Here are some useful pregnancy tips for first-time mothers as well as those who are expecting another addition to the family.
1. Sleep Routine
When you have a new baby, getting up at night can be exhausting. New babies are likely to sleep for around two to four hours in one stretch, rising to six hours by the time they are three months old. Start as you mean to go on by making 'night' different from 'day', using soft lights, voices and sounds to encourage your baby to stay sleepy rather than waking up to play.
2. No Bed-Sharing
You should never share a bed with your baby if anyone in the bed has a sleeping disorder, is a smoker, has been drinking or taking medication that causes drowsiness or is very tired.
3. Encouraging Sleep
Try to encourage good sleep patterns early on with your newborn by putting the baby down to sleep when nearly asleep, but not quite. The sooner they learn to do that last bit of falling asleep on their own, the easier it will be for everyone.
Some research have shown that babies left to cry for long periods in the first few months of life might stop crying, but their stress levels remain high. Most babies are fine if left for five, 10 or 15 minutes, but if crying continues, they might be becoming stressed.
5. Stay Smoke Free
The risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), or cot death, increases if one or both parents smoke or if anyone is allowed to smoke in the same room as the baby. Keep your child away from second-hand smoke and ask all smokers to refrain for an hour before they handle your child.
6. Lay Baby Flat
Don't leave your baby to sleep for long periods of time in a car seat or reclining seat where their backs are bent. Babies's bones are very malleable, so laying them flat is better for their backs.
7. Raise The Bed
If your baby has a cold, it can often cause sleep problems. Try raising one end of their cot (crib) so that they are sleeping on a slight slope, which will help clear their nose. But avoid this if your child has weak lungs as it could make any cough worse.
8. Cry little baby
Most experts agree it’s impossible to spoil a young baby with attention. The more attention a baby gets, the more secure he/she will feel. Some will take advantage of this habit to get what they want – like crying for food, to have their napkin changed or just to be held and caressed.
9. Support the head
A new baby is not strong enough to support its own head, so be sure to avoid injuries by carefully supporting the head and neck when you hold, carry or pick up your baby.
10. Stop the exercise
You shouldn’t exercise for around six weeks after you have given birth because your body needs to rest in order to allow the abdominal muscles to contract as well as to tighten the ligaments.
11. Get some rest
Having a baby can be stressful. Not only are you exhausted from giving birth, there’s no chance to catch up on that much-needed sleep now that your baby’s around. Try to get as much rest as possible and eat well too.
12. Mummy blues
Mothers who have undergone difficult deliveries are more likely to be among the one-in-10 women who suffer post-natal depression. Speak to your family doctor or join a support group with other mothers to work out your feelings.
Source: Family Ties, theSun, September 29 and October 6, 2009