Archives for October 2007

What is a Birth Plan?

A Birth Plan is pretty much just what it sounds like… a plan written out by you, listing your preferences for an ideal birth. Of course, a “birth plan” is somewhat of an oxymoron, since childbirth is anything but predictable. However, there are certain things you might want to be in control of, and writing out a birth plan for your doctor or midwife will ensure that procedures follow your preferences as much as possible.  Of course, if there are (G-d forbid) complications or emergencies, your doctor will decide what is best for you and your baby.

Some things that women include in their birth plans are positions for labor and birth, environment during labor, pain relief options, fetal monitoring, breastfeeding/bottle preferences, and circumcision. However there are many other details that you might want to include. You can write down anything you feel would make enhance your birthing experience, and whatever you think is best for your well-being and the well-being of your child.

If you are interested in creating an interactive online birth plan, BabyZone has a very detailed one. BabyCentre also has some useful information and a list of things to consider when writing a birth plan.

Giving Birth: What to take to the Hospital

Babies don’t always stick to the rules when deciding when to be born. Sometimes they are early and sometimes they are late, but since you never know when he’ll decide to make his appearence, it’s best to be prepared! Have a bag packed at least a couple weeks before your due date.

Here is a Packing List of important items:

Medical records

Hospital Registration

Birth Plan (if you have one)

Toiletries & Cosmetics

Sanitary pads (not tampons)

Clean underwear

Dressing gown & slippers

Outfit to wear home (keep it roomy!)

Nursing bra (if you have one) and nursing pads

Magazines, books, CD’s

Camera/camcorder

Snacks

Calling card/change for pay phones

Outfit and hat for baby to wear home

Baby blanket

For an even more complete checklist, try Baby Bedding Town.

Big heads, small heads

They’re sending me back for another ultrasound because my doctor says the baby is still “small.” By small, they mean a week behind, I believe. I’d like to know what they mean to accomplish by all these ultrasounds. I mean, I have 3 weeks to go. What are they hoping to discover? Is anything really going to change now?

I also had to be monitered twice (because apparently the baby was sleeping the first time). Now the moniter is seriously annoying. You lay there on your back, feeling like you’re suffocating (at least I do, when I’m on my back too long), while this machine measures things which are actually a mystery to me. And they just leave you there for like half an hour, looking at the ugly pictures on the wall. I’m not sure what that has to do with having a “small” baby anyway. Believe me, this kid’s got lots of energy and kicks hard!

And on top of that, my doctor declared that the baby has a small head, in comparison to the body and legs. Well, I said, at the well-baby clinic, they told me that my 2-yr old, Esther’s head was small too!! And then they looked at me and said, Oh, you have a small head too. Sheesh. So we have small heads. Making mountains out of molehills aren’t we? And if you ask me, a small head is better than a big head.  The doctor actually said that if the baby has a proportionally bigger head, that can be more of a problem than a proportionally small head. And yet, even a big head is no big deal! A friend of mine has a toddler who’s body is in the 5th percentile and her head is in the 98th. Big deal… she’s an adorible littel girl who will grow into her head one day.

But the truth is I just do what they tell me to do… moniters, ultrasounds, etc… I like my doctor and I assume she’s really just trying to take care of me and my baby. It’s aways better to play it safe, even though I feel like I’m wasting my time. Let’s have this small-headed baby out already! As long as it’s healthy that’s all that matters.

Group B Strep: Important information to protect your baby

The number one cause of life threatening infections in newborn babies, since the early 1970’s, is the bacteria Group B Streptococcus (GBS).  GBS infections are more common than other illnesses for which pregnant women are screened, such as rubella, Down’s Syndrome and spina bifida. Yet, most people have never heard of GBS!

GBS is a bacteria normally found in the vagina and/or lower intestine of 15% to 40% of all healthy, adult women, and there are usually no symptoms.  Most GBS infections are acquired during childbirth when the baby comes into direct contact with the bacteria carried by the mother.  About 12,000 infants in the United States will be infected with GBS each year, and will kill about 2,000 infants yearly, while leaving many others mentally and/or physically handicapped.

A routine screening for vaginal strep B is recomended for all pregnant women. This test is performed between the 35th and 37th week of pregnancy and involves a swab of both the vagina and the rectum.

If you test positive for GBS, you may be given antibiotics through IV during your delivery to prevent your baby from becoming ill. Taking antibiotics greatly decreases the chances of your baby becoming ill.  There is a 1 in 200 chance of your baby getting GBS if antibiotics are not given, and 1 in 4000 if antibiotics are given.

