Sonyo Estavillo
Content Producer▪️Writer▪️Social Media Fanatic▪️BookNerd+Reader▪️Multitasking Mama of 1 ❤️ Learning: MA in TV, Radio & Film-Newhouse, SU #AspiringAuthor
National Siblings Day: How to help an only Child adjust to new BabyIn honor of National Sibling Day, if you have an only child but are planning for another, then this is a perfect time to learn how to prepare your child for the arrival of a sibling. Whatever time frame you’ve decided to have another baby, you'll never forget when you had your first child. When you're a brand first time mom, everything is new. You are learning “on the fly”, from Google searching the great unknowns, to devouring every parenting blogger tip the Internet can feed you. You read all the labels and follow the instructions to the letter. The Veteran Mommy After Baby #1 By the time you are ready to have baby number two, you’ve gone through Mommy Bootcamp. You’ve been there and done that a zillion times. You’ve experienced breastfeeding or bottle feeding every two hours, getting zero sleep, toilet training, bedwetting accidents, toddler night terrors, learning to crawl and then walk, experiencing attachment anxiety, and finally preschool. Whew! By the time you’re considering number two, and doing it all over again, you might be asking yourself one question all Moms ask themselves, “Am I crazy?” No, you’re not crazy. However, research does indicate that trying to have another baby when your little one is just barely starting to crawl is not a very good idea. Medical experts suggest proper spacing between each child should be thoughtfully considered. Having children back-to-back can cause physical and psychological problems. Timing When To Have Baby #2 According to Mayo Clinic, getting pregnant six months after giving birth can increase the following risks: Premature birth The placenta partially or completely peeling away from the inner wall of the uterus before delivery (placental abruption) Low birth weight Congenital disorders Schizophrenia Medical professionals suggest that the best time to have another baby is 18 months (a year and a half) from when you last gave birth. This is because you're giving your body time to heal, as well as bonding with baby. If you choose to breastfeed and followed your pediatrician's suggestion, then you've most likely breastfed for the first year. By 18 months, your baby is officially a toddler. He or she is eating solid foods, has learned to walk, can say 10 to 20 words, and understand one-step commands such as
World Autism Awareness Day: Types of Autism & Common MythsEvery year, April 2nd marks Autism Awareness Day, a worldwide day of education and recognition. Although most people have heard about autism, some of the statistical facts, causes, and treatments might be unfamiliar because autism is a spectrum disorder, often misunderstood. So, whether you’re a soon-to-be parent or already have little ones, it's always helpful to become better informed. Four Types of Autism In terms of gender, boys are four times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with autism. This translates to 1 in 37 boys compared to 1 in 151 girls diagnosed to be somewhere on the spectrum. In terms of types, there isn’t just one type of autism, but four . All four are now classified under the one name; autism spectrum disorder. 1.) General autism disorder: This is the standard autism that is defined by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) as the following: “Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder that affects communication and behavior. Although autism can be diagnosed at any age, it is said to be a ‘developmental disorder’ because symptoms generally appear in the first two years of life.” The old term used to be general autism disorder, which is further along on the spectrum and considered one of the more severe cases. The new term autism spectrum disorder encompasses all four types of autism. Autism spectrum disorder symptoms include: Trouble communicating and interacting with others. Symptoms consist of a lack of being able to have a back and forth dialogue exchange with other people, as well as having difficulty understanding another person's perspective. Repetitive behavior and select interests in specific subjects. Talking incessantly about a particular subject, while being unable to take social cues. A person with general autism might experience difficulty functioning normally at school, work, and various areas of life. Listening problems as well as making minimal eye contact including being non-responsive to their name when called. Unusual facial expressions or behaviors that don’t align with what’s being communicated and speaking in a flat-robotic or sing-song tone. 2.) Pervasive developmental disorder, not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS): This form of autism was a category best suited for those whose autism is worse than Asperger’s, but less than general autism. According to Autism Speaks, pervasive developmental disorder, not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) is defined as the following: “In the past, psychologists and psychiatrists often used the term “pervasive developmental disorders” and “autism spectrum disorders” (ASD) interchangeably. As such, PDD-NOS became the diagnosis applied to children or adults who are on the autism spectrum but do not fully meet the criteria for another ASD such as autistic disorder (sometimes called “classic” autism) or Asperger syndrome.” 