Pregnancy Week 42: Meet Your Newborn, Post-term Pregnancy, (LOL) Advice From a Dad & Postpartum Depression by 30Seconds Pregnancy
You've waited for 40 weeks (or more!) for this, but bringing a new baby home can be scary. Here are a few things you can do to get to know your newborn now that they're on the outside:
- He will have his days and nights mixed up. Your baby was so used to being rocked to sleep all day while in the womb, it will take about six to eight weeks for him to learn to sleep more at night than during the day, and the first few weeks are the hardest for him to adjust to. Yes, that's right – expect to be up a lot at night. Newborns can't go for longer than four hours without eating in those first few weeks of life because they are growing a lot and gaining weight. To do that, they need to eat eight to 12 times in 24 hours. If you're breastfeeding, he will be nursing a lot! Feed him on demand as this will help regulate how much milk you will make. And trust me, it will be enough.
- You cannot hurt Baby's umbilical cord. I see so many families who worry about the cord. It is meant to dry out. It can ooze and yes, it's OK to wipe the gunk off! You will not hurt your baby, I promise! If that cord is just not coming off after three weeks or starts to have an odor, then your pediatrician or nurse practitioner can help.
- Babies get lots of rashes. There are a lot of skin rashes that affect newborns, many due to Mom's hormones that were passed to Baby in utero. Most of these will go away on their own – you do not need a special cream, lotion or soap. In fact, many babies will have breast buds and vaginal discharge. Again, those are due to maternal hormones and will resolve on their own. You do not need to worry, but if you do your pediatrician can help.
Here's even more things new parents should know about their newborn!
Forty weeks of pregnancy has come and gone, but you still have a (huge!) baby bump. You’ve walked the mall, eaten spicy food, had sex, did nipple stimulation – all those old wives’ tales to kick-start labor – but nothing. Welcome to late-term pregnancy.
The average pregnancy is 280 days, or 40 weeks. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), “a pregnancy that lasts 41 weeks up to 42 weeks is called ‘late term.’ A pregnancy that lasts longer than 42 weeks is called ‘post-term.’”
While the causes of post-term pregnancy are not known, the ACOG says there are many factors that can increase your chances of having a post-term pregnancy, including:
- First baby.
- Having a boy.
- Had a prior post-term pregnancy.
- You are obese.
A few health risks can occur with post-term pregnancies. Learn what they are and tests your midwife or doctor may recommend.
From the Dad Side...
Parenting isn't for the faint of heart, and preparation is key. Here are some things you need to know about babies from a dad – with a side of LOL:
- Sleep whenever you can, wherever you can. Learn to sleep standing up also.
- Leave the kitchen light on or buy a nightlight for midnight bottle runs and always wear pants to bed.
- Practice carrying a 5-pound bag of potatoes under one arm everywhere you go. For added authenticity, fill the bag with 5 pounds of angry kittens instead.
- For every trip out of the house, no matter how brief, carefully assess how many diapers/nappies you may need. Think of every possible contingency. Leave nothing to chance. When you've arrived at a safe quantity, double it, just in case. Babies are full of cunning and deceit.
- Always take a bag of baby wipes everywhere and keep two packs in the car. NEVER run out of wipes in the car. If you do you may one day have to choose between your hands or the upholstery. You don't want this choice.
- Wear puke-colored clothes.
This dad has even more tips for new parents!
Did you know that up to 20 percent of pregnant and new moms experience depression or anxiety? Yes, it’s that common! No one can say for sure that having specific stresses or experiences in your life, or perhaps having certain personality traits, causes postpartum depression (PPD) or anxiety. But we do know that there are quite a few factors that can increase your risk. Take this quiz and assess your risk for postpartum depression.
Symptoms of postpartum depression include:
- difficulty coping
- changes in sleep
- changes in appetite
Not just moms get postpartum mood disorders. Becoming a father increases a man’s risk of experiencing anxiety and depression, too. Some symptoms of paternal depression symptoms are different from women’s and often men don’t acknowledge their feelings of sadness, hopelessness and/or guilt. They may also feel in conflict between how they think a man should be and feel and how they are actually feeling. Here’s a list of possible symptoms.
- frustration or irritability
- getting stressed easily
- feeling discouraged
- increases in physical problems
- loss of interest in work, hobbies and sex
- isolation from family and friends
- working constantly
- increased anger
The most important thing to remember is that paternal depression is very treatable.
“Well, everybody was thrilled to bits. It had been quite a difficult pregnancy – I hadn’t been very well throughout it – so by the time William arrived it was a great relief because it was all peaceful again, and I was well for a time. Then I was unwell with [postpartum] depression, which no one ever discusses … you have to read about it afterwards, and that in itself was a bit of a difficult time. You’d wake up in the morning feeling you didn’t want to get out of bed, you felt misunderstood, and just very, very low in yourself … I never had had a depression in my life. But then when I analyzed it, I could see that the changes I’d made in the last year had all caught up with me, and my body had said: ‘We want a rest.’… I received a great deal of treatment, but I knew in myself that actually what I needed was space and time to adapt to all the different roles that had come my way. I knew I could do it, but I needed people to be patient and give me the space to do it.” – Diana, Princess of Wales, BBC, November 1995
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