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5 Ways to Enjoy Your Third Trimester


  By EverydayFamily

The third trimester: The most exciting period of your pregnancy as it means you're closer to meeting your precious baby.

However, it can also be the most physically brutal time of your life. Hip pain, back pain, swollen ankles, headaches, the need to go to the bathroom every five minutes, heartburn, the list goes on.

For many, it is also a very emotional period. You may begin to question whether you can do this motherhood thing (yes, you can!); you start to worry about the actual birthing process; you worry about all the things you need to do in preparation for the baby, and the list goes on.

After two pregnancies, here are some things I've learned that I hope will help you enjoy your third trimester!

1. Treat Yourself

Now is the time to get that haircut you've been thinking about. Go for a pedicure, and even look into getting a pregnancy massage. You'll not just look good, you will feel better.

2. Break Your To-Do List Down

Yes, you have a to-do list that is a mile long. Yes, looking at it makes you break out in hives and you just want to shove it into the back of a drawer and never think about it again. The best way to approach this is to break it down into smaller tasks, which you can do over a period of time.

Categorize your list accordingly. For example, list one could be the nursery and the items you need for it. List two will be essential baby things like clothes, diapers, bottles (if you plan to express or bottle feed), car seat, and a stroller. List three is your hospital bag and what needs to go into it. Tackle one list at a time. If you want to get the big stuff out of the way (buying a crib, the stroller, the car seat), then do those first.

3. Get Some Rest

You probably have heard this a dozen times - but I'll say it again. Get some rest when you can. Your baby needs you to be in the best of health, not run down and tired. Putting your feet up will also help with the various aches and pains. Trust me on this one.

4. Eat Well

By 'eat well', I don't mean pig out on cheesecake. Yes, allow yourself some dessert every once in a while, but make sure you eat healthy portions regularly. Chow down on vegetables and fruit, drink enough water, and consume some protein, healthy carbs, and sources of calcium. Eat as much fresh produce as you can!

5. Spend Time with Your Spouse

Remember, this parenting journey is not just yours; it's also your spouse's. Grab some alone time with each other, talk about your soon-to-be born child, enjoy each other's company. Knowing he is there for you can be extremely comforting.

It will feel like you've been pregnant forever when you've come this far. But all too soon, it will be over and you will hold your baby in your arms. Treasure the now and take it one day at a time.

How are you planning to enjoy your third trimester?

Blue wool baby booties with pregnancy test next to them

Symptoms of pregnancy: What happens first

Could you be pregnant? The proof is in the pregnancy test. But even before you miss a period, you might suspect — or hope — that you're pregnant. Know the first signs of pregnancy and why they occur.

Classic pregnancy signs and symptoms

The most common early signs and symptoms of pregnancy might include:

  • Missed period

    If you're in your childbearing years and a week or more has passed without the start of an expected menstrual cycle, you might be pregnant. However, this symptom can be misleading if you have an irregular menstrual cycle.

  • Tender, swollen breasts

    Early in pregnancy hormonal changes might make your breasts sensitive and sore. The discomfort will likely decrease after a few weeks as your body adjusts to hormonal changes.

  • Nausea with or without vomiting

    Morning sickness, which can strike at any time of the day or night, often begins one month after you become pregnant. However, some women feel nausea earlier and some never experience it. While the cause of nausea during pregnancy isn't clear, pregnancy hormones likely play a role.

  • Increased urination

    You might find yourself urinating more often than usual. The amount of blood in your body increases during pregnancy, causing your kidneys to process extra fluid that ends up in your bladder.

  • Fatigue

    Fatigue also ranks high among early symptoms of pregnancy. During early pregnancy, levels of the hormone progesterone soar — which might make you feel sleepy.

Other pregnancy signs and symptoms

Other less obvious signs and symptoms of pregnancy that you might experience during the first trimester include:

  • Moodiness

    The flood of hormones in your body in early pregnancy can make you unusually emotional and weepy. Mood swings also are common.

  • Bloating

    Hormonal changes during early pregnancy can cause you to feel bloated, similar to how you might feel at the start of a menstrual period.

