It’s the home stretch to welcome your baby earth side and to finish up the Natural Childbirth Course! I hope you have enjoyed your local course if you have gotten to take it! So what do you need to do in this time? Prepare your coaches and make sure they are confident and comfortable in their understanding of childbirth. Relax. Pack some bags (even if planning a home birth). Get your ducks in a row. Read about your newborn. And wait it out!
This week was all about dad being prepared to be the coach! This preparedness starts with being supportive throughout the pregnancy, but also continues until the baby is in mom’s arms. It is very important that if there are other people present for the delivery that it is clear who has what job. Maybe dad still has all the responsibility, but it is still important to discuss it so that everyone is on the same page and there is as little confusion as possible.
It is very important that both parents know the information because chances are the mom is going to be a little preoccupied and out of it to fully remember what to do and what’s important. She may need some reminders.
In my midwife’s class, we worked on swaying with dad this week. She taught dad tips and tricks to help keep mom moving and dancing during birth.
I would recommend making a checklist or your own pamphlet for coaching guidelines / quick reference guide. In our class, this was handed out to us, but if you’re not taking the class, it may be beneficial to make something on your own to refer to when labor is happening. In fact, you might even make a Dad’s Labor Survival Guide!
We played a fun game in class that was moms vs. dads. It tested how well we knew the progression of labor and all of the symptoms. I am excited to say the dads got the most answers Why? it just means that our coaches are SO ready and that THEY’RE the ones who have to keep a level head and they DO know what they’re doing!
This class also discussed preparing for an emergency delivery… say in the car… but if you are a first time mom, that’s unlikely. Either way, you may want to make sure you have trash bags and things handy and review some key aspects of delivery. Also, it was recommended by a mom that if you are going to go to the hospital and not have a home birth and have it on the way there that you “tag” your baby in some way because once you get the the hospital, you may get separated for a second to check out baby and you want to make sure that you have the right kid! Tagging could mean using a marker on their foot or something.
Take a birth place tour if you have not. Write up a list of questions that you want to be answered. You may need to ask hard questions that they don’t want to answer, but it’s important. Use what you have learned thus far to populate that list of imperative questions!
This was a week in my second birth that my midwife and I discussed hospitals if any complications arose.
You have made it to the end! In this class it was all about caring for your baby and newborn procedures that you may encounter while in the hospital. If you need help preparing for a newborn, I have made a 28 day checklist to take you through it!
Did you know natural born babies are a pinkish color and babies are usually 18-22 inches long?
In one of the classes we also learned things like how to do a basic swaddle and we watched a video on other kids/siblings being in the room while birthing your new little one. In another class with my midwife, we watched videos of home births and how they varied. We talked about children being in the room, pets being in the room, etc.. If you think it’s appropriate for your child(ren) to be there, this may be a good idea because they may have a better understanding that the baby didn’t just appear.
Procedures you may want to research:
- PKU testing – recommended that if possible, have them do it while breastfeeding. If you’re doing a home birth, this may be done a couple of weeks after birth. My 2nd daughter had it done at her 2 week check-up.
- Eye treatment – This one is an antibiotic that they put in their eyes. Again, you may want to look into it. If you choose to do it, you should probably wait a few hours so that your baby can look at you without any blurred vision from the treatment. If you had some sort of infection during delivery, this might actually be a good idea.
- Hearing Test – Non-invasive, but I probably won’t do this one simply because she’s so jumpy as it is in my womb and it’s just time I would rather spend with her. [In fact, we did not do it and this was two fold… we knew she had great hearing and also because they would not let one of us be with her through the testing.]
- Vitamin K – If you are having a boy and circumcising right away, this may be a good idea, but if not a boy and/or not circumcising, a little more research may behoove you. I know I will not be doing it because I am having a girl. If I was having a boy and circumcising, I would just wait until the 8th day. There is true medicinal validity to the 8th day because it’s when vitamin k (for clotting) is the highest. Research it, do what makes you feel most comfortable.
- Bundling – no real need if you are participating in skin-to-skin contact. Also, if you delay bathing, no real need because the vernix can help keep baby warm. And rub that vernix into their skin!
- Newborn cap – Unless your baby is not regulating their temperature very well (which typically happens because of being washed), it’s unnecessary.
- Heat lamp – Some hospitals put babies under a heat lamp to be changed and examined. There is nothing wrong with doing this, but it can sometimes be a shock because they’re usually huge! This is also used for babies that truly have a hard time regulating their temperature.
- Bathing – recommended that you delay this as long as possible. You can however, have your baby in a sitz bath with you like my midwife had me do. It’s just the idea of actually washing a child’s vernix off and their intoxicating newborn smell.
- Circumcision – refer to what I said for vitamin k. I do not want to get involved in a controversial issue.
- Jaundice – there are 3 main types. With all of them, it is recommended that you do not stop breastfeeding and that normal levels can actually be beneficial for the baby. Just pay attention to baby’s color. My midwife gave me all the info to look for in the first 24 hours.
- Regular temperature and respiration monitoring – This is typically done every 4 hours in the hospital or 3 times a day after a home birth. Respirations should be 30-60 in a minute and nb breathing is erratic and not uniform. Temperatures can range from the 97s-99s Fahrenheit, but talk to your provider for a better measurement, especially for your child.
GOOD LUCK ON YOUR DELIVERY 🙂
Kara is an author, wife, and mother of 3 children living in Boston, MA. She has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development and is passionate about connecting with and even helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!