How to Take Care a Pregnant Mother in Labor
The day of delivery has finally come for the mother-to-be. Her husband stands watching and waiting for the blessed moment with a look of uncertainty and a little anxiety. How can he step up and be the comforter that his wife needs during this trying time?more
Instructions to follow:
The most important thing that a man can do for his wife while she is in labor, even more important in some cases than offering to make her comfortable, is to let her know how much he loves her and to give her emotional support. Labor is a trying time for both parents and for the newborn child, and the mother has some strong forces working on her body as well as her emotions.
When things start to heat up and the contractions become stronger, it is important that the husband remains calm and focused on his purpose for being there. Be sure your wife has all the comforts of home. If she's cold, get her blankets. If she's hot, turn on the portable fan that you brought and apply some wet washcloths to help cool her down. Try to take her mind off the situation by showing her some old photographs or by watching a movie together. Use lotion or massage oil and give her a foot
massageand/or a back massage.
Try hard to remove all distractions from the room. Keep visitors to a minimum. Post a sign on the door that directs visitors to the nurse's station and ask the nurses to check with you before sending people in. If you have a mobile phone with you, be sure to switch it to vibrate and put it in your pocket. If someone calls, step into the hall to speak with them. Allow your wife to rest as much as possible and don't let small annoyances keep her awake. Be attentive to her and be sure to ask her how she's feeling often. Don't stay away from her room for too long and do not, under any circumstances, eat in front of her even is she says it’s OK!
After the baby is born, take some time and spend these precious moments with them and with your wife. Although the moment won't last forever, it will be one of the best of your life. Wait a little while before letting friends and family into the room. Encourage them to visit your baby when you've gone home and had time to settle. After you leave the hospital, continue to do thoughtful things for your wife and make every day special for her.
Smoking During Pregnancy May Spawn Aggressive Kids
Women who smoke during pregnancy risk delivering aggressive kids, finds a new study.more
While previous studies have shown that smoking during gestation causes low birth weight, this research shows mothers who light up during pregnancy can predispose their offspring to an additional risk: violent behavior.
The Canada-Netherlands study is published in the journal Development and Psychopathology.
What’s more, the research team found the risk of giving birth to aggressive children increases among smoking mothers whose familial income is lower than $40,000 per year. Another risk factor for aggressive behavior in offspring was smoking mothers with a history of antisocial behavior: run-ins with the law, high school drop-outs and illegal drug use.
Psychiatry professor and researcher Jean Séguin, of the Université de Montréal and Sainte-Justine Hospital Research Center, co-authored the study with postdoctoral fellow Stephan C. J. Huijbregts, now a researcher at Leiden University in the Netherlands, as well as colleagues from Université Laval and McGill University in Canada.
“Mothers-to-be whose lives have been marked by anti-social behavior have a 67 percent chance to have a physically aggressive child if they smoke 10 cigarettes a day while pregnant, compared with 16 percent for those who are non-smokers or who smoke fewer than 10 cigarettes a day,” says Dr. Séguin.
“Smoking also seems to be an aggravating factor, although less pronounced, in mothers whose anti-social behavior is negligible or zero.”
The research was carried out as part of a wider investigation of children, the Quebec Longitudinal Study, which examined behaviors of 1,745 children between the age of 18 months to three and a half years. Aggressive offspring were characterized by their mothers as quick to hit, bite, kick, fight and bully others.
Other risks for aggressive behavior
Although physical aggression is most common in preschool children, the researchers identified other prenatal factors associated with aggressive behavior in children: mothers who are younger than 21, who smoke and who coerce their children to behave. The researchers also found that children from families who earned less than $40,000 per year were at an increased risk for aggressive behaviour.
In this category, heavy smokers had a 40 percent chance of having highly aggressive children, compared with 25 percent for other mothers who were moderate or non-smokers. When income was greater than $40,000 annually, the gap between heavy smokers and others fell to 8 percent.
The effect of smoking on aggression in offspring remained significant – even when other factors were removed such as divorce, depression, maternal education and the mother’s age during pregnancy. Smoking during pregnancy is one factor that could be curbed to decrease risks of aggression and violent behaviour.
The research team recommends that low-income women, who are heavy smokers and who have a history of anti-social behavior become a screening criterion for prenatal testing to determine what families need extra support to prevent development of aggressive behavior.
Dietary Supplements To Take During Pregnancy
Encourage participants in your childbirth education class to take supplements prescribed by their health-care providers. They should not take any single vitamin or mineral supplements in higher-than-normal doses unless recommended by a health-care provider for a special condition. Also, inform class participants that higher-than-normal doses of the fat-soluble vitamins can be toxic. Fat-soluble vitamins include vitamins A, D, E, and K. Large doses of retinol (vitamin A) are known to cause birth defects in animals. It is safest to urge expectant mothers to take only their prenatal vitamins and no other over-the-counter vitamin supplements. That way, they do not have to remember which ones can be toxic or risk an accidental overdose on a vitamin.