  • Light spotting

    Sometimes a small amount of light spotting is one of the first signs of pregnancy. Known as implantation bleeding, it happens when the fertilized egg attaches to the lining of the uterus — about 10 to 14 days after conception. Implantation bleeding occurs around the time of a menstrual period. However, not all women have it.

  • Cramping

    Some women experience mild uterine cramping early in pregnancy.

  • Constipation

    Hormonal changes cause your digestive system to slow down, which can lead to constipation.

  • Food aversions

    When you're pregnant, you might become more sensitive to certain odors and your sense of taste might change. Like most other symptoms of pregnancy, these food preferences can be chalked up to hormonal changes.

  • Nasal congestion

    Increasing hormone levels and blood production can cause the mucous membranes in your nose to swell, dry out and bleed easily. This might cause you to have a stuffy or runny nose.

Are you really pregnant?

Unfortunately, many of these signs and symptoms aren't unique to pregnancy. Some can indicate that you're getting sick or that your period is about to start. Likewise, you can be pregnant without experiencing many of these symptoms.

Still, if you miss a period and notice some of the above signs or symptoms, take a home pregnancy test or see your health care provider. If your home pregnancy test is positive, make an appointment with your health care provider. The sooner your pregnancy is confirmed, the sooner you can begin prenatal care.

This article was from Mayo Clinic Health Information Library and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Image : Getty

Husband and wife’s hand wrapped around a pregnant belly.

Your Pregnancy at 20 Weeks: What’s Going on With You and Baby

You’re halfway there, mom-to-be! You’ve spent the past 20 weeks managing early pregnancy symptoms and starting to prepare you and your partner for the arrival of a new family member. Find out about what’s going on now with your body and your baby at this exciting point in your pregnancy.

What’s Going on With You

Chances are you’re feeling a bit of relief from pregnancy symptoms at 20 weeks. Your belly is popping and folks probably now notice that you’re pregnant. According to the Office on Women's Health (OWH;, the following are common symptoms and milestones at this stage of your pregnancy:

  • Your belly size has grown! The top of the uterus is now about level with your navel.

  • You’re gaining weight (about 8-10 pounds so far). Medical experts suggest that you’ll gain about a half pound to 1 pound every week for the remainder of your pregnancy.

  • Many new moms notice at 20 weeks (you’re halfway there!) that several early pregnancy symptoms — such as morning sickness and feeling tired — are now waning, and might even feel a boost of energy.

  • You’re nesting. If you’ve not yet started to get your home ready for baby, chances are this week you’re working on the nursery, picking out layette items, and enjoying preparing for your baby’s arrival.

  • Your dreams may be more vivid. As your hormones race, your baby grows, and your due date edges closer, many Mom-to-Be find that their dreams are more memorable — and more vivid—at this point in pregnancy. Keep a journal by your bedside and make a habit of writing down what you remember upon waking!

  • What’s Going on With Your Baby

    Your little one also is going through major changes at 20 weeks of fetal development. Here’s a peek at what’s happening during this week of your pregnancy, according to the OWH:

  • Your developing baby is now about 6 inches long and weighs about 9 ounces. That’s roughly the size of a bell pepper.

  • Your baby is much more active at this stage, and chances are you may feel a bit of kicking going on inside your belly. These little flutters signal that your baby is testing limbs and moving around.

  • Time to read to your baby. Your baby can now hear! Babies grow accustomed to the sound of your and your partner’s voices. This is a great time to be reading, singing, and talking to your baby.

  • If you could see in your womb right now, you’d notice a fine, downy hair covering your baby’s entire body. This fuzzy coat, called lanugo, is coupled with a waxy covering called vernix. Both of these layers are protecting baby’s still-developing skin underneath.

  • Your little one is busy growing eyebrows, eyelashes, fingernails, and toenails.

  • Your baby is also swallowing (you may even feel these hiccups!).

  • Baby’s gender is now visible. During your fifth month of pregnancy, you can finally discover the gender of your baby! A qualified technician should be able to discern now if you’ll be having a boy or a girl.

  • Image : Getty

     Pregnant woman in red dress relaxin got a couch

    Frequently Asked Questions about Pregnancy

    Congratulations, mom-to-be! No doubt you have questions about what your pregnancy will be like, and you might even be a little nervous about what lies ahead. Speaking with your doctor and learning as much as possible about pregnancy will empower you to be the best mother you can. The following answers to some frequently asked pregnancy questions will help you get started.

