Thursday, November 1, 2012

Suitable temperature for baby to prevent baby overheating

Appropriate temperature for baby: Overheating can increase the risk of cot death. Babies can overheat because of too much bedding or clothing, or because the room is too hot. Remember, a folded blanket counts as two blankets. When you check your baby, make sure they are not too hot. If your baby is sweating or their tummy feels hot to the touch, take off some of the bedding. Don’t worry if your baby’s hands or feet feel cool – this is normal.
It is easier to adjust the temperature with changes of lightweight blankets.
Remember, a folded blanket counts as two blankets.
Babies do not need hot rooms; all-night heating is rarely necessary. Keep the room at a temperature that is comfortable for you at night. About 18°C (65°F) is comfortable.
If it is very warm, your baby may not need any bedclothes other than a sheet.
Even in winter, most babies who are unwell or feverish do not need extra clothes.
Babies should never sleep with a hot-water bottle or electric blanket, next to a radiator, heater or fire, or in direct sunshine.
Babies lose excess heat from their heads, so make sure their heads cannot be covered by bedclothes during sleep periods.
How to prevent baby from overheating  
Remove hats and extra clothing as soon as you come indoors or enter a warm car, bus or train, even if it means waking your baby.
Don’t let your baby’s head become covered
Babies whose heads are covered with bedding are at an increased risk of cot death. To prevent your baby wriggling down under the covers, place your baby feet to foot in the crib, cot or pram.
Make the covers up so that they reach no higher than the shoulders. Covers should be securely tucked in so they cannot slip over your baby’s head. Use one or more layers of lightweight blankets.
Sleep your baby on a mattress that is firm, flat, well fitting and clean. The outside of the mattress should be waterproof. Cover the mattress with a single sheet.
Remember, do not use duvets, quilts, baby nests, wedges, bedding rolls or pillows.

Back sleeping for babies - risks of bed sharing

Baby sleeping on his back: Place your baby on their back to sleep from the very beginning for both day and night sleeps. This will reduce the risk of cot death. Side sleeping is not as safe as sleeping on the back. Healthy babies placed on their backs are not more likely to choke. When your baby is old enough to roll over, they should not be prevented from doing so.
Babies may get flattening of the part of the head they lie on (plagiocephaly). This will become rounder again as they grow, particularly if they are encouraged to lie on their tummies to play when they are awake and being supervised. Experiencing a range of different positions and a variety of movement while awake is also good for a baby’s development.
Risks of bed sharing   
The safest place for your baby to sleep is in a cot in a room with you for the first six months. Do not share a bed with your baby if you or your partner:
have taken medication that make you sleep more heavily
feel very tired.
The risks of bed sharing are also increased if your baby:
was premature (born before 37 weeks), or
was of low birth weight (less than 2.5kg or 5.5lb).
There is also a risk that you might roll over in your sleep and suffocate your baby, or that your baby could get caught between the wall and the bed, or could roll out of an adult bed and be injured.
Never sleep with a baby on a sofa or armchair
It’s lovely to have your baby with you for a cuddle or a feed but it’s safest to put your baby back in their cot before you go to sleep.

Newborn sleeping habits - known causes of cot death

Newborn sleep patterns: The amount that babies sleep, even when they are very small, varies a lot. During the early weeks some babies sleep for most of the time between feeds. Others will be wide awake. As they grow older, they begin to develop a pattern of waking and sleeping. Some babies need more sleep than others and at different times. Try not to compare what your baby does with other people’s babies. All babies are different, and their routines will change as they grow.
You will gradually begin to recognize when your baby is ready for sleep and is likely to settle. Some babies settle better after a warm bath. Most sleep after a good feed.
A baby who wants to sleep is not likely to be disturbed by ordinary household noises, so there is no need to keep your whole home quiet while your baby sleeps. It will help you if your baby gets used to sleeping through a certain amount of noise. It’s better to know more advices on sleeping positions.
Twins, triplets or more can have specific sleeping issues and it may be difficult for you to get them into a routine. The Multiple Births Foundation and Tamba give advices that you may find useful. They can sleep in the same cot – there are methods from Tamba on how you can do this safely.
How to prevent cot death   
Sadly, we don’t know why some babies die suddenly and for no apparent reason from what is called ‘cot death’ or ‘Sudden Infant Death Syndrome’ (SIDS). But we do know that placing a baby to sleep on their back reduces the risk, and that overheating a baby increases the risk.
All the advice that we now have for reducing the risk of cot death and other dangers, such as suffocation, is listed below. Remember that cot death is rare, so don’t let worrying about it stop you enjoying your baby’s first few months. But do follow the advices given here to reduce the risks as much as possible.
To reduce the risk of cot death:
Place your baby on their back to sleep, in a cot in a room with you.
Do not share a bed with your baby if you take medicines.
Never sleep with your baby on a sofa or armchair.
Do not let your baby get too hot – keep your baby’s head uncovered.
Place your baby in the ‘feet to foot’ position.
The safest place for your baby to sleep is on their back in a cot in a room with you for the first six months.

