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Pregnancy: Everything You Need To Know


So you are planning to expand your family tree? Get ready to get busy!

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Imagine your family as a garden. With each faithful planning, you shape and design your desired garden of flowers, bushes, and trees. Tall or short, serene and colorful, of every shape and species, it all start from one tiny seed! Just like us.

Whether you are a new soon-to-be-mommy or you are planning for another ‘mini me‘, gathering information is the right step to take and you have definitely come to the right place.

We have compiled for you a concise guide full of information and tips about pregnancy based on your weekly development.

We’re talking about your baby’s development, the nutrients needed, exercises and activities that you can do and more!

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Check out:

First Trimester:

Second Trimester:

Third Trimester:

Family planning: Is it safe to get pregnant during Covid-19?

It is an extremely personal decision to decide whether or not to start or expand a family. Recommendations to postpone conception during a pandemic are complicated and raise a slew of ethical concerns.

Nonetheless, scientists indicate that pregnant women have a higher risk of becoming seriously ill, requiring to be admitted to an intensive care unit, being placed on a ventilator, or dying from a COVID-19 infection than non-pregnant women. While there is a slight risk that COVID-19 will be passed on to your baby during pregnancy, there is no proof that COVID causes birth abnormalities. However, kids born to someone with COVID have an increased risk of premature birth and admission to the neonatal intensive care unit.

Malaysia’s current birth rate in 2021 is 16.258 births per 1000 people, down 1.17 percent from 2020.

Physiological changes during pregnancy, on the other hand, can influence the immune system and body, affecting how COVID-19 progresses if you get it. Furthermore, the impact of COVID on pregnancy has yet to be extensively investigated. Other indirect effects of the pandemic, such as constraints in access to reproductive health services, socioeconomic circumstances, and mental health challenges, may have an impact on a pregnant woman’s health.

What should I think about if I’m planning a pregnancy during COVID-19?

When planning a pregnancy, patients were recommended to consult with their physician and undergo a preconception checkup even before the viral breakout.

Certain pregnancy issues, reproductive problems, and severe COVID-19 complications might be exacerbated by underlying health concerns like as diabetes or heart disease. Pregnant women are also more prone to respiratory problems and viral infection due to changes in their bodies. Mental health disorders are also common during or after pregnancy, and these have become more prevalent as a result of pandemic-related stress.

To reduce traffic in the office and the danger of disease spread, several clinics are spacing out or limiting the number of appointments and adopting telehealth. When it comes to maintaining vital health services during the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Health Organization recommends employing telehealth and supporting self-care measures whenever possible.

If you don’t feel like travelling to the office in person, talk to your health care provider about how your visits may be affected by the pandemic and the actions they’re taking to keep patients safe.

If you’re trying to conceive, eat a well-balanced diet and take folic acid-fortified prenatal vitamins.

Is it safe to obtain the COVID immunisation when attempting to conceive?

Wondering if a pregnant woman can take the Covid-19 Vaccine? For more information, you may click here and feed yourself with more information regarding this issue!

We’ve always urged women to see their doctor before becoming pregnant, even before the pandemic. Complications might be exacerbated by underlying health issues such as diabetes or heart disease. Some of these factors also raise the chance of poor COVID-19 outcomes.

There are no right or incorrect answers when it comes to deciding to become pregnant. Use these questions and answers to assist guide your decision if you want to conceive during the epidemic – naturally or with fertility treatment options.

What are the dangers to your health and the health of your baby?

We still don’t know a lot about COVID-19, especially when it comes to pregnancy. In June, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report suggesting that pregnant women who have COVID-19 are at a higher risk of serious illness. However, it was discovered that pregnant women infected with COVID-19 have no higher risk of dying from the virus than non-pregnant women of the same age.

COVID-19 vaccination studies did not include pregnant women. No live virus is used in any of the experimental vaccinations I’ve seen, therefore the final vaccine should be safe for pregnant patients. When vaccination becomes a possibility, consult your doctor to see if it is appropriate for you.

Is there a risk of pandemic-related stress during pregnancy?

During pregnancy, over 10% of women suffer anxiety. Anxiety levels during pregnancy and postpartum have more than doubled since the outbreak.

While just 29% of pregnant women experienced concern previous to the epidemic, a stunning 72% are experiencing anxiety as a result of the pandemic. Anxiety can lead to melancholy and isolation, making a healthy pregnancy or caring for a newborn challenging.

Talk to your doctor about alternatives for managing new or severe anxiety during pregnancy before you start trying to conceive.

Covid-19: Vacation with newborn


Traveling now could put younger children at risk, especially with the spread of a highly contagious strain. But being in the house for almost 2 years already; makes all of us bored and poor newborn during pandemic they have little to no social interactions with people outside of their house.

With travel restrictions are now no longer available and more countries are opening their borders already, people are eager to go traveling again.

We can’t blame them for wanting to travel after being “trapped” for almost 2 years in their own house. Traveling is okay but for those with newborn might need to be extra extra cautious since the virus is still active and easily spread.

Also, i heard that there’s this new mutation of covid 19 called Omicron, where it is even more dangerous there’s almost no symptoms. Which make people extra paranoid and be more extra cautious.

Before deciding to travel overseas again,

make sure to prepare yourself, your family and especially your newborn. Newborns tend to be very sensitive to the new surrounding and there’s no covid-19 vaccine shots for below 5 (yet) so its safe to prepare yourself.

Here are the preparations that you might want to consider before travelling with your newborn:

  1. Do research of the country; how they handle their daily covid-19 cases in their country. What you should consider:
  • Check on their recent daily cases
  • Documents needed to enter the country (PCR test results, birth certificate, vaccine certificate)
  • Quarantine (If the country will provide with the 14-days quarantine, or you will need to arrange the quarantine by yourself)
  • If they’re still wearing mask and social distancing (Check on their latest local news)
  • If they’re taking lightly of the covid-19 or not (Also check on their latest local news)
  • To prevent the virus from spreading, some states are forcing travellers (especially those from other states with large outbreaks) to quarantine for two weeks or take a coronavirus test. Before you travel, do some research to see if this affects your family. However, regardless of where you’re travelling to and from, being tested upon arrival and refraining from non-essential activities isn’t a bad idea. Remember that any germs you take up at home or on your travels will accompany you to your final destination. Also, a negative test only says you were negative on the day you took it…you might still get infected. So, if you start experiencing symptoms after a negative test, get tested again!

