Many new parents worry whether their new born is getting enough to eat or so to speak breast milk to support them. With breastfeeding it is almost impossible to guess or gauge how much your baby is taking in at each meal or breastfeeding session.
If your baby is
- attaching/latching and suckling well,
- feeding at least 6 – 8 times per 24 hour cycle,
- seems happy and healthy,
- is active and alert when awake and
- is content after a feed
he/she is certainly getting enough milk…
Other signs of good milk intake are weight gain and how often you change your baby’s nappy. Although babies lose weight after birth, breastfed babies usually regain their birth weight by two weeks of age and then should gain 150 to 250 grams a week. This measures to four to eight ounces. Weight gain may occur in “bursts” so it is best to not have the baby measured too often.
If your baby has a low birth weight, meaning under 2.kg / 5lb 9oz, or if you have had a difficulty in delivering your child, you should ask for your midwife’s and then your health visitor’s help in getting breastfeeding established and checking your baby’s weight in the early weeks…
Breastfeeding gives your baby the best start in life. It provides them with important nutritional and immune factors, as well as a feeding of closeness and well being.
Benefits for your baby
- Your breast milk is specially designed for your baby and contains everything needed for healthy growth in the first 6 months. It contains antibodies and immune factors, which are passed from you to your baby to help fight infection, Colostrum, which is produced in the first 2 – 4 days, is high in proteins, rich in antibodies and is easily digested.
- Breast milk is easier to digest than formula milk for your baby, decreasing the incidence of constipation, stomach upset and diarrhoea. A breastfed baby’s nappies are more pleasant to change!
- Breastfed babies are less likely to develop gastroenteritis and ear infections.
- Other proven or compelling benefits include better brain development, a lower risk of allergy in those with family history and possibly,protection against diabetes. Breastfed babies may also have lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol and lower chance of becoming obese later in life.
Benefits for you
- Breastfeeding brings you closer to your new baby and gives you quiet times in the day and night to get to know each other. It can be very satisfying experience for the both of you.
- Breastfeeding helps your womb to contract and gets you back into shape more quickly, as the extra fat in your body during the pregnancy stages is now converted into energy to help produce breast milk.
- Women who breastfeed are at a lower risk of ovarian cancer, breast cancer and osteoporosis in later life.
- Breast milk is very convenient; it’s sterile, always available wherever you are and at the correct temperature, even in the middle of night. It is also free
You may experience some discomfort when you start to breastfeed, and the breastfed babies require more frequent feeds because breast milk is quicker to digest. Newborn babies are very demanding! Once breastfeeding is established you may want to express your breast milk on occasion so that your partner, family or friends can help.
This is the start of the third and final trimester, so you are on the home stretch now! Revel in your pregnancy as much as you can, because when you look back you’ll find it amazing how quickly it all slipped by. In about three months time you will meet your new baby. OK enough talking lets get on with your baby’s development for the remaining months to come.
Your Baby’s development
- If your baby had to be born at this stage there would be an excellent chance of survival.
- The length should be around 25cm and weighs about 1,1kg.
- Your baby’s head is much more in proportion to their body by now.
- They are getting plumper and greasy vernix (this is protecting the skin, which is immersed the whole time in amniotic fluid) is now covering their body.
- Their eyes can open and close and the colour of the iris is now visible – colour changes after birth though.
- Your baby gets hiccups from time to time and you may be aware of this too, the hiccups could be happen because of the “practicing” breathing movements.
- They may suck on their thumbs or fingers from time to time.
- The placenta receives about 400ml blood from the mother’s circulation every minute.
- Her muscles are now well toned and in proportion to their body size.
- Their limbs are sometimes visible moving about underneath the skin of your bump.
- Although the skin is still wrinkled, fat is continuing to develop giving your baby a less lean appearance.
- They have an acute sense of taste, but will be much greater when they are born.
- Te brain is also growing at a rapid pace and the nervous system is developing so that the messages could be passed from the brain to different parts of the body.
- By now your baby should have a well developed sense of touch.
- Your baby will be able to respond to stimuli, including pain, sound and light.
- Your baby is developing the ability to orientate themselves in their space.
Facts about you
- Many women spend some time in front of a mirror admiring their bump, your breasts are so much bigger than usual and you might even have a cleavage to be proud of.
- From now on you will see your caregiver (midwife, GP or obstetrician) every two weeks and weekly from 36 weeks.
- Your breast may leak colostrum, although some don’t produce this until the baby is born.
- You may develop vericose veins due to the pressure on your legs. Try to lie down feet up.
- You may be short of breath due to the fact of the upward pressure of the uterus on your lungs and diaphragm.
- Baby may cause some rib pain because of the pressure.
- You are gaining more weight.
- You may get a stitch like pain down the side of your abdomen as you walk.
- Puffy hands and feet. So wear some comfortable shoes and remove your ring and jewelry, if it is summer try to cool down in a swimming pool or take a cool bath.
- Leg cramps, speak to your doctor you might have to take more calcium and get your partner to massage your legs and calves.
- Piles (haemorrhoids) DRINK LOTS OF WATER and eat fresh fruit!!!!
