Week 3, Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Dear <<First Name>>:

This edition of our newsletter features ways to connect with, nurture and educate ourselves, our babies and our loved ones during these challenging times. Towards that end, we share expert information on promoting a healthy pregnancy, as well as special resources for parenting, especially during the Coronavirus pandemic. As Rebecca Parlakian, Senior Director of Programs at ZERO TO THREE, a nonprofit focused on promoting healthy development for children from birth states, “When everything is crazy on the outside, children need love on the inside. The truth is that your child will probably remember little, if anything, about COVID-19 and this extra time at home. But the moments you carve out during the day to connect and cuddle, are just what they need right now. The everyday stories, songs and routines you share are exactly the right stuff to help them feel safe, secure and loved. So relax, take a deep breath and remember: You are enough.”

Where our writers provide, our pieces are translated into other languages commonly spoken in Miami-Dade.

Best wishes,
Wil Blechman, MD
Co-chair, World's Greatest Baby Shower Planning Committee

Your Pregnancy

Counting Your Baby’s Kicks

Feeling your baby move for the first time is very exciting!  This can happen between 15-25 weeks for most pregnancies.  First kicks may feel like a flutter, then as baby grows bigger and stronger, you will feel a jab and then a kick. Your baby is learning to stretch and move his arms and legs. 

Counting your baby's kick is important because a change in your baby's movement in the third trimester is often the earliest sign of trouble.  When you know what is  normal for the baby, then you can be more alert to potential red flags.

By 26-28 weeks, it is time to start counting!  Here’s how:
  • Count  your baby’s movements around the same time every day.  Pick a time when your baby is most active (perhaps after you’ve had a snack or a meal). 
  • First, get comfortable sitting with your feet up or lie on your side.  This is a great time to bond with baby. You can also include your partner and big brothers or sisters.
  • Count each of the baby’s pokes, jabs, rolls or kicks.
  • See how long it takes your baby to get to 10 movements.  Usually this happens within 30 minutes to 2 hours.
  • If you notice a change in how your baby is moving,  call your healthcare provider right away.
It is important to count your baby’s kicks every day. Doing this will help you learn what is normal movement for your baby!  Using the Count the Kicks app helps you keep track of what is normal for your baby and how long it takes to get to 10 movements.  Learn more and download the FREE app at To see the video, click here.  

The Healthy Start Coalition of Miami-Dade is proud to partner with Count the Kicks to provide this important education in our community. 
  • 5 Nutrition Tips -- Reduce Risk in Pregnancy 
  • 5 konsèy nitrisyon pou diminye risk nan gwosès la
Are you and your partner finding cooking healthy meals more challenging than ever before? As a professional doula and homeschooling mom of four boys, Esther McCant understands that supporting a pregnancy during a pandemic can come with anxiety that negatively impacts eating habits. Many parents make more emotional, unhealthy eating choices and habits during stressful times. (A doula is defined as a woman who provides advice, information, emotional support, and physical comfort to a mother before, during, and just after childbirth.)
The 5 simple tips below can help anyone take control and stay firm on healthy eating to keep growing healthy babies.  
  1. Drink more water and add more fiber by eating lots of vegetables, fruit, and legumes to maintain a healthy digestive system and prevent low amniotic fluid. Bwe plis dlo e manje bagay ki gen anpil fibre (ou  jwenn fibre nan manje tankou legume, fruit, tomat, chou, navet, poiro, celeri, epina, pomme de terre, lantiy, etc) evite bagay tankou konstipasyon ak ba likid amniotic.
  1. Never skip meals. Baby needs healthy food regularly to grow healthy, and when you miss meals, it creates stress hormones in the baby. Ti bebe bezwen manje pou yo grandi an sante. Lè ou manke manje, li kreye òmòn estrès nan ti bebe.
  1. Cut fat in meat and dairy to lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, and obesity. Manje mwens gres, vyann, ak produi ki gen let ou trop luil kanola plizyè fwa nan yon semèn. Sevi ak lwil kokoye oubyen lwil oliv. Sa pral ede w diminye risk pou maladi kè, kansè ak obezite.
Traditional Haitian breakfast upgraded by adding extra fresh green watercress, sauteed onions, boiled green plantains and eggs. (Sauce is made with a teaspoon olive oil, tomato paste and chicken broth.) 
  1. Buy fresh fruit, and let vegetables take over half your plate. Farm Share can help with those costs. See the Parent Resources section below. Achte frui ak vejetab epi kite legim pran sou mwatye plak ou an. Farm Share ka ede-w jwen plis legim. Try creative ways to be nutritious like slipping spinach, zucchini and other vegetables into homemade spaghetti sauce.
  1. Feed your body with oxygen. Pause from your daily routine to relax and do deep breathing exercises so you can deal with stress daily. Poze pou w ka panse oubyen reflechi sou enfomasyon ou resevwa a. Fè egzèsis respire byen fon pou ou ka fè fas ak estrès chak jou.
A recent meal prepared by Esther for her family shows a brown rice bowl with lentils, roasted sweet potatoes, onions, mushrooms and beets topped with cilantro and pepitas.
Read more on nutrition on the latest blog post from Esther McCant, CLC, a birth doula, childbirth educator, and certified lactation counselor on the Miami Moms Blog. Contact Esther McCant, at Facebook Instagram @icandoula

