An unplanned pregnancy can be one of the scariest feelings in the world. The good news is that nine months from now you will be holding your “bundle of joy.” And at that point, you may not even remember the stress you felt when you first saw that positive pregnancy test. Unfortunately, having an unplanned pregnancy doesn’t always give new mothers time to quit unhealthy habits and take prenatal vitamins. The first few weeks are a very critical time in the baby’s development. Sometimes it takes weeks for women to realise they are pregnant, especially those who have irregular periods. This is why it is important for women of childbearing age to take vitamins and live a healthy lifestyle.
HOW TO COPE
FOR AN UNPLANNED PREGNANCY FOR THE MOTHER
- Be positive: Instead of thinking of it as an unplanned pregnancy or an accident, think of it as a gift to cherish
- Make a doctor’s appointment: It is important to figure out how many weeks along you are and get an accurate due date of delivery
- Let it sink in: You might be elated, but it’s normal to also feel shocked, scared, anxious – even angry .Give yourself some time to settle in and speak to somebody you can trust.
- Take action: The best way to deal with the unknown is to create an action plan. Think about returning to work or going back part time, how much leave you and your spouse can take, or if you will need childcare. Take a look at your finances and factor in how your financial situation will change.
- Sign Up for Antenatal Classes to get more information about changes in your body and try to socialise with other ladies who are or have been in a similar situation.
FOR THE FATHER
- Ask her what she thinks
- Tell her what you think
- Be honest
- Give good reasons for your opinion
- Be understanding of her situation, it is as much an unplanned pregnancy for her as it is for you, so don’t play the blame game.
- Don’t withdraw
- Stand by your decision
- Budget yourself according to the baby
- Make an effort to understand the physical and emotional changes that your wife is going through and help her cope with it.
- Help her with her daily chores, it could relieve her stress a bit.
- Meet other couples who already have their bundle of joy. This can help you understand how beautiful your future is going to be.
Turn baby blues away is never an easy task, but these steps can make a very big difference in the outcome. This can be a very emotional decision, and your partner is going to need your support in making it.
- The trade off middle-of-the-night feedings. Nursing mothers might consider expressing milk for dad to help with at least one nighttime feeding. That way, at least one person gets a good night’s sleep, rather than both parents getting fragmented sleep.
- Manage your time wisely to make rest your top priority which usually means a total reorganisation of your normal routine.
- Build a network of friends and family to whom you can assign tasks such as household chores, babysitting, shopping, or cooking ahead of the baby’s birth.
- Sleep when the baby sleeps. Power naps can offer moms an opportunity for a dramatic recovery.
- Arrange for help before the baby is born. Pregnancy is the best time to determine who is going to take over some of the care and allow the mom to sleep.
Providing a safe growing environment is an important part of caring for your baby. Babies are very active, curious and often excitable by nature. These attributes also put them at the risk of injuries. As a parent or caregiver, you can do a lot to prevent injury to your baby.
DHA officials stated that traffic accidents are the leading cause of death among infants and are responsible for 63% of deaths among children aged 14 and younger in the UAE. This percentage is far above the global average of 22.3% of child fatalities caused by vehicles. As per the UAE law concerning child restraint in vehicles, children sitting in the passenger seat who are ten years of age and older must wear a seat belt. Although the Ministry of Interior prohibits children younger than ten years of age from sitting in the front seat, 28% of children continue to do so.
There are a number of road accident prevention methods you can undertake to avoid injury to your child. Children below the age of ten should not be encouraged to sit in the passenger seat. Depending on the age of the child, they must be seated in appropriate baby seats and harnesses that can prevent the baby from harm. Injuries that occur during this age can be prevented if babies are continuously monitored and supervised.
Babies learn by seeing others, they tend to duplicate what adults or other children do. As a parent or caregiver, it is your responsibility to act safely when you are around babies and young children. Child safety is more than babyproofing the house and purchasing safety equipment’s, and has various aspects that parents and caregivers should be aware of. In order to create awareness about the need and importance of baby safety training, Aster Nurture is organising ‘Aster SHIELD’ on Friday, 10th February 2017 at Aster Hospital. This event aims at educating caregivers of babies that Safe Handy Information Eliminates Likely Dangers. For more information on Aster SHIELD/Aster Nurture and to register for the event, contact 0553378460. There is nothing more precious to a parent than their child, and nothing more important to our future than the safety of our children.
What constitutes a full term pregnancy?
A full-term pregnancy lasts 40 weeks. A pregnancy is considered full-term if the baby is born anytime between 37weeks-40weeks.
Why is it important to reach full term?
Each day that the baby spends inside the mother’s uterus is important for the baby. Unless there is an underlying medical condition or any other medical reason for an early delivery, doctors would recommend waiting until the labour starts naturally. Having a natural labour is best for the baby and the mother to have a smooth pregnancy. Induced labour has its own risks. Induced labour makes it more likely for the mother to have a C-section. Having said that, inducing labour is done in different ways. Certain medications are administered to artificially induce labour by starting contractions.
In some cases, women may be advised to deliver the baby early because of some health conditions like preeclampsia, infection, bleeding during pregnancy etc. If a baby is delivered before completion of 37 weeks, the baby will be born pre-term and this could cause health complications to the baby. Babies born at full term are completely developed and are less likely to develop conditions like jaundice, respiratory issues etc. The longer the baby is in the mother’s womb, lesser are the complications.
What complications might arise from pre-term birth?
Preterm births can be spontaneous or may be due to induced labour or C-section for medical reasons. Any baby born before 37 weeks of gestation is termed as a preterm baby. Most premature babies face short term and long term health complications. These babies are admitted to a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) as they are born at a time when they are not completely ready to leave the mother’s womb. They are at the risk of developing disabilities and are cared for in a NICU until they reach at least 35 weeks and are able to breathe on their own, and able to suck milk and swallow.
Premature babies are more susceptible to health complications like respiratory issues because of their immature respiratory system, neurodevelopmental issues, conditions of the heart, infections, hearing and eyesight problems, apnea, jaundice etc. Not all preemies suffer from these conditions but being premature increases their risk of developing these conditions. The earlier they are born, the greater number of risks they have. The birth weight of the baby is also a matter of concern. Premature babies will require a longer hospital stay than other babies. Some babies may have chronic lung diseases because lungs are the last organs to develop and may also require respiratory support even at home.
Specialist Obstetrician & Gynaecologist
Aster Clinic, Marina