2. Pack covid-19 essentials (bring extras just incase) such as face masks, covid-19 self test kits, hand sanitizers.

For facemask, always double mask to be safe. One local brand named Shapee introduce anti-viral reusable face mask which can lasts up to 60 washes!

Features for the facemask can be seen as follows:

For more information of the product and to purchase the facemask, you may click this link here!

If you’re still confused and have a lot of questions, you may refer to their customer service which is available weekdays from 9am-6pm! They’re very friendly so don’t be scared to ask.

3. Make sure that your whole family (above 12 of age) already fully vaccinated before travelling. Although your newborn baby is not yet qualified for the vaccination shots, make sure the other family members are fully vaccinated.

4. Always be fully aware of your surroundings, sanitize yourself and the place you’re sitting through.

Last but not least, travelling with a newborn baby might not go as planned as newborn babies are unpredictable, they might throw tantrums, caused you to cancel your plans for the whole day and especially with covid-19 where you need to be extra cautious.

Take your time and plan your vacation with your newborn and always make backups backups backups plans to avoid any unnecessary incovenience events happening to your newborn and also to yourself as a new mom.

Take care, stay safe and goodluck parents! Happy holiday!

How new mothers can prepare themselves; Mentally & Physically

Pregnancy advice usually focuses on the physical components of the process, such as taking the right prenatal vitamins, eating the right meals, and exercising properly to prepare your body. But what about mentally preparing for the birth of a child? What can you do before you get pregnant to ensure that your mental health is preserved during the pregnancy? Is there anything you can do to assist reduce the risk of issues like postpartum depression?

Mental and emotional well-being during pregnancy has been linked to birth outcomes as well as mental health in the postpartum period, according to research published in 2012. 1 Even if your pregnancy is challenging or your experience is not what you imagined, there are things you can do to maintain your mental health.

Let’s take a deeper look at some of the various ways you might psychologically prepare for having a baby.

Recognize Your Risk Factors

PPD, or postpartum depression, is a serious issue that affects a large number of new moms. Depression is the main cause of non-obstetric hospitalisation among women. Finding solutions to both prevent and treat PPD is critical since it can have a significant impact on the health of mothers and infants. 

Is there anything you can do before you get pregnant to help reduce your chances of developing postpartum depression?

Understanding the risk factors for PPD could be beneficial. While it is impossible to anticipate who will be impacted and who will not, being aware of any risk factors you may have can help you keep an eye out for the first signs of symptoms.

Always reach out to people that are closed to you to help you get through it. Never results to suffering alone.

Women who are more likely to have PPD include:

  • Those who have struggled with sadness and anxiety in the past.
  • PPD has been seen in the past.
  • Marital strife
  • PPD runs in the family
  • A recent history of stressful life events, such as problems during pregnancy
  • A lacklustre support system

Researchers have discovered that there are strategies people can take to prevent or lessen postpartum depression, which is good news. Women who receive psychosocial or psychological therapies, for example, are considerably less likely to have depression after giving birth, according to a 2015 study. Interpersonal counselling, postpartum home visits, postpartum phone support, and postpartum midwife care were the most effective therapies identified by the study. Early cognitive behaviour therapy may also assist to reduce postpartum depression, according to some research.

It’s crucial to be aware of any risk factors, but you should also be aware that postpartum depression can affect anyone. You can acquire symptoms of sadness or anxiety after the birth of your kid even if you have never been depressed or anxious before. That is why it is crucial to be aware of these signs and symptoms in order to take proper action if you suspect you have PPD.

The severity of depression after the birth of a child varies, however some of the symptoms to look out for include:

  • Concentration problems
  • Inadequacy feelings
  • Tearfulness
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Anxiety Intrusive thoughts Disinterest in one’s baby

If you believe you are experiencing signs of PPD or other troubling feelings, talk to your doctor. Self-care, psychotherapy, medication, support groups, or a combination of treatments may be recommended by your doctor.

Knowing the signs and symptoms of postpartum depression, as well as the importance of reaching out to your doctor if you suspect you’re experiencing sadness or anxiety during or after your pregnancy, can help you feel more mentally prepared to deliver a baby.

Prepare yourself physically

Do understand that as a new mother, you will find it difficult during the first few months after your baby is born; but THAT’S TOTALLY FINE!

A struggling new mother doesn’t mean you failed to prepare yourself right before your baby is born; its normal and everyone is facing the same problem as yours whether you realise it or not.

Worry not, there are ways for you to prepare yourself physically so that your body won’t get too exhausted during the first few months after the baby came into your world!

  1. Always remember that the baby don’t know how to talk; they will only cry. As a mother, try to calm yourself first and figure out what your baby wants. Don’t simply throw tantrums as well, mothers! Try to calm down and figure out one by one.
  2. Prepare your baby’s essentials; exactly what your baby needs and not what you wants (unless you have some extra savings for what you want, then go for it!)
  3. Ask for your partner’s cooperation as well to help with the baby’s needs. Don’t put all the burden to yourself and never feel ashamed to ask for your partner’s help.

Child Care Centre vs Pre-School


Some parents gets confused between the terms of child care and pre-school. While some even think, that both are the same thing only the “names” are different. Some do know that they are different but finds it hard to know the difference between these two.

As a parent, I understand the feelings of guilt that come with putting your child to daycare. Many times, the guilt trip comes from other parents and dads, not simply from your own internal anguish. Putting your child in either child care and pre-school does not make you a bad parent, it just shows how wise you are rather than abandoning your child.

There are various ways to handle things in most situations, and childcare is one of them. Many parents, if given the choice, would undoubtedly choose not to send their children to daycare.

The majority of them would like a nanny or one of them to be a stay-at-home parent.

We had such wonderful parents.

