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May 17, 2010

Secrets for Overdue Babies

This is specifically for one friend of mine who is waiting and has received tips from people on how to make the baby come. So I thought I would provide this article for her or for any moms-to-be who want some friendly advice. People have told her to walk more (she walks a lot) lift her 2 old (she does it all the time) to eat specific foods (she was given a recipe for eggplant parm which I think is a great thing to have on hand whether it makes you go into labour or not)and she takes it all in stride and has tried most of the tips. I think this baby will come when she's ready. But just in case...here is an article I liked--it's a no-pressure way to view it. If anyone wants to add some tips for my friend she reads my blog and will take them all into consideration!

Secrets for Overdue Babies

For most pregnant women, the last few weeks of pregnancy can feel like an eternity. You’ve reached what feels like the absolute tipping point as your body swells to a point that defies gravity. Sleeping is almost impossible and you lie awake, willing your baby to come out, because, well, you’re ready. This is an especially familiar scenario for first time parents who watch their baby’s due date come and go, and with increasing vexation, wonder if the baby will ever come out. If you find yourself in this situation, this article will provide you with invaluable advice for coping with your frustration, and prepare you for the imminent arrival of your overdue baby. Because eventually, they all have to come out.

Around this time you will have increasing prelabour start-stop contractions, you may lose your mucous plug, your water may leak or gush, you may feel your baby’s head drop lower in your pelvis giving you more room to breath and you will begin to feel impatient and excited about your baby’s impending arrival. None of these signs mean that your labour has actually started. Keep in close contact with your health team during this period letting them know of each new development as it happens.

A first-time mother can labour for days or many hours before going into the delivery stage and moving too quickly to the hospital can frustrate everyone. This is where your professional labour support person can be an invaluable asset to you as she will come to your home when your labour begins and can time your departure to the hospital or birth clinic closely if you will be leaving your home.

While you are waiting for your labour to begin, you will find that it is a great time to go for a prenatal massage, find a family member to walk with, work in your garden, (all that bending and stretching is good for you and your baby), go swimming and take long naps. You can talk to your baby in the womb. Your baby hears loud noises very well at this stage so explain shower or bath noises, the vacuum cleaner noise, the doorbell or buzzer, telephone ringing and other sounds. Babies in the womb sleep during the day as you rock them to sleep with your movements. If kicking at night is getting to you, going for a walk can rock your baby back to sleep giving both of you a break and letting you get back to sleep. Eat well and often and drink fluids often to prepare your body and your baby for the upcoming delivery.

Relax and remember that babies are not machines; a normal delivery is between 38 and 42 weeks and longer. Most babies are ready 10 days after your estimated due date. Remind your health team of this should they mention a birth induction. The more natural your birth, the easier labour and delivery will be for both you and baby. As soon as your doctor or health team intervenes it can set up a chain of medical interventions from which there is no turning back. As long as you and your baby are in good health, delay any interventions, until you go into natural labour. Inducing labour, by any method, will always cause labour to be more painful, more prolonged and fraught with more difficulties. Watching and waiting at this time can make your labour and childbirth safer and easier for both you and your baby.

If you are feeling pressure from your team to have your baby by a certain date, get a second and third opinion. Don’t buy into the myth that after 40 weeks your placenta won’t sufficiently nurture your baby, as long as you continue to eat and drink, your placenta will function extremely well. During the last few days of pregnancy your baby is getting the finishing touches like the layers of fat that allows them to be comfortable in our environment, the lungs of your baby are being fully formed, helping your baby to breathe easier on their own once they are born and a multitude of other changes are happening to your baby in the last few days. Inducing birth by any means can create a premature birth with its associated health challenges.

Eat, relax and put your feet up. This is the best time for shopping, finishing the baby’s room, getting the house cleaned up and getting organized for your baby’s arrival. When your baby is ready to be born, your body will let you know it is time for the birth. Post-dates babies are beautiful because they are healthy and happy and more than ready to meet their new family.

Review your birth plan. Have a copy of it in your file and discuss it thoroughly with your health care specialists. If you do not reach agreement on your plan, or if you feel uncertain that it will be complied with, it’s not too late to change to another caregiver. Make sure you feel confident about your caregiver, follow your instincts completely in this matter, do not let any health professional intimidate you.

If you have time at home get a few things organized for your baby. It goes without saying that your baby’s room needs to be prepared and purchases made in that department by now like the crib, clothing items, car seat, receiving blankets and quilts. However, some new parents forget the obvious, simple things, like diapers and wipes.

Cook ahead! If you have a freezer it is a good idea to get some meals or baking done up ahead of time. Think of yourself being snowed in for a month and plan accordingly. There will be some days during recovery when getting supper to the table will be nearly impossible.

Connect ahead! Find the new contacts you will need in your community like breastfeeding support, mom support groups, community restaurants and movie theaters that are baby friendly. Find other moms your age in the community and network by telephone or email. Accept all offers of assistance with the new baby.

If you are making an announcement in the newspaper, write it up in draft form using the ones in the paper as examples. Then you can just fill in the blanks! Call your newspaper to get rates, deadlines, etc.

If you plan to send announcement cards, buy them ahead of time and address the envelopes. You can fill in the cards once you have the details. Thank you cards can also be purchased ahead of time so that you can send them to people as the gifts come in. It is rather daunting to have to write 20 or 30 cards all at once. You may find that after your baby arrives you will be too distracted and tired to start from scratch on projects like these.

Go to your health food store and purchase more red raspberry leaf tea. Red raspberry leaf tea will help to condition your uterus for the work it will need to do in the next few weeks. You can drink the tea after your baby is born to help shrink your uterus back to its original size.

You’ll find a nightly warm bath in clear water a lifesaver for this time of your pregnancy. A bath relaxes tense and strained muscles, soothes away aches and pains and has a very calming effect on both you and your baby. You will also enjoy the feelings of weightlessness.

Make sure you are continuing to take your prenatal vitamins and minerals. Plan to continue taking them for at least six months after childbirth to help you get back to pre-baby condition sooner.

Short walks by yourself can provide you with the comfort of fresh air, exercise and a great chance to “work out” any negative thoughts and become more comfortable with your pregnant body and the baby soon to come.

Find a beauty salon or school offering a package deal for facial, manicure and pedicure. You can also get a great massage at a reduced rate at your local massage school. Pamper yourself – you deserve it.
-- Gail Dahl - Author of Pregnancy & Childbirth Secrets

Copyright 2008 “Pregnancy & Childbirth Secrets” by National Bestselling Author Gail J. Dahl. Now available across North America at Barnes & Noble, Borders, Chapters, Coles and Indigo Books & Music. The information contained in or provided through this publication is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be, and is not provided as, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your midwife, physician, nurse or other qualified health care provider before you undergo any treatment or for answers to any questions you may have regarding any medical condition.


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