2. Herbs and Other Supplements
Advise your perinatal educator colleagues to strongly discourage all pregnant women from taking herbal products or any other supplements (except their prenatal vitamins). Why? “Unregulated” refers to more than the testing of effectiveness and side effects of an ingredient. Manufacturing plants and the practices surrounding the production and packaging of these products are not regulated by the industry or the government. That means the concentration or dosage of ingredients in different products, and what contaminants are in the product, are unknown. Additionally, known and unknown effects of herbal products can be dangerous to the pregnant woman and to her developing fetus. Studies of safety are not conducted on pregnant and lactating women. Therefore, without specific directions from their health-care provider, expectant parents are advised to avoid the use of herbal products during pregnancy and lactation.
Caffeine crosses the placenta and affects the fetus. Caffeine is also passed on to the breastfed infant through the mother's milk. Please encourage the pregnant women in your class to avoid (or at least minimize) their consumption of caffeine. Most mothers know that coffee, tea, energy drinks, and some soft drinks contain caffeine, but it is also a hidden ingredient in many products. Dietary supplement ingredients that contain caffeine include guarana, yerba mate, kola or kola nut, cocoa, tea, coffee or coffee beans, and citrus aurantium or bitter orange. (Some of this is new information that even most dietitians may not know.) These ingredients and the products containing them should be avoided during pregnancy. Again, rather than remembering this long, strange list, mothers really should avoid supplements other than prenatal vitamins during pregnancy and lactation.
4. Good Manufacturing Practices
Finally, when discussing the postpartum period and life changes after the child is born, advise your class participants that if they choose to use supplements after pregnancy and lactation, they should look for products that state they use Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) for increased assurance of quality composition.
Healthy Diet For Pregnancy Women
Trying for a baby? Being healthy before, during and after pregnancy involves so many different aspects of your life. So, here is compilation of a quick list to help you stay on the healthy side.more
1. See your practitioner before becoming pregnant.
2. Start changing your food habits to include a healthy variety of foods.
3. Exercise! Starting now will help you stay in shape during pregnancy, can lower your risk of miscarriage, and has been proven to help reduce labor complications and length.
4. Educate yourself!
5. Eat a new vegetable you've never tried.
6. Check out a book on pregnancy.
7. Figure out what to do about chemical birth control, like the birth control pill.
8. Stop smoking. There are many programs to help you.
9. Take a prenatal vitamin. They can be prescribed by your practitioner or you can buy them over the counter. Ensure it contains 0.4 mg of folic acid.
10. Ask your partner to join you on your new healthy habit changes.
11. Track your cycles. Learning what you can about your cycles will help determine when you ovulate and when you conceived. These make for more accurate due dates.
12. If you need a new practitioner, interview before you become pregnant.
13. Ask your friends about pregnancy and parenthood.
14. Avoid chemicals that could possibly harm your baby. You can find these at work, in your home, and just about anywhere, be environmentally sensitive.
15. See your dentist before you get pregnant and brush your teeth daily.
16. Tell any medical professional that you may be pregnant if you are trying to get pregnant. This can prevent exposure to harmful tests and chemicals if you are pregnant and don't know it yet.
17. Stop changing cat litter.
18. Remember, it can take up to a year to become pregnant. If you have been actively trying for a year or more than six months if you are over 35, see your practitioner.
19. Act pregnant. This includes not drinking alcohol, even while trying to conceive. There is no known safe level during pregnancy and alcohol can cause birth defects.
20. Announce your pregnancy when you are ready.
21. Talk to your parents, what do you want to take from their experiences? How do you want to be different?
22. Rest when you can. Nap!
23. Start a journal.
24. Use non-medicinal remedies for problems like nausea, heartburn, and constipation.
25. Drink six - eight eight ounce glasses of water a day.
26. Read yet another book!
27. Join a prenatal yoga or exercise class.
28. Keep your prenatal appointments with your midwife or doctor. This will help ensure that if you have any problems that they are caught early and kept to a minimum.
29. Take an early pregnancy class.
30. Remember to add 300 - 500 calories a day while pregnant.
31. Tour your selection of birth facilities before making a choice if you are not having a home birth.
32. Review the signs of premature labor and warnings signs for when to call your practitioner.
33. Talk to local doulas and start interviewing. Doulas can help you have a shorter, safer and more satisfying birth.
34. Keep a food diary to ensure that you are keeping up with your daily requirements.
35. If you are decorating your house or a nursery remember to avoid fumes often associated with paint and wall paper. Perhaps have friends do the heavy work while you help make snacks for them. Keep the windows open!
36. Baby sit a friend's baby and learn a bit about caring for a newborn.
37. Take a childbirth class. Sign up early to ensure you get the class and dates that you want.
38. Swimming is great in late pregnancy. It can help relieve a lot of aches and pains and makes you feel weightless.
39. Take a breastfeeding class to help prepare you for the realities of breastfeeding.
40. Stretch before bed to help prevent leg cramps.
41. Continue to exercise, even if you have to slow down. This will help you recover more quickly.
42. Write a birth plan. Something to help you clarify what you want or need for your birth experience. Share this with your practitioners and those you have invited to your birth.
43. Have film and cameras ready!
44. Practice relaxation whenever you can. Try for at least once a day.
45. Do pelvic tilts to help with late pregnancy back pain. It will help relieve your pain and even encourage the baby to assume a good birth position.
