What Kind of Pregnancy Test Should I Buy?

What Kind of Pregnancy Test Should I Buy?

Think you’re pregnant or trying to conceive? You’re probably wondering what kind of pregnancy test should I buy?

These 5 questions will help you choose which is best for you, and we’ll give you our pick for the best one. So you can answer the question for yourself on what kind of pregnancy test should I buy, AND get our opinion on the best and most reliable.

Just a heads up, some of the links below might be affiliate links, meaning if you make a purchase via one of these links I get a small commission at no extra cost to you. A great way to support this page if you like this post.

When should I take a pregnancy test?

Ideally, you want to wait until your missed period to get the most accurate results, but I know that isn’t easy.

I know when I was trying to get pregnant I started taking tests just a few days after ovulation squinting until I was cross-eyed trying to see a second line.

I guess that gave me something to do during the dreaded two-week wait between ovulation and your missed period, but it also sometimes adds extra stress and definitely wastes money.

But if you absolutely can’t wait, some tests can start to sense increases in pregnancy hormones around 8 days after ovulation.

What is the best early pregnancy test?

I’ve been in quite a few trying to conceive (TTC) groups when I was trying to get pregnant, and the general consensus is that most moms love First Response, and specifically the First Response Early Response (FRER).

This test claims to be able to tell if you are pregnant up to 6 days before your missed period!

From personal experience, I can confirm that I did get accurate positives at least a few days before my missed period with the First Response Early Response.

Which brand of pregnancy test is most accurate?

According to a consumer study, moms also love the First Response Early Response for its accuracy as well as the sensitivity.

However, other studies have shown that pretty much all the tests on the market are in and of themselves very accurate.

The thing that isn’t accurate is the user.

So be sure you follow the instructions to the letter and any test you choose should give you an accurate result.

For some moms who want it to be as simple as possible, you can try a digital test like the Clear Blue Digital Pregnancy Test which says either “pregnant” or “not pregnant.”

Are the cheap pregnancy tests accurate?

If you use them properly, yes.

Over the counter pregnancy tests are 99% accurate once you hit that first day of your missed period, no matter which test you choose.

This article points out that even the more expensive tests that claim to give you earlier results don’t guarantee 99% accuracy until you’ve missed your period.

So it’s up to you really whether you want to save some cash on cheaper tests or go with the more expensive. Neither has been proven to be more or less effective. Though sometimes the more expensive tests may have a nicer or more convenient design.

How soon will a pregnancy test read positive?

If you are pregnant, then you should get a positive test by the time you’ve missed your period.

But what about earlier?

Here’s the deal. Once an egg is fertilized it takes time for it to travel down the fallopian tube to the uterus where it will implant. It is only after implantation that your body starts to create HCG, the hormone that pregnancy tests look for.

So it’s going to be days until you even start producing the hormone needed to get a positive test. After that, your hormone levels will rise rapidly, but it could still take until around the time of your missed period for the hormone levels to be high enough to get an accurate test.

The earliest some women get an accurate test would be around 8 days past ovulation, or around 6 days before your period. Before that, a positive test is very unlikely, and even at that point, it’s very easy to get a false negative.

What is our favorite test?

I love the First Response Early Response. It’s one of the more expensive ones, but I love the design and the feel of it. It has also always given me accurate results once I hit the testing window.

When you’re testing for pregnancy you want results fast and accurate, and be able to know what kind of pregnancy test should I buy so you can save money and peace of mind.

So let us know in the comments, which pregnancy test is your favorite? Then read this post about what to do the first few weeks of pregnancy.

What Kind of Pregnancy Test Should I Buy?

What Kind of Pregnancy Test Should I Buy?

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3 First Month Pregnancy Tips to Start Off on a Good Foot

3 First Month Pregnancy Tips to Start Off on a Good Foot

Just found out your pregnant, or maybe wondering if you are? These first month pregnancy tips will help you get started.

The first few weeks of pregnancy can be stressful and also blissful. These are three tips to help you get started at the very beginning, and I’ve also included some affiliate links to products I recommend and love. Rock the early days with these first month pregnancy tips

Finding out you’re pregnant the first month. When should you test for pregnancy?

Did you know the first month of pregnancy includes two weeks when you weren’t even actually pregnant? Weird, huh?

