Things to Start Thinking About
It's never too early to start thinking about feeding your baby.
When it comes to breastfeeding, the size of your breasts or having a cesarean section doesn't matter.
Breast milk is the ideal food for an infant's health, growth, and development. Here are more advantages to breastfeeding.
Advantages for your baby:
- Fewer ear infections, respiratory infections, and urinary infections
- Less diarrhea, constipation, and vomiting
- Less likely to have serious health problems, such as childhood diabetes
- Less likely to die of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
Advantages for you:
- Less bleeding after your baby is born
- Helps you lose weight after your baby is born
- Creates a special bond between you and your baby
- Convenient and less expensive than formula
Vaginal Birth After Cesarean Section
If you have had a previous cesarean section, you might be able to have a vaginal delivery with your next pregnancy. Your health care provider will review your medical record and discuss your options with you.
If Someone in Your Household Smokes
This is a good time for him or her to quit. Babies and children who live with smokers are more likely to die of SIDS; get sick more often; stay sick longer; and have more coughs, colds, sore throats, ear infections, and asthma attacks.
If you or a smoker close to you wants to quit, check out the Quit for Life® Program. This program is available both as individual phone-based counseling or group support classes. The individual program includes Web Coach®, an online interactive tool. Participants receive support with quitting and learn ways to cope with withdrawal symptoms.
Planning for Child Care
If you plan to return to work after your baby's birth, now is the time to start thinking about child care. Some facilities have long waiting lists.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Talk to other parents and find out who cares for their children.
- Ask caregivers for a list of references and check them out.
- Ask to see the caregiver's state license.
- If you are planning to breastfeed, make sure the caregiver is comfortable supporting breastfeeding for you and your baby.
- Listen to your intuition. Be sure you feel good about the child-care provider.
- Have a backup plan in case your child can't go to daycare, or your caregiver is ill.
Cord Blood Banking and Donation
Blood from the umbilical cord and placenta of your baby contains a large number of blood-forming cells. These cells may be life-saving for someone who has a disease such as leukemia or lymphoma, or certain blood disorders such as sickle cell anemia. A cord blood transplant replaces a person's diseased cells with healthy cells.
You can choose to have your cord blood collected and donated to a public cord blood bank or stored in a private cord blood bank. You must make arrangements for this donation before your child is born.
Talk with your health care provider about the options that may be available to you for cord blood banking. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has information about cord blood donation.
From the "Birth Day News" series.