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What exactly are those baby blues?

It’s nothing that we really like to talk about, but something that we certainly should. About 90 percent of women will have postpartum blues of some sort.

It seems to creep in a few days after birth, and you’ll find yourself crying for no reason, sleeping even worse than you’d expect with a newborn, or truly doubt that you can care for your baby. Most new moms experience this to some degree, but this is just a bit more than you might expect.

So, when should you start worrying that it might be something you need to talk to your doctor about? I get worried when those feelings don’t fade after about a week, or when the new mom doesn’t seem to be functioning well.

It can worsen to a full postpartum depression, and this is where you have really strong feelings of despair, sadness and anxiety and can’t accomplish routine daily tasks that normally wouldn’t be a big deal. I also pay attention to times when moms are overly concerned about their baby, especially when they wake up and routinely check on the baby. This is an unknown but common sign of postpartum depression. Continue Reading »

Building your birth plan: what you need to know

It is exciting to get ready for the arrival of your baby. As you head toward that magical date, here are some suggestions that might help you have the best experience during your delivery:

  • Pick a provider you are comfortable with. He or she will be your guide for this wonderful journey you are about to embark on.
  • Feel comfortable with the facility you are delivering at. Take a tour of the birth place.
  • I suggest participating in a birthing class. They are informative, helpful and often include a tour. If attending a class conflicts with your schedule, or if you prefer to learn by other methods, there are plenty of online or print/video information available out there.
  • Your obstetrician can also guide you in the process of selecting a physician for the baby.

Pain management is a very important part of labor. Pain tolerance differs from person to person. Talk to your provider before delivery about what your expectation of pain management is. He or she will walk you through the scenarios that may occur during labor and options for treatment. Do you want medication or would you prefer natural methods for relaxation such as Jacuzzi, shower, rocking chair, or a birthing ball? Acupressure and hypnosis can also be incorporated into labor. Comfort items such as pillows, robes and music mixes are essential. They will often help you get through the sometimes painful and long hours early in labor.

Finally, decide who you want in the room during the delivery. These people are there to support you throughout labor. During labor, monitoring of the fetus can often be tailored to your needs as long as fetal well-being is assured. At delivery, decide on if you would like photos or videos to capture the special moment. Assign this to someone in the room. Who will cut the umbilical cord? Would you like the baby placed on your chest or taken to the warmer? If you are planning on breastfeeding, the nursing staff and lactation consultant can work with you on getting it started soon after birth. Take the time to enjoy those first precious moments with your new bundle of joy. Families waiting can visit when you are ready for them.

This is a special time. I want you to make it a personal experience for you and your baby.

 

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