That’s because your first month of pregnancy and the first trimester begins on the first day of your new menstrual cycle. Then it isn’t generally 10 days to a couple of weeks until you actually ovulate and become pregnant. (For lots of awesome menstrual cycle info, check out this article)

So during your first month of pregnancy, you are probably just finding out that you are in fact pregnant.

In fact, you might not even know that you are pregnant at all during that first month.

Ovulation for most women happens around day 14 of their menstrual cycle, give or a take a couple of days. Once an egg is fertilized it takes a few days for it to get to the uterus and then it will implant.

It is only after implantation that HCG (the pregnancy hormone) starts to rise. It is the HCG that you are testing for when taking a pregnancy test.

So for most women, it will take until around when your period is supposed to start for the HCG to reach a level detectable by a pregnancy test, though for some women it’s soon using more sensitive tests.

This means that even if you are trying to conceive and know you could be pregnant, you still might not be able to tell until after that first month has passed.

Some women also experience implantation bleeding when the egg implants in the uterus, mistaking it for their period. They then don’t find out they are pregnant until the next month’s period is missed.

Best practices for testing

Take it from someone who has peed on dozens of sticks and squinted at every one… just wait.

I could tell in my body that I was pregnant before I could actually get a positive test, but I just couldn’t stop myself from peeing on all the sticks I could get my hands on anyways. It was a huge waste of money and time, to be honest.

It would have been less stressful if I could have just chilled out and waited until around 10 days past ovulation to start testing.

So get yourself a few of the First Response Early Response test, which are my personal favorite along with a bunch of other moms, and just hold off on testing until you are close to your period date. Then try to test with your first pee of the day, as soon as you wake up. This is because the HCG will be most concentrated first thing in the morning.

Be sure to check your results within the testing window in the instructions. Waiting too long can cause you to get a false positive due to evap lines.

 

Find us on Instagram for more first trimester and first month pregnancy and birth tips and stories!

Choose your doctor or midwife and set up your first appointment.

Once you find out you’re pregnant you can go ahead and set up your first prenatal appointment.

Most of the time, this will be around 8 weeks.

Take this time to really think about what kind of healthcare provider and birth you want. It’s honestly never too early to start thinking about your birth plan.

For example, if you know you want a natural birth then you will want to find a healthcare provider who is experienced in natural births and will be supportive. Likewise, if you know you want all the drugs, then you’ll want to find someone who delivers babies in a hospital setting and not something like a birth center.

So many women don’t achieve their birth goals because they choose the wrong people to support them.

Choosing someone who aligns with your goals and who you trust is of the utmost importance in your pregnancy journey. Do some research and consider even interviewing a few different doctors and midwives to see who is a best fit for you.

Most hospitals and birth centers will let you take a tour to get a feel for the vibes.

Start taking prenatals and focus on your health

I’m going to be honest. Not too long after that first month (possibly during) is when you might start getting some of the not so awesome pregnancy symptoms.

Take advantage of this time. You might be feeling pretty good still, which might not be the case once the HCG keeps rising in your body.

Do any last-minute tasks you might not feel up to if you’re puking every day. You might be able to get through your whole first trimester and pregnancy with no bad symptoms, but most women will experience at least some nausea and/or discomfort. So I would plan for the worst and hope for the best.

Also, take a look at the pregnancy do’s and don’ts like what foods to avoid. Then choose some prenatals and start taking them. These are my personal favorites.

Good luck, mama! The first month is exciting and sometimes stressful, but pregnancy is such a fun ride. For some remedies for first trimester morning sickness, check this post out!

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First Trimester Tips for Husbands and Partners: 3 Thing You Need to Know

First Trimester Tips for Husbands and Partners: 3 Thing You Need to Know

Wife or partner pregnant? Have no idea what to do now? Start with these 3 must-know first trimester tips for husbands and partners.

The first trimester has so many new challenges to tackle. It is easily the least favorite trimester of most moms between the hormones and morning (all day) sickness, but with these first trimester tips for husbands and partners, you’ll be able to start supporting her in the best ways possible.

First Trimester Tips for Husbands and Partners Tip #1: GET READY FOR MOOD SWINGS

Even if this pregnancy was long-awaited and planned, there are a lot of emotions that come up during the first trimester.

