You are 32 Weeks and 6 Days 50 days to go…

The days and nights fly by with a newborn, so it’s a good idea to start thinking about child care well before you need it.

Your baby today

This image may show the start of a smile. Your baby will often be smiling inside, sticking his tongue out, and making all sorts of faces. He may also still be experiencing hiccups that may be something that you are now becoming aware of.

It may seem impossible to believe that you should be considering child care before your baby is even born, but it can be useful to think through the options while you have the time. There are two main types of child care: in and out of your home. In the first case, you can have a live-in or live-out nanny or mother’s help, an au pair (which may be acceptable if you work from home, for example, and can supervise), or perhaps a family member or friend who is prepared to come to your house to take care of your baby. If you choose outside child care, there are a number of options including day-care centers, relatives or babysitters in their homes, or on-the-job day care. Before you set your heart on one particular type of care, it’s a good idea to investigate the costs and the availability in your area. You may want to pay a visit to some of the nurseries or other facilities close to you, just to get a feel for what’s available, and establish now what you do and don’t want. Secondly, remember that good-quality child-care facilities and babysitters are usually in demand, and, even if you aren’t entirely sure when you will be going back to work, it’s probably a good idea to put your baby’s name (or last name, at least!) down for a few, to give you options when the time comes.

… Dads
Being at the birth

Many dads-to-be are anxious about being with their partners during labor and birth. This is often because they will be witnessing their partner experience one of the most intense things a woman can ever do and they may be unsure of how to help.

There are plenty of ways in which you can support your partner during labor: being aware of her wishes, speaking for her if she is unable to, and repeating what doctors have said if she didn’t hear clearly; passing her a drink; rubbing her back; holding a warm cloth to her face; switching music on or off; being encouraging and reassuring her.

Going to prenatal classes can be useful. You will learn more about labor and birth, and how to support your partner physically and emotionally.

Calcium intake

Your baby’s skeleton began forming at the end of the first trimester, but the majority of your calcium is transferred to the baby from your body in the third trimester. This happens regardless of your calcium intake. If a mother-to-be’s diet is low in calcium, it will be taken from the reservoir in her bones, which can affect her bone density.

The recommended amount of calcium in pregnancy is 1000 mg daily. Calcium needs to be accompanied by vitamin D in order to be absorbed by the body.

Dairy products are a rich source of calcium, and some, such as margarine and low-fat spreads, are often fortified with vitamin D. Vegetarian sources of calcium include tofu, leafy green vegetables, dried fruit, seeds, and nuts.

You are 33 Weeks Exactly 49 days to go…

Choosing who will be present at the birth with you is a big decision, so start thinking about it in good time.

Your baby today

Soon your baby will be approaching a time when the lungs can fully support him after birth. At 33 weeks though, most babies would still need some help with breathing if born this early. Your baby will be regularly practicing these breathing movements inside.

You can choose whoever you like to be your birth partner, though the doctors and nurses might object if you have a team of people! If you do want more than one partner, get approval ahead of the birth and put this in your birth plan . You may want to ask your mom, sister, or close friend in addition to your partner. You might also find that your partner is unable to be there, for example if he is unavoidably going to be out of the country. If you’re comfortable with it and feel that you will benefit from someone else being there, then ask away. You can put who you want to be your birth partner or partners on your birth plan. Of course, if you’re going to ask someone else other than, or in addition to, your partner to be present, discuss it with him first. He might not be so thrilled at the idea of your mom being present, but explain why you would like her there. Remember that this is a special occasion for him as well and he may have his own preferences for who is or is not present at the birth.

Now might also be a good time to discuss things like whether you want a video made of the birth, but you may prefer that your partner supports you, rather than handling the camera!

Active birth classes

The goal of active birth classes is to make women feel good about their bodies and give them the confidence that they have the mental and physical reserves to have a successful birth experience. Classes are generally appropriate regardless of fitness level, flexibility, and your stage of pregnancy.

Active birth classes teach you how to work with your body to deliver your baby more quickly and easily.

  • Active birth classes promote the benefits of yoga and exercise as both physical and mental preparation for childbirth.

  • Yoga strengthens the body, improves posture and circulation, and teaches how to use relaxation and breathing techniques to relieve stress.

  • Like prenatal classes, active birth classes allow you to meet other parents-to-be and share their pregnancy experiences.

  • The downside is that these classes aren’t widely available, so they get booked quickly and can be expensive. Ask your doctor about local classes. If you can’t find a class in your area, read an active birth book or consider taking a prenatal yoga class.

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