.

 

Hopefully the above tips and information will help you enjoy this special time with your beautiful child. Happy nursing!

How to Introduce Solids

 

It is recommended that solids are introduced anytime between 4 and 6 months – but it is important you focus on the signs of readiness (see below) for solids rather than the age of your baby.

But watch your baby, not the calendar! If baby refuses solids, try again later (maybe a week or two), and maybe with a different food. Some babies may refuse solids until 8-9 months or even longer.

Cues that baby is ready for solids include:

 

▪       Head control. Babies need to be able to sit and hold their heads steady by themselves before they can begin to eat.

▪       Sitting well when supported. Even if baby is not quite ready for a highchair, they do need to be able to sit upright to swallow well.

▪       Significant weight gain. A very general guide that baby is ready if that birth weight has doubled. (this is not an indication alone)

▪       Interest in food and watching others eating.

▪       Ability to let you know when full. Look for signs such as turning away from the bottle or breast. This is important so that baby is able to have some say in the process and can communicate if and when they’ve had enough. Babies have build a built in natural appetite and therefore it is important they can self-regulate the amount of food they eat.   

▪       Growing appetite. Baby is hungry — even with six to eight feedings of breast milk or formula a day.

▪       Understand the dynamics of their mouth, lips and tongue. Your baby's mouth and tongue develop in sync with the digestive system. To start solids, baby open their mouth when food is offered and should be able to move food to the back of the mouth and swallow.

▪       Loss of the tongue-thrust reflex. To keep solid food in his mouth and then swallow it, your baby needs to stop using his tongue to push food out of his mouth. Also a baby needs to know how to use their tongue to keep themselves from choking. If you start solids too early, your baby may experience a choking sensation by having food in their mouth that they can’t control. This is dangerous for baby and will make meal times stressful for all involved! 

 

How long should you continue with breast milk or formula feedings? These should stay in the picture until your baby is at least a year old. (At that point, babies can switch to whole milk.) They provide necessary nutrition, and your baby is used to them—she'll be comforted by the feel of a nipple and the taste of milk or formula.

 

Give baby the breast or bottle first thing in the morning, before or after meals, and before bedtime. At the beginning, you'll have to experiment to find what works best. If she's a big drinker -- say, if she'd drink a whole bottle before a meal, given the chance -- feed her first with food and then with a bottle. If she's a moderate drinker, try the opposite. Until she's 7 to 10 months, your baby will probably still drink the majority of her calories. So mealtime is more about her getting used to the act of eating and learning the tastes and textures of foods than it is about providing the bulk of her nutrition.

 

▪       Up to 9 months, feed her 20 to 28 ounces of formula daily or breast milk every 3 to 4 hours.

At 9 to 12 months, feed her 16 to 24 ounces of formula daily or breast milk every 4 to 5 hours.

10 Tips for a Better Night’s Sleep

 

  1. Safety – Put your baby on his side or back without pillows or duvet to limit the risk of SIDS. Rather keep your baby warm with a baby sleeping bag
  2. Sleep environment - Try having your baby in his own room by three months. Make sure the room can be darkened for day sleeps. Use soft linen for cool nights and warm the room up a little. For a slightly older baby (after 4 month) use a baby sleeping bag to keep your baby warm during feeds
  3. Under 3 months – try to limit handling after 4pm. Swaddle your baby to help calm them and to limit night wakings due to uncontrolled body jerks
  4. Bedtime routine – Have a consistent time for bed with a predictable routine leading up to it. Start the routine with a soothing bath followed by a calming massage
  5. Evening feed – feed your baby as much as he will take before bedtime
  6. Put your baby to bed awake – rouse your baby after his last feed so that he has to fall asleep without the aid of a prop, such as a bottle.
  7. Handle fussing at bedtime – After 3 months, expect a little fussing. Leave your baby in his cot but sit with him, with your hand on him and encourage to fall asleep after a little fussing
  8. Night feeds – never wake you baby at night for a feed unless instructed by a doctor
  9. Calm night feeds – Keep the middle of the night feeds strictly a business affair with no stimulation
  10. Sleep coaching – sleep coaching starts from about 4 months when you can start encouraging your baby to self sooth instead of relying on you to put him all the way to sleep
Best Books to Read While You're Pregnant



I often get asked for book recommendations from newly pregnant women – I can only assume it’s because they’ve already read every nook and cranny of What to Expect When You’re Expecting J

 

Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom is Wrong—And What You Really Need to Know by Emily Oster

 

From the moment you’re pregnant you’re thrown into a new, uncharted territory filled with statistics, recommendation, personal anecdotes, and more. In this book, economist Emily Oster explores the actual numbers behind verified studies that often challenge conventional pregnancy recommendations. Balanced with her share of tales from her own experiences, Oster provides some peace of mind to moms-to-be who find solace in facts, percentages and science.