There’s the obvious culprit… hormones.

Mood swings are super common in the first trimester due to surges in estrogen and progesterone, which happens to be the same thing that causes morning sickness. Lovely, right?

Think of it like PMS on steroids. There are so many feels that are purely due to the chemicals coursing through a pregnant woman’s body.

Speaking from experience, she’ll be able to deal with it for the most part once accustomed to it, but be on the lookout. If you notice more mood swings than normal, know it’s probably just the hormones talking.

Plus, adjusting to the idea of motherhood.

It’s one thing to want to be a mom, and another to actually be becoming a mom.

Women have a bajillion different reactions to the fact that they are truly pregnant and have a human growing inside of them. Sometimes it’s blissful, and sometimes it’s not. Usually, it’s all and everything in between.

I’ve heard people say a woman becomes a mom when she finds out she’s pregnant, but a dad doesn’t become a dad until the baby is born. To some extent, I think that is true as a generality.

While the pregnancy will have some impact on the pregnant person’s partner, it just isn’t the same as the person actually going through all the physical and emotional changes. It takes a minute to adapt.

And then there’s the fear.

The biggest fear for most pregnant moms? Losing the baby.

During the first trimester is when miscarriage is most likely, which is why a lot of people wait to announce pregnancies. (Though telling some close friends/family might be a good idea in case support is needed.)

That first trimester is such a hard wait. Although miscarriages and stillbirths do happen after the first trimester, there’s this feeling of being “safe” once you get past that 12-week mark.

So just now that she is probably spending a lot of time worrying, even if it’s just a small thought in the back of her mind.

First Trimester Tips for Husbands and Partners Tip #2: DON’T COMMENT ON HER BODY

Most women won’t start “showing” before around 12-16 weeks, or the second trimester.

The uterus and baby bump hasn’t risen above the pelvis yet during the first trimester. So if your baby mama is starting to look a little bigger in the belly, it’s probably not actually a baby bump yet.

It can be a bit awkward as a mom to have people comment on how you’re showing if you know it isn’t really even a baby bump.

What could make her appear to be showing?

The not-so-sexy answer is probably bloating. Though there are other reasons someone might “show” a little earlier than 12 weeks, in my experience it’s really just bloating.

Besides bloating it is possible that she’s showing early because her due date is wrong, or maybe there are even multiple babies in there! (I had twins in my second pregnancy, and I looked really pregnant just two months in)

 

First Trimester Tips for Husbands and Partners Tip #3: HAVE MORNING SICKNESS REMEDIES ON HAND

Around 85% of women will get nausea and morning sickness during pregnancy. Though really it can be ALL DAY sickness.

The first trimester is SO FREAKING HARD for a lot of people. It’s just exhausting and emotionally draining to feel sick for 3 months straight.

For me, I end up having a delightful mix of nausea, acid reflux, exhaustion, and smell sensitivity. I kind of wanna puke just reminiscing about it.

So be proactive!

Have some remedies on hand, or at least in the back of your mind, and ready to go for when she needs something ASAP.

Check out this post where I lay out my top first trimester essentials, including the absolute BEST MORNING SICKNESS REMEDIES. Then let me which of these first trimester morning tips for husbands (and partners) was helpful in the comments.

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5 Tips for Surviving the First Trimester of Pregnancy

5 Tips for Surviving the First Trimester of Pregnancy

Just find out you’re pregnant? Congrats mama! Did those pregnancy symptoms start already, and you’re trying to learn about surviving the first trimester? We’ve got you covered with these 5 essential tips.

The first trimester is notoriously difficult between the hormone shifts, the exhaustion, nausea. Ugh. Surviving the first trimester isn’t easy, but it IS doable.

As a mom who’s gone through two pregnancies (including a twin pregnancy), these are my best suggestions for you to keep in mind when trying to survive the first trimester. These helped me and they’ll help you too. You got this.

(Just a heads up, this post might contain affiliate links to products I absolutely love and recommend.)

Surviving the First Trimester Tip #1: Know that it WILL end

The first trimester is the worst. It really is. BUT, it does end.

Even if you are cursed with morning sickness your entire pregnancy, or even hyperemesis gravidarum, it will end when you give birth.

