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Fatigue or Difficulty Sleeping in Pregnancy

by Guest
Posted July 7 2010 12:11pm
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Fatigue or difficulty sleeping during pregnancy is quite common for a number of reasons. Early on, your body is experiencing numerous system changes. These changes require a great deal of energy and can therefore affect normal sleeping patterns. As pregnancy continues, the growth and development of the baby puts more demands on you, thus causing fatigue.

By the end of pregnancy, there can be many things that keep you from getting a restful night's sleep. The physical size of your belly, heartburn, pressure on the bladder, which makes you have to pee, as well as the baby moving around are a few common reasons.

Fatigue is a sign that the body needs more rest. So how can you solve this problem? Know what can and can't be done in a day and take time out to rest. Eating smaller meals several times a day and trying a few relaxation activities (like a relaxation exercise or a warm bath) may also help you sleep better.

Find our more about Sleep and Pregnancy.  

 


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Becoming a Father

by Maxine
Posted July 7 2010 12:12pm
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Your baby will be here very soon, and you probably have some concerns about your new role as a father. Will you know how to care for the baby? Will you connect? This worry could come from the popular belief that fathers are less sensitive than mothers – and even somewhat clumsy with their babies, especially newborns.

Not to worry – there are several studies by noted researchers that suggested that this is untrue. The results actually indicated that fathers are naturally capable of caring for their new babies, as they are generally sensitive, warm and competent caregivers. And they are just as capable or incapable as mothers. And like mom, dad can talk to and touch their babies throughout pregnancy, bonding long before they are born.

Take a look at the information below. It outlines the behavioural and emotional responses new dads showed toward their newborns, according to the research findings. You’ll find plenty of responses that show that new dads are sensitive and competent.

Biological responses:
Their heart rate and blood pressure increased while new fathers were interacting with their newborns. This suggests that new Fathers are physically prepared to respond to their babies, which shows they are certainly far from indifferent.

Feelings:
New fathers reported feeling elated when their babies were born, emotionally connected to the child and equally as anxious as Mothers about leaving them in someone else's care.

Behaviours:
New fathers frequently visited hospitalized newborns. They showed interest by behaving the same as moms when meeting their babies for the first time and when interacting with their babies in the maternity ward.Blindfolded with noses plugged, new fathers could recognize their children by touching their hands, which demonstrates a certain physical connectedness.

When observed feeding their babies, both parents responded appropriately to their baby's cues. (However, if fathers were not asked to show their competence, they were more likely to let the mothers take over.)

Researchers also discovered ways in which new fathers demonstrated sensitivity to their babies’ needs, as compared to mothers.

Distress:
When babies showed upset during feeding—for example, sneezing, spitting up, coughing, grunting, crying or moving their mouths— fathers showed sensitivity toward their babies. On average, Fathers were just as responsive as mothers.

Encouragement:
When babies needed a change in pace or support when feeding, fathers were, on average, equally as capable as mothers to encourage their babies to eat. They also responded well to their babies’ cues by either adjusting to meet the baby’s pace or using phrases like, “Open wide!” and “Look at the spoon!”

Crying:
When their babies cried, fathers were less likely than mothers to automatically pick them up. Fathers tended to wait longer than mothers to pick up crying babies.

Language:
Both mothers and fathers adjusted their speech patterns when talking to their babies. They spoke more slowly, used shorter phrases and repeated themselves more often than when speaking to an adult.

However, fathers demanded higher levels of speech from their babies. For example, while mothers were more likely to use shorter sentences, fathers used more words in their sentences. This means the babies had to pay more attention to learn what the fathers were saying.

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Change Tables

by Guest
Posted August 4 2010 02:54pm

Change tables, or changing tables, are an easy place to diaper or dress baby. Most change tables stand at a comfortable level for the diaper changer, and are equipped with shelves or drawers to keep diapers, wipes, ointment and toys (to help keep the baby busy) within easy reach.
 
Each year, far too many babies are injured when they roll off a change table, bed or sofa. An active baby can roll over and fall from a change table in the few seconds it takes to reach for a diaper.
 
Choosing a safe change table:
 

  • Check that the change table h has a sturdy base to keep it from tipping. Change tables that are wide and lower to the ground are sturdier than those with higher, narrow bases.
  • Choose a change table with drawers or shelves to make it easy to reach items like towels and diapers without leaving your baby unattended. 
  • Choose a change table with restraining straps, or restraining barriers on all four sides.  
  • Don’t choose a removable change table that sits on top of a regular dresser, unless you are prepared to screw the change table onto the top of the dresser. Change tables that are not stationary present a greater danger of the baby (and the entire table) falling.

