26 March 2015

Smoking while pregnant

I thought the article in Metro on 24th March by Tom Wilkinson was amazing. You don't need any more motivation than to watch the clip.

The harmful effects of smoking during pregnancy on unborn babies may be seen in tiny movements on their faces using 4D ultrasound scans, new research has found. Pregnant women have long been urged to give up cigarettes because they heighten the risk of premature birth, respiratory problems and even cot death.

18 March 2015

Coping with a new baby

Two woman I know have just given birth. Both are struggling with the adjustment to having a new baby. The first thing I tell them is that it IS normal to worry and they have to be aware of the changes their bodies are going through during the "readjustment" of shape and hormones. The second is the sleep depravation. Labour alone can be exhausting, but to want to stay awake after the birth when you should be sleeping adds to the feeling that this is so hard. You need to rest when your baby is resting and you need to ask for help when you need it. Everything else can wait.

New parents also need to realise the adjustment to your new baby takes a few months, not a few days. It gets easier and easier as you learn your babies cries and get advice from your home visitors from the NHS. One woman's baby had a lot of wind so she was shown a technique to help the baby feel more comfortable by rotating the legs from the outside in a circular motion and then pushing the legs towards the stomach so the knees bend. Somehow it helps to release trapped wind. Tips like this can make a world of difference, but you would only learn that if you asked for their help on what to do.

And lastly, trust your instincts. Ask yourself what it is you need and follow the reply, whether it is food, sleep or a break. Then get it from your partner, friends or family.

Enjoy your precious time with your new gift. The more you relax, your baby will too.