I know months seems like such a long time to feel like utter crap, but once your little bundle of joy is here, it will go away and you’ll feel like a new woman.

But most likely you will start to feel better right around the end of the first trimester, or maybe into the beginning of the second trimester.

In my personal experience, I started feeling better around week 14 and by week 20 (halfway there) I was feeling awesome.

The second trimester is the best. For most women, there is a surge in energy, and you finally get to enjoy being pregnant with a cute bump before you get so big it hurts to walk.

So one of your keys to surviving the first trimester is an eye on the future.

Surviving the First Trimester Tip #2: Sleep is your bff

You have not known exhausted until you’ve been pregnant. Seriously. No amount of all-nighters in college cramming for exams, or double shifts at work can prepare you for just how tired you can be while pregnant.

And with good reason. You’re growing another human being. It’s hard work for your body.

So get some rest.

Not only will you really need it, but if you’re having any morning sickness, then being asleep at least gives you a break from the nausea.

Enjoy the zzz’s because once baby arrives, you’ll miss the long naps and sleeping through the night.

Surviving the First Trimester Tip #3: Vitamin B6 and Unisom for morning sickness is a life-saver

If there is one single remedy for morning sickness I could recommend to moms, it’s this one. Unisom and B6. (Of course, check with your midwives/doctor to see if it’s safe for you.)

Once I learned about this one, my life got so much better while I was pregnant and surviving the first trimester actually seemed possible.

It’s so simple and over-the-counter.

I just took a Unisom at bedtime and a B6 vitamin in the morning. The combo is totally freaking magic. A good night’s rest, and less nausea the next day.

Surviving the First Trimester Tip #4: Try unique natural remedies

When I’m pregnant I have this weird combo of nausea, heartburn, and acid reflux. It’s so hard because the things that help my nausea, like chips and grilled cheese, are terrible for heartburn and acid reflux.

So I tried to find foods and natural remedies that magically helped check all the boxes. The weird winner for me? Cantaloupe!

For the first couple of months, I had cantaloupe for breakfast. I found out that it was as a natural remedy for acid reflux, and luckily it didn’t make me feel more nauseous. It actually helped me MORE than TUMS or even the papaya enzymes I had been throwing back like Skittles.

While medications can be helpful when needed, just finding the right diet or other simple and natural remedies can be a game-changer.

Surviving the First Trimester Tip #5: Go minimal

Unless you’re a magical unicorn woman, which you might be, who knows… you will at some point (or all the time) feel like crap during the first trimester.

People really do talk about “surviving” the first trimester because that’s really all you’re trying to do. Get through the roughest part of pregnancy.

So take any and everything off your plate that is non-essential.

Ask for help.

If you have other kids, find neighbors, other moms/dads, family, or maybe activities that can help occupy your kids while you take care of yourself.

You might not have much control over your work situation, but if you can, find ways to cut back a little if possible or work smarter instead of harder so you can get things done more easily.

Focus on being minimal and scaling back for a few months. Once you get that second trimester glow going, then you can scale up again.

Surviving the first trimester comes down to really knowing yourself, accepting that it might be hard, and knowing that it will end. You’ll make it, mama.

And if you need more help, click here to check out my FAVORITE all-time must-haves for the first trimester.

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Just find out you’re pregnant and not know WTF to do next? Yeah, most of us felt like that. But we’ve got you, soon-to-be mama. These early pregnancy tips will help you get through the early weeks of pregnancy with a little less stress.

Those early weeks of pregnancy are weird. There are so many emotions, so much to plan, and so many changes coming your way. Get a headstart with these early pregnancy tips.

Early Pregnancy Tips #1: Choose your healthcare provider

Many women will just continue to work with the doctor or midwife they used for years, but this might not be the wisest choice.

Why?

Not all doctors and midwives have the same expertise, experience, opinions, or tendencies when helping women birth babies.

For example, if you’re planning a natural birth, but your doctor has higher than average c-section rates, then you might want to consider finding someone else.

Likewise, if you want all the drugs and/or a scheduled c-section if possible, then natural-minded midwifery that does birth center and homebirths probably won’t be a great fit.

Many healthcare professionals won’t schedule your first visit right away unless there is an issue, so you should have some time to think about the birth you want a do a little research to find the best place for you.