The problem is that nannies are more expensive than child cares (and each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages), so being a stay-at-home parent was out of the question.

Here, we will be talking about the differences between both of them as well as the pros and cons of both child care and pre-school.

You may feel enlightened by the end of the article and may finds it easy to know the differences between the two of them.

Child care

What Is The Definition Of “Child Care” ?

Child care programme: A programme in which children from the ages of 0 to 5, and occasionally school-aged children, receive quality care from a dependable child care provider. Despite the fact that the provider may not have been trained in a specific philosophy such as Reggio Emilia or Montessori, they have chosen to partner with Wonderschool and demonstrate their commitment to quality through an intentionally constructed environment, a conscious daily rhythm that they have developed to best meet the needs of the children in their care, and ongoing support from the team.

What Are Some Of The Pros Of Child Care?

When compared to staying at home, child care provides various social benefits for your child. Sending your child to a child care allows them to interact with people they might not otherwise encounter. These encounters will help them shape who they are and develop relationships and confidence.

Enjoying time with peers

Parents frequently try to set up play dates with their neighbours’ children of a similar age. Our immediate social circle, on the other hand, may not necessarily include families with children of the same age. A child care facility is a continuation of this phenomena, where children spend time with one another in an organised and safe atmosphere while being supervised.

While their personalities are still developing and their minds are still expanding, children learn how to share, problem-solve, and otherwise play together.

A less difficult adjustment to kindergarten

If the children has not adapted to routines, staying away from parents, and other issues, preschool enrollment might be stressful. It has been noticed that children who attend childcare have a smooth transition to kindergarten. Also, according to a study conducted by the University of Texas at Austin, parents who enrolled their children in child care were more interested in their children’s academic lives later in life.

Adults’ interactions

Toddlers look up to adults to learn from, particularly their parents and other family elders. School-age children have the opportunity to be mentored by others and to get instruction from high-ranking officials.

A 2006 study by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development found that high-quality day care was linked to high-quality caregiving. This is due to the fact that child care workers provide encouragement, respond to children’s vocalisations, and promote a positive attitude by removing negative influences from the surroundings.

Relief for the Stay-at-Home Parent

Some families, even those with a stay-at-home mom or dad, resort to child cares for help.

Some stay-at-home parents may feel bad about it, but they shouldn’t.

Being at home all day with the kids can be exhausting, and having a professional keep an eye on them ensures that they are far safer than if you left them alone.

Did I mention how much easier it is to run errands or handle household chores without the kids at home?

The Cons Of Childcare

The Expense of Childcare

Child cares are not cheap, and honestly, they can be quite expensive.

Up until 2021, the fee for child care centre is RM450/child. Imagine having 3 kids, that already cost RM1350/month not yet included with family daily essentials. Per year would be around RM16,200 for 3 child.

The cost for child care centres keep increasing, but the minimum salary for Malaysians are yet to be increased. Till today, the minimum salary is still RM1,200 and equivalent to only RM14,400 per year.

Imagine having 3 kids, needed to be send to childcare centres which cost RM1350/month with only RM1200/month salary, you may do the calculations.

The Hours of Child care May Not Be Flexible

While many daycares provide reliable care, their start and pick-up schedules may not be convenient for you.
The child care we’ll be using is open from 6:30 a.m. until 6 p.m.

Many parents will find a 6:30 a.m. drop-off and 6 p.m. pickup time convenient, but it will not be convenient for all.

What if your commute is longer and you need to drop your child off or pick up your child earlier or later?
Let’s not forget about individuals who work irregular hours, such as those in healthcare or retail.

Many of those parents will be unable to work those hours.

Some child cares will provide extra hours, such as later pickup, however this will normally come at a cost.

Hours on Holidays

Many child cares are closed on important holidays, although many parents are required to work. Raya, Chinese New Year, Deepavali, Christmas and New Years are examples of days when your child care may be closed but you must still work.

When choosing a child care, make sure you know when those days are and make plans ahead of time if you need to work on certain days.

Daycare Learned Behavior

The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development’s (NICHD) study on Early Child Care indicated that spending more time in child cares increases the probability of a child developing behaviour disorders such as violent behaviour.

What about Pre-School?

Preschool programme: A play-based programme implemented by a teacher with formal experience working in a licenced child care/preschool/educational setting, centred around a specific learning philosophy or curriculum such as Reggio Emilia, Montessori, Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia, or a play-based programme centred around a specific learning philosophy or curriculum such as Reggio Emilia, Montessori, Emergent/DAP. A preschool programme director should be able to identify their program’s philosophy and explain how it is incorporated into their daily routine, as well as their qualifications to lead this type of programme.

What Are The Pros Of Pre-school?

When it comes to preschool, some parents may be unsure of what to expect. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be daunting, and knowing that preschool benefits each child in a variety of ways may be reassuring. What do you mean by that? To begin with, it is one of the most successful ways to prepare a child for kindergarten, with those who participate gaining a significant edge that will benefit them in the coming years. It aids in the learning of more vocabulary by the time they begin school, provides children with a sense of security, and improves the academic abilities of those who attend. In general, children who attend preschool develop higher pre-reading and math skills than those who do not, when kids are ready to start school in the future years, they will have a better foundation.

Children learn to follow directions in preschool.

Every parent has experienced the frustration of having to repeat yourself over and over as their young child ignores them totally. What many parents don’t realise is that following directions is a skill that takes time to develop—and preschool can assist.

Preschool gives children more opportunities to obey simple instructions such as when to line up or how to wash their hands. “Children learn to listen to adults and regard them as authoritative figures” even through these are simple tasks.

Preschool that is supported by the government can help parents save money.

It’s impossible to deny that child care in the Malaysia is pricey. According to The Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development, sending a pre schooler to a licenced childcare centre costs an average of RM450 per month, putting many working parents in a financial bind.

Preschool is a cost-effective way to help offset this expense while still delivering a high-quality education to children in their formative years. Families who satisfy the income eligibility standards are eligible for free Head Start services. Many areas also have government sponsored preschools that are free or low-cost. These kinds of preschool programmes can save you thousands of dollars. Both child care and pre-school are expensive, but child care is even more pricey than pre-school.

