WEEK 38 DEVELOPMENTS
Perhaps you’re trying to imagine what’s going to happen when you get to the hospital or clinic. Well, depending on how imminent your child’s exit, you’ll either be installed in your room or a birthing room, and hooked up to a monitoring machine. Your partner will scrub up, then come in with you. The anaesthesiologist will come and talk to you about an epidural if that’s something you’ve opted for. Don’t forget to stay in the moment, to share this magical moment with your spouse or partner. The arrival of this new little person for whom both of you are going to be the two most important people in the world is pretty huge. Try and enjoy the experience. For his part, the father may be feeling lots of emotions. He may also be afraid to feel useless. Remind him that the little one is only here because of the love you share. Maybe you can show him some breathing exercises!
Your child will soon be making her grand entrance into the world. Her respiratory system is getting ready to work on its own – it’s been borrowing yours up till now – though her lungs will continue to develop after her birth. The brain will be the least developed organ at birth, but will mature continually from the day she is born until she turns 18 or 20! Fixtures and circuits will be constructed like they are with a computer - for what is the brain if not a natural computer?! – fortifying as she takes in information, with the cherry on top represented by her emotions. That’s what makes each individual totally unique, with their own understanding and coping skills, their own thinking gradually developing as they get older. And your little one is no exception.
The extra calories you have been eating has not only provided your body with the energy it needs to helps your little one grow, it also provided your body with some extra fat reserves you can call upon when breastfeeding. After your child is born, producing breast milk requires a lot of calories. In just five days of breastfeeding, you can burn about the same number of calories as it takes to run a marathon! Every woman is different, but if your pre-pregnancy weight was in the recommended range, you probably need between 400 and 500 additional calories per day to produce breast milk. Some of these extra calories will come from the fat you stored during pregnancy and the rest will come from food.
Caesarean sections are quite common for various reasons. Nowadays, a caesarean is a routine operation. An epidural anaesthetises the pelvic area alone, so that you can still be awake and conscious to experience your child’s birth. And most hospitals and clinics will let your partner be at your side.
Here’s where you’ll find everything you need to make the best of those first 1,000 days of parenthood… TOGETHER.
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