How to Prepare to be a Mother

How to Prepare to be a Mother. You're expecting a baby and you're thrilled. You're becoming a mother. Motherhood really is the oldest profession and the highest calling you could aspire to. But there's more to preparing for motherhood than stocking the nursery and checking nine months off the calendar. Here are six forward-thinking ways to get ready.

How to Care for a Weaning Mother Dog

You've been taking special care of your mother dog's body for the past few months. First, as she went through a two-month gestation period, followed by weeks of nursing her puppies. During that period, she might have eaten four times as much food per day as she did before pregnancy. As the weaning process begins, you must monitor her overall health and cut back on her food intake.

How to Cut Shells to Make Mother of Pearl Jewelry

Mother of pearl may seem like an expensive jewelry component, but with your own collection of cleaned shells and a few tools, you can make mother of pearl jewelry for a fraction of the cost. Mother of pearl is an iridescent material that builds up on the inside of mollusk and oyster shells. Once these shells have been cleaned with a combination of muriatic acid and bleach, you will have smooth shells made mostly of mother of pearl. Cut the mother of pearl into shapes, drill a hole in each shape, and attach them to chains to make mother of pearl jewelry.

How to Protect Mother Earth

Protecting the environment is everyone's responsibility. There are a number of steps individuals can take to protect Mother Earth and ensure the life she sustains has access to the healthiest planet possible. Whether it's making different consumer choices, giving money to environmental organizations, choosing green energy sources or sharing our love for the environment, every person can contribute. Even a few small steps, when undertaken by a large group of people, can make a difference.

How to Deal With a Jealous Mother-in-Law

Tension between mothers-in-law and their daughters-in-law is unfortunately common. Jealousy is a likely possibility, as a result of uncertainty about what to expect, and what the motives and intentions of the other person are. Tensions can peak if a mother feels her son's wife is trying to interfere in her mother-son relationship. Dealing with this type of conflict will not be easy, but can get better with time.

How to Play Mother, May I?

Mother, May I is an action game for kids. Although it's traditionally an outdoor game, you can also play it indoors at parties if you have a small group or a lot of space. Players must politely ask if they can move forward to reach the leader, or "Mother." The child who is "Mother" either has to direct moves to prevent players getting too close or has to hope that players forget to be polite.

Predict Your Child's Health Future

You can pass on genes for asthma, obesity, and even ear infections. Read up on ways to keep your children healthy.

From relatively minor maladies like ear infections to serious diseases like diabetes, a surprising number of childhood health problems have a genetic component. "At least 80 percent of medical conditions are inherited to some extent," says Nancy Mendelsohn, M.D., a pediatric geneticist at Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, in Minneapolis.

Of course, you can't change your children's genes, but your own health history can motivate you to be extra diligent about screenings and risk-reducing strategies. Here are nine conditions that run in families, along with ways to protect your kids.

Genetic Testing Before & During Pregnancy

Find out what genetic testing is, and whether you and your partner should get tested before you get pregnant.

What is genetic testing (carrier screening)?

Genetic testing is when a blood test is given to prospective or expecting parents to look for abnormal genes that can lead to certain diseases in their baby. Most genetic diseases are known as "recessive disorders," which means that each parent needs to pass along an affected gene to the baby in order for the child to be affected. In other words, if you screen positive for a genetic abnormality but your partner does not, your child will not inherit the condition. And even if you both screen positive, there's only a 25 percent chance your baby will have the disease.

How Much Will Your Baby Be Like You?

The complex gene pool you hand down can shape everything from how funny your child is to whether he likes peas.

Physical Traits

The instant our children are born, we look for reflections of ourselves in them. When Evie Crosby, of Tallahassee, Florida, delivered her son, Wyatt, she immediately asked her husband, Adam, "Does he have your chin?" Adam gave her a thumbs-up as the nurses cooed over Wyatt's deep cleft -- just as nurses had done when Adam was born 30 years earlier. Moments like these are more than a little profound. Seeing yourself -- and your spouse -- in your baby makes you truly feel like a family. Inheritance goes far beyond eye and hair color: Genes can even shape personality traits like leadership and spirituality. Despite startling advances in genetics, our understanding of how genes and environment interact is far from perfect. "Many traits have a large hereditary component, but genetics isn't destiny -- genes are just one influence on how kids turn out," says Joann Bodurtha, MD, professor of human genetics at Virginia Commonwealth University, in Richmond.

What Will My Baby Look Like?

Everyone wonders who baby will look like, but there's no way to know whether the traits we treasure in ourself, our partner, and our family will pop up in our offspring. You can, however, make an educated guess. Here, genetics experts show you how.

Eye Color

Both my husband and I have brown eyes. Does that guarantee us a dark-eyed child?

No, it doesn't. Two brown-eyed parents can have a blue-eyed baby. In fact, though less common, the reverse is also possible: two blue-eyed parents could get a brown-eyed baby. "The dominance of brown eyes is a familiar lesson from biology class, but eye color is actually determined by many genes," says Kate Garber, PhD, and director of education in the department of human genetics at Emory University School of Medicine. "One gene might say, 'Let's make lots of blue,' and another says, 'Let's add some brown.' It's like layering colors from different crayons." Meanwhile, other genes control the amount of pigment. Thus, more blue pigment could trump less brown, or a variation such as hazel might emerge. It's not so much that genes are dominant and recessive but that they have stronger and lesser effects, says Robin Bennett, a genetic counselor at the University of Washington Medical Genetics Clinic, in Seattle. "Traditionally we thought dominant genes made the product and recessive ones did not. Now we know that sometimes they both do."

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