Obstetrician Tips

Dr Ken Law
3:20 pm

SIDS – What You Need to Know

  • Brisbane Obstetrician

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) (or cot death as it is also known) is the sudden unexpected and unexplained death of a baby aged between 4 weeks – 1 year.  It generally happens when a baby is asleep in its sleep environment. In 2013 in Australia 117 babies died suddenly, and of those deaths 54 were identified as SIDS. Despite these deaths, SIDS is rare and the risk of your baby dying from it is low. The cause of SIDS is unknown but the risks can be reduced by: Using a cot that meets Australian and New Zealand standards AS/NZS 2172:2003, and not co-sleeping with your baby or on a sofa, armchair or letting them sleep in a rocker Not smoking whilst pregnant or after the baby is born, and not letting your baby be in an area where someone else is smoking Keeping all toys, blankets (tucked in half way down the body is ok), pillows away from where the baby is sleeping. Practise safe wrapping techniques or use a sleep suit to keep your baby nice and snug. Red Nose has a great brochure on safe wrapping Not putting a baby to sleep on its tummy or side Keeping the area where your baby is sleeping nice and cool, and not too hot Keeping your baby in your room where you can keep an eye on them when they are very young Breastfeeding your baby, whilst this is not always possible this is another practise that is potentially shown to reduce the risk of SIDS Not letting your baby sleep in an area near to pets or other children If you have any concerns whatsoever do not hesitate to speak to your Obstetrician to discuss further. For more information about SIDS visit the Red Nose website (formerly SIDS and Kids)

Is Baby Brain Real?

  • Stress can make problems worse

  There are lots of longstanding jokes around experiencing ‘baby brain’ as part of pregnancy. In a recent ‘first of it’s kind’ study undertaken by Nature Neuroscience earlier this year it was found that being pregnant does in fact change the architecture in a woman’s brain, and that can last for at least two years after she has given birth, and the amount of grey matter decreases in areas of the brain that respond to social signals. So technically baby brain does exist  – but whilst the grey matter in the brain decreases – this is temporary and women tend to become more adaptable and efficient in other areas i.e. knowing what their baby needs and being in tune with their role as a mother. Symptoms of “Baby Brain” The first trimester is a very ‘busy’ time for your growing baby. This is the time when all the major organs are developing and a lot of rapid growth happens. It is fairly normal therefore to feel increasingly tired especially if you are working or have other children to care for. If you are experiencing morning sickness, again this would make you feel fatigued also – therefore feeling tired, having a lack of focus and feeling forgetful are perfectly understandable at this stage. Later on in your pregnancy you will likely continue to feel tired from the growing baby but this is also when your brain alters and grey matter decreases – and it is as this stage that you may find that your short term memory and your ability to focus becomes more difficult – feeling like you have ‘baby brain’. If you find you are feeling constantly down and depressed however – this is not typical in a pregnancy so it is important to speak to your Obstetrician to get help. Tips to Overcome “Baby Brain” There are a few ways you can help combat the feelings of forgetfulness by setting up some simple processes: Always put things away in the same place i.e. car keys, house keys, handbag Write lists of things you need to do throughout the […]

Preparing For Your Baby

So you have just found out you are pregnant! Congratulations! Now what? You have up to nine months to prepare for your arrival – which can seem like a long time – but there are some key things you could start doing to make sure you are all set when your new baby arrives. I’ve listed a few helpful suggestions below: Reading If this is your first pregnancy then you may be unsure what to expect. Whilst your friends and family may have lots of advice to give, it’s also good to read about pregnancy and hear from the experts. There are lots of books on the market to read which will offer advice day by day, week by week, where to get help and when you should be concerned and what is perfectly normal. Some great books/websites to start with are: Websites www.whattoexpect.com www.babycenter.com.au www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au Books What to Expect When You’re Expecting, by Heidi Murkoff For a more light hearted approach: Up the Duff, by Kaz Cooke Cooking As you get closer to the arrival of your new baby it can be really helpful to stockpile some food as when your baby first arrives you and/or your partner may not have time to be preparing food. A really easy way to do this is to simple double recipes when you are cooking and to freeze half each time, and in no time you will have a freezer full of food ready for when your new baby arrives. Nesting It’s good to be prepared for your new arrival and to start thinking about what extra furniture and items you might need such as a change table, bassinet, pram. Start thinking early before it comes a bit harder to walk around. Have a chat to friends and family and see whether they have any items they are not using anymore and get some ideas and advice of what you might need. There are so many shops for you to choose from it’s good to get advice so you don’t buy things that ultimately you will end up not using. Keep moving […]

