Best Hospitals for Obstetrics in the United States

Each year, WomensChoiceAward.com names the top hospitals in the country for obstetrics.

Whether in a big city or a small town, some of these facilities go above and beyond when it comes to making sure both mother and baby have a positive and healthy experience when all is said and done.

And let’s face it, as the following article shows, when it comes to considerations about where you deliver your baby, it’s women’s opinions that matter most.

Here are the top five hospitals for babies in the U.S., and what your hospital might learn from them.

5. Hill Country Memorial Hospital (Fredericksburg, Texas)

At Hill Country Memorial Hospital, there is a separate area for women in labor. Women don’t have to be wheeled past terminal patients in order to give birth to their newborn. They have plenty of private delivery rooms, so those who want that never have to give up that privilege. In addition, this hospital offers sleeping quarters for loved ones who don’t want to leave the hospital.

Lesson learned: Hospitals would do well to consider the needs of the immediate family as well as the new mother.

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How Much Does Breastfeeding Really Save?

New parents are often staggered by the number of expenses that arise over providing for a baby. Before the baby is even born, credit cards have been maxed out, and the nursery is filled with teddy bears, double strollers, baby hangers for baby clothes, and baby “grooming” supplies like powder, lotion, and Q-tips.
Increasingly, parents are considering breastfeeding as a means to reduce the cost of feeding their baby. So how much does breastfeeding really save? 

Trying to calculate the actual cost of formula versus the savings of breastfeeding is difficult to impossible. Babies don’t all eat (or in this case, drink) the same amount, the price and brands of formula are highly variable, and there are hidden monetary and non-monetary costs involved in both methods.

Costs associated with formula-feeding include:

  • Actual formula
  • Fuel to shop for formula
  • Time to shop for formula
  • Bottles for formula

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5 Ways to Sneak in “Alone Time” When it Seems Impossible

Women are commonly known to be givers. We give of ourselves to our kids, spouses, and friends. Between ferrying kids to and from soccer games, cooking, cleaning, providing a shoulder to cry on, and trying to look great doing it all, the stress creeps up on us. If the cracks are beginning to show and you feel you need some alone time, try these ideas.

Have more play dates

Who says play dates have to be organized and that you have to spend the entire time chatting with the other mom? A trip to a popular park with a jungle gym is a good way to get your kids to learn to socialize with kids they don’t know. And it’s the perfect time for you to sit alone on the bench with your favorite guilty read. Read on your tablet and no one will know you’re actually enjoying Fifty Shades of Grey. A simple cup of tea works wonders to relax us.
5 Ways to Sneak in "Alone Time" When it Seems Impossible

Take tea breaks

Unlike coffee, which Dunkin Donuts promises was made to drink on the run, tea was meant to be savored and sipped. Keep the kettle warm and make yourself a cup of tea whenever you feel stressed or frazzled. Then force yourself to stop doing whatever you were doing and find a quiet spot to enjoy it. Some teas that induce relaxation are chamomile and jasmine.

Travel more

It seems like we have been conditioned to hurry around and get to places as soon as possible. We time our schedules so that we have just enough time to arrive at our jobs, sporting events, and homes in order not to be late. Why? Why not take your time and sneak in some alone time by changing your mindset? The next time you have someplace to be, leave early – maybe an extra half hour or even 20 minutes. Then you can just meander your way there, spending time with your thoughts as you drive along. Consider taking back roads instead of hopping on the expressway. Your car is the perfect quiet place to spend some time alone. Even a park bench can provide respite from a difficult day.

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Does Your Baby Need a Humidifier? How to Tell

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Parents may wonder if their baby needs a humidifier. After all, adults sometimes feel the need to add moisture to the air during certain times of year. Maybe baby needs one, too?
The answer depends on several factors, and no one answer is going to be right for everyone. The first thing a mother needs to do is check with the baby’s pediatrician. If the doctor gives the okay, then you can determine if you want to go ahead with one, based on the following suggestions.

1. The climate inside and outside your home is a major consideration. Seasonal changes can drastically change the moisture content of the air your family breathes.

In New England, for example, the air in the winter can get so dry it causes dry, flaky skin and chapped lips. In the summer, however, coastal sea winds carry in so much moisture that outside metal lamp fixtures as far inland as 20 miles rust from the saltwater in the air.

If your hair, skin, and mucous membranes are getting dried out, chances are your baby’s are as well. Monitor your baby’s skin and, if necessary, try a humidifier to see if it helps.

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Children’s Books That Changed Our Lives as Adults

Do your friends bring back porcelain pig souvenirs for you from their family vacations? Is your curio cabinet full of replica pigs of every size and dimension? Did you ever wonder to yourself why the sight of those little pink hairless pigs with squiggly tails just make your heart melt?

The answer might just be because as a child you read and loved the children’s book Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White. Charlotte’s Web is named for the motherly spider, but the book is really about the hapless adventures of Wilbur, a naive, loving, and lovable orphan pig who finds himself in the company of a mélange of strange farm animals. The fact that your adult self loves pigs may be because your first encounter with one on the pages of this classic book was so positive.

Our likes and dislikes – the ones that seemingly have no origin in practicality are often the result of unconscious associations formed at a very young age. Consider the fact that so many young girls love horses. It’s possible that some of them – not all – fell in love early on with a horse named Black Beauty. Black Beauty, by Anna Sewell, is simply the story of a horse and his various owners. But it’s really a tale of abuse, renewal, and unconditional love. Nary an eye was dry after the last pages of Black Beauty were turned. They were bittersweet tears over the happy ending. And chances are, this is a book you have placed on your baby’s bookshelf, hoping one day to share the emotions of it with your children.

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Getting Work Done With the Kids at Home? It Can be Done!

If the title of this article grabbed your attention, chances are you’ve got a young one at home grabbing at your heartstrings or your hemline. Online images of savvy business people working from home seldom include disposable diapers, dummies, or sippy cups. So can work be done with kids at home? Absolutely. But there are some supplies you’ll need, and you won’t find them at Officeworks.

Myth One: Your baby can sit on your lap as you enter data or write reports.

Truth: Your baby has better things to do. Babies less than one year old are better off sitting in a bouncy seat on the floor facing you, with a string of colorful rattles and shapes to stimulate them. You can keep an eye on him and make funny faces as you email your boss. Babies who can crawl should be allowed to do so in protected spaces where you can watch them.

Myth Two: You should take several breaks during the workday to sit on the floor and play with your toddler.

Truth: Every time you take a break, your brain has to refocus on whatever task you were doing, ultimately taking up even more time. Your toddler might love the playtime, but your work quota will likely suffer Instead, try arranging morning toddler activities that can be done solo or with siblings. At midday, take a long lunch break doing something that will tucker your youngster out. A walk to the park with a picnic, a game of tag, or chasing the family dog around the yard will invigorate you and prep the little one for their afternoon nap.

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Want to Use Your Gym’s Daycare? Look For These Warning Signs That It’s a Bad Idea

In an effort to increase gym memberships and be able to advertise more benefits, some gyms now have daycare facilities for your child while you train. Before you use them, though, look out for these warning signs that you might want to skip the gym daycare.

1. No one else is using it.

Sometimes it’s a good thing not to follow the crowd. Take a cue from the other parents. If the daycare is routinely empty, they might know something you don’t.

2. The girl staffing the daycare looks suspiciously identical to the girl who signed you up for your gym membership.

Any daycare should have a dedicated, trained staff, not just beleaguered gym employees on diaper duty. You want someone looking after your baby who can handle any situation.

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