What to do when baby crying for no reason - baby crying and colic

Baby crying with no reason: Some babies do cry more than others and it’s not really clear why. Don’t blame yourself, your partner or your baby if they cry a lot. It can be very exhausting so try to get rest when you can. Share soothing your baby with your partner. You could ask a friend or relative to take over for an hour from time to time, just to give you a break. If there is no one to turn to and you feel your patience is running out, leave your baby in the cot and go into another room for a few minutes. Put on some music to drown the noise, take some deep breaths, make yourself a cup of tea or find some other way to unwind. You will cope better if you do. If you are very angry or upset, telephone someone who will make you feel better.
Why never shake a baby
Shaking makes a baby’s head move violently. It can cause bleeding and damage the brain.
Unusual baby crying    
If you feel you are having difficulties coping with your baby’s crying, talk to your midwife or health visitor. Or contact Cry-sis – they will put you in touch with other parents who have been in the same situation. If you have twins or more, the crying can seem relentless – Twinline, Tamba’s helpline, can offer support.
If your baby’s crying sounds different or unusual, it may be the first sign of illness, particularly if they are not feeding well or will not be comforted. If you think your baby is ill, contact your doctor immediately. If you cannot contact your doctor and it’s an emergency, take your baby to the nearest hospital accident and emergency department.
My baby has colic and won’t stop crying
If your baby has repeated episodes of excessive and inconsolable crying but they otherwise appear to be thriving and healthy, they may have colic.
Although it may appear that your baby is in distress, colic is not harmful. Your baby will continue to feed and gain weight normally. There is no evidence that colic has any long-term effects.
Colic can be very upsetting for parents. You may feel like you are letting your baby down or that you are doing something wrong. Although colic can be distressing at the time, it is a common phase that should last only a few weeks at the most. It may help to remind yourself that you are not causing the crying and it is not under your control. If you are concerned, talk to your health visitor or GP.

Causes of baby crying and best ways to soothe a crying baby

Baby crying causes: All babies cry. It’s their way of saying that something is not right. Sometimes you will be able to find the reason for your baby’s distress and deal with it. At other times all you can do is try to comfort or distract your baby. If it’s not obvious why your baby is crying, think of possible reasons.
Are they:
Hot, cold or uncomfortable?
feeling tired and unable to sleep?
Lonely and wanting company?
bored and wanting to play? Do they have?
A wet or dirty nappy?
Colic? It could be none of these things. Perhaps your baby simply feels overwhelmed and a bit frightened by all the new sights, sounds and sensations.
How to soothe crying newborn   
Holding your baby close and talking in a soothing voice or singing softly will reassure them.
Movement often helps to calm down crying. Gently sway or rock your baby or take them for a walk or for a ride in a car.
Sucking can also be comforting. You can put your baby to your breast or give them a dummy, as long as breastfeeding is well established. Make sure the dummy is sterilized and don’t dip it in honey or sugar to make your baby suck. They will suck anyway. Using sugar will only encourage a craving for sweet things, which are bad for their teeth.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Baby early weeks - enjoy talking to your newborn baby