Taking oral antibiotics before delivery has not shown to be effective. There are also herbal methods that you can take 2-3 weeks before delivery that a midwife or homeopathic doctor can provide for you.

For more information: Center for Disease Control, American Pregnancy.org and ChildBirth.org

Pregnancy: Little leaks come with the territory

If you experience small bladder leaks, when you sneeze, cough, or laugh, don’t worry… it’s normal! The good news is that in most cases this annoyance will disappear after you give birth.

Why does this happen? The most obvious answer is that your growing baby is taking up lots of room in there, and putting constant pressure on your bladder! Also, a surge in the hormone progesterone, which relaxes the muscles to help make room for baby also contribute to unwanted urine leaks.

Read more here.

4 Weeks to go…

I have about 4 more weeks to go! I am huge, although people seem to feel obligated to say, “Oh, you’re not so big!” I don’t know why they do. There’s nothing wrong with a big belly when you’re entering your last month, is there?

The problem is, most of my maternity clothes don’t even fit anymore! Some of my tops are just too tight, and I keep tugging them down so they cover everything they’re supposed to be covering! It’s very annoying… but hardly worth buying anything new for just the last month. I guess I’ll be suffering with the same 2 tops for the rest of my time…

Also, I don’t like to move these days. I don’t like to move in the best of circumstances (Newton’s law?) but now it’s just a hundred times worse. I feel huge. Clumsy. Not particularly attractive. Tired. Grumpy. Not that I have anything to complain about, as this has really been an easy pregnancy. But I’m just about ready to wrap things up here. Get that baby out. Get back into human-sized clothes. A friend of mine who also had her second recently assured me it’s a whole new world, once the baby is out. I’m glad… you forget how things are supposed to be, and kind of think you’ll be feeling tired and cumbersome for the rest of your life…

Pregnancy and Pedicures: Why you should treat yourself

The answer is more practical that you’d think!

Beware of Squirting Milk

I was reading reader’s comments on Baby-Gaga about funny pregnancy stories, and this one provided a great visual. It’s actually a post-partum story, but still good for a chuckle.

“I went in for my 6 weeks check up… well I was breastfeeding… I pumped before I went but the wait was so long that when I finally got into the room, my breasts were full again… I was lying there in the nice little sheet thing waiting to be checked…well doc was getting ready to check my breasts and pulled back the sheet…and my boobs just started squirting EVERYWHERE…. even on his glasses and face… I thought that was the most embarrassing and funny thing that has ever happened to me…”

Good times!

At what moment does pregnancy begin?

I just read such an intersting article.  It’s called When Does Pregnancy Begin?: A Federal Appeals Court Decision Implicates a New Abortion Question. It cites a federal lawsuit brought by the parents of a 16-year-old girl against the city of Philadelphia and a health center operated by the city’s Department of Health. They claimed that the health center gave the girl a “morning after” pill, at her request, but without informing her that the medication could prevent a fertilized egg from implanting inside her uterus. Her parents  say this information would have been significant because the “prevention of implantation constitutes an abortion according to their religious beliefs.”

The article then goes on to discuss when exactly pregnancy begins according to a medical view, vs. a religious view. From a medical point of view “pregnancy does not occur at the moment of conception. It occurs, instead, when an embryo (a fertilized egg that has divided over the course of a few days) attaches itself to the woman’s uterus, a stage known as implantation.” It goes on to discuss how the morning-after pill functions and how to define the term “abortion” in relation to this early stage.  Also interesting are the parallels drawn between this situation and in-vitro fertilization.

Anyway, I won’t try to summerize it any further but read the article here at FindLaw if you are interested in more details.

Wonder where those extra pounds are distributed?

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends an average weight gain of 25 to 37 pounds during the course of your pregnancy. But if your baby is average size he will be about 7.5 pounds… where are the other 30 pounds going??

American Pregnancy.org lays it out: 

  • 7 1/2pounds is about how much the baby will weigh by the end of pregnancy
  • 1 1/2pounds is how much the placenta weighs
  • 4 pounds is attributed to increased fluid volume
  • 2 pounds is the weight of the uterus
  • 2 pounds is the weight of breast tissue
  • 4 pounds is because of increased blood volume
  • 7 pounds is attributed to maternal stores of fat, protein and other nutrients
  • 2 pounds for the amniotic fluid
  • Total: 30 pounds
  • You might also be interested in how weight gain can be expected to progress throughout pregnancy:

  • First trimester: 3-5 pounds
  • Second trimester: 1-2 pounds per week
  • Third trimester: 1-2 pounds per week
  • I have 5 more weeks to go… that means I could gain another 10 pounds… oooooh boy…

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