3.) Asperger’s syndrome: On the spectrum, Asperger’s tends to be the higher functioning of all three. Intellectually very smart, people with Asperger’s syndrome tend to be extremely focused on a particular topic or subject matter and can talk at length about it. Those with Asperger's can lead very normal lives but might struggle socially.  4.) Childhood disintegrative disorder (also known as “Heller’s syndrome”): CDD is a form of autism that is the rarest, first affecting children between the ages of 2 and 4. At first children with CDD develop normally and then begin to regress rapidly losing both mental, language, and social skills. Those diagnosed with CDD also tend to experience seizures.  According to Spectrum News, CDD is defined as the following: “CDD is the strangest and most unsettling developmental condition you have probably never heard of. Also known as Heller’s syndrome, for the Austrian special educator who first described it in 1908, it is a late-blooming, viciously regressive form of autism.” Seven Autism Myths 1.) Myth One: Children and adults with autism are not able to express emotion or understand other people's feelings. Reality: Individuals with autism perceive, as well as reveal how they feel but in unique ways, compared to those not on the spectrum. Likewise, they comprehend other people’s emotions but are better at interpreting directness versus unspoken body language or understanding sarcasm. 2.) Myth Two: Children and adults with autism are intellectually impaired. Reality: Mental processes range because autism is a spectrum disorder. Unlike Down Syndrome, where it is defined as a mental and intellectual disability with markedly lower IQs, many with autism have normal to high IQs even excelling in the arts, math, and other areas of interest. 3.) Myth Three: Children are affected by autism and not adults. Reality: While autism is first diagnosed in children, the diagnosis remains throughout the rest of their lives and into adulthood. Autism is not something one grows out of and can sometimes be diagnosed in adults that were either misdiagnosed or symptoms were mild, and so there wasn’t a formal diagnosis as a child. 4.) Myth Four: Autism is strictly a brain disorder. Reality: On the contrary, autism co-exists with other symptoms such as food and various types of allergies, gastrointestinal disorders, and epilepsy. 5.) Myth Five: Autism is nothing more than weird behaviors that will go away or the condition is a result of bad parenting. Reality: This has been a myth that began in the 1950s. Parenting style has nothing to do with autism, and symptomatic behaviors associated with the diagnosis is not something a child will simply “grow out of” because autism is a biological condition. This means that it affects brain development and tends to be a lifelong condition. 6.) Myth Six: Children and Adults with autism aren’t able to make friends, nor do they want friends. Reality: While it's true those on the spectrum might struggle socially, including difficulty making eye contact, and communicating effectively. This might make it appear as if they don't want friends or they're unfriendly, but it has more to do with the inability to communicate the way those not on the spectrum do. Many who are on the spectrum can and do make friends. Though they do so at their pace, it also has a lot to do with common interests and learning about healthy personal boundaries. 7.) Myth Seven: People with autism are math geniuses and numbers wizards like Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man. Reality: Some people with Aspergers tend to gravitate towards specific subjects and become super focused on them. Such subjects can be math, but can also include music, and a variety of other topics. Since autism is a spectrum disorder, each individual on the spectrum will have varying interests and limitations. Causes, Diagnosis & Treatment According to medical experts, there isn't one specific cause for autism. However, there does appear to be a genetic link, as autism seems to be prevalent in certain families. Though, there are environmental factors that contribute to autism such as a mother's immune system and complications during birth. Other environmental factors researched have included the use of antidepressants, lack of folic acid, maternal age, exposure to pollution plus endocrine-disrupting chemicals, and certain parental medical conditions. A diagnosis is usually reached in childhood. In most cases, autism is diagnosed before a child reaches 24 months. Early symptoms can sometimes occur as soon as 12 to 18 months, though a diagnosis is more commonly concluded past 24 months. Treatment is often ongoing and sometimes include psychotropics such as antipsychotic medications plus cognitive and behavioral therapy. Happy Little Camper Natural Ingredients Synthetic ingredients in unnaturally made diapers can include endocrine disruptors, parabens, and more. Conventional diapers can harbor chemicals with higher toxicity versus naturally produced rival brands. Happy Little Camper hypoallergenic, diapers + wipes are made with natural ingredients and contain no harmful chemicals that might potentially affect your baby’s overall health. Reducing chemical exposure can be one way of minimizing autism risks.
