3.5

Fetal Growth and Development

by Maxine
Posted July 7 2010 12:03pm

Pregnancy is an exciting time for parents-to-be and their family and friends.

Pregnancy is an exciting time for parents-to-be and their family and friends. It’s also a time when you might have more questions than answers about how your baby is developing. In an effort to help you find the answers you are looking for, we have provided a link to one website we believe offers a clear and concise overview of the different stages of your baby’s development, week by week, trimester by trimester:  Pregnancy.org

As each week of your pregnancy unfolds, Pregnancy.org provides detailed descriptions and pictures of real embryos and fetuses to bring the experience of fetal development to life and help you better understand your baby’s growth.

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Can My Family Doctor Deliver My Baby?

by Maxine
Posted July 27 2010 12:04pm

A family physician is a licensed medical doctor with extra training in the area of basic care. This includes uncomplicated pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum. A family physician can offer care for the entire family, including infants and children. However, not all family physicians are willing to perform deliveries. In such cases, they provide the bulk of the pre- and post-natal care, and the obstetrician or midwife takes over the care at the end of pregnancy and delivers the baby.

Family physicians can admit patients to one or more hospitals. They may practice with a group of physicians or in a solo practice.

Regarding labour:

Your family physician may or may not deliver your baby. If your family physician is in a group practice, the group shares being on call at the hospital. This may mean that your family physician will not be present for your labour and delivery and one of the partners or the doctor on call at the hospital will deliver your baby. OHIP covers the family physicians’ services. Family physicians may consult with an obstetrician if a problem arises in pregnancy or labour. If the labour turns into a high risk situation, family physicians call in an obstetrician to take the lead.

Regarding delivery:

Your family physician may or may not deliver your baby. If your family physician is in a group practice, the group shares being on call at the hospital. This may mean that your family physician will not be present for your labour and delivery and one of the partners or the doctor on call at the hospital will deliver your baby. OHIP covers the family physicians’ services.

Regarding postpartum:

Most family physicians check on mom and the baby regularly at the hospital, as this type of doctor cares for the whole family. Maternity nurses help mom through her time in the hospital after birth. Family physicians see new moms and their babies (and often dads) for a postpartum check-up in their offices during the first week after birth.

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Backache

by Guest
Posted August 9 2010 03:06pm
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Backache (upper back)

Your belly is not the only thing growing during pregnancy; your breasts become larger, as well. This, or your enlarging uterus, may cause aches or pains in your upper back.

So what can you do for relief of upper back pain? 

  • Use good posture, sit straight and use pillows to support the back.
  • Try doing a few shoulder stretches, like shoulder shrugs and shoulder circling, to relieve any tightness you may feel. To do a shoulder shrug, raise your shoulders up to your ears and let them drop.
  • Wearing a good support bra may also provide the comfort you need.

 

Backache (lower back)

About 75% of all women experience backache during pregnancy. There are many things that can cause this pain, which often seems worse at night: hormones relaxing the ligaments in the pelvis, stretching of the ligaments as the uterus becomes larger and softening of the pelvic joints are all possible causes. It's important to realize that poor posture or being overweight can also make the pain worse.

Here is some advice to deal with lower back pain:

  • Have good posture. Keep your head up, shoulders back, tummy tightened and tuck in your bottom.
  • Squat down (using your legs) to pick things up instead of bending at the waist.
  • Avoid lifting heavy objects.
  • Avoid standing or sitting for long periods of time.
  • Wear low-heeled shoes.
  • Sleep on a firm mattress.
  • Sleep on your left side with your legs spread like you are running. Use pillows to support the right upper knee and leg.
  • Try a massage or apply warm or cold compresses.
  • Try the pelvic tilt exercise. This is rocking your pelvis by tucking your tail bone under or getting on your hands and knees and arching your back like a cat and then flattening your back again.

 

How do you cope with back pain? Are there any other methods of pain management that you use to ease the pain? Share you experiences and leave a comment below! Have questions about physical pain and pregnancy? Ask an Expert! 

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How Does My Baby’s Brain Develop Before Birth?

by Guest
Posted August 10 2010 11:41am

During pregnancy, the basic architecture of the brain is formed. The different parts of the brain are in place (e.g., brain stem, thalamus, cerebellum). This initial development also provides basic brain functions that help the baby live. Although this "hardware" is laid out during pregnancy, the brain is still immature in that the "software," or the connections between different parts of the brain, is not yet formed. To a certain extent, the way the connections are formed depends on exposure to our environment through relationships and experiences.

Unlike your baby’s other organs, such as the heart which is already functioning as it will throughout the child's life, the brain is not yet ready to perform all the amazing functions it will eventually be able to do. It goes through a series of developmental stages. It is after birth that your baby’s experiences begin to have a greater effect on brain development than it did during pregnancy. During pregnancy, maternal health and stress, drugs, alcohol, and the quality of maternal nutrition are some of the experiences that influence the developing brain.

Here is some information about how what you eat while you're pregnant affects your baby's brain development

Used with Permission
Talking Reasonably and Responsibly About Early Brain Development
Center for Early Childhood Education and Development, Irving B HarrisTraining Center for Infant and Toddler Development 2001

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