    Help! I’m feeling nervous about my pregnancy. What can I do?

    Don’t be afraid to reach out to others and express your concerns. “Talk with your partner, family or friends about how you are feeling. Keeping your feelings bottled up will only make you feel worse,” says the Office on Women’s Health ( Take time to speak to your partner, your family and friends and let them know you’re nervous. Building a support network now will help you throughout your pregnancy. Share your questions, concerns and excitement with your support network and you may be surprised how many mom friends and family members felt the same way you do now. And, chances are, those moms-in-the-know have advice you can use, too.

    Also, learn as much as you can about pregnancy. Check out books from your library, explore reputable medical resources online, and be sure to speak with your doctor. “By educating yourself, you will know what to expect and feel more in control,” assures the OWH.

    Do I really need to take a prenatal vitamin?

    This is a good question for you and your doctor to discuss. But most OB-GYNs and pediatricians suggestion expectant moms take a prenatal vitamin containing folic acid throughout their pregnancy. As the U.S. Public Health Service explains, “all women capable of becoming pregnant (should) consume 400 micrograms of folic acid daily to prevent neural tube defects (NTDs).”

    How many appointments will I need throughout my pregnancy?

    Prenatal care during pregnancy is absolutely essential. “This consistent care can help keep you and your baby healthy, spot problems if they occur, and prevent problems during delivery,” explains the OWH.

    Routine checkups usually occur:

  • Once each month, from week four through week 28

  • Twice a month, from week 28 through week 36

  • Weekly from week 36 until you give birth.

  • The above schedule may change slightly, depending on your pregnancy and your OB-GYN’s practice policies. Be sure to speak with you doctor for a complete schedule of your prenatal appointments.

    How many ultrasounds will I have?

    Ultrasound exams can be performed at any point during pregnancy, but they aren’t always considered a routine prenatal test. Most OB-GYNs suggest moms-to-be have at least two:

  • The first test usually occurs during your first trimester as part of a biophysical profile (a prenatal ultrasound evaluation).

  • The second is typically scheduled between 18 and 20 weeks, “to look for signs of problems with the baby's organs and body systems and confirm the age of the fetus and proper growth,” says the OWH.

    When can I find out the gender of my baby?

    During your second-trimester ultrasound appointment, you may be able to learn the gender of your baby; generally between 18 and 20 weeks, according to the OWH.

    Can I still exercise during my pregnancy?

    The Office of Women’s Health reports that you can indeed exercise throughout your pregnancy. “Unless your doctor tells you not to, try to get at least two hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week,” the OWH advises.

    To maximize the health benefits of working out during pregnancy, and to keep you and your baby safe, spread out your workouts throughout the week. “If you worked out regularly before pregnancy, you can keep up your activity level as long as your health doesn’t change and you talk to your doctor about your activity level throughout your pregnancy,” adds the OWH.

    How much weight should I gain during pregnancy?

    “You should gain weight gradually during your pregnancy, with most of the weight gained in the last three months,” according to the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion.

    The government agency suggests women gain weight at the following rate:

  • 1 to 4 pounds total during the first three months (first trimester)

  • 2 to 4 pounds per month during the fourth to ninth months (second and third trimesters)

  • The total amount you gain during pregnancy depends on your weight at the time of conception. For women who maintained a healthy preconception weight, the USDA suggests gaining between 25 and 35 pounds. Be sure to speak with you doctor to find out what rate and amount of weight gain are right for you.

    How will I know when it's time to go to the hospital?

    Clock your contractions to track when they start, how long they last and time between each. This is a good indicator of how soon the first stages of labor will start. “With true labor, contractions become regular, stronger and more frequent,” says the OWH. These contractions will also establish a regular pattern and not taper off or go away, even if you change position or alter your activity.

    “If you ever are unsure if contractions are true labor, call your doctor,” recommends the OWH. A quick phone chat will ease your mind and help you understand if you need to stay home and wait a bit longer, or jump in the car and head to the hospital.

    About Our Experts

    Office on Women’s Health (

    Part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Office on Women's Health provides leadership and coordination to improve the health of women and girls through policy, education and model programs.