 

What To Expect When You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel (still a winner and highly recommended!)

 

First released in 1984 and with over 18.5 million copies in print, this is considered one of the staples of pregnancy reading. Now in its fifth edition, this handy guide is filled with information, recommendations, and current information on newer pregnancy concerns including Zika, dietary trends and medication safety.

 

The Sh!it Nobody Tells You About Pregnancy by Dawn Dais

If you’re looking for a down-to-earth guide to pregnancy filled with humor, honesty and lots of story sharing from MOFLs (moms on the front lines) this is the book for you. If you can’t tell from the title, it’s an honest book that takes you through each trimester and tells you first-hand accounts of the good and the bad (but mostly the good), the triumphs and pitfalls, and everything in between.

 

The Mindful Mom-to-Be: A Modern Doula's Guide to Building a Healthy Foundation from Pregnancy Through Birth by Lori Bregman

 

You’ve heard by now that a happy, healthy mom is what’s best for baby, and this book can help you get there. The author explains that, “you’re not just birthing a baby; you’re birthing yourself as a mom, too.” Bregman provides empowerment, techniques, and spiritual/emotional exercises to help calm and prepare you for the journey ahead.

 

Nurture: A Modern Guide to Pregnancy, Birth, Early Motherhood - and Trusting Yourself and Your Body by Erica Chidi Cohen

 

Written by a birth and postpartum doula, this book offers a holistic approach to pregnancy and provides remedies, nutritional advice and recipes for specific months of pregnancy, taking you from early pregnancy through baby’s first few weeks. Judgement-free, it’s a comforting book that focuses on wellness of all parties involved through the pregnancy, complete with illustrations, honesty, and support.

 

Eat This, Not That When You're Expecting: The Doctor-Recommended Plan for Baby and You! Your Complete Guide to the Very Best Foods for Every Stage of Pregnancy by Dr. Jennifer Ashton and David Zinczenko

 

All of a sudden, food and nutrition might feel like a minefield in pregnancy, even for those who were quite health-conscious before. Thanks to this book, you’ll be provided with help in making smarter, healthier choices that provide the vitamins and minerals your baby needs to grow, and that you need for a healthy pregnancy. Written by both a board-certified OB/GYN and a leading name in the wellness game, you’ll be provided with excellent options that can arm your decision making skills with knowledge, even when giving in to your cravings.

 

Newborn 101: Secrets from Expert Nurses on Preparing and Caring for Your Baby at Home by Carole Kramer Arsenault, RN IBCLC

 

You’re going to want a bit of guidance on how to care for the little babe you’re spending nine months creating, and thanks to this book, you’ll receive tips and secrets from expert nurses on how to care for your new little babe. Chock full of research and professional tips, it’s sort of like having your own personal baby nurse, just in the form of a book.

The Cost of Raising a New Baby

 

Words via huggies.co.za

 

When you have a baby, you have a lot to think about – sleepless nights, how to put a nappy on, or whose eyes he or she has. What you’re probably not thinking about is how much raising this child is going to cost you. But perhaps you should be.

 

The government recently calculated that, for an average middle-income South African family, the cost of raising a child from birth to 18 years of age could reach up to R 1 681 470.

 

Sometimes it is difficult to relate to enormous numbers like these so, to putting it in context, your child is likely to cost you R256 a day or R7 785 a month.

 

Take a deep breath. There are initial, very integral set-up costs and then there are the month-to-month costs.

 

Initial set-up costs:

 

The nursery: a cot, carry cot, change table, chair, curtains, décor and other necessities could set you back around R8 500. If you’re lucky you may get some of them as heirlooms or gifts.

