A free, monthly newsletter with a roundup of the best the internet has to offer about mom-to-be and baby.

Issue #39

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Free birthing class on YouTube: ‘Birthing in the time of COVID-19 Crash Course’


Genetic counselling, what it is? and do I need to go?


Genetic Counsellors attend to people who either have an inherited or genetic condition themselves, or have had a baby with an inherited condition, or who are at risk to have a baby with such a condition. Some women are at higher risk than others, either because they are older than 35 years of age, or if there is a family member with a genetic condition. When you are referred, or you choose to go to a Genetic Counselling appointment, the counsellor will explain the medical facts about the condition, discuss testing available, whether testing is necessary or available for the unborn baby, and she will provide emotional support during decision making regarding choices, either around options for a current pregnancy, or planning for future pregnancies.

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Evidence Based Birth® Communications & Resources


According to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) most recent situation report here, there are now over 153,000 confirmed cases and 5,735 deaths globally

  • The WHO published interim guidance on March 13, 2020, here.
  • There is little research on the clinical presentation of COVID-19 in pregnant women and children.
  • There have been a few cases of infants with COVID-19 and they experienced mild illness.
  • So far, there is no evidence of mother-to-baby transmission, and when researchers tested women who were infected, the samples of amniotic fluid, cord blood, vaginal discharge, newborn throat swabs, and breast milk have all been negative.

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Here’s why to consider a homebirth


In 2014, the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)  issued new guidelines for the care of healthy women and their babies during childbirth. After reviewing the evidence, NICE recommended that low risk pregnant women—the vast majority of the over 700,000 women who give birth in the UK—give birth at home or with a midwife-led unit, rather than a hospital. As these guidelines suggest, low-risk women are better off staying at home than going to the hospital. This is because there is a greater risk of over-intervention at the hospital than there is a risk for under-intervention at home.

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Skin to skin

Does hugging provide stress-buffering social support? A study of susceptibility to upper respiratory infection and illness


Perceived social support has been hypothesized to protect against the pathogenic effects of stress. How such protection might be conferred, however, is not well understood. Using a sample of 404 healthy adults, we examined the roles of perceived social support and received hugs in buffering against interpersonal stress-induced susceptibility to infectious disease.

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Mothers and babies can instantly synchronize their hearts just by smiling at each other


Mothers and their babies are often said to share a deep, intimate connection...but even so, this new discovery is weird. Simply by looking and smiling at each other, moms and babies synchronize their heartbeats to within milliseconds of each other. Researchers at Bar-Ilan University in Israel found that visible affection from their mothers had tangible physiological effects on three month old infants. Previous studies in animals have shown that social interactions between "attachment partners" can actually affect the animal infants' body, but this is the first time such an effect has been observed in humans. Writing in Infant Behavior and Development, the researchers explain what they discovered.

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The importance of responsive feeding in establishing a good breastmilk supply


Responsive parenting e.g. responding promptly and appropriately to a baby’s needs is widely recognised as an important protective element for infant health, wellbeing and development1. When babies feel secure in the care of a primary caregiver, they go on to have better outcomes socially, educationally and emotionally2. There are many elements to responsive parenting but one of the central aspects within this relationship is the importance of responsive feeding. Responding to a baby’s feeding cues (both of hunger and satiation), whether they are breast or bottle fed is an important step to helping a baby develop not only a secure attachment relationship, but in establishing longer term positive eating behaviours. Responsive feeding takes advantage of a young baby’s natural ability to regulate their intake of calories – something that can disappear when a baby gets older3. Feeding when they are hungry and being able to stop when they are full helps them to retain this ability.

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Should we touch our children during a pandemic?


How far should social distancing (ie body distancing) go? We have all been advised to social distance ourselves which means that we should stay at least 6 feet (2m) away from others. But the rules are different for families, unless a family member shows symptoms of the virus. For parents and young children, it’s really important to keep cuddling. Why? 

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Cabin-fever-busting ideas


Cabin-fever-busting ideas for social distancing families  Amidst social distancing there are loads of ideas and opportunities to increase connection and celebrate our memories and love for one another. The RapidStudio team has brainstormed and scoured the internet for the best ideas for keeping kids busy and engaged through this time. 

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COVID-19 quarantine: Grow closer to your spouse


Whether you’ll be at home with your spouse for two weeks or two months, your attitude and approach can make all the difference. Here are some guidelines for the most positive experience, in spite of the stressful situation. Stores are empty. Restaurants are closed. Events are cancelled. Even your church has cancelled worship services. You might be working from home. Although you’re not sick or officially quarantined, you’re spending a lot of time in the house with your spouse. Will this time be filled with frustration and tension, or will you use the time to strengthen your marriage?

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Crisis: A pivotal point in marriage


Many couples struggle during critical events that create an emotional crisis. Crises can stress marriages even to the point of divorce. Here’s how to draw closer even during a crisis. Many years ago, my husband and I met with a middle-aged couple whose 17-year-old daughter, Macy*, was in a tragic accident. Their pain-filled story is still a poignant reminder of how crisis and trauma can take its toll on a marriage.

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Maintaining a sense of humour to cope


A sense of humour can be an amazing line of defence when it comes to coping with stress. Unfortunately, stress is inevitable and you can't eliminate it, despite your best efforts. You can, however, better prepare yourself for stress with several coping techniques. Developing a sense of humour about life's challenges is a great place to start. A sense of humour will help you to build resilience to stress as well as improve your overall physical and emotional health. It will also enable you to:

  • Bond with others
  • Look at things in a different way
  • Normalize your experience
  • Keep your relationships strong

Luckily, it's not too hard to develop a healthy sense of humour - but it does require a bit of practice. Here are a few ways to find the funny in life and better cope with stress.

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