Being a new mom can be scary and exciting at the same time. You are entering a new phase in your life and very soon, you will have a baby to take care of. You need all the information you can get on taking care of yourself and your baby. Here is a brief on some important aspects in this exciting journey.
Gynecologist and Obstetricians
Being Pregnant is a wonderful feeling and looking forward to holding her baby is something every mother eagerly awaits. With each new week, the baby grows and develops and the bond between the mother and the baby grows stronger. Pregnancy is also a delicate time and the mother needs close monitoring by qualified doctors to make sure everything is in order with both her and her unborn baby. Gynecologist and/ or obstetricians are involved in the monitoring of the mother and her unborn baby. A gynecologist deals with the medical care of female reproduction while an obstetrician deals with women during pregnancy, the health and development of the fetus and also deals with the mother after pregnancy. Most gynecologists are obstetricians hence the title OBGYN. It’s hard to find a gynecologist who is not an obstetrician or an obstetrician who is not a gynecologist.
Having a birth plan is important as it states your preferences for both your doctor and family members. It shows what you want to be done during labor and after your baby is born. It can include the people you would prefer to be there, if you prefer to get any medication to help with the labor pain or not. As you make your birth plan remember to be open minded as things might change and the best thing would be the safe delivery of our baby.
A paediatrician is a doctor who specializes in children health issues, sickness, disorders and the general well development of the baby at each stage.
Factors to consider when settling on a paediatrician;
• Compare – When looking for a Pediatrician it is important to have several names, which you can get from friends who have children or from your insurance policy.
• Do your research on each doctor to determine the one you will narrow down to.
• Location – Consider the Pediatrician’s location from your home since you will be making several trips for well-baby checkups and if your baby gets sick. You would prefer one near you so you can get immediate help if your baby is sick.
• Click – As you do your research consider a Pediatrician who matches your personality. As a new mother, you will have many questions about your baby and it is important to get a Pediatrician who is ready to answer your questions and calm you down if you are worried. Availability – Choose a doctor who is available all the time or if they are not available twenty-four hours one who you will be sure you will get an assisting doctor or a nurse who can assist you.
Difference between Doulas and midwives;
A doula gives mothers support both physically and emotionally during childbirth but is not a qualified medical professional while a midwife is a licensed medical professional who is qualified to help mothers deliver their babies. The question on whether you need one is a personal choice for you to make since the doula will be with you way before progressive labour or as early as you would like her to be there giving you support and will stay on after the birth with your baby. The midwife’s job is to ensure that you and your baby are safe and they will be active during active birth. You can choose to have the doula or the midwife or simply have both as they both have separate roles.
Antenatal classes and their benefits
Antenatal classes are classes held for a pregnant mother to educate them about pregnancy, labour, childbirth and caring for the newborn babies. Antenatal classes help impart knowledge about pregnancy, what to expect and when to rush to the doctors, labor – when to tell if you are in labour, what to do and the different stages of labor, childbirth – the different types of childbirth, newborn – how to take care of the newborn baby, breastfeeding among others. You get to interact with professional and you can ask questions and get professional advice. In the antenatal classes, women get to meet other pregnant women and get a support group where they can ask questions, advice and interact freely.
Lactation consultants trained professionals who specialize in teaching mothers hot to breastfeed their babies. They help mother experiencing painful nursing, low milk production, problems nursing the babies.
Breastfeeding has many benefits for your baby as your baby gets the essential nutrients to grow from the breast milk, their immune systems become strong, cleanliness is maintained as the milk does not have to pass through other means of processing and you get to bond and connect with your baby. Decide when to stop breastfeeding depends on individuals and their babies but it is best to breastfeed the baby up to six months when they are weaned. After weaning it is also recommended to continue breastfeeding the baby. You can also choose to formula feed your baby as many moms do and this is also a healthy choice for your baby. If you can it would be good to feed your baby both breast milk and formula so the baby can benefit from both. A formula has some vitamins and nutrients that your baby would need to get from supplements like vitamin D.
Weaning and solids
Your baby is ready to start weaning if they can sit upholding their head steady if they look at or grab food and put it in their mouths if they are able to swallow food.
To start weaning try foods like baby rice with milk, purees to see how your baby reacts to them. When you begin weaning, you can follow the three days or five-day rule to be able to see how your baby reacts to each food and to be able to pinpoint any food that causes an allergic reaction to your baby. Give the baby small portions and gradually increase as the baby continues growing.
Baby and me activities
Playing with your baby helps your baby develop his or her coordination skills and communications skills. It also helps the baby’s brain to grow and their muscles. Examples of baby games are peek-a-boo, playing with other babies, reading aloud books to your baby.