Newborn early weeks: In the first few weeks, you will be learning how to look after your baby. You will start to understand them and will learn what is normal and what may be a sign that something is wrong. But the most important thing to do in the first few weeks is to enjoy your baby. Spending time with them is the best way to help them feel safe and loved.
Enjoying your newborn baby  
Keeping your baby warm, fed and safe may seem to take up all of your time in the first weeks. But they are only a tiny part of what it means to be a parent. Every second that your baby is awake, they are learning from you. Learning about what it feels like to be touched gently, the sound of your voice and your very special smell.
They are learning about what the world is like and, above all, what it feels like to love and be loved. It is important to talk to your baby.
How to talk to your newborn baby  
It is very important to talk to your baby. If you or your family speak another language, use it to speak to your baby. It can help your baby to learn other languages, and enjoy another culture. You can talk to them about anything and everything. Talking to young children, even very young babies helps them become good communicators later in life. It will also help your baby build their early bond with you.
Registering baby’s birth   
Your baby’s birth must be registered within six weeks from when they were born. This will take place at the register office in the district where they were born. The contact details will be in the telephone book under the name of your local authority. If you are married, you or the father can register the birth. If you are not married, you may register together with your baby’s father and his name will appear on the birth certificate.
In most circumstances, children benefit from being acknowledged by both parents and by knowing the identity of both their mother and father. To register jointly, you must either go together to register the birth or one of you can go with an appropriate document. Including the father’s name in the birth register will usually give him parental responsibility. Your local register office will explain this process.
At the moment, if you are not married, you can decide whether you want the father’s name to appear on the birth certificate.
If you do not want his name to appear, you can register the birth by yourself. However, there are plans to change the law so that joint registration, by both mother and father, becomes the normal arrangement for unmarried parents. Your local register office will be able to provide details about these changes when they come into effect.
If you live in a different district from the one where your baby was born, you can go to your nearest register office. The registrar will take details from you and then send them to the district where your baby was born. You will then be sent the birth certificate. You cannot claim benefits, such as Child Benefit, until you have a birth certificate.
All babies born in England and Wales are now given a unique NHS number at birth. Midwives request and receive a newborn baby’s NHS number. They send this NHS number to the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages via your local child health department.

What happens in postnatal check up?

Postnatal check up after birth: You should have your postnatal check about six weeks after your baby’s birth to make sure that you feel well and are recovering from the birth. You may be offered an appointment to go back to the hospital or midwifery unit where you gave birth, but otherwise you should see your GP. It’s time to introduce your baby to your GP as the new member of your family! It’s a good opportunity to ask any questions and sort out any problems that are troubling you. You may like to make a list of questions to take along with you so that you don’t forget what you want to ask.
What happens in postnatal check?  
You will be weighed and can get weight loss advice if you need it.
Your urine will be tested to make sure your kidneys are working properly and that there is no infection.
Your blood pressure will be checked.
You may be offered an examination to see if:
- Your stitches (if you had any) have healed
- Your uterus is back to its normal size, and
- All the muscles used during labor and delivery are returning to normal.
Tell the doctor if the examination is uncomfortable.
Your breasts are unlikely to be examined unless you have a particular concern.
A cervical smear test may be discussed if you have not had one in the past three years. This is usually delayed until three months after delivery.
If you are not immune to rubella (German measles) and were not given an immunization before you left hospital, you will be offered one now. You should not become pregnant for one month after this immunization.
You will be asked if you still have any vaginal discharge and whether you have had a period yet.
Tell your doctor if:
- You are having trouble holding in urine or wind, or you are soiling yourself
- You are feeling very tired, low or depressed, or
- You are worried about anything.
You can also ask your doctor about contraception. You may wish to choose a different method to the one you had previously used (especially if your pregnancy was not planned). The doctor or nurse can help you decide which method is right for you now.
Your baby’s check
Your GP’s surgery or health clinic will probably arrange for your baby’s six-week check to be done at your postnatal check. If you go to the hospital, the baby’s check will usually need to be arranged separately.

Differences between baby blues and postnatal depression

As many as 8 out of 10 mothers get the ‘baby blues’, often about three to five days after the birth. You might feel upset, mildly depressed, or just keep bursting into tears for no apparent reason. It usually only lasts for a few days.
Around 1 in 10 mothers become depressed. This is usually mild but sometimes can be quite severe. You must get help if you are taken over by a feeling of sadness and hopelessness, you feel irritable and anxious, or you have difficulty sleeping and coping with even the smallest task.
Help and support
If you think you are depressed, contact your GP or health visitor and explain how you are feeling. Your partner or a friend could contact them for you if you want. You can also contact the Association for Post-Natal Illness for more advices.
If you have twins or triplets, you are more likely to experience postnatal and longer-term depression. This is mainly because of the additional stress of caring for more than one baby. Just getting out of the house can be difficult when you have more than one baby, and this can make you feel isolated. Tamba can help you make contact with other mothers of multiples via local twins clubs and through their helpline – Tamba Twinline – where you can talk to other mothers of multiples. You may also find it helpful to contact the Multiple Births Foundation.