Dummies: They cost around R80 for two.

Bath: That’ll cost you about R400.

Toiletries: These amount to R500 initially – unless you get lots of gifts at your baby shower!

Clothes to start: These can cost about R2 500, although this is also a favourite baby shower gift!

Play Gym: That comes in at around R700.

Blankets and linen: Expect to pay around R800, although this may be more if it’s a winter baby.

Daily items: The things you use on a daily basis are cotton wool, shampoo, soap and cream. A roll of cotton wool can last you up to two months, a small bottle of shampoo for four months, soap for three months and cream for around six months. These start-up costs will set you back around R200.

All in all, the initial set up cost is roughly: R14 000.

 

Then there are your monthly expenses like:

 

Medical Aid: It can cost an additional R600 a month for adding your child on.

Huggies® Nappies: That’ll round up to about R300 a month.

Clothing: You’ll be spending around R2 000 every 3 months.

Toiletries This will amount to about R300 a month.

Vaccinations: Privately, it can cost you about R1 600, but if you go to a Stork’s Nest Clinic, it will cost you R200 per month. At state funded clinics it will be for free or you’ll only pay a nominal fee. For the purposes of this budget, we’ll go with the private costs.

So this roughly amounts to R2500 a month.

 

But have you got everything covered? Under your toiletry expenses, you may want to add the following:

 

Huggies® Wipes: This will cost between R30-50 per month, but you can use a clean wet face cloth in place of the wipes.

Barrier/ Bum Cream: Buy bulk to save. One of our moms recommended using a 300g Bennetts tub per month to prevent nappy rash. It’s about R50 per tub, but works out cheaper than buying the smaller sizes.

Nappy Bags: A packet of 150 disposable bags costs you just under R30 and lasts you for more than a month.

This monthly total: Approximately R720.

 

Once your child starts on solids (between 4 to 6 months) you will also have to start buying food. For veggies and fruit, you can use fresh produce and prepare your baby’s food yourself. It’s more nutritious and cost-effective!

 

Raising your child on a budget

 

The more you earn, the more likely you are to spend more on your children. You will want to spoil your child, and if you can afford it, do it. But remember, the only thing your child actually needs is love (and the essentials, of course).

 

The other thing to consider is that the costs associated with kids change as they age. In the first 18 months there’s a big spike in expenses and, after two years, it flattens out, increasing slightly every year.

 

While there are basic costs involved in having children (and yes, these costs can sometimes take your breath away), there are steps you can take to ensure you’re not at the top-end of that figure.

 

Having a “future plan” in place for your finances is a good start.

 

Don’t let food go to waste – rather freeze those left-overs. Even that extra chicken drumstick can come in handy as lunch. Food is a huge cost in raising a child, yet the average person ends up throwing out 500g of food per person per day. If you can prevent or even reduce your food wastage it is going to help you lower your living costs.

 

As children get older, it can also help to have a clearly-defined line between “wants” and “needs”. It may be a good idea for all of us to consider this. Do you really need that brand-name R15 000 pram or will something that costs a lot less do just as good a job?

 

Try to teach your child from an early age that money doesn’t grow on trees, and get them accustomed to the monetary value of items like toys and clothes. That way they will learn to appreciate what things cost, and may even feel inclined to save up their pocket money for a particular item they want.

10 Tips for Better Breastfeeding

 

We hate to break it to you, but while breastfeeding has some pretty amazing benefits for baby, it can be a tough skill to master for some moms. If it turns out you do have problems, don’t quit right away. Most times, it does get easier, and remember: Practice is key! To help you, we gathered together some expert advice for preventing and dealing with a variety of common breastfeeding issues.

  1. Do your Research. Take a breastfeeding class. Talk to moms who have breastfed successfully before you actually have to do it. Also find out what nursing resources—lactation consultants, La Leche League chapters and breastfeeding moms’ clubs—are available near you.

 

  1. Start early. Holding baby right after birth can help you get off to a good start, so cuddle baby as soon as you can after delivery, and give breastfeeding a shot right then. “Babies’ senses—their seeing, hearing, smelling and touch—are heightened in that first hour after birth. They’re neurologically wired to find the breast. And when they’re allowed to use those senses to latch on by themselves, the way they’re instinctually wired to, they tend to latch on correctly,” says Cathy Carothers, IBCLC, lactation consultant.