    American Academy of Pediatrics (

    The AAP is medical organization composed of over 60,000 pediatricians committed to supporting and educating families with infants through young adults to better develop and maintain optimal physical, mental and social health and well-being.

    U.S. Public Health Service (

    The Public Health Service is a government organization overseen by the Surgeon General that focuses on providing education and services to protect, promote and advance the health of U.S. citizens.

    USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (

    The CNPP was established in 1994 to improve the nutrition and well-being of Americans; the USDA Food Guidance System is one of this government agency’s core programs.

    Image : Getty

    Stylish pregnant woman outdoors posing

    4 Ways to Save Big on Maternity Clothes

    For many women, a pregnancy starts to feel real when their bump begins to form and they notice their regular clothes getting tight. While this happens at different times for different women, it’s also usually the first time they go shopping for maternity clothes. Some women love to shop, some women hate it, but almost all will have to do it at some point in their pregnancy. If you’d rather not spend big bucks on your maternity wardrobe, or if budget constraints mean you can’t, rest assured that there are multiple ways to get the clothes you need without breaking the bank.

    1. Ask friends and family

    Many women stock up on maternity clothes during their first pregnancy and, after the baby comes, pack them away for next time. Since you’ll likely only be wearing maternity clothes for a few months, it’s totally feasible for you to borrow from those around you. Sometimes a simple Facebook message asking if anyone has anything you can borrow can leave you with a full wardrobe. If you have a special occasion, such as a wedding or job interview, ask around for pieces you’ll only wear once to stretch your budget.

    2. Check out Craigslist

    Often, when women are done having kids they’ll sell their maternity clothes as a lot for a huge discount. If you check listings regularly, you’ll find that it’s not uncommon to see a week’s worth of clothes listed for under $100. Every piece may not be to your taste but, when you’re getting so much for so little it’s surely worth it! 

    3. Hit up thrift stores

    Buying used is always cheaper than buying new and, when the clothes in question have only been worn for a few months by their previous owners they’re often in great condition. Most big cities have a maternity thrift shop but even if yours doesn’t, you’ll probably be able to find a selection of maternity clothes at your local kid-thrift shop or standard second-hand store.

    4. Explore the non-maternity section

    While fitting into standard jeans towards the end of your pregnancy is unlikely, there are some pieces that you don’t necessarily need to buy at a specialty maternity store. Sometimes, leggings, cardigans, and t-shirts from the non-maternity section will fit (and be way cheaper!) than what you might find at a specialty store.

    Happy shopping (or borrowing!) mamas! 

    How did you build up your maternity wardrobe?

    This article was written by EverydayFamily from Everyday Family and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

    Fall table top surrounded by warm colored Thanksgiving themed items

    5 Reasons Thanksgiving is the Best When You’re Pregnant

    First, we got to celebrate the cooler weather and the return of oversized sweaters and pumpkin everything and now — Thanksgiving!

    If you’re going to be celebrating with family and friends during this holiday, you may grumble at the fact that you can’t partake in the wine to make it more tolerable (thanks to being pregnant), but there are a lot of reasons why Thanksgiving is actually the best when you’re pregnant!

    Don’t believe me? Here are 5 solid reasons why Thanksgiving is even better when you’re pregnant.

    You have first dibs at dessert

    OK, so people may pay extra attention to your plate when you’re pregnant, seeing if you’re eating for two, but who cares!? Tell your family that Baby demands an extra slice of apple pie — and it’s all yours.

    You have an excuse

    If you already have too much to do on Thanksgiving and you really don’t want to go to your cousin’s gathering, who lives two hours away, you don’t have to. Just tell them you’re not feeling well — that you can’t stop puking or that you can’t fit into the car if you have to. Then, take the afternoon and have a well-deserved rest. 

    You’re in the right pants already

    You know those pants with the elastic band that everyone puts on when you’re about to indulge in an amazing feat? Well, those are maternity pants, and you have an excuse to wear them and not have them be called your “fat pants.”

    You can sleep

    There’s this idea that turkey makes everyone sleepy and that, after a big meal, everyone struggles to keep their eyes open — but you don’t have to. Just curl up on the couch and take a nap. Your extra ZZZs will be blamed on your growing baby, and people will leave you be.