Honoring #InternationalWomensDay: How 15 Generous Countries Empower MothersMarch 8th, 2019 is International Women’s Day an exciting reminder to honor all of the hard working Moms around the world. After all, motherhood is both rewarding and a lot of hard work. Moms Priceless Sacrifice While being a Mom is priceless, Salary.com, “leader in compensation data, planning and analytics” heavily researched to calculate Mom's would-be paycheck. The Salary.com survey estimated that a stay-at-home Mom’s salary is $162,581 on average if she were to get paid for all that she does. Moms go through so much, and their bodies experience massive changes through nine months of growing a little human. A new mother's postpartum body changes not only physically, but on a  hormonal and emotional level. Postpartum depression can make taking care of a baby much harder and having to return to work too quickly. As much as mothers want to have it all, they’re often forced to make a difficult decision to choose between career and having a family. However, some countries around the world place a high value on motherhood. 15 Amazing Countries That Honor Motherhood United Kingdom: United Kingdom mothers are pretty lucky as the UK offers a generous one year of paid maternity leave no matter how long or short an expecting mother has worked for the employer. Mom also qualifies for free prescriptions and dental treatment while pregnant and for the following year after baby is born. Singapore: Talk about cold hard cash, Singapore has to be one of the more generous countries. Each expecting parent receives $6,000 for their first and second child. But if you're planning on having more children, the government gives an additional $12,000 the third and fourth child. But that's not all the government gives a family's first child $3000 to save in a savings account and matches parents contribution up to $3000. The second child gets even more money in their savings, receiving $9,000 and the third $15,000. The maximum contribution the government provides is an additional $18,000 grant for parents with five kids. France: France has a mandatory eight-week maternity leave policy, but new mothers can take up to 16 weeks. The best part about having a baby in France is that health insurance covers Mom 100 percent that includes no hidden fees or co-payments. France covers everything from prenatal testing including screenings for congenital disabilities and disease to epidural and delivery plus twelve days post delivery. The average hospital stay after childbirth in France is three days. However, if Mom wants to go home within the first five days, they get a visit with a midwife who comes to their home. Plus, France offers free pelvic floor muscle classes for new mothers. This is why Moms in France experience less postpartum incontinence. Sweden: Moms and Dads are equally able to take 480 days of maternity/paternity leave. The leave available to both sexes was designed to promote better gender equality policies so that 240 days are allotted to each parent totaling 480 days. Leave can be taken at any time from birth until the child is eight years old and pays out 80 percent of their salary. Netherlands: Expecting working mothers should expect to have 16 weeks of paid maternity leave. This isn't just partial pay, but their full salary and the leave can be taken anytime after six weeks of pregnancy until 34 weeks. But, it must be taken by 36 weeks of pregnancy and especially after the baby is born. In addition to this Netherland, parents are given up to 6 and a half months(26 weeks) of parental leave. The Netherlands also provides a nurse for the first week of the baby's birth to help with breastfeeding techniques, cooking, managing visitors, and overall Mom and baby care. Norway: Moms in Norway get paid 100 percent of their salary during their 46 parental leave weeks, or they can choose 80 percent of their salary and extend their leave to 52 weeks. Plus after each child, both parents get two weeks to spend with baby. The remaining 46 weeks can be divided. Similar to Sweden, the maternity program is designed to help new mothers get back to work if she chooses to do so and honors the role of Dad taking time off to bond with baby. Norway also offers flexible and generous childcare essentially paying for private and public daycare subsidized by the government. All Norwegian children qualify for free daycare once they turn one year old. Canada: Moms can take up to 52 weeks off of work without losing her job, 15 weeks of which would be fully paid. On top of this, Canadian mothers and fathers can divide 35 weeks of paid parental leave however they'd like. Currently, the amount for paid parental leave maxes out at $562 per week. However, couples that make $200,000 will not qualify. Finland: Moms can take their maternity leave seven weeks before their due date and the government covers 16 weeks paid maternity leave. The paid leave includes students and even mothers who are unemployed. Dads also get eight weeks of paid paternity leave as well. What's even more unique is the Finland tradition dating back to 1930 where the government gives new mothers a “baby box” filled with newborn essentials plus it's large and contains a mattress, so it acts as the baby's first bascinet. Moms can choose between the box of goodies or cash at 140 euros. Iceland: Currently Iceland mothers and fathers can take up to three months each maternity and paternity leave with an additional three months shared between them. This totals nine months of maternity/paternity leave. Maternity/paternity leave is paid at 80 percent of both Mom and Dad’s income. A recent bill is trying to extend the nine months to 12 months of leave once baby is born. A whopping 90 percent of Iceland fathers take paternity leave once baby is born. Germany: New Moms in Germany get to stay in at the hospital between five to ten days depending upon whether a new mother ends up needing to have a c-section while this might not seem like much it allows for mom to bond with baby. If you consider the average five-day hospital stay in the U.S. is around $10,000, five to ten days at a German hospital is generous. Moms have mandatory maternity leave and are paid wages for a full year. If both parents decide to take leave, they can take a combined leave of 14 months. Germany pays anywhere between 300.00 to 1,800.00 euros a month. Russia: Moms receive up to 140 days (approximately 4.5 months) of full salary paid leave. However, new mothers can take up to a year-and-a-half leave from work drawing 40 percent of their paycheck and extend their leave to three years without concern over job loss. After Russia realized that their birth-rate was low, they took serious measures to encourage new births. September 12th, 2007, Russia declared