Your Baby’s development
- Length of your baby should be 30cm crown to rump and weighs about 1,8kg.
- Finger nails has reached the ends of the finger tips.
- Their eyes can react to light.
- His/her brain is growing a lot at this stage.
- Their bones are hardening, but in the skull the bones will still remain unjoined so that they can fit over one another during the journey of the narrow birth canal.
- Their fine body hair disappears.
- Their irises in their eyes can now dilate and contract in response to light.
- Your baby is possibly head down in your uterus and will probably stay this way until birth.
- Wrinkles on the face will start to smooth out.
- Your baby is aware of the Braxton Hicks contractions that occurs in your uterus, even if you don’t notice them.
- Your baby might double in size in the next month or six weeks to come.
- Your baby’s movement around 32 weeks, so expect to have a lot of disturbed nights! From now on your baby may seem to move less, because they are growing quickly and space is premium.
- His/her arms and legs are now in proportion and spend the most of the time with their legs pulled up to their chest.
Facts about you
- You might not be sleeping well at night, which may cause you to feel more tired during the days.
- You may have the need to urinate more often.
- You might also be aware of your baby’s hiccups.
- Backache is often a problem in the later weeks.
- Your pelvis may ache, especially when you have to stand or if you have been sitting with your legs crossed, this is due to the baby’s weight.
- Stretch marks, this will fade after birth, but until then get an un-perfumed body lotion to ease itching.
- Heartburn and indigestion will still occur, try and have your biggest meal earlier in the day rather than at night.
- Your pelvic joints are expanding now in preparation for birth.
- Avoid sudden movements.
- Rest when you can, and put your feet up for an hour or so each day.
- Your advance state of pregnancy effects everything you do, from getting up and going to bed, so take things slowly and listen to your body!
9th and Final Month
Your Baby’s development
- At 36 weeks your baby’s length is about 32cm and weighs about 2,5kg
- There is less amniotic fluid in the womb now your baby is so much bigger.
- The placenta is producing a hormone to stimulate your breasts to make milk for when your baby is born.
- The central nervous system is still maturing and the baby’s reflexes is improving day by day.
- Your baby is developing their fat supply and putting on weight almost 140g per week.
- At this stage when your baby is awake their eyes will be open.
- If you move around a lot or gently press on your abdomen your baby may wake or when eating a meal rich in carbohydrates may have the same effect.
- 99% of babies born at this stage of pregnancy survive without any effects.
- The uterus has grown to 1000 times its normal size to accommodate the pregnancy by this point.
- Your baby can sense light changes through your abdomen.
- The lanugo and their top skin layer are shed into the amniotic fluid and then ingested by the baby and form the solid mass of their first bowel movement, this is known as meconium.
- Their skin is beginning to smooth and their face is loosing their wrinkled appearance.
- Your baby should also have hair on their head – interestingly it won’t be the same as the parents, although it will still change after birth. Hair color is notoriously difficult to predict.
- Their lungs are almost fully developed and in preparation for a lifetime of breathing she/he is practicing breathing by inhaling small amount of amniotic fluids.
- Their kidneys are fully developed and their liver is able to process some waste products.
- Your baby has developed a cycle of activity and sleep that you probably are aware of.
- Unborn babies normally sleeps during the day and when you get in bed at night they wake up, this predicts sleeping patterns when your baby is first brought home.
- Because of the limitation of space movement s of your baby may feel different.
Facts about you
- The “Nesting instinct” if often strong and you may feel the urge to spring clean – don’t over do this!!!
- Heartburn, indigestion and breathlessness should lessen once your baby’s head drops in the pelvis.
- You may want to urinate more due to the fact that your bladder is under pressure.
- Braxton Hicks contractions may become more frequent and more intense.
- You may tire easily because of the extra weight of your baby and poor sleep.
- Hands and feet may be puffy.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome – tingling numb fingers caused by swollen tissues in your wrist as a result of pregnancy, this creating pressure on a nerve. This usually goes away after delivery. – taking vitamin B6 daily or wearing a wrist splint may help.
Congratulations you got this far!!! Now, are you ready for your final week?
Your Baby’s development
- By this week your baby should be about 50cm and weighs about 3,4kg
- 97% of babies are head down in the uterus and will be born this way.
- At birth the placenta is roughly one-sixth of the size of the baby
- The umbilical cord is about the same length of the baby.
- The amniotic fluid which surrounds the baby has now changed from a colorless liquid into a pale milky consistence because of the lanugo that has been shed into it.
- There is about 1 litre amniotic fluid around your baby.
- Your baby is now ready to be born and is much chubbier than before, for the last 40 weeks they have grown from a tiny bunch of cells into a fully formed human inside of you.
Facts about you
- You weight gain has slowed or stopped since week 37, in fact you might loose about 900g – 1,4kg for the last weeks to come.
- The weight of the baby may cause you to leak urine.
- You may have signs of onset labour, such as a show – the loss of a mucous plug and blood which has blocked the cervix through your pregnancy is expelled now the cervix is opening to let the baby through, slight diarrhoea and contractions – report this to your doctor.