    It’s the perfect time to share the news

    If you’re not showing yet, and you’re early in your pregnancy, Thanksgiving lends itself perfectly to announcing that you’re pregnant. Your whole family is already together, and there are some seriously adorable announcements, thanks to turkeys. 

    What are your favorite things about being pregnant during Thanksgiving? Share in the comments!

    This article was written by EverydayFamily from Everyday Family and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

    Image : Getty

    Pregnant couple outside embracing each other in a sunny black and white photo

    5 Cool Things About The Second Trimester

    The second trimester is a huge time of growth for your little one. Here’s a sneak peak at what’s going on in there!

    Your baby has doubled in size.

    Since the first trimester, your baby has more than doubled in size. Which, when you think about it compared to our growth as adults, is absolutely mind-boggling. From a tiny embryo invisible by the eye, to nearly 10 inches long by the fifth month, your baby is making some astounding strides in the growth department.

    Your baby’s eyelashes develop.

    It might not sound like a big thing, but the fact that your teeny little baby is developing those perfect teeny little eyelashes this early is nothing short of miraculous. You’re halfway there, but the smallest little details are already in place.

    Your baby now has regular sleep cycles.

    Although it might not seem like it when your baby is wide awake in the middle of the night, your baby has developed regular sleep/wake cycles. Probably, you’ll notice those sleepy nights are not when you are sleeping!

    Your baby can hear.

    An amazing development occurs as early as the fourth month–your baby develops the ability to hear. And by week 25, your baby actually responds to the sound of your voice. Start practicing those lullabies now!

    Toe prints and fingerprints have formed.

    Your baby has his own unique toe prints and fingerprints by the end of the second trimester. Although, of course, you didn’t need us to tell us that your baby is a unique individual, did you?

    What trimester of pregnancy are you in?

    This article was written by EverydayFamily from Everyday Family and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

    Image : Getty

    Girl in red dress lying on grass with fall colored leaves

    All About Your October Baby

    Looking to sources from astrology and the farmer’s almanac to scientific research, here are some of the characteristics and symbols attributed to October babies.

    October was originally the eighth month of the year, as you may have guessed from the name. Associated with fall, pumpkins, pink ribbons in honor of breast cancer awareness, and Halloween, it’s a busy and colorful month.

    You’ll be pleased to know that October babies have long lives ahead of them, as science says those born in this month live the longest. However they also may have greater chances of being affected by asthma. It shouldn’t slow them down, though, as they’re often quite fit and gifted at sports.

    Two stones are associated with October births – tourmaline and opal. Each of these stones can feature several colors in one gem, making them especially unique and lovely.

    The flower for October is the marigold. They may serve as a symbol of “warm or fierce, undying love.”

    The zodiac signs for October babies are Libra (until October 22nd) and Scorpio (from October 23rd forward).

    • Libra – Symbolized by the scales, they are all about finding balance. While they can go to extremes and can be shy, they are caring and ready to cheer on the underdog.
    • Scorpio – Symbolized by the scorpion, they are bold and focused. They won’t back down from an argument, but they’re also ready to take on any challenge.

    Famous October birthdays include Julie Andrews, Gwen Stefani, and Bill Gates.

    When is your October baby’s birthday?

    This article was written by EverydayFamily from Everyday Family and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

    Image : Article

    Dad bending over playfully to listen to wife’s pregnant belly

    Pregnancy Pointers Just-for-Dads : Things You Can Do Now

    For new dads-to-be, their partner’s pregnancy can be a confusing and even stressful affair. We polled experts and dads alike to find out what helps dads-to-be actively partic-ipate in their partner's pregnancy. Our tips will help you relax and be prepared to cele-brate the birth of your baby — and your new dad status.

    Do your homework

    “Study up on the basics. You don’t have to read an entire book, but at least a few chap-ters. When your partner sends you links with information that she’s learning, make sure to review it, too,” says Seth D. Ginsberg, health advocate, social entrepreneur and new father.

    Brush-up on your baby care skills.

