Your baby will soon be making their grand entrance into the world. Their respiratory system is getting ready to work on its own – it’s been borrowing yours up till now – though their lungs will continue to develop after their birth. The brain will be the least developed organ at birth, but will mature continually from the day they are born until they turn 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 they take in information, with the cherry on top represented by their 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.
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 baby’s exit is when you arrive at the hospital, you may be sent home or admitted to the hospital. Generally, you will be admitted at the beginning of the active phase of labour when your cervix had dilated to 4-8 cm and your contractions are regular and intense. Once you are admitted to the hospital, you can share your birth plan with the hospital staff if they don’t already have it on file. Don’t forget to stay in the moments, to share this time 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 a wonderful event. Try and enjoy the experience. For their part, your partner may be feeling lots of emotions. They may also be afraid to feel useless. Remind them that the baby is only here because of the love you share. Maybe you can show them some breathing exercises!
The extra calories you have been eating have not only provided your body with the energy it needs to help your baby grow, they also provided your body with some extra fat reserves you can call upon when breastfeeding. After your baby 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 in general, healthy women will 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. Importantly, experts recommend that you continue taking your prenatal multivitamin for 4 to 6 weeks postpartum and as long as breastfeeding continues.
Caesarean sections, or C-sections, are the delivery of a baby through a surgical opening in the lower belly and can be required for a number of circumstances for the safety of the mother and/or the baby. A C-section is a very common surgical procedure. Normally, your partner will be able to be with you in the operating room. Usually, you or your partner will be able to hold your baby after they are delivered. Elective C-sections are less common in Canada. Speak to your doctor if you have questions or concerns about your delivery or about C-sections.
SOGC pregnancyinfo.ca. Labour 101. Labour 101 – Pregnancy Info Accessed October 2021.
SOGC. Pre-conception Folic Acid and Multivitamin Supplementation for the Primary and Secondary Prevention of Neural Tube Defects and Other Folic Acid-Sensitive Anomalies. SOGC Clinical Practice Guidelines No. 324. JOGC. 2015;37(6):534-549.
SOGC pregnancyinfo.ca. Caesarean section (C-section). Caesarean section (C-section) – Pregnancy Info Accessed October 2021.
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