- Your bump is impressively large and you are probably tired.
- Your main concern at this point is probably impatience that it’s all taking this long, try to enjoy your final days of your pregnancy without getting to uptight about being “late”. In fact don’t try to think of yourself being late at all, most babies arrive after their due date, and this is most common for first born babies.
Well that is it, you should be ready now and good luck! From Baby R Us because we are for babies.
The 8th month of pregnancy brings about rapid growth in the baby. This is a very crucial stage of pregnancy as the baby is now on its way to become a fully developed infant. If the baby is born during this month , it has high chances of survival. This does not mean that you can let down your guard.
8th Month Pregnancy Precautions & Baby Development
During the 8th month, the baby development is almost complete and it shows the following characteristics:
The baby grows bigger and it can weigh around 2.5kg during this time. Also, the length increases to around 50cm.
The brain growth increases and the lungs develop by this time. Also,the baby may be able to blink it’s eyes. Though the baby sleeps most of the time, you’ll be able to feel the movements occasionally. The baby also starts developing a particular sleeping and waking pattern in the eight month of pregnancy.
It’s during the eighth month of pregnancy that the child usually moves to a head-down posture known as the vertex posture. This is usually the posture most babies are born in. The kicking which starts during the seventh month will increase during this month.
During this month, the rest of the baby’s body grows in order to match its head size. As the baby grows big, it’s position in the womb becomes tighter.
Care During 8th Month Of Pregnancy
During the 8th month of pregnancy, the mother’s body goes through a lot of changes. As the third trimester advances, the degree of discomfort increases in the mother’s body. The symptoms of heartburn, indigestion, headaches, bloating, leg cramps etc. continues from the 7th month. Shortness of breath, feeling lethargic and the need urinate frequently also increases. In addition to these, you may also have trouble sleeping.
The Braxton Hicks contractions, which usually begin in the 7th month, become more regular in order to strengthen the pelvic muscles. The pressure of the child on the pelvis or against the rib cage will increase since the baby grows in size and this can lead some soreness.
On the belly, you can notice a dark line which runs all the way down to the naval. Also, there may be a painful sensation on the uterus due to the pressure of the child and this is when the mother’s navel stretches and it may even pop out .
As the breasts begin developing for milk production, a few women experience leakage of milk during the 8th month of pregnancy.
Since the abdomen stretches during this time and the ligaments become more relaxed, you may feel a tingling pain or numbness in the lower back, thighs or buttocks.
8th Month Pregnancy Precautions – Must Do
Since the 8th month of pregnancy is crucial, it is important to know the count and frequency of the fetal movement in the womb. If there is any drastic change in the frequency of movements, you should immediately consult your doctor.
Care should also be taken to avoid fetal obesity during the 8th month of pregnancy. Hence a diet of healthy and nutritious food and controlled intake of fatty and starchy foods needs to be followed strictly.
Needless to say, ample rest is the need of the hour during this period. Putting your feet up while you rest can reduce the swelling in your legs. Keeping a pillow beneath your legs while sleeping can also help in reducing the swelling.
In addition, this is a good time to prepare the birth plan. Since labor and delivery are highly unpredictable, it’s better to be prepared beforehand.
Foods to Avoid during Pregnancy
A healthy, well-balanced diet is important during
pregnancy. Most fresh foods are wholesome and safe to eat, however some
foods should be avoided during pregnancy.
What not to eat when you are pregnant:
- Raw Meats and Seafood including sushi – all
uncooked and rare meats and seafood should be avoided due to high risk
of listeria and salmonella poisoning.
- Deli meats including hot dogs – these deli meats
might be contaminated with listeria bacteria which may result in
miscarriage or even a stillbirth. It’s safe to eat deli meats if you
reheat them until steaming hot.
- Refrigerated smoked seafood – for the same reason
of listeria contamination. It is safe if they are contained in cooked
dishes. Canned and shelf-stable versions are safe to eat.
- Raw eggs – raw eggs may contain salmonella. Some
Caesar salad dressings, mayonnaise, homemade ice cream and custards as
well as Hollandaise sauces may be made with raw eggs. It is best to
check with your server in a restaurant; if in doubt, it is best to avoid
it. In addition, unpasteurized eggnog should be avoided.
- Fish high in mercury – avoid high-mercury fish such
as Shark, Swordfish, King Mackerel and Tilefish. Also limit fish intake
to no more than 2 servings per week. For more info – read Is it Safe to
eat Fish during Pregnancy?
- Soft cheese – avoid the following soft cheeses:
Feta, Brie, and Camembert cheeses, blue-veined cheeses, queso blanco,
queso fresco and Panela. They are safe to eat if they are labelled
- Refrigerated pâtes or meat spreads – for the same
reason of listeria contamination. It is safe to eat the canned or
- Liver – liver is a rich source of iron. However it
contains a high level of Vitamin A. Large amounts of Vitamin A can be
harmful to the baby.
- Unpasteurized milk and juices. In other words, raw
milk and untreated juices.
- Alcohol – many documented fetal abnormalities and
birth defects have been associated with alcohol use during pregnancy.
Enjoy a healthy pregnancy!