There’s still a little fat developing under your baby’s skin, preparing them to face the world after being all lovely and cozy inside their nest for so long. Almost at birth weight, they have next to no room at move around and can feel the difference. Everything is pretty much in perfect working order by this, the second to last week, and if your baby were to be born now, they would be just fine.
First-time mothers are particularly unsure about recognizing when labour has started. Let us reassure you – you will know! And very few babies are born so quickly that their mothers can’t get to the hospital in time. On the contrary, many parents-to-be are sent back home by the doctor at the hospital because they are still in the first stage of labour when their cervix is opening and haven’t reached active labour yet. You might feel a bit of nausea or have a headache, and feel an almost leaden tiredness. Often some blood or mucus appears. This is a sign that the cervix has opened. If the contractions have started, then labour has begun! The difference between Braxton-Hicks contractions and real, first-stage contractions? With Braxton-Hicks, the belly tightens for a short time then relaxes, and they are irregular. “Genuine” contractions, on the other hand, get stronger and increase in frequency. At first they may be irregular but once you’ve reached active labour they will come in regular intervals that get shorter and shorter. If they are less than ten minutes apart or if you are feeling unsure, then it is time to go to the hospital!
You have been eating so well for the past nine months, to promote good health for you and your baby. Those are great habits to keep and in general, are consistent with a healthy diet while breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding has many benefits for mom and baby, including that it can help you return to your pre pregnancy weight. Importantly though, while breastfeeding you should continue to maintain a healthy diet and, once you have been cleared by your doctor, slowly build back your physical activity. .
In most circumstances, immediately after birth the hospital staff or midwife will lay the baby on your front, where they will feel comfortable despite the new surroundings because they can feel your warmth, smell your skin, and even recognize your voice and heartbeat! This is a great time to put your baby onto your naked skin and to your breast so they can feel you and suckle for the first time. Then you can finally hold your longed-for darling in your arms after all that hard work. What a fabulous pay-off!
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