Prenatal Tips

Read these 12 Prenatal Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Child Birth tips and hundreds of other topics.

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How should I sleep?

Sleep on your side

During the last half of pregnancy, side-lying is the most comfortable for mom and healthiest for baby. Use pillows behind your back and under your stomach to help balance comfortably.

   
Is my attitude during pregnancy important?

Make sure your glass is

Women with high-risk pregnancies who have an optimistic outlook on life may be less likely to deliver a premature or low birth weight infant, according to a recent study.

While optimism in itself doesn't improve health, The optimistic women exercised more frequently during pregnancy and were more likely to exhibit good nutrition habits, thus decreasing their risk of preterm delivery.

   
What can I do to make my labor easier?

Tailor sitting

Practice "tailor sitting" while pregnant. Sitting in this cross-legged position prepares your body for pregnancy by loosening perineal tissues and stretching inner thigh muscles.

   
Do I need to take childbirth education classes?

Choosing a childbirth class

To best prepare yourself, you should take a private childbirth education class--one not affiliated with a hospital. These type of classes have the advantage of describing all your choices to you; the hospital will only tell you what they are willing to offer. The more complete information allows you to be a better consumer.

   
How can I make the transition to new parenthood smoother?

A Food Shower

If you are having more than one baby shower, or just don't need much in the way of traditional baby gifts, ask for a food shower. This works like a regular shower except that the gift each person brings is a frozen meal that you can take out of your freezer for use in those hectic days after the baby is born.

   
What should I do about Braxton Hicks contractions?

Practice your relaxation

As your Braxton Hicks contractions pick up in frequency and intensity near the end of your pregnancy, take advantage of them to practice your relaxation techniques for labor.

   
Is protein in my diet important?

Get plenty of protein

Protein is the building block for your baby...75-100 grams is recommended for pregnant women.

   
What is nitrazine paper?

Amniotic Fluid

If you suspect that your water has broken, this will probably be checked with nitrazine paper. (Believe it or not, near term it can be hard to tell if you are just leaking urine or not!) Amniotic fluid is very alkaline and this sensitve paper can differentiate it from other vaginal fluids.

   
How can I prepare for labor and delivery?

Squat!

Practice squatting during pregnancy. This will gradually stretch the ligaments and prepare the leg muscles for this valuable birthing position. Try to squat at least one minute ten times a day. This will make the position more natural and comfortable during labor.

   
Where is the safest place to give birth?

Consider carefully your place of birth

Women have the option now of choosing which hospital they prefer to give birth in, or even if they would prefer a free-standing birth center or a home birth. There are advantages and disadvantages to each option. Most people do not realize that statistics consistently show home birth to be as safe or safer than a hospital birth for healthy low-risk women. You will labor most effectively and easily in the environment in which you are most comfortable. Research the options available to you in your community carefully and decide on what is best for you.

   
What is a kick test?

Kick Test

This is a noninvasive way of monitoring the well-being of the baby. A compromised baby will decrease it's movement to conserve energy for vital functions.

You should be familiar with your baby's typcial movement patterns. Then you will be able to clearly identify a change.

If you are overdue, have had a previous stillbirth, your baby seems small for gestational age, or there is some other reason to be concerned about the baby's well-being, you may want to do a kick test.

Counting should take place at a time when the baby is ordinarily active, and begin at the same time each day. Mother counts the first ten fetal movements and then stops. You will expect to notice the movements within a twelve hour period. (For most women it will be within the first hour.)

Another method requires counting movements for three separate time intervals (usually 30-60 minutes) each day.

Contact your health care provider immediately anytime you don't count the previously-agreed upon number of movements.

   
What can I do to get the birth experience I want?

Take childbirth classes

Be sure to take at least one childbirth class that is not sponsored by your doctor or hospital. Often these classes are more oriented to teaching you how to be a good (i.e., compliant) patient than to teaching you the pros and cons of different procedures. An independent instructor will be more objective and more consumer-oriented. Taking the hospital's class is fine (and will help you familiarize yourself with their unique policies,) but don't let it be your only one.

   
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