 

  1. Go skin to skin. This requires some stripping on both your parts. Place your unclothed baby on your bare chest when she’s fussy or struggling to feed. (If you’re modest, cover up with a blanket.) The close contact will calm her and help trigger her feeding instincts.

 

  1. Learn the signs. Respond early to baby’s rooting behaviors. “When you see baby chewing on his hands, making mouthing motions, or turning his head from side to side and bringing his hands to his face, he’s telling you, ‘I’m starting to get hungry’ or ‘I want to be near you,’” Carothers says. “When you respond to those cues, baby learns to continue giving them, and you can feed baby before he starts crying. Once baby cries, he’s no longer just hungry; he’s mad and hungry, and that can make breastfeeding much more difficult for both of you.”

 

  1. Call in the pros. Breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt, so if you’re having pain, or if baby isn’t wetting at least 6 to 12 diapers a day, call the hospital, your doctor’s office or a local lactation consultant. It’s important to nip issues in the bud as quickly as possible.

 

  1. Get some sleep. Just because you’re the one with the boobs doesn’t mean you have to do all the feeding. After you and baby have developed a consistent nursing relationship (usually after the first month), it’s okay to let your partner give baby a feeding — especially if you’re longing for a good night’s sleep. Just be sure to pump a bottle of breast milk before you go to bed. To maintain your body’s milk supply, it’s important to have a pumping session every single time baby has a bottle.

 

  1. Plan ahead. Before you give birth, talk to your employer about your plans to continue breastfeeding when you return to work. (FYI: Your right to do that is protected by law.) Together, figure out a private place where you can pump, and brainstorm ways you can fit pumping breaks into your workday. It might seem daunting, but plenty of moms keep breastfeeding after they go back to work—and you totally can too.

 

  1. Practice pumping. At least a couple of weeks before you’re scheduled to go back to work, start pumping breast milk. A few minutes after baby’s morning feeding is a good time, because that’s when your milk supply tends to be the greatest. You can also pump on one side while baby nurses on the other (the ultimate in multitasking!). Both techniques will help you get used to pumping, and stockpile plenty of breast milk.

 

  1. Educate the caregiver. Make sure baby’s nanny or caregiver at day care knows exactly how to prepare a bottle of breast milk (no microwaving allowed—just defrost in a warm bowl of water), to use the oldest milk first, and exactly how much and how often baby needs to eat throughout the day.

  2. Know your number. Before you return to work, count how many times baby nurses in a 24-hour period. That’s your “magic number,” Carothers says. When you go back to work, the number of times baby nurses over 24 hours plus the number of times you pump should equal your magic number. Don’t be surprised, by the way, if baby decides to eat very little while you’re at work and to nurse constantly when you’re home. It’s called reverse cycle feeding, and it’s completely normal. Be flattered—baby just prefers you to the bottle!

 

Fun Ways to Announce Your Next Pregnancy

 

For couples eager to start a family, there’s no news more exhilarating than “I’m pregnant!” After all, a child deepens your relationship with your partner while taking it to new heights and changes both of your lives forever. Even more wonderful: It’s that rare sort of news that’s as much of a big deal for your closest family members as it is for you. Clearly, then, you’ve got to share that news in an equally significant way. Looking for inspiration? You’ve come to the right place. We’ve collected a spectacular array of pregnancy announcement ideas—from the “it’s so cute I can hardly stand it!” to the laugh-out-loud funny—plus etiquette advice and shopping tips for maximum impact. Whether you prefer to go low-key or scream from the virtual rooftops, you’ll find a range of just-right pregnancy announcement ideas to choose from.

WHEN TO ANNOUNCE PREGNANCY?

Learning you’re pregnant is, in some ways, like learning you’ve won the Lotto—you want to tell the whole world, but you need to be careful about how you share your news. First things first: When is it safe to announce pregnancy? To figure that out, do a little math to pinpoint exactly your 14-week mark, which is when most women tell people, says David Garry, MD, director of maternal fetal medicine at Stony Brook Medicine in Stony Brook, New York. “Waiting till 20 weeks, or 4 to 5 months, is also popular,” he adds. “This gives you a chance to make sure that the ultrasound findings are normal and gender is confirmed.”

