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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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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Choosing a Care Provider

by Maxine
Posted July 27 2011 01:52pm

Your choice of caregiver will affect how happy you are with your care, as well as your risk of having procedures such as cesarean surgery or episiotomy. The choice can also affect your health and that of your baby — for better or worse. This handout features some tips on the best way to approach this key decision.

 

Download the Choosing a Care Provider handout (PDF)

 

This information was provided with permission by:

Injoy-MothersAdvocate-Lamaze
Injoy
Mother's Advocate
Lamaze

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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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