4 things expectant moms might not know
You’ve been through a stack of books and a hundred baby websites, but here are a few things you may have missed when it comes to your special delivery:
- Chances are good that your water won’t break in a public place.
You don’t need to put yourself under house arrest close to your due date because you are afraid of creating a flood in the produce aisle of your favorite supermarket.
“There’s about a 10% chance that your bag of water will break spontaneously prior to the onset of labor,” says Peggy Jacobs, DNP, childbirth educator and certified mid-wife with Advocate BroMenn Medical Center in Normal, Ill. “More likely is your water will break during labor, pushing or once your health care provider decides to break the water to help labor progress.”
According to Jacobs, if your water does break, you should come to the hospital because of an increased risk of infection, since the bag of water serves as a barrier or protection for mom and baby from the outside world. Let your caregivers know the color of the fluid, if it has an odor, how much there was (think gush vs. trickle) and when the fluid broke.
- There is benefit to that white stuff covering your baby.
Giving birth is messy business, but don’t be so quick to have that layer of white, greasy substance (called vernix) washed off of your baby.
“Research is telling us delayed bathing, 6-24 hours after birth, can have a number of health benefits for the infant,” says Susan Kaufman, MSN, certified nurse and obstetrics education specialist at Advocate BroMenn Medical Center in Normal, Ill. “The vernix helps baby maintain her body temperature. It also assists with skin development and acts as a moisturizer and even a skin cleanser.”
- It could be the obstetrician that performs the circumcision on your son.
According to KidsHealth.com, approximately 55%-65% of newborn boys in the United States are circumcised each year. If your child is among those, don’t be surprised if it is your obstetrician that performs the procedure. Pediatricians, family medicine physicians and obstetricians are all qualified, so if you want to know ahead of time, check with your doctors.
- You don’t have to avoid trampolines the rest of your life.
Childbirth can often cause trauma to the muscles in and around your pelvic floor. This can lead to urine leakage. Motherhood doesn’t have to mark the end of your morning jogging routine or afternoons jumping on a trampoline, though. There are professionals who can help.
“Your pelvic floor acts as a valve to keep urine and bowel movements in. Most often, these muscles can be damaged with childbirth,” says Stephanie Kates, physical therapist at Advocate BroMenn Outpatient Center in Bloomington, Ill. “Pelvic floor physical therapy can assist in strengthening these muscles in a variety of ways so you don’t have to avoid running/jumping the rest of your life. Don’t be hesitant to ask your physician for a referral to physical therapy if you are having issues post-delivery.”
About the Author
Lynn Hutley, health enews contributor, is coordinator of public affairs and marketing at Advocate BroMenn Medical Center and Advocate Eureka Hospital in central Illinois. Having grown up in a family-owned drug store, it is no surprise that Lynn has spent almost 18 years working in the health care industry. She has a degree in human resources management from Illinois State University and is always ready to tackle Trivia Night.