Thursday, August 17, 2017

Family Planning: Tips for Couples Trying to Conceive #ChurchAndDwight

My baby-making days are far behind me now, but I remember all too well how difficult it was for us to conceive. We tried many tools and techniques to pinpoint my fertile days and improve our chances of success. It was stressful. As more couples are starting their families later in life, fertility concerns are becoming more common. Our natural fertility begins to drop as we age, and if we don't start trying until we're in our 30s (like we did), our window of opportunity seems to be closing quickly. Or that certainly is how it felt for us. Having effective tools for predicting ovulation, and building a healthy body for growing a baby become even more important.

First Response is a brand I trusted when we were trying to get pregnant. They continue to work on new and improved tools to support the journey to conception. Here are a few tips, along with recommended products that can help with your journey.

A healthy diet is critical for a healthy body, and a healthy body is so important to conceiving and growing a healthy baby. Prenatal vitamins fill in any gaps, particularly with the crucial Folic Acid.
Take a multivitamin: Start the journey well prepared. Taking a prenatal vitamin prior to pregnancy is an essential part of keeping you and your baby healthy. The new FIRST RESPONSE™ Prenatal Multivitamin is a great option. It helps ensure you and your baby get the essential nutrients needed to stay healthy, maintain immune function and bone health. Two of the vitamin gummies provide the recommended folic acid intake per day to help prevent neural tube defects, which are commonly developed within the first month of pregnancy* and often before many females know they’re pregnant. As a bonus, this vitamin has a naturally sourced fruit flavor, low in sugar and gluten-free—making it easy to remember and delicious to take.

Understand your cycle: Admit it ladies. Most of you don’t know your own ovulation schedules or know when you’re most fertile. But knowing when and if you’re ovulating is going to help you know when to try to conceive. Did you know that there are just two days during your cycle when you’re most likely to conceive? So how do you find these two days? Pick up a FIRST RESPONSE™ Advanced Digital Ovulation Test. What makes it so great? It’s over 99% accurate in detecting luteinizing hormone (LH) surges in laboratory studies. LH indicates when you’re most fertile and likely to conceive which is 24-36 hours after you detect your LH surge.

Tip: Be sure to keep a journal as well. This may be an app on your phone, a charting website, or a plain old paper one. The more you know and are in rhythm with your cycle, the more likely you are to pinpoint ovulation. There is a wealth of resources available at

Use a sperm-friendly lube: The last thing you want to do is decrease your chances of getting pregnant because of the lubricant you choose. Pre-Seed™ Fertility-Friendly Lubricant is sperm friendly. It not only enhances your comfort, it’s specially formulated to mimic your body’s fertile fluids. Other lubricants, saliva and even oil can inhibit sperm from reaching the cervical opening but Pre-Seed is pH-balanced and isotonic, allowing sperm to swim freely.

Don’t let the suspense drive you crazy: The amount of time it takes to get pregnant is different for everyone but if you’re “dying” to know, I recommend the FIRST RESPONSE™ Early Result Pregnancy Test. It’s sensitive enough to capture scant amounts of pregnancy hormones to give you results 6 days sooner than your missed period.

Eat right, take your prenatal vitamins, and educate yourself.
Connect with others on this journey through online groups and magazines.
Turn to others for advice: Remember, we’re all here to help you along your pregnancy journey—you’re not alone. Chances are, there is someone else out there who is going through the same—or similar—experiences, so don’t be shy about reaching out.

Help spread the conversation: In the spirit of giving advice and sharing to help others in a similar situation, I’d love to hear your conception stories and especially some of your misconceptions around ovulation, birth control and tips for getting pregnant.

Share your stories and engage in the conversation online using #conceptionmisconception

Helps to reduce the risk of neural tube defects when taken daily at least three months prior to becoming pregnant and during early pregnancy.

Disclosure: I am a member of the Church & Dwight Ambassador Program, and as such receive special perks, products, and other compensation for my participation. All opinions on this blog, as always, remain my own.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Moms Know Best: University Student Care Package Essentials #ChurchAndDwight {giveaway}

I'm trying not to think about back to school yet, as I soak up all the remaining wonders of summer. But I saw on Facebook today that a friend of mine is out shopping for her daughter's first apartment. Ouch! She moves to Toronto for second year university this weekend, and Mom is getting her all set up with the essentials. Ouch.

