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Issue #33

Read the Expectant Mother's Guide online.


Mindfully Preparing for Pregnancy


You’ve made the decision that you’re ready to bring a new baby into your family and now you want to make sure you’re taking the right steps to prepare your body and your mind for this incredible and exciting journey. Where do you begin? Here, we’ve gathered several key resources into one place to help you get started.

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The Evidence on: Due Dates


What is an estimated due date, and how is it determined? What are the risks of going past your due date? Does induction increase the risk of Caesarean? At which point do the benefits of being electively induced outweigh the risks? Does a person’s goals and preferences for their births matter? The purpose of this Evidence Based Birth® article is to look at the evidence on due dates. How often are pregnant people induced for going past their estimated “due date?” Inductions for non-medical reasons have been on the rise in the U.S. Increasingly, more pregnant people are being induced because they have reached their estimated “due date” of 40 weeks. According to the 2013 Listening to Mothers III survey, more than four out of ten mothers (41%) in the U.S. said that their care provider tried to induce labour. The researchers asked mothers to select the reasons that they were induced. Out of everyone who was induced, 44% said that they were induced because their baby was full term and it was close to the due date. Another 18% said that they were induced because the health care provider was concerned that the mother was overdue.

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10 Ways to Optimize Birth Hormones


Oxytocin the “love” hormone “calm & connection” causes contractions
Endorphins pain relieving hormones “labour land”
Catecholamines stress hormones “fight or flight”
Prolactin “mothering” hormone facilitates breastfeeding.

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The Bottom Line: Continuous Electronic Foetal Monitoring


Despite strong evidence that continuous electronic foetal heart rate monitoring (EFM) increases the caesarean rate without improving long-term neonatal outcomes, it remains the most widely used routine obstetric intervention. According to the 2013 Listening to Mothers III survey of U.S. women’s experiences in childbirth, 80% of labouring women were monitored continuously for all or most of their labours. In 2017, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists joined with almost all other national and international maternity care organizations in recommending intermittent monitoring for low-risk, healthy labouring women.

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Ideas for the Best Planned Caesarean Possible


You may feel disappointed that you must plan a caesarean for your safety or your baby’s. Here are some ideas for making the caesarean birth of your baby very special and personally satisfying for you, your partner, and your baby.

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Brought to you by the SACLC

Birth and breastfeeding: The domino effect


Most new mothers plan to breastfeed their babies and, according to the South African Demographic and Health Survey of 1998, approximately 88% of mothers initiated breastfeeding at birth. However, only 10% of babies were breastfed exclusively in the first three months of life, with less than 8% reaching the 6 month mark. This makes South Africa one of the countries with the lowest breastfeeding rates in the world. Increasingly research is showing that the birth option a woman chooses and the way births are conducted influence breastfeeding. Many women don’t realise this; in fact, many do not prepare for breastfeeding at all, assuming that it is something that will come naturally. Let’s take a closer look at what this means in practice.

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Skin to Skin

Plan for skin to skin in the hospital


Make skin-to-skin part of your birth plan. Talk to your doctor and hospital to make sure they support skin-to-skin time during the Sacred Hour and in your room. Skin-to-skin helps mom and baby get off to a good start with breastfeeding. Ask your hospital if they offer skin-to-skin after caesarean section deliveries if you and the baby are alert and stable. Dad may want to wear a shirt that can be unbuttoned so he can easily snuggle baby skin-to-skin. Let family and friends know about your plans. Tell them whenever you need privacy for skin-to-skin time in the hospital and at home. There's no specific age when skin-to-skin should stop. It provides powerful benefits for baby the entire time he is an infant.

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Where does Dad fit into the picture


Mom is a baby’s anchor – a place of safety. Mom soothes. Dad is different – he smells different, his body feels different and his voice sounds different. To a new-born baby dad represents the whole world. Because novelty is stimulating a dad is responsible for the development of new wiring in baby’s brain. An involved dad is said to increase a child’s IQ and sense of humour, attention span, attitude to learning, while a mom’s love is expected, a child often feels he has to earn his dad’s love.

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Hip-Healthy swaddling


Are you swaddling your baby properly? Improper swaddling may lead to hip dysplasia or developmental dysplasia of the hip. When in the womb the baby’s legs are in a foetal position with the legs bent up and across each other. Sudden straightening of the legs to a standing position can loosen the joints and damage the soft cartilage of the socket.

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"I paid £160 for a pair of limited edition nappies"


Think washable nappies, and most of us will envisage a burdensome, time-consuming - not to mention smelly - commitment reserved only for the most dedicated eco-warrior. But, for many a convert, cloth nappies are a hobby, a passion, and even an obsession. "Cloth bumming", as it's called in inside circles, is no longer just about the environment or saving money, but also about fashion and the clamour to get the most sought-after designs on your baby's bottom. Some fans collect nappies in the way others amass handbags. Limited editions are snapped up at lightning speed to be posted for resale at nearly 10 times the retail price.

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