Early Pregnancy Tips #2: Decide when/if you want to tell people you’re pregnant

This can be a sticky situation depending on a whole host of issues. Maybe you have a job to worry about, and you don’t know the maternity leave policies. Or perhaps you’re afraid to tell people in case you have a miscarriage like somehow you’ll jinx yourself.

There’s a ton of logistical questions AND emotional questions you need to answer before firing off an IG post with the big news. Take your time to decide how/when/if you’d like to announce your pregnancy.

I would, however, strongly consider telling at least *some* people sooner rather than later. In case the worse should happen, you’ll want some solid folks in your corner for support, not to mention that even if your pregnancy is perfectly healthy you might still need support because well… it can be a tough process. (hello, morning – or all day – sickness)

I love this article that discusses why one mom is alerting the media really early about her pregnancy.

Early Pregnancy Tips #3: Enjoy it while it lasts

Maybe you’ll be a unicorn mom who has no terrible symptoms while pregnant, but I hate to be the bearer of bad news… you will most likely have to deal with some fairly rough aspects of growing human life inside of you at some point.

We all know about nausea, but there’s also the exhaustion, acid reflux, heartburn, sensitivity to smells, weird cravings (like soap), joint pain, carpal tunnel, etc. etc. etc. The list goes on and on.

So IF you are feeling great, enjoy it.

In my pregnancies, I always feel like total crap for the first trimester, but by the second I am feeling awesome and am able to feel pretty good up until those last few weeks when you’re basically the size of a mammoth (and probably as hairy since you can’t reach to shave). But that first trimester is so rough.

Early Pregnancy Tips #4: Take your prenatal vitamins and practice self-care

Now more than ever you need to take care of you. This means eating as well as you can, taking your prenatal vitamins, getting sleep, and maybe getting exercise depending on your healthcare provider’s recommendations (usually some exercise is cool, but of course check).

I personally take Rainbow Lite prenatals because they are natural and not the size of horse pills.

When it comes to food, if you are dealing with morning sickness then just eat whatever makes you feel good. Grilled cheese sandwiches with bacon were my jam for my twins, but caesar salad was the.best.thing.ever with my daughter. As much as eating healthy is important, if you’re sick, just do your best.

Early Pregnancy Tips #5: Learn the do’s and don’ts of pregnancy

Been slathering on the retinol-laced eye creams to stop those teeny crows feet you see starting? Might want to rethink that.

There are quite a few ingredients that are no-no’s while pregnant but are fairly common when it comes to beauty products. (Here’s a shortlist from Vogue you might want to check out)

I always use caution when choosing products I use while pregnant. Even when I’m breastfeeding I use caution. (Check out what I use while breastfeeding here.)

As soon as you get pregnant, your body is sharing space with another little someday human, and teeny tiny humans can’t handle the same things we can, not to mention there are some weird restrictions during pregnancy you probably never thought of… like no cold deli meats.

Do your own research, but here is an article to get you started from Healthline with 11 things you should do while pregnant.

If you’re NOT a first-time mom, I would love to hear what your early pregnancy tips would be! Share them in the comments below, and be sure to check out our First Trimester Morning Sickness Remedies list here.

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Pregnancy is NOT the most comfortable time in your life, and that can make it hard to fall asleep and stay asleep. It’s normal if you can’t sleep while pregnant, but there are some hacks you can try to catch a few more zzz’s.

Of course, I’m not a medical professional. I am just sharing what has worked for me and you should consult with your doctor or midwife before trying anything new.

I also included some affiliate links below for your convenience. If you purchase any products I recommend through my link, I get a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Why can’t you sleep while pregnant?

Physical Discomfort

In the first trimester, it’s nausea or even acid reflux, that won’t let you rest. Then as the baby grows, and you grow too, your body starts getting random aches and pains all over.

From SPD to round ligament pain to hips and back being out of alignment, it can be hard to find a comfortable position.

Oh, and if you’re a stomach sleeper? Forget about getting cozied up in your normal position. It’s side sleeping for you now.

Insomnia

Besides the physical discomfort and inconvenience of getting up to pee all the time, there is also the insomnia.

You’re tired but you just can’t quite sleep.

