Morning Sickness: On the Job All Day Long

Mr. Dad: My girlfriend is about a month pregnant—her second baby but my first. I’m concerned because she’s nauseated and vomiting all day long. She calls it “morning sickness” and says she had the same thing with her first baby and that it’s normal. But doesn’t the name imply that the problems should be limited to the morning? Either way, what can I do to help?

A: Given that your girlfriend has been through this before and says it’s normal, take her word for it. As the pregnancy develops you’ll have plenty of other things to worry about, so let this one go.

The name “morning sickness” is a little catchier—but less accurate—than “all day long sickness,. As you’ve noticed, the heartburn, queasiness and throwing up are by no means limited to the actual morning. Between half and 85% of pregnant women get morning sickness but no one’s quite sure what causes it. Some researchers believe that it’s the pregnant woman’s reaction to changing hormone levels, in particular human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), which is produced by the placenta and is the same stuff that’s picked up by home pregnancy kits. Many women with morning sickness also have food aversions, especially to eggs, fish, meat, and poultry—all of which can go bad quickly and may carry disease. That has led a number of researchers, including Samuel Flaxman, Margie Profet, and Paul Sherman to speculate that morning sickness is the body’s way of protecting the baby-to-be from food-borne substances that could cause a miscarriage or birth defects.

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Modern Motherhood Lessons from an Old-School Mom

Ylonda Gault Caviness, author of Child, Please.
Topic:
How Mama’s old-school lessons helped one mother check herself before she wrecked herself.
Issues: Black parenting vs. white parenting; the advantages and disadvantages of old-school parenting; why parenting “experts” aren’t actually experts; mother hood and work.

Listen to Your Mother + Child, Please

Ann Imig, editor of Listen to Your Mother.
Topic:
Looking at mothers and motherhood from every possible perspective.
Issues: Humorous, heartbreaking, and thought-provoking essays about mothers and motherhood; the Listen to Your Mother (LTYM) events and cultural phenomenon.

Ylonda Gault Caviness, author of Child, Please.
Topic:
How Mama’s old-school lessons helped one mother check herself before she wrecked herself.
Issues: Black parenting vs. white parenting; the advantages and disadvantages of old-school parenting; why parenting “experts” aren’t actually experts; mother hood and work.

Life Goals: Major Milestones to Hit by Age 30

Are you approaching the big 3-0? For many people, hitting this adult milestone is a major deal that causes them to pause and ponder their life, past, present – and future. If you are in your late 20’s and have been wondering what life goals you should strive for, here are some achievements you may want to consider.

  • Live independently. If you still live with your parents, now is the time to seriously consider moving out on your own. If an unexpected financial setback has caused you to return home, create an exit plan. Finish your degree, get a job and get out on your own.
  • Establish your credit. While we’re talking about money, it’s important to build your credit. If you haven’t looked at your credit score, take a look at it now. Ignoring it will not make it get better, so pay your bills on time and don’t max out your credit cards.

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Long-Distance Parenting

Dear Mr. Dad: My ex and I share custody of our son (age 6) but she recently moved a few hundred miles away so I sometimes don’t get to see him for a few weeks. In between, I really miss him and I worry that he’ll forget who I am or won’t want to see me when we finally get together. I sometimes feel like giving up. How can I stay connected when we’re apart for so long?

A:  Great question, one that also applies to single moms and anyone else who has to spend extended periods of time away from their children (military servicemembers, for example). As hard as those separations are, the good news is that not being together physically doesn’t mean that you can’t be together emotionally. The even better news is that while it’s not easy to keep those bonds strong while you’re away from your son, you can—and do—play an important role in his life. And it’s vital to both of you that you not give up. Here are some steps you can take to stay involved.
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