    Dads can find lots of helpful info in videos, books and online tutorials. Get a handle on the basics of baby care now — things like feeding, diaper changing, sleeping — so you’ll be prepared when you baby arrives. “Do 95 percent ‘preparation' so you only have to spend 5 percent on the ‘perspiration’ when it’s show time,” advises Ginsberg. “The month or so leading up to the due date is the perfect time to cram, but take it seriously. You’ll thank yourself later.”

    Get your and your partner’s paperwork in order.

    Work on collecting your insurance forms, financial information and consider setting up a will. “Do most of the legwork before the baby so that it’s ready to go,” says Ginsberg. “Call the health insurance company to get the newborn information, access to any post-partum care that you’re entitled to, and once the baby has a Social Security number, he/she should get added to the insurance.” Ginsberg adds an important note: “Most in-surance companies require a child/dependent to be added within 30 days of birth, so don’t put this off.”

    Talk to your employer.

    “Talk with your employer about paternity leave to understand your benefits, if they ex-ist,” suggests Ginsberg. Set up an appointment with your human resources representa-tive to learn more. You can also research the Family and Medical Leave Act on your own online.

    Take care of yourself.

    There’s no doubt a flurry of activity at home now, with your partner pregnant and a baby on the way. But you still need to take time to care for yourself. “Start eating better,” says Ginsberg. “Get yourself ready as if you were about to run a marathon – which you wouldn’t do without some training. If you can get some exercise in, you’ll need it (and won’t have much time to do it after the baby arrives).” If you’re confused about how best to start, simply begin by cutting back on greasy, unhealthy, fatty foods and focus on a healthy, balanced diet.

    Learn how to feed a baby.

    Even if mom is planning to nurse, it is great for dads-to-be to know how to give baby a bottle. Learn how to assemble a bottle, measure the formula, warm it to room tempera-ture, clean and sterilize it — and then do a practice run before the baby comes,” says Ginsberg. “You don’t want to do this the first time while holding a crying baby. But once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to do it.”


    “Stay open, curious and inquisitive in your communication. Now, more than ever, your partner wants and needs to feel heard and understood by you,” says Dr. Fran Walfish, a child, parenting and relationship psychotherapist and author of “The Self-Aware Parent.” Spend time together with your partner. Schedule a weekly date night with your partner, says Walfish. “The couple is the foun-dation, the bricks and mortar of every family. Remember to tend and care for (your-selves first) in order to preserve the marriage and family unity.”

    Book pages bending together to make shape of heart

    Beautiful Poetic-Inspired Baby Names You’ll Love

    Whether you’re a born romantic, a lover of great literature, or just someone who likes a little rhyme beyond nursery rhymes and what’s on the radio every now and then, there is something for everyone to like in the world of poetry. Lyrical language, lilting rhythms, and a vocabulary that transcends the everyday help to make poems a special treat. But you can have that special beauty every day with a baby name that embraces the beauty of the written and spoken word.

    So if you are looking for a name that embraces the beauty of poetry, check out these names inspired by poetic tools, famous works, and famous writers. Maybe you’ll find the perfect name for your own little work of art.

    Alexandrine – In poetic terms, it’s a twelve syllable line, but it rolls off the tongue with its own poetic charm.

    Elision – A poetic device wherein a sound or syllable is omitted to aid in pronunciation and flow.

    Blake – After the famed poet and artist William Blake.

    Evangeline – The eponymous heroine of the poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

    Browning – Both Robert Browning and his wife, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, give poetic weight to this name.

    Kenning – A stylistic device that consists of a short, often two-word, phrase used to replace a noun.

    Byron – George Gordon Byron, often simply referred to as Lord Byron, inspires this choice.

    Langston – In honor of a leader of the Harlem Renaissance, poet Langston Hughes.

    Ceridwen – After the Celtic goddess of poetry.

    Poesy – The art of poetry itself.

    Charlotte – The oldest of the famous Bronte sisters, Charlotte was a novelist and poet.

    Rosalind – The subject of love poetry by Tennyson and the focus of Orlando’s love poems in Shakespeare’s As You Like It. There’s obviously something about Rosalind.

    Devin – From the Gaelic, meaning poet.

    Thalia – One of the muses that presides over poetry.

    Eliot – Inspired by Nobel prize winning poet T.S. Eliot.

    This article was written by EverydayFamily from Everyday Family and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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