Preschool provides opportunity for children to engage in play.

Is play really a preschool benefit? Although it may appear easy, research suggests that children’s playful experiences prepare them for “deeper learning,” particularly in critical areas like executive functioning. Preschool exposes children to a variety of play experiences that they may not enjoy at home.

“At the end of the day, the most valuable aspect of preschool is the power of play and exploration,” says Dr. Jones. “The young brain is insatiably curious, and good preschools provide a wealth of possibilities for children to learn about a variety of disciplines, the arts, creative processes, and literature.”

Preschool helps to achieve educational equality.

Preschool has an impact that extends beyond the lives of individual children and their families. Access to high-quality prekindergarten education can be the key to achieving educational equality across races, geographies, and income levels.

According to the survey, children who do not have access to the benefits of preschool may be at a significant disadvantage in both academic and social-emotional skills when they enter kindergarten. “For some youngsters, starting school behind might trap them in a cycle of perpetual catch-up in their learning.” Both Child care and pre-school gave educations but pre-school is more towards the curriculum set by the Government.

What About…. The Cons Of Pre-School?

A Challenging Timetable

Some preschools may be more rigid with their schedules, from the number of days your child must attend to the hours they are open.

One school I visited, for example, required my son to attend four days in a row. They were adamant about only providing me the three days I requested. Other schools were only open from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., with costly before and after school programmes.

Even a 6 p.m. dismissal can be difficult to meet for some parents, especially if they work late or have long commutes.

Insanely high prices

Preschool is not inexpensive, as you might expect. Enrolling your child in preschool may be more costly than hiring a babysitter or enlisting the help of a relative in some situations.

Registration fees, deposits, and school supplies may be required in addition to monthly tuition. You may require before- and after-school care, or you may like to enrol him in enrichment activities such as acting or dancing. Some preschools charge more each year a child attends.

Teacher:Student ratio

Consider how many pupils each teacher will be responsible for, as well as if she will be assisted by an aide.

You want a healthy balance: not too many children so that teachers are too preoccupied to pay attention to each one individually. But not so little that he feels “on the spot” without the luxury of being able to blend in.

Some pre-school have wayy too many children in their classes which results to the teacher not being able to give their full attention to each one of their children.

What do you think now, parents? Which one is more suitable for your children?

As parents, it is common to have your worries towards your child’s education as it will affect their future as well. However, as parents, you have all the power for your child’s future. Make sure to make a correct decision for them as they deserved nothing but the best. Child care and pre-school both have their own pros and cons, so make sure to pick the best choice for your child.

How to choose an affordable child care for working parents

Child care is a major component of the ever-increasing costs connected with middle-class opportunity for Malaysian families. Quality, inexpensive day care allows working parents to remain in the workforce, promotes the healthy development of young children, and assists families at a point in their life when tiny investments yield significant social returns.

In the absence of large-scale policy action, young adults have cited day care costs as the primary reason for having fewer children than they would prefer.

Parenthood in the Malaysia might feel like a never-ending sequence of financial obstacles for those who do have small children. Over the last two decades, middle-class incomes have barely kept up with inflation, while the costs of raising a family in the middle class—including housing, education, health care, and child care—have grown dramatically. During this time, income inequality has risen, with the top 1% and upper middle class pulling away from the rest of the country in terms of wealth and income.

Most parents are required to fund the entire cost of day care under current policies, which is a price that few can afford. Even low-income families, whose children are likely to be qualified for child care assistance, are frequently obliged to pay for child care because just one out of every six subsidy-eligible children receives aid. Meanwhile, the only reason child care is affordable for parents is because the day care workforce effectively subsidises day care prices by paying low salaries.

Day care is an important part of family life for most young children whose parents work. This issue brief analyses new data on child care payments and patterns that provide insight into the types of Day care that families utilise to better understand the financial stress on families and the types of arrangements that parents make to manage their finances. The findings of a new study of child care spending data from the most recent wave of the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), released in May 2019, are reported in this issue brief.

The author looked at family incomes, demographics, child care spending, and the number and types of child care arrangements utilised by families with children under the age of five.

Working families with small children spend a lot of money on child care.

Families paying for child care spend a higher percentage of their income than the HHS threshold of affordability in nearly every category, including marital status, race, age, education level, and income.

Working families paying for child care, on average, spend around 40% more than what is considered affordable. For all children under the age of 15, the Survey of Income and Program Participation asks parents how much their family spends on child care in a typical week. While the majority of child care dollars are spent on children under the age of five, school-aged children with working parents may need child care before or after school. The resulting estimates of child care costs at the household level take into account the whole range of child care expenses that families pay in order for parents to work.

It displays the number of families with children under the age of five, the proportion of families who pay for child care, and the average income and child care expenditure for families with children under the age of five in which the surveyed parent—almost always the mother—works. In the explanation of the findings, the author refers to these homes as “working families.”

Americans have ran their own tests, where you can check it out more at here. All the data provided are from the American households. We might not be the same 100%, but the reasonings are almost the same.

How to choose an affordable childcare for your children, then?

  1. Do your research. Make surveys between each childcare, the monthly expenses, what they cover, what they don’t cover,
  2. If you happen to have time to spare, interview the centres. Ask questions related and what you want to know from the childcare centre.
  3. Drop by the childcare centre, unannounced. See their reactions if you came unannounced and they’re unprepared. If at all feasible, visit the same centres at different times of the day to get a sense of how the staff interacts with the children and the daily routine. After you’ve enrolled your child, you might want to drop in unannounced a few times to see how things are going. Your visits will sometimes confirm that the location is perfect for you, and other times they will be a true eye-opener.
  4. Rely on your instincts. When something doesn’t feel quite right, every parent is aware of it. You might be put off by a centre that everyone in town praises about, or you might have a disagreement with a sitter who comes highly recommended. If this occurs, keep looking. Babies deserve and thrive in loving, nurturing environments. Investigate alternate options if something about your scenario doesn’t feel right.
  5. Be flexible and adaptable. You’re not married to a particular person or scenario, and you can always change things up if things don’t work out. Yes, you want your infant to have a routine, but it doesn’t mean you can’t change things up. Dr. Shatoff reminds out that babies are resilient, and as long as they have a nice experience with their new caregiver, they will be alright.