It seems like a lifetime ago we got our eldest stocked up and prepped for dorm life when he first went away to college, but I remember the emotions. It's totally a bittersweet experience. Parents are proud of their wonderful young adults, and excited for all their adventures to come. At the same time, it's common to feel some sadness as our kids fly the coop, and a new stage in all our lives begins. And of course we worry about them. Have we taught them all the basic life skills they need to survive on their own? Will they make good decisions? How much more advice can I give them before they stop listening? It's tough.

We parents have to trust we've done our best and instilled some common sense and critical life skills in our kids. (Pro Tip: The earlier you get your kids involved in household chores, cooking, and cleaning, the better. Both for you and for them!) Here are three suggestions from Church and Dwight that will help you help your kids find success living on their own.

Tip 1: They can’t get a date without clean clothing!
I hope you've had your teen doing laundry for a few years by this point, so they should have the basics down. We can't expect them to take the same kind of time and care we do though, especially when they are sharing coin operated machines in a laundromat or common laundry room. Stain removers, sorting clothes, and scooping detergent might be too much to ask of our students. Let’s face it. They’re just looking for an easy solution to the challenge ahead – no clean socks or underwear and they’ve got a date in a few hours. Send them off to school with a container of the new Arm & Hammer™ Plus OxiClean™ 3-In-1 Power Paks. This all-in-one detergent tackles tough stains, doesn’t require any measuring or scooping and is student-budget friendly. If you’re lucky, it may also mean you’re not greeted with a load of dirty laundry every time your kid comes home to visit.

Meanwhile, don’t be surprised when you receive a call or text saying, “Mom, how do I sort my laundry?” Or “Where do I find the washing instructions?” To help make laundry easier (and prevent shrinking t-shirts, and colour bleed disasters at the same time), educate them on the proper laundry symbols. In fact, you can download a fun laundry symbols postcard from Arm & Hammer Laundry here that lists the most common symbols and what they mean.

Tip 2: Don’t forget to talk about being safe!
One of the biggest challenges as a parent, is how to talk to your kids about safe sex. While it can feel really uncomfortable, it’s a necessary conversation and part of life. The reality is that kids are having sex, yet not always properly protecting themselves. In fact, a 2013 study found that almost two-thirds (64 per cent) of post-secondary students across the country had had a sexual encounter within the past year. Furthermore, 72 per cent of students engaged in intercourse during their last sexual encounter, yet only about half (51 per cent) reported using a condom.1 That's scary.

If you have a child heading off to school, buy condoms for them, and pack them in their suitcase. Trojan™ condoms are the number one condom choice of Canadians for reliable protection. I hated buying condoms for our eldest, but I did it, because we felt it was important. We told him, this didn't mean we were condoning or encouraging him to have sex, but if he were going to do it, he had to keep himself and his partner safe. Lack of money to buy protection was not to be an excuse.

Tip 3: Sometimes, kids know best!
Just because you’re the one who’s prepping the kids for back-to-school, doesn’t mean they can’t teach you a cool thing or two as well – beauty hacks are no exception! One must-have item that’s just as popular with moms as with students is Batiste Dry Shampoo. It is the world’s #1 dry shampoo (sold in over 50 countries!) for a reason – it instantly refreshes your hair between washes, no water required. It works by absorbing excess oil from the roots, leaving hair looking clean and fresh. So, whether you’re running late or just looking for an instant refresh, new Batiste Dry Shampoo Heavenly Volume is a saving grace, as it has the additional benefit of transforming hair with gorgeous, touchable volume and bounce. Students lead busy lives, and dry shampoo is a great quick fix when you're late for class or get a last minute text to meet your crew at the pub.

12013 survey among university students age 18-24, conducted by Trojan™ and the Sex Information Education Council of Canada (SIECCAN)

A Giveaway

Know of someone heading off to college/university this Fall? Help make sure they’re equipped with this student care package giveaway. Prize pack is valued at approximately $75 and includes:

  • OxiClean Colour Shield Laundry Stain Remover
  • Arm & Hammer Plus OxiClean Power Paks in Fresh Scent
  • Trojan XOXO Condoms and Bareskin Lubricated Condoms
  • Batiste Dry Shampoo Heavenly Volume
Entries are via the widget below and will be accepted until 11:59pm EDT, August 27. Giveaway is open to Canadian residents only. Best of luck!

Disclosure: I am a member of the Church & Dwight Ambassador Program, and as such receive special perks, products, and other compensation for my participation. All opinions on this blog, as always, remain my own.


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