 
Change table safety:
 

  • Keep all change items right beside you. If you need to get something that is out of reach, take your baby with you.
  • Keep one hand on your baby at all times when they are on the change table. 
  • Use the safety straps at all times. 
  • Never leave your child alone on a change table, even if she is strapped on. 
  • Don’t allow other children to climb the change table by using the table’s shelves or drawers

 
 

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What Should I Know About Premature or Preterm Labour?

by Maxine
Posted August 5 2010 10:52am
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The questions and concerns that expectant parents have about premature or preterm labour are many. What are the signs? Can something be done to prevent it? Will premature labour affect the baby? Who is more at risk? What can dad do if mom goes into premature labour? Here are some answers to these common concerns. Of course, you should also talk to your pregnancy care provider about any of your concerns.

What is premature labour?

Preterm labour is contractions or the rupturing of membranes that happens before 37 weeks of pregnancy.

How common is premature labour?

About 1 in 13 babies in Canada are born before 37 weeks.

Is premature labour a problem for the baby?

Premature labour can be a problem for your baby. The longer that your baby stays in the mother's uterus, the longer the baby has to grow and develop in this very special environment. A baby that is born too early may face many problems because some of the baby's body systems have not yet matured.

Some of these problems may affect a baby for life. A baby's lungs, digestive system, eyes, ears, skin and immune system can all be affected if the baby is born too early. Additionally, premature babies do not have many fat deposits and often have trouble staying warm.

What causes premature labour?

In many cases, it is still not clear what causes premature labour. About half of premature labours happen in totally healthy women with normal pregnancies. However, research has shown that there are some factors that may put women at risk for premature labour.

What factors can increase the risk of premature labour?

  • Not having regular prenatal care

  • Smoking

  • Not eating enough healthy food

  • Using street drugs

  • Having previous miscarriages

  • High blood pressure

  • Extra stress

  • Physical or emotional abuse

  • Being underweight, less than 45.5 kg

  • Constant illness such as high blood pressure or diabetes

  • Working more than 8 hours a day, working night shifts or changing shifts

  • Very tiring physical work

  • Having a previous preterm baby

  • Expecting more than one baby

  • Infections such as vaginal, bladder and kidney infections

  • Fibroids in the uterus or what is referred to by doctors as an "incompetent cervix" that opens early

It is important that you know the signs that indicate a potential problem with your pregnancy and that you discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor or midwife.

What are the signs of premature labour?

  • Contractions or stomach cramping

  • Fluid leaking from the vagina

  • Bleeding or clots from the vagina

  • Backache or pressure in the back

  • Pressure in the perineum as if the baby is pushing down

  • More discharge from the vagina

Are severe or constant headaches, change in vision or dizziness also signs of premature labour?

These are not signs of labour, but they may show that mom is developing pregnancy induced hypertension (PIH). These symptoms are signs that there may be a problem with the pregnancy.

Other signs that you should discuss with your doctor are sudden, severe or constant nausea and vomiting, sudden swelling of hands, feet or face, fever or changes in your baby's movement. It is very important that you know about and recognize these signs of pregnancy problems.

These are signs that your doctor needs to know about. Call your doctor or midwife if you develop any of these signs.

What should happen if mom does go into premature labour?

  • Call your doctor or midwife after you have arrived at the hospital.

  • If mom is having contractions or stomach cramping, rest a hand on her lower belly. When mom feels tightening or squeezing, time how long it lasts and how many minutes go by before the next tightening occurs. The staff at the hospital may ask how long the cramps last and how often they are coming.

  • Go to the hospital if you have any of the following signs of preterm labour: there is fluid or blood leaking from the vagina, if mom feels the baby is pressing down, if there are regular contractions or if there is a backache that comes and goes with a pattern of stomach cramping or there is more discharge from the vagina than normal.

What can you do to prevent premature labour?

  • Get regular prenatal care from a healthcare provider as soon as possible.

  • Get regular dental care from a dentist.

  • Brush and floss regularly.

  • Eat properly.

  • Quit smoking.

  • Stop using street drugs.

  • Reduce stress.

  • Avoid tiring work.

  • Ask for help if being abused physically or emotionally.

  • Ask for help to deal with smoking and drug use.

  • Take time to rest during the day.

  • Avoid overdoing it when exercising.

  • Learn the signs of premature labour; with prompt medical care, premature labour may be stopped.

  • Know what steps to take if you think you are in premature labour. Check with your doctor or midwife for advice.

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