You are still your child’s primary caregiver—the most consistent source of love and support in her life—regardless of your working hours. Your baby will thrive and grow into a happy, healthy child under your care and supervision, with the aid of your carefully selected caregivers.

However, if you prefer to not send your child to the childcare you may opt for taking care and teaching your child from home. We wrote an article few months ago relating to teaching your children from home, you may click here to read the article.

What Happens to Children’s Brains When They Spend Too Much Time in Front of the Screen?


Consider this: According to Common Sense Media, nearly half of all children aged 8 and younger own a tablet device and spend an average of 2.25 hours each day on digital screens.

Digital screens could give you pros and will also give you the consequences of it, if its too much consumed by people especially kids. Digital screens would be very important for the future as well, as the time keep developing. Its very hard to avoid not wanting to use digital screens especially during this era where everything depends on technologies.

What is the impact of all this screen time on children’s brains?

According to preliminary findings from a landmark National Institutes of Health (NIH) study that began in 2018, children who spent more than two hours a day on digital screens-time activities performed worse on language and thinking tests, and some children who spent more than seven hours a day on display screens time experienced thinning of the brain’s cortex, which is responsible for critical thinking and reasoning.

“We don’t know what this data means yet,” says Dr. Jennifer F. Cross, an attending paediatrician and developmental and behavioural paediatrics expert at NewYork-Presbyterian Komansky Children’s Hospital commented regarding digital screens. “What we can hypothesise is that screens may inhibit certain aspects of a child’s development by narrowing their focus of interest and limiting their other means of exploration and learning.”

“It can be difficult to get young children to engage in non-electronic activities, such as playing with toys to foster imagination and creativity, exploring outdoors, and playing with other children to develop appropriate social skills, if they spend the majority of their time engaging with an iPad, smartphone, or television, in conclusion digital screens all of which are highly entertaining. It’s like working out simply your arm muscles and nothing else if you spend practically all of your time staring at a screen. You’d have incredible arm muscles, but at the sacrifice of overall fitness.”

Dr. Cross, who is also an assistant professor of clinical paediatrics at Weill Cornell Medicine, spoke with Health Matters about the effects of screen time on children’s growing brains and what parents and caregivers can do to help.

We all know that kids now, more than ever, have easy access to screens. But how do screens effect the development of young children?

Development happens quickly in young children, especially those under the age of three. Young children learn through exploring their surroundings and watching and copying the adults in their lives. Excessive screen time can impair a child’s capacity to watch and experience the ordinary everyday activities that they need to engage in in order to learn about the world, resulting in “tunnel vision” that can be harmful to overall development.

When I observe children walking with their parents or being pushed in a stroller, they are frequently engrossed in their phones or tablets, oblivious to everything else going on around them. If all they do is stare at a smartphone, they will not learn about the world around them. This will have an impact not just on their ability to learn new things, but also on how they interact with others and the development of their language.

How does screen time affect a child’s learning ability?

According to studies, children under the age of two learn less from a video than from another person, and it appears that while toddlers can watch the TV screen by the age of six months, they do not absorb the material until after the age of two. They won’t be bored by what’s on the screen, but they won’t learn anything from it.

Between the ages of 112 and 3, language development accelerates, and studies suggest that children learn language best when they engage and interact with people who chat and play with them. There is also evidence that children who watch a lot of television in the early elementary school years do worse on reading exams and may have focus problems.

“There is also evidence that children who watch a lot of television in the early elementary school years do worse on reading exams and may have attention deficits.”
— Jennifer Cross, Ph.D.

Tell us more about the impact of screen time on communication and language.

According to research, conversing with children in a reciprocal dialogue is critical for language development and social engagement. In real life, rather than “passive” listening or one-way engagement with a screen, it’s that back-and-forth “conversation,” sharing facial expressions and reacting to the other person, that enhances language and communication abilities in young children.

When is it appropriate to introduce screens to children?

Except when video conferencing with relatives, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends avoiding screens for children less than 18 to 24 months. The American Academy of Pediatrics also advises limiting screen time for preschool children (ages 2 to 5) to one hour of high-quality television each day (think Sesame Street or PBS).

It can be beneficial to have a young child elsewhere engaged and entertained when something around the house has to be done. Instead of handing their child a tablet or phone, I advise parents to switch on a short TV show like Sesame Street or Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood — anything instructive and engaging that shows characters conversing and playing together to model excellent social skills. It’s also great to watch educational programming with the child if at all possible, so you can actively engage with them about what they’re seeing and learning.

What effect might screens have on a child’s sleep?

When the sun sets, our circadian rhythms and production of melatonin — the sleep hormone — kick in. Blue light from screens, on the other hand, inhibits melatonin, which can cause sleep deprivation. In addition, watching TV or playing video games keeps our brains and bodies aware and active, preventing us from falling asleep. (Because the screen, and that blue light, is closer to the face, tablets and smartphones inhibit melatonin more than TVs.)

According to one study, infants aged 6 to 12 months who were exposed to screens in the evening slept much less than those who were not exposed to screens in the evening.

Excessive screen use late at night can disrupt sleep in preteens and teenagers, so it’s best to keep devices out of the bedroom. Too much time spent on social media, as well as a lack of sleep, can have an impact on students’ conduct and cognitive performance at school, interfering with their ability to study. Excessive screen time and sleep deprivation have also been related to obesity, which can impact self-esteem and contribute to social isolation, as well as additional screen time.

For young children, how addictive can computer displays be?

The issue with mobile devices is that they entice you to use them, and we all know how simple it is to waste time on the internet. We can’t live without them since they’re so portable and pervasive. As adults, we are aware of some of the disadvantages and choose to put the phone down, but for 2- or 3-year-olds, who are unaware of these issues and have been exposed to the phone/tablet since infancy, it has been their norm and they want to do more of it.

