How To Kiss advises some hard thinking in the case of a first pregnancy, or if you are considering a first pregnancy. It may be something that everybody can be very happy with, or it may be the worst possible timing for you or for others concerned.
And of course a first little baby is a very big thing !
Most first pregnancies are basically accidental but are often welcome to all concerned. Yet some may be seen as very unwelcome to one or more concerned and involve a real problem. This is more likely if parents are very young, or are getting old, but there can be a range of other issues. Some may get pregnant very easily, but some may have great difficulty in getting pregnant and need to consult a doctor or fertility clinic about that.
A first pregnancy certainly needs to be discussed, with a partner or parent or whoever, even if problems seem to be involved. It may be that all concerned will welcome it even with problems, and it is too big an issue to decide without discussion. Hopefully the pregnancy can proceed happily, but if big problems are involved then a safe termination may have to be considered.
If you have a first pregnancy that you are happy with, then there will be some basic things that you need to do and things that you need to know ;
1. Ideally having a first baby should involve two loving parents with adequate financial or wider family support, as discussed in our 'Marriage' section. Of course life cannot always be ideal, so you may just have to do the best that you can.
2. Though pregnancy and birth can be simple, it is of course a good idea to tell a doctor early that you are expecting - for check-ups and scans to monitor the progress of the pregnancy - and pre-birth classes are also a good idea for a first baby. But for most pregnancies the only medical problem is the birth itself, and you should certainly try to ensure that you will get help with that at least. For your Due Date see below.
3. You will no doubt get different advice about your pregnancy from different people, and a doctor will probably give you some sound advice. How To Kiss basically suggests that pregnant mums eat a bit more than usual, moderate caffeine and smoking, avoid alcohol and drugs - and take about 30 mg of Iron daily, and 0.4 mg of Folic Acid daily for the first 3 months plus maybe 100 mg of Omega3 from 6 months.
4. As pregnancy can go wrong especially in the early stages, leave buying baby equipment and baby clothes until 6 months. And also leave thinking about baby names till around then, then try our PS link below.
5. Since labour can start quickly with a first pregnancy, if contractions happen every few minutes or if water breaks then try to get to hospital or call the midwife fast. Natural childbirth should be OK, but trust your hospital or midwife to know if you need some assistance at the time. (for emergency DIY or unassisted childbirth see below.)
6. For the first few weeks, a new baby wakes hungry every couple of hours and this is cut down while breastfeeding by giving one bottle before your bedtime. This also helps if a new mum is not producing a lot of milk.
7. Do not worry that bringing up a baby will be very hard, though the first few weeks can be difficult, your first baby should soon give you the happiest and most meaningful time of your life ! (If not, consult your doctor for help.)
A woman's Base Due Date is 38 weeks after Conception, or 40 weeks after the first day of the Last Period, or 36 weeks after the expected date of the Last Missed Period.
A woman's Base Conception Date is about 2 weeks after the first day of the Last Period, or 2 weeks before the expected date of the Last Missed Period, but if you remember a particular likely day (within about +/- 5 days of then) that may be more accurate.
Hopefully you will have a fair idea of one of the dates to calculate from. If your Periods happen each 28 days then these Base dates are your Actual dates, but if your periods are usually say 3 days longer then you must add 3 days to both base dates for your actual dates - or if your periods are usually say 3 days shorter then you must subtract 3 days from both base dates for your actual dates (periods commonly vary from about 22 days to 45 days).
The accuracy of your Actual Conception Date is about +/- 5 days, and the accuracy of your Actual Due Date is about +/- 7 days. To help calculate your pregnancy dates, try this good online Pregnancy Calculator.
PS. If it is time to think about a name for your baby then try visiting Baby Names - which has many baby names from different cultures including many unusual baby names and indeed unique baby names - both baby boy names and baby girl names - including the origin and meaning of names.
UNAIDED BIRTH ALONE. In an emergency a woman usually can give birth alone or with a little assistance from anybody. Contractions being separated by less than 5 minutes may mean not having time to get to a hospital, though you may have time to phone a doctor or emergency services (or to open this page). The good news is that an emergency labour coming on quickly can often mean an easier birth. Below is simplest best practice emergency instruction, though professional help with birth is safer ;
1. For emergency DIY birth alone, one position or changing positions can work - on hands and knees or squatting may be easier, otherwise lying on your back or side or sitting can work OK, but for easy birth in any position your knees should mostly not be closer to your head than your hips are. Contractions alone may do - but it may help to push between contractions, then deep-breathe, then push again. Do NO pulling of the baby or only gentle pulling. The head should come out first, support it on your hand, then each shoulder.
2. When all of the slippy baby is out, the cord may need unravelling if it wrapped around the baby. Also some fluid needs to drain from its mouth and nose, carefully hold baby legs-up a minute - a towel will help to dry it and to clear its mouth and nose. It should then start breathing, which can be helped by rubbing its back or slap the heels of its feet. The newborn baby will need to be kept warm. Placenta 'after-birth' usually comes out 5 to 30 minutes later, helped by a push.
3. The cord attached to the baby does NOT involve any urgency and can be left for some hours, so you can have a doctor attend to it safely later if you want. Generally the cord is better done after it stops pulsing, which may be a few minutes. Basically the cord can be simply tied reasonably tightly with string or ribbon, an inch or two from the baby, and the cord is cut a bit to the mother's side of that with a new razor blade or sterilised scissors ( wash, dry, then boiling water 2 minutes or cold in strong spirit alcohol 1 minute). If done before the after-birth has come out, then the mothers side of the cord can also be tied.
IF there are any complications then help may be needed, as get to a hospital or phone a doctor (eg. if a leg comes out first and the rest seems stuck, or if there is more than a cup or two of blood). If mouth-to-mouth is needed on a baby it must be gentle short puffs. The baby's cord-stub should fall off 3 or 4 days after birth, and its end should be kept clean and dry till then - if it leaks blood then where it was tied needs to be tightened. For more about looking after a new baby see above.
AND after any emergency DIY birth, a medical check-up of mother and baby is strongly advised.
While hospital birth or other professionally assisted birth is safer, some women prefer DIY birth and some have other birth preferences. Try visiting Unassisted Birth - and Home Birth.
PS. For very good if imperfect information on a newborn baby and caring for it, see Caring for your Newborn PDF 2.5 mb - allow up to 5 minutes for this to load !
How To Kiss advice is for boy, girl, man, woman, single, divorced, separated, widowed, single parent, teen or older.
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