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Week #28 of Pregnancy

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Pregnancy Week 28

By Christine Shiffler, edHelperBaby

  How Is Your Baby Growing and Developing?
           Your baby weighs about 2 1/2 pounds.  Your baby's length is around 15 - 16 inches.  The brain is taking on new developments around 28 weeks of pregnancy.  The brain forms characteristic grooves and indentations on the surface.   The baby's body is becoming plumper and rounder.   Your baby is now growing rapidly.


  What Is Happening To Your Body?
           Some women experience changes in their taste buds.  If sweets are too sweet, add a bit of salt to help reduce the sweetness.   Add lemon to water or suck on hard candies.  Marinate foods in soy sauce or citrus juice.  Stay away from stainless steel utensils which may increase metallic taste. Try to brush your teeth often and gargle which may help neutralize ph levels in your mouth.


  Parents Homework
           Writing a Birth Plan       

       A birth plan may seem like an excellent idea because your partner and you can spend time thinking about who you want with you at the birth.  You need to make decisions pertaining to things like where you want to be, the music you do or don't want, and other specifics such as aromatherapy oils in the air. You will have all this written down and when in labor you partner and you can carry out your plan with ease.  However, as many women discover, having a birth plan does not always go according to what was planned.  So probably the best advice anyone can give you is to be flexible.       

       When making a birthing plan think of the following:
  • Who would you like to be with you for the birth?
  • Do you want your partner to stay with you in the event of a cesarean or forceps delivery?
  • Do you want to bring in any special equipment such as a ball or birthing chair?
  • Can you choose the way you baby's heart is monitored during labor?
  • Do you want to be treated by women only?
  • If yours is a teaching hospital, will you mind if medical students are present?
  • Do you want the freedom to move around in labor?
  • Is there a special position you would like to use for delivery?
  • Do you plan to manage without pain relief?
  • Do you want to use aromatherapy oils?
  • Do you want music in the background?
  • Do you want a birthing pool?
  • Are you planning to use any alternative therapies for labor?
  • Do you want your baby cleaned before he's handed to you?
  • Are there any special religious customs you want to be observed?

       Your partner and you need to set aside time to plan ahead for the birth.  You need to think ahead of all the details and make sure you think carefully about your plan.  Sometimes just making the plan, you are more relaxed, less stressed about labor, and your partner can participate fully.


Things to Look Into As You Are Planning Ahead
           If you are planning to have a hospital birth, ask if you can have a tour of the maternity unit.  It is helpful to know where you will be giving birth and where you will be before and afterward.  A tour allows you to meet some of the nurses on the unit.  Ask lots of questions so you feel comfortable and well prepared.  If you are planning a home birth there is much more to do and a lot of research to do.  Where will you give birth?  Will you be able to reach the bathroom easily?  The list of questions and considerations for this plan need to be considered well in advance.  Giving birth at home can be comforting, but it requires a lot of preparation.


  Personal Experience
           We had a birth plan.  I am glad we remembered to be flexible.  Some of the best plans can go right out the window.  We decided on having a third person in our labor and delivery.  We also decided to have my husband cut the umbilical cord.  We had been fortunate enough to take a tour of the maternity unit beforehand.  Also we were fortunate to have developed relationships with some of the nurses from the maternity unit.  All this changed.  I went into labor about a month before my due date.  My water broke around midnight and we went to the hospital.  One of the first questions asked once I arrived at the hospital was "Do you have a birth plan?"  Of course the nurses tried to follow the plan.  However, after about 12 hours of labor, the decision was made to have an emergency cesarean birth.  All our plans were changed and even though things were different than planned, we had a healthy baby boy.  I was okay with the change, but my husband was disappointed that he did not get to cut the umbilical cord.  I think having a plan is important and it did allow me to think about my labor and delivery in a positive manner.  Remember the best plans can change so be flexible.


Should We Bank Our Baby's Cord Blood?
           It is expensive to collect and to store umbilical cord blood.  You need to pay for collection and storage, which can run between $1,000 and $2,500.   Some health insurance companies pay the fees for families at high risk for cancer or genetically based diseases.  One of the most compelling reasons to save cord blood stem cells is that new findings indicate that you may be able to use them to treat conditions like brain injury and juvenile diabetes.  Cord blood stem cells already treat nearly 70 diseases, including leukemia and other cancers.  If you feel this may be for you, you will need to take time to decide and research which bank to trust.  This is an investment and the financial aspect is a great consideration.  Thankfully, there are payment plans. If this seems like something you would like to do, be sure to choose an accredited blood bank.  They have established procedures for collecting and storing umbilical cord blood.  If you do not think you will need the blood, you may want to donate it.  If you think you are interested, ask your physician for information.


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