As an expectant mother, you are no doubt eagerly awaiting the arrival of your baby. While there is no doubt that this is something to look forward to, there are crucial decisions that you need to make before the day of delivery. These decisions aren’t extremely difficult to make, but they are unavoidable. So while you are busy guessing the gender of your child, and planning names or vacations, do also spare some time to think about what you want to with regards to the following:
A baby gets the most optimized and essential nutrition from your breast milk. It contains unique antibodies that cannot be replicated, and that are essential for boosting the child’s immunity. These antibodies benefit not only the baby but also the mother – helping ward off risks of breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Nursing might be tough in the beginning, but the discomfort eventually fades away. To prepare for breastfeeding, you to take various prenatal vitamins and calcium doses.
Recommended Read: Combining Breastfeeding with Formula Feeding: What You Need to Know
Hepatitis B vaccine
A dose of Hepatitis B vaccination, along with a Vitamin K shot, is one of the first vaccinations it is recommended for you to take. Consultation with the paediatrician is necessary if one decides to skip that vaccine or delay the schedule. It is important to be assured of the benefits as well as the disadvantages of any vaccine.
Choosing a paediatrician is probably the biggest decision to be made by you before delivery. Pediatricians are doctors who are responsible for managing the physical and mental health of children and are trained to diagnose childhood diseases. There are several hospitals which ask you if you wish to have a paediatrician available while delivering the baby. It is your call whether you want to have one or not. The paediatrician would also be responsible for monitoring the baby for 48 to 72 hours. They will be the ones to offer specialized care after the delivery.
Delayed Cord Clamping
It is the practice of cutting the umbilical cord immediately after delivery, unless the pulsations cease or until the placenta is delivered. Most parents choose this as an option as this can have a significant impact. Research has proven that in cases of delayed cord clamping, the newborn receives 30% more fetal-placental blood volume, as opposed to cases where clamping is done immediately. It also ensures a healthy blood volume and prevents complications.
Cord blood banking
Cord blood is the blood in the baby’s umbilical cord which contains stem cells. These stem cells subsequently grow into tissues, blood vessels, and organs. They are specialized cells which can be used in the future for treatment of several diseases. Hence a baby’s cord blood is banked and stored for the future. Parents are now increasingly opting for this, to store potentially life-saving stem cells. This cord blood has to be collected right after birth, and the procedure is quick and painless. In case this decision is delayed, proper examination by doctors is required. Hence, it is suggested that cord blood banking is done immediately.
Recommended Read: What You Need to Know About Cord Blood Storage
In most cases of pregnancies, just after delivery, the uterus continues to contract to release the placenta. The mother feels significant pain due to the contractions. It is the work of the OB or midwife to check if the placenta has been released and that there are no complications with the uterus. The problem associated with the release of the placenta is that it can be dangerous if it doesn’t come out properly. There can be risks of haemorrhaging or emergency hysterectomy. If small pieces of placenta remain, then it has to be treated with a chemotherapy drug. Hospitals generally have policies about placenta release. This has to be checked with the hospital and then decided beforehand, to avoid perpetual stress.
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