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Up to 26 Weeks Pregnancy

Healthy babies start with healthy pregnancies.

Baby holding parent pinky finger
Ting Legs
Mother and baby in autumn
Mother Breastfeeding Baby
Feeling Mom's Tummy
Pregnancy Yoga
Mother with her Child
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Feeling fancy pants now... you are a freaking amazing tiger mum... look at you! Growing a human!!
Hopefully you are feeling pretty human at the moment. A few aches and pains here and there as your baby grows, but nothing you can't cope with!

This is really common time for the planners amongst us to want ALL the answers right now... its ok- we will walk it through. Maybe start thinking about applying for working for families or paid parental leave. You might need a letter for your employer & IRD- just ask me at our next appointment. Its no problem at all.
Starting to look at all those gadgets & gears marketed for new parents. Don't worry too much. Babies don't actually need that much so just get the things you feel are your top of the list. Look for a care seat, nappies, a bed for baby, and clothes- the more natural the fibres the better!

If you have a Rhesus Negative (Rh-) blood group we will have found this from your first blood tests and we will have discussed the implications and recommendations re sensitising events or antenatal bleeds and the importance of contacting me or GP or A&E and to be offered Anti-D. We will also have had a chat about prophylactic Anti-D which is now offered in Gisborne at 28 weeks and 34 weeks.

click here to read the NZ blood womens anti-D info sheet...

click here to read the full NZ blood Anti-D guideline...

click here to read Sarah Wickham's pages on Anti-D...

I know that you are thinking.... birth is aggggges away, why talk about carseats now!? Its good to think about it now! With time and preparation you can take advantage of sales if buying a new carseat. If borrowing then you have time to confirm the seat will be available and check the expiry date.

Under New Zealand law, all children under seven years of age must use an approved child restraint appropriate for their age and size. Children aged seven must be secured in a restraint if one is available in the vehicle.

click here to read more on the NZTA website...

One of the things I am passionate about is extended rear facing carseats. Each to their own & its ultimately your choice but hey- if you don't know about it, then I am happy to share some info!!

In NZ there aren't actually any laws that specifically set down how loing a baby should be rearfacing in a carseat. It was only recently Plunket got with the programme & updated their recommendations to rear-face until at least 2 years old.

In Northern European countries it is not unusual to have kids rear-facing until 5 years old. This is by far the safest way for your child to travel. By keeping your kid rear-facing in a suitable carseat for as long as possible you are giving them the best chance at reducing serious injuries in a crash. As awareness grows in NZ about the benefits of extended rear-facing, more seats are available at a range of price-points to suit everyone's budget. If you are considering extended rear-facing, look for a carseat that has a high weight rating for rear-facing (like 18kg+).

click here for a video that shows the benefits of extended rear-facing...

Safe sleeping for baby

The Ministry of Health guide states: You can help protect your baby from dying suddenly in their sleep by:

  1. Making sure baby is in their own bed for every sleep (and close to parents/caregivers at night)

  2. Making sure baby is on their back for every sleep

  3. Keeping baby smokefree from the start

  4. Breastfeeding your baby

  5. Immunising your baby on time

click here for the MoH pamphlet on keeping baby safe while sleeping...

Some parents find themselves bed sharing either through informed choice or as a way to survive otherwise sleepless nights with an unsettled baby. I recommend read the work of Professor James J. McKenna on this subject.

to go to Professor James J. McKenna's website click here...

another great resource on infant sleeping is Infant Sleep Information Source UK (ISIS)...

UNICEF Caring for Your Baby at Night Guide...

You may have already heard that pregnant mothers shouldn't sleep on their back. This is correct but I don't want you to beat yourself up with guilt if you wake up and you've rolled on to your back!

So what's the big deal? With the extra weight of your growing uterus containing baby, placenta, & amniotic fluid/waters (liquor: pronounced lie-kwa), sleeping flat on your back can compress the main blood vessels that supplies blood to your heart & uterus; & therefore baby. It can also put pressure on back & make it harder to breath for you.

The safest position to sleep in is on your side. Pillows will be your friend now- try a pillow between your knees to relieve spine curvature and therefore back ache. Try hugging another pillow between your arms and also try a pillow behind your back. A pillow behind your back will give you a bit of extra support and will also displace you slightly so if you roll onto your back in your sleep, you won't be completely flat on your back.

If you find you are getting some heartburn at night, try sleeping with your head raised to get gravity helping.

for more info click here...

There's no getting around the fact that it is amazing and life changing having a baby but it can at times be incredibly hard work and stressful in ways that are hard to imagine until you've been there. Couple sleepless nights with an unsettled baby, add in some other life stress and it can get a bit too much. We all have different abilities to cope with stress and different levels of support in our life from those around you. It is important to acknowledge that eventually, at some point you will get to a very stressed out point. One of the most stressful parts of parenting can be a baby who is crying. Being mindful of this moment and knowing that you need to take a breath is best thing you can do.

If you feel yourself at breaking point, it is always safest to put baby down gently in a safe place such as their bed and go and take a breather- its ok if baby is crying, they will be ok while you take a lap around the lawn and clear your head so you can go back to them and start again.

It is important that you, or anyone else who cares for your baby ALWAYS handles baby gently and carefully.

Never, ever shake a baby.

The number one reason why babies are shaken is because their caregivers become angry or frustrated. Shaking a baby can cause: • permanent brain damage • paralysis • blindness • deafness • seizures • broken bones • developmental delay • death.

Power to Protect: Coping with a crying baby pamphlet...

MoH Coping with a crying baby page...

Antenatal classes

Booking an antenatal class is purely optional, however I do notice the increased confidence during labour and birth of those who have attended antenatal classes. Many first and second time parents also find this a useful tool to get to know other parents who are having a baby at the same time. I would recommend that you book early as certain times of year become unavailable very quickly. I would also recommend that you start your first class around 30-32 weeks gestation so the information remains fresh in your mind before the arrival of your baby.

There are two options in Gisborne for Classes:
Kate Harris Ph 06 867 2181 or 021 158 7054
Turanga Health Ph 06 869 0457

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