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Pregnancy Week by Week : Week 35 (part 2) - How Your Actions Affect Your Baby’s Development - Preparing for Baby’s Birth, Preregistering at the Hospital

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5. How Your Actions Affect Your Baby’s Development

Preparing for Baby’s Birth

You may be feeling a little nervous about knowing when it’s time to call your healthcare provider or go to the hospital. Ask about signs to watch for at one of your prenatal visits. In prenatal classes, you should also learn how to recognize the signs of labor and when you should call your healthcare provider or go to the hospital.

Your bag of waters may break before you go into labor. In most cases, you’ll notice this as a gush of water followed by a steady leaking.

During the last few weeks of pregnancy, have your suitcase paccked and ready to go.

If possible, tour the hospital facilities with your partner a few weeks before your scheduled due date. Find out where to go and what to do when you get there.

Talk with your partner about the best ways to reach him if you think you’re in labor. Cell phones are a good way to stay in touch. You might have him check with you periodically. Or he can wear a pager if he is often away from a phone, especially during the last few weeks of pregnancy.

Plan your route to the hospital. Have your partner drive it a few times. Plan an alternate route in case of bad weather or traffic tie-ups.

Ask your healthcare provider what you should do if you think you’re in labor. Is it best to call the office? Should you go directly to the hospital? By knowing what to do, and when, you can relax a little and not worry about the beginning of labor and delivery.

Dad Tip

At a prenatal visit, ask the healthcare provider about your part in the delivery. There may be some things you’d like to do, such as cutting the cord or videotaping your baby’s birth. It’s easier to talk about these things ahead of time. Not every new father wants an active role in the delivery. That’s OK, too.

Preregistering at the Hospital

It may be helpful and save you time if you register at the hospital a few weeks before your due date. You’ll be able to do this with forms you get at the office or by getting forms from the hospital. It’s smart to do this early because when you go to the hospital, you may be in a hurry or concerned with other things.

You should know certain facts that may not be included in your chart, such as:

• your blood type and Rh-factor

• when your last period was and what your due date is

• details of any past pregnancies

• your healthcare provider’s name

• your pediatrician’s name

Your healthcare provider has recorded various things that have occurred during your pregnancy. A copy of this record is usually kept in the labor-and-delivery area.

Certified Nurse-Midwives, Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants

In today’s obstetric-and-gynecology medical practices, you may find many types of highly qualified people helping to take care of you. These people—mostly women, but not all!—are on the forefront in guiding women through pregnancy to delivery. They may even help deliver their babies!

A certified nurse-midwife (CNM) is an advance-practice registered nurse (RN). He or she has received additional training delivering babies and providing prenatal and postpartum care to women. A CNM works closely with a doctor or team of doctors to address specifics about a particular pregnancy, and labor and delivery. Often a CNM delivers babies.

A certified nurse midwife can provide many types of information to a pregnant woman, such as guidance with nutrition and exercise, ways to deal with pregnancy discomforts, tips for managing weight gain, dealing with various pregnancy problems and discussions of different methods of pain relief for labor and delivery. A CNM can also address issues of family planning and birth control and other gynecological care, including breast exams, Pap smears and other screenings. A CNM can prescribe medications; each state has their own specific requirements.

A nurse practitioner is also an advanced-practice registered nurse (RN). He or she has received additional training providing prenatal and postpartum care to women. A nurse practitioner may work with a doctor or work independently to address specifics about a woman’s pregnancy, and labor and delivery.

A nurse practitioner can provide many types of information to a pregnant woman, such as guidance with nutrition and exercise, ways to deal with pregnancy discomforts, tips for managing weight gain, dealing with various pregnancy problems and discussions of different methods of pain relief for labor and delivery. He or she can also address issues of family planning and birth control and other gynecological care, including breast exams, Pap smears and other screenings. In some cases, a nurse practitioner may prescribe medications or provide pain relief during labor and delivery (as a certified registered nurse anesthetist [CRNA]).

A physician assistant (PA) is a qualified healthcare professional who may take care of you during pregnancy. He or she is licensed to practice medicine in association with a licensed doctor. In a normal, uncomplicated pregnancy, many or most of your prenatal visits may be with a PA, not the doctor. This may include labor and delivery. Most women find this is a good thing—often these healthcare providers have more time to spend with you answering questions and addressing your concerns.

A PA’s focus is to provide many health-care services traditionally done by a doctor. They care for people who have conditions (pregnancy is a condition they see women for), diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret tests, counsel on preventive health care, perform some procedures, assist in surgery, write prescriptions and do physical exams. A PA is not a medical assistant, who performs administrative or simple clinical tasks.

We are fortunate to have these dedicated professionals working in OB/GYN practices and clinics. The care they provide is crucial to the medical community and makes quality medical care for women something every woman can look forward to.

6. Your Nutrition

Your body continues to need lots of vitamins and minerals for baby. You’ll need even more of them if you breastfeed! It’s important to realize how necessary your continued good nutrition is for you and your baby.

Nutrient Requirements during
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Vitamins & Minerals

During Pregnancy

During Breastfeeding

A

800mcg

1300mcg

B1 (thiamine)

1.5mg

1.6mg

B2 (riboflavin)

1.6mg

1.8mg

B3 (niacin)

17mg

20mg

B6

2.2mg

2.2mg

B12

2.2mcg

2.6mcg

C

70mg

95mg

Calcium

1200mg

1200mg

D

10mcg

10mcg

E

10mg

12mg

Folic acid (B9)

400mcg

280mcg

Iron

30mg

15mg

Magnesium

320mg

355mg

Phosphorous

1200mg

1200mg

Zinc

15mg

19mg

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