Because the risk of miscarriage is high during the first trimester, you may want to wait a bit before telling even your inner circle, though your instinct is to immediately let them know once you know. Consider following one simple rule: “If you’re comfortable telling someone if the pregnancy doesn’t continue, then you can talk to them about it.” “The advice is to keep that circle relatively small.” This typically means your partner (of course) and immediate family.

HOW TO ANNOUNCE PREGNANCY

Before you text your bestie or go wide on Instagram, realize that there are rules for how to announce pregnancy. Here’s what you need to know about the appropriate sequence and nature of pregnancy announcements:

• Don’t wait to tell your partner. Chances are, you found out together, but if not, you need to let your partner know “pretty much right away,” Post Senning says. “Your partner is going to want to know, and you’re going to want to make that as personal a tell as possible,” he says.

• Tell the people you’re closest to first. If the soon-to-be grandma or grandpa sees it on Facebook before you’ve made a phone call, they’ll feel undervalued, Post Senning says. They shouldn’t have to find out with the masses, and they should expect nothing less than a phone call.

• Don’t tell if you’re not ready to tell. When acquaintances notice you haven’t been sipping your wine, they’ll try to get the info out of you. But don’t feel pressured to disclose if you’re not ready, Post Senning says. If you find yourself stuck but don’t want to lie, just say to the asker, “Let’s not jump to that conclusion.”

• Keep in mind your audience. Many of the pregnancy announcement ideas we’ve supplied here are visual creations to be shared via social media or text, or snail-mailed as card. As long as your pregnancy announcement is kept private to close family and friends, you can be as fun and silly (or not) as you like. With work colleagues, keep it hush-hush until you let your boss know. After that, tell a work friend, and the rest will be taken care of via good old-fashioned word of mouth. “It was the social media before social media,” says Post-Senning, “and it’s totally appropriate for your outer circle.”

THOUGHTFUL WAYS TO ANNOUNCE PREGNANCY TO FAMILY

There’s a hierarchy when it comes to how to announce pregnancy: the in-person tell, the phone call, the email and the social media share. “Your family is the most personal a tell,” Post Senning says—this includes your spouse and the soon-to-be grandmas and grandpas. Your best course of action: delivering the good news in person. “It gives loved ones the chance to really share in your joy,” he says. Here are some of our favorite pregnancy announcement ideas for family that let you do just that.

Pregnancy announcements for your partner

These uproarious ideas get their inspiration from clever knick-knacks you can buy online, but if even expedited delivery feels too slow (we don’t blame you), these pregnancy announcement ideas can be easily DIY’d too.

Leave a stack of tees on your partner’s side of the bed, with the Daddy version of these at the top. As he’s still trying to process everything, waltz into the room wearing your own “Mommy est. 2017” tee.

Wait till your partner is out, then secretly dress your pooch in this shirt—or scurry one up with fabric markers on a tee. When he’s back, join your pup in greeting him at the door, and watch his usual “so happy to see you guys” face turn into “OMG! Wow!”

Pregnancy announcement ideas for parents

Who could possibly be more excited about the news than you and your partner? The grandparents-to-be, of course.

These days, handwritten notes are a thrill as it is, but when those notes are pregnancy announcements? Well, it’s beyond words. Plain stationery will do—or get all fancy with this glittered-up card, which announces their impending promotion. Come from a family of sports fans? Send the folks know you’re adding to the lineup with this baseball pregnancy announcement card. Whatever you decide, hand-deliver it if you can. You won’t want to miss their reaction!

Give your young-at-heart Dad a surprise package “just because you love him”—and watch his eyes light up when he pulls out a cute too-cool-for-school tee.

CUTE WAYS TO ANNOUNCE PREGNANCY

Here’s a fun pregnancy announcement idea if you already have a child. Get a shot of her (or him) holding either the sonogram or a message revealing that she (or he) will soon have a little sib. Tell your parents that you’d like to show them the latest school photo—and watch their surprised response when they quickly realize there’s a new addition.

You don’t need to be a professional stylist or have a lot of props to make creative pregnancy announcements like this one. The sonogram and little baby shoes leave no doubt as to what’s on the agenda.