Non-Drug Pain Relief in Labour

  • Labour

Each and every woman is different when it comes to pregnancy and giving birth. When it comes to thinking about pain relief options some women have very firm views on what they want i.e. an epidural, pethidine etc. Whereas other women prefer not to have a labour that involves involves drugs. If you are considering non-drug pain relief in labour here are a few options to consider: TENS machines A TENS machine involves having pads put on the lower side on each side of the spine that give out electric pulses and sends signals to the brain to convince it that the pain is less than it actually is.  The pads connect to a battery unit and you can then control how powerful the electric pulses are. Tip: If considering a TENS machine you can hire them out before labour. Check to see if they have classes you can attend to see how the machine works or get someone to show you when you pick it up. Hot or Cold options   Some patients find that a warm shower or bath helps when in active labour – or even a heat pack or a cold pack. Massage Often this is where partners can help in a big way during labour – by giving their pregnant partner a massage. In giving a massage it can help to soothe and relax you to keep you going as well as to stimulate endorphins which will help with your overall mood. Tip: Be sure to tell your partner when and when not to massage you as you may find that you really don’t want to be touched at certain points in your labour. Also be mindful of using essential oils – check which ones are safe for pregnancy. Breathing techniques Prior to labour it’s a great idea to practice breathing techniques and in labour it can help you to both focus and also stay relaxed. There are often classes available that help with this and some baby yoga classes will focus on breathing too. Of course with all of these things always be mindful […]

Coping With Brisbane’s Heat During Pregnancy

  • Pregnant Woman in Sun

With the temperatures here in Brisbane soaring – if you are pregnant the heat can often feel even hotter carrying around your growing baby. Here are some tips to help tackle coping with the heat this summer: Keep your fluids up Hydration is important for everyone but when pregnant it is very important to ensure you drink enough fluids – so water, herbal teas, and milk.  At least 6-8 glasses of water per day is recommended. By the time you actually feel thirsty you are already starting to become dehydrated, so make sure you drink your fluids regularly. You might also want to minimise your salt intake as too much salt can lead to water retention. Tip – take a bottle of water in the car/on public transport and when out and about with you. Stay out of the sun Stay out of the sun where you can – especially when it is the hottest part of the day, and don’t forget that your skin may be sensitive during your pregnancy – so be careful. Some women can experience cholasma whilst pregnant which is causes pigmentation on the face – if you go in the sun these may darken also. Tip – make sure you wear a high factor sunscreen when out and about. Swimming to cool down If you have a pool a nice dip is the perfect way to cool off – preferably not in the direct sunlight, or if you don’t have a pool then pop along to your local public pool. Alternatively you could invest in a small paddling pool to dip your feet in on those extra hot days* or even have a nice cool shower (but not ice cold!). Tip – please consult council pool guidelines for paddling pools and safety, and always consult your doctor if you are intending on starting any new exercise. Wear fabrics that are breathable Wear fabrics that are lighter and cooler on the really hot days such as cotton, and in the evening when in bed consider your bed clothes and bed fabrics as they may make you […]

5 Things to Have on Hand for After You Give Birth

When pregnant, people seem to come out of the woodwork to give you their advice on everything ‘baby’ in their experience, and whilst it’s great to have that advice – sometimes the simple stuff is the most helpful. In this blog post I wanted to share 5 simple things to have on hand ready for when you give birth. Breast pads Once your milk comes in, you may find that you aren’t able to control your milk supply and you get excess milk leaking from your nipples. Some women get very heavy leaking which means it can make leaving the house difficult.  Breast pads  are great to help with this, and you can buy reusable or disposable pads that fit inside the bra and absorb the excess milk. Maternity pads After you give birth you will find that you experience some bleeding from your uterus (lochia). This will last for a few weeks and can sometimes be heavy like a period, so make sure you pack some maternity pads in your hospital bag. Maternity pads are preferable to normal sanitary pads as they are softer, longer and thicker. Muslin cloths When babies are born they like to feel like they are still in the womb so a great way to comfort them and create the same experience for them is to swaddle them. Muslin cloths are great for this as they are light and fairly flexible. They are also great for when your baby is a bit older and you are out and about and want something to put over their pram when out and about. Big undies Bridget Jones eat your heart out! Big undies are highly recommended after you give birth as they are comfortable and if you have had a C-Section they come up higher than where your wound is likely to be. Comfort is the order of the day! Nipple cream Breast feeding can be tough especially when your baby is first born and learning to latch on, and often your nipples will become very sore. I definitely recommend buying some nipple cream such as Lansinoh which […]

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