How Is the Baby Lying?

You may be wondering how your baby is lying inside the uterus. Is the baby head first? Is it bottom first (breech)? Is the baby lying sideways? It’s difficult—usually impossible—at this point in pregnancy to tell just by feeling your abdomen. The baby changes position throughout pregnancy.

Is Home Birth Safe?

Home births happen. Of the 25,000 home births that occur every year in the United States, 25% (a little over 6,000) of them are unplanned. That means the other 75% (nearly 19,000) of home births are planned. But are home births safe?

You may have heard from friends or acquaintances they had a home birth and everything went fine. Some women want to give birth at home because they feel it’s “more natural.” Another factor may be the high cost of labor and delivery, especially if you don’t have full insurance coverage.

But research has shown giving birth at home is an extremely risky undertaking. One study showed twice as many infant deaths and serious, dangerous complications when babies are delivered at home. What can be done at home if your baby has serious problems and needs immediate medical care that can only be provided at a hospital or birthing center staffed by professionals?

We know there are also dangers to mom. First-time pregnant women who deliver at home have nearly triple the risk of complications after baby’s birth. In addition, the chance of serious problems increases when a woman suffers from various pregnancy problems. Even carrying more than one baby increases your risk.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has firmly stated that home birthing is hazardous to a woman and her baby. Based on Dr. Curtis’s own experiences with the aftermath of home births, we must concur. We advise any woman who is considering this option to talk to her healthcare provider about the safety and wisdom of delivering her baby at the hospital or a birthing center.

Dad Tip

Your partner has been feeling the baby move for a while. Around this time, you may also be able to feel it! Gently place your hand on her abdomen, and leave it there for a while. Your partner can tell you when the baby is moving.

You can feel the abdomen to try to see where the head or other parts are located. In another 3 to 4 weeks, the baby’s head will be harder; it will be easier at that time for your healthcare provider to determine how the baby is lying (called presentation of the fetus).

Bug Sprays and Insect Repellents

If you’re pregnant and live in an area where bugs are a problem, take precautions to avoid bites to reduce your risk for infections. Avoid insect-infested areas, use screens on windows and doors, and wear protective clothing. Get rid of standing water in your yard so mosquitoes and other insects don’t have a place to breed.

Grandma’s Remedy

If you want to avoid using medication, try a folk remedy. If you get a sunburn, brew up some mint tea, and cool it. Wet a small towel in the tea, and apply it to your sunburned skin. It cools the burn and may prevent peeling.

You may be wondering if it’s safe to use mosquito and other bug repellents. It’s OK to use an EPA-registered repellent (one that has been reviewed for safety by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). The CDC recommends repellents containing DEET or picaridin on skin and clothing, and per-methrin on clothing. Oil of lemon eucalyptus is another option, but it’s not as long-lasting.

Don’t overdo it with bug sprays. Spray your clothing, not your skin. Bug lights and bug candles may offer some protection. Even some plants, such as citronella plants, may help repel insects.

Canavan Disease

Canavan disease, also called Canavan sclerosis and Canavan-van Bogaert-Bertrand syndrome, is a relatively common degenerative disease of the brain. Although Canavan disease may occur in any ethnic group, it’s more frequent among Saudi Arabians and Ashkenazi Jews from eastern Poland, Lithuania and western Russia.

The disease is one of a group of genetic disorders called leukodystrophies. With Canavan disease, the white matter of the brain degenerates into spongy tissue riddled with small fluid-filled spaces. The disease causes problems in the development of the myelin sheath, the fatty covering that acts as an insulator around nerve fibers in the brain.

There is no cure, nor is there a standard course of treatment. The disease develops in infancy, and prognosis is poor. Death usually occurs before age 4, although some children have survived to their 20s.

Canavan disease can be identified by a blood test that screens for the missing enzyme or for mutations in the gene that controls aspartoacylase. Both parents must be carriers of the defective gene to have an affected child. When both parents are found to carry the Canavan gene mutation, there is a one-in-four chance with each pregnancy that the child will be affected.

6. Exercise for Week 28


Sit tall in a straight-backed side chair, with your knees bent, your arms relaxed at your side and your feet flat on the floor. Lift your left foot off the floor, with your leg extended. Hold for 8 seconds; be sure you are sitting erect. Lower your left leg. Do 5 times for each leg. Stretches hamstrings, and strengthens thigh muscles.


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