We should also be wary of utilising screens to divert a child’s attention away from an issue rather than letting them figure it out and learn to fix it on their own. It’s fine to play a favourite song to distract a young child who has just fallen and injured their knee, but it’s preferable to have the parent soothe, cuddle, and talk to the youngster. Using screen time to distract young children who are having problems sharing a toy will not help them learn to share and take turns in the future, while it may provide a temporary cure.

Is it true that certain screens are worse than others?

Television isn’t as horrible as it was once thought to be because it’s easier to manage and remains put. Because tablets and smartphones are portable, they are considerably more accessible. You may carry them with you everywhere you go and utilise them whenever you choose.

YouTube, in my opinion, is not suitable for young children. Children, if left to their own devices, are often better than their parents at locating favourite videos that connect to other videos, leading to hours of watching endless footage. Children can watch nearly anything on the site because it is mostly uncontrolled; at best, there is no instructional benefit, and at worst, it can be violent or inappropriate content. The ideal course of action is to watch alongside the child so that the parent is actively involved in picking appropriate and informative stuff.

What advice do you have for parents who want to limit their children’s screen time?

If at all possible, watch with a partner.

If your children are going to have screen time, the greatest thing you can do is sit with them and watch the show or game with them so they can grasp what they’re watching. Comment on what you see, ask questions about what’s going on, and sing along with your child if someone on the show is singing a song. Engage them in conversation and repeat concepts after the programme to ensure that they remember the knowledge.

Choose your media carefully.

Look for reviews of age-appropriate apps, games, and programmes from organisations like Common Sense Media to help you make the best choices for your children.

Keep screens out of bedtime, dinner, and family time.

Use screens in the car only for long trips, and consider establishing a curfew or a time when your entire family turns off all displays. It’s critical to strike a balance between online and offline time.

Check out this article on: Safe Exploring for Children

More information on children’s health can be found here.

Pregnancy Emotions: Their Highs and Lows

When pregnancy emotions take over, here’s a trimester-by-trimester guide to surviving – and thriving – whenever they do.

Who or what is to blame?

You will go through a wide range of emotions while pregnant, many of which may be unfamiliar to you. Pregnancy emotions is not a joke. For one thing, you may be dealing with financial and other concerns. Including a full change from your previous comfy routine. Furthermore, your body and mind are undergoing significant physical changes.

You may check out our article if you want to know more facts during pregnancy: https://parenting-circle.info/2021/01/22/a-long-list-of-pregnancy-facts/

“Hormonal changes have a big impact in your moods throughout and after pregnancy,” says Lucy Puryear, M.D., a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine and author of Understanding Your Moods and Emotions When You’re Expecting (Houghton Mifflin). “Emotional changes can be extreme in some women, but they can be extreme in others.”

To get her book, you may click the link here: https://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Your-Moods-Youre-Expecting/dp/0547053622

Here’s a guide to your new pregnancy emotions:

why and when they happen, and how to manage when things are tough to help you cope with the probable swings in your complexion.

Hormones and Pregnancy Emotions

The developing placenta begins to secrete hormones necessary for your baby’s growth once a fertilised egg implants in your uterus. Hormones are, ironically, a pregnant woman’s best friend – and her baby’s lifeline. Human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG, keeps the embryo firmly implanted in the uterine lining (it rises significantly in the first trimester, then declines and levels off around four months). Progesterone and estrogen (which increase over the course of nine months) aid in the maintenance of the pregnancy by causing the formation of feeding blood vessels.

“This hormonal bath, which is so good for the baby, can be difficult for you to take,” Dr. Puryear explains. Morning sickness may be caused by HCG, for example. Estrogen can cause feelings of happiness or excessive moodiness.

The Most Common Pregnancy Emotions and How to Handle Them

Blissfully content

Why are you feeling this way? Puryear notes, “Estrogen can induce a sensation of well-being.” “On the other hand, many women are just thrilled to be pregnant, especially those who have been trying for a long time.”

Who needs coping strategies anyway? Take advantage of it while it lasts!

Irritable and depressing

Why are you feeling this way? “Hormones appear to have a big role in the precipitation of emotional difficulties during pregnancy,” says Geetha Shivakumar, M.D., a clinical researcher in perinatal mood disorders at the UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

“Irritability, depression, or worry are common symptoms,” Shivakumar continues, “and they may be [more] pronounced in various months of pregnancy.” During the first trimester, for example, the fluctuating levels of oestrogen and progesterone in your bloodstream can make you particularly cranky.

Coping strategies: First, tell your partner that you’re having some difficult feelings. You may avoid any potential relationship strain by making sure he realises your fickle humour has nothing to do with him. Other family members and friends are in the same boat.

Second, look after yourself: Regular exercise and a balanced diet can help to reduce negative emotions while amplifying pleasant ones. “Physical well-being is essential for emotional well-being,” Dr. Shivakumar explains. “Preliminary evidence also suggests that omega-3 fatty acid consumption may help with mood problems.”

Finally, if you have a history of depression, inform your doctor about it because it might not only reoccur during pregnancy, but also remain and worsen after you give birth.

Unbelievably Sexual

Why you’re feeling this way: The second trimester isn’t called the “honeymoon phase” for nothing. Because your tummy is still manageable and your breasts may be larger at this time of pregnancy, your partner may find you very attractive. For you, the increased blood volume caused by pregnancy means more blood flow — all over. Puryear explains, “Your nipples and genitals are more sensitive, so you may feel more sexual.” “Plus, while you’re pregnant, the uterine contractions during orgasm are more severe.”

Coping Strategies: Get your doctor’s OK first, then go for it!

Sluggish and foggy

Why are you feeling this way? hCG levels, in conjunction with progesterone, may contribute to the tiredness and morning sickness that many women feel during the first trimester.

Fatigue can contribute to the loss of acuity that many women experience, but it’s not the only reason you’re not as sharp as you once were.

Puryear explains, “Your priorities change.” “You used to be preoccupied with meetings and deadlines, but now you’re daydreaming about baby names and becoming a mother.”