Your Baby

Brain Matters

Parenting is considered one of the most difficult jobs in the world. Why is it that some children thrive, while others do not? Boost your parenting skills and learn 5 tips from a short clip of Brain Matters, the award winning film on the critical nature of the early years of life.  Click here


Play - Promotes healthy development (even when you're stuck at home during COVID-19)

As more families face social distancing, self-quarantine, and school and work closings as a result of COVID-19, it’s possible to feel stressed—not only about health issues, but also with the reality of suddenly being at home for a long time with energetic little ones.
Stick with Daily Routines

Try to stick to daily routines, with wake-up times, meals, naps, and bedtimes, as usual. Children thrive on predictability, and it’s good for their caregivers, too. (It’s much easier to deal with a long day with little ones if it’s divided into smaller, more manageable pieces.)

Provide Times for Different Types of Play

Little ones also need a combination of physical play where they can move and work their bodies…and voices and have opportunities to be loud, run, climb, and jump, as well as quiet play time. This may happen outside or inside.

Switch Toys

Pick a few toys to leave out for your child to play with, and put the rest away out of sight. After a week or so, switch out the toys they’ve been using for the ones stored away, and boom, it feels like they have new toys!
We know their toys will only entertain for so long… and then boredom can set in. Boredom for infants and toddlers may not look the same as it does for us. Signs your little one is bored:
  • Fussing or whining
  • Struggling to focus or engage in play
  • Becoming more aggressive
For more on activities to do at home with your infants and toddlers to promote their development, and keep them (and you) from feeling trapped in the house, check out A Year of Play and Play With Me!.



Today, the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) announced Florida will pilot a program for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients to purchase groceries online with the use of an EBT card. SNAP participants are automatically eligible to participate in this program and do not need to apply. For more information about the online purchasing pilot, please click:

Emergency Food Distribution and Food Pantries

Farm Share is a non-profit organization that works daily to make sure that Floridians receive the food and support they need. To accomplish this task, Farm Share partners with more than 2,000 food pantries, churches, schools, and other nonprofits throughout Florida to distribute food every single day.

Please click here for a list of upcoming Farm Share food distribution events throughout Miami-Dade County.

Click here for a listing of food pantries in Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties.

Click here for a listing of free Grab-N-Go meals.

Source:  Early Learning Coalition of Miami-Dade/Monroe

Talking about the Coronavirus

Answering Your Young Child’s Questions About Coronavirus

Even if you’ve kept your toddler away from news about COVID-19 in the media or overhearing adult conversations, they are bound to have questions. Here are some age-appropriate responses to common questions.

Why are people wearing masks? Why are people covering their faces?

Read through tips to answer tough questions toddlers may ask about COVID-19.

Self-Care and Time at Home During the Pandemic
Dr. Barbara Stroud presents COVID-19 Tips for Parents

A member of ZERO TO THREE’s Academy of Fellows, Dr. Stroud provides parents with information and skills to support their children’s emotional health and mental well-being, and build necessary skills of resilience.

Parenting During Coronavirus: You Are Enough offsite link

Managing expectations as a parent is key during stressful times.

Young Children at Home during the COVID-19 Outbreak: The Importance of Self-Care

Self-care is not selfish or indulgent—it’s how we keep ourselves well to ensure we are physically, emotionally, and mentally capable of being there for our young children.

Source: Zero to Three For additional resources on Coronavirus, go to The Children’s Movement of Florida at



Contact us
World’s Greatest Babies in Miami-Dade at


The information in these newsletters is brought to you by members of the Planning Committee of The World’s Greatest Baby Shower in Miami-Dade 2020.  The Planning Committee is comprised of the following organizations making a difference in the lives of children and families in Miami-Dade County.





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