Pregnancy Week by Week : Week 39 (part 3) - Anesthesia Problems and Complications, Cord-Blood Banking

- 7 Kinds Of Fruit That Pregnant Women Shouldn’t Eat
- How to have natural miscarriage
- Foods That Cause Miscarriage
- Signs Proving You Have Boy Pregnancy

Other Pain Blocks

When contractions are regular and the cervix begins to dilate, uterine contractions can be uncomfortable. For the early stage of labor, medication may be given through an I.V. or by injection into a muscle. A mixture of a narcotic analgesic drug, such as meperidine (Demerol), and a tranquilizer, such as promethazine (Phenergen), may be used. It reduces pain and may cause sleepiness or sedation. These medications also enter baby’s bloodstream and can make baby groggy.

Spinal anesthesia is often used for a Cesarean delivery. It works within seconds and is effective for up to 45 minutes. Pain relief lasts long enough for the Cesarean delivery to be done.

Other types of blocks include a pudendal block, a paracervical block and intrathecal anesthesia. A pudendal block is given through the vaginal canal and decreases pain in the birth canal itself. You still feel contractions and pain in the uterus. A paracervical block provides pain relief for the dilating cervix but doesn’t relieve contraction pain. Intrathecal anesthesia is delivered into the area surrounding the spinal cord. It isn’t a total block; the woman feels contractions so she can push.

There is no perfect method for pain relief during labor and delivery. Discuss all the possibilities with your healthcare provider, and mention any concerns. Find out what types of anesthesia are available and the risks and benefits of each.

Tip for Week 39

Don’t take tags off shower gifts and other gifts until after baby is born. You may need to exchange the gift if its size, color or “sex” isn’t correct.

Anesthesia Problems and Complications

Complications are possible with anesthesia. Most affect the baby, including increased drugging of the baby with use of narcotics, such as Demerol, lower Apgar scores and depressed breathing. The baby may require resuscitation, or it may need to receive another drug, such as naloxone, to reverse effects of the first drug.

If a mother is given general anesthesia, increased sedation, slower respiration and a slower heartbeat may be observed in the baby. The mother is usually “out” for more than an hour and is unable to see her newborn infant until later.

Before labor, it may be impossible to determine which anesthesia will be best for you. But it’s helpful to know what’s available. If you’re interested in nonmedical pain-relief methods.

Cord-Blood Banking

You may have heard about storing blood from your baby’s umbilical cord after birth. Cord blood is blood in the umbilical cord and placenta, which in the past were usually thrown away after delivery. Stem cells have proved useful in treating some diseases. Treatment corrects and/or replaces diseased or damaged cells.

Stem cells are present in cord blood. They are the forerunner of cells that make all blood cells. In cord blood, these special cells are undeveloped and can become many different kinds of blood cells. Cord blood doesn’t need to be matched as closely for a transplant. This feature can be important for members of ethnic groups or people with rare blood types, who often have more difficulty finding acceptable donor matches.

How Cord Blood Is Used. Cord-blood transfers have been in use since about 1990. To date, over 10,000 cord-blood transfers have been done. Umbilical-cord blood (UCB) is good for treating diseases that affect the blood and immune systems.

UCB-derived stem cells are being studied as therapy for many disorders. Umbilical-cord blood has been used to treat over 75 life-threatening diseases, and more uses are likely to found in the future.

If you or your partner have a family history of some specific diseases, you may want to consider saving and banking your child’s umbilical-cord blood, in case it’s needed for treatment in the future. Blood can be used by siblings or parents. In fact, the most common use for stem cells from cord blood is between siblings. However, stored blood can’t be used to treat a genetic disease in the child from whom the blood was collected. Those stem cells have the same genetic problems.

If you’re interested, discuss this situation with your physician at a prenatal appointment. Today, over 600,000 family cord-blood units have been stored. You only have one chance to collect and save your baby’s umbilical-cord blood.

Before making a decision, ask about how and where blood is stored and the cost of storing it. This is a decision you need to make together as a couple. But first you need good information, such as cost, because blood storage may not be covered by insurance.

In many hospitals, expecting mothers learn about cord-blood donation when they are admitted to the hospital. Donating cord blood is free.


Collecting and Storing Blood. The cord-blood storage bank you choose sends you a collection kit; this is used to collect blood after delivery. It’s collected within 9 minutes after birth, before you deliver the placenta. It’s taken directly from the umbilical cord; there’s no risk or pain to mom or baby. You can also bank the blood if you have a Cesarean delivery.

After cord blood is collected, it’s usually picked up by a courier and taken to a banking facility where it is frozen and stored. At this time, we don’t know how long frozen cells will last. Cord blood has been banked only since 1990; however, storage at this time is better than it was when freezing and storing blood first began.

It’s expensive to collect and to store umbilical-cord blood. Collection and storage can run between $1000 and $2000. A single year’s storage can cost around $100.

There are two types of banks—private blood banking and public blood banking. You may be advised to use private blood banking if you have a history of some illnesses. With private banking, access is guaranteed to your own or a relative’s stored blood. Cord blood is available for you or a family member if you need it in the future.

Public UCB banks provide those who need stem cells from cord blood with donor cells. However, donors can’t be guaranteed their own or a relative’s cord blood. Anyone needing the cord-blood products may get the blood. In some areas, needs-based help is available.

If you donate your child’s cord blood to a public bank, his or her name is added to the national registry. If the child ever needs cord blood, he or she is guaranteed it.

Most banks require the mother to be tested for various infections before blood is accepted. This can add to the cost of saving the blood. Your insurance company may pay for this testing, if you have a family history of a disease that might be treated with umbilical-cord blood. Call and ask them, if you’re interested.

Some health-insurance companies pay the collection and storage fees for families at high risk of cancer or genetically based diseases. Cord-blood banking services may waive fees for at-risk families who are unable to afford them.

The blood bank you choose should be accredited by the American Association of Blood Banks. They have established procedures for collecting and storing umbilical-cord blood.

Donating Cord Blood. If you don’t think you’ll need the blood, you may want to donate it. If cord blood isn’t used for patients, it may be used by researchers.

There are 18 public cord-blood banks in the United States at this time. They work with hospitals that ask women if they are willing to donate their baby’s cord blood.

This is an expensive procedure, so not all hospitals participate in the program. In addition to increasing the amount of blood a public bank receives, many are attempting to increase their range of ethnic backgrounds and diversity by asking women of color to donate their baby’s blood. If you’re interested, ask your healthcare provider for information about cord-blood banking services and cord-blood donation in your area. In some states, the law requires information on UCB banking to be provided to you.

8. Exercise for Week 39


Stand with your feet slightly apart and your knees soft. Hold onto a counter or a chair with your left hand for stability, if you need it. Holding in your tummy muscles, lift your right leg up behind you until you can touch your bottom with your foot. Return your foot to the floor, then turn around. Hold onto the support with your right hand, and lift your left foot. Repeat 8 times for each leg. Tones quadriceps.


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