Coping Strategies include: If you have a job, divide and conquer: When you’re at home, try to keep work at work and focus on your baby registry list and other “mother” responsibilities. It’s also a good idea to jot down your thoughts and to-dos; this will not only help you feel more organised, but it will also keep you from forgetting them.

Most importantly, even if you don’t feel like it, move your body. “Exercise to increase your energy and mood,” says John Hobbs, a gynaecologist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. “I often encourage my pregnant patients that going for a swim will help them feel much better.”

If you’re feeling particularly tired and cognitively slow, notify your doctor. He or she may order testing to rule out illnesses like anaemia (a lack of red blood cells) or hypothyroidism (a low-functioning thyroid gland).

Mood Swings During Pregnancy

Dr. Shivakumar explains, “For decades, pregnancy was regarded to be a moment of emotional well-being.”

“However, recent research suggests that pregnancy may increase the likelihood of return of depression in women who have previously experienced serious depression.”

Despite the fact that 10% or more of women experience serious depression during pregnancy, they typically feel the symptoms are due to natural hormonal changes and do not seek medical help.

Depression, on the other hand, if left untreated, can be harmful to both the mother and the baby.

As it can lead to poor eating, drinking, and smoking (which, in turn, are linked to premature birth, low birth weight, and developmental problems).

If you develop any of the following symptoms for more than two weeks, see your doctor right away:

  1. Sadness or anguish that is unbearable
  2. Concentration problems
  3. Changes in eating patterns due to little or excessive sleep
  4. Loss of enthusiasm for previously enjoyed activities
  5. Suicide, death, or hopelessness as a recurring thought
  6. Guilt or a sense of worthlessness
  7. Support groups, cognitive-behavioral therapy, light therapy, and pregnancy-safe antidepressant drugs are all alternatives for treatment.

7 Tips for Getting Through Pregnancy Emotions

Here are some basic principles to help you stay sane during pregnancy and new motherhood.

  1. Keep in mind that there is no such thing as a flawless pregnancy. It doesn’t imply you won’t make a good mother if you’re volatile and uneasy.
  2. Allow yourself to be flexible and patient, and let go of unrealistic expectations.
  3. Recognize that crying over sappy commercials is just part of the pregnancy process.
  4. Share your moods and sentiments with your friends, partner, and other family members. It will assist them in being more empathetic.
  5. Get rid of the phrase “I’m supposed to feel [fill in the blank] when I’m pregnant” from your english dictionary.

Safe Exploring for Children

Always on the Move

It’s difficult to think of a better moniker for this period of development than toddlers. Toddlers between the ages of one and three are scooting away from babyhood in quest of new experiences. They’re learning to talk, walk, and run, as well as express their autonomy. “Outside” and “play” are becoming typical demands within this age range.

As a parent, your primary concern is the safety of your child. It’s critical to have supervision and safety safeguards in place, such as gates and electrical outlet covers.

You should, however, give your toddler opportunities to explore. This entails close monitoring, but also the opportunity to experience a variety of contexts. Parents may provide their children the space and freedom to investigate, whether it’s on a stroll in the woods or a visit to a museum, which is a vital part of helping them grow.

Why should you go on an adventure?

Toddlers’ emotional, social, and physical development all benefit from exploring the inside and outside environment – with supervision, of course. They gain a better understanding of the world and how it functions. It’s one thing to view an orange; it’s quite another to hold one in your hand, feel its cool, smooth surface, inhale its aroma, and even taste it.

It’s much better if you ask queries like, “What colour is it?” Is it large or small?

Exploration also allows toddlers to practise crucial motor skills. They can persevere until they get it properly, whether it’s kicking a ball or climbing stairs. Not only do they gain new abilities, but they also gain a greater sense of confidence and competence. To put it another way, individuals begin to believe, “I can do it!”

One approach to ensure that toddlers get adequate daily physical activity is to let them explore. Allow lots of time for your child to be active throughout the day on a daily basis.

Exploration Ideas

Indoor amusement options are numerous; here are a few examples:

  1. Mirror, mirror on the wall. Kids begin to recognise themselves in photos and mirrors at this age. Set up a mirror at eye level that is secure and allow your child to explore his or her own face. “Can you open your mouth?” or “Where is your nose?” Fill a compact photo album with family and friends photos that you can go over together or let your youngster browse through on his or her own. Toddlers also like emulating other people’s actions. Play games of physical or verbal impersonation.
  2. Cabinets that are suitable for children. Make some low-lying cabinets into exploration shelves by stacking items that your child can pull out, smash together, and shake around. Choose only child-safe goods and keep an eye on them.
  3. Toys that are tactile. Toddlers enjoy experimenting with their sense of touch. Set up some Play-Doh (store-bought or homemade), finger paint, or other age-appropriate objects that can be squeezed, patted, poked, and prodded safely for your older toddler. Wrapping paper, wax paper, or textured toys that are pleasant to touch and crinkle will appeal to younger babies.
  4. Toy box in the house. Create a toy box containing dolls, safe housekeeping products like clean sponges or brushes, dress-up clothes, and toy telephones to promote imagination (without cords). Toys for toddlers include plastic containers with lids, plastic cups and plates, and just about anything you can stack, pile, fill and empty, or nest.
  5. Climbing the stairwell to the top of Mount Everest. Climbing stairs is a favourite pastime of many toddlers. On carpeted stairs, go up and down together, but make sure to replace gates when you’re done. Practice walking backwards or on tiptoes on flat ground, depending on your child’s age and abilities. Dance to music or imitate animals (walk like a penguin, jump like a kangaroo, etc.).

Exploring the outdoors

  1. Have fun with the ball. Have a variety of balls to play with on hand. Children learn to kick, throw, and catch balls during their toddler years.
  2. It’s a beach. Water and sand are fantastic tactile attractions for toddlers even in the backyard. To float boats, utilise other water toys, and splash around, make a water table or use a small basin or bucket. To let kids experience sand on their toes and fingers, build a sandbox or take them to the beach. Always keep an eye on children near water and empty containers when you’re finished. When not in use, cover sandboxes to prevent pets and other animals from contaminating them.
  3. Examine the natural world. Encourage your youngster to collect bugs, pick up leaves and rocks, and feel the bark on trees.
  4. Put it on the board. Sidewalk chalk is available in large sizes, which are ideal for a toddler’s grip. Their “drawings” are at best abstract, but they’ll enjoy seeing their scribbles come to life.

