Monday, April 20, 2009

What to Prepare for the Birth of Your Newborn?

Things to think about before delivery:

  • If you have a boy, Should we circumcise or not? The American Academy of Pediatrics is not recommending this across the board. but parents can decide to have this done. It decreased the incidence of a urinary tract infection and penile carcinoma 1% of the time. It prevents incidence of infection of the foreskin. The most common reason for this is the resemblance to the majority of the males in the United States.

  • Breastfeed or Bottle feed? Both methods are safe for the baby but the American Academy of Pediatrics advocates nursing up to 1 year of age.

  • Should I store My Newborn's cord blood?Some genetic diseases can be cured by stem cell transplant. The storage of cord blood is not recommended at this point unless there is a member of the family that would need transplant or a hereditary disorder that may warrant transplant.

Preparing your home and family for the baby's arrival:

choosing a layette (baby's clothes)

3 or 4 pajama sets (with feet), 6-8 t-shirts, 3 newborn sacks, 2 sweaters, 2 bonnets/hats, 4 pairs of socks or booties, 4-6 receiving blankets, 1 set of baby washcloths and towels, 3-4 dozen of newborn-size diapers, 3-4 onesies with snaps.

This is just a suggestion for the most basic wardrobe. Make sure to buy big and flame retardant sleepwear. Read washing instructions. Wash clothes before putting them on your baby.

Buying Furniture and Equipment


  • Crib manufactured after 1985 should adhere to new safety standards
  • Slats should not be more than 2 1/2 inches apart, so the baby's head can not be trapped inside
  • There should be no cutouts in the headboard and the foot board. Baby's head can also be trapped in this areas.
  • Corner post on the cribs should be removed because as the baby gets bigger they can start pulling this out and they can choke on this posts.
  • The mattress should be snug to the crib so there should be no space for which the baby gets trapped
  • Crib bumpers-make sure the strings are not longer than 6 inches. They can get strangulated with this if it is long.

Car Seats

  • New car seats should meet guidelines. If you are using a hand me down , you can go to the local fire department so they can check it for you. Please do not use a car seat that has been in an accident.

Changing Tables

  • It should be on a carpet or in a padded area against a wall and not on a window so there is no danger for a baby to fall
  • Put all things away from a baby's reach. It should have shelves underneath for easy access
  • Make sure the table is sturdy with handrails.

Diaper Pail with deodorizer

  • Need this for disposing the diapers.


  • You can use a plastic washtub for bathing the baby or you can use the kitchen sink provided you can swing the faucet out of the way and the dishwasher is off.

Everything in the nursery should be clean and well dusted

Mother's preparation for the delivery

  • make a list of people for birth announcements
  • contact numbers of childcare and housekeeping
  • have the name, address and phone number of the hospital
  • name,address and phone numbers of the doctors who will be delivering your baby
  • know the quickest route to the hospital
  • know the entrance to the emergency room
  • phone number of the person who will be accompanying you to the hospital
  • phone number of the ambulance service (do not drive while having the baby! Some do!)
  • pack a bag for essentials, toiletries, clothes, an outfit for the newborn to go home in, phone charger

    Resource; Your Baby's First Year by Steven Shelov, M.D.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Rear-facing Car seats safer for children until they are 2

Children under the age of 12-23 months riding in a rear-facing car seat are more than 5 times safer than children of the same age on a front-facing car seat. According to the first US data riding rear facing up to 2 years of age is safer for children. (Henary N, Inj Prev 2007;13:398-402). This is in accordance with the American Academy of Pediatrics.

  • All infants should ride rear-facing in an infant car seat
  • the infant should be switched to a rear-facing convertible car seat once the maximum height(within 1 inch from the head to the top of the seat) and weight(usually 22-32 pounds) have been reached.
  • Toddlers should be rear-facing till they reach the maximum height,weight(recommended by the manufacturer), or at least 2 years of age.

In Sweden, children are rear-facing in the car until they are 4 years old. This has been proven to be 90% effective in protecting the children from accidents. However they have seats that are designed to accommodate a 4 year old.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Advise for Pregnant Moms

Pregnancy is one of the most fulling and exciting experience as a woman. For new parents, there is some nagging fear at the back of your mind and you ask the questions "Will I be a good parent?","Will my baby be healthy?" but 9 months of pregnancy will hopefully help you think through the process and be prepared for the birth of your newborn.
  • Virtually everything you consume, inhale or expose yourself to can be transmitted to the fetus. You need to be on a well-balanced diet, not smoke including exposure to second hand smoking, do not drink alcohol (this can result in some birth defects) and please inform your physician of any medications prescription or otherwise, so you will know which ones would be safe for the pregnancy.
  • Get the best prenatal care. Follow-up regularly with your obstetrician so they can monitor the pregnancy and catch any problems that might start to develop.
  • Nutrition - The obstetrician will be prescribing some prenatal vitamins which will contain iron, folic acid and other minerals which can prevent some birth defects prior to the second trimester.
  • Eating for Two - You will need to be eating more than 300 calories more than your normal. This is not a time to diet. You will be needing the extra calories to carry your baby and the breastfeeding after delivery.
  • Exercise - Is also important during pregnancy. discuss a fitness program with your doctor. Avoid jumping and jarring movements.

Tests during Pregnancy

  • fetal ultrasound is the most common test done in pregnancy, it checks for fetal growth and development and can detect abnormalities
  • Non-stress test monitors the fetal heart rate. This is usually performed during the last trimester.
  • Stress test monitors the fetal heart rate in response to uterine contractions. This occurs when the birth of the baby commences.
  • Oral glucose tolerance test is done to check for gestational diabetes towards the latter part or the second trimester and the beginning of the third trimester
  • Blood test is obtained to check for the alpha feto protein levels, HCG and estrogen. This triple screen can detect fetal abnormalities early in the pregnancy.

Source: Your Baby's First Year by Steven Shelov