46. Pack your bags if you are going to a birth center or hospital. Don't forget your insurance cards, pre-registration forms, camera, birth plan, etc.
47. Review the signs of labor and warning signs.
48. Take a picture of yourself before the baby comes!
49. Read birth stories.
50. Kiss the baby!
Suitable Wears During During Pregnancy
Pregnancy can be one of the most exciting times of a woman's life, but it can be difficult to find clothes that you feel good wearing as your pregnancy progresses. There are some important things to keep in mind when you are purchasing maternity clothes.more
Specialists recommend the pregnant woman to choose loose-fitting cotton pregnancy clothes and stay away from tight clothes because they block the skin from breathing. As the body temperature rises easily during pregnancy, the pregnant woman should wear layers that can be easily removed. Natural fibers are recommended as perspiration is increased during the 9 months. Shoes must be comfortable and flat if possible as the feet might be swelling and in the last months of pregnancy a little bit on unbalance in walking might occur.
Here are our tips for you to make the perfect pregnancy purchases:
1. Hold off on purchasing maternity clothes until about your second trimester. Sure, you are excited as anything about the pregnancy but for the majority of women, you will not start to show until the second trimester. For the first three months, most of your clothes except the tightest ones, will continue to fit perfectly well. If you are having twins or triplets, however, you may need to shop earlier.
2. Buy at least a few maternity pants or skirts before you need them, however. Often, there is a sudden growth spurt about the second trimester (for a single-baby pregnancy) in which in the span of a few days or a week, your usual pants will suddenly not fit. You will need to have enough clothing to at least get by until you can go shopping.
3. Use a "belly button". Even before you rush out to buy maternity clothes, it is good idea to purchase a belly button, which is a simple device consisting of elastic with buttons. It enables you to widen jeans and skirts a little (or a lot later on) and then you can pull these on over the growing bump. Cover with a long shirt, top or t-shirt and nobody will be any the wiser. (The "belly button" may not allow you to wear non-maternity clothes indefinitely, however, so start thinking about buying real maternity clothes!)
4. Shop at maternity clothing stores. These stores are more likely to have knowledgeable staff, quality maternity clothing, and so on than other retail stores. Also, if you're a petite, a plus-size, tall, or otherwise hard to fit you'll be more likely to find clothes in a maternity clothing store than at a general clothing retail store. Most sizes are based on your pre-pregnancy size but brands will vary.
5. Be aware that good quality maternity wear is designed to last through the nine months of a pregnancy and will stretch with you. It is better to buy two very good items than a dozen cheap ones to ensure this long-lived durability and quality.
6. Visit your favorite clothing or department store with a maternity line. Chances are excellent that you will like and fit the maternity lines as well.
7. Experiment with clothing styles. Your body is changing and so is what you will look good wearing.
8. Choose clothes for their stretch capacity without the fabric appearing that it is stretched.
9. Wear maternity clothes that look and feel good. Maternity clothes have come a long way in fashion since your mother's pregnancy; you don't need to wear ugly clothing just because you're a mother-to-be.
10. Avoid itchy or synthetic items where possible as your hormones will only help you feel itchier, stickier and hotter than normal! Most maternity clothes will contain Lycra or spandex for stretch capacity, but be sure whenever possible choose clothing with a natural fabric blend.
11. Purchase the same size that you were pre-pregnancy. If that size doesn't seem to fit, trust your judgment and buy a size larger or smaller. (However, if in doubt, go larger!)
12. Select several different styles and fits to try on. Pants, in particular, come with many different types of stretch panels, and will often fit and feel different. Also, as you progress in your pregnancy, it may not be only your stomach that grows, but also your posterior and hips.
13. Ask if the store has a "prosthetic tummy." This is a pillow-like object that you can wear under the maternity clothes to check the fit. It isn't a perfect indicator, but will help you in buying maternity clothes to wear later on. If one isn't available, try using a shopping bag with one or two clothing items in it--it works surprisingly well!
14. Buy or make nursing bras (a bra that allows you to uncover one breast at a time) around the last trimester if you are planning on breastfeeding. They are convenient and easy to use in public places. Make sure when pregnant to go to a lingerie store and get measured a couple of times as your bra size will flunctuate during your pregnancy, this will give you the most comfortable maternity bra.
15. Consider nursing clothes for the breast-feeding mother-to-be. These items (usually shirts, but also camisoles and dresses) have openings that make it easier to nurse, especially in public. Nursing sleepwear likewise makes for less disrobing at nighttime feedings. However, it is best to see how your existing clothes work before spending too much money on these specialized items - many modern clothes work well without special features.
16. Repeat as necessary: as you progress into your pregnancy, you may discover some purchases simply didn't work out as you thought. There's several reason for this, including how you're carrying your baby and how your body changes during pregnancy. It's hard to predict these things weeks or months in advance.
Don't think you somehow failed in shopping if a pair of pants that was comfortable for weeks suddenly becomes uncomfortable. So be careful not to think you'll finish all your shopping in one weekend, or otherwise buy all your wardrobe at once.