The hormonal changes can bring tons of sleep disturbance between waking up in the night to not being able to fall asleep easily.

For me, just falling to sleep seemed to take forever. I’d just lay there waiting and waiting and waiting, but even though I was exhausted and dreamed of sleep all day, I just couldn’t fall asleep.

Vivid Dreams

The closest thing I can compare pregnant dreams to is when I occasionally take cold medicine that knocks me out, but keeps my brain in this weird conscious state where I am almost lucid dreaming.

When pregnant, the hormones can create super real and vivid dreams that leave you with little rest.

Instead of getting restful sleep, you are in the dream state for a lot of the night.

How I get some zzz’s when I can’t sleep while pregnant

After two pregnancies now, I’ve gotten my bedtime routines down to a science. After trial and error, I’ve been able to create practices and routines that help me to *usually* get a good night’s sleep.

The first thing that all pregnant women absolutely NEED is a pregnancy pillow.

You’ll have to play around with what works best for you at the stage of pregnancy you’re in. Some moms like a legit pregnancy pillow and some just like to build a little nest of a ton of pillows to conk out in.

This one below is my favorite! I use it for 90% of my pregnancy, and it helps a ton with my hip pain that inevitably comes up with each pregnancy.

The Leachco Back n Belly pillow does just what the name would suggest. It supports BOTH the back and belly. What’s even cooler is that when you are in the earlier stages before your belly is too big you can use it to sleep face down!

This pillow ensures that if I can’t sleep while pregnant, it isn’t because I’m not comfy.

Start (or continue) a yoga practice

Yoga is such an amazing tool for pregnancy. Not only is the meditative quality great for relaxation and calming an active mine, but it helps alleviate a lot of the aches and pains of pregnancy.

You can find a program to follow on YouTube like this one, or I also love Yoga with Adrienne.

During my first pregnancy with my daughter, I stuck to just simple routines I found on YouTube, but with my twins pregnancy, I got more serious about it.

When I was pregnant with the boys I attended 3-4 yoga classes per week at a local spot. I especially loved yin yoga, which is slow and easy-going. Perfect for when your belly is getting a bit too big for some of the poses.

Go for walks

Walking outdoor is like a magical drug in my opinion.

Assuming you don’t have any specific conditions that prohibit you from walking or getting much exercise, I would really recommend getting outside for walks as much as you can.

Not only does it strengthen your muscles that will be needed for birth, but it keeps you active, your body supple, and getting outside can help with your mood AND sleep. When you can’t sleep while pregnant, it’s super helpful to get lots of sunshine and fresh air.

Drink some herbal tea

You’ll have to consult with your doc or midwife on what you believe is safe for you, but I enjoyed herbal teas while pregnant.

I mostly stuck with widely used teas like chamomile and red raspberry leaf.

There’s something to soothing about a hot cup of tea before bed.

My favorite teas are these:

Take a hot bath or shower

For some, a shower is invigorating and wakes them up, but for me, I love a hot shower or bath!

Take caution because it isn’t recommended to use water that is TOO hot during pregnancy for the safety of mama and baby. But I always just use common sense and monitor how my body is feeling.

Essential oils for relaxation

Lavender essential oil is widely known to be incredibly relaxing, helping decrease stress and help people fall asleep.

The baby shampoo I even use on my kids has lavender in it to help them chill out a little bit.

Making a bedtime spray with lavender oil for your bed can help soothe you and lull you into a restful sleep.

If all else fails, try some medicine

Some nights are just tough.

As much as I love being as natural as possible, if I have been having trouble sleeping for multiple nights in a row and just really need a good rest, I will turn to more mainstream medicines.

In the first trimester, I take Unisom at night and B6 in order to help with nausea and morning sickness. I then wean off of it as the first trimester symptoms start to fade.

But sometimes I will try Unisom again if I just can’t seem to get some sleep.

Then if my hips or back are so painful, and the yoga and other natural methods don’t work, I will try a pain reliever like Tylenol.

Please do your own research on which medications you feel comfortable taking, and check with your medical team too. Medical recommendations may have changed since this post was published. So make sure you have current info.

I would love to know if this helps you when you can’t sleep while pregnant. Do you have any key tips to share with other mamas? Share them in the comments!

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