Short-acting contraception - combined pill vs. progestogen only pill

Short acting contraceptives: Short-acting contraceptive methods rely on you taking them every day.
Combined pill and breastfeeding    
If you are not breastfeeding, you can start taking this pill 21 days after you give birth. If you start it later than the 21st day, it will not be reliable for the first seven days. So for this time you will have to use another contraceptive (like a condom) as well. Don’t take this pill if you are breastfeeding as it reduces milk flow.
• progestogen only pill and breastfeeding
If you are breastfeeding, you can take a progestogen-only pill, which will not affect your milk supply. This can also be started 21 days after you give birth. It has to be taken at the same time every day. If you start it later than the 21st day, it will not be reliable for two days. So for this time you will have to use some other form of contraceptive (like a condom) as well. There is no evidence to suggest that this pill affects your baby in any way. Even so, some women prefer not to take it while they are breastfeeding and use another form of contraception instead.
• The cap or diaphragm
These can be used six weeks after you give birth. If you had a cap before, it probably will not be the right size any longer. You can have a new one fitted at your postnatal check-up.

Contraception after birth - long acting contraceptives injection and implants

Contraception after pregnancy: If you or your partner have any worries, discuss them with your GP or health visitor.
It is possible to get pregnant even if you have not started your periods again or if you are breastfeeding. It is therefore important to use contraceptives.
Your midwife or doctor should talk to you about contraception before you leave hospital and again when you go for your six-week postnatal check. Alternatively, you could talk to your midwife or health visitor when they visit you at home or go to your GP or community contraceptive clinic (sometimes called family planning or CASH clinic).
The FPA (Family Planning Association) publishes free leaflets about all methods of contraception.
Long acting contraceptive methods
Long-acting contraceptive methods last between three months and ten years. They may be suitable if you think you will forget to take or use a shortacting contraceptive.
The intrauterine device (IUD) and intrauterine system (IUS).
These can be fitted from the fourth week after you give birth. They can be fitted at your postnatal check-up when your uterus is back to its normal size.
Contraceptive injection while breastfeeding
It is recommended that you wait until six weeks after you give birth before you are given this. It can be given earlier in some circumstances. The contraceptive injection will not affect your milk supply if you are breastfeeding.
Contraceptive implant while breastfeeding
This contains a long-lasting progestogen and is effective for three years.
It can be fitted 21 days after you give birth or earlier in some circumstances. If it’s fitted after 21 days, you will have to use another contraceptive for seven days. The contraceptive implant will not affect your milk supply if you are breastfeeding.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Relationships after pregnancy

After you have had a baby, the relationships around you can change. Many women find that they turn to their own mother for help and support. But your mother may not be sure about how much to get involved. You may find that she is trying to take over or that she is so anxious not to interfere that she doesn’t help at all. Try to let her and others know what help and support you want from them.
Your relationship with your partner will also change. It is very easy in those exhausting early weeks just to leave things to sort themselves out. You may wake up six months later to find that you have not spent an hour alone together and have lost the knack of easily talking your problems through. You both need time alone, without the baby, to recharge your own batteries. You also need time together, without the baby, to keep in touch with each other.
Your relationship with your baby may not be easy either, particularly if you are not getting much sleep. Don’t feel guilty if you sometimes feel resentful at the demands your baby makes, or if your feelings are not what you expected them to be. Talk to your midwife or health visitor if you are upset or worried.
But remember, many mothers find their babies difficult at first and come to love them gradually over some weeks.
If you are on your own and don’t have family to support you, ask a friend to help you in the early weeks.

Types of exercises and diet plan for losing weight after pregnancy

Postnatal Exercise: Continue with any postnatal exercises you have been shown by your midwife. You can also do this deep stomach exercise when you feel well enough.
1 Lie on your side with your knees slightly bent.
2 Let your tummy relax and breathe in gently.
3 As you breathe out, gently draw in the lower part of your stomach like a corset, narrowing your waistline.
4 Squeeze your pelvic floor.
5 Hold for a count of 10 then gently release.
6 Repeat 10 times.
You should not move your back at any time. After six weeks, progress to the box position.
Besides these exercises, try to fit in a walk with your baby every day. This can help you lose weight and feel better.
Diet to lose weight after delivery    
It’s very important to eat properly. If you want to lose weight, don’t rush it. A varied diet without too many fatty foods will help you lose weight gradually. Try to make time to sit down, relax and enjoy your food so that you digest it properly. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Try food like baked potatoes with baked beans and cheese, salads, pasta, French bread pizza, scrambled eggs or sardines on toast, followed by fruit mixed with yoghurt or fromage frais. A healthy diet is especially important if you are breastfeeding. Breastfeeding can help mothers to lose weight. Some of the fat you put on in pregnancy will be used to help produce milk, but the rest of the nutrients will come from your diet. This means that you may be hungrier than usual. If you do need a snack, try having beans on toast, sandwiches, bowls of cereal or fruit.
Sure Start Children’s Centers give advices about healthy eating plans for mothers, as well as support for breastfeeding. You can find out more about the services offered in Children’s Centers in your area online.

