A Doctor for your baby
There are very good Pediatricians and Family Practice Doctors within UnityPoint Clinic to care for your baby. Family Practice doctors have training in caring for all ages. Pediatricians train in the care of children and adolescents. Some things to think about in making your choice:
- Which doctors are covered by my insurance plan?
- Word of mouth from people you work with, to church friends and neighbors. Also, your OB doctor may be able to suggest someone.
- How far will you need to travel?
Well Baby Care
Each doctor has his or her own time frame for check-ups but most visits looks like this:
- First visit within 1 week of birth
- Follow up visit 2 weeks after birth
- Visits at 2, 4, and 6 months
- Visits at 9,12,15,18, & 24 months.
During these visits, the doctor or nurse will:
- Give immunizations
- Check your baby's physical, motor & cognitive developments
- Measure height, weight, and head circumference
- Order tests if needed
- Check eye sight and hearing
- Talk about any problems and answer your questions
Taking care of a new baby can be hard. Sleep when your baby sleeps. Ask for help from family and friends. Relax and enjoy this special time. Try to keep things calm. Of course, if you have more than one child, all of the above may be "out the window."
Baby's Growth & Development
- At 8 months your baby weighs 2 ½ to 3 pounds and will gain about a ½ pound a week and is about 16 ½ to 18 inches long.
- The lungs are maturing and the baby is practicing its breathing.
At this time, the baby is often in the head-down position; you will feel most of the kicks under your ribs. Since there is little room left in the uterus, you may notice more arm and leg movements, but less rolling over movements.
Diet and Digestion
The enlarged, growing womb presses on the intestines and slows the digestion and movement of food; the hormones of pregnancy cause the digestive tract to relax and to function more slowly. Hard stools are likely to happen and may get worse.
Ways to help:
- Exercise daily.
- Try not to eat gas-forming food such as cabbage, beans, and fatty fried foods. Chew your food slowly and drink more fluids.
- Try a non-caffeine hot drink first thing in the morning to ease hard stools (herbal tea, or lemon water).
- Add whole grains such as bran, fresh and dried fruits, and raw vegetables in your diet If the above do not work, you can buy an over-the-counter stool softener such as Colace (also called DOSS or DSS), Metamucil, or Citrucel that may be safely taken during pregnancy.
Leg cramps, hard breathing, painless contractions, a pressing need to go the bathroom, and a kicking baby may make it hard to sleep. Try using extra pillows to support your back and legs.
Feel Faint? Sit Down.
If you become overly hot and tired you may feel faint. Sit down or lay down on your left side. The feeling should not last long and it is often not a big problem.
Stress incontinence, which is leaking urine when you laugh, sneeze or cough, is caused by the increased pressure on the bladder. Kegel's pelvic floor exercises may help this problem. Firmly tighten the muscles of the pelvic floor as you would to stop urinating midstream. Hold for a slow count of 3, then slowly release the muscles, relax, and repeat. Breathe slowly; do not hold your breath. Repeat 25 times, 2 to 3 times a day. Kegel exercises can be done anytime, standing or sitting.
Drinking less will not keep you from leaking urine or help you sleep through the night. It is important to drink enough fluids (6-8 glasses a day) when you are pregnant.
If you need a pad to keep your panties dry due to the leakage, you may have a leak in your bag of waters, which should be checked by your doctor.
Short of Breath
Though you breathe more air in and out of your lungs during pregnancy, you may sometimes feel as if you cannot get your breath. This feeling comes from the womb pressing up on the diaphragm and crowding the lungs. Relief comes when the baby settles low in the pelvis. Until then, sit up straight and sleep with your shoulders propped up. Avoid working yourself too hard.
Baby's Activity and Position
At this point in your pregnancy your baby's kicks and twists are strong and sometimes painful and you may find that your baby settles in a position that is painful for you. At times you may get relief by changing your position: also the baby may change position too and give relief. In the last month of pregnancy, you may notice fewer kicks and more squirmy movements as your baby runs out of room. You may even notice jerking motions (like hiccups) that can last a few minutes. There is nothing you need to do. It will stop shortly and will not hurt either of you.
Pelvic Pressure and Pain
Groin pain can be due to stretching of the round ligaments that help support the womb. Pelvic pressure can be from the baby's head being low in the pelvis.
Heartburn, along with a sour taste in your mouth, is common in pregnancy.
- Do not overfill the stomach. Eat 6 small meals
- Try not to eat fatty, fried, or spicy foods
- Drink less with meals
- Try not to bend over or lying down after meals; try a walk
- If heartburn is bad at night, do not eat just before bedtime and sleep propped up with pillows
- Antacids like tums, Rolaids or Mylanta may help
Hemorrhoids are dilated, twisted blood vessels in and around the rectum. You may notice more in the last month of pregnancy. They can cause pain, itching, and bleeding during a bowel movement.
- Lie on your side with your hips on a pillow.
- Keep soothing Witch Hazel pads, ice packs, or Tucks in the fridge and use them when needed.
- Keep your stools soft: drink more, and add fruits, vegetables, and fiber to your diet. If your stool is hard, use an over-the-counter stool softener (DSS,DOSS,Colace or Metamucil),and take as told on the label.
Hemorrhoids often get better without treatment shortly after birth.
As your pregnancy progresses your posture changes to make room for your expanding womb, making lower backache common.
To make the problem better:
- Squat rather than bend to lift objects
- Wear good low-heeled shoes
- Always roll to your side before sitting up from a lying position
- Try putting heat or cold on your back
- Have your partner or support person rub your back
- A maternity belt may add support and shift your weight
- A hard bed board under the mattress may offer support
- Do the pelvic rock which helps strengthen your lower back muscles
What to expect next during weeks 36-40:
- Baby's Growth & Development
- Your Changing Body
- When to go to Labor and Delivery
- What to Bring to the Hospital
- Care During Labor