Exploration Tips for a Safe and Enjoyable Adventure

  1. Keep an eye on things, but take a step back. Pay attention to your instincts to lend a hand. After you’ve provided your child with the supplies he or she requires, resist the impulse to micromanage the activity. If your youngster wants to bang bricks together, don’t step in unless someone is at risk of being wounded.
  2. When required, make corrections. If you see your child doing something risky, unhealthy, or destructive, such as walking with pens, eating crayons, or throwing stones, gently instruct them on how to use the object properly: “Chairs are for sitting, not standing,” or “You can bang the spoon on the pot, but it’s not for hitting people.” Try not to retaliate more forcefully than the circumstance requires. Toddlers are notorious for pushing the boundaries and ignoring your requests. If reminders don’t work, try distracting them with other activities and products, or if necessary, use a time-out.
  3. “It’s all about the trip,” remember. Anyone who has tried walking a youngster to the library or to a friend’s house knows how distracting and time-consuming the excursion can be. Children frequently want to investigate stuff that most of us take for granted. Toddlers are fascinated by bugs, rocks, yard ornaments, fallen leaves, and parked autos. Encourage children to observe bark, twigs, spiders, and light and shop sign colours, as well as watch doors open and close, trucks idle, and people boarding buses.

You may be impatient to get going and bring your child to the activity you’ve arranged as a parent. You wish to begin “doing something.” This exploration, on the other hand, is accomplishing something for children. Rather than hurrying, take a deep breath and collaborate to develop new discoveries.

Changes during pregnancy

During the nine months of pregnancy, a woman’s body experiences numerous changes. Some of these physical changes are evident, like weight gain and an expanding belly, while others, such as an enlarged uterus, morning sickness, and backaches, are well-known. A few bodily changes, on the other hand, may be unexpected and catch some women off guard.

Kim Trout, a licenced nurse midwife and assistant professor of women’s health at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing in Philadelphia, said, “It’s incredible how a woman’s body changes to support a pregnancy.”

According to Trout of Live Science, one change that often catches pregnant women off guard is an increase in breast size. This results in mothers needing to change their bra from the normal one to pregnancy bras. 

Shapee Malaysia has been a nursing and maternity product distributor in Malaysia since 2013.

Shapee Malaysia wants to make pregnancy and breastfeeding easier for mommies by introducing products that can help them from the pregnancy, postpartum to breastfeeding stage. In this case, nursing bras that are suitable for mommies. 

What does Shapee’s nursing bra look like? 

Above is the video of Shapee’s nursing bra. 

New mommies tend to ask questions towards experienced mommies, such as: 

  1. Why should I change to a nursing bra?
  2. When should I change to the nursing bra?
  3. How does the nursing bra work?
  4. Who should wear the nursing bra? Is it only breastfeeding mommies?
  5. Where can I get the nursing bra?

And the list goes on.. 

“During pregnancy, a woman’s breast size and bra size may fluctuate multiple times,” Trout added. “For some women, this is a refreshing shift.”

The answers to those questions would be:

  1. Because your body experience changes throughout pregnancy and post-pregnancy as well.
  2. Right after you notice there are changes towards your body.
  3. You may refer to the video above on “how does the nursing bra works” and the functions of the nursing bra.
  4. Preferably for mommies as it is called “nursing” bra. But Shapee currently have another nursing bra called “Sassy Bra” which is suitable for those who planned to use Shapee for their sports bra.
  5. You can get your nursing bra from Shapee Malaysia at their official instagram: @shapeemy or Shopee: shapeemy.os or their website: theshapee.com  

Worry not mommies! Body changes, emotional changes during pregnancy is totally normal and its not something to be ashamed for.

Every child is unique and special


We compare our children to others all the time as parents. While this can be a source of great pride, it can also be a source of anxiety, as we fear that something is wrong with our child or that we are failing as parents.
Every child is unique. Children develop differently, have various personalities, strengths, and require different types of support to meet their own requirements.

Every youngster develops at his or her own rate and in their own unique way.

Various children develop and grow at different rates. While their developmental paths may differ, they all pass through a set of expected milestones. It is typical for children to go through developmental milestones and slow down.

Over time, they’ve hit certain snags in various aspects of their progress. It’s common for your child to be a bit ahead or a little behind at a specific age. Most youngsters will eventually catch up if they are given the proper caring and stimulation.

Every youngster has various skills and weaknesses. Some people excel at sports, while others excel at music. Some are highly scholarly, while others are not. Some people are extremely worried, while others are more tranquil. Some youngsters sleep well, while others have been waking up throughout the night for years.

Having the assurance that you’re on the right route.

Many parents are under growing pressure to “get it right” when it comes to parenting. Others are feeling increasingly pressed to perform.

Many parents also believe that parenting is not their strong suit.

Parents frequently lack confidence in their ability to parent in a way that best fits their child’s needs. Many parents believe that their parenting style is being assessed by others. Parents may feel alone and lonely as a result of their experiences. Many parents believe they are the only ones going through what they are.

All of these emotions and experiences are common.

You are not by yourself

Parenting is a continually evolving task, as our children’s growing demands and talents alter over time. There is no such thing as a “one-size-fits-all” approach to parenting. What is effective for one child may not be effective for another. What works for two-year-olds may no longer work for four-year-olds.

Parenting requires a high level of adaptability and flexibility.

It’s natural to have doubts about your parenting at times. Share your stories with other parents, family members, and friends. You’ll discover that you’re not alone.
Sharing similar experiences might provide you confidence and reassurance that you’re on the right course.

Believe in yourself when you say that you know your child better than anybody else.

Finally, don’t make comparisons between your child and others.

Seek help if you are worried about your child or need help with your parenting. This is not a show of weakness, but of strength.

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