Helping mom after delivery and sleeping when breastfeeding

Helping mother after delivery: You will probably need a lot of practical help, as well as emotional support. You are bound to feel up and down and to get tired easily in the first few weeks. Many women want to have their partner around so that you get to know the baby together and have help with the work. Being together at this time helps you to start to adjust to the changes in your life. If you are on your own, or your partner cannot be with you, ask your mother or a close friend to be there.
Even with help, you will probably feel tired. Here are some things you could try:
Cut down on cleaning – a bit of dust will not hurt.
Keep meals simple but healthy. You need to eat well but this need not involve a great deal of preparation and cooking.
Try to space visitors out and say no to visitors if you feel too tired or need some time with your baby.
Too many visitors in a short time can be very tiring. If visitors do come, don’t feel you have to tidy up or lay on a meal. Let them do things for you, like the washing up, making a meal or bringing some groceries.
If you need extra help, ask. Friends or neighbors will probably be very willing to help you by doing things like shopping.
Looking after yourself after birth   
Although you may feel like your every waking hour is spent caring for your baby, it’s important to look after yourself as well.
Sleeping while breastfeeding    
While you are feeding your baby at night and your body is recovering from childbirth, it is essential to catch up on rest.
It’s tempting to use your baby’s sleep times to catch up on chores, but try to have a sleep or a proper rest at least once during the day.

First weeks at home with baby - husband helping with baby

First few weeks at home with newborn: Your first few weeks at home can be an exciting but anxious time for parents as you get used to caring for your new baby.
If you have been in hospital or a midwifery unit, you may feel apprehensive about being on your own without staff on call to help you. The more you handle your baby, the more your confidence will increase. And your community midwife, health visitor and GP are there to support you if you have any worries or problems. Ask your midwife or health visitor for advice on looking after your child up to the age of five.
How much should husband help with baby  
As the mother’s partner, you can get involved in caring for your baby from day one. In the first weeks, you can:
help your baby’s mother to breastfeed by:
spending time with her while the baby is feeding
bringing your baby to their mother when they need feeding in the night
Helping to wind your baby
getting specialist help and advices on breastfeeding if the mother has any concerns
 provide emotional support and encouragement
make nutritious meals and snacks for your baby’s mother
change your baby’s nappies
bathe and dress your baby
cuddle and play with your baby
clean the house, go shopping and do other household chores.
You may feel quite nervous about handling the baby at first but you will get more confident. Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help or encouragement.

Things needed for breastfeeding and bottle feeding - list of clothes for new baby

Things needed for breastfeeding: If you are going to breastfeed, you will probably want:
Nursing bras that open at the front and have adjustable straps. Cotton is best because it allows air to circulate. If you try on bras at about 36–38 weeks, they should fit when you need them
Breast pads. You put these into your bra to prevent milk from leaking onto your clothes.
What do you need for formula feeding?
If you are going to formula feed, you will need:
Six bottles with teats and caps
sterilizing equipment
A bottle brush
Infant formula milk. Avoid buying this too far in advance, as instant formula milk has a ‘use by date’ printed on the package.
How many clothes for new baby   
Babies grow very quickly. All you need for the first few weeks are enough clothes to make sure that your baby will be warm and clean. You will probably need:
Six stretch suits for both day and night or four stretch suits and two nighties for the night.
Use socks or bootees with the nightie if it’s cold
Two cardigans. They should be wool or cotton rather than nylon, and light rather than heavy. Several light layers of clothing are best for keeping your baby warm
Four vests
A shawl or blanket to wrap your baby in
A wool or cotton hat, mittens and socks or bootees for going out if the weather is cold.
It’s better to choose close-knitted patterns for safety
A sun hat for going out if the weather is hot or the sun is bright.
Washing baby clothes tips    
If you use a washing machine, don’t use washing powders with enzymes (bio powders) or fabric conditioner, as they may irritate your baby’s skin. Always rinse clothes very thoroughly.