Week 22: How to prepare siblings for birth
At every step the child should be allowed to meet the real experiences of life; the thorns should never be plucked from the roses.
-Ellen Key, The Century of the Child
What's Happening in Your Body?
It's normal to feel a little achiness in the lower abdominal region. You may even feel some sharper twinges as the ligaments that support your uterus stretch and expand.
What's Happening with Your Baby?
Your baby's movements are now becoming less reflexive and more deliberate as nerve fibers grow and connect. The baby stretches, kicks and grasps, all of which help her muscles to develop.
Preparing Siblings for Birth
If you already have children, you may be wondering how involved they should be with your pregnancy in the months to come and how best to prepare them for the birth of a new sibling. They will most likely have many questions, and finding answers can be difficult. Click on this link to get ideas.
We hear more and more about the benefits of omega-3 essential fatty acids, which are important components of cell membranes. They are also used to make hormones that keep blood from clotting abnormally and inflammation from getting out of control. Countries such as Japan that consume more omega-3 in their diets seem to have lower rates of depression. Consuming enough of it may protect you against heart attacks, stroke, macular degeneration (which can cause blindness), and many cancers and reduce symptoms of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.
As if that weren't enough, omega-3 is particularly important for pregnant women in the third trimester and for women who are breastfeeding. These are the times when the baby's brain is developing at an amazing rate. Babies deficient in omega-3 may have a higher risk of autism, attention deficit disorder, and depression or adult degenerative diseases like Alzheimer's or Lou Gehrig's disease.
Good sources of omega-3s are: oily, cold-water fish, such as salmon, sardines, and mackerel; canola oil; flax seeds and flax seed oil; walnuts and walnut oil; pumpkin seeds; soybeans; hemp seeds; purslane; dark leafy green vegetables; and eggs fortified with omega-3.
Our Caribbean Gingered Salmon over Quinoa with Cucumber Relish is a great way to add omega-3 to your diet.
One way to involve your children in the new pregnancy is to exercise together. Prenatal exercises and yoga are wonderful ways to spend time with your child. Children can do their own version of your exercises, and they'll enjoy being a part of your self-care routine. Learn some yoga poses that can easily be adapted for children of any age, even the youngest ones.
Many women are surprised to discover that acne can sometimes rear its ugly head during pregnancy. This is a result of changing hormone levels in your body. To deal with this problem, or just to pamper yourself, try Feeding Your Face, and we don't mean by raiding the refrigerator!
Birth is Normal
Birth is Normal: Fear of birth is often rooted in childhood experiences. Your pregnancy is an opportunity to help your older children see birth as a normal, natural part of family life rather than a medical emergency.
These are ways you can help your child learn more about birth:
- Take your child to a farm or zoo to witness birth firsthand. Get a stethoscope and let your child listen to the unborn baby's heartbeat, as well as her own.
- Watch for opportunities for your child to hold friends' babies.
- Look for books and videos about birth that you and your child can share together.
- Let your child hold the new baby right away.
Image by Durga Yael Bernhard